And be yourself my ally in love's battle Part 2/4series:
Then let me build a bridgeverse:
Battlements author: calamitycrow
and kasman artist: naisicabeta readers: beadslut
see part 1rating:
disability, alcoholism, some fairly graphic sex, sheer, unadulterated shmoop--yeah, these guys were due for something good.:)pairing:
Being a series of fics about the boys' wedding and honeymoontitle: And be yourself my ally in love’s battle (Sappho)Part 2: Come to me now once again and release me
"OK, are we ready to get the party started now?" Jeffrey Dean Morgan's voice came over the PA again, loud and clear, clearly showing his enjoyment of his role as MC. "Looks to me like the band's gettin' ready to rock'n'roll." There were a few discordant background noises as a couple of them hit notes on their instruments, and Chris, who was facing the side, ducked his head with a small smile. Somewhere along the line, he'd shed his tie and tied his hair back in a ponytail, like the musician he was.
Jensen looked across at the band stage only to see his sister leaving her chair at the end of his family's table and determinedly heading in his direction.
"Can I borrow your husband for the first dance?" she asked her brother, sweetly. "I mean, you two are actually supposed to have the first dance, but..." she cocked her head, gave him a questioning look.
A familiar tune, with an added rock guitar background, came through the floor speakers, and Jensen and Mackenzie both snapped their eyes back to the stage as Jared gave a loud guffaw. A voice cut in, saying, "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives." There was a collective roar of laughter from the guests and Jensen looked back across at the table where his family was seated and caught the shit-eating grin on his Dad's face. "This is Alan Ackles, and these are the days of our lives."
Jensen mouthed at his father, "Nice joke, Dad."
Jensen could also see Chris laughing in the background, figured he was the instigator, and acknowledged him with a grin.
Chris waited for the laughs to die down, then spoke into the mike, raising his voice some, "Are you ready to party?"
"Come on, Jared," Mackenzie prompted.
"Yeah." Jensen jerked his head toward the dance floor, "Go ahead, not like it's gonna be a waltz."
The harmonica was already blaring out, when Chris added, “Well, if you wanna party at my place, we got some house rules. And it looks like one of those rules tonight is that one of our grooms has gotta dance with the other one's sister. Jared? Mackenzie? Get those feet movin'!"
Jensen settled against his chair, watching as Mackenzie dragging Jared out on the dance floor, and found the fact that he couldn't be out there didn't bother him as much as he thought it would. Jared was enjoying himself, and this would also distract him from the open bar--and what the hell had he been thinking letting Jared talk him into that
Neil slipped into Jared's vacated seat, his eyes silently asking, and Jensen smiled back at him, "Tell Ty to quit worrying. I'm OK." He saw the skepticism, and added, "Besides, I'd rather save my energy for later."
"Maybe you should get married more often if it brings out your rational side." Neil's expression was dead pan, "Also, if you decide to host another party, would you consider skipping the alcohol? I'd rather not hear about it from Ty and Beth and
"Deal. You know, since I'm being rational," Jensen plunged on, because this was his one chance. He'd actually been trying to find a moment to speak to Neil most of the day, but there had been too many people and too much going on. "I want to thank you and Ty, for--" All the words he'd meant to say vanished, and he found himself stammering instead, "just, for just everything. I know that today wouldn't have been like this, if--well, if you hadn't--"
"'Kicked your ass' is the phrase you are looking for, I believe." Neil interjected, with an almost-smile. "And that was not rationality, that was a rather botched attempt at a Hallmark moment. But you're welcome." He stood, squeezed Jensen's shoulder as he leaned in close. Whispered. "By the way, there is a red bag in the bathroom for 'later'. I was, unfortunately, unable to get the handcuffs through security."
Jensen tried to hold in the laughter, but only Neil would say shit like that--and at the reception, of all places. A moment later, Jeremy, Mackenzie’s husband, sat down in the vacated seat. Jeremy flicked his eyes at Neil's back, and then to Jensen, "I'd ask, but Neil's humor scares me. Look, I'll make this quick, but I just wanted to say congratulations." He looked back over at his wife, and grinned because she and Jared were definitely hamming it up. "Although I think you got your hands full."
Jensen grinned back at him, "Yeah, well my sister is a handful, too." ~~+~~
"You ready to go?" Jared whispered into Jensen's ear with the festivities still in full swing.
"I'm fine. No need to go yet."
"Didn't say you weren't. I'm just sayin'... let's blow this Popsicle stand and... you know..."
Jensen smiled as he realized what Jared was hinting at, giving Jared the smile he reserved only for Jared, the one that Jared said made him look like he was all of six years old. "Yeah, OK."
"Besides, that apple juice stuff, it... well, it tastes like ass." Jared's cheeks dimpled and he straightened, looking down the room, seeking out someone."Gimme a minute."
Jensen watched as Jared made his way through a press of people to where Neil was sitting at a table with some of the Greendog staff, crouched down in quiet conversation, his expression serious. Neil looked up at Jensen on the main table and gave one curt nod of agreement to whatever Jared was saying. Then he waited for Jared to make his way back through the press of bodies on the dance floor before trying to rise from his chair--only succeeding when Jared took his elbow and helped him up. "What did you say to Neil?" he asked, speaking softly into Jared's ear.
Jared grinned at him. "I asked if he and Ty could maybe give us a couple of hours..." He jagged his head from side to side in a seesawing motion.
Jensen's eyes grew huge, as it dawned on him that Jared had just bought them a couple of hours of privacy. "Thank you."
"I mean, for us just to... you know... Have some time alone-ish... Come on, let's get outta here."~~+~~
Emilio had the car waiting under the shelter of the awning, engine idling, when they made their way out. Jared must've sent him a text message to be ready because Jensen hadn't seen him speak to his driver--some pre-arranged signal to get them the hell outta Dodge. Jared opened the back door, helped him ease down into the seat, swung his legs in. Then Jared got in the other side, slid over, and clicked the seatbelt around him.
Jensen grinned, leaning back again the headrest. "Smoooooth
"Thanks." Jared grinned back, grabbed Jensen's right hand, held onto it as he had for most of the night, and Jensen felt the weird almost-pressure as he rubbed his thumb across the knuckles.
"You're an awesome husband."
Jared gave him an amused look. "OK, Emilio, we're ready to go."
