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"The Novikov Self-Consistency Principle"

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'Whoa. Strange.'

'Understatement.'

Jacob grabbed the first heavy object at hand – a hefty hardcover copy of Advanced Electromagnetic Analysis of Passive and Active Planar Structures (first edition) – and reeled at the strange voices in the room.

Standing in the doorway between his livingroom and his kitchen, Jacob saw two men. One was scruffy and unshaven, looked like his clothes had been slept in. The other was neatly turned out in a cheap suit and a tie fixed with a schoolboy-knot, like he was on his way to a family wedding or funeral. The former looked about Jacob's age; mid-thirties. The latter was younger, maybe just out of college. What they both had in common was how disturbingly alike they looked, and how equally disturbingly they looked like Jacob himself.

'This,' Jacob said slowly, lowering the heavy volume of Rozzi & Farina, 'cannot be good.'

The scruffy guy grinned a little too hard, making Jacob wonder vaguely if the dude was stoned, and asked the sort of question only strangers in the stories told by callers into Jacob's radio show ever asked. 'What year is this?'

The younger guy looked as boggled by the question as Jacob probably did.

'Oh-Eight,' Jacob provided. Although he should probably be the one asking the questions here. Seeing as these two had just appeared in his livingroom and all.

'Two-thousand-and-eight?' Scruffy confirmed. 'Interesting.' He rubbed his fingertips against his denim-clad thigh as he started to take in his surroundings. The fidget kinda corroborated Jacob's suspicion that the guy was tweaking, but Jacob wasn't going to let that lull him into a false sense of security. This guy looked dangerous.

The younger dude had paled a little. 'But that's, that's years away!'

Jacob let the book drop to his desk. 'Who the hell are you guys?'

'Jimmy,' the young guy said. 'Jimmy Novak.' Poor guy looked like he was about to puke.

'Jacob Glaser. Doctor Jacob Glaser.'

Jimmy's eyes widened slightly in recognition of the name. Could it be the kid had actually heard of Jacob's work? 'My mother was one of those,' Jimmy offered. 'Her maiden name was Glaser.'

Huh.

'Well, then,' Jacob sighed. 'That might help explain at least our uncanny resemblance.' Jacob and Jimmy nodded once at each other, then simultaneously looked over to the other guy.

Seemingly deep in contemplation of one of Jacob's noticeboards, Scruffy took a moment to realise they were waiting on him. 'Hm?' he hummed at them, looking over his shoulder at first Jacob and then Jimmy. 'Oh. I'm Cas. I'm from twenty-thirteen.'

Simple as that. Like it was the most logical thing on the planet.

Cas was giving Jacob a surprisingly sober expression, almost – if Jacob wasn't mistaken – as though he was sizing him up, waiting to see how he'd deal with this new information. Jacob was halfway toward deciding sober was overrated, rolling out one of his desk drawers and removing a bottle of Killepitsch without once taking his eyes off Cas.

'I think a stiff drink is in order,' he announced and flicked a look over at Jimmy. 'You old enough?'

Jimmy seemed to find where he'd put his backbone and rolled his eyes. 'For a couple of years now.'

'Catch, then.' Jacob tossed the bottle over and Jimmy caught it, only fumbling it slightly.

Cas wandered over to half-sit, half-lean himself onto the front right edge of Jacob's desk. 'You collect interesting news clippings.'

Jacob walked around to the front of his desk and mirrored Cas' position at the front left edge, keeping a decent couple of feet between them. He wasn't just gonna let some weird guy from the future come waltzing in here and plonk himself down onto Jacob's furniture like he owned the place. 'I investigate unexplained phenomena,' he responded. 'Government cover-ups, paranormal activity…'

Cas gave a little half-smile at that and nodded. 'I have a friend… used to be in a similar line of work.'

Jimmy approached them, holding the opened Killepitsch out to whomever made a grab for it first. 'What happened to them? Your friend?'

Cas looked at the bottle and then up at Jacob, tilting his head toward the offering as if to say "After you". To Jimmy's question he replied, 'Life.' He watched, eyes slightly narrowed, as Jacob took the bottle from Jimmy and lifted it to his mouth.

Jacob took three swigs in quick succession, welcoming the burn at his lips and the tip of his tongue as the spicy liquor went down. He glanced sideways and saw Cas watching him intently. 'What?' he demanded.

Cas took the bottle and swallowed back an impressive mouthful. When he lowered the bottle again, he made a vague hand motion toward Jimmy, though his gaze remained firmly on Jacob. 'Perhaps your families intersected when the Jews were escaping to the Balkan states?'

Jimmy took back the bottle. 'I'm Episcopalian!'

Jacob and Cas both gave him long looks. After a couple of seconds, Jacob mentally shook himself. 'What the fuck is going on here?' he wondered aloud. 'I've got one of you from the recent past and one from the near future, both visiting me here in MY timeline, we all look like we could be the same goddamn person – !' His shoulders slumped a little. 'I got nothing.'

Cas rummaged in his jeans pockets for a moment, finally coming up with a small bulb of twisted paper. Unwrapping a collection of yellow pills and red capsules, he popped two yellows and a red into his mouth and took the Killepitsch back from Jimmy.

