The best word to describe Jensen Ackles would be responsible. There are plenty of other words that would do the job, most of them even complimentary, but responsible tops the list.
He was valedictorian at his high school and graduated college with honors. Now he’s top of his class in his third year of med school, well on his way to becoming one of the best doctors the state has ever seen.
He’s fascinated with the human body, how flesh and blood and bone all come together to make a living, breathing person. He likes how that despite how we’re all made up of the same basic components we can still all be so different.
His friends always tell him that he needs to relax, slow down and have some fun. He rarely heeds their advice.
Chris is his closest friend. They’re sort of an odd match. Chris has goals, but they include sleeping until three and drinking until he blacks out. Jensen shares a shitty apartment just off campus with Chris and his band mate Steve, and the arrangement isn’t always conducive to Jensen’s lifestyle.
Things come to a head one night when Jensen starts stressing over an anatomy paper. He paces the tiny kitchen, mechanical pencil tapping insistently against his bitten lips and fingers pulling at his hair. Chris grabs him by the shoulders and shakes him until the pencil falls away from his mouth and clatters to the floor.
Apparently he is harshing Chris’s buzz, and this is unacceptable. Either Jensen takes a study break, or Chris will kill him. Chris tells him that he needs to relax. This time, Jensen agrees.
That’s how he finds himself at a dirty, seedy club at two in the morning, completely hammered off of two dollar shots with Chris and Steve flanking him, buying him more and cheering him on. Jensen hasn’t been drunk in months, and the cheap liquor burns going down and settles hot in his belly while somehow also going straight to his head. His whole body buzzes pleasantly, and thanks to his studies he knows how and why this is happening, just how liquor affects the body. But for once, he doesn’t think about the details.
Chris is laughing at him and Jensen smiles sloppily, long past caring about his anatomy paper, when someone comes up behind him. Thick, strong arms wrap around his torso and he’s pulled off of his stool and up against a chiseled, broad chest.
It’s been far too long since he’s had any intimate contact, months and months, and being so wrapped up in someone so suddenly startles him. He’s too drunk to actually panic, and at Chris’s impressed expression Jensen actually relaxes into the embrace. The guy is warm, and strong, and smells so fucking good.
“Hey gorgeous,” the guy says, voice hot and filthy against Jensen’s ear. “Wanna dance with me?”
Jensen turns his head to meet intense hazel eyes. The guy is fucking stunning, all floppy hair, tan skin, and dimples. Pink lips stretch over a row of stark, white teeth and Jensen swallows.
“Yeah, I really do.”
Jensen isn’t sure how dancing with this gorgeous stranger turned into them making out in a cab on the way to his place, but this night has been full of surprises.
“You’re so fuckin’ hot,” the guy says, palming Jensen’s ass and biting at his neck as Jensen unlocks his door. They stumble through it, and the stranger’s strong grip is the only thing that keeps him from tumbling to the ground. He gets spun around and suddenly he’s being lifted off of the floor, legs wrapping around a narrow, trim waist. “Mm, you’re so hard for me.”
Jensen just nods helplessly, licking and biting at his neck as he’s carried down the hallway. He sticks his arm out towards the last door on the left, and suddenly he’s thrown onto the bed.
Clothes are strewn everywhere, and then he’s naked, pressed skin to skin with a guy who’s name he doesn’t even know, but he can’t bring himself to care when a giant hand wraps around his cock and squeezes just right, making him arch up and moan.
“Fuck, I knew you’d be hot,” the guy says, thumb catching under the head of his dick. “Need it bad, don’t you, baby? Need me to take care of you.”
“Please,” Jensen pants, arching up and rubbing against him like a whore. He needs it so bad, needs to be filled and fucked and taken. “Fuck me, fuck me.”
“Shh, baby,” he says, pushing Jensen’s legs apart. “Gonna fuck you so good.” And suddenly there’s a slick, long finger breaching him, sliding all the way in to the knuckle. Jensen lets out a long, needy whine, pushing back and begging for more. “So fucking tight, baby. So gorgeous. Can’t want to get my cock inside this little hole. Gonna be good for me?”
“Yes, yes, please.” Jensen claws at his back, fingernails scratching sweaty skin. There’s no warning before there’s a huge cock pressing into him, and fuck, it hurts but he’s too drunk to care, he just wants more. “Fuck, yes. So good.”
“That’s it,” he says, catching Jensen’s lips in a bruising kiss. “Just let go.”
And Jensen just does, lays back and takes it. The stranger pounds into him, thrusts brutal and rough, hitting just the right spot in Jensen every single time.
The guy rolls them over, slipping out and making Jensen whine. The stranger chuckles, shushes Jensen and positions him over his lap. He just fucking manhandles him, grabbing him by the hips and pulling him down onto his thick cock. Jensen lets his head loll against the guy’s shoulder, moaning at the sensation of being so full.
Fingers comb through his hair, the action strangely gentle coupled with the guy’s aggressive nature. Lips press against his ear, puffy and slick.
“Gonna ride me, sweetheart?” He bites on Jensen’s neck, reaches down and grips Jensen’s leaking cock. “Wanna see that hot little body bounce, c’mon.”
Jensen gets his knees underneath him and starts moving, rolling his hips and riding the guy hard and rough, loud moans tearing from his lips.
It’s not long before his orgasm hits, nearly screaming at the top of his lungs when the guy flips him over and pounds into him even harder, making him shift up the bed as he twitches with aftershocks. The guy tenses then, stifling his guttural cry by biting down hard on Jensen’s neck.
They collapse to the bed, tangled together and covered in sweat. Jensen looks up into the stranger’s dark, intense eyes and reaches up to brush the damp tangles of brown hair away from his face. There’s a spark in his eyes, a little flicker of something that makes Jensen’s heart stutter before they shutter and go dark again.
“That was – oh fuck,” Jensen pants, and the guy chuckles and presses a kiss to his mouth.
“Relax, gorgeous,” he says, sliding his hand down Jensen’s flank as he pulls out. “Just go to sleep.”
“But,” Jensen responds, clutching at the guy’s shoulder. He wants to see that light in his eyes again, but he’s exhausted, well fucked and worn out.
