Word Count: 12,384
Rating: Hard R
Summary: Jensen and Jared are seniors at an elite private boarding school, competing for the same girl, and they can't stand each other.
acknowledgements: Thank you so much to balefully who put up with my pestering all day long just so that this could posted quickly, and I wouldn't lose my mind. The soundtrack at the end is for her.
Notes: This story was written for causeways, I don't actually remember why. That's how long this story has been in the making.
Jared's grandfather had two words for Jared's parents: pinko commies. They rolled their eyes and groaned their "Oh, Dad's" with the best of them. Nevertheless, it was an uneasy relationship, with Grandpa tottering around on his cane whenever he came to visit, waggling his eyebrows and masterfully taking apart every layer of parenting the Padaleckis tried to instill in their kids. When Jared hit twelve, Grandpa had one thing to say: "If he doesn't go to Horace Green, I'll collapse his college fund."
They groaned, "Oh, Dad," at him some more, sighed, and changed the subject to the family cabin in main. They didn't need the financial help, but Grandpa had a stroke after that, one that left all the muscles of his face paralyzed so that he couldn't talk—could merely track Jared around when he snuck into the guest room they'd installed Grandpa in.
Jared's mom and dad felt pretty bad after the stroke—guilty, kind of, like their dismissal had ruptured Grandpa's aorta. When the application process started in November of Jared's last year in middle school, Horace Green it was.
The rest of his friends were going off to JFK—a respectable high school with a strong football team and a good science program. Jared was reluctant, but he passed the entrance examinations and they liked his essay about urban air pollution. When the acceptance letter came, his mom showed it to Grandpa, and the way those beady eyes caught him up in their glare, Jared knew he was stuck.
Four Years Later...
It was a standard initiation prank the varsity girls' tennis team played on the new JV recruits—tell them to sneak into the senior boys' dorms, steal a pair of boxer shorts, and then lock them in so that they had absolutely no hope of going undiscovered.
Jared noticed the giggling when he turned off the shower. He could hear it echoing through the room like there were teeny boppers crawling around in the vents. Hazing was a confusing ("upsetting," his parents would say) maze of rules and regulations. Jared remembered his own initiation where they were taken under Thurman Arch, and the starting line-up tossed condiments on them. Stealing a pair of boxers seemed tame in comparison.
He dried off, pushed a cursory hand through his wet hair, and knotted the towel around his waist. The last thing he wanted to do was get stuck in the bathroom with only a meager towel as protection.
He was too late. When he stepped out into the hallway, the girls had already been caught, herded into the main corridor and surrounded by senior boys. They blinked as Jared stepped out of the bathroom barely clothed, attention successfully diverted from their impending mortification. Jared had to resist the urge to scratch the back of his neck.
"Well, well, well," one boy called, arms crossed, leaning against his doorway. "Who'd you get your prize from?"
The girls flushed and backed tightly together.
"Give it here," another boy, Mike, coaxed, until finally a blushing preteen handed over a pair of soft grey boxer-briefs. Jared recognized them.
"Aww, man," Jared groaned, wondering how bad his room had been ransacked. "Those are mine."
Mike laughed and tugged at the crotch. "Giving yourself a lot of credit aren't you?"
Jared raised an eyebrow and reached for his towel. "Yeah? You think?"
The girls shrieked and blushed harder, while Mike roared with laughter. "Jesus, don't give the poor things a heart attack." He tossed the boxers to Jared, who caught them with one hand.
One of the girls shoved away from the pack, nearly choking on her words. "P-please, we need those for initiation."
Jared recognized her as a freshman who had free period the same time he did in the library. He'd been beginning to suspect she had a crush on him, if her waiting for him to walk from science to the library was anything to go by.
"Well, I don't know," Jared said. Some love-struck, fourteen-year-old girl fondling his boxers sounded appalling.
"What's going on here?" a voice cracked out at the end of the hall. Everybody turned to see Jensen Ackles, Student Body President, striding towards them, uniform still on except for the loosened shirt collar and missing tie.
"JV tennis initiation," Mike supplied, eyes darting to Jared, whose shoulders had drawn up.
He did not like Jensen. Not his long eyelashes, his perfect record on the diving team, or his entirely too suave attitude.
