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"Don't stop!"

His skin is feverish, the mouth on it even more so. With sloppy, wet kisses a map is burned all along his body, slowly forming a path that leads to his inner thigh. Teeth bite the tender skin and a shiver runs through him when it’s followed by a tongue and sucking. Oh god he's so close and he hasn't even been touched properly yet. Hands slide up his thighs, squeezing and scraping with blunt nails before moving under him. He's lifted and a pillow appears to support his back, putting his ass on display. He feels he should feel a little shy about it but there's nothing in him beside want and pleas for more.

Then there's a tongue on him, licking one straight line from the base to the tip as a hand goes to his balls. A wet circle is drawn around his tip before a mouth appears to enclose it, swallowing down his entire length. He wails, there's no other word for it. The mouth sucking him in long, strong pulls feels so good he could cry. A thumb appears on his hole, gently pushing against the rim. Where did the lube come from? He doesn’t care, knows he's ready anyway, spends too much time doing this by himself, but can't find his voice to say that. It seems to be clear all the same as two fingers press in, and another strangled noise escapes his lips, the throat still sucking him boneless.

The sight of a dark mess of hair bobbing up and down is hot enough as it is and the scruff on the guy’s chin sends jolts along his spine so hard he feels his back might snap in two. Every time that shiver passes through him he bucks against that sweet mouth, and every time he’s accepted, deeper and deeper.  A third finger is already rimming him, the bastard taking his time, fingers bending just the right way and hitting his prostate. He whimpers.

“Please I need you inside me.”

The guy nearly chuckles around his cock, the vibration pure torture. He can’t take much more of this. The mouth finally moves away, along with the fingers. The wild dark hair and a pair of blue eyes appear right in front of him, raking his flushed face and swollen lips. “Misha I swear if you don’t fuck me right now –“

He’s interrupted by a strong hand clasping his thigh and lifting it higher. Placing the leg over his shoulder, Misha aligns himself, the tip of his cock nudging against Jensen’s entrance.

Misha leans in closer, his voice an unnaturally low rumble. “I need you to do something for me.” Jensen nods his head, ready to do just about anything. Misha brings his lips to Jensen’s ear, brushing against it as he whispers, “Your phone is ringing, you need to wake up.”

 

xxx

Jensen rockets off his bed, nearly tripping on the duvet that lands on the floor as he scours through his clothes. His phone keeps ringing, tone down-right accusing. Finally he fishes the phone out from under the bed - how the hell? - and answers without checking caller ID. He knows only one person who can express bitchiness through an impersonal ringtone and says

"Jared, buddy, I was just about to call you. I’m stuck in traffic but on my way!"

"A-huh." retorts the voice dryly, "so you’re not pulling on jeans as we speak?"

Jensen's hands still halfway up his thighs, his grip on the jeans tightening a little. The guy had some serious Unagi. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Ya, sure, whatever. Just get your ass over here."

The phone goes quiet. Jensen curses under his breath, pulling on a shirt as he heads for the door.

Waiting for the elevator Jensen runs a hand through his hair and berates himself for forgetting the alarm. Last night had been long, sure, with the bar opening and making sure everything ran smoothly. Keeping the press entertained and sufficiently tipsy had taken most of his night, his muscles sore from all the forced smiling, and after people left there had still been the clean-up but at 5 AM they agreed the rest could wait till later. Which Jensen now noticed was a lot later.

Thank god most of the alcohol orders were already signed for so all they had to worry about were the reviews from last night and opening in time for the next.

Even with all the stress from making sure they keep up on trends and offering people exactly what they want on a daily basis he already loves their business - loved it the moment he made the first wistful joke about it to the moment Jared co-signed the loan papers with him. Their first buy had been the most expensive bottle of champagne they could find, placed at the bar in a glass case to wait for an appropriate moment. Maybe an anniversary. Or when Gen and Jared finally decide to procreate, Jensen muses.

The old squeaker of an elevator finally arrives, and Jensen pulls the door open to see the one person who has the power make the start of his day even worse - the obnoxious, pretentious, ass of a neighbor. Plastering his most arrogant shit-eating grin on his face Jensen steps in and greets him.

"Morning, Misha."

The man raises his eyes from the paperback, pushing the heavy glasses higher on his nose. "Jensen" is the only answer he gets before Misha lowers his gaze back to the book, ignoring him, which is just fine.

Jensen turns his back to the guy, a memory itching at his brain when it dawns on him. Shit, the dream. Jensen feels his ears burn and he's more than glad for not being able to see the guy. That had been the hottest – and admittedly the only – action he’d gotten for a while, and had it not been for Jared he would’ve woken up to a quite a mess. Remembering it now, though, is a slap in the face. He tugs on his rumpled t-shirt self-consciously.

Of all people it had to be him? The snob from upstairs who took an inordinate amount of selfies during charity events and tweeted them along with a never-ending stream of sardonic comments.

So maybe Jensen had done some snooping. Especially after the amused look he'd gotten from Misha after asking about twittering. Apparently, for starters, it’s not called twittering.

Whatever.

Not that the guy wasn't sex on legs, cause he was, but the way they first actual encounter had gone down had made it very difficult to even stand in a shared space without somebody throwing a punch.

Jensen had only just moved in. It had been a particularly long day, and not only in terms of unpacking. When Jared and his friends had left after carrying everything in, he had had a chance to look around the apartment for the first time without any distractions. He hadn’t liked it. His things had literally only filled out half the space, as they had constituted only one-half of an apartment only a few weeks earlier. In the new space the scattered pieces screamed of displacement, and all he had wanted to do was to fall in bed and not think about it.

