Title: Thoughts and Nighttime Feedings
Pairings: Jared/Jensen, OMC, mentions of Chris Kane, Steve Carlson and Donna Ackles
Word Count: 3,453
Disclaimer: Anyone you recognize I most certainly do not own, they own themselves.
Summary: Jensen's thoughts the first night Tristan's home.
A/N: This is a timestamp for the fic Finding My Way Home Started With Finding You
requested (You probably will be okay reading this even if you haven't read that). Specifically she wanted to see a fic revolving around when Jared and Jensen brought their second son home from the hospital. This is kinda that fic, only it's a couple hours past what she was thinking. Sorry it took so long sweetie.
This is set roughly five months after the end of Finding My Way Home Started With Finding You.
Jensen slowly stumbled down the hallway, mouth hung open in a yawn, knuckling sleep out of his eyes with one hand while scratching idly at his naked stomach just above the band of his low slung pajama pants with the other.
When he had peered, blurrily, at the alarm clock it had informed him in cold, uncaring digital red that it was only four thirty in the morning and even though he didn’t have to be up, it was impossible for him to simply roll over and go back to sleep. He knew he should be asleep, regardless if it was a Wednesday, it was still and hour and half before his usual alarm and besides that, he’d taken a day off from the shop. He could afford to sleep in without guilt but really he just can’t.
He should feel embarrassed but it’s become impossible to sleep without Jared at his side. So when he rolled over, still mostly asleep expecting to meet the bed warmed flesh of his husband but instead embraced a night chilled pillow and even colder sheets, he became instantly awake.
Jared missing from the bed roused him better than his alarm ever could but at least there was no heart stopping fear anymore. Thankfully he had managed to escape the moments of half asleep panic, ice freezing his veins, as suggestions of Jared being back, being home, being Jared, where nothing more than fanciful dreams, filtered though his sleep fogged mind.
Instead, most mornings he found it an annoyance, Jensen was the one that had to be up at six am, not Jared, so he should still be in bed, available for a snuggle, not that Jensen would ever admit to it, not up and out of bed.
But today was an altogether different scenario. They had brought Tristan home the day before and if Jared wasn’t in bed, it meant he was up tending their son and as much as Jensen appreciated being allowed to sleep, he wanted to be there too. He wanted to be a part of these first moments, share them with Jared the same way they had with Nathan because too soon the real world would come knocking. There would be bills to pay, a business to run, errands to be taken care of, a world outside of their home that didn’t care about babies and precious few moments.
He slowed as he came to the end of the hall, the flickering light from the TV and the quiet murmur of a random infomercial pulling him from his thoughts. No other sounds, no other lights and Jensen smiled softly at what he was pretty sure he would find.
Silently he slipped into the room and instantly spotted the large shadowed figure of Jared laying on his side facing away from the room on the couch, one long leg hooked over the arm, the other looking uncomfortably curled so that his knee was pressed into the back.
He shook his head in fond exasperation; Jared had done the same with Nathan back when their oldest had been a baby. Getting up with him when he would awake hungry and because of a fear of falling asleep sitting up and dropping Nate, he would lay on the couch, Nathan tucked safely between him and the back and then promptly fall asleep.
It was heartbreakingly sweet and Jensen had always enjoyed seeing it but he always felt bad for Jared. Six foot four was not meant to be squished into a space of only five feet for an extended period of time and his husband would pay for his regularly nightly sojourns with knotted back and leg muscles. And yet every time he suggested that Jared throw the couch cushions on the floor and nap there with Nate, he was always met with the same disbelief.
“He’s a baby Jen. The floor isn’t good for him, too drafty.”
Admittedly the house they had bought had been older, not quite advertised as a “fixer upper” but pretty close. But they had worked hard to make it perfect and the thought of skimping had never entered either of their minds. When they had encountered a problem they didn’t feel confident enough to fix on their own they had brought in professionals and that included the window installers.
Jensen wiggled his bare toes against the cool boards of the hardwood floor. The window installers had been worth the money they had laid out, in the almost five years since they had bought and renovated the house, he had never once felt a draft but Jared could never be swayed.
In a way he reminded him of their mothers, Jared topped in the bedroom but outside that, he was definitely the worrying woman of the relationship.
