Sometimes, a voice that sounds a lot like Danny Glover tells Jensen that he's too old for this shit.
It's during times like these, dialogues like these.
“But you couldn't have known that your ex-boyfriend's cousin would be released from prison! So it's not your fault!” he states with emphasis, wiping his hands on a towel and bracing himself against the counter, shoulders drawn up, head tilted sideways.
“He is going to make it my fault. What do I do if he takes the baby away from me now, after all I did?” Susan leans forward, gesturing with her hands to emphasize her point. She's a lively character, always has been, and a very likable one as well.
“Well, you did pull some strings to get him back from the foster care parents, but that doesn't mean he's got any right to take your kid away from you, Susan. He won't get away with this, don't worry.”
A voice from the back of the set interrupts them.
At least they don't need to repeat that scene three more times. They're in the business of filming a daily soap opera, after all, and that means little time for a lot of lines. Two to three takes per scene until it has to be done, so they're used to the quick scene change.
Jensen takes a deep breath of relief, and Allison mirrors it. Jensen can see her trying and failing to hide the fact that she's rolling her eyes and suppresses a grin. Instead, he hands her one of the two paper cups of coffee that an intern brings over to them.
“Thank you,” she beams at him.
They don't need to exchange any words about the scene. They've worked together long enough to know, so they just grin at each other.
Allison Mack, who plays Susan, is a newcomer fresh out of drama school with a sunny personality and a cute, blonde mop of hair. She took the role of Susan as her first job and stepping stone – Jensen can't blame her, he's been there. She'll be gone in a year or so, after she lands her first big TV show role, just like they all do. It's a steady stream of young, highly motivated actors and actresses plowing through their soap opera, mostly because their producers and their showrunner are known for being able to recognize talent when they see it.
Jensen has seen and known most of them, before they got famous.
Yet, he's still here.
They're moving on to the next scene.
It's just another Tuesday.
Jensen smiles and does his job. At least the company is nice.
Jensen has a personal list of favorite ridiculous lines he has said on the show.
“But, a Russian prison, that's gotta be, like, worse than normal prison, right?”
It sounds even stupider said out loud than it did when he read it in the script. Jensen promises himself to set that one high up on the list when he gets home to his apartment.
“Oh, crap,” Susan says, her eyes widening as she stares into the room that houses Jensen's – or Jason Teague's, his character's, to be exact – coffee and pastry shop. It's the local hangout point for the younger clientele, and in the evenings, there are cute little first dates, and in the morning, there's coffee to cure hangovers.
In short, it's the ideal generic and versatile soap opera setting.
As always, Jensen is right in the middle of it, wearing a dark red apron over his crisp white shirt, his work uniform of the past six years. As always, Jensen is there when the show needs a character that their protagonists can vent to or talk to. He's the wise barkeeper – or coffeeshop owner, in this case – in the back, always there for a nice chat or some friendly advice. Or exposition, sometimes.
It's a nice, comfortable, boring role.
“What?” he smiles at Susan and follows her look.
She leans in, never taking her eyes off of whoever she's looking at, and whispers in shock, “He's here.”
“My ex's cousin, the Russian one.”
She turns back to Jensen, her eyes huge and panicked, a frown on her face. The perfect cliffhanger expression.
“Cut! Alright, where's Dmitri? We're gonna start filming the follow-up scene right away,” Pam, their director, shouts across the set, then turns to Allison. “Take a break, Ally, we'll come get you.”
A dark-haired guy approaches them from one of the tables. Jensen thought he was just an extra, but because of the amount of people who circle through this set, he doesn't bother learning names any more. They'll be gone again before they realize that they ever were on a soap opera.
But there's a guy now, standing in front of him, with dark, ruffled hair, plush lips and hypnotizing, clear blue eyes, who says, “Hi, I'm Misha.”
Jensen shakes his hand. “I thought you're Dmitri?”
“No, that's my character,” the guy corrects him with a polite smile and lets go of his hand.
Jensen peeks at his script under the bar and realizes that the guy is right.
“Huh. Sorry. Micha, was it?”
A weird enough name,, he finds himself thinking. This one might actually stick after all. “I'm Jensen.”
“I know,” blue-eyes – Misha – smirks. “You've been on this show long enough to have made yourself a name.”
Jensen has no clue what to say to that. Misha doesn't look serious, more like he wants to tease Jensen, but then again, he doesn't know the guy, maybe he's being backhandedly mean? Or just wants to make fun of him for working as a regular on a soap opera and never having made it any further?
“I know,” Jensen echoes after a quick moment without bothering to not sound sarcastic. “But thanks for reminding me.”
“I'm sorry, are you being ironic and sassy or are you actually thinking I'm a total jerk and making fun of you?” Misha asks, straightforward.
“You tell me,” Jensen throws back, completely taken by surprise but unable to keep the amused twitch of his lip under control.
Misha's voice drops about half an octave. “I'm not making fun of you. Promise.”
Jensen chuckles. “I'm being sarcastic, yes.”
“Hey, don't worry about it,” Misha grins and nudges his fist against Jensen's shoulder before he adds in a quieter tone, “I think having a job at all is great. I mean, why would I be here otherwise? Surely not the convenient hours or the pay that will me allow me to live without financial problems for the rest of my life.”
Then he winks, actually winks, at Jensen, and Jensen gives up. He just starts laughing.
“Let's have a good time here, Misha,” Jensen says and knocks his fist against Misha's shoulder, too, returning the favor.
Looks like that name stuck after all.
It still doesn't prepare him for being faced with Dmitri for the first time.
“Hey, you, Jason, yes?” he grumbles in a thick Russian accent and squints at Jensen. “You know girl by name Susan? With little boy?”
Jensen doesn't need to try to sound reasonably intimidated by Dmitri's glare and aggressive stance. He swallows around the lump in his throat. “Nope, haven't seen her, buddy.”
“I am not your buddy,” Misha hisses with a dangerous undertone, leaning closer over the counter. Don't fuck with me, his tone and stance say.
“Okay, okay,” Jensen stutters out with his hands outstretched, because Jason has always been good with words, never with fists. And because this is a coffee shop, not a bar with frequent fights, and because make-up and special effects are pretty expensive.
“You see her, you tell her she cannot hide. I will find her.”
“A-huh,” Jensen coughs.
Misha shoots him one last glare, then turns around.
So that's kind of hot, Jensen finds himself thinking. And that was only the screen test.
“Nice accent,” he remarks later, after they've finished shooting the scene and sit in their chairs to the side of the stage, having a quick snack before filming resumes. “Have you lived in Russia before or what?”
Misha shakes his head and swallows his bite of tomato and mozzarella sandwich. “But I do speak some Russian. My dad is actually from there.”
“I see. Well, you do the accent pretty realistically,” Jensen explains. “Not that I would recognize a fake one to save my life, though.”
Misha turns to him, then, while the light and camera guys are still setting up the next scene in a corner of the same stage.
“You and I should have a drink together tonight,” he declares.
“That your way of asking me out?” Jensen throws back, smiling lopsidedly at Misha. He didn't hesitate one second before bursting out with that remark, straight from the tip of his tongue, only realizing afterwards that the wrong person might take it the wrong way.
Misha's grin tells him that he hasn't addressed the wrong person. “Maybe?” he replies, a playful undertone to his voice.
The lump in Jensen's throat is very persistent, but he manages to shrug. “Couple beers and hot wings alright with you? I know a place.”
“Great,” Misha beams.
“Cozy,” is what Misha says when he enters Mike's bar three and a half hours later.
It's the kind of traditional bar with an all-wooden interior, wooden paneling on the wall that had darkened over the years, a ton of guest pictures and band posters lining the walls, and an old TV in the corner beside the bar.
“Right?” Jensen smiles.
The barkeeper, Mike Rosenbaum himself, greets Jensen with a wave and a greeting shouted from across the bar. When he slides over to their end of the counter, he takes in Misha from head to toe and says, “New meat on set?”
“That's right,” Jensen grins. “One of us, now. His name's Misha.”
“Misha, right. So. We kind of have a tradition for the show's newbies,” Mike winks. Then he pulls out three shot glasses, places them in a row in front of them and fills each one with Jägermeister.
“Bottoms up,” Jensen says, grabs one glass and downs it in one go.
Misha grimaces after the shot and slams the glass down. “That stuff is disgusting. Aren't we too old for that?”
“You're never too old for a tradition,” Mike winks as he places two beers in front of them. “The usual,” he says, then hurries off towards another patron.
“I take it you come here often?” Misha says, a smile tugging at his lips. And there it is again, that playful undertone to his voice.
Jensen ignores the weird feeling spreading in his chest. “Well, yeah, it's kind of the hangout for all the people on set. The guy who found this bar back in the day is doing movies now, but we're still coming here.”
Misha just raises an eyebrow, barely manages not to laugh.
That's when Jensen realizes what Misha just asked. He groans, but can't help but grin, just like Misha.
They order nachos and hot wings and trade the usual backstories – shows they've almost worked on or auditioned for, stuff they'd be interested in doing, where their families are from – and it's nice and easy and uncomplicated. They're about the same age, above the average age of the rest of the actors on 'Among Us', and the shared history of careers in Hollywood not having worked out as planned instantly brings them closer.
Until mid-conversation, a guy sidles up to Jensen. He's tall, taller than Jensen himself, and has the whole hipster look down to the skinny jeans, Ray Bans and the undercut with a man bun Jensen's impressed he even dares to be able to pull off. “Hey,” he says, lets his eyes slide over Jensen's face and down his body, not disguising how much he likes what he sees in the least. “So, how about--”
“How about no,” Jensen interrupts him quickly, but with a friendly smile. “Sorry, pal, I don't play for your team.”
“Alright, no offense meant,” the guy raises his hands and leaves.
“None taken,” Jensen mumbles in confusion. Why would a gay guy hit on him if he was here alone with another man?
“I didn't realize this was a gay bar,” Misha says, obviously impressed but not at all bothered.
“Nah, it isn't. It's gay-friendly, you know, see the little pride flag over there? The bar we used to go to turned out to be a problem when we went there with one of our first gay actors on the show, so he found us this one.”
“Nice touch. Why are you so confused, then? A decent-looking guy like you probably gets his fair share of getting hit on,” Misha's smile is wide and genuine at that, and Jensen still feels so strange.
“Decent-looking guy,” Jensen splutters with a smirk and a good dose of mock offense, tries to deflect the notion, and Misha wiggles his eyebrows at him until they both break and snort out a laugh.
Misha looks kind of adorable with his nose scrunched up and laughing lines cutting deep into his cheeks.
Eventually, Jensen wipes the tears from his eyes and explains, “I'm confused because why would he hit on me if I'm with another guy?” Maybe he was just drunk. It has gotten kind of late while he was busy talking to Misha, and Jensen only notices now as he checks his watch.
Misha shrugs and smirks. “Maybe he didn't see me as competition.”
“Well, are you? Competition?” Jensen replies, tries to play it cool as he takes a sip from his beer. A surge of excitement shoots through his stomach, makes him feel like a teenager. Giddy, excited. Weird.
“Maybe. You know, women aren't always easy, you often don't understand what they want. With guys, it's a lot easier, they're much more straightforward. Even though they tend to be dicks,” Misha avoids answering the question.
“Well, then, for a guy you're not very straightforward,” Jensen shoots back with a chuckle.
Misha's eyes are sparkling, and he doesn't break eye contact once. “Sometimes it's a lot more fun this way.”
Jensen's lips twitch, he can't help it. Something about this borderline flirty conversation makes him feel incredibly good, albeit like he's falling, like the ground disappeared from under his feet. “Aren't you married?” he tries to change the peculiar topic.
“Divorced. I have two kids, here in L.A. What about you?”
Jensen shrugs. “Single, never married, no kids. It just never happened.”
“There's worse things, you know. My ex-wife and I... let's say it's complicated, but we kind of lost touch with each other over the years, drifted apart and then she met someone new, so. That's how that happened.”
“I'm sorry to hear that,” Jensen says, sincerely.
Misha waves him off before he takes a sip from his beer. “Tell you what, it's not so bad to be free again. She said she would care for the kids, and I still see them regularly, and she wanted me to find work again, and it was all mostly peaceful and consensual. So I'm good. Plus, I've got work, so there's that.”
“Yeah, work...” Jensen rolls his eyes, tries to steer the conversation back to safer waters. “I mean, don't get me wrong, but it's only a stepping stone for most people. And that's okay, I mean they all deserve it, it's just...”
“You've been stuck on this set for a while now, huh?” Misha smiles in sympathy. “I can imagine it's frustrating.”
“Nah, it's okay, really. I mean, it's a steady paycheck and the crew is nice and you get to see all these people and what they aim for afterwards and that's awesome. I know so many people who're with a long-running TV series now or even do movies. That's always cool to tell, like, 'I was in an episode with Jessica Alba once.' I could have it a lot worse, and my role is interesting enough, so I don't mind reciting stupid lines.”
Misha smiles and nods all through his little explanation. “How long exactly have you been on 'Among Us'?”
“Going on six years,” Jensen raises an eyebrow, then drinks from his beer.
Misha whistles, obviously impressed. “Wow.”
“I almost thought I'd get out, back in my third year. Auditioned for that one horror show, you know, Supernatural?”
“Ah, yes, I've seen that. Turned out pretty successful, too.”
“Well I wanted the part that Amell plays, and I almost even got it, but...” Jensen shrugs and smiles. “Wasn't meant to be.”
“Some things aren't,” Misha shrugs and holds Jensen's gaze when he leans closer. “And some things are. If you would've gotten that job, who knows if we'd've even met.”
He blinks, lips curled in a way that makes Jensen feel like he's missing something. If he didn't know any better – because didn't he just say he's straight? - Jensen would say that Misha is definitely and deliberately flirting. Then again, Misha's smile is contagious and his blue eyes are mesmerizing. He's unable to look away or to not smile back. And when Misha laughs, he finds himself throwing his head back and laughing, too.
Jensen shrugs it off. It's nothing special, to click with a person just like that. If anything, if he has to work with this guy for a few more months, it's only a lucky happenstance that they get along so well.
“Yeah, who knows,” Jensen grins and raises his glass to clink it against Misha's. “Cheers to that.”
“Listen here,” Misha-as-Dmitri growls at Jensen, blue eyes full of righteous anger and deep distrust as he crowds him against the bar of Jason's coffee shop. “I say you not interfere, then you do not interfere. Do again, I will get... creative.”
Jensen swallows as he carefully balances the dirty dishes in his hands. Misha is scary like this. Scary and making his stomach tingle with genuine dread and something else.
“You know why me in prison?” Misha squints.
“No,” Jensen raises his unoccupied hand in defense, brushes the back of it against Misha's crotch on accident.
“Because--” Misha breaks off, looks at the wall behind Jensen's head, clearly caught off guard. “Fuck me,” he mutters under his breath as he drops his head.
Jensen bites his cheek in his effort not to laugh.
Then Misha says with a look over his shoulder at the script supervisor, “Sorry, what's my line? Grand theft auto? Accidental infiltration of government property?”
“Accidental what?” Jensen laughs, bending forwards with his hand outstretched, palm up, to emphasize his question.
“Shush!” Misha scolds him playfully and grabs his wrist, presses it lightly against the wall he had crowded Jason against.
Jensen can't say he's not affected, which is a rather surprising discovery.
“'Government espionage and supposed grand treason,'” the script supervisor says from the sidelines.
“Ah, yes. I knew that,” Misha nods.
“You apparently did not,” Jensen teases him, ignores the amused gaze that Misha shoots him with a nod at his captured wrist.
“But it was never proven,” the script supervisor adds. “Just FYI.”
“See, you're not even a real criminal and I should be intimidated?” Jensen grins.
“Yes, you should,” Misha states with a serious, deep growl that, just--
Jensen flubs his lines three times in a row after that, and only manages them after he convinces his treacherous dick that no, it wasn't time to be interested in someone else, especially not when that someone was a man, which was confusing enough.
They end up going out almost every evening after that. It's not like either one of them has anything better to do. Sometimes, Allison and the camera crew join them, and one of those particular nights ended with a hangover breakfast at Allison's place, after Jensen found himself waking up on the floor beside her couch which Misha was sleeping on.
By the time the fourth episode is done, they're at their usual place at the bar, and Misha's eyes are focused on his face, and Jensen can't quite decide if he feels uncomfortable or flattered.
“Dude, do I have something on my face?”
“Yes. Curiosity,” Misha answers with a grin, then takes a sip from his beer and turns away. “I'm sorry.”
Jensen finds himself admiring Misha's profile, sharp nose, plush lips, the cut of his eyes. He has a hard time shaking that increasingly frequent thought off.
“Nah, don't be. We're cool,” Jensen nudges Misha's elbow instead and grins.
It's been like this the whole time.
Jensen can't say he doesn't like it, but he also can't say it doesn't confuse the hell out of him.
“So you protect Susan so cousin Alexis don't get the boy?” Dmitri asks in surprise.
It's an eye opener. A game changer. Dmitri relaxes in his presence, for the first time ever.
Jason has a hard time explaining this, so Jensen swallows. “Yes. You see, all Susan ever wanted was to protect her son, so she gave him up for adoption first, but then she got him back for fear of her ex coming home to take her kid away.” Susan will probably kill Jason when she finds out he spilled the beans, but at this point, Jason has been intimidated by Dmitri one too many times.
“Alexis can be asshole, I know,” Dmitri states. It's so deadpan and flat that Jensen can't help but start giggling.
“I'm sorry,” he wheezes when Misha joins his laughter, breaking character.
Their director – Pamela Anderson, the name similarity only coincidental - shakes her head with a fond smile. “Alright, take four, then. From 'Alexis can be an asshole' on, c'mon, guys. Focus.”
“Alexis can be asshole,” Misha says. It's Jensen's coverage, so he can smirk all he want.
With his features set in stone, Jensen answers, “And that's why I tried to protect Susan and her son. I could tell you a lot of stuff Alexis pulled while you were in prison.”
Misha nods, thinks about it, then mumbles, “I want to know.” The look in his eyes is fierce, intense, and it makes Jensen's stomach tingle.
“Have a seat. Would you like some coffee?”
Misha shakes his head.
And that's the week's cliffhanger, how Dmitri and Jason actually get talking.
Unlikely friendship is what they call it, Jensen has been told.
