Title: That Complication Relation Sensation pt.3
Please see Master Post
for fic details.
Jared sat dumbfounded on his porch with a face that was so lost the word confusion didn’t even describe it. Either Chad had been right, which what the fuck, or maybe he had approached Jensen all wrong.
There was no way that Jensen didn’t feel the same burning sensation that Jared felt in his gut because that was just jumping to conclusions. Jensen had to at least care for Jared the same way Jared did or else they wouldn’t be here.
The whole situation was getting to his head and devouring his every waking thought while consuming his brain in the process.
Jensen could possibly not love Jared. Jensen could possibly not know how to confront what he’s feeling and explain it in words to Jared. Or maybe this whole relationship had flaws that ran deeper than the eye could see.
Jensen didn’t bother looking up from the last of his algebra homework at the knock on his door, already knowing it would be his mother coming to see if he had gotten all of it done yet and to remind him that it was late Sunday afternoon and it needed to be completed since she had daned him healthy enough to return to school the next morning.
Both he and Jared had been right that day, there really hadn’t been all that much but his mother had barely waited for him to close the front door before she was up in Jensen’s room telling him to get a start on it. He supposed it should have made him feel a little better, if she was willing to let him do something besides lay on his back and watch the little fifteen inch TV that was only permitted in one of the kid’s rooms when they were sick, that it must mean that she was beginning to think he was getting better. But he had been too shell shocked over Jared’s announcement to really appreciate that freedom from his bedroom for something other than to go to the bathroom was probably on the horizon. Instead, he had sat in a haze while his mother had explained to him that she had expected all his work to be done, not that it mattered, it was the same little speech he had heard since elementary school.
The smack on the back of his head was unexpected and not really something his mother tended to do. But Josh would.
“God damn it Josh!” He snarled as he spun the chair but instead of his older brother, he found Chris reclining on his bed, weight on his bent elbows and he was scowling at him.
“What did you do?”
“What the fuck?” Jensen snarled back and rubbed the back of his head, he was really getting tired of Chris thinking that he had some right ordained by some higher power to be allowed to dole out smacks to the back of the head to anyone that he deemed needed one.
“Well you must have done something.” He pulled himself up to sit at the edge of the bed and crossed his arms over his chest. “So what was it?”
He shook his head in frustration, he knew this conversation should be making sense, it probably was in Chris’ own head but he was at a loss as to what was going on. “You mean besides being sick with the flu Mack brought home last week?”
“Yeah, besides that”
He had meant it exactly as it sounded, as a question. Because as far as he knew he hadn’t done anything stupid, like texting Chris potentially embarrassing stories about himself while hopped up on cold meds. But there was always a chance that he had.
“Then explain to me why Jared moped around the school last Thursday and Friday and I got a visit from a very pissed off Me-Ae at my house this afternoon, demanding me to tell her what you had done.” Chris threw his hands up in the air in frustration, “I didn’t even know she knew where I lived! How does she know where I live?”
Jared had told him he loved him on Wednesday and if Jensen hadn’t already guessed that he had fucked up big time thanks to only seven texts between them and three short phone calls, it would be abundantly clear now. But he wasn’t going to try to explain that to Chris, he might be one of Jensen’s best friends but he wasn’t the best option when needing to discuss feelings. He was pretty sure the last time he tried to explain anything nearing feelings with his friend, Chris had started to break out in hives and had muttered something about even if Jensen was gay he could man up enough and keep his feelings to himself.
“Jared’s been moping?” He said softly, guilt making his stomach sour.
“Yes.” Chris hissed, “and because of it I ended up with Me-Ae at my front door this afternoon. I always thought that a good stiff breeze would knock that girl on her ass but now I’m not so sure.”
Jensen had good intentions, he wanted to talk to Jared about what had happened, he wanted to explain his side of things but he wanted to do it face to face, not over the phone. Besides, as much as it had only confused him more because Jared had said he loved him and then looked hurt when Jensen hadn’t responded, at all, he seemed pretty much fine the few times Jensen had talked to him. Granted he wasn’t his usual bubbly self but he had fooled Jensen enough to believe that any talk that they had to have could be held off until they were face to face.
Apparently he was a better actor then Jensen had ever given him credit for.
“So what did you do Jensen?”
He rubbed his hands over his face before blinking Chris back into focus. He really didn’t want to discuss this with Chris and not just because of his feelings induced hives. Chris just didn’t exude any kind of vibe that would lead anyone to believe he would really want to discuss anything deeper than why a guy had to take a girl out on, at least, three dates before trying to convince them to crawl into bed with him. Even now, glaring at Jensen and waiting for an explanation, he could tell that his friend really didn’t want one by the way his eyes kept shifting from Jensen to the bedroom door and back, almost like he was trying to gauge the distance and how many steps it would take to make his escape.
“You really don’t want to know.” He finally muttered.
Chris snorted, “No, I really didn’t want to know at one thirty this afternoon. By two my interest was peaked for me.”
He and Chris had known each other since they were three and he knew there was no way he was getting out of talking to Chris about this as much as he would rather not. He might be eyeing up the closest escape route but he also looked like he was steeling himself for whatever Jensen was going to tell him. And Chris was kind of like a miserable, old dog, he would keep on until he got what he wanted, growling, snapping and snarling the whole time till Jensen would have no choice but to finally give in or risk his friendship.