That’s when the noise upstairs had started. Trying to ignore the racket, he had gone to bed and stared at the ceiling in the hope that the party would die down eventually. It hadn’t. If anything, it had gotten louder.

After hours of intense glaring Jensen had hopped off his bed and headed to share his opinion on the state of volume. What he hadn’t expected was a man wearing only tight black boxer briefs with a tequila shot in his hand. Jensen had lost his train of thought, fixated on the slender fingers holding the glass with a lemon balanced over it. Straining to pull his eyes up, he had been met with a gaze roaming up and down him before locking to his face. A flirtatious smile had curled the guy’s lips, hips angling towards him. Jensen had taken in the sight of rumpled hair and amazing eyes, his breath hitching on the amount of sheer want going through him.

And then the crash had come. He had remembered this being off-limits not too long ago, how he’d had no problem with this being off-limits. Jensen had shaken his head, the glimpse of a group of people in their underwear or just simply buck naked in the apartment bringing him back, restoring his anger with a vengeance. He had shouted, letting out all the pent-up rage that had been building for weeks; shouted it all out till his voice had been raw from it. At some point the guy’s jaw had set, smile gone and a storm gathered behind his eyes. But, instead of saying something, anything, he had simply slammed the door shut. Jensen had slinked back to his own apartment, completely depleted. The following week he had tried apologizing for the incident on more than one occasion, only to get shunned every time. Also, the parties became a weekly thing for months. Months.

What an ass.

So after that, they've barely acknowledged each other's existence on the rare occasions of catching the same elevator, Jensen's life turning exquisitely desperate when the contraption got stuck for eleven minutes. That's time he'll never get back.

On those few instances he'd noticed Misha to wear the weirdest get-ups from trippy sweaters to a yellow waitress' dress. It killed him not to ask but his pride would not bend enough to give the guy the satisfaction.

Jensen snaps back to the present as the elevator arrives at the ground floor and he moves to push the door open, not noticing Misha do the same.

Their shoulders bump, both sounding a small “oof” from the surprise, almost like being startled by the fact they were not in fact alone in the lift. Jensen looks up from his stance, holding onto the handle, and finds Misha looking back at him with a similar kind of dazed expression. God the guy had such blue eyes, it was unjust. He could drown in those if he wanted to.

And when did he get so cheesy?

Misha recovers quickly, irritation etched on his features as he deadpans “If you don’t mind, some of us have places to be.”

Jensen blinks, realizing he’s still clamping down on the handle and lets it go, stepping back to gesture him to go first. Misha shoulders the door, but stops as a small hint of hesitation passes his expression. He focuses back on Jensen.

“Sorry, I really am in a hurry.” he says and vanishes, again, before Jensen can say anything in return.

Yup, total ass.

But what an ass it is.

Jensen smacks himself in the head for that one.

 

xxx

 

Before Jensen has taken his third step inside the bar he can hear Jared calling from the back. “Look who finally showed up!” There isn’t any heat in the voice though and soon the man appears from the back with the biggest smile on his face. Jensen greets him with a grin of his own. “You should’ve called me earlier man. Looks like you’ve already taken care of everything!”

“Nah don’t worry about it, you’re reaching the tender age where you need your beauty sleep.”

“Bite me, moose.”

“Sorry sweet cheeks, already taken. Speaking of which, Gen is here too. She came to help.”

“Yeah? To do what? Where is she?”

“She’s in the back. We were uh, doing inventory.”

Jensen pauses, his face twisting in horror.

“You did not get busy in the storage room did you?”

Jared goes a little red, looking at the ceiling. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Jensen rubs his face and walks toward the counter to plant himself on one of the stools.

“Forget I asked, I really don’t want to know. And congrats you’re officially doing all the inventory today.” He runs his hands over the counter, feeling pleased about the material and shade they’d gone with, before having the courage to ask “The reviews? How did we do?”

Jared’s embarrassment eases and is followed by the biggest smile that shows up all the way in his earlobes. “We were a hit. Everybody loved the opening, the whole package.”

Jensen bursts into a smile, grabbing Jared for a hug as he lets out victory holler. With a clap on the back he leans back on the stool and says “That’s great! Anything specific? What about that Sheppard guy?”

“Mark? Yeah no, he actually gave us one of the best ones. So I guess he’s really just a big teddy bear.” Jared smirks and Jensen laughs at that. “Never let him hear you said that. He’ll have your nuts with his afternoon tea.”

“Yeah no worries.” Jared hums and turns to face Gen as she steps in the room, arranging her hair. Inventory his ass.

“Hi Jay” she says, coming to stand next to Jared and sneaking her hand around him. “Congratulations on last night.”

Jensen mirrors her smile. “Thanks Gen, sorry I wasn’t here earlier.”

“Well when you reach a certain age…”

“Jesus I’m not that old! 34 is not that old! I swear you two…”

They smirk, looking like Bert and Ernie, Beavis and Butthead, and Jensen tells them exactly that. It’s so cute he might throw up rainbows and butterflies.

But he’s happy for them, happy how good they are together. He feels the smallest sting as he thinks about the empty apartment waiting for him, the singularity of the place undoubtedly becoming even more evident as the bar has now been successfully launched.

Apart from the few one-night stands Jensen hadn’t had a real human connection since he left Texas. And wasn’t that something he’d rather not think about. After irony had slapped him across the face he went for plan B, becoming an entrepreneur, putting his relationship status on hold indefinitely. It had seemed such a good idea. He wasn’t so sure anymore.

Having sex dreams about his jerk-wad of a neighbor was definitely not a good sign.

