|Modern Hoodoo Appendix: All Souls’ Night
Author: Guede Mazaka
“So when they said ‘London,’ was the first thing you thought about—”
“Shut up, Jared,” Jensen hissed, swinging into the first bathroom stall. He latched the door, then sat down on the toilet and jammed the door with his foot, just for good measure. Yeah, he could still hear the dumbass laughing at him, but it was the principle of privacy that the door symbolized. Or something. Whatever. Jensen had a call to make.
Still laughing, Jared wandered deeper into the bathroom. If he needed to take a piss, hopefully he wasn’t going to be too—someone was picking up.
*Was?* mumbled a sleepy voice.
“Oh, damn, time zones. Sorry.” Jensen’s nervous energy instantly crashed and burned away to pure embarrassment that was so strong, he really felt like he needed to get it out of himself before it burst something. Like, by introducing his forehead to a blunt object, but that would be loud and probably wake up Michael even more. “I’ll call back—”
*No. You hang up and I’ll stay awake wondering what you’re calling me back for.* Michael was kind of grumpy when it was…shit, five in the morning. *What is it?*
The sudden intrusion of a flushing toilet made Jensen jump. Given the way he was all curled up, this resulted in much banging of knees and elbows and slamming of somewhat-bruised asses on hard porcelain. All right, the universe did not like him messing with Michael’s sleep—got it. “Well…there was an accident with the special effects.”
*Was? Sind Sie—damn it, I mean—*
“No, no, I’m fine, Jared’s fine, we’re all fine—um, Alles im grünen Bereich.” Totally butchering the German, but maybe it’d get through to Michael’s sleepy brain. The next moment of downtime they had, Jensen had to remember to poke Jared about converting more of those language lessons into mp3s for him. “The worst anybody got was a blistered finger. But the thing is, they say it’s going to take a week to fix, so they’re giving us a break from filming. Sort of. We’re gonna go back to L. A. for some studio scenes, and then we’re going to England for a quick promo deal.”
And then Jensen needed to take a big-ass, wheezing breath there, because he’d completely been babbling like an excited chick. Jesus, it wasn’t like he hadn’t been talking to Michael a couple times a week in the meantime, and he wasn’t really that desperate to get laid. Just last night, he so could’ve gotten some company to come home with him if he’d been in the mood, but he hadn’t and okay, maybe he hadn’t been in the mood for a couple weeks despite a pretty vigorous jerking-off schedule in the shower, and he needed to stop before he accidentally blurted out something humiliating. Michael was being pretty quiet, come to think of it.
*…you’re coming to London?* Michael finally grunted. There was creaking and rustling in the background, and for a moment Jensen’s stomach got weirdly twisted up.
But the noise stopped when Michael stopped talking, and Jensen realized it’d just been the other man sitting up. “Yeah. Two days of work and one and a half free days. Sorry, I really should’ve called later.”
“Christ!” Jared suddenly said, like he was in pain. But then he laughed. “Yeah, get those bags packed, darlin’. Man, you nearly blew off my ear there.”
Calling Sandy, then. And he’d been all in Jensen’s shit? Talk about hypocrites.
Never mind that Sandy was apparently fucking ecstatic, and Jensen was sitting here with practically a dead line. And shit, right, their visit was going to be bookended by away games for Michael, so he was going to be exhausted. “Goddamn it. I’m sorry. It’s the middle of the season for you and you don’t need the distraction,” Jensen muttered.
*I—what I need is for a cup of coffee two minutes ago. No, that’s great. That’s really--* Michael yawned loudly, then made an irritated noise at himself *--will you be in time to catch a match? Never mind, either way you still should come over. When are you coming?*
Jensen reluctantly told him, still not sure if Michael really was just very tired, or if he was being too polite to tell Jensen to fuck off. On the one hand, he’d really…he really wanted to see Michael more than he’d been letting himself admit, apparently. On the other, he did not want to get stuck in some awkward one-sided thing and end up glad they were on opposite sides of the planet, ‘cause then avoiding each other would be a piece of cake. “Look, I don’t wanna impose.”
*I think I’ll be home from Sheffield after you get in. You have my address, yeah? I’ll have somebody let you in,* Michael quickly said, maybe as if he were trying to genuinely reassure. Then he laughed beneath his breath and it was all pure affection reaching down the line to make Jensen smile a little. *That way we won’t have the problem of when I was in L. A.? If I’m too tired right then, at least I know where you are in the morning?*
Jensen blinked. Then he flushed and put his feet flat on the floor so he could rest his elbows on his knees. He could still hear Jared chatting away in the background, like there weren’t other places around here the guy could have a private call. Like, there was the…um…there had to be somewhere else. “Aren’t you getting a little ahead of yourself there? They are booking us hotel rooms and making us work there, since we can’t here.”
*Am I?* Michael sounded deadly serious, which definitely hadn’t been what Jensen had been aiming for, damn it. Then he swore a bit beneath his breath; something about it being too early and then the rest was beyond Jensen’s still miniscule German. *I’m sorry, but I can’t be light right now. I miss you. If you’re in town, I want to see you while I can, or else I don’t want to know you’re there at all. It’s insane enough on normal days.*
“Fuck.” Whoa. God, Michael was always making Jensen look like a chickenshit, saying the things Jensen was still tiptoeing around in his head. And whoa, because Michael’s deep voice, raspy with the early hour and pulsing with emotion, was really getting to Jensen. “Fuck, no, I really want to see you. I was kidding—my jokes are shitty, you know that. I already told them I’m gonna visit friends and they said fine, long as I do it off-hours. And we do get those.”
A long, low, relieved sigh came over the line; Jensen could practically see Michael chewing on his lip. He always was doing that, flipping them in to suck on them and making it fucking impossible for Jensen to watch a game without Jared telling him to throw a jacket over his lap. *Good. Because you already woke me up today.*
“I did say I was sorry, didn’t I?” Jensen shifted his feet a little. He wasn’t exactly embarrassing himself yet, Jared still talking away outside serving as a caution, but maybe he was thinking about it. He scratched at his knee. “Right when we get there’s not too bad, so I can get over to your place, but I’ll probably just fall asleep right inside the door.”
*Maybe I should wake you up, just to put us even,* Michael thoughtfully said. He let out a liquid, seductive little chuckle that made Jensen move around some more. *You were really happy to hear? Usually you check the time difference first.*
Okay, thinking was progressing to Jensen adjusting himself through his jeans. He’d already changed, thank God for one less opportunity to be the set laughingstock, but they’d gotten shrunken by that crappy-ass washing machine at the last place. “Yeah, well…I was looking forward to it.”
*London? Me? Me fucking you?* Michael murmured. Wow, he was…he was in an interesting mood. Not that they’d pretended the hot crazy sex had never happened, but when they were on the phone, they generally chatted and needled each other in a relaxed, friendly, non-taunting-over-what-they-weren’t-getting kind of way.
Like a mutual agreement to keep each other sane, and right now, Jensen’s hand had gone from trying to keep his dick from getting rubbed raw on an inseam to pushing and rolling it. Getting it all worked up against the rough weave of his jeans, and this technically was a public bathroom even if they had temporarily rented the place and fuck, this wasn’t sane. “Shouldn’t you be going back to sleep now?”
*I’m up in a bloody hour and a half anyway.* British swear-words in Michael’s accent were cute. Cute, not so fucking sexy that Jensen desperately wished he could lean over and taste it. *And now you have me thinking about what to do when you get here. What, are there other people there? Would they notice something funny?*
Oh, Michael sounded so damn innocent. Jensen strained his ears for Jared, but he was also trying to control his breathing at the same time because it was getting pretty goddamn loud and uneven. He ground his hand into his crotch, hoping the pressure would make his dick go down, but instead it had the opposite effect. “Uh…shit, I’m not sure.”
*Well, you’re an actor, right? So you could look like you’re just talking to them while I’m telling you that I want to fuck you as soon as possible. I want to see what you look like on my floor. I miss having you and I like talking to you, but sometimes I’m not really listening because I’m thinking about the other things you can do with your tongue.*
“Fuck. Fuck,” Jensen hissed, squirming. His prick was so getting into it, and the heel of his hand was just egging it along, pushing and grinding till finally he couldn’t stand it, he had to yank open his fly before the need shaking his limbs got too out of control. Um, exactly: he was grabbing his cock so he didn’t start thrashing about so Jared, if he was still around, thought he was possessed by some—some perverted nympho ghost. Maybe Michael was possessed, because God, he never had even sounded—“Fuck, Michael, Michael--”
Michael sucked in his breath so sharply his lips should’ve been bleeding. *Are you holding yourself? Are you thinking it’s my hand? Because it’s crazy, what I end up thinking about in the showers now. You and—*
Jensen felt dizzy, like his head was spinning off into the stratosphere. He shoved it between his knees, vaguely remembering his first aid, but it only got worse. His dick ached and burned in his hand till it seemed like it had to be on the verge of exploding, no matter how fast he jerked off. The cracked corner of one of the floor tiles did blow up to take over Jensen’s whole field of vision. He had no idea how he was still holding the cell to his ear, and when he tried to talk, the words were so thick and ungainly he stuttered on them. “Mic—Micha—Jesus—”
And then someone knocked on the stall door. “Jensen?” Jared called. “You okay?”
