“I’m leaving.” Jared flops on Jensen’s bed the same way he always has, feet up by Jensen’s head and his head by Jensen’s feet. He hadn’t thought to bring his jacket when he’d fled his house in search of asylum at Jensen’s, and the rainy two block jog has left him damp and shivering.
Jensen cracks an eye open but doesn’t move otherwise. He’s stretched out, ankles crossed and vividly mismatched argyll socks about at Jared’s eye level, his fingers slotted together over his chest. His hair stands up in spiky swirls around his headphones, and Jared can hear the vague, tinny sound of his music, something punk, shredding guitar at breakneck speed.
Impatient, Jared nudges at Jensen’s side with his knee, wriggles his toes against Jensen’s cheek when the knee thing doesn’t get a rise out of him.
“Dude. Feet,” Jensen grumbles, but doesn’t push him away. He never has.
Jared had moved into the neighborhood in the third grade, and within a week all the kids in his class had inexplicably formed some sorta I Hate Jared Club. They’d had a sign-up sheet and everything. Jared remembers Jensen plopping down beside him at recess and throwing a bag of peanut M&M’s into his lap. He remembers Jensen’s smile when he’d asked him why Jensen didn’t hate him like everybody else, and the way that Jensen had half-shrugged and said, ‘I hate clubs.’
Even at that young age, Jensen had seen the world and the people in it differently, his perspective a little left of center. Of course the third grade class’s resolution to hate Jared dissolved quicker than it was formed, as these sorts of things usually do, but Jensen stuck. Looking back, it was around then that Jared fell in love, although it would take him a lot longer to figure out what it actually meant. It’s a secret he’s kept locked away, safe as houses.
Jared pulls one of the headphones away from Jensen’s ear with his toes and repeats, “I’m leaving.”
“Alright,” Jensen says, sitting up and looping the headphones around his neck. “Where are we going?”
“Not we,” he explains. “Me.”
“Are we breaking up?” It’s a joke, an old one, provenance unknown, and Jensen doesn’t even know that half of it. Despite himself, Jared feels his surly scowl start to give way to a smile.
“Never, sweetheart,” Jared plays along with the joke and it kinda guts him, every single time. It’s his turn to sit up, and they face each other, legs crossed indian-style with their knees touching. He takes a deep breath and spills all in one go, fast, like ripping off a bandaid. “We’re moving in three weeks. My father’s getting transferred to San Antonio, says he’s known for a month and a half and he’s been trying to find the right time to tell me.”
Jensen chews on his bottom lip and squints at him as if he’s waiting for the punchline. When Jared stays silent he says, “Shit. Don’t mess with Texas.”
“That’s not funny.”
“I’m not laughing,” Jensen shoots back, and now he’s nervously rubbing his palm on his thigh. It’s the tiniest tell, and goddamnit Jared’s gonna miss this, the way he can read Jensen like a book written in for a kid who’s five years old. “Three weeks.”
‘Yeah, when winter break starts.” Jared sounds a little hysterical to his own ears. Fuck it. He’s allowed.
“You could stay here,” Jensen suggests. “You basically live here anyway.”
“Already tried that angle. It didn’t fly.”
“Figured you did,” Jensen says with a half-smile, then repeats, “Three weeks. That’s not enough time.”
“Anything,” then after a beat and under his breath, “everything.”
“What do you want to do?” Jared asks.
Jensen looks toward his window, the streetlights refracting on the spattering of raindrops on the glass. “Do you wanna watch a movie?”
“Alien vs. Predator?”
Jared sits at the corner table in the school’s cafeteria. He’s got his back to room and is staring at his physics exam, or more specifically the bright red ‘C’ emblazoned on the front of it.
“Ouch.” The word is whispered close to his ear, rides on a breath that smells like cinnamon chewing gum, and Jared doesn’t even jump when Jensen thumps him on the back. No one else is sitting at the table, reserved for loners or losers, and Jared’s not too sure where he falls on that scale. It’s always been Jared and Jensen, the two of them surrounded by a metaphorical wall twenty feet high and ten feet thick. Occasionally someone new will come around and try and chip away at it, but they have never stuck around for long.
Jensen could pick any of the five other empty chairs but instead falls half into Jared’s lap and forces him to share his seat. “That’s never happened before,” he says around a huge bite of Jared’s sandwich, and starts flipping through the pages of the exam. He taps at a question, something about the force of gravity and how fast a feather dropped on the moon would fall, all of Jared’s work hashed through with a red X. “I could show you...” he offers.