Jensen realized there were two sets of eyes looking at him expectantly. Like maybe waiting for an answer. He clears his throat.

“Sorry what, I got distracted.”

“I said, that you still haven’t said anything about Valentine’s Day next week.” Jared urges, Gen nodding in agreement.

Jensen winces. “You’re still talking about that blind date? Jared please!”

Gen hops forward a little, scooting from under Jared's arm to lay her hand on Jensen’s wrist. “Come on Jay, he’s a really nice guy and it’s only one date.” Gen looks at him with her big brown puppy dog eyes, much like Jared’s, and Jensen feels himself groan in agony.

“Fine, fine! But put those away! It’s bad enough he does that look.”

Gen cries in delight, clapping her hands together, all bright smiles and giddy from head to toe. Jared looks mortified. “I don’t do that look.”

“Dude, you so do that look.”

“You kinda do.” Gen agrees, folding her arms and nodding in earnest. Then she turns her focus back to Jensen, a wicked smile on her face. “Don’t worry hun, it’ll be fun, we’ll make it a double date. We’ll have a nice dinner at ours, you bring the booze, and we head out for dessert. I f things don’t work out, you can head home.” Jared brings his face down next Gen’s. “And if not…” he says, wiggling his eyebrows.

“I think I’m already regretting this.” Jensen sighs with a small smile. Maybe it’ll do him some good, something to look forward to.

At least it’ll give him something other than his rude neighbor to think about.

 

xxx

 

What was he thinking? This was such a bad idea! Jensen paces back and forth in his apartment, wearing nothing but a pair of boxers and carrying a sock in his hand.

He can't find the other one.

It’s ridiculous to freak out over a pair of socks but he can't help it. He’s going on a date. That requires talking. He's sure the blind date is nice enough as he's passed the Gen and Jared test but that isn't much of a help at the moment. He doesn't get excited about the prospect of polite smiling and wracking his brains for polite conversation topics while Gen and Jared discreetly observe them.

The week had gone by painlessly enough, all the Valentine preparations consuming most of his waking time. He could deal with the pink frilly crap but seeing all the cooing couples as the day crept closer got his skin crawling and he started snapping at the staff. Jared never said anything when he started fuming, merely took over whatever Jensen was doing and made him count their cash transactions or something equally useful and exciting.

Jensen slumps down on his bed, fiddling with the sock in his hand. He closes his eyes to take a deep breath. You can do this, he chants, you can do this. You're good at this. And it's only dinner. What is wrong with him, he’d never had a problem with going and meeting people before. He figures the “bury your head in the sand” act only works for so long before backfiring, turning him into a hermit. The thought of cracking up completely and turning into a spinster with hoarding issues and a non-disclosed amount of cats or bunnies populating his apartment sets him back to the moment - Right, time to rip the bandit, get back on that horse or whatever else inspirational crap people tell themselves.

He relaxes a bit and looks down to his bare feet. Right next to his left foot he sees the missing sock. Huffing out a laugh he grabs it and starts getting ready.

 

xxx

 

Jensen pats his pockets to make sure he's got everything and shuts the door to his apartment. For after-dinner drinks he chose a bottle of his favorite rum instead of scotch in favor of Gen. Even the elevator seems to be working snappier than usual, proverbially lifting his spirits. Jensen smirks at that as he opens the door, not letting his smile falter even at the sight of Misha hovering in the corner. He knows he's looking nice in his dark trousers and purple shirt, and the look on the man's face supplies him with an additional boost.

Giving Misha a once-over, Jensen notes he's wearing one of his crazy-ass hats (some kind of sockmonkey thing, what self-respecting adult wears one??) with a simple gray shirt and torn jeans.

Jensen swears he's not drooling. He's not.

But the impression he gets is the guy is not celebrating Valentine's Day. With a book under his arm and earbuds disappearing under the hat he looks like he's about to go sit in a coffee shop somewhere and read like the hipster he is. Jensen rolls his eyes at the thought, focusing on watching the floors go by.

Until they don't.

With a loud thump the elevator halts, lights flickering and then nothing happens.

Jensen frowns, pushing the ground floor button again. From the corner of his eye he can see Misha take out the buds and move closer, coming to stand right by his side. The guy really has no sense of personal space. He decides the fluster is merely uneasiness. He pushes the button again.

"I don't think that's going to help." Misha offers solemnly and Jensen gives him an annoyed look.

"Thank you for the input, I'll be sure to keep it in mind." he responds, pressing the button one more time just to make a point. He takes a step back, raking his hand through his hair as he eyes the console. The small speaker comes to life.

"…Hello? If there's someone in the elevator you can talk back by pushing the button with the speaker picture." Misha cuts Jensen's movement, placing himself in front of the console and pressing the button down as he says

"Yes, hello, there's two of us stuck up here. I'm Misha Collins from apartment 41 and there's a Jensen Ackles from 37."

Jensen looks at the back of the man's head in surprise, a smirk slowly curling on his lips. Clearly he wasn't the only one who had done a little snooping. The maintenance carries on.

"...we're working on the elevator as quickly as possible but the thing is old and the mechanic who's able to fix it is still on another job. At the other side of the city. Hang tight, we'll keep you posted."

With that the speaker dies and Misha turns around to look at Jensen.

"Guess we're going to be here for a while."

 

xxx

 

Ah, well this is awkward.

Jensen fishes his phone out, dialing for Jared and focusing to a point not anywhere close to Misha. He follows the corners of the ceiling, playing with the idea of crawling his way out when  Jared picks up.

“Jay, what’s wrong? You’re not backing out are you?”

