Jared’s in a pretty good mood when he wakes up.
Sunlight is streaming into the room and he’s got the hottest guy alive in his arms. Not to mention that said hot guy possesses magical powers and probably saved his life. And god, Jared can’t believe that he kissed him.
He told himself that he wouldn’t do that to Jensen, wouldn’t put that sort of pressure on him, but he didn’t mean to. Jensen had just healed the gaping wound in his arm and Jared was so amazed and felt so invigorated and wonderful that he just couldn’t help it. He was glowing for fuck’s sake.
So yeah, he kissed him, but Jensen really hadn’t seemed to mind.
Thinking about their kisses, which were more timid and still somehow hotter than he’s ever experienced, isn’t helping his morning wood situation. Jensen is passed out on his side and Jared’s hardening cock is snug against his ass. He might have broken his no kissing rule but he’ll be damned if he’s going to grind up against Jensen’s sleeping body. That’s a whole new level of wrong. Jensen will definitely have to initiate any grinding.
So Jared pulls back like a true gentleman, angling his hips away from the tempting swell of Jensen’s ass. Jensen huffs in his sleep and rolls onto his belly, making this tiny whimpering noise as he shoves his face back into his pillow. Jensen is really, really not a morning person.
But Jared is, and fortunately for him, Jensen’s new position provides Jared with an unobstructed view of his back. The bare skin is slightly darker than it was yesterday, but really it just brings the dusting of freckles into greater focus. There isn’t a single scar or blemish, not even a damn blackhead, on the entire span of Jensen’s back. He isn’t sunburned from all his time spent shirtless in the canyon yesterday, and Jared now understands when Jensen told him that he never gets hurt, that it’s because he can’t.
Jared’s eyes roam across the slopes of Jensen’s lean muscles and land on the slight dimples just above the swell of his ass. He imagines pressing his tongue into them, sucking until he leaves a mark and watching as it fades away. Jensen has a perfect ass, all pert and round, and Jared really wants to see what it looks like under the pants.
He bets it’s wonderful, supple and firm at the same time and if he pulled Jensen open, his hole with be dusky pink and perfect, just begging to be licked –
A squeak rips Jared from his admittedly gratuitous daydream and he looks up to see Rigby on the other bed, staring at him. Oh hell no. He is not about to be judged by a damned spiky rat.
“There’s no law against looking,” Jared whispers. Rigby twitches his nose skeptically. “You’re weirdly sentient.” Rigby just squeaks again and Jared rolls out of bed with a sigh. He scoops Rigby up in his hand and heads towards his backpack on the small table in the corner. “C’mon, you little thoughtblocker.”
Jared sets Rigby on the table and opens one of the side pockets of his bag and shakes all the (now deceased) insects he collected the day before out onto the table. Jared wrinkles his nose but Rigby chirps delightedly.
“A peace offering,” Jared says. “Dead bugs. We cool?”
Rigby looks up at him and Jared holds out his fingertip. There’s a brief pause before Rigby bumps the tip of his nose against the pad of his finger. Jared chuckles and leaves him to his little feast as he pulls on some clothes and fiddles with the crappy coffeemaker next to the sink. When it’s finished he pours the dark brew into the complimentary paper cups and goes to squat down in front of Jensen.
He looks so innocent in sleep. Well, even more innocent than usual. Honey-colored eyelashes fan out against his cheek and his lips are lax and pink. Jared smiles and leans in to brush his lips against Jensen’s forehead.
“Up and at ‘em, gorgeous.” Jensen groans and then opens his eyes. They’re so green and Jared stares into them for a second before setting Jensen’s coffee on the nightstand. “Time to get going. Big day today. Vegas!”
Jensen downs half the steaming cup in one go, wincing a bit and then clearing his throat. He’s really got it made with the whole no injuries thing. Jensen takes a quick shower while Jared packs the duffle and soon they’re ushering a sleepily full Rigby into his bag and leaving the room. They head into the lobby to snag something from the continental breakfast, and Jared tells Jensen to go grab them a seat while he gets the food.
He loads two plates up with as much food as he can carry; bagels, toast, hardboiled eggs, and danishes to start. The cartons of milk get shoved into the pockets of his jeans and he carefully heads back to Jensen.
There’s a girl at their table. She’s a very pretty girl about their age with long, wavy auburn hair and a killer smile. She’s telling Jensen a story and he looks enthralled, propping his chin on his hand and nodding along. He laughs at something she said, loud and bright, and something ugly curls in Jared’s stomach.
His self-esteem really isn’t all that great at the best of times, and now whatever was left of it is skittering across the floor and trying to escape. What if Jensen is only with him because Jared is the only other person that he’s ever met? What if Jensen meets someone more interesting or not as fucked up, like the pretty girl that’s touching his arm right now, and decides that he’s done with Jared? He doesn’t think that he could take it.
He doesn’t want to think that Jensen’s that type of person, but in Jared’s experience everyone always stops caring or they leave. Except for Misha, but Jared’s not even entirely sure that Misha is actually human so he doesn’t really count.
The point is, Jared really likes Jensen, could maybe even love him, and that right there is breaking Jared’s biggest rule of all.
“Jared, are you okay?” He doesn’t even realize that Jensen is right in front of him until he’s taking a plate from his hand. “Here, let me help you. Come on.”
Jared follows obediently and sits down next to Jensen, diagonally across from the girl suddenly in their space. She looks at him speculatively and Jared manages his usual charming grin.
“Jared, this is Danneel,” Jensen tells him as he starts to butter his toast. “She’s here with her family to go camping. And Danneel, this is Jared. He’s taking me to see the ocean.”
Jensen shoots Jared such a fond, warm look that he instantly feels kind of stupid for his earlier thoughts.
“Nice to meet you, Jared.” She’s perfectly polite but her eyes have dimmed slightly in disappointment. Jared understands; if he lost out on a chance with Jensen he’d be upset too.
They exchange polite conversation until Danneel’s family calls her away. She slips a piece of paper across the table and waves at them before darting across the lobby. Jensen takes a curious look at it.
“What’s a facebook?” He asks, and Jared just laughs. They dump their trash and walk the short distance to the bus that will take them to Flagstaff. Once they get in line, Jared decides to pick at the wound.
“So, Danneel was cute,” he says casually, bracing himself for Jensen’s response.
“She was very stunning,” Jensen replies, and Jared’s mouth twists into a grimace. “She felt like a waterfall. Beautiful and relentless. She’d crush you if you weren’t careful.”
