A story about Jensen Ackles, the end of Supernatural, and Jared Padalecki's Saloon.
For beckaandzac, on the occasion of her birthday.
"A saloon," says Jensen. "Seriously."
"What's wrong with a saloon?" asks Jared. "Saloons are so totally badass."
"You know that just because you're from Texas, it doesn't make you a cowboy. You're from San Antonio. Have you ever even seen a horse in real life?"
Jared scoffs. "Of course I have. They're the big angry birds, right? Saw one at the zoo once."
"Seriously," says Jensen. "You're twenty-seven. You're at the top of your game. Inasmuch as your game has a top," he grants, to keep from getting too sappy. "You're gonna quit acting and go into old west reenactment?"
"I'm not quitting," says Jared, and there's no joking anymore. "I'm just--I need a break. My agent hates it, and my girlfriend thinks I'm nuts, but I'm fucking exhausted."
"Hey, I get it," says Jensen. "Seriously, man, I want to hibernate. But--a saloon?"
Jared knocks his shoulder against Jensen's. "Fuck you, you wish you thought of it first."
"Yeah, yeah. I'm dying of jealousy, tool."
"It's okay," says Jared nobly. "You can hang out. I'm still looking for a girl to dance on the bar on Saturday nights."
"I wouldn't want Gen to get jealous."
Jared rubs the back of his neck. "It's actually too crazy for her."
Jensen gets it immediately; it's similar to how Jared told him about Sandy. Talking about the hours they work, and Jared just slipped it in--They're actually too crazy for Sandy.
"Your girlfriend broke up with you and you led in with buying a saloon?"
Jared shrugs, his shoulders too wide for the motion to be smooth. "It was necessary back story," he says.
"You picked a saloon over your girlfriend?"
"She made me pick," says Jared, like that's it. He smiles, and it reminds Jensen of Dean Forester, a confused kind of look like he doesn't know quite where he is or what he's doing. A young look, cautious optimism and happiness. "So, Saturdays?" says Jared, and Jensen knows, suddenly and stupidly, that wherever he is, and wherever Jared's fucking saloon is, he's going to be there, every Saturday, until Jared gets over this.
"I'll bring my fishnets."
It takes about a month to get everything set up. Jensen heads to Austin a couple times while Jared's working on it, and he always seems busy and happy, wearing a backwards baseball cap and cargo shorts, tan as Jensen's ever seen him.
"I don't want it to be gimmicky, you know?" says Jared, slotting glasses into the new shelves behind the bar. "Like, here's this lame actor who wants to make a saloon. I just think it'll be cool."
"You've never looked less like a Hollywood douchebag," says Jensen, and he means it.
Jared grins, all even teeth and dimples, and ducks his head. "If I had any booze, I'd make you something, but no liquor license yet."
"How're the bartending classes?"
"Done!" says Jared proudly, like he'd just been waiting for Jensen to ask. "I'm fully certified."
"Fully certifiable," says Jensen, but he smiles when he says it.
"Shut up, douchebag. You're just jealous that I have a real job now, so I won't go broke as soon as my good looks go."
Jensen waits a beat and then flutters his eyelashes. "You think I have good looks? Thanks, sweetie."
"Don't fish for compliments, Ackles. You're too good for that shit." He gives Jensen an odd look. "You're not working."
It's true. "Haven't seen anything I like."
"Opening up in a couple days," says Jared, too casually. "You could stick around, make it a star-studded premiere."
"Do two stars really count as studded?"
"I've got Brangelina coming down too."
"Should've said," says Jensen, and punches in him the arm.
Jared's renting a house in Austin, a one-story, two-bedroom deal with most of the lot taken up by yard. Jensen's been sleeping in the guest room whenever he comes down, and he tells himself that he didn't move out of Jared's house just to move back in, but despite his protests, Jared is his favorite person to live with. They stay up too late and drink too much, and it feels like high school just because that was the last time Jensen felt this carefree. Like he could do all this stuff.
He thinks he should feel bad about it, but not feeling stressed out and overtired doesn't seem like the kind of thing he should regret.
