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Among Us - Chapter 3
namichan89

<< Chapter 2


Jensen searches for Jared after they're done filming for the day. It's Friday, and for once they haven't agreed to going out with the cast and crew.

He finds Jared exiting the make-up trailer. “There you are! I was looking for you.”

“What's up?” Jared nudges his shoulder against Jensen's, then he shrugs on his jacket.

“Are you free tonight? Because I need a wingman.”

“Sure thing.”

***

The next morning is weird with a capital W.

Not that he wasn't successful, no, he was. Jared made sure of that.

The girl he brought home was gone before he even went to sleep. When he'd returned from the shower, she'd been dressed and ready to go, standing in the door frame as she slipped into her heels.

“Look, we both know what this is, what this was, and I'm not gonna drag it out. It's been fun. So thank you and good night.”

Not that Jensen hadn't been satisfied.

She'd been attentive, she'd been skilled, and she knew what to do.

It was good. It just wasn't overwhelming, mind-blowing, earth-shattering.

Not every experience can hold a candle to what he shared with Misha, Jensen is aware. In any case, this whole experience was worth it. There's some kind of revelation here, Jensen just hasn't come to it yet.

He stares into his coffee. It's 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning, he's only wearing boxers, and he's standing in the small kitchen of his apartment in L.A.

He expected something like he got with Misha, and she couldn't hold up to that, obviously.

Jensen doesn't know what to do about it. Just because Misha was his key, the one to open the doors to a world Jensen hadn't seen before, hadn't contemplated before, doesn't mean Misha is any more than that. Apart from being his co-worker and friend.

It's not like Misha has ruined him for women forever, or something equally clichéd like that. Last night clearly has disproved that suggestion. Jensen is still very much turned on by women, by soft curves and breasts and a waist to grab while she rides him. But there's another side that's undoubtedly there, a side he still feels a bit too inexperienced to explore, but it's there.

It's the side of him where Misha stars in his fantasies, or guys who know how to fuck him just right. It's strange to admit, to give up control, to just accept that these preferences are there inside of him, that it doesn't change who he is or who he was for the past 35 years of his life. This thing, with Misha, might've been a one-time deal.

But it was also confirmation that these preferences of his aren't a one-time deal. At all.

Jensen sighs into his coffee and takes another sip. He grabs his laptop from the living room table and starts it up to read the latest news, only to distract himself.

He's had countless mornings with ex-girlfriends and one-night-stands alike. Some he kissed goodbye when they left, some he didn't. Some he more or less threw out, some who left on their own.

Girlfriends that chatted their way through breakfast before Jensen even finished reading the newspaper or drinking his coffee. Who reminded him of this and that, who called him 'honey' and 'darling'. One-night-stands who were silent until they just left without having breakfast. This is not exactly a completely new situation.

Still, Jensen wonders what it'd be like, living with a man.

Both easier and harder, Jared had said.

Maybe he needs to talk to Jared again.

Maybe he doesn't. It's not like there's a decision to be made or anything. Jensen is single, he's happy, and he's a good step further towards getting used to his new found bisexuality.

He's good.

Jensen smiles.

***

“How was your weekend? Miss us?” Jared laughs when Jensen walks into the make-up trailer, still a bit groggy and nursing his first cup of coffee.

“Morning, Jay!” Misha chirps from beside him.

“Like fuck,” Jensen grumbles and falls into his chair. Sleep hasn't come easy last night, and although Jensen knows he shouldn't let his co-workers suffer because of that... sue him, it's Monday, and he's feeling grumpy.

“Aw, I love it when you sweet-talk me in the morning, baby,” Jared teases him.

Jensen grunts. He closes his eyes, leans back and lets the sound of Misha's chuckle rumble in his chest, nice and relaxing, flowing down his spine.

Misha is done before them, and he gives Jensen a two-second shoulder massage on his way out. A quick grab just to tease him. Jensen moans reflexively and quirks an eye open when Misha's hands stop, staying frozen on his shoulders for a moment, thumbs digging into the tendons at his neck.

Upside-down, blue eyes sparkle at him, a smile curling his lips.

It's only a joke, Jensen knows it, but he might as well go the extra mile, now that his coffee has kicked in.

“Your hands are magic,” he tells Misha with a wiggle of his eyebrows.

“Wouldn't you know,” Misha returns with a smirk and oh.

Something scorching hot settles low in Jensen's stomach, especially when Misha leaves, a swing in his step and in the tilt of his hips. Jensen finds himself staring after him and appreciating his broad shoulders shifting to a slim waist, clad in jeans that hug Misha's ass all too well.

When he turns back, he notices Jared looking at him.

But Lydia quickly tilts Jared's chin upwards to finish his make-up, and the moment is lost.

***

“We need a plan,” Jason states, slumping down into the sofa in his apartment, beside Dmitri. A bit too close to Dmitri, but it's not like that's an accident.

Not even Brian, who's on set today, will mind. Jason and Dmitri have become pretty close friends, after all.

“I agree,” Dmitri says, nursing his cup of coffee. He turns towards Jason, one knee on top of the couch, touching Jason's.

