Jared slowly walks down the street past Jensen’s house, head ducked and hands shoved into his jeans pockets. He feels really sleazy, almost like a peeping tom, but he wants to make sure that Jensen’s the only one home before he goes up and knocks on his door. It’s always been typical that Jensen’s parents go out together the second Friday of every month, and Jared knows for a fact that Mac is sleeping over his house tonight, but he’s still paranoid that he’s wrong and he’ll have to talk to Mrs. Ackles or something.
After his third pass though, Jared is pretty certain that no one else is home. Jensen’s light is the only one that’s on, besides the low glow of a lamp in their front-facing living room, so Jared squares his shoulders, takes a deep breath, and starts up the front walkway. Before he can have any second thoughts, he firmly presses the doorbell and waits as he hears the muffled sounds of Jensen coming down the stairs.
Jensen pulls open the door and he stands there, staring at Jared while Jared stares back. His arm twitches on the doorknob, and Jared’s almost afraid that the door’s about to be slammed in his face. But Jensen just heaves a big sigh and schools his face into an impassive expression.
“Can I help you?” he asks, coldly polite.
“Can I come in?” Jared replies, his heart hammering wildly in his chest. “I’d like to talk to you.”
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea,” says Jensen.
“I won’t stay long,” Jared counters, stepping forward so Jensen has no choice but to step back unless he wants Jared right up in his personal space.
Jensen scowls deeply but turns his back on Jared and starts up the stairs. “Suit yourself,” he says over his shoulder. Jared closes the door gently behind him, throws the deadbolt, and follows Jensen up to his room.
Once they’re inside, Jensen turns his desk chair around a straddles it, and Jared decides to sit on the bed, very careful to stay on the edge.
“So talk,” Jensen says. “I don’t have all night.”
Jared steels himself and takes a deep breath before he begins. “So, the funniest thing,” he says, looking at the floor so he can avoid Jensen’s eyes. “I was talking to Misha today and he said that you spoke to him about me?”
“I might’ve said something to him,” Jensen says.
“That’s what I want to know,” Jared says. “Why did you say those things about me?”
“I don’t like him,” Jensen says stiffly. “You shouldn’t be dating him.”
“Jensen,” Jared says stubbornly, “you’re not my friend anymore. It was your decision. You shouldn’t care who I date or what I do, because you’re the one who doesn’t want to talk to me.”
“Oh, c’mon, Jared!” says Jensen in a frustrated tone. “Misha Collins? He’s a freakin’ nutcase.”
“Again, I don’t see why you give a flying fuck!” Jared says harshly. “I mean, Jesus, Jensen!”
“If you are like--that,” Jensen says stiltedly, “then you could do a lot better than that fruitcake.”
“Like what, Jensen?” asks Jared hotly. “Gay? Are you so disgusted with me that you can’t even say the word? Because I am, you know. Gay. I’ve always been. Maybe you shouldn’t have let me share your bed with you all those times when we were kids. You never know--I could’ve molested you.”
“Shut the fuck up,” Jensen says, flushing darkly.
“No,” Jared says. “I don’t get what’s going on with you. You need to decide if you don’t ever want to see me again or if you still want to be friends. You can’t have it both ways. I can’t deal with it anymore, man.”
“It’s hard, okay?” says Jensen. “I don’t know what I’m doing here.”
“Well, that makes two of us,” Jared says. “I can’t handle it, Jensen. I can’t have you running hot and cold and fucking with my life like this. We need to figure out what we are to each other.”
“Well, maybe you should’ve kept your fat mouth shut then,” snaps Jensen, standing up so abruptly that he knocks his chair over when he swings his leg to the floor.
“I’m sorry,” Jared says, his chest so tight that it’s almost hard to breathe. “If I had known things would end up like this, I never would’ve told you.”
“Well, it’s not like it was true, was it?” Jensen snarls, stalking up towards Jared in three long strides, right in his face.
