The flyers that Jared puts together at Kinko’s actually turn out really well. Like, when they make flyers in the movies for lost puppies, they look like these. The picture of Jensen and Nemo is in the center, with LOST DOG and REWARD at the top and bottom in big red font.
Jared prints out a hundred of them in full, vibrant color and when he hands the stack over to Jensen, he stares down at it and feels like an asshole all over again. The flyers make it really real; cementing the fact that he lost this dog because he couldn’t be a responsible adult for even one week.
His first priority is finding Nemo. His second priority? Growing up.
“You can stand there and mope a hole through those flyers,” Jared says, breaking him from his dreary thoughts. “Or you can put that energy into finding this dog.
“Right,” Jensen replies, wearing a determined expression as he tapes one flyer to Kinko’s door. “Let’s do this.”
Jared chuckles and follows Jensen out to the truck. They make their way towards the shopping center, stopping every so often so Jensen can hop out and tape up a flyer.
“We’re going to stop at the pet store,” Jared tells him as they pull into a parking spot in front of Fuzzy Friends Pet Supply. “I’m friends with the guy that works here, and I’ll leave a few flyers with him. Pet owners are more likely to be sympathetic and want to help.”
“You sure have this down to a science,” Jensen replies as he follows Jared up to the store. He tapes a flyer to the door and smiles sadly.
“I work in an animal shelter, Jensen,” Jared reminds him. “You’re not the first person to lose a dog and you’re definitely not the last. There are more happy endings in this situation than you might think.”
“Thank you so much for helping. You have no idea how much I appreciate it,” Jensen says. If it weren’t for Jared he’d probably just be sitting on his porch having a mental breakdown. “Sorry for destroying your Sunday, though.”
“Tell you what,” Jared replies with a coy little smile. “When we find Nemo you can take me out to dinner and I’ll call it even.”
“Definitely,” Jensen replies breathlessly, and Jared grins before heading into the store. Jensen follows after him and his eyes land on a cage of tiny baby bunnies. He’s distracted by the little puffballs for only a moment before he follows Jared up to the counter. The place is small but tidy and there is cage after cage of adorable creatures. The back wall is lined with tanks and Jensen steers clear of it. Reptiles are so not his thing.
“Hey Jared!” The guy behind the counter sets his fork down on top of his garden salad and perks up. He’s pretty attractive and Jensen can’t help but notice the intense blue color of his eyes. “You need some more giant milk bones? I swear those mutts go through them like crazy.”
“I’m good for now,” Jared says. He puts his hand on Jensen’s back and propels him forward. “Misha, this is Jensen. He’s missing his dog.”
“Oh man, that sucks,” Misha responds sympathetically. “Those flyers? Leave some with me and I’ll hand them out.”
“Thanks,” Jensen replies as he hands over a small stack of flyers. Misha looks them over and clicks his tongue.
“What an adorable pup,” he says as he sets the flyer down. “I’ll scan this in and send it around to other stores in the area, have them put it up.”
“You’re a prince, Misha,” Jared tells him. Misha just smiles as he takes another bite of his salad. He makes a face as he chews and reaches out to pull a little plush cow to his chest. The stuffed animal looks well-worn and dingy, and Jared huffs out a laugh.
“What’s with the cow?” Jensen asks. Jared snorts and Misha looks down at the cow and then back at Jensen.
“This is Mr. Moo,” Misha replies as he holds out the cow. Its eyes are long gone, replaced with black buttons. Jensen raises an eyebrow. He wasn’t prepared to deal with mental illness today. “I’ve had him since I was a kid. I recently gave up meat and I keep Mr. Moo around to remind myself why when I have to choke down things like salad.”
Jensen just stares. So maybe not crazy. Just weird. Jared cackles.
“Laugh all you want,” Misha replies airily, waving his plastic fork in the air. “Cows are friends, not food. Mr. Moo helps me remember that. I mean, would I eat Mr. Moo?”
“Um, no?” Jensen replies.
“Exactly!” Misha clutches the stuffed cow to his chest. “So why would I eat other cows?”
“Because Mr. Moo is filled with stuffing and real cows are filled with delicious steak?” Jensen ventures. Misha’s eyes narrow only slightly.
“Cows are friends, not food,” he says again, more to himself than anything. He makes a face at his salad and Jensen lets out a chuckle.
“Misha’s having trouble with the whole vegetarian thing,” Jared says. He’s grinning like mad and Jensen finds himself getting lost in the curve of his smile. “Aren’t ya, Misha?”
