2 years later
Jensen flipped through folders on the counter. “Jare bear, do we really have to do this?” Jared kept staring at Jensen’s computer. Jensen had finally finished his book, which Jared had dubbed “the phantom novel”, and Jared had been reading it ever since. “Jared!” Jensen repeated.
“Huh?” Jared looked up. “Sorry baby, I just really love your story.” His smile was blinding and Jensen’s irritation ebbed away.
“Be that as it may, we should really look through these together,” Jensen replied. He gestured at the many binders and stacks of paper on the counter. “I don’t want to plan this whole damn thing by myself.”
“So needy.” Jared stood up and joined Jensen at the counter. Jared’s arms wrapped around Jensen’s waist and he kissed Jensen’s neck gently. “If I’d known you were going to be so demanding I might not have said yes to you.”
“You were dying to have me propose to you,” Jensen retorted. He played with the band on Jared’s finger. “Though if I’d known planning a wedding included binders and papers, I might not have proposed.”
“You were dying to propose,” Jared teased. “And I thought you were the girl in the relationship.”
“Fuck you, I’m masculine.”
“I never doubted your masculinity, Jenny.” Jared smirked at him and Jensen punched his shoulder.
“I hate you.”
“Funny words coming from my fiancé.”
Jared moved out to join Jensen two years ago, and Jensen still hadn’t become tired of waking up next to the giant. He loved him so much it hurt sometimes. “I love you, Jared.”
“I love you too, Jen. So much.”
Jensen sank back into Jared’s warm embrace. Jensen and Danneel still worked at the little bookstore and it still was booming with business. Jared had quit his job with vigor and moved out to New York. His lovable personality quickly earned him a job at Jensen’s favorite bakery down the street. Who knew Jared loved to bake? And the free cupcakes were a bonus.
“Did you ever think you were going to get married before, Jare?”
Jared hummed into Jensen’s neck. “Sure. Though, maybe not to someone who didn’t believe in love and complained about everything.”
“I do not complain about everything!” Jensen protested. “And I love you!”
“I know. It makes me wonder what I did to deserve someone as amazing as you. What makes me stand out from every other guy in the world?”
Jensen turned in Jared’s arms so they could press their foreheads together. “There’s no way you could ever be compared to any other guy in the world. You’re…” Jensen didn’t know how to describe the person he loved most in the world. “You’re my Jared.”
Jared chuckled. “You’re my Jensen. My adorable, funny, fantastic Jensen.” Jared kissed his nose.
The two of them had moved into a studio apartment by Washington Square Garden. It had lots of windows and allowed pets, which fit into Jared’s plan of getting dogs once they were married. When their lunch schedules synched up, Jensen and Jared would sit in the park and eat without really speaking. Just enjoying each other’s company.
“Did you ever think you were going to get married?” Jared asked.
“No,” Jensen replied immediately. “I didn’t think anyone would ever stick around long enough to love me.”
Jared’s arms wrapped tighter around Jensen. “God, Jensen, there is so much to love about you. I loved you from the minute I met you. I just wish you could see how much to mean to the world. To me.”
Jensen buried his face in Jared’s collarbone. “You tell me every morning.”
“But you still don’t believe me.”
“I believe you,” Jensen lied.
“Lying to your fiancé, Jensen?” Jared teased. “This could possibly damage our engagement.”
Jensen laughed and slung his arms around Jared. “I’ve never felt so happy.” He kissed Jared firmly. “I’ve never felt worth anything. And you come along… and you fucking flip my world upside down. And the weirder thing still is that I don’t mind. I’m so glad you came.”
Jared kissed Jensen’s head. “Me too, Jen. So fucking happy.”
Jensen reluctantly extracted himself from Jared’s grip. “Come on, baby, we’ve got to plan this thing.”
This ‘thing’ being our wedding? The single most important even in our lives?”
Jensen snorted. “Considering you’ve been sleeping or reading every time I want to plan it, I haven’t found a sense of enthusiasm.”
“That’s because I know what we’re going to do already,” Jared responded. “Clothes optional wedding, ice sculptures, releasing doves,” Jared raised his voice over Jensen’s laughter. “We’re going all out, baby.”
Jensen’s giggling died down. “You idiot. Chris would really take advantage of the clothes optional.”
“Might find him a wife.”
“Honestly, I think he’s still on his ‘enjoy life single’ track,” Jensen said. “But he’ll find someone.”
“We can encompass him into our family,” Jared suggested.