Thinking of their prospective mothers brought to mind a conversation his mother had surprised him with a couple of weeks earlier and he felt a tingle of the indigent anger thread through him. He forced it back, shoved it away as he silently crossed the room and peered at the shadowed space between Jared and the back of the couch.
The ambient light from the TV was just enough that he could make out the glittering of little eyes peering back at him.
“Jensen I need to speak to you about something serious.”
He grinned down the tight blue bundle, protected by his husband’s large hand settled at the bottom of the blanket.
Jensen’s heart turned over in his chest and he could feel the anger start in the pit of his stomach. Wasn’t it enough, what he and Jared had gone through already? Couldn’t they have peace at least for a little while before something miserable happened to their family again?
“What’s wrong momma? What’s happened?”
“Hey son-son.” He cooed softly as he reached down and gently took Jared’s wrist and shifted his hand to rest on his own thigh.
A quick glance confirmed that the slow movement hadn’t woken his husband and he sighed softly, relieved. It didn’t worry him that the slight movement hadn’t woken Jared, his subconscious wasn’t waiting for small things but bigger, more obvious shifting or the snuffles of a baby preparing to cry.
Reaching carefully past him, Jensen slid his hands around Tristan and pulled him to his chest.
“It’s not so much what’s happened as what I’m worried will happen.”
Jensen sat down at the kitchen table and pressed the cordless closer to his ear. “Mom what are you talking about?”
Dipping his head, he rubbed his cheek against his son’s downy hair as he crossed back to the hallway and started down to the nursery, smiling at the soft baby smell. It was a smell that he could never properly explain to anyone who had never experienced it for themselves; a combination of lotion, powder and something unique that he didn’t have a name for but knew was all Tristan.
He wasn’t prepared to admit it out loud but he had missed that smell, it wouldn’t be long before it disappeared, just as it had with Nathan and he wanted to experience it for as long as he could.
“You remember my friend Nancy?”
Oh Lord where is she going with this? Jensen thought tiredly as he settled in for one of his mother’s round about talks. She always had an example for whatever was on her mind and usually it didn’t bother him but somehow he just knew he wouldn’t appreciate where this was going.
“Yes of course.” How could he not? Nancy was his mother’s best friend and there had been that awkward stage just shortly after he had come out to his parents, at sixteen, when his mother had determinedly tried to set him up with her daughter, regardless of what he had only shortly before that told her.
“You’re not stinky son-son but I pretty sure you’re wet.” Jensen murmured softly to the quiet bundle in his arms. “Better change you before we feed you again huh?”
He slowed as he came to Nathan’s partially closed door and stuck his head in.
The pale yellow glow of his son’s nightlight cast just enough light to illuminate his oldest, sleeping on his side, face towards the door, thumb firmly stuck in his mouth.
“Well her daughter, Melissa, got married right out of high school. I’m sure I told you about that.”
Oh he had heard all right. It had been another of her round about talks. Hinting that he would probably never be able to marry because of his chosen lifestyle and her belief that he would never make her a grandmother.
“Yes momma I remember.”
Jensen shook his head, “Little man.” He groaned softly, in fond exasperation, but resisted the urge to enter and dislodge his son’s thumb from his mouth. Past experience proved that even that little disturbance would wake his sleeping son and right now he didn’t want to have to deal with a grumpy Nathan and a hungry Tristan.
Instead he backed, silently, out of the room and continued to Tristan’s nursery.
“Here we are.” He played with the dimmer until the light was soft enough not to bother either of their eyes but bright enough that Jensen would be able to work.
He carried Tristan to his change table, laid him down gently and began working the blanket open.
“Well that marriage didn’t work out.”
He could hear the hesitation in her voice, knew the reluctance had more to do with the memory of their conversation from years earlier pertaining to Melissa and her marriage, then any regret she had that her best friend’s daughter’s marriage had failed.
“That’s too bad.”
It wasn’t what he wanted to say. Would have preferred something along the lines of bitchy vindictiveness but he swallowed it down. His parents were never going to be completely happy that he was gay but at least they generally accepted it and he wasn’t about to rock the boat now.
Deftly he slid Tristan’s legs out of his sleeper and slid the material up to the side, exposing his diaper.
