The parking lot light cast an orange glow across the bed as Jensen studied Jared’s sleeping form. He couldn’t help running his hand gently through the other man’s hair, stilling as Jared shifted, curling himself more tightly around Jensen’s body.
Jensen’s thoughts were whirling. Chris had told him that he was setting himself up for heartbreak, and he was probably right. But Jensen couldn’t seem to care. He’d needed Jared and not just physically. Needed his smile, his laugh, his ability to eat mass quantities of candy. Jensen smiled at the thought of Jared with a mouthful of gummi worms. It really didn’t matter, he realized. It was just Jared. He needed Jared.
And leaving Jared was going to be the hardest thing he’d ever have to do. There had to be a way to come back. Chris and Steve were smart – if anyone could find a way for him to return, they could. He’d nag them until they did.
He sighed and felt Jared stir against him again.
“Shh.” Jared’s voice was soft in the darkness.
“What?” Jensen looked down to see a smile on Jared’s face, his eyes still closed. Jensen felt him press a kiss against his body.
“Stop thinking so loud,” Jared mumbled, rolling over and taking Jensen with him. He found himself tucked into Jared’s embrace as he rearranged Jensen into the little spoon. Jensen smiled as Jared’s lips feathered against his temple and heard Jared whisper, “Sleep.”
Closing his eyes, he let the doubts melt away and drifted off, feeling contented for the first time in what seemed like forever.
The next morning came too early in Jared’s opinion, but the way he woke up cancelled out the early hour. Jensen was nestled against his back, his erection thrusting gently against Jared’s ass. He moaned as Jensen kissed the spot right behind his ear.
“Morning.” Jensen’s hand caressed his chest, stopping once, twice, to tweak a nipple into a tight point before continuing its journey to Jared’s cock. Jared arched lazily into Jensen’s hand as he slowly jacked him to full hardness.
“Feels so good. Right there.” Jared lost himself in the sensation of Jensen’s fingers wrapped around him, squeezing tightly, his thumb caressing the head.
Jensen’s tongue licked the shell of his ear, sending shivers down his body. “You’re beautiful, so hard for me like that.” Jensen pulled away slightly and Jared felt him press his shoulder to the bed. “Wanna ride you.”
In a fluid motion Jensen was above him, straddling his hips. His eyes, heavy lidded with want, stared into Jared’s as Jensen kissed him, his tongue begging for entrance past Jared’s lips.
“Can I ride you, Jared?” Jensen’s words, breathed into Jared’s mouth, had his cock hardening even more.
“Oh God yes.” Jared fumbled for the lube. “Gotta get you ready first.”
“No you don’t.” Jensen’s hand stilled his. “Couldn’t wait. Needed you so bad.” He slipped back a bit and Jared felt his dick slip in between Jensen’s ass cheeks. The slick had him sliding against Jensen’s hole, slight friction sending spirals of want throughout Jared’s body.
“Did you…?” Suddenly it clicked. Jensen had opened himself up for him already. “Jesus…” Jared moaned at the thought of Jensen prepping himself while Jared slept.
“Had to.” Jensen gasped and ground down onto Jared’s erection. “Wanted to be ready for you.”
“Need a condom.” Jared fumbled for the package on the nightstand.
“No. Just you. Please.” The wrecked look Jensen gave him took Jared’s breath away. “I just…I just need to feel you.”
Jared reached up for Jensen’s face and brought him down to kiss him gently. He knew what Jensen wasn’t saying. Placing kisses against his jaw, Jared whispered, “Okay.”
“Help me.” Jensen raised up slightly to position himself as Jared held the base of his cock steady. He nudged the head against Jensen’s lube-slicked hole and hissed in pleasure as Jensen slowly lowered himself onto Jared’s length.
It felt incredible. Hot, tight, wet. Alive. Jared whimpered at the sensation of Jensen sinking down on him, pausing repeatedly to tease him as he clenched his muscles around Jared’s cock. Jared’s bare cock.
Jared wanted to bury himself balls-deep and instinctively began to thrust up, but Jensen stopped him with a touch, laughing quietly when Jared growled in frustration.