“Not like you,” Jensen says, slipping his arm around Jared’s waist as they wait. It’s such a casual move and Jared feels sort of bad, because Jensen has no idea how important this conversation is. “You’re like the spring behind my house.”
“I’m a spring?” Jared’s confused and sort of sad because there’s no comparing a waterfall to a tiny pool of water.
“The spring is bubbly and peaceful,” Jensen gets out around a yawn. “But it came a long way to be where it is. It went through a lot and came out better for it. Just like you.”
Jared is saved from trying to formulate a response by the bus pulling up. Jared fumbles for their tickets and Jensen looks at him curiously. “I’ll always like the spring better than any old waterfall.”
Jared blushes, caught red-handed, and Jensen just smirks as he takes his ticket and climbs onto the bus. Jensen falls asleep almost instantly, burrowed under Jared’s arm and breathing hotly against his neck. Jared just presses his cheek against the top of Jensen’s head and smiles, content to sit just like that until his phone buzzes in his pocket. He extracts it carefully, doing his best not to jostle Jensen or the hedgehog sleeping off a beetle coma on his lap.
It’s a text from Misha and Jared purses his lips at the screen, settling in as he replies one-handed.
what time are you and your fuckbuddy getting here?
Jensen’s not like that. And we’re catching a bus from Flagstaff so we’re a few hours out.
ooh it has a name. it must be serious if you’re already bringing him home to meet the parents.
Fuck you. You’re not my real dad.
i adopted you. faked the paperwork 6mo ago. so what’s his story.
girl. do you like him?
does he like you?
Jared pauses at that. Letting himself believe that Jensen shares his feelings is dangerous because what if he’s wrong? Sure, Jensen likes him now, but what after he meets other people? Jared’s met plenty and Jensen’s it for him, he’s pretty sure. He’d be devastated if it didn’t go both ways.
I think so. I’m not sure if it’s me or the idea of me.
OH MY GOD that is the lamest fucking thing you’ve ever said. we’ll find out if he likes you. just leave it to daddy.
Meaning what? Misha, don’t be weird. Don’t be YOU. Jensen’s important, okay? Promise me that you’ll be relatively sane.
see you soon kiddo. papa loves you.
Fuck. Wait, is there really fake paperwork floating around out there saying you adopted me?
Misha doesn’t reply after that, and soon they’re pulling into Flagstaff and Jared has to hustle his sleepy charges and their luggage onto another bus. Jensen decides to go back to sleep when the scenery doesn’t excite him and Jared doesn’t wake him until they’re approaching Las Vegas. He’s sort of glad that they’re hitting it when it’s still daylight, because Jensen needs a little time to acclimate before Jared tosses him straight into the Vegas nightlife.
“Jensen.” Jared shakes him gently, smiling against his temple. “Wake up, Jen. Look.”
Jensen opens his eyes and smiles sleepily up at Jared before turning to the window. He freezes and sits up ramrod straight, and Jared watches his eyes widen in the reflection of the glass. Jensen’s jaw drops and he looks disbelievingly at Jared over his shoulder before turning his gaze back at the window.
“Holy shit!” Jensen squeaks. A purple-haired old lady in the seat in front of them turns to glare but Jared is too busy laughing while Jensen bounces up and down.
They hop in a cab at the bus station and Jared rattles off the address Misha texted him as he rolls down the windows. Jensen sticks his head out like a dog, eyes wide as he takes in all the sights.
Jared is a little surprised when Misha’s address turns out to be the Palms hotel, and he’s a lot more surprised when what he thought was an apartment number turns out to be a penthouse suite. Jared just chuckles as he ushers Jensen through the lush lobby and into an elevator. The only thing you can ever really expect from Misha is the unexpected. Once Jared learned that, his life got a whole lot easier.
Jensen takes his hand on the elevator and darts off of it as soon as the doors open, giving it a suspicious glance over his shoulder. Their surroundings are plush and opulent and Jensen just follows along as Jared drags him down the hall.
“Misha lives here?” Jensen asks, eyes trained on the chandelier light fixture above their heads.
“Misha doesn’t really live anywhere,” Jared replies as he keeps an eye on the room numbers. “But this is where he’s staying.” Jared comes to a stop in front of Misha’s suite and takes a deep, fortifying breath. He’s excited to see his best friend, but he’s a little worried about how Jensen will react to him. “Misha’s crazy,” he blurts, and Jensen raises an eyebrow. “Not like, loony bin crazy. Maybe crazy isn’t the right word. He’s very – he’s enthusiastic. He can be a lot – “
“Jared, just knock on the door,” Jensen says with a laugh. “I’m excited to meet him.”
“I’ll remind you that you said that in about five minutes.” Jared winks at him and then raps his knuckles against the door. A few seconds pass before it swings open and there’s Misha, eyes blue and smile manic as ever.
“My baby boy!” Misha gets up on his toes to throw his arms around Jared’s neck, choking him a little while dragging him inside. “Look how much you’ve grown!”
“Hey Mish – mmf!” Misha grabs him by the cheeks and kisses him right on the mouth, lips lingering tenderly on Jared’s as he flails his arms spastically. It’s not out of the question for Misha to kiss Jared, or a drag queen in a bar, or a matronly woman on the street, but it’s still sort of out of the blue. Misha pulls back and looks at a point over Jared’s shoulder and – oh shit, Jensen.
“My god, he’s gorgeous,” Misha whispers against Jared’s mouth. “He looks like he’s about to pop a blood vessel. You’re so in!”
Misha lets go of Jared and they both turn to face Jensen. He looks confused and a little heartbroken, and Jared stomps on Misha’s foot as hard as he possibly can without it being too obvious. Misha hisses and then steps toward Jensen with his arms open wide. Jared tries to grab him by the back of his shirt but it’s too late.
“Sorry, sweetheart. Didn’t mean to step on anyone’s toes. That’s just how I say hello, see?” Misha takes Jensen’s face in his hands and it’s the trainwreck that Jared can’t look away from. Misha kisses Jensen on the mouth and he’s too stunned to react. He still looks a bit dumbfounded, but less sad when Misha pulls away. “See? Now, Jared’s all yours to kiss. Won’t happen again, babe. You have my word.”
“Um. Okay?” Jensen clears his throat and tosses Jared an undecipherable look, but he’s smiling when he turns back to Misha. “It’s nice to meet you, Misha. I’m Jensen. Jared has uh, told me so much about you.”
