January 1st, 1968
Jensen woke up slowly, blinking the sleep from his eyes as he tried to focus on what had woken him up. He listened carefully for any sound from Jenna’s room, worried his baby girl had had a nightmare. Outside was just as quiet as the house. Jensen felt a shiver trail up his body and he looked down, seeing Jared trailing his fingers lightly across his stomach and chest. Jensen smiled.
“Hey,” he breathed out, relaxing against Jared’s touch and meeting his lips in a soft kiss. “Couldn’t sleep?”
“I wanted to be the first…” Jared said against his lips, fingers pressing harder into Jensen’s side and pulling him closer now that Jensen was awake. “To wish you Happy New Year.”
Jensen chuckled, kissing Jared softly, fighting back the looming presence of sleep as he focused on Jared’s hands playing out over his body. Jared shifted, his knee slipping between Jensen’s, large hands moving around Jensen’s back and nearly lifting him completely off the bed to move him closer into the center of the mattress. Jensen’s heart skipped, heat pooling in his stomach, just like every time Jared took control and manhandled him.
“Jared,” he whispered, fully awake now as Jared pressed down against him, lips and teeth working their way from Jensen’s mouth down his jaw and then to the side of his throat. Jared’s hands ran down Jensen’s sides and over his thighs, digging into the muscle and Jensen let his legs fall open more, inviting Jared in.
"Wanted to be the first thing you thought of this year... The first touch, sound, kiss and memory," he whispered against Jensen's skin, breath wet and hot against Jensen's chest.
"Closet romantic," Jensen teased, and then moaned as Jared's teeth and tongue brought one of his nipples into a tight bud.
Jensen closed his eyes and focused on the way Jared worked his body. His partner’s mouth worked its magic against his skin, his slicked fingers twisting inside, every warm breath across his flesh setting his very blood on fire.
When Jared finally pushed in, bringing them together as one, there were no words to describe the emotions and thoughts that were rolling around in Jensen's head. He found Jared's lips, his fingernails digging into Jared's shoulders as they rocked together.
Every moan and gasp that slipped from his lips, Jared swallowed greedily and pumped his hips faster, gripped Jensen's thighs tighter. Jensen was like a spring, coiled so tightly it almost hurt. Just one more touch of Jared's hand brushing across Jensen's swollen flesh trapped between their sweat-slicked bodies, and Jensen was done.
He came with a soft shout, his entire body clenching tightly around Jared, pulling him in and holding him there. Jared groaned Jensen's name, his head falling to Jensen's shoulder as he clung to Jensen's body and spilled his own release deep inside. Together, they lay panting and spent, still wrapped around each other and holding on tightly.
Finally, Jared shifted his weight so he was lying pressed up against Jensen’s side, his arm and leg still holding Jensen close.
“I love you, so much,” Jared whispered against his shoulder, pressing his lips against Jensen’s skin. Even though it was dark, Jensen could feel the weight of Jared’s gaze on him, and he turned his head, finding Jared’s lips easily. He could feel Jared smiling against his mouth, felt as Jared drew away to get a towel to clean them up, and opened his arms for Jared to crawl back into. Jared settled quickly, his head resting against Jensen’s chest, and soon his breath had evened out and he was back to sleep.
Jensen smiled, his heart heavy in his chest as he let his fingers trail down Jared’s arm slowly. Years later and he still couldn’t believe that he had this… had Jared. He swallowed hard, surprising himself at the well of emotions that hit him suddenly, and he had to force himself to calm down.
It hadn’t been easy – Jared had put up with more than his fair share of crap from Jensen. Between his hot and cold moods, questioning their relationship on more than one occasion, and the threat that always seemed to hover over them, not once had Jared ever broken his resolve of the fact that he loved Jensen.
Even after that first night, when he’d thought he had lost Jared forever and felt like his entire world was breaking apart, he’d spent countless nights and mornings milking alone, wondering what the hell it was that he was doing, asking himself why he was doing this to himself and to Jenna. He’d even thought about trying to force Jared away, not that he would ever admit that out loud and he was glad he’d never gotten past the fleeting thought stage.
Jensen had managed a few feeble attempts to distance Jared, more times than he’d ever pulled him close, and Jared had taken it. He’d spent countless nights, sitting at the base of the oak tree, wondering aloud to Jared if he should have just married Rosemary and given Jenna a mother, had a ‘real’ family. He questioned Jared on his own knowledge about being gay, pushed him to see if it was true, knowing the other man had never actually been with a woman before. Jared had taken everything Jensen had thrown at him and smiled and loved him all the more in spite of it.
