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back to part one

"They don't really like you better than me. You know that, right?" Jared asked.

Jensen moved over to let Sadie take up more room on the couch. "I know. It just looks like it. Try not to feel too bad. You'll always be the one who feeds them." Jensen stared blearily at the television. "We saw this one. The professor did it."

Jared moved his gaze from Jensen to the television, where Mariska Hargatay was looking earnest. "We've seen all of them," he said grimly, flipping through stations. "All two zillion episodes. Twice."

"Granted. On the plus side, we can now prosecute any crime in the country..." He waved a hand listlessly. "Hey, Food Network, Food Network, go back."

"Oh, God, man... no more Giada. She's creepy."

Jensen made a wordless grunt of protest and Sadie whined like she wanted to go out, so Jared left the channel where it was. Now that Jensen was feeling better enough to drag himself up from the bedroom and stagger into the living room, they'd essentially just moved the wii and television activities from one room to another, but at least now Jared didn't have to walk through the entire house to let the dogs out.

Jared decided his life had reached a new level of lame.

He tossed the remote in Jensen's direction, and it landed on the carpet near the place where Jensen's hand trailed down from the couch. Jensen had his face pressed into the pillow he'd brought from his bedroom and didn't even flinch.

"I'm going to the gym," Jared said. He stood and stretched until his spine popped. "You know, you could use some exercise, too. You're atrophying. I'm going to have to strap you to a cart and wheel you around like Hannibal Lecter."

"I can see how that would suck for you," Jensen said into the pillow. "So go work out for me, okay? Run around. And do some -- you know." He made a vague hand gesture that either mimed lifting weights or told Jared to pump up the volume.

"Fine. Stay here and commune with Giada." Jared reached down to flick him in the head as he walked past but somehow his fingers got tangled in Jensen's too-long hair, instead. It was startlingly soft, maybe because Jensen hadn't put any goop in it, and Jared couldn't resist brushing through it in one long, caressing stroke. Jensen turned into the touch, his eyes closed and his expression unreadable, before he went completely still.

"That feels good," he mumbled.

Jared went still, too, not wanting to move either because it felt really, really good; better than he'd imagined if he ever wanted to admit he imagined it, which... no.

Definitely not.

He tugged at the strands between his fingers, not exactly gentle about it. "This mop's getting long. I could braid it for you later."

Jensen snorted and put his face back in the pillow. "Fucker. Get out of here. Go lift heavy things."


**

It became kind of a routine.

They'd spend the day screwing around with the wii or watching Law and Order because it was some kind of rule that every cable channel had to show one episode a day, unless they were watching the Food Network because Jensen had developed some sort of fixation on Giada that Jared did not understand and absolutely was not the least bit jealous about.

Sometimes Jensen would sleep while Jared worked out in the weight room, and then they'd order dinner from wherever Jared thought sounded good -- usually Italian, stupid Giada -- because Jensen wasn't going to eat much anyway. Then sometimes Jared would have a beer and Jensen would moan about how he would probably never be able to drink again, and they'd play cards or watch TV until it got late enough to take the dogs out and go to bed.

That was when it got weird.

Jensen would go to his room and Jared would go to his, where he'd change into sweats and brush his teeth and stare at himself in the mirror, wondering if he really wanted to do this to himself again. And of course, he did, so then he'd go downstairs to Jensen's room and get into bed with him.

They didn't talk about it.

Jensen never asked after that first night and Jared never explained, and sometimes they didn't even say good night, just turned out the lights. Then Jared would lie there and wait because he'd learned to recognize the exact moment Jensen fell asleep, just from the way he relaxed into the mattress and how his breathing went slow and deep.

After a few days, Jensen stopped falling asleep right away. Jared assumed it was because he was getting better, and was able to remain conscious for longer periods of time, but it was also possible that Jensen just wanted to make him insane.

"Does it really take 15 minutes to adjust a bunch of pillows?" Jared asked one night, after Jensen's constant shifting had startled him out of a doze for the ten zillionth time.

"I need to crack my back. The pillows have to be at the right angle."

"Maybe if you didn't have six of them..."

"It's four, thank you, and I can't help it if I have spine issues." Jensen jerked his body again and then let out a groan that was faintly orgasmic. "Oh, yeah. That's it. Just like that."

Jared rubbed his eyes. "This must have driven your brother batshit."

"Why?" Jensen asked. "We never had to share a room. I could writhe in peace."

"Never? Really?" Jared turned over to look at him. "I bet that was awesome. God, I shared with Jeff until he left for college. It was like Ultimate Fighting."

"It was pretty cool, I guess," Jensen said to the ceiling. "I just wish my room hadn't been so close to my parents'."

Jared made a face. "Oh, yuck, don't even. You could hear them?"

"What? No! Not that, you perv." Jensen shoved at him ineffectually.

"Then what?" Jared said, and laughed as he pushed Jensen's hand away.

