miss california. (_mournthewicked) wrote,
miss california.

fic: absence from those we love (part four.)

[back to part three.]

Jensen lingers in the boy’s dressing room far longer than he needs to, and by the time he wanders backstage almost everyone has gone home. Katie and her boys linger near the door while Jared leans against the wall and scribbles something on a clipboard.

“Do you need a ride, Jason?” Katie calls, and Jensen looks from her to Jared and back before shaking his head.

“Nah, I could use the air,” Jensen tells her. “Tomorrow’s the big day. Get some rest.”

“You too,” Katie says, and Jensen nods at Jake and Kyle as they push through the doors and out into the cool air. Jensen clears his throat and turns around, peeking out into the theater to make sure that it’s empty before wandering over to where Jared is and leaning against the back of an old upright piano.

“Did we make you proud, oh wise director?” Jensen asks, and Jared looks up from his clipboard to meet his eyes with a soft smile.

“You’re very talented, Jensen,” Jared tells him softly. “You’ve always blown me away.”

“Thanks,” Jensen responds, huffing a breath when he can’t think of anything to say.

“It was weird though,” Jared says, eyes going back to the clipboard. “Last time you looked like that and recited Shakespeare at me, it was usually foreplay.”

Jensen raises an eyebrow, grinning when he sees the corner of Jared’s mouth twitching as he tries not to smile. A surge of want goes through Jensen, heat rushing and prickling through his young body, and he walks up to Jared.

Sin from thy lips? O trespass greatly urged,” Jensen says in a seductive whisper. Jared looks down at him, brow arching in warning. Jensen leans up until his lips are close to Jared’s, close enough to feel the warmth from them. “Give me my sin again?”

Jensen presses their mouths together, eyes slamming shut as he kisses Jared. It takes a moment but Jared kisses back, the clipboard clattering to the floor as he puts his hands on Jensen’s cheeks. Jensen’s tongue licks across the seam of Jared’s mouth and he pulls away, resting his forehead against Jensen’s.

You kiss by the book,” Jared says brokenly, letting out a shaky breath against Jensen’s lips. “Shit, Jensen. We can’t.”

“We can.” Jensen slides his fingers into Jared’s hair and pulls their mouths together again. This time he presses up against Jared, thigh slipping between his legs as their kiss gets deeper. Jensen lets out a soft grunt, teeth scraping against Jared’s bottom lip for a moment before he pulls away to kiss and suck at that lovely expanse of neck.

Jared lets out a soft groan and Jensen kisses him again, tongues tangling until Jensen’s lungs ache and he pulls away just to breathe. Jared swipes his thumb over Jensen’s plump, swollen lips and he can see the want in his eyes. Jensen squeezes the back of Jared’s neck, fingers tangling in soft hair as he presses a kiss to the dip under Jared’s bottom lip.

Jared trembles, giant hands going to Jensen’s hips and sliding up under his shirt. Jensen jerks at that first touch of his hands on bare skin, lets out a tiny whimper against Jared’s mouth that says just how much he missed it.

“Jen.” Jared says it like a curse or maybe a plea, bottom lip catching on the smooth skin of Jensen’s jaw. His arms go tighter around Jensen, wrapping around until Jared is gripping his shoulders. Jensen shudders in his grasp, pushing up on his toes to press their mouths together again. Jared pulls him up, feet leaving the floor for a moment as Jared’s tongue pushes into his mouth.

Jensen feels so little like this, all wrapped up in Jared. He’s shorter and smaller and weaker, chest tightening a bit as Jared squeezes him. It feels like Jared could break him, though Jensen knows that he never would.

He can feel the outline of Jared’s dick against his hip, hot like a brand, and Jensen wriggles until his feet are flat on the floor. He pushes back from Jared slightly, licks his bitten lips, and slinks down to his knees.

Jared lets out a gasp, hips twitching as Jensen gets his hands on them. He pops the button of his fly and leans in to mouth at the sharp groove of his hipbone, flatten his tongue across the tiny mole there and suck.

“Your mouth,” Jared groans, and Jensen looks up at him as he curls his nimble fingers into the waistband of his pants and underwear. Jared watches him closely, chest heaving with each breath as Jensen drags the garments down to expose his dick. It’s as pretty as it ever was, thick and pink, head flushed dark red with blood and shiny. He wraps his hand around the shaft and Jared gasps, hips bucking a little as Jensen takes a moment to wonder over how his hands, his delicate wrists, look so much smaller on Jared now.

Jared has his palms flat against the wall and Jensen doesn’t like that, not at all, so he leans in past Jared’s hip to press a soft kiss to his wrist, nipping at the thin skin as he pulls away. Jared lifts his hand and places it on the side of Jensen’s face, huge fingers curling under his jaw as Jensen looks up at him and smiles. He’s still watching Jared’s face as he kisses the head of his dick, flushing at the broken noise Jared makes. “Jen, baby, please.”

Jensen parts his lips and takes the head of Jared’s dick inside his mouth, sucking greedily as he tongues at the slit. He wants to take his time, make this last, because there’s a part of him that wonders if this time will really be the last. He wants to go slow but he really can’t, not when Jared is shaking and squeezing the back of his neck, hips twitching whenever Jensen gives a good, hard suck.

Jensen pulls back, lets the head of Jared’s dick rest against the swollen fullness of his bottom lip, and waits for Jared to look at him. His eyes are feverish, pupils blown as he curls his fingers under Jensen’s chin. “I missed you,” Jensen whispers, voice hot against Jared’s dick. He licks at the fluid bubbling from the slit, and then slides his mouth down to meet his fist.

Jared cries out, his other hand flying to Jensen’s shoulder as Jensen sucks him. He lets his eyes slip shut as he focuses on his task, on making Jared feel good. His free hand stays on Jared’s hip, fingers tracing grooves of muscle and bone in an absentminded sort of way.

Jensen truly loves blowing Jared, loves the noises Jared makes and the way his dick feels in his mouth, so hot and heavy. He loves the ache in his jaw and the way Jared touches him while he does it, like he’s something precious and amazing. He loves the taste and stretch of it, loves it when he can’t even breathe because his mouth is so full.

Jared keeps touching him, hands on his face and on his throat, tangled in his hair, and Jensen can’t take it. He takes his hand from Jared’s hip and fumbles his own pants open, taking his cock out and stroking it between his knees as he blows Jared, all wet and messy.

“Oh god, Jensen,” Jared rasps out, and Jensen opens his eyes to look at him. He lets his desperation show, looks at Jared with everything that he feels, and moans around his dick. Jared looks back at him, broken wide open, lips red and swollen as he pants and moans.

It doesn’t take long for Jensen to spill over his own fingers, not after how keyed up he’s been at his physical age. He screws his eyes shut and moans around Jared’s cock, pulling back just to breathe before sucking hard underneath the head as he jerks himself through it.

