Word count: 9800
Notes: Written for the 2016 round of spn_reversebang. Many, many thanks to mangacat201 for being such a patient, generous collaborator, so graciously dealing with the flakiest writer to ever be flaky, and for providing us with an effing awesome and inspirational vid. Thanks also to our darling mods, and to dugindeep for saving my ass and the ass of this fic at the lastest of last minutes.
Honestly, ignore me and go watch this wonderful vid.
Summary: Jensen's been deeply undercover before, but he's never been quite this deep.
The chains clank against the table and the cuffs around Jensen's wrists dig in with a cold, metallic bite. A closed-circuit camera is mounted in the far corner near the ceiling, its little red eye blinking away.
"Hey, Ackles. How long's it been?" Whitfield leans over the table, palms pressed flat to the surface of it. His badge hangs around his neck and it swings like a clock pendulum close to Jensen's face. Tick tock. "Never thought I'd see you on that side of the table."
"Can I get a cigarette?" Jensen asks. "Maybe a cup of coffee if it's not too much trouble?"
"And here I thought you gave those up." Whitfield points at him with the corner of a thin portfolio, a golden seal embossed on the slick black cover and edges of papers sticking out of it as if he'd been in a rush when he stuffed it. Property of the state, just like Jensen.
"Yeah, well." Jensen tries to spread his hands, an abortive little gesture since the cuffs will only let him move so far, the chain fed through a small loop in the table pulled taut. "There are a lot of things you thought I gave up."
Everything is vaguely red from the neon clogging the windows of the bar and the music is too loud. The place smells like sweat, a hundred different kinds of liquor, the faint baseline of grease from some fryer in the back.
A bookie is conducting business from the prehistoric payphone in the corner, flipping through a tiny spiral notebook. It's an old-school mentality that Jensen can really appreciate. There's a poker game in the back room and Jensen knows the password to get into it, but that's not what he's after.
Jensen's hunched on a stool, elbows on the bar. He's nursing his double bourbon, swirling it so the ice melts faster. The moment his mark walks in through the door, Jensen switches to beer.
He's spent hours and hours studying the guy, learning lists of known aliases and well-worn alibis. Grainy black-and-white photos of him are spread out on Jensen's coffee table at home, and gigabytes of fuzzy surveillance video sit on his hard drive at the station, and none of it has given him a good idea of what it's like to be in the same room with the guy. Six-foot-four looks a lot smaller on paper.
Everybody on the force, from the locals to the state level, has heard about Jared. He's the heir apparent to a far reaching network of criminal activity, but you wouldn't know it to look at him. Plaid shirt rolled up to his elbows, warm smile and even warmer eyes. And while Jensen knows how to do this, has been around the block a time or two, and knows not to stare too long or too openly, there's something magnetic about the guy that makes it very hard to look away.
To Jensen, he's a door to kick open. One that will lead to a bigger door. There are a few scuff marks on his record as a juvenile, but even the stupid kid stuff dried up a few years ago, as soon as Jared had reached the age of majority. He's slippery, nothing sticks to him, but Jensen bets that if he can get a good grip, Jared will lead him to bigger and better: A career-making bust.
Jared's confident, commanding, with a wink and a cowboy nod for the bartender as she passes over a beer, just before he announces to the men standing around the pool table, "I'm in the mood to lose some money, gentlemen."
This isn't the first time he's laid cash down on this particular set of rails. Jensen's done his homework and he's still a little surprised by the look of him. Jared's hair flops into his eyes, and his jeans hang low on his hips and look like they're a spin cycle away from busting open at the knees. He could be anyone, some grad student in need of some extra money for an ounce of pot or a keg of beer, looking for a way to pass the evening and line his pockets at the same time. His voice is a soft rumble and his smile is huge and bright.
Jensen wanders closer, smirking as Jared and his opponent talk smack at each other, until Jared takes notice of him. Their eyes catch, linger over-long, and Jensen picks up on the way Jared's gaze snags on his mouth, how he subconsciously rolls his bottom lip between his thumb and forefinger, and this is something that Jensen hadn't been banking on, this brand new route that just opened for him.
Games are lost and won, everything slightly skewed in Jared's favor, but nothing too obvious, like the guy wrote the handbook on hustling. The night is wearing on, the bar getting louder and more crowded. Jensen's keeping track. Jared's up a few hundred bucks and right now he's a couple of lucky shots away from losing this particular round, at least until Jensen ambles up to the table, lays a neat roll of cash on the rail and says, "Dibs on whoever wins."
Jared cocks his head and considers Jensen, a small quirk to the corners of his mouth and an even smaller nod. Abruptly, he quits screwing around, drops every ball into the pockets with barely a pause to line them up, then sinks the eight-ball into the side pocket even though the corner is an easier shot.
"Show-off," Jensen says. The beers he's been nursing all night have made his tongue loose, his smile easy and sloppy. He grabs a cue from the rack on the wall, tests the balance, and chalks the tip.
"Maybe," Jared tells him as he sets up the next game, "but it wouldn't work if you weren't paying attention."
Jared introduces himself, hands over his real name—first name only—so Jensen's obliged to do the same, while he feels the pinpricks of curious eyes on the back of his neck. With his hand still closed around Jensen's, Jared tilts in close, lets his deep dimples come out to play.
"Break, brother," Jared whispers. "You look like you can give me something to work with."
Warmth is spreading all over Jensen's chest and it's not because of the beer. He has to reach up and up to pat the side of Jared's neck and he likes it.
"Don't worry, kiddo. I can hit it hard," Jensen says.
It's ridiculous, over-the-top flirting and Jared doesn't seem like he minds it, just lets loose a breathy chuckle and nods. "I'm sure you can."
Jensen breaks. The cue collides with a satisfying crack that he feels in his back teeth. The break earns him solids and he pockets a couple more then scratches when Jared leans down beside him.
"I never thought you'd ask," Jared says, pinwheels his stick while he walks a circuit around the table, a lazy saunter as he studies the layout. He lines up, and he's three shots in before Jensen realizes Jared is sinking them all in numerical order. Impressive.
