Jesse glances up from his phone and gets a good look at Saul, who's standing at the foot of the bed wearing a hilarious attempt at casual clothes. "That's what you're wearing to meet my parents?"

"I've already met them," Saul reminds him, "and I'm not dressing all fancy if you're just gonna show up like that."

Jesse looks at his own t-shirt and jeans. "What's wrong with my threads?"

"Wear a shirt with buttons. At least look like you're trying."

"Trying to what? Impress my parents? Dude, the news I got is more than enough to keep them happy for the rest of their lives." Jesse's getting into an actual college—one that requires an application—and is in a (hopefully) long-term relationship with someone healthy for him. It's a parent's dream come true. "You're the one with the handicap."

Saul's still wearing his judgemental face; Jesse's dubbed it one of Saul's least attractive expressions. "Which is entirely your fault, by the way."

"Chill, dude." Jesse rolls his eyes. "They probably don't even care anymore. And they're gettin' this place back when we move, so..." He shrugs as if that explains everything.

Saul takes a few steps closer to the edge of the bed where Jesse's sitting. "So if they don't care about the whole house thing, what, pray tell, is my handicap?"

"You know how parents are like, 'nobody's good enough for my kid'? That's your handicap. You could be the damn president and they'd still think I could do better." Jesse slides off of the bed and moves over to him. "So maybe you shouldn't wear jeans."

Saul huffs frustration. "Hypocrite."

Jesse tugs at the empty beltloops of Saul's jeans; he hopes the below-the-belt touching will distract Saul from the criticism. "Tellin' them was your idea, yo," Jesse reminds him.

"I asked if you were going to tell them. I didn't suggest it." Saul's voice wavers around the words, like Jesse's touch affects his ability to speak properly. He clears his throat, swallows thickly. "Why don't we slow this train down a bit, huh? I mean, there's no reason to lay it all on them at once, right?"

Another tug on the beltloops, and Jesse shifts his hips in a way that makes Saul suck in a breath through his teeth. "Alright, so when would be a good time for you?"

"Maybe as we're packing up the car and heading to Sarasota?"

"You're hilarious."

"Do your parents even know you're into guys?"

"No," Jesse says with a stupidly-wide grin. "They are so gonna freak." He pushes a hand underneath Saul's t-shirt, and Saul feels the heat of Jesse's palm over his skin. "Whoa, is that a Monty Python shirt?" Jesse tries to smother a laugh, but it's a wasted effort. "Jesus, how many times have you done this whole 'meet the parents' thing before you just stopped giving a shit?"

"I give a lot of shits, actually, but I'm reminded of your whole 'try to look like a real person' warning."

Jesse did say that this morning over breakfast when Saul padded into the kitchen wearing comically mismatched socks. "Do you need me to dress you?"

Saul looks insulted for a moment. "You're better at undressing."

Jesse smirks. "Yeah, I am." He flicks his thumb over Saul's nipple to reinforce the point; Saul gives a quiet gasp. "I think you look totally hot." His other hand tugs at the button of Saul's jeans. "But maybe some nicer-lookin' pants would make a better impression."

"Says the guy wearing jeans two sizes too big," Saul grumbles like Jesse's being unreasonable and storms into the closet to change. "Wouldn't it make more sense if I dressed like someone you'd actually date?"

Jesse's still smiling as he drops onto the edge of the mattress. "You tryin' to say you're outta my league?"

"All I'm saying is that I walk in there looking the part of a lawyer, and they'll immediately assume I'm your sugar daddy."

Jesse laughs, and, God, it feels so good to give himself over to mirth after all the shit they've been through. "You totally are though."

"They don't need to know that," Saul protests, peeling his jeans down his legs.

Jesse hops up from the bed and rushes over to him. His hands grab the denim before Saul can shed the pants. "Hold up, hold up. I changed my mind. You should wear the jeans 'cause your ass looks choice."

