Title: They Aren't Kids Anymore But...
Pairings/Characters: Jensen/Jared, Chris Kane, OMCs and mention of Steve Carlson
Warnings: Swearing, Sexual Innuendo
Word Count: 3,130
Disclaimer: Anyone you recognize I do not own, they own themselves
Summary: Jensen and Jared dealing with their kids on Tristan's 21st birthday.
A/N: Timestamp for Finding My Way Home Started With Finding You
. You shouldn't need to read that to understand this.
This is set roughly twenty-one years after Finding My Way Home Started With Finding You.
Remember comments and constructive criticism loved.
“Which one of us do you think he wants?”
Jared turned away from the lettuce he was rinsing in the kitchen sink to look at Jensen standing at the stove stirring the pasta sauce.
“What am I psychic now?”
Jensen glanced over his shoulder and smirked, “Seemed to know what I was thinking last night.”
He leered back at his husband, “That’s cause you’re easy to read baby.”
Jensen shook his head and turned back to the stove, “Smart ass.”
The sound of heavy feet thudding though the kitchen doorway announcing the arrival of their youngest, stopped Jared’s non-child friendly response.
“There you are.” Tristan sighed.
“Yes here we are.” Jared grinned at him before shutting off the water and gently shaking the excess moisture from the lettuce.
Another put upon sigh echoed through the kitchen.
Jensen chuckled, “What ya need Tristan?”
“Can I borrow your truck?”
“For what?” Jensen asked as he turned around and fully faced their youngest.
“And for that matter, what is wrong with your car?” Jared voiced his own question before Tristan could answer his other father.
“To pick up Shelly. And I don’t have gas.” Tristan answered succinctly, well versed in having to answer two questions at once, twenty-one years of his fathers having trained him well.
“Tristan Scott are you telling me you ran your car dry?” Jensen crossed his arms over his chest and glared darkly at his son. “I know I taught you better than that. All the impurities in gas settle to the bottom of your tank. If you run it beneath a quarter tank, all that shit ends up being pulled into your motor.”
Jared quickly brought a hand up to his mouth, making a show of rubbing it in an attempt to hide his grin as he watched a look of indignation cross their youngest son’s face.
“It’s not dry.” Tristan was quick to assure and defend himself at the same time.
“Well what is it then?” Jensen’s grumble brought his attention fully back on him. “Just above “Eh there’s still enough”?”
“Hey!” Jared spluttered, although not really surprised or truly upset that his husband was willing to still bring that up. “I did that once and I was nineteen at the time!”
Jensen shot him a baleful glare, “And it took me an afternoon to flush out your engine.”
“Once Jen,” Jared retorted but his voice held only humour. “I’m pretty sure the car would have still survived until we traded it in three years later.”
“That’s not the point.” Jensen huffed but his tone had softened.
Jared grinned and shook his head, “You’re right.” He admitted easily and pressed his right hand to his heart. “And I’ve kept that lesson close to my heart ever since.”
Jensen snorted, “Jackass.”
He caught Tristan rolling his eyes from the corner of his own and wondered how long it would take him before he broke into their banter. After all, both their boys well knew when their fathers were actually arguing and when they were only ribbing each other. And if Jared were to be honest, he and Jensen could continue in this vein until they were all running late.
“Umm about borrowing somebody’s truck?”
Both his fathers turned their attention back to him.
“I think your father asked you how much gas you do have in your car.” He prodded as he nodded towards his husband before turning to grab a cutting board from the counter top.
He glanced quickly over at Jensen and had to turn away just as fast to hide his smile once again at his husband’s expected “I’m waiting for an answer and doubtful that I’ll be happy with your response” eyebrow. Unexpectedly his smile turned bittersweet as he was transported back to when the boys were teenagers and mornings of explaining after a night of drinking or sneaking in hours after crew few assaulted him. Sometimes it hurt to realize that those times were long gone and would never be seen again.
“Enough to get me to the gas station and the gauge would only just be starting to nudge a quarter of a tank.”
Jared snorted and caught Jensen shaking his head, bemused. “Then go to the station, get gas and then get Shelly.”
