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I'm Off Solid Grounds (For You)

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Some people get it. Most people…

Most people don’t.


“Whatever it is you think you need punishment for, it’s not true, baby. Whatever happened, whatever someone did to you, it wasn’t your fault. Okay?”

He doesn’t know which is worse, Danneel’s words or the sad pity in her eyes. He just knows, in that moment, that they’re over.

He doesn’t say anything though, not then, just nods and allows her to pull him to her chest, holding him tight as she strokes his hair and tries to chase away the fear and shame she thinks he’s hiding. That night they make love, slow and sweet, with her soft voice murmuring, “Yes, baby, so good, right there,” and he has to dig his teeth into his lip, just to be able to come.

He calls her two weeks later to break it off. He blames it on his busy schedule and the long distance, and she cries a little, but he can practically hear her nodding over the phone. She’s obviously relieved, and he can’t blame her.

“You’re a great guy, Jensen. Don’t let anyone tell you any different,” she says, hitching her breath, and he clenches his jaw in irritation. “If you ever want to talk or just…” she adds hesitantly. “It’s okay.”

“I know,” he says automatically. “I’ll do that. Thank you.”

“Take care, okay? You promise me that?”

Oh, for fuck’s sake. He’s not some goddamn suicidal emo kid!

“I will,” he says, rolling his eyes as he picks at a hole in his jeans. He should buy new ones, but he likes these too much. They’re soft with wear and fit him perfectly. “You too,” he adds after an appropriate pause. “And… I’m sorry.”

“Me too, Jensen.” She sniffles again, so he quickly says goodbye and hangs up before she starts talking about therapy or some other stupid shit she thinks he needs.

Jensen rubs a hand over his face, sighs. Why the hell did he think she would understand?

Sometimes he stares at himself in the mirror and wonders if maybe they’re the ones that are right, and he’s wrong. Maybe something did happen to him when he was too small to remember, and that’s why he’s so screwed up now. Stuff like that happens all the time with people suddenly remembering thirty years later how they were abused as kids, and that’s why they turned into rapists, or child molesters or just weird fucks like him.

He tries to imagine anyone in his family doing that, abusing him, and the thought is too ridiculous to carry any further. Seriously, his dad can’t even discipline the damn dog, and Josh was too busy chasing girls to have time to do anything with his little brother, much less molest him. And no dead relatives, old uncles or creepy neighbors come to mind either.

Besides, no matter what anyone else says, this… this thing, it doesn’t feel wrong or bad. It doesn’t feel sick. Not to him. It feels… right. It feels good.

He lets himself slide off the couch, until he lies flat on the floor, staring up at the ceiling. His blood is buzzing, the need like a thousands ants crawling under his skin. He curls his hands into fists, fingernails digging into the palms. It barely registers. He thinks about standing up and walking into the bedroom. Maybe get one of his ties and loop it around his neck, then tie it to the headboard, fuck the risk. The thought makes him shiver, and he slides a hand under his t-shirt and up his chest, until he reaches a nipple. He rubs it between his fingers then pinches it, hard. The sharp and sudden pain brings tears to his eyes, and he blinks to clear his vision before slowly moving on to the other one. Another pinch, and he can feel his dick hardening as his heart picks up speed.

Despite what Danneel thinks, what any of them think, he’s not embarrassed by wanting a little pain with his pleasure. It’s not like he’s the only one in the world with that particular kink. He can easily tell a girl that he likes it rough, after all he picks the ones that brag they’re wildcats in the sack. They grin, and lick their lips, and then scratch his back and bite his ear while he fucks them. It’s cute, if mildly frustrating that that’s as far as they will go.

No, he’s not ashamed that he wants it. Nothing wrong with wanting something.

Except he doesn’t just want it. He needs it. Not all the time, thank God, or he’d be insane by now. But sometimes…

Sometimes, like right now, he needs it so badly he’s shaking, heart beating frantically in his chest as he claws at his own skin, fingers locking around his own throat.

‘C’mon, c’mon,’ he thinks, his other hand tugging hard at his dick where it sticks out of the open V of his jeans. ‘Fuck, c’mon!’

His fingers are those of a stranger, the hand jerking him off belonging to someone else. That’s the only way it works, putting his imagination into overdrive and trying not to think of how stupid he must look. ‘Harder, c’mon,’ he thinks, and the stranger in his head squeezes his throat hard in punishment for his impatience. Yes.

“Please. Please, just… Please,” he wheezes through his abused throat. “I’m sorry. Just… I need…”

“Shut up.”

His own voice echoes in the silent room, breaking the spell, and he growls in frustration as the stranger disappears from his head, and all there’s left is his own pathetic self, close to tears with the need to come. He bangs his head against the hardwood floor, hard enough that his vision whitens. Hard enough that it gets him over the edge.

When he can see again, his head is throbbing, and his hand, stomach, and underwear are sticky with quickly cooling come. He shivers and pulls his hand free, wiping it on his t-shirt. He can feel the cold set in, the earlier rush of adrenaline having drained him to the point of lethargy. He stumbles to his feet and into the bathroom. Checks himself in the mirror. His lower lip is bruised from where he bit it. There are red fingerprints around his neck, but they will fade before morning. His nipples are still hard and swollen, and it hurts to touch them so he does. Strokes them gently as he stares at his reflection.

His legs are shaking when he steps into the shower, and he leans his forehead against the wall as the warm water washes over him. The back of his head stings, and when he touches it he finds a bump there, the skin faintly split. Shit. No wonder he almost passed out.

He finishes up quickly, turns off the shower and dries himself off. There’s a John Wayne movie marathon on TV waiting for him. Another exciting night in the Ackles residence. He snorts at the thought and pulls on a pair of old jeans and a soft t-shirt.

Once settled on the couch he grabs one of the back pillows from the other end and curls up with it, the weight comforting upon his chest. Lifts it a little higher so it covers his mouth, his nose. He can still breathe, just not as easily. His eyes drift shut, and he’s on the verge of sleep when his phone suddenly rings, jerking him awake. Cursing, he reaches for it, the scowl on his face turning into a half-smile when he sees the name on the small screen.

“Are you drunk?” Jared asks on the other end, voice mischievously innocent.

Jensen frowns. “What? No.”

The sound of a beer being opened fizzes in Jensen’s ear. “Do you want to be?” Jared says after noisily gulping down what sounds like half a can.

And suddenly he wants nothing more in the whole world. “God, yes.”

“C’mon over then, pretty boy,” Jared laughs, his words already slurring. “Got beer, got food, got two dogs waiting to drool on you.”

“Ain’t that your job?” Jensen asks with a smirk and from the sound of it Jared just choked on his beer,

“Shut up, asshole. One time! One damn time and… Oooh, bring pizza.”

