It goes ding when there's stuff (cleflink) wrote,
It goes ding when there's stuff

The Waters and the Wild: Part 1 - Primroses (CWRPS AU, J2)

Title: The Waters and the Wild: Part 1 - Primroses
Author: cleflink
Artist: siennavie
Pairing: Jared/Jensen preslash
Rating: PG
Word Count: 4400
Warnings: some swearing, tongue-in-cheek mentions of Jensen having a stalker
A/N: Written for the 2015 round of spn_meanttobe with some gorgeous art by the utterly incomparable siennavie! We have been doing an amazing job at just missing working with each other on a number of recent challenges, so when she asked me if I'd like to do a collaboration on this prompt, I jumped at the chance. Aaand then promptly failed to finish anything in a timely fashion because I am a terrible human being. It's been a pleasure, my dear! I look forward to building this little verse with you! Everyone, please make sure you head on over to the Art Post to tell siennavie how awesome she is!

As you can probably guess from the title, this story is the first in a series, which will be continuing later on this summer. Because I had more ideas than I gave myself the time to get down in writing and, this way, I get even more art. Huzzah. :) Also available on AO3.

Summary: In which Jensen gets a stalker who turns out to be rather more than meets the eye.

Art Post

"You've got another one," were Chris' first words to Jensen when he strolled into the station at the leisurely time of 10:17am.

"You're late," Jensen said, not looking up from the noise report he was filling in.

"Stopped for coffee Even got one for you, you ungrateful bastard."

"Hey there, hot stuff," Beth said, wandering into Jensen's office and plucking a coffee cup out of the tray without bothering to ask first. She took a long, noisy slurp, then cocked her head at Chris. "Another one what?"

Chris smirked. "Stalker."

"Ooh, really?" Beth perked up with an entirely inappropriate amount of glee. "Are they lingering awkwardly outside the station with a boombox and a cardboard sign? Can I arrest them for loitering?"

"Sorry," Chris said. "He's in the café across the street nursing a coffee."

Beth pouted. "Aw. No fun."

Jensen ignored the pair of them with the ease of long practice. It wasn't like it was anything he hadn't heard before.

Normally, throwing a word like 'stalker' around in a police station was a good way to get people arrested, but it never quite worked that way when Jensen was involved. Because Jensen had a tendency to… attract people. Always had, although it had definitely worsened after puberty had got through with him. If a day went by that didn't involve at least one person staring after him wearing an expression somewhere between dazed and awestruck, it was a safe bet that Jensen hadn't left his house.

Jensen blamed his stunning good looks and charming personality. Chris blamed either voodoo magic or the stupidity of the average person, depending on his mood.

Most people never went beyond staring, thankfully, but Jensen still received plenty of spontaneous date requests - sometimes from people who were clearly out on dates with other people, which was just awkward - and, every now and then, he picked up a stalker. Which wasn't nearly as big a problem as it probably should have been, honestly; none of them had ever been dangerous and a firmly-worded rejection was usually all it took to make them give up and go the hell home already, wearing a face like Christmas had been cancelled. It was fucking weird, but mostly just a nuisance.

Especially since all of his coworkers and so-called friends thought it was hilarious.

And now Jensen had another one. Joy.

"Well?" Beth asked, striding over to the window. "Don't keep me in suspense. Which one is he?"

"Tall guy in the booth near the register," Chris said, while Beth peered intently through the slats of the blinds. "The one with the hair."

"Ooh! He's cute!" she called over her shoulder at Jensen. Her grin managed to be at once charming and terrifying, which was pretty much Beth in a nutshell. "You should come see."

"I'm fine right here," Jensen answered. "No point in encouraging him."

"You're no fun either," Beth said matter-of-factly.

"Nope," Jensen agreed. "Definitely no fun to be had here. Which is why I'm staying here to do paperwork and you're going on patrol. And you do not want me to catch you going into that café."

Chris chuckled. "Bad choice of verbs there, Jensen."

Jensen shrugged. "It is what it is. Get going, Beth."