“Aww dad I’m a poor student.” He groaned, “Have some pity for my sad finances.”
“Your finances wouldn’t be in such bad shape if you and Shelly hadn’t flown to New York twice already this year.”
Tristan narrowed his eyes as he glanced over his shoulder, “Nathan. Oh how I’ve missed you big brother.” He muttered sarcastically.
Nathan leaned against the kitchen doorway, a shit-eating grin on his face. “Hey Tris.”
Jared pushed the chopped lettace into a waiting bowl before turning back to their kids.
Nathan grinned sheepishly and rubbed at the back of his neck, a habit, Jared knew he had picked up from his other father.
“Yeah sorry about that.” He muttered and shrugged his shoulders, “Andy and I were running behind.”
Jensen chuckled, “Now where have I heard that before?” He glanced over at Jared, “Oh right, you.”
He smirked back at him, “You’re the reason when we run late. There’s just something about you Jen that when you clean up nice…”
“Man! Dad!” Nathan howled while Tristan groaned, “Jesus stop!”
He watched Jensen turn back and blink innocently at the boys, “What?”
Tristan looked over at Nathan, “What, he says. What? They are so paying for the year of therapy this conversation is going to cause.”
“Told you, you should have chosen Psychiatry instead of general MD.” Nathan shrugged back at his brother.
“Wait.” Jensen’s tone had suddenly turned serious, “You went to New York twice this year already?”
Shit! “Jen,” Jared stared slowly but he held up a hand.
“No Jay, I want to know what’s going on. And more precisely why it is that you didn’t bother to mention your second foray to the big apple to your father and I.”
“But I did!” Tristan looked quickly from Jensen to Jared. “Dad I called and told you we were going.”
Jensen turned, a combination of hurt and anger dancing in his eyes. “Jared?”
He cringed inwardly; it had been an accident, not telling his husband. In all fairness he had been busy throwing together their bags for their own annual long weekend, mini vacation to Red Rock, Missouri. Their one and only real acknowledgement to what had happened to them all those years ago. Making the date of the day that they found each other something of an anniversary and ensuring that they spent the closest weekend to that date in the town they came back together at.
Tristan had called to let them know that he and Shelley were heading up to New York for the weekend and honestly Jared had tried to dissuade him. After all he had his own misgivings, Tristan did only have limited funds and although he and Jensen would ensure that he would never lack for anything, that didn’t mean he should be spending his money frivolously.
Still when he had been going to see a Broadway show and liked to go to the Met it was hard to deny him since he seemed so interested in the arts. Of course it could be that it was Shelley that was interested in the arts and Tristan was simply going along because he liked her, really liked her.
Jared refused to think that his baby boy was in love with her, not because he didn’t like the girl or anything but because Tristan was too young to be in love. Hypocritical, he knew, considering he had been with Jensen since he was seventeen but that was different, he and Jensen had grown up together, been friends long before they had become lovers. Therefore it was different, not hypocritical, just different.
The point was he had tried to dissuade him but maybe hadn’t put as much into his argument as he should have and when the second line had beeped, he had let it go, seeing Jensen’s business number on the display.
It turned out that Jensen was calling to tell him that they would have to take Jared’s truck because the new alternator that his husband had just installed in his truck had died and he didn’t have any in stock to replace it. That had changed their plans slightly, instead of Jensen coming home, having a quick shower and then leaving, now he was going to have to get him, bring him back for his shower and then leave, adding extra time to their, already, tight schedule. In the rush, it had slipped Jared’s mind to tell him that their youngest had flown off to New York yet again.
“Tris called just before you called the weekend we went to Red Rock.”
Jensen’s face cleared, obviously remembering the flurry of that Friday. “Okay.” A small smile graced his face for a moment, a silent tell, letting Jared know that he was believed and the mistake was understood and forgiven.
“However no more New York this year for you son-son.”
