Don’t Let the Sun Go Down, part 2

Categories:  Sundownverse, CW RPS




Jensen opens his eyes and finds Jared’s face right over his own. He jerks. “Jay. Dude. What the fuck, man. Way to give me a heart attack.”

“Do you know what today is?”

And Jensen doesn’t care what’s going on in the rest of the world; it’s just too early for this shit. He stretches, whining protest, and scratches his hair. “Um. Monday?”

Jared’s eyes are twinkling and again, right there, and Jensen wishes Jared’d back off a little bit, because his morning wood’s becoming considerably more…wooden. “It’s the fourth day,” Jared says. He’s grinning and though he’s filthy and sweaty and his hair’s totally greasy-limp against his forehead, when he smiles he looks so fucking innocent and hot that Jensen has to shift uncomfortably in his blankets.

Jensen’s so busy being distracted by the grin and the hot (and an idle wondering how Jared’s cheek mole would feel under his tongue) that it takes him a minute to realize what Jay said. “Oh, shit. It is, isn’t it?”

“Yeah.” And the wattage on the smile gets even brighter as Jared scoots a little closer. Jensen’s hand moves to cover his cock, as if that’s going to make a difference. “It’s not the flu.”

“Aw, hell, Jay, I could have told you that.” Jensen doesn’t want to make a big production of it, but he’s got nowhere to go in the bed and Jared’s so close and it feels like it’s been forever since he’s been touched, let alone laid.

Then Jared touches his face. Just…a light brush of his fingertips from Jensen’s temple to his cheek, where it rubs lightly against his stubble and Jensen thinks, Oh. “Jay?” he asks cautiously. He almost makes it ‘Jared’, but that would be too formal, an extra level of uncomfortable-weird.

“Jensen,” Jared says back, easy as you please. He starts bending and Jensen’s stomach tightens. Then Jared sort of jerks to a halt, eyes and lashes flicker-fluttering, all dorky hesitance. “Is it… Can I…”

Jensen opens his mouth to say something along the lines of you most certainly can! or maybe just hell, yeah, when Jared growls, “Ah, fuck it,” and lays one on him.

Even though Jensen’s been wanting (hoping) something like this since about two seconds after he met Jared and thinking about it ever since Jared brought it up, it still takes him by surprise. His mouth was already half-open and Jared’s not slow in slipping him the tongue, dipping into Jensen with a heated confidence he didn’t expect. Jared’s fingers tilt Jensen’s face slightly to a better angle and Jensen gets over his holy shit, he’s kissing me long enough to start using some of his own expertise.

He shifts his lips across Jared’s, the tip of his own tongue sweeping across the firm line of Jared’s lower lip before rising to slide across Jared’s tongue. Jared makes a sound, soft and almost-surprised, before his hand comes to cradle the back of Jensen’s neck and head. Jensen feels almost tiny, cupped in that giant palm and it’s a weird kind of turn-on, sending what’s left of his blood south of the border until his cock’s aching in time with his heart.

The first kiss breaks, spit-soft lips nuzzling across each other and Jensen panting like he’s been running. Then Jared shifts closer—close enough Jensen can feel his cock, hard and full against his leg—and Jensen doesn’t have time for more than a breathless, “Jay—” before Jared’s kissing him again.

It’s hungrier this time, harder, like Jared’s tumbled to the fact that he’s kissing a guy. Jensen twists his fingers in Jared’s hair. Even dirty, it’s so soft, little curls tickling his palm. Jensen tugs a little, experimentally, and Jared hitches, his cock twitching against Jensen’s thigh. Jensen slides one hand down slowly, giving Jared the opportunity to freak or back out, but when it cups around Jared’s ass and pulls him closer, Jared’s only response is to moan softly and deep in his throat and thrust against Jensen’s leg.

“I want…” Jared pants over Jensen’s lips, still making those same slow hip rolls, “I don’t… Can I…?” His fingers skate over Jensen’s cock, too light to be good. Jensen reaches down and holds Jared there, rubbing up into that giant, spread palm.

Jared angles his head and scrapes across Jensen’s throat with his teeth before stopping to suck hard over the vein. “Jared,” he groans, “Jared, Jay, man…touch me.” He rides up against Jared’s hand, wanting—needing—more.

“Yeah,” Jared breathes. His fingers fumble with Jensen’s button, the zipper. “Yeah, me too.”

It’s all the invitation Jensen’s been waiting for. He’s better at this; he’s got the fly of Jared’s jeans open before Jared’s sorted his hands out. He pushes the denim down over Jared’s hips, hooks his fingers in the waistband of Jared’s boxers and pulls them out of the way too. “Jared?” he asks, tentative as he traces the thick, heavy shaft with just the pads of his fingers.

Jared groans against Jensen’s neck, his cock shivering at the touch. “Yeah.” Jared fights with Jensen’s clothes a little and finally just draws Jensen out through the slit of the boxers. “Yeah, please, Jen, just…”

Jensen wraps his palm around Jared’s cock and strokes, smooth and steady, suddenly as horny as if he were ten years younger.

“Jensen, I… I want to, I just… Jesus, I don’t even know what to do.”

“Yeah you do,” Jensen coaxes. He wraps Jared’s fingers around his cock, tangles his own on top of them. “You got a dick, you know what to do.”

“I want it to be good.”

Jensen’s head presses back into the thin pillow. “Jared, it’s already good. Just get me there.”

Jared pulls back, watching Jensen’s face while he strokes, harder, firmer, gaining confidence with every gasp and writhe he’s pulling out of Jensen. No one else’s ever looked at Jensen like this, with this same concentration, this same wonder. It’s so hot. God, it’s so hot.

Jared brushes the thumb of his other hand across Jensen’s lip and Jensen bites and then suckles the tip, dirt and salt. “I’ll take care of you,” Jared says, completely serious and it’s like a switch being thrown, dumping all the building tension straight into his dick and out; Jensen’s coming so hard he can’t even keep a grip on Jared, twisting and moaning, his heels trying to dig through to China.

“Yeah,” Jared mutters against the side of Jensen’s face while Jensen does his best imitation of a landed fish. “Yeah, that was what I wanted to see. God, Jen. God.” He shifts a little, his fingers rubbing Jensen’s come into his belly. “Jen.”


Jared whines a little and takes Jensen’s hand, wrapping it again around his thick, unsatisfied cock. “Please, man. Touch me.” Jensen feels deep, shamed heat sweep him that he’d been so wrapped up in afterglow he’d forgotten.

He thinks about sucking Jared, or letting Jared fuck him, but when he turns his face to look Jay in the face, sees his eyes, wide, desperate and uncertain, he remembers he needs to take this slow. “I got you,” Jensen says finally, hoarsely, dragging his fingers down Jared’s length and then back to the crown. “M’sorry.”

He kisses Jared before Jared can say anything else, watching his eyes flutter closed before he closes his own and concentrates on the soft-firmness of the mouth on his and the solid-softness of the dick in his grip.

In all his porny thoughts about Jared, he never imagined the noises (though a part of him thinks he should have, since the kid never shuts up, even—apparently—during sex); quiet, hurting moans in his deep, honeyed voice and made quieter by Jensen’s mouth over his…it makes Jensen want to come all over again, make Jared come over and over again, just so he can keep hearing it.

