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Nontraditional Paths to Lawyering

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“You’re Ross Jay!” Jared blurted. Then clapped a hand over his mouth, because that came out about forty decibels too loud and also revealed more than he wanted the other PDs to know about his porn preferences.

Ackles—Jensen R. Ackles, according to the business card Jared had in his hand, and if R. didn’t stand for Ross then Jared would eat it—reddened so much he looked sunburnt. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Holy fucking shit. The ADA on the case was a porn star. Had been a porn star. Jared kept staring at Ross’s—Ackles’—mouth. He’d watched that lush mouth suck down dicks night after night, imagining it on his own. How was he going to argue the suppression motion with a hard-on?

Ackles grabbed him by the arm and yanked him out into the hallway. This wasn’t too unusual, except that it was generally the defense attorneys trying to get face time with the ADAs. Face time, Jared thought, and had to close his eyes.

“Are you going to make a scene?” Ackles demanded, shoving Jared back against the wall and getting aggressively close, even though Jared had at least four inches on him.

Think, brain, think! “Um, not more than this?” Jared suggested. “Oh, shit,” he realized, “were you underage? Am I going to jail?”

"Shut up!” Ackles hissed, nearly frantic. “I was eighteen! Shut up!"

After another vicious stare, Ackles abandoned him and went back into the courtroom. Dimly, Jared heard him request a continuance on his cases due to an unexpected emergency. The judge, showing the usual deference to the DA’s office—if Jared had tried the same thing he would’ve gotten a lecture on how his clients didn’t expect to stay in jail while their lawyer tried to get his act together—granted it without further ado, leaving Jared reeling and with only ten other cases to deal with before he could finish up.

****

Ross Jay had made three films, back before internet porn had taken over the world. Jared owned all three DVDs, even though he had to acquire one from a Chinese seller on an auction site that didn’t inspire confidence about its legality.

The one Jared watched most often was Cheerleader Initiation, the one where Ross played the newest cheerleader on the team. The initiation was—shockingly—a gangbang by the football team in the locker room. The look on Ross’s face when he watched the football players strip down, half lust and half disbelief, never failed to turn Jared’s crank. The first guy, the dark-haired and hugely muscled team captain, took his time getting Ross ready, fingering him open while jerking him off as he lay back on a low bench between rows of lockers.

Only once Ross had come all over his own stomach did they turn him over, put him on his hands and knees, and start giving it to him, one in his ass and one in his mouth, giving him no break between the money shot and the next guy stepping into place. Ross started out tentative on the blowjobs, slow and even choking a couple of times, and they tilted his head and gave encouragement until he got the idea. With one hand around the back of a player’s thigh, Ross even managed to take his cock all the way to the root.

They kept score on a chalkboard otherwise filled with the xs and os of football plays—though, Jared felt compelled to note, they weren’t very accurate plays, but then he guessed that Ross wasn’t really a cheerleader either.

By the end, the team captain had six marks next to his name, and the others were keeping pace; they’d turned Ross over so that he was lying down again and started coming on his stomach, his face already dripping with it. The stretch of his neck as he’d tilted it back to take more cock had been the most obscene part, so vulnerable. “Get yourself off,” the captain ordered, and Ross ran his hand across the mess on his skin and used it as lube, jacking himself while he was getting reamed from both ends.

Just as he came, the coach burst in, a big bearded guy. He yelled at the players for goofing off and told them to get to practice, leaving Ross alone and panting on the bench. He was gentle when he helped Ross up and put him in the shower—but he wasn’t gentle at all when he fucked Ross, standing right behind him and holding one leg up so that Ross’s knee was pressed tight to his torso, talking filthy the entire time about how loose they’d made him, wet like a girl, such a slut for cock. His cock was bigger than any of the players’, who’d been no slouches in that department, and when he came he shot straight up Ross’s back, overlaying the streaks that had already dried white and flaky on his skin.

He turned the shower on and left Ross with orders to clean himself up. That was when the team captain returned, pressing Ross against the tiles and kissing him—the first kiss in the film, water cascading down on both of them. He took both their dicks in his hand and tugged them slowly, watching Ross’s head fall back as his cock hardened one last time, Ross rocking against his thigh until they both came and were immediately washed clean.

The film ended with Ross, water dripping from the ends of his hair and his eyelashes, leaning against the white tiles of the shower, his face tilted up and his eyes closed, with a voiceover: “And that was my initiation. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.”

****

Jared balled up the tissues—yes, he’d used three, it had been a high-quality orgasm—and reaffirmed his original assessment: Jensen Ackles was Ross Jay. Jared had spent a lot of time imagining being that team captain—fucking Ross, making him come, deciding which of the others got to fuck him too. He’d also spent quality time imagining being between them, his dick in Ross’s tight little ass while he was taking the captain’s massive cock, since why choose?

He wasn’t sure how he was going to face Ackles in the morning. At least, he hoped, he’d be able to avoid ordering Ackles to ride his dick. Maybe that had worked perfectly well for the costar of A Texas Twink in King Arthur’s Court, but he didn’t expect the same results in the real world.

****

The next morning, Ackles was clearly trying to castrate Jared with the power of his mind, glaring at him so hard that even Katie Cassidy, who wasn’t known for her sensitivity to anyone except juvenile clients, looked up and asked “Who’d you get off?”

‘Just me’ didn’t seem like the right answer. “What do you know about him?” Jared asked instead.

Katie shrugged. “He’s here because he’s ambitious, didn’t want to stay in podunkville forever. Three major meth trials in the last year, won them all, traded up. Since he’s new, he’ll be getting the stinker cases, but I’m guessing he’ll make that go away fast.”

