Jared is starting to think that maybe his Great Aunt Agnes was right and God does hate gay people.
In the time Jared's known Jensen, he's had to have his ass stitched, split his lip open on Jensen's crotch—or, technically, the table after flailing off of Jensen's lap—been yelled at by a director, gotten food poisoning/the flu/whatever it was that knocked him flat for a day and a half, and now, broken his hand on the face of some drunk guy who thought Jared was staring at his girlfriend.
In conclusion, God hates gay people. Or just Jared. Probably just Jared.
"God doesn't hate you," Jensen tells him while he thumbs through an Entertainment Weekly from a month ago. "He just thinks it's funny when you get hurt. Which proves he's a guy because if God were female, she'd just make you cry a lot."
"I don't know what you're saying."
"That's because you're stoned."
"You are completely in your happy morphine place right now."
"Am not," Jared protests. And he isn't totally. His hand doesn't throb like hell anymore, but he's sober enough to feel a little embarrassed that he made Jensen call his parents and Chad and Eric so Jared could tell them all he was dying. Only a little, though, because it's something he would've done sober if he were bored enough. Except to his parents, but Momma knows his morphine voice by now, so she just gave him the 3 am long distance version of a head pat and went back to sleep.
"That was pretty impressive, by the way," Jensen says. "I don't think I've ever seen someone your size backhand a dude in the jaw."
"I didn't know he was there. I said I was sorry."
"Yeah, you really aren't supposed to apologize to the people who are trying to beat your ass, man."
"Vinegar and honey," Jared tells him, wisely. At least, Jared thinks it's pretty wise. He might've just drooled on himself while slurring it— there was a fair amount of beer and a couple of shots before they got jumped.
"I don't think that applies any more once the bees start attacking you."
"I always feel bad for them when they sting me, you know?" Jared says. "Because they die after their stingers get stuck in you."
"You don't really, do you?" Jensen asks. He's looking at Jared all askance-like, and Jared can't figure out why.
"Don't really what?"
"Feel bad for bees that sting you."
"It's not their fault, Jensen. They're built that way."
"You feel bad for vampires, too, don't you."
"That's just stupid," Jared scoffs. "Vampires aren't real. And if they were, it would be like us eating cows. I don't want to die because I eat steak, Jensen. It tastes really, really, good. Would you want someone to just come along and stab you because you ate a t-bone? No, you wouldn't because Texas boys weren't meant to be vegetarians."
"You're right," Jensen says. "The morphine isn't doing anything to you at all."
"Shut up," Jared tells him. "I can hear you rolling your eyes."
"You could also see me rolling them if you weren't completely stoned on morphine."
"You suck. And it's flies, anyway, not bees."
"What?" Jensen asks.
"You catch flies with honey instead of vinegar, not bees."
"Why would you want to catch flies?"
"So they aren't flying around anymore."
"But won't the honey attract more flies?"
"Yes," Jared agrees. Honestly, it's like Jensen never learned anything in school sometimes. "Then you have a big ball of fly-covered honey and no flies by your food."
"What if the honey is on my food?"
"Well, if you're eating bee vomit, then you shouldn't have a problem with a couple of flies on your food."
Jensen doesn't respond, and when Jared looks over, he can see Jensen rubbing his eyes, his face all scrunched up. "Jared just... go to sleep until the doctor gets here."
"But I'm not tired," he protests.
"Do it to save your life," Jensen begs him.
"I don't get it."
"If you don't go to sleep soon, I am going to murder you just to shut you up."
"You're a sucky best friend," Jared says.
"Yes," Jensen says. "Now shut up."
"Fine," Jared says. "Hey, did you know that eggs are basically chicken periods?"
The good thing about getting food poisoning and then going stir-crazy and breaking his hand on some guy's face is that he looks really fucking pathetic. Which means that when he begs to get a room with a stove and a fridge, he's a lot harder to say no to.
Seriously. No one's gonna say no to a doped-up kid in a soft cast with dry heaves. Jared being the one with the dry heaves, of course. Not the soft cast. That would be weird.
Jensen has taken it upon himself to watch Sadie and Harley while Jared moves rooms. And by "taken it upon himself" Jared means that he woke up this morning to a text message stating that Jensen was gonna go "bond with his God-Babies" and that Jared was not to bother them. He even used a happy face.
Apparently, Jensen has decided he is now Harley and Sadie's godfather. Jared doesn't know whether to be proud or worried that he's rubbing off on Jensen.
That okay, though, because Jared has a lot of stuff, and he hates having to crate them just because he misses Hot Pockets and spaghetti. He takes his time and moves his stuff between the rooms at a leisurely pace, stopping every trip or two to watch a TV show or something.
Halfway through the fourth trip, his phone dings at him, letting him know he has a new text.
Your dog ate my empty Starbucks cups. Should i b worried? also i was collecting them and the bstrd ate them!
Jared laughs and shoots back, Why do you collect Satrbucks cups, freak? Training yourself?
He gets another text as he's stepping out of the elevator, but he doesn't have a free hand to check it until he sets his bags down. The new room is nice. A lot bigger, and Jared would've sprung for the suite in the first place if he knew how different it was from the pseudo-suite he had.
It was a joke at my own expense, idiot. my hotel room is a wreeck. i think thr was chcolate in 1. plz advise.