"Nothing. Just that they fought a lot," Jensen said. He shrugged. "Or it seemed like it, anyway."

"Oh." Jared didn't know what else to say. He waited, and watched Jensen's profile in the dim light.

"I couldn't really hear the words... just the tone of their voices," Jensen said, finally. "I could tell how mad they were, though. Even a pillow over my head didn't work." Jensen half-smiled, like that was funny.

"Yeah, I hated it when my parents fought, too," Jared said after a minute.

"It's weird how scary that is when you're a kid, you know? It's like the whole world doesn't make sense anymore." Then Jensen looked briefly over at Jared, an embarrassed grin on his face. "Whatever. It's not exactly a big deal as far as childhood trauma goes." He turned over on his side to face the wall. "We should get some sleep."

"Yeah. 'Night, Jen," Jared said.

Jensen mumbled a good night and Jared lay there for a few more minutes, waiting for sleep, and thinking that all things considered, his world, at least, made a whole lot of sense.


**

Things could have gone on that way indefinitely, maybe, right up until the day they had to go back to work, but when Jared herded the muddy dogs into the kitchen on the day of New Year's Eve and saw the message light on his answering machine blinking, it was like he'd suddenly been jarred out of a sound sleep.

He hit the button.

"Hey, losers!" Steve's voice boomed around the kitchen. "I hear you never left town. We had a gig in Seattle last night and now we're in... hey, where are we?" There were muffled voices for a few seconds before Steve came back on. "I don't know where the fuck we are, but we're going to be at Jared's in two hours. You better be there. And you better have beer. Yo."

Jared looked up to see Jensen standing in the doorway, ruffled and sleepy and wearing his glasses. The side of his mouth quirked when he caught Jared's eye, and he shrugged a little.

"Maybe North Shore Liquor delivers."


**

Apparently the imminent arrival of Steve's band meant Jensen wanted to make an attempt at re-joining the human race, because he got dressed after his shower in jeans that hung on him and a baggy gray sweater that fell down over his knuckles, like he was in a Lifetime movie where he was trying to hide his anorexia. He'd gone back to putting stiff goop in his hair again, Jared noted, and felt weirdly disappointed.

"What?" Jensen asked, when Jared didn't say anything.

"I have ceramic fangs I stole from the prop room at Halloween. If you want to, you know. Complete the look."

Jensen was still debating a comeback when the doorbell rang, so Jared left him to it while he went to answer the door.

There was a crowd of strangers on the doorstep. Jared recognized some of Steve's band members, but it looked like he'd brought his entire road crew and maybe a few fans, too. Jared caught Jensen's eye across the group milling in the hall and shrugged a question at him, but then Steve was there, grabbing Jared by the shoulders and shaking him a little.

"Dude! We're here!"

"I can see that," Jared said, but he smiled because Steve was cool and what the hell, it was New Year's Eve. "Glad you could make it up."

Steve clapped him on the shoulder. "Hey, thanks for letting us crash here. If we had to spend another night in the van, I think someone was gonna end up in jail. So where's the patient?"

Just then Jensen walked up and Steve kind of half-tackled him, practically taking Jensen off his feet, and Jared winced. He automatically reached out to pull Steve back, but the impulse kind of surprised him, so he ended up standing there with his arm out like a dork. Steve had steadied Jensen back onto his feet anyway, and stepped back to look at him.

"Woah. Dude. Maybe you should cut back on the heroin."

Jensen grabbed at his shoulders. "Yeah, you're hilarious. Come over here. Let me breathe on you."

"No way; death-germs!" Steve pushed him away, but far more carefully this time, and laughed. "So does this hospital have anything to drink?"

**

It seemed like Steve didn't even know all the people he'd brought, either, but they were mostly cool and it was actually okay to find out the rest of the world was still out there. Jared systematically destroyed all comers at Mario Kart, no matter how much he had to drink, because after the past two weeks, he was now the Mario Kart god. Later on, Steve took out his guitar and even if Jensen didn't sing along like usual, he was more or less upright on the couch, which Jared thought was a good sign.

Steve had brought a bunch of stuff to drink, too, including a bottle of Malibu rum that Jared drank with coke in a fit of college nostalgia that left him feeling like he'd downed a bottle of Coppertone. He was still relatively sober when he staggered to the bathroom around ten, and glanced into the kitchen as he passed it. Jensen was there, standing at the refrigerator and staring into it like he'd fallen asleep standing up.

Jared took an aborted step forward but stopped in the darkened hallway when he saw that Steve was in the kitchen, too. He walked up behind Jensen.

"Decisions, decisions," Steve said, then reached out and closed his hands around Jensen's shoulders, squeezing hard. Jensen groaned, either in pain or relief, and bent his head forward, letting the refrigerator swing shut. Jared waited for Jensen to move away because Jensen always moved away, subtly extricating himself every time because it seemed like everyone he ever met wanted to touch him, but instead, this time Jensen... drifted.

