Sick 'Verse by writeatmidnight

Sick 'Verse
by writeatmidnight
Type: Real people
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Rating: PG-14 to NC-17
Disclaimer: Entirely fake. No profit. No harm intended. It’s all a pretty little
fairytale.
Summary: Who would have guessed that watching someone heave their lunch into a
wastebasket could make you realize that, hey, maybe you have a thing for them.
Art by naisica & nerrianah.
Sick 'Verse comic by nerrianah can be found at j2epiclovestory.
NOTES ON THE OVERALL STORY
(added after I finished writing the entire shebang):
Yeah, so somewhere in there this story become somewhat "popular." I still don't
know how or why. But I'd like to think of this story as the ultimate J2 soap opera,
in which Jared is a big ole Jensen fangirl and Jensen has many issues. It's
really over-the-top, ok? I know it is. I never set out to write a stunning piece of
literature. So please don't go into this thinking otherwise, and then later drop me a
comment telling me all the ways in which this story just didn't work for you. I know
it's not everyone's cup of tea. And that's cool with me.
WARNINGS FOR THE OVERALL STORY:
The warnings will spoil you big time, but if you really need to know what you're
getting into, here (zoom a couple of times to read):
some chapters deal with the mention of sexual abuse (of a child), attempted non-con (of an adult), and generally unsettling original characters. It is vague. None of it is overly graphic or detailed. The child abuse is mentioned in passing as part of the plot.
Table of Contents
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Green Around the Edges ...................................................................... 1
Contagious .......................................................................................... 13
Always Off Limits ................................................................................. 27
Walk in the Snow ................................................................................. 39
What Goes Around Comes Around ........................................................ 49
But What a Way to Go ......................................................................... 65
When Green Meets Red ........................................................................ 81
After an Afternoon ............................................................................... 99
Nobody Ever Said It’d Be Easy ..............................................................112
The Art of Chocolate ............................................................................128
Stumbling Out of the Closet ..................................................................148
Why Aren’t You Stopping Me? ...............................................................170
With Eyes Closed .................................................................................189
Where Else Would I Be? .......................................................................201
Like Putty in His Hands .........................................................................216
No ......................................................................................................241
To Trust ..............................................................................................264
Wrong Side of the Sunrise ....................................................................280
The Size of Texas .................................................................................289
Ten to Disaster ....................................................................................308
Somewhere in the Heart of the Aftermath ..............................................321
The Epic Love Story of Jared and Jensen ...............................................336
Yours ..................................................................................................347
Just a Murmur .....................................................................................367
You Know That Saying? ........................................................................380
And the World Just Keeps Spinning .......................................................394
Shut Up and Hold Me ...........................................................................423
Green Around the Edges - Jensen's POV .............................................................485
beat beneath his fingertips ................................................................................496
Your Laugh Makes Me Smile ..............................................................................498
Soundtrack ......................................................................................................500
This fic 'verse is no longer available online. ........................................................501
= 01 =
Green Around the Edges
[ by naisica ]
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Summary: Who would have guessed that watching someone heave their lunch into a wastebasket
could make you realize that, hey, maybe you have a thing for them.
Disclaimer: Sadly, none of this happened, nor do I have anything to do with these guys.
Warnings: No actual porn *gasp*, some sappy crud, slashy thoughts.
AN: I never thought I’d write real people anything. But I got this silly little scene in my head, and then
it kind of snowballed until I just had to write it down. I plan on writing more in this 'verse, but the boys
are in for a long ride before there's actually any porn. Sorry.
“I’m fine. I’m not sick.”
1
Skeptical. “You sure?”
“I haven’t been sick in a freakin’ decade.”
--------“A decade, huh? Guess the gods figured you were overdue.”
“Fuck off.”
“Aw, Jen, don’t be like that.”
“I feel like I’m dying.”
Jared grabbed Jensen by the arm and guided him into the apartment. “Get off me. I’m not an invalid,”
Jensen griped, pulling away and stumbling into the living room.
“Seriously, man, Kripke’s right. You look like you’re about to pass out.”
“Really. I’m fine. You can leave.”
“Just let me help you get into bed.”
“I can climb into bed on my own, thanks.”
“Dude, you’re swaying on your feet.”
“I---”
Jared pouted. “You’re a really cranky sick person. Let me help you get to bed and then I’ll leave, ok?”
Jared could see the moment that Jensen relented in the way his shoulders suddenly slumped. Ah,
defeat. A beautiful sight at 5 in the evening.
“Fine. Whatever.”
Jensen let Jared guide him through the living room and down the hall to the bedroom where Jared
gestured at him with a long-fingered hand and told him to strip down.
Jensen mumbled a halfhearted, “You tryin’ to take advantage of me, Padelecki?” while chucking off his
outer shirt, shoes, and jacket, and climbing out of his jeans.
Jared threw his head back and laughed. “Yea, I’ve just been waiting for you to get sick so I can take ya
down when you’re all weak and defenseless.”
“Crap. I don’t even care,” Jensen groaned, throwing himself at the bed in his t-shirt and boxers.
Shivering, he scooted under the covers until all Jared could see were two bright, glassy green eyes
peeking out. “Can ya get the curtain on the window, Jay? ‘S too bright.”
“Yea, I got it.” By the time Jared turned away from the window and back to the bed, Jensen was
already dozing off.
Jared moved to leave, stopped in the bedroom doorway, turned back around and hesitated. Maybe he
2
should get Jensen some water or something. And did his face look unusually flushed?
Quietly, Jared made his way over to the bed and stood staring down at his co-star. “Jen?” he
whispered. Then louder: “Jen?”
“Huhnnggm,” Jensen mumbled, cracking his eyes open.
Jared shifted uncomfortably. “You need anything else? Maybe some water?”
“Just sleep,” he replied, burrowing farther down into the covers. “Cold in here.”
“It is? Want me to turn the thermostat up?”
“Yea.”
When Jared got back into the room he rested his hand over the sleeping head.
Green eyes flicked open again. “What’re you doing?”
“Dude, you’re burning up. You have a thermometer in this place?”
“’Course. It’s right there on the bed stand by the scented hand lotion and smelling salts.”
“Jackass.” Uncertain, Jared sat down on the empty side of the bed, careful not to disturb the part Jen
was laying on. “Maybe I shouldn’t leave you like this.”
Jen groaned, shifted so that he could peer up at Jared’s face. “I’m not dying. I’ll be fine once I get
some sleep.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Wow, I guess I must really look like shit.”
Studying Jen’s face, Jared tilted his head, considering. Actually, someone that sick shouldn’t still look
that good. It just wasn’t fair. “Nah, you look pretty good. The fever makes your eyes look kinda sparkly
and…” Yea, he figured it was a good time to stop that line of thought when he caught sight of the look
on Jensen’s face.
“Hand me the trash can by the door.”
“Oh, c’mon. I was just kidding. Don’t you know how to accept a compliment?”
“No, Jared…I… I’m about to throw up.”
God, it was just a compliment. It didn’t mean anything. He didn’t have to be such an ass about it--- oh.
Wait. Shit. Gross. Jared lunged for the little can and barely made it back to the bed in time to shove it
into Jensen’s hands before he revisited his lunch.
Vomit was really, really disgusting. It was almost enough to make Jared turn and leave right then and
there. God, the door looked so tempting. But he couldn’t leave Jen alone there on the bed, retching his
insides into a plastic wastebasket.
So he sat there quietly by Jensen’s side until the sound of liquid hitting plastic subsided and he got up
the courage to drag his eyes back over to the scene. Jensen was kneeling forward on the bed, gripping
the sides of the garbage can, head hidden in the little can, and dry heaving like his life depended on
3
sending his liver and small intestine into the trash with the burger he’d had for lunch hours ago.
Sympathy creased Jared’s forehead. He reached out and awkwardly patted Jensen’s heaving back. “’S
ok, Jen. It’s gonna be ok.” Whatever. He had no idea what he was saying, just that back when he was
little and got sick his mom would murmur comforting little phrases to him and it always made him feel
better.
Jensen finally leaned back, face ghost-white, eyes red. The smell of puke slowly rose in the air and
Jared had to wrinkle his nose and hold his breath to keep from gagging.
“Uh, here,” Jared offered, arm reaching to the trash can, “lemme get rid of this so you don’t have to
smell it anymore.” And before I vomit next. This is friggin’ nasty.
Jared went to the bathroom and flushed the vile contents down the toilet, then rinsed the bucket out
with the shower hose and brought it back into the bedroom in case Jen needed it again. God, let’s
hope not. I don’t think I can take smelling that again.
Jensen was still in a sitting position, but now his head was leaning back against the wall, mouth open,
eyes closed. He was the picture of pathetic.
Jared set the can by the bed, went into the bathroom again and came back out with a cup of water and
a cool clothe.
Sliding back onto the bed jolted Jen awake.
Jared handed him the water. “Here, swoosh this around in your mouth. It’ll help get the taste out.”
Jared realized that he must really be out of it when he obeyed without a word.
Setting the cup by the bed, he said, “Jeez, Jen. Are your teeth actually chattering? Slide back under the
covers.”
More pliant obedience. Jared nearly grinned. He’d have to bring all this up later when Jensen was no
longer barfing half his body weight into the trash.
From under the blanket, Jensen looked up at him with round, trusting eyes and Jared felt a tiny piece
of his heart flutter and slip away from him. He shook his head as if to clear it. Uh. What the hell?
“Jare…” Jensen mumbled. “I feel like crap… like really, really bad…”
“I know.”
“Really… bad…”
“It’s gonna be ok,” Jared said soothingly and brought the wet clothe up and over the hot skin on
Jensen’s face. Across his flushed-pink cheeks, down delicate features to his mouth. Jensen’s eyes
fluttered shut and Jared thought, Jesus. Just… JESUS. He ghosted the cool material over Jen’s mouth,
down his neck. And then, I have no idea what the hell’s happening.
“You don’t have to stay,” Jen said in a soft, dreamy, not-quite-all-there tone that Jared had never heard
before.
“It’s no problem,” Jared choked out, unsure why he was having trouble getting words out, because
seriously man WHAT THE FUCK.
4
“You really don’t have to do this for me.” His eyes opened again and made a half-attempt at focusing
on Jared. The light from the softly glowing bedside lamp made little golden flecks glitter in the
crystalline green eyes.
Jared almost forgot that he needed to respond.
Letting out a shaky breath and a small, lop-sided smile, he said, “Nah, it’s no problem. Not like I
actually have anything else to be doing since my only co-star’s off drinking, or vacationing, or
something.”
Jensen let out a soft snort in reply, and Jared fixed the covers around his body.
“Seriously. It’s all good. I don’t mind,” Jared said a little too breathlessly.
--------Jared woke with a full body jerk and nearly fell out of the lounge chair he’d been dozing in for the past
5 hours. Jensen’s bedside alarm clock claimed it was 10pm. Huh.
Standing and stretching, Jared flicked on the lamp and moved to the bed where he proceeded to hover
over the form that was huddled under the covers. He peeled the blankets back a tiny bit and felt for
Jensen’s forehead.
Christ. If he’d had a thermometer he figured it would be flashing a warning or something at this point.
Jensen didn’t respond to the hand on his face ghosting down to cup his warm cheek. Jesus, Jense. This
can’t be good.
Jared found himself in Jensen’s kitchen without actually remembering how he got there. It’d been a
long day.
He ruffled through the cupboards, searched through drawers until he found some Tylenol in the very
back of a drawer. Didn’t his mom used to give him Tylenol to bring his fevers down? He couldn’t
remember if it’d been Tylenol or something else. Maybe he should call her. Wait. What time was it in
Texas?
Yea, Tylenol sounded like it’d do the trick. Maybe. Hopefully.
He came back into the room armed with two pills and a glass of water. Sat down on the bed and poked
Jensen in the side.
Jensen didn’t budge.
“Jen? Wake up.”
No movement.
“C’mon, man. You’re kinda scaring me here.”
He leaned over farther until he was breathing down in to the other man’s face. He put a hand on the
side of Jensen’s face and another on his chest to make sure he was actually breathing.
“Jensen?”
Jared jumped when Jensen moaned low in the back of his throat. His eyes sprung open, bright and
5
glossed over. “Jared?” His voice resembled something that had recently been dragged over gravel.
“Yea, ‘s ok. Just me. I think you need to take something to bring the fever down.”
“Your hands are cold.”
“Huh? Oh.” Jared blushed at the realization that he still had his hand on Jensen’s cheek. “Sorry… Uh,
here, let me help you sit up.” Hooking an arm under Jensen’s armpit, he half pulled, half supported Jen
into a sitting position.
After Jensen took the pills he slid back down, and Jared straightened the covers back over him and
wondered when he had turned into a freakin’ mother hen.
“You can watch TV or something,” Jensen muttered, eyes at half-mast, lips barely moving with the
words.
“Sure. Ok.” I’d rather watch you… crap, why am I even thinking stuff like that?
“’S cold.”
“It’s the fever.”
“Haven’t felt this bad in… ever.”
“Not so invincible, huh?”
“Shuddup.”
The bed was actually shaking a little with Jensen’s shudders and trembles, so Jared slid down on the
still-covered side of the king-sized bed and threw an arm around Jensen’s shoulders. He expected some
sort of comment, something, but Jen surprised him by cuddling into the crook of his arm, seeking
warmth and comfort.
And whoa. It felt really… good. Too damn good. It shouldn’t feel right like this.
Eyes closed, Jensen muttered, “So cold.”
“Yea,” Jared breathed out on an exhale he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. “Yea.”
Casually, Jared turned onto his side so that he could put his other arm around the hot little furnace that
was Jensen’s body.
He tensed and waited for Jen to tell him to bug off, move over, leave.
Jen didn’t move. He already appeared to be off in fevered dream land again.
Jared considered shifting away from him and climbing out of the bed. Wasn’t there something weird
-maybe even morally wrong- with touching a barely coherent sick person so intimately?
But really, he didn’t want to move. At all. Ever.
Aw crap.
---------
6
Ok, so Jensen had way over 20 freckles sprinkled across his cheeks.
Jared had bet himself there were around 20. Heh. Oops.
And yea, he counted them. So what? It didn’t mean anything. It wasn't like he suddenly found them
absolutely adorable and totally endearing, whereas before he’d never really taken notice except to
tease when Jensen bitched about burning and freckling when they did long scenes out in the sun. He
was just bored right now. Yea, that was it… boredom.
Jen sighed in his sleep, lashes fluttering across his freckled cheeks.
The sight mesmerized Jared for a moment.
And hey… whoa. Lookit that. Jared had definitely never taken notice of how long Jensen’s eyelashes
were. Did guys even have lashes that long? He leaned in a little closer for further inspection, staring in
something akin to wonder. The contrast between pale skin and those long, coal-colored lashes
happened to be really nice.
Huh, pretty.
Crap. Did I just call Jensen pretty? Dude. I need some serious help.
Maybe I’m coming down with something, too. Great, Kripke’s gonna love it with both of us sick.
Jared shifted his hold on Jensen, slowly and carefully maneuvering around to get in a more comfortable
position without waking him. In his sleep, Jensen shifted, too, unconsciously scooting closer to the heat
of Jared’s body until his head ended up tucked into Jared’s chest and his hair tickled Jared’s chin.
A shiver shot through Jared’s body. Frighteningly, it felt suspiciously like want mixed with other words
Jared refused to even allow enter his mind at the moment.
He let a hand leave Jen’s back to brush at the hair tickling his neck and chin.
And… Ooh. Soft.
Jensen’s hair shouldn’t feel this soft. It just shouldn’t, ok. Jared found himself threading his fingers
through the soft brown strands, enjoying the feel of the short, silky pieces in between his fingers.
It was a good thing Jen was out like a freakin’ light because all Jared could think about was just exactly
how wrong all of this was. For the love of God, it was Jensen. And he was a guy and Jared was not gay
and Jensen was his co-star whom he’d never looked at like this before and it was all really, really bad
and GodohGod, wrongsosowrong, and Jensen felt fucking perfect in his arms…
Crap. I am so screwed.
--------Jared woke to Jensen wiggle-sliding out from under his arms.
No, no. Come back…
“Jen? You ok?”
7
Jensen shook his head, wide-eyed and lost looking, and made for the bathroom.
Jared cringed when he heard the familiar sounds of retching again.
After several minutes, Jared came to the bathroom door and leaned on the frame. Jensen had his head
resting on the toilet seat and looked for all the world like he was snoozing right there on the bathroom
floor, toilet a pillow.
“Wow, man. You comfortable down there?”
Jensen grunted.
Jared walked in behind him, hooked an arm underneath each armpit and hauled him up. Jen sagged
against him all the way back to the bed where Jared half lifted him, half shoved him back into the
sheets and blankets and then proceeded to tuck the covers around him again.
“Think I’m dyin’, Jay.”
“You’ll be ok by morning.”
“Wanna bet?”
“It’s not fair to bet with a half dead man.”
“Uggn.”
“Yea. Go back to sleep, Jense.”
“’Kay.”
--------The next time Jared cracked his eyes open, sun was shimmering through the closed curtains on the
window. Still fully clothed, he had conked out on his back next to Jensen shortly after the trip to the
bathroom.
Yawning, Jared dragged his body up and turned toward Jensen who was sprawled out on his stomach,
hair the only thing peeking out from under the covers.
Jared sighed long and hard.
That had been one hell of a night. In more ways than one.
Maybe now, in the daylight, he’d be able to gather the scattered pieces of his ridiculous brain and see
things clearly. Things can always seem a little weird and sometimes surreal at night.
Jared reached over and felt Jen’s forehead. Ah, much better. Just call him Doctor McAwesome. Damn
straight.
Grinning a little to himself, he shuffled to the kitchen and started pawing through the fridge.
Juice, fruit, waffles… mm, waffles. Perfect.
The next time he went back into the bedroom he had a plate of waffles in one hand and a glass of
8
orange juice with a straw in the other.
“Up and at ‘em, Jennybean.”
Jensen managed to moan out a, “Gnuh” into the pillow.
“Dude, you know it’s noon?”
“I’m sick, man, leave me alone.”
“Yea, guess you’re right. Sorry. Are you hungry? I’ve got waffles.”
A faint sound of protest rose from the bed. “Haaaate you. Don’t mention food. Ever again. Please…
God.”
Guiltily, Jared moved toward the bed and sat down on the edge. “Sorry. I forgot about your uh… night
with the toilet.” He set the plate on the bed stand and kept the juice. “Drink some juice. They always
give sick people OJ.”
Jensen rolled over onto his back, blinked at the ceiling for a minute before pulling himself up to lean
back against the headboard.
Jared’s stomach dropped to his feet at the same time that his heart leapt into his throat and threatened
to choke him.
Pillow creases in his face and hair pointing a dozen different directions did nothing to change the way
Jared had started feeling about Jensen during the night. It all flooded into his brain and hit him like a
punch in the stomach as soon as he caught sight of Jensen in the morning light.
Fucking hell.
If anything, the feelings were almost stronger in the daylight. While at night they had seemed kind of
silly and kinda-maybe could’ve been passed off as an impish little Jared joke, (in his own mind,
anyway) in the morning they were scarily real.
A new feeling emerged among the wrongsosowrong ones: fear.
--------Casual, nonchalant. “I think your fever’s down.”
“Yea, I feel a little better.”
“Awesome. You---”
Jared’s words got stuck in his throat as he watched Jensen’s perfect lips form an O and curl around the
juice straw.
Gnuhhahhhuhh, his mind buzzed at him. Then finally formed an adjective: Gorgeous.
“What?” Jensen asked.
And Jared wanted to scream, What? WHAT THE HELL! Do you even know what you’re doing to me?
9
Of course Jensen had no idea what he was doing to him. Because if he’d had any idea what was
running through Jared’s mind at the moment he’d be freaking the fuck out exactly the way Jared was
about to do.
Jared repeated, “What?”
“You were about to say something.”
“Oh. I was?” He chuckled, though to his own ears it sounded slightly like an insane little shriek. “Never
mind.”
Jensen put the juice on the nightstand, caught sight of the waffles and grimaced. “Dude. Waffles. Shit,
there’s even syrup on them.” His eyes went wide and child-like, and he was starting to look a little
green around the edges, like a piece of moldy cheese.
Green and fuzzy around the edges pretty much described how Jared felt at the moment.
“Sorry, sorry.” Moving quickly, Jared brought the offending food back to the kitchen. When he entered
the room again Jensen was tottering out of bed and Jared ran up behind to catch him, wrapping long
supporting arms around his chest and waist.
“I’m ok. Dude. I’m fine.”
“You didn’t look fine just now.”
“My equilibrium’s just a little off. I got it now.”
Jared bit back the moan that edged its way up his throat. He wasn’t sure, but he might have been
breathing heavy. Just… just… the close proximity to Jensen, arms around his slender, perfect waist. It
was doing things to Jared that it should never, never do. And the fact that he really, really wanted to
move his hands lower on Jen’s body -maybe to those narrow hips, maybe elsewhere- was even worse.
“Jared? I said I got it.”
Jared released him, almost as thought he’d been scorched by a hot pan. “Cool. Yea. Ok. You sure
you’re good?”
“Yea. Uh… thanks.” Jensen disappeared into the bathroom, and Jared wanted to die. Right here. Right
now.
How could this happen all of a sudden after more than a year? Feelings he’d never had before for
Jensen, hell, for any man for that matter; feelings he’d never even thought of before were suddenly the
only thing on his mind. How did something like this just… happen?
More importantly, how was he going to work in such close proximity to Jensen now when all these little
things had the power to set him off and send his mind and body spinning away without his permission?
One thing was for sure: Jared was going to hunt down whatever little twit had sneezed or coughed on
Jensen and passed along this fucking cold/flu/stomach-thing/whatever. That bitch was going down. It
was the least he could do to the person who’d ruined his life.
--------“Too tired to shower. How pathetic is that?” Jensen said, climbing back into the bed.
10
“Too weetle and weak, you mean?”
“Screw you.”
Jared forced a grin. Yea, ok. He could do this. Everything was going to be A-ok.
Jensen yanked his t-shirt over his head and tossed it to the floor. Jared froze to the spot.
Jesus. Breathe, Padelecki, just breathe.
“So what’d you do all night while I was barfing my guts into the toilet?” Jensen asked him as he
scooted back under the warm covers.
Jared nearly let out a sigh of relief that the tan, freckly skin slid under the safety of the covers where
he couldn’t ogle it like some freak. Or worse, some freakin’ fan girl, for God’s sake.
He couldn’t imagine how long it’d take him to count all the freckles on that back. Actually, yea, he could
imagine it, and that was the problem. Because he could also imagine licking each and every one.
Fuckityfuck.
Wait. Hadn’t Jensen just asked him a question or something?
Oh yea. The question. What had he done all night.
Fell in love with you, dude.
…
Ahh, crap on a cracker.
--------Jared sat on Jen’s bed flipping idly through TV stations. He had no idea what was flashing by on the
screen. The only thing his body and mind seemed to be aware of was Jensen propped up on pillows
right beside him.
“You know if you’re bored you can leave whenever you want. You’re not my prisoner here.”
Role playing. Kinky. Yes, please.
“I… uh. Are you sure you’re feeling better?”
Yawning, Jensen stretched his arms over his head and answered, “Yea, I think it was just a 24 hour
bug or something.”
In amazement, Jared watched Jensen’s chest and…
I have got to get out of here.
Jared stood. “Ok, I guess I’ll head out then. Are you gonna feel like coming back on set tomorrow?”
“Yea. Pretty sure.”
11
“’Kay. See you then, I guess.” He turned to go.
“Hey, Jared?”
Crap, he knows. He sensed it somehow.
With a gulp, he turned back to face the bed.
“Thanks for being there for me last night. I owe you one.”
Jared forced a casual chuckle out of his mouth. “Yea, well you can make it up to me if this bug turns
out to be contagious and I’m barfing up waffles later tonight.”
Jensen’s face crinkled up into a look of disgust. “Waffles and barf. Hey, have I ever mentioned that I
hate you?”
“Crap. Sorry, Jen… I’m getting outta here before I say more.”
“See you tomorrow.”
“Yea,” Jared breathed, “tomorrow.”
Wow. Tomorrow’s gonna suck.
{End}
[ Read Jensen's POV of this installment. ]
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= 02 =
Contagious
Series/Verse: Follows Green Around the Edges.
Type: Real People
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Summary: Maybe conning the guy you have a thing for isn't the best way to get him in your bed.
Warnings: No actual porn *gasp*, some angst, slashy thoughts.
Disclaimer: Sadly, none of this happened, nor do I have anything to do with these guys.
AN: I actually have a plan for this whole verse. Really, I do.
“I think I’m sick.”
“Crap.”
“Yea.”
--------“It’s ok, I got it,” Jensen said, yanking Jared’s apartment keys out of his hand and batting his fumbling
hands away from the door.
“Good,” Jared sighed, leaning against the wall and watching Jensen from the corner of his eye. “I just
feel… I can’t even see straight, man.”
Jensen swung the door open, grabbed Jared by the elbow, and pulled him into the apartment. “Go get
into bed,” he directed, pushing Jared towards the bedroom.
At the words, Jared’s mind went kind of blank, mouth working to reply, but all he could come up with
was a slight nod.
Jared had just finished undressing and was climbing into the bed when Jensen popped into the room
carrying water and pills.
“This is what you gave me, right? Tylenol?”
“Yea. Thanks, man.”
Jensen watched him swallow the pills, his delicate features pulled into a pained expression.
“What’s wrong, Jen?”
“It’s just,” Jensen ran a hand through his hair, “I feel like shit for passing that bug on to you.”
13
Jared laughed lightly. “Dude, don’t worry about it.”
“Yea, say that again later tonight after you’ve puked half of your stomach into the toilet.”
Bringing his fingers up to pinch the bridge of his noise, Jared grimaced and said, “Don’t say that wordpuke.”
“Sorry. But you’re in for a long night. You probably wouldn’t have gotten it if you hadn’t stayed at my
place a few nights ago.”
“I would’ve gotten it anyway. We’re together, like, 24/7. Don’t feel guilty over this, Jense.”
With a roll of the eyes, Jensen walked to the bedroom door, and Jared’s heart jumped at the possibility
that he might leave. Already. So soon. Too soon.
“You want anything?”
“Maybe some orange juice?”
“Dude. Do you really wanna be vomiting orange juice later today?”
“Sure. Why not?”
Jensen started to open his mouth then shook his head and walked out.
As soon as Jen disappeared down the hall, Jared reached under his bed and brought out an electric
heating pad that he normally used for backaches after some of the fighting scenes. (Sometimes doing a
lot of your own stunt work just plain sucked.)
He flicked it on, pressed it to his head, and let the warmth seep through the skin on his face and neck.
His mind told him this was fucked up, a really bad idea, but his heart told him to just get the hell on
with it. Too late to turn back now.
Alerted by Jensen’s footsteps coming down the hall, he wrenched the cord from the wall socket, shoved
the heating pad under the bed, and leaned back on his headboard just as Jen walked back into the
room.
Holding up the glass filled with orange liquid, Jensen said, “Dude, I can’t believe you drink it with pulp.
Nasty.”
“It’s healthier with pulp.”
“Really?” An eyebrow shot up. “And are all the snickers bars you shove into your mouth daily healthier
because they have peanuts?”
Jared grinned brightly, lamp light reflecting shiny off his teeth. “Protein, man.”
“I’d say it’s the fever making you delirious, but sadly you’re just an idiot. Here. Drink your juice.”
Sipping from the glass, Jared made a show of grimacing and shoving it away onto the nightstand.
“Guess my throat’s a little raw ‘cause it’s burning like a bitch.”
“Must be the pulp.”
14
“Shut up.”
“My throat didn’t hurt when I had it a few days ago.”
Great, Padelecki. Lie your way into a corner. “Maybe I have something different?”
Jensen’s hand flicked out, and suddenly the only thing Jared’s body was aware of was the cool palm on
his forehead. The tingles running up his spine told him that maybe he liked it a little too much. It was
just a hand. On his head. Jensen’s hand on his face.
Since when had Jared turned into such a freakin’ girl?
“Dude. You feel like a furnace.”
Though his tongue felt thick and heavy from that fucking touch, Jared managed to force out a remark.
“Well, you know the internet says I’m smoking’ hot.”
Something in Jared’s stomach tightened as he watched Jensen get up from his seat on the bed and
move toward the door. He banished what surely had to be a crushed expression from his face when
Jensen turned around at the door. “Yea. Smokin’ hot. What site was that on again? The one that just
discovered Big Foot’s real or the one with all the hearts and bright pink font?”
“Both.” Pulling the covers over himself, Jared frowned over at Jensen. “Hey, Jen? Could you do me a
favor before you go?”
“Sure. What?”
Wrap those illegal lips around my cock and blow me. “Get down the extra blanket on the top shelf in
my closet over there. Please?”
Obediently, Jensen opened the closet doors. “Top shelf?”
“Yea. I think it’s up there. Just reach up and feel around for it.”
See, the thing people didn’t know about Jared was that he could sometimes be a sneaky little bastard.
At this point, he would say anything to stall and get Jensen to stay just that little bit longer and maybe,
just maybe, dote on him a tiny bit.
And if in the process of busying Jen so that he would stay longer, Jared just so happened to get a fine
view of Jensen’s perfect backside when he turned around and stretched to reach into the closet then,
hey, that was just a nice little bonus.
It wasn’t creepy or anything, right? Anyone human, with clear vision, would have taken a long moment
to appreciate that perfect ass, as well as the way Jen’s shirt rucked up and Jared got a little tease of
goldeny perfect skin to go along with the rest of the show.
Sometimes Jared thought Jen was just freakin’ asking to be ogled.
Or maybe Jared had turned into a total slime ball overnight. Seriously, perving on your co-star and
damn-near best friend as soon as he turned his back to you? So wrong, man. So wrong.
Maybe as long as Jared realized that what he was doing was wrong then somehow that made him less
of a freak.
Hand groping Jared’s closet shelf, Jensen grunted, “Dude. There’s nothing up here.”
15
“Wait. I think I see it! Move to your left.”
Jensen’s arm slid farther over, rucking the left side of his shirt up even more and giving Jared a
pleasant taste of the skin along Jensen’s back where jeans rested on slim hips. “Right here?” Jensen
asked.
Jared’s tongue lolled out and unconsciously flicked over dry lips. “Yea.” He couldn’t believe Jen didn’t
notice that he sounded suspiciously breathless. “Yea,” he repeated, “right there.”
Jensen gave up and spun around to face Jared, shrugging. “It’s not up there.”
Startled out of his reverie, Jared pasted on a sheepish smile. “Oops. You know. I think I remember
now. I left it back at home in Texas.”
“Dude.”
Ok. So maybe Jared really was a freak, because this was just plain pathetic.
“Sorry.”
Sorry didn’t even begin to cover it, because all of this? Wrong on so many levels.
--------“You know, you can stay a little longer if you want.” Casual, nonchalant. No needy desperation coloring
his voice at all. Right.
“What? You need someone to hold your hair back when you start puking?”
“Fuck you, Ackles.” Sometimes Jen’s deadpanned sarcasm could grate. Especially when all Jared
wanted Jen to do was shut up and crawl into the bed with him. Was that really too much to ask?
Plan B. Jared resorted to good old fashioned pouting, turning Sam’s saddest of puppy dog eyes in
Jensen’s direction. “I just don’t like being alone when I’m sick. My mom would always sit with me when
I didn’t feel good, ever since I was a kid.”
“Oh, Jesus,” Jen muttered, shoulders sagging a tad. “Fine. I’ll stay with you. But I’m not as good at
babying as you were a few nights ago. And I swear, if you at any point call me Momma, I’ll strangle
you. I don’t care how high your fever gets.”
“I’ll try to contain myself.” You’re supposed to be sick, dude. Don’t smirk, don’t clap, and for God’s
sake, don’t cheer just because you won a night with Jensen Ackles. That might look a little… weird.
“I’ve got a TV in here if you want. The remote’s right there.” Jared nodded over at his dresser.
“Fine,” Jensen breathed out, giving in to The Puppy Dog Eyes of Doom.
Inside Jared’s head there was a small voice telling him that all of this just couldn’t possibly end well.
Disaster loomed ahead in the future of the quickly darkening evening.
All thoughts of warning were shoved aside when Jensen plopped down on his stomach and stretched
out on top of the cover on the side of the bed that Jared wasn’t using. His head, propped gracefully on
his folded hands, was down at the end of the bed, and his feet were closest to Jared’s head.
16
Hm. Awkward.
“Mind if I turn it on?” Jensen threw the question over his shoulder in Jared’s direction.
“Huh?” Oh, the TV. “Oh, sure. Go ahead. It won’t bother me. I sleep like the dead.”
“Lemme know if you get the urge to… you know, spew your lunch everywhere.”
“You’re so comforting, Jen.”
“Hey. That’s Nurse Ackles to you, kid.”
Jared nearly bit straight through his tongue.
Flickering lights quickly filled the dimly lit room as the TV came to life, silhouetting Jensen’s spikey hair
and casting colorful shards of illumination down his back, lighting a pathway that Jared desperately
wanted to lick.
He sank down among his soft pillows and covers and shifted so that he could sleep, or pretend to
anyway, without running the risk of easily getting caught should Jensen turn around.
Why hadn’t he ever noticed how amazing Jensen’s spine was? Jesus. If Jared had been the poetic type
of guy, he could have easily written dozens of lines on just the way Jen’s spine curved elegantly from
his shoulders and dipped down to meet at tightly fitted blue jeans that covered that ass that might as
well have been offered up to Jared on a plate at the moment, because it was totally and completely
right there.
Seriously. How could Jensen be so fucking clueless to his perfection and the way he had himself
positioned on that bed? It was like his entire backside was beckoning Jared to come on over for a visit.
And maybe stay for awhile.
This was just too fucking much. How the freakin’ fuck could Jen lay sprawled like that right on Jared’s
bed and not know what he was doing to Jared mentally and physically?
Before Jared realized what he was doing, he was sitting up in the bed and reaching out to Jensen. He
let one large palm come to rest on the small of Jen’s back, taking quick notice of the body heat
underneath the thin t-shirt.
Jensen started at the touch, head craning around and up to catch sight of Jared’s face.
Jared had thought -hoped really- that maybe Jensen was laying like that on purpose, in which case
there would be a smirk of some kind on his face when he turned back to look at Jared.
His heart skipped and pattered out an off beat in his chest when Jensen’s puzzled eyes met his. “Jared?
What’s wrong? You ok?” The beautifully deep, smooth tone of Jen’s voice dripping with concern did
nothing to ease Jared’s confused heart.
Shit, this is bad. Bad move. Bad timing. Bad everything.
Jared’s eyes went wide, part acting involved, part true fear at what he’d been about to try on his best
friend/co-star.
“I… uh… think I’m gonna puke.”
“Shit.” Jensen scrambled off the bed and out of his way in 5 seconds flat. “You need me to get a
17
bucke---”
“I got it,” Jared cut in, halfway to the bathroom, hand waving wildly at Jensen to stay put. When he
reached the threshold of the bathroom, he shoved the door shut with his foot and cranked on the
shower to cover up the lack of puke noises.
Of course, by now Jared kind of wanted to vomit anyway. Clean out his insides. Purge his body and
mind. Make all of this go away.
If only it were that easy.
He stuck his head under the cold spray of the shower faucet instead.
--------Jared came out of the bathroom half an hour later with a wet cloth on his forehead, his face creased
with misery.
At the sight of him, Jensen popped up from his seat on the edge of the bed. “Are you ok?”
“I’m great.”
“Like hell you are. I know it sucks. I’m so fucking sorry that you caught it from me.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
In a gesture of uneasiness, Jensen’s arms folded across his chest, his right hand scratching idly at his
left elbow. “Can I get you anything?”
Yes. Please turn gay. Like, Right. Now. “Nah. I’m just gonna sleep.”
“Sure. Ok. I guess I’ll just… Do you want me to stay over tonight? I could sleep on the couch.”
Jared bit his lip. This was his chance to get out of this ridiculous situation he’d thrown both of them
into. He could end it all right here and try as best he could to ease out of this crushlustlove thing he’d
developed for Jen. None of this had to go any further than it already--“It’s a pretty comfortable couch,” he found his mouth saying before his brain had a chance to catch up.
“If you wouldn’t mind… I know it’s kind of stupid, but I just like having someone around when I’m sick.
You know, in case my fever gets so high that I need someone to take me to the emergency room… or
something…” You are such a loser, Padelcki. You have no right to be a man. In case my fever gets too
high? What the fuck. I hate myself.
“Ok.” Was that a sincere ok or did he detect a snicker behind it? He deserved a snicker but Jensen
wasn’t laughing. He just looked… really out of place and slightly uncomfortable. “Do you have a pillow I
could borrow?”
“Yea, sure. Hall closet.”
“Thanks. I guess I’ll let you get some sleep.”
“Yea. Ok. Thanks.” Why is this so fucking awkward? He must have an idea of what I was about to try
with him on my bed. Of course he does. He’s not stupid. God. Could this get any worse?
18
“I’ll come check on you later. Make sure you aren’t dead or anything.”
“Funny.”
“Night.”
“G’night.”
After shutting his door softly and throwing himself onto the bed, Jared lay staring up at the dark
ceiling, wondering what Jen was doing in his living room. Pictures of the lean body stretched out on his
couch and perfect lips slightly parted in sleep followed him into dreams, leaving the shitty day in a
pleasant, fantasy-induced haze.
All of this just really sucked. But at least nothing could stop Jared from dreaming whatever he wanted
about Jensen. Well, except his guilty conscious, but tonight that sucker must’ve dropped off to sleep
before Jared’s head even hit the pillow.
--------Fingers through his hair, brushing it off his forehead. Jared’s eyes popped open and found Jensen’s face
hovering over him.
“Just making sure you haven’t died yet, dude.”
Smiling lazily, looking up into Jensen’s clear green eyes, Jared said, “Nah. You’re still stuck with me.”
Jesus, what a beautiful sight to wake up to. I could get used to seeing his face every morning. I wish--I wish I’d stop being such a fangirl. Crap.
“Good. ‘Cause if you die, I’m out of a job.”
Jared feigned being slightly out of it just to keep Jen sitting there near him, preferably with his hand in
Jared’s hair. It was just downright sweet. And sexy. But at the moment, mostly just sweet.
Much to Jared’s dismay, Jen’s hand left his head. Jared grabbed his arm, blinked up into Jensen’s face,
and slurred, “This bug sucks.”
“Yea. Tell me about it.”
“Stay with me?”
Jared could see the hesitation pass over Jensen’s face before he said, “Alright.”
“There’s room here,” Jared said, scooting over to make room for Jensen to lie down.
Letting out a loud sigh, Jensen complied and stretched out to Jared’s left.
Jared curled onto his side so that he could face Jensen. “It’s really cold in here.”
“Probably the fever.”
“Hate fevers,” Jared grumbled, wishing he could figure out what key words would get Jensen to allow
Jared to wrap his body around him and hold tight in the name of badly needed warmth.
“They’re a bitch.”
19
Silence reigned for several minutes while Jared pretended to drift off since he couldn’t come up with
the right words that would make touching seem ok; and Jensen kept making the bed shift as he moved
around restlessly.
This is the perfect opportunity to feel him out. Feel him out. Heh. Supposedly slurred with fever and
sleep, Jared mumbled, “You’re awesome, Jenny.”
“How many times have I told you not to call me that?” A short pause. “Yea, whatever. You, too,
Jarebear.”
“I really like you.”
“Like you, too. Now shut up and go to sleep.”
“Like, really, really like you. A lot.”
Jensen actually laughed. “You sound drunk.”
“Like you too much…”
Next to him, Jensen stilled. He didn’t respond.
Jared winced into his pillow. Fuck. Idiot.
---------
Warm hand. On my head. Hand, head… Christ! Jared shot up from the bed, ready to strike out at the
stranger touching his face.
In the process, he nearly knocked Jensen down.
“Calm down. It’s just me. I found a thermometer in the back of one of the drawers in your kitchen. It’s
one of the old ones you gotta stick under your tongue.”
Thermometer… It took a moment for Jared’s sleep-clogged brain to kick in. Thermometer. Wait. This
can’t be good.
“I hate putting those things in my mouth,” Jared finally said, stalling, searching for a way out. Any way
out. Please, God.
“You can always stick it---”
“No way, man.”
Instead of just shoving the thing into his mouth, Jensen grabbed his hand and dropped the
thermometer into his open palm. “Here.”
Think fast. “Hey, Jense,” Jared croaked out, settling back under the covers, “my throat’s really dry.
Could you go to the kitchen and get me some ice water?”
“Yea. Sure.”
As soon as Jensen disappeared down the hall, Jared flicked his bedside lamp on and held the
20
thermometer over the bulb, willing it to soak up the heat quickly. It wasn’t like he was a pro at this
faking sick stuff, but yea, he might’ve played hooky and faked out his mom once in a while back in his
school days. Back in the day every kid did it.
“Hey, Jared, I can’t find the---”
Jared’s hand froze above the lamp, head slowly making that dreadful turn toward the doorway where
Jensen stood staring at him.
His brows were drawn together, forehead creased from confusion; the utter picture of bewildered.
“Dude,” Jensen finally said. “What are you doing?”
“I… I don’t think it’s working, so I was just checking it to make sure… that it was still working…
because I don’t think it’s… working… right…” Ugggnnn. Why, God, why?
“Really. Because it kind of looks like you’re trying to fake a fever.”
He couldn’t just pull a convenient lie out of his ass and expect it to work; Jensen was too smart for that
kind of shit. Saliva gathered in Jared’s mouth so quickly that he had to gulp a couple times to get rid of
it before he could respond. Which really wasn’t so bad, because he had no easy reply to that.
“I… I… uh.”
Jensen’s eyes went wide and round. “Seriously? You’re really trying to sham me with a fake fever?”
Jared’s mind fizzled out, went completely blank.
“Jared? What the hell, man?”
“I… I’m sorry. It’s kind of a long story.” Shut up. Stop talking. RIGHT NOW.
“What do you mean ‘story’? What’s going on?”
“I’m not exactly… actually… really… sick.”
Jensen pursed his lips. He took a step into the room then seemed to think better of it and stopped at
the threshold. “What?”
“I didn’t catch that bug you had.”
“What the fuck? Then why did you pretend like you were freakin’ dying?”
“I… don’t know.”
“Wait. So you weren’t even in there puking for half an hour tonight?” Jared shook his head, and
Jensen’s voice got a little louder. “Fuck. I was sitting out here feeling like crap for passing it on to you
and making you feel miserable, and you were in there... What? Twiddling your thumbs? Jerking off?”
Jared bit his lip, clambered out of the bed, and eased over the carpet toward Jensen. “It’s complicated.”
“So… what? Was this some kind of prank?”
“No.”
“I don’t get it. What the hell was the point then?”
21
“Please don’t hate me, Jen.”
Exasperated. “I don’t hate you. I just don’t get it. Why would you lie to me about something so
stupid?”
Jared took a deep breath.
Maybe if he just came out with it. Maybe Jensen…. Maybe he’d… maybe it’d all be ok.
A small hope that Jensen might understand, or even kindamaybe have mutual feelings for him,
flickered in Jared’s mind. Sometimes Jensen was so hard to read. He couldn’t tell what was going on
with the guy, but sometimes, lately, it seemed like Jensen was on to him and maybe even stringing him
along.
Jared had to hang his hope on that thought to give him enough courage to just come clean with the
whole dirty deal.
Another deep breath. “Don’t freak out on me. It’s all really weird.”
Jensen’s eyebrow quirked; his head tilted, and his eyes fixed Jared with a curious gaze. “Ok,” he said in
a flat voice that kind of scared Jared a little.
Eyes glued to the floor, Jared got it over with in a quick, soft voice. “Over the past week, since the
night you were sick, I think I’ve kind of developed a thing… for you.” Jared held his breath, risking a
look up at Jensen.
His face was completely blank, frozen, staring at Jared as though he were waiting for the catch line.
Finally, words came. “You… wait, what?”
Barely audible, “I like you. Like… in a way I shouldn’t.”
Understanding flashed across Jensen’s features, his eyes flitting up to Jared’s face. “Oh.”
That’s it? Just ‘oh’?
Suddenly Jared’s words were rushing out, tripping and falling over each other in an effort to explain
and fill the gap where Jensen’s response should be. “I dunno, man. It’s so weird. Maybe it’s been a
long time coming, since we’re together 24/7, but that night I took care of you at your place…
something just happened. I think I fell in love… wait, I mean for you. I fell for you.”
Jensen’s eyes went wide at the word “love,” and Jared immediately knew that he had just screwed up.
Big time.
“I didn’t mean love. It just slipped out. I’m sorry,” he added lamely.
Jensen’s lack of response was starting to freak Jared out, so he did the worst thing he could possibly do
(besides jumping Jen and suffocating him with a kiss).
He continued to talk.
“I… it’s just, you’re… I couldn’t help it. You’re so perfect… you’re gorgeous. Even when you’re sick and
puking up a lung. I just…”
22
Was that a blush creeping up Jensen’s cheeks? Shit. His best friend was starting to resemble a deer
caught in the headlights of an oncoming semi.
This cannot be good.
When he finally spoke, Jared’s heart dropped because the words were so far from what he had wanted
to hear. “So you pulled all this crap on me because… what? You think I’m hot?”
It wasn’t a question. It was confirmation filled with disgust.
“No. I mean yes, but it’s not like that.”
“Never thought I’d have this kinda shit pulled on me by you, man.”
“What? No. Jen, wait. I---”
Jensen took a couple steps back until he was standing in the hall. “So what the hell was that whole bed
scene where you kept going on about how cold you were? Where was that leading in your mind?”
“No where. Jen, I never would’ve tried anything. I just wanted to be near you.”
The strangest part was that Jensen didn’t look angry. He looked deflated, like Jared had let him down,
disappointed him. Like maybe Jared wasn’t the person Jensen had thought he was. That thought stung.
As they stood watching each other, the look on Jen’s face finally clicked into place in Jared’s mind. It
was Dean’s wounded, lost little boy look. He’d seen it just the other day, while they were filming
Crossroads and that demon had been taunting Dean about the dad.
Except this time the look was real. And all Jared’s fault.
“Jensen, please… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to end up like this.”
Jensen snorted. “You mean you didn’t plan on getting caught.”
Jared moved to take a step closer, but Jensen backed away.
Wincing, Jared said, “I’m not gonna do anything to you. Jesus, Jen. You know I wouldn’t.”
Letting out a harsh, bitter laugh, Jen said, “I know. But the closer you come, the higher the urge to
slug you gets.”
Jared cringed but refused to back down. Heck, he probably deserved a punch.
Without another word, Jensen turned and disappeared down the hallway. By the time Jared worked up
the nerve to follow, he found him at the door putting his jacket on.
Heart sinking, Jared put his hand on the doorknob, blocking Jensen just as he reached for it.
“Wait,” Jared said, a pathetic plea smothering his voice. “Don’t leave like this.”
Jared could practically see the actor in Jensen coming out right before his eyes as he pulled on a blank,
emotionless expression.
Big, vacant eyes stared up at Jared. “Why’d you have to lie and con me like this? What’d you get out of
it?”
23
Well, obviously not a whole hell of a lot. “I know. It was stupid.”
“It was sleazy. And I gotta tell ya, Jared, kinda creepy.”
“I’m so, so damn sorry. I don’t even know what I was thinking. I just… I wasn’t thinking. I fell for you
in one freakin’ night, and it was so weird and shocked the hell outta me. I just really wanted to be with
you… near you so bad, and I didn’t know how to tell you. The past few days, I get around you and I
just can’t think. I’m so fucking confused, Jen. But I never should’ve pulled you into it like this.” Pausing
to run a hand through his hair, Jared chanced a glance at Jensen to study his reaction. There it came
again- that deer in the headlights look.
“Jen? Uh, you might want to try breathing.”
On a loud escape of air, Jensen looked up at him and said, “You’re kinda freaking me out with all this.”
“I know. I’m sorry. It’s wrong.”
“You’re like my brother.”
Is this a kiss-off? “I don’t think I can look at you like that anymore.”
“So you’re saying we can’t be friends unless I sleep with you? Classy, Jared.”
“No! God, no. I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just… I see you differently now, and I don’t know why.”
“Differently?”
Studying the ground intently, Jared muttered, “Sexually,” and nearly choked on the word. When he
brought his gaze back to Jen’s face, tiny little freckles were melting into a sea of pinkish red. That blush
again. Jensen’s sudden shyness at the word sent a shiver down Jared’s spine and into his toes. It was
just so cute. Way cuter than it should be.
The effects that blush were having on Jared were not so cute. They were more like ridiculous. And
embarrassing. And so, so wrong.
God. Jared was in deep.
He blurted, “You’re blushing,” and Jensen laughed nervously, the sound making Jared crack a smile.
“It’s cute.”
“’M not blushing,” Jensen mumbled, a frown instantly tugging at the corners of his mouth and Jared
thought, Oops. Too far. It’s not cute. I take it back, man! I take it back!
But then, apparently just to drive home his own statement that he could no longer think around
Jensen, Jared opened his mouth again. This time, the words that flew out were far worse than the
word cute could ever imagine being.
“Has anyone ever told you you’re stunning?” Stunning? What. The. Fuck. Who ever even uses that
word? Well, Jared never really had been able to hold his feelings in for long. Apparently now, the worst
time possible, was no exception.
The look that came over Jensen’s face resembled a dirty, gray cloud floating in front of the sun. “Only
when they want in my pants.” A dead stare straight into Jared’s eyes: is that what you want, Padelecki?
24
If Jared didn’t know any better, he’d almost, almost say that Jensen was challenging him, playing coy.
And what the hell was up with that?
Fine. Jared never backed down from a challenge; he always met those suckers head on.
Gathering courage, he finally replied, “Maybe I do.”
Jensen’s eyes went wide, and he took a couple steps back, hands held out in front of himself as if to
block an advance. “Dude. Back off.”
Play to it. He took a step toward Jensen. “You really want me to?”
Jensen’s face scrunched into a look of complete confusion. “What?”
“You really want me to back off?”
“Hell yea, and stop saying shit like that. This is too much, Jared.”
When Jared dared take two more steps forward, he took it as a good sign that Jensen didn’t make a
move to retreat. Sneaky, coy little bastard. Of course you can’t exude sex appeal like that around me
and not be aware of what you’re doing. You’ve totally been baiting me! “You’re so beautiful.” Will that
at least get me access to your mouth? In a bold move, he reached up to cup Jensen’s chin.
Jensen batted is hand away. “What the fuck are you doing?”
Shit. Jared took a step back. He wanted to ask, So, wait? You’re not being coy? Jared was so effing
confused.
Jensen brushed by him, hand already on the doorknob, when Jared said, “Wait, Jen. I… you’re---”
Without turning to look at him, staring down at his own hand on the doorknob, Jensen cut in. “Yea,
yea. I get it now, Jared. I’m just a 'stunning' pair of pants for you to get your dick into. It’s kinda funny,
because this whole time I actually thought we were friends.” The door opened and Jensen finally
turned to face Jared, anger and hurt playing a battle across his features. “You should’ve just told me
what it was you wanted me for in the beginning. Could’ve saved us both a whole lot of Sundays
drinking beer together on the couch.”
The door slammed shut, and Jared gaped stupidly at it for more than a minute.
Beyond all of the miscommunications and Jensen’s complete misunderstanding that Jared had been
playing him for over a year, the thing Jared really couldn’t believe was his own stupidly. How could he
have worked with Jensen for almost a year and a half, spent 24/7 with the guy, yet read him so entirely
wrong?
Jared had seen mutual feelings only because it was what he had wanted to see, so he’d managed to
convince himself that the object of his lust/love/whatever was also suddenly reciprocating those
feelings. Back in the bed, when Jensen hadn’t responded to his like you too much it should’ve been his
warning to just let the whole thing go.
I am so pathetic. What have I done, Jen? In the midst of his own personal hell, Jared found a wall and
knocked his head against it.
Jen had never been coy with him, just clueless. Which, even at this horrible moment, made him even
hotter in Jared’s eyes, and fuck if that wasn’t creepy.
25
This? Was a total disaster.
{End}
26
= 03 =
Always Off Limits
Series/Verse: Part of the Sick 'Verse, follows Green Around the Edges and Contagious
Type: Real people
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Summary: Jensen possesses the ability to drive a completely sane man out of his mind.
Warning: Still no porn *hides*, angst, slashy thoughts, and a small mention of attempted non-con but
it’s extremely mild and non-graphic.
Disclaimer: Anything said here is completely untrue, totally made up and not intended to offend.
AN: It’s slow going, but I love working up to it and taking my time, with lots of angst in the meantime.
I’ll try to have the 4th installment posted by next Wednesday. Depends on how busy Christmas gets for
me. Oh, and the Supernatural scenes included in this story are not spoilers of any kind, just all my
imagination.
Things on set were miserable, to say the least. Not that Jared had expected anything less.
Funny. All the time spent with Jensen, and Jared had never realized just how cold the guy could
actually be. Every moment they were forced to be near each other, Jared swore he felt an arctic breath
of air tinged with ice slither down his neck, sharp and painful.
Worse than frosty glances could ever be, Jensen ignored him completely, as though Jared no longer
existed. And that right there was the reason for the sudden coldness on set.
Everything felt empty and wrong, like the time Jared had lost his favorite shirt and his stash of candy
all in one day- but ten times worse. More like he’d had a limb chopped off. Yea, that seemed more like
it.
Either way, it sucked.
--------The fact that they’d both gone three weeks without speaking and hadn’t been fired yet was a true
testament to their acting skills once they were in front of rolling cameras.
By now the entire crew had felt the drop in temperature, though they didn’t know what the argument
had been about.
Things on camera were going ok, though if anyone on set noticed Dean socking Sam in the jaw a little
harder than he needed to, they just let it slide.
Then came a scene that couldn’t have come at a worse time.
For fortification, Jared stuffed down 8 candy bars before he went on set to act it out, because this was
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sure as hell going to be awkward.
Jensen shot him a quick glance before the scene started, and Jared returned it with a desperate look of
apology: I’m sorry we have to do this scene. Please don’t hate me any more than you already do.
And, action.
“You knew this was going to happen to me, Dean, and you still refused to tell me!”
Jensen’s voice automatically dipped into a deeper tone, his special Dean voice, this time bursting with
anger, worry and fear. “What good would it have done to tell you that you were gonna turn evil?” A
little of the anger slipped away from the tone, taking with it Jared’s concentration. Jensen’s face
scrunched into a line of misery, his voice full of pain and tears, until Jared wanted to walk across the
room and hug him, make it all go away.
Oh yea, just a scene. Just acting. Damn he’s good.
“Sammy,” Jensen said, pleading. “I didn’t know how to look you in the eye and tell you to your face
what was gonna happen… not when… not when I couldn’t change it.” Jensen’s intense gaze dropped to
the floor, Dean-voice lowering. “Not when I couldn’t protect you from it.”
“I think I deserved to know,” Jared replied coldly.
The next time Jensen lifted his head to look up at Jared, unshed tears shone shiny-bright in his eyes,
making them look like two clear, sun-reflected lakes lit with green light underneath.
Jared swallowed painfully. Jensen continued watching him with liquidy green-gold eyes, waiting for Sam
to speak.
Line, line. Crap. What’s my line?
“All of this is why you wanted to quit hunting, go to the Grand Canyon? Because you knew I’d
eventually change and you’d lose me?”
“Yea,” Jensen breathed out softly, never breaking eye contact, not blinking, because Dean would never
actually let the tears fall in front of his baby brother.
“Fuck you, Dean.”
“Sam---”
“No. It doesn’t matter anymore. Nothing matters anymore. Don’t you get it? You don’t matter
anymore.”
Jared’s stomach clenched when Dean’s wounded expression found its way to Jensen’s face. The last
time he’d seen that look, it had been real, and his fault.
The next words came softly: “I’m sorry, Sam.”
Jared laughed, almost wished he could strangle his own character for the cold cruelty he was showing
his brother. Sam sucks, Jared thought as he advanced on Jensen.
“I don’t care, Dean. It’s over. Everything’s over.” Jared pulled the plastic knife out of his jacket, watched
Jensen’s Dean-eyes flash understanding at what was about to happen.
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“You’re gonna kill your own brother in cold blood?” Jensen asked, voice fear and challenge and
stubborn pride all wrapped into one sentence.
Jared worked a smirk he’d had to practice in the mirror for weeks onto his face. Mischievous he could
do easily; pure evil was a bit of a stretch for him. “Brother,” Jared said softly, turning one word into a
threat.
In the blink of an eye he was on top of Jensen’s seated body, straddling him on the cheap, rusty metal
chair. Jared stretched both his arms around Jensen, putting himself less than an inch from Jen’s face,
chests smashed together, and grabbed at where Jensen’s hands were tied at the back of the chair.
He snatched the small knife from Jensen’s fingers and slowly sat up straighter on Jen’s lap, grin in
place. “You think I don’t know you well enough to realize you were distracting me while you tried to cut
yourself lose?” A laugh puffed out across Jensen’s cheeks. “Stupid, big brother, stupid.”
This was the crucial part that Jared was afraid he’d screw up on. One moment of letting his mind have
a chance to register that he was sitting in Jen’s lap, with Jen looking up at him with an intoxicating
mixture of wide, fearful eyes, and half a smirk to hide the fear, and Jared would be screwed. He had to
get through this part right away for Jen’s sake, so that he could be untied and they wouldn’t have to
start to the whole damn scene over.
“You caught me,” Jensen drawled up into Jared’s face, sending a slight spearminty scent into Jared’s
nostrils. “Extra points for Sammy. You’re not as dumb as you look, little bro.”
It took everything in Jared’s body not to just let his head drop, bury his face in Jen’s neck, and breathe
in his scent.
But, hey, Jared was a professional. Or so he continuously had to repeat to himself throughout this
agonizing scene from hell.
Jared said, “Unfortunately, you are as dumb as you look. Are you really in the position to taunt me right
now, Dean?” As he said it, he ran one of the plastic knives in his hand down Jensen’s arm, electing a
hiss and such a pained expression that Jared nearly lost it and leaned in to kiss the look away right
then and there.
And how totally much would Kripke love that? The Winchester brothers going at each other after a little
knife-play. I’d miss not having a paying job, Jared told himself dryly, grimacing inwardly.
“Shit,” Jensen breathed out. “You gonna carve me like a turkey?”
“There have been so many times I’ve wanted to glue your mouth shut, so that I don’t have to hear you
anymore. You know that?”
Jensen smirked, all teeth and cockiness. “Like I haven’t heard that one before.” His lips pursed, eyes
flashing a challenge, and Christ, his mouth is RIGHT THERE. I could just lean down a little and… no.
Jared pulled a piece of cloth from Sam’s pocket. “But then I remembered that I don’t have to listen to
you anymore. You no longer matter, remember?”
Jensen swallowed nervously. Jared didn’t remember that part being in the script.
He pulled the cloth tight and shoved it into Jensen’s mouth, pulling the extra length around Jen’s head
to tie at the back.
Jared had to hand it to Jensen- the guy was an amazing actor. Because this scene would’ve been
29
uncomfortable even for two guys who actually, you know, still spoke to and liked each other.
Jensen said something muffled that sounded like, “Sammy, don’t. We can still---” before Jared
pretended to pull the cloth tighter and Jensen acted like he was gagging on it.
Jensen looked up at him with doleful eyes, all disappointment and Don’t do this to me, Sammy.
Jared almost said something pathetic, like, “I’m sorry, I won’t let anything bad happen to you,” because
Sam was being a bastard and would never say it.
He brought the tip of the plastic knife under Jensen’s chin, lifting his head to an awkward tilt so that he
had to look up, directly into Jared’s face. Twining his fingers in Jen’s hair, pulling his head back even
more to expose an exquisite, pale neck, he said, “Now you’re the one that’s going to listen.”
It happened to be at that particular moment, when Jared discovered the smattering of freckles on the
underside of Jen’s chin, that Jared’s dick could no longer ignore the fact that Jensen’s body was right
there.
Jared shifted, but there was no hiding it.
Jensen’s eyes widened. Just by looking at Jen’s face, Jared could see the exact moment that acting was
forgotten and real panic came into play.
I really, really hate myself.
Underneath him, Jensen shifted. He started shaking his head and saying something behind the fuzzy
material of the cloth.
“Jensen?” Eric finally called.
Jared jumped up from his Jensen-straddle and untied the cloth.
As soon as it was out of his mouth, Jensen said, “Untie me,” and Jared knew that any hope of ever
being friends with Jensen again was probably gone. Not only did Jensen think Jared was a lying asshole
who’d been playing him for a year, but he had now just added kinky freak to the list.
Great.
“What’s the problem, Jense?” Erik called from behind the spotlights.
Jen glanced up at Jared. “I just need a break.”
“Fine, take twenty. We were doing pretty good. Thought we were gonna make it through on take
number one.”
“Sorry,” Jensen mumbled in Eric’s direction.
Jared went to the back of the chair and untied Jen’s wrists as some of the crew wandered off to
bathroom breaks. When he noticed the rope burns on tender, perfect skin, his hands held Jensen’s for
seconds too long before Jensen yanked both hands free.
Wrists free, Jensen bent over and started untying his left ankle.
Jared went for the right ankle.
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“I got it,” Jen snapped.
Backing off, Jared said, “It’s not what you think. I wasn’t…” He lowered his voice so that only Jensen
could hear. “I didn’t get off on that or anything.”
Jensen was untying and unknotting, as though he couldn’t get out of there and away from Jared fast
enough.
“Please, Jensen. Let me explain.”
“Forget it,” Jensen said, the first words he’d spoken to Jared in weeks. The words were just as hollow
as the hole Jensen’s absence had left in Jared’s life. Jared grimaced inwardly at that sappy thought.
Man, I’m pathetic. Jensen’s turned me into a girl.
“It wasn’t because you were tied up and gagged. It was just because---”
Jensen stood up and dropped the loose rope onto the chair. “I said forget it.” And walked off.
Life had to be playing a cruel practical joke on Jared. That was the only explanation for this whole
thing.
And by the way, joke’s not funny, Jared silently told Life.
--------There was no way Jared could ever show up at Jensen’s place and not be ignored as soon as Jensen
looked through the peephole. So he followed Jensen back to his trailer.
Which, in hindsight, was probably a bad idea.
Jared jumped in front the closed trailer door and blocked him from going inside, which was definitely
not a good idea.
Jensen didn’t say a word. Only stared up at Jared blankly, as if waiting for a roadblock to be moved off
a highway.
“Will you please just give me a chance to explain?”
Instead of answering, Jensen turned to walk off.
Stubborn pain in the ass. Is that on his IMDB page?
Jared grabbed his arm and swung him around so that they were face to face.
“It wasn’t what you think. I’m not a kinky freak, ok?” If Jensen was going to understand anything, it at
least had to be that Jared wasn’t off at night dreaming of him tied up and gagged. “I only---”
“Hand.”
“What?”
Jensen looked down at where Jared’s hand wrapped around his bicep to keep him from leaving. “Oh.
Sorry.”
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As soon as Jared let go, Jensen was already walking away.
Fuck you, Jensen. If I didn’t love you so much, I’m pretty sure I’d hate you.
--------The only way Jared got through work everyday was to ignore Jensen’s existence. Yea, two could play at
that game. After all, Jared was an actor, too.
Needless to say, life on set sucked. A lot.
As soon as they wrapped The Scene, Kripke invited everyone to a local bar to celebrate hiatus and the
upcoming holiday season.
Jared sat with Kim and the makeup artist, pretending to laugh and enjoy their company, while keeping
an eye on Jensen who sat up at the bar with some other members of the crew.
What? Jared wasn’t keeping tabs on him like some overprotective lover. No way. Wasn’t like that at all.
Well, maybe a little.
It was just that hiatus had come so quickly, and suddenly Jared found himself facing weeks and weeks
that were surely going to be devoid of Jensen.
And why the hell did he have to go fall in love with such a pigheaded ass of a human being? It just
wasn’t fair.
He stared as Jensen dipped back another shot of something. Two shots. Three. Damn. Was the guy
trying to get wasted for some reason?
Three hours later, Jared approached Jensen and the group of people he was sitting with.
“Hi,” he said cheerily.
Among a chorus of “hey, Jared,” he watched Jensen remain oblivious to him.
That bastard sure was good at the silent treatment. Jared had an amusing picture of a 7 year old
Jensen getting angry with his brother and ignoring him for an entire day.
Amusing then, not so amusing now, when it was actually happening.
“We were just about to come get you, Jared,” Jeannie said.
“Yea?”
“I think Jensen’s gonna need someone to take him home.”
A bottle slamming down on the table brought their attention to Jensen. “No. ‘m fine. Don’t need
anyone. Ever.”
Jeannie passed Jared a look as if to say, See? He’s wasted.
“There’s no one else to take him?” Jared found himself saying.
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“He’s your boy,” Jeannie said, “you take him.”
Jensen gag-snorted into his beer bottle.
Jared sighed. “Fine. Yea. Ok.” This was going to be slightly awkward.
He hooked an arm around Jensen’s back and started to gently tug him off the bar stool.
“No,” Jensen said too loudly, words slurring slightly at the edges. “Not going with… you.”
“No else wants to take your sorry ass home, so it’s either me, or you fucking sleep here on the floor.”
At the words, Jen slid off the stool and pushed Jared’s supporting hand away, mumbling a barely
decipherable “Dun touch me.” Despite the fact that Jensen’s shoes seemed to find every pebble in the
parking lot and send him swaying and stumbling, he somehow made it to the car in one piece. Jared
figured it was only by some miracle that he didn’t go down on the gravely pavement pretty face first.
Of course, that wouldn’t have actually happened, because Jared made sure to stay behind him with
both hands encircling his back without actually touching, ready to grab or catch.
Once they were settled in the car, Jensen leaned his head against the cool glass of the window and
closed his eyes, shutting down any possible chances at conversation.
Not that Jared was going to bother trying. Dude was drunk, not to mention a stubborn, unyielding
asswipe. What was the point?
“How many shots did you have?” Jared asked out of curiosity.
Jensen’s breath ghosted across the glass of the window, fogging it with each breath and every word.
“Too many.”
“Why?”
No answer came.
They rode the rest of the way in silence, Jared making damn sure to keep his eyes on the road and off
of Jensen’s huddled form in the passenger seat. The last thing he needed was for Jensen to catch him
ogling and add tried to take advantage of me while I was wasted onto his Reasons Why I Hate Jared
list.
--------“Where’re your keys?” Jared asked for the third time.
“I dunno,” Jensen mumbled. “They were in this pocket.” He fumbled around in his jacket for the third
time, and Jared kind of wanted to strangle him.
Jensen slid down his front door, to the ground. “I’ll just sleep in my car.”
“It’s in the parking lot of the bar.”
“Oh… yea. ‘m fine right here.”
“Dude. It’s below freezing out here and starting to rain.” Jared was already bending down to haul Jen
up. “If you freeze into an ice cube overnight, you know who they’ll blame? Me. Ain’t gonna happen.
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You can sleep on my couch.”
“No, I---”
“Shut up and walk.”
Luckily, Jensen tended to be a pretty pliant drunk. Also, he looked like he was about to pass out.
The journey down the steps and across the sidewalk turned out to be far from pleasant, especially
when Jensen managed to trip over a crack, and Jared found himself with an armful of co-star. Jared
wrapped his arms around Jensen to keep him from slipping to the icy ground in a heap.
Against Jared’s chest, Jensen murmured something that sounded like, “Crap.”
Jared lowered his head, lips accidentally brushing across the top of Jensen’s hair, and said, “Dude. You
are so trashed.”
“I am?”
“Yes.”
“’Kay.”
Jen’s fingers gripped Jared’s arm for balance, his face buried in Jared’s chest as he sagged in his arms.
With Jensen snuggled in his arms, Jared’s mind fumbled for a minute. It felt perfect, like someone had
just found the long-lost missing piece of The Jared Padalecki Puzzle and fit it into place.
He would never try anything, not with Jen totally out of it. Except maybe just breathe in the scent of
his hair since he found it right there brushing across his face. He briefly wondered what shampoo Jen
used. It had a fresh, clear lake on a summer day kind of smell that reminded him of home. And an
almost minty undertone.
Jensen managed to lift his head in the middle of Jared’s admiration of his hair products, gifting Jared
with a nose full of hair poking up his nose. He sneezed.
Jensen blinked up at him slowly. “Jared?” he mumbled, making it rhyme with shared. “What’re we
doin’?”
Blinking back at him, Jared said, “You gonna fall anymore?”
“I ‘unno.”
Steadying him again, drag-carrying him to the car, then bundling him back into the passenger seat
proved such a task that Jared almost said out loud, What the hell else do I have to do to prove to you
that I love you, asshole?
--------Jared tossed a blanket at Jensen’s head. “Here. G’night.” He flipped the light out, turning the room into
a black hole.
From the couch, Jensen said, “It’s happened to me before.”
Pausing at the entrance to the hallway, Jared turned slowly and eyed the back of the couch. “What?”
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“Twice.”
“What are you talking about?”
“People pretending to be my friends just to… bait me.”
Heart hammering out an uncomfortable beat in his chest, Jared moved toward the couch slowly, the
back of it blocking his view of Jensen, who was sprawled out on his back. He stopped several feet from
it, afraid that if they could see each other Jensen might stop talking. Nearly two years and Jen had
never opened up to Jared before. Not like this.
Wow. Who’d have guessed that alcohol would give Jared a glimpse into Jensen Ackles’ murky past?
“Don’t…”
Jared froze, afraid to even breathe.
“Don’t do that to me,” he drawled, Texas seeping into his groggy tone and melting little pieces of
Jared’s insides.
“I… uh.” Jared swallowed thickly, not entirely sure what Jensen meant by that, and groped for the right
words. “I’m not like them. I would never do… that.” Whatever the hell that was, Jared was positive he’d
never do it.
Silence settled over the room like a thick blanket.
“Jen?”
When no answer came, Jared practically tip-toed over to the couch, and peeked down. Jen was
burrowed down in pillows and the thick blanket Jared had tossed him, sound asleep.
It was weird, Jared’s urge to shuffle over to the door and make sure the lock was engaged. He glanced
back over at Jensen’s sleeping form before he shuffled out of the living room and into bed.
It had been a long day. Long week. Long… whatever.
--------“About what you said last night…”
Jensen grimaced, as if Jared had just poked him with something sharp. Sunlight poured through the
kitchen window behind Jen, turning his tousled hair a golden color that kind of fascinated Jared.
By now Jared was past Damn it, and Crap, and just over denial in general. He was in love. Yea,
whatever. He might as well stop fighting it and just go with whatever inane crap his mind churned up
when Jensen was around. As long as he swooned silently.
Blurrily, Jensen stared at the microwave, avoiding eye contact.
“Are you not talking to me again?” Disappointment threaded through his voice.
Jensen let out a sigh and finally looked at Jared, who really had to hold back a laugh at the imprint of
the couch pattern on Jen’s cheek. He bit his tongue to keep from laughing, which he was pretty sure
35
would have seemed really inappropriate at the moment.
“I was drunk.”
“I know. But you said---”
“Forget it,” Jensen said quickly and brought the coffee cup up to his mouth and downed a couple hot
gulps. Jared still didn’t how he managed to do that. Coffee was scalding hot. The inside of his mouth
and esophagus must be made of metal.
“You asked me not to do that to you. What did you mean?”
“Nothing.”
“You can tell me.”
Bringing his eyes up from the black coffee, Jensen said, “I’ve never told anyone. It’s just… ridiculous.”
“So?”
Jensen eyed him. Hesitated. “I was stupid.”
“Ok…” Like that was an answer. Jensen had just spent a month being stupid. But whatever.
Shoulders sagging, staring down into the coffee mug he had his hands wrapped around, Jensen said,
“It was back on Days of Our Lives. I started hanging out with this guy from the show. We did stupid
stuff.” A shrug. “Stuff guys did on their days off. Eight months in we went to a bar, had some drinks. I
got out into the parking lot and threw up.”
Jared’s face scrunched into confusion. “So?”
“I’d only had one drink.” Jared stared at him blankly, until Jensen said, “Dude. He roofied me.”
“Holy crap. Why would…”
“Why do you think? It’s not like I had much money with me.”
“But you were working on that show…”
“Big bucks in the soap business. Lemme tell ya.”
“Oh. I get it.”
“Yea.” Another gulp of coffee.
“So what happened?”
“He came outside behind me, all, ‘Hey Jenny, something wrong?’ No shit. I was vomiting beer in the
middle of a parking lot. I told him I thought maybe someone had slipped me something.”
Jared grimaced. “Aw, man.”
“I didn’t figure it out ‘till he helped me into his car and slid his hands down my pants.”
Mouth gaping open, Jared said, “What’d you do?”
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A small grin twitched at the corners of Jen’s mouth. “I puked on him. And his car. Apparently I had a
bad reaction to that date-rape shit.”
“So nothing else happened, right?”
“Nah. He was freaked out by all the puke.”
“Jen, I didn’t know… I never would’ve approached you that way if I’d known. You know I’d never take
advantage of you… right?”
Another shrug. “I wasn’t really drunk last night.”
Run that by me again? “Huh?”
From behind the coffee mug, Jensen’s smirk was all Dean Winchester in cocky mode. “I wanted to see
if you’d try anything on me.”
“But I saw you downing shots all night.”
“It was water.”
Jared pouted. “I kind of hate you right now.”
“Says the guy who faked an illness.”
“Oh yea. I’d forgotten about that.”
“So we’re even.”
“Yea. Even. I would’ve pulled it off if you hadn’t come in while I was messing with that thermometer.”
“And I would’ve pulled it off… oh wait. I did pull it off.” Jensen raised his coffee mug and said, “Cheers,”
before downing the rest of the burning hot liquid and standing up.
“And the second guy?”
“What second guy?”
“Dude. You said it happened twice.”
Jensen pulled his jacket on, a thoughtful look gracing his face. “The second time it was one of the
execs. He tried something on me, I reported him to some of the higher ups, and they suggested if I
didn’t like it, I should leave the show. So I did.”
“What show?”
“Doesn’t matter.”
“That’s crap.”
A casual shrug as he turned toward the door. “That’s life.”
Jared was shaking his head. His voice softened involuntarily. “It’s not right. You don’t deserve shit like
that.” The urge to reach up and brush his fingertips along Jensen’s cheekbones became so
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overwhelming that Jared finally had to shove his hands into his pockets. Because, yea, saying he
doesn’t deserve that and then touching his face like he had the right to fondle him just because he was
pretty and nearly hurting Jared’s eyes, might send a mixed signal.
“It happens in this business.”
“It’s never happened to me.”
Jensen’s hand curled around the door knob. “That’s because no one can reach you up there.”
Jared tossed his head back and laughed, truly laughed for the first time in weeks. He’d missed this so
much, missed Jen’s dry humor and just hearing his voice.
“Jen,” Jared began, shifting nervously from foot to foot. “I think we need to talk. About what I said that
night. About what happened.”
The change in Jen’s face was blink-of-an-eye fast. He went from looking relaxed and somewhat normal
again, to looking cornered.
“Can’t,” he replied quickly, too fast. “You gotta drive me back to the bar so I can get my car. I’m flying
home tomorrow morning and I haven’t packed yet.”
Jared’s heart leaped into his throat. Swallowing, he asked, “Dallas?”
“Yea.”
“I have a flight home tomorrow, too.”
“Great,” Jen said in a distracted voice. “So are you gonna drive me back to the bar or do I have to walk
there?”
“The stuff I said…”
Panic flashed across Jensen’s face, his eyes darted from Jared to the door and back again, as though
he were contemplating yanking the door open and making a run for it.
“I’ll forget it ever happened as long as you never mention it again.”
In his throat, Jared’s heart throbbed and threatened to choke him. I can’t forget about it. I can’t forget
the way I feel about you. I don’t think I want to forget.
Mustering a weak smile, he said, “Forget what ever happened?” It’s the only way to keep Jen in my
life.
Jensen’s nervous return smile was fleeting. “Let’s go.”
As he closed and locked the door behind them, Jared finally admitted to himself that none of this would
ever turn out the way he so badly wanted it to. Jen was off limits and always would be.
And life just really sucked.
{End}
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= 04 =
Walk in the Snow
Series/Verse: Part of the Sick 'Verse that started with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out of
control from there.
Summary: If there’s anything worse than being rejected by your best friend, it’s being rejected by
your best friend and then ending up stranded in a hotel room, in the middle of a blizzard with him.
Type: Real people
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Warnings: Lots of schmoopy angst, very little action, mild boy touching.
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale.
AN: It’s a slow build to the final moment. Really slow. I’m having way too much fun playing in this
'verse. Heh.
Blizzard- Check.
Flight rerouted- Check.
Universe- 1; Jared- 0.
Going over the mental list in the middle of Denver Airport, Jared wondered what else could happen
before the end of the year to top off this momentous occasion.
Then he turned around at luggage retrieval and plowed into Jensen.
Universe- 2; Jared- 0.
And really, if this were an ongoing, cruel joke being doled out on Jared by the Universe, it wasn’t funny.
Or fair.
And apparently, as it turned out, there really was no escaping Jensen Ackles.
“Jen?” Jared blurted in disbelief. “What’re you doin’ here?”
“My flight got rerouted because of the blizzard.”
“Mine, too.” Jared tugged nervously at his jacket, eyed the snow swirling like loose pieces of cotton
against the large airport windows, and decided that the only thing worse than having the person you
love turn you down before Christmas would be having the person you love turn you down and then
having the misfortune of running into him while you were both stuck in an airport during a blizzard.
Need the phrase life sucks be mentioned again? Because, yea.
“So are you spending the night in the airport?” Jensen asked.
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Laughing, Jared swept his arm down his long frame. “You really think I’m gonna be able to stuff all this
into an airport seat for an entire night?”
“You could just fold and tuck.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Yea. I was going to get a hotel room near the airport.”
“I already got one. They were filling up pretty fast. You better go reserve one.”
Jensen tossed him a half-hearted smile that Jared recognized from countless interviews and press
parties, all bright and plastic. “See you around, Jay.”
Why are you giving me that smile? Jared thought, stricken. He wanted to say, Dude. It’s me. Don’t do
this; don’t close yourself off around me. Instead, he smiled back brightly, and said, “Yea. Around.”
It wasn’t like Jared expected a Meet me in the men’s bathroom where I’ll suck you off in style, but a
Merry Christmas would’ve been nice.
--------Jared was on his way outside to get a taxi when he passed the in-airport Starbucks and spotted Jensen
sitting at a table, staring with unblinking eyes at a Venti.
Backtracking, sidestepping a human river of traffic, he ducked into the warm aroma of coffee and
scooted up to Jensen’s table. “Aren’t you tired?”
Jensen blinked at him slowly, then said, “I figured why go to a hotel when this airport’s so cozy, with all
the people, and the Starbucks, and all the… people.”
“You couldn’t find a hotel room, could you?”
“Not one.” Jensen took a huge swig of the peppermint mocha brew and leaned back in the chair.
Without hesitation, Jared offered all he could. “I’ll share my room with you.”
“Nah. You don’t have to do that.”
“You’d rather spend the night in this Starbucks?” Jared asked, looking around the crowded joint.
Jensen fingered his coffee cup in response.
“Jen? You’d rather stay here than sleep in the same room with me? Seriously?”
Jensen’s head snapped up from the cup. “No. I just…”
Jared figured puppy dog eyes were making an unwanted appearance as he spoke the next words, and
it kind of bothered him that he couldn’t hide his emotions and close himself off as well Jensen could.
“You don’t trust me?”
“No, no,” Jensen said too quickly. “It’s not that. It’s just… you don’t think it’d be too uncomfortable?”
“C’mon, Jensen. We’ll watch TV and go to sleep, ok? It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Unless you’d
40
rather sleep in the airport for 8 hours.” Jared grinned, shrugged casually. “But if that’s your thing… Just
fold and tuck, Jenny-boy. Fold and tuck. Enjoy.” He waved and started walking off slowly, only allowing
himself a small smile when Jensen caught up to him just outside the coffee shop.
“The seats in this airport are kind of hard,” Jensen said as they pushed their way out the doors and
snow swooped down, stinging them in the face.
Jared smirked. “You don’t say.”
“Look,” Jensen said, ignoring the triumphant glee in Jared’s voice, “I’ll pay you back for half the room.”
Jared’s smile faltered, slipped a little. “You don’t have to do that.”
“I know, but I…”
Jared watched Jensen shift nervously, switch his overnight bag from the left shoulder to the right, and
avoid eye contact. “What?”
Grumbled to the ice-covered ground: “I don’t like to owe anybody anything.”
“Oh.” Jared kind of wanted to hit him. Right in the face. “You mean you don’t want to owe me. Because
then maybe I’ll want you to blow me to return the favor. Am I right?”
Jensen’s face flushed an appealing pinkish color. “Dude. No. It’s not like that.”
In his low, hurt-flavored voice, Jared said, “You really don’t trust me anymore, do you?”
Jensen finally looked up and met his eyes, squinting against the snow and Jared’s intense gaze. “I just
need time to get used to everything you said that night. I don’t know how to act around you now.”
“Oh,” Jared said again, at a loss for what to say to that except for I wish I could take it all back. “Let’s
just go. It’s so cold, I don’t think I can feel my toes anymore.” Or my heart… shit. You suck, Jen. YOU
HEAR ME? YOU SUCK.
And yea, juvenile. Jared just confirmed to himself that he might be turning into a teenage girl.
Scratch that, he had been around enough teenage girls in his lifetime to know that he had definitely
just entered the Teenage Girl Territory of Schmoopdom.
--------“So I’ve been wondering,” Jared began slowly once they were in the elevator, on the way up to the
room. “If you weren’t ever going to trust me again anyway, why’d you do the whole ‘Oh, look at me.
I’m all cute and drunk and falling all over Jared’ test?”
Jensen pushed the button to the 6th floor a second time, even though it was already lit up and the
elevator had already started its creaky ascent to the desired floor. “Can we not do this now? It’s been a
long day.”
“I don’t get you. It’s been a year and half and I still can’t figure you out.”
Jensen didn’t immediately respond, just stared up at the numbers indicating which floor they were
passing. After several slow seconds, he said in a flat voice, “Yea, I get that a lot.”
41
Jared barreled on. “Every time I think we’re getting to be really good friends -friends, nothing else- and
it seems like you’re opening up, you turn around and get all weird, and close up on me.”
The elevator binged at them, and the doors opened onto a dimly lit hallway.
As Jared fumbled with the cardkey, Jensen leaned against the doorframe and said, “Maybe if you hadn’t
jumped me that night in your apartment. You were like some crazed sex freak.”
Jared threw the door open and turned to Jensen to respond, to try and smooth it over yet again, to
explain himself, to make everything between them right again.
“One bed?” Jensen blurted. “I thought you said you got two doubles.”
Jared stared at the bed numbly. Just great. “I did get two doubles. It was the last room they had when
I called. They must’ve screwed up.” Apparently the hotel line of Country Inn and Suites was against
Jared now, too.
“Holy crap. Is this the honeymoon suite?”
Universe- 3; Jared- 0.
Aw shit, Jared thought, biting his thumbnail. Screw you, too, Universe. Y’all can kiss my ass.
Jensen’s eyes were the size of two clear emerald green marbles, looking up at Jared with disbelief.
Jared expected him to start backing away toward the safety of the elevators any minute. He couldn’t
exactly read the thoughts racing through Jensen’s head, but he was pretty sure seduce was the
prominent word among them.
“Ok, calm down. I’ll just call the front desk and get this straightened out. You don’t need to freak out.”
Jensen mumbled, “I’m not freaking out.”
“Then maybe you should put your eyes back in your face.”
Jensen flipped him off as Jared listened to the phone at the front desk ring. “How very Dean of you.”
When the clerk came onto the phone, acknowledged the mess-up, apologized, and told Jared that it
was the only room available, it kind of felt like someone was squeezing his lungs in a vice. He may have
growled “fine” into the phone, though he wasn’t fully aware of anything but 6 feet of ticked off co-star
leaning against the door frame, eyeing him warily.
“Well?”
“It’s the only room they have left tonight.”
“This is the lowest point in my whole year.”
“Really?” Jared raised an eyebrow, amused. “Worse than when we were filming that scene with Jeff in
the season finale and you choked on the fake blood?”
“Yes.”
Jared had meant for it to lighten the mood, not make things even more awkward. Finally he just
snapped out a tight-lipped, “Oh,” and shoved past Jensen into the room.
42
It looked to be a long night.
--------That night, tucked away in the red honeymoon suite, with snow whirling outside, Jared witnessed a
disturbing sight.
Not only did Jensen refuse to talk to him, but he also managed zero eye contact, which happened to be
no easy feat while cooped up in a hotel room. Jared could practically see him structuring the wall
around himself, laying the bricks out carefully, adding one here or there if Jared came too close or
started trying to get him to talk.
And maybe jumping Jensen that night back in his apartment had been weird, even a little creepy, but
Jared figured Jensen was taking this guarded cold shoulder act a little too far.
The time had definitely come to bring out the big guns.
--------“You went out in a blizzard to get stuff to make banana splits?”
Jared beamed his brightest and most innocent dimply smile. “Of course. What else would I have been
out getting? Vegetables?” His grin slipped on the last word only to take up residence on his face again a
moment later. “And lookit what else, Jense!” With childlike glee, he held out a hot paper cup and
motioned for Jensen to take it.
“Hot coco?” Jensen’s laugh came out loose and easy, like music to Jared’s ears.
“With extra whipped cream.”
“You really are 12.”
“And,” Jared smirked, pulling the last item from his shopping bag, “your favorite!”
“Dude! Gimme those!”
“Who’s the 12 year old now?” Jared chuckled and tossed the gummy bear bag in Jensen’s direction.
“I friggin’ love you,” Jensen said, all his attention focused on tearing into the bag.
At the casual comment, Jared paused on his way over to the little table by the window, the words and
the nonchalant way they were said making his mouth go dry and his heart start up a loud thump
thump in his chest.
Looking up at Jared’s frozen stance and catching the expression on his face, Jensen coughed midway
through his first gummy. Realizing the words that had just crossed his lips, he choked out a, “Dude. I…”
His words trailed off as he swallowed the rest of the candy with visible effort.
They were the words Jared longed for in the most pathetic of ways, but not thrown out so offhandedly
and without real meaning. It was like hearing the cheap version of one of his dreams come to life. And
for some reason it hurt a little.
Jared finally made his way to the table and started setting out the banana split ingredients. Ignoring
43
Jensen’s uneasy eyes on the back of his head, he laughed and said, “I’ll make the splits while you stuff
your face with the appetizer. So are you a lot of hot fudge kinda guy or a lot of caramel kinda guy,
instead?”
Maybe if Jared ignored it -every feeling coursing through his body and every look Jensen gave him that
felt all wrong- then maybe it would all just go away.
I could still get over this. People get over love, right?
“I like lots of both,” Jensen answered after a beat.
Great. As if he couldn’t get any more fucking perfect…
“Me too,” Jared mumbled over his shoulder.
--------“That’s what I like to call ‘Padalecki Cuisine,’” Jared said, full and satisfied as he collapsed backwards
onto the bed.
“Eat like that every night and you won’t make it to 30.”
“Hey!” Jared sat up with an air of indignation. “The banana was totally healthy. Besides, I’ll worry about
clogged arties or whatever when I’m 30.”
“Dude. You won’t be here when you’re--- You know what? Nevermind.”
Jensen sat down beside him on the king-sized bed, and Jared let out a loud laugh.
All crinkled brow and confused half smile, Jensen said, “What?”
“You have chocolate syrup all over your mouth.”
And if the Universe hadn’t already been playing some sort of cruel practical joke on Jared before, it
certainly was now, because the urge to lean over and lick the chocolate from Jensen’s mouth was
pretty damn tempting and so wrongwrongwrong.
Jared told himself to back away. Rightthehellnow. Before I do something I’ll regret. Or something that
could possibly get me punched in the teeth.
Back
“You missed some right here in the corner…”
Away
In a move of complete stupidity, fueled by love, lust, and too much sugar, Jared reached up and swiped
at Jensen’s mouth, slowly.
Right
Then he went a step further. Because hey, since his hand was already up there feeling around, why not
just…
44
Now
Jared ran his index finger gently along Jensen’s bottom lip, fascinated by the softness and the feel of
that mouth under his finger.
OhGod
Maybe it was the sound of the wind at the window, or Jared’s low moan, that snapped the moment and
caused Jensen to pull back. “What are you… Jared…?”
Ohshit
“I’m sorry,” Jared whispered, reeling his hand back in and scratching the back of his head with it.
Jensen didn’t respond, so Jared dragged his eyes back up from the bedspread and caught onto Jen’s
blank, unblinking expression.
“Jen…” Jared ran the hand that had just been exploring Jensen’s mouth through his hair, let a loud
whoosh of air escape out his nose. “Jensen, I just wish you’d give me a chance… just a little… I… I can
be a really good guy. People say so all the time…” He knew he was balancing on a fine line of pathetic
beggar and creepy stalker, but damnit, the moment, the room, the weather, the situation they were
thrown into together -it all seemed to fit and mean something, though Jared wasn’t exactly sure what.
“Jen? Could you maybe say something, because this is really… you know. Weird.”
“So you think you can hop me up on sugar and gummies and have your way with me?”
Jared blinked at the reply, bemused, unable to read Jensen’s deadpanned delivery of the words. “I…
wait. What?”
“Would you get over this shit if I just let you kiss me and we got it over with? Could we just move on
then?”
Jared’s head titled to the side in a way not unlike that of a confused puppy dog who’s just been scolded
for peeing on the carpet. When feeling actually came back, Jared found himself kind of ticked off. What
the hell kind of person did Jensen think Jared was, anyway? Some sick perv who wanted a kiss in
exchange for a bag of gummies and extra caramel sauce?
Gathering his eloquent and indignant comeback, Jared produced a weak-voiced, “What?”
Jensen’s mouth quirked up in the corners, not quite making it all the way to a smile. He shrugged.
“People have a thing for my mouth. If one kiss would make it go away---”
“Fuck you, Jensen. You really don’t get it, do you?”
“Get what?”
“I don’t know!” Jared hissed. In a lower voice: “I just… I don’t know.”
“Look, I’m giving you an opportunity here, man. One-time deal only. Take it or leave it.” Jensen pointed
at his mouth with his hand, motioning up and down his face in an almost comical gesture. Well, comical
if the rug hadn’t been slipping out from under Jared’s feet.
This is so fucked up.
45
And hey, Jared was no fool. In some way, this was what he had wanted for weeks now: a chance to
touch Jensen in an intimate way.
Sighing, Jared brought a hesitant hand up to Jensen’s head. He couldn’t help but notice the resigned
look that came across Jensen’s face, the way he seemed to flatten his feet on the floor and brace
himself for something truly horrible.
“Jesus, Jen,” he breathed out, meaning to add Am I really that disgusting to you?
But they were sitting so close now, facing each other on the bed, the space between them seemingly
gone the moment Jared had given in to the offer.
Jared’s left hand met with the back of Jensen’s head. Short, soft pieces of hair slid under the sensitive
pads of his fingers, and Jared noted that he’d gone light on product that day.
Jensen remained motionless, eyes locked on Jared’s face in wait.
There was no denying the weirdness factor of the moment. This had never been the way it had
happened in Jared’s dreams… err, in his mind. Yea, because it wasn’t like he’d dreamed of their first
kiss or anything. No, of course not.
But Jensen was right there, allowing it. So close.
Jensen said, “Jared,” in an impatient tone that clearly said get on with it already, I wanna flip the
Discovery channel on and hit the hay.
Surprisingly, Jared didn’t find himself in the mad rush fueled by desire and need that he’d thought
would accompany this moment.
His thumb came around to Jensen’s cheek. And finally here lay his opportunity to brush his finger
across those maddeningly mesmerizing freckles that had sent him spinning down this path in the first
place. While his hand cupped the side of Jensen’s head, he smoothed his thumb achingly slowly, lightly,
along Jensen’s cheekbone, from the bridge of his nose to his hairline, until hair tickled his thumb.
With his other hand, Jared smoothed his fingers through Jen’s tousled hair, smiling at the silkiness.
“Better without product,” he murmured softly.
Jensen responded with an honestly confused, “Huh?”
Unable to breathe right, Jared brought his right hand down to cup Jensen’s chin and tug his head up so
that they were looking at each other eye to eye. In Jensen’s eyes, he could see the many questions of
what the fuck are you doing?
He chose to ignore them.
Jared leaned in until their foreheads met, chocolate syrupy breaths mingling as one. “This isn’t how it’s
supposed to be,” Jared whispered.
“What?” Jensen whispered back, chocolate-caramel breath puffing up into Jared’s nostrils, making him
twitch at how perfect it all could be at this moment. If only Jensen, if only he… If only.
Jared said, “Can’t do it like this. ’s not right.” And maybe Jared did have some fool in him, after all,
because he pulled away after the words floated unexpectedly out of his mouth, then grabbed his coat
and loped out of the room.
46
--------By the time Jared got back to the hotel room, shaking snow off his coat and hair like a playful golden
retriever, Jensen was curled up in the bed, asleep.
Jared brushed his teeth, changed, and climbed into the bed. Jensen shifted until they were laying
facing each other. He stared at Jared with round, innocent eyes, and Jared thought, Shit, he really
doesn’t understand how much this means to me, how much he means to me.
“I was walking around Denver. ‘s nice town.”
“That’s… nice.”
Jensen Ackles, ever the conversationalist.
Jared said, “I figured out the answer to your question from earlier.”
“What question?”
“When I said you don’t get it, and you said get what? and I didn’t know the answer.”
“Oh.”
Yes ladies and gentlemen, he’ll be here all week.
“I figured out the answer while walking… and, ya know, freezing my ass off.”
“Ok.”
Like talking to a parrot.
“I don’t just want you. Like just your body or your mouth -which, by the way, was a really creepy offer
now that I think about it- but all of you. In some ways, I’ve gotten to know you so well over the past
year and a half, and I like who you are. This thing I have for you really was a long time coming,
because I’ve just now, tonight, realized that I think I’ve been falling in love with you and the person
you are for a while now. I just didn’t realize those were the feelings that were forming until that night
you got sick. Then, man, it was like BAM. All of a sudden, ya know? They kind of just surfaced that
night.
"And you’re kinda like this little mystery book that I never get to the end of to figure out, but Jen, I
really want to. I want to know everything about you. I wanna get to know all of you and all your weird
little moods and personalities, and what it means when you get all quiet and moody and then all witty
and funny in the very next hour. When it comes to the way I feel about you, it’s not what you think
-lust or mouth fascination or whatever it is you think I’m feeling. It’s you.”
Jared paused to breathe, then went on, momentum building behind his words.
“And I really wish you’d stop judging me by whatever problems you’ve had with people in the past and
just give me a chance, because I think we might miss out on something really good if you don’t. So if
you ever wanna… give it a go or just talk or whatever, I’m here. I’ll always be here for you. And I’m not
gonna leave or whatever if you just wanna be friends. It’ll be hard, but I’ll try to deal with it. I will deal
with it.”
Jensen blinked slowly at him.
47
Jared gulped, plowed on. “I just wanted you to know all that. I think that’s about it… yea. So, uh,
g’night.”
Jared turned over to his other side, so that his back faced Jensen.
After several minutes, Jensen said, “You got all that from a walk in the snow?”
“Yea, I guess. Cleared my head, or whatever.”
“Oh.”
I just recited a freakin’ novel and that’s still all he can say? Jared buried his face in the pillow.
Then came a soft thump on the back of his head and a quiet, “Night, Jay.”
The words and small contact made Jared’s muscles relax. He smiled into the pillow, for reasons he
really didn’t understand.
“Night, Jen.”
{To Be Continued}
48
= 05 =
What Goes Around Comes Around
Series/Verse: Part of the Sick 'Verse that started with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out of
control from there.
Summary: Jared has really, really bad timing.
Type: Real people
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Warnings: Lots of schmoop, mild boy touching.
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale.
AN: So the plot's actually moving forward... a tiny bit. But don't get your hopes up. Things aren't going
to be easy for the boys. Because I'm mean like that.
“Kripke told me to come by and tell you that if we keep getting sick on him, he’s gonna replace us with
Wentworth Miller and Chad Michael Murray.”
Jared sagged against his front door, allowing it to support him completely. Wiping his blurry eyes, he
said, “What’re you doin’ here, Jen?”
“I came by to see if you were actually sick this time. Because I think Miller and Murray would ruin Dean
and Sam.”
“I feel like shit.”
“You look like shit.”
“You’re a ball of sunshine, Jen.” With that, Jared staggered away from the door, leaving it open with
Jensen still standing there, and stumbled over to his couch, where he had a blanket and a pillow set
up, ready and waiting.
Jared dove into the fluffy blanket and pulled it up to his chin, having already forgotten Jensen and the
door. His eyes were already closed, so the smooth timbre of Jen’s voice right above him made Jared
jump.
“…long were you walking around out in that blizzard?” Jensen was asking as he peered down at Jared’s
face above the cover.
When’d he get here? Jared asked himself. Then, Heeeyyy, he got a haircut over the hiatus. Looks so
good. But now I can’t run my fingers through--“Jared? Dude, you still with me?”
“Huh?”
“Your eyes are all glazed over. What exactly do you have?”
49
“Have?”
Jensen came around from the back of the couch to crouch down so that he could look Jared in the
face. “Have you been to the doctor?”
“Doct--- No.”
“How long have you been like this?”
“I… uh… since I got back from Texas, I think.”
Jensen shook his head. “So, a few days? You moron. You shouldn’t have been walking around Denver
in the middle of the night like that, in a freakin’ blizzard.”
Jared blinked up at him, not entirely following the conversation. Something about Denver Mormons. It
was kind of boring him, actually. He hadn’t seen Jen in a week and a half, now he just popped up here
at Jared’s place talking about Mormons? Really, what the hell?
Truth was, seeing Jensen’s face again after several weeks felt kind of like seeing a really brilliant sunset
for the first time. Through the fever and chills, Jared felt a little thrill rush through his body as Jensen
leaned closer, his face near enough that Jared could study the way the afternoon’s half-light in the
living room turned Jensen’s eyes a vivid golden-green. And funny how Jared could barely remember his
own name at the moment, but his eyes could trace the freckles across Jensen’s cheeks, as though the
familiar patterns had previously been imprinted in his mind.
Jensen seemed to be saying something again, but Jared couldn’t quite follow, fever or love bogging his
brain down until all he could think about was that jolt of pure, raw joy he felt at just seeing Jensen
again. Sure, he’d missed Jen, but he hadn’t realized just how much until he’d gotten the unexpected
pleasure of having Jensen hovering over his living room couch, right by his face.
“…you call someone?” Bits and pieces of Jensen’s question floated over Jared in a misty haze.
Ignoring Jensen’s interrogation, he smiled, and mumbled, “’s so good to see you again, Jen. Missed
you. So much.”
“Yea, yea, Romeo. I’m trying to get some info out of you here, so could you just try to follow along?”
Jared resorted to blinking up at him as his muddled brain tried to sort out what Jensen was asking.
Jensen sighed, stood up. “Never mind.” Jean-clad legs replaced Jared’s view of freckles and long lashes.
As he walked off, Jared reached for his pants leg, not quite able to snag at the denim with his flailing
arm.
He didn’t want Jen to leave. Ever.
Jared would’ve called out for him to come back, but his throat ached in a dry, raw kind of way that
made him groan and try to swallow it wet again.
He soon dipped back into the comfort of sleep without even realizing it.
--------“Hey…”
50
Jared blinked open crusty, burning eyes. Everything looked murky and cloudy, including Jensen’s face
hovering directly in front of him, like a mirage appearing out of the mist of his mind.
Jared managed to croak out, “You came back.”
“I didn’t leave. Here, drink this.” Jensen shoved a glass of water into his hand while Jared stared at him
in awe.
After soothing his throat with the water, Jared said, “Thought you hated me after… everything that’s
happened.”
“Take these,” Jensen said, holding out pills and conveniently skipping over Jared’s statement.
Jared gulped down God knows what and let his head find the pillow again. Still watching Jensen’s face,
he murmured, “Why’re you doin’ this for me?”
“’Cause you did it for me,” Jensen answered simply. Jared’s heart sank at the rest of the unspoken
sentence that Jensen didn’t have to say: and I owed you.
Jensen’s words from the day in the airport wafted back into Jared’s memory: I don’t like to owe
anybody anything.
Jared wanted to tell Jensen to get out, that he didn’t need someone taking care of him out of
obligation. Well, except his mama, but it wasn’t Jared’s fault she got the bad end of a deal.
There was no easy drift into sleep, like on most nights; fever and exhaustion made sleep a sudden drop
into unconsciousness, and Jared was snoring up at the ceiling, open-mouthed and pitiful, before he
even realized it.
--------Things weren’t much clearer the next time Jared woke.
But he’d been having a really sweet dream that Jensen had come to his place to take care of him,
offering him cool glasses of water. In fact, he planned on closing his eyes and falling back into that
dream.
Low voices from several feet away made Jared drag his gritty eyes open again and give up on finding
his way back to his own private Jensen dream world.
When he shifted is head to the side, to the direction of the voices, he caught sight of Jensen sprawled
out on the other couch in the room.
Jensen immediately sat up when Jared showed movement. He grabbed the remote and flicked the TV
off. “Sorry, I tried to keep the sound down so it wouldn’t wake you up. Do you need something?”
In his surprise, Jared swallowed wrong and choked on his own saliva. Here it was, dream meeting
reality, and Jared figured for dreams to start seeping into his waking hours, he had to be way more sick
than he’d thought.
Reality or dream, do you need something was a loaded question coming from Jensen’s mouth, because
there happened to be so much Jared wanted from him, things Jen would never allow.
51
So Jared just swallowed thickly, and croaked, “Water?”
“Yea, sure.”
Jensen disappeared from his line of sight. As Jared willed away the fog covering his brain, the
conversation from earlier came back to him and he remembered Jensen telling him he was there to
take care of him only because Jared had done the same for him.
When Jensen came back and handed him the glass, Jared took a few sips and, eyes averted, said,
“Jen, you don’t have to stay. You don’t owe me anything.”
“I know.”
Jared looked up at him, confused. This was way too much for him to comprehend when his body felt
like it was teetering on the edge of death. “Then why’re you here?”
Jensen shrugged. “Got nothing else to do. ‘S not like I have a job to go to without a Sam on set.” He
idly picked up one of Jared’s car magazines and started flipping through it.
Jared couldn’t be sure, but he may have been gaping at Jensen in wonder. I thought he couldn’t stand
the sight of me anymore.
Jared figured he’d find Jensen’s photo (the really gorgeous black and white head shot one where his
eyes looked all glassy and reflective- not that Jared had been on the internet looking up pictures of
Jensen Ackles- oh hell no) in the dictionary, under the word enigma.
Before he could come up with a reply of some kind, Jared found himself drifting off to sleep. Damnit,
he’s here and I need to talk to him about what I said that night in the hotel. If I only I could stay
awake long enough to…
Sleep won out again.
--------Things were still a little furry around the edges, but it didn’t stop Jared from bolting up from the couch
to answer the call of his bladder.
“Hey!” Jensen called out after him. “You ok?”
Jared slammed into Jensen in his tottery exit out of the bathroom. On instinct, Jared reached out to
steady Jen, an apology already on his lips.
But this time he was the one stumbling back, losing his balance. Jensen caught a hold of his arm and
surprised Jared by throwing it over his own shoulder.
“Sorry,” Jen explained quickly, “I thought maybe you had to puke or something. You wanna go back to
the couch?”
Jesus CHRIST. Jared tried to breathe through his nose, then realized the snot clogging it made that an
impossible task.
But this was sensory overload, with Jensen suddenly willingly so close to him, his own heat-hungry
body drinking in Jensen’s body heat. Jared could barely think through the fact that his arm was slung
over Jensen’s shoulders and unconsciously giving his co-star’s right shoulder an intimate squeeze and--52
Ohshit. Jared pulled his arm away as soon as he realized what his hand had been doing. Without.
Even. Realizing. It. Shit. No wonder Jensen doesn’t want to be near me anymore. I can’t control myself
around him.
Jared pulled away even farther, until his back ran into his bedroom wall.
“What’s wrong?” Jensen asked, all innocence and apparently unaware of Jared’s caress of his shoulder.
“Should I not have mentioned the word puke?”
Jared’s pent up anxiety came out in a sharp, hysterical little laugh. Jensen eyed him as if he’d lost his
brain. And maybe he had. Jared was pretty sure that if he’d suffered any loss of brain cells, it had
started the night he’d fallen in love with Jensen. Maybe his brain cells had been dying off a little each
day since then. That would explain a few things- like the way he couldn’t seem to control his constantly
running mouth or his out of control heart while around Jensen.
“Are you ok?” Jensen asked.
“Yea. Fine.” He staggered back to the couch, keenly aware of Jensen’s eyes on his back the whole way.
Jensen stood several feet away from couch after Jared had settled himself back into it.
“You need anything?”
There’s that question again.
Here Jensen was being all sweet and nice to him, and Jared figured it’d kind of be rude to say, Actually,
yea. I need for you to let me explore your amazing body with my mouth and tongue, or else you
should probably just go ahead and leave. Save yourself.
Yea, because that wouldn’t come out sounding totally psychotic. Right.
“Naw, I’m good. Think I’ll just sleep some more.”
“Ok.” Jensen plopped back down on the other couch and resumed his interest in Jared’s 6 month old
magazine.
It was all Jared could do to keep his attention on the ceiling and avert his eyes from the way Jensen
had his feet propped up on the coffee table, knees bent slightly, as he leaned back into the couch
cushions, thumbing through pages.
He looked like the deadliest temptation in the book, a late gift from Santa accidentally left on Jared’s
couch instead of under his tree.
This time Jared had to force his way back to sleep, with his head half buried in the pillow.
--------Jared didn’t sleep, couldn’t with Jensen sitting cross-legged on the floor across the room, flipping
through Jared’s CD collection.
So even though Jared felt like complete crap, he kept his eyes cracked open the tiniest bit, to watch
Jensen roam idly around his apartment.
Even as he did it, Jared knew that watching Jen when the other man was unaware of it was yet
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another thing to add to the list of creepy things Jared had done to Jensen over the past few months.
But he couldn’t help it. Watching Jensen explore his various knickknacks, magazines, and DVDs was far
more entertaining than it should have been.
Jensen put the music away and moved to Jared’s bookcase. Oh crap. I just hope he doesn’t find--He heard Jensen laugh out loud. He found it. Of course.
“What’re you laughing at?” Jared asked, faking a yawn.
Jensen jumped as though he’d been caught red-handed. He spun around with the book in his hand.
Then his face lit up with a slow smirk as he held the colorful book up and walked back to the couches.
“Seriously, Jared? Harry Potter?”
“They were… a gift.”
“Yea right.”
“Meg gave me the box set for Christmas.”
“Sure.”
“I actually started reading the first book and it’s pretty good.”
Jensen laughed.
“Hey, don’t knock it ‘till you try it.”
“Whatever,” Jensen shot back, sitting down on the other couch and fanning through the pages of the
book.
“I got through the first two chapters before I got sick.” Jared shifted uncomfortably on his makeshift
bed. “If you’re gonna give it a try and read it, maybe you could… read some out loud.”
Jensen looked up from the book, eyeing him with that intense gaze he sometimes used--the one that
could unnerve an FBI detective during an interrogation. “You want me to read you a bedtime story?” he
asked, in the dry, deadpanned tone that drove Jared insane because the sound of Jensen’s voice in that
tone went straight to a place that it shouldn’t.
“Uh… well, we’re both just sitting here, bored.”
Jensen snorted. “I’m sitting here bored; you’re supposed to be sleeping off whatever it is you picked up
walking around in the middle of a blizzard.”
To Jared’s horror, he found himself saying, “Please? I really love your voice.”
Shit. You’d think I’d learn to keep my trap shut by now.
But Jared knew no one could blame him for that one. Jen’s voice had such a smooth, deep, soothing
tone. And it was hot.
In response, Jensen coughed and sank farther down on the couch, clearly embarrassed.
“God, Jensen, I’m sorry I keep doing this… saying things like that. They just slip out. I really didn’t
54
meant to make you uncomfortable.”
Eyes on the book, Jensen mumbled something that sounded like, “It’s ok.”
So Jared went on, meaning to smooth over the slipup a little more. Somehow, “Your voice really is
beautiful, though,” slipped out instead.
It was almost like Jared’s tongue was hooked up to a marionette string, and someone above him had
control over every ridiculous thing he said. They were probably laughing at Jared, too, the bastards.
This time he didn’t even try to apologize, he just pulled the blanket over his head instead. Jared didn’t
even want see the look on Jensen’s face after that little gem.
“So, uh…” Jensen said, after several awkward minutes had passed between them. “Do you want
something to eat?”
Under the blanket, Jared realized that he was a little hungry. Pulling his cover down, he said, “What can
you make?”
“Sandwiches.”
“My favorite.”
“Good thing. ‘Cause that’s as far as my culinary talents go.”
“Ham and cheese?” Jared asked.
“Ok.”
Jensen left the room, and Jared let out a sigh of relief.
Apparently there was no cutoff point to the depth at which Jared’s mouth could dig him down into a
hole.
Or more like a grave.
--------“This is good,” Jared said, feet propped up on the coffee table across from where Jensen ate, on the
other couch.
Jensen finished his sandwich and chugged down half a bottle of water. “Maybe I should’ve gone into
cooking.”
“Maybe you should’ve gone into singing.” Jared froze, then stuffed the rest of the sandwich into his
mouth so that he wouldn’t even have to bother smoothing that one over.
I am out of fucking control, man. I wonder if there’s a medicine I could take for this. Lovecontrol pills?
Do they have those yet?
“Really?” Jensen lowered the water bottle from his mouth. “You think I’m good?”
“Hell yea, Jen. I was really surprised when we did that scene in Simon Said and you started singing
that REO Speedwagon song. I mean, you’d mentioned that you sang a little here and there, but I didn’t
55
realize that you were actually good until we filmed that scene.”
Jensen smiled, his eyes shining and crinkling at the edges. “Thanks.”
Jared would’ve traded every future piece of candy that was destined to enter his mouth just to have
the ability to put that smile on Jensen’s face all the time. It lit his entire face up, making Jared think
things like beautiful and dazzling and a slew of other words he didn’t even know resided in his
vocabulary.
Jensen tipped back the bottle of water again, and Jared wondered how the man could make a bottle of
water look illegal.
It took Jensen clearing his throat loudly for Jared to snap out of his lipsonbottlejesusgod trance.
“You forget I’m on to you now,” Jensen said.
Jared went for playing dumb. “What?”
Jensen’s eyes slid down to the bottle sitting on the table, then lifted back up to Jared’s face with a
knowing eyebrow raise.
“Oh, I… yea. Sorry.” Subject change, now please. “So… I’m feeling better. I guess you can leave
whenever you want now. Thanks for…” Jared paused, an odd feeling coming over him.
Jensen’s already raised eyebrow quirked up farther at him. “Yea?”
“I… uh…”
This can’t be good.
Jared took off to the bathroom like shot.
--------“Guess you shouldn’t have had something to eat so soon.”
“Really? Think so?” Jared knew it came out bitchy, but he’d just revisited the entire sandwich again
while hovering over the toilet.
“Sorry.”
“’S not your fault,” Jared said, wiping his mouth with a wet cloth Jensen handed him.
“I’m not good at this nursing thing.”
“Yea you are. I think I’m just gonna lay down on my bed. It’s closer to the bathroom than the couch is.”
Jared fell onto his bed, didn’t even bother to pull the covers down.
Jensen left and came back into the room with his blanket from the couch. “Here’s your blankie.”
“Maybe you should be a comedian.”
“One day.”
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“I’ll come to your show and throw tomatoes.”
“And I’ll have my people take you down in the parking lot.”
“You don’t have people, Jen. You have me and Kripke and Kim.”
“Guess I got the raw end of that deal.”
“I didn’t,” Jared muttered to the ceiling, and closed his eyes.
Jared forced his eyes open ten minutes later when the bed dipped on his left. Jensen was sitting,
barefoot, leaning back on Jared’s headboard, feet pulled up and legs stretched out on the bed.
Jared had to look away and will his heartbeat back down. Was Jensen actually trying to give him a
heart attack by making himself look so comfortable and available right there on Jared’s bed? Jesus.
“Jared?”
“Yea?”
He could feel the bed dip as Jensen shifted nervously.
“I’ve never actually been in love before.”
“Really?” Jared broke eye contact with the ceiling to look over at Jen.
Jensen shrugged. “It’s always been a physical thing, but never love.”
“Never?”
“Well, there was this one time in 2nd grade. She was my neighbor and we spent every waking moment
together. That was the closest I’ve ever gotten to love.”
“Wow.”
“So… how’s it feel?”
Jared laughed loosely. “Like hell. But in a good way.”
“Hell has a good way?”
“It’s hard to be in love with someone who doesn’t love you back.”
“You’re really in love with me? You’re sure?”
Jared pulled himself into a sitting position and braced himself against the headboard next to Jensen.
“Dude. I’ve asked myself that question over and over for weeks now. And yea, I’m pretty positive.”
Jared watched Jensen fall silent and start tracing the bed pattern with the tip of his finger, the soft light
from the lamp falling across his half-parted lips and casting the tips of his hair a goldenly color.
It was all Jared could do to keep his train of thought.
“I can’t stop thinking about you,” Jared said. “Just being with you… being near you. Even just sitting
57
here talking with you is nice. It feels good.”
“Really? We’re just sitting here, dude.”
“I know. I like it. Because you’re here with me. Talking.”
Jensen shook his head. “You’re so…”
“Pathetic?”
“…sincere. I can tell now that you’re not trying to pull a fast one on me.”
Shrugging, Jared said, “It’s ok, Jen. I know I came on kinda strong. I just have trouble reading you
sometimes. And… I guess I was looking for things that weren’t there, you know?”
Jared watched Jensen’s finger slide back and forth across the bedspread. Finally, he asked, “Are you
nervous or something, Jen?”
“Yea. I have to tell you something and I don’t know how to say it.”
“Just tell me.”
“Ok,” Jensen said, lifting his hand from the bed to run his fingers through his hair. “You really are a
great guy, Jared.”
Oh crap. Nothing good ever starts with those words. He’s gonna try and let me down easy.
“The thing is,” Jensen went on, and Jared braced himself, “I’ve never been in, uh, relationship like this
before, so I’m kinda---”
“What’d you mean?”
Even with the soft lighting, Jared could see that adorable blush creeping over Jensen’s cheeks. “Dude.