"Show off," Jensen repeats.
"You're still paying attention." Jared grabs the wad of cash from the table and idly flips through it. Sliding in behind Jensen, he lifts Jensen's shirt a little then slips it into Jensen's front pocket. His chest is like a living, breathing brick wall against Jensen's back and his breath is warm on the nape of Jensen's neck as he says, "Keep your money. Use it to buy me something nice."
Leaning slightly into him, making sure that Jared's hips line up just right with the small of his back, Jensen asks, "Like what?"
"Oh, I don't know. An ice cream cone."
The song changes over to something ballsy and guitar-driven, Jensen thinks it's one of Jack White's side projects, and he notices that Jared's hand still hasn't left his hip and that Jared is beginning to sway a little, his thumb drumming on Jensen's hipbone.
"You wanna go again? No bets this—" Jared cuts off.
A clumsy lumberjack of a man staggers toward them. Jared had relieved him of a couple of fifty dollar bills earlier in the night. The guy had slunk away to drink off the dents in his ego and now he's back, slurring accusations, calling them cheats. He's red-faced and there's a foamy drop of spit in the corner of his mouth that makes Jensen's stomach clench.
"Nah, man," Jensen says. His first instinct is to diffuse the situation, academy training kicking in, propped up by the couple of years he'd spent moonlighting as a bouncer back when he'd first joined the force. "Never laid eyes on this guy in my life. Trust me, I'd remember."
"Besides," Jared picks up where Jensen had let off, "losing three games in a row that soundly? That one's completely on you. I hardly had to work for it." His voice is mild, relaxed. The rest of him isn't. He's tense at Jensen's back, solid and strung up.
The volume in the bar has lowered a few notches, necks craned in their direction, and this isn't the type of attention Jensen wants. Jared still hasn't let go of his hip and his fingers are digging in now. The whole thing feels nuclear and a destructive part of Jensen wants to see how it all plays out, wouldn't mind seeing Jared let loose if it comes to it.
The lumberjack snarls, meaty fist curling as he takes aim at Jensen's jaw. It's telescoped, sorely lacking the element of surprise and Jensen starts to block it, but Jared's got some reach on him, takes the guy by the wrist and bends it back in a way that's almost lazy. Bored. Lumberjack goes for a roundhouse with his dumb left hand and Jensen sidesteps it, pins the guy's arm behind his back, shoves his palm between the guy's shoulders so his jaw can find out what Jared's knee feels like.
All of it takes about three seconds. The drunk asshole is on the floor and Jared's grinning at Jensen, sharp, wicked, and spoiling for more. Someone nearby growls about how two against one really isn't fair. A chair scrapes across the floor. Two distinct sets of footsteps draw closer.
In a life that has been defined by violence, born and bred, Jensen has never had anyone block a punch for him like that. It floors Jensen neater than if he'd taken the actual hit.
The skin at the base of Jensen's skull starts to prickle. Someone's closing in behind him.
Jared's grin widens even more. "You wanna?"
"When did things start to go south?" Whitfield is thumbing through paperwork. It's a sloppy question. He has the answer right between his fingers.
"How far back do you wanna go?" Jensen shoots back, partially to prove a point and partially because he's getting sick of that smug expression on Whitfield's face. The way he looks like a cat in front of a bowl of warm cream. Jensen's ass is starting to go numb from this strict metal chair and still no one's managed to scrounge him up a cigarette yet. Not even a cup of coffee.
"As far back as you need to go."
"Well," Jensen starts, "I was thirteen the first time my kid sister came home from school with a black eye, and about an hour after that I figured out why you don't tuck your thumb in when you throw a punch." He holds his hands out in front of himself, stretches them as far as the chains allow, pops his right thumb out of joint and back in again. "Hasn't been quite the same since then. Neat party trick, though." He continues, "How's that cup of coffee looking? Got an ETA?"
Jared's shirt is soft under Jensen's hand, warm and slightly damp with sweat, and the chest beneath it is heaving from the six-block dash away from the bar, heart banging against Jensen's palm. Jensen's body has always processed violence and adrenaline the wrong way and he's half hard, dick pushing painfully at his jeans.
"You good?" Jensen asks, and his voice bounces off of the tall brick walls of the alleyway.
Jared's eyes are at half-mast and there's a soft curl to his mouth. He slumps against the wall, widens his stance and gives Jensen the room he needs to take another step closer. "Yeah, I'm good. You good?"
The first two knuckles on Jensen right hand feel mashed and some fucker had managed to land a lucky hit to his kidney, not hard enough to make him piss blood or anything, though. This isn't the first time a night has ended up like this. Besides, Jensen's had worse, so he nods.
There are a lot of things Jensen's done to uphold the law, some good, some not so good, and most of it downright shoddy. His moral compass is wobbly and doesn't point true north. He's reckless, knows what he looks like and the kinda effect it has on men and women alike, and he uses it. He's lost count of the number of backroom deals he's brokered, the people he's fucked, and the people he's fucked over. The number of chemicals he's shoved up his nose to land narcotics busts, the number of times he's sat back and watched bad things happen to good people without so much as a blink.
So it's nothing to pull Jared down and crash their mouths together, push his fingers into Jared's sweaty hair and hold him there, lick at Jared's lips until he can get inside. All in the line of duty. Jared makes a small, shocked sound the moment their tongues slide together. His hands fly up to cup the back of Jensen's head and his hips pump forward, and Jensen discovers that Jared's body reads danger the same way his does. The kiss is hot and filthy and Jensen thinks, I'm in. I'm in.
Before things can get too far, before Jensen has to drop to his knees on the gritty pavement, he breaks off and says, "You still good?"
Jared's mouth is shiny and wet, and he licks his lips before he says, "Yeah. Never better." He leans forward for another kiss, and Jensen stops him with a hand on his chest.
"You wanna take me somewhere?" The tactic is dodgy as hell, but in an interrogation room, they're gonna believe Jensen's version of events over a suspect's every single time.