"OK, Jared." And they both caught a brief glimpse of Emilio's conspiratorial smile in the rear view mirror.
It wasn't until the car was out from under the shelter of the awning that either of them realized it was snowing, light flakes drifting down from the night sky. That was when Jared's phone vibrated and a moment later there was a message tone. Jared pulled the phone out of his pocket. "It's from Chris," he opened the message, held it up so Jensen could see. 'Nice escape, Hilts.'
"Classy, McQueen." Jensen shifted so he could lean more against Jared's comfortable bulk, "And I meant it--you're awesome."
Jared grinned back widely. "You're pretty good yourself."
Emilio braked to a stop as close as possible to the cabin door. They were really close enough that using the car to get to the reception wasn't justified in normal circumstances, but Jensen made the circumstances far from normal, and with the uncertainty of the weather and slippery conditions, it hadn't been worth it for any of them. Jared was out quickly and helping Jensen to stand, both of them mentally cursing the low elevation of the vehicle.
Jared shut the door and tapped on the roof, "Thanks, Emilio, have fun at the party," he said as Emilio cracked the window a few inches. Turned to take Jensen's arm to assist him up the low ramp in front. Emilio gave them a brief wave and then drove off.
Jared found the key card, swiped the door, and Jensen raised an eyebrow, "Don't even think it."
"Fine." Jared pretended to huff, "But it is
"Well, last I checked, there is no
bride." Jensen tipped his head back, "Guess we'll have to make our own tradition."
"Yeah?" Jared closed the door behind them, leaned in for a kiss. Six months and Jensen was still never going to get enough of Jared's mouth on his, Jared's tongue searching out his own. He opened further, exploring, tasting, still astounded that the day's events had really happened. They both finally pulled back, and Jared put his arms around Jensen, supporting him so he could lean his forehead against Jensen's, and his voice was quiet, "Thank you."
"Little early to be thanking me." Jensen said it lightly, turning his head, brushing his lips against Jared's jaw. Jared tilted his head, giving Jensen more access, and Jensen couldn't help himself, he bit down softly, nipping down the length of that neck. Jared reached up, yanked at the bow tie, the collar, and groaned when Jensen took advantage, letting his tongue and teeth trail across the edge of Jared's collarbone.
Jared changed the position of his arms, so he could shrug out of his jacket. Then he slid his hands further down Jensen's back, "I owe you a dance first, though." Jensen shot him a look, and Jared's eyes softened, at odds with the teasing in his voice, "Hey, I am trying to hang on to some
"OK," Jensen swallowed, "but I'm not much of a dancer."
"It'll be fine, not like there's anyone to see." Jared reached out a long arm, hit the play button on a small CD player that had magically appeared on top of the TV without Jensen noticing it. Something soft, slow, country played through the slightly tinny speakers.
Jensen hesitated, "Jared... I'm not sure I can..."
"Ssshhhh." Jared wrapped both of his arms around Jensen's body, pulled him in close. "I got you, just follow my lead. Relax."
Jared started to sway slowly in time with the music and for a moment, Jensen looked up into his face, at the half-closed eyes, pointed ski-jump of his nose, the dimples showing, half-smile quirking his lips. Jensen went with the movement, reached his left hand behind Jared's back and rested it as far down as he could, fingers hitting Jared's ass. The smile briefly quirked wider and Jensen dropped his head down to rest against Jared's neck, closed his eyes, let his breath huff across Jared's throat, trusting Jared to hold him.
Jared's chest rumbled with an inaudible laugh and he dropped a kiss on Jensen's hair, rubbed a warm hand on Jensen's back. "You OK?"
He shouldn't have been. The steps they were taking were too small, and the more he tried to shorten his steps, the more clumsy he was becoming. But he found himself humming along with the vaguely familiar tune, letting Jared move both their bodies. "Uh-huh."
The song ended, moved onto a song from Streets of Fire
. Obviously Jared had been planning this, and the knowledge made something twist in Jensen's chest, a sharp reminder of just how damn lucky
he was. He tilted his head back slightly, caught the scent of Jared's aftershave, breathed in deeply as they danced. Then the music changed again, moved onto something louder, faster, and Jared reached out again to turn the machine off.
"Thank you," Jensen said, looking up at him from beneath lowered lashes.
"Little early for that, isn't it," Jared almost echoed Jensen's earlier words, as he eased his hold.
Jensen looked up into Jared's eyes, grinning. "I mean it. That was... good."
"Can't let it go to your head," Jensen teased. "You might star--" Jared leaned in and kissed Jensen firmly on the lips, gripping his head with one hand to hold it there and effectively cutting off further communication. Jensen didn't mean to let the needy sound escape his throat, but he couldn't help it. He moved his good hand, grabbed hold of the lapel of Jared's coat, and Jared eased the pressure, relaxing into the kiss.
Jensen turned his head slightly, breaking the contact. "So... what's this new
tradition we're going to make?" he smiled. "I mean, this is all very nice, but..."
"Terrific? Fan-freaking-tastic? What?" Jensen grinned cheekily.
Jared pulled back, and the look in his eyes said he had a plan. "Give me a minute?"
Jensen drew in a ragged breath, "Thirty seconds."
Jared grinned, "Deal."
It was more like five minutes. Jared opened the cabin door, hung the 'do not disturb' sign on the outside. He stepped back inside, and tugged his shirt off. Gave Jensen a wink, then walked into the bedroom. He came back into the living room with the blankets and quilt from the bed, dropped them in front of the fireplace. He turned on the gas jet, then turned off most of the lights except the one in the kitchen.
Jensen was happy to watch. He knew Jared had taken off his shirt for his sake. He drank in the acres of tanned olive skin before him, the flickering light of the fire picking out the planes and shadows. Neil's exercise program was definitely paying off. Jared finally crossed the room, wrapped his arms around him, then dropped a light kiss on Jensen's lips.~~+~
"Warm enough?" Jared waited for Jensen's nod, before he started undressing both of them. He'd never admit it a million years, but this was definitely one of the pluses to being with Jensen now. Jared loved these quiet moments, when he got to not just help Jensen, but make it more enjoyable. He slid Jensen's jacket off, undid Jensen's tie, reached behind for the hooks on the cummerbund. Let his fingers trail across Jensen's shirt, across Jensen's back, loving the way Jensen responded to his touch. He finally undid the Velcro seam in the back, and let the shirt fall. He traced his fingers across Jensen's back and across his ribs, focusing mostly on Jensen's left side, where he had more feeling.