Jared sighs. Jensen clearly needs to spend more time around dogs. But probably not at his hotel because Jared is pretty sure he remembers something about animals not being allowed there. He texts, How much Chocolate? M&M or Hershey's bar? as he heads back down to the old room.
He spends the elevator ride down texting back and forth with Jensen.
like less tahn m&m but harley's stomach is making gurgling sounds and he wont stop licking my f legs. is this normal?
Well, you DO have tasty legs, he types, laughing to himself. Also, sweat = salt = licking
what do u kno about my legs? i'll never nap in my trailer again u creepy leglicker. so u think harley = ok?
It's your fault, dude. You should get scrawnier legs if you don't want them licked. Milk is your worry now.
oic, u can't resist my meaty thighs. kinky fucker. also ?? milk? is he gonna throw up? ew.
You have totally hot thighs. YUM. Harley won't throw up, but he might get the runs.
even tho theyre all bowlegged? and thats totally awesome. brb vets office. y, i still have the address
It takes a little juggling, but Jared manages to text back a response while unlocking the door again. Bowlegs are hot 8 a million. How much milk do you put in your coffee?
Jared manages to make it all the way back up to the new room again without getting another text. He tries not to let it worry him, but he thinks maybe there needs to be an app that makes you be absolutely sure you want to send everything in the text before you send it.
He gets another text as he's making his way out the door and decides to stay for a few minutes instead, taking a seat on the couch.
what are you talking abt? i drink it black. do you mean i'm 1/2way to the vets for nothing?
Jared decides he can totally deal with Jensen ignoring the first part of his text. Especially since Jensen might actually be on the way to a vet because he thinks Harley's hurt. He grins to himself and responds, ...Yes. There wasn't enough chocolate to hurt and if you don't use milk he's okay.
The next response doesn't take nearly as long as the last one did.
ur laughing at me right now aren't u? fine f u, i'm just tryn 2 b a good pupsitter while u sit on ur ass and laugh at me.
Jared does laugh at that. And saves a screenshot of it before he responds. Pretty much, yeah. It's okay though, Sadie and Harley love Crazy Uncle Jensen.
f u man see if i ever let them stay w/ uncle jensen ever again.
"Let them?" Jared asks his phone. The phone doesn't answer, thankfully. You kidnapped them, dude. I'm allowed to mock.
Jared waits a few minutes for a response. After about ten minutes, he assumes Jensen has turned around and headed back to his hotel. With a sigh, he slides his phone into his pocket and gets back to work.
Jared flops down in the chair next to Jensen's once Kim calls cut. "I think my Momma's picking out rings."
Jensen doesn't even look up from his PSP. "Of course she is."
"It's gonna be big and pink with the diamond in the shape of a heart or something, and if you don't wear it, it means you don't love her." Jared thinks about it for a minute. "Or the baby Jesus."
Jensen's character dies in a flail of limbs and a flurry of bleep. "Dude, the baby Jesus freaks me out. Don't tell my mom."
"I'm gonna tell her you're converting to scientology like Travolta."
"Xenu is my one true God, you know," Jensen tells him, pausing and looking up at Jared.
"I always liked Gabrielle better," Jared admits. Not that Xena wasn't badass. He likes sidekicks, though.
"You would," Jensen says, going back to his game.
"What does that even mean?" Jared asks.
"What'd you tell your mom?"
"I told her I wanted a June wedding, but she thinks December would be better."
"I fucking hate the snow," Jensen says. "Why does it have to be December?"
"You call my mom and tell her she can't have her snowy wedding."
"Yeah, right, because I look like I'm suicidal."
"It's the bulimia. It makes you doubt your self-worth."
"I thought that was the chronic character bleed you told my dad I had," Jensen says.
Jared grins. He'd been saving that one for almost an entire week. "Papa Ackles mentioned me? What'd he say? Did you tell him hi for me? He told me that if I didn't treat you right, he'd bury me beside Mack's last boyfriend."
"Please," Jensen scoffs. "He doesn't know where Mack's last boyfriend is buried. He always makes me and Josh do all the hard work. Those chainsaws are heavy, too," he adds.
"This is why we just don't let Meggy date," Jared tells him. "It saves money on clothes. Blood's a bitch to get out."
"And you are a size fifty-three," Jensen agrees.
"That's with the water weight."
"You better lose that shit before the wedding, man. We're getting you a classy dress."
"No mumus?" Jared asks, his best heartbroken look on his face.
"Not for my Jarebear," Jensen says.
Jensen is worried, Jared can tell. He's good like that.
It's a reasonable worry. Not only does he have to dive into a nasty, slimy, cold lake with a freaking wetsuit on under Dean's clothes, but he then has to try not to drown himself or kill a kid.
And, okay, sure, there are EMTs on hand, but. Still.
Jared's pretty sure he remembers reading somewhere that you can drown in a tablespoon of water, and that lake is a lot of tablespoons worth of water.
Okay, so maybe Jensen's not the one who's worried. Or as worried as Jared.
Whatever, Jensen's got the easy part. Jared has to stand there and watch Jensen hopefully fake almost drowning.
Jensen throws a gummi bear at him from the other side of the trailer, causing Jeannie to smack Jensen with a hand covered in hair gel. Serves him right. The bear bounces off of Shannon's chest and gets caught between Jared's undershirt and his Non-Official Makeup Shirt (trademark pending).
