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No one on the planet has had a better summer than Jensen Ackles. Seriously. You can quote him on that and everything.

High school is over, the sun is high, and he lives an hour from the beach. Zero responsibility, no worries, free to sleep all day and party all night.

And then there’s Jared.

An entire summer of Jared. Learning how to be with each other, learning how to touch each other – love each other.

Days wasted by the pool, the tang of chlorine stinging their nostrils, drying tacky on their skin as they doze under the sun. Hours spent at the beach, fingers entangled as they let the coarse sand cling to their skin with the salty moisture of the sea.

Nights spent tangled in damp sheets, thighs parted and bodies slick with sweat as they explore each other, fingers twisting in summer grown hair and trailing down sleek tanned skin in the heavy, moist air.

Words of adoration and love whispered into the dark, licked and bitten into skin until they leave marks. Whimpers and groans and endless sounds of pleasure panted into swollen mouths. Bodies connected in a way that’s so incredible they ache with it, moving together as one until they burst, trembling in each other’s arms and never letting go.

That’s what his summer has been like.


And tomorrow it’s all over. Tomorrow they grow up.

Jensen has a spring in his step as he turns the corner onto Jared’s block. Sweat makes his sunglasses slip down the bridge of his nose and he pushes them up, squinting against the summer sun even through the dark lenses.

He hears the lawnmower just before the scent of fresh cut grass hits his nose. Jared’s truck is parked in a crooked line against the curb, and Jensen trails his fingers along the side, feeling the sun warmed metal heat his fingertips.

The grass is green and springy as he walks across the front lawn, blades tickling his feet. The back gate is ajar and he shimmies through it, pushing his glasses up his nose again. Jared is mowing the lawn, shoulders bunching as he pushes the mower across the yard. He’s clothed in a dirty wifebeater that was at some point white, and black basketball shorts that barely stay on his narrow hips. His hair is curling sweat-damp at his neck and temples, clinging to brown skin.

The sight of him still doesn’t fail to knock the air out of Jensen’s lungs.

“Hey!” Jensen calls, scratching at his ankle with his toes and rubbing at his nose when the cut grass in the air makes him itch. Jared doesn’t hear him. Jensen cups his hands around his mouth and tries again. “Jared!”

The mower cuts off, and the sudden silence is overwhelming for a few moments. Jensen grins when Jared looks over at him and wipes at the sweat gathering at the nape of his neck. Jared wipes his hands on his shorts and jogs over to him.

“Got you doing chores until the very end, huh?” Jensen laughs, and Jared rolls his eyes as he lifts Jensen’s chin with his fingers and gives him a quick kiss. “Hi.”

“I’m a slave,” Jared laments, kissing him again before stepping away. “Just go inside. I’ll be done in a few.”

Jensen nods and heads through the back door, letting out a sigh of relief as he steps into the air-conditioned kitchen. The house is quiet and empty, and Jensen grabs a glass from the cabinet and fills it with cold water. He takes a long drink and pushes the window above the sink open.

“Where is everybody?” Jensen calls out and Jared looks over at him, lifting his hand to shield his eyes.

“Mom took Meg shopping for school clothes, and uh – our dads are golfing, I think,” Jared replies in a yell, and Jensen nods as Jared starts the lawnmower again. Jensen sips from his water glass and watches Jared work. He pauses to pull the shirt over his head, wiping the sweat from his face before stuffing it in the waistband of his shorts. The water glass slips from Jensen’s fingers and lands in the sink without breaking. Jensen curses and wipes his hand on his shorts, watching Jared intently through the window.

Jared mows the large backyard methodically, one line of grass at a time. Jensen feels his dick stirring in his shorts, thickening and hardening just from the sight of Jared, so tall and strong out in the sun, sweat clinging to all the grooves and contours of his amazing body. Jared wipes the sweat from his face with his forearm, muscles bunching and rippling under shimmering skin.

Skin that Jensen suddenly has to taste.

He heads out the back door, stalking across the grass and pulling his shirt over his head. It falls to the ground and he grabs Jared’s arm, spinning him around. The mower cuts off and Jared’s questioning hum is silenced by Jensen’s lips, hard and insistent against his own.

Jared chuckles lowly against Jensen’s mouth, wrapping muscled, sweaty arms around Jensen and pressing them together. The summer sun beats down on them, hot and unrelenting as Jensen drags them towards the tool shed in the back corner of the yard. The sweet smell of cut grass and blooming roses tints the air, mingling pleasantly with the scent of Jared’s sweat.

Jensen slams Jared up against the back of the shed, and Jared hisses when his bare skin makes contact with heated plastic. They’re between the shed and the fence, hidden away and partially shaded from the bright sun. Jensen tucks his thigh between Jared’s legs and leans in to lick and suck the tang of sweat away from Jared’s slick skin.

“Eager much?” Jared rasps, but he parts his legs and tilts his head to the side all the same. Jensen just growls; blood burning as he’s overtaken by raw, pure lust. He bites down on the thick tendon on Jared’s neck, licking away the sting when Jared hisses.

“Your fault,” Jensen replies, voice thick and muffled against Jared’s collarbone. “So fucking hot.”

Jared grabs him, thumbs digging into his jaw as he drags their mouths together, kissing the breath right out of Jensen. The kiss is amazing, powerful like a favorite song coming on the radio, making you crank up the volume until you shake with it. It’s familiar and exhilarating and still so fucking good every single time.

Jared licks his way into Jensen’s mouth, tongues tangling, spit slick lips curving up into matching grins. Jensen reaches between them, feeling the sun burn the back of his neck as he cups Jared’s dick through his baggy basketball shorts. “Mm, you’re hard for me.”

“I’m always hard for you,” Jared hisses, reaching back to palm Jensen’s ass and pull him closer. Sweat makes their skin slippery, and Jared tastes like salt and dirt and summer when Jensen bites at his jaw. “It’s starting to become a problem.”

“Then I should probably take care of that,” Jensen replies, and Jared lets out a choking gasp as Jensen drops to his knees, right there in the grass. Jared’s eyes dart around and then land hard on Jensen, thumb smearing sweat across Jensen’s lips before he digs his fingers into Jensen’s messy hair. Jensen grins, licking his lips as he curls nimble fingers in the waistband of Jared’s shorts. He’s not wearing underwear and Jensen groans, licking and kissing at every bit of skin he reveals as he pulls Jared’s shorts down to expose his dick.

He buries his face in the soft curls at the base of Jared’s cock and breathes in, smelling sweat and the musky, earthy aroma of Jared, the scent that makes his heart pound and his dick harden. He looks up at Jared, reaches between his legs and splays his fingers across Jared’s tight, perfect ass as he curls his other hand around the thick shaft. Little teasing kitten licks across the head, tongue digging greedily into the slit to gather the taste of pre-come there, and Jared jerks and groans. “Fuck, your mouth.”

The words send a rush of heat through Jensen, wind him up and make him moan. His fingers find the cleft of Jared’s ass, the tip of his index finger playing at his smooth hole, catching on tight muscle and pressing in.

“Okay,” Jensen says, letting his mouth fall open around the head of Jared’s dick. Jared just stares down at him, squinting against the sun. He raises an eyebrow and pushes his finger up and in, nothing but sweat slicking the way. Jared lets out a hiss and jerks forward, dick slipping into Jensen’s mouth and hitting the back of his throat. Jensen makes a soft choking sound, spit slipping down his chin as his eyelashes flutter and he groans, loud and needy.

He lets his hand fall away from Jared’s dick, tongue teasing the underside as he keeps his head perfectly still, finger still buried to the knuckle in Jared’s tight ass. Jared finally gets the picture, gripping Jensen by the ears and fucking into his mouth with short little bursts. Jensen moans, his free hand reaching down to cup himself through his shorts as he works his finger in and out of Jared’s ass.

Jared is pushing in so slowly, teasing and letting Jensen’s swollen lips catch and drag on velvet skin, and Jensen growls. He pulls his hand away from Jared’s ass and grabs his hips, slamming him against the side of the shed and bobbing up and down at his own pace, sucking greedily as his fingers slip on slick skin.

Bossy,” Jared grits out, pulling on Jensen’s hair when he just groans and slaps at his hip. Jared is so close. Jensen can feel it and his mouth waters, chin wet with spit as he waits.

He’s surprised when Jared pushes him back, making his cock slip from the tight suction of Jensen’s mouth with an obscene pop. He lets out a needy whine and then Jared is hauling him up, spinning them around and slamming Jensen against the shed. Jared’s hands are shaky as they fumble with the button of Jensen’s shorts, finally getting them open and pushing them down. Jensen cries out with need as Jared slots their hips together, so slippery with sweat and the sticky fluid leaking from their cocks, and Jared rolls his hips against Jensen’s. He hooks his hand under Jensen’s knee and lifts his leg up, angling his hips so their dicks slip and slide against each other.

Jensen is sure he would fall if Jared didn’t have him pinned to the shed, and he wraps his arms around Jared’s neck and holds on. Everything fades away until the only thing left is the roll of his hips, the crushing pressure of Jared’s mouth on his own – until nothing is left but pleasure.

“Feel good, having me up against you?” Jared whispers into his ear, biting down on the edge of it and licking away the sting. Jensen just nods helplessly, hands slipping along the sweaty expanse of his back. Jared nips at his ear once more before trailing his lips along his jaw. Jensen rolls his hips like he’ll die if he doesn’t get off, fire licking at his nerves as the sun burns his eyes.

It’s amazing how quickly Jared can reduce him to this – a trembling, needy thing that begs and whimpers and gives himself up, opens up and lets Jared do whatever the hell he wants as long as he gets that cock, that mouth, whatever Jared will give him.

The pleasure builds hot and lazy, just like the summer sun beating down on their shoulders. A bead of sweat rolls down Jensen’s neck and Jared’s tongue follows it down to his collarbone and then bites down, making Jensen gasp and push his hips forward. He fucks his cock into the groove of Jared’s hipbone, fingernails digging into slim hips, little red half moon imprints marring perfect golden skin.

Jared pulls back just enough to work his arm between them, wrapping his giant hand around both of their dicks. His thumb is slippery across the heads as he jerks them both off, and Jensen keens and reaches down to tangle his fingers with Jared’s around their cocks, gripping and pulling.

Jared’s other hand tangles in Jensen’s sweat-damp hair and pulls his head forward so he can pant hot and heavy into Jensen’s mouth, little hisses and grunts, kissing and licking when he can remember to move his lips.

Jensen lets out a gasp, eyes snapping open and he isn’t sure if his vision whites out or if he’s just staring into the sun as his orgasm hits. He paints Jared’s hipbone with his come, thick and hot, and he smears it across their bellies as he clutches Jared even closer, whimpering through the aftershocks as Jared continues to rut against him.

“Come on, baby,” Jensen pants, letting his hands slip slide down to Jared’s ass, cupping and squeezing and Jared buries his face in Jensen’s neck. He kisses and bites down, fucking his cock through the spunk on Jensen’s hips. Jensen’s fingers play at Jared’s hole, tracing furled muscle, and Jared tenses and comes with a choked shout. “Mm, yeah.”

Jared sinks against Jensen, panting harshly against the sweaty curve of his neck. Jensen licks the sweat from his temple and kisses there, back slipping against the side of the shed. Jared pulls back with a grin, finding Jensen’s lips with his own as he reaches between them to slide his fingers through their combined fluids. He lifts his fingers to their mouths, slipping them between their lips and pushing their come into Jensen’s mouth with his tongue. Jensen sucks on Jared’s fingers greedily, hand wrapping around Jared’s wrist as he licks them clean.

“Jared!” Jensen’s eyes pop open and he freezes, cheeks still hallowed out around Jared’s fingers. Jared’s head snaps up as he looks in the direction of the house, and Jensen lets out a sigh of relief when he realizes they are hidden from view. “Are you back here?”

“Uh, yeah Mom!” Jared shouts, shrugging apologetically at Jensen when he just stares in disbelief. “What’s up?”

“Are you gonna call Jen and have him help you finish packing or what?” Sherri calls, and Jared rolls his lips into his mouth as Jensen spits out his fingers.

“I was planning on it!” Jared calls back, and Jensen narrows his eyes. The moment is officially over, and their sweat and spit and come cling uncomfortably to his skin. The smell of Sherri’s roses hit his nose, sickly sweet, and he nearly sneezes.

“You haven’t finished packing?” Jensen hisses, and Jared covers his mouth with his hand. Jensen splutters and licks messily at the inside of his palm. “We leave tomorrow,” Jensen adds, and he knows Jared can understand his muffled words.

“It’s just – it’s sort of sad,” Jared admits, looking down at the ground. Jensen sighs and pulls Jared’s hand away, tangling their fingers together. “Will you please help?”

“Yes,” Jensen relents, kissing Jared’s knuckles and dropping their hands. He wipes a hand across his belly and wrinkles his nose. “But I need a shower first, before I die of heat stroke.”

“Deal,” Jared replies, grinning widely and pulling up his shorts. Jensen pulls up his own and they share a soft kiss before they head for the back door. Jensen grabs his shirt and wipes his belly clean, blushing when they enter the kitchen and Sherri raises an eyebrow.

“Uh, packing,” Jensen mumbles, and Jared laughs as they head for the stairs. Jared’s room is a mess, boxes half packed and scattered across the floor, belongings spilling out of his closet and off of his bed.

“Where should we start?” Jared says softly, eyes locked on the photos above his bed. Jensen places his hand between Jared’s shoulder blades and gnaws on his bottom lip.

“Shower,” Jensen reminds him gently, and Jared huffs out a sigh. Jensen leads them to the bathroom and turns on the water, letting it warm up and pushing Jared against the door to kiss the frown off of his face.

It wasn’t easy packing up his things, either. Their perfect summer is over, and tomorrow they move out of their childhood homes to start a whole new chapter of their lives.

Tomorrow they grow up.

It’s impossible to know just how many memories one room contains until you’re leaving it.

Jensen stands there in his childhood bedroom, and it’s not empty, not really. But everything that really defined it as his room is missing, packed up in boxes in the rental trailer downstairs.

The bed is stripped of sheets, the closet empty, faint rectangles on the wall where posters protected the paint. His desk is empty, TV stand bare. It’s stupid, how sad he feels.

It’s not like he’ll never sleep in this room again. He’s got weekends, and summers.

But still, he looks at the faint purple stain on the carpet near his bed – remembers when they were eight and Jared spilled his juice and how they tried to hide it with a pile of stuffed animals. It’s going to be so weird, not falling asleep here every night.

He doesn’t even want to begin to think about going weeks without seeing his mom, dad, and baby sister.

Everything he knows is in this room, this house. His throat tightens as he thinks about leaving. The door opens then, and Jensen’s ears catch the familiar scratch of it against the hardwood. He knows it’s his mother because he can smell her perfume, vanilla and flowers. She comes to stand beside him, and he unabashedly rests his head on her shoulder.

“Jared’s downstairs,” she says, and her voice sounds thick. “You ready to go?”

“You okay?” Jensen asks, lifting his head to look his mom in the eye. Her eyes are red like she’s been crying. “Aw, mom. Don’t.”

“I’m fine,” she says, smiling softly. “My boys are all grown up. I’m allowed to be sad.”

“You’ve still got Mac,” he reminds her, and she nods. “And it’s not like you’ll never see me. Josh technically moved out three years ago and he’s here so much it’s like he never left.”

He hugs her then, inhales the scent of her perfume. God, he’s going to miss her. Jared bounds in then, feet heavy against the floor. He silently comes up behind them and wraps his arms around them both.

“Come on, you guys,” he sniffs. “I just went through this with my mom. I can only take so much.”

Jensen lets out a sniffling laugh as he pulls away from the hug. Jared gives him a peck on the cheek, one arm slung around his waist. Donna smiles at them, warm and genuine.

“You’re going to take care of each other, right?” She asks, and Jared and Jensen turn to smile at each other, lips pulled into wide grins. “Oh, who am I kidding? Of course you are.”

“Come on, Jensen,” Jared says, tugging on the hem of his shirt. “Time to go.”

Josh and Jeff are there when their caravan pulls into the parking lot. It doesn’t take the group of them very long to get all of Jared and Jensen’s boxes inside their dorm room. It’s not too bad – a little small, but airy. It’s on the second floor with a nice view of the quad.

But there is one major issue. Jensen stands in the middle of the room, looking back and forth between the two tiny twin beds pushed up against opposite walls. They just don’t seem conducive to the kind of sex he’s used to having. He’s still eyeing them dubiously when Jared sidles up next to him.

“I know,” he whispers, like he can read Jensen’s mind. “We’ll figure it out.”

Everything has been brought up, boxes stacked in haphazard piles. Jared and Jensen spin on their heels to face two sets of parents trying to figure out how to say goodbye to their little boys. Josh and Jeff wait in the doorway, expressions sympathetic. Jensen takes a deep breath and steps forward.

Here comes the hard part.

The thing is, Jensen gets a little OCD at times, and apparently the dorm room is not up to snuff, cleanliness wise. He wipes down every surface and scrubs the floor while Jared sits in a desk chair and spins idly.

He knows what this is really about. Jensen is upset, scared, and nervous. They’re pretty much on their own now, and Jensen doesn’t really like being away from home for too long. If cleaning obsessively makes him feel better, he’s not going to judge.

“You could help,” Jensen says, turning to face Jared. He’s sweaty and disheveled, dressed in a form fitting sleeveless black tee and his red lacrosse shorts. He raises one eyebrow when Jared just stares.

“Oh,” Jared says, looking around the room skeptically. “But you clean so good.”

“Bullshit,” Jensen replies, slamming a container of disinfectant wipes down on the desk. “Just put the sheets on the beds, okay?”

Jared nods and finds the box labeled bedding in Donna’s tidy script. A thought hits him as he stretches brand new navy blue sheets across the bed on the right side of the room. He stands up, whirling to face Jensen.

“We’re not really going to sleep in separate beds, are we?” Jared asks, not even caring that he sounds sort of whiny. Jensen doesn’t even pause in his scrubbing of the windows.

“Not unless you piss me off,” he says casually. “Or if you smell like the inside of an asshole.”

“Fuck you,” Jared says, surreptitiously sniffing his armpit. “I smell good.” Jensen just snorts.

Jared finishes putting the sheets on the bed, smoothing out the comforter and straightening the pillows. It looks too neat. It needs to be messed up.

“Hey Jensen,” he says, and Jensen looks up from a box marked Jensen’s Clothes in Jensen’s own neat handwriting. The are super duper gay!! written underneath it is all Josh. “Are we gonna christen this bitch or what?”

“Oh, that’s sweet,” Jensen says flatly, abandoning the clothes and grabbing a bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels. “Watch me hurry in my desire to have you inside of me.”

“But you’re not hurrying though,” Jared says, once it’s clear Jensen is entirely focused on making the windows shiny and streak-free. Jensen just shoots him a look, and hey, Jared knows that look. He is not retarded.

“Because you’re an ass,” Jensen replies, and Jared smirks. He gets up and takes the Windex from Jensen and spins him around, wrapping his arms around Jensen’s waist. Jensen rests his palms on Jared’s chest, and he smells like cleaning products and dust but Jared doesn’t even care.

“Guess what?” Jared says quietly, leaning in to skim his lips across Jensen’s cheek.

“What?” Jensen replies softly, fingertips digging into Jared’s chest.

“We pretty much live together,” Jared replies, kissing the corner of Jensen’s mouth. “You and me, on our own.”

“Yeah,” Jensen breathes, angling his mouth over Jared’s to kiss him. Jared sighs happily against Jensen’s lips, walking them back towards the one made bed. He pushes Jensen backwards and Jensen laughs as he falls back onto it, fingers twisted in Jared’s shirt.

“Jared!” He says, but Jared cuts him off with another kiss. “We have to unpack,” he adds when Jared moves his lips to his neck. He sucks Jensen’s earlobe into his mouth, sucking softly. “Oh, you bitch.”

Jared chuckles when Jensen grips his shoulders, tipping his head back. He lets Jared kiss him for a while, soft little presses of lips against skin. When his fingers dip underneath the waistband of his shorts, he grabs Jared’s wrist to still it.

“We’re unpacking,” he says firmly when Jared growls in protest. “Just let me get this room together and I promise I will rock your world tonight. I’ll be so fucking good for you.”

“Yeah, using that fucked out voice is really going to make me lose wood,” Jared says derisively, rolling his eyes and flopping onto his back. “Whatever, princess. You denying me sex because you’d rather clean really bruises my ego, but I guess I’ll live.”

Jensen grins and kisses Jared softly before getting back on his feet. He produces a Swiffer sweeper from somewhere, and Jared huffs in amusement.

“I think there was a soda machine in the lounge up the hall,” Jensen says as he starts to make the other bed. “Why don’t you go get us a few? And stop pouting, you baby.”

“Fine,” Jared says, rolling off of the bed and heading out into the hall.

Since they were already so familiar with the campus and surrounding area, thanks to Josh and Jeff, they waited until pretty much the last minute to move in. Everyone else seems to be pretty much settled. People mingle in the hallways and almost every door is standing open, as if in invitation.

The lounge isn’t that far from their room. It’s got a big screen TV, couches, an air hockey table, and vending machines. There are two girls sitting on one of the couches, and he gives them a friendly smile before heading to the soda machine. He has a few crumpled dollar bills in his pocket and the first one goes in, but the machine seems dead set against taking another. He tries flattening them against the side of it, but to no avail. He blows his bangs out of his eyes and stares the machine down threateningly.

“Here,” a voice says, and Jared turns to see a fresh, crisp dollar bill in his face. He takes it from the girl and hands her one of his crumpled ones.

“Thanks,” Jared says, letting out a triumphant whoop as the machine accepts it. “I’m Jared,” he says, reaching out to shake her hand before stooping down to grab the drinks.

“Jessica,” she says sweetly. She’s a pretty girl, big chocolate brown eyes and long, flowing brown hair. “This your floor?”

“Yeah,” Jared replies. “Just got here this morning.”

“Oh, awesome!” She says, flipping her hair over one shoulder. Jared bites his lip to keep from grinning. “I’m in room 213.”

“Oh, we’re neighbors then,” Jared replies, smiling at her. “I’m in 214.”

“Great,” she says, grinning like this is the best news she’s ever heard. Jared holds up the sodas currently numbing his hands and gestures down the hall. She lights up, obviously interpreting this as an invitation.

“So are you from the area?” Jared asks, slipping the sodas in the pockets of his cargo shorts. She twirls her hair around one finger.

“No. San Francisco, actually,” she replies. The mere mention of the city has Jared cracking up, remembering the last time he was there. Sometimes Josh and Jeff’s faces the morning after their impromptu drunken threesome will pop up in his head randomly and he can’t help but laugh. “What?”

“No, I’m sorry,” Jared snorts, laughing into his palm. “I was just up there, and it made me think of something funny.”

“Oh,” she replies, stopping in front of her room. She opens the door and steps inside, looking at Jared over her shoulder. “Wanna come in?”

“Uh, no thanks,” Jared says quickly, taking a step back. “I have a lot of unpacking to do.”

“Oh,” she says again, pouting slightly. She turns and leans against the doorframe, batting her eyelashes at him. “Well it was nice to meet you, Jared.”

“You too, Jessica,” he replies politely. She laughs and rocks up onto the balls of her feet, flipping her hair over one shoulder.

“Feel free to stop by anytime,” she says, biting on her fleshy bottom lip. Jared lets out a low chuckle and rocks back on his heels. He recognizes this look, knows it all too well. It’s still sort of weird to him sometimes, getting all this attention from girls when not too long ago he was an awkward looking beanpole.

But he’s been with Jensen long enough now to know when it’s okay to flirt back a little and when it will cause him trouble. And this girl? She just looks like trouble.

He takes a step back, angling his body slightly away from her in what he hopes comes across as a thanks, but no thanks sort of pose.

“Uh, well. As long as we’re doing the whole meet and greet thing,” Jared says quickly, taking another step back. He turns his head, cupping one hand around his mouth. “Hey Jenny! Come meet our new neighbor!”

Jessica sticks her head out into the hallway, eyes narrowing. Jensen comes out of their room, looking gorgeous and bedraggled, sweaty from unpacking in the stuffy little dorm room. Jessica raises one perfectly groomed eyebrow as he approaches.

“You bellowed, dear?” Jensen asks sardonically, coming to stand at Jared’s side. Jared smirks and drapes an arm over his shoulders. The sooner Jared establishes just how off limits he is, the better. He seriously doesn’t like the hungry look in this girl’s eyes.

“I did. Jensen, this is Jessica,” he says, tucking Jensen’s hair behind one ear. It’s just barely long enough to do that now, and Jared gets the bad feeling that he’s going to cut it soon. “Jessica, this is my boyfriend slash roommate, Jensen.”

“Oh,” she says shortly, thinly concealed disappointment coloring her tone. “Hi.”

“Hey,” Jensen replies, turning to Jared slightly to raise an amused eyebrow. He smirks and wraps his arm around Jared’s waist; thumb tucked in the waistband of his basketball shorts. Jared bites his lip to stifle a laugh. A jealous Jensen can be a dangerous Jensen. Or a really, really fun one. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“Yeah,” she says distractedly. “Well, I’ve gotta, um.” She hooks her thumb behind her. “It was nice to meet you, Jared,” she says, giving Jared one last lingering look. “And, uh, Jensen.”

She barely glances at Jensen before going in her room and shutting the door. Jensen turns to muffle his laughter against Jared’s shoulder, fingers wrapping around his wrist, casual but possessive. Jared rolls his eyes and leads them back down the hall, immensely grateful she caught Jensen in a good mood. Jensen can be a jealous little bitch sometimes, but he’s certainly not the only one. Jared is also guilty of having a possessive streak a mile wide.

“Someone has a crush on you,” Jensen singsongs once they’re back in the room. Jared shrugs and runs his fingers through his hair.

“Looks like you’re gonna have to kick her ass,” Jared says, shaking his head in mock displeasure as he takes the sodas out of his pockets and sets them on the dresser. “Defend my honor.”

Jensen sighs, put upon. “I get so tired of defending your honor.”

“Well, that’s what you get for having a fucking Adonis as your boyfriend,” Jared says, stepping into Jensen’s personal space and gesturing towards his face. “Look at this bone structure, Jensen. My beauty is a curse.”

“You wanna talk about bone structure?” Jensen replies, pushing Jared back a little and sliding his fingertips across his chin. “Look at my jaw, Jared. I am fucking gorgeous.”

“Agreed,” Jared says, eyes growing a little dark as he pushes Jensen back towards one of the twin sized beds. “We’re both stunningly beautiful and everyone should be jealous.”

“Exactly,” Jensen says, falling backwards on the bed. Jared crawls on top of him, straddling his lap.

“Your freckles,” Jared points out, his breath a warm kiss on the bridge of Jensen’s nose.

“Your eyes,” Jensen counters, fingertip stroking across Jared’s brow.

Your eyes,” Jared says, kissing Jensen softly. “Your lips.”

“Your hands,” Jensen breathes, gasping softly when Jared squeezes his hips. They kiss eagerly then, hands stroking across skin, tangling in hair. Jared slides his hands under Jensen to flip them over, his signature move. But when he goes to roll, he slips off the edge of the bed. Jensen grabs his arm and tries to keep him from falling, laughing wildly, but he’s not quick enough and Jared hits the floor with a thump.

“Yeah, these fucking beds are going to be a problem,” Jared growls, and Jensen laughs again as he pokes his head over the side of the bed. Jared surges up onto his knees, kissing Jensen soundly and wrapping his arms around him.

“Your laugh,” Jared whispers, and then promptly pulls him down onto the floor.

They’ll just have to make do.

“Fuck you, Jared,” Jensen says later as Jared kisses his way down Jensen’s bare stomach. “I let you fuck me. Now you have to let me unpack my stuff.”

“Don’t wanna,” Jared says, tongue dipping into Jensen’s navel. Jensen whines, tugging on Jared’s hair. “Shut up and let me blow you, bitch.”

“No means no, asshole,” Jensen says, rolling away from Jared’s questing tongue. He gets up and throws his clothes back on, despite Jared’s disbelieving look. “I have to pee,” he admits, and Jared lets his head fall to the floor with a thunk.

“Have fun,” Jared replies, and Jensen checks himself in the mirror. His hair is mussed and he’s still a little pink and sweaty, but it’s not like he needs to look good to go use the can.

He slips out of their room and heads down the hallway, hoping no one tries to engage him in conversation. He makes it to the restroom (and seriously, fuck communal bathrooms) and gets out quickly. He rounds a corner and smacks right into a broad chest.

“Whoa!” The guy shouts, reaching out to grab Jensen’s shoulders to steady him. Jensen blushes and shrugs out of his grip.

“Sorry, dude,” he says, looking up at him. The guy’s eyes widen slightly.

“You have nothing to apologize for, seriously,” he says, looking Jensen up and down. He’s so blatantly checking him out that Jensen clears his throat and crosses his arms over his chest. “You on this floor?”

“Uh, yeah,” Jensen replies, scratching the back of his head. “Just moved in today.”

“And the angels smiled down upon me,” he says, and places his hand on Jensen’s shoulder. “I should warn you right now. I see myself developing quite a crush on you,” he says, and Jensen raises an eyebrow. “Not to worry, though. You’re completely out of my league, so I will just admire you from afar. Like a precious jewel.”

“I’m not sure whether to thank you or be really creeped out, to be honest,” Jensen says, chuckling awkwardly. The guy grins, and Jensen realizes he’s not that out of his league. They’re about the same height and build, and the guy has messy light brown hair and awesome blue eyes. He’s actually really hot.

He doesn’t hold a candle to Jared, of course, but he’s not bad to look at.

“I think a decent mixture of both would be healthy,” he responds, and holds out his hand. “I’m James.”

“Jensen,” he replies, shaking his hand. There’s something about this guy that Jensen immediately likes. He’s hilarious, for one. That’s sort of a deal breaker for him. Flattery doesn’t hurt, either.

Jared comes out of their room then, clad in a pair of clingy black lounge pants and a white wifebeater, which in Jensen’s opinion is the hottest outfit he could ever wear. He really hit the gym hard this summer, and it’s evident by the sinewy muscles rippling under his tan skin.

“Jared!” Jensen calls, waving him over. Jared walks over and raises an eyebrow.

“Holy shit. Did you make a friend all by yourself?” Jared asks, clearly amused as he throws a casual, yet possessive arm over Jensen’s shoulders.

“I think so. This is James,” he says, gesturing towards him. “And this is my boyfriend, Jared.”

“Hey!” James says brightly, reaching out to shake Jared’s hand. “What’s up? Jensen and I were just talking about how I have no attraction towards him whatsoever!”

“James has a crush on me already,” Jensen says, sighing like this is a great burden before throwing James a wink.

“Is that so?” Jared asks, amused. James laughs nervously.

“That was before I knew you had a boyfriend that could snap me like a twig,” James says, grinning cheekily. “Now you’re just that dude down the hall. I can turn it off that quick.”

“Good to know,” Jared laughs. James looks at them for a moment before snapping his fingers and pointing.

“Wait a minute,” he says. “Jensen and Jared? As in Josh and Jeff’s kid brothers?”

“That would be us,” Jared says with a smirk. They’ll never outgrow the curse (and okay, sometimes blessing) of being known as Josh and Jeff’s kid brothers. Jensen isn’t surprised that James knows their brothers. He seems like the kind of guy that they would get along famously with. “Hey, come to our room. Maybe some company will get Jensen to stop cleaning for five goddamn seconds.”

“Sure,” James says, following Jared and Jensen into their room. “They told me you guys were starting this year, and that you were screwing each other silly. Didn’t mention you both were so damn adorable. Though, I guess as your immediate family they wouldn’t.”

“Probably not,” Jared smirks, and James leans against the wall. There is a knock on the slightly open door and a guy pushes it open, nearly smacking James in the face.

“Hey guys! You must be Jared and Jensen,” the guy says brightly. “I’m Misha Collins, your resident advisor. You’re the last to move in. Almost thought you wouldn’t make it.”

“Hey,” Jared replies cheerily. “I’m Jared and this is Jensen,” he adds, nudging Jensen with his elbow. Jensen socks him in the hip and gives Misha a little wave.

“So you two know each other already then?” Misha asks, obviously picking up on the camaraderie between them. Jared raises an eyebrow and smirks at Jensen, who lets out an amused snort. What a loaded question.

“Since birth, actually,” Jensen says, and Misha grins widely. He seems a little too cheerful, but Jensen can tell when it’s faked. He does it enough to know.

“Well good,” Misha says, rocking back on his heels and checking his watch. Underneath the pasted on grin he looks stressed out, fed up, and Jensen nearly laughs. “That’ll make things easier. Well, I just wanted to introduce myself. I’m in room 202 if you ever need anything, and I wanted to let you know that we’re going to have a floor meeting tomorrow at seven.”

He still hasn’t noticed James lurking behind him, and James puts a finger to his lips as he edges closer to Misha. Jensen raises an eyebrow but says nothing, half listening as Misha talks. James is literally right behind him, peering over his shoulder.

“It’ll be in the lounge,” Misha continues, and James leans forward slightly until his lips are nearly brushing Misha’s neck. Jensen bites his lip to keep from laughing. “Just a little gathering so everyone can introduce themselves and – Jesus fucking Christ, Roday!”

James busts up laughing and Jared and Jensen join in as Misha puts his hand over his heart and glares at James.

“You fucking dick. Almost gave me a fucking heart attack, asshole,” he grits out, huffing when James slings an arm over his shoulders.

“And now you’ve really met Misha,” James says delightedly, placing his palm over Misha’s heart. “Our delicate little flower. You can cut the camp counselor bullshit, dude. These are Josh and Jeff’s brothers.”

“Really?” Misha says, looking over at them. He sighs and sags in relief, edging out from under James’s arm. “Thank fuck. I’m so fucking tired of being so damn cheerful.”

“Oh, you and Jensen are going to get along splendidly,” Jared snorts, and Jensen stomps on his foot. “So, small world it seems.”

“Not really,” Misha says, rolling his neck back and forth. He looks like a completely different person already. He’s attractive, slight with tan skin and brown hair. It’s got blond streaks in it, but it looks natural like he spent too much time in the sun. His eyes are an intense shade of blue that Jensen sort of doesn’t want to look directly into. “It’s just that your brothers are the sort of people everyone at least knows of. And James is our fucking resident Van Wilder.”

“If by that you mean that I’m attractive, witty, and helpful,” James says haughtily, “then thank you. I’m flattered.”

“By that I mean that you’re never going to fucking leave,” Misha replies, rolling his eyes. James smirks and then bites his bottom lip, eyes flashing bright.

“You’ll miss me when I’m gone,” James says, punching Misha’s shoulder. “One hundred percent guaranteed.”

“At the rate you’re going, you’ll be the one missing me.”

“Well, I was planning on graduating this year, but maybe I’ll stick around if you’re gonna keep being so feisty,” James says teasingly, and Misha wrinkles his nose. “Anyway, we should let these kids unpack. Because if I know their brothers, and believe me, I do, then they’ll be over here later to have their own little welcoming party.”

“Fantastic,” Jensen says, rolling his eyes. James comes over and puts his hands on Jared and Jensen’s shoulders.

“I think this is going to be the start of a beautiful friendship,” James tells them, leaning in close. Jared and Jensen both lean back a little, sharing a quick glance. “Look, I’m in room 209 if you need anything. Don’t bother going to this asshole. Yoga boy over there will just tell you to look deep within yourselves and light some incense or some shit or he’ll cuss at you ‘til you cry. Dude’s a walking fucking contradiction.”

“Fuck you,” Misha says with feeling, and then gives Jared and Jensen a bored sort of nod before he walks out of the room. Jensen cocks his head to the side. He certainly seems interesting.

“Seriously,” James says again. “Anything.” He winks at them and leaves the room, shutting the door with a soft click behind him.

“Well,” Jared says loudly, laughing a little. “That was interesting. Now what do we do?”

“We un-fucking-pack,” Jensen says, opening a box and pulling out his gorgeous, expensive, life saving coffee maker. He hugs it, just a little, before setting it in a place of honor on the desk.

“I’m jealous of a coffee maker,” Jared sighs. “Guess you’ll have to fuck me good and hard, prove it’s really me you love.”

“Unpack, Jared! Shit!”


A few hours later everything is mostly unpacked and the room is starting to look more put together. Jensen banished Jared from touching anything after he nearly dropped the microwave, so now he’s working on rebuilding his photo collage on the wall over the desk.

It’s something he started a few years ago, back when he really got into photography. The pictures are mostly of him and Jensen, with various pictures of their other friends mixed in. It makes Jared insanely happy to see pictures of them when they were little mixed in with pictures of them taken recently. It’s obvious how much they’ve always loved each other, even in photographs. It’s easy to see how that love progressed into what they have now, something all encompassing and wildly strong. Their future is plain to see, just by looking at photos of the past.

He’s adding a picture of Jensen at the beach when there is a sudden loud banging at their door. Jensen sighs and hangs up a shirt in Jared’s closet.

“Jared! Jensen! Jared! Jensen!” Josh’s voice filters through the wood, loud and booming. “Put on some clothes and open the door!”

Jared gets down off of the desk and gives Jensen a helpless shrug as he goes to answer the door.

“Must you be so goddamn loud?” Jared asks, coming face to face with the grinning faces of Josh and Jeff.

“We brought you a dorm warming present!” Jeff says gleefully, holding something out in front of him. It takes Jared a second to put together what exactly it is. It’s a condom tree. No, really. There’s a pot with green wires coming out of it, and where there should be leaves there are instead condoms. Jared rolls his eyes.

“It’s decorative!” Josh adds, nodding happily. James opens his door then, peering out to see what all the commotion is.

“Dudes!” James exclaims, coming out of his room and shutting the door. He shares a fist bump with each of them and nods at the tree. “Nice foliage.”

“Creative,” Jensen says, finally coming to stand at Jared’s side. More people are sticking their heads out of their rooms now, including Jessica and a pretty blonde girl that must be her roommate. “I don’t even want to know where you got that.”

“Probably not,” Josh replies, and they soon hear Misha’s voice filtering down the hall.

“Okay, guys. It’s about ten o’clock and I just wanted to remind you that you need to be quiet in the halls after that time.” He’s using his overly cheerful voice, and James snickers. “Oh, it’s you assholes,” he adds in a lower octave once he sees who it is.

“Misha!” Jeff greets him, reaching out to pull him closer. “I give it a week before you snap and kill some poor little freshman, you bipolar bastard.”

“I’ll take that bet. I took up yoga. It’s relaxing.” Misha replies easily. “Can you get in the room and quit being fucking obnoxious out in the hallway, please?”

“For you,” James coos, touching the tip of Misha’s nose before pushing past Jared and Jensen. They all file in and Jared sees the curious looks of quite a few people out in the hall, quite possibly wondering why a bunch of seniors and their RA are all cramming in the room of a few measly freshmen. Jared gives Jessica a nod before shutting the door.

“Lookin’ good, boys,” James says as he looks around the room. His eyes catch on Jared’s collage and he walks over to look at it.

“I knew it wouldn’t take long for you guys to meet James,” Jeff says, setting the condom tree on the desk. Jared thinks it would almost be worth the expressions on their faces to tell them that the only time they use condoms anymore are when they’re worried about the mess, but he remains quiet.

“It doesn’t take anyone long to meet James,” Misha grumbles, shooting James a look. “Can I trust you guys not to fucking burn down the dorm if I leave?”

“You have our word,” Josh says solemnly, one hand on his chest. Misha just rolls his eyes and leaves.

“He’s not a very shiny happy person, is he?” Jared asks, and the three older boys just laugh like they’re sharing a private joke.

“And not only have they met me,” James says, picking up on the earlier comment. “I have chosen them.”

“For what?” Jensen asks dubiously, raising an eyebrow. James grins, wide and happy. It’s sort of terrifying.

“As a senior,” James starts, holding his index finger high in the air. Josh slaps it down, making guns with his hands and pointing them at James.

“Super senior,” Josh corrects, grinning wickedly. James turns to look at him, blue eyes narrowing slightly.

“Thank you, Joshua,” James replies scathingly. “I appreciate that. Anyway, as I was saying. As a senior who shares a floor with them, I think it’s vital that I take young Jared and Jensen here under my wing, that I show them the way. They’re just baby birds after all, and they need to be fed.”

“Is that really necessary?” Jensen asks, looking pleadingly at his brother as he scoots closer to Jared.

“It is!” James responds fervently. “Plus, I fit seamlessly into your little alphabetically exclusive group. We’re all J’s here. Although, I think it’s safe to say that Jensen was the clear winner in this certain gene pool.”

“Well, that’s true,” Jensen allows, grinning when Jared hums in agreement.

“Yeah,” Jeff says thoughtfully. “Jensen is the fairest of them all.”

“He’s a pretty, pretty princess,” Jared adds, giving Jensen a little squeeze.

“Goddamn it, Jensen!” Josh bellows. “Will you please stop attracting every cock in town? I’m getting really sick of threatening all my friends!”

“Whoa, hey!” James shouts. “I admire Jensen’s beauty in a purely aesthetic way.”

“It better stay that way,” Jared says, giving James a mock threatening glare. Josh and Jeff roll their eyes.

“Whatever,” Josh adds. “We’re getting out of here. But if you need anything ask James. Seriously. He knows pretty much all there is to know. Going here for thirty-two years will do that to a person.”

“Oh, exaggerating for comedic purposes,” James replies sarcastically. “I wish I had thought of that. It’s so clever. Dick.”

The three boys file out of the door without really saying goodbye and Jared and Jensen turn towards each other. They’re quiet for a second before they start laughing, shrugging helplessly.

Yeah, it’s going to be an interesting year.

Their first official week of college classes goes by smoothly. They’re each taking five, and they share two. Jensen has Drama with Sandy, History with Jared, and Intro to Psych with Jared and Chad.

Most of his professors are fine, but he sort of wants to beat his Biology professor to death with a brick. In the face. He’s so annoying. But then again, Jensen finds most people annoying, so perhaps he isn’t the best judge of character.

Smoothly as things may have gone, it was still a very stressful and hectic week after a long and lazy summer. It’s Friday night and as of right now, they don’t have any plans.

Jensen is lazing on his bed, flicking through the channels as he waits for Jared to come home. His last class ended at five, if Jensen remembers correctly, so he should be back any minute.

It’s nearly half past when Jared trudges inside the room, flinging his backpack in the general direction of his bed. His shoulders are all bunched up and he’s got his puppy eyes already in place, like he was practicing on the way home. Jensen raises an eyebrow.

“Hi,” Jared says miserably, rolling his shoulders and stretching. Jensen smirks. This is Jared’s less than subtle way of demanding a massage.

Ever since Jensen divulged his desire to become a physical therapist back when they were fifteen, Jared has been soliciting him for massages. It was the worst form of torture after he realized his feelings for Jared. He hated giving them, being able to put his hands on all that skin and not be able to really touch him.

He started refusing when Jared asked, just trying to spare his sanity. Watching Jared pout and twist leads Jensen to believe that Jared never put two and two together, never realized the massages stopped right around the time Jensen fell in love with him.

“Back hurt?” Jensen asks, and Jared looks over and gives him a pathetic nod. “I told you not to carry so much shit around.”

“I know,” Jared replies, kicking ineffectually at his backpack. Jensen laughs and turns off the television, dropping the remote on the floor as he rolls off of the bed. He walks over to Jared, rubs his hands over his broad back, and kneads lightly at his shoulders.

“You’re really tense,” Jensen says lowly, pressing his fist in against the base of Jared’s spine and making him hiss. “Put down a towel and lay on my bed,” Jensen instructs, and Jared nods gratefully.

Jensen opens their door and grabs the marker from their whiteboard. He writes Leave us the hell alone. Yes, even you, Josh and Jeff. (Especially James.) and shuts the door, locking it behind him.

Jared is on Jensen’s bed, lying on his stomach with his arms crossed under his head. He’s stripped down to his underwear, a pair of black boxer briefs, and heat simmers low in Jensen’s belly.

Jensen pulls off his own tee shirt, leaving him only in a pair of black lounge pants. He flicks off the light and draws the curtains, leaving the room dim. After putting something soft on the stereo, he pulls a box out from under his bed. It contains their oils and lubes, pretty much anything sex related.

He straddles Jared’s hips and sits on his ass, setting the box down next to him and flipping the lid off. He rummages through the different massage oils, eyes landing on the glass dildo they bought in Big Sur. Jared used it on Jensen once over the summer, and Jensen’s lips curve up at the memory.

He chooses an oil and dribbles some on Jared’s back and then in his hands, warming it between his palms before he reaches down to spread it across Jared’s skin. Jared sighs contentedly when Jensen starts kneading at the firm muscles where his shoulders meet his neck, thumbs rubbing hard circles into his spine.

Jared relaxes against the bed as Jensen works, nearly silent. Jensen lets his hands slide down the slippery expanse of Jared’s back, fingers digging into hard muscle. Jared lets out a tiny moan, hissing slightly as Jensen works out a knot of muscle near the base of his spine.

Half an hour later, Jared is absolute putty in his hands. His back, neck, shoulders, and arms are slick with oil and he’s breathing deep and even. Jensen is leaking in his pants, and Jared must be aware of how hard he is, cock rocking against his ass every time Jensen slides his hands up to knead at his shoulders.

Jared has his head turned to the side; cat eyes closed and lips bitten red. Jensen knows he’s hard, can tell by the way he keeps shifting his hips against the bed. He’s so loose and relaxed, so pliant under Jensen’s talented hands.

Jensen lifts himself up on his knees and scoots back a little, sliding his hands down Jared’s flanks to hook his thumbs in the waistband of his underwear. Jared wordlessly lifts his hips, slow and lazy, to let Jensen pull them down and off.

There’s a wet spot at the front of Jensen’s thin pants that only grows when he starts to knead the firm globes of Jared’s ass. He slides his thumbs along the creases of Jared’s thighs, fingertips trailing between his cheeks.

Jared’s breath hitches when Jensen leans down to press a soft kiss to the base of his spine, tasting oil and sweat. Jared spreads his legs a little, but otherwise doesn’t move. Jensen trails his tongue down between Jared’s cheeks to his hole, spreading them with his thumbs as he laps at the tightly furled muscle. It’s been a little while since Jared’s done this, and he’s so fucking tight every damn time.

Jared sighs deeply, boneless and pliant, letting Jensen do whatever he wants. Jensen tongues at his hole for a little while, lapping and sucking until he can slide it inside, curl it upwards and make Jared gasp.

Jensen sits up and grabs the massage oil, drizzling some on his fingers. He reaches down to rub it into Jared’s hole, getting it nice and slick before pressing one finger in to the knuckle. Jared lets out a tiny noise, hips tilting up a little. Jensen fingers him lazily, sliding two fingers in and rubbing them against Jared’s prostate insistently. Jared moans brokenly, fingers digging into the sheets.

Jensen eyes the glass dildo in the box, biting his lip as he reaches over and grabs it with his free hand. He pulls his fingers free and coats the toy with oil, stroking it until it’s warm and slick. He leans forward to press the tip of it between Jared’s shoulder blades, smooth glass sliding along slick skin. Jared slowly blinks his eyes open but doesn’t say anything, doesn’t even turn his head to verify what the object is.

The trust Jared has in him turns him on more than anything, cock leaking as he trails the dildo in a serpentine pattern down Jared’s back. He settles between Jared’s legs, spreading them a little and grabbing a stray pillow.

“Lift up,” Jensen says softly, afraid anything above a whisper will shatter the mood. Jared raises his hips and Jensen folds the pillow in half and slides it underneath him. Jared hisses as it brushes his hard cock, but he settles down onto it without complaint.

“Relax,” Jensen commands gently, sliding the toy down between Jared’s cheeks, pressing it teasingly against his hole. Jared whimpers a little, eyes slipping shut again. Jensen uses his free hand to spread his cheeks, twisting the smooth head of the toy a little before pushing it in. Jensen’s eyes light up as he watches Jared take the toy easily. It slides in without any hesitation; pink muscle parting around the translucent glass.

Jared moans, soft and broken, ass tilting up. Jensen pushes it all the way in to the base – holds it there with his thumb and wiggles it a little. Jared is breathing heavier now, panting against the sheets as he twists his fingers in them.

Jensen lets go of the toy, watches with rapt fascination as it slides back out of Jared’s ass. He grips the end of it and starts fucking Jared with long, slow strokes. The sight is almost too much to handle, his cock curving up insistently and leaking steadily. He leans down to tongue at the shiny pink rim of Jared’s ass, moaning at the texture of it, stretched so wide and open.

He pulls the toy all of the way out, circles Jared’s hole a few times and pushes it back in suddenly, angles it so the tip presses firmly against Jared’s prostate. He moans loudly, thighs trembling slightly.

Jensen holds the toy in with one hand, keeping insistent pressure against that spot in Jared as he pushes his pants down with his other hand. He kicks them off and lubes his bare cock, hissing as he wraps his hand around it. He squeezes the base for a moment, trying to get control over himself. It’s not that often he gets to do this, and he wants to make it last.

It’s not that Jared doesn’t enjoy bottoming; he does as far as Jensen knows. But Jensen loves it, needs that cock in him more than anything and it’s not too often he finds himself wanting it the other way around.

But right now? He wants to fuck Jared’s pretty ass until he screams.

Jared is panting, moaning as he shifts his hips, trying to get away from the intense, unrelenting pressure of the toy against his prostate. Jensen fucks it in and out of him a few more times as he positions himself. He presses the toy in as far as it will go, holding it there as he grips his own cock and circles it around the base of the toy, paints the stretched rim of Jared’s ass with his pre-come. Jared moans, desperate and low, hips pressing back. Jensen lets his index finger slide up the toy, fingers the rim of his ass before slipping it in alongside it.

Jared has never been so fucking loose, and Jensen knows he could stretch him wider, slide his cock in right alongside the toy and Jared would let him. He would fucking beg for it.

“Please,” Jared pants, burying his face in the pillow. Jensen’s eyes snap up at that, eyeing the graceful arch of his spine. He looks back down, slides the toy and his finger out of Jared’s ass, not giving him a second’s rest before pushing his cock inside. He bottoms out, hips snug against Jared’s ass. Jared lets out a long, low moan, turning his head to the side as he presses back against Jensen.

“Feels so good,” Jared pants, dark eyes blinking open. Jensen drapes himself over Jared, chest sliding smoothly across his slick back. He presses a kiss to the back of Jared’s neck as he starts to fuck in and out, his thrusts slow and deep.

Jared groans, stretching his arms out in front of him to grip the headboard. Jensen pins Jared’s hips to the bed, forces Jared to let him do all the work. Once he’s sure Jared won’t try to move, he slides his hands up Jared’s muscular arms, closing his hands over Jared’s as he grips the headboard.

“Fuck, Jared. Fuck,” Jensen pants, pressing his forehead against the back of Jared’s neck, biting softly at the skin there.

“Close,” Jared pants, starting to rut against the bed. Jensen doesn’t move his hands to help him, hoping the bed will provide enough friction to get him off. Or that he’ll come on Jensen’s cock alone.

“Let me feel it,” Jensen breathes into Jared’s ear, surging forward to press sloppy kisses to Jared’s jaw. He angles his hips, pounding harder into Jared, aiming for his prostate on every stroke. Jared cries out, throwing his head back as he tenses. Jensen can feel Jared’s ass clench down onto his dick hard with every wave of his orgasm.

Jensen shouts out, bites down hard on Jared’s shoulder as his own orgasm hits him. He comes deep inside of Jared, hips jerking as he does so. He collapses fully on top of Jared, panting harshly against the side of his neck.

Jared’s chest is heaving below him, legs trembling as he comes down. Jensen pulls his hands away from the headboard and grips Jared’s hip, one hand on his dick as he pulls out. Jared whimpers a little, and Jensen’s eyes are fixed on his hole, still clenching slightly. Come leaks out of him, running down to coat his balls. Jensen scoops some of it up on his finger and sucks it clean with an appreciative moan.