“What? Why did you automatically think I’d be... uh” his eyes dart to Misha who has put away his iPod and settled on the floor. “Listen, I’m actually stuck in an elevator and - I’m not lying!" Jensen huffs when he hears the snort on the other end of the line "You remember that old piece of crap elevator at my building? Yeah, the one too small to move in anything bigger than couch cushions. Well, it’s broken, with me in it. And apparently it’s gonna take a while to get the repair guy to take a look at it.”

Jensen feels his ears turn red as he continues. “So, could you just, tell him I’m sorry for not making it. We’ll do it another time I swear. I swear.”

“Fine, but don’t think you’ll get off that easy.”

“Oh trust me, I’d rather be there.” He assures in a low murmur before ending the call and tucking the phone back in his pocket. Getting stuck in the elevator with somebody who hates you for hours on end isn’t his idea of dodging a bullet. No matter how pretty the other one looks. And he did not just think that.

Jensen lets his back slide against the elevator wall, thumping lightly on the floor. He sets the rum beside him, looking around the space before his focus is drawn to Misha. He had planted himself on the opposite wall after it came clear they weren't going anywhere. The distance between them still isn't more than three feet, legs bumping together every time the other shuffles around.

Misha hooks his glasses on the v of his shirt and pulls off his hat, running fingers through his hair. It sticks out in messy spikes, making him look like he’d only just rolled out of bed. Out of Jensen’s bed. He tries really hard not to look. Not to follow the way Misha’s collar bones curve under tanned skin, the way the snug shirt hugs his biceps. Or his delicious-looking jawline and that scruff Jensen can still faintly remember from his dream. Or those impaling blue eyes. That are actually looking at him right now, Misha's head inquisitively turned to the side as he concerns him. Shit.

Jensen clears his throat, rubbing his neck as he tries to think of something to save the situation. Anything.

"So, uh, has this happened to you before?" Jensen asks, gesturing around him when all he receives is a single raised eyebrow.

"It's happened a few times, never for this long though.” Misha says. He pauses, then continues “missing a Valentine’s Day date?”

Jensen averts his eyes, fiddling with a seam. “Yeah, uh, just a blind date my friend set me up with.” He scoffs, “Some friend though, he knows how much I don’t care for this day. What about you? Any plans going bust?”

Misha considers him but decides to let it go, shrugging. “Nah, not really into the whole confetti-laced idea of Valentine’s Day when the original was about Roman men slapping people with straps made out of goat skin.”

Jensen mouth twitches and he raises his eyes back to Misha’s. “Sounds a little kinky if you ask me.”

“I suppose, if you’re into something like that.” the man deadpans, and winks. Jensen feels his ears heat, his reaction going between “did he just flirt” and “is he screwing with me”. Their conversation has never been amicable, not even civil at times, so the sudden change makes him more wary than anything else. Maybe that’s his whole game, making Jensen walk on eggshells and see what will tip him over. If the look of utter amusement is anything to go by Misha met his goal perfectly.

They fall silent again. Misha picks up his book and within seconds he’s lost to the world. Jensen takes his phone out again, only to notice the battery has died, and sets out to find more loose ends from his trousers.

Next time he looks up Misha has discarded his book in favor of his phone, scrolling down the page with a deep furrow. Jensen can't help the mental snort - he's picturing a news feed of an independent paper that only appears online for ecological reasons and Misha brushing up on the political scene in Tibet. When Misha explodes he nearly pees in his pants.

"Fucking pricks even my grandmother shoots harder you pussy-willowed dumb fucks!" He stills, lifting his eyes from the screen to Jensen's gaping face and mutters only "Toronto Maple Leafs."

Jensen's expression crumbles in a matter of seconds, his body shaking as he laughs, holding a hand to his aching side. When he’s finally able to take a deep breath, wiping tears from the corners of his eyes, he looks over at Misha, finding him smiling his way lopsidedly. Jensen takes in the sight, his heart skipping a beat from an entirely different reason. For an instant he forgets they really don't get along, at all, and decides that right now it doesn't matter.

"Wow, I think there's a sailor somewhere blushing." Jensen says, watching how Misha's small smile grows into a full-blown one, blue eyes practically shining and all of it openly directed at Jensen. His throat feels dry to swallow because shit if he thought the guy was gorgeous before than this is will definitely be the end of him. He doesn't realize he's been staring at Misha's lips until they part to offer him an explanation.

"That was actually what I was planning to do tonight, going to watch the game in a bar."

Even as he feels a little stupid about it, Jensen gives the man a softer smile, warmth creeping its way to his voice. "Sorry about your plans."

"It's fine, they're getting slaughtered anyway. Work is gonna suck tomorrow."

"No other Leafs fans I take it?"

"Not really no." Misha shakes his head, still smiling infectiously. "I wasn't either but my ex used to drag me to their games whenever they were around. He was from Toronto. I hated it and he couldn’t get enough of it."

“So why do you still watch it?” Jensen asks, not entirely following the reasoning.

"Oddly, I started liking it. And ironically not until after I wasn’t obliged anymore,” he says with a roll of his eyes. “No point getting rid of everything just because the relationship didn’t last, right?" Misha looks at him with a warm smile on his face, missing the stiffness setting over Jensen. “What about you, any dark embarrassing vices you're trying to hide from the people of Chicago?"

Quickly ducking his head Jensen shrugs, thankful for the simple-enough question. "Not really no, just a little football. 'Course I'm from Texas so the term little might not cover it around here."

"Texas huh? Long way from home. What made you move?"

"Uh, long story, not gonna bore you with it." he dismisses the subject with a wave of a hand, hoping Misha won't push for more. And he doesn't, only having time to give him a lingering look before the console line comes to life again.