Saul tilts his head, gives Jesse a particularly judgemental look. "So now you're gonna show me off like some sort of trophy?" He doesn't look offended by this. He actually looks kind of proud, like this is something that's never happened to him before. Maybe it hasn't. Jesse doesn't know how to live in a world that doesn't appreciate Saul Goodman.

Jesse slides his hands over Saul's hips, links his fingers at the small of his back. "Hell yeah. I won the grand prize. You bet your sweet ass I'mma show it off." He squeezes Saul's ass for emphasis.

Saul captures Jesse's mouth underneath his own. "And I thought you only loved me for my body."

#

"You're sure about this, right?" Saul asks as they're heading up the walkway to Jesse's parents' house. "They know you're bringing a guest who might have a penis?"

Jesse snorts a laugh. "Pretty sure you've got an awesome dick, dude."

"Please don't tell them that."

Jesse glances over at Saul, who looks a little pale. "Are you actually nervous? Oh my God, that's adorable. I didn't think you had the ability to be embarrassed about anything. I mean, look at your commercials." He slinks an arm around Saul's waist as they walk up to the porch.

Jesse rings the doorbell. Saul stuffs his hands in his pockets, trying way too hard to be casual. He's willing to bet there's still some deep-rooted resentment in Jesse's parents here; first he swipes their house from under them, then their son? They might actually kill him. He cannot be in the same room with these people for the sake of his own safety.

Mrs. Pinkman opens the door and smiles when she sees Jesse. "Jesse, oh, you're looking healthy! How have you—" That's right about the time she notices Saul standing there. "Saul Goodman?" She narrows her eyes. "You're not here to bamboozle us again, are you?"

Saul laughs a little too loudly. "Not—not the way you're thinking," he says, still chuckling in a way that's absolutely stemming a nervous breakdown. "Nice to see you again."

Mrs. Pinkman shoots Jesse a suspicious glance. "Is Saul the guest you're bringing over?"

Jesse nods and smiles like a doofus. "Yeah, we're, uh, we're kind of a thing." He tugs Saul's hand from his pocket to lace their fingers together. Saul blushes impossibly further.

"A 'thing'?" There is way too much skepticism in her voice. Saul's ready to flee if he needs to.

"Yeah, y'know, like...dating. He's my boyfriend."

Saul is so glad Jesse didn't say "sugar daddy."

Mrs. Pinkman looks from Saul to Jesse, then back to Saul. The corner of her mouth quirks into a smile. "Well, this is...this is something."

"Would you close the door already?" Mr. Pinkman shouts from another room. "You're letting all the bugs in!"

Mrs. Pinkman rolls her eyes and motions for Saul and Jesse to come inside. Jesse leads the way, while Saul's still moving slowly, like a timid deer trying not to excite a predator. "Dad's still got that bug phobia?" Jesse asks.

"It's us versus them, Jesse," Mr. Pinkman says, rounding the corner and stepping into the foyer. "Frankly, I'm starting to wonder whose side you're on."

Saul snickers despite his efforts to keep a straight face.

Mrs. Pinkman lays a hand on her husband's arm. "Jesse was just telling me about his boyfriend."

"Boyfriend, huh?" Mr. Pinkman lifts an eyebrow and looks directly at Saul. "The lawyer from those TV commercials?"

"The one and only," Saul chuckles weakly. He feels like throwing up or passing out. Or both.

Mr. and Mrs. Pinkman exchange glances, a silent conversation spoken through eye contact.

"And this is just, like, the tip of the iceberg, yo," Jesse says, trying to be optimistic. "I got way more to tell you."

"He's, uh, he's big into surprises, isn't he?" Saul offers.

There's a long stretch of terrifying silence, then Mr. Pinkman is the first to vocalize support. "Well, hey, I think this is great! It's about time Jesse found someone to keep him out of trouble."

It wouldn't be a visit with Jesse's parents without some backhanded compliments and passive-aggressive bullshit.

