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I Thought Your Coffee Table Was More Clever Than That

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Jared wakes up with the distinct impression that he has attempted to eat the bathmat under the toilet, which he hasn’t cleaned since bringing it home. He’s not brain dead, which…might actually be what he’d go for right now if someone gave him a choice. God, there’s never a Coma Genie when you need one.

 

Jared peels his face off the bathroom tiles, leaving behind a thin string of drool as a memento. At least it’s his bathroom—he’s woken up worse places when he…caves, like this. When Jensen does something like smile or breathe and Jared can’t stand to be around his best friend one fucking second longer without molesting him. He wound up in the bathroom of a KFC once; this is practically luxury.

 

Jared is well aware that he’s a wretched human being. But if he was a normal one, a run of the mill sad waste of space, he could quit his job, move away, pull one of those saving-you-from-myself maneuvers that would feel like removing his skin with a carrot peeler, but in the end…well, one, he’s way too selfish—he likes his skin—and he also likes Jensen (loves Jensen) enough that he’d never do anything to hurt him. Even to save him. He’s just not that good.

 

Actually, he wouldn’t mind the carrot peeler option for hacking his arm off before it wakes up. The limb is dead weight from the shoulder up, because drunk!Jared was a dumbass and fell asleep with one hand in the tub. It’s going to hurt like a bitch when he gets some circulation back in it.

 

Getting his knees under him—and huh, they don’t ache like they usually do after a bender, and his ass isn’t sore…Did he top? Fuck, he hopes he used a condom—Jared leaves his dead arm be, focusing on the welcoming expanse of porcelain before him. To puke or not to puke? Jared’s head pounds. You’d think he’d have grown out of this mantra by now.

 

You’d think he’d have grown out of Jensen a little—at all. Familiarity is supposed to breed contempt, not the desire to actually breed.

 

Or, you know, practice. A lot. Then a little Canadian wedding. Adoption pamphlets. 2.5 dogs and a white picket fence.

 

Jared’s heard about perverts who castrate themselves so they won’t perv again, but the way Jared sees it, he’d have to cut out his heart too.

 

He’d sigh if it wouldn’t make him feel worse, then steels his nerves and gets up to get his toothbrush, only to be knocked flat on his ass when his dead arm won’t go. Also, his tub yelps.

 

…oh…holy…

 

Jared’s jaw nigh unhinges. “Nigh,” Jared chokes, only it comes out sounding like it’s spelled. Ngh.

 

Because there—there is Jensen, staring up at him from where he’s sprawled in the tub, his face a complex array of o.O and D: and many other unhappy emoticons Megan’s been teaching him in her texts. He’s wearing a shirt Jared has never—wait—ever seen, because it’s red and shiny and shouldn’t there be an umbrella and holy fuck what is he thinking about umbrellas for when he apparently blacked out and handcuffed himself to his best friend?

 

“Jared?” Jensen croaks, and his voice sounds raw, fucked raw, and oh god oh god did Jared—oh GOD.

 

“Fuck!” Jared’s free hand flies to the cuffs, looking for the catch—because he wouldn’t use real handcuffs only sick crazy pre-castrated perverts use real handcuffs—but. But these are real handcuffs. Which need a key. And seeing as Jared has no memory of actually buying these very real handcuffs, the odds of him remembering where the hell he left the key are infinitesimally…squat.

 

Devastated, he looks back at Jensen, mentally going through his kitchen drawer to see if he even owns a carrot peeler. “God, Jen, I—“

 

“Jared?” Jensen says again, but Jared can’t really see his face because his own eyes are stinging so badly, thanks.

 

“I don’t remember what happened,” he tells the bathtub once his forehead has thunked firmly against it. But Christ, that’s not an excuse, so he jerks his head back up and grabs Jensen’s cuffed hand with his free one. “Jen, god, I am so—fuck, did I—?”

 

Ring. Ring ring. RING ring. RIIING RING. RING RING. RINGRINGRING—AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

 

That’s his phone. Specifically, that’s Chad’s ringtone on his phone.