Neither of Jacob's guests seemed willing to offer up possible explanations for their visitations. Jacob sighed and checked the time.

'Well, while it's sure been illuminating chatting with you,' he said mockingly, 'I've got a job I've gotta get ready for. Seeing as how I'm the only here still operating in my own timeline and all.'

'You can't throw us out!' Jimmy blurted, sounding panicked at the mere thought. He must have realised how scared he sounded, for he tried to cover it up quickly. 'I mean, we're time travellers! We can't go out there! What if we stepped on a butterfly or had sex with our mothers or something?!'

Jacob quirked an eyebrow at him. 'You're an indelible paradox just waiting to happen, aren't you?'

'Um,' Jimmy said eloquently. Jacob couldn't help giving the kid a smile.

'So.' Jacob turned his attention back to Cas, watching his throat work as he chased his pills down with some more Killepitsch. 'Is it being toasted that makes you seem so unfazed by all this?'

'Only partly,' Cas conceded. He looked Jacob square in the eye. 'This isn't exactly my first time.'

'Who are you?' Jacob asked incredulously. 'No, I mean – WHAT are you?'

Cas tilted his head to one side, regarding Jacob with a wistful expression. 'You definitely remind me of him. My friend. You even dress like him.'

'That doesn't answer my question.'

'Nothing I could say right now would answer your question, Doctor Glaser.'

Jacob crossed his arms. 'Try me.'

Cas' gaze flickered briefly toward Jimmy and back again. 'No,' he said like it was a commandment, his voice set at an impressively low pitch. Jacob could see Jimmy actually shiver.

All three of them were silent for a moment, Cas' imposing command still hanging in the air between them. Jacob realised he was glaring, but Cas appeared unmoved. Instead, Cas held his tiny bundle of drugs out toward Jimmy and smiled somewhat creepily. Jimmy looked between the stash and Cas and shook his head mutely.

'Really?' Cas prompted. 'Not even one?'

Jimmy squared his shoulders. 'I don't do drugs.'

'Never?'

'No!'

'What a pity,' Cas mock-pouted. And then, slyly, 'Ever thought about it?'

'I – no!'

Jacob felt like he was watching a game of tennis, watching the other two bicker back and forth about Jimmy's mind-altering experimentation. Or apparent lack thereof. 'Leave the kid alone, man,' he muttered half-heartedly.

'I think you should do this,' Cas said over the top of him to Jimmy, holding one yellow pill delicately and invitingly between thumb and forefinger. 'Just one. Just this once.'

'I told you,' Jimmy whined a little, 'I don't do drugs.'

'Just this once,' Cas repeated.

Jimmy opened his mouth, no doubt to repeat his steadfast refusal once again, only to have Cas take complete advantage and toss the pill clear into the back of his throat. A perfect shot. But a dick move if ever Jacob had seen one.

'Can't you take no for an answer?!' Jacob yelled at Cas while Jimmy coughed and choked, trying to dislodge the pill. Jacob glared fiercely at Cas while thumping Jimmy on the back. 'You're an asshole, you know that?'

Cas merely held the Killepitsch out to Jimmy and smiled again. Desperate for relief from his coughing, Jimmy grabbed onto it gratefully and guzzled down an ill-advised mouthful, swallowing Cas' bastardly-administered intoxicant with it.

'Ugh!' Jimmy spluttered when he could speak again. 'What the hell was that?! What did you just force me to take?!'

'Just a little E,' Cas shrugged. 'Nothing sinister. You'll be fine. And hopefully so will the world.'

Jimmy and Jacob both frowned at that little display of cryptic bullshit. Jacob noticed that Jimmy had managed to slosh as much alcohol down his chin and his shirt collar as he had into his mouth, and seized on the opportunity to have a word to Cas alone.

'Better wash your face, Jim. That shit's sticky as hell. Bathroom's down the hall on the right.'

Jimmy swiped ineffectually at his chin, quickly realising Jacob wasn't joking about the stickiness. He frowned at Cas and turned on his heel, stalking out of the room in the direction Jacob had told him.

'What the fuck was that?' Jacob asked Cas evenly as soon as they were alone. 'You just dosed a kid against his will, you creep!'

Cas was carefully re-wrapping the rest of his stash and pressing it back into the pocket he'd retrieved it from. 'I need to do whatever I can to make sure Jimmy's memories of this adventure are as hazy as they can be.'

'You gonna try pulling the same shit with me as well?'

'No.' Cas met Jacob's gaze, unflinching. 'It won't matter if you remember all this.'

The deeper meaning presented itself in Jacob's mind immediately. 'You know him! In the future. You meet him further along his timeline?'

Cas nodded slowly. 'It would not do for him to have too clear a memory of me. And as you've already heard, he has no wish to step on butterflies.'

Jacob allowed himself to simply look at his companion for a moment. Cas also allowed him the opportunity, seemingly unfazed by the scrutiny. The thought Jacob had had earlier, that there was something dangerous about this man, presented itself to him once more. Although Cas' body was slender like Jacob's own (and Jimmy's), there was a sense of powerfulness that radiated from him. While his posture was easy and loose-limbed, Jacob could practically feel the violence he was certain Cas was capable of. At the same time, however, Cas' blue eyes were full of compassion and open curiosity. The combination was fascinating. Subtly alluring.