Tristan let out a whimper and his little legs kicked out.
“I know.” Jensen cooed low, “But trust me, a moment’s discomfort will be worth it. You’ll be happier with a dry butt.”
He winked down at his son as he pulled off his wet diaper. “Well for however long it stays dry eh?”
“Well a couple of years ago she got remarried and her new husband treated the girls like they were his.”
Jensen had a sudden suspicion as to where his mother was going with this but he remained silent. Opting to let his momma get to her point in her own time, since even if his assumptions were correct she was going to take this the way she wanted regardless.
“This past November Melissa and Charlie, that’s her new husband’s name, well they had a baby girl of their own.”
“Doesn’t that feel better?” He asked as he fastened the new diaper on and began to work his son’s legs back into the sleeper. “All warm and dry.”
Apparently Tristan wasn’t convinced, as a slightly louder whimper was his response.
“I know, I know son-son.” He quickly did the snaps back up, “Just give me a minute and I’ll get you a bottle.”
His suspicion settled into certainty and he rolled his eyes as he bit back “Really momma do you think I’m capable of doing that to Nathan?” But he kept his mouth shut.
“Well now he treat’s Melissa’s girls like they are less, not worthy of him because he has a child of his own.”
“Mom.” He managed to keep the growl out of his tone, just.
“I just don’t want to see that happening to Nathan Jensen. He’s such a sweet boy and he’s been through so much.”
It was still, probably always would be now, second nature to ensure that he supported Tristan’s head as he pulled his freshly diapered and rewrapped son back to his chest.
“There, all done.” He kissed the top of his head, “Now let’s see about that bottle huh?”
Like I haven’t been? Like Jared hasn’t been? He wanted to yell it, wanted to remind her that Nathan wasn’t the only one who had suffered and quite honestly between the three of them had fared the best but he kept the words behind tightly clenched teeth.
“Jensen, baby, don’t be angry with me.” His mother continued after a moment of silence.
His jaw ached as he forced himself to speak. “Momma I love Nate with all my heart. I would never, never, treat him any different from the way I do now. I’m not going to love him any less then I do his brother.”
“I just wanted to be…”
“Momma I understand that this is coming from a place of love, I do. But we both know that paternity isn’t what makes a man a father or adoptions would never be successful.”
Jensen couldn’t resist looking in at Nathan as they passed his door once more on the way back to the kitchen.
Nathan was still on his side, thumb stuck in his mouth, still blissfully asleep.
He knew that his mother had only played devil’s advocate because she loved Nathan and she worried. What parent or grandparent worth their salt didn’t. But it did piss him off that his own mother had toyed with the idea that he could ever do that. That somehow she had, however momentarily, thought so little of her own son that she had to make certain that her first grandchild would be loved.
He looked from Nathan down to Tristan and then back again and honestly searched his feelings if for no other reason then to be able to, however silently his “ha!” would be towards his mother, it would still be there and he would still feel vindicated in his anger.
It wasn’t surprising that his heart felt like it would burst with the love he had for Tristan but it in no way diminished or out shadowed his feelings for Nathan. Nathan was his, his, first-born, genetics aside, and his baby brother’s birth wasn’t going to change that, ever. Yes he would love them differently, even his parents loved his brother, his sister and him differently but that didn’t mean less.
He continued down the hallway, “Sometimes I just can’t completely understand your grandmother’s train of thought.”
A tiny snort was his answer.
“Exactly.” He continued as if Tristan could understand every word he spoke. “She and dad raised me. You’d think she’d know better.”
He raised his eyebrow at the light spilling from the kitchen; he knew it hadn’t been on when he had taken Tristan from Jared.
“Looks like daddy Jared’s up.”
He pulled Tristan closer to his chest, shielding his eyes from the bright glare of the kitchen light as he narrowed his own eyes.
He could just make out Jared through his stilted eyes as he entered the kitchen.
Shit did Jared hear me? He hoped fervently that he hadn’t.
He had never bothered to tell Jared about that particular conversation with his mother, not because he was worried that it would make his husband angry with his mother or that he would suddenly have concerns of his own regarding Jensen but because the notion had been ridiculous.