You know. Like a… a gay relationship.”
“Oh.” Jared laughed, relief flooding through his veins. “Neither have I.”
“Ok. Well, I’m not exactly against trying out new things, but this… I’m not really sure I’m all that
thrilled with trying out something like this.”
Jared’s heart sank. “Oh. But we could take it really slow. Just take our time with… all of it. Work our
way up to… whatever. We don’t have to do anything right away. You know?”
Holy crap, this is awkward. Why is it so hard to say the word sex all of sudden?
“Yea, but the thing is…” Jensen’s hand found a string in Jared’s bedspread, and he started picking and
pulling at it.
“The thing is…” Jared prodded.
“I just… I’m not sure I think about you in that way.”
“Oh.” And there it is. “But you’re not… sure?”
“You’re one of the best people I’ve ever met, and I really like you as a person, but man… I just don’t
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know about the other stuff. I really don’t think that’s up my alley.”
Jared wished he could throw up again, just to end this conversation and leave the room.
Finally meeting Jared’s eyes, Jensen said, “I think you deserve someone who’s sure they feel the
same.”
“I don’t want someone,” Jared said softly, “I want you, Jen.” God, the urge to reach over and pull
Jensen into his arms was overwhelming. He could barely think or see through the impulse.
Hunching his shoulders and sighing, Jensen turned his attention back to the string.
“I’m not just gonna find someone else and get over this. Love isn’t easy like that.”
“I’m sorry,” Jensen told the string.
“Could you at least look at me and say that?”
Jensen’s eyes met his. It felt like a surge of electricity and a knife to the gut all at the same time.
“Look, Jared, I’m so fucking sorry that I don’t feel the same way.”
Jared snorted. God, could this day get any worse?
“You’re not even gonna give me--- give us a chance?” Jared’s voice sounded small and pitiful and
imploring, and he wanted to put his fist through a wall for not being able to keep his emotions in check.
“I guess not.”
“You guess not? Could you just give me a straight answer?”
“Ok, then. No. No chance. I’m… sorry.”
Jensen’s fingers were twirling and twisting the string to a crumpled mess. Completely on impulse, Jared
reached over and stopped Jensen’s motions by covering Jen’s hand with his own. He twined his long,
slender fingers through Jensen’s and squeezed gently. In a whisper soft voice: “You sure about that?”
Jensen’s eyes were wide and surprised when Jared peeled his attention away from their locked hands
resting atop the bed, and looked back up at him. “Jen?” Jared asked softly, squeezing his hand again.
“Uh...”
Is he flustered? Jared stared harder, trying to figure the other man out. “Are you sure you don’t wanna
give it a try? Just a small try?”
“Dude, I’m so confused,” Jensen finally blurted out, causing Jared to bite down on his tongue to keep
the hopeful smile from sliding across his face. “Look, I… I don’t know. I’m…”
“What?”
“Scared. This is a huge step, man. You’re my best friend, Jared, and I really don’t know how I feel
about you. I don’t want to fuck up our friendship.”
“We can give it a try, and if things don’t work out then we’ll at least know.”
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“Shit.”
“Calm down.” Jared squeezed his hand again. “Sometimes things are better when you just go with it.”
Jensen’s eyes were locked on their interlocked hands. Using his free hand, Jared put a finger under
Jensen’s chin and tilted his head up so that they were facing each other again.
Scared, child-like eyes blinked back at Jared. “Jared, I…”
“’S ok. We don’t have to do anything. Nothing you don’t feel comfortable with, Jen.”
“I just don’t think I can…”
“What?”
“Do this. It’s kinda weird with you.”
Jared let go of Jen’s hand to trail fingers lightly up his arm. Jensen shivered, and Jared honestly
couldn’t tell if it was an OhGodyes shiver or a shiver of disgust. He stopped where bicep met shoulder
and, taking a chance, put his arm around Jen’s shoulders and slowly pulled him in closer.
He could feel Jensen let out a long breath, though he made no attempt to pull away. Jared took that as
a good sign.
“I really like your haircut,” Jared said.
Jensen lifted his head and looked up into Jared’s face. “It’s too short.”
“Mm,” Jared said in response. “Looks good. Anything looks good on you.”
He’d cringe at his cheesiness later, because now was definitely not the time. All Jared could think was,
Jen. In my arms. Jensen’s in my arms, and he’s not pulling away. Oh God, don’t let me screw this up.
“Jen?”
“Yea?”
“Can I kiss you?”
He surely must’ve been having a heart attack or stroke or seizure or something this time, because
Jared could feel his tongue choke him after he said the words and as he waited for an answer.
Too soon. I asked too soon.
He watched Jensen swallow hard before answering. “Sure… yea. Ok.”
“Really?”
“You better do it before I change my---” He swallowed his words when Jared’s hands came up to his
face, fingers brushing lightly over both cheekbones where freckles shown soft against pale skin in the
room’s golden lamp light. Jared’s fingers moved on down the bridge of Jensen’s nose, tickled along his
jaw, only to come back up to caress his cheeks.
“What is up with you and doing that?” Jensen breathed, breath puffing out warm over Jared’s hands.
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Jared chuckled low in his throat. “Do you even know what these freckles do to me? God, Jen. They’re
so perfect, so… you.”
“Well… thanks.”
“You’re kinda modest,” Jared murmured, fingers enjoying the contrast of soft skin and rough stubble.
“Sorry?”
“It’s cute.”
“Cute?”
“Sorry. I meant adorable.”
Jensen made a sound of protest, and Jared let out a loose chuckle, then said, “Endearing. It’s really
endearing, Jen.”
Jared took at least another minute letting his fingers explore the contours and fine features of Jensen’s
face, appreciating every delicate inch of skin, drinking in the moment he’d longed for every time his
eyes had found Jensen over the past few months and lingered too long.
He had waited for this moment for months now. Like hell he was going to rush it.
Skimming two fingers across Jensen’s slightly parted lips, he said, “You want this, right?”
Looking up at Jared, Jensen looked more open than Jared had ever seen him. And so damn vulnerable
that it made Jared gulp and soften his touches and strokes even more.
Please don’t let me do anything stupid to screw this up or scare him off.
Jensen blinked as though he were pulling himself out of a trance.
Then, finally came the precious words: “Yea, Jared. I want this.”
Jared had kind of imagined this very moment with the sun breaking through clouds in the sky
somewhere around the world, and angels breaking into song.
What he hadn’t imagined in his cozy little dreams of the moment, was his stomach rumbling and
turning over as he leaned his head down into Jensen’s face.
Uh… oh. Crap. Whyyyyy? Damnit, WHY?
Jared pulled back from Jensen, eyes wide.
“What’s wrong?”
“I think I’m gonna…” Jared sprung off the bed and made it the bathroom just in time.
The next twenty-five minutes were a miserable blur to Jared, though he clearly remembered Jensen
coming into the bathroom at some point and threading fingers through his hair. And at the moment, it
seemed like the sweetest, most comforting thing anyone had ever done for Jared. It was exactly what
he needed: comfort and soothing touches.
And maybe some Pepto Bismol.
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When the nausea eased off, Jared sagged against the edge of the bathtub, and Jensen pressed a cold
cloth to his forehead, making a smile flitter across Jared’s face.
“Are you ok?” Jensen asked, sitting down on his haunches between Jared’s spread legs.
“Yea, I’m good.” Jared reached up to touch Jen’s face, but the other man pulled away.
“Hey, whoa. You were just puking.”
“Right. Sorry.”
“So, uh, are you done?”
“For now.”
“That sounds promising.” He stood, offering Jared a hand and a bottle of Listerine.
By the time Jensen got Jared back into the bed, this time under the covers, Jared’s limbs felt heavy.
“God, Jen. I’m sorry.”
“It’s ok. You couldn’t help it.”
Jared reached up and tugged at Jensen’s arm. “C’mere. Get into the bed with me. I’m cold... Please,
Jen?”
Jared noticed Jensen’s slight hesitation before he walked around to the other side of the bed and
crawled under the covers. Jared rolled over and swung an arm around Jensen’s shoulders again,
gathering him to his chest. “I always pictured this moment with a little less clothing.”
“Did you also picture yourself almost puking into my mouth?”
Running his fingers up and down Jensen’s arms, Jared said, “No. That was just a bonus surprise.”
Jensen laughed, easy and open, the sound vibrating in Jared’s ribs.
Feels so good, Jared thought, smiling to himself. Finally.
“I’m tired,” Jared said, yawning.
“Then go to sleep.”
“I’m glad you’re here, Jense.”
“Me too.”
“Really?”
“…I think so… yea. We’re just gonna have to take it all slow.”
“I like slow.”
“Like I’m a clueless virgin, ok?”
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Laughing, Jared said, “Ok. But I’ve never done anything like this before, either.”
“Good. That makes it… easier.”
Jared swept a hand through Jensen’s hair, then down his back, trailing quickly down that same spine
that had put him into a trance those many weeks ago. His fingers left Jen’s spine to wrap both arms
around his back and pull him even closer.
“You ok so far?” Jared asked in a soft voice.
Pressed against Jared’s own, Jensen’s chest expanded with a deep breath before he let it out and
answered. “Yea, I’m good.”
Jared paused at Jensen’s deep breathing, unsure as to what exactly it meant. “Tell me if I’m moving
too fast. You gotta let me know, Jen.”
“You’re not. It’s ok.”
Jared let out a deep breath of his own, his fingers moving up to the nape of Jensen’s neck to play in
the fine hairs there. “Do you know how long I’ve wanted to hold you like this?”
“A few months?”
Breathing into the feather-light tips of Jen’s hair, Jared answered, “God, yes. Ever since you were sick,
and I walked in and caught you that morning.” Lowering his voice and his head to whisper right in
Jensen’s ear, Jared said, “You feel so good in my arms… feels like perfection.”
Jensen laughed nervously at the words.
Ok, Jared thought, backtracking in his mind, too much, too soon, and reeled his sappy side in a little.
Jensen asked, “Why am I not surprised you’re a cuddler?”
“Cause I resemble a large puppy?”
“That must be it.” Jared grinned when Jensen’s hand came up to ruffle his hair.
Comfortable silence settled over the room for several minutes before Jensen said, “Hey, Jared? You
asleep yet?”
“Almost.”
“I was just thinking…”
“Good for you.”
“I better not catch this shit from you.”
{End of part 5}
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[ Art by nerrianah ]
64
= 06 =
But What a Way to Go
Series/Verse: Part of the Sick 'Verse that started with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out of
control from there.
Summary: Jared doesn’t even realize there’s a line until he almost crosses it.
Type: Real people
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Warnings: Lots of schmoop, mild boy touching, kissing.
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale.
AN: Thanks so much for the enthusiastic comments. They’re totally fueling the fire for this verse. Last
night I woke up in the middle of the night and had to jump up to grab a pen and piece of paper to jot
down a scene I couldn’t get out of my head. God.
“I’ve been watching you all damn day,” Jared said as soon as Jensen answered the knock on his trailer
door. Pushing Jensen back and gliding through the door, Jared babbled on, “It’s been so hard just
watching you and not being able to touch.” Jared slammed the trailer door shut with his foot.
Want. Want. Want.
With the words running in his head, he slipped in front of Jensen and brought his hands up to his face.
“We still haven’t kissed yet. It’s killing me, man.”
Much to Jared’s surprise, Jensen batted his hands away, bit his bottom lip, and looked nervously around
the tiny room. “Are you kidding? We can’t do anything here.”
Jared laughed and reached for his face again, needing to touch and feel. “It’s not like we’re gonna do
anything. I just want to be able to touch you.”
Knocking Jared’s large hands away again, Jensen scowled. “Not here.”
Confusion settled on Jared’s face as he took a couple steps away from Jensen. “What’s wrong with you
today?” Everything was fine last night.
“Nothing. Nothing. I just can’t do anything here, where we work. It’s too fucked up.”
Fucked up? Why?
“But I thought you were-- Wait. Then why did you have Dean sucking so hard on that lollipop?”
Eyes widening slightly, Jensen let out an anxious little laugh that Jared had been hearing a lot of lately
and ran a hand across his face. “Dude, you’ve gotta stop interpreting everything I do as sexual.”
I don’t think that’s possible.
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Jared’s voice dipped low. “I know, but have you seen yourself lately? You’re gonna kill me, Jensen.”
“Can’t you just wait ‘till we go home for the day?”
Jared made a low whining sound in his throat. Moving forward, he said, “Ok, but just let me--”
In one fluid movement, Jensen backed away from him, arms held out in front of himself, with an index
finger pointing at Jared to warn him off, and yea, wow. Jared never realized what a stick in the mud
Jensen could be.
“Oh, c’mon, Jense.”
“Not here.”
“But I just wanna--”
“No.”
A pathetic whimper choked its way out of Jared’s throat, making him sound a little like a dying animal.
He didn’t even care. He felt like a dying animal.
Fingertips itching to touch Jensen in some way, any way, he whined, “What are you trying to do to
me?”
“You’ve already waited a few months, you can wait a little longer.” Jensen brushed by him on his way
out the door, and just the small amount of contact triggered every nerve in Jared’s body. “You coming?”
Jensen asked, standing on the steps just outside the door.
Jared grumbled to himself and slunk down the steps behind him.
Jared’s plan had not been to come to Jensen’s trailer and have sex. Hell no, because the thing was,
Jared happened to be a pathetic, hopeless romantic, trapped in the wrong time.
And doing it for the first time, with the man you planned on spending the rest of your life with, in a
closet-sized trailer did not appeal to Jared.
And no, he had never imagined their first kiss in said trailer, but damn if he wasn’t getting desperate. If
Jensen had allowed it, Jared would’ve ruined the moment he’d dreamed of by cheapening it down to
making out in a trailer in between scenes.
But damn. It had gotten to the point where by the time they took their lunch break, it hurt to look over
at Jensen and not be able to just jump him right there on set. Need coursed through Jared’s veins with
every heartbeat, and crap, hadn’t he suffered enough already?
What he really wanted to know was how when he felt like breaking apart at the seams, Jensen still
managed to keep up his usual calm façade for the rest of the day, joking and smiling like nothing out of
the ordinary was going to happen after work.
Seriously, the man deserved an Emmy for that one.
--------“Hey,” Jared greeted casually, nervously playing with the zipper on his jacket.
66
“You can come inside, you know.”
“Right. Yea.” Smooth.
Jared shut the door behind him and followed Jensen to the couch, where popcorn and beer were
already set out.
“So you really weren’t testing me on set today? With the lollipop?”
Jensen settled himself on the arm of the couch. “You calling me a tease?”
“No. I…” Jared finally looked up from the popcorn, worried at the direction the conversation had
already taken. He shifted uncomfortably on the couch, unable to meet Jensen’s eyes. This was not how
he’d planned on starting the evening off. “I didn’t mean to… Sorry.”
Jensen shrugged. “Whatever. It was cherry. I happen to like cherry.”
“Cherry?”
“The lollipop.”
“Oh.” Right. That makes sense. He didn’t mean anything when he was going down on it like that. I’m
just a freak, and he likes cherry.
“So what do you wanna watch?” Jensen asked, sliding off the edge of the couch and moving toward
the DVD player. “And sorry. I forgot to pick up Harry Potter for you.”
The easy grin Jensen threw over his shoulder relaxed Jared. Laughing up at the ceiling, he leaned back
into the couch cushions. “I don’t care. Just put on whatever you’ve got. Maybe the game or
something?”
“Ok.”
This is good. This is normal. Everything’s gonna be just fine.
Jensen returned to the couch, hesitated, then sat down at the other end from Jared.
Ok… not good. “Uh, Jen?”
“Yea?”
Jared gave the space between them a pointed nod, then looked back up at Jensen and motioned at the
all the empty couch space with his hand. “You can, uh… sit a little closer. I’m not gonna jump you. I
swear.”
Sighing, Jensen slid across the space until his thigh brushed up against Jared’s. “I feel like a twelve
year old on a first date. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.”
“It’s ok, Jen. We’re gonna take this slow, remember?”
“Yea.” Jensen took a deep breath, slumping down farther into the couch. “Ok.”
“So now I’m gonna put my arm around your shoulders. Ok?”
“God,” Jensen said, rubbing a hand over his face and letting out a rough little laugh. “This is so fucked
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up.”
Halfway to Jensen’s shoulders, Jared’s arm froze in midair. He pulled it back. Choosing his words
carefully, Jared asked, “What’s fucked up?” He’s backing out on me. I should’ve seen this coming.
“Me. I’m acting like a scared little virgin.”
After expecting a get out or something along those lines, Jared let out an audible sigh of relief, and
gently pulled Jensen’s hand away from his face. “It’s ok, Jense. We’re both new to this. It’s gonna take
some getting used to. Now here comes my arm again. Ready?”
Jensen laughed, shook his head slightly at his own tentativeness. “Yea. Go for it.”
Jared’s arm curled around, his hand hanging down loose on the other side and squeezing Jensen’s
shoulder reassuringly. Slowly, he pulled Jensen’s body in closer until their bodies were flush, touching
along the sides. “See,” Jared murmured next to Jen’s ear, “not bad, right?”
After a small pause, Jensen said, “Yea. ‘S good.”
“So who’s playing tonight?”
“No idea.”
Jared glanced back down from the TV to find Jensen’s eyes glued to the set. He tugged Jensen even
closer on the couch. Heck, he’d pull Jensen right into his lap if he thought it wouldn’t freak Jensen out.
But he was pretty sure that at this point it wouldn’t go over so well.
So Jared contented himself with running feather-light fingers up and down Jensen’s arm.
Several silent minutes passed between them without Jensen acknowledging Jared’s soft touches, until
Jared’s fingers slipped from his arm, to sliding up and down his side and along his ribs.
Jared didn’t notice anything, caught up in the slight buzz from just being able to touch, until Jensen
shifted uncomfortably against him.
“Hey,” Jensen finally mumbled, nearly cutting off his protest with a choking sound. “Not there.”
Jared’s fingers paused against the soft material of Jensen’s shirt. “What?”
“Don’t touch me there… not like that.”
Completely clueless, Jared blinked down into Jensen’s upturned face. “What’d I do?”
“It’s not a big deal. Just don’t do it again.”
Surprised at the sudden protest, Jared had already forgotten exactly what it was he’d been letting his
fingers do. “Uh. Ok.” Don’t do what again?
“I need another beer,” Jensen blurted, pushing himself up and out of Jared’s arms. “You want anything
from the kitchen?”
“Naw.”
Jared watched, dumbfounded, as Jensen walked out of the room and didn’t return for several minutes.
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What the hell just happened?
--------When Jensen came back, Jared was standing near a small framed picture, peering closely at the smiling
family in it. He turned and grinned over at Jensen. “You were a pretty cute kid,” Jared said, motioning
at Little Jensen sticking his tongue out at his sister in the picture.
Setting the beer down on an end table, Jensen came up beside Jared. “We were on a vacation at the
beach. I was sunburned and she’d just pinched me right before the flash went off.”
“Good times.”
“I’m just sayin’ she was asking for it.”
“Totally,” Jared agreed, head nodding up and down. “Aren’t sisters great?”
“Wonderful.”
So… awkward. “So what do you wanna do?”
Jensen passed the question off with a shrug. “I don’t know. I’d ask you, but I’m pretty sure of the
answer.”
Jensen’s eyes lifted from the floor and met Jared’s own. It kind of freaked Jared out a little when all he
could see in the green depths were questions and uncertainty.
It’s not supposed to be like this.
Jared took a step closer. Two steps. Three, until he was standing close enough to put his hands on
Jensen’s shoulders, run them down so that he lightly gripped Jensen’s biceps. “It’s just me, Jen. You
don’t have to be so uncomfortable.”
“What am I supposed to be, then?” Jensen asked, looking up into Jared’s face for the first time all
night. “I’m freaked out, man.”
“I thought you were ok with this. You said it was ok last night at my place. As long as we took it really
slow.”
“I know,” Jensen said, a small quaver in his words that caused Jared an inward cringe. “But by the time
I got to work this morning it was like the moment was gone or something.”
Jared loosened his grip but didn’t let go. “You mean… I don’t really get what you’re saying. You
changed your mind? Why didn’t you tell me this morning?”
Jensen brought a hand up to run through his short locks, a nervous habit Jared had quickly picked up
on in the past few weeks. “Because I don’t know if I’ve changed my mind or not. I’m so fucking
confused, Jared.”
Jared let go long enough to wrap his arms around Jensen’s back and pull him into a huge hug,
enveloping the smaller man in long arms. “If you need some time you can tell me,” Jared said softly,
afraid that even loud words might scare Jensen off, which was ridiculous because Jensen wasn’t a
bunny rabbit, but whatever. Jensen’s body was practically tucked into his, and Jared wasn’t thinking
69
completely clear at the moment.
“I’ll wait as long as you need,” Jared added.
The material of Jared’s shirt brushed against his skin as Jensen huffed out a low half laugh, half snort
into his chest. “Dude, you’re hugging me.”
“Yea.”
“In the middle of my apartment.”
“I like hugs. They’re kinda comforting.”
“Jared…”
“Yea?” Jared asked, pulling away just enough to look down into Jensen’s face, but not willing to let go
quite yet, because he was afraid that Jensen was about to tell him he needed a few months… or a year.
“Are you sure you still wanna try this with me?”
“’Course I’m sure.”
“Because I know you want me to be as sure as you are, and I’m not. I’m trying to be, but I’m freaking
out here.”
“It’s ok. You don’t have to be as sure as I am. I don’t expect you to be.”
Jensen brought a hand up and patted Jared’s chest with it, but Jared could tell right away that it was a
gesture to get Jared to let go and back away a little, even though it was disguised as an affectionate
pat.
Jared reacted immediately, pulling his arms away and taking a step back from Jensen.
As soon as he’d backed off, Jensen’s shoulders hunched down a little, as though he were trying to
protect himself from something, and Jared’s first thoughts were, Me. Shit. He’s trying to get me to stop
touching him so much. How did this happen? I thought I was taking it slow…
A loud sigh brushed past Jensen’s lips before he looked up at Jared again. “I know it sounds cheesy,
but you know you’re the best friend I’ve ever had, right?”
“Really?”
“Yea. And I don’t want to get into this thing with you and realize halfway through that it’s not what I
want. You’re such a good guy, Jared, and I don’t want to…” A nervous little laugh escaped as Jensen
brought a hand up to rub across his eyes. “God, this sounds so ridiculous. I can’t believe I’m even
saying it. I don’t want to end up pulling away and hurting you in the end.”
“Oh.” Jared laughed, relieved. “No matter what happens, you’re not gonna break my heart, ok? I’m a
big boy. I can handle it.”
“I don’t want you to hate me if this doesn’t work out the way you want it to-- if I can’t be what you
want.”
“There’s no way I can hate you, Jen. No matter how this turns out,” Jared said, eyes earnest and hands
itching to feel Jensen underneath them again. “Is that what you’ve been worried about all day?”
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“Part of it, I guess.”
“You’re thinking about this way too much. You just have to go with how you feel.”
Jensen nodded, even as Jared’s hands came up to cup the back of Jensen’s head before either of them
realized what Jared was doing.
Hands gliding forward through Jensen’s hair so that Jared’s thumbs could brush along Jensen’s freckled
cheekbones again, in a caress that almost felt familiar by now, Jared moved in closer, whispering, “So
you still want this, right? Because you know we still haven’t… you know…”
“Yea, I know. You want to… now?”
“God, yes. But only if you do…” The end of Jared’s comment hung in the air like a question mark.
After a slight pause, in which Jared could see Jensen weighing answers in his head, he answered, “Ok.
Whatever you want.”
At the words, Jared stopped stroking Jensen’s cheeks, fingers frozen on skin. He pulled back. Still
cupping Jensen’s head, he titled it up to force eye contact. “No. Not whatever I want. Don’t do this just
because it’s what I want. You have to tell me if you’re not ready. Don’t let me do something you’re not
ready for.”
He watched Jensen swallow hard, Adams apple bobbing up and down in a way that made Jared want
to lick a line up Jensen’s throat.
“No. I mean, yea, I’m ready. I mean… let’s do it.”
“You sure?”
Jensen laughed suddenly. “Crap, Jared. What do I have to do? Send you an email? Sign a contract?
Tattoo it on my ass? Yes, I’m sure. Just do--”
But Jared’s lips were already brushing hesitantly, lightly over Jensen’s, swallowing up the rest of his
words. Jared had enough time to realize just how timid the kiss was starting out to be, to taste the
bitter tang of beer lingering on Jensen’s lips, to wonder how Jensen’s lips felt just as soft as they
looked, and damn, how is that possible?
Hesitantly, Jared pressed forward, pressing his lips more firmly to Jensen’s, deepening the kiss and
waiting for Jensen to respond, to join in.
When that didn’t happen, Jared broke the kiss and pulled away, heart thundering at what had just
happened.
“Jen?”
Jensen seemed dazed as he blinked slowly and looked up at Jared.
“Why didn’t you…” Jared shook his head, trying to find words through the fog in his mind. “Why aren’t
you kissing me back?”
Jensen blinked long lashes at him again before the question even seemed to break through whatever
daze he was in. “Because I’m scared shitless.”
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“I’m scared, too, but… you can kiss me back. Unless you don’t want this…”
“Shut up and get back in here, Padalecki.”
Jared’s face broke into a wide, dimpled grin. “Really?”
“Yes.”
Taking his time, Jared outlined Jensen’s jaw line with his fingers, traced another finger back and forth
along his bottom lip. Only when Jensen sighed softly, did Jared lean in with a small smile on his face.
This time, though he didn’t know it was what he had planned, Jared’s tongue flitted out, exploring and
tracing the same area his fingers had, just seconds ago. Surprised by wet tongue on his lips, Jensen
jolted back the tiniest bit, breath hitching.
“’S ok,” Jared murmured against his lips. “Trust me.”
When lips met a second time, it was different, with more confidence. Jared deepened the kiss right
away, noticing Jensen’s body leaning into him more, tension melting a little, muscles going loose.
It wasn’t until he felt Jensen joining in, that Jared took the chance, his tongue parting Jensen’s lips
farther to dart in and explore the inside of Jensen’s mouth.
Maybe it wasn’t earth shattering, fireworks-in-his-head amazing, but it was good. Jared didn’t have to
question himself this second time around; it felt comfortable and right, thought not completely like the
way he’d imagined it. Because he’d kind of always imagined both himself and Jensen attacking each
other’s mouths with a certain kind of starved hunger. Instead, this felt kind of slow and soft, warm and
easy, if not a tiny bit cautious, which all turned out to be a different kind of nice.
It felt like something Jared could definitely get used to.
But it didn’t hurt to hear Jensen moan into his mouth and confirm his suspicions.
He wondered if he could take it up a notch and suck on Jensen’s bottom lip without freaking him out.
Jared’s hand dropped to Jensen’s narrow waist, unconsciously began skimming up and down his side in
light caresses.
Jensen made an unrecognizable sound in the back of his throat, which quickly made its way up and
choked the kiss off. He pulled back, hissing at Jared, “Told you not to… God, stop it… don’t…”
Jared pulled his hand away, straightened up to look down at Jensen’s pinched expression. “Jesus.
What’s wrong, Jensen?”
Rolling his shoulders and breathing deeply to gain control, Jensen said, “I told you not to do that.”
“Do what?”
“Touch me like that right there.”
“Dude,” Jared sputtered, “I… why not? Oh man, did I hurt you? Crap, I didn’t mean to--”
“No, it’s nothing like that,” Jensen said, waving off his apology. “I just don’t like anyone doing that.”
“But all I did--”
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“I know, I know. It’s not a big deal. Just don’t do it again, ok?”
Jared knew his eyes were wide, confused. “Jensen, c’mon. If we’re gonna be doing this,” he gestured
between them, meaning the kiss, “a lot, then I need to know what’s wrong-- if I hurt you or
something.”
Jensen’s lips quirked up at the corners, as though he’d just overheard an amusing little secret that
Jared hadn’t. “You didn’t hurt me. Do I look like I’m made of glass or something? Look, it’s not a big--”
“If I didn’t hurt you, then…”
“It’s not a big deal. Let’s just forget about it.”
Jared’s head titled to the side, studying Jensen’s casual, amused expression. He doesn’t look like he’s in
pain.
Without thinking about it, Jared’s hand shot out, fingers tickling along Jensen’s side to see the reaction
he’d get.
Much to Jared’s delight, Jensen let out a loud, undignified giggle, then seemed to choke on it before he
managed to wheeze out, “You fucker!” and yank himself away from Jared’s hand, almost tripping and
falling over the rug in the process.
“Dude,” Jared snickered, barely managing to say it through his laughter at the indignant look on
Jensen’s face, “you’re ticklish!” He threw his head back and chortled up at the ceiling. “Oh God, this is
priceless!”
“It’s not funny,” Jensen insisted, straightening up and regaining his composure.
And maybe it wasn’t quite as funny as Jared made it out to be. Maybe it was more like the hottest
fucking thing he’d seen in… well, ever. The unexpected discovery of Jensen being ticklish opened up a
whole new world of possibilities for Jared’s mind to explore.
Pushing the picture of Jensen laying naked underneath him, at the mercy of a single feather in Jared’s
hand, out of his head, Jared grinned, unable to completely hide all of his glee, he said, “That giggle…
Dude, I didn’t even know you could make that sound.”
I wonder what other sounds I can make come out of that mouth.
“I didn’t giggle.”
“I’m pretty sure you did.”
Features scrunching into what Jared guessed was supposed to be a fierce don’t mess with me
expression, Jensen pointed at Jared, and said, “You tell anyone, and I’ll kill you.”
“You’re so cute when you’re trying to be tough.”
“Screw you, Padawhatever.”
“It’s kinda funny, because you pull Dean off so well, but as soon as you’re off camera you wouldn’t be
able to scare a kitten. By the way, just how ticklish are you?”
Jensen’s hands automatically came up to protect himself. Taking a couple steps back, he warned,
73
“Don’t you even dare.”
Jared’s face was the portrait of innocence. Wide-eyed, he said, “Jennybug, I would never.”
“Ok, I don’t care if we’re together or not, you ever call me that shit again and I’ll burn your whole stash
of candy.”
Jared paused, sizing him up. “You don’t know where it is.”
“In the wardrobe trailer, behind the box of guns.”
Jared’s jaw dropped. “How’d you…”
Jensen smirked, and really, that was just it.
Time to pay, pretty one.
Taking Jensen by surprise, Jared lunged, grabbed Jensen by the shoulders, and let his weight shove
them both against the living room wall.
It was at the last second that Jared realized his mistake, and his hand flew up, cupping the back of
Jensen’s head to keep it from slamming back into the wall.
“You’re insane,” Jensen breathed, back flush against the wall, cheeks glowing that pinkish red color that
Jared thought made him look downright edible.
Jared’s grin was wide and easy, eyes twinkling with mischief. “Like I haven’t heard that before.”
“Really? You get that a lot? Maybe you should take a hint.”
I may be crazy, but who’s the one that has Jensen Ackles up against a wall? I fucking love my life.
Jared’s hands came down to rest on Jensen’s hips. Leaning into his neck, Jared whispered across his
skin, “You’re not ticklish anywhere else, are you?”
“Maybe.”
Jared took a moment to enjoy the falter in Jensen’s voice. I’m getting to him. Score one for Padalecki.
Since he seemed to be on a roll, Jared ducked down to nuzzle Jensen’s neck, began laying sensual little
kisses from neck to ear, where he paused briefly to nibble at the sensitive skin just below Jensen’s ear.
He could feel the shiver go through Jensen’s body at the sensation, and smiled into his skin.
As he licked and nibbled a pathway up that long, perfect neck, tasting salt and aftershave, Jared
reached around with both arms and traced his fingertips up and down Jensen’s spine, memorizing the
curve with his fingers. “Guess you’re not ticklish there, huh?”
“Nuhuh...ahh.”
“Too bad.” Blunt fingernails lightly scraping up and down Jen’s back, Jared murmured, “I’m gonna find
every single ticklish spot on your body. You know that, right?”
Jensen muttered something about evil and rocksalt, and Jared grinned into his shoulder.
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“And then I’m gonna spend a little time on each area, until you’re so breathless you can’t even say your
own name.”
“Christ, Jared.”
“Jen,” he mumbled, hands coming back around to fumble at the buttons on Jensen’s shirt. “Do you
even know how amazing you are… crap, can’t get the buttons undone… the things you make me feel
just by standing here like this… I’ve wanted you so bad…”
Jared didn’t even bother with the last button, just pulled until it popped off and hit the floor with a soft
ping. “Sorry, buy you a new one…” He helped Jensen shrug out of the sleeves.
Jared’s mouth found its way to Jensen’s face, smothering his cheeks in fluttery little kisses, even as his
hands swept up Jensen’s chest, feeling smooth skin and toned muscles under his palms. “You feel so
good.”
The sound Jensen made was closely related to, “Uhnnngnn,” but Jared couldn’t have been sure. He was
too busy working his mouth down to lick lightly across Jensen’s collarbone, hands purposely sliding up
Jensen’s sides to elicit another giggle, which came with a curse and made Jared laugh even in the
midst of learning everything he could about Jensen’s flawless body.
Coming back up to Jensen’s face, Jared let his tongue run over the freckles he couldn’t get enough of.
Jensen started and his head whammed against the wall.
“Dude… your tongue…”
“Yea,” Jared said, already making his way back to the lightly tanned chest before him.
“On my face…” Jensen said, seeming to already lose his train of thought as Jared’s hands once again
circled around, this time to rest on the small of his back.
Jared chuckled into golden skin. “Yep, pretty much. It can go other places, too.”
It was a moment before Jensen let out a low, breathy, “Oh,” as though he took some time to imagine
just where Jared meant and still wasn’t sure.
Truthfully, Jared wasn’t entirely sure where he meant, either. He had an idea, but the thought kind of
made him dizzy and sucked his concentration away until he had to shove the little picture of it into the
back of his mind to get back to the matter at hand: fully appreciating the exploration of the amazing
body before him.
Too restless to stay in one spot, Jared’s hands glided up Jensen’s back. Large palms splayed out on
Jen’s shoulder blades, pressing firmly into skin to guide Jensen away from the wall and closer to Jared’s
body.
He needed the closer than contact. It felt like he couldn’t get close enough.
The more Jared touched with fingers, mouth, and tongue, the more his body craved of Jensen, like he
couldn’t get enough of this man. It was a crazy cycle that was making Jared kind of light-headed, or
maybe that part was Jensen’s fault, what with the way he started leaning into Jared’s touches.
Jared recalled his little daydream of licking and exploring each and every freckle scattered across
Jensen’s chest. He felt pretty up to the task. But before he started… “Jen? You can touch me, too, you
know.”
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With a hesitant, “Ok,” Jared felt Jensen’s hands come up to rest flat on his chest, and he found the
move kind of sweet and endearing. But then Jensen pulled them away and put them on Jared’s waist.
As Jared got started on studying every freckle splayed out before him, Jensen’s hands went to his
shoulders.
“Relax,” Jared muttered, realizing Jensen didn’t know where to put his hands. He pulled away long
enough to catch Jensen’s wide-eyed expression. “Hey,” he said gently. Worried at the look on Jen’s
face, he grabbed one of Jensen’s hands and pulled it to his heart, resting the palm facedown across his
chest. “Feel that? You’re gonna give me a heart attack, Ackles.”
A shaky laugh escaped Jensen’s lips. “You’re like a walking cheese ball.”
Jared grinned. Then, “It’s ok. I know you’re nervous. But… you still want me, right?”
“Yea, but…”
“But what?”
“It’s happening fast.”
“Too fast?”
Jensen didn’t respond, so Jared just drew him in for another bear-like hug, enjoying the feel of Jensen’s
bare back under his arms. “Why didn’t you tell me I was I moving too fast? You gotta tell me.”
Jensen grumbled into his chest, “Didn’t wanna sound like a girl.”
“Wow… are you shaking?”
“No… are you?”
“You’re, like, trembling.”
“Am not.”
“You’re still unsure, aren’t you?” Jared couldn’t keep the hurt out of his voice.
“No. I’m nervous because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.”
Jared searched for the conviction in Jensen’s voice, the certainty that would tell him he hadn’t just been
about to molest his co-star in the middle of his living room. He pulled away from Jensen, scooped his
shirt from the floor and shoved it into Jen’s hands. “Here,” he mumbled, backing away.
Jensen asked, “What’s wrong with you?”
“Were you just gonna let me do whatever I wanted to you?”
“What?” Jensen shook his head, forehead crinkling in confusion.
“Why didn’t you stop me?”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“You didn’t want to go any further, but you were just gonna let me keep on.”
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Pulling his shirt on and leaving it unbuttoned, Jensen said, “It’s not like that. You don’t need to freak
out.”
“I can’t help it. I was about to…” Jared shook his head.
“About to what?” When Jared didn’t answer, Jensen studied his tight expression for a minute. “C’mon,
Jared. It’s not like you were forcing yourself on me. I was into it just now, too.”
“Sometimes it’s so hard to control myself around you.”
“Like a fangirl?” Jensen grinned. “You want me to autograph something for you?”
“I’m serious.” Jared let his mouth curl into a pout, and he kinda really wished Jensen would button his
damned shirt up, because yea, distracting much?
Spreading his arms out, with an exasperated sigh, Jensen said, “What do you want me to say? Do I
look like some weak, breakable wimp to you?”
Jared opened his mouth, then clamped it shut. I’m so totally about to shove my foot in my mouth.
When he failed to answer right away, Jensen’s voice got louder. “Jared? Are you calling me fragile or
some girly shit like that?”
Apparently I don’t even need to open my mouth to eat toe jam.
“No! It’s nothing like that, Jense. I just don’t want to screw this up, and most of the time I can’t read
you at all, so I have no idea what the hell I’m doing or what you don’t want me to do. I don’t wanna
cross the line without you on board.
“And I just… I want you to want this as much as I do… I want you to want me as much as I want you.”
And crap that sounded really pathetic and girly, just as Jared feared it would. He let his head drop
between his shoulders, unable to meet Jensen’s eyes.
Defeat, embarrassment... How did the night turn into this?
He blinked and Jensen had moved across the room to stand directly in front of him. “Why is this so
hard?”
Jared said, “I don’t know. Hardest relationship I think I’ve ever had.”
“Jared. Would you just look at me?”
Jeez. Sounds like my mother. And yea… why did I just bring her into my head at a time like this? Great.
Jared brought his gaze up to rest on Jensen’s face, studying the way his eyes looked deep green
tonight, almost emerald-like, instead of the golden-green from last night, and… Ok. Man, he’s like the
definition of distraction. What were we talking about, again?
“I do feel something for you. It’s not as… intense as your feelings for me, but you have to give me
some time. Four months ago we were on that couch drinking beer and betting on the game. Now
we’re,” Jensen’s hand gestured at his unbuttoned shirt, “you know.”
“Yea. I know.”
“It’s still new to me. I need to get used to it. Let it sink in a little.”
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“I understand.”
“I’ll tell you if you cross the line.”
“Tell me before I cross the line. Like tonight-- sometimes I need telling before I go too far.”
“Ok. And my hesitation doesn’t equal rejection, got it?”
“Ok. Got it.”
“Good.”
“Your eyes change colors.”
“What?”
“Everyday they’re a different shade of green. How do you do that?”
Jensen shook his head and let out a laugh. “If only the fangirls knew what a big sap you are.”
“I like ‘em.”
“The fangirls?”
“Your eyes.”
“Well… thanks.” Jensen looked embarrassed as he broke their mutual gaze to start buttoning his shirt
back up.
“No one’s ever told you that you have gorgeous eyes?”
“No.”
“Really?”
“They’re normally not looking at my eyes.” Finishing the buttoning, Jensen looked back up. “You owe
me a button.”
“Right. Sorry. I know a way to make it up to you.”
“You have an extra button and a sewing machine at home?”
“Well…no. But I was thinking. Since we want to take it slow, maybe we could… go out to dinner.”
Eyebrow quirking up, Jensen said, “Are you asking me out on a date?”
Wow, I am. “I guess.”
“Dude, if the public found out--”
“They won’t. I know a place.”
“Where?”
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Jared’s smile was bright enough to light the room. “It’s a seeee-crat.”
“Fine. Ok.”
Sweet! “Saturday night good with you?”
“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” Jensen said, a half-laugh hidden behind the hand running down his
face. “I can’t,” he said, looking back up. Jared’s heart may have stuttered to a stop. “I have to work.”
The dead serious expression slipped from Jensen’s face and he laughed as he punched Jared in the
shoulder.
“You ass,” Jared said, joining in on the laugh.
He’s gonna kill me one day. He really is. How would I explain that one to Mom? Death by Ackles?
--------“Aren’t you gonna hug me goodbye?” Jared asked innocently at the door.
“Are you kidding me?”
Jared grinned and opened his arms wide.
Grumbling, Jensen walked into them, cheek turned against Jared’s chest. Instead of wrapping his arms
around Jensen, Jared brought his fingers to Jensen’s sides and tickled.
The sound Jensen made should have been recorded, so that Jared could bring it to work, put it on
loudspeakers, and play it over and over for the crew. Or maybe not. The thought of putting it onto his
ipod and keeping it for himself sounded pretty appealing, too.
“You know I’m gonna have to do that right in the middle of one of Dean’s angstiest scenes ever.”
Jared leaned into Jensen and kissed his forehead, brushed his fingers through the soft, golden-brown
spikes of Jensen’s hair, and couldn’t help but to linger with their bodies so close, heat radiating between
them and Jensen not making a move to turn tail and run.
Jared finally forced himself to move back. Jensen looked up at him. “Guess you think you’re pretty
funny.”
“I totally am.”
Jensen opened the apartment door, and Jared stepped into the hall. “You wanna know something
funny, Padalecki?”
“Sure.”
It wasn’t until Jensen’s entire face swept up into a grin that Jared realized whatever he was about to
say was going to be totally freakin’ awesome. He leaned forward in anticipation.
“I lied. I really hate cherry lollipops.”
It took Jared a moment for it to sink in, but by then Jensen had already closed the door, the low rumble
of his laugh the last thing Jared heard, and the blinding grin full of glee right before he closed the door
so imprinted in his mind’s eye that he saw it when he closed his eyes later that night.
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It was true. Jensen was going to be the death of Jared.
But damn, what a way to go.
{End of part 6}
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= 07 =
When Green Meets Red
Series/Verse: Part of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out of
control.
Summary: Maybe this whole date thing wasn’t one of Jared’s better ideas. In fact, this might’ve been
a really bad idea.
Type: Real people
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Warnings: Lots of schmoop, mild boy touching, kissing.
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale.
AN: If there’s a level above schmoop, then I’m pretty sure I’ve hit it with this story.
* Song: Red Meets Blue by Matt Wertz. Story title and ending inspired by this song. Yay for singersongwriter guitar boys! Wertz has been the soundtrack for much of this verse.
Right on set, during a five minute break, while waiting for the props crew to rearrange something-- this
was so not the place for Jared to bring it up.
But that didn’t stop him.
Jared leaned into the flimsy prop table, eyed Jensen’s casual sprawl on the seat directly across from
him.
Crew members bustled past them, changing a motel room lamp out for something even more gaudy,
smoothing out one of the bedspreads on the little prop bed, and generally ignoring the two actors
waiting for the scene to start again.
Jared leaned farther into Jensen’s space, voice going secret-whisper low so that no one but Jensen
could hear. “I’ve been thinking about the lollipop thing.” Jensen raised an eyebrow, lips twitching into
an almost-smirk. “I just wanna get this straight… for future reference, ya know. So you are a tease?”
Jensen’s eyes glittered in the set’s motel-dull lamplight as he leaned in closer to Jared. “You like that?”
And, whoa. No embarrassed blush, no downcast eyes, no nervous cough. Was this Jensen actually
playing along?
Jared’s surprise at Jensen’s unexpected answer almost screwed it up right there. He had to fumble for a
reply, and hey, what the hell. When, exactly, had Jensen flipped the tables and turned Jared into the
nervous one who didn’t have a quick, sexy-sweet reply ready?
After several seconds (minutes, maybe?), Jared grinned brightly, letting Jensen know just how pleased
he was at Jensen’s sudden participation in this little blooming relationship.
Letting his voice drop low and suggestive, Jared finally replied, “More than words can say.”
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Jensen met Jared’s bright grin with a small, sly grin of his own.
This, Jared decided, could be fun.
--------During their lunch break, Jared slipped up behind Jensen at the free food table.
“Have you seen the stuff they have today?” Jensen asked him, without turning around, as if he already
knew just by Jared’s body heat who had come up behind him. “Dude, look at that plate of brownies.”
“Mm,” Jared commented, eyes not even flicking over to the food, staring down at Jensen’s profile
instead. “Looks good.”
“I think one kind has nuts and the other-- what the hell is that brown stuff on top? Peanut butter?”
Jared leaned over the table, pretending to study the different types of brownies, all the while using it as
an excuse to lightly rest his hand on Jensen’s side to balance himself.
Jensen froze and finally looked up at Jared.
Smiling down into his Jensen’s face, Jared let his hand brush ever-so-slightly along Jensen’s waist.
Right away Jared could tell it affected Jensen, even through two layers of shirts, when Jensen pressed
his lips together in a tight line, as though he was trying to prevent a giggle from escaping.
“I think the peanut butter ones look good,” Jared said casually, eyes not bothering to leave Jensen’s
face, fingers sliding around in soft shirt material and feeling firm skin underneath.
A year and half of seeing Jensen’s many different facial expressions, and Jared knew exactly what the
narrowed eyes and pursed lips looking up at him right at this moment meant: Don’t you dare. Not
here.
Eyes wide and innocent, Jared blinked back down at him: Who? Me? I would never. Except that I
totally would.
Even a complete stranger could decipher Jensen’s return glare: I will kill you.
“Ooh, are those peanut butter brownies?”
Jared’s hand dropped from Jensen’s waist at Eric’s child-like exclamation from behind them.
“I think so,” Jensen said.
“Looks almost sinful, doesn’t it, Jen?” Jared asked, waggling his eyebrows up and down in an almost
comical expression.
Jensen’s eyes never left Jared’s as he deadpanned his next words. “In more ways than one.”
Eric never noticed the suggestive exchange between his two lead actors. His eyes were on his plate as
he stacked up several brownies. “I wonder if they have something I could wrap some to take home in.”
After Eric wandered off, Jared grabbed a plate, arm brushing across Jensen’s back in the process. As he
scooped a small hill of lasagna onto his plate, he muttered loud enough for Jensen to hear, “I can
tease, too, you know.”
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“Bring it on, Padalecki.”
And oh yea. It was so totally on.
--------In Impala number four, waiting for the sound crew to finish up and give them the all-clear sign, Jared
glanced out the window, smiling at Kim across the room.
“Challenging me when I know how ticklish you are? Wow, Jen. That’s pretty bold of you.”
“You can’t use that against me.”
“Oh, you have no idea. I have an entire list of ways that I’m gonna use it against you.” Through the car
window, Jared crossed his eyes and stuck his tongue out at Eric, who shook his head and laughed. “I’m
just getting started.”
“Evil bastard,” Jensen muttered under his breath.
Jared’s hand shot across the seat, fingers slithering under Dean’s leather jacket to tickle along sensitive
skin and pull away again before Jensen had even realized what had just happened.
Jensen’s quick, out-of-control laugh ended in a choked off whimper. That sound, out of Jensen’s mouth,
sent tendrils of heat curling in Jared’s stomach, making him realize he better tone it down, because
there was no way he could be held responsible for anything his body did in response to that sound.
Jensen said, “Dude, so not fair.”
“Your being ticklish,” Jared whisper-growled, leaning close enough for his arm and shoulder to bump
against Jensen’s, “is the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.”
Jensen’s breath hitched just as Kim yelled action.
Jared was pretty sure that if someone on the sidelines happened to be keeping score, he’d be the one
winning. But not by much.
--------Jared got the idea from one of those silly romance movies. What? He’d never actually sat down and
watched that crap. His mom loved them, ok? Sometimes she forced him to watch with her.
It wasn’t like Jared ever willingly watched chick-flick romance movies. Hell no.
Well, maybe a little.
Only sometimes.
When nothing else was on.
But Jensen didn’t need to know any of that. Ever.
Still, romance movie inspired or not, Jared was kind of worried about his brilliant plan for the night. So
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he’d spent a few days (a week) lazily thinking over date ideas (meticulously planning so that everything
would be perfect), and now it came down to standing outside Jensen’s door, fingering the swatch of
material in his pocket and wondering how Jensen would react to it.
Maybe he’d punch Jared.
Maybe this whole date thing wasn’t such a great idea.
--------“You look hot.”
Jensen laughed at the words, low and throaty, the way he always did in interviews when they asked
him a ridiculous question and he didn’t know how to answer it.
“Sorry,” Jared added quickly, recognizing that nervous let’s change the subject chuckle right away as he
led the way to his car. “It’s just… green really brings out your eyes. You should wear it a lot more.”
God, I am such a girl.
“I don’t know how dates like this usually go, but aren’t you supposed to save the sweet talk ‘til after
dinner?”
Jensen’s hand hovered over the door handle, and here came the moment of truth.
Forgetting to answer Jensen’s little jibe, Jared put his hand over the one Jensen had on the door
handle. “Hold on a second. I have something for you.”
Jared nearly forgot what day of the week it was when Jensen looked up at him, fluttered his lashes,
and in a high-pitched girly voice, said, “Aw, Jarebear. Did you bring me flowers?”
Joking or not, it still took Jared a second to recover from the lash flutter. And yea, Jensen pretty much
owned him at this point. Whatever. At least Jared could admit it freely and wasn’t in denial.
“Naw,” Jared said, a sly smile sliding onto his face, “something better.” He pulled the black swatch of
material out of his pocket and swung it around in the night air.
“What is it?”
“A blindfold.”
Jensen blinked, generally confused. “Why?”
“For you. I want the place we’re going to be a surprise.”
“You’ve gotta be kiddin’ me.”
Jared smiled, waved the cloth in front of Jensen’s face.
“Dude. Seriously?”
“Yea, seriously. Just ‘til we get there.”
“Can’t I just close my eyes?”
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Jared stepped closer until they could see each other’s faces clearly in the dim light. Pouting slightly, he
said, “You’ll peek. Please, Jen? It’s only for a little while.”
Huffing out a visible sigh, Jensen grabbed the cloth from Jared’s hand, mumbling, “Fine. You kinky
freak.”
Jared broke out into a grin and yanked the little black swatch back. “Here, lemme do it.”
“What? You wanna make sure I don’t leave any cracks to peek out of?”
Moving around to stand behind Jensen, Jared lifted the cloth to his eyes, and said, “No. I just wanna
make sure it’s tight enough that it doesn’t “fall” off halfway there.”
“Do you even know how weird this is?”
As he tied the knot, Jared leaned down, warm breath ghosting over the shell of Jensen’s ear. “I think
it’s kinda hot.” Fingers finished with the tying, Jared let his hands fall to Jensen’s shoulders, slide down
over his arms and curl around Jensen’s chest to tug him into a backwards hug against Jared’s chest.
Jared ducked lower, head resting on Jensen’s shoulder, floppy hair tickling Jen’s cheek. “We don’t have
to do it if you don’t like it.”
Without being able to read Jensen’s eyes, it was kind of hard for Jared to tell exactly what it was he
was thinking, and the sudden silence that settled over Jensen’s lack of an answer gave Jared a brief
moment to freak out, afraid that he’d pushed Jensen too far.
Smokey wisps of air puffed out in front of Jensen’s face as he breathed heavily into the cold night air.
Jared could feel the expansion of his chest with each heavy breath and took it as a bad sign. Obviously
the blindfold creeped Jensen out, therefore it must come off NOW.
Just when Jared unwrapped his arms from around Jensen to untie the offending piece of cloth, his
fingers brushing through soft hair to reach the tie, Jensen suddenly said, “No. It’s ok. I trust you. Let’s
go.”
Jared froze on the spot. “Really?”
“Yea,” Jensen confirmed, hands sliding along the cool metal of the car, searching. “Where’s the door
handle?”
“You’re sure? Because I could untie it right no--”
“Dude, I’m hungry. Let’s go.”
Jared kind of wanted to take a minute to maul him with kisses and tongue right there on the spot. He
actually trusted Jared, and for some reason it felt like such a huge step. And also? Jensen was
blindfolded and fondling Jared’s car with his hands and that was really kinda hot.
“Jared? Are you just standing there? I can’t see. Help me here, man.”
“Right. Sorry.” With a hand at the small of his back, Jared gently guided him away from the door so
that he could open it. Then grabbing Jensen by the elbow, he carefully guided him to the seat and
helped him wham his head into the roof of the car. “Shit! Sorry! God, I can’t believe I did that.”
“It’s ok,” Jensen muttered, landing in the seat with a grimace and rubbing his hand over the sore spot.
“The stars I’m seeing are really awesome.”
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Wow. I suck.
Without thinking, Jared kneeled down and brought a hand up to rest over the one Jensen had on his
head. “Hey,” he asked, voice tender-soft, “are you ok?”
“Have I passed out yet?”
“No.”
“Then I’m good. Let’s go.”
“You sure?”
“Shut up and drive.”
Once Jared was behind the wheel, Jensen asked, “So how far is this place?”
Nervously, Jared bit his lip. “Not… too far.”
“So how far does that translate in Jared-speak?”
“Couple hours,” Jared mumbled.
“What? Did you say a couple hours?”
“Err… yea.”
“I kind of hate you right now.”
--------Jared missed the turnoff to the restaurant. Twice.
It wasn’t his fault. Really.
The first time Jared drove right by the turn, his eyes were on Jensen’s profile because the moon was
shining in the window behind him, dropping pale rays across his relaxed features, and Jensen looked
completely at ease and uninhibited, thrumming out an unheard beat on his leg, unaware that anyone’s
eyes were on him.
Captured by the sight, Jared’s mind slowed to a dream-like trance where the only words in his
vocabulary were breathtaking and guh.
After pulling a U-turn a mile down the road and missing the correct turnoff again (still totally Jensen’s
fault), Jared began to doubt his awesome date idea and started praying for a small miracle: Please
don’t let me make a fool of myself tonight.
Amen.
Looked like maybe God had gone to bed early that night.
---------
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“I’m taking this thing off.”
Jared was up and out of the car, already yanking Jensen’s passenger door open in mere seconds. “No!”
He grabbed Jensen’s hand and yanked it away from the blindfold. “Not yet, Jen.”
“Come on.” It was the closest Jared had ever heard Jensen get to whining.
“Gimme your hand.”
“This is so fucked up,” Jensen mumbled, hand sliding warm and firm into Jared’s, their fingers fitting
together like a completed puzzle.
“Watch your head,” Jared said as he tugged Jensen to his feet.
“Maybe you should watch my head this time.”
“Right. My bad.”
On his feet, standing in the chilly moonlight, Jensen’s hand automatically went back up to the blindfold
only for Jared to capture it into his own hand and pull it away again. “Wait ‘til we get inside,” Jared
said, using their connected fingers to pull Jensen into his chest. A minute passed in which Jared
could’ve stayed for hours holding Jensen’s hands, bodies pressed together, with Jared’s breath sliding
down warm across Jensen’s cold face. “S’cold out here, isn’t it?”
[ Art by nerrianah ]
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“It’s Canada, man. So are we going inside or are we eating out here?”
Dude has no romantic bone in his body. Jared let go of one of Jensen’s hands to tug him along with the
other. “It’s this way.”
“Why are we walking on dirt?”
Jared smirked, the effect meaningless since Jensen couldn’t see his face. “You’ll see.”
Jensen was mumbling something about kidnapping, when he tripped over a large tree root, flailed
rather gracelessly, and nearly brought both himself and Jared down when he fell into Jared, who barely
managed to catch him under the arms.
“Sorry,” Jared said sheepishly, reluctant hands letting Jensen out of his arms and helping him balance
again, “didn’t see that root there.”
It wasn’t until several quiet minutes later that Jensen said, “Jared?”
“Yea?”
“When dinner’s over, I’m gonna kill you. I swear.”
--------With both hands on Jensen’s shoulder, Jared guided him up the steps and into the warm, one-room
cabin-style dining room.
“Ready?” Jared asked, staring intently at Jensen’s face, hand hovering over the blindfold.
“I was ready two hours ago.”
Jared tugged off the blindfold, stepped aside and watched Jensen blink in the dim candlelight, head
swiveling around from empty table to empty table, taking in log cabin walls, wood floors with plush
rugs, the large fireplace with a crackling fire, and finally landing on the large windows facing a
shimmering silver lake lit with rays of moonlight.
“Whoa,” Jensen breathed, surprise evident in his voice as he moved forward to stand in front of one of
the windows, “check out the view.”
Jared came up behind him and rested a shy, hesitant hand at the small of his back. “I got the idea from
that time you told me about how you always loved it when your family stayed up at that little cabin by
a lake. I… I thought maybe you’d like this place because it kind of made me think of it, so I thought
maybe it’d remind you of it, too… maybe you’d… I found it on the internet… I thought…” Staring at
Jensen’s profile lit by candles and moonlight streaming through the window, Jared chewed on his
bottom lip and asked in an anxious voice, “Do you like it?”
He held his breath even as Jensen turned from the window with a smile, sparkling eyes reflecting the
candlelight and crinkling at the edges. “It’s awesome, Jared. Thanks.”
Jared’s sigh of relief reached a candle and made it waver. “Good, I mean.. I wasn’t sure if you’d…Let’s
sit down.” C’mon, Padalecki. What the hell. Don’t lose it now.
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Picking up his menu, Jensen focused such an intense gaze on Jared that it made his already frayed
nerves twitch.
“I can’t believe you even remember that cabin story. Didn’t I mention it right after we met?”
“Yea, think so.” Jared shrugged. “I have a good memory, I guess.”
“Oh, yea? What did you have for lunch yesterday?”
Jared’s mind went blank, his eyes sweeping the ceiling for the distant memory. “Err…”
Jensen laughed. “Want a hint?”
A slow grin crept over Jared’s lips, nerves ebbing away and leaving him with a few dozen sappy lines. “I
mean I remember all the important things, Jen, like the way your eyes crinkle at the edges when you’re
teasing me.”
The laughing smile left, and Jensen’s expression went blank, kind of like he was surprised. He cleared
his throat and croaked out an, “Oh,” as his eyes broke from Jared’s to look back down at the menu.
Laughing teasingly, Jared said, “Dude, you are so freakin’ shy.” And it’s so fucking hot.
“M’not shy,” Jensen grumbled down to the menu. “I’m just not used to this yet.”
Jared brushed his hand over the one Jensen had clutching the edge of the menu. “It’s ok. I don’t care
how long it takes you to get used to it. I just want you to feel comfortable around… with me.”
“The fish looks good,” Jensen replied. His eyes flicked briefly to Jared’s, and Jared immediately saw the
let’s drop it, now plea in them.
Moving his hand away from Jensen’s and picking up his own menu, Jared said as casually as he could
manage, “I’m thinking about the steak.”
“So how’d you clear the place out?”
“Who? Me?” Jared blinked innocently before grinning. “C’mon. I’m an actor, Jense. I paid the restaurant
off, of course.”
Jensen repeated, “Of course,” in an absent-minded tone, pushed his menu away, and turned back to
the window. “It really is a great view.”
Ignoring the window and sparkling lake, Jared watched Jensen study the scene outside the window.
“Yea. Amazing view.”
When Jensen turned to face Jared’s admiring gaze, he licked his lips nervously, entrancing Jared even
more. “Man, Jared. Stop.”
“Stop what?” Jared blinked his way out of the stare, not entirely sure of what Jensen meant.
“Watching me like that.”
“I didn’t mean to… sorry. I can’t help it sometimes.” Jared leaned forward, lowering his voice. “I can’t
believe you’re here with me, Jen. This means a lot to me.”
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“Yea, well… I’m not good at this. I don’t know what we’re supposed to talk about.”
Shrugging and leaning back in his chair, Jared said, “You know, whatever. The stuff we usually do, I
guess.”
“Dude. We’re on a date.”
“Yea. So?”
“So what the hell am I supposed to say to you?”
Jared’s voice softened. In a tender tone, he said, “Calm down, Jen. It’s not the big deal you’re making
it out to be. It’s just us and the waiter.”
Jensen’s eyes widened. “Does the waiter know about… us?”
“Well, I didn’t tell him, but…” Jared’s hand swept the room. “He probably gets the picture.”
“God,” Jensen mumbled.
“What?”
“All of this isn’t awkward to you?”
Jared’s casual expression fell as Jensen seemed to get fidgety, shifting uneasily in his seat, his eyes
darting from window to menu to the door, never actually landing on Jared’s face.
“Jen? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing… it’s just… what if he tells the media…”
“He doesn’t care. He just wants a big tip and to be able to go home for the night.”
“Jared--”
Jensen was cut off by the waiter setting glasses of water on the table and asking if they wanted to see
the wine list.
Watching Jensen lower his eyes until lashes kissed his cheeks as he turned toward the window, Jared
glanced up at the waiter and said, “Could you give us just a minute?”
Worried, Jared watched Jensen stare out the window for a minute before he said a soft, “Hey.”
Reluctantly, Jensen turned at his imploring tone. Jared asked, “Was this a bad idea?”
Jensen ran a hand along the edge of the table and laughed gruffly. “I don’t know what the hell’s wrong
with me, man. I know you spent some time planning this, and I don’t wanna ruin it, but…”
“But you’re uncomfortable.”
“Everything feels weird.” Unease and candlelight alternated in Jensen’s eyes when he finally met Jared’s
gaze. “I don’t know if I’m ready for this.”
Disappointment dripped like a too-thick milkshake down Jared’s throat. He swallowed past it. What
does that mean? He doesn’t want this relationship? Shit, I’m so confused. He’s so confusing.
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Thickly, Jared said, “We can just leave. You wanna go?”
Jensen’s mouth puckered into a tight line that clearly said, Yes, even though the word out of his mouth
was, “No.”
He’s still trying. For me. God, he’s amazing.
Just as the waiter reappeared with a bottle of wine and a fake smile, Jared dropped his menu and
yanked Jensen’s out of his hand, slapping it on the table on top of his own. “You know what?” Jared
told the waiter, “I think we’re just gonna grab a burger or something.”
Jensen’s mouth opened in surprise or some sort of protest, even as Jared handed the waiter money.
After the man walked away counting happily, Jensen hissed, “Jared, you didn’t have to… we can still
stay. I’ll be fine.”
But Jared was already standing and shrugging into his coat. Wordlessly, Jensen followed him through
the dark little forest and back to the car.
In the car, with the heater going, Jensen said, “Look, I know you’re pissed. I’m acting like a freak. I’ll
pay you back for tonight.”
Head titled to the side, Jared dropped a hand to Jensen’s thigh and massaged tenderly, in soothing
little circles. “I’m not pissed. I’m sorry for pushing you into this when you’re not ready.”
“I thought I was ready,” Jensen replied, looking out the window as Jared pulled back onto the road.
“It’s ok. We don’t have to… I mean, we can just go back to being friends. I won’t… I won’t mind.”
Jared’s grip on the steering wheel was deathly, as thought he were trying to keep his hopes anchored
to something.
“What?” Even in the dim light, Jared could make out Jensen’s stunned expression: eyes wide, eyebrows
edging toward his hairline, mouth slightly open. “I didn’t mean… no. Wait. Jared, I just meant I’m not
ready for us to go out in public as a couple.”
Jared’s fingers loosened as his head swiveled around to seek out Jensen’s face in the flickering
headlights from other cars. “Really? So we’re not over?”
“No.” Jensen laughed. “Why the hell is this so hard?”
“I don’t know. Wanna grab a sandwich or something? I’m hungry.”
“Sure. Whatever.”
--------Maybe since the date had ended back at the restaurant, Jared shouldn’t walk Jensen to the door. Did
guys even walk other guys to their door? Jared wasn’t sure, which was why when Jensen got out of the
car, Jared hovered in the driver’s seat for several seconds before finally jumping out and running up
behind Jensen like an over-eager puppy.
“Wanna come in for a beer?” Jensen asked.
Hell yea. “Sure.”
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--------Two hours later found them sprawled out at opposite ends on Jensen’s over-sized couch, Jared’s long
legs and large feet crowding into Jensen’s leg room. Both were holding a beer and Jared, laughing
easily, pointed wildly at the TV as the badly done monster made its grand entrance on the cheap horror
movie they were watching.
“I mean, c’mon,” Jared drawled lazily, “it looks like something my dog hacked up.”
“You’d think the girls in these films would learn to stop running in heels.”
“They have to so that she can fall and sprain her ankle and weep and cry for help.” Jared paused at the
shrill cries coming from the television. “Like that, see?”
“She called the thing right to her.”
“Idiot. At least try to crawl away.”
“Yea, don’t just sit there with your mouth open-- hey, that blood looks like ketchup.”
“This has gotta be the cheapest film ever made.” Jared grinned suddenly and rubbed his sock-clad foot
up Jensen’s leg.
“Is that supposed to turn me on, Padalecki?”
“I dunno, Ackles. Is it?”
“Not really.”
Jared sat up on the couch and grabbed one of Jensen’s feet. Scratching his nails lightly across the
bottom, he asked, “How about thi--”
But Jensen yanked his foot back, lips puckered and face turning a familiar shade of pink.
Jared’s eyebrow quirked up in curiosity. Amused, he grabbed Jensen’s other foot, brushing his fingers
across the skin.
Jensen laughed, then clamped his mouth shut tightly and tried to roll off the couch.
Jared crawled up Jensen’s body, blocking him from a quick escape. Looking down into Jensen’s flushed
face, with a hand on either side of his body, Jared said, “You really are a ticklish freak, aren’t you?”
Jensen mumbled, “Geddoff,” and pushed half-heartedly at Jared’s chest.
Like a fish reeled in slowly, Jared dropped down half on top of Jensen and half hanging off the couch.
Jensen shifted underneath, uncertainty practically beaming a signal to space.
“What are you doing?” Jensen asked, legs getting tangled with Jared’s when he tried to move them.
You have to ask? “Nothing,” Jared managed to murmur into Jensen’s neck. “I just wanna be close to
you.”
Even as Jared nuzzled the side of his neck, the laugh Jensen let out sounded shaky and fake . “Yea,
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well you’re crushing me.”
At the words, Jared lifted his head and blinked down at Jensen’s expression. It was always kind of
funny when he could actually feel his eyes going into puppy mode, and now was no exception. “We
don’t have to do anything. I just wanna hold you.”
“Hold me?”
“You’ve never snuggled before?”
“You have?”
“Well, yea… sure.” Jared couldn’t help but wonder what the hell kind of relationships Jensen had had in
the past in which not a single one of them involved cuddling of any kind. It just didn’t seem normal in
Jared’s eyes. “It doesn’t have to lead to anything; it’s just… holding, you know?”
“God, you are such a girl.”
“It’s not girly,” Jared shot back. “It’s--” Sweet, which sounds a lot like girly. Huh. “--nice.”
But honestly, at the moment, Jared didn’t care how girly any of it was. Because the space between him
and Jensen was nonexistent, and Jared wanted to lay there awhile, breathing in Jensen’s scent and
absorbing the feel of their bodies pressed together.
“You’ve gotta be the biggest sap I’ve ever met.”
Jared dropped back down, laughing, pressed his cheek into Jensen’s shoulder and let his arm curl
around Jensen’s chest. “You have no idea.”
“You know, we could do this in my bed.”
Jared’s head shot back up. “Really?”
“Down boy. I meant we could do this… snuggling thing.”
“I know what you meant.” In record time, Jared had jumped up and was holding a hand out to Jensen.
“Lead the way…” A wicked grin crossed Jared’s face right before he added, “… dollface.”
“Oh no you didn’t. You don’t call me shit like that and live.” Jared saw green eyes flashing, and then
Jensen was off of the couch and had Jared shoved up against the wall in the blink of an eye.
Jared’s grin disappeared when his head bounced off of the wall. And yea, that was kind of a surprise.
Even more surprising was Jensen grabbing Jared by the back of the neck and yanking their faces
together. Jared sucked in a shocked breath right before their mouths met in a painful clash of teeth and
HELLO THERE Jensen’s tongue taking a dive into Jared’s mouth.
What the hell? Jared thought wildly as Jensen’s tongue took over ownership of his mouth and fought
for dominance over Jared’s tongue; all the while Jared’s heart tripped madly in his chest and his mind
tried to comprehend what had just happened-- why he suddenly had an armful and mouthful of Jensen
Ackles.
It was certainly different than his own approach to a kiss, but hell, Jared thought he could totally get
into this. Until Jensen bit down on his bottom lip hard enough to draw blood. He was just about to push
Jensen off and voice his what the hell question out loud, when Jensen suddenly pulled away, breathing
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hard and smirking.
Smirking? I think I missed something. It’s like he’s a different person.
Wiping his mouth, Jared said, “Where did that come from?”
Jensen dug a finger into Jared’s chest, his face suddenly hard and serious. “I’m not a girl, Jared. Don’t
call me crap like that. Ever,” JAB, “Again.” JAB
When Jensen backed off, Jared winced and rubbed at his chest. “Dude. That was like… it was… DUDE.”
“Not girly,” Jensen provided.
“Hell no. Not girly. But kind of… hot.”
The aggressive attitude left just as quickly as it had come, leaving Jared wide-eyed and panting and
Jensen blushing furiously.
Jensen ran a hand over his face and through his hair, backing farther away from Jared, who still stood
by the wall. “It’s just that… Just because we’re in this kind of relationship together doesn’t mean I’m
gonna play the part of…”
“What?”
In his short pause, Jensen’s cheeks flushed an almost-impossible shade of red that captured Jared’s full
attention and gave him the desire to touch and feel and stroke. “… the girl,” Jensen finally managed to
spit out, snapping Jared out of his lust-filled stupor. “I don’t know how this kind of stuff works, but just
because you’re a couple inches taller than me doesn’t mean I’m gonna be all girl-like for you.”
Jared blinked, confused, and thought he might as well have What the hell? tattooed to his forehead for
the rest of the night. “Jensen,” he started, moving toward the other man, “I don’t want you to go all
woman-y on me. I want you. I’m sorry about the dollface thing. I wasn’t serious; I was just kidding.
But I won’t do it again. Promise.”
Jensen reached up and ran his finger along Jared’s bottom lip. “Sorry about that. I was kind of pissed
off.”
Jared fought the urge to moan and suck Jensen’s finger into his mouth. “Kind of?”
Bringing his hand back down to shove into the pocket of his jeans, Jensen rocked on his feet and
studied the carpeting. “Remember that exec I told you about, from that show I quit?”
“Yea…”
“The jackass always called me dollface.”
Aw, shit. “I didn’t know. I never would’ve--”
“S’ok. Forget it.” Jensen started to shrug but Jared’s arms were already wrapping around him and
pulling him in tight.
“You know where this guy lives? ‘Cause we could hunt the bitch down.”
Jensen let out a muffled laugh into Jared’s chest.
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“Seriously. We could. We play Winchesters, remember?”
“Dude, you’re not Sam. You know that, right?”
Jared grunted out an answer, and Jensen pulled away.
Jensen said, “C’mon. Bedroom. Let’s go.”
And that commanding tone of voice definitely caught Jared’s attention in more ways than one.
Yet halfway down the hall the urge overtook Jared and he just couldn’t pass it up. Jensen’s back was to
him, leading the way, so he would never see it coming. The opportunity was too good to pass up.
Jared brought his arms up to Jensen’s sides and-“Sonofa…” Jensen blurted out at Jared’s tickling fingers right before he doubled over, trying to protect
himself and grab at Jared’s hands.
Laughing loudly, Jared refused to give Jensen the chance to turn around as he skimmed his fingers all
over Jensen’s chest and ribs and sides. “Payback for the lip-bite,” Jared sing-songed.
Jared’s arms around him seemed to be the only thing keeping Jensen from collapsing face first onto the
floor under the merciless attack.
Through gasping, laughing breaths, Jensen sputtered, “You’re like… evil on… crack.”
--------This bed idea was way better than the date idea. Because now there were only boxers and sheets and
pillows and so much skin that Jared didn’t know where to rest his eyes as they both lay side by side
facing each other under the covers, in the dim, blue-ish moonlight streaming in from the window.
“So,” Jared asked dreamily, tracing the shell of Jensen’s ear with the tip of his finger, “exactly where
else are you ticklish?”
Oh, this has got to be good, Jared thought at the look on Jensen’s face.
“Like I’m gonna tell you.”
Jared grinned, barely hiding his excitement. “It’s some place really hot, isn’t it?”
“Maybe.”
Hot day-um. It totally is. It has to be. Unless… “You’re not teasing me again, are you?”
Jensen’s smile was slow and kind of mischievous. “Maybe.”
Jared pouted. “No fair.” And began to trace the outline of Jensen’s face, memorizing the shape with his
finger.
“Now what’re you doing?”
“I love your face. It’s so--” Jared quickly swallowed down the word that had been on the tip of his
tongue: pretty. “--nicely shaped.” Nicely shaped? Nice one. Not.
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Jared ignored Jensen’s snort and flipped over to stretch out on his back. He reached a hand toward
Jensen’s side of the bed, grabbing onto his arm. “C’mere… Need you closer to me.”
Jensen landed face-up on Jared’s chest, head just under Jared’s chin. And it felt pretty nice like that,
with their bare skin touching for the first time, kind of warm and tingly, so Jared wrapped long arms
around Jensen’s chest and heaved a contented sigh.
He then went a step further and wrapped a lean leg around one of Jensen’s, effectively intertwining
them, and said, “Tell me something about yourself.”
“Like what?”
“I dunno… anything. I wanna know everything I can. I can’t get enough of you, Jensen.”
“Ok. What d’you wanna know?”
“Would it be creepy if I asked you about your… well, uh. Never mind.”
“About my what?”
“First time.”
Jensen laughed, the sound vibrating pleasantly through Jared’s body. “Seriously?”
“Yea, unless you don’t want--”
“Nah. I don’t care. It’s actually kind of boring. I was 16 and the girl was 21--”
“Whoa. Twenty-one?”
“Yea, she was a neighbor that had just moved in down the street. We hit it off right away.”
“I’ll bet you did,” laughed Jared. “Rock on, Jensen.”
“I was so nervous when we did it that I accidentally flicked the condom across the room.”
“Not good.”
“She laughed for, like, 10 minutes.”
“Really not good.”
“She was living with her mom, and then her mom came home while we were… at it, and she shoved
me into a pantry for half an hour.”
Jared started laughing.
“So I was trying to get my pants back on and I knocked a can of soup down and it landed right on my
foot.”
“Seriously. You have some shitty luck.”
“I told you my first time sucked.”
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“Yea, but was the sex good? That’s the most important part, right?”
“Hell yea. It was worth it. Even if I did have to crawl out a window to get out of her house without her
mom hearing me.”
Jared buried his face in Jensen’s hair until he stopped laughing. “You’re insane, Jense.” God, I love you
so much it hurts.
Jensen shifted in his arms. “So do we sleep like this or can I roll over onto my pillow?”
“You’d rather sleep on your pillow, wouldn’t you?”
“Kind of, yea.”
Jared unwound his arms and watched Jensen roll over onto his stomach, his face turned so that he
could still see Jared in the pale light.
Immediately, Jared’s fingers went to skim up and down Jensen’s bare back. “Thanks for letting me be
here with you.”
Jensen’s eyes were already drooping, and Jared learned that he was one of those fall asleep almost
instantly type people, unlike Jared, who often stared up at his bedroom ceiling for half an hour or so
before finally nodding off.
“No problem,” Jensen mumbled. “You can come back again if you want.”
Heck yea I want. “I’d like that… a lot.”
“Mmm,” Jensen murmured incoherently.
Jared may not be able to hold Jensen in sleep, like he’d kind of planned on doing, but he could scoot as
close to him as possible. Screw separate sides of the bed. That was for old married couples, anyway.
When he was close enough to make out Jensen’s freckles in the shadowy light, Jared settled down and
pulled the blanket up farther, making sure Jensen’s shoulders were covered before cuddling down into
the pillow. But being so close and not touching was hard. It went against Jared’s grain.
He didn’t care how girly it was. He leaned in and kissed Jensen’s temple, then the lid of his closed right
eye, then his cheek.
Jensen sighed in his sleep and mumbled “Jared.”
Jared finished by kissing the tip of Jensen’s nose and then drifting into sleep.
--------Jared’s internal alarm woke him early the next morning, just as the sun kissed the green horizon with
splashes of red. He didn’t mind; Jared loved early mornings.
He rolled over onto his other side and came face to face with a sleeping Jensen, hair and eyes the only
things peeking out from the warmth of the blanket.
Jared bit his lip and chuckled quietly at Jensen’s soft snores.
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He contemplated getting up and starting some coffee and maybe making breakfast since they had to
be on set--
Oh, yea. It’s Sunday. Thank God.
Technically it was already morning. It wasn’t too early to touch, right? Under the covers, Jared’s hand
reached over until he felt warm skin to wrap his arm around. Jensen started awake when Jared pulled
him into his chest.
“Freakin’ early,” muttered Jensen, eyes already closing again.
“I know. Go back to sleep.”
“Already am asleep…”
I love you, Jared thought, watching Jensen fall back to sleep in his arms. I think I love you more than
I’ve ever loved anyone, and it’s kind of scary.
But I’ve never been happier.
{End of part 7}
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= 08 =
After an Afternoon
Series/Verse: Part of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out of
control.
Summary: The more of Jensen that Jared discovers, the harder and faster he falls.
Type: Real people
Rating: Very light R
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 5,313
Warnings: Lots of schmoop, much boy on boy groping, kissing.
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale.
AN: So I wrote this last night at 2:30 in the morning, and I’m worried about it. It just didn’t come out
the way I wanted it to, no matter what I did. Muse has turned against me. She was all, “Oh, I didn’t
know you wanted them to get all gropey. Well, I’m gonna bow outta this one, but good luck with that.”
Sigh.
* Song: Title stolen from a Jason Mraz song.
The next time that Jared woke, the sun was high in the sky, and Jensen lay prone, half on top of Jared
and half hanging over the side of the bed.
After untangling his arm from underneath Jensen, Jared yawned and stretched, scratching at his
mussed hair and flicking some of it out of his bleary eyes.
He considered poking or tickling Jensen awake but thought better of it when he realized that that could
lead to a half-awake Jen kicking or elbowing him. Not a good way to start the day.
When Jared finally looked down, Jensen’s head was turned toward him, mouth parted in sleep, hair
ruffled and flattened in places, sticking straight out in others… It was the most beautiful sight Jared
had ever woken up to.
“Jih-eeeennn,” Jared sing-songed softly.
Jensen didn’t move, so Jared ran an index finger down his face, from forehead to the tip of his nose.
Jensen moaned at the touch, twitched, and brought a hand up to slap at empty air.
Why does he have to be so frikkin’ adorable? Damnit.
Chuckling, Jared threaded his fingers through Jensen’s hair, massaging scalp as he went. Jensen let out
a little sigh, and Jared’s hand dropped to trace his shoulder blades.
“Do you always take this long to get up?”
Without opening his eyes, Jensen grunted an answer that sounded suspiciously like coffee.
Jared laughed up at the ceiling. “You should see yourself, Jen. You’re like half animal in the morning.”
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Jensen’s lips moved wordlessly, like he wanted to tell Jared off but words took too much energy.
Long fingers continued to take the golden opportunity to explore Jensen’s exposed back. Jared mapped
out letters and numbers on Jensen’s skin. “Hey,” Jared suddenly said, voice child-like glee, “guess what
letter I’m tracing.”
The sound Jensen made in response sounded like a cross between a growl and a whimper.
“Can you tell what it is? It’s a J². Get it? We’re like a J times a J ‘cause there’re two of us. You’re the
other half of my square, Jen. Isn’t that cool?”
Jensen buried his head in the pillow and either seemed to be crying or laughing. Jared scooted closer,
unsure. Maybe he was touching a little too much for just waking up. Everyone on set knew Jensen
wasn’t a morning person.
Jensen’s pillow-muffled words were something about a six foot four child.
Huh. What does that mean? Oh. Me? Jared pouted at the back of Jensen’s head. I’m not a kid.
When Jensen finally turned his head back to Jared, his eyes were still closed, and he snuggled farther
down into the covers.
Since everything seemed to be ok, Jared’s curious index finger set out again, this time along Jensen’s
jaw, chin, and up to his closed lips, where it rested, content, on soft, plump skin.
It was like a treat for Jared, to have earned the right to touch Jensen so intimately. Christmas and
birthday all wrapped into one—
Holy hell.
Jared almost choked on his tongue, eyes bulging, as Jensen sucked the finger into his mouth, and
Jared felt warm wetness envelope the suddenly highly sensitive skin.
Tongue lapping over Jared’s finger like it was a candy cane, Jensen’s mouth slid up until the second
knuckle disappeared behind wet lips.
Jared heard a raspy, ragged sort of sound and vaguely wondered if Jensen’s place was haunted. But
then he noticed it was in time with his own breathing and shit, I haven’t blinked in, like, a minute and
my finger’s in Jen’s mouth and I can’t breathe fuck the what—
Jensen’s lashes fluttered, and his eyes opened for the first time all morning, barely a heavy-lidded slit
of sparkling goldish-green, to rest directly on Jared’s wide eyes and gaping jaw.
“Jen, Christ. You… your… mouth…my… guhgn—”
Jensen bit down lightly on Jared’s finger and then soothed it by lapping his tongue over it in silken
sweeps.
Jared lost control, his elbow unable to prop his body up any longer, and collapsed right beside Jensen,
face to face.
It wasn’t until Jensen opened his eyes all the way and Jared caught the knowing gleam in them that he
realized Jensen seemed to know exactly what he was doing to Jared’s mind and body and was enjoying
watching it. The cocky little sexass.
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When Jensen sat up slightly and pulled back, his mouth came off with a pop, and he looked at Jared
with wide, uncertain eyes, the mischievous teasing gone in the blink of an eye.
“I… uh,” Jensen said, eyes lowering in a sudden shyness that Jared wanted to lap up like a puppy dog
with milk.
“Jesus, Jen,” Jared said to break Jensen’s silence. “That was… it was… day-um.”
Eyes going back to Jared’s face, Jensen asked, “Weird? Sorry. I was still half asleep and—”
“No, no. It was…” Jared paused, licking his dry lips and trying to find words. “You are so fucking sexy,”
he finished, pulling Jensen down on top of him and breathing into the crook of his neck. “Don’t
apologize. You’re not gonna offend me or anything. I liked it.”
Beneath his arms, Jensen stirred, mumbled, “I need coffee. Now. Gonna go fix some.”
Jared took it as a hint to let go, so he unwrapped his arms and watched Jensen stand and pull on a
pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt.
“What d’you want for breakfast?” Jensen asked, standing over Jared, who was still sprawled out on the
bed. “I’ve got cereal.”
Rubbing a hand across his stomach, Jared said, “Cereal’s good,” and reached for Jensen’s hand,
smiling. “Hey. It’s all good, right?”
“Yea. S’great.” Flat. Unconvincing.
But I didn’t even do anything…
Jared watched him leave the room and wondered how one person could switch moods so fucking fast.
Actually, he was kind of starting to wonder if Jensen was a little off his rocker. In a good way, but still…
Dude acted kinda weird sometimes.
--------“So, uh…”
Jared glanced up from the fruit loops he was pouring into his bowl. “What’s up?”
Jensen’s eyebrows rose as he slid into the chair across from Jared. “Dude. I just sucked your finger.
Isn’t that a little weird?”
“Well, it’s not something I’d normally talk about at the breakfast table but whatever.” Jared shrugged it
off, focused almost entirely on his breakfast and how fast he could get it into his mouth.
“Jared.”
“What?”
The grip Jensen had on his coffee mug appeared brutal. “I just think… it might’ve seemed like I was
hinting at something else…”
“Like what?” Needs some sugar or something on top.
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“Are you serious?”
“Could you pass the milk?”
“You don’t know what I’m talking about?”
Maybe a banana. I wonder if he has any. Hand motioning at the container, Jared said, “Milk, please?”
“I just wanted to make it clear that I don’t plan on sucking anything else anytime soon.”
“Whaa…? Oh.” Jared blinked, his mind finally joining in on the conversation, then let out a loud, relaxed
laugh and stretched his long body across the table to curl his fingers around the milk jug. “I know
you’re not gonna give me a… Well, you know. Got any bananas?”
“I’m not ready for anything like that.”
“But, Jen, bananas are harmless.”
Face closed off and unreadable, Jensen said, “Is that so?”
“They’re better than sugar.”
Jensen squirmed in his seat, eyeing Jared like he was a new species that Jensen had never seen
before, and looking ready to bolt. “Really.”
“Well, yea. They have Vitamin C, right?”
“Wait… what?” Jared watched a lost, confused look spread across Jensen’s face before he let out a
sigh, ran a hand through his rumpled hair, and said, “Oh. You’re actually talking about bananas.”
Pasting on innocence over the grin that so desperately wanted to appear, Jared asked, “What else what
I be talking about, Jennybean?”
Jensen left the table without a word and came back with a banana, which he threw at Jared’s head.
“Shut up and eat your banana. I’m going to shower.” Halfway out of the room, over his shoulder,
Jensen called out, “And don’t call me that!”
Once Jensen was out of the room, Jared snorted back a laugh that was hard enough to spray a fleck of
his cereal’s sugary milk into his eye.
--------It wasn’t like the door was locked. Heck, it wasn’t even closed. Jared respected privacy, but an open
door was practically an invitation.
Jared knocked on the wall just outside of the bathroom. Still clothed (much to Jared’s disappointment ),
Jensen jumped and spun around.
“Sorry,” Jared grinned, and strode into the bathroom. “I was just wondering if you had an extra
toothbrush I could use.”
“Uh.” Jensen fiddled around with the waistband of his pants as he looked around the bathroom,
nervously sucking his bottom lip into his mouth in a move that captivated all of Jared’s attention. “No,
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but I have toothpaste, and you can use your finger.”
Jared said, “Ok,” still halfway enthralled with Jensen’s nervous habits that somehow always managed to
come out completely sexy. Jared held out his freshly sucked index finger. “Toothpaste me up, baby.”
Shaking his head, Jensen slapped the tube of toothpaste into Jared’s hand. “Why are you so crude this
morning?”
With a glowing white smile into the mirror and a wink at Jensen’s reflection standing behind him, Jared
said, “What? I feel deeply about dental hygiene.”
Jensen muttered, “Dental hygiene my ass,” and then went a reddish color.
Several minutes passed in which Jensen watched Jared run his finger over his teeth over and over.
Then, “Idn o yuh uck uh rude.”
“Spit, Jay.”
Jared spat into the sink and turned to face Jensen, who stood with arms crossed over his chest. “I said
‘I didn’t know you were such a prude.’”
“I’m not. I told you, I just don’t know what I’m doing.”
“I like your prudish side. It’s cute. Got any floss?”
“Seriously, man. Are you gonna get out of my bathroom or stand in here and shower with me?”
Jared was in Jensen’s space in a flash, excited and bright-eyed, hands on Jensen’s shoulders, eyes
imploring. “Can I?” Please, God. Just let me have this, and I promise I’ll never forget Meg’s birthday
ever again. Amen.
By now, the look on Jensen’s face was more familiar to Jared than his own reflection: wide-eyes
peering around Jared at the nearest exit and mouth frozen open with nothing to say.
Jared backed off a little. “Sorry. I thought you were actually offering there for a minute.” He scratched
at his hair, which honestly did feel like it could use a wash.
His disappointed laugh almost covered up Jensen’s timid, almost-whispered answer: “Well… ok.”
It took Jared a minute because he wasn’t entirely sure he’d heard right. Then he blurted,
“SERIOUSLY?”
Yea,” Jensen answered, louder and more confident, chin jutting out a little. “How’s that for prudish,
Padalecki?”
“I… seriously? You really wanna?”
“Yea, let’s do it… shower together, I mean.”
“You’re not just doing it to—” Jared’s words fell out of his head as Jensen started tugging his pants off.
By that point, the only words in his mind were something along the lines of Hell yea! Let’s get wet and
nekked!
--------103
It would have taken a nuclear bomb to drag Jared’s attention away from Jensen bending over into the
over-sized shower stall to turn the hot water on. As soon as Jensen had agreed to this, the rest of
Jared’s world had fallen away and now only consisted of Jensen and skin and water and skin,
whoamygod so much skin. I hope I don’t… pass out or anything.
And neither of them had even stripped all the way down yet. Jared was waiting for… instruction or
something. Actually, he wasn’t entirely sure what it was he was waiting for. Maybe a helpful pamphlet
giving him step-by-step instructions on how to take your first shower with another man. That would’ve
been helpful.
Jared made a mental note to look for one on the internet later. Not that that was any help now.
Because then Jensen stood up and turned around to face Jared, and he looked pretty freakin’ confused,
too.
“Well?” asked Jensen.
“Well?” Jared repeated stupidly. How do we start this?
“How do we start this?”
Huh. Do I look like his guide to gay or something? “I… have no idea.”
“Well, you go ahead, then.”
Jared blanked. “Go ahead and what?”
“You know,” Jensen said awkwardly, waving his hand at Jared’s clothed body, “strip, or whatever.”
“Aw, Jen. You want me to strip for you? I’m flattered, but I think I’m gonna need seem music.
Something with a good beat.”
“Dude, no. I just meant—”
Jared laughed. “I’m kidding, Jensen. Calm down. We change in front of each other all the time. This
isn’t a big deal. See?” To reinforce his words, he pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it to the tile
floor.
Yea, this is good. I’m cool. I’m calm. I can do this. I don’t need instructions.
Jared fingered his jeans and glanced up at Jensen’s odd expression.
“What’s wrong?” Jared asked, tempted to stop.
“Keep going,” commanded Jensen evenly. Jared’s head cocked to the side at the change in Jensen’s
tone: suddenly deep and rough and raw, washing over Jared like rich, hot bath water after a long day
on set.
Damn. Jenny-boy likes himself a little strip tease.
Less casually than with the shirt, Jared wordlessly brought his fingers down to the waistband of his
jeans and ran his fingers along the material, while watching Jensen’s unmoving figure from under his
lashes. Leisurely, Jared unbuttoned, then pulled the zipper down so slowly that the zzzzzttt sound
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lasted several seconds longer than it normally would have.
Unable to keep quiet any longer, Jared asked, in the lowest tone he could manage, “You’re enjoying
this, aren’t you?”
“Hell. Yes.”
He wanted to, had to, see Jensen’s reaction. So Jared lifted his head to meet Jensen’s intent gaze head
on and began pushing his jeans past his hips, the corners of his lips turning up in a slight smirk as he
went, taking his time. “You want me, you kinky little perv.” Ok. Way to ruin the moment.
But Jensen just laughed in that same low, gruff voice, the sound sending fingers of heat down Jared’s
spine.
Jared’s pants dropped to the floor with a soft thunk and pooled around his feet until he made a show of
easing each foot out and then kicking them off to the side.
Fingering the elastic on his boxers, it was on the tip of Jared’s tongue to say something completely
ridiculous like, “Ready or not?” or “Here we go!” But yea, that might come out kind of cheesy. Or just
plain weird.
It was actually kind of strange, the way Jared suddenly couldn’t meet Jensen’s eyes. Jared was not shy,
and he was definitely not modest DAMNIT. No. Never.
But… well, maybe he needed that gay pamphlet after all.
He looked up quickly at the sound of Jensen clearing is throat. No fucking way. Is he actually rushing
me?
Before Jared got to the task of removing his boxers, he clapped his hands together, and said brightly,
“Ok. Your turn now!”
“My turn?” Jensen asked in a disbelieving voice.
“Yea. Unless you wanna back out?” Jared’s face went serious, almost challenging.
Jensen straightened, standing as tall as he could, chin tilting up defiantly. “No. Not unless you do.”
“No. ‘Course not.” No way, right? I’m not scared. It’s not like I’m about to… throw up. This is what I’ve
been waiting for. I’m good. It’s all good.
Jensen let out a deep, shaky breath. “Ok, then.” Even from across the bathroom, Jared could hear him
gulp. “All right,” Jensen added, voice deep and raspy, with a hint of pure fear.
Jared reached Jensen just in time to catch Jen’s hand in his own and stop him from pulling his shirt off.
“What?” asked Jensen, looking up into Jared’s face.
“Wanna see what turns me on?”
Jensen’s eyebrows drew together as his teeth worried at his bottom lip, like maybe he wasn’t so sure
he wanted to see what Jared had planned for him.
Overlooking Jensen’s uneasy look, Jared said, “This,” and he reached for the hem of Jensen’s t-shirt,
bunching it in white-knuckled fingers. “Let me?” he asked, needing permission.
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“This is what turns you on?” said Jensen, a hint of amusement coloring his voice. “Undressing me?”
Jared’s hands continued to grip the hem of Jensen’s t-shirt, like he could calm his flip-flopping stomach
if only he stayed close to Jensen and held on for dear life.
Jared said, “I’ve been undressing you with my eyes for months now, so yea, this is pretty awesome.”
Chuckling, Jensen lifted both arms above his head, and Jared tugged the material up, going slow,
savoring the reveal of lightly freckled golden skin inch by inch, glimpse by glimpse.
Having finally freed Jensen’s arms from the shirt, Jared’s fingers skimmed over his chest and dropped
down to run along the waistband of Jensen’s boxers. “Ok?” Jared asked, needing to hear Jensen give
spoken permission before going any further.
“Yea.” The answer came out strangled, like Jensen choked on the word halfway up.
Jared cupped Jensen’s chin and lifted his face, to better see his expression. “Sure?”
“Wait,” Jensen blurted, batting Jared’s hand away from his face. “Maybe we… I have an idea… it’s kind
of… don’t laugh.”
“I’m not laughing.” And for once, Jared wasn’t laughing, his face completely somber under the
bathroom’s harsh light.
“I think it’ll be easier for me if we…”
“Yea?”
“Turned the bathroom light off.” Jensen caught Jared’s expression and went on quickly. “I know I’m
being weird, but it’s bright in here and—”
“No, I like that idea.” There’s no way I’m ever going to admit that I’m almost as scared shitless as he is
right now. Light off. Great idea.
With a certain amount of hidden relief, Jared flipped the switch by the door. The muted light coming in
from the tiny frosted window to the left of the shower stall left everything in a murky dim haze.
“Better?” Jared asked.
“Much.”
Jared paused on his way back over to Jensen. In a hesitant, careful voice, he asked, “Are you sure you
wanna do this right now?”
It was hard to make out Jensen’s expression in the half-light from the window, so Jared could only go
by the tone of his voice.
“Yea.” Jared could barely see Jensen’s hand gesture toward him. “You first, Jay.”
Why me? Dangit. “Right. Ok.” In one quick motion, Jared tugged off his boxers, the whole time
wondering why this wasn’t turning out as hot and sexy as he had thought it would. Instead, it was kind
of… awkward.
Several stifling minutes passed, in which Jared thought he might suffocate in the hot steam coming
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from the still running shower. The whole bathroom was starting to fog over. “Jeez, Jen. Would you just
say something?”
“Are you done?”
“What? Yea. I’ve been standing here waiting for, like, half an hour.”
“Dude, I can’t see you. I’m standing here waiting for you.”
Jared laughed. This is so fucking weird.
He glided across the room, foggy-steam whirling away in his path, until he came to stand directly in
front of Jensen. “There you are,” Jared said with a grin, hands running over Jensen’s bare shoulders,
not taking his eyes off of Jensen’s in case he might miss some sort of warning sign in the green depths.
“Let’s get in before we suffocate in here.”
Jensen turned and shoved the shower door open. A huge cloud of warm steam rushed out to meet
them.
“Jesus,” Jensen said, swatting his hand around at the mist.
“Jesus,” Jared muttered, mind going numb as he caught a full view of Jensen’s backside when Jen
turned and climbed into the shower stall first.
Jared chomped down on his tongue, because Nice ass really wouldn’t go over well at the moment. But
then Jensen moved into the spray of hot water, trying to avoid meeting Jared’s eyes and apparently any
other part of Jared, and all Jared could see was shiny, wet skin and hundreds of tiny water droplets
slithering down a lean, perfect body.
Jared stayed standing just outside the shower stall, drinking Jensen in.
Hungrily, Jared’s eyes skimmed up and down Jensen’s body, not yet able to pull back, focus, and take
in everything as a whole.
Jared felt like he was sipping an exotic drink, and each wash of it over his tongue revealed another
hidden flavor that he hadn’t noticed before but loved even more than the last.
Jensen turned away, almost as if to give Jared a minute to himself. Like he knew.
Just like with the drink, Jensen came to Jared in pieces, as though his brain couldn’t handle all of
Jensen at once. It was hard to see clearly in the dim light and foggy haze, but the first thing Jared
noticed was the water droplets tickling over every single dip and curve and smooth plain of Jensen’s
body, and Jared imagined each drop of water as his own tongue skimming over Jensen’s body instead.
He was still trying to process all of it when Jensen threw his head back, stuck out his tongue, and tried
to catch drops of water in his mouth.
It was just so cute, so goofy, so Jen, that it drew Jared into the shower.
Gone were any second thoughts. The body before him might’ve been all man and completely new
territory for Jared, but it was Jensen, and Jared wanted Jensen almost more than he wanted to
breathe.
He slammed the stall door and slid up behind Jensen as though Jen were a magnet luring Jared
straight to him.
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Jensen started and his head snapped up at the first touch of Jared’s hands on each side of his hips.
“S’ok,” Jared murmured in his ear, fingers gripping smooth, wet skin. Slowly, he turned Jensen around
to face him.
Dim light managed to catch in the droplets gathering on Jensen’s lashes. His hair lay plastered to his
forehead, and he kept blinking to get rid of the water drops as he looked up into Jared’s face.
“You’re fucking gorgeous, Jen. You know that?”
A laugh escaped Jensen’s lips. It sounded a little hysterical and out of control. Then his eyes flicked up
and down Jared’s body, and he said, “You’re not so bad yourself.”
After he said it, Jensen ran a hand over his face and let out another out-of-character crazy laugh. “Can’t
believe I’m doin’ this.”
“We can still get out, get dressed, and pretend this never—”
“No,” Jensen said quickly, bringing his hand away from his face, “I wanna do this… with you.”
It was all Jared needed to hear. He had Jensen backed against the slippery shower stall wall before he
even finished the sentence. One hand cupping Jensen’s chin and the other splayed around his waist,
Jared bent forward, titled his head, and licked the water drops from Jensen’s lips before bringing their
mouths together.
When their tongues collided, sliding across each other in velvety sweeps, Jared leaned in even closer,
wanting all the contact he could get, and bringing their bodies flush. Jensen gasped into Jared’s mouth
when their cocks brushed against each other, Jared’s jerking and taking immediate notice.
“Jare… Jay,” Jensen breathed between their lips, hesitant hands coming up to glide around on Jared’s
back.
Jared moaned out a low, “Mmm,” at the touch and let his hands drop to Jensen’s hips, his lips pulling
away only to graze across Jensen’s forehead.
“Jared,” Jensen tried again.
Jared pulled back, glancing down between them and seeing that Jensen had gone half hard.
“Lemme,” Jared said, sliding his hand over. “I wanna make you feel good, Jen.”
But Jensen grabbed Jared’s wrist on its way over, the hard grip bringing Jared out of his haze. “Whaa
—”
“Not ready for… not this time, ok?”
Slightly dizzy and confused, Jared’s head snapped up to Jensen’s face. Suddenly, he could feel the
shower spray pelting his back again, sharp and crisp, like reality pinching him on the arm.
Jensen’s eyes were so damn expressive, wide and confused and… Shit. Jared blinked the water from
his eyes. He looks terrified. What the hell am I doing? Touching him right away like this.
“Jesus, Jen,” Jared finally managed to choke out. “I’m sorry…”
“It’s ok,” Jensen said, relaxing a little and running blunt nails up and down Jared’s chest. “Just… not
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yet, all right?”
Threading his fingers through Jensen’s wet hair, Jared said, “Yea, ‘course. I didn’t mean to…” He got
the short strands to stand straight up and started running his fingers through to create separate little
spikes.
“Man, seriously? Are you actually playing with my hair?”
“Hey,” Jared said without answering, “I just got an idea. Where’s the soap?” Jensen pointed, and Jared
snatched it into his hand. “Lemme wash you!”
“What? Are you high?”
“No. Are you? C’mon. It’ll be awesome.”
Shaking his head, Jensen mumbled out an agreement.
Jared pulled Jensen away from the wall, lathered up a bath cloth, and ran it down Jensen’s arm, then
up again, water sprinkling down and making Jensen’s skin deliciously slick. He then brought it over
broad shoulders, across Jensen’s collarbone, all the while watching Jensen’s face relax and his eyes slip
closed.
Jared grinned with triumphant. He likes it. I really am made of awesome.
“Lift your neck up.”
Jensen complied, and Jared couldn’t help himself. He brought his mouth to the hollow of Jensen’s
throat, felt the throb of Jensen’s pulse under his lips and then mouthed his way up the exposed skin,
nibbling, kissing and tasting a trail as he worked his way up.
“Love every part of you,” Jared muttered against Jensen’s shoulder, “…every inch.”
Jensen made a low, raspy, almost animal-like sound in the back of his throat that Jared took as
encouragement.
He ran the cloth down Jensen’s spine and over a butt cheek, just as Jensen’s hand came up to wrap
around the back of Jared’s neck. He felt Jensen’s lips damnugncrapahhjesusohhgod, those fucking
perfect lips, on his shoulder, smoothing along his wet skin.
“Yes, Jensen…” He’d meant to add, You can touch me you want to touch me? this is what I was hoping
for you joining in the more I stand here the more I love you Iloveyousofuckingmuch but the yes and
Jensen came out breathless and moany, and Jared couldn’t find the air to say the rest.
Jared brought a leg up and wrapped it around Jensen’s body, almost unbalancing them both for a
second but needing to get close closer.
The water was starting to run barely warm and neither even noticed.
Jensen’s hands were busy running up and down Jared’s spine, his lips and tongue and teeth exploring
Jared’s neck and collarbone, sending bolts of electricity and blood straight to Jared’s cock.
Unhooking his leg, Jared angled around to grab Jensen’s face and bring their lips together in a frantic,
hungry crush.
The rushing sound of the water mixed with their moans until Jared couldn’t tell who was making what
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sound anymore.
Jared had waited for this for months. And even though he’d never understand his need to be around
Jensen all of the time from the get-go, he now realized it might’ve been for the same exact reason he
was currently devouring Jensen’s mouth and grabbing his ass cheeks like some horny 17 year old on
prom night.
When they broke the kiss to breathe, Jensen lowered his head to Jared’s chest, the flash of a smirk on
his lips like he just knew how close Jared was, and brushed his lips over a nipple.
And Jared’s only excuse for what happened next was that he had really, really wanted all of this for
months now. Hell, maybe even for nearly two years, even if he wasn’t aware of it at the time.
Jared let out a strangled gasp with Jensen’s name on it and came all over Jensen’s leg, immediately
going loose-limbed but feeling too damned good to be embarrassed. He felt Jensen’s arms wrap around
his body and hold tight, supporting him.
Cold water rushing down Jared’s back effectively tugged his mind back down to earth. He lifted his
head from the crook of Jensen’s neck to come face to face with bright eyes and lips just itching to curl
up into a grin.
When he could speak again, the first thing out of Jared’s mouth was, “Shuddup.”
“I didn’t say anything.”
He didn’t have to. The smirk tinged the edges of his voice.
I’m never gonna live this down. “Couldn’t help it,” Jared mumbled, bringing his hands up to run up and
down Jensen’s arms. “Wanted you for so long.” A pause, then, “You’ve got goose bumps, Jen.”
“Water’s cold, you dork.”
Jared pulled away and looked down. “You sure you don’t want me to…” He gestured something that
would’ve been taken as obscene on five continents and in all fifty states.
“Nah,” drawled Jensen, Texas slipping in, “too cold. Ruined my… mood.” He turned and shut the water
off.
Jared slipped out first while Jensen was fiddling with the faucet. When Jensen stepped out of the
shower stall, Jared wrapped a huge, fluffy towel around his body. Wrapping arms and legs around
Jensen and kind of curling around him, he said, “I’ve never felt like this before. I… I wanna stay with
you forever, Jen.”
Jensen patted Jared on the chest and pulled away. Grinning, he said, “That’s just the orgasm talking.”
“No. No it’s not. Jen, I…” love you. No. Can’t say that.
Not yet.
“It’s Sunday.” Jensen said. “I’m going back to bed.” And it was let’s not talk about this and come back
to bed with me? all wrapped into the tone of his voice and the unsure, pleading look in those
expressive eyes.
“Ok,” Jared replied easily, and their future together was pushed aside for the rest of the weekend.
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--------Jared wrapped himself around Jensen, who was laying on his side, his back to Jared.
“Dude.”
“What?”
“You’re like a second skin, Jay.”
“You were cold.” And it was my fault for making us spend all afternoon in the shower. Jared buried his
face in Jensen’s gray t-shirt-clad shoulder and breathed deeply, inhaling Jensen’s scent.
“Not a big deal,” Jensen mumbled.
“Ok, well, I don’t want you cold.”
Jensen nudged Jared off of him and turned onto his back with a husky laugh. “I can’t believe you’re
such a friggin’ girl,” Jensen snickered, head turned toward Jared, who lay as close as he could get.
Jensen’s hand snaked over and hovered in front of Jared’s face.
“Want something?”
Without another word, Jensen’s fingers curled into Jared’s hair, where they twirled and twisted the silky
chocolate strands.
“I like your hair,” said Jensen softly. “Don’t cut it.”
With Jensen’s fingers massaging his scalp and fiddling with his hair, Jared’s eyes slipped shut, his body
loose and relaxed, completely content.
Exhausted and half asleep, Jared mumbled, “Are you seriously playing with my hair, Ackles?”
Jared could hear the low rumble of Jensen’s laugh at having his own words thrown back at him. The
fingers tangled in his hair slowed, then stilled, but didn’t pull away. “No, just your imagination. Go to
sleep.” The bed dipped, and Jensen’s warm breath ghosted over Jared’s closed eyes and into his face.
Sensing he’d just scooted closer, Jared flung an arm around Jensen’s back, and muttered a sleepy,
“Mmkay.”
{End of part 8}
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= 09 =
Nobody Ever Said It’d Be Easy
Series/Verse: Part of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out of
control.
Summary: Jared learns Jensen’s little secret. And it isn’t pretty.
Type: Real people
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen, OMC (original male character)
Word Count: 5,866
Warnings: Enough angst to drown in, with zero sexing (because I’m cruel like that).
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale.
AN: This one got way, way angsty. I apologize in advance.
NOTE Bill is completely fictional and all my creation and does not portray anyone associated with
Supernatural.
With a wicked grin, Jared’s fingers flew over the keypad of his phone, his body shielding the text
message from curious crew members.
u look hot n plaid
He looked across the set to Jensen, who was throwing back a bottle of water and taking a long swig of
the liquid. Jared hit send and stuffed his phone into the pocket of Sam’s hoodie.
From the corner of his eye, Jared watched Jensen flip his phone open, pause, and then bore those
intense green eyes into the side of Jared’s head.
Jared didn’t dare look over at Jensen. He might do something stupid, like start giggling madly. Yea, that
wouldn’t look weird or anything.
Jared’s phone vibrated, surprising him a little. Curious, he pulled it back out.
i know
Jared snorted and finally lifted his head to look over at Jensen.
Jensen’s face broke out into a slow, easy, smug Dean Winchester smirk. And then his tongue flicked out
to slide across his lips in a leisurely, deliberately planned lick.
Huh. Pretty.
But it would take more than wet lips to break Jared’s text messaging concentration.
cocky much ?
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Jensen broke his gaze across the room to look back down at his phone. Flashing Jared a brief grin, he
started punching his keys.
Jared’s phone began vibrating again.
u know uwantme
Without hesitation, Jared sent his answer back.
more than lunch
He could hear Jensen’s rich, deep laugh all the way across the set.
u sure bout that heard its pizza 2day
Yea, pizza or sex on legs sitting over there just asking for it? Hard decision.
wish it were still weekend. need 2 feel u under my hands so bad ps the pizza has
mushrooms & anchovies so no thnx
Jared tapped his fingers on his thigh and glanced nonchalantly around the set until his phone vibrated
again.
my place aftr work??
Jared hesitated a beat, then tapped out his answer.
need u sooner meet me n my trailer nxt break
It took several long minutes for Jensen to respond.
cant do nethin @work
An exasperated little whiny sigh forced its way out when Jared read the answer.
Mr. Goody two-shoes over there. Jeez.
y not ? no1 wil ever know
The hard look Jensen gave Jared after he read the message was sharp and cut through Jared’s chest
like a splinter of guilt.
I have to stop pushing him. Crap.
not here jay. idont want 2
Jared hit send on his reply just as the director came back into the room and told Jensen they needed
him for a Dean-only scene.
im srry. ure right
As he was leaving the room, Jensen glanced at the message and flicked Jared an unsure little smile
before he disappeared out the door.
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Well, at least that wasn’t awkward or anything. Right.
--------Jared waited until Jensen was no longer the main focus of the scene and had backed off to the side.
Then he sent it.
want 2 rip that plaid shrt off & touch u right now
When Jensen glanced up at the vibrating phone in his pocket, Jared met his gaze with an exaggerated
little wink.
Even though Jensen was standing off in the shadows, Jared could see his nervous glance around the
room as soon as he’d read the message.
stop
Amazed, Jared stared at the reply on his phone’s bright screen, then looked over at Jensen with a
questioning stare. But Jensen was too busy scanning the room to catch the look on Jared’s face.
whats wrong w. u ?
Jensen’s head snapped back down to the phone.
And then the dreaded words that no one ever wants to hear popped up on Jared’s screen with a
friendly little vibration.
we need 2 talk
And all Jared could wonder was what he had done this time, because when he looked up from the
words to seek out Jensen’s face, Jensen had already stuffed his cell back into his pocket and wouldn’t
even look over in Jared’s direction.
This was so very not good.
--------They were barely inside Jensen’s front door before Jared blurted out, “What did I do?”
Jensen closed the door behind them and blinked blankly up at Jared’s face. “Nothing. Want a beer or
something?”
Jensen started toward the kitchen, but Jared jumped in front of him, blocking his path, and said, “No.
No beer. I wanna know what happened today.” I’m so fucking confused. What’d I do? Why do you do
this to me, Jen?
“You didn’t do anything.” Jensen’s voice was flat and just as blank as his expression. It was scaring the
crap out of Jared.
As if they were on automatic, Jared’s hands came up to Jensen’s arms. Almost pleading, he said, “Then
tell me what’s wrong.” I wanna make it better. Please let me make it better.
Breaking away from Jared’s hold on him, Jensen walked into the living room and dropped onto the
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couch in a dead weight sort of way that seemed rather out of character for him. Jared sat down next to
Jensen on the couch, close but not too close.
“I wasn’t gonna tell you this,” Jensen started, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees, then
placing his face in his hands.
He looked so desperate in that position that Jared rested a soothing hand on his back at the same that
he let out a soft, “Hey. C’mon, Jen.”
“S’not really a big deal,” Jensen mumbled behind his hands. “Except that maybe it is now.”
Jared blinked, brows knit together in confusion, eyes wide, searching for a clue as to what the hell
Jensen was talking about. Finally, he just said, “Ok,” in a slow, unsure voice.
When Jensen dropped his hands, instead of facing Jared, he stared straight ahead at the dark TV. “I
kind of lied to you earlier...”
Uh. This can’t be good…
Not meeting Jared’s eyes, Jensen went on. “…about that guy, from that show, who called me dollface.”
Jared remained quiet, completely confused as to where this might be going but silently urging Jensen
on.
In a small pause, Jensen rolled his shoulders, glanced over at Jared, and then muttered to the floor,
“He’s from Supernatural.”
Jared’s saliva seemed to go down the wrong way and he choked, coughed, then sputtered, “He… he’s…
what?… our Supernatural?”
“No, Jay. The other Supernatural.”
Jared’s jaw was still threatening to scrape the carpeting. “You mean I know him?”
Jensen’s face darkened. Pursing is lips and finally meeting Jared’s eyes, he said, “Yea.”
“But you said it was another show that didn’t matter anymore. You… you said they kicked you off the
show because you wouldn’t put up with it.”
Jensen laughed, but it was cold and bitter and harsh. “I lied. I didn’t think you needed to know.”
But suddenly Jared wanted to know everything, all of it, so that he could fix this for Jensen. “Who is
it?” Jared’s voice had dropped low and dark enough that Jensen’s head, which had dropped between
his shoulders so that he could stare at the floor again, jerked up to meet Jared’s eyes.
After a minute of studying Jared’s dark expression, Jensen said, “Bill.”
“Bill?” Jared repeated in disbelief. “Bill, our director, Bill? The same Bill who directed us today? But… no
way. He’s always so nice, and he’s old. He’s so old, Jen. Like 50-something.”
“No shit. He’s 57.” Jensen shook his head. In a dry, brittle voice, dripping with enough sarcasm to
drown a cat, he added, “And yea. Great guy. A real prince.”
Suddenly, Jared’s fingers were itching to wrap around something and just shake and throttle. The urge
was so strong that he clasped his hands together to keep from grabbing one of Jensen’s couch pillows
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and shredding it to pieces. “Shit,” Jared murmured, almost to himself. “How long, Jen?”
In an instant, Jensen’s voice went vehement, his eyes hard. “Since August 2005, but I got the job on
my own. I didn’t… I didn’t do anything special to get the role. He hadn’t even started working with the
show yet.”
“I know. I believe you. I know you wouldn’t do anything like that. And Eric said Bill didn’t show any
interest in the show ‘til a couple months after we started filming… Jesus, Jen. Why haven’t you told
anyone?”
Jensen ran a hand through his hair and sank back into the cushions, slumping down dejectedly. “He’s
pouring a lot of money into Supernatural. It’s one of the only reasons we even got a second season.
He’s already told me that if I,” Jensen’s fingers went up in the air in the universal quote gesture, “‘let
anything slip to Kripke’ that he might ‘suddenly lose interest in Supernatural.’ This is the best role I’ve
ever had. I don’t wanna fuck it up… for both of us.”
“Jen… God…” Jared’s mouth flapped open and then shut again, a lot like a floundering fish. There were
few times in his life that Jared had ever been rendered speechless. This was one of them.