'What are you?' Jacob asked again, his voice quiet.

'Something else.' Cas winked at him just as Jimmy walked back into the room.

'I thought you said you had to leave for work?' Jimmy said.

Jacob stood up straight, tearing his gaze away from Cas. 'Got work to do, yeah. Don't have to leave for it though.' He gathered some papers from his desk, looked them over briefly, then decided against them and put them back. He looked up at his visitors. 'You're both welcome to sit in, if you want. Show lasts an hour.'

Without giving any further explanation, he walked through to the kitchen and opened the door to the basement. Two sets of footsteps followed behind him.

 

'You're on the air, Caller. What's your take on tonight's topic?'

'Dude! Time travel's nothing more than science fiction! Even Stephen Hawking says it's not possible!'

'Have you actually read Professor Hawking's ninety-two paper on the chronology protection conjecture?'

'Er…'

'That's where his famous sound byte comes from about how not being overrun by tourists from the future may indicate that time travel isn't possible. Which I assume is what you're referring to?'

'Uh…'

'But if you read that paper properly, Hawking never does say such travel is emphatically IMpossible. In fact, he goes so far as to say that a time machine WILL be built.'

'Yeah, but – !'

'Physicists can't reach a consensus on this one. You might want to read up on time dilation, wormholes, quantum entanglement… In fact, try going back to the basics and familiarise yourself with the theory of relativity. But if you're gonna invoke the holy name of Hawking, you've gotta be real sure of your quoted source material.'

'He's got a point though!'

'About?'

'Look around you, man! Where's all the time tourists?'

Jacob looked across the top of his control panel at Jimmy and Cas. 'Maybe you're talking to one right now.'

'You tryna tell me you're a time traveller?'

'No. I'm asking you to question what you see and consider the possibilities. How do you think you'd ascertain whether the person passing you in the street was from a different timeline? I doubt it's gonna be tattooed on their foreheads.'

'So, you're saying anyone could be one?'

'Precisely. Thanks for calling.'

 

Jimmy was stroking the soft skin between Cas' knuckles. A repetitive motion, back and forth, just the pads of his fingers, back and forth. Cas didn't seem to mind him doing it, casually chatting with Jacob between pulls on the beer in his other hand. Jacob had finished his show, brought a six-pack – and a bottle of water for Jimmy – downstairs, and sat on the old basement couch with his time-travelling guests to… well, just to shoot the shit, apparently.

It was interesting, deeply fascinating in fact, to have the opportunity to talk with people from different timelines. Not that there was much of scientific value being shared, of course. Jimmy had little to offer and Cas refused to answer a sizable portion of Jacob's questions – he didn't even want to divulge which state he'd most recently been in; Jimmy tried to sing a song about the east coast because he'd never been to it before. So Jacob drank his beer, figured Copernicus never had to deal with this sort of crap, and decided to just enjoy the unlikely company. Apart from a small band of likewise marginalised scientists and the callers into his show, Jacob didn't really get much in the way of outside stimuli these days.

'What IS ecstasy anyway?' Jimmy suddenly wanted to know, uncaring about whatever current topic of conversation Jacob and Cas had been meandering their way through.

Jacob swallowed the mouthful of beer he was taking. 'It's an entactogen. Triggers your body to release a whole lot of warm'n'fuzzy neurotransmitters. Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin – '

'Yum,' Cas hummed at that last.

' – all sorts of good stuff that makes you feel relaxed and trusting and wanting to bond and all that crap,' Jacob continued, ignoring Cas' interruption. 'Increases your empathy, arousal, feelings of inner peace, intimacy – '

'Yum,' Cas hummed again.

' – decreases your aggression, fear, jealousy, sensitivity to pain…'

'It's nice!' Jimmy decided and clambered to his feet, apparently suddenly intrigued by some of the papers decorating Jacob's basement walls.

'Yeah.' Jacob took another swig of his beer. 'And that's why it's a prohibited substance.' He glanced sideways as Cas stretched felinely, taking advantage of the extra space on the couch. 'I assume you've built up quite a resistance to it?'

Cas grunted in bemusement. 'Not so much as you might think. Supply isn't always reliable. Now, rudimentary amphetamine on the other hand…' As his voice trailed off, Cas put his beer between his knees to free both hands and grabbed at Jacob's nearest wrist. He must've really liked that knuckle-stroking thing that Jimmy had been doing, Jacob figured, 'cos he plonked Jacob's free hand onto his own, as if inviting Jacob to pick up where Jimmy had left off.

'Hey,' Jimmy called from across the room. 'Where's this photo from?'

Jacob dragged his gaze away from Cas and looked where Jimmy was. 'That's, uh, that's the Moon.'

'The Moon?! But that's a robot head!'

'Yes!' Jacob exclaimed. 'THANK-you!' He turned toward Cas again. 'So many people simply refuse to see what's right before their eyes.' At some point, he realised, he'd began stroking at Cas' hand like Jimmy had been doing earlier. Huh. Well, what the hell. The guy had nice hands. Except for the calluses. A writer's callus, just like Jacob himself had. And a… what would cause that one?

