They spend the rest of the drive back to Jared’s that way, Jared racking his brain for quotes he doesn’t think Jensen will know and Jensen popping off answers with only a minimum of effort, usually before Jared has even completed the quote. It’s fun, and a good portion of the time is spent with laughter filling the car. As they pull into his driveway, Jared says, “Okay, you’re definitely not getting this one. I’m pretty sure no one besides me even remembers this movie being made, including the actors who were in it - I know he can get the job...but can he do the job.”
Jensen doesn’t give the name of the movie for that one, simply completing the quote with, “I’m not arguing that with you!”
Chuckling, Jared says, “How did you know that one? I swear, I’ve never met a single person who’s ever heard of that movie, much less someone who can quote it.” They walk up to the house, side by side. “So, what movie should we watch tonight? I’ve got most of the streaming services, so we can watch just about anything.”
Jensen shrugs. “Like I said, I haven’t actually watched many movies. I’ll leave the selection to you.”
A twinkle enters Jared’s eyes. It’s one that Jensen is beginning to associate with his playful side. “Hmm, how about…”
“Nuh uh, not Aladdin.” Best to nix that idea right out of the gate.
“How did you know I was gonna suggest Aladdin?” The pout is all kinds of cute.
Nevertheless, he’s not caving on this one. “Because I’m aware of how your mind works. There must be something else you’d like to watch, Mr. Movie Buff.”
Turns out, Jared is a horror film fanatic. They decide on It Chapter 1 because none of his friends were interested when it first came out and he didn’t want to go to the theater alone.
With a wealth of junk food at the ready, including a heat-and-serve supreme pizza, a bowl of microwave popcorn, and a 2-liter of Mountain Dew, they settle on the couch. The smell of the food - savory meats, melted cheese, and buttered popcorn - is enticing. He has noticed scents before when in the material plane, mostly just in passing, noting which ones were pleasant and which ones were not in an academic way. This is different, and Jensen attributes his more highly developed sense of smell to his tangible state.
As he lifts two slices of pizza onto his plate, Jared catches him eyeing the spread. “Half of this is for you, dude. I can’t eat all this by myself. Grab a plate and dig in.”
Jensen shakes his head, explaining, “I have no need for sustenance.”
Wrinkles crease Jared’s forehead as he seems to process this. “Huh, I guess that makes sense. You are a magical being, after all. I keep forgetting that, now that I can touch you.” He puts a hand on Jensen’s forearm, lightly fingering the brass cuff there. “It’s like you’re becoming a real boy.”
“Pinocchio,” Jensen supplies, resurrecting their earlier game even while suppressing the shiver that always goes through him at contact from his consort.
“Pinocchio,” Jared agrees, turning slightly so that his back is pressed up against Jensen’s side, using him as a backrest, and stuffing pizza into his mouth.
At a thought from Jensen, the lights dim and the movie begins to play on the flat screen mounted on the wall above the fireplace. It’s comfortable, sitting like this in the dark, pressed up against each other, movie flickering on the screen. Cozy.
Resting his arm on top of the couch, Jensen lets his fingers play with Jared’s hair, brushing along the nape of his neck. He’s well aware this isn’t customary friendship behavior. That’s okay though because he doesn’t classify their relationship as that of merely friends. What they have goes beyond that, whether Jared feels the pull the same way he does or not. As long as Jared is giving this to him, he’s going to take it, no questions asked. His time is fleeting. Every wish Jared makes brings the end closer and closer.
By the time Pennywise the Clown is retreating back down into its well at the end of the movie, the moon has risen and Jared is a nearly limp weight against him.
“Everything is so easy with you,” Jared mumbles sleepily.
Jensen isn’t sure exactly to what his master is referring, but the idea of it makes him happy. He smiles softly and brings the lights back on a little at a time to allow Jared’s eyes time to adjust. “I’m glad you think so.”
“Did you like the movie?”
