Jared meets Jensen through Chad, of all people.
They're out for drinks at a place near Chad's workplace. It's a little expensive for Jared's taste, and the crowd mainly consists of businessmen, who, though some of them are certainly nice to look at in their well-pressed suits, aren't exactly the kind of people Jared usually hangs out with. Chad claims the women are classy though, which really means they wear high heels, short skirts and lots of make-up. Sometimes, Jared wonders how Chad ever met a woman like Sophia.
They're sitting at the bar, the only empty place to sit they could find, sipping their second beer when Chad cranes his head around and makes a displeased sound. "That's Jensen Ackles over there."
"Who?" Jared asks and looks back. There are too many people, and he has no idea what this Jensen guy looks like, so he gives up.
"Ackles. He's a fucking douche," Chad says with a grimace.
Jared gives him an amused look, because really, if there's ever been a person who has no room to call anyone else a douche, it's Chad Michael Murray.
Chad pushes him, and Jared has to hold onto the bar to stay on the stool. "Shut up, asshole. He's way more of a douche than I am. I swear, the guy doesn't even know what the word fun means. I don't think I've ever seen him laugh. Whenever I talk to him he gets that look on his face like I'm not worth his fucking time."
"Huh. Maybe he has taste," Jared teases and dodges Chad's hand with a laugh. "Where do you know him from anyway?"
"My boss's boss, man. As if I would talk to him if he was just anybody else, but the man is pretty high in the food chain, dude."
"Or maybe you're just pretty low in the food chain." Jared laughs and ignores Chad's scowl. "So, you wanna go over there and say hi?"
"Why would I?"
"It'd be the polite thing to do?"
Chad looks at him thoughtfully and then glances back to where Jared assumes Jensen must be sitting. "Not that I give a damn about being polite, but the guy is sitting at a table and we only have the crappy bar seats, so I say lets go over there and crash his party."
"That's so not what I meant," Jared argues but grins and slides off the stool. With his beer in his hand, trying not to slosh it around too much, he follows Chad to one of the tables further in the back. Jared's tall enough that he can easily see past Chad and they seem to be heading straight for a table with two guys. One of them is facing their way, and fucking hell, the guy is gorgeous.
"Mr. Ackles!" Chad exclaims when they're only a few feet away and sure enough, it's the guy Jared's been eyeing that looks up.
"Chad," he greets. If the forced smile is anything to go by, Chad's dislike for Jensen is definitely mutual. Jared can't exactly blame him. Chad's the kind of person you either love or hate and Chad doesn't make loving him easy.
"Out for a drink after work?" Chad slides into an empty chair, nodding at Jensen's companion. Jared lags behind, letting Chad take the lead. He's not rude enough to just sit down and well, with Chad it's always best to be able to exit quickly.
"Yeah." Jensen gives him a shrug and Jared hides his laugh in his glass of beer. Jensen's definitely trying the 'not engaging Chad in a conversation and hoping he'll leave' tactic, but unfortunately for him that's not something that's ever stopped Chad before.
"Yeah. Me, too. I'm here with my buddy Jared." Chad looks back at him and motions him forward. "Come here, Jay. Sit down with us."
Jared takes a hesitant step forward, and Jensen looks at him as if he only now notices Jared's presence. Jared's not sure if it's just his imagination, but it looks like his face relaxes a little, the smile becoming just a little more genuine.
"Hi," Jared greets and waves. Waves, like he's a twelve year old girl. Jesus. He quickly forces his hand back down and curls it into a fist, wishing there was a way to fight off his blush as well.
"Jared, this is Jensen Ackles," Chad introduces, either ignoring or not caring that Jared is making a fool of himself. "And his friend…"
"Misha," the other man at the table says, and Jared looks at him for the first time. The guy is good-looking. Good-looking enough that he's maybe out on a date with Jensen, and wouldn't that just suck?
"Misha," Chad repeats. "Do you work with us? You seem familiar. Marketing as well?"
"Legal department. We probably crossed paths once or twice."
So he's probably smart, too. Asshole. Jared clears his throat and nudges Chad's shoulder. "Come on. Let's go back to the bar, man."
Chad gives him a hard look and a barely there shake of his head. "Our seats by the bar are already taken," he says with an apologetic shrug that isn't apologetic at all. Jared's not quite sure why sitting at a table is worth sharing said table with someone you can't stand, but Chad doesn't look like he's going to move from his spot any time soon.