He gets a glint in his eye and slides two fingers into Jared’s fucked out hole, gets them nice and messy before he sprawls out on top of Jared again. He reaches up, painting Jared’s lips with the mixture before sliding his fingers into his willing mouth.

Jared turns his head, sucking hard on Jensen’s fingers, biting at the tips. Jensen pulls his fingers out and surges up, kissing him and tasting spit, come, and massage oil as their tongues tangle lazily.

Eventually, Jensen takes pity on Jared’s neck and slides off of him, rolling onto his side of the narrow bed. Jared stays on his stomach, but he removes the pillow and tosses it on the floor. Jensen smirks, sliding his fingers back and forth across Jared’s slick skin.

“Are you nice and relaxed?” Jensen asks; voice fucked out and raw. Jared lets out a snort, turning his head to the side to peer at Jensen with heavy lidded eyes.

“That’s one way of putting it,” he mumbles roughly, eyes slipping shut. “’M never movin’ again. Thanks, baby.”

Jensen chuckles and gets up on his knees, rolling Jared to the side and pulling the towel out from under him. He wipes as much of the oil as he can from their bodies and cleans gently between Jared’s legs.

“You have to wash my sheets,” Jensen says once he lies back down next to Jared. He wraps one arm around Jared’s shoulders, pulls him close and smiles as Jared tucks his head under Jensen’s jaw.

“Do it when I wake up,” Jared replies sleepily. “In like a week. Shh.”

Jensen smiles fondly, pressing a soft kiss to Jared’s temple as he drifts to sleep. It’s not long before the gently rhythm of Jared’s breathing lulls him to sleep as well. It may be their first Friday night as college students, but there’s nothing he’d rather be doing than taking a nap in his boyfriend’s arms.

It doesn’t take Jensen long to figure out that college is a lot like high school without the parental supervision. It’s not the same, not at all. But there are definite similarities. Jensen spends his time going to class, doing homework, getting drunk with his friends, and being with Jared.

It takes a few weeks for him to settle into a routine, and once he feels he’s got his classes down he takes a job at the used bookstore on campus. It’s only fifteen to twenty hours a week, because he doesn’t want to overwhelm himself right off the bat. But he wouldn’t mind a little extra spending money.

Of course, this means he gets less boyfriend time. They were pretty good at synchronizing their schedules so they’re in class around the same times, but there are days when it’s late in the evening by the time he can stop and take a breath, just relax and say hi.

Thursdays are good, because somehow the stars aligned and everyone’s schedules synched up in such a way that they’re able to have lunch together. That’s when it feels the most like high school, when Jensen doesn’t have to think about his realization that every action he takes from here on out is all on him. There is no one to fix his problems now, and he can’t afford to fuck up.

It’s a lot to take in.

He’s exhausted as he leaves his Drama class with Sandy. He was up late with Jared, and then worked an early morning shift at the bookstore before class. His schedule there is erratic at best, but it works. The manager is sympathetic and flexible, and sticks him in wherever there are holes in his daily schedule so he doesn’t have to work at night. For that, he’s eternally grateful.

The sun is bright, hanging high in the sky as September draws to a close. It’s warm and balmy, classic LA weather. The familiar scent of smog lingers in the air and Jensen takes a deep breath of what he grew up thinking was fresh air.

Sandy jumps on Jensen’s back then, distracting him from his thoughts. She giggles in his ear and loops her arms around his neck, and he laughs as he hooks his hands under her knees to hold her up.

This is also something that baffles him, his friendship with Sandy. They had all started hanging out a lot over the summer, thanks in part to Chad dating Sophia, who happens to be Sandy’s best friend. Jensen had thought it would be terribly awkward back when it all started, but it was like Jared had never had any feelings for her at all. Not that Jensen thought he would continue to lust over Sandy once they were together, but he’s man enough to admit he was worried about what would come of the situation.

As it turns out, he had no need to worry at all. Jared only has eyes for him, and he now regards Sandy as only a friend. What’s really surprising is how much he and Sandy bonded once the jealousy that once clouded his vision of her was gone. This tiny, bubbly, fun girl somehow wormed her way into his life, and she seems to have no intentions of leaving.

“Are you gonna do the fall play, Jenny?” Sandy asks as Jensen gives her a piggyback ride to their usual spot. It’s not like it’s much of a chore. She weighs next to nothing. “You should try out with me. I’m totally gonna land the female lead.”

“You just want me to be the male lead so you can make out with me,” Jensen jokes, hoisting Sandy up higher on his back. “Don’t front.”

“Well, duh,” Sandy replies without skipping a beat. “So are you gonna or not?”

“I don’t know,” Jensen says thoughtfully. He reaches the picnic table and she hops off of his back. They both sit at the table and wait, squinting against the bright sun. “I don’t know if I want to add doing a play on top of everything else my first semester, you know?”

“I get it,” Sandy replies. “It’s easier for me. I mean, that’s my major. But think about it. There’s no one else I’d rather make out with than my favorite gay boy.”

“That makes me weep for your future,” Jensen says, deadpan. He lifts his head when Chad and Sophia approach, dropping down at the table. Chad lets his books drop down to the cement with a clatter and drapes his arm over Sophia’s shoulders.

“Fuck math. Fuck it hard in the ass,” Chad says in lieu of a greeting, and then cuts Jensen a look. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Jensen just laughs, but the smile slips from his face when he spots Jared. Jessica and Katie are flanking him as he makes his way towards the table. Katie is Jessica’s roommate, and Jensen doesn’t have a problem with her. He actually sort of likes her. She’s got a razor sharp wit and a wicked sense of humor. But Jessica still hasn’t gotten over her little crush on Jared, and while it was amusing at first it’s gotten more than a little irritating.

“Great,” Jensen snorts, rolling his eyes. Sandy furrows her brow and sits up straighter to follow Jensen’s gaze. Once she sees Jessica, her normally warm eyes cool considerably. Sophia turns around, lips pulling back into a grimace.

If nothing else, Jensen’s girls are fiercely protective of their gays.

“She’s not coming over here, is she?” Sophia asks in that whiskey rough voice of hers.

“Jared’s too polite not to invite her,” Jensen sighs, and Sandy drops her head onto Jensen’s shoulder sympathetically.

“I’m not,” Sophia grits out, and Jensen rolls his eyes. If he lets this go on any longer he’ll have to break out the hose. Besides, he can tell how uncomfortable Jared is. To anyone else he’d look perfectly relaxed, but Jensen knows him well enough to see the subtle straightness of his back, the tense set of his jaw.

“Don’t worry about it,” Jensen says, patting Sandy’s back a few times until she sits up. “She has to live across the hall from us. I don’t want it to get any more awkward.”

“Sorry baby,” Sophia says suddenly, leaning over to give Chad a quick kiss on the cheek before springing up from the table. Chad merely blinks as Sophia bounds over to Jared and drags him over by the arm, giving Katie and Jessica a very convincing smile over her shoulder. She seats Jared next to Jensen and sits on the end of the bench herself, leaving no extra room.

Sandy stays in her spot and smiles at the girls as well. Jensen rolls his eyes and tries to hide his smile. Katie and Jessica sit down next to a very put out looking Chad.

“Hey,” Jensen says intimately, leaning it to share a long, lingering kiss with Jared. He can feel eyes on them. “How was class?”

“Fine,” Jared replies, slinging his arm around Jensen’s shoulders and reaching over to tug on Sandy’s hair. She squeaks and smacks his arm.

“Any luck finding a job?” Jensen asks, leaning heavily against Jared. Yes, he may be playing it up just a little. But fuck it. Jared is his boyfriend and he can stake all the claim he damn well pleases.

“No,” Jared scowls, tucking his arm around Jensen’s waist. “There is apparently nothing open on campus.”

Jensen smirks. Ever since Jensen got his job Jared has been looking for one as well, joking around and saying there’s no way he can let Jensen be the man in their relationship. But Jensen sees it for what it is. They’re equals. Jared won’t let Jensen pay for dinner without getting the next one. But that’s how it’s always been.

They all chat for a while; Jensen and Jared with their arms around each other and Chad and Sophia kicking each other playfully under the table. Jessica is quiet, but she mostly always is around Jensen. It makes him uncomfortable, makes him think she’s planning something.

A shadow falls over the table, and Jensen looks up just in time to see James climbing up onto it, flipping over to lie on his back and spread out, feet and hands dangling off of the edges.

“Hello children,” he says with a friendly grin. Jensen rolls his eyes and Jared brings his hand down in a hard slap on the strip of skin where James’s shirt has ridden up. To his credit, James barely flinches.

“How do you always find us?” Chad asks, eyeing James dubiously. James just grins again, wide and happy. It’s pretty much his default setting.

“Freshmen are frightened and predictable creatures,” he says seriously, and then tips his head back to look at the dorm. “Plus you’re like fifty feet from the dorm, which is where I live, dipshit. I sort of have to walk by.”

“Hello, ladies,” James adds, rolling onto his side to face Sandy and Sophia, propping his body up on his elbow. “How are the two prettiest girls on campus?”

“Can’t complain,” Sophia replies sweetly, and Sandy flips her hair and giggles. Chad glares at the back of James’s head. James waves a hand behind him, not bothering to turn around.

“Don’t think I forgot about you, lovelies,” James says, rolling up to sit cross-legged at the end of the table. “Look at you lucky, lucky boys. Surrounded by beautiful girls all the time.”

“They are quite lucky, aren’t they?” Sophia says, and then leans over to kiss away Chad’s pout.

“You girls are the only reason I allow myself to be seen with these losers,” James adds, leaning over to tuck Sandy’s hair behind her ear.

“James, I’m hurt,” Jensen says, slapping his hand over his heart. “What happened to your epic crush on me?”

“Over it, dude,” James says simply. “Like I could come between that unbreakable bond.” He waves a hand towards him and Jared. “Like anyone could.”

Jensen doesn’t think he imagines the way his eyes go hard and serious, for once, and land on Jessica. He definitely doesn’t miss the way her lips curve up into a smirk, eyes flashing like she was just given a challenge.

“But we could work something out, I think,” James continues, looping an arm around both Chad and Sophia’s shoulders and wiggling his eyebrows.

“You are absolutely fucking shameless,” Chad says, but he’s laughing. “Let go of my girl.”

James just laughs and flops back down on the table, looking perfectly comfortable all stretched out in the middle of their group.

“Did you want something in particular?” Jensen asks, reaching up to tangle his fingers with Jared’s after he loops an arm around Jensen’s shoulders.

“Besides ogling your friends?” James asks. He then snaps his fingers and sits up, facing Jared. “Were you still looking for a job?”

“Yeah,” Jared says curiously, “but I’m not sure I want to do anything you would think is a good way to make money.”

“While you could make a killing in that sort of profession, I’m not willing to have my balls ripped off by your jealous boyfriend,” James says, shooting Jensen a wink. “I know this guy, Ed. Runs a coffee shop a few blocks off campus. He owed me a favor.”

“Seriously?” Jared asks, eyes lighting up.

“You start Monday,” James replies. “You can go in there this weekend and work out your schedule with him. He’s real cool, won’t fuck you over with your classes. And while your boy is busy pouting about all the naughty boom boom time he’s missing out on, you can console him with free coffee.”

“Free coffee?” Jensen says, perking up. “He’ll take it.”

“Shit yeah I will,” Jared replies, leaning in closer to James. “I could kiss you.”

“Dude. Free coffee. We’ll both kiss him,” Jensen laughs, and they surge forward to kiss James on the cheek. James turns his head and manages to lick across both of their lips, making them splutter and laugh.

“Gaaaay,” Chad groans, and Sophia reaches over to flick his nose.

“Oh, I’ll show you gay,” James threatens, lunging for Chad who lets out a sharp cry and jumps up to flee from the table.

Jensen just chuckles and leans over to catch Jared’s lips in a soft kiss, not giving a flying fuck about anybody that may be watching them.

Hell, let them take notes.

Ed is well, interesting, to say the least. Jared is not at all surprised that he and James are friends, to put it that way.

When Jared shows up on Saturday afternoon, the place is sort of packed. There are people squashed onto lumpy couches and overstuffed armchairs, all reading books or typing furiously on their laptops. Jared runs his fingers through his hair and steps up to the counter. The guy that greets him has flaming red hair that seems to stick out in every direction and his eyes are hidden behind thick black frames. He has a hoop through his bottom lip and his fingernails are painted black.

“What can I get ya?” He asks cheerfully, and Jared clears his throat.

“Uh, I’m Jared. James’s friend,” he says politely. “I’m supposed to talk to Ed?”

“Oh shit, that’s right!” The guy says, throwing a towel over his shoulder and coming around the counter. He’s wearing a kilt and combat boots. “I’m Ed.”

Somehow, Jared isn’t surprised.

“Hey,” Jared says, shaking the guy’s hand. Ed motions behind the counter and Jared follows after a beat. He’s led into a cramped and tiny office, and Ed picks up a clipboard and tosses it to him.

“Here’s some shit to fill out,” Ed says, turning to face him. “There’s also a schedule there. I’m pretty set on staff but I could always use the extra help, so you can work pretty much whenever. James said you were a freshman, and shit man, I know how rough that is. So put yourself on the schedule whenever.”

Jared just nods uncertainly.

“So no more than like fifteen hours a week for starters, yeah? School comes first, and you definitely gotta leave time for fun,” Ed tells him, dropping into a chair and spinning around. “You got a girlfriend, Jared?”

“Boyfriend,” Jared says absently, leaning against the wall to look over the schedule. Ed doesn’t show a hint of surprise, just keeps twirling.

“All the same, gotta leave time for him, too.”

“Well, he’s strangely addicted to coffee so I’m sure he’ll be in here all the time,” Jared replies, and then tenses. It’s probably not the best idea to tell your new employer that your boyfriend is going to be loitering in his place of business all the time mainlining free coffee, but Ed just laughs.

“There are worse addictions,” he says, and then jumps up when the bell above the door jingles. “Well, you fill that stuff out and then come find me. You up for learnin’ some shit?”

“Uh, sure,” Jared agrees, and drops down into the seat Ed vacated. Ed grins at him, wide and toothy, and heads towards the front. Jared stares after him for a moment, and then shakes his head and grins.

He doesn’t spend too much time on his schedule. He just matches it to Jensen’s the best he can, scheduling himself for five three hour shifts, two of them falling on Mondays before and after his only class at 12:30.

After filling out all his paperwork, he goes out to find Ed. He okays Jared’s schedule and tosses him an apron, smirking a little.

“Now, pay attention. This shit’s important.”

A few very hectic and confusing hours pass, wherein Ed teaches him how to make every sort of coffee and tea related drink on the planet. He thinks it goes pretty well, aside from the unfortunate moments where he accidentally snorts some freshly ground coffee when he leans in to smell it and then dumps a shot of espresso on his favorite jeans.

“You’ll learn as you go,” are Ed’s parting words as he shoves him out the door. “See ya on Monday, kid!”

When Jared finally gets back into the room Jensen is lying on his stomach doing some homework. He perks up when Jared walks in, rolling over onto his back.

“That took longer than expected,” Jensen says, watching as Jared kicks off his shoes and tosses his keys on the desk.

“James neglected to tell me I would be trained today,” Jared replies, running sticky fingers through his hair. He walks over to give Jensen a soft kiss, leaning over and pressing their lips together.

“You smell like coffee,” Jensen says, inhaling deeply and skimming his lips down the side of Jared’s neck.

“I know,” Jared replies, wrinkling his nose. “I’m gonna go take a shower.”

“No,” Jensen says, sitting up and grabbing the hem of Jared’s shirt. “Don’t.”

Jared crinkles his brow in confusion, eyes widening when Jensen suddenly gets up and spins them around, pushing Jared down so he’s sitting on the side of the bed. Jensen grins and drops to his knees gracefully, hands going to Jared’s fly.

“You’re turned on because I smell like coffee,” Jared says, laughing incredulously and lifting his hips as Jensen pulls off his pants and underwear. “You’re such a freak.”

“You want your dick sucked or not?” Jensen asks, eyes flashing as he runs his pink tongue over his plump lips. “Shirt off and shut up.”

Jared hurries to obey, pulling his shirt over his head as Jensen does the same. Jared is soon naked, legs pushed wide open by Jensen’s insistent hands. He rests his elbows on the bed behind him as he leans back, tipping his head forward to watch Jensen. He wasn’t even thinking about sex a few minutes ago, but all it takes is Jensen licking his lips and a few quick strokes to get him hard, cock twitching towards Jensen’s mouth.

Jensen flicks his gaze up towards Jared, looking into his eyes as he leans in to lap at the head of his dick. Jared gasps, hips twitching. Jensen moans at the taste, curling his tongue around and flicking the tip of it back and forth across the slit. He presses the tip of his tongue insistently up underneath the base, teasing at the bundle of nerves there.

“Fuck,” Jared pants out. Jensen gives him an obscene, shiny-lipped grin before he sucks Jared’s cock into his mouth, mossy green eyes locked on Jared. Jensen moans, low and throaty around Jared’s cock as it nudges the back of his throat. He gets a wicked glint in his eye and fucking winks before swallowing Jared down, nose brushing Jared’s pelvis. He shouts out, hips bucking up into that tight, wet heat.

Jensen makes a tiny gagging sound but that only seems to spur him on. His eyes slide closed, lashes fluttering against his cheeks as he wraps his hand around the base of Jared’s dick and starts bobbing up and down, concentrating completely on pleasuring Jared.

One of the hottest things about Jensen is how much he genuinely loves sucking cock.

When they first got together, Jensen would blow him all the time, for what seemed like hours. He would swallow all Jared’s come and kiss him, stroke him until he got hard and Jensen could start all over.

He gets off on it. That much is obvious by the tent in his pants. Jensen is such a slutty little bottom, getting off so hard on Jared’s cock inside of him, whether it be his mouth or his ass. Jared gets an idea, reaches down to put his hand on Jensen’s throat and push him back. Jensen actually whines, straining forward to try and get Jared’s leaking cock back in his mouth. Jared would laugh if he wasn’t so fucking turned on.

“I’m feeling left out,” Jared says, rubbing Jensen’s slick, puffy lips with his thumb. He gestures over his shoulder and crawls back onto the bed, lying down on his back. Jensen crawls up onto the bed, kicking his pants off on the way and leaning in to kiss Jared before flipping around, placing his knees on either side of Jared’s head.

He doesn’t even wait for Jared to begin before he sucks his cock back into his mouth, moaning as he laps up the sticky fluid that has leaked from the slit. Jared groans, squeezing his eyes shut for a moment before he reaches up to spread Jensen’s cheeks and expose that smooth, pink hole.

Jared licks his lips, fingers trailing over smooth, hairless skin. He reaches forward and cups Jensen’s balls in his hand, thumb dragging across the silky skin before he rolls them in his palm.

He can’t help but remember the first time Jensen waxed and shaved, leaving himself smooth as a goddamn porn star. It was a few weeks after they’d started dating and they were making out on the couch, and Jared slid his hand into Jensen’s pants and felt nothing but silk. Jensen had been almost bashful about it, biting his bottom lip as he arched up into Jared’s hand. Jared was instantly enthralled. He’d pulled Jensen’s pants down eagerly, got his mouth and hands all over that bare skin until Jensen was shaking, covering his belly with the release of more than one orgasm.

Jensen has kept himself hairless ever since.

Jared rewards him now by sucking on his balls, pulling one into his mouth and teasing it with his tongue. Jensen lets out a choked moan and Jared grins, spit slick skin falling from his mouth.

Jensen’s cock is dragging across his neck, leaving slick little trails. He ignores it in favor of pulling his hips down and flattening his tongue over Jensen’s smooth hole. Jensen moans desperately, choking a little as he sucks Jared down eagerly.

Jared focuses on rimming Jensen, trying to stave off the orgasm Jensen’s fucking incredible mouth is coaxing from him. He gets Jensen nice and slick and then pushes two fingers into him. He’s still a little loose from this morning, and he moves them in and out easily. Jensen makes encouraging little noises, slurping messily at Jared’s cock.

Jared shoves another digit in as soon as he can, fingering Jensen hard and fast as he thrusts his hips up into his mouth. Jensen’s thighs are trembling uncontrollably, shaking with the effort of holding himself up. But he does it, because he loves getting fucked like this.

Jared leans in to lick around his fingers and lower, sucking Jensen’s balls into his mouth one by one. They’re drawn up nice and tight, so Jared knows he’s close. Jared is moments away from his orgasm, toes clenching as he tries to hold off.

“Want my come, baby?” Jared asks, and Jensen lets out a deep whine, nodding without letting Jared’s cock slip from his mouth. He pushes back against Jared’s fingers and Jared presses them hard against his prostate at the same moment he comes, flooding Jensen’s mouth with it.

Jensen sucks eagerly at the head of his dick as he rides out his orgasm, the sensation almost painful. He rubs his fingers insistently against Jensen’s prostate the whole time, unrelenting pressure. Jensen lets out a loud shout, Jared’s dick slipping from his mouth as he tenses and shoots all over Jared’s chest.

Jared slips his fingers out of Jensen’s ass and wipes them surreptitiously on the sheets. Jensen collapses and nearly slips off the narrow bed, and Jared has to grab his hips to keep him from falling. He laughs as Jensen tries to turn around, lax and boneless.

He finally manages, kissing Jared hard and letting him taste himself on Jensen’s tongue. Jensen pulls away and lies on top of Jared, head tucked under his chin.

“So coffee, huh?” Jared grins, and Jensen gives his neck a warning nip.

“Shut up,” Jensen says, reaching down to grab Jared’s sensitive dick. Jared hisses and lets out a low chuckle.

“Pretty weird kink, dude,” he grits out, cock already hardening again. Jensen reaches up to gather some of his come from Jared’s chest and then takes Jared’s cock again, slicking it with his own release. Jared’s eyes widen as Jensen moves to straddle his hips.

“I said, shut up,” he repeats, sinking down onto Jared’s rapidly filling cock. He bites his lip and closes his eyes, hips rolling in little circles as he settles fully on Jared’s lap.

And then Jared absolutely does shut up, not mentioning coffee even once as Jensen rides him to a second orgasm.

Time passes quickly, days turning into weeks. October hits them before they know it. Jared is settled at work, and he enjoys it, as eccentric as his new boss may be. Sex has never been better, since apparently Jensen gets off on his boyfriend smelling like ground coffee all the time. Hey, you can’t fault a guy for his quirks.

But still, juggling everything can be stressful and Jensen has this annoying habit of getting all his homework done insanely fast. It seriously bugs the shit out of Jared, especially at moments like now when he is trying to finish up his latest assignment and Jensen is sitting cross-legged on his bed, happy as a clam as he watches a re-run of Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel.

“Fuckin’ gross,” Jensen mumbles as Bear eats something disgusting on the television. Jared sighs and drops his pencil as he glances over at the clock. It’s after midnight and he has a class in eight hours and work after that. Jensen is free until noon, the asshole.

Fifteen minutes later he deems his work good enough (read: he gives up) and spins around in his chair. Jensen is slumped against the wall in only a wifebeater and boxer briefs, pushed up high on his pale thighs. The hem of his shirt rides up a little, revealing a hint of smooth belly and a glimpse of his tattoo.

The bone deep exhaustion he felt only moments before suddenly dissipates and he watches, fascinated, as Jensen stretches. Lean muscles play under freckled skin and Jared is instantly wide-awake. He gets up and stalks over to the bed, eyes darkening with lust. Jensen is oblivious, chewing on a fingernail as he looks up at Jared.

“Finished?” Jensen asks, and Jared smirks as he gets onto the bed and straddles Jensen’s hips. He pins his shoulders to the wall, nails digging into tan, freckled flesh.

“Just getting started,” Jared replies as he leans in to kiss Jensen’s neck.

“Cheese,” Jensen snorts, but tilts his head to the side regardless, biting his lip as Jared sucks and nips at his neck. Jared chuckles softly and pulls Jensen’s earlobe into his mouth.

“You’re so fucking hot,” Jared growls, sliding his hands up under Jensen’s shirt. His skin is soft, sleepy warm under his palms. “Always wanna be touching you.”

Jensen just hums softly in response, hips tilting up when Jared grips them, thumbs sliding under the waistband of his underwear. Their eyes lock then, hot and heated, and Jared surges forward. Their mouths clash, teeth clacking as they kiss. It’s hot and intense, Jared’s hand sliding down the back of Jensen’s underwear to cup his ass.

Jared reaches up to grip the back of Jensen’s neck, falling back to lie on the bed. Jensen comes willingly, thighs bracketing Jared’s hips. Jared thrusts his hips up, tongue darting into Jensen’s mouth. He’s aching for it, desperate to have more contact. Without thinking he rolls them over, wanting to be on top of Jensen, to grind down against him.

Jared remembers, a moment too late, that they aren’t at home anymore, that their beds are no longer wide and comfortable. Jensen lets out a squeak as they slip off of the bed and Jared quickly rolls to the side to avoid landing on him.

Jared hits the floor, face connecting with the hardwood painfully. Jensen groans and gasps, the fall knocking the wind out of him. Jensen laughs then, pulling himself back onto the bed as Jared cups his nose, eyes watering. He sits up, and when he pulls his hands away he is shocked to find them bloody. Jensen’s laughter dies immediately.

“Shit! Are you okay?” Jensen asks worriedly. Jared shakes his head a little and reaches out to pull himself up with the bed. Jensen grabs his wrist, pushing it up into the air and making Jared slip onto his ass again.

“What the hell?” Jared demands, wincing when he tastes blood on his lips. It’s gushing from his nose, which hurts more than he would care to admit.

“You’ve got blood on your hands!” Jensen shrieks. “No way are you touching these sheets.”

“I’m fucking hurt, you dick!” Jared yells, wrist twisting out of Jensen’s grasp. Jensen crawls off of the bed then, getting up on his knees in front of Jared.

“I know,” Jensen replies, grabbing the wipes they keep in the nightstand and pulling some free. “And I’ll be a lot more sympathetic if you don’t ruin my sheets.”

Jared glares, eyes wet and nose red and splotchy. Jensen takes his hands and cleans the blood from them before taking a new wipe and cupping Jared’s cheek. He tilts Jared’s head up and gently wipes away all the blood from his face, leaning in to kiss softy between Jared’s eyes when he’s done.

“It won’t stop!” Jared cries when it’s apparent his nose isn’t quite done bleeding yet. Jensen grabs his hands before he can wipe at it and hands him a tissue instead. Jared sniffs sadly and tears it in half, rolling up each piece and shoving them up his nostrils. Jensen’s eyes are crinkling at the edges and he’s biting down on his lip. “Don’t laugh, asshole.”

His voice sounds ridiculous, and he narrows his eyes when Jensen lets out a soft chuckle.

“Poor baby,” Jensen coos, leaning in to plant a kiss on Jared’s forehead. Jared pushes him backwards, not done pouting yet. Jensen sprawls backwards, head tipped back as he laughs. His shirt is still rucked up, underwear pulled down low on his hips, and his long legs are splayed out wide in front of him. Jared huffs out a sigh.

“Fuck this,” he says, voice muffled. He gets up off the floor and grabs his discarded jeans, stepping into them and pulling them up over his boxers. “Get dressed.”

“What? Why?” Jensen asks, looking up at him curiously. Jared grabs the clothes Jensen had on earlier and tosses them at him. “Where are we going?”

“Wal-Mart,” Jared says decisively, grabbing his wallet and sliding it into his back pocket. He goes to the mirror and pulls out the wads of tissue, tossing them into the trash. The bleeding seems to have stopped, but his nose looks a little red and swollen. He scowls.

“Wal-Mart?” Jensen asks, standing up. “It’s fuckin’ one in the morning and you have class. Why do we have to go right this moment?”

“Fuck that tiny fucking bed, okay?” Jared says, flailing his arms. “I want to have a shit ton of nasty, filthy, disgusting, borderline illegal sex with you and I can’t do it on that stupid fucking thing. I was not meant for tiny beds, Jensen. I was meant to sprawl.”

“I seem to recall us having some pretty amazing sex on these beds,” Jensen points out, raising an eyebrow.

“Yes, but think of how much more awesome it could be,” Jared responds, waving his hands in the air. “I can concentrate on fucking you much better if I’m not worried about rolling off of the fucking edge. Again.”

“And Wal-Mart is going to somehow fix all our problems?” Jensen asks, biting down on his lip to stifle a laugh.

“It will if you get off your ass and come with me,” Jared replies, sitting on the other bed to pull on his shoes. Jensen lets out a sigh and gets dressed, pulling on jeans and a hoodie. “Ready?”

“As I’ll ever be, I guess,” Jensen says, and then they head out.

Jensen still isn’t sure what they’re doing at Wal-Mart in the middle of the night, but Jared seems to have a mission in mind when he grabs a cart and leads them into the brightly lit, twenty-four hour superstore.

Jensen yawns as he trails behind Jared, flip-flops slapping against the floor.

“What are we doing?” Jensen asks, snagging a box of cookies from a display. He tosses them in the cart as Jared veers suddenly into Housewares.

This!” Jared shouts from the next aisle, and Jensen rounds a corner to see him standing in front of a display of inflatable air mattresses.

“This is your grand solution?” Jensen asks. “An air bed?”

“Yes,” Jared says fervently, snagging a queen sized one off of the shelf and tossing it into the cart. Jensen raises an eyebrow and stifles a laugh. Jared looks so determined, so adorable. His sharp little nose is a bit swollen, all red and puffy.

“I’m not sure if you’ve noticed,” Jensen says, “but we’re not exactly living in a sprawling estate. It’s a fucking dorm room. I don’t even think this will fit.”

“Oh, I’ll make it fucking fit,” Jared says, swinging the cart around to face the front of the store. He reaches up to cup the back of Jensen’s head, eyes earnest and soft. “I wanna sleep with you.”

“I know,” Jensen smirks. “Dirty, semi-illegal sex.”

“No,” Jared replies, smiling softly. “I want to sleep with you. Without risking injury.”

“You cuddly bastard,” Jensen says, but he can’t hide his grin. Jared leans in and nips playfully at the tip of Jensen’s nose.

“Now, let’s get some lube before we go. Because as much as I love playing snuggle bugs, I do need the raunchy sex.”

“My ass is well aware,” Jensen says, rolling his eyes. But he leans in to snag a quick kiss all the same.

Its half past two by the time they stumble back into the dorm, bleary eyed and yawning. Jared drops the box containing the bed on the floor. He starts kicking clothes and books to the side, clearing the miniscule space between the beds.

“Seriously, now?” Jensen asks, exasperated. He drops the shopping bags in the corner. “It’s late, Jay. Let’s just sleep. Your alarm is going off in like four hours.”

“I’m committed to this,” Jared replies sleepily, ripping open the box and dumping the contents onto the floor. He spreads out the bed and plugs in the pump. It’s insanely loud when he turns it on, the noise reverberating through the room.

“You’re gonna wake up everyone on the damn floor!” Jensen shouts over the pump, and sure enough, banging starts on the wall about thirty seconds later. Jared just laughs, getting up on one of the beds as the inflatable mattress fills. It pushes Jensen back against the door, and his eyes widen as he looks over at Jared. Once the bed is finally done Jared turns off the pump, much to the relief of the entire dorm, Jensen is sure. He caps the air valve and climbs over it to where Jensen stands with the bags.

“It’s – uh, okay. It’s sort of big,” Jared says, scratching his head. Jensen slowly turns his head, staring at him incredulously.

“Jared, it takes up the entire fucking room!” Jensen says, and he’s not even exaggerating. The air mattress pushes up against both beds and the desk between them, leaving only a few feet between the bed and the door. “Gangbuster idea, dude.”

“Whatever,” Jared yawns. “We’ll prop it up against the wall when we’re not using it.” Jensen just sighs, conceding to the idea as he helps Jared with the new queen-sized bed set they bought.

By the time they finally disrobe and crawl into it, it’s after three. Jared lies on his back and Jensen molds himself against him, resting his head on Jared’s shoulder.

“I really wanted to have that nasty sex,” Jared mumbles, eyelids drooping. Jensen lets out a soft chuckle against his skin, tracing indistinguishable patterns on his bare stomach.

“Tomorrow,” Jensen breathes, pressing a lazy kiss to his shoulder. “After class.”

Jared doesn’t reply. He just sprawls out happily, legs splayed and one arm wrapped loosely around Jensen’s shoulder. Jensen spreads out a little too, and yeah, he has to admit that it feels nice. It may not have been the most well executed idea, but it works.

They make it work.

Jensen’s eyes slide open the next morning, evil sunlight flooding the room. That’s one thing they forgot at Wal-Mart. Fucking blackout curtains. He’s completely unaware of what woke him until he hears a curse and something hard and solid lands on the airbed between him and Jared. Jensen lets out a squeak that he will deny until his dying day.

It’s James, looking completely surprised. Jared wakes up then, lifting his head and scowling. Jensen just blinks, glad that he and Jared are both under the blankets.

“Am I dreaming?” James asks, blinking and looking back and forth between them. “Because this feels like something I would dream about.”

“What do you want?” Jensen asks sleepily as James makes himself comfortable on the bed.

“Well, I know Jared has class in the Morris building at eight, and so do I. I was going to see if he wanted to hoof it over there together,” James says, reaching up to place his hands behind his head. “Then I tripped over this nice little addition to your room and landed in the middle of my wildest fantasy. Now I’m quite comfortable.”

“Time’s it?” Jared asks sleepily, rubbing his face. Jensen just flops back onto the bed. He’s rapidly becoming used to James’s antics. And now he knows to always double check the fucking lock on the door.

“Quarter ‘til, dude,” James replies lazily. Jared’s eyes snap open and he goes to roll off of the mattress and instead rolls straight into the side of the abandoned bed, knocking his face into the wood frame.

“Fuck!” Jared exclaims, grappling with the covers as he gets up. Jensen slaps his hand over James’s eyes as the covers drop.

“Watch your nose,” Jensen warns, grumbling tiredly. “And bring coffee when you come back.”

“Let me know when you’re decent,” James says, his eyelashes fluttering against Jensen’s palm. “I don’t want Jensen to kick my ass. He’s so ferocious and whatnot.”

“I hate you,” Jensen mumbles, already half asleep. James snorts.

“Let’s go!” Jared shouts, somehow already dressed and running a brush through his unruly hair. James shakes Jensen’s hand off of his face and gets up, stumbling a little as he tries to get off of the bed.

“Lots of coffee!” Jensen shouts, burying himself under the blankets.

The only response he gets is the door slamming. He smiles and falls back to sleep.

Jensen is in sort of a pissy mood. Taking into consideration the fact that the sun doesn’t exactly shine out of his ass even on a good day, it would probably be wise to steer clear of him.

He trudges down the hall of the dorm, pausing in his step and doing a double take when he spots Misha doing yoga in his room with the door wide open. He’s just coming from class and Jared should be just going, and he’s really hoping he catches him before he leaves. He wouldn’t exactly be adverse to a hug right now. Not that he would admit it.

When he rounds the corner, his mood goes from sort of crappy to downright horrible. Jared is in the hall talking with Jessica. He’s slumped casually against the wall, nodding at something she’s saying.

Jessica giggles, flips her hair over her shoulder, and reaches out to stroke Jared’s arm. It’s the flirting trifecta, and that coupled with the dangerously low cut shirt she’s wearing is enough to make Jensen see red.

He walks up next to Jared, stomping loudly to make his presence known. “Hey,” he says, and Jared gives him a wide smile. “Don’t you have class?”

“Was just going, actually,” Jared replies, shooting Jensen a grateful little look. “See ya, Jessica.”

“Bye Jared,” she replies, batting her eyelashes at him. “If you have any more trouble with that history paper, let me know. I’m sure you and I could bang something out.”

“Uh, right,” Jared says awkwardly, and Jensen almost bites through his bottom lip. He turns to Jensen, voice going low and intimate. “See you in a couple hours.”

He gives Jensen a long, soft kiss. He barely resists the urge to stick his tongue out at Jessica when Jared pulls away. He watches Jared head down the hallway, and when he turns back he realizes he’s not the only one. Jessica has her head cocked to the side, eyes appraising. She gives Jensen a cocky little smirk, eyebrows flicking upwards before she turns away.

Jensen closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. He turns for the door and thinks better of it, catching up to her in a few quick strides.

“A word?” Jensen grits out. Jessica turns around and gives him a sweet little smile. “Look, it’s been cute. But don’t you think it’s time you moved on? There must be more interesting ways for you to spend your time than hitting on my boyfriend. He’s gay. Let it go.”

“He may be your boyfriend,” Jessica replies, smirking. “But the way he was staring at my tits tells me he ain’t all gay.”

Jensen knows Jared is still physically attracted to girls. He knows a nice pair of tits will catch his eye and he’ll still watch lesbian porn when the mood strikes. That doesn’t bother Jensen, because in the end he knows Jared’s dick isn’t going anywhere but in him. But this girl pisses him the fuck off, acting all cocky like she thinks she could get Jared to come with just a crook of her bony finger.

“I don’t want to start shit with you, alright?” Jensen says, practically shaking with anger. He would like nothing more than to throttle this girl. “But you need to fucking back off.”

“There’s something you should know about me, Jensen,” she says quietly, leaning in and cupping her hand around her mouth like she’s telling him a secret. “I always get what I want.”

“Yeah, well,” Jensen replies, hands curling into fists at his sides. Anger claws at his belly and he wants to fucking scream. Instead he keeps his voice low and steady, letting his tone convey everything he’s feeling. “You’re not getting him.”

Jessica just smirks, raising her eyebrows as if saying we’ll see before spinning on her heels and disappearing into her room. Jensen takes another deep breath, fumbling with trembling hands to get his keys out of his pocket.

He stares at the whiteboard on the door, the cliché college messaging system, and wonders why they even have it. Jensen & Jared is written at the top in Jensen’s neat print. Underneath that is have the buttsex!! (ps. call josh) in Josh’s messy scrawl. There is an arrow leading from that to Can I watch? ♥ Sandy in loopy cursive, with another arrow leading to Ditto. Will bring popcorn & video camera. in James’s handwriting.

He stares at the messages from their friends, fingertips digging painfully into the doorjamb. Everyone has always rooted for them, ever since the beginning. Knowing that someone out there, even someone as insignificant as Jessica, is hoping that they’ll fail bothers him more than he would like to admit.

He brings up his hand and erases everything but their names, swiping his palm angrily across the whiteboard. He grabs the marker and pulls off the cap with his teeth, writing ARE IN LOVE! in letters so big it nearly takes up the rest of the board. It’s comforting how much the words ring true, even in angry, spiky font.

His sour mood stays with him until Jared comes back and brings with him a latte and chocolate chip muffin from Ed’s, even though he didn’t work today. Jensen thanks him and gives him a kiss to show his gratitude.

But it’s not until he leaves to go to the bathroom and notices Jared had taken the marker and written forever! :D under Jensen’s words that he actually smiles.

Jensen decides not to tell Jared about his little confrontation with Jessica. Not because he thinks Jared will be mad or anything, but because in the long run it just doesn’t matter. He doesn’t want to act like the jealous girlfriend and cause another fight with Jared over a girl that doesn’t mean anything.

She’s just an annoying little speck marring Jensen’s otherwise awesome life, and it would be best just to ignore her.

Which is why when Jared suggests going home for the weekend to catch up with family, Jensen sighs in relief and heartily agrees.

His house is warm and comforting when Jared drops him off. It seems so wide and open after being cooped up in such a tiny dorm room.

He’s barely set down his bag before a little blonde blur tackles him. He slips and barely catches himself on the wall, wrapping his arms tight around his little sister. It feels like it’s been years since he’s seen her rather than weeks. It’s probably crazy, but he swears she’s grown a little.

He buries his face in her hair and lifts her a few inches off of the floor just to hear her giggle. It isn’t until he hears it that he realizes just how much he’d missed it.

“Hey kid,” he says as he sets her down. “Missed me, I take it?”

“Not even,” she replies, but she squeezes him just a little tighter before letting go. “Mom! Dad! Jenny’s home!”

He’s soon enveloped in hugs and bombarded with questions. He laughs as he answers them all, tells them about his classes and his job. He assures his mom that he already checked to make sure he will get Thanksgiving break off, and yes, Jared will too.

They take him out for dinner, ice cream, and a movie and by the time he crawls into his own bed that night he’s exhausted. He’s so tired that he feels like he should be asleep by the time his head hits the pillow, but instead he lies there wide-awake, staring unblinkingly at the ceiling.

It hits him about five minutes later. This is the first time in almost two months he has tried to sleep without Jared beside him, without so much as a goodnight kiss. He punches the pillow and flops onto his back, eyes lingering on his cell phone on the nightstand.

There’s a fifty-fifty chance Jared will make fun of him and call him a girl, but Jensen doesn’t care. He grabs the phone and hits speed dial number two, gnawing on his bottom lip as he listens to it ring.

Hey Jen.” Jared answers, voice pitched low and intimate. Jensen immediately feels more relaxed and he sinks deeper into the bed, eyes fluttering closed. His hand drifts to his hip, fingertips trailing across his tattoo. It’s amazing how much he loves it now.

“Hi,” he breathes softly, even sleepier now that he has Jared’s loving voice in his ear. “Did I wake you up?”

Uh, no,” Jared replies easily. “What’s up?

“Well,” Jensen says, burrowing deeper under the blankets. He turns onto his side, staring into his dark room. “Would you call me totally gay if I said I couldn’t sleep without you?”

Oh, thank god,” Jared laughs, and Jensen can’t help but smile at the sound, even if he is confused.


Well, okay,” Jared replies, warm chuckle in his tone. “I might be like, on my way to your house right now, actually. Because I want to kiss you goodnight. So, no. I won’t call you super gay because I’m the one that’s walking to your house to crawl through your window.

“Really?” Jensen asks, grinning so wide his cheeks hurt. “You have a key, you know.”

I know. But I figured if I was going to sneak into your house just to kiss you I might as well take it all the way, you know? Climbing through the window is totally more romantic.

“Until you fall and bust your ass,” Jensen laughs. He gets an idea and sits up, rolling off of his bed to stand. “Where are you? Close?”

I was just leaving my house when you called, actually. Should be there in a bit.

“I’ll see you in a few, then,” Jensen says. “Love you.”

Love you, too,” Jared replies happily. “Homos forever!” Jensen rolls his eyes and hangs up. He throws a hoodie on over his tee shirt and flannel pants and steps into his flip-flops on his way out the door.

He’s quiet as he sneaks down the stairs, shutting the front door carefully. There is a slight chill in the air, but it’s nice. Jensen grins as he walks up the street.

There are moments when he can’t quite believe just how fucking in love he is, how much more in love he falls every single day. It’s sort of incredible, when he stops to think about it.

There is a park Jared always cuts through to walk to Jensen’s house and Jensen stops when he gets there. He climbs up onto the bright orange slide he and Jared played on when they were kids, and he waits.

It’s only about two minutes later when Jared turns into the park, walking at a brisk pace with a smile on his face. Jensen grins and hops off of the slide, walking over to him. Jared laughs gleefully when he spots Jensen. They both pick up the pace a little, not stopping until they’re wrapped in each other’s arms. Jensen presses a soft kiss to Jared’s lips and pulls away to bury his face in Jared’s neck and laugh, fingers gripping the hood of Jared’s sweatshirt.

“We are so fucking lame,” Jensen laughs, inhaling the sweet, familiar scent of Jared.

“I know,” Jared replies, kissing Jensen’s temple and chuckling. “We saw each other like, six freaking hours ago.”

“We’re codependent and pathetic,” Jensen declares, and Jared cracks up.

“We’re adorable,” he relents, and Jensen pulls back to look him in the eye, hands slipping down to the small of his back.

“I guess that’s true.” Jensen grins and kisses him again. It’s soft and sweet, tongues meeting briefly before they pull away. “So what, we just say goodnight and leave?”

“I am sort of like, amazingly tired,” Jared replies, yawning as if proving a point. Jensen laughs against his cheek.

“Okay, well. Goodnight, Jay,” Jensen says, leaning to mumble against his lips before kissing him again. “I’m glad you’re as lame as I am.”

“Homos forever,” Jared repeats, kissing him softly. “Night, Jen.”

They kiss for a little bit longer, fingers interlocking. They pull away, walking backwards until their hands fall apart and they smile at each other before turning around.

Jensen peeks over his shoulder before he exits the park, laughing when he sees Jared doing the same. So fucking lame.

But, it works. When he crawls back into bed, he’s asleep within minutes.

So, they knew about midterms, in theory. Actually having midterms is a completely different story.

The week goes by in a caffeinated blur, both boys keeping their noses buried in their respective books. Josh and Jeff take them out to celebrate at the end of their exams on Saturday night and they crash in a naked, drunken heap on the air mattress around four in the morning. All in all, it’s a pretty fantastic night.

There’s a soft knock on the door what feels like minutes later, and Jared’s eyes flutter open. A soft groan escapes his lips, one hand immediately going to his forehead as he feels around for his phone with the other. It’s nine in the morning. The person on the other side of the door is flirting with death.

Jared rolls off of the bed and pulls on a pair of clingy black sweats, scratching at his belly and draping a sheet over Jensen’s naked hips as his boyfriend sleeps on, dead to the world.

Jared answers the door tiredly, scratching at the stubble coating his jaw. He leans heavily against the frame and stretches, inadvertently showing off the subtle pull of muscles under taut skin. Jessica is at the door, clad only in tiny shorts and a sports bra, hair pulled back into a loose ponytail.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” she says brightly, sounding chipper and so very awake. “Did I wake you?”

Jared just yawns and stares at her blankly, blinking the sleep out of his eyes.

“It’s cool,” he tells her even though it really isn’t, waving a hand. “What’s up?”

“I was gonna ask if I could borrow some laundry soap,” she says. “I’m all out and I obviously need some clean clothes,” she giggles, gesturing expansively at her miniscule outfit. Jared doesn’t even glance away from her face, just yawns again and opens the door wider.

“Yeah, sure,” he says, turning away from the door. “Just be quiet. Jen is still sleeping.”

Jessica follows him into the room to see Jensen asleep on the air mattress, his back to them. Jared reaches up to grab their soap off of the top shelf in the closet, causing his pants to slip down a little. When he turns back around Jessica’s eyes are south of his belly button.

“That’s, um, a really nice tattoo,” she says, biting her bottom lip. Jared looks down at his hip and smiles before handing over the soap.

“I like it,” he says. Jensen sighs in his sleep, snuffling and rolling onto his back. The sheet is slung low on his torso, and her eyes flick from his hips back to Jared’s, shoulders slumping a little.

“Jensen has one too?” She asks unnecessarily, and Jared looks over at his boyfriend, at the inked design on the thin skin of his hip and the hickey right next to it.

“Yeah,” Jared replies, voice pitched low and fond as he slides his fingers through his hair. “We got them together up in Santa Cruz over the summer.”

“Oh. That’s cute,” she says uncertainly, fingers playing with the end of her ponytail. “So you guys are like, really, really serious, huh?”

“Uh, yeah,” Jared says, furrowing his brow and fighting the urge to tell her off. She doesn’t seem to get that he won’t ever want her, not while he has Jensen at his side. “He’s pretty much my entire world.”

“Well, thanks for the soap,” she says quickly, and his eyes widen when she hugs him, pressing her chest unnecessarily close to his. He pats her back awkwardly and stares up at the ceiling.

“No problem,” he replies as she pulls away. “Can you do me a favor and just like, leave it by our door or something when you’re done? We were up super late.” Her brow furrows for a moment before she finally nods.

“Well, thanks again. Sorry for waking you,” she says, shooting one last look at Jensen before turning to leave. Jared raises his eyebrow before he finally shrugs and crawls back into bed. Jensen makes a soft little noise in his sleep, instinctively rolling to bury his face in Jared’s neck. Jared inhales the sweet scent of Jensen’s shampoo and drops back off to sleep within minutes.

Here, right here, is where he belongs.

Having such a large group of close friends is a good thing, mostly. The downside is that there is always someone ready, willing, and able to cause an interruption. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. They will find a way to ruin it. That’s just what friends do.

In the middle of a lazy Sunday afternoon, there’s an obnoxious pounding on the door to Jared and Jensen’s dorm room, followed by an even more obnoxious voice.

Case in point, James.

“Pull your dicks out of each other’s mouths and get the fuck out here and have lunch with me!” James shouts, beating his fists on the door. Jensen groans and pulls away, pressing his forehead against Jared’s sweaty hip.

“How does he always fucking know?” Jensen pants and Jared grunts, hips thrusting reflexively towards Jensen again. He licks at the tip of his cock and James just keeps pounding.

“Sex later!” He shouts. “Lunch now!”

“Two minutes!” Jensen barks, and sucks Jared back down. He wraps his hand around the base of his cock, stroking up and down as he sucks hard and wet on the head. Jared comes with a stifled shout, fingers buried in Jensen’s hair. He lets out a soft little hum as he swallows and gets up, leaving Jared to clean himself up as he heads for the door. He pulls it open a crack, glaring at James as he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand.

“Such a giver,” James smirks, and Jensen spots Jessica walking towards them, obviously eavesdropping. Jensen licks his lips and lets out an exaggerated hum of contentment, giving her a nod and not even trying to keep the smug grin off of his face. Jared throws the door open wider and loops an arm around Jensen’s shoulders, turning his head to give him a filthy kiss, tongues tangling between their parted lips.

“Keep doing that and I’ll buy you lunch. No, strike that. I will buy you the fucking moon if you let me watch,” James vows, and Jensen throws a sarcastic wink at Jessica. She scoffs and rolls her eyes as she ducks into her room.

“James, could you possibly have a little decorum?” Misha asks as he rounds a corner, slinging his messenger bag up higher on his shoulder. “I could hear your screaming from down the hall.”

“There’s no fun in decorum,” James says, catching Misha around the waist and twirling him around in a circle. Misha scowls and pulls away, rolling his eyes when James just chuckles. “The children are done with their sexytimes, and we were just about to go get lunch. Care to join us?”

“I have class,” Misha responds, nodding at Jared and Jensen before turning back down the hall. “Be good.”

“As always!” James calls out, and then loops his arms around Jared and Jensen’s shoulders. “Come, little ones. Or come again, in Jared’s case. It’s mini corndog day!”

They follow James to the student union, and Jared gives Jensen a piece of gum and kisses the tip of his nose as he chews it. The taste of come is fine and dandy in the heat of the moment, but later? Not so much.

“So,” James says with a flourish as they enter the bustling dining hall. “Josh and Jeff are throwing the Halloween bash this year?”

“I guess,” Jensen replies, snapping his gum as he hands out trays. James takes his and disappears into the throng of people, leaving Jensen blinking and wondering if that was the end of their conversation. James does that a lot.

They watch as James greets people, laughing and talking and taking things off of their trays to put on his own. Jared and Jensen just get in line and by the time James joins them his tray is nearly full with scavenged food.

“You seriously do know everyone, don’t you?” Jensen asks, and James grins at him.

“Pretty much,” James replies, and then reaches out to poke their noses as he bats his eyelashes. “But if it makes you feel any better, you two are my favorites.”

“Why’s that?” Jared asks, making a happy little noise and bouncing on the balls of his feet when they reach the food. Jensen smiles fondly at him and James smirks.

“Because of that. You’re all so cute and in love. It makes me happy and I want you to stick around,” James tells them bluntly, and Jensen raises an eyebrow.

“Wow,” Jensen says, grinning and patting James on the back. “That was sort of awkwardly sweet.”

Jared snorts as he puts a can of pineapple juice on Jensen’s tray and then takes one for himself. Jensen nods in thanks and looks back at James.

“So what are you gonna be for Halloween?” James asks, and Jensen just shrugs. Jared turns to look at them, eyes glinting mischievously.

