Length: 2000ish words
Summary: College AU. Jared spots Jensen across a crowded cafeteria. When he realizes Jensen is signing to his friends, Jared has a new mission in life. Learn to talk with his hands.
Disclaimer: This is an act of fiction, and no harm is meant.
Author’s Note: Originally written for a prompt from homo_pink for spnspringfling and posted here.
The first time Jared saw Jensen ended with a near death experience. He choked on a tater tot, and Chad smacked him on the back so hard the tot sailed across the table and landed on the floor a good five feet away. It was both disgusting and impressive.
Which was actually a pretty good description for Chad, Jared realized.
Jared decided not to let his close encounter with a fried potato treat serve as a bad omen in connection to Jensen. Who was just ‘holy shit who is that guy’ guy when it all went down. Or not down, as the case may be.
Either way, Jared wanted to meet that guy. Who he hoped had not just witnessed the whole tot projectile thing. He glanced back across the dining hall to check, and it was then that his brain took over and actually paid attention.
“He’s deaf.” Jared frowned a little, thrown off his game.
“What? Who’s - did you get a tater tot in your ear, too?” Chad squinted at him. And then at his ear.
“No, the hot guy. You see him?” Jared gestured vaguely towards the table where his dream man was sitting, and signing up a storm with the four other people seated around it.
“Dude, you’re the gaymaster general, not me. Be specific.” Chad rolled his eyes, slumped back in his seat.
“Ugh, him. There, in the black v-neck.” Jared put his chin on his hand, and yes, he was staring. He thought the thirty plus feet between his table and his future husband’s table was cover enough for the ogling. The dining hall was packed with people, he could easily shift his gaze if he got caught. But damn, the view. The guy’s mouth - which deserved its own soliloquy - his mouth was parted in a smile, gorgeous eyes lit up as he carried on a conversation with -
“Hey, I know her. That’s Alicia!” Jared felt renewed hope.
Chad was staring at the table, eyes shifting from the people there to Jared and back again. “Wait, so - what?”
“Alicia! She was in my - actually, our, but you never showed up - American Lit seminar last seminar. She does interpreting for the university. I can talk to her - and get her to teach me sign language and then I can woo him.” Jared grinned, flush with confidence in his clearly foolproof plan.
“Before you start adopting babies with Mr. Wonderful, you think you might want to, I don’t know, find out his name?”
Jared rolled his eyes, hand swatting in Chad’s general direction. “Details.” He jumped, eyes widening. “Oh! She’s getting up, she’s - I have to follow her - you stay - no, I’ll - whatever, see you later.” Jared got to his feet, threw his backpack over one shoulder and grabbed his tray, darting towards the trash and recycling station. He heard vague spluttering behind him, possibly some swearing.
“Alicia! Hey! Long time no see! How ya been?” He dumped his stuff as Alicia did, and if she looked a little startled at his enthusiastic greeting, she covered it quickly.
“Oh, hi, Jared! Good, how ‘bout you?” Alicia nodded at Jared, moving towards the exit. Jared fell into step next to her, stealing one last glance over at his true love before facing front.
“So, I was wondering something.” He opened his mouth to ask about the guy, and then hesitated.
It was possible Alicia might not appreciate being approached out of the blue and asked if she could hook up Jared - who she had spoken with maybe five times - and the most beautiful man on the UT campus. Maybe she liked him. Jared gasped. What if the guy wasn’t gay?
“Are you okay?” Alicia looked a little freaked and Jared realized he was being a big weirdo.
“Oh yeah, sorry. Just remembered an assignment I have to turn in. Anyway. There’s this...guy that I know. A friend of a friend?” That was relatively true. “And he, uh, he’s deaf and I want to talk to him, so I was wondering if you would be willing to teach me a little signing?” Jared made a few vague gestures with his hands, realized there was every chance those were rude signs, and shoved his hands in his pockets.
“Uh. Well, I could, hmm.” Alicia paused. “How much do you want to learn?”
Jared really should have thought this through. None of the things he wanted to say to that guy were appropriate to share with Alicia. “The alphabet?” There, yeah. “Just basic conversation stuff?” He paused, chewed his lip. “Maybe some...flirting?”
The last bit was when he realized he had her. She lit up. “Oh, it’s like that, is it?”
“Maybe? If that means you’ll help?” Jared tried his most winsome smile, hoping it worked on girls. It usually worked on his mama, so there was hope.
By their third lesson, Jared had mastered about half the alphabet and could ask basic questions. It was slow going for him to follow Alicia when she signed. It seemed like it all went by so fast. They were having their lesson at the Buzzy Bee and sipping on cups of coffee as they took a break when Alicia started getting curious. Which Jared figured was inevitable.
“Does he go here?” She took a drink and smiled at him.
“Um, yes. I think so.”
“Ben?” Jared shook his head. “Shane?” Nope. “Matt?” No. Alicia rattled off six more guys’ names and then Jared realized he was a moron.
“I don’t actually know his name. So, I guess maybe on the last few guys.”
“How do you not know - you know what, spill. Who is it?” Alicia narrowed her eyes, and it wasn’t remotely intimidating but Jared just really wanted someone to talk to who wasn’t Chad, because Chad didn’t count. Especially since Chad stuck his fingers in his ears whenever Jared started talking about his dream guy.