She snapped off an exaggerated salute. "Yes sir, Captain Sex Ass!"

"I can hardly contain my hilarity. Less smart-assery, more leaving the room so I can get some work done."

"You know she's going to come back with a report on Stalker Boy," Chris said, once Beth was blessedly gone.

"This isn't my first rodeo, Kane. Go away."

"I do so love these heart-to-hearts of ours," Chris said dryly. He plucked the last cup out of the tray. "Here. No milk, just how you like it."

"I appreciate it," Jensen said distractedly, holding out his hand for Chris to deposit the coffee into.

Chris made an irritated noise. "Would it kill you just once to say 'thank you' like a normal person?"

"Maybe." Jensen flashed him a bright, insincere grin. "Better not risk it, just to be safe."

Chris shook his head. "You are so fucking weird."

"Look who's talking. Now go."

Chris did so, amidst much grumbling. Jensen ignored him in favour of getting back to work. He figured that he had at least until noon before he and Beth returned for an update on his new stalker, and he was determined to get something done in the meantime.

All in all, a pretty normal Monday.

The rest of the day progressed pretty much on schedule, and Jensen clocked out that afternoon amidst cat-calls and laughing offers of protection from his latest admirer. Despite himself, Jensen scanned the windows of the café, looking for someone who fit the description that Beth had given him: big, shaggy haired, good-looking, badly dressed.

There was no sign of him.

Jensen breathed a short sigh of relief and headed home. If he was lucky, the guy had given up, thereby saving Jensen the grief of having to tell him to get lost.

It was a pleasant hope, and one that had Jensen in a good mood right up until his doorbell rang that night and he found the stalker on his doorstep.

Jensen blinked, internally noting that Beth hadn't exaggerated when she said 'big'. Geez. "Uh."

"Jensen," the guy breathed, in a tone of voice that Jensen suspected he would have used as a ten-year old if he'd come face to face with Santa Claus: awed, delighted and resonating with the fervent joy of having been right to keep believing.

"Who's asking?" Jensen asked warily.

The guy's face fell so fast it was almost comical. "You don't remember me?"

Oh, Jesus. That was just what he needed. The delusional ones were always the worst.

"Look," Jensen said, in the same slow, easy tone he used to talk down armed criminals. "I'm flattered by the attention, but we are not, and have never been, dating. I would remember a guy like you."

That part was true, at least; Stalker Boy was tall, broad and muscled in a way that definitely would have caught Jensen's attention if he'd met the guy at a club instead of like this. The hair was maybe a little longer than Jensen usually went for, but he could admit that it suited that clean, sharp-cheeked face. He couldn't quite decide what colour the man's eyes were; it was surprisingly beautiful, whatever it was. Which was a good descriptive term for the guy in general, Jensen decided.

The fact that he looked like he'd got dressed in the dark was maybe a little less appealing, but Jensen wasn't going to consider a stalker for anything more than a 'please go away now' no matter how hot he was, so it was a moot point.

Normally, this was the part of the conversation when his stalker du jour went all earnest and tried to explain to Jensen how good they'd be together. Instead, Stalker Boy cocked his head to one side with a perplexed expression.

"Dating?" he asked, sounding mystified. "No, that's not right. Jensen, it's me. Jared."

At least, that's what Jensen thought he'd heard. He had this strange moment of disorientation when his ears insisted that the name offered had been something very different, full of strange clicks and glottal stops.

"Who?" Jensen managed eventually.

"May I enter?" the guy, Jared, asked.

Later, Jensen would wonder just what in God's name possessed him to let a potentially crazy stalker into his house but, in that moment, it seemed only logical to nod and step back to give Jared the space to enter.

"I appreciate it," Jared said earnestly, which sparked a wave of bizarre nostalgia in Jensen's chest.

Jared peered around curiously as Jensen led the way into the living room. Jensen waited for the usual comment on his fondness for wooden furniture, but it never materialized.

It was only when they were both ensconced on the couch, an offer of refreshment having been rejected, that Jensen realized that there was something not-right about this situation.