“Thought you said you had food,” Jensen snorts, already looking for his wallet.

“I will when ya bring it.”


“Oh, and more beer.”

Jensen grins and shakes his head, hanging up, before Jared starts demanding candy as well.

He’s at Jared’s apartment forty minutes later, with two pizzas and a couple of six-packs, pushing the doorbell with his elbow. The door swings open, and Jared is smiling down at him like a big, happy, very drunk puppy.

“It’s the delivery boy!” he shouts loud enough to wake the whole damn neighborhood, then grabs the food and beer from Jensen’s hands. “Gimme my pizza, bitch!”

“What, no tip?” Jensen asks with fake indignation and toes off his sneakers. He’s just about to shrug off his jacket when Jared nudges him. Jensen looks up, only to get a big, wet, beer-smelling kiss, smack on his mouth.

“Dude, what the hell?” he sputters, wiping his face with the back of his hand.

“I’m out of change,” Jared says and saunters into the living room, pizza boxes balanced in one hand and six-packs swinging from the other. Jensen rolls his eyes and follows him, ignoring the rumble in his stomach that has nothing to do with hunger.

Jared’s apartment is a mess, clothes, and books and old scripts littering the place.

“Did you fire your maid?” Jensen jokes, and Jared’s smile falters for a moment.

“Nah,” he says and pushes empty cans to the side to make room for the pizza boxes on the coffee table. “Been busy, s’all.”

Jensen nods and doesn’t push it. It’s been five weeks since Jared broke up with Sandy, and he’s still working through it. Obviously, being a slob is one of the stages. So is getting drunk alone, though that’s nothing new. At least he had the sense to call Jensen early this time and not wait, until he’s so drunk he passes out and starts snoring in the middle of a conversation about who was the bigger bitch, Paris Hilton or Jessica Alba.

Jensen almost feels relieved he’s never had a relationship worth mourning over like that. He wonders if maybe he should tell Jared about breaking up with Danneel, but one look at Jared’s drunken smile and he dismisses the idea. Knowing Jared it would end in tears – Jared’s, not his – and their night of easy drinking would turn into a funeral for his supposed heartbreak. He may be a decent actor but he’s a damn lousy liar.

“What are you watching?” he says instead and throws himself down on Jared’s huge couch as he pops open a beer. “Is that…? Jared, aaww, Titanic? Is this a date? Are we gonna cuddle and cry on each other’s shoulders?”

Jared swats him over the head, inches from where Jensen hit it earlier, and he can’t help flinching as pain zaps down his spine. Thankfully, Jared doesn’t seem to notice. He’s settling down beside him, a slice of pizza already disappearing into his mouth.

“Shuddup,” he mumbles between bites. “It’s good. Besides,” he adds with a grin, “You’re the crybaby, Jenny.”

“Am not.”

“Are too.”

“Shut up and hand me some tissues, the old couple’s about to drown.”

Jared laughs and loops an arm around Jensen’s neck, pulling him in for a noogie. It’s hard enough to hurt, bony knuckles stretching and pulling at the split in his skin, and Jensen sucks in his breath before pushing Jared away. “Get off me, you big ape.”

“Aaww, love you too, baby.”

They sit in comfortable silence, munching on pizza and sipping beer as Leonardo di Caprio slowly turns into an icicle, and then whoop loudly when he finally slips into the water.

“Man, remember the third episode?” Jared suddenly says. “The water was so cold my balls shrank until they were the size of raisins.”

Jensen lets his eyes slide down to Jared’s crotch before looking up with one eyebrow cocked. “I can tell they never recovered,” he deadpans.

“Hey!” Jared protests, elbowing him in the side. “I’ve got huge balls, let me tell you.”

“Sure you do,” Jensen patronizes. He resists the urge to rub his ribs. It feels like he’ll get a bruise.

“I’m totally proportional,” Jared huffs and starts fumbling with his pants. “I can show you.”

Jensen’s eyes widen. His dick is screaming ‘Yes! Please!’ but his reserved brain stutters, “Uh, no. No, you can’t.”

“Sure, it’s no problem,” Jared dismisses. “I’m not even wearing underwear.”

His words are slurring, his eyes are too shiny to be anywhere close to sober, and Jensen wants nothing more than to push him over and strip him naked.

Damn his stupid morals.

“Okay, seriously, I didn’t need to know that.” He slaps at Jared’s hands. “And keep your pants on.”

“You’re no fun at all,” Jared pouts.

“I know.”

He means it as a joke but it sounds too true to be funny. He sits silently through the rest of the movie, breathing out in relief when Jared starts snoring by his side, head tipped back. Jensen gets up, fetches the blanket from Jared’s bed and drapes it over him, then gives the dogs a reassuring pat and lets himself out.

Once home he strips off his clothes and takes his second shower of the night, hands trembling as he jerks himself off, hard and fast. Digging his fingernails into his now blue-stained ribs he comes with a shudder and a curse.



The thing about Jared is that he’s pretty much everything Jensen has been looking for his whole life. He’s big and strong, almost frighteningly so. His hands are enormous, fingers long enough to circle Jensen’s wrists and then some. Jensen is no weakling but he knows if Jared set his mind to it he could overpower him in a heartbeat and hold him down indefinitely. As much as that turns him on, it should also scare the crap out of him. Except…

Except Jared is also gentle and kind, and there isn’t a bad bone in his whole giant body. In other words, he’s as different from Brian as Mother Theresa is from Nurse Ratchett.

Brian Mendez. The reason Jensen has stuck to women for the last three years. At least with girls he has the strength to fight back if they are too stupid to figure out the difference between rough sex and, and…

“Fuck you, Brian, you sadistic bastard,” he says quietly, but the sound bouncing off the walls still makes him flinch. Fuck. It’s been three years, and yet he keeps turning around, expecting to find Brian looming over him.

‘Just the way you asked me to, sicko’ Brian says smugly in his head. ‘Don’t lay this on me, man. You told me to hurt you, and I did. Not my fault you freaked out.’

“Never asked for that, you fucking shit,” he says, louder this time. “It’s not the same. You’re the sick one, not me.”

He growls at how shaky his voice is. If Brian were here, he’d laugh his head off.

Of course if Brian actually were here there’d be no shaky insults to laugh at. Jensen’s first concussion had taught him as much. The second one had taught him that it was time to leave.

Jensen groans. Why is he even thinking about this? It’s over and done with years ago. And the truth is that Brian fucking Mendez is not the real reason Jensen hasn’t fallen on his knees in front of Jared and sucked his cock down like a pro. For that to happen Jensen would have to grow considerably bigger balls. And Jared would have to be… well, not so infuriatingly straight.

Jensen sighs. The water’s gone cold, his dick is wrung out and limp, and the itch he was trying to scratch is still driving him just as insane. It’s just one of those days.