“He, uh. I saw him at your lunch table. You were signing with him. He’s new? And beautiful?”
Alicia half-smiled at him, and then furrowed her brow in thought. “But I already named all the guys I usually eat with - oh my god. Oh my god.” She slapped a hand over her mouth and started giggling.
“What? What’s so funny?” The giggling went on and on and Jared was fast losing his patience.
“You mean Jensen. Tall, with short brown hair, was sitting with me Tuesday?”
“Jensen.” Jared said it aloud, pleased to finally have a name to go with that pretty, pretty face. “Wait. Why is that funny?”
“He’s not deaf, Jared.” Alicia continued. “His sister is, and he does interpreting sometimes for concerts. Which is what we were talking about that day, actually. And we didn’t want to leave the table out of the discussion, so we signed. And you thought...”
Jared was prepared to explain what happened when he had a different, much more annoying thought:
“You mean I’ve been practicing for weeks just so I could learn how to tell Jensen he’s the most gorgeous person I’ve ever laid eyes on and would he go out with me and possibly home with me and all this time I could have just said it to him?”
“Yep. Looks that way.” The voice that came from behind him was not Alicia’s. It was rough and friendly and very Texas and oh yes, male. Very male. Possibly a very specific male
Jared covered his eyes with one hand and didn’t move. “Alicia. Please tell me he’s not - “
“Right behind you?” Now the voice was both sexy and amused.
Jared nodded. “Yeah, that.” He spun on his chair, decided he’d at least like a really good look at the man of his dreams before this went any more badly. When he met Jensen’s eyes, there was an excellent chance he whimpered.
“I’m Jensen.” He didn’t walk off laughing. He put his hand out. “Which you seem to already know. Maybe we should try just meeting?”
“You always have such outlandish ideas?” Jared took Jensen’s hand. Warm and strong and oh, Jared’s dick was excited. And thinking of standing up to tell everyone.
“Chock full of ‘em.” Jensen wasn’t letting go of his hand, eyes locked on Jared’s.
Jared heard Alicia clear her throat and from the corner of her eye, he saw that she stood up.
“Jensen, how ‘bout a raincheck on the meeting. You look...busy.”
“Sounds good, A. I’ll text you.”
And she was gone and Jared was sitting on a stool in a busy coffee shop, holding the hand of Jensen, and this was...unexpected.
“I tended to focus on the part where you were saying nice things about me, but did I catch that you were learning sign language just so could sign those things to me? Because you thought I couldn’t hear?”
Jared was blushing tomato red and the hand Jensen was still holding was getting sweaty. He nodded. He was embarrassed and turned on in equal measure and his heart was pounding in his throat the longer Jensen stared at him.
“Good thing I showed up then.” Jensen released Jared’s hand and leaned against the tall table opposite Jared. “Why don’t you show me what you’ve learned?”
Blinking, Jared rubbed his hands on the thighs of his jeans. He was usually a lot better at this. But Jensen. Jensen was smooth as fucking silk, and making everything in Jared go a little haywire. Finally, he cleared his throat and lifted his hand, spelling out his name, Jensen’s name. He asked how Jensen was, asked about the weather and maybe if Jensen needed something to drink. Jensen signed back rapidly, calmly.
He stepped up a little closer to Jared now, almost between his knees. “How about this? Did Alicia teach you this?” Jensen’s fingers slowed down, moved deliberately through a series of gestures.
Shaking his head slightly, Jared replied. “I don’t think I got -”
When Jensen leaned in and whispered an explanation, Jared’s mouth fell open. “Are you serious?”
“Definitely. Seven o’clock. Where do you live? I’ll pick you up.”
“Corner of Shelton and 1st. White house.” Jared grinned, feeling on more even footing now. “And the answer is yes.”
“You’ll have to forgive me for assuming, based on earlier evidence.” Jensen bit into his bottom lip, and he was really close, and oh shit.
“Oh shit, class. I’ve got class in - oh, shit - five minutes.” Jared was on his feet, and Jensen backed up. “But yes, seven. See you then? It’s a date?”
“It’s definitely a date.” Jensen winked, signed a little see you later and headed out. Jared watched him go, but then had to take off at a sprint to get down to Davidson Hall in a damn hurry.
The date had been a rousing success. With lots of rousing. Jared found it unbearably cute that Jensen sometimes talked with his hands, signing as he spoke, clearly out of habit around his sister. It was heartwarming and he had great hands and Jared invited him inside without hesitation.
He kissed Jensen in the kitchen, against the counter, right in the middle of asking if he wanted a beer. Jensen didn’t seem to mind the sudden shift, opening his mouth on a moan and grasping the back of Jared’s shirt as they kissed. The gesture he made when they pulled apart, eyebrows lifted, mouth wicked and wet, was definitely not one Alicia had taught Jared. In fact, it was probably one that didn’t come up too often for her, in general. Also, it was obscene.
Jared understood, though. And he was all for it. He nodded, grin as wide as it could get, grabbed Jensen’s wrist and dragged him to the bedroom.
Time to show Jensen he was good with his hands, too.