Jared, by contrast, seemed delighted by this turn of events. "I knew you weren't dead," was the first thing he said, cheeks dimpling with the force of his smile.

Jensen couldn't decide if he was more nonplussed by the expression or the words. "Uh, what?" he settled on.

"They told me so, but I wouldn't believe them."

This wasn't usually how stalker confrontations went. Even discounting the whole 'Jensen letting weird people into his house' part. "Who said I was dead?"

"Everyone." Jared's enthusiasm faded abruptly and he looked down at his hands.
"They made me go to the funeral," he said, in a painfully small voice.

He looked suddenly lost and alone, and some impulse that Jensen didn't understand prompted him to reach out and rest a hand on Jared's arm.

"Hey," he said. "I'm right here. You don't need to worry about me, okay?"

Jared gave him a watery smile. "You always said that. Every time. Never stopped me from worrying, though."

This was… not normal. Jensen didn't even know to begin addressing this level of delusion.

"I think you should, uh, start at the beginning," he tried. "You think that we used to know each other?"

"As younglings, yes." Jared's lower lip wobbled. "Do you really not remember me?"

"I…" Jensen stared helplessly at Jared's sad face. "I don't. I'm sorry."

Jared nodded sadly. "I suppose it's only to be expected," he said. "But, still, I'd hoped…"

He trailed off, looking moments away from breaking down entirely, and Jensen cast about for a way to diffuse the situation.

"So!" he blurted. "If you thought I was dead, how did you find me?"

"I just knew," Jared said, with something that sounded weirdly like pride in his voice. "As soon as it happened, I knew you could only be here. I came right away."

"Okay, wait a minute." Jensen held up his hands. "You're not very good at this 'start at the beginning' thing, are you? When what happened?"

Jared's head jerked up and he threw a look at Jensen that was somewhere between shocked and disappointed. "You don't know? I would have thought that you…" He bit his lip.

Jensen sighed. This whole situation was giving him a headache. "If I knew, I wouldn't have asked," he said, with a touch of asperity. "So could you please just tell me?"

A gravity fell across Jared's face. "Of course." He took a deep breath. "Your father has died."

"What?" Jensen scrambled in his pocket for his phone, heart pounding triple time. "What happened? Is my mom-"

"Not Jim," Jared said, the words freezing Jensen in the process of scrolling down to his parents' house number. "He's fine. I mean your real father."

Jensen, who had relaxed at the realization that it wasn't his adoptive father that Jared was talking about, tensed right back up again with his final words.

He directed an icy glare at Jared. "My real dad, as you so quaintly put it, abandoned me when I was a kid. If you think I give a rat's ass about what's happened to him since then, you are very much mistaken."

Jared had the nerve to look surprised. "What? But- he did it to protect you."

"Yeah, sure."

"Jensen," Jared said, sounding dismayed.

"Don't you dare take that tone with me," Jensen snapped. He leveled an accusatory finger at Jared's face. "I don't even know you. My life is none of your goddamn business. I don't know who the hell you think you are-"

Jared actually had the temerity to laugh. "I'm a faerie, of course. Same as you."

Jensen spluttered in shock. "I, that's- if that's your idea of flirting," he said hotly, as soon as he remembered how to form words, "you need serious help. Or are you being insulting on purpose?"

Something in Jared's expression brightened in sudden understanding. "Oh. Oh. You can't See, can you?"

"The hell kind of question is that? Of course I can see! And what the hell are you doing now?" Jensen demanded, as Jared started rooting around in his pockets.

"It's not really surprising, I guess," Jared said, more to himself than to Jensen. "Considering how long you've been in the mortal realm."

The man was officially a lunatic. "I think you ought to leave now," Jensen said, in his cop voice.

"Aha!" Jared exclaimed, pulling something out of his pocket.

"Seriously," Jensen pressed. "You need to get out or I'm going to arrest you for tressp-hrk!"