Jensen buys a pool table for the saloon while Jared's busy supervising final touches, bringing in booze and food. Jensen doesn't understand quite how he did everything so fast, got staff and food, but Jared's good with his money, and it's not like the CW is the best network ever, but they made a decent chunk of change from it.
"I was saving all my convention money, too," Jared says later, when Jensen asks about it. They're shoulder to shoulder, sitting on the clean floor of the saloon, that will never be clean again, not really, once they open. They're sharing a drink Jared made, something Jensen doesn't know the name of.
"You knew that long?"
"I knew I wanted something else," says Jared, so quietly Jensen has to strain, and their fingers brush on the glass, and Jensen swallows nothing, hard.
The opening of J's Saloon is star-studded, if having Chad, Mike, Danneel, and Misha (and Jared and Jensen, naturally) at an event qualifies it as star-studded. Jensen hasn't seen Danneel much since their breakup, but it was an amicable one, and it hurts to see her, but not as much as he thought it might.
"You living in Austin now?" she asks, sliding an arm around his shoulders. She's shorter than him, and it's awkward, but he finds himself relaxing anyway.
"Just part time," he says.
"It's a nice place," she points out, like she's giving her approval to something else.
"Yeah," Jensen agrees.
Jared's flirting easily with everyone who approaches the bar, grin wide and hands adept with the hundreds of bottles he's got going, but every time Jensen goes up he relaxes, calms down, gets genuine.
Jensen gets drunker than he planned, for Jared's own good.
"Everyone's gone," says Jensen. "Except Chad's passed out in the kitchen. I turned him on his side so he won't suffocate on his own puke. It's his side, right?"
Jared laughs softly as he unplugs the jukebox. "Yeah, it's his side. You're wasted, aren't you?"
"How dare you," growls Jensen, mock-offended.
"Thanks for being here," says Jared. "It really means a lot to me."
"Wouldn't be anywhere else," says Jensen. "Should just give it up and move in with you. Only a matter of time. Everyone knows."
"Everyone knows what?"
"Chris opened up a saloon," he snorts. "Saloon, Jesus. I'd go to the opening and stop by every few months, but I'd get jobs. I wouldn't just--he couldn't get me drunk and have me dance on the bar, but you could. Jesus, you just have to ask, and I say how high, because you're--"
Jared's palm covers his mouth--Jared's hand is as big as half his face, and Jensen licks him on reflex, because that's what you do when someone covers your mouth with their hand. Jared doesn't pull away.
"If you say this while you're drunk," says Jared, with way too much calm, "then I'm not gonna be able to stop myself, and I'm going to feel shitty about taking advantage of my best friend while he's so drunk he called someone Mad Chichael Furry."
"Where'd I get the F?" Jensen tries to say, but he says it into Jared's hand, so he mostly makes Jared's hand kind of wet and disgusting.
"So I'm dragging your ass home, and we're going to sleep, and you can tell me what I am next time you're sober enough."
He moves his hand and wipes it on Jensen's shirt.
"Ew," says Jensen pointedly.
"Come on," says Jared. "Let's go."
Jensen doesn't get the kind of drunk where he actually forgets things. Not usually, anyway. There have been a couple of parties, but for the most part, he just doesn't immediately remember everything. Like he's brushing his teeth, and he suddenly realizes that he and Mike dueted "Rainy Day Women" and got the entire saloon singing "everybody must get stoned," which is kind of cool except for the part where, when he checks, it's already on YouTube like five different times.
And then, when Jared comes back from his run, he realizes what else happened.
"Hey," he says, cautiously. Sadie and Harley bound in around Jared's leg, going straight for their water bowls, and Jared hangs back a little.
"Hey." When Jensen doesn't say anything else, he grabs a drink of water and says, "I'm gonna shower."
"Okay," says Jensen.
He comes back down half an hour later, fully dressed, still toweling off his hair.
"You were pretty wasted last night," he says hesitantly.
"Yeah," says Jensen.
Jared nods, like Jensen's said a lot more than that. "I gotta go--I gotta check on the saloon. And, um, Chad. So. I'll be--doing that."
"Yeah," says Jensen again.
It's about a half an hour later when what Jared said last night comes back to him, and then he says, "Oh," grabs his keys, and goes.