"Actually, Jesse's been doing a pretty great job of that himself," Saul says, because he's an awesome boyfriend. "I don't know why he keeps me around."

Jesse smiles and squeezes his hand.

#

"So, how'd you guys meet?" Jake asks over dinner. "Did Jesse do something bad?"

Mrs. Pinkman lets out a small gasp. "Jake, honey, we don't ask those kind of questions."

Saul smiles. "It's alright, really." Jesse momentarily panics that Saul might actually be honest about their origins. But Saul just says, "Jesse needed my help finding a place to live. I did some—let's call it negotiating—with your parents, and Jesse bought his aunt's old place."

Jake nods. "Cool."

Jesse clears his throat. He needs to dispel his parents' poor first impression of Saul with something positive. "So, a while back Saul brought up the idea of me goin' to art school."

Mrs. Pinkman looks surprised, like she hadn't thought Saul capable of anything but underhanded trickery. "Did he?"

"Yeah, so I started applyin' for a bunch of places." His grin spreads as he fishes the Ringling acceptance letter out of his jacket pocket. "And the other day I got this." He hands the letter across the table to his father.

Mr. Pinkman looks it over with a critical eye, passes it to his wife when he's finished. "It doesn't look forged," he mumbles to her.

Saul looks at Jesse as if to say, "Can you believe this shit?"

"Oh my God, Jesse, did you actually get accepted into college?" Mrs. Pinkman asks with an unnecessary amount of disbelief in her voice.

Jesse grins wider. "Totally."

Jake's the first one to actually sound proud of him. "You're going to college? Like, a real college?"

Jesse nods; his face feels like it's going to crack in two from smiling so hard. "Yeah! It was in my top three, too."

Mrs. Pinkman looks over the acceptance letter. "Art school, huh?" Jesse braces himself for the inevitable backhanded compliment, but it doesn't come. "I'm glad you found something you like."

Mr. Pinkman eyes Saul warily. "You didn't have a hand in this, did you?"

Jesse scowls. "He just suggested it. I did all the work. I got in on my own merit, yo."

"All due respect," Saul says, "but Jesse's smarter than you think."

Jesse looks at him in awe, because, yeah, Saul compliments him all the time, but it still takes his breath away. Saul doesn't hold praise over his head or use it against him like that asshole Mr. White; Jesse doesn't think he'll ever get used to that.

"I always knew Jesse had potential," Mr. Pinkman says, analyzing the acceptance letter, and, wow, that's a little too close to Mr. White for Jesse's liking. Saul must sense Jesse's unease, because he lays a hand over Jesse's own to calm him.

"You know what this means, right?" Jesse says, trying to prod the conversation in the direction of his eventual move to Florida.

His parents give him a blank look. "You need tuition?"

Jesse frowns. "I'm moving to Sarasota." It comes out a little harsher than he intended, but, seriously, fuck them. "And Saul's goin' with me. We're gonna live together."

Mrs. Pinkman's face lights up. "Oh, that's wonderful!"

Jesse can't fathom why that would be her immediate reaction. He blinks once, twice. "What?" He looks over at Saul, seeking confirmation that he's not going completely insane, but Saul's just as confused as he is. "For real? You're cool with this?"

"Why not? You're going to college, you've found someone... I'm proud of you, honey."

Jesse's immediately suspicious. His parents have always been equally hard to impress as Mr. White was. Why the sudden change and acceptance of his new life? "You're proud of me?" Because he can't just ignore that, can he?

"Of course!" Mrs. Pinkman watches him like she has no idea why he might be confused. "This is fantastic news, Jesse! Aren't you proud of yourself?"

"Well, yeah, but usually you guys are pretty stingy with the compliments, so..." He trails off, shrugging the words away. He can't remember the last time they were happy for him or supportive of something he wanted to do.

Mr. Pinkman's brows knit together in distress. Maybe he never knew how much Jesse needed words of support until now. "I'm glad you're getting your life together, Jesse," he says. "If you need anything—anything at all—just let us know."