“My speed this time.” Slowly moving again, Jensen inched down, down until finally Jared got what he wanted.
“God, Jensen, you feel so good around me.” Jared moaned, the pressure against his balls making his dick harden even more.
Then Jensen began to move. All Jared could do was watch. And feel.
Jensen was beautiful in the morning light. Eyes closing, he slowly undulated his hips, drawing Jared deeper inside him as Jensen chased his need. Droplets of sweat began running down his chest, hanging temptingly on a nipple before dropping fire-hot onto Jared’s skin.
Running his hands over Jensen’s body, Jared lost himself in the planes of Jensen’s chest, the hardness of his biceps. He took Jensen’s hand and brought it to his lips, feeling the calluses on his finger pads, kissing the broken skin across his knuckles, breathing unconscious “I love you’s” into Jensen’s palm.
Jensen responded with breathy whimpers and “Oh God’s” as Jared gathered his feet under him and thrust in time to Jensen’s movements. Time stopped as they rocked together, feeding off each other’s desire as their arousal spiraled higher and higher.
Jensen whispered, “Right there, please right there,” as Jared found his prostate. “Oh God, touch me. Need you to touch me.”
Jared reached down and took Jensen’s cock in his hand, stroking his thumb over the tip.
Keening, Jensen threw his head back and ground himself down onto Jared. “Harder, stroke harder,” as he began whipping his hips faster.
Jared gathered the beads of pre-come and slid his hand up and down Jensen’s cock. “Like that?”
“God yes. Feels so good.” Jensen rolled his hips as Jared pumped him, rubbing his thumb across the bundle of nerves under the head. “So close, Jay…”
“Want you to come for me, Jen. Wanna see you fall apart.” Grabbing Jensen’s hip in one hand, Jared began thrusting harder into him as he sped up his strokes. “Yeah, see it in your face. C’mon, come for me…”
Eyes wide open, locked on Jared’s, Jensen came with a shout, ropes of semen splattering across their bodies. The edges of Jared’s vision became white as Jensen’s muscles clenched, seizing him, claiming him. Jared followed him over the cliff, pounding out his orgasm as he shot deep into Jensen, filling him.
Jensen collapsed on top of him, both of them panting. As they lay together, sated and sticky, Jensen whispered softly, “I love you too.”
A short time later, they were sprawled out on the bed, Jared’s head tucked into Jensen’s shoulder. Jared picked up the necklace that Jensen wore.
“Where’d you get this?” He examined the brass figurine. It looked like a face with bull horns on the head.
“Chris gave it to me after a pretty hairy assignment.” Jensen chuckled, running his hand lightly down Jared’s arm. “Said it was a good luck charm to keep me out of trouble.”
“And has it?” Jared knew the answer but wanted to hear Jensen say it.
“Hell no!” Jensen laughed. “But Chris also told me I was bull headed and that’s why it fit me.”
“Chris is right.”
“Are you calling me stubborn?” Jensen rolled Jared on his back and looked down at him with a smile. His face morphed into a thoughtful expression. “Hey, sit up for a minute.”
Jared scooted into a sitting position. Jensen sat up next to him and unhooked the necklace.
“I want you to have this.” He placed it around Jared’s neck, closed the clasp, and settled the figurine in the center of his chest.
“No, Jen, I can’t take this. Chris gave it to you.” Jared raised his hands to remove it, but Jensen gave him a quick hard kiss.
Pulling back, he said, “Please. I want you to have it.” Jared watched him duck his head and blush. “It’s kind of a promise, okay?”
“A promise?” Jared was confused.
“Yeah.” Jensen face lifted and he met Jared’s eyes. “I’m gonna come back, Jay. I don’t care how I have to do it, but I promise I’ll figure out a way to come back here.”
“Jen…I…” Jared didn’t know what to say. So he spoke with his heart. “I love you. Come back to me,” he murmured softly, pressing his lips to Jensen’s and drawing him back down to the bed.
The only sounds in the room were the slow squeak of bedsprings and quiet declarations of love.