Jensen knows Jared’s close when he starts shaking, when his pitch rises and his fingers clutch Jensen’s wrist in universal don’t stop, don’t you fucking stop. Jensen twists away from Jared—just a little—and slides down the sprung mattress to take just the head of Jared’s cock into his mouth, tongue lapping hard against the underside.

Jared cries out sharply and bucks. Jensen’s expecting it and opens his mouth wider, letting Jared fuck deep. “Oh.” Jared’s hand palms Jensen’s head, fingers tangling in his hair. “Oh, Jen. Jesus. Jen.”

And that’s all the warning Jensen gets before Jared comes, fierce, fiery spurts that sear the back of Jensen’s throat. He chokes and then swallows quickly again and again, still licking, sucking, bringing Jared down.

Jared falls flat on the mattress, still wheezing faintly as he pants. “Goddamn.”

Jensen levers up, guilt settling in now that he’s thinking with the big brain again. Even if it’s not Flu, Jared’s still not well. “You okay?”

Jared’s smile is lazy and pleased. “Dude. I am awesome.”

Jensen chokes on a relieved laugh and flops back himself, eyes closed as he scratches idly at the drying come caught in the sparse hairs of his belly.



“We okay?”

Jensen snorts and rolls his head towards Jared. Jared’s looking back at him, all slanty and cat-eyed. “Shouldn’t I be asking you that? No heterosexual freak-out?”

Jared huffs and humps a little closer, his fingers tickling idly against Jensen’s wrist. “Naw. I just got my dick sucked. I’m jus’ fucking fine.”

“That wasn’t dick sucking,” Jensen informs him, “that was barely dick tasting. I suck you, you aren’t even gonna remember your own damn name for a week.” Jensen lifts his hand from the sheet and runs it lightly along Jared’s thigh. The skin shivers but doesn’t flinch; Jared spreads his legs a little to give Jensen better contact; his fingers creep over Jensen’s bicep, gentle and strong, caressing.



“Is it…? Can I?” Jared’s eyebrows are pulled down over his nose; Jensen can’t read his expression, other than a touch of shyness that looks out of place on Jared’s open face. “C’mere,” Jared says finally and reaches for him, pulling him closer. Jensen gets the gist and arranged himself half on top of Jared, who still feels warmer than normal. “Is this okay?” Jared asks. “Too weird?”

“S’fine.” Jensen closes his eyes again, not wanting to admit how fine. For all his standoffishness with strangers, he needs a fair amount of skin on skin contact from his friends and loved ones. He rests his forehead on Jared’s shoulder.


Jensen groans. “You know, most people get laid, they want to sleep, Jay.”

There’s a perceptible pause. Then: “I wanna go home, Jen. I want… I don’t want to die here.”

“I thought we’d just settled you weren’t dying at all.”

“Don’t. You know what I mean.”

Jensen thinks of his parents’ house, air-conditioned and tidy, and Mackenzie mooching food out of the fridge. The hammock in the back yard on the days it’s almost too hot to breathe. Yeah. He knows what Jared means. Jensen’s head dips, tracing Jared’s collarbone with the tip of his nose and ending with a kiss to the hollow of his throat. It should be weird. It’s not weird. “Tomorrow. We’ll leave tomorrow.”

Jared puts a hand to his forehead and fakes a horribly syrupy Southern accent. “For it ’tis anothah day.”

Jensen groans and pushes at Jared’s jaw. “For that, I should make you sleep in the wet spot. Dork.”

Jared gazes out over the Pacific, breathing deep and ignoring it when it twinges, deep in his lungs.As a Texas boy, he can’t get over his awe of ocean sunsets, even after the years he’s spent mooching around in California. Given he was almost nineteen before he ever saw one, maybe that’s not such a surprise. And this one? If not for the fact that the world they knew is hell and gone and he never knows when he’s going to have the one allergy attack that’s going to kill him—well, this sunset could be the most perfect ever.Jensen reclines next to him, head propped up on an elbow. Jared doesn’t even try to resist the urge to lie down beside him, a hand on Jensen’s waist, slipping under layers to touch bare skin. They’ve gotten very touchy—not so feely—since that night (as Jared refers to it in his head), like they’re storing it up, replacement for everything they’ve lost. His fingers spider down, over smooth-worn denim crusted with grime, down Jensen’s thigh and back up. All the walking’s put on more lean muscle, but he’s pretty sure Jensen’s hipbone wasn’t always this prominent. Of course, since he wasn’t as familiar with it before he can’t be sure.”Should be in California in a couple days,” Jensen says, thick-sleepy-voiced and heavy-lidded. It’s been a hard day’s travel. All Jared wants is a real bed, a real pillow and his dogs—oh, and Jensen—curled up next to him. Settling for Jensen and some sleep seems like a fair enough trade at this moment, though.

They’ve slept on the beach as much as possible, following the inevitable trail of the coast, the one-oh-wonder, as they say. It isn’t always feasible or practical, but when they can find a good stretch at the end of the day, it’s the safest they can be. More defensible. And how fucked up is that?

Jared can’t rightly recall when they came across the first signs that Avian flu, allergies and soldiers weren’t the only things killing folks, but he remembers the bodies, stripped and mutilated, lying in dried up pools of their own blood where they fell. They’ve been cautious and they’ve been lucky.

Jared recalls the group of travelers they’d camped near last night. Itinerant workers, also making their way back south. Jensen sat by their little fire pit dug in the sand, quiet and listening while Jared tried out his half-ass TexMex. He managed to remember enough to have the men laughing and slapping him on the back, when five minutes ago they’d cast suspicious looks, muttered in Spanish and fingered their guns nervously. Even afterwards, though, they’d put themselves between the two of them and their families, including two babes in arms. Jared hadn’t tried to get any friendlier than that and he was aware of Jensen lying awake and watchful long after he was fading into the woolen arms of sleep.

When Jared woke this morning, they’d already gone. Their fire wasn’t even smoking anymore, just a black smudge on the grey beach pebbles. There was never a question of traveling together. The world’s much too suspicious for that anymore. They’re on their own.

He figures they’re a week out of LA now, based on how long it’s taken them to get this far. It’ll be easier following the beach until they get to San Francisco. He and Jensen both know people there; they’re hoping they might be able to recruit or beg some help in getting a ride down to LA, or at least touch base, get some real news.

The sun is visibly sinking now and Jared watches it disappear until only the blue-purple-orange streaks of backlit clouds are left to light the beach.

“California,” Jared agrees. “Never thought I’d really think of it as home, but right now… Man, I’d settle for it.”

They’ve stopped talking about Texas. As long as it’s taken them to get just this far, it seems like a whole other world and just bums them both out. “It’ll be good to see the dogs. I hope Rachel didn’t have any trouble with them,” he says, referring to the AD who’d volunteered to watch Sadie and Harley until Jared could catch up. It was only supposed to be a day or two.

“They love her. I think the only thing you need to worry about is how spoiled they’re going to be when you pick ‘em up.”

Jensen sounds exhausted which is pretty much how Jared feels. Tired and sore, with a constant ache from the allergies. He’s always been so healthy before. He doesn’t know if he’s ever going to get used to this: the headaches, the tightness of his chest, the attacks that come out of nowhere and can be as mild as a sting in his eyes that makes him cry himself blind or as bad as the time his heart stuttered and damn near stopped before Jensen jabbed him with one of the epinephrine pens they snagged from the studio.

It’s easier to just drift off into a doze with Jensen’s warm body beside him.