“Jared came over here after school Wednesday and dropped off my homework. And just before he left hetoldmehelovedme.”
He steeled himself for the eventual blow out from Chris because he knew that his friend had caught his words if the way his face went from confusion while he appeared to repeat Jensen’s words in his head until they made sense to something close to horrified fascination.
“Oh...okay” He drawled, “And he’s been wandering around like a kicked puppy because?”
Jensen’s stomach rolled over and it had nothing to do with the little bit of the flu still wreaking havoc on his system. “I froze Chris. He stood at my door and I couldn’t say anything.”
“Oh for fuck sakes Jensen” He groaned, “Why didn’t you say it back?”
He shrugged half-heartedly and looked down at his bare toes digging into the throw rug.
Chris blew out a breath, “You’re an idiot.”
His head snapped back up, “Hey!”
“Well you are.” He waved a hand at him, “Everybody knows he loves you and you love him so why didn’t you just say it?”
He snorted, “How could everybody know that I love him? Especially when I didn’t ...realize...that...I....” His voice petered out as he watched him shake his head slowly back and forth. “What?” He finally demanded.
His voice was incredulous but Jensen could still hear the mocking curling around the words and it made him feel hot with embarrassment. It wasn’t that he didn’t know that he loved Jared, it was just that he never quantified what he felt with any term and for Jared to just throw it at him had thrown him for a loop and made everything real. Suddenly, for him anyway, it had gone from knowing that being around Jared, that being the focus of Jared’s attention had made him feel cared for and cherished and made something hot and heavy but not unpleasant settle in his chest to suddenly having a name and being real and, therefore, all the more fragile, it made Jensen fragile.
“The way you two are all “Ooh Jensen, Ooh Jared” and the constant touching and kissing and...”
“Yeah, yeah, I get it.”
Chris suddenly went serious, “You do love him don’t you?”
Jensen’s eyebrows rose with surprise, wasn’t it just Chris who had been telling him that everybody already knew that they loved each other? Why was he asking now? “What?”
He looked like someone had just punched him in the stomach, “Don’t make me ask again.” He groaned, “I already have to go beat on some concrete with a sledgehammer to stop feeling emasculated.”
He couldn’t stop the bark of laughter, “Good thing your father owns a demolition company then.”
He narrowed his eyes, “Do you?”
Chris’ whole body seemed to deflate and Jensen wondered what exactly he had been planning to do if Jensen had said he didn’t know. Or maybe he had been wondering how he was going to stay out Me-Ae’s sights for the reminder of forever. It was probably the latter.
“Good.” He nodded, “Then would you please tell him so that Me-Ae will leave me alone. I’m telling you, for someone so tiny, that girl is scary.”
Yeah, it was that.
Jensen chewed on his bottom lip as he walked down the school hallway towards Jared. His boyfriend, at least he hoped that Jared was still his boyfriend, hadn’t seen him yet, he was squatting in front of his locker, digging through the books and binders at the bottom from what Jensen could see.
He had hopped that things would go better that morning as he had gotten ready for school. His plan had been to catch Jared before class and explain to him what had happened and tell him he loved him and then everything would be fine. Only Jared hadn’t shown up at his locker until just as the first bell for class had rung and then after a morning of separate classes, he hadn’t shown up for lunch either. After ten minutes of sitting at their usual table with the girls glaring at him silently, Chad trying to act all oblivious and failing and both Chris and Steve shooting questioning looks, he had finally given up and gambled that Jared would be at his locker.
At least that had gone right.
He ground his teeth against the flush he could feel heating his cheeks. He hadn’t meant for it to come out sounding tentative, like he didn’t have a right to talk to him but after Jared’s obvious desire to avoid him, he couldn’t stop it. But he had to talk to him; he had to make this right because now that he had admitted to himself that he loved Jared, he couldn’t stomach the thought of losing him because he had been a scared idiot.
Jared’s body jerked and his head whipped around to stare up at him. “Hey Jen” He glanced back at his hands grasping a book so tightly that his knuckles were white, “I was just trying to clean this mess up. I was late to English because I couldn’t find my copy of Macbeth.”
He wanted to grab him, force him to look at him but he kept his hands at his sides, balled into tight fists. Trying to force Jared to listen to him probably wasn’t the best way to go about this. “Can we talk?”
He shoved the textbook back into the pile before pulling it and the one beneath it out and balancing them on his lap. “I kind of need to get this done.” He glanced up at him before quickly looking back into his locker. “Can it maybe wait?”
Classic Jared he thought and slowly shook his head. Even after all the time they had been together he still couldn’t understand why Jared was so insecure about things between them, well beyond Jensen’s own fuck up. But he should be secure enough to at least want to try to figure out what was going on between them.
“Fuck it.” He muttered low and dropped to sit on the cold tile floor beside him. “It really can’t. But since you’re busy, I’ll just say it here.”
He glanced over at him and Jensen watched his eyes flare with doubt before he closed them, sighed and dropped to sit in front of his locker. “Fine” He finally muttered low, “Then talk.”
He watched Jared twist his fingers in his lap for a moment before he couldn’t take it any longer and grabbed one of his hands. He threaded his fingers with Jared’s and tugged until their joined hands were resting on Jensen’s thigh. “Jay, look at me.”