Jared’s first case was with another ADA, but his second was an assault with intent to kill, and Ackles represented the state. A minute in front of the judge, the words all so familiar that Jared’s nervousness didn’t make a difference, and then they were in one of the conference rooms.

“I’m not going to plead this down because you think you know something that could embarrass me,” Ackles said.

Jared went from nervous to furious in less than a second. Clearly, this was one fantasy that should’ve stayed fantasy. “No, you’re going to plead this down because Javier’s a good kid with a clean record who lost his temper when the victim and his friends started shouting racial slurs at him.”

Ackles blinked. His lashes were even prettier when they weren’t covered with come, Jared realized. And the smile lines around his eyes hadn’t been there when he was doing films, but they made him, unfairly, hotter. “What?”

“Probation’s standard here, and you know it. And if I were going to blackmail you, I’d be an idiot to choose charges—the DA watches the stats like they’re her hope of heaven, and she’d notice pretty damn quick if you started throwing me favors. I’d be better off asking for a blowjob.”

Jared shut his mouth. That might’ve been too much information.

Ackles looked like Jared had just smacked him with a dead fish. “Is that what you’re asking for?” he asked, after a significant pause.

Jared threw his hands up. “No! God, do you not understand the concept of someone who is not an asshole? How about you give me my plea, I tell Javier to accept it, and we just … pretend the rest of it never happened.” He’d have to trash his DVDs, he thought morosely. And he’d taken such good care of them.

Ackles’ throat worked, again throwing Jared into this weird double consciousness, memories of watching him swallow onscreen and now seeing the stubble on his jaw in reality. He wasn’t that kid any more. He was even more beautiful. And, evidently, a total tool.

“Fine,” Ackles said. “Send the paperwork over.”

****

That night, Jared absolutely meant to get rid of the DVDs. But just for old time’s sake, he took one more look at A Texas Twink.

Ross had been somehow magically transported back in time (and space, though they weren’t all that careful about the accents). With no one to protect or speak for him, he was quickly identified as an outsider, arrested and taken to the king after being stripped of his outlandish garb.

The king, played by the same guy who’d been the team captain in Cheerleader Initiation, called him pretty as a maid and ordered that he be trained to serve. That meant fellating knight after knight, again with a learning curve (here, assisted by canings when he gagged or failed to take one of the knights deep enough).

Then, he was bathed and shaved, tormented by hands teasing him hard but not letting him come, and presented to the king naked and kneeling on a red pillow. The king used Ross’s mouth first, then fucked him with only spit for lube. He had Ross on hands and knees, then on his back, then bent over a table filled with charts and maps that looked about as medieval as the king’s gym-built body. But Ross’s grunts and moans were completely believable, which was really what mattered.

Finally, the king lay back on his huge canopied bed and ordered Ross to get on top. He wrapped his fingers around Ross’s own hand, and they jerked Ross from mostly soft to all the way, gorgeously hard while Ross surged rhythmically up and down on the king’s cock. When Ross came, the king ordered him to get off and lick his come off of the king’s sculpted chest and then move down to the king’s cock, which he did despite obviously being so exhausted that his arms were shaking with the effort to hold him up.

When the king was finished, the lead knight—the coach from the first film—came to take Ross away, to a chamber in the knights’ wing of the castle. He fucked Ross on the straw-covered bed that was Ross’s now, and told Ross that he’d be back in the morning to show him his new duties for the Round Table. “Tomorrow,” he promised, “we will not be so easy to please.”

The film ended on a full-length shot of Ross’s fucked-out body, sprawled where the knight had left him. Ross’s hand slipped down between his legs, fingering his hole until he gasped, and then he touched the back of his thigh, where the cane had left welts. He smiled—it seemed involuntary, like he hadn’t known that this was what he’d wanted until it happened—and jerked off, alternating between playing with his balls and rubbing over the marks from the cane. After he came in long streaks that nearly reached his neck, he seemed to fall asleep immediately. The camera lingered, watching him all vulnerable and unknowing, for several minutes before the credits rolled.

****

Okay, apparently Jared was not getting rid of his collection. But he was not going to let that interfere with his job. He had to work with Ackles. Best to think of him as a completely different person. Who just happened to share the same pillow lips and freckles and soft green eyes as his favorite porn star.

He was so fucked.

****

It turned out that Ackles was kind of a decent guy. Turned over Brady material, which most of them didn’t do even though they were supposed to. Didn’t lie, which most of them did (and that was even legal). Supported drug treatment and diversion—not perfect programs, but a hell of a lot better than prison. Told Jared to call him Jensen when it became noticeable that they were still on Mr. Padalecki/Mr. Ackles terms when everyone else in the building called them by their first names and Jensen overheard Gen Cortese hassling Jared about what he’d done to piss off that hotshot prosecutor. Overall, except for being a prosecutor, Jensen seemed like a reasonable human being.

One day, after they’d worked out the details of a plea covering a harrowing and horrible set of facts, with what Jared judged was the minimum possible damage to the remaining lives affected, Jared was so tired and punch-drunk that he even said as much to Jensen.

“Thanks?” Jensen said.

“No, I mean it. I’m not sayin’ we have to be like Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog, punching out at the end of the day and being friends, but—” He trailed off, not really sure where he was going with that, and took a pull from his soda to cover up.

Jensen chuckled. “In retrospect, maybe Ralph Wolf would have been a better stage name.”

Jared snorted flat soda out of his nose. After he’d recovered and patted himself sufficiently dry, aided by the handkerchief Jensen produced, he said, “I thought we weren’t talking about that.”

