[two years later]
Jensen is sleeping, peacefully, in case anyone is wondering.
This doesn’t stop Jared from coming into their bedroom all covered in sweat from his morning run and dropping on top of him like a stone. Jensen wakes up with a sharp cough, eyes watering as all the air rushes from his lungs.
“Happy birthday,” Jared says sweetly, and all Jensen can do is blink. “Sleep well?”
“Well, I was,” Jensen says roughly, and then stretches out underneath Jared. “Mm, you’re all sweaty.”
“Very sweaty,” Jared says as he drags his damp jaw across Jensen’s lips. His tongue sneaks out to catch a taste, sharp and salty, and he closes his teeth gently over the sharp edge of his jaw. Jared shutters almost imperceptibly and Jensen sucks lazily at the hollow behind his ear.
“One of those mornings, huh?” Jensen asks with a smirk. Jared grins and shoves his hand down the front of Jensen’s boxers, sweat-damp fingers curling around his cock. Jensen bites his lip and hardens quickly in Jared’s grasp, leaning in to press a kiss to his mouth before Jared slinks down his body.
“Gonna blow you,” Jared says as he pulls Jensen’s sweats down his hips. “And then I’m gonna fuck you.”
“And they say I’m not a morning person,” Jensen says breathlessly, tossing his head back with a cry as Jared sucks him down. Jensen hums, fingers tangling in Jared’s sweaty hair as he gets to work. He teases, tongue twisting and curling, and Jensen gives his hair a sharp tug. Jared sucks Jensen down to the root, swallowing lazily around the head before pulling up slow. “Oh shit, happy birthday to me.”
Jensen parts his thighs as Jared’s hand slips between them, fingertips dragging across his entrance. Jared releases Jensen’s dick to move lower, to lick around his fingers and slick the way. Jensen whimpers, hips twitching same as they do every time Jared does this to him.
Jared’s fingers soon replace his tongue and his mouth is back on Jensen’s dick, tip of his clever tongue digging into the slit. Two fingers deep inside of Jensen, quirked up expertly, and Jared’s mouth is on the sharp cut of his hipbone, sucking for a moment before moving higher. Damp lips drag across the dip of Jensen’s belly, trail feather-light across his ribcage before closing around a dusky pink nipple.
Jensen says his partner’s name on a soft exhale, full of wonder and adoration as he slides his hand down the slippery expanse of Jared’s back. Jared’s fingers move in an out a bit more insistently now, a third finger joining in. He’s not quite slick enough but Jensen doesn’t mind; he’d like to feel the pleasant burn in his ass all day long.
“Mm, want you,” Jensen breathes against the side of Jared’s head as his eager mouth opens against the tendon of Jensen’s neck, sharp teeth dragging across his pulse.
Jared pulls his fingers out and spits into his palm, too far gone to even locate any lube. Jensen shudders in anticipation as he watches Jared slick his cock, still-tight muscles bunching and pulling under glistening skin.
“Gonna feel it.” Jared says it like a promise and Jensen hums pleasantly, mouth falling slack as Jared pushes inside. He does feel it, the slight burn and drag, but he loves it, even pushes back hard against Jared’s hips to get him inside faster. “Oh god, Jen. Every fucking time, better than the last.”
Jensen wraps his arms around Jared’s shoulders, leg going around his slim waist as he starts to thrust. Their mouths meet and Jensen sucks on Jared’s tongue, bites his bottom lip. It’s slow and intense and Jensen shakes with it, sweat pooling on his chest as he rubs slickly against Jared.
“Love you,” Jared says, just when Jensen is at the height of pleasure, at the crest of a wave. He moans just at the sound of Jared’s voice, at those words directed at him. His dick leaks freely between them, slicking their bellies as Jensen holds on for dear life.
“Love you,” he manages in return, and Jared snakes a hand between them to wrap around his dick. His touch is like an electric shock, making Jensen arch up and cry out, his orgasm hitting him like a punch and spiraling outward until he feels it in his fingers and toes.