 

Jensen sits up so carefully that Jared’s stomach heaves in terror, but the move gives Jared just enough slack for his cowardly self to snatch the phone off the sink and prolong the inevitable emotional nuclear fallout. Like he’s said, wretched human being.

 

“Awake yet, assmunch?”

 

“Chad,” Jared says very slowly, “unless you have something to do with what is happening right now, I am hanging up on you.”

 

“Cuffed to Ackles in your tub?” Chad says like he’s making it up, only not. “How much do you love that I know you’re a blackout-in-the-morning-after guy?”

 

“So much,” Jared swears, sinking back against the wall. “Chad, you have no idea. I’ll buy you a pony.”

 

He can see Chad’s nose twisting as he considers. “A sex pony?”

 

“Only…if they come in plastic.”

 

“Deal.” Jared’s eyes get real big. Maybe he can just give Chad his credit card and never ever have to see what one looks like. “Okay, do you remember Bigger In Texas?”

 

“Uh.” Jared is in his socks, but he can see one of his cowboy boots stuffed between the wall and the bathroom scale, and that triggers…something. “Okay, yes. Sort of. I remember going.”

 

And drinking. He remembers drinking, drinking more than flirting because he’d never been there before and it reminded him so much of that place he broke his hand in that bar fight with Jensen that he could see him everywhere, in every Canadian-Texan drawl.

 

“And then you texted me to come get your gay, drunk ass home…” Chad prompts, like the creepiest type of kindergarten teacher.

 

Rock bottom. He remembers that. “Okay. I remember—you came and got me.” Jared has a sudden, terrible thought that maybe, maybe Chad doesn’t really know what Jared did after he dropped him at home. Maybe he really was kidding about the handcuffed-to-Jensen part. “Shit, Chad, please tell me I cuffed myself to Jensen and promptly passed the fuck out. Tell me you left me drooling on the floor.”

 

Jensen turns at the sound of his name, moving slow like he doesn’t want to jostle Jared’s dead arm, and Jared can’t look at him more than a glance because he’s so sickly pale he’s almost grey, and Jared did that.

 

“I left you drooling on the floor,” Chad says, entirely too cheerfully, “But I cuffed you to Ackles. Do you remember why?”

 

Jared is way too relieved to care how batshit crazy his friend is. “No.”

 

“Because he, too, was trying to drown his sorrows in cock.”

 

Jared drops the phone. It slips right out of his numb fingers, catches on a fold of his plaid shirt and slides all the way down to his hip before he can fumble together enough muscle coordination to grab it.

 

What?” he demands the instant the receiver is near his mouth, but Chad just says, “Get your shit together!”—like a gay fairy godmother-slash-drill sergeant—and hangs up.

 

“Wait—!” It’s no good, and Jared doesn’t even bother hitting redial because Chad won’t answer. Instead he lets his head fall back against the wall, gritty eyes trailing the watermark near the ceiling fan. “He has the key.”

 

“Oh good,” Jensen says, his tone completely unreadable.

 

Jared reaches over with his good arm, but detours and starts rubbing his bad one when Jensen flinches back enough to jangle the cuffs against the tub. “I don’t think he’s coming back any time soon,” Jared says quietly, and this time when Jensen cringes he knows exactly why.

 

“Fuck.” There’s some sort of sound almost like a laugh that Jared never wants to hear from Jensen ever again, and Jensen drops his head and mutters, “Knew I should’ve called Tom.”

 

Jensen hates Tom. With a weird sort of passion Jared’s never understood. Not the point.

 

“So.” Jared swallows even though his throat feels like sandpaper. “So, I’m gay.”

 

Jensen—green eyes blood shot and haggard—lift his chin just enough to meet Jared head on. “Uh,” he says, voice gravel raw, “you think?”

 

Wait. “What?”

 

“Jared,” Jensen grits out, “do you know how much pink is in your wardrobe. Really.”