Jensen made a noise in the back of his throat. "What are you doing prancing around half-dressed, Padalecki?" He made it sound like Jared was some kind of crazed exhibitionist just lying in wait for the girls to arrive.
"I took a shower. Have I unwittingly violated one of your newly instated, draconian dorm codes?"
Jensen rolled his eyes and looked back at the JV girls. "Just get out, and tell Cassidy that if she wants pranks for initiation, the pool on the roof is always a classic."
The girls stared at Jensen's open collar and then back at Jared before shuffling past Jensen toward the unlocked fire-escape. "Hey, wait. Thalia, right?" Jared called after his little freshman acolyte.
"Yeah?" she stopped, frozen, looking like she was going to pee herself.
Jared smirked at Jensen and then tossed the boxers back to her. She almost dropped them to the floor. "You need 'em for initiation, right?"
Jared had expected to hate Horace Green—anything his Grandpa liked was bound to be a little suspect. But he made friends easily once they'd seen his DVD collection and his hook shot on the court. He went from his first night, lying in his bed staring at the upper bunk where he could practically see the impression of his roommate's body, the weight of a black hole in his stomach, straight to his own room as a dorm proctor. He was content.
The heavy blue fabric of his regulation jacket itched against the back of his neck. They'd had to special order his to get the arms long enough once he'd hit his growth spurt. He bit his lip and fiddled with the collar. His mother hated uniforms—thought they suppressed his individuality. Jared didn't care about clothes; he didn't like it because it was too hot, and a lot of effort to wash and wear every day.
But Jared was adaptable.
"Stop fiddling," Chad hissed, shoving his elbow into Jared's side. "You're driving me nuts."
Jared blew out a breath and shifted in his seat. "This is bullshit."
His B period teacher leaned forward to catch his eye and glared. The auditorium was filled with listless seniors whispering and tugging at each other. A police officer with heavy eyebrows and jowls stood up on the stage, staring them all down. He'd been called in by the administration to educate them on the dangers of legally being an adult.
Jared could tell from the set of his mouth and the yardstick he must've had shoved up his ass that lecturing preppy rich kids whose families had defense attorneys on payroll was punishment for some indiscretion of his own. He'd launched headfirst into sex offenses like he could confront and curb their teenage hedonism.
Alicia, captain of the volleyball team, was up four rows to the left, right in Jared's field of vision, feet propped up on the seat in front of her, hem of her black pleated skirt slipping down her thighs. She twisted, skirt slipping further, to whisper in her friend's ear. Jared's eyes followed the descending line of fabric.
"Fuck it, I'm moving to Hawaii. Age of consent's fourteen," Chad cracked, teeth flashing.
Jared's gaze didn't waver. "You are so sick."
Chad snorted and knocked his shoulder again. "Yeah, uh-huh, you voyeuristic hypocrite."
"Mr. Murray, Mr. Padalecki, please refrain," their teacher chastised them like they were boisterous preschoolers. Chad bit his lip around a smile and settled back in his chair.
"Thanks, asshole," Jared told him under his breath. Alicia had pulled her feet down from the seat by the time he looked back. He sighed and cast his eyes around the auditorium. Jensen was sitting on the other side of the main isle, chin on his fist. Jared furrowed his brow and looked away.
None of the tables in the dining hall were big enough for students to eat at with their trays. Once a group got bigger than two, they had to start pulling the plates off the trays and stacking them so that everybody had room to sit down.
Jared showed up to the table last, late from basketball practice. Chad, who already had four trays under his own, groaned and put down the chicken strip he was eating so that Jared could pick the tray up and slide his under. Jared smiled sweetly, and sank into his chair.
"Hey, Cam, can I borrow your copy of Crime and Punishment?" he asked.
Cam arched a blond brow and cocked his head. "What happened to yours?"
"He spilled his cereal on it," Chad answered, mouth full of chicken and duck sauce.
Cam wrinkled his nose. "How about you get a copy from the library."
Jared sighed. He was having trouble keeping up in the reading already. If he had to go to the library and get the book, he never would finish it. He had little use for AP English, but he'd had good enough grades in honors to get in, and his mom was always saying how important literature was.
She'd said, "You want to be well-rounded, Jared. Like somebody people will want to talk to."