“What?” Jared says bewildered. “Um, yeah, I wasn’t lying, Jensen. You think I would ruin our friendship over something that I wasn’t one hundred percent sure about?”
“And yet here you are,” Jensen says, pointing a finger right in Jared’s chest. “Dating the weirdest person in the fucking school.”
“Jensen,” says Jared, ready to set the story straight, but Jensen ignores him and interrupts his explanation.
“So, you apparently love me,” says Jensen nastily. “Doesn’t mean that you’re not letting that queer suck your dick.”
“Go to hell, Jensen,” says Jared as he feels hurt bloom in his stomach. “You don’t know anything about me. And don’t call him that.”
“But that’s what he is!” Jensen yells. “Queer! Faggot! Cocksucker!”
“Fuck you!” Jared shouts back, standing up so he can get in Jensen’s face. “That’s what I am too!”
“You like it, don’t you?” says Jensen meanly. “When he gets on his knees and blows you. You fucking love it.”
“Why do you care who’s sucking my dick?” Jared says. “What, are you curious? You ever think about it too?” He’s goading Jensen and he’s too upset to care how badly this might fuck everything up.
Jensen bares his teeth, but Jared’s started this game and he wants to keep going, so he plows on. “You want it, Jen? Just say the word. I’ll fuck your face so pretty that you won’t be able to talk for a week.” Jensen pushes Jared hard, and his knees hit the edge of the mattress but he doesn’t fall over.
“What’s wrong?” Jared taunts. “I’m too close to the truth? That what you want, Jen?” He steps up, close as he can get to Jared without actually touching him. Jared leans down close so he can speak right in Jensen’s ear. “Or maybe you want me to suck you, huh? Swallow you down until you can’t remember anything but how my mouth feels around your cock.” He backs up, and he can tell that Jensen’s almost about to clock him in the face, so he does the next best thing he can think to do. Using both hands, he grabs Jensen’s face and kisses him like he’s wanted to do for the past two years.
Their teeth clack hard and Jensen gasps, but Jared barely registers it. Jensen’s lips are dry, chapped beneath his own, and he can feel the ghost of Jensen’s breath on his face. The underside of Jensen’s lip is caught between his and he uses the tip of his tongue to touch it, taste the curve of it. Before he can even think past one thought though, Jensen’s pushing him away, looking wildly at him.
“What’s the matter, baby?” mocks Jared. “You afraid you’ll like it? Scared you’re a cocksucker just like me?” Jensen doesn’t respond, just continues to look at Jared like his whole world is falling apart around him. Something twists in Jared’s belly but he keeps going, eager to hurt Jensen as much as Jensen hurt him.
“Aw, don’t worry about it,” Jared continues in a fake soothing tone. “Misha’ll take care of me if you don’t. He’s real good about it.”
Jared really thinks that he’s going to end up on his ass this time, nursing a split lip courtesy of Jensen’s knuckles. But instead of hitting him or pushing him, Jensen whips forward and surges up until he’s the one kissing Jared, throwing Jared completely for a loop. Their mouths are crushed together and Jensen’s got his leg wedged up between Jared’s thighs and holy shit, that’s Jensen’s tongue pulling Jared’s into his mouth. It’s spitty and Jared is kissing Jensen and oh, my fucking Christ, it’s so good, Jared’s head could explode with it. The hairs on the back of his neck are standing up and he unconsciously brings both of his hands to Jensen’s jaw so he can’t tilt his face further into the kiss, licking as far into Jensen’s mouth as he can, feeling the ridges of Jensen’s teeth under his tongue. Jensen’s hand is knotted in Jared’s shirt and his warmth is seeping through and all Jared can think about is him and them and how good it feels and how long he’s been waiting for this.
It’s not hard to breathe, even though Jared thought it might be, but his head is spinning with it all and he can’t catch a coherent thought. If Jensen’s leg gets any closer to his groin, they’ll probably be on their way to a serious issue, and if Jared had the foresight and the courage, he’d take his hands from Jensen’s face and drop them to his ass, pulling until they were as close as possible. As it is, he stands there, almost rocking into Jensen’s thigh, feeling Jensen’s lips pliant under his, memorizing the curl of Jensen’s tongue against his own.