The rest of the trip to Roswell was without incident. Which bothered Jensen to no end. He felt prickles throughout his shoulder blades and a nagging sensation that something wasn’t right.
He kept checking the rearview mirror until Jared told him to stop it or he would dump him out on the side of the road.
“Jen, we’ve got the timepiece. We’re gonna know if Sheppard gets close.”
“I know.” Jensen sighed in exasperation. “But there’s something off. I can just feel it. This is too easy.”
“Tell you what.” He saw Jared glance at him. “You can keep looking in the rearview mirror if you do one thing for me.”
Jared held his hand out. Jensen felt himself blush as he linked his fingers with Jared’s and registered the slight squeeze.
“What are you looking forward to doing once you get home?” Jared’s voice was subdued. Jensen knew that he was trying to find ways to connect them after Jensen went through the portal.
“Well, nagging Chris is usually my favorite pastime, so I’ll be doing a lot of that. I have a really good reason to now.” He brought their hands up for a quick kiss. “Other than that, probably researching the information we have on your world so I won’t feel like such an idiot when I get back. Oh, and catching a football game or two.”
Jensen was satisfied to hear Jared laugh.
“Boy, you’re gonna be boring.”
“Well, what are you gonna be doing?”
Jared sighed. “Look for a job once I get back home. Since SOMEONE burnt down my warehouse, I’m unemployed. Play with the dogs. Jerk off to thoughts of you.”
“I thought that was a given.” Jensen winked at Jared making him laugh again.
“Well you’ve ruined me for anyone else.” Jared paused. “You know, I could sell my story to the National Enquirer. ‘Man has sex with alien’.”
“Nah, from what I saw at the Wal-Mart that’s too old school. It’d never sell.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right. Just have to keep you for myself then.”
“Works for me.” Jensen leaned back in his seat and put their hands on his leg. They were quiet for a moment.
“You can check the rearview mirror now.”
“Oh thank you!” He heard Jared chuckle as he surged forward to see if anyone was behind them. “You are a pain in the ass, you know that?”
“Yeah, but I’m your pain in the ass.”
“Yes, yes you are.”And I love you was unspoken but clearly heard.
They arrived in Roswell about noon. Jared was surprised to find that it was bigger than he imagined. For some reason he’d always thought of the town as mostly desert, but it actually had trees and grass. And aliens. Lots and lots of aliens.
As they drove through the city, it seemed like every store window and building had a little green man in it. Or a big grey one. Even the streetlamps had alien heads on top of them.
Jensen laughed in disbelief. “This is nuts. What’s with all the little green men?”
“It’s Roswell’s claim to fame,” Jared replied, steering the bus around a group of tourists with alien helium balloons. “Back in the 40s, I think, something crashed here. The Army said it was a flying saucer, then came back and said it was a weather balloon.” He shrugged. “But you know how conspiracy theorists are. The government must be hiding something, so aliens must exist.” He waved a hand at the tourists. “And capitalism being what it is, this town’s economy is taking advantage of that.”
He grinned at Jensen. “If they only knew I had a real live alien in my vehicle.”
“Hey, don’t lump me in with those little green guys.” Jensen smiled back, his protest half-hearted.
“Okay, so now that we’re here, how do we find the portal?” Jared found an empty parking space and pulled in.
“Chris said he would be able to determine the coordinates once we got here. Let me contact him.” Jensen pressed the button.
“Hey, dude. I’m assuming you’re there?”
“Yeah, you got our info?” Jensen made a gesture for a pen and paper. Jared turned and grabbed his bag. Digging around, he found a receipt and a Sharpie.
“Yup, just came through. Your coordinates are 33° 23' 37.2948'' N, 104° 31' 22.3032'' W.”
Jared watched Jensen scribble them down onto the receipt. “Got ‘em.”
“Okay, when you get there, the timepiece will start beeping. When you hear one long tone, that’ll mean you’re right at the portal. Press the black button and it’ll activate the portal. If all goes well, you’ll step through and be home. But make it quick. You’ve got about thirty-five minutes before the deadline.”
“Can’t wait to see your ugly mug. Just be safe.”