*--Scheiβe, I miss your—dein—Arsch—*
“I’m—” Jensen gasped, jerking up. And oh, fuck, he lost his balance and his feet shot out, his sneaker treads screeching across the tile and his knee banged the toilet paper dispenser but fuck, fuck, fuck he was coming so hard and it was splashing into the toilet, making the water splatter up into his face. “Oh, God.”
*Mein Gott,* Michael hissed, so Jensen didn’t feel totally left out. Except of course Michael was at home and Jensen was in a fucking bathroom stall with this dumbfounded silence starting to leak in from the outside. *I…Ich bin völlig fertig. Er. I’m…that was…not really me…”
Jensen distantly registered an odd note in the way Michael said that, but he was a little busy trying to keep from falling into the toilet. He slowly let go of his dick and reached over for some toilet paper, but his hand was trembling so badly he ended up jerking the roll so it spat out a whole shitload. “Shit. Um, so I think maybe I’ll call later and we can…finalize plans.”
“Oh, my God,” Jared suddenly said. “You—you didn’t just—oh, my God. Jensen! Jensen, this is a fucking—oh, my God. Just—nobody’s out there, doesn’t look like anyone was around but oh, my God, get out of there! Get out of there now!”
*Is that Jared?* Michael asked in a faint voice. *All right. If you can, call around lunch. Or email—I’ll remind myself to check when I’m home.*
That was a fucking brilliant idea, actually. Calling again…seemed like a really good idea, but in the same way that death by chocolate seemed like a great idea to moody girls. “I’ll email. See you—talk to you—whatever. Bye.”
Jesus. This definitely was going to be one of the more interesting promo tours.
* * *
By the time the stall door swung open, Jared was about to go bugshit, and frankly, he thought he had every right to. He’d just—he hadn’t known what he was hearing till a moment ago, but he did now and holy God, he so would’ve taken his call outside if Jensen had just given him a goddamn warning. Like, just a little, “Hey, man, having a moment with Michael, so please leave,” would’ve been good, but no.
*Jared?* Sandy worriedly chirped in his ear. Oh, thank you, hot girlfriend. Back down to earth now. Sandy’s boobs, Sandy’s boobs, Sandy’s boobs. *Jared, what’s going on? Why were you screaming?*
The door was hung so it went inwards. First a hand shot out and touched the side of the stall, fumbling around for a grip. Then a leg…jeans…thank God, they were up and belted and zipped and everything that kept Jared out of the TMI-zone…and then the rest of Jensen. The other man kind of hung there in the doorway, glazed-eyed and breathing hard and clutching his cell-phone like it was his last life-line. Saying he looked trashed would be putting it lightly.
Jensen blinked a couple times before finally locating Jared in the…meat-locker-sized bathroom. “Dude,” he said, and then needed a breath. “Michael thinks it’s a great idea.”
Then he staggered the rest of the way out. He swayed for a second before seeming to get the hang of gravity and walking out. Kind of. He was tilting a lot.
Jared stared after him. “Uh, need to go. Michael just…screwed Jensen over the phone, or something—” had he really just said that? “—and now Jensen looks like he’s gonna fall over—”
*Like, in a good way or a bad way? ‘cause if it’s in a good way, then wow, that’s way more kinky than I’ve been giving Jensen credit for. Hey, maybe this means that Michael might not mind me, I mean us, watching him and—*
“I’ll…update you…later. Need to go support the costar, talk to you soon, bye,” Jared said really fast, then hung up. She was going to be annoyed, but hey, he’d just told her they were going to London so she couldn’t stay mad. He hoped. Anyhow, he figured preserve sanity first, get down and beg on his knees for Sandy’s forgiveness later. She always got a really smoky, lustful look in her eye when he did that, anyway.
* * *
Michael flopped back on the bed and stared at the ceiling. He needed to get up and shower before the wet streaks on his hand and belly dried to itchy crusts, and he needed to change the sheets too. But right now, at this moment, he needed to think, and very hard.
What the hell had just gotten into him? What had he just done?
He groaned and almost put his sticky hand over his face before he remembered. Well, the answer to the second question was easy: he’d just talked Jensen into climaxing. Over the phone. Thousands and thousands of miles away, and he’d promised himself that he wasn’t going to push this one any faster than it was going by itself. He’d promised that he wouldn’t let himself get in too deep so it blinkered him to what was really going on around him, so that he wouldn’t be surprised and utterly devastated when outside pressures that he’d been ignoring made it fall apart. And then he went and he did…that.
He tried to be laidback, to not get so intense about things so that he couldn’t get up again after a setback and keep going. He really did, and it was working to some degree since he got criticized in the press about being too easy-going. But then he’d lose hold of himself and he’d be reminded that he wasn’t quite as he seemed yet.
After another moment, he decided the ceiling held no insights for him and got up and went into the bathroom. The coolness of the water felt good against his still-feverish skin so he ended up dunking his head beneath the faucet as well. “Idiot,” he muttered.
The water soothingly murmured back. Michael rubbed off the excess damp from his head—a lot easier with short hair—then dried his hands on a towel. He had a new team to get used to, games coming up to concentrate on, a thousand other things…and he was going to think about those. He’d think about them, and when Jensen called or emailed or whatever, they’d be back on the same nice, casually friendly page. It’d be easy; Jensen was an easy person to talk to and even without sex, he was a great person to know.
It was just that the sex kept Michael up at night and got to him when he was showering down, or when he was out for a night off with the others and saw a lean blond slipping through the crowd or admired the sway of a woman’s back. After three months, it was getting to his nerves to the point where he could almost understand why people would blame a spate of poor playing on a player’s girlfriend, like they’d done to Ronaldinho after the WC. Except he wasn’t having sex, and that was the problem.
Michael had a feeling Jensen wouldn’t crucify him over a few one-night-stands; not with the way the other man talked about how he dealt with working away from his family, with trying to keep up old long-distance relationships. But it wasn’t always just the physical part of the whole thing, which was why Michael would’ve preferred to at least get a verbal okay from the other man. Of course, he never managed to figure out a way to bring it up, which meant he laughed on the phone with Jensen and then right afterwards needed to lock himself in a closet to bring himself off. And hadn’t quite made it to a closet this time.
Fuck. Well, Jensen would be in town in a few weeks—something stirred low in Michael’s belly, making him flap his shirt to blow off the heat—and then they could do something about it. If Jensen hadn’t been completely scared off. Had he?
Maybe he liked that kind of thing?
God, not now. The edge was off; it should stay off and not be needling back at Michael again. Not when he had training. Training. Right. And he needed to check the schedules again, and plan things, and…okay. He was probably fine now.
* * *
The flight to London was horrendously long and tiring, even if all they were doing was sitting around, and the only mercy was that Sandy hadn’t been able to figure out a way to intersect their flights, so she was going to show up later. So at least Jensen was spared the agony of sitting next to those two lovebirds while they did their kissing and snuggling and discussing of freaky-ass Freudian sex shit. Sandy, Jensen was beginning to understand, had a whole lot of scary pervertedness stuffed into her small body.
On second thought, Jensen wondered if maybe the flight would’ve been better with her and not Jared. Jesus Christ, ever since that whole incident in the bathroom, Jared had been downright anal about tracking Jensen around everywhere. Not hanging out with, not trailing--tracking. It was like Jensen had gotten his very own on-set stalker. And Jared was always complaining about Jensen not giving him any warning…well, if he didn’t knock it off, then it wasn’t gonna be Jensen’s fault any more for what Jared walked in on.
“Just, like, not in public, man,” Jared said.
Okay, that whole thing had been a bit of a slip and really stupid—if really fucking good—in retrospect, but Jensen knew that. He wasn’t stupid. He was, in fact, capable of learning from past errors. “I know, Jared. God, it wasn’t like I did it in front of the whole crew. I knew you were the only one in there, and anyway, you got so quiet that I thought you’d walked out.”
“But what if somebody had walked in? With you being so—so busy and all, would you really have noticed? It’s not like you could’ve stopped. Right?” Jared was doing the hunch-shoulders-hike-up-knees thing, trying to disappear behind his itty-bitty inflight magazine. He wasn’t even managing to hide his blush.
Which was weird, kind of. “Look, it wasn’t all me. It was kind of—anyway, it was a one-time, never ever gonna happen again deal, okay? And why are you so interested, anyway? Usually you’re telling me to shut up the moment I even sound like I’m heading that way.”
“I just have a healthy concern for you and your career. You know, since we’re friends and costars and everything,” Jared mumbled. The red had overtaken his ears and now was way down beneath his collar.
Jensen thought about it for a moment. Like, for the second it took him to remember Sandy’s manic grin as she dragged him across L. A. to Michael’s hotel room. “What’s the girlfriend been telling you, Jared?”
“What? When did Sandy come into this?” Oh, that was so not convincing. And after a second, Jared realized it too because he just gave up on the magazine and stuffed it into the seat-pocket. Good thing, since by the looks of it, Sudoku had been kicking his geeky butt. “Okay, okay, she kinda might’ve maybe mentioned that she thinks twoguysarehotandshewantedmetofuckyoui’mgonnadienow.”
