It isn’t really a big deal. Yeah, Old Man Beaver has lived in apartment 4B for the last millennia or something, but it isn’t like Jared can’t deal with change. Change is good. Like when Pumpkin Spice Lattes suddenly show up on the menu at Starbucks. Of course that’s not really change per se, since it happens every year around Thanksgiving, but it’s the idea that’s important. Because, really, if something is one way (Beaver and his cat Rufus being the Caramel Macchiato) and then suddenly the next day it’s not (J. Ackles on the mailbox being the delicious Pumpkin-y goodness) then it totally counts.
And really, if we’re talking delicious goodness, than Jensen “Gay Marry Me in New Hampshire, Please” Ackles is about as yummy as they come. Not that Jensen tastes like pumpkin. Or, maybe he does, but it’s not like Jared knows what he tastes like. Even though he does want to. Know what Jensen tastes like, that is.
Jared flails into the wicker chair on his balcony. He really needs to stop thinking about what holiday spices his new neighbor reminds him of and start concentrating on the fact that he hasn’t gotten laid in nine months, two weeks, and four days (but who is counting?) And, even worse, his last boyfriend Matt tasted like black licorice. Like, ew, who eats black licorice? Strawberry Twizzlers or bust, Jared says.
Since he hasn’t gotten laid in nine months, two weeks, and four days (but who is…ah, fuck it).
You know what doesn’t help the matter? The fact that it’s summer and Jensen Ackles has been at the pool every day for the past week. The pool directly below Jared’s second floor apartment. And what does Jensen Ackles wear in the pool while he’s swimming laps like he’s Michael Phelps but with an regular-sized head? Okay, not Speedos, thank God, because Jared doesn’t think his heart or his under-used dick could handle it. No, instead he wears these tiny little red mesh swim trunks, like he’s on Baywatch or something, but with less silicone and no hairy-chested, only-in-Germany singing sensations.
If Jared happens to find various reasons to hang out on his balcony every day during the specific times Jensen Ackles and his glorious bowlegs are making an appearance below, then what’s the harm? Jared’s on vacation, he’s allowed to hang out on his balcony. He’s an elementary school teacher, his life is stressful. Keeping six-year-olds from thinking he’s a gigantic tree that needs climbing is tough work and deserves three months of relaxation.
“You’re so predictable,” Danneel from 2C says with amusement. Her balcony is almost directly attached to Jared’s and he really needs to talk to his landlord about a rent reduction due to the egregious lack of privacy.
“I have no idea what you mean, Danni. I’m simply out here grilling this delicious steak for my early summer dinner,” Jared huffs properly, waving his hands at the sad little Hibachi in the corner of his patio.
“Sure you are. At three o’clock in the afternoon.”
“I’m a growing boy. Takes a lot of fuel to keep all of this running.” He can’t help but grin as he holds his t-shirt up and pats his six-pack.
Danneel’s roommate Gen groans as she flounces onto the balcony, and seriously, this is supposed to be a stalker viewing party for one, thanks much.
“Stop mocking us with your abs, Padalecki,” Gen says. “It’s not fair to those of us with lady parts.”
Jared waves her off and leans over to poke at his steak. “Besides, you two are no better than I am. And at least I don’t have my iPhone out taking video like Danni.”
“I was just calling my grandma, nothing to see here,” Danneel insists, putting her phone behind her back with a mildly guilty expression.
Jared sighs and takes a peek over the balcony. Jensen is pulling himself out of the water, wet streaks of it sliding down his ridiculously sturdy shoulders and across his smooth, flat nipples. His dark blond hair is darkened from the water, but little gold highlights shine when the sun hits it the right way. Jared imagines himself pulling Jensen to him and wrapping his arms around that slim waist before sliding his hands down into those mesh shorts and pulling Jensen’s perfect ass up into his cock…
“Jared, stop moaning. He can probably hear you,” Danneel scolds.