“Friends, not food!” Misha cries. He looks at Mr. Moo with a panicked expression and then stuffs his mouth with salad. Jensen nearly doubles over laughing.
The bell over the door jingles and Jensen looks over to see a tall, pretty blonde girl walk in holding a familiar looking brown bag. Misha looks physically pained.
“You fucking take your ass outside with that,” Misha calls out. “Bringing Burger King in here and shit. That is wrong.”
“Hey Katie,” Jared says casually as she walks up to the counter. “This is Jensen.”
“Yo,” she replies. She turns and sets the bag on the counter right next to Mr. Moo. “Consider it a test of your willpower, bro.”
”I don’t wanna test my willpower,” Misha mumbles pathetically, snatching the cow and hugging it to his chest. “I hope that burger makes you fat, demon.”
Katie laughs and takes the burger out of the bag, slowly unwrapping it and taking a large bite. She makes happy noises and Misha squeezes his cow tighter. She reaches into the bag, pulls out a pie, and slides it over next to Misha’s salad.
“I got you a mud pie,” Katie says sweetly. “Mr. Moo would be okay with your mud pie.”
“Fuck you and your mud pie,” Misha mutters, but he reaches out and snags it anyway. He finally looks up at Jared and Jensen, who are just standing there and watching the exchange. “I’ll call you if I hear anything. Now get out of here before you have to witness me commit fratricide.”
Jared salutes and leads Jensen out of the store. They both chuckle as they climb into the truck and Jensen looks over as Jared starts the engine.
“They’re brother and sister?” Jensen asks.
“Step,” Jared clarifies. “Misha’s dad owns the store. I’m pretty sure they treat each other like shit because they want to bang each other’s brains out but they can’t. It’s quite a dysfunctional little relationship.”
“How very Cruel Intentions of them,” Jensen chuckles. He looks down at the flyers in his lap and sobers up a little.
“Okay,” Jared exclaims as he reverses out of the parking spot. “We’ve got work to do. Nemo awaits!”
“That elusive bastard,” Jensen mumbles as he squints into the sunshine.
They spend two hours blanketing Jensen’s neighborhood; sticking up flyers and going door to door asking anyone if they’ve seen Nemo.
Jensen loses count of the number of times they are invited in for coffee. Sure, they’re two incredibly good-looking guys, but a puppy’s life hangs in the balance here. They could show a little respect.
The sun is setting, dipping depressingly below the horizon as they trudge into the dog park. There are only a few stragglers walking around; an old lady with a Pug and a younger girl jogging with a Dalmatian. Jensen is losing hope by the second and his ever-fluctuating mood is really starting to exhaust him.
“We’re not going to find him,” Jensen finds himself saying as he stumbles to a halt. “He’s gone. I fucked up. It’s over.”
“Jensen, don’t say that. Come on,” Jared replies. “He’s only been gone for a day. We’ll find him.”
“You keep saying that,” Jensen replies in a raised, frustrated tone. “But I don’t see him anywhere, Jared!”
Jensen is breathing harshly and his hands are curled into fists at his sides. His head is throbbing and his mouth feels like it’s been stuffed with cotton and he hasn’t stopped moving since he woke up this morning.
He blinks rapidly and finds himself being pulled into a hug by Jared’s strong arms. He doesn’t know what to do other than hug back, and it helps, feels good even. He sags against Jared and trusts him to hold him up, trusts him so fully and completely that he should be scared of how quickly that came to be. Jensen doesn’t trust just anyone, especially not enough to hold him when he’s falling apart.
Jared doesn’t even say anything for a long time; just presses his lips to the side of Jensen’s head and rubs his back in slow, soothing circles. He should feel embarrassed. He’s been spastic and weird all day, completely off of his game, and yet this cute guy with the dimples hasn’t run away screaming.
“You’re alright,” Jared says in a honey-slow drawl of a whisper, and Jensen nods pathetically against his shoulder. His skin is so warm and sweet-smelling and Jensen can’t fight the urge to drag the tip of his nose along the curve of Jared’s neck and breathe in deep. Jared puts one hand on Jensen’s cheek and Jensen looks up at that touch. “Hey, come here.”
And then they’re kissing, just the barest amount of pressure. Jensen goes boneless against Jared’s body, nearly swooning at the way Jared keeps him upright with just one arm around his waist. It’s the softest, gentlest kiss Jensen has ever experienced. Kissing has always been a warm-up, a pre-cursor to what both parties really wanted, but this kiss feels like everything. The end all be all.
