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Forever is a Lonely Number

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22-26

At an audition of all places.

One handshake, a dimpled grin, and he’s being pulled into a big hug before he can even get out his first, “Hey – oof - Jared.”

0-0-0

The hugs don’t stop. They turn into whole minute affairs, pressed tight chest-to-chest - they get handsier. The first time, Jensen swats Jared’s hands away. The secondthirdfourthfifth time, he lets those large palms settle onto his ass, teasing and bold the way Jared always is. Jensen has to catch himself, has to slow them down, pace it out even if Jared doesn’t know the meaning of the word.

Despite his efforts, it seems they’ve skipped fast friends, and barrelled straight to J-squared. There’s a fandom and fanfiction and everything. Jared has some printed out in his trailer, reads the best (aka naughtiest) parts when Jensen’s stuck in the make-up chair, trying not to make faces. It’s funny, having strangers coo whenever they smile at each other, coming up with their own happily-ever-afters. It makes him nervous how spot on some of them are – there’s a particular story, where they’re barefooted farm boys in the early 1900’s that Jared recites with glee – that strikes a chord, sends a shiver right through him. He watches Jared carefully after that one, the way he smooths out the paper and tapes it to the cabinet door.

Downright eerie.

Right now, he has a real, live Jay hanging off him at all hours of the day. They’re wearing matching friendship bracelets. He’s met Jared’s mama. Twice.

(Slow Jared down, yeah fucking right).

They’re on set, waiting for the crew to set the scene, and Jared is fiddling with his phone, trying to find this video he just knows Jensen will love. His brows are furrowed in concentration and once in a while he looks up through his bangs to make sure Jensen is still waiting with bated breath.

Jensen’s more patient than Jared knows.

0-0-0

“Ya know, you’re my best friend,” Jared slurs into his ear, Jensen tucked underneath his arm as Jared nuzzles the side of his neck. Jensen might just be a little gone himself, because he doesn’t move away when soft lips brush against his jaw. “The bestest. Ya know?”

The heavy, unfamiliar weight of a watch on Jensen’s arm gives him some sort of clue. Jared constantly plastering himself to Jensen’s back is the other.

“Yeah, Jay. I know.”

“Happy birthday to youuuuu,” Jared sings, pulling away slightly so Jensen could see the glowing pink just above his dimples. He’s a tad off-key but the music in the pub is too loud, and everyone at the table is quickly on their way towards Too Drunk to Care.

Jared’s hand is surprisingly steady with the lighter, and Jensen hears the quiet snicksnick before the flame appears at the tip. Soon, the cake is alight with phallic candles making up all the colours of the rainbow.

Flaming penises. Good God. They were less embarrassing in the packaging.

“Hurry up and blow ‘em,” someone yells. “We all know you want to.”

They have to stop Mike from climbing over the table to blow out the candles before Jensen can, and things get a little crazy when some drunk Canadian trips over Jared.

But at the end of the night, Jensen’s pressed up against the wall next to his hotel room door, Jared murmuring ten, eleven, twelve under his breath as he (drunkenly) determinedly gives Jensen his 27 birthday kisses.

After number 27, Jensen doesn’t let him go, just buries his fingers into Jared’s hair and kisses him long enough for several lifetimes.

It’s his birthday, after all.


26-26

“God, Jensen.”

Jensen groans, trying to roll away from questing hands. He can already tell it’s way too early to be awake.

So of course Jared is.

“Look at you. Always so fucking pretty.”

He’s chasing sleep back into the fluffy white covers, but it escapes him when Jared’s hand finds Jensen’s cock, long, languid pumps that send shivers of pleasure up his spine. Jared wraps his arms around Jensen then, pulling his back flush against Jared’s front.

Goddamn Jared. Always waking him up, always playing so fucking dirty.

Jensen scoots back so Jared’s grinding into him with slow, rocking movements, enjoying this quiet, Nowhere-Else-We-Gotta-Be time where they can just lose themselves in each other. Teeth nip along the nape of Jensen’s neck, latching onto the slope of his shoulder and working at the skin there. With the pleasure from Jared’s hand sparking along his body, echoing through his limbs, it’s all Jensen can do not to melt into the complete feeling of Jared all around him.