“It’s weird that he’s down there, right? I mean no one ever uses the pool. Hey, why don’t we use the pool?” Jared ponders. Well, besides that odd Collins fella from 3A who likes to sits in the corner of the pool area under an umbrella and knit every weekend.
“There was that one time that the Beav busted out the Speedo,” Gen points out.
“I thought we agreed to never speak of that again. Remember the blood oath we all took by the mailboxes?” Jared shudders.
“I mean, I can totally go get my bikini on and go down there if you prefer," Danneel smirks, and Jared is two seconds away from throwing his steak at her. If he wasn’t starving, of course, and goddamn this shit is taking forever to grill, stupid Hibachi.
He throws another match into the fire. That should help speed things up, he thinks.
“It won’t work. He’s totally gay,” Jared insists. “It’s in the eyes, you can tell.”
“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. And, anyway, when have you been close enough to him to see his eyes, doofus? You run whenever you see him coming down the stairs,” Danneel laughs, leaning over the railing to get a better view.
“I accidentally dropped a can of coffee on his foot last week when I was coming in from getting groceries. We had a moment,” Jared insists, a little smug, although now that he thinks about it, Jensen’s cry of “Ow, sonovabitch!” didn’t sound exactly like “Would you like to explore carnal urges with me?”
“He’s doing the thing with the beer bottle again,” Gen interrupts.
Sure enough, Jensen is standing next to one of the deck chairs, one hand resting casually on his bare hip (fucking low-slung mesh shorts) and the other tilting a Corona up to his sinful lips. He swallows deeply, his head thrown back and his Adam’s Apple working his throat. Goddamit it, what Jared wouldn’t give to be that beer bottle.
“He’s not supposed to have alcohol at the pool,” Danneel says, but her voice is a little breathless.
“Yeah, we should probably tell the super about that,” Gen sighs happily.
Jensen starts tonguing the rim of the bottle and all three of them groan in unison.
“What do you think he does for a living that he’s off all the time during the day? I mean, maybe he’s a male model,” Danneel suggests.
“Lifeguard?” Jared throws out. The boy does swim like a god and he’s never around in the morning or early afternoon.
“Hooker,” Gen corrects, definitively.
They all groan again.
Then Jensen starts doing some sort of weird stretching exercise and Jared forgets to breath. Jensen is bending over, the curve of his back leading into the tiny dimples of his ass where the mesh shorts pull down just enough to border on the obscene. Maybe if Jared just moves over a tiny bit he can see where Jensen’s muscular thighs meets the underside of his…
“Holy fuck, fire!” Danneel screams, breaking Jared out of his reverie.
And, oh shit, flames are licking up out of the Hibachi and the smell of cremated meat is suddenly permeating his consciousness. Jared does the first thing he can think of and pulls off his shirt to start batting at it. Which of course, promptly sets the material on fire and causes a wild, flailing torch in his hand.
“Stop, drop, and roll, for the love of God!” Gen is hollering from somewhere beyond the orange lick of flames and it’s ridiculous advice because Jared is much too tall to drop down and roll around his balcony. And fucking hell, he’s getting a rent reduction for that too because this tiny balcony is obviously a fire hazard.
He shrieks again.
Suddenly, before he can manage to immolate the entire building, Jensen is climbing like Spiderman up over the side of his balcony, face flushed red from exertion and, quite possibly, the fact that there is, oh, fire, flaming up in front of him.
“I used to be a gymnast in college,” is the only thing that Jensen says (Jared might whimper, just a little, maybe), before batting the flaming shirt out of Jared’s hand into the Hibachi and gingerly grabbing the whole thing to toss over the balcony into the pool.
An undignified squack comes from below.
“Damn, sorry Misha!” Jensen yells. He turns back to Jared. “I really hope that didn’t mess up the sweater he was knitting for me.”
Jared feels an irrational pull of jealousy at Misha’s yarn being anywhere near Jensen.
“He thought I needed a little covering,” Jensen clarifies, and he—totally not fair!—flexes one of his golden pectoral muscles before winking.