Jensen had no idea how he deserved it or why Jared stayed… but as his heart beat faster against his ribcage, he was mighty glad that he had. He couldn’t imagine this farm, his life, Jenna’s life without Jared in it.
Jensen shifted his body, pulling Jared closer to his chest. The taller man groaned in his sleep, his leg slipping so that it fell between Jensen’s knees instead of over his hip, but he stayed fast asleep. Even though he’d tried to talk himself out of it, Jensen loved Jared with everything he had.
He tightened his grip on Jared, kissing his forehead and letting his eyes fall closed again. “I love you, Jared,” he whispered into the night and let sleep overtake him once more.
July 20th, 1968
“Papa?” Jenna comes around the corner, carrying a stuffed rabbit that Martha had made, tied up with a large, blue ribbon.
Jared looked up from where he was leaning over the barnyard water pump, and pushed his wet hair back from his face.
“You ready to go?” he asked, wiping the rest of the dirt from his face with his bandana before shoving it into his back pocket. “Did your Daddy come back yet?”
“Yeah, he’s getting a basket from Grammy to bring to Aunt Mackenzie’s,” Jenna nodded and reached out for Jared’s hand. He looked down at the eight-year-old’s hand dwarfed within his own and shook his head. Although her hand was so much smaller, he couldn’t believe how much Jenna had grown over the summer…
“Well, let me go inside and change out of these clothes and then we’ll head over, okay?” Jenna nodded her agreement and skipped along beside Jared as they walked back to the house from the barn. Jared left Jenna on the porch, smiling as he watched her settle herself onto the porch swing, setting the stuffed rabbit beside her.
She’d just recently decided that she was too old for some of her toys and they’d carefully sorted out the shelves in her room so that she could give her outgrown toys and books to her cousins. Jensen had nearly had a heart attack that night, stressing out about how big his little girl was getting. Jared had laughed and told him not to worry, that both he and Josh had gone through the same thing when Megan was born, and in no way did it mean Jenna was suddenly done playing or being a kid. “She’s eight, Jense… not eighteen.”
“Oh god,” Jensen moaned, letting his head fall into his hands. “She’s practically halfway there…”
Jared chuckled and shook his head, reaching over to squeeze Jensen’s knee. Jensen smiled, despite the disturbing thought of his little girl not being so little anymore, and allowed himself to focus on the heat radiating from Jared’s large hand against his leg.
“Did she even get rid of the duck?” he asked after a moment and the look Jared gave him back was answer enough. He closed his eyes and groaned, causing Jared to chuckle again and move his hand from Jensen’s leg to rest his entire arm over Jensen’s shoulders and pull him in closer.
“She got rid of the stuffed duck, yes… but she still has all of the wooden toys your grandfather and I made for her. Plus, she kept the cat… I think it’s still shoved underneath her pillow.”
Jensen looked up at that, a small smile on his lips. “She did?” Jared nodded his confirmation and Jensen suddenly felt lighter. The cat was the first stuffed animal he had ever gotten for her when they’d arrived at the farm… the thought of walking into her room and not seeing it…
“I’m building another chest, actually. I think she’s kept some toys to go in there so when Mackenzie and the kids are here, they’ve got toys to play with.”
“You’re building a chest and a bunk bed?” Jensen raised an eyebrow and Jared nodded, then shrugged his shoulders.
“Have to keep busy, otherwise I get myself in trouble.”
“That’s for sure…” Jensen agreed, and Jared shoved him hard, almost knocking him off of the step they were sitting on, before grabbing him and pulling him in for a kiss.
Jenna sat between them, holding the basket and the stuffed rabbit on her lap. Jensen had flicked on the radio and Johnny Cash was crooning to them, Jensen humming along and tapping his fingers against the steering wheel as he drove.
“Do you think the new baby will like me?” Jenna asked suddenly. Her feet, which she had been kicking in time with the music, were suddenly still and she looked between her two dads. “I mean, will he play with me like Kaleb does?”
“Well, I think he’s a bit small yet to be playing like you do with Kaleb,” Jensen glanced down at her, a smile on his lips. “Don’t you remember when Kaleb was first born and how small he was?”
Jenna shrugged and twisted the ear of the stuffed rabbit between her fingers.
“Jenna… why don’t you think your new cousin is going to want to play with you?” Jared leaned forward, catching Jenna’s eyes with his own. She shrugged again and leaned into her Papa’s side.
