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This had to be one of the worst days of Jensen's life.

He's woken up with a headache that felt like he was trying to push a needle behind his eyes, he could not stop sneezing because of the Goddamn hot, dry air that he'd apparently forgotten how to breathe since moving to Vancouver, and on top of that it was day two of the thriving Atlanta Dragon Con and there were people everywhere.

He'd give anything to be able to roll over and sleep and block out the noise coming from his hotel hallway, but he knew in exactly two minutes Tom (one of his best friends and one of the co-stars of their show) would probably come busting through the door (why did Jensen let him have a key, that was the real question) and if Jensen put up enough of a fight he'd probably start jumping on the bed again.

Sighing, squinting at the one single shaft of blaring light peeking from between his blackout curtains, Jensen threw his duvet and blanket off of the bed and staggered over to the mini-fridge. He'd had to start taking prescription-strength migraine meds for conventions like this, and as the coffee machine screeched to life and started to hiss at him, he ran one of the tiny mouthwash-sized cups under the sink and slammed back two of them.

The placebo effect started to kick in rather nicely just as his coffee was done. Jensen sighed, pouring himself a cup, and sat back down on the bed. The room was a mess – he'd gotten in very late last night thanks to a scheduling error with the airlines, and hadn't really given much thought to organization or order when he'd shucked off his clothes and dug around for pajamas before falling asleep.

Then again, that's the kind of thing people expected from convention guests, right? A certain look – a certain disregard for cleaning staff and the disheveled appearance that both of Jensen's co-stars pulled off a little too well.

Just as the thought crossed his mind, there was a knock at the door – too polite to be Tom but too insistent to be one of the cleaning staff. Jensen grunted, running a hand over his face, and made his way over to the door.

"I just woke up," he said, wincing at how rough his voice sounded. "Gimme a sec."

The knocking subsided, and as Jensen squinted through the door he huffed out a relieved sigh, pulling it open and stepping away. Misha walked in and happily made himself comfortable on Jensen's unmade bed, one heel hooked into the edge of the mattress, arms slung around his shin. He was wearing what Jensen had to assume were old workout pants and an oversized hoodie sporting his college in big black letters across the front, his hair was all over the place and he looked like he hadn't shaved in five days.

The fangirls were going to love that.

Misha grinned at him, pale lips spread wide, his smile gummy and way too cheerful for the hour. "Sleep well, Jen?" he asked, like the bastard he was.

Jensen slammed back his little cup of too-hot coffee and poured himself another. "Gonna be a three-cup kinda day," he replied. It was only a matter of time before Tom joined them in his room and he definitely needed to be caffeinated by that time.

It wasn't that Jensen didn't enjoy Tom's company, or Misha's. He just needed some time to himself every morning before stepping out into the big, wide world, and time was something Tom and Misha seemed determined to steal away from him. He couldn't control himself when he didn't have time to think – when he didn't have time to carefully construct his persona for the day, it tended to shatter into a million pieces by the time he went to bed and left him feeling drained and empty.

Misha gave a low hum of sympathy, pulling Jensen out of his dark thoughts. "Well, if you want, I'll see if Vic wants to get some of the real stuff with me before your first conference. Or I can just sit here and let you brood all over me."

Jensen frowned. He did not brood. Just because he, Tom and Misha starred in possibly the darkest and most man-pain-y of shows currently on T.V. did not mean he was like that in real life.

Although, come to think of it, Tom was a fucking ray of sunshine most days and Misha, while never particularly excitable off stage, did seem serene and chill in that chamomile-zen-garden kind of way most days. Maybe Jensen was the dark cloud in the group.

Was that how Misha saw him?

"I'm just tired," he said, instead of anything else he wanted to say. Misha just hummed again, sharp eyes off to one side, his mouth busy biting on an errant cuticle on his thumb. Jensen had about five minutes before Misha would open the windows and really start pushing him to haul ass and make himself look presentable.

Five minutes turned to one, as Misha hauled himself from the bed and flung the curtains wide open. "Well! I'm going to get Vicki some coffee while you're busy putting your face on. See ya, Jen!"

Jensen glared at him as he left, but as soon as the door closed his expression melted with a tired sigh. He pinched his nose between his thumb and forefinger, took a deep breath, and finished his coffee in one swallow.


The shower went a long way to waking him up, and by the time Tom and Misha came back to drag him out of his room, he felt halfway human. Their panel wasn't for another hour and the hallway was relatively clear since the convention was already well underway for the day. He only had to stop for a couple of selfies with fans as they made their way down to the main floor.

The area was packed, and at once Jensen regretted forgoing Clif's presence as they were met with bright camera flashes and excited squeals. Luckily Tom and Misha were more than happy to take most of the heat, and it left Jensen enough time to gather the rest of his persona into his chest and forge it into the armor he'd need to wear for the day.

Their first panel was Misha, him, Tom and Eric Kripke, the creator of their show. The room wasn't the largest by far but it was packed to the brim with fans, all of whom gave raucous cheers in welcome to them, and Jensen even managed to smile and wave at them as he trudged onto the stage and took his seat between Kripke and Tom.

It was a simple Q&A panel, but the questions came thick and fast. What did the future have for the brothers, explain Sam's motivation for going with Ruby instead of Dean, would the voicemail Dean left ever come to light rather than the trick one Sam had heard, and on and on and on.

Jensen started to attention when Tom nudged him under the table. "Uh," he said, rubbing his hand over his mouth, trying desperately to think back and remember what question the fan had asked. This wasn't fair to them – all they asked for was a few precious moments of his time and he couldn't even zone in enough to answer them.

"C'mon, Jensen," Tom asked, a little too loudly, into the mic, his thousand-watt smile plastered to his face as he looked at Jensen meaningfully, "what do you think the brothers should do now?"

Oh, God bless Tom. "Well." Jensen coughed, trying to plaster on a smile that matched Tom's. "It's gonna be interesting. Dean's relationship with Cas is getting stronger, you know, the trust is there, and with Sam it's rocky right now. I really think the brothers need to stick together to get through Lucifer's rising. The shit's really starting to hit the fan."

"I agree," Tom chimed in, laying a hand on Jensen's shoulder. "With Lucifer bustin' out of the cage, Sam's going to be dealing with all that guilt, but the fact that there are literal Angels perching on the Winchesters' shoulders now, it's gonna be a wild ride. I think it's gonna be important for them to trust each other and communicate more so that they don't end up going down the wrong path."

Murmurs met their answer, and the fan stepped down to be replaced with another. Luckily, the question was for Misha, so Jensen was allowed a small reprieve to try and gather himself and pay attention. Damn it, he should be better than this, but it was so hard to try and keep this persona up for him.

The questions about the brothers always hit him hard. Sometimes it seemed like he was the only person who really knew Dean, what Dean was going through. And damn it if Dean didn't like to talk back to him and weigh on his mind like a bad dream.

The panel ended soon after, and Jensen, Misha and Tom stood to make their way over to the signing table for everyone who wanted autographs to line up and get them. This part was hard too – everyone was so invested in the show, it was amazing, and Jensen knew he was truly one of the lucky ones to have such ardent and caring fans.

The line was dwindling down when Jensen saw the kid. He was tall, lanky, kind of how Jensen imagined Sam would have looked like before they cast Tom. He had hair all splayed out, a light brown, long enough to reach the base of his neck. When he looked up and met Jensen's eye, he smiled shyly and blushed, immediately looking away.