“Stop,” Jared commands in a strangled voice. He isn’t sure what exactly it is that Jared wants him to stop, but none of the options are great. He pulls off of Jared’s dick with a whine, slick hand slipping from his own cock as he looks up at Jared, hips twitching with aftershocks. “Jesus christ.”

Jared grabs Jensen under the armpits and hauls him up, crashing their mouths together and licking the taste of himself out of his mouth. He slots their hips together and Jensen gasps at the pressure on his oversensitive dick, but Jared grinds down and it’s not long before he starts to harden again. The joys of youth. “You’re so fucking hot like this, Jen. So pretty.”

Jensen can’t help the moan that falls from his lips. He loves it when Jared gets all alpha male in bed, craves it even. It’s the perfect juxtaposition to his sweet, kind nature and Jensen loves that he gets both sides of Jared, gets all of him.

Jensen wants nothing more in that moment then to flip that switch, to make the animal in Jared come out when he’s in this fragile little body, so he leans forward and gives Jared’s bottom lip a sharp nip, tongue immediately flattening across it to soothe the ache.

That earns him a deep growl from somewhere deep in Jared’s thickly muscled chest and Jensen shudders at the sound of it. Jared kicks off his shoes and pants before grabbing Jensen around the waist and just fucking lifting, one strong arm under his ass as they kiss. It’s damn near frantic and Jensen loves it, rutting against Jared’s stomach and digging his fingers into all that hair.

Jared carries him to the overstuffed futon cushion on the other side of the room and lays him down on it easy, like he hardly weighs anything at all. Jensen watches hungrily as Jared pulls his shirt over his head; huge, tan naked body looming over him. He drops down on his knees next to Jensen and undresses him, pants flying one way and shirt going another until he’s panting and naked.

“Fuck, this body,” Jared says, running one giant hand down from Jensen’s collarbone to the dip of his hips. “Feel dirty just fucking looking at you.”

“Yours,” Jensen finds himself saying, thighs falling open and knees drawing up. Jared eyes him hungrily and then leans down to kiss him filthily, one giant hand wrapping around Jensen’s dick and pulling up before letting it fall way. He crawls between his legs and Jensen feels crushed under the weight of him, but it’s a safe ache that he wouldn’t turn away for anything. Jared is kissing him, giant hands traveling his lean little body, and Jensen feels like he’s about to burst out of his skin.

“Gonna let me fuck you, Jen?” Jared whispers roughly against the curve of Jensen’s jaw. His large hand is between Jensen’s legs, fingers dipping into the cleft of his ass and rubbing across his hole. Jensen whimpers and jerks, legs going impossibly wide. “Mm, wanna be inside you.”

“Shit, Jared, yes,” Jensen whines as he tangles his fingers in Jared’s hair. “Anything you want.”

Jared grins against Jensen’s skin, teeth scraping across the sharp edge of his jaw before he works his way down. He mouths at Jensen’s neck and bites at his collarbones, sucking blood to the surface just below them. Jensen writhes, legs wrapping tight around Jared’s body as he explores. He kisses the curve of Jensen’s shoulder and mouths at the bend of his elbow. He’s anywhere and everywhere all at once and Jensen’s hips buck up to grind against his stomach.

Jared curls a warm hand around Jensen’s hip and flattens him against the cushion, holding him down with little effort. He kisses and licks along the groove of Jensen’s hip, pulling skin between his teeth just to make Jensen moan. He curls a hand around Jensen’s cock, eyes flicking up to look at him before he licks at the head, curling his tongue around it to catch all the fluids.

“Oh god,” Jensen moans, hips jerking as he grabs a fistful of Jared’s hair. Jared sucks him deep, taking him straight down his throat and swallowing around the head. Jensen rolls his hips, fucking into Jared’s mouth once before he pulls off with a pop. He immediately pushes Jensen’s legs back and bites at the curve of his ass, tongue delving into the cleft to find his hole. Jensen’s breath catches in his throat as Jared tongues at him, teeth scraping across the rim.

“The, ah, vanity,” Jensen grits out as he tightens his fingers in Jared’s hair. “Baby oil. Hurry, Jared, c’mon.”

Jared’s only gone for a few seconds but it feels more like a lifetime. Jensen shivers and bites his lip, hands slapping down onto the cushion. He lets out a grateful moan when Jared climbs back on top of him, knocking his legs apart as he makes room for himself. He reaches out to curl his hand around Jared’s muscular shoulder and then hisses as an oil-slick finger breaches him.

“Yeah, yeah, that’s it,” Jensen pants. He tweaks at Jared’s nipple and moans when a second finger slips in alongside the first. There’s a slight pinch but Jensen ignores it to push back against Jared, wanting more. “Need you, Jared. Fuck me, come on.”

“You look like you did the first time you fucked me,” Jared mumbles against Jensen’s jaw. “Remember?”

Jensen nods, because there’s no way he could possibly forget. Jared was tall and skinny, all arms and legs as Jensen kissed him and fingered him open until he was ready. He was Jared’s first, his only, and he’ll never forget the look on Jared’s face as he pushed inside.

“You’re so big, Jared,” Jensen breathes as he slides his hands over Jared’s shoulders and down his muscular back. Jared slides in a third finger and crooks up just right in a move that could only come from years of experience. Jensen makes a soft mewling noise and digs his fingertips into Jared’s back. He lifts his head, lips falling open, and Jared leans in to kiss him. “So fucking hot. Want you so bad. Come on, Jared. Fuck me.”

“Gonna be walking sore for days,” Jared promises in a filthy whisper against Jensen’s abused lips. Jared pulls his fingers out and Jensen shifts, ass clenching down against the need to be filled.

And then Jared is pushing in, teeth scraping Jensen’s jaw. The sensation takes Jensen’s breath away and he stills, pulling away from Jared as he arches up. It hurts, aches and burns, and Jensen breathes through it. Jared has been inside of him hundreds of times, but this feels like the first. Jensen realizes that for this new body, it is. Jared seems to realize that too, because he gasps and bites down softly on Jensen’s jaw.

“So fucking big, shit,” Jensen grunts as he lets out a breath. Jared breathes in deep, slipping one arm under Jensen’s shoulders and bringing their bodies closer together. He gives Jensen a moment to adjust before pulling out, nearly leaving Jensen’s body entirely before pushing back in to the hilt.

“Jared!” Jensen cries out, dragging his nails down his back. It still hurts but it soon gives way to pleasure. Jared is holding him so tight, Jensen’s legs wrapped around his waist, and he’s kissing and sucking at Jensen’s neck in all the right places. “Fuck me, Jared. Do it hard, wanna feel you.”

Jared puts his hand on Jensen’s cheek, staring into his eyes as he starts to roll his hips. The emotion in Jared’s eyes makes Jensen shake, makes him wrap his arms tighter around Jared and push back harder against his thrusts.