In fact, he leaned forward against the closed door of the refrigerator, rested his forehead against his crossed arms and sort of sagged there. Steve looked confused for a minute, before squeezing Jensen's shoulders harder.

"Dude, you're a mess. What the hell is this," Steve said, with none of his bluster, just concern. "You okay?"

"Everything fucking hurts, man," Jensen murmured into his arms. "I thought I was gonna die. Oh, God, right there -- do that again."

Steve pressed his thumb into the tendons on Jensen's neck and Jared felt a stab of something that felt a whole hell of a lot like jealousy.

"Hey, here's a thought," Steve said. "Go to a doctor." He slapped Jensen on the shoulder and then took a seat at the table.

Jensen dropped into the chair opposite him and leaned his head in his hands. "Nothing they can do except vitamin shots," he said, through his fingers. "Just have to ride it out. But I'm getting better."

"Oh, yeah, I can definitely tell." Steve took a sip of his beer. "Too bad you had to miss seeing your folks, though."

"That sucked. But there was no way."

"Padalecki kept you company, huh?"

Jensen sat back and smiled. Jared's chest tightened.

"Yeah. He did," Jensen said. "I probably would have starved to death if he hadn't. I couldn't even get out of bed."

"Fun. Sounds like you guys had a blast," Steve said.

"Nah, it wasn't bad," Jensen said. Jensen's voice was quiet, and he smiled to himself. "It was... okay. Really okay."

Steve stared at Jensen for a second and then shook his head. "Jensen, my friend," he said in his slow drawl. "What the hell are you doing?"

Jensen looked up at Steve in alarm, like maybe his heart was jumping in his chest like Jared's was. Jared held his breath.

"I'm not doing anything," Jensen said, and grabbed his water bottle off the table. He pointed at Steve before he took a drink, his mouth quirking into a smile like he couldn't stop himself. "You shut up."

"Hey, okay, dude. Whatever you say," Steve said, holding up both palms, but he was still kind of laughing his ass off. "But you should have told me we were interrupting your honeymoon." He stood up before Jensen could throw something at him. "I gotta get back to the party. They're gonna wonder what the hell we're doing in here."

Jared wondered that about himself. He took off for the bathroom before they could turn around and see him.

**

Jared was really ready for the party to be over.

It only got worse when Jensen stood up around eleven, keeping himself upright with an obvious effort, and said he was done for the night. He looked over at Jared and Jared looked back at him and it was suddenly painfully clear to Jared that he wouldn't be sleeping in Jensen's bed tonight, not with ten extra people in the house.

He ignored the sharp and completely ridiculous stab of disappointment that dug into his chest and was about to turn away, when Jensen shrugged, with something that looked a whole lot like an apology, for fuck's sake. It looked like regret, and why should it matter that they couldn't sleep together? Maybe Jared had to think long and hard about what he was doing sleeping with Jensen in the first place.

Jared turned back to Halo and didn't watch Jensen head back to his room.

**

When Jared came down to the kitchen the next afternoon, Jensen was drinking orange juice at the counter.

"Hey," Jensen said.

Jared shrugged at him, feeling the Coppertone and coke he'd drunk a little too much to be conversational.

"It's a bad one, huh?" Jensen asked, sympathetic. "How late did you guys stay up?"

"I don't know; I passed out on the couch until the sun came up." Then he'd dragged himself up to his room and replayed Steve and Jensen's conversation in his head, trying to figure out why it made his heart pound and also made him feel kind of like he wanted to throw up, even more than the rum did. Jared found a can of diet coke and popped it open in relief, downing half of it in a gulp. "Steve take off yet?"

"Around noon. They have a gig in Victoria tonight."

"Oh."

Jensen glanced up at Jared's tone, then back down at his cereal. He stirred his rice krispies. "Hey, I'm sorry they just showed up like that. You know Steve." Jensen shrugged. "I told the fuckers to clean up before they left and they kind of did. I didn't see any permanent damage." He paused. "I can tell you're pissed."

Jared let out a breath. "Forget it." He looked at Jensen more closely. "Wait. You're consuming food."

"I'm starving," Jensen mumbled.

Jared jerked the refrigerator open. "Awesome. You're cured. Maybe it was Steve." Jared hated how pissy he sounded, almost as much as he hated the way Jensen looked at him, his face puzzled and a little wary.

"Dude," Jensen said. He carefully looked away from Jared, focused out the window at the yard where Harley and Sadie were losing their shit over a squirrel. "It's not like... I mean, you know that Steve and me aren't... we've never... fuck, I don't even know why I'm telling you this." Jensen trailed off and his cheeks were flushed like he still had a fever.

Oh, great.

Jared wanted to sink through the floor in embarrassment, just let the Italian granite Sandy had been so in love with open up and swallow him down because not only was he now jealous of Steve for just existing -- seriously, Steve, Jensen's best friend since practically forever and someone Jared had never given a thought more complicated to than, cool, Steve brought beer ever before in his life -- now he was making Jensen explain it to him, too.