There was this kid, Ricky, who was a grade behind Jared. He practically jerked off to the great literary works, and nobody freakin' wanted to talk to him.
Chad was telling some wild story, hands flying up all over the place, muscles in his face practically spasming. Jared struggled with overcooked peas, trying to get them onto his fork. They kept plopping back onto the plate.
"You could try using your knife?" Cam laughed at him, forehead wrinkling. Jared looked up to grin at him, but his gaze caught on Alicia as she carried her tray to a table. She was wearing an old, wrinkled gray sweater falling off one shoulder. On any other girl it would've looked frumpy.
Jensen sat down at the table across from her, and she smiled. Jared felt like he was trapped below decks on a leaky boat, the water level rising higher until he couldn't keep his head above it.
He'd never gotten along with Jensen. They'd been in Freshman Honors English together, and the first open discussion they'd had about Tale of Two Cities had been the end for them. Jared told the class that it was clear that Dickens had been paid by the word, and Jensen had nearly leapt across the classroom, fists raised. The only thing that saved Jared from full-scale mutilation was that he had equal contempt for Thomas Hardy.
Everybody else found Jensen really charming. They thought he was funny where Jared just saw a snarky, conceited asshole who'd been born into a life of privilege, and absolutely could not recognize his own insignificance in light of the rest of the world.
And he was making a play for Alicia.
Chad said that Jared's relationship with Jensen was a social experiment: prep school boys acting like they were characters from Mean Girls to see what the social effects would be.
Jared wasn't behaving like a petty bitch. He just…he was working for his own self-preservation. If he let Jensen run over him rough-shod, Chad would be telling him to fight back.
Cam lay sprawled across his bed, his shirt untucked. Sean was leaning up against Jared's closet, pencil stuck through Heart of Darkness to mark his place. Chad had opted out of AP English. He was off playing Halo in the common room.
Jared spun in his desk chair, over and over, rather than touching his own copy. "I wish English had problem sets."
Sean thumped his head back against the door. "I hate this book. It's not as bad as The Jungle, which nearly provoked me into ending my own life, but I really hate this book."
Cam shook his head and went back to paging through the slim Dover paperback, cheap paper tearing under his fingertips. "When I turn this in for annotations, Dunlap's going to think I snuck into the kitchen and ran it through the blender."
"I'm going to write the worst in-class essay ever. Dunlap will look at it, and wonder at my powers of incomprehension." Jared didn't really read the books. He'd gotten through about a fourth of Grapes of Wrath. The last thing he'd read all the way through was The Scarlet Letter junior year, which had thoroughly convinced him not to try it again.
"Bullshit, Jared. 700 on the reading comp. section of the SAT." Sean glared. "You should try actually reading it."
"Ackles got 800," Jared said, staring at the ceiling.
"Hmm." Cam sat up on his elbows. "It's too bad he's such a tool, we could ask him for help."
Sean laughed. "You just don't like him because he's as pretty as you are."
Jared turned to look at Cam. He'd never really thought about it before, but Sean wasn't exaggerating. When he thought about Cam, he thought about the tattoo curling around his bicep he'd gotten over spring break with his parent's forged signature. Cam snorted and chucked his book at Sean.
The school held a week-long leadership seminar in March and with his 4.0 GPA, Jared would have to come down with a heart condition to avoid it. It seemed like every damn year his workshop included Jensen just so that the administrators could guarantee a heated debate.
As Jensen talked about how needle exchange was only encouraging and condoning drug use, and how the last thing the US government should do was reward junkies, the other students at the table stared at Jared waiting for his reaction.
Jared interrupted him. "You're not going to just get them to stop doing heroin, Ackles. It's only in place until an effective preventative measure is shaped. At least this way you're preventing AIDS transmission."
"Drug users should be aware of the risks!" Jensen shot back, face filling up with color.
Jared smacked the table with his palm. "They're drug users! They're not in their right minds! They're so desperate, they're going to get their needles somewhere, and if you can't stop them, than the least you can do is make it as safe as possible." He paused for breath. "I find your arguments classist and close-minded."
Jensen stood up in his seat. "Excuse me?"
"Why don't you just tell it like it is? You think poor people deserve their situation!" Jared got up out of his seat, too. The other students were looking back and forth between them like it was a tennis match.