“Oh yes, I enjoyed it very much, and now I know more about the context of the quote – We all float down here.” For the creepy clown voice he uses, he gets an elbow in the stomach which tickles a bit. The movie had indeed been entertaining. What he doesn’t feel the need to tell Jared is that it wasn’t so much the movie that really made the experience enjoyable for him.
Jared sits up and rests his elbows on his knees. “I feel like I should call Meghan. Ask her if she’s had any more seizures.” His eyes dart to Jensen. “Not that I don’t trust you. I just-”
“I understand.” Jensen flicks a hand at the remaining junk food on the coffee table in front of them. The dirty plates and containers disappear. “It’s a pretty big ask to take something like that on faith.”
“Hey, you didn’t have to do that.” Jared points at the now clean table. “I don’t want you using your magic for trivial stuff. You’re too…important.”
“Little things like that take an infinitesimal amount of magic. I barely even miss it. Only when I use my magic to affect a living being do I run the risk of depleting it. I’ve never had the need to use my own magic in that way. But, thank you, for the sentiment. It means a lot to me.” He pats Jared’s back, feeling the sinewy muscles under his fingertips. He’s maybe getting a little too used to this touching thing. It’s addicting. “As far as your sister goes, it’s only been a day. You said her seizures have been sporadic in the past, so it would be difficult to tell if anything has changed after only one day. I don’t want to discourage you from calling her. At the same time, it might be better if you waited a little longer.”
Jared yawns. “You’re right. And it’s too late to call now anyway. I’ll wait until Saturday. She has a book signing that morning so I can always pretend I was just calling to see how it went.” Reaching for the remote, he thumbs the television off. “Do you need anything before I go to bed?”
“I have everything I need right here.” He’s going for lighthearted. The look he gets from Jared in return is anything but.
With a sigh, Jared turns away. “Good night then, Jensen.”
He watches Jared pad off down the hall. Water runs, presumably from the bathroom. A door closes. Bed springs creak. And then, the house is quiet.
Jensen crosses his legs and levitates. It takes a little more thought to keep himself afloat with a corporeal body, a little like he imagines floating in water must for humans. Funny how walking has become second nature to him after only a day and levitating seems strange.
One day. He’s only been here for a little over one day. It seems like so much longer. So much has changed. His life has been turned upside down, and the person responsible has no idea. The long years leading up to this moment, this master, this ending, revolve like a thousand moons around as many planets through his mind.
Jensen floats in the air and he ponders his destiny in the dark and silent house as he awaits the end of night and his consort’s return.
A routine develops over the next couple days. Jensen goes to work with Jared every morning, trailing him as he makes his rounds, and no one on set is any the wiser. In the evenings, they watch horror movies together. Wednesday night, It Chapter 2 is on the docket. Thursday, they continue the Stephen King fest with Pet Cemetery. Friday is a double header with Child’s Play and Us.
They have fun together, and Jensen kind of gets what Jared meant after that first day they spent together – it’s easy. They enjoy each other’s company, never seem to get tired of sharing space. The lamp’s magical requirement of always staying within one hundred yards of one another doesn’t seem as stifling as it has with his previous masters. The little touches throughout the day and especially in the evening during their movie marathons become commonplace.
By unspoken agreement, Jared doesn’t make any other wishes. Jensen assumes he’s waiting to see how the date with Stephen goes on Saturday before deciding what to wish for next. It’s good that Jared is being prudent with his wishes. His happiness is at stake, and Jensen wants Jared’s life to be extraordinary. Selfishly, he hopes to be a part of making it so, whatever that may entail. If that means Jared marries Stephen and the two of them take the world by storm, then so be it.
After a late night of movie viewing on Friday, Jared sleeps in Saturday morning. Jensen decides to try his hand at making Jared some breakfast the mundane way. How hard could it be? There’s pancake mix in the pantry and an electric skillet on a shelf under the kitchen island. He carefully reads the instructions on the box. Super simple. The plastic bag the mix is contained in hasn’t been opened yet. He grabs both sides of the plastic and pulls. Nothing happens. He pulls harder. Still nothing. This bag is tougher than it looks. He gets a better grip and really puts some muscle into it. The bag explodes. Pancake powder flies in all directions, all over the cabinets, the counters, the floor, and him. Of course, that’s when Jared walks into the kitchen.