“You know I will. And I expect you to have a beer ready when I get there.”
“A boatload, dude.” Chris signed off.
Jared listened to their conversation with a heavy heart. Home. Jensen was almost home. Where he would be safe.
Jared looked at Jensen out of the corner of his eye. He knew Jensen had to get home to stay alive, but it was not making things easier. He fought back tears and focused on the promise Jensen had made in the hotel room.
“Hey.” Jensen’s voice was soft. “Look at me.” Jared felt fingers on his chin as Jensen turned his face. “I’m coming back, okay?”
Jared took a deep breath and nodded. “Okay.” Jensen leaned in gave him a soft kiss.
“So let’s figure out where these coordinates are in this town.”
Jared pulled out his phone and typed in the numbers Jensen read off the receipt. He snorted when the address came up.
“You have got to be kidding me! It’s like I’m in the X-Files.” He held up the phone so Jensen could see the screen.
Google Maps had the coordinates listed as the International UFO Museum and Research Center.
“Really?” Jensen’s pure disbelief had Jared snorting again.
“I would not make this up.” Jared put the bus into ‘drive’ and backed out of the parking spot. “Let’s go visit the aliens.”
Sheppard watched the two men pay their admission to the museum. He had to chuckle at the irony of the location. A portal to another world in a museum about aliens. It was definitely amusing.
He sighed and brushed at a spot on his jacket as he waited for them to enter the building. It was a shame that blood was so difficult to get out of wool. He’d had no choice but to kill those dim-witted policemen back at the jail. Stupid gits, thinking they could simply arrest him and lock him and his men behind bars. Amazing what a concealed laser could do.
At least he’d gotten the location of that pain-in-the-ass Ackles out of the debacle. The bar fight called in over the radio had led them right to the little shit and his buddy, and gave his men plenty of time to place a GPS tracker they’d managed to steal from one of the police cars on the undercarriage of that awful thing they were riding in.
They cruised behind that purple monstrosity, just out of range until they’d reached this idiotic town with its little green men and flying saucers.
Sheppard had left the tracker in their car. No need to let Ackles and that yeti know how close they were. He checked his gun and signaled to his men.
Time to finish this.
Jared didn’t know whether to be amused or appalled at the museum displays. Everything from saucer crashes to multiple alien autopsies in glaring color. Tall grey aliens, short green aliens. He’d had no clue that there were that many different kinds.
The timepiece began beeping as soon as they had entered the museum. They followed the sound throughout the displays.
“Please don’t let the portal be one of the autopsy displays,” Jared heard Jensen mutter. “They’re just creepy.”
“No shit.” He leaned into Jensen to look at the timepiece. “Any closer?”
“Yeah, I think it’s right around this display.” Jensen hurried past a group of Greys standing in front of a silver spaceship. Which pretty much described every exhibit in the place, Jared thought.
The beeping resolved into one long tone as they approached an exhibit of a large spaceship. The sign in front of the display read ‘Photo Opportunity’ and explained that patrons could enter the craft and take pictures with the alien.
“Looks like this is it.” Jared saw another sign – Exhibit Closed – and pulled it in front of the entrance. “I guess you should press the button.”
“Yeah.” Jensen was standing in front of him. “I guess I should.”
Neither man moved. Jared saw the stricken look in Jensen’s eyes and knew his expression was probably a mirror image of the other man’s.
“Jen…” He wrapped his hands gently around Jensen’s face and kissed him. Pulling back, he whispered, “You need to go.”
“I know. But I don’t want to.” Jared felt a single tear trickle down his thumb. “God Jay, I don’t want to.” Jensen turned his face towards Jared’s hand and placed a kiss on his palm.
Jared could feel tears running down his own face and didn’t care that he was crying. “You tell Chris that he’d better find a way for you to get back or I’ll come over there and kick his ass, okay?” He let out a hoarse laugh.
“Yeah, I’ll let him know.” Jensen wiped his face and nodded, stepping away with a small smile. Jared watched him compose himself with a deep breath. “Okay, let’s do this.”