“Sleep,” the guy says again, and Jensen can’t help it. His eyes slip shut.
When he wakes up the next morning he’s completely alone, wrapped up in cold sheets. The only remainder he has of the night before is the ache in his ass and the foggy, disconnected memory of intense, soulful eyes.
“Slut!” Chris calls out as soon as he limps out of his room. Jensen rolls his eyes and fills a glass with some water.
“I never go out and get laid, and I’m uptight,” Jensen says, shifting his hips and wincing at the slight burn. “I do go out and get laid, and I’m a slut.”
“Can’t win, Jenny,” Chris says, cackling with delight. Jensen turns around to hide his expression. He thinks of the mysterious stranger, so confident and forceful. He isn’t someone Jensen normally would have found himself attracted to, but there was something there. The soft tangle of fingers in his hair, the flash of light in the stranger’s eyes.
Jensen dumps out his glass and hobbles to the bathroom, getting more irritable by the second as he gets ready to go work a shift at the restaurant with a burning ass and a hangover. He decides as he gets in the shower to not think about him anymore. It was one night, and it’s over.
It doesn’t matter anyway. He’s never going to see the guy again.
Until a week later, apparently.
Jensen is at the bookstore, harried and stressed over a completely different paper. His hair is mussed and his glasses are skewed on his nose. He rounds a corner and spots the guy from the club, the guy who he’s jerked off to every night this week, sitting in the literature section with a steaming mug of coffee next to him and a big book open on his lap.
He isn’t the sort of guy that Jensen would expect to see squashed in a comfy chair in his favorite bookstore, but then again, Jensen isn’t the sort of guy that goes to clubs and gets fucked by random strangers.
Jensen makes a snap decision and heads over to the guy, nervously gripping the strap of his messenger bag. He clears his throat once he reaches his feet and the guy looks up, smiling sweetly at him.
“Uh, hey,” Jensen says, swallowing hard. He can feel his cheeks heat up, flashes of being manhandled by this strong, gorgeous guy flashing behind his eyes.
“Hi!” He responds excitedly, twin spots of color on his cheeks. Jensen smiles and pushes his glasses up the bridge of his nose.
“Crazy night we had, huh?” Jensen says, laughing awkwardly. The guy’s smile fades and he closes his book, the fingers that felt so good inside of him marking a spot in one of Jensen’s favorite books.
“I’m sorry, do I know you?” He asks, and Jensen’s heart plummets into his stomach. He flushes hot and feels so stupid, thinking this guy would want to talk to him again.
“The other night, we – uh, never mind. Don’t worry about it.”
The guy stares at him, and a myriad of expressions flash across his gorgeous face. He looks confused, and then annoyed, and then a little sad and regretful as he looks back up at Jensen.
“Oh, you’re probably talking about - uh, my brother,” the guy says uncertainly, looking slightly uncomfortable. Jensen’s brows furrow in confusion.
“Your brother?” He repeats, and the guy laughs nervously.
“Twins,” he responds, clearing his throat. “He sort of, uh, gets around. I’m Jared.”
“Oh,” Jensen replies. Jared just smiles at him, shrugging one shoulder. He’s completely adorable, and Jensen curses his luck. He couldn’t have just met Jared here, as Jensen the med student, rather than Jensen the slut that confused him for his twin brother he fucked over the weekend. That would have been too simple. “Uh, well. I’m Jensen.”
He holds his hand out and Jared takes it, long fingers curling around Jensen’s hand. Jensen can’t help but remember the stranger, Jared’s brother, pinning him to the bed with identical hands.
“Well,” Jared says awkwardly, pulling his hand away. “I’ll tell Sam you said hello.”
“Sam?” Jensen asks blankly, and Jared raises an eyebrow.
“My brother,” Jared says slowly. Jensen closes his eyes and wishes lightening would strike him. Jensen looks at Jared again, and is momentarily startled by his eyes. They’re so bright, full of life, just like the flash he saw in Sam’s that night.
Jared gives him a tentative smile, and it’s so different than his brother’s seductive, cocky grin. Jensen makes another spur of the moment decision, pulling another chair up next to Jared’s and dropping into it.
“Look,” Jensen starts. “I’m not that guy. I’m not the guy that goes out and has sex with people without knowing their names. I’m the guy that sits holed up in their apartment obsessing over papers, and completely blowing it with cute guys in bookstores because of one stupid, drunken weekend.”
Jared stares at him for a second, a smile tugging at his lips. Jensen’s heart thumps in his chest and he holds his breath.
“Cute, huh?” Jared says finally, and Jensen sighs in relief.
Then Jared smiles, really smiles, and it’s like the fucking sun has just risen on Jensen’s otherwise dark and dreary life.
“Can I maybe buy you a cup of coffee?” Jensen asks, the words coming out in a nervous rush. Jared’s smile falters and his long fingers wrap around the cup sitting next to him. “Okay, so. You’re good on coffee. How about dinner?”
“Jensen,” Jared says, and Jensen wants to hear his name on those lips forever. “I’m not so sure that’s a good idea.”
Jensen’s heart sinks and he has a hard time keeping the disappointment off of his face. Jared is giving him this regretful expression, and Jensen meets his gaze.
“Is this about the thing with Sam?” Jensen asks, cursing himself and his stupid friends and all the tequila in the world. Jared quirks his lips up, a rueful smile on his face. Jensen doesn’t quite get the joke. “Can I just give you my number? Maybe you’ll change your mind.”
“Yeah, okay,” Jared says after a moment of deliberation. Jensen takes the pen lying on top of Jared’s notebook, scribbles his cell number on the corner of a blank page.
“Okay, well. I’ll see you, okay?” Jensen says, like he’s afraid the answer will be no. Jared nods, offering him a small smile. Jensen smiles and gets up, heading back towards the entrance of the store. He looks over to see Jared staring at him, and he gives a small wave as he rounds a corner.
Jared is fuming when he storms into his apartment later that evening. God damn, Sam. Fucking everything up.
