A J2 Friends AU, requested by enablelove
with mentions of David Boreanaz/Emily Deschanel and hobo Misha Collins
as one does
3400 words, PG-13
When Jensen was nine, his dad left his mom for another man.
It's not like this event totally put him off homosexuality forever, but he did get annoyed when people thought he was gay. Because there's no proof that's genetic. Also, his dad likes to put on women's clothing and hang around in bars, and Jensen absolutely doesn't do that.
So when Jared Padalecki, who was doing okay in the roommate interview, says, "Just so you know, I'm totally accepting of all lifestyles. Seriously. I'm, like, the most open straight guy ever. Not in, like, the ass way. My ass is not that open. I mean, maybe compared to other straight guys . . . " Jensen considers it a dealbreaker.
But then things happen, and, well. Jared moves in anyway. Everyone else sucked more. Whatever.
"Just to get it out there," says Jensen, "I'm not gay."
Jared blinks. "Really?"
"No. I have a girlfriend."
His girlfriend is Joanna and he spends 90% of their time together wanting to strangle her, but she gives fantastic head and doesn't care that he works crazy hours and is kind of neurotic.
"Huh," says Jared. "Well, you know. You should think about it. Because I think you'd be a pretty good gay guy."
Jensen sighs. "Yeah. Thanks."
That's how he met Jared.
Jared is an actor, but he's not actually a good actor. He works a lot of part time jobs in the meantime, because apparently Jared is too special to hold down a real job.
"I didn't know they made chicken suits that big," says David. David was Jensen's roommate in college, and his sister Sarah lives across the hall with David's crush Emily who left her fiance at the altar. It's all very complicated and soap operatic. Jared and Jensen had to make a chart to keep up with it.
Jared grins. They're at the coffee shop downstairs, which is where David seems to live. When he's not moping or at the museum. David's life is kind of pathetic, and Jensen works in a job he hates with a girlfriend who has a laugh like a horse whom he avoids by faking penis injuries, so he knows from pathetic.
"What can I say?" asks Jared. "I am just that big a cock."
Jensen snorts softly into his coffee. "You're supposed to say you have a big cock, retard. Otherwise you're just saying you're a giant asshole."
"Okay, Jared is now everything you need to have gay sex," says David. "Can we talk about something else?"
"You're just jealous you don't get to be a mascot. Plus, I can totally use this for my acting resume."
"Yeah," says Jensen, "you're really being the giant chicken."
"Cock," says Jared. "I just want everyone to admit that I'm a cock."
"You're a total cock," says Jensen.
"I hate you guys," says David.
"You started it," Jensen and Jared point out in unison.
David sighs in a particularly long-suffering way. David's life is totally pain.
Jared and Misha are, like, BFF.
Misha used to be Sarah's roommate, and now he's just kind of independently crazy and sings incoherent songs really off-key anywhere he can find. Like, on the streets.
The first time Jensen met him, he assumed the guy was a hobo and gave him a quarter. He's still not sure why Misha was so grateful for it.
Anyway, Misha is always coming over and playing video games and getting drunk and, well, still kind of seeming like he might potentially be a hobo.
"Do you have your own house?" Jensen asks on a Thursday. They've somehow acquired a foosball table. Jensen doesn't know where it came from. He's not upset, just confused. Jared and Misha's lives are mysterious and inexplicable.
Misha blinks. "Of course I do."
"I've never seen it," says Jared thoughtfully.
"I've seen it," says Misha.
"Has anyone else seen it?" asks Jensen.
"My women," says Misha.
"Since when do you have women?" asks Jared.
"Do you just assume everyone is gay?" asks Jensen.
"Wait, you're not gay?" Misha blinks. "You should really reconsider your wardrobe."
"It was his hair that got me."
"His face doesn't help, but I don't think he should get plastic surgery."
"I have a girlfriend!" Jensen protests.
"I've never seen her either," says Jared. "I bet she's mythological. Like Misha's house."
"And Jensen's straightness."
"And David's ability to not be totally pathetic."
"Hey," Jensen protests, "nobody ever pretends David can be anything other than pathetic."
"Whereas you totally pretend you're straight," says Jared.
"Fuck," Jensen mutters. "I walked right into that one."
"Like you walked right into the closet," says Jared, with a sage nod.
"I totally have an apartment," says Misha.
"I saw you sleeping in a dumpster once," says Jared.
"Yeah, but by choice," says Misha. "Not necessity."
"Oh, of course."
