Jared finishes linking the lash to Sadie’s collar, and then lets her go to the door where she'll wait for them. The weather is warmer than yesterday, thanks to the sun finally coming out after three days, but the wind still feels a bit chilly for Jared’s own taste. It doesn't matter though; they would still take this walk even if it were pouring outside.
He climbs the stairs two at a time, going straight to the master bedroom. He's right on time; Jensen is just coming out of the bathroom already dressed except for his feet. Jensen acknowledges him with a quick smile and waddles his way to the chair at the corner of the room right between the bathroom entrance and the bed. When Jensen started to show, Jared had ended up moving that chair from the music studio to their room because his husband always felt comfortable in it.
As soon Jensen sits, Jared kneels in front of him to help him with the shoes. Right foot - sock first, then the shoe. He does the same with the left foot, just as Jensen did it before he got too big to see his own feet. As soon Jared's fingers touch his foot, Jensen's fingers start doing a sort of combing pattern on Jared's hair like he always does since they started doing this. Jensen's therapist had said that it was his way to deal with the change of routine.
God knows the pregnancy has brought so many changes; it was difficult for Jensen to deal all at once. They tried to keep most of the things the same, like Jensen's walk every morning before breakfast, which they were just about to do. And those that he couldn't do, Jared made the best effort to do it for him just as if Jensen himself was doing it.
“All set.” Jared stands up and helps Jensen to his feet. He waits by the door as his husband slides on a sweater before they walk down, get Sadie and go out.
Very nice day, indeed. Jared smiles when Jensen grabs his hand as they walk side by side in silence. He would never be the one starting the public touching unless Jensen is the one seeking it. Yeah, it's hard because sometimes he wants to hug and cuddle Jensen for hours, but Jared understands that touching can be too overwhelming for him.
He knew what he was getting into when he asked Jensen to be with him, and here they are. Walking under the sun with only the sound of the birds chirping and Sadie's puffs of breath as their companion. It would be so stupid to complain, and he wouldn't rather be with anybody else but Jensen.
Jared still remembers the first time he saw him, sitting on the cement bench with his eyes closed as he seemed to stare up at the sky at the same time.
Jared gets distracted for a minute and then Sadie is gone. He almost has a heart attack right then and there. After searching basically the whole park, he finds her at an isolated patch of said park staring up at some guy. Jared calls her name, making the guy startle and look at him confused until he notices the dog sitting by his legs. Jared's too scared at the moment to notice anything else but his dog being safe when he approaches both of them. But as soon he scorns Sadie for doing such a thing and he starts to say thank you, that's when he notices the green eyes watching him silently.
“Sorry about that.” Jared says blushing, before retreating awkwardly away from the bench.
Jared thinks it will the last time he'll see the stranger, but Sadie apparently has other plans when she repeats her deed the next time they go to the park.
“I swear, this is not planned.” Jared says mortified, as he grabs Sadie's lash. The stranger that had been petting the dog looks up at him again and Jared finds himself lost for a second on how handsome he is. “You aren't carrying meat or other food with you, are you?”
The stranger lowers his gaze back to Sadie, and shakes his head slowly. Jared's eyebrows furrow at how quiet the guy is. It's weird, and every time he avoids eye contact. Maybe he's really shy.
“I don't know why she keeps coming to this side then. She's never done that before.” He explains even when the conversation feels one sided. “I'm Jared by the way.” Jared stretches his free hand, and the guy stares at it. He thinks he's going to be rude and leave Jared hanging, but then he raises his own hand and squeezes back.
“Jensen,” the guy answers still not looking at Jared.
Jared grins, “Do you mind if we give you some company Jensen?”
Jensen turns his head to his right side, and Jared sees the book lying next to him.
“I promise not to bother you.” Jared quickly declares.
Jensen looks up to him, seems to think about it, and then shrugs like it's not important.
That day was the first of many at the park. Jensen would always sit with his book, and Jared would throw the ball to Sadie until she got tired. They never really talked to each other outside from the reciprocal greeting, and somehow Jared had found himself drawn to Jensen more and more. It could have been the mystery surrounding Jensen that made him curious, or just the soft warm eyes to which Jensen greeted him every time.
Jared throws the ball and Sadie dashes out for it. Jensen is sitting on the same bench Jared met him almost five years ago as he reads his latest acquisition on information about babies. He can't believe they have gone this far. The first time he had the courage to ask Jensen on a date, his husband had tensed and said he couldn't go out with him. To Jared that had meant that Jensen was in a relationship already or he simply hadn't been interested. So, he let it go and they stayed friends. However, time passed and Jensen had opened up to him.