Misha, his roommate and best friend, is propped up on the back of the couch, a video game controller grasped loosely in his hands. Jared slams his book bag down onto the couch and Misha nods at him.
“Hey Sam,” he says casually, and Jared huffs.
“It’s Jared,” he replies angrily, and Misha pauses his game and looks over at him, really looks this time.
“Oh, I saw pissed, murderous expression and assumed,” Misha replies. “What’s up?”
“Sam would actually be the reason for the Sam-like expression,” Jared responds, fingers dragging through his hair.
“Uh oh. What’d he do now?” Misha asks, wincing because he knows how much of a pain in the ass Sam can be.
“I’m just gonna – yeah,” Jared says, hooking a thumb over his shoulder and gesturing towards his bedroom. “Come get me if I’m gone too long.”
“Sure,” Misha says, clapping Jared on the shoulder as he hops off of the couch. “Be careful.”
Jared nods and heads into his bedroom, crawling onto the bed and flipping onto his back. He takes a few deep breaths and closes his eyes, concentrating and slipping into blackness.
When he opens his eyes, he is surrounded by gray mist, circled by three other people. Sam is there, tall and strong. So are Sandy and Chad, gazing at him curiously.
“What’s up, Jaybird?” Chad asks. He’s short and wiry, with squinty eyes and dirty blonde hair. Jared sometimes wonders how all of that translates when he has control. “Haven’t called a meeting in awhile. What happened, Sandy let you leave the house smelling like daisies again?”
“Shut up, Chad!” Sandy cries, shoving at his shoulder. “Can’t you tell he’s upset?”
Sandy is a tiny little thing, so gorgeous and kind with dark, friendly eyes and flowing chestnut hair. She’s so beautiful that it’s a shame no one but Jared will ever get to see her.
Sam just stands there with his arms crossed, looking at Jared like he’s slightly amused. He and Sam are almost identical, except Sam is a little taller and more muscular. His eyes are darker and his smile is menacing where Jared’s is sweet and timid. He’s covered in scars Jared doesn’t have, and carries himself in a way Jared never could.
“Sam,” Jared says calmly, and his most aggressive alter’s eyes flick to his like a challenge. “What the hell have I told you about whoring my body out to random strangers?”
“Oh, come on,” Sam says, rolling his eyes. “Where the hell would you have ran into any of the little club rats I’ve picked up?”
“Jensen is not a club rat!” Jared says defensively, remembering his kind green eyes and warm smile. Sandy looks surprised and Sam raises an eyebrow. Chad just looks away. He doesn’t really like to hear about all the sex his body is having with men. It can’t be easy to be straight in a body where everyone else that shares it likes guys.
“Jensen?” Sam asks, flicking his hair out of his eyes. “You’ll have to refresh my memory.”
“Green eyes,” Jared mumbles, and Sam grins widely.
“Oh, Jensen,” he replies. “Now he was really something. How’d you meet him?”
“In the bookstore. He’s a student,” Jared replies, swallowing hard and thinking of Jensen’s number, buried deep in his backpack.
“Oh, well. We didn’t exchange pleasantries, if you know what I mean,” Sam says, wiggling his eyebrows. “Want a peek?”
“No!” Jared shouts, but it’s too late. There’s a prodding at his brain and suddenly he can see Jensen, flushed and naked against pale gray sheets, his own hands gripping freckled hips. Jensen licks swollen red lips and begs – harder, faster, more.
“Stop it!” Sandy shrieks, and his vision clears to see her shaking Sam by the shoulders. She’s so small next to him. Jared is breathing heavily, hands clenched into fists and tears stinging his eyes.
He’s gotten used to what he is, the way his brain is fractured. He’s grown up with these people and even calls them his friends. But sometimes, like now, he hates it. He just wants to be normal – have a normal life. Fall in love.
“So what, he saw you in the bookstore and wanted some more, right?” Sam asks, eyes gleaming. Jared swallows his anger.
“At first he thought I was you but we got to talking,” Jared grits out. “He said that last weekend was a stupid mistake. And then he asked me out,” he adds quietly, pain blossoming in his chest.
“Oh Jared!” Sandy says, running up to hug him. “When are you going?”
“I’m not!” Jared says, pushing her away. “I can’t date anybody. Not like this. Jensen is amazing and I said no when he asked me because you all won’t fucking go away!”
Sandy gasps and Chad looks hurt. Even Sam’s eyes dim a little.
“So, no. I’m not going. Sam, I hope you had a fucking blast, alright?” He takes a step back, and Sam opens his mouth.
“Come on, man,” he tries, and Jared just shakes his head.
“Leave me alone.”
“Jared!” Misha shouts, shaking his friend’s shoulder. He’s been gone for so long, and Misha is starting to get worried. “Come on, man. Wake up!”
Jared’s eyes slide open, blank and glazed over before they start to clear. He sits up, one hand pressed to his head.
“Hi Misha. He’s upset. I don’t think you’ll be seeing him again tonight.”
It’s not Jared. The pitch of his voice is a little too high and he’s carrying himself like someone who doesn’t know what to do with so much extra body.
“Sandy,” he says, removing his hand from her shoulder. “What’s going on?”
“I’ll fill you in while I make us something to eat,” she says sweetly, and swings off of the bed with a grace Jared could never hope to possess.
A week goes by and Jensen doesn’t hear from Jared.
He’s insanely disappointed, but he can’t say he’s at all surprised. The circumstances aren’t all that great. Jensen decides he needs to forget about Jared’s bright eyes and lopsided grin and move on with his life.
So, of course, that’s when he spots Jared again.
He’s back at the bookstore, picking up a new Biology textbook because Chris decided to unsuccessfully use his as a coaster and now all the pages smell like beer. Jared is sitting at a table all by himself, books open all around him, and Jensen falters in his step. Deciding to just save himself the embarrassment, he turns around to go back the way he came.
“Jensen?” Jared’s voice calls out to him, slightly too loud in the quiet bookstore, and Jensen feels a little thrill go through him as he slowly turns around. Phone call or not, Jared wouldn’t have called out to him if he didn’t want to talk, right?