“Jensen could go as a pretty little girl – oh wait.” Jared chuckles and Jensen kicks him in the shin. “Ow fucker!”

“Jared could go as a douchebag asshole. Oh wait,” he retorts, and Jared sticks his tongue out at him.

“See? Adorable,” James chuckles, and then sticks his tray out when they reach the lunch lady. “Don’t be stingy with the mini corndogs, Rhonda. You know how much I love them.”

Jensen comes into the room with a can of soda, popping the top as he walks over to the bed that Jared is sitting on, back propped up against the wall.

Jensen climbs into Jared’s lap, knees pressed into the bed on either side of Jared’s hips as he rests his ass on Jared’s thighs. Jared’s arms wrap loosely around Jensen’s waist as he watches television, thumb skirting across the soft skin at the top of Jensen’s pants as he gulps down his soda.

There’s nothing sexual about it, not right at this moment anyway. Jensen just loves being in Jared’s lap and Jared loves having Jensen sitting on him, so it works. Jensen hands the can over, resettling himself as Jared takes a drink and reaches over to set it on the desk.

“What do you want to do today?” Jared asks, tipping his head back against the wall and looking up at Jensen’s face. His glasses slip down the bridge of his nose and Jared reaches up to push them back into place. Jensen presses his palms to the wall on either side of Jared’s head as he tilts his head to the side.

It’s Saturday and both of them have the day off. There’s laundry to be done, errands that need to be run, and there’s Josh and Jeff’s party next weekend to think about. He’s feeling selfish today. He wants Jared all to himself, doesn’t want to share him with any of their friends.

“I was thinking of maybe going to the mall,” Jensen says coyly, resting his elbows on Jared’s shoulders and tangling his fingers in his hair. Jared wrinkles his nose, hands coming up to curl around Jensen’s biceps as his eyes stay locked on the television.

“The mall?” Jared repeats, and Jensen just nods. “Why?”

“Do I need a reason?” Jensen asks him, and Jared rolls his eyes with realization, lips quirking up into a smirk as he slips his thumbs under the sleeves of Jensen’s thin gray tee shirt, pushing up until he can grab the edge of his unbuttoned black pinstriped vest.

“Oh, so you need more foofy homo clothes now that Sandy’s got you all into fashion,” Jared replies, and Jensen flicks his ear. Jared grins, big hands settling on Jensen’s hips. “There’s a sale at H&M, isn’t there?”

“There could be many sales,” Jensen says with a shrug, like he doesn’t get their newsletter. “And if there were I possibly wouldn’t be averse to going.”

“I’m sure,” Jared responds, grinning toothily. “My baby just wants to go shopping.”

“That he does,” Jensen responds, ignoring Jared’s taunt and tugging at his hair. “And while we’re at it, we can go to Abercrombie & Lame and get you some more of your generic tee shirt, jeans, and flip flops combinations.”

“I’m sorry I’m not as imaginative with my clothing choices, little miss fashionista,” Jared responds, and Jensen lets out a little growl.

“One more girl joke, Jared,” he warns, gathering Jared’s hair in his hand and pulling hard enough to make Jared hiss. “I dare you.”

“It sounds like the punishment would be sex of some sort,” Jared replies easily, fingernails digging into soft flesh. “You should probably work on this making threats thing if stuffing me full of cock is the best you can come up with.”

Jensen just sighs, letting his head fall forward to rest on Jared’s shoulder. Jared chuckles, hands skimming up Jensen’s back as he kisses the tip of his ear.

“Alright,” Jared says, pushing at Jensen’s hips. “Get off of me and we’ll go shopping.”

“Really?” Jensen replies, head popping up to grin at his boyfriend. “You’ll endure the mall with me?”

“You’re the one that hates everyone,” Jared tells him. “If you want to go bad enough that you’re willing to endure throngs of annoying kids and soccer moms just to get some foofy homo clothes, then I’ll go. But if you try to drag me into Hot Topic I will break up with you, I swear to god.”

“I’d break up with myself,” Jensen responds, sliding off of Jared’s lap and gathering his cell phone, wallet, and keys off of the desk. Jared follows him, stepping into a pair of Abercrombie flip flops.

“Just so we’re clear,” Jared says, sliding his sunglasses on top of his head, “I will also require a Cinnabon. And a blowjob. Not necessarily at the same time, although that would be awesome.”

“Oh, so you can get multiple sticky white fluids all over my face?” Jensen responds, and Jared grins at him. “Let’s go.”

“Oh man, could you imagine?” Jared says excitedly, pulling open the door and stepping out into the hall. “Come and frosting?”

“Things Jared loves having in his mouth for two hundred, Alex,” James says, not even bothering to pause in his stride or look up from his phone as he passes them in the hall.

“Damn,” Jensen says. “Drive by burn.”

“Yeah, and I can’t even call him out on it,” Jared replies, locking their door. “Because it’s not like he’s wrong or anything.”

“Have I ever told you how much I love that you swallow?” Jensen asks curiously, and Jared grins proudly. “Way to take it like a boy that wasn’t straight just a few short months ago. I’ve done a good job with converting you to the cock.”

Dude,” Katie says, exiting her room with a laundry basket. “I don’t know if you two were aware, but you don’t actually live in your own little world. When you say shit like that other people can hear you.”

“Oh, we know,” Jared tells her, slinging his arm over Jensen’s shoulders and smiling when Jensen’s goes around his waist.

“We just don’t care,” Jensen finishes, and they both grin at her. Katie rolls her eyes and smirks, resting her basket on her hip.

“Shameless,” she tells them, and Jared and Jensen grin toothily at her. “Now please, go be sickening and adorable somewhere else? Us single people have shit to do.”

Jared and Jensen laugh lowly and turn, sliding apart but tangling their fingers together as they make their way outside.

The mall is pretty much everything Jared expected it to be on a Saturday afternoon – stuffy, crowded, and nearly unbearable.

Jensen doesn’t even let him get his Cinnabon first, because he thinks Jared will bail and take his yummy treat outside while he shops.

Jensen knows him insanely well.

He does manage to swing by Jamba Juice on the way to H&M, so that’s something. He nurses the straw of his smoothie as he sits on the floor outside the dressing rooms, waiting as Jensen tries on clothes. He comes out and models a bit, but mostly he knows Jared fails at fashion and stays inside the little booth.

Jared looks around the brightly lit store, cringing at the pop music blaring from the speakers. The clientele are mostly young girls in dire need of a lard sandwich, and Jared feels very much out of place. A young couple approaches the dressing rooms and the girl hands her boyfriend her purse before ducking into a stall. The guy huffs out a sigh and drops down next to Jared, slinging the purse to the floor.

“Girlfriends, am I right?” The guy says, and Jared snorts as he chokes on his smoothie. He is never letting Jensen live this down.

“Yeah,” Jared replies, barely contained laughter pushing at his lips. “My Jenny is quite the princess.”

“Jared, I swear to god,” Jensen says abruptly from his booth, and the guy’s eyes widen as Jared laughs.

“It makes me feel better that even you guys don’t get out of this,” the guy says, holding up the purse as Jared takes a long drink of his smoothie. The guy holds out his Starbucks cup and they bump their drinks together in solidarity.

“Yeah,” Jared replies. “It ain’t all awesome blowjobs and rainbow flags, you know?”

“Jared!” Jensen says, suddenly standing in front of him in the clothes he wore into the store. He grabs Jared’s arm with the hand not currently grasping a shitload of clothes and hauls Jared to his feet, leaving the guy with his girlfriend’s purse to gape like a fish. “I can’t take you anywhere.”

“You love it,” Jared says, leaning in to kiss Jensen’s temple as he sets his clothes down on the counter and asks the clerk to hold them. Then, much to Jared’s horror, turns around and heads towards the back of the store. “What are you doing?”

Jensen doesn’t answer, just starts plucking more things off of shelves and racks and draping them over his arm. Jared follows like a lost puppy, eager to get the hell out of this store. Jensen stops abruptly and turns around, thrusting his arms out at Jared who in turn just raises an eyebrow.

“Here,” Jensen says, and Jared glances from the clothes and back up to Jensen’s eager face. It seems to click then, and Jared shakes his head. “No, I’m not trying this shit on.”

“Oh, come on!” Jensen replies, making his eyes big and round. Jared quickly looks away. “Fine.”

“Thank you,” Jared says, risking a glance back at his boyfriend. Those anime eyes will be the death of him someday.

“You know what we’ve never done?” Jensen asks suddenly, and Jared raises a questioning eyebrow. “We’ve never fooled around in a dressing room. And what else was it you wanted earlier? A Cinnabon and what else?” Jensen asks innocently, deliberately licking his lips. Jared scowls. “I can’t remember. What a shame.”

“You are fucking evil,” Jared hisses, and Jensen just grins serenely, lips shiny with spit. Jared leans in and presses their lips together, hard and quick. “God, I love it. Give me the clothes.”

Jensen laughs and hands the garments over, trailing after Jared towards the dressing rooms. The couple from earlier is just making their way out, and Jared winks at the guy before shoving Jensen into the furthest stall with a mischievous cackle.

Later, they sit outside at a picnic table on the promenade while Jared eats his cinnamon roll and Jensen smokes a cigarette, shopping bags at their feet. Jensen is in an incredibly good mood, thanks in part to awesome sales and mutual blowjobs in public places.

“You know what we should do tonight?” Jared asks, sucking creamy frosting off of his thumb.

“What’s that, honey bun?” Jensen asks, fluttering his lashes and then smirking when Jared rolls his eyes. Jensen drops his cigarette butt on the ground and crushes it with his toe, leaning over the table and opening his mouth expectantly. Jared tears off a piece of cinnamon roll and places it on Jensen’s tongue, chucking slightly when Jensen nips the tip of his finger.

“We should go on a date,” Jared says, and Jensen raises an eyebrow as he takes a sip of soda. “We’ve never really been on a real date, you know?”

“Jared, I’m pretty sure we’ve been dating since we were born,” Jensen replies, but he can’t help grinning around his straw. Sometimes Jared is such a sap.

“Yeah,” Jared says, wiping his hands on a napkin. “But I want to take you out to dinner. I was thinking we could drive out to Huntington Beach, go to that diner on the pier you like so much. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the ocean.”

“I’d like that,” Jensen replies, and Jared gives him a soft, private smile. Jensen’s heart skitter-stops for just a moment.

Sometimes he forgets how lucky he is, and all it takes is that smile to remind him.

As far as dates go, theirs is pretty amazing.

They get banana caramel milkshakes and clam chowder in a booth with an ocean view, playing footsie under the table as they talk about their classes, their friends, and what they miss about home.

The sun sets while they talk, and when they exit the restaurant the sky is streaked with purple and gold, color hitting the gentle waves as they lap at the shore. They walk along the sand for awhile, hands interlocked like the most ridiculous cliché, swapping kisses as the night sky begins to twinkle with stars.

They catch a movie, some comedy Jensen can barely pay attention to because he’s too busy holding Jared’s hand.

It’s sort of amazing how perfect it is.

It’s not often they get to put their history aside and just be boyfriends. They mean so much to each other that boyfriend doesn’t seem like a big enough word, not nearly enough to describe what they are to each other.

There aren’t any words big enough, actually.

When the night is over and they find themselves standing in front of their dorm room door, Jensen turns around and rests his back against the door, glancing up at Jared as the taller boy places his palms against the door on either side of Jensen’s head, caging him in.

“That went pretty well, as far as first dates go,” Jared says softly, and Jensen nods. Jared dips his head and presses their lips together, so soft and sweet that Jensen’s knees nearly buckle. Their tongues brush, sending sparks flying up Jensen’s spine.

Jensen reaches behind himself as they kiss, wrapping his fingers around the doorknob and opening it. They go stumbling into the room and Jensen pulls away, mock yawning as he kicks off his pants and pulls off his shirt.

Jared watches him hungrily, his expression going from desire to confusion when Jensen climbs under the covers of the air mattress, curling up on his side like he’s going to sleep.

“What are you doing?” Jared asks, bottom lip jutting out into a pout. “I wanna have sex.”

“What?” Jensen cries, gasping dramatically. “You want me to put out on the first date? What kind of boy do you think I am?”

Jared growls and Jensen cracks up laughing. He throws his head back and laughs even harder when Jared jumps on top of him, hands bracketing Jensen’s hips and squeezing.

“Why don’t you show me what kind of boy you are?” Jared whispers into Jensen’s ear, teeth nipping at the lobe, and Jensen shivers. His laughter turns into a choked groan and his hands go to the button of Jared’s jeans.

“I’d love to,” Jensen breathes, and dips his hand into Jared’s underwear.

Halloween rolls around quickly. Jared and Jensen sort of throw together super lame (and super gay and matching!) costumes at the very last minute.

They pick Sandy up as scheduled in the parking lot outside her dorm, and Jared whistles as she walks up to the car. She’s dressed up like a cat. More specifically, a slutty cat. Her costume consists of a black corset top, black hot pants, fishnet stockings, and cat ears. She has a black spot on the end of her nose and whiskers on her cheeks. She looks gorgeous. And also slutty.

“What’s up, tits?” Jensen asks, watching Sandy in the rearview mirror as she throws her giant make-up bag in the car and climbs in the backseat. She glances down at her boobs, which appear to be trying desperately to escape her top. She blushes slightly and punches Jensen in the shoulder. She leans forward between the seats, glancing at them. Jared politely keeps his eyes on her face. Jensen feels like rewarding him for that, because damn, that can’t be easy.

“Seriously?” Sandy asks when she sees their costumes. “That’s the best you could come up with?”

“Oh, because slutty cat is so original?” Jared asks, smirking. Sandy hisses at him, hand curled like a claw before she flops back down in the seat. “But seriously, thanks for agreeing to do Josh and Jeff’s make-up.”

“Please,” she replies, waving her hand as Jensen pulls out of the parking lot. “Putting make-up on pretty boys? They’re doing me a favor.”

Jensen just smirks. It doesn’t take very long to drive to their brothers’ apartment, probably less than five minutes, but no one is going to feel like walking home in the middle of the night. If they are in any sort of state to be driving. Jensen assumes they will be crashing on the floor and blearily driving home with a massive hangover the next morning.

Jensen opens the door without knocking once they reach the apartment, just as Josh is walking by in nothing but a towel slung low on his hips.

“Ever heard of this thing called knocking, assfuck? See, what you do is curl your little hand like this and rap your knuckles repeatedly – oh. Hi,” Josh says, cutting off his rant when he sees Sandy.

“Hi,” she replies sweetly, waving at him. Josh just stares at her somewhat awkwardly.

“Uh, you remember Sandy?” Jensen says, and it takes Josh a few moments to snap out of it. He shakes his head a little and looks over at Jensen before his gaze flickers back to Sandy.

“Uh, yeah,” he says, cocking his head to the side a little. Sandy doesn’t seem to notice the scrutiny. She just holds up her bag and shakes it a little.

“Hey Josh,” she chirps. “Wanna get started? Or, well, Jeff will take a lot longer to do. So maybe we should do him first?”

“What?” Josh asks dumbly, eyes widening a little until something seems to click in his head. “Oh, make-up. Right. Um, he went to the store.”

“You first it is then,” Sandy says, leaning over to flick on the light over the kitchen table. She unzips her bag and starts taking out her tools. Josh just looks her up and down and then nods, swallowing hard.

“Sure, yeah,” he says, scratching the back of his neck. “Just let me – um, clothes.” With that, he disappears into the bedroom.

“What the fuck was that?” Jared asks with a laugh. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Josh at a loss for words before.”

“Thank Sandy’s boobs for causing such a rare and wondrous occurrence,” Jensen replies, and Sandy turns around to face him.

“If you keep talking about my tits, I will show them to you,” she threatens, hands on her hips. Jensen wrinkles his nose.

“Ew, no,” he replies, shuddering comically. He reaches out to squeeze one and she scoffs and slaps his hand away.

“What happens if I talk about your tits?” Jared asks, barely holding back a laugh. Sandy just rolls her eyes and Jensen flicks his ear. Josh comes out of his room then, hair wet and tousled. He’s wearing a wifebeater and some old basketball shorts and he fidgets a little as he drops down into a kitchen chair.

“Let’s get started!” Sandy says, picking up a black make-up pencil. She comes to stand between Josh’s legs, opening them wider with her thighs and leaning in to cup his face and press the pencil to it. Josh flushes pink, shooting Jensen a startled look. His eyes flick from Sandy’s face to her chest and then back to Jensen again, rapid and repeated. Jared gives him a dorky thumbs up from behind Sandy’s back.

Jensen just rolls his eyes and pulls Jared into the living room. Josh can fumble all over a pretty girl on his own. It’s only a few minutes later when Jeff calls Jared’s cell and tells them to come down to help with the groceries. And by groceries, he means a shitload of alcohol. Of course.

They set the bags down with a chorus of clinking glass before Jeff finally looks them over, eyes narrowing.

“Wait, are those my fucking scrubs?” Jeff asks, taking in Jared and Jensen’s costumes. Jensen is wearing a pair of dark blue scrubs, and Jared is wearing a pair of light green ones under a white lab coat. He even has a stethoscope around his neck.

“Yes,” Jared says with a nod, grinning smarmily. “Yes they are.”

“Assholes,” Jeff replies, flicking his hair out of his face. “Whatever. Be lame in your lame ass costumes. I don’t even care. Now help me move the furniture, bitches.”

They get the room ready for a party of Josh and Jeff’s caliber, pushing all the furniture against the walls and taking anything expensive and/or breakable into the bedrooms. Getting an aquarium knocked over is something that only has to happen once. No more poor little fishies will die in the name of a drunken good time.

“Hey!” Sandy says once they come back into the living room. Josh has disappeared again, presumably to do his hair and change into his costume. “Your turn, Jeff.”

“Awesome,” he replies, heading over to take the chair Josh vacated. Sandy walks over to Jared and Jensen with a spring in her step, furry cat tail bouncing behind her.

“I think Josh likes me,” Sandy says quietly, leaning in towards them and tugging at the hem of Jensen’s scrub top. Jensen scoffs and tugs at one of her kitty ears.

“Josh likes everyone,” Jared replies, fiddling with the end of his stethoscope.

“Well, his dick certainly likes me,” she adds, and Jensen lets out a snort. He looks her up and down blatantly, raising his eyebrows.

“Sandy, I think my dick could learn to like you in that outfit,” Jensen tells her, wrapping an arm around her waist and pulling her against him. She giggles and tosses her hair over her shoulder.

“Holy shit! Jensen just referred to his dick in relation to a vagina,” Jared exclaims, eyes wide with shock. “My entire world has just been turned upside down.”

“I know, right?” Jensen responds, winking at him and kissing Sandy’s forehead before letting her go. Jared grabs him by the wrist and presses the stethoscope against Jensen’s chest.

“Turn your head and cough,” Jared says seriously, reaching down to grab Jensen’s crotch. Jensen squeaks and jumps backwards as Sandy laughs.

“Get over here and paint my face, woman!” Jeff calls out, and Sandy bounces over, feminine assets bouncing along with her.

It’s another hour or so before people start showing up. Everyone in their group are among the first to arrive – Chad, Sophia, James, and Misha are followed by Mike, Tom, Chris and Steve.

Mike sets another overflowing bag of booze on the kitchen counter and lets out a bark of laughter when he walks back into the living room and spots Josh and Jeff decked out in their costumes. Josh and Jeff look each other up and down and then shrug.

“Batman and the Joker?” Mike gasps out, gripping the back of the couch for support. “I thought your brothers were the gay ones?”

“Fuck you,” Josh replies simply, straightening his mask. Jared laughs loudly because yeah, they look pretty gay.

“And what are you two supposed to be?” James asks Jared and Jensen, pushing his fedora back. He’s dressed as a 20’s era gangster, but he can’t quite pull it off. His face is too friendly.

“I’m a slutty nurse,” Jensen replies, lips shiny from the beer he’s been nursing. James looks him up and down, obviously confused. “What? It’s a very traditional Halloween costume.”

“Yeah, I know. For girls. How are you slutty?” He asks. “You’re just wearing a regular pair of scrubs. They’re even too big for you.”

“Because they’re mine,” Jeff says, pushing Jensen’s shoulder. Sandy did a pretty fantastic job on his Joker make-up. Jared’s gigantic dork of a brother actually looks sort of sinister.

“I’m gonna blow Dr. Padalecki in the bathroom later,” Jensen replies nonchalantly, hooking his thumb over his shoulder at Jared. “That is what makes me slutty.”

“I concede. You’re a slut,” James responds, his eyes landing hard on Sandy. “Here kitty, kitty!” He yells, chasing a squealing Sandy around the apartment and tugging at her tail.

“You really gonna blow me in the bathroom?” Jared asks, hooking his arm around Jensen’s shoulder and breathing hot into his ear.

“If you’re lucky,” he replies, eyes shining bright green as he nips at his jaw. “Doctor.”

Jared sort of loses track of time after awhile (and some drinks). The apartment is filled to the brim with people, some he knows but most he doesn’t, and all of them combined make the air heavy and warm. Music reverberates around the room, bass loud enough to make the floors shake under his feet. He’s actually surprised the cops haven’t come yet.

And he’s drunk, that’s for sure. First came the beers they drank to kick off the night, and then the tequila shots with Jensen. That was nice. They licked salt off each other and shared the lemon between their mouths. Next came the Buttery Nipples that Sandy and Sophia made them, complete with generous dollops of whipped cream. And then came, well, he can’t quite remember what else he drank exactly, only that there was copious amounts of it and it was good.

He’s having a great time, except for that, well, he has sort of lost his boyfriend. He stands on his tiptoes and scans the crowd, but he doesn’t see him. He does spot Josh though. Batman became fed up with his mask shortly after getting drunk and abandoned it somewhere, so now he’s just a dude with a black plastic six pack and a cape. He obviously tried to wash off the make-up, but it didn’t quite work. His eyes are still lined with enough smeared black kohl to make him look like a punk band reject. In a cape.

“Josh!” Jared calls out, realizing after a moment that Josh is talking to Sandy. He seems a lot less awkward around her than he did earlier, but that could be the alcohol. Jared sort of wants to wish him good luck, but Sandy might smack him. He looks to be doing fine all on his own.

“Have you seen Jensen?” Jared shouts over the music once he reaches them. He’s insanely drunk and he sort of wants to go outside, get some peace and quiet for a second. It’s way too hot and his cheeks are flushed, hair sticking to his forehead.

“Chris dragged him off somewhere,” Josh shouts back, waving a hand around. “I think they’re dancing.”

“Dancing?” Jared repeats, and Sandy raises an eyebrow, curious gaze fixed to her right. She nudges Jared’s shoulder and points, looking unpleased. Jared spins around to see Jensen and Chris mixed in with the crowd, pressed all together and moving to the music. Jared’s stomach clenches painfully, anger rising like bile in the back of his throat so fast his head spins.

He stalks over towards them before he even has the time to think about it, but what happens next seems like it’s in slow motion. Jensen tosses his head back with a laugh and Chris surges forward, crushing his mouth to Jensen’s in a bruising kiss. Jared stumbles to a stop, momentarily frozen.

Chris is kissing Jensen. Jared doesn’t think he’s ever been angrier in his entire fucking life. All he wants to do is rip Chris’s head off with his bare hands for even thinking about touching his boyfriend like that.

Jensen pulls away in shock, pushing Chris back by the chest and wiping his hand across his mouth. Chris steps forward like he’s going to touch Jensen again, like he has the fucking right, but Jared gets there first. He steps in and pushes Chris hard, sending him stumbling backwards and nearly falling on his ass.

“What the fuck?” Jared shouts, loud enough to be heard over the music. Chris straightens up, eyes dancing with laughter. The people circling them stop dancing, turning around to find the source of all the commotion.

“Just havin’ a little fun,” Chris slurs, and Jared’s hand curls into a fist as his vision goes red. Jensen puts his hand on Jared’s shoulder and he shrugs it off.

“You don’t get to have that sort of fun, asshole,” he yells back, so furious that he’s shaking with it.

“Easy, tiger,” Chris drawls, like he doesn’t realize how mad Jared is, or he just doesn’t care. Jared snaps, lunging forward to grab Chris by the front of his shirt, lifting him until his feet scramble helplessly against the floor. Chris suddenly seems to understand the gravity of the situation, clawing at Jared’s forearms and letting out a choking gasp.

“Jared, stop!” Jensen says, reaching up to pull on Jared’s shoulder just as Josh and Jeff push their way through the crowd that has started to form.

“What the hell is going on?” Jeff asks loudly, taking in the scene with a shocked expression.

“He fucking kissed Jensen,” Jared snarls, letting go of Chris and sending him stumbling again. “Kissed him right in front of me.”

“He’s drunk, Jay,” Jensen says, sounding far from sober himself as he tugs on Jared’s arm. “Let it go, please?”

“Shit, man,” Chris says, holding his hands up in defense. “’M sorry. I wasn’t thinkin’.”

“Jared, why don’t you go somewhere and calm down, alright?” Jeff says, putting his hand on Jared’s chest and nudging him back. He turns to Chris, eyes hard. “And you’re cut off, man. What the fuck are you doing?”

“Sorry,” Chris repeats, shaking his head and backing through the crowd. Jared’s chest is heaving, fists curled so tight that his nails are digging painful crescents into his palms.

“Get him out of here,” Josh says to Jensen, a nervous looking Sandy plastered to his side. Jared can feel Jensen tugging on his hand, pulling him backwards until he loses sight of the back of Chris’s head. God, he wants to fucking kill him.

Jensen pulls him into Josh’s room and shuts the door, casting them in dim golden light and muffling the music. Jared rips his hand from Jensen’s grasp and starts pacing back and forth.

He buries his hands in his hair and wishes he wasn’t so fucking drunk, because maybe then he would be able to calm down. Maybe his blood wouldn’t feel like it was boiling in his veins.

“Are you mad at me?” Jensen asks, sounding afraid of the answer. “I’m sorry, Jay.”

“What?” Jared asks, whirling on Jensen. He looks scared and upset, bottom lip jutting out slightly and eyes wide. “Shut the fuck up, okay? I’m mad at him. Christ, Jensen.”

“He’s really drunk,” Jensen says again, licking his lips. “He didn’t mean it.”

“Do you think that makes it okay?” Jared shouts out. “I don’t fucking give a shit why he did it. He kissed you when he knows you’re mine!”

“Calm down, okay?” Jensen says, slumping against the wall. “Forget about it.”

“No, Jensen. Fuck!” He takes a deep breath and it doesn’t really help. “How would you feel if you saw someone else kissing me, huh?” Jensen’s face twists into a grimace, like the thought alone is painful. “Exactly. So don’t fucking tell me to calm down.”

“Okay, okay,” Jensen says, holding up his hands in defeat. He runs his fingers through his messy hair, cheeks flushed pink. He looks so goddamn gorgeous that Jared wants to lock him up, put him somewhere no one will ever even look at him again. He wants to mark him up, stake his claim.

“That mouth is mine,” Jared says roughly, licking his lips. “No one gets to kiss you but me, ever again.”

“Then come kiss me,” Jensen demands, eyes darkening as he looks Jared up and down. Jared crosses the room in three quick strides, grabbing Jensen’s shoulders to slam him against the wall. Jensen moans as Jared presses their mouths together, rough and aggressive. He pushes his tongue past Jensen’s lips, fucking it in and out as he rolls his hips against Jensen’s.

Jensen gives as good as he gets, hands scrambling on Jared’s shoulders and pulling at his hair, kissing back just as hard.

Jared kisses him until he’s dizzy, just because he fucking can. Jensen is his to kiss, his to fuck, his to love. Jensen whines when he pulls away and Jared drags his thumb roughly over Jensen’s slick, puffy lips.

“You like kissing me?” Jared asks, voice like broken glass. Jensen nods helplessly, panting harshly. “You like sucking my dick, don’t you Jen? Wrapping those fucking lips around me and swallowing all my come?”

“Yeah,” Jensen breathes, insane with lust. His eyes are nearly black, pupils blown wide and rimmed with bright jade. Sweat beads at his hairline and Jared slides his hand from Jensen’s mouth down to his throat, closing his fingers over it and squeezing slightly. Jensen lets out a wheezing gasp, hips jerking against Jared’s other palm as it curls around his hip.

“Want me to fuck you, baby? I’ll take good care of that little hole; shove my fat cock in there, make you take it all.” Jared rasps, squeezing a little tighter. Jensen nods, hands coming up to clutch at Jared’s forearm, nails digging in when Jared’s grip becomes too tight. He pulls his hand away and Jensen sucks in a deep breath. Jared undoes the tie of his scrub pants and Jensen’s eyes are drawn to the tent in them, licking his lips like he’s fucking starving for it.

“Better suck it real good,” Jared rasps, shoving his pants and underwear down to his thighs, exposing his hard cock. Jensen licks his lips, and bites down to stifle a groan. “Get it nice and wet, because that’s all you’re gonna get.”

“Fuck,” Jensen pants, dropping instantly to his knees. He wraps his hand around the base of Jared’s cock and sucks the head into his mouth. He doesn’t dare tease, just starts bobbing up and down and slicking the skin with his tongue. Jared twists his fingers in Jensen’s hair, pulling slightly and watching those puffy red lips stretch around his dick. Jensen relaxes his throat, goes slack until Jared gets the hint and pushes, sliding his dick down into that tight heat. He holds it there, presses on the back of Jensen’s head until his nose is smashed against Jared’s pelvis. He waits until Jensen reaches up and slaps his palm against Jared’s belly, fingernails digging in painfully. Jared pulls out then, eyes gleaming as Jensen sucks in a breath and licks his swollen lips.

He knows every single one of Jensen’s kinks. He knows just how and where to touch, knows how to give him what he needs. And he’s the only one.

“Wet enough?” Jared asks, and Jensen nods jerkily. Jared pulls him up and Jensen fumbles with the tie of his own pants, kicking them off along with his shoes. He goes to face the wall but Jared growls, grabbing him by the arm and spinning him around. He needs to see his fucking mouth, needs to have access to those puffy pink lips.

He sucks on two of his fingers and kicks Jensen’s legs apart with his foot, eyes on Jensen’s face as he reaches between his legs. He pushes one finger inside of him without hesitation, eyes lighting up when Jensen moans loudly. He barely waits before shoving the other one alongside it, fucking them into him quick and hard.

“Fuck me,” Jensen pleads, pulling on the lapels of Jared’s white lab coat. He looks so desperate, eyes wide and wet, sweat beading on his face and neck. And his mouth, so red and swollen from Jared’s cock and his harsh kisses. “Please, baby. Fuck me please.”

Jared growls and pulls his fingers out, wrapping his arms around Jensen’s waist and lifting him up off of the floor. Jensen’s back hits the wall and he wraps one leg around Jared’s waist. Jared hooks his arm under Jensen’s other knee and holds him open, thighs parted for Jared’s hips. Jared braces himself against the wall with one hand as he spits into the other, slicking his cock a little more before he lines up and pushes into Jensen’s body, bottoming out without pause. It’s so tight, so hot, so perfect.

Jensen lets his head fall back against the wall, crying out as Jared starts to fuck him. Jared’s arms burn with the strain of holding Jensen up but he barely notices, too busy watching Jensen’s face as he slams up into him, hard and rough. He feels the slight drag of not enough lube, but that’s okay. He wants Jensen to feel him for days, know who he fucking belongs to. And if Jensen’s moans of encouragement are anything to go by, he’s feeling no pain.

Jensen keeps his leg hooked over Jared’s arm, the back of his knee resting in the crook of his elbow. He clings to Jared like a limpet, trying to brace some of his weight against the wall as Jared fucks into him with deep, rolling thrusts.

“You’re mine, Jensen,” Jared grits out, leaning in to suck and bite at Jensen’s neck, marking him. Owning him. “You fucking hear me?”

“Yours! Yours, fucking yours. Oh please, fuck me! Fuck me, Jared, c’mon. Love you, baby, please.” Jensen is babbling, all coherent thought gone as Jared pounds into him. His arms are tight around Jared’s neck, fingers wrapped painfully in his hair.

Jared’s arms ache, muscles bunching under his sweaty skin. He shifts, finds a way that he can keep fucking into Jensen and still wrap a hand around Jensen’s dick. He squeezes hard around the shaft and pulls up. That’s all it takes. Jensen screams out, and Jared hopes everyone in the whole fucking building can hear it.

His come slicks Jared’s hand, shoots up his stomach and chest and he nearly sobs as he just keeps coming. The sight is so fucking hot, and Jared’s orgasm rips through him seconds later. He lets out a shout as he empties deep into Jensen, marks him up inside.

He pulls out of Jensen and allows his feet to slip to the floor, but he doesn’t trust Jensen’s shaky legs to hold him up. Jared keeps his arms around Jensen’s waist, burying his face in Jensen’s neck as they shake with aftershocks.

Their scrub tops are soaked with sweat and Jared’s pants are tangled uncomfortably between his knees. The lab coat is keeping all the heat trapped inside his body, and he would like nothing more than to take it off.

He pulls away once he thinks Jensen can stand, shrugging out of the coat and pulling his scrub pants back up. Jensen moves to do the same, wincing when he shifts his hips.

“You okay?” Jared asks, suddenly afraid that he’s hurt him. Jensen just looks up at him, eyelids drooping as he gives him a fond look.

“I’m fine, you toppy possessive bastard,” he replies, but he’s smiling. “Fuck, but that was hot.”

Jared is inclined to agree.

They leave Josh’s bedroom hand in hand and when they rejoin the party, Chris and Steve are nowhere to be seen. James starts a round of applause that everyone quickly joins in on. Jared is expecting Jensen to blush, but instead he bows graciously.

“You’re burning those scrubs and buying me new ones,” Jeff says, wrinkling his nose. Josh is staring at them with one eye closed, which means he’s fucking wasted.

“My bed?” Josh slurs, scandalized. Sandy looks interested, her eyes a little glazed over and her whiskers slightly smudged.

“Your wall, big brother,” Jensen says with a wink. Josh makes a retching sound and buries his face in Sandy’s hair.

Jensen just laughs and looks over at Jared, gaze soft and knowing. Jared smiles at him and pulls him in for a kiss.

Like there was any question of who Jared belongs to. He’s been Jensen’s since the day he was born.

Jared and Jensen spend a lazy Sunday afternoon holed up in their room getting hot and sweaty despite the crisp air outside. By the time they’re finished Jared is wincing at the ache in his ass, courtesy of Jensen’s revenge for the pounding Jared gave him on Halloween.

They’re roused by an insistent knocking on their door and they share a quizzical look, each pulling on a pair of sweats before Jared gets up to answer it. Misha slides in as soon as Jared opens it, slamming the door shut and leaning back against it.

“What’s up, Mish-Mash?” Jensen coos, and Misha shoots him a deadly glare.

“Call me that again and Jared will mourn the loss of your dick,” he seethes. Jensen shudders theatrically and sits on the edge of one of the beds as Jared flips the air mattress up against the wall to make room.

“Ooh, scary,” Jensen says sarcastically, and Misha narrows his ice blue eyes. “We all know you love it when James calls you that.”

“Seriously,” Misha says, pointing a stern finger at him. “Dick, balls. All of it, gone.”

“You try to act all tough, but truth is, you adore us,” Jensen singsongs, hands interlocking under his chin as he flutters his eyelashes. Misha shoots Jared a glare and Jared bites his lip to keep from cracking up.

“What the fuck is his deal?” Misha asks, waving an angry hand in Jensen’s general direction. Jared runs his fingers through his tangled hair and shrugs helplessly.

“He got to top,” Jared says blandly, and Misha rolls his eyes.

“Of course. All the power went to his head because he’s such a fucking nelly bottom,” Misha replies, spitting the last few words at Jensen, who just hums happily and flips him off.

“Basically,” Jared retorts. “Gotta let him think he’s tough and manly every once in awhile.”

“Y’all can try and destroy my amicable mood,” Jensen says, stretching and grabbing his phone off of the floor. “But you’ll fail. I’m a happy boy today.”

“Your ass must be magical,” Misha says to Jared, who merely shrugs. It does seem to possess certain happy-making qualities when it comes to his boyfriend.

“Is there a reason you’re hiding in our room?” Jared asks, and Misha rolls his eyes as he drops into a desk chair.

“We’re his favorite,” Jensen repeats as he tosses his phone aside and lies back on the bed. Jared drops on top of him and Jensen lets out an oomph, wrapping his arms around Jared’s neck and laughing.

“He’s sort of right,” Misha replies, rubbing the back of his neck. He’s seemingly unperturbed by their excessive and over exuberant public displays of affection. But all their friends sort of have to be if they ever want to occupy the same room as the two of them at the same time. “If by favorite he means least annoying. Usually.”

“You say potato, I say – "

“Shut up, Jensen. Damn.”

Anyway,” Misha starts. “Fucking 208 keeps coming to me because her boyfriend dumped her. Which, okay, sucks for her and everything. But they went out for two weeks. Two weeks! And now because I’m her RA I’m expected to get fat off of Haagen-Dazs and watch Hope Floats with her? No. Fuck that. I don’t have the patience for that shit.”

James walks in their room unannounced, slipping his phone in his pocket. Jared rolls his eyes. Jensen obviously alerted James of their visitor.

“You don’t have the patience for most things, Mish-Mash,” James says, and Jensen lets out a snort of laughter. “And I prefer Ben and Jerry’s.”

“So I’m hiding out in here,” Misha says, completely ignoring James. “Most people don’t come in here because they’re too afraid they’re either going to a, walk in on gay sex, or b, Jensen will rip their fucking head off. Usually,” he adds, narrowing his eyes at Jensen’s lazy grin like he’s annoyed that he’s lost his comrade in bitchiness.

“I for one barge in here hoping to walk in on gay sex,” James says, and unceremoniously drops down onto Misha’s lap. He wraps his arms around the agitated RA’s neck and Misha spits and hisses, trying but failing to push him off. “Don’t fight it, Mish-Mash! Embrace your feelings!”

“I hate you,” Misha says, letting his forehead drop forward onto James’s shoulder. “So much hate.”

“That’s a lie,” Jensen shouts, nudging Jared’s shoulder happily and gesturing towards them. Jared smiles fondly. Jensen has secretly been rooting for the mismatched couple since day one. He thinks they’d be perfect for each other and Jared is inclined to agree, but he is so not down with playing Cupid to a bunch of clueless upperclassmen.

The four of them eventually settle into comfortable positions, hiding from the world and watching TV late into the night. Jared is relaxed and amused, due to Jensen dozing lazily with his head on his lap and Misha slapping James’s arm every single time he tries to put it around his shoulders but never pulling away.

Jared thinks maybe he should pull Misha aside, teach him a thing or two about not realizing what you’ve got right in front of your face. Jared is well versed in that particular subject.

You’ve got to open your eyes, realize that you already have what you’ve wanted all along, and then take it.

And then it’s yours to keep forever, if you can manage to hold onto it for that long.

Jared is just leaving work when his phone buzzes in his pocket. He grabs it and doesn’t glance at the display, assuming that it’s Jensen.

“Hey,” he answers, taking a giant bite of a cranberry orange muffin.

Uh, hey.” Jared swallows painfully. It’s Chris, who he hasn’t spoken to since he kissed Jensen three days ago. Well, this should be pleasant. Or, you know, not.

“What’s up, Chris?” Jared asks politely. He’s sort of the forgiving type, and he is pretty much over what happened. Kind of. Not that he’s ready to make friendship bracelets with the dude who wants to bang his boyfriend, but still.

This is fucking awkward,” Chris starts, “but, uh, I wanted to call and say sorry, you know? For the other night.

“Okay, thanks,” Jared replies as he climbs into his truck and shuts the door. “I’m not gonna say it wasn’t fucked up, but I think I can be convinced to let you live.”

Good, ‘cause you know I’d never do anything, right?” There’s a pause. “On purpose, that is. You kids are it, ya know? I’d be damn foolish to try to get in the way of that. Even if I wanted to, which I don’t.

Jared furrows his brow. This seems like quite a speech to apologize for drunkenly kissing Jensen. Jared is about to say something, but Chris continues.

This is my shit, dude. And I’ll deal with it,” Chris says decisively, letting out a harsh sigh and completely rocking Jared’s world in a not very good way.

It hits Jared then, like a kick to the gut. Chris isn’t just dealing with residual lust from their extended fling, he’s fucking in love with Jensen.

The coffee he drank during his shift rolls unpleasantly in his belly and he stares blankly out of the windshield until Chris calls his name.

“Uh, good to hear, Chris,” he mumbles. He pinches the bridge of his nose and sighs. “Listen, I’m driving so I need to go. Thanks for calling.”

He hangs up before Chris can respond, dropping his phone onto the seat. He buries his fingers in his hair and tips his head back. He isn’t exactly sure what the proper protocol is when you find out that your boyfriend’s ex-something or other is in love with him. Jensen and Chris have a history. Not nearly as long and extensive as their own, but it’s still there.

His phone goes off, distracting him from his thoughts. It’s a new text from Jensen. You off work yet? I’m in Chad’s room. Come here instead of ours. Hurry, before the coffee smell wears off! <3

It makes Jared smile, and he tries to push this new information to the back of his mind. It doesn’t really matter, anyway.

not in public u freak. be right there. He sends the text and takes a deep breath before starting his truck.

It doesn’t matter. It means nothing.

Jared normally doesn’t try to over think things, which is evident by the fact that he fucked Jensen within hours of the other boy confessing his feelings for him, when the normal response might have been to freak out, to thinks things over a little. Not that he regrets his decision, but still. He didn’t really think that hard about it. It just sort of happened.

But this thing with Chris? That he thinks about. He thinks about it as he parks in his normal spot and walks to the dorm, thinks about it when he enters the dorm and climbs the stairs. He hears the sounds of delighted laughter but they don’t even really register, he’s thinking so hard. But then he lets himself into Chad’s room, one floor below his own, and promptly stops thinking.

Chad is alone in the room, sitting on his bed with a hardcover copy of Twilight open on his lap. He barely glances up when Jared enters the room and he raises a curious eyebrow. Chad is reading Twilight of what appears to be his own free will, and Jared doesn’t really know what to do with that.

“Bit of light reading?” Jared chuckles, and Chad glares up at him.

“Sophia is making me read it,” Chad grumbles, licking a fingertip and flipping the page. “The movie is coming out in a few weeks, and I apparently have to be prepared.” He adds finger quotes around the last bit, but doesn’t stop reading.

“Okay, but is she forcing you to enjoy it?” Jared laughs, stretching until his back pops. “You look pretty enthralled, dude.”

“Fuck you,” Chad shoots back. “Like Jensen never makes you do shit you don’t wanna do. I bet he can withhold sex with the best of them. Think they fucking take classes, man.”

“Luckily for me, I’m not dating a girl,” Jared replies with a gleeful smirk. Famous last words, apparently.

Jensen and Sophia burst into the room then, a red feather boa tangled around both of their necks. Sophia giggles, and Jared recognizes it as the laughter that was bouncing around the halls. They set down a small mountain of soda and candy onto the desk and Jensen bounces over to Jared, throwing his arms around him. Sophia squeaks as she is jerked forward by the boa and Jared coughs as he inhales feathers and perfume.

“Mmm, Arabica beans,” Jensen moans, inhaling deeply. Jared knits his brows together and awkwardly hugs them both.

“As you were saying?” Chad says smugly. Jared blinks. While it’s true that Jensen is astonishingly gay, Jared didn’t really think he was feather boa gay. Actually, he’s never thought of anyone as feather boa gay before. “Also,” Chad continues, “our girlfriends were hella rocking out to Britney Spears earlier.”

Until now. Jensen is officially feather boa gay.

“Was not!” Jensen shrieks, pulling away from Jared to whirl on Chad. Sophia wraps her arm around Jensen’s waist, because she’s sort of stuck to him and he won’t stop moving. “I was farting and ya know, burping!” He situates himself behind Sophia and reaches up to grab at her chest. “Feelin’ up chicks!”

“Whoa, hey!” Chad calls out, dropping his book. “Get your hands off of her tits!”

“Calm down,” Sophia giggles, reaching up to put her hands over Jensen’s. Jared just sort of stares. And tries not to get turned on. Seeing Jensen feel up a girl is strangely hot, but also just unnatural. “He sees them all the time. Like, when we go shopping.”

“That’s right,” Jensen says, pressing his large hands against Sophia’s boobs. Jared shifts his hips and Chad looks enraged. “I’m gay. I could motorboat these bad boys and there’s nothing you could do about it.”

Chad glares, eyes narrowing into slits. Jared just laughs. Sophia twirls around in Jensen’s arms, looping her arms around his neck.

“And we were so jamming to Britney. Don’t lie.” She starts up with a chorus of la la la’s and Jensen scrunches his face up, like he’s trying not to get into it. But when Sophia leans over to flip on the stereo, filling the room with loud pop music, he loses it. Jared watches in horror as his gorgeous boyfriend, who can play the guitar and sings him sweet lullabies, starts butchering an already awful Britney Spears song. There is only one possible explanation.

“Where’d you guys get the weed?” Jared asks, spinning on his heels to face Chad. Jared waves his arm towards Jensen and Sophia, barely listening to them babble.

“Huh?” Chad asks, looking up from the book like he’s annoyed that Jared interrupted him.

“You’re all high,” Jared replies. “That’s the only time Jensen lets his soul crushing love of Britney be known. Remember the time at that club in San Francisco when they played Radar and I had to stop him from getting up on the bar to dance with all the other feather boa fags?”

“I was probably too busy trying to hide from the leather daddy with the sling, assfuck,” Chad says, glaring. He still doesn’t like to talk about that night. “And James gave us brownies,” he says, gesturing to the pan on the nightstand. Well, that isn’t surprising.

“And the feather boa?” Jared asks.

“Also James,” he replies. Sadly, that also isn’t surprising. He turns to watch Jensen and Sophia grind against each other, tilts his head to the side to admire them. They start singing the chorus, loud and breathy into each other’s faces.

Love me, hate me, say what you want about me. But all of the girls and all of the boys are begging to if you seek Amy!”

“Okay, we get it!” Chad yells, closing his book and holding his place with his index finger. “You’re both super pretty and everyone wants to bang you!”

”What?” Jared asks as Jensen and Sophia giggle and dance. “That song doesn’t even make any sense.”

“Say it slow,” Chad says. “If you seek Amy. F-U-C-K me. She’s saying fuck me. Now will you all shut the fuck up? Edward is showing her his sparkle!”

Chad blinks then, eyes widening. He looks down at the book in his lap, and then over at his girlfriend who is currently happily grinding against a homo. And he totally just explained a Britney Spears song.

“Oh my god,” Chad cries, throwing the book to the side. “Fuck my life!”

“Three cocks and I’m the only man in this room,” Jared chuckles, reaching over to take a special brownie. Jensen untangles himself from Sophia and the boa, running over to jump up into Jared’s arms. Jared has to stuff the entire brownie in his mouth to catch him in time and still stumbles a little, nearly dropping him.

“You’re such a man,” Jensen says, looking up at him with wide, glassy eyes. “You took it like a man last night. Didn’t you, baby? Took it all so good and begged for more.” Jared is unable to protest, mouth full of special brownie and arms full of stoned Jensen. But he did. He took it hard, and he loved it.

“Haha, fag!” Chad laughs, gasping when Sophia throws herself on top of him. Jensen slithers down to stand unsteadily on his own feet as Jared tries to swallow the massive brownie.

“I have to like Britney. It’s like, a prerequisite of being gay,” Jensen explains, molding himself against Jared’s side. “They’ll kick me out of the club if I don’t.”

“Four syllables means not enough brownie!” Chad calls out, gesturing towards the pan and laughing as Sophia giggles against his mouth. Jensen nods gravely and moves towards the pan. Jared smacks his hand away and takes another one for himself.

“Save some for me, stoner,” Jared says. Jensen just watches as Jared eats the brownie, eyes flicking back and forth between Jared’s lips and his eyes. As soon as he’s done eating, Jensen lunges for him. He stumbles back, catching himself against the wall and gripping Jensen’s hips. Jensen eats at his mouth, sliding his tongue inside and sucking at his lips, licking away every last trace of chocolate. Jared moans low in his throat, fingers tangling in Jensen’s hair as they make out.

It doesn’t take long for the pot to kick in. Jared doesn’t get stoned very often, and it just makes it that much better when he does. He’s completely relaxed – no stressing about classes, no being homesick, and no thinking about Chris’s revelation. Just him and Jensen, warm and pliant in each other’s arms.

They slide to the floor, Jared sitting back against Chad’s bed, his head inches from Sophia’s foot. Perhaps if they were all a little more sober, they’d find it weird that they were making out just a few feet from each other with Britney blasting on the stereo and bright red feathers littering the floor.

Chad’s roommate comes in a few minutes later, stammering and blushing when he spots them. Gabe is a good guy, just insanely bookish and reserved. He’s not really interested in coming out of his shell, and they aren’t interested in making him. Gabe clears his throat, breaking up the two couples.

“Gabe!” Chad calls out, extracting his hands from Sophia’s shirt. “What’s up, man?”

“Uh, nothing,” Gabe replies, eyeing Jared and Jensen tangled together on his floor with trepidation, like the two couples were mere moments from merging to create an orgy right there in his dorm room. “I could, uh – go somewhere else?”

“That’s okay,” Sophia says, rolling off of the bed. She’s wearing a tiny pair of shorts that show off her shapely legs and a tank top that Chad stretched out during their make out session, revealing ample cleavage. Gabe just stares at her, turning an intense shade of red. Jensen gets up on his knees, wrapping his arm around Sophia’s leg and leaning in to kiss her thigh, right at the hem of her shorts.

“Yeah, we can fuck anywhere, right?” Jensen asks, winking at Gabe who coughs and chokes on his own spit. Jared rolls his eyes and tugs Jensen to his feet. Chad just comes up and slings one arm over Jared’s shoulders, wrapping the other around Sophia’s waist.

“That’s true,” Chad says, leading them out of the room. Sophia brushes past Gabe and giggles while Chad reaches out to poke the tip of his nose. “Don’t wait up.”

“Coming, baby?” Jared calls out to Jensen, who grabs the pan of brownies and the boa, wrapping it around his neck. He throws Gabe another wink and hurries out the door to catch up with his friends.

“His face,” Jensen laughs once they reach he and Jared’s floor. “Fucking priceless!”

“That was pretty awesome,” Sophia relents. “Even if he does think I’m being passed around like a bong.”

“When’s my turn?” Jared asks, wiggling his eyebrows and reaching out to snag Sophia by the waist. She giggles and presses back against him.

“Anytime, tiger,” she rasps, and Chad grabs her arm and pulls her back.

“You’re not all the way gay, so you don’t get to touch! The only reason I don’t kick Jensen’s ass is because I don’t wanna get fuckin’ arrested for a hate crime,” Chad shouts, and Jared rolls his eyes as he tangles his fingers with Jensen’s. Jensen loops the boa around his neck as well.

“I’m pretty fuckin’ gay, dude,” Jared says, and Jensen grins at him. They’re nearly to Jared and Jensen’s room when James sticks his head out into the hallway.

“Ah, when I heard shouting about being pretty fucking gay, somehow I knew it would be you,” James says, stepping out into the hall. He grins at them, flicking at the feather boa around Jensen and Jared’s necks. “How you kids doing? Nice and relaxed?”

“You could say that,” Jared says, laughing when James smirks and takes the pan of brownies from Jensen. “I was just about to start a movie, if you guys wanna join me?”

“We were actually going to go have an orgy in Jared and Jensen’s room,” Sophia says, managing to keep a straight face. James just smirks. He’s sort of a walking bullshit detector.

“I’ve got a single. More room,” James says, holding the door open. Misha rounds the corner then, eyebrow rising apprehensively when he spots their group.

“This can’t be good,” he says, walking up to them. “What are you guys up to?”