"How long you think David's going to drink that?" asks Jared. His lips are very close to Jensen's ear. It makes him tingle, a little weirdly. He shivers.
Emily is working at a bar, and she's not that good at it. She's really pretty, and she has a nice rack, so she makes awesome tips, but she can't mix a drink to save her life. David, being pathetically in love with her, is willing to drink anything she gives him.
"What'd she put in it?" asks Jensen. He's whispering too, keeping his face close to Jared's.
He wonders what they'd look like if--well. He's not gay. Whatever.
"I saw rum and Powerade," says Jared. "And a shot of Guinness."
"Why would anyone ever get a shot of Guinness?"
"Because Emily Deschanel is the worst bartender in the universe."
A guy with really serious cheekbones and ugly bleached blond hair sticks a twenty into Emily's cleavage.
"And yet," says Jensen."
"And yet," Jared agrees.
"Oh," says a voice behind Jensen, and he winces so fast that he thinks he must have a Pavlovian response, because he doesn't recognize who it is until she finishes, "my. god."
"Joanna," he says. He knows he's supposed to sound excited about his girlfriend showing up, but he kind of wants to die.
Jared looks like it's Christmas. "You're Jensen's girlfriend?"
"Of course I am! Who are you?"
"Jared. I'm Jensen's new roommate."
"It is so good to meet you," says Joanna. "Jensen talks about you all the time."
Jensen is relatively sure that's not true.
"Likewise," says Jared, with a sideways look at Jensen that says no you don't. He grins, wide and shit-eating. "I thought you lived in Canada."
Jensen goes to get a drink. He doesn't care what Emily puts in it; he's earned this.
This week, Jared is working at a movie theater.
"He's twenty-four," says Jensen. "What self-respecting twenty-four-year-old man works at a movie theater?"
"Does Jared respect himself?" asks David thoughtfully.
"Be nice," Sarah says.
"I am nice!" David protests. "I'm actually curious."
Sarah does actually seem to be thinking about it. "I guess that is kind of a good question."
Misha starts singing something about, like, the White House and his personal experiences in the Oval Office.
"He's high, right?" asks Jensen hopefully.
"He really was a White House intern," says Sarah.
"When?" asks Jensen. Then, "How?"
"He's not really a hobo, dude," says Jared, sitting down next to him. It's kind of uncomfortably close, but Jensen just shifts enough that Jared fits snugly next to him.
"There's a lot of space between not a hobo and White House intern."
Jared shrugs. "I don't care."
"Do you respect yourself?" asks David. Sarah elbows him in the ribs.
"Of course I respect myself," says Jared. "If I don't do it, who will?"
"No one," says Jensen.
"You are the meanest roommate I've ever had."
"So move out."
Jared repositions so his arm is slung around Jensen's shoulder.
"Nah. Who else is gonna let me keep a chick and a duck?"
The warmth of Jared's hand against his bare arm distracts Jensen for a minute, so it takes longer than it should for him to process. "Wait, what?"
"The duck," says Jared, "is Harley."
"Clearly," says Jensen. There's a duck in his foosball table. Jared's foosball table. The foosball table that lives in their apartment. With a duck. And a chick.
Jensen should have agreed to live with the squinty guy who had something on his face that looked a lot like herpes.
"And the chick is Sadie! We can't have just one," says Jared. "They'd get lonely."
"Yeah, you want to have more than one bird," says Misha.
Jensen leans over; Misha is in the bathtub. He's wearing clothes.
"Is there water in there?" asks Jensen.
"Not a lot," says Misha.
"It was for the duck," says Jared.
Jensen rubs his forehead. "You know, before I started living with you, my life made sense."
Jared hooks an arm around Jensen's neck and kisses him sloppily on the cheek. "Love you too."
Jared's dating a girl named Paula. She's too old for him and kind of crazy and might sniff glue. She might get the glue from Misha.
"Who was the last girl Jared dated?" asks Sarah.
"And what did you think of her?"
"Hot, but unbalanced."
"And before that?"
"Her left breast was a lot bigger than her right breast. It was disturbing."
Sarah sighs. "Emily, back me up on this."
"You should just give it up and gay-marry Jared," says Emily promptly.
"I'm not gay."
"You guys adopted, you hate his girlfriends, you hate your girlfriend . . . "
"I'm not gay."
"Then you should really do something different with your hair," says Emily.
"You should put David out of his misery," Jensen snaps.
"Be nice," Sarah says, slugging him in the arm. For a tiny blond chick, she packs a punch. "That's my brother."
"He's a miserable, twisted shell of a human being."