Jensen tipped his head back, the corner of his mouth quirking up, "We having sex this century or next?"
"Shut up." Jared dipped his head, kissed the laugh off Jensen's lips, "Arms around my neck?"
Jensen nodded. He helped Jensen raise his left arm first, so he could put his hand around Jared's neck, then moved Jensen's right arm for him, waited for Jensen to grab his own right wrist, so both arms were around his neck. It was surprisingly not as awkward as Jared thought it would be--and he lowered Jensen as carefully as he could, "Comfortable?"
To his surprise, Jensen relaxed completely against the blankets, giving him a devilish grin, "Depends on how quickly we get the rest of these clothes off."
"Thirty seconds?" Jared threw out teasingly, and hit the gas. He shed shoes, socks, and pants as quickly as he could, knelt down. For a second he just couldn't take his eyes off of Jensen. The first time they'd met, he'd found himself thinking Jensen was beautiful. Not the kind of thing he could ever say to a guy, but tonight, it was more fucking true than ever. Jensen was totally relaxed, enjoying himself.
Happy they were together
He just knelt there, drinking in the look in Jensen's eyes. Until he and Jensen had gotten back together, it had never dawned on Jared how much alcohol had stolen from him. Like making love. Having sex and making love were two totally different things, he got that now. He pulled his thoughts back, "Sorry. Nice view."
"Nice?" Jensen tossed his own words back at him.
Jared reached for Jensen's fly, undid the Velcro, planted a kiss on Jensen's belly, "Thought we weren't letting this go to your head."
"No, that was yours." Jensen's tone was amused.
He worked Jensen's slacks and underwear down, removed boots and socks, slid the slacks and underwear off. "See? Thirty seconds?"
Jensen snorted. He looked up at Jared, a small smile on his face as Jared made a move towards him. Moved his left hand, in what would previously have been a gesture to stop, but now came across more as a flap. "Wait."
Jared looked at him, puzzled, rocking back on his heels, "What?"
"Ambience, we need some ambience. I mean, we got the fire, but..."
"Ah, right." Jared grinned as he stood, "Another thirty seconds?"
"OK." It actually took him a couple of minutes. Jared stepped into the bedroom, grabbed several scented candles, including the ones from the dresser, and the lighter. He came back, and set them up around the room--on the mantle, coffee table, TV. Looked to Jensen for confirmation before killing the kitchen light and turning on the small lamp over the TV. He set a bottle of massage oil on the table with a small thud. "For after," he grinned, then belatedly remembered. "Let me get one more thing, OK?"
He went back into the bedroom, crossed to the nightstand, snagging the plastic urinal. When he walked back into the living room, Jensen saw what he was carrying, gave a small sigh. Jared had to admit this aspect of Jensen's disability made things more--well interesting
, but it wasn't really that big a deal either. He knelt, did what was necessary, gave Jensen a wink as he stood back up, "Just fifteen more seconds, promise."
When he came back, Jensen looked up at him, eyes taking in his full length in an admiring sweep."Oh, wow..." Jared returned the look steadily until Jensen asked, "Well? Are you just gonna stand there?"
Jared smiled, hesitated for a moment, "Hey, can't I look as well?"
"Not much to see here."
"So you say, Jensen, so you say." Jared kept his tone teasing, but he wished there was some way he could erase the doubt in Jensen's voice. "Coz from where I'm standing, God, Jen, you're beautiful."
Jensen raised an eyebrow at that, but let the remark pass as Jared knelt, started working his way up Jensen's body, dotting small kisses up his torso, touching, working his tongue in broad sweeps.
"So, we're not gonna get walked in on?"
Jared stopped, looked up. "Nope, took care of that. Now, shut up, please, and enjoy, OK?"
He dropped his head down again, latched onto Jensen's left nipple, and started working it with both tongue and teeth, sucking it until Jensen arched up, groaning. "Jared--"
He nipped again, worked his teeth down Jensen's chest. Just small, teasing nips, then he put a warm hand on Jensen's shoulder. "You ready?" he asked, looking across at the bottle of massage oil on the coffee table.
Jensen caught the angle of the glance, followed it. "Uh huh."
"OK, gonna turn you." He carefully rolled Jensen onto his side--almost his stomach, and rucked up the blankets to make a rough support pillow for his head, grabbed a couple of cushions from the sofa to support his left arm, and chest, and carefully kinked his left leg into a running pose so it would support him in position. Jared warmed the oil in his hands before putting a hand on Jensen's shoulder and neck and rubbing gently to test the waters. "Holy shit, you're full of knots!"
Jensen gave a small sigh of sheer happiness, and turned his head slightly, his reply smug, "Not the only actor in this family, dude."
"I can't believe this, you so had me fooled. You acting so cool and calm--it was all an act!" Jared shook his head, chuckling as he started working away at Jensen's shoulders and neck in earnest.
Jensen muttered half into the blankets wadded under his head,"... 'ward."
"What did you say?"
Jensen turned his head again, "Deserve 'n Acad'my Award."
"You deserve more than that," Jared smirked, thinking maybe a smack was in order. He moved his hands across Jensen's skin, chuckling again as Jensen made another little happy noise. Jensen was
beautiful, the light from the fireplace playing across his face and body. He was still too thin, his body had sharp angles from bones and lacked the definition of muscles, and yeah, Jared would always remember what Jensen had
looked like--before. But this was still Jensen, his husband
and there were a million things he loved about Jensen, from the sweep of his jaw and cheekbones to the tiny freckles that dotted his eyelids, to the happy groans and grunts and contented noises he made as Jared massaged him, and then there was the kind of person he was--stubborn, kind-hearted, generous, forgiving. Oh, yes, above all, forgiving.
Jared moved his attention to Jensen's back. Here, he was always more careful, aware of the damage below the skin. He didn't know if it was actually the case or not, but he always thought that the underlying structure of Jensen's back felt different from that of other people, wrong somehow in a way he couldn't quite explain. A combination of the scars, hardware and damage caused by the infection, he guessed, coupled with the loss of muscle and consequent lack of padding. He didn't know if any of it, other than the muscle wasting, was actually that obvious from the surface, but it just felt that way to him. Of course, he'd always had an over-active imagination. So he was extra careful, kept his hands gentle. "Don't fall asleep on me."