“Hey,” Jensen says, trying to appear casual as he drops down into a chair across from him. Jared grins like he can’t help it, eyes lighting up. “You didn’t call me.”
Jensen mentally curses himself. Apparently casual isn’t in his repartee.
“Yeah,” Jared says, dragging his hand through his messy hair. “I wanted to. I really did.”
“Well, I’m here now,” Jensen says. He decides to just put himself out there, throw caution to the wind. It shouldn’t matter that they met because Jensen mistook him for a guy he fucked that just happened to be his twin brother, right? It’s a story to tell the grandkids, or something. Point is, Jensen really likes this guy. Jared is the kind of guy Jensen would willingly make a fool out of himself for. “It was a long week, staring at the phone hoping you’d call. It was devastating, actually.”
“Is that right?” Jared replies, smirking at him. Jensen nods sagely, leaning over and giving Jared his flirtiest look. Granted, flirty hasn’t gotten much practice lately. But it seems to work. Jared’s cheeks turn red and he sets his pen down.
“So, now you have to let me take you to dinner,” Jensen says, fighting to keep his expression serious. “To make up for all the pain and suffering, of course.”
“Of course,” Jared says with a grave expression. They crack up at the same time, and Jensen is so hopeful his heart aches with it.
“So, is that a yes? Dinner tonight?” Jensen asks, gnawing on his bottom lip. He doesn’t think he could take being shot down by him again. Jared looks up at him, his expression going blank for a second before he looks back at Jensen, suddenly determined.
“You know what?” Jared says, picking up his pen again. “Yes, I’d love to.” He writes something down on a scrap of paper and hands it to Jensen. It’s his phone number and address. “Pick me up at seven?”
“I’ll be there,” Jensen says breathlessly, grinning like Jared just offered him the moon.
He might as well have.
Misha’s face when Jared tells him he has a date is sort of a mix between hilarious and insulting. But Jared is so nervous he can do little more than plead for help in a pathetic little voice.
“Have you ever been on a real date?” Misha asks. “As you, I mean?”
“Not really,” Jared says, pacing and pulling at his hair. “It’s just hasn’t been worth it. I don’t want to zone out and have like, Chad come out and start talking about the hot wings at Hooters, okay?”
“But this Jensen guy,” Misha says. “He’s worth it?”
“I think so,” Jared says, and Misha grins at him. “But it’s so weird. I mean, I’ve had sex with him!”
“Sam had sex with him,” Misha points out.
“In my body!” Jared screeches. “And then I told him I have a twin brother. I’m so lame.”
“Yeah, that one kind of earned you a one-way ticket on the failboat,” Misha admits, and then clutches his shoulders when Jared gets a pained expression on his face. “Look, Jared. Calm down. This guy likes you, alright? Just go out with him. See what happens. If you two hit it off you can tell him the truth. If he’s a good guy he’ll understand.”
“Yeah, I mean, what were you gonna say? ‘Sorry, that wasn’t me that fucked you the other night; it was my slutty asshole of an alternate personality.’? He would have thought you were psycho.”
“I am psycho!” Jared reminds him, and Misha rolls his eyes as he pushes him towards his bedroom.
“You’re not psycho, Jared.” Misha glances at the clock. “He’s going to be here in an hour. Now why don’t you send Sandy out to get you ready? If you don’t calm the fuck down she’s going to come out anyway, and at least she has a sense of fashion.”
“Fine,” Jared snaps, and when his eyes go glassy and blank Misha just stands there patiently. He blinks, and Sandy is staring at him with warm, kind eyes. “Hey Misha.”
“He’s a wreck, babe,” Misha says. “Can you get him ready?”
“Sure thing,” Sandy says, and then spins around to face the mirror. She reaches up to tug at Jared’s hair, all windblown and messy. “Oh man. I’ve got work to do.”
“Well, it’s never boring with you guys around,” Misha says, stifling a laugh. “That’s for sure.”
Jensen takes a deep breath and knocks on the door to Jared’s apartment. He smoothes his hand down the front of his shirt, a dark green v-neck sweater that he has been told brings out his eyes. He also is struggling through wearing his contacts for the same reason.
A quick sniff of his shirt sleeve confirms that he smells like cologne and not the fish and chips special from the restaurant; which is fantastic, because he didn’t have time to shower after working the swing shift. He even had to pull a few favors to be able to leave early, and he’d hate to blow this date because he reeks of beer battered cod.
The door opens but it isn’t Jared on the other side. The guy is cute in a sort of scruffy way, with messy brown hair and piercing blue eyes.
“Jensen, I assume,” the guy says, waving him in when Jensen nods. “I’m Misha, the roommate.”
“Hey,” Jensen says, shaking his hand. “Is Jared ready to go?”
“Probably,” Misha says, stifling a laugh. “He’d kill me for telling you this, but he’s really fuckin’ nervous. So go easy on him, alright?”
“Is this the ‘if you hurt him I’ll kill you speech’?” Jensen asks, and Misha just grins at him. He’s actually sort of terrifying. “Well, you have my word.”
“Good,” Misha replies. “I’ll go get him.”
Misha disappears down the hall and Jared stumbles out moments later, looking down at his soft blue button down like he’s surprised by it. His hair is combed neatly and he grins when he sees Jensen, all wide and happy.
“Hi,” Jared says, bounding up to him. Jensen sort of forgets to breathe for a moment. “You’re not wearing your glasses.”
“Nope,” Jensen says, bringing his hand from behind his back and handing Jared a soft pink tulip, cheeks flushing when Jared takes it. “I’m going for debonair smooth rather than geeky student.”
“I like the geeky student,” Jared says, smelling the flower and raising an eyebrow. “This is from the garden downstairs.”
“It was a spur of the moment thing,” Jensen mumbles, feeling incredibly stupid. “My crappy building doesn’t have a flower garden.”
“It’s sweet,” Jared laughs, crushing the flower to his chest. “Wanna go?”
Jensen nods, and they leave the apartment together.
“So, I was going to take you to this really nice, fancy restaurant,” Jensen says once they’re driving. “But I figured it would look like I was trying too hard. And I’m sort of like, incredibly broke.”