Jared’s got the bulk to go with his height now, all that time at the gym clear within the large, defined muscles beneath Jensen’s fingertips. His hair’s longer, the dimples are deeper – half his clothes don’t fit anymore. Jensen’s boy is growing up.

Soon, Jared’s making breathy ‘mmn’s and ‘ahh’s resonating chest-deep and Jensen knows he’s close.

Turning over in Jared’s hold, he presses a small kiss to his lips. Despite frowning at the lost friction, Jared immediately falls forward for more.

The big doof had always loved kissing.

He obliges for a few moments before using his legs to nudge Jared between them, hooking his ankles behind Jared’s lower back.

“M’still a bit open from last night.” It’s needless goading, especially with the way he’s rubbing their dicks together, but it’s worth it for the way Jared’s eyes go dark and hungry.

When Jared sinks into him, thick cock stretching Jensen wide all over again, he can’t help but push back into it, loving every thrust, each moment of fullness.

Jared’s burning him up from the inside, shoving himself deep and hard enough to send Jensen past the pillows and into the headboard of their king-sized bed. A big hand cushions the blow, catching him before Jensen can collide with it. Jared’s smile is sheepish; it’s an apology dripping with wonder and lust and Jensen’s all but lost in it when Jared cups his face reverently.

There’s so much love in his eyes that Jensen feels like he’s drowning, needs an eternity just to comprehend the depth of emotion that Jared possesses. As their hips speed up, Jensen can’t hold out any longer, and he lets it overwhelm him and they fall together.

He’s had these thoughts before, but it doesn’t compare to having them whispered into his ears, his mouth, his skin.

I want this. Just this. Forever.


30-26

Jensen comes home after a late night of shooting to find Jared still awake, sitting on their leather sectional. There are frames and photo albums scattered on the coffee table, and there’s one propped open on his lap.

“Jay? What’s –“

“Aliens.”

That stops Jensen short.

“Excuse me?”

“Or vampires. Which one is it?”

Jensen scoffs, toeing off his shoes and walking across the living room to where Jared’s sitting. “Is this that Twilight shit again because I’m telling you –“

He’s interrupted by Jared’s hand which is holding out two photos. Jared looks away with a frown, before turning back to him with wide, hopeful eyes. Raising an eyebrow at his boyfriend, Jensen takes them.

Jensen’s lips quirk up as he examines the photos. One’s of the time they first moved in together five years ago, in front of the house that Jared found (even though he strut around like he built the place – granted, it had been pretty perfect for them). Jared had set up the tripod in the yard, running back as the camera blinked its countdown. In the photo it’s Jared’s arm around Jensen and they’re wearing matching grins – two happy, young homeowners.

The second photo is more recent - the two of them dressed up for Jensen’s birthday just last week, where Jared took him to a new fancy steakhouse they’d been dying to try. Jared’s arm is around him yet again, with Jensen’s arm around his waist, hand on his hip. Same, happy grins.

“You look the same.”

Jensen takes a deep breath, staring squarely at the photographs. “Do I? My hair was a lot lighter back then –“

“Jensen it’s been eight years, and you look the exactly same as you did when I first met you.”

“What can I say? Some people are just blessed –“

“Jensen.”

All this time, he still doesn’t know how to have this conversation. He sinks onto the couch next to Jared, running a hand through his short hair. “You know, sometimes you don’t ask,” he tells him quietly.

“Sometimes?”

“Yeah.”

“We’ve met before.” Jared concludes, studying him for a moment before bursting out with, “I knew it! That’s why you seemed so familiar. Like I already loved you, even back then.” He shakes his head. “But I don’t remember.”

“You never remember.”

“What? But that’s fucked up I can’t –“

Jensen takes Jared’s larger hand into his, leaning in until his lips brush against Jared’s ear, Jared’s longer strands of hair tickling his face. He whispers in the old language, one that neither of them can speak or comprehend, but he knows the words by heart, like a song. There’s so much he doesn’t know. This is the only explanation Jensen can offer his soulmate.

Jared blinks at him as he pulls away. Regardless what the words are, they must still mean something to the two of them. Must still resonate with each other. He can tell Jared’s confused, but calmer, more settled. It works every time.

“So not an alien then.”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Vampire?”

Jensen can’t help but laugh. “Did you have a preference?”

“Oh, I didn’t really care, I was going to do this either way.”

Jared gets down onto one knee.