“Hi, maintenance again. Really sorry to tell you guys this but the repair guy’s still stuck in traffic. Will be a while. If he won’t get here soon we’ll call the fire department and get you out.”

Jensen scoffs as he stares at the speaker in disbelief, “They haven’t even called the fire department. We might have been free already!”

“Probably trying to save the elevator, looks old enough to be under some form of cultural heritage protection code.” Misha responds absently, assessing their antique prison as Jensen does the same for him. “Who are you?” he says, not able to hide the wonder under any amount of shock or sneer he can muster. He notices there isn’t much to begin with.

Misha glimpses back at him, offering another one of his crooked smiles. He shrugs his shoulders. “I know a thing or two about a thing or two.”

“Somehow I’m starting to get that.” Jensen mutters, earning a more mischievous look in return. He ducks his eyes, noticing the bottle of rum sitting beside him and hey, why not. Jensen breaks the seal, taking one long swig before lifting the bottle towards Misha, eyebrows raised in a question. For a moment he thinks Misha might turn him down, which of course, not a big deal either right? Even if he owns a bar he’d never frown on somebody not drinking. But then there’s a hand reaching across the elevator, and Misha takes ahold of the bottle.

His eyes linger on the label before going to Jensen, and he lifts the bottle to his lips. Jensen watches him savoring the rum and the bob of his Adam’s apple as he swallows because, apparently, he’s into torture. Misha sucks in his lower lip for a moment, trying to catch every last bit of the flavor. Jensen does his best to cover the sharp intake of breath in a cough, pretty positive he’s only managing to fool himself. From past experience he knows his color is slowly getting an even shade of pink, all the way from his cheeks to the tips of ears, speaking volumes to his horror. If he doesn’t get the school girl blushing in order soon their shared co-existence is about turn very awkward very fast.

Misha misses it or decidedly ignores him, for which he’s more than grateful, and instead breaks into a wide grin as he offers the bottle back. “That’s good, I really like the smoky tail.”

Jensen gapes. He gapes. There’s no point trying to act not amazed if the guy throws him a curve-ball every five minutes. “Man, you seriously gotta start telling me how you know these things.”

“Hand me that bottle again and you have a deal.”

 

xxx

 

“And then… next thing I know, I’m sitting on a roof top, wearing nothing but a Santa suit. And I really mean nothing but.”

Jensen is laughing so hard he’s having trouble breathing, a steady stream of tears running from the corners of his eyes. He thinks he won’t be able to stop, not with the rate Misha keeps throwing stories at him, the next one always managing out-do the previous. Jensen’s sides ache and he doesn’t believe he’s laughed like this in ages. If he’s completely honest with himself, probably in years.

As the rum keeps disappearing, so does the distance between them and now Misha sits perched next to Jensen, the bottle changing hands every once in a while. Jensen enjoys the brief touch of their fingers, the little fuzziness in his head not able to tamp down the spark running through him every time. He chuckles and says “How is it you’re even alive after all that? And how in the hell did you end up here?”, the question coming out a little more curious, a little more serious than he had intended, but the smile mirrored on Misha’s face keeping him from freaking out over it.

“We moved around a lot when I was younger. Guess that’s when I caught the travel bug. Been living here more permanently for a few years now, taking shorter trips when the itch becomes too great. But it’s nice too, I like the stability of it, having a place to come home to, though as you’ve noticed, I don’t exactly do quiet very well.” Misha winks at Jensen, his look a little sheepish.

There’s an unvoiced apology swimming in that sentence and Jensen feels warmth pool in him at the thought. He quirks a smile but has to lower his gaze as he replies, “I’m sorry about that night, by the way, losing it like that. The things I said, they... they had nothing to do with you.”

He hears a soft hum and raises his head as Misha says, “I had a feeling about that. It took me a while to cool down which is why I acted like a jerk and ended up screwing things up between us even more. Don’t worry about it.”

To seal the peace they take another swig from the bottle, the bond firming in the brief quiet that follows.

Misha opens his mouth but closes it again as nothing decides to come out. He takes a deep breath and pulls the bottle to his lips, then faces Jensen, head cocked to the side, eyes narrowed in consideration.

“So how come you were going on a blind date? You don’t really seem like the type.”

“What type? Desperate? Oh I’m in a class of my own I’ll have you know.” the joke comes out flat even to his own ears, and he starts berating himself before noticing the flushed pink of Misha’s cheeks.

 “I actually meant you don’t seem the type that has difficulty with, you know, people taking an interest.” With Jensen still gaping, Misha takes another sip and shoves the bottle towards him. “You better hold that or I’m just gonna keep emptying it.” Jensen picks the rum up, their fingers slightly touching again at the change, but this time he notices he’s not the only one shivering. Misha is still flushed, partially from the alcohol he’s sure, but the way he darts his gaze away from Jensen’s eyes tells him it’s not all. The feeling of being interesting enough for a guy like Misha makes him do a little happy-dance in his mind, even if it were mostly – hell, even completely – physical.

 “Not like you’re too bad yourself, Mr. Globetrotter-keeper-of-world-peace.” He winks, the pure giddiness too enormous to keep out of his voice or face. Misha lets out a puff of laugh, rolling his eyes and directing them to Jensen.

“Thanks, but not exactly what I was talking about, was it? If you don’t want to answer it’s fine, I was just curious.” Misha looks at him with a blank expression, his entire posture as open and non-judgmental as possible. Jensen raises one eyebrow to let Misha know he’s not fooling anybody and looks over at the ceiling. Taking one deep breath, he starts.