With a shake of his head, Jared says, “Thanks, but I know it. I’ve got this stuff. I was just off my game.” He steals his sandwich back and elbows Jensen to earn a fraction more room on the seat, but it’s mostly for show. The press of Jensen’s thigh against his and the slight jab of Jensen’s hipbone is a comfort. Familiar and steadying. “There’s a first time for everything, I guess.”
Beside him, Jensen stiffens, straightens his back and regards Jared, eyes wide with a slow smile spreading across his face. A genuine lightbulb moment, and Jared’s learned to never trust those. He snaps his fingers and points to a banner on the wall. “I think we should go to the winter formal.”
“We never go to those things,” Jared says.
“Which is exactly why we should,” Jensen points out.
“Y’know, I sometimes think that the day you start making sense is the day the earth will spin out of its orbit and go careening into the sun.”
“Then it’s my moral obligation to keep all seven billion of us out of harm’s way.”
“It’s a relief to have you on our side,” Jared says, watching as a group of girls walks past their table, whispering behind their hands as they shoot quick double-takes in Jensen’s direction. Jensen doesn’t notice. He never notices.
“Anyway, don’t change the subject. What’s the prognosis?” Jensen asks.
With a shrug, Jared says, “Sure. I’ll go.” Shooting for casual, he adds, “Were you thinking about asking someone?”
“I thought I just did. What? Did you want me to take a knee?”
“Save it for the proposal,” Jared tells him.
“I’ll keep that in mind.” Jensen pushes himself out of the chair, stuffs Jared’s exam into his backpack and slings it over his shoulder, then pulls Jared up by the collar of his coat. “C’mon. Let’s go.”
Jensen’s already heading toward the door and doesn’t break stride to say, “It’s a surprise.”
Jogging a few steps to catch up, Jared whispers, “I’ve got American lit next. I shouldn’t miss it.”
Jensen steers them toward the band room and a back door that the teachers hardly ever monitor. “Eh, you hate Hemingway anyway.”
Jared can’t really argue with that.
The pool hall is dim and nearly empty, occupied only by a couple of guys at a table in the far corner and a bored-looking attendant behind the counter.
As Jared grabs a tray of balls, Jensen says, “Today I’m gonna teach you about something much more important than the symbolism in The Sun Also Rises.”
“I already know how to play pool,” Jared tells him, leading them toward a table in the back and racking the balls as Jensen picks out their cues.
“You know how to suck at pool. There’s a difference.” He screws around with the chalk, fingers turning blue, purses his lips and blows on the end of his cue, then bends over the table and takes the opening break shot, the crack of the cue ball very loud in the quiet hall. “Way I see it, we’re going to be spending a lot of money on planes, trains and automobiles in the next year and a half, and it’s not like the two of us have any real marketable skills at our disposal…you’re stripes, by the way.” He circles the table, concentrating, sinks the seven, six and five balls in reverse numerical order.
“Show off,” Jared says, then gets distracted by the smooth roll of Jensen’s hips and the shift of his shoulders beneath his shirt as he sets up an impossible jump shot with the three ball, even though two would be so much easier.
“Hey, if you got it, you gotta flaunt it.” Jensen grins at him, bright and beautiful.
Nine years. Jared has been looking at that smile for nine years, and it still has the power to floor him, steal his breath away and make him feel like gravity doesn’t exist.
“So we’re gonna hustle pool for a living,” Jared deadpans once his tongue starts to work again.
“Unless you can think of something better. It’s your turn.” Jensen takes a step back and motions toward the table with a grand gesture.
And okay, alright, so maybe Jared does suck at pool, regardless of the hours and hours they’ve spent here. He’s always preferred stuff that relies on quick reflexes and good hand-eye coordination, can swiftly beat Jensen in any game that involves sitting in front of the television and blowing things up, anything with a ball that bounces and has a hoop or a racket. But hidden beneath Jensen’s preference for mismatched socks and his occasional inclination to wear his mother’s bathrobe to school, under his love for punk music and conspiracy theories, there is cool, analytic mind, and the geometry behind pool appeals to him.
Jared sets up a shot and starts to go for it, but pauses when Jensen bends by his side, slips his fingers along Jared’s to correct his grip.
“Set your feet further apart,” he instructs, his breath warm on the side of Jared’s neck. “Shift your hips. Loosen up. You just need to hit the ball with the cue, not chop down a goddamn tree with it.”