When Jensen pressed the button, the interior of the spaceship lit up with a teal glow and a soft hum. Jared could feel the energy pulsing through the air.
Jensen put his hand on the necklace that he’d given Jared. “My promise, okay? I will be back.”
Jared nodded, not trusting himself to speak. He had fallen so hard and so fast for the man standing in front of him that it took his breath away. I love you, he thought brokenly. So much.
Jensen met his gaze. “I know,” he replied to Jared’s silent words and kissed him softly. “I love you, too.”
“Well now would you look at that? The Commander’s found himself a sweetheart.” Sheppard’s sneer had them springing apart, Jensen reaching for his laser. “Ah, ah, ah. I wouldn’t do that, Commander. My boys have their weapons pointing right at your buttercup. Wouldn’t want them to get a twitchy finger, now would you?”
Jared saw that he was right. There were two little red dots bouncing slightly on his chest.
Jensen slowly raised his hand. “Okay Sheppard. My hand’s off my gun. Tell your goons to lower theirs and we can talk about this like rational people.”
Sheppard laughed. “Oh, Commander, you are such fun. What makes you think I’m rational?” Jared watched him walk over to Jensen and backhand him. Jensen fell to his hands and knees.
“No!” Jared launched himself at Sheppard but was brought up short when one of Sheppard’s men grabbed his arms. He found himself overpowered. All he could do was watch helplessly as Sheppard continued his assault on Jensen.
“Do you EVEN understand how pissed off I am?” Sheppard ground his heel into the top of Jensen’s hand. Jared winced at Jensen’s moan of pain. “I’m stuck chasing you around this piss-ant of a world you dumped us in. I can’t just up and kill you because, ironically, you’re my only way out of here. I haven’t slept for three days, I’ve eaten crap food and I’ve had to follow that horrendous purple eyesore you’ve been riding in.”
Sheppard removed his foot from Jensen’s hand and took a breath. “I’ve been almost set on fire, manhandled and arrested.” He kicked Jensen in the ribs. “I am the farthest thing from rational! Now give me the damn timepiece!”
Jared struggled futilely. Jensen was curled up on the ground in agony and there was nothing he could do. He watched as Jensen used the exhibit to help himself stand. Clutching his ribcage, Jensen took a few steps toward Sheppard, the look on his face chilling.
“No?” Sheppard began laughing. “I don’t think so, Commander. How about ‘yes’ or my associate will do extensive damage to your darling moose there?”
“You leave him out of this.” Jensen’s voice was dark.
“Oh, but I’m afraid I can’t, Commander. It’s called leverage. You give me the timepiece and I don’t hurt him. You don’t and, well…” A gesture and throbbing pain hit Jared as one of Sheppard’s thugs began to punch him.
He couldn’t defend himself as the blows rained down. He felt blood stream from the cut on his eyebrow, his lip swelling from another punch.
“Okay!! I’ll give you the timepiece! Here!” Through bleary eyes Jared saw Jensen hold out the item to Sheppard.
“No.” he whispered. All he could think of was Jensen dying because he didn’t make it back in time. He had to do something.
Using the leverage from the man holding him, Jared reared up and kicked his assailant, shoving him into Sheppard. The suddenness of the move surprised his captor and Jared broke loose. Whirling around, he decked the other man, sending him crashing unconscious into the wall, his laser skittering across the floor.
He heard a grunt and turned just in time to see Jensen fly through the air and knock over the alien statue. Sheppard’s goon was after him in a flash but Jensen evaded him by rolling between the stanchions.
Jensen rose unsteadily to his feet. He was bleeding from a gash on his forehead and Jared could see he was weaving from the pain of his ribs. His attacker grinned and moved in to strike.
A piercing siren cut through the air and had them all instinctively covering their ears.
“What the hell?” Sheppard’s shout was barely heard over the noise.
“Jensen, look!” Jared gasped. He gestured to the portal.
The soft teal glow had turned to a throbbing red. Light spilled out of the door in angry waves, syncopating with the wailing of the alarm.
“What’s happening?” Jensen sidestepped his pursuer, grabbed him and threw him into the side of the neighboring exhibit.