“About a year ago, I was let go from my job. It wasn’t a big deal; I got good recommendations and a bunch of offers for new positions, but the main reason it didn’t bother me was that I had somebody. I had somebody I cared for who would be there no matter what else changed around us. On my last day I got off work a lot earlier than usual, even stopped to make a reservation at a restaurant on the way home. I didn’t call ahead, I mean, why would I? Only when I got home there was…” He swallows, lets out a bitter laugh. “There he was: my boyfriend of three years bent over my now-ex-colleague. And on my favorite armchair, no less. So, I packed up my stuff, gave my buddy Jared a call and moved over here. That was last Valentines, to be exact. Which is why, uh, I probably haven’t been looking like appropriate dating-material.”

“You still miss him?” Misha asks quietly, his voice more of a whisper. Jensen shakes head.

“It’s not about missing him. More about not being able to trust somebody when you should. It made me question myself, whether I’m a good partner. And I still don’t think I know.” He fiddles with the bottle label, picking at the corners, a little embarrassed for himself. He doesn’t miss that life anymore, certainly not the guy, but he feels so stupid for not noticing anything; for letting it change him as a person to the point where he gets sweaty palms for even thinking about trusting somebody else. Admitting it to Misha is even worse.

A hand creeps up behind him, coming to rest on his shoulder and he looks up to see Misha watching him intently, lips curled in a small smile and his voice all business. “Well I think you’re a perfectly wonderful person so I can’t imagine you’d be any different as a boyfriend. I bet it was just Karma’s way of letting a good guy know when somebody isn’t worth his time. And hopefully giving the other one herpes.”

Jensen laughs, happy to let the stiffness roll off his shoulders. Misha chuckles as well, giving Jensen a squeeze before moving his hand away. Jensen touches the spot and drops his hand back to his lap, smiling at Misha.

“Thanks, man. I appreciate it, karmic herpes and all.”

Misha smiles back, small crinkles framing eyes that manage to sparkle even in the dim fluorescent light. Jensen can’t stop staring, reveling in the fact he has something so overwhelmingly gorgeous focused on him. He doesn’t really know how much time passes, or at what point his heart started hammering so fast, but when the elevator starts with a twitch and moves to ground floor he thinks it’s still not long enough. Misha breaks away and stands up, stretching his limbs quickly and offering a hand to Jensen. He lets himself be hoisted up to his feet, still holding the nearly-empty bottle. The door is opened and they’re greeted by a familiar voice.

“Hello there! Sorry it took so long for us to get the problem solved! I’m JD, by the way, your service technician. We talked through the elevator speaker.”

"It's a good thing you had company at least" JD says still smiling, and Jensen can't bring himself to even snap at him about the fact they spent hours in the elevator just so they'd save the inanimate object from getting scraped by firemen. That, and the fact he couldn't have imagined better company to get stuck with. Misha is already chatting the guy up, asking more questions about the history of the building. Jensen can actually see why he might know a thing or two about a thing or two. It makes him smile, even if it doesn’t manage to reach his eyes.

Jensen regards the elevator, not sure if he's ready to test whether it will get him back to his apartment without a hitch. Misha is still immersed in conversation so he decides it’s as good a time as any to quietly make his way to the stairs. 

Jensen pushes the apartment door closed behind him and leans in to it, letting his head fall back against the hard surface. He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes, going through all the events of the evening. He notices how Misha appears in the center of each thought – his role varying between listener and speaker, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still Misha, open and inviting, ready to hear everything and anything. Jensen doesn’t even remember when he’s felt so special and the feeling had been intoxicating. Looking at Misha talking to JD though had reminded him of something – Misha is a really, really nice guy. Who listens to what people have to say.

So there was nothing special about the way he acted towards Jensen, that was just his basic personality. The one he finally got to experience after avoiding each other like the plague for a year and for what? To see who could keep it up the longest?  Maybe if he hadn’t freaked out on that first night things might’ve gone differently. Or if Misha had heard him out. Or if he had tried a little harder. He shakes his head. There’s no point in worrying about things lost, the best you can do is plan for things to come. He puts the rum down by the door and heads for the kitchen, looking for his charger. When the phone revives after a moment, he dials Jared, but he isn’t picking up, presumably celebrating his Valentine’s Day in an orderly fashion. Jensen doesn’t want to think about it but decides to leave a message anyway.

“Jared? Hi, it’s me. Listen, uh, I know I said I’d go on that blind date but… I don’t think I can –“ There’s a click as the line gets picked up and Jared cuts him off mid-sentence.

“Jay, you there? Come on I get it – you were hurt. You got betrayed in the worst possible way but it’s been a year. You deserve to be happy.”

“What? You think I’m hung up on him? God no, nothing like that. It’s just, there’s actually somebody else. I mean, nothing has actually happened, I don’t even know if he likes me but… it would be rude to your friend and I, I don’t want to rule this one out. Not yet, anyway.”

He hears a relieved sigh, “I’m glad to hear that, man, sounds like you have things figured out. And if he’s not interested it’s his loss.”

Jensen huffs out a laugh, still smiling as he says “Yeah yeah you big girl, go back to Gen so she can braid your hair.”

“Huh, that’s a euphemism I haven’t heard before. Where does blow-drying fit in this scenario?”

“I’m hanging up now.” Jesus Jared could scar him for life if he wanted to.

Jared chuckles, already seeming distracted by something else. “Yeah, later man.”

Jensen sets the phone back down, shaking his head. He’s still smiling when he goes back for the rum, humming softly. He might be out of practice but he still knows how to ask somebody out for coffee. And that’s exactly what he’s going to do. Yeah, he’ll ask Misha out for coffee. If there’s nothing there, they can still be friends. He can stop looking at that ass like maybe he could bounce a coin off it. Hopefully. With time.