Two hours later, on the walk home, Jared realizes that he’s forgotten everything Jensen’s taught him about angles and bank shots and what it means to get snookered. What he remembers is the press of Jensen’s hands against his waist when he’d adjusted his stance, the feel of Jensen’s fingers slotting in alongside his own, the shape of his smile and the sound of his voice when Jared had pocketed a tough shot and he’d said, “‘Atta boy.”
Jared paces up and down the hallway, twitchy in the dark suit that he usually reserves for funerals and the rare instances that his folks make him to go to church. He checks the mirror, fiddles with his tie, rolls his eyes over the shake in his hands as he tucks his hair behind his ears. It’s ridiculous. It’s just Jensen and it’s ridiculous, but he still jumps when there’s a knock at the door.
“Since when do you knock?” Jared starts, and cuts short as Jensen steps inside. Jensen’s suit jacket and bright red tie are normal enough, the kilt and combat boots are a different story. “Do you have an audience with the Queen after the dance?”
Jensen ignores the remark and instead says, “You clean up good, kiddo,” then presents him with a boutonniere, a single white rose surrounded by baby’s breath. “Hold still.” He affixes it to Jared’s coat with a long pin, head tipped toward Jared, his tongue trapped between his teeth as he concentrates, and Jared’s surprised to see that he’s not the only one whose hands are shaking.
“I didn’t know,” Jared mumbles. “Gimme a minute.” He dashes into the kitchen and plucks a carnation out of the vase of flowers his mother likes to keep on the counter, still pretty fresh and only a little dry on the edges of the petals. He snips the stem and digs around in the catch-all drawer until he comes up with a safety pin. It takes some doing to get it to sit straight on Jensen’s lapel and Jensen remains uncharacteristically quiet and patient the entire time, an unreadable expression on his face.
“It’s not much.” Jared gives him an apologetic half-smile.
“No, Jared. It’s perfect,” Jensen says, and there’s a hint of a tremor in his voice, a roughness to it that Jared doesn’t quite know how to interpret.
The school cafeteria has been decked out, blue and white balloons all over the floor and taped to the walls, plastic icicles, snowflakes and streamers hanging from the ceiling, as well as a huge disco ball that slowly spins in the middle of it all. As soon as they walk in, they’re handed short little pencils and slips of paper to vote for the winter king and queen. There’s a spot at the bottom for write-in’s, so Jared scribbles down Magneto and Mystique, looks over Jensen’s shoulder to see him writing Vonnegut and Marie Curie and laughs.
It’s a decent turn out, guys awkward in their suits and girls in every shade of taffeta. Students are shuffling around on the dancefloor, and there’s a contingent of people who are doing the Time Warp to every single song. The two of them stick to the wall, balancing out very sweet fruit punch with handfuls of tiny pretzels. News has spread that Jared’s leaving, and kids keep wandering by, telling him good luck, saying San Antonio sounds like a great place, remember the Alamo.
The winter king and queen are crowned, the golden child of women’s lacrosse and some guy who’s on the basketball team, and Jared whispers low, “Too bad, I had my money on Vonnegut.”
“I think this is the sorta thing where all of the fun happens beforehand or afterward. Show up late and leave early,” Jensen says, and Jared thinks he hears an apology in there somewhere. He keeps touching the flower Jared pinned to his jacket, fingering the slender stem.
“It’s not so bad,” Jared assures him. “It’s like watching a social experiment.”
“Maybe. What do you wanna do now, Dr. Zimbardo?”
He begins to turn away, heading toward the door, but Jared stops him with a light touch to his elbow. Jared’s heart spikes up and his tongue feels curiously numb. It’s been a strange night, like the two of them are off. Not lined up like they usually are but rather syncopated, one beat shadowing the other.
Two and half weeks. Jared has two and a half weeks and nothing left to lose. “It’s a dance,” he says, “so we should dance.”
Jared expects a joke, a sharp elbow in the ribs. He expects Jensen to roll his eyes and keep on walking, what he gets is a smile as Jensen loops their arms together and guides them out to the dancefloor. It’s at that moment that the universe decides to showcase its ironic sense of humor, when the DJ switches from his top forty soundtrack to put on The Drifters instead, the lead singer telling them to save the last dance in a voice that’s smooth as honey.
Grasping his hand and placing the other one on Jared’s hip, Jensen laughs, “At least it’s not ‘There Goes My Baby’.”
“Yeah, ‘cause that would really be awkward.”