“Oh, I’m just about to bring all these impressionable young freshman into my room so we can have group sex,” James says innocently. Misha just glares at him. “What? It’s a team building exercise!”

Misha looks at all of their faces and then at the pan of brownies in James’s hand.

“You didn’t,” Misha says flatly, and James grins serenely. “If I get in trouble because you got my freshmen stoned, I will fucking kill you.”

“Want one?” James asks calmly, holding the pan out. Misha glares at him for a few moments longer, and then looks around. He grabs a brownie and stuffs it in his mouth before continuing down the hall. “He is so fucking adorable.”

“If you say so,” Sophia says, pushing past James and into his room. They all follow and Jared drops down on the end of the couch, pulling Jensen into his lap.

James somehow wrangled one of the larger rooms on the floor, and not only that, he gets it all to himself. He has a large, comfortable couch in addition to his bed, and a huge flat panel television on the wall. Chad and Sophia take the other end of the couch and James drops down in the middle, eating a brownie as he starts the movie. He seems to have no problem sitting between two stoned, horny couples.

Jared isn’t even aware of what movie it is, because Jensen untangles the boa from their necks and drops it in James’s lap before leaning in to give Jared a soft kiss. They make out, soft and lazy, throughout the entire thing.

Jensen’s kisses are soft but passionate, tongue sweeping into his mouth. It makes Jared dizzy and he cups Jensen’s hip in his palm, thumb stroking back and forth across his tattoo. Jensen grins against his lips, his hand automatically slipping under Jared’s shirt to press against Jared’s ink as well.

“Mm, love you,” Jensen breathes, leaning in to kiss him again. Jared slides his other hand under the back of Jensen’s shirt, hand pressed against the smooth skin at the small of Jensen’s back.

“Love you too,” Jared whispers. They laugh when everyone loudly shushes them, but they don’t stop kissing.

He only wishes he could have seen the night for what it was – the calm before the storm.

A few days pass and Jared has mostly forgotten Chris’s accidental confession – mostly because he has been too busy to think about it. All of his professors saw it fit to dump massive amounts of homework on him all at once, and he’s been helping out at Ed’s a little more since one of the other employees randomly quit.

There is a floor party tonight that he’s pretty excited about. Most of his homework is done, and it’s Friday, so no class in the morning. He’s been stressed and frazzled pretty much since Halloween, and he feels about at his breaking point. He needs to relax a bit.

So, he sort of forgets about the Chris thing, until he is helpfully reminded.

“I’ll see you tonight,” Jensen says as Jared is bent over his Biology textbook, getting some last minute cramming in before class.

“Okay,” Jared says absently, pursing his lips when Jensen leans over to kiss his temple. Jensen is halfway across the room before Jared blinks, head popping up. “Wait, what? Where are you going?”

“Chris is in town,” Jensen replies, pulling on the black military jacket he looks way too fucking good in. “He had a meeting or something, so I was gonna hang out with him for awhile.”

Jared swallows hard, a strange wave of heat running through him and settling in his stomach. Just like that, he realizes that he hasn’t forgiven Chris. He doesn’t trust Chris. It’s still too easy to conjure up memories of Jensen and Chris kissing, of Jensen leaning in close and telling Jared about the things they would do to each other back before Jared realized he wanted to do them himself. Bottom line, he doesn’t want Chris anywhere near Jensen. At least not alone.

“I’ll come with you,” Jared says quickly, jumping up from the desk. His face is flushed with heat and he hopes Jensen doesn’t notice his reddened cheeks or the way his hands have started to shake slightly. Jensen gives him a confused look as he fusses with the collar of his jacket.

“You have class,” Jensen reminds him, and Jared just shrugs awkwardly.

“I’ll skip it,” he replies, shoving his hands in the pockets of his jeans. According to the clock, he needs to leave for class within the next fifteen minutes. He hasn’t missed a class since the semester started, but he doubts he’d be able to pay much attention anyway. Jensen tilts his head to the side, brows furrowed.

“What do you mean ‘skip it’? We’re just going to get coffee or something,” Jensen says. Jared just blows out a puff of air and stares at him, gaze determined. Jensen starts with realization and rolls his eyes. “Is this about what happened at the party?” Jared bites his lip, gaze lowering slightly. “Seriously? That was a week ago, Jay.”

“I know,” Jared grits out, jealousy and possessiveness rushing through his blood like fire. “I just don’t want you alone with him.” Jensen stares at him for a moment, and then snorts.

“You’re being ridiculous,” Jensen tells him, gathering his cell phone and keys from the nightstand. “Just go to class, and I’ll see you in a little while.”

“No,” Jared says, once Jensen turns towards the door. “You’re not going.” Jensen tenses, shoulders bunching before he slowly spins to face Jared.

“Don’t ever try to tell me what I can and can’t do,” Jensen grits out, green eyes flashing dangerously. “What the fuck is your problem?”

“Chris is in love with you!” Jared shouts, throwing his arms out to the side. “That’s my fucking problem.” Jensen blinks, obviously startled.

“What the hell?” Jensen shouts, looking at Jared in disbelief. “You’re fucking paranoid. He’s just a friend.”

“A friend whose dick you sucked for over a year!” Jared counters, swallowing hard when Jensen’s eyes narrow dangerously.

“You better watch your fucking mouth,” Jensen says, voice deep and angry. “And stop being an asshole.”

“Do you miss it or something?” Jared says, chest heaving with each quick, angry breath he takes. He’s fuming, hands curled into fists.

What?” Jensen replies, lips curled back into a sneer. His cheeks are flushed red and he’s breathing just as hard as Jared. “What the fuck, Jared?”

“Just wondering,” Jared grits out, and he can already tell that this fight won’t be like the last. There won’t be a quick apology. This time he wants to hurt, and he doesn’t even know why. “I’m telling you that Chris wants you, which he basically fucking told me, so it ain’t me being paranoid, and all you can do is defend him. There must be something there. I mean, you fucked around with him for so long. You still want him, too?”

“No!” Jensen shouts. “You’re my boyfriend. Although at the moment I’m not exactly sure why. You’re acting like a dick and I didn’t even do anything!”

Jensen bites his lip, eyes going wide and glassy. It’s the first time he’s looked hurt since this whole thing started, and the angry red haze marring Jared’s vision clears a little. Jensen is breathing hard, skin bone white where it’s stretched over his knuckles.

“You wanna know why I did all that shit with Chris?” Jensen asks, and no, he really doesn’t. Jared opens his mouth to speak but Jensen cuts him off when he swallows thickly and continues. “I was sixteen and I had just realized I was gay. Do you think it was easy for me to just go out and meet people? I barely had enough nerve to tell you, let alone my family and my friends. I wasn’t about to just go out and pick up random guys.”

“Jensen.” Jared notices the way he emphasized you, like Jared is not only family, not just a friend. Like he’s something more than both.

“I wanted to know what it felt like to be kissed just like you did, like every fucking teenager does. So when Chris kissed me, I let him. Because he was safe.” Jensen’s voice cracks a little, but he doesn’t look away from Jared. “And then I – fuck – I started having feelings for you. My straight best friend. Do you have any idea how hard that was for me?”

There are tears in Jensen’s eyes now, and that’s when Jared realizes he has just made a huge fucking mistake. He’s still angry, but he’s not quite sure who it’s directed at anymore.

“It’s like you were trying to set a fucking record, kiss every girl that would stand still long enough and then come tell me about it and I was just supposed to smile and nod, right? I was jealous and sad and angry, and I kept going back to Chris to feel something different.”

Jared opens his mouth again, his heart thundering against his ribcage. He doesn’t know what to say but he doesn’t want to hear anymore.

“But I never let him fuck me,” Jensen says brokenly, tears rolling down his cheeks. “He asked, but I never let him. You know why? I wasn’t fucking in love with him! I loved you! You’re all I wanted, all I fucking thought about, and it fucking sucked. Chris was a weak substitution for something I never thought I would get, okay?”

“Still doesn’t change how he feels about you,” Jared says, swallowing past the lump in his throat. Jensen just laughs humorlessly, wiping his palm across his wet eyes.

“How does what he feels have anything to do with us?” Jensen asks, biting his lip when it starts to tremble. Jared blinks a few times and shrugs helplessly.

“It just does.”

“You know what, Jared?” Jensen says, shaking out his shoulders. “Fuck you. Fuck you for acting like this. Fuck you for doubting how I feel about you for one goddamned second, you asshole.”

And suddenly, any remorse Jared was feeling vanishes. He’s practically vibrating with anger. He’s the one doubting things?

“No, fuck you!” Jared yells, taking a step forward and getting closer to Jensen. He brings one finger up to point, nearly jamming it into Jensen’s chest. “You’re such a fucking hypocrite. I can’t even so much as look at a girl without you thinking I’m getting ready to leave you. You doubt me every single fucking day. I’m the one that has to deal with your insecure bullshit all the time, and when I bring up a legitimate fucking concern you jump down my throat?”

“I’m not the one flirting with everything that fucking moves!” Jensen says, pushing Jared back by his shoulders. Jared stumbles and resists the urge to take a swing at him.

“It’s not flirting, it’s called being friendly! Something you wouldn’t know anything about because you’re the most fucking unfriendly bastard on the planet!” Jared rages, tension simmering under his skin. “We can never fucking go anywhere, or do anything, because you hate everyone for no goddamn reason. And god forbid I ever actually talk to anyone that hasn’t gotten your fucking stamp of approval.”

“Oh, shut the fuck up, Jared,” Jensen says, and Jared curls his hands into fists. He’s seconds away from punching Jensen in the face and he’s never felt like that before. “If I’m such a horrible fucking person to be with then why are you still here? Why aren’t you off fucking some girl if that would make your life so fucking simple?”

“I don’t know!” Jared screams, throwing his arms out to the side and knocking his desk chair over, sending it crashing to the floor with a loud clatter. “Maybe I fucking should be!”

Jensen flinches visibly, recoiling like Jared actually did hit him. There are tears streaming down his face and he blinks rapidly, breath hitching like he’s trying not to sob. Jared takes a deep breath, forcing the air out through his nose. The sudden, lingering silence is nearly deafening.

Their door flies open, nearly hitting Jensen in the process. Misha storms in, and his expression is equal parts annoyed and concerned.

“What the fuck is going on?” Misha demands, stepping between them and pushing them apart. Jared hadn’t even realized how close they’d been, nearly seconds from tackling each other. “I could hear you guys in the goddamn lounge! What’s all the screaming about?”

“Doesn’t matter,” Jensen says, voice cracked and rough. He runs his fingers through his hair and sniffs, wiping his eyes with the cuff of his jacket. “I was just leaving.”

“Jensen,” Jared tries, but Jensen is already moving. He’s out the door before Jared can register what’s happening. The slam of the door makes him jump, and he’s surprised to feel two hot tears leak from his eyes and roll down his cheeks. “Fuck!

He kicks the overturned chair and sweeps random objects off of the desk. Books, pens, and various papers fall to the floor as Jared paces. He’s so angry he doesn’t know how he can contain it. He feels like he’s going to burst at the seams.

He doesn’t realize he’s actually sobbing until Misha pushes him down onto the bed by his shoulders and he can feel the sobs tearing from his lungs, loud noises that he’s never heard himself make before. Misha looks stricken, and Jared just buries his face in his hands, tears rapidly slicking his palms.

He has no idea how things went so wrong so fast.

Jensen isn’t quite sure what the fuck just happened.

All he knows is that his chest hurts from trying to hold back his tears. He knows that they are leaking steadily from his eyes, but he wants to fucking sob. He hurries down the hallway and wipes his eyes as he makes his way down the stairs. He doesn’t even watch where he’s going, nearly tripping when he bumps into someone.

“Whoa, Jenny boy! Where’s the fire?” James reaches out to grab Jensen’s shoulders and he struggles, trying not to let James see his face. “Holy shit, Jensen. What happened?”

“Let me go,” Jensen begs, and he sounds nearly hysterical. James cups his cheek, thumb surprisingly gentle under his eye. Jensen sucks in a deep breath, finally looking up at him. James gasps and glances down the hallway for a moment before looking back at him, eyes full of too much understanding and sympathy.

“Fuck, Jensen,” he says, and a sob finally breaks free. The noise echoes throughout the stairwell and Jensen rips himself out of James’s grasp, hurrying out of the dorm and into the bright sunshine.

He blinks against the bright light, ignoring the startled looks he gets from passersby as he heads for the parking lot. He realizes after a quick check of his pockets that he left his keys up in the room. He stands in the parking lot for a moment, feeling lost as he tries to get his crying in check. He pulls his cell phone out of his pocket, knowing he doesn’t want to make the walk across campus like this. His hand is shaking so bad he can barely hold down the speed dial button.

Hey Jen!” At the sound of her voice, Jensen lets out another sob. “Oh my god. Baby, what’s wrong?

“Can you come get me?” Jensen pleads, voice hitching between words. He feels so fucking pathetic. “I’m in front of the dorm, and I don’t have my keys, and – and I can’t go back up there, Sandy, please.”

I’m already on my way to my car,” Sandy says, and thankfully she doesn’t ask anymore questions. Jensen knows that won’t last for long, but he’ll take what he can get. “I’ll be there in two minutes, baby. Just take deep breaths.

Jensen does, listening to her move on the other end of the line. He can hear the slam of a car door and the sudden burst of loud music before it shuts off. He focuses on the sound of her breathing, the roar of the car engine, instead of staring at the entrance to the dorm.

She’s there within minutes, and as soon as he spots her car he ends the call. He stares at his phone for a moment before turning it off and slipping it in his pocket. Sandy goes to get out of the car and he shakes his head, instead climbing into the passenger seat. He doesn’t want to make anymore of a scene.

“Oh, Jensen,” she says, leaning over to put her hand on his cheek. A sob escapes his lips and he reaches up to put his hand over hers. “You fought?”

He just nods, turning in towards her. She wraps her arms around him, squeezing him tightly. Her arms are so small, so fragile. It feels so different than the embrace he is so used to.

“Do you mind if we skip the party?” He sniffs miserably, tears leaking from his eyes as he buries his face in her hair. She swats at his back, pulling back to kiss his forehead.

“I’m all yours tonight,” she says, cradling the back of his head. “My roommate went home for the weekend.”

Jensen just nods and pulls back to sit properly and fasten his seatbelt. Sandy starts the car and makes the short drive back to her dorm in silence. They walk to her room hand in hand, the tips of her acrylic nails digging into his skin. A sort of numbness has washed over him for the moment, and he clings to it desperately.

Once they’re in Sandy’s room, she shuts the door and locks it. She turns off her phone and tosses it on the desk before going to sit on the bed, patting the spot next to her. Jensen sits down and stares despondently at the wall. Sandy’s tiny hand comes up to rest between his shoulder blades.

“What happened?” She asks softly, tone conveying that she won’t be offended if Jensen doesn’t answer. He considers ignoring her, but the words spill out before he can stop them.

“I don’t even know,” he starts, quick and breathless. “I said I was going out with Chris and he fucking lost it. Said Chris wanted me and accused me of having feelings for him, which is fucking insane. I never had feelings for Chris even when we were fooling around. I told him he was being an asshole and we just started screaming at each other like we never have before. I asked him why he was even with me and he said – he said he didn’t even know.”

“He didn’t mean that,” Sandy says instantly, rubbing his back in soothing circles. Jensen’s vision blurs with a fresh set of tears and he takes in a shuddering breath.

“I don’t even know if we’re still together,” Jensen sobs, and Sandy pulls him into a hug. They end up lying on her tiny bed, his head pillowed on her chest as she rubs his back and presses kisses to the top of his head. “Everything was fine and then – and then it just wasn’t.”

He lets himself break then, clutching onto Sandy and sobbing into her soft pink tee shirt. He cries until he feels sick, until his pulse throbs behind his eyes in time with his rapid heartbeat. Sandy just holds him through it, doesn’t make him feel pathetic or weak.

“It’ll be alright,” she promises, reaching up to cup his cheek. “Both of you just need to take a few hours and then you can go talk to him, okay?”

He nods against her collarbone, reaching up to wipe at his eyes. They’re swollen and sore, and he squeezes them shut.

He feels so stupid, crying like this over one fight. But Jared means so much to him that the tiniest little fissure in the foundation of their relationship feels like a bullet to the heart. No one else on the planet could get this sort of reaction out of Jensen, no one but Jared.

He eventually exhausts himself, falling to sleep wrapped around Sandy’s tiny frame.

Jared is getting really fucking sick of James and Misha eyeing him like a ticking time bomb. He’s finally stopped crying and they both stopped trying to get him to talk. Now he’s just lying on his bed, staring blankly at the ceiling. He’s well missed his class, and the sun is starting to set.

There are already sounds of the party starting up, people getting a head start on the night’s festivities.

“I’m, uh, on duty tonight,” Misha says awkwardly, glancing over at James who bites his lip and shrugs helplessly.

“Go,” Jared says, voice scratchy and rough. Misha looks relieved and disappears out the door. James shifts his weight, standing in the middle of the room. “You too.”

“But Jared – “

Please,” Jared says, swallowing hard and not looking at him. James sighs, running his hand through his shaggy hair.

“Just – don’t do anything stupid, okay?” Jared snorts and James heads for the door. “I’ll be around if you need me.”

Jared lies there long after they leave, just focusing on breathing in and out until the sun dips completely below the horizon and leaves the room dark. The ache in his chest is overwhelming, and he rolls out of bed and flicks on the bedside lamp.

He bites his lip and grabs his phone to call Jensen, not really surprised when it goes straight to voicemail. At the sound of Jensen’s chipper, recorded voice, his breath hitches again.

You’ve reached Jensen. Leave me a message and I’ll get back to you. If it’s really important, try Jared’s celI.

God, he fucked up. He ends the call and paces, chewing on the end of his thumbnail. He finally stops and opens his phone again, dialing another familiar number. He squeezes his eyes shut and holds his breath as he listens to it ring, suddenly afraid.

Hey,” Chris answers, and Jared nearly loses his nerve and hangs up.

“Uh, hey,” he starts, wincing when he realizes his voice is still shot to shit. “Is Jensen with you?”

Sure ain’t. We were supposed to meet up earlier but when I didn’t hear from him I figured he found better shit to do,” Chris replies, and Jared lets out a sigh of relief. “Why are you askin’ me, anyway? Thought you two never strayed too far from the other.”

“I’ll find him,” Jared grits out, scowling. He mumbles out a goodbye and closes the phone. Chad and Sophia were skipping the party to go have some sort of date night, so that pretty much leaves Sandy and Josh. And if Jensen hasn’t alerted Josh to the fact that they had a fight, then Jared sure as hell isn’t going to.

Sandy’s phone also goes straight to voicemail, so Jared assumes that’s where Jensen is. He sighs and runs his hand through his hair again, listening to the ever-growing sounds of a party in full swing just outside his door.

Sitting alone in the room is making him antsy so he heads out, edging around people as he makes his way towards the lounge. There is a card table laden with various bottles of booze, and Jared heads straight for it without a second thought. The loud music and mindless chatter of his fellow students is almost enough to distract him from his thoughts and he bypasses beer entirely, instead filling up a token red cup with rum and adding a splash of cola.

A few hours pass in which Jared gets completely fucking hammered and awkwardly ends conversation with anyone who asks him where Jensen is, which is pretty much everyone. He’s miserable, the ache in his chest making it hard for him to even breathe. James and Misha check in on him occasionally, but they’re too busy making sure the party doesn’t get out of hand to pay him much attention.

He’s sitting on one of the couches in the lounge, absently circling the rim of his cup with an unsteady finger and staring at the rain coating the window when someone lands hard on the couch next to him. His drink goes flying, and he looks over to see Jessica gasping as the ice-cold liquid soaks through her thin top.

“Shit, ‘m sorry,” Jared slurs, looking around as if a napkin or a towel will suddenly appear. She just laughs and stands up. Her legs are bare, hips barely covered by a tiny denim skirt, and Jared averts his eyes.

“It’s okay,” she replies, reaching out to steady herself on Jared’s shoulder. She looks at him and bites her bottom lip. “It’s just that, um, I’m sort of locked out of my room. Katie is – well, it’s occupied. So could I maybe borrow a shirt or something?”

“Uh, yeah,” Jared replies, getting up on shaky legs. “I am probably just gonna go crash anyway. Sorta had a rough day.”

“Aw, Jared,” she coos, walking with him towards their room. He misses the way she smirks slightly, eyes glinting. He also just barely misses Katie leaning against the wall and talking with a group of people, obviously not locked up in her room. “Wanna talk about it?”

“No,” he says, laughing bitterly. He fumbles drunkenly with his key for a moment before getting the door open, absently locking it behind him. The room is dark, dimly lit by only the desk lamp. The air mattress is propped up against the wall and he avoids looking at it as he makes his way to his closet. He tosses Jessica an old baggy shirt of his, and she smiles as she unabashedly pulls her shirt over her head. Jared clears his throat and turns his head to the side, stumbling a little as he makes his way over to his bed to sit down.

She comes to stand in front of him, and Jared looks up at her. She’s swimming in the shirt, the hem hanging lower than that of her skirt.

He loves it when Jensen wears his clothes, loves the way they aren’t too big on him. His eyes fill up with tears and he blinks rapidly.

“I could make you feel better,” Jessica says, reaching up to cup his cheek as she moves closer to him. Jared grabs her wrist and gently pushes her back, but his head is swimming and he feels about two seconds from passing out.

“No you couldn’t,” Jared slurs miserably. He falls over sideways, barely managing to pull his feet up onto his bed. “I’ma sleep.”

He doesn’t know whether she leaves or not before his eyes slip shut.

When Jensen wakes up, he feels like shit, both physically and emotionally. His eyes are swollen and burning, his head is throbbing and he has a sour taste in his mouth. Sandy turns away from her desk and presses a cold, wet cloth over his eyes. He sighs gratefully.

“Feeling better?” She asks uneasily, like she knows it’s a stupid question but she doesn’t know what else to say. Jensen doesn’t answer, just focuses on the cool pressure on his eyes and her fingers in his hair.

“What do I do?” Jensen asks desperately, glad she can’t see his eyes. “I – I don’t want to lose him.”

“Oh, honey,” Sandy says, her fingers trailing across his cheek. “You got into a fight, just like every other couple in the world. The next step is making up.”

“But,” Jensen starts, and Sandy shushes him. She makes everything sound so simple, but Jensen is at a complete loss. He and Jared are great at living harmoniously, and absolutely terrible at fighting.

“No buts,” she replies, pressing the cloth down more firmly against his eyes for a moment before pulling it away. He blinks rapidly against the sudden light, but both his eyes and his head feel marginally better. “You guys love each other so much. That isn’t going to end because of one fight.”

Jensen nods, rubbing at his eyes as he sits up. Sandy is smiling softly at him, and he pats her thigh and gives her a grateful smile.

“I should go home,” Jensen says, biting his lip. “Talk to him.”

“I’ll drive you,” Sandy says, getting up off of the bed and grabbing her coat. “It’s late and it’s really coming down out there.” Jensen furrows his brow and looks over at the clock, eyes widening when he sees that it is after one in the morning. He just nods and gets up, stretching his arms over his head.

He’s nervous as he walks through the quiet halls with Sandy. He’s still angry, still hurt, but his desire to be with Jared outweighs that. He needs to see him, touch him, and make sure they’re going to be okay.

“Thanks,” Jensen says when she pulls up in front of the dorm. He takes off his seatbelt and turns towards her. “For everything.”

“You’re welcome,” she says, pulling him into a hug. “Do you want me to come up?”

“No, it’s okay,” Jensen replies, pulling away and taking a deep breath, psyching himself up. “I’ll call you tomorrow?”

She nods and wishes him luck as he gets out of the car, jogging to hurry out of the rain. The walk up to his floor seems to take hours, and he feels exhausted even though he just slept for nearly seven hours. The party is still going, low music ghosting down the halls. Most everyone seems to have retreated into rooms or the lounge, because there aren’t many people left in the hall.

He walks up to their door and closes his eyes for a moment, hands curling into fists before he lets out a deep breath and grips the handle. The door is locked, and he pats his pockets before remembering that he left his keys inside. He rolls his eyes, feeling like an idiot as he brings his hand up to knock.

“Hey, I –“ He cuts himself off when Jessica appears at the door. He blinks and shakes his head in confusion. She is probably the very last person he wants to see right now, yet here she is, answering the door to his room at two in the morning. He even takes a step back and looks at the room number, just in case.

“Oh, Jensen. Hey,” she says, biting her lip. That’s when Jensen notices she is wearing one of Jared’s tee shirts, and what appears to be nothing else. Dread forms in the pit of his stomach and he rolls his lips into his mouth. “Jared is, uh, sleeping.”

Jensen doesn’t say anything, just pushes roughly past her and into the room. The lights are off and Jared is passed out on his stomach, covers up to his neck. Jensen surveys the room quickly. The desk is empty, all the contents scattered on the floor and Jessica’s shirt is in a pile next to her shoes.

Jensen feels sick, consumed with pain, and anger, and the overwhelming feeling that everything he lived for just ceased to be. He leans over to search for his keys in the mess of papers and books on the floor. His hands are shaking so badly that when he finally finds them and picks them up the key chains clink together.

Jared wakes up then, letting out a snuffling noise as he rolls out of bed. Jensen whirls on him, and he wants to throw up at the sight of him. He looks sleepy and gorgeous, and up until five minutes ago Jensen wouldn’t have thought him so thoroughly capable of breaking his heart.

“Jensen!” Jared says, and surges forward to grab his arms. At that touch, the same one that he was craving so badly just moments ago, he loses it.

“Don’t fucking touch me!” He shouts, pushing Jared back with all his might. Jared trips over his shoes and lands awkwardly on the bed, looking up at Jensen in confusion. Jensen blinks against the swell of tears in his eyes, swallowing against the lump of anger in his throat. He holds his trembling hands in front of him, shaking his head. “We’re done.”

He turns to see Jessica still standing there, and the look he gives her is one of pure hatred. “Get the fuck out of my way,” he snarls, and she steps aside as he leaves, slamming the door behind him.

He hurries down the stairs and out of the dorm, much like earlier. But this time, he doesn’t call Sandy. He gets into his car and knows there is only one place he can go, one person that can hold him together when he’s so close to falling apart.

He turns the key in the ignition and his tires squeal as he flies out of the parking lot.

He needs his brother.

Jared stares at the closed door for almost a full minute, blinking rapidly. He’s still stupidly drunk, and his wrist hurts from where he landed on it after Jensen pushed him.

He looks from the door to see Jessica, hair rumpled and lipstick smeared, wearing his tee shirt that hangs lower than her skirt, so it looks like she’s wearing nothing else at all. The desk is cleared off and the pillows from his bed are lying on the floor.

He feels sick when he finally gets it. Jensen thinks he slept with her. He looks up at her, eyes blazing. At that moment, rage feels marginally better than the pain threatening to overwhelm him.

“What the fuck are you still doing in here?” Jared asks angrily, getting up and stuffing his feet into his shoes. “Why did you let Jensen think we did anything?”

“I – I don’t know!” She stammers, eyes widening as he approaches her. “I like you so much, Jared, and –“

“You like me? And what, you thought if you got rid of my boyfriend, the person I need like the fucking air I breathe, that I would just fall into your waiting arms?” Jessica’s mouth opens and closes and she backs up against the wall. Tears sting Jared’s eyes and he doesn’t know what to do with all the hurt. “You – you just cost me everything.”

“I’m sorry,” she tries, eyes welling up with tears. Jared just grabs her by the elbow and leads her out of the room. He barely spares the time to shut the door before he’s running downstairs. He bursts out of the dorm and runs out into the pouring rain. It soaks him to the skin and he lets out a violent shiver, dressed only in jeans and a tee shirt.

A quick scan of the parking lot tells him that Jensen’s car is gone, and he is way too drunk to even consider driving himself anywhere. He pulls his phone out of his pocket and dials a number, uncaring of the rain.

Jared?” Sandy asks, obviously confused, and Jared can barely hear her over the pounding rain. “What’s going on?”

“Is Jensen with you?” Jared asks desperately, even though it’s clear by her tone that he isn’t. She’d be screaming at him if she knew what Jensen thought.

No. I just dropped him off like ten minutes ago. He was going to try and make up with you,” she replies, and Jared squeezes his eyes shut. Hot tears mix with freezing rain, and he shuts the phone and puts it back in his pocket. There is only one other place he can think of, and he takes off into a brisk run.

Jensen parks his car in the first parking space he sees and gets out, gasping slightly as he’s hit with icy rain. He jogs up to the front door of the apartment building and lets himself in. The lobby is silent and bright, and all Jensen can hear is the harsh sound of his own breathing as he waits for the elevator.

By the time he reaches Josh and Jeff’s door, tears are streaming down his face and his breath is coming in hitching little sobs. He pounds on the door, belatedly realizing that it’s the middle of a Friday night and Josh might not even be home.

Thankfully, the door opens but its Jeff he sees. Jensen just looks up and lets Jeff see his broken expression because he doesn’t know what else to do.

“Josh!” Jeff calls instantly, and reaches out to pull Jensen into the apartment.

“What?” Josh replies absently as he comes out of his bedroom, looking sleepy. But he’s instantly alert when he sees Jensen, green eyes widening as he rushes over. “Holy shit, Jen. What happened?”

“Jared – “ He starts, and he’s trying so hard not to cry that he can barely get the words out. He can hardly believe his own ears when he finally does. “We – we broke up.”

What?” Josh and Jeff shout in unison, and Josh runs forward to pull Jensen into a hug. Jensen clings desperately to his big brother, unashamed by the way he’s crying into his neck. Josh has been there for everything – every skinned knee, every little league tryout, every time he worked himself up over coming out to his family, every time he got upset by his feelings for Jared – Josh was there.

“What happened?” Josh asks, uncaring of the rainwater seeping onto his clothes from Jensen’s. “Jensen, tell me.”

“We fought earlier,” Jensen says, and he spots Jeff’s expression – concerned, like he’s wondering how his own brother is doing. He even glances towards the phone and bites his lip, fingers twitching like he isn’t sure what to do. “He slept with her – she was in our room – and I, I told him – it’s over.”

“Jensen, calm down,” Josh says, pulling out of the hug to grip Jensen by the shoulders and look him in the eye. “You aren’t making any sense.”

“He slept with Jessica!” Jensen shouts, taking in huge gulps of air, chest aching. Josh’s expression hardens dangerously, but Jeff shakes his head in disbelief.

“Jared wouldn’t do that,” Jeff says adamantly, and Jensen just laughs bitterly. He doesn’t want to think it’s possible either, but deep down he’s been afraid of this since day one.

“She was in our room in the middle of the night, in his clothes!” Jensen cries, and Josh leads him over to the sofa, exchanging a dark look with Jeff.

Jensen sobs into his hands, and Josh’s grip is firm on his shoulder. He’s never felt such pain in his life. It feels like something is ripping his body apart – like something is tearing out his heart.

Jared trails water down the hall, rubber soles slipping in his own puddles as he runs down the narrow hallway. He’s amazingly sober now, and his breath hitches as he tries to breathe normally.

It’s not working.

He nearly skids past Josh and Jeff’s door, hand curling into a fist and pounding hard just above the slightly crooked three. There is silence. But he knows Jensen is here. His car is in the parking lot.

He pounds again, blinking away hot tears and icy rain. His hair and clothes are plastered to his body and he’s shivering violently. His legs ache from running here and he’s three seconds from bursting into tears.

Suddenly, the door opens. Jared lifts his head, eyes widening as he is grabbed by the shoulders and slammed painfully against the wall opposite the door. All the air is sucked from his lungs and he takes a gasping breath. Josh is in his face, fists curled in the front of his sopping wet tee shirt. He’s never seen Josh look this angry, not once in his entire life. He swallows, suddenly afraid.

“What the hell did I tell you, Jared?” Josh yells, pulling Jared forward only to slam him back again. Jared’s skull connects painfully with the wall and he blinks the stars from his eyes. “What did I fucking tell you when this started, huh?”

Jared remembers that conversation with stunning clarity. Josh’s tone was light but his eyes were serious, and Jared was so fucking confident when Josh told him not to fuck this up.

“I told you not to do this if you weren’t completely fucking serious about him,” Josh yells, and Jared’s shoes slip in the puddle he’s creating. Josh is pretty much the only thing holding him up at this point. “I told you not to fucking hurt him.”

“Josh!” He can hear Jeff’s voice but Jared’s eyes are locked on Josh’s, tears blurring his vision as he tries to find the words to say. Josh’s fist connects with his eye, sudden and solid, and Jared struggles, cowering in his grip. “Damn it, Josh! Let him the fuck go.”

Josh is pulled off of him and Jared slips to the floor. He can feel blood seeping down his temple; courtesy of the ring Josh always wears. Josh struggles against Jeff’s grip for a moment before he slumps in defeat, sending one last hateful glare Jared’s way before storming inside.

“What the fuck, Jared?” Jeff asks, tone angry even as he extends a hand to help Jared up. “Shit, your eye’s bleeding.”

“I need to talk to him,” Jared pleads, voice rough and broken. “It wasn’t what it looked like, I fucking swear.”

“To Jenny it looked like you fucked some girl in the room you two share,” Jeff replies, looking torn and confused, warring between alliances. He has no idea who is right and who is wrong, and there is anguish in his eyes when he looks at his little brother.

“I need to fucking talk to him!” Jared yells, trying to push past Jeff and into the apartment. Jeff holds him back and Jared cries out in frustration, pushing against his big brother as tears stream down his cheeks.

“No, Jensen, fuck him!” He can hear Josh saying, and Jared lifts his head.

“Move,” Jensen says, soft and low. Jeff sighs and moves out of the way. He and Josh back up a bit, trying not to impose but not wanting to stray too far.

Jen,” Jared starts. Jensen is soaking wet and shaking, his eyes swollen and red. His hair is plastered to his face and his skin is pale, freckles standing out in stark relief. He looks completely fucking devastated, betrayed. His bottom lip is trembling and a fresh set of tears spill out of his eyes.

Jared hates himself, hates himself fully and completely and so fucking much it hurts almost as much as the way Jensen is looking at him.

“It’s over,” Jensen finally says, sounding wrecked and sucking in a shuddering breath. “Just – just go away and leave me alone.”

And then the door shuts, and Jared is all alone in the hall.

Completely alone.

He doesn’t know how long he stands there, pounding on the brown door separating him from Jensen. After awhile he gives up, walking down the stairs and shaking his head like he isn’t sure what just happened – like he doesn’t quite believe it.

He manages to call Chad for a ride, sitting out on a curb in the rain while he waits. He suddenly feels a hand on his shoulder, warmth seeping into his skin. He doesn’t even need to look to know it’s not the person he wants to see. He would know Jensen’s touch anywhere.

“Get out of the rain, kid,” Jeff says, but Jared just sits there. Jeff heaves a sigh and sits down next to him, shivering from the cold. Jared just stares blankly ahead, blinking against the rain. He winces slightly when Jeff touches the cut next to his eye. The whole area is tender, but that pain is unimportant. Jeff presses a warm, wet rag to his eye and Jared sniffles.

“Do you need a ride?” Jeff asks, lifting Jared’s hand so he can hold the rag himself. He pulls it away to look at it, momentarily surprised by the amount of blood on it. He shakes his head and pushes the towel back to his face.

“Called Chad,” Jared rasps. He finally turns to look at Jeff, taking in his concerned expression. The rain is relentless, and Jeff is already soaked to the bone. “I didn’t do it.”

“Doesn’t sound like you,” Jeff says, pulling Jared into a one-armed hug. Chad pulls up then, his shitty car idling at the curb. “Chad’s here. Just go get some sleep, and I’ll be there in the morning, okay?”

Jared nods, getting to his feet and stumbling a little as he reaches the car door. He slides into the passenger seat, and Chad’s eyes widen at the sight of him. Jeff leans in to look at Chad.

“You stay with him, okay?” Jeff says, and Chad just nods dumbly.

“What the fuck, dude?” Chad asks once Jeff turns to head inside. “What’s going on?”

Jared’s face is completely blank for one long second, and then Chad puts his hand on Jared’s back and he breaks down, pain ripping through his chest as he lets out a sob. He leans forward and rests his forehead against the dashboard and he doesn’t even care what he looks like, crying like this. He shakes with the force of it, cries so hard he can’t even breathe.

“I – I think it’s over,” he gets out between gasping breaths. “It’s over.”

At Chad’s sudden and sharp intake of breath, Jared just cries harder.

It’s still raining when Jared wakes up, and it’s slightly fitting.

He just lies there, listening to the unrelenting patter of the heavy rain on his window. His whole body aches and he’s exhausted to the core. His eye is swollen, that much is obvious when he tries to blink. He hears a soft snore and turns to see Chad asleep on Jensen’s bed.

Jared stares back up at the ceiling. So it wasn’t just a terrible dream.

There’s a sudden knock at the door, and Jared sits up so fast his head spins. Rationally, he knows it isn’t Jensen, but he still can’t help but feel disappointed when he opens the door to find Jeff on the other side.

He’s barely aware of his brain telling him to move before he’s hugging Jeff, resting his chin on Jeff’s shoulder. They’re nowhere near as touchy-feely as Jensen and Josh and he stopped seeking physical comfort from his big brother around the time he hit puberty, but he has no problem with taking it now. Jeff just pats his back before pulling away, leading them into the room.

“You look terrible,” is the first thing that Jeff says, pushing Jared back by the shoulders to look at him. Jared almost wants to laugh. He’d bet money on the fact that he looks amazing compared to how he feels. “Go take a shower.”

“Jeff, I – “ Jared tries, and his voice is little more than a squeak. His throat is sore from the amount of yelling and crying he did yesterday. He actually doesn’t think he’s ever cried so much in his entire life.

“Go,” Jeff commands, setting a McDonald’s bag down before digging through his dresser and throwing some clothes at him. “I’ll be here when you get back.”

Jared sighs and grabs a towel. It’s really no use arguing. As much as he’d like to just crawl into bed and suffocate himself with his own pillow, he knows Jeff won’t let him. Stupid big brother instincts kicking in.

He feels a tiny bit better after the shower, and after getting dressed he steps up to the mirror to examine his eye. The cut is red and tender looking, already starting to scab over. His eye is bruised and swollen, and it hurts when he blinks. He doesn’t really blame Josh. It’s far less than he would have deserved, had he actually done what Jensen apparently accused him of.

And that’s the part that hurts almost more than anything – that Jensen would believe him capable of something like that. While it’s true that the evidence definitely was stacked against him, he hoped that Jensen would have trusted him enough to at least hear him out.

When he gets back into the room, Chad is sitting up on Jensen’s bed eating an Egg McMuffin. He’s got pillow lines on his face and he looks at Jared with concern. Jared drops his towel and accepts the bag Jeff holds out to him. He doesn’t really feel like eating, but he hasn’t done so since lunchtime yesterday and his stomach is sort of demanding it.

“So, tell me what happened,” Jeff says once Jared sits on his bed and takes a bite of his sandwich. The bite seems extremely difficult to swallow all of a sudden.

“Jensen thinks I cheated on him,” Jared says, and wow, that’s hard to say. Jeff just nods and Chad watches him wearily as he picks at his own breakfast.

“Why?” Jeff responds, leaning forward in the desk chair to rest his elbows on his knees. Jared takes a deep breath and squeezes his eyes shut, ignoring the stinging pull of the cut in his eyebrow when he does so.

“We got in this stupid fight yesterday,” he starts, voice trembling slightly. “He left and I went to the floor party and got drunk, because it seemed like a good idea at the time. I should have gone and found him. I should’ve –”

“Jared, “Jeff interrupts gently, and Jared sighs. The sandwich in his hand is completely unappealing, but he forces himself to take another bite.

“I spilled my drink on Jessica and she said she was locked out of her room so I gave her a shirt. Then I said I was going to bed and she found it appropriate to just fucking hang out in here I guess, and that’s apparently when Jensen came back. I didn’t do anything with her,” Jared says desperately, looking up at Jeff’s sympathetic expression. “I wouldn’t.”

“I know,” Jeff says, sighing and running his fingers through his hair. “So should he.”

“But he doesn’t,” Jared sighs, cheeks heating up. He refuses to cry again, but the pain in his chest makes it hard to breathe.

“Jensen has issues,” Jeff says, not unkindly. “And I get it, I do. You go so long thinking you’ll never have something, that when you finally get it you can’t believe it’s real.”

“When we were fighting, he asked me why I didn’t just go find some girl,” Jared says miserably. “And I told him that I didn’t know. I’m so fucking stupid.”

“People say fucked up shit in the heat of battle,” Jeff says flippantly. “Doesn’t mean that’s how they really feel.”

“Is he okay?” Jared asks, leaning forward. “I mean, how is he doing?”

“Not gonna lie,” Jeff says, huffing out a sigh. “He’s pretty broken up. Josh called in reinforcements.” He turns the chair slightly to look at Chad. “Don’t think you’ll be seein’ your girl for awhile.” Chad just shrugs one shoulder and swallows the last of his sandwich.

“Didn’t bank on it,” he replies. “I planned on staying here, at least for the weekend.”

Jared wonders what Sandy and Sophia are thinking, if they hate him. He’s startled out of his thoughts by the alarm on his phone going off. He groans and runs his hand over his face.

“Fuck. I have a shift at Ed’s in an hour,” Jared sighs, rubbing his temples. “I am so not up for it.”

“Dude, it’s Ed,” Jeff says, balling up his breakfast wrapper and shoving it in the bag. “Just call him.” Jared grabs his phone and dials the number for the coffee shop. Ed answers and Jared considers telling him he’s sick, but instead he just blurts the truth.

“Hey Ed, its Jared. Look, um, me and Jensen broke up last night.” His voice cracks a bit at the end, and he squeezes his eyes shut. He still can’t believe it.

Shit, dude,” Ed says, clicking his tongue. “Listen, don’t worry about comin’ in, okay? We’re good for the weekend.”

“Thanks,” Jared croaks, hanging up the phone and letting it drop to the floor. He falls back on his bed and blinks away the sudden moisture in his eyes. Everything hurts, like his heart can’t shoulder all of the burden by itself. His insides feel like they’ve been scraped out – his entire body is one hollow ache. “I wanna go to sleep.”

“Jared,” Jeff starts, but Jared just rolls to face the wall, sniffling slightly.

“Just go, okay?” Jeff huffs a sigh, but Jared doesn’t hear him leave. Jared just squeezes his eyes shut, taking steady breaths until he falls asleep.

Jensen sort of wishes everyone would fuck off and leave him alone, but at the same time he is grateful for their presence. He’s stretched out lengthwise on Josh and Jeff’s couch, his head pillowed in Sandy’s lap and his feet draped across Sophia’s thighs.

Josh is sitting on the floor with his back against the sofa, flipping mindlessly through the channels. Jensen is just sort of staring ahead, concentrating on the feeling of Sandy’s fingers in his hair instead of the gaping hole in his chest.

The front door opens and Jensen’s eyes flick towards it instinctually. Jeff walks up to them and Jensen can’t help but notice the slight accusation in his eyes when Jeff looks at him. Jensen just blinks, turning his eyes back to the television.

“We need to talk,” Jeff says, and it’s directed at Josh. “Now.”

“Look, I’m sorry I punched your brother,” Josh says, crossing his arms defiantly over his chest. Jensen winces. Even now, he hates to think of Jared in pain. “But Jensen was crying. I don’t respond well to that.”

“Will you get the fuck in the kitchen?” Jeff says, and Josh huffs a sigh as he climbs to his feet. They disappear into the kitchen and Jensen shifts his weight, tucking one arm under Sandy’s thigh.

“He punched Jared?” Sandy asks tightly, and Jensen sighs.

“Last night,” Jensen says, voice low and rasping. He blinks against the sudden image in his eyes – Jared out in the hallway, wet and bleeding, begging to be able to talk to him. Another tear leaks from the corner of his eye and he doesn’t bother wiping it away. He figures that at the rate he’s going, he’ll dry up soon enough.

“Maybe you should talk to him,” Sandy says again, and Jensen tenses. “I mean, there has to be some sort of explanation. I just don’t see Jared – “

“Stop,” Jensen says weakly, cutting her off. “Please stop. You weren’t there, okay?”

“Okay,” Sandy replies, and there is a pause where Jensen just knows she and Sophia are sharing a look. “Okay, Jensen.”

Jensen rolls over, buries his face in Sandy’s stomach, and falls back to sleep.

There is a knock on the door, followed immediately by James walking in without permission. Chad left earlier, claiming he needed a shower and a fresh set of clothes, but Jared figures he just wanted some time away from him. He’s not the best company right now, after all.

James sets something down on the desk and crawls into bed with Jared, pushing until Jared scoots over to make room. Jared just sighs and continues to stare at the ceiling. James takes his hand, twining their fingers together and Jared bites his lip. He simultaneously hates and craves all physical contact – hates it because every little touch reminds him of Jensen, needs it because it makes him feel better.

“Jeff called me,” James says in way of a greeting. “Told me I was in charge of making sure you eat three times a day and that you don’t throw yourself off of the roof.”

“I’m not going to throw myself off the roof,” Jared says quietly, but he squeezes James’s hand all the same.

“Not sure if you wanna hear this or not,” James starts, and Jared immediately tenses. “But word is there was a lot of screaming coming from across the hall this morning. Seems someone informed Katie of what happened and she was none too pleased with her roommate.”

“How the fuck does everyone already know?” Jared says, ignoring the mention of Jessica. Thinking about her makes his blood boil. He feels James shrug next to him.

“You guys are the golden couple,” James says simply, and Jared’s heart clenches in his chest.

“Were,” he croaks, and James jostles his shoulder.

“Are,” he counters. “This is just a bump in the road. You’ll see. I’ve seen plenty couples in my time here, and none of them have been as epic as you and Jensen.”

“I know you think you’re helping,” Jared says, swallowing the lump in his throat. “But you really, really aren’t.”

“Sorry,” James says, squeezing his hand again. “It’s just – don’t give up so fast, okay?”

Jared doesn’t say anything, just steadfastly avoids looking at the collage on the wall. He sort of wants to get up and rip it down. Too many happy memories.

There is a knock on the door and Jared sighs. He sort of wishes everyone would just let him wallow in peace. James rolls off of the bed to answer it. Josh is on the other side of the door, and Jared squeezes his eyes shut for a moment. James steps aside to let him in.

“Come to kick my ass some more?” Jared asks blandly, staring up at the ceiling. “Because I gotta say, you did a pretty bang up job last night.”

“I’ll just…give you two a moment,” James says awkwardly, fidgeting slightly before leaving the room and shutting the door behind him. Josh pulls the desk chair up to the bed and sits in it, pulling something out of his pocket. He leans over Jared and Jared tenses automatically, but Josh just sets an ice pack on his eye. Jared brings his hand up to hold it to his face, turning to eye Josh dubiously.

“You made my brother cry,” Josh says, and Jared blinks rapidly. “I sort of fly off of the handle when it’s Jensen at stake.”

Jared just nods. He’s well aware of this. He’s seen Josh’s overprotective streak in play on numerous occasions. It’s just never been directed at him.

“But it’s been brought to my attention that I should have maybe gotten your side of the story,” Josh says. “So that’s why I’m here. Tell me.”

Jared bites his lip. He really doesn’t want to go through this again, but the look on Josh’s face tells him he’s not leaving until Jared talks. So Jared just stares up at the ceiling, tells him everything that he already told Chad and Jeff.

“I wouldn’t do that to Jensen,” he says when he’s done, finally turning to Josh and blinking a stray tear away. “I swear.”

“God, you two are fucking pathetic,” Josh says, and Jared blinks rapidly. “I believe you.”

“You do?” Jared says hopefully, sitting up and holding the ice pack in his lap. Josh winces when he sees Jared’s black eye, flashing him a guilty little look.

“Yeah, man,” Josh replies, chewing on his bottom lip. “It’s just, Jensen has – “

“ – issues, yeah,” Jared finishes, letting out a rough sigh. Josh looks over at him, lips quirking up at the corner.

“I’ll talk to him,” Josh promises. “Just…give him some time.”

“I miss him already,” Jared admits, looking down at the ice pack in his lap. “I don’t want to lose him.”

“Dude,” Josh says, sounding pained. But that doesn’t stop him from pulling Jared into a quick, awkward hug. “Chin up, man. And keep the ice on that.”

Jared knows that’s about as much of an apology as he’s going to get. He lifts the icepack in salute and presses it gingerly to his eye.

“I’ve got to get back,” Josh says. “My apartment is now hot chick central.”

“I’m glad they’re there for him,” Jared says, lying back down on his bed. Josh gives him a sympathetic look.

“You’re not the enemy, Jared,” he says. “They’re gonna come talk to you, too. No one thinks you’re capable of being such an asshole.”

“Except Jensen,” Jared says brokenly, shifting the icepack so it’s resting over both eyes.

“Jensen has enough baggage to fill a cargo hold,” Josh replies, reaching out to pat Jared’s foot. “It’ll work out, man. I’m sure of it.”

Josh lets himself out then, and Jared just lies there until the icepack gets too cold on his bruised skin. He drops it onto the floor and blinks experimentally. His eye feels less swollen, and Jared gets under the covers, letting his eyes drift to the collage on the wall against his better judgment.

Jensen doesn’t really leave the couch all weekend, not even to shower. The girls bring him comfort food, hardly leaving his side. Except for when they do. Except for when they go to visit Jared. They come back and he swears he can smell Jared’s cologne on them. They all try to convince him of Jared’s innocence, but he just tunes them out.

It’s Monday, and everyone is out at their various classes. Jensen sleeps until one and watches mindless television throughout the entire afternoon. Josh comes home around four, just popping in to change before work, and he lets out an exasperated sigh when he spots Jensen.

“No, Jensen,” he says sternly. “You’re not going to fucking do this.”

“Do what?” Jensen says, voice rough from acting like a mute all weekend. Josh just puts one hand on his hip and waves the other around in the air.

“You’re not going to be some fucking teenage heartbroken cliché that mopes around and sleeps through class and just lies around listening to your sad ass Matt Nathanson playlist on your iPod, alright?”

“’M not a cliché,” Jensen mumbles, reaching over to feel around in the mess on the floor, coming up with a crumpled bag of cookies. Something cuts into his hip and he extracts his mp3 player, shooting Josh a guilty little look.

“That much is obvious,” Josh says, rolling his eyes. Jensen glares at him, bottom lip jutting out. “Oh, can it. That shit stopped working when you turned six. I want you up off of the couch. I want you to shower. And you better not miss another fucking class.”

“Anything else I can do for you?” Jensen asks sarcastically, and Josh’s irritated expression smoothes out.

“Yes,” he replies slowly, leaning over the back of the couch to look him in the eye. “I want you to go talk to Jared.”

“That I can’t do,” Jensen says, tossing the cookies on the floor. Josh sighs and looks at him pleadingly.

“Jensen – “ Josh tries, but Jensen just rolls off of the couch and stalks towards the bathroom.

“Mind your own fucking business,” Jensen snaps. He turns on the shower and avoids his reflection in the mirror.

“You are my fucking business, you little shit!”

The only answer he gives Josh is the slam of the bathroom door.

The sun is blindingly bright against the endless white sand. Jared blinks against it, lifting a hand to shade his eyes. It doesn’t work. The sun continues to hit his eyes like his hand provides no barrier at all – like he’s invisible. He whips around and comes face to face with himself – all of four feet tall with a slight smattering of mocha colored freckles across his sharp little nose and gaps in his teeth.

This is how Jared knows he’s dreaming.

The seven year old version of himself tears off across the sand, heading straight for him. He braces himself for impact but he bursts right through. Jared looks down at himself. He is invisible.

He turns and watches the young version of himself dive-bomb a tan lump in the sand and Jared’s throat constricts. Jensen.