Jared grins against Jensen’s slack lips and then kisses him again, even softer this time, almost just barely cradling Jensen’s bottom lip between his own. He pulls away, much too soon in Jensen’s opinion, and Jensen lets his eyes flutter open like he’s coming out of a deep sleep. Jared is grinning down at him, eyes bright and happy, cheeks flushed pink.
“You don’t want to be with me,” Jensen mumbles, and he’s not even sure where it came from. But it’s true. Jared is amazing – bright and kind and innocent. Jared’s grin slips from his face and his brow furrows. His thumb swipes under Jensen’s left eye and he nearly trembles.
“You’ve never met a moment you couldn’t ruin, have you?” Jared says. His voice is dark and whiskey-rough all of a sudden. His hand is so big and warm on Jensen’s face and he can’t really find it in himself to stand upright. “Why would you say that?”
“You’re like – you’re so good, Jared. Like all the way down to your core,” Jensen tells him, one hand still curled in the fabric of his shirt. “I’m a loser. I’m irresponsible and I sleep around and I drink too much.”
“I don’t know where you got the idea that I’m some choir boy,” Jared says on the tail end of a chuckle. “And let me ask you something. Would you sleep around if I was in your bed?”
Jared pulls Jensen tighter up against his rock solid body and he very nearly moans. Instead he lets out a deep breath and tucks his thumb in the waistband of Jared’s jeans, feeling velvet skin stretched tight over bone.
“Well, that’d be foolish,” Jensen nearly purrs. He sort of just wants to rub up against Jared like a cat and fall asleep curled all around him. Jared calms him down. It’s a nice feeling. “I’m sure you’d be all I’d ever need.”
“We can find out,” Jared says before kissing Jensen again, a little harder this time. “But we have something to take care of first.”
“Shit, right,” Jensen says. He pushes away from Jared and eyes him accusingly. “Stop seducing me with your gorgeous body, choir boy.”
Jared just chuckles and reaches out to snag Jensen’s hand and slot their fingers together. Jared can deny his sweet innocence all he wants, but Jensen has never been with anyone that actually liked to hold hands. But maybe that’s a slight against Jensen, not Jared. It feels sort of nice.
“So here’s the plan,” Jared says as he leads them out of the park, interlocked hands swinging loosely between them. “We’ll go to your place, maybe get a pizza. Regroup a little. And then we’ll walk around the neighborhood again, okay?”
Jensen just nods and squeezes Jared’s hand as he leads them towards his house. Jared makes everything sound so easy.
It’s hard not to believe him.
Jensen unlocks his front door and gestures Jared in as he flicks on the light and pulls off his jacket. Jared looks around and turns back to Jensen.
“Nice place,” he says. Jensen smiles and drops his jacket on the back of the couch. “You wanna order a pizza? It’s on me.”
“Sure,” Jensen replies. He wanders off towards the kitchen and Jared walks over to the sliding glass door at the back of the dining room. Jensen digs through the take-out menu drawer, arguably the most often utilized drawer in the entire kitchen.
“Whoa, big backyard,” Jared comments. Jensen doesn’t reply. He’s pretty sure he had some coupons in here somewhere. “… Um. Jensen?”
“Yeah?” Jensen calls out. He snatches up some coupons and makes a face when he sees that they’re expired. Jared is quiet for a long time. “What?”
“Did you look everywhere this morning?” Jared asks. Jensen drops the coupons on the counter and walks out into the dining room to see Jared starting out the door with one eyebrow raised.
“Yes, I looked all over the house,” Jensen replies. “Why?”
Jared turns to look at him for a long moment and then shakes his head and bites down on his lip. Jensen raises an eyebrow as Jared pulls open the sliding glass door and whistles. Only a second passes before one very filthy puppy comes tearing into the house.
Jensen can’t really explain his emotions at that precise moment.
“… Nemo?” He cries. The puppy lets out a loud, sharp bark and shakes loose dirt all over Jensen’s polished wood floors. Jensen’s jaw falls open. “He was in the fucking backyard?”
“Looks that way,” Jared replies. Jensen blinks down at the puppy, who is just staring back at him with giant chocolate eyes, tongue lolling out to one side.
“Nemo!” Jensen cries. He drops to his knees and pulls the puppy into his arms, uncaring of the dirt smudging across his clothes. “Oh, I’m so glad to see you. Uncle Jensen is such a fucking retard, yes he is!”
He holds a wriggling Nemo to his chest and finally gathers the courage to look up at Jared. He’s so embarrassed that he’s drowning in it. His cheeks are aflame and his eyes are wide. Jared is just looking down at them with a slightly bemused expression.