"Why don't you sit down?" Jensen suggests and nods his head at the empty chair next to him. He doesn't look too annoyed, like Jared sitting down isn't really the last thing he wants and Jared finally moves away from behind Chad and sits down.
Jensen gives him a small smile. "So," he starts, sounding conversational. "You and Chad are friends?"
"Don't judge. Everyone makes bad decisions once in a while," Jared replies without thinking because he's given that answer a million times to a million different people, starting with his parents when they first met Chad. It comes naturally to him by now. Jensen laughs, throwing his head back a little and exposing the line of his throat. Jared feels something akin to pride for making Jensen laugh like that.
Chad doesn't even protest this time, apparently not listening to them in favor of talking to Misha, and Jared's just fine with that if it means he gets Jensen to himself instead.
"So, you work with Chad?" he asks, trying to sound teasing and casual.
Jensen grins. "Yeah, but that was never my choice."
"Every job comes with its hazards."
"True," Jensen agrees and lifts his glass in mock salute. "So, apart from being friends with Chad, what do you do, Jared?"
"I work in a bookstore," Jared says and then shrugs sheepishly. He's never felt embarrassed by what he does; he graduated from college last year with pretty good grades, he just hasn't quite figured out what to do yet. But saying that to Jensen, he suddenly realizes how lame that makes him sound. The guy has this great job, according to Chad, so he probably has money as well and Jared feels a little inadequate. He blushes. "I worked there all through college and it's a great job. I figured I might as well keep it until I've, you know, found something I really want to do."
"'S cool. Better than ending up with a job you hate." Jensen smiles, genuine and open, and it's probably the most gorgeous thing Jared's ever seen. He makes up his mind right then and there, that he's going to go home with this guy or at least die trying.
"I guess," he replies and then gestures at Jensen's almost empty glass. "Want another? I'll buy."
"Sure." Jensen nods, and Jared gets up. He makes sure his back is straight, his hips swinging in just the right way as he walks to the bar, just in case Jensen's looking. When he gets back to the table with two beers in his hand, Chad and Misha are gone.
"Where'd Chad go?" he asks suspiciously and glances around.
Jensen shrugs. "He and Misha saw some girl from work."
Chad, girls and alcohol is something that rarely goes together well, and Jared can only hope that Misha's somehow going to keep him out of trouble without Jared there to do it. But he's got Jensen alone and really, he's not worried enough to actually look for Chad.
He sits back down, handing Jensen his beer. Jensen gives him a wide smile. "Thanks, Jared. Next round's on me."
The back of his knees hit the edge of his bed, and he falls back onto it, pulling Jensen down with him.
"Want you," he mumbles and tugs at Jensen's shirt.
"God, yes," Jensen hisses back and sits up, straddling Jared. He unbuttons his white dress shirt, letting it fall onto the floor carelessly and swoops back down, kissing Jared again.
Jared runs his hands over the smooth expanse of Jensen's back, and grinds up against him. He's painfully hard in his jeans, has been since Jensen started molesting him two blocks away from his place, tasting of alcohol and the one cigarette he had earlier. Apparently, Jensen occasionally starts smoking when he's drunk. Jared's never been a fan of smokers, but he's convinced there's nothing Jensen could do that Jared would find unattractive.
He fumbles with Jensen's buckle, and Jensen pushes into his hand, moaning softly. He mouths along Jared's jaw, leaving a wet trail with his kisses. "I wanna fuck you," he says against Jared's skin and Jared bites his lip.
"Please," he replies.
They kiss and undress, hands fumbling with buttons and zippers in a hurry to get their clothes off. It takes Jared an embarrassingly long time to find lube and condoms in his dresser, and yeah, it's been a while since he's taken anyone back home, and he's a little drunk. Jensen doesn't seem to mind much, kissing Jared's shoulder and stroking his stomach.
When Jensen finally pushes the first finger into him, Jared moans and rocks down on it and then arches right back up because suddenly Jensen's mouth is there. Lips wrapped around his cock.
He takes Jared in without hesitation, hot and wet and perfect, as his fingers slowly work Jared open. Jared throws his arm over his eyes, trying to hold his orgasm back.
"Fuck, Jensen," he groans when Jensen flicks his tongue over the head of his cock and heat pools in his stomach. "Stop."
Jensen pulls off him, grinning. His lips glistening with spit. "Really want me to stop?" he asks, and runs his free hand over Jared's thigh.
"Want you inside me." Jared pushes down on Jensen's fingers. "Please."