That…that was totally incomprehensible. Jared’s voice had started out low and muffled and had just kept on getting softer and more blurry with his obvious embarrassment till Jensen just really needed to run that by his brain a couple more times. He sat back and picked at it; Jared thunked his head a few times against the wall before the minor execs behind them hissed at him to stop it, please, they were trying to get in some sleep. A stewardess came by to offer them beer, OJ, possibly a good make-out session or so in the kitchen area according to the way she glanced at their crotches. Jensen opted for the beer, while Jared got water.
Then Jensen got it, and barely salvaged his mouthful of beer from being sputtered all over the wall. Beside him, Jared sank halfway down the seat and covered his face with his hands.
Holy fucking God, did Sandy know? Had she guessed—wait, no, if she had, she definitely would’ve brought it up with him and not just Jared. Okay. Okay. It was okay. Sandy was just a twisted little California hottie…and Jensen definitely needed to get to know her much better, if only for the sake of self-defense. “Right. And you said—”
“Michael Ballack,” Jared muttered, dropping his voice way low. “And she said maybe he wouldn’t mind if he got to watch? And I said hell no, this conversation didn’t happen, okay, honey? Let’s try something else. And then…well, that’s confidential information.”
Not with the way the other man grinned to himself, it wasn’t. Jensen held in a sigh and went back to reading his sports magazine.
“So…what’s up with Michael?” Jared asked a second later, wedging himself back up.
Aw, hell, he’d reminded Jensen. And just for that, he’d earned himself a death-glare. “You sure it’s all Sandy talking, and not just you hiding behind her asking for a little educating?”
“Okay, okay, also confidential info. Geez, man, you don’t have to go all Wyatt Earp on me.” Still grousing to himself, Jared dug out his magazine again and started poking at the puzzle again. It didn’t look like the Sudoku was surrendering any ground, but it distracted him plenty.
Which was good, because Jensen was brooding and he didn’t need any wisecracking commentary interrupting him. Normally he hated being a moody, pensive lame-ass wimp, but he was stuck on a goddamned plane with only two magazines, both long since memorized, and something about that phone call was still bugging him.
Michael had been really…that’d been really different from how their calls usually went—before and after the Weird One. Like, most of the time Jensen alternated between really pleased they were still so friendly and wondering if they’d drifted from possible continuing hook-up to old fling. Yeah, Michael occasionally said he wished he could show Jensen something, or how Jensen really should’ve been in the stands to see how this one play really went down, but he hadn’t even hinted that he missed…well…shit, fucking the hell out of Jensen.
‘cause honestly, Jensen had been missing that too, but he hadn’t brought it up because Michael had seemed fine with how things were. It was a good thing that by the end of a day’s filming, Jensen generally had been bashed around, thrown in the mud, and tossed into walls so many times that all he wanted to do was crawl into his trailer and crash. Maybe jerk himself off once in the shower first. Otherwise the fact that for three months he’d been effectively taking himself off the market might’ve really gotten to him. Like, he might’ve started thinking about what that could mean or seem to mean, and worked himself into a knot over all that crap weeks ago instead of realizing it all just now and holy fucking shit, was that it? Was Michael having some kind of possessive whiplash? Did they have to talk about that now? Was he going to get all crazy and start accusing Jensen of hiding shit like Sandy had been doing to Jared?
“Dude.” Jared was staring at Jensen funny over the top of his magazine. “Are you freaking out?”
“Why would you think that?” Jensen wasn’t freaking out. He was calmly sitting here.
“Well, the bugged-out eyes, the death-grip on the arm-rest…” After a quick look-around, Jared leaned forward. “Is it like, a thing you’re seeing?”
Okay, Jensen wasn’t being that obvious. Then he frowned and grabbed Jared by the arm, dragging him down. “Jesus Christ, can we not talk about that in public?”
“We were talking about Michael a second ago, so I thought that you thought that this was safe,” Jared snapped. Though at least he’d lowered his voice some more.
“No, you started bitching to me about it again, and I tried to make you shut up because Jesus, somebody overhearing you could be just as bad as—as—you know.” Jensen sank down into his seat and prayed really hard that Jared just would leave it alone. He didn’t feel like talking about it. He didn’t even feel like thinking about it, but he was stuck on this goddamn plane and he didn’t have enough to distract himself with.
Jared…was silent. Silent and sulky and all lower lip as he pulled away to slouch with his puzzle, and God, Jensen didn’t need that kind of distraction right now. His crush was dead, dammit, and he’d known the guy for over a year now, so could he please accept the fact that Jared was gorgeous and get over it? Like, now?
Jesus Christ, was Jensen in trouble.
* * *
Michael got home very, very late. Much later than he’d predicted, and also he was extremely tired because he’d been making an effort over the past few days to wear himself out so he fell asleep the moment he hit the bed. In fact, he really didn’t remember why coming home today was such a big deal till he walked past his kitchen and the light was on. He stopped, dropped his bags and walked back, picking up a golf club along the way.
The moment he walked in, Jensen jumped back. “Hey! No, it’s me—I just was hungry and the time difference is getting to me—”
“Huh? Oh,” Michael snorted, grimacing to himself. He put the golf club down on the counter, then rubbed at his eyes. Now he was starting to remember. His English was coming back as well, but in fits and starts, and only half of them of any use in this situation. “I’m…sorry. I’m tired—I forgot I told you.”
“Yeah, it’s okay. Kinda seems like our thing—you know, the whole late-night run-in deal.” Jensen laughed. It died a quick death as he poked at a half-eaten sandwich on the counter. He shuffled around, barefoot in dress trousers and an untucked blue dress shirt. “Dude, go to bed. You look like you need it—did you have any bags or whatever? I can take those up.”
Some of Michael’s manners were returning, too. He shook his head and took a step—felt more like he was lurching into motion—towards the fridge. His throat was dry from the bus ride home. “No, it’s all right. How was your flight?”
“Okay. I only wanted to kill Jared about a half-dozen times. Swear to God, the boy can’t sit still…” Jensen snickered again, just as nervously as before. He was looking Michael straight in the eye, but that seemed to be more a matter of pride than anything else. “Honestly, I’m about to collapse right here. I’m not going anywhere, if y’know…you were thinking about that.”
Michael got himself a glass of water as his mind promptly did begin thinking about that, and suddenly several days’ hard work went completely down the drain. He drank the water, put the glass in the sink, and then turned around to find himself almost run right up against Jensen.
The other man frowned and peered up at a slight angle. “Dude, are you okay?”
“You’ve got…” Michael lifted his hand and flicked at a dark smudge by Jensen’s mouth. It didn’t come off, so he put his hand on Jensen’s jaw and rubbed at it with the pad of his thumb.
Jensen’s pupils widened, then snapped tight to pinpricks, the green around them going very bright. He stared straight at Michael as he almost convulsively jerked his head around to catch Michael’s thumb in his mouth. His tongue dragged over the callus so Michael inhaled sharply, then did a teasing flick around the knuckle. Then he leaned back and thoughtfully rolled his tongue into a bulge in his right cheek. “Hmmm. Must’ve been the chocolate.”
Michael grabbed Jensen’s arms and yanked him forward even as he was crowding the other man into the counter, slamming their mouths together. He was all teeth, he knew, and he meant it, straining his mouth so he could dig into the flesh around Jensen’s muffled moan, then licking sloppily over the little red marks while Jensen’s nails gouged at his shoulderblades. He squeezed Jensen’s arms, then moved down and kneaded his hands into the dip of Jensen’s waist; the other man hissed and sucked Michael’s tongue into his mouth, wet hot suction bobbing up and down like—like—Michael ripped at Jensen’s trousers.
“Fuck, maybe the living room, then,” Jensen gasped, arching free of Michael’s mouth. He grabbed the back of Michael’s neck and yanked down.
So Michael dropped to his knees just as the fabric began to slide off Jensen’s hips, dark coarse stuff unsheathing beautiful smooth pale skin. He happened to glance up to see Jensen looking completely stunned—hadn’t he meant that?—before he wriggled the flat of his tongue along the line between white and sunkissed skin. Jensen’s head fell back and he scrabbled for handholds on the counter, groaning to the ceiling.
His legs spread before Michael even pushed at his knees and his prick dropped out of his falling trousers to hang flushing before Michael; it rose just enough as Michael leaned forward for him to not to have to get up, but he did anyway so he could dig his fingers into Jensen’s thighs, feel where the hipbones started and hear Jensen curse.
“Oh, fuck, please, yes, fuck—”
Michael nearly had it all on the first try, old skills not so rusty as he thought, and when he felt himself gagging, he sat there and swallowed on what he did have, feeling Jensen shake against the roof of his mouth and sides of his cheeks. Then he tried again, and then he had it and something glanced off the side of his head, leaving hot lines scored over his skull.
“—Jesus, why the hell’d you cut it—fuck--never mind, move, please move, oh, shit—”
The cock in his mouth pulsed and he traced his tongue around it till he found the source in a vein running along it. He teased it a little and Jensen’s knees buckled so he had to yank his hands down to them and push back, and then he took his rhythm from the pulse and mercilessly followed it, even when it sped up till his swallows felt like fire, the spit was going down so quick, and he was barely able to breathe in between. His vision started to go black and he ignored it, concentrating everything on the hot flesh in his mouth till he felt that sharp jerk that rose from deep inside the other man, and then Michael’s throat had plenty to wet it. He took all of it, neatly saving every drop, and then he eased back.