'Heckler and Koch,' Cas told him quietly, apparently reading his mind. 'MP5.'

Jacob's gaze snapped up to Cas' face. 'What the fuck do you do in the future?'

'It's a, hm, military organisation,' Cas replied, voice low and gravel-rough. 'A bit hush-hush. Y'know how things are.'

'You're a soldier?'

'I've been a soldier for a very long time.'

Jacob shook his head a little. 'I've got no idea what to believe from you and what's just a whole pile of horseshit.'

Cas' eyes were serious and a little sad as he gazed at him. 'I try my best to avoid lying.'

Jacob raised an eyebrow. 'That a fact?'

'It is. And you?'

'Buddy, I'm all about the truth! Why d'you think my show's called The Real Story?'

Cas ignored his rhetoric. 'What are you a doctor of, exactly?'

'PhD in astrophysics.'

'Ah.' One side of Cas' mouth quirked upward in a lopsided smile. 'That kind of doctor.'

'Yeah, well.' Jacob tried for another swig of his beer but his bottle was empty. 'My bedside manner would never do for the other kind anyhow.'

Casually, Cas passed his own beer to Jacob, letting their fingers slide together in the condensation as the swap was made. 'Oh, I'm sure you're nothing less than wonderful, bedside.'

If Jacob wasn't mistaken, Cas had just put a hell of an emphasis on the "bed" part of that word. Stuck a flag in it and festooned it with blinking Chanukah lights, practically. 'Are you – ?' He'd been about to ask if Cas was flirting, but couldn't bring himself to say something quite so ridiculous. 'Are you cruising me?'

Long, dark lashes fluttered as Cas let the heavy weight of his gaze drag languidly down Jacob's body and legs and back up again. 'Well, I had been preparing for an orgy when this little adventure so rudely interrupted.'

A crash from the other side of the basement snapped their attention to Jimmy, who was sitting in the host's chair at the radio console and hastily putting the microphone stand back to rights. 'Did you say an o-orgy?!' Jimmy stammered at them.

Cas grinned the same creepy smile he'd given Jimmy over his ecstasy stash earlier. 'Ever thought about it?'

'Ye – no! I mean – ' Jimmy's shoulders slumped and he looked down at the control panel glumly.

From the couch, Jacob could see Jimmy press a hand down over the general vicinity of where his crotch was, hidden behind the console. The kid was obviously feeling the heightened arousal effects of the pill Cas had slipped him.

'Dude,' Jacob said quietly to Cas. 'Don't go there. He's not compos mentis.'

The blue of Cas' eyes seemed to darken by degrees. 'But you are.'

And goddammit if that voice and that dark look didn't go straight to Jacob's dick.

'Look. I don't – '

'Yeah, you do.' The haze seemed to clear from Cas' gaze for a few seconds as he looked at Jacob. 'From time to time.'

Jacob felt his face heat up. 'And what makes you think I want to?'

Cas leaned his shoulder against Jacob's. 'Probably because it's been a while.'

How did the bastard know that? That the sex lives of truth crusaders and disgraced scientific prodigies were so lacking as to be virtually unquantifiable? Not for the first time, Jacob wondered if Cas was an adept at mind reading techniques.

Cas tilted his head slightly to one side as he contemplated Jacob. 'Plus,' he continued, his voice soft and intimate, 'you're intrigued.' He allowed the press of their shoulders to increase a little. 'And besides – don't all men harbour a secret desire to fornicate with themselves? This might be the closest you'll ever get, Doctor.'

'Huh. And why would you want to?'

'Because it's been a while for me, also.'

'Thought you said you're into orgies?'

'I'm an orgiophant, yes. I organise them and participate when my whims desire. But my participation doesn't involve… that.'

Jacob frowned slightly. This conversation could all too easily get away from him if he wasn't careful. 'And "that" would be, precisely?'

'Allowing anyone to penetrate me,' Cas replied matter-of-factly.

It was weird that the guy used such formal language like "fornicate" and "penetrate", yet he didn't make them sound in the least bit ridiculous as most people would. If anything, the way Cas used language made the conversation, the enticement, all the more tempting; made Jacob's dick twitch in his pants as definitely as an invitation to "fuck" would've done.

Jacob's upstairs brain, however, was still cataloguing indications and findings. 'Your friend,' he suggested, 'the one you said I remind you of. You let him?'

Cas' eyelashes swept downward again, though this time it was due to Cas closing his eyes for a moment, collecting himself, not drinking Jacob in like a long cool drink of water. 'When he would let me let him.' His eyes snapped open again. 'Yes.'

'Is he dead?' Jacob watched Cas' eyes narrow imperceptibly at his question.

'There are times… he may as well be.'

And with that, Cas obviously decided that enough was enough as far as the talking was concerned, for he closed the scant remaining distance between them and covered Jacob's mouth with his own. There wasn't anything soft or fond taking place between them. The kiss was wet and forceful and loud and pushy – full of tongue and intent. As kisses go, it was more on the skin-flick end of the scale than chick-flick.

Cas ran a hand down Jacob's torso as he kissed him, blindly finding the bulge of his cock and palming it through the denim. Yeah, okay. So Jacob was into the idea of fucking his mirror image from the future. Who wouldn't be?