Jason and Dmitri hit it off like no one's business.
After their rough start, it's a complete surprise how well these two characters work together, so one day Jensen walks up to Brad Nichols, their showrunner, since he happens to be on set.
“Jensen, hey,” the tall, dark-haired guy with the wacky Harry-Potter-style glasses smiles. He's known Jensen for a long time now, and Jensen is allowed to ask questions only few of them dare to ask.
“Hey,” Jensen greets him, and they shake hands. “How are you?”
They exchange pleasantries, nothing serious, before Jensen cuts the red tape. “So, there's something I wanted to ask. This thing with Dmitri and Jason, how did that happen?”
“Well, Dmitri was well-received by the audience, they all wanted to know more about him. He's an interesting character, so we kept him around. From what I've seen, you and Misha work pretty well together, too.”
Jensen smiles. “That's true. Misha's a great guy, we got along immediately.”
“That translated perfectly on screen, let me tell you. You like working with him?”
“A lot,” Jensen admits.
“Good to know,” Brad smiles in that secretive way of his that Jensen never was able to interpret right.
Dmitri swallows heavily when he enters Jason's shop one evening.
“Look who the cat dragged in,” Jason chuckles, waving at him. “The usual?”
“I was not dragged in by cat,” Dmitri grumbles and takes a seat at one of the small tables. “Walked by myself.”
“It's a figure of speech,” Jason clarifies with a grin. “So. Black coffee?”
“Yes,” Dmitri nods, “Please.”
As Jason brings him the cup, he asks, “What's the matter? You look serious.”
“I have to go. Find Alexis, make things right,” Dmitri glares into his coffee.
Jason's smile falls at that. He sits down at the table, too, turns his chair so he's facing Dmitri, and rests his elbows on his knees. “Oh, I see. So, will you be back?”
“Don't know.” Dmitri doesn't meet Jason's eyes. It's unsettling.
“As long as Alexis doesn't come back,” Jason jokes with a grimace.
“No,” Dmitri shakes his head. When Misha looks up at Jensen, his eyes look sad.
“You're not gonna... you know. Kill him,” Jason jokes, only trying to sound half serious, but he clenches his hands together between his knees.
“Not complete unlikely.”
“What's that supposed to mean? Easy there, big boy,” Jensen makes it sound suggestive to take the tension out of it and adds a wink.
Misha stares at him for a moment, eyes wide and glittering with something hot and dangerous, before he completely looses it. With a bright laugh, he holds his stomach and leans forward until his forehead rests against Jensen's shoulder.
His hair smells nice. Like lemons.
Jensen laughs, too, can't help it. Misha's laughter is too contagious. So he pats Misha's shoulders. “There, there.”
“Fuck,” Misha curses under his breath, but he's still grinning. At the director's clap and order to repeat the scene, he sits back and does as told.
Once again, Jensen decides to do the “Easy there, big boy,” scene with a wink, and once again, Misha breaks character and cracks up. It takes them ten minutes and an emergency call to Lydia from make-up to calm down.
Misha's smirk is persistent on his lips for the rest of the day.
“So this is it,” Jensen says, pulling pieces of paper off the label of his beer bottle. “I don't get it. The other day, I talked to Brian, and he said your character was perceived very positively and they decided to keep you around. Plus, you've been here for almost three months now.”
Misha hums affirmatively, but doesn't look at him, either. The good old Nirvana poster on the wall of Mike's bar seems to be much more interesting than Jensen's face. “I guess it works,” he says. “I only asked for a week off work for that one guest role I got on Nip/Tuck. I didn't think he'd--”
“Yeah,” Jensen answers, lost in thought. He hadn't looked forward to a week working without Misha on set, but Misha deserved it and it couldn't be helped. He hadn't suspected this outcome, either. “Do you know if you'll come back?”
Misha shrugs. “Might be. Brian didn't tell me anything. So you don't know anything, either?”
Jensen shakes his head, grimacing.
“Maybe it's an 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' thing,” Misha muses. “For Jason, I mean.”
Jensen doesn't want to stare at him, and yet he longs to have those blue eyes on him. What's with him lately?
“Misha,” he says, slowly, lets his eyes flicker from one of Misha's eyes to the other, feeling insecure and curious and so fucking off his game that it's irritating.
Misha is radiating calm and infuriating confidence when he turns to look at Jensen, and it sets Jensen's teeth on edge. All he can think about is that he wants to mess Misha up, make him feel the tension he feels right now. He's torn apart inside, he wants and he needs and he can't even put his finger on what he wants and needs--
Just, he's never felt anything like this before. This crackling, intense energy.
So irritable, so drawn tight, so needy.
As per usual, Misha is in his space, has inserted himself in it since the first day of filming, like it's the most natural thing in the world. As per usual, Misha is smiling that dangerous, delicious smile with his full, plump lips and when-- Jensen doesn't know when these thoughts started to infiltrate his mind. But they're there. Misha's there. Always.
When he re-focuses on Misha before him, Jensen finds Misha staring at his lips before his eyes flicker back up to Jensen's eyes. “Yes?”
Jensen feels restless, his legs are jittery, and his hands are sweaty. This is beyond anything he had imagined his goodbye to Misha to be.
“I... forgot what I meant to say.”
Misha still looks at him, bites his bottom lip and oh .
Jensen swallows, but he can't look away.
“Jensen,” Misha says with a kind of resolve that makes Jensen perk up, like he just came to a conclusion. “I know you said you're straight. But there's something that makes me wonder.”
Jensen's heart skips about three beats before it jumps up to a way too high pace. Adrenaline shoots through Jensen's veins. “Okay.”
Misha leans forward, his expression careful and neutral, but his eyes alight. “Let's say – we recognize this desire between us, and I know you feel it too, and act on it. Let's say, the two of us get together tonight. Let's say, there's this big bang, and you wake up beside me tomorrow.”
Misha's eyes drop to half mast, the fire burning within them setting Jensen's each and every nerve on fire. Just the thought of Misha in his bed makes his blood shoot south, makes his stomach tingle, makes his heart thump painfully against his ribcage.
He leans back, rubs his hand over his mouth and moans around a quiet, “ Fuck .”
God, so much unresolved sexual tension.
“Okay, I'd be in,” he admits after a second, without knowing what he's going to do, how this is going to work.
He's 36, he's a small-time soap opera actor, he has only dated women in all his life, and yet there's this man, right here in front of him, who makes him want things he's never desired in his life – and the feeling is so exhilarating that Jensen is drunk on it, and not because of the three sips of beer he had.
He leaves the bottle more than half full on the counter and follows Misha outside without hesitation. He ignores Mike's knowing wink.
He wants, he wants, he wants.
The words, the thoughts are thrumming through his mind, driving him crazy, making him grin a stupidly wide grin, make him feel like he's on some kind of drug that has no bad side effects, just an exciting rush of anticipation.
He looks at Misha, eyes skimming over his back, down his spine, to his ass and legs and god. Does he want.
By the time they reach Jensen's apartment, Jensen can barely restrain himself.
But once the door closes behind them, he finds himself staring at Misha, waiting with no idea what to do.
Misha carefully steps towards Jensen, who leans back against the door. Misha's aftershave isn't strong, but this close, Jensen can smell it, and it makes his heart jump. Sandalwood and lemons and Misha.
“Still want it?” he whispers into Jensen's ear and – god. If Jensen even had one figment of doubt, it would have been blown to smithereens by that simple sentence.
“Yes,” he answers with emphasis, drops his head back against the door to give Misha freedom to move as he pleases.
And Misha just stands there, looks at him with a glimmer in his eyes that's a double dare for Jensen to take the first step.
“Misha,” he moans, openly desperate now. “I have no idea what to do, I have never... just. Please.”
With an eyebrow high on his forehead and a lopsided smirk on his lips, Misha leans in, one hand resting against Jensen's chest, slowly running down the buttons of his shirt, over his stomach, to hook his index finger into his belt buckle without opening it.
Jensen groans again. It's like Misha's fingertips are searing his skin, his touch electric.
“Show me that you want it,” Misha smiles. “And I'll show you things you haven't even dreamed of.”
“Cheesy,” Jensen rolls his eyes, but the choice to make from here is easy enough. He grabs Misha's face, cups both his cheeks in his hands, and kisses him.
Just once. A peck, his lips closed as they press against Misha's, gentle and easy.
Misha sucks in a harsh breath, huffs out a laugh, and when his eyes meet Jensen's, they are burning into his with need and arousal. His left hand wraps around Jensen's neck, fingertips sliding into the short hair at the back of his neck, making Jensen shiver from the possessive gesture, and then Misha is meeting him halfway, slams their lips together in another kiss. A hard, demanding one, that's just as possessive as the grip of Misha's fingers in his hair.
Jensen moans into Misha's mouth, doesn't care one bit how desperate he sounds. “Misha.”
The truth is, Jensen has no idea what to say, what to do. He allows himself to get swept up in Misha's pace, in Misha's presence, in the way his fingers skim over his body, maddening, teasing, exciting.
Jensen isn't a virgin by a far stretch. He's had girlfriends and flings, one-night-stands and casual acquaintances. All of them women. All of them soft, pliant, moving with him, the occasional one into the more rougher or more demanding side, but all of them – women.
It's completely incomparable to what Misha's clever tongue is doing to his mouth right now. It's too deliberate to be just playful, too thorough to be a flickering touch, too earnest to be teasing. The whole thing is making Jensen tingle all over, where Misha's hands meet his skin there's a fire burning, making him want more. More of what he can't put his finger on, more of what he can imagine and what he's heard of, but is unable to voice.
The tip of Misha's tongue trails over Jensen's bottom lip before Misha sucks it between his lips, releases it slowly, and Jensen doesn't bother holding back the deep sigh when his lip is released, feeling tender and swollen.
Fingers are trailing along the waistband of his jeans, slipping under it with just the tip, trailing back to his belt buckle. Misha strips him right then and there, in the hallway of his own apartment, and Jensen couldn't care less where his clothes end up, as long as he's touched by Misha's hands.
“What do you want?” Misha asks him breathlessly after he's taken his time looking at Jensen clad only in his boxer briefs. The look in his eyes is so appreciative and deeply affected that it instantly calms Jensen down, knowing that he's not the only one feeling like he does.
“You. Any way I can get you,” he admits with a low mumble straight into Misha's ear. “Don't worry, I'm gonna say it if I'm not comfortable with something.”
Misha chuckles, the puffs of his breath tickling the fine hair on Jensen's neck. “Now who's being cheesy.”
“So?” Jensen shrugs, feeling bold as he trails his hands from the small of Misha's back to his front, slipping them under Misha's loose v-neck shirt, caressing the sensitive skin on his lower abdomen. Slender, hard muscles twitching under his hands. So different, so intriguing.
“Fuck,” Misha mumbles, under his breath, and begins to take his shirt off.
“Ah, nope,” Jensen grips the hem of his t-shirt and fixes him with a confident smile. “Let me.”
Misha's eyes are burning, a smirk flickering over his lips as he nods.
Jensen takes his time. In a way, this couldn't be more different than undressing a woman. When it comes to women, Jensen is very much a guy for breasts, loves to see them, cup them, suck them until she's desperate to get his mouth and fingers elsewhere. The excitement to get her shirt and bra off, to see her blush or to see her smirk with all the confidence in the world, to run his hands over soft curves and tender flesh, that's something he always looked forward to.
And yet, when his hands run up Misha's flat, muscled stomach, over his equally flat pecs, up to his broad shoulders, it's a different kind of excitement. While Misha doesn't have any equipment Jensen doesn't have himself, he's got the advantage of knowing exactly what to do with it. Or, at least, the gist of what to do with it.
So he pinches Misha's nipple lightly, watches in delight as Misha shudders and jerks. In response, Misha rolls his hips against Jensen's, creating delicious and much needed friction. They both moan, breathless and smiling at each other.
“Like that?” Jensen teases and immediately regrets it.
Because Misha has his hands on Jensen's boxer briefs, fingertips grazing over the head of his hard cock through the thin cotton.
“Do you have any idea,” Misha whispers, eyes hooded and dangerous in a way that makes Jensen's blood rush south so fast he's getting dizzy, “how long I wanted to do this?”
Within a second, he's on his knees in front of Jensen, fingers hooked under the waistband of his boxer briefs, pulling them down just far enough to expose Jensen's cock, hard and leaking precome, bopping right in front of Misha's mouth.
A mouth is a mouth, Jensen thinks, and it's not different when Misha swallows him down in one go. It's not, except for when Misha's stubble rasps over Jensen's groin and thighs as he takes him all the way; except for where Misha's big, calloused hands wrap around the base, where Misha reaches down to cup himself through his jeans – except for the fact that it totally is.
It takes Misha only a few graceful strokes of his hand, accompanying his mouth up and down Jensen's dick, until Jensen has to grab his shoulder.
“Fuck,” he curses. “Stop.”
“You okay?” Misha asks, still stroking Jensen with slow, sure moves of his hand.
“Yeah, I just-- I don't want it to be over so soon. Not like that.”
Misha's smirk grows to an extent that makes Jensen wonder if he just dug his own grave.
“Duly noted,” Misha smiles, presses a kiss into the crook of Jensen's hip, soft, tender, too tender. “Just tell me, and I'll back off.”
Jensen has to stop the most perfect blowjob he ever got – no, seriously, Misha has skills – a full three times, and by the third time, Misha retreats completely. He sits back on his heels in front of Jensen, his mouth hanging open as he pants, lips hanging puffy and red and his hair a mess from where Jensen's hands have run through it multiple times.
Debauched, Jensen thinks.
He offers a hand to Misha to help him to his feet, only to grab his hips with both hands and walk him backwards into his bedroom, like he's done with enough people over the years.
Misha isn't that pliant, though. He sidesteps Jensen, turns them around, just to be the one to shove Jensen – half-undressed with his underwear still hooked around one ankle – down onto his own bed.
“Damn, this isn't fair,” Jensen breathes out after his back hit the mattress, staring at the ceiling and trying to get his breathing back under control. His heart is hammering away in his chest and they're still doing foreplay.
“What isn't?” Misha prompts, undressing himself with deft fingers, not making it an unnecessary long show, but a simple show-off for Jensen, which. Wow. Tan, muscled arms, delicate skin stretching over it, dark hair trailing down from Misha's chest to the waistband of his pants and as if that wasn't enough, Misha has that cocky grin on his face, his blue eyes sparkling. Breathtaking.
Jensen chuckles, watches Misha unbuckle his pants and pull them down together with his underwear. Strong thighs, hairy legs, that's new. “I always found myself thinking why women let me do this, the whole--” he gestures to the bed, mimics the shoving, “But looking at you now, I totally get it.”
That's sure a sight he hasn't seen before.
He just wants this man to push him into the mattress and have his way with him, a thought that doesn't surprise him all that much anymore.
Misha throws his clothes aside and crawls onto the bed, hands and knees on both sides of Jensen's body. “You do?”
“God, I do,” Jensen moans, right when Misha's hand closes around his cock once more.
Instinctively, he reaches upward, reaches for Misha to return the favor. He matches the way Misha strokes him, figures it's the way he likes it, and is not mistaken.
To see Misha's head fall down onto his chest, a groan wringing its way out of his throat, and all because Jensen knows how to touch him just the right way – exhilarating is an understatement for what Jensen feels. There's something to be said about a man losing control like this, about knowing exactly what it feels like for him, the pressure around his cock, just the right flick of his wrist. Misha's dick is a pleasant weight in his hand, a bit thicker than his own, a bit shorter, a bit more curved upward. Nothing to feel intimidated by, rather aesthetically pleasing.
Jensen wonders what Misha tastes like, but doesn't dare voice the thought.
“Let me show you something,” Misha pants, nudging Jensen's hand away.
Jensen lets him, simply because he's curious, and Misha fits their hips together, their cocks sliding against each other's, and then there's Misha's hand, wrapping around both of them.
“Oh,” Jensen sighs, taken by surprise at how well they just fit, how good it feels.
And he tries, tries so hard not to compare this to former experiences, because it's not fair when one compares two different women, and it's not fair now.
Misha is on another level, anyway. His hair is short when Jensen cards his fingers through it again, and his beard rasps over the sensitive skin of Jensen's neck when he peppers kisses from Jensen's ear down his jaw.
Misha, who has his mouth latched to Jensen's collar bone, nibbles, licks, makes Jensen mindless with how in tune he seems to be with Jensen's body, trial-and-erroring himself through which buttons to push.
No, this is no competition, no comparison worth considering. Misha watches him closely, takes note of each and every single moan Jensen gives away.
So Jensen doesn't hold back, doesn't pretend, just lets his head drop back into the pillow, moans with how relaxed and comfortable and aroused he feels.
“Can I ask you something?” Misha starts, trailing kisses up his neck.
“Sure,” Jensen rasps and folds his left arm under his head, props himself up on his elbow so he can look at Misha.
“For someone who has never slept with a man, you're weirdly okay with this,” Misha notes. “Not that I mind, you know, just. Wondering.”
Jensen hums, shrugs, then reaches up to run his fingertips over the stubble on Misha's cheek, down his jawline to his full lips, caresses them with the pad of his thumb. “I'm about twenty years too old to freak out about it. What you're doing feels really damn good, so. I like it, why fight it?”
Misha laughs, quietly, under his breath. It's a beautiful, warm laugh, and Jensen pulls him down to kiss it right off his face, grins against his lips.
The kiss is just as slow and steady as Misha's hand stroking them both, holding them at a level of arousal that is already almost too much for Jensen. Misha's lips are insistent on his in a way that makes Jensen breathless and wanting more, even more, always more.
“C'mon,” Jensen whispers against Misha's lips, licks against Misha's upper lip to get him to pause for just a moment.
“Hm?” Misha opens his eyes and smiles down at him, brilliantly, and Jensen's treacherous heart does a funny jump.
Jensen ignores it. “Gimme more,” he mumbles.
For a moment, Misha just stares, blinks at him, but then he moans, mutters, “Fuck me,” to himself.
“If you're okay with it, I'd suggest the other way around,” Jensen winks, because he might as well make use of this chance.
“During your first time?” Misha asks in disbelief.
Jensen rolls his eyes, then quirks an eyebrow at Misha. “Like I never had a finger in my ass.”
