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FIC: "Shelf Ice Meander" (1/10)

  • Jun. 8th, 2009 at 5:21 PM
simarillion: ('nuff said)
Shelf Ice Meander
By Simarillion

Fandom: Supernatural RPS
Universe: Alternative Universe
Rating: PG-13/R
Beta: Asm Z
Pairing: Jensen Ackles/Jared Padalecki, Jared Padalecki/Genevieve Cortese (mentioned) others
Warnings: slash, M/M
Word Count: 3,201
Summary: Tell it like it is. (Of settling and living)
Disclaimer: None of the herein presented happenings and events are true. Everything is 100% fiction and that includes the sexuality of the characters. I don’t claim to be in the know about their relations and private affairs, and I don’t make any money with the creation of this story.

Author’s Note: I changed the age of Jensen and Jared, they are the same age now. The plot wouldn’t really work otherwise.

This is part 5 of the Glaciology! ‘verse. Jensen is a scientist in the field of glaciology and he spends most of his time surrounded by ice, whereas Jared is a Hollywood movie star. Prequel to this story are Invisible Glaciers, Iceberg Anatomy,Avalanches Approaching, and Crevasse Rescue.


Part One

Jensen’s second stint at UA is in the same week as Christmas. Both the students, as well as the teachers, are in a holiday mood and the course is far less informative than Jensen intends it to be. It’s just really hard to keep people focused with everyone looking forward to going home and spending some time away from college.

Like last time, he stays with Danneel. When she picks him up from the airport she informs him that a couple of her colleagues are already waiting at the pub. So their pub crawling starts even before his first day at UA. Jensen refuses to think about what kind of impression he’s giving. The last couple of weeks since Thanksgiving were depressing enough, and he’s of the opinion that he’s deserved all the beer that he can get his hands on.

As it turns out Danneel’s colleagues are Dr. Kripke, the department’s secretary, Julie, and Dr. Kripke’s over-worked TA, Richard. Their arrival is greeted with raised pints and soon Jensen and Danneel have their own glasses to raise.

Even though the three days of the course are very taxing and exhausting, with Jensen spending eight to ten hours talking in front of the students, he enjoys the time. During his start at Stanford and UA, Jensen discovered that he likes teaching Even if it doesn’t leave him with enough time to join long term expeditions and projects, he gets to mold future generations of scientists.

The expedition during Spring break is coming along nicely. After some ambiguous feelings about joining the trek to the Northwest Territories, Kerr, who has been helping Jensen with the preparations for the expedition, is even more excited than Jensen about it.

On Jensen’s second day in Edmonton he gets a call from David who wants to know if Jensen is interested into not only organizing and promoting the next two projects of AE, but if he actually wants to participate in them as an active expedition member. At first Jensen wants to decline, but after thinking about it for a moment he agrees to join them on Toxico and the so far nameless plastic bottle ship project.

The second expedition has Chuck especially excited. Being the resident specialist on Marine Ecology at Stanford, he loves the idea about building a ship out of plastic bottles and to use it to sail across the Pacific Ocean.

The prospects of spending two weeks in March in the North, and going to the Ecuadorian jungle in summer, keep Jensen going. At times when the prolonged silence between him and Jared is getting too much for him, Jensen imagines himself with the team in Alaska, crossing vast white fields of snow and ice. It has him long for the Polar Regions but it lifts his mood.

After Jensen’s last day at UA before the holidays, Danneel insists that they try out some new bar that opened two weeks ago across the pub. It’s a modern establishment and Jensen feels out of place with his jeans and checkered flannel shirt. Usually he doesn’t care about clothes, but when everyone around is dressed in preppy but understated clothes, he wants to turn around and leave.

Danneel’s hand on his arm prevents his flight though, and she drags him deeper into the chrome and glass of the bar’s interior. The tables are small and low and there are leather couches and bar stools to sit on. Jensen really can’t decide what looks to be more uncomfortable, hunching over the low tables next to the couches, or perching on the bar stools like some kind of bird.