A knock on the door startles him from the vision, the bottle slipping through his fingers, shattering as it hits the floor. Jensen swears, the knock more frantic now. Careful to avoid the shards he moves to the door, now being frantically hammered on.

“I’m coming, hold on!” he flings the door open, receiving an armful of dark messy hair and flailing arms.

“Whoa, Mish, you okay?” He steadies the man, keeping his hands on his shoulders just in case. Misha looks a little beside himself, gripping Jensen’s biceps and looking him over in search of something.

 “Are you okay? I heard something break.”

Jensen blinks, taking a breath. “Oh, that? No I just, dropped the rum. Oops.” He moves the little he can in Misha’s tight hold, nodding toward the mess on the floor. Misha glances over but quickly turns back to Jensen, his brows knitted in a tight line.

“But you’re okay? You didn’t get any on your feet?” He looks at Jensen’s bare feet reprovingly. “You know what, don’t move. I can clean it up. Where’s the vacuum?”

Misha is already stepping away when Jensen stops him. “Don’t be ridiculous, I won’t make you clean it up. Just bring me my shoes from by the door and we can do it together.”

Misha sets a pair beside Jensen’s feet and he slips them on, moving to the cleaning closet. When he returns with a dust pan and broom and paper towels Misha is already crouched down, picking up the bigger pieces. He drops them onto the pan Jensen places beside him and the two of them work in silence. Jensen does one last sweep to make sure the floor is clean - enough to postpone the vacuuming till the next morning. He is just about to go and dump the trash in the kitchen when he notices Misha looking at his hand, face scrunched in concentration.

“You didn’t cut yourself, did you?” Jensen says, coming closer. He doesn’t need an answer though, the red patch in Misha’s hand visible enough.

Misha shakes his head anyway. “Just a little prick, the blood is already clotting.”

“Come on, you can wash your hands in the kitchen. I’ll get you a band aid just in case, you don’t wanna go messing up that nice shirt with blood right?” Jensen manages to pull a small smile from the guy before he turns away to dispose of the shards. What is up with Misha? He’s oddly quiet, moody even. And it’s not like Jensen forced him there so if he’s not feeling the company then what is it? He finds the band aid package and comes back to the kitchen in time to see Misha drying his hands.

Jensen motions him toward the table and to a chair next to his. He picks up a band aid from the box and takes Misha’s hand in his own.

“You know I’m fully capable of doing that myself?”

“Yup.” Jensen ignores the huff, focusing on the wound. He gets as far as pressing the tape against the finger before cracking. “So uh, how are you?” God that was lame. Clearing his throat, he tries again, “I mean, did you have something in mind? Not that I’m not pleased you’re here, ‘cause I am, really pleased…” He snaps his mouth shut. Now that wasn’t any better. And really not the way to go around making friends. He would have missed the silent fuming if he hadn’t looked up. But he does look up. Surprised by the sight he leans back, equal parts wary and turned on by Misha looking at him with narrowed eyes and mouth in a tight line. Jensen blushes, coughing slightly, “Dude, you okay?”

Misha crosses his arms and leans back on his own chair, but his eyes never leave Jensen. “No, actually, I’m not. What the fuck is your problem?”

Jensen can’t believe his ears. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me. I thought we were having a nice time before and then you were gone. If you felt that repulsed by my company you could have just said so.”

“Hold on, what?” Jensen stands, because this is getting crazier by the moment. “Wha – Where did you get that idea?”

Misha comes to stand next to him, really not grasping the concept of personal space. Or decidedly ignoring it. “Before, when I was talking to JD, you just took off. I turned around and you weren’t there. I was gonna take the hint but when I walked past your door I decided nah, gonna get things straightened once and for all. I’ve made it pretty clear I’m interested. I wanna take you out. And I thought you were feeling the same thing but this back and forth is giving me whiplash. So, answer me this, are you interested or not.”

Completely frozen to the spot and unable to look away from Misha, Jensen’s jaw hangs loose, every one of his sentences getting lost on their way out. If he doesn’t say something soon, Misha is going to walk away, and he won’t get another chance. Still, nothing sensible is coming out.

So he moves forward.

He grabs Misha blindly, clashing their mouths together. It’s not gentle, not really even a kiss, merely a desperate declaration. He needs Misha to know he wants it, wants him, and he grips the shirt even tighter. There’s a moment he fears Misha will move away but then there’s a hand at the back of his head, pulling him even closer. Misha backs him against the kitchen table, plastering their bodies together, his other hand sliding up Jensen’s side, tracing the faint line of his ribs over the shirt. Jensen’s breath hitches and Misha takes the opportunity to readjust their mouths, sliding his tongue over the seam of Jensen’s lower lip. Shivering at the touch, Jensen opens his mouth, taking the tongue into his mouth. Misha moans, pushing against him even harder and the fingers raking through his hair pull gently. Jensen sucks the tongue, pushing his own against it. He runs his teeth over Misha’s lower lip, taking in the sounds of Misha coming undone. The feeling is overwhelming, and Jensen is already losing a sense of himself, melting into nothing but want.

Which is why he has to stop.

He moves his hands from Misha’s shirt to his shoulders, stilling him. Dazed, Misha steps back, but not enough to let go. Both raking their eyes over the other’s flushed look, chests heaving, Jensen cracks a smile. “Does that answer your question?”

Misha laughs and grips even tighter, dropping his head onto Jensen’s shoulder. Jensen brings his hand to run it through Misha’s hair, scraping with blunt nails and loving the little shudder he feels in return. Taking a deep breath he says, “I would really really want to take this further but not tonight. I wanna do this right, you know?”