Jared chuckled again."Yeah, right."
"'S good." Jensen moved his head, resettled. ''Gotta giant, naked... husband... rubbing my back. Wish--wish I could... do it for him..."
"Yeah, well, 's all right. The giant naked husband likes rubbing your back."
Jensen snorted, mumbled something Jared missed.
Jared eased his thumbs around the small bump just below the ES scar. There was a cord there, just below the skin, connecting the neurostimulator to a small battery, and that he could definitely feel. "What?"
"Said, 'Giant naked husband loves me.'"
Jared had no idea didn't how it was possible for someone as relaxed as Jensen was to sound so satisfied, but he did. He worked his way to Jensen's left hip, checking and finding yet another knot. More proof that Jensen really shouldn't insist on so much walking, because it forced the muscles in his good side to have to overcompensate. He really needed to find a way to get Jensen to consider a vehicle that would accommodate his wheelchair, and that was one conversation he wasn't looking forward to having. "I'm not sure if I'm supposed to grunt, or tease you about getting maudlin."
"Not maudl'n, just sleepy."
"Uh, yeah, well, I knew that as well." Jared felt the muscles in Jensen's hip loosen, and he carefully climbed over Jensen's body and sat cross-legged with his back to the fire, smiling. He reached for Jensen's left hand, caught the light hitting Jensen's ring, and wow, he still couldn't quite process all the emotions that slammed into him at the sight. He found himself thinking back to Friday morning, and what Jensen's mom had said.~~+~~
Jensen was making a long list of things he hated about traveling. Like airport security and the seats on airplanes and changes in cabin pressure. Right now, he was putting rental cars on the top of the list. Ty had rented an enormous land yacht, but the thing might as well have been a fucking sports car, because it was much too low to the ground.
"Jensen, relax." Neil's tone was firm as he helped Jensen maneuver into the back seat. Jensen forced himself to loosen up, let Neil do most of the work, even let him swing his legs in, although he hated being so helpless.
Jared had already gotten in on the other side. He slid closer, and took care of clicking Jensen's seatbelt. Then he wrapped his hand around Jensen's right hand, and Jensen could feel that odd almost-pressure that meant Jared was rubbing his thumb across the back of Jensen's hand. It was one of Jared's new habits, something he only did when he was nervous or upset.
Jensen glanced over at him, trying to decide if he should say anything. He was still surprised at how much better he felt after his confession to Jared in their room. In the past six months, he and Jared had slowly fumbled their way into a healthier relationship--or at least he thought they had, but maybe he'd missed something. He'd had absolutely no idea that Jared's guilt about his drinking extended even to his own family.
Maybe he was the one who needed to open up, needed to share more with Jared.
Jensen knew that he no longer talked about his own feelings like he used to--mostly because of what had happened during those first few months after his life had been derailed by the infection. Everybody--the hospital and his family and even his first physical therapist--had insisted he needed to have counseling, so he could learn to adjust. All it had done was piss him off. Jensen just wasn't the kind of person who was going to sit on his ass, whining and bitching to some stranger about his problems. Even now, he'd much rather suck it up, than talk about stuff.
It was kind of unfair to expect Jared to do the program, though, and not at least meet him half way. Maybe if he'd mentioned earlier that he wasn't exactly looking forward to seeing his family, then Jared would've had a reason to share his own fears--
Jared let go of his hand, and touched Jensen's neck, "Jensen?"
He pulled his mind back, "Yeah?"
"Are you too warm?"
Jensen realized he was. He had on both a coat and a sweater, and the car's heater was on. But they were already pulling into the drive of the restaurant so it didn't really matter. "I'm OK."
"All right." Jared said it in a tone that said it wasn't, then he glanced towards the restaurant and sighed.
Jensen followed his gaze. The place was one of those fake-looking log cabin buildings, with a long, deep porch across the front, and apparently both of their families had beat them here. He turned his head, as the car came to a halt in front of the restaurant, gave Jared what he hoped was a teasing smile, "Why didn't we do the Vegas thing?"
Jared relaxed some, as he leaned in close, "Now you tell me eloping was an option."
"Yeah, but I'm not sure Ty would ever have forgiven us--or our families, for that matter."
"Don't remind me." Jared released Jensen's seatbelt, still leaning in close. He gave Jensen's hand a squeeze, though it was a tossup whether he was reassuring Jensen or himself. "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more..." he grinned, spoiling the mock solemnity of the words.
Jared shrugged, "Why not."
Neil opened the door then, and Jensen looked up at him. "Yeah, I know, relax." Which was damn hard to do when he was sure that everybody on the porch was staring. It didn't help that he was just too tired--he couldn't quite catch his balance, and he needed Neil's hand under his right elbow, especially to get up the two low broad steps to the porch Fuck.
He glanced over, and saw that Jared was already being swarmed by his family, while Jensen's family hovered on the edges. Jensen used to be a little jealous at the easy way the Padaleckis had with each other, their ability to turn hugging into a full contact sport. Now, though, he could see that Jared was smiling too widely, talking a little too rapidly.
"All right, I need my fiancée back." Jensen reached out, giving Jared an excuse to extricate himself from Megan's hug. And he wasn't sure if he was just being too self conscious or not, but he really felt like Jared's family was trying hard not to stare at him.
"And I think maybe we should go inside--it's a little cold out here." Jared placed a firm hand under Jensen's elbow, and another behind his back, in what could be called a proprietary display. Either way it had the desired effect, as both families filtered through the doorway.
Jensen leaned into Jared, whispered into his ear, "Well, c'mon Harry, for England and St George. The pancakes await."
The hostess met them at the door, too bouncy, too chatty, and barely old enough to work. It worked in Jensen's favor; she distracted everyone from noticing his struggle to walk the distance to their reserved tables, which were towards the back of the restaurant. He slowed his steps, leaned a little more of his weight into Jared's arm.
"You all right?" Jared frowned at him.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just... a long way."
Jared opened his mouth to speak again, and Jensen shot him a warning look. "Dude, I know what you're thinking and don't say it."
"I wasn't gonna say anything."
"Yeah, all right. Can't stop me from thinking it, though."
Somewhere in the past couple of months, Jared and Neil had worked out their own version of tag-teaming him. Generally, it kind of annoyed Jensen, but today he found himself grateful that Neil reached for his coat, helped him remove it, while Jared pulled out a chair, then helped him sit. Jensen caught Jared's worried frown, gave him a reassuring smile.