“See? In addition to being irresponsible and sort of promiscuous, I’m also obviously touched in the head,” Jensen babbles. “You should just run. Get out while you still can. I’m a horrible catch.”
Jared chuckles and runs a hand through his hair before getting down on his knees to pet Nemo’s dirty head. What the fuck was he doing out there, tunneling to China? Well, he was out there for a long time. Jensen can’t exactly blame him for getting bored.
“Hi Nemo,” Jared says softly. He scratches Nemo beyond the ears and his paw slaps against the floor. Jensen’s heart is beating triple-time. He’s relieved, embarrassed, and nervous all at once. Jared finally looks up and reaches up to grab Jensen by the back of the neck and kiss him. He’s too surprised to even kiss back before Jared pulls away.
“Dude, cheer up,” Jared tells him. “Nemo is here and he’s fine. He wasn’t even missing.”
“Exactly!” Jensen cries. “He wasn’t even missing and I had you running around all damn day for no reason!”
“Well, it wasn’t like I had anything to do,” Jared replies easily. He doesn’t look pissed off or put out or anything. He looks happy and relieved and Jensen relaxes a little. “And you could look at it as a waste of time or you could look at it as a roundabout way of us getting to know each other. I’m glad we met, Jensen, no matter the circumstances.”
“How are you so – so…” He trails off, searching for the right word. “So awesome.”
“I was born this awesome,” Jared replies breezily. “And besides, you totally left a bowl of food and water out there with toys and a blanket. Drunk you is an awesome dogsitter even if sober you forgot about it.”
“Because that makes me feel better,” Jensen mumbles. Nemo jumps up and licks his face.
“See? Nemo isn’t even mad at you!” Jared tells him jovially. “So cheer the fuck up!”
“Okay, okay!” Jensen laughs as Nemo barks in his face. “I’m cheered!”
“So, new plan,” Jared says, pulling Nemo over and scratching under his chin. “We give this dog a bath, order a pizza, and then make out until it gets here. And then, well, who knows?”
Jensen swallows hard as he sees Jared’s playful smirk. His eyes are bright and happy and he’s grinning and wow – Jensen is the luckiest guy in the world.
“I am entirely okay with this plan.”
Josh brought over an entire puppy supply arsenal, but no dog shampoo. Jensen’s expensive salon brand with the organic berry extract gets sacrificed to the cause. He figures it’s the least he can do.
Jared and Jensen watch with equal parts amusement and confusion as Nemo has what can only be called a spaz attack after his bath. They dry him off and as soon as he’s free he starts zipping around the house making these little growling noises and rolling in circles all over the floor. Jared laughs. Jensen wonders if maybe the puppy is a little bit special.
Jensen orders a pizza while Jared plays with Nemo. The two of them dart around Jensen’s living room with such erratic swiftness that he fears for his possessions. He watches in amazement as the puppy suddenly spins in a circle and drops to the floor, completely knocked out.
“How did you do that?” Jensen asks. Jared chuckles and turns to look at him.
“He’s like a kid, Jensen,” Jared replies. “He gets tired easily and sleeps a lot. I just wore him out.”
“You’re amazing,” Jensen breathes. Jared grins and Jensen suddenly remembers the rest of their plan. “I hope you didn’t wear yourself out.”
“Really?” Jared asks as he saunters towards him. Jensen backs up until his legs hit the sofa. “That’s your line?”
“Looks like it’s working,” Jensen mumbles as Jared crowds in around him. One strong arm wraps around Jensen’s waist and he trembles.
“Well then,” Jared breathes. “I can go all night, baby.”
“Like that’s any better,” Jensen mumbles as the distance between their faces shrinks.
“I was just keeping with the theme,” Jared breathes. Their mouths are less than an inch apart now and Jensen’s fingers curl around Jared’s firm, wide shoulders.
“Shut up.” And then they’re kissing. This isn’t the soft, sweet kiss from the park. This is something raw and intense. Jensen lets out a pathetic little whimper when Jared wraps his arms tight around Jensen’s waist, lifts him up off of the floor, and lays him down on the sofa.
Jared’s strength is such a turn on, but unlike the other big guys Jensen has been with, Jared quickly reminds him that there’s so much more to him than that. He blankets Jensen’s body with his own, takes his cheeks in his hands, and kisses the tip of his nose. Jensen’s cheeks flush with mild embarrassment. He’s never had this before and he’s not sure how to react.
He isn’t sure he’s worth it.