Jensen let out an odd, squeaking gasp and bonelessly fell to the ground, legs and arms sprawling. He winced as his head knocked up against a cabinet handle, but then leaned back on that very handle to stare slack-mouthed and dizzy at Michael. “Christ. Hi.”
“Hi.” Michael’s prick insistently asked for his attention; the training pants were loose, but that just gave it extra room to bump against his thigh and get itself irritated against the fabric. He pulled at them as he crawled over and kissed Jensen again, then ducked down to run his tongue along the other man’s collarbone.
“Um. I just—I just meant—no neck. Sorry, you seem to—shit—like that part of me, but—photos,” Jensen mumbled. His hands grazed Michael’s sides a few times before they shakily got to Michael’s shoulders. He threw out a leg and caught some of the loose cloth of Michael’s trousers with his heel, helping to drag them off. “My ass hurts now. Jerk.”
In the spirit of helping, Michael slid his hands beneath Jensen. Only somehow that made Jensen fall over sideways, and then he started squirming and rubbing his knee up against Michael’s prick. “Were you complaining?”
“Hell, no—ow! Fuck! Why are you always grabbing my ass?” Jensen somehow managed to throw a glower and get a hand down to press Michael’s cock up against the side of his thigh at the same time. He ran his thumb around the tip so Michael was forced to bite his chest. “Ow…um, that’s bet—that’s—okay, you like my ass. You really like it. Okay.”
It was really nice, and it felt amazing cradled in Michael’s palms. He spat out his mouthful of Jensen’s shirt and mumbled something that probably wasn’t English into Jensen’s nipple. Which Jensen didn’t object to. He wasn’t really trying to get his ass out of Michael’s hands, either. “It’s a…um…Spitzenarsch…fuck, what’s the English?”
“Ooooh, shiiiit…I was tired. I was tired--fucking long flight…” Jensen moaned. His hand haphazardly jerked at Michael’s cock, then abruptly pulled upward so Michael was forced to let go of the nice ass and wriggle up till…oh, Jensen was getting hard again. And he was annoyed about this? That wasn’t like him. “God…you…geile Sau…Hund?…how the fuck did it go…God…so me, your floor…look good?”
He whimpered and arched and suddenly his hand was working over Michael in a frenzy, in a blitz of friction and heat that caught Michael off-guard and had him swearing and spasming against Jensen, his come turning the clothes still between them into a sticky mess, before he really knew it. And then Jensen was still hard, and clutching at Michael, and God, Michael was tired too but he couldn’t seem to turn this down. “Fuck, yes…Scheiβe…drei Monate…”
Jensen went stiff, and not entirely in a good way. “Three…months?…oh, fuck, please…”
And he shoved up so his prick rolled along Michael’s belly, and Michael knew better, he knew better, but this was so good and he’d wanted it so badly and God, he pretended he hadn’t heard the first part. He shoved his face into Jensen’s shoulder and stretched against the other man till they were both groaning and Jensen couldn’t talk.
* * *
Jared was awake, and thinking about getting up but fully ready and able to let the actual action wait for another ten minutes—especially since getting would involve moving Sandy off of him—when the phone rang. Sandy groaned and dug her nails into his chest like an annoyed cat. But with great cleavage.
The phone rang again. “It’s Jensen,” Sandy mumbled.
“It’s probably the wake-up call,” Jared mumbled back, stretching…stretching…and score for long arms. He managed to reach the phone without having to move anything else.
“It’s your cell. It’s Jensen,” Sandy insisted. And again with the nails. “Answer it already.”
She was…she was kind of hurting him now, but she was right; Jared twitched his hand left two inches and snagged his cell. He flipped it open, the ringing stopped, and Sandy retracted her nails and started nuzzling where they’d been. Right, that was why he didn’t yell at her for that. “Yo.”
*Jared?* Jensen said. He yawned. *It’s me.* Yawn, slight slurring. *Hey, listen, I can’t walk.*
“Okay…” Well, Jensen sounded too sleepy for that to be a serious medical emergency. And anyway, while Jared had been getting Sandy from the airport, Jensen had been hopping it over to Michael’s…so that all made perfect sense and he was just gonna not think about it before Sandy picked up on it. “You need me to come get you?”
Jensen yawned for a third time. Jesus, he hadn’t looked real up to it the last time Jared had seen him; he’d been bitching about jet-lag and wanting a nice bed already. Uh. Strike that last thought. *Yeah.*
“Okay, but I can’t really carry you around the whole day,” Jared said. He luxuriated in one last comfy second, then sighed and hitched himself up into a sitting position. He had his hand out to catch Sandy when she rolled in order to ease her down onto the bed. She hummed and wriggled her fine butt beneath the sheets and dammit, Jensen.
*Yeah, I know. You couldn’t anyway, ‘cause Michael might just fuck me to death then.* And clearly Jensen needed his damn coffee and damn fast, because if he was talking like that to Jared, then he might open up to like, the mail-carrier or the…wait. Something in there was wrong, and not just in a shut-up-my-ears-are-still-virgin kind of way. *Shit, Jared. He’s like…he was so fucking wound up. And I was too, and I didn’t even know…should I have?*
God, Jared was so not having this conversation, and…and okay, Sandy was cuddling up to him. That was good. That was good because he could hold her and she was his hot girlfriend and that was at least one constant in his life. “Um. Well. You’ve been kind of tense.”
Groan. *Great. Like how?*
Did they have to discuss this now? “Like…you threw a temper tantrum when the VCR broke in the middle of taping that one Chelsea game. And you don’t really let me talk when he’s on-screen. And you don’t flirt with the crew girls anymore, except in this really airheaded way. They’re kind of worried about you.”
*Fuck.* Click as Jensen hung up.
Jared slowly took the phone from his ear and looked at it. Honestly, he was kind of hoping Jensen would call back and scream ‘Sucker!’ but two minutes passed and no call, so…apparently that was all real. Oh, man…so much for that ‘it’s just ‘cause I’m on vacation’ bullshit.
“Wow, that didn’t sound good,” Sandy said.
“Yeah…what?” Jared yelped, jerking around to look at her. “Sandy, that was—okay, I know we’ve got an agreement to share—” God, that had been such a bad fight “—but that was Jensen’s shit. That’s not covered.”
Sandy blinked very innocently at him. He didn’t buy it. After a moment, she sighed and ran her hands through her hair so her amazing, traffic-stopping boobs rose into view, and that was just Not Fair. “I know, I know…but I was right here, and I was sleepy so I didn’t know what I was really hearing at first. And you didn’t tell me to leave—anyway, I did hear, and since I do consider Jensen a friend too, I’ll make up for it. I’m gonna help him out.”
“This isn’t covered by the agreement about magic, either. Look, after we figured out Jensen probably can’t get that thing where he sees ghosts reversed, I promised him no spells on him without his knowledge. He’d been screwed enough there.” And Jared wasn’t budging on that. Not even if it meant no sex with Sandy, and God, please please don’t let it come to that ‘cause he really didn’t want to end up hating Jensen.
“God, no! Of course not! No, that’s totally not what I meant, Jared. God, I’d be really sad if I had to resort to that,” Sandy sniffed. She huffily wrapped a sheet around those wonderful breasts and waltzed into the bathroom with only one slight trip along the way.
Jared…wondered if he needed to call Jensen and warn him. Then he remembered he was going to see the guy in a few minutes anyway and decided he’d just do it then. And maybe Jensen would’ve remembered the whole no-explicit-details-around-Jared thing by then.
* * *
Jensen sort of poured himself into the backseat. His exposed parts all looked okay except for a couple spots on his face, but they could be chalked up to shaving accidents…and then he sat down, hissed and re-sat himself and his shirt flopped open. Because he’d lost more than a couple buttons.
Sandy and Jared just stared for a moment. Then Sandy whistled and shook her head. “I hope he fed you breakfast.”
“Fed me, showered me, invited me back for…” Jensen twisted his mouth in a funny, not quite disgusted way “…somebody told him about Devour and he got it. He said popcorn, movie, you guys can come too. Tomorrow.”
“For the popcorn and a mockery part?” Jared couldn’t help himself. Yeah, he had bad horror flick on his résumé too, but he’d seen that movie with Sandy and a two-liter of Coke, and most of that Coke had ended up being snorted out through his nose. And he’d rigged up his wallpaper to look like that Pathway site when Jensen used it, and he’d talked Props into digging up a goblet of blood, and it’d all been damn funny even if Jensen had disagreed.
“Shut up,” Jensen groaned, letting his head fall back on the seat. Then he looked up again at Sandy, who’d made a noise. “Hey, Sandy, no offense, but what are you doing here?”
She made a face at him, clearly hearing the implied brush-off in his voice, and held up her bag. “White Tiger Balm, concealer for your face, change of clothes, something for your…your…you know, if you got ridden a little too hard…”
Jared turned around and sat down and thumped his head against the steering wheel. Jesus Christ—what had he said about keeping Sandy from pulling that kind of crap? What had he said? He’d said…wait a minute.
“Thanks, Padalecki,” Jensen muttered.