"I know, whatever," Jared said. "I mean, it doesn't matter."

And it shouldn't matter, but it did; like sleeping with Jensen every night for the past two weeks meant something, and wanting Jensen to leave his hair floppy and stupid-looking so it was soft when Jared touched it meant something, too. And then there was the big one, the one Jared didn't want to examine too closely. Spending his entire vacation up here with Jensen in the first place? That meant something really freaking huge, and Jared really wasn't ready to figure out what that was.

"I think I'm going to go home for a few days," Jared said. That wasn't what he'd meant to say at all, but now that it was out there it sounded like the best idea ever.

That got Jensen's attention. His eyes went wide for a second, before he shrugged and sat back a little, his expression closing down. "You should," he said.

"'Cause you're better, right? I mean, you look like you're feeling better --"

Jensen nodded, waved a hand. "Seriously, take off. We've got a week before shooting starts. You definitely should go home. Tell them hi for me."

Jared nodded. He wanted to leave right away, get away from the weirdness that had settled in between them and away from Jensen so he'd stop taking up all the space in Jared's thoughts. "I'll call the airline."

He started back to his room but stopped in the doorway, looking back at Jensen with a nagging hitch in his chest. "Hey, are you sure you're going to be okay? Do you want me to stay?"

For a second Jensen looked thrown, like he was trying to find his voice. "I'm good," he said finally. "You should go. But Jay -- thanks. You know. For everything." Jensen looked as embarrassed as Jared felt.

"You're welcome," Jared mumbled, and fled to his room.

**

Texas was warm temperatures and familiar surroundings, food that didn't come out of a styrofoam container and old friends who wanted to get together and pretend they could still drink like they had in high school.

Weirdly, it was also wii and daytime television like it had been in Vancouver, only Jensen's absence was so freaking obvious that Jared was still thinking about him all the fucking time, when he wasn't about to be knocked unconscious by the irony.

He was in San Antonio for two days before he texted Jensen, just two words: still alive? To which Jensen replied: No.

Then that afternoon, Jared got: Alive. Bored. The dogs miss you.

How do you know? Jared answered.

They ate your comforter.

Jared thought about how maybe he didn't miss Jensen so much after all.

Worst dog-sitter ever, he sent.

Then come take care of them yourself, Jensen sent back. Followed a few minutes later by: Really. You should come home.

Jared snapped his sidekick shut and tossed it in his dresser on mute.

He made it all the way through dinner with his brother at Godai the next night without consciously thinking about what Jensen was doing back in Vancouver, and he was just through congratulating himself on how brilliant his compartmentalizing skills were when Jeff snorted.

Jared looked up from his Ecuador roll. "What?"

Jeff shook his head and reached for more yellowtail. "Jesus, if you miss her so much, just call her, man."

"Her?" Jared drew a blank. "Her who?"

Jeff gave him a look. "Right. Jay, I know you. This is classic Jared Padalecki pining. You're acting like that time Brook Parkson went away to drama camp in high school and Mom thought you were going to get her name tattooed on your chest. Just pick up the phone already." He leaned forward. "Are you going to finish that?"

Jared gave him the rest of his dinner; only because tuna sashimi with cilantro was a little weird and not because he wasn't hungry anymore and needed to immediately go outside and make a phone call.

Which Jensen didn't answer.

He didn't answer the one Jared made at eleven from Club Rio, either, or the one Jared made when he got home at two, but when Jared hit re-dial at three, Jensen picked it up on the sixth ring.

"Jesus God almighty, what do you want?"

Jared smiled at the ceiling. "My dogs are in bed with you, aren't they? Don't lie. You're totally undermining my authority."

"You have no authority; keep dreaming," Jensen said, sounding half asleep. "And you're undermining my beauty sleep. Don't you know I'm dying up here? I need my rest."

"Then maybe you should answer your phone so I don't have to wonder if housekeeping found your lifeless body yet."

Jared heard Jensen shifting around before he cleared his throat. "I turned it off. Sorry."

Off. Just like Jared's had been for two days. "That's okay," he said, though it really wasn't. He didn't know how to tell Jensen that.

"How's home?" Jensen asked after a second.

Jared immediately thought of his house in Vancouver; no, their house in Vancouver -- of Jensen and the dogs and too much fucking rain, and just the thought made his eyes burn. "It's okay here," he said. He cleared his throat. "Mom and Dad are happy to see me. How is it -- how is it up there?"

"Pretty quiet. Except for the whole comforter-eating thing. Harley's still barfing feathers."

Jared rubbed his eyes. "Can I ask? Do I even want to know? Why were they in my room?"

"Dude, they miss you. I had to let them in. It was pathetic, you should have seen them."

Jared was feeling a little pathetic himself. "Yeah, well.. I miss them, too. I'm a little bored. Jeff's busy, Mac's not even here; she went to Tahoe or something..."

"Rough life."