From across the basement, they both heard Jimmy make a noise halfway between a groan and a sharp intake of breath. Jacob wondered vaguely if the kid had ever even seen two guys going at each other like this before. If he hadn't, then he was certainly in for an interesting show.

Cas pulled back from sucking Jacob's face off just long enough to pull his blue prayer shirt up and over his head and drop it to the floor. He was certainly on the skinny side – looked like he could do with a few solid meals, in fact – and his flesh was marred here and there with the white slashes and pits of various scars, but he was lithe and graceful. Sexy, even, in how loose and at-ease he was in his body. He smirked softly as he kneeled up on the couch and straddled over Jacob's lap, grabbing at the back of Jacob's head as he dragged him in for another porn-hot kiss.

Jacob tried to deposit the beer Cas had handed him earlier onto the floor, but he only ended up dropping it. Too bad. There was only a dribble left in it anyhow. With both hands then free, Jacob was able to grab onto Cas' bony hips and help angle him down a little, managing to push their pelvises together clumsily for a blissful second or two.

'Wow,' came a harsh whisper from right next to them. 'You two are really hot like that.'

Jacob pulled back from Cas and flicked a glance sideways to see that Jimmy had joined them on the couch. Did he feel like a bit of a creep for acting like this in front of the kid? Maybe. But did he really care all that much? Especially when Cas was making swift work of belt buckles the way he was? Simultaneously, it seemed, Jacob's and Cas' belts both came loose. Jacob had to admit it, that was a pretty neat trick.

'Help me get these down,' Cas instructed, pulling the button fly of his jeans open.

Jacob obediently slid his hands from Cas' waist to his jeans and helped shove at the denim, first over the firm curve of his ass and then further down, baring his thighs as well. When things got tricky around his bent knees, Jimmy lent a hand, helping to push the jeans as far as possible down Cas' strong legs. There wasn't any underwear to be dealt with. Cas' fingers were making quick work of Jacob's zipper in return, and Jacob shuffled and lifted as much as space would allow so that his cock could be free to get some work done.

'Hey, you've got my nipple freckle!' Jimmy suddenly declared, pale hand pointing between them at Cas' right pec. Jacob followed the pointing and saw that, sure enough, Cas had a dark freckle nestled tantalisingly above his right nipple. 'I've got the exact same one!' Jimmy grinned at them. 'Huh, and you've had your appendix out too…'

The hair at Jacob's nape prickled him and he fixed his gaze to Cas intently. He opened his mouth to say something but Cas shook his head minutely, stare burning into Jacob so hard he could almost feel his eyes sting from it. This situation was even more profoundly fucked-up than Jacob had thought it was. He cleared his throat quietly and inclined his head toward Jimmy.

'Polythelia occurs in about five per cent of people or a bit less,' he told the younger man. 'That's, er, a supernumerary nipple. An extra one. Particularly common in men. Lots of guys have them.'

Jimmy nodded at his words, but the kid's attention was firmly on Cas and one glance back confirmed why – Cas had two fingers in his mouth and was sucking on them so enthusiastically that Jacob's dick throbbed in envy. Cas raised an eyebrow at him and then, thickly, around his fingers, he said, 'No lube, right?'.

Jacob swallowed hard and told his brain to get a grip. 'Ah, yeah, no. No supplies down here.' Shit. That wouldn't do. That wouldn't do at all. 'Fuck, we're gonna need a rubber, man. There's no way I'm screwing you without something on.' As an afterthought he added a rough, 'No offence'.

'Oh…' Jimmy said vaguely and began digging through his jacket pockets. A soft, crooked smile eased over his face as he obviously found what he was looking for. 'Here you go.' And he held out a neat foil wrapper to Jacob.

It shouldn't have surprised him, Jacob figured. Jimmy seemed like a really nice, responsible guy, afterall. He took the proffered condom with a wink for Jimmy and tore away a strip of foil with his teeth. He got momentarily distracted by Cas slurping off his fingers and then putting his hand behind himself, clearly setting about working himself open.

Working himself open… for me, Jacob couldn't help thinking. And while, yeah, Cas had been right earlier when he'd resolutely stated that Jacob DID do this from time to time – "this" being, fuck around with other guys – he'd certainly never had anyone do that before. Never had anyone so intent on having him in them that they hurried matters along themselves, didn't bother waiting around for Jacob to make with the foreplay. Might be just as well, really. His overly analytical mind could all too easily get caught up on methodology and systematic approaches; he'd had his fair share of partners grousing at him to get the hell on with it.

Actually, the more he thought of it, maybe every partner he'd ever had had groused at him to get on with it. Huh.

'You gonna put that thing on any time soon?' Cas asked him pointedly.

Yep. Every partner he'd ever had.

Jacob took hold of his dick and gave it a few swift strokes. God, it'd been so long since he'd done anal. He leaked a little pre-come and bit back a groan, fumbling the condom out of the foil with his other hand. No sooner had he rolled the latex into place than Cas was shifting above him. Jacob gave him a questioning look.

'Sure you're ready?'

'Definitely,' Cas huffed at him, taking hold of Jacob's cock and guiding it where he wanted it.