Jared’s gotten used to the salty tang in the air. It’s pitch-black when he wakes and he inhales deeply (not too deeply) before rolling over to retrieve the blanket he threw off sometime in his sleep. It’s a bad habit. He wakes up shivery and cold every morning because they don’t keep the fire going once they bed down. On the other hand, Jared’s become an expert at predicting how late or early it is by the chill. He figures now the sun’s probably still three or four hours from rising.

Only half-consciously, he reaches out and the spot where he expects to find Jensen next to him is empty. He sits up fast, rubbing the sleep and grit out of his eyes. Jared thinks he’s probably got sand and dirt ground permanently into every pore of his skin by now.

Jensen must be feeling the same way because after a few moments, Jared hears him splashing around in the surf between the roar of the waves. Even if it is saltwater, getting some of the grime scrubbed off his body and out of his hair sounds like an excellent idea to Jared. He throws the blanket off again and stumbles over the rocks until he’s at the coarse sand of the water’s edge. When he gets close enough, Jared waves and he can sorta see Jensen grin at him, fighting the waves.

“Awesome idea, man. I feel twenty kinds of dirty.” The water is actually really fucking cold, which makes Jared’s breath catch and his balls shrink up tight, but he braves on in, determined not to give Jensen the opportunity to call him a wuss. Because Jensen will.

“Use the sand to scrub with.” Jared is close enough to hear the shiver in Jensen’s voice. He reaches out to rub his hands briskly up and down Jensen’s arms, shoulder to elbow, vigorously working to increase the circulation to warm him and dismiss the goose bumps he feels dancing across his friend’s skin. Jared doesn’t expect to be thanked with a dunking as Jensen mischievously falls back into the ink-black surf, causing Jared to lose his balance and follow him down.

Spluttering and whipping his too-long hair out of his face, Jared comes up swinging. He shoves Jensen back down when Jen emerges beside him, before swimming farther out of reach and into bathing depth. When the water’s up to his armpits, Jared stands up and scrubs at his chest with a handful of scooped sand. He waves at Jensen who’s decided to go back to their makeshift camp and wait. Jared hopes he decides to rebuild the fire.

When he’s done, he sees tiny flickers that reassure him Jensen is still on his wavelength and smiles. Jared plops down on the blanket, which Jensen has thoughtfully shaken free of extra sand, swings his head like Harley and sends a spray of cold water over Jensen’s now dry naked body.

“Hey jerkwad!” Jensen reaches to the side for a handful of sand. Jared raises both hands in surrender and calls a truce.

“Okay, okay! I’ll be nice!”

Jensen casts him a dubious look from under his lashes. “How nice?”

And all at once, Jared’s not cold anymore. At all. The flush sweeps down his neck and over his chest—like it does every time he thinks about him and Jensen…and sex. “I can be real nice,” he drawls and reaches down between Jensen’s legs, snorting with satisfaction when he feels the hard length of Jensen’s dick lying almost flat against his stomach.

Yep, definitely on the same wavelength.

That’s the extent of their conversation on the matter. Jared shoves Jensen to his back and straddles him, hands resting on Jensen’s bare thighs. Jared’s done with words and expects Jensen is too. The things they do together under the blankets and stars don’t require words and they don’t really need them anymore. Jared doesn’t know what to say about this thing between them, anyway.

What he does know is that kissing Jensen, touching him, fondling him, has become as natural as everything else between them from the moment they first read together for Supernatural. Jared’s stopped worrying about his sexuality or giving much thought to what this means or, heaven forbid, where it’s going. Meeting simple, basic needs has become a challenge, he’s satisfied to meet this one by letting Jensen teach him all the things he’s grown so curious about since the morning he woke up and knew he wasn’t going to die that day.

Jensen seems perfectly happy to oblige. Jared has the kissing part down good. Real good, he figures, and feels his dick twitch just like it does every time he thinks about Jensen’s lips and mouth. It’s hard to keep his hands off of Jensen, actually. He’s become familiar with the angles and planes, valleys and peaks, of Jensen’s body over the past week; at the same time, he’s both anxious and hesitant to bump things up a notch.

They talked about fucking; Jared brought it up the first night after they left the old farmhouse where they’d waited out his first attack. But they haven’t gotten to the fucking yet; Jensen’s been pretty firm about waiting for that part. Jared thinks Jensen’s still waiting on Jared to freak out about the whole thing, so they’ve only done other things, started the preparations, as Jensen calls them, since getting back on the road.

Jensen wriggles to a more comfortable position on his back. He’d explained to Jared that it’d been a while—a really long while, actually, since he’d let a man…well, since he’d been fucked. Despite what Jared saw on-set with him and Jeff, Jensen was quick to let him know there hadn’t been anything but flirting and some kissing between them.

Before he got back in the saddle, Jensen joked, they needed to take their time ’til they were both comfortable with that level of physical intimacy. Of course, Jen didn’t say it like that; more half-spoken sentences and guy gestures and significant glances, until Jared got the point. If Jared is going to stick his big dick up Jensen’s ass, then Jensen needs to work up to it.

For the second night in a row, Jared pulls out the tube of lube he’d snatched up at an abandoned truck stop just outside Portland. The sight of Jensen, spread out on the blanket, right leg canted up, takes Jared’s breath away. This. This is the reason he can’t question the decision to give it a go with his costar. Already, he feels so familiar with Jensen’s body. At the same time, he feels like there’s so much more about it he has yet to find out, discover, know. Already he can’t imagine never being able to touch it with mouth or fingers again.

Jared leans over for a kiss, lingering, wet. He hadn’t been shitting Jensen back at the house. Jared knows he’s a good kisser and he enjoys putting everything into the ones he shares with Jensen every time they stop to eat or sleep. Judging by the jutting flagpole of Jensen’s dick, he concurs.

With warm, slicked fingers, he traces the inside of Jensen’s thigh, smearing lube over the smooth skin of his inner leg before tickling behind his sac where he knows Jensen likes to be touched. Jared is rewarded with a hitch of Jensen’s hip and shift that spreads his legs even further apart, with one wrapped neatly around Jared’s back.

Jensen moans into his mouth and Jared knows that’s his signal to slip a finger through the tight ring of muscles into Jensen. He swears Jensen’s the tiniest bit looser tonight. Connected at mouth and root, Jared loves the sensation of feeling like he’s a part of Jensen. Like they’re melded into one being. Jared’s reactions to the physical proximity of Jensen go far beyond that of simple friendship. They’ve crossed a line somewhere along the way and Jared figures that, of this whole mess, he wouldn’t change that part even if he could.

Two fingers glide smoothly inside Jensen’s passage and Jared curls his finger just the way Jensen taught him until Jen bucks and pushes and pulls his mouth from Jared’s to let out a loud moan of pleasure. Jared mouths against Jensen’s thigh, feeling the muscles tremble and tense.

“That’s it, Jen. Open up for me. God, want to fuck you soon.” Jared keeps up the litany of sex talk and encouragement while Jensen loosely fists Jared’s cock.

“Three, Jay. M’ready for it.” Jensen’s voice cracks and Jared humps into his hand until he tightens his fist, jacking Jared in time with the slow, languid rhythm of his fingers sliding in and out of his ass.

They haven’t gone beyond three fingers yet but Jared wonders already if Jensen could take a fourth. God, he wants to see that. Almost as much as he wants to watch Jensen take his cock, feel the hot, velvet softness of him against the sensitive skin. Jared tucks his pinky in with the three he’s already using and massages Jensen’s hole lightly with his other hand as he slides the whole group in to the lower knuckle. He stills when Jensen grunts, worried, but when he doesn’t start up again, Jensen prods him in his whiskey rough voice.