"I got a place," Jared says, and yanks Jensen along the sidewalk. "It's not much, but it's nearby."
There's a liquor store on the way and Jensen ducks inside. He palms a bottle of whiskey, tucks it into the waistband of his jeans without breaking stride and then rifles through the freezer case near the front, picks out an ice cream sandwich for himself and one of those cones wrapped in paper for Jared. Those he pays for, and Jared snorts.
"I knew I'd like you," Jared says.
The place is a small studio apartment four flights up. It doesn't look lived in at all, and Jensen immediately pegs it as a safe house. A metal double bed is unmade in the corner, small table with a couple of chairs sits on a scuffed up parquet floor, nothing but a bag of frozen peas and ice in the freezer, a gallon of milk in the fridge gradually turning into a science experiment.
"What's your story?" Jared asks. He takes the bottle from Jensen and pours them each a glass. The stuff is rotgut, burns like hell. Jared drains his like it's water and goes for another.
"Don't have one. I was bored and my wallet was looking a little skimpy. Thought I'd raise my prospects around a pool table and you were as good a mark as any."
A smooth grin spreads across Jared's face, a half-shrug like he's not offended that Jensen thought he could take him. "Bullshit. Everybody has a story," Jared counters.
"Sounds like you want to tell me yours."
"C'mon now," Jared says, "I'm a taker, not a giver."
DIgging into his pockets, Jared throws Jensen's keys onto the counter, follows it up with two watches, a wallet, and some poor schmuck's lucky silver dollar. Jensen had felt Jared lift the keys when they'd kissed. The rest is a pleasant surprise.
"The watch on your wrist is yours. These two aren't and neither is the wallet. I checked. Real gold," Jared points out, picking up the watch that had formerly called Lumberjack's wrist home. "I'd been eyeing it up."
"Keep it. It'll look better on you anyway," Jensen offers.
"A petty thief and so generous, too," Jared says grandly, then continues, "no car key on your ring, so I'm guessing you don't own one."
"Why buy something when it's so easy to borrow?"
"Valid point." Jared laughs, turns serious on a dime. "You fight like someone who grew up doing exactly that. Nothing flashy. You get the job done. And you're not used to anyone having your back."
"You're a quick study," Jensen says. He inches up on Jared and hip-checks the counter. "Something tells me you've had to be."
Jared catches the corner of his bottom lip in his teeth for a second. "Oh yeah?"
"Yeah," Jensen says. He can play this game too, has the home field advantage. "You look like a college dropout, but you don't carry yourself like one. You walk into a room and you own it. You're used to people being afraid of you, and you really like it when they're not." With a wide sweep of his arm he continues, "You don't live here. There are at least three other house keys on your keyring, so I'm thinking this is a safe house, and you wouldn't have a safe house unless you needed one."
"I also admit when I'm wrong. There's nothing petty about you." There's speculation in Jared's expression. "Are you a cop?"
The question doesn't touch Jensen. Not even a blip. "Not a cop. Anything else you wanna know?" Jensen asks, mentally running through his staged wrap sheet, the long list of crimes only somewhat trumped up that he has memorized as thoroughly as his birthdate and badge number.
"Wouldn't mind finding out what you look like spread out on that bed over there." Jared empties his glass and places it deliberately on the counter. "How long it's gonna be before you let me suck you off, 'cause fuck, I really wanna suck you off."
Half a dozen shuffling, backward steps is all it takes to haul Jared across the room, about twice as many seconds to get their shirts off and their pants down around their ankles. The bed squawks under them and Jensen groans as Jared's dick presses against his, already hard and getting harder.
Jared kisses him, tongue slick and tasting like cheap whiskey and chalky ice cream. His hands are everywhere, roaming along Jensen's sides, reaching down to pull Jensen's legs up and make more room for himself between them, and he begins to move in a teasing grind.
"Nicest car you've ever stolen," Jared says, moving from Jensen's mouth to toy around with his nipple, work it between his teeth, nip and tug at it.
"Aston Martin, a '62," Jensen says. "Pretty as a picture, rag top, silver." He squirms under Jared's weight, bucks up against him, likes the idea that he'd have to fight for it to get free. "Biggest heist you ever pulled off."
Working his way down Jensen's body with his hands and his mouth, Jared murmurs against Jensen's stomach, "Four-hundred thousand from someone who sorely needed to get robbed."
"Fuck," Jensen says, mostly because Jared's finally kissed and licked his way down to his dick and has started to jerk him slowly, and also because Jensen doesn't understand who the hell would bother to keep almost half a million bucks laying around somewhere. "You're full of surprises."
"Didn't get to keep much of it, though." Jared's mouth is open and his eyes fixed on the sight of Jensen's dick as it appears and reappears in the tight ring of his fingers. His breath falls cool on Jensen's overheated skin. "Maybe I'll tell you about it one day. Y'know, when my mouth isn't so full." With that, he rubs the head of Jensen's cock against his mouth, smears precome all over his lips and licks at the slit.
Jensen's toes are curling, his jaw clenched shut and he's about to call Jared a fucking tease when Jared opens up and takes him in, the roof of Jared's mouth and the pressure of his tongue like hot, soft silk on Jensen's dick. Neither of them had thought to turn the lights down and Jensen's thankful for that, props himself on his elbows so he can see Jared better. Look at the line of his neck and the long dip of his spine, the way his ass clenches as he ruts against the mattress.
Jared fucks his mouth down on Jensen's cock, moans like Jensen's the one doing him a favor, lips stretched so pretty and wide. His tongue catches on the head, performs some small miracle and Jensen reaches out, fits his hand against the curve of Jared's skull, Jared's hair wrapped around his knuckles. Jared shifts, worms a hand under his body to get himself off and for a second the head of Jensen's cock slides against the inside of Jared's cheek, plainly visible and pushing into it. It's obscene, hotter than it has any right to be and Jensen lets his hand wander down to touch it, feel himself move inside of Jared's mouth.
