Genre: Angst, schmoop, RPS
Spoilers: Can't think of any
Warnings: Angst, schmoop, RPS
Disclaimer: Don't know 'em, never met 'em, none of this resembles reality
Word Count: ~1330
Summary: Without sadness, what cause for joy?
Note: For my schmoop_bingo, the square labeled "first fight – making up." This is much more with the angst than the schmoop, because seriously? How does one have a schmoopy fight? I'm not talented enough to write that. Thanks as always to morganoconner for encouragement and faith. *smooches*
He was nearly off the lot when the message came through. *2 bottles fine hooch will share?*
Richard snickered, even though it hurt, because that was so very Misha. *Cmon then*
It turned out to be more than two bottles, and that was fine, because it took all of the first one and half of the second before Misha tricked him into even beginning to talk about it. And it was a trick, too, and a dirty move. That was his story and he was sticking to it, by God.
"He didn't mean it like that, Rich."
"Then he shouldn't've said it," Richard growled, staring fixedly at the game on the tv. Not that he knew who was playing, or anything. Misha was just watching him, with that open, all-accepting blue-eyed gaze that nevertheless felt like it was drilling a hole in Richard's cheekbone. Richard wasn't caving, though, because he'd owned dogs with sad eyes, been owned by a cat. So he wasn't. Caving.
A few more swallows later, he caved, slumping back into the couch and closing his eyes. "He's a kid, Misha," he said with a sigh, "and I shoulda known better than to even…."
Misha snorted. "And we'll be getting you a walker any day now, o ancient one. Which would make me middle-aged, which reality I reject, by the way, and substitute my own. C'mon, Rich. I'd be pissed, too – hell, I'm pissed on your behalf – but every relationship is compromise, you know that."
"Runs two ways, Collins."
"Or more," Misha said calmly, and that nearly made Richard laugh. The talking heads on the tv kept on second-guessing the game, rattling on about some stupid thing. "Rich," Misha said softly, "Jared is seriously, truly gone on you. You know that, right?"
Richard snorted. "For now."
"Oh, don't be an idiot."
That was enough to get Richard's eyes back open, which he did so he could turn his head and glare.
"No, really." And Misha himself looked serious, which was very weird in itself. When he wasn't Castiel, Misha was never serious. "I know him. I watched him through two girlfriends and a fiancé. You're different. And you're good for him, and he's damn sure been good for you. It sucks beyond telling right now, I get that, but is this really the hill you want it all to die on?"
Richard rolled his head back to stare at the ceiling. "Better now than later, if it's gonna die. I'm not gonna start over one more time, Mish. I can't."
"If," Misha said. "If it dies. But it won't. He wants you, Rich, and once his brain kicks back into gear he's not gonna let go without a hell of a fight. In fact, I give it –" he looked at his wrist, completely devoid of time-telling devices, "– twelve hours at the outside before he's rapping on your door.
"The million dollar question is – are you going to let him in?"
"I know he wants me," Richard said, avoiding the shades of meaning that he didn't want to hear, thanks very much. "And then you argue and find out whoops! Lookee there, you really have nothing in common besides a great lay."
"You don't believe that," Misha said, soft and dead-solid certain.
Fuck. Richard pinched the bridge of his nose with thumb and forefinger. "No," he whispered eventually. "I don't."
There was light creeping into the bedroom, which meant it was bright out there, which meant it was probably morning or something. Which well and truly sucked, Richard decided, laying one arm over his eyes. The entire US Army had tromped across his tongue with dirty boots and was now gleefully having artillery practice in the right front quadrant of his skull, the ungrateful bastards. He rolled over – carefully – and waited for the shelling to subside before starting the long process of cranking himself upright. Vague memories of a dark-haired, blue-eyed demon making him drink too many glasses of water and getting him into the bed surfaced, and great, now he actually had to thank the son of a bitch.
He found aspirin and still more water on his nightstand when he pried his eyes open. He swallowed some of both – carefully – and sat for a minute to see if things would stay put. It seemed that they would. Christ, but he hated mornings after, because the nights before never really solved anything, and he was too fucking old for this shit.
"Up and at 'em, RJ," he muttered. The room smelled like sweat and old sheets. The faintest, taunting hint of Jared's cologne was his own mind screwing with him, because Jared had never been in here. Hurt like hell anyway. "Life goes on. You've got a living to make."
All righty then, decision time. Caffeine or hot water first?
He grabbed his robe and shuffled out toward the kitchen, and stopped dead. Because that smell was almost stronger here and it –
Oh dear God.
"Fuck," he whispered, staring at his couch, which was literally overflowing with Jared Padalecki. Apparently asleep, and looking about as comfortable as a circus giant crammed into one of those tiny clown cars.
Fucking hell. He was going to kill Misha Collins.
Richard looked at the half-glass of water he was still holding.
He considered the upholstery of his couch.
With no further ado, he stepped just close enough, and upended the contents of the glass over Jared's head.
Jared came awake with a shout, sputtering and spitting and swearing. It was, Richard decided, deeply satisfying.
He crossed his arms over his chest and watched as Jared went through the stages of "what the hell?", "where am I?", and finally arrived at "oh, shit." Jared raked a handful of wet hair out of his face and looked up. "Uhm…hi?"
"The fuck are you doing on my couch, Padalecki?"
"…Misha let me in."
Correction: Richard was going to kill Misha Collins s-l-o-w-l-y. "Wasn't that nice of him. How about I just let you right on back out again?"
"Right the hell now."
"Rich, please." It rang in the air, low and rough and pained, and it knocked a chink in the wall of Richard's anger. Jared looked a lot worse than sleeping on that couch would explain, his hazel-green eyes bloodshot and, if Richard was any judge, miserable. "I'm sorry."
The chink got bigger. God damn it. Richard swallowed, set his jaw.
"I was over the line. Okay, you gotta know, you ticked me off, bigtime, but I never shoulda –" Jared swallowed. "I was way outta line. But – you get to me, Rich; right down under my skin, like nobody other than my family has in years, and I –" He looked down. "I lost it. And I'm sorry. Tell me –" He took a breath and raised his head and met Richard's eyes. "I can't lose you. I can't. Tell me I can fix this."
Is this really the hill you want it all to die on?
More of the anger fell apart, leaving room for the fear that had been beneath it all along.
Richard dropped his chin into his chest and dragged one hand through his hair and pulled, slow and hard, before he took in a deep breath and looked back at Jared. "You're an idiot," he whispered.
Jared nodded, his eyes never leaving Richard's.
Richard took the few steps necessary to sit on the arm of the couch, and reached out.
Jared's arms were tight around Richard's waist in a split second, shaggy head buried in Richard's robe, his cheek hot where it pressed against Richard's skin. Richard wound his own arms around Jared's shoulders and bowed his head to press his mouth against tangled hair, and most of the rest of the anger drained away, leaving him exhausted and oddly calm. "I'm sorry too, Jay," he murmured. "We'll work it out."
Jared didn't make a sound, but his shoulders hitched once, twice, and Richard hugged him hard.
Maybe he wouldn't kill Misha after all.