Jared sighed but did as he asked.
He took a deep breath, it was now or never. “Look I screwed up okay? I do love you and I should have said it that day but I kind of had a freak out. It’s just that admitting that I love you makes this pretty big and then I have to think about what’s going to happen after high school because it’s something like ninety percent of highschool sweethearts don’t last that long past school. I don’t what to lose you because I do love you and because that would kill me. And...”
“Wait.” Jared lifted his free hand and motioned for him to stop. “You are worried that we’ll break up after highschool?”
He shrugged, it might sound kind of stupid but it was the truth. “Yeah and that thought is hard enough without admitting or naming what I feel about you and...”
“Jensen stop.” He was smiling softly at him, “And people accuse me of talking too fast and rambling.” He shook his head before raising an eyebrow. “Jensen your parents were highschool sweethearts.”
He shrugged again, “Yeah, but that doesn’t...”
“My parents were highschool sweethearts. So that’s two couples that we know survived past highschool.”
“But that’s only two.”
It was Jared’s turn to shrug, “So? My parents, your parents and we are products of our parents. I’m thinking our odds are pretty good.”
He knew there were holes in Jared’s theory; in fact he was pretty sure that a paving stone would fit through just one of the gaps but he was really smiling at him for the first time all day and he was squeezing Jensen’s hand back. And the cold that had been slithering through his body since Chris had appeared in his room the afternoon before was finally dissipating so it was hard to argue with him.
“We are our parents’ kids.” He admitted softly.
Jared nodded, “Uh-huh.”
He tightened his hold on Jared’s hand, a tiny part of him worried about what he was about to say, about what Jared’s answer might be. I’ve got a lot of nerve picking on Jared’s insecurities. “So then, are we okay?”
“Are you going to freak out the next time I tell you I love you?”
Jensen knew that he wanted him to consider his answer, to make absolutely certain that what he was going to say was the truth but he didn’t need time to think about it. He had already done enough thinking about how much he missed the constant silly two word texts from Jared and the three hour phone calls and that had been before Chris had let him know that his knee jerk reaction had hurt Jared badly and made him feel like the biggest asshole on the planet.
“I’ll freak out if you don’t say it.” He answered truthfully.
Jared’s dimples appeared, “It might be a suitable punishment for making me think you didn’t love me in the first place.”
“Jay,” he pulled their clasped hands to his lips and kissed each of Jared’s knuckles. “I’m sorry. I am so, so sorry and I love you.”
Jared pulled until Jensen had to lean towards him or risk getting his shoulder dislocated. “Good because I love you too.”
Jared straightened out from being slumped against the bench seat of his truck once he caught sight of Jensen coming out of the school doors.
“Finally” He grumbled softly and reached out to twist the key in the ignition.
Jensen had caught him in the hall just before the start of the final class of the day and let him know that Mr. Collins had asked him to stop by the school newspaper office at the end of the day. He had thought that he wouldn’t be too long; sure that Mr. Collins wanted to give him his first assignment on the paper. As it turned out however, Jared had been left waiting in his truck for forty-five minutes and had to wonder if this was a glaring foreshadowing on how his senior year dating Jensen was going to turn out. Always stuck waiting on him.
He felt bad for feeling like that, he knew that Jensen’s father was obsessed with Jensen having a fair amount of experience on damn near anything and everything that would look good on his college applications and it was his pressure that kept Jensen busy trying to please him. But every year it was something new, something that took another piece of Jensen from him and, as selfish as it made him because he knew it would be a huge blow-out that would last weeks, he just wished that Jensen would tell his father to stuff it for once.
“Hey.” Jensen greeted after he pulled open the passenger door of Jared’s truck
He pushed away the urge to make a show of checking his watch and smiled. “Hey.”
But something of his frustration must have shown on his face because Jensen frowned, “Sorry it took so long.” He leaned across the seat and brushed his lips against Jared’s.
“Don’t worry about.” Jared muttered and shifted into gear. “So what’s the very first assignment for Madison High’s newest reporter?”
“That’s the thing,” he said quietly but Jared could detect the excitement in his voice and it made him feel like a heel. If this was something that Jensen wanted to do, then he should be supportive, not pissed off because it was cutting into their time. But in his defence, Jensen had been less then enthusiastic when he had been telling him that his father had suggested that he try to get on the school paper in the first place.
Jared glanced over at him before he eased out of the school parking lot and into traffic, heading towards Krip’s Dinner.
Krip’s was a place they had stumbled across while killing time before meeting their friends for a movie the summer before. It seemed like the owner had specifically designed it for teenagers, various sci-fi movie posters hung on the walls, a couple of pinball machines in one of the corners and fairly decent food that was priced for a poor student.
They had taken a liking to it the first time they walked through the doors and had since adopted it as their and their friends’ hangout.
“What’s the thing?”
“I’ve kind of been made editor.”
He was pretty sure that the only reason Jensen wasn’t dancing in his seat was because he knew that Jared would tease him mercilessly for it. But he didn’t bother to try to hide excitement in his voice.
Well fuck. Was Jared’s first thought, as uncharitable as it was, especially since Jensen seemed really pleased. And maybe he didn’t know exactly what being the editor of the school newspaper would entail he knew that it meant more time without Jensen around.
“Jay? Say something.”