"Takes one to know one," Sarah shoots back.
Jensen wants to slam the door in a huffy rage, but it probably wouldn't convince anyone he's straight, and Paula is in their apartment anyway, probably getting high on Jensen's sharpies. Instead he puts his feet on the coffee table in a particularly long-suffering way. "Shut up."
Jensen breaks up with Joanna. Not because he's gay, for Jared or otherwise, but because Joanna is annoying and he doesn't really like her.
"You dumped her?" asks David.
"Not dumped," Jensen protests. His coffee is warm and nice, and Misha is singing in the background. It's almost that Weezer song about sweaters, but Misha has replaced the word "sweater" with "Christmas," which makes Jensen think he's seen Love Actually too many times. Come to think of it, Billy Mack might be Misha's role model. It would explain a lot about Misha. "I just said we should see other people."
"Did you tell her it's not her, it's you?"
"It's her," says Jensen.
"Yeah, but you're not supposed to tell her that."
"I didn't. I was totally not a bastard."
"You're always a bastard," says David.
"And you're always a whiny asshole. People like us anyway," says Jensen.
David glares at him. "Did you tell Emily to put me out of my misery?"
"I didn't mean to. Sarah was making fun of me."
"Don't blame my sister for this."
"She's obsessed with me being gay for Jared."
Right then, of course, Jared vaults over the couch and lands next to Jensen on the cushion, settling in close. "Hi, honey, I'm home."
"This isn't even our apartment, retard."
David raises his eyebrows. "Yeah, no idea why anyone would ever think you're gay."
"The hair," says Jared, instantly.
"Shut the fuck up."
"How was your date?" asks Jared. He's got the chick and the duck on his lap, because Jared is delusional and thinks that have regular, sane-person pets. And not, you know, a chick and a duck.
Jensen sighs and looks around the kitchen. All his food looks disgusting, but Jared's cupcakes look delicious. "Can I have one of these?"
Jared grins. "Bring 'em over here and tell me how much your life sucks."
Jensen snags the box and flops down. "She told me I had eyes like pools of radioactive water."
Jared squints at him. "Huh. I can see it."
"She showed me pictures of her cats."
"Did you show her pictures of the chick and the duck?"
"I don't have pictures of the chick and the duck."
Jensen knocks Jared's leg with his own. "Do you?"
"Of course." He roots around his back pocket and finally finds his wallet. There's a picture of Jared and the chick and the duck; Jensen is in the background, cooking, in his boxers.
"How come people never think you're gay?"
"People think I'm gay," says Jared absently. "I just, you know, don't care. So no one thinks I'm gay."
"That doesn't make any sense."
"You freak out and get all offended and shit," Jared explains. "So it's like, you know, protesting too much. And you come off as, like, closeted a lot."
"So if I acted gayer I'd be less gay?"
"Exactly. Or if you just changed your hair and started having fun with things."
"I have fun."
Jared snorts and puts the duck on Jensen's lap. "You and me, man. I'm gonna teach you shit."
"Like how not to be gay?"
Jared grins slow and lazy. "Like that, yeah."
Jared gets cast in a play. Even having seen it, Jensen is not entirely sure what the plot is, but Jared is some kind of crazy astronaut. He's not exactly a good actor, but he's not bad either, and Jensen enjoys it, even spending most of his time snickering with Sarah about weird innuendo. He likes Sarah--she's hot and funny and her brother would kick his ass if he tried anything, but Jensen thinks he might be able to take David Gellar. He's kind of a wuss. He's the same size as Jensen, but way suckier.
Any thoughts of hitting on Sarah are promptly killed at the cast after party, which Jared makes all of them go to. Jensen is trying out Jared's whole gay theory of less resistance, and he ends up making out a little with some kid named John.
They also end up making a date, mostly because Jensen feels bad making out with someone and then not agreeing to a date.
Jared just looks vaguely pitying, which is even worse than the mockery he was expecting.
"Jensen, you have to say you're not gay at some point in the conversation. Otherwise you're kind of--gay."
"I'm not gay!"
"You're going on a date with a guy," says Emily.
"A guy who's in college," adds David.
"You're kind of a gay pedophile," says Misha.
"Living the stereotype," agrees Jared.
Sarah pats him consolingly on the back.
"Will you go out with me?" he asks her, mournfully.
"No, I don't date gay guys anymore."
"Not since she lost all the weight," says David cheerfully.
"Oh, screw you."
"I had no idea you were Jensen," is the first thing John says to him when he sits down.
