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Ring in the New Year

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Anyway, here's what's happening, or at least this is how Misha remembers it, which is not quite the same, but good enough for now.

The clearest memory he has of this particular event horizon is Jensen's soft and easy "Yeah?" like people tell him these kinds of things all the time. And they were baked, baked all the way to the center, like a stick a fork in them and it'll come out clean. Especially Misha, for whom it has been a while, but Jensen gets himself half an ounce at the beginning of each season and chips away at it when he can, which isn't often. You don't know workaholic until you meet Jensen Ackles. "I work hard and party hard," Jensen said once to some random journalist, back when Misha was still new, and he had envisioned body shots and top-shelf liquor and TMZ-worthy shenanigans. But sometimes the party is Jensen and a bowl and twiddling around on his guitar until the sun went down, or up, depending on the shooting schedule. By the time hiatus rolls around, Jensen would still have more than a quarter, and that's when he gets blunt-happy.

Jared was supposed to join them, but sometimes a guy punks out because he's going to go out for drinks instead. Says he's going to win his twenty bucks back from Elaine from make-up, who won it neatly from Jared when he put out an open call for an impromptu darts tournament at the bar. When Jared calls them, he already sounds a few beers in. Jensen calls him something lewd and inappropriate, then holds the phone up to Misha so he can do likewise. Misha ups the ante for no reason than they have all called each other worse in the past, and says something unnecessarily appalling. He doesn't hear Jared's reply through Jensen's laugh and wheezing assessment: "You're a troublemaker, man, you're a fucking troublemaker," then "All right, all right, I'll see you later" into the phone before hanging up and pointing the phone at Misha. "You always gotta do that. You always gotta pull something."

"If I didn't, you would have," Misha says.

"Naw, man, no," but Jensen's smiling as he shakes his head. "Incorrect." And then he takes out the zip-loc bag of weed, attention shifted and locked, next thing on the docket, and Jensen says, "Okay."

Misha's phone buzzes with a series of texts from Jared, and he gets wrapped up replying to each one with a smiley face, the room quiet for a few minutes as they busy themselves with their respective tasks. Misha doesn't notice the size of the thing that Jensen's crafting until-

"First of the hiatus," Jensen announces, rolling the behemoth between his fingers. "You're with me, right, Mish?"

"Jesus, what is that thing?"

"It's the Winchesters all fucked up and nowhere to go," Jensen replies, not taking his eyes off his creation as he rolls. "It's Castiel up shit creek, no paddle in sight. Usual finale business, business as usual, finale-wise."

His words are beginning to float off into the sky, and Misha has learned what this means. There's Jensen when he's tipsy with a bunch people, and there's Jensen when he's tipsy with one or two people. The latter tends to be prone to sentence fragments and whimsical turns of phrase. Jensen shouldn't be this tipsy already, but maybe he already had a beer before Misha came over. Maybe the guy basically had nothing to eat all day, a hazy memory coming to Misha: sitting in his chair, eating a panini, texting his brother, watching Dean Winchester try not to cry over his brother for a couple of hours straight.

"Acting hungry is the worst," Jensen said to him, during a quicksilver break between shooting. "Guy keeps telling me to use it, but I mean I just wanna be like-" and then Jensen grabbed Misha's panini and took an exaggerated bite before the director called him back.

"Mustard on that, really?" Jensen said over his shoulder as he trotted back to the cameras.

And now here they are: Jensen holds up his finished product in one hand, his other hand drawing a flourish in the air.

Misha says, "It's the size of the moon."

Jensen, a gracious host, lets him take the first hit.


Weed makes Misha wistful, prone to romantic notions, not just about love, but about vast skies, open spaces, unspoken promises that guarantee the world, and secrets terrible enough to tie two people together forever. He was always stoned when he wrote his worst poems. It puts him inside his head and sometimes he has a hard time getting out again.

They're nowhere to halfway through the blunt, and Jensen has his eyes closed when Misha is trying to pass it back to him. Misha considers putting it out, because oh jesus fuck, but at the same time he is considering the exposed line of Jensen's throat. Jensen sinks into the couch, head thrown back, just breathing. It's an image that has ghosted Misha's mind for a while, tucked away for later perusal. Misha finally gets to see what it looks like, now, and his chest tightens. 