"'kay," Jensen mumbles and leans down, pressing a few light kisses to his inner thigh as he pulls his fingers out. He kneels between Jared's splayed legs, rolling the condom down his dick and spreading lube over it. Before he pushes inside, he leans over Jared and kisses him again, no trace of his eagerness as he brushes their lips together, and Jared could swear his heart suddenly skips a beat.
Jensen pushes into him slowly, inch by inch, and lets Jared adjust before pulling out and pushing back in. He fucks Jared hard and fast, sliding in and out and Jared arches up, meeting his thrusts.
His mind is a little fuzzy from too many beers and the shots of tequila he did with Jensen, but he's still sure it's the best sex he's ever had in his life.
When he comes, his fingers are digging into Jensen's skin, no doubt leaving bruises and his whole body shakes. Jensen collapses on top of him, sweaty and heavy and burying his face in Jared's neck.
"Sorry," Jensen says in a hushed voice. "Go back to sleep, I didn't mean to wake you."
Jared lifts his head a little and squints at him. Jensen's sitting on the edge of the bed, pants and shirt already on and one shoe in his lap.
"You're leaving?" he asks.
"I got to get to work."
"On a Saturday?" Jared sits up and runs his hand through his hair, trying to smooth down the tangles.
Jensen shrugs. "The week was hell. There's some stuff we didn't get done in time."
"Want me to make you a quick breakfast?" Jared watches Jensen bend over and put his shoe on.
"Nah, I'm already late and I need to go home and change." He stands up and smiles, not looking at all like someone who spent half the night drinking and then going home with some guy he just met. Jared wishes he could stay. He wants Jensen to curl up in bed with him and sleep for a few more hours before having sex again.
"Oh, okay," Jared says instead and wonders if he should get up and at least see Jensen out.
Jensen runs a hand over his hair and sighs softly. "Listen, I'm not sure if you want this to be just a one time thing or whatever, but just in case you want to meet up again," he trails off, fumbling a little with the words and hands Jared a slip of paper. It has Jensen's name and a number scrawled onto it.
Jared looks up at Jensen and smiles. "I'll call," he promises.
Jensen smiles back and leans over to kiss Jared. "Good."
"Jay-bird," Chad answers after the third ring.
"Hey, man. How's work?" Jared asks and leans against the counter.
"A bitch, as always. Your boy-toy was actually nice to me this morning. It was bizarre. He smiled and said hello, and he looked like he was actually sincere. What did you do to that guy?"
Jared grins to himself and runs a hand over the spine of a book lying next to the cash register. "Nothing. But speaking of Jensen, that's actually why I'm calling."
"Do you want me to play matchmaker now? Ask him what he thought of you?"
"No need for that. I'm seeing him again tonight," Jared answers and smirks to himself.
"Wait. What? Are you two dating now?" Chad exclaims.
"Well, if things go the way I want them to, we will be," Jared says and feels giddy thinking about it. "He gave me his number, and I called. Thing is, I need to know what kind of food he likes."
"Take him to some fancy place. He'll probably like that." Chad sounds a little condescending, and Jared squelches down the urge to tell Chad how great Jensen is. Chad will just make fun of him anyway, and then complain that Jared is biased and yeah, he probably is.
"I told him I'd cook."
Chad lets out a snort and cackles. "You? You can't cook, JT!"
"I can," Jared argues. "I make a mean grilled cheese sandwich."
"And that's about it. You gonna make that for him tonight to impress him?" Chad mocks.
Jared sighs deeply. "Maybe I made the offer before really thinking it through," he admits. "I just couldn't think of any place to go, so I said I'd cook dinner for us. But come on, how hard can it be? I just need to know what he likes and then I'll look up a recipe. 'S why I need your help. Any idea where he usually goes for lunch? What kind of food he likes?"
"No idea. Make a steak, it's a safe bet. He's a Texas boy like you," Chad suggests.
Jared chews thoughtfully on his lower lip. "Maybe, yeah. That idea isn't too bad."
"Course not!" Chad exclaims. "I'm brilliant."
Jared snort. "Sure, you are. Thanks, man."
"Whatever. I just can't believe you're dating Ackles. What do you see in him anyway? Guy's no fun."
Jared rolls his eyes and looks up when the door chimes. A customer coming in. "He's plenty of fun," he counters, his mind sliding to the way Jensen kissed him, how his hands mapped out ever inch of Jared's body. "Believe me, plenty."