“Hey, I actually didn’t say anything this time. You did all the talking.” And they were gonna be late, damn it. And Britain was weird, ‘cause Jared looked what would’ve been the right way, but here it was wrong and he nearly pulled out into a van before he caught himself.
“So you eavesdropped?” Well, now Jensen was bitching at Sandy. Which was not kosher, but Jared was a little busy trying to drive without them dying and anyway, Sandy always seemed to get annoyed when Jared stuck up for her with something like that.
Sandy eeped a little when the car jerked, but then just heaved herself over into the backseat, so she was probably okay. Jared glanced back to check, then went back to trying to remember how to get to their promo-stop. Then he remembered he’d brought directions, and life became marginally less difficult.
“Yeah, but it was kind of an accident. I was dozing when Jared answered the phone, and I didn’t mean to…anyway, I’m sorry if you think that’s an invasion of privacy. Really, blame me, not Jared.” Her voice went all small and apologetic and…yeah, that was the Sniffle of Doom. That was about as devastating on men as Jensen’s charming smile was on women. “But I was worried about you, too. Jared says you’ve been—”
“Jumpy?” Jensen said. His grumpiness was slowly changing to resignation, so Sandy had gotten to him. She had evil skills, so thank God she was Jared’s girlfriend and not his enemy. Most of the time. “Argh. Jesus, what did I say? On the phone?”
Jared winced. Did he really have to repeat all that? “Dude, are you going schizo on us?”
“No, I just—hadn’t—God, I need coffee.” Boy was turning into an addict. Great. “Never mind, I kind of remember…ah, fuck. Sorry about that, man. You didn’t need all that.”
No, Jared hadn’t, but Jensen sounded really depressed and that wasn’t right since he’d clearly gotten laid and then some, so Jared found himself forgiving the guy already. He just made a note to himself for future notice: Jensen would talk about anything before coffee. It might come in useful someday. “No big deal. Just no more bitching about me and Sandy and backseats, okay?”
“Okay.” Which was possibly the surest sign that not all was right in Jensen-land. “Jesus, that’s cold!”
“Just hold still and let me get the rest. It’ll warm up in a minute,” Sandy clucked. “So what’s the matter? Did you two get into a fight?”
Jensen groaned and did something that had Sandy hissing at him for making her hand move, and did he want to lose an eye, then? “Oh, Jesus. Jared--”
“He’s driving. Don’t bother him. And honestly, what’s up? I mean, if only for the sake of making sure nobody accidentally steps in your shit, y’know…” Sandy scolded. She was using a weird kind of stern motherly tone Jared didn’t think he’d ever heard from her before. It was…it was kind of hot, actually. When placed in a different context, and damn, so not the right time for that. “What’s the problem?”
It was quiet for a couple minutes, with only Jensen’s occasional half-curse and the background traffic noise to break up the monotony. Jared was just beginning to think he’d be able to park and completely miss the whole rest of the conversation when argh, Jensen spoke up.
“The—the whole celibacy thing? It’s not working out. Well, not like I knew I was doing that, or that we actually made promises in the first place…I think…but apparently yeah. And yeah, at this rate, we’re gonna kill each other when I come over for New Year’s,” Jensen muttered. His hand clamped down on the side of the front seat as Jared took the last turn, which hadn’t been that bad, thank you. “I think he added the invite for you mostly ‘cause he wanted like, chaperones or something to take care of that. Except that’s not gonna work for long.”
“I…think you mean faithful,” Jared said.
“Whatever. Whatever the hell it is, it’s not working.” Jensen grunted as he levered himself up and got out, heading for a nearby public restroom. He’d swapped shirts and had what looked like a pair of pants under his arm. He was moving really, really slowly, but hell, they were sitting a lot today. Nobody should get too suspicious. Hopefully.
Sandy moved to wrap her arms around the seat and around Jared, clasping her hands over his chest. She clicked her tongue against her teeth. “Wow. That is a problem.”
A tiny, tiny little seed of suspicion plopped into Jared’s mind. “Meaning…”
“They need like, proxies or something. No, listen—Jensen’s complaining about the sex, kind of, so obviously there’s more than that to him and Michael. The sex is just like…this physical urge that needs to be handled a lot more often. But that’s where the whole long-distance deal becomes a problem—”
So Sandy was merrily watering the seed and it was sprouting like the goddamn proverbial beanstalk. “You’re suggesting they get fuck-buddies or something for when they can’t see each other? What makes you think they’re even going to buy that? Did I or did I not tell you about Jensen and the VCR?” Jared sputtered.
She gave him a verbal eye-roll as she pulled back and got out of the car. “Honestly, weren’t you listening to him? I’m like, ninety-percent sure Jensen’s already thought about it. Don’t know if he’s admitting it yet…but he’s probably thought about it. And he’s a practical guy; he doesn’t want to give this up, but he knows he can’t deal with it as is. Besides, that VCR deal wasn’t about sex at all. It’s about maintaining personal connections.”
Jared sat in the car and wondered just when everyone in his immediate life had turned into podpeople. Well, okay, Sandy wasn’t really so much a podperson as shifted way into overdrive, and God. Why couldn’t this be something he could solve with magic?
Somebody knocked on the window: Sandy. With a sigh, Jared got himself out of the car and braced himself for the rest of the day. “But even if they do buy it, who exactly are they going to get? They talk a lot and all, but this is asking for so much trust and blind faith and…and…Jensen?”
Who’d just come out in different pants and at a decidedly faster clip. He was kind of pale. “Guys? When the hell did I agree to do an interview in the fucking Tower of London?”
“Well, you were still kind of hazy over that one phone—oooooh, are you seeing stuff?” Jared suddenly realized. Oh, yeah. Crap.
“Am I. Jesus Christ, of all the fucking stupid job hazards that they don’t tell you about—” Jensen raked his hands through his hair, then jerked them down and out. He karate-chopped the air a few times in frustration. “God, I so don’t. Need. This. Now.”
And Jared really wished he could help, but a quick check of his watch said no. So much for even magic. “Shit. Sorry, but there’s no time to pull anything. We’re already late.”
“Fuck. Fuck. Okay. Okay, I’m a professional, the things don’t actually seem to be doing much besides looking fucking creepy…okay. Okay.” Jensen jerked his hands one last time, then looked up. A creepily calm expression spread over his face; he was so close to losing it. “Okay, let’s do this.”
“Gone In Sixty Seconds” just kind of fell out of Jared and Sandy’s mouths.
For a second, Jensen just stared. Then he threw up his hands as he walked away. “My God, you’re both such geeks! No wonder you’re together.”
A thought bounced off of that and right into Jared’s mind. He jerked around and looked disbelievingly at Sandy. “Wait, you were not about suggest me, were you? ‘cause God, Sandy, Jensen’s having some real shit come down on him and—”
“Would you stop thinking the worst of me?” she said, rearing back like he’d slapped her. Her eyes were wide with incredulity, and for a moment, the corners of her mouth just quivered as she wordlessly gaped. Then she managed to get out the words. “Thanks, Padalecki. Thanks a lot. Yeah, I’d think it was hot if you and Jensen made out, but not if it was going to mess things up between any of us. And like I’d even begin to suggest what Michael might be okay with. God. You better make up with Jensen, ‘cause you’re gonna need his room tonight.”
With a last glare over her shoulder, she stalked off after Jensen. And okay, how the hell had that just happened? Yesterday Jared was having a great, unexpected vacation in England with his girlfriend and Jensen was about to get a couple months of tension screwed out of him. Today Jensen didn’t want to get screwed anymore and Sandy had just kicked Jared out of bed…into Jensen’s? God, this was so fucked up.
* * *
It wasn’t so bad after a while. The place was kind of drafty inside, and outside a brisk, chilly breeze was blowing around, so it was easy to explain away why Jensen was jumping so much. By the end of the first hour, all the ghosts in this one area seemed to have shown up, so he wasn’t so startled and he could even kind of ignore them. Things weren’t going too badly.
“Hey.” Sandy squeezed past some of the execs and sat down beside him with two cups of coffee. “How are you?”
“Thanks,” Jensen said. He winced to himself just as he’d been about to take a sip. “Oh, and thanks for the…uh, patch job in the car. Man, my other shirt’s completely trashed. I should’ve thought about that.”
“Oh, it’s okay.” She just held her coffee and stared at it. Several minutes went by without her saying anything, and then it occurred to Jensen to check where Jared was…which was across the room. “Jared’s in the doghouse,” Sandy abruptly said, catching him at it.
Oh, great, again? was Jensen’s first thought. Then he frowned. “What, because of me getting pissy at you? That was just the—”
“—no, not that. Because he’s a tactless jerk sometimes. And he has denial issues,” she muttered. Now she drank her coffee, but it was mostly so she could glower over the rim at Jared. Who’d been carefully not-looking at them so he jerked stiffly around. “We just were talking about, you know, your deal, and I was thinking…listen, just hear me out, okay? If you could both deal with it, then maybe the best thing is not to be exclusive. But not, like, one-night-stands since that’s not really a long-term solution for either of you.”
…yeah, that’d been about where Jensen’s line of thinking had been going, too. It would’ve been nice to have Michael all to himself, but hell, there already was soccer on Michael’s end and acting on Jensen’s. They’d already been sharing, and honestly, it’d been a good arrangement. They’d been fine with it. Just the whole lust thing was fucking it up. “Yeah, I know. I mean, if we can’t do it that way, then maybe we should just stick to being friends anyway and see other people for real. But anyway, what does this have to do with Jared?”