Jensen still blushed as sweetly as when he’d been on camera. “Yeah, my bad. Look,” he said, staring at the table, where stacks of files showed that the justice system had a long way to go before it entered the twenty-first century, “you recognizing me, in public like that, I thought you were going to make a huge stink about it. And—I guess I’ve been waiting for the hammer to fall.”

“Not unreasonable,” Jared had to admit. Jensen hadn’t known that Jared wouldn’t be a douche, when a lot of people would’ve been. There were even a couple of people in the PD’s office who might well have tried to use Jensen’s history for leverage. “Look, as far as I’m concerned, it’s none of my business—” except for the part where I jerk off to your eighteen-year-old self and occasionally your thirty-three-year-old self, don’t mind me—“and no one’s gonna hear anything from me.”

“Thanks for understanding,” Jensen said, and there was that smile again, the one that brightened his eyes and lit up the room even when it was just caught on tape, exponentially more powerful in person, and oh God Jared was in such trouble.

Even more so when Jensen paused on his way out and said, “’Night, Sam.”

“’Night, Ralph,” Jared managed, and nearly broke land speed records getting back to his apartment and his collection.

****

So now he was friends with the object of his masturbatory affections, and it was better and worse than he could have imagined. Away from work, Jensen turned out to have a wicked sense of humor to go along with his burning desire for justice (or vengeance; they had plenty of fights about the difference, or lack thereof in Jensen’s view). He was an A&M fan while Jared went for the Longhorns, and they had one screaming match about that—in retrospect, kind of over the top, which Jared admitted by bringing Jensen donuts the following Monday, while Jensen paid for the beers for the next week. After that, they agreed never to watch Texas-on-Texas together, and just to mock non-Texans.

Jared made Jensen read Paul Butler’s Let’s Get Free, about why Butler decided to quit being a prosecutor, and Jensen made Jared read In Cold Blood, not because it had the opposite argument to make but because it was a fucking classic, man. Jensen admitted that Butler had some good points, to which his best response was: but we still need to do something about crime. Jared didn’t disagree, but this system they were part of wasn’t just ‘something,’ it was ruining lots of extra lives. They debated potential reforms over coffee, over dinner, over beers in between commercials during football games.

Jared kept the DVDs behind his first-year property law casebook, far away from the rest of his collection, and he always put them right back after he’d watched one so that he’d never have to remember to hide them when Jensen came over.

The prosecutors and the defenders didn’t generally go to the same bars, but one night they ran into two of Jensen’s colleagues when they were coming out of the latest Christopher Nolan flick. Nobody said anything beyond hi, how ya doin’, but nobody needed to.

“So,” Katie said, sliding onto the bench at the back of the courtroom on the following Monday, “is this a full-on Montagues and Capulets, Sharks and Jets kind of thing? Or were you just slumming?”

The only thing faster than the speed of light was a courthouse rumor. “Nothing’s going on. And just out of curiosity, who’s Maria in this scenario?”

“Well,” Katie said, considering him skeptically, “you do have very long hair.”

“I have sideburns!” Jared protested. “Sideburns are a guy thing! Jensen’s the one singing ‘I feel pretty’ when he looks in the mirror.”

“So you do think he’s pretty,” Katie pounced.

Jared rolled his eyes. “Gang members’ moms think he’s pretty when he’s putting their sons away for five to ten. It’s an objective fact. Doesn’t mean I’m fucking him.”

“Fucking” got him a glare from the bailiff; they handcuffed defendants for less, and it wasn’t fair of Jared to test the boundaries. He shrugged an apology and shut up.

When his boss called him in to ask whether he was having an inappropriate relationship with Jensen, Jared wasn’t that surprised.

“No,” he told her, making every effort to keep the ‘unfortunately’ addendum out of his expression. “We’re friends, that’s all.”

“Even friendship can be a problem, if it creates an appearance of impropriety,” she pointed out. “Say you plead someone out and then they finally do the DNA tests they keep promising for non-death cases and it turns out you agreed to send an innocent man to jail. It’s one thing to make a mistake, but it’s another to be in cahoots with the prosecution. Or if he fucks up a case and the DA’s office decides to use you as an excuse, suddenly you’re on TV as a guy who whores yourself out to win.”

Jared was acutely aware of the irony of this talk, but he couldn’t do much to clarify. “I understand, but I’ve been careful. I don’t think anyone could look at my cases and say I’m doing them differently, or he is.”

She hmmphed, which he took as confirmation that she already knew that. He had no idea how she kept up with all the work. He suspected her of having a Time-Turner (Gryffindor all the way, of course). “Just keep being careful. You know how I hate having to learn things about my own office by reading the paper.”

Don’t create a gay sex scandal, she meant. Objectively, a gay sex scandal would probably be worse for Jensen, even setting aside his past, since prosecutors were more dependent on public image. Everyone hated public defenders already. But that didn’t mean it would be fun for the PD’s office. Jared nodded his agreement and fled.

****

Ross’s last film, A Knotty Problem had been experimental—a director with a vision much grander than his budget and a stubborn refusal to admit that many of the intended viewers were going to be watching only a crucial five-to-ten-minute segment. Jared wasn’t surprised it had never had a formal US release. He didn’t watch it all that often. Comparatively.

In a world of alphas, betas, and omegas, alphas were the only ones who could vote or hold office. Posters and notices on the walls of the background sets suggested that there was an emerging beta rights movement, but omegas were considered the lowest of the low: natural fucktoys, suitable only for pleasure and for breeding.