“We need to get him incarcerated.”

Dmitri looks confused, adorably so.

Jason smiles. “He needs to go to prison.”

“So he needs to do a crime,” Dmitri says.

“Or,” Jason returns, “there's something in his past that can get him arrested. A little fist-fight with me won't do.”

“He did a lot when in Russia, but America will not care for that, right?” Dmitri sighs. His eyes drop to the split in Jason's bottom lip, and Misha throws in an ad-lib, then, accompanied by his hand touching Jensen's jaw, thumb running over the sensitive skin under his bottom lip for a split second. “How's your lip?”

“It's alright, don't worry,” Jason smiles, and Jensen feels giddy on his character's behalf. “Still, we might find something that'll get him deported to Russia. Do you know some people in Russia you could call? Who might have some dirt on him?”

Dmitri ponders the question for a long moment. Jason uses that pause to stare at him. Dmitri is easy on the eyes, pleasant to take in, and Jensen notices new things about Misha every other take. Like the freckle on his nose, or the way the right side of his lips lifts when he pronounces a word beginning with the letter H. There are a million of these little habits that make up Misha, and Jensen finds a lot of enjoyment in cataloging them.

“Can I use your phone? It will be expensive to call, but I know someone,” Dmitri states, and Jason hands him the cordless phone from the living room table.

Dmitri dials, calls, and has an entire conversation in Russian, which. Whoops.

Jensen tries to play it off as casual as possible when he puts his hands in his lap, hiding the bulge there. Damn, that accent is hot. Misha probably knows it, too, because he keeps stealing glances of him and his lips keep twitching.

Misha only fakes the conversation, of course, and it doesn't last more than a couple sentences.

But Jensen's eyes are drawn to Misha's, irrevocably, uncontrollably, and in the end, Dmitri finishes the chat on the phone smiling at Jason and nudging his knee.

“So?” Jason inquires when he's done.

“I got something. Or someone, to be exact,” Dmitri smirks and Jason feels excited for more than one reason.

Jason grins at Dmitri and nudges his knee back.

***

“I need to talk to you two,” Brian announces, pointing at Jensen and Misha. “My office, now.”

Jared makes an Oh-ho-hooo? gesture behind his back and snickers as he walks away. Sometimes, Jensen hates him. For now, he sticks to rolling his eyes and following Brian and Misha across the production area towards the office building.

“So I don't know if you two have heard of the recent debate, which happened mostly on the internet, about representation on TV,” Brian starts, eyebrows high on his forehead as he sits down in his office chair.

Jensen takes the left of his two guest chairs and shakes his head. “I haven't.”

“A bit,” Misha says with a shrug.

“Basically,” Brian starts, clucks his tongue before continuing to explain, deliberately choosing his words as he stares at his hands entwined in front of him on his desk, “A lot of our desired target audience finds the representation of homosexual, bisexual and other queer characters in the current media lacking or too clichéd. They don't want a token, flamboyant gay guy. They want believable homosexual relationships.”

“I see,” Jensen nods, and he already has a feeling where this is going, although he has no idea what to think about that.

“So, we thought that you two are handing us an opportunity on a silver platter, here,” Brian beams, cracking his knuckles, a habit of his that Jensen finds cringe-worthy.

“Like how?” he asks instead of wincing.

“Like, Jason and Dmitri have a great dynamic. You two have a lot of even greater chemistry, and believe me when I say, you don't want to see half of the tweets we get about you two,” Brian chuckles.

A smile slowly spreads on Misha's lips. “Okay. What kind of comments?”

Brian shrugs and huffs, visibly embarrassed. “It's all a variation of... 'They are so cute together!' or 'When will they finally fuck it out?' People are clearly seeing something here, between them, and after looking at the dailies of you two... honestly, now that I know, I can't un-see it. We couldn’t have planned it better if we had deliberately set you two up as one another’s love interests. That this relationship happened on accident and is so believable that people have actually started rooting for those two characters is the biggest hint we could ask for. People want this. And it's not just about representation, it's also because all of us in the writers room agreed that it's just... a great love story. One that deserves to be told.”

Jensen's heart is in his throat, for all the wrong reasons.

Misha looks at him, grinning, eyes alight, beaming, and Jensen will get to--

“Are you okay with us pursuing this story line that kind of set itself up?” Brian asks. “That's all I wanted to ask you.”

“Sure,” Misha nods. “Jay?”

“Uh, yeah,” Jensen manages to stutter, regaining his composure. “What are you planning?”

“You'll see,” Brian smirks, toys around with one of his pens. “We just go where the story takes us. First, we need to get a bit more explicit, you know, make the people who haven't seen it until now see and acknowledge it. That's our main goal for now, and the point where we are in the story now is ideal to set this up. From then on, it's the usual will-they-won't-they until they kiss. The end.”

Jensen nods. “So, what does that mean for us for now?”

“Simple,” Brian smiles. “Just act like you always do. Don't oversell it. We've got two very well established characters here who are well received by the fans. We don't need and we don't want to define you by your sexuality. You don't need to be the token gay guys. You – or, well, Jason and Dmitri to be exact – just happen to like each other very much. They've come a long way already, after initially disliking each other and forming an unlikely friendship.”