“If it was complimentary then it most likely wasn’t true.” Misha leans in close to Jensen’s face and stares at him for a long moment before turning back to Jared. “He’s stunning, Jared. You didn’t prepare me for how ridiculously good-looking he is.”
Jensen blushes and Jared chuckles a little.
“Well anyway. Welcome to my humble abode.” Misha throws his arms out and giving a little spin, nearly slipping on the marble floor in his socked feet. “You boys will be sharing a bed, but there will be no hanky panky under my roof.” Misha looks at them solemnly for a moment and then winks. “Just kidding. Can you imagine? Hanky all the panky you want, it’s all the same to me.”
Misha bounces off towards one of the bedrooms and Jared sidles up next to Jensen, who just stares at the space Misha just vacated like he just has no idea how to process him.
“Another waterfall?” Jared asks. Jensen snorts at him.
“That dude is a fucking tsunami.”
Jensen doesn’t know what to think of Misha.
He can’t help but to like the guy and maybe his initial comparison of him to a tsunami may have been slightly off base. He’s more like a big wave, like the ones people surf on. He’s tons of fun but there’s also an edge of danger there.
What really threw Jensen was the sudden emotion that slammed through him when he saw Misha kiss Jared. Jealousy isn’t something that he has much experience with, but there’s no denying that that’s what it was. He was jealous and hurt, hands shaking slightly until Misha kissed him too. It was entirely different than when he kisses Jared; uncomfortable but not entirely unpleasant.
But still, it wouldn’t do to let Jared go around thinking Jensen is fine with him kissing other people. He feels like he has to stake some sort of claim on Jared and that’s ridiculous. Jared is his own person and he’s free to kiss whoever he wants.
Jensen just wants it to be him.
They’re in their bedroom for the night and Jared is busy stealing all the toiletries in the bathroom while Jensen lets Rigby out onto the bed. He stares down at the hedgehog as he noses into soft-looking sheets and bites his lip. Jared comes up behind him and Jensen lets out a breath.
“Hey Jensen, look at this shit. This shampoo probably costs more than – hmf!”
Jensen whirls around and presses his lips to Jared’s soft mouth, but unlike when Misha did it, Jared puts his hands on Jensen’s hips and dips him back a little. They share a few soft, clinging kisses until Jared pulls back with a smile.
“What was that for?” Jared asks, sounding a bit dazed. Jensen shrugs and looks up into Jared’s eyes. He gives Jensen a knowing look and they’re still embracing when Misha’s voice startles them both.
“Aww, aren’t you two – holy shit, what the fucking hell is that!” They turn to see Misha pointing at Rigby, who pops up from under a fold in the sheet and looks around wildly. Jensen opens his mouth but Jared cuts him off.
“That is Rigby, Jensen’s beloved pet hedgehog,” Jared tells him, “and I wouldn’t be surprised if the damn thing ended up taking over the world someday.”
Rigby squeaks in what sounds suspiciously like agreement.
“That. Is awesome.” Misha throws himself down onto the bed and kicks his feet up in the air as he holds out his finger for Rigby to sniff. “Hey there, buddy. Do you like pizza? Because I just ordered a shitload of pizza.”
Jensen stares dopily up at Jared until he feels Misha swat him on the ass.
“Hey doe-eyes, I’m talking to you.” Jensen turns around in Jared’s arms to see Misha smirking at him. “Do you like pizza?”
“I’ve never had it,” Jensen replies. Jared’s fingers tighten on his hips as Misha’s eyes widen until they remind Jensen of fine china, all glassy and blue. “What?”
“What the hell do you mean you’ve never had pizza?” He sits up and gapes at Jensen like he’s an alien creature. “Where’d you find this kid, Jay?”
“I’m from Kansas,” Jensen replies and Jared’s laughing silently, shoulders quaking against Jensen’s back. “What?”
“Kid, I am going to stuff you so full.” Misha looks over Jensen’s shoulder and rolls his eyes. “Of pizza, Jared. Jesus. Get your mind out of the gutter.” Misha carefully scoops Rigby up and holds him up to his face. “And what does this little guy eat? I’ve got some fruit.”
“That’ll work,” Jensen tells him, and Rigby squeaks happily as Misha carries him out of the bedroom. Jensen follows and sits at the bar near Misha’s kitchenette while he slices fruit and feeds it to Rigby. Jared raids the tiny refrigerator and sets a can of soda in front of Jensen before cracking open his own.
“So Kansas, you say?” Misha finally looks up from Rigby and steals a drink from Jared’s Dr. Pepper. “How’d you two crazy kids meet?”
“It’s a good story,” Jared replies, snatching the can out of Misha’s hand. “Remind me to tell it to you sometime.”
Misha cocks his head, obviously confused, and Jensen gives him a long, speculative look. Jared is biting his lip and it’s clear that he isn’t used to keeping things from Misha. Jensen can tell that Misha is trustworthy, if not a little insane, and he cares for Jared very much.
“You can tell him, if you want.” Jared looks up at Jensen with wide, questioning eyes and Jensen just shrugs. “It’s okay.”
“Well, now you have me intrigued,” Misha tells him. “I love a good mystery, and this one comes with the handsomest boy I ever did see and a freaking hedgehog. Fill in the blanks!”
Jared fidgets a bit and he’s just opening his mouth when the phone on the other end of the bar starts to ring. Jensen jumps at the piercing noise and watches as Misha reaches over to grab it.
“Talk to me.” There’s a pause in which Misha steals Jared’s soda again and Jared growls at him. “Sure thing, be right down. Go ahead and steal a slice if you want. Yeah, you too. Thanks man.” Misha puts the phone down, pulls a key card out of his pocket, and holds it out to Jared. “Go down to the lobby and get the pizza.”
“How about you go fuck yourself,” Jared replies. Jensen raises an eyebrow.
“Such language! Go get the pizza or you can’t have any, and I know your giant ass is hungry.”
“Ugh, fine.” Jared pushes off of the counter and snatches the key on his way to the door. “C’mon, Jen.”
“Oh no.” Misha slings an arm around Jensen’s shoulders and pulls him in close before he can even take a step forward. “Jensen’s staying up here with dear old Misha.”
“Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. I’ll get back up here and he’ll have pink hair and want to run away to Nepal.”
“Nepal is fucking spectacular, ass!” Misha keeps his tight grip on Jensen and he just quirks a brow, smirking at Jared. “Leave us to bond! Plus I need to set him up with the proper credentials so that he can partake in all that this lovely, wholesome city has to offer.”