Jensen pushes and pushes and Jared takes it, keeps his eyes on Jensen's face as he sucks him down deeper, lets Jensen slip a finger into his mouth alongside his cock and licks at that too. Nothing but pure, selfish need makes Jensen snap his hips up quick, shove so far in that Jared sputters and gags on him as he shoots, come leaking from the seal of Jared's lips, dripping down the shaft.
Abruptly, Jared rises up to his knees. His mouth is a mess, swollen and as darkly pink as his cock. Jensen tries to sit up, looking to do right by Jared and doesn't get the chance. Jared shoves him down, keeps his palm planted in the center of Jensen's chest as he looms above him and fucks into his own hand. He splatters Jensen's stomach with his come, breathing in rough, choked gasps then collapses beside him, uses the corner of the sheet to try and wipe Jensen off and mostly manages to just rub it into his skin.
Jensen doesn't mind. It beats shoving coke cut with baby powder up his nose.
Jensen dozes, wakes up to the sound of low mumbles and a taste in his mouth like he's been chewing on old tires. Jared's outlined against the hallway light, blocking the inched open doorway. He hadn't taken the time to put a shirt on and is talking to someone shorter than him, almost eclipsed by Jared's height and the span of his shoulders.
"The job's off," Jared's saying, "Jesus, Chad, you're a fucking cyclops right now, and that's not the kind of distraction we need."
Jensen recognizes the name from a list of Jared's known associates. A two-bit go-fer with a record riddled with small-time mayhem. A few months here and there inside behind bars.
Chad pushes past him, flicks the light switch by the door. Jared spins and now Jensen can see that he barely managed to pull his pants on, didn't bother with the top button at all. Chad stops. A cut is seeping blood across his nose and one of his eyes is in the process of swelling shut. The other one goes wide when it lands on Jensen.
It doesn't take a degree in forensics to add two and two, so there's nothing shy or even decent in the way Jensen rolls out of bed, discovers his boxers still hooked around his ankle and pulls them up.
"Top of the morning to ya," Chad says. "I'd shake your hand, but I got a pretty good idea about where it's been." The bag of peas in the freezer starts to make sense as the guy grabs it, sits down at the table, and presses it to his eye. Turning back to Jared, he says, "Are we good?"
Hesitating, Jared glances at Jensen, narrowing his eyes, and Jensen has a real bug under a magnifying glass moment. "Yeah, we're good."
"If we're gonna keep the timeline intact, we can't blow this one off," Chad says.
"I'm aware," Jared says calmly.
"Boss already has it out for me," Chad points out.
"I'm still aware," Jared repeats. He kicks the empty chair away from the table and falls into it, legs set in a wide sprawl.
"I've already got, like, seven strikes, and anyway, aren't you even gonna ask me what happened to my face?"
"I know you," Jared says. "It either had something to do with a girl or with money, or a girl and money, definitely wasn't your fault at all, because it never is, and come to think of it, you were just an innocent bystander in the first place."
With a nod and a small sniff, Chad says, "That just about covers it, yeah."
"Still doesn't solve our problem. It's a two-man job. I'm still gonna need a distraction."
Jensen has been quiet the whole time, crosses the room, grabs the bottle and tips the dregs of it into his mouth, swishes it around to clean his mouth out, spits into the sink then leans against the counter.
Chad hikes a thumb over his shoulder. "He's pretty distracting. And he's pretty."
Jared chews on his lips, lets the gears grind for a few seconds, and asks Jensen, "Do you own a tux?"
Whitfield slides a photograph across the table. It's blurry, shot from a downward angle, shows Jared with a gun in one hand and Jensen's ass in the other. Jensen has his elbow crooked around Jared's neck. Jensen feels a flash of heat, thinking about what it's like to shove his tongue down Jared's throat. Aisles of convenience store junk food are in the background and so is the clerk, hunched down and cowering against the racks of cigarettes behind the counter.
"Care to explain this?" Whitfield asks.
"The boy has a sweet tooth," Jensen explains. "Wanted some ice cream, and I was outta cigarettes, so."
"How much did you walk away with?"
Jensen chews on his lip for a second. "Dunno. Maybe a buck-fifty, two-hundred tops."
"See, that's what I don't get." Whitfield slips the photo back into his folder. "I did the math, and as far as I can tell, you had a couple hundred thousand in the trunk of your car. Why knock over a quickie mart?"
The truth is, they had more than double that amount at the time, not that Jensen plans on pointing it out.
"I told you," Jensen says slowly, with exaggerated patience. "I needed some smokes. They didn't have my brand."
The suit is stiff and Jensen feels trussed up in it, trotting around like some kind of show pony.
"Background," Jensen says, buttoning his jacket as he strides toward the doors of the casino.
"Tonight's the grand opening, sorta," Jared tells him. "The owners are gonna wine and dine some high rollers and the investors, try and convince them that they've sunk their money into the right place."
"Which are you? High roller or investor?"
"Neither, but my employer is both." Jared gives him a sideways glance and repeats, "Sorta."
Jensen nods and doesn't ask him about his boss. A little plausible deniability goes a long way and anyhow, Jensen already knows who Jared works for. He smiles as a doorman welcomes them into the casino. Jared's beside him, talking low, explaining the layout of the place, the exclusive, invitation-only rooms in the back.
The custom chandeliers have been turned down to a low glow, the gaudy quarter slots are dark and silent for the night. Jared's pulled a one-eighty, standing up straight, shoulders back, absolutely bleeding a high-brow inclination. His loose, floppy curls tamed for the moment, his suit a series of clean, tailored lines, and his shoes shined. Jensen's never really had a thing about guys in suits, they remind him of his formal uniform and sweating through a few too many funerals, seeing Jared like this is enough to start to change his mind. He still feels like getting Jared out of it.
The gig is simple. Keep the conversation up and running, rub elbows, charm the pants off of old ladies, keep them interested in him and oblivious to Jared as he cases the joint, checks out what kind of security the place has, all the corners where the cameras don't reach. Jensen flirts, puts up with a few too many fingers pawing at his upper arms, smiles at women wrapped in little black dresses and a couple of men more in love with their bank accounts than anything.