Jensen looked like he was ready to leap over the table again. "Everything you said smacks of socialistic propaganda, no doubt instilled in you by your backward, hippie parents."
"Who gives a fuck where I got my opinions, you little shit! You're a fucking Nazi!"
"Mr. Padalecki, Mr. Ackles, you are adults. Please remind us that you know how to act like civilized humans," the headmaster said, steel in his voice. He gripped Jensen's trembling shoulder.
Jared made a scoffing sound and threw himself back into his seat.
The headmaster sent him an unamused glance. "Now, is there anybody else who hasn't gotten a chance to speak at this table?"
Several hands went up. Jensen crossed his arms and stared at Jared for the rest of hour. Jared knew he was merrily thinking up ways to nail him when he least expected it.
Chad caught his eye from across the room and made a face. Jared sighed, trying to think Zen thoughts. The only thing that came to mind was sophomore year when he and Jensen got into a political discussion about the death penalty, and Jared had worked himself up so bad, he'd had to go back to his suite and cry, angrily, wishing for people who understood social purpose.
Jared loved the peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches at the diner in town. It was probably the sole reason he had to work out so much. When Ariana and Sean and Alicia, the people he shared free period with, wanted to go to the diner rather than get dining hall food for lunch, he jumped at the idea.
They sat in the booth, talking rather than focusing on the menus, so the waiter had to come back twice before they were all ready. "I know Jared wants a fluffernutter. What can I get the rest of you?"
Alicia ordered cheese fries and Diet Coke, and Jared made a face. "Diet, really?"
"I was raised on it," she protested. "And don't judge, you clearly come here often enough to be a regular."
Jared shrugged. "That's like my greatest dream."
Jared leaned forward. "To live in a small town, where everybody knows me, and be able to go in the restaurants and say, 'Hey, Eileen,' and she'll just pass my order down. I want to be a fixture."
Alicia laughed. "Seriously?"
"Yeah. I want to be the guy who tells stories and all the kids beg to hear them, like town grandpa or whatever." He wasn't sure about the look on her face, so he ducked his head. Stupid, Jared. He'd never said that to anybody. There was a reason why.
"Wow," she said and fiddled with the sugar packets on the table.
Jared stayed late after practice ended, shooting free throws with the new free throws guy that coach had brought in. "Math it out, Jared. I know you can do that."
Jared stared at the backboard for a minute, testing the weight of the ball before he let it pop up off his fingertips. It sank perfectly through the hoop and Jared breathed in. They'd been working on this forever. "Shoot until you make it, and then shoot until you miss," Coach said.
He heard clapping coming from the bleachers. He turned to smile at Alicia, who'd just pushed out through the girls' locker room. "Hey, you done for the night?"
Jared looked at the free throw coach who shrugged and waved Jared off. "Yeah, what's up?"
"Um, so I'm having real trouble in physics—the math gets involved, and ugh, I'm afraid my grade's going to drop to a C."
"Okay." Jared scooped up his backpack. "You want help?"
She cocked her head. "I would love help."
"So what are you going to do? Fill the room with candles? Scent the textbook? Work out the physics of tantric sex?" Sean asked, doodling on his econ problem set. Jared was done. He had his earbuds stuck in his ears and was religiously ignoring Sean. The boys around the table all burst out laughing.
"Shut up. I'm just going to help her with her math or something." It could so easily get out of control. Jared had been forced to watch Teen Witch with his little sister enough times to remember that disastrous attempt with the love spell and the mood lighting. If he tried to be all romantic and shit, it would be totally obvious, and as the movie had proved, his entire family was going to randomly show up and ask where he'd hidden all the chairs in the building.
Sean looked at him. "You say that now."
Jared shrugged, and plucked the earphones out. "I'm totally serious. I have no idea how to go about this."
Sean sketched a formless lump on his paper. "Man, Sandy totally had you by the balls."
"I like it when the ladies come to me."
"Bullshit." The lump gradually formed itself into a dragon. Sean was getting pretty good. "You're too chicken shit to go to them."
Jared sighed. "Hey, you know, if they stop coming to me, I'll revise my behavior."
The bell rang and they gathered up their stuff. Jared laughed at the expression on Sean's face when the teacher said the unfinished problem sets were homework. Jared slung his messenger bag over his shoulder, waiting for Sean to tuck everything back into place.