'Holy – !' Jacob hissed as he felt the head of his dick pressing against a giving heat. Cas' gaze snapped up to his at the word, smirk easing into being.

Jacob put his hands to Cas' ribcage, dragging them slowly down his sides until he found those sharp hipbones again and took a good hold. Cas stared at him intently as he sank downward, his body taking Jacob's erection in a delicious slow glide. He hadn't been joking about definitely being ready; no doubt the drugs helped contribute to that.

'I like this jacket,' Cas told him out of the blue, as nonchalantly as if he wasn't currently impaling himself on Jacob's cock. He tightened his hands in the fabric at Jacob's shoulders just a bit, drawing Jacob's attention briefly down to the jacket in question.

'Yeah,' Jacob almost-grunted, 'I bet your friend has one just like it. Right?'

Cas' eyes glittered and he shifted his weight a little, making himself right at home on Jacob's lap. 'He does.'

'So that's what all this is about, huh? You wanna call me by his name while we fuck or something?'

Cas leaned in close and Jacob got a distinct whiff of gun oil and… sandalwood? 'No,' Cas murmured, mouth close to Jacob's right temple. 'I'm under no delusions here, Doctor Glaser. Just enjoying a point or two of familiarity. That's all.'

All around his dick, Jacob could feel Cas' body stretching and making room for him. Jacob had almost forgotten what a peculiarly intimate and raw sensation that was – knowing that the human body wasn't explicitly built for this activity and yet here was an individual coaxing their body into accommodating him like this. Jacob gave his hips a gentle roll and watched, from close-up, as Cas' eyelashes fluttered in response.

'If we're gonna talk about familiarity, you could quit it with the "Doctor Glaser" stuff.' Jacob smiled. 'At least while we're doing this.'

Cas rose up a short way and slid back down again, looking deep into Jacob's eyes all the while. 'Jacob is a good name,' he said lowly. 'Wrestler of angels.' He smirked and licked his bottom lip. 'It's the same name as James, you know.' And his gaze slid solidly from Jacob to Jimmy.

Jacob, too, looked to Jimmy as Cas spoke, finding him watching them with a rapt expression, his mouth open slightly. He'd turned even more toward them on the couch while they'd been otherwise distracted. His tie was loosened and the top button of his shirt snapped open, his entire demeanour having become increasingly unravelled during his hours with his older doppelgangers.

Beneath the focus of both their gazes, Jimmy first seemed to wilt a little, but then he took a deep breath and fought some control back to himself. He closed his mouth and looked from one to the other of them as Cas started to rock more rhythmically on Jacob's lap.

'This, um.' Jimmy started but stopped to clear his throat before another attempt. 'This is all a whole lot of new experiences for me.'

'It's okay,' Jacob felt the need to reassure him. 'Just let me know if you're not comfortable with anything.' Some weak voice in the back of his mind sort to inform him that he probably should've made that assurance quite a while ago. At least before Cas started talking about orgies; maybe even when Cas first started waving his drug stash around so blithely.

Still. Not much to be done about it now. Not with his cock currently lodged beauti-fucking-fully in Cas' body, and Jimmy seemingly enthralled in his ring-side seat. Jacob closed his eyes for a moment or three and let himself enjoy what was happening.

Teeth tugging on his right earlobe made his eyes crack open again, his entire field of vision Cas' pale throat and dark hair. Jacob took his left hand from its grip on Cas' hip and raised it instead to the back of his skull, letting his fingers thrust into Cas' hair and hold his head there, encouraging Cas to nip and suck at him more.

'You like that?' Cas whispered at his ear, sucking the lobe into his hot mouth briefly. Further down, he ground himself onto Jacob's lap harder. Jacob didn't bother replying with words; just pulled on Cas' hair a bit and held him there, enjoying the hard riding he was being given.

None of them said anything for a few minutes, Jacob and Cas lost in screwing and Jimmy fidgeting beside them. Jacob let up his hold on Cas' head enough to encourage Cas' mouth back to his and their kisses this time were even wetter and harder than before, Jacob's hand still cradling Cas' skull, his fingers still threaded through his dishevelled hair. He was so caught up in the feel of Cas on him and all around him that Jacob didn't even register what Jimmy was doing until Cas broke off the kiss to comment on it.

'That's a lovely view, Jimmy.'

Jacob looked sideways to see what Cas was on about. He wasn't terribly surprised to see that Jimmy had his hand in his pants, stroking himself while he watched his own personal porn movie. While "lovely" wasn't exactly the first word to spring to Jacob's mind, he couldn't help but agree with Cas' assessment. The kid was kinda stupidly hot. Especially like that.

Sensing a little wetness on his stomach, Jacob glanced down to see Cas' cock had leaked a small puddle of pre-come, soaking through his shirt and onto his skin. Jesus. Suddenly all Jacob wanted was to slam into Cas as hard as he could, wanted to fuck into him properly instead of sitting back and letting Cas dictate the pace like this.