Jensen—Ross, fuck, Ross—played an omega passing as a beta, which was conveyed by having him take pills while a TV show in the background infodumped about the growing problem of omegas using banned drugs to pretend to be betas. In an early scene, he got a blowjob from his alpha boss’s favorite omega as a reward for his performance as an accountant. Weird directorial pretensions aside, Jared really liked the glasses Ross wore in this one, along with his crisp white shirts and well-fitting suits, not hugely different from what—never mind, he looked fine, that was all. With his jacket open and his tie over his shoulder, his legs splayed out on his boss’s couch as the naked and collared omega slobbered up and down his cock, Ross was the picture of debauchery.

The boss, a thick-bodied bear with impressive thighs and a receding hairline, then fucked the omega while giving Ross orders for his next assignment, an audit of the dietary supplement division.

What Ross didn’t know was that one of the supplements was actually designed to trigger heat in omegas … which it did, right in the middle of a bunch of scientists in lab coats. Ross was reduced to begging in mere minutes, and the scientists were happy to oblige, double- and even triple-teaming him while he yowled and scratched and repeated “please, fuck me” every time his mouth was free to do so.

When at last the boss came by to see what had halted production, he found his erstwhile accountant naked on a lab table, and immediately took charge. “I’ve got you,” he told the still-dazed Ross, his huge hand covering the back of Ross’s neck completely as he led Ross out, the accountant’s mussed and torn clothes abandoned on the floor of the lab. Ross was coherent enough to try to cover himself, but the boss clicked his tongue negatively. Ross obediently dropped his hands to his sides as all his former colleagues ogled his come-covered skin, some of them commenting on how he’d always been too pretty for a beta, others calling out dibs on his services when the boss was finished with him.

When they reached the boss’s glass-walled office, he was shoved down on the same desk the boss had used before, his legs shoved apart. There were handholds specially positioned on the desk for this purpose, and the boss placed Ross’s hands on them, curling his fingers around. “You’re gonna want to hold on for this,” he said, and Ross’s lust-fogged eyes darkened with anticipation. “You ever been knotted?”

Ross dipped his head, forehead to the desk, and mumbled a negative.

“What was that?” the boss asked sharply.

“No … sir,” Ross said, his hands tightening on the grips.

“Good boy,” the boss told him, and squeezed the back of his thigh with one hand while opening his fly with the other.

When he got his cock out, it was already hard. And it had a knot.

The knot had to be a prosthetic—Jared seriously hoped that no one involved had gotten surgery for the sake of porn verisimilitude—and it was huge. The head of the boss’s cock went into Ross easily despite its girth, but the smooth slide of the fuck halted when the knot met Ross’s body. It stretched Ross’s rim until the flesh strained and Ross’s fists clenched as he struggled uselessly against the intrusion.

When it was inside, Ross gasped in mingled relief and arousal. The camera focused on Ross’s ass, his hole forced so wide and the knot tugging at it from the inside.

The alpha made Ross apologize for his deception. Made him beg to make amends. Then he told Ross that, starting tomorrow morning, he’d have to go on hands and knees to everyone he’d worked with at the company and offer a personal apology. That was when Ross came, a keening hurt sound that was desperation and release all at once.

When the alpha pulled out, heedless of Ross’s moans, he squeezed the knot as he came. It was probably just a trick to hide the makeup job, but it made it look like his orgasm was going on for a full minute, spurt after spurt on Ross’s back until he was soaked in it.

The film ended there.

****

Jared had read somewhere that there was supposed to be a sequel, with an omega resistance movement and a lot of alpha-on-alpha sex, but the first film had been a commercial failure despite Ross’s presence. Too much kink for the ordinary viewers and not enough for the specialists, he suspected, though you couldn’t prove the “too much” part by him since he got off just fine. To be honest, he probably could’ve gotten to the finish line by watching Jensen read the phone book, but he tried not to think about that because otherwise being in court with him would be even more distracting than it already was.

No matter how many times they went out drinking, he never felt the need to ask Jensen why he’d made the films. Jared had been eighteen himself, and he probably would’ve been receptive to getting paid to fuck too, if approached on the right day. Jensen talked about college and law school the same way Jared’s other friends did. He was just a normal, stunningly good-looking guy whose comeslut phase happened to have been captured on film.

The one time Jared mentioned that he was going for his regular STD screening later that week, Jensen just rolled his eyes. “If this is your way of asking, you don’t need to worry about me, all right? Tested clean as a whistle. Not that I’ve had any need to know for way too long.”

“Buh?” Jared said. In his head, it was, ‘That’s a provocative statement and I’d like to know more.’ But out loud, it was pretty much just the kind of noise a person would make after being gut-punched.

Jensen grinned at him, off-kilter. “If I go to a club and see somebody dealing, I have to call it in. And I always see the ones who are dealing. Other people have gaydar, I have methdar. So that’s out. Grindr’s too scary for me and anyway no one believed me the one time I put my picture up. And the thought of a LGBT mixer for young professionals fills me with existential dread. I dunno, maybe I used up too many years of sex all at once.”

“Oh,” Jared said. In his head, it was, ‘But I, Jared Padalecki, am a fine upstanding gay man with my own apartment and, not to brag, abs and shoulders that have been known to elicit audible gasps in the gym, and I would be delighted to reinitiate you into the wonders of regular, frequent, and athletic sex.’ But it wasn’t like Jensen was shy, and if he’d wanted to make a move, he would have already. Jared was too enthusiastic sometimes, he knew that, but he wasn’t a fan of humiliation, and the thought of being turned down by Jensen and then seeing him every day thereafter was too much to face.