He didn’t know how long he had been silent but it must have been longer than average if Jensen suddenly sounded worried.
“But you just started there.” He said slowly, “I thought, I mean, isn’t there a seniority thing? Aren’t you stepping on people’s toes?” He chanced a glance and had to swallow against the sudden guilt twisting his stomach at the sight of Jensen chewing on his bottom lip and looking crestfallen.
“Not that I don’t think you won’t be good at it.” He hurried to add, trying to ease his worry that maybe he had just stumbled himself into an argument. “But I’m worried that this is going to become a big stress thing for you if the others working there are pissed off.”
“They were all there.” Jensen said slowly, “And Mr. Collins said it was because out of everybody involved in the school paper, my English grades are the best and the paper would benefit from me being editor. Everybody seemed to be happy with it.”
“Well okay then.” Jared tried to show some enthusiasm. “I think that’s great.”
His fingers tightened on the steering wheel at Jensen’s non-committal grunt and he chewed on the inside of his cheek. This was not going to end well, he could already see the argument coming and the best he could hope for was that the parking lot behind Krip’s would be quiet. The last thing he needed was an audience when Jensen decided to dress him down for this.
Silently, he guided his truck into the, blessedly, almost people free parking lot.
“Why are you so against this?”
Jensen wasn’t yelling but years of experience foretold that this wasn’t necessarily a good sign.
It wasn’t that he was against it, really. Yes it was going to take up a huge chunk of Jensen’s already limited time, what with it being senior year and all the work that they had to look forward to in preparation for college, but if it was something that he legitimately wanted to do, then Jared would support him.
“Well you don’t seem all that happy for me.” He shifted until he was leaning against the passenger door and could stare across at Jared. “I know that it’s going to take up more of my time and that bugs you. But I’ve always had extra curricular activities so this is no different.”
Jared found a parking spot at the far end of the lot and guided the truck into it. “It’s not that, Jen.” He murmured as he threw the truck in park and shut if off before he turned to find Jensen staring at him, a disbelieving look on his face.
“Fine, maybe that’s part of it” He quickly back peddled “But not all.” He ran a hand through his hair, “Jen, it’s senior year and with all the classes you’re taking, are you even sure you’re going to have the time to commit to this? I know that your dad wanted you to be on the paper because he thinks it’ll look good on your college apps but it’s not going to help if your grades start to slip. Christ, you don’t even know what you want to major in yet.”
“I’m pretty sure I know what I can handle.” Jensen snorted, “And I’m sorry that not all of us have our whole lives planned out already. Just because you’ve always known that you want to be a vet doesn’t mean we all have to know from birth.”
He was going to leave the whole “lives planned out already” part alone because maybe Jensen didn’t know what he wanted to go to college for yet, but his father had some pretty definite ideas for his son which kind of made it sound like his life was already planned out even if he hadn’t really had a hand in it. It was a sore spot that would shut Jensen up and shut him down quicker than anything incredibly stupid that Jared could pull. But he was going to have to say something and say it quickly because Jensen was pissed.
“Okay.” He said placatingly, “Okay. I just worry because you stress yourself out so much.” He risked Jensen jerking away from him and carefully laid his hand on his thigh. Relieved when he wasn’t rejected and Jensen’s thigh muscle loosened under his touch, he gave it a gentle squeeze. Maybe it wasn’t what he had been thinking but as he had said it he realized that it was kind of the truth so he wasn’t going to feel bad about maybe not being completely honest. Besides things would only escalate if Jensen thought that he was only bitching because he was kind of sulking about the whole time thing.
Jensen shrugged one shoulder and sighed, “Forget it. I kind of blew it out of proportion because I thought it was pretty cool that Mr. Collins offered me the editor position when, like you said, I am the newbie and you didn’t seem all that impressed at all.”
“Jen,” Jared slid across the seat until he was leaning into Jensen’s space, “I am impressed.” He pressed their lips together, “Honest.”
Jensen pushed him away but it was gentle, “Come on. Everybody will be waiting and I really don’t want to think about what will happen if we’re not there to referee between Chad and Chris.”
Jared knew when he was be given an out and he wasn’t stupid enough not to take it. And although he should be happy that they weren’t yelling at each other over his misworded thoughts, he still couldn’t shake the thought that Jensen becoming editor wasn’t going to bode well for them.
Jensen sighed as he watched Me-Ae storm past him and Jared, standing at their lockers before stilling behind Chad. Without warning, her hand shot out and she smacked him in the back of the head just as he bent down to take a drink of water from the fountain.
“Ow!” He hollered before turning around to glare down at her. “What the fuck woman?”
Jared snorted and shook his head.
Jensen shifted so he could lean against his locker and hooked the fingers of one hand into Jared’s belt loops, “What did Chad do this time?”
He shook his head and turned away from Me-Ae and Chad bickering. “It’s Chad.” He answered, like that should pretty much make everything self explanatory, “When doesn’t he do something that annoys Me-Ae?”
It was Jensen’s turn to shrug, “Okay, yeah, you’ve got me there.”
He tugged on Jared’s belt loops until there was only a couple inches of space between them. Had it been the year before, he wouldn’t have stopped until they were pressed together but the Parent’s Association had somehow come to the conclusion that students getting a little too physical in the school halls would most certainly lead to sex, like not letting two students lean together was really going to stop them from having sex. But, of course, the school board had caved and made anything but holding hands or a quick kiss or less then a good two inches of space between bodies, punishable.