“So fucking beautiful,” Jared rasps, and Jensen is too out of it to do little more than hum when Jared kisses him fiercely. He grips the back of Jared’s neck and squeezes, tongue fucking into his mouth as Jared buries himself deep inside of Jensen, hips stilling as Jared’s orgasm claims him.
Jensen sighs happily at the slick, hot feeling inside of him, so intimate and raw. Jared collapses on top of him and Jensen shifts pleasantly under all that weight, fingers curling in Jared’s damp hair as he pants harshly against the side of his neck.
“Good morning,” Jared finally rasps out, the words garbled against Jensen’s skin. Jensen chuckles warmly and presses a kiss to Jared’s jaw.
“Morning.” They lie there together for a few moments, but they do actually have to get up and start the day. Jared shifts his hips and when his softening dick slides out of him, Jensen sighs at the loss. Jared kisses his lips and then gets out of bed, stretching his muscles right out in the open like he has no idea what his naked, sweaty body does to Jensen. “Screw work. Get over here.”
Jared tsks and reaches out to pat Jensen’s thigh. “Up and at ‘em, Jen,” he says with a grin. “Let’s take a shower. If you’re good, I’ll even let you wash my back.”
He saunters into the bathroom and Jensen very nearly trips over Jared’s running shoes as he hurries after him.
When Jensen makes his way downstairs, Jared is puttering around in the kitchen and the dogs are fighting over a rope toy under the kitchen table, knocking the chairs together as they wrestle.
“Hey beautiful,” Jared says as Jensen walks into the kitchen. He spins around and holds out a plate to Jensen. On it rests one half of a bagel with one lit candle shoved precariously into a glob of cream cheese in the hole in the middle. “Here you go. We spent too much time banging and now you don’t get a birthday breakfast.”
“Fair trade,” Jensen says with a smile. He doesn’t make a wish when he blows out the candle because he can’t think of anything else that he needs. “Thanks.”
Jared nods and hands the plate over to Jensen, who snags a bite while Jared takes the dogs outside to do their business. Jensen finishes the bagel quickly and washes it down with the glass of orange juice on the counter before heading towards the front door.
He catches sight of himself in the mirror and gives himself a quick onceover. Exactly forty years old as of that morning, and he’s in better shape than he’s ever been. He even brushes his fingers over the hint of grey at his left temple and smiles. It’s the only true physical sign of his age, but Jensen doesn’t mind it.
“Staring at yourself again? Vanity is a sin, babe,” Jared says as he comes back in with the dogs. Jensen chuckles and sags against Jared once he’s close enough to take his weight. He looks at the picture they make in the mirror and smiles softly. “Big day ahead, birthday boy. You ready?”
“I’d rather just stay here and blow you all day,” Jensen says, smirking as he meets Jared’s lustful gaze in the mirror.
“You’re insatiable, old man,” Jared says, pulling away with a swat to his ass. “Tonight you can have me any way you want me, all night long.”
“You’re not giving me much incentive to leave the house,” Jensen mumbles as he grabs his messenger bag from its hook.
“We have to earn our paychecks,” Jared says resignedly. “Sad part of being a grown-up. Now get your hot ass in the car.”
“It is nice, isn’t it?” Jensen asks, and Jared rolls his eyes fondly as they make their way out the front door.
John Adams High is already bustling with life by the time they arrive, slightly later than normal due to their morning activities. They make their way to the staff lounge so Jensen can top off his coffee, and then Jared squeezes the back of his neck.
“See you later, Mr. Ackles,” Jared says fondly.
“Teach well, Mr. Padalecki,” he replies, and watches Jared’s back as he leaves. Jensen makes his way to the theater slowly, sipping on his coffee and stopping to talk to colleagues and students when they greet him.
He’s been John Adams High’s new drama teacher since shortly after his brief stint as a student there. Jensen had loved being a part of Romeo and Juliet, but not just because of the acting. He took such joy in watching the kids work together, to create worlds and throw themselves into their roles.
The idea clicked into place like a light bulb going off over his head, and it made so much sense that Jensen kicked himself for not seeing it sooner. Those who can’t do, teach.
Jared had helped him immensely, eyes shining with pride whenever Jensen started talking about his new goal. Due to his connections with Jared, he was able to secure a job at the school as a student teacher while going to morning and evening classes to get his teaching certification.