Jared looked between Jensen’s slightly narrowed eyes to their youngest, knowing that the boy had a stubborn streak almost as wide as his biological father’s, hoping that Tristan would acquiesce. It would be better and really it wasn’t necessary to hope off to New York regardless of their son’s reasons plus there was the whole reason why the boys were back from their perspective colleges and really having a family blow out on Tristan’s twenty-first birthday wasn’t anywhere near acceptable.
“But Shelley’s birthday is coming up and there’s this show she really wants to see…”
“Tristan Scott.” Jensen’s warned, voice low.
Jared chewed on his bottom lip, this was definitely not going well, and he was going to have to step in. Not that Jensen was the disciplinarian and he some push over, but sometimes there were just some battles that Jared didn’t feel were necessary or at least he could recognize when it wasn’t just the time or place, whereas his husband seemed to lose sight of that when it came to the boys.
“Jen, it’s romantic.” He murmured softly as he came to stand in front of him, hands automatically searching out and grasping his hips.
“Don’t you start.”
“Come on don’t you remember when you’d take off Friday afternoon and come home to Richardson just to spend the weekend with me?” He wasn’t just using the memories as a diversion tactic; he had and still did, appreciate the effort his husband would take just to spend some time with him. And even now liked to remind him that he still remembered and he still loved it.
“That was different.” He grumbled.
“How?” Tristan demanded.
Jared managed not to roll his eyes and swallowed down the urge to tell his son to shut it. Yes Jensen was still unhappy but he could feel the tension leeching from his husband, at least it had been. He turned his head and pinned their youngest with his own glare. “Your father was working full time back then.”
Tristan appeared to deflate, “Yeah but…”
“No Tristan. We know you worked hard over the summer but the money is supposed to see you through the school year.”
Jared saw and he knew Jensen had seen the brief flash of defiance in their son’s eyes but he decided not call their son on it, he was twenty-one now and technically an adult. But he may find that if he came looking for help that there were going to be questions and ultimatums attached to any money he received.
“Okay.” He grumbled quietly.
Jared felt the tension leech from his husband’s body, felt the air lighten and breathed a soft sigh. One calamity adverted.
“Is it safe for us to come back in now?”
He hadn’t noticed Nathan slip from the kitchen during the confrontation but could understand it. No matter how much the boys laid into each other, they generally stood back to back against anyone else except their parents and it was pretty hard on the one who had to stand back while the other caught hell and not do anything about it.
Jensen slid out from behind Jared and crossed to the kitchen doorway where Nathan and his boyfriend, Andrew, were lurking.
“Hello Andrew.” He reached out for the boy’s hand.
“Sir.” Andrew replied as he shook Jensen’s hand.
Jared reached into his pocket and pulled out his truck keys. “Be back within a half hour.” He handed the keys to Tristan as he passed him to welcome Andrew.
Jared waved his hand over his shoulder just before moving to shake hands with Nathan’s boyfriend.
“How’s school Andrew?”
“Bags up in your room little man?”
It was funny that Jensen still called Nathan “little man” considering he was a couple inches taller than him but some things never changed.
“Aw dad seriously?”
Jensen grinned, the last of his bad mood evaporating from his eyes. “Always.”
Nathan shook his head but there was a softness to his own eyes that told Jared that, regardless of his groaning, he was perfectly content to stay his father’s little man for the rest of his life.
“Yup we’re all squared away.”
Jensen was nodding, “Just try to remember that this house doesn’t have sound proof walls.”
“Jesus!” Nathan spluttered and Andrew went bright red.
Jared laughed as he turned back to completing the salad, “Come on Jen, Chris and Steve will be here soon and you know Chris will bitch if dinner isn’t on time.”
“So Uncle Chris and Uncle Steve are coming?”
Jensen snorted, “Have they ever missed a birthday?”
It was a rhetorical question but Nathan answered anyway, “Nope.”
“More like has Chris ever said no to free food?” Jared muttered good-naturedly.
“There’s that too.” Jensen laughed.
“Speaking of, why isn’t Uncle Steve cooking? He is the professional chief, got his own restaurant and everything.”
“You dislike your parents cooking?” Jared raised an eyebrow and glanced over at their oldest, “You ungrateful brat, back to the U of C with you.”