Jesse has no idea what to say to that. He just kind of stares dumbly at his parents, then down at his plate, as if it might offer an answer.

"You're gonna live in Florida?" Jake asks. "How close are you to Disneyworld?"

Jesse shrugs, says, "I dunno," because he's never really thought about it.

"What about Sea World?"

Another shrug. "Maybe you could come visit sometime and we'll find out."

A smile spreads across the boy's face. "Seriously? That'd be awesome!" He looks over at Mrs. Pinkman. "Mom, can we?"

"We'll see, honey."

Jake's expression falls like he just witnessed someone kicking a puppy. Jesse can't help but feel like they still don't trust him, that even with all of his new, amazing accomplishments, his parents still view him as some sort of criminal.

"Y'know, you could always send the kid by himself," Saul offers. "We'd be happy to look after him for a week or so, show 'im around."

Jesse gapes at him. He's not sure if Saul's offering because it's something he genuinely wants, or because he's trying to make himself look good in front of Jesse's parents. But, man, Jesse wants to believe it's the former.

"That's—that's very generous of you, Mr. Goodman—"

"Please, it's Saul."

"Would you two like to stay tonight?" Mrs. Pinkman asks. "Jesse, you both could stay in your old bedroom."

Jesse's mouth drops open. Okay, it's official: everyone at this table has lost their minds, and Jesse's the only sane one left. He looks at Saul in shock. Saul seems unaffected by the offer. "As long as we keep the door open, right?" he says with a small smirk.

"Well, you're both adults. I suppose you've earned closed-door-sleepover privileges," Mr. Pinkman says.

Jake huffs, exasperated. "That is so not fair!"

"See, there's lots of advantages to being a grown-up," Saul says. "You don't have to eat broccoli, you can sit around in your pajamas and watch cartoons all day, or eat ice cream for breakfast. And no one can stop you."

Jake whines, "Don't rub it in," and Jesse's still trying to figure out if his parents have been replaced by Stepford clones.

#

"Who the hell are these people, and what did they do with my real parents?" Jesse asks once he shuts the door to his childhood bedroom.

Saul sits on the edge of the mattress, testing it like it might give out underneath him. "Would you really prefer things the old way?"

"N—no, but...it's just weird, okay? I thought they were gonna, like, fly into a rant about how art school is lame and how I won't make enough money, or be like 'are you sure liking dudes isn't just some phase you're going through?'"

Saul lifts a skeptical eyebrow. "And this is the version you miss?"

"I don't miss it. I just—if there's body-snatching aliens out there I wanna know about it so I can be ready."

Saul huffs a laugh and reaches for Jesse's hands. Jesse gives them to him. "Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe, they're legitimately proud of you?"

"That's a question for science-fiction writers, yo. Get Rod Serling on that shit."

Saul slides a hand along the length of Jesse's tattooed arm. "Might be difficult, considering he's, y'know, dead."

"Smart-ass," Jesse grumbles, but there's no heat to it.

Saul lifts Jesse's hand to his mouth and kisses his knuckles. "This is going so much better than I expected."

"Why would they even be pissed at you?"

"Well, maybe they figure if I conned them out of their house, maybe I'm pulling some shady tactics in winning over their son."

Jesse laughs, his nose wrinkling a little. He lays his arms over Saul's shoulders and curls his fingers in the hair at the nape of Saul's neck. "Like what? Being awesome and supportive and great in bed?"

Saul tilts his head. "Just 'great'? Some of the noises you've made would build a decent case for 'awesome,' possibly 'god-like.'"

"Someone thinks awful highly of himself." Jesse grins and steals a kiss.

