Summary: If you want to drown yourself in it like it'll replace drowning yourself in him, well, it can be your best kept secret.
Fandom: SPN RPF
Original Story: Ain't Scared of Lightning by laurificus
Notes: Lots of thanks to musesfool for all her help, and betaing, and coming up with the remix subtitling, and making the ending not suck.
Jared's got a football game you missed because of filming playing so loud you can hear it long before you start down the stairs. You can hear Mike Tirico calling plays that you've already heard all about as you steal a t-shirt from the laundry basket sitting on top of Jared's dresser.
It's soft, the dark blue material worn thin. It fits just a little loose, which means it's probably nearly obscene on Jared anyway. It's probably a public service to take it.
You walk downstairs smelling like Jared's soap, and Jared's shampoo, and Jared's fabric softener, and if you want to drown yourself in it like it'll replace drowning yourself in him, well, it can be your best kept secret.
Jared's stretched out, all eight feet of him spread out across his oversized sofa, his bare feet on one arm of the couch and his head on the other. He grins, crazy wide, and it always, always manages to make your stomach flip. He grins like he's proud of something he did, like he sees something he likes. He smiles like you feel, sometimes, when he's had too much sugar and comes up with a stupid prank and drags you along.
He's at least halfway through his first beer, his long fingers wrapped around the neck of another bottle that he doesn't even glance as he offers out to you and absolutely does not move.
You hook your thumb into a hole along the hemline of the shirt you're wearing, cotton soft under your fingertips. It's easy to pretend you don't want to be touching him instead, except for when it's not.
You take the unopened bottle and his fingers catch your wrist.
The Cowboys take a ten yard penalty.
"Well," he says, and doesn't follow it up with anything. He's working on his second beer, one empty on the table, his right foot hooked under your left knee, and his ankle is probably going to leave a bruise. He's got bags under his eyes, because it's been one of those weeks where the eighteen hour days seem like forty-eight hour days, like they'll never end, and never leave you time for anything else; and you want to put your fingers there, want to be able to wipe the exhaustion away like the black-blue-purple make up you just scrubbed off in the shower, even as it makes him loose-limbed. Makes him twist his fingers up into the sleeve of your shirt.
You hold your beer a little too tight, and you swallow, dry, against how much you want, and poke him in the ribs.
There's a Bud Light commercial playing—too loud the way that commercials always are—and you're watching it because Jared managed to let the couch eat the remote again.
"I think," Jared says, in his Very Serious FBI Agent Sam voice, and you can't help but interrupt with, "Did you remember to stretch first this time?" Because you've always been good at remembering your lines, and this is easy. This has always been easy.
"I think," Jared says, again, and flicks your ear, hums a faint disapproval when you swat lazily at his hand and miss, "that you're just jealous because you clearly can't keep up with me. It's not your fault—" he hastens to add, as you inhale to respond. You know what's coming next anyway. "It's a very well documented fact that hangovers are a lot worse at your age."
You poke him again, between his ribs, where it's guaranteed to make him jump. It's okay that he knows all your weak spots, because you know all of his. "Listen, you smug little asshole, just because you spend your summers in a travelling sideshow doesn't mean you don't have to show proper respect for your elders."
The thing is: Jared laughs, like he always can, at the end of a shitty day, at the end of a shitty week, when you're trying to wash it all away with shitty beer and your best fucking friend in the world. He laughs like he means it, and the hardest thing you've ever done is not sway forward and into him.
"Jensen," he says, sounding like he does when his mama calls and he's been wanting something home baked for at least a week. He says it with Texas and pleading weighing down every letter. Like he's had a hard week and you weren't there with him for every step of it, hurrying when he hurried and waiting when he waited, and shivering, shoulder to shoulder, because you'll never get used to the wind up here.
You sigh, heavily, and lean over the thigh he's got across your lap to put your empty bottle next to his two on the table. You line them up, side by side, with your hand on his hip for balance, and say, "Damn delinquents. This is what's wrong with the youth today, you know, you never learned your manners."
He laughs again, and your hands don't want to leave him. You go to get the next round from the fridge for that, more than any other reason.
The game's back on, but it doesn't matter that much; you already know that your team's gonna lose.
"There are a great many things," Jared says, rolling beer number three between his hands, "at which I am vastly superior to you." His fingertips touch, stretched straight out around the base of the bottle.
"Okay," you say, smirking, patting his knee soothingly. "If that's what you need to tell yourself."
"A great many things," he says, again, pointing his finger and poking you in the cheek. He's like a drunk puppy, and you have to work so hard to keep from smiling that it almost hurts. His mouth is pink, and his hair keeps falling in his eyes. "Large quantities of things; there is an untold number of things, where I am better than you. Does it make you sad, Jensen? Do you need a hug?"
"I think I need you to name some of these things, and I'm going to require some sort of proof," you say, because you can't say always, or god, yes, or if I was a fourteen year old girl I'd have pictures of you all over my walls, and I'd write our names together in every notebook I owned.
"Well, there's being tall." He nods, bumps your chin with his forehead, and laughs, big and bright, like summers when you were small, and the days, and the field outside your grandma's house felt endless. "My superiorness at tall is vast, Shrimpy. Vast and undeniable."