They passed Jensen going into the next class. He nodded hi to two people behind them, and then shoved through rather than walking around. Sean shook his head. "Maybe you should just walk fifty paces, turn, and shoot—you know, get it over with?"
"Are you kidding? That boy's from Dallas," Jared snorted. "He'd kill me. He's probably running around campus right now with a concealed weapon."
"I have a dilemma," Chad announced at lunch.
"Oh my god, you have herpes!" Cam set down the soda he'd pilfered from Chad with a plunk.
"Fuck you," Chad said mildly. "Anyway, I have a dilemma." His eyes darted toward the serving line where the rest of their group was still picking up spaghetti and wilted salad.
"Okay, you have a dilemma." Jared nodded. Chad had either broken his PS2 again or gotten his printer jammed and decided to disassemble it rather than just pulling out the crunched up piece of paper.
"Yeah, quick, before the girls sit down." Chad leaned forward and lowered his voice. "I need to get condoms."
Cam choked on his food and Jared raised his eyebrows. "So go buy some?"
Chad looked pained. "Don't you have any leftovers?"
Jared blushed. "I'm not sure if—if they'd fit you."
Sean roared with laughter, and Jared had to hide his face. He could practically feel Chad's stare. "Oh, no way, karmic justice says you have to have a lipstick dick!"
Jared looked away. The rest of their friends were already making their way over. Chad tugged at his collar. "Shit, you have village privileges today. Can you just buy me some? I'll really owe you," he whispered furiously.
"Chad, you have village privileges too." Sean and Cam were sniggering over their pasta, and Chad drew in an exasperated sigh. Jared pushed his plate away. "Dude, okay, but only if you admit that it's just because you're too damn scared to be seen buying prophylactics."
"Yes, yes, I admit it all," Chad ducked his head. "Now shut up." Amber and Sophia set their trays down at the table barely seconds later. Chad was burning with embarrassment, but the girls were far too concerned with the latest articles in Nylon to pay attention.
Jared stared at the cardboard packages—Durex or Trojan? Ribbed or smooth? It was way more thought than he ever wanted to put into Chad's dick in his entire lifetime. The bell jingled as a customer walked into the convenience store. Jared didn't look up. He was stuck, deep in contemplation about whether or not to get Chad rainbow condoms in revenge.
"First condom run, Padalecki?" a voice came from behind him. Jared's shoulders dropped. Fucking Jensen. He shook his head and glared at him. Saying they were for Chad was just about the most pathetic response he had, so he stayed silent. Jensen peered at the package that Jared was staring at and then shot a quick look at Jared's crotch. "I guess you're not proportional everywhere."
Jared made a face at the cheap shot. He was tempted to drop his pants right there, but after that police officer's lecture on exhibitionists, Jared wasn't sure he wanted to go down as a registered sex offender.
Jensen went back to the case of soft drinks, and Jared furiously snatched up a package of Durex Ribbed in rainbow. Chad definitely deserved having to explain that away later.
Alicia knocked on his door just after eight, her hair up in a messy bun, uniform discarded for jeans and a t-shit. If the first thing out of her mouth had been asking Jared to just do the homework for her, he knew he would've said okay. "So I have to be honest—I'm always falling asleep in class," she said, sitting at his desk.
Jared laughed. "Okay, well, let's start with a diagram." He bent over her, drawing a picture of a TV being hurled out the window, with little arrows to show the forces at work in two-directional motion. Her perfume was too sweet, too much, but he didn't shy away when she kissed him after he checked her work.
It was good. It was easy. She moaned into his mouth, pushed her breasts against his chest, nearly tipping out of her chair. She left before 11 o'clock lights out, and the taste of her lingered like the sting and ache of a burn.
There was a girl crying when he got to class early, just sobbing in her stiff-backed seat, face a crumpled mess. She'd gotten her first rejection letter back. SAT scores too low, essay not good enough, grades not high enough, or just luck of the draw. Jared wasn't sure what to say. I'm sure there'll be others sounded weak and feeble to his own ears.
She leapt up out of the room when the teacher arrived, nearly bowling the other students over as she shoved through the doorway. Jared sighed. It was like an entire doorway to a life had shut. He understood what it felt like to have the only school you wanted taken away from you, because he'd never wanted to come here.