Jared laughs, rolling the stem of the tulip in his fingers. Jensen glances at him from the corner of his eye, a smile tugging at his lips.
“So where are you taking me?” He asks, and Jensen taps his thumbs nervously on the steering wheel. He had deliberated over that exact question all afternoon, working himself into a panic until Chris threatened to strangle him.
“Well, my friends are playing a gig at this really cool little lounge place,” Jensen tells him. “And they make a great steak, so.”
“That sounds great,” Jared says, and Jensen finds himself wanting to kiss the small mole next to Jared’s nose. He seems to remember Sam having the same one, and he marvels over just how identical they really are.
Later, he would wonder how he could be so clueless.
The food is great and the music is even better, but it’s the company that really makes the evening.
Jared is incredible – so funny and engaging, so smart and gorgeous. Jensen could listen to him talk all night long. He’s a psychology major, in his third year at the university. He rambles about his professors and asks Jensen questions about med school, sympathizes with his workload and says he’ll be there if Jensen ever needs to vent.
At one point, Chris and Steve come over to their table and play something soft and romantic, cooing over how cute they are into their microphones. Jared blushes scarlet but gives Jensen this adorable little smile, so he can’t even find it in himself to give them the finger.
The night is over far too soon, and Jensen finds himself walking Jared to the door of his building. They turn and face each other, and Jared looks happy but nervous, hair falling over his right eye.
“I had a really good time, Jensen,” Jared says brightly. “Let’s do it again, okay?”
“Yeah,” Jensen agrees, reaching up to brush Jared’s hair out of his face without really thinking about it. Their eyes lock when Jensen brushes his skin, and he tentatively cups Jared’s cheek. His eyes flick to Jared’s lips and he licks his own, searching Jared’s eyes for permission as he slowly leans in.
Jared dips his head and their lips meet in a soft kiss. Jensen swipes his thumb across Jared’s high cheekbone and presses a little more firmly, knees growing weak as he wonders how such a tame kiss could be so fucking good.
Jared’s lips are so soft, so pliant under his. Jensen feels slightly guilty, because he can’t help but compare Jared with Sam. The mouth feels the same from what he can remember, same soft lips and smooth skin, but it’s entirely different. So much better.
This kiss has meaning behind it. This kiss could change his fucking world.
He licks across the seam of Jared’s lips, sags against him when they part and he can lick his way inside. Tongues meet tentatively, slipping against one another before Jensen has to pull away just to breathe.
He takes a step back from Jared, letting his fingers ghost across Jared’s jaw before he withdraws his hand. Jared opens his eyes slowly, staring at Jensen in wonder.
“Wow,” Jared breathes, like it was the best kiss of his life. Jensen can relate.
“Good night, Jared,” Jensen says softly. He can feel Jared’s eyes on him all the way back to his car, and he can’t stop smiling.
Jared goes on six dates with Jensen over the span of two weeks, not counting study breaks in the library, and he has managed to keep his secret.
The only close call he’s encountered is when they were in the library one night. He spaced out and when he came back Jensen was snapping his fingers and waving his hand in his face. He’d apologized and claimed he was really tired, and Jensen kissed his forehead and took him home.
He’d found out later that it had been Chad, and he’d been itching to play some Grand Theft Auto and didn’t realize Jared was out. He’d only had control for a few seconds, but he told Jared that if his body had to be fucking any guy, it could do worse than Jensen.
And that’s the problem, Jared has been too nervous to take things further than chaste kisses on doorsteps. He has never had sex before, at least not while he’s been in control of his own body. Sam has pretty much always controlled the sex drive, and he’s not a one night stand kind of guy anyway.
Sam has taken to teasing him, showing him snippets of him and Jensen’s night together whenever they talk – giving him little flashes of how soft the skin was inside his thighs, how his whole chest flushed pink and his eyes nearly went black with lust. Showed him how good he felt around him, what his face looked like when he came. He tells him to just fucking do it already.
It’s during those times Jared wishes there was a way to cause bodily harm to one of his alters without hurting himself. Sam just snickers and tells him he could kick Jared’s ass three ways to Sunday without batting an eye.
The guilt is eating away at him, making it hard to sleep. He wants to tell Jensen so badly, partly because he knows it’s only a matter of time before Jensen has a run in with one of his alters, and because Jensen deserves the truth.
Jared has been lying to the world since that fateful day when he was eleven years old and a bully on the playground was teasing him about being an orphan, and Sam appeared for the first time. He put the kid in the hospital and Jared was suspended for a week for something he didn’t remember doing.
Sandy came soon after, just after Jared felt like he was going crazy and he just needed someone to calm him down, to tell him everything would be okay. Chad came last, over a year later. Jared would rarely leave the house, too scared of what he was, and Chad took control and spent the day in the arcade, cashing Jared’s meager life savings in for quarters and spending the day being a normal kid.
Jared is used to bending the truth to protect himself and his alters, and he’s never really felt bad about it before. But keeping Jensen in the dark feels like a crime.
The phone rings then, startling Jared from his reverie. He answers, lips quirking up despite his dark thoughts when he hears Jensen’s voice on the other line. Speak of the devil.
“Hey!” Jensen says, sounding happy and relaxed. “You wanna come over tonight? We’re having a thing and my friends want to officially meet my boyfriend. Most of them think you’re a figment of my imagination.”
Jared lets out a strangled laugh at that, because Jensen has no fucking idea. Then the rest of his words filter through and Jared swallows hard.
“I asked if you wanted to come over. I can come get you at like eight?” Jensen responds. Jared pinches the bridge of his nose.
“No, I mean – well. I’m your boyfriend?” Jared asks weakly, fingers digging into the arm of the sofa. He hears Misha let out a snort from somewhere in the kitchen and Jared starts a little. He hadn’t even known he was home.
“Well, yeah,” Jensen says tentatively. “I mean, you can be. If you want.”
“I do!” Jared says, feeling his face break out into a grin. “I really, really do.”
“Oh, well. Good,” Jensen replies, and he sounds relieved. “I’ll see you at eight, boyfriend.”