So far, Principal Morgan hadn’t been too strict with that particular rule but neither of them were about to push their luck.
“So before the “Chad gets hit by Me-Ae again thing”, you were going to ask me something.”
Jared glanced around for a second before his gaze settled back on Jensen.
“How long are you going to be at the paper tonight?”
He managed to hold back a sigh, that particular question seemed to be Jared’s refrain of late, not that he could blame him. When he had been asked by Mr. Collins to become the editor, he had been so surprised that it never even occurred to him just how much time the paper was going to take. In the three weeks that he had taken over the position he was pretty sure he spent more time in the school working on it than he did most of his classes.
“Actually, everybody has handed in their articles for Monday’s issue so I probably should start going over them.”
Jared had been smiling but it dimmed a little and he took a step back, not quite making it impossible for Jensen to keep a hold of his belt loop but pretty close. Even through the flare of irritation he could understand Jared’s point of view, it wasn’t like he didn’t miss the time they could be spending together.
It was that thought that decided him that maybe being a little reckless now and then couldn’t hurt. After all, it was only Tuesday, if he stayed late tomorrow and the day after, he would probably have everything proof read by Friday morning. “But I can probably be convinced to skip it for tonight.”
His grin came back ten-fold, even his dimples had come out to play, “Really?”
Jared grinning was contagious; at least it was for him, especially when he had done something to make his boyfriend that happy. “Really”
He stepped back towards him, ensuring there was still “appropriate” space between them but standing close enough that Jensen could feel the heat from his body. “Great, I was thinking...”
“You two really are a cute couple.”
Instantly they both froze and Jensen swallowed heavily as Jared’s eyes went wide. It didn’t matter that he was sure that they were still within the safe zone of closeness; it didn’t mean that either of them wanted to tempt fate and having Ms. Bledel catching them was tempting fate simply because she was their odd teacher. She never seemed to really notice much of anything that went on in the school, be it gossip, or student relationships or even what the other teachers had said or done. But occasionally, she would suddenly think something seemed out of place or inappropriate and a student or students would find themselves being hauled down to the office.
Silently he let go of his hold on Jared and they both turned to stare at her on the other side of the hall.
“I can totally see why everyone thinks you’re the “it” couple of the school” She smiled at them before turning and continuing down the hall.
“Ummm” Jared blinked and looked back at him. “What the hell just happened?”
Jensen continued to watch her retreating form from the corner of his eye, “I have no idea but her calling us the “it” couple kind of makes me uncomfortable.” He completely focused in on Jared, “You?”
Chad stalking past, grumbling loud enough that him calling Me-Ae a crazy bitch while the girl, herself, stormed off in the opposite direction wasn’t anything unusual enough to dispel the uncomfortable air that Ms. Bledel left in her wake.
Jensen had gotten so used to the newspaper office door opening and closing in the month that he had been there that he didn’t bother to look up from his desk anymore. If it was someone that wanted his attention they would let him know, if not, all the better, he had a shit load of work to do, not including his homework and he wasn’t really inclined to seem to be open to a non newspaper conversation.
“Hard at work I see Jensen”
However for Mr. Collins, he really didn’t have any choice but to put everything on hold and shoot the shit if that’s what the teacher wanted. Still he had to clench his teeth together when he lifted his head to find his teacher smiling down at him and a dark haired student standing slightly behind him. Mr. Collins looking pleased when they were at risk of missing the deadline probably didn’t mean he was looking to talk business. It irritated Jensen all the more because he knew that the teacher knew they were behind and he did not have time for this shit.
“Well we are kind of behind here sir.” He was pretty sure he managed to keep the snarl out of his voice. “Tanya was out for a couple days sick and her piece was late.” He couldn’t help but sneer down at the computer print out before him, “And, even though, I’ve got it, it’s full of spelling errors and kind of choppy. I get that she was sick and all but I don’t know that either she or I can fix this in time for next Monday’s run.”
Mr. Collins nodded, his blue eyes sympathetic but he was still smiling and quite honestly, Jensen was pretty close at snapping at that smile. If the teacher wasn’t going to be helpful, even if all he could do was tell Jensen to run the issue without the article then Jensen really wished he would bugger off so that he could get back to work. It was already well into the first class after lunch on Friday afternoon and the only reason he wasn’t in shit with his teacher for skipping his class was because he was supposed to be in Mr. Collins English class.
“I may be able to offer you some help.”
Halleluiah! Subconsciously his hands started to curl around the papers, intent on scooping them up and throwing them in the trash. As far as he was concerned, Tanya had a copy on her computer, she could go back through that and then he would go over it. He was done trying to deal with the mess she had handed over to him.
“This is Kerr Smith, a late transfer.” Mr. Collins gestured towards the student behind him and the young man took a step forward “And how fortuitous for us that he has experience writing for school newspapers.”
He smiled at Jensen again, waiting like he expected Jensen to jump up and hug him or something equally as strange. But then again, Mr. Collins had his quirks, just like Ms. Bledel, the only difference was that he seemed to at least have some knowledge about what was going on in the school, usually.