As it turns out Jensen’s balls are like objects in a rearview mirror – bigger than they appear. All he needs is a hint that maybe Jared isn’t so infuriatingly straight after all – catching him watching gay porn in his trailer one late night does the trick – and Jensen is on him like a fucking ninja.

A ninja with a raging hard-on, and two years of built up sexual frustration firing up his pants.

And fuck, Jared is everything he imagined. Built like a brick house, arms like steel, hung like a goddamn horse…

Sweet and gentle as a kitten frolicking in feathers.

Jensen spends the first few months of their relationship hovering between being high on love and wanting to bang his head against the wall.

It takes time, excruciatingly long and frustrating time, but slowly and gradually he manages to lure Jared into his world. The world where the right amount of pain is the perfect pleasure and where a little too much is just fine. Weeks of hints, and clues and sometimes straight out show-and-tells, until finally one night he can’t take it any more, and he just begs for it. Begs like a bitch, like a whore, like the pathetic loser he never wanted Jared to see. Then wants to cry when Jared tells him no. No, not that. Not like that.

“I’m going to take care of you,” Jared says, and something in his voice makes Jensen go perfectly still, “but we’re playing by my rules.”

And, just like that, Jensen finally has everything he ever wanted.



Well, he would have if this was a Hollywood movie. The kind with leather, and chains and lots of gay sex. Okay, maybe not a Hollywood movie. More… Pedro Almódovar.

Doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that real life doesn’t work that way. Real life means fighting over who should do the dishes, and whose turn it is to buy lube. It’s being slobbered on by dogs if he falls asleep on the couch and waking up to the room smelling like death after Tuesday’s burritos. It’s being cranky in the mornings and too tired to fuck at nights.

It’s wanting more than he can ask for, because he’s getting so much already that more might be too much, might be what makes Jared suddenly wake up and realize how fucked up his boyfriend really is.

But the want is still there, the need is still there. And fuck if Jensen knows how to deal with that.


“Mmm,” Jared mumbles, nuzzling into Jensen’s neck. “You smell good enough to eat.”

“Feel free to take a bite,” Jensen says dryly, not even half-teasing.

Jared growls playfully and nibbles with his teeth. It’s blunt, and painless and so utterly useless. Jensen tilts his head, giving Jared enough stretch of skin to really sink his teeth in. Please have a vampire kink. Please.

“Taste salty,” Jared says, licking over the ghost print of his teeth. Jensen hums and holds his breath, waiting. There, right over his jugular. Go for it. “Okay, now I want popcorn.”

And Jared’s off the couch and heading to the kitchen, leaving Jensen contemplating murder and suicide, not necessarily in that order.



Ever since that damn bee episode that by-the-way had Jensen sitting gingerly for a week, (he might like pain but not that kind of pain, goddamn fucking perverted bees.) slapping each other on the ass has become the cast and crew’s own private gay joke. Seems hardly a week goes by without someone smacking Jensen’s ass, with a sugary sweet ‘Honey’ and pouted kissy lips to match. That someone usually being Jared.

It’s goddamn annoying to tell the truth but not for the reasons everyone thinks.

“Dude,” Jensen hisses, his cheeks flushed pink.

Jared laughs, completely oblivious. “Aw, don’t be like that, sweetcheeks. You know you like it.”

And that, right there, is the problem. He does like it. God, does he ever.

Jared’s hands are big, his palms like paddles. And when he hits just right, it stings, burns the skin like fire. Jensen shifts on his feet, Dean’s tight jeans rubbing deliciously against his sore backside, but like always it fades too quickly. He rubs his hand over the area, milking the last of the ache, an annoyed scowl on his face to cover up the way his mouth wants to go slack and his eyes struggle to glaze over.

“You hit like a fucking girl,” he huffs. “Some weak wrists you’ve got there, ‘honey’.”

He pretends not to see the way Jared’s eyes narrow, just turns around like he’s about to walk away and as if on cue he’s smacked so hard on the ass he stumbles forward and would have hit the ground if it weren’t for Jared grabbing his arm at the last moment.

“Shit, you okay?”

Jensen stares up at him, eyes wide, cheeks flushed red, breath caught in his throat. His ass stings like a motherfucker. God, it’s so good.

“Sorry, man,” Jared cringes when Jensen doesn’t answer. He looks mortified. “Didn’t mean to hit that hard.”

Jensen pulls away, straightens his clothes, gives Jared a disdainful look. “Like a fucking girl,” he repeats dryly, voice just a little unsteady.

Jared stares at him but then he throws back his head and laughs, like it’s the funniest thing in the world.

“Asshole,” he says, a little too affectionately, but thankfully there’s no one listening. “I’mma show you weak wrists when we get home,” he adds with a smirk, eyebrows waggling.

“Bring it,” Jensen snorts, his heart hammering with gleeful anticipation. Finally!

They get home a little after midnight, and Jared hardly has his foot through the door before he’s shedding his clothes and heading for the shower. Jensen grins. He uses the bathroom downstairs, taking his time to make sure he’s thoroughly clean. By the time Jensen stumbles eagerly out he’s hard as a rock. He heads upstairs and to the bedroom, where he finds Jared sprawled on the bed. Snoring.

Jensen stares at him, incredulous. His dick is throbbing, his ass is aching for some long-awaited attention and Jared is sleeping.

For a moment he contemplates spanking Jared’s ass, possibly with a baseball bat, but in the end his own exhaustion wins, so he angrily shoves Jared aside and climbs into bed. Burrowing under the covers he falls asleep with a scowl, nursing the feeble hope that he’ll wake up handcuffed to the bed, ass in air.

That doesn’t happen.

The next time Jared slaps Jensen’s butt on set he grits his teeth and rolls his eyes, like it’s nothing more than a vague annoyance. Jared grins and ruffles his hair, and Jensen shoves him off with a grunt that only makes Jared grin wider.

Jensen really, really hates that bee episode.



Jared only asks him once. “Why?” His voice is quiet, curious, struggling to understand.

Jensen keeps his eyes on the TV in front of them. He presses his fingernails into the flesh of his palm, just briefly but still hard enough to give a reassuring sting. He doesn’t know what to say. “Why not?” comes to mind but it’s not a real answer, and they both know it. “Because I want it,” doesn’t really cover it either. “Because I need it,” would be a more honest answer, but that brings him back to the ‘Why?’ Why does he need it?

“Why do you want to know?” is what he comes up with, sounding more defensive than he means to.

Jared shrugs. “Just trying to understand,” he says. “You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.”

Jensen swallows. How on earth is he supposed to explain something that he can’t even understand himself?

“I don’t know,” he says. He gives a bitter laugh. “Guess I’m just sick that way.”