“Okay,” Jensen says.

“We can do that,” Misha says.

“Great,” Brian smiles at them.

***

The thing is, they didn't really have a say in this and they both know it. Brian decides what's best for the show, and what's best for ratings. But he's a skilled showrunner, and generally a nice guy, who knows how to use his contacts to the management of their channel. If they'd had concerns about his plans, they would've been allowed to voice them, and Brian would've talked it out with them until everyone was on the same page. He's that kind of guy.

While Jensen knows all of this on a rational level, he still feels a bit overwhelmed.

“You alright?” Misha asks from beside him, the smile from earlier nowhere to be seen any more.

“Yeah,” Jensen tries to sound nonchalant and probably fails hilariously. “Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with it, really. I mean it's my job, I would have to do it anyway. It's just a bit unexpected.”

“You know,” Misha says slowly, “It's probably as unexpected for Jason, too, so use that.”

“Yeah, the poor guy gets to be in the center of the drama storm for years without getting any himself, and when something finally happens, it's with a guy,” Jensen chuckles.

It kind of hits right home.

“But that's life, sometimes,” Misha nudges his elbow. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge. “Sometimes the best things happen as a total surprise.”

Jensen eyes him, doesn't quite know what to say to that. As a matter of fact, Misha is right. “Maybe,” he shrugs, just to tease Misha, and nudges him right back.

With a curious look, Misha scrutinizes him. “You know what I mean, right?”

Jensen hesitates, then answers honestly, “I guess, but I can't quite put it into words.”

“You wouldn't have considered sleeping with a man until I came along, is what I'm saying. Or would you have?”

“No,” Jensen shakes his head.

“And? Was it worth it?” Misha smiles and damn-- all the images of that night, their night, tumble through Jensen's mind.

“Absolutely,” he says, only a little breathless.

“And that's probably how Jason feels, too.”

Misha is right, of course he is.

Feeling inexplicably shaken, Jensen meets his eyes again. So very blue. Stubble, framing plush lips. Straight nose, laugh lines under high cheekbones.

It's only because Misha has just reminded him that he was his first. The first guy he had sex with.

Firsts are always special. No matter if it meant anything or nothing at all, no matter who they are to each other afterwards, firsts are special. He still remembers Rebecca Mayers, the first girl he kissed in first grade, because he didn't know any better and ended up in detention for it. He remembers Danneel Harris, his first girlfriend in high school. They made out behind the bleachers, and they lost their virginity together. After they broke up because Danneel went to college and Jensen went to drama school to L.A., he wasn't just heartbroken, he was devastated. But if he met Danneel on the street tomorrow, he'd still be fond of her.

Of course he has a soft spot for Misha, who introduced him to the art of same-sex loving.

But it doesn't mean anything beyond that.

Jensen is not in love. He doesn't fall in love, generally. He fell for Danneel, hard, back in the day. And, after her, he dated some girls, and fell in love with one or two of them. It has never impaired his judgment; Jensen likes to think that he's a very rational person, and he has never fallen in love easily. There's not even a reason or a backstory to it – no girl broke his heart. No woman threw it to the ground and hit him where it hurt. He simply had never been that kind of person.

Trust is the key for him anyway.

As soon as there's trust, Jensen can give away his heart. Often, that takes a while. That way, Jensen has kept himself protected over the years.

He hasn't been lonely, not per se. Sometimes, yes. During Saturday evenings and American Idol re-runs on TV, maybe. While attending a friend's wedding, alone, maybe. But he never felt imperfect on his own – he was fine, on his own. No one could hurt him. He didn't feel like he needed someone to complete him, to make him better. He didn't feel bad.

Being single wasn't so bad. Isn't so bad, Jensen corrects himself inwardly. His life as an actor is stressful enough as it is.

But the thing is, Misha looks at him with these big, honest blue eyes, and Jensen feels like they're everything he never looked for and found anyway.

He's not in love, at least he knows that much.

That would be ridiculous.

***

“Hey, Susan,” Jason greets her and lets her into his apartment.

“Jason,” she hugs him, tiny arms wrapped around his middle. “How are you?”

“Good, come in.”

The moment Susan lets go to step past Jason is when her eyes turn big and her expression turns flabbergasted. “Dmitri? You're here?”

“Yes,” Dmitri waves at her from the couch. “Hello, Susan.”

“It's so great to see you, we were all so worried about you,” she gushes, then closes the distance to him with a few quick steps to hug him, too. “Especially Jason.”

“Hey,” Jason grumbles, but sits down beside Dmitri, leaving the armchair for Susan.

“What? It's true,” she teases him.

“Anyway,” Jason offers her some water, which she accepts. “We need to talk to you. We've got a plan how we could get Alexis behind bars, but we need your help.”

Her eyes go wide, then she nods, grimly. “Anything.”

“Awesome, I knew we could count on you,” Jason nods proudly.

“If I can bring that asshole down, I'm in,” Susan states, then reaches up to brush her blonde hair behind her ear, an old habit of hers. “What's the plan?”

