Title: Wait! What? No.
Characters/Pairings: Christian Kane, Steve Carlson with mentions of Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 2,745
Disclaimer: Christian Kane, Steve Carlson, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles own themselves and this is completely made up.
Summary: Christian just wanted to spend some carefree down time with his friends. This realization is no where near that.
A/N: This was originally written as part of Team RPS' entry for the first competition at spnwriterlounge
for the for the spn Olympics. Now that the Olympics are done I wanted to post it here.
Chris grinned at the sudden noise of excited barking and nails skittering across hardwood floors and he could clearly picture Harley and Sadie skidding to a stop in front of the closed door before dancing around in tight circles. He liked Jared’s dogs in all their over exuberant show of love for anyone who came to their home but it made him miss not having a dog of his own waiting for him to come home. But there were days when it was pretty much impossible for him to care for himself, what with filming the show in Portland and still trying to meet all the demands from his record label for promoting the upcoming album, he wasn’t nearly self absorbed enough to think he could care for a dog.
But at least he had an open invitation to come to Vancouver whenever things got to be too much and he could spoil Jared’s dogs rotten. Both Jared and Jensen understood that sometimes he needed something other than human companionship and sometimes he didn’t need to talk out his concerns or deal with his stress. Sometimes he just needed to live in the here and now and a dog, or dogs in Jared’s case, gave that to him.
It kind of surprised him though, when the door wasn’t even fully open and two bundles of excited brown fur forced their way out to try to simultaneously be the first to get his attention. Jared usually had better control of them than that but since neither dog seemed to be interested in anything other than shouldering the other out of the way as they both tried to jump out and place their front paws on his chest, he wasn’t too concerned about it.
He pushed Harley down with one hand while holding the other out in front of Sadie to ensure she didn’t try to take his place. “Hey guys.” He let his duffle bag fall from his shoulder as he dropped to one knee and dug his fingers into the fur of their necks. “Did you miss me?”
He laughed as they squirmed and wiggled and tried to reach his face with their tongues.
“Jesus Jared did you put coffee in their water bowls this morning?”
“The boys had a late night shoot last night but because of the con they had to shoot pick ups this morning. Jared overslept this morning, so his babies haven’t gotten a walk yet.”
He glanced up at Steve as he disentangled himself from the dogs and, grabbed his duffle and stood.
It wasn’t a surprise to see Steve there, he was a guest at the con but he was kind of surprised to see him still at the house. “Hey man. I thought you’d be at the hotel.”
Steve backed up to give him room to get past the dogs and into the house. “Harley, Sadie come.”
There was no need to turn around to make sure they obeyed, in fact there really had been no need to speak since they pushed past him and headed down the hall, he assumed, to reclaim whatever piece of furniture they had been reclining on before he had rang the bell.
He nudged the door closed with his foot and kicked off his boots, watching Steve as he made an exaggerated show of checking his watch.
“You do realise it’s only ten in the morning right?”
“And… He pushed past him and headed towards the kitchen. “Tell me there’s coffee on.”
“And,” Steve followed him into the kitchen and settled into one of the chairs at the table. “I don’t have to be there until later this afternoon.”
Chris grinned; some things never changed regardless where Jensen was calling home, the mugs were always in the cupboard directly above the coffee maker. It made things easier for him when he came to visit and needed a caffeine quick fix but he couldn’t help but wonder where Jared had kept them before Jensen had moved in and how long it took him to get used to Jensen’s one truly odd obsession.
“So why are you here?”
He turned as he brought his cup to his lips and waggled his eyebrows at Steve as he took an appreciative sip. “Oh that is so, so much better than that shit they served on the plane.”
He shook his head, “You and Jensen. Seriously, no one should sound like that when they’re drinking coffee. It’s obscene.”
“Like coffee is better than sex or like you just came in your pants.”
“Nice.” He muttered and pushed off the counter.
“Hey where are you going?”
He paused in the kitchen doorway and glanced back at Steve, feeling suddenly lost at the pinched look on his friend’s face. Now that he was actively thinking about it, Steve had been looking kind of tense the whole time he’d been there. He had automatically assumed it had had something to do with the convention but suddenly he wasn’t so sure.