Jensen turns his face to the side and bucks his hips up. Jared groans but it doesn’t deter him. He just puts one giant hand on Jensen’s heated cheek and turns his face back to his. The other hand slips under Jensen’s shirt, fingertips ghosting across warm skin. Jensen can’t help the way he’s trembling under Jared’s fingers, can’t help the way he melts under his gaze.
Finally Jensen just gives into it. He stares up at Jared with liquid eyes, lets him see everything he’s always trying to hide. It’s the most honest and open he’s ever been with another person and he isn’t even speaking. Jared just smiles, those pretty lips pulled up at the corners, and kisses Jensen again. A desperate whimper escapes Jensen’s lips and Jared just laps it up, licking his way inside as his fingertips dance along Jensen’s side.
Jensen feels like he’s being torn apart in the best possible way just so Jared can reassemble him; put all the pieces where they belong. It’s ridiculous because he’s just met this boy, but he can’t help how he feels, can’t help the way his heart is beating erratically against his chest.
“Jared, I – you – just,” Jensen stutter-starts, not even sure of what he wants to say. Jared just shushes him softly and pulls Jensen’s shirt over his head. Jensen is astonished by how nervous he is as Jared pulls off his own shirt to reveal a gorgeous, toned body. He feels like a virgin on prom night, and he didn’t even feel like that when he was a virgin. Sex has always been old hat to him, something of great fun and little importance.
This is different. Yes, he wants to sleep with Jared. But he wants Jared to hold him, wants it to go slow and last, wants to watch Jared all the way through. He wants to take him out for waffles in the morning and go jogging through the park together. He wants it all.
“Be with me,” Jensen says in a choked little voice, and he figures that pretty much sums it up. Jared nods and kisses him deeply, mouths fused together desperately as Jared’s huge hands slide into the waistband of Jensen’s pants to cup his ass. Jensen arches up and undulates against Jared’s thigh, desperate for contact. He’s clutching Jared’s shoulders like he’ll fall apart if he lets go. Who knows, maybe he will.
“With you,” Jared mumbles, lips skimming Jensen’s jaw before biting down gently. Jensen pants and reaches down to fumble with the button of Jared’s jeans. He lets out a frustrated little growl and Jared huffs.
“Button fly, really?” Jensen rasps. He finally just grabs the material and yanks. The fly pops open and Jensen slips his hand inside. “Oh fuck.”
“Oh god,” Jared says at the same time, hissing and arching back. “Fuck, your hands.”
Jared is so big. Jensen squeezes through the cotton and his mouth waters. He rubs and squeezes in erratic little bursts, too blissed out to really get a rhythm going. Jared pushes his hands away and Jensen whines. He hasn’t been this frantic and desperate in a really long time.
Jared gets up on his knees and pushes his jeans and underwear down to his thighs. Jensen groans out loud at the sight of that dick, so big and pretty, pink and hard and leaking. His own jeans are pulled down and then Jared is pressed up against him, wrapping Jensen’s legs around his waist and rolling his hips. Jared starts kissing his neck and Jensen wraps his arms around those giant, broad shoulders and moves with him. Jared’s dick is hot and slippery in the groove of his hip and Jensen hasn’t done this since he was a teenager – this desperate, sloppy fumbling on the couch.
Thing is, it’s amazing.
Jared bites down softly on his pulse point and Jensen gasps, arching up and reaching down to get his hand around Jared’s dick. He squeezes and pulls and then they’re kissing again, wet and messy, more of a meeting of mouths than anything else.
After a few tugs Jared bats his hands away and nestles his hips against Jensen’s before wrapping his giant hand around both of their dicks at once. Jensen lets his head fall back and he clutches Jared’s shoulders, rolling his hips up into Jared’s grasp.
Jared’s other hand touches his cheek and he manages to force his eyes open. Jared is the hottest thing he’s ever seen, all sweaty and glistening with a halo of light around him. Jensen gets up on his elbows and pulls Jared in for a kiss. He reaches down to tangle his fingers with Jared’s, to stroke their cocks together, and it’s not long before Jared tenses up. He lets out this sexy little whimper into Jensen’s mouth and he pulls back to watch as Jared shoots thick ropes of come all over their joined hands and Jensen’s stomach.
Jared’s little breathy moans and his hand tightening around Jensen’s dick is all it takes to make him lose it. He cries out and arches up, clutching at Jared’s bicep as he lets go. He can feel Jared’s eyes on him the entire time.
Jensen slumps boneless against the sofa and gasps for air. Jared shifts until he’s sitting and pulls Jensen’s legs onto his lap. Their hands rest on Jensen’s belly, smearing it with slick come.