“I’ve known you for twenty minutes and I’m pretty sure wholesome isn’t the adjective I would use to describe you,” Jensen tells him. Misha gasps and lays his free hand across his chest.
“You wound me, Jensen. I love it.” He waves his hand at Jared, who’s still hovering by the door. “Pizza’s all paid for. Go, before it gets cold or Fat Lou eats it all.”
Jared gives Jensen one last lingering look and he just nods. As soon as Jared’s out the door, Misha is steering him towards a bedroom on the other side of the suite.
“C’mon, beautiful. It’s time for your close-up.”
Misha pulls down what looks like a light blue window shade on a stand and positions Jensen in front of it. Jensen stays still, staring out of the giant picture windows across from him while Misha rifles through a desk drawer. After a few muffled curses he holds up a camera triumphantly.
“Okay, I’ve gotta take your picture,” Misha says, and Jensen takes his eyes away from the darkening skyline to look at him.
“So I can make you one of my world famous fake ID’s,” Misha tells him. “Because I know your twink ass ain’t twenty-one and you need to be to have any fun in this town.” Misha raises the camera and Jensen gives him his brightest grin. “Oh, jesus. Put that thing away before you blind someone. You’re supposed to be at the DVM. Be grumpy.”
“Because the DMV is the ninth circle of Hell and no one wants to be there.”
“Why?” Jensen’s grinning, tongue peeking between his teeth while Misha fiddles with the settings on his camera.
“Because it’s a – “ Misha looks up at sees his teasing expression. “Oh, you are a devious little shit. I thought I was going to be dealing with the world’s hottest and most overgrown two-year-old all night. I’ve got nieces and nephews, man. I don’t need anymore of that shit. Now smile.”
“You told me not to!” Jensen looks confused and maybe a bit constipated when the flash goes off. He blinks the spots out of his eyes in time to see Misha nodding down at the display.
“Now that’s a DMV photo.” He drops down at a desk facing the window and kicks the chair next to him out a bit, gesturing at it with his chin. “Sit.”
Jensen drops obediently into the chair and looks down curiously at Misha’s desk. It’s covered with all sorts of gadgetry, most of which Jensen couldn’t even name. Misha boots up a laptop and reaches over to snag a bottle of clear liquid from the corner of the table. He slams it down in front of Jensen and he watches it slosh around while Misha retrieves two tiny glasses from somewhere.
“This, my dear boy, is tequila.” Misha sets the glasses down and pulls the cork out of the bottle. “Really fucking good tequila. I’m going to go ahead and start being a horrible influence now before Jared is here to stop me, because he is a gentleman and I am not.” He fills the two tiny glasses and pushes one towards Jensen. “Drink.”
Jensen picks up the glass with his thumb and forefinger and eyes Misha speculatively. Misha just clinks their glasses together and winks at him. He tosses his own back in one gulp so Jensen does the same, immediately dropping the glass and grabbing at his throat. It burns going down and it lands hot in his belly. He even gets out a few good coughs.
“What the fuck was that?”
“Happy juice! You’re not leaving this hotel room sober, man.” Misha exclaims with a cackle. He leans over to wipe a drop of liquid from Jensen’s chin with his thumb and then turns his focus on his laptop, face more serious than Jensen’s seen so far. “Okay, so. You need a name.”
“I have a name,” Jensen supplies. The tequila is making him feel pleasant. “It’s Jensen Morgan.”
“A fake name.” Misha taps his chin and then sets his fingers to the keyboard. “Alec Teague, age 22, hailing from southern California. I know you said you’re from Kansas but you look like a Cali boy, through and through.” This makes Jensen smile serenely. “Okay so you’re like, what, six feet? 160 pounds? Brown hair, fucking vivid green eyes.” There’s silence for a few moments while Misha types away and he’s still staring at the screen when he speaks next. “Jared really likes you.”
Jensen snaps to attention at that.
“I mean, I know Jared. He really likes you,” Misha says again, shooting Jensen a sidelong glance. “And Jared doesn’t like anyone. That’s why I kissed him earlier, you know. If you got jealous, I’d know that you like him too. And you were real jealous.”
“Of course I like him,” Jensen replies easily. “You could have just asked me, you know.”
“I could have, but most people don’t work like that,” Misha says. Jensen just shrugs and picks at a fraying hole in the knee of his jeans.
“I’m not most people.” Misha looks at him at that, eyes narrowed and appraising. “I do like him. More than I know how to say.”
“No, you’re not most people. And neither is he. You’ll be good for each other.” Misha claps his hands together and retrieves Jensen’s tequila glass from the floor. He fills both glasses up again and Jensen mentally prepares himself. “Okay, we need another shot before shit gets too real. Cheers.”
Jensen knocks back the shot and he’s prepared for it this time, wincing only slightly at the burn. They hear Jared stomp into the suite and call out their names.
“In here!” Misha shouts, not even taking his eyes off of the screen. “Bring beer! Heh, that rhymed.” Jared wanders into the room with a few pizza boxes balanced precariously in one hand a six-pack of beer under the opposite arm. Jeff keeps beer in their fridge at home usually, but Jensen has never been allowed to touch it. “It took me all of thirty seconds after you left to lure Jensen into my bedroom,” Misha says casually, and then he turns around to look up at Jared. “What the fuck took you so long, anyway? Did you get lost?”
“Yes, actually. I did get lost, fuck you very much. Stupid giant hotel.” Jared sits on the floor, resting his back against the bed as he pulls a pizza box down onto his lap. Jensen grins at Jared, feeling warm and sappy. “Why’s he smiling at me like that?”
“I gave him tequila,” Misha says, and then turns to Jensen. “I’ve decided that Alec is an organ donor.”
“Organ donation saves thousands of lives a year probably!”
“You gave him tequila?”
“I did, and I dare you to say something about it.” He clicks something on the screen and the printer next to Jensen’s’ elbow whirs to life, making him jump a little. Misha spins around and grabs a beer, cracking it open with his ring and pointing it menacingly at Jared. “Now granted, I don’t know the whole story, but I get that this kid is sheltered as all hell. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s a grown ass man and instead of hiding the world from him, you should be showing him how it works so he knows what the hell to expect.”
Jared glares at Misha and then his expression softens as he shoulders droop. Jensen agrees with Misha, but that doesn’t mean that he wants Jared looking so defeated. He slips out of his chair and down onto the floor, sitting next to Jared and touching his arm.