He watches the young version of Jensen squeal and tackle Jared into the sand, their parents laughing from their beach chairs. Jensen is still startlingly blond, sand clumping in the light colored strands. They chase each other into the water and Jared realizes that this isn’t just a dream – it’s a memory.

Hawaii, 1998.

Jared blinks and suddenly he’s in the water, his own body still invisible to him. His younger self laughs, innocent and so carefree. Jensen’s face is covered in freckles from the unrelenting summer sun. He knows that his own will fade away completely as he ages and Jensen will grow into his until the tiny caramel specks only help accentuate his beauty.

Jensen tackles Jared down into the water and Jared lets out a booming laugh. He knows what is supposed to happen next. Their mothers call them out of the water and they go back to the hotel. They change and go to a luau, and everyone laughs as Jared and Jensen get up to do the hula with all the pretty dancers.

It didn’t go like this.

“Jensen!” He hears, startling a little at the sound of his own high-pitched, childish voice. “Where’d you go?”

Jared looks into his own panicked eyes, watches as his own tiny hands push through the water as if he’s trying to move it out of the way. Jared’s heart speeds up, and he looks around. He spots a shock of blond in the distance, a hand flying up out the water for only a moment before it disappears under the surface.

“NO!” The little boy version of himself shrieks. Jared blinks and suddenly he is that little boy. His heart is pumping and the water is like ice against his skin. “No!” He’s screaming, throat raw with salt and overuse. “Jensen! Come back! No, Jensen, no! Don’t leave me!”

He sees nothing but the vast expanse of ocean, suddenly menacing under the crystal blue sky.

He throws himself under the water, and everything goes black.

Jared sits up in bed, panting like he’s just run a marathon. He gasps when he tastes salt on his lips and then realizes that he’s crying. Terror is making his entire body shake, and he squeezes his eyes shut against the intense realism of the dream.

The need to hear Jensen’s voice is overpowering – like he won’t be able to breathe properly until he knows Jensen is safe.

His phone is on the nightstand, and he grabs it without thinking. Holds down the speed dial button and listens to it ring, gnawing on his bottom lip. There’s a click when Jensen answers, and holy shit, he answered. He hears Jensen snuffling, and he can picture Jensen answering blindly, trying to navigate the phone to his face without opening his eyes.

Yeah?” Jensen says, voice rough with sleep. Jared glances at the clock. It’s after two in the morning, but the slight guilt he feels about waking Jensen up doesn’t compare to the relief he feels at hearing his voice, no matter how sleepy and confused it is.

“Jen, it’s me,” he starts, surprised at how badly his voice shakes. He hears Jensen’s sharp intake of breath and then some shuffling, like he’s trying to sit up.

Jared?” He asks, sounding weary and concerned at the same time. “What’s wrong?”

“I’m sorry. I know you don’t want to talk to me, but I had a really fucked up dream. It really scared me and I just wanted to make sure – I needed to know you were okay.” He wipes his arm across his face, sniffling and pinching the bridge of his nose.

Jensen is silent for a long time, and Jared listens to the sound of his breathing. It’s harsh and erratic, like he’s getting upset.

I’m – I’ve been better, Jared,” he finally says, voice rough as broken glass. “But I’m okay.”

“God, Jensen. I miss you,” Jared says without thinking, his breath catching in his throat. “So much, Jen. Please come home.”

Jared,” Jensen pleads, his voice thick and quiet. “Don’t do this, please.”

“Jen.” He pulls the phone away from his ear and puts one hand over his mouth. He’s aware of how pathetic he sounds, and he snaps his phone shut just as Jensen starts to speak.

He lies back down and doesn’t cry, but it’s a near thing.

Jared tries his best to ignore the persistent pounding on his door on Tuesday morning. He didn’t leave his room all weekend, or Monday for that matter, and would have starved if it weren’t for James bringing him food.

“I will break it down, Jared! I swear to God.” Chad calls out, pounding on the door again. Jared groans and gets out of bed, opening the door and blinking blearily at the light that pours in from the hall.

“What?” Jared demands, turning around and heading back for his bed. Chad catches him by the elbow and prevents him from getting back into his warm little cocoon of sorrow. The dream he had last night suddenly comes back to him, and he groans as he remembers talking to Jensen, embarrassing himself so completely.

“Oh no,” Chad says, dragging Jared over to his closet. “You need to get up before you lose muscle mass. Besides, we have class.”

“No, you have class,” Jared retorts. There is no way he wants to go to the class he and Jensen share. He can only imagine Jensen’s reaction after his late night phone call.

“Jared, you have to stop this,” Chad says, sounding serious enough that Jared turns to look at him. “I’m fuckin’ worried about you, okay? You can’t – you can’t do this to yourself.”

“It’s my life, Chad, alright?” Jared says, and Chad just sighs.

“Look, dude. You’re my best friend,” he replies, and then holds up a hand. “I know I’m not yours, but you’re mine. And it’s fucking killing me to see you like this. You’ve gotta move on.”

Jared knows he’s nowhere near ready to move on, but Chad does have a point.

“If I go to class, will you get off my fucking back?” Jared asks, sighing. Chad nods eagerly, and then wrinkles his nose.

“You’re kinda rank, though,” he says. Jared just rolls his eyes and changes into jeans and a tee shirt. He pulls an old sweatshirt over his head and runs a brush through his bed head.

“It ain’t getting much better than this,” Jared informs him. Chad just shrugs and hands him his book.

“I can deal with you looking like a janky ass hobo as long as you get the fuck out of this room,” Chad tells him, and leads him out of the door.

The walk across campus is sort of surreal. Jared doesn’t know what he expected, but he feels like things should at least seem different. It’s sort of humbling to see that something that altered his entire life doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Life goes on. But that doesn’t mean he is ready for it to – not without Jensen, at least.

They walk into the lecture hall and take their usual seats in the front row near the door – for a quick escape, Jensen had joked. They’re actually early, which Chad explains is due to the fact that he figured he would have to use bodily force to get Jared out of bed.

Jared is incredibly fidgety, tapping his toes and scratching at his stubble. He winces at the scrape of it against his palm. He probably does look like a janky ass hobo. The door opens to his right, and his breath catches in his throat.

Jensen is frozen in the doorway, dressed in sweats and a hoodie. His hair is flat and unwashed, he has bags under his eyes, and his chin is coated with golden stubble, but he’s still so fucking gorgeous. Jensen blinks a few times and ducks his head, walking by Jared without a word – without so much as a sideways glance. Jared feels like he’s been punched in the stomach.

He starts to turn his head to sneak another glance at Jensen, but Chad pinches his thigh and he looks forward again. He bows his head and doesn’t even pretend to listen when the professor starts to speak.

Jensen drops down into a seat a few rows back and to the left of Jared and Chad, promptly leaning forward to rest his elbows on the desk and bury his face in his hands. Jared’s pleading voice from their stilted conversation last night rings in his ears, makes him feel hollowed out and achy.

This was a horrible idea.

He knew he wouldn’t be able to face Jared, and yet he decided to come to the one class they share. He takes a deep breath and lifts his head. From his vantage point, he can see Jared’s profile. He looks horrible, skin pale and lips turned down into a frown. When he turns his head to track the professor’s movements, Jensen can see his black eye. It’s vivid purple, just starting to turn an ugly shade of brown around the edges.

It looks like it hurts, like Jared would hiss if anyone dare touched it. Jensen wants to know if Jared has been putting ice on it, wants to apologize for his overprotective brother hauling off and clocking him in the face. Most of all, he just wants to crawl onto Jared’s lap, wrap his arms around Jared’s shoulders and press his face in Jared’s neck, in that curve that seems tailor made for Jensen’s forehead.

He just wants.

Blood pounds between his ears and it’s impossible to concentrate. He’s just getting himself upset again, and he gathers up his books. Right in the middle of the lecture, he gets up to leave.

He tries to hurry past Jared, but that doesn’t stop him from reaching out to snag Jensen’s wrist between his finger and thumb. Jensen stumbles to a stop, jerking as if he’d been burned.

“Jensen,” Jared breathes, barely above a whisper. There is so much packed into those two syllables – pain, regret, longing. Jensen turns his head against his better judgment and meets Jared’s eyes. God, he misses him so much.

People are looking at them now, and Jensen extracts his wrist from Jared’s loose grasp. He bites his lip and curls his hand into a fist, blinking as his vision blurs.

He hurries out of the room and doesn’t dare look back at Jared’s face. He’s too afraid of what he’d see.

Once he’s outside in the fresh air he takes deep breaths, trying to clear his head. There is a chill in the air, and he zips his sweatshirt all of the way up as he hurries out to the parking lot.

He lifts his head to see Sandy and Katie standing near his car. Normally this would be a welcome sight, but they have Jessica with them. He freezes where he stands, not knowing so much anger and hate could be contained in him all at once.

They walk over to him. Sandy and Katie look nervous and Jessica looks put upon. Jensen holds up his hand once they reach him, shaking it back and forth as he starts to walk around them.

“No,” Jensen says adamantly. “No fucking way.”

“Jensen,” Sandy says pleadingly. “Look, this isn’t a cake walk for any of us, but just listen to her, okay?”

“Why the fuck would I want to do that?” Jensen says, whirling around on them. He’s so angry at them. Why would they corner him like this?

“Jensen,” Jessica starts once Katie nudges her shoulder. “Jared and I didn’t do anything. I swear.”

“And I have every reason to believe you, right?” Jensen spits out, and Jessica rolls her eyes.

“Look, man,” she replies. “You and I don’t have the best track record, right? Don’t you think that if anything actually did happen, I’d be gloating right about now?”

Jensen blinks and stands up a little straighter. She sort of has a point. She’d be rubbing salt in Jensen’s wounds if she could.

“And – I’m sorry,” she continues, albeit quieter. “I was stupid. I’ve been acting like a raving bitch for no reason.”

“Anything else?” Jensen asks, and Jessica shrugs her shoulders, slipping her hands in her pockets and shaking her head slightly. Jensen huffs out a breath, sending Sandy a lukewarm glare before turning for his car.

He gets into the driver’s seat and rests his forehead on the steering wheel. The passenger door opens and closes, and Jensen looks over to see Sandy biting her lip, expression sheepish.

“That was fucked up,” he says with little heat. He’s too exhausted to stay angry for too long.

“I’m sorry, Jen,” Sandy says. “I don’t know what to do. You won’t believe any of us and we just want you to stop hating Jared.”

Jensen sits up at that, looking over at Sandy with wide eyes.

“You think I hate Jared?” He asks, shocked. Sandy just shrugs her shoulders. Jensen swallows hard and slumps back against the seat. “I don’t hate him.”

“Then what’s the deal?” Sandy asks, genuinely confused. “You still don’t believe him.”

“No, I – you don’t understand, Sandy,” he says quietly, looking down at his hands. Sandy leans over the console and wraps an arm around his shoulders.

“Then why don’t you explain it to me?” She asks gently. Jensen bites on his bottom lip and reaches up to pinch the bridge of his nose.

“I can’t,” he whispers, and that’s true. He can’t even explain it to himself. Sandy makes a disapproving noise but doesn’t pull away. “You gonna leave now?”

“No,” she sighs, tucking his hair behind his ear. “There’s still some ice cream in Josh’s freezer. We’re gonna go eat it.”

“I don’t deserve you,” Jensen says, turning to give her the smallest of smiles. Sandy smiles back and leans in to kiss the tip of his nose.

“You got that right,” she says, and then sits back in her seat. Jensen buckles his seatbelt and sticks his key in the ignition.

Looks like it’s time for more clichéd heartbroken moping. Even Jensen is getting sick of it, so he’s definitely getting Sandy something sparkly for Christmas.

That is, if he doesn’t angst himself to death by then.

When he lets himself and Sandy into Josh and Jeff’s apartment, he is surprised to see Chris sprawled across the couch – in his designated moping spot. Jensen lets out a frustrated growl and shuts the door harder than necessary.

“Dude,” Jensen begins through gritted teeth. “On the admittedly long list of people I have absolutely no desire to talk to right now, you’re number two. And I just had to deal with number one so my patience is a bit thin. In other words, leave.”

“What the fuck did I do?” Chris shouts as Jensen stalks into the kitchen to get a bottle of water. He takes a drink and storms back into the living room.

“Jared and I wouldn’t have fought at all if it weren’t for you!” He shouts. Chris stares in disbelief and Sandy fidgets quietly in the doorway. After a few moments of awkward silence, Josh comes in, head tipped back as he chugs an energy drink. He bumps into Sandy and she latches onto his arm.

“Josh!” She says, pasting on a fake smile. Josh looks back and forth between Chris and Jensen and opens his mouth to say something, but Sandy cuts him off. “We need more ice cream! Let’s go!”

“But – “ Josh starts, looking confused.

Now,” Sandy replies, and pulls him out of the room. Once they’re alone, Chris gets up off of the couch and looks back towards Jensen.

“So wait – what?” Chris asks, looking pissed off and confused.

“The whole reason we even fought was because of the shit you pulled on Halloween,” Jensen tells him, storming past him to flop down onto the couch and cross his arms.

“Look, I said I was – “

“He thinks you’re fucking in love with me,” Jensen snorts, turning his eyes to the television but not really paying any attention to it. There is a beat of silence in which Chris doesn’t respond.

“Well, he ain’t wrong,” Chris finally says, voice nervous and unsteady. Jensen nearly laughs.

“Right,” he says, and then turns to look at Chris’s face, eyes widening at the intensely serious expression on it. His breath catches in his throat. “Come on, Chris. Don’t fucking do this to me,” he pleads.

“I’m not doin’ shit!” Chris replies, raising his voice slightly. “Christ, Jensen. Do you think I can help it? Do you actually think I would ever act on it?”

“You did!” Jensen accuses, breathing quickly now. His head is spinning and he doesn’t want to fucking deal with this.

“That wasn’t my proudest moment,” Chris admits, sitting on the couch next to Jensen. “But I’d be a damn fool to try to come between you two. Besides, it looks like you’re letting yourself do a pretty bang up job of that all on your own.” Jensen glares at him.

“You don’t even know – “

“Yes, I do,” Chris cuts in. “There’s not really such a thing as secrets when it comes to you two. You think Jared cheated on you, which is such fucking bullshit, Jen. I’ve seen the way that boy looks at you. Hell, everyone has. Victoria’s Secret’s entire summer line could parade on by him and he wouldn’t even so much as turn his head, you fucking idiot.”

“Will you please shut up?” Jensen pleads, sinking lower into the sofa.

“No,” Chris says, his gaze hardening. “If you let Jared go, you’re as dumb as you are pretty. And I gotta say, that’s really fucking dumb.”

“I don’t think he cheated on me, okay?” Jensen says, and Chris merely blinks. “I just – I can’t – fuck, Chris. Can you please just go?”

“Fine,” Chris says, getting up. “I’m not gonna sit around here watching you mope over something that’s your own damn fault.”

“Good,” Jensen retorts childishly. Chris has his handle on the doorknob before Jensen looks back up, biting his lip. “We’re gonna be – I mean, we’re okay, right?”

“I don’t know,” Chris says, but he’s smirking. “I don’t like making a habit of hanging around pretty idiots, but for you I’ll think about making an exception.”

“Asshole,” Jensen says, lips turning out into a pout and looking down at his lap. Chris opens the door and leans against the edge of it, sighing.

“Look, Jensen,” he starts. “Whatever it is you’re scared of – it ain’t worth breakin’ two hearts over, alright?”

Jensen lifts his head, but Chris has already left.

On Wednesday afternoon Jared manages to make it into Ed’s for his shift. The hot vapors from the steamer hurts his eye and he wants to throw up every time he gets a good whiff of espresso.

By the time he gets back to the room, he’s fed up and pissed off.

“Fuck this,” he says, standing in the middle of the room. He walks over to the inflatable bed and unscrews the cap, listening to the whoosh of air as it deflates. Once it’s semi-flat he rolls it into a ball and shoves it into the closet.

He whirls around and his eyes lock on the collage he made their first day here – all the pictures of them laughing, smiling, kissing. He strides over to it and climbs up onto the desk. He stares at it for a long while, angry tears blurring his vision. He reaches up and strokes his fingers over one of the pictures – he and Jensen at Disneyland – and curls his fingers around the edge.

There is a bang as his door flies open and he nearly falls off of the desk.

“We’ve got Italiano today!” James shouts gleefully. “Spaghetti and – what the fuck are you doing?”

“I’m taking all this shit down,” Jared says, wobbling on the desk. “I’m sick of looking at it and feeling sorry for myself.”

“If you’re feeling sorry for yourself, go for a run!” James shrieks, coming over to tug on the hem of Jared’s shirt. “Read, hell – cry in a corner while expressing your pain in 140 character bursts. But don’t destroy your shit and risk falling and cracking your enormous head open, you idiot.”

“What’s the point?” Jared shouts, jumping down off of the desk. James just looks at him and hooks an arm around his shoulders.

“You’re gonna want that when Jensen comes back,” James says simply, pushing him down onto the bed and handing him a bag of food. Jared just stares at him incredulously.

“He’s not coming back, James, okay?” Jared says, taking the bag and setting it on the bed. “It’s fucking over.”

“No, it’s not,” James says, and he sounds like he means it.

“How do you know?” Jared asks desperately, looking up at him through his bangs. James just bites his lip and sits down next to Jared, taking his hand again.

“I’m pretty fucking intuitive, okay?” James starts. “I’m good at reading people. This is not the end of you two. It can’t be.”

“Why can’t it?” Jared counters, squeezing James’s hand and trying to get this sudden rush of rage under control.

“Because!” James shouts. “I’ve never seen any couple love like you two. Young, old, gay, straight – doesn’t matter. If you two don’t make it, what the fuck chance do any of the rest of us have?”

Jared turns to look over at James, eyes watering as he listens to him. “Really?”

“Yes, dumbass,” James says fondly, untangling their hands to reach up and tousle Jared’s hair. “Now eat. I got Rhonda to throw in some extra garlic bread.”

“Thanks,” Jared sniffs. “You’re a good friend, James. Slightly crazy, but still a good friend.”


Jensen is sort of proud of himself. He managed to go to all his classes and work a shift at the bookstore today. It’s Thursday – almost a week since he and Jared broke up.

Being a contributing part of society pretty much zapped all of his energy, and as soon as he gets back to Josh’s he microwaves himself some corndogs and takes up residence on the couch.

When Josh comes in that night, Jensen is curled up on the sofa, staring despondently at the television.

“Dude,” Josh says, huffing a sigh and slumping his shoulders. “You are bringing me down.”

Jensen doesn’t reply, just blinks as Josh sets his bag down and strolls over to the couch. Josh smacks at his legs until Jensen lifts them up, letting Josh sit down before he drops his feet on Josh’s lap.

“Alright, Jenny,” Josh sighs, slumping back against the cushions. “You’re my kid brother and I love you, but you need to get the fuck out.”

“What?” Jensen replies, rolling onto his back and staring at Josh, brow furrowed. Josh just scrubs his hand over his face for a moment before turning to look at Jensen.

“This is our apartment and you’re in here hogging our couch and casting this big black fucking emo ass rain cloud all over everything, and it’s time it stopped,” he says with feeling, and then lowers his voice slightly. “You guys need to make up.”

Jensen glowers and then rolls onto his side again, glaring at the television.

“Oh what, you’re just never going to talk to him again? You’re going to let something that only fucking happened in your delusional little mind ruin eighteen plus years of friendship and the greatest love any of us has ever seen?”

“Stay out of it, Josh,” Jensen snaps. “You’ve never had a relationship last longer than a box of condoms, so don’t act like you’re a fucking expert, alright?” Josh pushes Jensen’s legs off of him roughly and stands up, glaring at him. Jensen sits up, his chest heaving.

“Fuck you, Jensen,” Josh replies, and Jensen knows he’s pushed him to his breaking point. Josh stares Jensen down with that innate big brother gaze that usually can get Jensen cowering. “I know the real reason you’re doing this. You’re fucking scared. You’re the only guy Jared has ever been interested in, and you’re afraid one day he’ll decide he actually does want the wife and the golden retriever and the two-point-five kids and you’ll end up with your heart broken. So you’re using this mother of all misunderstandings as an excuse to end it while you still have the chance to make it out relatively unscathed because you’re a fucking coward.”

“Fuck you!” Jensen spits, pushing Josh back roughly by his shoulders. His chest feels tight and his eyes itch as he starts to pace angrily, refusing to meet Josh’s serious gaze – mainly because he doesn’t want him to know he just hit the proverbial nail on the fucking head.

“Did I hit a nerve?” Josh says, and Jensen turns to face him. “Don’t act like I’m wrong. I know you better than anyone. Except for Jared, that is. And he’s fucking wrecked, man. You’re gonna put him through that for something he didn’t even do?”

“You don’t know – “

“Oh, shut the fuck up, Jen,” Josh interrupts. “He didn’t do it and you fucking know it.” Jensen slumps his shoulders because yeah, he does know. “Dude, he fucking loves you. The least you can do is go talk to him. If you’re really gonna end it, he at least deserves to know the real reason why. Personally, I think you should stop being such a fucking pussy – worrying about the future and shit that may or may not happen. Just fucking live your life, Jensen.”

Jensen sighs, glaring up at Josh, who just smiles smugly and points to the door. “Now get out.”

“You’re seriously kicking me out?” Jensen asks, baffled. Josh just raises an eyebrow, arm still extended outward. Jensen just sighs, gathering his keys and phone from the end table before storming past Josh. His brother snags him around the shoulders and pulls him into a hug. Jensen slumps against him, hugging him back in silent thanks.

Josh pushes him back by the shoulders, grins at him, and gives him a little shove towards the door. Jensen takes a deep breath and heads out into the cool night air.

Jensen sits in his car for five minutes before he chickens out. But he really does need to go to the room, if only because he’s out of clothes and most of his textbooks are there. Well, that and he apparently no longer has a place to stay.

He pulls his phone out of his pocket and dials a familiar number.


“Hey Chad,” Jensen sighs, reaching up to pinch the bridge of his nose. He sucks so fucking hard right now. Josh is right – he is a coward.

Oh. Hey dude. Uh, how you holdin’ up?” Chad asks in a sympathetic tone that sounds sort of odd coming from him. He hasn’t seen Chad much since the break up, since he apparently took Team Padalecki when Sophia joined the Ackles camp.

“I’ve been better,” Jensen says, laughing humorously. “Listen, I – uh, need to get some stuff from the room. I was wondering if you could do me a favor and get him out of there for a few. Like, go to the student union and get some food or something.” He sounds so pathetic, even to his own ears.

Dude, this is getting fucking ridiculous. You have to talk to him eventually,” Chad replies.

“I know, I just – “

Jared is in a sad state, man. I went over there last night and he was just fucking lying in the dark listening to Death Cab. I am not even shitting you. Death Cab for Cutie, Jensen. He probably wishes it had been raining so he could have been staring out the fucking window. It’s pathetic, is what it is.”


I’m just so sick of all the pain.”


Alright! Shit. I’ll go up there and see if I can get him to go,” Chad says. “It’s taco night, anyway. I’ll text you when we we’re gone, you weeping little girl.”

“I don’t even know why I’m friends with you,” Jensen sighs. He can practically see Chad grinning smarmily on the other end.

Because I’m fucking awesome. Later!”

Jensen hears a click in his ear and he rolls his eyes as he tosses the phone on the passenger seat. He flicks on the stereo and leans back, reaching up to rub at his temples.

It’s about fifteen minutes later when his phone buzzes. all clear dickburn, reads the text from Chad. Jensen grits his teeth and reminds himself that Chad is an excellent friend.


He’s lucky enough not to really pass anyone in the hall, and when he reaches their door he takes a deep breath. He bows his head as he pushes the door open, shuffling his feet as he heads inside.

He starts a little when he hears a slight gasp and looks up to see Jared staring at him, mouth agape from his place on the bed. Jensen leans back against the door, fingers in a death grip around the handle as his heart beats rapidly against his ribcage.

Jen,” Jared gasps, the one syllable holding relief, regret, pain – and various other emotions Jensen isn’t prepared to deal with. He doesn’t want to see Jared’s wide, dark eyes or flushed cheeks.

“Have you talked to Chad?” Jensen asks, and Jared furrows his brow as he pulls himself into a sitting position.

“Not since this morning,” Jared replies slowly, obviously confused as to why they’re talking about Chad when Jensen has suddenly shown up after steadfastly refusing to speak to him for the better part of a week. “Why?”

Jensen sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose as he extracts his phone from the pocket of his pajama pants. He creates a text and his skin feels too tight under Jared’s stare. You’re an asshole, he sends to Chad.

Jared and Jensen engage in some sort of hideously awkward staring contest until Jensen’s phone vibrates in his hand.

it had 2 b done dude. TALK 2 HIM.

Jensen swallows hard and slips his phone in his pocket, looking back up at Jared. He looks so hopeful, eyeing Jensen like he’s the answer to all his problems – like Jensen isn’t some insecure, fucked up loser that isn’t good enough for him.

“How’s your eye?” Jensen asks awkwardly, and he feels his cheeks heat up. The swelling is gone, the cut is nearly healed, and the bruises have faded to a mixture of purple and yellow hues. Jared always was a fast healer.

“It’s fine, I guess,” Jared says, face breaking out into an unexpected grin. He looks so happy to see Jensen, like he’s already forgiven Jensen for all the pain he’s caused. He’s so beautiful, all flushed skin and hopeful, bright eyes. Jensen doesn’t know how he lasted so long without seeing him. He wants to bury his fingers in Jared’s hair, kiss him and never come up for air.

He realizes then, as his eyes involuntarily trace the curve of Jared’s smile, that he isn’t leaving tonight. No matter how scared and confused he is, no matter how unsure of himself he may be – the thought of letting Jared out of his sight again is too much to bear.

He takes a deep breath, lets go of the door handle, and takes a step forward.

Jared gets up off of the bed and Jensen lets out a nervous laugh that bubbles up out of his throat before he can help it. His vision blurs slightly and he blinks a few times. Jensen is moving before he can stop himself, walking up to Jared and throwing his arms around Jared’s neck.

He hears Jared’s sharp intake of breath, hands settling on Jensen’s hips for just a moment before wrapping around his waist. Jensen fits his forehead into the curve of Jared’s neck and inhales deeply. It’s like every piece of the puzzle has just fallen into place – he’s all put back together, whole in Jared’s arms.

He sucks in a shaky breath, squeezes Jared tighter and tries to convey I love you and I miss you and please don’t ever let me let you go without any words. Jared reaches up to cup the back of Jensen’s head, kissing his forehead soft and timid, and it sounds a lot like I promise and I need you so much, don’t ever leave.

Countless seconds tick by as they just stand there, embracing like they’re making up for lost time. Jared is so warm, so strong wrapped all around him. He can feel his eyelashes clumping with unshed tears and he pulls away, chuckling softly and running his fingers through his hair.

“James just brought me half a pizza,” Jared says after a few seconds of fidgeting awkwardly. “You can have half. I mean, half of my half. It’s uh, pepperoni and sausage. And Ghostbusters is about to come on. I was gonna watch it. And maybe you could watch it, too. With me – I mean.”

“Okay,” Jensen says, smiling a little. Jared nods and gestures towards his bed. He grabs the pizza box and crawls onto it, sitting up near the headboard. Their television is positioned kitty-corner from Jared’s bed, so Jensen can sit near the end of the bed and still see okay.

Jared doesn’t seem to mind the seating arrangement. He just sets the box down between them and flips it open, revealing half of a greasy pizza. Jared takes a slice and shoves half of it into his mouth, grabbing the remote with his free hand.

They eat in silence for the first half hour of the movie, and tension crackles between them in a way it never has before. Jensen wipes his greasy fingers on his pajama pants and chews nervously on his bottom lip.

“Okay, shit,” Jared says, breaking the silence. “I wasn’t gonna say anything because I’m so glad you’re here, but nothing happened that night. I swear.”

Jensen blinks, looks over at Jared’s earnest and honest expression. There is no trace of a lie in his expressive eyes, and Jensen feels like an ass.

“I know,” Jensen says, clearing his throat and knitting his brows together. “I realized pretty quick that you wouldn’t do that to me.”

“Then I don’t get it,” Jared says, obviously hurt and a little confused. “Why did you stay away for so long?”

“Because I’m a selfish idiot with years worth of unfounded emotional baggage?” Jensen says, laughing nervously and fiddling with the tie on his sweatpants. “But mainly because – well, because I got scared. It’s only been six months and you mean absolutely everything to me. I sort of realized that you pretty much hold my happiness in your hands, and I just couldn’t imagine how much it would hurt to lose you even further down the line.”

He can’t even look at Jared as his cheeks heat up. He’s ashamed of himself for treating Jared like this, for causing him so much pain just because of his own shortcomings. His breath hitches and he lets out a shaky breath, bringing up a hand to cover his eyes. He feels stretched thin and so vulnerable, like he’s seconds away from falling.

“Jen,” Jared sighs, and Jensen risks a glance over at him. His brows are furrowed and he looks sort of frustrated. Jensen swallows hard and steels himself. He really wouldn’t be surprised if Jared told him it was over. “I’m not sure what I have to do to convince you that what we have is pretty epic. It’s not going anywhere. Unless you let it,” he adds softly.

“I know,” Jensen says, swallowing thickly. Jared sets the pizza box on the floor and scoots a little closer, reaching out to take Jensen’s hand in his own, interlocking their fingers. It’s like electricity shooting up Jensen’s arm, and he squeezes.

“So what made you decide to come back?” Jared asks softly, stroking the back of Jensen’s hand with his thumb. Jensen looks down at their joined hands and bites his lip, deciding not to tell Jared that he didn’t really make the decision to walk back into their room. It’s unimportant, anyway. As soon as he saw Jared, he knew he couldn’t last another day without him.

“Honestly?” Jensen asks, looking up at him. “I’m still scared. But whatever happens will happen. I just know I need to be with you.”

“Do you have any idea how much my life would suck without you?” Jared asks. “If there’s anything this past week has taught me, it’s that you are never fucking getting rid of me.” Jensen looks up at Jared through his lashes, relaxing at just the sight of his smile.

“You promise?” He asks softly, his voice barely above a whisper. Jared smiles indulgently, leaning in to cup Jensen’s cheek, thumb stroking across his cheekbone.

“Hell yes,” he says, leaning in closer. His eyes flick from Jensen’s mouth to his eyes and back. He can feel Jared’s breath warm on his lips and Jensen licks his own instinctively. His heart beats a little faster, like this is their first kiss all over again. “But only if you kiss me.”

Jensen brings his hands up to put them on Jared’s cheeks, closing the last few centimeters between them to press his lips to Jared’s. The feeling is overwhelming – a whirling rush of emotions that hit him all at once.

He’s laughing suddenly, a bubbly sound that tumbles out against Jared’s smile. He’s just so relieved, suddenly happy after a week of feeling like he’d never smile again. Jared presses their foreheads together, his arms circling Jensen’s waist and pulling him closer. He wraps his arms around Jared’s neck, pressing his lips to the mole next to his nose before kissing him again.

Jared’s tongue traces Jensen’s bottom lip softly and Jensen parts his lips, allowing Jared to sweep his tongue into Jensen’s mouth, tangle them together. They kiss until they are out of breath and then some, mouths only parting to sneak much needed oxygen.

Eventually Jared pulls them down onto the bed so that they’re laying side by side, limbs all tangled together. It never goes any further than kissing, and when they finally pull apart Jensen is panting, lips swollen and tingling as he smiles. Jared grins, lips skimming Jensen’s temple before he lets his head drop onto the pillow.

Jensen rests his head on Jared’s shoulder, lying almost completely on top of him. He just closes his eyes and breathes in deep.

He knows this isn’t an easy fix. Their problems aren’t going to go away overnight. Jensen is still irrationally afraid of what the future might bring, but it’s hard to care when he’s completely wrapped up in Jared.

“This feels good,” Jensen mumbles, eyes slipping shut as Jared rubs his back in slow circles. He feels Jared’s lips press against the top of his head and his own lips curve up into a smile.

“I am a fan of the cuddling,” Jared says a few moments later, fingertips stroking up Jensen’s arm. “But can we maybe cuddle with my dick in you? I mean, it’s been awhile.”

Jensen’s eyes snap open as he rolls onto his side and props himself up on one arm, staring at Jared incredulously. Jared grins wide and happy, pink tongue peeking out from between his slightly uneven teeth. Jensen rolls his eyes, grinning involuntarily.

“You asshole,” he says, but the grin doesn’t slip from his face. He is slightly relieved, because sex is the furthest thing from his mind. He isn’t sure why – he knows that make up sex should come standard right about now, but he really just wants to lay here with Jared, to slow down and think about things.

“It’s called a joke, Jen!” Jared laughs, hand reaching up to curve around Jensen’s hip like he can’t bear not to touch. “Just breaking the tension.”

Jensen laughs, reaching down to pinch Jared’s hip hard enough to bruise. Jared yelps, his body jerking up into Jensen’s and knocking him off balance. Jensen feels himself slipping, eyes widening as he grabs onto Jared. He falls and drags Jared down with him, fingers digging into his forearms.

They hit the floor with a thump, eyes watering from laughing so hard. Jared rolls on top of him, reaching up to place his hands on Jensen’s neck, thumbs skimming across either side of his jaw. The laughter dies down and they stare into each other’s eyes for a moment, silly grins turning into soft, private smiles.

“Welcome home,” Jared whispers, and leans down to press their lips together again.

Jared wakes up slowly, easing into consciousness. The first thing he realizes is that the bed is empty. The sheets are cold. He doesn’t dare open his eyes.

Dread forms in the pit of his stomach, leftover from the week of pessimism. When he finally lets his eyes slip open, he nearly laughs at his own foolishness. There is a note propped up on the nightstand, simply reading smoking. Jensen thinks it’s stupid to sign a note when it’s obvious who it’s from.

Jared rolls out of bed and stretches, back popping pleasantly. He’s a little antsy not being near Jensen, so he steps into his flip-flops and scratches his belly as he makes his way downstairs. He thought maybe Jensen would slow down on the smoking once he had to go up and down two flights of stairs just to have a smoke, and he has cut back a little. He still smokes like a chimney when he’s nervous. Or scared.

The air is crisp and cool, Thanksgiving right around the corner, and Jared shivers slightly. Jensen is sitting on the bottom step, his back to Jared as he brings a cigarette up to his lips. Usually, this would be where Jared pounces on him, wraps his arms around Jensen’s neck and risks a cigarette burn as he flops all of his weight down onto him.

But the tense line of Jensen’s back reminds Jared that he doesn’t know where exactly they stand, not really. So instead he just sits on the step next to him, close enough to feel the heat radiating from his body but not close enough to touch. Jensen exhales wispy smoke and then looks over at Jared. He looks gorgeous and sleepy, lips puffy and hair sticking up at all angles.

“I was just about to come back up,” Jensen says, but there is a slightly guilty edge to his tone, like he considered not doing so. He scratches the back of his head with the hand holding the cigarette, and the proximity of fire to hair makes Jared incredibly nervous. “What are you doing down here?”

“Well,” Jared starts, knocking their shoulders together playfully. “I was hoping if I played my cards right, I could get a kiss that tastes like an ashtray. And maybe a little lung cancer.” Jensen rolls his eyes, but he’s smirking as he stubs out the cigarette. “You know I wish you’d quit.”

“I know,” Jensen says, sticking his lighter back into the half-empty cigarette pack. “And I’ll try. But now is not the time to cut off my nicotine supply.”

“Okay,” Jared says lamely, picking at the hem of his tee shirt. His skin feels too tight and he feels awkward in a way he hasn’t since his first growth spurt. But even then, he wasn’t awkward around Jensen. This is a very new and very uncomfortable feeling.

“You really wanna kiss me even though I taste like an ashtray?” Jensen says, sounding sort of skeptical. Jared doesn’t look up from his lap, shrugging his shoulders slightly and hating the tension crackling between them.

“I always want to kiss you,” Jared mumbles. “No matter what.”

Silence hangs between them for a few moments, and then Jensen’s hand comes up to rest on the back of Jared’s neck, squeezing gently. Jensen leans in, pressing soft lips against Jared’s temple. Jared turns his head and Jensen kisses him, dry and chaste. Jared brings his hand up to clutch at the back of Jensen’s shirt, nearly crying out in relief when Jensen’s tongue parts his lips and dips inside. He does taste like an ashtray, stale and acidic, but Jared can’t get enough.

They kiss for a long time, ignoring the cold seeping into their bones in favor of the warm heat connecting their mouths. Just when Jared thinks he’s going to pass out from lack of oxygen, a loud shriek breaks them apart.

“So, it’s true!” Sandy squeals, and throws herself onto their laps. Jared coughs and splutters as she slings her arms around them both. “Josh called me and told me you were here. I’m so happy for you guys!”

She kisses them both on the cheek and Jensen shifts her onto Jared’s lap, reaching out to swipe his thumb across Jared’s lips before standing up.

“I need to get ready for work,” he says, and then heads inside the main doors of the dorm, banging the bottom of his cigarette pack against the palm of his hand – a nervous tick he acquired shortly after picking up smoking that he doesn’t think Jared knows about.

Sandy watches his retreating form and then looks over at Jared, confusion evident in her dark chocolate eyes. “It looked like you had made up. Are you guys okay?”

Jared closes his eyes for a moment, concentrates on the flare of pain at the base of his neck, knotted muscle thanks to the tension keeping his body coiled tightly. He swallows hard, and then looks at Sandy helplessly.

“I’m not really sure,” he admits, and Sandy presses a soft kiss to his forehead.

They don’t really see each other again until that evening when Jared gets back from his last class. Jared nearly trips over the air mattress hogging the floor. Jensen is perched on his bed, hugging a pillow to his chest.

“Hey,” Jared says as he hangs his bag up in the closet. He kicks off his shoes and steps gingerly onto the bed, carefully walking across it to stand in front of Jensen. He tilts his head up and Jared hesitates for a moment before cupping his cheek. He leans down to give him a soft kiss, and even without parting their lips Jared can still taste the smoke, unsuccessfully disguised with peppermint gum.

“I was productive today,” Jensen says, sounding almost proud. “I went and got all my stuff from Josh and Jeff’s, and I did laundry.”

“And you shaved,” Jared adds, dragging his fingertips across smooth skin void of reddish blond stubble. Jensen flushes, and reaches up to gently prod at Jared’s eye. It doesn’t hurt, not really. By now the bruise is just an ugly yellow and brown smudge, nearly invisible. Jensen stands up and presses his lips to it in a silent apology. Jared smiles, lets Jensen feel the curve of it against his jaw.

“I got some movies,” Jensen says, resting his hands on Jared’s hips. “I just want to stay in with you.”

“Sounds good,” Jared says, hiding a yawn against the top of Jensen’s head. He smells like lavender shampoo and Jared inhales deeply.

Jared changes into a pair of sweats and a wifebeater and gets settled under the covers while Jensen puts in a movie. He grabs the remote and curls up next to Jared, pressing play. It’s some sort of mindless comedy that neither one of them really pay attention to.

Jensen rolls onto his side, back pressed firmly against Jared’s chest. Jared tucks his knees against the back of Jensen’s, sliding a hand up his belly to rest it over Jensen’s heart. They fall asleep almost immediately, soft and relaxed in each other’s embrace.

They both use the weekend to catch up – mainly on sleep. Although both of them spent nearly an entire week wallowing in bed, they didn’t really get much rest. They catch up on some homework and go do their respective shifts at work, but most of the weekend is spent with them passed out on top of each other on the air mattress.

And that’s about it.

It doesn’t take an idiot to realize that Jensen isn’t acting like himself. He’s closed off and withdrawn, barely speaking and hardly smiling. It sort of breaks Jared’s heart. Things between them are obviously not okay.

They fall asleep together every night – they kiss and touch and cuddle up together in bed. They haven’t gotten any further than first base since they called their truce. It’s not even just about the sex. Jared misses the intimacy between them, the bone deep connection he feels when they’re pressed together skin to skin. He misses Jensen’s playfulness – the way he would wake Jared with sweet kisses and teasing little touches. He misses Jensen’s sharp wit and booming laugh.

He misses the way things used to be, and he’s absolutely terrified things will never be the same.

All of this doesn’t change the fact that he’s an eighteen-year-old boy in his sexual prime who hasn’t gotten off in over a week. He promised himself he would wait and let Jensen make the first move, but he’s going slightly crazy.

It’s Tuesday afternoon and Jensen is working a shift at the bookstore. Jared shifts restlessly on his bed, flashes of Jensen rushing unbidden behind his eyelids. He slides his hand down to cup himself through his jeans, hissing as he squeezes.

He bucks up into his hand, squeezing his eyes shut and picturing Jensen. He lets out an exasperated sigh and lets his hands drop to his sides. He feels guilty thinking about his own fucking boyfriend when he jerks off. Fantastic. He just takes a deep breath and wills his erection away, telling himself that Jensen will come around eventually.

There’s a knock on the door and James comes barging in, and Jared is suddenly glad he didn’t get around to jerking off.

“Hey Jared,” James says brightly. “What’s up?”

Jared just scoffs and rolls off of the bed, clenching his fists and shifting his hips a little. James raises an eyebrow and bites down on his lip.

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say someone was sexually frustrated,” James says, and Jared pins him with a glare.

“Then you obviously don’t know shit,” Jared grumbles, flopping down into his desk chair and crossing his arms. James’s eyes widen in surprise.

“Wait,” he starts, “you mean to tell me you and Jensen haven’t consummated your joyous reunion? You two fuck like it’s going out of style. We hang out in my room and take bets on who’s gonna come first.”

“Wait – you what?” Jared asks incredulously. “How the hell do you know who wins?”

“You each have a very distinctive, and loud, finish,” James states plainly, and Jared stares at him.

“I am so fucking disturbed right now,” Jared says, shaking his head. “If Jensen ever puts out again, I’m so soundproofing this room.”

“So what’s going on?” James asks. “Why the lack of sex?”

“I don’t know,” Jared says bitterly, getting up and kicking a shoe against the wall. “Jensen is on his fucking period?”

“Dude,” James says, getting up and grabbing Jared by the shoulders. “Clean the fucking pipes before you start sounding more like a douchebag, alright?”

“I can’t!” Jared snaps, shrugging out of James’s grasp. “I feel like I should fucking wait for him or something. It’s fucking ridiculous. I am horny.”

“I have so many possible responses to that,” James replies, “but I’m pretty sure all of them will get me punched in the face.”

“Probably,” Jared grumbles, flopping back onto his bed. James crashes down on top of him, and all the air rushes from Jared’s lungs. They wiggle and squirm until they are lying on their backs, side by side.

“Sexual tension is a bitch,” James says, and Jared lets out a snort. “Look at me and Misha.”

“Misha is never going to fuck you,” Jared says, cutting him a look. James just rolls his eyes and puts his arms behind his head, knocking his elbow against Jared’s ear.

“It’ll happen,” James replies, “And when it does? It’ll be fucking explosive. Best sex ever.”

“Please don’t make me think about you and Misha fucking,” Jared pleads. He lays there, eyes widening after a moment. He groans and slaps his hands over his face. “Oh god.”

“Sure paints a pretty picture, doesn’t it?” James says, pursing his lips and nodding. Jared shakes his head back and forth rapidly, hands still covering his eyes. “You’re welcome.”

“Please get out,” Jared pleads, peeking at James through splayed fingers. James smirks over at him and raises an eyebrow.

“Oh now you suddenly want to be alone,” he says teasingly. Jared blinks and then grimaces, pointing towards the door.

“Leave,” Jared says. James rolls onto his side and looks down at Jared, his expression suddenly serious. Jared lowers his hands and blinks up at him.

“Don’t worry about it too much, okay?” James says, pressing a chaste kiss to Jared’s forehead. “It’ll happen when it’s right. And it’ll be worth the wait.”

“There you go being a good friend again,” Jared says fondly, and James flicks the sharp end of his nose. “Or not.”

“I am what I am,” James says with a shrug, rolling off of Jared’s bed. Jared sits up as the door opens and Jensen shuffles inside. There are dark circles under his eyes and his freckles stand out starkly on his pale skin like caramel on cream. He still looks so tired, like he hasn’t let himself relax at all. Jared’s heart clenches in his chest.

“Hey kid,” James says, scampering over to Jensen and flicking the lobe of Jensen’s ear. “Take a nap.”

Jensen just rolls his eyes as James leaves and drops his bag on the floor, heaving out a sigh. He stands in the middle of the room, glancing from Jared to his bed to the air mattress and back again, seeming conflicted.

“Come here,” Jared requests, and Jensen obliges. Jared grabs him by the belt loops and pulls Jensen onto the bed with him, maneuvering them both until they’re lying side by side. Jensen’s face is inches from his, eyelids drooping sleepily, lips turned downwards in a slight frown. Jared puts his hand on Jensen’s cheek gently, the tip of his thumb across the purple smudge under Jensen’s eye.

“I miss you,” Jared whispers, and Jensen blinks his eyes open. They’re so green, shocking Jared over and over again with their intensity.

“I’m right here,” Jensen says, reaching up to touch Jared’s hand. Jared wants to argue. This isn’t him. Jensen laughs and gets crinkles in the corners of his eyes. Jensen smiles and mocks and ridicules. He bitches and moans and knows how to drive Jared absolutely insane with one brush of his fingers. Jensen is lively, full of color and energy.

Jensen doesn’t get lost in himself, doesn’t let his bright eyes cloud over with a vacant expression, like he’s doubting everything and fearing the worst. Jensen doesn’t constantly act like he’s bracing himself for the end of the world.

“No,” Jared starts. “That’s not what – “ He’s cut off by the shrill ringing of Jensen’s cell phone. Jensen pitches forward, forehead pressed up against Jared’s collarbone as he retrieves it from his pocket.

“Hello?” He answers, voice muffled against Jared’s shirt. “Hey Sandy. Yeah, we’re here. Come up.” Jensen lets the phone drop to the bed and puts his hand on Jared’s chest, sliding his shirt up slightly to reveal his tattoo. His fingers trail over it and Jared shudders, eyes feverish when they meet Jensen’s.

They kiss, but it doesn’t feel natural. It feels like Jensen is trying too hard. Jared pulls back with a sigh, cupping the back of Jensen’s skull and bringing their foreheads together.

“I want you to be happy,” Jared confesses, fingers carding through Jensen’s soft hair. “Why aren’t you happy?”

“I am,” Jensen says, blinking a few times. “I am.”

“Who’re you trying to convince?” Jared asks brokenly, and Jensen bows his head. Jared rolls onto his back, staring up at the ceiling and blinking away the sting in his eyes.

“I love you,” Jensen says resolutely, palm splayed over Jared’s tattoo. It’s not a lie – that much Jared knows. Jensen loves him more than anything.

“I’m sorry it makes you miserable,” he says plainly, and Jensen swallows hard.

Jared,” Jensen replies, scooting closer to him. “Don’t ever – “

Sandy comes in then, greeting them brightly. Jensen huffs and lets his head fall forward, face pressed against Jared’s neck for a moment before pulling away and sitting up.

“Hi,” Jensen says, and Jared blinks rapidly a few times before sitting up and pasting on a smile. Sandy sits in the desk chair and cocks her head at them, brows knitted. “What’s up?”

“Uh,” Sandy says eloquently, twisting her hair around her finger and biting her lip. Jared and Jensen share a brief look and then turn back to Sandy. “I have a date tonight?”

“That’s great,” Jensen says genuinely, and leans back against Jared’s chest. He’s still tense, but Jared appreciates the gesture. He wraps his arm loosely around Jensen’s waist. “With who?”

“Josh,” Sandy says quickly, looking at him out of the corner of her eye. Jensen just tilts his head to the side slightly.

“Josh who?” He asks, and Jared buries his laugh in Jensen’s shoulder. Sandy looks over at him, a confused expression gracing her pretty features.

“Josh Ackles,” she says slowly, and Jared bites his lip to keep from cracking up. Jensen is quiet for a moment, lips pursed. Jared leans in and presses his smile against the curve of Jensen’s jaw. Jared’s own unease ebbs away at the sight of Sandy’s obvious discomfort and Jensen being so completely oblivious. It seems to hit Jensen then, bright eyes widening comically.

“Wait,” Jensen says, holding up one hand. “My brother, Josh?”

“Yes!” Sandy shrieks, finally looking excited rather than nervous. “We bonded over you being an emo pain in the ass, and he asked me out!”

“That’s great,” Jared laughs. Sandy bounces in her chair and Jensen just stares at her.

“Hold on,” he says. “You, Sandy, are going out with my brother, Josh?”

“Yes,” Sandy and Jared say in unison.



“But why?” Jensen demands, looking helplessly at Jared like this is horrible news. Jared just shrugs and pulls Jensen tighter against his body. He comes willingly and looks back at Sandy.

“I dunno,” Sandy says, but she’s grinning. “He’s adorable. Funny. And so sweet.”

“You have met Josh, right?” Jared asks, and Jensen just nods in agreement. Sandy gives them a mock glare.

“You’re okay with this, right?” Sandy asks uncertainly, and Jensen shrugs.

“I guess. I mean, yeah,” Jensen replies, and he tangles his fingers with Jared’s. “I just don’t like to think of my brother fucking anyone, let alone one of my best friends.”

“Whoa, hey!” Sandy shouts, waving her hands around in the air. “There will be no fucking tonight. We’re just having dinner.”

“Does Josh know that?” Jensen asks. “Because that’s not how his dates usually go.”

“Stop making your brother sound like a douchebag,” Jared says, nipping at Jensen’s earlobe.

“But my brother is a douchebag,” Jensen retorts, and Sandy reaches out to slap his thigh.

“Look,” she says, leveling Jensen with a hardened gaze. “Neither one of us have had the best track record, alright? But I think we’ll be good for each other.”

“I think you’ll be cute together,” Jared says, and Jensen sighs.

“Don’t let my brother touch you,” Jensen finally says. “Not tonight, at least. Make him work for it. You’re worth it.”

“Okay,” Sandy says, grinning again. She looks absolutely thrilled, glowing with excitement. Jared is happy for her.

“And order something really expensive,” he adds, and Sandy gets up to kiss both their foreheads. Jensen rolls his eyes but he’s smiling. Finally.

“Deal!” She agrees. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“I want you home and in bed by eleven, young lady!” Jensen shouts. Sandy just blows him a kiss and he flips her off. It’s so much like the old Jensen that Jared’s heart clenches a little.

She leaves, and silence settles between them. Jared rests his chin on Jensen’s shoulder and lets out a little hum.

“Josh and Sandy, sittin’ in a tree,” he singsongs, and Jensen flicks his nose.

“This is so fucking weird,” Jensen says, shaking his head and slumping back against Jared, boneless and sleepy.

“We’ll have our own date night,” Jared says, tugging playfully at Jensen’s hair. “Greasy take-out, shitty movie, or passing out in a lazy pile?”

“All of the above,” Jensen says, smiling softly. Jared leans down and presses a chaste kiss to Jensen’s mouth.

This time, it doesn’t feel forced. Not at all.

There is a second, rarely used bathroom on their floor. It’s not as central as the big one near the lounge, not as shiny and new.

Jared and Jensen prefer this older, smaller, lesser used bathroom. They use it all the time, sneaking off to it in the middle of the night to shower together, pressed together slick and wet in the tiny shower stalls.

Someone walked in on them once, and they had stayed behind the shower curtain, palms slapped over their giggling mouths as they tried to stay silent, faces tipped up into the spray as the other person showered next to them.

Jared had placed his hand over Jensen’s mouth, multi-colored eyes mischievous as his other hand slipped down between Jensen’s legs to curl around his cock. He’d jerked Jensen off, tight and slow, and Jensen fought to stay silent as the person in the next stall over sang an off key rendition of Build Me Up, Buttercup.

It was one of the most erotic moments of Jensen’s life.