Jared’s blood ran cold when he realized what the change in portal color meant. “You’re running out of time! The portal’s gonna close! Go!”
“But Sheppard –.”
“I’ll take care of Sheppard! Go!” Jared scrambled for the abandoned laser as Jensen ran for the portal. Waves of light pulsated through the room, moving faster and faster. Jared could feel them on his skin.
Jensen was at the door when Sheppard shot him.
Seconds froze, the space between them echoing through Jared’s mind.
The laser bolt leaving the gun.
Jensen, lurching forward, gracefully, like a dancer.
Blood bursting crimson from his side, matching the color of the portal’s glow.
His body, slumped in the door frame, unmoving. Halfway home.
“NO!” Jared screamed as time accelerated to normal. “No…” he sobbed.
Spinning around, he aimed the laser at Sheppard and pulled the trigger. The bolt sent Sheppard crashing to the floor, blood spilling from the wound at his temple. Dropping the laser, Jared stumbled towards Jensen’s still form.
The portal pulsed once in a massive outpouring of light and sound as Jared’s world went black.
ROSWELL, NM (AP) - Authorities are still investigating the explosion that occurred yesterday at the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico.
According to witnesses, at approximately 3:15 p.m., a loud siren-like sound was heard and a glowing blue light appeared moments before the explosion that rocked the Museum, killing two and injuring several others.
Those injured were taken to nearby Roswell Regional Hospital where their condition remains unconfirmed. The names of the deceased have not been released pending notification of next of kin.
Military officials have denied any involvement in the incident, stating that they had no aircraft in the vicinity at the time of the explosion.
The day was beautiful. Misha insisted on an afternoon outing to Byrd Park. He claimed it was a team building exercise but Jared knew better since they were the only two employees attending. They picked up the dogs, Sandy and Genevieve on the way.
It was either an excuse to play hooky or an intervention.
Jared was hoping it was the former. He’d had enough of his friends’ well-meaning efforts at helping him recover from the events in Roswell this past year. He knew they had his best interests at heart but they just didn’t get that it wasn’t that he didn’t want to be happy – it was that he couldn’t be.
Not since Jensen.
Jared’s hand unconsciously played with the necklace as he thought about the man he’d lost – his green eyes, his freckles. The way they’d kissed…
“You’re doing it again.” Misha put the bus into Park and killed the engine.
“What?” Jared looked over at his friend.
“Losing yourself.” Misha glanced at Jared’s hand and he realized he was holding the necklace again. “You always do that when you’re thinking of him.”
“I do not.” Jared knew he was lying but he put up the defense anyway.
“Yeah, you do.” Genevieve’s voice floated softly from the back seat. “You get a faraway look on your face and you hold on to his necklace.”
Jared’s throat tightened and he fought the sob that welled up. “I need to get out.” He opened the door and slid out of the bus. He found a nearby picnic table and sat down, breathing heavily as he tried to get his emotions under control.
He knew his behavior wasn’t fair to his friends and they worried about him. They’d been there for him during his recovery in the hospital. Through the subsequent military investigation that ended with a final report of ‘Explosion Due to Natural Gas Buildup’. Through the six months of rehab, encouraging him, supporting him, demanding that he get better when all he wanted to do was die.
He’d taken Misha’s standing job offer simply because he had no desire to actively look for employment. Surprisingly enough, he’d enjoyed it, finding an unknown talent for event planning.
In the days After Jensen – that’s how he thought of them – he slowly healed his body and mind and closed off his heart. But still the dark moments hit him. Like now.
“You okay?” He felt Misha sit next to him and put a hand on his shoulder. “We didn’t mean to push.”
“I know.” Jared sighed. “And I’m sorry I wigged out there for a moment. It’s just hard, you know?” He looked at Misha. “I’m fine and then something triggers my emotions. Like this picnic. I was afraid you guys were staging an intervention.”
Misha chuckled. “Nope, no intervention today. At least not like you’re thinking. This afternoon is simply about enjoying the day.” He hopped off the picnic table and grinned at Jared. “C’mon, let’s help the girls with the food and see how badly I can burn the burgers.”
