"You know, I really have to apologize, I know that wasn't the best first impression."
Jared gives the Dean a weak smile, which he apparently takes as encouragement.
"Honestly, we have never had a riot on the first day of classes before, I don't know what happened."
"They were chanting about, um, no food?"
"Well, yes, there's no food here," says the Dean, dismissively. "But it's not as if there's no food in the world! There's plenty of food off campus. I just don't see what the fuss is all about, you know?"
"I did, uh, see some fliers," says Jared. "Advertising free lunch on the first day?"
"But is that really worth rioting over? I mean, really, some people just riot at the drop of a--Jensen!"
Given how surreal his day has already been, Jared assumes that "at the drop of a Jensen" is some idiom that literally only exists right here, either only at this school or, possibly, only for this Dean. But instead, someone behind him says, "Yeah?"
The guy looks vaguely familiar, in the kind of way that attractive people sometimes do, like, oh you're so hot, you remind me of the sun. Or something more articulate. Jared's a little distracted. By the hotness.
"This is Jared!" says the Dean. "He is our new History professor. Very last-minute, after the, well, you know. With Professor Roberts. Nothing to worry about, Jared, it definitely wasn't contagious or linked to the building," he adds brightly. "There were tests. Jensen, I was hoping you would give Jared a tour! I have some rioting to deal with. Do you think it would make a bad impression on the new students if I requested tear gas? It's really just so much more efficient."
Jared gives Professor Jensen a pleading look, which must work, because the guy takes pity on him. "Yeah, of course, I'll handle it," he says. "But maybe cool it on the tear gas. If you use that on the first day, what are you going to do when the real riots start?"
Jared's just as glad they leave before he hears the Dean's answer. He's still trying to tell himself large parts of the conversation were a joke. "So, um," he says, rushing after Jensen. "I didn't get your first name."
He glances back and raises his eyebrows. "You did, it's Jensen. You didn't get my last name. That's Ackles."
Jared trips and falls into the guy. "Jensen Ackles?"
"Uh," says Jensen. "Yes. Jensen Ackles."
"It's Jared! Padalecki! I lived down the street from you, right? I mean, that cannot be that common a name. And you look kind of--okay, you are Jensen Ackles who lived in San Antonio, yeah? I'm not totally weirding you out, am I?"
Jensen is smiling vaguely. "No, yeah, I am," he says. "And you can't possibly weird me out more than my life here already does." He shakes his head. "Jared Padalecki, holy shit. It's been, what, twenty years? Last time I saw you you were like one fifth this size. Maybe a tenth. Man, what are you doing here? What have you been eating?"
"Teaching, same as you."
"Yeah, but you're, what, four years younger than me? Like, twenty-eight? That's way too early to have given up on life."
"I haven't given up on life," Jared protests, frowning. "It's not that bad here, is it?"
The look Jensen gives him is not encouraging.
By the time lunch rolls around, Jared is about ready to fall over, and he hasn't even had a class yet. He was mostly just dealing with people who were injured in the riot, because apparently the history department is also a secondary trauma center, like, as a thing. This isn't news. They have a procedure for this shit.
He still hasn't figured out how the old professor died, either. Everyone has just told him it was an isolated incident and it's not anything to worry about. It's the least reassuring thing he's ever heard, no contest.
The thing is, Jared doesn't feel like he's given up on life, but he does feel like this is not where he was hoping to be at this point. He wanted to be a real teacher, one at a university, or even a high school, if he was desperate. Even a middle school. Not a community college with a reputation so bad that there are multiple yelp reviews noting that they only ranked it as highly as they did because it was not possible to give negative stars. And then the Dean responded to those comments bragging that their students know what negative numbers are. And put the reviews on the school's official website. Like this was some kind of evidence it's a good school.
So it's not exactly the kind of job that makes employers think "great teacher." If he's lucky, it's the kind of job that makes them think "the recession has been hard on everyone," but he's not really optimistic.
"Hey." He looks up from his desk, which he has finally cleared of injured students and ice packs. He hasn't gotten books on it yet, but that's the next step. He's got a plan. Jensen is standing in the door with a paper bag and a slightly nervous smile. "I went off campus and got food."
"And no one mugged you for it?" Jared asks.
"They're scared of me." He pulls up a chair and sits down across from Jared, taking burgers and fries out of the bag. "I've been here for a while. I have a reputation."
"How did you manage that? Can you teach me?"