Goddamn, the kid was adorable.

"What's your name?" Jensen asked as the kid approached, clutching a copy of the season five promo in his hands and laying it down for Jensen to sign.

"Jared," the kid – Jared – replied, his grin wide enough to show dimples. "Big fan. I really loved Dean's character progression this season – you know, what with Castiel showing up, him dealing with Hell and coming to grips with things like faith and everything. You killed it."

Jensen couldn't help it – he smiled, and it wasn't even a little forced.

"I appreciate that," he said.

Jared beamed at him again, his eyes a pretty golden green and his fingers twitching nervously as he took the autographed promo back from Jensen, ready to move on.

Maybe today wasn't such a bad day after all.


"You are going to love me."

Jensen looked up, wary as Misha skipped over to him and sat down with a sigh at Jensen's right side, Tom taking his left. They were eating in a booth at the local TGI Friday's, far enough away that most of the patrons couldn't immediately see their booth (although one or two had already come up and asked for selfies), but Jensen still cast a quick glance around to make sure no one had gravitated their way, alerted by Misha and Tom's presence.

"I doubt it," he replied wryly, stabbing his fork into another bite of salad. Dean's character always bloated him so damn bad he had to eat healthily when he could. "But why, oh all-knowing emperor of awesome, would I love you now?"

Tom hissed, feigning hurt as he rubbed at his chest. "Your sarcasm bites to the core, Jen."

Jensen rolled his eyes, but looked over at Misha, who had the same expression he had whenever he was about to suggest they get into the wrong kind of trouble. Ugh, Jensen didn't need this today. TGI's lighting was low enough not to hurt his head but his headache had yet to really go away, and he just wanted to eat in peace and regather himself for the afternoon and evening panels and the events he would have to grit his teeth and bear.

Misha hummed, stealing one of the cherry tomatoes from Jensen's plate and popping it into his mouth, too quick for Jensen's form to stab the back of his hand (he was used to Misha stealing food). "Seriously, Mish, what'd'ya want."

"Well, I happened to notice some sparks flying between you and tall-sunshine-puppy in the autograph line earlier today," Misha says with a wide, knowing grin. Even though he knows they can't see, Jensen hates that he blushes with embarrassment. "Boy was thirstier than a man in the desert. So, when he came to me in the line, I slipped him your room number."

Jensen almost drops his fork. "You what?" he demands.

"Told you he'd freak out," Tom mutters, using the advantage of Jensen's shock to grab an olive.

"You…fuck, Misha, why did you think that'd be a good idea?"

"Because I care about you, Jen," Misha says, his voice suddenly much more serious and flat. Even though he's still smiling, his words are hard; "You're almost a shut-in and you never let yourself have fun anymore. He's a good-looking kid, he worships you, and you deserve to let loose a little bit."

"I don't think our definitions of 'letting loose' are the same," Jensen hisses back, before he glares down at his salad again and spears a piece of lettuce vehemently. "And I don't appreciate you using our fans like some sort of escort service! I can't believe -."

"Hey, if it calms this whole psycho righteous rant you're going on, Dean -," Misha says, waving his hand in Jensen's direction, "the kid asked me for it."

Jensen blinked at Misha, the protests dying on his tongue. "Are you -?" Misha grinned at him, his eyes lighting up with mischief. If anything, Jensen felt his blush darkening. "Oh."

"So have fun," Tom said, clapping him on the back with a similar devilish smile, "don't wear yourself out too much today, and then enjoy yourself in your room later. On us."

"I'm still kinda pissed," Jensen yelled at them as they stood to leave. "Even if I'm not sure why right now."

"If you figure it out, text me," Misha replied without looking back, throwing a mock salute over his shoulder as he and Tom left the restaurant. Jensen turned back to his salad almost numbly, eating without really tasting.

So the kid – Jared – had asked to come up to his room? There were only two types of fans like that in Jensen's experience – groupies and murderers. If Jared was trying to kill him, well, Jensen knew enough self-defense that he'd probably be fine. If Jared was the other kind of fan, though…

Jensen shook himself out of his thoughts. He was being ridiculous. Maybe Jared was the kind of person who just wanted to talk more in-depth about the show, about Dean and his arc or whatever else. Yeah, that made way more sense, Jensen decided with a nod. Dean was way more interesting than he was anyway.

Misha and Tom hadn't told him when Jared planned on showing up, so Jensen was like a caged tiger in his room until almost midnight. Of course, the convention didn't really start to close down until then, so he heard a lot of the guests retiring to their rooms and could hear the noises of individual parties starting up around him. Conventions were wild, he knew, and oftentimes people only really got into trouble at three in the morning when they could actually afford to sleep in. An actor's life consisted of hours so ridiculous that actually trying to sleep at night became, at times, redundant, so most of Jensen's friends and acquaintances where night owls.

At midnight, Jensen huffed a frustrated breath. He needed a drink, and this was getting ridiculous – he wasn't going to wait up all night for a booty call he hadn't even set up and could have been a prank all along, and he certainly wasn't going to be the one waiting. If the kid really wanted to talk to him he could be more punctual and aware of sleep schedules like a normal human being.

Grabbing his jacket, Jensen stalked towards the door and swung it open.

He almost collided with Jared. Even standing Jared had a good two inches of height on him, though he stood hunched over to make himself appear smaller. His hand was raised to knock, the other holding onto a small cooler at his side.

Jared's eyes widened comically, and he cleared his throat. "Oh, uh -."

"I was just about to go get a drink," Jensen blurted out, just as startled. His fingers wrapped more tightly around his jacket.

Jared lifted his small cooler in a sheepish offering. "I have Saint Arnolds."

Jensen raised his eyebrows. "Texan?" he asked. He hadn't been able to pick up any accent in Jared's voice.

Jared grinned. "Born and raised. Lost it when I moved."

Jensen nodded, pursing his lips in acceptance. "Alright, man, you've sold me." He stepped back, giving Jared room to enter, and stepped away from the door to put his jacket back over one of the chairs. The door closed softly behind Jared and he moved to the small table in Jensen's room, settling the cooler down and taking out two of the beers.

Jensen handed him a bottle opener and Jared grinned, opening both and handing one to Jensen. "Cheers," he said, lifting his bottle before they both took a sip. Jensen had been careful to watch the lid (it wouldn't have been the first time a fan tried to dose him) and took a small sip at first, careful to make sure he didn't get too drunk too fast and do something he'd regret. He was a big guy but he hadn't really eaten since the salad at TGIF's and beer could go straight to his head sometimes.

(He might have also already cracked into his minibar. Whatever. Jared wasn't his mother.)


Jensen cleared his throat, realizing they were both just standing awkwardly in the room. There was no way to really be subtle when the biggest piece of furniture in the room was the bed.

"Would you like to have a seat?" he asked, gesturing to the seats around the small table. Jared smiled and nodding, sitting down and sprawling himself in the small chair. Jensen couldn't help smiling at the picture he made, like an overgrown puppy still trying to fit in a small dog bed. He took the other seat, letting himself relax a little as well, another swig of Saint Arnold's going down easily.

Jared's eyes roamed freely over the room, his cheeks turning a little pink the longer the silence stretch on. Jensen will admit this wasn't the first time he'd had a fan come up to his room, but it was the first time he hadn't actually arranged it, and for all he knew Misha and Tom could have set this all up as something ridiculous just to make him look bad. They could be cruel like that.

