Carry On

Jensen walked into his living room, right to the bar, and took out a bottle of whiskey. He poured himself a large glass and sat down.

~~~

It had all stated three weeks ago. Started, or more accurately culminated because Jensen figured it had probably started the day they said 'this is Jared, he's going to be your brother.' But really, it had started three weeks ago when Jensen and Jared had been bored out of their skulls waiting for the next scene to be ready and they'd ended up talking about sex.

Which was perfectly normal, really. At least half of their conversations were about sex, or cars, or video games, or sports. Jared said he had a theory that they were all the same thing, although Jensen had yet to hear it. But they'd talked about sex, and who would you do, and somewhere along the lines Jensen had asked if there was anyone they worked with and Jared had given him that grin.

Jensen remembered his brain stuttering to a little stop, like it usually did when he saw any version of that grin, but he'd recovered enough to try something he'd wanted to do since...well, the day they'd said 'this is Jared.'

He'd been careful at first, vague and tentative and deniable. But he'd flirted with Jared, and when Jared hadn't laughed he'd stepped it up. Keeping it light, keeping it fun but letting him know that, yeah, if you want it, it's for real. Jared had responded with that grin and a headlock and, once, by carrying Jensen from the hood of the car to his chair after Jensen had said he'd stubbed his toe.

But every time Jensen pushed a little more, all Jared did was smile and laugh at Jensen's jokes and lean over to nudge him with his shoulder. So Jensen had popped the question -- trying for casual and feeling like he was fourteen again. He'd invited Jared to dinner, stammered over offering a movie or they could play video games or just...he'd tried to say it but couldn't actually get out more than 'just hang out' and Jensen was pretty sure he'd successfully asked people out on dates before, but no one would ever believe him if they'd witnessed him that afternoon.

But Jared -- he'd smiled and said yeah and he'd bumped his elbow into Jensen's side in a way that was probably not supposed to leave a bruise, and Jensen had been hard pressed not to act like a complete goof all day with stumbling over his lines and props and steering the car into a brick wall.

The only saving grace was that week Jeff was there, shooting a couple flashback scenes and distracting them from playing jokes on the crew in favor of plotting even better ones for Jeff. That had only backfired once, when Jensen had sat in half-chewed gum that Jared swore up and down was supposed to be for Jeff, but judging by the way Jeff had been stifling laughter, Jensen hadn't been totally convinced.

None of it mattered now, anyway.

~~~

Jensen had invited Jared over for Thursday. Friday would be Jeff's last night in town if the weather held to finish the shoot, so Jensen had figured they'd all be heading out Friday for pizza and beer. Thursday morning Jensen had bounced around his apartment, fixing things and tidying up then thinking Jared would call him on it for being a spaz and trying to make it look casually not-tidied, but then it looked messy and Jensen had ended up cleaning again. Jared would just have to deal.

Jensen had managed to avoid fretting over his wardrobe, because first of all he'd be wearing Dean's clothes all day anyhow, and secondly he'd set out his outfit the night before. Casual, since they weren't actually going out, but nice enough that it wasn't like every other day.

Mostly he went with the blue checked shirt because Jared liked it.

By mid-morning everything was just exactly perfect, then it was time for Devon to pick him up. Jensen sat in the back of the car and listened to Jared talk a mile a minute about something that might have had to do with cockroaches. Jensen had tried to interrupt a few times, but Jared had apparently had a double-double espresso with an extra twelve shots of coffee, so Jensen had finally had to just sit back and nod and wait for Jared's head to spin around and fall off.

The hyper had lasted through the first meal break, at which point Jared had excused himself -- Jensen warned him that if he was taking an IV of caffeine then the entire crew was going to kill him. Jared had waved a hand and grinned a little and Jensen hadn't seen him for nearly an hour.

When Jensen finally went looking for him, he really, really wished he hadn't. Walking around the corner of the sound stage, he'd spied Jared's trailer. Someone was standing outside the trailer -- a flash of blue denim and a glimpse of a tail that was Sadie, excited over something. Jensen found himself smiling, looking forward to getting in some time playing with Jared's dogs before they were called back to the set.

Then he'd got closer, seen who was standing in front of Jared's trailer, and saw how Sadie was focused on Jared, who was standing pressed close to Jeff, kissing him.