As abruptly as it began, it ends again, and Jensen pulls away for a second time, looking at Jared wide-eyed. He backs up hastily, almost tripping over his upturned chair, and Jared’s upstairs brain crashes back into full clarity.
“What the fuck, Jensen?” Jared shouts, waving his arms frantically. “What the fuck was that?”
“You kissed me first!” Jensen counters, crossing his arms across his chest defensively.
“Yeah, to make you mad!” Jared says. “You weren’t supposed to kiss me again!”
“I thought that’s what you wanted!”
“And I thought that’s why you didn’t want to be my friend anymore! So, what, Jensen? I told you I fucking loved you and you walked out of my room and didn’t speak to me for a month, but you actually wanted to kiss me this entire time? Is that what I’m getting here?”
“Fuck you!” yells Jensen. “You think this has fucking been easy on me?”
“You’ve made my life a living hell!” shouts Jared. “And here you are, and you felt it too, but you were just too much of a chickenshit to tell me you were scared about it.”
“I don’t know what I fucking feel, all right? I just--I don’t know.”
“Go to hell, Jensen,” says Jared, quiet again. “Grow some balls and stop being such a fucking child.”
“Get out of my room,” snarls Jensen, furious. “Stay out of my life.”
“Gladly,” snaps Jared, stomping out of the room and down the stairs as fast as his feet can take him. His heart is still trying to break through his sternum.
“I can tell you anything, right?” Jared said, his fingers fidgeting in his lap as he looked over at Jensen, who was lounging on Jared’s bed and tossing a tennis ball absentmindedly into the air. They were supposed to be working on a chemistry project, but Jensen didn’t feel like doing math, and Jared didn’t want to work on it alone. Until twenty minutes prior, they had been playing Street Fighter on Jared’s old SNES, but Jensen had been K-Oed one too many times and quit in a pique of childish annoyance.
“No, I actually hate you, and I tell Danneel all of your secrets,” Jensen said, throwing the ball hard enough that it bounced off of Jared’s ceiling, making a hollow thunk.
“Jerk,” Jared said, picking up a rolled-up pair of socks and lobbing it at Jensen’s head. Jensen wrinkled his nose but didn’t hesitate to chuck them back at Jared. They bounced off of his shoulder and rolled under his bed, where they’ll inevitably lie forgotten for at least six months.
“Don’t throw your dirty-ass shit at me,” Jensen said, but he was trying to hide a smile. “What’s up? You’ve been fidgety all day.”
Jared’s heart was pounding about a million beats a second and his palms were sweaty against his jeans. When he woke up that morning, he’d been determined to come clean. He thought he’d been sick of hiding it from Jensen. If he was being truthful, he was maybe hoping that Jensen would feel the same way.
“Don’t freak out or anything, okay?” he said, gearing up for the confession that he’d been waiting for over a year to divulge.
“No promises,” Jensen said lightly, turning his head on Jared’s pillow so he can fix Jared with an amused stare. “Spit it out already. I don’t have all freakin’ night.”
“I’m gay,” Jared blurts, and whoa, that is not what he meant to say at all. Jensen goes very still on the bed, the tennis ball cradled in his hands.
“Okay,” Jensen said lowly. “Okay, wow. Jared, are you sure? I mean, you can’t really be sure yet, can you?”
“I’m sure,” Jared said even though he wasn’t. “I know we talked about it a couple of years ago, and I wasn’t certain then, but...I think I am now.”
“You think?” Jensen confirmed. “So it’s not one hundred percent?”
“Yes,” Jared said, as firm as he could. “It’s as close to one hundred percent as I can get without any actual experience.”