Misha nods, the warm air and low rumble of his voice tickling the side of Jensen’s neck. “So what now?” He moves to look at Jensen again.

Jensen shrugs, a smile curling his lips. He tips his chin a little lower, looking through his lashes as he says, “Be my Valentine?”

 

xxx

 

The soft morning sun floods the bedroom when Jensen stirs awake. He's lying on his stomach, head turned to face the windows and he cracks a lid minutely, assessing how late it is by the angle of the light. Coming to the conclusion it must be early he shuts his eyes again, intending to go back to sleep. The sheets are nice against his bare skin, the feel of fresh linen still lingering. Misha is trailing soft kisses over his bare neck and shoulders, ghosting patterns onto his back with the tip of a finger.

He smiles, enjoying how his body shivers from the feather-light touches, the little hairs on the back of his neck standing up. Noticing Jensen's awake, Misha mouths at the crook of his neck, humming in approval when this elicits a deep groan from the back of Jensen’s throat. Misha’s hands move over his shoulders, down his arms till they meet Jensen’s. As he slots their fingers together, Misha’s palm moves over the back of Jensen’s hand his legs sliding to straddle Jensen’s thighs. His mouth is still latched on Jensen, his scruff scratching against the skin as his teeth and tongue keep running over the tender spots. Jensen’s mouth is slightly parted and his breathing is becoming labored. He can’t hear anything outside the sound of blood rushing in his ears, not even the small whimpers that escape him every time Misha bites down and rolls his hips against Jensen. The boxer shorts Misha wears slip lower and lower as he keeps undulating to the swell of Jensen’s ass, the tip of his cock sliding between the cheeks, his precome smearing on Jensen’s entrance.

Jensen bucks against Misha in search for more friction. He’s achingly hard and the teasing is driving him crazier by the moment. Misha gasps above him, pushing himself even harder against Jensen, wrapping his arms even tighter. He’s at Jensen’s ear, murmuring quiet praises, making Jensen’s chest swell and ache.

“I could come like this, hell, I could come only by looking at you… so amazing… I want it all. In me, around me. Any way I can.”

Jensen is panting hard, too lost for words. He keeps grinding himself hard against Misha, moving their tangled hands closer to his body for leverage. Misha keeps nudging at his entrance, slick and ready. He can’t take it anymore. “Jesus Christ just fuck me already.”

Misha’s chuckle is just as breathless, and he frees his hands to reach over the bed and bring Jensen’s weight to his knees. A hand rubs and squeezes his cheeks, gently testing how open he is. A lubed finger pushes in effortlessly, and another follows already on the next push. He knows he’s ready, yells it to Misha, and shoves against the fingers almost violently. Misha moves his fingers away and quickly aligns himself with Jensen, hands coming to grip Jensen’s hips with bruising force. He pushes in with one thrust, both of them moaning loudly at the sensation. Not waiting for Misha to move, Jensen rolls his hips backwards and slams against him hard. Misha groans, rolling his hips forward in return.

The duvet has slipped on the floor, and the small drops of sweat forming on their skin catch the light shining in from the windows. Their pace is fierce, growing more erratic by the moment. Misha’s hand snakes under Jensen to grip him, working him in rhythm with the thrusts. Jensen is so close, Misha’s cock hitting his prostate with every push, nudging him closer the threshold. Misha brings his lips to Jensen’s ear and kisses it, whispering broken words against the skin, “I love you.”

A shiver runs through him, his back arching as he comes on Misha’s hand. His muscles clench, closing in tight around Misha and the man above him whimpers. Misha pushes in one last time before tensing, keeping them connected as the orgasm rolls through him. His boneless body comes to rest on Jensen’s, his arms wrapping around the body under him. They breathe together, slowly calming down. Jensen is the first to break the silence.

“Well, there go the clean sheets.”

Misha laughs, pushing himself off Jensen and the bed, heading for the bathroom. Jensen rolls over, stretching from head to toe, and turns his head to look out the window. It’s Valentine’s Day. A very sunny, surprisingly warm Valentine’s Day.

He can’t believe it’s been year, and how good that year has been. After they finally got their heads out of their asses things had just clicked into place. They had come out as a couple a few weeks later, and it had been almost disturbing how well Misha got along with Jared. They were like the terrible twins: you could never be sure when the pie would come flying and where it would land. Jensen had decidedly stepped out of the pranking, forcing his point by not putting out if Misha thought the rule was somehow negotiable. His private smile grows wider when Misha returns with a damp cloth and offers it to him.

“Were we having dinner with Gen and Jared tonight?”

“Yeah, they got a babysitter after all, so we’re cooking.”

Misha cocks his head. “It’s their first time out without the baby, right?”

“Right, wanna bet who’s gonna be the bigger worrier?” Jensen sits up on the bed, scooping his PJ pants from the foot where he had discarded them the previous evening. Misha scoffs, waving his hand.

“Oh please, we all know it’s Jared. We should bet how many times he calls the sitter before dessert.”

Jensen hums in agreement, stilling as he works through Misha’s words. “Hold up, why dessert? Dude, no. I’m banning pranks for tonight. Gen promised to do the same for Jared.”

Misha stands in silence and Jensen narrows his eyes, pointing a finger at him. “You got me? I wanna hear you say the words.”

Misha huffs, rolling his eyes, but soon he’s grinning again. He moves to Jensen in a few long strides and brings his head down, murmuring his words, “Yeah, I got you,” against Jensen’s lips before he captures them with his own.