"Yeah." He took a breath. "You feeling okay?"

"Yeah, Jay, I told you I was fine. Genevieve came by... and I'm the new god of Mario Kart, by the way. I have deity-like skills now."

"Ha. Only because I'm not up there with you."

"No, you are not," Jensen said, on a yawn.

Jared looked at the empty side of his bed and imagined Jensen in it so easily it hurt. "So... why am I not up there with you?"

The words dropped like a stone into a well. Jensen's voice was quiet. "Hell if I know."

**

When Jared got back to Vancouver the next day, the temperature had fallen into the teens, a 60 degree temperature drop from where he'd been just 6 hours before, and a fact he only discovered after realizing he'd left his gloves on the plane. But the way Jensen's face lit up in a slow smile when Jared walked into the living room made the 5 a.m. red-eye and possible frostbite worth it.

"That was fast," Jensen said.

He stood up from where he was leaning over the newspaper on the coffee table as Jared dropped his coat and hat on the chair. Jared was relieved to see that Jensen looked more like his old self than ever: showered and shaved and dressed in jeans and a collared shirt, like someone was going to jump out and take a picture any second. He still looked tired, but his eyes were clear and there was color in his face and it looked like he might have eaten a sandwich in the last five days.

"I think you're going to live," Jared said.

Jensen ran a hand through his hair self-consciously. "Make-up's still going to win an emmy this year if they pull this one off."

Jared shrugged. "Nah, it's cool. You'll be like... skinny, seventh-season Chandler. You know. On Friends," he added, when Jensen just stared at him blankly.

"Oh." Jensen looked down at the carpet for a second. "Wasn't that guy a drug addict?"

"Yeah... yeah, I think he was."

The silence stretched out like a rubber band about to break. Jared hated that this was so awkward, because he and Jensen were never awkward together, and Jared didn't know how to fix it. Maybe everything he'd assumed about where they were headed was utterly wrong. He took a step forward anyway.

"Hey," he started, and fuck if his voice wasn't shaking. He cleared his throat to try again, but Jensen moved, too, took a step toward him, and that was it. Jared needed to touch him. Somehow one of his hands ended up cupped around the back of Jensen's head, and the other fisted in the back of Jensen's shirt, until things weren't so much awkward anymore as electric.

He pressed in, putting Jensen's face so close to his that he could feel every hitching breath Jensen took. Jensen's eyes were focused firmly on Jared's mouth, which had to be the hottest thing Jared had ever seen. He leaned his forehead against Jensen's and tried to keep his hands steady, but it was kind of a lost cause.

"God, I missed you," Jared said.

"You have no idea." Jensen laughed but it sounded a little manic, and his hands closed convulsively in the back of Jared's shirt. He pulled Jared a little closer. "Are we really going to do this?" he asked, with almost no voice at all. He sounded dazed.

"I hope so?" Jared said, and didn't have time to paralyze himself with doubt again, because that was when Jensen reached up and tangled his fingers in his hair and kissed him.

And kept kissing him.

Soft and insistent, like Jensen was trying to figure out the best way to fit their mouths together by moving slowly and thoroughly through all the options, each touch more liquid and intimate than the last. It went through Jared like a drug, glued him to the spot and he just stood there and let himself be kissed, until it occurred to him that it would be even better if he participated at some point.

He put a hand on Jensen's jaw so he could kiss Jensen back the way he wanted to, circled his other arm around Jensen's waist and pulled him in hard, his thigh between Jensen's legs so they touched everywhere. Jensen made a harsh sound of surprise that was almost stupidly hot.

"Finally," Jared said, his mouth against Jensen's neck.

"Finally?" Jensen choked. "You. You're the one... Getting in bed with me, sleeping next to me when I was dying and couldn't do anything about it --" Jensen sounded angry, but he was still moving maddeningly against Jared's body, still biting kisses into Jared's jaw and it was kind of driving Jared crazy, so Jared just grinned and tried to shut Jensen up with his mouth.

Jensen stopped talking and groaned instead. That was much better, so Jared kissed him hard and deep, closed his hands around Jensen's hips where they were pushing against his and hauled him up. He put Jensen right where he needed him and kept him there. God, Jensen was hard already.

Jensen dropped his head back and closed his eyes, his throat working. "You're. Wow. You're really strong."

Jared bit the side of Jensen's exposed neck. "I lift heavy things." The words didn't come out as superior as he intended because Jensen's cock felt pretty fucking incredible against his, even through two layers of denim -- and also Jensen kept moving, trying to get control again. Jensen made a sound of frustration right next to Jared's ear and slid his hands restlessly over Jared's back. Then he did it again, except under Jared's shirt this time, so that Jared's spine practically melted. 'Naked' really needed to be a part of this pretty damn soon.

Jared didn't think he'd said that out loud, but Jensen gave a jerking nod and said, "Where -- where should we go?"