His mom, of course, wants to know why Jared suddenly wants to cook, after dropping a few not so subtle hints about the fact that Jared really can't cook and should stick to something easy, like say, a sandwich. She gushes excitedly when he reluctantly admits he has a date and tells him what to do with enough details that hopefully even Jared can't fuck dinner up.
He makes steaks and baked potatoes and a salad and it's not really as good as his mom's cooking, but it's okay. Jensen sure doesn't complain when they sit down to eat, and that's good enough for Jared.
Jensen brought tiramisu for dessert from some little Italian place close to where he lives, and Jared piles some into two bowls before they relocate to his couch after dinner. Jensen sits close to him, their thighs brushing together.
"I can't believe I actually found another Texas boy here in L.A.," Jensen laughs and spoons tiramisu into his mouth.
"Your parents will be so pleased," Jared replies in mock seriousness. Jensen gives him a wide grin.
"They will be. My friend, Chris, is from Dallas as well, and my mom keeps gushing about him, what a nice boy he is and always such good manners," he snorts.
"So I gotta compete with your friend?"
"Nah," Jensen replies and smiles. "He's straight, and my mom would forget all about Chris if she met you. You're the kind of guy every mom would want their kids to bring home."
"Yup, that's me," Jared boasts and grins. He slings his arm around Jensen's shoulders and Jensen leans into him.
"Yeah, you're pretty awesome," he agrees and cups Jared's face, kissing him again. He tastes like tiramisu and Jared traces his tongue over Jensen's lips before sliding it past them, hot and sweet and perfect.
Jensen smiles when they part, running his fingers over Jared's jaw softly.
"Want to watch a movie maybe?" Jared suggests.
"Hmm, yeah. I was thinking I could stay the night; make up for last time when I had to leave so early."
Jared kisses him again, just a brush of lips. "Sounds good."
It seems like things are going even better than he hoped they would.
With Jensen, it's even better than any of the other relationships he remembers. They fit. Jensen makes him laugh, and Jared feels comfortable with him, talking about anything that comes to his mind and Jensen listens, takes him seriously. Jared can't get enough of Jensen, and yeah, Jensen's pretty much the best looking guy he can remember meeting.
With each day that passes, each time Jared sees Jensen, he feels more and more sure that Jensen is someone he could actually fall in love with.
He stays a few feet behind, looking at a bookcase and Jared watches him out of the corner of his eye.
"Hi." Jensen gives him a small smile when they're alone.
"Hey, what are you doing here?"
"I got done early at work and I thought I'd come by," Jensen shrugs. Jared glances at his watch.
"I'll be done in fifteen minutes. Wanna hang out here and wait for me?" Jared asks and leans over the counter, kissing Jensen quickly.
"Yeah. Want to go see a movie when you're done here? I saw a small movie theater a few blocks away. They're not showing anything new, but maybe we can find something?"
Jared nods quickly. "They show a lot of classics. Horror movies, too. I love those."
"Good," Jensen grins. "So while I'm here, I might as well have a look at some books. Anything you wanna recommend?"
Jared grins and beckons Jensen behind the counter. "How about you kiss me until another customer comes in instead?" he asks.
Jensen laughs, but comes over anyway. He grabs Jared's waist, tugging him closer and kisses him. Jared runs his hands over Jensen's shoulders, and presses him against the counter, hoping nobody will enter the bookstore any time soon and interrupt this.
When they pull away, Jensen's lips are bruised and he's a little flushed. Jared knows he's probably not looking any better, but he can't remember the last time he felt this happy, this carefree. He locks up as they leave and Jensen slips his hand into Jared’s, intertwining their fingers.
Jared keeps smiling the whole way to the movie theater.
"Cowboys are playing tomorrow," Jared replies and presses a kiss to Jensen's neck. "We watching that?"
"Yeah. I got a few friends coming over for the game, and I thought I could use the support of a fellow Texan boy."
"Isn't Chris from Texas?" Jared asks and looks over Jensen's shoulder, watching him stir the pasta sauce.
"Yeah, but the other guys aren't. We could use another guy on our side. And, well, I thought maybe you could meet everyone."
Jared looks at Jensen, sees the open and hopeful look there. Jensen wants him to meet his friends and that's a huge step, that's saying they're more than just two guys going on dates and having sex occasionally. Jared has no doubt in his mind that it's what he wants, that Jensen is what he wants. "Okay, I'll come."
Jensen smiles and turns in Jared's embrace. "Awesome. You know, you could bring Chad if you wanted to."
"Because you two get along so well," Jared replies sarcastically, and Jensen laughs.
"He's your friend."