They sit down on the couches, and Jensen thinks that at least he can sit without wondering if he’ll fall off. One look at the card has him wish for the pub across the street. It’s cocktails and wine, and fancy waters. He skims the list of beers, but when he only finds brands that he either doesn’t like, or doesn’t know, he reluctantly returns to the cocktail part of the card.

Names like Screaming Orgasm, Sex on the Beach, and Slippery Nipples makes him wonder how he’s ever going to order a drink. The embarrassment factors of ordering one of the cocktails has him pick a Whiskey Sour. At least he won’t sound like an idiot saying that name.

The wait staff is quick and very friendly, but so far that’s the only positive thing Jensen has noticed about the bar. As uncomfortable and out of place Jensen feels, Danneel loves everything, pointing out small details that make this place so special. When their drinks are served, and she takes the first sip of her Cucumber Margarita, her praises won’t end.

Jensen is trying hard to let some of his friend’s enthusiasm rub off on him, when someone crashes into their couch. The impact almost has him spill the entire contents of his glass over his jeans and the front of his shirt. It would have been a terrible waste, because the drink is really good.

He sets the glass down on the table they’re sitting at, and turns to the person who’s the cause of all of it. The guy is tall, taller than Jensen, but not as tall as Jared (this flashes quickly through his mind). There’s an embarrassed look on his face, and he holds out a handful of the napkins off the bar counter.

“I’m so sorry.” The stranger almost forces the napkins on Jensen. “I was pushed, and I couldn’t stop it.”

“S’okay.” Jensen takes two of the offered paper napkins and wipes the table and the glass of his drink dry.

He’s more than willing to let it go at that, ignore that this situation has occurred, but the guy just can’t. Jensen suddenly finds himself sitting next to the stranger who’s clearly determined on making it up to him. Even if Jensen doesn’t want him to.

“I’ll buy you a new drink.” The guy calls a waiter over. “What were you having?”

“A Whiskey Sour.” The order placed, Jensen tries to ignore the person next to him.

It’s Danneel who takes over for him, and starts a lively conversation with the guy. This is how Jensen finds out that ‘the guy’ is called Sean, and that he’s not from Edmonton originally. Furthermore, he’s informed about Sean’s work (high school teacher), the place he lives (an apartment just around the corner), and his marital status (single). Additonally, Sean has a cat and goes to church (he’s very religious).

When the never-ending info-session about Sean takes a break, because he’s got to go to the bathroom, Danneel leans over to Jensen. She checks if Sean is out of hearing range and then growls at Jensen.

“Jensen, why are you torturing the poor guy like that?” There’s a reprimanding tone to her voice, and she’s glaring at him.

“What?” Jensen doesn’t understand how he could have done anything to the guy; he hasn’t even talked to him. “What did I do?”

Danneel sighs and rolls her eyes. She always does this when she’s exasperated with Jensen, when she thinks that he’s an idiot (intentionally or not).

“Sean’s got the hots for you, and you’re just sitting there and letting the poor guy torture himself,.” At the first comment Jensen snorts, but when his friend continues to glare at him, Jensen starts to wonder if she’s right.

“He never indicated that he might be interested.” His reply is little defensive. It’s just that it feels like Danneel is cornering him.

“He didn’t have to. It was obvious.” If it was that obvious, how come Jensen never noticed? He wonders what Danneel is basing her assumption on. “Just tell him that you’re taken, and stop Sean from resorting to more drastic measures to get your attention.”

He’s shocked to realize that, for a second, he wants to say that he’s not taken. But then he reminds himself that even though Jared hasn’t got any time these days, and their interactions are scarce at best, Jensen is still off the market in the sex or the relationship department.

Sean seems to pick up on the change in moods right away. He talks some more with Danneel, trying to get Jensen to join in. However, when Jensen grows more uncomfortable with every minute Sean stays at their table, he cuts his losses, and wishes them a nice night out.

“You’re pathetic.” Are Danneel’s first words after Sean has left them. “You could have at least let him down kindly.”

“What did you want me to do? Talk relationship stuff with a stranger? I don’t like doing that with friends and family, much less with a person I don’t know.” His sullen retort does nothing to get him back into Danneel’s good graces, and for the next thirty minutes she only glares at him.