He had to say something, quick, or this was going to get even more awkward. “Well, if you ever want me to set you up, I know some people …”

He trailed off at Jensen’s headshake. Jensen was still smiling that crooked little smile. “Jared, unless you’re hiding some other set of friends, I’m pretty sure most of them would make out with a banana slug before dating a representative of the Man.”

Jared winced. Jensen wasn’t wrong. “To be fair, a couple of them would definitely go for a bathroom quickie.”

“With me or the banana slug?”

“Well, thanks for that image,” Jared said, standing up. “You want a refill?”

Jensen declined, and Jared retreated to lick his wounds. It wasn’t Jensen’s fault he wasn’t into Jared. The heart wants what it wants. Or, more likely, the dick was a fickle master. Regardless, he couldn’t make Jensen jump his bones. At least he still had his collection.

****

Sometimes he’d imagine it, that unmade fourth film. Him and Ross (except older, and looking exactly like Jensen), on the run from the authorities, committing the most unthinkable of taboos—omega-on-omega sex. Sixty-nining in a squalid motel room, right next to the bomb they were making to take out the facility that made all the omega tracking collars. There would be no casualties in this fantasy rebellion; well, not unless they really deserved it.

‘We’re fighting for a day when you and I can walk down the street hand in hand, and no one will give us a second look,’ Ross said—Ross was the leader, the one who made the inspiring speeches, and Jared was his invaluable second in command, the one who pulled him out of the dangerous situations and implemented his genius plans.

The end of the fantasy was a little fuzzy, but involved an award ceremony largely copied from the finale of Star Wars, except that Jared fucked Ross on one of those tables with the embedded handholds. Then, to show how they were all free now to take on any role they desired, Ross took his own turn, reaming Jared with that perfect cock of his. Jared’s moans echoed louder in the huge hall than the applause of the crowd.

****

“So, I have this friend,” Jensen said casually one day at lunch, except that Jensen never said anything casually.

Jared straightened in his chair and tried to chew faster. “Unh-huh?” If ‘friend’ meant ‘guy I am now blissfully fucking,’ Jared was going to need a minute.

Jensen made a face at Jared’s uncouthness. “Actually the kid brother of a friend—he’s new in town, and I thought maybe you could take him around, show him where all you bleeding-heart, granola-munching hippies hang out.”

“Okay,” Jared said, drawing it out. “So, you want me to set something up for the three of us?”

A brief flash of what looked like distaste crossed Jensen’s face. “I was thinking, maybe just you and him? I’ve got a ton of work this weekend.” This was a pitiful excuse, since it was true of any given weekend and somehow Jensen still managed to make time for Jared. True, the job seemed to be wearing harder on Jensen of late, his rebuttals to Jared’s condemnations of the drug laws and of harsh mandatory sentencing schemes less spirited, but that should’ve made him more willing to leave the office, not less.

Jared knew that Jensen felt weird about being so close to a PD, not because of any impropriety but because, honestly, both sides spent a fair amount of time each day ragging on each other. However Jared and Jensen might brainstorm about reforms that everyone could support to make the system less damaging and more just, the day-to-day of it usually ranged from open battle to weary negotiations where each side thought the other was as trustworthy as a used car salesman. So it was understandable that Jensen would want to segregate his friendship with Jared from the rest of his life, and of course Jared was going to take what he could get. But it still stung a little to know that Jensen didn’t even want to play tour guide with him.

“Sure,” he said, and went back to his sandwich, which, unlike certain people he could name, loved him back. Or, at least, let him eat it. He’d settle for that.

****

The friend’s kid brother, Seth, turned out to be as fey as anyone Jared had ever seen outside of Pride Day. Well, he was barely nineteen; he’d either grow out of it or grow into it, and either way Jared hoped he’d find people to love him for it. He was going to be in college at the U., so Jared showed him which restaurants to avoid and which to insist on, along with the bar that didn’t card as aggressively as the others.

That part of the tour led to Jared with a sloppy-drunk teenager jostling into him, blatantly feeling him up. Jared actually felt a little bruised by the time he got Seth back to the apartment he was going to be sharing with three other freshmen.

“Stay,” Seth said, tugging at him as Jared deposited him on the couch (there was no way Jared was going into a bedroom with him, legal or not).

Jared sighed. He was a subscriber to the campground theory—you fuck a person this young, you have an obligation to leave them nicer than you found them—and he just didn’t have the energy for that right now. “Seth, you’re a good kid and you’re gonna make some nice young guy very happy, but—”

Seth lolled back onto the ratty couch. “But just like everyone else, you’re in love with Jensen.”

“What? I mean—” They’d barely talked about Jensen while they’d been walking around. Just about how they each knew him, and how Seth’s parents were next door neighbors with Jensen’s parents, and how proud everyone was of Jensen and expected great things from him, and how though Jared couldn’t share Jensen’s belief in the nobility of prosecution he respected Jensen’s passion. Not much more than that. Jared coughed.

“It’s all right,” Seth sighed. “I mean, me too, obviously. But he was right about you being hot like burning, and I kinda hoped he’d be right that you might … you know.”

No, Jared did not know. And if Seth couldn’t say it, he shouldn’t do it, and also Jared had become an afterschool special. “Good night,” he said, and fled.

That night’s fantasy involved a mix of scenarios, centered on Jared spanking Ross and emphasizing that Ross’s job was not to anticipate Jared’s desires but only to submit to them. The orgasm left Jared exhausted, but still miffed.