"All your fault, kid," Saul manages before Jesse crawls into his lap. He gets his hands full of Jesse's shirt and tugs him in closer. Electricity races through his veins when his fingertips glide over Jesse's skin. Saul doesn't know if this feeling will ever fade, if it's supposed to. If he could bottle the way Jesse makes him feel, he'd be the richest man in the world. People sell their souls and their bodies for just a fraction of this euphoria, and yet Saul's lucky enough to have it all for himself. Because Jesse—for some unknown, possibly questionable reason—loves him.

If he thinks about it too much he'll go mad.

"You ever bring any girls up here?" Saul asks around Jesse's frantic mouth.

"Nah, you're the first."

"Is there more to that sentence, or were you trying to make a joke?"

Jesse nudges Saul's back against the mattress and straddles his hips, lowering himself into Saul's lap. The friction makes Saul's brain short out. He wraps his hands around the back of Jesse's thighs and squeezes the muscle there. Jesse leans in to kiss him, hands planted on either side of Saul's head. "I'm tryin' to get you to fuck me," Jesse breathes out, and, wow, that's the hottest thing Saul's ever heard.

"In your parents' house? Why do I feel like I'm in high school again?"

Jesse captures Saul's mouth, says, "I thought you said you didn't get laid in high school."

"I said I was a nerd. Nerds can get laid."

"We have sex on the regular, so, yeah, I guess nerds do get laid."

Saul laughs. "I love that you just insulted both of us." He sits up and guides Jesse's hands away from his skin. "I've just about sweat through this shirt. I should probably get a shower before we do anything involving nudity."

Jesse wiggles his tattooed wrist out of Saul's grasp and plucks at the neck of his t-shirt. "The guest bathroom has a garden tub," he says, lifting an eyebrow in a way that's supposed to mean something. "Room for two."

Saul can take a hint. "That changes things."

Jesse smiles and climbs off of him. "I'll come get you when I'm ready," he says, his voice low with a drawl of enticement. Saul barely manages to keep his tongue in the vicinity of his mouth as Jesse leaves the room.

He keeps himself busy while he waits, examining the objects in plain sight: books on shelves, posters pinned to the walls, toys on display. Saul's not sure if this room is supposed to be comforting for Jesse or a shrine to his more palatable days when he wasn't constantly in trouble with teachers or the law. Because Jesse seems like he's outgrown most of this stuff, although plenty of comic books and action figures here prove otherwise.

A soft knock on the open door makes him turn around. Mr. Pinkman's standing there, looking about as awkward as any parent would be when faced with their son's boyfriend. Saul forces up a friendly smile, but he's pretty sure Mr. Pinkman can see the fear there. This could be the awful moment Mr. Pinkman decides to unload on Saul for all the imagined trickery and deceit going on here. What horrible things must be running through his head right now?

But Mr. Pinkman just shakes his hand and says, "I thought I should thank you personally."

"For?" Saul's not sure how one word can sound so laced with panic and terror.

"For what you've done with Jesse."

Saul's stunned into silence.

"He looks happy and healthy, and now he's going to school. Whatever you did...well, it worked wonders."

Confusion balls up in Saul's gut. Yeah, it's a compliment, but at the same time it feels like an insult to Jesse, like he's incapable of self-improvement on his own. "I appreciate the kind words, but, uh, Jesse did most of it himself. All I did was push him in the right direction and give him a sort of harbor, if you will." Saul scratches his chin, wonders how best to explain this. "Jesse got mixed up with, well, let's just say some pretty bad hombres. I let him know if he ever wanted to drop off their radar for a bit he could come to me. And he did. Getting clean, going to school...that's all on Jesse. C'mon, we both know you can't make Jesse do anything."

Mr. Pinkman chuckles knowingly. After a moment, he says, "He's safe now, right?"

"He will be." Saul wonders if that casts a new, displeasing light on his move with Jesse now. Because they're not just moving so Jesse can go to college; they're leaving Albuquerque to keep themselves safe from Mr. White and the periphery of Heisenberg's influence.

Mr. Pinkman nods. There's a beat of silence, then: "He loves you, you know."