Jensen let his eyes flicker over the new student, Kerr, noting his hair was black and his eyes were blue and he was probably about as tall as Jensen was, but all that was inconsequential. All he really cared about was if the kid could really help him by saving Tanya’s piece so he wasn’t stuck trying to shift the articles around so it didn’t look like they were one short for Monday’s run.
“Kerr this is Jensen, the school paper’s editor. And Jensen this is Kerr, the newest member of our little team.”
He forced a smile that he didn’t particularly feel, now that he knew why the kid was there, he just wanted to get him started on fixing Tanya’s piece so that maybe he wouldn’t be stuck at the school all weekend.
“Hi.” He muttered back and pulled himself from his chair. “Let me show you to Tanya’s desk and I’ll pull her article up for you to take a look at.”
Mr. Collins clapped his hands together, “Great. I have a good feeling about this.”
As long as I don’t have to hear about it now Jensen thought as he led the way over to the empty desk.
“I’ll let you two get at it.” Mr. Collins appeared in his peripheral as he started to head towards the door. “Just remember to get to the next class boys. I can excuse you from mine but the other teachers get a little,” he paused and Jensen didn’t have to look up to know that he would be tapping his index finger against his bottom lip and trying to look like he really was trying to find the best way to finish his thought. Truth was there was only one way he ever finished this particular thought, it had been that way since the first time Jensen had met him back in freshmen year. “Put out when I excuse students from their classes. Something about questioning just who’s in charge of what class.”
Jensen rolled his eyes as he booted up Tanya’s school loaned laptop as the teacher chuckled and let himself out of the room.
Jared slid his arm around Jensen’s waist as he led him towards the stairs and their escape from school until tomorrow. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea, it seemed to depend on which teacher caught them as to if an arm curled around the waist was inappropriate or not but since they had yet to hear of anyone that had been sent to Principal Morgan because of an arm around the waist actually catching hell plus it was the end of the day and most teachers seemed to care less at that point, he figured they were pretty safe.
Plus it seemed like he was seeing less and less of Jensen now the farther they got into the school year. It always seemed like he was either stuck in the newspaper office or trying to catch up on his class assignments.
He missed the time they used to share and maybe it made him kind of girly but the rare chances he got to hold Jensen close he couldn’t help but take them.
“So, Chris informed me this afternoon that even he and Steve were coming to Krip’s tonight.” He wiggled his index and middle fingers into Jensen’s hip pocket, “Apparently I’m not the only one who misses seeing your face.”
He watched Jensen fidget with the shoulder strap of his backpack, “I guess I am kind of a rare sight.” He mumbled.
Jared sighed, he hadn’t said it to make Jensen feel guilty, not really, he actually had done it to let him know that he wasn’t the only one missing him. He had thought it would make him sound like he wasn’t bitching about their lack of time together recently if he could make Jensen understand that he wasn’t the only one. Somehow it seemed like that had backfired, “Jen, I get it. Everybody gets it, really. I just thought you’d like to know that occasionally we all like seeing your face.”
He looked up at him, a sly look on his face, “Somehow I think it’s not my face, or at least my whole face.”
The innuendo couldn’t be anymore blatant and Jared’s cock twitched at the vivid thought of Jensen’s lips stretched around it. If he was really lucky, and by the way Jensen’s green eyes had darkened suddenly he figured he probably was, it would be more than a memory before the night was out. And that was a perfectly fine idea to him, in fact he was wondering just how badly Chris would beat on him if they bailed on going to Krip’s. Sure they had managed to take advantage of Jensen’s parents going to church the morning before to reacquaint themselves with each other’s bodies but it had been almost a week before that and Jared wasn’t used to not getting more than a couple of quick kisses for days at a time. Besides, compared to him, Chris was pretty short and he was a guy, Jared was sure that if he explained to him that they chose sex over hanging out with their friends that he would understand. Or shudder and tell him that if they never had to discuss his and Jensen’s sex life ever again that he would forgive them being no shows.
Jared grinned, either way, if Jensen could be convinced; they were not making it to Krip’s that night.
“Jen,” he started low and tightened his hold on his hip. “What say you and I skip going to...?”
Jared snapped his mouth shut on the growl he could feel rolling up his throat. He knew that even before Kerr Smith had transferred into Madison High that Jensen had spent a lot of time in the newspaper office but in the two months that Kerr had been at the school and, unfortunately, involved in the school paper it seemed that Jensen was spending a hell of a lot more time there. It wasn’t that he thought that something funny was going on between Jensen and Kerr, at least not really, but for a kid that was supposed to have been involved in the school newspaper at his old school, he seemed to be having a fuck of a lot of problems now.
He really didn’t believe it was because he didn’t really know his way around a school newspaper either.
He let Jensen pull him to a stop and turned when he did, making sure that he kept his arm around his waist.
“I hate to ask,” Kerr grinned sheepishly but there was something about the way he was eyeing Jensen that made something cold slither into Jared’s stomach. “But I could use your help preparing for my article.”
Jensen tensed beside him and Jared was pretty sure he knew what was coming. This wasn’t the first time that Kerr had come looking for Jensen needing help. Though Jared wasn’t so sure that was the real reason and every time it happened, he believed it less and less.
“Jay,” Jensen started softly, as he turned to look up at him. “It’s for the paper.”