Who won't have you? he wonders disconnectedly. Who wouldn't want to?

"Where have you always wanted to go?" Misha asks, and Jensen holds his hand out, asking for the blunt. His eyes are still closed. "Anywhere in the world, where do you want to go?"

"What is this, freshman year?" Jensen asks, grinning wryly.

But he answers the question, and the conversation meanders, rambles this way and that until Misha's the one answering the question of who he'd want to go with, anywhere in the world. And Misha says, "Probably you."

"Why me?" Jensen seems genuinely curious.

Misha is curiously genuine. "I'd go anywhere with you."

It was the simpler answer, and Misha hasn't even gone yet into all the stories they might share on the way, all the things they might do together while they went anywhere, because the point here is that Jensen's been a landmark in Misha's panorama from the first day Misha met him. There's all sorts of ways he wants to get to know Jensen, and maybe, just maybe, going around the world would be enough time for them to get to know each other the way he wants. Maybe it's not, that's fine. They can always go again.

And that's it. That's the meat of the answer. That's what Misha's trying to get to, but there is a heavy fog in his brain and he is speaking one step at a time.

So here it is, the clearest memory in Misha's mind, Jensen's eyes all intrigued and his smile turning soft, saying, "Yeah?"

The sentiment had tumbled out of Misha without warning, natural and warm, its revelations feeling innocuous in the gentleness of the afternoon. He didn't realize he was revealing anything until it knocked knees with something akin to agreement in Jensen. Something had been transmitted, and they're both waiting to see what the message is.

If Misha knew he could make Jensen look at him like this, he would have said something sooner.

Misha says, "Yeah." He wants to explain further, the thing with the stories, the thing with the adventures to be shared and all the world before them, but Jensen's smiling at him like he's found something rare and surprising, and Misha thinks maybe further explanation would be unnecessary.

"Where would we go first?" Jensen asks, shifting to face Misha, lazy-river grin on his face.

Misha takes the opportunity to snuff out the blunt, save some for later already, oh man. "Barcelona," he answers, "and then we head east."


When Misha wakes up, it's night. He's all pretzeled limbs on Jensen's couch, a blanket thrown over him, and he might've drooled all over the cushion in his sleep. The living room is lit up by the soft glow of the hallway, and Misha untangles and stretches, wondering where Jensen is. The last thing he remembers is a Law & Order episode on TV. The TV has been turned off.

He sits up, rumpled, his head still smudged with dreams, something about the tallest trees he's ever seen and he's talking to someone but he can't remember who. He just remembers the sunlight hanging on their voice, an image he is losing the ability to comprehend the more he wakes up. Misha shuffles to the hallway and sees that the light is mostly coming from Jensen's bedroom. He shuffles towards it as he yawns, then swings around the doorway, blinking blearily at the following scene: Jensen in jeans, just jeans, buttoned up but belt undone, checking his phone messages in the middle of the chaos of his bedroom. There's shit everywhere, clothes, scripts, food, unwashed bowls.

Jensen looks up, and says, "Hey."

Misha wishes he were ten years younger. He wants to make stupid mistakes. He wants to give his whole heart to love the way he did before anything bad happened to it. The archetypal broken man, starring in the last generation's rock hits.

Okay, whatever. Misha doesn't actually have the patience for that shit anymore. Jensen just inspires chaotic thoughts in him sometimes.

"Osric called," Jensen says. "Everyone's at a bar downtown. You wanna go?"

"Sure," Misha says. "Yeah."


They smile brighter when each other are around, laughing harder now, but Misha's always cracking up at Jensen so nothing seems out of place. They weave into each other's personal space with much pomp and circumstance, so all in all, nothing much has changed. It's just that all the usual things feel limned by this new thing, this quiet understanding unfurling curiously, trying to see what it is and what it isn't.

People are already talking about this year like it's yesterday's news. Next year is already perched on the horizon, but it feels like a mirage. December always feels so liminal for him. They're over at Osric's, and Misha is getting his ass handed to him at some shoot-'em-up on the Xbox, Osric beating him ever so casually even though he's distracted by both his laptop and phone beside him. Distracted telling Misha that one of his new year's resolutions is finishing this game before January ends.