“He’s always watching me,” Jensen continued, ignoring Jared’s sputtering. “He’s pissed because I still
won’t do anything with him, and he’s trying to find something to use against me, anything, to get me
fired.” Jensen leaned forward, his face earnest and almost a little fearful, and Jared had to fight the
urge to grab him and hold tight until all of this shit passed. “He doesn’t have anything on me right now;
my record’s pretty clean. But if he found out about us… if he even got a hunch about it, Jay, we’d both
be screwed. It’d be his perfect excuse to pull out of Supernatural, because he doesn’t really give a shit
about the show, and he’d spread the word and make sure neither one of us ever finds decent work
again.”
Fucking hell. I need to beat something right now.
Taking a deep, not-so-calming breath, Jared said, “He’d be jealous, wouldn’t he?”
Rubbing his forehead, Jensen laughed harshly, and said, “God, yes. And we’d both pay. He has a lot of
connections, Jay. He’s well-respected in this business.” Jensen sat up straighter, glanced at Jared, and
ran a hand over his face again. “Shit. I don’t know how I let it get this far. It started out so small that I
didn’t even realize he was hitting on me. By the time I got the message, he was already so involved
with the show that it was too late to say anything. I fucking hate it. I hate it when it’s a day that he’s
directing and he keeps fucking leering at me all day and muttering ‘hey dollface’ in my ear when no
one’s looking, and I can’t do shit about it.”
Jared’s arm wrapped around Jensen’s shoulder and drew him into his arms. “Hey,” Jared began softly,
then hesitated, not sure how to word his next question. “Has he… done anything to you?” I will kill
him. I don’t care about the show. I will fucking kill him. Tonight. I’ll wait ‘til he comes out of his house,
and I’ll run him over. More than once.
The laugh Jensen let out was muffled in Jared’s jacket. “Dude, I’m not some helpless girl. I can handle
him. Just can’t do anything about it because he has a lot of pull, you know?”
“Yea,” Jared breathed into the top of Jensen’s hair, slightly relieved because he wasn’t really entirely
sure about this whole murdering thing. “I know what you mean.”
“He can’t find out about us,” Jensen said, angling his head to look up into Jared’s face. “I know you
wanna believe everyone’s good at heart, Jared, but he’d screw you over in a heartbeat. He’d screw us
both over and then laugh. We have to tone it down at work.”
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Jared said, “God, Jen. This is ten kinds of fucked. It shouldn’t be like this.”
Jared could feel Jensen’s shoulders shift upwards in a shrug. “It happens in this business.”
Anger rose up in Jared’s chest and throat like bile at the accepting tone Jensen had just used. He pulled
Jensen away from his body to hold him by the shoulders at arms length. “I don’t care if it happens in
this business. I don’t want it happening to you. He’s been treating you like crap for almost two years
now and you don’t deserve it, Jen. There’s no telling how long Supernatural might go. It could go 4, 5,
or even 6 more years. You can’t put up with him for 6 more years, Jensen.” I can’t put up with him for
6 more years now that I know. I’ll have killed him and hidden the body behind a dumpster long before
that…
“I don’t know what to do.” Jared had never heard Jensen’s voice in that tone before: flat, defeated,
tired.
Jared brushed his thumb across Jensen’s cheek. “The show might get canceled, but I think we should
tell Eric, anyway. He’s a good guy… he’ll be on our side, no matter what. Even if it does mean losing
the show.”
“We need to wait until they renew it for a third season.”
Jared’s shoulders sagged. He hated that Jensen was probably right about that. Their odds of keeping
the show were better if it had already been renewed, but damnit, he really wanted to run and tattle on
this asshole.
“Ok,” Jared said, running a hand through his hair, “ok. But why didn’t you ever tell me any of this
before? We tell each other… everything.”
“I dunno,” Jensen said with a shrug, averting his eyes.
Jared grabbed his arm and pulled Jensen to him again. “Doesn’t matter. We’re in this together now. I
got your back.”
“My hero,” muttered Jensen flatly.
But in his still-bubbling anger, Jared missed the sarcasm, only replying with, “Always,” to which Jensen
laughed and cuffed him upside the head.
Always, Jared repeated to himself and then offered to make dinner.
--------Now that Jared knew what was going on, it was so painfully crystal clear to him the next day on set
that he wondered how he had never noticed it before, how no one had ever noticed it before.
Asshat (as Jared had started referring to him) was on set to finish up directing the episode they had
been working on the day before.
As soon as he walked in the door, and Bill greeted him with his usual, hearty g’morning, Paddy! Jared’s
eyes narrowed to tiny slits, despite his smile in Bill’s direction.
Paddy this, you fucking useless piece of flesh. He nearly lunged at the man but managed to stay still
and fake immense interest in the table filled with candy. He was, after all, an actor. A fuming actor at
the moment, but an actor nonetheless.
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Drop dead NOW, Jared commanded, watching Bill walk off. It didn’t work, and Jared suddenly found
himself wishing he had Sam’s powers.
From across the room, Jensen caught his eye and shook his head, and Jared realized that he had still
been staring daggers at Bill’s back long after the man had walked off.
Oh, yea. This is gonna suck.
--------Jared stayed glued to Jensen’s side nearly the whole day, which wasn’t really hard since every scene
they did was together.
The only time he separated himself from his co-star was to use the bathroom. Apparently, it was the
only opportunity Bill needed.
Jared froze in place as he reentered the room to find Jensen in the corner, facing the desert table, like
he’d been about to grab something off of it, and Bill standing behind him, close, too close, no space in
between them, with a hand low on Jensen’s back.
Bill appeared to be whispering something in Jensen’s ear.
Jared’s stomach lurched at the sickening sight.
He nearly yelled out a word that would’ve made his mama cringe. He bit it back just in time and walked
(stomped) over to the desert table, saying loudly, “Hey, Jen! They have those peanut butter brownies
again. Wonder if Eric’s seen ‘em yet? Have you tried ‘em, Billy-boy?”
Bill backed off immediately, and Jared threw an arm around Jensen’s tense shoulders. “Think we’ll get a
raise if we bring him a plate? Huh, Jen?” He pulled Jensen closer in what could easily be mistaken for a
friendly little tug but was actually a protective half-huddle.
“Maybe,” Jensen replied distractedly, staring down at a plate of Snickers bars, hands gripping the edge
of the table.
With a barely-there, reassuring squeeze, Jared pulled his arm away and turned to Bill, grinning in what
could only be described as a I’m about to bite your head off baring of teeth. “Try anything lately?”
Jared asked him, sweeping his hand across the table as an afterthought.
“Ahh,” Bill said, regaining his composure to beam up at Jared. “No. Actually I haven’t.”
“Really? You should try something. Careful though, you never know what might kill you one day.” Jared
let out a good-natured laugh—
You’re screwing with my boy. My Jensen. And it’s gonna end now, Asshat.
—and clapped Bill on the back so hard that the man lurched forward, nearly stumbled face-first to the
floor, but caught himself just in time.
“Wow, sorry,” Jared said, eyes wide and puppy-dog innocent, “sometimes I get a little overeager when
my candy’s involved.” He laughed again and offered Jensen a plate of gummy bears.
“I’m on a diet,” Bill finally said, as if to explain, eyes darting from Jared to Jensen and back.
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“Wow, really?” asked Jared. “You probably shouldn’t even be in here then.”
“Very true, Paddy. Very true,” Bill said, nodding his large head up and down more times than necessary
and leaving the room with a friendly little wave.
“Thanks,” Jensen said, rolling his shoulders and breathing again. “I think he’s kinda scared of you.”
Jared blinked, exaggerating a pout. “Why would he be scared of me? S’not like I’d ever hurt the guy.” I
would. I think.
“Yea, right. You almost knocked him flat on his face just now. Don’t make it so obvious, Jared.”
“Don’t know what you’re talking about, Jen.” Jared grabbed a brownie and stuffed it in his mouth. He
needed sugar. Lots of sugar. Sugar was always comforting. He held out a brownie cupped in his hand to
Jensen. “Sugar makes the world a better place. Brownie?”
--------It was maddening. Throughout the entire scene, Bill’s “directing” was a joke. It made Jared long for
Kim and wonder how he’d never noticed any of this before.
Soon it dawned on Jared that Bill had never actually directed Jensen before, ever. It had always been
like this, and everyone just assumed that when he called cut and muttered things to Jensen, that it was
just directing. He called for cuts often enough, and gave Jared enough tips, to make it look like he was
directing them. But too often he’d lean close to Jensen, tell him something quietly, all the while
brushing hands and body against Jensen just casually enough so that no one picked up on it.
But now that Jared knew, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. It was sexual harassment, and it was
making him so sick that he could barely concentrate on the scene.
The fourth time that Bill yelled cut, Jared’s mind took the moment to speed back to an earlier episode
in Season One when it had been Bill’s bright idea to have Dean and Sam constantly saying Yes, sir to
their father. Even though it finally clicked into place, Jared’s mind still didn’t even want to go there and
explore what exactly that meant, what kind of freaky dominating issues ole Billy had.
Jared snapped out of the past just as Bill stood up, and said loudly, while clapping his hands together
eagerly, “So, get what I’m suggesting there, Jensen?”
“Yea. I think I got it,” said Jensen flatly, eyes flitting over to Jared, and for the first time, Jared noticed
the pink blush developing underneath Jensen’s layers of makeup.
How did I never see any of this before?
Jared ground his teeth together painfully, hands fisting tightly under the table he was sitting at,
threatening to break the pencil in his hand. He turned his head toward Bill, who simply nodded at him.
The pencil in Jared’s hand cracked, splintered, and fell to the floor in two pieces.
--------At the end of the day, once they were in Jensen’s apartment again, the first words out of Jared’s mouth
were, “Either we tell Eric or I kill Bill myself.”
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“We can’t tell Eric. Not yet.”
“Ok, so I kill Bill.”
“No.”
“Man, Jen,” Jared said on a sigh, “I don’t know how you’ve put up with this for two years.”
Jensen shrugged. “He only directs sometimes. Normally Kim’s the one there directing us.”
Jared moved up behind Jensen, who was staring blankly into the freezer. He slid his arms around
Jensen’s waist, dropped his head to rest his chin on Jensen’s shoulder, and said, “Doesn’t matter if it’s
only sometimes. It should be never.”
“Look. I let him rub against me and mutter filthy stuff in my ear, and we get to keep our jobs.”
Jared groaned and buried his face in Jensen’s shoulder. “Jesus Christ.” He inhaled, lifted his head off
Jen’s shoulder. “You’re willing to just let it go on to keep Supernatural?”
“I love this job. So do you.”
“I know, but—”
“I can live with it.”
“I can’t.”
“I can. I’ve lived with it for two years.”
Jared tried to breathe through his nose, calm his rapidly fraying nerves. “What if one day he wants
more than just… groping at the desert table? What then?”
“Then we’ll deal with it if it comes up.”
Deal with it if it comes up… Unbelievable. “No. We can’t let it get that far. What if he knocks you out in
the parking lot or something? I don’t want him anywhere near you anymore.”
“I have frozen pizza.”
“Jen.”
“I think that’s all I have. It’s kind of old, but it looks ok.”
Jared tightened his hold and gently pulled Jensen away from the open freezer. “Jensen.”
“Dude, you sound just like my mom when you say it like that.”
“You know I love Supernatural, and I don’t wanna be jobless, but I can’t watch this. He’s sexually
harassing you right under everyone’s noses. S’not right.”
At the sexual harassment part, Jensen’s face scrunched up as if he’d just sucked on a particularly sour
lemon. “S’not harassment,” Jensen mumbled.
Turning Jensen around to face him, Jared asked, “Then what is it?”
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Jensen stared at him, wordless. Jared finally said, “Right. So we go to Eric tomorrow. We might lose
the show, but maybe we can expose this guy.”
Jensen backed out of Jared’s reach and snatched the pizza box out of the freezer. “He’ll take away his
financial support and we will lose Supernatural. And I…”
“What?”
“I don’t wanna tell Eric.”
“Why not?”
Jensen shook his head, gripping the pizza box hard enough to bend the cardboard.
Jared flashed through possibilities in his head, then said, quietly, carefully, “Are you ashamed or
something?”
Jensen spun around to face him, narrowed eyes flashing a dark warning that told Jared he was right on
the money with his guess.
“Just fuck off,” Jensen hissed, yanked the pizza out of the box, slapped it on a pan, and shoved it into
the oven.
Momentarily stunned, Jared backed away a little. He’d never seen Jensen so angry. Frankly, it was a
little scary.
Jensen was leaning with his palms on the counter, head hanging between his shoulders.
Jared approached carefully, like Jensen was a wild animal that had the potential to bite, and laid a hand
between his shoulder blades. He flinched when Jensen shrugged it off, muttering, “Don’t. Not in the
mood for… touching.”
In his mind, Jared was mentally flashing through every single time Jensen had pulled away from his
touches, hesitant and shy and sometimes just fucking scared. Shit, it all makes sense now. Fucking Bill
has been screwing with his head all this time.
Taking a deep breath, Jared said, “I’m not leaving you.”
Jensen shot back a quick, “Whatever.”
“It’s not your fault.”
“What?”
“The way Bill treats you.”
“I know.”
“Do you?”
“Yes,” Jensen ground out between clenched teeth.
“Ok, then. Just making sure.”
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Minutes passed before Jensen said, “I don’t want anyone to know the stuff he says to me. I know that
sounds weird but most of it’s pretty hardcore, and I know Eric’s going to want me to tell him because
he’s gonna need to know everything. It’s… embarrassing. Sounds like stuff from a gay porno or
something.”
“Maybe you can write it down instead of saying it out loud…”
“Yea. Right,” Jensen said dully and turned to face Jared.
“Jen.” Just standing there watching Jensen was making Jared ache inside. He needed to hold and
stroke and comfort. He needed to erase from Jensen’s mind everything that effer had whispered in his
ear for the past two years and then kiss away every last lingering touch left by groping fingers.
“What?”
“I…” want to help you but I don’t know how. I wish I could make all of it go away. This is so fucked up.
Why is it all so hard? “Never mind.”
Jensen took a step toward Jared, faltered, then came to stand directly in front of him. He put his hands
on Jared’s hips and looked up at him uncertainly.
Jared’s head titled in curiosity, questioning Jensen’s actions. Hm. This is new.
Then, without a word, Jensen moved in closer, wrapped his arms around Jared’s back and pressed
himself into Jared’s body. In turn, Jared’s arms automatically went around Jensen.
“I…” Jensen faltered. “Sorry. Been a long day.”
“S’ok, Jen.”
Actually, things were more than ok because it felt kind of good standing there holding Jensen in his
arms right in the middle of the kitchen. Felt kinda really good. Those freakishly long lashes of Jensen’s
tickled Jared’s neck when Jensen blinked, and suddenly kitchen sex sounded extremely appealing.
Jared had never tried it before, but hey, he was up to sampling new things. He could just shove (no…
gently guide) Jensen against that counter and—
“It’s not because I’m scared of him.”
Jared blinked his fantasies away with a slow, muddled-sounding, “Huh?”
Where were we, again?
“The reason I haven’t told him off isn’t because I’m scared of him. It’s because I’m scared of losing my
job.”
Unconsciously, Jared started rubbing small, soothing circles on Jensen’s back. “I know. I don’t want to
be out on my ass without a job, either. But you mean more to me than anything, which is why I can’t
just let this go. He’s, like, peeling away at you a little each day. It has to stop.”
“Peeling away at me?”
“Yea... I was in the moment. Shuddup.”
“Whatever. Wanna forget the pizza and go to bed?”
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“Yea. Looked kind of old and wrinkled, anyway. Is the cheese supposed to be that color?”
--------Jensen’s bed was almost becoming as comfortable and familiar to Jared as his own.
Under the blankets once again, Jared turned on his side and spooned himself around Jensen’s back,
soft t-shirt material rubbing against Jared’s bare chest. “S’ok?” he asked.
“Yea.” Jensen paused. Jared could feel him taking a deep breath. “Gotta ask you something.”
“Ok. Shoot.”
“What if we… would you still wanna be with me if there was no sex in this relationship?”
Huh?
………
Oh.
…
OHHH.
…
Dang.
Jared licked his dry lips. Swallowed. Planned out his response carefully. Then, before he had a chance
to finish going over exactly what it was he was going to say, completely different words spilled out of
his mouth instead. “I love you, Jensen.”
Jensen shifted, craned his neck around to peer over his shoulder at Jared. “You sure it’s not just…
lust?”
Ok. Not exactly the response I’d been hoping for.
“I’m sure.” Jared buried his face in Jensen’s hair. “If that’s what you really want – no sex – I’ll do it. I’ll
do anything for you.”
“You really love me?” Jensen asked, disbelief evident in his voice as warm breath puffed into Jared’s
face and over his cheek.
“More than anything, Jen. Think I always have.”
He could feel Jensen’s body go lax in his arms, tension ebbing away as Jensen turned his face away
again.
“Ok,” Jensen drawled slowly, “ok.”
“So,” Jared started, “I would go with it if that’s what you really want… but I have to know… even after
the shower thing yesterday… you still wouldn’t want to… try it? Because I thought we were pretty hot
together…”
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But maybe that was just me…
“Yea. We were. The way I’m acting… it’s not you, Jared.”
“Is it,” Jared paused, not wanting to say Bill’s name in bed, “you-know-who?”
“Voldemort?”
Jared snorted hot breaths of laughter into the back of Jensen’s neck. “You said you didn’t read Harry
Potter.”
“I… saw the movies.”
“Uh-huh.”
“Shut up.”
“But seriously, Jen, does it have something to do with… you-know—”
Jensen pulled himself out of Jared’s arms and turned on his side to face him across the pillow. The
moonlight filtering in through the window behind Jensen silhouetted his tousled hair and shadowed his
face.
“Some of the stuff he’s always saying to me…”
“Yea…?”
“Like… he can’t believe I’m not… you-know—”
“Voldemort?”
“Dude.”
“Right. Sorry.”
“He can’t believe I’m not gay because I’m always asking for it.”
“Can I kill him? Please, Jen? I’ll make it fast… or slow, whichever you want. Just let me—”
“He’s always saying I want it. And if I…with you… maybe that means he’s known something about me
that I didn’t know all this time, and I don’t want him to be right about me. I just… I don’t want him to
know anything about me.” The words came out rushed, and Jared couldn’t help but notice just how
incredibly young Jensen sounded all of a sudden. When he’d finished, a quiet settled over the bedroom.
After taking it in slowly and separating out the jumbled, rushed words, Jared said, “Sexual predators
always say stuff like that, Jen. Don’t you ever watch the news? Or Dr. Phil? It makes them feel better
about what they’re doing and eases their guilt. You know? Otherwise they’d have to face up to what
they are – stalkerish losers.”
“You watch Dr. Phil?”
“Sometimes I get bored after work and there’s nothing on — wait, that’s not even the point.”
“I know. I get what you’re saying.”
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Jared’s hand curved up to finger Jensen’s hair. In a hushed voice, he asked, “He makes it sound dirty,
doesn’t he?”
“Well… yea.”
“That’s because he’s already a dirty, disgusting piece of shit.”
“I know, but now I always associate gay sex with Bill.”
Ew. “That’s nasty, dude.”
Jensen actually laughed. Then: “I know, and I wasn’t exactly raised to believe it was… ok, you know?”
“Yea.”
“I never had anything against gays. I just never put myself in that picture, you know?”
“Same here.”
“I just… I don’t know, Jay.”
“Maybe we’re only gay for each other.”
Jensen laughed again, the sound floating across the small space between them and warming Jared’s
whole body.
Jared said, “Like… maybe our inner gay never would’ve seen the light if we hadn’t met each other. Like
maybe you were my key and I was yours and we unlocked each other’s gay when we met. You think?”
Jared couldn’t see him clearly, but he felt Jensen’s head turn under his fondling fingers, and it kind of
sounded like Jensen was laughing into the pillow, really hard, the sound muffled and far off.
“Jensen?”
“You’re insane, Padalecki.”
“I get that a lot.”
“I’m not surprised.”
At the comment, Jared tugged playfully on Jensen’s hair.
“Ow. Asshole.”
“Seriously, Jen. Do you think what we have going on here is dirty? I mean, does it feel dirty to you?”
“No.”
“Then let Bill go… fuck himself since no one else’ll do it, and forget about what he’s said to you. He
only says that stuff to get close enough to smell your shampoo, anyway.”
“Smell my shampoo…? Dude.”
“Yea, he probably has your brand of cologne and your shampoo lined up by his bed, so that he can
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smell it before he goes to sleep every night, kiss his pillow, and—”
“Ok, you can stop now. I get.”
“Ok.” Jared fiddled with the edge of the blanket, trying to sort his words out in his head. Then, before
Jensen had a chance to drop off to sleep, he said softly, “Jen… I wanna… I mean…” Shit, c’mon. Spit it
out, man. I can do this. “Let me prove to you that it doesn’t have to be dirty and filthy. Gimme a
chance and I’ll… I’ll make it amazing.”
Enough silent, unanswered minutes passed that Jared thought Jensen had gone to sleep. The way he
had his face half buried in the pillow, with shadows hiding the rest of his face, made it hard to tell
exactly what was going on across the pillow. Jared whispered, “Hey? You still with me?”
Jensen finally stirred, voice still clear. “Yea. I heard you.”
“All right.” And…?
“I know it’ll be good. Just give me some time, ‘kay?”
Even though Jensen probably couldn’t see him through the gloom, Jared nodded. “As much time as you
want, Jen. I just want you to know I’m in this because I love you… not for the woowoo.”
“Do I even wanna know why you just called it that?”
“Probably not.”
“Didn’t think so.”
Jared bit his lip, and added, “Bill doesn’t know crap about you because he doesn’t want to.”
Jensen snorted. “Except my brand of shampoo, right?”
“He only likes what he sees, but he doesn’t care about anything else. Tell him to fuck off next time.
We’re telling Eric soon, anyway, so you can get a chance to tell him off first.”
“I think we’re gonna lose Supernatural.”
“Maybe. But I’m not gonna stand around and watch you take it. It’s not worth it.” You’re hurting. I
don’t want you to hurt.
Jared felt Jensen’s warm hand on his face, his neck, his chest, trailing invisible pathways along his skin,
and marking, searching, exploring. It came to a rest tangled in Jared’s hair.
“Ok?” Jared asked.
“Ok.”
“I love you.”
“I… thanks.”
Ok. It’s a start.
Sliding across silky sheets, Jared scooted so close to Jensen that their noses bumped in the dark.
Jensen barely had a chance to grunt a “What the…” before Jared wrapped himself around Jensen’s
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sideways-sprawled body. With his face smashed into Jared’s chest, Jensen mumbled something muffled
and unclear, followed by, “Can’t breathe, Jay…”
And, in a firm voice, Jared answered, “He’s never touching you again.”
“Dude, still can’t brea—”
“Ever.”
{End of part 9}
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= 10 =
The Art of Chocolate
Series/Verse: Part of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out of
control.
Summary: Valentine’s Day. J2 Style.
Type: Real people
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 7,318
Warnings: Kissing, angst, no sex. *hangs head in shame*
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale.
AN: The title is a tiny bit misleading. It’s not really all that porny. At all. And don’t haaate me for where
I ended it. It was 2am and my brain died.
“Ngghrrggg,” moaned an incoherent Jensen, face down in the bed.
Jared leaned close, tone teasing, and murmured, “Jen-Jen,” right in his ear.
“Fuh ooh,” Jensen croaked out and pulled the pillow over his head.
“What was that?” Jared poked him in the ribs with one long finger. “I don’t speak 5am-Jensen.”
Jensen didn’t answer, and Jared let out an exaggerated long-suffering sigh. “Man, is it gonna be like
this every morning? Where I take half an hour to drag you back to consciousness?”
“Bug off.”
The fingers of Jared’s right hand teased down Jensen’s back. “You’re such a little ball of sunshine in the
morning.”
Jensen’s arm snaked out of the blanket to swat blindly at Jared’s head. And, wow, he had pretty good
aim for five in the morning. He caught Jared upside the head, his fingers getting twisted in Jared’s
shaggy sleep-tangled hair and pulling painfully when he tried to yank his hand back under the cover.
Jared let out a pained grunt that echoed in the early morning quiet of the bedroom. Then, “Fuuuhgg —
Damnit, AGGGH — stop pulling! Jens — owfuck —”
Jensen didn’t even bother to come out from under his pillow as Jared reached up to his head and
disentangled Jensen’s fingers. In fact, judging by the way Jensen’s hand had stilled and gone kind of
limp, it appeared Jensen had gone back to sleep.
Unbelievable.
Dude almost scalped me 5 seconds ago, and now he’s already snoring again.
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Jared still held Jensen’s hand in his own. The urge to get Jensen back for the hair yanking by maybe
just squeezing Jensen’s fingers down into his palm until his knuckles popped was pretty darn tempting.
Every time Jared sat around between scenes cracking his knuckles, Jensen said even the popping it
produced sounded painful. And really, he did almost scalp Jared just a minute ago.
But then… well, Jared got distracted. It wasn’t his fault. He’d never had a long attention span.
And Jensen’s fingers were… really nice. All broad and smooth and elegant. Definitely too nice to pop.
Not once letting Jensen’s hand go, Jared settled down on his back, as close to Jensen as he could get,
and studied Jensen’s fingers: the way they felt warm between Jared’s hands; the way they intertwined
perfectly between Jared’s own fingers; the way Jensen’s hand actually felt kind of small in Jared’s, and
darn if Jared didn’t find that alarmingly hot.
Oh, God. I really have turned into a girl. Only a girl would care so much about hands and fingers and…
the fact that Jen has really nice fingernails for a dude.
While Jensen snored softly next to him, Jared held Jen’s hand in front of his face with one of his large
hands while he traced each and every knuckle and fingernail and between every finger with his other
hand. What? It wasn’t creepy… or anything. It was just early. Yea, that was it. The early hour was
making Jared all weird and girly. Because Jared had never had a hand fetish before, but now he
couldn’t tear his attention away from the fact that Jensen had freckles on his hand. And Jared’s sudden
fascination over Jen’s hand was actually kind of starting to make him worry about his sanity.
Jared turned Jensen’s hand over, glanced at the unmoving pillow covering Jensen’s head, and began
running his finger over the lines on Jensen’s palm, tracing and committing each line to memory.
At this, Jensen finally groaned and stirred under the pillow. Finally, after a minute more of Jared tracing
lines on his palm, Jensen slid the pillow off his head just enough so that only his eyes and nose peeked
out. Squinting up at Jared’s face, he mumbled, “What’re y’doin’?”
“Learning you,” Jared answered simply, eyes briefly flitting over to Jensen’s face only to go back to his
hand.
“Tickles,” Jensen muttered, eyes drooping closed again.
“Where’d you get this little scar from right here?”
Jensen’s eyes creaked open again, half-lidded and unfocused. “Huh?”
“This little line right here by your thumb. What happened?”
“Fighting a zombie down in South Dakota.”
A grin spread across Jared’s face. Tugging gently at Jensen’s hand, he said, “Ok, Dean. And the real
reason would be…?”
Jensen sighed, like he knew all of his last chances at sleep had just slipped away from him, and said,
“When we were kids Mac and I were fixing Mom breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day and Mac accidentally
got my hand with the knife when we were trying to figure out how to chop tomatoes for the omelets.”
“Jeez,” Jared muttered, ghosting his finger over the scar, “could’ve taken your thumb off.”
“Almost did. Mom said it was the best Mother’s Day ever. She got to open her presents in the ER while
they sewed her son’s thumb back on.”
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“Your family’s weird, dude.”
“Yea.”
Jared reached over with his free hand and yanked the pillow off Jensen’s head, then tossed it to the
floor.
“Hey! What the—”
“Can’t see your face.” Grinning, Jared ruffled Jensen’s hair. “It’s the first thing I wanna see every
morning.”
Jensen buried his face in the crook of his elbow, muttering what sounded like, “Psycho.”
Ignoring him, Jared played with Jensen’s hand until he had his own hand palm to palm with Jensen’s,
fingers aligned. “Look, Jen.” Jared shook Jensen’s shoulder eagerly.
Jensen turned his head out of his arm and gifted Jared with an eye roll. “How the hell can you be so
perky this early in the morning?”
“Lookit our hands!”
“I’m looking,” Jensen grumbled.
“See how they fit together?”
“No.”
“I know, but now watch this.” Jared curled his fingers down and entwined them with Jensen’s. “See?
They don’t look like they fit together but they actually do. I think it’s a sign.”
“A sign that you’re a freak of nature.”
After taking three seconds to sulk, Jared said, “You’re missing the point.”
“I’m not sure I wanna know what the point is.”
Man. He’s dense in the morning. “We fit together, Jen. Even if it doesn’t always seem like it to you.”
Jensen fell silent, staring at their locked hands. Then he said, “God, your hands are huge.”
Brows drawn together and frowning slightly, Jared shot back, “They’re perfectly proportional to my
body, thanks.”
“I’m not insulting you.”
“Oh.” Squeezing Jensen’s hand, Jared hesitated, then with a small grin, added, “So you like that, huh?”
Maybe it was just too early for this kind of talk because Jensen’s face creased into a confused line.
“Should I?”
“Uh… well…” Jared cleared his throat. “I dunno.”
And then Jensen was pulling his hand out of Jared’s grasp and rolling away to sit slump-shouldered on
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the edge of the bed, and Jared wanted so badly to apologize even though he wasn’t entirely sure what
exactly to apologize for.
And suddenly the day wasn’t looking so great.
“Jense?”
“We have to be at work in 40 minutes.”
“I know. But—” OH. Jared studied Jensen’s back: the hunch of his shoulders as though he were trying
to hunker down and shelter himself from something… someone. In a quiet, finalizing tone, Jared said,
“Bill’s not coming near you today, okay?”
Jensen stopped scrubbing a hand down his face long enough to let out a short, bitter little laugh.
Within seconds, Jared had sprung up, untangled his legs from the covers, crawled on all fours across
the bed, straightened up to kneel behind Jensen, and wrapped his arms around Jensen’s chest, pulling
him slightly backwards against Jared.
Jensen said, “I don’t think this is gonna be as easy as you think.”
“The Bill thing?”
“No, global warming.”
He really needs some coffee. “We’ll figure it out.” Jared bent down into the crook of Jensen’s neck and
laid a messy kiss on the skin there. Then pulled back slightly to leave a trail of smaller, slower kisses at
the nape of Jensen’s neck, fine hairs tickling his lips as he went. “Know what I just realized today is?”
Jared asked, breath sliding down the back of Jensen’s t-shirt.
“Wednesday.”
“Valentine’s Day.”
When Jensen opened his mouth to reply, Jared swooped down and caught his lips in a sloppy, openmouthed kiss.
It was kind of an awkward position, with Jared’s knees pressing into the soft mattress and threatening
to send him off balance as he bent down to Jensen’s mouth and Jensen leaning back and craning his
head up and around to meet Jared halfway.
Even as Jared’s hands slithered up the front of Jensen’s shirt, Jensen was breaking the kiss and pulling
away.
“Wha—”
“I’m not really in the mood for,” Jensen’s hand waved in Jared’s direction, “this.”
“Uhh… okay…”
“Not when I have to deal with Bill today.” Hastily, he added, “It’s not you. It’s Bill.”
Jared let go and plopped down in a sitting position right beside Jensen, their legs pressing together
comfortably. “We have to deal with Bill today. Us, together, Jen. Besides, we end it today, remember?”
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“I think we should wait until the renewal.”
Jared hesitated, head titled, regarding Jensen with a slightly broody, Sam-like expression. “Maybe. But
that means you still have to—”
“I’ve put up with him for two years. I can handle a couple more months.”
In a protective move, Jared’s arm slid around Jensen’s waist, then moved up, restless, to rub up and
down Jen’s back. “I don’t like this… him around you… even for a couple more months.”
“It’s not like anything’s gonna happen. I’ve got this.”
“I’m not leaving your side.”
“Seriously, Jared, I’m not some fragile piece of glass that’s about to shatter.”
Jared stared at the floor, quiet and unresponsive, until Jensen cuffed him upside the back of the head.
When Jared looked up, Jensen’s face was pulled tight, eyes narrowed. “You’ve gotta back off,” Jensen
said, irritation just under the surface of his words.
“What?”
“Stop treating me like you would treat Sandy.”
Jared gaped, started to speak, but Jensen went on. “I know this is how you’d treat Sandy if she were in
my position. You’d be all over it and ready to take over and protect her. I don’t need you to do that. I’m
not her.”
Once Jared had retrieved his jaw from the ground, he said, “I… I know.”
“Good.”
“Jensen.” The look Jensen turned on Jared was hard and cold, a challenge: Dare you to argue about
this.
“Okay,” was all Jared said, because suddenly there was only one thought in his head, and it had
crowded out all the rest: Shit. Am I treating him like Sandy?
“Okay,” Jensen repeated, standing with a yawn. Facing Jared, he stretched, slow and lazy, eyes closed,
arms over his head, shirt inching up to reveal low-slung boxers. Thoughts of Sandy vanished as Jared’s
eyes dropped down to the sliver of skin just above Jensen’s boxers. Jensen’s arms came back down and
his shirt slid back into place.
Jared blinked away the threats indicating the beginning of an Ackles-induced-lust stupor. (He had
become pretty used to them by now.) “You do that on purpose, don’t you?”
Without even having to ask what he was talking about, Jensen answered, “Nah,” and Jared looked up
at his face just in time to catch the crinkles around Jensen’s eyes making an appearance before he had
a chance to completely wipe the smirk off his face.
“Dickwad,” said Jared, playfully gliding a hand under Jensen’s shirt to tickle along his side. He leaned
close to Jensen’s ear, a mere trace of breath at the back of Jensen’s neck. “Don’t want Sandy. Want
you.” He pulled back, grinning at Jensen’s stock still stature. Breezing into the bathroom, Jared calling
over his shoulder, “Guest gets the bathroom first!”
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“Hey, Jare?”
Jared peered around the door he was just about to slam. “Yea?”
Pursing his lips and pinching his face into an exaggerated expression of disgust, Jensen said, “You
could use some Listerine, dude.”
--------Jared found it really hard to concentrate when he was slowly simmering underneath Sam’s thick layer
of angst.
Because Bill really, really had to go. Or at least just back the freak off.
Bill claimed that Jensen had a problem with the scene they were doing. He was insistent on “personally
helping Jensen through it.”
Because he was such a great, caring director.
Jared wanted to clock him.
On the other side of the set, Jared watched Jensen’s knee bouncing up and down, a nervous tick that
Jared had never noticed him show signs of before. Jensen’s eyes flicked over to Jared, and they held
each other’s gaze for a moment, Jensen’s face a blank mask, until Bill crowded into Jensen’s personal
space again, this time blocking him from Jared’s view.
A muscle in Jared’s jaw twitched. It was killing him to keep quiet, to keep out of it knowing Bill was just
across the room muttering dirt in Jensen’s ear, his hand roaming places it shouldn’t. And all of it right
on set.
How the hell does no one notice?
From his seat in the corner, he peered over Sam’s laptop, eyeing Jensen and Bill and gripping the sides
of his chair with punishing force.
Although he couldn’t make out what Bill was murmuring, Jared could see them clearly as Bill sat down
on the bed beside Jensen, his hand brushing the small of Jensen’s back and dipping lower while he
casually held a script out to Jensen.
Fuck.
As soon as Jared saw that hand slip behind and under Jensen, Jared was up and across the room
before he even realized he was moving.
Instantly, he was looming over Bill and Jensen, who were both still seated.
Bill blinked up at Jared, a smile spreading over his face. “Want something, Jared?”
Yea, your wrinkly old hand away from boyfriend’s ass.
He was so close, so close to telling Bill exactly what to do with that hand, where to go and where to
stick it. But his eyes left Bill’s face at the same moment that Jensen stood up and rested a casual hand
on Jared’s chest, over his heart, pushing him away from Bill.
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Jensen laughed, forced and fake, thumped Jared on the chest all relaxed and friendly-like, and said, “I
told you. I left the gummy bears in my trailer. We’ll get ‘em during a break.”
Jared forced his eyes to Jensen’s, and the message he found there was clear: Don’t. Don’t fight this for
me.
Stiff smile in place, Jared grabbed Jensen by the elbow, saying, “Gotta ask you something, Jen,” and
tossed Bill a look that could’ve burned a hole through a cement wall.
Once they were off in a corner, far enough away so that no one could hear, Jared dropped Jensen’s
arm, eyes flashing in Jensen’s face. “He’s groping you right on set!”
“Really? I didn’t notice.”
Jared was so not in the mood for sarcasm. Apparently Jensen picked up on that fact with one glance at
Jared’s face, because then he glanced around quickly, to make sure no one was watching them, and
laid a tentative hand on Jared’s arm, leaning in so close that Jared could smell the spicy scent of his
cologne.
“Jared, man, you have to calm down.”
“Calm down! The fuck, Jen? His hand was…” Jared made a gesture that caused Jensen to flinch, “…and
his fingers were…”
“Squeezing my ass. Dude, I get it. You can leave the obscene hand gestures out of it.”
In a tight voice, Jared said, “I’m not just gonna sit there while he touches you.”
It wasn’t until he slowed down long enough to feel Jensen’s hand rubbing up and down his arm in a
soothing petting motion that he realized he was heaving breaths in and out like a bull about to charge.
And it was kind of funny, because he couldn’t remember ever being this pissed off, not even a year ago
when that guy from that bar started making rude remarks about Sandy right to her face and Jared had
had to take it outside (a friendly request by the bartender).
“Look,” said Jensen in a low voice, “I don’t know what’s going on. He’s never gone that far before.” At
this, Jensen hunched his shoulders and pulled his hand from Jared’s arm to stick both hands into the
pockets of Dean’s leather jacket. “He’s getting pretty bold.”
Jared’s dark tone matched his mood. “No shit. It has to stop.”
“You going off on Bill right now s’only gonna guarantee we don’t get another season. Since Eric’s not
here today, we’ll tell him tomorrow. Got it?”
“But he’s—”
“It’s okay. We only have a few more hours to go today.”
“It’s not okay—”
“We’re going to finish this. Got it?”
Jared sucked in a deep breath. “I just wanna take you home. Right now. This isn’t right.”
“First we’re gonna finish this episode. And you’re not killing anybody. Got it?”
134
“I wanna get you out of here. Now. Let’s just—”
“Jared.”
Scuffing his shoe across the floor, Jared huffed out a breath, followed by a stubborn, “Fine.”
Stupidfriggin’stubbornasshole.
Jensen turned and walked back onto the set, Jared sulking along behind him. Someone asked them if
everything was okay, and Jared gave the crew member a tight-lipped nod. Everything was so far from
okay that he couldn’t even see it anymore.
Moments after they made their way back to Bill, he had his grimy hand clapping Jensen on the back,
squeezing the back of his neck, and saying with a wide smile, “There’s my boy! Ready to get back to
work on this scene, Jense?”
Jensen muttered a flat “sure” and his eyes darted over to Jared, who’s jaw was clenched so tightly that
it kind of really hurt.
As soon as Jensen turned around, Jared cracked his jaw, trying to pop the kink out of it.
Jared looked up just in time to see Bill glancing his way, his arm around Jensen’s shoulders, and all
Jared could think through his haze of red fury was, Valentine’s Day really sucks.
--------No one could ever say that Jared didn’t at least try. He was perfectly calm (tense and fuming) for a
couple hours (half an hour, give or take a few minutes).
But then Bill went one step too far, and it snapped Jared’s control in half like a twig under a tire.
They were in another dingy motel room, with Sam and Dean seated across from each other at the
motel’s little wood table. Since Bill was sitting at the table with them, way too close to Jensen, Jared
was watching Bill’s every move. Every too-quiet word from Bill’s mouth sent Jared’s teeth grinding.
I really need a class in lip-reading.
Taking deep breaths through his nose calmed Jared somewhat, so he was breathing deeply and
watching the room’s dull lamplight flickering over Jensen’s downcast eyes. Jared kicked Jensen’s leg
under the table to get him to look up. Jensen’s eyes flashed him a warning, and Jared let out a loud,
indignant sigh.
This sucks.
“…was thinking of trying something new,” Bill said, raising his voice loud enough for Jared and several
crew members to hear. “Since Jensen doesn’t seem to be getting it any other way.”
Sitting up straighter, Jared shot Jensen a quizzical look, but Jensen’s eyes were on Bill, his gaze filled
with pure venom.
Bill threw Jared a random smile.
Yea, ok… that wasn’t creepy at all.
135
“You’re in top form today, Paddy. Doin’ great. Jensen could take a lesson from you,” said Bill.
All Jared could manage was a hard stare at Bill. Maybe if I stare hard enough he’ll implode.
He glanced over at Jensen, who was slumped down in the seat as if to make himself smaller. His head
was thrown back, eyes staring daggers up at the ceiling.
I think I missed something…
Before Jared could take in the meaning of any of it, before he could try to figure out what the hell was
going on, he saw the hand that Bill had had resting on the table slip down and out of sight. A split
second later Jensen’s head snapped upright, his eyes wide, mouth open in a surprised O-shape.
Jared turned to him, concerned, face questioning. The chili they’d had at lunch had just hit Jared’s
stomach, and he figured maybe Jensen was feeling the burn, too. But Jensen didn’t look at Jared. He
turned straight to Bill, and hissed, “Get off me.”
And oddly enough, Bill was looking straight at… Jared.
Jared was still stuck on his chili problem and really just kind of wanted to throw something at the wall.
Preferably Bill’s head.
But then Jared took another look at Jensen’s face and it clicked so fast that he knocked his chair over
backwards when he jumped to his feet.
And even though Jared wasn’t exactly a director, he bellowed, “CUT!” loud enough to shake the walls.
Bill watched him with an almost amused expression.
“Need to talk to you, Bill. Now.”
“Really? Is it urgent?”
“NOW.”
Bill got up to leave. Jensen, face red and jaw squared, started to stand, too, but Jared said, “No, Jen.
Just… stay. I need to talk to Bill. Alone.”
“What?”
But Jared was already storming out of the room, mind focused on only one thing: The least messy way
to murder someone.
Jared slammed out the door and met Bill in an empty hallway.
Bill’s smile was wide and relaxed when Jared caught up to him. Wide and relaxed and so smug that it
was burning Jared’s retinas.
“What can I do for you, Jay-red?”
You can go to hell.
“You need to keep your hands off him.”
136
“What?” The smile never left Bill’s face and darn if that wasn’t annoying the hell out of Jared. “Who?”
“You know who, man. You can drop the act. I know what’s going on.”
And to Jared’s surprise, Bill clapped him on the shoulder, still smiling in that infuriating way, and said “I
don’t think you do, Jared.”
“Touching his—” Jared swallowed thickly, suddenly aware that he didn’t even want to say out loud what
he’d just witnessed. “Touching him under the table right on set. You’re like some old pervert.”
Bill laughed, causing Jared to take a step back. Dude’s missing some marbles or something.
“Listen,” Bill said, as if Jared were a naughty schoolboy who wouldn’t listen to authority, “you can tell
Kripke if you want.”
“I—” Wait. What? “I think I will.”
“But the thing is, you like acting, right?”
Shit. I can already tell where this is going.
“You going to threaten to pull out of Supernatural now? Just like you’ve been threatening Jensen with
that for two years?” Jared eased in a little closer to Bill, drawing up to his full height. “You want to
threaten me, Bill?”
It didn’t happen to Jared often, but Bill laughed, right in his face. And, between the questionable chili
he’d had at lunch and Bill’s condescending tone, Jared was on his last nerve of the day.
“That’s cute, Paddy, you standing up for your boyfriend’s virtue.”
In surprise, Jared didn’t answer, which might have been the worst answer of all because it seemed to
instantly confirm it for Bill, who smirked, actually literally smirked, up at him.
“One can’t help but notice the way you two look at each other – like two lovesick puppy dogs. It’s
pretty nauseating, actually. I’m surprised no one else has noticed. But then again no one around here is
really all that observant.”
Jared’s jaw worked soundlessly, mind blanking at the unexpected turn. This… this can’t be good.
“Now, see,” Bill went on, resting a finger to his chin as if in deep thought, “I could really ruin both of
you. It would only take one phone call. Would you like me to do that for you?” Do that for him. As if
ruining both of their careers was a favor he happened to be offering Jared.
Not trusting himself to speak, Jared resorted to glaring and silently wishing lightening to strike Bill dead
on the spot.
“Not so much, eh, Jare? Aw, don’t give me that look. I’m on your side. I don’t want you two to lose
your jobs and end up out on the street. We’re in this together, now.”
Ironically, those words sounded annoyingly familiar. Probably because he’d said them to Jensen just last
night.
“The way I see it, it’s you and me, Jared.”
What the hell? Is he hitting on me now?
137
Jared said, “You and me? What are you talking about?”
Bill smiled, and it was disturbingly paternal. “Well we both have great taste, right?”
By now Jared had his fists curled so tightly that his fingernails were cutting painfully into his palms.
This had to be the weirdest, sickest conversation Jared had ever had. He was ready for it to end.
“We can keep this whole thing civil… and private. There’s no need for the world to know about the
thing you and Jensen have together. And Supernatural’s a great show. We don’t want it to end, do we?”
“No, but—”
“Then I have a small request.”
Jared’s mind automatically started flashing a warning. Because there was no way that this conversation
was ever going to end well, and Jared was starting to wonder if maybe he’d handled all of this wrong.
He glared down at Bill, refusing to give in and ask about the “request.”
Bill said, “I really have no problem with you and Jensen and your… relationship. In fact, I’m quite happy
about it.”
Jared’s mind was grinding to a halt, saying, Whoa, wait a minute there. That can’t be right.
“I think one night the three of us should get together and… what is it you kids say these days? Hang
out.”
“Hang out? Why would you want to—”
“At your place. The three of us.”
The three of us. At my place. Alone. There’s no fucking way he means… maybe he means… wait, no. I
don’t get it.
“I don’t get it.”
Bill’s dark gray, bushy eyebrows rose slightly. “You don’t get it, or you don’t want to get it? It’s a pretty
simple request.”
“Like, what, a movie?” Please, God. Let it just be watching a movie.
“I enjoy just watching, but I don’t mind participating as well.”
Jared gaped at him, his face growing hot with anger and embarrassment. Surely this conversation
wasn’t really happening. Maybe he’d dozed off in his trailer.
Suddenly, the need to have Jensen there, at his side, was overwhelming. He needed backup. Jensen,
Eric, his momma, anyone would do, really. He badly needed someone else there to hear this insanity.
Because who, besides Jensen, would ever believe fatherly director Bill was trying to blackmail him into
a threesome?
This is seriously farked up.
“Dude, you’ve gotta be kidding me. This is a joke, right?”
138
“I don’t joke.”
Huh.
“Now I don’t mind bringing the supplies, or do you have your own?”
“Su… supplies?”
“Condoms, lube, handcuffs.”
“Handcu — What the hell, Bill?”
“I’ll bring the necessary items. Take the rest of the day to decide, and get back to me by tomorrow.”
Another clap on the shoulder and Bill had left the hallway.
Jared gaped at the door for a full minute before straightening up and sprinting to find Jensen.
We are so screwed.
--------Jared practically tackled Jensen just as he was entering his trailer.
“Dude, the hell—” Jensen started, but Jared spun him around and shoved him through the door of the
trailer, following close behind and kicking the door shut behind him.
Since he had just sprinted across the set, asking everyone where Jensen had gone, Jared leaned
heavily with his back against the wall, and said, “I need a minute.”
“You need a minute? You look like hell.”
“We have a problem.”
“Yea, we do.”
“Wait… what?”
In a heartbeat, Jared had a face full of Ackles as Jensen crowded him against the door. And for a split
second, Jared thought Jensen was aiming for a little make out session, which he normally wouldn’t
have been opposed to, but yea.
Instead of Jensen’s lips, Jared got a sharp jab in the chest. “What the hell was that back there?” Jensen
snapped.
“What… huh?”
“Don’t ever look down at me and tell me to stay like some fucking dog while you run off to ‘handle the
situation.’ We do this together or we don’t do it at all, because if you ever pull that shit on me again, I’ll
take you down. I fucking swear.”
Jared took a brief moment to tell himself that he shouldn’t find Jensen’s deep, growly tone of voice at
the moment and the string of curses from that mouth such an incredible turn-on.
139
Now was so not the time to be thinking with his other head.
“Jen, I… I’m sorry, man. I wasn’t thinking. I won’t do it again.”
Jensen backed off, and Jared’s lungs recalled how to breathe again.
Jared scratched at the back of his head. “We’re good, right?”
“Yea. Whatever. We’re good.”
“Okay, because we have a problem.”
“What?”
“Bill.”
“No shit. He had his hand…” Jensen motioned at his crotch.
“I know. That’s why I went off on him… I mean, well, I went into the hall and confronted him.”
Jensen groaned. “I thought you went to your trailer.”
“I wish.” Jared tugged at his hair. “Jen… he knows about us.”
Jensen’s eyes widened, large and round, and the expression on his face almost would’ve been a little
comical if not for the situation. “How the hell does he know about us?”
“Says we look at each other like dogs or whatever.”
“What?”
“Like lovesick puppies or something.”
“That doesn’t make sense. I mean, I get it with you, but I don’t do puppy.”
“He’s gonna, like, I don’t know, report us to the world or whatever.”
“I told you, man. I told you he’d do this if he found out.”
“That’s not, uh, the worst part.”
“There’s more?”
“Oh yea. He kind of… I mean he… He’s weird, Jen, we’re talking dropped on his head more than once
when he was a baby kind of weird.”
“What’d he say?”
Maybe if I say it fast it’ll be easier to get out… “Hewantsathreesome.”
“He wants a…” Jensen’s voice trailed off, and Jared could see the exact moment that it clicked into
place for him. His entire expression hardened, fine features screwing together in a look of revulsion.
“Screw that.”
140
“What d’we… what are we gonna do?”
“Kiss Supernatural goodbye.”
“Dude, this is a disaster.”
Jensen fell silent, then walked closer to Jared’s spot by the door. “Still think this,” he nodded at Jared,
“is worth it?”
Without pause, Jared pushed away from the door and had Jensen in his arms. “Yes.”
“You’re positive?”
“Yes.” Jared’s head dropped to Jensen’s upturned face, his lips gliding over Jensen’s before locking with
lips that drove him crazy every time he even glanced at Jensen.
He felt Jensen’s hands come up to his waist and curl into the material of his shirt. Jared pressed in
closer, desperate to get as close as possible to Jensen, to feel his heat.
Jensen made a low, growling sound that Jared almost mistook for STOP until Jensen’s hands slid lower.
Jared almost toppled them both over when he jerked into Jensen at the first sign of hands on his ass.
Jensen pulled back at Jared’s moan. “Okay?”
“Jesus, yes,” Jared said.
“Not about to come your pants, are you?”
“Fuck you.”
“Soon.”
Jared’s brain short-circuited. He dipped back into Jensen’s face and tugged at Jensen’s bottom lip with
his teeth before sucking the plump flesh into his mouth. Jensen made a throaty incoherent sound that
Jared swallowed for him.
A small squeeze at Jared’s ass and Jensen pulled away. Jared whimpered.
“We can’t… not here, man.”
“We can.”
Jensen licked his swollen bottom lip, making it a wet and shiny invitation for Jared to dive back in.
Jensen’s palm on his chest stopped him. “Dude. No. I’m not doing anything here. This place… work…
all of it’s tainted for me now.”
Jared stopped halfway to Jensen’s face. “Tainted?”
“Because, man. You know…?”
“Voldemort?”
“Exactly.”
If it was even possible, Jared practically gurgled out a sigh, relenting. “Gotta ask you something.”
141
“Okay.”
Jared’s arm circled around Jensen’s waist. “You asked me about still being sure about us, but you still
want this, too, right?”
“Yea. Of course.”
“More than Supernatural?”
There was barely a breath before Jensen, voice firm, said, “Yes.”
Wow.
“Be nice to have both, though,” Jensen added.
Jared smiled, wide and bright. “Least we got a chance to meet each other.”
In the time it took for Jared to blink, Jensen’s fingers had come up to Jared’s face, tracing over the
dimple in Jared’s right cheek. Jared caught his hand, guiding Jen’s fingers across his lips and over to his
other cheek.
“We better get out of here before I lose control,” Jared said. “God, Jen, I… you… you’re…”
“Smokin’ hot?”
“Totally,” Jared breathed out.
“Or was it stunning?” Jensen poked Jared in the ribs with his other hand, and Jared let out a snort.
“Man, I’d just fallen in love with my best friend. You can’t hold anything I said that night against me. I
didn’t have control of my brain.”
“Your place this time?”
Yespleasenow. “Okay.”
--------They didn’t make it out of the parking lot without incident because it just wasn’t that kind of day.
Like some creepy stalker, Bill was lurking just outside of the door leaving the building. Jared jumped
when Bill’s voice came from right behind them. The way he kind of appeared out of the shadow of the
building was extremely creepy.
“Heading home for a little Valentine’s Day celebration?”
“Fuck off,” Jared warned.
“Wouldn’t want to keep you from your evening plans. Just want to make sure you keep my offer in
mind and talk it over tonight.”
“You’re one sick freak,” said Jensen.
142
“And it’s not gonna happen,” Jared added.
“Is that so?” Bill’s head swung over to Jensen, who was standing slightly behind Jared. “Did Jenny
refuse? He’s kind of a tease, isn’t he?”
Jared took a menacing step toward Bill, who instead of flinching, said with a surprised little laugh,
“Hold on there, Paddy. Am I understanding this correctly? You haven’t gotten any use out of him yet?”
It was the last card in the deck slamming down on an already barely balanced cardhouse. Jared made
a grunting noise and a lunge, but instead of a handful of Bill, he suddenly found Jensen directly in front
of him instead. Jensen, with his arms pushing Jared away, saying, “Don’t. He already knows he’s not
gonna get what he wants from us, so now he’s looking for a surefire way to ruin our careers.”
Jared stood, panting, several feet away from Bill, Jensen in between, a hand still on Jared’s chest.
“Don’t give him the ammunition, Jared. It’s how he works.”
Bill threw back his head to the night sky and laughed. “But we both know he likes to tease, eh Jared?
Been reeling you in with those cocksucker lips, has he?”
“Fuck,” Jared hissed.
“Hey,” said Jensen sharply, bunching Jared’s shirt in the hand he still had on Jared’s chest. When Jared
finally dragged his eyes off of Bill to focus on Jensen, he said, “We’re leaving,” and shoved car keys into
Jared’s hand. “Get in the car, Jared.”
From the safety of shadows, Bill called, “You’re going to let him talk to you like that, Paddy? I think that
deserves some sort of punishment.”
Jensen turned Jared around, away from Bill and toward their cars.
“Jensen,” Jared whispered hoarsely, “just let me… for you… for all this time he’s harassed you…”
“No. It’s what he wants you to do. By tomorrow morning it’ll be in People magazine.” He shoved Jared
into the driver’s seat, forcedly folding in Jared’s long limbs while Jared’s eyes kept flicking over to Bill.
“I’ll meet you at your place in half an hour. And you better fucking be there.” Jensen slammed Jared’s
car door.
But there was no way in hell Jared was driving off until he saw that Jensen had gotten safely into his
car, because Bill was still just standing there, watching them like some sort of freak. And all Jared could
remember were his own words from the other day: What if he knocks you out in the parking lot?
It wasn’t until he saw Jensen pulling out of the parking lot and away from the building that Jared felt it
was all right to drive off.
Bill waved at him in his rearview mirror. It took all of Jared’s control not to put the car in reverse and
back over the asshat.
--------Forty-five minutes had gone by. Jared’s watch might as well have been glued to his face for all the
times he glanced at it, waiting for Jensen to get there. Seriously, what was the deal? Jensen had been
right in front of him when they drove out of the parking lot. He should’ve gotten there the same time
as Jared.
143
Jared paced, contemplated calling the police or going back to the set or maybe stalking Bill down to
make sure nothing had… happened.
Finally, Jared gave in to his urge to be an overprotective pain in Jensen’s ass, and whipped out his cell,
finger already dialing Jensen’s number.
Jensen answered with an annoyed “What?”
“Dude, where are you?”
“Can’t say.”
“Whaaat — You can’t say? What does that mean?”
“Means I’m not telling you.”
“Jen… are you in trouble?”
It stung a little when Jensen laughed at him over the line. “I’ll be there in ten minutes. Calm down.”
Click.
Fifteen minutes passed. Jared called again.
“Yes, Mom,” Jensen answered, “don’t worry. I’m on my way. I’ll get there before curfew.”
“Seriously, Jen. What’s going on?”
“Open your front door.”
“Huh?”
“It’s locked.”
“Oh. Right. Hold on.”
Jared opened the door to find Jensen leaning against the door frame. “Scared someone’s gonna break
in and steal you?”
“No, I just got used to locking my door when I was in LA.”
“Sure.”
“Get in here,” Jared said, grabbing Jensen by the elbow and pulling him inside. “What took you so
long?”
“I got you this,” said Jensen and shoved a monstrously-sized red box of chocolates into Jared’s hand.
“The checkout line was a mile long.”
Jared stared at the shiny red box with the pink bow. Snickering, he looked back up at Jensen’s face.
“Dude, you totally got me a Valentine’s Day present.”
“It’s just chocolate.”
“You liii-iike me.”
144
“Shut up.”
“You really liiiike me.”
“Seriously. I’m about to sock you.”
“Jensen Ackles has the hots for me.”
“Shut up before I take the box back and beat you with it.”
Jared nudge Jensen. “What kind of chocolate?”
“I don’t know. The cheap kind.”
“My favorite!”
“I know.”
“And I know where we can eat it,” Jared called over his shoulder, moving towards the hallway and
already ripping plastic off the box while at the same time trying to pull his shirt over his head.
“Where are you going?”
“Follow the candy wrapper trail.”
--------“Get in,” Jared said, motioning at his pillow-covered bed and licking the caramel out of one of the
chocolates.
Jensen snorted but slid under the comforter without a word. But then he ruined it with, “Why so many
pillows, Princess Padalacki?”
Jared shrugged. “’Cause I can?”
“How girly of you.”
“Lay flat on your back.”
Jensen eyed him suspiciously but complied.
“Now close your eyes.”
“Dude. What the hell.”
Jared had moved on to a white chocolate truffle. It was damn good. “Just,” lick, “do it.” Lick.
“Why does that look obscene?” Jensen muttered, eyes fluttering shut.
Jared leaned over him and waved a hand in front of his face to make sure he wasn’t peeking. Then he
tucked the blankets in snuggly around Jensen’s body.
“Are you tucking me into bed?”
145
“Maybe.”
“Where’s my bedtime story, dude?”
Unexpectedly, Jared bent at the waist and leaned over Jensen, fingers running quickly over cheeks and
mouth and chin. “Bill’s said that to you before, hasn’t he?”
“What?” Jensen’s eyes popped opened.
“The… uh… cocksucker lips thing.”
“Oh. Yea. S’nothing. Forget it.”
“I think your lips are beautiful.” At this, Jared’s lips skirted over Jensen’s face, following the path his
fingers had just traced. Pulling back slightly, he said, “They’re expressive. Like your eyes.”
He could feel Jensen’s warm breath fanning out across his face, and… hey, wait a minute. “Are you
laughing?” Jared asked, incredulous.
Jensen quieted before answering, then said, “That’s the weirdest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”
Jared frowned. “It was supposed to be a compliment.”
“I know, but expressive lips?”
Jared nodded, completely serious.
“Well, thanks. Now where’s my bedtime story?”
“I’ve got something better. Tell me what flavor this is.”
“What?”
Jared put his hand over Jensen’s eyes. “Don’t look. Keep ‘em closed.” He stuck a cherry-filled dark
chocolate between his teeth, climbed onto the bed, swung a leg over Jensen’s body so that he was
straddling Jen, and dipped his head down to Jensen’s mouth, nudging the chocolate at his lips.
“What are you—”
Bite down. Jeez. C’mon.
Right after Jared thought it, it almost seemed like the instructions had been sent straight to Jensen’s
mouth, because he opened up and sunk his teeth into the chocolate, Jared doing the same. The
chocolate broke off in the middle. Jared sucked his half into his mouth and pressed his lips to Jensen’s,
tasting nothing but the almost bitter taste of the dark chocolate and the sticky sweet cherry flavoring
on Jensen’s lips.
Jared’s tongue smeared the liquid-like cherry filling over Jensen’s lips, and then he sucked it off.
“God,” Jensen mumbled when Jared pulled away.
“So what flavor was it?”
“Wha—? Oh, uh, chocolate.”
146
Jared laughed cherry scented puffs of breath down into Jensen’s face. “I know. But what kind?”
Jensen licked his lips, thoughtful. “Cherry.”
“And what else?”
“Chocolate.”
“C’mon, Jen. What kind of chocolate?”
“You’re the chocolate expert. Not me.”
“It was dark chocolate. There are three kinds of chocolate in the box: dark, milk, and white. By the end
of the night you’re gonna know each one. And all of the flavors inside. You’re gonna learn the art of
chocolate, Jen, because I don’t think you appreciate it the way you should.”
“Is there gonna be quiz on this in the morning?”
“I’m thinking yea.”
“Staying at your place involves a lot of work.”
“Maybe you should study harder. Close your eyes and let me tutor you.”
Jensen sighed, eyes flicking shut. “By the way, you think you can find a better way to wake me up in
the morning?”
“What’d you mean?” Jared searched through the box, on the lookout for another caramel chocolate. He
was already planning out the order in which to test Jensen. He wanted to taste every last flavor in the
box on Jensen’s lips, and caramel plus those lips was just too tempting to save for last.
“You’re my alarm now. I’m sure you can think of something creative.”
Oh baby, you don’t know what you just got yourself into. Jared chuckled and plucked out a caramel. “I
have some ideas,” Jared said, smirking openly since Jensen had his eyes closed.
“Great. Now quiz me, candyman.”
“I’m willing to work on you… I mean tutor you all night if that’s what it takes.”
“I like dedication.”
“I like your mouth covered in chocolate.”
“I’m cool with that.”
“Good, because it’s gonna be a long night.”
{End of part 10}
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= 11 =
Stumbling Out of the Closet
Series/Verse: Part of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out of
control.
Summary: Sometimes relationships have a few bumps along the way.
Type: Real people
Rating: Extremely light R
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 8,329
Warnings: a whole new level of schmoop (no, seriously)
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale.
AN: Miss me? *wink* Anyway, this installment’s more like a large helping of schmoop with a small side
order of almost-porn.
“Dude, don’t manhandle me.”
“Shhh,” Jared hissed, grabbing Jensen by the shoulders and pushing him towards a dark closet filled
with unused props. “Get in. Quick.”
“Are you out of your min—”
But Jared, having just spotted a crew member coming from around the corner, gave Jensen a hard
shove, sending him stumbling into the storage closet, where it sounded like he collided with a shelf of
props stacked along the opposite wall.
Oops.
Jared slid into the perfect pitch black darkness of the closet and quietly eased the door shut behind
him.
“Jen… be quiet.”
From the back of the closet, the clattering sounds and low curses stopped. Then Jensen’s voice came
out of the darkness, muted and ticked off. “My foot’s stuck in a bucket of something… gooey.”
“My bad.”
“You just shoved me into a wall full of prop guns and that’s all you’ve got? My bad?”
“Someone was coming. I didn’t want them to see us.”
“Okay. Well that explains everything.”
Feeling along the wall to get to Jensen, Jared slipped on a marble or a bolt or God-knows-what lying on
the floor and fell forward, flailing and knocking over more props until his body crashed into something
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solid.
It wasn’t until Jared and the solid object he’d fallen against were both tumbling to the floor and Jensen
gasped out what sounded like, “Shit” that Jared realized the solid object was Jensen, and this really
wasn’t going so well.
They landed on the floor of the closet with a loud thud, Jensen face-up on the bottom and Jared
landing on top of him. The sound of something cracking in half reverberated through the air. A prop
gun slid off the shelf above them and hit Jared square in the middle of the back.
Jared groaned at the impact of the blunt object hitting his spine. Underneath him, Jensen groaned also
and shoved roughly at Jared’s chest.
“Jesus,” Jared panted, “sorry, Jen. I’m sorry.” As if it were icing on the cake, a can of red paint (which
was often used for fake blood) tipped over the side of the now tilting shelf and landed right beside
them with a dull clunk, bursting open and splattering both boys with blood-red paint.
“I’m gonna kill you,” Jensen mumbled. “Geddoff me.”
“Are you okay? Did I… are you hurt?” Jared rose up onto his elbows to give Jensen room to breathe.
“I landed on something—ahh crap.”
“What?”
“My ankle… it was still stuck in the bucket.”
Remembering the loud crack he’d heard when they’d fallen, Jared scrambled off of Jensen, heart
hammering in his chest. “Are you okay? Did it… break? Can you move it?”
ShitI’msorryI’msorrysorrysorry.
“M’fine,” Jensen grunted.
Jared felt him shifting around, obviously trying to get up, so he reached into the dark, grasped Jensen’s
shirt sleeve, and heaved him into a sitting position. “That crack… man, are you all right? Was that your
ankle?” Jared groped down Jensen’s leg until he got to the bucket that was still on Jensen’s foot and
eased it off. It slipped off with a soft sucking sound that did nothing to calm Jared’s guilt-frayed nerves.
Jared could hear Jensen’s breaths coming out in quick, shallow little wheezes. “Jen?” The gentle touch
to Jensen’s ankle elicited an intake of breath and a sharp, “Don’t.” Jared pulled his hand away as if he’d
been burned.
“I can’t tell if it’s broken,” Jensen said. “Hurts like hell, though.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to… I didn’t see you… I—”
“It’s okay. Just help me up.”
“What was that cracking sound?” Jared asked again, almost hesitantly. He wasn’t entirely sure he
wanted to know, because he had a feeling it had been Jensen’s ankle, and bones weren’t supposed to
make that noise. They just weren’t.
“I landed on a plastic baseball bat.”
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Jared’s breath of relief released in a loud huff. “Thank God.”
“Thank God? Dude, it hurt.”
“I know, but for a minute I thought it was your ankle that’d made that sound.”
“Help me up,” Jensen repeated, hand snaking into Jared’s lap and pinching the inside of his leg.
Jared stood, pulled Jensen’s arm across the top of his shoulders, hooked an arm around Jensen’s waist,
and pulled him to his feet. “Watch out. There’s paint and junk you could trip over.”
“Wouldn’t wanna do that,” Jensen muttered, so low that Jared wasn’t even sure that’s what he had
said.
Once they were on their feet, Jensen’s arm pulled away from Jared’s shoulder while Jared kept a
steadying arm around his waist. “Can you put weight on it?”
Jensen’s soft hiss of pain echoed in the tiny room. “No... Crap, it hurts.”
Guilt bubbled up in Jared’s chest and pounded in his ears, in time with his heart. “I’m sorry. God, Jen. I
didn’t mean for this to happen. I just wanted to find a place to kiss you before we went in to talk to
Eric about... you know.”
The air reverberated with silence in Jensen’s lack of an answer. Jared held his breath and felt fingers
grapple in the material of his shirt. He grasped hold of Jensen’s searching hand, holding it firmly and
tightening his arm around Jensen’s waist. “I got you,” Jared said softly into Jensen’s hair.
The closet door opened. Jared and Jensen both looked up, squinting and blinking in the sudden bright
light, splattered in red paint, standing in the middle of a mess, wrapped around each other and
appearing… well, questionable.
Eric, looking understandably confused, stood staring at them, his gaze traveling from one paint-specked
face to the other and then to the disaster around them. His eyes met theirs again, and he said, “Uhh.”
Jared glanced at Jensen, whose cheeks were flushing a deep ruby red to match the little flecks of red
paint drying all over his face and neck. Guilty, Jared thought, we look so freakin’ guilty.
“Do I even want to know?” Eric asked.
Jared echoed Eric’s “Uhh” before settling on, “maybe not.”
Eric nodded, eyes still traveling the closet around them. “So guys,” all casual as if he was used to Jared
and Jensen causing trouble on set (which he definitely was), “some of this stuff was kind of expensive.”
Jensen started to speak, but Jared jumped in. “Take it out of my paycheck. It was my fault. All of it.” He
tossed a quick glance at Jensen’s face and added, “I think Jen needs a doctor.”
“Don’t need a doctor,” Jensen practically growled, trying to pull away from Jared’s supporting arms.
“Dude, you can’t even stand on that ankle.”
“I’m fine.” And with that, he attempted to hop out of the closet.
Jared grabbed Jensen’s left arm and swung it around his neck, his own arm instinctively wrapping
snuggly around Jensen’s middle again.
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Jensen murmured, “Jared” under his breath, and just the inflection in that one word was a clear
warning: Don’t get touch-feely in front of Eric.
“You need help walking,” Jared said loudly, meeting Jensen’s glare head on.
Eric squeezed into the closet and shouldered under Jensen’s other arm. With Eric’s help, they made
their way out of the closet and into a circle of curious crew members.
Okay. This make out session didn’t work out quite the way I’d imagined. Damn.
“What was all that racket, boys?” Jared’s head snapped up just in time to catch Bill’s knowing smirk. Of
course Bill was there; on top of everything else, of course he was there with a sleazy, underhanded
comment of some kind. Sometimes Jared hated his life. He had some shitty luck.
“Fell,” Jensen said simply.
“Looks more like you fell onto each other,” said someone else in the crowd, and several people laughed.
“Well,” Jared piped up, and Jensen shot him a quick warning glance, “I’m the one who fell, but luckily
Jensen here broke my fall.” Jared let out a hearty, good-natured laugh.
Jensen looked away and to the floor, and Jared could almost hear Jensen’s voice in his head: You’re
making it look worse, Jay. Shut up, dude.
“Think I sprained my ankle,” Jensen said. If he was trying to deflect Jared’s explanation, it wasn’t
exactly working. Not with Bill around, anyway.
Bill’s entire body language showed malicious glee, as if he’d just been waiting for an opportunity like
this. His eyes tracked Jared, Jensen, and Eric as they helped Jen hobble to a nearby chair.
Eric bent at the knees, pulled up Jensen’s pants leg, pulled off Jensen’s shoe, and examined the ankle.
When he caught sight of the swollen, purplish ankle, Jared sucked in a heavy breath. I did that. What
the hell I was thinking? Making out in a storage closet like two horny teenagers? IDIOT.
Someone blurted out, “Looks like you’ve got a golf ball under your skin, Jense,” and Jared cringed
because, shit, it did.
Suddenly Bill was right by Jared’s side, nearly bumping elbows with him. Pointing at Jensen, Bill might
have muttered something along the lines of rough in Jared’s ear, but Jared couldn’t hear it for the loud
thud thud of pumping blood throbbing in his ears.
“Buzz off,” Jared mumbled and came to stand directly behind Jensen’s chair, barely managing to his
keep his fingers from finding their way to Jensen’s tensed shoulders.
Now Eric was saying something about doctor and go home for the day. Without thinking, Jared uttered,
“I’ll take him. I mean, if we can’t do anymore filming today, anyway.”
Eric nodded as the crowd of people broke up.
Once again, Jared tucked an arm around Jensen’s back and helped him to stand. “Look, sorry ‘bout the
closet,” Jared said, nodding his head at Eric, an apology written on his face. “We were—”
But Eric held up a hand, a smile twitching at the corners of his mouth, his child-like face trying to hold
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down a blank expression. “Don’t tell me. There are some things I don’t need to know. Next time just
try not to hurt the props or any of the equipment. Need help getting out to the car?”
“Nah,” Jared answered, noticing Jensen leaning into him slightly. “Thanks. I think we’ve got it”
“Okay, then. G’luck with the ankle. I’ll get in touch with you guys tomorrow.”
“Some things he doesn’t need to know?” Jared whispered as soon as Eric had headed out the door to
the parking lot and the crowd had wandered off to head home for the day.
Jensen said, “It almost sounds like he knows...”
Jared looked down at him with wide eyes. “…about—”
“Your relationship,” Bill supplied, suddenly appearing on Jensen’s other side.
How does he do that?
“You piss me off and the next day your boss seems to know about your relationship together. Funny
how that works,” Bill said, all casual, I’m-your-dear-old-uncle sweetness. All the while, he ducked under
Jensen’s other arm. “You two look like you could use some help.”
Jared wished he had a gun. He was in the mood to shut Bill up. Or at least have the chance to point
the gun at Bill and shout, “DANCE, PUPPET, DANCE!” like in the movies. That’d be cool, too.
Instead, Jared settled for, “Back off,” and it sounded like don’t touch him and I. Will. Kill. You. wrapped
into two little words.
“Now, now, Jared. I’m just trying to help you out here. You want to get our little cocktease home
safely, right?”
For a split second, it all happened so fast that Jared thought he was the one who had jerked away from
Jensen. A moment too late, he realized that it had been Jensen who’d pulled away from him and was
now rearing his closed fist back, gathering speed and strength through his anger, and aiming directly at
Bill’s pudgy face.
The punch landed in the time it took for Jared to blink, think OH, and realize what was happening.
There was no chance to grab Jensen’s arm and stop him, no time to take it in, because Bill was already
staggering backwards, covering his bleeding nose with his hand, and gaping at Jensen with a mixture
of horror and rage.
When Jensen spoke, his voice was tight, controlled, and in Dean’s rumbling lower register. “I’ve about
had it with you.” Which kind of sounded like an understatement to Jared, considering Jensen had just
socked the guy in the face.
On one foot, Jensen turned back to Jared, who stood staring at him, open-mouthed. “You gonna help
me to the car, or what?”
Jared snapped out of it and grabbed Jensen again, sneaking little fleeting looks of wonder at him.
Jensen just socked someone. DUDE.
As they shuffled toward the exit that opened onto the parking lot, Bill’s voice came from behind them,
holding the promise of threats and tinged with the signs of a madman. “You know you’re going to pay
for this, Ackles! I gave you a chance; I gave you both a chance!”
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It was so overly dramatic, so ridiculous, so movie-ish that Jared would have laughed if it weren’t for the
fact that Jensen was convinced Bill could back words like that up. So instead of laughing, Jared started
to turn, half ready to finish what Jensen had started. If Jensen was going to go down like this, then so
was Jared.
“Don’t,” Jensen said and tugged the hair at the nape of Jared’s neck.
“So you’re the only one who gets to take a swing at him?”
“I’m the one he insulted.”
The arm Jared had curled around Jensen’s back was pressing hard enough to bruise. “I know he
insulted you. That’s why I want you to let me go back and take care of him.”
“No. I’m not gonna let you fuck up your career for me.”
“I don’t care! We’re in this together, remember?”
Jared risked a brief glance back at Bill, who was hunched over and holding his nose like a big baby with
an owie.
In a firm voice, Jensen said, “Car. Now,” causing Jared a reluctant turn back to the exit and an obvious
pick up in the pace.
“I don’t like this,” Jared said, supporting Jensen’s weight as he swung his good leg into Jared’s car.
“C’mon. I’m not that heavy.”
“You know what I’m talking about. He’s gonna go and… use what you just did and turn it to his
advantage. Make you look really bad.”
“I don’t care anymore.” Jensen let his head fall back against the seat, eyes slipping shut. He looked
weary, worn out and tired, pale skin standing out stark against the black interior of Jared’s car. Jared
stood just watching him for a minute, glued to the spot in a kind of trance.
He looks so… defeated. With that thought, Jared ducked into the car and kissed the tip of Jensen’s
nose. “I’m sorry I broke your ankle, dude.”
And Jensen laughed, eyes popping open, and said, “S’okay. I guess this just isn’t my day.”
“Guess not,” Jared murmured, climbed into the driver’s seat, and started the car.
--------“C’mon, Gimpy.”
“I swear, if you call me that one more time…”
“I’ll run away, and you’ll catch me? Or, you know, not catch me.” Jared snickered at his own humor.
“It’s only sprained.”
And that made Jared feel a little better. As long as he could fall back on the fact that he might have
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sprained Jensen’s ankle, but at least he hadn’t full on broken it.
“A few weeks,” Jensen repeated the doctor’s words, “and it’ll be fine.”
Jensen swatted at the hands Jared had just placed on his hips. “I have the crutches. I’m not an invalid.”
So Jared swung out wide in front of him, walking backwards up the hallway to his apartment, ready to
catch Jensen if he fell. “Besides,” Jensen went on, mock glowering up at him, “you don’t get to call me
Gimpy and then touch me. It ain’t right.”
“Aw Jen, I only called you that out of looove.”
Jensen’s face scrunched up into a look of contempt. Jared grinned brightly, teeth flashing sparkly white
in the hallway’s dull light.
Jared hovered near Jensen’s side all the way to his apartment door and all the way to the couch, where
Jensen kind of just let himself do a full-body drop into the cushions, the crutches clattering to the floor
next to the couch.
“Er…” Jared shuffled his feet in the carpet. “You want anything? Food, drink?”
“Nah. Got a good movie?”
“Sandy just gave me that one with Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom in it.”
Jensen just stared. After a minute, he finally said, “Wow. You are gay.”
“What?”
“Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom? Don’t they spend the whole movie in loincloths or something?”
“Uh… there’s fighting.”
“Whatever, Jaridena. Put it on. I don’t care.”
Twenty minutes later, Jared said, “You’re taking up the whole couch. Scoot over.”
Jensen grunted in protest as Jared slid over the back of the couch and squeezed himself in behind
Jensen’s sprawled body.
They watched the movie in silence for five minutes before Jared slid his arms around Jensen, pulling
him closer into his chest. “I don’t think either one of them is hot,” Jared said, rubbing a hand up and
down Jensen’s arm.
“Right.”
“I’m serious.”
“Okay.”
“Dude.” Pulling back slightly to get a look at Jensen’s face, which was turned toward the TV, Jared said,
“Have you ever… had, like, you know… a celebrity crush… on a guy?”
Jensen’s head jerked around. Blinking up at Jared’s face, his lips twitched until they finally parted in a
loud laugh.
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Jared frowned. What’s funny about that?
“Are you serious?” Jensen asked once he’d managed to stop laughing.
“Well, yea.”
Jensen’s forehead creased the way it always did when he was thinking hard about something, and
Jared wondered why he needed to formulate an answer to such a simple question.
“Yes,” said Jensen firmly.
Jared’s fingers paused in making little circles on Jensen’s thigh. Eyebrows raising slightly, he said, “Oh?”
Jared found it strange that he had to force the next word out: “Who?”
“Name’s Jared Padasomething.” Jensen shrugged. “Doesn’t matter. He’s a big goon anyway.”
“Wait. What are you saying? That you had a crush on me before we started dating or whatever?”
Jared’s face broke into a triumphant grin when Jensen just bit his lip and turned back to the TV. “You
did. You liked me from, what, day one?”
“Don’t flatter yourself. It took about a year. Before that, I hated you. But yea, I thought you were cute.
What’s it matter? Everyone thinks you’re cute. Like a large gangly puppy or something.”
Still grinning wide enough to crack a line down the middle of his face, Jared poked Jensen in the side.
“You totally wanted me, dude. All this time.”
“I didn’t say that.”
“But that’s what you meant.”
“Just because I thought of you as an overgrown puppy doesn’t mean I wanted to fuck you. Man, that’s
actually kind of sick. Besides, it took me a year to get past your constantly running mouth. I didn’t even
notice the rest of you ‘til around six months ago.”
But Jared continued to beam, said, “Uh-huh,” and nuzzled into the back of Jensen’s neck.
Jensen elbowed him in the stomach and turned back to the movie, ignoring Jared’s little nips at the
shell of his ear.
Out of the blue, Jensen said, “So what about you?”
“What about me?”
“You ever have a male celebrity crush?”
Somehow Jared inhaled incorrectly and sucked saliva down the wrong way. He coughed into Jensen’s
hair.
Jared knew he was in for it when Jensen’s eyebrow rose. “Who?”
I can still get out of this. Yea. Totally. “No one…”
Jensen laughed up at the ceiling. “This has gotta be good.”
“No one… never mind,” Jared mumbled. “We’re missing the movie.”
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It was almost like Jensen blinked and the remote appeared in his hand as Jared stared at it with a little
frown. Jensen put the TV set on mute. “So who is it?”
“I already told you, it’s no—”
“Yea, yea. It’s no one. I get it. So does no one have a name?”
Jared chewed his bottom lip. Even though he’d walked right into this, it still wasn’t cool. So not cool. At
all. “No.”
“Give me a hint.”
“This is stupid.”
“Is it more than just one guy?”
“No! God… no.”
“Just one?”
Jared huffed out a breath and shoved a hand through his hair. “Yea.”
This whole conversation was going to end in embarrassment, no matter how hard Jared tried to worm
his way out of it. Jensen could get him to say, do, or admit anything just by looking at him with those
freakishly soulful eyes of his, which, come to think of it, were currently reflecting the light of the mute
television and glittering kind of evilly…
“Movies or TV?”
On a small groan, Jared said, “Neither.”
“Neither?” Jensen asked, incredulous. “What does that leave?”
Jared turned his attention to the ceiling. Was that a water stain? He’d never noticed it before. Maybe he
could’ve gotten money off for the apartment if he’d seen it before he—
“Is it a model or something?”
“No.”
“What else is there?”
Still staring at the ceiling, Jared muttered, “Sports.”
“Sports?”
Jared chose to ignore the note of disbelief in Jensen’s voice, instead focusing intently on the layer of
dust covering one of his top shelves.
“Okay then. Football, baseball, what? You gotta give me a hint.”
“Olympics.” And with that, Jared pulled an arm over his face.
“Dude!”
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There was no way in hell he was about to uncover his face and look at Jensen, not when he could feel
Jensen’s body quaking with suppressed laughter and evil glee. Jensen was evil—pure sinful evil in a
really, really pretty package. That had to be the answer to why Jared found himself in such an awkward
position at the moment—literally pinned into a corner… of a couch. But still. Jared was cornered.
“It’s one of those swimmer guys with the Speedos, isn’t it?” Jensen managed to reach around and swat
at Jared’s arm. “You were so gay before I even came along.”
Jared groaned into the crook of his arm. “Don’t laugh at me. I’ve never told anyone. It was just a
stupid… thing I had.”
“I’m not laughing.”
“I can feel you about to laugh.”
“I’m a good actor. I’ll hold it back. Just tell me who.”
“Okay…” Jared finally pulled his arm away from his face, not because his embarrassment had lessoned
but because he could no longer breathe under there. “It’s that… uh… speed skating dude. The one with
the… you know… soul patch or whatever… and the,” Jared waved his hands around in the air, “nice
hair.”
Jensen blinked a couple times, eyes far off, and Jared could see him spinning through a list of faces in
his mind, trying to match up speed skating and nice hair with a face. Apparently it clicked because
Jensen burst into laughter, loud and open, and as much as Jared enjoyed making Jensen laugh and
loved hearing the deep rumble of that laugh, this just wasn’t cool.
“You said you wouldn’t laugh.”
Between waves of laughter, Jensen sputtered out what sounded vaguely like “Spandex,” and that was
just it for Jared and this whole conversation. He shoved Jensen hard until he roll-slid off the side of the
couch and landed on the floor with an oomph.
Jared peered down at Jensen over the edge of the couch cushion. “Sorry. You okay?”
Jensen rolled over onto his back, looking up at Jared with suddenly serious eyes. “So you like a little
spandex, huh?”
“He has a nice… never mind.”
Jensen’s eyes widened. “A nice what? Ass? Package? What?”
“Nothing.”
“No, tell me.”
And what was that? Perhaps a flicker of jealousy in Jensen’s eyes? Something in Jared’s head clicked
into place. This… this is something I could use.
“Well,” Jared said, changing moods instantly and running a finger over his bottom lip, pretending deep
thought, “the whole package ain’t bad.” He bit lightly on his finger and stared thoughtfully over
Jensen’s head.
Jensen’s brow furrowed. “Oh.”
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Oh, indeed. For reasons unknown to him, Jared found this turn in conversation, as well as the cute little
frown that was forming on Jensen’s face, extremely hot. And while he could have drawn it out and
extended Jensen’s adorable display of jealousy, Jared gazed at Jen over the side of the couch and said,
“You’re hot when you’re jealous.”
“M’not jealous of some… skater boy,” Jensen grumbled, favoring his ankle and pulling himself up from
the floor with obvious effort and so much gripping of the edge of the coffee table that Jared was afraid
he was going to pull it over onto himself. Jared sat up and reached out a hand to help him, but Jensen
batted it away with a scowl.
As Jensen stood over Jared, regaining his balance and trying to get a hold on his crutches, Jared saw a
brief flicker of a pout on Jensen’s lips, and really, a man with lips like that should not be allowed to
pout. Ever. It was possible the effects might have been felt in Africa.
Then, without another word, Jensen hobbled toward the hallway, Jared calling out, “Aw, c’mon, Jen!” at
his slowly retreating back.
Jealous Jensen is so hot.
--------Jared emerged from the shower to find Jensen propped up on the bed, head cushioned by a generous
amount of Jared’s pillows, legs stretched out all loose and lazy, glasses perched on his nose, and a
book in his hand.
But the only thing Jared saw were the silver-framed glasses on Jensen’s face, which may or may not
have caused Jared to produce an odd noise halfway between a whimper and a sigh. At the sound,
Jensen looked up at Jared over the top of the frames.
“Hey. Did you leave me any hot water?”
Jared dug his nails into the doorframe and willed himself not to sprint across the room and jump
Jensen, because this was so obviously revenge for the skater boy thing and Jared was not going to be
set up. Jared Padalecki was not so easy that a pair of glasses turned him on.
No. Never.
Ever.
So take that, Jennnnsenn.
“I… mm…” Even if it took every ounce of control in his body, Jared was going to keep it together. Just
stay cool. “Hot water?”
“For my shower. Did you leave me any?” There was definitely a smirk hiding under Jensen’s calm, even
expression. The bastard.
“Oh. That. Of course not.” With a wide, easy smile, Jared let his bath towel drop to the ground and
allowed Jensen a minute for his eyes to track up and down Jared’s body before he flung himself onto
the bed, right across Jensen’s sprawled legs.
Chyea. That’s right. Two can play at this game, pretty boy.
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But instead of the reaction Jared had been anticipating, Jensen let out a yelp and shoved at Jared,
catching him right upside the face with his palm. And that kind of hurt.
“Right… on… my ankle…!”
It took a second for it to sink in, but then Jared was rolling away from Jensen, already apologizing and
running feather-light fingertips over the top of Jensen’s sockless foot.
“I’m gonna end up breaking you,” Jared said and realized a split second after he said it that the
sentence hadn’t come out quite the way he’d planned. “I mean—”
Apparently Jensen read Jared better than Jared could read himself, because he answered quickly with,
“Don’t be a moron. I’m not glass.”
Jared turned mournful eyes on him.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Like what?”
“Like a puppy who was just told his human doesn’t have time to play fetch with him right now.”
“I already screwed up your ankle. And, well, your career too, I guess. All in one day.”
Jensen’s fingers threaded through Jared’s shower-damp hair. In a playful voice, he said, “You had a
busy day, huh?”
“You never would’ve punched Bill if I hadn’t just farked up your ankle five minutes before that. It’s my
fault.”
“Jay, I’d been waiting two years to do that to Bill. It was gonna happen one day or another.” Jensen
shrugged. “It just happened to be today.”
Still laying next to Jensen’s legs, Jared took the close proximity as an opportunity to scoot over, wrap a
long arm around Jensen’s legs, and rest his head in Jen’s lap. It should have been weird and awkward
and soverygirly, but Jensen’s fingers instantly moved from his hair to his bare back. They began
kneading at the tight muscles in a soothing massage motion, and damn if it didn’t feel so good that
Jared’s brain started drifting from the conversation.
Before he completely lost his train of thought, Jared sat up quickly, pulling Jensen’s wandering hand
into his own. “Let me make it up to you.”
“Make what up?”
“The ankle.”
Shaking his head, Jensen said, “That wasn’t your fault.” But Jared just frowned at him in an unspoken
yea right and scooped a hand under Jensen’s knees, dragging him down by his legs until he was laying
flat on his back underneath Jared.
“I like you in glasses,” Jared said, lowering his head over Jensen’s face so that they were nose to nose.
“You look like a really hot young professor.”
Jensen looked surprised enough for Jared to doubt whether the glasses had actually been a ploy.
“Really?” Jensen asked, disbelieving, hand wandering up to his face to push the frames farther up on
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his nose. “I always thought they made me look geeky.”
Jared bit back a whimper. Sometimes Jensen was so self-conscious that it drove Jared mad. Of course,
other times it just made Jensen even sexier in Jared’s eyes. Like right now.
He snagged Jensen’s hand and pulled it away from his face, because the way Jensen was fingering his
glasses made him seem ridiculously insecure.
“So what class do you think I’d teach?” Jensen asked with a closed-mouthed grin.
Jared muttered, “The one I’d never skip,” and slid a hand, palm flat, under Jensen’s shirt and up his
chest.
“You want an A, huh? You’re gonna have to work hard for it.”
“I know,” a pause, “but it’s worth it.”
“Wait. What exactly are we talking about here?”
Jared sat up laughing. “You ready to shower?” he asked, eyes bright as he focused down on Jensen’s
face.
“Yea.”
“I have a better idea.”
“Should I be scared?”
“You might want to take those glasses off, Professor.”
Jared passed Jensen his crutches, grinning eagerly and nudging Jensen in the side with his knee to get
him to move faster.
--------“Can I ask you a question?”
Jared’s eyes briefly flicked away from the jeans he was gently easing off of Jensen’s legs and over the
sprained ankle. “Sure.”
“Why do you have peach-scented lotion in here? And…” Reaching over to the tub, Jensen shifted on the
closed toilet seat. “What’s this? Strawberry exfoliating scrub? What’s that even mean?”
“It’s for soft skin or whatever. Gets rid of dead skin cells.”
Jensen stared at him, open-mouthed, until Jared chucked the jeans to the side, stood up from his kneel
by the toilet, and kissed the disbelieving expression from Jensen’s face. But even after Jared pulled
away, running his thumb along Jensen’s cheekbone, Jensen said, “You really are a girl.”
Jared pointed at Jensen’s boxers. “Get rid of these while I run the water.”
Jensen’s voice came over the rushing sound of bath water. “Are you sure about this?”
Jared turned, wiping his wet hands on the drawstring pants he’d thrown on earlier. Who’s being the girl
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now? “Why wouldn’t I be sure? It’s just a bath, Jen. Besides, this’ll be a lot easier for you anyway. You
won’t have to stand on one foot in a slippery shower stall.” The wink he tossed Jensen seemed to make
the other man even more fidgety.
“Here,” said Jared, arm already snaking around Jensen’s naked back, “lemme help you hop on in,
Gimpy.”
“Jackass.” It was barely audible over the sound of the faucet water and the sloshing of the nearly-filled
tub, but Jared snickered anyway and pinched Jensen’s side.
He maneuvered Jensen to the tub, then, “Throw your good leg over while I support you.”
The narrow-eyed look Jensen gave him was skeptical at best.
“What? You think I’ll drop you? C’mon, Jen.”
“This is weird.”
“It could be hot if you’d shut up and just go with it.” To cushion the comment, Jared followed it up with
a sweet smile, which Jensen deflected by ducking his head to stare at the water.
“So…” Jared prodded, thrumming his fingers against Jensen’s side with impatience. “I don’t have all
day.” Jensen sighed, his head bobbing in a nod. “Put your arm around my shoulder and hold on. On
three, put your good leg over the side, and I’ll lift you the rest of the way in so you don’t slip.”
“Okay.”
“One…” Jared bent at the waist, scooped both of Jensen’s leg out from under him so that for a brief
moment he had him in his arms bridal style, Jensen whining, “Hey!” and then plopped him into the hot
bath water. Water sloshed out of the tub, over the side, and onto Jared’s clean bathroom floor. He knelt
down so that he was on eye level with Jensen.
“What the hell was that?” Jensen asked, spitting water in Jared’s face and grappling at the side of the
tub to keep from slipping beneath the surface.
“Though it’d more fun that way.”
Jensen splashed a handful of water into Jared’s face.
“Hey! I kept you from falling and breaking your neck! I thought you’d be thankful. Now here,” Jared
waved a bottle of body wash with a brightly colored fruit on the label, “I’m gonna wash you.”
A solemn expression appeared on Jensen’s face. “Try not to come in your pants this time.”
Jared pulled out a clean bath cloth and dipped it into the water. In an even voice, he said, “Try not to
tempt me, Ackles.”
Jared leaned in, wiped the smirk off Jensen’s face with the edge of the wet cloth. And suddenly they
were right in each other’s faces, the bathroom seeming even warmer than it had seconds before.
“Hi,” Jared whisper-grinned.
“Hi.” Jensen’s eyes were drifting back and forth between Jared’s face and Jared’s hand, visually tracking
the roaming hand’s every move.
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Jared ran the cloth over Jensen’s left cheek, coming away with tan smudges on the soft material of the
bath cloth. Almost to himself, he murmured, “They always put way too much makeup on you.”
“They try to cover up the freckles,” Jensen explained.
Soft, wet material skimming down Jensen’s nose. “That should be against the law.” A short pause to
wash the already removed makeup out of the material and Jared was back at Jensen’s face, wiping
gently at cheeks and nose to reveal little golden freckles underneath the caked on makeup.
Jared smiled when he noticed Jensen’s eyes slipping shut, his head resting on the back of the tub. With
one last skim over Jensen’s closed lids, Jared bent forward, kissed Jensen’s left cheek, right over a
freckle he was particularly fond of, and snatched up the peach-scented shampoo.
“Keep your eyes closed.”
“Mmkay.”
“Are you going to sleep?”
“Maybe.”
Shaking his head in amusement, Jared poured a generous amount of the liquid into his palm, ran it
through Jensen’s short locks, scooped water onto Jensen’s head with his cupped hands, and began
lathering. It wasn’t until Jensen let out a heavy sigh of content that Jared snapped out of his deep
concentration on getting all of the hair product out of Jensen’s hair. He let his fingers slow into a
massaging motion as they rubbed peach-scented foam into Jensen’s scalp.
“Nice, huh?” Jared asked, a hot breath across Jensen’s wet shoulder.
Half asleep, Jensen’s lips barely moved with his words. “Yea. Guess you’ve marked me with your girly
scent now.”
Jared laughed, pulling down the removable shower spray nozzle. He tipped Jensen’s head back and let
the hard gush of water sluice through Jensen’s hair.
“What’s that?” Jensen asked, cracking one eye open and staring at the new bottle in Jared’s hand.
“Conditioner.”
Jensen closed his eye, even as he raised both eyebrows to his wet hairline. “Sometimes you make it too
easy, Jay.”
His face relaxed as Jared worked the goopy, light orange stuff through his locks. “You love it,” Jared
said, fingers working to make Jensen’s hair stand straight up in the middle, Mohawk style. “You like
being babied, Jennykins.”
“Yea,” Jensen sighed out, “whatever. Only because the peach scent’s killing off my brain cells.”
Now Jared slicked the hair down and back. Nah. He scrunched pieces in his hand, admiring the
bedhead effect.
“You’re playing with my hair again, aren’t you?”
“No. ‘Course not.”
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“I’m not your freakin’ doll, Jared.” But his eyes were still closed, his breathing relaxed and even, so
Jared brushed off the comment.
“C’mon, man,” Jensen said a moment later, eyes springing open as he held out a hand to Jared. “Look,
I’m getting all prune-y.”
“It’s a good look for you.”
The hard shove at his chest that sent him tipping backwards was what finally got him to wash the
conditioner out of Jensen’s hair.
“Now,” said Jared, grinning, “for the rest…” He pulled out a lime green shower poof, which caused
Jensen a snicker.
“You actually use those things?”
“Yea. Why not?”
Jensen only shook his head in response. Then, as he watched Jared pull out the strawberry exfoliating
scrub, said, “No way. I refuse to smell like a fruit bowl.”
“But I like fruit,” Jared responded automatically and waggled his eyebrows in what was supposed to be
a suggestive manner but only made Jensen laugh.
Jared tossed the shower poof aside, squirted the gritty gunk into his hand, and rubbed it across the
part of Jensen’s chest that wasn’t underwater.
“Feels weird,” Jensen said, looking down at Jared’s hand.
But the comment didn’t distract Jared from running the hard little granules over Jensen’s nipple and
grinning when Jensen gasp-yelped and nearly slipped under the warm water. “Not bad, right?” As if
Jensen could give a coherent answer with Jared’s hand slipping under the surface of the water and
following an invisible line down Jensen’s slick, wet skin.
“What’re you—” Jensen started when Jared’s hand came to a stop on his thigh, hesitant and suddenly
unsure.
Jensen turned wide, questioning eyes on Jared. As if by its own accord, Jared’s hand inched farther in,
nearly tip-toeing across Jensen’s inner thigh. He kept his eyes on Jensen’s, looking for warnings and
responses in the pools of golden green. When Jensen didn’t make a move to stop him, Jared’s fingers
nudged at Jensen’s hardening cock.
Jared studied Jensen’s eyes, which were still locked on his own. Let me? Jared’s eyes asked silently.
It was a barely a tilt of Jensen’s head and a quick blink of those green-tinged, golden-flecked eyes, but
Jared understood quite clearly, as if Jensen had spoken the words out loud into the quiet hush of the
bathroom.
Jared wrapped long fingers around Jensen, only breaking eye contact when Jensen’s eyes fluttered shut
briefly before snapping back open and resting on Jared’s face again, now with heavy-lidded focus.
Jensen’s mouth parted wordlessly, bottom lip cherry red where he’d chewed on it, while Jared’s hand
stroked in slow, easy motions underwater. As Jensen’s breathing picked up, his water-raisoned hand
came up out of the water, dripping and slopping water everywhere, and tangled in Jared’s hair, tugging
Jared dangerously close to tipping face-first into the tub.
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“Jare,” Jensen panted.
“I know,” answered Jared, hand picking up speed and sloshing waves of water out of the bathtub, other
hand circling around to squeeze at the back of Jensen’s neck, then drop to his moist back for leverage.
The hand in Jared’s hair tightened almost painfully, pulling Jared’s chest into an awkward position flush
against the hard edge of the tub. It was kind of different from anything Jared had ever experienced
because as his hand worked, he watched Jensen watch him, eyes-locked, which made the whole thing
seem infinitely more intimate. Jensen’s eyes flashed, the hand in Jared’s hair guided him forward, and
he found Jensen’s mouth right there, teeth tugging aggressively at Jared’s bottom lip, and then Jared’s
tongue was sucked into Jensen’s mouth.
When Jensen pulled away just as suddenly, Jared nearly forgot what his hand was doing under the
water. Jensen said, “Jay,” in a low growl, bringing his complete attention back to the matter at hand.
Instead of dirty words, Jared studied the way Jensen’s eyes fluttered shut again, long lashes kissing
golden-brown freckles, muscles alternately tensing and relaxing, and then Jared felt warm liquid stream
past his hand. A small smirk turned up the corner of Jared’s mouth, because that seemed awfully fast,
and it more than made up for the quickie in the shower Jensen still teased him about.
Jared pulled the drain plug, the unmistakable sucking sound of water being pulled away filled the
warm, peach-scented air.
Jensen’s hand had disappeared from his head. Jared rubbed at the spot. Not that his scalp actually
hurt, but yea, maybe a little.
He turned back to find Jensen’s eyes following his movements lazily.
“Easy cleanup,” Jared said, grinning.
And Jensen laughed at that, voice sounding raw and unused.
“Ready to get out?”
“Yea, I think my left butt cheek has the imprint of the tub pattern.”
As usual, Jared tucked an arm around Jensen’s waist, and Jensen automatically flung an arm around
Jared’s shoulders. Jared held Jensen’s weight while he swung his good leg over the side of the tub and
eased his injured one over after it.
Once Jensen stood shivering in the middle of the bathroom, gingerly leaning on his good ankle, Jared
swatted playfully at his ass. “Yep, Jen. You have a ribbed backside now.”
“Awesome.”
“What a turn-on,” Jared teased, coming around to stand in front of Jensen. He wrapped a towel around
Jen’s body and used the edges of it to tug Jensen forward so that he could put his arms around him.
Breathing deeply the scent of fresh picked peaches, Jared rubbed Jen’s back through the towel. “Love
how you fit in my arms so perfectly.”
“Love how you’re still totally the girl in this relationship,” Jensen mumbled back.
Jared laughed so hard at that that he almost tipped both of them over. Then he quieted down, voice
going serious. “I don’t even care, dude. As long as I’m with you.”
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“Yea,” Jensen said into Jared’s collarbone, “totally the girl.”
[ Art by nerrianah ]
--------“No, no way.” Jensen shoved at Jared’s chest. “You’re not carrying me to bed. Dude, do you see me
standing here in white lingerie?”
Jared blinked, confused, because Jensen kind of was wearing a white towel tied around his waist.
Could that be considered—no, never mind. Jared decided the best way to answer that would be with a,
“No.”
“No kidding. That’s because I’m not your friggin’ bride. Now hand me the crutches or I’ll hop to bed.”
Jared was starting to think Jensen was a tiny bit too wound up for someone who’d just been bathed
and jacked off in the tub. But he relented and handed Jensen the crutches anyway. As soon as one of
the crutches hit a wet spot on the slippery bathroom floor, it shot out from under Jensen and he reeled
backwards, where Jared had been standing and waiting for just that type of thing to happen.
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Instead of catching him under the arms right before he hit the ground, Jared kind of just maneuvered
him into his waiting arms. With one arm tucked snuggly under Jensen’s knees, he heaved himself into a
standing position and headed for the door, with Jensen in his arms, towel and all.
“Jared. C’mon. You’re gonna hurt yourself, man.”
“S’okay. You’re not that heavy.” Jared exaggerated a fake stagger, almost lost his balance for real, and
managed to ram the back of Jensen’s head into the doorframe on their way out of the bathroom.
Jared ended up being the one who groaned at that. “Sorry.” Idiot.
Not sure how to work it when they reached the bed, Jared kind of just tossed Jensen onto it, because
truthfully? Jensen was heavier than he looked, and Jared might have just pulled a groin muscle.
Jared collapsed face-first onto the bed beside Jensen.
Jensen eyed him. “You okay?”
“Yea, I’m great.”
“You pulled something, didn’t you?”
“No.”
“For an actor, you really suck at lying.”
“I’m okay.”
Jensen peeled back the comforter and crawled under, chucking the towel to the floor. “Guess I’m
sleeping a la nude tonight.”
Suddenly Jared felt much better. He shimmied out of his own pants, flicked the bedside lamp off, and
joined Jen under the covers in record time.
“So,” Jensen said.
“So,” said Jared.
“Yea.”
“Yep. Well… g’night, I guess.”
“Good night? Don’t you want me to…”
“What?”
“Return the favor?”
“What’d ya mean?”
“I mean, I can…” Jensen cleared his throat nervously. “Suck you off or something?” Jared felt a hand
easing across his chest.
“Nah, it’s all good.” Now Jared could feel Jensen’s whole body curling into his side. “What’s up, Jen?”
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Yea, real romantic, dufus. “I mean… what…” I’m confused.
Jensen’s hands worked their way down Jared’s chest, his breath hot in the curve of Jared’s neck every
time he exhaled. “We can… tonight… if you want to… because of the thing in the bathtub… I’ll do
whatever you… well, maybe not whatever, but we can do something right now if you want.”
And it was kind of funny, because those were words Jared had been waiting to hear for so long now,
yet they didn’t seem right, didn’t get him as excited as he thought they would. Something just seemed
off.
He shrugged up at the ceiling, grabbing at Jensen’s roaming hands and stilling them in one of his own.
“No.”
“No?” The disbelief in that one syllable was heavy, as if Jensen had never heard the word before and
didn’t entirely understand its meaning.
“Not tonight.”
“Oh…” Both of Jensen’s hands slipped out of Jared’s as his body pulled away. It suddenly felt like
someone had just turned the air conditioning up. Jared shivered.
“I just,” Jared started, pausing to worry his lip and gather his thoughts, “want it to be special. For both
of us. I don’t want us to do it because you feel like you owe me for something… which by the way, you
don’t. It doesn’t work that way with me. And… well, I’ve been wanting to touch you like that for… ever.”
“Okay.” Jensen was using that blank voice again, that actor voice that drove Jared mad because it
made Jensen so hard to read, especially while laying in the dark, where facial expression couldn’t be
seen.
“You get what I’m saying, right?”
“Should I put some spandex on?”
In a half groan, Jared rolled onto his side and felt for Jensen. Once he had an arm, he threw a long leg
around Jensen’s waist and pulled Jensen closer until they were chest to chest. “No, no spandex. You’re
too hot for spandex. I just wanna lay here with you and… enjoy it.”
“Seriously?”
“Yea.”
“No, seriously?”
“I just… I like you, Jen. A lot. And I don’t wanna rush it.” When Jensen failed to answer right away,
Jared said, “Is there, uh, something wrong with that?”
“Nah. It’s kinda nice, I guess.”
“Besides, you’ll need plenty of sleep tonight so that I don’t have to use my new alarm clock technique
on you in the morning.” Jared pressed a grinning kiss to Jensen’s forehead.
“What for? I probably don’t have a job to go to tomorrow.”
“’Course you do.”
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“Jared, I punched our director.”
“So? I was a witness, and I say he deserved it. He’s egged you on for two years. Everything’ll be fine
once Eric hears our side of the story.”
“Right,” Jensen mumbled. Then, louder, “When Bill pulls his financial backing out of the picture, we’re
both out of a job. Besides, he’s probably already emailed People about what a danger that Jensen
Ackles is. Either way, I’m screwed, man.”
“No you’re not. It’s not as bad as you think. And whatever happens, I’ll be here to take care of you.” In
the rich dark of the bedroom, Jared’s hand crept up to Jensen’s cheekbone, where it stroked with a
thumb.
“Could you start with not poking me in the eye?” After a beat, with Jared not moving his finger or
laughing at Jensen’s little jibe, Jensen added, “You don’t have to take care of me.”
“I want to.”
“Wait. Now what are we talking about?”
Completely serious, Jared said, “Jen.”
“What?”
“I love you.”
Jensen started to pull away, but Jared’s leg was still wrapped around him, pinning him in place and
locking him into an answer of some kind. “Okay.” Jensen faltered a second before adding, “Thanks.”
The shades were pulled on Jared’s windows, making the room so pitch black that the only reason Jared
knew Jensen had closed his eyes was because those damn long lashes feathered over Jared’s thumb.
“Jen?” Jared nudged his cheek with a closed knuckle. “Are you sleeping?”
“Mmm.”
“Or just pretending to sleep?”
“Mmm?”
“Yea, thought so.”
“Hmm.”
“It’s okay. You don’t have to say it back. I don’t expect you to.”
Silence.
“Yet,” Jared added and pulled the blanket up and over them both.
Jensen snored.
{End of part 11}
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AN: A picture of the guy Jared was crushing on, Apolo. Ya know, for a visual reference. I'm still not
sure why I slipped that convo in there.
Apolo
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= 12 =
Why Aren’t You Stopping Me?
Series/Verse: Part of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out of
control.
Summary: Jensen’s having a really bad day.
Type: Real people
Rating: R
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 7,047
Warnings: Oodles of angst, some almost-rimming (but not quite because I'm a tease).
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale.
AN:
1) Jared’s point of view will be back next time. I really wanted to see if I could do Jensen… err, I mean
if I could pull off a Jensen POV in this.
2) I apologize in advance. Just don’t hate me. Too many bad internet vibes at one time are a bad thing.
3) Don’t expect to be smiling at the end of this.
4) I’ll fix it. I have a plan! Honest!
5) Don’t hate me!
* Song: "Unbound" by Christopher Jak partially inspired this installment.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Jensen automatically pulled the pillow over his head.
Sure enough: Tap. Tap. Tap. Muffled but still incredibly annoying.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
GOD. Just let me kill it.
Jensen held his breath, prepared himself to throw off the pillow and then beat the nearest thing in
sight with it.
Tap.
Tap.
It was way too early for this.
And then, blessedly, the noise stopped. Jensen relaxed the grip he’d had on the edge of the pillow and
let his eyes droop shut again, the drowsy warmth of sleep the only thing on his mind.
CLINKCLANK.
Jensen’s eyes sprang open. He tried to roll away from the rattling sound coming from right over his
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head, found himself tangled in sheets and covers, and settled on making an angry, stifled grunting
sound instead of a quick escape.
Jensen shoved the pillow off his head just as the blanket wrapped around his waist was ripped away,
exposing his naked backside. He managed to let out a, “What the… you’ve gotta be kiddin—” before a
heavy weight dropped onto his legs and pinned him down.
And all Jensen’s sleep-clogged brain could think was, That sure as hell better be Jared. And then, I’m
gonna kill him.
“Seriously,” Jensen grumbled to the pillow, ready to remind Jared that the damn sun hadn’t even come
up yet. “HOLY—! What is… what are you—”
Then, from right there at the back of his neck, so that Jensen got a whiff of chocolate milk and
something cinnamon-y, hot breath skimmed the sensitive skin at the nape of his neck, along with a
loud, manic laugh that practically screamed, “HEY, ALL! JARED PADALECKI’S IN THE HOUSE!”
Jensen kind of wanted to kill him. Nothing should be that funny at oh-hell-no o’clock in the morning.
Not until at least four cups of coffee. And even then, maybe not.
But the really annoying part? The cold, wet thing making its way down Jensen’s naked back. Something
seriously wasn’t right here. Nothing that cold should be that close to Jensen’s skin this early in the
morning.
And it was definitely way, way too early for a dose of hopped-up Jared, who’d obviously already had
coffee and several helpings of something with lots of sugar.
“Geddoff,” Jensen managed.
“Nuh uh.” The amount of cheerfulness in just that one phrase was enough to make Jensen queasy. In
the morning, coffee should always come before excessive amounts of cheer. Always.
“I swear, I’m—”
Another little stinging piece of cold torture touched his back, this time between his shoulder blades.
Jensen hunched his shoulders into the bed, buried his face in the pillow, and whimpered.
“Did you just whimper?”
“It’s cold,” Jensen mumbled, “and early. This isn’t fair, man. Have some mercy on—”
Something warm and wet chased the icy trail down Jensen’s spine. Jensen shivered at the sensation.
When the warmth stopped at the small of his back, Jared’s hot breath feathered out across Jensen’s
skin in a way-too-gleeful chuckle.
“Sorry, Jennybean,” Jared said, a grin in his words that made Jensen grit his teeth, “but you gave me
the impression that you needed a new alarm clock. I’m only being a good friend here and helping you
out.”
You suck sounded way too childish, so Jensen settled for, “I hate you, jackass.”
“Aw, sweet. You’re the cutest morning person ever, Jen-Jen.”
“I’m awake now. Get off me.”
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“But I’m not done,” Jared said, and even though Jared was out of his line of sight, Jensen could
practically see the little pout turning his bottom lip down.
Evil. Jared is evil in human puppy dog form.
Now Jared skimmed several ice cubes down Jensen’s ticklish sides, eliciting an unchecked half-giggle,
half-snort that Jensen didn’t have a chance to swallow down. From above Jensen, Jared snickered,
wiggled his ass on the back of Jensen’s legs, and chased another ice cube down Jensen’s back with his
tongue.
Antichrist. Jared is the antichrist. Why didn’t anyone warn me?
“Jared—”
Yet another ice cube dropped onto his back, and Jensen decided that this just wasn’t fair. He bucked
upwards, trying to shove Jared off, but only managed to help the ice cube slither farther down his back
instead.
It happened in an instant – one moment Jared was following the melting piece of ice down Jensen’s
back with his mouth, while at the same time trying to still Jensen by gripping his hips and forcing them
down on the bed, and in the next moment Jared’s tongue had unknowingly followed the same piece of
ice to the crease in Jensen’s ass.
Jared stopped mid lick, tongue frozen over Jensen’s skin. Jensen stilled immediately; his breath caught
in his throat, and he let it out seconds later with a whoosh and an, “Uhh.”
“Uh,” Jared echoed, tongue still hovering motionlessly over Jensen’s skin, the tip barely grazing
Jensen’s ass.
“What are…” Jensen shifted nervously and a moment too late realized that was a bad idea when he felt
the hot moisture of Jared’s tongue slip between his butt cheeks. “Jare… I… I don’t think I…” want your
tongue right there.
“Hmm,” Jared hummed, partly in question yet not entirely listening.
Jensen squirmed under the hands Jared still had lightly pressed to his hips. He kind of wanted to give
Jared a hint that said, Hey, I’m not really enjoying this. But Jared seemed to take it the wrong way. His
hands left Jensen’s hips, and Jensen let out a little sigh of relief, until they came to rest on Jensen’s
butt cheeks.
Okay, that’s not really what I wanted.
Suddenly this whole thing had shifted into something Jensen wasn’t expecting, and his anti-beforesunrise brain was flipping over, trying to catch up to what the situation had become, and in the process,
kind of panicking.
Using those large paws of his, Jared gently parted Jensen’s cheeks.
Jensen’s breathing automatically picked up; his heart hammered painfully in his chest. Despite the cool
darkness of the early Canadian morning, sweat trickled into Jensen’s left eye. Blinking rapidly to get rid
of the burning sensation, Jensen attempted to roll over, roll away, something. But Jared’s body draped
across his legs was like a friggin’ dead weight.
Once again, Jared misinterpreted the signs. On the cue of Jensen’s fast breathing and squirming, Jared
caressed Jensen’s skin with his thumb and plunged his tongue in.
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Jensen’s brain screeched to a halt, screamed a silent, No! Wait! I don’t want… I’m not ready… Stop!
Stop! STOP!
It wasn’t until Jared pulled away suddenly that Jensen realized he must’ve blurted that last stop out
loud.
The room gave a crazy tilt in Jensen’s vision before evening out and stilling. Silence settled in the
corners of the morning. Several minutes passed, with Jensen’s heavy breathing the only sound.
Jensen watched dim, misty morning light begin to creep up the window behind Jared’s curtains. Jared
had been still and quiet far too long to be normal for Jared, and Jensen really didn’t want to have to
turn over and face him.
[ Art by nerrianah ]
Finally, the bed shifted behind Jensen, and Jared’s voice came soft and unsure. “Jen?”
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Jensen took his time turning over and sitting up. When he looked up at Jared kneeling on the bed, face
frozen in a scared, hesitant expression, guilt rose in his chest and replaced the cramp-like tightness
that had just receded.
“Are you,” Jared began, then cleared his throat, shifted his gaze down Jensen’s body and back up to his
face, “okay? I mean… God, Jensen.”
Jensen scratched the back of his neck as an excuse to look down and break Jared’s steady eye contact.
Jared’s voice shook. “Jen? You’re freaking me out.”
Letting out a rough laugh, Jensen met Jared’s eyes and said, “Sorry… I just… I don’t think I’m ready for
your tongue in my… well, I just don’t think I’m ready for that.”
Jared looked crestfallen. “Did I hurt you?”