He forced a smile for him, “No problem.” He leaned down and brushed his lips against Jensen’s, “But you can explain it to Chris tomorrow.”
Jensen pulled out of his grasp, “I’ll do that.”
“Bet your ass.”
He started walking backwards, Kerr way to close beside him as far as Jared was concerned. “I’ll call you later. Maybe we can still get together.”
Jared waved him off with a smile but as soon as Jensen turned his back, his face morphed into a glower as he watched Kerr tip his head toward Jensen and say something before laughing.
Laugh it up fuckface. He snarled silently, eventually Jensen’s going to see you for the ass you really are.
Jensen didn’t bother knocking or trying the doorbell, he simply opened the door and wandered into the wall of noise within the house. If there had been anyone around, like Chris’ parents, he would have actually gotten shit for not letting himself in and as it was, the sheer amount of noise from the various people milling around the house, he didn’t think he would have been heard.
Somewhere in the mess of Chris’ “Thank Christ We’re Halfway Through The Year” party was Jared and Jensen was damned and determined to find him.
Originally, they had planned on coming together but at the last minute Kerr had called and said that there was a problem with his laptop and it had somehow managed to send his article into the server instead of to Jensen’s school email account and he needed Jensen to come help him because Jensen had a knack for finding missing emails on the school server. It was kind of true though he still couldn’t understand why nobody else seemed to get it; even Mr. Collins couldn’t do it.
Though sometimes Jensen figured it was that his teacher could do it, he just didn’t want to be known as the go to guy. Unfortunately, that left Jensen who had made the mistake of admitting that he had found an email on the server that he thought he had lost, and now everyone in the newspaper office called him.
The problem with being the go to guy was that that meant that he had to call Jared and tell him not to bother picking him up and that he would meet him there. This in turn meant that he had to explain why he had to meet him there.
Jensen wasn’t an idiot, honestly, he wouldn’t be able to tell the exact date that Jared had started to get weird about Kerr but he had started to notice the looks his boyfriend would get whenever Kerr showed up or even when his name was mentioned. At first he had thought that it was only because Kerr did seem to need a lot of help getting adjusted to how they did things at the James Madison High newspaper but as the looks started to get dirtier and Jared started to get sloppier at hiding them, he started to get suspicious that there was more going on then he knew.
After his and Jared’s phone call, now he knew and he really wished that he was wrong.
“What do you mean you have to head back to the school?” Jared growled, “Is there even anyone there to let you in?”
Jensen sighed softly, he knew his news wasn’t going to go over well, both he and Jared had been looking forward to a little quiet time, just the two of them at Krip’s before heading over to Chris’ for the party, it had been too long since they had had any real time to themselves. Jensen had found himself caught trying to split what little spare time he managed between Jared and his friends. Granted, Jared was usually with him when he was with Chris and Steve but it wasn’t the same. But thanks to Chris’ party he had thought he had caught a break, Chris wouldn’t care if they didn’t show up until damn near midnight because his parties pretty much went until everyone either bugged out or dropped in exhaustion and since his parents were out of town there would be no one to say otherwise so he and Jared would be free to do whatever they wanted for a couple hours at least.
So he understood Jared’s frustration, hell he had seen it building for months but this was the first time he had ever seemed close to violence over Jensen having to change their plans.
“As school newspaper editor I have a key to get in, you know that.” He scrubbed his free hand over his face, he really didn’t want to ask but he had to know. “Jay? I know we had plans and I’m sorry but I thought you understood...”
Jared laughed bitterly, “Understand what Jensen? That every time Kerr calls you go running? That you have no problem cancelling on lunch dates, or plans or just dates.”
He felt like someone had punched him in the gut, it wasn’t like Kerr was the only one that searched him out, he wasn’t the only one that worked for the paper but Jensen didn’t think this had to do with the paper, not really. “I’m sorry Jared but I’m editor of the paper, when something goes tits up, it’s me they come to.”
“They,” he snorted, “They seem to get along fine on their own most of the time. The only one who can’t seem to function without you is Kerr.”
He had known he didn’t want to know and with a sinking feeling in his gut he was pretty sure he knew exactly what Jared was referring to. “Jared...”
“No, Jensen.” He growled, apparently on a roll now that he had started. “Don’t say it’s about the paper because I don’t believe it. There is no way that Collins would keep him on if he was that useless.”
Jensen could feel his own temper rise, damn Jared and his damn insecurities. There was no way that he wasn’t accusing Jensen of something that he should know Jensen would never do but yet he was pretty sure he was. He swallowed down the urge to ask though, Jared was going to have to come right out and say it because Jensen wasn’t going to do it for him.
“What are you implying Jared?” He managed through clenched teeth.
“That I don’t believe Kerr is really that fucking useless. That I think he’s just trying to manipulate as much of your time as possible.” He snarled back defiantly.
“Well I hate to tell you but every single time he’s asked for help, it’s been for a legitimate reason to do with the paper.” He growled back, “Is that all you think?”
Jared remained silent, only his harsh breath ensuring that Jensen knew that he was even still on the line.
He walked over to his bed and let himself drop to sit on the edge before he sighed. He hated fighting with Jared and he hated it all the more when they did it over the phone because there was no way to see his face, to see if Jared was even really hearing him.