"I don't know," Misha replies when Osric asks what his resolutions are. He just says, "Organize my iTunes library," because he does have certain hopes and he doesn't want to jinx it.

Jensen tosses bits of crackers at Misha whenever his character dies, heckling him happily, and five minutes later when Osric goes to the bathroom, Jensen is the one to brush them out of Misha's hair. "Don't you care if ants nest in your hair, man?"

"Clearly you will take all the necessary measures against that," Misha says, "so maybe I don't have to worry."

Jensen flicks his fingers against Misha's forehead, and Misha retaliates by pushing Jensen away by the face, but they're both grinning.

Misha finds himself wishing that time didn't pass, that it would just collect. Last week and ten years ago should be jostling against each other in a giant pile, all pasts present, all events accounted for, and every person within arm's reach. This year has been a good year, and sometimes that's all he knows. Misha has been taught from a very young age to count his blessings.


Everyone's at Jensen's and watching Raging Bull in a half-heared sort of manner. ("You haven't watched Raging Bull?" Jensen demands of Misha, eyebrows going all the way up like this is the most heinous of crimes. "You haven't- I can't believe you haven't fucking watched Raging- okay. Okay.") It was already the wee hours when they started the movie, and the only one who was enthusiastic about it was Jensen. The results are predictable: Osric's is curled up snoring in the armchair, and Jared has commandeered the guest bedroom after a couple of minutes of nonstop yawns. No one even noticed him go, he just slunk off then they heard his "good night!" and the bedroom door opening and closing.

Raging Bull plays on.

Misha feels Jensen's head rest on his shoulder, and he looks over, assuming Jensen had fallen asleep. Jensen is awake. 

"You comfortable down there?" Misha says, teasing but also curious. Jensen is warm and the world is soft and fuzzy at the edges, and contentment is making Misha sincere.

"Yeah," Jensen nods, and his hair tickles Misha's cheek.

Ten minutes later though, he does fall asleep, and Misha watches the rest of the movie with Jensen breathing deeply against his shoulder, aware of every exhale.

He's wondering whether he can extricate himself without waking Jensen or if he should just wake him up anyway, maybe get a few more minutes of Jensen before sleep claims them both. Jensen solves the issue by waking up when the credits finish, as if on cue. He makes some incomprehensible noise and turns so his face presses against Misha's shoulder.

"What?" Misha asks.

"Did you like the movie?"

"It was okay."

"'Okay'. Oh my god."

Jensen heaves himself to his feet, his movements slow and tectonic, and Misha feels the ground shift inside him as Jensen stretches, a sliver of stomach peeking out.

"It's like," Jensen says, and yawns. "Dawn."

It's close to it. The sky is taking on a bluish tint outside, but if they don't look at it, they can pretend.

"Long fucking movie," Misha says.

"It's like two hours, it's really not."

Jensen turns to face him and he is so close, towering above him like something Misha is powerless against. Jensen cocks his head to the side, studying him, and Misha wonders what he sees, what he's looking for.

He crosses his arms. "You still wanna go around the world with me?"

"Barcelona," Misha says, "and then we go east."

"We don't have time to go around the world," Jensen shrugs, shifting his weight from one foot to another.

"No, we don't," he agrees.

Jensen wags his head like 'come on', and Misha pushes himself to his feet, pulled along like a satellite in orbit.

"Maybe after the show ends," Misha says.

"We'll have all the time in the world then," Jensen says, turning down the hall towards his bedroom. "C'mon," he says when Misha pauses in the hall.

"What?" Misha asks. He knows what, maybe. Maybe not, maybe he shouldn't jump the gun, jinx the whole thing. When did he become so superstitious?

"C'mere," Jensen says, dimpled in one cheek, and disappears into the bedroom.

Misha follows him.

The door clicks close when Misha leans back against it, and Jensen murmurs, "Can't believe you don't like Raging Bull," before hooking his fingers through Misha's belt loops.

"I didn't hate it," Misha says, shutting down the parts of his brain that long to overthink the situation. He has never been one for long cons like that, working best when he's in the heat of the moment, trusting an instinct that's half whimsy and half dare.