"Yeah, but you don't have to like my friends. He's busy this week anyway. His fiancée's parents are in town."
Jensen gives him a disbelieving look, raising his eyebrows. "There's a woman willing to marry Chad?"
Jared snorts. "I know. And Sophia's actually pretty awesome. Good-looking and smart. Apparently Chad is appealing to women."
"I don't get women," Jensen says with a shake of his head. "It's a good thing I'm gay."
Jared leans down and nuzzles his neck, pressing a kiss to the soft skin. "Yeah, it really is."
"They have weird pizzas, man," he complains and makes a face. "Makes me a little scared to order anything from them."
Jared grins and swings his feet a little, trying to come off casual and not nervous. There's no reason to be nervous after all, it's just Jensen's friends, and he can't see Jensen hanging out with assholes. Despite Chad's insistence to the contrary, Jensen really is awesome. Of course, Jensen's friends could always decide that Jared isn't good enough for Jensen and put doubts into Jensen's mind, but Jared refuses to worry about that. People usually like him. "What happened to your usual place?"
"They're not delivering this far anymore. I'm out of their vicinity now," Jensen frowns. "This is the only other take out menu I could find. They have pizza with fruit, man, that's just wrong."
Jared makes a face and leans closer to Jensen, peering down at the menu. "Go with something safe. Pepperoni and cheese, nobody can screw that up, right?"
Jensen sighs deeply and shrugs. "We could order Chinese."
"We're watching football. Football, beer and Chinese doesn't work," Jared argues and skims the menu. "I'm ordering."
"If we get poisoned, I'm blaming you."
Jared shrugs and picks up the phone. He's just placed his order when the doorbell rings. Jensen wraps an arm around his waist and kisses Jared's neck. "No reason to be nervous, remember?" he whispers, and Jared nods. He follows Jensen into the hallway and stays back a little as Jensen opens the door, greeting the guy there with a hug.
"So, where's that boyfriend of yours?" Boyfriend. Jared swallows a little and feels himself blush. It's the first time anyone has used that word in reference to him and Jensen, and it makes his stomach clench with nerves and excitement.
Jensen steps aside. "Chris, this is Jared. Jared, Chris."
"Hi," he says and steps forward, offering his hand.
Chris takes his hand, looking him up and down and laughs. "Jesus, you're fucking tall."
"Well, you're…not," Jared replies with a smirk.
Jensen wraps an arm around Jared's waist and chuckles. "You better be nice to him, Chris."
"I know, I know," Chris says with an eye-roll and a grin. "You wanna keep this one. I get it."
He slaps Jared on the shoulder and steps past them into the kitchen. "Now, get me some beer. I need to be sloshed if I have to watch you two be all over each other for a whole night."
"Shut up," Jensen mutters and makes a face. He leans up, brushing his lips against Jared's in a quick kiss. "I didn't judge you for Chad, so you're not allowed to judge me for this one."
Jared laughs softly and shakes his head. "He's cool," he answers and pulls Jensen into another kiss. He might have only known Chris for two minutes, but he finds himself meaning it. Chris seems okay with him, and he knows how much his friends mean to Jensen, so that's really all that matters. He can take some ribbing any day, as long as that means he gets to keep Jensen.
"Everyone gone?" he asks and blinks his eyes open. It's too bright in the room and he throws his arm over his face, shielding it and peering at Jensen.
"Yeah." Jensen runs his hand up Jared's leg and leaves it on Jared's thigh, warm and heavy. "You like them?"
"Yup, was nice. Chris called me your boyfriend," Jared says and hides a yawn behind a hand.
"Let's get you to bed, big guy." Jensen swats him once, and pushes his legs away to get up. He leans over Jared and kisses him, before helping him up. "I can tell him not to do that if it bothers you."
Jared shakes his head, wrapping his arms around Jensen's waist and resting their foreheads together. He blinks, Jensen's face out of focus from being so close. "I like it," he admits. "I like you."
"Was hoping you'd say that."
Jensen's smile is bright and happy, and Jared presses a sloppy kiss to the corner of his mouth. "Yeah?" he asks, his earlier tiredness suddenly replaced with excitement as his heart skips a beat.
"Yeah. Cause I really like you, too, Jay. Whole damn lot."
When Jensen kisses him again, slow and sweet, Jared thinks that maybe Jensen isn't just someone he could fall in love with. Maybe he's steadily been falling for Jensen since he saw him sitting in that dark bar, gorgeous and confident and everything Jared's ever been looking for.