Eventually he took pity on the kid; "Sorry about the mess," he said, gesturing to his clothes and suitcases scattered everywhere. He really should have cleaned up. "I don't share Dean's obsessive organizational habits."

Jared snorted. "Dude, we've all seen the Impala's trunk. Dean's not organized."

"Sure he is!" Jensen protested playfully. "Everything has a spot. He knows where everything is."

"I don't think you can claim 'He has a system' as a legitimate organizational practice," Jared replied with another grin, taking another gulp of his beer. "But I will say he's…efficient." He paused for a moment. "And I don't mind mess. I have two dogs and live with my sister and her kids so it's kind of…hectic."

"Where is home? You mentioned you moved from Texas," Jensen asked, partly genuinely curious, partly glad for the change of conversation. Talking about Dean always made him feel prickly, like Dean himself was listening and speaking for him – Dean wasn't always the most tactful of people.

God, he sounded like a fucking split personality.

Jared smiled. "I live in Seattle right now. Megan – my sister – moved up there for her kids and her job I guess and I just kinda tagged along. I mean, I love Texas but I wanted to be forty and say I haven't lived my whole life there, you know?"

Jensen nodded – he knew all too well. "Seattle must be so different though," he said. "I mean, we film in Vancouver of course and it's so cold there sometimes I just think about moving back for good when it's all over."

At that, Jared's expression took on a sly, joking smile; "I don't know if the fans will let Supernatural die any time soon."

"I won't complain," Jensen replied quickly. He couldn't make it seem like he didn't enjoy filming the show – which he did, of course he did. God, playing this role one-on-one was exhausting. "If it goes on for a hundred seasons, I'll be there. Dean can fight ghosts with a walking stick made of iron."

At that, Jared let out a full, hearty laugh. His smile was so wide that his dimples deepened, his crazy mop of hair sweeping in front of his face, the back of his hand coming up to his mouth. Jensen grinned, lightened by Jared's laugh. He always enjoyed making people laugh.

"Can I ask you something?" Jared asked once he recovered. Jensen hummed, giving him a nod to continue. "What made you want to do something like Supernatural? I mean, your past stuff has been a little…different."

"Honestly? Because it was different," Jensen replied with a shrug. "Soap operas are fun, but they're just too…intense for me sometimes. I actually went in to read for Sam's part, but I looked at Dean's lines and I guess something about the character just hooked me in. I liked Dean." He shrugged again. "He's funny."

Jared's smile had softened, and he nodded in understanding. "I meant what I said in the line," he said. "You killed it this season. I can't imagine anyone else playing Dean like you do. He's my favorite character and I don't think I'd love him half as much as I do if someone else had played him."

Jensen blushed, biting his lower lip. "Thanks," he said, meaning it. God, why did praise have to make him so uncomfortable? He was just doing his job – but there was no denying that Jared's soft, heartfelt words warmed him from the inside, soothed the prickly feeling in the back of his head. "That really means a lot."

Jared smiled.

This was it. This was the part where Jensen would get up, pull Jared into a kiss, they'd both tumble into the bed and lose themselves for however long it took for them both to fuck and grind until they were both sated.

Jensen wanted that.

He had never denied himself the pleasure of looking at a beautiful body, be it man or woman. He'd been open about his bisexuality since he met Misha, since Misha himself had dabbled and normalized it enough for Jensen that he had been able to feel more comfortable about his sexual desires. Aesthetically Jared was almost exactly his type – tall, sweet, pretty, earnest. He looked like the kind of person who would easily accept anything thrown at him and maybe want to give a little back, too. Jensen had no doubt that if he beefed up a little he'd be able to pick Jensen up easily and -.

Jensen cleared his throat, averting his gaze from Jared's sweet smile, and took another drink of his beer. He wanted it, but he had to be sure – he'd never live it down if this was some kind of prank.

"So," he said slowly, "Misha said you asked for my room number."

Now it was Jared's turn to blush, and he looked down to where the beer bottle was loosely clasped in one hand, thumbnail digging into the label and slowly peeling it off. "Yeah," he said sheepishly. "I mean, this was the first convention I could actually afford an autograph and I wanted to meet you, but the time is so short, I just wanted to tell you how awesome I think you are, I guess – it was worth a shot, you know?"

Jensen chuckled, finishing off his beer with another long swallow. He didn't miss how Jared watched the movement of his throat. "You're a lot braver than me," he said. "If our positions were reversed I wouldn't have had the guts to ask."

Jared grinned. "I figured I'm cute enough that I had a good chance. If we'd been reversed I've have practically begged you to ask for my room number."

Jensen paused, blinking as he took that in. In the silence, Jared's blush darkened.


"No, don't be," Jensen rasped, before he cleared his throat. "That's…I'm flattered."

"I can leave if I've made you uncomfortable."

Jared wanted him. Hell, Jared was practically begging to have him. Jensen bit his lip, considering. Dean would know what to do here – Jensen was painted as this charming hunk, this suave debonair guy in the magazines but that wasn't him. He was shy, he blushed a lot, fuck even his friends' casual banter with him sometimes made him want to curl into a little introverted ball and hide away. Dean was the real Casanova, the one Jared really wanted to see.

What would Dean do?

Stepping into Dean's character was like walking through one door into a different room. Jensen cleared his throat, sitting up a little straighter, and set his empty beer down. "You haven't made me uncomfortable," he said, shooting a smile Jared's way. "Come here."

Jared blinked at him, before another shy smile crossed his face and he set his drink down as well, getting to his feet and circling the small table. Jensen followed suit, once again amazed at just how tall Jared was – he was taller than Tom, even. Christ.

He reached up, tightening his fingers in the mess of Jared's hair at the back of his neck, and pulled him down for a kiss. Jared gasped against his mouth, before he relaxed into it, tilting his head and letting his mouth open for Jensen's tongue. Jensen's grip grew stronger in Jared's hair, twisting until Jared gasped again.

When they pulled back from each other, Jared's mouth was pink, his eyes overtaken by the pupil. He looked ravished already.

Jensen smiled, the expression much like Dean's cocky smirk. "You still game?" he asked, because like Hell was he gonna have this come back to bite him in the ass later.

Jared swallowed audibly, before he nodded, voice a little higher than before; "Yeah, I'm – I'm totally game," he said, nodding again so hard that Jensen was worried he'd accidentally pull out the kid's hair. He let go, then, and nodded towards the bed.

"On your back, Jared."

Jared was quick to obey, sitting down on the edge of the bed and then scooting himself up so that he could brace his shoulders against the pillows. Jensen smiled, praising him with a nod, before he kicked off his shoes and prowled over to the side of the bed.

"You got a preference?" he asked casually. Jensen didn't normally care, but damn if he didn't have the urge to get a look at the kid's cock and see what he was working with. If he was as blessed as his height suggested Jensen would definitely acquiesce to getting that inside him.

Jared licked his lips, his chest heaving as his breathing quickened. "Um, no – not really," he stuttered.

At that, Jensen's smile turned predatory. "Really? No preference at all?" he asked, his smile widening when Jared's blush only darkened in answer. "Sit up," Jensen ordered, the back of his neck prickling when Jared obeyed with a quiet, quick inhale. Jensen reached over and yanked at Jared's shirt, pulling it over his head and tossing it to one corner of the room. Jensen grabbed Jared's chin and pulled him in for another kiss, pleased when Jared was forced to sit at an awkward angle to allow the kiss. He was being still and staying put, for now.