Sandy was blinking a lot. For the first couple, Jensen had a feeling it was because she’d been expecting him to protest some more—hello? he’d been knocking around the industry for a little longer here; it wasn’t like he was some clueless hick—but then he started getting a weird feeling. And then she didn’t really look at Jared, and Jensen’s mouth just dropped open.
After a second, he got the hang of talking again. “Dude, Sandy—I think I’ve gotta side with Jared on this one. I mean, thanks for the offer—” Jesus Christ, was that generous “—but uh, really. No thanks. No need to shoehorn Jared on my behalf.”
“I don’t think it’d really be shoehorning, though,” Sandy muttered, scrunching down around her coffee cup. She pulled her feet up onto the bench. “Look, he overreacts to any mention of you that way when he doesn’t freak out over…um…kinda similar situations, okay? And he’s always really curious about you two, even if he gets all skittish about it.”
Well, this was news to Jensen…or maybe not. Huh. He…drank more coffee. And ignored the screaming lady who was running through the upper balustrade for the third time.
Sandy shook her head and gave Jensen a quick, wry smile. “For the longest time, you know…I thought you two…and I was kind of afraid.”
“We most definitely weren’t,” Jensen instantly said.
“Yeah, I know, but…you know, it was the not knowing that bothered me the most. I mean, I’d still be pissed off if he told me—but at least he’s telling me? And he’s giving me some notice so we can work with it? You know?” She cocked her head at him.
Yeah…and huh, that might be a little more useful than she really knew, because maybe that was part of what was up with Michael, too.
“Anyway, that’s not really why I was mad. I was mad because I wasn’t even thinking of him that way till he brought it up. And then he blamed it on me. And okay, I’ve said that him and you? That’d be hot, but look, it was in the same way that you’d think two girls kissing would be hot. I love him—I’m not about to lose him forever just ‘cause I want one kinky night,” Sandy added, clearly meaning every word. Then she sighed and rolled her eyes. “But see, his stupid denial-overreaction thing came up again.”
“Well…it’s Jared. And it sounds like you did—” Jensen paused as the hair on the back of his neck prickled “—did lay some groundwork for his paranoia. I’m just saying. As an objective observer.”
Sandy groaned and pressed her hand against her face. “God, I know, I know, but he just—okay, how about this? I’ll go over there and talk to him if you call Michael and talk to him.”
Jensen opened his mouth. Closed his mouth. Tipped his head and had to give her a nod; that’d been pretty damn smooth. “This is so high-school.”
“This is effective,” Sandy snarked back. She gave his shoulder a squeeze. “Can you call him now, or is he busy?”
“Um…” If Jensen remembered right, they probably were between practices now…
“Okay, then. Good luck! Tell him we’re coming for the movie, too,” Sandy chirped, getting up. She walked purposefully towards Jared, who rapidly went from startled to happy to slightly scared. Damn, the girl did have balls.
And damn, was she good. She’d basically just challenged Jensen and his pride refused to let him back down. Damn. He sighed and got up to find himself a nice, quiet, ghost-less corner.
* * *
Michael stuck the cell between his ear and shoulder, hoping he wouldn't accidentally squeeze any buttons this time. But he really needed to get off these damn trainers and figure out what was crushing his instep so badly. “Hey.”
*Hey, listen, sorry if I’m interrupting...* Jensen laughed nervously, so Michael could practically see him tucking his head down and jiggling his foot *...I guessed practice was over.*
“No, you're fine.” Luckily the locker room emptied out about five minutes ago, John yelling something about practical English lessons for Andry. But even if it hadn’t, if the guys had still been in and razzing Michael for taking a personal call without even waiting to get out, he probably still would’ve said fine. Actually, after how tense the morning had been, he probably would’ve jumped to grab his cell; he only hadn’t a second ago because of his shoes. “Are you…okay?”
Jensen coughed. *Um, well, turns out we’re at the Tower of London. And there are, um, ghosts. So if I want some privacy, I gotta share space with these medieval knights.*
That hadn’t been what Michael had been asking about, really, but he shied away from making himself clearer. He still was kicking himself about last night, and he needed to tackle that, but he didn’t want to unbalance things any more than they already were. “Are they fear—no, I mean threatening?” Michael asked. He pulled off his shoe and tossed it over his shoulder so it thunked in his locker. “Should I come down or…”
Another laugh from Jensen, only this time he sounded much more shaky than embarrassed. *No, no, it’s okay. Everyone’s just a room over. Listen, I…we can’t keep doing that. Last night. Though it was really goddamned good, so don’t take it as a reflection on you.*
“You…want to stop talking?” Michael yanked off his other trainer, then got up and started jamming his feet into his street shoes.
*No! No! Dude, I so want to keep talking. And also getting fucked by you. But look, it’s just—right now, we’re apart so much that it’s just too much when I do see you. Like, I could barely walk.* Rueful, edgy chuckle. *And I just really like being able to babble at you like this, but the whole no-fucking thing when we’re not around each other gets in the way of that, too. I’d—honestly, I don’t care if you have to screw somebody else to get over that. Better that than no talking, if that makes sense.*
Half the time, Michael ended up thinking Jensen was the most ridiculous and grounded man he’d ever met. He got scared when only idiots wouldn’t get scared, but he stayed to deal with things long after other people would’ve run. And he was too pretty, and an actor, and if he hadn’t met John Terry over a little problem with a monster black dog, all the Chelsea boys would’ve given Michael hell every time he took a call from Jensen. As it was, Michael hadn’t missed the side-long arched eyebrows between some of his teammates.
He didn’t make much sense. But if Michael had to do his life over again, he still wouldn’t want to have missed the chance of meeting him.
“It makes sense,” Michael said after a moment. “So…get someone over here, but you’re still coming for New Year’s?”
Jensen exhaled, loud and relieved. *Yeah, pretty much. Oh, God, you’re okay with this. Thank God. Okay, my day just got a lot better.*
Michael grinned and sat back down on the bench. “Oh?”
*Yeah, well, Jared and Sandy are fighting again. Something about Jared thinking that Sandy meant hook up with him when she—listen, sorry, but they picked me up and I had to tell them some of it ‘cause of what I looked like—*
That made Michael wince and feel a bit pleased with himself at the same time.
*--and she was thinking exclusivity’s not really workable, either. Not that—*
“Did you still like him?” Not that Jensen had ever actually gotten around to talking about it anymore after the one time in Dortmund, but he’d referred to that enough times for Michael to get a pretty good picture. And he did talk about Jared a lot; Michael almost felt like Jared was a close friend of his by this point. “Because it’d be fair…if I do this, then if you need to, you should be able to—”
*Um. Ah. Okaaaay, hang on a second.* Something about Texas and simple and no personality whiplashes. And also women with no heads. *You’d…like, be okay with Jared? Keeping in mind that he seems freaked out about the whole idea. Sandy’s okay with it, in theory, but Sandy’s…kind of freaking me out, for that matter.*
Michael bent over to rest his arm on his knee so he could pinch his nose. Things were starting to move along a little fast for him, too. “He’s a good friend of yours, he already has a girlfriend who knows, he seems like a good person, and he’d be there. Honestly, I…I’m limited to mostly—do you care if it’s a man or a woman?”
It took a moment for Jensen to answer. *This is such a weird thing to talk about. And I’m staring at a fucking knight in fucking plate armor with a huge arrow sticking out of his chest, too. Um…I don’t think so. Um. Can you like…maybe get back to me once you have someone in mind? I can’t…damn, I need to go. They’re calling for me. Maybe we can talk about this tomorrow night?*
“Okay,” Michael said. Reluctantly, but not so much because he wanted to still discuss it as because he was so relieved they weren’t so nervous around each other anymore that he wanted to make sure it wasn’t just a glitch.
He listened to Jensen hang up, then flipped his phone shut and put it down to stare at it for a while. Eventually he did smile to himself and got up. Things hadn’t gotten any less…weird…but they weren’t as pessimistic.
* * *
Michael picked the bag of popcorn out of the microwave, then quickly tossed it over his shoulder. He almost hit the bowl on the table; Jensen flicked the bag so it tipped all the way in.
“So how’s—” Michael started, looking uncertainly at Jensen. He’d greeted Jensen at the door fine, but they hadn’t really talked since the Tower of London so it was still a little bizarre.
“They just made up this morning. And then they’ve been making up for lost time all day.” And thank fucking God, because one thing Jensen didn’t need was another night of sharing a room with a Jared who was mood-swinging between jumpy as hell and whiny like a pregnant woman with personal-space issues. It’d almost made Jensen shove the idiot into a wall, give him a good kiss so they got that over with, and then go into the bathroom to call up Michael. “I keep telling myself Jared’s only twenty-four…”
After a couple tentative grabs, Michael pulled open the bag and dumped the steaming popcorn into the bowl. He trashed the bag while Jensen collected beer. “…so he doesn’t wait to listen before he gets upset?”