Jensen snorts. "I don't know, man. You're huge, sure, but I remember you, you were, like, the nicest kid on the block. In the entire town. Like a little puppy. Me, I've always been a badass."
"Oh yeah, totally the scariest twelve-year-old ever. You know you bought me ice cream every time I asked, right? Pushover."
"Well, your brother was a dick. Is he still a dick?" He glances sidelong at Jared. "I was hoping he'd grow out of it."
Jared laughs. "He grew out of it, yeah. He's just, like, a moderate dick now. Endearing dick." He takes a few fries. "So, seriously. Am I gonna survive this job?"
Jensen grins, all white teeth, and Jared's heart skips a beat. "Stick with me, kid. I got you."
"So, I'm worried about my syllabus," says Jared.
"Mom?" says Jensen, dry as sandpaper. Apparently Jared is supposed to greet him when he calls or something.
"Shut up," he says. "Hi, Jensen. It's Jared. You told me to call you if I had any problems with anything. We lived on the same street when we were kids? You used to wear Batman underwear. Am I ringing any bells?"
"I still wear Batman underwear," Jensen says. "What's wrong with your syllabus?"
"So, I knew I'd be covering a lot of different periods in this position, but this class is just called Non-History. The first day summary is "Time begins. Class discussion: Where did the universe come from? Homework: Draw a picture of who you think made it!" And then there's a recipe for the cocktail they should be drinking while they do it."
"Right," says Jensen, like he's still waiting for the weird part of this. He finally catches on. "Oh. Well, the Dean says we have to teach the controversy. And since the science teachers wouldn't do it, he stuck creationism in history."
"We spend a week on our favorite dinosaurs! And then I think we spend the rest of the semester watching every episode of The Flintstones. This is a joke, right?"
"Greendale is a joke, yeah." There's an uncomfortably long pause. "That is a real syllabus," he adds. "You are expected to teach it."
"It's called Non-History!"
"Truth in advertising."
"What do you teach again?"
"Is that the subject or the class?"
Jared gives it a second, but finally he says, "Bull."
Jensen's laugh is the best thing he's ever heard. "Yeah, you got me. Math classes have real names. Algebra. Geometry. Arithmetic."
"Hey, no one said you had to keep the old syllabus." There's another pause, and then he says, "Tell you what, I'll grab some pizza, come over, and help you get all of Professor Roberts' weird shit in order. No charge."
"Really?" asks Jared.
"Just tell me your address."
There's only so much they can do to save Non-History, but Jared manages to find an angle ("I'm really going to be sad when Greendale destroys you," Jensen muses) and actually ends up feeling good about the whole night.
If part of that is Jensen's thigh, warm and solid against his as they sit on the couch, well. He's still a good teacher. Just a good teacher with a spot of childhood hero worship. It'll pass.
"You know, when I signed up for this class, I was told we would just be watching every episode of The Flintstones," says Alona Tal, two weeks into Non-History. Jared likes her; she's sharp and funny and actually seems to care. He feels a little bad for screwing up what was obviously supposed to be her blow-off class, except that he can't actually feel bad for replacing The Flintstones with real stuff.
"Well, that's what you get for not reading the revised syllabus," says Jared breezily. "Cry more."
"No one says that anymore. You're old and out of touch."
"Thanks, means the world to me."
She opens her mouth to continue, but Jensen comes up behind her, looking panicked. "You guys are going to want to run."
"Uh," says Jared, but Alona is on top of things.
"Code red?" she asks.
"Uh," says Jared, more insistently.
"Purple means the Dean is looking for--" Alona starts, but the Dean shows up before she can finish. She glares at Jared, like it's his fault no one taught him threat-level codes.
"Jared! Jensen! Alona! My three favorite people! Wonderful!"
"I have a thing," Jensen and Alona say together.
"Oh, nonsense," says the Dean. "You three are perfect. A trifecta of power. This is really going to work?"
"What's going to work?" asks Jared, and this time Alona and Jensen glare at him.
"I'm so glad you asked!" he says. "Now, do any of you have any experience with animal husbandry?"
"I'm allergic," Alona says immediately.
"To what?" asks Jensen.
"Literally everything with fur. And now that you know," she tells the Dean, "if you expose me to an animal I can sue. I warned you."
"Okay, you're dismissed." Jared hasn't seen anyone move that quickly in a while. Alona should be on the track team. Assuming Greendale has a track team. He's not even sure Greendale has a track. "Jensen, Jared, how are you with animals?"