Jensen blinked. Watched as Sadie nudged Jared's knee, and Jared ignored her as he....

Jensen looked away. Felt something in his stomach that he hoped wasn't his breakfast, and he turned and walked away.

Jared kissing Jeff.

From the look of it, the long clench and the way Jeff's arm had been wrapped around Jared's back, it hadn't been a quick, casual... whatever the hell it could have been other than what it was.

Jensen inhaled sharply, and hurried back to the set.

He would have hidden in his own trailer, but it was right next to Jared's and dear God, but he didn't want to be right next door. What if he heard something? What if-- Jensen shoved the thoughts aside and tried to think about something else. Anything else, like the scene coming up or the work they had scheduled for tomorrow or the episode next week or the dinner that he'd had planned....

Jensen found a spot tucked away from the crew, not quite hidden but far enough out of the way that hopefully he'd be left alone.

Dinner. He'd invited Jared to dinner and Jared had accepted and-- He'd invited Jared last week, before Jeff had shown up. Did that mean this...whatever this was, was new? Was it something Jared hadn't expected, when he'd accepted Jensen's invitation? Was it casual, and Jared intended to come over anyway, pretend he hadn't been kissing Jeff just a few hours before?

Jensen hadn't ever heard a single word from Jared about a relationship with Jeff. They'd agreed, filming the end of season one, that Jeff was incredibly hot and that either of them would be perfectly happy to get naked with him. But Jared hadn't said a word about doing so, and Jensen was pretty sure he would have. If only because Jared would have wanted to stick Jensen's nose in it, or crow about it, or just be too indiscreet among friends to avoid saying so, over and over.

Which meant either Jared was better than Jensen thought at keeping secrets, or this was just new enough that Jared hadn't had a chance.

Jensen couldn't decide which would be worse.

He got himself under control by the time they'd been called back to set, and Jensen had hung on desperately to Dean while he dealt with Jared and Jeff. Dean had every reason to be twisted up inside at the very sight of his father and brother, even in a flashback to before everything had gone to Hell. By the end of the day all anyone said was that he'd done a fantastic job acting, and Jensen dredged up a smile and said thanks.

He hadn't decided what to say to Jared, when Jared came up to him outside of wardrobe.

"Hey." Jared paused, giving him a hopeful smile.

"Hey." Jensen swallowed, voice still rough from earlier -- from acting, he told himself. Not from trying too hard not to see Jared and Jeff together.

Jared grinned, happy and relaxed. "Jeff wants to go to Vernon's tonight," he began, a note of apology in his voice. "I thought.. he's only here for another day. I figured... we see each other all the time, if--"

"It's OK." Jensen held up a hand, amazed at how calm he sounded. "It's fine, Jared. You're right, he isn't here that much." He didn't want to hear Jared's explanation. Didn't want to hear Jared say that he was sorry.

Because he understood. Long distance relationships sucked, and you had to grab whatever time you could. No matter what stage they were at in their relationship, just hooking up or sneaking around for the last two years not telling anybody... Jensen knew that he couldn't begrudge Jared one extra evening of being with Jeff.

"So we can do a movie next week?" Jared was asking, face lighting up with excitement as he was already taking a step away. Jensen could see the cars in the parking lot, couldn't make out which was Devon's but he could see people standing, milling around and there was Jeff, talking and laughing with Sara and Mark.

Jensen forced a smile. "Yeah, next week's good." He tried to think of something to add that would make sure Jared knew Jensen really didn't mind. But Jared was already bouncing off, calling back a thanks and hurrying towards where Jeff was waiting.