Head bowed in embarrassment, he says, “I was just trying to make you breakfast. I guess it’s not as easy as it looks.” He knows he’s pouting and doesn’t care. It’s a totally legit, pout-worthy situation.
Jared walks slowly forward, surveilling the wrecked kitchen. He stops directly in front of Jensen, hand coming up to dust flour from his hair and lingering on his cheek. “You’re adorable, you know that, right?” Jared’s hand tips his head up until he’s staring into eyes the stormy-blue color of a pulsar. The kiss takes him by surprise, lips incredibly soft against his own, warm breath fanning his face.
But more than that, it’s the way his body reacts that truly staggers him. Tremors shake his hands. Sparks go off behind his eyes. His magic swirls and batters his insides like a meteor shower pelting against a planet’s atmosphere. He has to grab hold of Jared’s biceps to hold himself up, not trusting his legs or his rebellious magic to do the job.
Jared’s arms come around him, engulfing and supporting him. “Hey, you alright?” Jared whispers against his mouth.
After a beat, Jensen nods. “Yeah, I just…this is new.” He doesn’t want to say any more on the subject, doesn’t want Jared to know how very shaken he is or why. Luckily, Jared accepts that answer and doesn’t ask for further clarification.
It seems so strange to him how profoundly Jared affects him. Here he is, this immensely powerful being with cosmic powers, reduced to jelly at a single kiss from his consort.
Once his magic settles down and he feels like he’s back in control, Jensen disentangles himself from Jared’s arms, stepping back. With the wave of a hand, the pancake flour disappears as though it never existed. In its place, a platter laden high with perfectly fluffy, golden-brown pancakes sits in the center of the kitchen island. “Let’s pretend, this is what you saw when you walked in here just now.” He gives Jared a hopeful smile.
“Oh, I don’t know. I think I liked the other way better.” Jared’s heated gaze lingers on him for a moment before he goes to the cupboard to fetch a plate, plucking several pancakes from the stack and smothering them with butter and syrup. As he eats, he makes appropriate noises of appreciation, licking sticky syrup from his lips after swallowing every mouthful.
Conversation turns to the day’s agenda. There are a few handyman-type jobs around the house Jared says he’s been meaning to get to – a dripping faucet in the guest bathroom and a loose board on the front porch steps. Then there’s the phone call to his sister slated for the afternoon and his date with Stephen in the evening. Stephen has an apartment in downtown L.A., not too far from the restaurant, so Jared will be driving into the city and meeting Stephen there. After dinner, they’ll probably go back to Stephen’s apartment.
Jensen doesn’t really want to tag along, preferring to give Jared some privacy on his date. The idea of watching his consort with another person romantically makes Jensen’s vision go red. And while Jared has seemed perfectly at ease with Jensen’s presence at all other times during the past week, he gets the distinct impression that Jared is uncomfortable with a third wheel during his date, invisible or not. By mutual consent, they decide Jensen will stay as far away as the magic will allow. He’s had to do this in the past and, while the distance can cause him some physical and mental distress, it’s possible as long as he doesn’t get too far away.
That settled and breakfast completed, they turn to the morning’s chores.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to do it?” Jensen asks as Jared rummages around in his toolbox for his hammer and nails.
“Dude, it’s just a loose board. A couple nails and it’ll be golden. I like being able to do stuff like this; gives me a sense of accomplishment. Besides, I already told you, I don’t want you using your magic for trivial hooey.”
He thought by now he’d heard all Jared’s fake curse words. Somehow, he keeps coming up with new ones. It’s endearing. Jensen smirks.