“Okay,” Jensen said again, turning his face away from Jared to stare at the ceiling. He was silent for at least a minute while Jared’s stomach turned itself inside out. When it became clear that Jensen wasn’t going to speak again until Jared did, Jared gathered the last of his courage and opened his mouth.
“That’s not all,” Jared said in a rush.
“Wait,” Jensen said, sounding slightly panicked. “I don’t know, Jared. Maybe we should save the rest of it for later. Let’s not overwhelm ourselves he--”
“I’m in love with you,” Jared said, the words tripping over themselves as they fell from his mouth.
Jensen sat up at that, looking at Jared with a wild expression. He got off the bed and paced to Jared’s door and back. “What?” he said, completely gobsmacked.
“Um. In love,” Jared clarified. “With you. I mean, don’t get me wrong here, Jen. I’m not expecting you to feel like I do or anything like that. I’m just sick of hiding it.”
“You’re in love with me,” said Jensen, completely expressionless.
“Yeah, pretty sure,” Jared said weakly. “Look, can we not make a big deal out of this? I just wanted you to know, but it doesn’t have to change anything.”
“Doesn’t have to change anything?” Jensen parroted sarcastically. “No, my best friend just tells me that he’s in love with me but he expects everything can just be as it fucking was, right?”
“Jensen,” Jared pleaded, feeling as though the floor had dropped out from under his feet.
“I mean, what the fuck, Jared?” Jensen said, whipping around so he wouldn’t have to look at Jared anymore. “You think you’re in love with me? Where the fuck is this coming from?”
“I can’t help it,” Jared said powerlessly. “It’s just how I feel. I’ve been trying to change, but I can’t, and--”
“So you thought you’d tell me, huh? What do you expect me to do here?”
“Nothing!” exclaimed Jared. “Jensen, honestly, I just wanted to tell you--”
“So what? So we could start a big fat faggot relationship?”
“Don’t say that,” Jared said nauseously. “Please don’t say that to me.”
“It’s true, though,” Jensen sneered. “God, Jared.”
“I’m sorry,” Jared said, almost begging. “Just forget I said anything.”
“I can’t forget now,” Jensen said, incensed. “How long, Jared?”
“How long have you been in love with me? Huh? How fucking long, Jared?”
“I don’t know!” Jared exploded. “A year, maybe? Why does it matter?” He refused to tell Jensen that it had been two years--twenty four freakin’ months of being conflicted and disgusted and so fucking confused.
“A year,” Jensen said hollowly. “Jesus Christ.” A chill settled over Jared’s body, and he was very glad that he didn’t tell the truth.
“Jen,” Jared said miserably, standing up so he could walk over and put a hand on Jensen’s shoulder. Jensen immediately smacked it off and turned so they were standing face to face.
“Don’t touch me,” he snarled.
“What?” Jared said, flabbergasted. “Do you think you’ll catch the gay if I touch you? Fuck, Jensen, I didn’t think you were a homophobe.”
“I’m not,” Jensen snapped, getting angrier by the second.
“You’re sure acting like one!” Jared returned, and he was starting to feel like he was about to get sick.
“Fuck you, Jared,” said Jensen furiously. “You can’t put this all on me at once and expect me to be okay with it.”
“No, but I can expect you to not be a dick about it,” Jared retorted.
“Fuck you,” Jensen said. “I just--I can’t fucking deal with this, Jared. I can’t.” He pushed Jared away and stalked out of the room, slamming Jared’s door behind him. Jared felt his chest tighten with every step Jensen took down his stairs. When he heard the front door slam, he crossed his room and violently threw up in his trashcan.
The next week at school passes in a surreal haze, and Jared’s not entirely sure about all of the details. His feelings constantly vacillate between anger and disgusted humiliation, and he’s still not getting any sleep. Jensen’s putting in even more of an effort to avoid him, and Gen’s still pissed that he blew up at Danneel, so she’s been cold and distant whenever Jared does see her. Instead of dealing with her, or apologizing, Jared starts staying away from her, hiding in the library during their lunch period, and generally being a pussy about the entire damn situation. He ends up getting a C on his Jane Eyre test, and Ms. Gamble takes him aside and scolds him for not putting forth his best effort in rehearsal, and every night, he spends hours looking at his wall before he can fall asleep.
