RPS Fic: Waiting for My Real Life to Begin -- Jared/Jensen -- AU -- PG-13 -- 1/?
Fandom: CW RPS
Pairing: Jared/Jensen eventually
Rating: PG-13 so far
Summary: His freshman year of college, Jared has roommate troubles.
Disclaimer: This is fiction, not real.
Notes/Warnings: This was written on a whim, unplanned and unfinished. Take of that what you will.
The first roommate Jared gets is this really tiny little dude named Phil who has some serious anger management issues. And fine, so Jared's a good six inches taller than most guys, but Phil's really tiny, like maybe 5'1" if his shoe's got a thick sole. Jared's mom had a Chihuahua once that never stopped barking and always tried to attack their black lab, and Phil reminds him a lot of that dog.
Jared's in a quad with three other guys--two sleeping rooms and one common room--and the other guys, Chad and Adam, are both pretty cool. Phil, though...
Jared's mama always told him that everything in life happened for a reason and that it was usually to teach you how to be a better person. So when Phil puts his hand through the drywall next to Jared's desk because he's pissed that some girl in the cafeteria blew him off, Jared takes a deep breath and figures that God's trying to teach him patience.
"Something you wanna talk about?" Jared asks, putting his pen down. He really needs to finish studying for his pre-calc test, but maybe all Phil needs is just somebody to be nice to him.
"Fucking bitch of a whore," Phil growls, and that's just not right. Jared was raised better than to ever talk about women like that.
"She wasn't interested, man," Jared tells him with his most understanding expression. "That doesn't make her a bitch or a whore, just means she wasn't interested. It happens and lots of times, it doesn't even have anything to do with you. Maybe she's got a boyfriend, maybe she just got out of a bad relationship, maybe she's a lesbian. You never know. You can't take it personal."
Phil, apparently, doesn't think that sounds at all reasonable because he starts yelling and kicking shit and ripping down Jared's Spurs poster and oh, hell no. Jared's patience only goes so far. You do not disrespect the Spurs.
He jumps up off his chair and grabs Phil around the waist, flips him over his shoulder and carries him out into the common room. Chad looks up from the Playstation and says, "The fuck's going on in there, dude?"
"Phil needs to cool off," Jared says, still holding Phil over one shoulder as he opens the door to the hall. Phil's still shouting and kicking but Jared's got a good hold on him, carries him into the bathroom, turns on one of the showers and flips Phil down onto his feet while shoving him beneath the cold water. Phil yells and sputters and fights it, but Jared just holds him there until he stops.
"You calm?" Jared asks.
Phil's teeth are chattering. "I'm calm."
"You gonna stay calm when I let you go?"
Phil nods. Jared lets him go, turns off the water. Phil stays there, back pressed against the shower wall, shivering and looking at Jared with wary eyes.
"All right," says Jared. "Hell. Didn't mean to freeze you half to death. Come on and I'll buy you a coffee."
Phil drips all the way back to the room. Chad glances up from the XBox and raises an eyebrow, but he doesn't ask.
Once Phil's dried off and changed, he and Jared walk down to the Union for coffee.
"Seriously, man," says Jared. "You can't freak out like that over every little thing."
That was the wrong thing to say because Phil thinks Jared's calling him little. He throws his coffee onto Jared's chest, pushes back from the table so hard he knocks his chair over, grips the table and shoves it over, and stalks away yelling curses about Jared's mama that just aren't true.
Jared sits there for a moment, too surprised to move. He's still got his coffee in his hand, poised to drink. He sees a movement out of the corner of his eye, and the Union coffee shop's lone employee is standing there nervously twisting a rag in her hands.
"I'm sorry," Jared tells her. "I am so, so sorry. My roommate. He's got...issues."
"Yeah," says the girl. "I, uh, I called security. Not on you, but...you know. It policy. We're supposed to."
"That's OK," he says. He looks down at the overturned table and chair. "I'll help you clean up."
"You don't have to," she says.
He shrugs, gets up to put the table and chair back into place. Campus security shows up while she's wiping up the spilled coffee and Jared explains what happened, tells them about Phil's freak out in the dorm and how he'd thought maybe a talk over coffee would help smooth things out. They take down Phil's name, their room number, and Jared feels a little bit like a traitor, but hell. If Phil had gone off on the coffee shop girl instead of Jared, she could have actually gotten hurt.
"I am really sorry about that," he tells her. "I'd offer to buy you coffee to make up for it, but..."
"It's all right," she says. Now that he's stopped being completely mortified by Phil's actions, he can see how seriously cute she is, sexy in a perky, wholesome way.
She holds out her hand. "Sandy. And I think your shirt's ruined. Mocha stains don't really come out of white."
He looks down at the large blotch covering most of his shirt. Yeah. Way to make an impression, Padalecki.