'Up,' he told him gruffly. 'Off.' He pushed at Cas' chest a little to drive his point home and Cas got the message and eased himself back. As soon as Cas was completely off him, Jacob stood – his knees a tad shaky – and pushed Cas down onto the couch where he'd just been sitting. He deftly pulled at one scuffed combat boot and dropped it to the floor with a thunk. Cas merely gazed up at him, one perfect eyebrow arched in an amused quirk. With one boot out of the way, Jacob could get Cas' jeans off one leg and that, frankly, was all Jacob needed. He just wanted Cas to be able to spread his legs properly. Jacob dropped to his knees and manhandled Cas' hips toward himself, so that Cas was at the edge of the couch.

That was a lot of pretty Jacob had spread out before him.

He pressed in close and pushed his dick back into Cas' heat and tightness with one rough thrust. Cas pressed his head back against the couch cushions and spread his legs, wanton and gasping, grabbing onto Jacob's shoulders again and twisting his long fingers into the fabric of the jacket he liked.

Jacob put his right hand to the couch back and used it for leverage, putting his left to Cas' right leg and holding it up, holding him open. He was vaguely aware of Jimmy undoing his pants further and taking his cock out for better access, but apart from that, Jacob's hypothalamus (for that was certainly the most focused area of his brain right now) was concerned only with fucking and fucking hard.

It was Jimmy who came first, choking out half a swear word before it became a groan. A splash of come landed on Cas' right shoulder, spilling over a scar that looked like a bullet wound, and Cas let go of Jacob long enough to reach up and wipe it away. Jacob watched as Cas licked his fingers clean. And that's about all it took for Jacob's cock to jerk hard inside Cas and his mind blank out to orgasm.

When he came back to himself, Jacob was aware of Cas' mouth pressed to the side of his throat, lips open, panting against his skin. He let go his hold on Cas' leg and pushed himself up a little way, looking down into wide, sated eyes that he was sure were far bluer than his own had ever been. Jacob cleared his throat softly and reached down between their bodies to ease himself out of Cas.

Cas sighed out a deep breath as Jacob sat back on his heels, then watched casually as Jacob removed and tied off the condom.

Jacob glanced between his visitors as he tucked himself away and rezipped. 'I'll just grab something for you to clean up with,' he told them and stood up. He crossed to the other side of the basement, to the washing machine tucked under the wooden stair. Retrieving a couple of bath towels from the basket of dirty laundry sitting there, he passed them over to Jimmy and Cas. 'I'll um…' He motioned vaguely at the basement ceiling. 'I'll meet you upstairs.'

He really wanted something more to drink.

What the fuck had all that been about? Jacob leaned against his desk, swigging out of the bottle of Killepitsch again. He'd just – fucking hell. He'd screwed some hippie junkie he'd only just met, and done it right in front of a nice straight-laced kid who was tripping on his first drug experience AND likewise that Jacob had only just met. The hell? What had got into them all? What had got into Jacob that he'd gone there, that he'd lost himself in that moment with them? He was a scientist, dammit; he wasn't supposed to be so led by whims and desires. He took another hit from the bottle and held it in his mouth until it started to burn his tongue. It was the freaky doppelganger thing. If he was being completely honest with himself – that's what the fuck all that had been about. He and Cas and Jimmy all looked like they could almost be the same person. It was just so surreal, so completely something out of a fever dream, that giving in to the most fucked-up scenario really hadn't felt all that fucked-up. He was gonna be mulling this one over in his brain for years – decades! – to come. That was for sure.

Jimmy was all lazy smiles and fidgeting fingers when he and Cas re-emerged from the basement. Poor kid probably still had hours' worth of E'ing ahead of him. Cas, on the other hand, looked tired and about ready to crawl under some covers somewhere and pass out for a while. Kinda made Jacob wonder what sort of homes his guests had waiting for them.

'How did you two get here anyhow?' he asked without any preamble when all three of them were again gathered around Jacob's desk.

Jimmy cocked his head at him. 'You're asking ME how time travel works?'

Jacob smiled and passed the Killepitsch over. 'How about – what were you doing just before you got here?'

Jimmy took a swig of the liquor, pulling a bit of a face as he swallowed. 'Don't think I want anymore of that stuff.' He coughed a little and handed the bottle to Cas. 'I was mugged,' he answered Jacob. 'Some asshole jumped me on my way home from work.'

'Did they hit you?' Cas asked, sounding interested.

'Well, yeah.' Jimmy looked from Cas to Jacob and back again. 'Why?'

'It's a common trope in time travel tales, is it not?' Cas was looking to Jacob for confirmation. As though Jacob was some great expert on time-bending fantasy stories.

'Hang on a minute.' Jacob took half a step closer to Cas. 'You were hit, too? That how you got here?'

Cas held his gaze for a moment before glancing away and licking his lips. 'We were arguing. Yes.'

'So the both of you got knocked out. Right?'

Almost in unison, Jimmy and Cas both looked to him and nodded. Great.

'I've never knocked anyone out in my life,' Jacob told them, taking the liquor back from Cas and drinking a little courage.

Jimmy looked confused. 'What's that gotta do with anything?'

'Sending you back,' Jacob tried to explain, lowering the bottle again. 'Doesn't that seem like the thing to try? That we knock you out again and you'll just, I dunno, wake up where you're s'pose to be?'

'Not exactly a fan of getting KO'd, you know,' Jimmy muttered half-heartedly. 'Do wanna see Am again though,' he added, practically to himself.