Misha's hands alight on Jensen's sides, and Jensen says, "What am I gonna do with you." He says it, he doesn't ask it. It's not a question. Jensen's smiling. It's an invitation.

Misha kisses him.


Misha settled into his role on set as its occasional catastrophe: volatile, irreverent, leaving a trail of good-natured disaster in his wake. This is not like that. He is not trying to pre-empt chaos. Jensen's lips are on his, then Jensen's hands on his face, and it feels like the world shifting into clearer focus.

Jensen kisses with the thorough slow-motion tenderness that settles into his bones during hiatus. It's like they have all the time in the world, in the breath of one big exhale now that everything is behind them. Jensen resurfaces from the murky depths of Dean Winchester's uncertain mind and blinks at the world around him. Terrible things happen to TV characters in May, but the springtime coaxes Jensen out of himself like a baffled groundhog. He sees his own shadow and remembers what's going on.

He's already got the scruff going, for one thing.

Jensen's incipient beard scratches against Misha's face as they kiss, and eventually it makes Misha laugh, makes him quip about surprise exfoliation, and Jensen just laughs and tugs him in the general direction of the bed.

"Exfoliation's good for you," Jensen says, shoving Misha to the mattress. "You should be thanking me." He crawls over Misha, trapping him to the bed, or so he thinks, because then Misha heaves up and hooks an arm around him, crashing Jensen down like a wave, flipping them over.

He presses his lips to Jensen's throat, opening his mouth, and Jensen smells like the cologne someone gave him last Christmas. He's been wearing it ever since, and Misha's wondered if it's because Jensen likes the smell or because it's from someone special. Jensen tastes clean, more temperature than flavour, a warmth on his tongue.

"Fuck," Jensen gasps. "Ah, jesus. Just-"

He swats Misha's hands away from his failing attempts to unbutton Jensen's shirt, and Jensen just pulls it apart, buttons flying. Shrugs off the shirt and throws it in some indeterminate direction.

"What has that shirt ever done to you?" Misha murmurs in fragments between kisses down Jensen's chest, down his stomach.

"It was fucking cockblocking me, man." Jensen tangles one hand in Misha's hair and the other cups his cheek. "I have other shirts."

Misha unbuckles Jensen's belt, and Jensen undoes the button on his jeans, and then, right on cue, a loud "Oh shit!" from the living room and the sound of breaking glass.

They freeze.

"Oh fuck," and that's Osric right there, voice high with panic. "Oh fuck."

Misha groans, and Jensen says, "What the-" then he's sitting bolt upright in bed. "What the fuck."

"What else, cruel god?" Misha demands of the bedroom ceiling when Jensen scrambles off the bed and grabs a random shirt off the back of a chair. Then he freezes with his hand on the doorknob, and looks down at himself.

"What?" Misha asks.

Jensen swivels to face him, t-shirt slung over his shoulder and face all flushed, hair wild. Misha decides he wears it well. He's proud to have a hand in its making.

"Is my boner, like, too obvious?" Jensen asks.

There's another thump from the living room and Osric curses again. Misha throws the nearest thing, a pair of boxers half-hidden under a pillow, at Jensen's face. "He's like tripping over broken glass, Ackles, go fucking help him!"

Jensen dodges the underwear, opens the door, and scrambles out. "Os! Osric!"

Misha shifts onto his bed, the heels of his hands over his eyes, smiling crookedly at nothing in particular and feeling just a little bit guilty about it. He should be scrambling to check up on Osric too, and he will in a second, but a more self-centered part of him is content and alight. He feels like there's always going to be a part of him kissing Jensen Ackles for the first time. Kind of wishes there would be.

He should totally get out of bed and check up on Osric and Jensen, and he has every intention to, but then, as likely an event as all the other unlikely events that happened tonight, Misha falls asleep.


"You're a blanket hog, that's what you are," Jensen says, once they've both drifted awake the next morning.

"No one's perfect," Misha shrugs, and then Jensen kisses him, and kissing is as far as they get because they hear Jared's voice drifting down the hall, asking Osric if there's any cereal left.