“Oh, God, yeah, Jay. Like that. Open me up.”

He doesn’t know if it’s the feel of Jensen twitching and shaking and gripping him, or the words, Jensen’s sex-raspy voice, but Jared’s reaction is to gasp in surprise as his balls tighten all at once and he comes all over Jensen’s hand and onto both their bellies. He slides his come up and down Jensen’s shaft, feeling the muscles tighten and contract around his fingers at the moment Jensen yells, “Fuck, I’m coming,” to God and Jared and the water birds nesting a few yards from their camp.

Jared thinks he likes the noise Jensen makes when he pulls out best, quiet and almost regretful. He chews gently at Jensen’s mouth and then soothes the soreness with soft, quick laves of his tongue. Jensen is loose-boned, malleable, as Jared curls up around him, oddly protective.

When Jared pulls the blanket over them both, for a moment he realizes how early it is by their previous standards. Hell, they’d still be working scenes if the show hadn’t been canned. The last thing he remembers before falling asleep is the feel of Jensen’s fingers carding through his hair, tickling a bit when he traces around behind his ear, finally resting them in the curve of Jared’s neck. “S’good,” he mumbles, or tries to; he doesn’t know if he quite manages it before he’s falling like a stone through the layers of darkness.

Just as they sleep when the sun goes down, they rise with it, as well; a cycle they’ve adopted since Jared was well enough to travel again and Jensen decided they’d be okay traveling only during the day.

Wasting daylight is a sin these days.

The sun catches brass-gold highlights in Jensen’s hair when he shakes out their blankets. Jared wonders if his own hair has lightened as much as Jensen’s since they started this journey. He hasn’t really looked at himself—in mirrors or even storefront glass—in a while now. He thinks he might be a little afraid to. So much has changed.

Refreshed and not quite as filthy, they’re both loaded up in less than half an hour after Jared wakes. Their packs are disturbingly light and Jared follows without question when Jensen heads inland a bit, staying just west of the 101, but within sight of any of the small coastal towns they might pass heading south. Time to scrounge again, dig up what supplies haven’t already been looted or spoiled.

That night they find an abandoned ranger’s station just inside Siskiyou National Forest. They’re so close to the state line; Jared’s torn between wanting to keep going, just so they can sleep in California and getting to sleep on an actual mattress if they stay at the station. Still, the lure of California—home—is strong and as his headache worsens, Jared gets increasingly vocal about it and increasingly irritated as Jensen keeps blowing him off.

“Dude, shut the fuck up about it already,” Jensen finally says, dropping the duffle on the tile floor before inspecting the two rooms and three closets that make up the cabin. “I’m beat, okay?”

Jared just stands there. All of a sudden everything catches up to him and hits like a brick; the exhaustion, the fear—the confusion—it all just comes out in one seething burst.

“I don’t think you want to get home.”

Jensen stops midway to the kitchenette and wheels around, what the fuck printed all over his face. Jared hears the bitter words pouring out of his mouth without being able to stop them.

“I think you’re tripping on this whole survivalist scene. The hiding and sneaking and looting. What the fuck, man? Who do you think you are—Dean Winchester for real? We could have been in LA by now if you didn’t want to stop at sunset every night. This cloak and dagger shit gets you off!”


“Shut up!”

Jared’s face feels hot and his eyes burn like he’s about to fucking cry. He clenches his fists until the nails cut into him palms and feels the blood rushing in his head. All he can hear is the shush shush of his pulse pounding louder and louder in his ears just before his knees buckle. His hands dart to his throat, trying hard not to panic while instinctively yanking at the neck of his shirt in an attempt to breathe. His belly clenches and sours. When he falls over with cramps, gasping for air, eyes watering, he feels Jensen’s hands on his shoulders, easing him down to the camp bed before ripping the backpack open.

Shit. Jared, hold on… s’okay, try to relax, s’okay s’okay…” Jared doesn’t know if Jensen’s trying to convince him or himself, his eyes wide and frightened. Jared tracks Jensen as he jerks an epi-pen out of its holder and wheels back to lay the cylinder on the floor while he frantically works at Jared’s pants.

Jared forces himself to straighten his legs and uncurl from the fetal position he so wants to hold. When he feels Jensen tugging at the waistband, he tries to raise his hips.

“Got ya, Jay. I gotcha. Here we go. Gonna be good now. S’okay.” Jensen presses the tip of the pen to Jared’s thigh firmly, using his free hand on Jared’s pelvic bone to hold him still. “Just breathe, okay? You gotta relax. I need you to relax and breathe. I’m right here.” Jensen’s palm presses against the center of Jared’s chest, making slow, soothing circles. “I’m right here.”

The epinephrine is working in seconds and Jared feels the muscles of his chest relaxing and tries hard not to automatically pull in the deepest breath of air he can hold. Relax he tells himself and catches Jensen’s gaze before nodding his head.

“M’okay, now. Thanks, man.” Jensen sort of collapses on the floor beside the bed, but doesn’t take his hand off Jared’s thigh or chest. They stare at each other in silence until Jared has enough control and energy to speak.

“M’sorry, Jen. I didn’t mean…” But Jensen just latches onto him and pulls him over into a bone crushing hug.

“Just shut the fuck up, okay?” Jensen rasps, before moving in to crash hard onto Jared’s mouth.

Jared’s heart is double-tripping and he feels lightheaded, but not so much that he isn’t reciprocating. Between the drug and the adrenaline pumped through his body from fear of suffocation, Jared feels like he’s literally vibrating.

He rolls off the bed, right onto Jensen, who expels a loud breath, but just wraps a leg around Jared’s waist and pulls him back down. The kiss is primal, sloppy and wet and Jared just wants to crawl inside of Jensen and never come out. He loves the feel of Jensen’s tongue in his mouth. Of his tongue sliding over Jensen’s teeth, tasting deeply of his unique flavors.

“So sorry,” he whispers against Jensen’s lips before moving down to bite over his collarbone until Jensen’s neck is marked with angry red points. “God, I never… Jen, you know…”

“Yeah.” Jensen’s petting Jared’s hair, then running fingers through its too-long length, tightening his hold when Jared shoves Jensen’s tee-shirt up under his arms and continues mapping across his chest and stomach with soft nips of his teeth. He stops long enough to yank the buttons open on Jensen’s jeans and open them enough to latch onto the pale flesh where leg joins body and proceeds to suck at the salt and dried sweat of the day.

“Wanna suck your dick like this, Jen.” Jared pulls his lips away with a soft pop and turns slightly to lick at the head of Jensen’s cock. They’ve both ditched their underwear days ago and neither one of them’s at their cleanest, but that doesn’t deter his need to join himself to Jensen the only way he knows how.

He can’t believe he hasn’t done this already. He’s lain with Jensen night after night, making out until he he’s about to cream his pants like a kid and let Jensen bring him off, usually with his mouth, while Jared’s been content to just jack Jensen to completion before they both roll over spoon-like and fall into an exhausted sleep

That is so not on, any more.

Jared sucks in Jensen’s length until the spongy crown of his cock tickles at the back of his throat and he feels it start to rebel and close up. He pulls back up quickly and takes Jensen slower this time, flicking his tongue against and around the strange textures of puckered skin, smooth hardness and pulsing veins.