“What? No! Dude, I’m just not ready.”
Jared gave an uncharacteristically solemn nod and unfolded himself from his kneel on the bed. He
crawled over tangled sheets and blankets and settled himself beside Jensen, impossibly long legs
stretched out before him.
“I got you something.”
Jensen mentally debated on whether or not it was safe to ask the obvious question: “What?”
With a grin and an overexaggerated flourish of his hand, Jared produced a hot cup of coffee and waved
it under Jensen’s nose.
Jensen breathed out, “Thank God” and had a scalding hot stream of coffee working its way down his
throat in the blink of an eye.
“How do you do that?”
“What?”
“Doesn’t it burn your throat when you drink it that fast?”
After another gulp, Jensen shrugged. “Nah. My throat’s like leather.”
Jared merely stared at him with a look of wide-eyed wonder before jolting, grinning again, and handing
Jensen a plate overflowing with eggs, bacon, and a biscuit.
“You made me breakfast?”
“Nope. Got it on my way to pick up donuts this morning.”
Jensen raised an eyebrow. “You did all that before the sun came up?”
“Yep.”
“That’s not natural,” Jensen said, shaking his head and taking the plate from Jared’s hand.
“Hey, I don’t see you complaining about having breakfast in bed.”
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Around a mouthful of biscuit, Jensen said, “That’s because I’m not complaining.”
When Jensen was halfway through his eggs and Jared had inhaled two chocolate glazed donuts, Jared
took the fork out of Jensen’s hand, put it on the plate, took Jensen’s coffee cup from his hand (to which
Jensen let out a sound of protest), and set everything on the nightstand.
“I wasn’t done.”
“I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay. Just give me the coffee back.”
“No. Jen.”
“What?”
Jared’s head titled in that maddening way that reminded Jensen of the chocolate Labrador he’d had
when he was a kid. “I didn’t mean to push you. Why didn’t you stop me before I… before my tongue…
well, you know.”
“Dude, don’t worry about it,” Jensen said, trying to brush the awkward conversation off. He leaned
across Jared, stretching to reach the plate.
Suddenly Jared’s hands were warm on Jensen’s shoulders, pushing him back into the headboard.
“My eggs are getting cold.”
Jared cocked another sad puppy look at Jensen. Golden rays of sunlight were peeking through the
sides of the closed curtain; one fell across the side of Jared’s face, shedding warm golden light on
tanned skin and casting a golden brown hue to the edges of his wind-tousled hair. His earnest eyes
were inches from Jensen, kind of pathetic and pleading looking. And damnit, that look always got to
Jensen. It never failed. Sometimes Jensen found Jared’s whole puppy thing incredibly unfair.
Jensen gave in and relaxed at the sight, leaning back against the headboard and bracing himself for
one of Jared’s emolite chats. He wasn’t quite at the emo level of Sam’s broodiness, but Jared definitely
had a freakishly large emotional side of his own. Sure, Jared was normally the definition of light and
happiness, but in his head, Jensen liked to refer to this emotional side of Jared as emolite.
And here it comes, Jensen thought, eyeing the little frown currently creasing the corners of Jared’s
mouth. Emolite time.
Even though he should’ve been used to it by now, it kind of surprised Jensen when Jared’s large hand
came up and cupped his chin. He tilted Jensen’s head up and studied his face.
In Jensen’s opinion, it was damn near unnerving to be studied so closely. Yea, so maybe he was used
to being stared at and studied everywhere he went, but seriously? It looked like Jared either wanted to
memorize every aspect of Jensen’s face or eat him. The latter thought wasn’t exactly appealing.
“Your eye,” Jared said, throwing Jensen off completely.
“Huh?”
“Where I accidentally whapped you upside the face last night when I was having that dream…”
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“Oh yea.” Jensen brought a hand up to rub gingerly at his left eye. “Already forgot about that.”
“It’s black and blue.” Jared’s face had passed frown and launched into a full-out scowl. “Does it hurt?”
“Nah.”
Jared’s fingers grew warmer on Jensen’s face as he turned Jensen’s head to the left. “It looks really
bad, Jen.”
“Dude, I’ll be fine.” It seemed like a good time to swat Jared’s hand away.
Jared let his arm drop to Jensen’s shoulders. He tugged Jensen closer, kissed the top of his hair, and
sighed. Yea, this part was okay. Jensen could live with this. It was just the close scrutiny that made him
feel like he was being put on the spot and inspected.
“I keep hurting you.”
What the heck does someone say to that? “Well, I haven’t died yet, so don’t worry about it.”
Jared’s scowl grew deeper. Okay, apparently that’s the wrong thing to say.
Jensen decided to try again. “They were just accidents. We’re both new at this. Don’t worry about it so
much.” Yea, that sounds a lot better.
That gloomy little frown was still plastered to Jared’s face like superglue and a beer bottle to Dean’s
hand. Unsure of what else to say, Jensen pursed his lips, thumped Jared upside the head, and started
to scoot off the bed and find his crutches.
Jensen had just scooped up his pants when Jared said, “Eric already called. He wants to talk to us on
set, as soon as we can get there.”
Jensen half turned, leaned back against the wall for support. “Guess he wants to fire me in person.
Nice of him not to do it over the phone.”
In the time it took for Jensen to blink, Jared was up off the bed and standing directly in front of him.
“There’s no way he’s gonna fire you. No way.” His index finger trailed the contours of Jensen’s face,
slowly, all lazy and casual, as if they’d had this thing between them for years, decades. That was the
part that still surprised Jensen – the way Jared could fall into this relationship so easily, like dating your
co-star and best friend, not to mention a guy for God’s sake, was no real biggie. Yea, well Jensen was
still trying to get past the fact that he was dating another man. The fact that that man was Jared still
hadn’t hit home yet.
Jared added, “Eric’s gonna be on your… our side. I know he is.”
With Jared giving him that full-on dimpled smile full of bright-eyed innocence, how could Jensen say to
him, But see? The thing is, just because he’s our boss doesn’t mean he’s going to have our backs. I
know because it’s happened before, man. Nah, that wouldn’t go over well. Jared always put way too
much faith in people.
“We’ll see,” Jensen said darkly, apparently too skeptical for Jared’s taste because he gave Jensen that
exasperated look, complete with the eye roll.
“You don’t trust Eric?” With the question, Jared’s always-roaming hands moved between Jensen and
the wall, behind Jensen’s shoulder blades, as if those hands, like the rest of Jared, couldn’t stay still for
more than three seconds. Sometimes it was exhausting trying to keep up with Jared.
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I don’t trust anybody. Swallowing those words, Jensen said, “I don’t know. I guess.”
“Do you trust me?” Jared asked, ducking into Jensen’s face so that his lips hovered inches from
Jensen’s.
Damn. Should’ve seen that one coming.
Jared dropped the barest of kisses at the corner of Jensen’s mouth, and when Jensen didn’t answer
right away, Jared worked his way across Jensen’s half-parted lips, laying quick little kisses in a trail from
left to right and unknowingly giving Jensen time to work out an answer.
“Jen?” Jared nudged him in the stomach. “You trust me, right?”
No.
Yes.
Maybe.
Damnit!
Always on the spot. Jared had a way of always putting him on the spot, just like that math teacher
Jensen had had in high school who was fond of calling on students.
Mr. Ackles, show me how you worked this problem. How do you solve 3840a³b-2000ab²y+5628
divided by 8288a²byx+362y³x² without a calculator? What’s the property you want to use first in this
problem? I’m waiting.
Jensen, do you trust me? Do you want this as much as I do? Do you love me? I’m waiting.
Jensen needed a lot more than one cup of coffee for this kind of stuff. After all, it was only, what, 6
am?
“Yea… I mean… sure.”
Jared’s eyes widened slightly in a Really? You really trust me? expression, and Jensen chose that
moment to fake a sneeze.
Jared backed off a little. “Dude! Warn me next time.”
“Sorry.”
Then the hands Jared still had splayed on his shoulders blades guided him into one of those
indescribable Jared hugs that always ended with Jared practically wrapped all the way around Jensen
like a crepe. Jensen let himself sink into Jared’s chest as he breathed in that sugary bakery smell that
seemed to follow Jared everywhere.
Jensen almost laughed when Jared started petting his hair. Nothing Jared did should surprise him
anymore, yet he still managed to surprise Jensen with new and even sappier gestures everyday. The
dude was like one big walking romance novel.
Just as Jensen’s body thought, Hey, I could get used to this, Jared pulled back, smoothed a hand
across Jensen’s exposed belly, cupped his face with both hands, and said, “Don’t worry so much, Jen.
It’s all gonna work out today. It’ll be okay. You’ll see.”
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It felt like landing in the cheesiest romance movie of the summer, where the props and scenery were
decent but the script was so overdone that it came out amusing to the actors playing the parts. And
yet… the viewers always left the movie theater feeling charmed and gooey inside, despite the cheesy
lines.
Okay. Whatever. So maybe Jared’s oversized paws framing his face and the endless sweet fondling
made Jensen feel kind of charmed, like he was special or… Oh God, precious even, which should only
ever make Jensen want to gag at the idea of being thought of that way, but somehow never had that
effect. And the way Jared always slowed down to take the time to run his thumbs over Jensen’s
cheekbones felt kind of nice, almost like Jared’s way of asking permission each time.
But there was no way in hell Jensen would ever admit to liking any of it. NO WAY. Because Jared was
totally the girl here. Not Jensen.
To save face, Jensen sighed a little, eyes darting down to Jared’s hands. Between feeling precious and
all that shit, Jensen had forgotten what they were talking about.
Great.
“We better go,” Jensen said. “If I’m gonna be fired, I wanna get it over with.”
Jared’s hands left his face, and, yea, so maybe Jensen’s face felt a little cold and lonely with the sudden
absence of those freakishly large hands. So what? S’not like it meant Jensen liked being touched and
cuddled and appreciated by an oversized man-child.
Or maybe it did. God, Jensen was so in over his head. And so, so screwed.
“Put your pants on,” Jared sing-songed, way too damned chipper for freakin’ 6 am, and tossed the
jeans at Jensen’s face so that they landed in a tangle on top of his head.
Smirking, Jensen hobbled over to the bed and slipped his jeans on. “‘Put your pants on.’ I don’t usually
get that request.”
Jared met his smirk with a dimpled one of his own. “Yea, yea. Whatever. Let’s go, Hot Stuff.”
--------As soon as they arrived on set, Jensen knew things weren’t going to be okay. Maybe the tip-off was the
furtive little knowing glances everyone from Kim to the janitor passed their way as Jared and Jensen
walked to Eric’s trailer together.
Or maybe it was the look on Eric’s face when he caught sight of them just outside of his trailer. Jensen
couldn’t pinpoint the exact expression shadowing Eric’s face, but it sure as hell wasn’t a sign of good
things to come.
But the biggest tip-off of them all? The fleeting look Eric shot Jensen right before he turned to Jared,
grunted, “Need to talk to you,” and stalked back to his trailer. For one, stalking didn’t suit Eric Kripke; in
fact, it kind of made him look like an angry troll. And two, well, why have a two when things looked like
they were already halfway down the crapshoot?
Jared shot Jensen one of those confused little What the fudge? glances as they made their way over to
Eric’s door.
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“No,” said Eric, “just Jared.”
“What?” Jared blurted.
“But—” started Jensen.
“Just Jared.”
Jared cast a last Seriously, what the hell? look at Jensen right before Eric shut the door in Jensen’s
face.
Yea, things were looking just dandy. Jared and his damn optimism.
Under the pretense of leaning against the door for support for his ankle, Jensen pressed his ear to the
flimsy wood, trying to get a snatch of conversation. All he could pick up on were muffled voices.
“Hey, Jense.”
Jensen jumped, surprised, and nearly toppled over.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to scare ya.”
Flushing with guilt at getting caught, Jensen said, “Hey, Kim. You know what’s going on?” He jabbed a
thumb at Eric’s closed door.
“Nope.”
The next tip-off? Kim couldn’t seem to bring himself to look at Jensen.
“Hey, c’mon. Can’t you give me some sort of warning before I go in there?”
Kim shrugged and averted his eyes to a dirty patch of snow to the left of Eric’s door. “I don’t know
what’s going on. No one ever tells me anything.”
That’s a lie if I ever heard one. Because Kim and Eric? They were the two always calling the shots on
set. “You’re boning me here, Kim.”
“I’ll talk to you later, Jensen.”
I am so screwed.
--------The final tip-off came fifty minutes later, in the form of Jared slamming open Eric’s door and stomping
down the walkway.
It was almost like one man had gone into the trailer and a completely different man had come out.
“Hey, Jared. Man, what the heck’s going on? Kim wouldn’t even look at—”
Jared detoured around him, somehow managing to not even spare Jensen a glance.
Jared was two feet from turning the corner when Jensen realized with a jolt that Jared had just totally
and completely brushed him off. Half hopping after Jared, after hobbling, Jensen shouted, “Dude, what
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the hell? What’s wrong with you?”
Wordlessly, Jared disappeared around the corner.
This was really kind of starting to piss Jensen off.
He started to shuffle after Jared, but Eric’s voice from the trailer doorway stopped him. “I need to talk
to you. Now.”
“What—”
“Please, Jensen?”
“But Jared—”
“I told him I need to speak to you alone. He won’t bother us. Just give him some time to… cool off.”
“But why is he—”
“Just come inside.”
Reluctantly, Jensen followed Eric into the tiny room, where Eric sat down behind a messy desk, and
Jensen plopped down on a couch facing him.
Hands folded under his chin as if he was about to pray, Eric leaned forward, leveled a steady gaze at
Jensen’s face, and said, “I need to know if everything’s okay.”
Dude, I’m about to be fired from the best job I’ve ever had. Of course everything’s not okay.
“Things have been better.”
Eric nodded. “Are you okay?”
“I…” What? “Uh. Well, I could use some more coffee.”
Eric stared at him long enough to make Jensen start to fidget. This was just getting downright creepy,
like he’d woken up in some sort of alternate universe or something.
“You can tell me. I’ll help you.”
Help me? Help me what? Find another job after you fire me? No thanks.
“Nah, I’m good.”
“Jensen.”
“Seriously, what’s going on?”
Eric rocked back in his seat, eyes still on Jensen. “What happened to your eye?”
“My eye—” Jensen laughed, hand unconsciously floating up to rub at the bruised skin. “Oh yea... I was
wrestling Jared for the remote during the game last night. He’d had, like, five mocha lattes. You know
how scary he is hopped up on coffee?” Jensen shook his head and laughed again.
“He told me you slipped on a wet spot in your kitchen.”
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Oh. Dang.
Think fast.
“I did. But this happened after. I think he was on his fourth latte by then. Or it might’ve been the fifth.
Can’t remember. Anyway—”
Eric leaned forward again. “Is he hurting you?”
“What…” Jensen laughed again, mouth quirking up in amused confusion, “who?”
“Jared.”
Jensen choked on the laugh. “What? What do you mean?”
Eric’s left eye twitched; he suddenly seemed to find the dingy ceiling fascinating. “Physically, mentally,”
a beat, “sexually.”
Jensen’s brain froze in shock. Through a tightened jaw, he asked, “You’re serious?”
“You haven’t answered. Jen, are you afraid to answer?”
Shit. “No… wait. What the hell… why do you think he’s… what made you…”
“He’s not here. You can answer.”
“No! No, he hasn’t done anything to me. Dude. C’mon Eric. You know Jared. He’s the type of guy who’d
freak out over stepping on an ant.”
“Okay. The thing is, a crew hand rounded the corner yesterday and saw you and Jared arguing. Then
she says she saw him shove you into that closet. Bill said she ran into him and told him what she’d
seen and—what’s wrong? Why are you making that face?”
“Bill.”
“Yea, Bill. He said he stood outside the door, heard you two arguing, and heard him throwing you into
shelves. He came and got me but didn’t call and tell me exactly what he’d heard until last night.”
“Throwing me around? And you actually believed that?”
Eric’s eyebrows rose. “He said that after everyone left, he came back to pack up some equipment,
found you two arguing again, and went to cut in because Jared was getting a little… overexcited. When
he tried to get Jared away from you, he says Jared turned around and decked him, then apologized like
crazy after.”
“Jared decked him? He told you Jared decked him?”
“Yea… did something else happen? Are you saying it didn’t happen like—”
“Bill’s been harassing me for two years.”
“What?”
Jensen shrugged, trying to go for casual.
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Jared was supposed to have been in the room with him when he finally told Eric all of this. It wasn’t
like Jensen needed Jared’s lanky frame sitting next to him with his damn long legs gently bumping into
Jensen’s to urge him on and give him silent support. But maybe… well, maybe he kind did need Jared.
A little.
“How so?” Eric pressed.
“Oh, I don’t know. How ‘bout physically, mentally, and sexually?”
Frowning, Eric asked, “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying Bill isn’t who you think he is, and you shouldn’t believe anything he says. He’s trying to get
Jared fired.”
“Why would he do that?”
Jensen opened his mouth to say Jealous, then closed it. Finally, he decided on, “Because he wanted to
have a threesome with us and we refused.”
Eric stared at him with golf ball-sized eyes. “A three — Jesus, Jen. Do you even know how big an
accusation this is?”
“Yes.”
Eric sat back in his chair yet again; his back and forthing in the damn chair was kind of starting to
annoy Jensen. “Look… if Jared’s abusing you, it’s ok to tell—”
“You’ve gotta be kidding me.”
“No, I’m not. I’ve seen the way he looks at you on set. I think we all have. There’s more there than
friendship.”
“I know,” Jensen said, chewing the inside of his bottom lip. God, I don’t want to tell everyone we’re
more than friends just yet.
“I thought it was kind of funny and inevitable when Bill first mentioned his suspicions to me about your
new relationship, but now I’m worried about you. I can’t — we can’t help but notice your… injuries.”
Eric held up a hand at the look on Jensen’s face. “Hear me out. I know Jared’s a great guy. But
sometimes people are completely different in relationships. Maybe you didn’t realize the type of person
he is in his relationships, but you can still get out of it.
“I think you’re a great actor and a good person, and I like you and want to help. But I can’t do
anything until you tell me the truth.”
“This is bullshit, Eric.”
“Jen—”
“I just told you the truth about Bill. If you think so much of me, you’ll believe what I say.”
“It’s common for abuse victims to—”
Slamming his fist down on Eric’s desk with a groan, Jensen said, “Listen to me! There’s no victim.
There’s me and Jared. And then there’s Bill. Who are you going to believe, Eric?”
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Eric sighed. “I just want to help you.”
“You can help me by getting Bill off set and dropping this whole thing.”
“You have my number. Anytime you need to call… or even if you just want to talk. Oh, and you can go
home for the day. I put Jared on probation for hitting Bill, so there’s not going to be filming until we
straighten this whole thing—”
“Wait. You what?”
“I had to. Either way, he hit—”
“I punched Bill.”
There was that same look Eric had given him when they’d first arrived, the one Jensen hadn’t been
able to figure out until now – pity. Though now it was mixed with disbelief. It said, You don’t have to
cover for him. Jensen was suddenly tempted to strangle Eric.
Jensen said, “Don’t do this. If you have to put someone on probation, then do it to me. Jared didn’t do
anything.”
“He already admitted to hitting Bill.”
“He… what?” Aw, hell.
“I have to go make sure they pack up and don’t break anything.”
“Eric—”
But Eric was already halfway out the door.
Jensen managed to pull himself up by his crutches. “Do you really believe Bill over us or do you just
want to believe him?”
Eric turned back to Jensen, face reddening.
“I knew something like this would happen.” Jensen jammed his crutches to the ground in an attempt to
move faster and pass Eric. “This show’ll go under, but at least you have someone who’ll back your next
show.”
“It’s not like that at all. You know I wouldn’t—”
“Money over friendship, right?”
“I’m just trying to help you.”
“Yea, well thanks a whole hell of a lot.”
In his haste to make a grand exit, Jensen nearly went down headfirst when the bottom of his left
crutch found a rather large pebble on the pavement. He barely managed to right himself and hobble off
with dignity.
By the way, it was still way too early for this kind of stuff. And Jensen had only had one cup of coffee.
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Life really sucked.
--------It took 45 minutes for Jensen to find Jared, who was already back at his apartment jamming candy into
his mouth like his life depended on it.
After Jensen slammed the front door to announce his entrance, he found Jared in the kitchen throwing
down beer and Pixie Stix, which kind of seemed really disgusting, but, hey, Jensen wasn’t going to
judge.
Jared refused to look at him as he walked in, so Jensen hopped up onto the kitchen counter, next to
where Jared had his beer and candy set out.
Jared tossed back four Pixie Stix at once. As he chewed, Jensen eyed him and said, “Okay. So we have
a problem.”
Jared snorted, spewing little pieces of sugar onto the floor.
“We just have to set this straight,” Jensen continued. “Eric—”
“Eric doesn’t believe me!” Jared blurted out before washing the candy down with a gulp of beer.
Jensen grimaced at how weird that combination of bitter/sugar must taste.
“Eric thinks… he actually believes… everyone on set, Jen… they all think I tricked you… forced you into
this relationship with me, and now I’m beating you every night or something.” Pausing for breath and
another swig of beer, Jared finally looked over at Jensen, voice going low as he continued. “Like I’m
some kind of monster or something. They actually think that… about me. They think I’m actually
hurting you,” Jared paused, “on purpose.”
“No they don’t. It’s all about money, Jay. They’re gonna go with whatever Bill says to keep him happy
with them. This isn’t about us anymore. It’s all money, man.”
“It’s personal.”
“No it’s not.”
Jared slammed the beer bottle down by Jensen’s leg so hard that Jensen thought the glass was going
to shatter. Jared’s face was flushed a deep pink, his hair tangled as if he’d just woken up, eyes red and
unfocused. It really wasn’t a pretty sight.
Staring at the now empty beer bottle, Jared ground out, “They. made. it. personal.”
“Bill made it personal. They just—”
“But they believed him.” Jared appeared to be shaking with rage. Or maybe an overload of sugar. “Eric,
Kim, I just… I thought we were all friends. I don’t know how this happened.”
“Why did you tell Eric that it was you who hit Bill?”
Jared sighed and shoved a hand into his hair, clenching at the strands in what looked like a somewhat
painful way. “Because,” he shot Jensen a quick glance out of the corner of his eye, “everything was
already so messed up. It was my chance to save your career. You’re so damn good at what you do,
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Jen. I didn’t want Bill to take that away from you.”
“So you just took the blame for something I did?”
“Yea.”
“You’re a moron, you know that?”
Jared’s shoulders slumped, making him look a lot like a kicked puppy. “Thanks. Thank a lot.”
Great. I just kicked a puppy that was already down. “No… I mean… I’m just saying it didn’t help,
because our stories didn’t match up.”
Jared leaned against the counter, unusually quiet for several minutes, before saying, “I’d do anything
for you.”
I know. And that kind of scares me.
“And anyway,” Jared rambled on, in a gloomy, dejected voice, “it doesn’t matter. I could already tell Eric
wasn’t gonna believe anything I said to defend myself.”
Jensen slid off the counter and hopped over on one foot to stand directly in front of Jared, who was
backed against the kitchen sink. Taking a deep breath, he brought his hand up and let it rest over
Jared’s heart. When Jared finally looked up at him, Jensen said, “Hey. This isn’t that bad. We can fix
this.” Jensen’s hand slid across smooth muscle, to Jared’s back. He tucked himself into the now familiar
mold of Jared’s chest, bringing his other arm around so that he had Jared wrapped in an awkward hug.
At first, Jensen thought Jared was just patting his shoulder. It actually took him a moment to realize
that Jared was gently pushing him away.
“What?” Jensen asked, brow furrowed in alarm, arms still hanging loosely around Jared’s waist.
Jared shook off Jensen’s arms.
“It’s not even totally about,” Jared’s arms waved wildly in the air, “them or what they think. I’ve been
thinking, Jen.”
“About what?”
“This morning.”
“This morning?” Jensen could barely remember anything that happened before the showdown with Eric
in the trailer.
“In bed.”
“Okay…”
Deep lines creased Jared’s forehead as he scowled down at the kitchen floor. Frowns didn’t look right
on Jared’s face unless he was in Sam-mode. Jensen had the incredible urge to pull Jared’s face down
and erase the frown lines using only his mouth.
Yea. So not the time.
Instead, he ran a thumb over Jared’s forehead, to smooth away the unJared-like scowl. Jared caught
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Jensen’s hand in his own, stilling Jensen’s movements. For a split second Jared hesitated, just gripped
Jensen’s hand like an anchor.
Finally, his grip loosened, and he dropped Jensen’s hand, saying slowly, “Before you got here, I started
to… wonder.”
“Wonder?”
“More like worry, I guess.”
“About what?”
“Us.”
Oh. “What do you mean?”
Jared let out a heavy sigh and stared at the refrigerator door. “This whole thing today got me thinking.
Neither one of us really knows what we’re doing, right?”
Unsure of where the conversation was going, Jensen hesitated before saying, “Right.”
“Okay. Well, what if I hurt you? Like… for real.”
“For real? What are you talking about?”
“Like this morning… with the tongue thing…”
“You didn’t hurt me.”
“I know, but if you don’t want my tongue there, how’re you gonna deal with,” Jared gestured at his
crotch, “this? You know what I’m saying?”
Uh. “I knew you shouldn’t have mixed Pixie Stix and beer.”
“Jen. I’m serious.”
“Well I don’t get where you’re going with this.”
Jared scrubbed a hand down his face. He looked wrecked. “Once we do this, Jen, we can’t regret it.
And I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, and neither do you. If I hurt you like that, I wouldn’t be able
to live with myself, man.”
Maybe it was the wrong thing to do, but Jensen laughed. Jared blinked at him, face showing zero signs
of amusement.
“Dude, c’mon. Seriously?”
Jared didn’t answer, so Jensen said, “You’re not gonna hurt me.”
“You don’t know that. Have you ever had a…” Jared seemed to hold his breath for a second, as if he
wasn’t sure he wanted to finish the thought. “…ever had a you know up your…” Jared grimaced, “you
know?”
“Could you, maybe, speak English?”
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“Jensen.”
“You know I haven’t. We’ve been together for two months. Why are you freaking out about this now?”
“Because… because. Everything that happened today… it’s just all… I don’t know, man. What if we do
it, and you don’t like it, and then we can’t even look each other in the eye ever again? Wouldn’t that
suck?”
“I don’t get what you’re saying.”
“I’m saying I don’t want to break anything else. Dude, every time I get near you, I hurt you.”
“Are you freaking out or something?”
“I dunno. Maybe.”
At that, Jensen scooped up the pile of the remaining Pixie Stix and dumped them into the nearest
drawer. With a tiny smirk, he said, “You’ve had enough. I’m cuttin’ you off, man.”
Jared scuffed his shoe across the floor, then looked back up at Jensen, oblivious to the loss of his
candy. “I want you to be ready for this. Maybe you’re not ready.”
Fuck. Jensen knew these words, knew where they always led, and what the person actually meant
when they said them. Strange thing was, this conversation, or versions of it, usually didn’t come until
after Jensen had slept with the person. Wetting his lips, in a steady voice, Jensen said, “Maybe you’re
not ready, Jared.”
“Maybe neither one of us is ready.”
Jensen’s contacts were drying out, turning his eyes blurry. It took all his strength not to shut his eyes,
shut out the gritty contacts, shut out this whole conversation. “Are you backing out of this
relationship?”
Jared’s face showed surprise, as though he hadn’t realized where the conversation was leading. But
then he took a deep breath and said, “I… I mean… I just know that I can’t hurt you. Love you too
much, Jen.”
Jensen backed into the refrigerator without realizing it. “Dude, I trust you. More than anyone.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t.”
“Too late.”
“You get what I’m saying? That’s why I don’t wanna hurt you.”
Jensen wanted to yell, Are you fucking KIDDING me?! Or possibly throw something at Jared’s head.
Actually, both options sounded pretty good. “Jared, are you… dumping me?”
“I… no. It’s not like that.”
“Then what’s it like?”
“I don’t know! Maybe… maybe you should just go home for the night.”
Maybe I should go home for the night. THE FUCK? “Now you’re kicking me out of your apartment?”
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“No! I don’t know how to explain it, but I think we just need… I don’t know… Just for tonight, Jen…”
Jensen turned to leave the room but then found himself directly in front of Jared, a finger jabbing into
Jared’s chest and words spilling out of his mouth, unchecked: “Was this a game or something? Pull me
into this thing with you, butter me up for a couple months, get me to trust you, and then turn around
and pull this crap on me?”
“No! Jen—”
“You win. You screwed with my head for two whole months and actually had me believing you were
different.”
“Just listen to me a min—”
“Fuck you.”
“I don’t want... This isn’t what I meant… Please… just… I don’t want them to be right about us.”
Jensen’s hand froze on the doorknob. “What?”
“…that I forced you into this when maybe you don’t really want this kind of relationship.”
“I think maybe you’re the one who doesn’t really want this kind of relationship. Whatever Eric said to
you today finally got your brain to catch up with your dick.”
Jared paused halfway across the room, surprise scrawled across his face, eyes wide. Silence fell
between them, Jared staring at Jensen with his mouth hanging open, and Jensen with his lips in a firm
line, waiting and hoping-wishing Jared would fix everything with the right words or the right touch.
My hand’s on the door. I’m leaving. Why aren’t you stopping me?
It seemed to take Jared a minute to think of something to say. And when he finally spoke, he stayed
glued to his spot in the middle of the room, as if he didn’t dare get any closer to Jensen, as if that
might prove dangerous.
“I don’t want to hurt you, Jensen.”
“Yea, well great job on that.”
Jensen’s hand grew sweaty and slick on the doorknob. Once I walk out, I’m not coming back. I’m not
doing this. I’m not playing this game.
Jensen said, “You know, this is exactly what Bill wanted.” Stop me. Don’t let me leave. Don’t do this to
me.
Jared’s eyes widened again, but he didn’t reply.
It was the only answer Jensen needed.
“Bye, Jared.”
{End of part 12}
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= 13 =
With Eyes Closed
Series/Verse: Part of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out of
control.
Summary: Jared ends up at the right place, at exactly the right time.
Type: Real people
Rating: R
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 4,580
Warnings: enough schmoop to last the rest of the week (maybe two weeks)
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale.
AN: I didn’t get a chance to thank everyone individually, so a massive thanks to everyone for all
the comments. I’m blown away! Also, I’m just so thrilled that so many enjoy reading this ‘verse as
much as I love writing it. Thank you all for so much support, feedback, and enthusiasm. I just can’t say
that enough, you know?
Jared rolled over and got a mouthful of pillowcase—and that’s just never cool.
Without creaking his eyes open, he groped around on the bed, expecting to feel skin and lips and hair
and instead getting sheets and comforter and fuzz in his mouth.
“Jehh?” he mumbled, finally daring to squint up at the dark ceiling.
When he rolled onto his side, he heard a distinct crunching sound. He swept an arm over the bed and
sent dozens of candy wrappers fluttering to the floor.
Oh. That would explain why I feel like I’m gonna throw up.
Jared couldn’t remember the exact number of beers he’d had once Jensen had left, but it definitely
hadn’t been enough to rival the sea of wrappers he was currently laying in.
His head was throbbing, his stomach churning, and the clock seemed to be mocking him with its big
red three am. Also? His mouth tasted like feet.
Worst of all though, Jared’s mind seemed stuck on one thing, playing on a loop over and over in his
head: I kicked Jensen out. I told him to leave. Shit. I actually KICKED HIM OUT.
What the hell was I thinking?
Why would I… why did I… DAMNIT.
This is bad.
Half unaware of what he was doing, Jared lurched out of the bed, nearly slipped on even more candy
wrappers laying on the floor, and stumbled to his pants to search for his car keys.
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I have to make this right. I gotta fix this.
He ducked into the bathroom. Splashing cold water on his face, he thought, Everything’s gonna be fine.
Jen’ll understand. I was high on sugar and beer and had just been accused of beating on my… Jensen.
He brushed his teeth and rinsed with Listerine.
This is gonna work out.
Jared gargled.
I’ll fix it.
--------Jared eased Jensen’s bedroom door open. At the threshold, he paused to let his eyes adjust to the
dark, save for the tiny ray of moonlight falling across the lump under the covers.
And okay, maybe if he’d stopped to think about it, he would’ve seen just how bad an idea it was to
creep into Jensen’s bedroom at three in the morning. But he was desperate to talk it out the right way,
without fresh beer and candy and shame looming over his words.
So sneaking into Jensen’s room before sunrise was a pretty lame idea. Leaning over the bed to
examine Jensen, who was laying sprawled out on his back, and whispering his name right over his face
was really, really not Jared’s brightest idea ever.
“Jeeennnn.”
Jensen’s nose twitched when Jared’s breath tickled across it.
“Jeeennnn. We really need to tal—”
“JESUS!”
Jared fell backwards at the yell, just in time to avoid Jensen accidentally head-butting him as he rolled
away from Jared and flop-flailed right over the other side of the bed.
Jared heard him hit the floor with a thud. He came around the bed to find Jensen laying in a ball of
tangled sheets and blankets.
From the floor, in a dazed voice, Jensen repeated, “Jesus.”
“No. It’s Jared.” He stooped over and offered Jensen a hand.
Swatting at Jared’s hand as if it were a large spider dropping onto his head, Jensen said, “What the hell
are you doing in my bedroom?”
“I didn’t mean to scare you… we just need to talk about… you know… what happened earlier… I didn’t
mean… it all just came out—”
“Three am!” Jensen blurted, twisting around to catch a glimpse of his bedside clock. “Are you outta
your mind?” He grabbed the edge of the bed, shoved Jared’s helping hand away again, and hopdragged himself up onto his good foot.
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Jared blinked at him, slightly derailed. “Sorry ‘bout the time. But I couldn’t let things stay like that…
Couldn’t let you think I—”
“How’d you even get in?”
Grinning sheepishly, Jared said, “Spare key in the lamp by your door. Everyone uses that spot, Jense.”
“Have you ever heard of a phone?”
“Would you have answered?”
“No.”
“Okay then.”
“Get out.”
“What?”
Jensen sat down on the edge of his bed, legs dangling off the side, and tiredly ran a hand over his eye.
“Get. Out.”
“I know you don’t like early mornings, but we really need to—”
“Need to what? What else do you need to say? You already got your point across. You really don’t need
to try and smooth it over for me. I get it, man.”
“But—”
Jensen’s voice came out tired and ragged. “Just go, Jared.”
Jared fidgeted from one foot to the other, biting his lip and weighing his words. “You’re not even gonna
talk about this with me?”
When Jensen finally looked up at Jared, that one stray moonbeam caught on his face, highlighting dark
circles under his eyes that made those crystalline greens look like bright liquid pools under a dark,
moonlit sky.
Jared automatically moved to sit next to Jensen on the bed and pull him into his arms.
“Dude,” Jensen said, dead tone firmly in place, “what are you doing?” He pushed Jared away, saying,
“Geddoff my bed.”
Stumbling slightly over his feet and his words, Jared said, “Please, Jen, just hear me out.”
Jensen pulled his left knee up to his chest, shrugged the comforter over his t-shirt clad shoulders,
hooked his arms around his knee, and stared up at Jared with a defiant, slightly bored look on his face.
Oh, is this my cue? “Uh.” C’mon, man. You can do this. Rolling his shoulders, Jared took a deep breath,
let it out slowly. The corners of Jensen’s mouth quirked up in what Jared guessed was supposed to be
exasperation but kind of came out looking sexy—Damnit. Focus.
“Okay,” Jared said. “The thing is, this whole thing between you and me happened really fast, and I
never really stopped to slow down and… take it in, you know?” Jensen made no attempt to answer, not
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that Jared had expected a reply. “I love you more than anything… and it all happened so fast—it only
took me one night, Jen, just one night and I fell hard for you. And after that, I just haven’t stopped and
really thought about any of this. So yesterday, I just… I don’t know. Everything kind of crashed down at
one time.”
Jensen didn’t seem to be blinking, and that kind of worried Jared.
“I’ve just…” Jared hesitated. He could tell Jensen was chewing the inside of his lip, a nervous habit that
Jensen, apparently, didn’t think anyone else ever noticed. “I’ve never felt like this about anybody, Jen.
Not like this. Not this much. It kind of just hit me how much I… how much you mean to me. And it
scares me.”
Jensen’s gaze shifted to a spot over Jared’s right shoulder. It was driving Jared crazy, because even
though the moonlight caught just right in Jensen’s eyes, making them look a pale green, they were
completely expressionless tonight, and Jared couldn’t get a read on what Jensen was thinking. He was
so damn good at shutting off and hiding his emotions. Dude deserved a freakin’ medal or something.
“So you kicked me out.”
Jared thought maybe he’d missed something. “What?”
“I mean so much to you that you spent two months with me and then kicked me out.”
“No, Jen, no. I was crashin’ from everything that Eric had said to me, and I’d had a whole bag of Pixie
Stix and half a pack of beer, and I just couldn’t think straight. I didn’t mean for any of it to come out
the way it did. I didn’t want… I mean, I don’t wanna screw this up with you.”
Sighing, Jensen rubbed the heel of his palm over his eye, blinked furiously, and squinted at the floor.
“Can we just talk about this in the morning?”
“What’s wrong with your eye?”
“I fell asleep with my contacts in.”
“Oh.” Jared didn’t move until Jensen said, “Are you leaving or what?”
Jared’s stomach lurched.
“I… uh… think all the candy I ate just caught up with me.”
“Dude, how much more did you eat?”
“Too much.” Jared put a hand over his mouth and mumbled, “Think I’m gonna be sick.”
Jensen’s eyes widened. “Then get outta my bedroom!” His arm came out from under the blanket to
wave wildly at the bathroom.
Jared took four long-legged leaps and landed in Jensen’s bathroom, where he slid to his knees on the
tile, and came to a stop in front of the toilet.
As he hugged the cool porcelain to his chest, he could hear Jensen’s bare feet and rubber-bottomed
crutches padding into the bathroom and stopping in the doorway. Unfortunately, he was too busy to
look up.
This was so not going the way Jared had planned.
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--------Jared spat water into the sink and gratefully chugged from the Pepto Bismol bottle Jensen had handed
him.
“Can’t believe you made yourself sick off of too much candy. I haven’t done that since I was five.”
Licking his lips, Jared grinned Pepto pink over at Jensen, who was leaning against the door frame with
his arms folded across his chest. “Aw, Jenny. You need to live a little.”
“Puking up pieces of Twizzlers into a toilet is living?”
Jared shrugged and capped the bottle. “Yea. Sure.”
“You’re a freak of nature.”
“Thanks. Love you too, Jennypie.”
“Bite me, Jarebear. So I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Oh.
He’s kicking me out. Payback sucks. “I won’t be at work tomorrow, remember?”
“Oh. Right.”
“I mean, I’m not going there to actually work. I’m just gonna pick up my things and get my last check.”
Jensen’s forehead scrunched into a line. “What are you talking about?”
“Well, I’m quitting the show.” Sometime during the middle of the night, between the Snickers bars and
the Airheads, Jared had made up his mind on that issue.
Jensen’s mouth was hanging open, so Jared said, “I can’t work with people who think I’m that… that
person. I can’t go to work everyday and look at them while they try to figure out what horrible thing I
did to you the night before. Can’t do it, Jen.”
“But you… we…”
Jared squeezed by Jensen, leaving him sputtering in the bathroom. Halfway to the front door, Jensen’s
voice came from behind him: “If you don’t come back to defend yourself, they’ll all believe it’s true. You
know that, right?”
Turning back to Jensen, Jared crossed the room, took Jensen’s hand, smoothed out his fingers, and
dropped the spare key into Jensen’s palm. “They already believe it, Jen.” He squeezed Jensen’s fingers
closed over the key and barely restrained himself from leaning in and lapping at Jensen’s open mouth.
“Why aren’t you gonna fight him?”
“Who? Bill?”
“No, Godzilla. Why are you giving up?”
“I’m not giving up.”
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“Yea you are. You’re just rolling over and walking away. I didn’t think you were the type who’d do that.”
Okay. Was that supposed to hurt? ‘Cause it did. “He already has people I trusted on his side—everyone
on set. Everyone, all of them…”
“They’re on his side because he has the money.”
“No, they’re on his side because they think I’m scum.”
“Then why don’t you set them straight?”
“Because they’re not worth it. It’s not… worth it.”
“The show’s not worth it?”
Jared hesitated. Somehow he knew he had to walk this line carefully. “I loved playing Sam, but it’s
already not the same now. Even if they invite me back, everything’s gonna be screwed up between me
and Eric and Kim and… everyone. I can’t work like that, with bosses who have no respect for me.”
“Fine,” Jensen said, expression hardening. “Then I’m pulling out too.”
“Whaa…? No. That wouldn’t—”
“What’s the point in staying if you leave? The show’s dead without you, anyway. And I’m not sticking
around to watch some other guy try to pull off the part of Sam.”
This wasn’t supposed to happen. Jared scratched the back of his neck and peered down at Jensen’s
determined face. He couldn’t let Jensen quit his job, but because Jensen was so stubbornly set on
sticking by his side, Jared had the incredible urge to wrap himself around Jensen’s frame and do
something stupid, like cry or throw him down on the couch and fuck him.
Err, yea. Anyway. Jared figured now might be the time to leave.
He started to put his hand on Jensen’s cheek, hesitated, then patted him on the shoulder instead.
Wow. Awkward. “I’ll call you tomorrow.” Then, in the cheeriest voice Jared could muster, added,
“G’night” and left Jensen staring at the open door.
--------Jared hoisted the last of his junk into his trunk and eyed the few cars in the nearly empty parking lot:
namely Jensen’s car. He didn’t particularly want to get into a discussion with Jensen about their
relationship right there at work, but maybe he could drop by his trailer and invite him to lunch or
something. Maybe even Starbucks. It was five pm—right about the time Jensen always needed
refueling in the form of caffeine.
Since the set was so empty, Jared had managed to avoid running into a single person as he emptied
out his trailer and lugged his bag of junk to his car. Whereas, he used to crave and thrive off of all the
noise and people that were always around while they were working, today he kind of dreaded coming
face to face with anyone—except maybe Jensen.
He’d have to come back by tomorrow and tell Kripke that he wanted to terminate his contract. That
was going to be a fun little visit. But for now, he was trying to settle on either the great little restaurant
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down the street that he and Jensen both liked or the takeout place near his apartment. Oh well, he’d
let Jensen decide.
Jared’s feet carried him to Jensen trailer before he even realized he was standing there knocking on the
closed door.
No one answered, so Jared glanced around the empty area, at the bare trees swaying above Kripke’s
trailer that happened to be adjacent to Jensen’s trailer. Maybe Jensen was off… what? Filming? No.
Because there was no filming going on. In fact, the whole place looked like a set that had already been
abandoned in the middle of filming. It was kind of sad looking, actually.
Jared knocked again. “Hey, Jen? It’s me. Are you in there?”
The trees rustled overhead. A chill clawed its way up Jared’s spine, and one word popped into his head:
Creepy.
This is creepy.
Not that Jared was scared, but damn. The set had never been quite this quiet. Something seemed off.
Finally, he turned the knob and toed the door open. It swung back with a creak.
Jared laughed. Scripts and clothes were scattered all over the room, where Jensen had obviously been
going through them and trashing stuff. Jensen was laying sprawled face-down on his couch napping,
one arm dangling over the side, where the tips of his fingers skimmed the floor, cheek pressed flat to
the couch cushion from having his head turned to the side.
Still laughing, Jared asked, “Did you not make it to a Starbucks in time today?”
When Jensen didn’t answer, Jared said, “Jen. C’mon. Get up. I was thinking we could go get something
to eat…” Jared trailed off, letting his eyes flick over the room once more.
Not right. Something’s not right.
“Jen?” Louder: “Jensen, c’mon, get up. I’m hungry.” The last word ended in a whine.
Jared edged farther into the room, accidentally kicking aside stacks of paper. “Jensen?”
For a reason Jared couldn’t yet see, his heart picked up speed as he knelt down by the couch, right by
Jensen’s face. He shoved gently at Jensen’s shoulder. “You’re freaking me out, man. Not funny.” But
even as he said it, Jared knew that Jensen wasn’t the type to play a practical joke like this. And even if
he had been trying to play a joke on Jared, he would’ve been laughing long ago and trying to hide it by
squeezing his eyes shut.
Shit. Shit. SHIT. Now, right in Jensen’s face, Jared took in the stark contrast between the golden brown
freckles on his cheeks and his unusually colorless complexion. Jared brought a hand up to touch
Jensen’s cheek, half afraid his skin would be ice cold.
Holding two fingers to the pulse point on Jensen’s neck, he said, “Jen. You gotta wake up.” The beat
was slow, but it was steady. Jared cupped the side of his face that wasn’t pressed to the couch cushion
and shook his shoulder with his other hand. “Jen,” he said loudly, right in Jensen’s face, “don’t do this,
man. Wake up.”
At the shaking, Jensen’s eyes fluttered open to two little slits, as if the dim light in the trailer hurt his
eyes. Jared let out a dry sob that was partway a relieved sigh.
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Jared said, “What happened?” He gave Jensen’s shoulder a squeeze when his eyes slipped shut again.
“Huh?” Jensen murmured, heavy-lidded eyes trying to focus on Jared’s face and failing.
“You’re out of it. Do you remember what happened?”
“Whaa… Jay-yed, Jarrr, Jay-red?”
Jared’s heart took a dive. “Yea, it’s Jared. What happened, Jen?”
“I’unno.”
“Okay. Okay. It’s gonna be all right. I just gotta get you—”
Behind Jared, the trailer door creaked. Jared popped up from his kneel on the floor, turning toward the
door as he stood.
When he caught sight of Jared, Bill said, “Oh… hey.”
Jared’s eyes fell to the small packet in Bill’s hand, and everything clicked into place.
HOLY
SHIT.
Mere seconds and Jared had crossed the small space, grabbed Bill by the collar of his shirt, and
slammed him into the wall. With an arm across Bill’s neck and another fisted in the man’s shirt, Jared
hissed, “What did you do?”
“Jared, I don’t know what you’re… just calm down.”
“WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM?!” Jared shouted, spraying spittle into Bill’s face and shaking him so hard
that the back of his head thumped into the wall.
“Padalecki, you’re out of control. I don’t know what you’re talking about—”
Jared’s nostrils flared as he snatched the packet out of Bill’s hand. “Then what are you doing coming in
here with a condom?”
“Now, now. Just take a deep breath, and we’ll talk about th—”
“You drugged him, you sick sonofabitch. You were gonna… gonna…” Jared yanked him away from the
wall only to slam him back into it again. Bill’s head bounced off the wall like a rubber ball. “You better
not… you better not’ve even touched him.” I will kill you.
“If you would just calm down a minute, you’d see that this is an opportunity.”
Breathing heavily, Jared glared down into Bill’s beady little bug-like eyes. He spat out, “What?”
Bill patted Jared’s chest. “Easy there, big boy.”
He must want to die. Right here. Right now.
“See,” Bill continued, feigning ignorance to Jared’s death grip on him, “I’ve been watching. I know he’s
196
been teasing you for months, just like he’s been teasing me for years. You can join us. This, Paddy, is
our chance to take—”
Bill’s suicidal. I might as well grant him his wish.
At the sight of Jared’s fist rearing back, Bill stopped mid-sentence and went silent just seconds before
said fist caught him on the jaw and sent his head reeling to the right.
Popping his jaw, Bill said, “I’m giving you a chance to take what he’s been—” But Jared’s fist was
already making a second landing. “One more time and you’re gonna ruin your career—”
“You already did that for me, remember?” Jared thanked Bill with a punch to the gut. “If you even
touched him, I’ll—”
“Jared?”
Jared’s fist dropped at the voice.
“Eric,” Bill panted, wiping blood from his nose, “he’s gone insane. I came in and found Jensen knocked
out and—”
With Jared’s sudden release of him, Bill slid down the wall like a rag doll, his words fading.
Jared turned to face Eric and Kim, who were standing just inside the door, taking in the scene with
open mouths. “Look! Look at him! Do you see what he was about to do to Jensen right under your
noses?” Jared swung an arm over at the couch, where Jensen appeared to be out cold. “He was going
to… going to…” But Jared couldn’t even say it, couldn’t get those words out. All he could say was,
“Because you all wouldn’t believe us.”
Kim’s eyes widened immediately, focusing intently on Jensen. “God,” he muttered.
But Eric just stood there, glancing back and forth between Jensen, Jared, and Kim, eyes huge as if in
shock.
Jared said, “Fuck this” and swooped back down on Jensen. “Hey, Jen. We’re leaving, okay?” No answer
came, of course, only a little moan from Jensen. Jared ignored the silence radiating through the room,
rolled Jensen over onto his back, slid an arm under his knees and curled another around his back. He
bent his knees and scooped Jensen into his arms.
With Jensen’s head lolling on his shoulder, Jared reached the door. In a firm, even voice, he said,
“Move,” and Eric and Kim scrambled to part and let him pass through the door.
Mere feet outside of the door, Jared heard Bill shriek, “Are you just going to let him go?”
Try and stop me. I dare you.
--------Getting Jensen into the car wasn’t easy. Once he had the door unlocked, he had to use his foot to toe
the door open. He nearly toppled them both.
Jensen half woke and slurred, “Jarrr. Wha’ doin’?”
If Jared didn’t have his arms full, he would have stroked Jensen’s hair or done something comforting.
197
But as it was, all he could do was say, “It’s gonna be okay. I’m taking you home. You can sleep it off.”
“Wha’… ’appened… I… ‘kay.”
The leather in his backseat made it easier to slide Jensen into the car. By far, the scariest part was that
Jensen didn’t seem to have a clue as to where he was or what was going on. Leaning over him in the
backseat, Jared ran his fingers through Jensen’s hair. “S’okay. You’re safe now.” Jensen’s eyes fluttered
shut again, and he curled in on himself.
After he straightened his back out and closed the door, Jared turned around to find Kim walking
towards him. Blatantly ignoring Kim, he slid into the driver’s seat.
Much to Jared’s dismay, Kim reached his window before Jared had a chance to pull away. Dude might
look old, but he moved like a panther. He knocked on Jared’s closed window and motioned for him to
roll it down. Jared debated on giving him the finger.
Finally, he rolled the window down and growled, “What?”
“Was Jensen drinking out of this?” Gingerly, only touching the cap area, he held up a nearly empty
Coca Cola bottle.
“I don’t know. He was already out when I got there.”
“I’m sending what’s left of it in to have it tested. When he’s coherent, have him pee into a jar or
something.”
“Have him… what?”
“We can have it tested for Rohypnol. I’ve seen people with it in their systems before, and this looks like
it to me.”
“Is that—”
“Yea. Roofies.”
“Fuck,” Jared muttered under his breath.
“Exactly.”
“Won’t there be fingerprints on the bottle?”
“Yes.”
“And that could prove…?”
“I don’t know.” Kim glanced through the back window at Jensen, a frown creasing his weathered face.
“Give him lots of water to flush it out of his system. But make sure he pees in something first.”
Focusing on Jared again, he said, “I never liked Bill.” Then he thumped the side of Jared’s car with a
closed fist and walked off.
--------“Hang on,” Jared said, reaching for the spare key behind the hall lamp while out of the corner of his
eye watching Jensen sag limply down the wall.
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Once Jared had the door open, he pulled Jensen into his arms again and staggered into the apartment.
His back was so going to kill him the next day.
By the time he got Jensen onto the bed, stripped him of jeans and two layers of shirts, Jensen was
mumbling incoherent words under his breath. After he pulled the window shade down, leaving the
room in warm golden light, he pulled the comforter up to Jensen’s chin, leaned over him, and with a
thumb stroking his temple, asked, “What is it, Jen? I can’t understand what you’re saying.”
Jensen clawed weakly at Jared’s leg. “Okay. It’s okay,” Jared said, grasping hold of Jensen’s hand.
“What’s wrong?”
“Don’ go.”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
Jensen turned his head to look up at Jared with out-of-focus, glazed eyes. “Jus’… don’ leave me ‘lone.
Please…”
“I won’t.”
The words seemed to reassure Jensen. He turned on his side and curled toward Jared, laying an arm
across Jared’s leg, as if to make sure he didn’t get up and leave anyway.
As Jared gently moved Jensen’s arm and stretched out on his back right beside Jen, he realized his
throat was unusually tight and closed up, like he’d swallowed a lump of food too fast or something.
Jared cleared his throat, then thought, Aw, crap. I better not be about to cry or something.
Beside him, Jensen mumbled, “In my Coke.”
Jared turned his head to find Jensen’s eyes half open and watching him. “What?”
“Somethin’ in m’ Coke.”
“He put it in your soda bottle?”
Jensen nodded feebly, eyes drooping down even farther. “Stupi’.” Jared watched him, waiting for more,
waiting for him to finish the thought. A minute passed before Jensen added, “Why’m I so stupi’?”
The urge to smash Bill’s face in washed over Jared again. Fuck. It’s not right. IT’S NOT FAIR. He
doesn’t deserve this shit.
But instead of pummeling something with his fist, Jared turned onto his side and caressed Jensen’s
cheek with his thumb; the other fingers on his hand were busy stroking through the fine hairs at the
nape of Jensen’s neck. Jared looked down into Jensen’s face and whispered, “You’re not stupid. It
wasn’t your fault. Never your fault, Jen.”
Jensen’s eyes fell shut again; at the same time, he sighed out, “Jaaayyyy,” in a soft, drawn-out and faroff voice.
“Everything’s gonna be okay,” Jared assured, as much to himself as to Jensen. He watched dark lashes
skim pale cheeks and thought, Iloveyousomuchdon’twannaseeyouhurtlikethis.
The hand Jared had on Jensen’s face lowered to wrap a long, protective arm around Jensen’s back.
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At the touch of Jared’s arm on his back, with eyes still closed, Jensen murmured a slurred, “Love you,
Jay,” his warm breath puffing into Jared’s neck.
Jared’s whole body tensed up, froze, breathing and brain function coming to a complete standstill.
It might have been minutes before Jared’s brain kicked into gear again. He scooted as close to Jensen
as he could get without suffocating him, wrapped himself and the blanket around Jensen’s sleeping
body, and said, “Love you too.”
{End of part 13}
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= 14 =
Where Else Would I Be?
Series/Verse: Part 14 of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out
of control.
Summary: Jared comforts Jensen the only way he knows how.
Type: Real people
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 5,930
Warnings: Cuddling-- *gasp* hide your children!
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale.
AN: Remember that commercial from 2004, where the brother and sister are in the back of the car,
and the boy keeps holding his finger inches from the little girl’s face? And he’s all, “I’m not touching
youuu.” Yea, picture that in the last scene here.
Nearly an hour and a half later, Jared woke to a dark room and Jensen’s warm face pressed into the
crook of his neck. It actually would’ve been pretty sweet if Jensen hadn’t been drooling.
Jared delicately peeled himself away from Jensen and rolled to the edge of the bed. He watched
Jensen’s head droop down into the pillow where Jared’s body had left a warm indented area. Sitting on
the edge of the bed, Jared used the sleeve of his shirt to wipe away the slobber on his neck as he
stared at the bedside clock. A few minutes before eight pm—time to… well, Jared wasn’t exactly sure
what he was supposed to do next.
So he padded into the kitchen, flicking on light switches as he went, and made himself a peanut butter
and jelly sandwich.
Hey, a man has to eat.
Jared came back into the bedroom with the sandwich and a glass of water. After turning on the bedside
lamp, he leaned over Jensen and swept a hand through his sleep-mussed hair. Right away, Jensen
stirred, mumbled a pillow-muffled, “Nuh… don,’” and tried to burrow farther down into the covers.
“It’s me,” Jared whispered, rubbing up and down his arm, from elbow to shoulder. “You need to drink
something.” When Jensen didn’t respond, Jared squeezed his shoulder. “Jen, you gotta… you need to
wake up for a minute.” He grabbed Jensen by the shoulders and rolled him onto his back. It was
starting to freak Jared out that Jensen was so limp and pliant under his hands.
Shouldn’t the drug be wearing off by now?
As if he were trying to blink away fuzzy vision, Jensen blinked slowly and hesitantly several times
before finally opening his eyes and looking up at Jared.
“Hey there,” Jared said, using soft tones as though Jensen were a newborn kitten that Jared had just
discovered by the side of the road.
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“Wha’,” Jensen started, then faltered. Jared watched his throat work as he swallowed hard.
“How’re you feeling?” Please be okay.
It seemed to take a minute for Jensen to register the question. “Li’ crap.” His still-slurred words caused
Jared to lean in closer, eyebrows drawing together in a crease of worry.
With false confidence, Jared said, “It’s okay. You can just sleep it off tonight. I brought you some
water.” Jared put an arm around Jensen’s back and dragged him up slightly so that he wouldn’t choke
on the cool liquid.
Sighing softly, Jensen leaned back against Jared’s arm and slurped from the straw that Jared guided to
his mouth.
“You need to go to the bathroom or anything? You can have half of my sandwich if you want.”
“Jus’ gonna sleep,” Jensen murmured, sliding back down into the covers.
Jensen’s eyes followed Jared’s hands as he fluffed the pillow around Jensen’s head and tucked the
blankets in around him.
“No’ leavin’?” Jensen asked, looking up at him, eyes all wide and round and innocent in the lamplight,
and Jared was immediately reminded of the night Jensen had been sick, the same night Jared’s heart
had tripped over itself and he’d fallen in love with his best friend.
“Not unless you want me to.”
Jensen shook his head slightly, muttering, “Nuh, stay.”
Jared fingered through Jensen’s hair. “Don’t worry. Not going anywhere.” He didn’t take his hand away
from Jensen’s head, didn’t even move to reach for his sandwich—which was tempting him from the
nightstand—until Jensen’s eyelids drooped shut and his breathing once again became slow and deep.
--------After his shower, Jared came back into the bedroom mopping his hair dry with a towel. Jensen was
sound asleep on his side, having not even budged from the position he’d been in before Jared had
gone to shower.
Jared flicked the TV on, set the volume to low, and slid back onto the bed, propping his back up on the
headboard with a pillow. When the bed dipped with Jared’s body weight, Jensen rolled toward him, into
the dip, unconsciously following Jared’s body heat, and suddenly Jared had a lap full of Ackles.
He laid an uncertain hand on Jensen’s sleeping head, fingers unconsciously playing with the fine, goldtipped locks, and willed himself not to get hard just because Jensen’s half-open mouth was inches from
his crotch. Jared shifted and thought, Not the time, not the time, not the time…
He flipped the channel to an old I Love Lucy episode. Hah. There. No one can get hard while watching
I Love Lucy. Just doesn’t happen.
Jensen sighed in his sleep, hot breath tickling Jared’s inner thigh and sending a parade of shivers down
his leg, straight to his toes.
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Jared considered putting his jeans back on. He was not, NOT going to perv on Jensen while he was
drugged. No, he was definitely not even gonna go there. That would just be… weird. And creepy. And
sick. And way too Bill-ish. And Jensen really needed to get his head out of Jared’s lap. Like, right now.
On the television, Lucy and Ethel tried to sneak into a Geisha House. In Jared’s lap, Jensen turned his
head, and the soft tips of his hair brushed the inside of Jared’s leg.
Uh. Damn.
It was going to be a long night.
--------Around ten pm, Jared floated back to the surface of consciousness. The muted television was sending
rainbows of light dancing across the ceiling. Jared started to turn, to find the remote and turn the TV
off, but found his chest weighed down by Jensen, who was no longer in Jared’s lap but now sprawled
out half on top of him, his face turned to the side and pressed into Jared’s shoulder.
Rubbing both hands up and down Jensen’s back, he said, “Jen? Wake up, baby.”
Baby? Dang, that one came outta nowhere.
The only response Jensen gave was to nuzzle into Jared’s neck. Jared squeezed his eyes shut, trying to
ignore Jensen’s hair tickling under his chin, Jensen’s warm body pressed flush to his side, Jensen’s hand
laying flat on his chest. He willed himself to remember that Jensen was still drugged, doped up and not
quite himself tonight.
But damn, it felt so good to have Jensen initiate the close contact for once.
And Jared… well, he groped for the remote, flicked the TV off so that the room went dark, wrapped
both arms around Jensen’s back, and spent the next hour awake, staring at the ceiling and letting his
thumbs rub light little circles around and around Jensen’s back. It was a true testament to Jared’s
willpower to refuse his hands permission to venture anywhere else on Jensen’s body.
It seemed incredibly unfair that Jensen was so open and cuddly and unguarded when he was doped
up. Not fair at all.
Somewhere around midnight he figured that managing to resist temptation when Jensen Ackles
seemed intent on molding himself to your body should at least earn Jared a spot in Heaven. Was that
really asking too much in return for Jared’s near saintliness? Surely even God was on Jared’s side here.
--------It was turning into the longest night of Jared’s life. And his on and off napping? Not really helping. If
anything, it seemed to make the hours ooze by like warm caramel sauce on freckled skin—
Yea. Clearly Jared wasn’t holding up too well. And now he suddenly had a craving for Jensen. Or a Hot
Fudge Sundae. He really missed his Dairy Queen.
Jared was leaning back against the headboard, legs stretched out and ankles crossed, killing time with
a game of Tetris on his cell and thinking about soft serve ice cream, when Jensen finally showed signs
of movement.
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The pile of covers Jensen was sleeping under shifted, a groan seeped out from underneath, and then
Jensen’s head popped out from under the mini blanket-mountain.
Jared’s fingers halted on the keys, and the puzzle pieces built up to the top. The phone beeped the end
of his game. He tossed it to the floor, eyes on the only part of Jensen he could see at the moment—his
head, squinted eyes gazing up at him.
“Hi,” Jared said uncertainly, not sure how completely lucid Jensen would be this time.
“My mouth tastes like I licked the bottom of your shoe.”
Jared heaved out a sigh of relief, face cracking into a wide smile. Though Jensen’s voice sounded rough
and unused, his words were now only the tiniest bit slurred and not nearly as blurry around the edges
as they had been several hours ago.
“Welcome back,” Jared said.
“Time s’it?”
“Quarter ‘til two.”
“God,” Jensen drawled.
“You need anything?”
“Nuh uh.”
“How’re ya feeling?”
Jensen’s only answer was a grunt as his eyes slipped partially shut. Just when Jared thought he had
dropped off to sleep again, he said, “Like I died.”
After scooting closer, Jared covered the top of Jensen’s rumpled hair with his large palm and began
massaging Jensen’s scalp with the pads of his fingers. “I was worried about you.”
“Hmm.”
“Are you going back to sleep?”
“Uhunno. Feel like I’ve slept too much already.” Jensen inched the covers down to his collarbone and
regarded Jared from underneath his lashes. The lamplight caught on his bloodshot eyes as he tipped
his head to look up at Jared. “So what the hell happened?”
The small smile Jared had on his lips from watching Jensen wake faltered, wavered, and fell. “You don’t
remember?”
“I remember—” Jensen stopped; his features scrunched up like he’d just gotten a taste of something
particularly nasty. He ran a hand down his mouth, through stubble.
“Yea?” Jared prodded. “What do you remember?”
He turned his head to the side to squint at Jared’s leg as he licked his dry lips. His silence and furrowed
brow were starting to get to Jared, making him fidget on the bed. He drew his hand away from
Jensen’s hair and waited.
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Finally, Jensen let out a choked off groan, loud enough to startle Jared.
“Jen?”
“I… fuck.”
“S’okay,” Jared said quietly, “everything’s okay now.”
The glare Jensen gave him was enough to make Jared flinch involuntarily.
“S’not okay,” Jensen grumbled into his hands, rubbing at his face as if to wipe something away. He
lifted his head to look back up at Jared and said, “Twice. I’ve been roofied twice in my life. Man,
that’s… it’s… it’s gotta be some sort of record, right? Especially for a guy.”
“Well, it’s—”
Jensen cut him off with, “Dude.” He paused, then, “I think I’m doing something wrong.”
“What? Something wrong, like… what do you mean?”
“I dunno.”
“It’s not your fault. It’s just something that happened. It doesn’t mean—”
“Do I look like I’m asking for it or something?”
“What? No! Why are you even—why are we even talking about—”
Jensen scratched at his hair, shoved it back so that it stuck up even crazier in the front. “Remember
that night you pretended to be sick?”
Okay, this can’t be going anywhere good. “Uh… yea.” Unfortunately.
“Why were you all over me right before I left?”
Jared shifted, eyed the window, estimating how long it’d take him to leap up from the bed and fling
himself through the glass. Unfortunately, rain was lashing the window, and between an icy fall to his
death and lying in a warm bed with Jensen, Jared preferred the bed, thanks. Eventually, he decided to
play dumb. “I was all over you?”
“Dude, I was freakin’ out and you were leaning in to kiss me.”
“I was?”
Under the covers, Jensen’s hand snaked out to pinch his leg, and Jared finally blurted out, “Because
you were hot.” Shit. Did I just say that?
“Okay, but did you think I was playing hard to get? Like maybe it seemed like I wanted it or
something?”
“Why are we even talking about this?”
Jensen thumbed the edge of the pillowcase, eyes averted from Jared’s face. “’Cause... I dunno. There’s
something wrong when a guy gets roofied twice.” After chewing the inside of his lip for a moment,
Jensen added in a rush, so that his words nearly ran together, “Bill and the guy from Days of Our Lives
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both said I’d been asking for it.”
Jared wanted so badly to pull Jensen into his arms, but the lines seemed blurred; he wasn’t sure if it
was the right time or even if it was appropriate after everything Jensen had just been through.
Jared said, “That’s ’cause they’re,” he lifted his hand to his temple in the universal crazy gesture,
“whackjobs. They would’ve said anything to make it seem okay.”
“Yea, I know, but for them both to say pretty much the same thing… you know? Maybe… I dunno.
Maybe.”
“Maybe what? You think you were giving off some sortta ‘hey, roofie me, please’ vibe? That’s bull, and
you know it. They only said that to make themselves feel less… freakish about what they were doing to
you.”
“Okay, Dr. Phil.”
Jared eyed him as Jensen flipped on his side to face Jared, brought his knees up to his chest, and
unconsciously folded in on himself.
He’d never seen Jensen quite like this—vulnerable and insecure and actually willing to let anybody see
all of that—and it kind of freaked Jared out. Unsure of what to do, he said, “But it’s over. And it’s not
gonna happen again, I promise. Now lemme make you some banana pancakes.”
“I don’t remember what happened.”
“Bill drugged you.”
“I remember that part. He even came in while I was going through all the crap in my trailer, and I told
him to bugger off. He just kept standing there watching me, so I stood up, and everything was kinda…
blurry and spinning. Then I tripped and Bill was there guiding me to the couch, and I just knew he’d
done something to fuck with my head. Then I think I blacked out for a little while ’cause when I woke
up, he was right there in my face, touching me and—”
Jared jolted from his near trance-like state of intense listening. Through a clenched jaw, he ground out,
“Wait. He touched you?”
Jensen blinked his bloodshot eyes at the question and answered, “Yea. He had his hands on my face
and his thumb in my mouth when I woke up.”
Jared felt the blood rushing to his face. Anger thrummed like a thousand hot needles shooting at warp
speed through his veins, just below the surface of his skin. He clenched the edge of the sheet in his fist
and willed himself to breathe and relax his jaw.
It didn’t work.
Jared’s next words came out just as strained, though all he could seem to manage to do was reword
his previous question: “He actually put his hands on you?” And all he could think about was how he’d
had his chance to take Bill down right then and there but hadn’t because Eric and Kim had walked in. If
he’d know Bill had actually already taken it a step further… if he’d known at the time…
Jensen either couldn’t feel the anger radiating off of Jared’s skin or chose to ignore it. “He said I’d been
wanting it to happen and leading him on, or some shit like that, and then I blanked out again. Next
thing I knew, your face was there instead of his. I thought I was hallucinating, dude. Never been so
glad to see your puppy mug right in my face.”
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Jared was still stuck on the touching, on the thought of Bill’s greasy thumb invading the inside of
Jensen’s mouth, on the picture in his mind of Bill’s sweaty, fat fingers curling around Jensen’s face and
touching his perfect skin. Without realizing what he was doing, Jared ripped a tear in the sheet.
“Hey,” Jensen said, surprise evident in his voice, “these sheets were expensive. They’re Egyptian or
something.”
“He touched you.”
“So?” Jensen rubbed at the corner of his eye, all casual, like it was just any other day and they were
talking about what to have for an early breakfast. “He’s already been rubbing up on me for two years.”
“That… that doesn’t make it right. Least you were coherent those times. This time he drugged you…
and… and put his hands on your face.” Only I’m allowed to do that.
Jared’s mouth twisted at the calm, dead stare Jensen aimed at his chest. Why wasn’t Jensen freaking
out? Why was he acting like it was no big deal that he had Bill germs on his skin and that one of those
nasty fingers had been swirling around inside his mouth. It made Jared want to gag just thinking about
it.
“I don’t think he had a chance to do anything else.”
“You don’t think?” Fuck. What the hell. Just WHAT THE HELL.
“Well, I’d know, right? Like… I’d feel it if he went any further—I’d remember.”
“I dunno. Yea, I guess. That’s all you remember? The face touching?”
“Last thing I remember is you shaking my shoulder and then waking up here.”
Jared’s stomach took a plunge without his permission. “You mean… you don’t remember anything else
between now and then? Like… anything you said?” Please remember, please just remember…
“Nah…” Eyeing Jared carefully, Jensen said, “I didn’t say anything stupid, did I?”
Jared’s shoulders sagged back against the headboard. “No, nothing stupid.”
“You sure? You’re looking at me funny.”
Life’s playing a cruel joke. “I’m sure.”
Jensen raised an eyebrow. “Nothing embarrassing, right? Like that time my mom dressed me up in…
well, nothing embarrassing, right?”
“No.”
At that, Jensen seemed to let out a sigh of relief. “Think I’m gonna go take a shower, get these
contacts out… feels like I let my eyes soak in a sandbox.” He laughed, kind of tight and strained and
worn out, with a dull edge.
But Jared had ceased paying attention.
“Jay?”
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“Huh?”
“What is it?”
“Whaa… oh, nothing. I was just wondering if… you had some bananas. For the pancakes.”
Dragging himself up to sit on the edge of the bed, Jensen said, “In the ‘fridge,” and then proceeded to
stretch his arms over his head and pop his back.
“Great,” Jared said glumly. Just… great.
Jared was halfway to the door when he turned, saw Jensen stand up, tip to the side, hop on one foot,
and then lurch like a drunk coming out of a bar in the middle of the night.
He didn’t remember leaping across the room. But the next thing Jared knew, he was standing in front
of Jensen, his hands planted firmly on slender hips. At the same time, Jensen’s hands came up to
Jared’s shoulders and gripped firmly to stabilize himself.
With his head bent down, leaning well into Jensen’s breathing space, Jared said, “That was kinda
weird.”
“Forgot about my ankle,” Jensen answered, and let out a humorless little laugh.
“Yea.” The way the situation closely mirrored that morning after Jensen was sick and stumbled out of
bed, only for Jared to catch him, didn’t brush by Jared unnoticed. Except this time he let his hands
linger on Jensen’s hips without guilt, let his head dip down even lower so that his cheek grazed
Jensen’s, let his arms glide slowly around Jensen’s waist, to wrap loosely around his back and pull him
closer. Breathing the words softly into Jensen’s ear, Jared said, “You kinda scared me.”
“Just dizzy. I’m good now.”
“No. I mean… all of this. When you were lying on that couch and I couldn’t wake you up… I was
freakin’ out, man. Thought… thought the worst.”
Jensen pulled his head back, away from Jared’s mouth and away from the sappy admittance that Jared
had just poured into his ear. Jared straightened and focused his gaze on Jensen’s face, on his lips
quirking up on one side. It was clear Jensen was about to say something sarcastic or completely off
topic, to dissuade the serious direction of the conversation.
“You saved my sorry ass.” Jared thought that a poor choice of words, pun intended or not. The smooth
timbre of Jensen’s voice lowered, humor slipping out of his tone. “Guess this makes you my hero. Or
something.” The hands still on Jared’s shoulders tightened their grip, blunt nails digging into Jared’s
skin through his thin t-shirt.
In spite of himself, Jared grinned from ear to ear. “Damn straight. I’m your knight ‘n shining armor,
Ackles.”
Jensen beamed back up at him, and Jared had the incredible urge to run his fingers over the adorable
little crinkles at the corners of Jensen’s eyes, feel that luminous smile under his fingertips.
“I love your smile,” slipped over Jared’s tongue as easily as the silky soft serve ice cream he’d been
daydreaming about earlier.
Instead of the usual uncomfortable, surprised look that normally crossed Jensen’s face after Jared
blurted out sappy phrases, Jensen let his head fall back and the sound of his laugh filled the room.
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Taken aback by the reaction, Jared gazed blankly at the long elegant line of neck before him for several
seconds before leaning down and pressing his lips to Jensen’s throat in a somewhat wet and sloppy
kiss.
At the feel of Jared’s lips, Jensen’s laugh seemed to get stuck in the back of his throat. He made a halfchoked, surprised sound that vibrated beneath Jared’s mouth. But when he kept his head thrown back,
Jared took it as a sign and mouthed his way down to Jensen’s pulse point. The steady throb under his
lips picked up speed, and Jared grinned against his skin.
Jensen brought his head back up quickly, cleared his throat nervously, and said, “Gotta shower.”
The movements were so familiar by now that Jared hardly even thought about what he was doing
when he cupped Jensen’s chin in his hand. With a sly grin, he asked, “Need company?”
Grinning up into Jared’s face, Jensen said, “Naaahhh,” drawing the word out slow and easy and leaning
into Jared’s chest.
“You know,” Jared said conversationally, hand dropping to Jensen’s hip, “your breath kinda does smell
like you licked my shoe.”
“You just want an excuse to get away from me. ‘Fraid you’ll pick up some Bill germs.” Jensen ended the
teasing comment by exhaling heavily, open-mouthed, right into Jared’s face.
Cringing, Jared said, “Not funny, man.”
Through a smirk, Jensen breathed on him again, and Jared said, “Dude, stop.” He shoved at Jensen’s
chest, punctuating the push with a, “Go shower. Before you make me gag.” Just to drive his point
home, Jared wrinkled his nose and pulled a disgusted face.
“My hero,” Jensen said, with a briefly exaggerated lash flutter that nearly had Jared chasing after him
into the bathroom like an excited puppy about to be fed his favorite treat.
--------It severely hurt Jared’s pride to admit that he’d fallen asleep after Jensen had gone into the bathroom
to take a shower. But really, it’d been a long night. Between watching over Jensen, planning ways to kill
Bill, trying to find ways to entertain himself that didn’t involve staring at Jensen’s sleeping face… well, it
had been a long night.
He rubbed at his bleary eyes and glanced at the clock: 3:30 am.
Wait. What? No way.
A quick glance around the room and Jared practically bolted from the bed, got his leg caught in the
sheet, and nearly went down face-first. The thing was, an hour and a half had passed and the shower
was still on.
And that couldn’t mean anything good.
Words like sprained ankle and dizzy and slipped raced through Jared’s mind. As he pounded on the
bathroom door, he pictured Jensen lying naked and unconscious on the slippery floor, drowning in
shower spray. When no answer but the steady spray of water met his ears, Jared turned the knob and
eased the door open.
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Humid, water-laden air reached out to brush gently across his face. His eyes immediately went straight
to the shower doors. Jensen’s hazy form was barely visible through the water-streaked glass. Setting
modesty aside, Jared slid the shower door open. Instead of what he had expected to see—Jensen hurt,
Jensen trying to claw his way out of the shower—Jared found him standing stock-still under the spray,
unmoving and unblinking, staring at the wall directly in front of him.
“Jesus, Jen? What are you doing?”
A slow buzzing sound started in Jared’s head when Jensen failed to answer or even look his way. Still
clothed, Jared stepped into the shower stall, moved past Jensen. Cold water soaked his t-shirt and
jeans, ran icy fingers down his spine as he yanked the faucet knob over and shut the water off.
With water dripping from his bangs and his clothes, Jared turned to face Jensen. “What’s wrong? What
happened?”
Jensen blinked, sending the water droplets that were caught in his eyelashes sliding slow trails down
his cheeks, like tears.
“Jen?” You’re freaking me out.
“Fuck,” Jensen finally breathed out. It was the most Jared had ever heard him curse in the span of 24
hours. To add to that record, he again said, “Fuck. Just… fuck.” Dean definitely would’ve been proud.
Uncertainly, Jared agreed with a nod and an, “Okay.” Yea. Fuck. Okay. Right.
I don’t get it.
“It’s all so fucked up.” It was the crack in his voice, the breaking sound in the middle of the sentence
like shattering glass, that pushed Jared forward to stand in front of Jensen.
Jensen still stared ahead, to the wall; but now Jared was standing between Jensen’s freakishly
unwavering gaze and the wall. Jensen seemed to stare not at Jared, but through him, half making
Jared wonder if he had just stepped into a sci-fi film.
He placed his hands on Jensen’s water-slick shoulders.
With a dead stare at Jared’s chest, in a flat voice, Jensen said, “I can’t remember. I don’t know what
happened before you got there.”
Jared tugged him forward by his shoulders, straight into his chest, and wrapped his arms around
Jensen’s cold back. “Nothing happened,” Jared soothed. “You were still fully clothed when I got there.
He didn’t get a chance to do anything. ”
“Can’t remember any of it after I blacked out,” Jensen mumbled into Jared’s wet t-shirt, voice hoarse
and rough at the edges. “S’freakin’ me out.”
From the sound of Jensen’s voice, Jared wanted to say, Were you crying? and then, That’s okay. It’s
okay. You can cry in front of me. He didn’t like this going off alone and freaking out in the shower thing
that Jensen had going on instead.
In a muffled voice, Jensen continued: “I knew it was happening again, and I couldn’t do anything
about it.” Jared rubbed large hands up and down his back, back and forth over goose bumps and
chilled skin. “He was laughing, Jay. The bastard was fucking laughing at me.”
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Jared may or may not have bit through his tongue. He tasted the metallic tang of blood in his mouth
and swallowed thickly.
I want him dead, Jared thought with surprise. It’s not just a saying anymore—I actually want the man
dead.
Jared nuzzled the side of Jensen’s face, warm nose on cool skin. This time it was Jared who cursed:
“Fuck.”
“He was laughing and telling me all the things he was gonna do to me, and I couldn’t even fight him
off. I kept trying to swat at him, and he just grabbed my hands and jerked me towards him. It was…
humiliating.”
God, Jared thought, and squeezed Jensen even tighter.
“And you know what I did?”
Jared couldn’t even begin to imagine where this was leading. In a low voice, he asked the obliged,
“What?”
“I tripped over the Nintendo controls on the floor and fell into him.”
Jared let out a sympathetic groan. Because that? Was truly fucked.
“He shoved me onto the couch and positioned me, and man, I couldn’t… I just couldn’t stop him… I
was struggling with him on the couch, trying to shove him away, and I had to keep stopping to blink
and clear my vision, because I couldn’t even see straight… ”
“You don’t have to…” tell me this if you don’t want to.
“I know. I need to.”
“Okay,” Jared said evenly, pressing a kiss into the soaking wet hair plastered to Jensen’s head.
“He was straddling me when I blacked out, and I’m pretty sure he groped me up while I was sacked
out on the couch. I kinda remember hands, but maybe I dreamed that part. I don’t know. I keep
feeling hands, but I can’t really remember anything solid.”
Jared let out a hiss of breath through clenched teeth. In his head, he heard himself shouting, You
better not’ve touched him; and Bill’s even expression and pat on Jared’s chest flickered like snapshots
through his mind.
Fuck. Why didn’t I just… right there… I could’ve just—
“I feel so fucking dirty.”
Surprised, Jared pulled Jensen away from him, hands on his shoulders at arms length. For the first time
since Jared had climbed into the shower stall, Jensen’s eyes flicked up to his face, then away again. “I
know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s like I can’t get clean.” Jensen sucked in a wet breath. His bloodshot
eyes lifted to Jared’s face and stayed this time.
The only sound in the whole bathroom was a dull plop plop from the leaking faucet. They stared at
each other until Jared finally realized that Jensen was searching his face for answers or reassurances or
explanations, something; and Jared had nothing—he completely blanked.
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Several more plop plops passed before Jensen back away from the hands Jared still had on his
shoulders. “I know you didn’t bargain on… all this… when we got together… me being all… fucked up.
It’s okay, you don’t have to—”
The words slipped softly over Jared’s lips: “You’re not fucked up.”
“Dude, I’m standing in a shower stall whining like a little girl to you. It’s okay if you want to—I know
you didn’t sign up for this. I’m not… I’m never like this… this isn’t exactly like me, okay? I just—”
“Jen, it’s okay.”
“I’ve never stood in a shower stall and fucking cried before. It’s just… I’m sick of this crap. And I’m
fucking tired, and—”
“You’re not fucked up.” Without another word, Jared stepped forward and curled himself around
Jensen’s frame, bending down and leaning over to let his head rest on Jensen’s tense shoulder. “You’re
not.”
“Don’t want you to think I’m usually like this,” Jensen mumbled, his warm breath tickling through
Jared’s hair. “Not all weak and pathetic.”
“I know you’re not. And you’re not fucked up or dirty, either. You’re… perfect.”
“Right.”
“Well, you are to me.”
“You’re a big girl.”
“You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I swear.”
“Like a teenage stalker girl.”
“You’re so perfect that—”
“Okay, I get it.”
“C’mon,” Jared said, straightening up suddenly and tugging at Jensen’s arm. “Your lips look kinda blue.”
Jared stepped out, offering Jensen an arm to help him hop out on his good foot. Once Jensen was
standing outside the shower stall, Jared grabbed a towel and wrapped it around him, pulling the edges
in snugly as he tugged Jensen to him again, using the edges of the towel to guide Jensen into his
arms.
Jared said, “Better?”
“Yea, I guess.”
“You’re allowed to freak out around me, Jen. You don’t have to be this robot person with a pretty smile
and no emotions. I told you we were in this together. You and me, man.”
“Okay.”
“Okay.”
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When they broke apart, Jensen said, “Thanks, Jared.”
Jared smiled, shrugged, smoothed Jensen’s forehead with his thumb. “Hey, I’m a comforting kinda guy.
I’m part puppy, remember?”
“No, I mean for being there for me back on set.”
“You’re welcome.”
“If you hadn’t come right then…” Jensen used the edge of the towel to wipe away a water droplet that
had dripped from his hair down into his face. He let the sentence trail into nothing.
“Yea,” Jared said, “yea, I know. You wanna come back to bed now?”
Jensen breathed out a slow sigh. “Guess so.”
--------“I know for a fact you’re a closet cuddler.”
“What? Dude. No.”
“You were lying all over me, man. Felt like you were attached to my hip.”
“That’s just because you take up so much room. Look. We’re just lying here and you’re already all up in
my space.”
“What? No I’m not.”
“Dude. There’s an invisible line right here, down the middle of the bed. And half your body’s already on
my side of it.”
“Where’s the line? I don’t see it.”
“It’s invisible. You’re just supposed to know.”
“Well I know that you were all up on my side of the bed earlier tonight.”
“You’re lying, man.”
“Closet cuddler.”
“No proof. Liar.”
“Cuddlekins.”
“Overgrown freak.”
“Snuggle buns.”
“Tree boy.”
“I love you, Jensen.”
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“I love—when you keep your gangly arms on your side of the bed, Padalecki.”
“I still don’t see the line. I already forgot where it is.”
“It’s right—what are you doing?”
“I’m not touching you. Not touching youuuuu.”
“Get your finger outta my face.”
“Not tooouuching you. Not.”
“Seriously. Stop.”
“Not. Touchinggg. Youuu.”
“The hell, Jared?”
“Not touching.”
“I’m gonna kill you. I’m actually gonna kill—”
“Hah! Get your… ahgg… off my neck… Look! Your hand’s on my side of the line! Over the line, Jen,
over the invisible li—arghh… LINE! you’re on my… ow… geddoff my… geddooooff!”
“You’re such a freakin’ pain in the—”
“But I know you love me anyway.”
“Night, Jared.”
“Night.”
Regardless off lines, Jared rolled into Jensen, who was laying on his side, back to Jared, tense despite
his joking tone just minutes ago. At the bump of Jared’s elbow in his spine, Jensen turned over onto his
stomach and wordlessly curled-tucked himself into Jared’s side, fitted himself snuggly underneath
Jared’s arm, and lay his head on Jared’s chest.
For a second, Jared hardly dared breathe, afraid he’d scare this huge display of affection off by
exhaling wrong. Finally, he beamed up at the ceiling and squeezed the back of Jensen’s neck.
He knew Jensen was seeking comfort and warmth. Hell, if it had been him doped up in that trailer, and
he didn’t have Jensen to run to afterwards, he’d have been flying home to his mama the very next day.
So just to lighten the mood, Jared said, “This is my proof.”
“I’ll deny it,” Jensen muttered, and pressed in even closer in response to Jared’s loud snort of laughter.
Thirty minutes of Jared massaging lazy circles into Jensen’s back passed into the wee hours of the rainy
Canadian morning. He figured Jensen was asleep by now. Actually, he was seconds from dropping into
the folds of sleep, too.
“Hey,” Jensen mumbled drowsily into his chest.
Jared’s half-closed eyes sprang wide open. Instinctively, his blood picked up speed at the feel of
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Jensen’s lips forming that simple word right into his skin, directly over his heart, a brush of soft lips on
bare chest. “Hey back,” he answered.
“Thanks for being here… with me—for me.”
“Where else would I be?”
Jared fell asleep trying to synchronize his own breaths to match the gentle rise and fall of Jensen’s
chest against his side.
{End of part 14}
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= 15 =
Like Putty in His Hands
Series/Verse: Part 15 of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out
of control.
Summary: It’s just a friendly battle for dominance. And it’s just that, well, Jared really plans on
winning.
Type: Real people
Rating: R
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 10,486
Warnings: Groping, angst, no sex (hah).
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale.
AN: Very little plot in this installment, though I do know where I’m going with the whole Bill thing.
Again, thanks so much for the comments. Y’all are too good to me—not that I’m complaining!
“Siddown. I’m the chef here, remember?” Jared patted the countertop, indicating where he wanted
Jensen to sit while he worked. “Watch a pro at work.”
“Should I have the phone ready in case you start a fire or something?”
Jared angled an amused head nod at him as he knelt on the floor and dug through Jensen’s cabinets,
looking for a mixing bowl. “Look who woke up sarcastic this morning.”
Knocking at the cabinets with the backs of his bare feet, Jensen said, “Don’t be stupid. I’m always
sarcastic.”
“Put the phone away and just watch and learn.”
“How to start a fire in 3 easy steps?”
With a fake pout, Jared said, “No faith in me at all. You’ll see my skill here in a minute, Oh Skeptic One.
Just watch.”
“I’m watching.”
“Good.”
--------“Check it out,” Jared said, flipping the pancake over on the pan, “I got skill.”
“You also got flour all over my floor. And in your hair.”
“That part doesn’t count.” Jared slid the banana pancake onto a plate with two others and sidled up to
Jensen’s spot on the countertop, brandishing the pancakes with pride and wiggling his hips from side to
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side.
Amused, Jensen smirked and shook his head. As Jared wiggle-danced closer to him, Jensen let his legs
casually part, nice and wide, and Jared came to stand in between the V they formed. The hand not
holding the plate dropped to Jensen’s knee as he wafted the warm stack of pancakes directly under
Jensen’s nose.
“You know you want some,” said Jared.
“Maybe.”
Jared set the plate on the counter beside Jensen’s leg and proceeded to drench the pancakes in syrup,
slow and easy, as if they had all day and dozens of bottles of syrup to spare. “Mmm.” Jared let his eyes
slip shut, let his tongue dart out to lick at his lips ever so slowly. “Doesn’t that look good?”
He opened his eyes to find Jensen laughing quietly at him, lips sealed tight against the laughter so that
Jared couldn’t hear him.
“What’s funny?”
“Are you actually trying to seduce me with pancakes? Seriously, Jay. C’mon now.”
“Well, that depends. Is it working?”
“Not so much.”
“But you haven’t even tried ‘em yet.” Using the fork, Jared cut off a bite of the pancake, treating it as
carefully as a chef treats a delicate soufflé. He forked the bite and brought the dripping mess up to
Jensen’s mouth, a hand held under the morsel to avoid a sticky drip onto the hoodie of Jared’s that
Jensen happened to be wearing. Only then did it occur to Jared that Hey. Dude’s wearing my clothes.
That’s totally… hot.
Jensen’s hand came up to take the fork, and Jared batted it away. “No. Lemme do it.” Jensen opened
his mouth in protest but closed it again when Jared’s face took on a sad, imploring look: Play along. Let
me have my fun.
“God,” he mumbled, exasperated, and Jared heard the unspoken this is ridiculous as his eyes rolled
skyward and he opened his mouth for the bite.
Jared guided the food in, tongue unconsciously hanging out of the corner of his mouth as he watched
Jensen’s lips close over the fork, eyes trained steadily on Jared’s face as he slid the huge bite off of the
fork and all the way into his mouth.
It was the sexiest thing Jared had seen all week.
While Jensen chewed slowly, a thoughtful look on his face as if he were actually judging the quality of
the food, Jared gazed, half dazed, at a drop of syrup caught at the corner of Jensen’s mouth, teasing
like an open invitation to Jared. After several more seconds, Jared decided to be a good friend and help
Jensen out with that.
When Jared’s tongue snaked out to lick the sticky drop away, a sound of surprise rumbled in the back
of Jensen’s throat, and he swallowed quickly, mouth parting. Moving in fast, not giving Jensen a chance
to register what was happening, Jared’s mouth closed over Jensen’s. A teasing taste of his syrupy
sweet banana creation washed over his tongue when he parted Jensen’s lips to slide his tongue over
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the inside of the other man’s mouth. Even the small hint of Jared’s breakfast tasted delicious in
Jensen’s mouth as he lapped up the remnants of flavor. And yeah, Jared knew he was a damn fine
cook, thank you very much.
He peeled himself away from Jensen’s mouth (not an easy feat) to feed Jensen another piece. Jensen
cleared his throat and quirked a questioning eyebrow at Jared.
Motioning at his own mouth, Jared said, “You had syrup on your mouth. Thought I’d help you out.”
With a straight face, Jensen replied, “Nice of you.”
Jared caught the dangling edge of the hoodie sleeve and tugged playfully. “I knew this hoodie looked
familiar.”
“Oh?” Jensen stared with mock wonder at the fleece covered arm Jared was holding. “You mean this
isn’t mine? My bad.” As if the fact that the bottom of the hoodie dipped well below his hips and the
cuffs of the sleeves dangled all the way to the tips of his fingers hadn’t tipped him off.
Right.
Jared didn’t care. Not really. It was actually Sam’s pullover hoodie, anyway. Not that Jared had stolen
something from wardrobe, but… yeah, okay, maybe he did steal it—by accident. Totally an accident. It
had been cold out the day he’d snuck back in and “borrowed” it. He had needed that extra layer of
warmth just to make it to his car. After a month, he’d forgotten to bring it back.
Maybe all of that was fate, because seeing Jensen practically swimming in Sam’s hoodie, the material
hanging all loose and baggy around his shoulders and down his arms, was totally worth the accidental
theft.
Jared snagged Jensen’s wrist and folded the material back several times so that his hand was no longer
lost in the sleeve. He did the same to the other sleeve and said, “Seriously, Jen, you need to stop being
so adorable.”
“I’m a 29 year old man. I’m not adorable.”
“Wearing my clothes, dude. That’s 29 kinds of hot.”
Jensen slid closer to the edge of the counter, pressed his knees into Jared’s thighs, and flicked a strand
of hair out of Jared’s left eye. “I think you got a piece of hair in the batter.”
“Huh?”
“I was gonna spit the bite out when you weren’t looking, but I accidentally swallowed it just now when
you… yeah.”
Gross.
Little bubbles of laughter gurgled up Jared’s throat. He cupped Jensen’s face in his flour-covered hands.
“Why didn’t you just spit it out?”
Jensen shrugged. “Didn’t wanna be rude.”
Jared’s thumbs worked powdery white flour across the freckles on Jensen’s cheekbones. “God, you’re…
you’re…” Whatever. Words didn’t matter. Words were way overrated. Jared leaned in to explore Jensen’s
mouth again, maybe find out what that syrup tasted like on the backs of Jensen’s teeth.
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As he sucked Jensen’s tongue into his mouth, Jared was only mildly aware of Jensen’s legs shifting. It
wasn’t until he felt a foot nudge him in the back of the thigh that he realized Jensen had wrapped his
legs around Jared’s waist.
Yeah, Jared thought hazily, I can definitely work with that.
His hands left Jensen’s face to drift down and instead encircle his waist. Jared was seconds away from
pulling back, sliding Jensen off the countertop into his arms, and taking off for the bedroom.
[ Art by nerrianah ]
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The doorbell rang.
Jared may or may not have cursed into Jensen’s mouth.
Jensen’s legs dropped away from Jared’s body as he mumbled “Door” against Jared’s lips.
“I didn’t hear anything.”
Whoever it was at the door, unknowingly ruining Jared’s day, pounded against the wood.
“Door,” Jensen repeated into the side of Jared’s face.
“S’probably not important,” Jared reasoned, heavy breaths fanning out across Jensen’s skin. “Let’s just
ignore it.”
It didn’t really matter who it was, just that Jared hated the door-beating, impatient person with a
burning passion right now.
“Get it for me?”
“Fine,” Jared snapped, stomping out of the kitchen, through the living room, and to the door, “but this
better be good.”
Frowning, he flung the door open and let it bang off the back of the wall. Eric backed up in surprise,
stuttered, “Oh… right.” He laughed nervously. “Kind of forgot you’d probably be here. Uh… so…” He
peered around Jared. “Jensen’s here, right?”
Jared’s face burned at just the sight of him. Tightly, he said, “Yes,” but didn’t move, only stared Eric
down.
“Okay… well do you mind if I come in?”
Yes. I mind. I mind a lot, you fucking traitor.
Without a word, Jared moved aside and motioned into the apartment.
Eric walked in, almost cautiously, as if he thought Jared might trip him or slam him face-first into a wall.
But like a good host, Jared led him into the living room and in stony silence, gestured at him to sit
down. “Want something to drink? Soda, beer, water…” cyanide.
“No thanks. I think I’m good.”
Jensen hobbled in, using just one crutch this time.
One look at Jensen, and Eric stood up from the couch. “Sorry, I should’ve called before I came over.
Did I interrupt something?” Jared noticed him fidgeting nervously with the zipper on his jacket.
Jensen glanced at Jared, confused. And then Jared saw it: Two perfect, large, stark white floury
handprints stood out on Jensen’s cheeks, one on each side of his face where Jared’s hands had been.
Jared coughed, wiped his hands on his pants. When Jensen looked over at him again, Jared casually
brushed his fingers over his own cheek, trying to send the message to Jensen.
Eyes narrowing questioningly, Jensen ran the back of his hand over his mouth, as if he thought it were
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his lips that had given them away. Jared shook his head and wiped his cheek on his shoulder, willing
Jensen to get it, because this? Was really kind of awkward.
A glance at Eric revealed embarrassment on all sides, for the tips of his ears were bright red, and he
cleared his throat loudly. A high-pitched little laugh escaped his mouth before he clamped it shut.
Finally, Jensen swiped at his right cheek, smearing white flour across his face, from nose to temple. But
he still didn’t seem to get it, because he left the other handprint intact and sat down on the couch. He
looked up at Jared and Eric all innocent, eyes jumping back and forth from one man to the other,
impatient, as if to say, Well? You gonna sit down or what?
Jared didn’t know whether to laugh or flee the room. But a glance at Jensen trying to look all casual
with a large white flour smear on one cheek and a gigantic, unmistakably Jared-hand-print in full view
on the other had Jared leaning more toward amusement. If the situation as a whole hadn’t sucked so
much, this really would’ve been priceless.
Obviously trying to get the ball rolling, Jensen said, “So what are you here for, Eric?”
Eric gave a last glance at Jared, shrugged in an ‘alrighty then’ way, and sat down in a chair directly
across from Jensen. Jared gave up and plopped down next to Jensen on the couch.
“Err,” said Eric, “well.”
Jared snorted. “An apology, maybe?”
Slumping down in the chair slightly, Eric said, “Kim told me… right away, the first thing he said after Bill
gave us his story was ‘that’s a load of bull if I ever heard it.’”
Jared perked up in his seat. “Kim was on my side?”
“From the get-go.” Eric paused, searched the ceiling for help. When he didn’t find answers, he added,
“He’s never trusted Bill.”
“Shame,” Jensen said flatly, “’cause he’s such a great guy.”
Eric’s voice came out appropriately guilty. “I… I’d worked with him on other things before… he’s always
been so good at what he does… really creative and always fatherly… I never… I just never would’ve
thought. Everyone who’s worked with him has always had only good things to say.”
“Right,” said Jensen, in that same flat, monotone voice.
Leaning forward, elbows on his knees, Eric insisted, “Everyone I knew said he was a great director.”
“He directed me to do a lot of things. Just nothing we could actually film.”
Eric’s already pale complexion grew pasty. He opened his mouth, then shut it again. He appeared to be
sweating.
Jared lifted his arm to reach back and put it around Jensen’s shoulders, an offer of comfort. But at the
same time, Jensen leaned forward on the couch. Instead of the show of solidarity he had planned on,
Jared ended up elbowing Jensen right in the mouth.
With a grunt, Jensen brought a hand up to his mouth, eyes beginning to water.
“Shit,” Jared groaned, “I’m sorry…” He pulled Jensen’s hand away from his face, cupped Jensen’s chin in
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his palm, while still rambling on: “I didn’t mean to… crap. I didn’t know you were right there… crap…
I’m sorry.” As he tipped Jensen’s head back and examined the damage, he couldn’t help but add in a
mumbled, “Fucking idiot.”
Jensen batted at his hand. “I’m fine. Just surprised me s’all.”
Since his hand was already on Jensen’s face, he took the opportunity to gently sweep the flour smear
and the handprint away with his fingertips.
“What’re you doing?”
“Nothing. You just… I thought it was a smudge, but it was a freckle.”
Jensen scowled at him.
Fishing around for something, Jared said, “It was like a smudged freckle—like a smeckle.” Heh.
Smeckle. Cool.
Jensen said, “Shut up.”
“Okay.” Under his breath, Jared added, “Smeckles,” and chuckled to himself. Yes, Jared = genius. He
was well aware of that.
Though apparently not genius enough to have kept that to himself. The next thing he knew, he had
Jensen’s hand shoving at the side of his face, nearly pushing him right off the couch.
Eric coughed loudly, knocked his shin into the coffee table, cleared his throat, and said, “Uh. Guys? I
really don’t need to be seein’ all this.”
When Jared turned back around to face Eric and get the conversation over with, the director regarded
them with raised eyebrows and a slightly amused, if not incredibly embarrassed, expression.
Jared started to stand, saying, “Gonna get you an icepack, Jen.” But Jensen grabbed his shirt sleeve
and tugged him back down onto the couch.
“Forget it,” Jensen said, “I’m fine.”
“Sure?”
“Yeah.”
One look over at Eric watching them, and Jared, suddenly embarrassed, half mumbled to the floor,
“Never been a klutz before. Every time I turn around now I’m smacking Jensen into something or
ramming him in the face.”
“I see,” said Eric. His face visibly relaxed. The corners of his mouth threatened to twitch up without his
permission.
Jared’s voice grew hard as he looked back up at Eric. “I would never hurt him on purpose.”
“I know. I know that. I… I’m sorry I didn’t believe you, Jared. Kim tried to tell me, but I didn’t want to
hear it.” He turned to Jensen. “Not because of money… though that part was pretty freakin’ awesome.
But because I could tell something was wrong, and I didn’t want to admit it. Everything with the show
had been going so well… But if I’d know things were that bad, Jense, I would’ve… I don’t know. I just
wish you’d told me right away. I would’ve done something about it. Why didn’t you ever come tell me?”
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“He didn’t tell me, either. Not ‘til a few weeks ago. He just… put up with it. All that time.”
Jensen shot Jared a pinched, narrowed-eyed expression. It clearly said shut the fuck up. Now.
In response, Jared cocked an eyebrow at Jensen: Well, you DID.
The clearing of a throat brought them both out of their silent conversation.
“Yeah, well,” Jensen said, an edge to the resonant tone of his voice, “I knew he was putting a lot of
money into the show, and I didn’t wanna screw that up. I didn’t know he was that much of a nut job ‘til
he offered Jared a threesome.”
“More like threatened,” Jared mumbled.
Unconsciously, Eric smoothed his hand up and down the arm of the chair he was sitting in. Up and
down, up and down. Jared kind of wanted to smack him.
“Kim sent the bottle in to have it tested. He said you’d have a, uh,” Eric waved his hand in the air,
averted his eyes, and finished in a mumble to the floor, “urine sample to send in also.”
“Urine sample?” asked Jensen, and his head swiveled over to Jared.
“Oh.” Dang. Knew I was forgetting something. “I forgot. Jensen was so out of it all night, and I—”
Eric waved his hand in the air. “Fine. We’re just waiting for the results with the bottle. We’ll… see how
that goes.”
“See how that goes?” Jensen repeated.
“It all depends on proving he’s the one who actually did it. Fingerprints on the bottle, maybe. I don’t
know how it all works exactly. For now… I just came by to apologize to Jensen.”
And me. Why am I not hearing my name in that sentence?
Crossing his arms over his chest, Jensen leaned back into the couch cushion and regarded Eric with
The Ackles Blank Stare of Doom. Eric, having not been on the receiving end of that stare nearly as
many times as Jared had over the past few months, swallowed hard, sucked in a shaky breath, and
said, “I had no reason not to believe you when you tried to tell me. I suck, and I’m sorry.”
That’s it?
Jensen didn’t say anything, so Jared answered for him: “Uh… you realize he was almost…” But Jared
still couldn’t say the word, couldn’t say that word, and his cold response trailed off into a puddle of
merely just lukewarm.
Into the heavy silence, Jensen said, “You do suck,” and Jared nearly pulled a crick in his neck his head
spun around to Jensen so quickly.
“I…” Eric paused to wipe sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. “I don’t know what else to
say, Jensen. I was responsible for what almost happened to you, and I’m sorry. I don’t know how to
make that up to you… How do I ever apologize for something like this?”
When Jensen remained quiet, Eric glanced nervously at Jared, who in turn just glared back at him.
Apparently, in mutual silent agreement, both Jensen and Jared had decided not to make this easy for
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Eric.
“You’re right,” Eric said, so quietly as to be under his breath, “I deserve this. I wouldn’t forgive me,
either.” He stood to go, hesitated, then turned back to face their united front on the couch. “I was
going to drop by your apartment right after this, Jared, but since you’re already here… do you think I
could talk to you alone for a minute?”
Before Jared could open his mouth, Jensen said, “No. You’re never speaking to him alone again. Not
after what happened last time.”
Eric glanced from Jared to Jensen and back again. His voice shook a little on his uncertain reply: “Err…
okay.”
Jared said, “You can say it in front of Jensen.”
“Okay,” Eric repeated. The man looked like he was either going to cry or vomit any second.
Jared stood—the better to look down on his boss and make him fidget even more. It was slightly evil of
him, and Jared didn’t give a damn at this point.
“I know Jensen thinks it was for the money, but it wasn’t. I didn’t know what the hell… I know you’re
not that kind of person, Jared. But Bill, he has a way, man, of getting into your head and working your
brain over. I thought he was out of his mind when he first walked into my trailer with that story, but by
the time he left, I was curious. And then Jensen showed up the next day with a black eye, and it all
just seemed to kind of fit.”
When he paused for breath, Jared said, “Thought we were friends, Eric.”
“We are.”
“You’re not supposed to automatically believe the worst about me just because the guy’s a good liar.”
“I… I know. That’s where I fucked up, Jared. I didn’t know what to believe, and Kim was calling bullshit
in my ear, and I still…” He paused to scrub a hand down his face. “I only wanted to check into it, but
then Jensen came hobbling in with a black eye, and I got you into that trailer, and it turned into an
unfounded accusation… I didn’t mean for it all to end up the way it did. Jared… I’m sorry. I’ve seen
abuse before… my friend, she… she has a hard time of it, and the guy—he’s seems like a great guy in
public. She won’t leave him—she refuses to. And she won’t listen to anyone, won’t let me get her help,
either. The week before Bill came to me with that story about you, she ended up in the hospital. He
fractured her hip bone. And Bill knew about that—I’d told the bastard myself the week before. It’s why
he used bullshit that story on me. He knew I’d be more willing to jump down your throat because of it.
And I fell for it.”
Jared had been ready to yell or laugh in Eric’s face, but the last part stopped him. Instead, he said,
“Can we rocksalt him? Just once? Right in the head?”
Eric paused, as if thrown by the question, then laughed dully. “Nah. He has a pretty hard head.
Wouldn’t do us any good. Anyway, I’m sorry. To both of you. I was a shitty directory and an even
shittier friend.” Zipping up his jacket to head back out into the rain pounding at the windows, he said,
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with all this crap now. But I’d like to be able to work with you
both again, if we still have a show.”
“Why wouldn’t we have a show?” Jared asked.
Eric gave a cryptic little nod and moved toward the door, Jared and Jensen following behind him.
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Walking behind Jensen, Jared noticed two large hand prints plastered to the back of the hoodie. He
sent up a quick prayer thanking God that Eric was walking in the front.
“I don’t know,” Eric sighed. “Bill, he… he has his ways. I’m not saying he’ll get away with what he tried
with Jensen, but there’s a good possibility he’ll weasel out reasonably unscathed.”
“Fuck,” said Jared.
“How’s that possible?” Jensen asked.
Quietly, Jared said, “It’s because I forgot to tell Jensen to do the urine sample, isn’t it?”
Halfway to the doorway, Eric paused. “No. Personally, I don’t think that would have been good enough.
We need hardcore evidence.”
Jared said, “Hardcore?”
“We’ll see,” Eric said, brushing away the rest of the conversation. “Nothing’s for sure right now. I’ll see
you guys later.”
At the door, Jensen propped his crutch against the wall and leaned into Jared’s side.
As Jared put an arm around his shoulders, Eric seemed to hesitate briefly, then said, “You guys are
good together. I’m happy for you.”
Somewhat surprised, Jared fought back a grin. Instead, he simply said, “Thanks,” and squeezed
Jensen’s shoulder.
“I don’t know… right from the time we shot the pilot I kind of saw it between you guys. But I tried to
ignore it because you were supposed to be playing brothers.” He stopped halfway out the door and
spun around to face them. “You know how I read the fansites too much?”
“Like a freakin’ loser.”
“Yeah, you computer geek.”
“Right,” said Eric, ignoring the usual jibes, “well, there’d be a lot of happy fans to see,” he paused, then
motioned at them standing there leaning into each other, “this.”
“Wait, you’re saying they want us to be a couple?” Jensen asked, at the same time that Jared said,
“People talk about us sexin’?”
“I’m saying I’ve read some weird things.”
“Like what?” Jared asked, eyes wide, interest piqued.
In a traumatized voice, Eric said, “Nothing. I gotta go.”
Jensen said, “Hey…”
“Tell us!” Jared shouted at his retreating back, only to get a backward wave from Eric as he rounded
the corner toward the elevators.
After he shut the door, Jared turned Jensen and said, “That was weird.”
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“What do you think he meant?”
Jared shrugged in an I don’t care kind of way, though he totally planned on a date with Jensen’s laptop
later that night, once Jensen had gone to sleep.
To change the subject, Jared elbowed Jensen in the ribs. “You were getting all protective back there.”
Jensen blinked at him blankly. “Huh?”
Jared dropped his tone lower to match Jensen’s voice, puffed out his chest, and said, “‘No, you’re not
talking to my boy alone. Neverrrr again.’” He threw in a low growl for added effect.
“I didn’t say ‘my boy.’ And I sure as hell didn’t growl.”
“You might as well have. It was hot.”
Jensen swatted him in the arm, grinning. “I could chew on my toenails and you’d think it was hot.”
Jared’s eyes widened, full of awe. “You’re that flexible?”
“Dude, I don’t chew my toenails.”
“But could you get your foot up to your mouth if you wanted to?”
“Could you get your foot out of your mouth if you wanted to?”
Heh. Witty. “Maybe I like it there.” And… not so witty. Dangit.
Jensen smirked. “Nice.”
“Shut up and eat your pancakes, Ackles.”
--------Late in the evening, Jared found Jensen laying on his side, crosswise on the bed, head propped up on a
bent elbow, watching something on the Discovery channel.
As he eased in behind him, curling around him and pressing his chest to Jensen’s back, sliding an arm
easy and comfortable around Jensen waist, he murmured, “Can’t believe you’re watching the Discovery
channel,” into the back of Jensen’s neck. “Geek.”
“I like to learn.”
“And I like to watch you learn.”
Jensen finally twisted a look over his shoulder when Jared stuck his leg in between Jensen’s legs and
attempted to twine their legs together like braided yarn.
“My leg doesn’t twist that way.”
“Mm.” Jared propped his head up on Jensen’s shoulder.
Ten whole minutes passed in silence before Jared asked, “Is this about Pluto?”
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“No. Dolphins. Are you even watching?”
“Maybe.”
“You’re lying there perving on me, aren’t you?”
Jared’s fingers drew lazy circles underneath Jensen’s shirt, around his navel. “You know me too well.”
“You wanna…?”
The casually thrown out words were like a shot of caffeine straight into Jared’s bloodstream. “Wanna
what?”
“I dunno.” Jensen’s eyes never left the television screen. “Whatever.”
“Are those two dolphins mating?”
“Looks like it.”
Jared watched the TV screen, riveted, his hand absentmindedly playing with the waistband of Jensen’s
sweatpants.
Out of nowhere, Jensen said, “I meant what I said.”
Jared shifted, eyes still glued to the TV. “What exactly did you say—Oh snap! Did you see that? I didn’t
know dolphins could even do that. They’re all up on each other’s—”
“I love you.”
Jared’s brain froze, his fingers getting tangled between the folds of sweatpants and hoodie. Silently, his
eyes drifted down to Jensen’s face, questioning, searching. But Jensen was still focused on the TV, all
comfy and casual, head still propped up on his hand, as if nothing at all had been said.
The dolphins continued to copulate, and Jared wondered if he’d imagined the words. After all, he’d only
been half listening. Maybe Jensen had said I love dolphins or I owe you. Or maybe he hadn’t spoken at
all. Come to think of it, would it be rude to say, Sorry. Didn’t hear you. Could you repeat?
Yawning widely, Jensen changed the channel.
Jared stared at the flickering lights from the TV as they tossed splashes of color over Jensen’s relaxed
features.
An entire commercial break later, Jared choked out, “I—you—” The words caught in his throat, so he
tried again. “You… you what?”
Here was the moment Jared had been waiting for, mentally ticking off days and months in his mind,
counting down to the moment when Jensen would return the three precious words. Which is why it
kind of sucked when all Jared could do was cough out the question and gape down at him, mouth
hanging open all loose, words caught somewhere between his throat and his brain and I think he said
it. He actually said it, right?
“I love you. Let’s order a pizza.”
“You—” Jared’s mouth worked, but no sound actually made its way out.
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Jensen chuckled, flicked the TV off, and flipped onto his back to better gaze up at Jared’s amusingly
embarrassing display of shock.
“Hey,” Jensen laughed, way too clearly enjoying Jared’s wordless mouth flapping, “check this out. Jared
Padalecki speechless. Amazing. Maybe I should grab the phone, alert the press, call in the med—”
But Jared’s brain had just ticked into gear, sending him sprawling down on top of Jensen, chest to
chest, smothering the smaller man in arms and legs and sloppy wet kisses all over his face. Jensen
barely managed a grunted oomph from the weight on his chest before Jared found his mouth.
This time it was Jensen who took over the kiss, nibbling at Jared’s bottom lip before inching his way
into Jared’s mouth at an agonizingly slow pace that had Jared groaning at the need for more—more of
the flavor of Jensen’s mouth, more wet warmth, more of this man that he could never get enough of.
Jared ripped himself away from Jensen’s mouth, leaving Jensen staring up at him open-mouthed,
puzzled. He settled himself on his forearms, one on each side, framing Jensen’s head, and propping
himself up slightly so that he could speak.
“Mean it?” he huffed out directly into Jensen’s face.
“Mean what?”
“Love me?”
“I said it when I was drugged, didn’t I?”
“Y—Yeah. Yeah, you did.” To Jared’s ears, his own voice sounded far off, miles away and dreamy.
“I thought so. I couldn’t really remember, but then you were acting so weird when I told you I didn’t
remember anything I’d said. And I… well, I figured it out. I didn’t mean to blurt it out like that—”
“But did you mean it? It wasn’t just a… a drugged up thing?”
“I meant it.”
Jared would never admit to what came out of his mouth next: a humiliatingly squeaky sounding
“Really?” Okay, so slightly embarrassing. But he had to make absolutely sure he hadn’t heard Jensen
wrong or something. ‘Cause that would really suck.
“Yes. Really.”
In the span of a heartbeat, Jared let himself drop back down onto Jensen’s mouth.
Jensen gave a surprised rumble, but then wrapped his legs tightly around Jared’s thighs. And really,
that was all the encouragement Jared needed.
Without looking, Jared caught Jensen’s wrists in his hands. Tugging at the rolled-up sleeves, he
murmured a heated, “Off—now” against Jensen’s lips. He tried to get rid of the annoying material by
pulling at the sleeves, then grabbing a handful of the cloth and desperately trying to yank upwards, to
get it up and over Jensen’s torso. Somehow he only managed to lose Jensen’s head in the hoodie and
tangle his arms halfway out of the sleeves.
When he started to jerk at the hood, Jensen’s voice came out muffled from inside the hoodie: “Okay,
okay. Stop. Lemme do it.” Many pulls and jerks and mumblings of, “Can’t believe you got me stuck in a
hoodie” later, Jensen tossed the jacket aside. His hair was sticking up, all static-y, and Jared snickered
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loudly, while Jensen frowned and said, “I’ll definitely be taking my own pants off.”
“I wouldn’t bet on that.” Jared grinned, rolling right back into his spot on top of Jensen and running a
hand along his inner thigh, another down his side, tickling teasingly.
“Bastard,” Jensen mumbled, breath hitching as he gulped down a laugh.
But Jared’s only response was to grin wider and tug at the hem of Jensen’s t-shirt.
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were trying to get me naked.”
“I think you’d be right.” Both of Jared’s hands slipped under the shirt and skirted Jensen’s sides.
Jensen made a sound between nnnrrggg and nooo and shoved at Jared’s chest.