Jensen and Jared exchange a look; Jensen inclines his head in a universal gesture of, well, if you must.
"I'm not bad with animals," says Jared.
"Not bad with animals!" Jensen says, five hours and three beers later. "Jesus Christ, what is wrong with you?"
"I thought he meant, like--animals! Dogs and cats and even, like, horses! I know how to ride a horse! I could have handled a horse! Why would it be a possum?"
"Why wouldn't it be a possum?" Jensen says. "This is Greendale! It's fucking always a possum! That should be our school motto. Is there a problem? It's a possum!"
"How many other times has it been a possum?" Jared asks, not sure he really wants the answer. Jensen just pulls out his phone and silently navigates to-- "Isitapossum.com?"
"Aldis made it a few years ago. Every time an animal is found causing trouble on Greendale's campus, he updates this site to reflect whether or not it's a possum."
The current count is possum twenty-eight, not possum, four.
"Dog, gopher, monkey, bat," Jensen says, counting off on his fingers. "We ended up just giving the gopher the gym. No one wanted to fight him for it."
"At what point does this start feeling normal? And how can I avoid it?"
"You can not have another beer," says Jensen. "But, downside, you won't get another beer."
"Are you buying?"
"You expect me to buy? You're the one who said you were good with animals! You should be buying me drinks until the end of time." Jared just pouts at him until he sighs and gets up. "Okay. But just this once."
"That's what you used to say about buying me ice cream."
"Yeah, well. Fuck you too."
By Halloween, Jared is feeling--well, comfortable might be a strong word. He's feeling as if he's not going to die of whatever mysterious ailment may or may not have killed the previous history teacher, which is something, at least. His Non-History class has gotten over their disappointment about not getting to watch The Flintstones, and his actual history classes seem to be somewhat educational and successful.
And then there's Jensen. Jared knows, intellectually, that he should not be counting his childhood crush as more important than his career, but--he likes Jensen a lot. And it's really nice to see him again. And have lunch with him. And drinks on Fridays. And sometimes poker games.
Okay, so it's not getting laid or anything, but it's nice. Fun. Comfortable. And, yes, he might be slowly losing his entire sense of reality, but at least it's a paycheck. And a friend.
"So, what are you wearing?" Jensen asks, coming into Jared's office with lunch.
Jared looks down at himself. "You know, I'm all for phone sex, but it makes a lot less sense when we're not on the phone. But, you know, khakis, dress shirt, wacky tie."
Jensen snorts. "Thanks, hot stuff. I was actually asking about the dance tonight."
"There's a dance tonight?"
"Of course. Halloween. The first of our five dances."
"Why is this so surprising? Didn't your college have dances?"
"Yeah, but we also had food and no riots. And no one went to the school-sanctioned dances. Especially not the professors."
"Since two weeks ago when the chaperone list went up," says Jensen slowly. "You didn't know?"
"I didn't know there was a dance, how would I know there was a chaperone list?"
"Well, you're going to need a costume." He pauses. "And a flask. You own a flask, right? Maybe two flasks."
"You make this sound so appealing."
"There's a reason they don't ask for volunteers to chaperone anymore."
"What are you going to wear?" Jared asks.
"I'm going as a policeman," Jensen says, grinning. "Historically, once people get drunk enough, I've been able to convince them I'm the real deal. Which comes in handy once things get out of control."
"I'm concerned you say this as a when, not if, thing."
Jensen gives him a supremely unimpressed look. "You've been here for, what, two months? Come on, Padalecki. You should know the drill."
"I keep hoping that it's going to change."
"Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity."
"Yeah, uh, I feel like insanity has been redefined since I started working here," Jared says dryly. "I saw some students trying to bring back prohibition the other day. Just to Greendale."
Jensen pales. "They weren't getting any interest, were they?" he asks. "I need booze to work here. Like, a lot. I might have a problem."
"You definitely have a lot of problems, but the booze is safe, yeah." He sighs. "So, what exactly do I do as a chaperone? Make sure consenting adults aren't dancing too closely together? Prevent riots? Drink myself into a stupor?"
"Dude, you should know by now, we don't even try to prevent riots, we just try to mitigate them." Jensen shrugs. "Mostly we're just there to keep an eye on stuff, help with any issues, make sure the stereo system doesn't break. It's not rocket science. Oh, and we show up early to help with setup. Dance starts at 9, you should come around 8."