 

“Hey!” Jared says, actually a little offended, “Real men wear pink!”

 

“Especially when they have that on a t-shirt. Which is also pink.”

 

It might be funny if Jensen were trying to joke, or tease, or anything that wasn’t blunt, shoved in his face, Truth The Way Jensen Ackles Sees It and it hurts. More than Jared could have expected if he was expecting something like this.

 

“Wow,” he says on a soft puff of air that might have been a laugh, sort of, “Thanks, asshole.”

 

“Jay—“

 

“I went first so you’d feel better about it,” Jared tells the air in front of him, hands jerking in a go already gesture that tugs the cuffs a bit. “You know how this was supposed to go? Hey, Jensen, I’m gay. Ohmigawd, Jared, me too! And then we throw rainbow sparkle parties and braid each others hair and—“ And he—he just can’t tell Jensen about the 2.5 dogs, so he coughs and mutters something like, “and then we make out and…shit,” before turning to the very important task of counting all the little curlicues in his linoleum.

 

But Jensen’s quiet, really quiet, and Jared makes himself look. “Jared,” Jensen says the instant he does, and fuck, he looks messed up. “Just because two people are gay doesn’t mean they’re gay for each other.”

 

…Oh.

 

“Oh,” Jared says, his voice very small. The handcuffs feel like they’re made out of lead. “I…did not—OW!”

 

Jensen plops back down in the tub right after cuffing Jared upside the head with his free hand, and snaps, “I meant you not gay for me, moron.

 

Jared gapes at him. “Who on earth is not gay for you? Lesbians are gay for you!”

 

“Yeah! Well—“ Jensen does not know what to say, and it’s kind of awesome. Peripherally. “Shut up! You didn’t give me any signs!”

 

“I thought you were straight!”

 

“When—has—that—stopped—you—before?” Jensen’s voice is dripping—something, who the fuck knows, but Jared half hates it and half wants to marry it and adopt children with it. “Jesus, Jared,” and now Jensen’s on his knees in the tub, but not in the good way, “lately inanimate objects get more action from you than me!”

 

“Well I’m not in love with inanimate objects, am I?” Jared all-but shouts, realizing two words in where that sentence was going and deciding to just ride it out with style. “Asshole!”

 

And class.

 

Jensen keeps his mouth closed, but it looks like a close call. Also? His eyes are really wide. And Jared remembers that just because you’re gay for someone and they’re gay for you doesn’t mean they’re gay-in-love-with-you.

 

“I think I would kiss you,” Jensen says, eyes narrowing, “but you’re kind of skuzzy-looking right now.”

 

“Your mom’s…skuzzy-looking,” Jared mumbles, blushing helplessly as he staggers to his feet and helps Jensen upright by default, and then right into a hug that’s only awkward because of Chad’s cuffs, because really. He can’t not. “I’m sorry you have been feeling stahrvd for mah touchez,” he says in his best lolcats impersonation against Jensen’s hair, and gets a sharp jab to the kidney for his troubles.

 

“How’s that for touches?” Jensen’s voice is grumbling but his grin is wide and bright and fuck stale tequila breath, he wants to kiss that—so he does.

 

“You do realize we kind of owe Chad, now—like, a lot,” Jensen says a lot later, after the joint shower (they had to sacrifice their shirts to a sharp pair of scissors) and the joint breakfast (they had to sacrifice Jared’s left hand so Jensen could feed himself) and the joint jerking off (they had to sacrifice absolutely nothing once their dicks were in the right place).

 

“Precisely, one plastic sex pony.” Jared can’t stop touching Jensen’s freckles, so he doesn’t try to.

 

Jensen goes still under his free hand, their cuffed ones tangled together and probably permanently, if one of them (both of them) doesn’t get up to clean off the come sometime soon.

 

“...You have weird friends.”

 

“What are you talking about?” Jared says, tucking his head against Jensen’s shoulder. “He’s our hero.”

THE END \o/