Jared snaps his head around. “Don’t talk like that,” he growls, and Jensen can’t help it; he shivers down to his bones. He risks a glance over, quickly looking away when he’s met with Jared’s angry glare, eyes flashing.

Jensen’s nerves tense, the ants crawling under his skin. He bows his head. Waits.

“Sorry, I just…” Jared sighs, and Jensen only just keeps from sighing right along with him. Damn. He thought they were heading somewhere. “You’re not sick, Jensen. That’s not what I meant. I’m just trying to understand what it feels like.”

‘It feels like this,’ Jensen thinks. ‘Like wanting something so bad you can’t breathe. Wanting it so much you want to scream, and beg and fucking demand it. Feeling like you’re gonna burst out of your skin if you don’t get it. Dammit, Jared. It’s been weeks!’

He’s lying. It was only three days ago that Jared held him by the throat while he fucked him hard and fast into the mattress. Held him until his eyes rolled back in his head, and he was so close to passing out he’d wanted to hit Jared when he suddenly let go, ruining the whole thing.

“It just feels good, I guess,” is what he says. “Liberating.”

That’s what he’s expected to say, but the truth is that it’s only liberating when he gets what he wants. Otherwise it’s just frustrating as hell. Because Jared, for all his wonderful ways, is unfortunately not a mind reader.

‘Right now,’ Jensen thinks. ‘Put your hand on my neck, right now. Push me down. Tell me to suck your dick. Grab my hair and fuck my mouth. Make me choke on your cock. Now. Right now.’

“You want another beer?” Jared asks and stands up.

Jensen closes his eyes. “Yeah, sure,” he says. It’s gonna be a long night.


He buys a collar. It’s black and made from the softest leather. Handmade. It costs a fucking fortune, but just the thought of it around his neck makes him shiver. He puts it on the kitchen table then goes to have a shower, making sure he’s clean everywhere.

When he comes back out, wearing nothing but a towel and a nervous smile, Jared is putting the collar on Harley, his grin wide and grateful. “Dude, you didn’t need to do that,” he says. “Man, it’s beautiful. Isn’t it, boy? Uncle Jensen is the best uncle ever.”

Jensen stares at him. Opens his mouth then closes it again. Turns around and goes back to the bathroom, closing the door behind him. Stares into the mirror. Blinks.


By the time he comes out again, Jared has taken the dogs for a run. Jensen sighs and gets dressed. Makes dinner. Doesn’t kill Jared when he comes back and smugly calls Jensen his ‘Perfect little wife’ before rubbing his sweaty armpits all over Jensen’s hair. He doubts a spatula can really do that much damage anyway.


He buys another collar, red and soft like a kitten, leaves it on the bedside table. Forces out a smile when Jared slips it around Sadie’s neck, beaming with happiness. Feels stupid and annoyed and so damn frustrated he’s about ready to kick Jared in the head.

It takes him five weeks before he gets up the nerve to buy another. This time the collar is green, two inches wide, and has a small J engraved on a silver plaque. It’s obvious, too obvious, and he keeps it in his pocket, feeling the soft leather between his fingers, the cold metal of the buckle, the D-ring, the plaque. Runs his finger over the J. He has to fight not to put it on. Just pull it out, put it on, and then, maybe, finally, Jared will take the hint. But he can just as much do that as he can ask Jared to spank him. Or choke him. Or slam him into the wall and fuck him until he cries.

Because that’s just it, he can’t ask. He did once and even if it made Jared finally buy a clue there’s no way he can do it again. He just can’t. No matter how much he goes over the words in his head and rolls them on his tongue, he can’t actually say them. He feels like he’s standing behind a soundproof glass wall, banging it with his fists in the hope that Jared will turn his head and see him. Will see right into his mind and read every dirty little thing that Jensen can never, ever tell him.

Besides, it’s not his to ask for; it’s Jared’s to give. Jared is supposed to be the one telling him to put it on. Or just holding him down, forcefully strapping it around his throat. Oh yeah, that would work. That would work so damn well. Jesus!

“You up for Chinese tonight?” Jared asks, slipping his arm casually over Jensen’s shoulders, fingers stroking his neck as they run past.

Jensen swallows, a small shiver running down his spine. He strokes his thumb over the soft leather strap in his pocket. Nods.

“Hey,” Jared says quietly, “everything okay?”

Jensen nods again then clears his throat and says, “Yeah, I’m fine. Just tired.”

“Yeah?” Jared leans down, thumb digging hard into Jensen’s shoulder. Whispers, “Too tired?”

Jensen’s breath hitches. He shakes his head. He’s never too tired for that. Especially not if Jared’s tone is anything to go by and maybe, just maybe, tonight is one of those nights.

They wrap up late, get home even later, the beginning of a sunrise already pinking the horizon. Jensen is exhausted, so bone-tired he thinks if he falls asleep he will never, ever wake up again. He only just manages to keep his eyes open as he showers the sweat, dirt and fake blood off his body.

He doesn’t even remember their plans, until he steps out of the bathroom and there’s Jared, wearing nothing but jeans slung low on his hips. His hair is wet from his shower, and his face is unreadable. On his outstretched palm lies a green collar.

Jensen blinks. Thinks, ‘How?’ Remembers moving it from Dean’s jacket to his own, where the pockets are shallower, making things more prone to peek out. Maybe he let it on purpose. He really doesn’t know.

He looks up, meets Jared’s dark eyes. Licks his lips, takes a breath. Bows his head. Waits.

“Why didn’t you say anything?” Jared asks, his voice a little strangled. “Why didn’t you…? Shit, Jensen, I put them on my dogs! No wonder I’ve been getting weird looks at the park.”

Jensen’s shoulders slump. He doesn’t say anything. Keeps his eyes on the floor. On Jared’s bare feet.

“You really want this? I mean… Jesus, Jensen.” Jared laughs a little shakily. “I guess you do.” Jensen can hear him swallow. “Okay. Okay, yeah.”

Jensen closes his eyes as the collar touches his throat, shivers when Jared tightens it around his neck. Yes.

“Damn.” Jared’s fingers run under the collar, like he’s afraid it’s too tight. It’s not. He could tighten it another notch or two, and it would still not be tight enough. Jensen hitches his breath, stretches his neck. There’s a small pause, and then Jared fumbles with the buckle, pulling the collar tighter. “Like this?” He sounds unsure, and it’s ruining the illusion a bit, but hopefully he’ll find his stride soon. Jensen doesn’t answer the question, just whimpers and hopes Jared will get it.

“Fuck,” Jared whispers. “You look so…”

What? Slutty? Whorish? Ridiculous? What?

He never gets his answer, because suddenly he’s being turned around and slammed into the wall, Jared pressing up against him, hard and heavy. Yes! The towel slips off, pooling at Jensen’s feet, and Jared groans into his ear.