Jared kisses him, whimpering into his mouth and Jensen grips the back of his neck. He can barely breathe underneath Jared, feeling so small in his arms. Jared is trembling, sweat shining on his skin and dampening his hair as Jensen’s fingers slide into it and tug.

“You feel so good,” Jensen murmurs against Jared’s panting mouth. Jared thrusts in hard at that, making Jensen arch up against him and cry out. His dick is leaking between their bodies but neither of them make any move to touch it. The friction from Jared’s hard stomach is more than enough.

“I never thought – I didn’t – “ Jared never finishes his thought but Jensen has a pretty good idea of what it was, and he lifts Jared’s chin to find his mouth. He kisses him hard, tongue slipping between his lips as he rolls his hips and lifts his legs higher as Jared fucks into him relentlessly.

“Close,” Jensen whimpers, and Jared lifts up enough to get his hand around Jensen’s dick to stroke. Jensen lets out a harsh sigh and wraps his hand around Jared’s wrist, fingers digging into bone. “Love you.”

And then Jensen’s orgasm hits him with a force that he isn’t expecting and he cries out, arches up, and clenches down hard around Jared’s cock. Jared gathers Jensen up into his arms again, face buried in the damp curve of his neck.

“I’ll never stop,” Jared whispers, and then he lets out a harsh sob as he releases inside of Jensen. It’s the most intimate feeling in the world and Jensen moans, sinking against the cushion and letting his eyes slip shut as he revels in it.

Jared shakes on top of him and Jensen holds him, hands petting down the vast expanse of his back as they come down. Jared presses a soft, tender kiss to Jensen’s mouth, lingering for a moment before pulling away and sliding out of him. He sits up, long legs sprawling across the floor past the edge of the cushion, and Jensen sits up to rest his forehead between his shoulder blades.

Jensen wraps his arms around Jared from behind and crawls around to straddle his lap, elbows resting on Jared’s shoulders and fingers locked behind his neck. Jared holds him up easily and Jensen leans in to press a soft kiss against Jared’s mouth.

Jared puts his hand on Jensen’s cheek and pushes his fingers back into his sweaty hair, pinning him with an unreadable expression before pulling him in for another soft kiss.

“It’s getting late. I should drive you home,” Jared says, and Jensen can’t really do anything but nod. They get dressed in relative silence and Jensen hisses at the ache in his ass, the sticky feeling of Jared’s come on his thighs. Jared turns off all the lights and Jensen grabs his backpack, throat working as he tries to think of something to say. He comes up empty.

They walk out of the theater and across the parking lot and Jensen climbs into the passenger seat of Jared’s SUV when he unlocks it. Jared gets into the driver’s seat and gives him a soft smile as he turns the key in the ignition. Jensen smiles back and reaches over to rest his hand on Jared’s thigh as they drive.

They pull up in front of Misha’s building and Jensen unbuckles his seatbelt. He stares down at the handle of his door and then looks over at Jared. He doesn’t want to get out of the car, doesn’t want to move his hand from the warm curve of Jared’s thigh.

“I had fun tonight,” he says, and Jared puts his hand on top of Jensen’s. “Sorta felt like old times.”

“Yeah,” Jared says thickly, and Jensen fights the urge to crawl into his lap. He fights it for a whole minute, and then he’s leaning over to wrap his arms around Jared’s neck. It’s nothing more than a simple, innocent hug, but Jared holds on like he never wants to let go. Jensen buries his face in Jared’s neck, pressing a soft kiss there.

Jared pulls back and puts his hand on Jensen’s cheek, thumb stroking the line of his cheekbone before he swallows hard. Jensen reaches up and touches Jared’s arm, fingers clinging desperately to his wrist.

“Jared, I – “ He cuts himself off and he’s surprised to find his eyes stinging. This is hard, and Jensen has never been more confused in his entire life.

“Good night, Jensen,” Jared says, and then pulls him in for a soft, lingering kiss. Jensen returns it and all he can think about is how final it feels.

More than good night, it feels like goodbye.

“For such an awesome teacher, you kinda suck at pep talks.”

This comes from Kyle, who swallows hard and tugs nervously at the collar of his Mercutio costume. Jared blinks, brows knitting together.

“Break a leg?” He offers, but he looks vaguely nervous too. There’s a packed house on the other side of the curtain and the cast is fidgeting slightly. Jensen seems to be the only one not nervous, but he’s pretty sure that’s just because he’s managed to find the calm in the eye of the storm.

He’s already peeked out into the crowd and spotted a well-dressed, studious looking woman in the seat they reserved for the talent scout from the school in Los Angeles. Misha has camped out in the front row and it had made Jensen grin to see him. The A/V kids had found him to tell him that they were ready to go, and the entire cast is present, accounted for, and costumed.

Everything is all set up, and now all there’s left is what they came here to do; put on the best damn high school production of Romeo and Juliet that the world has ever seen.

“I got this,” Jensen says as he turns and steps in front of Jared, who lets out a huff as he steps back. “Okay, guys. Raise your hand if you auditioned for this play because you thought that it’d be fun. Come on, raise ‘em.”

Slowly everyone raises their hand, and Jensen nods to himself.

“Exactly,” Jensen tells them. He points towards the stage and motions for them to lower their hands. “When you’re out on that stage, don’t think about how great you are or how much you suck, because none of that matters. When you’re out there, think about how much fun you’re having. Because if you aren’t having fun there isn’t much of a point, is there?”

Katie beams at him and Jensen tosses her a wink.

“Seriously, you guys,” Jensen continues. “I don’t care how many people are out there. If you go out there and you do your best and you have fun, they will too. I guarantee it. I’ve seen a lot of plays in my day, and that’s usually how it goes.”

“In your day?” Jake parrots. “Dude, I’m pretty sure that I’m older than you.”

“Whatever,” Jensen says when Jared lets out a snort behind him. “I’m starting to feel a little like a football coach in the locker room at halftime in a Disney movie, so I’m ending this here. It’s time to do this, guys. So let’s do it.”

An excited murmur goes through the crowd and then they all break apart and go to their places. Katie kisses his cheek and he gets a few pats on the back as the crowd disperses. Jensen turns around with a grin on his face, only to sober up when he sees Jared smiling fondly at him. Fond or not, the smile is still tinged with enough sadness to make Jensen’s heart ache.

“That was great,” Jared tells him sincerely. “You’ll be great. Break a leg, Romeo.”

And with that, Jared breaks through the curtains to introduce the play that could very well change Jensen’s entire life.


They fucking nail it.

He can’t keep the grin off of his face as he and Katie take their bow to thunderous applause. Misha is in the front row, cupping his hands around his mouth and hollering, and the talent scout looks impressed at the reaction. Katie is clutching onto his hand so tight it aches, and they share a quick grin before the rest of the cast joins them on stage. They get a standing ovation and the cast bows together.

