Fandom: Real Person Fic: CW
Rating: PG for Language
Word Count: 1,689
Author’s Note: I am behind on everything. There are a multitude of things I should be writing tonight, and this is none of them. But I've picked up a really shitty job over vacation and it's sucking all the energy and happiness out of me, so I'm trying to keep to non-stressful fandom things instead of risking falling into a depressive rut, so. Here this is. It's a timestamp to another short fic I did a few months ago, Under the Sea, which I never intended to continue in a verse, but I needed to fill the "Oceanographers" square on my au_bingo card and this was all I could think of. Hope you guys enjoy the schmoop. Yes I stole my title from Finding Nemo. Apparently "Disney movies in which sea creatures sing" is the theme for titles in this verse. Juuust go with it. This is unbeta'd; everything is my fault. This verse now comes with gorgeous art by lamapan.
Summary: Jared is still obsessed with fish, and Jensen is an awesome boyfriend.
Jared really likes fish.
Yes, Jensen knew that going into this—they met at an aquarium after all. But, okay, dating Jared for the last three months has really put this into perspective for Jensen: Jared really, really, really likes fish.
Mostly it's endearing. Jared's got one of the better smiles Jensen's ever seen in his life. All Jensen has to do to bring it out in full force is ask about something fish-related, and Jared is off on a cloud of useless facts, sparkling eyes, and dimples. Jensen has dated plenty of people and they all had their passions, but Jared's fish thing goes beyond that. Jensen's never seen anyone care so much about something, and Jared's enthusiasm is nothing if not contagious.
Sometimes it's annoying. There are days Jensen wants to see his boyfriend, relax quietly and maybe watch a movie without having the goddamn encyclopedia aquatica rambling on about why the movie is wrong wrong wrong about the feeding habits of piranhas or some shit. The mating cycles of sea horses—while admittedly kind of interesting—really do not belong in Jensen's sex life. Better no sex talk than that, Jesus.
Jared's obsession with sea life is the kind of character quirk that could go either way. Belonging to someone unlikable, it would be just one more thing to grind on Jensen's nerves. Belonging to Jared it's…well, it's the kind of thing Jensen could fall in love with.
Then there are times it's just a little sad. Try as he might, Jensen's not a fish guy. He likes them, and he loves the aquarium, finds it inspiring for more reasons than just Jared's constant presence. He isn't ever bored by Jared's fish talk. But he's not on Jared's level; any excitement he feels on the subject is more of a reflection of his feelings for Jared than his feelings for marine life. The fact of the matter is, there's no one who shares Jared's fascination, at least no one in this town, no one close enough for Jared to connect with.
Jensen knows Jared is okay with that. He loves his job, loves studying whatever comes his way, taking care of the animals at the local aquarium, and doing his part to educate a youth that really doesn't care as much as Jensen thinks Jared deserves. Jared could move somewhere that isn't landlocked, with real ocean life to discover and a local culture that gives a fuck, but Jensen knows he won't. He believes in their little aquarium, and if anyone is going to bring the place back to life, Jensen's pretty sure it'll have to be Jared.
That doesn't mean Jensen can't help, right?
"You want us to take Logan where to do what?"
"The aquarium," Jensen repeats. "To make my boyfriend feel useful."
"Won't he catch on to your scheme if the only people who ever show up for tours are your relatives?"
"That's why you aren't going to tell him who you are," Jensen says.
On the other end of the phone, Josh sighs. "Dude, you've made some weird requests, but this one takes the cake."
"Come on," Jensen says. "It's a cool place! Logan'll love it. And it's educational!" Jensen pauses, wondering if he should mention just how educational it'll be once Jared's gotten started. Probably not, he's having a hard enough time selling this as is.
"You try telling a six year old kid he has to spend his weekend being educated as well as his week just because Uncle Jensen wants to get laid."
"Please never tell Logan anything even close to that," says Jensen, which makes Josh laugh quietly. "And it's not about getting laid. I'm getting laid plenty, thank you very much."
"Great, yeah, thanks for that," Josh grumbles. "Because now when I meet the guy, that's exactly what I want flashing through my mind."
Jensen grins. "When you meet the guy. Does that mean you're in?"
"No," Josh replies. "Fish have creepy, dead eyes, and they're boring, and bored six year old is not something I like putting up with."
"I'll draw you guys that family portrait Ali's been begging for since last Christmas by next week," Jensen says. He has a few commissions, but he can squeeze it in.
There's a long pause through the phone, and finally Josh curses and promises to be there. Jensen does a fist pump as he hangs up the phone.