“Need to know you want this as much as I do, Jen?” It came out a question, even as Jared’s hands
boldly slid below Jensen’s navel, then edged just under the waistband of his pants, testing to see if
Jensen was ticklish there, too.
At the touch of Jared’s hands, Jensen let out a wild, unchecked giggle-laugh and arched up off the bed,
into Jared’s body.
Putty in my hands.
“So that’s two spots now. How many places did you say you were ticklish in?”
Jensen managed a glare, complete with cute, unconvincing little narrowed eyes and pursed lips, before
Jared slid down his body, bent his head, inched Jensen’s sweatpants down farther, and then licked a
horizontal line across the newly found ticklish area.
“Damnit!” Jensen blurted, a grunt ending in a choked off laugh, and wiggled from side to side so wildly
that Jared had to grip his hips to hold him down and keep him in place.
Jared lifted his head just in time to catch Jensen shooting daggers at him down the length of his body.
“Mm,” Jared said. He swiped his tongue over his lips. “Tastes like a Padalecki victory.”
“You stupid—arggnnn!”
Jared brought his tongue away from Jensen’s stomach to say, “You stupid… what was that now? Argn?
How do you spell that, Jen?” All the while, his mouth was still so close to Jensen that each syllable had
his lips brushing Jensen’s skin, and each breathy word fanning up toward Jensen’s navel had Jensen
squirming under his hands and…
Whimpering.
The only time Jared had ever been prouder of himself was the day he’d landed the role of Sam
Winchester.
That sound out of Jensen’s mouth was kind of like an addiction: once Jared got a hit of it, he instantly
craved more. More of that sound, more of Jensen losing control solely because of Jared’s hands and
mouth and tongue.
Jared was keying up, working towards something bigger, just about to say, Sweatpants, Jense, they
really gotta go. Let’s… are you… can we go further… please, when Jensen took him completely and
utterly by surprise. His fingers curled into Jared’s hair and then yanked so hard that Jared’s mouth lifted
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from Jensen’s stomach, and he let out a pained, surprised, and incredibly embarrassing squawk.
“You,” Jared sputtered, but Jensen’s fingers twisted in his hair, pulling tighter, guiding Jared up the
length of Jensen’s body, using Jared’s hair almost like a tight leash, and Jared thought, I farked it all
up. Went too far. This is it. He’s gonna throw me out now.
Once Jensen had Jared hovering right above his face, he growled, “Told you not to use the ticklish
thing against me, you floppy-haired, evil freak. It’s not fair, man.”
Jared blinked in confusion, slowly. So slowly that by the time he opened his eyes again, Jensen’s hand
had left his hair and slithered under his shirt instead.
“My bad,” Jared said, and pasted on a sincere expression of apology. His left hand braced his body
above Jensen’s sprawled form lying flat underneath him, while his right hand raced up Jensen’s side,
tickling long fingers up and down, then over Jensen’s ribs, then back to the more sensitive skin along
his side.
Jensen’s forehead scrunched up in concentration. Jared could see him biting down on his tongue in a
desperate attempt to keep another unmanly giggle in check.
Jared smirked.
Too easy.
I can work him like a fiddle… guitar… harp… well, some musical instrument with strings.
The unmoving fingers under Jared’s shirt scrabbled briefly on his skin. Jared’s smirk grew even wider at
the thought of Jensen trying to find purchase because of Jared’s merciless and talented hands, but
then, Oh. Day-um. Apparently not trying to find purchase but instead searching for Jared’s nipple.
Jensen twisted the little nub in his fingers, and it ended up being Jared who released the very unmanly
sound.
And what was that on Jensen’s face? Ah yes, a smirk. Jared wondered how the tables had turned so
quickly.
Obviously feeling pretty confident now, Jensen pinched the nipple, which caused Jared to very nearly
lose his balance. At that, Jensen—or as Jared was currently thinking of him, SATAN with-a-really-cutesmirk—took the opportunity to shoot up with impressive force.
Gracelessly, Jared flailed backwards as Jensen shoved hard at his chest. In a lightening fast switch-up,
Jared suddenly found himself pinned with his back flat on the bed and Jensen straddling him.
Huh. How the hell did that happ—ahhh…
This time Jensen tweaked the nipple right through Jared’s shirt. Jared responded the only way he knew
how—by bucking up into Jensen’s body and moaning at the so-sharp-it-almost-feels-good pain.
Grinning down into his face, Jensen said, “Not gonna use that against me again, are ya?”
Jared’s not entirely sure, but he may have nodded.
And whimpered.
Jensen took the other nipple between thumb and forefinger, held it lightly between his fingers. “Say it.
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You’re never tickling me again. Ever.” More pressure on Jared’s abused nipples, though not enough to
actually hurt. “Say it, Padalecki.”
Okay, clearly Jared had underestimated Jensen’s evil side. Because this? Just wasn’t gonna fly with
Jared.
Jared said, “Yes, sir,” reached up, fisted Jensen’s t-shirt, and yanked Jensen down so hard that his
breath squeezed out in a sharp rasp when Jensen landed on his chest.
Jensen’s arms shot out in surprise; he flailed for a minute and tried to roll off of Jared. But Jared, who
was having none of it, wrapped his arms tight all the way around Jensen’s back, pinning them chest to
chest, and held on for dear life, like his whole world depended on never letting Jensen go.
This was a battle for dominance. Jared could see it quite clearly. And despite totally being the sappy
woman in the relationship, Jared was so not going to lose. Jensen was going down.
“You freakin’,” Jensen wheezed out.
Jared grinned. “Yep. I’m freakin’ awesome.”
“I… can’t… breathe.”
“Really? Hm.”
“God, you’re squeezing my—let go.”
“Okay, but first. No more nipple tweaking.”
Jensen let out a groaned laugh, his head falling to Jared’s chest.
Jared said, “Say it, my wittle Jennybean, say it.”
Jensen lifted his head, gifted Jared with a blindingly bright smile, and said, “Make me, string bean.”
Oh.
It’s on.
Even though Jensen seemed effectively pinned, Jared wasn’t taking any chances. He threw a leg over
Jensen’s legs, blew an over-airy kiss right into Jensen’s face, and licked Jensen’s cheek.
“Ugh,” said Jensen, face puckering in mock disgust.
Jared went to lick his lips, but Jensen turned his head away, and Jared ended up getting a rough taste
of jaw line instead. Nice.
So he settled for licking a stripe across the side of Jensen’s neck that just so happened to be presented
to him at the moment, long and elegant and begging to be licked.
“I swear, you’re like a big puppy.”
“Your brother never did anything like this?”
Jensen turned back to face him, eyes narrowed. “What? Lick me? No.”
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“Mine would hold me down and lick my neck when I was a pain in the ass.”
“He must’ve been licking you a lot then.”
Jared nipped at his earlobe. “Very funny coming from the one who’s losing right now.”
“Losing?”
“We’re wrestling here, and you’re totally the one who’s pinned.”
“Oh,” Jensen said casually, as Jared nibbled at the skin behind his ear. “Didn’t know this was war.”
“And I’m winnin—” Jared’s reply ended in a strangled gasp, his head thumping backwards on the
mattress. Jensen’s fingers ghosted over his cock again, paused, then did it a third time, as if he were
just experimenting to see what effect it would produce.
All sly confidence, Jensen said, “What were you saying? You’re winning?”
“Nuhh…”
“’Cause I’m thinking, maybe not.”
“I… Jense… Jensen…” Jared’s breath caught in his throat at the unexpected feel-up through his jeans.
Suddenly tentative, Jensen pulled his hand away, and Jared wanted to weep. Or scream. But mostly
just weep. Which was definitely not very manly. But whatever.
“Yeah?” Unsure, wary. Even though Jensen’s hand crept toward Jared’s thigh.
“It’s okay, you can… it’s all right.”
“Can you just… let me go. Now.”
“Huh?” The conversation, the mood, Jensen’s attitude all changed so fast that Jared felt vaguely dizzy.
“You win. Let go.”
Immediately, Jared loosened his arms, released his tight grip. Jensen pulled back from him slowly,
keeping his head bowed, eyes cast down at the bed cover away from Jared’s face and body.
Just as Jared started to sit up, confusion making his head foggy, headache starting behind his eyes,
Jensen was on top of him again. He had Jared’s arms pinned above his head before Jared could say,
Whaaa?
Gripping Jared’s wrists with an iron-tight grasp, Jensen smirked again, and Jared thought, Not Satan.
Satan’s really pretty son. Of course.
I am so screwed.
Clear head. Jared needed a clear head, dangit. He shook his head from side to side, then met Jensen’s
gleeful gaze head-on. He started to whine about cheating but caught sight of Jensen’s eyes all glittery
and sparkling from the lamplight and crinkling up at the corners, and Oh God. Jared let his body go
limp under Jensen’s in wordless answer: Yeah. You definitely win. Now do whatever you want to me.
Please. Yes.
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“Geez, I thought you—”
With a grin, Jensen said, “I’ve always thought about going into acting. Think I should give it a try?”
“Ahh.” That might have been partly in answer to Jensen’s question and partly in answer to Jensen
leaning forward and squeezing his thighs around Jared’s legs.
“I win,” Jensen whisper-laughed into Jared’s ear. “Always, dude.”
“Always?” Jared whispered back, into Jensen’s cheek. And suddenly it was on again. Jared’s body was
incredibly confused at the moment, trying to keep up with his brain and the musthavehim versus
mustwinthis battle of adrenaline going through his head.
The only answer Jensen gave was to let his head drop to Jared’s shoulder and laugh warm and breathy
into his neck, as if all of this were so strange, so alien to him, that he couldn’t keep a straight face for
very long.
When Jensen’s grip on his wrists let up, Jared took it as his cue. He clasped his legs around Jensen’s
thighs, shoved Jensen’s chest with his shoulder, and somehow managed to flip them both so that he
was again lying on top of Jensen.
Jensen laughed and said, “This is getting old.”
“Says the one who’s losing.”
“Seriously, Jay. Truce?”
In the time it took for Jared to pretend to consider that, Jensen’s fingers were back on Jared’s nipples,
and Jared’s hands automatically went to Jensen’s ticklish sides. When Jared purposely collapsed on top
of Jensen, trying to crush him with all of his body weight, Jensen shoved at him hard, and Jared rolled,
grabbing Jensen and taking him along for the ride. The mattress creaked, dipped, and they rolled right
over the side of the bed.
The landing sucked, especially since Jared found himself on the bottom, head bouncing off the floor
with a thump. When with Jensen, Jared had expected to see stars at some point, but not quite like this.
Oh well. At least he’d pillowed the fall for Jensen. Which was gentlemanly. Or something.
But right now it just kind of hurt. A lot.
When his eyes stopped crossing—Ooh, two Jensen’s. Pretty.—and his mind came back into focus, the
first thing Jared noticed were the fingers feeling up the back of his head, running through the hair
there, and gently touching his scalp. The next thing that came into focus was Jensen’s face, inches
from his own, looking concerned.
“Hey, you okay?” Jensen asked.
“Huh?” Jared lifted his head from the floor, and a wave of dizzy crashed to shore in his skull.
“You blacked out for a minute.”
“Whaa…” Jared sat up, rubbing the back of his head and wincing. “Seriously?”
“Yeah. Guess your head’s not as hard as I thought it was.”
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Frowning, Jared turned to face Jensen, only to be met with an innocent, aw-shucks smile. “I’m in pain
here. You’re supposed to be loving on me or something. Not being all,” Jared swatted at Jensen’s
shoulder, “Jensenish.”
With a suddenly serious face, Jensen said, “So you’re okay?”
“Yeah.”
“Good.” He was halfway to his feet when he added, “This means I win.”
Jared didn’t even have to stop to think about it. He hooked his arms around Jensen’s legs just as the
other man stood up, pulled, and brought Jensen down backwards, right into Jared’s lap.
Arms grasping at the bedcovers to regain his balance, Jensen said, “Shit.”
Perfect.
It took ten seconds of Jensen squirming in his lap for Jared’s cock to take an interest in the situation.
“Off me,” Jensen mumbled halfheartedly, to which Jared obliged by tightening his arms around Jensen’s
chest and biting lightly at the curve of his neck.
“You lose.” A lick at the shell of Jensen’s ear.
“You’re not playing fair. Caught me off guard.”
Jared laughed, and it was his shake-the-room-rattle-the-windows laugh, directly into Jensen’s ear.
“Ambushed me,” Jensen insisted, but his voice had dropped lower, gone breathier, and there was a
surprising amount of Dean-voice in there—Dean’s near-growl that always popped up when he was
faced with a particularly nasty demon. It surprised Jared. But what surprised him even more was the
effect it had on him.
Jared had never realized he harbored a secret Dean kink. Until now. But yes, there it was. Jensen
sounding like Dean, even though he wasn’t even in character, shot straight to Jared’s already-intrigued
cock.
“Say that again,” Jared said, and wriggled his hips under Jensen’s weight.
“What?”
“In that… growly voice.”
Jensen breathed heavily, and Jared thought, Bingo. He’s just as into this as I am. But then Jensen
added, “Luke, I am your—” And Jared really did not want either of them thinking about Star Wars right
now, so he wrestled Jensen around until he was sitting sideways in Jared’s lap, grabbed Jensen’s chin,
twisted his head around for a better angle, and smothered away the last word of that well known
phrase.
The position was awkward for both of them.
Neither seemed to care.
Into Jensen’s lips, Jared muttered, “Funny guy.”
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“Yeah, well, I—”
Jared sucked the rest of that thought into his mouth, along with Jensen’s bottom lip.
One of Jensen’s hands came around to Jared’s back, the other fisted in Jared’s shirt, and he pressed
forward, practically surged into Jared’s mouth.
Yes, Jared thought hazily, like this. This is how it’s supposed to be.
Back, chest, shoulder, hips—Jensen’s hands were roaming freely over the plains of Jared’s body, and
every spot they touched sent a humming wave of electricity through Jared’s veins, sparking out from
the initial spot of contact, until Jared’s whole body was thrumming in time with Jensen’s touches.
Jared curved his right arm around Jensen’s back, only to brace them both, but Jensen responded by
leaning back into it. If it weren’t for the fact that they were already half-leaning into the edge of the
bed, using it as support, they would’ve toppled over onto the floor.
Blood pounded loud in Jared’s ears from lack of air; his lips were practically tingling. Jensen was letting
off a low moaning-growl in the back of his throat that, when it reached Jensen’s mouth, Jared absorbed
for him. Yet neither made a move to stop and break for air.
Because this was different. This wasn’t chaste or shy, wrestling for control or exploring. This time it was
pure need, hungry, must have it now need.
The kiss broke when Jared pulled back, cupped Jensen’s face, thumbed his cheek, ran his other hand
up Jensen’s thigh.
Jared’s voice came out rough, jagged at the edges. “Jen… Jensen, want you so bad.”
A breathless chuckle into his neck, and Jensen said, “Yeah, I kinda noticed.”
“Are you… can we? Tonight?”
“I… uh… yeah… yeah, okay.”
Jared peeled Jensen away from his neck to look him in the eye. “Really? You’re ready? You want this?”
Jensen hesitated. Then: “If I chicken out right… right before… you won’t hold it against me, will you?”
Without hesitation: “No. Never, Jen.”
Suddenly Jensen was already standing, offering a hand down to Jared, who blinked in surprise at
Jensen jumping to his feet so fast. Apparently Jared wasn’t the only one who was eager. That was a
comforting thought.
He grabbed a hold of the offered hand, used it to yank Jensen down on the bed after him. Jensen
landed in between his spread legs, uttering something that sounded like, “You ass.”
“But you still love me,” Jared answered as he folded Jensen into his chest, brought Jensen’s hands to
rest over Jared’s wildly out of control heart, and framed Jensen’s legs and hips and thighs with his own.
It was perfect the way Jensen’s body melted so easily into Jared’s own, the way Jensen’s hard lines,
long limbs, slender build, and compact muscles fit just right into Jared’s frame, like they had been
molded for each other.
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“Maybe I’ll take it back if you keep manhandling me.”
Jared laughed. “Nuh uh. No take-backs.”
“Says who?”
Examining the fingers on Jensen’s left hand, Jared said, “It’s like a law. You can’t take back an I love
you. Seriously, Jen, c’mon. Get with the program.”
“God,” Jensen mumbled, and laid his head down on Jared’s chest, letting Jared have a minute to play
with his fingers.
It was incredibly unfair the way adorable and sexy were warring for control in Jared’s mind. One minute
he was ready to dry hump Jensen’s leg; the next, he was tempted to bundle Jensen up, along with all
of his cute little tendencies—like resting his head on Jared’s chest in the middle of, yeah, well—and just
lie there, bantering and watching Jensen be ridiculously endearing.
Just as Jared was thinking, This ain’t bad. I could stay like this for awhile, Jensen shifted,
unintentionally rubbing at just that right spot that had Jared bucking up into him.
“Jesus, Jen!”
“Sorry.”
Sorry? Are you freakin’ KIDDING me?
Jared answered by groping Jensen’s ass.
Jensen jerked in his arms, gave off a whole body twitch, and mumbled, “Your friggin’ hands, dude. Feel
like I’m being felt up by a gorilla.”
Jared’s movements stilled, hands freezing in the middle of cupping Jensen’s ass. “Is that a, uh, bad
thing? Because I’ll stop if you—”
Jensen’s mouth closed over his, mumbling, “Shut up, just… shut up.”
In the midst of the kiss, Jared’s hand slid between skin and boxers, skimming across a butt cheek.
“Okay?” he asked.
There was no answer, only Jensen’s hand finding Jared’s unoccupied one. So Jared simply laced their
fingers together and lapped up the intimate contact like a puppy starved for love.
Discovering Jensen was like unwrapping a many-layered gift. The sarcasm, the reserved shyness, the
blinding smiles, the handholding, finding out about Jensen’s past, finding out Jensen didn’t mind
cuddling—all of it only added up to part of the package. And Jared wanted to unwrap more, find out
more about Jensen, find out everything there was to know, uncover and strip away more of that shiny
packaging.
Jared decided to start with Jensen’s shirt.
Once he got the thin material over Jensen’s head and tossed to the floor, he reached for Jensen’s
sweatpants. But Jensen was busy pushing up the hem of Jared’s t-shirt and—
Fuarrrg.
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—sliding down Jared’s body and attaching that mouth to the skin around Jared’s navel, sucking-bitingnibbling his way up Jared’s chest. His lips were leaving little circles of warm saliva in a trail up Jared’s
torso, like he was claiming Jared with his own personal Jensen-stamp. It felt like a shot of caffeine
straight into Jared’s bloodstream, simultaneously mixed with hot little bolts of electricity shooting
directly to his cock.
When Jensen reached Jared’s left nipple, he sucked-slurped it into his mouth, and Jared learned that a
brain short-circuiting sounded a lot like: zneep.
Jensen was trying to kill him. That had to be the answer. All of the sudden contact, all of the sudden
willingness to touch and be touched—Jensen was out to take Jared down, slowly, hotly, wonderfully.
And Jared was totally okay with that.
“Jeeen, God, you—you. You.”
Around a nipple, Jensen managed to mumble, “Uh huh.”
Unconsciously, Jared’s hands scooted up Jensen’s sides, totally by accident. But Jensen, nevertheless,
choked on a laugh and bit down too hard on Jared’s nipple, to which Jared may or may not have
yelped. Loudly. And only a tiny bit girl-like.
Jensen lifted his head from Jared’s chest, saying, “Sorry, dude, sorry.”
But Jared shut off the apology by gracefully rolling them both over so that he was, again, the one top.
Flashing a devilishly playful grin, Jared said, “You are so going to pay for that one,” and crab-walked his
hand up Jensen’s leg, to the waistband of his pants.
“That was all your fault. Told you not to tickle—oh.”
Jared grinned and let his hand slide farther down Jensen’s sweatpants, to bare skin. This particular type
of foreplay, learning Jensen a little bit at a time, mapping him out piece by piece instead of all at once,
in a frantic, needy rush, was better than anything—better than chocolate. And that was saying a lot.
Jensen’s eyes squeezed shut, his mouth pursing slightly to form a perfect O-shape.
With his free hand, Jared poked him right in the navel, then put a finger under his chin. When Jensen’s
eyes sprang open, Jared said, “Nuh uh. Keep your eyes open. Wanna be able to see your eyes.”
Jared leaned forward, his bangs brushing across Jensen’s forehead, and Jensen responded by reaching
up to brush Jared’s hair to the side. His fingers lingered, smoothed down Jared’s temple, along his jaw
line, traced his bottom lip. When Jared met his eyes, Jensen was staring, unblinking, at him, eyes
steady and full of something that looked like amazement or wonder.
Jared laughed nervously, shaky. “What?”
“Nothing. Just. You.”
“Bad?”
“No.”
Well, okay then. Jared sucked the finger into his mouth, and Jensen’s eyes widened, as if it actually
surprised him.
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It wasn’t until both his hands made their way down Jensen’s thighs, through baby-soft hairs, then
explored a path back up to his inner thighs, that Jensen let out a shocked little grunt.
Just like putty.
A hand curled into Jared’s shirt, tugging him down slightly, and Jared almost laughed and said, Eager
much?
Instead, he tried to catch Jensen’s hand in his, but Jensen was kind of flailing a little, so Jared caught
his wrist instead. He thumbed over Jensen’s pulse point, brought his wrist up to feel that steady beat
under his lips, while brushing his other hand over the head of Jensen’s cock.
Jared expected a raspy moan, an intake of breath, maybe a sweep of long lashes over freckled cheeks.
What he got was Jensen snatching his wrist out of Jared’s grasp, Jensen shoving at his chest, trying to
push him away.
Mostly what he got was just a big what the hell?
Pulling his hands away and backing off quickly, Jared started to say, “Jen? What’s wrong?” But before
the question had a chance to make it all the way out of his mouth, Jensen brought his knees up to his
chest and rolled away, to the edge of the bed. He was halfway to the bathroom in the time it took for
Jared to remember how to breathe and blink.
Over his shoulder, Jensen muttered something that sounded like, “Gotta… bathroom,” and closed the
door.
As he listened to the lock click into place, staring at the door with his mouth open, Jared thought, Uh.
What?
--------“Jensen,” Jared said through the door, “what’s wrong? I don’t know what happened. What did I do?
Please just tell me—”
The lock released, and Jensen kicked the door open with the heel of one foot.
Jared stood frozen in the doorframe, with one hand clutching the edge of the door.
Jensen was leaning with his palms on the bathroom counter, head hanging between his shoulders so
that Jared couldn’t see his face.
For once in his life, Jared had nothing to say.
It was Jensen who broke the silence with his low almost-whisper tone of voice and simple statement: “I
think I have issues.”
Jared’s mouth opened, and his mind blanked.
“I’m screwed up,” Jensen added when Jared failed to come up with a quick reply.
“No.”
“Yeah.”
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“So what if you are? Who cares? I’m a little screwed up, too.”
“It was like all of sudden I was back on that couch, and all I could feel were hands.” Jensen paused,
then: “Dude, I know. I sound like a woman. I’m sorry I fucked it up.”
Jared rested his hand on the small of Jensen’s back.
Jensen tensed. Almost as if to himself, he said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
“Nothing. Nothing’s wrong with you. It’s my fault. The Bill thing was only yesterday, and here I was
feeling you up. It’s my bad, Jen, not yours.”
Rolling his shoulders and pulling away from Jared’s hand, Jensen said, “Think I’m just gonna shower.”
“I’m not gonna find you in here two hours from now, frozen into a block of ice, am I?”
“Nah.”
Jared eyed him, even though Jensen didn’t notice because he was too busy staring at the faucet.
“Okay,” Jared said, going for cool and casual, like they hadn’t just stopped minutes from having sex.
“Don’t use all the hot water, dude.”
“I can’t promise anything.”
Jared flipped him off when Jensen glanced up at him in the mirror. “Ass.”
“Yeah.”
--------Ten minutes later, Jared came back into the room with a beer in hand and a hard-on that could cut
through a diamond.
He halted in the doorway when he saw Jensen curled up on his side, sound asleep in the middle of the
bed, sheet and covers flung off to the side.
He was just about to race into the room, throw himself onto the bed beside Jensen, and just generally
scare the crap out of him with gleeful laughs and a pinch to the side.
But then he noticed the way Jensen was lying: knees pulled into his chest, arms tucked around the
knees, pillow to his backside. In every way, it was the defensive, protective posture. It was the position
Jared had lain in at night when he was 8 and scared of the dark.
Jared backed out of the bedroom, pulling the door closed behind himself.
I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t be near him right now.
Barely even aware of where he was going, Jared found himself on Jensen’s couch, lying flat on his
back, and staring up at the dark ceiling. He listened to the sound of distant cars and thought, Doesn’t
matter if I’m Bill or not. He doesn’t want any man touching him. Shit, I’m so stupid. Been pushing him
too far this whole damn time. He tried, but he doesn’t really want this.
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Unbidden, the picture of Jensen with a cocky smirk, straddling Jared’s hips, and saying I win, floated
into his mind.
Jared slid his hand into his pants, groaning at his own touch.
Jensen, underneath him, with a hand on Jared’s face, swam into focus in his mind. So fucked up. It’s
all so fucked up. Nevertheless, his hand picked up speed. He was already so on edge, had already been
so close with Jensen on top of him, Jensen under him, Jensen in his lap, it only took several more
strokes, along with Jensen in his mind’s eye—laughing, covered in flour, wearing Jared’s hoodie,
frowning at Jared’s new pet name for him—and Jared had to muffle his loud moan with one of Jensen’s
couch pillows.
Jared had 4 basic before bed rules: never go to bed without brushing your teeth, never go to bed
hungry, never go to bed angry, and never go to bed horny.
Hey, Jared was only human.
The problem was that as Jared drifted into that realm between sleep and awake, for the first time, he
wondered what he was going to do if this thing with Jensen didn’t work out. He was pretty sure their
friendship would never be the same, could never go back to the way it had been before—before Jared
shoved them both into this thing. He was also pretty sure it had been Jensen who’d said he didn’t want
to screw up their friendship and himself who’d brushed that idea off. Great.
At least he could only blame himself for that one. The thought wasn’t all that comforting.
But once he’d had a taste of Jensen, gotten himself in so deep that he practically breathed, ate, and
slept Jensen Ross Ackles, there was no way he’d ever even be able to jack off to anything but thoughts
of Jensen, much less move on, or whatever it was that people did.
It was all so fucked up, and he was so screwed, and he should’ve known all of this would end badly,
and yeah, Jensen might love him, but that didn’t mean he wanted Jared’s dick up his ass, like, ever.
On the edges of sleep, instead of that recurring dream he sometimes had in which he tripped and fell
off the edge of a cliff and kept falling and falling until he woke up, he dreamed of losing Jensen. Like
one day Jensen was there, and then one day he wasn’t, and Jared just had… nothing.
He woke up in a cold sweat.
He thought, Maybe this whole relationship’s fucked up. Maybe this isn’t gonna work out.
He turned over and pressed his face into the couch cushion, inhaling a deep breath of that spicy,
woodsy, clean scent that followed Jensen everywhere.
He thought, Maybe I’m gonna lose him in the end.
And that, well, that thought just really sucked.
{End of part 15}
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= 16 =
No
Series/Verse: Part 16 of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out
of control.
Summary: Apparently love’s like an emotional roller coaster ride straight through hell. Funny how no
one bothered to tell Jared any of this.
Type: Real people
Rating: R
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 9,282
Warnings: There’s one scene that’s very mild, but could possibly cause a couple of cringes; a decent
amount of cursing.
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale.
AN: Alrighty. Don't hurt me, okay? I promise this verse will end happy.
Shivering, shuddering, with little goose bumps rising on his skin, freezing air dragged Jared from sleep.
He pulled himself up from his too-cold spot on the couch, hauled himself down the hall, fists trying to
rub the blur out of his eyes, and came to a stop at the bottom of Jensen’s bed.
Jensen was still curled on his side, but now he had the pillow in front of him, tucked into his chest,
arms curved around it like a child clinging to a favorite teddy bear.
It was actually pretty damn cute. Jared would’ve taken a picture if it weren’t for the fact that his toes
were cold enough to break off and drop into a glass of iced tea.
Huh. Note to self: Lay off the metaphors at four in the morning.
Yawning, Jared pulled the covers back and slid into the bed. The sheets on his side were empty and too
chilly, so he rolled into Jensen’s space, sank down into the spot where Jensen’s body dipped the bed
and his body heat had warmed the surrounding sheets and blankets.
Jensen jerked awake when Jared’s chest made contact with his back. Before Jensen had a chance to
uncoil that tense energy and perhaps elbow Jared in the face, or knee him in the groin, Jared ran a
hand up and down his arm, saying, “It’s me. Your apartment is fucking freezing, dude.”
When, instead of pulling away, Jensen just gave a grunt of agreement and relaxed against Jared’s
chest, Jared felt it was pretty safe to go ahead and spoon himself around Jensen’s curved back. He
wrapped his arms around Jensen’s body, enveloping the pillow and all.
“What’s this?” Jensen asked, twisting his head around to look at Jared over his shoulder, sounding
completely puzzled as Jared burrowed his face in the spot between the nape of Jensen’s neck and the
pillow.
“Don’t tell me you’ve never spooned before. ‘Cause that just ain’t right.”
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“No, I mean, yeah. I have. I just.”
With his nose, Jared nuzzled the soft hairs at the nape of Jensen’s neck.
“You just what?”
Jensen mumbled, “Just never been the little spoon before,” to which Jared let out what sounded like a
very high-pitched, drunk giggle.
“What the hell was that?”
“I dunno,” Jared said, sighing. “It’s early?”
“You just laughed like a woman.”
“Shut up.”
“Screw you.”
Jared pressed his cold toes to the inside bend of Jensen’s knee.
Jensen gasped out a curse and tried to kick Jared’s leg away.
“I win,” Jared said, and wriggled his toes into Jensen’s skin.
“I hate you. A lot.”
“Aw, Smeckles. You’re spoilin’ me with all this lovey-dovey talk.”
Wordlessly, Jensen let go of the pillow, beat Jared over the head with it a couple times, then tossed it
to the side and sank back into Jared’s embrace.
“Spoilin’ me,” Jared murmured, as a last little tease before he shut his eyes and cocooned himself and
Jensen in the blanket.
--------Upon waking, Jared’s first thought was once again cold.
But this time it wasn’t the air that was cold. Now it was something soft, wet, and round on his neck.
Something… moving.
It glided from the nape of his neck across a shoulder blade, leaving a line of moisture over Jared’s
exposed skin.
Bug? Jared thought, and shivered. Remnants of sleep still tugged at the corners of his brain. Jensen
has wet bugs in his apartment? Not cool.
He brought his hand up to his neck and flicked the freakishly cold bug away. Bug spray would’ve been
helpful, but Jared could make do in a pinch.
There was a hiss—A hissing bug? Holy shit.—and a growled, pained curse. Wait. A curse? Bugs can’t
curse.
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Jared swung his body around, rolled onto his back, only to find Jensen kneeling on the bed next to him.
Eyes wide with surprise, hand over his mouth, Jensen said, “Are you trying to kill me?”
“Huh?”
Muffled behind the hand, Jensen’s words sounded garbled. “You got me right in the mouth, you fucker.”
“I wha—” Jared started, just as Jensen brought his hand away from his mouth to look down at the
blood smeared across his fingers. Jared finished with, “Shit.”
There was no recollection of having gotten up, just that in the next instant he was kneeling on the bed
in front of Jensen, one hand cupping Jensen’s chin, tilting his head up, while his other hand examined
the split lip. “Can’t believe I did this. Stupid,” Jared mumbled, biting down on his own lip. “Stay here.”
He came back with two wet cloths, one of which he pressed to Jensen’s mouth; the other he used to
wipe Jensen’s hand clean. The whole time, he was saying, “It’s fucked up, Jen. I keep hurting you. The
ankle,” Jensen’s hand in his as he carefully wiped each finger down, “yesterday when I elbowed you in
the mouth,” dabbing Neosporin on Jensen’s bottom lip, “and now I’m making you bleed. Shit. I’m
sorry.”
Jensen murmured, “S’okay, Jay.”
“No, not okay. What if I run you over with a car next time?”
“I wouldn’t like that.”
“I could really hurt you. Like, by accident. But still. Next time it could be worse.”
“Next time?” Jensen asked, pulling the cloth away from his mouth. “You already planning something?”
The look on Jared’s face must have been miserable, because Jensen immediately added, “It’s not a big
deal. Forget it.”
“What were you doing, anyway?”
Ah, and there it was—the blush that still drove Jared into a lust-filled stupor.
“I was, uh.” He gave a quick nod over to a bucket setting on the nightstand.
A glance into the little round bucket revealed ice cubes, but Jared was far more interested in the
glimpse of dark eyelashes on pale cheeks as Jensen shyly ducked his head. “Trying to get you back for
the cold feet all over me the whole night.”
Jared slanted his head, slightly confused. “Oh?”
Nodding, Jensen motioned for him to hand over the bucket. Once it was in his hands, he plucked out a
cube of ice, stuck it between his lips, worked his lips over and around it—practically gave the damn
thing a lip massage—and then sucked.
The room might have titled for all Jared knew. Because, at the moment, nothing else mattered except
the way Jensen’s mouth worked that fucking lucky piece of ice, cheeks hollowing out around it so
perfectly. It was so unexpected, Jensen going down on this ice cube, and Jared really, really wanted to
touch, to put his fingers right there at the point where those freckle-dusted cheeks hollowed out—
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There was a slurping sound, and Jared watched, his own mouth slack, his entire body tense and
mesmerized, as Jensen sucked the entire ice cube into his mouth. He might’ve been saying something
—something about making his lips cold to torture Jared in his sleep—but Jared wasn’t really getting it,
no matter how hard he tried to pay attention to what Jensen was saying.
“… right?” Jensen finished.
Right? “Oh, yeah. Right. Of course.” Now please do that sucking thing again.
Jensen blinked, glanced down at the bucket of ice, then back up at Jared. “What?”
What, all simple and questioning, as though he hadn’t just given Jared an obscene little show with his
mouth. It was so obviously unintentional, so unplanned, and Jensen was so innocently clueless as to
what he’d just done that Jared could only return Jensen’s confused gaze with an open-mouthed stare.
He wanted to say, What? Are you kidding me? Do you even know what you do to me without even
fucking TRYING, without even realizing it? How the hell do you do it?
He wanted to say, Fuck, you’re perfect. And it’s getting kinda bad, getting to the point where I can’t
concentrate around you, can’t really breathe right.
Instead, Jared thumbed over his shoulder, jerking his head toward the bathroom door, and said, “I’m
gonna go,” he made a vague gesture at the door, “uh, yeah. Gonna go. In there.”
“Uh.” That little line appeared between Jensen’s eyes as he gave Jared a quizzical look, watched Jared’s
awkward slide off the bed, tracked him with those large, lost little boy eyes. He said, “All right. You
okay?”
“You just,” absentmindedly, Jared patted Jensen’s knee, “yeah. Okay. You just… yeah.”
Halfway to the door, from the bed, Jensen called out, “What’s wrong with you?”
When he reached the door, Jared beat a closed fist against the solid wood, twice, then turned back to
Jensen with a forced, manic-looking smile. “Nothing, man.” Strained: “Nothing.”
“Did I—”
“It’s all good.” Jared shut the door on the rest of Jensen’s questions.
--------“What’s your problem?” were the first words out of Jensen’s mouth when Jared loped into the kitchen
45 minutes later.
“Problem?” Jared asked, and poured himself a cup of coffee.
Already, his mind was cataloguing through excuses, reasons, and jokes he could come up with to brush
Jensen’s questions off, to brush this whole stupid conversation off.
Which is why it surprised him when Jensen said, “Man, you gotta tell me if I did something wrong.”
The idea that Jensen thought it was his fault so surprised Jared that he turned quickly, too quickly, and
the just-poured, hot coffee sloshed out of his mug and onto the front of Jensen’s shirt.
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For the second time in the span of an hour, Jensen hissed, this time because the scorching brown liquid
was soaking through his thin t-shirt.
Jared slammed the coffee mug down on the counter and bellowed “Fuck!”
Fuck it all. What the hell am I doing?
He grabbed the bottom of Jensen’s shirt and pulled up, making quick work of yanking it over his head.
“It’s o—”
“Don’t even, Jen. Shit, now I burned you.”
“You didn’t burn me.”
But by now Jared was at the sink, wetting a dishtowel and saying, “This is fucked up. This is so.
fucked. up.”
Jensen’s cool fingers curled around his elbow. “Will you just calm down?”
At the touch, Jared spun around, sending a spray of water from the sopping wet dishcloth across the
kitchen. “You put up with Bill’s shit at work, and then you come home to me, where I keep almost
breaking you.”
“Breaking me?”
“Yeah,” Jared said, pressed the wet cloth to Jensen’s chest, and made for the door.
“Hey, where the hell do you think you’re going?”
Jared was five lopes away from the door, four. Three. “Home.”
From directly behind Jared came Jensen’s voice, firm and final: “No.”
Yes. Hand on the doorknob.
Jensen’s hand clamped down on top of his, fingers curling across the knob and over Jared’s white
knuckles. “Fuck you. You don’t get to walk away from me just because you spilled some coffee on my
shirt.” Jensen jammed his foot in front of the door so Jared couldn’t open it. “You’re not leaving.”
Nudging at Jensen’s foot, Jared blew out a huff of air that puffed out his bangs, and said, exasperated,
“You don’t get it, Jen. Now… just move.”
“Don’t get what?”
“All of this. It’s just… I don’t think… don’t know if this is gonna work out the way we—”
He choked on a swallow of air as Jensen spun him around and slammed him, surprisingly hard, back
against the door. The door handle dug painfully into his spine at the impact.
Jensen, seemingly oblivious of Jared’s discomfort, braced his hands on Jared’s shoulders and said,
“That hurt?”
“Well, yeah, it kinda—”
245
“Good,” Jensen cut in, planted his lips on Jared’s, and shoved his thigh between Jared’s legs.
Jensen quickly broke the kiss by murmuring into Jared’s mouth: “The hell did I do to piss you off this
morning? Huh?”
Against Jensen’s mouth, Jared said, “Nothing, man, nothing.”
“Then what’s the deal?” The barest brush of Jensen’s lips on his own, with each half-whispered word,
sent a tingle down Jared’s spine. Of course, that might have just been the door handle now making a
permanent indent in Jared’s back.
“No deal. Never mind.”
Jensen pulled back to bring their foreheads together. “Why were you leaving me?”
“I wasn’t. Just needed some air.”
“Liar.”
“Bite me.”
Jensen did. A little nip at Jared’s bottom lip, a mumbled, “You’re an idiot,” and then Jensen was already
back in the kitchen, with Jared left bewildered and breathless, still propped up against the wall.
Licking his lips, he joined Jensen in the kitchen.
“Waffles?” Jensen asked.
Jared licked his lips again, thoughtful. “What’s that?”
“What’s what?”
“That flavor on your lips… it’s, like, sweet or something.”
“Oh.” Jensen shrugged. “Just Chap Stick.”
“It tastes like,” Jared crowded Jensen up against the sink and swiped his tongue across Jensen’s lips,
“like cupcakes. With vanilla frosting.”
“Hey.” Jensen thumped Jared in the head. “I don’t taste like a cupcake.”
“Yeah,” Jared murmured, sucking on his own top lip, “you do. Makes me want something sweet.” He
turned and opened Jensen’s fridge. “Got any donuts?”
“You’re a freak.”
“Chocolate glazed?”
“Nah, just the regular kind of freak.”
Jared swatted his ass with the wet dishcloth.
---------
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All casual disinterest, Jensen said, “Eric called while you were in the shower.”
Jared couldn’t help a slight flinch. “Yeah, what’d he have to say?”
“They got the tests back,” Jensen said in a dead tone, eyes focused entirely on the maple syrup oozing
out of the bottle and drenching his waffle. “My Coke was laced with Rohypnol.”
In response, Jared sighed and held out his hand for the syrup. “Jeez, Jen, don’t use it all.”
The table shook when Jensen slammed the syrup bottle down. “That fucker.” Jared’s head snapped up
from the syrup and the still-rattling table to look at Jensen’s face. The abrupt change in his voice
caught Jared off guard, kinda almost freaked him out just a little… maybe. Okay, definitely.
It was no longer an indifferent, bored tone, but now low, dark with barely restrained rage. “That
fucker,” Jensen repeated, as though maybe Jared hadn’t heard him the first time.
Jared did the only thing he could think of at the moment: He nodded. Even though, it seemed, Jensen
wasn’t even really looking at him. His heated gaze was directed straight ahead, past Jared, to the wall.
“Put shit in my drink so he could knock me out and rape me. He couldn’t even be a fucking man about
it and come to my trailer ready for an honest fight. He had to dope me up so he’d know I wouldn’t
have a chance.”
Suddenly Jensen had the syrup bottle in his hand again. In the blink of an eye, it was hurtling across
the room, where it finally hit a living room wall. It busted, sending down a rain of sticky syrup across
the carpet. For a second Jared watched a glob of syrup lazily make its way down the wall.
Wide-eyed, he turned back to Jensen, who was now clutching both sides of his breakfast plate. Jared
really kinda hoped Jensen would avoid his general direction if he decided to let loose with that plate.
Because, yeah, this could get ugly.
“Then he had to fucking laugh in my face and mock me while he felt me up. Fucking bastard, told him
to back off two fucking years ago.”
The plate smashed into the wall next, and Jared got a little worried, because there was nothing left on
the table to throw except his own plate. And the forks. Jensen had a mean hand with darts, and if it
came to fork-throwing, Jared would definitely rather not be in the room.
“Fuck,” Jensen said through clenched teeth, and was up and out of his chair before Jared realized what
was happening, “all the times he told me to shut my mouth when I told him to cut it out, like I’m some
fucking dog he can tell to sit and roll over and suck his—”
Jared should have seen it coming, but he was still surprised when the table went next, tipping up and
over onto its side, then toppling face-down on the floor, leaving Jared sitting with his mouth gaping
open and his hand poised over where his plate had just been. His fork was still clutched in his right
hand, ready to dig into a waffle that was now on the floor under shards of glass and splinters of wood.
Jensen was now glancing wildly around the room, as though searching for other things to throw and
destroy.
Slowly, Jared stood. Fast moves are bad, he thought. He took a cautious step toward Jensen, who
stopped him with a hand held up in warning and a fiery glare.
“Fucking pinned me to the couch,” he continued, same hard voice, and kicked the chair he’d been
sitting in into the TV, where it crashed, and then kind of bounced off of the screen. “Put his tongue
247
down my throat and his hand down my pants and touched me like he had the right. Then the dirtbag
laughed because I was too out of it to do anything but mumble.”
When he saw Jensen moving toward the area where he had picture frames full of his family and friends
set up, as well as Xbox games stored, Jared stepped into action.
Jensen said, “Told me I deserved it,” as he raised his hand to sweep it across the counter and knock
the picture frames to the floor.
Jared reached him seconds before his hand took out the first picture in the line: a silver-framed photo
full of people from the set of Smallville.
“Don’t,” Jensen snarled, as Jared came up behind him and circled arms around Jensen’s chest, pinning
those itching-to-cause-damage hands down by his sides. Again, Jensen growled, “Don’t. Don’t you—”
“Can’t let you tear your apartment to pieces, man. You’d regret it later.”
As he tried to jerk out of Jared’s grasp, he said, “The bastard wore gloves. His fingerprints weren’t on a
damn thing. He’s gonna get away with it.”
No. No, wait. That’s not right.
Jared said, “But he didn’t have gloves on when I came in.”
Jensen let out a bitter, rough little laugh. “’Cause he wanted to get his fingerprints all over me.” Then
he elbowed Jared in the ribs, not hard enough to actually hurt, and added, “Back off.”
“You gonna finish destroying your apartment?”
When Jensen didn’t answer right away, Jared squeezed him.
“I’m still thinking about it,” Jensen snapped, but some of the oily-hot rage had gone out of his voice;
the sharp edge was dulling.
As he leaned in over Jensen’s shoulder and pressed his cheek to Jensen’s, Jared said, “I admire you, ya
know.”
Jensen snorted and threatened to stomp down on Jared’s toes if he didn’t bug off.
“If it’d been me who Bill was harassing, I probably would’ve cracked a long time ago. Like, a year ago.”
One minute Jensen was squirming and trying to pry Jared’s death-grip fingers off of his arm, trying to
wrench away and finish the important task of ripping his apartment to pieces, and in the next, Jared
had an arm full of sagging co-star. Limp limbs and liquid-like muscles slumped back against Jared’s
chest.
Against Jensen’s cheek, Jared’s lips brushed the words softly: “Okay now?”
“Who says I haven’t already cracked?”
“You haven’t. This wasn’t a crack, just a mini-breakdown. Breakdowns are totally normal in this
business.”
Jensen let out a tired, defeated little sigh and sank to the floor in a boneless slide right through Jared’s
arms. Leaning back against the wall, with his head tilted back and his eyes closed, he said, “Eric says
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the show’s back on. I gotta go in early tomorrow to film a Dean scene.”
“Dude, see? That’s good news.”
Despite what should have been happy news, Jensen’s voice was still dull. “Yeah. It’s… great.”
“Then why aren’t you happy about it?”
“I am happy. I’m singing on the inside.”
“Really? What song?”
“What a Wonderful World.”
Jared gave a playful kick to Jensen’s feet. “Dean would be so disappointed.”
The easy-going air of humor Jared was going for, apparently, went right over Jensen’s head, because
he just stared up at Jared with serious eyes.
“You know what you need?” Jared asked, grin spreading like a wildfire across his features.
“Sleep.”
“Candy.”
“No.”
“Chocolate?”
“No.”
“Coffee?”
“No.”
“Bill hanging from a tree by his balls, with little kids beating at his head like a piñata?”
While Jensen took a moment to purse his lips at that, then smile faintly and say, “Yeah, that one’s
good,” Jared slid into place next to him on the floor, put his arm around freckled shoulders, and pulled
Jensen to him, until they were so close that Jared inhaled and got Jensen’s hair in his nose.
“You know what you need?” Jared asked again.
Jensen sighed, feigned annoyance. “Is this some sort of trick question?”
“Know what you need?”
“Guess not.”
Grinning brightly, Jared said, “Me,” and then proceeded to wrap his other arm around Jensen, too.
He waited for Jensen to snort or laugh or start to pull away and stand up. Instead, into Jared’s shirt,
Jensen muttered something that sounded a lot like, “Yeah.”
--------249
“Here’s the deal,” Jared announced, and positioned Jensen slightly to the left, so that they were both
on their backs, on the couch, with Jensen propped up on Jared’s chest, situated between Jared’s bent
legs, and Jared’s free arm slung around Jensen’s waist. Jared’s other hand held up an open book, titled
in a way they could both read it. “You gotta know the basic plot by July.”
“Why?”
“Because when you read it out to me, I want you to know what’s going on.”
“Read it out to you?” Jensen attempted to twist his head around to look in Jared’s face. “Are you
kidding me?”
“Who kids about Harry Potter? I’ve been waiting for this for months, Jen, and I want you to read it with
me… to me. ‘Cause your voice is all… smooth. And pretty.”
“I’m not reading you a 600 page book.”
“We’ll see,” Jared said, and flipped the page. He thumped the chapter title with his thumb. “Oh, yeah.
This chapter’s really important.”
“I can’t keep all these new names straight. None of these people were in the movies.”
Jared let out a heavy, long-suffering, what am I going to do with you? sigh, and watched Jensen’s head
rise and fall with the motion of Jared’s breathing. “That’s ’cause these movies haven’t come out yet.”
“Oh.” With his index finger, Jensen pushed his glasses further up the bridge of his nose and stared at
the open book in Jared’s hand.
“Stop doing that.”
“Doing what?”
“Messing with your glasses. It’s… distracting me.”
Jensen didn’t even glance up at Jared, though his lips curved into a close-mouthed smirk as he fiddled
with the hem of Jared’s shirt.
“Now, in this chapter—”
“Who’s Tonks, again?”
“Jensen.”
“What?”
“I already told you who she is—twice.”
“I know, but I keep getting her mixed up with the bridge girl.”
“Bridge girl—you mean Umbridge?”
“Yeah, that one.”
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Gah. I give up. Jared tossed the book onto the coffee table. “Forget it. We’ll wait ‘til the movie comes
out.”
Though Jensen’s couch was rather large, it seemed small and cramped with two fully grown men
stacked on it. Even so, Jensen managed to flip himself onto his stomach, balance himself on Jared’s
chest with his hands. Face to face with Jared, blinking innocently, he said, “No more Potter crash
course?”
Jared’s answer was to lean forward and suck the Werther’s Original butterscotch candy right out of
Jensen’s mouth.
“Hey, I wasn’t done with that.”
Teasing, tempting Jensen to come and take it back, Jared stuck his tongue out to reveal the half-melted
piece of candy on the tip of his tongue.
Brows scrunching together, Jensen said, “You stole my candy,” like this truly surprised him, like he
couldn’t quite comprehend this turn of events.
“Yep.”
“Right out of my mouth.”
“Yep.”
“Dude. That’s not right.”
Jared sucked noisily on the piece of hard candy. He tucked his hands behind his head, closed his eyes,
and enjoyed the warm sunshine streaming in through the window, enjoyed the warm weight of
Jensen’s body resting on top of his.
For some reason, Jensen still seemed puzzled over the stolen candy. His breath tickled Jared’s neck as
he contemplated his next move. Finally, after several quiet seconds, he said, “That was the last one in
the bag. Give it back.”
Casual, eyes still closed, Jared laughed up at the ceiling. He pretended to think about that as he
worked the last taste of sweet butterscotch over his tongue. “Yeah—I don’t think so.”
“Ass.” A sharp twinge on his nipple snapped Jared’s eyes open and brought his head upright again.
He was met with Jensen giving him a defiant, ticked-off glare, eyes narrowed, mouth in a tight line.
That’s too damn cute, Jared thought, and pinched Jensen’s cheek in the same way that his great-aunt
pinched his every Christmas.
“Give it to me.”
“You’re too freakin’ adorable, Jen,” Jared grinned, and pinched the other cheek.
“Stop.”
Jared obliged by tapping his index finger on the tip of Jensen’s nose and saying, “You should see
yourself. You look like a pissed off little kid. It’s so cu—rnng.”
“It’s what?” asked Jensen, shoving his forearm harder under Jared’s chin, across his neck.
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Eyes crossing from surprise at the sudden move, and lack of air, Jared squeezed out, “Err… very
manly?”
When Jensen moved his arm and rolled off the couch, Jared, staring up at him with something akin to
amazement, said, “You’re kinda… dangerous.”
“Thanks.”
“It’s really… sexy. It’s kinda… Deanish.” Jared tugged at Jensen’s jeans, pleaded, “Get back down here.”
Jensen smirked as if he finally had Jared right where he wanted him. But then he just ruffled Jared’s
hair and left the room.
Jared thought, Can’t get enough of him. Can’t ever get enough—and beat the back of his head against
the armrest.
--------See, the thing is, Jensen kicks really hard.
Hard enough to, say, bruise a shin. Which was why Jared found himself grabbing Jensen by the
shoulders at three in the morning and shaking him awake. This time, Jensen lashed out with an arm
and got Jared right in the nose.
“Are you outta your mind?” Jared wheezed, holding his nose with his right hand and Jensen’s shoulder
with the left.
Jensen blinked, groggy and uncomprehending.
As way of an explanation, Jared said, “You’ve been beating the crap out of me all night.”
“Huh?”
“Kicked me in the shin—twice. Elbowed me in the forehead, then in the stomach. Oh,” Jared pointed at
his nose, “and this.”
“Really?” Jensen ground his fists into his eyes like a groggy little kid. “Sorry, man, I just… sorry.”
Once he’d settled back into the pillows, Jared said, “It’s okay. Payback for all the crap I’ve done to you
over the past few months.” He started to laugh at his own words, but stopped when Jensen sprawled
himself half on top of Jared’s chest.
Jared touched his fingertips to Jensen’s back, surprised. Jensen nuzzled into his neck and pulled and
tugged Jared’s arm until it draped and spanned all the way across Jensen’s back.
“Look who’s all cuddly tonight.” It was meant to come out teasing, funny, but it ended up sounding kind
of choked and unsure instead.
In response, Jensen wordlessly buried his face in Jared’s shirt. Jared could feel him inhaling deeply, his
back rising and falling under Jared’s fingers, his breath heating Jared’s skin, even through a layer of tshirt.
That went on for a few minutes before Jared put his hand on Jensen’s shoulder and, in a quiet voice,
asked, “Hey, you okay?”
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“Uh huh,” came the muffled answer, even as Jensen’s hand closed into a fist, tightly gripping a handful
of Jared’s shirt.
Jared almost said, I’m kind of worried about you, dude.
As he clamped down on that thought, Jensen’s breathing grew deep and even again.
Of course, there was nothing wrong with Jensen using Jared as a human body pillow. In fact, Jared
was totally cool with it. Well, except for one thing: Jared just hoped Jensen’s violent streak was over for
the night, because, in this new position, his knee was pretty close to Jared’s crotch. And that would
kind of suck.
--------Watching Jensen slurp down his third (fourth?) cup of coffee of the morning, Jared raised an eyebrow.
“So, uh. You sure you don’t want me to drive you to the set?”
Jensen set the cup down on the counter and licked coffee off his lips. “Nah. Eric said Sam’s not in a
scene ‘til this afternoon. You better just enjoy your last morning off, dude. Eric’s picking me up since
my car’s still back at the set.”
“I could just drop you off on my way to the—”
“It’s okay. Eric’s already on his way here.”
“You sure? ’Cause I really don’t mind driving you there.”
Jensen quirked an eyebrow at Jared and laughed as he poured the rest of his coffee down the sink.
“You just want to get out of going to the grocery store for me, don’t you?”
Well, heck, it wasn’t like Jared was going to blurt out his real reason, which, even in his head, sounded
incredibly loserish and pathetic: I don’t be away from you for seven whole hours. So he just grinned,
and said, “Totally.”
“We need milk. And we’re running out of food.”
Resigned to his fate, Jared sighed. “Fine.”
The doorbell rang, and as Jensen opened it, he said to Jared, “Don’t get whole milk. Get two percent.”
“How very domestic of you two,” Eric greeted.
Instead of sticking his tongue out at Eric, like he’d usually do in response to a jibe like that, Jared slung
his arm around Jensen’s shoulder, kissed the top of his hair, and looked Eric dead in the eye. “Take care
of my boy. Don’t do anything stupid, like get into a car accident on the way or something.”
Even though Jared’s tone was serious, Jensen laughed.
Eric, on the other hand, appeared to fight back a flinch.
What’s up with that?
Before he had a chance to ponder it, Jensen was saying, “Get some Werther’s, okay? You owe me.”
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“Right,” Jared said, and flung both arms around Jensen, pulling him into his chest. Over Jensen’s
shoulder, Jared eyed Eric’s uncomfortable movements and awkward facial expressions. Eric averted his
eyes to the ceiling, rocked back on his heals, and generally looked increasingly uneasy.
Almost bitterly, Jared thought, What? Are we making you uncomfortable? Wouldn’t wanna do that. He
ended the hug with a sloppy, loud, wet kiss to Jensen’s neck. Without a word, Eric gave Jared a weak
smile and moved toward the elevator, where he stood staring at the down button.
For some reason, Jared felt insulted, almost like he’d been slapped in the face. It’s funny, because he’d
never pegged Eric for a homophobe before. Of course, he’d never pegged himself as gay, either, so
maybe his instincts were way off.
Jensen patted Jared’s chest, pushing him away gently. “Gotta go, Jay.”
“Okay.”
At the elevator, Jensen turned back to him and called, “Pick me up a Starbucks on your way? I’ll need
one by then.”
“Yeah, no problem.”
The elevator door closed, and Jared thought, Huh. Weird.
--------The streets were packed with midday traffic, the line at the grocery store was so long it depressed
Jared, and the line at the Starbucks drive-thru snaked halfway through the parking lot.
And then he pulled into the set parking lot—which was empty.
Jared slid his sunglasses down his nose and blinked total and utter confusion at the area around him.
They would’ve let me know if we were shooting off location. Eric would’ve told me this morning.
Except, it couldn’t have been a case of miscommunication, because Jensen’s car was at the far corner
of the lot, still parked in the same place it had been the day Jared had carried a drugged Jensen off
set.
Why is Jensen the only one here?
Jared grabbed the cup of Starbucks from the car and went straight to Jensen’s trailer. He didn’t bother
knocking, just twisted the knob and flung the door open. The room was as empty as the parking lot. In
fact, much to Jared’s surprise, it looked as though Jensen hadn’t even been in his trailer all day. Papers
were still strewn all over the room, in the same way they’d been that day Jared had found him passed
out on the couch.
The clothes Jensen had been wearing when he’d left this morning should have been tossed over the
couch, because Jensen was weird and always insisted on changing into his Dean clothes in his own
trailer, instead of in the wardrobe trailer where they could immediately pick and pull and get the clothes
to look just the way they wanted for the cameras.
Jared shut the door and stood on the steps to Jensen’s trailer, holding the hot cup of coffee in both
hands and giving the area a 360, searching for any indication of filming going on.
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There should have been cameras and lights and PAs and people roaming everywhere. It should look
like it always did: complete and total chaos.
Dead would be the best way to describe it at the moment.
Jared glanced down at his watch. Because he’d planned on surprising Jensen with a Starbucks pick-meup in the middle of the day instead of late afternoon, he’d gotten to the set an hour and a half earlier
than they needed him. Okay, so maybe two hours earlier than they’d said his scene would start. But
the apartment was boring. Plus, he already missed seeing Jensen’s face.
He walked through the quiet set with his cell to his ear, waiting for Jensen to answer his phone. He
reached the lunch area. Empty. No food set out, no indication that anyone had even eaten there in
days.
What. The. Fuck.
As Jensen’s cell rang and rang, Jared tried the door to the large warehouse where they filmed inside
scenes. It was locked.
Hey, this is Jensen. Can’t talk right now. Just leave a message.
“Hey, Jen, I’ve got a message for you: WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU? Dude, why isn’t anyone here
filming? Call me back as soon as you get this, loser.”
On his way back to the car, he took a different route, one that passed by the camera and sound
trailers. Voices coming from inside one of the trailers stopped Jared. He paused on the steps, listening
intently to the hushed sounds leaking through the door.
When the voices went quiet, Jared twisted the knob and strode into a room packed full of men and
expensive equipment.
Jared stopped short in the doorway, halted by eight pairs of wide, guilty eyes, and several open
mouths. Eloquently, he said, “Uh. Hi.”
Eric, who had been standing off to the side behind one of the camera guys seated in front of several
large screens, moved to Jared. Jared noticed his left eye was twitching furiously. Between twitches, he
started to say, “Jared…” but one of the techies seated in front of the screens interrupted him with a
loud groan.
Someone else whispered, “Isn’t he early?”
And Jared? Well, Jared was pretty darned confused. It almost seemed like he’d just walked in on a big
secret—a secret he wasn’t meant to be a part of.
Jared pasted on a sloppy grin and looked over at Kim, who was standing in the corner of the room,
watching Eric. “What’s going on, guys?”
No one answered until Eric, all serious business, said, “We need to talk,” and motioned at the door
behind Jared. “Out here.”
He was practically backing Jared out of the trailer, had him stepping out the door, ready to pull it to
behind them, when a voice from inside said, “Don’t.”
Jared halted, and Eric nearly ran into him in his haste to get them both outside. He’d recognize
Jensen’s voice anywhere; there could be a crowd of a thousand people, and Jared would still be able to
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pick Jensen’s voice out of the swell of noise.
Trying to see around Eric, Jared said, “Jensen?”
“Jensen’s not in there,” Eric answered firmly, and put a hand in the middle of Jared’s chest, to push him
out the door.
“But I just heard him.”
“You need to listen to me, Jared. Listen to me before you—”
But Jared was already shoving Eric to the side and pushing his way back in to the trailer. All eyes were
on him as he glanced around the room, then up to the screens that were used to put together special
effects and to splice together scenes.
At first, what he was seeing didn’t register in his mind. It looked like some poorly made film, with notso-great lighting, and he wondered why the hell they’d be huddled together watching something like
that.
But then Eric’s hand landed on Jared’s shoulder, so Jared turned away from the screens to look over at
him.
“Don’t freak out. We planned this… Jensen’s in on it with us. He agreed to do it.”
What the hell is he talking about? “What the hell are you talking about?”
Maybe they were all high. Actually, Jared really kind of wished they were. That would explain a lot.
“He didn’t want me to tell you about it this morning. Jared, I wanted to tell you; I thought you should
know, but…” Eric trailed off, shaking his head and glancing at Kim, who remained silent.
Jared was going to beat something in a minute. Maybe Eric’s head. If only he could beat a clear
explanation right out of him. That would be great.
Finally, Eric stopped trying to explain and just motioned for Jared to look back up at the screen. One of
the techies started edging his chair away, out of Jared’s general direction, as if afraid.
Jared started to say, “I don’t get what—” But the angle on the camera switched, and suddenly Jared
was watching Jensen, in a public restroom somewhere, slumped in a corner.
“Is this today’s scene?” Jared asked, confused, looking around the room for an answer. Nobody seemed
willing to meet his eyes.
“No,” Eric said, “I planned this with Jense yesterday morning. He said you were in the shower.”
Jared’s forehead scrunched into a line. “I don’t get it. What is this?”
“He’s… acting. He’s not really hurt.”
His head swiveled back to the screen. “What the hell’s going on, Eric?”
Just then, Jensen hissed out a slurred and foggy sounding, “Fuck you.”
Jared could only stare in confusion as one of the techies hit a button, and the camera angle switched to
Bill.
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Bill.
BILL?
What the fuck is Bill doing in a bathroom with Jensen?
Jared said, “Holy shit,” loud enough to have two more techies rolling their chairs away from him.
Eric might have been saying something, something that was supposed to calm Jared down, but all he
could hear was Bill’s voice, Bill’s voice mixed in with the words gonna and hurt, and Jared’s stomach
lurched; his heart started a fierce pounding in his chest and yes, yes it did hurt.
Somewhere between his body sending out an injection of adrenalin, and his mind tripping wildly to try
and sort everything out, Jared rounded on Eric, who took one look at his face and wisely took a step
back.
All Jared had to say was, “WHAT?” and jab a finger towards the screen, and Eric started explaining, the
words rushed and nearly tripping over themselves because he was trying to get them out so fast.
“Okay, the thing is, we needed hardcore evidence against Bill—something to actually hand the police.
The bottle had no fingerprints, and it looked like Bill was going to get away with it. Bill’s cocky; if he got
away with something like this once, I knew he’d do something like it again. Maybe not with Jensen, but
with someone else. It was my idea to set up hidden cameras around the place and make it look like
Jensen was the only one here when Bill came to clear out his trailer. I knew we might be able to nail
him. So when I called Jensen to tell him about the bottle, I mentioned the idea to him and he agreed.
He agreed, Jared. I didn’t talk him into it or anything. You need to know that. He—”
“Wait. You’re telling me you’re using him as bait to get evidence?”
“We only need enough for there to be no question it’s non-consensual, and then we call Jensen’s cell
twice, and it’s his signal to get out.”
Jared gaped at him. Because this? This couldn’t be happening. It was too ridiculous, too desperate, too
fucking dangerous.
His eyes drifted back to the screen, where he watched Bill advance on Jensen, who appeared to be
acting like he was drugged again, head lulling on his chest, legs sprawled in front of him like an open
invitation. Jared didn’t want to understand the complete, grizzly details of the plan, didn’t want to
understand exactly how Jensen was supposed to be incapacitated. He only wanted Jensen the hell out
of that bathroom.
But instead of advancing further, Bill stopped several yards away from Jensen.
“What’s he doing?” someone asked.
Kim pulled away from his lean against the wall, and Jared turned to question him directly. For some
reason, Kim was the only person in the room he still had any trust in. “What are you all waiting for?
Isn’t this enough evidence already?”
“They’re waiting for contact,” Kim answered, face blank. Jared noticed the way he used they, as though
he didn’t include himself in this fucked over plan.
One of the camera goons said, “Hey, what’s that?”
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On the screen, still several feet from Jensen, Bill backed away from him, inching backward toward the
door as though he were thinking about maybe turning tail and running. When his back hit the door, he
smiled at Jensen’s bowed head—and raised a gun.
The trailer went quiet until Kim cursed. Someone else, awe in their voice, said, “Fuck, that’s not even a
prop gun.”
Jared’s breath lodged in his throat. No.
Bill’s voice came over the feed, steady, with a hint of smug. “Look at me, Jensen. I want to see your
face.” The sound of the gun being cocked was so loud that it seemed to echo not only in the bathroom,
but through the feed and throughout the trailer, too.
Jared barely heard Eric shriek at someone to call the police. The resulting scramble around him as
people reached for cell phones never even registered in his mind. His eyes were glued to the screen, to
the digitally formatted Jensen that he couldn’t get to, couldn’t help.
He watched Jensen warily lift his head, watched his eyes widen slightly at the sight of the gun, which
obviously surprised the hell out of him. He watched as Bill laughed at the look on Jensen’s face,
watched as Bill stroked his free hand up and down the metal of the gun, and said, “Like it? It’s a
Winchester. Got it just for you. Thought you’d appreciate that.”
No, Jared thought numbly, the only word in his head that seemed capable of making it past the panic
that had settled like fog in the corners of his mind. No, Jared thought over and over, one word repeated
desperately like a mantra, in time with his pounding heart.
“You can cut the act, dollface. You’re pretty, but I know you’re not dumb enough to fall for the roofied
drink twice.”
Jensen opened his mouth to say something, but Bill cut him off. “Don’t talk. I don’t need to hear you; I
don’t want to hear you. That mouth of yours is only good for one thing, boy.”
This can’t be happening.
“This is what we’re going to do. You’re going to show me where you have the hidden cameras, and
then I’m going to watch you destroy the tapes.” Bill laughed again. “Thought you’d set me up? Thought
you’d catch me in the act, didn’t you, while we were both here alone? Nice try, dollface. You know how
much I’ve gotten from pretty-faced actors without ever getting caught? Think you’re going to be the
one to stop that?”
Waving the gun in the air, he said, “Now come over here.”
Jensen didn’t move, only stared up at him from across the bathroom, eyes wide, face expressionless.
Jared could see his chest rising and falling with each quick, shallow breath. He could see him thinking,
They’re watching this. They’re gonna come through that door any minute now.
Bill flicked the lock on the restroom door. “Aw, now c’mon, Jenny, don’t be like that. Don’t make me
shoot you in the leg and have to drag you over here by the hair. That just wouldn’t be fun.” With a
laugh, he added, “Well, not for you, anyway.”
Hesitantly, slowly, Jensen started to get up. “No,” Bill said, motioning with the gun. “On your knees. I
want you to come to me on your knees.”
Even over the screen, Jared could make out the blush creeping up Jensen’s neck, to his face, where a
delicate deep pink settled across his cheeks.
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Through a clenched jaw, Jared ground out, to no one in particular, “Get him out of there. Now.”
Among the chaos taking place in the trailer, if anyone answered Jared, he didn’t hear them.
Instead of getting up or moving forward, Jensen flattened his back against the wall and said, “Screw
you.”
Bill shot out the hand blower on the wall above Jensen’s head.
No.
Sparks flew out from the abused piece of equipment, and Jared could see Jensen hitting the floor, with
his hands wrapped protectively around his head.
No.
This isn’t happening.
“You trying to gauge just how serious I am, Jennyboy? Trying to see just how far you can push me
before I shoot you in the face? You know, you’ve been testing me for too long. I’ve been pretty patient,
but it’s starting to wear thin. Now I’m telling you I’ve pretty much had enough after two years. On your
knees, Jensen.”
Not happening. Fuck. This can’t be real.
By now Bill was unhooking his belt, yanking it out of its belt loops, unbuttoning his pants, and waving
the gun in Jensen’s direction. “Forget it. I want you to crawl to me on your hands and knees. Get you a
little filthy first. Get that pretty skin a little gritty for me.”
Jared spun around to Kim, who was standing behind him. “Where are they?”
“We called the police. They’re on their—”
“No, where’s Jensen? What bathroom is that? It looks familiar. I know it’s on the lot.”
There was a moment of uncertainty before Kim finally said, “It’s the bathroom the staff uses. It’s in the
—”
“I know where that is.”
Over the audio feed, Jensen said, “Go to hell.”
Had it been any other time, under different circumstances, Jared might have whooped and hollered. As
it was, he turned back to the screen in time to see Bill positioning himself in a stand over a still-sitting
Jensen. The gun was no longer across the room, but now under Jensen’s chin, tilting his head up at an
awkward angle, forcing him to stretch his neck and look directly up at Bill.
Jared had his foot over the threshold when Kim said, “Jared, if you burst in there—”
“It’s Jensen.”
“I know.”
“It’s Jensen,” Jared repeated, and what it really meant was, I have to.
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Playing out on the screen, as if it were only a movie, Bill said, “Suck it,” to which Jensen answered,
“Fuck you,” and clamped his mouth shut.
Jared was already out the door and pounding down the trailer steps when the second shot rang out.
--------Kicking at the men’s bathroom door did nothing.
Heaving his full body weight against it in desperation pretty much did the trick.
The door slammed open and knocked back against the inside restroom wall. Bill turned, mouth slack
with surprise.
There was no time for thought, no time for rational planning, no time for huh, this might get me killed.
There was only Jared and Jensen and a madman with a gun.
There was only the briefest moment in which Jared had the element of surprise working in his favor.
Without thought, he latched on to his only advantage, crunched across thousands of shards of glass
from the shot-out and destroyed bathroom mirror, and, stupidly, ignoring the gun, heaved himself into
Bill.
Bill, Jared, and the gun crashed backwards into the opposite wall.
Using his weight and height to his advantage, Jared body slammed Bill into the tiled-wall, throwing all
of his anger and frustration and fear for Jensen’s life into it. Frantically, Bill tried to aim the gun at
Jared’s face, at Jared’s head, at Jared’s neck. He was swinging the damn thing around wildly, but Jared
had no hand to spare in restraining Bill’s flailing gun arm. Eventually he got off a shot that shattered
one of the urinals.
Jensen appeared out of nowhere. It was a surprise to Jared, because he had thought Jensen was down
for the count, hurt on the floor, or… or worse. But, no. He was suddenly up and right at Jared’s side,
gripping Bill’s wrist and twisting, wrenching, whamming the other man’s gun hand into the wall over
and over until there was a dull pop, a scream, and Bill’s hand went limp.
Jensen caught the gun just as it slipped from Bill’s loose grasp.
As Bill sagged in Jared’s grip, whimpering over his wrist, cursing at them, Jared kneed him in the balls.
Bill slid to the floor in a groaning heap.
Jared turned to Jensen, who was staring at the gun, almost as if in a daze.
Jared’s voice came out hushed. “Jen?” And when Jensen failed to acknowledge him, staring only at the
gun, Jared reached over and covered Jensen’s hand with his own.
It wasn’t until Jared gently pulled the gun out of his hand that Jensen finally looked up at him.
Jared started to say, “Are you—” when dozens of people began streaming into the bathroom. So intent
was he at making sure Jensen was all right that Jared didn’t register who the people were until one
uniformed man plucked the gun out of Jared’s hand and another put a hand on Jensen’s shoulder and
guided him out of the bathroom, saying something about needing to get a statement.
Several minutes later, outside the bathroom, in the cool Vancouver air, Bill was brought out in
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handcuffs.
It was one of the most beautiful sights Jared had ever seen.
One of the officers asked Jensen if he’d like to press charges, and Jared almost snorted, Hell yes! out
loud.
Jensen, on the other hand, merely looked Bill dead in the eye and deadpanned, “Yes.”
Quietly, in his head, Jared was whooping and hollering.
--------Jared followed Jensen to his trailer, not even comprehending where they were going or what was going
on.
Once inside, Jared’s fingers itched to touch Jensen, skim over his body, feather across his face, make
sure he really was okay.
But for some unexplainable reason, Jared, instead, blurted out, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Jensen raised an eyebrow at him. “Tell you what?”
“The plan with Eric.”
“Knew you’d freak out,” Jensen said simply, and flopped down onto the couch.
“Yeah, so what? This was big, Jen, huge, and you didn’t even tell me.”
“I knew you’d worry. I didn’t want you to—”
“Talk you out of it,” Jared supplied.
“No, that’s not it.”
“You knew I wouldn’t let you do it.”
As soon as Jensen’s head snapped up like a marionette on a string, Jared realized he’d just said the
wrong damn thing.
“Let me?”
“I mean—”
“You don’t get to tell me what I can and can’t do.”
The leftover adrenaline coursed through Jared’s veins, and later, maybe he could blame the next words
out of his mouth on the fact that they’d both almost just met up with a bullet.
“Well, maybe I should, because you almost got yourself killed today—almost got us both killed.”
Jensen’s eyes flashed, golden-green melting into something darker. “Since when do you make decisions
for me? I don’t belong to you.”
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“Yeah, you do.” As soon as the words rolled over his tongue, Jared sucked in a breath and pressed a
hand to his mouth.” Ooohhh no. Oh nonono.
That really didn’t come out right.
“The fuck, Jared? You think you own me or something?” Jensen was up and on his feet, pointing at the
door. “Get out.”
Now would probably be a really bad time to backtrack and try to explain that whole you belong to me,
I belong to you, we belong to each other crap that Jared had grown up believing came hand and hand
with love, and finding The One. Because, yeah. Right now? Not sounding so great.
“No, I meant… I—”
“Just get out. I’m not in the mood to deal with this right now.”
Desperation and adrenaline don’t mix well. Apparently. Because, without really realizing what the hell
he was doing, Jared suddenly found himself leaning in, trapping Jensen against the wall with one hand
pressed to the plaster on each side of Jensen’s shoulders, feet planted wide outside of Jensen’s,
effectively pinning him in and preventing him from getting away.
When his back hit the wall, Jensen said, “What are you doing?” Those quick, shallow little breaths
started up again, the same ones Jensen had had going on in the bathroom with Bill and the gun.
“You gotta understand, I didn’t mean it like that, Jen. I would never—God, I don’t think of us like that...
don’t think of you like that.” His words didn’t seem to be registering, because Jensen was too busy
trying to duck under one of Jared’s arms. “Wait,” Jared said, pleaded, and put a hand on Jensen’s
shoulder to push him back into the wall.
“Back off.”
“I’m not gonna… Christ, do you think I’m gonna hurt you or something?”
“Get outta my face, Jared.”
The though hit Jared hard and quick, like a knife to the chest: You don’t trust me.
“You think I would hurt you… on purpose?”
“I swear. If you don’t move, I’m gonna take a swing at you.”
Immediately, Jared back away. As soon as Jensen had the smallest amount of space, he put his hands
on Jared’s chest and shoved him hard, hard enough for Jared to stumble backwards and barely save his
ass from hitting the floor.
Jensen was at the door, Jared a step behind like a loyal puppy, when Jensen turned on him. “Don’t
follow me.”
No.
Wait.
NO.
Jared’s mouth flapped open wordlessly, brows threading together in a confused line.
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Voice low, Jensen said, “I’m going home,” a beat, “Don’t be there.”
Don’t be there.
Don’t be there?
Shoved by the wind, the door slapped shut behind Jensen.
And all Jared really wanted to know was what the hell had just happened.
{End of part 16}
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= 17 =
To Trust
Series/Verse: Part 17 of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out
of control.
Summary: It’s all a matter of trust.
Type: Real people
Rating: R
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 6,703
Warnings: Excessive amounts of schmoop and angst, mild cursing, abuse of ellipses, some of the
dialogue involves something of a sensitive nature.
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale, which means it’s all fakefakefake.
AN: Sorry for the long wait on this installment. I’m almost scared to post this one, because… because I
planned on taking it here for the last couple of weeks, but now I’m doubtful. *bites nails* And there’s
something I should warn you about under the warnings section, but I can’t think of a way to word it so
that it doesn’t ruin the rest of the chapter. The last thing I want to do is offend anyone because
I didn’t give any sort of warning at all. So, even though the warning is incredibly vague,
just know that there is something in this chapter that is considered a sensitive subject.
“Please, just… shit… Jensen, wait! Just stop a minute and listen to me! Would you just—”
Jared was in such a hurry that he nearly tripped and fell down the trailer steps when his jacket sleeve
got caught on the door handle and yanked him backwards.
He growled at the jacket, jerked his arm so hard that he heard the unmistakable sound of ripping
material, and jumped down the steps, easily skipping three of them altogether.
Despite Jensen’s head start, Jared caught up to him halfway across the parking. Without thinking, he
used his long reach to his advantage, swept his arm out, and closed his fingers around Jensen’s upper
arm, stopping Jensen dead in his tracks on the way to his car.
Almost as if Jared had him hooked to a large rubber band, Jensen jerked backwards when Jared gave a
small but firm tug on his arm.
“Don’t,” Jensen said, in a voice low and full of warning.
“You can’t just… I mean. Jesus, Jensen. We need to talk about—”
“Let go of me, Jared.”
Jensen made a move to pull free, but Jared grasped his shoulder with his other hand, fingers clutching
and fisting in Jensen’s jacket.
“No,” Jared said, “not gonna let you leave like this, not until you give me a chance to—”
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Before Jared could finish, Jensen twisted out of his grasp, wrenched away, stumbled backwards a little,
and, much to Jared’s surprise, doubled over so far that his head nearly touched his knees.
Jared froze, mouth still open in mid sentence, as a weird wheezing sound rose around them. He
glanced around the empty parking lot wildly, then, with a jolt, he realized, Shit. It’s Jensen making that
noise.
What the hell?
He didn’t remember closing the space between them so quickly, just that he was suddenly there at
Jensen’s side, one large hand splayed across Jensen’s hunched back. “Jen? What’s wrong? What’s going
on?”
From between his legs, Jensen shook his head, a slight shift to the left and to the right, and rasped
out, “Don’t.”
“What’s happening?”
Jensen managed to turn his head to the left, enough that Jared could catch a glimpse of his pained
expression: forehead a tight line; wide, fearful eyes flicking up to Jared’s face before squeezing shut
tightly; and mouth open in a wide O as he sucked air in through his mouth in a raspy, rough, desperate
way.
And all Jared could say was, “Shit. What do I do?”
Jensen reached out and tried to fumble-swat Jared’s helping hand away, to bat it off of his back.
“Don’t,” he wheezed, “don’t touch me.”
Jared yanked his hand back and pulled away so fast that he almost fell. All he could do was stand
there, helpless, and watch Jensen plant his palms on his knees and, from the looks of it, try to take
slow, deep breaths of air in through his nose and out through his mouth.
“I… I don’t understand what’s happening? Are you okay? Should I call someone?”
Jensen didn’t answer.
You’re scaring me. Jen. Please. Just. Just.
Be okay.
Jared thought there should be a rule: Jensen shouldn’t be allowed to scare the crap out of him twice in
one day like this. It just wasn’t fair.
After ten minutes, Jensen’s breaths started coming out smoother, less raspy and more even. Jared
watched from a safe distance of several feet away as Jensen slowly rose from his doubled over hunch,
swept his eyes upwards, shook his head once, and dipped crazily to the side, flapping his arms almost
comically.
Jared’s hands were on him, steadying and balancing, supporting and holding, while Jensen pinched his
eyes shut and clutched at Jared’s shirt, unwittingly leaning into Jared’s frame.
His arm snaked around Jensen’s back, and it was only then that Jared realized he was trembling. It was
just slight, but it was there, definitely noticeable. Plus, his skin had taken on a pale, almost greenish
color. And that just couldn’t be normal.
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With one hand, Jared rubbed his back, with the other, he petted Jensen’s hair, soft voice murmuring,
“It’s all right, it’ll be okay, Jen, whatever it is… it’s okay. I can fix it. I got ya.” Really, he didn’t know
what he was saying, just spilling out the first words that came to mind.
In response, Jensen merely shook his head and breathed deeply into Jared’s chest for a few more
minutes.
Soon, he finally pulled back, pushing Jared away gently, and said, “I’m okay now.” He turned in the
direction of his car. “I’m gonna head home.”
Jared blinked in surprise. Whoa. What?
“Wait a minute,” Jared called. “You can’t drive after what just happened.” But Jensen was moving at a
fast pace, already halfway to his car, so Jared had to lope across the pavement to catch up with him.
Without looking around, Jensen threw over his shoulder, “I’m fine. It’s over.”
This time, instead of grabbing Jensen, he jumped in front of him, his arms held out in a stop gesture,
and yeah, so maybe he looked like a lunatic. Whatever. It wasn’t safe for Jensen to drive after that kind
of… freakout, or whatever it was. “Dude, you could drive off the road or into something. Nuh uh. No.”
And with that, Jared did the first thing that popped into his mind: He snatched the car keys out of
Jensen’s hand.
There was a moment of surprise on both their parts, and then Jensen’s face went hard and rigid. “The
hell? Give me my keys back.”
“I’ll drive you to your place and drop you off. It’s on the way to my apartment, anyway. No problem.”
Again, Jensen said, “Give me my keys back,” this time harder, but with a steely cold that made Jared
take a step back.
Jensen made a sudden grab for the keys. Jared stumbled backward, almost faltered. Out of reflex, he
held the keys above his head, where Jensen couldn’t reach them. If he’d had time to stop and think
about that move, he would’ve realized just how ridiculous it was, and that, with the mood Jensen was
in, he’d instantly be insulted.
Reaching up, Jensen said, “Hey!”
Jared’s voice came out apologetic. “Listen, I’m sorry. But you’re not driving home after that… episode. I
can’t let you.”
“That’s a cheap move, Jared.” Jensen tried to snatch the keys again, but Jared dangled them up and
away.
“You could veer off the road and—ooff.” There was no warning, just Jensen’s palms flat on Jared’s
chest, and Jensen shoving him hard, backwards. Jared staggered back, barely managed to catch
himself from tripping and falling.
He expected Jensen to take advantage of his weak moment and spring for the keys. But when he
glanced back up, Jensen was just standing there, breathing rather hard and glaring at him.
Jared said, “You… you wanna take a swing at me, don’t you?”
A beat of silence, and then, tight and strained, Jensen said, “I just want my keys back.”
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Jared planted his feet, readied himself for another attack. “Sorry, man, but no.”
“I don’t wanna fight you, Jared.”
“I don’t wanna fight you, either.”
“Then give me my keys.”
“Can’t.”
Jensen took a step towards Jared but stopped several feet from him. “I don’t,” he paused to run a hand
down his face, “I don’t wanna do this right now.”
Jared’s voice softened, launching into the comforting tone he’d once used on a stray kitten he’d found
outside his back door, and had tried to lure into his place to feed a can of tuna. “I’ll drive you home
right now, and we can come back and get your car tomorrow. Okay?”
“Screw you,” Jensen growled, no real force behind his words, just a weary emptiness, as he hunched
his shoulders.
Well, it had worked on the kitten. One out of two wasn’t too bad.
“My car’s over there.” Jared nodded in the direction he’d parked his car, and Jensen, surprisingly, turned
and quietly stalked towards it.
Yeah, Jared though grimly, this is just… great.
As he sulked after Jensen to the car, dragging his feet like a dejected puppy, he vaguely wondered how
his relationship with Jensen had taken nearly five months to build, and only one afternoon to destroy.
Funny how these things worked.
Well, funny in that shitty kind of way.
--------“So what was that back there?”
Not only did Jensen remain quiet, but he also turned his head away from Jared, towards the window.
As if he actually gave a crap about the Vancouver scenery. Right.
Jared’s fingers tightened around the wheel. Don’t do this. Just talk to me. “I’m worried about you.”
“I’m fine,” Jensen told the window.
“You didn’t look fine back there in the parking lot.”
They were only ten minutes from Jensen’s apartment. Jared didn’t have nearly as much time as he
needed to pry Jensen’s many problems and insecurities out into the open.
“In fact,” Jared pushed, “you kinda looked like you were about to pass out.” At that, he risked another
quick glance over at Jensen.
“I’m fine,” Jensen repeated, and chewed on the inside of his lip, a sure sign that he was far from fine.
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“You can tell me anything.”
“I don’t want to tell you.”
Oh.
At that, Jensen closed his eyes and rested the side of his head against the window so that Jared got a
view of his profile. Just as Jared thought, Faking napping till we get there. He’s more like Dean than I
thought, Jensen said, “It was a panic attack.”
His voice was so normal when he said it, almost conversational, that Jared did a quick double-take
between Jensen and the road, before blurting out, “A what?”
“A panic attack.” His head was still against the window, eyes shut, lips barely forming the words.
“I…” Jared barely braked in time for a red light. “I didn’t know you got panic attacks.” Worked with him
for two years… wouldn’t I have noticed?
A small portion of the window fogged with Jensen’s tired sigh. “They’re not a big deal.”
It looked like a pretty big deal from where I was standing. “Oh. So how long have you had them?”
Jensen’s eyes creaked open, squinting against the setting sun they were driving towards. He pulled his
head from the window, slumped down in the seat, and stared straight ahead. Eventually letting his
head fall back against the seat, eyes flicking briefly over to Jared, he said, “I used to get them a lot
when I was a kid.”
It was weird, but Jared felt like they were on the edge of something, something important, some small
key to understanding Jensen a little better. So, naturally, he slowed his speed down to make the short
trip to Jensen’s apartment last a little longer.
It was just before the sun started its decent to meet the horizon, a time of day when the roads were
fairly empty. Jared felt safe enough to turn to Jensen and let his gaze linger there, over Jensen’s loose
sprawl in the seat, arms folded comfortably over his chest, head tipped back as he stared at something
fascinating on the roof of Jared’s car.
And suddenly, not for the first time, Jared wanted nothing more than to gather Jensen in his arms, tuck
those long, slender, slouched limbs alongside his own body—against the places where he already knew
they fit perfectly—and not move for a day or so. Heck, maybe even a week.
As though he could feel Jared’s eyes on him, Jensen lifted his head and met Jared’s gaze head on.
“Shouldn’t you be watching the road?”
Jared’s eyes flicked back to the street. “So, uh. Why didn’t you ever tell me about these panic attacks?”
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Jensen shrug. “Told you, they’re not a big deal. ‘Sides, I haven’t
had one since I was fifteen.”
“Fifteen?” Jared’s head swung back to Jensen. “Dude, that’s a long time.”
“Yeah.”
“But now you had one again. After all this time. What does that mean?”
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“That almost dying is stressful.”
“Huh.”
“Hey,” Jensen motioned out the window, “you’re passing my apartment building.”
Jared grunted, slammed on the brakes, and nearly sent the car into a ditch as he whipped the wheel
around to make the turn.
Jensen drawled out a loud and very Texas-sounding, “Dangit, Jay!” as he braced his hands on the
dashboard to keep from flying forward.
“Sorry, my bad,” Jared mumbled, then grinned a little at Jensen’s Texas showing.
When the car pulled to a stop in a nearby parking space, Jensen took a moment to eye Jared. “Nice
one.”
“I got skills.”
Jensen snorted, Jared laughed, and for a minute it almost felt like things were okay again.
But then, as sure as Monday rolls around every seven days, Jared had to open his mouth. “Why did you
start getting panic attacks so young?”
Even in the lessening light, he could see Jensen’s jaw hardening. “I’m not talking about this.”
Jared frowned. There it was—that wall that Jensen too often put up around Jared, like he had
something to hide. “Not talking about this with me, you mean?”
“With anybody,” Jensen said, and slid out of the car, slamming the door behind him.
So.
At least that went well.
--------Like a stalker, Jared sat in the car, in the pure darkness of the parking lot, far past twilight, and
watched the light in Jensen’s apartment window. The way the day had gone, he wouldn’t have been
surprised if a cop had appeared at his window, tapped, and suggested a trip downtown—in handcuffs.
Because wouldn’t that have just been the perfect end to a perfectly shitty day?
The light beyond the curtains was flickering. TV, Jared guessed. He wondered what Jensen was
watching, if he was having dinner, what he was having to eat, how it had ended up that he wasn’t up
there with him right now, cuddling and goofing off and learning each other.
He wondered why life was so damn sucky.
Damnit, he hadn’t worked this hard to win Jensen over, just to have one afternoon with a stupid plan
and a stupid gun and a few stupid words ruin all of it.
With that, he got out of the car and trudged up to Jensen’s door, knocking lightly on it, then banging a
little harder.
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It was almost somewhat of a surprise when Jensen actually opened the door. Leaning on it, he stared
at Jared, then said, “What took you so long?”
Jared shoved his hands into his jacket pockets and directed his eyes to the floor. He paused, brushed
some hair out of his eyes. “I…” Wait. What?
And just like that he found himself right in Jensen’s space, standing directly in front of him, grappling
pathetically at the lightweight green t-shirt he was wearing, frantically smoothing his hands down
Jensen’s chest, over his shoulders, down his arms, a light touch on each hip and each thigh.
As Jared unconsciously backed Jensen into the apartment and away from the door, Jensen said, “You’ve
been sitting out there in your car, for what? Three hours now?”
In response, Jared simply lifted Jensen’s chin, held his face in his hands for several seconds, and then
moved on to clumsily fondling every single feature, every single dip and curve of Jensen’s face.
Silently, his thumbs ran back and forth over Jensen’s cheekbones, while the rest of his fingers engulfed
Jensen’s face in light caresses across his forehead, down his nose, along the dip under his bottom lip,
and then from his chin down to the curve of his neck, and back up to trace the shell of each ear, circle
each temple. The whole time, Jared’s eyes tracked the path his fingers were taking, visually lingered on
each area to make sure every part of Jensen was still intact and hadn’t been damaged by Bill.
Jensen started to say something, something that sounded like, “Jeez… Jesus… you. You,” but Jared
wrapped his arms around Jensen, slipped his hands to Jensen’s shoulder blades to pull him in even
closer, and clung to him like an oversized monkey, held him so tightly it seemed as though he wanted
to absorb Jensen into his body. Jensen’s words died on his lips as he stilled and went completely
motionless while Jared pressed Jensen’s face into his shoulder and dipped his own head down to
breathe in the faint smell of shampoo clinging to Jensen’s damp hair.
And then the words came, spilling without any warning from Jared’s lips into Jensen’s hair: “When he
had that gun under your chin… shit… Jen… shit… I thought I was gonna lose you… thought I was
gonna see you die right there… fuckshitshit you just don’t know… God… God, I love you… don’t wanna
ever see anything happen to you… can’t see anything happen to you… God, Jen… don’t you… don’t you
ever pull anything like that again… you scared the crap outta me… you’re such a stubborn dumbass…”
Jared pulled away just far enough to lean back and frame Jensen’s face in two large paws again.
Jensen merely watched him with an even expression, one eyebrow quirked slightly, even as he allowed
Jared to shamelessly paw and stroke and fondle and cling to him.
“I’m sorry, Jen, I’m sorry. All the shit I said back in your trailer… I know I don’t own you… never meant
it like that… ‘cause you own me, too… and and I… I thought I’d never get to touch you again… hold
you… fuck, Jensen, what the fuck were you thinking… s’fucking dangerous, what you did… God.”
Once again, Jared plastered himself to Jensen’s body, all impossibly long arms and legs and torso and
wide shoulders and warmth easily circling around Jensen like a vine.
Fingers twined through the back of Jared’s hair, massaging his scalp as Jensen said, “Jared.”
And Jared’s only response was to groan out, “Don’t,” and to tip so far into Jensen that his face ended
up buried in the moist hairs at the nape of Jensen’s neck, and he was dangerously close to tipping
them both over and onto the floor.
He could feel Jensen’s face turning into the side of his neck, could feel him breathing hot air into his
skin. He could feel Jensen patting his back with his free hand, and most importantly, not objecting to
this almost embarrassing display of affection.
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They might have stood like that for ten minutes or so before Jensen attempted to move, a slight wiggle
in Jared’s tight grasp. When Jared still wouldn’t budge, he said, “Jay… Jay, c’mon, I can’t breathe. Your
hair’s all up my nose.”
Jared immediately pulled away at those words, but then his lips were on Jensen’s forehead, skimming
gently down the bridge of his nose, counting freckles in his mind’s eye, and following the same path his
fingers had taken minutes ago. It was partly a breath of air on Jensen’s skin and partly a whisper when
Jared spoke: “Gimme another chance?”
“You know I will, man.”
Actually, I didn’t know. But, okay.
This is good… this is awesome.
Against Jensen’s cheek, Jared sighed out, “Still can’t believe you went with one of Eric’s plans.”
“It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
Lips pausing, hovering over Jensen’s left cheek, Jared let out a groan. “You can put Dean’s life in his
hands, but not yours. I mean, the dude creates yellow-eyed demons for a living, Jense. And he came
up with the word meat-suit, and then he got all excited about actually using it.”
“Point taken.”
Jared moved to Jensen’s shoulder, nudged at the thin shirt material with his nose, then kissed the warm
skin underneath. “Just don’t want anything to happen to you.”
“I know. I’m… I’m sorry.”
“I want you to be able to tell me things.”
“Okay.”
Again, Jared pulled away, looked down into Jensen’s upturned face. “You trust me, right?”
Maybe it was the part where Jensen didn’t answer fast enough. Or maybe it was the part where he
didn’t answer at all, just looked to the side, instead of at Jared’s face.
Either way, it gave Jared a bad sinking feeling in his stomach, kind of like that time he had six plates of
food at that questionable all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet down the street from his apartment.
Jared took a step back. “You don’t trust me?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“You might as well have.”
“I… I never said that. I do trust you.”
And maybe he was pushing it, but Jared said, “Fully?”
Never a good sign: Jensen winced.
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“Why don’t you trust me?” Jared asked, almost desperately. It was strange and startling, this almost
frantic need to hear Jensen say I love you, and yeah, I totally trust you. In fact, I totally trust you was
quickly becoming just as important as the I love you part, which came as a surprise to Jared.
By the look creeping across Jensen’s features, Jared could tell he was verbally backing Jensen into a
corner. But damnit, Jared thought, if he doesn’t trust me now, what the hell happens when we—
“I don’t trust anybody,” Jensen blurted out, then winced again, as if he hadn’t meant to say that, as if
he’d meant to say something else entirely, and the words that had ended up coming out surprised him.
Running a hand through his hair, Jared nodded and said, “Will you ever trust me?”
“I…” Jensen looked up at him, then glanced away quickly and repeated, “I don’t trust anybody
completely. Ever.”
Well, crap. “Why?”
“I just… don’t.”
Jared nodded. “I know this business is full of assholes, and you’ve run into a lot of them, but you need
to let go of some of your paranoia. You gotta let me in all the way for this thing we have to work. I
need you to trust me.”
Finally Jensen looked up at that, his eyes flashing. “Look,” he said, moving closer to Jared, looking up
at him defiantly, challenging, “I told you I was fucked up. I told you I have issues. You already knew
this relationship wasn’t gonna be an overnight thing for me. It’s not like one morning I’m going to wake
up and be a different person. I’m the same guy you professed your sappy, gooey, undying love to five
months ago. The only difference now is that you know just how screwed up I am. If you want to bail
because my baggage is too much to handle, it’s okay. Go ahead and leave.”
Jared wasn’t entirely sure, but he might have been gaping at Jensen.
Jensen motioned at the door. “Go ahead. I won’t blame you for it. We’ll forget any of this ever
happened.”
Jared’s jaw snapped back into place. He glanced over his shoulder at the still-open door, then turned
back to Jensen. “No… wait… I… you… what are you doing?”
“I’m giving you an out.”
“I don’t want an out. I want you.”
“I need a beer.”
“I want your complete trust.”
“Several beers.”
Jensen turned toward the kitchen and Jared followed close behind, unwilling to let Jensen out of his
sight at this point. When Jared came up behind him, he straightened from his lean into the depths of
the fridge and pressed a cold beer into Jared’s hand.
It wasn’t until they’d both taken a long pull that Jensen said, “Maybe I do want you to bail. It’s easier
that way.”
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“What’s easier that way?”
“Everything.” Jensen took another large gulp of the liquid.
Jared set his bottle on the counter. “Have you been waiting for an opportunity to end this?”
Jensen’s lack of an answer was answer enough.
Jared said, “Why?”
“Because I’m scared.” As though he’d once again said something he hadn’t meant to, Jensen eyes
widened and he chugged half the beer down in one gulp.
Jared’s head titled to the side. “You’re scared?”
“Yeah, I dunno… maybe, I guess.”
“Of what?”
“I dunno.”
“Me?”
“No. Dude, no. It’s not like that.”
“Then what’s it like, Jen?”
“It’s…” Jensen put the beer down on the counter and shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans.
Hunching his shoulders, he continued, “I don’t get close to people—never this close. I never let
relationships go this far… and if they ever do get this far, it’s not because of love.” His eyes twitched up
to Jared’s face, then back to the floor. “It’s always about sex. And even then, it never lasts. Because I
don’t… I’ve never wanted it to. And now you came and fucked all of that up.”
Jared didn’t know whether to be proud or insulted. “So you’re pissed at me because what we have is
something different that you’re not used to it?”
“No. I’m scared, because I don’t know… I just don’t know about this. I don’t know if I can handle this.”
“But it’s good, what we have. Right?”
“Right. But—”
Jared closed the space between them, crossing the tile floor in three large strides. “Then stop,” his
arms curled around the back of Jensen’s neck, ready to pull him in, “thinking so hard about it. You’re
overanalyzing it, dude. Not supposed to analyze love like this. Just supposed to go with it.”
There was a light touch on each of Jared’s shoulders, and Jensen gently pushed him away. “It’s been a
long day. Think I’m just gonna go to bed.”
Jared blinked at him, not understanding.
Jensen said, “So I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Oh. “You want me to leave?”
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“I… I don’t wanna deal with this tonight. I just wanna sleep.”
“What’s there to deal with?” He watched Jensen suck his bottom lip into his mouth and dart his eyes
around the kitchen, as if searching for the nearest escape route.
Jensen didn’t answer him.
“What is it? What’s wrong? Why don’t you want me?” It was meant to be why don’t you want me here
tonight, but somehow Jared forgot the last word, or waited too long to add it, or something. Because it
really wasn’t supposed to come out that needy.
“Stop.”
“Jense, c’mon, I’m just trying to understand you. You know how hard you are to figure out?”
“Go home, Jared.”
But Jared was picking up speed, on a roll, halfway to pleading by now. “Just tell me what’s wrong, Jen.
I wanna understand. Whatever it is, whatever’s bothering you so much about this, we can figure out a
way to work it out.”
“Can we not do this tonight?”
Jared went on, not really hearing Jensen’s words. “You’re like this… this,” he threw his hands out to the
sides, “this crazy 30,000-piece puzzle that doesn’t come with a picture on the box. And every time I
think I have you figured out… I don’t… and I have to start the puzzle all over again.”
The only response was Jensen shaking his head from side to side, eyes suddenly wide and bright and
shiny in the harsh kitchen light, throat working as he visibly swallowed hard several times.
“And you confuse me and drive me crazy, ‘cause you’re like the best addiction ever and I love you and I
know I’ll never stop trying to figure you out, but you gotta help me… you gotta give me something
here, Jense. Please, just… something to work with…it’s like I’m missing some pieces or something. And
I don’t know what else to do to earn your trust.”
When Jared looked up, he was met with the Dean look—the lost little boy look that said, oh shit I’m
about to cry or break or say something I shouldn’t, and I won’t break down, I can’t.
When Jensen merely shook his head again and nodded his chin towards the door, Jared backed up, but
didn’t shut up or leave. It was a last attempt to get Jensen to do or say something, though Jared didn’t
quite understand what he was aiming for, what he was hoping for with all of this.
Jensen said, “We’re not doing this.” And it sounded a lot like please don’t do this; it sounded a lot like
begging.
Still, Jared pitched his voice low, tilted his head to the side, and added, “Man, sometimes I wish you
could just shut up and go with it and trust me and—”
“I was molested as a kid.”
Jared stopped dead, mid sentence, forgot to breathe for a few seconds there, eyes slowly going wide
as the words sunk in, mind going, No… wait. That can’t be right. I didn’t hear it right.
Jensen’s eyes were large, unblinking, and frozen on Jared. An innumerable amount of time passed with
neither man moving, only staring at each other across the kitchen, until Jensen brought a hand up to
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his mouth and said, “Shit.” He paused, breathing fast and hard. “Shitshitshit.”
Shit, Jared repeated in his head. Shit. What… I… he… SHIT.
What do I?
Somewhere in there, between all of the shits, Jensen had backed into the area where the counters
created a 90 degree angle, cornered himself.
Before Jared even considered taking a step forward, before he’d even had a chance to decide what the
hell to do, Jensen doubled over again. He sucked in the noisiest breath Jared had ever heard, and
wheezed out, “Oh, God.”
“Are you…?” having another panic attack? Crap.
“Can’t… breathe.”
Neither can I. This… this… this is… Oh, God.
Jared crossed the kitchen. When he touched Jensen’s shoulder, Jensen flinched away so abruptly that
he nearly caught his head on the edge of the counter.
“Don’t… please, Ja—Jar-ed… don’t… I… got it… under… control… just don’t… shit…”
The wheezing grew louder until it was practically echoing off the kitchen tiles, echoing throughout the
whole apartment. Jared grabbed his shoulders and forced him upright, pushed him back against the
counter to get him to lean into it for support. “Look right here,” Jared said, and tapped the end of his
nose. “Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, just like in the parking lot. Don’t
think about anything else.”
With wild, panicky, frightened eyes, Jensen watched Jared demonstrate, and then breathed in a loud,
scratchy breath in time with Jared’s. Then another, and another, until he was taking deep, even breaths
in perfect synch with Jared’s.
Minutes later, in a hushed voice, Jared asked, “Okay?”
“Yeah. Just kinda nauseas. It’ll go away in a minute.”
“Jesus.”
“It’s just… I just…” Jensen stopped to swipe his arm across his face, and Jared noticed he was
sweating, little drops beading on his forehead and across his upper lip. Without a word, he wet a paper
towel with cold water from the faucet and handed it to Jensen, who took it and wiped it across his face
and down his neck. “I’ve never told anyone. I’ve never even said it out loud before.”
Jared merely nodded, and Jensen went on. “Because it was my uncle. And I was young and stupid, and
I believed him when he said my parents would kick me out of the family if I ever told.”
Hesitantly, Jared touched Jensen’s arm.
“I’m fucked up,” Jensen said. “I didn’t want you to know… I didn’t want you to look at me differently.”
Jared shook his head, curved his hand around Jensen’s elbow.
“Even after… when I was older, I still didn’t want anyone to know, because I let it happen for years.”
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“You didn’t let it. You were a kid.”
“I know. But I could’ve told, just like I could’ve told Eric about the Bill thing two years ago, before it got
outta hand.”
Jared opened his mouth to protest that statement, but Jensen plowed on, almost rambling Jared-style
by now. “And I think, sometimes… it’s like some guys know. The guy from Days, and then Bill… it’s like
they sense it or something. And it’s stupid, but I didn’t want you to see the same thing they saw in
me… it’s fucked up, but I didn’t… I don’t… it’s… and this whole thing with Bill… brought it all back… it’s
like I was a kid again for two years… couldn’t do anything to stop him, and it was pathetic… and I
didn’t handle it right… because I froze up around Bill… and it’s all… it’s fucked up and humiliating and
dirty… and I… I…”
Jared used the hand he had on Jensen’s elbow to guide him into his chest, where he wordlessly
wrapped long arms around his back, blanketing Jensen as if he could protect him from the whole
fucking world.
Into Jared’s collarbone, Jensen said, “I don’t know if I can do this… this relationship with you and
everything that goes with it... I’m trying. I really am… I just… I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m
doing anymore.”
Jared quietly stroked his hair.
Jensen said, “I don’t trust anybody.”
And Jared answered with, “I know.”
--------Side-by-side, facing each other on Jensen’s bed, Jared ran his fingers under Jensen’s chin, lifted his
head up a little, and said, “What’s this… this bruise right here?”
Jensen blinked slow and heavy, as if he’d taken sleeping pills. It seemed to take a full minute for the
question to register. “From Bill’s gun.”
Jared cursed, low and frowning.
“S’not a big deal.”
“The fucker bruised you. I wanna have him killed.”
Jensen let out a quiet little chuckle.
“Jen. I’m serious. He needs to pay. We can hire someone, have him taken out in jail. Someone out
there’ll do it for the right price.”
“No.”
“Please?”
Jensen touched Jared’s cheek with the tips of his fingers, heavy-lidded eyes blinking and focusing on
Jared as he skated a light touch down Jared’s face, to come to a stop at his chin. “We’re not havin’
anybody killed.”
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“Fine,” Jared sighed, pouted a little, and nuzzled his face into the fingers Jensen still had resting softly
on his chin.
“Don’t do that,” Jensen mumbled, fingers moving to feather over Jared’s lips.
“Do what?”
Burrowing further down in the pillows and blankets, Jensen answered, “Pout.”
“You think it’s cute.”
Jensen, conveniently, didn’t answer.
After several minutes of them simply staring at one another, Jensen muttered, “Dude,” his lids drooping
lower and lower and words coming out sleepy, “I think you saved my life today.”
Jared kissed the corner of Jensen’s left eye, getting a tickling of soft, feathery lashes against the side of
his mouth when Jensen started to blink. “All in a day’s work for the Padalecki.”
A lethargic little snort escaped Jensen’s mouth, and he wrinkled his nose. “The Padalecki,” he
murmured. “That’s… that’s really ridiculous.”
“You love it,” Jared said, inching his body in closer to Jensen’s and angling his arm in a way that
allowed it to rest on the pillow, bent at the elbow, leaving his hand free to curve around Jensen’s head
and finger through his hair.
“Not so much, Jare.” His eyes finally fluttered shut on the last word, and Jared thought, God, I love
you.
Just wanna keep you safe.
--------Jared kept his eyes open long into the night, simply lying awake beside Jensen as if standing guard
over him.
It was pretty perfect just lying there with his head pillowed on his arm, watching Jensen sleep, playing
with Jensen’s hair in touches soft enough not to wake, and counting each time Jensen exhaled.
He didn’t sleep, couldn’t.
For a most of the night he studied Jensen: mouth slack and half open, face relaxed and innocent in
sleep, lashes curled dark on his cheeks, moonlight from the window playing along the planes of broad
shoulders, back and chest rising and falling in a comforting rhythm, fingers curled into the pillowcase
right up next to his face.
By two am, he thought he just might know Jensen’s face better than his own. Not that that was a bad
thing. No, never a bad thing.
He was counting out Jensen’s 180th exhale in his head when Jensen stirred for the first time all night.
Eyes barely cracked open, he exhaled out a soft “Jaayyy?” He shuffled on the bed, shifting around
slightly and staring at Jared staring back at him. “What’re you doin’?” he finally asked, his head moving
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slightly, just enough for the tips of his hair to tickle against Jared’s open palm and slide easy and soft
over the pads of his fingers.
Jared answered the only way a man who had almost been shot the day before—and then stayed up all
night—could answer: “You’re fucking perfect.”
Jensen squinted at him for minute, then reached out to poke Jared’s cheek. “Go to sleep.”
Jared noted how childlike he looked with his hair free of gel, ruffled, and sticking up around his face
from being pressed into the pillow and fondled by Jared’s fingers all night. He was a different Jensen in
the middle of the night, all boyishly adorable and open and easygoing, unguarded.
Jared puffed out a slow breath, and then he was curling around him, fitting Jensen into him and
molding them together, turning his body into a protective frame around Jensen.
Jensen hummed a low, “Hmm,” in the back of his throat, like he was considering this new position,
before he snuggled his head into the crook of Jared’s arm, snaked his hand up to Jared’s shirt and
clutched, as if anchoring himself. “So girly,” he drawled.
“S’okay,” Jared said in return. “I won’t tell if you won’t.”
Within seconds, Jensen dropped back into sleep, grip going slack on Jared’s shirt. So Jared closed his
hand over Jensen’s, held it to his chest, and sighed.
He was so tired by now that he couldn’t sleep. Too sleepy to sleep. Heh. He wondered if that was
possible, if maybe, like, people had ever done research on that kinda stuff.
Eventually, he went back to watching Jensen sleep. It was way better than watching TV, anyway.
Muddled, half-formed thoughts started trickling through his head like a slow-moving mountain stream:
He’s so cute when he’s sleeping. One day I should take a picture and show him in the mornin’. Looks
like a little kid, well, ‘cept for the scruff, but that’s cute, too, is that the sun coming up? Dang… no,
wait… just headlights… good… haven’t slept yet, he’s drooling on my arm… that’s kinda gross… I have
to pee, don’t wanna get up, bacon and eggs would be good in the morning… and grits… wonder if
Jensen’s mom ever made him grits… wonder what his mom’s like. Why didn’t he ever tell her about it?
S’posed to be able to tell moms anything…
Half asleep now, Jared glanced down at the peaceful face resting against his arm, thought, Bet he
looked kinda like this when he was a kid… I wanna see a picture… bet he was all freckles and big
green eyes and goofy hair… and all the old ladies on the street wanted to bake him cookies and pinch
his cheeks… I could go for a cookie…
Somewhere in a dream, Jensen sniffed noisily, and Jared thought, God, oh God. Who does that to a
little kid? Who does that to Jensen? It’s… he’s Jensen… Jensen… shit… It’s Jensen. I can’t believe it
happened to Jen… He was all innocent and trusting and little and that… that guy fucked his whole
childhood up… fucked everything up… s’not fair… kids should be happy… Jensen should be happy… just
want Jensen to be happy… he deserves to be happy…
…and he still made it this far and got into acting and gave me a chance and didn’t end up a druggy on
the street and he can still laugh and joke like nothing’s ever gone wrong for him and he even gave me
a chance… wait, did I already say that one?
Soon, sleep snuck up and pulled him under. But not without one last fleeting thought: He’s so fucked
up.
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…and so amazing.
{End of part 17}
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= 18 =
Wrong Side of the Sunrise
Series/Verse: Part 18 of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out
of control.
Summary: Two boys, one blanket, and a quiet sunrise.
Type: Real people
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 3,411
Warnings: Schmoop, a lack of plot in this particular installment.
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale.
AN: Sorry for the wait, guys. I kept rewriting this installment until I found the exact tone I wanted.
Several hours before dawn, Jared woke to an empty apartment.
Half asleep, his arm flopped to the side, where Jensen was supposed to be. He wasted a minute or so
feeling up the sheets. When he came up with nothing but Jensen’s pillow, Jared finally peeled his eyes
open, sat bolt upright in the bed, and darted his eyes around the dark room.
“Jen?” he called, kicking the covers to the side.
He scooted out of bed, pulled the bed’s comforter around his shoulders because Jensen’s apartment
was always unnaturally cold, and padded over to the bathroom. Pushing the already half-open door
open, he peered into the pitch black room and called Jensen’s name. No answer came, so he flipped
the light on, just in case Jensen was… sitting on the floor in the dark or something. What? It could
happen.
The bathroom was empty. So he padded, barefoot, down the hall and into the living room. Everything
was eerily dark and quiet. He tugged the comforter tighter around himself and glanced into the
shadowy kitchen.
Unsure, he once again called out Jensen’s name. Silence answered his call as he opened the front door
and glanced back and forth down the vacant hallway of the apartment building.
After he closed the door, to the empty apartment, he said, “Not even cool, Jense. This ain’t funny.”
On his way back to the bedroom, getting kind of nervous now, he passed the sliding glass door that led
out to Jensen’s tiny balcony that overlooked the parking lot, and beyond that, the city of Vancouver.
He almost passed right by the door without noticing, but it was Jensen’s green shirt that stood out
against the night and made Jared double back.
His first thought was, Jesus Christ, what is he doing? Because Jensen was just sitting there at the edge,
hunkered down on the cold pavement, slumped over with his back to the sliding door; and as Jared
pressed his nose to the glass and stared at Jensen’s back, he could make out that Jensen had both of
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his legs wedged between the wide bars of railing, bare feet dangling over the side into empty air, each
hand clutching a railing, leaning with his forehead on the cool metal of one of the bars.
It took Jared a second to take in the scene before he grabbed the door and slid it open, letting traces
of the chilly night slip inside the apartment.
Jensen jerked a little at the groan of the door, as if he’d been about to nod off, but he didn’t look up or
turn around when Jared made his entrance.
Jared studied his still back for a minute, then moved forward. It wasn’t until Jared draped the blanket
over Jensen’s shoulders that Jensen looked up at him. Without a word, Jared tucked the large
comforter around his back, pulling and plucking at its edges until he was satisfied that it covered every
last little inch of Jensen’s exposed neck and bare arms.
That was when Jared hesitated, debating on whether to sit beside Jensen and try to wedge his legs
between those bars—in which case he may not be able to get them back out—or slide in behind
Jensen, which might end in Jensen whopping him upside the head, depending on his mood.
Jared took a chance and chose the latter. He dropped down, then spread and stretched his legs out and
slipped one on each side of Jensen, scooting in just close enough to press his legs around Jensen, lean
into his blanketed back, wrap his arms around Jensen’s chest, and rest his chin on Jensen’s shoulder.
“Too early for this shit,” Jensen muttered, sleep-heavy.
“Want me to move?”
“No. You’re like a really big heater.”
Jared’s legs were too long, leaving his feet to dangle over the edge of the balcony. So, naturally, he
chose that moment to wiggle his cold, bare toes into Jensen’s knees.
Jensen’s only response to the icy-toed torture was a tired, “I don’t even know why I like you.”
“’Cos I’m cute.”
“No, that can’t be it.”
Jared huffed a warm laugh into the side of Jensen’s neck. A minute passed before he added, “You
okay?”
Twisting slightly in his arms to turn his head and look back at Jared, Jensen said, “Why wouldn’t I be?”
“I dunno. I was running through the whole apartment lookin’ for you,” said Jared as he reached up to
push some stubborn pieces of hair back from Jensen’s forehead.
“Well, I’m right here.”
“I noticed.” Jared’s fingers lingered around Jensen’s face. “Didn’t know you ever used this balcony.”
Under the heavy warmth of the bedcover, Jensen shrugged his shoulders, turning away from Jared’s
hand and back to the faintly twinkling city lights. “Only sometimes. When things get… you know.”
“Yeah,” Jared said. “Yeah, I know what you mean.”
Ten minutes of companionable silence passed, Jensen staring out at the city and Jared sniffing at the
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collar of Jensen’s t-shirt, trying to guess, from the faint traces left on Jensen’s shirt, what brand of
cologne he used.
“Stop sniffing me, dude. It’s like cuddling with a pooch.”
Jared nipped at Jensen’s earlobe, which earned him a sharp elbow in the gut.