Jensen’s heart is racing and his cheeks hurt. This feels great. It feels like something that he never wants to give up, and when he looks down at Jared’s proud grin his heart beats that much faster.

Jensen runs forward to the edge of the stage and holds his hand out to Jared, urging him to take it when Jared’s eyes just widen. Jared finally walks forward and grabs it, laughing as Jensen hauls him up onto the stage. Jensen and Katie stand on either side of him, arms outstretched towards him as Jared takes his own bow.

The cast joins in on the applause, and Kyle lets out a wolf-whistle. Jensen looks up at Jared, beaming at him, and Jared smiles back.

They’re still smiling when the curtain falls.

The cast and crew spill out into the theater not long after that. It’s emptied of the casual viewer, but there are still throngs of proud parents and excited friends filling up the empty spaces.

Jensen spots Misha in the crowd and gives him a nod. He stars to head towards him, but Jared steps in front of him and he stumbles to a stop. Jensen’s bright smile dims a bit when he sees that the woman from the acting academy is next to him.

“Jason, this is Margaret Wilkerson from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts,” Jared says, and his tone and expression are painfully neutral. “She would like to speak with you.”

“Jason Mitchell,” Jensen says as he reaches out to shake her hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Likewise,” she tells him. “You gave a stunning performance.”

“If you two will excuse me,” Jared tells them, and it’s only because he has twenty years of experience that he can detect the tremor in his voice, the tightness of his jaw. Jensen swallows hard, giving a jerky nod as Jared turns and walks up to Misha. Jensen spares a glance over her shoulder to see Misha putting his hand on Jared’s shoulder, face sympathetic.

“Thank you,” Jensen finally says, forcing himself to look back at the woman in front of him. “I’m glad that you enjoyed it.”

“More than enjoyed it, Jason. I’ve been all over this state for the past month sitting in on high school productions, and I must say, tonight is the first night that I really enjoyed myself. You kids know what you’re doing.” She smiles at him and he returns it tightly. “Mr. Padalecki spoke very highly of you and your talent. He said that you plan to pursue your acting after graduation?”

“I had thought about it,” Jensen replies. His heart is thumping in his chest and he rubs his damp palms on his Romeo costume. This is it. She’s about to offer him everything that he’s ever wanted on a silver platter.

“Wonderful,” she tells him, and Jensen swallows hard. “I would like to formally invite you to come down to our campus so that we could discuss possible scholarship opportunities. Judging by what I saw tonight, I think that you’d make a wonderful addition to our student body.”

“Wow, Mrs. Wilkerson, that’s very generous,” Jensen says. This is what he’s dreamed of, what he’s wanted ever since he was a kid. This is why he was given a second chance at his adult life, what he’s worked for.

Why isn’t he jumping at the opportunity?

He looks over her shoulder again and sees Jared looking right back at him. They share a long look and the pain and resignation in Jared’s eyes makes Jensen ache. He looks so sad, eyes gone liquid, and yet he still manages to give Jensen an encouraging smile before turning away. Misha starts to say something to him, but Jared shrugs him off and holds up a hand before turning to walk away.

Jensen’s eyes flicker over to Misha, sees him looking back with a hopeless expression, and then he finds Jared again. He watches the sad line of his back, shoulders curved inward as he pushes through the door leading out into the hallway connecting the theater to the other classrooms in the building.

“Jason?” Mrs. Wilkerson says, and Jensen’s throat works as he looks at her and back at the door. This is it. It’s time for him to make a choice.

He flashes back to that night up in his childhood bedroom where he sat at his desk with a plane ticket to California in one hand and a picture of him and Jared in the other. It was two lives laid out in front of him, both of them ripe for the picking, and Jensen had made the most important decision in his life nearly as easy as taking a breath.

The plane ticket got torn in half, pieces littering the bottom of his trash can as he stuck the picture into the corner of his dresser mirror. The mirror reflected someone at ease and untroubled by his decision, someone happy and eager to start the next chapter of his life.

Recently he had started to look back at that night as one full of inner turmoil, when really the decision hadn’t been difficult at all. His mind had grown clouded with doubt and it had distorted what had really happened, made him forget how vindicated and right he felt as he showed up on Jared’s doorstep. He had taken Jared into his arms and told him that he wasn’t leaving, that he wanted to see Jared’s face every single day for the rest of his life.

Jared’s smile, so bright and full of life, had been the most beautiful thing that he had ever seen. It was the only thing he had ever really needed.

How had he forgotten that? How could he have been so foolish as to think that he could ever need anything else?

“I’m sorry. I truly appreciate the offer,” Jensen says breathlessly as he looks down at the scout’s flummoxed face. He’s nearly laughing at the weightlessness that he’s feeling, the fluttering of his heart. “But I’ve made other plans for the fall.”

“Oh,” Mrs. Wilkerson says disappointedly, and Jensen looks around. He sees Katie talking to some friends a few feet away and Jensen holds up a finger as he darts over to get her. He places his hand on the small of her back as she smiles, bright and only slightly confused.

“Mrs. Wilkerson, this is Katie Cassidy,” Jensen says, and the scout raises a curious eyebrow.

“Juliet,” she says, and she holds out her hand for Katie to shake. “Pleased to meet you.”

“Katie is every bit as talented as I am,” Jensen says fervently, “and so full of passion. I think that your time would be much better spent speaking with her.”

He leaves them to it, darting off and scanning the crowd until he spots Jake and Kyle leaning up against the stage. He runs up to Jake and puts his hands on his shoulders. Jake looks a bit baffled and raises an eyebrow.

“Jake, you didn’t shirk on your understudy duties, did you?” Jensen asks, heart racing and feet itching impatiently every second he spends away from where he wants to be. Jake furrows his brow and shares a look with Kyle.

“Uh, no,” Jake replies slowly. “I could be Romeo in my sleep. Why are you asking?”

“Just making sure,” Jensen says. He takes one hand from Jake’s shoulder and puts it on Kyle’s, looking at the boys that have been his friends for the past few months. He opens his mouth to say something, anything, but instead he just nods and smiles warmly at them before turning to walk away.

He heads up the center aisle of the theater and stumbles to a stop when someone grabs his arm. He turns around to see Misha, and Jensen lets out a breath and shrugs his shoulders.

“Looks like you figured out what you want,” Misha says, and emotion bubbles up in Jensen’s chest, threatening to spill over. “I knew that you would.”

“Thanks Misha,” Jensen says thickly, and Misha pulls him into a tight hug. He grips tightly, burying his neck in his best friend’s shoulder for a moment before pulling away.

“Jason!” He turns at the sound of Katie’s voice just in time to have his arms full of leggy blonde girl. “I don’t know what you did, or why, but I have an interview in Los Angeles next month and I think it’s all because of you.”