Jared's hand was abruptly splayed across his face, fingers shoving something between Jensen's lips. Jensen flailed out an arm, trying to get away from Jared and whatever the hell he was trying to shove down Jensen's throat. But Jared anticipated the move and dodged easily, his grip stronger than Jensen would have expected as he grabbed Jensen's wrist and clapped his other hand over Jensen's mouth.

"Swallow it," Jared said, in an implacable tone of voice that Jensen refused to be intimidated by.

He glared at Jared and tried to bite his hand, only to yelp when Jared hauled him in close and pinned their twined arms across Jensen's chest, holding him immobile.

"I'm not letting go until you swallow it," Jared said. And then, softer, "It won't hurt you, I promise."

It was some kind of flower, Jensen could tell that much. It lay waxy and thick on his tongue, the petals sticking to his saliva in a decidedly unpleasant way. In the end, it was for his own self-preservation that Jensen grudgingly chewed through the tough fibres and found himself surprised by the blandly sweet taste as he forced it down.

"Good," Jared said, and Jensen felt the grip on his wrist loosen, those long fingers sliding away from his face like a caress.

He yanked himself free and rounded on Jared with a snarl curling his lips.

"What the hell was th-" His voice faltered and died in his throat when he looked at Jared's face.

"Primrose," the creature that had just been a human being said, in Jared's voice. "It has the ability to break through faerie glamours. Normally you wouldn't need the help but," a shrug, "your sensitivity has closed off because you've been trapped here so long. Jensen?" he asked then, probably in reaction to the pallor that Jensen could feel bleeding across his cheeks. "Are you okay?"

"I… I…" Jensen stammered, completely without words. He raised a shaking hand in Jared's direction. "Wh-what-"

"A faerie. Like I said."

It was still very obviously Jared, and Jensen couldn't help but think that made the changes even more unsettling. The height was the same, but the bulk of strong muscles had melted away to a sinewy leanness that emphasized the length of his arms and legs and left him looking even taller as a result. Jared's skin had gone nut brown, and his overlong hair was wildly disheveled and threaded through with leaves and feathers.

It was his face that looked the strangest, though. His cheeks were hollowed and his chin and nose had gone sharply pointed. His ears too, Jensen noticed, feeling a hysterical laugh bubble up inside him. Jared's eyes were still that same indefinable colour, but their almond shape was even more exaggerated than before, leaving them looking slanted and otherworldly.

He was looking at Jensen with open concern. "You really didn't know what we are?"

Jensen's heart stopped. "We?" he demanded.

Jared nodded. "Je-"

But Jensen was already gone, tearing through the house to the bathroom. Jared couldn't mean what he thought he meant.

Jensen kicked open the bathroom door and skidded to a stop in front of the mirror, chest heaving with adrenaline. He absorbed his appearance in snatches: hair gone so blond it was almost white, pointed chin, eyes even more brilliantly green than ever and slanted just like Jared's. Freckles, everywhere, dark against skin the colour of clotted cream. Pointed ears.

But none of that matter compared with the wings.

"Jesus Christ," Jensen breathed, watching them shimmer in the light. They were like dragonfly wings, delicate and vaguely translucent. They shone iridescently blue and green and, as Jensen watched, they vibrated under his scrutiny.

"Jensen?" Jared's voice called, but Jensen was preoccupied with twisting over his shoulder, trying to see his back. The wings were coming straight through his shirt, no rips or bunching in the fabric to betray their existence. He pressed a tentative finger against the curve of one wing and jolted with surprise when he felt the touch through a brand new set of nerves.

"They're not of this realm," Jared's voice said, and Jensen glanced up to see him watching Jensen contort himself in circles. "The mortal realm can't interact with them."

"Am I drunk?" Jensen demanded, with a plaintive whine in his voice that he refused to acknowledge.

Jared chuckled. "Not so far as I know. You're probably not good at being drunk on mortal mead, anyway."

Which was true, it was abso-fucking-lutely true and Jensen didn't know how to handle this. He looked down at his hands - foreign, pale and spindly - and it was all abruptly too much.