“Shut up.” A red blush creeps up Jared’s neck, quickly reaching the tips of his ears.
A couple well-placed, sharp whacks with the hammer drive each nail into place and the stairs leading up to the front porch are as sturdy as if they had been welded together. It’s Jared’s turn to give Jensen a very self-satisfied smirk.
The leaking faucet repair does not go as smoothly. After prying off the handle, Jared gets out his crescent wrench and the next thing Jensen knows, water is spurting everywhere. The spray hits Jared straight in the face as he frantically turns the wrench in the opposite direction, trying to undo whatever he’d just done. Everything in the tiny guest bathroom gets drenched, from the pebbled ceiling and the sea-foam green walls to the seashell-themed hand towels and tiled floor.
Jensen stands there in shock, water dripping from his hair and eyelashes, cold moisture on his skin. Holding his arms out to his sides, he feels the waterlogged clothing cling to his body in a way that is wholly unpleasant. In his ethereal form, water would have gone right through him. Wet isn’t a sensation he is familiar with and he finds that he doesn’t particularly enjoy it.
Jared, long hair plastered to his head, finally gets the spray under control and turns to look at him. A droplet of water hangs from his nose.
Something about the combination of Jared’s hangdog expression and the tenacious water droplet strikes Jensen as undeniably funny. What starts as a chuckle quickly grows into a full blown, head thrown back, joyous laugh.
“Oh, you think this is funny?” Jared asks, his own smile, complete with dimples, making an appearance.
The question only makes Jensen laugh harder. “You should...you should have seen the look...on your face,” he manages to say in between bouts of giggles. Every time he thinks he’s done, he glances at Jared’s sopping hair and a fresh wave of hilarity incapacitates him.
Hands on his hips, Jared patiently waits out the slowly ebbing mirth, eyes crinkled in either fondness or exasperation, Jensen isn’t sure which. Maybe fond exasperation.
It feels so good to laugh like this. He just wants to bask in the afterglow for a while longer, revel in the minor ache in his side that he never gets when in his ethereal form. Store it up for the long, lonely years that will come once Jared’s magic is gone and he has to leave. Stifling the last of his snickers, Jensen says, “Can I fix it for you now?”
“Goodness gracious, Jensen. What is it with you and wanting to use your magic for stupid chores? Aren’t you afraid your magic will run out?”
It’s true that he normally would have no desire to help with chores, stupid or otherwise. But...things have changed. His life has been altered, set on a new orbit. “My magic won’t run out. At least not in the way you’re thinking. I have different rules than you do.” Since Jared hasn’t specifically forbidden it this time, Jensen waves a hand, directing the flow of mystical energy with no more effort than it takes to blink his eyes. Instantly, the water still dribbling from the faucet stops and every molecule of misplaced H2O evaporates, leaving the room and everything in it dry. Jensen adjusts his long, midnight-blue jacket and nods, satisfied. Jared isn’t the only one who feels a sense of accomplishment at a job well done.
Jared runs a hand through his now fluffy hair, brushing the unruly strands out of his eyes. “I still don’t want you using up your magic for stuff I can do myself, but...thanks.” His voice goes low and raspy on the last word
The bathroom is small with barely enough room for the two of them. Only inches separate them. Jared’s gaze travels from his eyes to his lips, and Jensen wonders briefly if Jared is going to kiss him again, almost starts leaning forward in anticipation. He’s disappointed when Jared just sighs and brushes past him, through the cramped doorway.
The phone call to Meghan that afternoon goes well. Jared had been worried about how to broach the topic of her seizures since they don’t come up all that often in normal conversation. She saves him the awkward question by remarking on how she hadn’t had one in a while, despite the stress she always feels leading up to a book signing. She goes on to enthuse about how much fun she’d had reading to the kids at the Barnes & Noble in City Center that morning, how large the crowd had been, how rapt their little faces had looked as she read. They close the call with her promise to tell him more during their weekly family dinner on Monday.
“No seizures,” Jared says, eyes bright with emotion.