“You’re right,” Jared says. He takes the beer from Misha’s hand and takes a swig of it before handing it over to Jensen. He peers down into the dark brown bottle before taking a sip. It doesn’t taste very good but it’s cold and bubbly. He likes it better than the tequila.
“Holy shit, man. I didn’t think you’d fold so easily,” Misha tells him as he snatches Jensen’s new ID from the printer. “I just wanted to get him drunk.”
Jared rolls his eyes and Jensen hides his laugh in the curve of Jared’s neck.
Misha putters around the room, stuffing pizza into his face and telling them to stop fucking bothering him until he’s done with the ID. Jensen eats pizza, which is absolutely amazing by the way, and washes it down with beer. The more he drinks, the better it tastes, so he just keeps going. He feels awesome, all happy and light, like he’d float away if Jared didn’t have an arm around his shoulders.
“Misha told me that he kissed you to see if it’d make me jealous because you like me,” Jensen blurts, and Jared pauses before swallowing the giant bite of pizza.
“What the hell, Jensen?” Misha looks over his shoulder to give him a baffled look. “Remind me to never trust your ass with a secret.”
“I do,” Jensen says, ignoring Misha as he turns back around with a huff. “Like you.”
“I like you, too.” Jared presses a kiss to his forehead and Jensen smiles up at him.
“Siri, play Endless Love.” A sappy ballad of a song starts pouring from the speakers of Misha’s phone and Jared wrinkles his nose.
“I know you’re trying to be funny,” Jared shouts, “but you just outed yourself as someone who likes this song so much that they want to carry it around with them wherever they go.”
Misha just tosses his middle finger into the air before leaning back over his work bench. Jensen laughs and steals another piece of pizza because seriously, so good.
It’s one in the morning, they’re all shitfaced drunk, and Jared has had to forcibly stop Jensen from climbing into the Bellagio fountains four separate times. Jensen is a funny, happy, loveable drunk, so the fountain climbing is really the worst thing Jared’s had to deal with all night.
Misha lent Jensen some clothes since they’re relatively the same size, and Jared didn’t know whether to hug his best friend or punch him. The black button down shirt hugs Jensen’s lean muscles and the designer jeans sit just right on his ass. It’s safe to say that Jared spent most of the night staring.
They just followed Misha’s lead, letting him navigate them through the busy streets while Jared held onto Jensen’s hand to keep him from wandering into the street as he took everything in with wide eyes. First there was the bar, and then another bar, a dance club, a casino where they lost a fair amount of Misha’s ill-gotten gains, a seafood buffet, another bar, and then a club on the roof of some hotel. Now they’re here, watching Jensen watch the fountains like it’s the greatest thing he’s ever seen.
Misha’s sipping something electric blue in color from one of those ridiculous yard-long cups and Jared leans back against a cement wall, crossing his arms as he watches Jensen fondly. They’re too far back to hear him, but he can see Jensen’s arms flying wildly as he talks with other partygoers stopped to watch the water show.
“So, Jensen has magical powers.” Jared had wanted to tell Misha all night, but there was never the right time. Now he’s too drunk to give a shit.
“I thought you guys hadn’t fucked yet,” Misha mumbles around the crazy straw in his mouth. He sucks through it and it makes an irritating slurping sound.
“We haven’t,” Jared replies, but he looks at Jensen’s broad back and thinks about how much he’d like to. “That’s not what I mean. He’s magic.”
“Mhmm.” Misha stumbles a bit and then rights himself, peering down into his now empty cup. “Did he attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?”
“Dude, I’m sitting here trying to tell you that my – my traveling companion has – “
“Your traveling companion? Jesus Christ, you are seriously fucked in the head.”
“ – magical powers, that he used to save my life, by the way, and you’re just gonna stand there and be a dick about it.”
“Okay, wait. You’re serious?” Misha finally turns to look at him and Jared rolls his eyes exasperatedly. “Yeah, I’m gonna need you to go ahead and start from the beginning.”
So, Jared does. He’s always been a good storyteller, and he rarely passes up an opportunity. This one’s even better because it’s his and it’s true. He tells Misha about being caught in flagrante at his circus job and running off into the woods only to get himself lost, then about finding Jensen’s cabin and their disastrous first meeting. Misha barely blinks, listening raptly as Jared describes feeling how he just needed to get Jensen out of there, about the train ride and Jensen saving his life in the canyon. Misha’s eyes are wide as saucers when Jared tells him how he healed his arm, how they kissed.
“Then we ended up on your doorstep, and here we are.”
“No, Jared. Holy shit.” Misha grabs him by the shoulders, dropping his plastic yard glass onto the ground in the process. “Your boyfriend – “
“He’s not my boyfriend.”
“Sorry, your life partner is a fucking magical being that can heal people with his mind.”
“He also glows,” Jared supplies helpfully. “It’s a very nice blue color. Kinda like your eyes but sparklier.”
“Good goddamn.” Misha blinks and looks over at Jared again. “Also, that might have been the gayest thing you’ve ever said.”
“I think he’s gonna go back,” Jared says quietly. Misha turns towards him fully at that, head cocked questioningly. Jared gives him a tight, sad smile and stares down into his beer. “When we left he said that he had to be back in a week, and he hasn’t said anything to the contrary since. That gives me four days with him, Misha. Four days, and that’s it.”
“Jared.” He sighs mournfully into his beer and looks over at his friend. “He said that back when you were just the weird guy that broke into his cabin. Look at all you’ve been through, man. I wouldn’t worry about it yet.”
“Trust your elders.”
“Besides,” Misha says, continuing on like Jared had never spoken. “I don’t know if you’ve ever like, glanced at his face while he’s looking at you, but that shit’s intense. You know, kind of like right now.”
Misha gestures towards the fountain with his chin and Jared turns around. He hadn’t noticed that the water show had ended and the crowd is starting to disperse. What he does notice, however, is Jensen running directly towards him.
“That was amazing!” He shouts, and then launches himself unswervingly into Jared’s arms. The kiss is unexpected in not only that it comes at all, but in how intense it is. Jensen’s feet are barely on the ground and he buries his hand in Jared’s hair, licking his way into Jared’s mouth and sucking on his tongue. It’s sort of a filthy kiss and Jared pulls Jensen in close, giving just as hard as he gets. Jensen’s making these noises into his mouth, tiny grunts and whimpers as he opens his jaw wider.
Misha wolf-whistles and Jared grabs Jensen’s ass, too drunk to think about anything but how hard his dick is getting. He grinds into Jensen’s hip, pressing against Jensen’s own obvious arousal, and that’s when the fountain explodes.