Jared doesn’t know anything about dancing, has never had a reason to learn, isn’t sure if he’s the one leading or if it’s Jensen, but he does know that he likes the grip that Jensen has on his hip, the warmth of Jensen’s hand in his, slightly smaller but not by much, the way Jensen tips his head up to look at him through his lashes, the curve of his mouth. He’s only dimly aware of the other folks making a space for them, a tiny island in the center of the floor.
Jensen rises to his tip-toes, lips faintly brushing against Jared’s ear as he speaks, and it sends an electric shock down Jared’s spine, makes him grasp Jensen’s hand tighter. “This’ll probably make people talk.”
Carefully, measured, Jared replies, “I think they already do, and I don’t care.”
“Me either, Jared. Not even a little.”
A lump lodges in Jared’s throat and every breath he takes seems like it’s coming in sideways, and he can’t look away from Jensen. He never really has been able to. His grin is huge and sloppy and entirely lovestruck, and he’s not gonna force it back. He won’t. Two and a half weeks to go and for the very first time, he’s gonna let it show.
Jensen has his mouth open like he’s about to say something else, but then he clamps shut with a quick flash of irritation as his eyes flick to a spot behind Jared’s shoulder. “Incoming,” he says, hardly moving his mouth.
Something is plunked on Jared’s head, and he reaches up to touch it as the king of the dance slides in behind Jensen and places his crown crookedly atop Jensen’s. Everyone’s watching. There’s clapping, good-natured cat-calls, and then Jared’s seeing spots as the yearbook photographer swoops in, clicking pictures for posterity. His cheeks feel hot, a flush spreading across his face faster than wildfire. The song ends, and Jared pulls them through the door as someone behind them shouts in a deep, booming voice, “Make way for the king and queen!”
Outside, the air is cold against Jared’s heated skin. He leans against the rough brick of the school’s exterior, and takes the crown from his head, a metal thing shaped in a series of small snowflakes and affixed with glittery glass beads.
“I always thought you’d make a fair and benevolent queen,” Jensen says, a slow smirk spreading across his face.
“You’re the queen,” Jared tells him. “You’re shorter, and anyway, you’re the one wearing the skirt.”
“Yeah, but you’re the one with the tiara.”
Jensen wants to go apple picking, says it’s something he’s always wanted to do, so they drive to an orchard two hours outside of town. It’s late in the season and most of the apples are spotty and mealy, and the operation quickly devolves into a series of kamikaze moves to get to the apples on the uppermost branches until they find the perfect one that’s firm and sweet and crisp, and they trade off bites of it, passing it back and forth as they walk to the car.
On the way home, Jared absently mentions something about Firefly, how he really wants to see it and figure out what all the hype is about. The next morning Jensen shows up at his doorstep, the entire series tucked under his arm, still in its cellophane. They hibernate in front of the television, order a hawaiian pizza half-way through because they’ve never had one before. Jared thinks the pineapple makes it taste like dessert and Jensen says the ham makes it taste like Easter, and they both agree that they’ll stick with pepperoni and mushrooms from here on out.
The next day, after school, Jensen detours them to a beauty supply store, stands in front of a row of Manic Panic hair dye, tapping his finger against his mouth as he considers.
“I’ve been thinking about green,” he says. “How ‘bout you? You’re too dark for pink, unless we bleach it first. Blue, maybe.” He plucks a jar from the shelf and holds it up to the light, ‘After Midnight,’ written on the label.
Jared shakes his head. “Dude. My folks would freak.”
With a shrug, Jensen says, “What’s the worst they can do? Disown you, maybe? At which point, problem solved. Anyway, it’s not permanent. Or at least I don’t think it’s permanent.”
They set up shop in Jensen’s bathroom, towels spread all over the floor to catch the drips and bare to the waist. Jared watches Jensen in the mirror, thankful for the towel he has draped over his lap when Jensen wets his hair down and begins to comb the dye through it, short nails scritching against Jared’s scalp.
It’s not the first time Jared’s seen Jensen shirtless, probably not even the hundredth, but it might be the last. Jared stares, tries to memorize everything, from the curve of Jensen’s shoulder to the dip at the base of his throat, the faint patch of light colored hair in the center of his chest and the scatter of freckles on his skin, pale from winter but always there.
The dye job doesn't actually do a lot for Jared, mostly just makes his hair look dark in the light of the bathroom and a sorta streaky purple in natural sunlight, but it turns Jensen's fingers a violently bright plum, and when it's his turn Jensen says, "Maybe you should use some gloves."
Jared eyes the tub of vivid green, scrunches his hand through the soft slip of Jensen's hair and says, "No, I think I'm good."