“Gonna fuck you,” he murmurs. “Gonna fuck you right here with that fucking collar around your neck. Gonna choke you with it, hold you right where I want you. Gonna make you lick me clean when I’m done, so I hope you cleaned yourself good and proper.”

Jensen nods, so eager the wall scrapes his cheek.

“Is that what you want? Is it?” Jared tugs at the collar, arching Jensen’s back. “Answer me!”

“Yes!” Jensen chokes out. He’s trembling so hard his knees are threatening to buckle.

“Tell me what you want. Tell me!”

Jensen squeezes his eyes shut. He can’t. He can’t just…

“Tell me or I’ll let you stand here, naked and collared, until you damn well answer me. All night if I have to.”

A strangled whimper bubbles up from his throat. “Use me,” he forces out. His cheeks are burning. “I want… I want you to use me. However you want.”

“Because I own you.” The voice is low but the words are hard, almost cold. Jensen shivers. He nods. “Would you do anything for me?” He nods again, whimpering. “Anything? Would you let me spank you ‘til you cry? Fuck you ‘til you can’t stand? Put my whole fist into you?” Jensen is sobbing, riding the wall in desperate need for friction. “You’d let me slap you around like a whore?”

Jensen goes still. No. He doesn’t want that. But if that’s what it takes… He bows his head and nods. Jared instantly steps back.

“Goddammit, Jensen. This won’t work if you lie to me.”

Jensen shakes his head violently. He’s not lying! He’s just… not telling the whole truth.

“You telling me you’d really want that? You want me beating you up? Really? How about fucking you dry? No spit or anything, just ripping you open. Or gangbanging? You want that? Me tying you up and inviting the whole crew over to fuck you any way they want?”

Jensen shoves him off in panic, grabbing his towel in a desperate attempt to cover himself, because he suddenly feels naked in a way that has nothing to do with clothes. When Jared grabs him by the shoulder the only thing keeping him from lashing out is the collar, still tight around his neck.

“Hey, hey! Calm down. Jesus, Jen, you really think I would do that? You really think…” Jared shakes his head. He looks pale, disturbed. “I get there are boundaries. I just need you to help me set them. Because as much as I love when we do this, I don’t want to actually hurt you. And right now I have no idea how far you want me to go.”

Jensen takes a deep breath. He’s trembling, his skin covered in goose bumps, with cold sweat running down his back. He can’t meet Jared’s eyes. “I… I can’t.”

Jared frowns. “You can’t? You can’t what?”

He swallows. “I can’t tell you what I want.”

Jared blinks at him, looking totally confused. “Why?”

“I just… I just can’t. I can’t say it. I can’t ask for it.” He closes his eyes. “Please don’t make me. Please.”

There’s silence for a long time. He doesn’t dare open his eyes. Doesn’t dare move. As much as he was craving Jared to hurt him just a minute ago, right now he wishes Jared would just put his arm around him, kiss him… just touch him in some way that’d tell him Jared’s not about to walk away.

“You scare me sometimes, you know that?” Jared finally says, his voice trembling. “It scares the hell out of me that you put that much trust in me. What if I don’t know when to back off? What if I go too far, and, and you just let me?”

“I won’t.” His voice is hoarse, the collar pressing into his larynx enough to make it a little hard to breathe. “Trust me on that.”

“How do you know that?”

He swallows. “Because I’ve been there, and I’ll never let it go that far again, I promise.”

There’s silence for a long time. “What happened?” Jared finally asks quietly.

Jensen hesitates. He opens his eyes, meeting Jared’s concerned gaze. “Pretty much what you suggested. Not the gangbanging,” he quickly adds when Jared pales.

“Jesus!” Jared stares at him, eyes wide. “Someone…? What did he do? How badly were you hurt?”

He shrugs. “Not that bad. Some bruises. Concussion.” He averts his eyes. “A couple of stitches.” Four, but who’s counting?

“Stitches? Where?”



“Where do you think?” he snaps.

Jared sucks in his breath, stumbling back to lean against the wall. “Jesus! Jensen, that’s–”

“I know, okay?” he interrupts before Jared can say it. “I know. But I wasn’t exactly innocent, okay? I asked for it. I asked him to hurt me and–”

“You didn’t ask for that!” Jared cuts him off, voice tight, hands curled into fists.

Jensen closes his eyes. Breathes in. Breathes out. “No. I didn’t ask for that,” he allows. “He didn’t… He didn’t get it. He thought…” He shakes his head. “It doesn’t matter,” he says firmly. “What matters is that you do.”

He sighs when Jared shakes his head in doubt. “I know I’m asking a lot of you here, but I know you can do this, Jare. I trust you to walk that line and not cross it. Okay?”

“How can you know that?” Jared says in a low voice, all anger gone from his voice. He looks unsure, scared. Jensen hates it.

“Because there’s no way in hell you would ever do what you suggested,” Jensen tells him. “And he… He did. He would have the whole way.”

Jared runs his fingers through his damp hair. He’s gone pale again. In fact he looks like he’s about to be sick. “Shit.”

“Look,” Jensen says quickly before Jared starts asking more questions, “I know this is freaky shit, okay? I’m a fucking freak, I know.”

Jared sighs. “Jen…”

“No, listen. I get it if you want out,” he continues, his heart hammering so hard in his chest it hurts. “Who’d want this, huh? It’s sick. It’s… I’m sick. You think I don’t know? I mean, fuck, Jare, this ain’t normal. Wanting the person you love to hurt you? Not fucking normal, I know that.”


“But… Fuck, I want this. I, I need it, okay? I need…”

He swallows. His stomach churns. His face feels like it’s on fire.

“I need more,” he grits out. “More than we’ve been doing. I’m sorry. You give me so much, and I don’t want to ask for more. It’s not fair, you doing this for me when–”

“I’m not doing it just for you,” Jared cuts him off. “Jesus, Jen, you really think… I get off on it as much as you do.”

Jensen seriously doubts that.

“And I’m not stupid. I kinda knew I wasn’t… That I wasn’t good enough.”

Jensen flinches. Shit. That’s not what he meant.

“I just… There needs to be a line. A… I don’t know. Something. Something that lets me know I’m getting it right. And when I’m not. You know?”

Jensen nods. He can’t meet Jared’s eyes. If he could wish for the floor to swallow him, now would be the perfect timing.

“So we need to figure that out. We need… Jensen, look at me.”

Jensen closes his eyes. He’s never felt so humiliated in his whole life. So damn small and stupid and…

“Look at me!”

Jensen’s head snaps up at the sharp, hard command. Jared looks frustrated. He runs his fingers through his hair, his jaw tense.