They’re silent for a long time but it’s not awkward. Jensen isn’t wondering where his clothes are, if he has cash for a cab, or how to get Jared to leave. He’s just – content. Finally he drags his finger through the mixture on his stomach and then sucks it clean. Jared’s eyes flash and he leans in, but the doorbell ringing stops him short.
“What the – oh shit, the pizza!” Jensen shouts. Jared looks down at their debauched state and then they both laugh. Jensen grabs his shirt off of the floor and quickly cleans Jared off before rolling off of the couch. “Okay, you grab that. Money’s on the table. I’m gonna go clean up.”
Jared chuckles and then grabs Jensen by the arm when he tries to leave and pulls him in for a soft, lingering kiss. There’s another knock on the door and they chuckle. Jared grabs the money and buttons his pants and Jensen takes off in the direction of his bedroom, nearly tripping over a sleeping Nemo.
Jensen’s heart won’t stop racing and he can’t wait to get back out to Jared.
He takes that as a good sign.
Nemo does not sleep through the event of bringing pizza into the house. He sits on the floor in front of the sofa in between Jared and Jensen’s legs as they eat, alternating between whining and pawing at their knees.
Jared spends a few minutes trying to make him sit and lay down before giving him tiny pieces of crust. Jensen watches in awe as Jared holds out a bit of bread, tells Nemo to sit, and he actually does.
“Wow, five minutes with you is officially more effective than one month of puppy school,” Jensen says as he wipes his mouth with a napkin. “You’re insanely good with animals.”
“Thanks,” Jared says proudly as he scratches Nemo behind the ears. “I’m actually studying to become a veterinarian.”
“Can’t think of a better job for you,” Jensen says fondly. Jared smiles and closes the pizza box, tossing it on the table before sliding over to Jensen. He chuckles and lies back as Jared stretches out over him. Just before their lips touch Jared lets out a loud hissing noise and points his finger towards the pizza box. Nemo whines a little and walks away with his tail between his legs. Jensen laughs and pulls Jared in for a kiss.
They make out for a long time. It’s probably the longest Jensen has ever kissed anyone in one sitting, and he’s enjoying himself immensely. Jared makes all these noises – breathy sighs and tiny whimpers and broken moans – all just from kissing. Jensen can’t wait to get him in bed and make him scream, but this kissing thing? It’s totally working for now.
Suddenly Jared’s back pocket starts barking. It startles Jensen and Nemo jumps up and starts yapping and growling. Jared laughs and pulls away from Jensen’s swollen mouth to sit up.
“Sorry, that’s the shelter,” Jared says as he pulls out his phone. He looks at the display and then furrows his brow. “Weird, they should all just be leaving. Hold on a sec.”
Jared answers the call and gives an enthusiastic greeting to the person on the other end of the line. His hand is still on Jensen’s stomach and he plays idly with his fingers. Jared’s voice goes from casual to distressed like a switch was flipped and he jumps up off the couch. Tears form in his eyes as he babbles into the phone and Jensen panics a little as he sits up.
“I’ll be right there.” He ends the call and looks at Jensen helplessly. Jensen jumps up and goes over to him.
“Whoa, Jared,” he says softly. “What is it?”
“Sadie and Harley,” Jared tells him sadly. “They won’t give us anymore time. They’re taking them to – oh god. Chad called me so I could – so I can go say goodbye.”
“Oh god,” Jensen repeats, bringing his hand up to cover his mouth. Jared looks absolutely wrecked and Jensen grabs his hand. “I’m going with you.”
Jared lets out a sniffle and Jensen makes sure Nemo is safely in the house before pulling Jared out to his car. Jensen breaks all sorts of traffic laws as he makes his way to the shelter and Jared just shakes despondently in the passenger seat.
They run into the shelter and Jared lets out a little hiccupping sob at what he sees. A man in a grey uniform has Harley and Sadie on leashes while Chad stands off to the side with one arm wrapped around a brunette girl with tears streaming down her face.
Both dogs start howling and pulling on the leashes once they spot Jared, trying to run over to him. The guy clutching the leashes has to dig his heels in and still tumbles forward a little. Jared gets down on his knees, tears streaming freely from his eyes as he pulls the dogs into his arms. To the naked eye these dogs are enormous, but in Jared’s grasp they just look like sad little puppies.
“Look guys,” the guy holding the leashes says. “It’s my job.”
“Yeah well, your job sucks,” Chad tells him with a subtle hitch to his voice. Jensen swallows a lump in his throat as he continues to watch Jared’s anguished face.
