|Gift for cjmarlowe
||[Dec. 31st, 2008|12:02 pm]
Title: the wounds of embarrassment often feel mortal but are rarely so|
Pairing/fandom: spn_j2_xmas fic - RPF - Jared/Jensen
Wordcount: 3,514 words.
Prompt: Post-SPN J2 first time, the boys falling for each other after.
Jensen Ackles has never in his life met someone like Jared Padalecki.
This is reinforced when the aforementioned Jared Padalecki sits Jensen down after knowing him for three months and tells him in a ramblingly sweet, sometimes wandering speech that he really, truly, digs him in a kind of mad and leg-humpingly way.
But it doesn't have to change anything.
No, Jared Padalecki goes onto explain. It doesn't. Because I will never mention this ever again. I just thought you should know because people tell me when they have a crush on me and, now I sound like I have a huge head, no it doesn't happen that often, but when it does I feel all sparkly and I wanted you to feel that way too.
Yeah, so, just thought I'd let you know is all.
The most frustrating part?
Was that Jared then went on to never mention it again, even after the wrap party to end all wrap parties, five years, one move-in, one move-out, one Fiancée, one near-Fiancée and only one major falling out later.
Okay, so that's not the most frustrating part.
The most frustrating part is that Jensen, after all this time, actually starts to realize that he is madly and leg humpingly in love with Jared Freakin' Padalecki in return.
“C’mon man, this hermit thing is starting to get old,” Chris complains and Jensen rolls his eyes. After Supernatural wrapped he’d wanted a break and no amount of scripted romcoms that would make him the next George Clooney/Richard Gere that Angelene sent him would make him change his mind.
Okay, so the getting away from it all isn’t working out quite like he planned. He’s bored out of his fucking skull but he isn’t about to admit it.
“It’s called self-reflection asshole,” Jensen hedges and Chris chuckles.
“Yeah, well, I self-reflect in the shower every mornin’. I don’t make a career out of it.”
“I’m trying to discover the inner me,” Jensen says, rolling his eyes.
“How many fingers does that take?”
“Why am I even friends with you?” Jensen snaps, rubbing a hand over his face.
The other thing he’s not going to admit to Chris is the whole getting away from it all happened six months after the Supernatural finale and he hadn’t heard from Jared in all that time. They’d spent five what he thought were pretty good years seeing each other almost every day and he didn’t want to be reduced to a sixteen year old girl waiting by the phone.
Jensen suddenly realizes he’s lying across the bed in his suite on his stomach with his feet in the air and chatting to one of his BFFs while thinking about the boy that never called. Christ, he might as well be wearing curlers. Jensen sits up, clears his throat and scratches his balls before the authorities can bust into his room and revoke his man-card.
“You okay there, son?” Chris asks and now there’s concern in his voice, thick and comforting like one of his momma’s steak sandwiches. Jensen figures he might as well take a big pair of scissors to his man-card himself because there is definitely a lump forming in his throat.
“Look,” Chris continues. “Steve’s lending me his place up the coast. Nice big cabin right on the beach. You gotta do me a favor and come along.”
“Why is that a favor?” Jensen asks, suddenly suspicious.
“Because I invited Jared and he insists on bringing along that butt-pimple of his.”
Jensen swallows hard, not really trusting his voice. He hasn’t seen Jared in six months and it’s the longest stretch they’ve gone without being in each other’s space since they met. “Chad’s not that… wait, you invited Jared before you invited me?” Jensen asks and then claps a hand over his eyes. There’s pathetic and then there’s the basement that’s situated below pathetic with old rotting newspapers, big fat cockroaches and apparently Jensen.
“I talked to Jared because I was trying to track you down. Gave me the shock of my life that that boy didn’t know exactly where you were. Didn’t think the umbilical reached that far,” Chris says and Jensen tries a laugh that sounds too dry and forced to his own ears.
“We’re not completely co-dependant,” he says.
“There something I should know? Because Lord knows I like Jared but I want to see you. If I need to uninvite-”
“No, no,” Jensen says, a little too quickly. “We’re, y’know. We’re fine. It’d be good to… catch up. We’ve both just been busy.”
“Jenny, the kind of busy you’ve been is going to result in chafing,” Chris snorts and Jensen feels like he’s finally back on solid ground, trading insults for another few minutes before they confirm plans and hang up.
Jensen then calls room service and orders ice cream and whiskey, both in liberal amounts.
He’s not freaking out.