“Well, that too, but I was thinking more about how they’re probably getting it on right on your couch. I’ve been prying them apart all day. It’s exhausting,” Jensen muttered. He nudged the fridge door shut with his foot, then followed Michael on out to the other room. Okay, some of his exhaustion was…left over from the first night, but it’d be close to all gone if Jared and Sandy could’ve kept their damn hands to themselves. He and Michael actually had never gotten around to real fucking, just like they’d never made it to a bed. “Hey, incoming!”
When they walked in, Jared was on the couch and Sandy was primly sitting on one of the armchairs. Which Jensen totally didn’t find convincing at all, but whatever. He dropped off all but two of the beers on the table and settled himself in the other corner of the couch.
“We put the movie in,” Sandy said, as if Jensen couldn’t see the menu on the screen.
“I actually haven’t seen it yet,” Michael confessed. “Lukas sent it just before you got here.”
All right, next time Jensen saw Lukas, he’d have to give that guy his thanks. Like maybe a punch in the nose. “Great.”
“Well, Sandy and I’ve seen it before, so we’ll…um…try not to laugh too much.” Jared made it through two-thirds of his sentence before he broke down sniggering. He reached for a beer, and then he shrugged and moved his ass to the floor after grabbing a handful of popcorn.
Jensen moved over for Michael, then went back to wishing himself into the couch. “Thanks, man.”
“What? Lukas said almost the same thing…” Michael said, looking confused.
Sandy slithered down to cuddle up to Jared, then clicked ‘play.’ “Just wait and see.”
No, thank you. They could bring him to the sofa, but they couldn’t make him watch: Jensen popped the first of what he was determined would be many beers, then took a long swig. Then he did it again.
* * *
Jared couldn’t help himself. He’d really made an effort on Jensen’s behalf. Really. But God, the Dakota character had levered herself off Jensen’s lap and then Michael had been all, “But…you aren’t that quick!” and Jensen had tried to bury his head in the sofa. And then Jared had to crack up. He had to.
“Bad editing!” Jensen gasped, finally emerging. He was still flopped over half the couch, his feet kind of kicking Michael in the leg so it was a good thing his shoes were off, and apparently a little drunk. He tried to grab another beer from the table and missed by a foot. “It was longer when we shot it!”
“Sure, man. Whatever.” Being a nice guy, Jared crawled over to help his man Jensen to the booze. His knee slipped on something and he nearly hit his chin on the table; the bottles rattled a bit as he grabbed onto the edge to keep his balance. Okay. Damn. He’d forgotten about European beer. “No, wait, Michael, check out this scene. It’s a master-mas—it’s a great special effects shot.”
Jensen stopped reaching for the beer and started trying to hit Jared, which wasn’t very nice. Then he nearly rolled off the sofa so Michael had to haul him back by the waist. Well, Michael tried. But he was a little distracted by the badness on the screen. It was pretty hard to hold onto a six-foot guy when you were laughing yourself to tears.
It helped a little bit when Jensen stopped flailing and just kind of pouted at everybody. He pushed himself back up, only he must’ve forgotten which corner he’d been in ‘cause he just shoved himself over Michael’s lap. “Fuck you, Padalecki. That’s acting. That’s not what I’m really like.”
Something warm and soft snuggled up to the in-curve of Jared’s back. Sandy pressed a kiss between Jared’s shoulderblades, then turned into a surprisingly heavy weight that dragged Jared’s hips sideways and down to the floor. Jared had to let go of the table, but caught himself against the couch.
“Acting, huh,” Sandy said. “Hey, Michael, is he lying?”
Michael had drunk…yeah, the least of everyone, but he still seemed pretty laidback about having Jensen over his legs. He just flopped a hand over the other man’s hip, mostly to keep him in place, and went back to grinning at the TV. “No.”
“Hah,” Jensen mumbled. He raised his head and whoa, he and Jared were really close to each other. Which was kind of weird.
Well, not weird, because they did that on-set all the time. But it felt weird. Kind of. Sandy had had to bring it up, and maybe she said it was just wishful thinking, God, Jared, but it still wasn’t exactly the kind of thing that was easy to forget. Like, Jensen was right in Jared’s face.
Jared might’ve flinched a little. But he couldn’t go far, ‘cause the hot girlfriend was curling up around his waist and pinning him in place, and anyway it wasn’t a big deal. It was just some thing Sandy said, and Jensen had been so damn annoyed last night it was pretty clear he wasn’t about to randomly jump Jared. Anyway, he and Michael seemed to be all okay now, so he…he was giving Jared a funny look.
“Man, don’t start again,” Jensen muttered. He tried to pull himself up, but couldn’t get enough of a grip and instead ended up having to put his hand down on the floor. “I’m so fucking not…dude, your ass is safe, okay?”
“I wasn’t thinking about that!” Jared yelped, looking around.
Sandy…was snuggling his butt and had apparently been watching the movie, because she looked startled. Michael had also been paying more attention to the horrendous faking of murder scenes on-screen, but he looked less surprised and more…interested, in a do-I-need-to-stuff-someone-back-in-the-couch kind of way.
Jensen rolled his eyes. “Oh, for God’s sake…you are thinking about it. It’s not a fucking big deal, man—just admit you are, no one’s gonna laugh, and then move on. God.”
“You have such an inflated ego, you know? Jesus, not everybody wants your ass.” Really. They’d walked past people who hadn’t turned for a second look at Jensen. And not just store mannequins. “I don’t want anything to do with your ass.”
“Whatever,” Jensen snorted.
“I don’t. Look, I can—” And their heads were at about the same level, so Jared just sort of craned his head and pressed his lips against Jensen. For no particular reason. Just proving a goddamn point, and the subject had come up so many times that it wasn’t exactly surprising it came to Jared’s mind when he needed ideas, was it? “See? Nothing.”
The movie was suddenly kind of loud, but before Jared could really dwell on that, Jensen laughed at him. And hiked himself up a little so he could look down. “Man, that was pathetic. ‘Nothing’ is right.”
“You’re such an asshole sometimes—” Jared pushed forward again, and this time, he kissed Jensen like he meant it. Like the way he kissed Sandy when they hadn’t seen each other for too long and her boobs were promising him things and he’d need a fucking closet or something, stat, before he got them a citation for public indecency.
Jensen was stone-still for a second. Then he started to move away, but Jared wasn’t exactly done yet and grabbed his head, holding him in place. He muffled something against Jared’s mouth, and then his mouth opened and damn. Instant hot glory.
“Scheiβe,” somebody said, and damn. Instant reality-check smacking Jared upside the head.
Oh, holy fucking God, he’d just like, Frenched Jensen in front of Sandy and Michael, and they’d all just gotten over their fights or misunderstandings or whatever, and he’d just stuck his tongue in Jensen’s mouth. His tongue still was in Jensen’s mouth. His tongue needed to get the hell out of there now.
Jared ripped himself off, then nearly did a back-somersault because Sandy was still clamped around him. He fell sideways instead and something really complained in his side about that, but he was kind of more concerned about, like, whether he was about to be stabbed with a heel or beaten to death with soccer balls or something. Or if not, maybe he could just go over and knock himself out against Michael’s wall.
Michael…was staring down at them with an…it was an expression, all right, with emotion and everything, but Jared couldn’t read it. Jensen, who’d hastily flipped over, apparently could and had just gone really stiff. “Uh…so, problem yet?”
“No,” Sandy said in a faint voice. Jared started to look down at her, but only caught a glimpse of really flushed cheeks and bright eyes before Michael spoke.
“Nein,” Michael pulled out of his throat from some really deep and guttural place; the sound slinked up on you and then slid back so you felt the hooks in it. He blinked, shook himself. “No…”
Jensen…clearly wasn’t sure where to go with this. He looked at Michael, looked at the ceiling, then finally just rolled over to stare at Jared. “Okay,” he said. He flicked his tongue over his lips. “Okay, that was a lot better.”
In the background, Jensen was yelling at somebody for something. That seemed more fitting, really, and this was all just really weird. But that had been really good. The, uh, Frenching. Oh, fuck. “Movie?” Jared said.
Exasperation flicked across Jensen’s face. He started to lift himself up on his elbows. “God, Jared. You’d rather watch me cry like a girl than—”
If Jared hadn’t had one hell of a buzz going, that actually might’ve been a tough choice. But he was buzzed, and Sandy was pressing her hot little hands against Jared’s stomach almost like a desperate plea and Jensen had such a swelled head sometimes…
So he pushed Jensen down by the shoulder, and somehow got himself up enough to lean over the couch and get back to that, um, tongue-mouth stuff. Which was awkward, because their bodies were pretty much at right angles to each other, but which was really fucking good when Jensen flicked his tongue across the back of Jared’s teeth, and then he groaned. Jared’s hands slid down the other man as Jensen arched up, and God, Jensen could be a prick but he was pretty. Not just in the face but in the hips and the gasp and the little liquid shimmy beneath Jared, his hands going to grab at Jared’s arm and side.
Jared pushed forward, then twisted in frustration when things got in the way. He felt one thing say ‘Ow!’ and he almost stopped to apologize to Sandy, but then she was eeling up him anyway, her hands burning trails all around and along his body, sometimes passing over Jensen’s hands and then there were two people shoving him at Jensen’s hot mouth. Jensen grunted, moaned as Jared sucked at his lower lip, grunted again and hitched upwards. He stopped, then started again with a lot more force.