****

“Hey,” he said, catching Jensen’s arm before he could go into the courtroom. Jensen liked to be early, and Jared knew he’d be snotty if he didn’t get his preferred seat, but right now Jared was willing to piss him off a little. “Next time you want to set me up, how about you, a, tell me in advance, and b, pick someone who’s not jailbait?”

Jensen flushed, slow but thorough. “Sorry,” he said after a moment. “Technically, he’s not—” and then seemed to realize that he didn’t want to go anywhere near the words ‘barely legal.’

Jared was still holding on to Jensen’s bicep. He didn’t let go.

Jensen cleared his throat. “I thought—stupid, I know, but—” He rubbed the back of his neck with his free hand, no longer meeting Jared’s eyes.

“Does that sentence have a subject?” Jared asked, when it appeared that Jensen had run out of steam.

Jensen’s lashes dipped and his voice was almost inaudible. “The movies. If those are your kind of thing, I thought you might—Seth is—”

The light dawned, and Jared was still mad enough to speak freely. “Seth is a twink, you mean. Jensen, you know who wants to fuck eighteen-year-olds? Well, lots of people, but it’s legit if you’re sixteen. I’m nearly thirty. Yeah, I want my dick sucked as much as the next guy, but I also want someone who knows that maps didn’t always talk. Who knows the difference between a stop-and-frisk and a consent search. Who gets my jokes and—” He stopped as Jensen looked up at him, wide-eyed and shocked, and oh shit their faces were an inch apart: Jared was basically declaring his hopeless crush in front of every person they worked with and a passel of defendants besides.

He dropped Jensen’s arm and fled. Maybe if he called in sick from the bathroom, everyone would take pity on him and pretend that they hadn’t seen anything.

****

Jared slumped into the corner of the handicapped stall, wrapping his arms around his knees. For someone who’d just said he wanted an adult relationship, he was acting like a prime fool. But public humiliation would do that to a person.

The door to the bathroom opened and closed. Steps approached. “Can I come in?” Jensen asked.

“Dude! Gross, this is a bathroom.” (And now he was thinking about other things that might happen in bathrooms, at least to guys with a wide stance. Being arrested for public indecency in a courthouse bathroom would be a perfect end to this already horrible day.)

“And I can see you’re not on the toilet,” Jensen said patiently. “Come out and talk to me.”

“No.”

Jensen sighed, and Jared saw his feet shuffle closer to the stall door, like he was resting his head or his hand there. “Jared, I wasn’t in the business long. But I found out pretty quick that I couldn’t—that’s not me, in those films. That’s a character, someone who acts the way people expect a kid who looks like that to act.”

“I know that,” Jared said crossly. Way to respect his intelligence there. “And for the record, Ross Jay was eighteen, and I think I specifically expressed some opinions about that. If you want it in smaller words, he’s not who I want to fuck.”

“You can’t seriously tell me you would’ve given me the time of day if you hadn’t known,” Jensen said, like he had any reason to be aggrieved.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Jared couldn’t stay seated any longer. Though it was a good thing there was a metal door between them, because he was thinking about punching Jensen right in that pretty mouth. “That’s what you think? All the time we spent together, it meant that little to you.”

“Come on,” Jensen argued, “you think prosecutors are Imperial Stormtroopers with slightly more coherent plans.”

“Well, sure.” Jared thought for a minute, because he was beginning to have the sense that they were having two different conversations. “But you’d still be hot and wicked smart even if I hadn’t seen you getting fucked on ten different surfaces. I like you. Not prosecutors. Not porn stars. You.”

When Jensen spoke again, he sounded a little strangled. “You know, if you do the Venn diagram on that—”

“Tell you what, if I meet another one I’ll let you know if it’s just a fetish of mine,” Jared said, and opened the door.

Jensen nearly fell into him, but unfortunately regained his balance and stepped backwards. “Wait,” he said, and Jared pulled back the hand he’d already stretched out. “Before we—do whatever this is, there’s something you need to know.”

Was he seropositive? Jared could deal with that. Was he thinking about going back into porn? That would be tougher, but maybe they could do amateur together. “What?” he asked, before the suspense killed him.

Jensen ducked his head. “I’m actually—in real life, I, uh, prefer to top. Not exclusively, but. If that’s a dealbreaker—” He stopped because Jared was chuckling. “Shut up,” he ordered. “It was a completely legitimate worry!”

“Yeah,” Jared managed. “Sure.” He stepped forward, and Jensen backed away instinctively, so that he was stalking Jensen across the bathroom floor, towards the sinks and the main door. “How about you come over tonight and I’ll do my best to assuage your concerns.”

Jensen looked both appalled and aroused by Jared’s lascivious tone, which was the effect Jared had been going for, so yay him. “We should get out of here,” Jensen said when he’d recovered some. “We already have a lot of explaining to do.”

Jared nodded his agreement. He braced himself so that he didn’t flinch back when Jensen opened the door and met Katie, Hillary, and Joe the prosecutor—united for once in nosiness—waiting for them.

“Funny thing,” Katie said, in a tone that wasn’t amusing at all. “Did you know that from the women’s bathroom, you can hear everything that goes on in the men’s? I’ve been asking maintenance for a year to install some insulation, but do they listen to me? They do not.”

At that point, Jensen was the one who fled, and Jared didn’t try to follow him. Instead, he dumped that day’s cases on Katie, who understood that she deserved it and didn’t complain, and made sure that Jensen was also covered. Then he went home to wait.

****

By eight o’ clock, he was convinced that Jensen wasn’t going to come. By nine, he was convinced that Jensen hated him. By ten, he was morosely drunk, not blackout drunk but enough that he had a perfect excuse for feeling as dramatically depressed as a kid going through his first breakup.