It's the morning that Misha wakes up in Jensen's bed and life is a fine thing indeed, even if all he did on the bed was sleep. Jensen's arm slung over his back and his face smushed against Misha's arm. There's that suspicious tug in the bottom of Misha's stomach that he gets sometimes when too-good things happen. Misha doesn't even remember when Jensen climbed into bed last night, so when he woke up, it was like dreaming.

"We should get out of bed," Jensen croaks.

Misha says, "Two more minutes."

Two more minutes it is.

Anyway, no one got cut on broken glass, so no worries there. Jensen is out a bong though, and Osric keeps apologizing and promising to buy another one, and Jensen keeps saying no, man, don't worry about it, it's cool. Jared says, "He's got like two more anyway."

All four of them are seated at the breakfast bar, not hungover - they didn't drink that much - but fuzzy and slow. Osric is talking about something he watched in a documentary last week, scientists in Antarctica and how one of the research stations has a softserve machine. Even in subzero weather people retain the taste for ice cream. Osric wants to know if there's a hot chocolate machine, thinks it would make more sense.

"Ice cream is good everywhere, buddy," Jared says, flicking a Cheerio in his direction, and it only takes a few predictable minutes before Jared and Osric are trying to toss Cheerios in each other's mouths.

"What's everyone's plans for the rest of the day?" Jensen asks. He's asking everyone but he's looking at Misha, and Misha resists breaking into a wide goofy smile.

Jared and Osric have nothing specific planned, but Misha has a meeting with his agent. Ain't that how it goes.

"Gimme a call later, man," Jensen says, and Misha says he will.


He doesn't. The holidays wreak havoc on everyone's schedule, and it feels like Misha is always off at one get-together or another, one warm golden blur hazing into another.

They're at Osric's house, Jensen deep in a rambling monologue about the various defects of the Cowboys this season, spurred by their defeat earlier this evening. It's nothing that Misha has an investment in or deep knowledge about, so he is only half listening, exchanging distracted comments with Felicia, who is restlessly waiting for her turn at the Guitar Hero tournament raging behind them.

"Why do you think it is that football is only big in North America?" Misha asks. "Some parts of Europe, yeah. But it's so deeply entrenched here and nowhere else."

"We Americans are renowned the world over for our bad taste," Felicia says vaguely, then pumps the air and hoots when "Sweet Child O' Mine" is the next song on the game.

"When Jerry Jones takes his micromanaging head out of his, out of, out of all the coaches' asses, then someone wake me up, it must be a dream," Jensen declares to all who would listen. "I'm getting a beer."

Misha follows him to the kitchen.

It's just the two of them in here, and they make vague sounds of acknowledgment to each other as they drift towards the fridge.

Jensen opens the fridge door. "Beer?"

"I got one," Misha says, lifting his bottle.

So Jensen takes one out for himself and appears to deflate, backstage now and no one watching him. "I really want them to win."

Misha pats his shoulder. "There, there." One more pat. "There."

Jensen throws an arm around him and says, "Don't 'there, there' me, you little-" They slip into a half-shoving half-wrestling fight, winning nothing but the smiles on each other's faces.

"You're a little shit, do you know that?" Jensen says.

"I've been told it all my life."

Misha is lost in the lines that crinkle the edge Jensen's eyes when he smiles, and he's thinking yeah, maybe this year's coming to an end so good things can begin. Misha can't tell sometimes if his joy is more confidence than truth. There is of course the possibility that this leads to nothing good, or maybe just nothing. He has been careful to live in the moment when Jensen is around, but it's hard. Jensen is a warm, pliant weight against him, slightly tilted by alcohol and sports rage. He smells the same as he did the night Misha kissed him.

They can kiss again tonight, maybe.

Maybe. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Misha has these ideas and he just wants to know what to do about them. He just wonders sometimes. In the shower, in bed at night, just before falling asleep, the sound of Jensen's gasps in Misha's ear.

"You know where that trip around the world should actually start?" Jensen asks. His grin is ear to ear, very self-satisfied in a way that looks goofy on him, and infuriatingly endearing.

"Where?" Misha asks, scratching his fingers through Jensen's hair.


Misha sucks in a breath.