"Your aim blows, dude," Jared calls out. He fishes the gummi bear out of his shirt, almost dropping it for a second at first, and launches it back at Jensen, pegging him right in the side of the neck.
"Quit freaking out," Jensen tells him, throwing another bear across the trailer. Jared's the one who gets smacked this time, but he manages to catch the improvised cannon ball in his mouth, which is at least forty points, so the smack is worth it.
"I'm not freaking out," Jared somewhat lies, chewing the gummi bear.
"At least spit out your gum before you start eating the missiles," Shannon begs him.
"It's not like it's Thanksgiving turkey gum," Jared says. "Coke and gummi bears go together."
"Careful," Jeannie says to Jared. "Someone might take that out of context and get you thrown in rehab."
"You're freaking out like a scared little girl," Jensen says.
"Jeannie loves me best," Jared says, sticking his tongue out at Jensen.
"She only wants you for your hair." Jensen picks out a handful of green gummi bears to eat. "We don't joke about drugs," he tells Jeannie.
"No?" Jeannie asks as she artfully rearranges Jensen's hair again because he won't sit still. "Afraid the studio will think it's real?"
"Afraid our mommas will," Jared says, tilting his head back so Shannon can get at his neck with her makeup wedge. "My momma wears a lot of rings, and she would fly up here just to smack me with them."
"Mine carries Steven King novels in her purse just so we'll listen when she threatens to hit us with it," Jensen says.
"Meggy says Mom's reading Cujo now," Jared tells him.
"Told you letting our mothers talk was a bad idea."
By the time they're done with hair and makeup, Jared forgets why he's worried about anything.
For all of Jensen's bluster and teasing and mocking— and there was a lot of mocking—he's still overly-hyper when they actually have to film the scene in the lake.
It's a quick shoot, Jensen shaking out his nervous energy and then wading into the water.
Kim is good, gets it in four takes and doesn't demand a thousand extra just to be sure and for that alone Jared decides Kim is his favorite director.
Jared might be waiting at the edge of the shore for Jensen. Possibly. It's just a habit, that's all. He isn't worried or anything.
He's still there when Jensen trudges out of the water, shoulders pulled down with the weight of his soaked clothing. Jensen makes it close enough to Jared that Jared can see how fast he's blinking, trying to get his eyes to focus, even though his contacts are in the case in Jared's coat pocket.
The smirk Jensen gives him is so smarmy and filthy and full of himself that Jared knows it's only a matter of time before it makes its way into Dean's arsenal. Then Jensen shakes himself like a dog, getting water all over Jared, and throws his hands up in the air, screaming, "I am Aquaman!" at the top of his lungs.
"Oh, really?" Jared asks. He can't help it—he shoves Jensen, two hands to his collarbones, and pushes, watching Jensen windmill his arms as he back flops into the lake water.
Jared can hear the crew laughing and whistling around them, and he grins; it's not often he gets one up on Jensen.
Jensen climbs out of the water again and walks back up to Jared, thankfully not showering him again. "I think I have a fish in my pocket."
Jared can't help the laugh that escapes at the look Jensen's giving him. "Does Flounder wanna go home, Ariel?"
"Flounder wants Sebastian."
"Don't fuck up my childhood like that, man," Jared complains.
"It's your brain, sicko." Jensen wipes sand off Dean's jacket. "I think I got violated by an eel."
Jared rubs his nose with his hand, trying hard to hide his grin and points to a stringy piece of plant clinging to Jensen. "You've got some kelp hanging out of your pants there, Aquaman."
"It's not kelp," Jensen says, digging the plant that is not kelp out of his pants. "Kelp lives off the coast of Northern California."
"How do you even know that?" Jared asks.
Jensen's cheeks get red, and Jared mentally gives himself six points. "I watch a lot of nature documentaries."
"Dude, you were just talking about Aquaman and nature docs." Jared reminds him. "How is that not nerdy?"
"I thought I told you to shut up."
"This is not your day, man," one of the grips tells Jensen. "Jared zinged you."
Jared knows he should be offended by that, but really, Jensen makes him stupid a lot.
"He did not," Jensen argues.
"I did," Jared points out. "I zinged you. That was a total burn. Do you need some aloe for the immense burn I just gave you?"
"I let you have it," Jensen insists.
Jared laughs. It would probably be more accurately described as a cackle, but Jared always thought that word sounded weird. "Sure you did, Aquaman."
Jensen starts taking Sadie and Harley more often. Jared has stopped referring it to kidnapping, mostly because Jensen refers to it as a joint custody agreement, and that makes Jared kinda stupid.
ur dogs really love car rides. i think theres dog slobber on my back window.
They do. Jared texts back. Harley will give you lots of kisses when you hit a red light.
they were too busy making faces at the car behind us and making honk motions at the truck drivers while i sweated bullets.
Jared laughs, because he can imagine it, and Jensen drives kind of like a grandma anyway. Aw. I will buy you a speci treat to say sorry. You still like cottage cheese, right?
omfg ihu sfm. y u gotta, man?
He wishes he could see Jensen's face right now. Because your MOM keeps calling me to make sure I'm treating you right.
that's just cuz YOUR mom keeps calling her to find out when i'm coming home. ya know.