“ You don't want to go out with me.” Jensen said, scratching behind Sadie's ears absently.
“I asked you because I want to.” Jared answered, confused.
“I don't do this, Jared,” he pointed between the both of then.
Jensen had raised his head to look at Jared, and then lowered his gaze. “Because people never stay.” He said it almost like a whisper, hand going up to scratch the back of his neck like he's embarrassed.
Jared could tell this was a sore subject, and he felt inexplicable anger towards whoever hurt Jensen. “You haven't given me the opportunity to prove you wrong.”
Jensen had smirked a little at that. “Do you know what Asperger's is?”
Jared crunched his face in thought. “I don't...”
“Look it up and if you still want to do this, we'll go for one date.” Jensen said, rising to his feet.
Jared stared at Jensen's retreating back as he got lost in the distance.
That night, he read everything he could find about Asperger's over the Internet. It hadn't been hard to figure out that Jensen had sent him to search it because it concerned him in someway, and as he read the symptoms he realized he had seen some of them in Jensen's behavior. Jared finally understood why, and still he wanted to know Jensen. All of him.
The next day, he told Jensen he was picking him up for their date.
It had been hard, when they started dating. He can admit now that when he got to experience Jensen's syndrome as their relationship grew, it had scared him that he couldn't do it. That they it would end up being too much for both of them and they would have to call it quits. Jared was – and still is - in love with Jensen and no matter how bad things can get sometimes, he would die without him.
But five years have proven to be more than enough for them to get used to being together, and have their own ways to deal when Jensen's disability takes the better of him. And he knows that when the baby comes, it will mean new changes and Jensen getting used to them. He has been reading a lot, all the books he can find about babies and parenting. But nothing can really prepare you for the real thing. Jared knows it's going to throw Jensen out of the loop, and there will be troubles along the way. But they can deal with them, just as they have been dealing during these past eight months.
When Jared comes back from work, the house is eerily quiet. He doesn't think anything of it. Jensen's probably in the music studio composing, and Sadie is really quiet when she stays with him. Going upstairs to take a shower before dinner, he takes his shoes off and puts them back in their place inside the closet. He chuckles. It's funny how his apartment used to look like a hurricane passed through before he bought a house to move in with Jensen. His momma always says Jensen has put some manners she couldn't into Jared's thick skull, and he'll always tell her that he hasn't. He still would prefer to toss his clothes all over the bedroom. But he doesn't because it will drive Jensen's routine and order-shaped life into chaos. Jensen needs the routines that never change and the order to keep his Asperger's in check.
Jared had to compromise, as much Jensen had compromised with other things. That's what a relationship is all about right? Try to make your partner as happy he can be. After leaving the shoes, he picks up his pajama bottom pants, and a t-shirt with clean boxers before entering the bathroom.
Except he doesn't even pass the threshold before he sees it. There's white sticks lined up all over the floor from the sink to the toilet. Jared makes a quick count, twenty of them to be exact, before crouching down to pick one up. He’s holding a pregnancy test, and if he remembers correctly from when Megan had taken one to see if she was finally expecting, positive means yes. There is a baby in the oven. All of them have the positive symbol, and there is no doubt who took them.
Cursing under his breath, Jared leaves the test on the floor again and goes to look for Jensen frantically. They hadn't planned this. They haven't talked about children yet because they just got married a year ago and even they had been living together for two years before that. It still meant a change in Jensen's life so they were taking things slow. The subject had come up while dating, but nothing deeper than if they wanted to have kids or not.
Sadie is sitting outside the music room, and she gets up when Jared approaches. The dog waiting outside is Jared's signal that Jensen is having an attack.
“Go down girl.” Jared pats Sadie on the head and opens the door slowly.
The music room is partially dark. Jared can see enough light coming in through the curtains so that he can make out the instruments on the walls and the floor. There right in the middle of it, Jensen is sitting. Legs crossed, hands fisted at his sides as he hugs himself, and body rocking back and forth repeatedly. He has his headphones on, like he always does when he needs a moment to recoup himself. Music calms him down, allows him to shut down the overwhelming sensations the world is sending his way until he can breathe again.
It's expected that the news has upset Jensen that much. What worries Jared is the rocking. Jensen has ever rocked before, at least not as long they been together. It makes him think that the music is not working this time. He'll normally leave Jensen alone, even when he wants so desperately to help him through it because it's better if Jensen is by himself.