Finally, Jared presses a hand to the small of Jensen's back, drains his glass and says, "I got what I need."
The valet brings them their car, and Jared tosses Jensen the keys, makes him veer toward the parking lot and slow down as he jumps out, starts pulling door handles and setting off alarms on Beamers and Bentleys, just because he can, hops back in the car with a huge firecracker of a grin.
"I thought we were supposed to be forgettable," Jensen points out.
"Me, maybe, but there's no forgetting you. Not a chance of that," Jared says, laying the seat back a little and planting a polished shoe on the dashboard. His laugh sounds so free. "You're in my head. Stuck like glue."
"When did the two of you start screwing around?" Whitfield asks.
Jensen tears his thoughts away from a particularly pleasant daydream. More like a memory. A pissant town that barely had a zip code, but did have the best damn donuts Jensen had ever wrapped his mouth around. He'd been thinking of sun-warmed metal and the taste of sugar glaze on Jared's lips. Hot coffee and fifty miles to go until they hit up the next scene of a crime. Driving and driving, and Jared's hand resting high up on his thigh, adrenaline coming out in his fingers as he traced the weave of Jensen's jeans.
When Jensen doesn't answer, Whitfield tries again. "When did you decide to fuck your career and start fucking him?"
Jensen bites his tongue. Makes a show of it.
Whitfield barks out a laugh. "You had to know that it makes anything you say inadmissible."
Jensen has fucked evidence and confessions out of plenty of people and Whitfield knows it. Hasn't ever questioned him about it before. He's questioned Jensen's intel, but never his methods and means. It's different now. With Jared, everything's different.
Jensen grins. "I'm not the type to kiss and tell."
Jared's standing in the open garage door to the auto body shop as Jensen approaches. He's excited, smiling like a schoolboy at the start of summer vacation. As soon as Jensen's within reach, Jared pulls him in and kisses him, a couple of quick presses on the corner of his mouth. It's sweet, fucking endearing in a way that's dangerous.
The place smells pervasively of engine oil and rubber, is clearly a laundromat for money. A mechanic is head first in a classic Porsche and doesn't bother to look up as the two of them walk toward the back.
Jared pulls a tarp off of a pretty little hunk of pig iron, sleek, rounded corners, and a pale green paintjob waxed to a bright shine. "You don't even need to hotwire it," he says. "I know it's not silver."
With a low whistle, Jensen walks a circuit around the car, pets the front fender and reaches in through the open window to pop the hood. "Green works too." The engine is so clean he could eat off of it. "Should I ask how you got your hands on it?"
"Just a little something I tripped across." Jared eases the hood down carefully. "Most people talk about going zero-to-sixty," he muses, "but I always wanna know what a hundred feels like."
The keys are in the ignition and Jensen slides into the driver's seat. "Let's find out."
Jensen really likes this guy. It's less of a problem than it ought to be.
A week into it and Jensen's become nocturnal because Jared has. He sleeps through a handful of check-ins with his CO, and when he finally does talk to him, he insists that he's close to getting something. It's mostly a lie, and Jensen doesn't look too closely at the reasons he's not telling the truth.
Time speeds up. Everything speeds up. Jensen insinuates himself into Jared's life, slots himself in so easy that it's almost laughable. All it takes are a few dropped names, a few stories, enough fact threaded through the fiction to make it believable.
He's got Jared's back when Jared is sent to strong-arm people into paying their debts, sits next to him in the VIP rooms for half the clubs in the city while Jared keeps an eye on the family's investments. There's the theft and the gambling ring. The money laundering and whispers of bigger and better. One blue collar crime after another. The organization has at least a dozen cops on the payroll and that's probably enough to get Jensen a decent pat on the back from the upper echelon, but he can't stomach the idea. He's in no position to point fingers.
Jensen memorizes names and faces, files them away. Falls asleep thinking about the feel of Jared's hands on his body while morning light starts to seep in through the window and his ceiling creaks as his upstairs neighbors start their day.
Jared might be the heir apparent, but it doesn't seem like he wants any of it. For now, he exists on the fringes, outside of the inner circle he was born into, and wants to keep it that way. He's smart, observant, doesn't have a fucking clue.
The point of the knife digs into the guy's throat. One small push and the night could take an abrupt one-eighty. Jensen's steady though. Rock solid. The guy squirms weakly, a little weasel of a man ironically nicknamed Big Jim, no match against the hold Jared has on his arms.
Jared clicks his tongue against the roof of his mouth, snarls for a second, and the sickly yellow light behind this warehouse glints off of his clenched teeth.
"You're still doing daddy's grunt work for him," Jim says and Jensen has half a mind to dig the knife in a little. Give the guy a taste.
"Always did like a little dirt on my hands," Jared says and wrenches the guy up tighter, until his toes barely skim the ground. The muscles in Jared's arms bunch and strain against his thin shirt and Jensen kind of loses track of the plot for a second.
"That's not what I hear. You have no idea what really goes on while you're fucking off, drinking five hundred dollar bottles of booze bought with money you didn't earn." Jim taunts and Jensen's attention zeros in again. Gets sharp.
"I have a feeling you wanna tell him," Jensen says, and flips the knife in his fingers, the whole of the blade now notched up against Jim's throat. Jensen would barely need to shift his weight to inflict damage.
"Tell your boyfriend to crack open a newspaper once in awhile. His family's been making the front page. They're getting sloppy. Desperate. The last few headlines have been all them." Jim says.
Understanding starts to spread across Jared's face and he falters for a moment. Doubt morphs into anger before he finally lands on a closed-off resolve. Somebody give this boy an academy award.
A high-powered business man with links to a smuggling ring found dead in a top-floor hotel room. An uptick of overdoses pegged on some pure Columbian white that's been running the circuit. Knock-off firearms exploding in the hands of junior high school kids. Jensen had suspected the first one. The other two are gravy.