Maybe the timing was off, or strange, but Jared brought it up anyway, just to get it out of the way: “We
don’t have to talk about it.”
“Good. Because we’re not going to.”
“Unless you need to talk about it.”
“I don’t.”
“Okay then.”
“It was a long time ago. I’m over it.”
“All right.”
They settled into the predawn quiet of the night again. And after awhile Jensen sagged back into
Jared’s chest, his head falling back to rest on Jared’s shoulder, his eyes drooping lower and lower.
Jared brushed his lips against the shell of Jensen’s ear, whispered tenderly, “First one to go to sleep
gets her bra put in the freezer.”
“I’m pretty sure I loathe you,” Jensen stated calmly, and closed his eyes.
Jared tossed his head back and laughed up at the sky, at the same time rocking them both backwards
and forwards several times with his waves of laughter, until he finally managed to smack Jensen’s
forehead on the bar railing during one of his surges too far forward.
This time they both groaned, loudly, and Jared buried his face in Jensen’s neck, muttering, “I give up.
I’m gonna kill you one day.”
“S’okay,” Jensen said, rubbing a hand across his forehead and holding it in front of his face to examine.
“I’m not even bleeding this time.”
To Jensen’s neck, Jared said, “Cause of death’ll just say ‘PADALECKI,’ in big fugly letters.”
“It’s fine. Doesn’t even hurt.”
“I’m like your Kryptonite.”
“Wait. What? Say that again. I can’t hear you over this loud ringing in my ears… think you might’ve
knocked something loose.”
Jared’s lips curled back in horror. “Oh God.” I broke him.
“I’m kidding, man. Relax.”
“That’s not funny.”
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“You’re not gonna hurt me. I don’t break that easily.”
Despite it being late April, a chilly breeze picked up, and Jared hunched his body closer into Jensen’s,
unconsciously rubbing his hands up and down Jensen’s blanket-covered arms. In need of a subject
change, he said, “Ever sit out here to watch the sunrise?”
Jensen snorted. “Of course. Every morning. You know how I like to be up before the sun.”
Playfully, Jared gave a teasing pinch to Jensen’s thigh. “Well, we’re gonna sit out here and wait for it
this morning.”
“Why would we do that?”
“Because we almost died yesterday. Dude, do you realize we almost didn’t live to see this sunrise?”
“Good point. How long till it comes up and I can go back to bed? An hour? Half an hour?”
Jared consulted his watch, had to squint to read it in the dim light. “Two and half hours.”
“Great. My right butt cheek’s already asleep; that’s just enough time for the left one to join it.”
Wow. TMI.
Smiling brightly, Jared said, “Well, hey, at least there’s some part of your body that’ll get some rest
tonight.” Jensen threw him a frown over his shoulder, and Jared said, “Now scoot over and share that
blanket with me, sweet cheeks.”
--------Somewhere in there they ended up on the glider seat right next to the door, sprawled out with Jared
leaning back into the seat and Jensen pressed right in next to him, practically in his lap, leaning back
into Jared. It was a comfortable, snug tangle of legs and arms and skin underneath the oversized
blanket which Jared had thrown over his shoulders and pulled around to include Jensen in the excess,
hanging material.
Jensen had both legs folded Indian style on the seat; Jared let one leg dangle down to the ground to
gently nudge the seat back and forth on its hinges so that they rocked slowly back and forth with a
creak, creak, creak sound.
Out of the blue, Jared said, “I always kinda wanted to go to college.”
With his thumb, Jensen nudged his glasses further up his nose. “Why didn’t you?”
“I dunno. Got into this whole acting thing, and didn’t have time for anything else.”
Nodding thoughtfully out at the muted lights of the city, Jensen said, “I could see you as a frat boy.”
“College would’ve loved me,” Jared agreed. “Timing just never really worked out.”
At an hour to go before sunrise, in a conversational tone, Jensen said, “I pray every night.”
“Really? About what?”
“World peace.”
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Jared paused in his rocking back and forth. “That’s very Miss USA of you.”
“I pray about everyday stuff. It’s something I’ve done since I was little. Guess it kinda became habit.”
Mussed strands of hair fell into Jared’s eyes as he tilted his head and aimed an easy, crooked little smile
at Jensen. He swatted the hair out of his face and sniffed. “Do you ever pray about me?”
Jensen didn’t miss a beat before saying, “Of course. Every night. ‘Please, God, let me survive another
day with this Padaguy glued to my hip. Amen.’ ”
The loud and lengthy laugh that followed involved Jared tossing his head back and guffawing up at the
sky long enough for Jensen to whop him on the arm and tell him to shut up. And when that didn’t
work, the threat to shove him off the balcony pretty much did the trick.
After he settled down again, Jared said, “S’like I’m seducing the good little church boy.”
At Jensen’s derisive snort, Jared slipped his hands from idly sliding the worn cotton of Jensen’s shirt
back and forth across firm abs to easing his fingers under the hem of Jensen’s shirt and splaying them
across his warm stomach.
“Your fingers are fucking cold.”
“One time I locked my sister in her bedroom closet for a whole afternoon. I had friends over and she
kept bugging us.”
“That’s kinda evil, Jay.”
“I know. I felt so bad about it afterwards that I blew my whole allowance on a whole stash of candy for
her. Then she ate it all at once and spent the rest of the night puking.”
“Nice.”
“I spent the whole night standing at the bathroom door with Mom screaming and yelling at me in
between rounds of mopping up puke. She even made me hold Meg’s hair back while she spewed into
the toilet. It was going everywhere, and—”
“I don’t need details.”
“Right. Sorry.”
Ten minutes, filled with merely the squeak of the rocker gliding back and forth, passed, in which Jared
took the opportunity to stick his pinky into Jensen’s navel.
“I joined a punk band in ninth grade,” Jensen offered, shoving Jared’s hand away.
A quick little bark of laughter escaped Jared’s mouth.
Jensen squinted over at him. “Dude. What?”
“Oh, sorry. I thought you were joking.”
“Why would I be joking?”
“Seriously, Jen? You?”
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“Yes, me. Why can’t you see me in a punk band?”
“I dunno… I just… I guess I could picture you in some emo band, where you could play guitar. But
rock…” Suddenly, Jared’s face lit up, and Jensen eyed him warily. “Hey, did you wear eyeliner and
stuff?”
A hesitant pause from Jensen’s side of the conversation. Then: “Maybe.”
Thunk—the sound of Jared’s head hitting the wall behind him—and then Jared squeezed his eyes shut,
which was clearly a mistake, because an image of a punked-out Jensen swam into his mind’s eye and
only made him howl even louder, until tears oozed out of the corners of his eyes.
“Shut up,” Jensen muttered. Then louder, when Jared still wouldn’t quiet down, or at least muffle his
ear-splitting giggles, “You’re gonna wake the whole fucking city.”
Wiping the edge of the blanket across his eyes, Jared wheezed, “That’s priceless.”
“Whatever,” Jensen said, and shoved Jared’s shoulder, hard.
“I wasn’t laughing at you,” Jared insisted, struggling to sit up from his slouched position. “I was
laughing with you.”
“That line doesn’t work unless the other person’s actually laughing.”
“Oh.”
In the hush that followed, Jared’s restless hands fingered Jensen’s shirt sleeve, easily circled all the way
around Jensen’s wrist, rubbed his thumb back and forth over Jensen’s pulse point, timed the steady
beat beneath his fingertip, played with the loose string at the corner of the blanket that was hanging
over Jensen’s knee.
Like usual, his fingers found Jensen’s hair, carded through the strands, massaged Jensen’s scalp in lazy
patterns.
He noticed Jensen’s eyes drooping again, closing of their own accord. Jared laughed. “Dude. Every time
I mess with your hair, you go to sleep.”
Jensen’s eyes creaked open again. “Not true.”
To test his theory, Jared ran his hand over the fine hairs at the nape of Jensen’s neck, then swept his
hand upward from there, cupping Jensen’s head and massaging gently and thoroughly as he went.
“Totally not true,” Jensen insisted—and yawned.
Jared laughed loudly right into his ear canal and went back to groping Jensen’s hair, humming under
his breath.
When the quiet got too heavy, Jared fished around for something else to tell Jensen, something
random. Finally he said, “Okay, I’ve got something to say.”
“I’m shocked.”
“I could spend everyday with you for the rest of my life and not regret it.”
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Jensen stilled, then said, “Well, that’s way better than my punk band story.”
Satisfied, Jared smiled, pulled the blanket tighter around their bodies, and said, “Your turn. Tell me
something.”
A pause, then: “I accidentally knocked your toothbrush into the toilet yesterday morning.”
There was a beat of silence before Jared sputtered, “You what—” Then he groaned and smacked his
lips. “I used that toothbrush last night, asshole.”
“Yeah, I probably should’ve told you about that sooner.”
Ya think? “You suck, Jensen Ross. You suck.” Jared leaned over the side of the rocker and spat onto the
ground, because hello. Unsanitary much?
“Sorry. Things got all fucked yesterday and I forgot to tell you. You shouldn’t have put it right on the
edge of the counter anyway.”
“Hey,” Jared poked him in the back of the head, “don’t try to blame me for you dropping my toothbrush
in the toilet. Dude, that is so wrong.”
“I’m just sayin’. I always knock stuff over in the morning.”
“So I’ll just use your toothbrush this morning.”
“Like hell you will.”
Jared didn’t really see the big deal with sharing a toothbrush. Wasn’t like he didn’t already know what
the inside of Jensen’s mouth tasted like. But instead of arguing, he sighed, weary and worn out. They
were both too loose-limbed, too exhausted, to bicker about a toothbrush—Jared’s toothbrush. Jared’s
toothbrush that had taken a dunk in the toilet. Jared’s toilet-germed toothbrush which he had put in his
mouth.
Grimacing, he swiped his tongue across the backs of his teeth, tried to pick up on any lingering
unsavory flavors.
“You turn,” Jensen said after another span of silence. He squirmed on the seat, pulling away from Jared
slightly to lean against the back of the rocker on his side of the seat. Jared figured Jensen must have a
cramp, because he sure as hell had several by now.
Chancing a sidelong glance at Jensen’s impassive face, Jared said, “I wanna see you smile.”
The infamous eyebrow quirk met Jared’s gaze. “What?”
“You haven’t smiled or laughed since you told me about it back in the kitchen. We’ve been out here for
almost three hours and you haven’t smiled once.”
In the pale light, Jared watched Jensen’s features harden as he turned back to the washed-out hints of
dawn beginning to paint the sky a pasty gray. Jared also focused his attention on the impending
sunrise, though his eyes flicked back and forth from the Vancouver skyline to the delicate lines of
Jensen’s profile.
Gazing at the outline of the city appearing in the brightening sky, Jared stretched languidly, popping the
kinks from his back, and at the same time saying, “What do you want for breakfast? I was thinking
about bacon and eggs, and maybe some—”
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A stifled, hiccupped sob came from Jensen’s side of the rocker.
Jared’s head snapped over to Jensen, who was huddled in his corner of the seat, biting his lip and
staring hard at the stale-colored sky.
Uncertain, Jared said, “Jen?”
In a choked voice, Jensen said, “Nothing. It’s nothing. Think I swallowed a bug.”
Carefully, hesitantly, Jared reached over and put a hand on Jensen’s knee.
Jensen twitched at the touch.
“Hey,” Jared said softly.
It seemed to be all Jensen needed, because he sat up straighter and faced Jared. The grayish lighting
caught just right, danced and reflected the glossy shine in his eyes.
Oh. Oh shit. What is this? What’s happening?
Much to Jared’s surprise, Jensen’s face crumpled, though he didn’t blink, and no tears fell. This time it
was Jensen—not Jared—who folded himself against Jared’s chest, buried his face in Jared’s shirt, and
tucked his arms around Jared’s waist.
Somewhat stunned, Jared touched his shoulder, cupped a palm around the back of his head. Hadn’t
they just, seconds ago, been talking about food? In Jared’s world it just wasn’t possible to get upset
when talking of food. Especially bacon. Bacon was good; bacon was like a taste of home and lazy
Saturday mornings spent at the breakfast table.
He palmed Jensen’s stubbled cheek—the one that wasn’t pressed flat into his shirt—and Jensen gave
off a whole body shudder.
When realization finally hit, when it dawned on Jared what was happening here, he sucked in a dry
breath, said, “It’s okay. You can cry. It’s okay, Jen.”
Muffled in the folds of Jared’s shirt, Jared could barely hear Jensen’s reply, though he picked up on the
words no and not okay and grown man and weeping mushroom—though that last one might’ve just
been Jared’s hearing. It was early, after all, and he hadn’t had any food in awhile.
Patting Jensen’s back and eventually circling his arms awkwardly around his hunched shoulders, he
said, “No shit. A grown man whose childhood was fucking robbed from him. That’s something you can
cry about.”
The only answer came in the form of Jared’s quickly dampening t-shirt.
--------“I don’t get it,” said Jared, gnawing on a stubborn thumbnail. “It’s getting light out, but where’s the
sun? I mean, why can’t we see it?”
A shift in Jared’s arms, a sniffle. Shrugging and wiping his nose, Jensen said, “Because the sunrise is on
the other side of the building. This balcony faces the west.”
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“What? Dude, are you kidding me?”
“No.”
“Why didn’t you say that two hours ago?”
Jensen tangled his legs with Jared’s and pressed in closer, allowing Jared to pull the blanket around and
completely enclose both of their bodies in its relative warmth. “I dunno. ‘Cos it was kinda nice sitting
out here with you.” A hesitant pause. “Feels good,” his voice dropped lower, so that Jared had to dip his
head down to catch the rest of the nearly mumbled words, “feels safe.”
Much like a cat, Jared nuzzled Jensen’s cold cheek with his own, a rasp of rough stubble on stubble,
whispered, “You are safe.” The unspoken but understood with me at the end of that sentence hung in
the air around them until Jensen said, “Yeah… yeah, I know.”
{End of part 18}
288
= 19 =
The Size of Texas
Series/Verse: Part 19 of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out
of control.
Summary: Jared has no problem with stalking Jensen all the way down to Texas.
Type: Real people
Rating: R
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 6,538
Warnings: Boy-touching, short mention of childhood abuse.
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale. Also, The Uncle does not actually exist.
“Let’s go to the Sweet Factory.”
“No.”
“The magazine stand.”
“No.”
“Let’s go and—”
“No.”
“You didn’t even let me finish.”
Jensen swung around to face Jared and nearly took him out with the carryon he had hoisted over his
left shoulder. “It’s not working,” he said unexpectedly.
Halting in the middle of Vancouver International Airport, Jared spread his arms wide, causing several
people to part and swerve around them, and one particularly grouchy, fast-walking flyer to duck under
his right arm at the last minute, and then turn briefly to scowl back at Jared.
“I don’t know what you’re talkin’ ‘bout,” Jared said, and gave Jensen a broad smile.
“Distracting me with food and coffee and magazines so I miss my flight—it’s not gonna work. We’ve
already done everything there is to do in an airport. I have to go.”
“But we could still—”
“No.”
“I have an idea. Let’s—”
“No.”
289
“I wanna go with you. Meet your family. Hang out in your hometown.”
“No, you don’t. Besides, we start filming again in a month.”
“But—”
Jensen stopped him with a heavy hand on his shoulder and a flicker of a fake smile. “I gotta go, Jay.
My flight’s boarding soon.”
“I could fly down with you, fly my family to Dallas once we get there, and then our families could meet
up and get to know—”
“We’ll see each other again in a month,” Jensen said, squeezing Jared’s shoulder. “That’s not a long
time. I’m pretty sure you can make it without me for four weeks.”
Bouncing from foot to foot, full of twitchy energy, Jared almost said, Yeah, but I don’t want to. And
why the hell should I have to?
Before he had a chance to blurt out this particular endearment, Jensen clapped him on the back,
grinned, and said, “So I guess I’ll see ya later,” and turned toward the direction of his gate.
For a minute Jared simply gaped at his retreating figure before finally snapping out of it and surging
forward through the throng of people.
At times there was an advantage to being tall—now definitely being one of those times. As he swerved
and ducked around people and luggage, and a family with four screaming children, he could barely
spot the top of Jensen’s head bopping along with the flow of traffic, heading in the general direction to
join a long line at airport security.
Many long strides later, Jared caught up, snagging two long fingers through the strap of Jensen’s
carryon just as he started to step into the line. Using the duffel bag, he dragged Jensen backwards, out
of the line, over to the side, and into a bone-crushing hug.
With his head bent in, his mouth right at Jensen’s ear, Jared whispered, “Thought you’d get away just
like that, huh?”
“Dude,” Jensen breathed back, “we’re in public.”
“Two straight men can hug. It’s in the Bible.”
“Not like this, they can’t.”
“Wha’dya mean?”
“Your hand’s on my ass.”
Whoops. “Could’ve landed there by accident,” Jared muttered, and snaked said hand north, to quickly
dip under Jensen’s shirt and rake his nails against the touch of skin he found there. “Totally by
accident.”
“Jared.”
“I have an idea.”
290
“We’re being so fucking obvious.”
“Let’s go to the men’s room and make out. You have half an hour, right?”
Breaking Jared’s hold, Jensen pulled back, straightened out the strap on his carryon bag, glanced
around, and smoothed out his shirt all in such a guilty-looking manner that Jared’s face inched into a
slow grin and he said, “You’re not supposed to have that look on your face until after we come back
from the men’s room.”
At that, Jensen’s head snapped up from his focus on the non-existent wrinkles in his shirt, mouth
pinched into a firm line, face reddening adorably. Jared kind of really wanted to call him a prude. But
more than that, he really wanted to haul Jensen’s ass into the nearest bathroom stall to lick the
embarrassed look off of his face, lick his lips out of that tight little pursed expression, lick to see just
what other appealing shades of red he could get Jensen’s cheeks to turn.
Instead, Jared said, “Calm down. No one’s even looking at us. Well, except for that little old lady over
there.” Jared waved at her, and she smiled brightly in return. “And I think she’s enjoying the show.”
“God.”
Jared tipped an invisible hat to her. She winked.
Still watching the woman, almost absentmindedly, Jared said, “We should charge.”
“I have to go.”
“Wait.”
“What are you…” Jensen took a step back. “Stop. That’s creepy. What are you doing?”
“Memorizing your face.”
Jensen swung around, away from Jared and back to the line, which was now far longer than what it
had been when he’d first stepped up to it. “Get away from me.”
“Ten o’clock every night. Have your phone ready.”
Jensen’s eyebrow rose, partly curious, mostly just wary. “Why?”
Jared looped an arm around Jensen’s shoulders, pulled him in close, bent his head low with Jensen’s,
as if about to share a monumental secret, and whispered loudly, “Phone. Sex.”
Jensen made a purely disgusted snorting noise and shoved him away. “Get lost, Padalecki.”
Grinning, Jared spun around and strode toward the exit, saying, “See you around, Smeckles,” and gave
a small wave over his shoulder without turning around.
Wasn’t like he was going to stick around and watch as Jensen’s plane took off, leaning against the
window with his face pressed against the glass like some sort of sad-eyed, lovesick 15-year-old girl.
Hell no. Jared still had some dignity left. Sure, maybe only a small amount. But still.
Back at the entrance to the airport, Jared’s cell rang. Among taxis and cars honking for the right-ofway, Jensen’s voice came clear over the phone: “You couldn’t see me, but I was giving you the finger.”
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“Aw, baby, and I love you too.” He laughed loudly, obnoxiously, right into the speaker and snapped the
phone shut.
Jared always had been a last word, last laugh kinda guy, even as he tripped over the curb while closing
the phone—but Jensen didn’t need to know about that last part.
--------“You’re really quiet tonight,” Jared said into the phone, and flicked another penny across the room
towards the trashcan. It landed on the floor near the little plastic bucket, among two dozen or so other
pennies.
Across the miles, something rustled, and Jensen said, “Am I?” in a distracted sort of voice.
“Everything all right down there?”
“Great.”
Jared shook his spare change jar, carefully chose another penny to send flying through the air. “What’s
all that noise in the background?”
“Just some family visiting.”
“You’re not much of a phone person, are you?”
“Not really.”
“That could make phone sex a problem.”
“My mom’s in the room.”
“So I’ll catch you later.”
“Yeah. Later.”
--------“How’s the movie going?”
“Coming along pretty good,” Jared answered, slurping down a spaghetti noodle and getting tomato
sauce on the front of his favorite knock-around shirt.
“Dude, are you eating?”
Jared crunched down on a roll. “No.”
On the other end of the line, Jensen snorted his reply.
“So,” Jared began, swallowing the bite of bread, “phone sex?”
“Yes, Jared. Because the sound of you chewing in my ear is turning me on.”
“Really?”
292
“No.”
“I have a piece of cake for dessert,” Jared offered.
“Am I supposed to start breathing fast at that or something?”
“Chocolate frosting. Cherry filling in the center.”
Jensen’s voice sounded like a flat soda, zero fizz but too sweet: “Oh, baby. Say that again. Slower.”
“Which part?”
“The part where we hang up and pretend this conversation never happened.”
“I like that part.”
--------“So you wanna?”
“Just give it up already.”
Jared idly channel-surfed, yawning. “I’m unbuckling my pants.”
“I’m excited.”
“You suck at this.”
“You’re the one yawning.”
“Get off my phone, Ackles.”
“Gladly.”
--------Jared swooshed the mouthwash around in his mouth and spat into the sink. “Hey.”
“Hey.”
“What are you wearing?”
There was a short pause, followed by loud laughter.
Jared said, “The tabloids are right. You really are a jackass,” and accidentally dropped the phone in the
toilet. It was even better than hanging up. He was tempted to hit the flusher.
--------“Who’re all the people in the background? You havin’ a party?”
293
“Family’s all here for my dad’s annual 4th of July barbeque.”
Braking at a stop sign, Jared said, “Huh.”
“So, Mr. Kinkade, how’s the movie lookin’ so far?”
“Your whole family? Cousins, aunts,” he paused, sitting up straighter in the seat, gripping the steering
wheel a little harder, “uncles.” There was a gap filled with static on Jensen’s end, and Jared said,
“Jensen? Are you still there?”
“I’m here.”
“Did you hear me?”
“Yeah.”
“And?”
“And what?”
“You know.”
Jared waited patiently through another lull of silence, tapped his fingers on the wheel until Jensen
answered, voice devoid of emotion yet full of a forced casual. “I see him every year at this barbeque.
It’s not a big deal.”
Fingernails digging crescents into the steering wheel, Jared started, “He…,” sucked in a breath, gritted
his teeth. Tried again. “He shouldn’t even be at your house. Around your family. Around you.”
“It’s fine. Everything’s fine.”
“That’s the same crap you always say when things aren’t fine.”
“It’s only a few days out of every year. I’m a grown man. I can handle it.”
“I didn’t realize he still came around your house, your family. That’s fucked up.”
“Yeah, well he’s still my dad’s brother.”
“But if they knew—”
“They don’t need to know.” Something clattered on tile floor; somebody laughed in the background.
Jensen said, “Look, we don’t talk. He doesn’t even look at me. We haven’t said more than twenty
words to each other since I was thirteen.”
Distracted, Jared missed the traffic light changing, accidentally drove through a red light. Glancing back
in his rearview mirror, he gritted his teeth, said, “I don’t care. You shouldn’t even be in the same house
with him. I don’t want him there with you.”
Jensen laughed, rough; it broke somewhere in the middle, and he cleared his throat. “Calm down. I can
hear you grinding your teeth all the way over the phone. I’ll see you in a couple weeks, right?” When
Jared didn’t answer, Jensen said, “Jared. C’mon.”
“Two weeks. Right. Yeah.”
294
Jensen’s voice dropped, softened at the edges. “Hey, don’t worry about me.”
“Why would I worry about you? I hate you, dude.”
“Exactly.”
“I hope someone shoots a firework up your nose.”
“Don’t jinx me like that.”
After a second or two, Jared added, “I never worry about you.”
“Good.”
“Because the world doesn’t revolve around you.”
“Right.”
“It revolves around me.”
“Go away.”
“Make me.”
This time, it was Jensen who ended the call.
I don’t worry about him. Half the time, I don’t even like him.
Slamming the car door, Jared looked up into the hazy LA sky and snorted.
Fucking Jensen Ackles, see how good I am at not giving a crap about you. I can win a fucking medal at
not giving a damn.
--------Which is, of course, how Jared found himself standing at the end of the Ackles’ driveway early in the
evening two days later, backpack full of thrown-together and unfolded clothes slung over his shoulder,
sweating in the unrelenting Texas humidity and blinking up at the large two-story, ranch-style house
looming over him.
The driveway was so full of cars that he’d had to park his rental SUV on the curb and trudge up the
driveway.
At the front door, he hesitated for only a split second before he pasted on his most charming smile and
rang the doorbell.
The sound of pots and pans toppling to the floor answered Jared’s ring. Yelling and kids laughing
followed as the door flew open and swung inwards.
“Who’re you?” asked a little boy who looked to be about nine. “Wow. You’re really big.”
Before Jared could answer, someone pushed the kid aside and he found a woman blinking up at him.
“Well look at this. We’ve been wanting to meet you, Jared. C’mon inside. Did you just get into town?
295
Jensen didn’t mention that you were coming.”
“He didn’t know. I—”
“Stop running in the house, Cameron! Go outside to play!” She turned back to Jared, her face breaking
into a pretty smile, and Jared thought, Hey, so that’s where Jensen got those eyes.
He said, “I should’ve called first, but it was kind of a last minute thing.” To match his words, he smiled
sheepishly, and glanced around the room.
“No, no. Don’t you worry about it. Jensen talks about you all the time. You’re always welcome here,
sweetie.” Something in the kitchen began a shrill beeping, and she winced. Looking over her shoulder,
she said, “Sorry, I have to get that. Jensen’s out back. Just go through the living room and out the back
door.”
Once outside, Jared could see Jensen standing with another guy, both of their backs to Jared, facing
out into the oversized, tree-lined yard.
Quietly, he eased his backpack to the ground by the back door, and snuck up behind Jensen. The guy
standing with Jensen noticed him first, stopped talking to toss Jared a confused look as Jared leaned
down to Jensen’s neck, grinning, said, “Guess who,” just behind the shell of his ear, and enveloped him
from behind.
Jensen said, “Wha—” and choked back a surprised curse when Jared squeezed him, straightening up
and bending backwards a little, with his arms still wrapped around tight, full of Jensen, lifting him up
onto his tiptoes.
Jensen let out a breathless noise that sounded like, “Uhh-guh,” and Jared released him, only to spin
him around and laugh at the matching O-shape of Jensen’s eyes and mouth.
“Surprised?”
“Where did you come from?”
“I fell from heaven.”
Jensen risked a fleeting look at the other guy, who was still simply standing there watching them,
curious. To Jared, Jensen said, “What are you doing here?”
All good-natured Texas boy, Jared held out his hand to the nameless man. “Hi, I’m Jared. Jensen’s—”
“Costar,” Jensen finished. “Jared, this is Josh, my brother.”
“Oh, hey,” Josh said in an easy, barely-there twang. He finally smiled, recognition obviously kicking in.
“Jensen’s onscreen brother. Took me a minute.”
“Thought I was a fan boy who’d snuck in from the street?” Jared asked with a lopsided smile.
Josh’s face was unreadable. “Something like that.”
At that moment, the pretty-eyed woman pushed through the back door and pulled Jared into a hug.
She pulled away saying, “Forgot to introduce myself. I’m Jensen’s mom.”
“Nice to meet your Mrs. Ac—”
296
She slapped him on the arm. “Oh, call me Donna. I already feel like you’re family. Now,” she snatched
up his backpack, “fourth of July is always really busy at our house, so we’re short on beds. But we have
an air mattress we can blow up and put on the floor in Jensen’s room.” She eyed him up and down. “It
might be kind of short for you, but it’s a bed, anyhow. I’ll get you sheets and blankets and a pillow.”
“I can just go to a hotel.”
“No, no. You’re staying right here.” With that, she threw the backpack at Jensen, who caught it smack
in the face. “Go ahead and show our guest up, Peanut.”
Upstairs, in what was apparently Jensen’s room, as soon as they crossed the threshold, Jared said,
“Peanut,” and poked Jensen in the ribs, barely holding back a laugh.
Wordlessly, Jensen closed the bedroom door, turned to face Jared.
At the hard look on Jensen’s face, Jared’s smile fell away, laugh catching in his throat. Uh oh.
Jensen took a step toward him, then backed away again. “What in the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Visiting you,” Jared answered simply, plopping down on Jensen’s bed, bouncing a little to check out its
springs.
“Bullshit. You came here to be my fucking guard.”
Jared looked up, the picture of wide-eyed wonder. “Fucking guard? Is that like a fuck buddy?”
“I’m not your damsel in distress, Jared. I don’t need your protection.”
“That’s not why I’m here.”
“Don’t try to make up some shit-lie to cover it up, like I’m some kind of idiot.”
Unexpectedly, Jared was up off the bed and standing inches from Jensen. Up close now, he could make
out a new smattering of freckles along Jensen’s nose, a fresh batch scattered over his cheekbones.
Jared had to stick his hands deep inside the pockets of his baggy cargo shorts to keep them from
automatically drifting up to Jensen’s face to memorize the new patterns with the pads of his fingers.
But oh, oh, God bless the triple hundred thousand billion watt brightness of the Texas sun.
Jensen said, “You shouldn’t have come.”
And Jared wondered if there was a whole new forest of freckles under Jensen’s shirt, just waiting to be
mapped out by Jared’s mouth.
He calmly placed his hands on Jensen’s shoulders, and Jensen immediately tensed at the small move.
“I came because I missed you. A whole fucking lot.”
“You came to check out my child-molester of an uncle, make sure he’s not undressing me with his eyes
across the dinner table, or eye-fucking me over hotdogs and potato chips.”
Jared blinked. Well. Maybe.
“You’re pretty damn transparent,” Jensen said flatly, and shoved Jared’s backpack into his chest,
roughly.
Definitely not the welcome Jared had been hoping for. “Are you kicking me out of your house?”
297
With a small frown, Jensen said, “No,” and knocked away the hand that Jared had inching up from his
shoulder to his face. “Don’t. You can’t do that here. Man, you know how religious my family is.” Jared
watched him duck his head and scratch at his scalp. “I’m serious, Jared. They’d disown me if they
knew.”
Easing his clothes-filled backpack to the floor at the end of the bed, Jared said, “Yeah, well. Maybe they
should worry about chucking out Uncle Dirty Old Man first.”
“I’m not kidding. You can’t… we can’t. Not here.”
Jared held his hands up in the air—surrender. “I can be good. No touching. They’ll just think we’re BFF.”
Shoulders slumping in relief, or exhaustion, Jensen sighed, and Jared chucked him under the chin. “BFF
with benefits.”
Jensen’s head shot up, face creasing in a pained expression.
“Dude,” Jared laughed, “relax. I was kidding. C’mon. I can do this. I’m an actor, remember?”
“I forgot,” Jensen mumbled under his breath, and turned to open the door.
“Hey.” Jared caught his arm, turned him around, and pressed him back into the door. “Can’t we just.
Something to hold me over?” With that, he pursed his lips right in Jensen’s face, a not so subtle hint.
Jensen said, “Sure,” and shoved his palm at Jared’s mouth so that he got a brief taste of Jensen and
skin and salty and yes, please before he pushed Jared off and away.
In an exaggerated pout, Jared jutted his bottom lip out. “You hate me, don’t you?”
The flash of a knowing smirk, and Jensen patted Jared’s chest and slipped out the door.
--------It might have been hide-and-go-seek, or tag. Hard to tell.
Whatever it was, it was pretty entertaining. And amusing. Mostly because Jensen was currently running
up and down the backyard, laughing and—wow. Why didn’t I bring my camera?—rolling around on the
grass with his little cousins.
One of the little girls—a seven-year-old with pigtails—threw her skinny arms around Jensen’s neck as
he tried to get back up from a tackle with the two nine-year-old boys, and he hoisted her onto his back,
piggyback style. Jared watched on in amazed wonder as he ducked and dipped her down the length of
the yard, with his arms held out like a plane.
He turned to Josh, who was sitting in the chair next to him, disbelief in his voice as he said, “I’ve never
seen Jen act like this. He’s like a big kid.”
Setting his drink down on the table behind them, Josh regarded Jared with a tilt of the head, not unlike
one of Jensen’s many mannerisms. In fact, this was the head tilt that normally said, Are you shitting
me?
It felt a lot like being studied, scrutinized. Jared shifted uneasily under the intense gaze, finally asked,
“What?”
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“He lets you call him that?”
“Call him what?”
“Jen.”
Relaxing slightly, Jared shrugged, took a sip of his Dr. Pepper. “Yeah. Sure. Why not?”
“He never lets anyone call him that.”
“I’ve called him Jen since the first day on set.” At the indecipherable look on Josh’s face, Jared felt the
need to add something on to that statement. “I’m pretty lazy. I shorten everyone’s name.”
Josh peered out into the quickly darkening yard. “Huh.”
Jared wondered if he’d somehow just fucked up, and if so, how he’d managed to do it so incredibly
soon.
--------“You’re really good with kids.”
Jensen shrugged, wiped his just-washed hands on a paper towel. Jared reached over and plucked a
piece of grass out of his hair.
“It’s pretty cute, actually. You’re like a different Jensen here.”
“Take this to the table,” Jensen said, and thrust two bowls into Jared’s empty hands—one filled with
green peas, and the other with fried chicken.
Jared sniffed the food and looked back up at the sound of Josh and Donna entering the kitchen. He
said, “Smells like home, Mrs. Ackles,” and beamed a dimply one at her.
She pinched his cheek. “I hope that’s a good thing.”
“Definitely,” Jared assured.
As she ducked back out of the kitchen with bowls of food in her hands, Jared caught her smiling to
herself.
All casual disinterest, Josh said, “I finished making the iced tea. You can go ahead and take the pitcher
into the dining room,” a beat, “Jen.” Over a basket of cornbread, Jensen froze. He looked at his brother,
who smiled easily. “What’s wrong?”
“Dude, you know what’s wrong.”
Jared contemplated retreating into the safety of the kitchen pantry.
“I thought that’s what people were calling you now,” Josh said, blinking innocently.
At those words, Jensen shot Jared a narrow-eyed look, and Jared took a physical step back until he felt
the handle of the pantry door dig into his back.
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Josh glanced back and forth between Jared and Jensen, as if truly interested in whatever nonverbal
conversation was going on, and then clapped Jensen on the shoulder, said, “My mistake,” and headed
to the dining room as though nothing had happened, as though satisfied with some sort of unspoken
answer to a test Jared hadn’t been aware of.
As soon as he was out of the room, Jensen turned to Jared, who was unsuccessfully trying to shrink
back against the wall. “What the hell?”
“Well, you didn’t warn me! How was I supposed to know?”
“You’re killing me here, Jared.”
--------“So which one was he?” Jared asked, eyeing the slender piece of grass Jensen was currently chewing
on.
“Who?”
The taunting grass shivered up and down at the side of Jensen’s mouth as he formed the word; and
Jared had to force himself to look up and back over his shoulder, at the lights glowing in the windows
of the house—a silent reminder that they were in the backyard, still within sight if any of the dozen or
so members of Jensen’s family decided to take a look out the window. A dozen witnesses if Jared chose
to pluck that grass out of Jensen’s mouth and suck on his tongue.
And wouldn’t that just go over real well?
At Jensen’s flippant answer, Jared shoved his shoulder and sent him teetering sideways. He said, “The
Pope, Jen.”
Once they reached the end of the yard, Jensen leaned back against a tree, one leg bent at the knee
and propped back on the bark, gaze directed up at the clear sky, the stars.
Since Jensen wasn’t exactly participating in the conversation, Jared went on: “The dinner table was so
full of people, I couldn’t tell who was who. Your family’s friggin’ huge.”
There was barely enough moonlight to make out the damn piece of grass, but it was still there, like a
beacon of light in Jared’s eyes as Jensen apparently rolled it back and forth across his tongue. It
bounced between his lips, switching from side to side of his mouth, and Jared’s eyes zeroed in on it,
followed its progress like he would a ping pong ball, like he would the revolving light in a lighthouse.
Again, Jensen quieted instead of producing any kind of answer.
A cricket chirped nearby.
Jared entertained a brief fantasy involving the many things he wanted to do to Jensen against that
tree.
Jensen said, “I’m not related to the Pope.”
It was Jared who didn’t answer this time.
Trying again, Jensen said, “He’s not here.”
300
“The Pope?”
“My uncle.”
“Where is he?”
Jensen shrugged, his shirt rasping and catching on the bark at his back. “Why do you care? Thought
you came here to see me.”
“I did. You’re like my fucking oxygen. Hey, maybe he won’t show up this year.”
“Maybe Britney Spears isn’t insane.”
Up at the house, the sound of people laughing filtered out of a couple open windows. Jared’s eyes
flitted back to the house at the sound. Turning back to Jensen, he said, “Maybe I wanna strip you. See
how your body looks up against that tree naked.”
There was just enough moonlight to reflect Jensen’s eyes as they widened, just enough luminosity to
highlight the surprise on his face as he straightened his slumped shoulders, suddenly attentive.
“Maybe,” Jared said carefully, warming up now that he had Jensen’s full attention, “maybe I’d see how
my tongue looks on your skin in this light.” He grinned, slow and sly. “How many freckles do you think I
could find and claim using just the moonlight to see?”
“Uh.” The grass slipped out of Jensen’s open mouth. Jared followed its fluttery fall to the ground.
Looking back up at Jensen’s expectant face, he said, “Maybe I’d start with your mouth. Find something
better for you to suck on than grass.”
Jensen’s shoulders stiffened. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means…” Shit. It means I just fucked up again. Idiot. Idiot. IDIOT. “Uh.” Jared scratched his head.
“Fudgesicle?”
In a flash, Jensen pushed away from the tree and shouldered past Jared. The back door swung shut
behind him, sounded like a gunshot in the humid stillness of the evening.
Jared kicked the trunk of the tree Jensen had been leaning against, stubbed his toe, and limped inside.
--------“No way. Get outta my bed.”
Instead of obeying, Jared slipped in next to Jensen, pulled the cover over his legs. “That air mattress is
crap.”
“I don’t care.”
“My feet hang over the end.”
“Not my problem.”
“But I’m your guest. And my feet get cold.”
301
Jensen scowled at him.
“And I think it’s losing air ,” Jared added. “I can’t sleep on a deflating bed.”
“If someone walks in here, they’ll think were doin’ somethin’.”
“Can they be right?”
“Get out of my bed, Jared.”
“My bed has a hole in it.”
“Did you even hear me? I. Don’t. Care.”
“You’re a shitty host.”
“Well you’re a whiny guest.”
“What was that out there in the backyard?”
“What?”
In the dark, Jared reached across the bed and touched Jensen’s shoulder, squeezed. “You freaked out
on me.”
“No I didn’t.”
“You kinda did.”
The mattress springs creaked as Jensen flipped over to face Jared. “I wasn’t freaking out.”
“You gotta tell me to shut up when I go too far. You can’t just stomp away from me.”
“Dude. I didn’t stomp.”
“Oh, you definitely did. You even slammed the door. You were like a huffy little kid.”
“I’m not ready for that yet.”
Because Jensen’s voice had dropped, Jared shifted closer. “Ready for what?” Jensen’s side of the bed
went silent. The pillow and part of the sheet were blocking the bottom half of his face, preventing
Jared from reading his expressions, so Jared nudged the pillow down, edged the sheet away from
Jensen’s face. “Jen. Tell me. You gotta tell me so I’ll understand.”
With the coverage of the sheet gone, Jensen covered his face with his hands and shook his head.
Jared waited. Found patterns in the ceiling with his eyes, listened to the house settling down for sleep
and the deepest part of the night muffle snores coming from other rooms. He avoided looking over at
Jensen again until the other man finally spoke from behind his hands.
“He used to make me suck him off every time we went fishing together.”
Shit. “Shit.”
“Yeah.”
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“You were… you were just a kid.”
“I don’t wanna talk about it,” Jensen said, voice ragged, hands sliding up to his hairline so that his
palms now covered his eyes, ground into his lids. “I’m just… I’m not ready for that kinda stuff between
us.”
Jared wrapped his fingers around Jensen’s right wrist and peeled that hand away from his face. “It’s
okay, Jen.”
Jensen hesitated, said, “I may never be ready.”
Jared captured the other hand, tugged it away, too. “It’s okay.”
--------“I can’t sleep.”
Jensen grunted back an indecipherable answer.
Kicking the covers off hard enough to uncover Jensen’s side of the bed also, Jared said, “Your house is
too stuffy. All these people. I can’t breathe.”
Under the pillow, Jensen mumbled something back.
“Let’s go do something,” Jared practically whined, and yanked the pillow off of Jensen’s head.
“It’s two thirty in the morning. You go do something.”
“I’m bored.”
“You’re fucking impossible.”
“Meet me outside.”
--------Back under the same tree in the yard, Jared spread a towel on the grass, plopped down on the ground,
and motioned for Jensen to join him.
Standing near the blanket in drawstring pants and a gray t-shirt, folding his arms over his chest, Jensen
said, “What the hell are we doing out here?”
“It’s nicer here. You’re room’s too small.”
“It’s the asscrack of dawn.”
Sighing, Jared sprawled on his back, and looked up into the tree. “Hey, is that a tree house?”
“Yeah. Dad built it for me and Josh when we were little.”
Jared was already up and circling the tree as Jensen answered. “I always wanted a tree house, but my
dad sucked with tools. He tried to build a doghouse one time and nailed the bottom of his shirt to the
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plywood.”
At Jensen’s laugh, Jared grinned, grabbed his hand, and pulled him closer to the tree. “How do we get
up there?”
“You can’t be serious. This thing is almost 25 years old.”
“Did you used a ladder or something? I don’t see any rungs.”
“Dad built a ladder into the tree trunk, but the pieces broke off a long time ago.”
Child-like excitement building in his chest, Jared said, “Give me a boost up. I can grab that tree limb
and pull myself in.”
Jensen stared at him in disbelief. “The wood’s too old. The nails won’t hold your weight.”
“Better idea. I’ll boost you up there, and then you can give me a hand and help me up.”
“Are you even listening to me?”
But Jared was already ushering him to the tree, telling him which limb to grab a hold of. “See?” he
asked, at the end of his instruction, “It’s not that hard. Now c’mon, put your hand on my shoulder.”
“You’re gonna get me killed.”
Jared grabbed Jensen’s hand and placed it on his shoulder, reached for Jensen’s foot.
“I could fall out of the tree and break my neck.”
“Then I’ll come to your apartment and feed you pea soup. Dude, c’mon. You know I’m not gonna drop
you.”
“Not talkin’ ‘bout you,” Jensen muttered, looking up at the tree. “That thing’s not gonna hold my
weight.”
“There’s only one way to find out.” Jared grinned. “Put your foot in my hand.”
Jensen let his head fall backwards, face tipped up at the sky, eyes closed. “I know I’m gonna regret
this.”
--------“Put your right foot on that limb right there,” Jared grunted, then cupped both hands around Jensen’s
ass and pushed upwards.
“This isn’t your chance to fondle me.”
“I’ll take any chance I can get—grab the limb right above your head—yeah, that one right there.”
“What do you think Eric would do if one of us died falling out of this tree?”
Jared squeezed Jensen’s ass. “I dunno, but what a way to go, huh?”
“No.”
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--------Lying, backs flat on the floor of the tree house, side by side, Jared said, “See, told you. No problem.
Easy as—ow. Did you just kick me?”
“Yes.”
“Fucker.”
“How’re we gonna get back down?”
Well. Good question. “Maybe this was a bad idea.”
Jensen rolled onto his side and pulled himself up on one elbow. He said, “Maybe I wanna see how fast
I can get you off.”
Jared almost choked on his tongue, had to remember how to swallow correctly. He looked up to read
Jensen’s face, see what the heck this was all about. Afraid the slightest thing might spook Jensen, his
words came out cautious: “Maybe you should go ahead and try.”
Jensen titled his head at Jared, and at first it was hard to understand what that meant, but then Jared
realized he looked somewhat curious, even as he slipped his hand under the hem of Jared’s shirt.
Warm fingers explored Jared’s stomach, and Jensen eased the shirt up, inch by inch. Jared let him take
control, let him lift his arms above his head and pull the shirt over Jared’s head. Once the material was
out of the way, Jensen dipped down closer to Jared, nibbled, almost timidly, across his collarbone.
“Damn,” Jared hissed out, breathily, stretching his neck out to give Jensen easier access, “if I’d known
tree houses got you hot, I would’ve built one for you a long time ago.” Jensen laughed into his chest,
the sound deep and rich and vibrating against Jared’s heart.
“Or maybe having my ass groped gets me going?”
Now there’s something to make a note of. “You know, your family’s just right inside that house.”
Jensen ran his tongue over a nipple, didn’t release it until it hardened in his mouth and Jared let out a
choked moan. “I know,” Jensen said, and slipped his hand into Jared’s shorts.
Christ on a cannoli. I must be dreaming this shit up. “You’re so fucking glad I flew down here. Admit it.”
“Nah.” Jensen’s fingers barely touched him, and Jared let out something resembling a hiccup. “Dude,”
Jensen said, laughing catching on his words, “you’re so easy.”
“I hate you.”
With a sweet sort of shyness, Jensen tongued along Jared’s jaw line—hot wetness on stubbled skin—at
the same time that he circled his fingers around Jared’s length. Against Jared’s neck, Jensen said, “You
love me, jackass.”
The feel of Jensen’s hand—finally, finally—was scorching, and Jared bucked up, grunted, “Uh huh…
yeah,” as Jensen started a slow, lazy rhythm up, down. The pads of his fingers were rough from hard
days on set, from some of the more physically demanding scenes; not surprisingly, those fingers that
locked and fit into Jared’s hands so seamlessly were the perfect size, just right wrapped around him out
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here in a tree, stuck somewhere between dawn and midnight.
With his other hand, Jensen wound a strand of Jared’s chocolate-brown hair around one of his fingers.
“You got any kinks I should know about?” His lips skirted over Jared’s mouth. “Any bondage kinks or
anything?”
“Nuh uh.”
Jensen said, “I have a kink.”
Jared’s “oh” was merely a rumbled breath of surprise.
“Your hair’s been driving me fucking crazy since day one.”
As he leaned heavily into Jared’s side, Jared took the opportunity to grab the band at the back of
Jensen’s pants, pull back, and let the elastic snap it into place again on Jensen’s lower back. A clear but
unspoken, These need to go.
“Go ahead,” Jensen murmured into Jared’s mouth, licking his way past Jared’s lips as Jared struggled to
get the pants past his hips. One-handed, he got them partway down Jensen’s thighs before he gave up
and just blindly reached between their bodies, felt around Jensen skin until his hand found its mark.
“God, yes,” Jensen said.
Jared agreed. Wholeheartedly.
The position was more than a little awkward, yet their hands and harsh breathing somehow found a
synchronized rhythm.
Releasing the strand of hair to wrap his free arm halfway around Jared’s shoulder, anchoring himself,
Jensen took Jared’s top lip between his teeth, tongue exploring the roof of Jared’s mouth, and it was all
it took for ropy strings to spurt out over Jensen’s hand, splatter onto his leg. Half paying attention, half
not, Jensen wiped his hand on Jared’s shirt, and Jared let his head thunk back onto the hard wood
flooring of the tree house.
When his body stopped tingling, Jared pushed up from the floor, and used his free hand to push Jensen
back, flat into the wood, focus completely on getting Jensen laid out before him. Jensen eyes were
unfocused, heavy, while Jared maneuvered him around at an angle he liked, and shoved his nose and
tongue into the crook of Jensen’s neck, licked a strip of salt-sweaty skin just behind his ear.
As Jensen’s body twitched, his hand came up and tightened almost painfully in Jared’s hair, pulling at
his scalp, dragging Jared’s face at an awkward angle, smooshed up against Jensen’s neck. There was a
span of two or three minutes in which all Jared could do was breathe heavily into Jensen’s neck, inhale
their combined sweat until Jensen finally loosened his death-grip on Jared’s hair.
Jared was tempted to lick his fingers clean, figured that might be too much, and settled on returning
the favor and wiping his come-covered hand on Jensen’s pants. He then collapsed onto his back next to
Jensen, reflecting the same position they’d started out in.
Eventually, their breathing evened out, and Jared ventured into trying to string words together again.
“So.”
“So.”
“That was interesting. Told you it’d be a good idea to climb up here.”
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“Great,” Jensen mumbled, so low that Jared turned his head to look at him, worried.
“What’s wrong?”
Jensen flinched at his attempt to move. “I think I have a splinter the size of Texas in my ass cheek.”
Jared bit back a laugh. “Does your mom have tweezers?”
“Oh hell no. There’s no way I’m letting you near my ass with a pair of tweezers.”
“Would you rather explain the situation to your mom?”
Once again, Jensen covered his face with his hands.
Jared said, “I can sneak into the house and grab the tweezers, come back out here and… take care of
the problem.”
Jensen groaned out a truly miserable sound. “I knew I’d regret this.”
{End of part 19}
Author’s Note: Be Still by Kelly Clarkson. It’s perfect for this chapter!
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= 20 =
Ten to Disaster
Series/Verse: Part 20 of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out
of control.
Summary: Oh, if only Jared could control that gaping hole that happens to be his mouth.
Type: Real people
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 5,362
Warnings: This one, she is ripe with teh angst.
Disclaimer: It’s all a pretty little fairytale. Also, The Uncle does not actually exist.
AN: This verse really is my baby, but I’ve been working on it for nine months. You’d think I’d have
delivered (some sex) by now. Or at least a conclusion. I think I’m going to start bringing it to a close
soon. It’s getting kind of long.
Oh, and I got bored so I did a Jensen POV. He’s been quiet for quite a few chapters now.
Please, God, let it be a mirage. Just a mirage. Jared’s not really standing there wearing a frilly yellow
apron. It’s just a—
Jared chose that moment to take a flying leap through the air, skidded a little on the carpet during
takeoff, and landed square in the middle of the bed, right on top of Jensen, who already had one leg
thrown over the side of the bed in an useless attempt to scramble out from between the sheets and
evacuate the area.
It didn’t work, though he may have blacked out for a minute there. Lack of oxygen or something.
Having landed, Jared blanketed Jensen’s body and bounced a little, making the springs squeak in
protest and Jensen’s arm—now crushed under Jared’s body weight—do a little protesting, too.
Right. Definitely not a mirage.
Attempting to breathe around Jared’s mess of hair, Jensen said, “You’re trying to kill me,” and let his
head flop back onto the pillow. “Get off my arm.”
Jared didn’t budge, didn’t look like he planned on moving for awhile, looked pretty comfortable with his
head burrowed in the blankets that were bunched up around Jensen’s collarbone. “Are you gonna sleep
all day?”
“Not with you in the house.”
“You slept through breakfast.”
Jensen grunted out some sort of response and tried to wiggle out from under Jared. The only thing he
actually managed to wiggle were his toes.
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“Is it because you know he’s gonna show up today?”
As always, right-to-the-point-Padalecki, bringing The Awkward to conversations since the early 80s.
“Seriously, I can’t feel my arm anymore.” With his free elbow, Jensen tried to nudge away the 6’4”
bundle of limbs and hair that currently happened to be sprawled out over his body.
“You’re family loves me,” Jared declared into the folds of the blanket, still not bothering to move. “I
cooked breakfast with your dad this morning—you never told me he likes to cook, and how much he
kinda really sucks at it—and your mom thinks I’m ‘adorable.’ She’d adopt me if she could. Oh, and I’m
wearin’ her apron. She said yellow looks good on me. And, oh hey, where’s your sister? By the way,
your brother’s freakin’ me out, keeps lookin’ at me weird. And Pa Ackles tried to teach me to make
crepes this morning. He burned, like, ten of ‘em, and the rest fell apart when he tried to get ‘em outta
the pan—no one looked surprised at that. I got one of the burned crepes. I tried to trade it off for one
of the falling apart ones but your aunt wouldn’t go for it. I like your family.”
Jensen closed his eyes, rubbed his thumb across his forehead, and wondered how Jared squeezed all of
that out in one breath. So it was going to be one of those days, the kind which started off with Jared
and several cups of coffee obviously filled with several heaping spoonfuls of sugar.
One deep breath, and Jared was already opening his mouth to go again. God. He’s like a twelve-yearold on crack and coffee.
“Hey,” Jensen interrupted, before Jared had a chance to rev the engines back up, “guess they drank all
of the coffee by now.” Meaning: I really need some fucking coffee before I can deal with you.
Jared, well aware of Jensen’s code language by now, rolled and swooped off of the bed in a blur of
dark hair, and Jensen was able to take his first deep breath of the morning; all of the available air in the
room smelled like a mixture of Jared’s aftershave and his scarily girly peach shampoo. Jensen wrinkled
his nose.
“They drank it all at breakfast,” Jared said, and Jensen deflated a little until he appeared back at the
bedside, a large mug in hand. “But I saved you a cup. I hid it behind the toaster.”
Jensen was sitting up in three seconds flat, making grabby hands at the mug in Jared’s hand.
“I already put cream in it,” Jared continued, handing it over and openly watching Jensen’s mouth as he
put his lips to the rim. As Jensen gulped, Jared said, “Ya know, I really spoil you.”
Jensen nodded agreement and licked coffee off of his lips, slowly. As predicted, Jared followed the path
of his tongue with obvious interest.
Already halfway through the coffee, Jensen said, “Wait till you see Dad start a fire on the grill today.
Burned beef tastes a lot worse than burned crepe.”
Skeptical, maybe even a little worried: “Does he start a fire every year?”
“It’s like a tradition now. We keep a fire extinguisher nearby.”
“Huh.”
“And hey, don’t get too close; you might singe some hair off.” Ahh yes, that would be the coffee kicking
in—really no other way to handle Jared in the morning.
Unconsciously, Jared reached up and fingered his bangs. Jensen snickered too loudly, so loudly that
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Jared apparently found in necessary to tackle him back into the sheets.
--------On the way to the bathroom, Jared trailed Jensen step-for-step, until Jensen slammed the door in his
face. And locked it.
When Jensen came back out, hair still dripping water from the shower, he found Jared sitting on the
floor, leaning with his back against the wall right next to the door, grinning sunshine-bright up at him—
a definite sign that the day ahead was going to be a long one filled with burned burgers and a clingy
man-child.
Jensen needed more coffee.
--------“Let me,” Jared said, arms winding around Jensen from behind, snatching the can of hair gel right out
of his hand, and it was really unfair that someone so tall should be able to sneak up from behind so
freakin’ quietly.
Jared moved Jensen to the only mirror in the bedroom, and Jensen said, “You’re not doing my hair,”
even though Jared was already spraying out a good amount of product into his hand. “I don’t use that
much. You’re gonna do it wrong.”
Standing behind Jensen, watching his own movements in the mirror, Jared brought his hands together
and rubbed, then smoothed both hands through Jensen’s hair, bringing the longer pieces together to
stand straight up in the middle.
“Oh hell no,” Jensen said, seeing where this was going, and reached for the hair gel.
All it took was for Jared to widen his eyes slightly and say, “I saved you coffee,” and Jensen shut up
right then and there, let Jared do his thing.
Six minutes later Jared wrapped his arms around Jensen’s chest, pulled him in close, a half hug, both of
them staring into the mirror at Jensen’s mini Mohawk, and said, “Done.” Jared then spun him around,
examined his work as if it were a newly-completed masterpiece, and kissed Jensen’s left eyebrow.
“Looks good. Right?”
“Yeah,” Jensen said, smiling weakly at the pride in Jared’s voice, “great.”
“I should do your hair everyday.”
This ain’t even right.
Downstairs, Josh took one look at Jensen and the first words out of his mouth were, “What happened
to you?”
And as soon as Josh turned away, Jared was behind him again, leaning over his shoulder, whispering in
his ear: “Forgot to ask. How’s your butt cheek?”
Was it too early in the day to smack someone?
--------310
On the way outside, Jensen grabbed Jared by the shirt sleeve and hauled him into the laundry room.
Jared simply raised an eyebrow, grinned goofily, closed the door to the room, and flicked the light on.
“I dunno, Jense. Making out in a room full of dirty clothes with your family on the other side of the
door? That’s kinda crazy.” Yet he took two steps forward, bounded the rest of the way up to Jensen like
an overexcited puppy, hair bouncing with each exuberant step, and crowded Jensen back against the
washing machine and a laundry basket filled with clean underwear. “But, hey, you know I’m up for it.
You want the light on or off?”
Jensen said, “Stop shadowing me.”
“What?”
“This is why I didn’t want you here. I knew you were gonna do this: Hover over me all day like my
uncle’s gonna pop through the front door any minute and… eat me. I don’t need you breathing down
my neck all the time, like some sorta,” Jensen spread his arms as wide as the small room would allow,
“overprotective boyfriend.”
Jared looked vaguely surprised, as though he thought Jensen already knew this simple fact by now:
“But that’s what I am.”
“That’s the problem,” Jensen ground out, harsh enough for Jared to take a step back, clearly unsure.
Backing into a set of hangers behind him, Jared said, “It’s just that. Just that you’ve been through a lot
of shit. And I want you to be safe when I’m around.”
The familiar words bubbled up and rested on the tip of Jensen’s tongue: I’m not your fucking helpless
girlfriend. Back off. Stop treating me like—like a girl.
Thickly, he swallowed them down, as he had been doing for several months now. It was always easier
not to… just not to.
Jensen said, “You’re a real pain in the ass.”
And Jared smiled, looking a little relieved around the edges. “Worse than the splinter?”
Jensen’s only retaliation was to jostle Jared into a bunch of hangers full of… bras? Huh, and push his
way out of the cramped room.
Behind Jensen there was a clatter, and Jared sputtered, panicky, “Oh, God. Oh shit, Jensen. I think I
just touched your mother’s bra.” More clattering, as though Jared had gotten himself tangled up in the
clothes and hangers, then a whiny and bitten off, “…scarred for life.”
And things were okay again, for the moment. Well, semi-okay. As okay as things got lately.
--------Jared stuffed the last bite of a ketchup-smothered hotdog into his mouth. Sill chewing and at the same
time wiping mustard from the corner of his mouth, he garbled, “Let’s go into the city tonight. I’ve never
seen Dallas.” A half-chewed piece of bun flew out and landed on Jensen’s knee.
It was both amusing and disgusting at the same time. At Jensen’s raised eyebrows, Jared grinned
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sheepishly, reached over and flicked the food onto the ground, mouthing, “Sorry,” and gulped the
oversized bite down with a large swallow of beer.
Full of meat and clearly satisfied, Josh yawned widely and stretched his arms over his head, leaning
back so far in his chair that it creaked. “I was thinking about going fishing at the lake Uncle Dan always
used to take us to. Gimme a chance to get to know Jared a little better. How ‘bout it, Jense?”
The lake. Fuck no.
“S’been awhile since we’ve been there,“ Josh went on. “What, ten years? Eleven, maybe?”
Jensen had to force the word out: “Fifteen.”
“So you two used to go to this lake a lot to fish with your uncle?” Jared’s question came out casual
enough, sounded slow and easy to the ear, but one look over at him—his tense lean forward in the
chair, the way he suddenly gripped the neck of his beer bottle with white-knuckled intensity—and
Jensen figured it was probably time to break this little powwow up.
“Yeah,” Josh started, “we used to go nearly every afternoon until I got into this after school soccer
thing and stopped going. But Uncle D. still took Jensen fishing there all the time.” He laughed. “At one
point, we were having fish for dinner almost every week. I was so sick of the damn stuff, but Dan said
Jensen was a real natural at it.”
His face was burning, hot with shame. He couldn’t even look at Jared, kept his eyes locked down to
where his hand gripped the edge of the flimsy paper plate in his lap. To the plate, as if he were too
busy studying potato chip crumbs to bother looking up, Jensen said, “We can drive into Dallas instead.
Jared doesn’t wanna see some overgrown lake.”
“There’s time enough for both. ‘Sides, it’s easier to bond while fishing. I wanna get to know my little
brother’s TV-brother. You two can go into the city tonight; it’ll still be there. It ain’t goin’ anywhere.”
And even though Josh had no idea, no clue, as to why Jensen had never gone back to their old fishing
spot, why he’d avoided it all these years, Jensen still kind of wanted to smack him. Just for being so
damn pushy. ‘Bond with Jared’? Seriously, what the hell could that even mean, and why did it worry
Jensen?
Inside the cool of the house again, Jensen stood from putting the mustard and ketchup back in the
fridge only to have Jared right at his back, at his ear, hushed tones: “We don’t have to go to this lake
place if you don’t want to. You probably shouldn’t be there anyway, at that… spot.”
Jensen pushed him away. “It’s fine. It doesn’t bother me.” Do I look weak to him? Like I’m gonna break
if I see a bunch of weeds and muddy water? I’m an adult. I can handle this. No problem. It’s all good.
One of the kids came barreling through the kitchen before Jared could answer, but the look he shot
Jensen clearly said, Bullshit. This is a bad idea.
--------Josh dropped his fishing gear on a nearby pile of dirt, mouth hanging open. “When did they drain the
lake?”
Oh, this was just too damn good to be true. His uncle’s favorite fishing hole sucked dry and turned into
a dry crater-like hole? It was perfect. Almost had a poetic quality. Keeping his face carefully indifferent,
Jensen said, “Guess this means we won’t be fishing today.”
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Translation: No buddy time with my brother and boyfriend. Life is awesome.
“What do they do with all the water?” Jared asked, completely serious as he adjusted the ridiculous
cowboy hat on his head.
“Well, damn.” Josh kicked a loose rock into the lake-hole, and turned to Jensen. “Siddown. I don’t feel
like heading back to the house. It’s too crowded.” One arm spreading out dramatically to indicate the
once-lake, he nodded over to Jared, who had a cooler tucked under one arm. “They can take our lake
but not our beer.”
“You’re an idiot,” Jensen said, and Josh shoved him hard, trying to push him over the side.
Settling back in his lawn chair with a squeak, Josh popped open a cold bottle. He looked perfectly
relaxed, nonchalant and bored. “So, Jared. You have a thing for my brother.”
Jensen choked on his piece of gum; it lodged somewhere in the back of his throat. No one seemed to
notice his hacking.
With a plop, Jared’s fishing gear fell to the ground. “Uh. I. I what?”
They were so screwed.
“Because I’ve been noticing some things.”
“Are you calling me gay?”
So very, very screwed.
“No.” Calmly, Josh took a swig of beer. “I’m calling you Jen-gay. Hey, it’s a pretty simple question. I’m
not gonna jump you if you answer wrong.”
Jensen stared at the side of Jared’s face, willing him to just keep his mouth shut, while Jared stared at
the back of Josh’s head.
“Well,” Josh prodded, “what’s the deal? You got a thing for Jen?” His eyebrows waggled up and down
suggestively. Jensen wanted to smack him. Or throw up. Whichever came first.
At some point during Jared’s gap of silence, Jensen ground out, “Josh.”
“No. No thing,” Jared answered carefully, slowly, and Jensen thought, Good boy, dared to let out a
breath full of relief. And then Jared ruined it with, “But I am kind of in love with him.”
Jensen closed his eyes. I’ll kill him.
The casual quality of the conversation was pretty damn disconcerting, even as Josh said, “And how’s
that workin’ out for ya?”
The odds of Jared coming out of this conversation unscathed were pretty low.
“What do you mean?” Jared asked, instantly uncertain and fidgeting, as though the conversation were
only just now becoming awkward.
Jensen said, “Josh. Cut it out.”
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“What? I’m just enjoying getting to know Jared here. He’s a very interesting guy. You hang out with
some fascinating people, Jense.”
I’ll kill them both. Hide the bodies in the lake.
“It’s not the way you think.” Jared had set aside his beer, where it was now setting in a patch of weeds
and watering the area as it slowly tipped sideways. By now he was glancing nervously at Jensen, as if
just now realizing blurting out his love might have been a bad idea. “It’s not… like that.” Jensen
wondered where the hell Jared was going with this, and just how large a grave he was going to dig for
himself before he finally shut up—or slipped and fell in. And the odds that he was going to take Jensen
with him? Very high.
“It’s not like what?” Having sucked down one beer already, Josh began pawing through the cooler for
another. Apparently interrogating your brother’s maybe-boyfriend called for lots of alcohol.
While Josh was bent over the cooler, Jensen fixed Jared with a narrow-eyed, tight-lipped expression,
easily read as Just shut the fuck up. Unfortunately, Jared didn’t seem to get it, couldn’t seem to shut
his yap-hole.
“It’s not like, uh,” Jared stopped to wet his lips, clear his throat, “like a sex-lust kinda thing.”
Jensen might have groaned out loud at that little gem. Oh, God. Could this get any worse?
“I see,” said Josh, voice a blank canvas as he nursed his second beer. “So you two don’t actually sleep
together.”
Looking up at the sky, Jared let out a clever little, “Huh.”
“And this is a mutual thing?” Josh continued, tilting his head over to Jensen.
Jared quickly went silent, leaving an obvious space for Jensen to speak up, confirm, maybe bail Jared
out of his ever-widening, self-dug hole.
Jensen decided to go with the ever-popular, “Just drop it.”
“I can’t help it if I notice things. I’m an observant guy.”
Somewhere off to the side, Jared muttered, darkly, “Yeah, nothing gets by you,” and Jensen cringed
inwardly at what he figured the words were actually in reference to.
Seeming to not have heard Jared, Josh said, “The next time you curl up in bed together, maybe you
should lock the bedroom door. I came in to your room this morning because Mom wanted me to get
you two up for breakfast. Didn’t know I was gonna have to bleach my brain afterwards. Shit, Jensen, if
it had been Mom who’d come up there instead… or Dad—Can you imagine what would’ve happened if
it’d been Dad?”
Yes, Jensen could imagine it. Far too easily, in fact. And the images in his head involved tears, maybe a
little blood—probably Jared’s.
“Wait. You already know about…?” Jared trailed off, too busy gaping to finish the thought.
“Well, I had a suspicion. But it kind of confirmed it when I walked in on you two all tangled up and—
God, it still burns my brain.” Josh’s face was crunched in what looked like excruciating pain, and he was
clutching at his head dramatically.
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Jensen reached over and, out of habit, flicked him in the middle of the forehead, said, “No one else
knows, and it’s gonna stay that way. Got it?”
“Right. I’m not stupid. So you two are an actual… couple?” Added as though the concept was utterly
new to him, “Like a gay couple?”
At that, Jensen gave pause, even as he could feel Jared’s hand inching up the arm of his lawn chair.
The hand curled around Jensen’s forearm, slid down to circle impossibly long fingers around his wrist.
Jared piped up with, “Yep. In the flesh.”
Eyeing them both like a new species of animal, Josh asked, “For how long?”
Shit. I just came out to my brother.
Shit.
How did this… why did we… Shit.
Now that their secret was out, it seemed that Jared felt comfortable getting all touchy-feely-gooey
again, seemed ready to test out his open cuddliness in front of an audience. The pad of his thumb
began rubbing back and forth over the sensitive skin right above Jensen’s pulse point. Actually, it was a
little distracting. Jensen glanced down at his wrist enclosed in Jared’s man-paw, looked back up at
Jared pointedly.
But Jared wasn’t paying attention. His free hand was up in the air, ticking months off, counting. “Been
around six or seven months, right? Jen?”
Josh whistled. “Gotta start telling me these things, Jense. You two are practically—” He twisted his
index and middle finger together, realized that it looked a little strange, and made a face. “Well, you
know.”
No, Jensen didn’t know. Though he probably didn’t want to know exactly what Josh meant.
“Man,” Josh said on a heavy breath, “I knew it. As soon as you called him Jen. The only person who
ever got to call him that was this girlfriend he had back in high school.” Beer halfway to his lips, Josh
paused and looked over at Jared. “Dude, not that I’m calling you the girlfriend, if there are roles or
whatever, because. Uh. I. Yeah. Damn, it’s really humid out today, isn’t it?”
Kill me now, kill me now, kill me—
“Roles?” Jared asked innocently, thumb pausing in its rhythm on Jensen’s wrist.
Jensen took the opportunity to yank his hand free, while Josh choked a little on his gulp. Jensen said,
“We need more beer,” jumped up from his chair, and got the hell out of there.
It was a silent ride back to the house.
--------“You just can’t keep your mouth shut.”
Jared hadn’t even finished shutting the bedroom door yet, and one of the kids ran by screeching for
Cameron to get out of the bathroom NOW, I gotta go!
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For the first time all day, Jared frowned a little, but it was a frown of utter confusion. “He asked me.
What was I supposed to do, lie?”
“Yeah.”
“But he saw us in bed together this morning.”
Jensen went silent, and Jared passed right over the conversation, changing the subject so fast that it
kind of made Jensen dizzy, especially since he was gearing up to hash it out.
“Yeah, I been thinking. I think I’ve decided that I’m gonna bottom.”
Blinking, Jensen said, “Bottom what?”
Making a face, Jared put on a quick and extremely obscene little silent play using his hands and a
pencil laying on the desk nearby.
“Oh.” Jensen watched him fidget for a minute after tossing the pencil aside. “Since when do you know
the gay lingo?”
“Since you made me gay?” Jared shrugged. “And I’ve been researching.”
“Researching?”
“Well, yeah. On the internet.”
Was Jared’s mention that he had looked up gay porn on the internet supposed to comfort Jensen?
Reassure him? Because it sure as hell wasn’t working.
“You’ve been watching gay porn on the internet?”
Instead of answering, Jared turned to look out the window.
Jensen said, “Oh, God. I’m scared.”
“Anyway,” Jared continued, huffing out a gust of air that lifted his bangs from his forehead, “I’ve
decided I don’t want you in that… position.”
“Since when do you make decisions for me?”
“I never said that I did.”
“You think I’m too fragile to handle it?”
No answer again, though Jared bit his lip red.
“Screw you, Jared.”
“That’s exactly what I’m asking you to do.”
“We’re gonna decide this my way, like real men.” Jensen held his hand out, fist in his palm, raised his
eyebrows for Jared to follow suit.
“Paper, Scissors, Rock? Seriously?”
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“If it’s good enough for Sam and Dean, it’s good enough for us.”
“There’s no way this can end well.”
“Chicken?”
“Whatever. You’re on.”
--------“Best three out of five.”
“Damn, Jen. You’re just as bad at this as Dean was.”
“Shut up. You’re messin’ with my concentration.”
--------“Best five out of seven.”
Jared grabbed both of Jensen’s hands, stilled them in his own. “Forget it.”
“Okay, fine.” Breathing out loudly, Jensen reached up to run a hand through his hair and instead
encountered the stiff spike of Jared’s mini-Mohawk creation. “Okay. So I’ll… bottom. Or whatever it’s
called.”
“The hell you will.”
“What? I can do it. You don’t think I can do it?”
“I’m not gonna be the one who puts you in that… position.”
“Dude, will you stop saying it like that? All ominous and shit.”
Jared’s voice lowered as he leaned closer to Jensen. “You really need to see the videos I found.”
“No, I really don’t.”
“I don’t think you realize…”
“I’m not stupid. You’re making a big deal out of—”
There was a crash right outside the bedroom door, and then Jensen’s mom yelled at someone about
leaving a roller blade laying in the middle of the hall for anyone to trip over and die. A bang on their
door followed, with her saying, “C’mon on downstairs for dessert! And Uncle Dan just got here!”
Jared’s mouth curled into something that resembled a snarl.
Halfway down the stairs, Jensen said, “Just… keep your mouth shut, okay? And get that look off your
face.”
The look disappeared, only to be replaced by wide hazel eyes, blinking naively. “What look?”
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“The one that says, ‘I’m either gonna eat you or kill you in the next two minutes.’”
“Oh. That one. Okay. Got it.”
This is a disaster waiting to happen.
--------Jared was surprised. His face was always an open book and at the moment it read Seriously? This is
him? No way, dude.
Tall, lean, slim, young, and blond, Dan straightened his business tie and pumped Jared’s hand up and
down. “Great to meet you.” He nodded over at Jensen in greeting, and turned to Jensen’s mom,
exclaiming, “Sis!”
Giggling, blushing, and pinching his cheek, she informed him that he’d missed the barbecue.
He said, “Aw, damn. So how high did Alan’s fire get this year?”
Jensen’s dad chuckled and pointed at Dan. “You, shut it, buddy boy. I can still kick your ass halfway
across this state.”
Jensen snagged Jared’s shirt sleeve and backed away to the outer edges of the kitchen, back to an
area where the family wasn’t crowded around Dan.
The breath from Jared’s whispered words touched Jensen’s temple. “He’s so young. So much younger
than your dad. How’d that happen?”
“Seventeen years older than me,” Jensen confirmed. “He’s Dad’s half brother. Same father, different
mother.”
“He’s not what I expected.”
“What did you expect?”
“Someone like Bill, I guess. Someone a lot older and a lot less…”
“Attractive?”
“Well, yeah. And less charming.”
“He’s got a great job, just got engaged…”
Silently, Jared watched Jensen’s family swarming around Dan, eating up his words. “Jesus. He’s like the
star of the family.”
“Bingo. They all love him.”
“Well, I hate him. Even if I didn’t know about… you know. His face would still bother me.”
“Why?”
“Because I wanna put my fist through it.”
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Jensen could definitely relate to that urge.
“He barely even looked at you,” Jared said.
“Told you. We hardly ever say a word to each other.”
Suddenly, Josh was at Jensen’s elbow, joining them at the edge of the room and making a little half
circle. “You should see the picture of his fiancé. Damn. She is,” Josh mouthed the word hot.
“That’s,” Jensen paused, “great.”
Laughter erupted from the other side of the room, and Jensen’s mom broke away from the pack long
enough to grin over at them and say, “Could one of you boys go get the paper plates? I think we left
them by the grill.”
Elbowing and nudging, Josh managed to shove Jensen in the direction of the back door. He then
grinned. “You’re closer to the door, Jense.”
On his way out, Jensen reached over and once again flicked Josh in the middle of the forehead. “Lazy
jackass.”
Just his luck, the plates weren’t by the grill, weren’t actually anywhere in sight. Great.
After ten minutes of searching, he found them, still packaged in plastic, laying on top of the garbage
can at the edge of the yard.
He trudged through the backdoor, warm and sweaty from just ten minutes in the Texas sun, swept
back into the kitchen on a gust of humid heat, and stopped in the threshold at the dead silence in the
kitchen. Confused at the quiet, he looked up from tearing open the plates for his mom. Every eye in the
house was fixed on him. Lowering the plates, he laughed, shaky, nervous.
Glancing from one somber, wide-eyed face to another, he said, “What?”
No one answered him, which in itself was pretty damn creepy.
Josh, face lined in a frown, caught his eye, and Jensen, in return, crinkled his brow in a silent question:
What the fuck is going on?
It was his mom who let out the first sound: a wet little exhale of air. She took a step forward, one step,
and seemed to teeter a little on her feet.
Again, Jensen looked around the room. “I don’t get it. What’s going on?”
In the time it took for him to say the words, his mom had stepped through the various members of his
family to come and stand directly in front of him. Her hand came up towards his cheek, but she paused
before it made contact, frozen in midair, shaking. She said, in an almost-whisper that everyone could
still hear, “Oh, Jesus. Is it true?”
No one in the room seemed to be breathing, the air was so hushed.
Jensen figured he’d missed something. Something big.
Hesitant, eyes flickering back and forth from his mother’s face to the frozen faces around the room: “Is
what true?”
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In a soft, crushed voice, she said two words, and it was all Jensen needed to hear: “Uncle Danny.”
Fuck, fuck. No. This can’t be happening.
Jensen’s head snapped up from her face, searched the room until his gaze found Jared’s shock-frozen,
open-mouthed expression.
What the fuck did he do in ten minutes?
“Is it true?” she repeated, desperate.
Jensen swallowed and dumped the stack of paper plates onto the kitchen table. Each and every
movement he made was being studied, examined. Feeling exposed, he hunched his shoulders in and
thought, Will somebody just fucking say something?
When he looked up again, his gaze fixed on his dad’s face.
Mistake.
“What’ve you been telling your Hollywood friends?” Alan demanded.
“Nothing.”
Directed at Jensen: “I want you out of this house.”
Josh said, “Dad.”
Dan was near the stove, leaning against the counter right next to Alan, face carefully molded in to a
look of worry and shock, even though nobody was sparing him a glance.
“Now.” It was blindingly obvious that he was going to get no chance to explain his side of it, not here,
not now. Maybe not ever.
The crowd of people, his own family, parted down the middle as he walked through them to get to the
door. No one said a damn word in his defense, though his mom was crying silently.
One foot outside, one foot still inside, hand on the doorknob, Jensen stiffened his jaw, straightened his
shoulders, and to his dad, said, “You know I’ve never lied to you,” before he let the door slam shut
behind him.
Footsteps immediately pounded on the driveway after Jensen, followed him out to his car. At the
driver’s door, he shrugged off the hand on his shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” Jared said, “I’m so fucking sorry,” and tried to stop Jensen from closing the car door.
Calm and even, Jensen said, “Don’t.” Surprisingly composed but obviously a warning. For once Jared
got the message and backed away from the car, both hands up in the air. Jensen slammed the door,
locked it.
Briefly, right before he drove away, Jensen peered out the window at Jared’s imploring face and
thought, How could you do that to me?
{End of part 20}
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= 21 =
Somewhere in the Heart of the Aftermath
Series/Verse: Part 21 of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out
of control.
Summary: This aftermath thing really hurts.
Type: Real people
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 6,366
Warnings: Angst.
Disclaimer: The Uncle does not exist, and situations portrayed in this story are not actually meant to
reflect on Jensen or his family. Or Jared, for that matter. It’s all made up.
AN:
1. This chapter switches point of views a few different times.
2. Title this time around totally stolen from Aftermath by The Alternate Routes. It was just too perfect
for this chapter.
Any way he looked at it, roasting in a sweltering hot car—windows down or not—in Texas, in the middle
of the summer, was a bad, bad idea. Probably one of his worst.
Tailing Jensen through downtown Dallas to the outskirts of the city and following him to a cheap little
Super 8 motel worthy of Dean Winchester, only to then chicken out and sit outside in the parking lot for
hours like a stalker really wasn’t one of Jared’s better idea, either.
Especially not in 100 degree heat.
As far as Jared could tell, Jensen really had no idea that Jared was sitting outside his motel room, right
across the parking lot, slowly boiling inside his SUV.
He stared glumly at the steering wheel, let his forehead fall forward in slow-motion to come to a rest
on it as he tried to come up with some way to fix this, some sort of combination of right words that
would explain clearly just what had happened.
Nothing particularly brilliant or revolutionary came to him, though Jared’s sweaty forehead seemed to
have glued itself to the leather of the steering wheel. Nice.
By the time Jensen’s second floor motel room door swung open sometime around midnight, Jared was
nodding off with his temple pressed to the relative coolness of the driver’s side window, mouth hanging
open to suck in the humid air, eyes halfway closed. At the first sign of life from Jensen’s room, Jared sat
up so fast that he hit his head on the low ceiling and banged his knee on the steering wheel.
Jensen, it appeared, was looking for a vending machine.
Midnight snack, thought Jared with complete understanding. Jared rarely went a week without
accidentally waking Jensen up in the middle of the night during one of his trips to the kitchen to paw
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through the fridge. But Jensen, on the other hand, would usually rather sleep than eat. Especially at
midnight. So this little excursion—if Jared had guessed its purpose correctly—was really kind of strange.
When Jensen disappeared around a corner, Jared opened his door and unfolded his stiff limbs from the
SUV. Stooping over to glance in the rearview mirror, he shoved his sweaty bangs from his forehead and
wiped the crusted drool from the corner of his mouth with the back of his hand. His eyes were puffy
from lack of sleep, but there was really nothing to be done about that.
Jensen still hadn’t come back yet, so Jared headed toward the outside set of stairs. Once on the second
floor, he ducked around the same corner he’d seen Jensen disappear around, and followed the dim
lights down a grimy walkway, past storage rooms for cleaning supplies, and ended up at a barely lit
little alcove full of vending machines.
In boxer shorts and a t-shirt, face scruffy and hair rumpled, silver-framed glasses perched on his nose,
Jensen was crouching down near a coke machine, one arm full with bags of crackers and chips, the
other hand feeling up inside the machine, apparently trying to will his chosen drink to drop down into
his hand.
Jared stopped smack in the middle of the entrance to the alcove and took a moment to sweep his eyes
over Jensen’s frame before he cleared his throat.
The sound caused Jensen to drop his snacks. A bottle of water bounced and rolled toward Jared’s feet.
Jared bent to scoop up the water and some of the snacks which had flown out of Jensen’s hand. When
he straightened back up to hand the stuff back to Jensen, the other man was looking up at him from
underneath his lashes, surprise evident in the way his tongue was sticking out of the corner of his
mouth.
“Need some help?” Jared indicated the coke machine. Jensen remained unresponsive, so Jared added,
“Did it steal your money?”
Abruptly, Jensen yanked his hand out of the machine and stood. He muttered, “Forget it,” and stooped
to pick up a package of peanuts that had landed several feet away.
“Sometimes you just have to…” Jared raised his foot and slammed it into the front of the machine hard
enough to leave a dent. A Dr. Pepper clunked down, and Jensen reached in and took it warily. “…do
that.”
Without another word, Jensen started to squeeze by him, but Jared stopped him with a hand to the
shoulder.
His arms so full that he couldn’t bat Jared’s hand away like he normally would in this situation, Jensen
still wrenched himself back from the touch anyway.
In a quiet voice, looking down at the ground, Jared said, “Jensen. Please.” Hear me out.
Even though he’d initiated it, Jared hadn’t expected Jensen to actually respond to that. So it startled
him when a hushed voice said, “Why?” It sounded so unlike Jensen, soft and damaged, that Jared
jerked his head up and glanced around to make sure no one else had walked up on them. The sound of
Jensen’s voice when he said, “Why would you do that to me?” dragged Jared’s gaze back to him.
And just the way it had back in the Ackles’ kitchen earlier in the day, Jared’s mind blanked. He opened
his mouth, then snapped it shut again. For some reason, he hadn’t prepared for this question. He’d
been ready to spend at least ten minutes trying to convince Jensen just to listen to him. Stupidly, he
hadn’t prepared beyond that.
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Really, Jared had nothing.
He said, “I…” Think, you idiot, THINK.
…
Oh, God, why do I suck?
Cradling his food and drink to his chest, Jensen merely stared back at him with that familiar fractured,
haunted look in his eyes, waiting for Jared to say… to say something.
After an innumerable amount of time, Jared said, “I never meant for anybody to hear it. I mumbled it
under my breath and your aunt heard me.” Like he would ever be able to forget that moment. The
high, shrill, bird-like voice of Jensen’s great-aunt shrieking, “Speak up, boy! We can’t hear you way up
there in the clouds! What else did Danny do with Jensen at the lake? And what exactly is a sickfuck? Is
that like a potato?”
The woman had to be half mad, with the finally tuned hearing of a freakin’ bat.
Calmly, Jensen said, “Okay,” and started to shoulder by Jared again. He was halfway past Jared and
almost free of the alcove when Jared stopped him again, this time with an arm out to block Jensen’s
exit.
He expected a fist to the face or an elbow to the gut any minute now. Again, Jensen surprised him by
sighing wearily and backing away. He said, “Let me go,” but there was no power behind the words.
“I’m sorry. You know I wouldn’t hurt you like that on purpose. But Dan, he started talking about you as
soon as you left the room, and it was… it was rude. Talking about how you would never be able to find
the plates because you’re slow. And then…”
The look on Jensen’s face stopped him from continuing. He was clearly surprised when he asked, “Dan
talks about me behind my back?”
“Yeah.” And your family does shit to stop him.
Jensen’s voice was low and puzzled, as if he was trying to figure it out and make sense of it as he
spoke. “But we’ve ignored each other for more than a decade now.”
Jared didn’t say anything to that, didn’t really know what to say.
Almost to himself, Jensen said, “Why would he be talking about me at all? What good would that do
him?” Then, looking back up at Jared, “What else did he say?”
Jared stalled by chewing on his lip until Jensen said, “Jared.”
“He was whining about having to eat the pie right out of the pan, and saying you weren’t too old to be
taken over the knee and—” spanked “—yeah. Well, you know.” No way in hell Jared was actually going
to say the word. He’d already practically gnawed his tongue off and gnashed his teeth to a fine powder
when he’d heard it firsthand that afternoon.
Jensen’s eyes had gone wide and round, his cheeks a familiar shade of deep pink. Jared took a step
forward, already planning on dragging Jensen the extra few feet to him that would allow Jared to fortify
Jensen in his arms, which in Jared’s mind’s eye was exactly how they should have been standing in that
dark little alcove. Made him wonder how many teenagers had made out right there by the coke
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machine, where Jensen happened to be standing.
“Back off,” Jensen said, taking two steps back to make up for Jared’s one long stride. “I’m not in the
mood to be coddled.”
Well, Jared should have seen that one coming. Even so, his outstretched arms dropped limply to his
sides.
Unsure of whether or not he should tell Jensen what else had happened in that kitchen, Jared frowned.
“Are we done here?” Jensen asked, but didn’t wait for Jared to answer. He ducked underneath Jared’s
arm and shoved past.
Jared caught up with him halfway back to his motel room. Down the walkway, Jared yelled, “I wanted
to make sure you were okay.” You know, after I managed to ruin your life.
“Never been better. Now stop following me.”
“But we need to talk.”
“We just did. And now we’re done.”
They were at Jensen’s door, and Jared watched with a sort of frantic panic as Jensen stuck the keycard
into the lock, nearly dropping all of his goodies in the process. The door handled turned, and Jensen
put one foot inside.
“Jensen, wait.”
Desperation was really the only excuse for what Jared did next.
Jensen let out an undignified little yelp when Jared swooped down from behind and, using both hands,
grabbed him by the waist. The water bottle slipped from Jensen’s arms and landed on his flip-flopped
foot, eliciting a bitten of groan.
Therre’s more and I don’t know how to tell you probably wouldn’t go over so well, especially not at the
moment, with Jensen flailing about in Jared’s arms and, it seemed, trying to bite him. Huh. He never
would have pinned Jensen for a biter.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Jensen gasped as Jared swung him away from the open door, to
keep him from ducking inside.
Somehow they hit the railing. Maybe Jared overestimated the room they had up there on the second
floor, or maybe he put a little too much force behind it. Whatever the reason, when Jared swung them
both around, the railing was suddenly right there, and as Jensen’s stomach collided with it, he bent
forward with the force, air obviously knocked from his lungs with a hiss between his clenched teeth.
Bags of chips and cookies and the bottle of Dr. Pepper flew out of his hands with the impact and went
over the side, landing on the ground below with a raining sound of crinkling plastic and a resounding,
cracking splat.
Jared barely managed to wrap both arms around Jensen’s hips in time to keep him from following the
same fate and going headfirst over the side.
For a minute they merely stood there, back to chest, Jared’s arms tucked and clasped around Jensen’s
middle, his head resting on one of Jensen’s shoulder blades, both panting and staring over the railing
down into the parking lot below.
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“Maniac,” Jensen finally muttered. “Get off me.”
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to almost kill you.” Jared’s grip on him loosened rather reluctantly, but Jensen
twisted away immediately.
So, hey, this whole apology thing? Not going so well.
For one thing, the plan hadn’t involved turning Jensen into a pancake by almost throwing him over a
second-story railing. And another? It also didn’t involve blurting the news out just because Jensen was
stepping through the open doorway again to go into his room and Jared could actually see his time
running out.
No, Jared had definitely never meant to blurt it out.
Oh, and blurt it out he did. In that special, spectacular Padalecki way that had been passed down from
generation to generation in his family.
“Dan’s fiancé is pregnant!”
The look on Jensen’s face when he made that slow-motioned turn around was heartbreaking. Fuck
that, thought Jared, it’s damn near tragic. What the hell have I done?
I shouldn’t have told him. Why, damn it, WHY DO I KEEP FUCKING THIS UP?
Between clenched-tight lips, Jensen croaked, “A what?”
“A baby. And it’s a—” no, don’t say it. Bad idea. Really, really bad—“it’s a boy.”
“A boy,” Jensen repeated in a near-whisper, and only then did Jared consider throwing himself over the
railing.
But he’d started it now, right? Already opened the can of worms. Or whatever. Sucking in a deep
breath, Jared said, “He started waving around the ultrasound picture as soon as you left. Like… like he
didn’t want you to find out about it right away. Like he waited for you to leave the room before he
announced it.”
Jensen’s lips twisted into a grimace.
“I know,” Jared agreed glumly, even though Jensen hadn’t actually said the words. The twisty lip thing
he was doing with his mouth said it all.
“A baby boy? Are you sure?”
“Well, yeah, I guess. I mean, the picture looked like a blob, but don’t they always look like little aliens
in those things?”
“Fuck,” Jensen murmured breathily. “A little kid right in his house for him to—whenever he wants.”
“I never blurted your secret out. I never meant… I mean, I would never do that to you on purpose. I
didn’t even say anything until Dan said something about how he was glad it was going to be a boy, and
how he couldn’t wait to take him fishing and teach him how to be a man—like he’d taught you.”
Face screwing up into another grimace, Jensen muttered a faint little, “Oh,” but still wouldn’t meet
Jared’s eyes. He seemed to be studying his toes.
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“When he said that, I said, ‘You taught him more than fishing, you sickfuck,’ but it was under my
breath, and your aunt still heard me. She’s, like, 95. How the hell did she hear that?”
Finally looking up at Jared, Jensen said, “She’s spent most of those 95 years honing her ears to pick up
on gossip. She’s kind of like a leech when it comes to that kinda stuff.”
“Well, I was standing right next to her when I said it.” Jared slumped dejectedly, and then proceeded to
take out his frustration on an unopened Twinkie Jensen had dropped to the ground. The package finally
burst open from the pressure of Jared’s pounding feet and white cream filling came oozing out.
Jensen gawked at it, flicking his eyes back and forth from Jared’s face to the destroyed Twinkie. In an
unsure voice, he said, “Somehow that just doesn’t look right.”
“Sorry,” Jared muttered, staring at the gooey remains, “I’ll buy you a new one.”
“No. I didn’t really want it anyway.”
It was awkward, the way Jensen slowly backed into the open doorway of his motel room, as if eager to
escape something. To escape Jared.
“Where are you going?” Jared asked.
“Bed.”
“What about me?”
Jensen leaned heavily, wearily, against the door, practically sagging against it. “What about you?”
“So, uh, you wanna get breakfast together tomorrow morning?” Meaning: Are we okay?
Jensen hesitated—never a good sign for Jared—and said, “I think you should just go home.” Obviously:
No. We’re not okay.
“Home?” Funny how Jared couldn’t really figure out where that was exactly. Lately, home was just
wherever Jensen happened to be at the time, wherever Jared could walk into the room and freely pull
Jensen to him: Texas, Vancouver, Jared’s apartment, Jensen’s apartment, Jensen’s bedroom at the
Ackles’ house, on set, Jensen’s couch, Jared’s bed…
So, naturally, Jared was a little confused. He said, “But where will you be?”
Jensen shrugged, his shirt sleeve snagging on the rough wood of the door at the movement.
Too soon, Jared found himself two steps closer, over the threshold and so close to Jensen’s face that he
could visually trace the freckle patterns on Jensen’s nose. “I wanna fix this for you.”
Those decade long lashes of Jensen’s (which Jared could stare at for ridiculous and embarrassing
amounts of time) swept low on his cheeks as Jensen looked back down at his feet. “I think you’ve done
enough. Jared.”
Ouch. Jared flinched, because it actually hurt the way Jensen said it, hurt right down to his bones.
What the hell was there to say to that, except for, “Will you ever be able to… to forgive me for this?”
“I need time to figure some things out.”
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To Jared’s ears, that sounded vaguely ominous, a lot like, I need some time before I decide how I‘m
going to dump you. It sounded a lot like, I think we might be over.
Only with Jensen did Jared ever completely run out of things to say. Again, he blanked, just stood
gaping down at Jensen, who wouldn’t meet his eyes.
And Jared? This time he really had nothing.
--------Jensen figured that after three days of living off of junk food from vending machines, his body might
shut down. That, or the motel would kick him out for practically cleaning out their vending machines,
which didn’t seem to get replenished that often.
On his third back from the alcove in one day, he was a little surprised at the flip-flopped foot and part
of a tanned leg that wedged into the doorjamb, preventing him from completely closing the door to his
room.
Jensen put his weight onto the door and tried to squeeze the foot out of the way.
“Hey! You tryin’ to break my toes off? These are open-toed shoes, you dickweed!” The protest came
with an elbow, which lodged itself firmly in the door along with the foot. Next, a hand snaked through
the widening gap between door and jamb.
With an annoyed huff, Jensen said, “What the hell are you—” The rest got muffled and cut off by the
palm of the hand that came up and plastered itself to Jensen’s face, shoving his head to the side and
occupying him long enough for the intruder to push the rest of his way through the door.
Jensen swatted the hand away angrily as he backed away from the door. Wiping his face on the sleeve
of his shirt, he said, “Told you not to do that shit anymore.”
“Right, right. Not the face. Sor-ry.”
“Your hand’s all sweaty.”
“You’re right. My apologies. Next time I’ll remember the hand sanitizer first.”
Scowling, Jensen snatched up the remote to the ancient little TV and sank down on the bed, which, as
always, seemed to fold in on him from all sides and envelope him in lumpy mattress and mustysmelling bedspread. It was a lot like kicking back on a huge, moldy marshmallow, and over the past
few days it never did anything to improve Jensen’s mood.
The other man snickered, and Jensen snapped, “Go home, Josh.”
Even as Josh moved to stand in front of the TV, at the foot of Jensen’s bed, Jensen hit the power
button on the remote. Nothing happened. He shook the remote control.
Josh said, “Jensen.”
Jensen flipped the remote over and opened the battery compartment. The damn thing was running on
two corroded batteries. Fucking perfect. If all else failed, he could at least hurl at Josh’s head.
Josh’s face drained of any previous hints of amusement as he dropped his hands to his sides and
asked, “So is it true?”
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With the remote pointing past Josh to the television, Jensen said, “Move. You’re blocking the signal.”
Josh responded with a low-voiced, “Fuck,” as though Jensen’s non-answer had confirmed everything.
“We’re not gonna do this.” He waved the remote at the TV. “Now get out of the way.”
It took only seconds for Josh to snatch the remote out of Jensen’s hand, stomp to the door, and toss
the hard plastic piece over the motel balcony and out into the parking lot.
Josh slammed the door closed, turned to engage in a face-off with Jensen, who tried to claw his way
out of the too-soft mattress with dignity, but only managed to flop-flail backwards and bang his head
into the hard wooden headboard at his back.
Ignoring the spectacle, Josh’s voice came out strained and quiet when he said, “Why didn’t you ever
tell me?”
“Nothing to tell.” There was no use in trying to get up off the bed, so Jensen simply let his head fall
back to rest on the headboard. Settling back as though it had been his plan to reposition himself on the
marshmallow mattress all along, he crossed his arms over his chest and said, “Go get my remote.”
“Forget the damn remote!”
Funny, Jensen had forgotten how that little vein in Josh’s neck throbbed when he got all angry and red
in the face. Given other circumstances, it would’ve been pretty amusing, especially considering how it’d
been awhile since he’d had the pleasure of seeing The Vein in action.
Keeping his voice even, Jensen again said, “Go home, Josh.”
“Like hell I’m going back… there.” The last word was spat out, and Josh immediately whirled around
after he’d said it and kicked the closest object—a rusted metal trashcan setting beside the silent TV. It
soared through the air and smashed, with a loud and reverberating crack, into the air conditioner
attached to the window.
“Dude,” Jensen said, watching the AC as it sputtered to a shuddering stop, “that coulda gone through
the window.”
“How long?”
“Get out.”
“How long?”
“It doesn’t matter.” Jensen let his eyes fall shut. He could really go for a nap. A nice long nap. A nice
long weeklong nap. “How’d you find me, anyway?”
“Jared.”
“Right. Should’ve known I couldn’t trust him to keep his mouth shut about where I’m staying. He sure
as hell better not be with you.”
“He’s not. I’ve been staying in a hotel down the street for the past few days since there’s no way I’m
gonna go back home.”
Without opening his eyes, Jensen snorted.
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“How long did it go on, Jensen?”
“Go away.”
“You were nine, weren’t you?”
Jensen’s eyes flew open at his brother’s quiet tone of voice. His breath caught somewhere in his throat
before he managed to get the words out: “How did you… how do you…” know that?
“That’s when the panic attacks started.” Josh paused to slide the worn curtain from the window and
take a peek outside. He carefully kept his back to Jensen’s wide-eyed stare. “I remember because you
went into one every time someone started to touch you. One night I overheard Mom and Dad talking
about taking you to a psychiatrist.”
Jensen snorted again, mostly because he didn’t know what to say to that. He couldn’t help but wonder
what would’ve happened if they had actually followed through on it.
“And that was right around the time I stopped going on the fishing trips,” Josh added, almost warily.
Cautiously, slowly, Jensen said, “Yeah.” It was the closest he would ever come to admitting anything to
his brother, and it was all Josh was going to get out of him in the way of confirmation.
Josh turned around again but wouldn’t meet Jensen’s eyes. “I stopped going because Dan was starting
to act weird. It made me uncomfortable… the stuff he talked about.”
On the bed, Jensen tried (and failed) to sit up a little straighter as he said, “What kind of stuff?”
“Dirty jokes. Kind of. I dunno. I was only twelve, and I didn’t really always get what he was saying.”
“I don’t remember any dirty jokes.”
“That’s because he never talked that way around you. He always did it when you went to get
something from the car, or when you were fishing far enough away from us that you wouldn’t hear
him.”
“So he was kind of pervy with you, too.” Was it horrible that Jensen felt oddly… relieved? “Did he ever
try to—”
“No.”
“Okay.”
“All the creepy shit he said to me was about you.”
…
Oh.
Right.
Of fucking course.
Like a true idiot, Josh tried to join Jensen on the bed. It deflated under their combined weight, leaving
them both somewhere in the middle, in a sagging hole, sitting practically on top of each other. So
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intent on the conversation, Josh didn’t even seem to notice this. He said, “I knew there was something
not right about him, and it weirded me out. The fishing trips weren’t fun anymore so I bailed. I fucked
up. I left you alone with him.”
Trying to sweep away an oncoming headache, Jensen rubbed his fingers over his closed eyelids as he
spoke. “It’s not like you knew what he was gonna do. It’s not your fault.”
“I should’ve been there to stop him, to protect you. You know where I was instead?”
“Soccer practice.”
“The mall. I never even played soccer. I had Mom drop me off there and then I’d duck behind the
building and meet up with my friends. ‘S why I never wanted any of you coming to my soccer games.
Because I was never in any of the games.”
That would explain the reason why Josh had always tripped over the ball and fallen flat on his face
when they played soccer in the backyard with Dad. A little amused at the memory, Jensen said, “I
always thought you were so bad that they just benched you all the time.”
“I was hanging around in the food court with a chocolate milkshake while that fucker… while he… he…
messed with you.”
“Yeah. Well.” Jensen would’ve shrugged, but his shoulder was pressed so tightly to Josh’s that it was
just really awkward. “Get off the bed.”
When Josh didn’t move, only sat staring at the ratty old coverlet, Jensen managed to dig his heels into
the mattress and crawl his way off the bed to get up and turn the TV on by hand.
Josh didn’t speak again until Jensen started hitting the little television to get a better reception. Over
the sound of Jensen’s palm smacking the top of the TV, Josh, as though he’d been thinking about it for
a few minutes, said, “So that’s why I heard you crying in bed at night sometimes.”
Before Jensen could stop the immediate reaction, he winced. Over his shoulder, to Josh, he mumbled,
“Nightmares.”
“Yeah. And I’m a great soccer player. All bullshit.”
“Leave me alone.” Somewhere in the past thirty minutes Jensen had apparently reverted back to weak
little 10-year-old comebacks. Josh tended to have that effect on him. Out of clever retorts, and with
nothing to throw at Josh’s head, he snapped, “Why are you still here?”
“Thought we could have a slumber party and braid each other’s hair.”
And really? Did that even deserve a response? Jensen didn’t think so. He turned his attention back to
the TV.
From the bed, Josh said, “You don’t even like TV.”
“Yeah, well I don’t like you, either.”
“Why didn’t you ever tell anyone?”
“Why don’t you go away?”
“He still talks about you when you’re not in the room. I never realized… I didn’t get it until now. But
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Jared, he was ready to start throwing fists at the spanking comment. Thought he was gonna squeeze
the glass he had in his hand until it shattered. He’s a good guy. A little scary when it comes to trying to
protect you, but a good guy.”
“He’s an oversized monkey who can’t keep his mouth shut.”
Josh clasped his hands behind his head, stretched his legs out and crossed them at the ankles. “Yeah,
but he was ready to get in there and stand up for you when the rest of us’ve all just shrugged it off for
the past two decades.”
Jensen really wasn’t in the talking kind of mood, so he turned the volume up on the TV and mumbled,
“Whatever.”
Josh’s voice rose to be heard over the television. “He never yelled it out. He muttered it, and Aunt
Claire, the crazy old bat, happened to hear him. You know how she is.”
“That doesn’t—” Jensen punched the power button to turn the TV off, a little too much force behind his
finger, and turned back to Josh. “It doesn’t matter. I trusted him to keep his big, flapping mouth shut,
and he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t keep it to himself; he had to say it out loud, whether he said it under
his breath or not. He couldn’t not say it, because that’s just him.”
“It was an accident, Jensen.”
“Yeah, well it still feels like a fucking betrayal. It’s just… it’s not a good enough reason for what
happened. I can’t…”
“Can’t what?”
“I don’t think I can trust him with anything.”
“Huh.” Silence edged out from Josh’s side of the room as Jensen picked at his cuticles. “Hey, are you
gonna eat this Kit Kat bar?”
“Take it.”
“So I was thinking,” Josh said a few minutes later around a mouthful of chocolate. “You’d be stupid to
let something with Dan fuck up this thing… or whatever the hell it is you have with Jared. That’s like
letting Dan win or something.” Josh held up a bag of M&Ms. “Do you want these?”
“You can have all of it if you get out of my room.”
Popping his newly acquired colorful candy into his mouth, Josh settled back against the headboard,
appearing at ease and way too comfortable. “You look like hell, by the way.”
“Screw off, Josh. Don’t you have something to do?”
“Not really. So do you miss your tall dark puppy at all?”
“Get out.”
“All right, all right. I can take a hint.” He gathered various food packages off the bed, as many as could
fit into the pockets of his pants. At the door, with Jensen practically pushing him out of the room, he
said, “Jared keeps asking me about you. Always wants to make sure you’re ‘okay.’ It’d almost be nice if
it didn’t make me wanna vomit.”
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“Bye, Josh.”
“Do you wanna talk to him?”
“No.”
“What should I tell him next time he asks—calls?”
“Tell him…” Jensen chewed on his bottom lip. “Tell him we’ll talk when I get back to Vancouver.”
“Oh, okay. Like a good talk or like a ‘start moving your stuff outta my closet’ kinda talk? Should I
prepare him for a—”
Jensen slammed the door in Josh’s face. And locked it. People really were annoying.
--------As soon as Josh reached the pickup, Jared flung himself out of the passenger seat, almost tripped over
his own feet as he fell out the door, and said, “Is he okay? How’s he doing? Does he look all right? Can
I go up and see him?”
Josh held up a hand to stop the questions, hissed, “Get back in the truck. He might look out the
window and see you.”
“You didn’t tell him I came with you?”
“It didn’t seem like a good idea. I think he thinks you’re already back in Vancouver.”
“Oh, but is he still… does he still hate me?”
Josh started the car. “How should I know?”
Jared watched Jensen’s motel slide past the window as Josh guided the truck out of the parking lot and
back onto the highway. “I miss him,” Jared muttered, and didn’t fail to see the way Josh gave him a
hard look. “I’m used to seeing his face everyday. I miss touching—”
“Oh for Gods sake. Will you shut up? I don’t need to know what parts of my brother you miss
touching.”
Now that Jared turned his head away from the passing scenery to look over at Josh full on, he noticed
the man did look a little green. “Sorry.”
“I think you should take the next flight out.”
“What?”
“Jensen’s never responded well to hounding. You need to give him some time.”
“But I—”
“Miss touching…” Josh’s face contorted into a look of disgust. “Yeah, yeah. So you’ve told me. Over the
past two days, you’ve already described to me every part of his face that you love, along with your
favorite freckle, and a list of all the places you’ve found where he’s ticklish, and how his eyes crinkle on
the sides when you make a stupid joke, and how he fits perfectly next to you when y’all are on the
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couch together, and descriptions of several other body parts I definitely don’t need to be knowin’ about.
All described to me lovingly. In great detail.
“I can’t take it anymore, Jared. It’s like living with a talking romance novel. Pack your crap up and get
out of my hotel room. I think we’ve bonded way too fucking much already.”
“Oh.”
Josh glanced over at him, almost looked a little guilty. “Look. Sorry. But your hanging around Dallas
obviously isn’t helping. You need to go home. Man up a little. Give it a rest for awhile. Give Jensen
some time.”
Man, Jared really hated it when other people were right.
--------Jensen’s phone wouldn’t shut up.
He didn’t even need to see the caller ID to know it was Jared. Surprising it had taken him this long to
start calling, considering a week had passed since the kitchen incident, and he was expected to be back
in Vancouver to start filming in a day.
After the twentieth ring, he scooped it up, snapped it open, and snarled, “Don’t call me,” directly into
the speaker.
“Jensen.”
Oh. Not Jared. The tone was all wrong, strange and unfamiliar to his ear.
As if expecting Jensen to just know who it was, the other person said, “I think we need to talk.”
“Who is this?”
“Your uncle,” a slow pause dramatic enough for theaters, “Dan.”
That was unexpected. Jensen clinched his eyes shut. “What do you want?”
“I’m guessing you’ve heard about my expecting fiancé.”
“Yes.” The word felt like sharp glass being forced across his tongue.
“You know I never pussyfoot around, so I’ll come right out with it and get this over with. What
happened between us was a very long time ago. I was young and stupid and reckless. I’m a different
person now.”
Then why are you still humiliating me, just behind my back now?
Dan paused, as if expecting Jensen to say something. When Jensen remained silent, Dan continued
evenly, as though talking of a business deal. “You were merely a temptation. I regret that I couldn’t
control myself the way a man should have in that type of situation.”
It couldn’t even be called an apology. Jensen so-very-nearly hung up, but instead gritted his teeth,
repeated tonelessly, “A temptation.”
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“Yes.”
“You’re afraid I’ll come out to the press about it, and it’ll keep you from fathering that little boy.”
Dan didn’t miss a beat, nor did Jensen’s words frazzle him the way they probably should have. “I want
us to move past it. Seeing as how this was so long ago, I was hoping we could forget it ever
happened.”
Four and a half years of hell. How am I supposed to forget that?
“It was an extremely long time ago,” Dan emphasized again. “Surely you can get over something that
happened over fifteen years ago.”
Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Calm. Picturing himself in a role on stage, in a voice relaxed enough to
match Dan’s even tones, Jensen said, “Gonna teach him how to be a man? Like you taught me?”
“What?”
“Are you going to teach your son how to get down on his knees for you, too, the same way you taught
me? Or do you have a new technique planned especially for him?”
There was a long bout of quiet breathing on Dan’s end of the line, and then came a soft, “Excuse me?”
Jensen said, “Maybe you can have him strip for you afterwards instead of before, just to mix things up.
I know it’s been a long time. Can’t use the same old techniques you used on me, right? After all, you
are a different person now. And I know how easily you get bored.”
“I’ve changed. I’ve become a good man. Don’t pretend to know me, Jensen. We haven’t even spoken
in years.”
“But that’s the problem, Dan. I know you too well. Because you forced me to, over and over. If you
think I’m gonna keep my mouth shut and let you fuck up another little boy the way you—”
The other end of the line went dead. Jensen seriously doubted it was because Dan’s cell phone service
had dropped out.
--------Two days later, Jensen’s mom showed up tapping at his motel window, a still-warm casserole in her
hands. He didn’t ask how she’d found out where he was.
She practically fell into him as soon as he opened the door and she’d shoved the casserole dish onto
the little table by the window. Her eyes were puffy and red when she pulled back to looked up at him,
reaching a hand up to smooth the hair around his left ear.
She whispered, “I’m sorry, sweetie. I’m so sorry,” and pulled him to her again.
Jensen said, “I know, Mom,” and she burst into tears, completely wetting the side of his face. Together,
Jensen edged them closer to the little nightstand by his bed until the box of tissues were within his
reach.
Once she got herself together again, sniffling into the Kleenex he’d offered her and mopping at her
tear-stained cheeks, she said, “Don’t go back yet. I want to spend some time with you. I… I need to.”
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And he said, “Okay.”
It was another month before Jensen flew back to Vancouver.
{End of part 21}
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= 22 =
The Epic Love Story of Jared and Jensen
Series/Verse: Part 22 of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out
of control.
Summary: …involving an awkward sexual situation.
Type: Real people
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 4,430
Warnings: Pure schmoop.
Disclaimer: It’s all a fairytale.
AN: The title can be blamed on Sera Gamble, who once referred to Supernatural as “The Epic Love
Story of Sam and Dean.” It was too delicious to pass up.
AND. You guys, seriously, I think I can have this ‘verse wrapped up in two or three more chapters.
Finally, a conclusion! Good, right? And it only took nearly a year!
None of it happened the way Jared thought it would.
But if there were any one word at all to describe Jensen, it would have to be unpredictable. Or maybe
just confusing.
And Jared had plenty of time—over a month, in fact—to create a mental list of all the words Jensen
brought to mind: Frustrating. Maddening. Exasperating. Everything.
What? Wait. No.
But… yes. YES. Damn it.
Jared made a mental note to buy a thesaurus.
And maybe a dictionary.
--------A month and a half left a lot of time for Jared to discover some interesting things about himself. Really
dig deep, you know?
He rekindled his love for tea. But he neglected to buy the kind without caffeine, which led to his newest
hobby: moving furniture around in the middle of the night. It kind of eased some of his anxiety. Not
that he had anxiety, but, yeah. He totally did.
By the end of week four, Jared had a whole new collection of expensive teas. And a rearranged
bedroom.
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--------Sleep was no longer Jared’s friend.
He eventually bought a body pillow.
It didn’t help. So he bought another one and stacked them on top of each other, a little to his left.
It still didn’t help.
Screw sleep. He didn’t need it anyway. Sleep sucked. Sleep was for losers. Tea was better.
After a few weeks of going Jensenless, Jared took to staying up late into the night, sipping too-sweet
iced tea (the only way to drink it, really) and reading the final Harry Potter book, the one that Jensen
was supposed to read to him. And how great was that? He now associated Harry Potter with Jensen,
and afternoons on the couch together and butterscotch candy and… Oh, God. Jensen had now
managed to ruin Harry Potter for him. Forever.
The asshole.
That night, Jared rearranged his living room.
He wondered if Jensen would like the couch over by the door instead of the window. Not that it
mattered. Wasn’t like Jensen was ever going to grace Jared’s apartment again. Not after he’d fucked
everything up so horribly. Royally. Completely. Totally.
He’d forgotten to pick up that thesaurus. Obviously.
--------Two nights later, he gagged on the epilogue, accidentally sloshed his glass of tea on the last page, and
spent the rest of the night gathering Jensen’s leftover clothes and belongings from around the
apartment.
Maybe he could fed-ex all of it back to Jensen’s place.
Or… or maybe he could owl the clothes to Jensen.
Huh.
That might have been the point in which Jared realized it was probably time for less tea and more
sleep.
--------Jared wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when he got the call from Eric. Actually, he kind of sort of
maybe half-expected Eric to tell him that Jensen had quit the show.
So it really did come as a surprise when Eric told him to get his ass in to work the next morning. “Time
to start on season 3,” he cheerfully informed Jared over the crackling line.
Jared asked him if he was drunk.
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When Eric only laughed softly to himself, Jared took that as a yes.
“Jensen’s back in town now, ready to start filming,” Eric said. “We’re waiting on you.”
“Jensen’s back?”
“You’re still in, right? Jensen wasn’t sure.”
“In? Was I ever out?” Oh, yeah. Jared really, really needed more sleep, because something about that
question didn’t sound right.
Eric wisely chose to skip the badly worded statement. “Great. See you at five-thirty.”
Damn.
“AM,” Eric added dryly, and hung up.
Was it too late for Jared to get drunk?
--------Their onscreen chemistry was well and truly fucked. They all should have seen it coming. Yet somehow
it seemed to surprise not only Jared and Jensen, but everyone on set—from Eric and Kim, to the
lighting guys.
It was hard to believe that something that had come so naturally and easily to them could disappear so
quickly. Hard to believe that the onscreen chemistry that had simply just been there, had just existed
without thought, from the moment they’d first laid eyes on each other, wasn’t something that would
always be there, wasn’t something that had survived their personal summer fuckup, wasn’t something
that would just generally stick around no matter what happened off-camera.
They didn’t talk about it. Actually, they didn’t really talk at all anymore; they merely existed around
each other, near each other, but no longer together. During breaks, Jared would stare glumly across the
room at Jensen sipping his coffee, and Jensen would resolutely act like he couldn’t feel the burn of
eyes on his face.
At the end of the first week, Jared sank down on his couch and started a mental list of his other job
options. It took all of two minutes. One of which he spent deciding that all of his other options sucked.
A lot.
--------None of it happened the way Jared thought it would.
Especially this part: …this part where a loud crash from the living room sent Jared tumbling out of bed
at 3:30 in the morning. Crab-walking into the room, ready for combat with a ruthless burglar, Jared
flicked the lights on to find Jensen sprawled gracelessly on the floor, flat on his back, blinking dazedly
up at the ceiling.
Jensen said, “Since when did you move the couch?”
“I don’t know?” Okay, clearly not so quick on the draw at four in the morning.
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Jared’s sockless feet made little slapping noises on the tile floor as he wove between the furniture to
come to a stop over Jensen and offer him a hand.
After being hauled back to his feet, Jensen said, “I think we have a problem.”
“I can move the couch back to its old spot if you want,” Jared replied cautiously, drawling the words out
a little. He kind of needed some tea.
“It’s not about the couch.”
“Is it the coffee table, then? Because I can move it back by the window. It doesn’t really look right in
the middle of the room anywa—”
“Jared.” Jensen scrubbed a tired hand down his stubbled cheeks.
“Want some tea?”
“No. Thanks.”
At least this isn’t awkward.
“This thing between us,” Jensen started. He stopped abruptly, eyes dropping to the floor almost
bashfully.