“Jared. Hey, Jared. Wake up.”
Jared had been awake from the first vague scratch on his bedroom window, playing possum as Jensen jimmied the screen and levered the window open. His bed is warm, his pillow is in the perfect spot, he has an American lit essay test in a few hours and he still really hates Hemingway. His bed dips and Jensen jostles his shoulder.
“What,” Jared says, refusing to open his eyes.
“The sky is falling. We gotta see this.”
“Shouldn’t we be seeking immediate shelter?” Jared mumbles, but he’s given up, given in, and is groping on the floor beside his bed for the jeans he threw there a couple of hours ago.
“It’s not falling in our direction,” Jensen explains, impatient, then tosses a sweatshirt at Jared’s face. A knit hat and his coat follow a second later.
Curious and knowing that Jensen will explain all of this as the situation warrants, Jared bundles up and follows him out of the window, finds that Jensen has left a backpack on the ground. Jensen digs around in it and hands Jared a thermos filled to the brim with coffee, hot and sugary, exactly the way that Jared likes it.
"We're lucky this time. New moon, and it's not too cloudy," Jensen's saying, although Jared's not paying a lot of attention. He's still waking up, and anyway he’s enjoying the quiet of the neighborhood at this hour, either early or late, depending on your take on things. He likes the silent, darkened houses that line the streets, the lack of movement and the hushed quality to Jensen's voice as they cut across lawns and slip through the break in the fence on the south side of the park.
There’s a clearing in the center of the place, a small stage set up on one end where they have free concerts in the warmer months, and Jared remembers getting drunk underneath it for the very first time last summer, some vicious concoction made from this and that out of his parents’ liquor cabinet. He remembers being sprawled out in this field, and how he’d laid there for hours, like he had all the time in the world. His head on Jensen’s stomach, feeling giggly and maudlin at regular intervals while he listened to Jensen’s theories involving alien lifeforms and Leonardo da Vinci, and how he’d been so impossibly in love with Jensen in that moment, in love with everything about him, from the jut of Jensen’s hipbone as it had dug into his shoulder to the rumbling, rambling slur of his voice, from the wiggle of his toes as if he couldn’t quite feel them to the lazy way he’d let his hand fall to the top of Jared’s head and then had kept it there.
Now Jensen’s spreading out the blanket from his bed in the same exact spot, a place where the land slopes upward slightly. They flop down and Jensen tosses him a bag of miniature marshmallows, saying, “Coffee and sugar. Should keep you going.”
“Going for what?”
“The Persieds. Or maybe the Gemenids. I don’t remember. Whichever one happens in the winter.”
“The sky is falling,” Jared echoes.
“Exactly. We always mean to stay up and watch it.”
“And we always fall asleep,” Jared finishes.
“Now or never, right?” Jensen mutters, and there’s something in his tone, something underneath it all, in between the lines.
Jared stares at the sky, lets his vision blur and tries to not concentrate on any one spot, and then he catches it: the tiniest flare of light streaking across the sky. He points, glances beside him just in time to see Jensen quickly looking away. “There,” he says, “did you see it?”
“Yeah, Jared. I did.” It’s a lie through and through, but Jared doesn’t call him out on it. “I used to think that there were actual stars falling,” Jensen continues, “and it seemed like such a racket. The way you’re supposed to make a wish as whole galaxies go crashing into each other.”
“Solar systems,” Jared says.
“What?” Jensen asks, and now Jared can feel Jensen’s eyes on him again, feels it as Jensen shifts a little closer.
“Galaxies have billions of stars,” Jared explains. “You’re talking about solar systems.”
“I know that. I wasn’t being literal. More like metaphoric.” Jensen chuckles, tags onto the end of a sigh, “You’re such a nerd.”
“Yeah, well, you’re one to talk.” He tucks his arms under his head and arches his back in a stretch, yawns massively. His sweatshirt rides up, cool air on his lower stomach until Jensen reaches over and tugs it back down for him.
“We should build a treehouse,” Jensen says, and it’s non-sequitur, outta left field. “Go camping. We could go camping in the treehouse. Kill two birds.”
“Why?” Jared asks. “The dance. Apples and mainlining Firefly, and really fucked up pizza.” He makes an all-encompassing gesture. “Now camping? You hate the idea of camping. There’s something going on.”