A huge rush of water shoots directly up into the air, making them pull apart as people around them gasp and shriek. Jensen and Jared look up as the drops start to fall like rain and Jensen laughs so happily. They press their foreheads together as the water showers down on them, soaking them to the bone.
Kissing in the rain is one of the biggest clichés there is, but how many people can say they’ve kissed the person that made the rain?
Jared just grins, pushing Jensen’s wet hair back with his fingers before kissing him again, soft and gentle.
The next morning, Jensen sits at the table in their bedroom and shares a bag of peanuts that he found in the mini-bar with Rigby. He’s waiting, very patiently in his opinion, for Jared to wake up. He’s passed out in the bed they shared, shirtless with his mouth hanging open.
When they’d gotten back in the room the night before, they all continued to drink while Jensen made water dance across the room, flinging blobs of it at Jared and Misha so they could try to catch them in their mouths. When Misha had finally fallen asleep on the couch, Jared led Jensen into their room where they proceeded to kiss until their jaws ached and they too finally had to succumb to sleep.
It had been an amazing night, but today’s the day. It’s today that he gets to go to the ocean and his dream finally comes true.
Jared lets out a long, drawn-out groan from the bed and Jensen spins his chair around to face him. He’d opened the curtains when he woke up to let light in, and when Jared’s eyes open he immediately shrieks and pulls a pillow over his face.
“Oh my god.”
“What is it?” Jensen gets up and crawls onto the bed, sitting back on his haunches as he stares down at the Jared-shaped lump in the sheets with mild concern.
“I’m dying,” he says, and Jensen’s eyes widen. Jared’s voice is rough and scratchy and his skin is ashen. “This is it. This is the end for me.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Jensen pulls the pillow away from Jared’s face and he whimpers, rolling onto his side to curl into the fetal position. He cracks open one eye to peer blearily at Jensen, brow furrowing he sees that he’s freshly showered, shaved, and dressed.
“We drank a whole goddamn liquor store last night and here you sit, perky as ever.” Jared burps and it turns into a gag. Jensen wrinkles his nose as Jared slaps a hand over his mouth and shuts his eyes until he’s no longer vaguely green. “How do you not have a hangover?” Jared pauses and then rolls his eyes. “Right, magic.”
“I’m not entirely sure what that is,” Jensen says, biting his lip guiltily. Jared looks up at him with baleful, red eyes. “It happens when you drink?”
“It’s punishment handed down from above,” Jared whines. “My head hurts and I wanna puke and I’m dying, Jensen.”
“Oh, you’re sick,” Jensen says brightly. Jared glares at him.
“You don’t have to sound so happy about it,” Jared mumbles. “I’m gonna vomit all over your face.”
“No, you won’t.” Jensen reaches out to cup Jared’s cheek, thumb rasping over the stubble coating his jaw as his fingertips start to glow. The lines on Jared’s forehead smooth out and his skin regains its color, eyes getting brighter as he stares up at Jensen reverently. Once Jared looks normal again, Jensen pulls his hand away and grins cockily down at him. “Better?”
“It didn’t even occur to me that you could do that,” Jared says. He’s up in a flash, pouncing on Jensen and pinning him to the bed. “I am literally the luckiest man alive.”
“You’re welcome.” Jensen grins up at him, lifting his head and biting Jared’s chin playfully. Jared’s just about to kiss him when they’re interrupted by their door crashing open. They look over to see Misha in nothing but a pair of sunglasses and his underwear, clutching the doorframe and groaning.
“So long, farewell,” he moans, sliding down the wall. “Au revoir, auf wiedersehen.” His ass hits the floor and he moans again, slumping over until he’s laid out on the floor with his cheek pressed against the cool tile. He reaches one arm out towards the bed and whimpers. “Goodbye.”
“I wasn’t aware that you even still possessed the ability to be hungover,” Jared says, and Jensen chuckles as Misha whines into the floor. He tries to give Jared the finger but it’s like he doesn’t even have the energy to do that. His hand just sort of wobbles in the air
“I spent all morning puking up blue. What the hell did I drink that was blue?”
“I don’t know what it was, but you downed like a gallon of it,” Jared tells him. Jensen nudges Jared off of him and smiles fondly as he gets off the bed to sit cross-legged on the floor next to Misha. He really likes the crazy bastard.
“Here, this’ll help.” Jensen presses his hand to Misha’s forehead and cures his hangover, fingers tingling as he does so. Misha feels like whitewater rapids and it rushes all the way to Jensen’s arm. As soon as he’s done, Misha crawls up onto his hands and knees and looks up at him.
“Did you just magic away my hangover?” Misha asks, so much awe in his voice that Jensen just chuckles and nods. “Okay, that’s it.”
“Mmf.” Jensen grunts and then laughs as Misha tackles him to the floor and wraps his arms and legs around him.
“Hey!” Jared’s head pops over the edge of the bed and Jensen just laughs harder as he grabs Misha’s hips.
“No, fuck off, Jared. He’s mine now. I love him.” Misha takes Jensen’s cheeks in his hands and starts peppering little kisses all over his face while Jensen laughs and Jared just makes indignant, outraged noises. “Stay with me always.”
“I’m flattered, Misha, but – “
“No, I’ll be so good to you, baby.” Misha gives him big, pleading eyes and Jensen laughs again. There’s a loud yelp as Jared yanks Misha up by the arm and Jensen pulls himself up onto his elbows to look up at his friends. “Ow.” Misha pulls his arm from Jared’s grasp and glares at him. “Fine! Keep him! I was willing to put polygamy on the table but no, someone had to be selfish.”
“I’m okay with that,” Jared says. He holds out a hand and Jensen takes it, pulling himself up and wiping his hands on the seat of his pants.”
“Fine, whatever. I’m ordering room service for breakfast,” Misha says on his way out of the room. “Jared gets nothing.”
“I’m gonna miss him,” Jensen says, and Jared slings an arm over his shoulders.
“Yeah, he’s kinda hard to walk away from,” Jared tells him. “But while you think that pain is you missing him, it’s really just harsh reality slapping you in the face as you step back into the real world.”
Jensen chuckles and Jared leans in to kiss his temple. “I’m gonna hop in the shower, and then we’ll grab something to eat and head out, okay?”
“Okay.” Jensen grins, excitement coursing through him. Jared heads into the bathroom and Jensen scoops Rigby up from the table. He wanders out into the living room to find Misha lounging on the couch. “Hey.”