Jensen, despite tabloid opinion, actually doesn’t mind Chad all that much. He’s funny and surprising which so few people are. Plus, Jared is such a good guy that others tend to shine their brightest when around him. All that means is Chad is simply the very best Chad he can be but it doesn’t stop Jensen wincing when Chad is the first out of the hire car, flinging his arms around Jensen and calling with maniacal glee, “Hey fucknut! I heard you were on a mountaintop somewhere tugging your junk until it went purple and dropped off.”
“You’re a very special snow flake, you know that?” Jensen groans, extricating himself as gently as possible from Chad’s embrace as he can. He looks past Chad’s shoulder to Jared emerging from the car with his sunglasses pushed up on his head. When Jared spots Jensen his smile freezes on his face for just a moment before he seems to recover and is loping over as well, apparently pleased as all get-out to see him.
Jensen would have bought it if he hadn’t seen that split second hesitation.
“Man, it’s been too long,” Jared says, clapping Jensen on the shoulder and Jensen hadn’t realized how much he’d been looking forward to one of Jared’s all-engulfing hugs until Jared is brushing by him and picking up Chris instead. “Dude, did you get smaller?” he laughs as Chris kicks comically at the indignity of it all.
“Shut yer face Magic Mountain,’” he protests as he’s finally set back on his feet. Chris is huffing and straightening his shirt out but he looks pleased and Jensen takes a second looking from Chris to Jared just grinning at each other and something clenches tight deep down within.
“You okay?” Chad asks and Jensen startles a little.
“How many bags you need for a week, man?” Jensen recovers, quite heroically he thinks, waving a hand at the trunk of the hire-car and how it needs a bungee cord to hold it closed.
“Don’t blame me, most of that belongs to Princess Sparkles,” Chad says with a shrug and then he’s bounding into the cabin on the heels of Jared and Chris and Jensen stands quietly for a few moments, trying not to let on that he thinks he’s having a stroke.
“You want a sausage in your bun?”
Jensen stares at Jared for a few moments too long before he gets that Jared is referring to the BBQ. “Or steak?” Jared adds slowly, a slight frown starting on his face.
“Steak’s fine,” Jensen says and he must admit, apart from his minor breakdown, the cabin is pretty damn nice. It's right on the beach, the last couple of back steps covered in sand and cabin probably isn’t the best way to describe the two-storey, five bedroom place. Jensen’s got his own bathroom and walk-in closet and the back deck is raised. Chad and Chris are on old leather recliners that have seen better days and therefore been dragged outside and Jared is manning the BBQ. Jensen is standing by the railing so he doesn’t have to look at Jared because he’s sweaty and wearing the most god-ugly floral shorts in creation and he looks…
Jensen’s mouth is not watering for steak.
Jensen hears Jared kind of huff behind him and then say, “So, what happened to-?”
“Don’t you be burning mine, bitch!” Chad pipes up from behind them. “It’s overdone if it’s been through a warm room.”
“You’re going to get mad cow eating raw meat,” Jared tutts.
“Who made you Surgeon General?” Chad snorts and then Jared’s plating up and it’s only when they’re eating and watching the sun set that Jensen remembers that Jared was going to ask him something. It could’ve been something inane like what happened to the spare Impalas but Jensen gets the feeling that it wasn’t that.
What happened to us?
“I think there’s someone that comes and… does this,” Jensen hears behind him and he turns, up to the elbows in soapy water. He doesn’t know why but ever since he was younger he’d been able to find his Zen in mundane tasks. Doing the dishes was a lot better than trying to figure out just what was going on, or even knowing for sure what was going on because he’s liking his current ignorance.
If it turns out the Jared and Chris are… well. He just doesn’t want to go there.
Before he can reply Jared is grabbing a dishcloth out of one of the lower drawers and taking the first couple of dishes out of the rack to dry. “Plus, y’know,” Jared says, thumping a sneakered foot on the new and shiny dishwasher that Jensen had noticed and chosen to ignore. Stacking dishes in the machine would not have cleared his head the same way.
“I like doing stuff with my hands,” Jensen huffs and Jared’s eyes widen and he looks away so Jensen can’t catch his expression. Instead Jared seems to decide that drying dishes is something he needs all his concentration for and studiously bends to the task. He catches up quickly though and after a few quiet moments Jensen is forced to hand stuff directly to him. Jensen feels his cheeks flush when their fingers brush for the first time and what saves him from thinking he needs to hit the ocean and not quit swimming until he reaches Antarctica is that Jared blushes just as furiously.