“Well,” Dmitri starts. “So there's this girl, who Alexis hurt and harassed for over a year. When she got pregnant, she went through a lot of trouble to get an abortion, but in the end he held her hostage so she couldn't get it in time. He forced her to keep the baby, but she was so afraid of him that she never pressed charges, saying she didn't want to endanger her child, and she's been deep under the radar ever since. If you two were working together...”

“I see,” Susan nods again, a furrow between her brows, a harsh and determined expression on her face. “How do we get ahold of her?”

***

“Think it's gonna work?”

“It'll have to,” Jason sighs, then leans against the door he just closed behind Susan. “I have faith in her.”

“If you have faith in her, I do too,” Dmitri states.

“Good.”

A hand lands on Jason's shoulder, calloused skin and thick fingers and a reassuring squeeze. “Don't worry about it so much, my friend. It's gonna be alright.”

Dmitri copying Jason's speech patterns makes Jason's lips twitch. “Yeah.”

They stare at each other for a long while before Jason says, “I just hate to send her into the den of the lion like that.”

“The what?”

“Into a dangerous situation. You know what Alexis is capable of.”

“We will be there to protect her.”

Jason nods. “Hopefully.”

The hand clamps down a bit harder, pulls Jason forward and flush against Dmitri's chest, while his other arm wraps around Jason's waist. A gesture of support, of comfort, of affection.

Jason rests his chin on Dmitri's shoulder and sighs a deep sigh of relief.

“Thank you for being here.”

“Of course.”

***

It doesn't particularly help the chaos of feelings in Jason's mind that they need to repeat that scene six times. Six tender hugs and words spoken softly into Jason's ear, the thump of a heartbeat against his, strong hands stroking over his skin.

By the last time, Jensen is admittedly pretty stunned. When they lean back from the hug, he stares openly at Misha, and only notices after a few moments that his lips have dropped open and Misha's eyes have shifted to them. He quickly bites his bottom lip, then releases it and forces a smile.

Shields up. Red alert.

Everything tells him he should be careful. Everything but his stupid, treacherous heart, hammering away in his chest.

Misha feels good in his arms.

***

“Okay, so I've been watching this from the sidelines long enough,” Jared starts after pizza, ice cream, and his second Bud Light. “What's going on with you and Misha? And don't say there's nothing, I won't buy it again.”

“Uh,” Jensen stutters, then takes a sip of his own beer. “There really is nothing?”

“But you can't tell me there hasn't been anything in the past. Something happened between you two.”

Jensen hesitates, then screws up his face. As the one person he can't lie to – as far as he knows, and he hasn't tried lying to Misha so far – of course Jared has to ask something like that. “That was one time,” he groans.

“That's the way the best stories start. Spill the beans, Ackles,” Jared grins, stuffing his face with potato chips.

Jensen rolls his eyes as he toys with the label of his beer. “We slept together, okay, like, months ago. When he was written off the show, before he came back.”

“No way,” Jared's jaw drops. “I expected something like a kiss, a real one, or a confession, but... okay, that actually explains a lot.”

“Like?” Jensen challenges him.

“Like the way you look at him. Like the way he looks at you.”

“You know, despite the fact that we're all working on the set of a daily soap, that doesn't include our own lives,” Jensen grimaces.

“What? As cheesy as it sounds, it's true,” Jared shrugs and grins. “It's nothing to be ashamed of, I mean, Misha is a good-looking guy.”

Jensen raises an eyebrow.

“Don't worry, I learned my lesson,” Jared chuckles. “Just don't repeat my mistakes.”

“Yeah, d'uh, it's not like we're together or want to be, you know,” Jensen snorts, dry and flat. “There's nothing happening. We're not dating, we're not in love, we're co-workers who get along just fine and that's all there needs to be.”

For a few long moments, Jared just looks at him.

“You don't believe me.”

“Nope,” Jared deadpans. “Not for a second. See, I know how it is. I've known you for a while, and I bet you haven't slept with another guy ever before.”

“Yeah, so?”

“He's your first. You don't just cut that out.”

It's like the universe's biggest joke to hand these words back to him. “Yeah, but you can deal with it, especially when there's a working relationship and a job on the line.”

“How will you deal with kissing him during scenes?”

“I'm an actor, I'll pull it off.”

Jared shakes his head at him in silence, the look in his eyes saying how much he disagrees with Jensen. Just you wait and see, his eyes say, but he doesn't add anything.

“Anyway, how did it happen?” Jared asks. “I'm curious.”

With a quirk of his lips, Jensen remembers that evening all too well. “We went out to get a beer, because it was his last day on set. And suddenly, there was this--” Jensen breaks off, gestures with both hands to encompass the chemistry, the sexual energy, whatever, “-- and we ended up at my apartment.”

Jared smirks. “He swept you off your feet. Oh my god, that is so cute.”

“Shut your mouth.”

Jared just continues to smile the smile of the truly smug.

“Don't look at me like that,” Jensen snarks.

“Are you bisexual?” Jared asks, straightforward.