“No, it’s because of you, talented girl,” Jensen tells her, and swallows hard to keep his emotions in check. As comfortable as he is in his decision, it pains him to think that he’ll never get to have this again. “You’re a wonderful friend, Katie. I’m lucky to know you.”

Katie looks touched, eyes going wet as she kisses Jensen’s cheek and hugs him again. Misha gently pulls her away and jerks his chin towards the door that Jared disappeared through as he clears his throat.

“Don’t you have something that you should be doing?” Misha asks with a knowing smirk, and Jensen grins as he claps him on the shoulder. He takes off down the aisle and pushes through the door and out into the abandoned hallway.

He’s almost surprised to see Jared at the end of it. He’s leaning against the wall, head tipped back and eyes on the ceiling. He looks down when he hears the door, brows knitting together when he sees Jensen. His eyes are red and just a bit puffy, and Jensen moves towards him.

“Jared,” he calls, and then hits a slick spot on the floor, feet slipping out from under him. His ass and elbows hit the tile hard and he manages to keep his head away from the floor.

“Jensen, shit,” Jared says as he runs over to him. But Jensen is laughing, loud and breathless, because it’s so fitting. The whole reason that he met Jared in the first place is because he fell on his ass, and here Jared is helping him up again.

He takes Jared’s hand and it feels so right that he feels foolish for thinking that this was something that could be sacrificed, like he could ever be remotely happy without it. He pulls Jared into a hug, clinging to his broad shoulders and he hears the sound of Jared’s air leaving his lungs. His hands settle on Jensen’s back after a moment.

“Jensen, what’s going on?”

“I’m sorry,” Jensen says, the words whispered harshly into Jared’s neck. He pulls back to look at Jared’s face, one hand going to his cheek. Tears swim in Jared’s eyes, threatening to fall, and Jensen knows that he isn’t much better off. “I’m sorry for doubting this, us, for even a second.”

“Jensen,” Jared replies, blinking a few times as he curls his fingers into the folds of Jensen’s costume. He looks around, glancing over his shoulders and at the doors like he’s worried for their privacy. “What are you saying? Did something happen?”

“Nothing happened, and I’m saying that I want to come home with you,” Jensen says, and he wipes away the tear that falls from Jared’s eye. “I want to talk to you, if you’ll let me. I want to try and convince you to take my sorry ass back.”

“God, Jensen,” Jared says, laughing a little as he leans in to press a light kiss to Jensen’s lips. He pulls away before it has the chance to become anything more, reaching down to wrap his fingers around Jensen’s wrist. “Yes, okay. I’ll take you home.”

Jensen lets out a sigh of relief, grinning widely as Jared pulls him out into the parking lot.

The drive seems to go by quickly, and Jared is pulling into their driveway before Jensen has any idea what it is that he’s going to say.

He follows Jared into the house and spends a few moments petting the dogs before leading them into the backyard so he can talk to Jared uninterrupted. Jared flops down onto the sofa and his eyes are fixed intently on Jensen when he turns around.

“You deserve an explanation,” Jensen says as he walks up to the sofa. He doesn’t sit, choosing instead to stand and face Jared. “And you’re going to get one that will culminate in one hell of an apology.”

Jared chuckles, and it breaks the tension. Jensen smiles back and rubs the back of his neck.

“What?” He asks, and Jared covers his mouth as he holds up a hand.

“I’m sorry, nothing,” Jared says, biting down on a smile. “I’m just very eager to hear this while you’re still wearing tights.” Jensen looks down at his Romeo costume and laughs at himself for a moment before swallowing hard and looking back at Jared. His expression is so serious that Jared sobers up, smiling fading as he looks up at Jensen expectantly.

“I have a lot to say and just… hear me out, okay?” Jensen lets out a shaky breath as Jared nods, hands resting at his sides. Jensen paces a bit and then exhales sharply as he stops and meets Jared’s gaze.

“When I asked you out the day we met, I blamed it on the concussion,” Jensen starts, and Jared raises an eyebrow. “That sounds bad, but it’s true. You were a fifteen year old boy and I hadn’t even come out to anyone. I had planned on being out of there two months later, so there was no point in starting a relationship. But still, I was lying on a cot that smelled like chlorine with a bruised ego and a bleeding skull, and there you were – this tan, skinny kid with lifeguard trunks that barely stayed up who smelled like coconut sunscreen.”

Jensen smiles fondly at the memory and he’s pleased to see Jared listening attentively.

“You were so brave, Jared. I couldn’t believe it. You told me that you liked me with no confirmation that I was even capable of returning the feelings, let alone having the desire to. I could tell that you were nervous, but you smiled like you weren’t. And fuck, this sounds so lame, but you made my heart beat faster.

“So I took you out, despite all the reasons why I shouldn’t have. You laughed at every stupid joke I made and I literally had never seen anything so beautiful. You let me kiss you that night. You trusted me to be the very first person to kiss you, and at the time it felt like the most important thing that I had ever done. Afterwards you grinned at me and I swear that I knew right then that I was fucked. One day. That’s all it took for you to change my whole life.”

Jared’s eyes are wet but he doesn’t look sad, just overcome with emotion. Jensen knows the feeling. His vision blurs with unshed tears and he clears his throat.

“Jared, I fell in love with you so damn hard. I still don’t think that you have any idea just how quickly you got under my skin. And it should have been terrifying, but it wasn’t. Even after our parents found out and word got out about us, after everything that happened, all you had to do was laugh and I knew that everything would be okay.”

“Jensen, I know how much you went through,” Jared says thickly, and Jensen bites down on his bottom lip. “I know that it wasn’t easy for you to be with me at first.”

“But it was easy,” Jensen says emphatically. “I didn’t give a shit about what anyone had to say because I had you and you were perfect. You were everything. Deciding to stay and be with you didn’t feel like a sacrifice. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything because what else in the world could be better than your laugh?”

Jared smiles at him, one hand reaching up to wipe at his eyes before he turns his fond gaze back on Jensen.

“I think that at some point, I lost sight of that,” Jensen confesses. “Maybe it’s a curse of getting older. I wasn’t happy with my job. More than that, I hated it. Instead of trying to figure out what to do to fix that, I started looking back. I wondered what could have been and I got lost in all the what ifs. I doubted myself. I doubted us, and for that I am sorry.

“I kept looking back on the night that I decided to stay in Texas.” Jensen comes forward to sit on the coffee table, his knees nearly brushing Jared’s. “I think I forgot how it really went. It always seemed so monumental, like I spent time agonizing over it and weighing the pros and cons. But Jared, it wasn’t hard at all. Shit, I barely gave it a thought. It was always going to be you.”

Jensen leans forward and takes Jared’s hands, looking passionately into his eyes. Jared lets out a small chuckle and sniffs as a tear spills out over one eye.