"Yeah, I know," Saul says, grinning like an idiot, because the idea that Jesse Pinkman loves him is almost impossible to wrap his brain around. Yeah, he feels a little unworthy sometimes.

"I wouldn't be much of a father if I didn't ask: Do you love him?"

Like Saul's gonna say no in front of the kid's father. The truth falls from his lips effortlessly. "More than my own life, yeah." He rubs a hand over his mouth and sits on the edge of the bed. "That sounds like a hell of an exaggeration, but I actually almost died about a week or two ago." The timeframe's a little blurry around the edges, but Saul vividly remembers the upsurge of panic and terror inside of him as the ricin took hold. "And all I could think was, 'I can't die; I can't do that to Jesse.'"

Mr. Pinkman's brow creases in worry.

"So, yeah, of course I love him."

Something in Mr. Pinkman's expression changes, like his opinion of Saul has evolved entirely. "You don't have children, do you?"

Saul shakes his head, ignores the ripple of pain in his chest.

Mr. Pinkman glances off, staring at the remnants of Jesse's childhood on the walls. "You wanna make sure they're happy, but sometimes what makes them happy isn't necessarily good for them." When he looks at Saul again, he says, "But you're good for Jesse."

Saul's about to say something when the door nudges open. Jesse pokes his head in. "Dad, you're not giving him the whole 'break my son's heart and I'll shove my shotgun up your ass' speech, are you?"

Mr. Pinkman frowns at Jesse, moving for the door. "I did that one time."

"Yeah, well, she never went out with me again," Jesse hisses.

"And you ended up with Saul, so I suppose I didn't do too bad." Mr. Pinkman pats Jesse on the shoulder as he leaves.

Jesse rolls his eyes, waits until his father's gone before he says, "So there's some sick-ass bath salts in there if you wanna try 'em out."

"Bath salts, huh? Man, you sure know the way to a guy's heart," Saul says with a smirk, nearing Jesse.

Jesse lays a hand on Saul's chest before he can leave the room. "Did you really mean that?" He's got an imploring, open gaze that tells Saul he's not talking about the bath salts.

"Mean what?"

"What you said about being in love with me," Jesse says, his voice quivering around the words. "That you didn't wanna die 'cause of what it would do to me..."

Saul's mouth drops open. "You heard that?"

"Yeah, I was listening at the door for, like, two minutes," Jesse says with a laugh. Saul spends a long moment admiring how Jesse's smile lights up his face. God, he's so fucking perfect it's unreal. Saul wants to see that smile every day and be the one who makes it appear.

"You know what they say about eavesdroppers."

"No, what?"

"That they hear things they shouldn't." Saul toys with the hem of Jesse's t-shirt.

"Why shouldn't I hear how my boyfriend loves me more than his own life?" Jesse asks without a trace of teasing. Put that way, it's hard for Saul to create a decent argument.

"Because it's embarrassing, and you're absolutely going to use it against me."

Jesse's brow furrows. "Yo, that's cold. I'm not Mr. White."

Mirth tugs at the corner of Saul's mouth. He loves that they can joke about it now, that Walter White failed miserably in breaking them apart and succeeded in bringing them closer than ever.

Jesse pushes his hands under Saul's t-shirt, impatiently tugging at the waist of his jeans. "C'mon, take a bath with me and tell me more embarrassing stuff."

Saul doesn't have to be told twice.

#

Jesse feels like he's woken up in an alternate dimension of weird, because he's wearing a t-shirt and boxers in his childhood bedroom, and Saul's cuddled up alongside him wearing just as much clothing. One of Saul's arms is draped over Jesse's hip, curled around him in a way that's almost possessive. Jesse wriggles backwards to press himself closer along the line of Saul's body. The jut of something hard digs into Jesse's ass, and he realizes pretty quickly that it's not part of a leg or Saul's other arm.

Jesse grins to himself and grinds back into Saul's dick. "You pretendin' to be asleep?"