Misha holds his gaze, lips parted and kiss-swollen, his eyes shining, his hair a mess.
Fucking gorgeous , Jensen finds himself thinking once again. He bites his bottom lip while Misha stares in awe.
Eventually, Misha nods, huffs out a little laugh. “You know, it's a bit more than a finger.”
“Didn't mean to hurt your manly pride,” Jensen chuckles. He reaches down to wrap his hand around Misha's hand and both their cocks, strokes them just a bit firmer. “But I didn't think I'd need to clarify.”
Misha shudders under his touch, lifts himself up with a graceful arc of his back, getting some space between them. Jensen almost protests in disappointment when they untangle and their hands part.
But Misha's sitting back on his haunches, panting harshly, eyes hooded, whispers, “Sorry, had to stop, or else...”
Jensen shoots him a lopsided smirk and makes use of the minute Misha takes to regain his composure. With Misha still sitting between his legs, Jensen leans over to reach for his bedside table, for the lube that is tucked into the top drawer.
“Catch,” he says with a look at Misha over his shoulder, and throws it in an easy arc for Misha to pluck it out of mid-air. Condoms are easy to find, so Jensen grabs two of those, too.
“How do you want to...” Misha trails off, watches Jensen with his eyes wide open, pupils dilated.
Jensen props himself up on his elbows and thinks about it, thinks about his thought from before, about how Misha smells and tastes. He'd really like to know. “Sixty-nine? Me on top?”
A smile tugs at the edges of Misha's lips, before he nods and rolls off of Jensen and onto his back.
Jensen follows him, takes his position on top of him. He's only ever done this the other way around, with him on his back, but the principle is easy enough. There's a funny feeling in his stomach, something between excitement and curiosity, and it makes Jensen giddy. He leans down, buries his nose in the curly, crude pubic hair beside the base of Misha's cock, and breathes him in.
Salty and sweet, clean sweat and some kind of minty shower gel.
Jensen exhales, tries not to think about what Misha is doing when he inches forwards, licks experimentally at the soft skin of Misha's shaft, licks up, up, until he reaches the tip, and does what multiple women have done to him before – circles the sensitive head with his tongue, closes his lips around it, and bops his head up and down a few times. The sensation of a dick sliding into his mouth, along his lips, is weird and new, but--
Underneath him, Misha releases an unrestrained groan. Loud, unapologetic, needy.
The sound makes Jensen both proud and ridiculously turned on, because he's the reason Misha made that sound. It's a heady feeling.
And just when he accommodated the feeling of Misha's cock stretching his lips, the velvety skin against his tongue, the musky, manly smell in his nose, just then he feels a slick, warm finger circle his entrance. Jensen groans when Misha pries, careful, slips only the tip inside, and feels like his heart might jump out of his chest any second now.
Misha's other hand cups his balls, rolls them through his fingers, tugs with just the perfect pressure, so good that the way he thrusts his finger in and out in short, almost too short moves, doesn't feel the least bit uncomfortable. A bit strange, maybe, since it's been a while, but pleasant.
Suddenly, Misha stops. “Jensen? You alright?”
And only then does Jensen realize that he's hovering with the head of Misha's dick resting against his lips, and that he also forgot how to breathe.
“Yeah, yeah, I'm fine,” he chuckles, then licks his apology against the skin of Misha's cock, sucks him down as far as he dares without triggering his gag reflex, and it's honest to god amazing.
Misha groans, his dick twitches between Jensen's lips, and then he's got the entirety of Misha's finger in his ass. Misha presses it down and forward until it hits his prostate, and that's exactly why Jensen wanted to try it in the first place, wanted to try it with one of his ex-girlfriends, to know what that feels like.
He squirms a bit in order to give Misha better access, to spread his cheeks apart and work him open slowly, so deliciously slowly. All the while Jensen is still busy trying to figure out how to concentrate on sucking cock, which is nearly impossible.
One finger isn't really a problem. So Misha adds a second one soon after, and Jensen grunts in surprise and sudden discomfort.
“Ouch,” he whispers.
“Did I hurt you?” Misha asks immediately, sounding worried.
“No, I'm just... that was a bit surprising.”
Misha places a kiss onto his thigh in apology, then gives him a couple minutes to get used to the pressure of being filled like that. Jensen tries to distract himself by alternately stroking Misha's cock and suckling at the tip, teasing him, keeping him on edge.
“You're killing me here,” Misha chuckles after a while, shoving his fingers a bit deeper, and Jensen feels how his muscles give way, loosening up as they adapt to the stretch.
He decides to go all in then, literally, and moves down to let Misha's cock slide all the way in until it hits the back of his throat. It's not easy to control his gag reflex, but Jensen manages it, and the way Misha shudders and groans under his hands is worth it, so very worth it.
“Fuck, that's good,” Misha moans, then adds to tease Jensen, “Seems like you're a natural.”
Jensen chuckles, the vibrations making Misha's dick twitch between his lips.
Misha takes revenge by rubbing both of his fingertips over Jensen's prostate, making him groan. Eventually, Jensen just pulls off, rises until Misha gets the hint and carefully removes his fingers.
“We need a condom,” Jensen states, then takes the package Misha hands him.
Jensen has had practice with condoms, but only ever because of using them himself. It's a bit weird to roll one over Misha's cock and cover it with some extra lube.
With a smile and both hands on Jensen's thighs, Misha encourages him to straddle his hips.
Jensen doesn't need to be told twice.
He positions himself, reaches behind his back for Misha's cock, presses the tip against his entrance and it promptly – slips off.
He laughs, breathy, breathlessly, in the back of his throat, and Misha grins. “Happens. Just try again,” he says, fingers stroking over Jensen's hipbone, soothing, gentle, deliberate.
Jensen tries, again and again, until he thinks he sprained his back, but Misha waits with the patience of an angel, and in the end, they make it. The head of Misha's dick pushes into him, stretches him, and when it slips in past the second ring of muscle, Jensen finds himself trembling above Misha, gasping for air.
“Slow,” Misha advises around a groan. “Take your time.”
“Yeah,” Jensen moans, sinks a bit deeper, and finally lets go of Misha's cock to rest his hand on the mattress, supporting himself as he leans forward. The motion makes Misha slip in just a bit deeper, and then another bit, and then Jensen pushes down and – “God, fuck,” Jensen mumbles. It's in, stretching him, filling him.
“How's it feel?” Misha asks, carefully holding Jensen where he sits right in his lap, with his dick shoved to the hilt in his ass for the first time.
“Big,” Jensen answers with a lopsided grin, keeps his eyes closed, focusing on the feeling, focusing on relaxing his strained muscles. “Overwhelming.”
“It's true,” Jensen smirks, then dares to open his eyes and look at Misha.
He looks every bit as gorgeous as Jensen expected him to, with his hair mussed and his plush lips parted and that desperate look in his eyes. “May I move?” he almost begs, his voice shot to hell, rough, deep, and Jensen never knew something like that could be so arousing.
Slowly, he grinds his hips against Misha, just to see what it feels like to have Misha's dick move in his ass. First, it's weird, but after a couple times of moving up and down, Jensen finds himself relaxing into the sensation.
Jensen groans. “Yeah, you can.”
And without hesitation, Misha grabs his hips, holds him steady, and thrusts upwards just a bit, rendering Jensen speechless.
There's no way that Misha's thrust hit anything but his prostate, dead-on.
Noticing his reaction, Misha does it again, and again, driving Jensen straight to the edge of coming his brains out.
And Jensen lets himself fall forward, claws at Misha's shoulders, holds on for dear life-- and manages to completely ruin the angle. So he ends up lying on Misha's rapidly rising and falling chest, desperate, ready to come, and completely unable to.
He feels like a spring drawn too tight and ready to uncurl, but held together by force.
He groans with overwhelming frustration and Misha runs his hand through his hair, pulls him in to kiss him quick and and open-mouthed and filthy, tongue lapping at Jensen's lips. Jensen bucks in his grip, arches his back, fights for his orgasm, but it won't happen, not like this.
Misha chuckles against his lips, kisses him harder. “Patience, young Padawan,” he mumbles amused.
“I was so close,” Jensen groans again, fists curling into the bed sheets.
“I know,” Misha says, then slips his hands lower, nudges at Jensen's chest. “Here, let me.”
Jensen sits up, makes some aborted, little moves, until he finds back to that satisfying grind of his hips against Misha's, that perfect rhythm of stimulation, and then there's Misha's hand – Misha's hand, wrapping around his dick, stroking him with sure moves.
“That's it,” Jensen sighs, gasps for air when Misha adds a twist of his hand around the tip of Jensen's dick. “Fuck, Misha.”
The feeling, both familiar and all-new, hits Jensen dead-on.
And then there's the curl of his stomach again, the tension ready to snap, and this time, Misha is there to nudge him over the edge with a set of well-paced thrusts, to guide him into a world blazing white with pleasure and relief. Jensen is a shaking mess by the time Misha snaps his hips upwards a couple more times, until his fingernails are biting into Jensen's hips and Misha's low groans fill his ears. The feeling of Misha's cock twitching in his ass, emptying himself into the condom, is both alienating and hot as hell, and Jensen groans from overstimulation.
Misha is gorgeous, though, his back drawn tight with tension, moaning shamelessly, until he falls back onto the mattress, carefully slipping out of Jensen as an afterthought.
Jensen rolls to the side, lies down on his back beside Misha and just breathes.
Earth-shattering orgasms aside, that was incredible sex, for a first time.
“You okay?” Misha asks, his head lolling to the side so he can look at Jensen.
“Yeah,” Jensen answers in a daze, then starts to grin to himself. “Okay is kind of an understatement.”
Misha laughs, which fades into a yawn.
“Me too,” Jensen agrees, notices that the hand he's holding in front of his open mouth smells of lube and latex. He couldn't care less, though. “Let's sleep.”
Misha eyes him a bit wearily. “Would it be okay if I stayed the night?”
“Sure,” Jensen nods and means it.
“Alright, then I'm just gonna go clean up.”
“You do that. Bathroom's that way.”
There's still a sticky mess of lube between his ass cheeks, but Jensen doesn't mind. He's exhausted, and content, and tomorrow he'll have to be on set at 8 a.m., as per usual. So he lets his eyes slip closed and drifts off.
“Good night, Jensen,” he hears, barely minutes later, when the mattress dips beside him.
“Night, Mish,” he answers, soft, too soft, and almost too quiet.
The next morning, Jensen's alarm wakes them at his usual time.
“How late is it?” Misha mumbles with closed eyes from beside him and--
Jensen does a double take. Right. Misha. Sex. Last night.
“Um. Half past six. And good morning to you,” Jensen mutters, feeling a bit awkward and disguising it behind his sleepiness.
“Morning,” Misha mumbles back and opens his eyes with a slow flutter of his eyelids, revealing those clear blue eyes.
Jensen swallows and turns away to stretch his limbs. “You want breakfast?”
“If it's not too much trouble.”
“Nah,” Jensen waves him off, then gets up to get ready for the day.
Twenty minutes later, they're sitting at the breakfast bar in Jensen's kitchen, drinking coffee and eating scrambled eggs in what Jensen can only describe as comfortable silence.
It's a quiet ordeal of ten minutes while the radio updates them on the latest news of the city, and it's only broken when Jensen gets a refill of coffee, asking Misha if he wants seconds, too, to which Misha agrees.
And then Jensen clears his throat and explains, “I need to go to work in ten minutes.”
Misha answers, completely unfazed and cheerful, “Right, okay. I'll get going, then.”
At the door, Misha gathers his belongings – not more than his coat – and slips on his sneakers before he looks up at Jensen.
“I'll see you around,” he says. “Thank you for everything.”
“Yeah,” Jensen nods and smiles. “You're welcome and thank you, too.”
Misha gives himself a visible nudge and steps forward on his tiptoes to lean up and kiss Jensen, one last kiss that doesn't feel like a last kiss.
When the door closes, Jensen leans his back against it and lets himself slide down until he's sitting on the floor. His shirt from last night is crumpled in a heap over his running shoes, he notices.
Also, he just let the guy who fucked him in the ass last night walk out the door.
Just like that.
And it's not like Jensen regrets what happened, because he wanted it, he didn't need to be persuaded, and enjoyed it a lot – but still, his manly pride is a bit sore this morning.
Also, his ass hurts.
Jensen gathers himself and his shirt up off the floor and gets ready for work.
It shouldn't mean a lot.
It doesn't mean a lot.
Jensen's life just goes on.
For the next day, the muscles in his back ache every time he bends sideways, a side effect left by his first, clumsy tries to ride Misha. It's a gentle reminder, and as weird as it appears at first, whenever Jensen feels that twinge in his back, he's a little giddy inside. Also, his ass is still sore, and Jensen wonders if that's something that always happens or only because it was his first time. He sits down with his laptop to google it, but can't think of what actual term to type into Google, then decides that neither he nor the NSA agents checking his internet search history need to be confronted with that particular information and closes the tab.
After all, it was just a one-off thing anyway, this night with Misha.
And Misha is gone now. Who knows if he'll be back. Plus, this all just happened because they don't know.
Jensen is back on set and working as usual, and Jason gets to say a few lines to Susan on how Dmitri is dealing with the whole Alexis situation. He gets to comfort her because she's angsting about it – of course she is, they're on a soap opera after all – and she gets to cry onto his shoulder, which apparently gets a couple appreciative fan reactions.
They had these before.
Jensen has been on the show long enough to have had one or another love interest paired to his character in the past, right until The Powers That Be decided that the character who runs their favorite setting doesn't need a girlfriend. Because he doesn't. It only complicates the other main storylines and Jason the coffee shop owner is very happy on his own, since all the people in town are venting to him over espressos and latte macchiatos all day anyway.
And Jensen is cool with that, he is, it's just that his character hasn't had a storyline of his own for years. From an actor standpoint, it's a comfortable, but unchallenging job. And he's not too keen on cheesy romantic dialogue anyway.
Jensen hasn't ever had a problem with stepping back to have other characters shine.
That's why he perks up at Susan asking Jason one day, “Do you miss Dmitri?”
The script supervisor immediately interrupts her. “Hold. It's 'Are you worried about Dmitri?'.”
“Thanks,” Allison nods towards her with a smile, then gets back into character. “Are you worried about Dmitri?”
Jason sighs and puts down the towel he used to wipe the counter down. “A bit. He promised to let me know what's going on, but I haven't heard from him in three days.”
“He'll be alright, you'll see,” Susan says with an encouraging smile. “So, Jason, there's a favor I'd like to ask of you.”
“Sure, shoot,” Jason looks up, grateful for the change of topic.
“Would you mind babysitting on Saturday? After you lock up around here,” Susan asks.
Jason doesn't mind, and it gives them a wonderful opportunity to have an actual baby on set for an episode of Jason being instructed on how to babysit and hold Susan's little bundle of energy and it's all a lot of fun.
“The fans love it,” Brian says to them three weeks later, after the episode aired. “The whole dynamic between Susan and Jason, I mean. They want to see more of you.”
“So, this is happening?” Jensen asks, a bit taken by surprise. The truth is, he's feeling his character getting closer to Susan, he does, but it's very much platonic.
“Absolutely,” Brian nods and smiles with confidence. “You'll see, they'll eat that up.”
“If you say so,” Jensen smiles back, trying to stay positive no matter how much Jason is not okay with this. Jason never needed a love interest. Forcing one just feels weird.
The next time they get a script, it has a scene between Susan and Jason that makes Jensen's skin crawl. It's been a while since that happened.
It's supposed to be subtle and flirty, but all Jensen can see and hear while Allison is doing her best to get a casual complaint about being a young parent across is too bleak and too boring.
“You could come over some time,” Susan offers to Jason with a tilt of her hip. “The little one likes you, he'd be happy to see you again.”
“I hope not just him,” Jason returns, in an unsubtle attempt to fish for compliments.
“Not just him,” Susan winks and turns around in a way that makes her dark skirt lift and her short blonde hair swing. She looks absolutely stunning, but Jason isn't too impressed.
They say goodbye and Jensen sighs quietly to himself.
It's just another Tuesday and Jensen does his job.
Can't be helped.
“Hey, have you heard it yet?” Allison bounces over to where Jensen is sitting in the cafeteria, having lunch, and plops down beside him, nudging his shoulder.
“Hear what?” he asks back with his eyebrows raised.
That's when Tom joins them, one of the guys on set that Jensen gets along with very well. He'd say they're friends, as far as workplace friendships go. Tom is smart and talented and also the gentlest, nicest person Jensen has ever had the pleasure of meeting. Unfortunately, he only plays a minor recurring role, so he isn't on set too often.
Tom's blue eyes find his immediately when he sets his tray down across the table from Jensen.
“Supernatural got canceled,” he explains, sounding as baffled as Jensen feels.
“What, after only three years? I thought they had good reviews and ratings,” Jensen shakes his head and lays his knife aside to take a sip from his water.
Tom shrugs. “Well, the ratings dropped during their last season, and the reviews started getting worse. Some kind of chemistry issue between the lead characters, as far as I understood it.”
“You're kidding,” Jensen is stunned. Stephen and Jared? Really?
Allison shakes her head. “No, that's what I heard, too. But you know what that means.”
“Yeah,” Jensen nods and can't help himself. He's grinning from ear to ear and he doesn't care one bit how evil it might look, that he's so happy to see two fellow actors lose their jobs. “Jared might come back. Alexis, I mean.”
Allison grins right back. “Damn right. Man, I hope they get him on the show again.”
Tom shrugs again, then starts to chuckle. “I honestly don't care how they manage it, I'm just hoping to have Jared on set again. It's been so quiet since Misha left.”
Jensen's grin dims at that. “Yeah.”
“He's such a funny, talented guy. Really brought something special to Dmitri,” Tom starts, shoveling baked fish into his mouth.
“Yeah,” Jensen says again and swallows.
Damn, he knew that Tom's blue eyes reminded him of someone.
He rubs his hand over his mouth, pretending to brush away some leftover crumbs, when all he wants is to hide how he feels when Misha comes up.
It's been more than five weeks and the twinge in his back has long since healed.
He's mostly convinced himself that the night he spent with Misha was a one-off thing. Curiosity, explored, done.
But he can't help it, when Misha's name is brought up, his heart jumps into his throat and stays there.
“Let's see if we get Jared back,” he changes the topic.