They both laugh when they start talking at the same time and then spend five minutes motioning each other to go on. Jensen’s getting to a point where he’s ready to take Jared in a headlock and noogie him until he speaks when Chris clears his throat behind them. “Sorry, was just dry,” Chris says, waggling his empty beer bottle in the direction of the fridge and Jared startles away, Jensen not having realized how close they’d moved to each other until Jared does.
“Tell me Steve has some kind of gaming console in this place that’s not from the eighties,” Jared says with a nervous laugh and throws his towel at the sink, missing so that it hits the floor with a wet slap. Jensen bends to retrieve it and when he’s upright it’s to see Jared has fled and Chris is just staring at him with an eyebrow raised.
“Oh, hey. I didn’t realize that you and Jared…” Jensen makes a helpless gesture with his hands and Chris’ eyebrows climb higher.
“Me and Jared what?” Chris prompts, looking a strange mix of amused and downright horrified.
“Don’t make me say it,” Jensen groans and Chris leans forward to clip Jensen over the back of the head. “Ow, hey!” Jensen protests and Chris just rolls his eyes.
“All that self-discoverin’ has fried your brain, son,” Chris snorts.
Jensen can’t sleep with the sound of the waves so close. He gives up after lying on his bed and staring at the ceiling for three hours and goes out to the deck with a beer, moving down the steps far enough that he can dig his toes into the sand. He sees someone down at the water’s edge and he’d know that frame anywhere. Jensen’s about to make a completely non-chickenshit retreat when Jared picks that moment to turn and spot him. Jared raises an arm and Jensen’s not entirely sure if it’s a wave to join him or just a hey, fancy seeing you here but he chooses to regard it as an invitation and wanders down to where the loose sand becomes hard packed and wet under his feet.
The plain and simple fact that he’s been trying to ignore is that he missed the crap out of Jared. It was strange to go from seeing someone everyday to not at all and he’s wondering if he just should have swallowed his pride, stopped trying to be Buddha on the mountaintop about the whole situation and called his friend.
He had also thought that some kind of break might have made dealing with Jared easier but apparently, judging by his behavior thus far, that didn’t exactly pan out either.
The floral shorts are gone and Jared in instead in pajama bottoms and an undershirt. His hair is wet and Jensen’s not sure if he’s just come from the shower or if Jared’s merely run seawater through it. Jared’s smiling but it’s not his million-watt special but instead tentative, almost shy.
Jensen hasn’t known Jared to be shy a day in his life and he’s wondering just what’s going on.
“So is it just me or is this all kinds of awkward?” Jared asks and something they’ve also never been is awkward around each other.
“Yeah man, I don’t know… I’m not sure what’s happened here.”
“I’m sorry, it’s my fault isn’t it?” Jared asks and he’s looking down at his toes.
“How… Jay man, we just had a hard time coming back down to earth is all. Supernatural was intense, it’s own kind of universe in a bottle and we’re adjusting. It’s going to be bumpy.”
“Are you… I mean, are we, y’know, okay?” Jared asks and Jensen puts a hand to Jared’s shoulder and squeezes.
“Of course, man. You’re my best friend.” Jared’s shoulder tenses under his hand and Jensen suddenly feels colder. He’s said something wrong and he doesn’t exactly understand what.
“Yeah, s’what I thought,” Jared sighs and then his warm skin is out from under Jensen’s hand and he’s jogging back towards the house.
“Okay, so this is healthier. You’re with friends,” Angelene says, sounding relieved. She’d been quietly freaking out about Jensen’s alone time and was sounding reassured that he was now back in the land of the living.
“Just tell me you got something other than boy-meets-girl,” Jensen pleads as he hears papers rustling. Angelene has been told in no uncertain terms that she’s not allowed to courier scripts to him at the cabin and has taken to calling him up and reading them over the phone.
“Jensen, I’m just trying to look after you. You need to go a couple of good-will fluffies so that people can adore you and then move into more meatier fare.”
“I don’t want to be adored. I want to do decent stuff.”
“Yes, well, unfortunately we need to reshape you. People are still associating you with blood and guts and we need to aim more for sunshine and puppies so that we can eventually move into the middle ground of grit and determination.”
“I have no idea what you’re saying,” Jensen says and sighs. “Maybe I just need some more time.”
“You have a shelf life, Jensen. Time is slipping away.”
“You don’t understand Angelene, I think I’m having a bit of a crisis at the moment and I need grit and determination as a distraction.” Jensen doesn’t know what possesses him, other than a need to tell somebody when he blurts, “Quite possibly a gay crisis.”