“I love you Jensen Ackles, Un-aging Mystery Man of the Universe. Marry me?”



45-26

“Jared, please talk to me? It’s our anniversary.”

Jared turns back to face him after pulling his scarf off to hang in their bedroom closet, but he’s still wearing that frown. “What?”

The catering staff had just left after taking care of all the dishes, blowing out the table candles and retrieving all of their equipment. The dinner was lovely, one of the best Jensen’s ever had, he’s sure, if he could have tasted a single bite of it with Jared brooding across the table.

They’ve long since quit acting, Jared happily following Jensen into seclusion after a few tabloid speculation articles hit a little too close to home. They’ve been laying low, Jensen essentially housebound until the media’s short term memory kicks in.

Even then, it’s surprising what people see when they don’t want to accept the impossible. The theories of Jensen’s death, and Jared’s affairs with a young, look-a-like never fail to amuse them.

Jared is holding himself stiffly, and he’s looking everywhere but at Jensen.

“Jay, what’s wrong?” Jensen takes off his jacket, and starts unbuttoning his dress shirt.

“I don’t know Jen, why don’t you tell me?” Jared almost growls. “That waiter wouldn’t stop looking at you or touching you every damn chance he got.”

“Really? That’s what this is about? He’s just a kid Jay –“

“And so are you!”

Baffled silence hangs in the air. Jared’s hair is a mess after he’s pulled off his shirt, revealing that beloved toned torso, with just a hint of beer belly. Jensen thinks he might just understand.

“You saying you’ve outgrown me?” Jensen asks, chin lifted up in challenge. He knows the answer, but Jared needs to understand.

“No! Fuck, of course not,” Jared says. “But god, Jensen, I already look twice your age – the doctor says I have high cholesterol and I have to dye my hair every other month. Look at you – you’re - you could have anyone.”

“I’m married, Jay,” Jensen reminds him gently, and when Jared huffs, he continues on, “So the word ‘soulmate’ means nothing to you?”

He lets his dress shirt slip to the ground, tucking his fingers beneath Jared’s belt buckle and leading them to the bed. With a firm push, Jared ends up on his back, knees hanging off the bed. Jensen climbs on, straddling him as he goes.

“Of course it does.” There’s pleading in Jared’s eyes now, and when Jensen shifts his hips he feels evidence of the arousal age has yet to steal from his husband.

“But… I’m getting old.” Jared says it like some night confession, his fear clinging to his words, waiting to come alive if he voices them. “Don’t want to leave you. Don’t want you to be alone.” And then, more quietly, “Don’t want you to find someone else.”

“You idiot.” Jensen’s face is heating up, has to breathe low and deep so that his voice doesn’t crack. Typical fucking Jared. “For one thing, 45 is not old. And you’re not leaving me anytime soon, Gigantor. Not if I can help it. And I’m not leaving you. ”

Jensen moves again, a slow grind of his hips that has the back of Jared’s head hitting the mattress. He can undo Jared’s pants with one hand. Hell, he could probably do it with his mouth at point.

So he does.

Jared is practically a mess on the bed by the time Jensen’s done. He stands up to make quick work of his own pants, making sure Jared’s watching when he reveals the lacy, black panties he had put on earlier that night. He does a bit of a turn, spreads his bowlegs because he knows Jared loves them.

“Not so bad having a young lover, now is it?”

Jared makes noises like he’s dying and he sits up, pushing his pants and underwear half-way down his thighs, exposing his hard, leaking dick.

He’s panting, looking at Jensen like he wants to devour him. “All through dinner – with all those people, fuck –“

Jensen sits astride Jared’s lap. Lowering himself with slow, swaying hips so Jared can see the way his dick peeks out the top of the black panties, how the silk covers his balls. He stops, moving just above Jared’s hips so that the soft lace rubs up against Jared’s cock.

Long, greedy fingers dig into Jensen’s ass, squeezing and pulling apart before rubbing over Jensen’s lube-slicked hole. Jared moans, his voice rough with how turned on he is. “Holy shit, it’s you, you’re going to give me a heart attack from being so sexy and you’re going to kill me.”

Jared pushes the panties to the side, so that he can rub the head of his cock onto Jensen’s bare entrance, using the leaking slick to ease his way. He gets the wide tip of himself inside then stops with a groan, resting his forehead on Jensen’s shoulder.