He came silently, slicking up his belly as Jared pressed their mouths together. The other person finished up soon after that, and the sound of flip-flops slapping against wet tile was all they heard as they left.

Jared and Jensen had stared at each other, eyes wide until they finally started laughing. Jared was still hard, and Jensen had winked as he spun around to face the tiles. Jared fucked him, using slippery conditioner as lube and their cries echoed off of the porcelain.

A few days later James had given them an out of order sign he’d quote-unquote procured from the janitor. They’ve put it to good use ever since.

It’s sort of a tradition – when it’s late and they can’t sleep they go use that bathroom to clean up, shave, get off, and relax. It’s quiet and peaceful, and it’s something Jensen looks forward to.

So when Jared rolls off of his bed at one in the morning and grabs his towel, Jensen doesn’t even think before getting up to join him. He’s already gathered his towel, toiletries, and do not disturb sign when he looks up to find Jared staring at him with a raised eyebrow. His stomach tightens.

He’d almost forgotten things were different, that there was this tension between them stretched tight like a rubber band. He knows it’s his fault, that he’s the one holding back, and he bites down on his lip and looks up at Jared through his lashes.

Jared shifts his towel and toiletry bag to his other arm and takes Jensen’s hand. His palm is warm and smooth, fingers sure when they slot with Jensen’s. He lets out a deep breath and follows Jared out of the room.

Their feet are nearly silent against the carpeted floor as they make their way down the hall. The lights are dimmed and it’s oddly quiet, everyone asleep in their rooms. They make their way towards the bathroom and Jensen looks around, blushing as he sticks the sign on the outside of the door.

Jared opens it and waves him in with a flourish. They flick on the lights and one of the bulbs is blown out, bathing the white tiles with soft orange light. There are three tiny shower stalls taking up one wall and Jensen thinks of all the times they’ve squeezed into them, slick with soap and fitting together like puzzle pieces under the spray.

Jensen doesn’t say anything as he undresses, feeling Jared’s eyes, hot and hungry on his skin the entire time. He swallows hard and ducks into the middle stall, pulling the curtain shut. He thinks he hears Jared make a tiny noise of disappointment, but he could be imagining things.

But then he hears the thunk of Jared’s things hitting the counter, the quick whoosh of clothes as they hit the floor, and the angry clink of the shower curtain rings as he enters the stall next to him, and he thinks he was probably right.

They shower in silence, and Jensen swears he can hear the water hitting Jared’s skin, can picture it sluicing down his perfect body. He’s so close, just inches of tile separating them. Jensen could close the distance between them if he wanted, and god, he does. But he just can’t. Not yet.

He spends so much time thinking about Jared that he nearly forgets to wash himself, and Jared’s shower cuts off when he still has shampoo in his hair. He hurries to rinse and then spins the creaky old knobs until the water cuts off and he shivers against the sudden cold.

Jensen grabs his towel off of the rack and quickly dries off in the stall before he wraps it around his waist and steps out. Jared is at the mirror in nothing but a pair of blue flannel pajama pants, towel dried hair sticking up at crazy angles. He’s setting his things on the counter – a razor, shaving cream, and his towel.

Jensen pulls on his own pajama pants and drops his own towel on the floor, biting down nervously on his lip.

“Let me,” Jensen says, and it’s only then he realizes how long they’ve gone without speaking. Jared catches his gaze in the mirror, one eyebrow rising delicately. He turns around and leans against the counter, looking down at his straight razor and picking it up. He twirls it in his fingers once before handing it over.

Jensen takes it with steady fingers, meeting Jared’s eyes and wondering over the trust the other boy has in him – something he seems to have taken for granted. Jensen picks up Jared’s towel and fills the sink with warm water, patting the counter with his other hand. Jared hops up onto it and Jensen works his way between Jared’s knees.

He looks up to meet Jared’s gaze – always taller, always stronger – and he swallows hard. Jared’s eyes are wide and bright, full of emotion. Longing, patience, love. Jensen reaches up to cup Jared’s cheek, swipes his thumb over the sharp rasp of stubble and slowly leans in to press his mouth under Jared’s jaw. Jared shivers just from that one little touch, and it makes Jensen feel almost powerful. He drags his lips across the line of Jared’s jaw to his chin, feeling stubble burn sensitive skin.

He presses his thumb into the tiny dent of Jared’s chin, pulls down until Jared’s lips are slightly parted and he presses his mouth to them, first the top and then the bottom. He wraps an arm around Jared’s neck, forgetting his original task as he loses himself in the feeling. Jared’s hands are strong on his hips, and he kisses Jensen with a lazy, slow burn and build up that makes Jensen want to weep.

He pulls away when he’s breathless, pressing his forehead against Jared’s temple as he reaches for the shaving cream. He lathers it up in his hands, cupping Jared’s cheeks and spreading the cream across his face. He rinses his hands in the sink and picks up the razor again, dipping it in the water and reaching up to gently cup Jared’s chin.

“Hold still,” he whispers, and Jared’s eyes flash bright and then go dark. He’s immobile as stone, and Jensen tilts his head to the side as he presses the razor to his cheek and drags it down to reveal baby smooth skin. He repeats the process on his cheeks and chin, leaning in to kiss bits of skin as they’re exposed, drops of shaving cream clinging to his lips. He tilts Jared’s head up and back, carefully dragging the razor down the contours of Jared’s neck, over his jugular and down.

When the shaving cream is all gone Jensen leans in, presses his mouth to Jared’s pulse point and feels the rapid beat against his lips as he sets the razor down. He kisses and sucks at the spot, hands finding Jared’s hips as he leans in. Jared is so hard, that much he can feel against his hips, and god, he wants to give him that. He’s just not ready yet – some invisible, infuriating wall holding him back.

Instead he pulls away, picks up the towel and cleans off Jared’s face. He hops off of the counter and looks unsure of himself, stark white teeth digging into his bottom lip. Jensen clears his throat and picks up his own bag, digs out his razor and holds it out as he hops up onto the space Jared just vacated.

“Me next?” Jensen asks softly, and Jared looks at him like he just gave him the world.

“Sure, Jen,” Jared replies, and their fingers brush as he takes the razor. He takes the time to kiss Jensen first, soft and open mouthed, tongues tangling briefly before he pulls away. His mouth finds Jensen’s ear, teeth scraping softly across the lobe. “I love you.”

“Love you,” Jensen repeats immediately, and he means it more than anything he’s ever said. Jared lathers up his face and Jensen doesn’t even close his eyes as Jared drags the razor sharp blade across his skin.

He knows Jared would never hurt him.

The day before Thanksgiving break starts, Jared decides he’s put off his homework long enough. He has packing to do, but that can wait. He gathers everything he’ll need and starts penning a note for Jensen. Of course, that’s when he decides to walk in the door.

“Oh hey,” Jared says, setting down the pen halfway through a crooked heart. “What are you doing here?”

“My class was cancelled. Professor got a head start on break, apparently,” Jensen says, setting his bag down on his bed and looking over at Jared, noting the camera bag slung over his shoulder. “Going somewhere?”

“Well, it’s gorgeous outside,” Jared says, glancing towards the window. “I need to do some work on my photo project and I wanted to get to the field before sunset.”

“The field by our houses?” Jensen inquires, glancing at the clock. “With the wildflowers?”

“That’s the one,” Jared replies, snapping his fingers. “I need like, vivid colors in nature.” Jared wrinkles his nose. “My theme is gay, apparently.” Jensen chuckles, and Jared smiles.

“Want some company?” Jensen asks, looking up at Jared through gold tipped lashes. Jared grins, fiddling with the strap on his bag. He walks over and slings his arm over Jensen’s shoulders, leaning in to kiss his temple.

“Sure,” Jared replies, sliding his hand down Jensen’s arm to tangle their fingers together.

The ride is mostly silent saved for idle chitchat, but it’s not uncomfortable. It takes about an hour for them to get to the field, and Jared blushes slightly when he parks his truck. Last time they were here, it was sweltering hot and they fucked in the back of it, getting sweaty and sunburned.

“You’re probably going to be bored,” Jared warns him. The sun is still high in the sky, and Jared squints up into it to gauge the light. Jensen hops out of the truck, rubbing a hand through his hair and sticking a cigarette behind his ear.

“I’ll manage,” Jensen says, plopping down in the middle of some tall grass. “Go take pictures of pretty flowers and butterflies,” he adds, smirking. Jared flips him off and starts unloading his camera bag. He hears the soft click of Jensen’s lighter and he looks around, trying to decide where to start.

An hour or so passes in which Jared trudges around the field taking macro shots of various wildflowers. He gets one of a blood red ladybug on the vivid yellow petal of a wild sunflower, and he thinks it may be his favorite.

He turns around to see Jensen, still sitting in the middle of the tall grass, staring off into the distance. His blue shirt contrasts with the bright green of the grass. His hair is windblown and light stubble graces his strong jaw. He doesn’t seem to notice Jared staring, lips a little slack as he zones out.

Jared crouches forward, dropping to one knee and bringing his camera to his face. He zooms in on Jensen, lips curving up into a grin as he snaps a few shots. He gets a few feet closer before Jensen notices him, eyes widening for a moment before he smiles knowingly.

“I’m not part of your project,” Jensen says softly, and Jared snaps another shot.

“You could be,” Jared says, swallowing hard and not daring to lower his camera. “It’s all about colors, and all the grass in the world can’t beat your eyes, Jen.”

Jensen looks up, and their eyes meet. He’s about ten feet away, but Jared can see his pink cheeks. Jared walks closer to him, getting on his knees when there is only a yard or so separating them.

“Can I take your picture?” Jared asks softly, and Jensen twists a flower stem between his fingers.

“You’ve never asked before,” Jensen replies, picking off the petals. They flutter to the ground in a pile of pink on green.

“I’ve never wanted to so badly before,” he responds, and Jensen looks up at him. He gives a barely perceptible nod. Jared licks his lips and hefts his camera back up to his face, messing with the focus before snapping a few more shots. “Lie on your back.”

Jensen does so, stretching out onto the flattened grass. He turns his head to the side and rests one hand on his stomach, eyelids slipping shut. Jared fills his camera, getting so close he is nearly straddling Jensen. He’s taking close-up shots now – Jensen’s pink lips, caramel freckles, sooty eyelashes. Pictures no one else but him will ever see.

“Open your eyes,” Jared commands gently. Jensen does, pupils dilating slightly from the sunlight. The irises are a familiar shade of jade flecked with gold, and he doesn’t blink as the camera clicks. He’s staring up at Jared, chest heaving slightly. Jared sits up a little, reaching down to trace Jensen’s full bottom lip.

Jensen reaches up to clutch Jared’s wrist in his fingers, sucking in a shuddering breath. The tip of Jensen’s tongue touches the pad of Jared’s finger, and a shiver runs through them both. Jared lifts his camera, snaps a picture of Jensen’s lips puckered around the tip of his finger. Jensen’s eyes go liquid, and Jared sets his camera down in the grass.

They stare at each other for what seems like hours, Jensen’s fingers digging into the soft skin under Jared’s wrist. Tension is a rubber band between them, stretched tight and shaking for a silent moment before it snaps.

Jared surges down, crashes his lips against Jensen’s and straddles his waist, pinning Jensen’s wrists against drying grass. Jensen bucks up under him, slotting their hips together and biting down on Jared’s bottom lip.

Jared moans desperately, letting go of Jensen’s wrists to grab his hips. He grinds down against him, and Jensen lets his head fall back against soft packed earth as he wraps his legs around Jared’s waist.

Jared bites at Jensen’s chin and jaw and starts rutting against him, pinning his hips to the ground with giant hands. Jensen lets out breathy little noises, gripping Jared’s shoulders as he rolls his hips up to meet Jared’s thrusts.

He can feel Jensen’s dick, hot like a brand against his thigh. He wants to wrap his hand around it, get it in his mouth, but the sense of urgency is too great. All he can do his thrust down against him, create just enough friction to take him past the point of pleasure.

They move together like dancing, passionate and familiar. They fit together seamlessly, Jared’s thumbs fitting perfectly in the groove of Jensen’s hips. He sucks and bites at Jensen’s neck, breaking blood vessels with his mouth and licking across bruised flesh as blood rises to the surface.

Jensen cries out, shoving one hand into Jared’s messy hair and tugging. Jared lets out a low grunt, licking across Jensen’s slack lips before plunging his tongue into Jensen’s willing mouth.

His muscles tense, pleasure crackling up his spine and it’s been so long since he’s had this. He thumbs Jensen’s nipple through his thin shirt, scraping his nail across the tight nub. He shifts his hips and rocks down harder, pressing his free hand to Jensen’s cheek.

Jensen arches up, fingernails digging into the strip of skin above Jared’s jeans. He shouts Jared’s name, voice scraped raw. His hips jerk as he comes, and Jared has enough brainpower left to watch Jensen’s face. His eyes are open, pupils blown wide and circled with a thin ring of mossy green.

The sight alone triggers Jared’s climax, and he digs his fingers into Jensen’s hips, gritting out his name. They collapse in a dusty heap, breathing heavily into each other’s necks.

After a few long moments, Jensen starts laughing.

Jared is so relieved to hear the sound that it takes a few moments to realize that he should probably be offended. He lifts his head and raises an inquisitive eyebrow. Jensen laughs harder, slapping one hand over his mouth and waving the other in the air.

“Did we just dry hump in a field?” He finally gets out, chest rumbling with his laughter. Jared grins, shaking the bangs from his eyes.

“It appears so,” Jared chuckles, sitting up and grabbing his camera. “Let me take a picture of your ‘I just got humped in a field’ expression.”

“Take it and die,” Jensen says, glaring at him. Jared puts his eye to the viewfinder.

“At least let me get a shot of your sticky jeans,” he jokes, pointing the camera at Jensen’s crotch. Jensen puts his foot on Jared’s chest and pushes him backwards, taking the chance to get up off of the ground. He shakes one leg experimentally.

“I can’t believe we have to drive an hour home with jizz in our pants,” Jensen whines, and Jared chuckles as he starts to pack up his camera.

Things are fine until they start driving back. The sun is slipping under the horizon, painting the sky with streaks of indigo, crimson, and gold. It’s gorgeous, and soft, warm light fills the cab of his truck and lights up Jensen’s skin.

But it’s too quiet. It gives Jensen time to think.

Jensen has been getting lost in his own head lately, shutting himself off from the world – from Jared. It’s like he’s been told something horrible is going to happen, and he’s just preparing himself. Like he has no chance and it’s only a matter of time before it all ends.

Jared risks a glance out of the corner of his eye only to see Jensen staring straight ahead listlessly. His eyes are clouded over with fear and uncertainty. He’s still too worried about the future to let himself go, to just be happy. He seems convinced Jared is going to break his heart someday, and there is only so much of the insecurity and distrust Jared can take.

Jared has the patience of a saint when it comes to Jensen, always has. It just feels like the only thing holding them together right now is eighteen years of friendship. Jared literally has no idea how to live without Jensen. He’s never had even a single day where it seemed like a possibility, let alone a likely scenario. He doesn’t know how to be without him.

If they don’t patch up the growing chasm between them, he’ll have to find out. That terrifies him more than anything.

It hurts to know that Jensen is building solid brick walls around his heart, and Jared has no idea how to get past them. At this rate, he doesn’t think he’ll ever be able to get back inside.

He turns up the radio, presses down harder on the gas, and keeps driving.

Jensen is in sort of an awkward position when Jared comes back from his last class on Friday.

He’s sitting cross-legged on the floor with his arms stretched over his head. Misha is standing behind him, pressing his knee between his shoulder blades and stretching his arms upward.

“Uh,” Jared says, raising one eyebrow. Jensen just stares ahead with a weird mixture of annoyance and concentration on his face. “Should I even ask?”

“Misha is aligning my chakra,” Jensen says, not sounding particularly happy about it. Misha pushes his body down until he’s folded nearly in half, forehead brushing the floor.

“Stretch your arms out in front of you,” Misha says, and he does. He lets out a harsh sigh. “That’s right. Take deep, cleansing breaths.” Jensen rolls his eyes.

“Okay,” Jared replies slowly. “But why?”

“My aura was murky,” Jensen says, and yelps when Misha kicks him in the ass.

“I did not say your aura was murky,” Misha replies. “I said you looked really fucking tense and that this would help you relax.”

“God knows he needs it,” Jared mumbles, and Jensen nearly flinches. He’s well aware that he’s been trying Jared’s usually unlimited patience.

“Misha is like one bad day away from becoming an axe wielding psychopath,” Jensen says, shifting and stretching even farther forward. He actually can feel himself loosening up a little, and he presses his forehead firmly against the floor, knees on either side of his ribs. “I figured if it can help him calm down, it’d be worth a try.”

“Yoga is the reason I’m not an axe wielding psychopath,” Misha says calmly, pressing his hands against the small of Jensen’s back and pressing down. He can hear bones pop and it feels awesome.

“The scary part is that I have no idea if you’re kidding,” Jared replies, and Jensen twists his head so he can see Jared. He’s staring at them with a slightly annoyed grimace, and Jensen figures it’s probably time to get Misha’s hands off of him and unfold himself out of a pretzel.

“Does it look like I’m kidding?” Misha replies stoically, sliding his hands up to Jensen’s shoulders and pulling him into a sitting position. Jensen rolls his shoulders and sighs.

“It never looks like you’re kidding,” Jared retorts. “Your face is like stone.”

“Oh,” Misha says, pressing his thumbs into the hollows behind Jensen’s ears and making him groan. “I was kidding.”

“Good to know,” Jared says. Misha pats his shoulders once and steps away from him. Jensen gets up and dusts off his knees before going over to Jared and giving him a soft kiss on the mouth. Jared exhales and presses a kiss to Jensen’s eyebrow.

“You guys are leaving, right?” Misha asks. “I might as well check you out while I’m here.”

“I’m ready to go,” Jared says, throwing his backpack on top of the small duffle at the foot of his bed. He looks at Jensen, and his eyes are cool. “Are we taking separate cars?”

“No,” Jensen says, eyebrows bunching in confusion. “Why would we?”

“I don’t know. We never talked about it, so I just assumed.” Jared replies, and Jensen reaches out to curl his hand around Jared’s hip, thumb skittering across bone. He hates knowing Jared is upset, hates himself for being the cause. But he just can’t help it right now. His heart is much too fragile to let anyone handle, even Jared. Especially Jared.

“If you want to, we can,” Jensen says uncertainly. “Or I can drive.”

“I’ll go with you,” Jared replies, reaching forward to grip the waistband of Jensen’s jeans. Jensen kisses him softly and wishes it wasn’t so obvious that he was holding back.

“Hate to break up the lovefest, but I’ve got a whole fucking floor of kids to check out,” Misha says, raising an eyebrow. “So if we could get the show on the road?”

Jensen turns around and meets Misha’s amused gaze. Jared’s fingers skim the thin skin of his hips and Jensen wishes he ran hot instead of cold at the sensation.

It takes them longer than usual to get home due to the Friday evening traffic.

Jensen taps out a nervous rhythm on the steering wheel as he turns into their neighborhood, biting his lip and glancing at Jared out of the corner of his eye. He’s slumped against the door, staring absently out the window.

Jared’s usual exuberance has dimmed considerably, and Jensen knows he’s at fault.

“Do you want to come in and say hi to my mom?” Jensen says as he pulls onto his street and spots his mother’s car in the driveway. “And then I’ll take you home?”

“Sure,” Jared says, sitting up and pressing his palms into his eye sockets. He looks tired and irritated. After what happened in the field the day before, Jensen had closed off even more, and he doesn’t even know why.

Jensen thinks this break will be good for them. He can spend some time in his own home with his family, and he can decompress. Recharge. Then everything will be fine. Hopefully.

But, of course Jensen knows what they say about best laid plans.

When they walk into Jensen’s living room, Donna jumps up off of the couch and pulls Jensen into a tight hug. All the breath escapes his lungs in a loud whoosh and he hugs her back.

“Mom,” he pants, shooting Jared a look. “Can’t breathe. Ribs cracking.”

“Sorry,” she says, pulling back. That’s when Jensen notices how upset she looks, eyes bright and lips pressed into a firm line.

“What’s wrong?” Jensen asks, tilting his head to the side. Donna runs her hand through her hair and gives Jensen a sorrowful look.

“Jenny, your grandparents are coming tonight, for Thanksgiving,” she says, voice full of regret. Jensen blinks a few times, confused.

“That’s a good thing, mom,” he replies, patting her shoulder. “I talked to grandma on the phone a few weeks ago and she didn’t mention it.”

“Not – not my parents,” she says, sucking in a breath. “Your dad’s.”

Jensen drops his hand and blinks, his stomach twisting uncomfortably. He swallows the sour taste in his mouth and nods. He feels Jared’s hand on his shoulder immediately, and Jensen unconsciously steps back towards him.

“Oh,” is all he can manage to say.

“I’m sorry, Jenny,” Donna says, looking devastated. “It was so last minute. I tried to convince them to go to your uncle’s house, but they insisted. They haven’t seen Alan and the kids in years – “

“The straight kids,” Jensen says flatly, feeling oddly cold despite the warmth in the room. “Not me.”

“I’m sorry,” she says again. “You know I don’t want them here, baby. Not after what they did to you.”

“Mom, it’s okay,” Jensen says, offering a wan smile. He can feel Jared’s hand, warm and strong between his shoulder blades. “They’re still a part of the family, as much as they wish I wasn’t.”

Donna looks like she’s about to cry, and that upsets Jensen more than anything.

“Mom, please don’t be upset,” he pleads. “This isn’t your fault.”

“I already talked to Sherri,” she says, steamrolling right over Jensen’s attempts to make her feel better. “She said that you can stay there. I don’t want to kick you out of your own house, baby. But I think it's best. Your father went to go pick them up from the airport.”

“Sure,” Jensen replies, shifting his weight a little. “That’s fine.”

“I’m so sorry,” she says again. “I want you to be with family, Jensen.”

“He will be with family, mom,” Jared tells her, and it’s the first thing he’s said since they arrived. He slides his fingers into Jensen’s hair, nails scraping against his scalp. Jensen instantly feels grounded, soothed. “We’re his family, too.”

Jensen is now even more grateful Jared agreed not to tell their parents about their fight. Donna doesn’t need another thing to worry about, not with Jensen’s absurdly homophobic grandparents coming to town. They completely disowned him when he came out – cut him out of their lives like he was never there to begin with.

He’s had nearly three years to get over it. It didn’t take him long to realize that with so many people that love him for who he is, two people refusing to doesn’t really matter in the long run. But still, he can’t stop the sting he feels when Josh and Mac get birthday cards and Christmas presents and he doesn’t.

Josh and Mac never open them, though. They refuse to, trying to support Jensen in any way they can. Jensen still doesn’t know how to thank them for that. He can’t imagine either of his siblings will be pleased by their presence.

“I know you are,” Donna says, breaking Jensen from his thoughts. “You’ll take good care of him.”

“Always do,” Jared says, slinging his arm around Jensen’s waist. Jensen melts against him – can’t help but remember how Jared was there for him during the fallout, when his grandpa that taught him how to ride horses down in Texas told him no grandson of his would be a filthy little faggot.

The amount of love he has for Jared still surprises him sometimes, especially when he realizes how far back it really goes.

“We’re gonna go,” Jensen says suddenly, wanting to get out of the house before they get there. He pulls himself out of Jared’s casual embrace and hugs his mother, rubbing his hand up and down her back. “Don’t be sad, okay? I’m not sad over it anymore. I’m just gonna miss you guys.”

“I hate this,” Donna says, pulling back to look at him. “You should be here. Not them.”

“I’ll be right up the street,” Jensen promises. “With plenty of people that love me.”

“Okay,” Donna says, but she still doesn’t look happy about it. She pushes his hair back and kisses his forehead. She hugs Jared then, stretching up on her toes to get her arms around his neck. “You two be good.”

Jensen gives her a comforting smile as they leave. He’s quiet as they walk back to his car, and he doesn’t even realize he’s staring up at his bedroom window until Jared puts a hand on his thigh.

“You okay, Jen?” Jared asks, and Jensen turns to meet his concerned gaze. Jensen manages a small smile and nods. “Don’t think about them, okay?”

“Forgotten,” Jensen replies. Jared bites his lip and looks down slightly.

“I hope you don’t mind staying with me,” he says, and the uncertainty in his voice breaks Jensen’s heart a little.

“Of course I don’t,” Jensen says. He takes Jared’s hand in his own, squeezing it gently. “I don’t know if I ever thanked you. For, you know – being there for me back then. It wasn’t the easiest time of my life.”

“You’re welcome,” Jared says simply, and Jensen leans in to press their lips together. He almost wishes his grandparents could see them now.

Fuck them both for thinking that a love like this could be wrong.

Jared fidgets as they enter his house. Whereas Jensen’s was empty with the exception of Donna, his is buzzing.

Mac and Megan bombard them as soon as they walk in the door, nearly taking Jared to the floor. Then the dog actually does take him to the floor, giant paws on his chest as he licks the crap out of Jared.

“Whoa, boy,” Jensen laughs, pulling the excited lab off of Jared’s chest.

“I still can’t freaking believe you waited until I moved out to quit being a baby about allergy shots,” Jared says to Megan, reaching up to scratch Rowdy behind the ears. “Do you know how badly I wanted a dog?”

“Well, mom didn’t want to have to take care of two overactive puppies,” Megan teases, and Jared sticks his tongue out at her. Sherri comes out of the kitchen and steps over Jared to hug Jensen, startling him by it.

“So you’re staying with us?” Sherri asks when she pulls away, and Jensen pretends he can’t see the pity in her eyes.

“Yes,” Jensen replies. “I’m going to require turndown service, breakfast in bed, and a twelve noon wake up call.”

“Right,” Sherri laughs. Jared picks himself up off of the floor. “You’re not a guest in this house, Jenny.”

“Oh, I feel so welcome,” Jensen says dryly, but he smiles at her in thanks.

“I know Jensen is prettier than me,” Jared says from behind his mother. “But could I possibly get a hug too?”

“I suppose,” Sherri says, pulling Jared into her arms. “We get the boisterous boys for a whole week!”

“Alliteration,” Jared says, voice muffled in his mother’s shoulder. “Nice.”

“Hey Macface,” Jensen says, pulling his sister into a headlock. “Can you go home and be with mom, please?”

“I don’t want to be there with them,” Mac says, looking up at him with pleading eyes. Jensen pulls on her ponytail and then rubs her back.

“I know, kid,” Jensen says, sharing a sad look with Jared. “But it’s not her fault. And I’m fine, okay? Don’t worry about it.”

“I’ll go with you,” Megan pipes up, coming to stand at her best friend’s side. “We’ll gay make out in front of them.”

“Please don’t gay make out in front of the geriatric Texans,” Jensen says, pushing them both towards the door.

“Fine, but I’m totally blasting Katy Perry,” Mac says, shaking her hips a little. Jensen just rolls his eyes.


The next day, all the boys decide to be awesome big brothers and take their little sisters to the mall – for reasons completely unknown to them.

The mall on a Saturday afternoon just may be Jensen’s least favorite place in the world, but he prides himself on being an amazing big brother. So he follows Mac and Megan into whatever store they want while the other guys pull the douchebag card and hang out in the food court.

Jensen buys them each something sparkly and shiny from Claire’s, and then steers them in the general direction of Wetzel’s Pretzels. He drops down next to Jared with a tired groan and leans over to steal a pretzel bit from the tray in front of him.

“Thank you, Jensen,” Megan says, and flicks Jared in the ear as she sits down. Jared jumps and rubs at the side of his head.

“Jensen is a better brother than me,” Jared says simply. “I thought that had been firmly established.”

“Jensen is a better brother than all of you,” Mac retorts, pulling her hairclip out of the purple Claire’s bag and shoving it into her hair.

“Combined,” Megan adds, leaning over to fiddle with it.

“Ouch,” Josh says, wincing and putting his hand over his heart.

“Meh. I can live with it,” Jeff says, dipping a pretzel bit in mustard before shoving it into his mouth. “Jensen’s practically perfect in every way.”

“I will shove my perfect foot up your ass,” Jensen says menacingly.

“Whoa, wouldn’t wanna make Jared jealous,” Jeff replies, and Jared laughs so hard he nearly chokes on a bite of pretzel.

“You’re so disgusting!” Megan shrieks, throwing a balled up napkin at Jeff’s face. “You guys don’t really do that, do you?”

“Meg!” Jared shouts, and Jensen buries his face in his hands.

“Anyway,” Jensen says once he comes back up for air. “How are things at the homestead?”

“Oh god, dude,” Josh moans. “You are so lucky you were disowned.”

“Wow Josh,” Mac scoffs, glaring at her oldest brother. “Be less sensitive. I dare you.”

“What? It’s true!” Josh exclaims. “They suck. They keep saying how I should come work on the ranch this summer. Because yeah, that’s how I want to spend my last summer before grad school. Working on a fucking ranch in Texas and staying with my bigoted grandparents? Yeah, no thanks.”

“They asked me to come visit too!” Mac adds, rolling her eyes. “Like I wanna hang out with cowboy hicks chewing tobacco and bull riding. I told them that I couldn’t because you and your boyfriend were taking me up to San Francisco for the Gay Pride parade.”

“You think she’s kidding but she’s totally not!” Josh laughs, slamming his fist down on the table. “She said it right there at the dinner table. I thought grandpa’s head was going to explode. Funniest fucking shit I’ve seen in my life, dude.”

“Okay, one,” Jensen says, cutting Mac a look. “You and I need to have a talk about stereotypes. And two, don’t start shit with them, okay? And there is no way I’m taking you to Pride.”

“Fine!” Mac shouts, pouting and slumping back in her chair. Jared lets out a soft snort of laughter, but his smile droops as he looks over Jensen’s shoulder. His eyes widen slightly and Jensen whips his head around to see what has him so flustered.

Alexis Bledel, the other half of Jared’s most serious relationship before Jensen, is making her way towards them with a surprised smile on her face. Jensen feels his stomach drop.

They haven’t seen or heard from Alexis since the summer after she broke up with Jared, as she was a senior and headed off to Columbia a few weeks afterwards. She earned herself a permanent spot on the list of people Jensen would rather never see again, so of course she would randomly appear now, when the tension between he and Jared is so thick he feels like he’s drowning in it.

“Wow, hey!” She says once she reaches them. She looks great, blue eyes vibrant against pale skin. Jared, being who he is, gets up to hug her. It’s not a comfortable embrace, and he tries to hide his stricken expression when she kisses him on the cheek. Jensen’s eyes narrow and Jared looks so nervous that Jensen tries to push all lingering animosity aside.

“Hi Jensen!” She chirps, reaching out to pat his shoulder. Jensen blinks. Never once in high school did she greet him so fondly. It throws him off guard. “It’s really good to see you,” she says with a genuine smile, nodding towards everyone else at the table. Jared sits back down next to Jensen, scooting his chair as close as he can. She smiles fondly at them, head tipping to one side as her brown hair cascades over one shoulder.

“I heard the news,” she says, waving manicured fingers at them. “Congrats!”

“Uh, yeah,” Jared replies uneasily, sharing a look with Jensen. He takes Jensen’s hand, squeezes tightly like he thinks Jensen will shake him off. She looks happy, and Jensen wonders whatever happened to the spiteful ice queen he went to school with. “Six months and counting.”

“You mean to tell me it still took a year after I dumped you for being in love with Jensen to realize that you actually were in love with him?” Alexis asks, smirking. There’s no malice in her voice, just playful teasing. Jensen’s eyes widen slightly and he blinks. He wasn’t aware that he was the reason she broke up with him. “Jeez, Jared. I never would have pegged you as dense.”

“You could have told me that’s why you were dumping me,” Jared replies, and Alexis chuckles softly.

“Yeah, well, I was sort of bitter at the time,” she admits, smiling apologetically at Jensen. He doesn’t respond. He’s too busy counting back the days in his head, realizing with a pang that they were broken up on their six month anniversary. He squeezes Jared’s hand tighter. “It took me awhile to realize that you can’t fight fate. And you definitely can’t fake chemistry. I didn’t want to admit it at the time, but I have no problem doing it now. You two belong together.”

“Look at you, getting all deep in the food court,” Jared says, slinging his arm around Jensen’s shoulders and pulling him back against his body. Jensen looks up at her and for the first time in his memory, he gives her a warm smile.

Alexis just gives them a nod and walks over to Mac and Megan, who are busy eyeing her shopping bags with interest. “Hey girls, long time no see,” she says brightly. “I was just heading for Sephora if you wanna come with me?”

“Totally!” They shout in unison, getting up to follow her. Jared tells them to keep their phones on, and says goodbye to Alexis, fingers digging into Jensen’s chest.

“Why do I remember her being such a raving bitch?” Jeff asks once they leave, licking mustard from his lips.

“She’s calmed down a lot,” Jared says, resting his chin on Jensen’s shoulder. He does his best to relax into Jared’s embrace.

“Huh,” Jeff responds, and then turns to face Josh. “So what’s up with you and Sandy? She let you touch her goodies yet?”

“Dude, we’ve only been on two dates,” Josh says, giving Jeff a scandalous look. Jeff just rolls his eyes.

“That’s two dates longer than it usually takes you to get a girl in bed,” replies Jeff.

“Sandy’s not that kind of girl,” Jensen pipes up. “And don’t talk about her goodies, asshole.”

“It’s different with her,” Josh says softly, and Jensen is surprised to see a blush rise on his cheeks. Josh starts talking about their last date, and Jensen knows he should listen but he can’t help but let his mind wander.

He looks down at Jared’s hand, warm and firm against his chest. People keep throwing around all these words that are supposed to describe them – fate, destiny, meant to be.

If that’s true, shouldn’t it be easy? If they really are fated to be together, why is he so scared?

He leans forward and places his elbows on the table, skin tingling where Jared’s hand had been. He doesn’t think he could survive losing Jared, but he can’t seem to stop pushing him away.

Jared doesn’t see much of Jensen on Sunday.

He leaves in the morning, before Jared even wakes up, for a lacrosse game that he and a few of the guys from his old team have been planning since October. Under normal circumstances, Jared would have gone with him, would have sat on the sidelines and watched Jensen while bemoaning his own lack of coordination. But he doesn’t bother. When he wakes up, he can’t even muster the energy to be disappointed that Jensen didn’t rouse him for a goodbye kiss.

He lazes around for a good chunk of the morning, eating cereal and watching cartoons with Megan. He takes Rowdy for a long, proper run. He hasn’t gone on one for a while, and it feels good to get his blood pumping. His shirt gets soaked with sweat quickly, even in the crisp air. His legs burn but he pushes himself on, feels the tension and stress leave him with every quick breath.

Rowdy barks once they near the park where the lacrosse game is going on and Jared slows to a jog. He spots Jensen quickly, since he’s wearing his old team jersey. He’s playing hard, knocking into other players and getting thrown to the ground twice in the short amount of time Jared watches. He’s pushing himself too hard, taking out all his aggression on the game.

Jared just takes a deep breath and tugs on Rowdy’s leash, leading him in the opposite direction.

By the time Jensen returns, Jared is already showered and dressed, lounging in his room and surfing the net on his laptop. He looks up when Jensen enters the room. He’s sweaty and red in the face, chest still heaving with exertion. His hair is messy, sticking up in damp spikes and his skin is streaked with sweat and dirt.

“Hey,” Jensen says, and pulls his shirt off. He sniffs it, nose wrinkling before he tosses it in the corner of the room. Jared’s dick stirs inexplicably in his shorts.

“Hi,” Jared replies, eyes immediately drifting to Jensen’s trim waist. The slight cut of muscle gleams from the thin sheen of sweat on his body, and Jared bites his lip at the sight of Jensen’s fingers unconsciously trailing across his tattoo. His eyes flick upward and he sees Jensen staring at him, eyes gone liquid. Jared rolls off of the bed, brushing by Jensen and swallowing hard as he takes off downstairs. He pauses at the base of them, holding his breath until he hears the shower start.

His dad is putting on his coat, and Jared goes with him to get the oil changed in his car just to have an excuse to get out of the house.

They’re gone for hours, hitting the grocery store when his mom calls them with a list. It’s dark by the time they get back, and Jensen is nowhere to be found.

Jared has never been so uncomfortable in his own skin. Ever since he can remember, since the day he was born, Jensen has been there. He’s been Jared’s anchor, his shoulder to cry on, his someone to lean on. He’s balanced Jared out and there was no problem he couldn’t handle with Jensen at his side.

But now the problem is Jensen, and Jared is floundering. He’s treading water, and he doesn’t think he can keep his head above for much longer. Something has to give.

When he calls Jensen’s cell it rings loud and shrill on Jared’s nightstand and he heaves a sigh. He pulls on his jacket and goes downstairs, finding his mother in the kitchen.

“Hey mom,” he greets her, biting on his bottom lip. “Do you know where Jensen went?”

“I don’t,” she replies. “He just said he was going for a walk.” She regards him for a moment, brows knitted in concern. “Are you boys okay?”

“I’m not sure,” Jared says, and the truth of that statement is like a punch to the gut. “I’m gonna go find him.”

He turns away from his mother before her eyes can go sympathetic, and he ventures out into the cool night air.

It’s not hard to find Jensen once he goes missing, not in his current mindset.

It’s cold enough outside that he zips his jacket up all the way and wishes he had put something more substantial than flip-flops on his feet. In the short amount of time it takes him to walk to the park, he works himself into a quiet panic. Jensen has been incredibly distant since they got back together, retreating further into himself each day. He told himself he would give Jensen time, that he would wait as long as it took for things to go back to normal. But it’s been even worse since they’ve been home. He knows a lot of that has to do with the fact that he can’t even go home and see his family because of his homophobic grandparents, but a big part of it is the awkwardness between them that hasn’t quite dissipated yet.

Not knowing where he stands with Jensen makes him feel horrible, like he can’t possibly relax. He’s terrified the feeling will never go away.

Being with Jensen is supposed to be easy. They were meant for each other. Why should it be so difficult? More importantly, why the fuck can’t Jensen just suck it up and get the hell over whatever it is that’s bothering him? Jared hasn’t done anything wrong, and he’s starting to get really sick of feeling like he’s being punished.

Jensen is at the park, just as Jared expected. He is sitting on a swing, the chains squeaking slightly as he idly pushes himself back and forth, toes dragging in the damp sand. The orange tip of his lit cigarette glows brightly against the dark sky. Jared is inexplicably nervous as he approaches, suddenly unsure if Jensen even wants to see him. That’s not a question he’s ever had to ask himself before and it’s sort of hard to swallow.

He settles to a stop a few feet in front of Jensen, clearing his throat quietly. Jensen looks up at him, resting his temple on his fist where it’s curled around the chain of the swing. He looks exhausted, stressed out, fed up, but he still gives Jared a tiny smile. It makes Jared feel a little better; even if it’s a poor facsimile of Jensen’s usual grin.

“Hi,” Jared says quietly, hating how tense this feels. They made up. They’re supposed to be fine, but it doesn’t feel like they are. Jensen doesn’t say anything, just nods and takes another deep drag of his cigarette. Jared watches as he tips his head back and blows smoke into the sky, watches the curve of his neck and the purse of his lips. The silence becomes too much for Jared to bear. The lump in his throat grows and he tries to swallow it down. “Um, I’m gonna – I’ll see you at the house, I guess.”

“Jared, wait,” Jensen says once Jared starts to turn around. He looks back at Jensen, who offers him a little smile and gestures towards the swing next to him. Jared takes a deep breath and sits down on it, fingers curled in a death grip around the chains. Jensen nods and takes another drag. Jared is reminded of countless trips to this very park, back when they were kids and nothing mattered. The last time they were here was just a few short weeks ago, when they couldn’t fall asleep without a goodnight kiss. Jared would give anything to go back to that.

“You’ve been walking on eggshells around me,” Jensen says sadly, flicking his ashes to the sand below. Jared shrugs one shoulder and runs his hand through his hair.

“I feel like I have to,” he replies honestly, and Jensen nods.

“You shouldn’t,” he says, rolling the butt of his smoke between his finger and thumb. A few tiny embers fall onto the frayed knee of his jeans and he brushes them away.

“I know.” There’s silence after that. Jensen opens and closes his mouth a few times, like he’s psyching himself up to say something.

“I’ve just been thinking,” Jensen says finally, digging the toe of his shoe into the sand. Jared’s heart leaps into his throat. “About growing up, and changing. Things change, right?”

“Not us,” Jared says, voice soft and desperate. “Not this.”

“You sure about that?” Jensen asks, smiling ruefully. Jared feels tears prickle behind his eyes and he’s ready to get down on his knees, grovel and beg Jensen not to end this.

“I’ve never been more sure of anything,” Jared replies fervently, barely resisting the urge to reach out and touch Jensen, to kiss him and make him understand. “Look, Jensen. I know I fucked up.”

“You didn’t,” Jensen says, furrowing his brow as he flicks the ashes off of the end of his cigarette. “She did.”

“Well, yeah,” Jared says, “but I never should have let her in our room. I never should have started that fight with you in the first place.”

“I don’t want to talk about that shit anymore,” Jensen says, stubbing his cigarette out in the sand and immediately lighting another one. Jared wants to tell him to slow down, to quit, but there’s a time and a place and it isn’t now. “I want to put it behind us.”

“Me too,” Jared responds quickly, eyes shining as he watches Jensen. He’s devastatingly gorgeous out here in the moonlight, and Jared wonders if there will ever be a day when the sight of Jensen doesn’t take his breath away. He doubts it.

“You told me once you’d never outgrow me,” Jensen says, voice cracking slightly, and Jared’s heart breaks a little. “Do you remember that?”

“I remember,” Jared replies softly, thinking of that sleepy conversation in the car, lost somewhere in the middle of a long stretch of highway. They’d talked of growing up. Jensen takes another deep drag of his cigarette.

“Do you promise?” Jensen whispers, throat working as he opens his eyes.

Jensen finally looks over at Jared, eyes glinting in the dim light of the moon. Jared scrambles off of his swing, nearly slipping in the sand as he comes to stand in front of Jensen, to grip him by the arms and pull him up. Jensen drops his cigarette without even taking a drag, and Jared crushes it into the sand.

“I promise,” Jared says, cupping Jensen’s cheeks, swiping his thumbs under Jensen’s eyes. “I swear to you that no matter how much I change, I will always need you. There will never be a day that I’m not in love with you, Jensen. Not in this life or any other. I swear.”

“I believe you,” Jensen says, a tear rolling down his cheek. Jared quickly wipes it away as he lets out a soft sob in relief. That one sentence packs a punch, sounds less like I believe you and more like I believe in you, in this, in us. Forever. “I love you so much.”

Jared can hardly breathe, he’s so happy. He presses his lips to Jensen’s in a soft kiss, wrapping his arms tight around him. Jensen instantly looks more alive, like an enormous weight has been lifted from his shoulders. His eyes are bright and he finally smiles.

“I love you too,” he says, pressing a kiss to the bridge of Jensen’s nose and underneath each eye. “We’re gonna be okay?”

“Yes.” Jensen nods, lips curving into a smile against Jared’s neck.

“You’re gonna stick around?” Jared whispers into his hair, hands coming to rest flat against the small of Jensen’s back.

“As long as you’ll have me,” Jensen says, the words sending a rush of warmth through Jared. He pulls back and looks into Jensen’s eyes, thrilled by the life he sees in them.

“So, forever then,” Jared states plainly. He’s never been more sure of anything, not in his entire life.

Jensen blinks and grins, bright and radiant. It’s the grin Jared has been longing for, the one that makes his knees go weak and his heart thump in his chest.

“I can live with that.”

Jensen feels giddy. He can’t stop laughing as Jared walks them backwards across the playground, little happy noises bubbling out of his lips before he can stop them. He doesn’t want to stop them.

They keep trying to kiss and walk at the same time, and they keep stepping on each other’s toes and nearly falling over. Jared finally just slips his hands down to Jensen’s ass and hoists him up, grunting with the effort as he carries him towards the slide. Jensen kisses his neck, slides his hands along the muscles bunching in his forearms and biceps. He loves that Jared is strong enough to carry him, to hold him up.

Jared sets Jensen down on the end of the slide and climbs on top of him, knees bracketing Jensen’s hips and pinning him to the bright orange fiberglass. Jensen lies back, hissing at the sting of cold plastic against his skin. He doesn’t have much time to feel the chill, because Jared covers his body like a blanket, long fingers buried in his hair as he presses their mouths back together.

Jensen lets out a tiny whimper, hands sliding down Jared’s flanks to rest on his narrow hips, thumbs finding their way under his thin tee.

He doesn’t know why he was so stupid, why he let himself think this could never last. It’s obvious by the way Jared looks at him, pure love and devotion in his eyes, that what they have is forever. He can’t believe he caused Jared so much unnecessary pain.

“Jay, I’m sorry,” he pants, but Jared just silences him with a bruising kiss. Jensen keeps his eyes open for a moment, until they cross and Jared is nothing but a blur. Then he lets his eyes slip shut and he goes pliant in Jared’s arms, slides his hands under Jared’s tee shirt and up his back.

He doesn’t need to apologize with words. He can say everything he wants to with his hands, with his lips. And he knows Jared will understand.

He arches up into Jared, sucks Jared’s tongue into his mouth and hooks his hands over Jared’s shoulders. Jared shivers slightly, and Jensen isn’t sure if it’s because of the cool night air hitting his bare skin or if it’s due to Jensen himself.

They kiss until their lungs ache for air and they pull away panting. Jared dips his head to press his mouth to Jensen’s neck, sucking and biting along the column of his throat. He feels his dick start to stir in his jeans, all the blood in his body rushing south fast enough to make his head spin.

“Love you,” Jensen pants, groaning when Jared nibbles on his sensitive earlobe. “Oh god, I missed you.”

Jared kisses his mouth again, and Jensen slides his hands down to Jared’s ass and pulls down at the same moment he arches up, making their hips come together. Jared moans into his mouth, hissing as he thrusts his hips downward into Jensen’s. His dick is a hot, hard line against Jensen’s belly and he boldly reaches down between them to cup him through his pants.

“Shit,” Jared grunts, tensing and biting down on Jensen’s bottom lip before he lifts his head to look down at him. Jared’s eyes are shining in the moonlight, hands strong and sure on Jensen’s hips, and Jensen suddenly wants nothing more than to have Jared naked with him, skin to skin as Jared pushes in and fills him up.

He nearly cries out in relief at the feeling, the relief of knowing that he isn’t broken, that there isn’t anything wrong with him and Jared loves him, will always love him and nothing will ever change that.

Jensen slides his thumb along the hard ridge of Jared’s dick and watches Jared lick his lips with rapt fascination.

“I don’t want you to fuck me,” Jensen rasps, and nearly grins when Jared tries to hide his disappointed groan, “but making love is such a fucking corny term.”

He watches realization dawn on Jared’s gorgeous face, his cheeks dimpling with a vibrant grin.

“Really?” Jared asks, and Jensen laughs, grinning so wide his cheeks hurt. He slides his arms around Jared’s waist and kisses him softly, tongue teasing at his bottom lip before he pulls away.

“Really.” Jared kisses him again and gets up, pulling on Jensen’s hips and nearly dragging him off of the end of the slide.

“Oh, I’ll make love to you,” Jared promises, and Jensen laughs gleefully as he gets up. Jared takes his hand and starts walking in the direction of his house. “I’ll make love to you so good, baby.”

“You will, huh?” Jensen asks, face splitting with a grin as Jared pulls him down the street. Jared tangles their fingers together and squeezes.

“I will light candles if you want, Jen.” Jensen laughs again and Jared pushes him up against a light post, leaning in close. The light casts a halo around his head, makes his skin glow. Jensen reaches up to cup his cheek and pulls him in, fastening their mouths together again. This kiss is hungrier, more desperate and urgent. Jensen slides his knee between Jared’s thighs and pushes up, not caring that they’re out in the open, rutting against each other in the middle of a peaceful street in suburbia. Jared sucks gently on his tongue and Jensen lets out a low moan, nipping Jared’s bottom lip when he rolls his hips against Jensen’s thigh.

The sudden blare of a car horn and the whoops and hollers of its passengers break them apart, causing Jensen to hit his head on the metal light pole. They stare at each other and laugh breathlessly, Jared’s fingers coming up to cup the back of Jensen’s skull before he does anymore damage.

“We should probably get inside,” Jared says, his cheeks flushed pink with pleasure. Jensen nods, his fingers skimming down the side of Jared’s neck like he can’t help but touch. Jared takes his hand again and they walk towards his house at a leisurely pace, but there is an urgency in their steps that they can’t deny.

When they burst through Jared’s front door, everyone’s heads pop up and Jensen freezes. He somehow forgot that Jared’s entire family was home.

“Uh, hey,” Jared says, squeezing Jensen’s hand and heading for the stairs, trying to look casual.

“Hey boys!” Sherri replies. “We were just trying to decide what to do for dinner.”

“We’re not hungry,” Jared says quickly, perching on the base of the stairs and keeping a death grip on Jensen’s sweaty hand.

“How are you not hungry?” Jeff asks, and Jensen squeezes his eyes shut.

“I’m just not,” Jared grits out. Jeff stares at them and his eyes widen slightly, and then he grins, soft and fond.

“Oh,” he says knowingly, and then turns to face the rest of his perplexed family. “Mom, you have to cook that huge meal soon. So why don’t we just hit Olive Garden?”

“Taste of Italy! Sounds great!” Jared replies, dragging Jensen up the stairs. “Bring me some breadsticks.”

Jensen laughs as Jared pulls him into his room and shuts the door, curling one giant hand around the spur of Jensen’s hip. He pulls Jensen towards his bed, grinning against his lips as he leans in for a clumsy kiss. After pushing Jensen down onto the bed, he heads over to his stereo and puts on some music, something soft but heavy enough to cover any noise.

“Subtle,” Jensen says, raising an eyebrow and sitting up on his knees.

“They’re gonna know what we’re doing anyway,” Jared says, flicking off the lights and pulling off his shirt. Jensen’s eyes land on his bare torso as he throws the garment to the floor. “I’d rather them hear the music than us.”

“True,” Jensen mumbles, quickly stripping off his pants and shirt while Jared kicks off his jeans. Soon they’re both left only in their underwear, and Jensen licks his lips as Jared approaches. Jared lets out a playful growl and tackles Jensen to the mattress, causing him to let out a little yelp.

It breaks the tension, and Jensen lets out a soft laugh as Jared props himself up over him. He trails his fingers up Jared’s arms, slides them into his shaggy hair and just drinks in his fill. Jared looks down at him with a soft, loving gaze, a small smile playing on his lips. Jensen reaches up to stroke his fingertip across them as Jared lowers himself. Their bare chests brush and Jensen’s mouth goes slack. Jared presses their mouths together, soft and sure.

It makes something break in Jensen, and he squeezes his eyes shut, wrapping his arms around Jared and kissing him desperately. Jared gathers him up in his arms, letting out a soft moan as Jensen licks into his mouth.

Jensen wraps a leg around Jared’s hips, letting out soft whimpering moans into Jared’s mouth as they rock together. Jared finally pulls away once Jensen is nearly dizzy and his lips are numb and swollen. Jared grins at him with pink lips, chest heaving with breath. Jensen slides his hands down Jared’s back, tipping his head back when Jared trails soft, slick lips down his neck. After a light nip at his collarbone, Jared keeps moving down, pausing to curl his wet tongue around a nipple.

Jensen hisses and arches up, fingers unintentionally tugging at Jared’s hair. Jared lets out a soft chuckle that tickles Jensen’s oversensitive skin and untangles Jensen’s fingers from his mop of hair, threading their fingers together and pressing their joined hands against the mattress.

Jared trails his tongue down the center of Jensen’s stomach, and Jensen can do little more than collapse against the bed and get lost in the sensation of being with Jared again, being in Jared’s arms and having his mouth on him. It leaves him breathless and wanting more.