“Hola. I ordered like, the entire breakfast menu. Should be here soon.” Jensen nods and sits down next to him on the sofa. Misha looks over at him and smiles lazily. “Your little stunt with the fountain made the news.”
“What?” Jensen sputters.
“They’re blaming it on malfunctioning equipment, so you’re good.” Misha replies. Jensen lets out a breath and nods. “So today’s the day, huh? You’re finally going to the ocean.”
Jensen looks over at him and blushes as he suddenly recalls telling Jared and Misha excitedly all about his dream the night before. He’d been making water drops bounce in time with the music and if he remembers correctly, he couldn’t shut up about it. Jensen just grins at him, unable to find the words to express how eager he is. “Gonna be hard to walk away from all that once you have it.”
Misha is looking at the television but Jensen can sense the seriousness in his tone, and he knows that he isn’t just talking about the ocean. Jensen’s been trying very hard not to think about what’s going to happen in four days, how agonizing it’ll be to let go of everything he’s waited for his entire life. And Jared – he can’t even think about not being around him every second or his chest gets tight.
“You’re a smart guy,” Misha says suddenly, shocking Jensen out of his panic. “You’ll make the right choice.”
Jensen opens his mouth to tell him that he doesn’t really have one, but the doorbell rings before he can get the words out. But that’s okay. They weren’t really all that true anyway.
Jared comes out of the bedroom with their packed duffle and Rigby’s bag, staring down at his phone intently. He flops down on the floor in front of the coffee table and practically salivates at all the food.
“Thanks, man.” Jared grabs a plate with an omelet on it and frowns at his phone. “Trying to find a bus from here to Los Angeles shouldn’t be so goddamn difficult.”
“Oh, man. Don’t worry about it.” Misha leans over to grab something from the table next to the sofa and tosses a set of keys at Jared. He barely catches them without dropping his plate. “Just take my car.”
“Misha, we can’t – “ Jared starts, but Misha cuts him off with a wave of his hand.
“Seriously, it just sits in the parking garage all the time. I hardly ever need to use it out here.” Misha settles back into the sofa and stabs his pancakes. “Just do your thing and bring it back when you’re done.”
“Thank you, Misha,” Jensen tells him sincerely. “That’s awesome of you.”
“Yeah well.” Misha grins at him and there’s syrup shining on his teeth. “I’m awesome.”
“You ready to go, birthday boy?” Jared asks. Jensen nods and Rigby drags a whole orange wedge into his bag when he holds it open.
“It’s your birthday?” Misha asks.
“Tomorrow.” Jensen tells him. “I’ll be eighteen.”
“Oh. That’s March first, right?” Misha furrows his brow, lips pursed for a moment before he shakes it off and tosses him a grin. “Happy birthday.”
They all head for the front door and Jared pulls Misha into a hug that shows just how much they care about each other.
“Be safe, kid.” Misha pats Jared on the shoulder and then steps up to Jensen. “It was seriously, seriously good to meet you, Jensen.” He pulls Jensen into a hug and he returns it, eyes stinging a bit at the thought of never seeing Misha again. He pulls back and Misha quirks an eyebrow like he can read his mind. “Come back and visit me again soon, okay?”
The tone of voice is casual but the tone holds so much meaning that Jensen can hardly breathe. Jared sniffs and looks away, expression pinched. Misha’s eyes are sad and Jensen can practically hear him for how loud he’s thinking. Please don’t hurt him.
Jensen does his best to smile reassuringly and pulls him in for another quick hug just to give him time to get his emotions in check before he faces Jared. They leave the suite and Jensen can feel Misha’s eyes on him all the way down the hall.
He’s glad when Jared tells him how long the drive will be. It’ll give him lots of time to think.
They make it to Barstow before Jared can’t take the quiet anymore.
“Hey.” He reaches over to flick Jensen’s knee. He looks over at Jared with a sleepy smile. “What’s up? I thought you’d be so excited that I’d have to strap you down into the seat. We’re three hours away. Aren’t you happy?”
“Of course I am, Jared.” Jensen sighs and turns in his seat, pressing his back against the window so that he’s facing Jared. “It’s just that – well.”
“It’s just that what?” Jared looks over at him as much as he can while still keeping his eyes on the road. Jensen picks at his fingernails and shrugs his shoulders. “Jensen, come on. After all we’ve been through? I’m pretty sure that you can talk to me about anything.”
“I just – what happens after?” Jensen asks, and Jared tenses because that’s exactly what he’s been worried about as well. He takes a deep breath and hopes Jensen doesn’t notice his white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel. “I’ve been wanting this for my entire life. It’s all I’ve ever looked forward to. What happens after? What do I do then?”
“Whatever you want,” Jared says carefully and hopes that his voice doesn’t sound as strained as he feels. “Plan something else to look forward to. You – you don’t have to go back, you know. You’ll be eighteen tomorrow, and out here in the real world that means that you make your own decisions. No one can tell you what to do anymore.”
“You’ve been making your own decisions for years,” Jensen points out. “And you aren’t eighteen yet.”
“Yeah well, I’m the exception to the rule,” Jared replies. “I’m the exception to most rules.”
“I’m starting to realize that,” Jensen says quietly, giving Jared a look that he doesn’t dare decipher while he’s driving. There’s a long moment of silence that Jared just has to break.
“You can do anything,” he reiterates.”You could go to school, or move to Hawaii and learn to surf. You could go to Hollywood and model, because lord knows you’re gorgeous enough.” Jared winks at him and Jensen blushes softly. “You could run away and join the circus, though from personal experience I wouldn’t recommend it.” Jensen laughs and the sound makes Jared ache. “Or you could stay with me, and we could do all those things together.”
“Jared,” he starts, and Jared just can’t bring himself to hear what comes after. Not yet.
“But hey,” he cuts in. “There’s no reason to think about any of that now. In two and a half short hours, you’ll be frolicking on the beach.” Jensen’s eyes light up and it’s so much better than the sad introspection of before. “You’ll literally be living your dream. And then tomorrow we’ll be celebrating your birthday.”
“You’re right,” Jensen says.
“Damn right, I’m right!” Jared crows, slapping the steering wheel and tossing Jensen a grin. “So that gives us two days, alright? Two days where we do nothing but live in the moment. We’ll think about what happens after when it’s all over, but for now, right here? There’s nothing except for how your dream is about to come true, okay?”
“Sounds like a plan,” Jensen says, and his eyes are bright again.