Thank God for Friday, Jared thought, sitting on the grass, leaning up against the side of his dorm. It had gone from church to boys' dorm during a sudden streak of heresy in the 1960s when Horace Green Academy went through its expansion. Jared hated it. This time of year it was always as hot as a waffle iron.
Cam sat next to him, staring up at the sky. He shook a cigarette out of a crumpled pack of Marlboros and lit up. "So how did it go?"
"What?" Jared asked, shaking away the offer of a cigarette.
"Don't play coy with me—Alicia," Cam replied.
Jared smiled, pausing for a moment to remember. "It was pretty good."
"Yeah?" Cam slumped backwards into a sprawl. "What was it like?"
Her perfume was too strong, but her hair was as soft as her breathy moans. Jared chuckled. "You need a girlfriend, man, so you can have experiences of your own."
"Mmm." Cam shrugged, looking back up at the stars.
Two figures walked up the path toward the dorm, thrown in sharp relief by the sickly yellow glow of the lamp.
Alicia and Jensen.
Jared stiffened, hidden with Cam in the darkness. Maybe it was nothing, but Jared's inner paranoia was screaming that it was definitely something. Alicia laughed, tugged on Jensen's arm, and Cam was gripping his forearm to stop him from springing up and embarrassing himself.
Jensen tugged his arm back, drawing her to him, and then he was leaning in to kiss her. Jared's stomach hit the grass with a squelch. She put her hands up on his chest, holding him off, "Oh, but Jared…"
And his entire world blew up in a shower of fancy pyrotechnics when Jensen replied, "I don't care," and kissed her anyway. And she let him.
Jared should be angry at Alicia, but he wasn't. All of his rage was stored up for Jensen. He wasn't sure how Cam kept him from bursting out of the bushes and fighting Jensen for Alicia like he was doing a reenactment of the life cycle of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.
"I swear to God, he just fucking wants her because I want her," Jared raged, pacing back and forth in his bedroom while Chad tossed a stress ball up and down. Sean had managed to get his hands on a bottle of Bacardi and they were cutting it with orange juice and watching Jared prowl.
It was all the times that Jensen had tripped him up in class or made fun of his parents because they were alternative and had been doing research projects in Brazil rather than coming to Parent Weekend freshman year. It was all the times he wouldn't pass the ball to Jared when they were on the same team in PE, and it was the way he just casually exuded wealth and power like he'd been ordained by God, like the rest of the world, the less fortunate, deserved what they got.
Sean snatched the stress ball out of the air. "I think Jared probably needs that."
Cam laughed and then stopped sharply when he saw Jared's face. "Look, man, you could do better than her anyway." Chad was fidgeting nervously now that the ball had been taken away from him. "Chad could do better than her."
"That's not even what it's about." Jared sighed. "It's just Ackles. He wants whatever it is I have."
Jared didn't understand it. He wasn't a threat to Jensen. He had a completely different circle of friends. Nobody listened to Jared when he mentioned what a punk-ass Jensen was, anyway.
Alicia came up to him on Monday, test Scantron in hand. "Look, Jared, 87 percent," she said, grinning at him. "Thank you."
Jared shrugged, felt awkward around her, like his pants and jacket were too tight, and his skin itched. "I didn't do anything."
"Oh please," she knocked him on the shoulder with her fist. Jared looked down at her and didn't know what to say. The silence was awkward, weighted. They were both trying to figure out what to say next. He could see Jensen walking in the dining hall just over her shoulder. Jared saw the way his pretty red lips drew tight and his eyebrows lowered.
Jared turned away.
He went down to the vending machine on the first floor. He wanted to pick up a couple of sodas and a candy bar so that he could stop thinking about food when he was attempting to write about the Reagan theory and the Cold War.
The Milky Way got stuck. "Damn it!" he hit the side of the machine with the flat of his hand. The candy bar trembled but stayed stuck. He leafed through his pockets but he didn't have anymore change.
He smacked the side again with his shoulder.
"Christ, don't you know that people die from being crushed by vending machines?" Jensen said from behind him.
Jared slumped against the plastic siding. "You must live to torture me."
"Yes, it's all about you," Jensen snapped, lips twisting. He pushed past Jared to stick his own change in the slot, and hit D7. Two Milky Ways fell down. Jensen handed him one, eyes narrowed.