Saul groans, hooking a leg around Jesse's own to bring them closer. "You caught me." His mouth travels over the tattoo between Jesse's shoulder blades; Jesse sighs contentedly as Saul pushes his hips forward. "We might be able to sneak in a quickie before your parents wake up."

Jesse snorts a laugh. "God, this is so fuckin' weird. And, no, we won't, 'cause they get up at, like, the ass-crack of dawn." Golden sunlight's streaming through the gaps in the curtains, so odds are they're already awake.

"They've got a pretty solid knocking policy though, right?"

Jesse rolls over onto his other side so he's facing Saul. "Well, I've never had to hide another person in the room."

Saul scoffs. "Amateur."

"And I guess you were just a regular casanova when you were a teen, huh?" Jesse teases, slinking an arm around Saul's waist.

"I think I still am." Saul lifts an eyebrow. "Friendly reminder that I seduced the pants off of you."

Jesse knows that's bullshit, but if Saul wants to think he totally won Jesse over, then so be it. "When you're done pattin' yourself on the back, you mind takin' care of this?" He reaches down and palms the swell of Saul's cock through his boxers.

Saul sucks in a breath, twists his hips into Jesse's hand. "What good is havin' a boyfriend if I still have to take care of myself?"

Jesse gasps in faux-offense and smooths his fingers through the flap of Saul's boxers. "Bitch."

"Twink," Saul says, a smirk in his voice as he tangles a hand in Jesse's hair.

Jesse never thought he'd like sucking cock as much as he does, but since he started dating Saul it's one of his favorite pasttimes. Doesn't hurt that he's pretty good at it, either. Saul's quiet while he shakes under Jesse's lips, occasionally offering up a soft little grunt or hiss of Jesse's name through his teeth. Most of his praise is physical: fingers knotting in Jesse's hair, hands grasping at his arms or shoulders, legs sliding in the sheets.

Jesse enjoys Saul's responses to his mouth more than he should, but he loves the way Saul squirms and bucks and lets himself go with a surprised little moan, coming in long, wet stripes down Jesse's throat. Jesse pulls off slow and gentle, careful to focus on the softened, sensitive head of Saul's dick and lick him clean. Saul just groans, the sound a low rumble in his chest, and Jesse knows he's done a damn good job.

"Still think you don't need a boyfriend?" Jesse sits up and gives him a saccharine smile.

Saul's chest is still heaving slightly from the force of his orgasm. "Never said I didn't." He pulls himself up for a kiss. Jesse wonders if Saul can taste himself on his lips. His hands skim over the length of Jesse's thighs. "If we stay up here too long, your parents might start to wonder what exactly we're doing."

"And they'd be right."

"Hey, c'mon, kid. They actually like me." Saul swings his legs over the side of the bed and finds his jeans draped over the back of a chair. "They think I'm good for you. Let's not ruin that impression by making them think we're just sex-hungry nymphomaniacs."

Jesse sits cross-legged on the bed, watching Saul dress. "What, you can't be both?"

Saul pauses, one leg stuck through his jeans, to give Jesse the patented, "You're kidding, right?" look.

Jesse's unfazed by Saul's snark. "You just wanna get out of sucking my dick, don't you?"

"As much as I love deep-throating you, I'd really prefer cinnamon rolls in my mouth, and I'm fairly sure I smell them from downstairs." He zips up and heads for the door.

Jesse flops onto the mattress. "Either way you're endin' up with cream in your mouth." He grins at the way Saul's mouth scrunches into a frown.

Saul pauses in the doorway to affix Jesse with a judgemental stare. "Jesse Pinkman, you're a disgusting, sex-crazed, arrested adolescent." Then he smiles. "Never change, kiddo."

Jesse's pretty sure that's Saul's way of saying "I love you."