"So I'm mostly just hanging out at a dance with you," Jared says, feeling suddenly better about the entire thing.
"With flasks," Jensen says. "Seriously. Don't forget the flasks. We're going to need those."
Jared spends most of his afternoon obsessing about what to wear, which he'd worry about, except that his students aren't paying attention either. So at least he's in good company.
"Are you coming to the dance tonight?" Alona asks him, as they're leaving class.
"Yes, apparently I'm chaperoning." He gives her a hard look. "Wait, why do you ask?"
Alona grins. "Professor Ackles is going."
"Oh god, you're scheming, aren't you," says Jared, groaning. "I've seen that look. That's a scheming look. What are you planning to do? Keep in mind I can fail you. I'm corrupt. I'll do it."
"You're a puppy," says Alona. "You'd never do that. And I'm not planning anything. I was just curious! You two are such good friends, it's sweet. And he talks about you."
Jared can feel himself getting drawn into middle-school discourse, but he is going to a Halloween dance, so that's really the level his life is at right now. "Wait, he does? What does he say?"
Alona smirks. "Oh my god, you're adorable. You should ask him to be your date."
"I'm not twelve, Alona. Also--" He makes a face. "You know what? I don't have to justify myself to you. Go away."
Her smirk just widens. "See you tonight, Professor Padalecki. Wear something cute."
Jared shows up at the cafeteria at 8. In the interim he found a costume (cowboy, which he's pretty sure is the same costume he wore the last Halloween he spent with Jensen), bought a flask, ate dinner, and fretted about his hair more than he really should, but he feels like he looks nice.
For a college dance. That's he's chaperoning.
Yeah, this is his life now.
"Well hey there, cowboy," Jensen says, which is enough to make Jared regret literally every choice he has ever made. It must show on his face, because he adds, "Dude, you look nice, don't worry. Very hot."
"Oh," says Jared. He grins. "Yeah."
Jensen snorts and shakes his head. "Trying to impress someone?"
Jared doesn't reply, just looks around. "So, we're decorating?"
"Very smooth. Yeah, we're decorating. The Dean did a poll to see what Greendale was most afraid of, so our theme is Possums in the Future. He decided it was too depressing that Greendale students were most afraid of the future, so he combined the top two fears," he clarifies, at Jared's look.
"So we're having a Possums in the Future dance," says Jared. "Uh--are you sure an hour is enough for these decorations?"
"I drew a bunch of possums in sunglasses," says Jensen. "We just need to stick them up, and then there's some tinsel. The future is silver, right? That's what I learned growing up in the 80s."
Jared snorts. "So--tinsel and drawings of possums in sunglasses?"
"And a bowl of really fucking alcoholic punch," says Jensen, grinning and holding up a bottle of rum. "Nothing makes people forget that they're at a shitty community college dance like alcohol."
"Which is why I have a flask?"
"Exactly," says Jensen. "Gimme."
"What, you didn't bring your own?"
"I like sharing. Come on, Padalecki, don't hold out on me."
Jared takes a generous swig from the flask before he hands it over to Jensen. "Okay," he says, once he's got it back. "Where are these space possums?"
He can't really say the cafeteria looks futuristic, but it is kind of terrifying, in the way that looking directly into the abyss would be terrifying. He feels like he's seeing into a world of madness.
"Have you considered--I don't know. Therapy? Figuring out if you have some sort of deep-seated possum issues?"
"You've seen isitapossum.com," says Jensen. "There's nothing to figure out. I've been bitten by four possums. On the bright side, I can't get rabies for another four months."
"What about sunglasses?"
"I'm just really bad at drawing. Fuck you."
"No, no, I can totally tell what they are. That takes real talent. They're just really disturbing."
Jensen gives him the finger. "Just drink the fucking punch and shut up."
An hour later, Jared is pleasantly buzzed and arguing with Alona, Orsic, Aldis, and Gen about how quickly Firefly would have gone wrong if it didn't get canceled. There have been no crises, and barely even any excitement. It feels like a party at a regular place, which he should have recognized for the warning sign it was.
The song ends, and Jared hears someone tapping on a microphone. His stomach drops when he sees the Dean up there, dressed as--well, Jared's not totally sure, but he's going to go with cyberpunk Little Bo Peep. "Attention students, in honor of our Halloween theme, I've decided we should play a little game."
