Fandom: CW RPS
Pairing: Gen (Jared/Jensen pre-slash)
Word count: 1215
A/N: Day 3 of my August fic challenge (for a fairly liberal definition of 'day'). For Bunny7033 who asked for Jared's POV of his first time meeting Jensen from FRAGILE - Handle with Care. In other news, I cannot believe how well this icon suits this story.
Also available on AO3
Summary: The love of Jared's life just landed on his head. Not the most auspicious first meeting.
Jared was never, on pain of death, going to tell Jensen what was going through his head the first time they met. Mostly because Jensen would probably hit him. And then laugh at him forever.
Jared had heard of suffering for his art, but he really wished that part of his suffering in his quest to become a movie star hadn't involved moving into an apartment building that didn't have an elevator. Normally it didn't bother him - Jared was a pretty fit guy and it wasn't like a few extra minutes on his travel time was going to break him - but he'd been up since the crack of dawn working as an extra in a TV show that involved far more running back and forth than he'd been expecting, and he couldn't help but feel that there'd never been quite so many stairs between the ground floor and his bedroom before.
After several minutes of staring at the staircase, Jared metaphorically hitched up his pants and started the long trek up, muscles groaning with every step.
He was nearing the top of the third flight when a thunderous racket echoed down the stairwell and he rounded the corner just in time to for something big and solid to plow right into him with the force of a cannonball.
Jared yelped as he went down in a tangle of limbs, the back of his head hitting the floor hard enough to make sparks flash behind his eyelids. All of the air got crushed out of his lungs a moment later and he wheezed dramatically, trying to breathe with what felt like a couple hundred pounds of dead weight lying on his chest.
"Hngh," he managed. That hadn't been fun.
There was an answering groan from the shape lying on top of him, and Jared craned his head upwards, willing the world to stop spinning long enough to let him see what he'd just been run over by. His questing eyes took in a face that was perfect enough to have been carved out of marble, artfully spiked dark hair and a pair of gorgeous, although dazed, green eyes, and came up with only one possible conclusion.
I just had an angel land on me.
"Fucking ow," the angel complained, still not looking quite with it, and Jared found himself revising his theory. Somehow, he didn't think that was the first thing an angel would say if it fell to Earth - no matter how literal the falling was.
"Hey," Jared said, ignoring the ache that was building in his neck from the angle. "Are you okay?"
The guy-who-probably-wasn't-an-angel blinked those pretty green eyes at him, and Jared saw the moment when he caught up to what was going on: his eyes widened and his cheeks went pink. "Shit, sorry," he said, fumbling about as he tried to extricate himself from Jared. "I didn't mean to-"
"Honestly, I'd be kind of impressed if you had," Jared said, smiling so as not to scare his gorgeous not-angel away before they'd even met properly. "There must be easier ways to murder people. Here, let me." He set one hand on the guy's arm to help him sit up when it became clear that he wasn't going to be able to manage it on his own. "You okay?"
That earned him a wry sort of grimace. "More or less. Better than I would be if I hadn't landed on you, I'm afraid."
Jared thought about the three flights of stairs below him and fought back a shudder. "I'm glad I got in your way, then. I'm Jared Padalecki, by the way. I live on the seventh floor."
"Jensen Ackles," the guy said in return. He'd progressed to his knees by this point, and was probing at his side with a thoughtful frown. Jared kept a close eye in case he looked like he needed help. "I'm on the six floor, though now I'm thinking I should have gone for a ground floor apartment instead. Not as far to fall."
"You fell down three flights of stairs?" Jared exclaimed. Jensen wobbled to his feet and Jared hurried to follow, his hands practically itching to pat the man down to make sure he wasn't broken. "God, are you okay? You want me to take you to the hospital or something?"
"Nothing a little ice won't fix," Jensen said. He left one arm curved around his waist and gave Jared a smile. "No need to worry."
Jared wasn't convinced. "I'm not sure that you-"
"Jared," Jensen said, and Jared tried very hard not to get distracted by the sight of that mouth saying his name. "Trust me when I say I know what I'm talking about. All the hospital would do is leave me waiting for hours, take x-rays that showed I've bruised my ribs and send me home with an ice pack and a prescription for painkillers. I can get both of those things at home with much less hassle."
His expression was easy and surprisingly relaxed given the stiff way he was holding himself. Jared couldn't see any sign that he was suffering from shock or anything else that might lead him to underestimate the damage he'd suffered. It was like Jensen had simply assessed the damage and decided it wasn't worth worrying about.
"Are you sure?" Jared asked finally.
Jensen started to nod, then winced and brought a hand up to his forehead. "Ow. Yes, I'm still sure," he said, before Jared could speak. "It's not a concussion and I own more than one ice pack."
"I'm starting to think you make a habit of this," Jared grinned, and was surprised when Jensen bit his lip. "Really? But- how?"
"I'm maybe not the most coordinated person," Jensen said, more to his toes than to Jared. He was practically radiating embarrassment and Jared mentally cursed himself.
"Sorry, that was rude."
Jensen shrugged. "It is what it is." He half-turned, pain tightening the corners of his eyes at the movement though his expression didn't change. "I could probably do with that ice right now, though, so-"
"Let me help," Jared said immediately. He offered Jensen his best 'I am harmless and loveable' face. "You're on my way, anyway, and I'm just going to worry like an idiot if I don't see you get safely back to your place."
"I can take care of myself."
"Doesn't mean you can't accept a little bit of help." Jared held out one arm. "It'll make the stairs easier."
Jensen stared at him for a long moment, then reached out with the arm that wasn't wrapped around himself to grasp Jared's hand in a firm grip. "Just to the door," he said, which Jared was already planning on ignoring. And then, a little awkwardly, "Thanks."
"Don't mention it," Jared said. They started their slow, hobbling trip up the stairs, and Jared split his attention between making sure Jensen was alright and thinking up ways he could convince Jensen to let him stay. Because Jared really was the type who'd worry endlessly if he abandoned Jensen to suffer on his own and, well, it wasn't often that angels fell from the sky. He wasn't about to let this one go that easily.