By eleven, watching Jensen’s oeuvre seemed like the world’s most brilliant idea. But every time he saw Ross—Jensen—pretend to be scared or confused on screen, he remembered how Jensen had looked when it was real. Yes, Jensen had always been performing a high-wire act, a public servant with those films out there. But he’d gotten away with it until Jared had come along and fallen in love with him.

With a sigh, Jared hit pause and the DVD froze on a still of young Jensen with one knee up on the boss’s desk, looking back over his shoulder, his face screwed up with lust and effort.

The knock on the door startled him out of his half-doze.

It was Jensen. He fumbled at the locks, then used the door to help prop himself up as he opened it. “Um.”

“Can I come in?” Jensen asked, looking as stressed as he had the night before his last trial, when (as Jared had later discovered) he still hadn’t tracked down two key witnesses and just had to hope that they’d keep their promises and show up. He was still in his dress shirt and pants, though he’d lost the jacket and tie. After a second, he gave up on waiting for Jared to respond and pushed past him.

“Oh,” Jensen said. Jared turned and realized that the wide-screen TV was still on, larger than life and twice as embarrassing.

“Shit!” Jared lunged for the remote and, after a few fumbles, managed to turn off the screen. Jensen was already examining the DVDs, his face unreadable.

“I didn’t think A Knotty Problem was commercially available,” he said, mildly.

“It wasn’t, I don’t think,” Jared admitted. “But I had it before I knew you. Before we met. I didn’t go out and get it from some skeezy Chinese site after, I mean.”

“That’s reassuring,” Jensen said, and Jared couldn’t tell if what he was hearing was resignation, shock, or barely tamped fury.

Jared was still drunk enough, and hopeless enough, that the words came easily. “It really should be. Because yes, I am a Ross Jay fanboy, but I’m also a Star Wars fanboy and a John Paul Stevens fanboy. But the guy I’m in love with, that’s different.”

Jensen looked like Jared had smacked him with the admission, pink high on his cheeks and his eyes darkening. “Oh,” he said. He took a deep breath. “Even if the guy turns out to be really insecure about how you think he compares to his younger self? And even if he has, as of this afternoon, officially resigned from his job?”

“Oh, Jen,” Jared said, his own concerns completely forgotten as he grabbed Jensen into a hug. Jensen melted into him, until they were almost swaying together. “I’m so sorry,” he said.

Jensen snuffled into his cheek. “’sokay,” he said, even though it really wasn’t. “To be honest, I’m almost glad it happened now. Because of you, I already spend half the time wondering if I’m doing the right thing. And they were starting to talk about me running for one of the elected positions, and then we’re talking national headlines if it got out. When it got out, because Joe hates my breathing guts and there’s no way he wouldn’t send an anonymous tip to Gawker.”

Even without the interoffice rivalry, this was something Jared had been worrying about for a while. Somewhere, Jensen’s real ID had to be on a piece of paper on file with the production company. And facial recognition technology just kept improving. He hadn’t mentioned his concerns to Jensen, because Jensen didn’t need to feel lectured, but it had been an ever-increasing risk in his opinion.

He pulled back enough that he could take Jensen’s face in his hands and run his thumbs across Jensen’s cheeks, teasing the crow’s feet at the corners of his beautiful eyes. “We’ll get through this,” he promised.

Jensen grabbed his hips and pulled them closer, until he could reach Jared’s mouth. His kiss was hungry, all teeth and searching tongue. If Jared had been stronger, he would’ve asked Jensen to wait until he was less distraught. But this wasn’t just some fantasy playing itself out: this was Jensen.

“Come to bed with me,” Jared said, and Jensen did.

The frank appreciation on Jensen’s face when Jared stripped off his shirt was even more flattering because Jared knew that Jensen had a hotter-than-average base of comparison. But Jensen moved to kiss him still fully dressed, and Jared was a little confused, more so when Jensen flinched away when Jared tried to run a hand down his chest; Jensen immediately pressed himself back against Jared, but now Jared knew there was trouble.

“What?”

Jensen just looked at him, flushed with more than arousal, and Jared suddenly remembered Jensen’s earlier, pre-I-quit revelation.

“Jensen, unless you’re hiding a vagina under there, I guarantee I’m going to like what I see.”

Jensen laughed, but turned his head away. “I just—”

“Is this a plot to get me to tell you how hot you are? Just asking, ‘cause I don’t really mind. Obviously you know you’re freakishly gorgeous, so I’ll skip the poems about your eyes—also I am not that great a poet—and go with your really awesome shoulders. Also I kind of have a thing for your arms. Like when you take your jacket off and roll your sleeves up when we go get a drink after work, if you ever wondered why I take so long to get up from the table on the way out, that’s why.”

Jensen interrupted his own chuckles by kissing Jared again. “Okay,” he said when he released Jared. He unbuttoned his dress shirt with quick, only slightly fumbling fingers. He was wearing an undershirt, because he was retro like that, and when he got that off, Jared needed to touch—all that broad strength, just for him.

Then Jared decided that Jensen could use some help with his pants, and sank to his knees so that he could see himself work. Jensen groaned and Jared grinned as he popped open the button and ran a couple of fingers over the hardening bulge of Jensen’s cock through the thick fabric.

“Wait—” Jensen gasped, and Jared made himself pull back. But it turned out that Jensen was just kicking off his shoes, which while not suave at least didn’t make him fall over, and then it was easy to get him out of the pants and boxer-briefs. Gloriously naked and all Jared’s.

Jensen had his face tilted away again.