You laugh, because you can't help it, because you don't feel small next to him, because there's something that's just on the other side of want trying to claw its way out that could swallow you both if you let it. You laugh, because he makes you, when he smiles like that, with that much pride. You press the back of your hand to his forehead like you're checking for a fever, because it's the only thing that keeps you from touching your fingertips his mouth, to the corner of it, the curve of his bottom lip, like your fingers there could ever be enough.
"Listen, Sasquatch, I know your mama says you're special, but there's not a lot of skill involved in that."
It's not a competition; it's just him smiling, nearly empty beer bottle sitting on his thigh and his hand fisted in your shirt, right at your ribs, and his knuckles dig into your side every time you inhale. He's got his arm wrapped around your back, pulling you in close, and like he doesn't have a clue that it makes you breathe deeper, push his knuckles in harder.
It's not a competition; you haven't been childish enough to be baited into seeing who can drink who under the table since at least a week and a half ago, with half the people you worked with in the bar with you, when it was you and Jared against the entire sound crew. When it was hard to breathe from the smoke, and the laughter, and the knowledge that there's nothing you wouldn't do if he was at your side for it.
"You're soft," Jared says, on a sigh, rubbing his stubbled check over your shoulder, his warm nose pressed against your skin, his words hitting against your neck. Being soft around him is pretty much the least of your worries. You watch out of the corner of your eye as he pulls away a fraction, to tip his head back and finish off his beer. You watch full on, as his tongue darts out to the corner of his mouth.
You finish your beer right after, because your mouth is suddenly dry. You go to get more and let Jared nearly knock over the coffee table trying to set both bottles down with the others.
"The thing is," he says, and stops. There are six empty bottles on the table now, and only two of them are yours. You've got your legs hooked over his just because you can, when it's like this, when he's sprawled low and your skin is humming with exhaustion and you can't remember that it's bad to want to touch him as much as you do. With the hand that isn't holding beer number five, he's holding onto your knee like he's planning to do it for a while, at least.
"Yeah?" you ask, finally, when the way he's looking at his hand over the faded and worn soft denim you're wearing gets to be a little too much, when you're starting to think about wanting things you shouldn't again, and getting too close to pretend you ever stop thinking about it at all. And if it's drawn out, drawled like you can't help, the first week back from home, well, you're just following Jared's lead.
"What?" Jared asks, blinking, and you can't help but laugh, again. You can't help a lot of things with him.
"I'm going to take away your beer," you say, and don't worry that it doesn't sound all that threatening. You're not even buzzed on anything but being awake too many hours, and finally warm, and close. It doesn't take a lot of work to convince yourself to sit up when it brings you that much closer.
Jared hands over his bottle—three-quarters gone, the fucking lush—easily, reaches for you instead, though you don't know it 'til you turn back around.
"The thing is," he says, with one hand in your hair, and the other twisted up in cotton of your shirt again, "I'm sorry. I like it when you laugh, and wear my clothes, and call me names, and bring me beer. And I'm maybe physically incapable of not doing this right now. So, sorry."
There are times with him where it's like being a teenager again, when you're gripped with a sudden stabbing want, and you maybe—probably—know you shouldn't, but you can't manage to remember why, or how to pull back, or how to keep from going in for more. It's like standing outside, watching the clouds roll in for a storm, thunder rolling in the distance. You feel stupid and childish and reckless, and it takes your breath away half a second before his mouth does.
And there's nothing, no way you'll ever be strong enough to be still against him, when he opens his mouth on an aborted gasp, his eyelashes fluttering like he's grateful, like he didn't know how this would go before he leaned in. It's Jared, and you've wanted him since pretty much the moment you met him, when he was smacking sour candy like it was going out of style, with a backwards baseball hat and half the strength he's got now.
He shifts, holds the back of your neck, scrapes his teeth across your bottom lip and grins, like he's happy. Like he did something he's proud of. It's like the second after a flash of lightning that came to close, all your hair standing on end, counting the seconds until the thunder.
There are six empty bottles, and four of them are Jared's. He doesn't make pulling away easy, but then, he never has.
"If you don't want me to kiss you," he says, with a lot of doubt, right up against your open mouth because he doesn't give you a lot of room to back off, and you're maybe not trying all that hard, "you should probably stop being so pretty."
"We're not doing this, because you're drunk," you say, and almost manage not to sound like the words are being ripped out of you.
"You're kind of dumb," Jared says, patting your shoulder like he's trying to soften the blow. His eyes are wide, like maybe he did jump before looking and manage to land on his feet. He's grinning like he just won something. "It's okay, though. I knew that going in. I still like you." He kisses you again, while he's still smiling. Jared laughs, again, and kisses you, again. "We're not doing this because I'm drunk."
You pull at the ends of his hair, because you can. Because it's too long, and you've wanted to do it for too long.
"I'll still respect you in the morning," he says, seriously, and hooks his thumb through the hole at the hem of your shirt. His fingers are hot at your hip where they press through soft cotton. "I promise."
"You don't respect me now," you answer, on a sigh, and lean into his mouth again.
"Maybe I'll start, just to keep you on your toes."
"I'll try not to get my hopes up."
He cups your cheek with his stupid, gigantic hand, his fingers in your hair, and the pad of his thumb pressed against the corner of your mouth. He grins, again, the way he does when he's got a plan, and your stomach twists, the way it always does, when you can't help but smile back and follow along. You just hope like hell it doesn't backfire tomorrow.