Tom's gaze lingers on him for just a second too long, and Jensen wonders if he suspects something. Tom has known him for a while now, but they're not that close that he'd dare ask what happened between Jensen and Misha, even if he knew for sure that something happened at all in the first place.
Jensen is more than glad for Tom's sense of tact.
Days like today, when Brian is on set, there's always something going on.
So, it's needless to say that Jensen is waiting for the bomb to drop all day. Either they're getting some new cast member – along with a big announcement, because they change cast members all the time, it's not something Brian usually graces them with his presence with to announce – or they're losing somebody.
Jensen is pretty sure he's not being fired.
His acting with Allison was solid these past few weeks, no matter how much he personally thought that their characters had nothing in common that would be a suitable base for a romantic relationship. Allison felt the same way, but. It was their job, and their paycheck.
Brian rounds them up at lunch, and Jensen doesn't know what to hope for.
On the one hand, he hopes for Misha to come back, because, well, it's Misha. And the thought of Misha makes him feel weirdly excited and only a bit awkward. On the other hand, he hopes to get Jared back on the show, for purely selfish reasons.
Jared and him – it wasn't a long story. It was a couple of episodes until Jared got cast for Supernatural, and no matter how much of an asshole Alexis was, Jared was one of the friendliest, nicest actors Jensen ever had the pleasure of meeting. Beside Tom, that is. He was talented, too. They hit it straight off from their very first scene together, finding themselves in an almost too easy friendship within days of working together. Jensen rarely had so much fun filming as he had with Jared. They were good for each other, they had that whole actor chemistry without any sexual implications, they just clicked and they fit and it was comfortable.
So the prospect of Jared coming back for just an episode would make Jensen insanely happy, while the prospect of Misha returning is still tainted with mixed feelings, mostly because of his own insecurities.
When Brian says, “Jared Padalecki will be back on set with us from next Monday on, reprising his role as Alexis,” Jensen sighs with relief, then starts to grin.
Tom high-fives him. Allison claps her hands and grins just as big as Jensen does.
Jared will be back. One of the best friends he's ever had will be back.
The tiny bit of disappointment stabbing at Jensen's heart is completely overwritten by the happiness he feels.
In true fashion for the set of 'Among Us', they welcome Jared back with an evening of drinking at Mike's bar.
“Look who's showing his ugly mug around here again,” Mike cheers when they come in, going so far as to walk around the counter to hug Jared. “Jare, my man!”
“Glad to have you back,” Tom says when he arrives five minutes later – it wasn't one of his scheduled shooting days, but he wouldn't miss Jared's welcome-back-party – and pats Jared on the back. “Even though I have serious competition on set now when it comes to who's the tallest cast member.”
“You gotta learn how to deal with it sometime,” Jared shrugs, then breaks into that sunny grin of his to match Tom's.
When Jared showed up on set earlier, he'd immediately greeted them with hugs and handshakes all around, and Jensen got an especially tight hug. “It's so good to be back working with you,” Jared had said into his ear, and Jensen couldn't help but chuckle.
He can't wait to get this whole ordeal over with and sit down with Jared like they used to, on the couch in one of their apartments, playing videogames or shooting the shit over a game and beer in the evening. With Jared, that's easy, second nature, something they didn't need to discuss to fall into. Kind of like it was with Misha, minus the sexual tension.
Jared is the kind of friend you don't need to talk to all the time. Even if you don't see each other for months or even years, you're still friends after being apart.
So Jensen restrains himself right now, just leans back in his booth and watches Jared joke around with Allison and Tom, watches the newer cast members watch him to get to know him, smiles to himself and drinks his beer.
Objectively speaking, Jared is more than attractive.
And Jensen doesn't feel the least bit attracted to him.
It's an incredible relief to realize that, for some reason.
Later that night, after they've worked up a nice buzz over beers and the younger actors started to trickle out on their way home, Jared returns from the bar with two whiskey tumblers in his hands.
He puts them down on their table, now wet and sticky in places from condensation and spilled drinks, and grins at Jensen. “Laphroaig. Your favorite, right?”
Jensen grins right back and picks up one of the two glasses, toasts to Jared. It's just the two of them now, so he feels comfortable enough to sling some fake insults. “You're not just the size of an elephant, you've also got a brain like one.”
Jared throws his head back and laughs in all his glory, loud and unabashed and unapologetic, a sound that makes Jensen feel warm and comfortable. It's genuine when Jared wheezes for air, then raises his own glass to clink it against Jensen's. “I'll just take that as a compliment. Here's to... being back on a show with awesome people I enjoy working with.”
“Here's to having you back,” Jensen answers, although that makes him perk up.
“What?” Jared raises an eyebrow, setting his glass down. Of course he'll immediately pick up on Jensen's thoughts. They always have always been able to do that.
“Can I ask you something about Supernatural?” Jensen asks while staring at the bar to avoid Jared's inquiring eyes.
“I don't want to pry and you don't have to answer, but... there were rumors,” Jensen explains.
Jared huffs. “Of course there were.”
“And I just wondered how you of all people might not get along with somebody. It seems strange.”
Jared shrugs and stares into space for a few seconds, then clears his throat. “Do you want the long story short or not?”
Jensen smiles to comfort him. “Whatever you want to tell me.”
“I guess there's no point in telling the whole sob story. Maybe sometime else.”
Jensen shrugs, then nods for Jared to continue.
“I made a mistake. Well, we – Stephen and I -” and the way Stephen's name rolls off his tongue, Jensen already knows there's something wrong, because Jared doesn't put that much suspicious non-emphasis and a shrug into saying someone's name, “- we made a couple mistakes. We had great chemistry, and we hit it right off. In more ways than one, if you catch my drift.”
So Jensen had expected a lot, but not that. He guesses it shows, because Jared chuckles a bit nervously.
“Yeah, I know. It was a surprise for me, too, but, um. I'm bisexual. It's not that big of a deal, and we worked great, on and off camera, well-- until we didn't. Which was kind of what killed the show and everybody knows it. To the public, it's only an argument between the two leads, but practically everybody on set knew anyway. So I'm not surprised about the rumors.”
Jared scratches the back of his neck and Jensen empties his glass of whiskey in one go.
“Next round's on me,” he says and goes to fetch some more whiskey.
By the time he returns to the table, Jared fidgets with the label on his empty beer bottle, looking nervous and completely out of his comfort zone.
Jensen just tries to find the words he carefully set together while waiting for their drinks.
“Are you uncomfortable with what I just told you?” Jared asks, seeming dejected and unsure, lips pinched and a crease between his eyebrows, a look that doesn't fit him at all.
That makes Jensen's dive into this topic a lot easier.
He shakes his head vehemently, because he'd be kind of a hypocrite if he was. “Not at all. It surprised me, is all. I always thought you were as straight as they come.”
“Well I'm still pretty low on the Kinsey scale, but... it's those kind of situations, you know, where you're just caught up in the moment, in the heat, whatever, and you just go with the flow and afterwards you can't believe that you did that, but on the other hand you're glad you did? And then everything just falls into place and it's okay, you know?”
Jensen tries not to sigh too loudly or too obviously, because god , “I know.”
Jared huffs with obvious elation, and is only a little redder than usual when he says, “He just swept me off my feet, and it wasn't like he ever dated another guy before either, so it was great to discover that together. But dating a co-star is a minefield, and one day we realized that we couldn't handle it anymore.”
“Couldn't handle it how?” Jensen frowns.
“It's not just the publicity stuff, like conventions and red carpets that you always have to explain why you're only there with your co-star and not a date,” Jared starts, then sighs heavily and rubs the heels of his hands over his eyes. “It's also the whole discussion about whether or not you want to come out and which friends to tell and how obvious we can make it to the crew and... arguing is so exhausting. You'd think because you're both men, you know what the other one means without the whole schtick that women do, but it's not easier to deal with someone who's a straight-up dick to you.”
“Hm,” Jensen hums, and his mind circles back to Misha's words. He quickly shakes that off.
Jared groans. “It's hard to explain. But let's say I get now why women complain about men not telling them when things aren't as peachy as the women like to believe, just because men don't want to talk about their feelings.”
“Yeah,” Jensen huffs amused. “I get that.”
Jared looks up and smiles at him, then. “Cool. But hey, enough about my pathetic love life. What about you?”
“Single and happy about it,” Jensen answers, then quickly adds to avoid the landmine right in front of him, “Enough about my pathetic love life, though. You want me to update you on the road so far on 'Among Us'?”
Jared chuckles, obviously grateful for the change of topic. “It's probably necessary, I haven't really kept up with it, you know.”
“I can imagine,” Jensen smirks lopsided at him. “So Susan and Jason are currently on their way to dating--”
“What? How the hell did that happen?” Jared laughs. “Jason of all people?”
“Hey, I beg your pardon,” Jensen quirks an eyebrow at him and takes a sip of his whiskey, eyeing Jared over the rim of his glass. “Jason is a very attractive man.”
“He's also, like, completely romantically unavailable! If 'Among Us' was one of those cheesy dating simulation games, Jason would be the guy faithfully helping the main character along without being a love interest! It's just... wrong.”
Jensen chuckles, more at Jared's half-serious rant, and shrugs. “It's what The Powers That Be want, so.”
“Soap operas, I swear,” Jared groans.
“You're back working for one, if I may remind you,” Jensen teases.
“No, you may not!” Jared laughs and tosses his whiskey back, stares into the empty glass for a few seconds. “So tell me how that train wreck waiting to happen started.”
“Well it started with Alexis...”
Jared groans again.
Jensen hides his grin behind his hand and continues, “After you left, we had him mentioned on the show a couple times, and Susan got pregnant by Alexis. And then the baby was born and now Jason is helping her out and apparently people think that's very cute and romantic.”
“Wait, how did they wing the off-screen dates? Or, one-night-stands, whatever?”
And Jensen launches into another explanation of horribly cheesy backstories, until they've both made so many jokes about the show and daily soap clichés that they're practically lying across the table, laughing and in tears.
“Man, I'm so glad you're back,” Jensen gasps for air at that.
“Yeah, me too,” Jared answers, with a nostalgic and happy tone to his voice.
The thing about ad-libbing is that Jensen doesn't do it.
No matter how much he loves his character and thinks some sentences are out of line, he only throws verbs and grammar around if he thinks the sentence doesn't fit Jason's speech pattern. Nothing more. Nothing that would cause the script supervisor to throw a fit. He's learned his lesson the first five times around.
Life is too precious to be wasted on directors and writers alike arguing on set whether or not to keep the line or discard it or shoot the scene again just in case, which they do anyway. They've got enough lines to get on camera as it is, Jensen surely doesn't need to add any.
But when Alexis is all up in Jason's face about Susan and the baby and, “So you think you can be his father, or what? Please, don't make me laugh, you pathetic excuse of a coffee slinger.”
“Screw you, too,” Jason hisses back, his face distorted in the ugliest grimace he can manage.
“Or is it that you want to screw Susan, huh? Well good news on that front, she's easy as can be,” Alexis snarls. “That slut.”
Jason has a hard time not spitting right into his face, and he's supposed to defend Susan, here, to throw a punch, and Jared braces for dodging it. Jensen doesn't think about it when he fumes, “How dare you? Didn't Dmitri knock some sense into you, you prick? I swear if you laid even a finger on him...”
Jared hesitates for a second before he says, infuriatingly calm, “What's this about Dmitri? He's got nothing to do with it.”
“Cut!” the director – Paul, today - interrupts them. “Jensen, that wasn't in the script. I like it, though. Just, say it after defending Susan, alright?”
Andy, the script supervisor, just nods from the sidelines and Jensen stares from him to their director and back. “Seriously?”
“Yes, seriously,” Paul nods. “Come on, pick it up from the slut insult.”
“That slut,” he snarls at Jason, who reacts immediately by slapping him across the face.
“She's probably the most honest, wonderful person you've ever met, and you didn't deserve her, anyway,” Jason spits while Alexis cradles his cheek, looking totally stunned. Jason was never the violent type. “How dare you? Didn't Dmitri knock some sense into you, you prick?”
Jared plays along this time, collecting himself and looking smug when he answers, “This has nothing to do with Dmitri.”
He looks like something happened, something he won't admit to Jason. “I swear if you put so much as a finger on him, I will make you pay for it.”
“Ah, so you're reverting to vigilante justice to defend your boyfriend, is that it?” Alexis replies, quick as a shot and as sharp as a knife.
“Get out of my shop right now, or I'm gonna call the cops,” Jason answers, a deadly calm aura around him.
Alexis laughs, deep and husky and dangerous, huffs, “Don't bother,” and leaves Jason glaring after him.
“Cut! Well, that got intense quickly. Nice, guys.”
Jensen has to shake the weird feeling off with unusual effort. Getting out of character and taking a few breaths has rarely been that hard. Then again, Jared has always been able to draw his best performances out of him.
“Why didn't you deny the boyfriend part, though?” the director wants to know.
Jensen startles, only now remembering Jared's – Alexis' – words and their meaning. “I, um. Didn't think too much about them. The audience knows it's not true, anyway, and if I'd go all No Homo on him, the viewers will probably take it the wrong way.”
Paul strokes his bearded chin with his index finger and thumb and nods. “Like it's a joke, an insult. I get it.”
“Even if it was true, it'd be okay, so not giving it the power to even be considered an insult was the right way to go,” Jared adds as he returns to the stage. “Sorry for using it, though.”
“It's alright,” Jensen waves him off, knowing full well that Jared would be the last to pull something like that and mean it.
The director pats them both on the shoulders. “Good work by the way, guys. I could practically see the sparks flying between Alexis and Jason, and not in the way Dmitri made them fly, either. Keep it up.”
He goes back behind the cameras to the filming crew to review some shots, and Jared leans towards Jensen, asking quietly, “What does he mean with the sparks and Dmitri?”
“Well... Jason and Dmitri kind of struck up an unlikely friendship, after lots of heated arguing,” Jensen explains.
“Who played Dmitri, anyway? Do I know him?”
“Misha Collins?” Jensen tries to sound nonchalant and probably fails.
Jared shrugs. “Never heard of him.”
Jensen almost swallows his tongue, but manages to cough out, “Cool guy. I liked working with him.”
And fucking him.
He doesn't add that part. Jared shoots him enough curious looks as it is. “Something else I should know?”
“Nah, that's all,” Jensen answers, only realizing after answering that Jared probably meant the whole Jason-and-Dmitri dynamic on the show, and not his personal relationship with Misha.
“Alright guys, another take!” the director calls from the sidelines, and Jensen has never been gladder to be called to set, if just for being spared the awkwardness following their exchange. “Last one for today!”
Allison tries, bless her heart.
Jensen tries, too, but it's just--
“Cut! Take ten! Guys, what's going on?”
“I can't kiss him, he's Jason!” Allison laughs around a snort, steadies herself with her hands on Jensen's shoulders as she leans forward and laughs into Jensen's chest.
“He's. Jason.” Allison grins.
“I don't get your point.”
Jensen sighs. “She means that...”
Pam, their director for this episode, shoots them confused looks. “Oh, come on. Don't tell me you can't do that,” she chuckles. “C'mon, Jason. Lay one on Susan, just so everybody knows just how much chemistry those two have.”
And Jensen almost splutters in protest, but then Pam shoots him a wink over her shoulder, and-- oh. So her words were dripping with sarcasm, then. Jensen can work with that.
He grins and makes sure the next take with Allison turns out to be one extra awkward kiss.
It takes five days until Brian shows up on set. He looks constipated, lips pinched and a frown on his face.
Five whole days, Jensen can barely believe it took that long.
“What does it usually mean when he shows up here?” Jared asks when they're gathering around him, Pam, the staff and on-set actors.
“Plot twist announcements and PR related stuff,” Jensen whispers into his ear, since everybody has fallen quiet.
In the silence, Brian looks around until he finds Jensen. “Jensen, this whole thing with Susan doesn't work. Fan reactions have been negative, so we're gonna drop that storyline.”
“Alright,” Jensen nods, and only wonders for a moment if it's his fault, his acting choices, that made the producers drop the story. Part of him hopes so, but part of him is also afraid to get reprimanded if that's the case.
“It wasn't yours or Allison's fault, by the way, it just didn't make sense to a lot of people,” Brian adds as if he's read Jensen's thoughts.
Jensen breathes a bit more freely after that.
“Hey, Jen,” Jared calls him two days later, when Jensen is exiting his trailer and on his way to his car. “Any plans for tonight?”
“Because I'm in dear need of a wingman, and I don't want to ask Chad. Not really.”
“That's kind of obvious,” Jensen chuckles. After all, he remembers Chad Michael Murray in all his glory, from a short, early stint at The OC. How Jared can stand the guy, much less be friends with him, is beyond Jensen.
“So, The Q-Club today? I'll come over to your place and we can share a cab,” Jared suggests.
And since Jensen doesn't have anything better to do, he agrees.
“Why are we here again?” Jensen groans around the cigarette they bummed off some guy who's probably fifteen years younger than them.
It's two in the morning and they both have worked up a nice, comfortable buzz, and Jared grins at him.
“Well I'm here to get laid and you're here to get me laid, wingman,” Jared explains, plucking the cigarette from Jensen's fingers.
Jensen groans again and rests his chin in his hand, looks up at Jared. “What are we even looking for? Man or woman?”
Jared shrugs. “I'm more of a woman's man tonight, but I'm not opposed to men, either.”
“You think we’ll find anyone here?” Jensen adds, sincerely skeptical.
“It's the Q-Club. I know it's not a gay club by definition, but it might be the closest thing we have to a gay club. I mean, what else would the Q stand for?” Jared chuckles and takes a drag from the cigarette, snipping the ash off before he hands it back to Jensen.
“Tell me what it's like,” Jensen says on a whim, right as he exhales a lungful of smoke and air.
“Being with a man. In a relationship, I mean.”
Jared looks at him in surprise. “Why?”
“Well...” Jared drags the word out. “It's not like I'm the big expert on gay relationships. I only had the one which, as you might recall, didn't end up very successful.”
“Okay, then, what was it like being with Stephen?”
Jared flinches a bit at the name, but shakes it off quickly. “Nice and easy, at first. Like I said, no idea if other guys are like him, but the whole dating a guy thing wasn't a big deal with him at all. The sex was easier, since he always wanted to have sex when I wanted to, and there's no such thing as a period interfering with that. So that's cool. And you can't hold hands or kiss in public, like with a woman, unless you want people staring at you, but that's kind of obvious.”