“At school, Tommy Jones was saying how girls are icky and that boys shouldn’t want to play with girls… I was hoping Auntie Mack was going to have a little girl so I could have someone to play with…”
“Well, I think Tommy Jones is missing out if he doesn’t want to play with you,” Jared answered, squeezing her shoulder. “Tommy Jones probably just has a crush…”
The look Jensen threw him then was dangerous.
“I think boys are the ones with cooties…” he mumbled quickly and Jenna looked at him with her eyes wide.
“There really are such things as cooties?”
“No,” Jared interrupted Jensen as he opened his mouth to answer. “Daddy is just kidding.” Jenna looked between them before settling her gaze back up at Jared. “I think your cousins are going to want to play with you whenever you are there, Jenna. They’re going to think you’re the best big cousin ever, and it’s not going to matter if you’re a boy or a girl.”
“Okay, Papa.” Jenna seemed placated with the answer and went back to kicking her feet in time with the music.
They drove the rest of the way in silence, mostly, Jenna and Jared singing along together to the radio and Jensen smiling every time he glanced towards his little family. They arrived at Mackenzie’s and Jenna was immediately scrambling across Jared’s lap and bursting from the truck, running towards the house.
“Hey guys!” Mackenzie opened the door for them, a smile on her face and a newborn in her arms. She laughed as Jenna wrapped herself around Mackenzie’s legs and Lee appeared behind them, taking the baby from his wife’s arms so she was able to hug Jared and Jensen when they came up to the door.
“Hey, Sis,” Jensen whispered against Mackenzie’s hair, kissing her cheek before moving back to switch spots with Jared. Jensen slipped into the house, knuckles brushing against the back of Jared’s hand once they were inside of the house with the door closed.
“Where’s Kaleb?” Jenna asked, tugging on the apron Mackenzie was wearing.
“Oh! He’s in the living room coloring, I think,” Mackenzie smiled down at her and ruffled the top of her hair. “Why don’t you go and play with him while I finish up lunch and get your daddies something to drink?”
“Okay!” Jenna smiled and happily skipped off to the living room, calling Kaleb’s name as she went.
“Coffee?” Mackenzie drew their attention back to her and both men nodded, following her through the house. Lee was leaning up against the counter and smiled at them when they entered.
“Hey,” he greeted and shook both Jensen and Jared’s hands. “This is Cameron.”
Jared was the first to hold the newborn, his long arms looking almost awkward as they slipped around the small bundle and cradled the newborn against his chest. Jensen’s breath caught in his throat when Jared turned towards him, looking up to meet his eyes with a smile on his face before he returned his attention back to Cameron.
“He’s beautiful, Mac,” Jensen said softly, accepting the mug of coffee from his sister and raising it to his lips, making sure he could still watch Jared and his new nephew over the rim. He felt something inside of him clench as he watched Jared talking softly to the boy, rocking him gently, and Lee leaning over Jared’s shoulder and laughing along with him.
“He’s a natural,” Mackenzie said softly, causing Jensen to jump. “Can I steal you for a minute? I need to talk to you about something…”
“Course… everything alright?” Jensen asked, placing his mug down and giving Jared a small nod to keep an eye on Jenna. He followed Mackenzie up the stairs and into the large master bedroom. Jensen watched as she went to the large closet, pulling the large oak doors open before disappearing inside.
“I just had it…” He could hear her talking to herself as she shuffled things around and he had to bite back a laugh. Motherhood and maturity had done nothing to curb his sister’s lack of organizational skills. He moved towards the large queen-sized bed and leaned against the footboard, cocking his head to the side to watch Mackenzie pushing around a few boxes from her kneeling position on the floor.
“What are you looking for?” He finally asked with a laugh when she stood up, a frustrated sigh leaving her lips.
“I… Just sit,” she answered instead, still distracted as she turned towards one of the large oak nightstands. “Oh! Here…”
Jensen rolled his eyes and took a seat at the end of the bed, watching as Mackenzie sunk down beside him, a stapled stack of papers folded in her hands.
“Mackenzie…” Jensen asked, looking from the papers into his sister’s bright green eyes, suddenly nervous about what she was going to say.
“Okay,” she said as she set the papers on her lap and reached for Jensen’s hands, taking them in her own and squeezing them reassuringly. “So, Lee and I had this conversation after our wedding… but then there was the deployment and I was busy trying to figure out what the heck I was doing being a mom and we never really got around to it…”
“What are you talking about?”