"I thought you were still doing physical therapy." Josh pulled out a chair for his nodding wife, and glanced at Neil, his tone slightly disapproving, "I thought he was still doing physical therapy."
Damnit.Jensen gritted his teeth. So much for people being too distracted to notice--thanks to his brother, everybody was now looking at him. Only Neil's hand on his shoulder stilled his retort.
Neil's voice was bland, but his eyes had darkened to gray, "Thirty to thirty-seven thousand feet."
Josh's expression slid into bafflement, “Excuse me?"
Neil sat down on Jensen's left, his tone still bland, almost bored. "That's the cruising altitude of most commercial airliners. That height is what accounts for changes in cabin pressure. While Jensen's doctors cleared him to fly, one can reasonably expect for it to take 48-72 hours for the effects of the changes in cabin pressure to wear off." He raised one eyebrow, "I can give you the medical term, if you would like."
Jensen could tell from Neil's carefully neutral face that he was lying, but Josh shut his mouth with an audible click. Jeffrey, Jared's brother, looked across at Jensen.
Jeffrey had paid them a visit a couple of months previously when he'd flown into LA for a medical conference in his chosen specialty of pediatric orthopedics--which considering he made even Jared look small made him a literal giant to his patients. He shot Jensen a sardonic grin, obviously well-aware of the truth of the matter but apparently happy to play along as well. "Yeah, there've been some studies on the effects of air travel on spinal cord injury."
Jensen met Jeffrey's amused eyes, thankful for the backup, gave him a thankful nod in reply.
Jared's mother gave Jensen a warm and sympathetic smile, "Well, I am glad you were willing to come and have breakfast with us."
She looked tired too, and Jensen remembered that it had been a little iffy if her doctors would let her fly or not, but they had finally given her the OK just after Thanksgiving. He gave her an answering smile, then turned when the waitress at his elbow asked what he wanted to drink. "Orange juice, please."
"Same for me. " Jared opened his menu with one hand, the other hand closing around Jensen's right hand.
"Coffee. Lots of it." That was from Megan, who'd sat down across from Neil and was trying to distract Lucas, her youngest, with a Ziploc bag of Cheerios. "You must be Ty and Neil." She gave them both a smile, then grabbed J.J., her four-year old son who was trying to stand up in his chair, "No, sit down. Don't make me tell you twice. Jim, can do you something with your son, please?" She waited for Jim to make J.J. sit down, "Jared's talked a lot about you. So where are you two from? And how did you meet?"
Her eyes darted from Ty and Neil, back over to Jensen, and Jensen got what she was doing. This was Megan's own way of trying to say she was supportive of their decision to get married. Ty reached for Neil's hand, smiled at his husband. "We're from Arizona. Neil used to work at the nursing home that my grandmother was at."
Neil's mouth twitched, "And it was love at first sight."
Ty giggled, "Almost love at first sight."
Megan opened her mouth to ask questions, but the waitress was back with their drinks, while another waitress started circling, asking for their orders. Jared leaned in, "You wanna split a plate with me? Jensen nodded. He hadn't even bothered to look at the menu--he'd already had to eat thanks to his meds. Jared closed the menu, winked at him, "We'll split the Farmer's Breakfast. Uh, scrambled, and with hash browns, and a short stack of pancakes."
The waitress jotted the order down. "Do you want buttermilk? Or one of our varieties?"
"What are your varieties?"
"We have gingerbread, butter pecan, and also fruit-blackberry, blueberry, and apple-cinnamon." The waitress rolled it off her tongue in the monotone of somebody who'd repeated it too many times.
Jensen expected Jared to go for gingerbread, but he winked at Jensen again, and handed the waitress the menu, "Apple-cinnamon." Gave her a full on grin, complete with dimples, "Can we get that with whipped cream and extra butter?"
The waitress reacted to that grin by smiling back, widely, "Of course, we'll get that right out."
She moved down the table, and Jensen caught Jared's eye, trying to let him know he shouldn't have done that. Jared preferred gingerbread, and he'd only ordered the apple-cinnamon for Jensen's sake. And they both knew Jensen wouldn't manage more than a few bites. Jared just squeezed Jensen's hand again, reached for a straw, unwrapped it. A moment later, both waitresses left, and Jensen really expected an awkward silence to descend, but then Erika, McKenzie's little girl, announced she needed to go potty. His sister got up to take her, and the talk descended into toilet-training kids. Not a topic Jensen really wanted discussed at the table, but at least it meant everybody was talking about their kids and various dramas. And not paying any attention to him.
To his relief, the food actually arrived in a timely fashion. "Farmer's Breakfast" must've meant 'the entire farm' because the waitress set two plates in front of Jared. Along with a side of pancakes. Jensen eyed the food, amused, "I guess you were hungry?"
Jared pushed his hash browns over, moved half the pancakes onto one plate. Then he started shoving scrambled eggs on a slice of toast, put another piece of toast on top. "I didn't really have dinner, remember?" This from the guy who'd already had breakfast and finished off what Jensen couldn't finish. Jared cut the makeshift sandwich into squares, "I'm hungry."
"Trust me," Megan rolled her eyes, "I can attest to the infamous Padalecki appetite. My three boys are eating us out of house and home. " She grabbed Lucas' Sippy cup just as it sailed off the table, and her voice dropped into 'Mom voice'. "Lucas, eat, or I will have the waitress take it back."
The toddler eyed her, then his father, and reluctantly put his spoon in his cereal. Megan gave Jensen a rueful little smile, "Are you sure you want to let Jared talk you into kids?"
Jared put the sandwich next to the other half of the pancakes, slid the plate over. Jensen took one of the squares, looked at his glass of juice. The glass was thick-walled, and tall enough that he wasn't sure if he could even pick it up full. "Not sure if I have a choice."
Jared took a bite of sausage, swallowed. "You don't."
"See what I mean?" he continued, gave Jared a quick, fond glance. He took a bite of his sandwich, eyed the glass longingly. Damnit. He wished he could pick it up, just drink. He really did not want to ask. Why the hell did some restaurants have to use such heavy glasses?
There was the sound of a spoon hitting glass at the far end, and conversation slowed, stopped.
Gerry, Jared's father grinned, "Now that I got y'all's attention, my bride wants to say a few things."