Jensen watched them go. He waited until they drove away before finding Devon and getting his ride back to his own apartment.

~~~

He sat down at the dining room table, whiskey glass with three fingers of whiskey still in it. The bottle was sitting beside it, still mostly full. He'd had to open a new one, and he had no idea if he should kill the bottle or not. He knew he wanted to, but they still had work tomorrow and Jensen knew from experience that working with a hangover sucked worse than whatever you wanted to drink away.

He took another swallow and gasped as it burned his throat. He wondered if he should eat something, kill the alcohol a little. He looked up at the table, set for dinner. Most of what he'd planned was already made, prepared last night and over the weekend, ready to be heated up and eaten.

Picking up his glass, Jensen went into the kitchen. Roast in the fridge, salad still in its bag, bread in the freezer ready to be baked. A bottle of wine that he'd left out, not sure if he should have let it breathe all day or if opening it before dinner would be fine. Cheesecake, also in the freezer -- chocolate caramel with pecans, Jared's favorite. One of his favorites, since Jared was never extremely picky about what he ate, or how much. Jensen took it out and carried it back to the kitchen table. Stared at it for a moment.

His stomach clenched at the thought of eating, so he grabbed the bottle of whiskey and headed for the living room.

It kept him company as he sat on the couch, trying not to think and failing miserably. He could see Jared, sitting in a corner booth at Vernon's, talking and laughing, head tilted back as someone shared a joke. Would they make it through dinner, or would they be unable to wait, sneaking out early and heading back to Jared's place?

He squeezed his eyes shut, trying not to think about that. Didn't want to picture Jeff and Jared, kissing. Undressing each other, Jared lying on his back with his knees up, Jeff saying filthy things as he got Jared ready to do each one of them.

Jensen's brain clearly hated him, and he downed another swallow of whiskey.

Were they in love? Was it just sex? Did it even matter, because Jared still hadn't said a word to him, hadn't even hinted all day that there was anything to tell him. Did Jared think that when Jeff was gone, he and Jensen would pick up where they'd left off, which was barely at the beginning?

He took another swallow and set the glass down, rubbing at his forehead. What would he do if that was what Jared wanted? Was he willing to say yes, knowing he was just next on Jared's list?

The whiskey was making it too difficult to think clearly -- finally. Jensen sighed and leaned back, staring up at the ceiling. He might hate himself tomorrow, but right now he thought that maybe he could close his eyes without seeing that kiss.

~~~

He didn't know how long he'd been sitting there, half-dozing and half contemplating getting up and heading for bed. The knock at the front door came again, and Jensen pushed himself to his feet to stumble over to answer it.

"Jared." Jensen blinked, tried to get his eyes to focus, and wondered what the hell time it was.

Jared frowned at him, subdued and tense. "Hey man, what happened?"

Jensen blinked again, realised that he'd either missed the first part of Jared's conversation, or that Jared just wasn't making sense. He stepped backwards and thought maybe it would clear his head if he sat down again. Not enough blood to run the legs and the brain, his brother used to say. He heard Jared following, shutting the door behind him.

"What happened when?" Jensen asked, falling -- sitting -- on the couch.

"Tonight," Jared said, and his voice was tight in that way Jensen knew meant he was unhappy, but just confused and not pissed off.

That didn't make much sense, so Jensen looked at him, blinked again to focus better, and asked, "You had dinner with Jeff?"

Jared started to nod, then Jensen saw his eyes go wide. He was staring at something -- Jensen turned his head to look, and saw the dining room table. Still made up for dinner, with the cheesecake defrosting on what would have been Jared's plate. Two candles, and a vase with a few sprigs of what were definitely not flowers, but something he couldn't remember the name of that had seemed nice for the table. He hadn't wanted Jared teasing him for being too much of a girl, but Jensen had wanted the dinner to be a good one - romantic and special without being over the top.

Jared was still staring at it, and Jensen took the opportunity to pour himself a little more whiskey.

"What happened?" Jensen asked. "You're supposed to be with Jeff."

Jared turned to him, eyes still wide. "You...you invited me to dinner."

Jensen glared. "Good one, pipsqueak. Next you'll be telling me I have two feet."

"No, I mean.. Jensen, you invited me--" Jensen watched as Jared's face grew pale and his mouth dropped open. "You were asking me out."

"And I have two hands, and gravity works. You're very brilliant this evening." He tilted his head back, resting it on the back of the couch. His head was spinning, ever so slightly.

He was treated to a very disconcerting view of Jared's upside-down face. Jensen had to lift his head, shaking it a little. Jared walked around and sat down on the arm of the couch, just outside of reach.

"Why didn't you say something? I mean, when I said Jeff wanted to hang out? Is this why you didn't meet us?" He gave Jensen another frown, and Jensen's brain tried to catch up.