“I guess. Not that that has anything to do with Misha.”

“Oh, it has everything to do with Misha. Maybe you should try talking to him, he might have something interesting to say,” Jared suggests. “Just... consider it.”

Jensen hums, then grimaces. “Look, can we talk about something different? Please?”

Jared sits up, squaring his shoulders. “You watched the game last Monday?”

***

“Alright, so we've got,” Pam points at Jensen, then at Misha, “Jason and Dmitri, right here, Dmitri behind the back door to the coffee shop. Susan and Alena right here at the table in the middle. Alexis behind the entrance door. Here's how we're gonna get this done.”

She proceeds to explain how they should act out the scene in one go, just to make it easier for all of them on screen. It's a risk, they normally don't have time to do long, uncut shots like this one.

“This is the key scene, but I don't think I need to explain that to you,” Pam finishes. “Now, on your mark. Ready? Cameras rolling. And action.”

The scene starts easy enough, with Jason serving the two women coffee and cake while the two bond over how they've been screwed over by Alexis, both literally and figuratively. They don't even get to plot out a revenge, because the object of their revenge steps up to the door right then.

Dmitri is immediately behind the counter, beside Jason.

That's when Jensen's scene starts.

He turns around and pins Dmitri to the side of the door to the back room, one hand clamped over his lips, leaning in closely while watching Alexis from the corner of his eye.

“Are you insane? He can’t see you!” Jason hisses right into Dmitri's ear. They're too close, in a too tight space, and Jensen feels Misha's chest rise and fall under his arms. “You should be in the back room.”

“I wanna--” Dmitri starts, too loud, too soon, through Jason's fingers.

“No,” Jason insists around a sigh. “I don't want for you to get hurt, alright?”

Dmitri stares grimly at the place where Alexis is, then sighs too. By now, Jason's hand has shifted to his shoulder, holding him steady.

“Then what can I do?” Dmitri asks after a second's hesitation.

“Run around the building and if he starts anything funny, lock the front entrance. Return through the back door and lock it, too. So he can't get away when I need to call the police.”

“Yes,” Dmitri receives the keys from Jason, who presses them into the palm of his hand, holding it for just a second too long.

“Take care so he doesn't see you. Watch out if things get hairy.”

“Hairy?”

Jason rolls his eyes fondly. “Dangerous.”

Dmitri nods.

Now, the script calls for Dmitri to say, 'Be careful.' Misha surprises Jensen with how he decides to change it – he doesn't say a word, just cups Jensen's cheek and smiles before he leaves. Jensen is – and the look probably fits Jason well – utterly dumbstruck. Damn those blue eyes and that adoring smile and – really, damn Misha.

Pam hollers from behind the camera, effectively throwing Jensen out of his funk. “Nice! We're gonna print that one!”

Two scenes later, Alexis gets to throw the bitchfit that he just waited to throw, at the two scared women. Jason steps in to throw Alexis out of his shop, but Alexis refuses. By that time, Jason has already made eye contact with Dmitri behind the door.

Alexis is trapped.

Speaking of. “Get out of my way, Jason, or you're gonna regret it.”

“That so? Why?” Jason challenges him, both hands at his hips, defiant stance, head held high.

“This is not a fight you want to get between.”

“This is not a fight I want to have in my shop,” Jason corrects him in a sharp tone. “Get out and leave them alone.”

Dmitri is back, standing at the door to the back room, watching. Jason tries to not look at him, tries to keep him hidden as long as possible.

“You have no idea what they're capable of,” Alexis growls, a last warning.

Jason doesn't budge a single inch. “I know what you're capable of, that's enough.”

“I swear I've had it up to here with you, asshole,” Alexis spits, then throws the first punch, sending Jason flying into the table behind him.

That's when Dmitri is there, jumping Alexis from behind, keeping him immobilized by holding his arms behind his back. He growls something in Russian, and Alexis flinches.

“You?” he roars. “How dare you!”

“How dare you hurt my friend,” Dmitri hisses, an edge to his voice that hits something inside Jason, too. It's hot, is what it is. “My friends,” Dmitri adds, correcting himself.

“I'm sorry that I damaged the goods,” Alexis snarls, trying to weasel out of Dmitri's sturdy grip, but finding himself unable to. “I'm sure your boyfriend will survive.”

Jason growls, but that's about all he can manage right now.

Dmitri doesn't correct him, just seems completely unfazed as he holds a struggling Alexis against the counter of the coffee shop.

That's when the policemen in front of the shop interrupt the scene, and Jason gathers himself up from the ground to open the door for them.

Alexis gets arrested for assault, among other things, because now that Alena knows Susan, the two have decided to press charges against him. With the lot of them as witnesses, Alexis is sure to go to jail.

They give Jason and Dmitri a short little scene to finish the episode.

It's just the two of them in the back room, Dmitri with a cotton pad in his hand, dabbing at Jason's black eye.

Dmitri's smile is soft when he mutters, “So I need to fix your face again. Hate it when that happens.”

Jason chuckles. “Why?”

“Your face is too... pretty is the word, I guess. To be messed up.” Dmitri frowns a bit, but the expression softens when Jason winces at the next contact of iodine and fresh wound.