Jared just grabs the lid of the grill, which he uses to cover the massive boner that is currently overwhelming his pants.
Danneel snorts from somewhere behind him and those two are totally off his Christmas card list.
“Don’t you two have somewhere to be that is far, far away from here?” Jared says, but his eyes are fixated only on Jensen, who is smiling slyly and only a little out of breath.
“Sure, thanks for all the mid-afternoon excitement,” Danneel rolls her eyes, but she has pulled the iPhone back out in the interim.
“C’mon, Danni--JD from 6C should be down for our weekly threesome soon,” Gen says primly and, okay, that gets a look from both Jared and Jensen.
“Have fun boys,” Danneel winks, before grabbing Gen and going back inside. “Try not to destroy anything else while you’re at it.”
“So, hey, I’m Jared,” he tries for nonchalant, which is a little bit hard when his hand is fucking ready to blister, there is charcoaled meat in his pool that is definitely not going to earn him a rent reduction, he might still have a hard-on, and—oh, yeah—Jensen Fucking Ackles just climbed up his balcony like a half-naked version of Tom Cruise in “Mission Impossible.”
Jensen grins harder. “Yeah, I know. I’ve been trying to introduce myself for weeks, but the last time I did you dropped a can of Folgers on my toe.”
“Yeah, sorry about that,” Jared flushes. Which he’ll blame on the sun and residual reaction to almost being set on fire.
Jared ignores the squirmy feelings in his belly that Jensen’s freckles—freckles!—up close are causing him and pushes on. “So you’re a—“ Don’t say hooker, Jared. “--lifeguard?”
Jensen looks at him a little oddly. “Um, no a freelance writer.”
“Oh, yeah, of course, that makes sense. I just thought because you like to swim so much. Every day, at the same time,” Jared starts panicking a bit when he realizes how stalkerly that sounds. “Not that I know it’s the same time every day or anything. Because that would be creepy and I am so not creepy. I mean, I teach six-year-olds, if I was creepy Principal Gamble would have totally fired me ages ago. Oh my god, saying it like that makes me sound ever creepier, doesn’t it? I promise that I won’t ever talk about being creepy to six-year-olds again—“
Jared is cut off by the way Jensen is literally bent over laughing.
“Hey,” Jared pouts. “Stop laughing at me.”
Jensen is wiping tears from his eyes, and his quickly drying hair is sticking up in tuffs, and his cheeks are bright red and, holy fucking fuck, he’s the most beautiful thing Jared has ever seen and if he doesn’t make out with this person soon he might actually die.
“I might have been out there every day on purpose,” Jensen admits, when he manages to calm down enough to speak. “I figured eventually you would start speaking to me if I distracted you long enough.”
“Didn’t really expect me to set myself on fire though, huh?” Jared replies sheepishly. Stupid bastard, of course he’s a cocktease. Jensen’s going to pay for that one.
“There are better ways to get a haircut,” Jensen jokes and Jared hits him on the shoulder with the grill lid.
“So,” Jared says. “How about we order in Chinese and watch the Hillbilly Handfishin’ marathon that just started on Animal Planet?”
Jensen looks down at his chlorine-covered body and then back up at Jared. His eyes are half-lidded and Jared’s boner starts saluting again. “I need a shower first. How about you?”
“I might be feeling a little, um, sticky from the events of the last ten minutes,” Jared replies, as Jensen’s grin turns positively feral.
Later, after they are stuffed full of moo shu pork and Jared finds out what Jensen looks like outside of the Baywatch shorts by getting himself laid for the first time in nine months, two weeks, and four days (and no longer counting, holla!), Jensen snuggles up to him and says:
“Hey, do you have any Strawberry Twizzlers?”
Jared looks at him solemnly. “I think I’m in love with you.”
“You really like Strawberry Twizzlers, huh?”
Jared almost chokes, but Jensen is smiling and snuggling closer and there is a new episode of Hillbilly Handfishin’ starting, so Jared thinks that things might just be looking up.