Word Count: 2.4K
Summary: When Jensen decided to take in a lost boy who’d been hanging around the alley behind his restaurant, he never imagined just how much they might have in common.
A/N: Written for the 2019 spnspringfling from a prompt by tammyrenh. Now with art by swan_song21!
The kid was tall, skinnier than most. He kept his head down, hunched his shoulders and leaned against the grimy alley wall, hands deep in the pockets of his jeans, beanie pulled close around his face like a blanket.
Trying to look smaller. Trying to hide.
The first night, Jensen left him alone. He was probably strung out, or looking for a quick fuck. Jensen couldn’t help him with either one of those things so he ignored the kid as he flung his trash bag into the dumpster and slammed the lid.
The second night, the kid threw a glance at him, and Jensen caught a glimpse of slanted, greenish eyes, sharp features, soft mouth.
“Hey,” he greeted the kid casually.
The boy nodded but didn’t say anything.
This time, when Jensen went back inside the restaurant, he waited in the shadows just inside the door, out of sight, and watched. The kid waited a full minute, then opened the dumpster and started tearing into the bags of half-eaten food.
But maybe also a junkie. Junkies got hungry. Really hungry, sometimes.
The third night, Jensen tucked the best of the rejected plates of food from the restaurant’s overpaying customers into take-out boxes. He stacked the boxes neatly into a plastic bag, took the trash bag in his other hand, and headed out to the dumpster.
Skinny kid was there, right on schedule.
“Here,” Jensen said, holding out the bag of take-out containers. “These are orders nobody even touched. You’re welcome to them.”
The kid lifted startled eyes, and Jensen got a good look at him for the first time. True beauty.
“Thanks,” he said, taking the bag and the fork Jensen handed him.
Maybe it was the kid’s desperate circumstances that struck a pity chord in Jensen’s twice-broken heart. He knew what it was like to feel hurt by somebody he trusted, and this kid had that look. He looked like a wounded, kicked puppy. Not something Jensen was prepared for. Not something he could resist.
“I’m Jensen,” he said before he could stop himself.
The kid gave Jensen a shaky smile, displaying deep dimples. “Jared.”
Whoa. The boy was seriously gorgeous.
“Hey, you wanna come in? You can sit at a table to eat. I’ll get you a glass of water.” Jensen offered the invitation before he even realized he was doing it. It just seemed like the right thing to do. “We’re closing up, so nobody’s here. It’s just me.”
Jared hesitated, but when Jensen nodded encouragingly, he relented. It was cold and dark in the alley. There was warmth and light in the restaurant kitchen, and it smelled good. The boy licked his lips.
Jensen led Jared to a table in the kitchen where staff usually sat to eat their meals. He gave him a glass of water and a napkin, then went back to cleaning up. He watched the kid out of the corner of his eye as Jared pulled the first contained out of the bag, opened it, and dug in, eating fast, shoveling the food into his mouth like he expected somebody to take it away from him any minute.
Up close and in the light of the kitchen, Jensen could see that the boy wasn’t as destitute as he’d first assumed. Jared’s clothes were new, expensive. His jeans were artfully ripped and faded, his shoes scuffed but obviously the real thing, not a knock-off. The jacket and scarf he wore were well-made.
Suburban runaway then, Jensen decided, upgrading his earlier assessment. Straight off the bus from Kansas and looking for work, hoping to make it in the big city on his own.
Weirdly lucky to have found Jensen.
“Hey, you got a place to stay tonight?”
The words were out of Jensen’s mouth before he could think. There was definitely something about Jared that brought the protective big brother out in him.
Jared looked up, wiping his chin with the napkin, and the hopeful expression on his face melted any remaining resistance in Jensen’s mind.
“Really? You’d let me stay with you?”
“Well, I’m sure you’ve got someplace to be tomorrow, right?” Jensen asked. “I mean, you look like a nice kid. Are you here for school? An audition? Looking to get your name up in lights?”
Jared blushed. “A little of both, I guess,” he admitted. “A friend brought me here, but he — “ The kid swallowed, blinked rapidly and brushed the back of his hand over his eyes.