“Okay. Bye,” Jared breathes, and when he hears the line go dead he sighs contentedly. “Boyfriend.”
“You are so lame!” Misha calls from the kitchen, cutlery clinking against dishes. Jared just laughs and falls over onto the sofa, face smashed into the cushion. His elation is overshadowed by guilt, and he knows it’s time to talk to the alters.
“I’m gonna go lay down. Jensen is gonna be here at eight,” Jared informs Misha as he passes him on his way to his bedroom. Misha just nods and checks the time on the clock.
Jared lies on his bed and shuts his eyes, waiting for darkness to take over. For the first few seconds it’s always terrifying, trapped somewhere between his body and his mind, and when he opens his eyes to light gray mist he sighs in relief.
Sandy is wearing a flattering red dress and her hair tumbles down her back in soft curls. She puts her hand on Jared’s shoulder, giving it a comforting squeeze.
“You feel tense,” she says, perfectly groomed brows knitted in concern. Chad and Sam are lounging against a dark brick wall, staring at him. Chad looks relaxed but Sam looks caged in and irritated. He hasn’t been getting control much lately and he isn’t thrilled.
“I think I’m going to tell him,” he says simply and Sandy claps her hands together, pleased. Chad smiles and Sam raises an eyebrow. “He deserves to know. But I’m scared.”
“Honey, it’ll be alright,” Sandy says, and Jared looks down at her pleadingly.
“What if he doesn’t want me anymore?” Jared says. “It can’t be the easiest thing to deal with.”
“He cares about you,” Sandy says, like that’s all he needs to know. “He’s a good person.”
“He’ll love us!” Chad shouts and Sam grins mischievously.
“Hell,” he says. “Boy already does love me.”
“I don’t need any more reminders, okay?” Jared snaps. “You didn’t meet Jensen that night. You met a drunken facsimile of him. You don’t even know him.”
“Wouldn’t mind getting to,” Sam responds, lifting an eyebrow. Jared feels a slight prodding and there’s Jensen, naked and sprawled across his lap. ‘Wanna feel that hot little body bounce, c’mon’, he hears in his own rough voice, and he sees Jensen shudder above him.
“Stop it!” Jared shouts, storming forward and getting in Sam’s face. “You are not allowed anywhere near him.”
“I’d like to see you stop me,” Sam growls, and Chad gets between them, pushing them apart.
“Knock it the fuck off,” Chad commands. “Sam, quit being such a dick. We’re in Jared’s head, not the other way around. You talking about nailing his boyfriend every five fucking seconds is getting really old.”
“Agreed,” Sandy says, eyes narrowed and arms crossed over her chest.
“Fine!” Sam shouts. “Go spend time with your precious boyfriend.”
“Gladly,” Jared replies, and slams his eyes shut. When he opens them again, he’s back in his bedroom and Misha is staring down at him. “What?”
“You were like, yelling,” Misha says, looking slightly worried. “You’ve never done that before.”
“Really?” Jared asks, sitting up and pinching the bridge of his nose. “Sam pissed me off.”
“He’ll do that,” Misha replies, putting his hand on Jared’s shoulder. “You good?”
“Peachy,” Jared says, smiling tightly up at him.
Jensen picks him up right at eight, and as soon as he verifies that it’s actually Jared answering the door he grabs him by the front of the shirt and pulls him in for a kiss.
Jared lets out a soft moan and puts his hand on Jensen’s cheek as Jensen licks his way into his mouth. He bites down softly on Jensen’s bottom lip, nearly giddy with happiness.
Misha wolf whistles and Jensen pulls away. Jared takes great delight in the way Jensen flushes and flips Misha off. He hands Jared a yellow tulip and gives him another peck on the lips.
“There aren’t going to be any flowers left down there at this rate,” Jared says, bringing the flower up to his nose.
“Bitch, I’m romantic,” Jensen says, threading their fingers together as he leads them out of the apartment.
The ‘thing’ at Jensen’s place is actually a huge party, and Jared feels overwhelmed as soon as he walks in the door. The music is loud, the bass high enough that Jared can feel it in his chest.
Jensen looks at him, nose wrinkled as if to say that he doesn’t enjoy it either. Jared allows himself to be led around the room, grinning like a fool every time Jensen introduces him to someone as his boyfriend.
After a few beers and various introductions, Jensen takes Jared’s hand and leans in to press his warm lips against his ear.
“Wanna go to my room?” Jensen asks, slipping his arm around Jared’s waist. “It’ll be quieter.”
Jared nods, heart thumping in his chest as Jensen leads him to the room at the end of the hall. He gets the vague sense of déjà vu, and when he enters Jensen’s room he knows why.
The sheets on the bed are pale gray. Jared has been here before.
Sam fucked Jensen in this room. Jared fucked Jensen in this room, and Jared remembers everything Sam showed him in vivid detail. He feels dirty and dishonest.
“Come kiss me,” Jensen says, sitting on the edge of his bed and patting the place next to it. He looks so uncertain, like he’s afraid he might be crossing a line. Jared sits next to him, leans in to press their lips together. He intends just to soothe him, but before he knows it they’re laying on the bed, limbs tangled and mouths fused together.
Jensen’s hand slips under Jared’s shirt, fingers ghosting along his skin. Jared pulls back and Jensen takes it as an invitation to open his mouth against the sensitive skin of Jared’s neck.
Jensen pops the button of Jared’s jeans, sliding the zipper down as he sucks at his collarbone. His hand slips into Jared’s underwear, fingers curling around his hardening dick.
“Is this okay?” Jensen rasps, and Jared is nearly insane with a pleasure he’s never really experienced first hand. He just nods, fingers tangled in the sheets. Jensen grins and slides down his body, pushing up Jared’s shirt and laying kisses on his skin like it’s an act of worship. A wet, warm tongue laps at the skin below his nipple and his hips arch up. Warning bells sound in his head, telling him to stop this before it goes too far.
“Jensen,” Jared breathes, hands flying to Jensen’s shoulder. The older man looks up at him as he pulls Jared’s jeans and underwear down, exposing his cock to the cool air. He wraps his hand around the shaft, breathing hotly on the head. “Jensen, I have to tell you something.”