"'Cos like, you know," Jensen continues, and Misha can't tell if he's avoiding eye contact or if he's just drifting. "It may be a while until we can go anywhere else together, but I think, um. I think everything else can start sooner."

And Misha says, savouring the words, "I'm cool with that."

A pause settles over the both of them, and Misha thinks they must be thinking the same thing, pondering the same questions. They are in the same boat together, looking for the same dry shore.

"We could-" Misha starts to say, and then Felicia pokes her head in the door.

"Hey, guys," Felicia says, and then, upon seeing them, "Aww, cuuuuute."

They disentangle themselves from each other as Felicia asks if they know where the spare batteries are, and they spend enough time at Osric's house to know that he keeps it in the top drawer by the desktop computer.

She slips away again, and a few seconds later is replaced by Osric and Jared, loudly pondering the pros and cons of the show's current storyline. It's a subject on which everyone has many opinions, and Misha and Jensen are pulled into the debate.

At some point it gets to be 1 a.m.  Misha wanders from the kitchen where he, Osric, and Felicia are playing a drinking game that he hasn't played since he was a teenager. He is lucky to be able to extricate himself from the situation. A guy who looks like he's half Misha's age is drinking him under the table, and Misha still has Jensen to find. Jensen is still here somewhere. He promised.

(Jensen, beer in one hand, catching hold of Misha's elbow on his way to the patio, "Find me before you go home," and Jensen's words may have blurred at the edges a little, but his eyes were dark and precise.

Misha said, "I will."

"Good. Good.")

Jensen is sprawled out on the couch in the den, his face covered in Sharpie.

There are extra blankets in the linen closet but going up one flight of stairs is too much work for his current state, so Misha looks around and finds the Twister game that Jared snuck off with from the set last year. He grabs it off the floor and drapes it over Jensen. It keeps sliding off, so Misha has to tuck it around his body, and actually he's not sure how warm or effective a Twister mat for a blanket would be. Oh well. Too late now.

Misha brushes his hand lightly over the 'PENIS' scrawled on Jensen's forehead, then turns around to join Osric and Felicia in the kitchen.


It's three hours into a brand new year, and do you know where your co-star is?

The line scrolls through Misha's mind like a marquee, as things tend to do when he's not as drunk as he was at the start of the night and sober is within walking distance. The world condenses itself to digestible slogans, and Misha puts the last empty Budweiser in the sink as Jensen tosses out the microwaved leftover concoction Felicia tried to make after she had five beers and mumble-mumble shots.

The last partygoers have left to find cabs and spare couches. Last year is already behind them, and this new year is stretching out in all directions, crisp and full of potential. Jensen is holding his breath as he drifts closer to Misha, and Misha is thinking about the feel of Jensen's throat against his lips, an oft-perused memory, and one he hopes to revisit again soon.

"What are we gonna do about this?" Misha asks, scratching his fingers through Jensen's almost-a-beard, like he's a puppy. 

"You don't have to do much about it," Jensen says, letting him. "I don't do much about it. It just shows up one day and it keeps showing up, y'know. I'm sorry, did you pass biology?"

"This is no longer biology. This is evolutionary regression."

"Come on," Jensen says, a decision set in his shoulders and in his smile. He tosses the washcloth over the back of a chair.

"Where are we going?"

"Around the world."

To their utter lack of surprise, Jared is in Jensen's bedroom, sprawled all over the whole bed, and when they try the guest bedroom, there are two people on the bed and one on the floor who is all covered by a blanket except for one sneakered foot sticking out. One of the people on the bed is Osric, and Misha can't tell who the others are.

"I was really hoping I wouldn't start the new year doing lewd things in a bathroom," Jensen says, when the bathroom proves to be the only unoccupied room in the place. "But maybe I've done worse."

"It's not a bathroom," Misha says, locking the door. "It's Barcelona."

And then Jensen kisses him.

In a perfect world, Misha thinks they might have kissed at midnight, seal the deal for the coming year, but hey, it's still the end of last year somewhere. The world is turning as Jensen sighs against his lips, as Misha slips his arms around his waist, and it's the start of the new year right here.