The difference between those are that Jared's momma keeps asking him when he's gonna bring Jensen home, too, and he's pretty sure Momma Ackles doesn't bother asking Jensen if Jared's treating him right. Hey, you gave her my number. She wanted to meet her future in-laws. I can't say no to my Momma Ackles.
jesus h christ himself wouldn't be able to say no to my mom. ps sadie's decided it's singalong time. how do i shut her up?
You don't. Turn it up and sing with her. That's what Jared does, anyway.
because she+me+garth brooks doesn't sound like a disgustingly sad country song AT ALL. does she like nirvana?
Jared suppresses an involuntary shudder. He likes country, yeah, but Garth Brooks has always grated on his nerves for some reason. She prefers Foo Fighters, but does a great version of Pennyroyal Tea.
discovered she hates radiohead. covered her ears with her paws. hilarious
She does that with Rolling Stones songs, too, which Jared will never stop finding funny, considering her name. Yeah, she's Not A Fan of Thom Yorke. If you put on that one CD I gave you with those Bill guys she'll love you forever though
um the one the hotle girls gave u? never even opened it. fans are not 2 b trusted.
Jared rolls his eyes and responds. Don't be such a Jensen. There's only a couple of naked pics on the CD.
wait of u, the bill guys or the fans? b/c dnw strange women or old guys naked on my laptop
...Did you call me old, or the Bill guys?
the bill guys. you are a wee immature dumpling.
You know you want my dumplings. Jared counts it as a point for him when Jensen doesn't text back.
There's a giant party for the premiere, and everyone stops working early so they all have time to shower, eat, and get an insane amount of alcohol to get trashed on.
They take up an entire wall and use a projector to watch it because there is no such thing as a TV big enough for the whole crew to see. Except maybe the Jumbo-Tron, but that's a little overkill.
They turn the room in a really weird makeshift theater. Couches and chairs get carried off the different sets, director's chairs get claimed and traded, and anything that looks like it might not snap directly in half from the weight of a human being is used like it was meant to be sat on. Half the crew is still on the floor or standing along the sides of the room.
Actual popcorn is being passed around, and M&Ms and Skittles are being lobbed back and forth among everyone. Someone even tosses a full-sized Coffee Crisp half-way across the room without hitting anyone.
Jared will consider tonight a success if he gets through it without throwing up.
He hates watching himself act, which is pretty normal for actors, in his experience. Even Chad can't handle it, and Chad probably doesn't actually know what shame is.
He's eager to see Jensen, though. Watching him is kind of amazing, and Jared can't help but feel a little jealous whenever he catches Jensen on one of the monitors when he's reshooting.
"The makeup girls totally snagged one of the beds," Jensen tells Jared, plopping down next to him. Jared managed to call dibs on the couch of one of the victims' family members. He doesn't really remember which victim, there have been a lot in the four episodes they've got in the can. It's a pretty ugly couch, though, and not very comfortable, so it's probably going to get reused a lot.
"That's hot," Jared deadpans. "Think they're gonna pillow fight?"
"Shut up," Jensen says. "You get any popcorn?"
"Nope. I prefer my rat droppings unbuttered and not in my stomach." Jared grins.
"You ruin popcorn for me, and I will castrate you," Jensen tells him.
"You're no fun." Jared pouts.
"Whatever. I need beer if I'm gonna have to watch this," Jensen says.
"The boom mic guy has a case," Jared tells him, holding up his own bottle to demonstrate.
Jensen snags the bottle from Jared and drains it. It's actually a pretty impressive chug, since the bottle was a little bit more than half full.
"Go right ahead, Jensen," Jared says, staring anywhere but at Jensen's throat. "I wasn't drinking that or anything."
"It was getting warm anyway," Jensen says, dismissing him with a wave of his hand. "You didn't want it."
"Maybe I was gonna play a drinking game," Jared argues. "You just ruined it."
Jensen rolls his eyes and nudges Jared with his knee. "Quit your yapping, the show's about to start."
Jared would respond, but a clip of Eric starts up, thanking them all and introducing the show, and then Jared is too busy being alternately horrified of himself and so proud of Jensen to say anything.
The next couple of days are boring.
Well. Boring compared to everything else. There's no food poisoning, no near drowning, no broken bones, no arrests—that arrest the last time was not their fault, and the boom operator, Chris, totally didn't hold any hard feelings—nothing like that.
Most of the days passed with Jared and Jensen trading PSPs back and forth and Jared thoroughly decimating Jensen in all of his games.
"It's pathetic, man," Jared tells him.
"Shut up." Jensen flicks a piece of lettuce at him.
"Why do you even have these games if you suck so much at them?" Jared asks, trying to grab a piece of cucumber. Jensen makes stabbing motions at him with a fork, catching his thumb with it.
"I do not suck at them," Jensen says, ignoring Jared's totally cultivated pout. Spoil sport.
"You really do." Jared steals Jensen's fork and a giant bite of his salad. He hates French dressing, and Jensen always drowns his salad in it. But it's the principle of the thing, so Jared steals half anyway. "I beat you by, like, four thousand points on this."
"You didn't beat me," Jensen says. "It's a one player game."
"All of your games have me on their high scores, dude," Jared tells him as he successfully snatches a cherry tomato away.
"If you squirt that at me, I will smear mayo in all of Sam's pants," Jensen warns him. "They're new games."