“Mm, in a minute,” Jensen breathes, and screws his lips down over the head of his cock. Jared cries out, fingers burying themselves in Jensen’s air as his hips buck up. Jensen lays his forearm across Jared’s hips, holding him down against the bed as he blows him eagerly.
It’s so amazing that Jared can’t think of anything else. He just gives himself over to the pleasure. He loses himself in Jensen, because this might be the only chance he gets.
Later, after Jared reciprocates with an awkward hand job, Jensen asks him to stay the night. Jared tells him he can’t, he has an early class and he needs to go. Jensen just nods in understanding and drives him home.
It’s really because he never knows who he’s going to wake up as, and he’s apparently too much of a fucking coward to fill Jensen in on that little fact.
Jensen doesn’t see Jared for two days after the party. He’s not that worried about it. Jared had called him and told him he had a major paper due that he hadn’t gotten much work done on, and if anyone could understand that it was Jensen. He used the time to catch up on his own schoolwork, but he’s starting to get antsy.
He lets himself into Jared’s apartment after work that night with a hot vanilla latte, and is immediately assaulted by the rap music blaring from the speakers. Jensen raises an eyebrow. He thought Misha and Jared were both more of singer/songwriter type of guys.
Misha seems to be out, and when he rounds the corner to the kitchen Jared’s back is to him. He’s sitting on the counter, bobbing his head to the music as he chugs milk straight from the carton.
Jensen sneaks up behind him, wrapping one arm around his waist. “Hey babe,” he breathes into his ear before planting a kiss on his cheek. Jared startles and spews milk everywhere, flying off of the counter and out of Jensen’s embrace.
“Whoa, man,” Jared says, and there’s an odd timbre to his voice. “I do not play that way.”
“Very funny,” Jensen laughs, stepping forward to pin Jared against the counter, trying to kiss him again.
“I am not gay, cockpirate!” Jared screeches, turning his head to the side. Jensen takes a step back, more than a little confused. Jared is staring at him through squinted eyes and he’s wearing an old, worn out tee shirt that reads california: long and hangs slightly to the left.
“What is your deal?” Jensen demands, and Jared’s eyes go wide. He slaps his hand over his mouth, looking at Jensen with horrified eyes. It’s like a stranger has taken over Jared’s body.
“Oh shit,” Jared breathes. “Jared is going to fucking kill me.”
Okay, now Jensen is really confused. His first thought is that this is Sam, but he’s not acting anything like what he remembers and he was certainly gay enough when they met. So, either Jared is fucking with him or there’s some triplet running around that he doesn’t know about. Frankly, he’s getting a little pissed off.
“What’s going on?” Jensen asks again, and the Jared-shaped person just shakes his head frantically.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” he chants, holding his hands out in front of him. “Just stay here, okay? Please.”
“Tell me – “ Jensen starts, but he stops when Jared just freezes in his spot, flailing arms dropping to his sides and eyes going flat and glazed over. “Jared? Jared!”
Minutes pass wherein Jensen panics, shouting Jared’s name and shaking his shoulders. He’s so confused, so scared that he’s about to burst into tears and Jared won’t fucking say anything.
He’s about to call Misha when Jared suddenly blinks and sucks in a deep breath, panicked eyes locking on Jensen.
“Oh god,” he breathes, eyes filling with tears. “Jensen, I was going to tell you, I swear.”
“Tell me what, Jared?” Jensen demands, gripping Jared’s shoulders. “You’re freaking me the hell out.”
“That was Chad,” Jared says miserably, tears streaming freely down his face. The sight breaks Jensen’s heart and he reaches up to wipe them away, face twisted in confusion. “And you already met Sam.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Jensen says, trying to keep his voice calm.
“I don’t have a brother,” Jared confesses, wiping his arm across his face. “It’s all me. I – Jensen, I have Dissociative Identity Disorder. Sam, Chad – they’re two of my alters.”
Jensen blinks and pulls his hands away. Jared lets out a sob at the loss of contact and takes an abortive step forward, hands clenching into fists. Jensen feels like his head is spinning.
“You’re telling me you have multiple personalities?” Jensen asks, and it sounds so crazy to say aloud. Jared just nods helplessly, tears streaming freely down his cheeks.
“I didn’t want you to find out this way,” Jared tells him. “I was going to tell you.”
It actually sort of fits – the way Jared spaces out so much, the way he seems to lose track of time, the way he gets so many headaches. He thought Jared was just scatterbrained. He’d even found it endearing. But multiple personalities?
A sudden thought occurs to him and he freezes, blood going cold.
“Wait,” Jensen says, holding up a hand. “So you’re saying that when I was with Sam, it was really you?”
“Technically, yes,” Jared says, taking a step forward. His face crumples when Jensen takes one back, hand covering his mouth. “It was my body but it wasn’t me.”
“Oh god,” Jensen breathes, looking up to meet Jared’s sorrowful eyes. “This can’t be happening. I can’t believe you never told me. You just let me believe this whole other person fucked me and then you decided to do it all over again as someone else?”
He takes a step forward, his expression going angry. Jared looks terrified for a second and then he’s shaking his head before he goes slack again, eyes dimming. It’s barely a minute before he lifts his chin. Dark eyes stare back at him, lips curled up in a smirk.
“Hello gorgeous,” he purrs, and Jensen takes a stumbling step back. “You better calm down. When Jared gets scared, you get me. And I’m not always so nice.”
“Sam,” Jensen says shakily, and the other man just raises an eyebrow. “I can’t – I can’t fucking deal with this.”
Jensen spins around and heads for the door, nearly running through the apartment.
“Just gonna run like a coward, huh?” Sam yells after him. “Well, fuck you. We don’t need you!”
Jensen makes it down to his car and throws himself behind the wheel, slamming the door and sucking in a shuddering breath. Tears blur his vision and he slams his fist down onto the dash, terrified, confused, and devastated.
Minutes later his cell phone rings in his pocket, and he extracts it against his better judgment.
“Who is this?” He answers, even though it’s Jared’s name on the display.