Nathan laughed, “You would begrudge your own son food?”
Jensen snickered, “More for him. Besides a little bird told us that you boys are starting Tris’ birthday activities at your Uncle’s restaurant tomorrow night. I think Steve having to cook for you two once a visit is quite enough.”
“It was Uncle Chris’ idea.”
Jared and Jensen shared a grin, of course it was and knowing Chris, the boys would probably end up in the lounge attached to the restaurant for the remainder of the evening.
A banging on the front door saved either of them from having to find a suitable answer without letting their son know that their Uncle was probably planning on babysitting them, twenty-one and twenty-three not withstanding.
“Go let Chris and Steve in before Chris chews through the door.” Jared laughed as he put the finished salad into the fridge.
Nathan tipped a salute and dragged Andrew out of the kitchen, “Come on, better to meet them now then give Uncle Chris any ammunition towards picking on you.”
Jensen grinned and Jared pulled him against him to stifle his chuckle in his husband’s shoulder as they listened to Andrew’s slightly panicked reply.
“Why would he pick on me?”
They couldn’t hear what Nathan answered him over the renewed pounding on the front door but it was doubtful that they wouldn’t know the explanation all the same.
“He’ll think you’re hiding,” Jensen whispered.
“From him.” Jared finished before he leaned down and dropped a swift kiss on his husband’s upturned lips.
“Should we go intervene?”
Jensen shook his head, “Nah. If Andrew’s gonna be around for awhile it’s best that he gets used to Chris now.”
“Evil.” Jared tightened his arms around his husband’s waist.
Jensen leaned his forehead against Jared’s chest and sighed.
“Jen?” Instantly his back went up at the sudden turn of his husband’s mood. He tried to remember if Jensen had come home the day before from the garage in any kind of funk. If someone had upset his husband, hurt him, Jared was going to beat whomever it was stupid.
He nudged at his forehead with his chin. “What is it?”
“They’re both adults now.” Was the muffled reply.
Jared’s smiled, bittersweet, as he settled down, “It was inevitable.”
“Nate’s gonna be some big time engineer and Tris is becoming a doctor.” He shifted until his back was leaning against Jared’s chest so that he could watch over the pot of pasta sauce from the comfort of his husband’s arms. “It’s just, sometimes, it’s hard to remember when they were little.”
Jared kissed his temple, “I can’t forget their teenage years.”
He mock shuddered, “Jesus don’t remind me.”
He laughed, “I also remember leaning against this very counter and holding you while you fed Tris, that first night.”
Jensen snuggled deeper against him, “I remember how you freaked out the day Nate lost his balance when he was first learning to walk and smack against that cupboard door handle.” He nodded towards the offending handle on a floor level cupboard next to the stove.
He smirked, “There was a lot of blood.”
“Head wounds tend to do that.”
“Yeah well,” he hugged Jensen tighter as they listened to the muffled sounds of voices coming from the front of the house. “I seem to remember someone tearing up when both boys stared kindergarten.”
“Hey! That school was so damn big and they were both so small.” Jensen defended himself.
“They were fine though.”
Jensen turned his head so that his cheek was resting against Jared’s jaw. “They’re still fine.”
“For the most part, other than you know, Nate’s stomach having to be pumped the year he was a freshmen and Tris’ need to flit down to New York to see shows.”
He laughed quietly, “We’re sure he’s not gay?”
Grudgingly Jared admitted, “I’m thinking it’s more in love.”
He had expected something more, the beginning of a spiel about how Tristan was too young for love, not ready, something, anything other than quiet acceptance. “That’s it? Just mmm?”
“As long as there are no unexpected grandkids I’m happy if he’s found someone that makes him happy like I’m happy with you.”
Jared blinked and it took a moment before anything past “I’m happy if he’s found someone that makes him happy” to register. When it did he laughed, “Jesus you are a girl.”
Jensen twisted his head to look up at him, “You’re the girl.”
Chris walked through the door, “You’re both girls. Now where’s the damn food and the birthday boy?”