Jared tried to think. Jared's bed, or Jensen's bed? Or the couch behind them, or the stupid glass shower -- all the places that were theirs, and the problem was he wanted Jensen in all of them, all at once. He pulled Jensen closer, trying to decide, and discovered the waistband of Jensen's jeans was now loose enough that Jared could slip his hands down the back of his pants in one smooth, groping glide.

"No underwear," Jared said thickly.

"No laundry --," Jensen started, but Jared had made a decision.

The floor. The floor was definitely good. He buckled his knees and took Jensen down with him, pulled so that they fell together with Jensen landing mostly on top. Immediately, Jensen started shoving Jared's clothes out of the way while Jared pulled at the buttons of Jensen's shirt and the zipper on his jeans, until he had Jensen bare in all the important places. Smooth chest and sharp hips and hard cock, and Jared just had to touch him, put his hands everywhere, even though Jensen wasn't cooperating.

"Come on, come on, take this off," Jensen said urgently, shoving Jared's shirt up under his arms and generally getting in Jared's way until finally Jared complied, just to get him to stop moving around so much. But then he had Jensen's hands on his chest, and then Jensen's mouth, open and wet and hungry, like he needed to keep his place while he reached down and shoved Jared's pants out of the way.

"Oh, fuck --," Jared gasped at the first touch of their bodies together, skin against skin so good he had to drag Jensen up to kiss him again. Jared's eyes practically rolled back in his head when the head of his cock dragged over the hard, smooth line of Jensen's stomach. Jensen shifted his body and then they were pressed close, cocks brushing, legs tangled, fitting together -- maybe not perfectly, but exactly right.

"Do you have anything?" Jensen asked, with his teeth against Jared's jaw.

It took Jared a second to figure out what he was talking about. "Hey, I just got off a plane -- don't you have anything? I mean, you live here..."

"Well, not on me," Jensen said, but then Jared had to admit that even if Jensen wasn't prepared, he was at least resourceful. He slid down Jared's body and opened his mouth and took Jared in with no warning at all, just slick heat and suction until Jared was soaked and straining, with his fingers threaded through Jensen's hair so they wouldn't shake.

"Jen. Jen, come on," Jared said, out of breath and tugging a warning into Jensen's hair. "I can't wait --"

Jensen pulled off with a last, lingering lick that practically made Jared's eyes cross, and rolled onto his side. Jared went with him so they were facing each other and breathing hard, bodies pressed close. It was suddenly vividly clear to Jared that Jensen was right there, beautiful and familiar and his. The thought was so overwhelming he thought he might choke on it.

"Jensen, God, you --" he started , but then Jensen slid a hand between them and touched him, hot and rough and perfect, so Jared's mind went blank and all he could do was kiss Jensen hard and come and come and come.

**

"I'm going to have to get the carpet cleaned," Jared said, eventually. "This was bad planning."

"Hey, I didn't plan this at all," Jensen said. "I didn't think we'd end up like this."

"You mean mostly naked on the living room floor at ten a.m. on a Tuesday?"

"The mostly naked part. Not with the way you ran out of here."

Jared brushed his hand through Jensen's hair. It was stiff with gel; he'd have to get Jensen in the shower and wash it out later. "I heard you and Steve talking. That night."

Jensen lifted his head to look at Jared, looking confused. "I don't even remember what we talked about."

"Me," Jared said. "And you. And this, kind of." Jared shifted. "I don't know what the hell I'd been thinking before that, but what you said... it just made it too real, you know? Like it was a real thing."

"So... what was it before? Fake?" Jensen looked indignant.

"No, you idiot," Jared said, but it came out stupidly affectionate, so he had to shove at Jensen a little, too. "It was real. I just think that maybe I didn't notice."

Jensen's expression softened. He put his head down on Jared's chest. "Dork."

"Whatever," Jared said, and couldn't stop smiling.

After a few seconds, Jensen yawned against Jared's chest. When Jared looked down at him, his eyes were closed, face still shadowed, his breathing changing the way it always did right before he fell asleep. That was so familiar it made Jared smile stupidly. He put his face against Jensen's hair and shifted his body, jostling him lightly.

"Hey. Let's go somewhere else to sleep."

Jensen made a non-committal sound and settled himself more comfortably on Jared's body. "Not moving. Too tired."

"Come on. This rug smells like dog."

Jensen let out a long-suffering breath. "Fine. Carry me."

"Ha. With a forklift," Jared said, but it came out rough, because Jensen's words gave him a visual that was... not at all bad.

Jensen lifted his head and looked down their bodies to where his leg rested over Jared's hips and where Jared was showing some definite interest.

"You're trying to kill me, right?" Jensen asked.

Jared sighed loudly and smiled up at the ceiling. "Hey, don't worry about it. You want me to do everything else around here; maybe I should just give myself a --"

Jensen came up on one elbow and put his hand where his leg had been, snaked the other arm around Jared's neck and turned into him so that the world narrowed down to just the two of them, damp and flushed and breathing hard in the silence of the room.