"Shit," Jared hisses, mostly under his breath.
"Bet you didn't know that your hands were that dirty." Jim snickers and Jensen cuts that off real quick, pushing in a hair and giving him a razor-wide knick along his adam's apple.
Jared yanks the guy back, spins him so they're face-to-face then releases him. "This asshole's not worth it," he tells Jensen, then says to Jim, "Tomorrow, someone's gonna come by to collect the money you owe us. I suggest you don't mess around."
Sneering, Jim tries to spit in Jared's face, but Jared has a good foot on him and it lands on his throat. It's a quick-snap reflex, and Jensen doesn't even think before he jabs the guy in the lower back, a forceful assault on his kidney that makes him double over, go down on one knee.
"C'mon, let's go." Jared lugs Jensen away before it can go any further.
"Are you good?" Jensen bunches his fist in the back of Jared's shirt.
"Yeah, I'm awesome," Jared says, and Jensen gives him credit for trying.
"You're a better liar than that." He falls in step with Jared. "We'll get you cleaned up, wash that jerk off of you. Make that spot on your throat mine again."
"You can't say that kinda shit." Jared pulls up short and kisses him hard, all teeth and hot, bossy tongue.
"Goddamn cocksuckers," Jim wheezes behind them. He's made it to his feet and is swaying some. The sneer is back on his face and it doesn't last long as Jared rushes back to him. "Bet you love it when he puts that mouth of his on your dick."
"As a matter of fact, I do. Why? Are you jealous?" Jared asks. His voice is deep, quietly intense. Dangerous. One punch is all it takes to knock the guy down, one kick to the face to knock him out. Jared gives him another on principle and strides back to Jensen, the blood on his knuckles and the toe of his boot not his own.
"Is he breathing?" Jensen asks mildly, and some strangely sentimental slice of his heart feels like Jared just handed over his varsity jacket, asked him to go steady.
"I don't fucking care. No one talks to you like that."
The taste of Jared's come is still in Jensen's mouth and the weight of Jared's leg rests across his thighs.
"How'd you get started?" Jared's mouth moves against Jensen's shoulder and he's restlessly pressing at the bite mark on Jensen's hip, giving him small shiver-shocks of pain.
"Not much of a story," Jensen says.
"I still could hear it. There's nothing I don't want to know about you."
"Grew up in a shitty part of town. Y'know." There's a mile of yarn Jensen could spin for him, but the real story works every bit as well. Growing up, it was all about picking your fights, then living off of the reputation earned from them. It was either beat them or join them, and Jensen joined them for a while. At least until he decided it was time to start beating them.
"I ran away ten times. I was eight the first time. Always got dragged back," Jared says. "Made it across the state line. Twice. Gave up when I was sixteen."
"Why?" Jensen asks.
There's no humor in Jared's laugh. "Three people on the most wanted list were sitting around my family's table for Thanksgiving that year, and I was distantly related to all of them."
Jared rolls to his back and brings Jensen with him until Jensen's resting between his legs, their dicks lined up in a way that's about to get very interesting. Jared's smile is so big and his lips are so pink, and sometimes he's so beautiful it hits Jensen like a punch to the chest.
"It might be time to do it again, see about making it stick."
The coffee finally shows up and Jensen holds it in both hands. It's black, tastes burnt, and is thick like mud, probably scraped from the bottom of the pot.
"Are the Feds on their way yet?" Jensen asks. He's aware of procedure, knows that his activity outgrew state jurisdiction the second he tore ass across the state line. By that point, he'd been too far into it to hit the brakes. He also knows that on a scale of one to John Wayne Gacy, the fun he's been having barely registers.
"They've been notified. They know we have you." Whitfield is in the opposite chair, legs set wide, kicked back like he could do this all night long. He rubs at his mouth like he's trying to wipe the frown away. "You were one of the best, Jensen. Honest. Faithful."
"You know me well enough to know that I've never been honest. I'm still faithful, alright," Jensen tells him, and thinks, stuck like glue.
A lot of career criminals have their pipe dream, their golden ticket. The last big run. It takes on a mythical quality, like a junkie's final hit before going sober for good, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the thing that will get them out.
Jared calls Jensen, tells him to come over to his place, and there's an edge to his voice, a particular brand of hyped-up excitement that Jensen's heard before.
Jensen leans against the wall outside of the safe house. Concentrates on breathing. Just breathing. The tiny microphone embedded in his jacket feels huge. Heavier than the sidearm he has tucked into the holster at his ribs, the knife he has fixed to his forearm or the second gun he has strapped to his ankle.
His entire life, Jensen has lived by a set of rules. They're twisted and backward, but no less strict for it. Laws of honor and trust and what he's about to do to Jared is going to tear every single one of them apart. He wonders when he changed, when Jared started to matter in a way no one ever had before. Exactly how far he's snuck under Jensen's skin.
"Three more days," he says into thin air, and he can picture the CO and his lackeys hunched over the transmitter across town, imagine the looks on their faces. "If he doesn't turn state's evidence by then, I'll bring him in." He grits his teeth and it seems like he's chewing on glass. "Got a feeling about this," he goes on. "I'm going in silent."
Jensen lets the knife slip free and uses it to cut the bug out of his jacket, crunches it under the heel of his boot, hightails it away from the building as he calls Jared. "Get out of there now. Tell me where to go."
It's a testament to Jared that he doesn't ask questions. A rustle cuts across the line. The sound of Jared moving. The soft thump as the door closes. Footsteps rushing down an empty stairwell.
Jared gives him an address and Jensen says, "Gimme twenty." He walks past an Audi A4, and a habitual glance inside shows him it's fully loaded. Turbo. Its owner should have known better than to leave something so nice unattended in this stretch of town. "No. Ten. Gimme ten."
Anxious, Jared is wearing a track down the center of the apartment when Jensen gets there. Five long strides, a spin on his heel, and five more back.