“Geez,” Jason rolls his eyes, but chuckles, “Thanks. Well, you heard him, he's sorry for messing up your boyfriend.”

Dmitri seems completely unimpressed. “About that. What's so special about that word? Is it implying something?”

Jason tilts his head, amused. “Well, yeah. It implies that we're together, as partners. Lovers.”

“Hm,” Dmitri hums, then turns around to get a fresh gauze pad for the cut under Jason's eye, fixating it with a piece of tape before he hands Jason a bag of frozen peas and a towel. “Hold this against your eye, it'll get better.”

“I know,” Jason huffs, still watches Dmitri closely. He's curious as to why there hasn't been more of a reaction from Dmitri at the accusation, but when none comes and Dmitri only pushes the bag closer to Jason's eye, he can't help it any more. “Aren't you bothered by it?”

“Why would I be? Sure, you and I are not... boyfriends, but there's a reason I left Russia, you know. Not only for Alexis.”

Jason stares, lips slightly agape.

Dmitri stares right back, a mischievous smirk curling his lips.

“You're gay?” Jason asks, in the end, to clarify it for the dullest of their viewers.

Dmitri shrugs. “Yes.”

“Ah.”

Jensen makes sure that Jason's eyes follow each and every move Dmitri makes, follow the line of his neck as he stretches to look at something behind his back, follow his fingers curling around a glass of water, follow the swing in his hips as he walks around the room.

Damn, he can see what Jason sees in the guy.

***

Misha falls down onto the bar chair beside him and sighs. “I'm having a déjà vu.”

“Sort of, yes,” Jensen laughs and accepts the pint of beer that Misha pushes towards him with a grateful nod.

“So, season wrap.”

And the rest of the crew went home, exhausted, since it's already 2 a.m.

“Yeah.”

“What are you going to do for summer break?”

Jensen huffs, without humor this time. “You mean the four weeks we get off before we have to be back here? Not much. What about you?”

“I'm gonna sleep for like, fifteen hours first,” Misha yawns. “Let's see how many episodes I even get for next season.”

“Oh, now that you get to hook up with Jason, I'm sure you'll get a quite a few,” Jensen winks, then takes a sip from his beer.

Misha grins and tries to hide it without success. “Yeah, that's going to be fun,” he winks back. “I have to admit, I'm kind of jealous of Dmitri.”

“That so?” Jensen shoots him a challenging look, without really knowing why. All he knows is that this, with Misha, it's easy and he enjoys it tremendously. It's teasing, testing, flirting. It feels amazing.

“Mhm,” Misha hums, a lopsided smile now on his lips. Damn, those lips. “My eyes are up here, by the way.”

Jensen quickly averts his eyes. “Now you're just copying Pam's lines.”

Misha perks up at that, baffled. “Wait. Was that a note you got from Pam?”

“Yes, um. A while back,” Jensen admits, caught off guard. “During the bathroom scene.”

Misha, that asshole, just starts to laugh. Loud, unabashed, head thrown back, and Jensen doesn't know if he wants to lean in to suck at Misha's throat or to slap him upside the head as a reminder to cut it out.

In the end, he just sits there, left hand curled around his glass of beer, right arm propped up against the bar, his chin in the palm of his hand, watching Misha, taking him all in, imagining--

Imagining.

Misha focuses back on him, and there's a heat in his eyes that goes straight to Jensen's dick. Having another man's attention on himself like this was, well, not completely new, but it's Misha and Misha has always been kind of intense in all the best ways.

The bar is pretty stuffy today. Jensen is sweating, but then again, it's June.

June in California. That's why.

“Good to know,” Misha smirks to himself before he takes a drink, then licks the foam from his upper lip, eyes never leaving Jensen's.

Jensen feels even hotter, feels how heat creeps its way up his cheeks.

He quickly masks it by taking a drink himself, and only notices afterwards that while he managed to avert his eyes from Misha's, he's unconsciously biting his bottom lip. When he looks over, he finds Misha staring at his lips. It should not give him the rush of adrenaline, the rush of arousal down his spine, that it does.

Misha has him wrapped around his little finger and Jensen doesn't know if he should mind.

Except that maybe it's the other way around, too, if Misha's look is anything to go by.

Except that maybe this little game of cat and mouse isn't just a challenge.

Jensen catches Misha's eyes and smiles, slowly, like he would at a girl he really liked, holds his gaze for several seconds until Misha is a blushing mess. It's fun to screw with him, on and off camera. It's flattering how responsive Misha is.

Slowly, Jensen trails his fingers up the side of his glass of beer, catches Misha tracking the move. It's suggestive, tempting to just grab Misha and repeat what they'd done the other night. Jensen isn't against it, per se, but they had agreed on that night having been a one-time thing. Not explicitly, but with conclusive behavior. So he doesn't exactly want to re-heat old feelings. This is okay, what they're doing, because it's just fun and games and heated glances between friends.

That's when Misha leans in, the smirk on his lips a bit subdued, but incredibly self-assured and beyond gorgeous. “How about you stop fighting it?” he mutters into Jensen's ear and that's definitely not fair.