By the time Friday rolls around, Jared’s not sure how much more of this he can take. Everything is settling on him like one giant weight, and most things make him want to scream or throw things or generally pitch a giant fit. He can’t even go home, because his sister went and blabbed to their mom that something was up, and now all he gets whenever he comes down from his room is this hard-ass guidance counselor schtick that he really can’t handle, what with everything else and all. The bell rings Friday afternoon, and he lurks in the art rooms for a half an hour until almost everyone has left the building.
Jared gets to his truck without running into anyone he knows, and he immediately throws it into drive and peals out of the parking lot as fast as he can. It’s chilly for Texas in November, but he doesn’t turn the heat up, and instead of taking a left like he usually would to get to his house, he turns right on an impulse and guns it down the street until he’s left his town and entered the sparsely-populated outskirts.
He’s been driving for about thirty-five minutes when he makes a sharp left onto a narrow side street. Bumping over the rutted ground, Jared drives slowly to avoid accidentally running into a tree, following the unpaved path until it ends, about ten miles from the main road. He turns his car off and opens the door, wrapping his arms around him as the wind kicks up, the chilly breeze cutting through his thin sweatshirt. Stumbling over the uneven ground, he picks his way through the underbrush until he reaches the edge of the stream that’s always been here, watching the water rush over the rocks with a detached interest.
When Jensen first got his license, he and Jared used to drive anywhere to get away from home. The sense of freedom was exhilarating, and Jared can’t remember how many times they got in trouble for not telling their parents where they were going. They’d discovered this stream less than a year ago just through aimless wandering, and they used to come here whenever they were bored or procrastinating. Jared didn’t know that he was coming here until he did.
Aimlessly kicking a rock into into the water, Jared plops down onto the ground, letting the wind ruffle his hair. He’s there long enough that he’s practically shivering from the cold, but it’s oddly peaceful, and he doesn’t want to leave. His thoughts are swimming in his head, stumbling over one another as he replays the events of the past two months over and over, trying to make sense of everything. Anxiety is a roiling mass in his belly, and he’s feeling jittery with how much he wants things to go back to how they were before.
The sun sets while he’s sitting there, and everything slowly goes dark around him, but he’s not uneasy with the lack of light. He can just barely see the shifting stream, but he can still hear it gurgling, and the sand is cool as he sifts it through his fingers. It’s not helping him come to a solution, but he feels better here than he’s felt at home for a long time.
Eventually, he heaves a giant sigh and pulls himself up from his position. His leg is asleep and he hisses as it painfully wakes up, cramping. If he doesn’t get home soon, his mother is going get pissy, and he hadn’t exactly told anyone where he was going. Trudging back to the car, he takes one last look over his shoulder before he pulls open the driver-side door and gets behind the wheel.
However, his engine refuses to turn over, no matter how many times he tries the ignition, and worry blooms in his chest. “C’mon,” he mutters, twisting the key, listening to the engine sputter uselessly under his hood. “C’mon, c’mon. Please.” But the engine dies with a hissing whine and Jared hits the steering wheel several times with his hand.
“Goddammit,” he snarls. He keeps trying the key even though it’s useless, and he’s so frustrated, he could cry. The nearest main road is at least ten miles through the dark over rough terrain, and shit, he’s not stupid enough to risk it during the night. He shouldn’t have come in the first place--his truck’s never been the most reliable car, and now he’s stranded in the middle of nowhere with no help and nobody knows where he is. His mother doesn’t believe in newfangled things like mobile phones, so he has no way to contact anyone unless he tries to build a fire or something.
He pops open the hood in a last-ditch attempt, but he knows next to nothing about cars, and he can’t see anything wrong in the low glow from his pen flashlight, so he gives it up as a lost cause and tries the ignition one last time. Nothing happens, no noise from the engine, so he gives up, pocketing the key.