Jensen is reduced to monosyllabic words such as God and yes! and gnnngh, so Jared figures he’s doing something right. When Jensen’s fingers tighten in Jared’s hair until his eyes are watering, he pulls back until just the head of Jensen’s cock is in his mouth and sucks hard, like he’s trying to get the last bit of shake through the straw.

Jensen trembles. “Jay, I’m comin’,” isn’t even all the way out before Jared’s mouth is filling with the bitter-salt rush of Jensen’s come.

At the first taste, Jared jerks back and watches the creamy spurts of come spilling over his hand while he strokes Jensen through his climax. When Jensen quiets and the only sound in the cabin is their chorus of ragged breathing, Jared licks into Jensen’s mouth, enjoying the tiny tremors of aftershock. When even those have faded, Jared sits up and wipes his fingers roughly on the covers on the little bed next to them and looks down proudly at Jensen’s satisfied smile.

“Figures.” Jensen stretches long and lazy, groaning with pleasure. “We finally get a bed and still wind up having sex on the floor.”

Jared throws his head back and laughs, then pulls his shirt over his head and stands to shuck out of his jeans. He lies back down beside Jensen, who’s also wiggled out of his shambled clothing and pulls him in his arms.

He wants to ask if it was good, but settles for nuzzling Jensen’s neck and mumbling, “Just wanted to taste you – be part of you.”

Jared feels Jensen smile against his side of his face. “Anytime you want, Big Jay.”

Neither one mentions Jared’s outburst that had started the whole anaphylactic episode, but Jared thinks maybe Jensen’s a bit wary, a bit careful with him, the next morning when they fill their water bottles from an old pump behind the cabin and set off again, the sun heating the left sides of their faces with its warm rays.

California. Jared’s never happier to tread on me than that moment Jensen takes off running with a whoop, flinging the duffle onto the ground so he can jump up and slap the sign just coming into view.

Jared gathers his shoulder-length hair back off his neck and jogs up beside him and can’t help grinning for the sheer joy of it. Then Jensen’s slapping his back and Jared’s turning into his arms and they’re kissing right there beside the highway under the rusty metal billboard that reads “WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA.”


The sound of an air horn is so surreal on this two-lane road among the giant redwoods that Jared’s already pulled out of Jensen’s arms and turned around before it really registers.He has to edge sideways a step or two to see the flatbed headed north—towards them. At least half a dozen teenagers, all boys, all different colors, spill out of the cab and over the bed, swaying for balance. Squinting through the flyspecked windshield, Jensen judges the driver to be no more than eighteen or nineteen.Jensen’s not even thinking when he steps around and puts himself in front of Jared. He puts his hand in his back pocket where it’s just a couple of inches from the knife at his belt. He hears Jared shuffle his feet, shifting into a defensive stance to his left. Jensen knows he’s probably got his knife handy, as well, along with the prop gun.Jared leans over and softly says, “They’re just kids.”

Jensen just nods, not taking his eyes off the truck or its passengers for one second. ‘Just kids’ doesn’t mean ‘not dangerous’.

“Woo-hoo!” The truck shudders to a halt just a couple of feet from Jensen and Jared with a tired squeal of brakes. The front end is mangled heavily. Even stopped, the truck’s still jouncing on its wheels with the bouncing, rowdy movement of the boys in the back.

Jensen’s mouth goes dry and he licks his lips nervously when he sees at least three shotguns among the group. No telling how many other weapons they’ve got concealed. He takes a cautious step backwards and bumps right into Jared, who hasn’t moved.

And everybody’s still just…staring.

Jensen’s about ready to either tell the kids to move off, or at least grab up his duffle and drag Jared off the road himself when Jared speaks up.

“Hey, man. What you guys up to?” Jared asks. Jensen’s stomach lurches and he stares in disbelief at Jared’s over-cheerful tone. Dear sweet God, is he trying to get us killed? Jensen wraps his fingers around Jared’s wrist and squeezes hard enough to leave bruises. Jared gives him a fast look before he simply tilts his head and smiles up at the guys in the truck.

Apparently, the boys are just as amazed at Jared’s attitude as Jensen is. Six pairs of eyes study them narrowly and speculatively until the driver finally climbs down, followed by the three largest boys from the truck bed. Each one is holding a shotgun like they know just what to do with it.

“We were goin’ to ask you the same thing, buddy,” the driver says and swaggers toward them. “What’s going on?”

Jensen can’t believe this is happening. He can also see where it’s going, but it’s too late to walk away now.

“Look, man. We don’t want no trouble. Just trying to make our way down to San Fran.” Jensen turns on The Smile, as bright and brilliant as he can, ignoring the itching crawl of sweat in his pits and down his back.

“We don’t want no trouble neither,” the leader says and spits through the gap in his teeth. He’s a beefy kid, linebacker size, with an old, crumpled baseball cap turned backwards on his shaved head. His driving arm is pink with sunburn. “Just noticing your packs looked a might heavy.”

“Hey,” Jared says, stepping up next to Jensen. “It doesn’t need to go down like this, guy. We’re just trying to get home, not bothering anybody. We can both just go our own ways, no harm, no foul.”

“Or,” Shotgun Number One drawls, “you could shut the fuck up, put your shit down and maybe live to tell the tale.”

“Look—” Jensen starts…when someone hits him on the head from behind.

He’s not out for long; whoever slammed him must not’ve had his heart in it, or else Jensen’s as hard headed as his mama always said. Either way, he wakes up on the ground, breathing in dust while someone’s got a knee between his shoulder blades. They’re tying his hands, rough rope scraping into his skin. His legs are still loose, but someone’s sitting on them. Jensen doesn’t wiggle too much yet, still trying to figure it out.

“Naw, man; I fucking found it, it’s mine!”

“You goddamn pussy, you wouldn’t even know what to do with that; cut yer own dick off!”

Close by, a couple guys are squabbling over Jensen’s knife. In the background he can hear Jared shouting (Thank you, God), the sound of several people scuffling in the dirt. The noises fade in and out with his jagged, crazy pulse; nausea comes in waves too and he fights it down. They saw us kissing, they had to’ve, he thinks, chafing his wrists against his bonds and pissed that he let his guard down that much. Question is, what’re they going to do about it?

Jensen thinks he really doesn’t want the answer to that question.

They should’ve run when they’d had the chance. He’d been stupid, not paranoid enough, lulled by the relative peace of their journey and now Jared—both of them—might end up paying the price. If anything, that thought makes his heart hammer even faster. Ever since Jared got sick, he’s been so careful, or tried to be. Keeping Jared safe gives him something to focus on, a clear and close-set goal. He can’t think too much ahead; things are moving too fast, too chaotic, he can’t get a handle on them. Jared—helping Jared, being there, watching and watching over him—is what helps him keep it together. He needs to keep it together.

“Just take it, man. Take all of it, take anything you want—”

Jensen hears the meaty thud of fists on flesh; Jared’s voice cuts off suddenly.

Jared. Jensen bucks and whoever it is on his back presses down harder, driving the breath out of him. “Hold still, maricon,” a voice growls in his ear. A moment later, spit runs down the side of his neck, warm and disgusting.

“Motherfucker,” Jensen snarls and starts kicking and fighting in earnest. Rough hands grab him, flip him on his back. His middle finger gets bent the wrong way, the ropes dig into his wrists again. Grit gets swept into his eyes and as he tries to blink it away, one of his attackers punches him across the jaw and someone else kicks him in the ribs. Jensen grunts, tasting blood.