"That's going to end well," Gen mutters.
"Remember the freeze tag game last Easter?" Aldis shoots back.
"Only every time it rains."
"Laser tag!" says the Dean. "Winner gets a gift certificate for $500."
There's a pause, and then Osric yells, "Where's the gift certificate for?"
"It better not be Dean hugs again," Gen adds.
"No, it is not any company I own. It is for Best Buy."
Alona, Osric, Aldis, and Gen exchange a look. There's history here. They have plans for this kind of thing.
"You can get your guns up here," the Dean continues, stepping aside, and there's a stampede for rifles.
"Come on," Jensen hisses, suddenly at Jared's side. "This is going to get ugly."
"What do you mean?"
"Freeze tag," says Jensen, pulling Jared out of the cafeteria and into the hallway. He glances around, grabs a trashcan, and pulls it over to beneath an air-conditioning vent, which he removes.
"Are you serious right now?" Jared asks.
"Trust me, you are not ready for this," Jensen tells him. He pats the trashcan. "Come on, get up there before it gets crazy."
"When you're climbing into a fucking air vent, it's already crazy," Jared mutters, but he climbs in. Jensen follows him, and Jared can hear him kick the trashcan away and put the vent back. "Can't you not even play laser tag without a vest?"
"You'd be surprised," says Jensen. He pushes Jared, and Jared starts crawling farther into the vent. It's surprisingly spacious, all things considered. "That's a nice prize. People get kind of intense."
"But not you?"
Jensen glances back behind them. "Gotta make sure you don't get yourself hurt," he says.
Jared smiles to himself. "Just like when we were kids, right?"
Jensen snorts. "Yeah, right. Just like that. Push that vent out."
"The vent on your left. Push it out and get out. You're gonna kill your shoulders. And your back. I'm amazed you even fit in here."
"Is it safe?" asks Jared. "I thought we were hiding."
"I know how to get to my office from every vent on campus," says Jensen. "And because it's my office, it's locked and safe. There's a fucking bar on my door. I've learned my lesson."
Jared slides out, hitting a chair that's perfectly positioned for vent access. This is definitely something Jensen's done before. Probably a lot. Everything about Jensen's life is terrifying. Jensen slides out behind him and peeks through the blinds on the window in his door. Then he jumps back and gives Jared a sheepish smile. "Yeah, we're gonna be here a while."
"You know your life is, like, what I used to have nightmares about, right?"
"It's your life too," Jensen points out.
Jared considers this for a long moment, and then pulls out his flask. "Do you have cards?"
They play a few rounds of drunk poker, which is the worst game Jared's friend Chad ever came up with. They bet with the number of shots they're willing to do, and generally get so shitfaced within four hands that they can't actually count anymore, which is pretty much the point of drinking games.
"How are you not dead?" Jensen asks, after the third game. He's still slightly sober. Very slightly. "How often do you play this? You're going to die! Of alcohol poisoning!"
"Oh I'm going to die?" asks Jared. "Dude, you work here!"
Jensen breaks out laughing. "You work here too!"
"Yeah, but, I'm, like--new! And you're still trying to be my big brother. Which is creepy now, because you're really hot, and shorter than me, and--hot. So. Yeah. You should stop doing that."
Jensen snorts. "Which, trying to be your big brother or being hot? I think I'm stuck being shorter than you."
Jared rolls his eyes. "Being my big brother. You can't stop being hot. You're Jensen."
"Hotness is just an intrinsic part of me," Jensen says, laughing.
"Yeah, but it is," Jared insists. "You were, like, the hottest thing ever when I was a kid. I worshiped you, man."
"Glad I can charm pre-teens." He slants a look at Jared. "You were eight. I was twelve. Not sure which part of that's grosser."
"Shut up! You're such an asshole. I don't--" He pauses when there's some screaming and crashing outside. "Uh," he says, trying to regain his train of thought. "Do we need to worry about that?"
"Nah, they'll be fine. Tell me more about how hot I am."
"Fuck you, you know you're hot. Right? You're not one of those people who look in the mirror and don't actually see themselves, right?"
Jared snorts and flops over onto Jensen's shoulder. "We might be too drunk to talk."
"Maybe. Wanna make out?"
Jared gives him a wary look. "No," he says slowly. It feels like it could be a trick question. He's not going to be fooled. "I'm gonna pass out on you."