Jensen folds up, hugs his legs to his chest and props his chin on his knee, so Jared is obliged to do the same. “You leave in a week and a half,” Jensen starts, then takes a deep breath. “You leave in a week and half and there are all these things we always meant to do. You said it yourself. You said that there’s a first time for everything, and I can’t imagine doing any of it without you. And I realize that probably makes me the most co-dependant bastard on the planet, but--”
“Hey,” Jared interrupts. His heart feels like its made of thinly spun glass, about to shatter any second. “I get it. I really do. We’ll build a treehouse. We’ll go camping. I’ll blow my savings and fly us to New York and go to the top of the goddamn Empire State Building if that’s what you want.” He’ll do anything. Anything at all.
Jensen shakes his head, wipes his nose on the sleeve of his jacket. “I fucking hate camping.”
“Then what do you wanna do?”
“I hope this doesn’t screw everything up,” Jensen says. “And if it does, then I hope you can forgive me.” He slides his hand around the back of Jared’s neck, chilly fingers conforming to the curve of it and Jared shivers, not sure if it’s from the cold or from the determined look on Jensen’s face. Jensen closes his eyes and leans in, tongue sneaking out to lick his lips a split second before he brushes them against Jared’s, shy and tentative for what might be the first time in his entire life.
Jensen’s mouth is warm and his nose is cold and Jared’s frozen, stuck in disbelief. His stomach feels like its moving headlong into a tailspin and his arms and legs might as well belong to someone else for all the good they’re doing him. Jensen backs away but doesn’t say anything, cloudy apprehension in the line that forms between his eyebrows and the shape of his mouth.
It’s enough to snap Jared out of it, and he touches Jensen’s cheek, curls his fingers around the base of his skull. “C’mere,” he says. “Don’t stop. I’ll do better next time, I promise.”
Jensen grins at him, bright as anything. Jared’s right with him now, meets him halfway and kisses him back, amazed at the way Jensen’s mouth snags along his, how Jensen’s happy sigh gets caught in between them when Jared flicks his tongue against Jensen’s lips and Jensen opens up, allows him in.
With a hand on the center of Jared’s chest, Jensen eases him down, blankets Jared’s body with his own and slots his thigh between Jared’s legs. It takes a few moments of tangled arms and feet to figure it out, to make them fit together, and Jensen kinda giggles, buries his cold nose in Jared’s neck until he subsides.
“Did I just make it worse?” he asks, .
Jared wriggles some under Jensen’s weight, his cock growing hard against the rub of Jensen’s thigh. “I sorta think you just made it better.”
“Not that.” Jensen scoffs, teasing him with a slow roll of his hips, and now Jared can feel the bulge of Jensen’s cock on his hip, the heat of it bleeding through their clothes. It’s for him, it’s because of him, and the thought sends Jared reeling, speeds up his pulse and makes his head spin. He’s always belonged to Jensen, all the way down to his bones and back, and that’s always been an irrefutable truth. Now he has Jensen entirely, and he doesn’t even know where to start.
“I’m talking about everything else,” Jensen goes on. “The rest of it.”
“Yeah, maybe,” Jared says truthfully, “but it’s still better. Light years better. Whole galaxies better.”
“Don’t you mean solar systems?” Jensen points out.
“Smartass. C’mon. Get back down here.”
It’s clumsy, awkward and perfect, two parts desperation and one part relief as they move together, frustrated hands seeking out any small slice of exposed skin. Jensen sucks at Jared’s mouth until his lips are raw and tingling, moves on to Jared’s jaw and throat. Jared grapples with Jensen’s jacket, wants more than anything to get his hands on every square inch of Jensen’s skin, and settles for spreading them out on the small of his back, taking in the flex of his spine and the shift of his muscles as Jensen thrusts and strains against him.
He groans into Jensen’s mouth, almost bites Jensen’s tongue when he comes, sloppy and sticky inside of his boxers with his legs wrapped tight around Jensen’s hips. Long seconds pass before his vision clears up, and when it does his eyes latch onto another meteor shooting toward the horizon.
“The sky is still falling,” he says.
Jensen laughs against his throat. “Nevermind that,” he says, and kisses him again.
Three weeks. One week. Four days. Seven hours. Scratch that, make it six and a half.
The movers had been to the house that afternoon, and Jared and Jensen had made one final pass through afterward, wandering in and out of empty rooms, their footfalls echoing loudly off of blank walls. Jensen had made the announcement that it was depressing as fuck, and in a final act of charity, Jared’s parents had allowed him to spend his last hours in town at Jensen’s place rather than the hotel room they’d bought for the night.