“Don’t pull that silent shit with me. I get it, okay. I get that it’s hard to say stuff out loud, but not saying it gets us here. And hell, Jensen, I don’t wanna be here. I don’t wanna end up as the guy who tried but never got there. Who wasn’t good enough. Because that’s where we’re heading with this.”

Jensen swallows. “I’m sorry.”

“Stop apologizing,” Jared sighs. “Just help me out. Please. I’m not gonna force you to tell me stuff you don’t want, but we’ve gotta communicate somehow. I can’t read your mind. This is all new to me. I don’t know the secret codes yet.”

He cracks a smile, and Jensen can’t help smiling back, the tension relenting just a little. Jared reaches out, thumb stroking lightly over Jensen’s cheek, before his hand drops to Jensen’s neck, fingers running along the collar.

“Looks good on you,” he says, smile soft, eyes heated. “I like the J. Mine or yours?”

“Whichever you want it to be,” Jensen says, his voice just a little hoarse, from the pressure on his throat or the look in Jared’s eyes, he’s not sure.

“Hmm.” Jared tilts his head, thoughtful. “Mine. Definitely mine.” His fingers slip under the collar, tugging it a little tighter. “To make sure you remember who you belong to.”

Jensen’s eyes fall shut, his lips parting on a small whimper. Yes.

“I’m gonna fuck you,” Jared promises. “On our bed.” He gives Jensen a quick hard kiss on the mouth and whispers, “Go wait for me. Hands and knees. Eyes closed. No touching.”

He tugs hard on the collar before abruptly letting go, making Jensen stumble forward. He’s so dizzy he’s not even sure which way their bedroom is.

“Hurry up,” Jared orders, snatching the towel out of Jensen’s hands and smacking him on the ass with it. “If you’re not ready when I get there I’ll jerk myself off and not even let you watch.”

Jensen practically runs the rest of the way.



“So, how do we do this?” Jared asks.

He’s sitting up, back against the headboard, sheets pooled around his waist. All he’s missing is a cigarette to perfect the picture, Jensen thinks as he takes in the sight with half-lidded eyes from where he’s still laid flat on his stomach, legs spread, arms hugging the pillow. Collar snug around his neck.

Jared had made to remove it once they’d calmed down, but Jensen had shifted away, eyes averted. “Please,” he’d said. That was as far as he could go but it had been enough. Jared had looked at him, something strange in his eyes, but he’d nodded and drawn back, leaving the collar strapped tight.

“Jen, you with me?”

“Uhm?” Jensen murmurs, not really all there. He feels a little like he’s floating. His body aches, skin covered in sweat and marks from Jared’s hands, his teeth, the edges of his fingernails. He has the memory of Jared’s cock still stretching his insides, aching, burning, throbbing. His dick is marinating in a pool of cold come. He hasn’t felt this good in months.

Jared looks down at him, smiles softly. “This,” he says, waving his hand. “You, me. Your… need.”

Jensen closes his eyes. Why ruin a perfect moment with awkward talking?

“Jen,” Jared admonishes. There’s a trace of smile in his voice, but there’s frustration as well. “We need to talk about this.”

Jensen ignores him.

Suddenly there are fingers under his collar, pulling it even tighter. “Look at me!”

Jensen’s eyes fling open, his whole body tensing. His head starts spinning with the lack of oxygen.

“That’s better.” Jared eases his hold a little but doesn’t let go. The smile is gone, but his eyes are calm, the gaze steady. “Don’t close them again.”

Jensen swallows. It moves his Adam’s apple, straining the collar even further.

“I’m thinking maybe we could have a sign. Like the safeword, except the other way around. Something you can say or do to let me know when you’re feeling… needy.”

Jensen cringes, only just managing to keep his eyes open. His cheeks burn. This is why he didn’t want to talk about this. It’s just so… humiliating.

Jared’s eyebrows pull together, lips going thin. “Don’t,” he says. “I like that you need me.” His nostrils flare slightly, eyes going dark for a moment, before his face smoothes out again in the same calm expression. “After all, you are mine,” he says and smiles a little.

Jensen’s shiver has nothing to do with the sweat cooling his skin.

“So…” Jared continues conversationally, fingers running under the collar around Jensen’s neck, as casually as when he’s soothing a stressed Sadie. “A sign. I know you’re not comfortable with words, but there are other ways. A touch maybe?” He gives Jensen a questioning look. “Our own secret handshake?”

Jensen licks his lips. That still feels like asking for it, and he’s not sure he can.

“Or something else. Hmm. You could put on the collar, I guess, but it’s a bit obvious in public,” Jared says with a small smile. “Plus,” he adds, voice tight, “it’s mine. It has my name on it. Think it should be up to me when you get to wear it.”

He tugs at the buckle as if to remove it, and Jensen hitches his breath, eyes pleading, but he stays perfectly still. This is what he wanted after all, and if it means he has to give the collar up tonight then so be it. Jared pulls back again. The thin sheet twitches over his lap and he absently rubs one hand over his cock.

“Guess you can keep it for now. It does look pretty on you.” He slides down on the bed until they’re face to face, breathing each other’s air. “Want to see what you look like, with the other ones.” He chuckles at Jensen’s small frown. “Don’t worry, I’ll have them cleaned first. Can’t have you smelling like a bitch.”

Jensen’s skin flushes hot. His dick is getting hard again, slipping in the slick pool of his come as it fights for room under the weight of his body. Jared runs his hand down Jensen’s back to the curve of his ass. Slips his fingers down the crack and dips in.

Jensen sucks in his breath, his cock reaching rock hard in seconds. He trembles, not daring to push back in case it will make Jared stop.

“Damn, you’re wet. All loose and slick for me.” Jared pulls out, wraps his wet fingers around Jensen’s hip and rolls him over onto his side, back to Jared’s chest, and then he’s pushing in, one long hard slide that has Jensen keening. He’s still sore, still swollen, and it feels. So. Damn. Good.

Jared fucks him, first slow and lazy, but then his hand moves from Jensen’s hip, up his side and to his neck, fingers curling around the collar, and, before Jensen knows it he’s back on his belly, wheezing for air as Jared fucks him hard into the mattress, collar pulled tight. Jensen bucks, and flails and comes so damn hard the whole world goes white.


It’s bright when Jensen wakes up, close to noon he estimates by the shadows playing upon the wall. He lies still, blinking slowly, his eyelids feeling prickly with grit or possibly salt. He swallows and clears his throat. It’s bruised, raw, but the pressure is gone along with the collar.

That’s okay. The insistent itch is gone, the need reduced to a dull humming in his veins. He yawns and stretches his legs before shifting and rolling over on his back, eyes blinking up at the ceiling.

Every single muscle in his body aches.

His eyes slip close again as he breathes in deep before letting it out with a slight shiver. God. He’s missed this.