"I-" he managed, and then the world went black.

Jensen woke up feeling strangely content. His head was resting on something soft and there was a smell in the air that reminded him of his parents' home. He felt comfortable and settled in his skin, which was an unusual enough occurrence that he wanted nothing more than to bask in it for a while.

Then Jared's face appeared above him, hair hanging down like a banner around those unnatural features, and his good mood abruptly soured.

"This isn't real," he rasped, struggling to sit up. Strong fingers caught at his shoulders to help him, and Jensen's mouth twisted when he realized that his head had been pillowed in Jared's lap.

"This is real," Jared countered, and, really, he certainly had the weight of evidence on his side. "I didn't mean to upset you. If I'd realized that Jim and Sam hadn't told you anything, I'd have been more subtle."

Jensen looked pointedly at Jared's pants. Which were corduroy. And orange. "You know how to be subtle?"

Jared made a face at him. "Yes. Mortal fashion is just dull."

"Uh huh." A thought occurred to Jensen, and he nearly groaned. "My parents are fairies too, aren't they?"

"Brownies," Jared confirmed, with a nod. "His Majesty asked them to hide you here in the mortal realm to protect you from those of the realm who wished you harm."

"There's a fairy king?" Jensen asked. And, almost immediately, added, "Why does he care about me?"

Jared's eyebrow arched. "Because he is - was - your father."

Dimly, Jensen was glad he was already sitting down. "This is the most fucked-up day," he managed. "King?"

"Of the Seelie Court," Jared said, which meant fucking nothing to Jensen. "That's how I knew you were here: the right of rule fell to you when he died."

Jensen hoped like hell he wasn't going to pass out again; he was feeling a little lightheaded all of a sudden. "What?"

Jared beamed at him. "I've come to escort you back to the faerie realm. The Seelie crown longs for your return." He clapped his hands, looking delighted. "Everyone is going to be so happy to see you!"

"You know what? No." Jensen struggled to his feet, refusing to feel repentant for the sudden shock of unhappiness on Jared's face. "I don't care who my dad was or what kind of mystic power I'm supposedly heir to, but I'm not going anywhere. This is my home."

"You can't stay here," Jared protested. "In the mortal realm? You don't belong here, Jensen!"

"Yes, I do!" Jensen took a deep, calming breath. "I want you to leave now."

Jared's face was a picture of grief. "But-"

"No buts. There is nothing you can do or say to make me come with you willingly and I swear to God that I will do everything in my power to make your life hell if you try and take me by force."

Jensen was shaking a little by the time he was finished; he could hear his wings - wings, holy shit - buzzing in time with his agitation. Try it, he thought, glaring down at Jared, a threat and a dare rolled into one. Just goddamn try it.

But all Jared did was look at him for a long, measuring moment, then nod. "Fine."

"Wait, what?" Jensen blinked. "That's it? You're not going to try and convince me or something?"

Jared stared at him, alien and strange. "Would it make a difference?"

There wasn't a lot he could say to that. "No."

"Then I won't waste my breath." Jared rose to his feet, his long limbs unnaturally graceful as he moved. "Don't be surprised if some people and places don't look quite like you expect them to after this," he said, while Jensen stood there, nonplussed. "With your Sight restored, you'll be able to see through all faerie glamours, not just your own. You might be surprised by how many there are in the mortal realm."

"I… appreciate it," Jensen said, not really sure how else to respond. He found himself trailing Jared to the door rather than showing him out, and then lingered awkwardly as Jared went to open the door. "So, uh, I guess this is it."

"Living in the mortal realm certainly hasn't made you more eloquent," Jared said, with a fond grin that was somehow no less attractive for the strangeness of Jared's features. He inclined his head. "May the blessing of light be on you."

"A-and you."

Jared nodded once more and then left without another word. The door closed softly behind him, and Jensen stood there in the hall for a long moment. He felt strangely bereft, somehow.

"Idiot," he told himself. He had no reason to be displeased by Jared's departure.