The afternoon flew by. Jared had to admit that he was having a good time. Misha only burned two hamburgers. He claimed he did it intentionally so he could feed them to the dogs. They played a fast-paced round of Frisbee golf that Jared won, even though Sandy accused him of cheating when he ‘accidentally’ kicked the Frisbee against the tree.
After cleaning up, the four of them and the dogs sprawled out on the blankets that the girls had packed. Fed, tired and slightly tipsy from the beer, Jared stretched out with his head on Genevieve’s lap.
“You better?” she asked, playing with his hair.
“Yeah, I think I am. At least for now.” He grinned at her. “You sure this wasn’t an intervention after all?”
“Not intentionally, but if it helped that’s good.” She smoothed a lock of hair off his forehead. “Anything to put a smile back on your face.”
“You just love me for my dimples.”
Her retort was cut short by the ringing of Misha’s phone.
“Crap, it’s the office. Let me get this.” Misha stood and headed to the picnic table.
Jared lazily watched him. Suddenly, Misha straightened and began talking rapidly, waving his hands around excitedly and staring at Jared. He ended the call and began texting. Hitting the last button with a flourish, he bounced back to their group.
“What was that about?” Jared was curious to know what had him in such a good mood. “Everything okay at the office?”
“Everything is better than you can imagine.” Grinning, Misha flopped down next to him, grabbed the beer Jared was holding and took a swig.
“Hey, that’s mine!” Jared rescued his beer. “So what’s going on?”
“A special project that I’ve been working on for a while has finally grown legs.” Misha looked like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. “That’s what the call was about.”
“What’s the project?” Jared was interested. Misha rarely kept him in the dark about new products, stating that his opinion was the only reasonable one in the company.
“Not ready to share quite yet.” Misha put a mysterious note in his voice. “But trust me, you’ll be involved, and fairly soon.”
Jared smiled and shook his head. Sometimes Misha liked to play games. This seemed to be one of those times. “No problem, just let me know when you want me on board.”
“Oh, you’ll know.”
“Whatever, dude.” Jared closed his eyes and listened to his friends talking over him. He patted the ground next to him and Sadie moved closer for petting and scratching. Slowly his breathing deepened and he felt himself drifting off.
He wasn’t sure how long he’d been asleep when Sandy nudged him. “Hey sleepyhead. Misha needs you to haul the cooler to the car.”
Jared groaned. “What, he can’t do it himself?”
“He’s got the food and Gen and I can’t carry the cooler – too heavy.”
“Oh alright, you weaklings.” Jared stretched and stood up. Grabbing the cooler, he made his way to the bus. Misha had opened the back and he hoisted it into the vehicle. After shifting it to fit better, he opened the lid and dug through the ice to grab a beer. Twisting the top off, he tilted it up, closed his eyes, and took a long swallow.
“You’re more gorgeous than I remember.” The voice was soft and familiar.
Jared froze. He was imagining things. That voice wasn’t real. Hadn’t been for almost a year. He kept his eyes closed as he tried to convince himself that it was a figment of his imagination.
“Not gonna offer me one, Jay? I travelled a long way to get here and could use a drink.”
Slowly Jared turned toward the voice and opened his eyes.
Jensen was leaning against the side of the bus grinning at him, emerald eyes flashing. Dressed in jeans, black t-shirt and a leather jacket, the fading light of the day tipping his hair molten gold, he quirked an eyebrow at Jared. The beer bottle slipped unnoticed from Jared’s hand, thudding to the ground in a spray of liquid.
“Jensen?” The word barely made it past his lips. He was afraid to breathe for fear that Jensen wasn’t real. That he would disappear as soon as Jared moved.
“In the flesh.” Jensen pushed himself off the edge of the bus and walked towards Jared. Slowly sliding his arms around him, Jared heard him whisper, “God, I’ve missed you.”
That one phrase opened the floodgates. Jared wrapped himself around Jensen and buried his face in Jensen’s neck. His voice choked with tears, he gasped, “You’re real, you’re here,” over and over.