"Huh." Jensen yawns and stretches. "Well, hey, your call."
It all seems weird to Jared, but it's been a weird day, and he's tired, and Jensen isn't pushing him away or anything, so instead of worrying about it, he just passes out.
Way better life plan.
Jared wakes up to a pounding on Jensen's door, and a pounding in his head, and then a loud thunk. He opens his eye in time to see the textbook Jensen threw at the door hit the ground.
"Go away!" Jensen shouts.
"It's too early for you to be this loud," Jared grumbles.
"Tell whoever's outside that. They started it."
"Come out with your hands up!" someone says from outside.
"We're not playing, dumbass," Jensen says.
"That's what they all say."
Jensen groans and disentangles himself from Jared, picking up the textbook he threw and opening the door. Jared vaguely recognizes the kids in the hallway, but he's too tired to remember who they are. They have black lines under their eyes and they're wearing camo. He hopes those are Halloween costumes, and that they didn't change for the laser tag. That would be weird.
"We are not playing," Jensen says, gesturing to himself and Jared. "No vests, no guns, terrible hangovers. If you aren't out of here in five seconds, I'm going to smack you in the faces with this book," he adds, holding it up. "We clear?"
The kids nod, and Jensen gives them a sunny smile before closing and locking the door. "Jesus christ." His smile turns sheepish as he looks at Jared. "Uh, morning. Sorry about--that."
Jared shrugs and stretches. "Not your fault. Thanks for taking care of it. You're the best mentor ever."
"I thought I was your big brother. Your hot big brother," he adds, with a smirk.
Jared tries not to flush and completely fails. "I was very drunk," he says. "You aren't allowed to remember things I say when I'm drunk. There are friend rules."
"No, no," says Jensen, laughing and leaning against his desk. "I want to talk about how hot I am."
"Ego much?" Jared asks, but he's pretty sure he's still blushing. He's a grownup. He's not supposed to blush. He does his own taxes. It's ridiculous.
"It's okay, I am really hot," Jensen says. "We had a Valentine's Day contest last year to win a date with me, it got pretty heated."
"Oh my god, don't tell me there was a riot about how hot you were," Jared says. "There was a riot, wasn't there?"
"Someone released possums into the cafeteria. It got pretty bad. We almost had to write it off like the gym, but it turns out Greendale students care more about food than rabies."
"Good to know," says Jared. "Kind of."
"But I doubt it'll be a problem this year. No one's even gonna notice me with you being all tall and fucking ripped with your stupid dimples and--" He waves his hand. "Everything."
"Uh," says Jared, smile growing on his own face. "Is this your way of saying you think I'm hot?"
"Well, if you want to be direct about it." His lip twitches up into a grin. "Dude, I fought a possum for you. That's not subtle."
"That's not a thing!" Jared objects, laughing. "I don't know how to flirt at Greendale. It's not, like, you're hot, do you want to make out, it's like--you're hot, there's a contest to date you, someone released possums in the cafeteria."
"Yes," says Jensen, but his tone is strange. Jared raises his eyebrows. "Yes, I want to make out," he clarifies. "You could have just asked. It's not that weird here."
"Yes it is. It is that weird"
Jensen ignores him. "Also, I asked you to make out last night, and you shot me down. I should be pissed. That hurt for like five minutes until I passed out.
"I thought it was a trick question," says Jared, pushing himself off the floor with an effort. His body still hates him, but things are definitely looking up. "I was pretty drunk."
"Yeah, okay." Jensen's looking up at him, all wide green eyes and expectation, and Jared leans in when--
Someone bangs on the door again.
"I swear to fucking god I will shiv you!" Jensen yells.
"Fuck you, Ackles!" It's Alona, Jared is pretty sure. "Zip up your pants and come celebrate! I won, breakfast is on me! We're leaving campus and getting fucking waffles! Bring your boyfriend!"
Jared laughs, leaning in and resting his forehead against Jensen's shoulder. "So, yeah. Rain check?"
"Rain check," Jensen agrees. "At least we're getting waffles."
"At least there's that."
The waffles are good, and they don't have to go back to school until Tuesday, because there's some kind of possum attack that shuts down four buildings. Jared doesn't get details; all he knows is it's an extra day to spend in bed with Jensen. It's probably a bad sign that he's gotten to the point where he accepts "possum attack" as a valid reason to cancel a day of classes, but given how his life is going, he finds he doesn't really care.
He's sleeping in.