This time though, Jared can't stay behind. Not when he suspects Jensen can't put himself back together.
He turns on the light, but Jensen doesn't make any movement showing that he knows he's not alone anymore. Jared crouches down a few inches away, not touching him yet, giving him space. His husband has his eyes clenched shut, and he's humming like a wounded animal making Jared's heart beat painfully faster. He's scared that he won't be able to help Jensen, but he pushes his own fears away and decides what's the best way to get Jensen's attention without causing more harm. Taking a deep breath to prepare himself, he turns the player off. That provokes a change. Jensen stops rocking immediately, his body jumping as he startles. His panting becomes more rapid, he opens his eyes and sees Jared.
“It's okay.” Jared keeps his voice low and soothing.
Jensen makes a strangled noise and shakes his head frantically.
“It's going to be okay, Jen.”
“You don't know now that. You don't. You don't know. Y-you don't. You don't. You don't.” Jensen babbles, voice shaking.
“You're right. I don't know. I can't be sure.” Jensen is shaking pretty badly now. “But what I do know is that we'll do our best to make it alright. Together, okay?”
“I can't. I can't. I can't. I can't.” Jensen repeats it like a charm between his puffs of breath.
“Yes, you do.”
“It wasn't supposed to happen. Why did it happen? We used condoms.” Jared is fighting really hard not to put Jensen in his arms right now, with how desperate and lost his husband sounds. But he knows better. It will only make things worse.
“I can't. I can't. It wasn't supposed to happen.” Jensen howls, yanking the headphones of his head and throwing them across the room.
Jared is at a loss. Jensen is getting more and more worked up and he needs to do something fast.
“What do you want to do?” He asks. If he can make Jensen start thinking logically, maybe he will be able to put his thoughts in order and stop the chaos clogging his mind.
Jensen watery eyes look up, focusing on Jared's mouth as he talks. “What do you want to do? W-what?”
“We can't change it, can we? So, what do you want to do now?”
Jensen's face goes confused. “I. I don't know.” he shakes his head again. “ I. Jared. Please.”
“Can I tell you what I think we should do?” Jared asks softly.
“O-okay.” Jensen has stopped hugging himself, and now his hands are just rubbing his thighs nervously.
Jared counts that as progress. “I think we should have this baby. We have a house for it to grow up; we have our jobs, our family. The baby will have us to raise it. We will read all the books you want about babies and parenthood, and we'll be ready. And when we get lost, we will learn together how do deal with it. We can do it. It'll be alright as long we do it together and trust each other to do the best we can.”
“What i-if the baby is like me?”
“Then it will be the luckiest baby in the world.”
“That's nonsense. This is no luck.”
“It'll be because the baby is going to have a parent that actually understands what it's like to have this. It won't be like your parents. They did they best they could, but they could never really comprehend how it feels. She or he will have you to fall back to. You will be this baby's forte Jensen. And we will give so much love, and make sure our son or daughter gets anything it needs to be happy.” Jared says tenderly. “I think that does make it the lucky one.”
Jensen licks his dry lips. “I… I'm really scared.”
“You don't have to be anymore.” Jared assures him, conveying all the confidence he can.
It works; Jensen seems to have calmed down. He's still shaking a bit, but his breathing is back to normal. Jared can't hold back anymore and hugs Jensen to his chest. Jensen goes willingly, exhaling tiredly. Jared kisses his sweaty hair and lets him go before Jensen starts feeling uncomfortable.
“Hey, dinner is about ready.” Jared announces, knocking softly on the door.
“Be down in a few.” Jensen answers, finishing neatly folding their baby girl's clothes and putting it back inside the bag they will take to the hospital when the day comes.
They eat dinner, with a comment now and then about daily things. Then they watch a movie sitting side-by-side, Jared allowing bit of space between them. The movie is half way through when Jensen suddenly reaches for Jared's hand and places over his belly. Jared is about to ask what's wrong, when he feels their daughter kick under his palm.
Jared can't help the smile that takes over his whole face. His daughter gives another kick, before the movement stops. When he looks up, Jensen is looking at him with a small smile. Jared moves forward and kisses him.
“I love you,” he whispers against Jensen's lips. His eyes are closed, but he knows Jensen smile has gone wider.
“I love you,” Jensen answers, breath hot over Jared's cheek.
There is no other place, other life, or other future that Jared would rather have than this.