“And there never will be.” Jensen puts a hand on Jared’s bicep, gives it a quick squeeze.
His gesture is rewarded by a smile, watery but happy, before Jared sniffles and bows his head, letting long bangs fall forward to produce a curtain-like effect.
A change in topic is definitely called for. “You didn’t mention your date with Stephen this evening, you know, to Meghan,” he ventures.
“I’m not supposed to tell anyone we’re dating.” Jared scrubs a hand over his eyes.
Remembering the day he first arrived and the dinner he witnessed with Jared’s family, Jensen cocks his head. “Yeah, but you did. Your family already knows.”
There are no signs of tears, happy or otherwise, when Jared looks back up. “You caught that, did you? You’re right, I did tell them. Kind of wish I didn’t now, the way they tease me about it.” He quirks a lopsided smile. “I was too excited at the time to keep it to myself completely. They can keep a secret though. I told them how important it was that they never tell anyone.” The smile slips.
Jensen sets his jaw. This isn’t right. Jared shouldn’t be anyone’s dirty little secret. It’s not his place to protest or criticize though. If Jared loves Stephen, wants to be with him, then it’s Jensen’s duty to do whatever it takes to strengthen their relationship. And by all the stars in the heavens, that’s what he’s going to do.
Jared spends the rest of the afternoon puttering around the house before getting ready for his date, lost in thoughts he doesn’t seem prepared to share. Jensen doesn’t pry, busy with thoughts of his own.
In deference to the upscale venues he and Stephen will be patronizing that evening, Jared opts for a pair of black dress slacks and a nice button-down shirt in a classic dove gray. The clothes are impeccably cut and fit him to a tee.
“Quit fidgeting.” Jensen purposefully moves Jared’s hands out of the way to fix his collar and smooth the shirt down his back. “You look awesome.”
“Yeah?” Jared asks, finger-combing his hair while awkwardly transferring his weight from one foot to the other like an anxious alter boy.
Jensen takes a step back to take in the full picture - masculine features, lean body. The tailored shirt emphasizes his muscular shoulders, short sleeves straining against biceps. There’s no denying it; Jared is gorgeous. Much more important than his looks, however, Jared has a kind and generous spirit. Stephen is one lucky guy. Unfortunately, Jensen doesn’t think he knows how lucky. A heaviness settles over him. “Absolutely,” he husks.
The car ride into the city to meet up with Stephen at the restaurant is quiet, unlike the other times they’ve driven together which have all been characterized by lively chatter and easy camaraderie. From the very first day they met, the car has been the place where they talked about themselves, their lives, their pasts and their futures. The need to tell Jared the truth about...everything - about djinn consorts and what it means for Jared to be his - is more insistent here than it is anywhere else, and Jensen fells like if he opens his mouth, the words will burst out of him. Nothing good could come of that. He doesn’t want Jared to feel guilty, or worse yet, beholden to him because he cured his sister. He doesn’t want Jared to make any rash, foolhardy decisions because of him. Decisions that would ruin his life. And knowing Jared the way he now does, kind-hearted, altruistic Jared would definitely put his own happiness with Stephen aside to make Jensen happy. So, Jensen doesn’t open his mouth. He sits in silence, watching the city with its lights and its glamour and its glitz, get closer.
Jared doesn’t break the silence either, although he does sneak several peaks at Jensen’s profile when he thinks Jensen isn’t paying attention. Thing is, Jensen is always paying attention. On a couple occasions, Jared even goes as far as to take a deep breath, like he’s about to launch into a confession or impart some deep wisdom. He never does though. Eventually, he shakes his head and turns on the radio.
Cecconi’s is in the heart of L.A. on Melrose Avenue. A chic outdoor seating area, reminiscent of a French café, is positioned in front of large windows revealing the elegant decor inside where diners can see and be seen. The tables are occupied by men and women whose smiles look a little too forced, like they’re putting on an act for a hidden camera show.