“I'm not fighting it,” Jensen shakes his head, admittedly a bit confused. “You opened my eyes, I'm okay with who I am.”

Misha blinks a few times, still too close, one elbow on the bar as he looks at Jensen. “So, how about... you, me, my bed, give or take ten minutes?”

Jensen considers it. He really does. “As tempting as it is,” he says, “I think we'd better not.”

If Misha is disappointed, he doesn't let it show. “Why?”

“Well,” Jensen shrugs. “One time is a one night stand. Two times is a thing.”

“And you're scared of making it a thing?” Misha quirks an eyebrow at him. He's still trying to win Jensen over, head tilted and lips pouty and so, so tempting.

“I'm afraid that making it a thing will make things awkward, you know. We recovered pretty well from that first one, and we've got a good working relationship. I'd hate to lose that,” Jensen explains, reasoning despite the need flaring hot inside of him, the urge to just grab Misha and decide to fuck it all.

“I'm pretty sure we're both mature enough to handle that,” Misha tries.

“Think about what happened to Stephen and Jared,” Jensen reminds him.

“We don't need to repeat their mistakes. Plus, they were a real couple, living together and everything.”

Jensen snorts, can't help it. “I don't even know how and if I could live with a man. It's just a strange thought for me.”

“Don't knock it 'til you tried it,” Misha smiles. “I'd be interested, anyway.”

“What is this, be my boyfriend, yes, no, maybe, please don't pick more than one?” Jensen jokes easily.

“Kind of,” Misha says, still smiling as he rests his chin in his hand, fingers tapping against his stubbled cheek. “For now, let's keep it at: Do you want to have sex with me all night long?”

His voice is a deep rumble, lowered intentionally, and god does it hit all of Jensen's buttons. “Do I want to? Yes. Is it the smart thing to do? Probably not.”

“So what do we do instead? Stay here, talk about sex?”

“Why not?”

“'cause it'd make me horny and you're not exactly helping with that either, hot stuff.”

“You're still trying,” Jensen notes amused.

“Of course I am,” Misha grins. “You just admitted to wanting to have sex with me. I'd be stupid to let that slide.”

Jensen gives him a long, thoughtful look, but when Misha's expression turn to almost too hopeful, he shakes his head. “Sorry. Besides, who says we're not just gonna mess up the memory of that first night? It was a pretty nice roll in the sheets we shared there. So what if the second night sucks because it can't live up to the expectation? That'd be a shame.”

“I can't decide if you're trying to compliment me or insult me, Ackles,” Misha replies, eyes squinting. He looks like a grumpy teddy bear and Jensen kind of wants to cuddle him.

“Compliment. Mostly,” Jensen chuckles.

Misha snorts and elbows him in the side. “Ass. Although I see your point.”

“See?” Jensen smiles triumphantly.

“But by that logic, no couple should even have sex anymore.”

“I wouldn't know, I haven't been in a relationship in forever,” Jensen shrugs.

“Really? Your last girlfriend?”

“Broke up with me three years ago because she moved to Vancouver and didn't want to lead a long-distance relationship. You?”

“My last partner was a guy entirely out of my league, closeted too, and when I went to do 'Among Us', he told me he didn't want to get involved into that by proxy and no amount of explaining on my part would convince him that he's overreacting. Although our relationship had been strained before that, I have to say. My last girlfriend was before that one, but that was barely two months of dating.”

“Do you generally tell the people you're dating about you being bi?”

Misha nods. “Not as a rule of thumb, but if it's assumed that I'm gay or straight, I tell them. Some just know, and some people have a serious problem with bi guys, so be careful who you tell.”

“Problems like what?”

“The usual. Can't we just choose men or women, we're greedy, I'm not dating a guy who might cheat on me with another guy. I actually heard that last one from that girl I only dated for two months.”

Jensen just shakes his head in incomprehension.

“Also, get used to everybody thinking that you're fucking anything that moves,” Misha adds. “Which, as we just established, is unfortunately for me not the case.”

“Yeah, well, I didn't want to tell you like this, but I have standards,” Jensen teases.

Misha kicks his shin under the counter, but he doesn't even try to make it hurt. As it is, Jensen just starts laughing.

And just like that, the world rights itself.

***

A week before filming the new season starts, they have a week of going through interviews for various magazines and news and gossip websites.

It's the same procedure as every year.

Well, basically.

Except this year, last season happened.

About every second interviewer asks Jensen during his one-on-one sessions if there's more Jason and Dmitri interaction to be expected, and how refreshing it is to see someone becoming Jason's friend after years of him being more or less on his own.

That's not the weird part, though.

The weird part comes in the form of a blonde lady from some kind of fansite, god knows Jensen wouldn't know because there are corners of the internet he never needs to see. She's nice and asks a couple general questions that he's answered before – Yes, he's excited for next season, even though it's kind of sad that Jared won't be there anymore but he's glad that Alexis won't bother them.

The weird part begins when she asks, “So we've seen Jason and Dmitri bond over getting rid of Alexis. What's next for those two?”