Jensen liked his lovers vocal and responsive. It looked like he was going to get at least one of those in Jared.

"You like taking orders?" he murmured, stroking his hands through Jared's hair and yanking him away from the kiss, but still close enough that he could see the raw, black lust in Jared's eyes, admire the sheen on Jared's lower lip from his mouth as his tongue darted forward to lick his lips. "Or is there an animal behind that sweet smile?"

Jared smiled at him, lopsided and smug. "Both," he said, chin lifting in a challenge, and reached forward to haul Jensen onto the bed. The two of them went rolling and Jensen growled playfully, dragging his hands down and digging his nails into the bare muscle of Jared's shoulders. The kid was nicely built, thick with muscle and definitely strong. Perfect.

"But right now, I wanna suck your dick."

Jensen's breath caught at the words, and he found himself nodding along even as Jared's big, warm hands started pawing their way down his body. "Fuck, kid, you go right on ahead," he said, grinning when Jared rolled his eyes at the name. Jared couldn't be any more than five, six years his junior, but it was still fun to say and suited him, strangely – when they'd first met Jensen had seen the childish, sweet face and an innocence to him that spoke of youth.

That innocence was gone now. Left behind was something raw, unforged, and waiting to be melted and molded to fit Jensen's needs. Jared was looking at him like he would devour Jensen alive and make Jensen beg for it all the while.

Fuck. Jensen hadn't been able to lose himself to something as simple as sex for a long time – too many voices and mirrors warring in his head for him to think straight, let alone focus sometimes. He prided himself on being a dedicated lover and always made sure his partners had a good time, but Jared looked like he was there for Jensen, like Jensen could just let go and Jared would get what he wanted in the process of giving Jensen what he needed.

Jared's fingers tugging insistently on his belt threw Jensen back into the present, and he lifted his hips so that Jared could slide the belt off and pull his loose-fitting jeans down past his hips. As he worked at the button and zipper, Jensen sat up and pulled his shirt off over his head, throwing it to join the growing pile of clothes in the corner.

Jared paused for a moment, dark eyes roving appreciatively over Jensen's naked skin. Jensen couldn't help but smirk, overtaken for a moment by Dean's cockiness when met with an expression of such abject desire. "See something you like?" he teased.

In answer, Jared licked his lips and pounced on Jensen, slamming him back onto the bed and stealing his lips in a greedy, demanding kiss. Jensen groaned, trapping one of Jared's thighs between his own and arching up. He could feel Jared's erection grinding through jeans against his hip and Christ, the kid felt huge against him.

"You're so fucking hot," Jared gasped between kisses, one hand cupping Jensen's throat, thumb sitting at the hollow of his throat. There was no pressure but the heat of the promising touch there made Jensen groan softly, eyes closed as he felt Jared's other hand return to where his cock was trapped in his jeans, aching and hard.

"Oh, fuck." At once Jensen found his mouth free, but that realization was quickly followed by the feeling of Jared kneeling between his legs and freeing his cock, sucking the head into his warm, wet mouth in one motion. Jensen's hands flew to Jared's hair, holding tight as Jared sucked at the head of his cock – this teasing, light pressure that was going to drive Jensen insane if Jared didn't move. "Fuck, Jared, God -."

Jared hummed around the head of his cock, a ring of fingers meeting his lips and slowly stroking down Jensen's cock as he sucked. Jensen trembled under him, his thighs unable to spread out more because of the jeans still keeping his legs closed, and Jared's free hand a warm weight on his exposed hip keeping him from bucking up into the kid's mouth.

Abruptly Jared pulled off, humming softly at the taste of Jensen's precome spreading out over his tongue. "You got any lube here?"

Jensen nodded, sitting up with a hiss. Jared hadn't let go with his fingers, still stroking up and down his cock languidly slow. This kid was a fucking tease. "You gonna use this on me or you?" he asked, reaching over the bedside table and pulling out a small lube bottle, half-empty (Jensen got lonely on the roads, so sue him) and handing it over to Jared.

Jared paused for a moment, considering it as he took the offered bottle. "Do you have a preference?" he asked, parroting Jensen's question back at him.

Jensen swallowed. Truthfully he didn't – not most of the time. But with Jared, well, there was something about him. Something that told Jensen that he could asked to be put on his hands and knees and Jared would fuck him like a whore, or that he could ask for Jared to ride him and Jared would willingly give him a show he'd remember for the rest of his life.

But he wanted to lose himself. And what better way to do that than to cover himself in this tall, muscular almost-stranger? Let Jared carve a space inside of Jensen for himself and fill it to bursting before he left?

What would someone expect of him – what would a fan like Jared expect? Did he look at Dean and therefore Jensen and expect someone who would take charge, make people fall in line, control the bedroom and smooth-talk his way through the best sex of their life? Did they know that Jensen wasn't Dean? Did they know, from watching him, from analyzing him, that he wasn't everything they said he would be? Should be?

Jared was still staring at him, waiting for an answer. "I…have to sit down a lot tomorrow," he hedged.

Jared grinned at him. "So do I. That's not an answer."

Jensen blushed. He wanted to let go. He wanted to be consumed and wiped clean. "C'mon, Jay," he said, decided, and nudged Jared's shoulder playfully, "show me what homegrown feels like."

Jared nodded, and set the bottle down so that he could move back and strip Jensen of his jeans and underwear, leaving him completely bare on the bed. Jensen was still in pretty good shape from all the fight scenes and he'd had to stay that way for the upcoming season, so he wasn't too shy about his body right now. Especially with the way Jared was looking at him – that same ravenous, wanton way a starving man might eye a steak.

Straightened up, Jensen got a clear view of Jared's chest – the defined pecs, the start of a six-pack just beginning to form, the sharp v-shape of his hips until his skin became hidden by the hem of his jeans. Jensen could see the halo of lighter skin there, the thin trail of dark hair leading down. His mouth watered.

"Get over here," he commanded, the order falling flat with how raspy his voice came out.

Jared prowled over him, sleek as a jungle cat, and Jensen spread his legs willingly as Jared pulled him into another kiss. His hand found that spot on Jensen's throat again, cupping his neck and helping him to lean up into the kiss, and Jensen shivered at just how much of Jared's warm hand covered his neck. Jensen wasn't exactly kinky, but the threat was enough to get his heart racing, his cock twitching against his stomach.

Jared knelt between his thighs, knees digging under them to help Jensen spread out more. Jensen heard the lube bottle get grabbed, heard it get snapped open, and Jared pulled back, sitting on his heels so that he could pay attention and watch as he stretched Jensen open.

Jensen knew Jared's hands were huge – his fingers were long but large, they'd feel so good inside of him. Jensen had no doubt Jared could probably finger him until he was a mess. He kind of hoped Jared would – wring him dry and reduce him to nothing but slurred, begging words until Jared got his cock in him.

Jensen sighed, head falling back against the pillow as Jared slid his first wet finger inside. The intrusion was faster than Jensen would have done, but the burn felt nice all the same – it soothed the prickling sensation at the back of his head as he allowed himself to close his eyes and revel in the sensations.

"You like that?" Jared asked – completely ridiculous in Jensen's opinion, his cock was openly spurting precome now, drying and itchy on his smooth abdomen, and Jensen could feel his thighs twitching with every upward sweep of Jared's finger, anticipating, reacting.