“…the fuck are we doing, man? I thought we were just gonna rob them. I didn’t sign up for this…”

“Yo, chill man; they’re just blowing off a little steam”.

“Chuck, dude…I don’t know about this either. This… They weren’t hurtin’ nobody, man…”

Another kick to the ribs and Jensen half-rolls onto his side, trying to curl up. Through a forest of legs, he glimpses Jared for the first time, struggling between two guys. Blood’s trickling from Jared’s nose.

“Jensen?” Jared sounds strange, muffled. “Jen?!” He breaks off in a fit of coughing, harsh and ugly. After a moment, Jared whoops for breath and then coughs some more.

“Jared!” Jensen curls away from the second kick to his side, tries to orient himself, figure out what to do, how to move. “Jared!”

“Shit, he’s sick!”

“Oh, fuck!”

“Lookit! He’s all kinds of fucked up.”

“…It’s the flu, man, I seen it….”

“Yo man, I’m not catching no bird flu! I’m out!”

Jared’s coughing turns liquid, strained. Shit. He’s having an attack. He’s having an attack.

“It’s not the flu!” Jensen tries to say, his skin crawling at the echo of the murdered man in Canada. His mouth is filled with blood and dust and his words only come out in mushy syllables that make no sense.

God, I know I’ve been asking you for a lot lately, but I need you now—really need you—because if anything happens… Jensen can’t even finish the thought. Instead, he turns his panic into action, drawing his knees back and pistoning out with them. He catches one kid in the shoulder, shoves him away and down into the gravel of the roadside. The other kid, dodges aside, but instead of coming back at Jensen, he rabbits, running back towards the truck.

They’re all scrambling for the truck now. Jensen forgets all about them the second he realizes they’re fleeing and slither-crawls for Jared, curled up and wheezing. “Jay?” He hates the way his voice quavers. Strong. You need to be strong. Pull it together, Ackles. “Jared.”

Jared looks up and Jensen has a second to see his red, pained, watering eyes before the truck’s tires squeal and kick up a cloud of floury dust over them both. Jensen starts choking and coughing himself; his eyes burn and tear. He feels lightheaded as he rolls onto his side, uses his bound hands to push himself up enough to get his feet under him.

He staggers the few steps to where the boys abandoned their luggage and drops down again, almost on top of Jared’s pack. He’s pawed through the contents in the dark enough that he should be able to do it with his hands tied behind his back. Jensen closes his eyes and tries to see with his fingers, while Jared’s breath gets louder and more labored.

Ink pen, rolled Ace bandage, cigarette lighter… Hold on, Jay, I’m working on it; just hang on a little while longer, hang on… They’ve only got a couple of the pens left anyway; Jensen can’t even think about what they’re going to do if those kids pocketed them or scattered them into the grass without knowing what they’re for or how vital they are. “I’m comin’, Jay; coming fast as I can. Just breathe, okay? Just breathe.”

Find it. Find it, Ackles. It’s here. It’s got to be here, you just have to find it before Jared fucking well suffocates

Don’t die, Jared. Please don’t die.

His fingertips skate across the milled edged of an Epipen. Jensen snatches it up and hump-crawls across the asphalt to Jared. He turns the pen frantically in his fingers, the bones of his wrists protesting as they flex against the rope, but he can’t thumb the cap off. There’s also no way in hell he’s going to be able to inject Jared like this.

“Jay, you gotta help me.” Jensen barely recognizes his own voice, hoarse, even deeper than when he’d pitch it for Dean’s voice. He falls half-on Jared, trying to make sure it’s on his friend’s hip and not his stomach. Jared’s hand flutters weakly against Jensen’s fingertips; Jensen pushes the pen firm as he can into Jared’s grip. “I can’t get the cap off. Jay. Jay.

“Gnngh.” Jared shifts in a dry rattle of small stones and grit.

“Jared.” The tightness in his chest aches worse than where they punched him, kicked him. He cranes to look over his shoulder. Jared’s skin’s turning blue, making the red around his eyes and nose all the more vivid. Jensen tries to catch Jared’s eyes with his own. “Jay, you can do this. I need you to do this. Uncap the pen.”

Jared tries to nod, his whole body shaking with the desperate need to breathe. He fumbles the Epipen and Jensen’s heart stutters a beat until Jared catches it again, clumsily works the cap off. It drops with a soft click of plastic on stone.

“Good,” Jensen breathes, “that’s real good, Jay. Now you gotta stick yourself. Do it hard; you’ve got to get it through the skin. Do it, Jay. C’mon. You can do this. I’m right here. Your lower stomach or your hip. Do it.”

Jared’s hand is shaking so hard, Jensen doesn’t really feel confident that Jared’s going to be able to do it after all. Jared shifts again, trying to shove his shirts out of the way. When he puts the pen against his skin, Jensen pushes up and then falls back onto his friend, their combined effort driving the needle into the skin until Jensen hears the soft click of the spring-loaded needle. He holds his breath, the pen jabbing into his wrist and kidney as it delivers the drug into Jared’s body.

Please, Jared. Jared, please…

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus…”

Jared gasps, loud, desperate.

Jensen’s breath sobs out of him; he lets himself fall sideways a little so the pen isn’t digging into them both, panting and gasping in time with his friend. He turns his face into Jared’s thigh, his eyes burning hot and his throat tight with too much panic, too much adrenaline.

I love you, he thinks, though he doesn’t know how he means it exactly. Don’t die, he thinks a second later.

“We’re okay,” he says aloud, his voice quavering and shaking almost uncontrollably on those few syllables and slowly—too slowly—Jared’s hand finds its way onto Jensen’s shoulder and squeezes.

Jared sprawls under Jensen, eyes closed, thinking over and over, “Thank you God, thank you God, thank you God.”Once it doesn’t hurt to draw in a breath and let it out, he shifts his right hip up, nudging Jensen. His hand moves up from Jensen’s shoulder, into his hair, letting his fingers scratch lightly beneath the dirty strands to scalp below. Idly, Jared realizes he’s never seen Jensen’s hair this long. It must be driving him crazy.Jensen’s face smashes tighter into Jared’s leg.When Jensen finally rolls off, Jared tests his legs, which were starting to go numb. Jensen sits up, his back to Jared, and wiggles his fingers. “Untie me.”

They took his knife off him; Jared fumbles with the knots, his fingers almost as useless as his legs. When Jared’s done, Jensen massages the circulation slowly back into each wrist. Jared winces at the red, swollen flesh, abraded by dirt and rope.

Jensen reaches out and touches Jared’s leg, then moves his hands up, skimming over his stomach where the tiny mark from the pen is still visible. Jared lets him, stomach muscles shivering at the contact.

“You okay?” Jared barely recognizes Jensen’s voice.

He opens his mouth to answer and the words catch before they get to his tongue. Jared clears his throat and tries again, but the best he can manage is a hoarse whisper. “Yeah, m’okay now.”

Jared licks his lips and Jensen’s immediately casting around for the water bottle. Miraculously, it’s still strapped to Jared’s backpack. Even though the water within’s piss-warm, the blessed wetness is welcome. Jared swishes it around in his parched mouth and spits before gulping thirstily.

When he’s had enough, Jensen takes the bottle back and drains the rest himself. “I hear water close by. We can refill everything before we leave.”