Jared traces Jensen’s navel with his tongue before dipping it inside, fingers curling around the waistband of Jensen’s briefs. Jensen sucks in a deep breath, keeping his eyes squeezed shut as he wordlessly lifts his hips. Jared presses a soft kiss low on Jensen’s belly, and his muscles tense and quiver against Jared’s mouth as he slowly pulls off Jensen’s underwear.

Jared’s fingers trail down Jensen’s legs and Jensen feels his cheeks heating up when Jared kisses the arch of his foot as he tosses the briefs aside. It feels like their first time all over again. Jensen is so nervous that his stomach is in knots and his heart is pounding in his ribcage, but just like the first time he knows he’s never wanted anything more than this.

Jared gently pushes Jensen’s thighs apart and lays his forearm across Jensen’s hips. His intention is obvious, that much is clear by the way he slides his tongue through the groove of Jensen’s hip. Jensen lifts his head, ready to open his mouth to protest but he doesn’t get that far before Jared’s hot, wet mouth descends on him.

The sudden pressure and suction is nearly too much for Jensen to take. Heat spirals up his spine and his lips part around a loud moan. Jared sucks him eagerly, tongue teasing under the head as his long fingers wrap around the shaft. Jensen is nearly driven out of his mind with the pleasure and he bucks up against Jared’s mouth, cupping Jared’s face in his hands. He swipes his thumbs across Jared’s hollowed out cheeks and then traces his lower lip, stretched wide around Jensen’s dick.

“Jared,” he gasps, pulling back from his mouth once he feels the telltale tingling at the base of his spine. He doesn’t want to come like this. He wants Jared buried deep inside him, wants to look into his eyes and have access to his gorgeous mouth. “Stop, Jay.”

Jared pulls off with an obscene pop, back arching as he looks up at Jensen with glittering eyes. Jensen bites his lip and jerks his head back, gesturing Jared toward him. Jared grins and surges forward, pressing their mouths together. Jensen moans at the taste of himself and spreads his legs wider, making room for Jared’s slim hips.

“Come on, Jared,” Jensen breathes, one arm slung around Jared’s waist as the other cups his cheek. “I want to feel you.” Jared slides one hand up Jensen’s flank, making him shiver with anticipation. “I want you inside me.”

Jared grins, soft and beautiful and fond, and Jensen’s heart skips a few beats.

“Whatever you want, Jen,” Jared says, surging forward to reach for the nightstand. Jensen’s face gets smashed against Jared’s broad chest. “Just let me – ah, get the stuff. Gotta reach.” Jared rummages through the nightstand and Jensen laughs, biting playfully at Jared’s chest. He pushes Jared’s underwear down as far as he can with his hands and then skillfully maneuvers them the rest of the way off with his feet.

Jared’s dick drags hot and slick against his stomach and Jensen bites his lip, reaching down to wrap his fingers around it. Jared yelps and cracks his head on the headboard.

“Smooth,” Jensen laughs, and then pulls up on his dick and presses a suckling kiss to the smooth skin of Jared’s chest. Jared trembles slightly and makes a tiny squeaking noise, his body suddenly tensing. Jensen feels hot wetness against his thigh and Jared collapses on top of him, face buried in Jensen’s neck.

“Wow, so that just happened,” Jensen says, and everything is quiet for just a moment. Then Jensen lets out a booming laugh, head thrown back as his eyes fill with tears from laughing so hard. Jared bites down hard on Jensen’s neck, but this just makes Jensen laugh even harder, stomach clenching from the force of it.

“I hate you,” Jared mumbles, and then rolls onto his back. Jensen turns his head and they stare at each other for a moment, and then Jensen starts laughing again, shaking his head back and forth and slapping a hand over his mouth. Jared snorts and then starts laughing as well, cheeks reddening as he slides his fingers into his hair.

“Your fault anyway,” Jared mumbles, looking completely adorable. Jensen wipes the tears from his eyes and takes a calming breath. “Being so fucking hot.”

“Yeah,” Jensen breathes, stretching and reaching down to swipe his fingers through the come cooling on his hip. “It’s too bad. I really wanted to get fucked tonight.”

Jared lets out a strangled noise as Jensen brings his fingers up to lick them clean, tongue curling seductively around his fingers.

“But if you can’t keep it up,” he says teasingly, looking up at Jared from under his lashes with an exaggerated pout. Jared narrows his eyes and rolls over on top of Jensen, pinning his hands to the bed and wiping the smirk from his face.

“Give me two minutes,” Jared says in a raspy voice, and Jensen raises his eyebrow in question. Jared slides down Jensen’s body and licks his come from Jensen’s hip, looking up at him with hooded eyes. Jensen bites his lip and lets out a loud groan when Jared traces the crease of Jensen’s thigh with his tongue. Pushing Jensen’s leg up and back, Jared leans in to swipe his tongue across Jensen’s tightly furled hole.

“Fuck,” Jensen groans, tilting his hips up and burying his hands in Jared’s hair.

“In a minute,” Jared mumbles, his lips brushing Jensen’s slick hole. He spreads Jensen open with his thumbs and works his tongue inside. Jensen pants, pulling Jared in by his ears. Jared rims him eagerly, tongue pushing past his entrance and teeth scraping tight, pink muscle.

Jared reaches up to wrap his hand around Jensen’s dick, squeezing tight and pulling up. That combined with Jared’s mouth on his ass sends Jensen over the edge and he groans as his orgasm hits, quick and intense.

Jared is suddenly looming over him, a smug expression on his face. His chin is slick with spit and Jensen’s hips jerk with an aftershock.

“As you were saying?” Jared teases, and Jensen glares up at him as he pants. He’s trying to think of a witty retort when suddenly Jared’s lubed finger slides inside of him, and his brain is wiped of every thought other than yes.

Jared barely waits before sliding another finger inside. There’s a slight pinch, a tiny reminder that it has been awhile, no matter how easy it was to fall right back into it. Jared senses his slight discomfort and adds a little more lube, his free hand sliding up Jensen’s stomach and chest.

He slides up Jensen’s body, wrapping his hand around the back of Jensen’s neck as he fingers him, slick digits stretching him open.

“Good?” Jared asks huskily, and Jensen nods absently. His mouth goes slack as Jared pushes in a third finger, kissing the bridge of Jensen’s nose as he does. “I missed this.”

“Missed your hands,” Jensen pants. “Your mouth.”

Jared kisses him then, effectively ending his rambling. It’s more a clash of teeth and tongues then any real kissing, and Jensen whimpers in frustration when Jared withdraws his fingers. Jared rolls him onto his side, lifting one leg up to rest on his hip.

Jensen closes his eyes and takes a deep breath as Jared’s chest presses against his back, and then he’s pushing in. Jensen lets out a loud moan, fingers clutching the sheets. Jared prepped him enough that he barely feels the burn, just the amazing slick glide of Jared’s bare cock sliding into him. He rolls his shoulders back enough to guide Jared’s mouth to his, kissing him and panting into his mouth as Jared bottoms out.

“Jen,” Jared gets out in a strangled voice, and Jensen groans. He pushes back against Jared’s hips and lets his leg fall behind Jared’s ass, opening himself up wider. The position doesn’t give Jensen much leverage but Jared seems content to do all the work. He slides one arm under Jensen’s neck as he reaches up to tangle their fingers together. Jared’s free hand goes under Jensen’s knee to hold him open as he starts to thrust into him, deep and slow.

Jensen lets his head loll back onto Jared’s shoulder, reaching back to dig his fingers into Jared’s hip. Jensen closes his eyes and just lets himself feel nothing but the slick drag of Jared inside of him, filling him up. It’s amazingly perfect, and Jensen takes a deep breath at the sudden swell of emotion that rises up in his chest. Every time Jared touches him, his skin burns like a mark is being left.

Jared twists his hips and presses against Jensen’s prostate, and Jensen just surrenders to the pleasure. He licks the sweat from his upper lip and trusts Jared to hold him together even when it feels like he’s going to explode.

He trusts Jared with everything, and just lets go.

Jared’s eyes are wet and his chest is tight. There’s so much emotion boiling inside of him that he can barely contain it. Being with Jensen again is fucking explosive.

The only problem is that he can’t get close enough in this position, not nearly close enough. He pulls out of Jensen and nearly grins when he lets out a soft shout in protest, fingers scrambling at his hip. Sweat stings the red marks he leaves behind, but Jared barely notices. He grabs Jensen’s knees and rolls him onto his back, slipping between his legs and sliding back inside of him.

They moan in unison, and Jensen’s eyes flutter open, lashes clumped with moisture. The pure adoration he sees in them makes Jared’s heart beat a little faster, and he slides his arms under Jensen’s shoulders, pressing their bodies so close together that not even air can find room between them.

He can feel Jensen’s dick, rock hard and pulsing, trapped between their bellies and he kisses him as their hips roll together.

“Love you, Jen, fuck,” Jared pants, and Jensen licks his lips and tangles his fingers in Jared’s damp hair.

“Love you, baby,” Jensen responds, voice fucked raw. “More, c’mon. Please.”

Jared responds by angling his hips so he’s hitting Jensen’s prostate on every stroke, pounding hard enough to make Jensen cry out. His skin is flushed pink, glowing with perspiration, and Jared buries his face in Jensen’s neck.

Being with Jensen like this again makes him deliriously happy, and it’s not just because of the sex. It’s the intimacy of it. When they’re connected like this, so entwined that it’s almost like they’re two halves of a whole, Jared’s faith in them is firmly reestablished.

It’s healing, like they’re forging their bond all over again and it’s stronger than ever. The past is the past, and it can stay there. They have their entire future to worry about.

Jared bites down on Jensen’s neck, hard enough to bruise the skin as he fights to stay in control. He wants to lose it with Jensen, watch him come apart underneath him.

“Come with me,” Jared breathes, hot and low in Jensen’s ear as he reaches between them to wrap his hand around Jensen’s dick. That’s all it takes, just that one touch and Jensen cries out. Jared pushes in one last time and lets go when he feels Jensen come into his palm.

His orgasm is intense, enough to white out his vision as he lets out a harsh sob. He can feel his release inside Jensen, hot and slick as he continues to thrust into him until they’re both spent.

He collapses onto Jensen, sucking in huge gulps of air. He’s close to tears, so overwhelmed by it all. He slips out of Jensen and rolls them onto their sides, both of them boneless as they tangle their limbs together.

When he finally opens his eyes, he can feel wetness in his lashes and he nearly sobs at the sight of Jensen, looking at him with such a reverent gaze that it heals every single scar on Jared’s heart.

“Thank you,” Jensen rasps, putting his hand on Jared’s cheek and thumbing the mole next to his nose. “For not letting me go.”

“Couldn’t,” Jared says, voice thick and deep. “I love you too much.”

“I love you,” Jensen repeats, so much feeling packed into those three syllables that Jared can’t help the tear that slips from his eye. Jensen laughs, soft and shaky as he blinks away the moisture in his own eyes.

Their lips meet in a soft kiss, hands roaming lazily along sweat slick skin, and Jared knows he’d never even consider letting go, not ever. Not in a million years.

Jensen is in his heart, in his soul and in his blood, and he’s never giving that up.

They sort of make themselves scarce that week, too busy making up for lost time to be good company to anyone except each other. Mainly due to the fact that they spend much of their time naked.

No one really comments on the way they spend all their time holed up in Jared’s room, or how they keep going for drives in Jensen’s car. Josh and Jeff crack the occasional joke about how they’re walking a little funny, or that their necks are covered in marks, but everyone looks too relieved to actually say anything. It’s not lost on Jared and Jensen that if they ever had a falling out, their families would be disastrously affected as well.

On Wednesday night they drive out to Santa Monica just to sit in the wet sand and watch the sun dip below the horizon. It’s ridiculously sentimental, but Jensen can’t bring himself to care as Jared kisses him so sweetly under the fading twilight sky.

On Thursday they wake up to the smell of turkey, and Jensen doesn’t let Jared out of bed until they’ve both come into each other’s mouths.

When they do finally make it downstairs, freshly showered and shaven, Sherri is in the kitchen. Classic funk music is playing on the stereo and Jensen shakes his head fondly as she shakes her hips to it. She smiles when she notices them standing there and turns off the music.

“Oh, good afternoon, boys. Sleep well?” She teases, and Jensen scratches at his nose as Jared stretches theatrically.

“Do you need any help?” Jared asks, sniffing at the air. Sherri gives the kitchen a quick once-over and shakes her head.

“I think I’m good,” she says, and then looks at Jensen. “Your mother called. She, uh, wants us all to go over there for dessert.”

“Oh,” Jensen replies, snaking a carrot from the cutting board and biting off the tip. “Did the grandmonsters leave early?”

“No,” Sherri says, brows knitting together as she returns to chopping vegetables. “She just said that she wouldn’t feel right without you there and that if they don’t like it they can pack up and leave.”

“Fine,” Jensen replies, shrugging one shoulder. Sherri turns to look at him and Jared places his hand low on his back.

“You sure?” Jared asks, and Jensen takes another bite of carrot.

“I mean, it’s not high on my list of happy fun times, but if she wants to throw us in a room together that’s her problem,” Jensen says plainly. “But I was having such a good week.”

“Yeah, everyone and their deaf dog knows how good of a week you’ve been having,” Jeff says, appearing suddenly and jamming a finger into one of the hickeys on Jensen’s neck. Jensen jumps and swats his hand away.

“Leave them alone,” Sherri says as Jeff opens the refrigerator to get a couple of sodas. “They’re just young and in love.”

“Yeah, I’m young and in love, too,” Jeff retorts. “With sleep. And you two are keeping me from my one true love. All night long.”

“You’re just jealous you aren’t getting any,” responds Jared, smirking at his big brother.

“What, sleep?” Jeff asks. “Because I’ll have you know, I’m getting plenty of – “

“Okay!” Sherri shouts, effectively cutting off Jeff’s retort. “Knowing my children are having sex is one thing. Talking about it is another. Get the hell out of my kitchen.”

“You got us in trouble,” Jared grumbles, socking Jeff’s shoulder as they turn to leave.

“Dinner is at four!” Sherri calls after them. “Be presentable.”

Jared tangles his fingers with Jensen’s as he leads them out into the backyard. The day is bright and balmy, and they sit down on the lush green lawn.

“You really okay with this?” Jared asks, thumb skimming over Jensen’s knuckles. Jensen swallows hard, eyes trained on the ground as he absently picks at the grass with his free hand.

“I’m not looking forward to it, if that’s what you mean,” Jensen answers, images of his grandparents’ disgusted glares flashing unbidden behind his eyes. “But if it’s what my mom wants, then I’ll endure.” Jared just nods, letting go of Jensen’s hand to wrap his arm around Jensen’s shoulders instead. “They probably don’t know about you, so you can probably just play it casual.”

“Are you kidding me?” Jared asks, breath hot against Jensen’s temple. “The whole time I’m just going to be resisting the urge to kiss you, just to see the looks on their faces.”

“Don’t,” Jensen says, smirking a little. “No drama. Let’s just go eat some pie, and then come home.”

“Fine,” Jared replies, letting out an exaggerated sigh. “I’ll eat some pie. The things I do for you.”

“I ask a lot, I know,” Jensen says somberly, and Jared grins against his temple. Jensen turns his head and they share a soft kiss, California sunshine warm on their flushed faces.

“Can’t. Move.” Jared lets out a groan and rolls onto his side, face smashed into the couch cushion. “Dead from turkey. Tryptophan coma looming.”

An unpleasant gurgle sounds from somewhere near Jensen’s belly, and he slumps down onto the sofa.

The Padalecki clan (plus one Ackles) is scattered around the living room, all happy and overfed.

“Y’all got one hour to digest before we have to go eat some pie,” Gerry says around a wooden toothpick, letting out a sigh of relief as he pops the top button of his slacks.

“Can’t,” Jensen groans, slumping over until his head is pillowed on Jared’s thigh. “There is physically no more room in my body for anything ever.” Jared snorts and Jensen rolls his eyes, slapping at his stomach.

“I will puke on you,” Jared threatens, hands curling protectively around his stomach.

“Then there really won’t be room for anything in me,” Jensen mumbles, and hisses when someone punches him in the leg. He twists around to see Jeff giving him a dude, come on sort of expression. Jensen just grins serenely, practically purring when Jared reaches back to run his fingers through Jensen’s hair. He falls asleep like that, fat and content like a lazy housecat getting scratched behind the ears.

He’s woken up less than an hour later, feeling groggy and stuffed. He’s going to have to go on an extra long run tomorrow.

He and Jared wait by the front door, looking into the mirror hanging there. Jensen winces as he looks at his neck, and then flips up the collar of his blue polo shirt in a futile attempt to cover some of the marks. He isn’t sure what makes him look more gay – the hickeys or the popped collar.

He looks over and fiddles with the collar of Jared’s button down, lips pulled between his teeth in concentration.

“Dude,” Jeff says, smirking at them. “All the concealer in the world still won’t make it look like you two aren’t a couple of vampires.”

“Jensen said he’d break up with me if I wore a turtleneck,” Jared pouts, tucking his chin against his chest.

“Yup,” Jensen agrees, tilting his chin back and rubbing at a particularly dark mark just below his left ear. “Turtlenecks are a deal breaker. Fuck it. They’re gonna hate us anyway, so who gives a shit?”

“Damned if we do, damned if we don’t,” Jared replies, flipping his collar back down. Jensen fiddles with his hair, the action making his shirt ride up enough to reveal his tattoo, which is also surrounded with hickeys.

“Jensen, you are like the poster child of gay,” Jeff laughs, and Jensen scowls at him.

“You’re the poster child of asshole,” Jensen replies. “Are you riding with me and Jared?”

“Yeah,” Jeff responds. “Gotta make sure the two of you don’t get randy in the middle of the whole six block trip and pull over somewhere to fuck. How the hell are the two of you still walking? You’ve been buried in each other for the better part of a week.”

“Would you like a play by play?” Jared asks, and Jensen laughs when Jeff makes a disgusted face and shakes his head rapidly. “Then shut the fuck up.”

The rest of the family finally meets them in the foyer and they head out, piling into two cars to make the short trip. Jared opts to drive, giving Jensen ample time to get nervous, full belly rolling unpleasantly. Jared must sense his discomfort because he reaches over to put his hand on Jensen’s knee, squeezing reassuringly.

When they pull up to Jensen’s house, he sees Jared give Jeff a pointed look out of the corner of his eye. Jeff clears his throat and pats Jensen on the shoulder before exiting the car. Once they’re alone Jared pockets the keys and turns as much as he can to face Jensen over the console.

When Jensen turns to meet his gaze, he doesn’t see pity in Jared’s eyes. He doesn’t really see understanding. He just sees concern. And love. It makes him stronger.

“You don’t have to do this,” Jared says gently, reaching over to cup the back of Jensen’s head. Jensen lets out a harsh sigh and leans into Jared’s touch.

“I just want to get it over with,” Jensen mumbles, looking down at his lap.

“Hey, look at me,” Jared commands, and Jensen lifts his head to meet Jared’s gaze. Jared’s expression is protective and determined, and he leans in closer, arm curling intimately around Jensen’s neck.

“They can hate you all they want,” Jared starts, voice pitched low and passionate. “They can hate you with every fiber of their being, with every bit of themselves, and it will still never even come close to how much I love you, Jensen.”

Jensen sucks in a deep breath, his gaze locked on Jared’s gorgeous hazel eyes.

“And I’m not the only one,” Jared continues. “You are surrounded by people that love you for who you are. Two people that are too stupid to do the same don’t stand a chance against all that, okay?”

“I know,” Jensen says, nodding. Jared smiles and leans in to give him a soft but fervent kiss. Jensen draws strength from it, sighing against Jared’s lips as he pulls away.

“Thanks,” he breathes, and Jared gives him a radiant smile.

“No problem,” Jared replies. They get out of the car and meet the rest of the family on the porch, entering the house without knocking. Jared and Jensen bring up the rear of the group, and when they enter the dining room they take the two seats farthest from his grandparents at the giant dining table. They barely spare him a glance, instead staring ahead stonily.

“Hey guys!” Donna says cheerily. “How was your dinner?”

“Fantastic!” Gerry says, patting Alan on the shoulder as he takes his seat. Mac gets up and throws her arms around Jensen’s neck.

“Hey kid,” Jensen says fondly, kissing his little sister’s forehead. She returns to her seat and cuts him a sympathetic look. An awkward silence settles across the table, and Jensen stares down at his empty plate.

“Well, that was a lovely meal, Donna,” his grandmother says primly. “But I think we’re going to turn in for the night.”

“Susan, with all due respect,” Donna says through clenched teeth. “This is my house, and Jensen is my son. He has been forced to stay away from his own home because of your intolerance, and frankly I am done with it. Now you can either sit down and eat some pie with your entire family, or you can get the hell out of my house.”

Jensen’s eyes widen and his grandparents give his mother a scandalized look. Susan’s harsh gaze snaps to Alan, eyebrows arching as if she expects him to protest. Alan just shrugs his shoulders.

“She’s right,” he says, looking firm on his stance but also slightly uncomfortable. “You are my parents, but Jensen is my son. And he will be treated with respect when he is in his own home.”

Warmth floods through Jensen as he witnesses his parents standing up for him, but it’s quickly doused by an icy glare from his grandmother. Jared takes his hand under the table and Jensen squeezes it as he juts his chin out.

“Well then,” his grandmother says icily, sitting back down. “We can be civilized, can’t we?”

“We’ll see,” Donna says, and pastes on a tight smile as she passes a pumpkin pie over to her loathsome mother-in-law. “Pie?”

The mood over dessert is tense at best, and Jensen keeps a death grip on Jared's hand to ground him. Jared smoothes the pad of his thumb over Jensen's knuckles, and Jensen is immensely grateful, even cracking a smile as they both try to eat one handed.

“We were just out at your brother’s place, Alan,” Susan says, and Jensen’s father looks up at her, a put upon expression on his face. “His ranch is so lovely. I still wish you’d never left Texas, dear.”

She cuts Donna a look as she grits her teeth. Jensen is well-versed in Grandma bitchspeak by now. She wishes Alan had never left Texas so he never would have met Donna and ruined his perfect upbringing by falling in love with a crazy liberal Californian and having a queer son.

“Travis just got engaged to such a lovely girl,” Susan continues, referring to Jensen’s cousin. “What about you, Josh? Do you have a girlfriend?”

“Uh, somewhat,” Josh says awkwardly, picking at his pie crust. “I’m actually seeing one of Jensen and Jared’s friends. Her name is Sandy.”

“Sandy?” She asks, and it’s amazing how she’s able to look from Josh to Jared without ever focusing on Jensen sitting between them. “I thought that was the girl you liked, Jared?”

“It was,” Jared says tersely, clutching tightly at Jensen’s hand, hidden from view under the table. “But something better came along. You wouldn’t believe how lucky I am, Mrs. Ackles.”

Jared squeezes his hand again and Jensen swallows hard, biting back a smile. Jensen slides his thumb across the back of Jared’s hand, eternally grateful.

Things quiet down after that, awkward silence filling the stuffy room. Finally Donna takes a deep breath and pipes up, pasting on a smile as she turns towards the boys.

"So, winter break is coming up," Donna says with forced cheer. "You boys doing anything special?"

"Well, our friend Misha's parents have this place up at Big Bear," Josh replies absently, his fork scraping across his plate. "We were thinking we might head out there for a week or so. Of course, we'd have to get the lovebirds over here their own cabin, right?"

Josh freezes in the middle of nudging Jensen's shoulder, eyes widening when he realizes what he said, and more importantly, who he said it in front of. Jeff rolls his eyes and stares Josh down from across the table and Josh squeezes his eyes shut, cursing silently.

"Excuse me?" Jensen's grandmother says, and Jensen feels his cheeks flush. "Oh, so now the boy has dragged others down with him, is that it?" She looks hard at Sherri. "And you condone this?"

"Condone it? I encourage it," Sherri replies coldly. "The only reason I tolerate you at all is because you are a member of a family I care a great deal about. But that does not mean I have to sit here while you disrespect my son and the person he loves. You should remember that."

Susan's eyes narrow and Jensen's grandfather puts his hand on her arm, as if warning her to calm down. She looks at him and then over at Donna, eyes blazing. Donna just raises her eyebrow, as if daring her to speak.

"Doesn't mean I need to have it thrown in my face,” Susan snaps, taking a deep breath as she looks Jensen right in the eye. “It’s disgusting. It’s shameful.”

Jensen sucks in a gasp, eyes stinging with tears as he looks down at the table, shoulders shaking slightly.

“Mother, that’s enough,” Alan says firmly, slapping his palm down onto the table hard enough to make the dishes shake. Susan glares at Alan and he glares right back at her – a standoff.

A tear slips from Jensen’s eye and he keeps his head down, prays no one will see it. He did this. He tore his family apart. It’s completely silent for a moment. All Jensen can hear is his own harsh breathing.

“No,” Jared says, eerily calm. Jensen looks over at him, pulling at his hand and praying that he doesn’t make a scene. “You’re the one that’s disgusting.”

“Excuse me?” Susan replies, gaping at Jared as he stands. He keeps his grip on Jensen’s hand, exposing their entwined fingers to everyone. Jensen tries to pull his hand away but Jared doesn’t let him. He’s shaking so badly, trying so hard not to lose it. When Jared glances at him, Jensen sees the fierce protectiveness in his eyes.

“Do you really think we care what you think about us?” Jared tells her, chest heaving up and down as he takes in deep, angry breaths. “We love each other, and you can sneer and snivel and make all the snide little digs you want, but you know what? Nothing you could ever say could change that or make it something to be ashamed of. You’re ignorant, and what you have to say is absolutely meaningless.”

“How dare – “ Susan screeches, but Jared cuts her off.

"Mom," he says, obviously speaking to Donna. "Dessert was fantastic, as always, but we’re leaving. Come on, Jensen.”

He tugs Jensen out of his chair and wraps one arm around his waist, looking at Jensen with a set jaw and a glint in his eye. Jensen swallows hard, desperate to get out of the room. He threads their fingers together again, tugging insistently as Jensen stumbles out of the dining room, eyes locked on the back of Jared’s head. As soon as they’re in the foyer Jared spins around, slinging one arm around Jensen’s waist and crashing their lips together, hard and insistent. Jensen knows they’re still in view of everyone in the dining room, can hear the shocked gasps, but he can’t bring himself to care. He kisses back and squeezes his eyes shut, causing a tear to slip out of his eye and slide down to their fused lips.

“Jared,” Jensen starts once he pulls away, but he cuts himself off when he catches the look on Jared’s face. He looks hurt and angry, eyes bright and feverish and cheeks flushed. Jared pulls open the front door and Jensen gasps as the cold air hits his flushed, damp cheeks.

“Jensen, wait!” Jensen turns towards the voice, breath catching in his throat when he sees his father running up to him. He places a hand on Jensen’s shoulder, regret vivid in his eyes. “I’m so sorry. I – you know I’m not them, right? You know I don’t think that way.”

“I know, dad,” Jensen replies, voice thick with emotion. He hates that his family is so divided, that his father has to choose. Alan looks over at Jared, reaching out to pat him on the back.

“Good job,” he says simply, and Jared looks surprised, eyes wide as he gives him a jerky nod. Alan squeezes their shoulders and then turns away, heading back towards the uproar in the dining room.

“Let’s go,” Jared says roughly, and Jensen can do little more than follow.

Jared drives quickly, jaw clenched so tightly his teeth ache. He hasn’t been this angry in a long time, and he’s never been witness to such blatant homophobia. It hurts to think that anyone could even dare to think he and Jensen don’t belong together. How can anyone be so fucking blind?

He wants to go out to Hollywood, up into the hills and canyons and drive recklessly, but instead he navigates them to the field of wildflowers. The ground is bumpy, not meant for cars, and the vehicle shakes until he stops underneath a tree. He cuts the engine and leans back in the driver’s seat, letting out a huge breath and dropping his forehead to the steering wheel.

“I’m sorry,” Jensen says, sounding slightly panicked. Jared resists the urge to roll his eyes. Of course Jensen would try to twist it all around and make it his fault.

“Don’t be,” Jared says, lifting his head and staring out of the windshield. The moon is fat and orange, hanging low in the sky and surrounded by glowing mist. “I’m just pissed off. And not at you.”

“This is one of the things I was afraid of,” Jensen admits quietly. “I never wanted you to have to deal with this kind of shit.”

“I knew what I was getting myself into, Jensen. At least I thought I did,” Jared says, twisting to face Jensen. He’s staring at Jared with wide eyes, lips bitten red. He’s so beautiful, and Jared loves him so fucking much that he gets angry all over again. “But who the fuck are they to tell me who I can and can’t love? What gives anyone the power to do that? All these straight people fucking each other over left and right, and that’s okay?”

“Are you getting all impassioned on me?” Jensen teases, and Jared cuts him a glare. “Okay, so we’re not joking yet. Good to know.”

“And your grandparents!” Jared continues undeterred, hands waving spastically in front of him. “They wouldn’t know real love if it crawled up their pedestal and bit them on the ass. They barely even looked at each other the entire time we were there.”

“Well, they’ve been married for over forty years,” Jensen says, as if that excuses them from passion and emotion. From love. As if infatuation and devotion have an expiration date.

“And?” Jared responds, unbuckling his seatbelt and turning fully to face Jensen. “In forty years I’m still not going to be able to take my eyes off of you. I’m still going to love you with everything I’ve got and I’m going to make sure you know that until the day I fucking die.” Jensen swallows, eyes fixed on Jared’s face and Jared can’t look away. “Time is relative when it comes to love, Jensen. It has no meaning other than there isn’t enough of it. Love doesn’t get stagnant. It gets stronger every single fucking day. Real love, anyway. The kind we have.”

“Jared,” Jensen whispers, eyes going soft and liquid. He reaches out to place his hand on the console, palm up, and Jared takes it.

“And according to them this insane, awesome, fucking incredible love that I have inside of me, that we have for each other, is wrong? How can something like this be anything less than a fucking miracle? I don’t get it.” Jared threads their fingers together, marvels yet again at how well they seem to interlock. He looks up to meet Jensen’s eyes, and they both lean in close enough that their foreheads nearly touch.

“I love you, Jensen,” Jared says, voice thick with emotion. He leans in to put his hand on Jensen’s cheek, fingers dancing across the freckled bridge of his nose. Jensen sucks in a breath, eyes wide and unblinking. He looks like he’s trying not to cry and Jared smiles fondly, leaning to press a feather light kiss just above his left eyebrow. “I will always be in love with you and no one can ever tell me that the best thing that ever happened to me is anything less than amazing. That you are anything less than amazing.”

“God, Jared, I – “ Jensen swallows thickly and presses their foreheads together. “You’re so – “

“Let me guess,” Jared interrupts, hand curling around the back of Jensen’s neck. “I’m awesome and you don’t deserve me, right?” Jensen just bites his lip and lowers his eyes. “Figured. It’s bullshit, Jen. You deserve every bit of happiness you get.”

They stare at each other for a long time. Jared watches Jensen’s throat work, Adam’s apple bobbing teasingly beneath marked skin. Jensen finally surges over the console and into Jared’s lap, wrapping his arms around Jared’s neck and fusing their mouths together.

It isn’t exactly what Jared was going for as far as a reaction, but he isn’t complaining.

Jared lets out a soft groan as Jensen cups his chin and pulls his mouth open, sweeping his tongue inside. He matches Jensen’s kiss with equal fervor, reaching down and fumbling with the levers until the seat rolls as far back as it can go. The back of the seat releases, crashing against the backseat and sending Jensen tumbling against his chest.

Jensen bites Jared’s bottom lip on the way down and licks over the sting before sucking it into his mouth. Jared tips his head back and reaches down to cup Jensen’s ass, thumbs curling into the waistband of his jeans. The moon is bright, casting enough light for them to see by. It reflects off of Jensen’s wide eyes, makes his skin glow an eerie blue.

“I love you so much,” Jensen says, breathing hot and ragged into Jared’s ear. “You’re so fucking incredible.” Jensen sits up on Jared’s lap and grabs the hem of Jared’s shirt, yanking it over his head. His eyes rake across Jared’s body, and he hardens under the intense scrutiny.

Jensen places a shaky hand over Jared’s sternum and drags it over until it rests firmly over Jared’s heart, which is thumping so hard against his ribcage he wonders if Jensen can feel it against his palm. Jensen is just staring at his splayed fingers, chest heaving as his breathing picks up. Jared puts his hand on top of Jensen’s, presses it even harder against his skin.

“It’s all yours,” he whispers, and Jensen’s eyes flick to his. There is something like awe in his expression, and he swallows hard and nods shakily. He slides their joined hands down Jared’s stomach and leans in to press his lips to the smooth skin over Jared’s heart.

“I’ll take good care of it.” Jared feels his eyes mist over and he tugs Jensen up by his armpits, fingers tracing the curve of his jaw as he kisses him. He can feel Jensen’s fluttering pulse under his fingertips and he presses his mouth there, drags his tongue across the spot. Jensen lets out a shuddering breath, tilting his head to the side as Jared’s mouth ventures down to his collarbone.

“I need to feel you,” Jared whispers, licking at Jensen’s earlobe as his hands go to the button of his jeans. “Okay, Jen? I – I need to be inside of you.”

And he does. The need to be connected with Jensen in the most intimate way possible is overpowering. Jensen nods like it wasn’t even a question, like he needs it just as bad.

It’s awkward to maneuver enough to get their clothes off. Jensen’s back bows against the roof of the car as he shimmies out of his jeans, and all that pale, freckled skin is nearly incandescent under the light of the moon. Once they’re both naked, Jared grabs Jensen by the back of the neck and pulls him into a fevered kiss, licking and nipping at his puffy lips. Rifling blindly through the center console, his fingers brush the sharp edges of condom wrappers and close around a sticky tube of lube. They use condoms sometimes if they aren’t at home and don’t want to deal with the mess, but Jared can’t stand the thought of anything separating them right now, not even the thinnest piece of rubber.

He manages to coat his fingers without breaking their kiss, and Jensen rises up on his knees when Jared’s hand trails between his legs. He rubs some slick against Jensen’s hole, the tip of his finger slipping inside.

“Don’t need a lot,” Jensen pants against his lips, hands gripping Jared’s shoulders tightly. Jared slips his middle finger in all the way to the knuckle and he can feel the shiver than runs through Jensen’s body. “Hurry, baby. Wanna feel you. C’mon.”

Jared kisses him, silencing his pleas as he prepares him, one hand splayed across his lower back and the other between his legs. He quickly works Jensen open on three fingers, cock leaking at the sight of Jensen rocking back against his hand, letting out little hiccupping breaths like it’s not enough.

Please,” Jensen gasps, and Jared is happy to comply. He withdraws his fingers and places his hands on Jensen’s hips, smearing sticky lube across his skin.

“Okay, Jen. Do it, baby. Let’s go.” Jared bites down on his bottom lip, eyes locking on Jensen’s as he reaches down to grip Jared’s cock, guiding it into him. He sinks down slowly, hips circling until he’s sitting fully on Jared’s lap. “Fuck, Jen.”

“So full,” Jensen breathes, clenching his muscles experimentally as he rests his elbows on Jared’s shoulders. They kiss languidly, sharing the air between their mouths until Jensen starts to move up and down, so lazy and slow. A needy groan escapes Jared’s lips but he refuses to close his eyes, not wanting to break their gaze. He slides his hands up Jensen’s trembling thighs, feels the muscles bunching with exertion. He puts his hands on Jensen’s hips and helps relieve the strain as best he can, helping to lift him up.

Jensen has one arm wrapped around his neck, chests pressed together and leaking cock trapped between their bellies. It’s getting hot and muggy in the car, windows fogging so much that the outside world is barely visible. Jared likes that, wants Jensen all to himself in their own little bubble, tucked away from the cruel, harsh world.

Their skin grows slick with sweat and they’ve barely stopped kissing since they started all this. Jared’s lips feel big and clumsy, numb from overuse but he never pulls away. The pace gets a little more frantic, a little more erratic as the pleasure builds up. Jensen lets out a ragged moan, angling his hips and pressing his chest forward in a way that allows him to get some friction on his dick. Jared starts to slide his hand between them, but Jensen stops him without even breaking their kiss. He grabs both of Jared’s hands, threading their fingers together. He pins one of Jared’s hands against the cool glass of the window and the other against the center console, using his knees to move himself up and down. It’s sort of the hottest thing Jared has ever seen.

Jared feels Jensen tense up and drop down fully on his cock, burying it as deep as it will go as he presses his face into the sweaty curve of Jensen’s neck. Jensen lets out a sharp, ragged cry as his orgasm hits, slicking the space between their stomachs. Tight muscles spasm around Jared’s dick and he’s done, his orgasm hitting him so hard he nearly screams, clutching at Jensen’s hands so hard his knuckles turn white.

When it’s over he sags against the seat, panting harshly as his hips twitch with aftershocks. Jensen is trembling, thighs quivering the way they do after a really amazing orgasm. He shakes his hands free from Jensen’s grasp and wraps his arms around his waist, fingers tracing indistinguishable patterns up and down his spine.

He’s feeling loose-limbed and sleepy, eyelids drooping. He hears a hiccupping breath and a quick sniffle near his ear and that’s when he realizes Jensen is shaking more than usual, shoulders quaking against Jared’s chest. Brows furrowing in confusion, he slips a hand around to Jensen’s chest and pushes him back softly.

Bottle green eyes stare back at him, tears leaking down flushed cheeks. Jared cups Jensen’s cheek tenderly, thumb sweeping under one eye.

“What is it?” He asks softly, and Jensen brings a hand up to cover Jared’s, hips shifting slightly as Jared’s cock softens inside of him.

“It’s just –” Jensen sniffs. “You and me, what we have. It’s intense.”

Jared’s heart skips a beat and he grins so wide his cheeks ache. He palms Jensen’s face with both hands and drags him in, kissing under each eye before placing a loving peck on his lips.

Jared knows how intense it is – enough to overwhelm him every single day.

Jensen is actually glad to get back to school, eager to get back into their routine now that things are peachy keen between him and Jared.

He’s back to sleeping curled around Jared on their crappy air mattress that keeps going flat because he’s pretty sure Jared poked a hole in it with his protractor, and he couldn’t be happier.

He slowly comes to awareness on Tuesday morning, waking up without opening his eyes. Something is touching his face, soft as butterfly wings, and Jensen fights to keep from smiling when he realizes that Jared is tracing his face with the tip of his finger.

He stays perfectly still, breathing in and out evenly. Jared drags his finger along his jaw and across his bottom lip, sliding up the bridge of his nose and along one eyebrow. Jared lets out a contented sigh and traces the curve of his ear.

Jensen’s heart starts pounding and he can’t keep the smile off of his face anymore.

“Busted, creeper.” His eyes pop open just in time to see Jared blush, smiling sheepishly at him. “Watching me sleep?”

“Maybe,” Jared says, sliding his hand up Jensen’s bare flank. “I think I’m entitled to creepily stare at my boyfriend without his knowledge.”

“I assume so,” Jensen agrees, grinning sleepily. He shares a soft kiss with Jared that tastes like sleep and toothpaste. Jared pulls back enough for Jensen to see a mischievous grin on his face. His eyes glint dangerously and that’s all the warning he gets before Jared rips a loud, long fart.

“Oh god!” Jensen shrieks, eyes widening when Jared pulls the covers over his head and pins him down. “Jared, you asshole!” The smell hits him then, burning his nostrils and making his eyes water. He thrashes wildly, punching at Jared through the blankets and cussing up a storm. Jared cackles with glee, his head safely out of the toxic cocoon. Jensen bucks up and slams his foot down on the bed, ripping a hole right through the plastic. All of the air rushes out of the bed and they hit the floor with a thump.

“Shit!” Jared calls, still laughing as he pulls the blankets away from Jensen’s face. He stares at Jared through narrowed eyes, but he can’t help but chuckle. Jared’s laugh is addicting.

“You’re an asshole. And you owe us a new bed. This is like the third one we’ve popped,” Jensen says, waving his hand in front of his face. “This is how you treat your boyfriend? Make him inhale your toxic ass stink? I could have died.”

“That’s how I treat my best friend,” Jared says, his laugh finally subsiding. “This is how I treat my boyfriend.”

Jared leans in to press his mouth against Jensen’s neck, licking and sucking as his hand slides under the waistband of his pajama pants. Jensen lets out a low groan as Jared combs his fingers through the coarse hair at the base of his cock, sucking a purple mark into the hollow of his throat. Jensen hardens quickly under Jared’s ministrations, arching up a little when Jared wraps his giant hand around his dick.

“I can’t believe you’re gonna jerk me off with the stench of your fart still in the air.” Jared ignores him, sliding down to tongue at a nipple. Jensen hisses, burying his fingers in Jared’s messy hair.

“How about I blow you instead?” Jared says throatily, kissing his way down Jensen’s stomach. Jensen grins wolfishly and pushes Jared down by his shoulders.

Their alarm goes off, and Jensen reaches over to hit snooze just as Jared sucks him into his mouth.

Thanks to Jared’s sensational morning blowjob, Jensen is running late for work. He rushes down the hall in nothing but his glasses and his bathrobe, hair sticking up from a vigorous towel scrubbing. When he gets back to their room Jared is hopping into a pair of jeans. Showering for a morning class isn’t high on Jared’s list of priorities.

Jensen tosses his robe on the bed as soon as the door is shut, shivering as the cool morning air hits his naked body. He pushes his glasses up on his nose and goes over to the nightstand, searching for his contacts case.

“Hey, have you seen my contacts?” Jensen asks, glancing at the clock.

“No,” Jared replies roughly. “But I do see me skipping class to fuck the shit out of you.”

“I have work,” Jensen says absently, forgoing contacts and crossing to the dresser to get his clothes.

“But you’re naked,” Jared whines, coming up behind Jensen, slinging an arm around his waist and kissing the side of his neck. Jensen sighs and slumps against Jared for a moment, his jeans dropping to the floor. “And wearing your glasses.”

“I have work, baby,” Jensen says again, but tilts his head to the side. Jared slides his fingers along the crease of his ass, one fingertip pressing against his hole. Jensen whimpers, hips twitching slightly. “Jared. Come on.”

“Bet your ass tastes so good,” Jared breathes into his ear, mouthing at his jaw. “All clean from your shower. Wanna make you dirty, Jen. Wanna lick you open.”

“You’re going to fucking kill me,” Jensen whimpers, turning around in Jared’s arms and pressing a quick kiss to his lips. “I have work, and you have class. When we meet back here in three and a half hours, you can have your wicked way with me.”

“Fine,” Jared relents, tangling his fingers in Jensen’s damp hair. “You promise?”

“I wouldn’t lie about letting you fuck me,” Jensen replies, smirking and tracing the shell of Jared’s ear with his tongue. “Gonna think about your cock.”

“Gonna think about your ass,” Jared responds, cupping one bare cheek and squeezing. “All the things I’m gonna do to you.”

“Yeah, well,” Jensen responds, suddenly pulling back and slapping Jared on the ass. “As long as there is a new bed in here by then.”

Jared pouts as Jensen gets dressed and they both grab their bags and head out the door. Jensen glances towards the left and sees Misha leaning again the doorjamb of James’s room. Jensen falters in his step and reaches out to grab Jared’s arm. Something must be going on, because James rarely wakes up before lunchtime.

He sees a hand, strong and tan and unmistakably James’s, come out and wrap around the back of Misha’s neck. Jensen’s eyes widen and he pushes Jared back into their room, peeking his head around the door to spy.

“What are you doing?” Jared asks, and Jensen shushes him, motioning him to look as well. Jared sticks his head out right over the top of his own, and Jensen grins as he watches James step out into the hall. He wraps his arms around Misha’s shoulders, leaning in to brush their noses together before giving him a soft kiss. Jensen slaps his hand over his mouth to stifle his squeak.

James and Misha have been dancing around each other for months, and Jensen is so fucking thrilled that they finally seem have given up the ghost. He hears Jared make a soft aww sound overhead, and Jensen bites his lip.

James and Misha are whispering to each other, lips close enough to brush. Misha laughs at something James said, lips stretched wide. He’s never seen Misha look so relaxed and happy, and he’s never seen James look so calm.

James puts his hands on Misha’s cheeks and kisses his forehead, giving him a lingering smile before heading back into his room. Misha stares dopily at the closed door for a moment, biting on his bottom lip. Jensen and Jared both let their heads tilt to the side, sticking obviously out into the hallway.

Misha turns and freezes when he spots them, blinking rapidly before his normal irritated expression slips into place.

“If it isn’t the fucking Bobbsey twins,” Misha groans, eyes narrowing at them when they both just smile sweetly. “Oh, shut the fuck up.”

He tries to storm past them but Jared catches him around the waist, spinning him around to face them.

“Details, Mish-Mash,” Jared singsongs, and Misha rolls his eyes as he extracts himself from Jared’s grasp. The blue of Misha’s eyes used to shock Jensen every time he looked directly into them, but he’s used to it by now. They’re so intense, like the color of the sky after a storm.

“We fucked,” he says simply, but Jensen raises an eyebrow when the apples of his cheeks turn a delightful shade of pink.

“That didn’t look like the morning after of two people who just fucked for the hell of it,” Jensen replies teasingly, biting on the tip of his tongue at Misha’s angered expression. “That looked like two people who loooove each other.”

“Who want to kiiiiiss each other and hooold each other,” Jared sings, planting a wet kiss on Misha’s flaming cheek. He pushes them away, trying valiantly to fight back the smile tugging at his lips.

“I see that!” Jensen cries, poking at the corner of Misha’s mouth. Jensen’s expression goes serious as he looks at Misha. “You guys are good together. I’m happy for you.”

“Whatever,” Misha grumps, but he’s smiling fondly at Jensen. “Don’t you two lovey-dovey assholes have a class to skip off to together?”

Without waiting for an answer, he turns to head down the hallway towards his room. Jared and Jensen share a look, clasping their hands together.

“We should totally double!” Jared calls out, and Misha just raises his middle finger up in the air without looking back.

“Go learn something for once, asshole!”

Jensen snickers and pulls Jared over to James’s door, grabbing the dry erase marker hanging from a string with his free hand. After pulling the cap off with his teeth, he writes a message. Busted, homo! We want all the dirty deets. – J&J

“We are like, beyond late,” Jared informs him after peeking at his cell phone. Jensen starts a little and pulls Jared towards the stairs.

They part ways at the main entrance, sharing a lingering kiss before Jared goes right and Jensen goes left.

Turns out, they do double that weekend, but not with James and Misha.

They meet Josh and Sandy at a nice Italian restaurant in town, and they plop down into the booth across from them. Candles flicker on the table and Jared grabs a breadstick in lieu of a greeting, tearing off the end and feeding it to Jensen.

“This is so gay,” Josh mumbles, huffing a sigh. “I cannot believe I’m on a double date with my brother.”

“Believe it, baby,” Jared says around a bite of bread, and Sandy leans in to kiss Josh’s cheek.

“Even more,” Josh continues. “I can’t believe I’m dating the girl my little brother’s boyfriend used to beat off to. It’s so down home country cooking.”

Jensen chokes on his bread, Jared flushes beet red, and Sandy punches Josh hard in the shoulder.

“I didn’t – I mean, not a lot. Oh god.”

“It’s fine, Jared. I’ve thought about you and Jensen to uh, help me fall asleep,” Sandy says, blushing a little. Josh turns to look at her, horrified, and Jensen’s jaw drops. A piece of bread falls out and lands on the tablecloth.

“Ew,” Jensen says, wrinkling his nose. Jared picks up the piece of fallen bread and eats it. “Ew!”

“We are such a fucking disgusting incestuous little group,” Josh laments, sighing and rolling his eyes. “Let’s just have a foursome and get it the hell over with.”

“I thought group sex was you and Jeff’s thing?” Jensen asks innocently, smearing butter on a new piece of bread. “I mean, you seemed to enjoy it.”

“I will kill you,” Josh grits out, and Sandy turns to stare at her boyfriend, eyebrow raised in question. “He’s kidding, baby.”

“Did Josh just ask us to gangbang his girlfriend?” Jared asks jovially, and Josh slaps a hand over his face.

“No one is going to gangbang me,” Sandy says delicately, but she looks like she’s trying not to laugh.

“Uh, I can come back?” No one noticed the waiter standing there until that moment, and they all turn to look as he scurries away. They all look at each other for a few minutes and then bust up laughing. Jared tries a few times to speak, but he’s laughing too hard.

“This – this is the best date ever.”

After dinner they all decided to cram into Jensen’s car and drive out to Santa Monica because, well, it’s Saturday and why the hell not?

What none of them took into account is that even though it’s southern California, December is still December and it’s freezing out. They brave the cool air and kick off their shoes to walk through the dry sand.

The pier looms in the distance, lights dimmed due to the late hour but there are still people lingering on it. After awhile, the two couples separate. Jared and Jensen trail nearly twenty feet behind Josh and Sandy. Jared and Jensen have their fingers entangled, hands swinging between them.

It’s peaceful, being out here so late. The waves crash against the shore and Jared takes a deep breath of the cool, salty air. Jensen moves a little closer to Jared as they walk, and Jared can feel him trembling.

Jared grabbed a hoodie on the way out, but Jensen is clad only in a button down shirt. Jared is actually warm, and as usual Jensen is freezing. He lets go of Jensen’s hand to shrug out of his jacket.

“Here,” Jared says, handing the jacket over to Jensen. He takes it with a grateful smile, but when they look up they see Josh putting his coat over Sandy’s shoulders. “Just so you know, this officially makes you the girl.”

“Fuck you and your jacket,” Jensen replies, tossing the hoodie at Jared’s face. “I’m fine. I’m warm like a man.”

“Jen,” Jared laughs, coming up behind Jensen and wrapping him up in the warm garment. “You’re shaking. Take the jacket, please.” Jensen huffs and slips his arms through the sleeves and Jared kisses the tip of his ear. Up ahead, Josh twirls Sandy in a circle then dips her, kissing her softly under the moonlight.

“Look at them,” Jensen snorts. “I think they’re trying to take our status as the world’s cutest couple.”

“Good luck,” Jared replies, looping his arm over Jensen’s shoulders. “No one can take our crown. We’re fucking adorable.”

Sandy jumps up onto Josh’s back as a wave crashes over Josh’s feet, and her laughter carries down the beach. Jared coughs and Jensen narrows his eyes.

“I could give you a piggyback ride if you want,” Jared offers, and Jensen scowls at him. “Or not?”

“I said be cute, not try to further cement my status as the girl,” Jensen grumbles. Jared snickers and kisses Jensen’s temple before squatting in front of him.

“C’mon! I know your tootsies are cold. Hop on!” Jared says, wiggling his butt. Jensen just huffs. “Don’t even act like you don’t want one.”

“Fine!” Jensen says, hopping on Jared’s back and looping his arms around Jared’s neck. Jared hooks his elbows underneath Jensen’s knees, chuckling when Jensen presses his frozen toes against his thighs.

“Besides,” Jared starts, carrying Jensen along the sand like he weighs nothing, “we win solely due to our back story. Little kids who grew up together and then fell in love totally trumps meeting in college. Everyone meets in college. So, we win.”

“I guess that’s true,” Jensen says, pressing his cold lips against Jared’s neck. Jared stops walking and turns his head to the side.

“Kiss me,” Jared demands, and Jensen is all too eager to comply. He cranes his head forward and presses their lips together. Jared gets too into it, forgetting to account for Jensen’s weight on his back as he leans into it. They go toppling backwards into the sand and Jared lands hard on top of Jensen, who lets out a gasp as the wind gets knocked out of him. “Oh shit! Sorry!”

“Your piggyback privileges have been revoked,” Jensen wheezes, shoving Jared off of him. “You crushed my nuts.”