“I never knew that five in the morning actually existed,” Jensen says as he throws himself on the bed and drags Jared down with him by his belt loops. “Always figured it was theoretical. Like relativity.” His bright green hair has faded to something less jarring, a drab olive color that Jared actually prefers but won’t ever tell him. The next time he sees Jensen, it’ll probably be back to normal. It’s not a comforting thought.
“They usually skip straight from four to nine, just for you,” Jared says, and kisses the corner of Jensen’s mouth.
It’s strange how they’ve slid into this new thing so easily, except in all the ways that it isn’t strange at all. Jensen’s still his best friend. He still steals Jensen’s fries and throws his dirty socks at his head, he still calls him out on his bullshit and tells him he’s an asshole, and Jared still remembers the reckless ten year old who once broke his wrist and two ribs trying to do a backflip on his bike. But all of this is superimposed with Jensen as he’s so recently come to know him, this guy who pulled him into the auditorium the other day and kissed him until he was breathless, this guy who linked their fingers together as they later walked down the hall, simple as that. This guy who always looks at him to the exclusion of all else, as if the rest of the world could just burn.
“Is it weird, though?” Jared says, and realizes half into the sentence that he’s spoken out of context. It’s alright. Jensen gets him, and Jared supposes that’s what he’s going to miss most of all.
“We grew up together,” Jensen points out as he rolls them over, brackets Jared’s hips with his thighs and starts screwing around with his belt. “It’s not a surprise that we wound up in the same place.” He pushes Jared’s shirt up over his head and runs his hands back down along his ribs, and instantly Jared’s so hard it aches. “Zero to sixty in five seconds,” Jensen says with a wicked grin, rubbing at Jared’s cock through his jeans.
“It’s a talent,” Jared says. He smirks, but it doesn’t last long as Jensen shimmies down his body, leaving behind a trail of sucking, wet kisses and tugs at his pants until they’re tangled around his ankles and finally hit the floor. Jensen kneels between Jared’s widespread legs, lets his eyes wander all along Jared’s form. His sight snags on Jared’s cock where it lays swollen and flushed in the cut of his hip and his lips part a fraction, his eyes become heavy-lidded and dark. Jared forces himself to remain still under the scrutiny, fights the urge to close his legs and throw his arms across his chest, and if this had been anyone else, he might have done exactly that, but it’s not. It’s Jensen, the only person who knows everything there is to know about him and loves him anyway. Loves him through it all.
“God, Jared, can I?”
“Yeah,” Jared croaks, his mouth dry. He licks his lips, tries again. “Yeah, whatever you want.”
Jensen licks his palm and takes Jared’s cock in his fist, uses his thumb to smear Jared’s precome all over the head and immediately Jared’s hips shoot up from the bed. They’ve messed around a little before now, mostly heavy groping and rubbing each other off through layers of clothes, but this skin-on-skin contact is intense, Jensen’s hand so different and so much better than his own The sensation amplifies when Jensen flattens his tongue against the head of his cock, curious and testing, before he snugs his lips around the width of it and sucks, hard. In no time at all Jensen seems to get the hang of it, takes Jared’s cock deeper and deeper with each bob of his head, his firm grip working in tandem with his mouth.
“Close. So close,” Jared stutters, and he touches Jensen’s hair, his cheek, anything. Jensen’s eyes latch onto his, so steady and so sure that it’s a nearly physical force that yanks Jared’s orgasm out of him, leaves him staggered and panting. He reaches out, arms held wide and Jensen falls into them, Jared’s spunk still dotting his lips, making them shiny and wet. Jared kisses him anyway, licks into his mouth until the salty, bitter taste is gone and all that’s left is the singular, distinct taste of Jensen.
“You’re wearing too much clothes,” Jared says, matter-of-fact, once his heart has stopped jackhammering in his chest.
“Gimme a minute.” Jensen’s voice is wrecked, low and hoarse and the single hottest thing that Jared’s ever heard. Hot enough that his cock gives a feeble twitch in response.
“Don’t have a lot of those left to give.” Before it’s finished coming out of his mouth Jensen tenses in his arms, and Jared wants to take it back. He lets his fingers trip along Jensen’s spine, ride the dip in his lower back, plucks at Jensen’s shirt to get beneath it and rubs small circles into his skin until he feels Jensen relax, melt against him.
Finally, Jensen says, “I suppose we have to use them wisely, huh?”
“For another first,” Jared agrees, and gets a thrill as Jensen pushes off of him and stands at the foot of the bed, a pretty blush spreading all the way to the tips of his ears. Jensen gets rid of his shirt and kicks off his jeans, and Jared’s not sure where to look first, can’t decide between the broad expanse of his chest or the taper of his waist, his narrow hips or the slight curve of his cock.