“I blamed you for my own failures,” Jensen tells him. “There are things that I should have done but didn’t, and that is in no way your fault. There are some changes that I need to make, but you aren’t one of them. Nothing else in this world means a goddamn thing if I don’t have you.”

“God, Jensen,” Jared breathes, squeezing his hands. Jensen lets go of one to reach up to touch Jared’s cheek and wipe away a tear.

“I am sorry that I turned into such an asshole,” Jensen tells him. “I’m sorry that it took me so long to realize that I was being an asshole. When I woke up back at this age, I thought it was the universe giving me a sign that I should do things differently, when what it was really doing was proving that I would make the same decision all over again. Because Jared, no matter how many paths get put in front of me, I’m always going to choose the one that leads to you.”

He’s still talking when Jared pulls himself off of the sofa, dropping onto his knees in front of Jensen and wrapping his arms around his neck. They’re kissing before Jensen even really realizes what’s happening and he laughs breathlessly against Jared’s mouth. Their kisses are short and sweet, full of happiness and relief.

“I never wanted to hurt you,” Jensen confesses, fingers tangled in Jared’s hair. His eyes are closed and he rests his forehead against Jared’s, just holding onto him. “I forgot what the most important thing to me really was, and I swear, if you’ll give me the chance I will never forget again.”

“Of course I will, idiot,” Jared whispers before planting a kiss to Jensen’s brow. He hugs Jensen and it hits him again just how much bigger he is, and Jensen swallows hard.

“Are you sure?” Jensen asks as he pulls back to look into Jared’s eyes. “I don’t know if this,” he gestures lamely at his face, “is ever going to go away. I might be stuck this way, and it won’t exactly make things easy on you.”

“Jensen, all you’ve ever done is make sacrifices for me,” Jared tells him. “It’s about time that I returned the favor. I don’t care about how hard it might be. You’re mine, and if you think I’m letting you out of my sight ever again, you’re a bigger idiot than I thought.”

“Okay,” Jensen says, and he’s grinning. He palms Jared’s cheeks and looks at his face, sighing in relief. Jared grins back and kisses him again.

“Stay with me?” Jared asks, and Jensen knows that he’s asking him to stay the night, but there’s a certain tone to it. The question means a lot more than that. Jensen smiles and tugs on the hem of Jared’s shirt.

“Always,” he responds, and Jared kisses him before getting up. He lets go of Jensen and he aches at the loss.

“I’m going to get you some clothes,” Jared tells him, and Jensen nods. It will be nice to get out of the tights. Jared disappears up the stairs and Jensen gets up to follow him, but he gets distracted by the framed photos on the mantle.

A picture of them and Misha taken a few years ago sits on one end, and in the middle is a picture of them in their first apartment together in Palo Alto. It was taken the day before Jared started classes at Stanford, and Jensen chuckles because he looks pretty much the same now as he did then. Jared is tall and lanky, glowing with youth, and Jensen smiles as he drags his fingertips across the glass. The last picture is one of them taken at Yosemite less than a year ago. Jensen swallows hard as he picks it up.

This is what Jensen should look like. He always thought he looked so old, but staring at himself now, he just looked happy and healthy. He looked damn good for thirty-eight, and he curses himself for being so stupid. For the first time since he was changed, he really feels the burden of youth. Jared is seventeen years older than him now, and he would give anything to close the gap.

He wishes that things would just go back to the way they were.

He reaches up to put the picture back but suddenly the room feels like it’s spinning. He feels dizzy and he drops the picture, hands going to his face as it clatters to the floor. The sensation is over nearly as quickly as it came on and Jensen lets out a breath as he pulls his hands away and shakes his head. Must be all the excitement.

“Jensen?” Jared calls from upstairs, and Jensen lets out a muffled curse as he looks down at the cracked frame. He hears Jared’s footsteps on the stairs and then he lets out a sharp gasp. “Oh my god.”

“Sorry,” Jensen says as he crouches down to pick up the shattered frame. The tights stretch painfully across his thighs and he can barely breathe as the collar of his costume pulls at his neck. “I’ll get a new frame later.”

“Who gives a fuck about the frame?” Jared shouts. “Look at yourself.”

Jensen furrows his brow as he walks over to the mirror near the front door. He looks into it, and promptly drops the frame again. Jensen never thought he would be so happy to see the barely there smattering of grey hairs at his left temple. He laughs as he looks away from the mirror and down at his hands, fingers no longer slender and delicate, but square-tipped and strong. He’s back to himself.

“Wow,” Jensen breathes, and all the air is suddenly knocked from his lungs as Jared pushes him up against the door. He doesn’t even get the chance to take a breath before Jared’s mouth is on his. Jensen kisses back with reckless abandon, pushing back at Jared and grinning against his lips when he realizes that they’re back on somewhat equal footing.

“I missed you so much,” Jared confesses, pulling back to look at Jensen’s face. “I mean, I love you no matter what, and teenage you was pretty hot. But this… this is you. We grew up together, and I’m so glad that you’re back.”

“Me too,” Jensen says honestly, and he wraps his arms around Jared’s waist, kissing him as he walks them towards the stairs. “Mm, so glad. Wanna go upstairs?”

“Definitely,” Jared says with a grin, “just as long as you lose the tights.”

It’s good to be home.

Jensen is sitting in the middle of their bed, completely shucked of the now too-small Romeo costume, with his back pressed against their padded headboard. Jared, also free of any silly hindrances such as clothes, is straddling his lap with his knees bracketing Jensen’s hips and his arms around Jensen’s shoulders.

And then there’s the kissing. It’s almost ironic that now that Jensen is back in his normal body, they’re kissing like teenagers. Jensen’s mouth feels raw and overused, lips clumsy as they move against Jared’s. Jensen’s hands are everywhere, traveling all over Jared’s body, every bit of him that he can reach. One hand ends up in Jared’s hair so he can tip his head back and drag his swollen lips down Jared’s jaw to lick and suck at his neck. Jared is panting, hips starting to roll at a languid pace as Jensen’s fingertip traces and rubs at a pebbled nipple.

Jensen rests his head against Jared’s shoulder and looks down at the small space between their bodies, watching raptly as precome leaks from the head of Jared’s dick. Jensen touches his fingers to it, making Jared jerk and gasp as he gets his fingers wet and sticky with fluid. He drags his fingers across Jared’s red, swollen bottom lip and leans in to suck it clean. Jared lets out a soft whimper and the sound goes straight to Jensen’s dick as they start kissing again.

“Fuck, I missed this,” Jared says breathlessly once they’ve broken apart. He slides his hands down Jensen’s strong, muscled arms before tangling their fingers together and pressing Jensen’s fists back against the headboard. “Thought about you all the time, wanted you touching me.”

“You have no fucking idea,” Jensen pants, hissing when Jared rolls his hips again, “how much I jerked off. Thought about you every single time. Your goddamn mouth.”