It took some time, but he’s now officially a teacher with a theater as his classroom. Now that he has that, he can’t imagine doing anything else.
He sees Jared again at lunch when he drags Jensen into the staff lounge so everyone can sing Happy Birthday to him and have some cake. They part ways after a quick, sugary kiss and Jensen finishes out his day.
By the time after school rehearsal for the spring musical rolls around, Jensen is in an unflappably good mood, one that only brightens when Jared comes in and drops into an empty seat. He gives Jensen a smile before pulling papers out of his bag and settling in to grade them.
Jensen leaves everyone to their own devices after awhile and drops gracefully into the seat next to Jared. He’s careful not to press too close, not that he thinks that there’s a single person in the school, staff or student, that doesn’t know the nature of their relationship, but purely to remain professional while they’re on campus.
“They sound good,” Jared says without looking up from the paper he’s making red marks all over. “Not at all like dying cats.”
“Watch it,” Jensen says with a playful smirk. “My kids are great.”
“Yeah.” Jared looks up at the group of them on the stage, singing and dancing all over the place, and smiles. “They are.”
They sit in silence for a bit, Jared grading papers and Jensen watching his students, when someone drops into a seat in the row behind them.
“Hey lovebirds.” Jensen turns to see Misha grinning at them from behind a pair of dark sunglasses, and he rolls his eyes. “So codependent that you even have to work in the same place. It’s a bit sad, really.”
“Wow, they’ll let anyone on this campus, huh?” Jensen says with a grin, which falls when Misha slaps the side of his head, albeit lightly.
“Well, I wanted to swing by and say happy birthday to my asshole of a best friend,” Misha replies, “and look where it got me.”
“Hey Misha,” Jared says, and Misha leans forward to kiss the back of Jared’s head. “See, he likes me.”
“Everybody likes you,” Jensen says, and then turns back to Misha. “Thanks, man.”
“We’re still on for tonight, right?” Misha asks excitedly. “After your other thing?”
“Am I going to live to see morning?” Jensen shoots back. Misha cocks his head and squints a bit.
“Most likely.” Misha grins wickedly. “But I’m not promising anything.”
“Ugh, fine,” Jensen tells him. “But if it turns into a repeat of Jared’s 21st, we’re out of there.”
“Oh, come on,” Misha says. “That was a life experience. Everyone has to get their stomach pumped at least once.” Next to him, Jared shudders at the memory. “Look, it’s Friday. You don’t have shit to do tomorrow, no young minds to impart wisdom upon, so we’re going to party like it’s your goddamn birthday, man. Drinks are on me.”
“We’re going to die,” Jared stage whispers, and Misha grins even wider.
“That’s the spirit!” Misha says. “I’ll see you crazy kids later.”
“See ya, Misha,” Jensen replies, brow quirking as Misha stands up with a grand gesture.
“Farewell, young thespians!” Misha calls out, and all the students on the stage sort of stumble to a halt and stare awkwardly. Misha bows with a flourish and they all watch as he pushes out of the side doors and into the sunshine.
“Can he come visit more often?” Alona calls from the stage. Jensen rolls his eyes and shares a look with Jared before turning to face her.
“Maybe if I get signed permission slips,” Jensen calls back. Jared chuckles and returns his attention to the paper in his lap, and Jensen knocks their shoulders together with a pleased smile.
After rehearsal, they barely have time to swing home to change and let the dogs out before they’re heading out to meet with a few members of Jensen’s theater troupe for dinner. There’s a happy, lively bunch of characters waiting to greet them, and Jensen practically feels his waistband tighten at the sight of another cake. But hey, it’s his birthday. He’s allowed to live a little.
Jensen joined the small company about a year earlier, once his course load at school had eased up a bit. He really likes being with them. They mainly stick to doing small plays around the city, and that’s fine by him. It gives Jensen the chance to perform in front of an audience, no matter how small, and the opportunity to come home to Jared when he’s done.
Jared is there every opening and closing night cheering him on, of course, but it is nice to come home all pumped full of adrenaline to find Jared waiting for him.