The thing is, Jared's a pretty talkative guy. He's friends with everyone, always knows what to say and how to make people laugh, only now he's drawing a blank. He stutters out another apology and leaves, feeling like a complete loser. He should have asked her if she wanted him to wait around until campus security made sure Phil wasn't coming back. He should have asked for her number.
He gets halfway back to the dorm, turns and heads back to the Union, then hesitates at the doors. He doesn't want to seem like a creepy stalker, and the fact that he was there with Phil earlier sure won't do anything to reassure her. He heads back to the dorms, stops three-quarters of the way there, turns around, turns back, and stomps up to his room wondering why he couldn't have met a girl that cute at a party or in a class or something, why it'd had to be then.
"Dude," says Adam as soon as Jared walks into the suite. "Campus police were just here talking to Phil. Apparently he freaked out at the coffee shop and, like, kicked tables and shit over and, man, I mean he's little right? I mean, he makes me feel like a big guy and so totally not, right? I mean, I'm kind of tall, you have to give me my string bean props, but seriously, I don't think I could take him. He's just...I think he needs therapy. And I'm not just saying that because I'm from California and everyone in California is in therapy, which is totally not true, which is unfortunate because, seriously? I have known some people in my life that needed serious, serious therapy, but maybe Phil needs it more than the rest of them put together. What happened to your shirt?"
Jared really likes Adam. He talks a lot, sure, but so does Jared, and Adam's pretty funny most of the time, plus he owns the Xbox and PSP they all share.
"I'm thinking he's probably the one that Tiny went apeshit on," Chad says from around the sucker in his mouth. Chad always calls Phil "Tiny." Chad's kind of insensitive.
"Really?" Adam asks. "Did he really kick down all the tables and shit because that's just...I mean, if he was the hero in an action movie that would be badass, but he's not and I'd really like to get my security deposit back, you know?"
"Just the one table," Jared tells him. "After he threw his coffee on me."
Chad laughs. "What a fucking douche." And Chad should know. Jared likes him well enough, but you kind of have to overlook his overwhelming douchiness in order to put up with him.
Jared goes to sleep thinking about Sandy and wakes up with Phil sitting on the top of his desk, flicking a Swiss Army knife open and closed over and over again. He's glaring at Jared and when Jared sits up, bleary eyed, and says, "Um...Phil?" Phil grins at him in a very disturbing way.
"You're not bigger than me when you're sleeping," Phil says.
"Um," says Jared. "OK." He doesn't know what else to say so he lays back down and closes his eyes. He doesn't sleep though, just spends the rest of the night listening for the moment when Phil tries to stab him in the neck.
He's exhausted by the time his alarm goes off, and while he's in the shower he decides that there's no way around it, he's going to have to see about getting a new roommate. There's being nice and then there's being stupid, and Jared's mama didn't raise stupid.
He leaves for class a few minutes earlier than normal and knocks on the door to his RA's room. It opens just a tiny crack. He sees Mike, his RA, gazing at him for a moment before the door opens wide and Mike grabs him by the front of the shirt and pulls him in before shutting the door again. "Jason," he says cheerfully.
"Jared," he corrects.
"Whatever. What's up?" Mike sits down in one of several beanbag chairs and pulls some sort of purple glass tube towards him and, hey, Jared realizes he's just seen his first bong. College really is educational. "Have a seat."
"Um, I'm actually on my way to class. I just wanted to talk to you real quick about getting a new roommate."
"Problems?" Mike asks him. He pats the beanbag next to him before reaching for the lighter. "Seriously, man. You can talk to me. I'm here for you."
Jared tells him about Phil's little anger management problem, tells him about the wall-punching and the coffee throwing and the watching Jared sleep with a knife in his hands.
Mike is silent for a moment, then exhales a long stream of bluish smoke. "Huh," he says. "I always knew there was something weird about that little fucker. I'll make some calls. You sure you don't want a hit?"
"I'm sure," says Jared, and then because he's not exactly sure about pot-smoking etiquette, he says, "but thank you."
"Any time, man. I am here for you."
Jared doesn't know if Mike ever ends up making those calls or not. It doesn't really matter because later that day, Phil gets arrested for attacking some guy on a bike who had ridden too close to his personal space or something. Since the guy he attacked has to go to the hospital, and since he ended up being the Dean of the School of Architecture, Phil gets expelled.
Jared feels a little guilty for being relieved, but not much.
They tell Jared he can keep the single if he pays more. He doesn't feel right asking his folks to hand over more cash just so he can have his own room, though, especially since there's a housing shortage on campus and in some of the dorms, guys have to sleep in the student lounge. He tells the student life people that no, it's OK, he'll take another roommate no problem.
Jared's next roommate is a guy named Randal. He's an engineering and math double major and he studies all the time. Jared actually doesn't see much of him since he's always at the library and never wants to just hang with the rest of the guys.
Randal has a slight emotional breakdown halfway through the semester and his parents come to get him, packing up his stuff with tight, silent faces as Randal cries and rocks in the corner and Jared makes himself scarce.