Jared puts his hand on the interior car door handle. Without opening it, he angles toward Jensen. “Where will you be?”
“I can only get so far away from you before the magic will stop me. I’ll give you as much privacy as I can,” Jensen assures.
Jared nods, face expressionless. “Okay, see you soon.” The car door creaks open, and Jared gets out.
Jensen watches Jared walk down the street toward the restaurant and what could be the beginning of his new life with Stephen. It starts as a low grade thrumming, an itch he can’t scratch. As the distance between him and his master grows, the magical tether pulls taut and a cruel pressure begins to build. The ache he feels at resisting the pull intensifies with every step Jared takes. He can tell when Jared has reached the maximum distance by the pain that blooms hot like a solar flare inside his head. Still, he resists the pull that, to him, feels stronger than the gravitational pull of the planet.
Jared disappears inside the restaurant and still Jensen refuses to follow, even the few yards it would take to ease the searing pain. His fingers spasm and dig into the flesh of his arms where he has them crossed over his chest. He won’t be able to keep this up if Jared gets any further away. As it is, the need for closer proximity to his master is nearly unbearable. To take his mind off the compulsion to chase after Jared like an out of control comet, he looks up through the windshield at the late evening sky.
The sun hangs low on the horizon, heralding the end of day and yet providing too much light for star gazing. The city lights would most likely drown out any starlight even if it were fully night anyway. Jensen has to content himself with his memories and imagination. In his mind’s eye, he sets the constellations in their proper places and wonders what it’s going to be like when he’s back there amongst the celestial bodies, a spiritual being once more. Will he travel to the material plane and check up on how Jared is doing periodically as he does with the Fuzzies, unseen and unheard, or will that be too painful for him? Will time and distance diminish the yearning he feels for his consort or will it only get worse? He has no way of knowing.
One hour passes and then two. The sky darkens and, true to his prediction, the glow of city lights obscures the stars. The pressure and pain have gotten no worse, so Jared must still be enjoying his dinner with Stephen inside Cecconi’s. Once they move on to Stephen’s apartment, Jensen will have no choice but to follow them, albeit at a distance.
The inside of the car had gotten broiling hot soon after Jared left. The grueling temperature plays no part in his discomfort though since the body he’d crafted for himself is not affected by temperature or a need for oxygen. The heat that ravages him has an entirely magical source. Dully and through a haze of suffering, he watches the comings and goings at the restaurant until the movement blurs into a maelstrom of shifting colors and luminescence.
An abatement of pressure is his first indication that Jared is getting closer. His return so soon is unexpected. Jensen sits up from the collapsed sprawl against the seat back and passenger door he doesn’t remember falling into and scans the crowded sidewalk outside the restaurant. A familiar, tall frame quickly becomes distinguishable from all the others as it begins jogging along the sidewalk toward the car. Cool relief chases away the agonizing heat. The coiled tension releases like a popped bubble.
Jared reaches the car and climbs in. “What in the heck are you doing so far away from the restaurant? Have you been here the whole time? You could have gotten a lot closer than this without impinging on my privacy or whatever you were afraid of.” A hand comes up to brush against his overheated cheek.
“It was fine. No problem.” Jensen brushes off the two hours of torture he’d just undergone. Whether he was punishing himself for the crime of falling in love with his master or testing his endurance for the separation looming in his future, he couldn’t have explained to himself much less to Jared. “What are you doing back here so soon? I thought you were planning to spend the night at Stephen’s apartment.”
Jared’s eyes narrow as though he’s not convinced by the obvious deflection. After a beat he seems to decide to let it go and answer the question. “I broke it off with him.” His shoulders round forward like he’s trying to make himself smaller. His voice gets a dejected tone that Jensen immediately hates. “He talked business the whole time we were there. Never even touched me. The one time I reached for his hand, he recoiled like he’d been bitten by a snake. When he suggested we go back to his, I told him it was over.”