Jared reached out and took it, ready to turn away to go back to his room, but Jensen seized his wrist. "Stay away from Alicia."
Jared tugged, muscles flexing in Jensen's grip. "I can't believe you."
Jensen tightened his fist around Jared's forearm, stepping into Jared's space. "I will—"
"You make me want to—" He shoved Jensen back against the wall. His head bounced off the plaster. Jared stared at him, adrenaline bitter on his tongue. He wanted to flatten him into the wall. Jensen's eyes had narrowed into slits and he was breathing hard. It felt like the thermostat in the building had been ratcheted up a hundred degrees.
Their mouths collided. Jensen tightened a fist in Jared's shirt, nails digging in through the fabric. Jared pressed him back into the wall, putting all the pressure of his hip right over Jensen's hardening dick, and Jensen struggled against him and moaned—the sound torn from his mouth.
"Oh, Jesus," Jared said, arm still clasped in Jensen's grip, white beginning to show around the outline of Jensen's fingers. Jensen struggled for lungfuls of air and Jared was there again, mouth locked with his, tongue flicking just inside, teeth closing on Jensen's lower lip.
Understand me, he kept trying to say, please understand me. Jensen rocked into him, finally let go of his shirt to reach around Jared's body. He dragged him in even closer. "I want—touch me," he breathed.
"No," Jared bit out, and shoved him harder into the wall, his knee forced between Jensen's thighs, applying steady pressure.
"Ugh, God." Jensen slammed his own head back against the wall, eyelids fluttering over the hint of green, throat bared to Jared—almost, almost like supplication. But there was the sharp bite of Jensen's fingertips sinking into Jared's ass to remind him otherwise.
Jensen's cheeks blazed with color and Jared burned. He could barely breathe. Jensen's mouth felt so good, the desperate relent of his body along the wall was a victory. Finally, finally, agonizingly slow, Jared worked his hands into Jensen's shorts, wrapping his fist around Jensen's silky hot dick. Jensen groaned, mouth twisting from stimulation rather than that oft-used and much-hated pout.
Anybody could come and find them, his hand down Jensen's pants, rutting up against Jensen's hip, the two of them exposed and hard, lips slick with shared spit, and moaning like porn stars.
Jensen begged, his fingernails scraping down Jared's back. They were rough with each other, so rough there couldn't be any mistake—it was no act of affection. Jared jerked Jensen off quickly, nearly utilitarian, and Jensen writhed from it, buried his face into Jared's neck.
"I'm going to—" Jensen started, and pulled his head away, leaning back against the wall again, separate. His face went still as he came over Jared's hand, his shorts sticky with it, and he was miles away.
They had Cold War together, and Jensen's seat was behind his. When Jared walked in the door and caught sight of him, his first thought was that Jensen's uniform looked even more pristine and shellacked than usual.
They didn't look at each other or fight about post-revisionism. Mr. Cavagnolo didn't have to yell at them to shut up. Jared felt like the heat of Jensen's skin was traveling right through the floor and up into his chair. All he could do was remember the way Jensen tore his mouth away and came with closed eyes, breath shuddering past red lips.
Jared's pencil dug straight through his thin sheet of binder paper.
"Jared," Mr. Cavagnolo paused in the middle of his lecture, "are you all right?"
He felt Jensen's eyes intent on the back of his head. "I'm fine."
He wondered if he should feel differently. He'd had his hand on another boy's dick. But everything felt the same. Jared was still good at math, he still couldn't read Sinclair without wanting to go on a murderous rampage, he hadn't stopped feeling fluttery when Alicia entered a room. But everything was different.
It was like feeling normal again after being sick for a really long time. It scared him. He couldn't, didn't want to feel differently about his friends. But he'd had his hand on another boy's dick, and he was looking at them all like they were totally new, fresh. His black and white TV had just been swapped out for color.
"Been to the mailroom yet?" Chad walked up to his table during free period. "People are saying they're getting their letters back from University of Chicago. You applied there right?"
Jared nodded. He'd applied to twelve schools, including Caltech and MIT. He'd settle for just getting into one school, even just his safety, so that he'd stop feeling like he didn't have a future.
On To Part Two