Determinedly, Jensen turned away from the door and headed into the kitchen. He was going to drink a staggering amount of alcohol and watch sports until he fell asleep. The sooner he forgot about some not-so-crazy stalker telling him he was the king of the fairies, the better. It was done with.

Of course, if he had stopped to think about the morals of all the fairy stories his parents had read him as a child - and wow, their fascination with mythology suddenly had a whole new significance - he would have remembered that nothing was ever that simple when dealing with fairies.

The next morning, Jensen only had a few moments of desperate hope that it had all been a dream before a glance at his hands proved otherwise.

"Fuuuuuck," he sighed, covered his face with his hands and just focused on breathing for a while.

Eventually, he rousted himself out of bed and staggered into the shower. Radical face-lifts aside, he still had a job to do, and he refused to give Chris ammunition by showing up late. He nearly slipped and killed himself twice when he got startled by the fucking wings, but managed to get cleaned up and dressed with a modicum of dignity intact.

He staggered down the stairs with his mind firmly focused on the work that was waiting for him at the station.

And nearly had a heart attack when he wandered into the kitchen to find Jared in front of the stove, wielding a spatula like a weapon and wearing an outfit that made his eyes want to bleed.

"Jensen!" Jared exclaimed, with a chirpiness that was entirely unnatural at this time of the morning. "Hello!"

"What are you doing here?" Jensen demanded, and was just glad when it didn't come out as a squeak.

Jared waved the spatula at the stove, where… something was simmering away in a pan. "Making breakfast." He made a sheepish face. "It's harder than it looks."

"Why are you making breakfast in my kitchen? I told you to leave!"

"I did," Jared said simply. "And now I'm back. I'm not going anywhere. Not as long as you're here."

"I don't think that's your decision," Jensen said. "I told you I'm not going to run away and join the Little Folk, or whatever the fuck you call yourselves."

"Jensen," Jared said, and fuck him for sounding so chiding, anyway. Jensen was an adult. He could say what he liked. God damn it, he needed coffee for this conversation.

"You are the next in line for the Seelie crown," Jared reminded him. "And, as the Captain of the Guard, it's my job to protect you. So I'm staying here."

Jensen gaped at him. "Pro-? I'm a police officer, Jared! I'm trained in two different martial arts! I carry a gun! I don't need you protecting me!"

Jared did not appear convinced by this incredibly logical argument. "I'm staying."

"I'll make you leave," Jensen threatened, ignoring the barely-there twinge of… something deep inside himself at the thought.

That earned him a raised eyebrow. "Will you?" Jared asked. He sounded genuinely curious, the fucker. "Do you really think you can?"

And Jensen wasn't all that sure he could, which, predictably, only served to increase his frustration.

Jared, the bastard, clearly knew it, if the sunny grin that spread across his face was any indication.

"So! Breakfast!" He glanced around, looking lost. "Where do you keep the plates?"

"I am not eating that," Jensen said, determinedly ignoring the part of him that was glad to have Jared back in his space. "I can't even tell what it used to be before you massacred it."

"But-" Jared protested.

Jensen sighed. "Come on," he said, snagging his jacket. "I'll take you to breakfast."

And there went that sunshine smile again. "Really?"

"Don't get used to it," Jensen warned, and he was definitely not smiling back. He wasn't.

"Okay," Jared said easily, and Jensen ruefully acknowledged that he was the one who was going to have a lot to get used to in the future.

Starting with the little kernel of warmth that Jared's smile seemed to have woken inside him.

This was going to be an interesting cohabitation, to say the least.


A note on terminology: There are myriad ways to refer to the fae, depending on which traditions and cultures you're looking at. For the sake of consistency, personal preference and reading ease, I shall be using the term 'faerie' to refer to the fae in general. The two faerie courts of Scottish tradition will be referred to as the Seelie and Unseelie Courts (and you'll learn more about them next time!).
Tags: challenge: spn_meanttobe, fandom: cwrps, genre: au, pairing: jared/jensen, pairing: preslash
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