Oh, God, Jared thought. Why did I even get out of bed?
“It’s fucked up what we have on camera,” continued Jensen, staring at a particularly large frayed hole
in his jeans.
Jared could do nothing but nod in miserable agreement.
“You need to know that I don’t hate you for what happened back at home.” A hesitant pause in which
Jared stared, transfixed, at Jensen’s downcast eyes. “I know you didn’t do it on purpose, but it still
burns.”
“Okay.” …because I’m sorry just didn’t seem to fit right this time. And when Jensen said no more, Jared
added, “I fucked it all up. I know I did.”
“I trusted you. And now…”
And now I’m just another asshole in your life who’s screwed you over.
Jared swallowed and looked away.
“But that’s not why I’m here,” Jensen said after a dragged out gap in which Jensen resumed staring at
the holes in his jeans, and Jared studied the top of Jensen’s bowed head.
“Oh.”
“We can’t even get through one scene together.”
“I know.”
“The network’ll cancel us if we don’t have the first episode done by the deadline.”
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Jared seemed to be stuck on repeat as he nodded and tossed in, “I know.”
Obviously nervous, Jensen wiped his palms on the thighs of his worn jeans—his favorite pair, Jared
noticed. “What we’re doing isn’t working,” Jensen said in a quiet tone.
“I…” (Swallow. Breathe. Blink. Breathe. Breathe—such simple tasks that Jared shouldn’t have to think
so hard about to remember to do.) Because he couldn’t look at Jensen and admit the words at the
same time, Jared closed his eyes. “I know.”
Here it comes. This is it. I’m a grown man. Dude, I can totally handle this. S’all good. I won’t do
anything stupid, like—
Warm breath on his face caused Jared’s eyes to snap open. Finding Jensen standing so close, having
closed the small distance between them so quietly, was kind of a surprise. Kind of a really big surprise.
“Jen…” An obvious question mark hung in the air at the end of Jensen’s name.
“For now, just forget about everything that happened in the last few months,” Jensen said.
Huh?
“Huh?” Jared muttered aloud, at the same time taking a dangerous chance by reaching out both hands
to touch Jensen’s shoulders, because Jensen was there, right there, finally, and Jared was temporarily
entranced by the way the other man was nervously rolling those shoulders back and forth, back and
forth under his jacket, as if trying to calm himself.
One moment the tip of Jared’s finger was about to make contact with the material of Jensen’s jacket;
the next moment, Jensen sort of just dropped like a deadweight, and Jared was left blinking stupidly
while his fingers closed around nothing but empty air.
Incredibly confused now, Jared angled his eyes down to Jensen, who was on the floor directly in front
of Jared, on his knees, staring blankly at Jared’s toes.
“Dude,” Jared said, wiggling his big toe up at Jensen and trying not to laugh, “did you just fall? How
much did you have to drink tonight? Wait, shit, you weren’t dumb enough to take something from Mike
again, were you?” When no response came, Jared slipped a hand under Jensen’s right armpit, gripped,
and started to drag him up. “Hey, are you okay?”
Jensen pulled back slightly, mumbling something that sounded like meant to.
“Man, what did you take? C’mon, get up. You can sleep on my couch tonight.”
Under his breath, Jensen muttered, “I didn’t take anything.”
Oh. Okay. I don’t get it. Jared’s brow furrowed. He let go of Jensen’s arm, watched those grass-green
eyes flit up to his face so briefly that he barely caught a flash of golden-green before eyelash covered
them again when Jensen lowered them back to the floor.
He almost said, What are you still doing on the floor? Don’t like you down there. Doesn’t feel right. But
he was momentarily distracted when Jensen’s hands came up to rest on his thighs, one on each side.
And that was… well. Definitely unexpected.
Ever the smooth one, Jared said, “Err-uh…”
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Jensen’s thumbs, warm on Jared’s skin, began rubbing light, tight little circles. “You want this, right?
You… you want me to…”
Jared’s mind slowed to a sluggish crawl, fumbled the possible meaning of Jensen’s words back and
forth. “What?”
The slowness in which those elegant hands slid down Jared’s legs was barely perceptible. Really, if it
hadn’t been for Jensen dragging Jared’s boxers down as he went, Jared might not have even noticed
that Jensen’s hands were moving at all.
For a ridiculous instant, Jared still didn’t understand what was going on. His mouth gaped open
soundlessly before he sputtered, “What are you… wait… what the…”
As Jensen gazed up into Jared’s face and their eyes finally met, Jared could make out an unmistakable
look of resignation settling across Jensen’s features when he said, “I… It’s been awhile since I’ve done
this,” a sharp, shaky, broken inhalation of breath, “but I… I think I can still do it.”
And finally, Jared got it.
Of course, by then, Jensen already had Jared’s boxers down to his ankles, and his next breath of air
shivered out over Jared’s groin.
Was it possible to choke on your own tongue? Because that’s quite possibly what Jared did.
Holy shit! Too fast, too fast! How did I end up here? OH. Jensen’s mouth. Jensen’s MOUTH. What the
fuck? WHAT. THE. F—
One tiny lean forward caused the tip of Jensen’s nose to bump Jared’s limp cock.
With a surprised yelp, Jared scrabbled at Jensen’s too-short hair, blunt nails digging into scalp. His
fingers found purchase in the longer spiky strands at the front, and in his little freak-out over the
situation, he gripped too hard and wrenched Jensen’s head back and away, which caused Jensen to let
out a pained squawk as his head snapped up and back with the force of Jared’s hand.
Still intent to get away and end this, Jared let go of Jensen’s hair and stumbled gracelessly backwards,
almost in a panic. His boxers tangled around his ankles and he fell—flailing and flapping, bare butt first
—into the glass coffee table, which shattered upon impact.
Knew I never should’ve moved this damned table.
“Jesus,” Jensen groaned, seconds or minutes later (Jared might’ve passed out for a minute or two
there), somewhere off to the left, “are you all right?”
Not so much, Jared wanted to say. This was my mom’s table.
Flat on his back, Jared gazed up at the hazy ceiling fan in his living room and listened to the sound of
glass crunching under rubber-soled boots. He turned his head to the side and long, lean, jean-clad legs
floated into his line of vision. Dizzy and disoriented, he tried to reach up and stick his index finger in
the gaping hole right over Jensen’s knee. He suddenly had the crazy need to run fingers and hands and
mouth over those legs and—
“Jared?”
Jared blinked the blur away and looked up into Jensen’s face, directly above him now. “My butt hurts.”
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“Are you all right?” Jensen repeated.
“Think so.” Though bits of glass dug into his backside when he shifted a little, it definitely could have
been worse. Nothing felt broken. Yet, anyway.
With Jensen’s fingers curled around his upper arm and the other gripping his wrist, they both managed
to pull Jared upright. A sprinkling of glass rained back down to the floor with Jared’s rise. He shook his
head side to side like a wet dog and more glass bits fell from his hair, followed by even more from the
back of his shirt when he puffed it out with air.
Just as he bent down to pull his underwear up and gain back at least a little dignity, his bare foot
landed on a small shard of glass, and he tipped-pitched-groaned forward in surprise at the tinge of
pain.
Jensen was there to catch him, his arms going around Jared’s upper body. Unfortunately, Jensen’s
booted-foot seemed to catch on the leg of the couch, and oh, God, why, WHY did Jared have to move
all of the furniture in his living room around?
Their legs tangled together, unbalancing them both, and they went down in a heap of intertwined limbs
and knotted, struggling arms.
They barely missed clipping the edge of the couch. Jensen landed on his back, and Jared landed in a
messy, diagonal sprawl on top of him, face-down, still naked from the waist down, with his boxers
twisted somewhere around his knees. It was picture perfect, really.
Jared’s head ended up in the space between Jensen’s shoulder and his ear. He ground his nose into the
carpeting and moaned, long and pitifully. There didn’t seem to be a reason to get up.
Jensen was the first to speak, his chest vibrating pleasantly beneath Jared’s with each word. “What the
hell is wrong with us?”
Do you want a list?
Since it would take too much effort to move or speak, Jared settled for shaking his head back and forth
while simultaneously giving his forehead rug-burn.
Neither moved for a good amount of time. Minutes stretched by.
After awhile, Jensen said, “I think the coffee table looks better by the window.”
Jared muttered something to the carpet that might have been Go to hell.
“Are you gonna move anytime soon?” A tug on his hair when he failed to answer. “Jared.”
Jared had no plans on moving. So he shifted his body until he could rest his chin on Jensen’s shoulder;
he fit his legs snuggly in the narrow V of Jensen’s, and said, “Dude. I can’t believe you tried to force a
blowjob on me. The hell?”
Chest to chest, so close that Jared could feel the air in Jensen’s lungs catch on a deep breath. “No...
that wasn’t… I didn’t…”
“Oh, I’m pretty sure you did.”
Jensen sounded irritated, affronted even. “Well who the hell reacts like that to an offered blowjob? You
actually broke a table.”
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Best to be blunt, which was luckily something Jared had a knack for. “Right. Like I could enjoy it when
you looked like you were gonna vomit any second.”
“I didn’t…”
“I was five seconds from having your dinner bits on my—”
“I thought it would help.”
Turning his head to rest his cheek on the carpet and look up at the side of Jensen’s face, Jared said,
“Help what?”
“Well, Eric said—”
Jared closed his eyes on a groan, growled low in the back of his throat. Eric.
Really, there was a simple solution to all of this: Jared would kill Kripke, and everyone would live
happily ever blah blah blah.
“—said he couldn’t even breathe when were in the same room together anymore because of all the
sexual tension in the air.”
“Sexual tension? Who even says that kinda stuff?”
“Eric.”
“Right. Meatsuit man.”
“It’s been almost nine months since we… got together, and I just thought if I did this, and got it over
with, it would sort of… relieve some of the tension. And then maybe we could get through a scene
together.”
If I got it over with.
Jared didn’t even try to hide his wince.
The words stung, seemed to catch on the end of Jared’s tongue, sour taste flooding his mouth. He
said, “So that’s why you wouldn’t look me in the eye all week. You’ve been, what, psyching yourself up
for this?”
“Not… all week. Just a few days. Once I realized we were mucking up the show with our… issues.”
From the awkward angle, Jared watched dark lashes dust Jensen’s cheekbones in a slow blink. “I
thought…” Jensen swallowed, blinked several more times. “I mean, this is a gay relationship, right?
Blowjobs kind of come with the package.”
“They do?” Baffled.
“Well, it’s inevitable, isn’t it?”
“Huh?”
“You always say you like my mouth. I thought you expected me to… eventually… you know? I
figured…”
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“You’re a fucking dumbass.” And, wow, that slipped out kind of unexpectedly. But it felt kind of good.
Kind of really good. So he added, “I didn’t order a Jendroid, you asshole.”
While Jensen screwed up his face at that, Jared surged up from his slump, moving fast, came to his
knees and at the same time yanked his boxers back up, then grabbed the lapel of Jensen’s jacket and
snatched him up, too. Still grasping the jacket, fisted in one hand, Jared brought Jensen’s face right to
his and carefully announced, “You just don’t get it.”
“I—”
“All this time and you still don’t GET IT.” Using Jensen’s jacket, Jared shoved him back, yanked him
forward again, as though he didn’t know what to do with Jensen, then knotted the material tighter in
his hand and shook him a little, two quick, sharp shakes back-and-forths.
“What are you—”
Just for good measure, Jared shook him again, cutting off his words. “It’s not about what I can get
from you. Not about the sex,” Jared bit out, and promptly sent the opposite message by crashing his
mouth to Jensen’s half-open lips.
His palm cupping the back of Jensen’s head to keep him from going anywhere, Jared traced those
parted lips with his tongue, curved his mouth to cover Jensen’s, practically sucked all of the air right
out of Jensen’s mouth.
With a great amount of self-control, as if to prove something, Jared kept his tongue from diving straight
into that wet, welcoming warmth pressed against his own mouth; he kept to only nibbles at the edges
of Jensen’s lips, sweeps of his tongue over and over where he’d just nipped lightly, little teasing scrapes
with the edges of his teeth to Jensen’s tongue when it peeked out from between his moist lips, an
exploratory suckle on Jensen’s cupid’s bow—which, much to Jared’s glee, caused him to kind of liquefy
a bit and lean all of his weight into Jared’s body, into the kiss. Oh, he definitely had to keep that move
in mind.
Only when Jensen seemed to be trying to inhale through his nose, rather desperately, to gain a breath,
did Jared let up to pull back slightly and brush the words over Jensen’s glistening wet lips: “You think
we’d be together nine months without sex if that was what I really wanted from this? Would’ve
dropped your ass after the first month if I were that kinda guy.”
“Damn,” Jensen breathed, the word nothing but a hot puff of air straight into Jared’s open mouth.
Jared sent the shared air back to Jensen with a heavily exhaled “Yeah.”
A minute, and then Jensen said, “I can’t figure out what it is you want me from me.”
Jared huffed out an exasperated sigh, hands coming up to Jensen’s jaw, tilting his attention up to
Jared’s face, thumbs settling just below Jensen’s eyes, feeling along cheekbones and freckles, fingers
skimming back through fine hair to massage at scalp. He watched Jensen’s eyelids droop lower and
lower as his fingers worked their magic.
“You’re really fucking frustrating. You know that, Ackles?”
“Yeah, well you keep coming back for more.”
“That’s because you’re like cake.”
It was barely perceptible, the way Jensen kind of sagged closer to Jared, hardly even a movement at
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all. But Jared noticed, and he worked his roving fingers harder, moving lower, to the back of Jensen’s
neck.
“Cake?” Jared watched Jensen bite at his lower lip, as if debating on whether he should even bother
asking. But then, clearly curious, he said, “What kind of cake?”
“Layer cake,” Jared answered without hesitation, as though he’d thought about this kind of thing before
(not that he had, but maybe a little, only because he sometimes tended to compare the people in his
life to different types of food). “Vanilla, with chocolate butter cream between the layers, a nutty filling
in the center, and a dark chocolate glaze on top.”
“Nutty center… are you saying that deep down I’m crazy?”
Jared wrinkled his forehead. “Huh. Hadn’t thought of it like that before.” Knead, press, rub, squeeze.
“Could be, I guess.”
“Fucker.”
“Not lately.”
“You,” Jensen sputtered. “You’re such a—”
Jared smiled, used his I’m-still-taller-even-when-we’re-kneeling height to his advantage and pulledmaneuvered-tackled Jensen to him, Jensen’s face getting smooshed to that comfortable and familiar
spot against Jared’s right shoulder, his nose poking into the crook of Jared’s neck, whatever clever
name he’d been about to call Jared getting muffled in Jared’s shirt collar.
“Yeah,” Jared said, laughing a little on the word, “I know I am,” and he flattened the back of Jensen’s
hair down with a large, patting hand.
Yet another unexpected turn of events: Jensen brought his arms up hesitantly, draped them over
Jared’s shoulders, and then wrapped them around his neck.
Jared nearly moaned out loud. Which would have been bad. Probably. Maybe? One could never really
tell what the hell would fly with Jensen Ackles at any given moment.
“I kind of missed you,” Jared said, bringing his arms to Jensen’s back in a loose embrace.
“Dude. This isn’t a romance novel.”
“Could be.” Instead of a nudge in the gut, Jared poked Jensen in the small of the back. “The Epic Love
Story of Jared and Jensen—soap opera style.”
A soft grunt warmed a small spot on Jared’s neck. “Wait. Why is your name first?”
“Because I’m taller.” Jared snorted out a laugh, even though it wasn’t particularly funny. What it was,
was really freakin’ early in the morning.
Mouth forming the words crisp and clear right into Jared’s ear, slightly dry lips grazing the sensitive
shell on each syllable, Jensen whispered, “You really don’t wanna have sex anytime soon, do you?”
Jared’s laugh choked off on a full-body shudder. “You know, I think it sounds better with your name
first.”
Jensen’s fingers feathered across the hair at the back of Jared’s head, as though he were playing with
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the tips, running his fingers up and down the silky strands, reacquainting himself with Jared’s hair. Such
small barely-there touches, but they still sent tingles down Jared’s spine. It was at times like this when
Jared remembered just how incredibly long it had been since… Well. Actual sex.
Sex. The word kind of lingered in his head, each letter bright and blazing and kind of shiny. Jared
wondered if that was a sign of sex deprivation or sleep deprivation. Or both.
Jensen said, “I guess I might’ve missed you, too.”
“Really?”
“Only when I got bored.” His casual shrug brought his chest more firmly to Jared’s, until they seemed
almost pasted together. “After about four weeks of wanting to bash your face in, I started getting bored
a lot.”
“Fuck,” Jared muttered heatedly, and then, “you just don’t know,” and then, “think I love you more than
cake…no, wait, more than food,” and then, “stay?”
“You’re exhausting. You know that?”
“Yep.” Jared was already grinning as he tried in vain to peel Jensen’s jacket off.
“You always wear me out.”
“Lift your arms up.”
“It’s 4 in the morning and we’re on our knees in the middle of your living room floor.”
Jensen’s jacket hit the floor with a muted plop.
Jared said, “You’ve ruined me. I can’t sleep without you, now. I haven’t slept right in—” Jared tried to
count on his fingers but gave up, “weeks.”
“I think I want some cake.”
“Fuck, I missed you.” Jensen had his shirt halfway off, over his head, when Jared wrestled him to the
carpet and spread him out like a body pillow, one in which he curled into like an oversized child starved
for attention.
“You’re a freak,” Jensen said, obviously amused.
“’S your fault,” Jared grumbled back, and was asleep within seconds, with the warmth of Jensen’s palm
resting in the middle of his back.
For the first time in a month and a half, Jared slept like a baby.
{End of part 22}
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= 23 =
Yours
Series/Verse: Part 23 of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out
of control.
Summary: So, Jared might be a bit territorial; and they both might have just discovered a new kink
neither knew they had.
Type: Real people
Rating: R
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 8,000
Warnings: Schmoop, frottage.
Spoiler: one huge one for All Hell Breaks Loose II
Disclaimer: It’s all a fairytale.
AN: Ya know, I think this might be my favorite chapter so far.
* Song: At the last second I added in the Switchfoot song lyrics at the top. The song is “Learning to
Breathe,” and it would fit this verse perfectly if it weren’t for the fact that the song is quite possibly
referring to Jesus. But we can always pretend. Right?
this is the way that I say I need you
this is the way that I say I love you
this is the way that I say I’m yours
“S’at uh ickem?”
“Swallow,” Jensen said, without looking up from the morning sun glinting off of his windshield and the
crisp white sheet of paper tucked neatly underneath one of the windshield wipers.
Jared washed the mouthful of dry poptart down with a swig of coffee and tried again. “Is that a ticket?”
The hint of a frown creased a line between Jensen’s brows. “No.”
“What is it?” He tried to peer over Jensen’s shoulder to get a better look, but Jensen plucked the scrap
of paper from his car and jammed it into his jacket pocket before Jared had a chance to read the black
typed print.
“Advertisement or a note or something. I’ll look at it later.”
“A note? For you? Lemme see.”
“It’s nothing. Get in. We’re already running late. Eric’s called my cell twice.”
“He texted me a frowny face five minutes ago.”
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“At least he keeps things professional. Dude, eat faster.” Jensen made a hurry up motion with his hand.
“All right, just let me finish my pop—”
In the time it took for Jared to blink, the last bite of his breakfast balanced between Jensen’s thumb
and forefinger, and then disappeared between his grinning lips. To top it off, he sucked a drop of sticky
sweet strawberry filling from the tip of his thumb, smacked Jared on the butt, and said, “There. All
gone. Now get in the car.”
“You…”
“Exactly.”
Needing the caffeine rush, Jared took a large gulp from his Styrofoam cup and pointed his finger at
Jensen from around the side of it. “You suck.”
“You’re a witty man, Jared.”
On the way to set, at a sharp turn, Jared sloshed lukewarm coffee onto Jensen’s favorite pair of faded
jeans. It may or may not have been completely on purpose.
--------They nailed every scene.
By noon, Eric started shooting sly looks at the two of them; twice he even winked knowingly. It was
creeping Jared out. Eric should never wink, especially in his or Jensen’s direction. He’d probably see it
in his nightmares tonight, along with the goofy grin that always accompanied each wink. So, so wrong.
At lunch Eric nudged Jensen in the side and said, “It worked, didn’t it? Was I right, or was I right?”
“You’re creepy,” Jared informed Eric, coming up behind the two of them and making for the lasagna
dish. “We don’t need to be talkin’ ‘bout this with you.”
“Hey, it’s only natural. Kinda like major earthquakes.”
Jensen pulled a disgusted face, almost as though he’d caught a whiff of something nasty, and dropped
the roll he’d had in his hand. It landed on the table with a distinct plunk.
“When there haven’t been any minor ones to relieve the tension at the fault lines, a major one has to
come along and take care of—”
“Oh God, make it stop,” Jensen said to Jared, turning a pleasant, faint shade of pink, even though his
tone came out light and humorous.
“It’s okay,” Eric assured, and clapped Jared on the back. “I don’t have a problem with the two leads of
my show screwing on their off-time. Well, I mean, it took some getting used to, but it’s all good now.”
Strange how that was all it took to rid Jared of his ever-present appetite. “Seriously,” said Jared, “never
say that word again.”
“What, screwing?” Eric seemed honestly confused.
“I’m thinking about pizza,” Jensen said, shoving his half-filled plate back onto the table. “That place
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down the street from here.”
Jared jumped on it. “Sounds good. Let’s go. Now.”
“Oh.” Eric let out a geeky snort of a laugh. “I get it. Pizza. Riiight. Just be back in an hour. And don’t
mess up your—”
Jared and Jensen were gone before Eric could finish the rest of his sentence.
--------“Uh, hey.”
Jensen kept walking, leaving Jared standing still in the middle of the parking lot.
“What?” Jensen asked over his shoulder, without breaking stride.
“Car’s over that way.”
When Jensen finally slowed and turned around, walking backwards now, Jared jabbed a thumb in the
direction where Jensen had parked the car that morning.
“I know. I’m not going to the car.”
“So are we gonna walk there?”
“We’re not getting pizza.”
“Chinese, then?”
“Nah.”
“Fast food? I haven’t had McDonald’s in a while.”
“No.”
“But I’m hungry.”
Jensen shrugged coolly, nearly walked backwards into a parked Honda but caught himself just in time,
ended up clipping his elbow on the rearview mirror instead.
“Graceful,” Jared observed, wide grin starting.
“You know me.”
Jared’s grin disappeared when Jensen came to a stop at Eric’s dark blue oversized SUV. He didn’t say
anything until Jensen reached for the door handle, and then it was all, “What are you doing? Dude,
why are you climbing into his backseat?”
Halfway in, Jensen halted with one leg hitched up inside the vehicle, one still on the ground. Angle
awkward, he twisted his neck around to eye Jared over his leather-clad shoulder. “Well, I don’t know
about you, but I got the feeling he wants us to relieve some tension. I’m feeling pretty tense. How
‘bout you?”
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Tense wasn’t exactly the right word for what Jared was feeling at the moment.
“But.” Jared’s mouth flapped open and then closed. Really, this wasn’t something he should have to
think about so hard. But, still. “It’s Eric’s.” A wild wave of hands accompanied Jared’s statement.
“It’s roomier than my car,” Jensen countered.
Jared eyed him for a minute, sizing him up. “You kind of have an evil side.”
“Do I? Think we should explore it? Together?”
Thank God Sam wore his jeans baggy, because things would have been incredibly uncomfortable
otherwise. “Well, your car is pretty tight. And mine’s at home.”
“And think of the earthquakes, Jay. We’re preventing a natural disaster here. Eric’s gotta lay one down
for the cause.”
“Yeah,” Jared said slowly. “Yeah, the cause.”
With a jerk of his head indicating the good-sized backseat, Jensen said, “You coming?”
“Oh, I plan on it.”
With an eye roll, Jensen patted Jared in the middle of his chest with his palm. “Okay, this isn’t a porno,
buddy-boy.”
Really? Because the way Jensen ducked his head down and crawled into the SUV on his hands and
knees looked vaguely like it could have been the beginnings of one. Come to think of it, Jared might
have scrolled through a freeze-frame picture just like this during his “research” on the internet a couple
months back.
Glancing side-to-side around the parking lot, Jared placed a hand on Jensen’s rear and shoved him
forward, which brought about a surprised growl from Jensen as he face-planted onto the seat. “Sorry,”
Jared said sheepishly, “thought I saw someone heading this way.”
“Ass.”
Without warning, Jared clambered in, pulled the door closed, and flopped down on top of Jensen, who
hadn’t yet flipped onto his back yet.
“Okay, no,” Jensen muffled into the seat, and slapped blindly at Jared’s thigh. “Off.”
“Turn over.”
“I can’t. You’re crushing my back.”
“Oh. Right. Sorry.”
Jared pulled up, weight resting on the hands he had planted on each side of Jensen’s head, and
watched Jensen roll over until he was blinking up at Jared uncertainly.
Jensen said, “So, uh, hey there.”
And Jared said, “Your eyes are a golden color today. Kinda like honey.”
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Those eyes widened briefly, and then Jensen burst out laughing.
“What? What’s funny?”
“I never know what to do with you. You’re like a big hairy girl.” Jensen reached a hand up to slap softly
at Jared’s cheek, buddy-like, still laughing. “You sure you’re real?”
Jared captured Jensen’s wrist, pulled the hand away from his face to lick a wide, wet strip up the palm,
the taste of sweat and salt and metal from Dean’s guns a flood on his taste buds.
That real enough for you?
Jensen sighed, “Oh,” like it actually surprised him or something, like he’d only led Jared out here
expecting to read the newspaper together, in the back of their boss’s car. Uh huh.
“Too many layers,” Jared mouthed to Jensen’s palm, tonguing his way across lifelines and lovelines.
“We only have an hour.”
“S’nough time to defile Eric’s leather seats.”
“New car.” Jared worked a path down the inside of Jensen’s arm, mouthing his way down as Jensen’s
free hand struggled to slip under Sam’s layers of shirts. “He needs to break the leather in.”
“Good thing he has us.”
It was on the tip of Jared’s tongue to say something about earthquakes and leather and how much
they both deserved a raise for all this extra work; but his mouth came to the juncture where Jensen’s
arm met with his shoulder, and at the same moment, Jensen freed his arm from Jared’s loose grip,
momentarily gave up on trying to get his other hand past Sam’s ten thousand shirts, and wrapped both
arms around the back of Jared’s neck, pulled him down flush, chest to chest.
Jared’s eyes nearly rolled back in his head.
Might have been a miracle that he managed to croak, “We deserve a raise.”
“Does anything ever shut you up?”
“Candy.”
Jared dipped his head, nudged leather jacket and too many shirts away with his nose until he met up
with skin, Jensen’s collarbone. Burrowed his head into Jensen’s left shoulder, holding and grasping and
wrinkling cotton and flannel in his hand to gain better access to skin.
“Missed this right here,” Jared mumbled, poking a finger at a particular spot on Jensen’s shoulder.
“What’re you talking ‘bout—oh.”
There would definitely be a Jared-shaped bruise right there later, mapping the spot where he clamped
his mouth down and sucked as though he were trying to slurp up the last dribble of chocolate
milkshake through a straw, then mouthed and licked all around the area, marking the spot off as his.
“What’s… what are you…”
Jensen blissfully incoherent. It was a beautiful thing.
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“My favorite freckle,” Jared clarified, as though having a specific favorite tiny little dot on Jensen’s body
was perfectly normal. “It’s mine.”
“I…” Jensen blinked owlishly up at him, licked at his lips. “Okay then.”
“Okay,” Jared repeated, a little taken aback at Jensen’s passive reaction. He peeled the various shirt
collars back further, heard something rip in the material, didn’t care. Later it would be Jensen who’d
have to explain that one to wardrobe. And boy would it be fun to watch.
For now, Jared traced his newly-claimed Jensen-spot with a blunt fingernail and felt rather than saw
Jensen’s hips reflexively give a sudden jolt upwards, as if Jared had just pushed a button wired straight
to Jensen’s libido.
They both stared at each other in surprise, and then Jared’s face broke into a thrilled little grin.
“Marking my territory… you like that, huh, Jen?” he rasped, low.
A northern gust of wind rocked the vehicle as Jensen reached up with one hand and sank his fingers
deep into Jared’s hair, burying his hand in the strands, and dragged-bullied him down to fit their
mouths together in that familiar way. Hot, was the first thought in Jared’s mind. Jensen’s mouth feels
so hot.
He slid both hands down worn leather, feeling his way blindly, until he reached the hems of several
hundred freakin’ shirts and thought, Jeezfuck. Dean’s 50 layers of armor. Both hands found their way
past cotton barriers and then Jared was gliding large hands back up Jensen’s body, touch-learning up
the sides of his torso, following the same path but now enjoying the feel of skin on skin, testing to see
if Jensen felt so warm and burning hot all over, everywhere, today.
At his ribs, Jensen laughed right into Jared’s mouth, and Jared wiggled all of his fingers into Jensen’s
sides at the same time that he broke the kiss in order to angle in and suck at his very own Jensenfreckle. Tickle, tickle, suck, tickle, tickle, suck. Jared set up a nice little rhythm.
The sound Jensen made at that should have been recorded, to use in dubbing over badly acted pornos.
Or, well, not. Because Jared had no plans on sharing this side of Jensen with anyone. Ever. It was all
his. Jensen was his.
Sweat trickled from Jensen’s forehead down into the hair at his temples, leaving pale tracks through
makeup. Jared licked at the tracks, felt the vibration of Jensen’s moan deep in his chest, the struggle of
his hips trying to move, gain friction, under Jared’s confining weight.
Jared’s hands moved on, lingering now over flat, trembling stomach, then moving up to palm firm pecs.
“You don’t even know what you to do me,” he whispered, muffled in skin and cloth.
“Jare-ed,” Jensen groaned, a half-plea, half-warning. Again, he tried to twist up, but Jared’s body, laid
out flat on top of him, prevented it. “You…”
Jared lifted up in response, then ground his hips down hard into Jensen, moved in a strange, offcircular kind of motion, hands still roving under Jensen’s many shirts. Areas where Jared’s skin was
bared, where Sam’s shirts didn’t cover, stuck to Dean’s leather jacket like a sweaty glue between them.
Jensen would have been writhing on the seat if Jared’s weight hadn’t been plastered to him like finely
molded paper mache. As it was, Jensen’s head happened to be the only thing he could move freely at
the moment, and he snapped it to the side, facing the back of the passenger seat, and in so doing,
bared a slim, long line of neck for Jared to lick and mouth at softly, in contrast with his wildly gyrating
hips. When Jensen whimpered—fuck, whimpered!—at the neck licks, Jared switched up, changed his
rhythm to a slow, almost lazy, undulating.
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“Fuhh… you…” Jensen managed, eyes pinched shut with building need. “Don’t have all day.”
And then there were Jensen’s hands, out of nowhere, trying to squeeze their way into the back of
Sam’s baggy jeans without unbuckling his belt. Jensen’s thumb got caught in a belt loop.
“Touch… can I? You?” Jared jumbled, barely getting the question out.
“Yes, damnit.”
Jared didn’t bother messing with any belt buckles. Screw that. Too complicated right now. He went
straight for the insistent bulge poking into his thigh, and palmed Jensen through the heavy denim.
Jensen, it appeared, looked like he might cry.
Jared had to ask, had to: “Okay?”
“Harder. Do it—”
Jared squeezed experimentally; Jensen gurgled, but his hand slithered through the tight, nonexistent
space between them, found Jared, and cupped him in hand, inexperience showing when his fingers
tried to form a sloppy fist of some sort despite the restricting area. Finally, he gave up and just followed
Jared’s example, content with rubbing and squeezing Jared through the denim. Their hands brushed,
bounced and jostled against each other, knuckles knocking here and there, space so tight. Jensen’s
head fell back, eyes closed, mouth open; and Jared’s face drooped forward heavily, the sharp little tip
of his nose fitting in at the hollow of Jensen’s throat perfectly, puzzle-like.
[ Art by nerrianah ]
Jared laved at Jensen’s chin, afraid to mark any part of him that would be on camera in just half an
hour. It was enough for Jensen to lift is head, slit his eyes open. Barely able to focus on Jared’s face, he
looked already blissed out, high on Jared. So Jared did the only normal thing a guy could do when one
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hand was busy and the other seemed to be imprisoned somewhere between two suffocating bodies:
He claimed Jensen’s lips with his own, tongues clashing and circling each other to the same rhythm
that hip bones still collided, over and over. Today Jensen tasted faintly like peppermint chap stick, a
burning, tangy, tingly flavor slicking their lips even further.
The only reason Jared abandoned those saliva-wet lips was to hover over His Freckle and circle his
tongue around it, graze his teeth over it lightly, and say, firmly, “Mine. Jensen. Mine.”
Clearly, more than a freckle was at stake here. And that was all it took for wet warmth to seep through
the denim and find Jared’s hand. Jensen arched up beautifully, eyes shutting, and Jared arched with
him, curving up over the seat, giving him room to move, mouth somehow still planted on That Spot.
Unwilling to let go, he sucked it until Jensen came back down, now a loose and wrung out pile of bones
beneath Jared’s strung body.
When Jensen finally came to a shuddering stop, he opened his eyes, stared straight at Jared, satisfied,
if not a little sheepish.
Jared ran light, worshipful fingers over his face. “Don’t be embarrassed. S’okay to like it. S’normal. Like
earthquakes and…”
Unexpected, Jensen bucked his hips up and to the left, purposefully somehow rubbing just right, and
the rest of Jared’s words trailed off into guttural little grunts. He felt Jensen’s free hand came to a rest
smack in the middle of his back, warm and firm, pressing through the layers of clothing.
It was unexpected when Jensen swept in close to Jared’s ear, voice pitched so low that the rich, deep
tone that Jared heard everyday felt like a mere rumble in his gut when Jensen said, “Yours,” and
nibbled just once at Jared’s earlobe. All of Jared’s growing need gathered like a wave and exploded out
with one last thrust of his pelvis. His vision flashed white, like someone had taken a picture in the
close, dim quarters of the car.
If Jensen hadn’t grabbed him by the shoulders and held on, Jared probably would have jerked off the
seat and gotten himself stuck between the front seat and the back seat. As it was, Jensen held him
steady until Jared sagged heavily against him.
“You still with me?” came Jensen’s voice after a few minutes.
“Mmm.” It looked a lot like nap time to Jared, especially considering he had just found a comfortable
place for his head wedged between the back of the seat and Jensen’s bicep.
Somewhat surprised, he blinked his eyes open to Jensen’s touch skimming across his forehead. Blinking
rapidly a few times to clear the blur, he looked up at Jensen’s face only to find Jensen looking back
down at him, eyes wide and clear and shining with something that looked a lot like… like reverence.
Jared suddenly found it hard to swallow. As their gazes locked, Jensen brushed damp, messy hair away
from Jared’s forehead. Unconsciously biting his bottom lip in unwavering concentration, his fingers
feathered Jared’s left temple, and then moved down to his cheek, the one which wasn’t pressed
snuggly to Jensen’s arm. Each small touch to Jared’s face lingered, as though Jensen were truly
savoring and appreciating every inch, as though he were just now really looking closely at Jared.
Minutes passed, with Jared holding his breath, afraid to break the spell and ruin this perfect moment.
Finally, Jensen said, “We gotta… gotta get back… to set.”
The SUV beeped.
Just as the front passenger door opened, Jared started to say, “Oh shi—” but Jensen clapped his hand
over Jared’s mouth.
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Eric’s voice: “I know I left the script for that scene in my glove compartment. Yeah, yeah. Hold on.”
Jared shut his eyes, closing out Jensen’s horrified expression, and tried not to die on the spot.
Eric’s head was facing away from them, ducked low to rummage through the glove compartment. The
front seat blocked his view of Jared and Jensen. For now.
Papers rustled, and Eric, apparently into his cell phone, said, “Got it!” Pause. “Have Dumb and Dumber
gotten back yet?”
Below Jared, Jensen was so motionless that Jared forced his eyes back open if only to make sure he
was still breathing. He was breathing all right, but not blinking. Two of his sweaty fingers were still
pressed to Jared’s closed mouth.
The car door slammed shut, and Eric’s voice faded away. Jared once again took up the important task
of breathing.
“Fuck,” Jared said.
“Can’t a guy enjoy post-orgasmic bliss in peace?”
Jared shook his head. “No one has any respect for privacy ‘round here.”
“Exactly.”
“Which one of us do you think is Dumber?”
Jensen never answered that one.
Five minutes later, Jared shifted and felt the damp, sticky clothing adhere to his skin. “So. I think I’m
gonna need to get up and change pants.”
“Probably.”
Reluctant, Jared pulled himself up into a sitting position, shoved Jensen’s feet out of his way to make
room for his butt on the backseat. When Jensen didn’t make a move to get up, Jared grabbed the collar
of his shirt and manhandled him up, tugging until Jensen’s cheek slid along his like sandpaper and
Jared could place his mouth right at Jensen’s ear.
“Guess what,” Jared whispered, like a secret.
“Do I even wanna know?”
“We gotta get back to set, get this done so we can go home early today. ‘Cause I got a whole forest full
o’ freckles to map and claim tonight.”
The shiver Jensen gave off was slight, but it was definitely there.
Jared pulled away from him, smiling in satisfaction as he popped the car door open and practically fell
out into the daylight, squinting like a newborn calf. Jensen tumbled out after him, slammed into Jared’s
back and just about sent them both sprawling onto the pavement.
“You’re clumsy after sex,” Jared noted.
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“I’m never clumsy,” Jensen said, and accidentally closed the bottom edge of Dean’s leather jacket in the
car door.
“I can’t wait to see you try and function after I make you come two or three times in a row.”
Jensen’s eyes widened comically as he started to move away from the SUV, toward Jared, and the
jacket jerked him backwards. Snickering, Jared opened the door, freed the jacket, and placed his hand
on Jensen’s left shoulder, gripping, steadying, and letting his thumb dig in at the spot that he couldn’t
see beneath the layers of clothing but now knew so well, his spot.
“You sure as hell better hope Dean doesn’t have any shirtless scenes for a while.”
Jared grinned brightly at the thought of his mark bared on national television, where curious fans
would lean in closer to their television sets saying, “What’s that right there? On Dean’s shoulder? Looks
like some sort of Padalecki-sized mark.”
Jensen poked his index finger into the prominent dip of Jared’s dimple and said, “Possessive bastard.”
“You like it.”
Jensen didn’t answer, but Jared caught the upward turn at the corner of his mouth as he turned on his
heel and headed straight for his trailer.
--------“Jensen,” Kim said with an obvious amount of exasperation, two hours later, “first episode of the
season. Dean just sold his soul to hell. Don’t look so damned happy.”
From across the set, Jared let one side of his mouth curve upwards. When Jensen glanced in his
direction, Jared mouthed, Mine, very clearly, and watched the recognizable flush flood up from Jensen’s
neck, to color his cheeks as he lowered his eyes, coughed into his closed fist, and turned away from
Jared.
He’s enjoying this. It only took nine months, but hell. I’ve cracked the Ackles wall. Totally worth it.
--------“You two seem happy,” Eric observed later that night, during a quick ten-minute break between scenes.
A raised eyebrow accompanied the statement. He looked almost… proud. Which was a little bit scary.
“You should lock your car,” was Jensen’s only response. Jared laughed straight through the next five
minutes.
Eric stared at Jared’s shaking frame for two full minutes before some sort of understanding crept over
his face. He said, “You didn’t.”
“The leather seats are nice,” Jensen answered; his smile was ironically sweet.
To his credit, Eric kept pretty cool. He returned the smile, appearing just as deceptively innocent,
looked a little thoughtful, if not dangerous, for half a minute. “I think Dean’s gonna join a pie eating
contest this season. In fact, it may become a hobby of his. Hey, how many pie eating contests do you
think there are on a daily basis across the United States?”
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Jensen’s face fell; Jared had to leave the room to catch a deep breath between guffaws.
--------It was nine o’clock at night by the time they got to head home for the day. They were stopped at a red
light when Jensen, out of the blue, said, “Why is he only punishing me? You were there, too.”
“Yeah, but you were the one who told him about it. And then smiled. Idiot. ’Sides, I look innocent. Eric
probably thinks you’re corrupting me.”
“No one’s that stupid.”
When Jensen cut his eyes over to him at another light, Jared widened his eyes, tilted his head to the
side just so, and frowned a tiny bit: full-on puppy mode.
Even though he was driving, Jensen slumped down in his seat. “I hate pie,” he mumbled.
Three minutes later, Jensen threatened to dump Jared on the side of the road if he wouldn’t stop
laughing and just shut up. He even pulled the car over and stopped, taking a long moment to glare in
Jared’s direction, which only caused Jared to double over in the seat and quake silently, biting his lip to
choke down the rising laughter.
“You’re evil,” Jensen concluded, started the car, and drove them home.
--------In the kitchen of Jensen’s apartment, Jared snuck up behind him at the toaster, whispered in his ear,
“Gonna take a shower. Wanna come?”
“Nah,” Jensen answered with a shrug, and carefully buttered his piece of toast.
“Nah?”
Jensen looked up at Jared’s surprised tone. “I already showered in my trailer, before we left. I’ll meet
you in bed.”
“Is this about the pie?”
“This isn’t about anything. I just want to eat my toast.”
I don’t get you, Jared whined to himself, and sulked off to the bathroom, alone. On his way there, in
the bedroom, he found a balled up piece of paper on the floor near the clothes Jensen had worn that
day. He almost tossed it in the trash, but at the last second decided to make sure it wasn’t something
important. After smoothing the creases out, he realized it was the piece of paper that had been on
Jensen’s windshield that morning.
One sentence spread neatly across the page in plain type:
We’re going to talk about this.
Puzzled, brow crinkling, Jared glanced up at the door to the bedroom, squinting past it to the light
pouring into the hallway from the kitchen.
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Christ, Jensen, now what are you hiding?
Resolute, paper squashed between his fingers, Jared strolled back into the kitchen. Jensen glanced up
from under his brows, took another bite of his toast. He didn’t bother asking why Jared wasn’t in the
shower yet.
Jared held the paper up so Jensen could see it. “‘We’re going to talk about this’? Who the hell is this
from, Jensen?”
Jensen chewed the bite almost mechanically, staring at the paper in Jared’s hand. Finally, he
swallowed, looked up and said, “I don’t know.”
“I don’t believe you.”
Something flared behind the gold in Jensen’s eyes, caught and glittered in the overhead light, but the
words came out calm, measured. “I think someone put it on my car by mistake. It was parked outside
your apartment; ‘s not like anyone around your place knows me.”
For some unexplainable reason, that explanation just didn’t satisfy Jared. His fingers twitched around
the sheet of paper. Nervous energy had him rocking back on his heels, then forward onto the balls of
his toes. Up, down, up, down, until Jensen said, “Would you stop it? You know that drives me crazy.”
“Jense, if someone’s stalking you, you need to tell me.”
“Stalking me?” A sharp bark of laughter forced itself from Jensen’s lips.
“Whoever it is followed you all the way to my place. Dude, that’s just a little fucking creepy!”
“Do you think you could calm down a minute? It’s just some idiot who got my car mixed up with
somebody else’s.”
“That’s a lame-ass excuse, and you know it.”
“Excuse?” Jensen took a step forward, but, as if he didn’t trust himself in getting any closer to Jared,
he stepped back again. “What’s your problem?”
Out of a habit Jared had picked up from Sam, he threw his arms out to the sides. “Someone stalking
you around Vancouver—PROBLEM!”
“Oh for God’s sake, just go take your damn shower!” Jensen growled, and stuffed the last few bites of
his toast into his overflowing trashcan.
“Fine.” Jared tossed the paper at Jensen’s head, but since it was no longer wadded into a ball, it simply
fluttered to the kitchen floor.
Down the length of the hallway, Jensen called, “You can be a real pain in the ass, you know that?”
This time, it was Jared who didn’t answer.
--------Jensen caught Jared not-showering when he walked into the bedroom and found Jared glaring out the
window, having a stare-down with the swaying trees outside, and going around the room making sure
all windows were locked and the blinds pulled down.
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“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” Jensen said at the doorway.
Jared ignored him.
Jensen’s arms were crossed at his chest, a sarcastic, not-quite smirk to his lips, as though he wanted to
be amused but couldn’t quite make it to that point. “Locking the windows? You think my invisible
stalker’s gonna scale a four-story building to get up here?”
“You never know.”
One eyebrow arced up gracefully. “The truth, Jared: Do you think it’s Spiderman?”
“Maybe we should close the living room blinds, too.”
“You’ve been working on Supernatural too long. You’re getting paranoid.”
“Is the front door locked?”
“You’re a moron.”
“I’m not paranoid. I just know all the shit you’ve been through. Look, it’s not your fault you attract all
the freaks, okay?”
“Attracted you, didn’t I?”
“Yeah, but I don’t count, ‘cause I fell in love with you.”
“Watch it, Jay. The Stalker might’ve put up cameras when I wasn’t here. You never know who could be
listening to this conversation right now. Dude, what if it is Spiderman?”
Jared flipped him the choice finger and went to make sure the front door was locked. And the door to
the balcony. And while he was in there, he also closed all of the blinds. Jensen was sitting on the couch
laughing at him by the time he finished.
“I’ll be out of the shower in twenty minutes,” Jared promised.
“Maybe I should blockade myself in the closet while you’re away.”
“Maybe you should.”
“I’m telling you, Jared, it’s nothing.”
But Jared knew Jensen’s world by now, knew the familiar closed-off look that had crossed Jensen’s face
when he’d help up that crinkled wad of paper in the kitchen. When it came to Jensen, a stalker was
surprisingly not a big surprise; and nothing always turned out to be something, or more accurately,
someone. He gave Jensen a yeah, sure, okay look, and rushed to take his shower before anything
happened.
--------Jensen was drinking a beer in bed, reading over the script for the next day, when Jared came out of
the bathroom. Toweling his hair dry, he peered around the room cautiously, as though someone
might’ve been hiding under the bed or in a dim corner.
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“Nobody,” Jensen said, without looking up. He crunched down on a Pringle.
“No calls? No knocks on the door?”
“Nothing.”
Jared frowned.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” said Jensen, finally looking up from the script, “didn’t mean to disappoint you.”
“You need to start buying peach shampoo.”
Jensen went back to reading the paper in his hand. “So bring your own shampoo with you next time.”
“Really? You wouldn’t mind having my crap all over your bathroom?”
“Already have you all over the rest of my apartment, don’t I?” Jensen didn’t look up, didn’t catch the
slow, pleased smile making its way across Jared’s face. “You’re gonna make my place smell like the
fresh fruit isle at the grocery store, aren’t you?”
“You already know the answer to that one.” Eyeing the Pringles container, Jared asked, “What flavor’s
that?”
“Pizza.” Jensen held up the chips for Jared to try one.
“Seriously?”
“They’re good with beer.”
“Pizza-flavored Pringles. You’ve been holding out on me.”
“We have two episodes’ worth of scripts to learn. I’ve been saving the beer and Pringles for an allnighter.”
“For me?”
“Who else? Go grab a beer and get your ass in here on the bed. I wanna try and get at least an hour’s
sleep tonight.”
“So there’s really no one stalking you?”
Licking pepperoni-flavored spices off his thumb, Jensen laughed around his finger. “Hey there, Jared,
welcome back to reality.”
Jared scratched the back of his head, tousled his wet hair in the process. “Huh.” Really misjudged that
one.
--------They fell asleep in a pile on top of each other, somewhere around two or three in the morning, still
clothed in jeans, with Jensen in a t-shirt and Jared in a black wife-beater. Scripts were scattered across
the coverlet, edging off the sides of the bed. Empty Pringle containers littered the floor, and four or five
beer bottles were on the nightstand.
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Jensen’s alarm, set on the highest volume possible, sent Jared tumbling out of the bed in a flurry of
paper at 5:30am. On the floor, flat on his stomach, he reached up and slapped at the shrieking alarm.
It wouldn’t go off, so he unplugged it from the wall.
“Jesus. How the hell do you ever sleep through that thing?” No answer. Jared scratched idly at his
cheek and said, “Are you dead? Should I be worried or something?” Because surely only a corpse had
the ability to sleep through that beast of an alarm going off in his ear.
“Jeh’sen,” Jared mumbled to the carpet under his cheek, then pushed up onto his elbows, and then
finally onto his palms. His eyes level with the bed, he peered over the edge at the empty and rumpled
covers.
Jensen up and awake before the alarm. It must have been a cold day in hell, with maybe even a little
snow in the forecast—or a blizzard. Yeah, a blizzard in hell. Okay, Jared really needed something with
caffeine. And sugar. Right now. His body was drooping.
He better have coffee waiting for me. And a donut.
--------Hearing Jensen talk to himself was, well, a little strange. Jared’s first thought when he padded down
the hall and heard Jensen’s voice was, Damn. Dude’s arguing with himself. That ain’t normal, and then,
Maybe he’s running lines, and then, Who the hell is at the door bitching at Jensen at fuck five o’clock in
the morning?
And then, Stalker.
Hey. I WAS RIGHT!
Wait, that’s not good.
Jared was three feet from rounding the corner, where the edge of the hallway wall would no longer
hide him from the view of whoever was at the door and facing into the apartment.
“…after you’ve managed to take away everything that ever meant anything to me...”
Inches from revealing himself, Jared stopped dead in his tracks. He flattened himself back against the
wall. Why do I recognize that voice?
“…you could at least invite me in for coffee.”
That overeducated, pretentious tone. So familiar.
“…but really, I thought you were beyond childish revenge by now, Jensen.”
And then it clicked. Dan.
Jared nearly groaned out loud. No fucking way.
He heard Jensen say, very clearly, “It was never about getting revenge.”
“Justice, then? Do you think you were justified in ruining my life?”
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“It wasn’t about that, either. It was about keeping you from hurting another little boy the way you hurt
me.”
“I see. That’s very heroic of you, Jensen.” The sardonic pitch to Dan’s voice made Jared want to beat
something, almost made him throw himself out into the open and come to Jensen’s side, to back him
up. But something told Jared this wasn’t his fight, not this part of it, at least.
“You need to know something,” Dan said, his voice dropping low enough that Jared strained forward to
hear him better. “I never touched another kid. I never even thought about it. It was always only you.”
Whether to hear better, or because of the content of Dan’s words, Jared held his breath.
“See,” Dan continued, “it was never about hurting children, or hurting young boys; it was about hurting
you, Jensen.”
Jared’s bated air rushed out in a breathy, “Fuuuuck,” and he tipped so far forward that he nearly faceplanted into the entryway. When he caught himself from falling, he peeked around the edge of the wall.
Jensen, standing stock-still, was facing away from Jared, one hand gripping the doorknob with brutal
intensity.
Jared figured now was probably the time to make a move. Quickly, he strode out from behind the wall,
looming up behind Jensen like a dark, angry storm cloud.
Dan’s eyes widened in evident surprise when Jared stopped directly behind Jensen, lightly touched him
midway up his back, a small brush of hey, I’m here fingertips, and then dropped one hand to grab the
door. The other hand, Jared placed on Dan’s shoulder. Dan grimaced when that hand tightened enough
to crack a bone.
Squeezing the shoulder, Jared said, “What the fuck do you think you’re doing here?”
“I came to speak with Jensen.” Though he looked shaken, Dan’s voice still managed to come out even.
Glancing down at Jared’s hand digging into his flesh, he said, “Do you mind?”
Stupid question.
Jared smiled, which must have looked scarier than it sounded, because Dan tried to back away, as
though thoroughly intimidated. Jared’s hand on his shoulder stopped him. “You know what? I think I do
mind,” Jared said, casual, like he was requesting a side of fries with his sandwich. He stole a glance
over at Jensen, who hadn’t moved or said anything since Jared had walked up. He looked frozen to the
spot, stricken.
That look on Jensen’s face was all Jared needed.
“This is a private conversation,” said Dan, not so firmly.
“Not anymore.”
Focusing his attention away from Jared, Dan said, “Jensen—”
“No,” Jared cut in sharply, his words biting and clipped, “you don’t even say his name anymore. You
don’t talk to him.” He shook Dan’s shoulder to bring the attention back to himself. “You don’t even look
at him.” With that, Jared let go of the door, squeezed by Jensen, and pushed his way out into the
empty hallway of Jensen’s apartment building. His hand still attached to Dan, he shoved the man
backwards, away from the door and into the opposite wall.
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Dan’s eyes flared with something—fear, probably—because his next words were, “There are other
people in this building.”
“You’re right about that. And I’m pretty sure they’ll come running to see what the noise was after you
accidentally fall down four flights of stairs. Because I’m thinking your head’ll make a huge racket when
it hits that concrete floor at the bottom.”
From the doorway, Jensen said, “Jared.”
As though he’d said nothing unusual seconds ago, hadn’t just threatened to throw a guy down several
flights of stairs, Jared replied with, “What?”
“Don’t.”
“I didn’t come here for trouble.” In a placating manner, Dan held his hands up in the air, palms facing
out.
Jared’s upper lip curled skywards. “No, you just came all the way up to Canada to harass Jensen.”
“I wasn’t harassing—I came because Jensen—”
All Jared had to do was look down into his face with narrowed eyes, and Dan snapped his mouth shut,
sufficiently cowed for the time being.
“Told you not to say that name,” Jared hissed, just as the door to the apartment across the hall
opened. Three heads snapped up, and an elderly woman blinked at them in surprise. Dan took Jared’s
loosened grip on his shoulder as a chance to peel himself away from Jared and smile sweetly over at
the woman.
“Morning, ma’am,” Dan drawled at the lady, all obvious southern charm as he smiled wide and brushed
dark golden-blond hair out of his eyes. He glanced down at the purse on the woman’s arm. “I was just
heading downstairs. Would you like an escort?”
She actually blushed, and Jared thought, Oh damn, he’s good. As Jared and Jensen watched on, Dan
looped his arm through hers and led her away to the elevator.
“Hey, Dan?” Jared called to his back, like two friends calling down the hall to each other. Dan turned at
the elevator and gave Jared a sidelong, wary glance. “Come back again and I’ll show you those stairs.”
Now it was Jared who smiled pleasantly. “Got it?”
The elevator door opened, and Dan gave one quick nod of understanding before he ducked into the
elevator cab as if he couldn’t get away fast enough, practically dragging the old lady along behind him.
When Jared turned back to Jensen, he had already disappeared back into the apartment.
--------Jared found him sitting cross-legged on the bed, surrounded by paper and Pringles crumbs.
The first words out of Jensen’s mouth were, “Look, I didn’t know, okay?”
Jared stopped just inside the doorway. “Didn’t know what?”
“That the note on my car was from him. I mean, the thought crossed my mind that it could’ve been
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him, but all the way from Texas? That’s, what, over 2000 miles? Just to leave an anonymous note on
my windshield? I figured it had to be a mix-up with the cars. I didn’t… I wasn’t lying to you on purpose
last night.”
“I know. It’s okay. At least it wasn’t Spiderman, right?”
Jensen didn’t even crack a smile. “Were you really gonna throw him down the stairs?”
“Only if you wanted me to,” Jared said tenderly.
That brought a small smile. “He’s probably already booking the next flight back to Dallas.”
Jared puffed his chest out. “I’m telling you, man, I have my ways.”
“You also have arms the size of boulders,” Jensen laughed, gesturing at the wife-beater Jared had slept
in all night.
“Huh, forgot I had this on,” Jared said, glancing down at himself. Digging his toes into the carpet, he
looked back up. “So, uh, what exactly did you do to ‘ruin his life’?”
“Nothing. I just…”
“You just what?”
“I went and talked to his fiancé.”
Jared whistled. “Are you kidding me? So that’s what you were doing down there all that time?”
“Well, not the whole time, but it turned out Anna, his fiancé, is the daughter of my mom’s best friend.
That’s how Dan met her—through my mom. She’s the one who introduced them and set them up
together.”
“Damn.”
“Yeah. So Mom went and told Anna’s mom, and they both brought me to Dan and Anna’s place while
Dan was at work. It was pretty… well, you can probably imagine.”
“Awkward.”
“Exactly. Dude, she’s like seven months pregnant, and I had to sit down with her and tell her that her
fiancé’s a freakin’ pedophile.” Jensen hid his face in his hand when he reached the last word.
For once Jared had no response, so he simply shook his head, even though Jensen couldn’t see him
from behind his hand.
“She wouldn’t have believed me if our moms hadn’t been there backing me up,” Jensen continued,
lifting his head and rubbing his hand over his face tiredly. “After I told her, she packed all of her stuff
right then and there and left him. She’s staying with her mom now.”
“What about the baby?”
“Anna started to file for complete custody, and Dan threatened to take her to court over it.”
“Could he win?”
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“I don’t know. I told him if he took it to court, I’d testify against him and drag his name through the
mud. That got him to back off, for now. He’s a hotshot head guy at some huge computer software
company in Dallas. He handles all of their marketing and advertising. He can’t afford for there to be
anything negative attached to his name.”
“Christ. Why didn’t you tell me any of this?”
“It was complicated.” Jensen shrugged. “I was going to tell you. Just… later.”
“So that’s why Dan flew to Vancouver—to ‘talk’ about all of this with you?”
“Yeah. Well, I did break up his marriage. And threaten to ruin his career.”
“Fuck, Jen, you rock. You know that?” Jared did a fist pump in the air.
“Don’t rock,” Jensen mumbled; he looked pained. “If he calls me on my threat… shit, I don’t wanna go
to court with this. It would hit the media, and everyone… everyone would find out.”
“Dan won’t call it. He’s too chicken. When it comes right down to it, I think he’s the type who’d pick his
career over having a kid. He’s gonna let it drop ‘cause he has no other choice. Just you watch.” Jensen
slumped down further on the bed, and Jared bounded across the room to slap him on the back. “It’ll be
okay. Now get dressed and let’s go before Eric starts sending me text messages.”
Jared was at the door, about to go into the kitchen to find something quick to eat, when Jensen, in a
hushed voice, said, “Why?”
Jared turned on the spot, watched Jensen pick at crumbs on the bedspread. “Why what?”
“What he said to me—about how he only wanted to hurt me and nobody else… just me…” His head
drooped down toward the bed as his voice dropped even lower. “What is it about me?”
Precious seconds passed and Jared’s mouth flapped up and down uselessly, like a flag in a breeze.
Then: “Fuck that.” He covered the width of the room in seconds, put one knee on the bed behind
Jensen, one still on the floor, then bent his body forward and kind of folded himself over the other man
like a tent, arms going all the way around.
“This one’s new,” Jensen mused, his mouth somewhere around Jared’s armpit. A second later: “You
might wanna shower before we go to work this morning.”
“You don’t listen to people like that. Bill, Dan—they don’t matter. I’ll fucking tell you that every damn
morning if I have to.”
“Okay.”
“You backed Dan into a corner and he knows it. He was pissed as hell and lashing out any way he
could.”
“I know.”
“Do you?”
“I can hear your stomach growling. Go get some breakfast. And bring me coffee,” a pause, “please.”
Jared straightened; Jensen showed no signs of moving anytime soon, though he did look a lot like a
guy just coming up for air. At the door, Jared turned, tipped his head to the side a tiny bit, a small smile
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flickering across his lips, and asked, almost timidly (well, timid for Jared anyway), “Mine?”
“Your what— …oh.” Ah, yes, and there it was: the exasperated eye-roll. But then Jensen’s mouth
quirked up at the side, as though he were fighting back a grin, and he said, “Yeah, Jared. Yours.”
Again, with Jared halfway out the door, stomach growling for food, Jensen stopped him with a quiet
and unsure, “Hey…”
Jared turned.
On the bed, Jensen fidgeted. “So this works both ways, right?”
It took Jared more than a second to realize they weren’t talking about breakfast. Once he understood,
he grinned. “Definitely.”
The grin Jensen turned full wattage on Jared was both shy and predatory all at once, slow in coming,
but full of promises that Jared wanted to explore.
“Good,” Jensen said simply.
Jared practically bounced all the way to the kitchen.
{End of part 23}
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= 24 =
Just a Murmur
Series/Verse: Part 24 of the Sick 'Verse that started off with Green Around the Edges and spiraled out
of control.
Summary: There are some things even Jared wouldn’t blurt out. Some things he’d rather just murmur
to Jensen, soft and unexpected.
Type: Real people
Rating: R
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 5,560
Warnings: Extreme schmoop, just a tad cliché.
Disclaimer: It’s all a fairytale.
AN: One more chapter to wrap it all up and then we’re done here! There might be a short epilogue
after part 25, but I’m not sure yet. And, yes, this is cliché and schoompy and just what I was going for.
Apparently I’m an even bigger sap than Jared.
“What’re you watching?” Jensen asked late one Sunday afternoon. He plopped down right next to Jared
on the couch and folded his legs up Indian style, sinking back into the cushions. He looked slouchy and
content and relaxed. This boded well for Jared’s intentions.
“I don’t know,” Jared lied, and swung a leg over Jensen’s lap to hinder any possible attempts at escape.
Jensen gave him a warm smile, pinched his outer thigh affectionately, and Jared felt just a little bit
guilty about trying this.
Not even five minutes later, Jensen said, “Why’s the acting so bad?” On the screen, a group of men
were out in the middle of a field at twilight, drinking and horsing around. “Is this some cheap horror
flick?”
“Not… exactly.” Jared darted his eyes over to Jensen, scooted his arm across the back of the couch to
fit up against Jensen’s shoulders and back, his fingers grazing the edge of Jensen’s shirtsleeve.
Jensen reached over to the bowl beside Jared and stole one of his Cheetos, then relaxed back into
Jared’s arm. “This is really bad. Let’s turn it.”
“Just wait.”
“What are we waiting for?” He leaned over to grab the remote from Jared’s hand, but Jared held it just
out of his reach. “Oh, c’mon, man. You can’t tell me you’re that attached to this crappy B-movie.”
“Watch,” Jared insisted, nudging Jensen in the side with his elbow to get him to turn his attention back
to the TV.
“Why are they all splitting into pairs?”
Jared nervously scratched his eyebrow, waited for Jensen to catch on.
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The twilight sky in the movie dimmed from deep purplish blue to a midnight red color. Jared watched
Jensen’s growing look of confusion as the fake stars transformed into tiny flashing blue lights and the
camera focused in on two guys ducking behind a large tree trunk together. Jensen’s mouth formed a
silent What the…
Jared had to bite his tongue to keep from laughing at the bewildered look on his face.
Cheesy music started up as the two men sank down into the overgrown grass, one stacked on top of
the other like dominos. More entertaining than the scene on screen was Jensen’s reactions, mostly
because he still didn’t seem to get it. He tipped his head to the side, following the sideways angle the
men had taken.
Maybe he thinks they’re wrestling? Jared thought.
Jared could tell the exact moment understanding dawned, because Jensen’s eyes rounded and his face
took on a reddish tint, like he’d been out in the sun too long. The fact that it took the men actually
starting to grope one another for Jensen to finally pick up on what was going on was oddly endearing
in its naivety.
Caught up in the moment, Jared blurted, “You should see the look on your face. You’re so fucking
adorable, Jense.” He patted Jensen’s cheek.
“Oh hell no,” Jensen croaked out, and moved to stand up. Jared’s impossibly long arm shot out in front
of him, effectively blocking Jensen from making a run for it. The leg already thrown across Jensen’s lap
pressed down harder. “Dude, no. You can’t make me watch this.”
“Jen, c’mon. It’s not a big deal.” Jared paused the DVD. The naked men froze mid-moan, with one
reaching behind the other presumably to…
Now it was Jared who blushed.
“Oh God,” Jensen moaned, twisting and wiggling under Jared’s leg. “MY EYES.”
So of course, Jared had to make the situation worse by saying, “You make a really cute virgin.”
He could actually feel, rather than see, Jensen’s body recoil, as if Jared had just insulted him. “I’m not
a virgin.”
“I know that. But we both are with this kinda stuff. And you’re all sweet and prudish about it. It’s all
good. I like it. It’s really—” so fucking cute that I wanna wrap you up and keep you, “—sexy.”
Jensen flinched and squinted at the screen, as if staring into a bright sunset, afraid to look directly at it,
and Jared bent his head down and honest-to-God giggled into Jensen’s shoulder because, wow, they
were so, so screwed. And it should never be this funny.
It ceased being funny when Jensen gathered a handful of Jared’s hair in his fist and yanked hard
enough to jerk Jared’s head to the side and make him yelp. “Turn it off. Now.”
“Dude, ever hear of premature balding?”
Jensen tried to shove Jared’s leg off of his lap. “Get off me. You’re leg’s like a lead weight.”
“Just give it a try.”
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“You can’t force me to watch it.”
Sulking a little bit, Jared automatically let his leg slip off Jensen’s lap and drop to the floor.
Jensen started to get up, but Jared latched his hands around the crooks of Jensen’s elbows and pulled
him back down to the couch. They spent the next six minutes tussling. The bucket of Cheetos went
flying through the air; Jared’s sock ground down on one when he put his left foot down on the floor to
stabilize himself.
It ended when Jensen’s cheap DVD player kicked back the pause and started playing in the middle of
their mini-fight. Over-exaggerated moans filled the air, drew Jensen’s attention just long enough for
Jared to get a good handle on him, gain the upper hand by tickling him mercilessly until Jensen sagged
boneless, giving Jared a chance to plaster to his back and trap him face-down on the couch with his
weight.
With his face pressed into the cushions, still struggling, trying to buck Jared off his back, Jensen
grunted, “Cheater. You can’t use the ticklish thing against me like this, asshole.”
“Nuh uh. I never cheat. I’m just really resourceful.” Grinning, Jared simultaneously placed his legs low,
one each on either side of Jensen’s hips, snagged his hands and pinned his wrists to the couch just
above his head.
Between the length of Jared’s arms and legs, Jensen’s voice came out muffled in the fabric of the
couch. “What’re you doing?”
“Nothing.”
He squirmed experimentally against Jared’s weight, let his body go limp when he realized the hold
Jared had on him was solid. “God. This is so wrong.”
“Watch it with me? Please?”
“Dude. No.”
“It’s educational.”
“It’s gay porn.”
“What? Gay porn? Are you shitting me? There wasn’t even a warning on the box!”
“Funny guy, that Padalecki.”
“Seriously, I think you need to see some of this stuff. I mean, if you can’t even watch it with me, how
are you ever gonna be able to actually do it?”
“That was a low blow.”
“What?”
“It’s not even about that.”
“Then what’s it about?”
“Just because I’m gay for you doesn’t mean I wanna sit around on my day off watching two guys go at
it in a fucking field.”
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Heh. Fucking field. Really, not the best choice of words, considering. Plus? Jared’s way too easily
amused.
Grinding Jensen further into the couch, Jared said, “You don’t think it’s hot? Not even a little bit?” His
eyes played at the bottom of Jensen’s shirt, where the material bunched up just so to torture Jared
with a small but perfect view of a tiny patch of skin at the small of Jensen’s back, right above that line
that dipped tantalizingly down into his low-slung knock-around pants. Jared’s mouth watered.
“You know what would be hot?” Jensen said, somewhat breathlessly. Jared leaned forward a little,
eager to hear. “You getting the hell off me.”
Jared’s voice dipped into whine territory. “Come on. Just watch ten minutes of it with me. It’s actually
kinda hot.”
“Wait a minute. Since when did you turn full-on gay?”
“Since you.” He almost added duh, but couldn’t seem to force the childish word out. Of course, that
could’ve been because he was still too busy staring at the bared small of Jensen’s back and willing
parts of his anatomy to tone it down. Seriously. It’s just one little piece of skin. Get it together, man.
“Trying to blame me for all your froufrou ways?” Jensen asked dryly, so far oblivious to Jared’s growing
problem. “Is it also my fault you watched Halloween Town last night and screeched like a little girl at
one point?”
Oh, Jared wasn’t even going to touch that one. And for the record, that one scene just caught him a
little off-guard.
Ignoring the jibe, Jared said, “Could you at least look at it once? I actually had to pay money for the
damn thing.”
Jensen laughed gruffly, rough and stifled by the couch cushion. “Dude, I’d like to see you try ’n make
me.”
Jared blinked, slightly thrown. What’s that supposed to mean? Challenge? Uncertain, he let go of one of
Jensen’s wrists, and Jensen took the opportunity to reach back and squeeze his inner thigh, playfully.
He ran his fingers up Jensen’s back, felt him shudder slightly at the touch, glided those fingers up to
the nape of his neck. From there he slithered them upward, through silk-soft hair, until he was cupping
the back of Jensen’s skull. Gently, he turned Jensen’s head toward the television.
“What… what are you doing?”
When Jared didn’t answer right away, Jensen brought his free hand up to his face and hid his eyes.
Laughing mischievously now, Jared said, “Nuh uh.” Without thinking, he completely, effortlessly,
encircled Jensen’s wrist between his fingers, tugged the hand away, and conveniently angled it behind
Jensen’s back, trapped it right there at the spot where his shirt rode up to reveal golden, lightly
freckled skin. Remembering earlier wrestling matches they’d had, Jared singsonged, “I win,” and bent
nearly in half to hunch forward and giggle-laugh his victory into the collar of Jensen’s shirt, maybe lick
right there at the crook of his neck, stretched invitingly because of the awkward angle Jensen was
holding his head.
Jensen sucked in a sharp breath, whispered, “No.”
One word and Jared’s tongue froze half an inch from Jensen’s skin. “What?”
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The body beneath Jared’s stiffened, turned into a long, tense line against his own. His hands went limp
in Jared’s hold. Confusion clouding his mind, Jared said, “Jensen?” He pulled up a bit to get a look at
Jensen’s face.
Eyes squeezed shut, Jensen breathed in so deeply that he hiccupped afterwards. He mumbled, “You
gotta… have to… let go of… get off... trigger a… trigger a panic…”
Jared scrambled up so fast that he lost his balance, flailed off the couch, and crashed backwards to the
floor in a crunch of Cheetos.
By the time he peeled himself up from the floor, Jensen was sitting on the edge of the couch rubbing
his face with both hands.
“Are you panicking?” Jared asked, rubbing Cheetos bits off the back of his shirt.
“No,” Jensen muffled from behind the safety of his hands. “Caught it before it went into anything.” He
looked out at Jared with one eye, from between two parted fingers.
“Oh God.” Jared tried to get up from the floor too fast, his head spinning a little. “I almost made you
have a panic attack.” Bile burned its way up the back of his throat. He swallowed, forcing the acidic
taste back down.
“Not your fault.”
“Not my fault? Jensen, I was the only one here… and I got rough… I… I—”
“You didn’t get rough,” Jensen interrupted, dropping his hands to rest beside his legs.
On the TV, the DVD ended, clicked back to the main menu.
“I held you down and pinned your hand behind your back like some kinda… some kinda freaky BDSM
thing.”
“We both know that’s not what it was.”
“You said make me, and I thought it was a challenge or something.” In the middle of his rant, Jared
rose from his spot on the ground, started pacing in front of the couch. “And I just went for it like… like
I’d been waiting to do it or something. Holy shit, I think I might be scum.”
“Dude, calm down.”
“No. No, Jense, what if I have all these fucked up kinks I never knew about? Like bondage and tickle
torture and stuff?”
“Tickle torture?” Jensen actually laughed.
“It’s real,” Jared insisted, bopping his head up and down in an adamant nod. “Chinese tickle torture. I
could actually kill you!”
“Right,” Jensen said, not sounding convinced of anything.
“The whole thing with marking my place on you… Maybe it was like the first sign that I have a control
kink. It’s like… like it’s all just now surfacing. Like one of those diseases that hits at 25.”
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“Are you serious?”
“The kind where you’re all happy and healthy one day and then BAM, you’re lying in a hospital bed with
a nurse poking you with sharp things. It’s like… like dom-kink’s disease.”
“Jared.” From the couch, looking up at him, Jensen tugged on Jared’s pant’s leg until Jared finally
looked down at him. “You can’t compare a life-threatening disease with a sexual kink.”
“I know, I know. But.” He danced-jerked out of Jensen’s reach. Holding a hand up when Jensen stood,
Jared said, “No. No closer. I don’t wanna touch you. Might trigger something.”
“You’re a complete moron. I should get a damn Emmy just for having to put up with you everyday.”
“No, Jensen. You don’t know.”
“I know you’re ridiculous. And if you ever have to go to the doctor at 25, it’ll be to get your head
checked.” Jensen grinned at his own humor.
“It’s not funny.”
“It is funny. You’re kinda cute.”
“I’m not cute. I could be dangerous—no, stay back! Jense—”
Jared winced, frozen in place, when Jensen touched gentle fingers to his bottom lip and traced his
mouth with feather-light movements. “You’re hair’s all sticking up in the back. You look like a lost
puppy.”
But I’m kinky, remember?
Jared frowned, even as Jensen’s other hand tightened in the folds of his shirt. Using the fisted material,
he yanked Jared forward suddenly, and Jared stumbled onto his mouth. Totally by accident. Of course.
Against Jared’s lips, Jensen mouthed, “You couldn’t hurt me.”
“Eric thought I could.”
He kept his arms firmly glued to his sides as Jensen pulled away at the blunt statement. “We’re talking
about the same man who believes in ghosts.”
“That part doesn’t matter right now.”
“I thought you were over that whole thing.”
Jared shrugged. Thought I was, too.
It was unnerving the way Jensen just stood there looking at him, considering his face carefully. The
time dragged, and when Jensen finally broke the silence with the word “Strip,” Jared responded with,
“Excuse me?” because he honestly thought he’d misheard.
“Maybe I’m the one with a control kink.” He gestured at Jared’s clothes. “You heard me, pretty boy.”
Jared’s eyebrows shot up into his bangs. “Did you just call me—”
“See, I wanna take another look at exactly what I’m getting in this deal, and your clothes? They’re
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kinda in my way. You gonna take care of that problem for me?”
“I…” Jared wet his lips. “Okay.”
“Do me a favor and take that ugly orange shirt off first. I’m sick of looking at it.”
Which is how Jared ended up standing buck-naked in the middle of Jensen’s living room, wearing
nothing but a pair of pumpkin-patterned socks, with Jensen circling him like a particularly hungry shark.
On Jensen’s fourth trip around, Jared realized that Jensen was still way too fully clothed, and that just
wasn’t right. He plucked at the top button of Jensen’s brown buttondown, only to have Jensen smack
his hand away.
“That’s not how this is gonna work,” said Jensen.
Jared got a hold of Jensen’s upper arms, tried to stop him from circling again. “But I’m the only one
naked here.”
Breaking out of Jared’s grip, placing Jared’s hands back at his sides, Jensen said, “That’s the point.
Keep your hands at your sides. I’m the only one allowed to touch.”
The deep, commanding confidence in Jensen’s tone, along with the slightly vulnerable position of being
the only one naked and exposed, had Jared’s cock twitching with interest.
“You got to claim a spot,” Jensen said, almost thoughtfully. “I think it’s my turn now.”
Yessss. Yesyesyes. “Go for it,” Jared murmured.
The take charge expression slipped from Jensen’s face briefly to make room for a dazzlingly bright grin
that made Jared’s breath lodge in the back of his throat.. He ruffled Jared’s hair, disheveling it even
further. In the face of Jensen’s irresistible smile, Jared’s own mouth morphed into a grin to match
Jensen’s.
But then Jensen’s fingers grazed over Jared’s forehead, down the slope of his nose, delicately made
their way to Jared’s chin, touch-memorized every inch of his jaw line. Had it been anyone else but
Jensen, Jared might have laughed at the way Jensen was treating him like a skittish kitten.
Jensen traced down the lines of his neck, skimming over his Adam’s apple, stopping at the hollow of his
throat as if studying Jared’s trembling heartbeat fluttering beneath the pads of his fingers. Let his hand
fall flat to palm back and forth over Jared’s collarbone. He leaned into Jared and sucked a spot on the
far left side of his collarbone. Breath gusting out in surprise, Jared put his hands flat on Jensen’s
shoulder blades, to pull him in even closer.
“Hands down,” Jensen muttered, wet lips and hot breath sweeping over the saliva-moist area on Jared’s
skin. Dropping his hands away cost Jared an honest-to-God whine of frustration. Jensen’s whisper-low
“Good boy” really didn’t help any.
From Jared’s collarbone, Jensen dipped down to Jared’s chest, palming and squeezing his pecs until
Jared reflexively flexed them and Jensen chuckled. One finger circled lazily around and around one
nipple, not even having to touch if for it to grow hard under Jensen’s attention. Jensen followed the
finger up with his tongue, tracing the same circular path over and over until he had Jared groaning,
fidgeting and shifting on his feet.
“Pretty sensitive there, aren’t you?” Jensen asked, smug smirk in his voice. Jared only nodded eagerly.
Finally he pulled back, flicked the nipple once, teasingly. Eyes sliding partway shut, needing more
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contact, one of Jared’s hands shot up and closed over Jensen’s wrist.
Jensen said, “Hand,” but it didn’t register in Jared’s brain.
Jensen removed both hands from Jared’s body, and Jared whined low in his throat at the loss, eyes
snapping wide open, body instinctively swaying forward, toward Jensen.
He stepped back half a foot, saying, “You’re breakin’ my concentration, Jay.” From then on, Jensen kept
a small distance, instead using only his eyes to caress over Jared’s body while Jared bowed his head
and took a few minutes to pout.
“I won’t be grabby,” Jared promised, looking up again, clenching his sock-clad toes in the plush
carpeting. But Jensen remained gallingly just out of his reach. Still sulking, Jared’s hands curled into
fists.
It was amazing how ten minutes under those wide and hungry deep green eyes had Jared flushed from
his hairline to the tips of his toes. Anyone else, anyone else, and Jared would probably have gotten
incredibly bored by now, would’ve been chewing on his nails and biting at his cuticles to entertain
himself. He was a touchfeelstrokefondle kind of guy. He needed constant contact. So this visual-touch
kind of thing? Really shouldn’t have worked on him. At all.
Except that it did.
Because, as Jared soon found out, he could track exactly what part of himself Jensen was ogling, by
following the path of Jensen’s eyes, could study every little detail of how that fleshy bottom lip looked
when sucked and worked between perfect teeth. He didn’t think Jensen even realized he did that when
he concentrated on something so intently, which made it all the more sexy. All the ways in which
Jensen could get to him without even trying or touching still boggled Jared’s mind. Usually Jared was
the one to have this effect on people, not the other way around.
Every dip, curve, plane, and crevice of Jared’s body was subject to Jensen’s careful visual scrutiny.
When he circled around to the back of Jared, Jared craned his neck around to get a look over his
shoulder, see what Jensen was examining so closely back there. Jensen’s hands hovered inches over his
back, down the ridges of his spine, never quite touching; and Jesus, but Jared was going to fucking
implode before the end of this.
A hand touched down lightly over his left butt cheek, and Jared knew Jensen had found the thin
squiggly line, so tiny that it was barely perceptible. Jensen’s voice, husky, as if he hadn’t used it in
several days: “What’s this little line right here?” Fingers rubbed said mark, pushing tenderly into Jared’s
skin.
Jared had to clear his throat twice before he could find his voice. “Just a birthmark.”
Jensen hummed what sounded like approval.
“You like it?” Jared asked incredulously.
“Think I do,” Jensen murmured back. Hidden from Jared’s view, Jensen dropped to his knees behind
him, hands fingering the spot lovingly.
“You gotta… gotta use your mouth. Like I did.”
Warmth pressed into Jared’s hips as Jensen placed his hands there to steady them both. And was it just
Jared, or was the room tilting a little to the left? No? Okay then.
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Jensen’s nose bumping his cheek was the only warning he got before slick heat covered the spot, and
Jared would have stumbled forward if it weren’t for Jensen holding his hips steady. Teeth and tongue
grazed the area, and then the feel of Jensen’s lips rounding and widening to suck a hickey into the skin.
The living room swam in and out of focus as Jared’s vision blurred around the edges. All the while,
whether Jensen realized it or not, his fingers branded Jared’s hips with crescent-shaped fingernail
marks as he gripped harder and dug his fingers into the sharp angles of Jared’s hipbones, holding on
tight, as if anchoring himself. For a second, Jared thought it was over, but warm tongue laved over the
newly-marked territory, lapping at it and soothing the bruised skin while Jensen muttered,
“Mineminemine,” in a hypnotic, deep purr that Jared felt throughout his bones.
Jared’s voice broke over Jensen’s name when he slid his hands from Jared’s hips, up the curves of
Jared’s back, as far as he could reach while still kneeling, molding his hands to every line and slope of
spine. He pulled back and breathed over his Jared-spot. Goosebumps broke over every inch of Jared’s
body, warm rush of air cool on the heated area.
“Turn around,” Jensen instructed. Jared followed the order without a word, and Jensen fell backwards
in surprise, caught himself with his hands, and then rose from his kneel on the carpet before Jared’s
attentive cock could strain forward and brush his cheek again. Flushed deep pink, he jerked his head
toward the hallway that led to the bedroom. “This way.”
Wordlessly, Jared fell in step behind him, eyes fastened on every move of Jensen’s hips, the way his
loose pants were practically falling off of them with each step.
Overall, there was no way Jensen could be considered tiny or delicate (well, ’cept for the eyelashes and
sweetly freckled cheeks, which Jared could stare at for-fucking-ever), but really he was all broad
shoulders, narrow waist, long legs, slim and lean and slender everywhere. And Jared really wanted to
trap those slight hips between his hands and tuck them up against his own, right where he knew they
belonged.
Unable to fully resist, Jared brushed the ghost of a touch over Jensen’s right hip, causing Jensen to
whip around with mock-narrowed eyes and glare. Wiggling his fingers at Jensen, Jared smiled wide and
innocent, completely guiltlessly.
“Wasn’t me,” he mouthed silently, scrunching his shoulders up in an overdone shrug.
“You think you’re cute, don’t you?”
Hair falling across his forehead and flopping into his eyes, Jared nodded vigorously: yesyesyes!
Jensen was halfway through saying, “Get in the bed” when Jared grabbed him at the waist and flung
himself at the mattress, his weight and momentum dragging Jensen along with him. Jared landed on
his back in the middle of the bed, with Jensen landing in a bundle on top of him. He cradled Jensen in
his arms, slid his hands under that annoying shirt with too many buttons down the middle.
One swift move, and he had the shirt rucked midway up his chest, Jensen sighing his resignation, had
arms pressing against Jensen’s sides and both hands spread out across his belly. Secretly, he kind of
thrilled to the way his hands could span the entire width of Jensen’s stomach, how he could dwarf
Jensen with his sheer size, how he could be in love with a guy, use pumpkin spiced shampoo every
autumn, and still feel powerful and manly.
It was all pretty cool. A nice boost to the ego. Not that Jensen had to know about any of it. He had a
feeling that admitting he loved discovering new places on Jensen’s body that he could completely fit his
hands around wouldn’t go over so well with Jensen. Neither, probably, would confessing his glee over
being able to cover the entirety of Jensen’s left cotton-covered butt cheek with one hand when he
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deposited Jensen on the bed beside him.
There were just some things even Jared Padalecki would never blurt out.
Once Jensen settled in right next to him, Jared went to flick the top button of his shirt undone.
Jensen slapped his hand away, said, “Did you forget the rules?”
Jared blinked. “You’re cruel. This is like… like cruel and unusual punishment.”
But this time, instead of forcing Jared’s roaming hand back, Jensen captured it, kissed Jared’s knuckles,
and maneuvered it to rest atop his own hand, Jared automatically closing his fingers over Jensen’s
smaller ones, relishing every little bit of physical contact. He traced hidden lines of freckles on Jensen’s
cheek with his free hand. Seeing his hands engulf Jensen’s face was just one of those things that never
got old.
Jensen scooted onto his side, moved in closer to Jared and dipped his head down, suckled just under
Jared’s collarbone so softly that Jared breathed, “Oh,” and rutted his hips up into empty air at the
barely-there touch of Jensen’s mouth. He laid out a string of dry, feather-light kisses along Jared’s
collarbone, ventured lower, sketching gentle lips over Jared’s ribs. Every move dripped of Jensen’s own
shy brand of intimacy, and Jared let himself get lost in it.
The first soft caress of fingers over his groin—just the wisp of a touch, really—had Jared lifting his head
from the bed, mumbling, “Whaa… are you…” He squeezed Jensen’s fingers questioningly.
Jensen lifted his head, too, their eyes meeting over the length of Jared’s torso and locking as he made
his way back up Jared’s body to kiss and lick the little cleft of Jared’s chin. Murmured into the underside
of Jared’s jaw: “Show me how you like it.”
Jared swallowed hard, and Jensen moved his face up to nuzzle right there, where Jared’s Adam’s apple
bobbed nervously.
Jensen said, “It’s okay, Jared. I wanna know you.”
“S’posed to be the one reassuring you,” Jared mumbled, to which Jensen let out a faint, throaty laugh
that sparked hot in Jared’s blood.
Slowly, he guided their hands, pressed Jensen’s palm to his shaft and wrapped their laced fingers
around. Turned his head to whisper at the shell of Jensen’s ear. “Light strokes at first.” He gave
Jensen’s fingers a light squeeze. “Little bit of pressure. Builds up the pleasure.”
Jensen nodded, mouth going slack with concentration, eyes shining clear and dark and endless in the
lamplight, steady on Jared’s face.
Their combined fingers fisted up and down at a lazy pace, until Jared couldn’t think straight, couldn’t
get the next part out. “Now… you… firm on… the base… balls…”
“Baseballs,” Jensen muttered, confused little crease forming in the middle of his forehead.
Jared gave up speech, took to example instead, manipulating Jensen’s fingers and showing him the
right rhythm, exactly where to apply pressure, when to twist his wrist just so, steering the pliant fingers
down to fondle his balls, back up to flick the head, repeat, until Jared clung to the edge of orgasm,
fisted the sheets in his free hand.
It was then that Jensen pulled his hand away.
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“Hunhh?” Jared whimpered, his own hand searching blindly on the bed to recapture Jensen’s, bring
those deft fingers back under his control just long enough for release.
Jensen’s mouth crashed down over Jared’s, sucking a sharp gasp out of Jared’s throat. Through the
kiss, Jensen mumbled something.
When he pulled back, Jared said, “You… what?”
But at that moment Jensen reconnected their hands again, two sets of long fingers closing over Jared’s
aching need, stroking him off together.
“Said I like us like this,” Jensen said, breathing heavily through his open mouth, leaning toward Jared’s
mouth as if for a kiss or a secret between the two of them. “Said you can do whatever you want with
me.”
Jared came with Jensen’s name between their lips, come surging over their combined fingers.
Not even a minute later, Jensen wiped his come-covered hand on his light cotton pants, threw one leg
over Jared’s sprawled-loose legs, curled up soft and sleepy into Jared’s side—still unfortunately clothed
—head on Jared’s bare chest, cheek resting on a sweat-slick pec. Every breath was a puff of warm air
on Jared’s overheated skin.
Jared cleaned his hand on Jensen’s Egyptian sheet and spent the next ten minutes staring up at the
ceiling, willing his mind to rejoin his body. Jensen, on the other hand, used the time to shift into sleep.
So of course, Jared had no choice but to poke him awake with an index finger.
Jensen let out his usual indignant grunt.
“Question,” Jared said.
“Leave a message. I’ll get back to you.”
“You gonna go to sleep at 7:30 on a Sunday night?”
“Only if you shut up and hit the light.”
“You’re lazy like a cat.”
After a few minutes, probably just long enough for Jensen to drift back to the edges of sleep, Jared
said, “So why did you freak out on the couch tonight?”
Silence.
“Okay. You don’t have to—”
“I don’t like being held down.”
Jared nodded, letting his head fall back to the mattress. “Dan.”
Brushing over the name as if Jared hadn’t said it, Jensen said, “I don’t like feeling helpless.”
“I think I get it. It’s okay, Jense. I… I understand.”
Under Jared’s hands, Jensen’s back rose with a deep breath, fell again. “Sometimes you’re so sweet it
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makes my teeth ache.”
Jared almost choked on a laugh.
“You’re a good guy, Jared.”
“Well, thanks.”
“I’d trust you with my life.”
Finally. Finally. And all Jared could come up with was, “Really? You would?”
Jensen traced around and around Jared’s belly button, playing with the fine hairs there. “How many
times have you saved my ass in the past year?”
“Uh. I don’t know?”
“Bill would’ve shot me. Probably right in the face. He was cocking the gun when you burst in like some
kind of…”
“Psychotic, freaked out boyfriend?” Jared supplied helpfully.
“I was gonna say cracked-out action hero.”
“That works, too.”
“No one else would’ve done that. People don’t jump in front of guns like that for other people. It just
doesn’t happen.”
“You don’t expect much out of people, do you?”
Jensen ran his knuckles up and down Jared’s side while he thought it over. After a minute, he said,
“Never had a reason to before.”
Jared’s eyebrow twitched with anticipation. “And now?”
“You’re gonna make me say it, aren’t you?”
“Oh, I’m not gonna make you say anything, Jennybean.”
Jensen groaned at that. “I… I… fuck, this sounds so cheesy. But I guess. I guess I have faith in you
now. You’re like this constant I can’t get away from. You’ve weaseled your way into every part of my
life and I kind of really fucking like it, okay?” He took a deep breath. “There. Happy?”
Feeling a little giddy, Jared looked down at the top of Jensen’s head and beamed. “Very.”
“God, I’m starting to sound like you. Can we stop talking about this now, before I burst into song or
something?”
“Jensen—”
“Dude, you really don’t have to say it. I already know. I love you, you love me. Hearts and rainbows
and glitter and goodnight.”
Jared fingered the soft hairs near Jensen’s temple, smoothed down the baby-fine hair right above his
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ear. “You’re amazing. You know that, right?”
He could feel Jensen’s slow smile etching into his skin, feel him snuggling in a little closer to settle in for
sleep. “Little bit, yeah. Could you get the light? It’s shining right in my eyes and I can’t reach the
switch.”
Unplanned, unrehearsed, and completely unexpected—even to Jared—it kind of just slipped out so
easily, over Jared’s tongue, smooth and sweet and right like honey.
Voice like an undertone, Jared murmured, “Marry me, Jen.”
{End of part 24}
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= 25 =
You Know That Saying?
Series/Verse: Sick 'Verse. Part 25.
Summary: Jensen never makes anything easy for Jared.
Type: Real people
Rating: R
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 5,250
Warnings: ...there might be some, um, vomit.
Disclaimer: Total fakery.
NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE LAST CHAPTER. This is actually an extra chapter that I was going to post
with the last chapter to surprise you all with a double whammy at the end. But I haven’t even started
the last chapter yet and I know I won’t have it done until mid December. I felt bad leaving you guys
hanging, waiting for Jensen’s answer for that long, so I decided to go ahead and post this. There’s one
more chapter after this one.
Nothing happened.
The entire place was so quiet that Jared could hear the fridge kick on in the kitchen, all the way on the
other side of the apartment. It was kind of anticlimactic.
“Okay,” Jared said after more than a minute, smacking a hand down in the middle of Jensen’s back,
“this is the part where you say something so I don’t feel like a total loser.”
And Jensen said, “Oh,” kind of like he’d just stepped outside his front door and right into a pile of dog
poop.
Jared’s excitement dropped from a ten to a seven.
“Did you just propose to me?” Jensen asked, like maybe he thought he’d heard Jared wrong. Like
maybe he hoped he’d heard Jared wrong.
“Yep. I did.”
“Is this a joke, just for you to see what I’d say?”
“What would you say?” Jared prodded, staring down at the top of Jensen’s head.
Jensen made a muffled noise and rolled off of Jared, over onto his stomach and up onto his elbows.
“Jesus, Jared. You’re… you’re actually proposing to me?”
“That’s the basic idea, yeah.”
“As in marriage? Husband and… husband?”
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With one hand, Jared gripped Jensen’s face, smooshing his cheeks together till his mouth formed a fish
face impression. “Now you’re getting it!”
Clearly a bad move, considering the look on Jensen’s face when he promptly pried Jared’s hand away,
shaking his head. He looked numb.
Which was pretty much the point where Jared started to get a bad feeling. He started to say, “Look,
Jensen, you—”
And Jensen cut him off with, “No thanks.”
No thanks.
That’s not even… that’s not a… what the fuck IS that?
But Jensen was already pulling away from Jared and scrambling off the other side of the bed, escaping
as fast as he could. He was at the bathroom door when Jared caught the back of his shirt, swung him
back around so that they were facing each other.
The first words out of Jensen’s mouth were “So are you gonna leave me now?”
“No, Jen, no.”
Jensen backed away as far as he could get, right into the wall by the bathroom door, where his back hit
the plaster and he had nowhere else to go.
Jared said, “I don’t understand.” Because in his head, he could see it so clearly. In his mind’s eye,
marrying Jensen seemed so simple, like the logical choice. And here Jensen was, looking like he was
about to have a freak-out or a meltdown. Or both. At the same time.
Jensen’s eyes darted between the bathroom door and the bedroom door: escape. He had his hands
held up slightly, as if to keep Jared at a safe distance. With a hint of panic, he said, “Men don’t get
married.” Abruptly he halted, like he wasn’t sure if he wanted to continue that thought. And then it
came: “To other men.”
Later, Jared might look back on this moment and realize that now really wasn’t the time to air his
immediate thoughts out loud. But in the heat of the moment it slipped out thoughtlessly and way too
quickly: “Wow. That’s really homophobic.”
Jensen’s face froze, disbelief stark and clear in every feature. “What?”
“I mean, I know it’s how you were raised, but—”
“How the hell can you call me a homophobe?”
“Right now? It’s not that hard.” It was like talking himself farther and farther down into a hole, deeper
and deeper with each word. Jared looked down into Jensen’s defiant face and said, “I get it. It’s
something your parents ingrained in you, right? The whole anti-gay thing that says men shouldn’t be
together out in public; it should be kept behind closed doors where no one else has to see it because
it’s dirty or something.” And then the real killer: “You don’t want anyone else knowing about your big
gay love for me because you’re still homophobic.”
Down at his side, Jensen’s right hand balled into a fist, unclenched, clenched again. “What the hell,
Jared? Is that how it’s gonna go? The first time I don’t do exactly what you want, you find a name to
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call me, something to accuse me of?”
Jared’s rising rancor left just as quickly as it had come.
Oh.
Crap?
In the seconds it took Jared to waste time trying to figure out how a marriage proposal had turned into
this, Jensen had sidestepped him and was already halfway down the hall. Jared scrambled after him
into the living room, where he watched Jensen struggle to get his boots on in record time and snatch
his coat out of the closet by the door so fast that several empty coat hangers clattered to the floor in
the coat’s wake.
Jared said, “Wait. No, Jen. Don’t go. I didn’t mean… it wasn’t supposed to go like this, okay? I didn’t
mean to call you that. I didn’t mean it.”
Only one arm in his coat, not even bothering with the other arm, Jensen said, “Just don’t. Not right
now,” and left. The door gaped open behind him and Jared was halfway out that door when he
remembered that he was very much still stark naked.
He slammed the door shut with a “Damnit, Jensen!” and went to find his scattered clothes.
Outside, a car backfired, and Jared thought, How appropriate.
--------An hour and a half later, Jared found Jensen just down the street, at a questionable-looking all-night
café/diner, within walking distance of his apartment. He was tucked back in a dim, dirty booth in the
very back corner of the place, slumped down over a cup of something that resembled coffee.
Jared dropped Jensen’s car keys in the middle of the table, and Jensen’s head jerked up. Every emotion
wiped from his face, and Jared could literally see him close himself off. It was like they’d reverted back
to last year.
“Next time you storm out, you might wanna remember these.” Jared slid into the seat across the table
from him and the next five minutes were spent in a silent little stare-off, Jared tap-tap-tapping the table
with blunt nails, and Jensen creasing a paper napkin between his fingers over and over until it
resembled a used and discarded tissue.
Gripping his mug with both hands, Jensen finally spoke in a dulled, flat voice. “Tonight my boyfriend of
ten months called me a homophobe after I jerked him off in bed. How’s your night going, Jared?”
It was sarcastic and biting and right to the point. Jared winced.
The waitress who had just stopped at their table, stale-looking something-that-maybe-could’ve-been
coffee clutched in her hand, ready to pour, said, “I think I’ll just come back later,” and hightailed it away
so fast that she dropped her pen on the floor by the table and just left it there, spinning on the gritty
tile.
“You know this whole thing is still hard for me,” Jensen went on, as if he hadn’t been interrupted. “But
I’ve really been trying, because it’s you. And I know it’s not normal for it to take this long, but I can’t
fucking help it, okay? And now… I’m only just now really starting to feel comfortable with you. And out
of the blue you call me a homophobe because I didn’t swoon and jump up and down and wait for you
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to slip some delicate gold band around my dainty little finger. Just because I’m not always on the same
page as you doesn’t make me a fucking homophobe.
“Seriously, has your patience run out with me or something? Because it really kinda surprised the hell
out of me the way you went from orgasmic to nasty so fast when I didn’t answer the way you wanted
me to.”
Jared couldn’t remember when he had started shaking his head. Probably somewhere around the
running out of patience part. Nevertheless, it was still shaking when he leaned forward into the table to
answer. “No, no. I didn’t say it to hurt you. God, Jen. I wasn’t thinking. I didn’t even mean it. I was
just… I was disappointed at your reaction, that you looked like you were ready to freak out, because I
thought we were past the freaking out stuff.”
“Yeah, well maybe you should warn a guy next time. I was expecting a hand down my pants, and
instead I got a marriage proposal.” Elbows on the table, Jensen held his hands up, palms facing Jared,
fingers wiggling. He widened his eyes and said, “Surprise.”
“I’m scum,” Jared announced, nodding now, letting his head flop forward and his forehead land smack
dab on the table.
“I’m not like my parents,” Jensen said firmly, not yet finished. “My own father hasn’t spoken to me
since July 4th. You know why?”
Jared was afraid to ask, afraid it was all because of him. Into the dirty table, he let out a weaksounding, “Why?”
“Because he believes me about Dan.”
Jared’s head snapped up so fast that he pulled something in his neck. “What? You never… you didn’t
tell me that he believes you. I thought he was on your uncle’s side all the way. Like, brother solidarity
and crap.”
“Mom talked to him a week before I left. He believes it. He cut ties with Dan, but he won’t even look at
me.”
“I don’t get it. Why won’t he look at you?”
Suddenly the napkin was back in Jensen’s hand, getting shredded to itty bitty pieces. Jensen didn’t
even seem to realize he was doing it. He bent forward into the table a little, voice lowered like he was
confiding in Jared, every word sounding harsh and bitter, eyes steady on Jared’s face. “He considers me
filthy now.”
Jared stared back, unblinking. “What?”
“He doesn’t… he doesn’t know what happened, or how often. All he knows is that Dan did something.
He doesn’t want to be anywhere near me now; he’s afraid he’ll get dirty.”
“But how can he… no. Jensen. That can’t be it.”
“Yeah. That’s exactly it. That’s always what he’s called homosexuals, for as long as I can remember. He
used to tell us they do filthy things, and to stay away.”
“He told your mom all this? That this is really how he feels and he doesn’t wanna have anything to do
with you now?”
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Jensen leaned back in the seat, huddled back in the corner of the booth with his back against the wall.
“He doesn’t have to. I know how he thinks.”
“But he knows it wasn’t your fault. You couldn’t stop him.”
“He knows,” Jensen agreed. “But in his eyes, it doesn’t change the fact that it happened.”
By now the paper napkin was a torn and tattered mess setting next to Jensen’s coffee cup. Jared sat
staring at it, thinking, But he’s your dad.
How could anyone’s parents treat them like that? How’s that possible?
“So don’t,” Jensen said, “don’t tell me I’m homophobic like my family. Don’t ever say that to me again.”
“God,” Jared breathed, “Jen, I am so fucking sorry. I didn’t… I didn’t know. I said it because I was
pissed and—and surprised. After the stuff you’d just said to me about trusting me with your life and all,
I really thought you were gonna say yes. I couldn’t believe it when you said ‘no thanks’ like it was
nothing.”
“You think you’re that irresistible, huh? That I just couldn’t turn you down?”
Jared turned a brilliantly bright smile on Jensen. “Oh, I know I’m irresistible. But you just never fail to
surprise me. You’re a freak of nature, Ackles.”
“Right. You can turn the dimples down now, Romeo. I’m the only one on they don’t work on,
remember?”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know about everything that had gone down with you and your dad. I had no idea.”
Jensen shrugged, fingering the ripped napkin. “Josh was always his golden son, anyway. And I was
always closer to my mom.”
“A mama’s boy, huh?”
Under the table, Jensen’s booted foot collided with Jared’s shinbone.
“Anyways,” said Jared, folding his not-sore leg up under himself on the bench to protect it, “I should’ve
given you time to think about it, instead of just expecting an answer, you know? It’s just, I hadn’t
planned any of it out. It was spur of the moment, and I was all excited and then you said no and it…
well, it kinda hurt.”
Nodding, Jensen said, “Are you ready to go home?”
“I’m hungry. Have you gotten something to eat yet?”
“What? Here?” His eyes made a quick sweep of the room before coming back to Jared. “I don’t think
you wanna do that, Jay.”
“I just saw a waitress go by with cheese fries. You know you want some.”
“I don’t think so.”
Jared flagged the waitress down anyway, and she approached cautiously with two menus. She quickly
loosened up after Jared flashed his dimples at her, full force, twice. It also helped that Jared ordered
half the menu.
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“Arguing makes me hungry,” Jared explained, then grinned wide, tilted closer to say low, secretively,
“And so does coming with your hand wrapped around my—”
“I wouldn’t know,” Jensen said dryly, and the shrimp plate appetizer arrived.
“Hey look,” Jared covered quickly, with way too much enthusiasm, “shrimp. Have some shrimp, Jensen.”
“You know I hate seafood.”
“That’s ‘cos you’ve never tried it.”
“I’m almost 30. I’ve had seafood before.”
“But you’ve never tried it like this,” Jared said, and dipped a piece of shrimp into something that looked
kind of like tarter sauce. Then he held the shrimp up to Jensen’s mouth.
“Just the smell makes me—” Jared stuffed the bite in.
Jensen looked ill.
“Chew,” Jared instructed.
“Ugnh.”
“Chew it.”
Looking like he was chomping down on a lemon, Jensen began chewing slowly. It took him awhile, but
after he swallowed, he said, “Okay, so that wasn’t half bad.”
“Uh huh.”
The waitress brought several more plates, mostly various appetizers. Jensen leaned over and sniffed
the potato boat wedges.
One eyebrow raised, Jared said, “You can have some, you know. There’s enough.”
“You paying?”
Jared, half a fried chicken finger already crammed in his mouth, said, “Course I am.”
“Good. Because I don’t plan on paying for your pig out.”
Around bits of chicken, Jared grinned across the table at him. “You forgot your keys and your wallet at
home, didn’t you?”
“I did. And I was really dreading calling you down here to come pay for my cup of coffee. Kind of kills
the whole storming out and brooding alone in a diner thing.”
“I wouldn’t have laughed at you. Much.”
Arms crossing over each other to get to plates, sharing and passing food back and forth, they didn’t
leave until they’d taken care of every last bite.
Jared left the waitress a big tip. It was the least he could do, after she’d accidentally overheard Jensen
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ranting about homophobia and jerking Jared off. Because, hello, awkward.
--------Walking back home, Jared chanced a sidelong glance at Jensen, said all cool and casual, “If you had
said yes, we could’ve gotten married here in Canada. It’s legal here, you know.”
Jensen’s eyes darted over to him, then back to the cracks in the sidewalk directly in his walking path.
His shoulders were hunched inward against the cold, hands lost somewhere deep in his pockets, breath
a visible white cloud of air hanging in front of his face.
When Jensen didn’t immediately react or say anything to that, Jared continued. “We could’ve had it at
the beginning of December, when all the Christmas lights are up and everybody’s all happy. I would’ve
flown my family up here and you could’ve flown in your mom and Josh and Mackenzie.”
“You sure you haven’t been planning this for a while now?”
“I haven’t. Not until tonight when I asked you. We could’ve had Steve and Chris come, too. And Tom
and Mike and Chad and Jeff. Oh! And Eric, Kim and Sera. But that’s it. That’s not that many people.”
“Or we could’ve just eloped,” Jensen mumbled to the cracked sidewalk, so quietly that Jared wasn’t
sure if he was being serious or sarcastic.
Either way, Jared said, “Whatever you wanted, Jensen.”
Jensen wouldn’t look over at him, only at the ground, but Jared kept going anyway, easily keeping up
with Jensen’s medium pace, spinning his dream that would never happen. “We would’ve gotten
matching rings. Something simple.”
“Right. Because the two of us going into a jewelers together and buying cute little matching rings
wouldn’t have looked suspicious at all.”
“We could’ve had the wedding up around that area where I took you for our date that night when you
freaked out in the restaurant. It’s really nice and secluded up there.”
Jensen snorted out a particularly large puff of frosty air, eyes still downcast.
“I would have made you wear a dark green silk tie to match your eyes.”
“God, are we home yet?” Jensen asked, looking up at the buildings around them with a mock sort of
desperation.
“There’s a little place that rents out the cabins that line that lake you saw out the restaurant window.
One of those cabins would’ve been perfect for the honeymoon. Private and quiet and beautiful.”
Jensen’s pace slowed, his shoulder bumping against Jared’s and slowing him, too. “Honeymoon?” he
asked, both men turning to face each other on the sidewalk, a spark of curiosity lit behind those green
eyes.
“Yeah. Honeymoon.” Jared leaned closer, down a little, to angle his mouth at Jensen’s ear so that he
could whisper, “Cause you know we woulda waited it out till our honeymoon night. That makes it even
more special.”
Jensen visibly swallowed hard at that, his eyes sweeping away, out into the street where cold wind
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rushed over the tops of cars and between the buildings, but not before Jared caught a tinge of interest
lingering on his face. Long fingers of thrill began to inch up Jared’s back.
Jensen said, “Oh,” turned, and continued their walk home down the sidewalk, picking up the pace this
time.
“After a week there, I’d’ve brought you home to have Christmas with my family. Well, okay. I kinda plan
on bringing you home to my family this Christmas anyway. And Thanksgiving. ’Cos I want them to meet
the man I’m gonna spend the rest of my life with. But if we were married, we could’ve gotten a big bed
together and everyone, like, cooing at the newlyweds and crap. And Christmas cards addressed to
Jared & Jensen, with that loopy-looking and symbol between our names. Wouldn’t that’ve been cool?”
“Seriously, Jared, I haven’t ever known any women as sentimental as you are. Doesn’t that worry you a
little?”
“Whatever.” Jared shrugged it off with no trouble, and they walked on in companionable quiet for a
while.
Near Jensen’s apartment building, Jensen asked, “Are you feeling okay?”
“Yeah, fine. Why?”
“I don’t know. I just…” He stopped walking. Jared walked ahead a couple more feet and turned back to
look at him just standing there, arms hanging loosely at his sides, slight frown parting his lips.
“What’s wrong?”
“I don’t feel right.”
“What? Really?” Like maybe ‘Hey, why don’t I have Jared’s ring on my finger’ kinda right? Please, God.
PLEASE.
Amen.
“What kind of ‘not right’?” Jared asked, hopeful.
Jensen spun around and spewed his dinner over the curb, right into a drainage grate at the edge of the
street.
“Oh,” Jared said. “That kind.”
--------See, now it was hard for Jared to tell exactly what set him off. It easily could have been Jensen’s breath
wafting up his nose when he hooked an arm around Jensen’s waist and practically dragged him the
short distance back to the apartment.
Or.
Or it might have been when they were halfway through the front door and Jensen couldn’t get away
fast enough and ended up vomiting on the front of Jared’s shirt.
Come to think of it. That definitely could have been it for Jared. Because there’s just nothing quite like
regurgitated cheese fries sliding hot down your front at nine pm on a clear Sunday night, and rancid
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breath in your face muttering, “Sorry, shit, I’m sorry,” over and over.
Next thing Jared knew, they were both racing for the only bathroom in the whole apartment, elbowing
each other to get to the toilet first. Right at the bathroom doorway, Jensen cheated. He did this weird
drop slide kind of thing, like he was sliding in to home plate, and Jared ended up the one who had to
use the wastebasket by the door. At the same time, he struggled to get out of the Jensen-puke shirt.
All in all, it was not a good day.
--------One hour later, Jensen said, “No. Outta my bathroom. This is your fault. You and your damn—” his face
contorted into a look of purest disgust “—shrimp.”
“Don’t say shrimp,” Jared warned from his slouch up against the wall in the corner by the bathroom
door. Jensen was slumped down by the toilet, across from Jared, in a half-sitting position up against the
side of the bathtub. His legs sprawled out straight in front of him, tangling with Jared’s legs in the
middle of the bathroom floor—neutral ground.
“You don’t get the toilet,” Jensen said hoarsely. “We don’t share the toilet. I get the toilet. You get to
keep the wastebasket.”
“But, Jen,” Jared started, then hiccupped midway through and continued in a low and pitiful whine. “I
have to keep washing the trashcan out. And every time I get a whiff of it, it gets me goin’ again. All
you have to do is hit the flusher.”
“You know what? This is your fault. You should’ve kept your damn food to yourself instead of stuffing it
in my mouth. So now I get the toilet. And you get to stay on your side of the bathroom.”
“Bitch,” Jared groaned, and promptly scrambled for the wastebasket as another wave hit.
Off to the side, Jensen gagged and dry-heaved through Jared’s retching. He said, “I think I just fell out
of love with you.”
Without tipping his bucket over, Jared managed to lift his left hand and wave a weak middle finger in
Jensen’s direction. Sadly, Jensen was too busy, hunched over with his head in the toilet, to see it.
--------Around midnight, lying haphazard on top of the unmade bed, they passed an almost-empty bottle of
Pepto Bismol back and forth.
“Dude, don’t use the rest of it,” Jensen complained, as close as he would ever get to a whine.
Jared stopped mid-chug, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, and passed the bottle on over to
Jensen.
Jensen closed one eye and peered down into the bottom of the plastic bottle, a little frown playing at
his lips at the small amount of pink liquid left. Watching him, Jared said softly, “Hey.”
“What?” came the grumpy, gruff reply, just before Jensen threw back his head, turned the bottle upside
down, and tried to lick the rest of the liquid out.
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“Marry me, Jensen.”
Jensen choked on whatever measly amount of Pepto he’d gotten into mouth.
Jared swept sweaty bangs out of his eyes and waited. Again.
“Didn’t we already cover this?”
Jared shrugged an answer.
Eyeing Jared, Jensen said, “I know what you’re doing. You’re trying to take advantage of my weak
moment.”
“It was worth a shot.”
“Let me get this straight. We just spent a night puking together and now you’re asking me to marry
you? Again. After I already said no.”
Jared nodded slowly, and to his credit, only a tiny bit hesitantly. Yeah, pretty much. ‘Course, when you
put it like that…
“That is so wrong, man,” Jensen said, shaking his head. “And by the way, I never wanna see you hurl
again. Ever.”
Jared’s grin came slow, painting a picture of mischief across his face. “You know that saying?”
“What saying?”
“Couples who puke together stay together.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever hated you more than I do at this moment.” Eyes still flicking from the bottle to
Jared, Jensen went back to the task of trying to will more Pepto Bismol out of the empty bottle in his
hand.
Gaze glued to Jensen’s fingers flexing around the neck of the bottle, Jared said, “Anyway. You didn’t
say no thanks this time.”
Jensen’s mouth opened, then snapped shut again. “You’re right. I didn’t.”
“Because you liked the plans I described to you tonight on the walk home.”
The grip Jensen had on the poor Pepto bottle looked fierce. “Oh, yeah. Says who?”
“Says the look you had in your eyes when I mentioned a honeymoon at a mountain lake cabin.”
Jensen let out a loud grunt, finally gave up and tossed the useless bottle at the wastebasket by the
door, missing by a mile. He looked over at Jared, batted his eyes, and drawled, “Were my eyes saying
yes for me, Jare?” with this teasing, fake feminine inflection that didn’t match with his natural rumbling
tone.
“They lit up like a little kid on Christmas morning,” Jared said simply, and brushed an adoring finger
over the tip of Jensen’s nose.
“You’re a persistent bugger, you know that?”
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“It’s easy, Jensen. Yes or no.”
“It’s not easy. It’s a lifetime commitment. It’s forever.”
“It’s us. It is easy.”
“Besides,” Jensen said, as though fishing through a list of doubts and reasons-not-to, “people don’t get
engaged before sex these days. Everyone wants to know what they’re getting first. You really wanna
hogtie yourself to me for life before testing me out first?”
Sitting up abruptly, Jared threw his hands up in the air. “Yeah, I really do. Because I don’t need to,” air
quotes, “‘test you out,’ like you’re some kinda shiny new car at a dealership. Jesus, Jen. You have the
most fucked up view of love that I’ve ever seen. Do you think you need to test me out before
marriage?”
“No. I didn’t mean it like that.”
“Okay then.”
Jensen folded his arms across his chest, and Jared could see him filing through the list in his head,
ready to pull up the next excuse not to get married. “What if one day you want a family?”
Even though Jared hadn’t planned for this question, he said, “Then we’ll adopt.”
“What if one day you’d rather have Sandy on your arm at a premiere because you two are the perfect
fucking couple?”
Now that one stopped Jared dead in his tracks. He said, “Wait. What? We’re not even a couple
anymore, Jensen. That’s why we broke up—because it was great while it lasted, but we couldn’t picture
spending the rest of our lives together.”
“I know. But—”
“Besides, she’s not as fun to climb on the red carpet. She’s too short for that. It never works right.”
“But what if you change your mind and one day you want to have—”
“You. I want you.”
“But what if one day you decide you’d rather have—”
“I can see myself spending the rest of my life with you. No one else.”
“Okay. Great. But—”
“Hold up. Are you the one who wants a wife and two point one kids? ‘Cos if that’s the case, then just
tell me straight up.”
“No. That’s not it. It’s just, what if you—”
“What if I wanna grow old and gray and wrinkly with you? What if I wanna be listening to your stupid
sarcastic comments a hundred years from now?”
“Wait.” Jensen’s face screwed up into a look of utterly fake insult and pure sarcasm. “Should I be
insulted? I think maybe I should be insulted.”
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With a growl, Jared sprang forward and tackled Jensen to the bed. Hovering above him, he said, “How
‘bout you stop coming up with excuses not to marry me, Jensen Ackles, and just give me a damn
answer?”
Defiantly, Jensen lifted his chin as best he could with his head pressed back into the pillow. “Fine.”
“Fine,” Jared repeated, annoyance finally creeping into his tone.
“No. I mean fine.”
“Fine. If you wanna be like that, then—”
“No. Jared. That’s my answer. Fine.”