"Three today!" Jared says, slinging an arm around Jensen's neck from behind as he lets the front door slam behind him. He leans close, pushing a kiss into Jensen's neck. "I had three tours today—none of them scheduled—and they all asked questions."
He's grinning so wide when Jensen turns around that Jensen forgets how much his hand hurts, how tired he is and how much coffee he's consumed in the last few days. "Yeah?"
"Yeah!" Jared looks down at him, still beaming. "I don't know what it is this week, Jen, but at this rate—" His voice drops off as he wanders into Jensen's kitchen. He comes back out with a menu for Chinese takeout in his hand and finishes with, "Don't you think?"
Jensen laughs quietly, shaking his head. He pulls the pencil out of his mouth. "You're doing that thing where you're getting too excited and making me miss half the conversation again, Jay."
Jared ducks his head, his smile turning sheepish. "Sorry," he says, taking a seat at the end of the table. "I said I think the aquarium might be back on the map. I don't even know what happened, but—"
Jensen's stomach grumbles, and he stares longingly at the grease-stained paper folded in Jared's hand.
Jared stops, his mouth hanging open for a few seconds before he closes it on a warm smile. "I'm rambling again," he says. "What I said while I was in the kitchen earlier is that I should call for some Chinese to celebrate. Don't you think?"
"Mmm," Jensen says.
Jared frowns. "You look exhausted and starved." He rises, moving to stand directly behind Jensen. He puts one hand on each of Jensen's shoulders, his fingers pressing hard into the muscle, and Jensen takes his glasses off, leaning back into the massage with a groan.
"That's because I am," he admits.
Jared keeps his hands at work, but he leans closer, trying to get a good look at the portraits Jensen has scattered around the table. Jensen's stomach clenches nervously. If Jared recognizes the people in them, his cover is blown, but Jared must not, because he turns his head to give Jensen a quick kiss.
"Lots of commissions this week," Jared says. "Business good?"
Jensen snorts. At this point, Jensen owes half his family portraits for indulging him. He's working his ass off, and he's not getting paid, but before he can say as much, he meets Jared's eyes, and his heart speeds up and Jared smiles again, and fuck it. Jensen feels plenty rich just from knowing that the good mood Jared's been in for the last few days is all thanks to him.
"Soon we'll both be too busy and important to see each other," Jared jokes, giving Jensen a quick kiss.
"Not if you take so long to order my dinner that I die waiting."
Jared bends over the table to pick up the menu, smacks Jensen with it, and walks out of the room as his phone dials.
He worries the first time Jared comes home to meet his family. Or to officially meet his family. Jared has already met most of Jensen's relatives over the last month on account of Jensen bribing them.
He always knew the charade wouldn't last forever, it was all about helping Jared gain some confidence, and that worked, at least. Jared has started looking into schools for oceanography or whatever, and Jensen is pretty sure Jared figuring out his plan won't ruin that.
Jared walks in, Jensen's arm settled low on his back, and stands in the doorway staring around the room for half a minute as it sinks in.
"Uh, Jared," Jensen says. "This is my family. Everyone, this is my boyfriend Jared."
Jared blinks slowly, his eyes flicking from one smiling relative to the next, and then walks out. Jensen cringes. "I'll, uh, be right back," he tells his family, hoping it's true, and hoping he'll have a boyfriend in tow.
"So…this is awkward," he says when he finds Jared sitting on the bench in Jensen's mother's garden.
Jared looks up at him. Jensen is expecting anger, maybe hurt or something, and is all ready to explain himself. Which is why it's such a surprise when Jared breaks into hysterical laughter.
Jensen drops down next to him, feeling relieved. "You're not mad at me?" he asks. "This isn't the laughing that comes before you dump me, right?"
Jared grabs Jensen's face with two hands and tugs him in hard for a kiss.
As soon as he pulls away, Jensen tries to launch into the speech he prepared, "I know it was kind of manipulative but—"
Jared slides his hand until his fingers are over Jensen's mouth. "You care," he says, leaning in, his nose tracing Jensen's jaw. "You know my last boyfriend told me I was never going to find someone who would put up with me if I didn't dial it down. And here you are encouraging me."
"I know it makes you happy," Jensen tells him. "I wanted to make you happy, too."
"You do," Jared replies, taking Jensen's hand in his and squeezing it. "Even without the theatrics."
"So you're not dumping me?" Jensen asks again. "Just to be clear."
"Dumping you?" Jared asks. He shakes his head. "I think I love you."
Jensen's smile is automatic, and he can't believe how easy it feels to say, "I love you" right back.
"You really are an awesome boyfriend," says Jared.
"You know it." Jensen stands up. "You wanna come meet my family now?"
Jared rises to follow him back in. "What, you mean again?"