Jensen blinks. "Uh. You are John, right? Did we get names wrong or--what?"
"You're Jared's roommate," he says, in a way that makes it clear that he thinks "roommate" means a lot more than it does to Jensen. "I can't--god, I'd never screw that up for him. I don't know what problems you're having, but Jared worships you. You guys can work it out."
Jensen's jaw works for a while and finally he says, "My dad left my mom for another man when I was nine."
John looks just as confused to be hearing this as Jensen does to be saying it.
"Okay," says John carefully.
"I meant--I'm not gay."
"I'm not a psychologist or anything," says John, "but I think you might have some issues."
"Yeah," agrees Jensen. He runs his hand through his hair.
"Also, for not being gay, you kind of. Are on a date with a guy."
Jensen's spent so much time thinking about how he's not gay for Jared that he's never put much thought into the idea that Jared could be gay for him. Or bi for him. Whatever. Somehow, with Jared, Jensen assumes it would be a case of them being gay for each other for no other reason than that they would be finished with all other relationships and getting gay married and--huh.
Jensen has put slightly more thought into this than he realized.
He decides that the only logical person to ask about this is Misha, because Sarah and Emily will just mock him, and David will mock him and be massively unhelpful and listen to depressing music and wonder why Emily doesn't love him and has never loved him, and Misha knows Jared fairly well. Better than John Francis Daley, that's for fucking sure.
(Jensen is fairly sure that if his middle name was Francis, he wouldn't be having this gay crisis. Having your middle name be Francis pretty much guarantees that you will be gay, just to save yourself the trouble. That's Jensen's theory, anyway.)
Jensen knows Jared better than John Francis Daley too, but he thinks there's an outside chance he's kind of biased in this.
So he goes to Misha's house.
It's really a house, even if only half of it is Misha's, and the other half apparently belongs to an old woman who has a lot of cats. At least, Jensen assumes she has a lot of cats, because he can hear a mewling sound from outside the house, and if it's not cats he's not sure what it is, and he's scared of finding out.
Misha opens the door and blinks blearily.
"Your house isn't a unicorn," says Jensen, which is not really the world's most coherent opening.
"No," Misha agrees. "But it would be awesome if it was."
Misha gestures him in. The apartment is very nice and full of weirdly folksy wooden furniture.
"I made it myself," says Misha proudly.
"Of course you did," says Jensen.
"So what brings you here?"
"I accidentally went on a date with a guy who thought I was Jared's boyfriend."
Misha doesn't seem at all surprised by this, which Jensen finds slightly infuriating. He could at least pretend.
"He was the barber in the play."
Misha thinks. "He's kind of twinky for your tastes."
"He's kind of a guy for my tastes. Is Jared gay for me?"
"Jared's in love with you," says Misha. "But if you don't want to be gay I think he won't mind."
Jensen rubs his forehead. "Great. That's exactly what I was worrying about here."
Jared is sitting on the couch when Jensen gets back in. He's playing two-person Halo. The duck has the other controller.
The duck is getting its ass kicked. Jensen assumes it's the lack of opposable thumbs. And the fact that it's a fucking duck.
Jensen sits down on the couch next to Jared and kicks him in the shin. When Jared looks over, Jensen kisses him.
The duck makes a sudden and amazing comeback.
Misha is singing Loudon Wainwright.
"He would make a pretty good lesbian," says Jared thoughtfully. His arm is warm and solid on Jensen's shoulder.
"He'd get distracted by his own breasts all the time," says Emily dismissively. David is building up to asking her out. Emily is not noticing at all. It's somewhere between cute and enraging.
Jensen assumes this is how everyone else felt about him.
"I have the same problem," says Sarah.
"I do too," Jensen leers.
"Could you not hit on Sarah when I'm right here, honey?" asks Jared mildly. "I always wanted to get surprised cuckolded."
"Who says that?"
"Me," says Jared. "I say that."
David comes over with six coffees and distributes them. "I should really be a waiter."
"If the paleontology falls through, definitely," Jensen agrees.
"You know, gay means happy," says David. "Aren't you supposed to be less of a dick now that you're with Jared?"
"Yeah, he's more of an ass," Jared agrees.
David spits his coffee on Emily, which will set him back months on that whole retarded courtship.
"I hate you guys," says David.
"We deserve it," says Jared cheerfully.
Jensen just relaxes against Jared's shoulder, sips his coffee, and lets Misha serenade him about a dead skunk in the middle of the road, stinking to high heaven.
He can be gay and a dick and an ass and happy. He is just that cool.