Jensen’s immediate reaction is anger towards the one who hurt his consort. Empathy and sorrow for his friend quickly take over. He puts a hand on Jared’s knee where it bounces in agitation. “I’m so sorry.”
Jared’s knee goes still under his hand, his shoulders straighten. “Don’t be sorry. Not about that. You’re the one who taught me what a great relationship, a great love, can be. What you and I have is so much better than what I had with Steven, and...I understand a relationship with me isn’t what you want, but it still gives me hope that there’s something else out there. I just need to keep looking.”
Stunned, Jensen can only stare at Jared, mouth open. When he can talk again he says, “Jared, why would you say that? What makes you think I don’t want a relationsh-”
“Don’t,” Jared cuts him off. “Just...please don’t. I knew you’d do this, and I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I don’t want you to make any sacrifices on my account. I’ll be fine; besides, I’ve decided on my next wish.”
Feel sorry for him? Sacrifices? Where is that even coming from? Jensen shakes his head. “Jared-”
“No, just hear me out. During dinner, Stephen told me the show ratings are out. Dr. Sexy M.D. is near the bottom again this week. There’s a good chance it’s going to get canceled. Dozens of people I know, good people, will lose their jobs. I want to use my next wish to make sure the show stays on the air.”
Temporarily absorbed by the wish laid out in front of him, Jensen puts aside the fallacy Jared seems to be operating under. They can deal with that later. Wishes have always been his foremost priority, and his mind automatically latches onto the problem, cycling through possible solutions. “The show is in danger of being canceled. That could be because not enough people know about it or because it’s not what people want to watch. Since it’s on a major network and gets its fair share of advertising, it’s probably the later. So, why don’t people want to watch it?”
Jared shrugs, “To be honest, I’ve always thought the show was good, but not what I’d call must see TV, you know?”
Jensen hums, deep in thought. “Okay, here are your options. You could wish that viewership for the show would increase, but...”
“Let me guess, that would require changing the mindsets of thousands of people on an ongoing basis. Pretty much a no go, right?”
“You catch on quick,” Jensen nods his agreement. “Alternatively, you could wish that the network executives would ignore the ratings and continue airing a subpar show. That one would be easy and not require an inordinate amount of magic.”
A wrinkled nose greats this choice. “When you put it that way, it doesn’t sound so great.”
“Okay, okay, how about this. You could wish for the show to get better. More inspired plot lines, higher quality scripts, dialogue that consists of more than the word ‘seriously’.” Jensen cocks an eyebrow and grins.
Jared grins back. “Wow, you’ve been paying more attention on set than I thought.”
Paying attention to all things Jared is kinda his job. With a shrug, Jensen says, “The good thing about that wish is it’s easily controlled. I can increase the talent of each member of the cast and crew one by one, starting with the writers. When I sense your magic is about to run out, I can tell you and you can make the decision whether you want to keep going or stop there.”
Jared ponders for a beat, steepled forefingers pressed against his lips. “I like it,” he finally announces. “Mostly because it benefits more than just me. This way the crew benefits from additional talent they’ll have all their lives, the studio gets a better show, and the audience gets better entertainment. It’s a win all the way around. I do have a selfish request to make though.” His voice gets lower, gravelly. He takes Jensen’s hand in his. “Don’t use up all the magic. When it gets low, stop. I’m not ready to lose you yet.”
Jensen’s throat feels tight, like there’s a meteor stuck in it, while at the same time a weight is lifted, giving him a buoyant, floaty sensation. He doesn’t know what expression is on his face, but Jared is looking at him like he hung the moon and the stars. It sends a shiver through him.
There’s a lot to unpack between them. He needs to tell Jared about the whole consort thing, and then there’s the fact that he isn’t ready to leave Jared either and might never be ready, although he’s not sure how that will work with him being a djinn and Jared a human. They have time to sort it all out though, time Jensen had given up of having. He can hardly wait to see what fate has in store for them. For now though, there’s a wish to attend to.
Continue to Chapter 5