“Jensen wait. How can you be okay with all this? How –“He’s cut off when Jensen sinks completely down onto his cock. “Fuck.”

Jensen begins to ride him, using his knees for leverage and encouraging Jared to push him down, thrust up. They work out their rhythm pretty quickly, and Jensen is so close, the panties completed soaked as he rocks onto Jared. Fingers clutching at Jared’s shoulders when Jensen comes, tightening up and shuddering on top of him. Jared bucks wildly, shoving upwards a few more times before reaching his peak.

They’re breathless, Jared clinging to Jensen’s back, and Jensen hasn’t relinquished his hold on Jared either. He grabs Jared’s face, and kisses him hard, stealing what little breath he’d regained. Breaking away with a wet snick, he brings their foreheads together, promising low and clear.

“Because I will always find you, dumbass.”


81-26

Jared’s sleeping. He’s been doing that a lot lately, needing to rest longer after their walks. They’ve got one of those fancy beds installed in their master bedroom, and it reclines so that Jared can sit up without straining himself. No matter what the doctor says, he’s always trying to reach for things, his glasses, his books, Jensen.

It’s quiet in the room, save for the beeping of the heart monitor.

The homecare nurse checks in on them, and Jensen pretends to sleep, tucked into Jared’s side, using his body to hide their laced fingers from view. As far as the staff know, he’s just the overly-attached godson.

She bustles around the room, checking the machine and writing down his vitals from the monitor before leaving.

Jared, the sneak, opens his eyes once she’s gone. Beaming when he spots Jensen at his side.

“Always so beautiful, Jen.”

Jared’s hair is thin, completely white and wispy now. His face is wrinkled but they’re mostly laughter lines – something Jensen is privately proud of. Jensen sits up carefully, pressing a firm kiss against paper-thin lips. “Right back atcha, Jay.”


26

The house feels big and empty. All the staff are gone now.

His eyes are still wet, tired and sore, and his head aches from how long it’s spent stuck to a pillow these past few weeks. He hasn’t turned the heat on, or the lights. He’s just a ghost, cocooned in peach blankets that trail behind him as he journeys into the kitchen for coffee.

He doesn’t glance at the pictures on the wall or anywhere else in the house for that matter.

Everywhere he looks he sees Jared.

He retreats to the bedroom with his cup, and his cocoon, climbing onto the left of the bed, hoping to dream of days when a certain gigantor would laughingly nudge him back to his rightful side.

0-0-0

This is how it feels every time. And it’s difficult no matter what he does – there’s never an easy way to lose Jared.

The idea strikes him randomly, out of the blue, probably borne out of his longing for his very own happily-ever-after.

Jared’s tablet is still on the bedside table, and Jensen reaches for it, taking it back with him underneath the covers. He doesn’t care much for the outside world, but right now he just needs… something else.

He smiles at the screensaver – a scene from their wedding, just after the exchange of rings – and he punches in 0-3-0-1 to unlock it, hastily wiping his face on the bedsheets.

There aren’t many apps – one for books, one for news, and a few others Jensen doesn’t recognize.

Launching the browser, the search bar cursor blinks steadily at him.

He stares at it for a few seconds, then raises an unsteady hand to type in ‘S-P-N-J-2’.


0-26

Jensen puts his bag away, making sure to clip his nametag onto his scrubs before leaving the locker room. He’s only recently graduated, and he was lucky enough to land this job right away. He likes it enough, there’s always lots to do, always people to help - it keeps him busy.

Heading up to the ward, he rounds the corner to take a look at the patient whiteboard, takes note of the new names.

“Oi Ackles, keep an eye on 4, 5, and 9 for me will you? Should’ve gone for my break hours ago.” Jensen nods absently and waves Eddie off, before slipping quietly into the nursery.

There aren’t many babies here right now – most of them likely with their parents. After checking in on number 4, Unnamed, he moves onto number 5, and stops abruptly in front of the crib.

There. Little white label, and in shiny black marker: Jared.

And it’s ridiculous to act this way every time he sees the name, but his heart flips over and he can’t help peeking into the crib.

The baby is quiet and burbling up at him when he comes into view. Jensen reaches down when the smallest fingers grab onto his pinky, tight grip for a day or two old. It’s ridiculous, but Jensen smiles, vision blurring, his world feels right again.

“Hey Jared.”