“Huh,” Jensen says and watches as the red glowing end of the cigarette comes closer and closer to his fingers, radiating warmth and smoke that makes his eyes water. From inside the club, the muffled bass line of Uptown Funk rears up every time someone opens the door to head outside to the roof terrace of the club located on top of a five-story office building.
Jared sighs. “Overall, it's just a relationship. Apart from the physical stuff, it's really not much different. You talk differently, that's true, though. But that depends on the person, too. With Stephen, it was like pulling teeth when he was angry. You had to weasel it out of him or – to make it worse – make him angry so he shouted his problems at you. Fucking A, you know,” Jared grumbles, then finishes the stub and dumps it in an ashtray.
Jensen stares at the city beneath them and wonders.
This isn't actually about Misha.
He's genuinely curious.
Jared makes it easy and just keeps talking, like he does so often – bless his heart. “I wouldn't ditch it on principle, you know. Same-sex lovin'. You'd be surprised how good and easy it can be.”
“So I hear,” Jensen coughs, thinks about Misha's hands on him and Misha's mouth on him and Misha.
“No, really,” Jared gestures and turns fully toward him, hip tilted against the railing of the terrace. “It's completely different and great in certain ways. Don't knock it 'til you tried it, 's all I'm saying.”
Jensen hesitates for a second, tries to assess Jared, but his perpetual smiling face gives nothing away. “You hitting on me or what?” he asks, jokingly.
To his utter surprise, Jared breaks into loud, pearly laughter. “Hell no. You're totally friendzoned, Jen, I'm sorry.”
“Believe me, I'm glad I am,” Jensen laughs.
Because Jared means a lot to Jensen, but never would it ever cross his mind to hit on Jared. The thought is so absurd that Jensen can't stop laughing. Jared just looks fondly at him, and they stand there in the warmth of an early summer night in companionable silence for a while.
“So, how about we get me laid? Because I really need to get my mind off things,” Jared sighs.
“Who do you have in mind?” Jensen asks, because Jared has that tone in his voice.
Jared hums, smiles to himself. “There's this brunette girl at the bar...”
It's a regular, boring Wednesday.
Jensen has a couple scenes with Allison today, who has been an absolute angel about the weird Jason-Susan thing. She was probably happier than Jensen that the whole thing was blown off.
“No, seriously,” she said to Jensen in private, after the disastrous kissing scene. “Not that I resent kissing you, it's just so... weird, you know? We don't fit, our characters don't fit. If you ask me, Jason had more chemistry with Dmitri of all people, than with Susan.”
Jensen laughed, back then, and hadn't reminisced about the fact that the chemistry she saw was probably the one between himself and Misha. It was alright, though. Misha isn't here anymore anyway.
It's just a regular, boring Wednesday and Jason stands behind the counter of his coffee shop, chatting with Susan and not being the least bit awkward about it. They play it pretty straightforward and easy, which Allison has always been able to do.
It's just a regular, boring Wednesday, and the door of Jason's coffee shop chimes its usual jingle.
This isn't supposed to happen. Not in the script they gave Jensen.
He looks up from talking to Allison. Looks up to find blue, blue eyes and dark tousled hair and a smirk on plush lips and--
Misha is back.
Not only does it hit him from the far left field, but Jason, too. He swallows heavily, can't look away from those full lips, can remember exactly what they feel like on his mouth, on his skin. There's the spark in his eyes, too, affectionate and mischievous, making Jensen's stomach tingle.
“Dmitri,” he manages to choke out, his heart hammering in his chest.
“Hi,” Misha says.
They stare at each other, eyes locked, until Jensen can't help it any more. He breaks into a grin. “Man, it's good to see you.”
If they wanted his genuine reaction to meeting Misha again, they can have it, Jensen thinks.
Without hesitation, he rounds the counter, steps past Susan and greets Dmitri with a manly hug, the kind where you shake hands and pull the other one in with your spare hand across his shoulders. Two claps, not holding on for too long, and retreat.
“You too,” Dmitri says with Misha's spark in his eyes.
“How have you been?” Jason asks with emphasis, maybe too much thereof. It's just that he was worried about Dmitri, a lot, but he sure as hell won't admit that. He's also kind of stunned by those blue eyes on him, by that set of plush lips drawn into a smile.
Fuck, he wants to kiss Misha.
He wants to kiss him, head off to his apartment, and--
Dating a co-star is a minefield.
Jared's words ring in Jensen's ears, sharp and crystal-clear.
Whatever, he can daydream.
He can imagine, and he can read Misha's expression, and he can tell himself that there's still more behind that easy smile. He can still hope.
“Things got out of hand with Alexis. So I return to you,” Dmitri explains.
“Yeah, I noticed that,” Jason snorts. “He's been around.”
“We can take care of him now,” Dmitri nods, smile still firmly in place.
Jensen stares at Misha.
Misha's eyes are still fixed on him, not blinking, not budging an inch.
It's like a spell on Jensen, making him happy and high on his own feelings. Eventually, they both break into a grin, and Misha knocks his fist against Jensen's shoulder, and Jensen thinks Misha is a bit too far in his personal space, so he shoves him away with one hand cupping his cheek.
“It's really good to see you,” Jensen admits under his breath.
“Yeah,” Misha agrees, still grinning.
“And that's our unexpected cliffhanger for this episode, and also our wrap. Good job, everybody. Jensen, wonderful delivery. I just wanted to have you genuine on this. You nailed it. Misha, great one. That was a perfect scene right there.”
“No do-overs?” Jensen asks, puzzled, but the director just shrugs and shakes his head. “Alright.”
That's when Jared bounces onto set with an unsettling grin stretching his lips, like he knows something Jensen and Misha don't. Jensen feels like he's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
“Hey!” he greets Misha immediately, in his usual friendly manner, “So you must be Misha!”
“And you're Jared, right?” Misha returns, and Jensen watches as they shake hands and size each other up.
“Drinks tonight?” Jared asks eventually after exchanging some small talk, casting a glance towards Jensen, too.
“Sure,” Jensen says. “You in, Misha?”
There's a point, in every story arc, a dead point.
Jensen knows it, he's been on a shit show of dead point after dead point for six years. He feels it when a character's arc runs out and there's nothing more to tell. Or half the story has been told, but they're at a comfortable point in space and time where everything is more or less well and otherwise boring. It's a good point to reach, it's nice and easy, but it doesn't keep their regulars glued to their TV screens.
With soap operas, it's an endless flow, like sine and cosine curves. While one builds up to a climax, the other is calming down, only to start anew once the former has reached its climax.
Build-up, climax, cool-down, repeat.
And since not every regular is invested in every story line, they have a continuous bundle of four to six story lines going on at all times, Jason's being only one of them, if at all.
The thing is, Jason has reached that dead point now.
He's good with Susan and with not being interested in her as more than a friend; his foe Alexis is still in town, but he's more Susan's problem and Susan's story line. So Jason is back to being a regular side character without his own story, after the writers hit themselves in the face with their attempt at writing him into Susan's arc.
This is usually where new characters are introduced, old characters are brought back, or a plane crashes into the street where the whole cast lives in and they do a five year time jump.
Who is he kidding, they aren't Desperate Housewives. They don't have the budget for a plane crash, CGI or not. Though the writers probably wouldn't be averse to the whole concept.
Not that a side character like Jason would ever be worth a plane crash.
But for what it's worth, Dmitri is back. Jensen can work with that. Jason can work with that.
“Bottoms up!” Jared announces, and Jensen swallows the shot glass of way too sweet, too artificially flavored strawberry limes with a grimace.
“Why are we doing shots like we're back in college?” Misha coughs, mirroring Jensen's disgusted grimace.
Jensen pats him on the back, his hand firm and steady, even though he feels a bit jittery inside. Restless. “Because we're all in denial about getting old. Don't tell Jared,” he stage-whispers into Misha's ear.
Misha starts to laugh and leans into Jensen's body just a bit, but enough so that Jensen can smell his aftershave, his shampoo, him. Sandalwood, lemons, Misha.
It's like a flash grenade went off in front of him. Jensen sees white, and images float back to him, of Misha and him rolling around in the sheets, naked, laughing, easy.
He looks at Misha then, who has his beer tilted towards him but is too captured by whatever story Jared is telling, so the bottle just hovers in mid-air, rim almost against Misha's lips, his thumb and index finger curled around the neck of it.
Jensen's thoughts admittedly drift off into NC-17 territory, before he shakes himself out of the fantasy – only to be met with Jared's eyes, meeting his with the amused raise of an eyebrow.
Yes, really. Not like Jensen had any say in this. Not like Jensen could change the way his eyes are always drawn towards Misha, towards his blue, blue eyes and that sharp nose and cheekbones.
Not like Jensen feels guilty for looking.
Not like Jensen would tell anyone any of this. Doesn't matter how Jared looks at him.
“So, what happened?” Jason wants to know, over the counter while he prepares two cups of black coffee.
It's dark outside, Jason's coffee shop has just closed, and his last customer of the day – and the most awaited, all the same – sits at the counter, drumming his fingers on the wooden surface.
“He was warned that I look for him,” Dmitri explains, accepting the white cup of steaming hot coffee with a grateful nod.
Jason sips from his own cup, and Jensen has always been glad that he gets to drink as much of the real coffee from a real barista coffee machine as the scene allows him to.
“So, you didn't get to confront him?”
“No, I did find him,” Dmitri corrects him, then winces. “Didn't end good. I had to go away for some time, get out, so he can not find me. I followed when he fly to America, but he can not see me. Not now.”
“Mustn't,” Jason corrects him.
“What can I do?”
Dmitri fumbles with his cup, looks into the dark, swirling fluid in it, and back up at Jason with big, begging eyes. “I don't have place to stay. Being outside is dangerous and I need uh... inconspicos--” and just the way he pronounces the word makes Jason crack another smile.
“Inconspicuous,” he says with a fond smile.
Dmitri nods and points a finger at him. “That. I need a place like that.”
Jason ponders, then eventually sets his cup of coffee down onto the saucer, swallows carefully, drags the scene out. “My apartment is right above this shop,” he explains, slow and deliberate. “And I've got enough space, if you're okay with sleeping on the couch.”
Dmitri nods again, hasty this time, with a big grin on his face. “Awesome!”
“And you're gonna have to help around the house, do some chores and stuff,” Jason reminds him, only half-serious.
“Of course,” Dmitri agrees with excitement. “You know, this is the best information I got for a lot of months.”
Jason smiles, fond and amused and a bit shaken.
Dmitri and him are roommates now.
They have never filmed as much as they do now in Jason's apartment.
Dubbed the 'bachelor pad' by the crew, it becomes the background of a couple of heart-to-hearts – guy version, with lots of 'dude' and 'bro' and slapping each other on the arm. At least that's what their latest script says.
“I hate this, why would they talk like that?” Misha comments during one of their lunch breaks, fork in hand as he works his way through shrimp-and-chicken curry, his script in his other hand. “'Yeah, dude, no problem, I run around like that all the time. No homo, right?' I refuse to produce these words from my mouth. Nope. Not doing it.”
“If I'm not mistaken, that's Jason's line,” Jensen throws in, feels his lips twitch with the effort to hide his smirk.
“Ah, right. But still! Jay, don't you dare so much as utter these words.”
“Alright,” Jensen shrugs. His eyes find Misha's over the table.
“It's homophobic. And I don't like that,” Misha repeats for emphasis.
“I'd be a hypocrite if I said it wouldn't bother me,” Jensen admits, and feels proud of himself. Subtle hint at their night together minced into everyday conversation, check. Damn, he's good.
Misha raises an eyebrow and just looks at him.
Jensen raises an eyebrow back and smirks a lopsided smirk at Misha.
Misha raises his other eyebrow.
They both break into laughter at that, and Misha snorts white rice through his nose.
It's like they're six years old again and just founded their secret club. Jensen certainly feels giddy like a school kid.
“So what do we say instead?”
Jensen grins. “Something along the lines of 'I don't mind you walking around in your underwear. At all .' Wink-wink nudge-nudge.”
Misha bellows out another laugh, with his head tilted backwards and his neck on display and Jensen... Jensen's heart decides to do a proverbial somersault. Stupid thing.
Jason's and Dmitri's scenes start to become the comic relief between drama with Susan and the other characters, mainly Alexis.
While Susan has a hard time finding a new apartment for her son and herself, Jason helps out with babysitting, and Dmitri and him get to bicker about household chores while Jason tries to get the baby back to sleep.
“Like an old married couple,” Jared laughs from the sidelines.
“Yeah, we got that tenfold in tweets and comments by fans already,” Pam, director of their recent episode – the fifth one since Dmitri moved in with Jason – adds amused.
“Really?” Jensen hears Jared ask, but then he needs to get back to make-up for some fixing, and he doesn't hear anything else.
They get to act out a scene of a lazy Saturday evening, sitting on the couch playing Mario Kart – which Dmitri hasn't known about before, but somehow manages to kick Jason's ass anyway.
“How do you do that?” Jason grumbles after his fourth loss.
“Push A and drive, like you told me,” Dmitri answers with a cheeky smirk out of the corner of his eye.
On the inside, Jensen turns to mush. Damn Misha and his damn--
That's when a knock on the door interrupts their scene. The camera follows Jensen as he walks to the entrance door with a confused frown on his face. One look through the door spy reveals the truth, and Jason rears back immediately in a sudden panic. Jason goes back to the couch, puts his index finger to his lips as a sign for Dmitri to be quiet, grabs his wrist and leads him into the bedroom.
“Hide in the closet,” he whispers. “Don't make a sound until I come get you.”
“Who?” Dmitri whispers back, eyes wide.
Jason slaps his hand over Dmitri's mouth, shushing him once again.
Misha licks the inside of Jensen's palm, and Jensen's lips start to twitch, but they'll be able to cut that out.
The knock on the door interrupts them once again, and Jason retreats with a nod.
After two more takes, the scene is done, and they move on.
At the entrance door, Jason opens it to find Alexis standing right there. “Jason, my friend,” he greets Jason with a slap to the shoulder and a friendly smile.
Too friendly, too fake. “What do you want?” Jason spits.
“Hey, now. I thought we were friends, aren't we?”
“No, we really aren't,” Jason says defensively, crosses his arms in front of his chest as he glares at Alexis.
“Ah, but. Susan dumped you, right?” Alexis' eyes sparkle dangerously, it makes Jason shiver.
“Even if it was true, it's none of your business,” Jason replies, straight to the point.
Alexis shakes his head with a too-sympathetic smile. “She friendzoned you? That's harsh.”
“That's not true. Who says I was interested in her in the first place?” Jason states. “Besides, the friendzone is just a term to guilt-trip women. There's no such thing.”
Alexis just raises his eyebrows slowly. “So you wouldn't want, like, a bit of revenge for what she did to you?”
“She didn't do anything, and if you hurt her, so help me...”
“She did plenty,” Alexis sneers. “And you won't be able to do anything if I decided to get my revenge.”
“Screw you, Alexis. We'll get you behind bars one way or another, you'll see. Stay away from Susan.”
Alexis' eyes narrow as he tries to stare Jason down. “What are you going to do about it?” he asks with an arrogance that makes Jason grind his teeth.
“I'll protect her. And I'm not alone. I'll say it one more time, and that's gonna be your last warning: stay away from Susan, you sick, abusive asshole, and get out of this town and out of our lives.”
“You sure talk big for a guy who brews coffee all day. I bet you'd go down with one swing,” Alexis taunts him. “Frail guy like you, chicken-shit pussy that you are.”
“Take that back,” Jason growls. “And get out of my apartment. Immediately.”
Alexis' lips twitch with a cruel smirk. “And what if I don't? What are you gonna do about it, huh?”
“I'll make you,” Jason answers. “Get. Out. Asshole.”
“Sure, I won't bother you again, if you tell me where Susan lives,” Alexis' face distorts into a grimace as he raises his fist. “And if you don't tell me, I'll have to take other measures.”
“I won't tell you jack squat, and I'm not scared of you,” Jason stands, ready for a fight, fists defensively held in front of his chest. “And don't think I don't know how to--”
Alexis pulls back and slams his fist into Jason's face.
They don't have the stunt coordinator or doubles, they don't have the budget to wreck their regular set furniture, so it's only a punch. So Jensen just staggers back, holding his hand over his lip. There's going to be a split later, cutesy of the special effects department.
“I'm going to call the police,” Jason states, as calm as ever, as he reaches for the cell phone laying on the table right next to him.
“Don't think I'm done with you,” Alexis spits, and is halfway across the room when 911 picks up.
Jason has the phone on speaker and glares at Alexis, who, after a few moments of silently staring at Jason, turns on his heels and leaves while Jason states the incident to the friendly lady at the 911 line. It's only for recap reasons. That scene will probably be re-broadcasted every time there's a 'What happened so far...' at the beginning of each episode.
Jason closes and locks the door behind Alexis.
Then he takes a deep breath.
“Cut! Jensen, well done. Repeat and then you're off to make-up.”
Jensen nods, and Jared returns to his spot in front of the entrance door.
“I'm gonna kill him,” Dmitri states, an angry frown on his face, eyes blazing with rage.
Beside the fact that he picks up Jason's speech patterns, Jason isn't amused. “He's not worth the trouble,” he says, dabbing at his split lip with a paper towel and hissing from the pain.
Dmitri, who stands in front of the chair Jason sits on, sighs heavily. “Do you have a first aid kit?”
“Bathroom,” Jason nods, and they change the set.
Jason is a little dizzy when he retrieves the first aid kit from under the sink, but Dmitri's hands are on his shoulders to steady him in a heartbeat. Then Dmitri makes Jason sit down on the closed toilet lid while he chooses the edge of the bathtub to rummage through the kit until he finds iodine and a soft cotton patch.
“Hands off,” he grumbles, and Jason drops the hand with his blood-soaked paper towel.
Misha's touches are careful and gentle as he wipes the cotton patch over Jensen's lip, mostly to not ruin the special effects make-up. Jeannie is right there to fix it, though, and they need a couple takes to get it just right, complete with Jason's face wincing in pain and Dmitri scolding him for it, telling him to sit still.