“Look,” he managed to keep his voice low, not quite apologetic because this wasn’t his fault, things were expected of him and there wasn’t anything he could do about that. And if Jared really believed that Kerr kept coming to him for something other than the paper, there wasn’t much he could do about that either except for trying to make sure he understood that Jensen wasn’t interested in anyone other than him. “I don’t want to do this with you okay.”
He waited for Jared to respond but he remained irritatingly silent.
Jensen clenched his free hand into a fist and hoped that his own anger stayed clear of his voice, “Jared.”
“Yeah,” he finally said quietly, “Okay.”
He already knew it was the best he was going to get for now, “I’ll be as quick as I can.”
“I’ll just head over to Chris’ then.”
Jared was still sounding monotone but it was better than the anger from only minutes before, at least Jensen hoped it was.
“’Kay,” he swallowed thickly, tension coiling in his stomach and he hated feeling like that but for some irrational reason, for the first time, ever, he was worried what Jared’s response was going to be. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” It was said back immediately and Jared said that, at least, with his usual enthusiasm. It eased some of the tension crawling through Jensen.
A part of him had only gotten angrier after they had hung up though, and by the time he had made it to the school, he was pretty much ready to call the whole night a wash, certain that if he came to the party that he was going to start fighting with Jared again. But on the other hand, if he didn’t go, then Jared’s idiotic fear that he was up to something with Kerr would only be strengthened and that wasn’t going to help anything.
So he had come, a part of him hoping to find Jared quickly and if they were going to have it out then get it over with as soon as possible before either of them got drunk and Chris would notice them and another part hoping, and feeling guilty for it, that it would take a while to track down his insecure boyfriend.
It never failed to amaze him just how many friends Chris seemed to acquire when word of a party at his place made the rounds, considering he wasn’t the approachable guy, usually but it seemed the promise of an un-chaperoned party was something that almost no one would pass up. Still, there would be at least one fistfight and Chris would be throwing out at least three people before things started to lose momentum, it was a guarantee, pretty much a tradition. Maybe that was why so many people risked being on the wrong end of Chris’ wrath, just to see who would get humiliated at a Kane party.
There wasn’t even time to react to the words breathed into his ear before arms wrapped around his waist from behind. For anyone else, it would warrant a quick twist away and a punch in the face but Jared got to break rules no one else could, even when Jensen was still kind of pissed off at him. But then again, feeling Jared mould his chest to Jensen’s back and his warm breath in his ear, it was kind of hard to remember what it was he was pissed off about.
“Get everything straightened out?”
He relaxed back into Jared’s hold and tilted his head to the side to give him more room to kiss along his neck.
“Mmmhmm” He watched people move around the room through half lidded eyes. This was what he had been missing for days, being close to Jared, feeling him wrapped around him, his constant warmth and scent soaking into Jensen’s very pores. A part of him wanted to hold onto his anger, not so much to fight but to make Jared work to get back into his good graces but he just felt too good to want to ruin the mood.
“Good.” The word was pressed into the soft skin behind his ear and his stomach muscles jumped as Jared hand slipped down to worm his fingers between his jeans and his skin.
Even being on the outskirts of the room didn’t mean privacy, especially considering that said room was packed. Chris might be tolerant of a lot of things but this would be pushing it, even from one of his best friends, and that was without considering just how many sets of eyes could focus on them at any given minute. Almost like he had said it out loud, Jensen caught the eyes of a girl he thought might be in his Algebra class from across the room and watched the slow smirk form on her garishly pink lips before she turned to whisper something to another girl beside her and they both turned to stare openly at them.
“Jay,” he muttered before forcing himself to twist away. “We’re being watched.”
Jared glanced around the room and tilted his head towards someone behind Jensen before stepping back into his space. “Well then I guess we should go find somewhere quieter to continue this.”
He couldn’t help the laugh that bubbled up, “Like where? Even if the house wasn’t packed full, there is no way Chris wouldn’t kill us for fucking around in his space.”
His eyes twinkled dangerously, “I stopped on the way here and got us a room at the motel on Eighth and Hastenings.”
Jensen wasn’t sure exactly what he felt, on one hand the idea of slipping away to go to a motel with Jared sounded exactly like what he needed. But on the other hand, it felt like Jared was trying to avoid their argument by distracting him with sex. “The No Tell?” He finally managed to spit out because he was pretty sure a response was expected.
“Well it’s not like we’re looking for somewhere to spend the night.” He shrugged, “We’ve got to be back here soon enough that Chris doesn’t actually start looking for us. I figure we only have a couple hours before he starts texting you nasty messages.”
Now that Jared wasn’t touching him more than with two fingers tucked into the waistband of his jeans he could think clear enough to know that this probably wasn’t the best idea because it felt like avoidance. But alone time, sex, with Jared was just too good to pass up. Besides maybe he had misunderstood or read more into what Jared had been saying earlier anyway. Maybe he was simply worried that Kerr had less of a professional interest and more of an intimate one in Jensen. Besides, Jared seemed to be in a good mood now and Jensen really didn’t want to ruin that, not when he had been looking forward to spending more than an hour or two with Jared for days.
“If Chris figures out we buggered off for a couple hours and gets pissy, you’re pulling extra duty for tomorrow’s clean up.”
Jared grinned and started walking backwards towards the front door, pulling Jensen along by the two fingers still tucked in the front of his jeans “Deal.”