“Just my luck,” he mutters darkly, throwing his head against the back of his headrest. He has some food in his bag, leftover from lunch, but not much, and his stomach is already growling hungrily. At the same time, the night is getting colder around him, and all he has in his backseat is a single blanket, covered in dog hair. Still, he can’t see any other option, so he resigns himself to bedding down and spending the night . He doesn’t eat anything so he can save some food for tomorrow, and he generally feels miserable as he lies uncomfortably across the backseat of his truck, the seatbelt buckle digging painfully into his arm. He stares out of the window as midnight comes and passes, watching the haze of clouds as they blow across the moon, and he drifts off wondering how hard is mom is freaking out.
When he wakes up, it’s to the sound of rain pouring down heavily on the roof of his car, drowning out all other noises. Jared’s heart sinks further, because he can barely see five feet out of his window. It’s chilly enough in his car without being wet, and he doesn’t know if it’s wise to try and hike ten miles through the mud with no protective gear whatsoever. But he doesn’t want to stay here stuck for another day either, so he doesn’t know what options he has. Trying the key one last time, Jared resigns himself to the fact that his car is, in fact, completely broken down, and he steels himself for the hike ahead of him.
Jared only gets about a mile down the road before he concedes defeat and returns to his car. He’s shivering violently from the cold and the rain, and it took twice as long as he expected to even get a mile down the road due to the squelching mud and heavy wind. Exhausted, he crawls into the backseat, peeling his wet sweatshirt off and throwing it into the footwell, curling up under his blanket. Deciding that he’ll head out as soon as the rain lets up, he huddles into a ball, watching droplets of water careen down the windows.
By the time evening rolls around, it’s still pouring, and Jared feels as though he should be panicking or anxious, but all he feels is bored complacency. An hour ago, he ate the remainder of yesterday’s lunch when he found he couldn’t ignore his aching stomach any longer, and now he’s facing another night in his car with no food. He collected some rain water in an old cup that he found underneath one of the seats, but it tasted odd, probably because it mixed with the remnants of week-old coke. He settles down and watches the shadows play over the roof of his car until he falls asleep to the sounds of the storm.
It’s still raining when he wakes up again, early Sunday morning, and he wonders what he must have done to deserve such bad luck. Maybe, he reasons, he’s remembering yesterday too negatively and he should try again to get to the main road. Except, when he picks up his sweatshirt from the floor, it’s still damp and cool, and Jared’s fairly sure that all of his memories from his aborted hike are completely true. He figures that he’ll wait until noon and if the rain hasn’t let up, he’ll try again, as unpleasant as it may be.
He’s still holed up in his car by eleven, and weather’s perhaps incrementally better, but he’s not quite ready to go outside yet. All of a sudden, he hears the rumble of an approaching car over the storm, and something shifts uneasily in the pit of his stomach. On one hand, it’s possible that someone is coming down here and has the ability to help Jared out. On the other hand, it could be an axe-murderer who’ll delight in cutting Jared into indistinguishable bits. At any rate, he figures his chances for survival are better if he finds the source of the noise rather than hiding out in the backseat of his car. Immediately after he steps outside, he’s soaked again, his hair plastered to his face. His rescuer seems to be getting closer, which is kind of weird, because this stream is literally in the middle of nowhere, and Jared doesn’t know why anyone would come down this road during a torrential downpour.
Headlights come into view all at a sudden, and Jared throws his hand over his eyes against the glare as a car squelches through the mud and comes to a stop right in front of him. When the driver turns the engine off, Jared’s able to get a good look at the make and the model of the car and his heart stops dead in his chest. Jensen tumbles out into the mud, looking at Jared like he’s just seen a ghost. He crosses the distance between them in three long strides and socks Jared hard in the arm before he throws his arms tight around Jared’s neck. Jared’s too surprised to do anything but stand stock-still, his arms glued to his sides.