'Well.' Jacob clapped Jimmy on the shoulder. 'Worth a try. Don't you think?'

Jimmy nodded glumly and looked up to meet Jacob's gaze. 'Can you try to make it not hurt?'

'It's a hit to the head, Jim.' Jacob squeezed his shoulder in sympathy and let it go. He really didn't want to hit anyone. He wasn't a violent kind of guy. But he had to do this. Didn't he? He had to help these dudes get back to their own timelines, and this seemed like an experiment that was at least worth giving a preliminary run. With a pang, he suddenly realised he might find himself missing these two down the track – if he was successful in getting them back where they belonged, that is.

A sharp smacking sound suddenly shocked Jacob out of his reverie and his mouth fell open in surprise. Cas had just hauled back and punched Jimmy hard in the head. Jimmy's head reeled from the blow and his whole body rocked backward. Instinctively, Jacob made a grab for him before he could hit the ground or bounce his skull off the nearby wall, but it was almost immediately obvious that he didn't have to worry about that.

Jimmy disappeared.

It all happened so quickly that Cas hadn't even had time to lower his fist. Jacob looked to him in frank astonishment. 'You just hit him!'

Cas let his arm relax and gave Jacob an impassive look. 'Well, it didn't look as though you were going to.'

Jacob blinked. Subconsciously, he put a couple of feet distance between himself and Cas. His earlier appraisal of the guy – that he was somehow dangerous – was back again. That blow had been precise; the right spot at the exact force, executed with economy of movement and not a small amount of poise.

Cas just raised an eyebrow at him and nonchalantly rearranged the prayer beads wrapped about his wrist. Jacob wouldn't have been able to describe why, exactly, but it was that tiny gesture, that one little check of the detail upon the weapon he had used, that convinced Jacob Cas hadn't lied about being a soldier.

'What's the world like in twenty-thirteen?' he found himself asking, a little embarrassed to find his voice coming out in only slightly more than a whisper.

'I shouldn't say,' came the answer. 'And you probably wouldn't want to know anyway.'

'Stay.'

Cas' gaze snapped up to his. 'What?'

Frankly, Jacob was about as surprised that he'd said it as Cas sounded to have heard it. But now that he'd put it out there... was it really such a crazy notion? 'Stay,' he said again, his voice a little stronger. 'Whatever it is that's fucked up in the future – let's work on it. You and me, man. A solider and a scientist together, think what we could do!'

'You want to save the world?'

'Of course! Is that what you're doing in the future? Saving the world?'

'We're fighting and we're dying.' Cas looked sad, a hint of conflict in his gaze. 'Would you die to save the world, Doctor Glaser?'

Jacob felt strangely stung by being addressed so formally by someone with whom he'd so recently had sex. He crossed his arms over his chest and gave Cas a level stare. 'Yes,' he told him simply. 'Yes, I would.'

Cas was shaking his head already, the earlier hint of conflict being packed away before Jacob's eyes. 'I can't. I can't leave – '

'Does he hit you often?'

Cas bowed his head at the question, taking the verbal blow. When he raised it again, his expression was schooled. 'I've hit him more. Over the years.'

'Sounds like a hell of a relationship you got going.'

'I fell for him.'

Ugh. Jacob didn't know if he wanted to get into a conversation about love and feelings and shit, his spontaneous invitation for Cas to stay with him notwithstanding. 'So you love the guy,' he said as blithely as he could manage. 'Still sounds like a hell of a relationship.'

'I didn't mention love,' Cas told him evenly. 'I said I fell for him.' His stare bore into Jacob, unblinking. 'I. Fell.'

Jacob swallowed a little uncomfortably, feeling strangely like he'd just entered into a whole new realm of fucked up. And after the day he'd already had, that was saying something. A question he'd already asked Cas twice, a question Cas had twice already left unanswered, fell from Jacob's tongue once more.

'What are you?'

'I'm an – ' Cas began but stopped himself abruptly, one corner of his mouth quirking upward in a self-deprecating smirk as he corrected himself. 'I was an angel of the Lord.'

Was the old saying "could've knocked me down with a feather" invented for such a conversation as this?

'You're shitting me,' Jacob threw back straight away. 'There's no such thing.'

The smirk Cas wore morphed into a soft smile. 'You do so remind me of Dean.' And he walked swiftly into Jacob's personal space, put his hands around Jacob's head and pulled him into a hard, bittersweet kiss.

As they parted, gazes locked heatedly to one another, Cas took the practically-empty bottle of Killepitsch from Jacob and stepped back half a pace. He winked at Jacob and raised the bottle, and Jacob would have shouted for him to stop if he'd only had the time. Instead, Jacob only had opportunity to watch in stunned muteness as Cas delivered an expert hit to the side of his own head and, crumpling in Jacob's vision, vanished.

 


'You're listening to The Real Story with me, your host, Doctor Jacob Glaser. What I want to know, friends, is this – are we alone on the terrestrial plane? Or might we have company? I'm not talking about aliens, you understand. No, that's a topic for another show, another night. I am, in fact, referring to… celestial beings. You might call them angels. They might call themselves angels. Do we believe in them? Can we explain them, if we do? Give me your thoughts, listeners. I'm eager to discuss them.'