“So how is the world’s most perfect couple?” Sam, a feisty older woman that Jensen has grown very fond of, asks them. Jared ducks his head and Jensen grins as he places his hand low on Jared’s back.
“Wonderful, my dear,” Jensen tells her with a bright smile. “Twenty-two years and counting.”
“God,” she shorts, shaking her head slightly. “Sometimes I forget that the two of you were just babies when you got together. I can barely find someone worth dropping my knickers for and here you two are racking up the decades. Got any tips?”
“Patience,” Jared says at the same moment that Jensen says “lots of sex”. Jared raises a brow at him and Jensen just grins playfully and leans in to bump their noses together.
“We’re actually taking a vacation when school lets out for spring break,” Jensen says as he rests a hand on Jared’s thigh. “Someplace warm where Jared can spread himself out on a rock and soak up the sun like a lizard.”
“Now that I’d pay to see.” This comes from Matthew, who is so flamboyant that he makes Jensen look like the poster boy for heterosexuality. “Jared, just when are we going to run away together?”
“Ha, I’d like to see you try,” Jensen says, laughing at Matthew as his hand slips a bit further up Jared’s thigh. Jared just laughs and rests his hand on top of Jensen’s own.
“Well, whatever it is,” Sam says, propping her chin up in her hand and looking at them dreamily. “You two have it. A lot of it.”
“Yeah,” Jared replies happily, looking over at Jensen with bright eyes. “We do.”
They miraculously manage to find a parking spot outside Misha’s building after escaping their well-meaning, if eccentric, new group of friends and they stumble to a stop when they spot the limo parked in front of the entrance.
“Do you think?” Jared asks, and Jensen raises a brow. Misha suddenly pops up through the moon roof of the limo and Jared and Jensen share a look.
“He has way too much time and money on his hands,” Jensen says. “We should take some of it from him. By force.”
“Good evening, scholars!” Misha shouts, waving a bottle of champagne around in the air. “The night is young and so are we, in the loosest sense of the term, so get your asses in the car!”
Jared and Jensen chuckle as they climb into the limo. Misha hugs them both, kisses them both right on the mouth, and then hands over glasses of champagne.
“Tally ho, driver!” Misha calls through the glass separating them from the front of the car. “We have much to see.”
Misha spends all night dragging them all over the city, drinking and dancing and collecting stamps and wristbands all over town. Jensen knows that they should feel ridiculous, acting the way they are at their age, but they just don’t. They have fun.
At the last club of the night, Jensen and Jared make out on the dance floor like teenagers while Misha dances spastically around them, and they don’t actually leave until well past last call when the bouncer has to practically kick them out.
They stumble into a diner up the street and drop into a booth, giggling behind their menus. Jensen is well beyond drunk, and so is Jared, judging by the way he’s curled up against Jensen’s side like a limpet.
“So, it’s official,” Misha slurs from over the top of his menu. “Jensen’s 40th totally trumps Jared’s 21st.”
“Of course it does,” Jensen replies, and Jared lets out a groan and shakes his head. “He doesn’t like to talk about that night, poor thing.”
“He still won’t drink tequila?” Misha asks sadly, and Jensen shakes his head as Jared drools on his shoulder.
“Still won’t drink tequila,” Jensen confirms. Misha sighs as if this is some great burden, and then focuses fully on his pancakes.
It’s almost four in the morning when the limo finally pulls up in front of Jared and Jensen’s house. Jared is asleep on Jensen’s lap and he doesn’t even notice that the car has stopped moving, he’s so tired. Misha punches him in the shoulder and he lifts his head.
“You’re home,” Misha tells him through a yawn. “Happy birthday, Jen.”
“Thanks, Misha,” Jensen tells him, a rare moment of sincerity between the two of them that Jensen blames on the alcohol and the late hour. “You know I love you, right?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Misha responds with a flick of his wrist, but he’s smiling. “Love you, too. Take that giant lug of a man inside, would you?”
Jensen shakes Jared gently, biting his bottom lip to stifle a grin when Jared just snuffles and tries to burrow closer. Jensen shakes him again and Jared finally sits up, blinking blearily up at him before looking out the window.