“What is wrong with you?” Jensen cries, pushing Jared away as quickly as he’d hugged him. “Do you know how worried everyone has been?”
“I didn’t mean to,” Jared says numbly. “My car broke down and it’s raining too hard to make it back to the road.”
“God, Jared, your mother’s going crazy!”
“I’m sorry,” Jared says uselessly. “How did you know I was going to be here?”
Jensen shakes the water out of his eyes. “I don’t know. Lucky guess,” he says. “I was looking everywhere, and I just remembered this place and thought to come here.”
“Thanks,” Jared says quietly. “I was kind of screwed.”
“Yeah, you kind of were!” Jensen says angrily. “What were you going to do if I hadn’t found you, huh? Just sit here and starve?”
“No!” says Jared, stung. “I was waiting for the rain to let up before I did anything.”
“Were you?” Jensen asks, still pissed. “I mean, it doesn’t look like you tried too hard. You’ve been missing since after school Friday.”
“I didn’t ask you to come find me,” defends Jared. “I can’t help that my car died.”
“So I was supposed to wait at home and not do anything? What the fuck, Jared?”
“I don’t know, Jensen! Seeing as you don’t really like me anymore, I figured you wouldn’t even care that no one knew where I was.”
“Go to hell, Jared,” Jensen snarls. “I was really fucking worried, okay? Is that what you wanted to hear?”
“Why do you even care?” says Jared. “You’ve made it pretty clear this past month that you can’t even stand to be around me anymore.”
“Don’t pin this all on me,” Jensen warns. “Jesus, Jared, we’ve been friends since we were three. Of course I fucking cared when your mom called my mom frantic because she didn’t know where you were.”
“Well, that’s good,” says Jared stiffly. “You can go back and tell her where I am, and she can come get me and stop freaking out.”
“Don’t be a retard, Jared,” Jensen snaps. “I’ll take you home and your parents can get a tow truck for your car.”
“No thank you,” Jared says. “It’s fine. I can wait. Just tell her that I’m here, and then you never have to talk to me again. I promise.”
“Stop being stubborn,” Jensen says, pulling on Jensen’s arm. “Just get in the car.”
“No,” Jared says, yanking his arm back to his side. “I mean, you obviously can’t stand to be around me anymore. I won’t force my presence on you for the half-hour drive home. You found me. You don’t have any responsibility for the situation.”
“Stop it,” Jensen says, and whoa, he sounds really upset.
“Why? It’s the truth,” says Jared.
“No it isn’t,” Jensen says. “It isn’t. I don’t hate you.”
“Then what do you feel about me? Huh, Jensen? What am I to you?”
“I--I don’t,” Jensen stammers, and Jared nearly screams in frustration.
“What? What are you? Spit it out already!” Jensen braces himself for the immediate rejection, just barely resisting the urge to squeeze his eyes shut. “C’mon, Jensen. Tell it how it is. I’m a big boy--I can take it.”
“I fucking love you, okay?” Jensen yells, his face screwed up. “That’s how I feel, all right?”
Jared feels like he’s been hit with a two-by-four, and he stumbles back three steps. “Bullshit!” he shouts, almost losing his footing in the mud.
“God, Jared,” Jensen voice cracks, and something twists unpleasantly in Jared’s chest.
“You don’t have to lie to me,” Jared says. “It’s okay. I know you don’t feel like I do, so don’t fucking lie to me.”
“You don’t know anything,” Jensen says. “You think this has been easy for me?”
“Why didn’t you just tell me? You let me think for all this time--”
“What was I supposed to, huh? I didn’t exactly wake up asking to like this, you know! I thought maybe if ignored it for long enough, it would go away. But you couldn’t let me do that, could you, Jared? You had to go and fuck everything up.”
“Don’t take your shit out on me, Jensen,” Jared says. “It’s not my fault that you can’t deal with things the way they are.”
“I never asked for this to happen,” says Jensen wildly. “Why couldn’t you have just left it alone, Jared?”