This place is nicer, more lived in. It smells like Jared, his soap, his clothes, that unique scent of his skin under all the rest. Jensen stands in the middle of the living room, staring at the cushy leather sofa, and feels like the worse kinda liar.
"What was that all about?" Jared doesn't stop pacing, keeps on cracking his knuckles.
"Two unmarked cop cars," Jensen lies, "and that itch you get between your shoulders. Y'know. that itch."
Jensen steps into his path and Jared stops, curls his hands on Jensen's hips. Jensen kisses him, can't stop thinking about how he has only a few more days to do it. "What did you want to tell me?"
"I'm getting out. I know how."
Letting his eyes fall closed, Jensen tries to will the right words out of Jared's mouth. It's pointless. "Alright, hit me."
A short list of names spills out of Jared mouth instead, and so do the cities and businesses attached to those names. Jensen recognizes all of them. Each name added to Jared's list makes Jensen's heart hitch faster.
"Are you gonna snitch?" Jensen asks, careful to keep his tone even. No judgement. No recrimination.
"Fuck no. I might be an asshole, but I'm not a fucking snitch." Jared pulls a face like he's just put something nasty in his mouth.
Although Jensen knows the answer, he still asks the question. "What are you gonna do?"
"They're getting cocky, think that they're untouchable. I'm gonna show them exactly how vulnerable they are."
"It's risky," Jensen says.
"So what?" Jared scoffs, pushing a hand through his hair. His eyes still haven't lost that slightly maniacal brilliance. "Besides, it's not as risky as you might think. I know them."
"Thanksgiving," Jensen says.
"And the occasional Fourth of July picnic."
"Remind me to start running if you ever want to take me home to meet your folks." Gears are spinning in Jensen's head and Jared's frenetic energy is spreading to him like a virus.
"Never gonna happen. I like you too much to do that to you. Anyhow, that bridge is on fire." Jared hikes a thumb over his shoulder toward a brown paper takeout bag on the counter.
Jared shrugs. "Eh, about a hundred and fifty, courtesy of dear old dad."
"How long until he finds out about it?"
"He won't even think to look until I'm gone for a month." There's nothing bitter in Jared's tone. He's relaying facts. "So, are you with me?"
Another line in the sand, and Jensen jumps over it with both feet. A big part of him knew it was going to end up like this, understood it the second he'd laid eyes. "Yeah. Sure. I'm in."
Jensen goes back to his place. He cleans out his refrigerator. Cancels the newspaper. He places his shield and his police issued firearm on the coffee table, in plain view. He calls his mother and doesn't tell her that he loves her because it's never been like that. He calls his sister and tells her that he loves her so much, because it's always been like that.
It takes them an hour to make a hundred thousand. Uncle Pete keeps smiling at Jensen in a way that makes him want to punch his teeth in, and Pete's dogs won't stop biting at his shoelaces. As they leave, Pete tells Jared not to be a stranger and Jared points out that he's always been strange. No use denying it now.
The next stop is a lot like the first, except this time the old man's young wife paws at Jensen's ass no fewer than ten times. Jared can barely contain his snickering and Jensen bitches about how he's gonna be picking dog hair out of his shirt for a week. Before they even make it to the car, Jared tosses him a wrapped stack of hundred dollar bills and tells him to buy himself a new shirt. Hell, buy himself twenty.
"Just tell me where Padalecki is, and a lot of this can go away," Whitfield says. He leans across the table and whispers, low enough that the camera won't pick it up. "It would be better for everyone if this stays quiet."
For the first time tonight, Jensen can't keep his anger in check. "Fuck off."
"There's that nerve I've been looking for."
The transmission is screaming. Jensen can taste his heart in the back of his throat. He could really use a goddamn cigarette, but he's pretty sure he still has gasoline on his hands.
"Jensen. Clutch," Jared says, shaky quality to his voice that Jensen's never heard from him before, all spun out on adrenaline. In Jensen's ears, he sounds very far away. Jared nudges his knee. "Hey. Hey. You with me?"
The road unravels in front of them, a straight black ribbon, mile-markers winding down, three, two, one, then the state line is right there, bright green sign welcoming them, reminding them not to litter, telling them to remember to keep their seat belts fastened.
"Safety first," Jensen mutters, and he sounds shaky too.
Jared repeats, slowly enunciating, "Jensen. Are you with me?"
"Yeah. I'm here." He reaches over, wraps his hand around the back of Jared's neck, slides it up to bury it in Jared's hair. "I'm with you."
Jared sighs, tips his head back into Jensen's touch and rubs his knuckles against Jensen's leg. "Then hit the fucking clutch." Jensen does as he's told and Jared shifts into fourth, punches it again and Jared moves to fifth, in sync with this like they are with everything else.
The state line is bordering closer. Jensen punches on the gas pedal, hardly thinks about it and doesn't look back.
"Hurry up." Jared's pressed into Jensen's back, hips snug against Jensen's ass.
"I'm a little rusty. Gimme a sec," Jensen says, and slides the lockpick up a fraction until he feels the satisfying give of the tumblers.
"I could always slip the kid in the office an extra hundred bucks to not take our names," Jared points out.
Twisting the knob to the motel door, Jensen says, "We're hot right now. No way I'm letting you show your face."
"You're hot," Jared tells him and shoves him through. He ditches his shoes, peels off his black shirt, tosses it in the trash and gives Jensen's the same treatment. While Jensen washes the gas off of his hands, Jared strips to his boxers then flips through channels on the television.
Red, white and blue lights flicker on Jared's skin from the television screen, footage cut between the slowly smoldering club and the arrest of its owner.
"Really," Jared starts, "who the hell names a club after himself?"
"Especially when his name is Sly," Jensen agrees. "And while we're at it, who the hell runs a meth lab in the basement?"
"We had to burn it down."
"Public service, really." Jensen latches onto Jared's neck, licks away the sweat to get to the taste of Jared's skin underneath as he slips his pants off. He pushes at Jared's boxers until there's nothing but uninterriupted skin.