“How you feeling?”

Jensen’s smile is slow, lazy. Very satisfied. He opens his eyes to find Jared raised up on one elbow, looking down at him with a smile of his own.

“That good, huh?”

There are no words to describe it, so Jensen doesn’t even try, just reaches up and pulls Jared down for a wet, open kiss. His mouth tastes of sleep, and last night’s dinner gone sour, since they never got around to brushing their teeth.

When he lets go, Jared’s eyes are dark, his lips curled up at one corner. For a moment, Jensen thinks he might say something, do something. Might maybe grab Jensen by the wrists or move over to lie down on top of him, using his massive weight to pin Jensen to the bed, the way he loves. Jensen’s breath stutters a little at the thought. The itch might be soothed, but he’s still a guy with a morning boner.

Jared holds his gaze a moment longer, but then he rolls over and out of bed.

“Fuck, I’m starving,” he says as he rolls his shoulders, stomach rumbling as if on cue. “Let’s go out for breakfast.”

Jensen reply gets caught in a yawn, and by the time his jaw snaps back in place Jared is gone, bathroom door closing behind him. Jensen allows himself a few moments just basking in the memory of last night before stiffly getting out of bed. He stumbles at his first steps, before he finds his balance, swaying a little at the light feeling in his head as it adjusts to higher ground.

A warm shower will be good. Yes.


What hot water doesn’t fix, strong coffee usually takes care of.

Jensen breathes in the warm, bitter smell, filling his lungs with caffeinated air before taking the first sip, eyes closed, face slack with bliss.

“Pretty sure that sound you’re making is illegal in at least four states,” Jared says, sounding amused and a little turned on.

“Well, thank fuck we’re in Canada,” Jensen murmurs, eyes still closed. There’s a stack of pancakes, and a bowl of fresh fruit waiting for his consumption, but right now he just wants to feed his addiction – well, his other addiction – until the world stops looking so damn bright.

“We need to talk,” Jared says suddenly.

His voice is low, a little unsure, and Jensen snaps his eyes open, heart caught in his throat.

Jared laughs, face pink. “Don’t look at me like that. Talk is not code for breaking up, idiot. Eat your pancakes.”

Jensen holds his gaze for a moment longer, but then he picks up his fork and indulgently stabs at one of the blueberries. It stubbornly rolls away, and he chases it around for a moment before giving up and cutting a piece from his pancakes instead. They’re good, the slight wait having given them just the right temperature. He pops another piece into his mouth and looks back at Jared, chewing, waiting.

Jared gives him a small smile. “You look good,” he says softly. “Happier.”

Jensen can feel his face heating. He shrugs, smiles a little awkwardly. Finishes chewing and swallows. Takes a sip of his coffee. Doesn’t say anything, because he doesn’t really know what to say.

“I’m sorry I didn’t…” Jared pauses, frowns, licks his lips before starting again. “I’m sorry you weren’t before. Happy, I mean.”

Jensen’s heart sinks. “Jared, no.”

“No, listen to me,” Jared says. He leans forward, lowering his voice even further, but his gaze is steady, strong. “I am sorry, because you should be happy. Something that means that much to you? You should have that. I want you to have that. But…” He sighs, sits back. “This is not on me, man. It’s not. You were angry, and frustrated and kinda making me feel guilty for not, I don’t know, reading your mind. And that’s not on. ”

“I never meant for you to feel guilty,” Jensen says, incredulous and frankly a little hurt. “Jesus, Jare, you really think that?”

“I don’t know what to think. We’ve been together for six months now,” Jared says calmly. “We’ve been doing this for the last four. It’s early days yet. Definitely not long enough for me to get everything right. Especially not this. Jensen, I’ve never been in this kind of relationship before. You gotta give me some slack, give me a chance to learn the rules.”

Jensen swallows. He knew he’d been coming on too strong. Knew he’d scare Jared off if he didn’t watch his step. Shit. “I know. I’m sorry. I’ll… I’ll back off.”

“No.” Jared shakes his head. “If backing off means you being miserable then hell no. We’re not doing that.”

“I’m not miserable,” Jensen says, squirming a little under Jared’s skeptic stare. “It’s not like that.”

“Then what is it like? Explain it to me. Teach me how to read the signs, to read you. Because if you can’t ask for it, and I can’t read you, then we’re gonna end up in the exact same place the next time you get a craving. And I really didn’t like that place.”

Jensen averts his eyes, staring down at his rapidly cooling pancakes. Picks at them absently, swallows another gulp of his coffee. “I don’t know how to explain it,” he mumbles. “It’s not like it’s some one thing.”

“Well, how about you start with one thing, and we’ll go from there?” Jared suggests.

Jensen tugs at his lower lip with his teeth. “It’s…” He stops, trying to convert into words what he only knows as feelings. “You know when, when you’re just about to, to come?” he asks, voice slightly hoarse. “That moment when you’re almost there, and, and… your skin is stretched tight, and every nerve is tingling, and you almost want to cry, because you’re so damn close? That moment? It’s kinda like that. Without the climax.”

He looks up, catching Jared’s stricken look. Fuck.

“I’m exaggerating,” he quickly retracts, coughing out a shaky laugh. “Don’t listen to me. It’s not that bad. It’s, it’s, it’s like an itch I can’t scratch. Ignore it, and it’ll go away, right? Right? I’m just crap at ignoring it, that’s all. It’s not a big deal. Jared, I mean it. C’mon.”

That’s what it feels like?” Jared repeats hoarsely, ignoring his rambling. “Jesus, Jen.”

“Not all the time,” Jensen counters, since denying everything obviously isn’t working. “Just, you know, when I’m feeling… needy.” He cringes. “Dude, can we call it something else?” he asks, faking a grin. “Something that doesn’t make me feel like a clingy toddler?”

“How often do you feel like that?” Jared asks tightly. “How often, Jensen?”

He shrugs. “I don’t know. It doesn’t matter, okay? It’s just a craving. Like smoking or… something.” He’s lying. He used to smoke, still does sometimes. This is nothing like that.

“It matters because we’ve been together for six months, Jensen,” Jared says patiently, “And if you’ve been feeling miserable for a big part of that time, I think I have a right to know.”

“I’m not miserable,” Jensen insists. “It’s not like that. I’m happy. I’m… I’ve got you, don’t I? I’ve got a great job, I’ve got good friends. I, I’ve got you. And dude, the sex is great. I am not complaining. Your dick is seriously amazing. You are amazing. I’m not complaining!”

Jared’s face softens. “Jensen, I’m not taking this personally. Relax. I’m just trying to figure out how to make you happy.”

“Aren’t you listening? I am happy. I’m fucking ecstatic. Jesus!” He runs his fingers through his hair, his appetite long gone. “Can we drop this? Can we just forget the whole damn thing? I’m good. We’re good. Everything’s fucking wonderful.”