"Why would I meet you? You said you wanted to spend time with Jeff. Which I understand, Jared. I do. I just--" He waved a hand. He took a deep breath and said, as sincerely as he could, "I'm not mad, I just gotta get over it."

Jared was staring at him like he'd grown two heads, then suddenly he said, "Oh, fuck. You... you heard about it, didn't you?"

"I didn't hear," Jensen said quietly. "I saw. The two of you kissing in front of your trailer." He took another deep breath, feeling the drunkenness starting to fade a little. "I can't say I'm happy for you, but I'm not going to fuck things up for you by being a bitch about it. I just need some time to...get used to things."

"God, Jensen, we didn't--" Jared stopped, and Jensen could see him looking at the coffee table and the bottle of whiskey sitting on top of it. Jensen was startled when Jared stood up and stepped closer, going down on his knees and picking up Jensen's hand. "I don't know how drunk you are, so listen carefully," Jared said. "You remember Kevin, the homophobic asshole? We talked about ways to mess with him? Well, I thought of a way and Jeff said he'd help, and we planned that kiss so Kevin would see it and start talking about us being together. Which we figured no one would believe, especially since we'd be acting like nothing happened. God, I never thought you would believe it, but...I guess I figured you'd hear about it and ask me, not actually see it. From how Kevin was talking, I'd say we must have been pretty convincing."

Jensen nodded. "Very convincing. I still can't figure out when you--" Then he stopped, because his brain was swirling a little, but there was something that Jared had said. About Kevin. About-- "Wait, it was a joke?"

"For Kevin, to make him look like an ass in front of everyone by trying to spread rumours that he would believe and no one else would. Except I guess someone did believe it. Actually, a few people asked me about Jeff this afternoon, but I... christ, Jensen, I'm sorry. You weren't supposed to think... I didn't know you were asking me out, tonight, or I would have told you about the joke before we did it."

Jensen felt his hand, warm inside Jared's. Jared was rubbing his thumb along Jensen's wrist, and it was making it hard to keep his eyes open. "You're not having sex with him?"

Jared shook his head, his face serious. "No, I'm not having sex with Jeff. And I swear to god if I'd realised you'd invited me on a date I wouldn't have gone to Vernon's tonight. I like Jeff a lot, but I would have dropped him in a heartbeat to spend the night with you."

Another blink, and Jensen found himself able to focus. Jared, staring at him intently, still rubbing Jensen's wrists. Inches away and looking at him like his entire life depending on Jensen believing him.

"I got you cheesecake," Jensen said.

There was a quirk of Jared's mouth before he said, "I saw. Looks like turtle cheesecake. My favorite."

"And there's roast," he added, though he wasn't sure why. "But I'm not hungry anymore."

"Maybe we can have dinner tomorrow?" Jared asked, as he tugged on Jensen's hands, pulling him to his feet. "It's late, and you seem a little wiped out."

"I'm just drunk," Jensen told him. "Are you serious?" He wanted to pull his hands away from Jared's, but couldn't bring himself to break contact.

His answer was Jared leaning down and kissing him. Warm lips pressing on his, huge hands holding his arm and his waist, pressing close against him in a mirror of what he'd seen that day in front of Jared's trailer. For a second he wondered if this was another joke, but when he opened his mouth to break away and ask, Jared slipped his tongue ever so lightly inside his mouth.

Jensen couldn't move, not to move away and not to do anything but open his mouth more, invite Jared's tongue in, and grip Jared's arms as Jared pressed inside. The room swayed and Jensen gripped harder, and Jared finally broke the kiss as Jensen tried to regain his balance.

"I'm sorry I fucked the evening up," Jared said, quietly. "I honestly had no idea."

"Then why'd you say yes?" Jensen asked, still feeling the room tilt, but not sure if it was the whiskey or just Jared.

Jared grinned, and it was almost that grin, but also something else. "Because I like being with you."

Jensen wanted to ask him...something, he had no idea what, but say something to let Jared know he understood, that maybe he wasn't even mad, and definitely to ask if Jared wanted to stay the night. But Jared was already kissing him again, and from the way his body was pressed against his own -- Jensen realised that the answer was already yes.

Which meant all he really had to do was figure out a way to get spirit glue in Jeff's shampoo, and everyone would be even.

the end