Still, Jensen nodded, another breathless gasp escaping him as Jared pulled his finger out to the pad, circling around Jensen's tight rim to relax him enough for a second finger. "Christ, Jared, how are you doing -?" His question was caught as Jared sank another finger into him, immediately curling them up and dragging just so, whisper-soft against Jensen's prostate.

Jared chuckled, the sound forcing Jensen to open his eyes. "I like to be memorable," he said in answer with a one shouldered shrug. Jensen swallowed hard; pawing weakly at Jared's other arm until he could grab hold.

He hauled Jared forward, forcing Jared to kneel over him and plant his free hand next to Jensen's head. Jensen leaned up for another kiss, nipping lightly at Jared's lower lip until Jared opened his mouth, let their kiss turn dirty and deep like Jensen wanted.

Jared moaned when Jensen's hands crept down his chest, fingers of one hand finding a nipple and circling it slowly. With his other hand, Jensen could feel the muscles in Jared's abdomen twitch at the touch, and he smiled when he realized how sensitive Jared's nipples must be.

Jared sank a third finger into Jensen with what felt like vengeance, and Jensen let out a high, breathy sound as his prostate was rubbed mercilessly. "Jared," he gasped, clutching at Jared's shoulder, nails digging in, his other hand still teasing and pinching Jared's nipple. Jared was getting rougher, his kisses lost their finesse and gentleness – slowly, Jensen was teasing the animal he knew Jared could be out from under his skin, rearing up behind his dark, lustful eyes.

"Jared," he moaned again, desperate, loud, "for God's sake, fuck me."

Jared let out a frustrated huff, before pulling his fingers out and wiping them on his jeans. Jensen bit his lip when Jared reached into his back pocket, and laughed when the hand returned holding a shiny foil wrapper.

"That's confidence," he said, nodding to the condom.

Jared blushed, but he was grinning. "More like wishful thinking," he said. He set the wrapper down and climbed off the bed to undo and pull off his jeans, and Jensen found himself sitting up, wanting to see just what exactly he'd be taking tonight.

His mouth went dry when Jared shucked his jeans off. Jared was -.

Well, Jensen would just say he held up to the Texan mantra.

Jared looked up, caught him staring, and bit his lower lip. He wrapped a hand around his cock and stroked, once, his erection a pretty red flush and shining at the tip with precome. "Still game?" he asked, and Jensen was really getting tired of having his own questions parroted back at him.

"Fuck yeah," he said, though his voice was weak. God, he wouldn't be able to walk straight tomorrow. His body shivered at the idea and his cock twitched hard enough to make him hiss. Jared grabbed the condom wrapper, tearing it open and rolling the condom down his cock in a careful, slow motion. It wouldn't feel as good for Jared with it on, but Jensen appreciated the fact that Jared had done it without them having to actually talk about it. It was hard to make the 'safe sex' talk sexy.

Jared crawled back onto the bed, the tip of his cock dragging up Jensen's thigh now that it was free. "How do you want me?" Jared asked.

And, wow, that was nice, too – Jared asking like that. The question flooded Jensen's mind with ideas. He could shove Jared down onto his back, ride him nice and slow until Jared was gritting his teeth and leaving nail marks on Jensen's thighs to stop himself thrusting up and just taking what he wanted. He could give Jared what he wanted – get onto his hands and knees and let Jared pound into him with all that weight and muscle behind it. He could let Jared fuck him just like this, have Jared covering him with that nice, warm weight of his hand on his throat and claw at his back until Jared couldn't move without being reminded of what they'd done.

He pushed at Jared's shoulders until he had enough room to roll onto his stomach, keeping his legs nicely spread and arching his ass up into the air. It wasn't the most dignified of positions, but it was one of Jensen's favorites when he was taking it – to feel his top covering him, fucking into him with nowhere to escape to, Jensen loved the feeling of being trapped, reduced to nothing under his top.

Jared sucked in a shaky breath, and Jensen hummed when he felt Jared's lips brushing against his shoulder.

"I, um -." Jared cleared his throat and Jensen turned his head so he could see Jared's face. "Any, like, rules I should know about beforehand?" Jensen frowned in confusion. "Like…marks? And stuff?"

Oh. "Um, not my neck – I don't need anyone seeing anything and having a field day." He felt Jared's hair brush against his back as he nodded his understanding. "Other than that you're fine. I, um, kinda like marks, so."

He was glad he could hide his blush in the pillow, but he felt a giddy warmth at feeling Jared shudder against him, cock twitching where he was rubbing against the small of his back. "Okay," Jared rasped, voice low and thick. "Okay."

Jensen sucked in a breath, doing his best to relax as he felt Jared lean back, guiding the head of his cock to push against Jensen's stretched ass. It was difficult at first (Jensen hadn't done this for a while), but finally the first ring of muscle gave way and Jared was able to slide in slowly – so slowly, God, the kid had restraint Jensen would be envious of.

He sighed, closing his eyes and arching his ass up to meet Jared's first, slow thrust, until he felt the sharp press of Jared's hipbones against the meat of his ass. Jared felt huge inside of him, dull through the condom but no less warm. Jared was shaking finely with restraint, the hand by Jensen's head tightening in the sheets to the point where his knuckles turned white, his other hand landing on Jensen's hip and gripping just as tightly.

"Mm, you can move, Jay," Jensen said quietly, eyelids fluttering as Jared let out a loud breath, pulling back out, sliding back in. Each thrust came more easily, turning the burn into gentle heat that spread up Jensen's spine and dipped low in his belly. "Fuck, yeah, just like that."

Jared moaned, and Jensen smiled as he felt more of Jared's weight fall against his back. Jared's mouth opened wide on Jensen's shoulders, sucking one large, dark mark after the other. The tingling pain shot straight down Jensen's spine, only adding to the fire slowly building as Jared's long, grinding thrusts started to pick up speed.

"Fuck, your ass is so tight," Jared growled, collapsing onto his elbows and forcing Jensen to lay flat against the bed – a change which Jensen definitely did not mind. It let his cock rub against the soft sheets and forced Jared's cock deeper inside of him. He knew all of that weight and strength would make it feel amazing.

One of Jared's arms wrapped around him, loose around his neck and Jensen grabbed hold of Jared's wrist for leverage as he tried his best to work his hips back, groaning low every time the motion made Jared's cock brush against his prostate. He knew he was being loud, and tilted his head to one side to bite into the meat of Jared's bicep at one particularly rough thrust.

"Fuck," Jared growled, answering Jensen's bite with one of his own, just shy of Jensen's spine. God, it felt amazing – covered and consumed by this man, his huge cock pounding into Jensen's ass and making him see stars. "Fuck, Jensen, the sounds you make – gonna have those in my head forever."

Jensen hadn't even realized he was making noises, but he couldn't deny that every thrust of Jared's hips made him want to moan, to work his hips back and squeeze tight around Jared's cock. Somehow nothing seemed to exist except making sure that this was the best fuck of both of their lives.

Jensen wanted Jared to remember him just as much as Jensen would remember Jared.

Jared's other hand was still on Jensen's hip, working him back, holding him down with a bruising-tight grip. Jensen was going to be sore, his thighs were going to ache, and he wouldn't be able to walk, let alone sit comfortably tomorrow. His shoulders would burn and his back would sting and he couldn't wait.