Jared's mom put a hand on his shoulder, gave him an affectionate smile as she stood. Jensen's mom also stood up and from the look the two women exchanged, Jensen had a feeling that this was planned. "I just wanted to start by saying that I have a confession, Donna and I have done a lot of talking in the past month or so."
"I know, I'm the one paying for your phone, “Gerry quipped.
While everybody laughed, Jared quietly reached over, and exchanged his half-finished glass for Jensen's full one, transferred the straw.
His wife's smile widened, "Hush, I'm talking. I wanted to say that while no mother likes to think of her baby being old enough to get married--" Jared rolled his eyes and let out a low groan, and she turned her gaze on him, "You hush, too, you're always going to be my baby. I am also relieved to know that he is marrying somebody who I know is a good man, and who has a wonderful family. I have missed all of you, more than you could possibly know and I am looking forward to all of us getting to know each other again. Donna?"
Jensen put the square down. Jared's parents had both assured him that the wedding had their blessing, but this went far beyond anything he could have hoped for.
Donna shook her head, wiped a finger carefully under her eye, trying not to smear her mascara, "I'm sorry, I told Alan I wasn't going to cry. It's just--" She gave them a watery smile, "Sherri's right, I have missed all of you. When Jensen first called, told me that he and Jared were back to together, I thought maybe it would be best if we just ignored the past few years. But then I began to talk to Jared, and to his mom, and I realized that wasn't really fair. Jared, I want you to know that I am very proud of the way you have changed your life, and Alan and I are proud to have you as our son-in-law."
Jensen watched as his mom tried to wipe a tear away again, then glanced back over at Jared. Jared swallowed hard, and Jensen turned, trying to move his right arm, because damnit, he needed Jared to know that he totally agreed with everything his mom was saying.
"I also wanted to give you both one small piece of advice before I totally ruin my makeup." Donna looked down at her husband for a second, steadying herself before she looked back across the group, "When Alan and I got married, our pastor told us that our rings shouldn't just be a symbol of our marriage, but also a constant reminder of the kind of man and woman we want to be, for each other and for our families."
Jared leaned in then, caught Jensen's right hand in his, and mouthed, 'I love you.'
A reminder of the kind of man he wanted to be.
His hands stilled and he just held Jensen's hand in his own, looking at the ring. Jared completes me.
Jensen had said that during the toast, but just how much more did Jensen complete him, anchor him? These past six months--getting through to his second anniversary of being sober, getting back on the roller coaster of auditioning for jobs after the steadiness of being a regular on a TV show, even getting married
--he knew it was Jensen who'd kept him together through it all. Jensen who'd forced him to stick with the counselor and the AA meetings and nagged him about reading scripts and keeping in touch with his agent--
"Hey," Jensen shook his hand to get Jared's attention, "what's'a matter?"
Jared pulled his eyes away from the ring, looked into concerned, if somewhat sleepy, hazel eyes. "Noth-nothin'."
"I'm--I'm just thinking."
"Don' think, it'll make your head explode."
Jared chuckled, started stretching Jensen's hand towards him, then sobered. "'Bout the kinda man I want to be."
"Uh-huh." He started squeezing down over the webbing of Jensen's hand, stretching the skin and underlying soft tissue, stroking the pads of his thumbs softly into the palm. "Lot to think about."
"Hey, I like who you are now." Jensen put just the slightest inflection on the word 'now', turning what he was saying into something deeper, his way of telling Jared that the past was just that--the past
The only problem was Jared still didn't know who he was, not really. Some days he thought he was figuring it out, but not really. "What am I like?" Jared asked, genuinely curious.
Jensen grinned, "Giant naked husband man?"
Jared grinned back, "Yeah, all right, I get it. Not the right time."
“C’mere.” Jensen tugged on Jared’s hands, “Enough, ‘k? Want you beside me.”
Jared let him pull his hands closer, "Yeah, all right. Gees, pushy."
"Absolutely. Gotta be."
He uncrossed his legs, scooted closer to Jensen. He rolled Jensen over, rearranging the quilt some, kissing him onto his back. Gently moving Jensen's legs with his hand, and threading his knee in between Jensen's legs, he propped himself on his elbow so he was almost lying on top of Jensen, but not pushing down with his weight. He ducked his head, pressing his lips against Jensen's cheek, "Happy?"
"Yeah." Jensen moved his good hand, placing it on Jared's chest, "But you're still thinking. I can hear
"Yeah, well, I guess... I," Jared tried to stop the words, but they started tumbling out, faster and faster, "guess I just want us to be happy and I want you to know that I really want to change, because I--I love you, I love you so damn much."
"I love you, too." Jensen turned his head, brushing his lips over Jared's jaw. "Now relax.
" He breathed it against Jared's lips, then nipped, "Or I'll force
you to relax."
"Yeah?" Or at least Jared tried to say it, but Jensen's mouth was covering his, and that was Jensen's tongue and it was a good distraction. A pretty damn good one, in fact. He found himself wanting, needing to touch, started skimming his hands down Jensen's body, only to jump at a soft touch on his side. "Shit!"
Jensen broke the kiss to smile impishly up at Jared. "What?"
Jensen just kept smiling, made a "come here" gesture with his chin. And oh fuck, but that was Jensen's eyes, looking happy and relaxed and wanton, and those were Jensen's kiss-swollen lips. Jared reached his hand up to touch those lips, slipped a finger in when they parted, and then all he wanted was to feel those lips pressed against his lips again, feel Jensen's tongue against his as they dueled. This time, it was Jared making the noises, small, greedy sounds, as he sucked and bit, craving more of the hot sweetness of Jensen's mouth. Oh holy shit, making love to Jensen was like satisfying some craving, and the sounds Jensen was making, they sent fire spiraling down his spine, until his cock was achingly hard, and his balls were heavy. He tried to drag in a breath, succeeded in only gasping as Jensen's tongue thrust further in, taking more and more and Jared was all too willing to give.