“The couch,” he waved towards the kitchen door, “You know, generally where people sit and relax.”
Steve ran his hands through his hair before scrubbing over his face. “Chris why are you here?”
He had never felt like an outsider amongst his friends, not even the first time he had met Jared had he felt out of place. Jared had enveloped him in a tight hug before smacking his back and letting him know that he was welcome and that had been when he had still lived in an apartment. He had never needed to explain where he was going or made to feel that he had to stay in one particular place in the house until now.
“Aldis is here for the convention so we all got the weekend off.” He explained slowly, trying to ignore feeling like he was unwelcome. “Figured I’d fly down and hang out with you boys. Maybe go out for beers tonight and then come back here and flip you for the couch.”
Steve stiffened and muttered something so low that Chris couldn’t hear him.
He could be a patient man, he could usually wait until someone was ready to explain what was going on but he had just seen Steve and knew that they were good now. But suddenly he felt like he had been thrown back months, back to the time when he had to explain to his best friend that Columbia Records wanted to change the name of their band from Kane to Christian Kane. “Steve what the fuck is going on?” As uncomfortable as he was, he couldn’t help but try to lighten the mood, “Do you have a girl in there that you’re worried will take one look at me and forget all about your sorry ass?”
He huffed out a breath and stood. “Come on.” He muttered, “Let’s go to the living room.”
He let Steve lead the way, concerned and more than a little off balanced that there hadn’t been a snappy comeback.
Chris wasn’t really sure what he had been expecting, the room in disarray, looking like someone had maybe thrown a grenade in there and then left the debris or maybe a girl that Steve really had picked up and brought back to Jared and Jensen’s. It would be out of habit for his friend but it would have explained his behaviour. What he didn’t expect was nothing.
The room was immaculate other than the usual dog fur, a half cup of coffee on the low table in front of the couch and Steve’s, ever present, notebook full of lyrics sitting on the couch, a pen balanced on top of it. There was nothing there, no hint as to why Steve was currently frowning and gnashing his teeth as he settled onto one side of the couch.
Usually he just settled on the other side but this time there would be no room, Steve would have folded up the blanket he’d used the night before and placed it on the other side of the couch. And as much as he liked Steve, he wasn’t Jared and he didn’t need to be in his friend’s personal space.
As he passed the couch and could see more than just the back of it and Steve he finally noticed what was out of place in the living room, other than his friend and his notebook, the couch was bare. But that didn’t make sense, Steve was supposed to be staying the whole weekend with Jared and Jensen, it would have been a waste of time to put his blanket and pillow back in the hall closet when he was going to need it again.
Unless he really wasn’t staying there, unless he had gotten himself into another situation, like that married woman he tried to hide from everyone a few years before, that he knew Chris was going to give him hell for.
He still sat across from the couch in one of the two armchairs, that way unless Steve got up and walked away, he would be able to see his friend’s face and somehow it seemed like this was one of the conversation where he was going to need to.
“Steve, where are you staying?”
He grabbed his mug and held it tightly between his two hands. “Here.”
The answer was said into the mug, not to him.
“Really…?” He set his mug between his feet and rested his forearms on his knees. He thought that Steve had learned from his mistake, it had taken him the better part of two years to get over that woman, a woman who had never really been his in the first place. He was going to kill him if he had gotten himself into a similar situation. “The boys didn’t have any spare blankets for you?”
Steve lifted his head, his eyes challenging, “The blankets are in the bedroom where they are supposed to be.”
“But I thought both extra bedrooms had been converted to offices.”
He nodded slowly, “They have been.”
He knew that the house only had four bedrooms, two on the second floor, two on the bottom and even though Jared had talked about getting the basement finished that he hadn’t had time to even get a contractor in to get a quote, never mind start it yet, “so what spare bedroom?”
Steve growled and shook his head. “I’m staying in Jensen’s old bedroom.”
Chris understood sleep deprivation; he had spent the majority of the last several years intimately involved with feeling like he was moving underwater, where sight and sound were muted. But he had managed a full night’s rest the night before and he knew he was wide-awake and sober. But he felt like he had lost the train of conversation somewhere and he had to fight against the disjointed feeling of floating all over again.
“And where’s Jensen sleeping?”