That moved him away so Jared was forced to climb up and haul Sandy after him; he dropped back an arm to wrap around her waist and his hand kind of got stuck on her tight little ass, which she saucily wiggled so yeah, he wasn’t letting go any time soon. It was okay. He still could grab a handful of Jensen’s shirt with his free hand and keep mouth-contact. Something blunt and hard jounced Jared’s ribs, and then another knee banged into his leg, sending him a little off-balance so his hand skipped off Jensen’s side and went back to hit another body.
Right, Michael. The pectoral tipped away from Jared’s hand, then slid back and forward so he could push off it and get his hand back on Jensen. Thigh, specifically. Jared briefly got his head up and glimpsed Michael licking and sucking at the back of Jensen’s neck; the other man wrapped his mouth around the curve, just below Jensen’s ear, and his eyes flicked to Jared’s and the moment just strung itself out between them, taut and hot with lust and a weird kind of push-pull there, not really a battle of wills so much as a…reminder. Kind of.
A damp giggle tickled Jared’s ear, and then Sandy was actively nibbling on that while Jensen, wide-eyed and oddly shocked, desperately jerked his pelvis upwards, his knee hitting Jared’s hip and the ridge of his erection grazing Jared’s belly. Sandy’s hands on Jared’s belly, and a moment later they were gone and Jensen was honest-to-God yelping. She grabbed Jared again and sucked teasingly on his earlobe.
“That’s…that…” Jensen stuttered.
“Really fucking fantastic?” Jared suggested. Oh, yeah, he was drunk. And it was good.
Jensen almost rolled his eyes, except then he and Jared shifted against each other and instead Jensen went limp, his head falling back on Michael’s shoulder. Jared shrugged and bent over to lick up Jensen’s throat.
His tongue swirled over Jensen’s chin, then ran over another wet, slightly-cooler-than-body-temp tongue; Jared stopped where he was and Michael dipped forward to follow Jared’s tongue back to his mouth. And okay, this was part of what had Jensen so crazy. This, Jared could get.
Then Michael backed off, and…and he was taking Jensen with him. He was scooting his butt over the top of the sofa, one arm hauling a very reluctant Jensen along and the other one barely keeping him from falling. “Not a problem, but I’m not gone yet,” he said.
Right then, Jensen happened to be looking at Jared so Jared could watch the annoyance shift to confusion and then to hungry, expectant anticipation. The other man twisted around and was on Michael so fast they stumbled back till they hit the opposite wall.
“What the…” Jared started. Jensen was gone. He’d been kind of close to fucking Jensen right there, but Jensen was mauling Michael, and um, Jared had officially lost track of what was going on.
Sandy did something that involved her hip and the back of Jared’s leg, and then they were full-out on Michael’s sofa with her on top of him. “Means he fucks Jensen now, you do that after you two go back to filming. Anyway, hot as that was, I want some time now.” She reached under her shirt and arched, her head back and the fabric pulled tight over her front so her hands were clearly outlined as she rubbed around her breasts, pushed them up, fondled them…then slowly tipped her head back down to grin lewdly at Jared. “Remember these?”
“Darlin’, I couldn’t forget ‘em if I tried,” Jared grinned, pulling her down on top of him.
She let out a little scream, but that was totally fake because she was at his mouth like it was prime steak and she was a starving carnivore. With amazing boobs that pressed and rolled against him, and amazing legs that wriggled and twisted till their pants were down and his cock was up into her amazing hand. He groaned, dug his fingers into her hair and kissed her hard as the couch creaked.
And fuck. “Um, Sandy—God, Sandy—this is—Michael’s--furniture--”
“Sounds like he’s gonna fuck Jensen in the kitchen, so…” She raked her nails over Jared’s chest and then smoothed her palms right back over the tracks. Pushed up Jared’s shirt while she was at it.
“It’s his house! He can do that!”
Somewhere in the background, Jensen was screaming about his friends. And Jensen was cursing out some door—first one, movie; second one, real person. Okay, not only were they fucking in somebody else’s house, they were fucking to the sound of Jensen. In stereo. So. Weird.
Sandy suddenly squeezed Jared’s dick till he gasped and jerked back to her, then oh-so-slowly pulled it up to just graze the damp hair between her legs. And okay, weird, but Jared had a fucking weird spice cabinet and weird hobbies and weird sixth-sense costars. He could get into this. He was getting into this. But…
Sighing, Sandy sat back on her haunches. Not on Jared’s cock, dammit. “Floor?”
“Floor,” Jared agreed. That, they could clean up while Michael was still screwing Jensen’s brains out, and okay, Jared…was not so jumpy any more about thinking about that. Interesting.
Sandy on his lap. Right. He heaved himself up, got a good grip on her, and then rolled off the sofa.
* * *
Now Jensen really wasn’t walking out of here. He hoped Sandy hadn’t gotten too kinky on Jared’s ass. “Damn…”
“Damn, I missed the rest of the movie.” Michael aimlessly twitched around on top of Jensen for a couple seconds before pulling himself up on his elbows. He cocked an innocent eyebrow at Jensen, then grinned. “What?”
“It’s a lousy movie. Don’t worry about it.” Jensen cautiously braced himself on his arms, then eased himself off of Michael’s prick and out from under the other man. The table didn’t even squeak, which…made it a damn good table. “Besides, I still haven’t seen your bed. Man, you’re killing my back.”
“Sorry,” Michael so didn’t really mean, and then he leaned over and ran his tongue around the inside of Jensen’s ear. Oh, God, but it was so worth it.
* * *
Sandy clung to the doorframe and made ‘aww’ faces and basically did the whole girlie death-by-cute routine, only without any sound. Good thing, because Jensen looked dead. Well, the hand and foot and half of his face that wasn’t shoved into Michael’s shoulder did, anyway. Michael had his back to the door, but the way he was sprawling, it looked like they’d just collapsed in place. They were gonna have some real fun trying to untangle themselves from the sheets when they did wake up.
Hopefully that was a while yet, because Jared and Sandy still had some stuff to clean. He tugged her out of the way, then quietly shut the door.
“You okay?” Sandy asked as they were going down the stairs. She wrapped her arm around his waist and pressed her cheek to his shoulder. “With…”
“…yeah, I think. Anyway, barely a hang-over today, so it’s not like I can say I was too wasted.” Jared grimaced to himself at how that sounded. He’d been aiming for more kidding. “But…I mean, are you…do you…”
Sandy hummed a little, then reached around to grab his hand and squeeze it. “…okay with the idea of Jensen fucking you? Yep. You’re so giving me details when you do get around to it—actually, put your cell on speaker—” after a glance up, she laughed and nuzzled his shoulder “—or not. But just, like, tell me. And if things start going bad with those two…tell me too. ‘cause then it’s gonna be different.”
“Okay.” For a moment, Jared was relieved. “Hey, so…do you have like, this problem too? Did you…”
This time, she looked a little annoyed with him. “I’m only letting you get away with the half-sentences ‘cause I’m so tired. But no, I don’t. I see you more often—not often enough, but plenty to keep me from having Jensen’s problem. Why—do you?”
“Not…like, that bad.” Jared nodded towards the ceiling. “I miss you a lot, but…okay, put it this way. This whole weird sex-with-Jensen thing that, um, we’re trying? It’s icing, but you’re cake.”
Sandy grinned and squeezed him again. “You’re such a dork, Jared. Cake? But good, ‘cause this means my gut’s right and I can trust you with this.” Pause. “And was I or was I not right about you and Jensen and denial? Huh? Huh?”
“Oh, for…” First Jared rolled his eyes. Then he thought of a better idea and ducked to grab her. She was still opening her mouth to squeal when he kissed her.
* * *
Jensen groaned as he flopped down on Jared’s couch. He dramatically threw his arm over his head and groaned again. “God, I feel like one big bruise.”
Jared poked around in his fridge; he could’ve sworn he still had some limes back in there. Damn, and it was too late for a quick grocery run. “Oh, come on. I saw it when they pulled up your shirt, and it’s like, puny. Michael had it worse in his last game.”
“…yeah,” Jensen reluctantly admitted. He clearly didn’t like having his whining cut off, but he had this funny kind of respectful awe for Michael’s…er, endurance. Easiest way to shut up him was to point out Michael didn’t whine, and thank you, Ballack. “He’s pissed off—he thinks it might make him miss the next national team game, or at least start on the bench.”
“That’d suck.” Fine, no limes, so they’d just have to do their tequila straight. “So…it’s been a while. How are things with you and him?”
When Jared came back in, Jensen had rolled over to give him a narrow-eyed stare. “Don’t think that I don’t know what you’re thinking, Padalecki,” Jensen said. “He’s been chatting up this nice waitress—gonna meet her at New Year’s, he says. She’s…very understanding. And you’ve been pussyfooting around me all d—”
Screw the tequila. Shut Jensen up first, and especially since Sandy had just phoned like, twenty minutes ago to inform him in excruciating detail what her new set of lingerie looked like, and Jared so owed her payback for that.
Jensen shut up. And kissed Jared back. And grabbed at Jared’s shoulders with just a little bit of relief and a little bit of urgency, so good timing on Jared’s part.
“Finally,” Jensen muttered. “I wondered when you were gonna—”
Well, if he wasn’t going to shut up, then this time Jared was just going to have to try for longer.
* * *