“Ah, the joys of youth,” Jared says with a seductive chuckle. He keeps Jensen’s hands pinned as he leans in to mouth at his neck, biting down and sucking in bruises that Jensen will be sure to feel tomorrow. His overused lips go to Jensen’s ear and he shivers, mouth going slack. “I missed your cock, the way it feels inside me. My fingers never could measure up.”

Jensen makes a noise at that, something like a cross between a whimper and a groan, and his hips buck up involuntarily. Jared grins and pulls Jensen’s earlobe between his teeth, biting down as Jensen pushes uselessly against Jared’s hands.

“Jared, come on,” Jensen pleads. He searches out Jared’s mouth, kissing with less finesse and a lot more desperation. It’s downright filthy, messy and wet as he grinds his hips against the scintillating curve of Jared’s ass. Jared lets go of his hands as they kiss and Jensen slides one down the sweaty slope of Jared’s back, fingers dipping between his cheeks and finding the tight hole there. Jared lets out a soft sigh and Jensen bites down on his bottom lip, tugging slightly before pulling Jared closer to him.

“I missed your ass,” Jensen tells him, the words whispered harshly against the underside of Jared’s jaw. “Missed being inside of you. Come on, baby. Let me make it so good for you.”

Jared leans over to get the lube from their nightstand and Jensen’s toes clench in anticipation. Jared sits up on his knees and drizzles some lube on his fingers, inhaling sharply as Jensen slides his hand down the center of Jared’s chest and stomach, palm rubbing at the slick head of his dick.

“I want it slow,” Jared tells him as he reaches back to prepare himself. He lets out a soft moan and bites his bottom lip as Jensen reaches out to grab his hips. “I want it to last. Can you do that for me, Jen?”

“Anything,” Jensen says, heart pounding as he rubs circles into Jared’s hips. “I’ll make it so good, baby.”

“I know you will,” Jared says, wiping his hand on the sheet before inching forward on his knees. He grabs Jensen’s shoulders and Jensen wraps one hand around the base of his dick, holding it steady as Jared sinks down onto him. They both moan as the head of Jensen’s dick pushes past that tight ring of muscle, and Jared’s thighs are trembling slightly by the time that he’s all the way inside. “Oh god, Jensen.”

“You feel so good, baby,” Jensen tells him, one hand pressing in at the small of his back as he cups Jared’s face with the other, dragging him in for another messy kiss. “Love being with you like this; so fucking good, Jared.”

“Damn it, Jensen,” Jared says in a harsh whisper, voice rough with emotion. He puts his hands on the sides of Jensen’s neck and presses their foreheads together. “Don’t ever go anywhere again, okay? I need you.”

“I won’t,” Jensen promises as he pushes Jared’s hair away from his face, fingers curling in the dampened strands. “I love you, okay? I won’t ever stop.”

Jared nods, kissing Jensen again before pulling away and rolling his hips. That drags a deep moan from Jensen and he grabs Jared’s hips, lifting his knees to help support Jared as he starts to move up and down. “So fucking gorgeous,” Jensen mumbles, one hand trailing across Jared’s taut abs. “Yeah, baby, that’s it.”

Jared puts his hands on Jensen’s shoulders as he falls into a rhythm, pulling almost all of the way off of Jensen’s dick before slowly sinking back down, grinding against Jensen’s hips before pulling back up torturously slow. Jensen digs his fingertips into Jared’s hips and turns his head to press a kiss to the knob of his wrist. Jared tosses his head back and Jensen uses the opportunity to pull Jared’s hips down hard, angling just right, and Jared cries out sharply.

“Jensen, fuck.” Jared leans in to press their mouths together again, panting harshly against Jensen’s lips and letting out all these hot little noises as Jensen fucks up into him. “Need more, Jen. Want it.”

Jensen slides his hands up Jared’s sides and around his back, using his shoulders to push Jared backwards onto the bed. His dick slips out of him and Jared whines at the loss. It’s one of the hottest sounds that Jensen has ever heard. He gets between Jared’s legs and palms his hip.

“Wrap those legs around me, Jared, come on,” Jensen urges, and Jared does exactly that. Jensen slides back into him, all hot and tight, and they moan together as Jensen buries his face in Jared’s neck. “So perfect, fuck.”

“Move, Jensen,” Jared urges, pulling Jensen in with his legs. “Let me feel it.”

“Thought you wanted slow?” Jensen teases as he drags his dick out, letting it slip from Jared’s hole completely. This earns him another low whine and heels digging into his ass. “I’ve got you.”

He pushes back in quickly, one smooth thrust that has Jared arching up and pushing back. They fall into sync after that, perfectly timed thrusts like parts of a well-oiled machine. They’re covered in sweat, glistening with it, and Jensen bites down on Jared’s shoulder hard enough to bruise.

“Jensen, I, fuck. I need – “ Jared cuts himself off with a moan, back arching up as he rubs their bellies together. Jensen reaches between them to take Jared’s dick in his hand. It’s so wet, precome slicking his hand before he even gets a good grip. It’s filthy hot, and Jensen shudders when Jared cries out and bites down on his jaw.

“You gonna come for me?” Jensen asks as he starts to stroke. Jared nods, eyes squeezed shut as he bites down on his puffy bottom lip. “You’re so goddamn pretty when you come, let me see it.”

Jared opens his eyes and looks desperately back at Jensen, one hand wrapping around the back of his neck. He’s breathing hard, muscles clenching and nails digging into Jensen’s skin.

“Let go, Jared,” Jensen says as he slams back in, pressing right up against the spot that makes him scream. “I’ve got you.”

Jared comes hard, losing himself completely in his orgasm. He cries out, arches up, writhes and trembles as he empties himself onto Jensen’s fingers. Jared always comes like this when Jensen fucks him, with the force of a freight train. He trusts Jensen to hold him together until he comes down, and nothing is more beautiful than Jared in those moments, all lost in his ecstasy.

Jensen keeps on fucking into him, smiling when Jared finally blinks his eyes open and looks at him. He clenches down on Jensen’s cock and then relaxes, doing this over and over as he smiles wickedly up at him. Jensen moans and reaches up to paint Jared’s smirking lips with his own come. Jared catches the tips of Jensen’s fingers in his mouth, sucking and biting before Jensen drags them across Jared’s cheek and down his neck. It leaves a slick trail that he follows with his tongue, sucking messily at his lips, and then they’re kissing again.

Jensen moans into his mouth as he comes, slicking Jared up on the inside. It’s like all the breath has been snatched from his lungs and he collapses on top of Jared, who pets at his hair with uncoordinated little strokes as they pant into each other’s sweat-damp skin.

Jensen reaches up and puts his clean hand on Jared’s forehead, sliding it back to brush his hair back because it gets in his eyes and Jared can’t be bothered to move it himself. His cheek is smashed into Jared’s collarbone and he’s still shaking, but now it’s due in large part to the emotion coursing through him.