Angelene just snorts indelicately at that. “Hon, you get paid if you go gay for a role, not if you go gay for real.” There’s silence for a few moments and then Angelene says, “Okay, alright. There’s some war thing being shot in Ireland. It’s not a huge part but the director asked for you specifically. No audition.”
“That… actually sounds perfect,” Jensen says and Angelene makes a noise halfway between exasperated and indulgent.
“Well, I guess it doesn’t hurt for people to think that you’re picking and choosing roles that really speak to you or whatever.”
Jensen’s packing when Jared appears in the doorway.
“I thought you were staying the week?” Jared asks and Jensen half-shrugs, trying to force his case closed.
“I gotta get a plane tonight. Apparently I gotta go through boot camp before the shoot.”
“Okay, fine,” Jared says and he’s rubbing his palms off on the front of his jeans, no floral shorts today thank Christ. “I was supposed to have a week to do this but what the hell.” His voice sounds weird and almost too high and Jensen actually puts his hands up when Jared comes at him, not sure what he’s going to do and not expecting at all for Jared to grab him by the shirt front and yank him forward, almost off his feet.
They’re kissing before Jensen knows what’s happening and not kissing anymore before he can catch up, Jared retreating back to the doorway, hands dug deep in his pockets. “So, there’s that,” Jared says brightly and his blush is staining his cheeks and most of his neck. “I figured, what the hell, right? If you weren’t going to talk to me ever again then I could at least do that once and y’know, I’m not sorry, even if you hate me forever because what’s the difference right? I never see you anyway except you’re going to be all over movie screens and billboards but I at least tried and my momma always said-”
“Jared,” Jensen says and Jared shuts up, his mouth closing so fast his teeth clack. “For once in your life, for the love of god please stop talking,” Jensen adds, advancing. Jared’s blushing even more furiously when Jensen gets fingers under his chin and tilts his head up.
“I told you,” Jared says, not able to help himself and Jensen has to laugh. “In no uncertain terms I told you and… nothing.” Jensen’s still got his hands on either side of Jared’s face so thus immobilized, Jared flails his arms to emphasize his frustration. Jensen frowns.
“You told me you had a crush on me three months into knowing me and then I thought you just… got over it,” Jensen says slowly, realizing how monumentally stupid that sounds. It was like Jared had run over to him in the playground and yanked on his pigtail and instead of Jensen giving chase like he was supposed to, possibly bestowing a wet willy as a token of his affection…
Instead he’d stood rooted to the spot, too surprised to react properly.
“Is it too late for that wet willy?” Jensen asks and Jared says, “What?” but Jensen is smiling as he presses closer, hands smoothing down Jared’s arms, trailing off his hands and finally settling on the sharp cut of Jared’s hips just under his shirt. He goes for Jared’s buckle and Jared kind of makes a hysterically high-pitched sound and leans away.
“Hey, shouldn’t we have a first kiss or something?” he says and Jensen shrugs, hands still on Jared’s belt.
“I thought we covered that already,” he dismisses, undoing Jared’s button and zipper and getting inside Jared’s jeans and-
“Hey, ow! Have you ever done this before man, it’s not a squeeze toy!”
“Sorry,” Jensen says, grimacing because he was aiming for suave and apparently came off spaz but Jared’s laughing and it’s one of the deep ones that vibrates through his chest. Jensen just has to lean forward for a moment and absorb it. Jared’s own hands come to rest on Jensen’s collarbones and his thumbs rub almost absently.
“And to think, I only came because Chad begged me.”
“Chad begged you?”
“Yeah, weirdest thing right? I didn’t think he and Chris even got along but apparently he was invited and didn’t want to say no but didn’t want to actually spend any time alone with Chris… what?”
“Those dirty fuckers,” Jensen groans, rolling his forehead on Jared’s shoulder. “Those dirty colluding fuckers.”
“Were we set up?” Jared asks, getting it and Jensen nods, face still pressed to Jared’s skin where the collar of his t-shirt has pulled aside. “Well, you know what this calls for then, don’t you?”
“What?” Jensen asks, finally raising his face to see Jared grinning, dimples carved deep enough to keep change in.
“We get them back.”
“How so?” Jensen asks, starting to grin himself.
“By having completely wild, wall-knockingly loud sex all night. Scar them for life.”
Jensen makes a face like he’s thinking about it and then smiles. “What the hell,” he says.
“Count me in.”