Jensen smiles, polite as always. “I guess they finally get to enjoy a less strenuous life as roommates now that things are cleared. I have only read the first two scripts so far, but they are both still very much in the picture together.”

“Great,” she nods, peeking at her notes. “So what if Susan tried her chances with Jason again, now that all of the drama with Alexis has blown over? What would his reaction be?”

Jensen has a hard time concealing his frown. Instead, he replies as pleasantly as possible, “Jason doesn't carry a torch for Susan, if that's what you mean. There are no feelings, except those for a friend. And don't get me wrong, that's great, and they're great friends. They're good for each other, you know? But they're not romantically interested in each other, which I think was a nice change, and it was well handled how the writers addressed that last season.”

“Ah,” she nods again, sounding sarcastic.

Jensen can't help it, he quirks an eyebrow at her, which makes her huff in amusement and something else underneath. Jensen can't quite put his finger on it. “What is it?”

“It's just-- how do I put this,” she starts, tapping her pen against her bottom lip before she looks back up again. “Let me just say up front that I don't want to insult you in any way or form. But there have been rumors among a certain part of the fans, about the nature of Jason's and Dmitri's relationship.”

Jensen's heart does a little skip which is not that unpleasant. “Yeah?”

“They imply that the subtext could be interpreted as Jason and Dmitri becoming, you know... a couple. They even made a 'ship name' up, as they call it – DmiJay, like Dmitri slash Jason.”

“And?” Jensen shrugs, tries really hard to seem nonchalant about it. This is great news, even thought the interviewer seems to be more skeptical and disapproving than he himself feels.

“Well, that wouldn't really make sense, right? Since Jason is straight, and all. I mean, we've seen him with a couple of women over the years, why would he be gay all of a sudden?”

Jensen takes a deep breath. And another one. He tries not to let the insensitive comment get to him, but it's hard.

Now he knows what Misha meant.

“It's called bisexuality. It's a thing.”

Her eyes go big and shocked as she apparently realizes her mistake. “Oh. Um. Sorry, I didn't mean to--”

“Actually, a lot of people discover their bisexuality later in life. Since they're also attracted to the gender they're expected to be attracted to, they easily shut that other part of themselves out until they're informed or mature enough to accept it. Also, contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to actually have any homosexual experiences to know you're bisexual.”

Mentally, Jensen pats himself on the shoulder. Maybe it was a bit rushed and he doth protest too much, but he couldn't leave that unsaid.

The interviewer is baffled at Jensen's google-fu.

So Jensen goes on. “So, to answer your question: why not? It's about time people get to see something like that on TV.”

“Um. You're right, I guess,” she stutters, then quickly changes the topic. “So you enjoy working with Misha?”

“Very much, yes.”

***

“Did they ask you too?” Misha asks when he catches Jensen afterwards.

Jensen grins. “About DmiJay?”

“Yeah. Isn't that cute as hell though?”

“What, the name?”

Misha chuckles, ducking his head almost seeming a bit embarrassed. “Yeah.”

Jensen shrugs and nods. “It is. I guess I have to look it up on the internet, see what people actually talk about.”

“You do that.”

***

“Dude.”

“What.”

Jensen clutches his cell phone in his hand, shifts it to his other ear so he can use the mouse of his computer. “I shouldn't have looked it up on the internet. Big mistake.”

Misha laughs into the speaker.

“Stop laughing, this isn't funny!” Jensen whines, only half joking. “There's porn of us! Like, drawings and digital art and – fanfiction, Mish! I found one where I'm like, an alpha werewolf with a huge cock and you're some... okay, I won't go into detail. But I did not need to know that those things existed!”

“Then you shouldn't have googled it,” Misha snorts, and damn him.

“You knew! And you didn't stop me!”

“Of course,” Misha cackles, now, and Jensen doesn't know if he wants to kiss him or punch him in the face.

“You...”

“Yes, Jay?” Misha's smirk is audible through the line, and Jensen settles on wanting to kiss him. Good thing he isn't here, he would probably go through with it.

“Fuck you,” Jensen throws back, although he can't help but smile, too. The insult lacks bite, he's aware.

“You wouldn't let me,” Misha counters and hangs up.

Jensen gapes at his phone, slowly starts to grin. Oh, it is on.

He types out a message to Misha, reading 'Well I've always got my left hand,' but deletes it again before sending it. A bit harsh. Dick pic? No, that's just way too cheap. And tasteless.

He ends up sending Misha a picture, a pretty simplistic one. Just his hand resting on his naked stomach, barely more than his torso and the waistband of his black boxer briefs visible in the frame. Soft lighting from the lamp on the bedside table, a hint of bed sheets underneath his body.

'Getting mixed signals here, Jay,' Misha answers after countless moments that Jensen spends staring at the screen, tapping it every few seconds so it doesn't go into screen lock mode.

'Just messing with you,' Jensen replies, adds a winkey smiley to it.

Misha doesn't write back after that. Jensen is kind of disappointed.

He still jerks off to the thought of Misha in bed with him that night and manages not to feel the least bit guilty about it.

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