“No fucking way.”
Jared grinned. “Okay, no Chris. But seriously, we should have it in Hawaii.”
“Tom and Mike already did that!”
“But we met there,” Jared whined. “We fell in love there! On the beach, in bed, night swimming—it was all how I fell in love with you.”
Jensen wanted to get married there too. It was the most important place in their relationship. “I’ll think about it.”
Jared’s eyes lit up, because he knew Jensen would say yes eventually. He always gave in to Jared and it annoyed Jensen to no end. “I love you, Jen.”
“I said I’ll think about it. Not yes.”
“Close enough!” Jared chirped. “Now what’s next?”
“Um, we’ve got to…” Jensen eyed the binders. “We’ve got to go out to eat, because these things are pissing me the hell off. I’m craving cupcakes.”
Jared grinned. “Oh thank god, I thought I’d actually have to work at this shit.”
“Remind me why we’re getting married?”
“Because you love me,” Jared cooed, wrapping his arms around Jensen again. “Because I’m amazing. Because I make you laugh. Because I love you. Because we’re so happy together.” He peppered Jensen’s neck with kisses.
“Get off me, asshole.” He pushed Jared off him playfully. “So needy.”
Jared laughed, and it filled every hole in Jensen that had ever been there.
Jensen and Jared ate their cupcakes underneath a tree in Washington Square Garden. Jensen had gotten plain chocolate, as usual, and Jared got some colorful, cocktail looking cupcake, as usual. Jensen always said that he and Jared were like their cupcakes. Jensen was plain and repetitive and Jared was spontaneous and adventurous. Jared would reply every time that Jensen was original and special, and there was nothing plain about him.
It never failed to melt Jensen’s heart.
Jensen leaned against Jared’s firm shoulder. “Maybe we should do what we always do with our wedding.” Jared’s brows crinkled and Jensen elaborated. “Make it ours. Unique, special, different. We never thought we’d be here with anyone. Let’s do it our way. Not clothes optional,” Jensen said quickly when Jared’s mouth opened. “Let’s do it together. How we always do things.”
Jared’s face lit up like a Christmas tree and Jensen was reminded why he loved him. “Okay, Jen, sounds perfect.”
Jensen smiled. “Good. You and me, baby, till the end.”
Jared never thought he’d fall asleep every night looking at the prettiest guy in the world, and wake up next to him. He couldn’t possibly imagine having a bagel ready in the morning for him and fixing coffee for someone just the way they liked it. It was all still new to him, even after two years.
Jared wished he could show Jensen how much he meant to Jared. Jensen was the core reason Jared fell asleep with a smile and woke up early to kiss him goodbye. The sunlight filtered through the windows and illuminated his face. It was what Jared liked best about having a condo with so many windows. Every morning it would look like Jensen was an angel, golden and pure. Jared would never be as elegant as Jensen, but he was okay with that. Jensen was perfect enough for the both of them.
Jared twisted the ring around his finger. Jared still remembered how he felt when Jared and Jensen had been sitting in Washington Garden eating cupcakes and Jared had bit something hard. The cupcake was Hawaiian themed and the little band had fallen into Jared’s hand. Jensen had looked so nervous. His green eyes were sparkling with uncertainty but the grip on Jared’s hand was tight. He’d hardly heard Jensen ask, “Will you marry me?” because he’d been so overcome with emotion. He’d remembered holding onto Jensen and hearing Jensen say, “I love you,” into his ear over and over again.
Jared was so lucky with this asshole.
He wished he could just tell Jensen that. He’d hopped his tear-filled yes had been enough, but Jared knew Jensen still felt meaningless when he looked in the mirror. He knew that Jensen thought Jared would leave him, that Jared would find someone better. Jared knew there was no one better. He wanted to take away the sad look in Jensen’s eyes and only see the smile.
After two years, the sorrow was finally starting to fade. It lifted Jared’s spirits in a way that he didn’t think was possible. “What are you doing to me, Jensen?”
“Feeding you a love potion,” came the sleepy reply. Jensen’s eyes opened and he turned to Jared. “It’s in the Chinese food.”
Jared laughed. “That’s why it tasted funny.”
Jensen smiled and curled into Jared. “Morning, Jare.”
“Morning baby.” Jared gave Jensen his usual good morning kiss. Jensen kept his eyes shut a little bit after he pulled away and hummed contently.
“You wanna lay in bed with me al day?”
“You ask that every day, Jen.”
“Someday you’re going to say yes to me.”