"Uh-huh." Jared grins, biting down on the tomato. The plan was for it to burst and the tomato to hit Jensen with its juice, but the tomato had other ideas, and it split in the back, causing Jared to inhale quickly before bending over and coughing out tomato parts.
"Did anyone ever tell you how fucking annoying you are?" Jensen asks, lowering a water bottle into his line of vision.
"My brother, every time I beat him at chess," Jared croaks out, taking a swig from the bottle and righting himself again.
"So, what, you're Rain Man at games or something?" Jensen asks him, smacking him on the back like Jared's mom used to do every time he tried to shotgun a Pepsi when he was little. He wasn't very good at it.
"Games aren't a box of toothpicks. They take skill," Jared says.
"Toothpicks take skill," Jensen says. His hand is still on Jared's back. Not that Jared is specifically noticing it or anything. "You could stab yourself in the gums with one if you don't know what you're doing."
"I don't think that's a politically correct Rain Man reference, dude," Jared says, stealing Jensen's fork and taking a giant bite of salad with most of the still-crunchy bits of lettuce.
"You don't even like that dressing, dude." Jensen says, scowling.
"Food is better off your plate," Jared says. He thinks he heard that in a movie somewhere. Maybe it was just from Josh or Meggy. The Padalecki household was a dangerous place at dinner time. He still has a scar on his hand from the time Jeff accidentally stabbed him with his fork for real.
"What are you, three?" Jensen asks, stealing back his fork. "Oh, nice, now there's sasquatch spit all over my fork."
"It's your fault for not getting two," Jared tells him as he contemplates just shoving his hand into Jensen's unreclaimed salad.
"Do it, and I will murder you," Jensen says.
"I wasn't gonna do anything," he lies. Stupid Jensen and his stupid observantness.
"You were, too," Jensen says.
"I don't know, but it would've ended with me being hauled off by Mounties and you being a pale corpse with a fork sticking out of his eyeball."
"You're a violent person," Jared says.
"I'll call Eric and tell him you're depriving me of my food. That's enabling."
Jared knew that eating disorder thing was gonna bite him in the ass one day. "I think you need anger management, Jennybean."
Jensen stills, and Jared cheers on the inside. "You didn't."
"Dude, I think your grandma likes me more than you now," Jared grins at him. He's been sitting on that name for a week, just waiting for the perfect time to use it.
"I can't believe you called my grandma," Jensen groans, abandoning his food to hide his face in his hands.
"Actually," Jared starts out gleefully, "she called me."
Jensen doesn't respond. And then doesn't respond again. And Jared waits a whole thirty seconds before he asks, "Don't you want to know how she got my number?"
"Papa Ackles gave it to her," Jared blurts out. "He thought she should know about your totally hotter, smarter, better half. She wanted to know what color my Christmas scarf should be."
"Of course she did," Jensen said, dropping his hands. He doesn't look mad, which is definitely a plus, but he does looks sort of resigned. It hurts Jared a little, right in the pit of his stomach, and he doesn't want to think too hard about exactly why.
"I didn't think it was that bad," Jared says, fidgeting a little.
"You will," Jensen warns him. He still doesn't seem mad, though. The ball of hurt in Jared's stomach stays, even as they get called back to set for the next scene.
It doesn't take long for Jared to understand.
It's benign at first. It starts with normal calls—asking how tall he is, what size he wears, would he prefer a sweater instead of a scarf, what shade of pink does he want—and then starts to turn.
It only takes two days for her to bring up great grandchildren.
"Yeah, she's been telling me for years that homosexuality is no excuse for not giving her great grandbabies to spoil," Jensen says. He's lying on the floor of the kitchenette, face-to-snout with Harley, having a staring contest while Jared tries to not ruin their dinner.
"You could have warned me," Jared mumbles, ripping up some basil.
"'By the way, Jared, if you happen to talk to my grandparents, mom's mom assumes all roommates are gay now because of my aunts, and dad's mom wants me to knock up some random girl so she can show off baby booties.'" Jensen loses the staring contest and shoots Jared a rightfully incredulous look—maybe Harley lost it, technically. There are rules against sticking your tongue in your opponent's nose.
"Your family is fucking weird, man." Jared carefully drops the tomato pieces into his new sauce pan. Despite his best efforts, it splatters his wrist, and he yanks it back with a curse, sucking on the injured spot near his palm.
"Whatever, your family are Polish giants." Jensen pushes himself off the floor, Harley trailing after. "I think your brother doesn't get that I'm a dude."
"You do have pretty eyelashes," Jared agrees, adding sugar to the sauce.
Jensen bats his very pretty eyelashes and shoves Jared, knocking him a little off balance for a minute. "He keeps calling me Jennifer."
"That's just Jeff. He calls Chad 'Chadina,'" Jared tells him. "Try this." He holds out a spoon of with some of the sauce on it.
Jensen tries it and makes a face as he thinks about it. Jensen's face is very expressive. It frustrates Jared a lot. "You know, when you said you could cook good—"
"Cook well," Jared interrupts for the hell of it.
"Okay, mom, cook well," Jensen starts again, "I thought you were totally pulling that out of your ass. Don't you dare!" Jensen stops him, throwing a hand out in the universal—or at least American and Vancouveran—symbol for stop. Jared pouts a little. He's pretty sure there were about a dozen different foods he could've ruined right there.