“I know that,” the guy replies. “But I’ve already stalled for over a week with these guys because I know how special they are. But now I gotta take ‘em. I’m sorry no one wants them.”
“I want them,” Jensen says suddenly, eyes still locked on Jared and the dogs. Jared lets out a surprised little gasp and looks up. Jensen swallows hard and looks over at Chad. “I want to take Harley and Sadie home. What do I have to do?”
“Jensen,” Jared says thickly. “You don’t have – “
“I want to,” Jensen tells him before giving him a reassuring smile. He goes over to Harley and Sadie and pets their large heads. They look up at him and Sadie pushes her head up into Jensen’s hand. It’s a scary thought, taking on these two giants when he could barely handle a puppy, but he can’t let them be put down. “You said it yourself. I have a house and a huge backyard. And I live two blocks from a dog park.”
“Well, yeah,” Jared says slowly. He starts looking a little hopeful, not as broken, and it’s like the fist gripping Jensen’s heart just let go and he can breathe again.
“Dude, I was made to have dogs,” Jensen says with an impish grin. “Besides, just means I have an excuse to have you at my place all the time.”
“All the time,” Jared agrees with a soft smile. “You’ll never get rid of me.”
“It’s settled then.” Jensen walks over to the man in the gray uniform and yanks the leashes out of his hand. “Looks like your services are no longer required.”
The guy holds up his hands in surrender and then shuffles out of the shelter without another word. There’s a loud shriek and Jensen finds himself holding up a very happy girl.
“Damn, Sophia,” Chad chides. He puts his arms around her waist and tries to pry her free. “Don’t you think introductions are in order before you pounce on the guy?”
“Sorry!” She squeaks as Chad pulls her away. Jensen shoots Jared a look and he just smiles back as Harley and Sadie lick his face. “It’s just – none of us could take these guys and just – wow. You saved them.”
“Well, that’s me,” Jensen replies awkwardly. “I’m a hero.”
“Damn right,” Chad says as he claps Jensen on the shoulder. “Now let’s get everything in order. There are forms to be filled out, fees to be paid, things like that.”
“I got the fees,” Jared calls out. Jensen waves his hand and follows Chad over to the counter.
“No, I do,” Jensen insists as he takes his wallet out. “I’ll take it out in trade.”
“Bow chicka – “ Chad starts, but Jensen cuts him off.
“I was thinking dogsitting,” Jensen replies. Chad smirks and hands Jensen a clipboard. It’s a lot of paperwork, hell, a lot of work in general, but then he looks over at Jared. He’s smiling bigger than Jensen has ever seen as Harley and Sadie paw at him, and Jensen knows he made the right choice.
“Shit,” Jensen says as they lead Sadie and Harley up onto his porch. “What about Nemo?”
Just as Jensen says it, the puppy starts barking at the top of his lungs. Harley and Sadie perk up and start pawing at the door. Jensen casts a worried glance in Jared’s direction and he just waves a hand.
“It’ll be fine,” Jared assures him. “These guys love other dogs and Nemo is just a puppy. They’ll get along great.”
Jensen bites his lip as Jared opens the door. Sadie and Harley run in and Jared and Jensen share a look before tearing in after them. Sadie and Harley freeze two feet from Nemo, who has shut up and is staring at the bigger dogs with huge brown eyes. After a long moment Nemo lets out another yip and runs forward to sniff them. Jensen lets out a relieved breath when they all start to play.
“See,” Jared says with a raised eyebrow. “Told you.”
Jensen smiles and flops down onto the sofa. He lets out a huge yawn and Jared sits down next to him. Jared puts his hand on Jensen’s cheek and then leans in to press a soft kiss to Jensen’s lips. He swallows and looks into Jared’s eyes.
“Thank you,” Jared says sincerely. Jensen smiles softly as Jared’s thumb moves back and forth across his cheek. Jensen kisses him again, wrapping one arm around his shoulders and pulling him in close.
“Mm, stay,” Jensen mumbles between kisses. He tangles his fingers in Jared’s hair and sucks softly at his bottom lip. “Stay the night.”
“I can do that,” Jared replies in a rough whisper. Their kisses get a little deeper and Jared scoops Jensen up into his arms to carry him towards the bedroom. Jensen shudders at Jared’s pure strength and presses wet kisses to his jaw. “This really turns you on, doesn’t it?”
Jensen just lets out a little growl and bites down softly on Jared’s jaw. He chuckles and then tosses Jensen onto the bed. He crawls on top of him and then they’re kissing again – deep, intense kisses.