"Forget it. I can take care of you."


END

Add'l notes: Thank you to [livejournal.com profile] destina -- it was a thrill to be purchased by someone whose writing I admire so much. I really hope you like this. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] setissma, [livejournal.com profile] luzdeestrellas and [livejournal.com profile] wendy for the amazing beta and also everyone on my flist who answered my inane questions -- especially Cam re shooting schedules. *loves*


There are 238 comments over 5 pages. (Reply.)
1 2 3 4 5
 
posted by [identity profile] lomedet.livejournal.com at 05:22pm on 12/01/2009
*glees*

oh, but this is awesome.

*goes back to re-read*
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 05:20pm on 13/01/2009
*beams* So glad you liked it, hon! :D:D
 
posted by [identity profile] lawchic04.livejournal.com at 05:39pm on 12/01/2009
This is fantastic! I loved Jared taking care of Jensen. The slow build, Steve and Jensen's conversation, Jared's freak out and the eventual recognition of what was going on between them was so very nice.

Fabulous job and thanks for sharing!
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 05:21pm on 13/01/2009
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :D
 
posted by [identity profile] joygoddess.livejournal.com at 05:45pm on 12/01/2009
*squeels loudly* What a lovely story. Loved yoru Jared and Jensen. Protective Jared is one of my favorite things. Great story. Loved how in character the boys seemed. Slow tension and an explosive end. Perfect. Hugs!
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 05:21pm on 13/01/2009
hee! I love protective boys, too. I'm so glad you liked this! :D
 
posted by [identity profile] sleepless3333.livejournal.com at 05:55pm on 12/01/2009
Wow...

Perfect. Just perfect!

*mems*
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 05:21pm on 13/01/2009
:D:D Thank you! :D
 
posted by [identity profile] drlense.livejournal.com at 05:58pm on 12/01/2009
This was WONDERFUL. I have been excitedly waiting for it and it was well worth the wait. HURRAY!
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 05:23pm on 13/01/2009
Oh, YAY, thank you! I'm so happy it didn't disappoint -- thanks, sweetie! :D
 
posted by [identity profile] dev-earl.livejournal.com at 06:08pm on 12/01/2009
OH, SO MUCH LOVE! ♥♥

I adore all the tiny little details in this. Love Jared loving Jensen's ungelled, soft hair, love their banter, love that they text each other when they miss one another (because it's canon! \o/) and love the dogs eating Jared's comforter. *g*

In conclusion: LOVE THIS.
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 07:46pm on 13/01/2009
I'm so glad!! Thanks, sweetie!! *hugs*
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posted by [identity profile] vickita.livejournal.com at 06:16pm on 12/01/2009
Okay, this was awesome from beginning to end, and I loved it all, especially ::hangs head in Steve!girl shame:: when Steeeeeeeve shows up, omg. (Squee!)

*ggg*
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 07:47pm on 13/01/2009
heeeee!! Steve! *draws hearts* At first I made him Jensen's ex, but had to change him to bff b/c it was too distracting in story this short. But Steve deserves love! :D Thanks so much, hon!
ext_7865: (Default)
posted by [identity profile] machinistm.livejournal.com at 06:20pm on 12/01/2009
This is just delightfully snuggly ♥
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 07:47pm on 13/01/2009
yay, thanks! :D
 
posted by [identity profile] snowphilosophy.livejournal.com at 06:52pm on 12/01/2009
Eeee! So very good!
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 07:48pm on 13/01/2009
Thank you! :D
 
posted by [identity profile] avon-09.livejournal.com at 07:19pm on 12/01/2009
This was so good, so gently right. Which isn't English but is how I feel about it.
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 07:48pm on 13/01/2009
Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed it -- thank you! :D
 
posted by [identity profile] ymmy12.livejournal.com at 07:22pm on 12/01/2009
perfect
except i want more
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 07:48pm on 13/01/2009
hee! Thanks! (but we all know they lived happily ever after, right? *g*)
 
posted by [identity profile] evenstar-1203.livejournal.com at 07:26pm on 12/01/2009
Awww I love this! ♥ ♥
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 07:49pm on 13/01/2009
Thank you! :D:D
 
posted by [identity profile] indysaur.livejournal.com at 07:37pm on 12/01/2009
Oh, man, this is the equivalent of grade-A comfort food. I love the simplicity of your writing; it's a quality that I think is harder to capture than might seem, and something I really admire. And I love how grounded in the world your fic always is. Names of restaurants, lives moving around the boys, Genevieve and the housekeepers, North Shore Liquor--you give us a context for the boys' romance that makes them feel like characters with full lives, all this shading.