"You can't just hand me opportunities like that, Jensen. You gotta make me work for it."
"What do you know about work?" Jensen rolls his eyes. "You got discovered before you could drive."
"Now who's the stalker?" Jared grins at him.
Jensen rolls his eyes and continues on. "I was picturing, like, burgers or something."
"You're never gonna let me live that down, are you?" Jared groans. It's big and over-exaggerated, and it makes Jensen laugh just the way Jared likes. He'll remind Jensen of that stupid night every day if he can hear that laugh in return.
Jared prefers not to dwell on why, though. The deep end of that pool is pretty scary, and Jensen is too good at deadpan for Jared to guess things confidently.
"It's been, like, two weeks," Jensen says. "There's still a lot of mileage out of that, you kinky bastard."
"Chicken parmesan isn't that hard. And you can't have it delivered to your room." He might have wanted to impress Jensen a little, too. Maybe. But only because Jensen thought he couldn't cook. It's a pride thing.
"Room service," Jensen says simply, grabbing a beer out of the fridge.
"Room service doesn't count," Jared tells him. "They use fifty dollar cheese and charge you eighty bucks for it."
"Have you ever actually ordered room service?" Jensen asks him. "Because, man, I think you're overpaying."
"Just shut up and hand me the garlic," Jared says.
"Didn't you just put some in?" Jensen asks.
"Not enough," Jared tells him. "This is my momma's recipe, dude. She'll know if I get it wrong."
"You should've just used Ragu or something." Jensen pokes his finger at the hot pan, presumably to try and get more of Jared's super awesome sauce. There's gotta be some way he can make a joke about that.
"My sauce is way better than the fake stuff," Jared says seriously. "And it's cheaper."
Jensen pauses for a moment, a half-horrified look on his face. "Please tell me this isn't a segue into baby talk again."
"It is now," Jared declares. "Did you really yell at your grandma about adopting?"
"Dude, she tried to talk my sister into being a surrogate. For me and the unknown partner I don't have yet," Jensen says.
"She did not."
"She did." Jensen shudders.
"Me and your sister would make some hot babies, man," Jared says.
"And if you had any interest in girls, I would probably knock the crap out of you for that," Jensen says, draining the last of his beer.
"Aw, don't worry, Jennifer. You're the only girl for me," Jared says, reaching out a hand to pinch his cheek.
Jensen swats his hand away and goes to get another beer while Jared starts frying the chicken cutlets.
Jared doesn't know why he bothered to call Sandy. She's completely useless and a lesbian, so it's not like she knows how to date straight guys, much less gay guys. Or bi ones. Or any.
"You're stupid," he tells her.
She laughs at him from the other end of the line somewhere down in LA. "If I'm stupid, and you're calling me for help, what does that make you?"
"Stupid enough that I should put on a helmet and go try out for the Mavs," Jared groans.
"Aren't they basketball?" Sandy asks, confused.
"I am so proud of you right now for knowing that," Jared tells her. She has a knee-jerk reaction against sports that makes Jared sad in his heart sometimes.
"Wait, you don't wear a helmet in basketball," she continues, ignoring him. Jared gets no love out of this friendship. "I'm pretty sure that was not PC of you, Jared."
"No," he says. "It was a football helmet. Because the Mavs are so bad, they don't even know what sport they're playing."
"If you have to explain the joke, it isn't funny," Sandy tells him.
Jared can't help pouting a little. "Jensen would've gotten it."
"Which is why you should tell him you like him," Sandy says, completely unreasonably.
"It's a good thing you don't like guys because you don't know anything about them."
"I've known you for years, Jared," Sandy reminds him. "You cannot possibly think I believe guys, especially you, don't ever talk about their feelings."
She has a point, technically. "But that's now how it works with Jensen. I can't just sit him down and ask him on a date or something."
"Why not?" she asks.
Jared groans into the phone and folds himself over his table, face pressed into the cold wood. "You are no help."
"Call me when you grow balls," she says, hanging up on him. She doesn't sound pissed, but she's probably pretty annoyed at him.
Serves her right. She gives shitty advice and tells him about going down on her girlfriend. She deserves headaches.
"Man the fuck up and get your boy, brother."
Jared doesn't know what is wrong with him that he thought calling Chad would ever be a good idea.
"Hey, assmunch, you still there?"
"I'm not getting him drunk, Chad." The fact that he needs to tell Chad this... well. He's Chad. As much as Jared loves him, there's a reason he and Sophia split, and a heavy lack of any kind of common sense on Chad's part had a lot to do with it.
"Then keep him sober. Who the fuck cares? He wants your sweaty ass all over his sheets, dude." Jared cannot believe Chad made that sound gross. It's gotta be a hidden talent or something. "Suck it up and suck him down."
"Why do I bother calling you?" Jared asks him.
"Because you're a giant fucking pussy who wants to cry about not doing anything like a punk. Ah, fuck! Damn it, dude, you got me blown up!"
"Are you playing a game?" Jared asks incredulously.
"Your life is not that interesting, dude," Chad says. "I need something to keep me awake while you bitch about your shit."
"You're a sucky friend," Jared tells him.
"You want Hoover's ass," Chad responds.
"I hate it when you and Sandy talk to each other," Jared groans.
"Lesbians love me, dude. Yes! Fucking score, bitch! Eat it!" Chad howls into the phone. There's some kind of clattering in the background, and Jared really hopes it's just a thrown controller and not another person.