Jared is, honest-to-god, sweeping the floor when Jensen gets there. Like he couldn't hire someone for that. Jensen unlocks the front door, because Jared gave him a key--he has a copy of every one of Jared's keys, has since season two, and he never actually thought it was normal. Not for a second.
He just thought it was them.
"Hey," says Jared cautiously.
"Hi," says Jensen, with an awkward wave. "Where's Chad?"
"I sent him back to his hotel to sleep it off." His lips quirk. "He didn't suffocate on his own vomit."
"Good for me."
"Yeah," agrees Jared.
"You could hire someone to do that," says Jensen.
"I could," says Jared. "Jense--"
"I'm in love with you," says Jensen, and it feels weird to say it, because he's never quite put it into words before, even for himself. It's just Jared. It's them. "And I'm sober," he adds. "Not even that hungover. It's a Christmas miracle."
"It's July," says Jared, but he's grinning.
"That's really what you want to talk about right now?" asks Jensen. "Because I think I remember something about--"
Jared kisses him, both hands on Jensen's face, a falling in head first kind of a kiss, dirty and hard right from the start. Jensen kisses back, can't get close enough, can't control his own vocal chords.
Jared just keeps saying Jensen, though, between kisses, between breaths, so maybe he can't either.
Jared's been pushing him back, and Jensen feels the back of his legs hit the pool table, and Jared's palm is right on his chest, shoving him down.
"You are not seriously fucking me on a pool table," says Jensen, pulling back far enough to speak, and also push the pool balls away, because Jared's absolutely going to fuck him on a pool table.
"You got another idea?"
"If you really respected me, you'd fuck me on the bar," says Jensen, as Jared unbuttons his jeans and breathes over his dick. "Oh Jesus fuck."
"I can stop if you really want," says Jared innocently. He rubs over Jensen's dick, and Jensen's head hits the table hard, scattering a few balls he didn't manage to get in their holes.
The fact that that image makes him harder is just evidence that Jared Padalecki rots people's brains.
Jared shoves Jensen's boxers down and just goes for it, just like how he kissed, sloppy and enthusiastic and so good Jensen wishes he'd mentioned the whole love thing earlier. Not that he thought Jared would give bad head or anything, but fuck.
He says as much, pretty much just says fuck over and over again because he's lost the ability to form other words. Jared just keeps sucking, and Jensen bites his lip hard and comes in Jared's mouth.
"I don't have anything," says Jared after a minute, looking down at Jensen like this is the saddest thing he's ever said.
"Get up here," says Jensen, pulls Jared on top of him and kisses him hot and dirty while he gets his hand down Jared's pants. And rubbing up against each other on a pool table isn't exactly the way he pictured his first time with the love of his life--he was an embarrassingly romantic kid, all about sex on a rose-petal-covered bed on his honeymoon--but he doesn't actually mind.
Jared comes in a few pulls, and they manage to coordinate so he jizzes on Jensen and not on the pool table, and then Jared licks it off and Jensen's dick makes a desperate attempt to get it up again because holy fucking Christ.
"That is one sturdy pool table," says Jared finally, sort of collapsing on Jensen.
"Yeah, well," says Jensen. "It's not like you bent me over it or anything."
Jared groans. "Don't talk about that til one of us has some lube, Jesus." He pulls back, looks down at Jensen with this amazed expression, like Jensen is everything. The weirdest part is that it's nothing new, that look. Jared's been looking at him like that for years. "So, uh."
"Yeah," says Jensen. "I should get my stuff out of your guest room."
"I can make some room in my dresser."
"I could get my stuff sent down. Hire some movers."
"You could dance on Fridays too," says Jared, finally cracking a smile.
"You gonna pay me extra?"
"Depends on how good you are," says Jared.
"You saying I'm not good enough?" asks Jensen, and wonders if it's weird that they're lying on a pool table, dicks out, making the same jokes they've always made.
"You're awesome," says Jared genuinely.
"I'm not wearing pants," says Jensen, pushing Jared a little. "Move, I'll help you clean."
Jared tucks his dick back in, zips up his jeans. "Next time, I'm getting you naked."
"Promises, promises," says Jensen, pulls up his boxers and pants. "Give me that broom."