All the while, Jensen has to look at Misha. Not that he minds, far from it, actually.
Dmitri's eyes burn with righteous anger, and his lips are pinched in worry, and Jensen can't look away anyway. Those full, plush lips, still so close, so tempting.
It's around the fifth take when Pam interrupts to give Jensen a note. She's grinning when she leans in and whispers into Jensen's ear, “His eyes are up there.”
Jensen feels his face heat up and manages a nervous chuckle. “Okay.”
Then Pam turns towards Misha to give him a note, too. Jensen doesn't understand a single word, and Misha nods without seeming as affected as Jensen is.
When they re-set the scene, Misha is somehow even closer. Head tilted, eyes shining, concerned, one hand on Jason's jawline as he cleans his lip.
Jensen is in so much trouble. He stares at Misha's blue, blue eyes, couldn't help it anyway, and manages not to let his eyes drift to Misha's lips too often.
“We're gonna get him for this,” Dmitri promises.
“He's not worth it,” Jason reminds him, “And don't worry about me, I'm fine.”
“He hurt you, he's gonna pay for it,” Dmitri promises.
“I'm not bent on revenge here,” Jason shakes his head.
“Then what?” Dmitri replies, heated, even though he drops his hands from Jason's face and rests them in his lap.
Jason sighs. “The only thing important is that Susan is safe. I'm just collateral damage on the sidelines, here.”
Dmitri shakes his head. “Idiot,” he mumbles, and his eyes shift to the wound on Jason's lip again before snapping upwards.
For a long moment, they lock eyes, and it's worse than a game of gay chicken. Misha is too close, and Jensen's character is too emotionally vulnerable in this situation, and neither of them is budging an inch. Until Jason leans forward, rests his elbows on his knees, and links his fingers between them.
He has to look up at Misha like this, but he cracks a small smile, winces when it stretches his lips and the wound. What he didn't count on is that they're even closer like this.
“Don't take revenge for me,” Jason insists. “Help me bring him down. Legally and without getting into trouble. Without casualties and without getting hurt. I don't want you getting hurt either.”
Dmitri bites his bottom lip, which is very distracting. “I don't want him to hurt you again as well.”
“So?” Jason gives him a hopeful, lopsided smile.
“Let's bring him down,” Dmitri holds out his hand for Jason to shake, sealing the deal.
In a moment of weakness and mental derangement and entirely too captured by hypnotizing blue eyes, Jensen takes Misha's right hand with his left, squeezing it.
Misha sits there, a bit baffled, taken entirely by surprise, but squeezes back.
They're holding hands.
Jensen's skin is tingling, and he doesn't want to let go.
So they sit there, eyes locked, smiling, holding hands.
Until Pam says – not shouts - “Cut,” and walks towards them, arms crossed in front of her chest, one hand raised to tap her index finger against her lips, lost in thought. She frowns, like she contemplates to give them another note, looks from Jensen to Misha and back, but eventually shakes her head. “Well done,” she smiles. “Repeat it like that.”
Jensen just stares at her. No reminder to do the handshake properly? No 'that was maybe a bit too intimate'? 'Those are two guys, act like it?'
Then again, they acted like two guys. Who were very close and also maybe a bit enchanted with each other's eyes. Jensen can just speak for himself, but Misha didn't seem the least bit uncomfortable.
“Jay,” he says, nudging Jensen's hand, and only then does Jensen realize that they're still holding hands. Still, neither of them lets go. “Let's crank up the UST a bit, shall we?” Misha winks, and Jensen is entirely too weak to resist.
He's basking in Misha's second-hand attention, and he enjoys it way too much. “Alright.”
Misha grins, but quickly schools his features so they can re-do the scene.
This time, after Pam yells “Cut!” with a huge smile on her face, Jared follows it up with, “This is where they kiss, right?”
Misha laughs, the tension falling off of him, and Jensen drops his head forward, laughing into his hand. His knee bumps against Misha's shin on accident, but they lock eyes nonetheless, and Misha leans down, lips puckered and barely managing not to laugh as he pretends to kiss Jensen.
Jensen's heart flutters.
Misha is so close, and he has three options to play this off. Option A, shove Misha away and laugh it off. Option B, pretend to give in, but retreat at the last second and laugh it off.
Jensen goes with option C. Within the blink of an eye, he meets Misha halfway, places a peck on his lips, and leans back to laugh it off.
Misha is baffled for all of two seconds before he throws his head back and laughs, too, a beautiful, pearly sound that makes Jensen feel all warm and fuzzy, just because he's responsible for it.
Jensen's laughter fades into a grin.
“I wasn't serious, you know,” Jared throws in, a bit more serious but still amused, and only then does Jensen notice how the entire crew had gone silent all of a sudden.
Because they all suddenly roar up with cheers and laughter at Jared’s words.
Jensen searches for Jared after they're done filming for the day. It's Friday, and for once they haven't agreed to going out with the cast and crew.
He finds Jared exiting the make-up trailer. “There you are! I was looking for you.”
“What's up?” Jared nudges his shoulder against Jensen's, then he shrugs on his jacket.
“Are you free tonight? Because I need a wingman.”
The next morning is weird with a capital W.
Not that he wasn't successful, no, he was. Jared made sure of that.
The girl he brought home was gone before he even went to sleep. When he'd returned from the shower, she'd been dressed and ready to go, standing in the door frame as she slipped into her heels.
“Look, we both know what this is, what this was, and I'm not gonna drag it out. It's been fun. So thank you and good night.”
Not that Jensen hadn't been satisfied.
She'd been attentive, she'd been skilled, and she knew what to do.
It was good. It just wasn't overwhelming, mind-blowing, earth-shattering.
Not every experience can hold a candle to what he shared with Misha, Jensen is aware. In any case, this whole experience was worth it. There's some kind of revelation here, Jensen just hasn't come to it yet.
He stares into his coffee. It's 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning, he's only wearing boxers, and he's standing in the small kitchen of his apartment in L.A.
He expected something like he got with Misha, and she couldn't hold up to that, obviously.
Jensen doesn't know what to do about it. Just because Misha was his key, the one to open the doors to a world Jensen hadn't seen before, hadn't contemplated before, doesn't mean Misha is any more than that. Apart from being his co-worker and friend.
It's not like Misha has ruined him for women forever, or something equally clichéd like that. Last night clearly has disproved that suggestion. Jensen is still very much turned on by women, by soft curves and breasts and a waist to grab while she rides him. But there's another side that's undoubtedly there, a side he still feels a bit too inexperienced to explore, but it's there.
It's the side of him where Misha stars in his fantasies, or guys who know how to fuck him just right. It's strange to admit, to give up control, to just accept that these preferences are there inside of him, that it doesn't change who he is or who he was for the past 35 years of his life. This thing, with Misha, might've been a one-time deal.
But it was also confirmation that these preferences of his aren't a one-time deal. At all.
Jensen sighs into his coffee and takes another sip. He grabs his laptop from the living room table and starts it up to read the latest news, only to distract himself.
He's had countless mornings with ex-girlfriends and one-night-stands alike. Some he kissed goodbye when they left, some he didn't. Some he more or less threw out, some who left on their own.
Girlfriends that chatted their way through breakfast before Jensen even finished reading the newspaper or drinking his coffee. Who reminded him of this and that, who called him 'honey' and 'darling'. One-night-stands who were silent until they just left without having breakfast. This is not exactly a completely new situation.
Still, Jensen wonders what it'd be like, living with a man.
Both easier and harder, Jared had said.
Maybe he needs to talk to Jared again.
Maybe he doesn't. It's not like there's a decision to be made or anything. Jensen is single, he's happy, and he's a good step further towards getting used to his new found bisexuality.
“How was your weekend? Miss us?” Jared laughs when Jensen walks into the make-up trailer, still a bit groggy and nursing his first cup of coffee.
“Morning, Jay!” Misha chirps from beside him.
“Like fuck,” Jensen grumbles and falls into his chair. Sleep hasn't come easy last night, and although Jensen knows he shouldn't let his co-workers suffer because of that... sue him, it's Monday, and he's feeling grumpy.
“Aw, I love it when you sweet-talk me in the morning, baby,” Jared teases him.
Jensen grunts. He closes his eyes, leans back and lets the sound of Misha's chuckle rumble in his chest, nice and relaxing, flowing down his spine.
Misha is done before them, and he gives Jensen a two-second shoulder massage on his way out. A quick grab just to tease him. Jensen moans reflexively and quirks an eye open when Misha's hands stop, staying frozen on his shoulders for a moment, thumbs digging into the tendons at his neck.
Upside-down, blue eyes sparkle at him, a smile curling his lips.
It's only a joke, Jensen knows it, but he might as well go the extra mile, now that his coffee has kicked in.
“Your hands are magic,” he tells Misha with a wiggle of his eyebrows.
“Wouldn't you know,” Misha returns with a smirk and oh.
Something scorching hot settles low in Jensen's stomach, especially when Misha leaves, a swing in his step and in the tilt of his hips. Jensen finds himself staring after him and appreciating his broad shoulders shifting to a slim waist, clad in jeans that hug Misha's ass all too well.
When he turns back, he notices Jared looking at him.
But Lydia quickly tilts Jared's chin upwards to finish his make-up, and the moment is lost.
“We need a plan,” Jason states, slumping down into the sofa in his apartment, beside Dmitri. A bit too close to Dmitri, but it's not like that's an accident.
Not even Brian, who's on set today, will mind. Jason and Dmitri have become pretty close friends, after all.
“I agree,” Dmitri says, nursing his cup of coffee. He turns towards Jason, one knee on top of the couch, touching Jason's.
“We need to get him incarcerated.”
Dmitri looks confused, adorably so.
Jason smiles. “He needs to go to prison.”
“So he needs to do a crime,” Dmitri says.
“Or,” Jason returns, “there's something in his past that can get him arrested. A little fist-fight with me won't do.”
“He did a lot when in Russia, but America will not care for that, right?” Dmitri sighs. His eyes drop to the split in Jason's bottom lip, and Misha throws in an ad-lib, then, accompanied by his hand touching Jensen's jaw, thumb running over the sensitive skin under his bottom lip for a split second. “How's your lip?”
“It's alright, don't worry,” Jason smiles, and Jensen feels giddy on his character's behalf. “Still, we might find something that'll get him deported to Russia. Do you know some people in Russia you could call? Who might have some dirt on him?”
Dmitri ponders the question for a long moment. Jason uses that pause to stare at him. Dmitri is easy on the eyes, pleasant to take in, and Jensen notices new things about Misha every other take. Like the freckle on his nose, or the way the right side of his lips lifts when he pronounces a word beginning with the letter H. There are a million of these little habits that make up Misha, and Jensen finds a lot of enjoyment in cataloging them.
“Can I use your phone? It will be expensive to call, but I know someone,” Dmitri states, and Jason hands him the cordless phone from the living room table.
Dmitri dials, calls, and has an entire conversation in Russian, which. Whoops.
Jensen tries to play it off as casual as possible when he puts his hands in his lap, hiding the bulge there. Damn, that accent is hot. Misha probably knows it, too, because he keeps stealing glances of him and his lips keep twitching.
Misha only fakes the conversation, of course, and it doesn't last more than a couple sentences.
But Jensen's eyes are drawn to Misha's, irrevocably, uncontrollably, and in the end, Dmitri finishes the chat on the phone smiling at Jason and nudging his knee.
“So?” Jason inquires when he's done.
“I got something. Or someone, to be exact,” Dmitri smirks and Jason feels excited for more than one reason.
Jason grins at Dmitri and nudges his knee back.
“I need to talk to you two,” Brian announces, pointing at Jensen and Misha. “My office, now.”
Jared makes an Oh-ho-hooo? gesture behind his back and snickers as he walks away. Sometimes, Jensen hates him. For now, he sticks to rolling his eyes and following Brian and Misha across the production area towards the office building.
“So I don't know if you two have heard of the recent debate, which happened mostly on the internet, about representation on TV,” Brian starts, eyebrows high on his forehead as he sits down in his office chair.
Jensen takes the left of his two guest chairs and shakes his head. “I haven't.”
“A bit,” Misha says with a shrug.
“Basically,” Brian starts, clucks his tongue before continuing to explain, deliberately choosing his words as he stares at his hands entwined in front of him on his desk, “A lot of our desired target audience finds the representation of homosexual, bisexual and other queer characters in the current media lacking or too clichéd. They don't want a token, flamboyant gay guy. They want believable homosexual relationships.”
“I see,” Jensen nods, and he already has a feeling where this is going, although he has no idea what to think about that.
“So, we thought that you two are handing us an opportunity on a silver platter, here,” Brian beams, cracking his knuckles, a habit of his that Jensen finds cringe-worthy.
“Like how?” he asks instead of wincing.
“Like, Jason and Dmitri have a great dynamic. You two have a lot of even greater chemistry, and believe me when I say, you don't want to see half of the tweets we get about you two,” Brian chuckles.
A smile slowly spreads on Misha's lips. “Okay. What kind of comments?”
Brian shrugs and huffs, visibly embarrassed. “It's all a variation of... 'They are so cute together!' or 'When will they finally fuck it out?' People are clearly seeing something here, between them, and after looking at the dailies of you two... honestly, now that I know, I can't un-see it. We couldn’t have planned it better if we had deliberately set you two up as one another’s love interests. That this relationship happened on accident and is so believable that people have actually started rooting for those two characters is the biggest hint we could ask for. People want this. And it's not just about representation, it's also because all of us in the writers room agreed that it's just... a great love story. One that deserves to be told.”
Jensen's heart is in his throat, for all the wrong reasons.
Misha looks at him, grinning, eyes alight, beaming, and Jensen will get to--
“Are you okay with us pursuing this story line that kind of set itself up?” Brian asks. “That's all I wanted to ask you.”
“Sure,” Misha nods. “Jay?”
“Uh, yeah,” Jensen manages to stutter, regaining his composure. “What are you planning?”
“You'll see,” Brian smirks, toys around with one of his pens. “We just go where the story takes us. First, we need to get a bit more explicit, you know, make the people who haven't seen it until now see and acknowledge it. That's our main goal for now, and the point where we are in the story now is ideal to set this up. From then on, it's the usual will-they-won't-they until they kiss. The end.”
Jensen nods. “So, what does that mean for us for now?”
“Simple,” Brian smiles. “Just act like you always do. Don't oversell it. We've got two very well established characters here who are well received by the fans. We don't need and we don't want to define you by your sexuality. You don't need to be the token gay guys. You – or, well, Jason and Dmitri to be exact – just happen to like each other very much. They've come a long way already, after initially disliking each other and forming an unlikely friendship.”
“Okay,” Jensen says.
“We can do that,” Misha says.
“Great,” Brian smiles at them.
The thing is, they didn't really have a say in this and they both know it. Brian decides what's best for the show, and what's best for ratings. But he's a skilled showrunner, and generally a nice guy, who knows how to use his contacts to the management of their channel. If they'd had concerns about his plans, they would've been allowed to voice them, and Brian would've talked it out with them until everyone was on the same page. He's that kind of guy.
While Jensen knows all of this on a rational level, he still feels a bit overwhelmed.
“You alright?” Misha asks from beside him, the smile from earlier nowhere to be seen any more.
“Yeah,” Jensen tries to sound nonchalant and probably fails hilariously. “Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with it, really. I mean it's my job, I would have to do it anyway. It's just a bit unexpected.”
“You know,” Misha says slowly, “It's probably as unexpected for Jason, too, so use that.”
“Yeah, the poor guy gets to be in the center of the drama storm for years without getting any himself, and when something finally happens, it's with a guy,” Jensen chuckles.
It kind of hits right home.
“But that's life, sometimes,” Misha nudges his elbow. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge. “Sometimes the best things happen as a total surprise.”
Jensen eyes him, doesn't quite know what to say to that. As a matter of fact, Misha is right. “Maybe,” he shrugs, just to tease Misha, and nudges him right back.
With a curious look, Misha scrutinizes him. “You know what I mean, right?”
Jensen hesitates, then answers honestly, “I guess, but I can't quite put it into words.”
“You wouldn't have considered sleeping with a man until I came along, is what I'm saying. Or would you have?”
“No,” Jensen shakes his head.
“And? Was it worth it?” Misha smiles and damn-- all the images of that night, their night, tumble through Jensen's mind.
“Absolutely,” he says, only a little breathless.
“And that's probably how Jason feels, too.”
Misha is right, of course he is.
Feeling inexplicably shaken, Jensen meets his eyes again. So very blue. Stubble, framing plush lips. Straight nose, laugh lines under high cheekbones.
It's only because Misha has just reminded him that he was his first. The first guy he had sex with.
Firsts are always special. No matter if it meant anything or nothing at all, no matter who they are to each other afterwards, firsts are special. He still remembers Rebecca Mayers, the first girl he kissed in first grade, because he didn't know any better and ended up in detention for it. He remembers Danneel Harris, his first girlfriend in high school. They made out behind the bleachers, and they lost their virginity together. After they broke up because Danneel went to college and Jensen went to drama school to L.A., he wasn't just heartbroken, he was devastated. But if he met Danneel on the street tomorrow, he'd still be fond of her.
Of course he has a soft spot for Misha, who introduced him to the art of same-sex loving.
But it doesn't mean anything beyond that.
Jensen is not in love. He doesn't fall in love, generally. He fell for Danneel, hard, back in the day. And, after her, he dated some girls, and fell in love with one or two of them. It has never impaired his judgment; Jensen likes to think that he's a very rational person, and he has never fallen in love easily. There's not even a reason or a backstory to it – no girl broke his heart. No woman threw it to the ground and hit him where it hurt. He simply had never been that kind of person.
Trust is the key for him anyway.
As soon as there's trust, Jensen can give away his heart. Often, that takes a while. That way, Jensen has kept himself protected over the years.
He hasn't been lonely, not per se. Sometimes, yes. During Saturday evenings and American Idol re-runs on TV, maybe. While attending a friend's wedding, alone, maybe. But he never felt imperfect on his own – he was fine, on his own. No one could hurt him. He didn't feel like he needed someone to complete him, to make him better. He didn't feel bad.
Being single wasn't so bad. Isn't so bad, Jensen corrects himself inwardly. His life as an actor is stressful enough as it is.
But the thing is, Misha looks at him with these big, honest blue eyes, and Jensen feels like they're everything he never looked for and found anyway.