"It's nice to know where your priorities lie, dude," he tells Chad.
"You just want me to tell you to sit and wait for What's His Fuck to make the first move," Chad says. "I know you wear a lot of pink, but you're a man, dude. Act like one."
There is something seriously wrong with Jared's life when Chad is a voice of reason. "Fuck you."
"Buy me a six-pack, and I'll think about it."
"I'm hanging up now."
"Peace out, cock breath."
Jared doesn't know where his life went wrong.
And it must have, at some point. If there is ever a point in your life where Chad Michael Fucking Murray—as he prefers to be called—is the voice of reason, you should probably check yourself into rehab and reevaluate your life.
And when he agrees with Sandy about something? There's no hope.
All the same, Jared is not going to go tell Jensen he wants to go steady and marry him like Sandy wants him to do, and he's not going to have random sex with him like Chad is cheering for.
There is a middle ground between horny and true love.
Sandy is a girl, and she's the kind that's weirdly stereotypical about wanting everyone to get together and love each other forever and ever, despite her weirdly crunchy, sarcastic exterior. She really only gets sarcastic around him, though, so it maybe shouldn't be as big of a shock as it is.
But Chad is Chad. He's a guy, which helps, but he's also a giant dick with a tiny brain when it comes to anything that isn't sex. Or is more than sex. Or different. Or involves people.
He needs to talk this out. Get all the junk in his brain out into the ether and sort it through. Thinking about it on his own isn't doing anything because he can't do anything but focus on all the horrible things that could happen—like Jensen deciding he doesn't want to go further than their weird little not-really-flirting or only wanting to get laid.
He tried writing it out, and then writing a pro and con list—Sandy is a ridiculous human being, who the hell suggests a damn list to someone having a pretty big crisis?—but he can't untangle his knotted mess of issues and admittedly stupid paranoias.
What Jared really needs is Jensen. Jensen is the person he goes to when he needs an ear and it's two in the morning, or eleven at night, or one in the afternoon. Jensen can defuse him on those days when every single fucking thing is annoying him for no reason—usually with a hug, and Jared knows how weird it is to Jensen, but Jensen does it anyway because he's Jared's best friend.
But Jensen is his best friend. Who he likes as more than a friend, and who might maybe like him as more than a friend, too, but who also might just like him like he likes—liked?—Joanna. A friend who is nice and cool and all, but who you have sex with sometimes and not much else because you don't think it would work or Howard Stern makes fun of you or something.
Okay, so Jared doesn't actually know why Jensen and Joanna stopped the quasi-dating thing they were doing, but that's not the point.
The point is that Jared needs his best friend to talk actual real common sense to him. And pretty much the only person more awkward to have this conversation with would be his mom. Or Jensen's mom. Or his Great Aunt Agnes.
"You know what I realized the other day?" he asks Jensen.
"Man, I told you that smell wasn't normal," Jensen says, stealing Jared's orange. Shows what he knows; Jared doesn't even like oranges. He only gets them for Jensen.
"You are totally my only friend up here," Jared tells him. He didn't realize exactly how much he had secluded himself until he tried to call other, saner friends last night and realized how different a long-distance friend is from an almost live-in one.
"Aw, sweetie, don't worry. Your mom and I have been looking at play groups for you." Jensen laughs, pinching Jared's cheek hard enough to sting. Jared swats at his hand but can't really keep the grin off his face.
"Seriously. I always thought that people who said they only had a few friends were, like, really weird or antisocial or something."
"Most people aren't still friends with people they met in pre-K, dude."
"Todd is awesome and always saved me the best glue sticks, dude. You're just jealous because all your friends ate your paste." Jared offers Jensen a strawberry, and Jensen shakes his head and then immediately steals a strawberry out of Jared's coffee mug.
"It's true. I lived a sad life before I met you and got to keep all my paste," Jensen says solemnly.
"I don't even know exactly what I should say to that," Jared admits.
Jared tries to talk to Todd about it, since he remembers that he exists again.
It's pretty awkward. Todd's an awesome friend, but there's always a really weird element to every conversation when you've known someone since you used to wet your pants on purpose.
In Jared's defense, Jeff told him that gym was where they tied up little kids and pulled them with cars to make them taller. Jared's brother was kind of an ass.
Anyway, it's awkward, and he gives up about ten minutes into it, which is good because Todd's girlfriend is pretty high-maintenance and calls Jared up screeching—her word, when she inevitably apologizes later—about Todd being late and how she's completely sure he's cheating on her and confirming that Jared would tell her if Todd had someone else, right?
Maybe Todd isn't really the best person to have this conversation with after all. Even aside from the general weirdness.
"What is wrong with you?" Jensen asks Jared, letting himself into Jared's room.
Jared pauses his game, not eager to get eaten by nurses before he can find a save point. Or ever, really. "Did you drive over here just to ask me that, man? Because I think a phone would take less time."
"I drove over here to make you come see a movie with me, but I got halfway here, and then my phone rang," Jensen tells him, setting his boots on the counter. Jared still hasn't broken him of that yet. "And now I've been sitting in the parking lot for fifteen minutes because my mom hadn't stopped yelling at me yet."
"Wait, are you yelling at me because your mom called me and I answered? I don't think that's really fair, dude."