He starts getting up but Jared snaps, “Sit down!” voice hard and demanding, and Jensen’s knees buckle, just like that. He slams back down on the bench, eyes on the table, chin to his chest, dick throbbing in his pants. Fuck, that voice! Where the hell has Jared been hiding that voice? Jesus.

“Fuck,” Jared breathes. He sounds shocked. “Are you…? Jesus, Jen.” He sucks in his breath and lets it out with a shaky laugh. “Guess that’s a sign if I ever saw one.”

Jensen cringes. He’s never had a reaction like that, not in public. He imagines the whole diner is staring at him, at his red face, at the way he’s trembling, the way his breath hitches. The way his dick is trying to drill a hole through his jeans.

“You do that a lot,” Jared says, sounding thoughtful. “Bow your head. I never made the connection. Which is stupid, it’s so obvious. I guess I just wasn’t paying attention.”

Jensen doesn’t say anything, even if he totally agrees. No need to rub it in. Besides, Jared hasn’t given him permission to speak.

“Eat your food,” Jared orders, and Jensen instantly picks up his fork. Then drops it with a clatter, sucking in his breath in shock.

What? What the fuck is he doing? It’s one thing to submit in the bedroom, it’s quite another to roll over like a little bitch whenever Jared tells him to. That is not what he wants. That is not what this whole thing is about.

He takes a deep breath and raises his head. Stares Jared straight in the eyes. “Don’t,” he says, voice low, almost a growl.

Jared looks taken aback. “What?”

“This. You can’t…” He clenches his jaw, reels in the anger. It’s not Jared’s fault. He’s right. They need to set some boundaries, before it gets out of control. Like now. “I’m not your bitch, Jared. This is not okay. Not here. Not like this.”

Jared blinks. He looks confused for a moment, but then it obviously dawns on him, and he sinks back in his seat, face red, his shoulder slumping as if to make himself smaller.

“Shit,” he says, cringing. “No, of course not. Sorry. I didn’t mean to. I just… you know. And then you…” He waves his hand lamely at Jensen. “I just ran with it without thinking. Sorry. Won’t happen again.”

Jensen forces himself to relax. Even manages to smile a little. “Guess this is why we need rules,” he says, relieved when Jared laughs.

“Yeah,” Jared agrees, ducking his head the way he always does when he feels embarrassed. “It’s kind of a power buzz when you… you know. React like that. Could get addicting.” He smiles wryly. “Probably not a good idea.”

Jensen shakes his head. He can easily picture himself succumbing to that, giving his whole life over to Jared. Being his bitch. Losing himself completely in the progress. He shudders at the thought. That is not what he wants. “No. Not at all.”

Jared grins. “I’ll try and rein in my raw sexual charisma. Won’t be easy.”

Jensen snorts. “You mean your caveman act.”

“Me Jared, you Jen,” Jared grunts and beats his chest with his fists.

Jensen laughs. He picks up his fork and takes another stab at his pancakes. They’re still good if a little cold. The fruit salad is delicious.



“Hey,” Jared says, leaning a little closer. “Got something for you.”

Jensen looks up at him, eyes hooded. They’re huddled under one big umbrella in the pouring rain, having offered the other one to one of their guest stars who thankfully seems more interested in keeping dry than listening to their conversation. He’s tired, cold, kinda bored. Anyone who thinks Hollywood is all glamour and glitter should see them right now. The week hasn’t even started and he’s tired already.

“You listening?” Jared asks, nudging him. His tone is giddy, the way he gets when he’s sleep deprived. Unlike Jensen who turns into a grumpy, snippy and, frankly, not very nice person.

“Jeeeensen,” Jared singsongs when Jensen doesn’t answer. “Jeeeen. Jenny baby. Jennilicious.”

Jensen coughs to cover a laugh. “What?” he grumbles, making sure the scowl stays in place. It doesn’t do to feed Jared’s crazy moods.

“Got you a present,” Jared tells him, his voice suddenly low, husky. One arm sneaks around Jensen’s back, slipping something into Dean’s pocket.

Jensen sends him a curious glance but Jared has already stepped back, an antsy look on his face. Jensen hesitates a moment before slipping his hand into the pocket. There’s something flat, curled up. Cool metal, warm leather. Jensen goes still. He looks up at Jared, raising one eyebrow. He feels a little out of breath.

“Wardrobe was looking for something new to spice up Dean’s bad boy image. I might have made a suggestion.” At Jensen’s horrified stare he smiles, strangled. “Relax. It’s not a collar.” He pauses. Licks his lips. “Well, unless you want it to be.”

Jensen pulls out his hand. Around his palm curls a black leather bracelet, the kind that has straps wrapping double around the wrist. Stretching them out, he estimates it’d fit just right around his neck. If he wanted it to.

Jared clears his throat, fidgeting. “I was thinking, you could wear that around your wrist, and if you’re feeling…” He hesitates before finally settling on, “itchy, you can, maybe, take it off and give it to me, and I’ll… put it where it should be.”

Jensen stares at him.

Jared shifts on his feet, face red. “Like, like a sign, you know. Not like asking for, for anything but more, you know, handing it– I mean you, over to me. Sort of. Uhm.” He drops his gaze, hands shoved into his pockets. “I didn’t want them to suspect anything so I just wrote J on the inside.”

Jensen turns the bracelet over, swallowing when he sees the crooked J scribbled on the leather with a blue ballpoint pen. Like a kid marking its belongings, but the feeling it stirs in Jensen’s stomach is anything but childish.

“Everyone will think it’s yours but…” Jared raises his head, the nervous look gone, replaced by dark eyes. “It’s not. It’s mine.”

Jensen hitches his breath.

“And when you need me?” Jared says quietly, holding his gaze steady. “You give me what’s mine, and I’ll take care of it.”

They stare at each other for a long time, the rain falling all around them like a curtain, drowning the sounds of the crew working in the background. Jensen licks his lips. Jared bites his. Time seems to stand still.

Jensen nods.

He wraps the bracelet around his wrist then holds out his arm for Jared to fasten the straps. Which he does with steady fingers, umbrella held by the crook of his arm. He pulls the leather a little tighter than necessary, and Jensen’s heart quickens. The black leather is in startling contrast to his pale, freckled skin. It looks fucking badass on his wrist.

Jared breathes out loudly. “Looks good on you,” he says hoarsely.

Jensen nods. “Yeah.” He looks up. Smiles. “Yeah, you do.”

Jared laughs, his eyes dark and heavy. It makes Jensen’s spine tingle.

“Okay, guys,” the director yells. “No more pussying around. Let’s get this party started.”

Jensen grins. Looks like they just might.