“You’re still gonna ride me though, right?” Jared asks as he helps Jensen up, brushing the damp sand off of his clothes. “Like, in other ways.”

“Ask me that when I don’t have sand in my lungs, asshole,” Jensen replies, and then lets out a sharp whistle. “Hey, lovebirds! Time to go!”

“Why?” Josh yells back, arms looped around Sandy’s tiny frame.

“Jared has caused me grievous bodily harm!” Jensen yells, and Jared rolls his eyes. “Party over!”

“How are your balls?” Jared says, leaning in and cupping Jensen’s crotch. Jensen hisses, eyes narrowing as Jared leans in close.

“Depends,” Jensen grits out. “Gonna kiss them all better?”

“You know it.” Jared nips at the tip of Jensen’s nose, and Josh appears to slap Jared’s hand away from Jensen’s crotch.

“No!” Josh shouts, shaking his finger in Jared’s face. “Bad Jared. No.”

“Hey. You do not get to dictate when my boyfriend can and cannot touch my junk, okay?” Jensen tells him, and Jared just nods seriously. “Now, I would like to get home so the junk touching can actually commence.”

“Gross,” Josh groans.

“That’s not a bad idea,” Sandy chirps, and Josh’s eyes widen. He shoves Jared and Jensen in the general direction of the car.

“You heard the pretty lady. Let’s go!”

Jared and Jensen stumble giddily up the hall, interlocked hands dangling between them. The door to James’s room swings open and Misha tumbles out, but James quickly snags him around the waist. He pushes Misha up against the wall and kisses him passionately, arms locked around his waist.

“Aw, young love,” Jared coos, and Jensen smirks as they approach.

“Young something,” Jensen responds. “What a good role model, gyrating against his boyfriend out in the hall. After hours no less.”

“Come on, James,” Misha says, pulling away and turning his head to the side. James just groans and presses his mouth to Misha’s neck. “I need to fucking study at some point.”

“I am somewhat aroused,” Jared admits. “Is that bad?”

“Give it up, Misha,” Jensen calls out, ignoring Jared’s comment. “It’s midnight. You’re not gonna do any studying. Just let your boyfriend fuck you.”

“Mm, smart kid,” James mumbles, mouth dragging up to Misha’s ear. He lets out a breathy moan and Jared’s head tilts to the left. Jensen elbows him and Misha pushes ineffectually at James, finally settling for looking at them over his shoulder.

“Hey guys,” Misha laughs breathlessly. “James, give me two seconds!”

“What the hell is it with everyone trying to be cuter than us?” Jared demands, and Jensen laughs and squeezes his hand.

“They don’t have matching tattoos,” Jensen reminds him, and Jared nods as Misha struggles out of James’s grasp and comes to stand in front of them. James clings to the back of him, mouthing at his neck. Misha just sighs and tilts his head to accommodate him.

“I just wanted to ask you guys before everything gets crazy with finals,” Misha says, reaching up to put a hand over James’s face and push him back. James growls and bites at his fingers. “You are coming up to Big Bear for New Year’s, right? I’m giving you two the other bedroom.”

“We were planning on it,” Jensen replies. “Why do we get the extra bedroom?”

“You’re Misha’s favorites,” James tells them, grinning against the curve of Misha’s shoulder. “His little pet freshmen.”

“I like you guys,” Misha shrugs, and Jensen raises an eyebrow. “You’re cute and in love, and if I have to hear anyone fuck all night I’d rather it be you.”

“Okay, you and James being together is awesome,” Jared exclaims. “Sex calms you down more than pot.”

“It’s true.” James nods, nipping at Misha’s earlobe. “Are we done with the polite conversation now?”

“Yeah,” Jensen laughs. “Go have your sex, and we’ll go have ours.”

“We could combine our efforts,” James says, winking as he nods towards his open door. “Might be fun.”

Jared and Jensen laugh, but James and Misha just raise their eyebrows. Oh, so not kidding, then. Jared laughs awkwardly and wraps his arm around Jensen’s waist.

“Sorry to disappoint, boys,” Jared tells them, fingers slipping under Jensen’s shirt to find his tattoo. “We don’t share.”

James and Misha just shrug and lean in to kiss their foreheads before hurrying into their room and slamming the door. Jared and Jensen share a look and then crack up, heading for their own room. Jensen was sleepy, but Jared’s fingers stroking possessively across his tattoo, trailing down the groove of his hip, wakes him up.

“So, we just got propositioned by our RA,” Jensen laughs, and Jared presses him up against the door and kisses him.

“And it might have been fun,” Jared breathes, “but I like the fact that no one has touched us but each other. Don’t wanna fuck that up.”

“Sentimental,” Jensen mumbles against Jared’s lips, but he feels the exact same way. They’re young and in college, supposed to be out experimenting and having fun. But he knows nothing will ever compare to the feel of Jared’s hands on him. Why would he go out looking for something else when he’s got everything he needs? “Fun night.”

He empties his pockets and dumps their contents on the nightstand as Jared flips the air mattress onto the floor, putting his foot on it to make sure it’s full.

“Josh and Sandy are cute,” Jensen says, eyes trained on Jared as he toes out of his shoes and pulls off his belt. “You – I mean, you’re good with that, right?”

“What do you mean?” Jared asks, pausing in unbuttoning his jeans. “Oh, come on, Jen. I haven’t felt that way about Sandy since we got together. You know that.”

“Yeah, it’s just sort of weird how everything turned out, you know?” Jensen asks, unbuttoning his shirt slowly as he thinks. “I mean, if Josh and Sandy ever get married, she’d be my sister.”

“And then when you and me get married, she’ll be my sister,” Jared says, pulling his shirt over his head. Jensen’s fingers skitter over the last button of his shirt and he freezes. Jared just mentioned them getting married so casually, like it’s something they’ve already discussed and Jensen just forgot.

“…What?” He asks eloquently, and his whole world tilts on its axis, skin flushing hot as he waits for Jared to answer.

“Well, I mean,” Jared continues. “Even though I don’t like her now, I used to. So that’d be an awkward story to tell at – “

“No, that’s not – “ Jensen interrupts, taking a step towards Jared and nearly tripping over the air mattress. “We’re gonna get married?”

“Well, yeah,” Jared says, rolling his eyes like Jensen is running a little slow. “Eventually.”

“Is this – “ Jensen trips over his words, starts again. “Are you proposing?”

“Give me some credit,” Jared snorts, seemingly unaware that Jensen is about to start freaking out. “When I propose, it’s gonna be fucking awesome. Ten bucks says I make you cry.”

“So – so you are going to propose?” Jensen asks delicately, kicking off his jeans and pulling his shirt off of his shoulders, leaving him in only a pair of black boxer briefs that he stole from Jared’s clean laundry. All the air seems to have been sucked out of the room, and Jensen struggles to breathe. They’re tossing around words like marriage and proposal like they aren’t just kids. Like they’re ready. Scary part is, Jensen thinks he might be.

“Yes,” Jared states, kicking off his own pants and sitting on the edge of his bed, feet propped up on the air mattress. He’s gorgeous and tan and he looks so serious. “What, do you not want to marry me?”

“No! I mean – oh god.” Jensen stumbles across the air mattress and falls into Jared’s lap, getting up on his knees to straddle his waist. Jared looks up into his eyes, and he actually looks a little weary as he cups Jensen’s elbows. “I – wow, I do. I just never really thought about it before.”

“Oh, well. I have,” Jared says simply, and Jensen wraps one arm around his neck, presses them skin to skin. “A little.”

“Oh.” They look at each other, and Jensen’s heart is beating so fast he’s sure Jared can hear it thundering against his ribcage. “So are we engaged?”

“No,” Jared replies, hands resting low on Jensen’s lower back. Questing fingertips dip below the waistband of his underwear and Jensen shivers. “I haven’t proposed yet.”

“But you said you’re going to,” Jensen tells him, fingers tangling in the baby soft curls at the nape of Jared’s neck. “And I said I would say yes. That’s pretty much what being engaged is.”

“Yes, but it hasn’t actually happened yet.” Jensen shivers as Jared leans in to press a kiss to his collarbone.

“But it will,” Jensen breathes, and Jared chuckles against his skin, nodding. “So then, we’re like – engaged to be engaged?”

“Looks that way,” Jared says, lips finding their way up to Jensen’s ear.

“Oh, okay,” Jensen breathes, blinking and tilting his head to the side to give Jared better access. “Wow.”

“I can’t believe you’ve never thought about marrying me,” Jared says, lips pressing against the smooth skin under Jensen’s ear. He shivers, arms locking tighter around Jared’s neck.

“Jared,” he says, voice suddenly thick with emotion. “I pretty much got everything I ever wanted when I got you. I never even contemplated getting anything else.”

“Well, you’ve got me. Forever,” Jared breathes, tilting back to give Jensen a soft, loving kiss that Jensen relaxes into. Jared pulls back, a smirk on his plush lips. “You’re going to look so pretty in your dress.”

“See,” Jensen scoffs, pushing at Jared’s chest. “You act all sweet and then you ruin it. I hate you.”

“No, you love me.” Jared grins, hands sliding up Jensen’s back. “That’s why you’re gonna marry me.”

“Holy shit. I’m gonna marry you.”

They stare at each other for a few moments, and then Jensen surges forward to crush their lips together in an intense, passionate kiss.

Jensen is so gorgeous like this, skin flushed pink and all slick with sweat.

The air mattress was a good idea in theory, and it works for the most part. But for what Jared wants right now he needs a stable surface, and Jensen gasps as Jared presses his hips down firmly against the tiny twin mattress of the standard issue dorm bed. Jensen is on his stomach, head turned to the side as he takes in deep gulps of air.

Jared uses his knee to spread Jensen’s thighs and then lies down on top of him, blanketing Jensen’s smaller body with his own. His slippery cock slides across the firm curve of Jensen’s ass and he hisses, so hard and aching.

“Jared,” Jensen breathes, trying to arch his hips up but Jared won’t let him, keeps him pinned down so he can’t move and he has to let Jared do all the work. Jared arches up a little, keeps one hand flat against the small of Jensen’s back to keep his hips in place. His hole is all pink and shiny, stretched by his fingers, and Jared watches as he slides his dick inside, in awe of the way Jensen’s body swallows him greedily. “Oh god.”

“Feel so good around me,” Jared breathes, blanketing Jensen’s body again. Jensen puts his palms flat against the bed like he’s going to try and push himself up, so Jared grabs them and stretches Jensen’s arms over his head, fingers curling together.

Jensen whimpers and then relaxes; going boneless against the bed and surrendering to Jared, letting him do all the work. And he wants to – wants to show Jensen how much he’s cared for, how much he’s loved.

He pulls out torturously slow and slides back in even slower, angling for Jensen’s prostate and pressing against it. Jensen moans brokenly, clutching at Jared’s fingers. Jared gathers the sweat at the nape of Jensen’s neck with his tongue, tastes him and then sucks a mark there as he keeps his hips rolling at a slow, lazy pace designed to break Jensen apart underneath him.

“Still gonna let me fuck you like this when we’re married?” Jared rasps against Jensen’s ear, grinning when he feels Jensen shiver beneath him.

“You – ah, fuck – say that like it’s happening anytime soon,” Jensen grits out, hips making a useless effort to roll under Jared. He pushes in deep, pins Jensen down with his own hips.

“You don’t know when it will happen,” Jared says, nipping at the freckled tip of Jensen’s ear before pulling out and slamming in suddenly, making Jensen crane his head back and moan desperately. “I’m gonna be stealth with it, like a proposal ninja. You’ll never see it coming.”

“If you can fucking talk this much when your dick is in my ass, I must be doing something wrong,” Jensen snaps, and Jared chuckles. “Will you please shut up and fuck me?”

Jared presses a kiss to the spur of Jensen’s shoulder and begins rolling his hips in that same, lazy pace. He brings Jensen’s hands up to the headboard and curls his fingers around one of the slats, pressing against them to make sure Jensen keeps them there. He does, and Jared slides his free hand underneath Jensen’s neck, gripping his opposite shoulder and pulling him up into Jared as he fucks him.

Jensen whimpers again, soft little noises falling from swollen lips. He turns his head to the side as far as he can, feverish eyes pleading, and Jared leans in to kiss him at an awkward angle, hips speeding up when their kiss sends a spark up his spine.

He still won’t let Jensen move with him, just fucks into him at his own pace, trusting the bed to be enough friction against Jensen’s dick. He wants to make Jensen come on his cock alone, and he angles just so, hitting that spot inside Jensen with every stroke.

Jensen lets his head fall back to the bed, and he’s just broken, strung out on pleasure. He’s slick with sweat and trembling, the hand still holding Jared’s clenching in time with their thrusts.

“Need me to touch you, baby? Or is this enough?” He hits Jensen’s prostate again hard, hips rolling faster now. Jensen keens and shakes his head, eyelashes clumped with moisture.

“Wanna come like this,” he breathes, and Jared mouths at the nape of his neck. “I’m – I’m close. Please, Jay.”

“Mm, hey,” Jared pants when Jensen closes his eyes, teeth digging into his bottom lip. “I love you. Gonna do this with you forever.”

“Oh god,” Jensen moans, tensing and letting go of the headboard to clutch at Jared’s arm where it’s looped under his shoulders. “Love you.”

And then he comes, a sharp cry tearing from his lips as his ass clenches down on Jared’s cock, tight as a goddamn vice. He mumbles Jared’s name over and over, crying it out with each aftershock. He’s trembling in Jared’s arms, so fucked out and blissful, tight hole still clenching and unclenching around Jared’s cock.

Jared nearly falters at the sheer sight of Jensen coming undone. It’s the most exhilarating thing Jared has ever seen. After just a few more thrusts his own orgasm hits, so intense he can’t help the hoarse cry that tumbles from his lips as he empties into Jensen, marks him in the most intimate way possible.

Jensen moans so loud at that, at just the feeling of Jared slicking him up inside, and Jared collapses on top of him. He pants harshly against the back of Jensen’s neck, arm going slack against the bed.

Jensen shakes in his arms and Jared fucking loves that, loves feeling him tremble because he came so hard. He moves to sit up and Jensen clutches at his arm, a choked off whimper coming from him. Jared shushes him, squeezing his hand.

“I got you,” he breathes, and reaches underneath them to touch Jensen’s dick. It’s still hard, wet and sticky from where it’s trapped against the bed. “You’re still hard for me, even after all this come.”

Jensen just whines when Jared touches him, too fucked out to even speak and god, that’s hot. Jared pulls out of Jensen and shakes his hand free of Jensen’s, maneuvering them onto their sides so Jensen is lying across his forearm, fingers still curled around Jensen’s dick. He takes his other hand and slides two fingers back into Jensen’s swollen hole, making him twitch and gasp.

“Can you come again?” Jared asks, his own voice still rough and shaky from his own orgasm. Jensen just whimpers, eyes wet and squeezed shut. Jared wraps his fist around Jensen’s dick and strokes lazily while he uses his other hand to finger Jensen, rubbing against his prostate with unrelenting pressure. “I bet you can.”

“Jared,” he breathes, eyes snapping open. A tear rolls down his cheek but Jared knows it’s just because of all the intense emotions running through him, all the pleasure Jared is giving him. Jensen is lax and pliant in Jared’s arms, just giving himself over to Jared, letting him do whatever he wants.

Jared sucks hard at the juncture of neck and shoulder and slides in a third finger. His own cock is stirring against his thigh but he ignores it. This is all for Jensen. He presses his fingers hard against his prostate at the same moment he rubs at the bundle of nerves under the head of Jensen’s dick. Jensen tenses, crying out as his second orgasm hits just minutes after the first. His dick spurts weakly, and Jared gathers the fluid on his fingers and paints Jensen’s lips with it. He turns his head with a sticky hand on his cheek and leans forward to kiss him.

“Knew you could,” Jared breathes, and Jensen just stares up at him with lust-blown eyes. Jared lets his fingers slip from Jensen’s ass, slick with his own come. He wipes them on the bed and turns Jensen around in his arms, pressing them chest to chest. “Feel good?”

Jensen nods weakly and seeks out Jared’s lips, kissing him softly and clutching at him as his hips jerk with aftershocks. Jared wipes Jensen off with the sheet and then rolls them straight off the edge of the bed, chuckling as they land on the air mattress with a bounce and Jensen lets out a squeak.

Jared just lies on his back and pulls Jensen up to his side, one arm looped around his waist as he pulls the blanket up over them. Jensen is down for the count, eyelids drooping sleepily as he pillows his head on Jared’s chest.

“One thing’s for sure,” Jared says, and Jensen lets out a questioning hum. “You definitely can’t wear a white dress.”

Turns out Jensen has just enough energy to hit him in the balls before falling asleep.

When Jared comes home from his last class on Thursday night Jensen is sitting at his desk, tapping idly at his notebook while staring blankly out of the window. He blinks and looks over his shoulder at Jared when he enters, narrowing his eyes at the grin on Jared’s face.

“Hey,” Jensen says, and Jared bites down on his bottom lip. His cheeks are pink and his eyes are bright. He’s up to something.

“Hey,” Jared replies, tossing his bag on one of the unused beds. He runs his fingers through his unruly hair and rocks back onto his heels. “So, what’s the plan for tonight?”

Jensen sighs, eyes flicking over to the calendar where today’s date is marked with Matt @ Hotel Café! in his own excited font. Almost a month ago Matt Nathanson announced on his website that he would be doing a tiny, intimate gig in LA and to get tickets while they were hot. Jensen had been so ready, marked the date and everything.

But then he and Jared broke up, and something like his favorite artist coming to town didn’t even seem like a blip on his radar. He slept right through tickets going on sale, and was still asleep when they sold out hours later. So he’s not going to get to see the show. No big deal. He’ll live.

Maybe. Doesn’t mean he can’t mope about it.

“No plan,” Jensen sighs, pushing away from his desk and spinning his chair around to face his boyfriend, who appears to be vibrating with barely contained excitement. “What’s up with you?”

“I got you something,” Jared says, the words tumbling out in a rush of air like he just couldn’t wait to say them. He pulls an unmarked white envelope out of his back pocket and taps it against his palm once before handing it over. Jensen takes it with a raised eyebrow and flips it over, sliding his finger under the flap and tearing it open.

Inside are two tickets to the Matt Nathanson show.

Jensen’s face flushes with heat and he may or may not let out a squeak. He pulls out the tickets and stares at them like they’re made of gold, turning them over in his hand and swallowing the lump in his throat. He looks up at Jared, noting the warmth in his eyes and his proud, pleased smile.

“How did you – Jared, oh god.” Jensen surges out of his chair and launches himself at Jared, throwing his arms around Jared’s neck and hooking his knees around his waist. Jared laughs and clutches at Jensen’s thighs, stumbling a little as he holds him up. “Thank you!”

“You’re welcome,” Jared says warmly, one hand sliding up Jensen’s back as he clings to Jared tightly. Jared kisses the side of his head and Jensen lets his feet slip to the floor, one arm staying locked around Jared’s waist.

“How did you get these?” Jensen asks, looking down at the tickets in his hand again. Jared’s hand slides up the back of Jensen’s shirt, thumb tracing the dip of his spine.

“Uh, I basically stalked craigslist and every ticketing auction site I could think of,” Jared says easily, and Jensen gets a crinkle in his brow.

“How much did you pay for these?” Jensen asks, and Jared just shrugs. There’s no way the tickets didn’t empty out Jared’s meager savings account. “Let me pay for half.”

“No,” Jared laughs, kissing Jensen’s forehead. “It’s on me. Consider it an early Christmas present.”

Jensen stares at the tickets and then looks up at Jared, getting up on his toes and kissing Jared intensely, fusing their mouths together and fucking his tongue inside. They’re both breathless when Jensen pulls back, panting into each other’s mouths.

“Wow,” Jared breathes, the tip of his nose skimming Jensen’s cheek. “That will never get old.”

“Yeah well,” Jensen replies, grinning. “You just wait for tonight. Anything you want, baby. Name it.”

“Yeah?” Jared replies, eyes drifting to the left like he’s already got something in mind.

“Well, I’m hoping the night ends with me as the meat in a Matt and Jared sandwich,” Jensen jokes. “But if that falls through then yeah, anything you want.”

Jared rolls his eyes and swats Jensen on the ass before pushing him in the general direction of his closet.

“Hurry up and get ready,” Jared says, glancing at the clock. “If we want a good spot we better leave now.”

“Okay, I just have to change,” Jensen says, bouncing excitedly towards his closet. He has some new going out clothes he’s been waiting to wear and this is the perfect occasion.

“Of course you do,” Jared sighs, but the expression on his face is fond. He watches as Jared pockets the tickets and turns to face his closet.

God, he’s a lucky boy.

They get there early enough that they manage to snag a spot right in front of the stage. The concert is standing room only and the tiny venue fills up quickly, people crowding in on them from all sides.

Jared stands behind Jensen, hands on his hips as they wait for the show to start. Jensen is so impatient, hips wiggling as he taps his foot against the concrete floor.

There’s no opening act, just Matt and his guitar. Jensen checks the time on his phone obsessively and when the house lights finally dim, everyone erupts in applause.

Matt Nathanson takes the stage, acoustic guitar hanging from his shoulder as he adjusts the mic and waves to the crowd. Jensen lets out a wolf whistle and Jared snorts, so happy he’s nearly bursting at the seams.

Jensen loves music. He loves singing it, listening to it, and playing it. He loves Matt’s music in particular, and Jared is so happy he could give this to him.

“Hey guys, I’m Matt Nathanson,” he says, and the crowd bursts into applause again. “I’m not gonna lie. This is gonna be a fuckin’ awesome show. We’re gonna fuckin’ rock it tonight, okay?”

Jared laughs. Matt Nathanson’s onstage antics have been the subject of many of Jensen’s late night YouTube searches.

“One question before we begin,” Matt says, fiddling with his guitar as he speaks into the mic. “How many of you have made love to my songs? Don’t be shy.”

There’s a loud cheer and a multitude of hands go up, including Jensen’s. Jared smirks and hooks his fingers in the waistband of Jensen’s pants, unwilling to lose that contact even though the crowd is pushing them together.

“Fuck yeah!” Matt shouts. “That’s what I like to hear. Everybody ready?”

Jensen yells so loud it hurts Jared’s ears, and then Matt starts to play. He may be Jensen’s favorite musician, but Jared likes him too and he can’t deny that the man is fucking good at what he does.

Jensen seems to be having a blast, singing along to every song and laughing at Matt’s stories. Jensen keeps shooting Jared little glances, soft private smiles of gratitude, and Jared’s heart grows two sizes.

Jared loops his arms around Jensen’s waist, interlocking his fingers over his bellybutton and resting his chin on Jensen’s shoulder. Jensen leans back against him, hands resting on Jared’s wrists.

Up on stage Matt leans in towards the mic, eyes flicking over to them, and he nearly does a double take. He steps back and looks directly down at Jared and Jensen, only a few feet away.

“Holy shit. You two are fucking adorable,” Matt says, and Jared can hear Jensen gasp. Jared looks over his shoulder and then back at Matt, who points at them. “Yes, you. The striking gay couple front row center. Christ, you kids are fuckin’ cute.”

Jared and Jensen share surprised looks that quickly turn into dopey grins before they look back up at Matt.

“How long have you been together?” Matt asks, looking genuinely curious. It’s not unheard of for Matt to strike up a conversation with an audience member in the middle of a show, and even in the dark Jared can see the blush on Jensen’s cheeks.

“Forever!” Jensen shouts out, and Jared grins. “Or six months, if you want to get technical.”

“Well shit, forever it is,” Matt replies, winking at them. “This one’s for you, okay?”

Jensen nearly swoons.

The guitar starts up and Jensen cheers, throwing his arms in the air. Jared keeps his grip around Jensen’s waist tight, smiling when Jensen presses back against him.

“Thought you might like this one,” Matt says, throwing Jensen another wink. Then he starts to sing. Jared recognizes the song right away.

He and Jensen have fucked to this song so many times.

Jensen shimmies his hips with the music, ass swaying and grinding against Jared’s hips and he tries very hard not to think sexual thoughts. It’s not an easy task. Especially when Jensen turns his head, digging his fingertips into the soft skin of Jared’s wrists as he starts to sing along with Matt, breathing hot into Jared’s ear.

So come on, get higher, loosen my lips. Faith and desire in the swing of your hips,” Jensen sings, swiveling his hips and biting down softly on the lobe of Jared’s ear. Jared slides one hand under Jensen’s shirts, hand pressing against his tattoo and pinky dipping into his pants. “Just pull me down hard and drown me in love.”

Jensen licks a wet stripe up the side of Jared’s neck, sucking at the hollow behind his ear. Vivid images flash behind Jared’s eyes, memories of Jensen fingering him open while this song played in the background, of Jensen singing the words into his bare skin.

I miss the pull of your heart. I taste the sparks on your tongue,” Jensen sings, and Jared can barely hear Matt anymore. “I see angels, and devils, and God when you come… on. Hold on.”

Jared grins, his hand slipping across Jensen’s hip as he finishes the rest of the song. Near the end, he lifts a hand and turns Jared’s chin so their eyes meet. Jensen’s gaze is intense, eyes dark jade in the dim light of the club.

Cause everything works, love,” he sings, full lips curving into a smile. “Everything works in your arms.”

Their lips meet on the last note, and they kiss sweetly to the sound of cheers, applause, and Matt Nathanson cooing into his microphone.

They stumble into their room late that night, high on a post concert buzz, ears still ringing from being so close to the speakers.

They’re covered in sweat that has long since dried tacky, disgusting because most of it isn’t even theirs but that’s okay. They’re happy.

Jared toes off his Chuck Taylors as Jensen sticks their signed ticket stubs to the corkboard with brightly colored pushpins. The grin hasn’t faded from his face since Matt walked out on the stage and god, Jared loves that smile.

“I can’t believe you actually asked Matt Nathanson to sign your tits,” Jared snorts, and Jensen turns around. He pulls up his shirt, proudly displaying the messy scribble between his nipples, one of which Matt turned into a smiley face.

Jared sort of hates seeing someone else’s name inked into Jensen’s skin, even if it is temporary, and even if it doesn’t mean anything.

“Dude, whatever,” Jensen replies, looking down at the sharpie marks on his pale, freckled skin. “You know that shit was hilarious.”

It was. Meeting Matt after the show was pretty incredible. They skulked around the tour bus with the other fans until Matt came out with a wide smile and a sharpie in his hand.

He remembered them, and when he gave Jensen a hug he nearly choked on his gum. They chatted for a bit, took some pictures, and Matt signed their ticket stubs and Jensen’s chest, which Jared has on video. Which is totally going on YouTube.

“So you had fun, I take it?” Jared asks, and Jensen walks over to him. He links their hands together, kissing Jared’s knuckles before looking up at him.

“So much,” he says adamantly. “Thank you, Jared.” He presses their lips together softly. “I love you.”

“Mm, love you,” Jared replies, hands slipping under Jensen’s shirt to rest on his stomach.

“So, I believe I promised that you could have me however you wanted,” Jensen says with a flirty grin. “Any ideas?”

Jared looks hard at Jensen’s mouth, at the soft pink skin of his puffy lips, at the curve of them. He thinks about how they felt against his skin when Jensen was singing to him, thinks of the rush he gets when they touch his own.

He reaches into Jensen’s pocket and pulls out his phone, fingers dancing across the shiny touch screen.

“On the bed,” Jared says softly, and Jensen grins, pulling off his tee shirt as he goes. Jared sets the phone down in its dock on the nightstand, taking off his own shirt as he climbs onto the bed next to Jensen.

“I set an alarm for an hour from now,” Jared says, pressing his hand to Jensen’s collarbone, sliding up until his fingers find Jensen’s pulse and press against it softly. “I want you to kiss me.”

“And?” Jensen asks, reaching up to wrap his fingers around Jared’s wrist as Jared’s hand curls around his neck. The amount of trust they have in each other is insane, and Jared loves the calm, relaxed look in Jensen’s eyes, even with a hand wrapped loosely around his throat. Jared squeezes, just slightly, and Jensen lets out a breathy sigh.

“That’s it,” Jared replies, sliding his hand away from Jensen’s neck to rest over his heart. “I want you to kiss me, and I want you to still be kissing me when that alarm goes off an hour from now.”

Jensen looks surprised for a moment before his lips curve into a soft smile, eyes locking on Jared with such reverence that Jared’s breath catches in his throat.

“I can do that,” Jensen whispers, reaching up to curl his arm around Jared’s neck and pull him down on top of him. Their lips meet as Jared blankets Jensen’s smaller body with his own, slipping one thigh between Jensen’s legs and pressing their bare chests together.

Jensen likes to kiss with both hands, palming Jared’s cheeks as he parts Jared’s lips with his tongue. Jared barely lets their tongues touch before he’s pulling away, kissing Jensen’s bottom lip and then the top, sealing their mouths together again and reveling in the feel of Jensen’s lips against his own.

It’s soft and lazy for the most part, hard dicks ignored in favor of their kisses. Jensen smells like sweat and smoke and the barest hint of his lavender shampoo and Jared buries his face in Jensen’s neck just to inhale the scent of him, dizzy and overpowering.

They kiss until they’re lightheaded from lack of air, until their lips are numb and clumsy from overuse. It feels hot in the room but it’s probably just them, temperature skyrocketing as they stay pressed together skin to skin, arms wrapped around each other and hands roaming lazily. Jensen bites down softly on Jared’s bottom lip, tugs it just slightly and licks away the sting. Jared licks the crisp taste of sweat away from the bow of Jensen’s upper lip before sucking it into his mouth, worrying it with his teeth until he’s almost sure it will bruise.

The alarm goes off and Jensen pulls away, eyes half lidded and sleepy as he looks up at Jared with a swollen smile. He pushes Jared’s sweaty hair away from his face, cups his cheek in one hand and just stares at him, gaze intense as the alarm blares from the nightstand.

Finally Jensen reaches over, pressing snooze before lifting his head to kiss Jared again.

Finals week gets off to a rough start.

Jensen nearly sleeps through his Biology exam, barely skidding into the classroom on time. He breaks both of his pencils and when he borrows one from the girl next to him she tries valiantly to get him to go to lunch with her. She flips her hair and bats her eyelashes and he’s so stressed he just kind of awkwardly tells her that he likes cock and runs away.

Things go downhill from there.

He doesn’t have any time to eat, let alone caffeinate, and he trips over the threshold of his Spanish classroom and faceplants in front of thirty stressed out college kids in need of a good laugh.

Basically, his entire day is material.

He escapes into his room, throwing his bag into the corner and climbing onto his bed, resisting the urge to curl into the fetal position. College is hard.

After a few minutes (in which he totally doesn’t play his CD of soothing ocean sounds, shut up) Jared comes in, still wearing his Ed’s apron and nursing an extra large icy cup of amazing deliciousness and caffeine.

Jensen whimpers and gets off of his bed, rushing over to Jared and crushing his face into Jared’s chest, wrapping his arms tight around Jared’s waist. Jared immediately wraps him in a hug, cold coffee cup pressed between his shoulder blades.

“Aw, babe,” Jared chuckles, pressing a kiss to his temple. “Long day?”

Jensen just whimpers again, very pathetically. Jared kisses his forehead and then pushes him back. He pinches the tip of his straw and sticks it between Jensen’s lips.

“Drink,” Jared says, and Jensen slurps down the coffee greedily. He makes happy noises when Jared puts the cup in his hand. “There we go. Oh, I got something for you.”

“Hm?” Jensen mumbles, lips still sucking at the straw. Jared laughs and digs something out of his pocket. He takes Jensen’s wrist and Jensen finally stops drinking, brows knitting. Jared ties a thin black leather bracelet onto his wrist, and then turns it over and thumbs at the thin cuff. There is a silver ring in the middle, and it’s warm against Jensen’s skin.

“Ed is letting this chick sell some of her stuff at work,” Jared explains, shrugging one shoulder. “I thought this would look good on you.”

Jensen blinks, tearing his eyes away from the bracelet and swallowing against the sudden swell of emotion in his throat.

“Thanks,” he breathes, bringing his wrist up to his face to examine the jewelry. “I love it.”

“Good,” Jared grins, and then groans when he glances at the clock. “I gotta go. I’m almost late for my exam.”

“Okay,” Jensen responds slowly, watching as Jared takes off his apron and tosses it into the corner. “Good luck.”

“Thanks, Jen.” He grabs Jensen around the waist and kisses his lips softly. “See you soon.”

He runs out of the room, leaving Jensen with his favorite caffeinated beverage, a new present, and a huge grin on his face.

The day is definitely looking up.

They survive finals thanks to a precarious cocktail of caffeine, sex, and power naps.

By Thursday, Jensen is running purely on adrenaline and endorphins, and he’s got one final to go. He stumbles into the dorm room to see Jared sitting at the desk, nursing a large iced coffee. He sees Jensen and gets up, stalking over to him and pressing him against the door as he kisses him.

“Mm, hey,” Jensen says, licking the coffee taste from his lips. “Good to see you too.”

“Hold this,” Jared says, thrusting the ice-cold cup into Jensen’s hand. As soon as Jensen has a good grip on it Jared drops to his knees, hands going for Jensen’s fly. “Finished my History exam and this was all I could think about. Wanna suck you so bad.”

“Shit – yeah, okay,” Jensen says, surprised and pleased. Jared yanks his pants down and wraps his hand around Jensen’s dick, getting him hard and then sucking him into his mouth. Jensen grunts, one hand tangling in Jared’s hair and the other squeezing the drink cup. He watches Jared suck him, insanely pink lips stretching wide around his shaft, dusky eyelashes skimming flushed cheeks. He absently brings the straw to his lips, gulping down coffee. He lets out another soft moan around the straw.

Jared looks up at him, one eyebrow raised as he sucks greedily at the head of Jensen’s dick. Jensen just smiles around the straw, one hand cupping Jared’s cheek.

“It’s like a fucking threesome,” Jensen mumbles around the straw, and Jared just rolls his eyes and then closes them as he bobs up and down on his dick. “The two loves of my life.”

It’s not long before he’s coming into Jared’s mouth, a soft cry escaping his lips as his hips jerk forward.

Jared swallows it all and then slinks up Jensen’s body, kissing his panting lips and then taking the cup back, slurping noisily until he finishes off the coffee. He kisses Jensen again, fucks his tongue into his mouth and lets Jensen taste the strangely addicting bitter taste of sugary coffee and his own come.

“Gonna let me fuck you?” Jared asks, tugging Jensen across the room. Jensen grins and falls back onto the bed, leaning up on his elbows as Jared undresses.

“Depends,” Jensen asks, fingers wrapping lazily around his dick, stroking himself back to full hardness. “Is the latte invited?”

Jared just growls and jumps on top of him.

Jensen takes that as a no.

The semester finally ends, and Christmas break is spent with their families. Jared had no idea how much he actually missed them until he was with them again, could hug his mother and carry his little sister on his back and feel his dad’s firm hand on his shoulder.

They’d spent all of Thanksgiving break on each other – fighting, making up, relearning each other, and their families had been neglected.

He and Jensen don’t talk much in the week leading up to Christmas, but that’s okay. This time they know where they stand. They can spend time with their families without worrying about their fate, because they’re better than they’ve ever been.

Jared can’t sleep on Christmas Eve, little boy restlessness he hasn’t yet outgrown. The house is quiet, everyone sacked out on eggnog and cookies, but he’s still wide awake. Humming Christmas carols doesn’t work, and he lets out a huff as he rolls out of bed.

He rubs at his eyes and then spots something on the nightstand, grinning to himself as he snatches it up and heads out of the room.

It’s cold enough outside that he drives over to Jensen’s, parking his truck behind Jensen’s car and staring up at his window. He smiles to himself and bypasses the front door, instead hopping onto the trellis that was seemingly tailor made for sneaking into Jensen’s room.

The window fogs up with his breath as he pushes it open and climbs inside. Jensen rolls over, sleepy eyes fluttering open blearily. He stares at Jared and then smirks, yawning hugely.

“You’re not Santa,” Jensen mumbles, rubbing at his eyes. Jared grins and closes the window, shivering a little as his body adjusts to the sleepy warmth of Jensen’s bedroom. He kicks off his flip-flops and climbs into Jensen’s bed, snuggling against his boyfriend and pressing his cold toes against his feet. Jensen hisses and wraps his arms around Jared, eyes slipping shut again. “You’re freezing.”

“Hey,” Jared whispers, digging the mistletoe out of his pocket and holding it above their heads. Jensen doesn’t respond, breath coming soft and shallow. “Hey, wake up.”

“Hm?” Jensen’s eyebrows rise slightly but he doesn’t open his eyes. Jared leans in and brushes their noses together, his hand curling around Jensen’s hip.

“Hey, look,” Jared tries again, and Jensen finally opens his eyes. Jared pulls back and shakes the mistletoe, grinning widely. Jensen looks up at it and then chuckles softly, fingers sliding up into Jared’s hair.

“You really need an excuse?” Jensen asks, voice low and raspy with sleep. “You can kiss me anytime you want to.”

Jared grins even wider, heart thumping against his ribcage as he tosses the mistletoe on the floor. He leans in to kiss Jensen tenderly, and his lips are warm and so soft. Jensen’s fingers are lazy but insistent, curling in his hair as he returns the kiss. It doesn’t end until they’re breathless, turning their heads to the side just to get some much needed oxygen.

Moonlight filters in through the blinds, falling in a line of stripes on the floor. They rest their heads on the same pillow and look at each other, pressed so close and staying so warm. Jensen’s eyes slip shut and he presses their foreheads together, fingers trailing down the back of Jared’s neck and making him shiver.

They’re quiet for a long time, just breathing each other in. He assumes Jensen has fallen back to sleep and he’s about to drift off as well when suddenly Jensen pulls him closer, lips brushing his ear as he starts to sing, soft as a whisper.

Moon pours through the ceiling tonight, embraces us tight, shows me we’re right for each other,” he sings, voice low and rough, the sleepy sound of it going straight to Jared’s heart. “And as we lie here and let the world fade away, the sunrise tries to end it while we try to stay.”

Jared’s throat constricts with emotion as Jensen presses their foreheads together, eyes closed and lips brushing Jared’s as he sings. Jared pulls Jensen even closer, gathers him up in his arms and tries to keep his emotions in check. Jensen hasn’t sang for him like this since they fixed everything, and Jared missed it terribly – missed the sound of Jensen’s sweet, rough voice in his ear as they lie tangled together in a dark, quiet room. It’s so intimate, makes Jared tremble with the force of it.

The rest of my life can’t compare to this night, and only the heartaches have given me sight. They bring me to you,” Jensen continues, voice slow and smooth like honey. He’s nearly boneless in Jared’s arms, so tired, but he continues to sing for Jared like he knows how much he needs it.

Jensen opens his eyes then, biting his lip for a moment and pushing even closer to Jared, hand slipping up the back of his shirt and resting between his shoulder blades. He presses his lips to Jared’s forehead and continues, voice tinged with emotion.

It’s all about the first night and last, some people say,” Jensen sings softly, lips brushing Jared’s forehead. “Well, I love you so much more tonight, more than yesterday. The rest of my life can’t compare to this night.”

Jared blinks away the moisture in his eyes, arm locked tight around Jensen’s waist. Jensen exhales deeply, lips skimming across Jared’s eyebrow and down the slope of his nose. He nudges Jared’s nose with his own and then kisses him gently, plush lips pressing against his own. He lets his head drop to the pillow, burrowing his head under Jared’s jaw, lips pressed to the hollow of his throat.

“I love you,” Jared breathes, and he feels Jensen’s lips turn up into a lazy, sleepy smile against his skin.

“I love you,” Jensen repeats, sticking his warm feet up against Jared’s cold ones. “Merry Christmas.”

Jensen falls asleep, and Jared spends a long time just staring out at the moon, rubbing circles low on Jensen’s back.

It’s amazing, just how much love his heart can hold.

Misha’s cabin is more like a house – a relatively large house with two stories, situated on the edge of the massive lake. It’s pretty awesome.

Like, really awesome.

There are two bedrooms upstairs that Misha and Jensen have called dibs on so they can fuck their respective boys in relative private and everyone else has to crash on the floor wherever they happen to pass out. Jensen is pretty happy about that.

It’s thirty minutes to midnight, and Jensen is really fucking drunk. He’s perched up on the back of the sofa, sipping from something pink and strong that Sandy thrust into his hand. Jared is… somewhere else and the music is really loud.

Something grabs his foot and he absolutely does not shriek as he’s pulled off of the back of the couch, ass landing on the cushions with a bounce as he keeps his drink over his head. A lone drop splashes out and hits his cheek. He tries to lick it away as James flops down next to him. He leans in to lick the drink from Jensen’s cheek and he wrinkles his nose. It beats being sticky, he guesses.

“So you like sucking dick, right?” James asks, licking his finger clean and then taking a drink from Jensen’s cup. His first instinct is to protect his booze at all costs, but then he squints at James.

“Why would you ask me such a question?” Jensen says, and yeah wow, he’s slurring just a little. James rolls his eyes and slings his arm over Jensen’s shoulders.

“I mean, you genuinely get off on sucking dick,” James continues. “You don’t do it just to make Jared feel good, right?”

“Why do you say this?” Fuck, why can’t he talk properly? James bites his lip and gestures over his shoulder.

“Jared is like, really drunk,” he says, whispering like it’s a secret. Jensen can smell tequila on his breath. “And chatty.”

“Jared is telling people I get off on sucking cock?” He asks, and James nods. “Well, it’s not like he’s lying, but damn.”

“It’s just, I’ve always fooled around with guys, but it’s always been like a one night thing, you know?” James continues. “I was sort of talented at always finding myself on the receiving end of things. And now like, I have a boyfriend and I’m expected to be on my knees all the time, and it leaves a little to be desired.”

“And you’re asking me for advice because I love sucking dick?” Jensen asks, and James nods. “On my knees like a whore.”

“No!” James shouts. “Ugh, never mind.”

“I’m kidding,” Jensen laughs, letting his forehead fall onto James’s shoulder. “I do love it.” He lifts his head and looks James in the eye. “It’s the taste, right? You don’t like the taste.”

“That’s a big part of it,” James admits, and Jensen tries to nod and take a drink at the same time, which results in him spilling pink liquid into the creases of his neck. James leans in and Jensen smacks his palm against his forehead and pushes him back.

“Down boy,” Jensen says, and then takes another drink. “You know how me and Jared drink pineapple juice all the time? Always have it with lunch and stuff?”

“Yeah,” James replies, raising an eyebrow.

“It ain’t because we enjoy tropical fruit, man,” Jensen tells him, nodding at himself and then taking another drink. It’s almost gone and he has no idea what it was and he needs Sandy like, right now.

“What are you – oh. Wait, really?” James asks, eyes widening as Jensen nods.

“Our come tastes like candy, man,” Jensen tells him. “Can’t get enough of it.”

“That really works?” James asks, and Jensen lets out a long hum, staring mournfully into his empty red cup. “I gotta go tell Misha. Pineapple. Thanks!”

He leans in to plant a kiss on Jensen’s cheek but sort of gets his nose and his upper lip instead. It tickles and Jensen instinctively slaps at him, shouting an apology as James runs away.

Sandy!” He calls, but to no avail. His cup stays devastatingly empty. Jared drops down next to him and leans in to kiss at his neck.

“Mm, you’re all sticky,” Jared says, tongue peeking out to lap at Jensen’s skin. Jensen hums and tilts his head to the side. Then he pushes Jared back and glares at him.

“Why are you telling everyone I get off on sucking your dick?” Jensen says, scowling. Jared just looks confused and drunk and adorable. Jensen sort of just wants to make out with him all night.

“I’m sorry?” Jared replies. “That’s not exactly a secret, dude. Everyone knows you’re a slut for my cock.”

Or not.

“If it’s any consultation,” Jared says, leaning in to trace his tongue along the curve of Jensen’s jaw. “The feeling is mutual.”

“Did – did you just say ‘if it’s any consultation’?” Jensen asks, throwing his head back and laughing. Jared snorts against his neck, his hand falling heavily onto Jensen’s thigh.

“’M really drunk,” Jared laughs, kissing his way up to Jensen’s ear. “And you’re really hot.”

“Two things I was already quite aware of, thanks,” Jensen replies, spotting James and Misha over at the liquor table. James is pouring pineapple Malibu into Misha’s cup and Jensen rolls his eyes. “It has to be real pineapple, dumbass!” He shouts, and James shrugs his shoulders. Jensen watches him mix the rum with orange juice and he licks his lips. “Bring me one!”

Jeff wanders over with a beer in hand, and he goes to sit next to them but then spots Jared’s tongue firmly attached to Jensen’s neck and scoots over a cushion before dropping down. Jensen looks over at him, fingers curled loosely in the soft curls at the base of Jared’s neck.

“How goes it?” Jensen asks, nodding in thanks when James hands him a full red cup. He takes a sip, tastes the sharp tartness of pineapple juice and winks at James before pulling Jared’s head back so he can have a sip. Jared lets out a soft hum and gulps it down.

“Oh, I’m just trapped in a vortex of unspeakable evil, and you?” Jeff scoffs, nursing his beer with a scowl. “It’s a total fucking banana factory in here. There are two girls, and ten guys. Ten! And the two girls are ridiculously hot and no amount of alcohol will get them to leave their stupid boyfriends. Or make out with each other.”

“I find that hard to believe,” Jensen says. “Given enough alcohol I would put money on Sandy and Sophia touching boobs by the end of the night.”

“Really?” Jared and Jeff say in unison, and Jensen flicks the end of Jared’s nose. “Ow.”

“I brought you something pink!” Sandy exclaims, popping up from seemingly nowhere and dropping onto Jensen’s lap. She leans in to give him a peck on the lips and Jensen wrinkles his nose.

“You’re not allowed to do that anymore,” Jensen says, rubbing at his mouth. “Your lips have been on my brother.”

“All the tiiiime,” Sandy giggles, leaning in to kiss Jared as well. Jeff narrows his eyes at her and she juts her lips out into a pout.

“What’s up, Yoko?” Jeff says, and Sandy rolls her eyes. “Just walkin’ around with that sexy little body, breaking up the band and shit.”

“Don’t be like that,” Sandy chides. “What can I do to cheer you up, Jeffy?”

“Make out with Sophia,” Jensen supplies, and Sandy smirks. “All the straight boys here would enjoy that. But Jared isn’t allowed to watch.”

Fucked up,” Jared tells him, but Jensen just smirks and kisses his temple.

“No, seriously,” Jeff says, leaning in with bright eyes. “How much alcohol would it take to make this happen?”

“Is that all?” Sandy says, hopping drunkenly off of the couch. “Sophia!”

“Oh shit. Later, homos!” Jeff exclaims, following Sandy across the room. Jared and Jensen watch as Sandy hops onto Sophia’s lap and plants a kiss on her lips. Chad drops his beer and Josh’s eyes widen.

“That’s it!” Josh cries out. “No more hanging out with the gays. It’s fucking contagious!” Chad just looks over at them and mouths thank you, giving them a double thumbs up.

“Girl kissing!” James exclaims. “Someone break out a camera, now. Twitter it, throw it on your Facebook wall! I want this all over every social networking site within the hour!”

“You’re welcome!” Jensen shouts back. Chris looks over at them and tips his cup. Jared and Jensen both nod back at him, happy that there’s no lingering animosity between them. He looks back at Sandy and Sophia, wrinkling his nose. “I just don’t understand the appeal.”

“Yeah,” Jared says, looking over his shoulder at them and then turning back to Jensen, pulling his legs across Jared’s lap. Jensen raises an eyebrow, smirking warmly.

“Right,” he says slowly, taking another sip of his drink as Jared stares at him. “You don’t find that hot?”

“You know what I find hot?” Jared says, sliding his giant hand up Jensen’s thigh to his hip, pulling him fully on his lap. “You.”

“Yeah?” Jensen asks, setting his cup down on the floor so he can loop an arm around Jared’s neck. He’s looking at him with this warm, liquid gaze and it makes Jensen’s heart speed up.

“Yeah,” Jared replies lowly. “Two girls kissing might be nice to look at, but you in your old man pajamas flossing your teeth in the bathroom mirror will always be hotter.”

“Shut up,” Jensen says, slapping Jared’s chest as his cheeks heat up. Jared laughs softly and catches Jensen’s wrist, slotting his fingers with Jensen’s and squeezing.

“It’s true,” Jared retorts. “The way you get up on your tiptoes and lean in, stretching until your shirt pulls up and I can see your tattoo.”

Jensen swallows as Jared’s free hand trails under his shirt, fingers rubbing across his inked hip. He shudders slightly and leans in, pressing his head to Jared’s shoulder.

“And when you fall asleep while you’re studying,” Jared continues, fingers stroking soothingly across his tattoo, “and you drool all over your textbooks. So hot.”

He reaches up to put his fingers under Jensen’s chin, lifting his face until they’re eye to eye. Jensen licks his lips, eyes drooping as he stares at Jared’s face. He’s drunk on alcohol, drunk on Jared, and he’s warm and tingly all over. His thumb swipes gently across Jensen’s lips and he nearly moans.

“But when you kiss me?” Jared says, voice pitched fond and low. “Explosive.”

Jensen pushes up a little, presses his lips to Jared’s in a soft kiss. The sensation is such a rush every single time. They keep at it – soft little kisses and gentle swipes of their tongues. Jensen is still breathless when Jared pulls away. He keeps his lips pressed to the corner of Jensen’s mouth, words spoken into soft skin in a near whisper.

“And when I’m inside you?” Jared says, and Jensen shivers. “When I’m making love to you, Jen, that’s fucking molten lava. Nothing hotter.”

“Do it,” Jensen breathes, arms tightening around Jared’s neck, his ass snug against Jared’s lap. “Take me upstairs. Make love to me.”

“There’s something we need to do first,” Jared replies, chuckling as he slips his hand up the back of Jensen’s shirt. Jensen sighs, leaning in to kiss under Jared’s ear.

“What could be more important than you and me,” Jensen breathes, nipping Jared’s earlobe, “tangled up together, naked between the sheets?”

“It’s almost midnight,” Jared tells him, glancing at the television. Dick Clark continues to defy the laws of nature by being alive, and the ball is close to dropping. “They say that whatever you’re doing at midnight is what you’ll be doing all year.”

Jensen pulls away from Jared’s neck and looks around the room. Josh and Chad have reclaimed their girlfriends and their mouths, lips locked together. James and Misha are curled up together in a recliner, looking adorable with their foreheads pressed together. Everyone is having such a good time, and everyone is so drunk. Jensen smiles, feeling so grateful to have such a fantastic group of friends. He’s lucky to be here in the middle of them all, wrapped up in Jared’s arms.

“So you’re saying we’re going to spend all year watching our friends make drunken asses of themselves?” Jensen asks, turning his head to look at Jared. Jared just smiles fondly, reaching up to push Jensen’s hair back from his face.

“If we’re lucky,” he says, lacing his fingers with Jensen’s again and kissing his knuckles. “But I was actually talking about us. We’re going to be together, kissing at midnight and we’re gonna be together all year and then when next year rolls around we’ll kiss again, and it’ll go on like that forever.”

“Forever, huh?” Jensen replies, smiling fondly and leaning in to press their foreheads together. Jared grins, and he’s so beautiful it knocks all the air from Jensen’s lungs.

“Hell yeah,” Jared replies, and then reaches up to cup Jensen’s cheek, looking soft and warm and so serious. “I love you.”

The countdown starts then, everyone in the room screaming out the numbers at the top of their lungs.

“I love you too,” Jensen responds softly, their lips nearly brushing. “Always will.”

“Three, two, one!”

“Happy New Year,” they tell each other in unison, and their lips meet in the middle of all the chaos. Amidst the shouts and the screams, all the confetti raining down, there is only them.

Only them, forever.