The dialogue, too, hits that sweet spot of fun and banter while remaining hearable, you know? I'm not sure if that makes sense, but I really, really loved this. Thank you!
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 07:49pm on 13/01/2009
*beams* What an amazing comment to get -- thank you so much! I'm beaming. :D
 
posted by [identity profile] nouveau-monday.livejournal.com at 07:56pm on 12/01/2009
this was soooooooooooo good that i'm kind of at a loss for words. but i loved how it flowed and built and, god, just worked so well.
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 07:49pm on 13/01/2009
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks! :D
 
posted by [identity profile] knotted-rose.livejournal.com at 08:42pm on 12/01/2009
This was very much fun. Thanks for sharing!
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 07:50pm on 13/01/2009
Glad you liked it, hon! :D Thanks!
 
posted by [identity profile] clubinthesky.livejournal.com at 08:59pm on 12/01/2009
Ohhhh gorgeous ♥

I loved how intimate this moment was,
He pressed in, putting Jensen's face so close to his that he could feel every hitching breath Jensen took. Jensen's eyes were focused firmly on Jared's mouth, which had to be the hottest thing Jared had ever seen. He leaned his forehead against Jensen's and tried to keep his hands steady, but it was kind of a lost cause.


*draws big hearts*
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 09:57pm on 14/01/2009
:D:D I'm so glad you enjoyed this! Thanks so much! :D
embroiderama: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] embroiderama at 09:09pm on 12/01/2009
This is utterly fantastic! I love the beginning with Jared's diagnostic attempts and then the way he can't NOT stay and take care of Jensen, the way it draws them together--gorgeous!
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 10:00pm on 14/01/2009
Yay! I'm glad you liked Jared googling everything -- I was amused by it. *bg* Thanks so much, hon! :D
 
posted by [identity profile] witchy78.livejournal.com at 09:13pm on 12/01/2009
I loved it so much. the h/c, the conversation with Steve, the humor... Really, it was a really good fic and I was very very glad to find it today ;o))
Thanks for this and I can't wait to read some more from you.
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 10:02pm on 14/01/2009
Thanks so much, hon -- I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D
deanshot1: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] deanshot1 at 09:19pm on 12/01/2009
♥ ♥
Boys can be soooo foolish but at least they got it right in the end.
It was a lovely story, very heartwarming that Jared stayed beding to look after Jensen when he was soooooo sick.
Thanks for sharing.
*hugs*
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 10:04pm on 14/01/2009
Yes, silly boys! :D I'm so very glad you enjoyed this, hon -- thanks so much for commenting! :D
 
posted by [identity profile] equally-dour.livejournal.com at 09:21pm on 12/01/2009
*happy sigh*

I have really missed your Js. :) Just lovely.
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 10:05pm on 14/01/2009
What a nice thing to say! Thanks, hon -- I'm so glad you liked! :D
ext_3545: Jon Walker, being adorable! (Default)
posted by [identity profile] dsudis.livejournal.com at 09:32pm on 12/01/2009
Oh, this was lovely and comfort-y with the snuggling tired boys and the pining! And the ending is, mmmm, perfect. ♥
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 05:05pm on 15/01/2009
Yay, yay, thanks! *beams* Snuggly boys win, always. My favorite. :D
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posted by [identity profile] jazzish.livejournal.com at 09:38pm on 12/01/2009
This is amazing. So warm and comfortable and loving and them. I got all warm and fuzzy when they were being adorable (Jared holding Jensen through his fever!), and I just can't express the amount of love I have for this in words. *happy sigh*
ext_57657: (Default)
posted by [identity profile] jazzish.livejournal.com at 09:42pm on 12/01/2009
PS; And now I'm off to listen to 'So Close to my Heart' on my iTunes for the... fifth time or something, heh.
 
posted by [identity profile] defencelaura.livejournal.com at 10:10pm on 12/01/2009
I don´t usually like non-AU stories, but this one was really, really amazing, kind of like those two sweet boys.
Brilliant job, honey. Congratulations.
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 12:51am on 16/01/2009
Thanks for giving it a try! I prefer writing AU's myself *g*, so I'm glad this one worked for you. I appreciate the comment! :D
ext_2087: SGA (Default)
posted by [identity profile] tharaist.livejournal.com at 10:22pm on 12/01/2009
Oh, so sweet! I liked how Jared was constantly taking care of Jensen, plus those awkward little moments when Jared started realising his feelings filled my heart with glee!
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 12:52am on 16/01/2009
:D I'm so glad! Thanks, hon! :D
 
posted by [identity profile] loony-moony.livejournal.com at 10:24pm on 12/01/2009
Oh GAAAAAAH. You just grab my heart and squeeeeeze, and I don't know how you manage to do it every single time. But you do. And I love it.
I started reading this when you posted it this morning, but decided to keep the rest for later when I come back home, and I ended up having such a horrible day, this fic is pretty much saving me from tears. Thank you so much for writing! <3333333
 
posted by [identity profile] audrarose.livejournal.com at 12:56am on 16/01/2009
*hugs* Oh, sweetie, what a nice thing to say! I'm thrilled you liked this. Thank you! (and I hope your week improved!)
There are 238 comments over 5 pages. (Reply.)
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