“What happened at our wedding solidified something for me, something I already knew.” She squeezed Jensen’s hands again, a sad look crossing her face. “Alan is not a man that I want around my children, Jensen… He was never a good father, for either one of us, and although I can’t change that… I can control the future for my children.”
“Mack…” Jensen shook his head, confused. “Of course you can… I highly doubt he’s planning on making a return appearance after what happened. At least, not physically, so I—”
“I know,” Mackenzie cut him off and gave him a soft smile. “Lee’s parents are so very different from our parents… I feel very blessed to have such great in-laws. But they’re still not…” Mackenzie stopped and bit her lower lip, sighing softly.
“Mack… I have no idea what you’re talking about here.”
“Lee doesn’t have any siblings, and his parents are nice, respectable people… but they’re not ‘raising children’ kind of people. Lee had a good life growing up, but the majority of that was spent with the hotel staff on the mountain and the kids and families that came to ski here. You and Jared are the godparents to our children for one specific reason… Lee and I both know that no matter what happens – to us… or our children—that you will love them unconditionally, always.”
“Of course we would,” Jensen nodded his head, squeezing Mackenzie’s hands. “They’re our nephews.”
“Lee’s unit has been talking… playing with the idea that they’ll be deployed again and Lee says they’re just talking but… but it’s always a possibility.” Jensen nodded slowly, waiting for his sister to continue. “So… we talked to our lawyer and had these drawn up…”
Mackenzie grabbed the papers again, unfolding them and flattening them on her lap before she handed them over to Jensen.
“Mackenzie!” Jensen’s eyes widened as he scanned the first page, then turned towards her quickly. “You’re way too young to be thinking of—”
“Oh come off of it, Jensen. Like you don’t have a written will?” She cocked an eyebrow and smirked back at him.
“Yeah, well, I own a business and a lot of property, Mackenzie!” Mackenzie gave him a look and he sighed, letting his eyes fall back on the paper. “So… why are you showing me this?” he asked after a moment. “Do you need me to put it in the firebox at the farmhouse?”
“No, Jensen… This is going to be your copy… If something happens to Lee and I… I do not want my kids going to Alan, Jensen. I can’t have that for them. I want them to go to you and Jared, I want them to grow up on the farm and with people who love them if Lee and I can’t.”
“Mackenzie…” Jensen dropped the papers to the bed and opened his arms for his sister to fall into. “Nothing is going to happen to you…”
“I know, Jensen… I know… but if something does
, I need to know. I need to know they’ll be okay…” Mackenzie’s voice broke and a jolt went through Jensen when he realized she was now crying against his chest and he tightened his arms in response.
“Mack… come on… Of course… of course, we would take care of them, no questions asked…”
“I don’t want there to be any question from anyone else
, Jense. You and Jared, that’s who we want if it comes to that. Just you and Jared... nobody else.”
“Okay,” he whispered, rocking her gently until she finally calmed down. When she pulled back, she folded the papers again and shoved them into his hands.
“I promise,” Jensen returned, giving her a smile. Mackenzie let out a shaky breath and wiped her eyes with the back of her hands before giving a small laugh.
“God, I must be a mess,” she laughed, shaking her head.
“Well… maybe just a bit over emotional…” Jensen smirked at her and she smacked his arm, laughing again.
“Shut up. I just had a baby. At least this was something worth crying over… last night I cried because the green beans I made were just… perfect. You know?” Jensen looked at her again and shook his head.
“I’m just going to agree with you,” Jensen laughed and Mackenzie responded by playfully shoving him off the end of the bed.
“I take it back. You’re awful. Only Jared can get my kids.”
“Nothing is going to happen,” Jensen said softly, returning to Mackenzie’s side and pulling her up into a hug.
“Well… Doesn’t hurt to be prepared.”
Jensen nodded his agreement and then cocked his head towards the door. “Ready for lunch? Or do you need my shoulder to cry on again? The sandwiches might be too
“I hate you.” Mackenzie rolled her eyes and left the room, leaving Jensen chuckling as he followed her down the stairs.
December 1, 1969
Jensen felt like he was going to be sick.
Like the rug beneath his feet had just been yanked free and he was falling with nothing below him to soften the impact.
Like his very reality had always been a joke and somewhere, someone was laughing at him.
“Jensen…” Jared’s voice was low, shaking, but Jensen couldn’t look at him. He didn’t want to see the look in his eyes, he didn’t want to see the look in any
of their eyes. The silence around them was suffocating and Jensen let out a short, dry laugh as the relief that Jenna was upstairs and fast asleep washed over him.