“Hi Jensen.” It’s Jared’s voice, but not really. It’s light and airy, pitched slightly higher. Jensen feels his stomach drop. “My name is Sandy, and I think we need to talk.”
“Why?” Jensen says, wiping at his eyes with his knuckles. Jared – Sandy – whoever, makes a soothing noise on the other end of the line.
“Just come back up, Jensen,” she pleads calmly. “And I’ll tell you everything.”
Jensen takes a deep breath and reaches for the door handle.
The apartment is quiet when he enters it again, but there are noises coming from the kitchen.
When he reaches it, he spots Jared pulling something from a high shelf, getting up on his toes like he’s not already miles tall. He’s changed his clothes, gone are the grubby sweats and questionable tee, replaced with a soft looking pink polo shirt and black cargo shorts. The hair framing his face is damp, like he splashed cool water on his face to calm down.
“Hey Jensen,” he says, turning around and setting a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix on the counter. “It’s nice to finally meet you. You’re as handsome as Jared says.”
“Uh, hi.” Jensen shifts awkwardly, pushing his glasses up on his nose. “Could I possibly, um, talk to Jared?”
“Sorry,” the person in front of him says, smiling sadly. “He’s really upset. So you get me. I’m nicer than Sam, at least.”
“That’s a given,” Jensen says, as Jared – Sandy – pulls a mixing bowl out of the cupboard and a carton of eggs out of the refrigerator. “What are you doing?”
“Oh,” Sandy says, flicking her hair out of her face. Jensen takes a moment to wonder over how he’s started thinking of the person in front of him as a girl. “Jared really likes these little corn muffin things with little cut up hotdogs, so I am going to make him some. Maybe they’ll cheer him up.”
“It’s been my experience that Jared can’t even work a toaster,” Jensen says, taking a step closer to Sandy. She’s a comforting presence, even if Jensen is still reeling over the fact she apparently lives inside of his boyfriend.
“Well, I’m not Jared,” Sandy says simply, cracking an egg on the edge of the bowl like Jensen’s world isn’t being turned upside down.
“I’m starting to realize that,” Jensen says. Sandy smiles at him and pats the edge of the counter. Jensen hops up onto it, watching Sandy as she starts to slice up hotdogs.
“I know you have questions,” Sandy says, not meeting his eyes. “I’ll tell you a story, and maybe it will answer them.”
Jensen nods, tilting his head to the side and listening when Sandy starts to talk, Jared’s lips forming her words.
She tells him the story of Jared Padalecki’s life in a soft, detached sort of voice. Jensen listens in horror, heart aching as she tells him about the brutal way he lost both of his parents, the way he was taken in by distant relatives out of familial obligation rather than desire. She tells him about the constant bullying, the taunts about being an orphan, about being alone and unloved.
The cruelty of children is an astonishing thing, she tells him. Jared was too fragile, too scared and too weak. He never dealt with the sudden loss of his loving, devoted parents, and one day he just fractured. Sam was born to fight for him, she was born to protect him, and Chad was born to remind him of life’s simple pleasures.
Jensen wonders how the sweet, loving guy he knows now could have been born from a life of such misery and pain. Then he thinks of Sam, so hardened and cold, and he figures he has his answer.
Sandy speaks of Jared with awe in her voice, with the fondness of a mother. Jensen can’t help but like her. Anyone who cares about Jared that much is okay by him, even if they are a fractured part of his own personality.
“He was so scared to tell you,” Sandy says, snapping Jensen from his thoughts. He feels exhausted and groggy, eyes stinging from his tears. “I think he’s in love with you, Jensen. Losing you because of us is his greatest fear. He was planning on telling you soon. I just hate that you found out this way. Through Chad, of all people.”
Jensen even chuckles at that, taking the bottle of water Sandy hands him.
“He seems like a character,” Jensen says, surprised at the roughness in his voice. The timer dings then, and Sandy pulls on a pair of oven mitts to take the muffins from the oven. She sets them on a cooling rack and turns back to Jensen.
“We’ll understand if you want to leave,” she says, voice calm and even. “It won’t be easy on Jared, but that’s why he has us. But I’d appreciate it if you told him goodbye. He deserves that. Jensen, he deserves you.”
Jensen looks over at her. She holds Jared’s body so differently. All of Jared’s little mannerisms are gone, and he misses him fiercely in that moment.
“I’m not going to leave,” Jensen says, swallowing hard and clutching the water bottle tightly. Sandy’s eyes light up, but Jensen can tell she’s trying not to look too hopeful. “I – I care about Jared. A lot. I’m talking to you, and you’re great, but I miss him. And, I mean, this is really weird. But I’ll try, okay?”
“That’s all I ask,” Sandy says, smiling sweetly. “We’re not that bad when you get to know us. Just ask Misha.”
Sandy hugs him then, wrapping her arms tentatively around him. It’s so different than Jared’s embrace, even if it’s the same body that’s touching him.
“You’re one of the good guys, Jensen,” she says when she pulls away. Jensen takes her hand, circles his fingers around her wrist.
“I want to talk to Jared,” he pleads, looking into Sandy’s dark eyes for any trace of his boyfriend. Sandy just smiles sadly and reaches up to stroke Jensen’s cheek.
“Will you stay here?” Sandy requests, patting Jensen’s thigh as she takes a step back. “I’ll make up the couch for you. And I’ll talk to Jared. It just – it makes me uneasy to have him so scared. In the morning things will be better. You can talk then.”
“Okay,” Jensen sighs, nodding a little and hopping off of the counter. “I’ll stay.”
Sandy smiles, rushing down the hall and coming back with blankets and pillows. She seems to somehow appear small and graceful, even in Jared’s oversized body. Once the couch is made, she gestures him to it. He sits on the edge of it, and is surprised when he feels soft lips against his forehead.
“You’re a good person, Jensen,” Sandy tells him. “I’m glad Jared found you.”
Jensen just manages a small smile, watching as Sandy disappears down the hall. He gets under the covers and stares at the ceiling, alone with nothing but his discombobulated thoughts to keep him company.