Not that it's any of Misha's business, but he's been wondering how many guys Jensen has been with, and now he wonders again, the way he's got Misha backed against the wall, towel rack digging into his spine, hand on his cock, rough with either drunkenness or inexperience, maybe both, but it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter even a little bit because it's good, it's so good, and Misha has been thinking about this for longer than he'd ever say to anybody.

Jensen is muttering and hissing something in his ear, but Misha can't even listen; he's murmuring curses, biting back on demands of 'more' and 'don't stop' because Jensen doesn’t seem to need any encouragement. It takes a while, drunk as they both still are, but Misha comes with a muffled groan, face pressed against the side of Jensen's neck.

When Jensen sees the come all over his pant leg, he curses, then laughs.

"Look what you've done!" Jensen says.

"I can't say I regret it," Misha manages breathlessly.

"You fucking… rorschached all over my pants."

"You can afford new ones," he says, then, "Come here."

"I can analyse your childhood from this," Jensen surmises, studying the stain even as Misha pulls him closer and maneuvers him around.

"Please don't," Misha says.

Those poor people, Misha thinks briefly. Those poor people out there, the drunken partygoers who need to go to the bathroom during the night, who will need to find some other place.

It's a fleeting concern.

The logical thing to do when you get your pants dirty is to take them off, Misha points out, so he is only doing Jensen a service. Misha goes down on his knees, and Jensen softly says, "Ah, jesus," and when Misha gets his mouth on him, Jensen says, "Ah, jesus christ."

And that's about all Jensen says for the next however long, except for when Misha's name slips out too.


There's nowhere to sleep, so they don't. They sit on opposite ends of the bathtub, facing each other, conversing meanderingly about unrelated things. Misha is happy, unendingly and youthfully so. He knows he is a lucky man, and in dark moods he waits for the universe to collect its debt. When he's like this, he scarcely remembers the darkness at all.

It's late enough to feel like they've tripped into that part of the night where hours and minutes cease to exist, where time seems to stand still as if to keep both of them safe from the world's distractions. Jensen is smiling at him, and Misha is rambling about the time when he was a kid and he dared his brother to climb the garage and he got stuck up there.

"How'd he get down?" Jensen asks, knocking his foot rhythmically against Misha's leg.

"My mom had to get a ladder. Then she yelled at me 'cos I kinda left him up there. Like, not on purpose. Not for that long."

"How long?"

"I got distracted, okay."

"You got distracted?"

"I made a sandwich."

"You made a sandwich?" Jensen guffaws.

"Is there an echo in here?" Misha says, and Jensen tosses the chunk of soap he's been playing with at Misha's face. "I mean, it was a warm day. Middle of summer. Neither of us were too freaked out about it 'cos he knew he was gonna get down eventually. It wasn't that pressing of a problem. And I was hungry."

"This is explaining more things about you than you realize," Jensen says.

"He said he wished he brought a camera though. Good views from the top of our old garage, apparently."

"Did you ever see for yourself?" Jensen asks.

"I was never really a garage-climbing kind of guy, but the next day Sasha went back up on that roof with a camera and actually took pictures, so I guess I saw those."

Dawn is beginning to steal its way into the sky, smearing clouds blue and gray. No gold of the sun yet. They still have a few minutes of pretending it's still last year if they want to, but why would they want to? The new year seems to hold a lot more promise.

"Whatcha got planned for the day, man?" Jensen asks.

"God, I don't know. I blocked off the whole day to recover from hangovers, but I'm actually feeling pretty great?"

"You wanna stick around?"

"I know a ploy to help clean up when I hear one," Misha says, because he doesn't feel like saying yes immediately even though that's all he wants to say. He's just killing time, rolling the moment around. He's happy and incapable of being anything else.

"Okay, yeah, but do you know an invitation to stick around," Jensen says, "when you hear one."

"Honestly, I've had variable success with that one."

"Honestly," Jensen says, folding up his legs and leaning forward until he's crawling towards Misha in the cramped space of the tub, "it seems like you don't."

"Like I said," Misha says, barely getting the words out before meeting Jensen's lips in another kiss.

"Say yes, goddamnit."

"Yes," Misha says between kisses. "Yes. Yes. Yes."