"Jared," he growled, turning his head. Jared met him in a kiss, sloppy and off-center and too much teeth. Jensen shivered at the ghost of Jared's teeth running over his neck, his jaw, down to the curve of his shoulder. Too close to the t-shirt line, but damn it all Jensen wouldn't protest if Jared chose to leave a mark there, too.

He didn't. Jared respected the rules, instead sucking another mark onto the back of Jensen's shoulder as his free hand deepened the bruises on his hip.

"'m close," Jared warned, his thrusts stuttering just briefly as Jensen moaned. "When I'm done I'm gonna roll you over, finger your fucked-out ass while I suck your dick. You want that?"

Christ. God bless whoever taught this kid to dirty talk. Jensen trembled, his breaths gasping, nails biting into Jared's wrist as he nodded. He suddenly wanted, more than anything, to hear how Jared sounded when he came inside Jensen – he could imagine the condom not being in the way, how it would leak back out of him when Jared was done. Maybe Jared would lick him clean – he seemed kinky enough to like that sort of thing.


Jared growled, suddenly, his arm tightening around Jensen's neck, hand moving to flatten over Jensen's throat. Jared lifted onto his toes, shoving his cock deep into Jensen in a series of rough, quick thrusts. The shock of cold air between them every time Jared lifted himself off sent shivers racing along Jensen's skin, raising goosebumps – the return of Jared's hot flesh was like a brand as he finally stilled, sunk as deep into Jensen's ass as he could get, and shuddered as he came. Jensen felt in his tender rim as Jared's cock thickened, and he imagined he could feel Jared's release inside the condom – imagined it was painting him instead, filling him up in an undeniable reminder for the night.

Jared pulled out soon after and Jensen gasped as air returned down his sore throat. He heard Jared tying and tossing the condom before he was rolled onto his back, Jared kneeling between his legs again.

Jared looked completely ruined, like he had sprinted up to the feet of God and thrown himself there, awaiting his reward – he looked at Jensen like he still had something to gain and wasn't just being decent and making sure Jensen got off, too.

Jensen licked his lips, still breathing hard, as Jared leaned down and sucked Jensen's cock back into his mouth.

Jensen moaned, arching his back up. The bruises of Jared's mouth stung against the sheets, his thighs and stomach ached from holding position so long and moving with Jared's powerful thrusts, but he'd never felt more revived, sparked awake under Jared's touch as the younger man sucked him. Jared's fingers idly circled Jensen's hole, but withdrew when Jensen hissed, tensing at the sudden, sharp flare of pain.

"Sorry," he gasped as Jared pulled off, worry clouding his lust-black eyes. "Sore."

And because Jared was a decent person, he didn't even smirk at the obvious ego-stroke that was. Instead, he sucked Jensen back into his mouth, working his lips down in a tight ring as his fingers tripped away from Jensen's sore hole and instead gently cupped his balls, rolling them around in his hand and gently stroking the sensitive skin just behind them.

"F-fuck," Jensen stuttered, his sore ass clenching as he arched his back, fingers combing through Jared's hair to stop himself fisting tight and pulling. Jared hadn't exactly said he could, or that he liked it, and Jensen was trying to be a gentleman about it. "Shit, Jay, gonna -."

Jared's fingers worked Jensen's cock as he came, and Jared pulled back so that Jensen's come spurted, thick and almost clear, between his fingers. Jensen writhed and gasped through it, every burning part of him twitching as though Jared was still touching him, still laying bites with that clever mouth or leaving bruises with his strong fingers.

Jared let him go when Jensen whined, and Jensen didn't even care enough to be embarrassed by the sound. He pulled Jared up by his hair and kissed him again, feverish and rough and shivered at the feeling of Jared smearing his come-sticky hand across Jensen's throat again.

When Jared pulled away, they both stared at each other for a long moment, breathing hard, pupils wide and mouths red.

Then, Jared licked his lips, a small smile twitching up the corners of his mouth. "Memorable?"

Jensen nodded. "Definitely memorable."


Jensen woke up the next day with a sore ass, thighs that screamed at him whenever he tried to move, a throbbing neck and aching shoulders, and feeling better than he had in a while.

Jared had left soon after they'd cleaned up – Jensen had offered him use of the shower, which Jared politely declined, claiming he'd shower in his room. Even though Jensen knew few people would make the connection or the assumption, a small and prideful part of him was pleased at the fact that anyone who looked at Jared as he made that journey would know he'd just been thoroughly fucked, and that Jensen had done that to him.

Jensen had showered when Jared left and peeled back the top sheet so that he could sleep away from the wet spot. Even with such a short amount of time to sleep, when he woke he felt well-rested and rejuvenated. Not even Misha's and Tom's hovering and prying questions could get him down.

Misha did ask about the fact that Jensen seemed stiffer this morning, like he wasn't walking quite right. Jensen just blushed.


The rest of the convention passed in a whirl. Although Jensen had felt amazing when he'd woken up, he knew it couldn't last forever. He was still at a convention, surrounded by people, but now it felt like the bite marks from Jared's mouth were glowing under his shirt. He was convinced if he moved too fast or stretched too high, his shirt would ride up and expose and dark, finger-shaped bruises on his hip. He knew he was speaking lower today, raspier, his throat still protesting the feeling of Jared's hand and forearm pressing so warmly against it.

Maybe it was in his head. A lot of stuff was in his head nowadays. Jensen had been an actor for a long time, used to a certain kind of spotlight, and it was all too easy to get swept up in the drama and expectation of it all. People expected him to have groupies – people expected him to be single and an open slate for them to thrust their urges and fantasies upon.

People expected him to be cocky and brash. People expected him to be sincere and polite. They wanted him tanner, leaner, thicker, faster, smile more, be more serious, diet, exercise, eat three cheeseburgers in one sitting. They expected him to laugh at their jokes and never speak out of place and always be on time and always keep everyone waiting.

It was exhausting, keeping so many personas. Jensen had no idea how Misha and Tom handled them all. Something must be wrong with him – God, how many times had he had that thought? And through it all was Dean – Dean, needling at the back of his head like a static shock, ready to strike at him at a moment's notice.

Jensen couldn't help thinking of Jared, all throughout the day. Of course, there was very tangible proof on his body to serve as reminders when all else failed, but even then he found his mind wandering. Had he lived up to Jared's expectations? The kid had certainly seemed taken with him, enamored from the start. Jensen just hoped that, whatever weird rock-star fantasy Jared had played out in his head, he at least met those expectations.

It was the most horrible feeling in the world, letting someone down.

Part of him couldn't help wonder what would have happened if Jensen hadn't sent him away. Would they have talked more? What would they have even talked about – football? Cars? The show? What was even in Jensen's life that was worth talking about that wasn't Dean or his costars? Despite what magazines so desperately tried to assert, Jensen didn't think he was all that interesting. He liked playing video games, toying with his guitar, watching marathons of ridiculous two-star movies on Netflix in his trailer and drinking beers with Misha and Tom and whoever happened to be on Tom's arm at the time. He was a simple guy. The fact that he had a modicum of fame didn't change that.

What would they have talked about? Or would they simply have waited to fuck again – a long night full of sweaty bodies and bared teeth and half-gasped, whispered professions of arousal. Jensen could remember in vivid detail how Jared had sounded when he'd been fucking Jensen to within an inch of his life. He was sure it would star in his jerk-off fantasies for years.

"Jen, you okay?"

Jensen snapped out of his thoughts as Misha nudged him, frowning in concern. He shook himself of his thoughts and sighed, sipping his latte. It was cold now.