Jensen’s heart swelled. “Let me guess.” He folded his arms and planted his feet, angry at the missing friend who would do that to this sweet kid. “He bailed. Left you alone and penniless in New York City. Now you don’t know what to do, so you’ve been wandering the streets, looking for work just so you can buy a bus ticket home to Alabama.”
“Texas, actually,” Jared nodded, looking up with red-rimmed eyes. The tip of his nose was red as he struggled not to cry, and that was it. Jensen was officially smitten.
“Yeah, I can hear that accent.” Jensen smiled. “I’m a Cowboy fan. Grew up just outside Dallas.”
“San Antonio.” Jared grinned, giving Jensen another glimpse of his dimples. “Go Spurs!”
“Okay, come on.” Jensen took off his apron, grabbed his jacket and began turning off lights. “You can leave the boxes. I’ll clean up tomorrow. I bet you could use a hot shower.”
On the five-block walk to Jensen’s apartment, he and Jared made small talk. He learned that Jared had been in the City for a little over two weeks. He’d come to town with a man named Jeff who had promised to get him work on Broadway, but who had dumped him and split shortly after they arrived. Jared had been kicked out of the hotel he was staying in when his credit card was declined, then his suitcase, wallet, and phone were stolen.
It felt good to talk to somebody from home. Jensen’s move to New York had been similar to Jared’s. He’d come here to pursue a dream, ended up finding a job. It paid well enough for Jensen to afford a small one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, but not much else. The twelve-hour days kept him too busy to make it into Manhattan for auditions very often, but at least he wasn’t festering back home in Richardson, wishing he’d given acting a shot.
“It’s cold as Hell in the winters, though,” Jensen warned as he unlocked the door to his apartment. “You can’t sleep on the streets in the winter here. You’ll wake up dead.”
“Yeah, I get that,” Jared nodded, ducking his head as he followed Jensen inside. “I’ve been staying awake all night, just to avoid the shelters. Sleeping in the library during the day.”
“Sounds brutal,” Jensen commented. As he closed and locked the door behind Jared it occurred to him that this probably wasn’t the smartest thing he’d ever done. Bringing this stranger home wasn’t exactly his style. The guy could be a serial killer, or a drug-addict looking to rob Jensen of anything he could grab and sell for a quick fix. Jensen knew better.
But instead of listening to common sense and kicking Jared out, he found himself handing the kid a clean towel and explaining how the quirky plumbing worked in the bathroom. He found some clean underwear, sweatpants, and a t-shirt and told Jared to just leave his dirty, lived-in clothes in the hamper.
“Tomorrow’s washing day anyway,” he muttered with a shrug.
It was also Sunday, the one day Jensen didn’t need to report to work until the afternoon.
While Jared was in the shower, Jensen pulled out the sleeper couch and made it up with sheets and blankets and his extra pillows, all purchased with the idea that friends would visit.
The fact that Jensen had been working too hard to make friends, and his old friends in Texas weren’t exactly well-off enough to travel didn’t make it any less of a good investment. Having the extra bed gave Jensen hope.
Jensen poured himself a drink, kicked off his shoes, and got ready for bed. He was finishing his second drink when Jared walked out of the bathroom, a cloud of steam in his wake, and Jensen sucked in a breath.
The boy was beautiful. From his slicked-back hair to his bare, muscled arms to the hairy shins that stuck out from the too-short sweatpants, to his bare feet with their long toes, Jared was a vision.
Jensen was just tipsy enough not to notice that Jared was sizing him up, too. When their eyes met, Jared’s were blown dark just as Jensen knew his must be, which is how Jensen knew he was in trouble. He’d brought home somebody who was much more dangerous than a drug-addict or a serial killer.
“Well, you clean up good,” Jensen noted, and was rewarded by another dazzling, dimpled smile.
“I used your razor. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Nope. You — You want a drink?” Jensen cleared his throat, grabbing onto anything he could think of to steady his suddenly racing heart.
“Okay,” Jared nodded. “But I’m not much of a drinker. I get drunk really fast.”
“Well, that’s a promise if I ever heard one.” Jensen chuckled.
When he handed Jared the glass of whiskey, their hands brushed, sending little electric shocks up Jensen’s arm to his scalp. Standing this close, Jared was a good three inches taller than Jensen, and Jensen liked it. He liked pretty much everything about Jared, which wasn’t much since they barely knew each other, but it was more than he’d liked anyone in his life. Or at least in a very long time.