They don’t stay that much longer. The last day before the holidays had been long, and Jensen’s lack of sleep every time he stays with his friend, hasn’t helped. Add to that the drinks they’ve been having, and the emotional turmoil, and Jensen feels like he’ll fall asleep sitting on the preppy couch in the middle of the bar.

On their walk up the block to Danneel’s apartment, Jensen has his friend forgive him for his unfair treatment of Sean, joking about Jensen’s animal magnetism. Danneel has some very strange ideas of how Jensen could use his newfound powers, but he refuses to even think about them. Sometimes his friend’s mind is a very scary place.

He welcomes the rest the couch in Danneel’s living room promises, and he falls asleep without even getting out of his clothes. The next morning when he wakes up, his back is aching from the strange position he slept in, and his clothes are wrinkled and sweaty. His mouth tastes like something died in it, as he gets up and stumbles into the bathroom, equally needing to relieve his bladder and get rid of the foul taste in his mouth.

“Nice.” Jensen looks up from brushing his teeth, the toothbrush shoved in his cheek, and finds his friend leaning against the door jamb. “I’ve seen dead animals look better than you do right now.”

Spitting out the foam, Jensen snorts. “Like you look any better.”

Danneel just flips him the bird and heads for the kitchen to prepare the coffee they so desperately need. While he finishes getting ready, the scent of freshly brewed coffee starts to fill the air, and soon the smell of toast and eggs joins in.

After returning to human, Jensen joins his friend in the kitchen. The breakfast is already on the small table that’s wedged against the wall opposite the stove They sit down, eagerly wolfing down the food and drinking the whole pot of coffee, plus another that was made.

Once they are fed, Jensen cleans the kitchen while Danneel brushes her teeth and washes her face, getting ready for the day. Jensen’s bags are already packed and waiting next to the door. So, when the dishes are stacked into the washer, Danneel declares that she’s fit to be seen in public and they head out for the airport.

Jensen’s not as early as the last time, so he just gets a Snapple at Starbucks and a magazine for the flight, before he heads for his terminal. There’s a long queue of people waiting to board the plane, and it takes Jensen almost half an hour before he is seated next to the window, waiting to fly back to San Francisco.

The day after tomorrow is Christmas and Jensen has barely enough time to get everything settled for his flight to Dallas, before he has to leave again. Mrs. Gabbles eagerly agreed to feed the cats, and Dean has had his check-up with the doctor the week before. Tom offered to drive them to the airport with Jensen’s car, and pick them up a week later. Jensen’s going to celebrate New Year’s with his friends in San Francisco.

Unlike last time, the person next to Jensen is not afraid of flying so the travel is rather nice. Jensen is able to catch up on some more sleep. When the flight assistant wakes him up to have him fasten his seat belt, Jensen feels much better. He’s starting to look forward to seeing his family.

Since neither Tom nor Mike have the time to pick him up, Jensen takes a cab to his house, which probably costs him more than leaving his own car in the airport garage for the duration of his stay in Edmonton. He pays the driver and lugs his bags over to the front door. He can hear Dean barking inside, happy that Jensen’s back.

Jensen barely manages to get the door open before the husky bowls him over, covering his face with doggy kisses. The enthusiastic welcome has him laugh loudly, hugging and petting the dog, who does his best to keep Jensen on the floor.

“Yeah, I missed you too.” Once Dean has calmed down somewhat, Jensen climbs back on his feet and picks up the bags he dropped when sixty pounds of canine hit him. Sidestepping Dean’s antics, he leads them into the house and closes the door behind them.

Everything’s just as he left it, except the small stack of letters and brochures on the dresser in the hall. He ignores the mail, and carries the luggage into the bedroom, where he opens them, and adds some of the items (mostly toiletries) to the large bags for his trip to Dallas and carries them downstairs.

After work, Tom will drive over and pick them up. The flight leaves at seven, and Jensen wants to be ready when his friend shows up.