“I have to be up early,” he said as he pushed himself up from his chair and quickly moved around his grandparents’ and the Padaleckis’ legs, ignoring both Megan and Mackenzie reaching for him as he twisted away from their outstretched hands. He didn’t need to look to know that Jared was still sitting at the base of the chair, his arm still thrown up on the arm rest and watching as Jensen walked away.
Jensen checked on Jenna, kissing her forehead and smiling as the child shifted in her sleep, completely unaware of anything else outside of her dreams.
“Jensen,” Jared’s whisper made him tense and he exhaled softly before finally turning around and drawing his gaze up to lock onto Jared’s eyes. “Please, come here...”
Jensen shook his head but moved forward anyway. He allowed Jared to lead him towards their room and shut the door behind them. Then Jared stripped them both and pulled Jensen into bed, drawing the covers over them and wrapping his warm arms around Jensen’s lightly quaking body.
“This doesn’t mean anything…” Jared whispered and Jensen scoffed laughing bitterly, eyes burning and Jared tightened his arms.
“We both know we’re not going to be that lucky, Jared.”
“There are going to be… hundreds, maybe even thousands of men who will have to report, Jensen. They’re not going to take all of us, they’re not going to take me
“You really think that, Jared?” Jensen turned over, eyes darting over Jared’s face. He was glad it was dark in the room that Jared hadn’t decided to have this conversation with the lights on. “You honestly think that they’re not going to choose a healthy, single, middle-class man?” Jensen had just barely been able to contain his emotions all day, dreading what he knew
in his gut was going to happen. Jared had tried to placate him, told him he was overreacting and worrying for nothing.
He hadn’t even been surprised when the number had been called, the collective gasp that rocked the room before it fell into silence –save for the remaining numbers being called out—had hit him harder than the number had. He met Jared’s eyes head on and watched as Jared tore his eyes away, felt his shoulders starting to shake.
“Can we just not?” Jared asked softly, fingers digging almost desperately into Jensen’s hips as Jared clung to him. “Can we not worry about something that hasn’t happened yet? Can we just…”
Jensen knew that Jared was scared—the younger man hadn’t actually believed that he would have been called. “It’s a lottery Jensen, of 366 dates! They’re not going to pick mine… I never win at anything!”
Joking or not, Jared hadn’t honestly believed he was going to be called to enter the Army.
Jared was shaking beneath him, all of the fears Jensen had projected over the past few weeks about the damn lottery and the war probably running circles in his mind and Jensen did the only thing he could think of to soothe him. Jensen nodded, shifting them so he was leaning over Jared’s body and found Jared’s lips quickly, sealing them together.
They kissed hard, needy and quick. Jared clung to Jensen as if his life depended on it and Jensen let him, rocking their bodies together as he captured Jared’s body beneath his own. Jared gasped and moaned against Jensen’s lips as Jensen’s hands rolled over his body, pressing his fingers hard into the muscular planes of Jared’s body. His hips rocked hard against Jared’s, formed the connection, the delicious friction they both needed.
It was rare for it to be like this, quick, hard and fast. Jared usually took his time, opening Jensen, touching every inch of Jensen’s body, letting Jensen respond to each touch with his own as they made love. But tonight that wasn’t what they needed.
Jared’s fingers dug into Jensen’s shoulders, his heels hooking over the backs of Jensen’s calves as he ground himself up against Jensen. Jared came with a soft cry, spilling his release between their sweat-slicked bodies, and Jensen followed just a few heartbeats behind.
“I love you,” Jared whispered, voice still wrecked – though from his recent orgasm or the emotions that had been coursing through him, Jensen wasn’t sure. “I love you so much.”
“I know,” Jensen whispered back before he got off the bed. He cleaned them up quickly, then crawled back under the covers.
“Jense?” Jared reached for him and after a moment’s hesitation, Jensen allowed himself to sink into Jared’s arms again and buried his face into the crook of Jared’s neck, focusing on calming the pounding in his heart. He waited, listening carefully as Jared’s breathing slowed until he was asleep. Then, Jensen let out a hard breath, squeezing his eyes tightly shut to fight back against the tears that were threatening to fall.
Jensen already knew.
If Jared left? If he actually was drafted and then was deployed? Jared
wouldn’t be coming back. Jensen knew firsthand what happened to men when they left, even Lee had changed, despite Mackenzie telling him he was overreacting and reading into things that weren’t there.
He tightened his arms around Jared’s waist and focused on the here and the now. It was all they had left.
Art by 2blueshoesMaster Post
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