He almost lost this. He almost gave it up forever, for no good reason.

“I was such an idiot,” Jensen mumbles, and Jared’s hand falters for only a moment before his fingers curl around the back of Jensen’s neck. “I’m sorry that I put you through that, Jared.”

“Shh, it’s fine,” Jared says, rolling them over so he can blanket Jensen’s body with his own. He traces Jensen’s lips with his fingertip and then leans down to give him a soft kiss. “It’s in the past, Jen.”

Jensen nods and lifts his head to kiss Jared again, arms going around him in a tight, possessive grip. They kiss lazily until Jared rolls off of him, flopping down on the bed next to him and tangling their fingers together.

It’s a comfortable silence, and soon their breathing evens out until it’s back to normal, chests rising and falling in sync. Jensen gets a sudden thought and rolls onto his side, propping his head up on his hand as he looks at Jared with a smirk on his lips.

“So, how’d it measure up?” Jensen asks, smirk turning into a grin as Jared looks at him with a quirked brow.

“How did what measure up?”

“You know,” Jensen says as he reaches out to rest his hand on Jared’s chest. “You got to fuck a teenager. How does this old man compare?”

“Okay, first off, you’re nowhere near old,” Jared says pointedly, and Jensen bites down on his lower lip to keep from laughing. He realizes that now. “And, I don’t know, it was you. It was great.”

“Young little twinky me,” Jensen reminds him. “Did it get you all hot to lift me up and toss me around?”

“It was insanely fucking hot, okay?” Jared admits with a breathless chuckle. He puts his hands on his face and drags them down before turning to grin at Jensen. “It’ll probably be jerk off fodder for some time to come, but this is better.” Jared runs his hand over Jensen’s broad shoulder and squeezes his bicep. “I like it when you can put up a fight, even if it is completely futile.”

“Oh, fuck you,” Jensen says with a laugh. “I could take you any day of the week.”

“Bring it,” Jared says with a grin, laughing loudly when Jensen pounces. They wrestle on the bed for a bit, but Jensen concedes defeat when Jared just flops all of his weight on top of him and goes limp, the asshole. “I win.”

“You cheated, you fat bastard,” Jensen shoots back, and Jared just snorts against his shoulder. He lifts his head after a moment and Jensen swallows at the suddenly serious look in his eyes.

“So,” Jared says, and Jensen raises an eyebrow when he doesn’t offer anything else.

“So?” Jensen asks, and Jared lets out a breath as he traces Jensen’s brow with his thumb.

“You got it all out of your system then?” Jared asks, and it’s not really uncertainty in his voice, but it’s a near thing. Jensen swallows hard and wraps an arm around Jared’s shoulders. “Midlife crisis over?”

“If that’s what you want to call it,” Jensen says as he tucks Jared’s hair behind his ear. “I think I just needed to learn a lesson, and I did. You’re it, Jared. I don’t need anything else.”

Jared smiles down at him for a long time. It’s the same pleased, shy smile that intrigued him so much on that very first day, and Jensen lifts his head to press his lips to it.

“I love you,” Jared tells him, “no matter what age you are.” A wicked grin widens across his face and Jensen raises an eyebrow. “In fact.”

Jared rolls off of Jensen and flips around, pulling himself over to the nightstand. He reaches out to fiddle with his iPod, which is resting in its dock. Jensen takes a moment to appreciate the lines of Jared’s back, ass, and legs, and then reaches out to grip the back of his calf when he nearly slips.

“What are you doing?” Jensen asks, and Jared’s shoulders start to shake like he’s trying not to laugh at himself. Jared pulls himself fully back onto the bed and sits up near the headboard. An unmistakable tune filters through the speakers and Jensen groans, covering his eyes with his hands.

“I dedicate this song to you,” Jared says with a chuckle. “It is your new anthem.”

“You’re the worst thing that ever happened to me,” Jensen mumbles, hands sliding down his face as he props himself up onto his elbows. “Why do you even have this song?”

“It’s a classic,” Jared replies. The music starts to swell and Jared gets up onto his knees, fist up near his mouth like a microphone.

“Oh god, no.”

Be courageous and be brave!” Jared sings, loud and horribly off-key into his makeshift fist microphone. “And in my heart you’ll always stay forever young. Forever young!”

“Stop that!” Jensen shouts over the sound of what Jared calls singing. The dogs whine and scratch at the door and Jensen can’t help it, he starts laughing. “You’re scaring the dogs, man.”

But whatever road you choose,” Jared continues, reaching his free hand out towards Jensen like a bad 80’s music video, “I’m right behind you, win or lose. Forever young. Forever you-“

He’s cut off by Jensen tackling him to the bed and covering his mouth with his hand. They’re both laughing and Jensen can barely breathe, he’s so happy.

“You’re perfect, you know that?” Jensen asks, and Jared reaches up to tug his hand away.

“Of course,” he replies, and Jensen rolls his eyes. “I’m what keeps you young. Your fountain of youth, if you will.”

“And such a source of modesty,” Jensen says, and Jared beams up at him. “Hey, can I ask you something?”

“Go for it,” Jared replies, and Jensen smiles softly. This, right here, is where he belongs. That much is clear.

“Will you make me pancakes in the morning?”

Jared grins and it’s so radiant that it nearly takes Jensen’s breath away.

“On one condition,” Jared says, and Jensen nods. “Sleep with me.”

“I’m pretty sure I just did,” Jensen says with a chuckle, but Jared’s eyes are serious despite the smile on his face. He reaches up to touch the side of Jensen’s neck.

“I mean sleep, right now,” Jared tells him. “I couldn’t ever seem to sleep without you here. And I know it’s super lame, or whatever, but I just want you to hold me while I finally pass out. Is that stupid?”

“No,” Jensen says thickly. “That’s not stupid.”

Jared grins and turns off the bedside lamp before crawling under the covers. Jensen follows and holds Jared tightly when he rolls into him, nose pressed into the dip between his collarbones. He kisses Jared’s forehead and lets out a breath, eyes drooping shut.

A whole lot happened in a day and Jensen is glad to be back where he belongs, tucked into the big, comfortable bed that he picked out with his partner at IKEA.

“You are the best thing that ever happened to me,” Jensen whispers into Jared’s sweaty hair. There’s no response for so long that Jensen thinks that Jared might have dozed off, but then he feels him grinning against his chest.

“I know,” Jared says before pressing a soft kiss to his shoulder. “And don’t you ever forget it.”

Jensen smiles and holds Jared tighter, squeezing him for just a moment before closing his eyes and sinking into the mattress.

Yeah, it’s good to be back.

[onto the epilogue.]
Tags: absence from those we love, fic, jared and jensen are in love, rps, supernatural

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