He's not in love, at least he knows that much.
That would be ridiculous.
“Hey, Susan,” Jason greets her and lets her into his apartment.
“Jason,” she hugs him, tiny arms wrapped around his middle. “How are you?”
“Good, come in.”
The moment Susan lets go to step past Jason is when her eyes turn big and her expression turns flabbergasted. “Dmitri? You're here?”
“Yes,” Dmitri waves at her from the couch. “Hello, Susan.”
“It's so great to see you, we were all so worried about you,” she gushes, then closes the distance to him with a few quick steps to hug him, too. “Especially Jason.”
“Hey,” Jason grumbles, but sits down beside Dmitri, leaving the armchair for Susan.
“What? It's true,” she teases him.
“Anyway,” Jason offers her some water, which she accepts. “We need to talk to you. We've got a plan how we could get Alexis behind bars, but we need your help.”
Her eyes go wide, then she nods, grimly. “Anything.”
“Awesome, I knew we could count on you,” Jason nods proudly.
“If I can bring that asshole down, I'm in,” Susan states, then reaches up to brush her blonde hair behind her ear, an old habit of hers. “What's the plan?”
“Well,” Dmitri starts. “So there's this girl, who Alexis hurt and harassed for over a year. When she got pregnant, she went through a lot of trouble to get an abortion, but in the end he held her hostage so she couldn't get it in time. He forced her to keep the baby, but she was so afraid of him that she never pressed charges, saying she didn't want to endanger her child, and she's been deep under the radar ever since. If you two were working together...”
“I see,” Susan nods again, a furrow between her brows, a harsh and determined expression on her face. “How do we get ahold of her?”
“Think it's gonna work?”
“It'll have to,” Jason sighs, then leans against the door he just closed behind Susan. “I have faith in her.”
“If you have faith in her, I do too,” Dmitri states.
A hand lands on Jason's shoulder, calloused skin and thick fingers and a reassuring squeeze. “Don't worry about it so much, my friend. It's gonna be alright.”
Dmitri copying Jason's speech patterns makes Jason's lips twitch. “Yeah.”
They stare at each other for a long while before Jason says, “I just hate to send her into the den of the lion like that.”
“Into a dangerous situation. You know what Alexis is capable of.”
“We will be there to protect her.”
Jason nods. “Hopefully.”
The hand clamps down a bit harder, pulls Jason forward and flush against Dmitri's chest, while his other arm wraps around Jason's waist. A gesture of support, of comfort, of affection.
Jason rests his chin on Dmitri's shoulder and sighs a deep sigh of relief.
“Thank you for being here.”
It doesn't particularly help the chaos of feelings in Jason's mind that they need to repeat that scene six times. Six tender hugs and words spoken softly into Jason's ear, the thump of a heartbeat against his, strong hands stroking over his skin.
By the last time, Jensen is admittedly pretty stunned. When they lean back from the hug, he stares openly at Misha, and only notices after a few moments that his lips have dropped open and Misha's eyes have shifted to them. He quickly bites his bottom lip, then releases it and forces a smile.
Shields up. Red alert.
Everything tells him he should be careful. Everything but his stupid, treacherous heart, hammering away in his chest.
Misha feels good in his arms.
“Okay, so I've been watching this from the sidelines long enough,” Jared starts after pizza, ice cream, and his second Bud Light. “What's going on with you and Misha? And don't say there's nothing, I won't buy it again.”
“Uh,” Jensen stutters, then takes a sip of his own beer. “There really is nothing?”
“But you can't tell me there hasn't been anything in the past. Something happened between you two.”
Jensen hesitates, then screws up his face. As the one person he can't lie to – as far as he knows, and he hasn't tried lying to Misha so far – of course Jared has to ask something like that. “That was one time,” he groans.
“That's the way the best stories start. Spill the beans, Ackles,” Jared grins, stuffing his face with potato chips.
Jensen rolls his eyes as he toys with the label of his beer. “We slept together, okay, like, months ago. When he was written off the show, before he came back.”
“No way,” Jared's jaw drops. “I expected something like a kiss, a real one, or a confession, but... okay, that actually explains a lot.”
“Like?” Jensen challenges him.
“Like the way you look at him. Like the way he looks at you.”
“You know, despite the fact that we're all working on the set of a daily soap, that doesn't include our own lives,” Jensen grimaces.
“What? As cheesy as it sounds, it's true,” Jared shrugs and grins. “It's nothing to be ashamed of, I mean, Misha is a good-looking guy.”
Jensen raises an eyebrow.
“Don't worry, I learned my lesson,” Jared chuckles. “Just don't repeat my mistakes.”
“Yeah, d'uh, it's not like we're together or want to be, you know,” Jensen snorts, dry and flat. “There's nothing happening. We're not dating, we're not in love, we're co-workers who get along just fine and that's all there needs to be.”
For a few long moments, Jared just looks at him.
“You don't believe me.”
“Nope,” Jared deadpans. “Not for a second. See, I know how it is. I've known you for a while, and I bet you haven't slept with another guy ever before.”
“He's your first. You don't just cut that out.”
It's like the universe's biggest joke to hand these words back to him. “Yeah, but you can deal with it, especially when there's a working relationship and a job on the line.”
“How will you deal with kissing him during scenes?”
“I'm an actor, I'll pull it off.”
Jared shakes his head at him in silence, the look in his eyes saying how much he disagrees with Jensen. Just you wait and see, his eyes say, but he doesn't add anything.
“Anyway, how did it happen?” Jared asks. “I'm curious.”
With a quirk of his lips, Jensen remembers that evening all too well. “We went out to get a beer, because it was his last day on set. And suddenly, there was this--” Jensen breaks off, gestures with both hands to encompass the chemistry, the sexual energy, whatever, “-- and we ended up at my apartment.”
Jared smirks. “He swept you off your feet. Oh my god, that is so cute.”
“Shut your mouth.”
Jared just continues to smile the smile of the truly smug.
“Don't look at me like that,” Jensen snarks.
“Are you bisexual?” Jared asks, straightforward.
“I guess. Not that that has anything to do with Misha.”
“Oh, it has everything to do with Misha. Maybe you should try talking to him, he might have something interesting to say,” Jared suggests. “Just... consider it.”
Jensen hums, then grimaces. “Look, can we talk about something different? Please?”
Jared sits up, squaring his shoulders. “You watched the game last Monday?”
“Alright, so we've got,” Pam points at Jensen, then at Misha, “Jason and Dmitri, right here, Dmitri behind the back door to the coffee shop. Susan and Alena right here at the table in the middle. Alexis behind the entrance door. Here's how we're gonna get this done.”
She proceeds to explain how they should act out the scene in one go, just to make it easier for all of them on screen. It's a risk, they normally don't have time to do long, uncut shots like this one.
“This is the key scene, but I don't think I need to explain that to you,” Pam finishes. “Now, on your mark. Ready? Cameras rolling. And action.”
The scene starts easy enough, with Jason serving the two women coffee and cake while the two bond over how they've been screwed over by Alexis, both literally and figuratively. They don't even get to plot out a revenge, because the object of their revenge steps up to the door right then.
Dmitri is immediately behind the counter, beside Jason.
That's when Jensen's scene starts.
He turns around and pins Dmitri to the side of the door to the back room, one hand clamped over his lips, leaning in closely while watching Alexis from the corner of his eye.
“Are you insane? He can’t see you!” Jason hisses right into Dmitri's ear. They're too close, in a too tight space, and Jensen feels Misha's chest rise and fall under his arms. “You should be in the back room.”
“I wanna--” Dmitri starts, too loud, too soon, through Jason's fingers.
“No,” Jason insists around a sigh. “I don't want for you to get hurt, alright?”
Dmitri stares grimly at the place where Alexis is, then sighs too. By now, Jason's hand has shifted to his shoulder, holding him steady.
“Then what can I do?” Dmitri asks after a second's hesitation.
“Run around the building and if he starts anything funny, lock the front entrance. Return through the back door and lock it, too. So he can't get away when I need to call the police.”
“Yes,” Dmitri receives the keys from Jason, who presses them into the palm of his hand, holding it for just a second too long.
“Take care so he doesn't see you. Watch out if things get hairy.”
Jason rolls his eyes fondly. “Dangerous.”
Now, the script calls for Dmitri to say, 'Be careful.' Misha surprises Jensen with how he decides to change it – he doesn't say a word, just cups Jensen's cheek and smiles before he leaves. Jensen is – and the look probably fits Jason well – utterly dumbstruck. Damn those blue eyes and that adoring smile and – really, damn Misha.
Pam hollers from behind the camera, effectively throwing Jensen out of his funk. “Nice! We're gonna print that one!”
Two scenes later, Alexis gets to throw the bitchfit that he just waited to throw, at the two scared women. Jason steps in to throw Alexis out of his shop, but Alexis refuses. By that time, Jason has already made eye contact with Dmitri behind the door.
Alexis is trapped.
Speaking of. “Get out of my way, Jason, or you're gonna regret it.”
“That so? Why?” Jason challenges him, both hands at his hips, defiant stance, head held high.
“This is not a fight you want to get between.”
“This is not a fight I want to have in my shop,” Jason corrects him in a sharp tone. “Get out and leave them alone.”
Dmitri is back, standing at the door to the back room, watching. Jason tries to not look at him, tries to keep him hidden as long as possible.
“You have no idea what they're capable of,” Alexis growls, a last warning.
Jason doesn't budge a single inch. “I know what you're capable of, that's enough.”
“I swear I've had it up to here with you, asshole,” Alexis spits, then throws the first punch, sending Jason flying into the table behind him.
That's when Dmitri is there, jumping Alexis from behind, keeping him immobilized by holding his arms behind his back. He growls something in Russian, and Alexis flinches.
“You?” he roars. “How dare you!”
“How dare you hurt my friend,” Dmitri hisses, an edge to his voice that hits something inside Jason, too. It's hot, is what it is. “My friends,” Dmitri adds, correcting himself.
“I'm sorry that I damaged the goods,” Alexis snarls, trying to weasel out of Dmitri's sturdy grip, but finding himself unable to. “I'm sure your boyfriend will survive.”
Jason growls, but that's about all he can manage right now.
Dmitri doesn't correct him, just seems completely unfazed as he holds a struggling Alexis against the counter of the coffee shop.
That's when the policemen in front of the shop interrupt the scene, and Jason gathers himself up from the ground to open the door for them.
Alexis gets arrested for assault, among other things, because now that Alena knows Susan, the two have decided to press charges against him. With the lot of them as witnesses, Alexis is sure to go to jail.
They give Jason and Dmitri a short little scene to finish the episode.
It's just the two of them in the back room, Dmitri with a cotton pad in his hand, dabbing at Jason's black eye.
Dmitri's smile is soft when he mutters, “So I need to fix your face again. Hate it when that happens.”
Jason chuckles. “Why?”
“Your face is too... pretty is the word, I guess. To be messed up.” Dmitri frowns a bit, but the expression softens when Jason winces at the next contact of iodine and fresh wound.
“Geez,” Jason rolls his eyes, but chuckles, “Thanks. Well, you heard him, he's sorry for messing up your boyfriend.”
Dmitri seems completely unimpressed. “About that. What's so special about that word? Is it implying something?”
Jason tilts his head, amused. “Well, yeah. It implies that we're together, as partners. Lovers.”
“Hm,” Dmitri hums, then turns around to get a fresh gauze pad for the cut under Jason's eye, fixating it with a piece of tape before he hands Jason a bag of frozen peas and a towel. “Hold this against your eye, it'll get better.”
“I know,” Jason huffs, still watches Dmitri closely. He's curious as to why there hasn't been more of a reaction from Dmitri at the accusation, but when none comes and Dmitri only pushes the bag closer to Jason's eye, he can't help it any more. “Aren't you bothered by it?”
“Why would I be? Sure, you and I are not... boyfriends, but there's a reason I left Russia, you know. Not only for Alexis.”
Jason stares, lips slightly agape.
Dmitri stares right back, a mischievous smirk curling his lips.
“You're gay?” Jason asks, in the end, to clarify it for the dullest of their viewers.
Dmitri shrugs. “Yes.”
Jensen makes sure that Jason's eyes follow each and every move Dmitri makes, follow the line of his neck as he stretches to look at something behind his back, follow his fingers curling around a glass of water, follow the swing in his hips as he walks around the room.
Damn, he can see what Jason sees in the guy.
Misha falls down onto the bar chair beside him and sighs. “I'm having a déjà vu.”
“Sort of, yes,” Jensen laughs and accepts the pint of beer that Misha pushes towards him with a grateful nod.
“So, season wrap.”
And the rest of the crew went home, exhausted, since it's already 2 a.m.
“What are you going to do for summer break?”
Jensen huffs, without humor this time. “You mean the four weeks we get off before we have to be back here? Not much. What about you?”
“I'm gonna sleep for like, fifteen hours first,” Misha yawns. “Let's see how many episodes I even get for next season.”
“Oh, now that you get to hook up with Jason, I'm sure you'll get a quite a few,” Jensen winks, then takes a sip from his beer.
Misha grins and tries to hide it without success. “Yeah, that's going to be fun,” he winks back. “I have to admit, I'm kind of jealous of Dmitri.”
“That so?” Jensen shoots him a challenging look, without really knowing why. All he knows is that this, with Misha, it's easy and he enjoys it tremendously. It's teasing, testing, flirting. It feels amazing.
“Mhm,” Misha hums, a lopsided smile now on his lips. Damn, those lips. “My eyes are up here, by the way.”
Jensen quickly averts his eyes. “Now you're just copying Pam's lines.”
Misha perks up at that, baffled. “Wait. Was that a note you got from Pam?”
“Yes, um. A while back,” Jensen admits, caught off guard. “During the bathroom scene.”
Misha, that asshole, just starts to laugh. Loud, unabashed, head thrown back, and Jensen doesn't know if he wants to lean in to suck at Misha's throat or to slap him upside the head as a reminder to cut it out.
In the end, he just sits there, left hand curled around his glass of beer, right arm propped up against the bar, his chin in the palm of his hand, watching Misha, taking him all in, imagining--
Misha focuses back on him, and there's a heat in his eyes that goes straight to Jensen's dick. Having another man's attention on himself like this was, well, not completely new, but it's Misha and Misha has always been kind of intense in all the best ways.
The bar is pretty stuffy today. Jensen is sweating, but then again, it's June.
June in California. That's why.
“Good to know,” Misha smirks to himself before he takes a drink, then licks the foam from his upper lip, eyes never leaving Jensen's.
Jensen feels even hotter, feels how heat creeps its way up his cheeks.
He quickly masks it by taking a drink himself, and only notices afterwards that while he managed to avert his eyes from Misha's, he's unconsciously biting his bottom lip. When he looks over, he finds Misha staring at his lips. It should not give him the rush of adrenaline, the rush of arousal down his spine, that it does.
Misha has him wrapped around his little finger and Jensen doesn't know if he should mind.
Except that maybe it's the other way around, too, if Misha's look is anything to go by.
Except that maybe this little game of cat and mouse isn't just a challenge.
Jensen catches Misha's eyes and smiles, slowly, like he would at a girl he really liked, holds his gaze for several seconds until Misha is a blushing mess. It's fun to screw with him, on and off camera. It's flattering how responsive Misha is.
Slowly, Jensen trails his fingers up the side of his glass of beer, catches Misha tracking the move. It's suggestive, tempting to just grab Misha and repeat what they'd done the other night. Jensen isn't against it, per se, but they had agreed on that night having been a one-time thing. Not explicitly, but with conclusive behavior. So he doesn't exactly want to re-heat old feelings. This is okay, what they're doing, because it's just fun and games and heated glances between friends.
That's when Misha leans in, the smirk on his lips a bit subdued, but incredibly self-assured and beyond gorgeous. “How about you stop fighting it?” he mutters into Jensen's ear and that's definitely not fair.
“I'm not fighting it,” Jensen shakes his head, admittedly a bit confused. “You opened my eyes, I'm okay with who I am.”
Misha blinks a few times, still too close, one elbow on the bar as he looks at Jensen. “So, how about... you, me, my bed, give or take ten minutes?”
Jensen considers it. He really does. “As tempting as it is,” he says, “I think we'd better not.”
If Misha is disappointed, he doesn't let it show. “Why?”
“Well,” Jensen shrugs. “One time is a one night stand. Two times is a thing.”
“And you're scared of making it a thing?” Misha quirks an eyebrow at him. He's still trying to win Jensen over, head tilted and lips pouty and so, so tempting.
“I'm afraid that making it a thing will make things awkward, you know. We recovered pretty well from that first one, and we've got a good working relationship. I'd hate to lose that,” Jensen explains, reasoning despite the need flaring hot inside of him, the urge to just grab Misha and decide to fuck it all.
“I'm pretty sure we're both mature enough to handle that,” Misha tries.
“Think about what happened to Stephen and Jared,” Jensen reminds him.
“We don't need to repeat their mistakes. Plus, they were a real couple, living together and everything.”
Jensen snorts, can't help it. “I don't even know how and if I could live with a man. It's just a strange thought for me.”
“Don't knock it 'til you tried it,” Misha smiles. “I'd be interested, anyway.”
“What is this, be my boyfriend, yes, no, maybe, please don't pick more than one?” Jensen jokes easily.
“Kind of,” Misha says, still smiling as he rests his chin in his hand, fingers tapping against his stubbled cheek. “For now, let's keep it at: Do you want to have sex with me all night long?”
His voice is a deep rumble, lowered intentionally, and god does it hit all of Jensen's buttons. “Do I want to? Yes. Is it the smart thing to do? Probably not.”
“So what do we do instead? Stay here, talk about sex?”
“'cause it'd make me horny and you're not exactly helping with that either, hot stuff.”
“You're still trying,” Jensen notes amused.
“Of course I am,” Misha grins. “You just admitted to wanting to have sex with me. I'd be stupid to let that slide.”
Jensen gives him a long, thoughtful look, but when Misha's expression turn to almost too hopeful, he shakes his head. “Sorry. Besides, who says we're not just gonna mess up the memory of that first night? It was a pretty nice roll in the sheets we shared there. So what if the second night sucks because it can't live up to the expectation? That'd be a shame.”