"No, I'm yelling at you because you told my mom I treated you like shit!"
"I don't think I actually said that."
"Half an hour of my mom screaming at me for being That Guy says different."
"I wouldn't say that about you, dude," Jared tells him honestly. He's trying to think back over the last conversation he had with Jensen's mom, but he's drawing nothing but blanks. Jensen's death-glaring isn't really helping him, either.
"You had to have said something," Jensen says, exasperated. "I'm pretty sure she didn't just call out of the blue to say I did you wrong."
"Did she actually say that? That you did me wrong?" Jared is gonna kill his whole family, he swears, he really is.
"Are you having a different conversation than I am?" Jensen asks him. He's staring at Jared like he's an idiot. Which, given, is not really far off right now.
"No, I mean those words exactly." This is very important, and Jared needs to make sure he's not wrong before he demolishes his bloodline for no reason.
"Yes," Jensen says. He still clearly has no idea what's going on, but it probably doesn't take an idiot to realize Jared might know.
Jared doesn't know how to answer. There are a lot of ways this could end in bloodshed. "I think my momma called your mom," Jared finally says.
Jensen is quiet for a moment, and he has this look on his face. He looks absolutely devastated, and Jared hopes it's a fake-out because otherwise he probably deserves the scummy feeling he's got in the pit of his stomach right now. "You told your mom I treated you bad?"
There are about a million things Jensen could have focused on. So, clearly, he picks the one that has the most convoluted, annoying, frustrating explanation. Jeff fucking said giving Jensen a keycard was a bad idea. Why doesn't Jared ever listen to his brother?
"I—I didn't," Jared stutters. "It's not like it sounds."
"How could it possibly be any other way?" Jensen asks him. He looks so fucking betrayed.
"I wasn't, I told, I was talking to Jeff and I was just venting, you know?" Jared says, getting up from the couch. "Ranting because I had to get shit off my chest, and Meggy was listening in because she's gotta stick her nose into everyone's business and Jeff was home for the weekend, and then she went and blabbed to Momma because that's what she does. I swear, Jensen, I never badmouthed you to my momma, I wouldn't."
"But you badmouthed me to your big brother," Jensen says. He's standing stock still, but his face hasn't changed, is still just as open and hurt as it was. Just as unhidden as it always is with Jared.
"I didn't," Jared tells him. "I didn't. I was just ranting. It wasn't even about you, it was about me, and you just came up because that's what you do. You're Jensen, you know?" He knows Jensen will get it, even if he won't get it completely. It's them against the world up here, and there's a reason their mommas know that they can call either one of them to get a hold of the other.
"Did I do something wrong?" Jensen asks him. "I mean, I know I've had kind of a short fuse lately, but you know you can talk to me, right? About anything?"
Jared almost laughs. He stops himself because he's not an idiot, but he almost does it. "You're my best friend, man, you know that. But I can't talk to you about everything, okay? I can't if it's about you. You get it?"
Jensen snags the edge of Jared's shirt. He doesn't even realize he's been backing away, not until Jensen tugs again and Jared shuffles closer. Tiny, small steps. Still trying to keep some kind of a safe distance. Neutral, or something like it.
"You can talk to me," Jensen tells him, whispering and leaning close until their foreheads touch.
It's Jared's move now. His heart is beating hard with a mixture of excitement and mindless terror, and every fiber of his body is screaming at him to make a joke or break away or do something. His hand finds Jensen's—the one not clutching his shirt—and he slides his fingers between Jensen's—interlocking them and squeezing tightly, just once.
Jensen squeezes back, and even with his eyes crossed and blurring, Jared can make out the edges of his smile.
The knot in his stomach loosens as he nudges forward, pressing a kiss to Jensen's waiting mouth, and vanishes completely when Jensen kisses back.
They're on their way to the hair and makeup trailer for the fifth time today when Jensen elbows him and says, "They're gonna make Sam shave his head soon if you keep doing that," It's possibly true, but Jared can't help it. He touches his hair; it's a thing. He doesn't mean to have to go get it fixed fifty times a day.
"It's not my fault my hair is so awesome I can't stop touching it," Jared says, stomping on Jensen's loose shoelace.
Jensen stumbles and almost takes the handrail off the stairs he's attempting to climb. "Asshole," Jensen says, righting himself. "If by 'awesome' you mean 'greasy and possessed,' sure."
Jared stamps the dirt off his shoes even though the floor is already a giant mess. "You're such a sweet-talker," he coos, reaching over to pinch Jensen's cheek. If he happens to pinch it just a little too hard, that's Jensen's fault for squirming.
Jensen smacks his hand away, and Jared does a victory dance on the inside at the glimpse of Jensen's mottled red cheek.
"Are you trying to actually pull my face off?" Jensen asks, rubbing at it.
"Big baby," Jared scoffs. "Here, I'll kiss it better," he says, planting a big, sloppy kiss on the side of Jensen's face.
"Gee, thanks, Mom," Jensen says, shoving Jared towards Jeannie. She welcomes him with open hands and an evil glint in her eye. Jared is man enough to admit he's a little scared of her.
"You know, dude, if you're gonna keep calling me 'mom,' this is gonna be a really weird relationship," Jared says. It's funny how little that word scares him now, even knowing all it entails.
Jensen spits a gummi bear at him from the makeup chair and grins.
Jared grins back.