"People might have gotten hurt." Jared walks them backward toward the bed. The mattress is an antique, a definite dip in the center that they fall into, Jensen climbing on top of Jared to frame Jared's hips with his knees.
It's hard to think straight, much less speak sense with Jared's hand wrapping around his cock, but Jensen gives it a shot anyway. "This was high profile, brother." He slips into a slow, steady grind, rubs his ass along the long, hard line of Jared's cock.
"You talk so pretty," Jared says, bucking up against him, getting the crack of Jensen's ass sloppy and slick with his precome. "Anway, had to be done." His lips pull back and he groans when Jensen noses at his jaw, finds that spot on his neck again and sucks harder.
"I know. I get it." Jensen changes angle and now the tip of Jared's cock catches on his rim, fireworks in his bloodstream with every roll of his hips. "Maybe we should disappear a little sooner. Cut our losses."
"One last job. Give me one more." Jared shifts, steers Jensen down onto his cock with his hands on Jensen's hips. His breath comes out in a huge whoosh as Jensen sinks onto him, fucks his way up on Jared's cock until his rim is stretched so good around the flared head then rides him back down. It's raw, nothing but a little sweat and precome to ease the way and Jensen could do this for days. He wants to.
Jensen says, "And when we get caught, maybe they'll let us be roommates."
"Only if they let me keep the shackles," Jared says, stuttering, his hand losing its rhythm on Jensen's cock. He draws his knees up, gives himself better leverage and rises to meet Jensen's downward thrust.
Jensen leans back a little, circles his hips and it draws a soft, nearly pained sound out of Jared.
"Shit," Jared says. "Do that again."
"Yeah. Anything you want. Anything at all."
"Lay it out for me. Explain it to me like I'm a five-year-old." Jensen keeps his laughter shut down tight behind his teeth. He's heard Whitfield say this a dozen times before. It only works if someone wants to talk.
Whitfield places another two photographs on the table, black-and-white and grainy. Still shots of Jared and Jensen, dressed head to toe in black. The first one shows them entering the club, and the second shows Jared with his gun pointed in the direction of the camera, seconds before he shot it out. Damn, the boy has good aim. One of about ten thousand things Jensen finds irresistible about him.
Jensen glances at the clock, sips at his coffee again.
The first thing Jensen recognizes is pain. A searing, mind-numbing throb at the base of his skull. His hands are bound so tightly that Jensen can't feel his fingers and there's a foul-tasting gag shoved into his mouth.
The rest comes back in flashes, like shutter clicks. A rooftop. Tracking Jared through the scope of the rifle as he crossed the street determinedly a few stories below and disappeared into the building. A scrape on the tarpaper behind him and blinding glare of the sun as he flipped onto his back. Then nothing.
"That's the thing about luck," someone says to Jensen's right. An electric lantern clicks on, the owner of the voice still obscured behind its light. "When it dries up, it dries up quick."
The floor is concrete. Oil stained. A workbench is along one cinderblock wall, junk piled up against another. A window shows nothing but blackness outside. Jensen guesses a garage.
The man comes into view and Jensen's stomach sinks. Sterling Brown, strong arm for none other than Big Jim. He has a reputation for being brutal. Relentless. A torture kink that's a mile wide. He's picking at his fingernails with a bowie knife as long as his forearm.
Jensen takes stock. Jared's not here. He tries to move his wrists and he can't. His legs are bound as well. None of that matters. Jared's not here.
"See, I know everybody," Sterling says as he approaches Jensen, "but I don't know you." He backhands Jensen across the face, a stinging slap that flings Jensen's head to the side.
Sterling tests the edge of the knife, traces it along Jensen's cheek, and with a quick snap he slices away the gag. "Who are you?"
"I'm a cop," Jensen spits. "And cops don't take kindly to it when you fuck with other cops. You have no idea what kinda shit you just stepped into."
The grin Sterling gives him is too big for his face. "I don't have anything against cops. Everybody's got a job to do. I can't stand traitors, though." He cocks his arm back, hand clenched into a fist, and Jensen doesn't have any other option but to take it.
Maybe it's been hours. Maybe it's been minutes. Jensen's being dragged outside, arms like metal struts around his chest. It takes him a few seconds to reckon up from down, to realize that those are Jared's hands skating along his ribs, bloody knuckles and all, Jared's split lips kissing his temple, Jared's voice telling him that everything's gonna be alright. He's got him. He's got him.
"What?" Jensen croaks, struggling to get his footing. "How did you?"
Jared's smile is brilliant, wide enough that the cut on his mouth starts to bleed again. "Won you in a card game. I'll explain later."
Sirens are wailing, close and getting closer. Jared's still dragging him down this broken blacktop and the car seems so far away.
"Jared, I'm a—" Jensen starts, and Jared cuts him off.
"I know, and I'm not gonna say I don't give a fuck, but right now I don't actually give a fuck."
Cop cars are coming into view, what looks like a sea of them.
"And you came and got me anyway," Jensen says. It's not a question.
"Of course I did."
Jensen stops, almost falls from the hard tug Jared gives his arm. "Run. Hide the money."
"No." Jared yanks on his arm, moves like he's willing to carry Jensen across his shoulders if he has to.
There's no way they can both make it. Everything's gotten too big and now it's about to go belly up. "I can't let them get you," Jensen says. "I can't. I'll figure it out. Just. Make it stick this time."
Jensen turns away, drops to his knees, weaves his fingers behind his head and waits for the cars to get closer, relief like a palpable thing when he hears Jared begin to run.
A concussive blast rocks the building. Plaster dust falls from the ceiling and Whitfield jumps to his feet. His eyes are wide with shock as he rushes toward the door and peers out of the tiny window.
"What the—" Whitfields eyes go even wider when he spins back toward Jensen and finds him standing a foot behind him, popping both thumbs back into joint.
"Real neat party trick." Jensen grins, something huge breaking free in his chest. "Sorry," he says, and lands a punch that crumples Whitfield to the floor. "It's been fun, but it sounds like my ride just got here."