“Fine?”
“Fine.”
But… I don’t… what does… that’s not a real…
This guy is a total pain in my ass.
“Does that mean…” Jared started, then stuttered to a halt. “Is that a…”
“Yes.”
“Yes?”
“Exactly.”
“You said yes.”
“Wasn’t that one of the choices?”
YES.
“Yes,” Jared muttered, dumbfounded, looking down at Jensen’s face. His arms gave out and he
collapsed on top of Jensen.
“Dude. No. C’mon. Get off.” A halfhearted shove at Jared’s shoulder. “You know the rules about
suffocating me.”
“You’re gonna marry me,” Jared said aloud, just to try out the words on his tongue. He buried his face
in the side of Jensen’s neck and said the words again.
Jensen’s longsuffering sigh got lost somewhere in Jared’s tangle-messy hair. “Right. Now do you think
could you get your bony elbow outta my rib? It’s jabbing me right in the stomach.”
“We just got engaged. We’re getting married,” Jared announced to the empty room, lifting his head
from Jensen’s shoulder. “You know what that makes you, Jen?”
“Totally fucking insane.”
“My fiancé!”
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[ Art by nerrianah ]
“You’re stupid with glee right now, aren’t you?”
“Hell yeah I am!” Unable to stop himself, Jared bounced on top of Jensen a little, making Jensen
bounce on the mattress springs and the whole bed vibrate.
“That’s great. Now you really need to get off my stomach.”
“When we first met, did you ever think one day you’d marry me?”
“Seriously, Jared. I think I’m about to throw up again.”
Jared rolled off with record speed, because he sure as hell didn’t need Jensen retching on him two
times in one night. No way.
Wait. Make that a hell no.
Perfectly still, looking a little afraid to make any sudden movements, Jensen let out a deep breath after
a minute or so had passed. “False alarm. I’m good.”
Impossibly long reach, Jared stretched a bit and hit the off switch on the lamp, then rolled into the dip
Jensen’s body made in the mattress and rested his head up against Jensen’s shoulder.
“See?” Jared muttered lazily, squooching further down into the mattress and getting comfortable. “That
was easy, right? I dunno why you make everything so complicated. I’m gonna end up getting an ulcer
and dying young and it’ll be all your fault.”
“Aw, Jared,” Jensen drawled, “whisper more sweet nothings like that to me.”
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“Okay. Prick.”
“You really aiming for an early death? ‘Cos I can arrange it for you.”
Head turned into Jensen’s shoulder, Jared sprayed laughter spittle into his shirt. A minute later: “Hey, I
think I’m Pepto plastered,” Jared mused, blinking up at the ceiling fan. “Is that possible?”
Jensen said, “Okay, I’ve got one more question,” and Jared physically flinched back, thinking,
OhGodno. He already said yes. He can’t take it back. HE CAN’T. It’s not allowed. That would be
ILLEGAL. Or something.
That, or Jensen really was about to spew on him again and his question involved how fast Jared could
reach the trashcan.
Jared proceeded cautiously, ready to bolt off the bed if necessary. “What?”
“Does this mean I’m gonna have to carry you over the threshold?”
{End of part 25}
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= 26 =
And the World Just Keeps Spinning
Series/Verse: Sick 'Verse. Part 26.
Summary: A wedding day that doesn’t go quite as planned.
Type: Real people
Rating: PG-14
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 12,014 (posted in two parts)
Warnings: -Disclaimer: Oh-so incredibly fake.
Author’s Note: This was all supposed to be just one more chapter, but I think it actually fits better
separated into two chapters. Both chapters are still pretty long on their own (this one's posted in two
entries). I realized there were a couple of storylines I needed to clean up before I got to the sex. Hence
the very mild rating on this chapter. Hope you all enjoy it.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
—Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
“I know what this is.”
Jensen stopped mid-pace, pausing in the short distance between the bathroom door and the foot of the
bed that Jared was sitting on. “What did you say?”
“I know what you’re doing.”
“Enlighten me.”
“You’re panicking!”
“No. I’d know if I were panicking.”
“I don’t think so,” Jared insisted, shaking his head. “I’ve seen this before. It happened to my brother-inlaw two years ago. He tried to hide it, but half an hour before the wedding he puked into a potted
plant. You’re showing all the same signs.”
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Jensen’s nose crinkled, eyes pinched at the corners. Tightly, he said, “You… you’re… you’re the one
panicking.”
“Weak comebacks. That’s one of the first signs.”
“Very funny.” Jensen started to laugh but stopped smoothly midway through and snapped, “Shut up.”
“Oh, God. You really are panicking, aren’t you?”
“I’m not… panicking.” And with that, he went back to wearing a hole in the carpet.
Jared waited patiently through an entire commercial about Viagra before he slipped off the bed and
ambushed Jensen at the sink counter, right outside the bathroom door. Crowding and backing Jensen
against the counter’s edge, Jared said, “Okay. Talk to me.”
“What? Why? I don’t feel like talking.”
“Jen, you’re half an hour away from potted-plant-puking. And trust me, that’s not something I ever
want to see again.”
“I thought we both agreed we were never going to use that word again.”
“Yeah, but this is an emergency. You’re about to—” At Jensen’s raised eyebrow of warning, Jared
mimed the word, complete with silent gagging and special hand effects.
“I’m fine,” Jensen said, trying to push Jared away. “You can get out of my face now.”
“I’m serious. If you’re having… doubts, you can talk to me.”
“Did you have something garlicky for lunch?”
This time Jared went for a whole body shove, putting his back into it and squashing Jensen flat against
the counter.
“What the hell,” Jensen protested, craning his neck back and away from Jared. “Don’t make me knee
you. Because I will do it.”
“Tell me what’s wrong.”
“You have no concept of personal space. That’s what’s wrong.”
“No, Jen, seriously.”
“You seriously have no concept of personal space. It’s like I’m breathing your exhaled air. Have some
mercy, will you?”
“Okay, okay,” Jared conceded, raising his hands in the air and inching back to give Jensen some room
to move. As soon as Jensen visibly relaxed, Jared pounced, hooking his hands around Jensen’s middle,
latching on, and lifting him the half a foot it took to plop him onto the counter, next to the sink.
“You,” Jensen growled, swiping out blindly, trying to connect with some part of Jared’s body.
Jared snickered, captured Jensen’s flailing hand in midair, and closed in, bracketing Jensen’s thighs on
the counter by placing his hands flat, palm-down, on each side of Jensen, trapping him.
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He tipped forward, nose-to-nose with Jensen. “You’re having second thoughts about the wedding,”
Jared stated plainly.
“Seriously, Jared, mint. Now.”
“Are you nervous?” Jared asked, unwilling to step away from Jensen to get a piece of gum. “Or do you
think we’re making a mistake?”
“No.”
“No, what?”
“None of the above.”
“Then what is it?”
“I don’t…” He hesitated, fidgeting. “I just don’t like being the center of attention.”
“Oh. Is that it?” Pulling back slightly, grinning, Jared said, “That’s not a big deal. They’ll all be looking at
me, anyway. I’m the tall, dark, handsome one, remember?”
“I was thinking we could move it to February.”
“February?”
“Or the spring. Everyone likes spring weddings, right?”
“You’re freaking out,” Jared confirmed, thumbs working tiny circles into the sides of Jensen’s thighs.
“My brother-in-law tried to change the date of the wedding, too. You’ve got cold feet.”
“What’s wrong with changing the date?”
Jared’s lips skidded over the spot between Jensen’s eyebrows, skipped down to his left eyelid when
Jensen’s eyes instinctively closed, and skimmed over long lashes that tickled at his bottom lip. Calmly,
softly, he said, “Because, Jen, the wedding’s tomorrow. Now just take a deep breath, and try not to
puke.”
--------It occurred to Jared in the middle of the night.
And it was all just so glaringly simple. He couldn’t figure out why he hadn’t thought of it a whole lot
sooner.
--------Half an hour later, half a tick away from four am, in the early pre-dawn hush right before the rush of
morning, on the day of their wedding, Jared had the suitcases already piled in the car, had only one
arm slung through the sleeve of his winter coat, and had Jensen bundled in the hotel blankets—thrown
over his shoulder, fireman’s carry style.
“What the—”
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“Don’t worry,” Jared assured him, tripping up on the step right outside of their hotel room, swaying like
a drunk and nearly sending them both sprawling onto the pavement. “I’m just kidnapping you. It’s all
good. Go back to sleep.”
“Are you out of your—damn it, Jared, if you drop me on my head—Oh, God, I think I’m gonna be sick.”
“Don’t. This is my favorite coat.” Jared shifted Jensen’s weight on his aching shoulder and barely
missed stepping on an icy spot in the parking lot.
“What the hell’s wrong with you?”
“I almost slipped on that—”
“No! I mean why are we—what are we doing out here in the—”
“I had an idea—”
“Why in the hell am I hanging upside down, staring at your ass? Fuck, now all the blood’s rushing to
my head. I think really am about to hurl down your backside.”
“—we’re not getting married like a normal couple.”
“This is humiliating.”
“We’re eloping,” Jared announced, with a certain amount of satisfaction, smiling to himself.
“We’re what?”
“Eloping. It means we—”
“I know what it means!”
“You’re heavier than you look.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry.”
Nothing like a breath of fresh sarcasm in the morning. A corner of the blanket he had wrapped around
Jensen came loose and started dragging the damp pavement. Finally at the car, it swung in front of
Jared’s path, got caught on his shoe, and he stumbled the last few feet to the passenger door.
“Don’t you dare fall,” Jensen warned.
“Why do you think I’m gripping your ass so tightly? I’m not about to drop you.”
Really. The way he’s acting you’d think I’d just snatched him out of bed at four in the morning and
dragged him outside—Oh wait.
I did.
When he safely reached the car, instead of dropping Jensen to his bare feet on icy-slick pavement,
Jared attempted to open the door and set him directly onto the car seat. Mostly, he just didn’t want to
give Jensen the chance to escape their elopement.
But because Jared never seems to learn, he cracked the back of Jensen’s head on the roof of the car.
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So used it by now, they both fell completely silent.
Jensen broke the hush with, “You’re gonna kill me before all of this over, aren’t you?”
“It is possible,” Jared admitted sheepishly, blew out a breath of air, then almost crushed Jensen’s
fingers in the car door when he slammed it shut.
“You could’ve at least given me a chance to put some pants on,” Jensen said, when Jared slid into the
driver’s seat. “We’re in Canada, in the dead of winter, and I’m wearing a hotel room blanket.”
Nodding his chin at the hotel, Jared said, “We have forty-five people in that hotel, all here for our
wedding. Family, friends, one tiny but sometimes scary ex-girlfriend. They’re gonna get up this morning
expecting a wedding. We need to be long gone by then. There was no time for me to explain it all to
you, spend an hour talking you into it, and then even more time waiting for you to pack and get
dressed.” Jared jammed the key into the ignition, willed the cold engine to turn over, and put the heater
on full blast to begin to melt the ice on the windows and to warm Jensen up.
Digging around in his coat pocket, Jared pulled out Jensen’s glasses. With his thumb under Jensen’s
chin, he directed Jensen to turn his head, then slipped the glasses onto his face. As soon as he had
them on, Jensen stared at the digital time displayed on the dash. “Four am? It’s official. I really do hate
you.”
Jared cupped Jensen’s chin in a winter-cold hand, smile brighter than a White Christmas dawn. “Is that
any way to talk to your groom on our wedding day?”
“It is if he heaves me over his shoulder at four in the morning. And by the way, don’t ever do that
again. I’m not your damn plaything.”
Jared’s face loosened into a grin.
“Get that look off your face.”
Jared’s hand fell away with a sigh, and Jensen pulled back to put his face right in front of one of the
vents churning out barely lukewarm air.
Eyes shut, blanket pulled firmly around his body, Jensen added, “And you wouldn’t have had to talk me
into it.”
“Really?” Movement outside one of the hotel rooms caught Jared’s attention, had him leaning forward
and peering out of the frosted car windows, trying to make out who it was.
“It’s no one we know.”
“They’ll all be up by eight to meet us for breakfast.” The car seemed to be taking forever to warm up.
Jared patted the cold dashboard. “I already turned our cell phones off. I’m thinking they’ll start calling
us around nine.”
“Are we total assholes for bailing on everyone like this, after they flew all the way up here for the
wedding?”
“I don’t know, but my mom’s gonna kill me.”
“Are you sure you really wanna do this, Jared?”
“Yes. I’m sure. Isn’t this what you want, too?”
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Warm air flowing over his face, blowing sleep-mussed pieces of hair off of his forehead, Jensen said, “I
never wanted a big wedding in the first place.”
“But you let my mom go through with all of her big plans and you never said anything, even when she
picked out your suit.”
“I thought all of it was what you wanted.”
He was gonna go through with it for me. That’s... that’s so damn…
We need to have sex. Right now.
“Anyway,” Jensen said, clearing his throat, “you plan on pulling out of this parking lot sometime before
the end of the year?”
“I thought it was what I wanted, too—a big wedding, and a reception where we’d feed each other cake
and have a first dance and all that. But now I want whatever you want.”
Jensen turned his face toward Jared, deadpanned, “I want my clothes.”
Jared patted him on his chilly cheek and informed Jensen that they were packed away safely in the
trunk of the car.
While he began to ease the car out of the parking lot, squinting out of the still-icy windshield, he said,
“You know all I need at the wedding is you, Jense.”
“And I need coffee. Why are you stopping?”
Even though no other cars were on the road at this time of day, Jared had brought the car to a halt at
the exit to the hotel parking lot and was now gazing in the rearview mirror, a nagging feeling drawing
his attention back to their hotel room door, which was now a mere blur through the icy fog hanging low
over the parking lot.
“Having doubts?” Jensen asked.
“No, no… just feels like I’m forgetting something.”
“Like what?”
Jared pulled his gaze back into the car, eyes settling on Jensen, focus immediately wandering as soon
as he caught sight of his Jen looking scruffy-rumpled, cold, and also a little—could it really be?—eager.
He’s excited, Jared realized, amazed. He’s happy with eloping. This is what he really wants. Why didn’t
I think of doing this before? Looking at Jensen, all other thoughts went out of Jared’s head with a
whoosh. Excitement building at the reality of actually going through with all of this, he said, “Hold on.
So now where are we gonna get married?”
“I don’t care. Anywhere they serve coffee.”
“McDonalds?”
“Yes, Jared. Let’s get married at McDonalds. You can carry a bouquet of Big Macs between the tables.”
“Hey, you know I’m game.” Jared’s voice softened, eyes flitting between Jensen and the road. “I’d
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marry you anywhere.”
Jensen aimed such a sly quirk of his lips at Jared—like he was seconds away from bursting out laughing
at some secret joke that only he and Jared shared—that Jared actually slowed the speed of the car
down, just to make sure he heard whatever Jensen said next.
“Anywhere?” Jensen questioned, as if testing Jared.
“Anywhere.”
The sigh Jensen let loose was soft, barely perceptible. “Man, that’s what I’m afraid of.”
Jared shrugged, returned his attention to the icy road.
Then, at odds with his words and despite the lack of caffeine in his system, Jensen started laughing—
the wide, open, eye-crinkling laugh that made him look like a five-year-old on Christmas morning,
surrounded by new toys.
“What is it?” Jared asked, glancing from Jensen to the road and back again, his own grin spreading at
the unexpected laughter.
Still laughing, shaking his head, Jensen said, “You know, normal people don’t elope at four in the
morning.”
“Well, we’re not normal. You’re a total freak, and I’m abnormally good-looking.”
“Yeah, yeah. Just drive.”
And Jared did.
--------The nearest fast food joint was fifteen minutes up the road. While Jared stood in line to buy Jensen a
hot cup of liquid sustenance, Jensen changed in the men’s bathroom. He came out wearing a deep
green sweater, and Jared handed over the coffee, goofy smile illuminating his face as soon as Jensen
came into sight.
Jensen took a gulp; he eyed Jared and his endless smile with the usual suspicion. “What are you so
happy about now?”
“You.” With his elbow, Jared nudged him in the arm, and Jensen almost dropped the coffee. At his ear,
Jared whispered loudly, “You. Wearing green for me today.”
Jensen blinked owlishly, glanced down at his clothes. “Oh. I didn’t even notice the color.”
“Yeah, right.” Jared grinned knowingly. “You know how to get to me, Ackles, and we both know that
you know it.”
“I don’t dress for you.”
“I’m sure you don’t.”
“I don’t.”
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“Of course you don’t. You just happened to—”
“Jensen?”
Both Jared and Jensen spun around at the voice, and coffee sloshed out onto the floor.
Jensen’s face flashed several different emotions, one after another, like second-long snapshots:
surprise, resentment, and finally, disbelief. Unfortunately, it was at that exact moment when Jared
remembered what it was he had forgotten.
Incredulous, Jensen said, “Dad?”
That was a really, really big thing to forget. And what the crap. He wasn’t supposed to actually show up
here.
Jensen actually took a step back. “What are… why are you… you’re…”
He’s stammering. Jensen never stammers. This is bad.
Alan nodded toward Jared. “Jared called me yesterday.”
This is really bad.
“Jared called you?”
So very, very bad.
The nearest exit was close, but clogged with a large group of roadside construction workers who’d just
walked in. There would be no escaping this one, so Jared turned to Jensen. “I called to tell him there
was no reason for him to treat you like something on the bottom of his shoe.” What exactly had he
done after the phone call and their brief conversation? Taken the very next flight up to Canada?
“You really think I’d disown you?” Alan cut in, getting right down to the point.
Another physical step back on Jensen’s end before he said, “You’ve already done that, Alan.” Jared
couldn’t help a wince at the bitterness in Jensen’s tone; it cut like a blade even though it wasn’t even
directed at him. Just a year ago Jared had been on the receiving end of that blade, knew what it felt
like and that it still stung weeks and months afterward.
Jensen’s father shook his head. “You don’t understand.”
“No, I get it. You made it pretty damn clear.”
Quiet, almost hesitantly: “He was my brother.”
Before his father had even finished the sentence, Jensen pivoted toward the door and pushed past
Jared.
If Jensen wasn’t going to say it, Jared definitely was. “And Jensen’s your son.”
Haggard and slump-shouldered, sounding as defeated as he looked, Jensen’s dad said, “My own
brother. And I wasn’t even there to protect you, Jensen.” With his hand on the door, ready to push it
open and escape into the ice-chilled air, his back to Jared and Alan, Jensen stopped, tensed. He didn’t
turn around; but Alan continued anyway, speaking to his back. “I failed you in every way that a father
could possibly fail a son.”
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Jensen sucked in an audible, sharp breath.
Jared released a silent, quiet noise of his own. Whatever it was he’d been expecting, it sure as hell
hadn’t been that.
“I sat on the couch with him every Saturday after you two got back from those fishing trips, and we
drank beer and watched the game together. He ate dinner at our table with us nearly every Sunday.
He’d always shake my hand on Sunday night before he left and every time he did it, he’d look me dead
straight in the eye.”
Face still to the door, Jensen flat-lined, “I know.”
“A parent should just know, but I didn’t. I never saw it in him. I never had any inkling at all.”
In the heavy pause that followed, when Jensen said nothing and failed to turn around, Alan’s gaze
shifted to Jared, who quickly threw his hands up in the air—hey, don’t look at me—and tried,
unsuccessfully, to melt into the plastic leaves of a tall potted plant in an alcove by the straws and
napkins. This was something Jared felt he had no business getting right smack in the middle of. Well,
except for the phone call. But other than that, no.
Directed at the dirty panel of glass in the door, Jensen said, “Let’s go, Jared,” and pushed outside into
the parking lot. Through the windows facing the parking lot, Jared and Alan watched him reach the car
and turn back to look at the building, hand on the door handle.
Jared had the car keys in his coat pocket.
Alan’s eyes once again found Jared, despite his potted plant refuge. He said, “Jared,” and Jared said,
“Mr. Ackles.” And there was really nothing that could’ve made the moment any more awkward. So much
for getting along well with his father-in-law.
But then Jared headed out the door with Jensen’s dad trailing after him, and the whole damn awkward
situation just refused to die properly, the way awkward situations always should.
At the car, Jensen’s eyes flittered past Jared to his father and then back, even as he held his hand out
to Jared and said, “Give me the keys. I’m driving this time.” Except at this point, given the current
circumstances, Jared wasn’t entirely sure that Jensen wouldn’t drive them off the side of a mountain—
on purpose. And that’s really not the way he wanted to spend his wedding day.
Jared scuffed the toe of his shoe on the ground to avoid meeting Jensen’s eyes. “Maybe we should just
—”
Hot breath on his neck had Jared’s head snapping up to find Jensen right there, body pressed to body,
and Jensen feeling him up in the middle of a McDonalds parking lot, right in front of his dad, hands
under Jared’s coat, deft fingers digging around in his pockets and—Oh. That explains it.
Deep breath, Padalecki. Deep breath.
Once he had the keys in his possession, Jensen snapped, “Get in the car, Jared,” in a voice as biting as
the crisp Canadian wind. Door unlocked, Jensen disappeared inside the vehicle, slamming it shut after
himself. Jared was left standing next to the car, staring at a wounded expression that Mr. Ackles was
too slow to hide in time.
It wasn’t until Jared had his hand on the cold handle of the door, ready to yank the door open and duck
inside, that Jensen’s dad informed him, “I’m going to follow you.”
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“I don’t think that’s a good ide—”
“I’m following you.”
Great. We’re definitely going off a mountain today.
--------“What the hell?” Jensen ground out, eyes swinging from road to rearview mirror, road to rearview
mirror.
“He’s tailing us. Just keep your eyes on the road; there’re patches of ice everywhere.”
“He’s flashing his emergency lights at us.”
Jared gripped the armrest a little tighter. “I think he’s ready to talk, and he wants you to listen. Stop
taking your eyes off the road.” The thought of dying in a car accident hours before marrying Jensen—
and on the day of his honeymoon—was a really bleak one that Jared couldn’t quite get out of his mind.
Not after a whole freakin’ year, not when they were so damn close.
More to himself than to Jared, Jensen muttered, “Unbelievable.”
“Unbelievable,” Jared echoed, nodding, clutching at the door handle with one hand and his seatbelt
with the other.
Fifteen minutes down the winding road, Jensen bellowed “Damn it!” and swerved the car onto the
shoulder of the road, plowing through a pile of snow. Jared barely held in a very unmanly squawk when
their tires hit a mixture of dirt, ice, and snow that had been shoved to the roadside.
Jared decided on a much more masculine “Shit, Jensen!” instead. But Jensen had already thrown the
car door open and shot out of his seat with the kind of superhuman speed that only the really
desperate, or really angry, can produce. By the time Jared scrambled out after him, Jensen was inbetween the two cars, advancing on his father, who had pulled up directly behind them and just
stepped out of his cream-colored rental.
“What do you want from me? Forgiveness?”
Jared remained standing at his open car door, where things seemed a little safer for the moment.
“I don’t know, Jensen. I don’t know what I came here for.”
“Then why don’t you just leave?” Jensen’s arms were out to the sides, hanging in midair, with his palms
facing out. Desperation saturated the edges of his voice, like he wanted nothing more than for his
father to just leave him the hell alone.
“Because all of it’s my fault for not seeing it in time. I’m the one who let him into our house.”
“It’s not even about that anymore,” Jensen said, advancing forward on his dad at a surprisingly fast
pace. “You took his side that day when you kicked me out of the house in front of our whole family.”
“I know, Jensen. I was wrong. In so many ways. But you need to listen to me.”
“Why would I do that? You didn’t listen to me. You turned your back on me.” Limply, Jensen’s arms
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dropped back down, hung slack at his sides. Unable to see his face, Jared gauged Jensen’s reaction by
the line of tension in his back—and it didn’t look good for Papa Ackles.
“Please, Jensen. I won’t… I’ll just say what I need to say, then I’ll leave you be.”
“I don’t want to do this today, Dad.”
Across the span of two vehicles, Jared could make out Alan’s eyes flicking over to him briefly. “I know I
picked a… bad day for this. But I wanted you to know that I don’t hate you for it. I hate myself for it,
and for the way I handled it when I found out. Jared used the word over the phone, told me what you
thought I was thinking about you—filthy. That’s why I hung up on him and took the next flight up here.
You need to know… that’s never what I thought. Never.”
It looked like some kind of weird dance out on the side of the road, with Jensen taking one step back
and his dad taking two steps forward.
Alan said, “Let’s go somewhere private and finish this. I think this is something that should be kept
within the family.”
“Jared is family. My family.”
Oh. Jared could feel his face heat up at Jensen’s words. A pleasant tingly warmth slowly made its way
through his body.
“Okay. I understand. So let me buy you both a cup of coffee and we’ll sit down and—”
Firmly, Jensen said, “Not today. We’re not doing this today.”
“Then, please… let me come to the wedding. I want to be there to show you… to show you my
support. I wasn’t there for you before, but I want to be there for you now.”
“You can’t come to the wedding.” The rigid set of Jensen’s shoulders softened so slightly that Jared
wouldn’t have noticed it if his eyes hadn’t been glued to Jensen the whole time. “You can’t come to the
wedding because we’re eloping.”
Dejection eased out of Alan’s face one crease at a time. He looked up from the ground. “Eloping?”
“Eloping,” Jensen confirmed.
“But your mom said she was coming up here for the wedding and—”
“She doesn’t know there’s not going to be a wedding today.”
“Why are you eloping?”
“It just feels right.”
“Okay, all right.” He eased a little closer to Jensen. “Then we’ll talk another day. Whenever you want.
But let me congratulate you right now.”
Obvious hesitation on Jensen’s part before he stuck his hand out to his dad for a distant handshake.
Alan took his hand, but used it to pull Jensen toward him into a short-lived hug. As Jared blinked in
surprise at the sight, they parted and Alan held Jensen at arm’s length.
Awkward as ever, Jensen said, “Okay. Well. Bye. Dad.” And Alan said, “I’ve never said it, but I’m proud
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of the person you turned out to be. And I may not understand all of your choices, but I accept them.”
Jensen remained standing stock-still even as his dad let go of him, slipped back into his car, backed up,
and pulled out onto the road. When Jensen turned, Jared quickly ducked back into the passenger seat
and slammed the door.
In the car again, Jensen touched the steering wheel with both hands, curled his fingers around it, and
without looking at Jared, said, “I feel like I’m trapped in a Lifetime movie. One that never ends.”
For the first time in his life, Jared tittered. He felt nervous and jumpy. “Look,” he started, apologetically,
squirming in the chilly leather seat, “I’m sorry I called your dad like that. I think I might have been way
out of line this time. I never should have butted in on something so priva—”
Quietly: “Don’t be.”
Jared’s brow crinkled. “What?”
“Don’t be sorry.”
“Oh—really?”
“Thank you.”
What? This wasn’t the reaction Jared had been expecting. What exactly was happening here?
Disbelieving, Jared said, “So, wait. You’re okay with what I did?”
Jensen’s return smile was small and soft, barely even a tug at the corners of his mouth, but there was
a certain unidentifiable warmth there. He said, “Yeah, Jared. It’s okay. You did what I couldn’t do: You
called him for me.”
Jared sat back in his seat, dumbfounded, as Jensen started the cold car and pulled back onto the road.
They passed ten minutes in comfortable silence, trees and the rocky sides of sheer mountains spinning
by the car. “So,” Jensen said, conversationally, “where do you wanna get married today?” And it
sounded so much like every evening after filming when Jensen would turn to him and say, “Where do
you wanna eat tonight?” that Jared did a film-worthy double take between the gray side of a mountain
out his window and the side of Jensen’s face.
Jensen’s profile morphed into a quick, sleek grin. He shot his eyes over to Jared. “Did you think I was
gonna back out?”
“No. Of course not.” Well, maybe.
“Then why are you looking at me like that?”
“Don’t move,” Jared commanded, wiping the completely goofy grin off his face to reach into the
backseat and feel around for his shiny new digital camera, a recent Christmas gift.
“What are you doing?”
“You look perfect right now, just like this. All happy and carefree. I need a picture of it.”
“C’mon, not while I’m drive—”
Snap—a picture of Jensen, mouth open wide in half-hearted protest.
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“Jared.”
“Dude, you know what I just realized?”
“That I never should’ve bought you that camera?”
“No. That you have freckles on your ear. And there’s, like, a whole cluster in your ear, too.” With utter
amazement in his voice, “Jesus, they really are everywhere.” Jared raised the camera.
“No way. Jared, don’t take a picture of my—”
Snap—a zoomed in, close-up shot of Jensen’s ear.
“—ear. You’re like a stalker with that thing.”
“I only stalk out of love.”
“That’s what they all say.”
Snap—Jensen’s fleeting look of pure exasperation.
Snap—Jensen’s hand raised, reaching for the camera.
“And there’s also a little trail of freckles scattered down the side of your neck.” Jared brushed a touch
where the collar of Jensen’s jacket left skin peeking out. “Tonight I’m gonna unwrap all those layers of
clothes you have on right now, lay you out all nice and bared—and then I’m gonna follow that trail, find
out where it leads.”
Jensen’s throat muscles worked in a hard swallow. He kept his eyes on the road when he said, “Is that
a promise?”
“Aw, Jen, do you even need to ask me that?”
“Guess not?”
Snap—Jensen’s freckle trail, captured forever on Jared’s camera.
Snap—Jensen staring at the road ahead, finger tapping away on the wheel to an unheard beat.
Jensen slowed their speed just to look over at Jared, one eyebrow arced upward at the flares of light
from the camera’s flash. This time Jared simply grinned wide in explanation, said carefully, “These are
the before pictures,” clearly emphasizing the before.
The fierce flush that chased up the yet-to-be-explored freckle path straight into Jensen’s cheeks—
coloring them crimson—was so totally worth whatever price Jensen had paid for the fancy, high-tech
camera in Jared’s hand.
--------It was a little place off the main road, surrounded on all sides by deep green forest, with a tiny sign by
the street—The Little Evergreen Chapel—and an unpaved dirt road lined thickly with trees. The end of
the narrow road opened into a small circle free of trees, revealing the quaint sky-blue-with-white-trim
building.
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Jensen turned the car off and said, “Well.”
Jared answered with, “Well.”
“It’s a wedding chapel,” Jensen pointed out, unnecessarily.
“Where people… wed.”
“Where’d you put the marriage license?”
“In my suitcase.”
“So what do we do now?”
Jared gazed out the windshield at the building. “I think we go inside.”
“And get married?”
“Oh,” said Jared, widening his eyes, “I thought we were stopping here for dinner.”
Dry as a crisp wind in the winter, Jensen deadpanned, “Only if they serve shrimp.”
“You want this, don’t you, Jen?”
“Would I’ve driven all day if I didn’t want it?”
“I don’t know. Would you’ve?”
“No. I want this.”
“So do I.”
“Good to know.”
“I guess we need to get out the car.”
“Okay. You first.”
--------Standing on the practically-miniature covered porch, at the front door of the chapel, the wind that
whipped around the sides of the building and blasted their faces held a special, piercing, polar kind of
cold.
“The door’s locked,” Jensen announced, hand on the handle. His head was somewhere under there
beneath the folds of the hood on his heavy winter coat.
“Of course it is.” Jared crossed his arms over his chest, hugging himself, and tucked his gloved hands
under his armpits, trying to restore warmth to his fingers. Hair whisked across his forehead when he
titled his head back and looked straight up. Directly above them, the early evening night sky remained
crystal clear and freckled with stars, but to the north there was a pile of clouds and a promise of heavy
snow before the night’s end.
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Driving on mountain roads at night with wind-driven snow hitting the windshield was not fun. Especially
for two Texas boys.
“What do we do now?” Jensen asked.
Gently, Jared pushed him away from the door, said, “Let me take care of this one,” took a fortifying
breath, and proceeded to pound a closed fist on the door.
A bright light came on just inside the doorway, and a man appeared in place of the door.
Not wasting any time, Jensen said, “Are you closed?”
The guy glanced back and forth between them. “Yep. We’re shutting down early tonight.”
Despite the cold air, heat bubbled up Jared’s throat, and before he could stop himself it burst out in the
form of something close to—but not quite—a snarl. “It’s because we’re two men, isn’t it? I thought
Canada was supposed to be—”
“No, no! It’s because it’s New Year’s Eve.”
“—oh,” Jared finished lamely. “Sorry. I’m sorry ‘bout that.”
“We’re always open to anyone who’s in love. Just…”
“Just not tonight,” Jensen provided.
“Well… I suppose we could… just for… as long as we make it quick. Do you have everything ready?
Marriage license, rings?”
They both nodded.
“Good. Well, come on in then.”
Unexpectedly, following the man into some sort of entry hall, Jensen paused just inside the door,
hesitant. Jared kept walking and almost plowed right over him. Latching onto Jensen’s shoulders to
steady himself and Jensen, he said, “Jen? Are you all right?”
Jensen shook his head as if to clear it. “Yeah. I’m good.”
For someone doing so well, Jensen was remarkably still as a statue.
Jared cleared his throat. “Could you, uh, maybe move out of the entrance so I can come inside? My ass
is hanging outside the door, freezing.”
As Jensen shuffled forward far enough for Jared to squeeze into the narrow space and shut the door
against the wind, the man pointed down another dimly lit hall off the vestibule they were standing in,
indicating where they could change clothes if they needed to.
“Hey,” said Jared, jamming his arms and shoulders and a foot in the doorjamb right before Jensen had
a chance to close the door to his changing room, “wanna make out back here before we get married?”
He waggled his eyebrows up and down suggestively.
Jensen shoved Jared’s long limbs out of his space and shut the door in his face. There was the sound of
suppressed laughter on the other side of the door—which was exactly what Jared had been aiming for.
‘Course, he wouldn’t exactly have been opposed to a quick kiss, either. After all, they were practically
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married.
--------“Are you chewing gum?”
“Two pieces. Cinnamon.” Jared held out a hand to Jensen, offering up a stick of gum resting in his
palm. “Want some?”
“Dude, you can’t be chewing gum while we’re getting married. Spit it out.”
“Okay, okay,” Jared muttered, stuffing the wrappers in his suit pocket. “But at least one of us’ll have
fresh breath.”
---------
This is it. Finally. We’re getting married. Right now. We’re standing in a church that has a lot of lace,
and a minister, and we’re getting married.
So why was it the only thing Jared could concentrate on, the only thing he could focus on clearly during
the biggest moment of his life, was the way Jensen’s hair was sticking up in the front, all disheveled
and wild without product, like Jensen had forgotten to run a hand through it after he’d pushed the
hood of his jacket off and changed. Jared really wanted to stick his hand in it and tousle it even more,
add to Jensen’s just-rolled-out-of-bed appearance.
“Jared Tristan Padalecki, do you take—”
Right. That’s me.
I should probably be paying attention to this part.
“I do,” Jared blurted in a breathless rush, all dimples and restless energy, eager eyes centered solely on
Jensen.
The minister couldn’t quite suppress a small chuckle. “Okay, son, that’s good. But let me finish the
question first, eh?”
Jensen’s unexpected burst of laughter surprised Jared out of his momentary confusion, and he gave a
quick, sheepish, “Sorry.” To Jensen, Jared mouthed another sorry. In wordless response, Jensen’s eyes
lit up, crinkled at the corners just so, and Jared kind of lost himself again.
Lost himself until the unmistakable sound of Jensen’s voice echoed throughout the tiny room. “Jared?
Jared!”
And Jared said, “Yeah?” as if coming out of a dream.
“The rings?” Jensen prompted.
“What about ’em?”
Darting a glance at the minister, who looked vaguely amused, Jensen said, “We need the rings, Jay.”
“Don’t you have them?”
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Jensen looked truly puzzled when he said, “What? No. I thought you had them.”
“No.” Jared shook his head, explained carefully, “Jen, you’re the one who packed ‘em in your suitcase
when we went to meet my parents at the hotel yesterday. Remember?”
“Yeah, but when we got to the hotel you told me to take them out and put them on the nightstand so
you could put them in your…” He trailed off, eyes flaring wide. “When you were throwing our clothes
into the suitcases this morning, tell me you grabbed the bag that was setting on the nightstand.”
Somewhere off to Jared’s left, the minister sighed heavily, as if he knew exactly where this was
heading.
Jared just said, “Oh God.”
“Oh, you’ve gotta be kidding me.”
“Was it a red and white bag?”
Seeming to perk up at that, Jensen said, “Yeah, that’s the one. It’s the bag from the jewelry store. Did
you bring it?”
Jared took a nice long moment to blink.
“Jared, tell me you didn’t leave our rings in a hotel room outside of Vancouver.”
“I—” Jared took yet another long, drawn-out moment to scratch his temple. “All right, I won’t tell you.”
“Unbelievable.”
--------Someone’s hand was definitely shaking, and Jared couldn’t be sure that it wasn’t his own.
Jensen’s hand was hot where it rested flat atop Jared’s open palm. His fingers curled slightly when
Jared solemnly repeated the words: With this ring… Of course, he couldn’t just slip it easily onto
Jensen’s finger; he had to first twist it into a long, thin line, and then wrap and curve the deep red,
crumpled cinnamon gum wrapper to fit snuggly around Jensen’s finger. Raw nerves showed as Jared
carefully folded the ends in to secure it and Jensen’s hand quivered just once at the same time that
Jared’s fingers briefly twitched over Jensen’s.
Jensen then took hold of the other gum wrapper, lifted Jared’s hand tenderly, and repeated the
minister’s words just as Jared had.
No, that was definitely Jared’s hand that was currently betraying his nerves by trembling so slightly in
Jensen’s that surely Jensen was the only one who noticed it shaking at all.
But then Jensen’s fingers fumbled the wrapper clumsily, dropped it to the floor, and Jared comforted
himself with the fact that he wasn’t the only one standing up there shaking.
--------The one memory from his wedding that would always stand out bright in Jared’s mind—besides the
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gum wrapper rings and their equally shaky hands and Jensen dropping the wrapper twice before finally
getting it on Jared’s finger—was the look on Jensen’s face when the minister said you may now kiss.
That absolutely priceless expression in the perfect impression of a blushing virginal bridegroom. Like
he’d completely forgotten about having to kiss in front of strangers.
After everything that had happened in the past year, sometimes he still came off as so damn innocent
that it drove Jared wild. No matter what, he didn’t want Jensen ever losing that aspect of his
personality. It was just so fucking endearing, not to mention an incredible turn-on.
When Jensen didn’t move, Jared stepped forward, tilted Jensen’s head back with a hand cupped
gingerly around the back of his skull, touched his lips to Jensen’s heated cheek, then gently brushed
them down, over Jensen’s lips. He felt Jensen’s hands lift and rest lightly on his back, fingers curling in
Jared’s suit, warmth from his hands radiating right through Jared’s jacket.
“Love you,” Jared mumbled softly against Jensen’s lips.
“Ditto,” Jensen whispered back with wide-eyed sincerity, and Jared had to pull away before he
accidentally choked out a rising laugh right into Jensen’s open mouth. “I mean,” Jensen muttered, “you
too. I love you too.”
--------Outside again, Jared rushed Jensen from behind, tipped him in his arms, and said, “You know how I
really wanted to kiss you in there?”
Braced horizontal to the ground in Jared’s arms, looking directly up into Jared’s face, Jensen growled,
“Oh hell no. You’re not dipping me,” and yanked so hard at the lapels of Jared’s coat that Jared lost his
footing on the slippery pavement and took Jensen down with him when he lost his balance. They both
went down in a heap onto the light powdering of snow that had fallen while they’d been inside.
“You know what your problem is, Jared? You turn me in to a clumsy jackass,” Jensen announced, from
underneath Jared, spitting out the furry lining of Jared’s hood that was now covering his face. “I was
never a clumsy person before you came along.”
He’s really lying to himself with that one. “Is that because you’re like a cat?” Jared asked innocently.
“You always used to land on all fours, right?”
“Exactly. But now I always land on my ass. I blame you.”
“I think I kind of like it down here.”
“That’s because it’s not the backside of your jeans that are currently soaking up the layer of snow we
landed in.”
“Husband,” said Jared, out of the blue.
“What?”
“That’s what you are now. My husband. Mine.”
“Really? When did that happen?”
Jared closed his cold hands around the sides of Jensen’s face, stubble scratching along the palms of his
hands. “Mine,” he insisted firmly, “says the province of British Columbia and the country of Canada.
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Mine legally now.”
“But, really, what does Canada know, eh?”
“Are you teasing me, Ackles, egging me on?”
The smirk Jensen flashed at him had an interesting, intriguing mix of Dean thrown in there. That was
definitely something Jared looked forward to exploring one day, a bit of a kink he had yet to play
around with. Yet.
But for tonight Jared planned on keeping it nice and simple. He said, “Maybe I should stake my claim.”
“Didn’t realize I was trapped in a cheap paperback romance novel. What happens next? Does his eager
mast rise to tame her fluttering sail? No, wait; wrong story. Is this the one where he number one
rambles on and on while he number two’s wet jeans slowly conform and freeze to his ass on the cold
pavement?”
“You’re really frustrating. Anyone ever told you that?” His hands left Jensen’s face, scattered mindlessly
over the sides of his hair where it still stuck crazily straight up and straight out. Instead of smoothing it
down, Jared made sure his fingers carded it into more of a mess, grinning with satisfaction as he did
so.
“You know, I’m pretty sure there’s something politically incorrect about this whole scene.”
Jared wondered if he stuck the tip of his tongue to Jensen’s face, if it’d freeze there in the blistering
wind blowing across them. Oh, well. He did it anyway. First traced the high arc of Jensen’s cheekbone,
then chased Jensen’s face with his tongue when Jensen tried to turn his head to the side.
“You’re licking my face.”
“Those freckles right there? Mine.”
“We just got married five minutes ago and now you’re licking my face.”
“True story,” Jared confirmed.
“The truth, Jared: Are you really part puppy?”
Pushing stray hair from Jensen’s forehead, Jared said, “Do you know that you babble when you’re
nervous?”
“I’m not…”
“Nervous?”
“…babbling.” Squirming uncomfortably, he pushed at Jared’s shoulder with one hand. “Seriously, I think
my pants are starting to freeze to the pavement.”
Jared was up and almost to the car in seconds flat, his hand holding Jensen’s, dragging him along. His
next words came out rushed and all jammed together, like a sudden burst of energy from too much
coffee. “You’re right. We should go. How far is it to the cabin from here? We need to make it before the
snow really starts coming down. Should I drive, or do you feel up to it? You drove all the way here, so I
can take the rest of the way if you want. Are you hungry? Maybe we should stop and pick something
up on the way. I think—”
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Arms crossed at his chest, Jensen leaned a hip into the side of the car. Indulgent smile playing over his
lips, he said, “Who’s babbling now, Jare?”
Like a car coming to a jerky stop from careening all over the highway, Jared stopped abruptly. He took
a much-needed deep breath and fluttered his fingers over Jensen’s neck, saying, “We better go. I have
a trail of freckles to explore. You’re lucky I’m not flat out mauling you right here and now. You don’t
know how long I’ve been waiting to get you laid out on a bed waiting for me.”
“Unless I get you flat on your back on the bed first.”
Oh. Ohhh. “Are you challenging me to see who…” bottoms?
Jensen’s smile flickered but didn’t fade. “I don’t know…. Maybe I am.”
“’Cause if you are, I’m gonna need something to eat first.”
---------
Three… two… one…
“Stop.” Jensen shrugged his right shoulder, trying to detach Jared’s fingers from his earlobe.
Jared ignored him, continued massaging the flesh between his thumb and index finger, saying, “But
doesn’t that feel good?”
“Jared, we’re on a mountain.”
“So?”
“You’re about to make me drive off of it.”
Pulling his hand back onto his side of the car, Jared said, “You’re right. That’s really careless of me.
Sorry,” and replaced his fingers with his mouth. Gently sunk his teeth into the soft flesh, ran his tongue
over the same spot, then sucked. And repeated.
Jensen’s hands clutched the steering wheel with white-knuckled force. “Oh… oh—fuck.”
“Eyes on the road, Jen-Jen,” murmured Jared, pursing his lips and blowing hot wisps of air over the
saliva-slick earlobe. “Try not to kill us.”
On a gust of exhaled breath, Jensen managed to mumble, “Know what you’re doing.”
Jared’s tongue rimmed the outer edge of Jensen’s ear. “And what would that be?”
“Think you can—ahh—weaken me before we get to the—uhnn… stop it—hotel, so I’ll be too blind with
lust to put up a good… to give you a—damnit, Jared!”
“To give me a damnit Jared? What’s that?”
“…the challenge with the bed… flat on… the bed… on back… Jesus… first.”
“No idea what you’re talking ‘bout.” Nibble, nibble, suck.
Headlights from the vehicle behind them flashed through the front seat of the car, and Jensen abruptly
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jerked his head away and brought his focus back to the dark, icy road winding out in front of them.
“I’m serious, Jared. Now’s not the time for this.”
“Exactly,” Jared agreed, nuzzling and nosing at the skin just behind Jensen’s ear, where the spicy, fresh,
woodsy scent of Jensen’s cologne lingered. Edges of Jensen’s hair tickled Jared’s cheek. Jared inhaled
deeply, savoring the new spot he’d found.
“Can’t… I can’t concentrate on the road.” Just as Jensen tried to duck his head away from Jared’s
persistent mouth, the vehicle behind them flashed its brights and the entire inside of their car glowed
with unnatural white light for several seconds. “I’m serious, Jared. Stop.” He glanced in the rearview
mirror. “This guy’s practically riding my ass.”
Jared pulled away smirking and settled back into his own seat.
“Look at this,” Jensen said, sitting up straighter, annoyance creeping into his tone. “Icy two-lane
mountain road, at night, with it raining, and this truck’s so close he might as well be riding in our
trunk.”
That got Jared’s attention away from the long, begging-to-be-licked column of Jensen’s neck. He
peered out his window and at the side view mirror mounted on his side of the car. Whoever it was
behind them flashed their high beams again. “He wants to pass you.”
“He can’t pass me. He’s in one of those huge SUVs. The road here’s too narrow.”
“Slow down and pull onto the shoulder.”
“Jay, there isn’t a shoulder here. There’s the side of a mountain on our right and a drop-off on our left.”
“Then roll your window down and wave at him.”
The scathing look Jensen scanted at him in response to that helpful suggestion had Jared snapping his
mouth shut.
To make matters worse, it started to sleet. Jensen cursed under his breath, with good reason. The SUV
was all but riding their bumper despite the worsening weather.
“This jackass is crazy,” Jensen muttered. “Gonna get us all killed.”
“Put your emergency lights on after we round this curve. Maybe the road will widen up ahead and he’ll
be able to pass.”
Leaning so far forward in his seat that his chest was practically one with the steering wheel, Jensen
wrapped his arms around the wheel and squinted out the windshield, slowing their speed even further.
“I can’t see a damn thing. Man, I hate Canada in the winter.”
The windshield wipers were on high, barely keeping up with the icy sleet hitting the windshield in
waves of wind. Jared switched from heat to defroster, trying to keep the windows from fogging up and
making things even worse.
Jared said, “’S probably some old guy who’s lived in these mountains all his life, and this weather’s,
like, normal to him, and he can’t figure out why you’re going so slow.”
“Well, I’m from Texas, damnit. I don’t care what anyone says, raining ice ain’t normal.”
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Jared chuckled, nodded in agreement. “Maybe it’s a car full of people who’ve been drinking in the new
year.”
A long, ear-splitting blast of the horn came from the SUV.
Jensen’s only visible reaction was a narrowing of the eyes, his back a tense, rigid line. Not once did he
take his concentration from the road or increase his speed. But Jared turned in his seat, stared out the
back window, and tried to make out the facial expression of the person driving the SUV. Because of the
ice covering their car, he couldn’t even see out of the back window.
The oversized SUV honked its horn again, three short beeps in quick succession.
“These people are insane,” said Jared.
“Are they? Really? You think?”
When Jensen slowed to take one of the sharp curves in the road, the SUV eased up impossibly closer
to them and hit their bumper just hard enough to jerk the car forward slightly. Not until then did Jared
realize he’d forgotten to put his seatbelt back on after tormenting Jensen’s ear.
“Shit,” Jensen cursed, teeth gritted, death grip tightening on the wheel to keep it from wrenching out of
his hands.
Jared put his seatbelt on. Seemed like a pretty good idea.
“I’m thinking he meant to that.”
Jensen didn’t answer, so Jared said, “He’s trying to intimidate us in to moving out of his way.”
“Yeah, the only problem is that there’s nowhere for us to move except off the side of a cliff. I knew I
should’ve made you drive this time.”
“The turn for the lake and cabins should be coming up any minute now.”
“Look for the sign for me. I can’t take my eyes off the road.”
“Already on it.” Rainy slush and icy wind rushed in the window Jared had rolled down partway. With the
window rolled up, he couldn’t make out anything, much less a sign for their turnoff.
Again, the SUV nudged them from behind.
Whatever Jensen muttered over the roaring wind blasting in through Jared’s open window, Jared
couldn’t make out. But it sounded a lot like off my tail mixed with sonofabitch.
“Put your blinker on,” Jared instructed loudly over the noise of the wind.
Jensen shouted back, “You saw the sign?”
“No, just put your right blinker on. I know the turn’s got to be close. We’re gonna have to slow down in
a minute anyway.”
Jensen flicked the turn signal on and, simultaneously, a crunching, screeching, metal-on-metal sound
flooded the car. Jared and Jensen both were flung forward, then slammed back in their seats by the
seatbelts. The steering wheel started to spin wildly to the left. Jensen caught it and held on firmly for,
what looked like, dear life.
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“Fuck!” Jared exclaimed, hands braced on the dash, as the SUV receded the breath of a space. No
fucking way are we dying on my honeymoon because of some impatient ahole.
“The guy’s out for blood!”
“Stop the car!”
“If I stop now he’ll drive right over us!”
Over the wind, Jared yelled, “Road rage!”
“Exactly! He’s—” This time the whole car bolted-crashed-jolted forward so hard that Jensen’s face
slammed into the steering wheel. Jared’s hands and arms, already braced on the dash, throbbed from
the impact, ached through every joint, but prevented him from smashing headfirst into the dash.
The steering wheel jerked violently left-right-left-right, and Jared screamed “JENSEN!”
Jensen jolted awake at Jared’s bellow of his name, immediately grabbing the out-of-control, spinning
wheel. At this point, the front of the SUV seemed attached to the back of their car. Even though the
SUV was now pushing them along the icy road, Jensen gripped the wheel firmer, determined to keep
some semblance of control over the vehicle. Those elegant, long-fingered hands—which were currently
clenching so tightly around the steering wheel that Jared fleetingly worried Jensen might actually break
his fingers—those hands should’ve been working Jared’s body over right about now. If only there were
any damn justice in the world.
Along with the SUV, they veered across the double yellow line and into the other lane, and Jared
hoped-prayed that another car wouldn’t come speeding around one of the bends from the opposite
direction, because then they would be toast; it would all be over right then and there.
With a deafening scraping of tortured metal, the SUV released them again.
Jensen—chest heaving with fast, frantic breaths, mouth mumbling “Oh God, oh God” between each
shallow inhalation of precious oxygen—brought them back into the correct lane.
Jared started to say, “This is—” But he caught a looming movement from the corner of his eye. “He’s
coming up on our left! Jensen!”
“Holy—he’s going to slam us into the—”
How had Jared gone twenty-five years without knowing that metal yielding to metal sounded like that?
That crunching-crushing-scraping sound of metal being bended, compressed, and destroyed. To Jared’s
ears it sounded like an implosion happening inside the car; it sounded like the whole fucking world
ending.
The black SUV inched away, and then slammed into them again, on Jensen’s side of the car. Jared
could see the driver’s side door buckling at the bottom, crumpling in like a torn sheet of paper. Jensen
sucked in a rattling wheeze of a breath, and Jared thought, No, no panic attack, no, not now, NO, Jen,
no.
But then the SUV mashed them into the side of the mountain on Jared’s side of the car, and Jared
couldn’t think about anything but the way his half-open window exploded inwards against the impact of
the sheer rock wall, and the sound that his door—and the entire right side of the car— made while
being dragged across sharp rock at forty miles per hour.
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It had them jammed between it and the side of the mountain.
“We’re not… not going to die tonight in a fucking car accident,” Jared sputtered; gummy pieces of glass
fell from his shirt. “That’s just not possible.”
Jensen must have taken his foot off the accelerator, because when the SUV lessened its speed their car
automatically slowed, too. Shrills blasts from a car horn ripped through the night air for the third time,
and Jensen—Jared did a double take—Jensen rolled his window down.
“What are you doing?” Jared shrieked, because Jensen was now bending-ducking and putting his head
slightly out of the window, as if to yell a hello to the psychotic SUV driver. “Jensen, DON’T! They might
have a gun!” Road rage, tripped madly through Jared’s head. And then, They might shoot him in the
head. It didn’t happen with Bill, but it could happen now, tonight.
He reached for Jensen’s arm, Jensen’s coat, anything to grab a hold of and yank Jensen’s head back
inside the car.
They were going so slow now that they were practically stopped. Jared’s hand closed over the back of
Jensen’s jacket collar and he jerked Jensen back into the car. Jared said—yelled, really—“What the hell
are you doing?”
Numbly, Jensen shook his head, said, “It looks like there’s only one person in the car, and—Jared, I
think it’s… I think it might be Dan.”
Dan. Like a lead rock, Jared’s hand dropped from Jensen’s collar. “No, no, that’s not possible. Dan went
back to Texas.”
“Did he?” Jensen asked, turning his head to Jared, shock-wide eyes eerily lucent in the shadow-light
produced by the SUV’s headlights shining through their windows. “We thought he did.”
We thought he did. Christ.
“You’re sure it’s him?” Jared asked.
“No, I can’t be sure.”
“Why’d he stop?”
“I don’t know. But we’re not about to sit here to find out what he has planned.” Tires spun, crunching
on loose gravel, and it took Jared a second to realize that it was their tires that were spinning as
Jensen resumed control of the wheel and shoved his foot down on the accelerator, sending them
shooting out from between the rock wall and the SUV. Something on Jared’s side of the car sounded
like it ripped as they broke free.
That just can’t be good.
Not that things could get any worse.
Dark, sleek shape slipping up behind them, and the SUV rammed full force into their backside again
and again. The car spun like a bottle cap flipped on its side.
I take it back. Things can always get worse. Much worse.
Jared’s voice slurred with the momentum of the revolving car. “What’s he doin’?”
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“Trying to kill us. Apparently.”
Oh, yeah. Of course.
By some miracle, they didn’t end up flying off the road and straight off the side of the mountain. Jared
vaguely wondered why the built-in airbags weren’t making an appearance. He figured now would be a
pretty good time for them to pop out.
The car rotated three-hundred-sixty-five degrees in the middle of the road, and as soon as it stopped—
before it stopped, even—Jensen had the car moving forward, intent on escaping the SUV from hell.
Instead, it pulled up on their right, Jared’s side this time, edging them closer to the edge of the road
and the steep drop-off to the left.
Block of dread rising in his throat, Jared angled his head and gazed out his broken window, directly up
in to the driver’s side of the SUV. That block of dread twisted in his throat and came out as a growled
“Bastard.” To Jensen, he said, “It is him.”
Though he didn’t say a word, Jensen’s jaw stiffened.
Out the window, rain or snow or sleet hitting his face with stinging force, Jared yelled, “Pull over, you
crazy son of a bitch! This isn’t the way to do this!”
“You took everything from me!” Dan screamed back on the wind. He side-swiped them. Jared swore he
saw paint flying as they swerved dangerously and Jensen fought for the wheel, fought to keep them on
the road.
From Jensen’s next words, it was obvious he’d heard Dan’s shout above the wind. “Shit, shit, Jay, how
did it end up like this?”
“You took my family!” was flung through the window next. “Stripped me of everything!”
To Jared, Jensen instructed, “Hold on.”
“Hold on?”
“Brace yourself on something.”
From the open window: “And I started thinking… I started thinking, why should you get to keep your
family, Jensen? Why should you get to keep anything?”
“Jesus,” Jensen breathed, darting his eyes wildly over to Jared. His eyes raked over Jared’s body
snapshot-fast, as if making sure Jared had put his seatbelt on. Then his eyes went past Jared, out
beyond Jared’s window to the side of the SUV. Whisper-soft and achingly desperate now: “Jesus.
Please… don’t. Don’t do it.”
In his mind’s eye, Jared could see it all unfold before it even happened. He saw coming what Jensen
apparently saw coming: Dan was going to use his superior-sized vehicle to wham them hard enough to
send them clear off the road, down into whatever the darkness held in the yawning black hole that
waited at the bottom of the drop-off. And unless they were incredibly lucky, the car would rotate endon-end, slam into rocks or trees along the way, and the gas tank would eventually explode.
The road suddenly widened and Dan used it to drop back and veer away from them.
From Jensen’s profile, Jared could tell his lips were moving soundlessly, like he was—like he was…
praying, Jared realized numbly. Praying. Like this is the end. Like this is it.
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Oh, God.
OhGodno. Please…
“Jensen,” Jared said, unable to rip his eyes away from the sight of the stark, desperate fear written all
over Jensen’s face. For whatever reason, Jared’s eyes dropped to Jensen’s hands, to the twisted little
red gum wrapper encircling his ring finger. “Jensen. Jen. I—” love you.
But it was too late. In dreamlike slow motion, Dan rammed his foot down on the gas pedal and the SUV
was speeding—no—hurtling towards them. Even with them again, side-to-side, Dan turned the steering
wheel in one last fatal twist and came at them from the side, like a metal wall of death tumbling in, like
Jared’s whole world crashing down—
Jensen slammed on the brakes with such force that the airbags finally woke up and responded by
virtually exploding in their faces like billowy marshmallows. Sixty to zero in seconds. Jared was thrown
forward in to the airbag’s soft cushion. And for a whole half a minute there, Jared thought the car had
actually stopped moving. But, no. They were in another wild spin on the icy, slick, sleet-covered road.
The world outside of the car was whirling, spiraling: trees, road, black sky, black SUV, rock wall—all
turning, turning, blending together in a blur of motion until Jared’s long-forgotten lunch started up a
demanding protest in his stomach.
Despite the seatbelt, Jared’s head cracked against the upper part of his door. He blinked hard. Sound
and sight suddenly blurred in and out.
And through it all, Dan’s SUV barreling straight through and past the exact spot where they would have
been if Jensen hadn’t hugged the brake pedal with his foot. And then Dan’s SUV soaring through the
air, out into empty space without a safety net, over a yawning nothingness that less than minute ago
had surely been meant for Jared and Jensen. It almost seemed to hang there in midair for scant
seconds before it dropped out of sight, the headlights beaming a line of dim white light into the sky for
several seconds before also disappearing.
Their own vehicle came to a stop in the middle of the road, and Jared’s dizzy world continued to tilt.
Seconds filled with nothing but the harsh breathing of two men who’d just seen Death jog by and wave
at them. And then—the night beyond the ridge where the SUV had disappeared exploded with sound
and hot white-orange light. Red flames billowed up to the sky, illuminating clusters of clouds in a glow
of deep blood red.
“Oh my God,” Jared slurred. “Oh my God.” He heard the sound of Jensen’s seatbelt unlatching, the dry
creak of his door scraping open, but Jared couldn’t work up the energy to turn his head and see why.
He panted, “We just… just. OhmyGod.”
“I’m gonna be sick,” Jensen said, and fell out of the car, straight onto his knees.
--------He must have blacked out, because one second he was staring numbly at Jensen’s open door, and in
the very next moment Jensen was right there at his side, kneeling into the car.
Like magic. Or something.
Jensen’s hands were fumbling around Jared’s waist, under his coat, groping at his hip. And was now
really the appropriate time to begin their honeymoon? Jared didn’t think so.
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“…work with me, here,” Jensen was saying, as he swatted the sagging folds of the airbag out of the
way. “C’mon, Jared. Help me out, okay? Jared. Jared?”
Click. The seatbelt released, and Jensen’s hands left Jared’s waist to pull the safety harness away from
his body.
“Stay with me,” Jensen said, now face-to-face with Jared, one cold hand on Jared’s cheek to keep his
lolling head up. “You gotta stay with me, Jared.”
Up close now, the first thing Jared’s eyes truly fixed on was red: red trickling from Jensen’s hairline
down his temple, down the side of his face. He raised a shaking hand, ready to thumb that line of red
off of Jensen’s face. But Jensen caught his hand and used it to pull Jared’s arm around his shoulders.
“Bleedin’,” Jared mumbled dazedly. Jensen shouldn’t be bleeding. He shouldn’t.
Jensen’s voice faded in and out of Jared’s hearing: “…away from the car …need you to do this for me,
okay? Jay? …you with me?”
“Hm,” Jared observed.
Jensen’s arm slid under Jared’s legs. He tried to scoop them up, tried to slide them over the seat and
out of the car, but Jared’s legs were so long, all jammed up in the tight little space between his seat
and the dash. They got stuck somewhere down there around the floorboard. Jensen made a deep noise
of frustration before he settled on maneuvering one long leg out at a time, placing each foot firmly on
the ground.
Finally, when Jensen had Jared turned on the seat facing him, Jared said, “Wha’ happenin’?” Because
whatever was going on, it seemed pretty important. But Jared couldn’t quite grasp it.
If any of Jensen’s reply made it through Jared’s wooziness, it was the word leaking mixed with the
words gas and tank.
“Our’?” Jared questioned, puzzled.
“Yes,” Jensen confirmed. And suddenly, like a slap in the face, Jared could smell the heavy scent of gas
fumes weighing down the crisp night air. “Jared, you have to move. I can’t…”
Jared slumped forward at the request, nearly toppling headfirst out of the car. Really, it was the best he
could do in the way of movement. Jensen caught him under one of his armpits and used the forward
momentum to propel him the rest of the way out of the car.
All of Jared’s weight collapsed into Jensen’s side, and Jensen staggered but didn’t fall. One arm snaked
around Jared’s waist and the other gripped the hand Jared had hanging down loosely over Jensen’s
shoulder.
They started to move, but Jared’s feet failed the attempt, knees buckling. Jensen almost went down on
his own knees, with Jared right on top of him.
Something behind them popped and sparked.
Frantically, Jensen turned his head to peer over his shoulder at the car, but the arm Jared had wrapped
around Jensen’s shoulders got in the way of his view. “You gotta… Jared… I can’t carry you.” He
sounded so desperate when he added “Please, I’m begging you” that Jared fought the heavy vertigo
until he found some sort of footing on the (swaying?) ground.
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They lurched forward, half-supporting each other, moving one step at a time, barely staying upright.
Only half-conscious, Jared garbled out, “Are we there yet?”
Jensen responded with a grunt and an, “Almost, Jay. You’re doing good. Almost there. Hang on.” But
Jared forgot where there was. Were they already at the honeymoon cabin?
They were actually making progress. But then Jared’s foot hit an icy patch in the middle of the road,
and this time Jensen couldn’t prevent the inevitable when Jared’s legs gave out. Jared headed for a
straight-on collision with the ice-frosted street, dragging Jensen with him. They both went down hard,
just as fire and heat exploded behind them.
Jared felt the incredible heat licking at his back. Alarmingly hot, and scarily close.
To his right, Jensen moaned.
Maybe an eternity later, maybe ten minutes later, hands hooked under each of Jared’s armpits, and his
butt started sliding backwards over the cold pavement. It took him a good few minutes for his
scrambled brain to puzzle out that Jensen was literally dragging him down the middle of the street,
away from the fire and the smoke.
Off to the side of the road, in some scrub, Jensen must have judged it a safe distance—or he just
couldn’t make it any farther—because he let go of Jared and crumpled to the ground beside him.
Jared drifted back to darkness, with the sounds of crackling fire and retching lulling him under.
--------Another fiery explosion rocking the night brought Jared back to the world, releasing him from
unconsciousness one sense at a time.
First, sound: the noise of metal melting in on itself, burning down to nothing.
Then, smell: scorched tires, a bitter scent of smoke.
Taste: the tangy, metallic flavor of blood; and something gritty… dirt, maybe?
Next, touch: the feel of gravel and sand under his palms, a rock poking into his back.
Finally, sight: the smoke-smudged sky overhead. Stars no longer visible.
And then the last one: the one Jared was ever aware of, the unnamed one that always sensed Jensen,
telling Jared if he was nearby, asleep, happy, in trouble, etc.
Jensen.
Reality all blurry and surreal, Jared turned his head, caught sight of a shoe. Somehow he managed to
struggle onto his hand and knees and crawl toward Jensen’s spread form.
When Jared reached him, he found Jensen sprawled spread-eagle in the gravel on the side of the road,
flat on his back, eyes wide open and staring up at the smoke mixing with the clouds above. Jared’s
breath wedged a lump in his throat until Jensen finally blinked, sluggishly.
Off to the side, Jared spotted the unfortunate scrub Jensen had visited. Tongue finally working again,
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he said, “Thought I told you I never wanted to see your puke ever again.” He then pitched gracefully
face-first into the dirt beside Jensen.
They lay side-by-side, staring at the sky for innumerable minutes in which they simply listened to each
other breathing.
Eventually Jensen rolled up onto his side with a groan, facing Jared. His hands were ice-cold when they
touched Jared’s face, his neck. He felt up and down Jared’s torso, all down his sides, as if assuring
himself that Jared wasn’t actually scattered across the mountainside in pieces.
Jared snagged both of Jensen’s hands, cupped them in his own, and blew hot air over them.
Shaky-voiced, Jensen said, “Did that really just happen?”
“I think so.”
“You were supposed to say I dreamed it all.” A long pause followed, then: “I can’t believe that just
happened.”
Jared choked on dirt granules and a snort. “I can’t believe we’re alive.”
We’re fighting for ourselves
We’re fighting for our lives
And no one needs to know
How scared we are tonight.
—Behind Your Eyes, Jon Foreman
Author's Note: No promises on when the last chapter will be up. THERE IS ONE CHAPTER LEFT.
*sigh* I know. Here we go again.
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= 27 =
Shut Up and Hold Me
Series/Verse: Sick 'Verse. Part 27 of 27.
Verse Status: Complete!
Summary: In the end, they finally get it right.
Type: Real people
Rating: NC-17
Characters: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: ~29,000 (posted in four parts)
Warnings: Graphic m/m sex; quite possibly sappy enough to melt your face off.
Disclaimer: This is nothing but fan fiction. It has no real reflection on Jared and Jensen. No harm
intended.
Author’s Note: Sorry for the, uh, eight-month wait. *hides*
* Thanks to bm1893 and Lisa for betaing this thing for me. You were both incredibly helpful, and this
last chapter wouldn’t be postable without you guys. I’m pretty sure it’d still be sitting on my hard drive
half-finished. More thanks to nerrianah for encouraging me when I got stuck at a certain scene, and
for keeping me inspired with your incredible artwork and comic. Aaaand of course a big thanks to
everyone who’s read this far. Sometimes you all would leave comments that would spark an idea and
keep me interested in this 'verse. You guys always kept me going with your endless enthusiasm.
Part A
I want to be the place you call home.
--Hamburg Song, Keane
Even in the middle of nowhere, explosions usually attract attention.
Which is how Jared ended up spending his wedding night in a hospital room instead of on a soft bed, in
a secluded cabin with a very naked Jensen.
The tiny hospital room smelled like old food and… other things Jared didn’t want to think about.
Because of a light concussion, they wanted to keep Jared for overnight observation. Jensen just had
the cut on his forehead cleaned and was told he was good to go.
Except, Jensen didn’t go anywhere. He refused to leave Jared’s side, trailing behind Jared into the
hospital room.
Much to the night nurse’s dismay, as soon as they got inside the room Jensen sat down on the other
bed across from Jared’s, saying, “I’ll just wait here till he’s released. Really, forget I’m even here.”
Jared said, “We can play Twenty Questions… Jen?”
Jared watched him nod in answer even as he slumped over to the side and collapsed into sleep. At
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least that part would have been amusing… if he hadn’t looked so eerily still.
Well, this bites.
Jensen right there, occupying the other hospital bed in Jared’s room. Close enough to see clearly but
just far enough away that Jared couldn’t reach out and touch him. It was like some new form of
torture.
The nurse came back in, saw Jensen crumpled up on the other bed, and gave Jared a bitter, pinched
sort of look. Jared shrugged helplessly. “We had a really long day.”
She left the room and came back with a scratchy hospital blanket which she unfolded and threw over
Jensen’s wilted form. Then she flicked a switch by the door and every light but a small, dim bulb
mounted on the wall between the beds went out.
She was almost out the door when Jared called her back. “Hey, sorry. But does he look really still to
you?”
She pursed her lips and frowned down at Jared, her expression so sour she looked as though she was
sucking on a lime.
Jared wouldn’t be dissuaded. With his best puppy face, he shrugged apologetically and said, “Can you,
maybe, just check to see if he’s still breathing? Please?”
Mutely, she approached Jensen’s bed, bent slightly, and held her hand under his nose, an inch away.
Jared sat up straighter in his bed, waiting anxiously.
“Still breathing.” She announced it almost as if the fact annoyed her, then shuffled towards the door
again.
“He’s a quiet sleeper,” Jared confided. “Never even snores. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the
night and I have to watch him for a minute to make sure his chest is still rising.”
One small, disinterested “Mmhmm” and she was gone.
The weak light barely reached Jensen, left him in blurry gloom except for one bright shard that peeked
around the partially cracked door from the hallway and played over his ass. Highlighted it.
Oh, now that was just cruel. Jared bit his lip, turned away, and thought of slugs. He had to will himself
to sleep.
Throughout the rest of the night, every time Jared slipped into a nice, deep sleep, the same sourpuss
nurse came in and woke him, shining a light into his eyes and checking him over to make sure he was
still doing okay. Waking Jared from a deep sleep, seeing him blink away any hope of solid rest, seemed
to be the highlight of her night.
The fifth time this happened, she caught Jared already awake, leaning over Jensen and clinging to the
edge of his bed.
“What do you think you’re doing?” she snapped, and ushered him back over to his own narrow hospital
bed.
“Do you think the doctor could have missed some internal injury Jensen got in the accident? What if
he’s bleeding internally or something?”
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“He would have already shown signs if that were the case.”
“What kinda signs?”
“He’d be dead.”
Jared clutched her arm, vision fading in and out with panic, swaying on the spot. “But he’s not moving.
Maybe he’s—”
A wry smile twitched at the edges of her face. It kind of scared Jared a little. “Would you like me to
poke him awake?” she asked sweetly, too sweetly.
Jared shook his head. “No, wait, I think I just saw his finger move. He’s alive! It’s a miracle. Never
mind.” He sure as hell didn’t want anyone poking Jensen awake. Or touching him at all.
After she left, he was tempted to wake Jensen himself, but Jen was sleeping so peacefully, despite the
weird position he’d fallen asleep in, that Jared felt too guilty about attempting to wake him. He was so
deeply asleep that he hadn’t even budged in hours, and he showed no signs of moving any time soon.
Of course, Jared knew this because he’d been studying him all night.
Jared eventually gave up on sleep. Decided to count the stains on the walls instead.
“You two aren’t brothers, are you?” the nurse asked, on her twentieth trip into the room. Right. So,
obviously not a Supernatural fan.
“No,” Jared admitted easily.
After she finished checking his vitals, she said, “Hm. Thought so. Laureen owes me twenty.”
“Hey, wait. Look at this!” Proudly, Jared wiggled the fingers of his left hand near her face.
“What am I supposed to be looking at?”
“See this?”
“That dirty old Band-Aid on your finger?”
“It’s not a Band-Aid. It’s a gum wrapper wedding ring.” He nodded over at Jensen, who was practically
folded in on himself on the other bed, one arm and one leg flopping over the side, hair matted,
drooling on the pillow. He looked pathetic. Jared’s whole face swept up in a smile at the sight, heart
pumping a little harder. “That’s my guy right there,” he said quieter, for a second forgetting there was
even someone else in the room. Heat swept his body from head to toe simply from looking at Jensen. A
familiar, slow-burning fire, briefly doused after the car chase, reignited in his veins.
Watching Jared’s face as he watched Jensen, her stony expression softened briefly before she had a
chance to rein it in. She covered it with a snort. “I can tell it’s going to be a long night. Anyone ever tell
you you’re a handful?”
Jared crinkled his dimples at her, brilliant and bright in the dingy room. She rolled her eyes and huffed
out the door.
After she left, Jared flopped back on his bed. Since there was still no point in trying to sleep just to be
woken again, he used the rest of the night to count the funny little white dimples in the ceiling. By
morning he knew that there were over a thousand of them. Best honeymoon ever.
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Jensen blinked awake sometime around five-thirty in the morning. He didn’t move for five whole
minutes. Jared timed him.
As soon as Jensen showed signs of life, Jared said, “I hate hospitals.”
Jensen groaned during his first attempt to sit up. Groaned even louder when he finally did pull himself
upright. His arm drooped limply over his thigh. “Why did you let me fall asleep in that position? The
whole right side of my body is numb.”
“Hate’s not really the right word. It’s more like a fear of hospitals,” Jared rambled on, not really
listening to Jensen’s early morning grumblings, too used to them by now. At least Jensen had actually
gotten some sleep.
“Why’s that?” Jensen asked, shaking his right arm vigorously to get the blood flowing again. Rolling his
neck from side to side produced such a loud pop that even Jared heard it.
“I had this really high fever thing when I was six. I almost died in a hospital.”
“Seriously? You never told me that.”
“Now I just try to avoid ’em. Hey, how’re you feeling?”
Jensen nearly dropped to the floor like a deadweight when he finally stood up. “Well, apparently my
right leg’s asleep. And my whole body feels sore and tender.”
“And for all the wrong reasons,” Jared muttered.
“How are you this morning?”
“Me? Have I mentioned that hospitals are too cold and crisp and white? And have you noticed the way
they smell? Too clean, but underneath all of that you can almost catch the scent of death and decay
and old food.”
Jensen looked up sharply at that, his eyes focusing on Jared’s face. “Wow. So I’m guessing you had a
long night.”
“You have no idea. I wanna get out of here, Jen. Sign me out so we can leave.”
“I will. As soon as I can feel my ass again.”
Sometimes he makes it too easy.
Jensen frowned at Jared’s suggestive smirk and eyebrow waggle.
“You’re not moving fast enough,” Jared complained, when Jensen hobbled from his bed and moved
toward him. As soon as he got close enough, Jared snagged Jensen’s shirtsleeve, then Jensen’s wrist.
He dragged Jensen down to his level, putting their faces inches apart. “I mean it, Jen. I want t’go.
Now.” And yes, he really did sound like a petulant little kid. He didn’t care.
Jensen ran his fingers lightly down Jared’s forearm in a sort of caress. “I get it, Jay. I’m on it. I’ll go get
the papers right now.” He yawned widely through his next words. “The doctor’ll probably want to look
you over one more time.”
At Jensen’s retreating back, Jared shouted, “And don’t even think about getting coffee first!”
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Jensen started to wave him off, but ended up using his raised hand to massage the back of his neck
instead.
Well, at least they were still alive. There was always that.
--------They didn’t get to leave after Jensen checked Jared out. Because that would have been too easy.
As soon as Jared finished pulling his pants on, there was a uniformed officer standing at the door.
Really, the guy could’ve at least knocked. Jared barely had his pants up.
The next two hours were spent relaying the story over and over to several different law enforcement
officials.
But it wasn’t until the very end that one turned to Jensen and said, “We would ask you to identify the
body, but there isn’t much left to identify.”
Jensen said nothing to that, merely gave a small nod and turned his head away from the officer, all
casual composure and indifference. But Jared caught the color draining from his face, the way his eyes
fell closed for a split second, as if to shut the imagine out.
But Jared? Jared felt a sick sort of satisfaction that didn’t bear dwelling on, that didn’t entirely mesh
with his sweet nature.
Suffice it to say, he believed in karma.
--------The inevitable heavy snowfall was still coming down hard, and the whole world was cushioned in kneedeep white fluff when a cab pulled up in front of their one-room honeymoon cabin. It was still early in
the day, but the snow-softened morning could have easily been taken for dusk.
Jared fumbled with the key in his heavily-gloved hands as the headlights from the cab swooped a beam
over them and then diminished back into the storm. Jensen stood so close that Jared could feel his
body heat as a solid, steady warmth at his back, partially blocking the crisp, snowy wind.
The lock clicked, and the door swung inward. Jared dropped the key safely into his pocket and turned
around to face Jensen.
An endless moment passed before Jensen finally said, “What?” His eyes squinted against the falling
snow when he looked up at Jared, tiny specks of white appearing bright where they caught in his dark
lashes and dotted the deep brown knit cap he had pulled down low over his hair. “Is something wrong
with the room?” The corner of his mouth lifted, partial grin ready to form. “Don’t tell me they gave you
the honeymoon suite again by mistake. Maybe you should call the manager before someone gets the
wrong idea about us.” The laugh that followed the statement was warm and husky. It pretty much
sealed Jared’s next decision, no matter how tender his body felt at the moment.
Jared caught a glimpse of Jensen’s eyes widening with maybe-partial-understanding as Jared closed in
quick, swooped low, moving fast before Jensen had a chance to fully catch on to his intentions and
object. He closed an arm snug midway up Jensen’s back, neatly swept Jensen’s feet out from under
him, and lifted him up into his arms.
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Jensen’s right arm immediately wound around Jared’s shoulders. Their faces so close now, his breath
was a hot breeze warming Jared’s nose as he looked down at his distance from the ground and then
back up to Jared’s face, assessing the situation.
Jared very nearly snickered out, I swept you off your feet. But, an inch apart, Jensen’s round-eyed look
of surprise met Jared’s gaze. He blinked, slow and unsure. Looked down at the ground again, then up.
Jared waited for the protest, but that familiar deer-in-headlights expression faded away and he simply
said, “Damn. Guess I should’ve seen that coming.”
“You really should have.” A jerky laugh escaped Jared’s lips, hitched on a faint grunt. His tired, alreadyachy muscles were now burning.
“You should probably put me down now.”
“I don’t think so.”
“You really think this is a good idea right now?” Jensen asked. “I mean, after we got jerked around in
the car accident and all…”
“I’ve been planning this moment for a month. You, me, threshold. Oh, it’s happening.”
“I just don’t want you dropping me on my ass.”
“Or hurting myself.”
“Or hurting me.”
“Aw, Jen, it’s good to know you care so deeply about my injuries.”
“You know,” Jensen continued, when Jared made no move at all, just stood there drinking in the feel of
Jensen cradled in his arms, “it’s really cold out here. You think we could go inside before you actually
do hurt yourself trying to go all he-man on me?”
Ridiculous, maybe, but Jared wanted to take time to savor the moment. There was something
indescribable about having his whole world resting in his arms.
Plus, his body was throbbing now, every muscle screaming at him, not-so-subtly reminding him he’d
just been in a car accident the night before. He was a little afraid he really would drop Jensen if he
tried to move too fast. And with their luck, he’d probably drop him headfirst.
Jared took two tentative steps forward and tottered smack in the middle of the threshold.
At Jared’s second pause, Jensen said, “If you ever tell anyone that you carried me over the threshold,
I’ll smother you in your sleep.”
Hoisting him up a little further, Jared said, “Know what, Jensen?” His voice dropped, growing gravellier.
“I think you like this.”
“You keep telling yourself that.”
“Actually, I think you love it.”
“Is that what you think?”
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“Don’t hear you objecting.”
Jensen turned his head to the side to reply, his response a hot whispered breath in Jared’s ear: “I’d
love it even more if you actually went inside sometime today.” That statement, in a deep breathy tone,
was all Jared needed to barrel over the threshold and straight into the dimly lit room.
No one could ever claim they hadn’t learned anything about each other in the past year. Because this
time, Jensen ducked his head down and tucked it into the crook of Jared’s neck before Jared had a
chance to smack it against the doorframe.
“Hit the light,” Jared instructed.
“Already on it.”
Warm golden light filled a cozy room decorated in varying shades of brown and bronze. Under Jared’s
feet, a huge, fluffy chocolate brown rug. In every corner, tall floor lamps with rich brown shades,
lending to the soft glow of the room. On the wall to their right, a good-sized fireplace, aromatic
firewood already stocked beside it. Catty-cornered to the fireplace, under a huge window facing out
onto the partially frozen lake and heavily falling snow, an enormous king-sized bed piled high with
oversized pillows.
After taking in the room, Jensen said, “Try to leave me with a little dignity and don’t dump me right on
the b—” He shoved the mountain of pillows aside, sending them in a tidal wave around him. “Thanks,”
he huffed, pulling himself back up. “Thanks a lot, Jared.”
Jared chucked his shoes and coat off, tugged Jensen out of his as well, then bounced on top of him,
flattening him against the mattress and drawing a loud squeak from the bedsprings.
Jensen looked up at him with an even expression, and Jared met it with a smooth one of his own.
Casually, Jared said, “Hi.”
“Hey.” Jensen sounded calm enough, but Jared saw him take that extra deep breath.
“How’s it going?”
“Oh, you know,” Jensen raised one shoulder in a partial shrug, “the usual.”
“Yeah. Same here. My life’s been really dull since you came into it.”
“I guess I am pretty boring.”
Jared pulled another creaky groan from the mattress springs when he rolled off Jensen and onto his
side. He propped his bent elbow on the mattress, head resting against his hand.
“Should we be having sex yet?” Jensen asked, blunt and to the point, staring up at the ceiling with
unblinking eyes.
“We just walked in the door.”
“I know.”
“There’s no manual with a time schedule on it, Jense.”
“Maybe there should be. I thought you could find everything on the internet.”
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Tipping closer to him, Jared hovered his lips near Jensen’s temple. “There’s no rush.”
“Right. No rush.” Jensen didn’t sound convinced.
“Nervous?”
“Why would I be nervous?” Jensen’s voice caught on the last syllable. “Are you nervous?”
Jared merely watched him until Jensen admitted, “I may throw up. Other than that I’m great.”
Just what every man wants to hear on his honeymoon.
“Please don’t. I’ve seen enough of your puke to last a lifetime.”
“Yeah, that’s not helping right now.”
“What will help?” Jared asked, dropping his head to Jensen’s shoulder. He slipped his hand under
Jensen’s shirt, fluttered fingers over his abdomen till Jensen’s breath lurched on a bitten-back laugh. He
left his hand there, splayed out warm over Jensen’s stomach as Jensen’s breathing slowed with a soft,
contented sigh.
“This is nice,” Jensen said, after a quiet minute.
“Yeah?”
“It’s… comfortable. Familiar.”
“Mm.” Jared opened his eyes. He didn’t even remember closing them. “I could do this all day, you
know.”
“Oh, trust me. I know.”
“Know me too well,” Jared mumbled.
All it took were Jensen’s fingers in his hair, the feel of his answering laugh under Jared’s palm, and
Jared glided right into sleep.
--------The room was pitch black and practically arctic when Jared blinked back to life.
For a brief, groggy moment, he forgot when and where he was, and why he was blinking up into so
much darkness. But then there was the soft puff of heated air into his neck; and Jared slowly became
aware of hair tickling the underside of his chin, of a warm weight draped all along one side of his body
while the other side froze in the room’s chilled air.
Jared groped with one hand and connected with Jensen’s head, which was tucked up under the spot
right below Jared’s chin. He fitted his hand around Jensen’s skull and laughed.
Jensen stirred awake with a sleepy, “Huhnn? What?”
“Nothing. Just… you. You and your cuddliness.”
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“Shuddup,” Jensen muffled into Jared’s neck, and promptly tried to roll off of and away from Jared, as
though he could still save face. But Jared plastered his arms around Jensen’s back, hugging Jen to him,
and hung on. In weak defense, Jensen said, “It got cold in here, and you have a lot of body heat to
spare.”
Jared’s response was self-satisfied and knowing. “I’m always willing to share my body heat with you.”
“That couldn’t have sounded any cheesier.”
Letting it go with a small grin, Jared said, “So, tell me we didn’t fall asleep on our honeymoon.”
“Well.” There was a silence-flooded pause. “You fell asleep first.”
“We’re like two old men,” Jared said on a groan.
“I know you didn’t get much sleep last night because of the concussion,” Jensen said. “One minute you
were awake, and the next you were all curled up with your mouth hanging open. I wasn’t feeling cruel
enough to wake you. You looked so pathetic.”
“Great.”
Jensen uncurled with a full-body stretch, his hands brushing the pillow above Jared’s head. And Jared’s
eyes damn near crossed at the simple feel of that long lean line of body lengthening lazily against his
side. Jared let his arms—still wrapped loosely around Jensen—go slack as Jensen stretched against
him, yawning wide as he did so.
Ridiculous, the way such a simple act affected Jared even though Jensen was fully clothed in t-shirt and
jeans.
Jared’s thoughts of getting up from the bed ended when Jensen relaxed back into his side, all loose and
content, resting his cheek to Jared’s sternum and letting loose a second long yawn.
“You’re killing me,” Jared announced.
Jensen lifted his head up to look at Jared. “What?”
“You really don’t know what you do to me, do you?”
“I have a feeling,” Jensen said, wryly. One side of his mouth lifted up in a closed-lipped semblance of a
dry smirk.
“No, it’s more than that. I can’t explain it. I’ve never felt it before. Not with Sandy, not with anyone.
Christ, Jen, it’s just… you. Everything you do. I don’t know how to describe it.”
Jensen brought his shoulders up in a half-shrug. “You want me. I get it.”
“No. I mean, well, yeah, that’s part of it. But there’s this whole part of the equation that’s not even
about sex. I look at you and it’s about so much more than that artificial stuff. It might’ve been like that
at first, on that night you were sick; it might have been lust the first few days, but not after that. It’s
different now. Something… I can’t even put into words.”
“Hm,” Jensen mused softly, more to himself than to Jared. He placed his head back on Jared’s chest,
and that inexpressible feeling swelled up hot again. Like warm blankets on a cold night but different,
more. Then Jensen added, “I know what you mean.”
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“You do? Really?”
“Yeah. I can’t describe it, either.”
“But it’s always there, just under the surface, right?”
“And it flares up when we’re close to each other.”
“Especially when we’re touching.”
“Yeah.”
“Exactly,” Jared breathed, a little astonished. “So it’s not just me.”
“No, it’s not. You’ve got me completely screwed up inside, too. By the way, thanks a lot for that. It’s
awesome, really.”
Jared let out an explosive burst of laughter. “Man, it’s not my fault if we’re soul mates or whatever.
You’ve fucked me up, too, you know.”
“Yeah, but you initiated the whole thing.”
“You can’t put it all on me! Anyway, it’s your fault for taking the role on Supernatural.”
“No, it all comes back to—”
“You getting sick.”
“No,” Jensen insisted.
“Yes.”
“Dude, I’m not getting into this game with you.”
Jared had a special knack for shifting subjects with ease. He nuzzled Jensen’s temple and said, “I
dreamed about you.”
“Of course you did. I was right here drooling all over your neck.”
“I dreamed about you in the shower.”
“Oh,” Jensen said, after sucking in a soft breath. “That kind of dream.”
“You were all slick and naked, with water clinging to every part of your body.”
“Well, that’s usually how things go in a shower.”
“And then I slipped into the shower behind you.”
“Oh.” Jensen tried to roll away, but Jared caught his arm and held on.
Jared couldn’t contain a hoarse laugh. “You’re shier than you let on,” he whispered into Jensen’s hair.
“No.”
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“Yes.”
“N—I’m not playing this.” He bunched Jared’s shirt in his fists and buried his face among the excess
material gathered up around Jared’s collarbone.
It was questionable whether Jensen would ever again lift his face out of there if Jared gave him the
rest of the details of the dream, so he decided to save it for another time.
Suddenly fidgety, Jensen pushed out of Jared’s hold and rolled away, eventually sitting up on the other
side of the bed, rubbing his eyes.
Unease splattered all over Jensen’s features when Jared pulled himself up and settled into a kneel
directly in front of him. He put a hand on each of Jensen’s shoulders and squeezed. “You know what
makes everything better?”
Even with the nothing light, Jared could tell Jensen was most likely rolling his eyes. “Let me guess.
You’re gonna feed me some line about how sex makes the world a better place.”
“No, cake.”
“Cake?”
Jared nodded enthusiastically. “Chocolate cake makes the world a better place.”
Disbelieving: “Cake?”
“We never got to eat the cake Mom ordered for the reception. I bet they all divided it up and took it
home with them. Fucking Rosenbaum. He’s probably stuffing his face with my wedding cake right now.
I mean our wedding cake.”
“You’re thinking about cake now?”
“Chocolate with a thick layer of chocolate frosting.”
“Are you serious? You’re sitting there thinking about food?”
“Aren’t you more worried that I’m thinking about Rosenbaum right now?”
“I chose to ignore that part.”
“Anyway. I know where to get the cake.” Jared pecked a kiss to Jensen’s forehead and scrambled off
the bed. He groped blindly around the room until he found the spot where he’d left his coat. Pulling on
his gloves and scarf, he yanked the hood up over his head and said, “Wait here.”
“Where’re you going?”
“I’ll be right back.”
“Fine. Whatever. I’ll just light some scented candles while you’re gone.”
“What? Really?”
“Sure. Right after I put on some mascara and slip into some pink lingerie.”
Jared’s expression turned puckish. “I told you my favorite color on you was green. Come on, get with it,
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Jensen.”
Jensen tilted his head to the side and fluttered his lashes at Jared, all mock-exaggeration, and that
would never, never fail to make Jared’s stomach twist with desire, despite the fact that Jensen followed
it up with a flick of his middle finger.
Laughing, Jared closed the door on Jensen’s rude gesture and ventured back out into the blizzard.
--------When Jared got back from his trek through the snow, Jensen already had the lights blazing and the
fireplace lit. Jared chucked his scarf, jacket, and gloves over to a corner of the room with Jensen’s
discarded outer winter gear.
Jensen was sitting cross-legged on the edge of the bed, flipping through a pamphlet advertising British
Columbia’s exciting mountain hiking trails!
They both knew there would be no hiking. Or more accurately, no time for hiking.
Jared put the case of beer on the floor. He plopped down next to Jensen, set the small pink bakery box
between them, and plucked from Jensen’s head the knit cap he’d pulled low over his eyes. There would
be no hiding tonight.
“You bought beer on our honeymoon?” Jensen asked, lifting his eyes from the pamphlet, static-y hat
hair bobbing with each movement of his head.
“And cake,” Jared reminded.
Jensen tossed the glossy pamphlet to the floor. “Why’d you buy beer?”
“Well, I thought a bottle might help you—us—I mean us… chill a little.”
“Oh. You want me drunk.”
“No, more like… pleasantly buzzed.”
“And less uptight.”
“Wow, your ego, man. You know what? It’s not all about you.” Jared reached down, snatched a bottle
out, popped the cap, and took a nice long swig.
Jensen bent over and reached for one. Jared used his foot to kick Jensen’s hand away.
“Hey,” Jensen said, straightening up, “what the hell.”
“Maybe I bought the whole case for myself. Maybe I don’t want you to get any of it. Maybe I’m the one
who needs the whole case.” Maybe that last part was partially true.
There was a lengthy pause, then: “Give me a damn beer.”
Reverse psychology. NICE. He was going to have to remember that one, especially if it would always
put that indignant little pissy look on Jensen’s face, hint of a pout around his lips. If Jared hadn’t lost
his shiny new camera in the accident, he’d be taking a picture right about now.
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“I said you don’t have to drink one,” Jared said calmly. “It’s all for me.”
Glaring, Jensen shoved Jared’s leg out of the way and snatched a beer for himself.
Jared hid a smile behind his beer bottle.
After several minutes of silent drinking, Jensen said, “Wow. You totally just played me. What the hell.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Have some cake.”
Maybe out of embarrassment at being so easily manipulated, Jensen let it go, instead gesturing at the
bakery box with his beer and changing the subject. “Where’d you get this stuff, anyway?”
“Remember that restaurant I took you to a year ago? The one I paid to have cleared out for us? That
night you had a freak-out before we even ordered and we had to get up and—”
“Yeah, I remember.” His eyes cut to the side. “Vaguely.”
“I went to that one. It’s a four minute walk from here. I hear their food’s pretty good.” He nudged
Jensen in the ribs with his elbow. “Not that I would know.”
“Yeah, yeah. I ruined our first and only date. I get it.” Peering down at the box, he added, “So what
kind of cake is it?”
“Chocolate covered in a layer of more chocolate. That’s all that really matters.” Jared raised the lid,
picking up the box to take a whiff of the rich chocolate scent inside. “Crap, they forgot to put forks in
here.” Followed it with a shrugged: Oh, well. He dug a finger straight into the middle of the small, onelayer cake. Jensen’s intent gaze was a tangible heat on the side of Jared’s face as he brought his finger
up to his mouth, took a timid lick with the tip of his tongue, then shoved the whole finger straight in,
moaning around the moist cake.
“You really are a pig ,” Jensen muttered. “No one should ever have to watch you eat.”
“’S good,” Jared murmured on a swallow. He finally turned his eyes to Jensen, who was now tipping
towards him ever-so-slightly without appearing to realize it. “’Sides, Jen, you owe me my comfort food.
I almost died twice this year because of people coming after you.” Jensen’s face blanked, eyes creasing
at the corners, pained. Guilt flooded through Jared, and he immediately came back with, “I’m sorry. I
shouldn’t have said that.”
Jensen recovered fast, though. He lifted one shoulder in a shrug. “Yeah, sorry ’bout the almost-dying
thing.”
Using two of his fingers as a sort of spoon, Jared scooped up more cake. Chocolate-smeared fingers
less than an inch from entering his open mouth, Jensen snagged hold of Jared’s wrist, guided Jared’s
hand to his mouth instead.
Jensen said, “But I kind of did save you last night,” and then his tongue shot out, curling warm around
the base of Jared’s fingers and working slowly up, up, up, licking the cake and frosting off, even
slithering in between the two fingers to tongue every last crumb away.
Jared’s stomach dropped away from him.
Smacking his lips obscenely, Jensen said, “Gotta learn to share, Jay. It is pretty good. You gonna be
nice and offer me some more?” He asked it innocently, one eyebrow sweeping up perfectly, as though
he hadn’t just slurped cake off Jared’s fingers, and as though he didn’t know that Jared was now
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inevitably thinking of all the places on his body where he wanted Jensen to use that hot, agile little pink
tongue to lick frosting from Jared’s skin.
Somehow Jared managed, “Think I will,” even though by now he’d already forgotten half the question
because it had just occurred to him that he might really enjoy eating cake out of that perfect dip in the
small of Jensen’s back.
Cake was a really, really good idea.
Enthusiastically, Jared dug his fingers in a third time, coming up with more moist layers of cake and
frosting. Tongue already out, Jensen leaned forward. But Jared bypassed the shining wet tip of Jensen’s
tongue and instead smashed the cake on Jensen’s nose, smearing it across his left cheek.
“Hey! You…” Jensen spluttered and reeled back, but Jared caught him by the shoulders, cradled
Jensen’s face in the curve of his palms. He bowed his head forward and swiped at Jensen’s nose with
his tongue. Jensen tensed briefly at the move, but let out a rumbling kind of chuckle when Jared
pursed his lips, running his mouth over Jensen’s cheek and sucking cake bits up like a mini-vac.
Jared would never be able to eat cake any other way ever again.
When Jared pulled back, touch-memorizing the contour of Jensen’s cheekbone with his thumb, Jensen
said, “If that’s how you wanna play it,” and jammed four of his fingers down into the cake box.
“Eager?” Jared teased lightly.
Tiny crumbs clung to the bridge of Jensen’s nose, and Jared’s hand rose to brush them off. But Jensen
pushed it out of the way, instead skimming one of his chocolate-coated fingers over Jared’s chin,
painting a strip of frosting along the dip right below his bottom lip.
“It’s a good look for you,” Jensen muttered. His head fell forward. Warm tongue caressed just beneath
Jared’s lower lip, moist heat cleaning the strip of icing off thoroughly, tantalizing and teasing Jared by
staying just at the very bottom edge of his lip. It was maddening.
Jensen dabbed another length of frosting on the bottom of Jared’s chin, and it wasn’t until he was
licking and delicately teething it off that Jared realized what he was actually doing now: exploring the
little mole at the bottom corner of Jared’s chin. He didn’t pull away from Jared until every speck of
dessert was cleaned off.
Before Jensen could utter a word as he ran out of frosting to lick away, Jared already had a free hand
digging around in the bakery box. He brought that hand up with a fistful of cake, which he squashed
down the length of Jensen’s neck. Jensen laughed as Jared dipped forward, Jensen’s head falling back
on a guttural intake of breath, baring the long line of his neck for Jared to do with as he pleased.
Grabbing his shoulders and pulling Jensen closer, Jared eased his tongue up, mouthing from the hollow
where Jensen’s pulse beat rapidly under Jared’s lips, up to his Adam’s apple. There, he swirled his
tongue around and around until it bobbed beneath his mouth when Jensen swallowed hard on an
incoherently mumbled, “Jared.”
A graze of his teeth sent a tremble down Jensen’s body that Jared felt in his shoulders. He slid his
hands up just under Jensen’s jaw line, supporting Jensen’s neck between his hands, and grazed his
teeth again, just so. Jensen’s throaty, imploring sigh vibrated under Jared’s mouth, sent sparks of want
shooting through Jared’s body like heat lightning.
He was so into the moment that Jensen’s chin nearly jammed him in the head when Jensen brought his
head up suddenly. Jared caught a whiff of Jensen’s sweet-smelling breath as he pressed impossibly
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close and rested his forehead to Jared’s, noses bumping, breaths coming out heavy, mingling. The
scent of chocolate and the spicy fragrance of burning wood eased around them like a loose blanket.
Jensen’s fingers played around Jared’s ears, catching in his hair. He murmured, “God. Can’t get over it.
You’re so fucking sexy.”
It took Jared a full second to realize it hadn’t been him who’d just uttered those words.
Jared had meant to cover up his surprise and thrill with a teasing, Anyone could’ve told you that, Jen,
but what actually ended up coming out was, “Yeah? You really think so?”
Eyes closing, Jensen breathed the wisp of a laugh into Jared’s face, lost both of his hands deep in the
silken strands of Jared’s hair on either side of his head. “Just because I don’t say it all the time like you
do doesn’t mean I don’t think it every damn day.”
“You think I’m hot,” Jared joked softly, preening.
“Think you’re gorgeous, Jay. Always have. I may be nearsighted, but I’m not blind.”
And all Jared could think was Yes, yes, finally. Been waiting so long to hear this. Because there had
been times over the past year when he hadn’t really been sure what Jensen thought of him, times
when he’d thought maybe the raw attraction was all a little one-sided.
“But you don’t need me to tell that everyone turns to look at you every time you enter a room,” Jensen
continued, barely brushing his lips over Jared’s. “You already know it.”
“Jen, they always turn to look at me because I’m freakishly tall.”
“And absolutely gorgeous. You light up any room you enter.”
“Yeah?”
“Yeah. You gonna kiss me now?” Jensen demanded suddenly, suggestion mixed with need.
Those hot words ghosting over Jared’s mouth made his lips tingle in anticipation. Jensen asking him to
do it had his body growing hot all over. Just Jensen’s breath filtering from between his parted lips and
hitting Jared’s chin caused sweat to bead up and trickle down the line of his spine.
“Jared,” Jensen urged, when Jared didn’t take action immediately. “I said kiss—” Jared’s hand came up
between them, layered with cake. He had meant to dab it across Jensen’s lips, but Jensen had his
mouth open at the moment, and Jared’s finger slipped right on inside. In the back of his throat, Jensen
made a strangled sound of surprise.
Just going with it, since his finger was already inside, Jared spread frosting over Jensen’s hot tongue,
over the ridges at the roof of his mouth. He removed his finger, sealed his mouth over Jensen’s, tongue
stroking in immediately to lick every last bit of frosting out of Jensen’s mouth, to erase every last little
morsel of the dessert. A muted moan vibrated up Jensen’s throat and was effectively absorbed by
Jared’s searching tongue.
When Jared was satisfied that every last little crumb had been licked out, he brought his tongue across
Jensen’s bottom lip, slick with leftover, creamy, buttery residue from too-rich frosting. He tasted the
corners of Jensen’s lips, rimming the edges of his mouth where the flavor of chocolate lingered.
The tip of Jensen’s tongue edged out from between his lips, darted after Jared’s. Their tongues circled
each other, collided, until Jared was dizzy from trying and failing to pin the other man’s tongue down.
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When Jensen retreated, Jared chased Jensen’s tongue back into his mouth, hunting for it like some
kind of pornographic version of hide-n-seek, some weird battle for control that Jared vaguely
recognized as a possible glimpse of things to come.
Eventually Jensen settled for pressing the edges of his teeth to Jared’s bottom lip. Not nipping, but just
pressuring enough that Jared knew he was leaving indentations at the spot, marking.
“Uhm,” Jared mumbled, open-mouthed. Jensen drew back a quarter of an inch, giving Jared enough
room to speak. “You’re trying to seduce control away from me.”
Jensen laughed hoarsely. “Don’t know what you’re talkin’ about.”
“I know you, Jen. What about our bet? Are you already playing?”
“What bet?”
“Whoever’s back hits the bed first, right?”
Jensen’s eyes lit on a laugh. “Hey, if I’m remembering right, we woke up with you on your back.”
If Jared remembered correctly, Jensen had landed on his back when Jared tossed him to the bed
minutes after entering the cabin. There was no point in mentioning that, because Jared wanted to play
this out, not corner and trick Jensen into bottoming. Backpedaling fast, he said, “No, no. Now wait a
minute. We weren’t playing yet.”
Jensen brows shot upwards. “Says who?”
Jared squirmed. “Says… says—I call a do over.”
“Hey now. That’s not fair. So if I lose, do I get a do over, too?”
“Maybe you rolled me onto my back while I was sound asleep and helpless. We have to consider
everything here.”
“Weak, man. Really weak.”
Jared resorted to a whine and a jut of his bottom lip. “I say do over. We never said ‘start.’ ”
“What a load of bull. What is this, a race?”
“You have to be fair, Jense. Gotta give me a chance.”
“Are you gonna play fair?” Jensen asked.
“Are you?” Jared shot back childishly, matching Jensen’s raised eyebrow with a raised brow of his own.
“Not gonna try to trip me before the finish line, are you?”
“Jared,” Jensen said, mock hurt, “are you insinuating I might play dirty?”
“That’s exactly what I’m insinuating, Jennybean.”
Thing was, Jared kind of already knew he could overpower Jensen easily, could have him spread out on
that mound of pillows in a matter of minutes or seconds. There just weren’t many people out there
who could take Jared down, and there were even fewer people whom Jared couldn’t get the better of.
But he had no intentions of ever doing it that way with Jensen, because the idea of anyone trying to
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force him ever again made Jared see red, and he wasn’t going to be that person. And he sure as hell
wasn’t ever going to point out to Jensen that he could take control and subdue him somewhat
effortlessly if he was so inclined. That would just be stupid on his part.
What Jensen didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him. It was the bet itself that was going to be fun to play out,
no matter how it went in the end.
“Well,” Jensen said, pausing to trail his tongue between his lips—and that sure as hell couldn’t be
considered fair game tactics. “What exactly constitutes as fair?”
Jared tossed his head back to the ceiling and laughed. “You seriously want to set ground rules on our
wedding night? Dude.”
“Just… no wrestling, and no headlocks.”
Mock seriousness swept the leftover laugh from Jared’s face. “You forgot no kicking and biting.”
“Oh, I’m pretty sure there’ll be biting. The kicking depends.”
Jared clapped his hands, rubbing his palms together exaggeratedly. “Great. Let’s get going.”
Jensen stopped him with a hand to the chest, Jared’s lips already parting to pick up the kiss right
where it had left off. “One more thing.”
“What?” His arms itched to close under Jensen’s knees, to drag him onto his lap.
“You can’t tickle me to gain control.”
“No!” Jared objected loudly, a not-quite whine. “Jen, c’mon, I already told you I have plans for using it
to—”
“Don’t tickle me. That would be playing dirty.”
“But—”
“No.”
“What if I just—”
“No.”
“Maybe I could just—”
“It’s like cheating. Like a completely unfair advantage.”
“You’re a cruel, cruel man, Jensen Ackles.”
“So I’ve been told.”
Jared crossed his arms over his chest and grunted.
“Now agree to it,” Jensen insisted, staring at Jared with earnest eyes and a somber face.
“Sure thing.”
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“Promise me.”
Well, damn. “I…” Jared dragged the word out, “prooomise. Scout’s honor.” He held his fingers up in the
nationally recognized sign. “You know what? You’re a real party pooper.”
Jensen started to stand, one bent knee resting on the bed next to Jared’s thigh and his other foot on
the floor. He thrust his hand forward. “Great. Now shake on it.”
Jared stared up at him a minute. “Sure. Would you like it in writing? Maybe in blood? How ’bout I—”
Right. So apparently Jared had severely misjudged Jensen and his willingness to use dirty tactics to get
his way. He waited until Jared was completely caught up in the sheer ridiculousness of the
conversation, and then he leapt at Jared, push-propelling off the floor with his foot and throwing all of
his weight into it. Like some kind of jungle cat moving in for the kill.
Jared barely managed to catch himself as they both hurtled backwards, Jensen on top of him. They
landed in the middle of the massive bed, among huge rolls of fancy pillows. Jared braced himself with
his elbows before his back could hit the mattress. Jensen surged forward, flattening himself out directly
on top of Jared like a second layer of skin, trying to press all of his weight down and force Jared’s
elbows to buckle.
In short, Jensen was a really sneaky bastard, and Jared was impressed.
They were aligned perfectly, hips touching hips, with Jensen’s arms and legs bracketing Jared’s body on
either side so that Jared had no hope of rolling away, so that he was good and trapped. The temptation
to let his elbows simply ‘slip’ was definitely there. But the game, for now, was too fun, too tempting,
with all of the new positions they could possibly end up in rushing through Jared’s head and leaving
him slightly breathless.
“You don’t mess around,” Jared started. “Is this even considered—” But Jensen used their perfect
positions to cram his mouth up against Jared’s and slide his thigh between Jared’s legs and—Oh God,
Oh Jesus. Jared was so, so going to lose this. Stupid of him to ever think he’d have to go easy on
Jensen; stupid to think he’d just see how it all played out first and in the end decide the way he
thought it should go. Because it was about to end right now.
“Ihhh,” Jared managed. No arms to grip Jensen’s shoulders and push him away. Too busy still trying to
keep his body from collapsing back on the bed under both his own weight and Jensen’s.
He was well and truly pinned. In under five minutes. Unbelievable. And kind of embarrassing.
Jared’s hips gave an involuntary little jump upwards, into the welcoming friction that Jensen’s thigh so
conveniently provided, and Jensen laughed into the kiss, proud confidence in his superior position.
Jared tried shifting his hips around, tried to find Jensen’s weakness. But Jensen arced his back just so,
lifting his body up and away from Jared’s futile rotations.
Jensen caught Jared’s bottom lip lightly between his teeth, tugged at it playfully until Jared struggled
forward to follow his lead hungrily. He released Jared’s lip long enough to say, rather smugly, “Think
you might’ve underestimated me.” Still, Jared’s neck strained with the effort to stretch up to Jensen,
seeking his mouth out, the whole time making little breathy, needy noises. “So easy,” Jensen muttered,
and reclaimed Jared’s mouth.
And Jared was gone. Because he could spend all night kissing Jensen, could spend his whole life kissing
this man. Kissing Jensen always came as a surprise to Jared, because Jensen always threw everything
into it. And it was never quite the same each time. There was no set formula to their kisses: no slight
press first, followed by the hot slip of tongue. Jensen always went at it differently, switching it up, and
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always, always keeping Jared wanting moremoremore.
One of Jared’s elbows started slipping, slipping… sliding on the silky sheen finish of the bronze coverlet.
At just that second, Jensen’s thigh ground down with more force, and Jared’s breath hooked in his
throat. On instinct, he used his long legs, wound them around Jensen’s, and put all his strength into
twisting his body to the left.
Jensen broke the kiss as Jared clutched at Jensen and rolled them both onto their sides, nose to nose.
“Ah,” Jared said, “that’s much better.”
Jensen’s eyes widened to cartoonish proportions. He looked like one of those furry little cartoon
creatures who looks up and sees the anvil falling towards him from high above but knows there’s no
way he’ll ever be able to move out of the way in time.
Satisfied with the new position, Jared threw his arms over Jensen, closing them about his shoulder
blades and dragging him closer. One of Jared’s legs twined in between Jensen’s, catching behind his
ankle. Jared’s other leg swung over Jensen’s thighs, his calf muscle pressing into Jensen’s backside.
“Fuck it,” Jensen mumbled eloquently, realizing the danger he was now in, with Jared looped about him
all loose and easy, like a sleepy cat ready to spring into action at any second. “Damn you.”
Jared gave Jensen the predatory smile he reserved for the platter of candy bars passed around on set.
“Backfired, didn’t it?”
Jensen scowled, discreetly tried to jerk his shoulders out of Jared’s slack but heavy hold.
“Aw, Jennybean. Thought you had me, didn’t ya?” He patted Jensen’s back, between his shoulder
blades. “That’s real cute.”
“Dude, don’t demean me.”
Jared blinked. Demean? Now there was a word that never should have come up on their wedding
night. “What are you talking—Jensen, I thought this was a game. I wasn’t—”
Jensen’s mouth quashed the rest. Except this time it was no longer teasing tugs and nips. He forcibly
sucked Jared’s tongue into his mouth, biting at it like some kind of rabid thing. Like it was some kind of
war, and this was the only weapon left in his arsenal: teeth on sensitive flesh, aggressive as hell.
Jared tried to pull back, groaned “Jehhhn” in the back of his throat, unsure whether that desperate
groan on Jensen’s name meant stop or do that again, please. When it got to be almost too much, Jared
fisted the back of Jensen’s sweater in his hand, forcing Jensen to have to back away from Jared’s face
before the collar of his own shirt choked his air off.
Jared said, “Whoa, whoa…wait… wait a minute…. What the hell was that? Why are you goin’ all grawr
on me?”
Despite Jared’s restricting hold on his sweater, Jensen still tried to surge forward. But Jared’s words
gave him pause. His head slanted to the side in question. “What? You don’t like it?”
“Well, no. Yeah. Sure. It’s just… not tonight, Jen. Tonight’s supposed to be…”
Jensen’s eyes narrowed slightly. He wet his lips. “Supposed to be what?”
“Not about that. Not like that, Jen. Not tonight.”
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Jensen appeared bewildered, lost. “Thought we had a competition going on here.”
“Doesn’t mean I want you gnawing on me.”
“Gnawing on you?” They were tangled together so tightly that Jared could feel the exact moment
Jensen tensed, every muscle in his body going rigid. “You make it sound like I’m some kind of wild
animal chewing on your leg over here.”
Oh shit. Not tonight. Don’t let this shit happen tonight. “I didn’t mean—CRAP. What’s happening here?
What are we doing?”
“You’re bitching at me. On our wedding night. I wasn’t gnawing on your—”
“No, Jen. No.” Jared released the sweater to bring his hand up to Jensen’s face. He brushed a delicate
finger over the small knot at Jensen’s hairline, where his head had slammed into the steering wheel
and split the skin the night before. Cringing from Jared’s finger, Jensen turned his face away, into the
bedspread where Jared could no longer read his shifting moods in those telling eyes.
Jared sighed, fingers falling. “I thought we were about to die last night. And all I could think about was
how we’d never get this… this chance to make a life together. How it was all about to end right after it
had just begun. And instead of seeing my life flash before my eyes, I saw everything we were going to
have together—supposed to have together—like a movie playing all these little random scenes from
important points in our lives that we were never going to get to see, never going to get to live out
together.”
Jensen turned his head slightly, just enough to peer over at Jared with one eye.
With his thumb, Jared touched the outer corner of Jensen’s eye, smoothed over the fragile hollow of
skin just underneath, then edged up and skated the pad of his thumb over those absurdly long lashes.
Jensen didn’t even blink at having Jared’s thumb hovering right next to his eyeball.
“Gonna tell you something,” Jared said quietly. “Don’t laugh, okay?”
“Okay.”
Leaning in close, Jared let his cheek slide rough along Jensen’s. Not until his lips reached Jensen’s ear
did he whisper, “Tonight I just wanna celebrate being alive with you. The rest doesn’t matter. However
we do this—doesn’t matter. Being here and having this is all that matters right now.”
Air rushed from between Jensen’s pursed lips, a long and drawn-out exhale. As soon as Jared settled
back into his own little indention in the bed, Jensen pushed forward unexpectedly and buried his face in
Jared’s shoulder, pressing into Jared’s body, clinging in a way he usually laughed at Jared for doing. His
wet lips moistened Jared’s skin when he said, “I know, you’re right, I’m sorry,” all in one breath. Then:
“After all this time I thought I could do it. But, Jay… look. I don’t want to be the bottom. I really don’t.”
“I know,” Jared said gently, caressing the nape of Jensen’s neck, flattening his hand underneath the
neckline of Jensen’s sweater. “I kinda figured that out when you tried to pierce my tongue with your
tooth.”
Jensen huffed a small laugh. “Sorry, man.”
Jared ran his tongue over the roof of his mouth. “’S fine. Just wish you’d told me right away. You can
tell me anything, Jen. Anything.”
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Without looking at Jared, he said, “What if I told you I’m still not sure I can do this?”
Jared’s breath stuttered to a stop, heart hammering away painfully. “I’d say… I’d say that’s all right.
That… I would understand.”
“You wouldn’t want to kick me out the door?”
“No.” Though he may want to cry. Quietly. In the bathroom, under a cold shower. For the rest of the
honeymoon.
Light, easy like a joke, Jensen said, “Would you want your gum wrapper back?” The serious, almost
anxious, look on his face said it wasn’t a joke; it was a real question.
“No. You’re stuck with that thing.”
Jensen nodded, something like relief evident in the slope of his shoulders.
“Jensen.” He waited for Jensen to lift his eyes, to look him in the face. “You can always back out. It
won’t change the way I feel about you.”
“I’m not backing out. I’m telling you I might not be able to do this when it comes right down to it. I
don’t want you to be disappointed.” He ran a hand across his mouth and, from between his fingers,
said, “Fuck. It’s sex. I shouldn’t be this nervous about sex.”
Jared rubbed his back. “It’s okay. We’ll take it one step at time, right? Just like we’ve been doing.”
Jensen’s small nod reassured him enough to add, “So this is what we’re gonna do now: Get undressed
and wait for me. I have a couple of things for you.”
Jensen eased away from him and rested his head on a nearby pillow. “I didn’t know we were supposed
to get each other anything.”
“We’re not. But you’re gonna like this. Trust me.”
“All right,” Jensen said on a sigh, eyes closing