“No plans!” Jared laughs and makes sure they’re on a nice, straight stretch of road before pulling Jensen in to kiss his cheek. “Now, let me ask you again. Are you excited?”
“Yes,” Jensen replies, smiling widely as he twists to sit properly in his seat.
“I can’t hear you! I said, are you excited?”
“Yes! I’m excited!” Jensen laughs and Jared looks over in time to see Jensen smiling at him. The sun is filtering in through the window just right and it’s like he’s glowing, so beautiful that Jared can hardly breathe.
The ride gets better after that. Jensen is obviously thrilled, yapping Jared’s head off and sampling all of the radio stations. He tunes to each one and listens closely before wrinkling his nose and moving onto the next. He finally settles on classic rock, and Jared gives him a thumbs up as Led Zeppelin blasts through Misha’s kick-ass sound system.
An hour or so later, Jared spots a sign for a Target right off the freeway. He’s sick of sitting still, he’s hungry, and he sort of has to pee, so he gets off on the exit. Jensen looks at him questioningly and Jared smiles as he navigates the vehicle into a parking space.
“We need supplies!” Jared tells him as he cuts the engine. Rigby is snoozing in the backseat and Jared reaches back to carefully scoop him into his tote bag. “Every adventure needs a shopping montage. Consider this ours.”
Once they’re inside the store, Jared grabs a cart and sets Rigby’s bag in the front of it. They race through the store and get everything they could ever need for a day at the beach – swim trunks, more sunscreen, flip-flops, a blanket, beach towels, a picnic basket, and plenty of food to fill it with, all compliments of Sam Winchester.
They change into their swim trunks and sandals in the restroom once they’ve checked out and Jared buys them each a personal pizza and soda from the snack bar before they’re tearing back out to the car.
“How much further?” Jensen asks around a mouthful of pizza.
“Two hours or less,” Jared says, “and then you’ll have your dream.”
And this time, Jensen does start bouncing in his seat.
It’s not long before the desert gives way to mountains, which turns into valleys. Jared has always loved the ever-changing California landscape. If they keep driving west on the 10, they’ll eventually hit Santa Monica. But Jared doesn’t want Jensen’s first time seeing the ocean to be crowded with gawking tourists. He wants it to be just them and the ocean, so Jared angles north and drives them through Pasadena and Glendale. There’s a spot north of Malibu that he and Misha discovered awhile back; a secluded stretch of beach that they normally found themselves alone on. Of course, their reasoning was so that they could get high and look up at the sky in peace, but it’ll get the job done.
Jared doesn’t want Jensen to even catch a glimpse of the ocean until they’re as close as possible to their destination. It’s only because he doesn’t want to tease Jensen with it by letting the ocean rush by the window while he’s stuck in the car. So he stays on the 101 until they reach Thousand Oaks and turns onto a small, winding highway. The drive is a bit treacherous and requires Jared’s full attention. He navigates narrow lanes that hug the sides of mountains and hairpin turns. Jensen is fascinated with the scenery and leans forward in his seat to take it all in.
“We’re close,” Jensen whispers. “I can tell.”
“Very close,” Jared confirms. It’s not very long at all before they’re driving through the opulent neighborhoods of Malibu. There’s a sign ahead for the Pacific Coast Highway and Jared reaches out to take Jensen’s hand when he sucks in a breath.
Jared takes the turn, navigating them onto the seaside road, and then the entire ocean is laid out before them. Jensen covers his mouth with his free hand and stares out the windshield, only squeezing Jared’s hand as he drives them north and away from all the houses. Jared finds the spot he was looking for, a small stretch of beach tucked between two seaside towns that have beaches that are more accessible and have better waves.
Jared’s not interested in that. He just wants Jensen to have the ocean all to himself, and he’s relieved when he turns down a small road and finds the tiny parking lot empty. It’s just a small square of cracked, sun-bleached asphalt that holds no more than eight cars and is hidden from the highway above. Jared pulls into a space near the opening of the splintered wooden rail so that when Jensen opens his door, he’ll be right next to the four wooden steps that will lead him down into the sand.
“Here we are,” Jared says quietly as he cuts the engine. Jensen is staring out of the windshield with wide, wet eyes and Jared brings their joined hands up to his face to press a kiss to Jensen’s knuckles. “Go on.”
Jensen looks over at him, a bit dazed, before nodding and unbuckling his seatbelt. He gets out of the car and pulls his shirt off, leaving him barefoot and pale in his emerald green shorts. Jared tosses a look into the backseat to check on Rigby, but he seems to sense the importance of the moment and just gives a small squeak before curling up on the towel they stole from Misha’s suite. Jared rolls down the windows to keep it cool inside the car and climbs out.
Jensen shoots Jared one last look as he comes around to the front of the car and leans against the hood. He nods encouragingly and Jensen swallows hard before walking down the steps. He lingers on the last one, foot hovering over the sand before he finally steps down onto it. He closes his eyes and looks so peaceful, so much like he belongs, that Jared’s throat constricts.
He pushes his sunglasses up onto his head, keeping the wind from whipping his hair into his face and providing him with a better view of Jensen. Soon he kicks off his own sandals and treads slowly down the steps. The sand is warm and dry and he sinks into it instantly, reveling in the feeling of it between his toes.
Jensen has left a trail of footprints behind him and Jared takes his phone out of his pocket. He’s sure that neither of them will ever forget this moment, but he wants it immortalized forever anyway. He snaps a few pictures before pulling his shirt off and leaving it on top of his shoes, phone tucked safely in the folds of fabric. He walks alongside Jensen’s footprints, careful not to disturb them, especially when the dry sand gives away to the wet, hard-packed beach that preserves them almost perfectly.
Jensen is standing just shy of where the tide reaches, watching as the gentle waves roll in and out. Jared steps up next to him, quiet and calm, and looks over at his face. There are tears rolling down his cheeks and Jared pulls his lips into his mouth as his eyes start to sting as well.
Jensen looks over at him, unashamed of the naked emotion on his face, and holds out his hand. Jared takes it and Jensen smiles as they step into the water together. The waves rush over their feet, wetting their ankles and that strange feeling of rolling backwards rushes over Jared as the water slips back down the beach.
Jensen takes another step, and then another, until they’re waist deep. Jensen starts laughing through his tears and Jared has never seen anything more beautiful.
“Jared,” he says softly, not letting go of his hand as he reaches into the sea with the other. Jared looks over and Jensen smiles up at him, green eyes the exact color of seaweed in the sunlight. “I’m home.”