But standing now, waiting for his eyes to adjust, he could admit that maybe a tiny part of him was concerned that Jared would start to worry about it. Start questioning Jensen’s love for their oldest and he really could not even begin to face that. Too much had happened to them already and although Jared knew him inside out, there were still times when he saw Scott and not Jared looking back at him. He knew Scott didn’t, couldn’t know him the way Jared did and they just did not need this extra strife, especially now when things were finally settling back down to normal.
“I didn’t mean to wake you.” He kept his voice low, even though the only one still sleeping was Nathan and he wouldn’t be able to hear them. It just seemed appropriate somehow with the lingering stillness of the night.
“You didn’t.” Jared pulled a bottle from the bottle warmer and held it out. “Muscle cramp in my leg did.”
Jensen blinked quickly until his eyes fully became accustom to the light, “I’m telling you Jared, you’d do better on the floor.”
He rolled his eyes, “There are no drafts in our house Jay.” He took the offered bottle and shifted Tristan in his arms so that he could comfortably feed him.
Apparently Jared had come to the decision that silence was the better part of valor because instead of answering, he leaned against the counter and hooked a finger into the waistband of Jensen’s pajama pants. “Come ‘ere.”
He allowed himself to be tugged into his husband’s personal space, “Something you want Jay?”
Jared took him by the hips and maneuvered him until he was leaning with his back to his bare chest. He slid his arms around his waist, careful not to disturb their busily eating son.
“Just this.” He murmured low then dragged his lips across his bare shoulder before leaning his chin against it.
Jensen settled back against him, allowing his husband to take some of his weight. “It’s hard to believe we’re here.” He said softly.
“What do you mean?”
He felt Jared shift his arm before his hand appeared from under Tristan and he ran a gentle finger down their son’s face.
“It’s just that,” he chewed his bottom lip, searching for words to explain what he was feeling. “It didn’t seem real, I mean I know that we knew that Tristan existed, that he was coming. But for nine months he was more an abstract thought then a reality. That doesn’t make me sound bad does it?”
Jared shifted and kissed his jaw before looking down at their son again. “Nah. I seem to remember that we both felt the same way about Nate too.”
Somehow he figured it was ironic that Jared remembered that and he didn’t but he didn’t bother bringing that up.
“So you with Tristan too?”
Jared chuckled softly, “Of course man.”
His husband dropped his arm and wrapped it tighter around his waist. “You ready to do this all over again?”
Jensen glanced over at him from the corner of his eye, “Please tell me you are not suggesting another one already?”
Jared shook his head, the stubble on his chin tickling Jensen’s bare shoulder. “No. I meant the late night feedings. The smell of sour formula in our trucks. More doctor appointments then we can shake a stick at. You know the whole new baby routine.”
It was Jensen’s turn to laugh softly, “A little late now to be thinking about that.”
“I’ll tell you a secret.”
Jared’s lips were against his ear and he had to fight down a shiver.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
Jensen grinned, “Me too.”
They fell silent for a moment, just enjoying the quiet time with Tristan before Jared spoke again.
“And this time we have a little helper.”
Jensen grinned at that, memories from the day before running through his mind, Nathan had been enthralled with his baby brother, something that made both of his fathers exceedingly happy. There had been the very distinct possibility that Nathan wasn’t going to accept his brother right away and there could have been tears and temper tantrums.
Instead he had crawled onto Jared’s lap and was quiet content to hold Tristan’s small hand while Steve had taken pictures and Chris had poked fun out of frame. The only drawback for him had been that his little brother couldn’t play with him yet.
“Maybe we can have him watch Tris while I get some.”
Jensen snorted, “Idiot.”
Jensen looked from Tristan to the slight movement he caught out of the corner of his eye in the kitchen doorway and smiled at Nathan’s sleep rumbled form.
“Hey little man come in.”
He shifted so that Jared could get out from behind him and scoop their eldest up into his arms.
Jared settled Nathan against his hip before he turned and rested the other against the counter, allowing for Nathan to watch with wide eyes as his little brother fed and giving him a free hand so that he could tuck his fingers into the waistband of Jensen’s pajamas.
Jensen glanced from Nathan back to Tristan then over to Jared’s smiling eyes.
Remember comments and contructive criticism are love.