"Fine," he said.

Misha's eyes were all-seeing. Jensen knew Misha knew when he was full of crap. Still, he pursed his lips and nodded. "Alright. Then come on. Kripke wants to see us in his room."


Something was up with Misha and Tom. Like they knew something he didn't.

Jensen was at a loss. He knew, roughly, from the writers' room what kind of things to expect this season – the details that would help him carry Dean's character from episode to episode. But there was something else going on, something that had Misha buzzing like a bee and Tom sending smirks Jensen's way whenever they thought he wasn't looking.

At first Jensen half expected something like Castiel to become Dean's love interest – the two of them had chemistry, of course, and there were worse people to have to make out with on camera. He wouldn't put it past Kripke to throw a love interest at Dean this late in the game, even though if there was anything Dean knew from soap operas, it was that longer, slow-burn relationships garnered a much better reaction that throw-ins that lasted, like, two episodes.

Kripke was being vague as Hell and no one else on the crew seemed to know. There were too many guest stars and one-shot appearances for Jensen to really be sure, anyway, whenever he tried to scan through the new faces in the middle of filming to decipher who might be playing Dean's love interest, or what Misha and Tom might be so fucking smugly excited over.

Hell, Dean had to have a say in this kind of thing, too. Since they'd started filming Dean was in his head all the time now, hanging around like a faint scent that wasn't exactly unpleasant but reminded Jensen of darker times. He wanted Dean to be happy – he wanted them both to be happy, but Dean was a lot easier to fix than he was.

It was a maddening mystery, until Jensen walked into the cafeteria cart and spotted Misha and Tom at a small, four-person table. His back was turned, but Jensen saw the mop of wild, dark brown hair, and he froze, a sudden, undeniable knowledge clenching in his gut and making it turn to ice.

Misha spotted him first (the little shit) and grinned, motioning him over. "Jensen," he purred, practically vibrating with glee, "I believe you know Jared. He just got signed on to be in the season."

Jensen had no idea how to handle this situation. What was expected of him? Misha and Tom knew exactly who this kid was – they knew exactly what he and Jared had done. Did Kripke? How the fuck did Jared even get a part on Supernatural anyway?

Jared turned as Jensen walked over, looking just as much a deer in the headlights as Jensen felt. "Uh, hi," he said awkwardly, clearing his throat. Poor kid's face was as red as a tomato. "Nice to, uh, see you again."

Luckily, with Dean at the back of his mind at all times, it was easy for Jensen to slide into the role again. Dean wouldn't be weird about seeing an ex, especially not until he knew more about the situation. "Likewise," Jensen said, then cleared his throat and took a seat. "Congrats on getting signed, man. Who will you be playing?"

Jensen could feel Misha's delight rolling off of the man in waves. It was a wonder he and Tom managed to keep silent at all.

"Um, well, I'm playing Lucifer's first vessel – this guy named Nick," Jared said, smiling down at his Styrofoam cup, nervously picking at the edge. "Then Lucifer himself, I guess."

In the back of his mind, Dean growled with rage. Lucifer. A threat to Sammy. Luckily Jensen managed to take over in time before he could react the way Dean wanted to; "Wow, you must be really good. Kripke was goin' nuts trying to find a good fit for Lucifer."

That wasn't entirely untrue, either. Matt Cohen had absolutely killed it as a young John Winchester and, if the writers' room was to be believed, he'd come back to play Michael as well. They'd need someone to be able to equal him when it came to depicting the Archangels. Speight was already hanging around too for his upcoming reveal. For Jared to be thrown in like that among those guys, he had to be good.

Jared beamed at him, bright and dimpled and adorable. "I'm really looking forward to it. It's gonna be so awesome working with you guys."


It was not awesome working with Jared.

Jensen was, of course, the only one who shared this point of view. Working with Jared was difficult. The kid had more energy than even Misha in the mornings, he ate candy like it was going out of style and still managed to pack on muscle and stay in amazing shape (not that Jensen was looking, of course). He was easygoing and friendly and of course he gave such an amazing performance as Nick when losing his family that even Jensen found himself having to swallow back his emotions.

Working with Jared was distracting.

It was like Jensen could still smell Jared on his skin whenever they were in too close proximity to each other. Dean and Nick hadn't even crossed paths and yet Jensen was hyperaware of Jared, felt Jared crawling along his skin, thoughts of that warm hand wrapped around his throat driving him to distraction. He wasn't on his game, too lost in the memory of Jared's huge bulk fucking him to get into Dean's character.

In the third episode, all four of them had to be on set at any one time. There were scenes with Jared talking to Tom as Sam and scenes where Misha and Jensen had to be together as well. For Dean, the need to watch over his baby brother forced Jensen to watch the scenes Jared filmed. Jensen, well, he just wanted to see what Jared's acting was like.

The kid was good. Nick as the vessel and then as Lucifer were two completely different people. Lucifer was…Lucifer was so, so different than Jensen had imagined him being. Maybe that was because Jared was playing him, maybe not – but Lucifer was…gentle. Seductive. Jared played the Devil like a lover and Jensen found himself unnaturally drawn to the display.

Because he knew what those hands felt like, how it felt when those arms wrapped around him from behind. He remembered the light touches, the soft words, and the darkness in Jared's eyes. Everything about Kripke's envisioning of the Angels was Freudian at best – violating, penetrating things that were domineering and vicious and overtook one's entire self.

Chained to a comet.


"So, you're kind of the brooding, silent one of the group, aren't you?"

Jensen rolled his eyes, tipping back another shot with a hiss. "Don't mind Jensen," Misha supplied, throwing an arm around Jensen's shoulders from his other side and grinning at Jared. "He's just a grumpy old man."

"You're older than me," Jensen rumbled, shrugging Misha's hold off.

Jared pursed his lips, before he set his beer down with a sigh. "M'gonna go take a leak."

Misha waited until he was gone before turning to Jensen with an unimpressed look. "What?" Jensen demanded.

"What's gotten into you?" Misha asked, doing his best impression of Tom's puppy dog face. Still, even with the downward tilt of his mouth, his voice was hard; "You're treating the poor kid like he's got a disease or something. You're not normally like this."

"Fuck's sake, Mish." Jensen groaned, rubbing his hands over his eyes. "I slept with him, okay?"

Tom chuckled into his beer. "Yeah. We know. So?"

"So," Jensen hissed, "you constantly inviting him out to drink with us is not helping!"

Tom laughed again. "What, scared you're gonna have one too many and jump his bones again?"

"You need a constant bedmate, Jensen," Misha said with the kind of sage wisdom slightly-too-tipsy people have. "It put you in a much better mood. Trust us."

"I really don't see what the problem is," Tom agreed. "He liked you, you like him. What's the issue? At most if it goes south you only have to wait 'til the end of the year. Lucifer's not gonna last more than a season."

Jensen blinked. Jared liked him?

Of course Jared liked him. He idolized Dean. He didn't like Jensen – Jensen was a decent fuck and half-decent company. Dean was the interesting one.

Jensen didn't have time to answer, because Jared was coming back and sliding into place on Jensen's other side in their half-moon table. Misha and Tom had claimed the other side with no room for argument, which left Jensen and Jared squished uncomfortably together while looking like they were trying to stay as far apart away from each other as possible.

Jensen cleared his throat and sipped at his beer. He needed stronger shit than this.

