Title: Age Does Not Protect (From Love)
Genre: mild hurt/comfort, schmoop, RPS
Warnings: RPS. And smelly feet
Disclaimer: Not mine, not mine, not mine. These are real people with real lives that bear no relation or resemblance to this work of fiction
Word Count: ~800
Series: Incremental Movement
Summary: Jared returns a favor
Note: For the "Massage – foot rub" square on my schmoop_bingo. I think I've started a series here, or something. Yikes. I'm sure I can find a way to blame morganoconner for this, if I look around….
Most days, he didn't much notice the age gap. Yes, he was older than most of his fellow actors on the show, with the notable exception of Jim Beaver, but Richard had always subscribed to the adage that you were only as old as you acted, in which case he was going to be about twenty-five forever and ever, amen.
Today, however, was not one of them.
Richard shut the door of his trailer, dropped into the couch, closed his eyes, and let go of the groan that had been trying to climb past his teeth for the last hour or more. God, he ached. No, scratch that – he hurt, dammit.
He kept in decent shape and he normally jogged a couple of times a week, but running in shorts and well-fitted cross-trainers didn't set a guy up for charging across an uneven field in jeans and boots.
Stiff jeans. And heavy boots.
Again and again and again. With the occasional stumble&tumble thrown in for good measure.
Richard groaned again, softly. Somewhere around here was the oomph necessary to sit upright and get the damn boots off, right? Rich, my man, it's been way too long since "Band of Brothers," you are out of practice.
It took approximately forever and two days to shuck the boots, his fingers far slower than they should have been. Richard slouched down on the couch again and leaned his head over the back. He wasn't going to whimper, dammit, even as his toes started aching in new and fascinating ways. Circulation, it was a beautiful thing –
The rap on his trailer door might have startled him, if he'd had the energy to jump. "Rich? You in there?"
Crap. Crap, crap, and double-fucking-crap, of all the people he didn't need seeing him acting his age –
The door handle turned because of course Richard hadn't locked it. "Hey, man, you decent? I've got a – Richard?"
Open his eyes and face the humiliation now? Or later? Decisions, decisions.
Footsteps, and a wash of air that brought a faint, familiar, stomach-tightening trace of cologne. "Hey, are you okay?"
"I'm fine, Jared. Just tired." There, that sounded good.
"Uh-huh, yeah, no." Or not. "I'm not Sam and you're sure the hell not Dean, so we're not doing that dance. What's wrong?"
Guess it was going to be now. Richard opened his eyes.
Jared was far too close, crouching or kneeling or something by the arm of Richard's couch, one big hand resting on the back of it, not six inches from Richard's head. Concern was written all over his beautiful face, caught in his hazel-y, forest-colored eyes. More than close enough for Richard to smell sweat and male and makeup.
Nearly close enough to kiss.
Richard swallowed. "Really, Jay, it's nothing. I'm tired and my feet are a little sore. I'm an old guy, y'know."
One feathery brown eyebrow rose as Jared snorted. "Ye-ah, that's why you damn near outran me – how many times? 'Cause you're old. And if you haven't got those boots broke in yet, I'll just bet your feet are sore." He sat back on his heels and then on his butt, and wrapped his fingers around Richard's ankle. "Let me see."
What the hell?
Richard jerked. "Jared, what are you – I haven't even showered, man."
"Rich, relax." Jared had both hands around Richard's ankle and foot now, and the touch raced like fire beneath Richard's skin. "Knew a guy who taught massage, he showed me a few things. Let me help."
Jared's eyes were big and bright and earnest and Christ on a crutch, how was Richard supposed to resist this? He'd wanted Jared since he'd first laid eyes on the man and fuck, this was such a bad idea. He swallowed again. "If you want to get near my socks, it's your funeral."
Jared just grinned. "I'm pretty tough."
The first dig of thumbs made Richard wince, but the discomfort turned to pleasure in short order as Jared found and shoved at spots that made the pain blossom briefly and then fade away, leaving the most incredible relief in its wake. By the time the magic digits set his foot down, Richard was goo on the couch and half-asleep. If he hadn't been in love before, he was now. "You don't have to," he muttered as he felt Jared's fingers on his other foot.
"You didn't have to nurse me through that migraine the other week, either." Jared's voice was a soft, soothing rumble.
"Yes, I did," Richard protested before he thought, because it was the simple truth. He struggled his eyes half-open and then caught his breath at the expression on Jared's face.
"Well, so do I, Rich," Jared said quietly, his gaze holding Richard's. "So do I."