And then Jared coughs into Jensen’s mouth. The bed bounces and Jensen’s teeth clack together.
“What the fuck?” Jared growls. He rolls onto his side and they see all three dogs making themselves at home on Jensen’s queen-sized bed. They plop down into a pile and Jared smiles so fondly that Jensen is pretty sure there’s no way that he’s getting laid tonight. “Aww, look at them.”
“Adorable,” Jensen grumbles sleepily. Jared turns to look at him and cups his cheek in one hand.
“We’ve all had a long day,” Jared tells him softly. “Maybe we should get some sleep.”
“We went from strangers to an old married couple in one day,” Jensen tells him. Jared laughs and kicks off his pants before getting under the covers. He presses a kiss to the soft spot behind Jensen’s ear.
“In the morning I’ll lock the dogs out,” Jared breathes. “Wake you up good and proper.”
“Mm, deal,” Jensen replies. He kicks off his own pants and settles himself in Jared’s arms. It’s weird, falling asleep in someone’s arms like this – especially with no sex involved. But maybe he can get used to it.
“Night Jensen,” Jared says quietly. One of the dogs lets out a soft little yip and Nemo curls up on top of Jensen’s feet. “Night Nemo. Night Harley. Night Sadie.”
“Oh god,” Jensen laughs. Jared chuckles and kisses his temple. It’s too hot in the bed, too many warm bodies, but Jensen just sinks into Jared’s grip and closes his eyes.
Soon all he can hear is the soft snuffling sound of puppy snores and Jared’s shallow breathing in his ear. There is so much love in the room. Jensen can feel it surrounding him. It’s nothing he’s ever experienced before, and it’s a little overwhelming.
But instead of freaking out, he just tucks Jared’s hair behind his ear and closes his eyes.
He can definitely get used to this.
“So let me get this straight.”
Josh casts a slightly worried glance at Logan as the small boy runs around the backyard with Jared and three dogs before looking at Jensen again. Jensen flips a steak on the barbeque and looks over him. “We were gone for six days. In those six days you, my brother, the commitment-phobe with the debilitating fear of responsibility, adopted two giant shelter dogs and somehow picked up a mature, stable boyfriend that is here enough to have his own load of clothes going in your washer?”
“A lot of shit can happen in a week,” Jensen says simply. Josh just stares at him.
“And you’re cooking for him?” Josh looks at him like he’s some kind of mutant freak and Jensen sticks his tongs in Josh’s face.
“What’s your problem?” Jensen asks in a slightly pinched tone. “I thought you wanted me to grow up?”
“Well yeah, of course I did.” Josh gives him one of those infuriating big brother grins. “I just didn’t think it’d happen in one week when I wasn’t even around to see it.”
“It had to happen sometime,” Jensen mumbles as he flips another steak. Logan lets out a delighted squeal as Jared scoops him up and runs across the yard with him. Jensen shades his eyes with his hand and watches them fondly.
“He’s great, Jensen,” Josh tells him. Jensen swallows hard and then nods once, never taking his eyes off of Jared and his nephew. “What happened, exactly, that made you stop being an idiot?”
Jensen watches Jared as he runs around the expansive backyard with his nephew and three dogs quick on his heels. Logan tackles him to the ground and all three dogs jump on top of them. Jared laughs and Jensen smiles.
“Finding Nemo,” Jensen mumbles. Jared rolls out from under the dog pile and grabs Logan’s hand as they make their way towards the deck.
“The movie?” Josh asks with a confused expression. Jensen’s eyes widen and he clears his throat, looking askance at Josh as he pokes needlessly at the steaks.
“Uh, yeah,” Jensen replies. They had decided not to tell Josh about losing Nemo, since he was never really lost in the first place, and made sure to collect every flyer before they returned from their trip. “It’s a long story.”
“Hey,” Jared says as he and Logan come up onto the porch. “The kid offered to help me mash the potatoes.”
“Sounds good,” Jensen replies. Jared grabs him by the front of his apron and pulls him in for a quick kiss before heading inside with Logan. Jensen smiles stupidly after him while Josh chuckles into his soda.
Jensen hears a whine and looks down to see all three dogs staring up at him with pleading eyes. Nemo looks comically small and fluffy between Harley and Sadie. Sadie paws at Jensen’s thigh and Harley watches the barbeque like it’s the most interesting thing in the world.
“Stop begging,” Jensen commands. They all whine again and he rolls his eyes as he tears up a cooked burger patty and tosses them the pieces. “Stupid mutts.”
Okay fine. He’s a total softie when it comes to his puppies.
And yes, that includes Jared.