Dean’s in the kitchen eating kibble out of his bowl. He looks up when Jensen enters but goes back to eating when Jensen opens the fridge and takes out a bottle of water. Calmly, the two of them stay in the kitchen. Half an hour before Tom’s scheduled to show up, Jensen shrugs into a sweater and goes for a short walk with Dean.

Once they are back, he installs the kennel into the truck, and loads the bags into the back. He’s finishing checking the house to see if everything’s turned off and locked up, when Tom’s car pulls up to the curb, and his friend gets out.

“Ready to go?” Tom is smiling at him, petting Dean who ran up to him to greet the other human.

“Yeah, ready to head out again.” He smiles sheepishly at his friend. “I can’t believe I’m flying from Edmonton to San Francisco, and then to Dallas, all in one day.”

“Well, shows how important you are.” The comment has him roll his eyes.

“Funny.” Tom just laughs at him and climbs into the car while Jensen has Dean get into the kennel. The dog safely stowed away, Jensen gets into the front seat and watches Tom start the truck and pull away from Jensen’s house.

“How’s Danneel doing?” Tom and Mike don’t know her in person, but from Jensen’s tales they often say they feel like she’s a friend of theirs as well.

“She loves working at UA.” And it’s true. Danneel likes her colleagues and during his stay with her, she hadn’t been able to stop talking about what a great boss Dr. Kripke is. Jensen teased her that she’s got a crush on her superior. It had earned him a whack on the back of his head.

“Is she going to be on the expedition team during Spring Break as well?” They are taking the on-ramp to the express highway. Tom changes lanes, passing a large truck.

“No, she said that she wants to visit her family during Spring Break. She didn’t get to during summer and at Thanksgiving, and now Christmas they are visiting friends in Europe.” Jensen had asked Danneel why she didn’t join them, but his friend had just said that she wasn’t interested in flying twelve to sixteen hours just to spend the holidays with some aunt and uncle she doesn’t like in the first place. Instead she’s visiting a friend from college, and stays for the holidays.

“Where’s her family from?” The question has Jensen think, because even though they talked about it, he can’t remember which one their primary residence is. Her parents have a house just outside New York City, and an apartment in Chicago.

“Uh, I think that her dad’s from Chicago, and they still live there, but they also have a house in some village in Suffolk County. If I remember correctly, they want to move there once her dad retires.” A whine from the back of the car has Jensen turn around and check on Dean. The husky looks at him balefully. “Sorry Dean, but it’s going to be some time before you can run around again. But we’re going to see Mac and Josh, and my parents.”

The dog whines again but settles down. Usually Dean is rather behaved while traveling, not complaining about the vet before a journey, the stays in the kennel, or the chaos of airports, , but there are also times when he doesn’t deal with the traveling so well.

“He okay?” Tom is glancing into the rear view mirror, trying to see what is going on in the back.

“He wants to get out.” Jensen turns around in his seat and looks at the husky, who gives him the best puppy dog look he can manage. “Sorry pal, but it’ll be over before you know it.”

Jensen stays like this for the rest of the drive to the airport, talking to Dean and trying to calm him down. When they check the husky in, he’s mostly okay with the situation again, and Jensen hopes that the stay in the cargo department will not excite him too much.

He says his goodbye and his thanks to Tom, who promises to pick him up in a week . Jensen still has his newspaper from the flight in the morning, but he gets a magazine as well. It’s a journal of Scientific America, and on the cover an interesting headline about climate observation and interpretation has him stop to buy the magazine.

The line waiting at the terminal is almost as long as the one in Edmonton and Jensen patiently waits to board. Once he’s sitting in his seat, and the flight attendants are finished with the safety instructions, Jensen takes out the new iPod he got with his sister, plugs the player into his ears, and flips the journal open.

Just as he’s starting on the article about swarm intelligence and its applications in computer programming, the plane starts its engines. He closes the magazine and leans back into the seat. In three hours he’ll be in Dallas with his family and after that he’ll be back in San Francisco to celebrate New Years with Tom and Mike. Jensen doesn’t need Jared to have a good time.

Now if only he could stop thinking about Jared, and stop caring about the distance between them (physically and emotionally).

continue: Part Two


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