“Yeah, I’m real and I’m here – and I really need to kiss you right now.” Jared felt Jensen’s hands on his face, his lips slanted against his, and lost himself in the sensation he never thought he’d feel again.
He let Jensen take control, reveling in the fact that he was here. He opened up for him, Jensen’s mouth sucking his lower lip, teeth grazing, nipping, coaxing Jared’s tongue to dance.
His taste – whiskey smooth, overlaid with the essence that was purely Jensen. Jared moaned as he molded their bodies closer. Breaking away, he placed kisses over Jensen’s eyes, his cheeks, before resting their foreheads together.
“How?” he whispered.
“Chris found a way,” Jensen said simply.
“When – when did you get here?” Jared leaned back and looked at him.
Jensen rubbed the back of his neck and grinned sheepishly. “Um, you know that 5.6 earthquake this morning?”
“That was you?” Jared threw back his head and laughed. “Way to make an entrance.”
“Tell that to the homeless man I scared the crap out of when I got here.” Jensen smiled, cupping his hand around Jared’s neck and kissing him again.
Jensen’s other hand reached for the necklace Jared was wearing. “You kept it,” he whispered in between kisses.
“Always.” Jared captured Jensen’s mouth, encouraging him to take the kiss deeper.
Jared leaned into Jensen, lazily swirling his tongue around Jensen’s when a thought struck him. Pulling back, he looked at Jensen. “Wait, how did you know where to find me?”
“Remember the night in the bar when you showed me Misha’s herbal energy drink can?” Jared nodded. “I figured if anyone knew where you were, it’d be him. So I went to the nearest store, told them I was new in town and lost my phone, gave them the name of the company and called Misha.”
“You called Misha…” Jared was floored.
“Yes, he did.” Jared whirled around that the sound of Misha’s voice and saw his friends standing there with broad grins on their faces. “Welcome to the secret project, Jared.”
“Huh?” Jared was at a total loss as to what Misha meant.
“The secret project was you. I had a feeling that your business with Jensen wasn’t done and I always believed he’d made it through the portal, despite what it might have looked like.” Misha reached down to pet Harley. “I left specific instructions that if a Jensen Ackles called that they were to patch him through to me no matter where I was.”
“So when I called, they put me through to Misha and he sent a car to get me.” Jensen’s fingers linked with Jared’s. “Brought me here.”
Jared’s eyes welled up with tears as he reached out to hug his friend. “Thank you, Misha.” Turning back to Jensen, he placed a soft kiss to his temple. Then asked the question that he was afraid to hear the answer to.
“So how long can you stay this time?”
“This time?” Jensen’s brow furrowed. “Jared, I’m not going back. I’m here for good.”
“Wait. I thought it was dangerous for you to be here.” Jared shook his head, confused at Jensen’s words.
“Not anymore.” Jensen was practically bouncing. “Steve figured out that the timepiece itself was creating the anomalies that caused the physical damage to the test animals. As long as the traveler didn’t have the timepiece they wouldn’t experience the damage.” He smiled. “So Chris opened up a portal, I put in my resignation, and came here.”
Jensen leaned in to Jared and kissed his jawline. “I’m here for good, Jared,” he said again.
“Really. And I’m going to need someone to show me around. Oh, and a job.” Jensen chuckled. “I’m kind of unemployed.”
“I can help with that.” Misha’s voice cut in. “I need a head of security and I’ve heard you’re good with laser guns. It’s yours if you want it.”
“Can I think about it?” Jensen leaned in to Jared. “Right now I just want to go home.”
Home – Jared realized Jensen was talking about his home. Their home now. He smiled and hugged Jensen.
“Yeah, I think we can make that happen.”
Neither men saw the figure watching them from the forests edge.
He hissed in anger, hands clenched in fists as he observed them embrace.
"Well, well, well, Commander, looks like you managed to find your way back after all." Unconsciously, Sheppard stroked the jagged scar that lined the left side of his face.
"What a shame your reunion will be so terribly short. But I've been patient. It'll just make the end so very much sweeter."
He slipped back into the shadows.
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