Tom and Misha effortlessly picked up the conversation in his mental absence, and though he could feel their eyes raking over him every now and again, no one prodded him to join in, and he was left alone with his thoughts.

Jared liked him. No, Jared had to like the idea of him – or Dean, maybe. That's what Jensen was to most of the fans anyway, right?

No, that was unfair to them. They didn't just see him as something to mold into their fantasies. Jared hadn't done that – Jared had asked him about Texas, about his retirement. If Jensen had let him, Jared probably would have talked to him about anything and everything. It wasn't fair for Jensen to shut him off when he didn't even know the kid – that was just as bad as assuming things about what Jared was thinking.

Ugh, his head hurt.

He just wanted to know what he needed to be to make everyone happy.

"Well, I'm beat," Tom announced some indeterminate amount of time later. Jensen blinked, raising his head, and Tom scooted out of the booth, pulling Misha along. "C'mon, lightweight, let's get you home. Vicki won't be happy if I tell her I just left you here with these two."

Misha rolled his eyes but acquiesced, giving Jared and Jensen a too-solemn nod. "Gentlemen," he said, before following doggedly behind Tom as they made their way out of the bar.

Jared cleared his throat, looking uncomfortable in the silence between him and Jensen. "I can leave, if you want," he suggested, but it was half-hearted at best. He didn't even move away from Jensen in the booth, and Jensen certainly wasn't moving over to put more distance between them.

He didn't know what Jared wanted.

What did Dean want?

What did Jensen want?

"I don't want you to leave," he blurted out, wincing at how awkward it sounded. Jared's eyes flashed to him, wide, maybe even hopeful, but Jensen wasn't going to bet on it. "I'm sorry," he added, sighing and rubbing his hand over his face. "I'm shitty company most days. I don't know how Misha and Tom put up with it."

Jared seemed to relax a little, offering a small shrug. "It's cool, man. I know I make you uncomfortable."

Jensen huffed, saying nothing.

"I want you to know I didn't, like, expect anything," Jared said, patting his hands awkwardly against the table. Jensen swallowed, imagined feeling the pressure of them against his neck again, how it felt to have those fingers bruising his skin. "I didn't think I was gonna come up here and magically get a part and sweep you up into my arms or any bullshit like that, really."

Jensen raised an eyebrow. "Really?" he asked, unsure if he was really disbelieving. Seemed like that's what a lot of people wanted out of him.

"Really," Jared said, expression so open and sincere Jensen couldn't help but believe him. "I mean, I was living in Seattle, and when I got back from the convention my buddy was visiting Megan – my sister, I don't know if I told you her name – and he mentioned they had casting calls for parts up here – and, well, Megs knows how much I love the show, so she suggested I give it a shot." Jared shrugged again. "I thought it was worth a shot, you know? Like, I love the show – I've said that, sorry." He cleared his throat, smiling sheepishly. "And I thought maybe I'd get to see you in passing again, but I never thought you'd, like, want more. Really. I'm not delusional."

Jensen's mouth was dry – he took a long, long drink of his beer, partly to wet his mouth and partly to give him time to process everything Jared had just said.

He gasped when he set the glass down, almost empty. "I'm not…" He hesitated, feeling the words on his tongue before continuing; "I'm not what people think I am, Jared."

Jared frowned at him.

"I mean…I mean I'm not…like that, normally." Jensen winced. God, he was so fucking inarticulate. Then again, Dean wasn't much better in this department. "Sometimes I can't pull myself out of this headspace, where it feels like I'm Dean all the time, and then magazines keep saying I’m this smooth homegrown boy who's a bigshot now and I'm not that, either. I'm not smooth; I'm not all that interesting. I'm just a guy." He gestured to himself, shaking his head. "And I don't know what people expect of me all the time and honestly it stresses me the fuck out. I'm not good around people all the time and I sometimes I feel like I'm breaking apart trying to be all these different things for all these different people and I don't know what you want from me."

He blew out a breath, feeling empty and sinking after that huge confession. Fuck, he shouldn't have had that much to drink – something about Jared made him want to open up, spread himself, bare his soul knowing that Jared might actually be able to handle the big boiling pot of crazy that was Jensen Ackles.

Jared looked at him for a long moment, his eyes dark and hidden under his hair. Jensen felt like he was being assessed, measured and prized like a horse at a fair.

Then, Jared reached over, and gently settled his hand over Jensen's. "I don't expect you to be anything," he said softly. "Look, I get it. I've only been Nick for like two weeks and it weighs on me sometimes – I can't imagine being Dean for five years and coming through it without some baggage."

Jensen scoffed, pulling his hand away, but Jared tightened his grip.

"I don't expect anything of you Jensen, I mean that when I said it," Jared said, fierce and low. "But, if you must know, what I want is to be your friend, and maybe, if you decide that's what you want, something more than that."

What does Dean want?

What does Jensen want?

Jensen licked his lips, his eyes straying to Jared's mouth, then back up to meet his gaze. He didn't try to pull his hand away again. "Okay," he said softly, swallowing hard.

Jared blinked at him. His hand tightened on Jensen's. "Okay?"

Jensen managed a small, happy smile. "Yeah. I just hope you know what you're in for."

Jared grinned at him, bright as the sun.


After filming the episode where Dean (unsuccessfully) shoots Lucifer in the face, Jared and Jensen sat on the stairs outside Jensen's trailer door. The crew was mostly gone; just a few stragglers making sure the last few props were put back in their proper places. There hadn't been a soul to pass by them in over twenty minutes.

"I'm glad you decided to audition," Jensen said after a moment, leaning back against his trailer door with a soft sigh. Jared turned to smile at him. He was sitting on the step below, one of Jensen's legs braced behind him, so he used Jensen's thigh as a backrest to lean against, looking up at the other man.

It had been a slow, easy thing once Jensen stopped fighting it. Once he let Jared's laughter warm him instead of aggravate him, and let Misha's jokes slide and Tom's smirks go unnoticed. Jared made things easier, lighter – he knew when Jensen was having a heavy day and greeted him with fresh salad or beer or even, on indulgent days, cupcakes from the bakery close to the set. He was always ready to fill the silence with animated conversations about his dogs or his nieces and nephews, or Skype with Megan and her husband when Jensen wasn't in the mood to chat, or spend time with Misha and Tom when Jensen wanted to be left alone.

Jensen had dark days. He had times where he woke up nervous and edgy and had to take his special headache medicine and wasn't worth shit until his third cup of coffee. That, Jensen thought, would likely never change. Sometimes he would just be the raincloud to Jared's bright, sunny day.

That was okay.

"I'm glad I did, too," Jared said, reaching up and taking Jensen's hand in his. He looked so sweet, face whited out by one of the tall street lights illuminating the line of trailers, his hair long and soft around his face, covering his neck.

Jensen leaned down, smiling when Jared arched up, eager for their kiss.

It was a slow kiss, natural and easy. It felt right and unlike anything Jensen had felt since he started on this show. Jared kissed him so sweetly, soft, even though Jensen knew what kind of ravenous man he could become in bed.

When they parted, Jensen licked his lips, leaning his forehead against Jared's. "You ready to go to bed?" he asked, purposely making his voice lower, suggestive.

Jared shivered, bit his lip, and smirked. "Are you ready?" he asked.

"That's not an answer," Jensen shot back, proud when Jared laughed.

"Yeah," he said softly, squeezing Jensen's hand. "Yeah, Jen, I am."