“Oh,” he says, and then tips forward to pull Misha into a hug. Misha pets his hair and then pushes him back into Jensen’s arms. Jared looks up at him hopefully. “Bed?”
“Bed,” Jensen says, and gets them out of the limo with a little maneuvering. They stumble up the walk, arms around each other, and Jensen fumbles his way through unlocking the door. He deposits Jared on the sofa and lets the dogs out, leaving the back door open while he goes into the kitchen to get some Advil and two bottles of water. He pops three pills into his mouth and polishes off the whole bottle, and by the time he’s done the dogs have come back in. He shuts the door and locks it before going back out into the living room. Jared’s face is smashed into the cushions, mouth open and eyes closed, and Jensen takes a moment to simply smile at him.
“Wake up, babe,” Jensen says, palming Jared’s cheek until he sits up. “Take these.”
He drops some Advil in Jared’s hand and pushes the water bottle into the other. He watches dutifully as Jared drunkenly works his way through the tasks, letting the bottle fall to the sofa once it’s empty. Jensen leaves it and goes over to lock the front door.
“You take care of me,” Jared says from the sofa, and Jensen turns around to smile at him. “I love you.”
“Likewise, giant.” Jensen takes Jared’s hands and hauls him up, keeping an arm around Jared’s waist as they climb the stairs to go to bed. He lets Jared fall back onto the bed and kicks off his own shoes, both of them making slow, clumsy work of stripping out of their clothes.
They crawl under the covers and Jensen lets out a sigh of relief, sinking down into the mattress as he pulls Jared into his arms. He kisses Jared’s forehead and pushes his hair out of his face.
“I was gonna give you so much birthday sex,” Jared mumbles against Jensen’s jaw, and he chuckles softly. “Was gonna make it so you couldn’t even walk.”
“We have all weekend,” Jensen replies, playing idly with Jared’s hair. “Plenty of time for sex.”
Jared hums thoughtfully and presses a lazy kiss to the side of Jensen’s face.
“Did you have a good birthday?” Jared asks, and Jensen nods, squeezing him tighter. “Mm, good. Confession. I was waiting for you to freak out over turning forty all day, but you never did. I’m proud of you.”
Jensen blinks at that. Sure, forty is a big number. A milestone, even. But to Jensen it never felt stifling. Two years ago, before everything happened, the thought of turning forty terrified him. Things are different now. His life is perfect. Not almost, or damn near, but actually perfect.
He’s healthy and happy and he proved that he can still outlast the twenty-somethings when it comes to partying, even if it does mean that he’ll have to sleep all day tomorrow to recover.
“My life is just as awesome today as it was yesterday, maybe even more so,” Jensen finally says, fingers sliding through Jared’s thick hair. “I don’t know. After everything, age just doesn’t feel all that important anymore.”
“Age ain’t nothing but a number, baby,” Jared mumbles against Jensen’s neck. He rolls his eyes fondly and cradles the back of his head.
“If you start singing Rod Stewart again, I’m divorcing you,” Jensen says, and Jared snorts.
“As if you would ever.” Jared’s voice is soft and pleased, so sure of himself. And well, he has every right to be. “You’re mine forever.”
“True,” Jensen mumbles, and smiles when he feels Jared sigh happily against him.
“I’m glad, though,” Jared says after a bit, “to hear you say that. Forty years old and you’re finally a grown up. Mm, I love you.”
Jensen’s throat tightens, emotion bubbling up enough to make his breath hitch. He’s drunk and tired and fuck it, in love. He tips Jared’s chin up with his finger and kisses him soundly, licking his way inside and moaning softly.
Jared hums into it, arms going around Jensen as he sucks briefly on his tongue. They kiss for a long time, slow and languid, until Jared pulls away, palming the side of Jensen’s face with his giant hand and looking into his eyes.
“We have a pretty good life, huh?” Jared asks, eyelids drooping with sleep. “Happy birthday, Jen.”
Jared drifts off in his arms and Jensen holds him tight, lips pressing against the top of his head as he blinks away the wetness in his eyes.
Pretty good is quite the understatement.