“I don’t have any way to repay you,” Jared said. “I mean, you feed me, you take me in...”
Jensen shook his head. “No. Helping out a fellow Lone Star is enough. You don’t have to repay me. You can pay it forward and help somebody else out someday.”
“I was hoping you’d let me give you something,” Jared said, his voice a little husky after a sip of the whisky.
Jensen looked up, caught the look in Jared’s dark, slanted eyes, and licked his lips. Jared’s intent was clear, and if Jensen hadn’t already fallen for the kid he might have jumped on his offer.
“Not sure that’s a good idea,” he said softly. “You don’t know me. I could be a terrible person.”
Jared huffed out a breath. “I know you’re not,” he said. “I saw you feed that dog a few of days ago. You leave milk out for stray cats.”
Jensen lifted his eyebrows in surprise. “You were stalking me?”
Jared looked pained. “I saw you,” he clarified. “Before I lost my wallet, I was a customer in the cafe across the street.”
“And you thought I was hot.” Jensen rolled his eyes.
“I don’t do so well with hot guys,” Jared admitted wryly. “I have a bad habit of falling for the wrong ones. But then I saw how kind you were, and...”
“So you were stalking me,” Jensen teased. “You figured me for a sucker who feeds strays.”
Jared ducked his head, flashing his dimples again as he grinned shyly. “I was hoping,” he said again.
“You know I didn’t plan this,” Jensen said, gesturing toward the bed. He meant that he hadn’t planned to have anyone over to spend the night, but as soon as the words were out he realized it sounded like a proposition.
“Me, neither,” Jared assured him. “But I can’t say I wasn’t thinking about it.”
Jared had moved closer so that now he was looming over Jensen, and damn it if he didn’t smell good. Jensen let him take their glasses and set them on the coffee table beside them while Jensen fought the urge to flee. He lowered his eyes, suddenly shy, afraid to see Jared gazing down at him with that intense look in his dark eyes. It was too much.
“I — I haven’t done this in a while,” Jensen stammered.
Jared’s big hands cupped his face, slow and careful, turning it up as he stepped in, and now Jensen could feel Jared’s heat. His eyes fluttered open as Jared’s thumb dragged along the corner of his mouth, over his bottom lip.
“That’s okay,” he whispered the moment before his lips touched Jensen’s.
Jensen grabbed onto Jared’s hips, his thumb skimming the warm skin over the waistband of his sweatpants, holding on for dear life as Jared kissed him. He pulled them together as he gave in to the urge to kiss back, to give as good as he was getting because damn, kissing this giant boy was something he never knew he needed so badly.
“Just tell me you’re not underage,” Jensen panted as he got his hands under Jared’s shirt to stroke his warm, smooth skin.
“Nineteen last summer,” Jared gasped, tugging on Jensen’s shirt.
“Oh thank God,” Jensen moaned. He pulled his shirt off and Jared did the same in a single fluid movement, unwilling to stop touching or kissing for a moment longer than necessary.
It was desperate and messy and everything Jensen didn’t know he wanted. They were naked and grabbing each other’s dicks in seconds flat, jerking each other off while biting and licking at each other’s mouths, and Jensen was coming before he could help himself. It’d been too long.
Jared came a moment later and they clung to each other afterwards, weak-kneed, gasping for breath.
“Looks like we don’t need the extra bed after all,” Jared grinned into Jensen’s shoulder as he slumped against him.
“Yeah we do,” Jensen said, walking them sideways until their shins hit the sofa bed. “It’s closer.”
He lowered Jared onto the bed and went into the bathroom for a warm washcloth. When he returned a minute or two later Jared had passed out and was snoring softly, sprawled out on his belly with his face in the pillow, hugging it.
Jensen put down the washcloth and pulled up the blanket, covering Jared’s stunning nakedness as he bent to place a soft kiss on the boy’s chiseled cheekbone.
“Good night, sweetheart.”
Jared didn’t stir as Jensen turned off the light and quietly retreated to his bedroom, leaving the door open behind him.
He had a good feeling about this.