When they both pulled back for air, Jared couldn't help it. He needed more
, needed to feel Jensen's body, his skin, needed Jensen to know how much Jared needed him. He ran his hands shakily across Jensen's chest, across his belly, then lower. Let his fingers sweep through the hair at the base of Jensen's cock, just brushing against the curved length. Fuck, but he needed that
Jared stole one last kiss, pulled away. Gently moved Jensen's legs so he could kneel between them. He cupped Jensen's sac, just stroking, as he pressed his lips against the inside of Jensen's left leg, just above the knee. He wanted to get to the main action, wanted feel Jensen in his mouth so fucking badly, but he dropped his head instead, trailed small kisses and nips across the skin, letting his fingers continue to fondle, tease. He could hear Jensen responding, his breathing changing as Jared continued to touch, tease. Jared's lips finally reached the curve of Jensen's hip. He nipped gently, let his tongue lap around the base of Jensen's cock, then flicked across his sac, listening to Jensen's soft swearing as he continued to tease. Then he opened his mouth wider, taking both balls in his mouth, heard Jensen's sharp intake of breath.
Here again was one of those things only Jared knew. Jensen tasted slightly different, maybe because he didn't sweat now. And that taste, the texture of Jensen's sac, the ragged sound of Jensen's breathing, it was all part of something that sent a deep ache of want slamming through Jared. He had to slow for a moment, fighting to get some control back, so he didn't just spill over right there.
Then he focused on Jensen, sucking hard, letting his tongue stroke, rub, lick. Closed his eyes, half-losing himself in the sounds Jensen was making. Oh holy shit, he loved how fucking responsive Jensen was, loved knowing how much it turned Jensen on whenever he did this. And Jensen was so close, he could feel it in the tension in Jensen's body, the way Jensen bucked his hips--
The word was quiet, almost hesitant. He reluctantly opened his mouth, let Jensen's sac go, opened his eyes.
Jared paused, although the question sent another wave of need through him, making his balls draw up, and he knew he was dribbling precome. Hell, he'd be happy ride Jensen any time, but he also remembered how it had affected Jensen after the last time, how the soreness altered his balance, the way he walked, and he had to ask. "Are you sure? I mean, you don't have to do this."
"Yes, I'm sure. Please, Jared."
"Well, OK, but don't blame me if you can't walk tomorrow."
"I won't. Besides," Jensen's eyes glinted with mischief in the flickering light, "I have the world's best masseur at my beck and call."
"Thought we weren't letting this go to my head." Jared couldn't help teasing him a little.
"OK." Jared nodded, "Yeah, OK. Just... give me a minute here." He pushed back onto his knees, grimacing a little because, oh fuck, he'd been close
Jared looked at Jensen sharply, not sure if what he was hearing in Jensen's voice was genuine apology or a tinge of amusement. "That's... OK," he said eventually, letting his breathing slow, centering himself.
"Didn't mean to, uh, blue ball
was definitely amusement.
"Yeah, all right, I can't help it if I get off on you." And there was that smile again and something in Jared melted, he had to smile back. "How long do I get this time?"
"Hmm, I'm thinkin' 45 seconds."
"More like thirty seconds. And quit smirking." As Jared hoped, that made Jensen laugh. He slowly pushed to his feet, his balls hard and aching, still not sure if he wasn't going to just shoot off from the movement. Started walking towards the bedroom.
"Yeah," he glanced over his shoulder, saw Jensen had his head tilted a little to see him.
"Red bag... in the bathroom."
"OK." He wondered how Jensen knew that.
"Yeah," he looked back again.
Jared found the small red vinyl bag on the bathroom counter and opened it. A box of lubricated condoms, and a couple of unopened bottles of lubricant were inside. Jared suspected he should be embarrassed, but right now his emotions were a little too close to the surface, and he was just grateful he had Ty and Neil and Beth and everybody else to cover all the stuff he should've remembered to make this day special.
For a second, he found himself thinking back to New York, trying to remember how alone
he'd felt living on the east coast, but the memories seemed distant and hazy, more like a lifetime ago, instead of just six months--Jensen was waiting.
Jared dragged himself back to the present, grabbed a bottle of lube and a condom. The last time they'd done this, Jared had messed up, had ridden Jensen bareback. Which wasn't really a good idea, not with Jensen being more susceptible to things like urinary infections.
He walked back into the living room and Jensen turned his head, his eyes asking if everything was all right, even while he flashed Jared a wide smirk, "That was way
longer than 45 seconds, dude."
"Can't rush a good thing." Jared eyed the long wooden mantle, decided it looked sturdy enough. He stepped over Jensen, set the condom down, and opened the bottle of lube. For a couple of seconds, it was awkward. He gripped the mantle with one hand, twisting to slide a finger into his own ass. It felt weird, not bad, but definitely weird, the cool of the lube, the slickness of his finger.
Stranger was the way it felt to know Jensen was watching him do this.
Jared felt truly naked--exposed
, like this was something dirty and shameful, and yet at the same time, the thought that Jensen was watching him do something like this was also turning him on. He drizzled more lube across his fingers, shifting so Jensen had a full view, and then pushed two fingers in. Oh shit, it had been a long time, his fingers dug into the wood, as he tried to adjust to the burn as he thrust in. He heard the way Jensen's breath hitched, made the mistake of looking down--
Jensen was staring at him with naked lust, and sheer molten fire flared through Jared's belly. He had to let go, had to press his other hand hard against the base of his cock, because oh fuck, he had never, ever needed to come so badly.
"You ready?" He wasn't stretched enough, but he didn't care, he just wanted Jensen, wanted Jensen inside him, wanted to be fucked. Mostly, though, he needed to give
, needed to hear the way Jensen moaned and begged and writhed as he came.
"Oh, yes." Jensen's voice was a whisper, heavy with all the things he wasn't saying. Jared had started to kneel, but for a second he was frozen, because this was them
, this was love and trust, and something deeper, fiercer, something he could never name but slammed hard through his chest every time he saw that raw desire in Jensen's eyes.
He sucked in a breath, and knelt, placing a knee carefully on either side of Jensen's legs. Slowly rolled the condom down, his eyes on Jensen's face, trying to memorize the way Jensen groaned and threw his head back at Jared's touch. Holy shit, but he wanted to never forget any of this, the fluttering in his stomach as he realized how much Jensen wanted him, and how the entire world seemed to be narrowed down to just the two of them. He reached for the lube, let his fingers wrap around Jensen's cock, slick against the condom, and oh fuck, that was it, he needed Jensen right the fuck now.
He shifted into position, hand guiding Jensen's cock, and for a moment he thought it was going to take some twisting--
Jared forgot to breathe as Jensen breached him.