He wasn’t expecting Steve to slam his mug back down onto the coffee table and glare darkly across the room at him. “Jesus Christ Chris are you being purposely obtuse? Where do you think Jensen is sleeping? In his and Jared’s room”
Everything seemed to stop as his body locked up in shock. In his and Jared’s room kept repeating over and over in his head, echoing back and forth, until he had no choice but to fully understand the implications of what was being said.
“So Jensen and Jared are together? Like together, together.”
“Yes Christian. Together as in together, a couple, two halves of the same whole, in a relationship...”
“No.” He shook his head to try to get the thought out of his head. It wasn’t possible, Jensen had been so careful, he had plans and to throw them away, to let Jared throw away any potential plans he had, it was unthinkable. “But Jared’s straight and Jensen knows better.”
Steve snorted, “Apparently Jared is not straight. And what do you mean Jensen knows better? Are you saying that Jared isn’t good enough for him? I’ll have you know that Jared is perfect for Jensen; anyone with two eyes can see that. He makes Jensen come out of his shell; he makes him happy, he makes him...”
“That’s not the point!” He jumped up from his chair and started pacing the room. He had spent years watching Jensen kept his true self locked up tight. He had argued and pleaded and then grudgingly accepted that Jensen was never going to be true to himself because he wanted to be an actor. And now he was going to throw that all away? It didn’t seem possible, not after years of denial. There was no way he had thought this through.
“You can’t be gay in Hollywood.” It was his voice but Jensen’s words, “Not if you want any decent roles and when this gets out,” he paused and pointed a finger in Steve’s direction, “and it will get out. They’ll both be blacklisted. I don’t want to see all the hard work that both of them have done be wasted. I don’t want to see either of them hurt.”
He sat back and crossed his arms over his chest. “And this is why they didn’t want to tell you. They knew you’d do this.”
“Do what?” He hissed.
“Your manly version of flailing around like a woman. Get over it Chris.”
“I am not!”
He threw himself back into his chair and shook his head. “Fuck you Carlson.”
Steve grinned and his voice was teasing, “I said apparently Jared isn’t straight, not me.”
Chris couldn’t appreciate that his friend was trying to lighten things up, not with something as big as this. Didn’t he understand that he was only trying to watch out for their friends? That he wasn’t being an asshole, this really would ruin their careers and just when they were finally getting the recognition and respect they deserved. “Steve...”
He held up a hand, “I’m a little pissed on Jensen’s behalf that you actually think he went into this without first considering everything.”
“Yeah, well sometimes love makes people do stupid things.” It was a low blow but it was a valid point.
Steve’s face went hard and his eyes narrowed briefly but he seemed to shake it off. “I know that Jensen’s told you that he’s considering going into directing. And I’ve talked to Jared, he’s perfectly content with staying on the small screen if this gets out and he can’t get any decent roles in movies.” He leaned forward, his face earnest and pleading. “Chris, as far as I can see, they’ve talked out every angle; every possibility and they are content with their solutions. Can’t you just be happy for them? I’ve never seen Jensen this happy, ever. Let them have this without your usual overprotective advice of “what ifs”, okay?”
He reached down and picked his coffee mug up from the floor, surprised that it survived his earlier jump to his feet. He took a sip of the now cool liquid as he contemplated Steve’s word.
He was right, even without knowing what had been going on, he had noticed that Jensen had seemed happier, lighter for the last year. And he knew that Jared was a good guy and probably was everything that Jensen had always wanted in a partner. And it sounded like they hadn’t gone into this relationship half assed so maybe he didn’t need to play devil’s advocate for a change. Especially since, in the end, all he wanted was for his friends to be happy. And if they made each other happy then who was he to stand in the way of that.
“Can I be violent with anyone who hurts them?”
Steve grinned, “Are you going to try to bring back outlaw country by seeing how many times you can get arrested before the album comes out? Or are you hoping that the extra attention you’ll get from being arrested over and over for assault will make you a household name?”
Chris shrugged one shoulder, “That could work.”
He grinned back, “Does it matter?”
He grew serious, “Are you going to be okay about this? Or am I going to have to punch you a couple times so that you aren’t an asshole to the boys when they get back here?”
“I’m good.” He swore and surprisingly, he was.