Jared laughed. “We’ll see, baby, we’ll see.”
“Love you, Jare.”
“Love you, Jensen.”
Jensen didn’t—couldn’t—ever imagine being as far gone as he was with Jared. It seemed impossible, his love for the tall man. But every time he saw Jared it seemed more and more rational.
Danneel was sitting on the counter and flipping through a tabloid. “I don’t understand how you read that trash,” Jensen said to her.
“It’s not trash. It’s informative gossip.”
“Trash,” Jensen repeated. “Or is it a way for you to fantasize about one of those movie stars being your boyfriend?”
Danneel swatted his head with the magazine. “You get engaged and become all high and mighty, is that the way it is Ackles?”
“It wouldn’t kill you to date. You and Chris could be fuck buddies, like you were in Hawaii.”
Danneel snorted. “I have standards.”
“Come on, it’d be cute. You and Chris, me and Jared, Tom and Mike. Romantic.”
Danni rolled her eyes. “More like a bad exert from a 90s sitcom. I’ll find a boyfriend on my own, but thanks for the concern.”
Jensen shrugged. “You’ll end up with him. I’m sure of it.”
“Didn’t know you were psychic, Ackles.”
“What kind of best friend are you if you didn’t know I was psychic?”
Danneel laughed. “Idiot.” She ran her fingers across her cellphone and then picked it up.
“Gonna go call Chris?”
She blushed. Jensen didn’t think he’d ever seen Danneel blush. “It’s just for the sex.”
Jensen’s laugh followed her out of the room.
Jensen bounced on the balls of his feet in what Jared called “the green room”. It was the little room where the grooms—who weren’t allowed to see each other—would be getting ready separately in order to walk down the isle. They’d bickered about whom would be the one to walk down the isle before coming to an agreement that they would just do it together.
Like everything they did.
Jensen didn’t think he’d ever been this nervous in his life. His heart was pounding and he felt like fleeing. “I can’t do this.”
“Can’t back out now, Jared’s waiting for you!” Tom’s voice said from the doorway.
Jensen turned to look at his best man. “What if I’m making mistake?”
“You’re not.” Tom placed an arm on Jensen’s shoulder. “I was petrified before I married Mike. Absolutely terrified. I almost bolted. But when I saw Mike, waiting for me…” A dreamy look overcame Tom’s face. “It was like every worry I ever had just vanished. He was my sun and my moon and my world. If Jared is that to you, then I promise, getting married will be the best thing you’ve ever done.”
Jensen fiddled with his bow tie. “What if he stops loving me?”
“If he hasn’t stopped loving you by now, he never will.”
Jensen smiled. “I love him.”
“I know. It’s written all over your face.”
Chris’s head popped into the room. “Yo, losers, we’ve gotta get this show on the road.”
“Just giving Jensen a pep talk,” Tom said.
Chris grinned. “Dude, Jared is bouncing like a puppy. It’s sickeningly adorable the way he talks about you. You’re freaking him the fuck out, get out there into the isle and walk down it with him!”
Jensen grinned. “Eloquent.”
“Hey, you’re the writer. I just want to make sure you don’t fuck this up.”
“I won’t,” Jensen said confidently. “This is one thing I’m actually sure about.”
“Well, I’m sure you’re wasting him. Get your ass out there, Ackles!” Chris exclaimed. Tom gave him a reassuring wink and left Jensen alone for a few minutes.
He took a deep breath. “I can do this.” Jensen left the green room to find Jared outside waiting for him.
“Ready, baby?” Jared asked softly. God, he was so fucking handsome in his tux. Jensen forgot how to speak for a moment and Jared raised an eyebrow. “Jen?”
“Oh! Yeah, no I’m ready. Can’t wait.”
Jared smiled and offered his hand. “Well then come on, dumbass, we’ve got an alter to get to.”
Jensen took his hand and looked into Jared’s hazel eyes. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Jared squeezed his hand. “Forever.”
Jensen felt his heart fill with an impossible amount of adoration. “Forever.”
Jensen squeezed Jared’s hand as he walked down the isle and saw people dabbing at their eyes. Danneel caught his eye and was almost sobbing. Jensen gave a little smile at all this people around him. All the people that made him believe he was worth something. All the people that loved him despite his flaws. And Jensen looked at Jared and saw the grin on his face. That idiot made him believe in love, and Jensen vowed never to forget the way he felt about him.
And Jared, without even knowing it, filled the hole in Jensen’s chest. It never ached again.