Jared nods, still not sure he can talk right. He tries to sit up and Jensen’s right there, pressing firmly at his shoulder, pressing him down again. “Don’t.”

But Jared’s becoming more aware of his surroundings and the warm, heavy feel of wet denim at his crotch makes him wrinkle his nose in disgust.

“Dude, I have got to go wash up. I’m gross.” Jared waves down below his waist, too embarrassed to explain. He feels the heat of a blush starting at his hairline and rolls over, hiding his face in his crossed arms. Even with his eagerness to get up and wash, he feels content to just lie on the ground another moment, collecting himself.

“Jay… It’s all right. I understand.” Jensen’s reply is soft, and even the humiliating sweet-ammonia smell that is starting to waft up around them can’t stop Jared from moaning in relief when Jensen’s hands make brisk, soothing circles across his back and up to his shoulders.

He hears Jensen snort. “You know, I was about this close to pissing myself, too, man. Never thought I’d be thanking God for your allergies, but that attack of yours saved our asses. Those fuckers were whacked.”

Jared pushes himself up to his elbows. “I know. That’s why I did it.”

As soon as he rolls over and sees the look on Jensen’s face, Jared knows he’s made a mistake.

“You… you did it?” Jensen lips are a pale tight line across his face, his eyes narrow.

Jared gets up and starts scuffing through the area that contains everything they have in the world, now scattered and dirty, some of it probably unusable. Anything to get out of range of that accusing stare.

But there’s no escaping Jensen or his ire. “What the fuck, Jared!”

Jared tenses when he feels Jensen’s grip on his shoulder, trying to turn him around to face him. After a second, Jared jerks loose and wheels around to face the music.

“Yeah, well… I sort of… I… I didn’t know it was going to be that bad. It didn’t feel like it was going to be… But they were scared. Bunch of them just wanted our stuff, get the hell out of here. I thought. I thought if I started coughing, coughing the way that always makes it worse and sort of… encouraged it, then maybe…”

Jared chews his lower lip and looks down, then back up at Jensen, determined to make him understand. “It was the only shot we had, Jen. The scared ones weren’t going to speak up. Not in any serious way. And those other guys…they were going to kill us. Just leave us dead beside the road.” He hears his voice rising, chest tightening up at the memory.

“I wasn’t going to stand there and watch them beat you to death.” Jared refused to turn away when he felt the hot sting of tears welling up behind his eyes, soaking his lashes.

He waits for Jensen to say something. Say anything. Instead, Jen just stands there, toe-to-toe with Jared and the only visible sign of what he’s thinking is the muscle pulsing at his jaw. Jared recalls how Jensen used to make it do that when Dean was upset, too. This time, he’s pretty sure it’s not just an act, though.

“Please. Understand.” Jared sucks in a breath and turns to walk away when Jensen finally decides to speak.

“You stupid-ass, mother fucking, son-of-a bitch,” he hisses. Jared turns back and takes a step away, startled by shivering fury he reads on Jensen’s face. Jensen’s so mad he’s crying.

“Don’t you know…” Jensen cuts himself off, shakes his head. “Just… don’t you leave me to do this alone. Don’t you dare! God, that has to be the stupidest damn fool thing I’ve ever seen you do.

“What if I couldn’t get the pen to you in time? What if I’d been unconscious? What if you were too far gone to use the fucking pen? So, just don’t even….” Jensen sniffs and juts his chin out, lips squaring hard. “Do you understand, Jared?”

Jared nods slowly, but apparently it’s not enough. Jensen closes the gap between them and digs his fingers into Jared’s muddy, bloodstained shirt. “Do. You. Understand?” Jensen spits the words out and Jared feels the spray on his face, but doesn’t know the words to make things right. He can only meet Jen’s eyes and nod again. When Jensen looks somewhat satisfied, Jared wipes his nose with the back of his shirt sleeve and pulls out of Jensen’s grasp.

“I’m gonna clean up.”

Jensen’s hands drop to his side and Jared leaves him standing there as he makes his way to the water he can hear now, as well.

Jensen might be pissed as hell at him, but as sorry as he feels about scaring Jen, he’s not sorry for doing it. Jensen’s alive. They both are. Jared feels a shiver run the length of his spine at the memory of Jensen, pressed face tight to the ground, blood everywhere and unable to fight back. He remembers the faces of the boys that had held him down and hurt him, the look in their eyes.

Not gonna let anything happen to him he reiterates to himself with a shake of his head.

It’s never been so clear to Jared that he will do anything. Anything to keep Jensen from getting hurt…or worse. He’d barely registered it when they’d punched him in the gut, but he’d felt each one of the kicks and punches they threw at Jensen. And then he felt the breathless ache in his lungs, the drawing tightness of his throat that always signaled one of his allergy attacks.

Draw their attention away from Jensen had been his first thought, followed closely by his plan to try and scare the shit out of them. Thank God, they’d reacted just as he hoped.

And now Jensen was mad. But alive. He could live with that.

The growing roar of rushing water is much louder than a creek or river. Jared steps into a clearing and just stands staring at the waterfall tucked into the side of the rocks, surrounded by trees taller than the cliff.The water’s as close to heaven as Jared thinks he’s ever been. Not like they hadn’t come across streams and crossed rivers the last few days, but the serenity surrounding the waterfall and the pool below it is like a balm to his bruised and battered body. From here, you wouldn’t know anything was wrong in the outside world. You wouldn’t know that he and Jensen had almost died less than a hundred yards away.Jared strips. He grimaces at his tee-shirt, which had been practically ripped off in the struggle. It’s a lost cause. He drops it in the water, watching the red tendrils of blood sifting out of the cloth and scrubs his jeans and over shirt in the pool. He scrambles up the rocks and lays them out in the sun to dry.Jensen doesn’t come down and if he squints up, through the trees, he can see him pacing, agitated and stiff, just where he can look down and watch Jared too.

Jared’s standing directly under the waterfall, eyes closed and just letting the water beat down on him when Jensen finally joins him. Jared doesn’t know whether to be surprised or worried he hadn’t heard Jen coming and curiously enough, Jensen’s touch at the small of his back doesn’t make him jump.

Jared just stands still, feeling the water sluice over his shoulders, down his chest and back. And then, through the water, Jensen touching him.

Jensen tugs Jared’s shoulders, pulling him back until they’re out of direct shot of the pounding falls. When Jared tries to turn and face him, though, Jensen just murmurs, “No,” holding Jared in place. Jared nods and braces himself with one arm on the sun-warmed rocks and arches back, enjoying the feel of Jensen’s hands on him and the stretch of sore muscles.

When Jensen leans in and replaces the hand at Jared’s neck with his mouth, the earlier trauma seems like it happened in the distant past. He thinks Jensen is mouthing words against his shoulder, but he could just be kissing him. Jared sighs and relaxes, relieved that Jensen’s fuse has burnt itself out.

“Need to touch you, Jay. Need to feel you whole.” The words go straight to Jared’s dick and make him lean his head backwards on Jensen’s shoulder.

Callused hands stroke under Jared’s arms and down his sides. Jared feels his whole body loosen and liquefy when Jensen reaches around and tickles fingers through his curly pubic hairs, Jared’s cock rising to meet him. But, when he tries to turn in Jensen’s embrace, he’s stopped again, so relaxes and enjoys being caressed and petted. The slow, easy strokes along his dick almost make Jared purr, headache easing.