Jared's third roommate is named Mark and he plays guitar. He plays a lot of guitar. All the time. He's always in their room with his guitar on his knee and his portable amp next to him. Jared wishes he knew more about electronics so he could make the stupid amp short out "accidentally."
He's not psychotic, though, so Jared deals with it, though after two weeks Chad actually storms into their room, rips the cord out of the amp, and throws the amp out the dorm window. Mark's pretty butt hurt about that, but his pouting is preferable to yet another rendition of Stairway to Heaven.
Another week after that, Mark moves into a studio apartment with his drummer and some random sound technician.
When Jared's fourth roommate unrolls a huge Swastika flag that he wants to hang in the common room, Adam's eyes go wide and he whispers to Jared, "Um, you know I'm a Jew, right?"
Jared nods, places his hand on the new roommate's arm and shakes his head. "I, uh," he says. "This isn't going to work out."
After that, he considers just paying for the stupid single. When his tells his parents about the Swastika flag, not even his mama can think of anything nice to say, and she can see the good in anybody.
"Well," she says finally, "you're coming home, soon. Maybe next semester things will look up."
"Yeah," he says. The thing is, he'd always kind of looked forward to having a roommate. He knows it's maybe lame or something, but it was just part of the college experience, having a roommate you could hang out with and do things with. He's got Adam and Chad, sure, but it's just not the same. He wants a cool roommate of his own.
There are only two weeks left in the semester when Mike stops him in the hall. "You're getting a new roommate," he says.
"No, no, it's cool. I know this guy. OK, so I don't know him, but I know a guy who knows a guy who knows him. I checked him out for you. He's cool. I swear, plus he's been living on, like, a cot in a lounge in Barker Hall for months."
"OK," says Jared. It's not like he can make the guy keep living in a fucking study lounge for the rest of the year when he's got a perfectly good upper bunk to share.
Mike grins. "Fantastic. He moved in this morning while you were at class." He pats Jared on the chest as he walks away. "You're a brave little trooper, Jason."
"I think your new roommate's retarded," Chad says when Jared walks through the door. His girlfriend, Sophia, slaps him in the side of the head. "Ow, woman!"
"You're such a douche."
"I'm not being a douche, I'm being serious. I think he's actually retarded. God. Am I not allowed to say retarded?"
"It's mentally challenged, now," Sophia tells him.
"Fine. Jay, I think your new roommate's mentally challenged."
"Oh," says Jared. That's...well. It hadn't ever occurred to him that he might have a retarded--mentally challenged--roommate. But he figures everybody's got a right to go to college, and his mama's always told him that every one of God's children deserves a fair shake in this world. Jared shrugs. "What's his name?"
"He doesn't even care," Chad says disbelievingly. "He's rooming with fucking Rainman and he doesn't even care."
"That's because he's not a douche."
"Dude's gonna keep you up all night counting matches and shit," Chad tells him.
Jared shrugs. After a tiny little psychopath, an emotionally unstable engineering student, a rock god wannabe, and a Neo-Nazi, he figures a retarded--mentally challenged--guy can't be too bad.
The guy's in their room unpacking his stuff.
"Hey," says Jared. "I'm Jared."
The guy turns and looks at him. He doesn't look retarded, but Jared knows not all retarded--mentally challenged--people look it. "Jensen," the guy says. He doesn't offer any more than that, doesn't even shake Jared's hand. Jared doesn't hold it against him. Hell, it must have been hard to get into college being mentally challenged and all, so he supposes little things like social graces probably don't matter much.
"You're my fifth roommate this semester," Jared tells him. "So I'm just warning you, I might be jinxed. Although, as long as you're not a neo-Nazi with anger management issues you'll probably do just fine." He wonders if he should use smaller words. He wonders if Jensen knows what neo-Nazi means.
Jensen laughs softly, though, and grins at him. "Good to know," he says.
"Those are some serious textbooks," Jared says as he watches Jensen put book after book onto the shelf above his desk. He wonders if it's fair to make mentally challenged people read so much.
"Yeah," Jensen says with a sigh. "Botany and Zoology, Chemistry, Biometrics, and Physics." He touches the spine of each book. "Oh, and Contemporary Ethics." He hefts another textbook up onto the shelf. "I think they want us to need physical therapy ourselves from carting the books to class."
Jensen's voice is soft and he tugs on his ear as he talks, and that's when Jared figures it out. Jensen's not retarded, he's shy, and that's just too fucking adorable for words.
Jared's allowed to call things too fucking adorable for words without worrying about denting his masculinity or anything. It's a perk of being as huge as he is. It's the same reason he can get away with wearing pink and hugging people. Nobody really questions your manhood when you're big enough to crush their throat one handed. Not that Jared would ever crush anybody's throat. He's just not an aggressive guy.
Jared stretches out on his bed and arches his back to crack his spine. He sighs and for the first time all semester, he thinks he's finally got a roommate he likes.