Jared digs his heels into the bed, crooks his knees and spreads his legs apart as far as they can go, offering himself up in a way that he hopes Jensen understands. It’s huge and he’s scared, of course he’s scared, but Jensen knocks some of that back, smoothing his palms down the inside of Jared’s thighs. Randomly, he places a kiss on Jared’s knee, and that’s a first as well.
“I want it to be you. Just you, got it?” Jared says, and Jensen gives this full body shiver, hisses a breath between his teeth and squeezes his cock at the base.
“Got it,” he says, rough.
“The front pocket of my jeans.”
Jensen spins to find them, and for a few seconds Jared has a fine view of his back and his ass, enough that he starts to get hard all over again, then Jensen is sliding into bed, resting on his haunches between Jared’s legs with a bottle of lube in his hand.
“Fucking boy scout,” Jensen says.
“You’ll be thanking me in a few minutes,” Jared tells him.
“Hell, I’m thanking you now.” Jensen slicks up his fingers, pours enough lube onto them that it’s dripping from his hand and down the crack of Jared’s ass, but anyway, Jared believes that too much is probably better than not enough.
The first touch of Jensen’s finger against his hole makes Jared wince a little in surprise. It’s chilly and wet, soon becomes hot and wet as Jensen circles his rim with a fingertip and pushes inside, excruciatingly slow and so, so careful that it’s anyone’s guess as to whether his heart is going to break or beat its way out of his chest. Jared puts his money on door number two the instant that Jensen adds a second finger, and by the time he slips a third inside, Jared’s a goner, one hand fisted in the blankets and reaching for Jensen with the other. He wraps his legs tight around Jensen’s hips and tips his ass upward, forces himself to breathe through the stretch as he guides Jensen inside.
It burns, but it’s a good burn, one that spreads out and makes him feel warm all over, heat pooling in his belly, his cock and his balls, and soon his body takes over where his mind has left off, and he’s rocking against Jensen, moving with him and asking him for more, wanting him to go deeper, pressing his heels to the backs of Jensen’s thighs, just so he can feel the slap of Jensen’s balls against his ass with each and every thrust.
It’s then that the enormity of it all slams into him. Jensen’s everywhere, all over him inside and out. Jared watches him, willing himself to not even blink for fear that he might miss something, anything, some small change in Jensen’s expression, some tiny flash of a smile. He wants more time, years and years instead of hours, time enough for him to figure Jensen out, learn exactly the right way to touch him, learn all the things that can make him squirm and groan and send him over the edge. More than anything, he wants to memorize this, every single second of it.
Their skin is damp with sweat, the friction of their stomachs doing miraculous things for Jared’s cock, but it’s not quite enough to get him there. Jared gets a hand between them and squeezes, and a moment later Jensen’s there too, trying to time his movements to the steady roll of his hips. In all fairness, Jared doesn’t give him the chance to get it right. He pulls Jensen in for a kiss, nips at his lips as he comes, clenching down on Jensen with all he’s got and spilling weak spatters of come on Jensen’s stomach.
Jensen’s been quiet this whole time, nothing but harsh breathing and now he’s punctuating that with soft moans, driving his cock into Jared faster and faster, and it might be his imagination, or the newness of everything, but Jared swears he feels Jensen swelling harder inside of him, twitching as his body begins to tense.
Jared bears down on him with all he’s got, uses what little strength he has left to hold him tightly and whispers, “Stay inside. I want you to stay inside.”
“Yeah. Fuck, Jared. Yeah.” Jensen’s eyes open wide like he’s just had some sorta shock and his mouth goes slack. He slams into Jared as far as he can go, fingers clamped onto Jared’s shoulders tight enough to leave marks as he shudders massively and pulses inside of him.
After, Jared hugs him very close and they breathe together, in and out as the sweat on their skin slowly dries. Jensen’s still buried inside of him, going soft, and Jared can feel a slow trickle of come dripping down the crease of his ass. It should be gross. It isn’t. Not at all.
Jared’s eyes are closed. He’s fucked out and exhausted, feels a little like he’s floating.
“Hey,” Jensen says against his throat. “Don’t go to sleep.”
“I’m not sleeping.” A little under six hours. They have plans to make, and last thing he’s going to do is sleep. “Next summer, I think we should try pistachio ice cream. And then I think we should build a treehouse. Go camping.”
Thanks for reading.