“Because I’m not an emotional retard like you!” Jared blows up. “I can deal with my feelings, Jensen, but obviously you can’t!”
“That’s a load of crap,” Jensen says. “You’ve been just as shitty to everyone else as I have.” And okay, that’s true, but it doesn’t mean that Jared wants to hear it.
“Fine,” he says woodenly. “So where do we go from here? I don’t see anything working out if you hate me for ruining your life like this.”
“I don’t hate you,” Jensen says, and he’s getting closer now, closing the distance between them again. “Haven’t you been listening to me at all?”
“Yes, I have, Jensen! I’ve heard you say that you’re apparently in love with me but you can’t deal with the fact that you might be gay. I mean, it wasn’t exactly easy for me either, you know? And I went and just let everything out with you, and you shut me down. And you didn’t even try to talk to me about it or let me know exactly why you were so upset. So I don’t know what you want me to do.”
“You said before that we could forget what happened. Can we? Is it still possible?”
Jared swallows. “No. I can’t do that anymore, Jen.”
“I didn’t think so.” Jensen looks at the ground and then back up, staring Jared square in the face with an indistinguishable expression. “Okay,” he says, mainly to himself, and then once again, stronger. “Okay.”
Then he takes one more giant step forward and does something that Jared totally wasn’t expecting at all. When Jensen’s lips touch his, they’re searingly hot, and he can taste the rainwater trickle onto his tongue. Jensen’s knotted one fist into the wet cloth of Jared’s sweatshirt, and Jared’s just barely let himself sink into the wet warmth of Jensen’s mouth on his before he’s using all of his resolve to push Jensen away.
“You gotta stop fucking with me, Jensen,” he pleads. “I can’t take it.”
“I’m not,” Jensen says earnestly. “I, seriously--I’m not. I just don’t know what I’m doing here, okay?”
“Figure it out. Please.” Jared’s close to breaking down--he can feel it.
“It’s just--I want to. I really do. I’m sick of pretending that I don’t.”
“Jensen,” Jared says. “What do you want? Tell it to me straight.”
“You, okay? That’s what I want.”
“You need to be sure. I can’t--if you’re not sure--”
“I’m sure,” Jensen says, even though he doesn’t sound all that positive about it. “Just, slowly, okay?”
Jared has a million things he could say to that, and they’re all stumbling over his tongue to try and make it out of his mouth. But in the end, there’s only one thing he can respond with, and it isn’t a rejection or a question but an answer, plain and simple.
“Okay,” Jared says.
Jensen’s immediately in his space again, grip tight on both of Jared’s arms, but he doesn’t close that last inch of distance between their faces, leaving it up to Jared, making sure it’s Jared’s decision. So Jared decides the only he can, cradling Jensen’s jaw with one of his hands and kissing him harshly, almost desperately. It’s immensely awkward at first, and their teeth clack painfully, but Jared can’t give up now that he’s put everything on the line, and he shifts his face a little, trying to get a better angle. Things fit then, easy like his friendship with Jensen has always been, and he can feel each of Jensen’s fingers bruising his arm but he can’t care. Jensen’s tongue tentatively touches his, almost like Jensen’s asking for permission, and Jared can’t deny him. He pulls Jensen’s tongue into his mouth with small, suggestive sucks, and it’s spitty but not gross, not Jensen and him. Jensen’s arching into him, trying to get closer, and it feels right.
Jared loses track of how long they stand there, making out while the rain falls around them, but at one point, he tries to move his feet and almost slips, throwing everything off kilter. They break apart, and Jensen starts laughing, a little chuckle that morphs into a full-blown belly laugh. Jared can’t help but laugh with him.
“Come on, hot stuff,” Jensen says breathlessly. “Let’s get you home before your mom has a heart attack.” He holds out his hand tentatively, almost as if he expects Jared to slap it away, and Jared does the only thing he knows is right. He takes a hold and lets Jensen pull him to the car, his happiness a buoyant weight in his chest.