“I can't decide if you're trying to compliment me or insult me, Ackles,” Misha replies, eyes squinting. He looks like a grumpy teddy bear and Jensen kind of wants to cuddle him.
“Compliment. Mostly,” Jensen chuckles.
Misha snorts and elbows him in the side. “Ass. Although I see your point.”
“See?” Jensen smiles triumphantly.
“But by that logic, no couple should even have sex anymore.”
“I wouldn't know, I haven't been in a relationship in forever,” Jensen shrugs.
“Really? Your last girlfriend?”
“Broke up with me three years ago because she moved to Vancouver and didn't want to lead a long-distance relationship. You?”
“My last partner was a guy entirely out of my league, closeted too, and when I went to do 'Among Us', he told me he didn't want to get involved into that by proxy and no amount of explaining on my part would convince him that he's overreacting. Although our relationship had been strained before that, I have to say. My last girlfriend was before that one, but that was barely two months of dating.”
“Do you generally tell the people you're dating about you being bi?”
Misha nods. “Not as a rule of thumb, but if it's assumed that I'm gay or straight, I tell them. Some just know, and some people have a serious problem with bi guys, so be careful who you tell.”
“Problems like what?”
“The usual. Can't we just choose men or women, we're greedy, I'm not dating a guy who might cheat on me with another guy. I actually heard that last one from that girl I only dated for two months.”
Jensen just shakes his head in incomprehension.
“Also, get used to everybody thinking that you're fucking anything that moves,” Misha adds. “Which, as we just established, is unfortunately for me not the case.”
“Yeah, well, I didn't want to tell you like this, but I have standards,” Jensen teases.
Misha kicks his shin under the counter, but he doesn't even try to make it hurt. As it is, Jensen just starts laughing.
And just like that, the world rights itself.
A week before filming the new season starts, they have a week of going through interviews for various magazines and news and gossip websites.
It's the same procedure as every year.
Except this year, last season happened.
About every second interviewer asks Jensen during his one-on-one sessions if there's more Jason and Dmitri interaction to be expected, and how refreshing it is to see someone becoming Jason's friend after years of him being more or less on his own.
That's not the weird part, though.
The weird part comes in the form of a blonde lady from some kind of fansite, god knows Jensen wouldn't know because there are corners of the internet he never needs to see. She's nice and asks a couple general questions that he's answered before – Yes, he's excited for next season, even though it's kind of sad that Jared won't be there anymore but he's glad that Alexis won't bother them.
The weird part begins when she asks, “So we've seen Jason and Dmitri bond over getting rid of Alexis. What's next for those two?”
Jensen smiles, polite as always. “I guess they finally get to enjoy a less strenuous life as roommates now that things are cleared. I have only read the first two scripts so far, but they are both still very much in the picture together.”
“Great,” she nods, peeking at her notes. “So what if Susan tried her chances with Jason again, now that all of the drama with Alexis has blown over? What would his reaction be?”
Jensen has a hard time concealing his frown. Instead, he replies as pleasantly as possible, “Jason doesn't carry a torch for Susan, if that's what you mean. There are no feelings, except those for a friend. And don't get me wrong, that's great, and they're great friends. They're good for each other, you know? But they're not romantically interested in each other, which I think was a nice change, and it was well handled how the writers addressed that last season.”
“Ah,” she nods again, sounding sarcastic.
Jensen can't help it, he quirks an eyebrow at her, which makes her huff in amusement and something else underneath. Jensen can't quite put his finger on it. “What is it?”
“It's just-- how do I put this,” she starts, tapping her pen against her bottom lip before she looks back up again. “Let me just say up front that I don't want to insult you in any way or form. But there have been rumors among a certain part of the fans, about the nature of Jason's and Dmitri's relationship.”
Jensen's heart does a little skip which is not that unpleasant. “Yeah?”
“They imply that the subtext could be interpreted as Jason and Dmitri becoming, you know... a couple. They even made a 'ship name' up, as they call it – DmiJay, like Dmitri slash Jason.”
“And?” Jensen shrugs, tries really hard to seem nonchalant about it. This is great news, even thought the interviewer seems to be more skeptical and disapproving than he himself feels.
“Well, that wouldn't really make sense, right? Since Jason is straight, and all. I mean, we've seen him with a couple of women over the years, why would he be gay all of a sudden?”
Jensen takes a deep breath. And another one. He tries not to let the insensitive comment get to him, but it's hard.
Now he knows what Misha meant.
“It's called bisexuality. It's a thing.”
Her eyes go big and shocked as she apparently realizes her mistake. “Oh. Um. Sorry, I didn't mean to--”
“Actually, a lot of people discover their bisexuality later in life. Since they're also attracted to the gender they're expected to be attracted to, they easily shut that other part of themselves out until they're informed or mature enough to accept it. Also, contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to actually have any homosexual experiences to know you're bisexual.”
Mentally, Jensen pats himself on the shoulder. Maybe it was a bit rushed and he doth protest too much, but he couldn't leave that unsaid.
The interviewer is baffled at Jensen's google-fu.
So Jensen goes on. “So, to answer your question: why not? It's about time people get to see something like that on TV.”
“Um. You're right, I guess,” she stutters, then quickly changes the topic. “So you enjoy working with Misha?”
“Very much, yes.”
“Did they ask you too?” Misha asks when he catches Jensen afterwards.
Jensen grins. “About DmiJay?”
“Yeah. Isn't that cute as hell though?”
“What, the name?”
Misha chuckles, ducking his head almost seeming a bit embarrassed. “Yeah.”
Jensen shrugs and nods. “It is. I guess I have to look it up on the internet, see what people actually talk about.”
“You do that.”
Jensen clutches his cell phone in his hand, shifts it to his other ear so he can use the mouse of his computer. “I shouldn't have looked it up on the internet. Big mistake.”
Misha laughs into the speaker.
“Stop laughing, this isn't funny!” Jensen whines, only half joking. “There's porn of us! Like, drawings and digital art and – fanfiction, Mish! I found one where I'm like, an alpha werewolf with a huge cock and you're some... okay, I won't go into detail. But I did not need to know that those things existed!”
“Then you shouldn't have googled it,” Misha snorts, and damn him.
“You knew! And you didn't stop me!”
“Of course,” Misha cackles, now, and Jensen doesn't know if he wants to kiss him or punch him in the face.
“Yes, Jay?” Misha's smirk is audible through the line, and Jensen settles on wanting to kiss him. Good thing he isn't here, he would probably go through with it.
“Fuck you,” Jensen throws back, although he can't help but smile, too. The insult lacks bite, he's aware.
“You wouldn't let me,” Misha counters and hangs up.
Jensen gapes at his phone, slowly starts to grin. Oh, it is on.
He types out a message to Misha, reading 'Well I've always got my left hand,' but deletes it again before sending it. A bit harsh. Dick pic? No, that's just way too cheap. And tasteless.
He ends up sending Misha a picture, a pretty simplistic one. Just his hand resting on his naked stomach, barely more than his torso and the waistband of his black boxer briefs visible in the frame. Soft lighting from the lamp on the bedside table, a hint of bed sheets underneath his body.
'Getting mixed signals here, Jay,' Misha answers after countless moments that Jensen spends staring at the screen, tapping it every few seconds so it doesn't go into screen lock mode.
'Just messing with you,' Jensen replies, adds a winkey smiley to it.
Misha doesn't write back after that. Jensen is kind of disappointed.
He still jerks off to the thought of Misha in bed with him that night and manages not to feel the least bit guilty about it.
It's an elaborate and extensive game of gay chicken.
It's a thousand and one casual touches, a thousand and one scenes spent entirely too close too each other, seeking advice and comfort.
It's taunting and tempting, and it's three long months of dancing around each other, tiptoeing, trying, testing boundaries. There's hugs, there's the occasional grab for the other one's hand or elbow to pull him into the back room or just somewhere else. There's a very heartfelt confession on Jason's part, along the lines of “I'm glad I met you.”
To which Dmitri nods and smiles and says, “Me too,” in such a sweet voice that Pam almost gets a heart attack at the precious face Jensen made in reaction to it.
Her words, not Jensen's.
The fans on twitter are hyped, if the tweets both Misha, Jensen and the showrunner receive every day – among the ever-present haters, of course, because it's the internet – are anything to go by. It goes as far as Misha finally tweeting back, 'You're not crazy,' which makes the headlines of a couple gossip sites.
They get drunk together one evening, after going to Susan's birthday party together, and nothing happens, but barely. Jason stumbles through the door of their apartment, Dmitri hot on his heels with one hand still on Jason's hip, and when Jason turns around he manages to push Dmitri up against the door, closing it in the process.
Pam makes sure to set that scene perfectly.
Jensen's eyes roaming over Misha's body. Eyes, nose, jaw, neck, lips, lips, lips. A soft smile, hooded eyes, and Jensen wants and he doesn't even know any more where Jason begins and he ends, but he wants.
Just like that first night.
He's hard in his pants and Misha doesn't comment on it, although he clearly noticed, if the wide-eyed, hungry look and the way he licked his lips afterwards are anything to go by.
Maybe because Misha subtly tilts his hips forward, rubbing his clothed erection against Jensen's thigh.
Jensen doesn't need to fake the sigh that leaves him in a rush of real arousal and breathless euphoria. God, how he wants this. How had he denied himself this for so long? Right, because it wasn't a good idea to make this thing with Misha a thing.
The ridiculousness of that particular thought only hits Jensen right then, with Misha in his arms, rubbing himself against his thigh, moaning silently, his breath hot puffs of air against Jensen's tingling lips.
This started to become a thing without ever getting awkward.
No matter the ridiculous amount of flirting going on between them so openly, no matter how easy it always has been to just touch Misha for a scene, no matter how much they still want into each other's pants and don't even try to hide it.
“Fuck,” Jensen groans under his breath.
“Cut!” Pam interrupts them, her usual lopsided smirk on her face as she throws her ponytail back over her shoulder. She walks up to them as Jensen takes a step back and her smile is still firmly in place when she says to both of them, “You're doing great. Just. At least try to act subtle.”
Jensen is pretty sure that his face is the color of a tomato and his skin is the degree of the sun's surface.
So they act out the scene the way they're expected to: slow, teasing, Jason leaning in to almost kiss Dmitri, but in the end it's just both of them hesitating, swaying on their feet, their noses brushing, breath mingling, mind-blowing, scorching hot roll of Dmitri's body into Jason's.
“I'm proud of us,” Misha announces afterwards, after a deep sigh.
“Why?” Jensen asks, just to humor Misha.
“Because,” Misha winks at him and turns around.
It's been three months and if anything could describe Jensen's current situation, it's utterly frustrating unresolved sexual tension. Both in and out of character.
They still hang out after work a lot of the time, going for dinner and drinks, mostly just the two of them now since Jared moved on to bigger, better, newer things. It's good, Misha's good for him, Jensen knows. He doesn't take any of Jensen's bullshit and he's quick with a witty reply, sometimes laced with sexual innuendo.
How had he not seen that this was a thing?
“So,” Susan starts as she falls down into the cushions of Jason's couch.
Dmitri is downstairs, managing the coffee shop since he announced that Jason worked too much and he'd take care of things for an evening per week, not realizing that this left Jason with basically nothing to do. Except gossip with Susan for exposition and recap scenes.
“What's going on with you and Dmitri?” she asks, then takes a pointed sip from her glass of wine.
Jason coughs on his beer for dramatic reasons, then says entirely unconvincing, “Uh, nothing?”
It's like a dejá vù of that conversation he had with Jared about Misha.
Susan just tilts her head, a move that says, you can't fool me, so don't even try.
“I'm not lying, there's really nothing,” Jason reassures her with a little sigh at the end.
“But you wish there was?”
Another sigh. “God knows this never happened to me before, but I do. I mean look at him, he's--” Jensen gestures, trying to find the word that the script said.
“-- gorgeous,” Allison finishes for him, bless her heart. “I know.”
Jason stares at his hands, picks at a cuticle beside his index finger. “I don't know what to do about it. How do these things work with guys?”
“Well, not much different than with women.”
“Yeah, and here I thought that was complicated enough already,” Jason snorts.
“Just show him,” Susan advises with a gentle smile. “You might be surprised.”
“What's that supposed to mean?” Jason replies a bit irritated.
“I'm pretty sure that your feelings are mutual, judged by how he behaves around you. Seriously, you two are one step away from being the adorable domestic gay couple of the neighborhood. All that's missing is you confessing and calling him cute nicknames.”
Jason averts his eyes, thinks about calling Dmitri 'honey' or 'darling', and promptly starts laughing.
“Thanks,” he says to Allison.
“Just do it,” she adds with her eyebrows high on her forehead.
It's not a confession that Jensen gets to act out with Misha ten days later.
It's a whole episode centered around them, around their casual everyday coffee dates in the afternoon and hanging out on the couch in the evening. A whole episode of them bickering with each other - “You don't need to treat me to ice cream, come on, I can pay for--” - “I wouldn't pay for it if I didn't want to or couldn't afford to.” - of Susan giving them suggestive looks, of Jason touching Dmitri every chance he gets, casual little touches to his shoulders, to his sides, to the small of his back.
It all hits an abrupt and taciturn end in the evening.
They return home for the night, sober, for the record, and Jason takes Dmitri's coat to stow it away in the wardrobe while Dmitri puts their shoes away. They both drop their keys in the bowl beside the door, hands almost brushing. They head into the kitchen, and Jason wordlessly hands Dmitri a bottle of cool water from the fridge-- and in that simple move, the magic is sparked.
Their fingers meet against the bottle, but Dmitri doesn't pull away. Instead, he looks at Jason, eyes locking, staring, taking it all in. Hoping.
It's pure instinct when Jason pulls Dmitri in to kiss him.
Just, straight to the point, kisses him. There's going to be sappy music accompanying this moment when it airs, and it'll be cheesy and people will freak out about it, depending on which side of the fans they're on.
Misha makes the kiss nice and slow and deep, and Jensen loves that, so he responds in kind. When they pull apart, Jensen groans, “Misha.”
Pam hollers from the sidelines. “Now if Jensen would've used the correct name, we'd print that. Still rolling.”
Jensen feels Misha's lips against his, both familiar and new, chapped and full and he wants those lips in other places. They kiss, definitely longer than necessary, just for the hell of it and because it feels that good. It's like the first time in a way that they're two pieces of a puzzle just having waited for being joined, clicking from the moment they met.
But Misha is grinning now, lips drawn into a smile against Jensen's, the vibration of a light chuckle making Jensen wanton and needy.
There's the part that says, 'Fuck, I missed this. Do you have any idea?'
There's the part that says, 'I love kissing you.'
There's the part that says, 'I still want you.'
Jensen hopes, he hopes so much that he can fix this. Because it's Misha and by god if he even doubted for a second that Misha's feelings for him might have disappeared after more than four months that Jensen had him wait, he's mistaken. It's all there, right there in the way Misha's kissing him. He's never been good with explaining himself or his feelings, so Jensen chooses the easiest way – answering Misha by how he kisses him.
He just hopes the kiss says everything.
When they break apart, Jensen has never heard Pam utter the word 'Cut,' so awestruck.
“More,” Misha groans, pulling Jensen in close again, hands fisted into his collar.
Jensen tries to deflect by turning his head but doesn't get that far, because Misha has cupped his face in his hands and pulls him in to kiss him again.
Jensen practically hears Pam rubbing her palms with delight.
“Jay,” Misha mumbles against his lips.
“Not now,” Jensen says and pulls Misha's bottom lip between his teeth, nibbling carefully before pulling back. “Later,” he whispers, barely loud enough for Misha to hear.
“Okay,” Misha agrees, slumping against the kitchen counter at his back. He mouths 'Fuck,' so that only Jensen can see it, and Jensen is still too busy picking his jaw up from the floor.
Jensen huffs in agreement, wipes the back of his hand over his tingling lips. Misha watches him, so intensely, so affectionately, that Jensen can just stare and wonder and, “Still?” he asks, quietly.
Misha shrugs, seeming embarrassed as he ducks his head, but when he looks back up, it's with a suggestive, hopeful smile on his lips.
Jensen breaks into a grin.
Misha does, too.
“Guys,” Pam steps up to them with a bright smile. “I'm happy for you two, but can we just finish the scene before you start tearing each other's clothes off in front of the camera? We are a family show, after all.”
“I guess we can do that,” Jensen states, embarrassed.
Misha winks at him when Pam turns around.
They mess up the scene five times just to get more takes of kissing each other.
They can't get back to Jensen's apartment soon enough afterwards.
By some mysterious rule, they calm down as soon as the door has closed behind them, though, and Jensen takes a deep breath before he sits down on the sofa.
“So, what's the plan?” Misha asks softly when he takes a seat beside Jensen, knees knocking against each other's.
“Well, I'd hope that we could start over, you know. Start for real, this time,” Jensen tries.
“And it took you half a year to figure that out?” Misha quirks an eyebrow at him, and Jensen knows it's only half a joke.
“It took me half a year to realize that I want to try this and make the best of it.”
Misha clucks his tongue and shakes his head, a tiny smile on his lips. “You're a cruel man, Jensen Ackles.”
“I'm sorry, I am,” Jensen sighs, then adds, “Maybe you should leave me waiting for three months in return. I'll wait, promise.”
Misha grins, but then throws his leg over Jensen's thighs, slides into his lap.
And yes, Jensen has had women do that to him, but he's never had a lapful of guy, six feet and change of him, broad and muscled with stubble on his cheeks and a wild gleam in his eyes. He's done for, so, so very done for, because he's in love with this guy, because he's in very gay love with Misha's very gay face.
As if that didn't just slay Jensen and as if that didn’t make him need to grab onto Misha's thigh and hip and hold on for dear life, Misha leans in right then to whisper into his ear, “Well, I hate to break it to you, but contrary to popular belief, I am not an angel of the lord, and I surely am no saint. I couldn't wait another second.”
And with that, Misha captures his lips, kisses him until Jensen is smiling and shuddering and so happy he can barely breathe.
Another round of promoting the show over Christmas break, another round of interviews.
“Tell us something random about Jensen, Misha?”
“Sometimes... we will be at dinner sometimes, and Jensen goes, 'C'mon, bring it out, Dmitri.'”
Meanwhile, in the interview beside that one.
“Honestly, I love you Misha, it's from the bottom of my heart that I say that. I love you.”