“Jen,” Jared said, softly.

Jensen’s lip twitched. “Don’t call me that,” he said, but there was no force in it.

“Then look at me.”

Jensen did, and Jared let it all show: his lust, his adoration, his plain happiness that he got to be here and have this.

“You just gonna tease me, down on your knees like that and not doing anything about it?” Jensen said, his voice rough.

He answered by way of bracing himself on Jensen’s thighs and sucking the fat, already-slick head of Jensen’s cock into his mouth.

It was bitter and smooth and perfect. The smell of him, so much stronger as Jared worked his way slowly up, the heavy weight, the way Jared could feel his heart beating as Jared smoothed his hands down Jensen’s solid chest, curving around his waist so that he could grab the meat of Jensen’s ass as he took Jensen as deep as he could go. It wasn’t deep throating, but Jensen didn’t seem to mind, clutching at Jared’s shoulders and murmuring incoherent, tender words.

Too soon, Jensen’s grip tightened. “I’m gonna—”

Jared pulled back. “You want me—?” He gestured to indicate that they could get on the bed. “I told you, I am so okay with your dick in my ass, just need a little time to prep—”

Jensen made a frustrated noise and put his hands in his hair as he looked heavenward for strength. “I believe you, okay? You’re a terrible fucking liar. Now suck my cock.”

Well, if Jensen insisted. And Jensen really was close to losing it, his thighs shaking when Jared wrapped his hands around them and squeezed as he took Jensen back in with one long slide.

“God, your mouth,” Jensen said, pretty much to himself. “Oh fuck,” and then he was coming, hot and fast, his pulse fluttering against Jared’s thumbs on the inside of his thighs.

Jared swallowed, but wasn’t too picky about it, figuring Jensen wouldn’t mind a little mess. Sure enough, the way Jensen was looking down at him, sweaty at his temples and his pupils blown, was almost as hot as getting to suck him.

Since he was still a little drunk and also shared Jensen’s opinion on the unacceptable delay involved in prep, he barely stood before wrestling Jensen to the bed. Jensen pliantly let himself be put on his stomach, with Jared taking the opportunity to feel up his shoulders some more as he let himself settle on top, riding the crack of Jensen’s ass with his dick. Jensen’s skin was damp with sweat, just enough friction to be perfect, and Jensen rocked up and down, opening his legs a little to let Jared improve the angle.

Jared lifted up as he got close, pinning Jensen down with his hands around Jensen’s arms. Jensen’s face was turned into the pillow and his eyes were closed, lashes clumped. Jared stared at the dark, blood-filled weight of his cock framed by Jensen’s ass and came, shuddering.

When he collapsed on Jensen, the extra sensation on his dick hurt a little, and Jensen made a grunt of not-quite-protest. Jared shifted so that his elbows were framing Jensen’s chest and pushed up a few inches.

Eventually, Jensen opened his eyes.

“Hi, beautiful,” Jared said.

“Hi,” Jensen said, smiling slightly. “You know, it’s not all money shots.”

Jared leaned down and kissed Jensen thoroughly, even though the angle was bad, until Jensen was squirming.

“What was that for?” Jensen asked, a bit breathless.

“Just reminding you that you did get to come in my mouth.”

Jensen licked his lips as if seeking another taste. “Point. Now get your heavy ass off me.” He shrugged his shoulders as if to tip Jared off of him, but Jared didn’t move yet.

“You love my heavy ass.”

“Yeah,” Jensen said softly, “I really do.”

****

“You ready?” Jared asked.

Jensen frowned. “Do I look unprepared?”

Jared hurriedly shook his head, then followed Jensen back into the courthouse.

Yes, there were stares, and whispers. Jensen held his head up high and didn’t react. It helped that Jared had nearly throttled his one colleague who’d come up to high-five him about dating an actual porn star, as if that deserved some kind of manhood badge. Well, not throttled so much as made threatening moves in that direction, and Jared was big enough that people tended to fill in the blanks about his capabilities, physically speaking. So the looks and murmurs were at about as low a level as could reasonably be expected.

“Welcome on board,” Jared’s boss said, nothing on her face showing that she had any idea about Jensen’s personal life. The only scandal a PD’s office feared was client-related. Nobody here ran for office and/or had to answer gotcha questions about the sexual behavior of subordinates. They’d snapped Jensen up as soon as Jared had convinced him to send in his resume. “Here’s your first twenty cases for this morning.”

Jensen, to his credit, knew enough about the PD’s caseload not to flinch. Jared wasn’t even going to tease him if he decided to moan later on about the difficulty of doing justice, or anything close, at such high volumes. It was one thing to watch from the other side with its comparatively greater resources, but another to slog through charge after charge, knowing that the most he could do for his average client was soften the blow a bit.

Sure enough, Jensen was already flipping through the files, trying to learn as much as he could.

“I don’t know if I can do this,” he whispered to Jared as they headed towards the motions courtroom.

But Jared had seen enough new lawyers come and go in this job to recognize the fundamental truth: “Nobody does.” They held lives, and sometimes whole families, in their hands. The clients expected their lawyers to fix everything, which just couldn’t be done; or they expected the same betrayal they’d always experienced from authority figures and lied reflexively and unhelpfully; or they expected nothing, which was a real confidence killer in itself. That was the job, and your thanks at the end of the day was to get to do it again. But now, they’d do it together. “You’re gonna be fine,” he promised, and squeezed Jensen’s hand.

Jensen glanced over him and smiled, not the sharp in-court smile as he went for the kill but the real one, simple and stunning. “You know,” he said, his palm warm against Jared’s, “I think I am.”