His cock distinctly misses the touch when Jensen shifts to run his nails lightly up and down Jared’s sides again before settling over his ass, thumbs massaging easy patterns along Jared’s flank.

Jared’s eyes pop open and his slack-loosened body tenses automatically when he feels those wonderful fingers slide slowly, tentatively between his legs. Nonetheless, Jared takes a wider stance and wills himself to just calm the fuck down. Gonna figure out what’s it like sooner or later..

He thinks about Jensen, what Jensen looks like when Jared’s fingers are touching him, inside him, the gasping pleasure that transforms Jensen’s face. It looks so good when it’s Jensen; he needs to just remember that.

He feels Jensen kneel behind him but it’s not the blunt tips of Jensen’s fingers that slide between his parted cheeks. Wet heat swipes lovingly against him, pressing a question to his puckered flesh. It’s so unexpected that Jared jumps, a shudder running ticklish and pleasurable from his toes to the crown of his head.

“Jen…” he sighs shakily. He trusts Jensen. More than ever, he trusts Jensen. Jared reaches behind to lay a hand against the side of Jensen’s face in silent permission to proceed.

He can’t even stop the gasp that escapes when Jensen’s tongue begins to beg entrance, curling into a tight, hard muscle used to batter at Jared’s defenses. When he can finally make the ring of muscles relax, the slow slide inside almost brings him to his knees and Jared has to use both hands to brace himself against the rocks alongside the waterfall. The noise he makes echoes back and a moment later, he feels Jensen chuckle against him.

Jensen’s nose nudges at his crease, fingers pulling him open. It feels like Jensen’s whole face is buried between Jared’s legs and he’s being kissed and licked and sucked in the most amazing and unthinkable ways. He shifts to keep himself from falling down from the pure pleasure of it and his dick knocks against his belly like a reminder.

Adjusting his stance to be supported by one arm, Jared reaches down and begins to jack his cock in a firm, determined rhythm. His hand, Jensen’s tongue, even his breath, seem to work as one and Jared’s body settles into the erotic flow.

Jared squeezes himself and ups the speed of his strokes when Jensen goes back to tonguing his hole. Orgasm tugs at his balls, making his toes curl into the slippery, algae covered bedrock.

“Jensen?” He’s so close and he doesn’t know what Jensen wants from this. “Jen?”

Jensen’s thumbs soothe against his skin. It’s okay.

Jared moans, strangled, and jerks on his dick hard, once, twice before come fountains over his hands onto the rocks below. He tenses his glutes, overcome, and Jensen pulls back slightly and slows the sweep of his tongue. By the time Jared sags limply against the rocks, Jensen is on his feet, arms wrapped loosely around Jared’s waist.

They stand on the periphery of the waterfall entwined–Jared’s breathing harsh and labored–while Jensen soothes him with soft kisses to his neck and shoulders. When Jared’s finally permitted to turn around, he reaches automatically for Jensen because his mama raised him right and there’s an etiquette to these things.

To his surprise, Jensen’s only half-hard, velvet softness against Jared’s pruned fingers. Jensen’s cock twitches a little at his touch, but Jen puts his hand over Jared’s and stops him from doing more than cupping. “Hey,” Jared says, his voice quavering a bit over the word. “Did I… Was I…?” He doesn’t even know to be offended or hurt or what.

Jensen shakes his head. “No, it’s okay. I just… I just wanted to touch you. It was just you.”

“But I could…?” Jared offers, stroking his thumb across Jen’s balls.

Jensen leans in and kisses him, like none of their other kisses, his mouth slow and lingering. Jared lets go of Jensen’s cock to caress Jensen’s face and smooth the hair at his temple back with his thumbs. When their mouths let go, Jensen leans his head against Jared’s shoulder.

“Don’t leave.” Jensen’s voice sounds choked and harsh, despite it’s quietness. “Don’t leave me, Jay.”

Jared shushes him with soft words of reassurance. “Not gonna, Jen. Together. It’s you and me, together.”

While their clothes dry, they put on their shoes and go, half-naked, to scavenge through and repack their stuff. Their belongings are scattered across a twenty foot area of dirt and rocks.”God, this sucks.” Jared spits as he squats down to pick up the crushed cylinder of their last Epipen. Just knowing he doesn’t have it any longer makes him start to breathe fast and shallow, but he calms it down and stands to toss the cracked plastic instrument into the brush.”We’ll find some more. We’ll be in Frisco in a couple of days. All we have to do is make sure you don’t have any bad ones till then. There’s bound to be someone who can help us there.”Jared notes the we and hides a small smile. Something’s changed in their relationship – well, besides the sex. Something’s shifted and Jared isn’t sure what it means. He does know it’s going to take more than a bunch of punk-ass feral brats to separate him and Jensen. Together.

They manage to salvage all that’s fit to keep by the time Jared’s jeans are dry enough to wear. Jensen tears up the tee-shirt Jared was wearing and hands him a strip to tie his hair back. It’s actually long enough that Jared can pull it into a ponytail. He glares at Jensen, daring him to give him shit about it.

Jensen just shrugs, smiles and ties another band around his forehead to keep all the hair he’s not used to having from falling into his eyes.

The sun is setting by the time they’re geared up and for the first time, Jensen doesn’t say anything about traveling at night. Jared hitches the backpack to a more comfortable position and follows Jensen into the woods. They won’t be traveling on roads anymore.

Two days later, they’re stopped in Petaluma, sharing coffee with a band of gypsies heading north—which still sounds all kinds of weird to Jared’s brain—when they get the next bad news.

San Francisco is trashed.

Jared can see the fires on the Golden Gate Bridge from his vantage point. He casts a look at Jensen, seated next to him at the fire. Jensen shakes his head.

Jen tosses the dregs of his coffee cup into the fire and stands. He nods at the leader of the group. “We better get moving, guys. Appreciate the grub.” Jared can’t remember when Jensen stopped worrying about sounding like a sophisticated city boy, stopped hiding his drawl, but the difference is noticeable.

Jared stands beside him, hands Jensen the duffle and shoulders the backpack. There’s still about three hours of daylight and they need to figure out a new route down to LA.

That night, after Jensen’s scouted their back trail a couple times to make sure no one’s following them, they curl up in the shadow of a pretty big boulder and revise their plans.

“If we cut across Lakeville Highway here, and take these side streets, we can detour around San Fran and pick up I-80 going south.” Jensen’s fingers trace their route on the battered and weather-stained map.

Jared nods. “And then we can pick up 680 to the 580/205 until it takes us to the 5,” he agrees.

“And that’ll take us all the way into L.A.” Jensen rubs his eyes tiredly. “Yeah. This is still totally workable. I was a little nervous about going through the city anyway. I hope Kate and them made it out okay.”

Kate was an old friend of Jensen’s and the main reason they decided to go through San Francisco in the first place; see if they could find her, get news and maybe some help. That part’s pretty much scrapped now, but the road isn’t closed to them and that’s the important thing.

The other important thing is that Jared hasn’t had another severe attack. On the contrary, Jared feels better than he has since they left Vancouver. Jared knows it’s not going to last, but it is one less thing for them to worry about.

“Hey.” Jared bumps Jensen with his shoulder until Jen looks at him. “We’re okay. We’re still okay.”

“Yeah.” Jensen ducks his head but he nudges Jared back. “We’re doing fine.”

continued in part 3

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