It hurt, but it also felt fucking awesome
. He groaned, and closed his eyes, trying to take in more, heard Jensen's answering groan. Oh, holy shit, Jensen's cock was so damn hard, and he didn't care about the burn, just the pure sensation of working slowly down Jensen's shaft, taking in more and more, the feeling of Jensen's body moving under him. He rocked back, listened to Jensen's groan turn into a low moan of pleasure, and Jared did it again, slowly finding his rhythm, slowly taking in each inch until Jensen's cock was buried deep, filling him completely. For a few minutes he just rocked, wanting so badly to come and yet, he wanted to make this last, because Jensen was hard, and he was fucking
him, and it was incredible, and he craved more--
His muscles loosened, and suddenly the pain turned into a bursting arc of pleasure. Jared bit his lower lip, fighting to stay just on this side of the edge, as everything began blurring into an endless throbbing ache for relief. Jensen was close, he could hear it in the way Jensen's breath had turned into shallow gasps, the way Jensen's hips stuttered at each intake of breath.
"Oh fuck, yes, Jared, please, damnit please--"
He shifted his weight again, ground down, unable to find words, because the burn was fading, replaced by sparks of sweet pleasure as Jensen thrust deeper and deeper. And then Jensen was swearing, coming and coming hard and Jared crashed over the edge, the entire world exploding into white. He drifted back to earth slowly, opened his eyes, blinking a little. It took him second to realize he was leaning way to much of his weight on Jensen and there was the sting of sweat in his eyes. "Sorry." At least Jared attempted to say it, but it came out more as a mumble. He moved, clumsily, his muscles still shaking, one knee hitting Jensen in the hip as he tried to pull off.
And Jensen, the fucker, started giggling.
"Shut up. You just fucking killed
me." Jared half-fell beside Jensen on the blankets. He gulped air for a couple of minutes, then reached out, removed and tied off the condom, and then pulled his husband close. Jensen tilted his head back, and Jared lazily pressed his lips against Jensen's, muttered, "You killed me with sex. On our wedding night, too."
"Shouldn't have signed the insurance." Jensen was half-mumbling, too, and Jared tightened the hug.
"Yeah," Jared mumbled back. "And Private Benjamin you're not."
Jensen gave a barely audible snort. Jared smiled. He could feel Jensen's heart rate and breathing slowing. "You warm enough?"
"Yeah, 'm good." He opened one eye and gave Jared a sidelong look. "Though I'm going to hate you in the morning. We might be having breakfast in bed."
Jared's own heart pounded a little harder at that--Jensen almost never joked about his problems and Jared kind of thought that was another one of those things that needed to change. Not that any of it was funny, but Jensen got overly defensive about stuff sometimes. Jared sneaked in another lazy kiss, "Uh huh. Sounds like somebody's putting in their request." He shifted, pressed his lips against Jensen's forehead, "Be right back."
He picked up the condom and stood, moving gingerly, because he was sore and his legs were still a bit shaky. He tossed the condom in the kitchen trash, and found a clean dishtowel. He took a moment to take care of himself, then crossed the room, knelt, and took care of Jensen. Dropping the dishtowel on the coffee table, he stretched himself out alongside Jensen.
He propped his head up on his hand and rested the other hand on Jensen's left thigh. Began softly smoothing the skin with his thumb, simply enjoying the way Jensen looked. He was beautiful, was always going to be beautiful to Jared, but right now he was lying sleepy and sated in the combined flickering light of the candles and gas fire, and Jared couldn't get enough. If only they could do this more often; turn off their work and Hollywood and everything, and just get away from it all--
He stopped stroking Jensen's leg as a thought occurred to him, "Hey."
Jensen tilted his head a little, offered up a slow, sleepy smile, eyes slitted. "Hey yourself. Whatcha thinking?"
It was Jared's turn to snort, because Jensen was seriously slurring his words. "You know, my sponsor has this friend, has a place near Big Bear."
Jensen gave Jared a puzzled look. "Yesss..."
"And he took me there a couple of times." He started stroking again, moving his hand higher, rubbing Jensen's hip, " It, uh, has this fireplace--like huge, it takes four foot logs."
Jensen's eyes opened a little more, "And?"
"And, uh," Jared rolled the ball of his thumb, stroking a little deeper right over the spot where Jensen usually had the worst knots, "there's this rug in front of the fireplace,"
Jensen frowned, then he opened his eyes fully as it dawned on him where Jared was going, "So..."
"Well, I'd, uh, kinda like to see what you looked like all laid out on the rug in front of a roaring fire."
Jensen raised an eyebrow. "OK..." he said, thoughtfully.
"This guy, he tends to be out of the country, like a lot, and I was sorta thinking that maybe for Valentine's Day, I could have Mike ask if we could--" Jensen was giving him an odd look and Jared stopped, "Um, it was just a silly thought."
A slow smile crept across Jensen's face. "No, it wasn't, wasn't silly at all. Just don't think we could get it past Neil."
"Oh, that wouldn't be a problem," Jared let the words spill out, thinking out loud. "It's only a few hours from LA so we wouldn't have to fly, and there's a whole separate flat downstairs so you know, Neil and Ty could stay there. And the main bathroom is... well, it's not accessible but it's really huge. Could make do for a couple of days."
Jensen's smile broadened. "Then, yes, if you can swing it, that kinda sounds like fun. And, uh, I think I'd like to see you
in front of that fire as well."
Jared's heart swelled at Jensen's response. He dropped his arm, and laid his head on Jensen's chest. "Thank you." He meant to say more, but then realized it didn't really matter, because Jensen already knew what he was going to say, and it hit him again that today had actually happened. They were married. Forever
"Could try not thinking, ya know." Jensen was back to slurring his words.
"'M not thinking."
"Uh huh. Make you a deal?"
Jared picked his head up, so he could see Jensen's eyes, "What kind of deal?"
"Valentine's Day weekend. " Jensen paused for a moment, giving one of those odd yawns of his. He started talking again, his words a little jumbled, "And a week in the summer, wherever you want."
"And?" Jared smiled, mimicking Jensen's earlier question.
Jensen's eyes were half-closed, but he opened them slightly. "You know what."
Of course. Three years.
Jensen just wanted him to continue doing the program, stay sober. Jensen had always
wanted what was best for him. He could've replied with a yes, but instead Jared pulled Jensen closer, and said the only thing that Jensen needed to hear. "I love you, forever." Part 1 Part 3