He's in no hurry, so he takes his time getting dressed and freshening up. As he's coming down the staircase, he hears Jake say his name in conversation, which makes Jesse freeze, because if he's being gossiped about he wants to know. He presses himself along the wall to hide out of sight. He can't see Jake or the person he's talking with, but there's only three people down there, and Jesse knows their voices pretty well, so he shouldn't have a problem figuring it out.

He tries to ignore the distant clanging in the laundry room and the soft sound of the TV from the living room so he can focus on the conversation. "It's like he's all they ever talk about," Jake's lamenting, his voice unusually quiet.

Saul's voice drifts into Jesse's ears next. "He's got a pretty eventful life. 'Course they talk about him. Besides, he's gonna be outta your hair anyway when he moves away for college. Problem solved, right?"

Jesse realizes in mounting horror that they're talking about him, and it doesn't sound like anything good.

"That's not gonna be the end of it, though," Jake says. "They're just gonna keep paying all this attention to him and forget about me."

Saul's quiet for a moment, then he says, "I don't have kids, but I imagine it's pretty hard to divide your focus equally, y'know? You seem like you got all your chess pieces on the board, so to speak, where Jesse—Jesse was like the kid who couldn't figure out where the pieces went. So, yeah, he needed extra attention, and since you seemed to be doing okay your parents probably figured you were fine."

There's a brief moment of silence, which Saul might be using to eat, because the next time he says something his mouth is half-full. "But, hey, don't knock the pieces off your board just to get attention. That's just gonna bite you in the ass. You're smarter than that; I can tell. I have a sixth sense for this kind of stuff. Just take care of yourself. Your parents don't need to pay attention to Jesse anymore. I got that totally under control."

Jake laughs, and, yeah, he probably heard the filthy implications in that sentence. Gross.

Jesse's heart swells in a way he's unfamiliar with, and he's stricken with the urge to go down there and kiss Saul until they can't breathe anymore. But instead he waits until the conversation ebbs before going downstairs.

After breakfast, Saul's upstairs slipping his shoes on when Jesse says, "So my brother seems to like you. Never knew you were good with kids."

"Funny, I don't hear a trace of sarcasm there."

"'Cause I'm being straight-up. You got nieces or nephews I don't know about?"

"Maybe I'm just a natural."

Jesse tilts his head, seeing Saul in a whole new light. His biological clock—do dudes even have those?—is going fucking haywire right now. Jesse opens his mouth, stops himself, because the last time he tried asking this question Mr. White punched Saul in the face. So, yeah, Jesse's a little apprehensive about treading this territory. But now's as good a time as ever, so he swallows back the nervousness and asks, "You ever think about havin' kids?"

"Yeah, I've thought about it, but, uh, it didn't quite work out." Saul gives a bitter chuckle at the end, and Jesse just knows that sentence is rigged to blow. And he can't help but poke at it.

"What do you mean?" There are so many ways this question could go wrong, and Jesse doesn't even care, because he needs to know like he needs air to breathe.

Saul rubs a hand over the back of his neck, takes a couple steps toward Jesse before sighing and just dropping next to him on the edge of the bed. "It—it didn't work out," he says again, his voice low and shaky.

"Slow swimmers?" Jesse says, because he's an idiot who can't take a hint.

Saul shakes his head.

Jesse's brow creases in pain. "Oh, she—she couldn't...?" Why can't he just drop this?

Saul doesn't look at him, just stares straight ahead. "We could. The baby couldn't." He looks sort of shell-shocked when he adds, "Things never got back to the way they were."

That's when it slams into him like a car crash, and Jesse wishes he hadn't let this genie out of the bottle, because, Jesus Christ, that's fucking horrible. The rest of the story comes together in pieces, all the more painful because it's unspoken. Is this Saul's first relationship since then?

Jesse feels awful and honored at the same time. "God, I—I didn't know. I'm sorry." He drags a hand over his face. He shouldn't have pushed. He's so stupid.

Saul leans against Jesse's shoulder like he needs the warmth and support there. "It's okay, Jesse," he murmurs, his fingers tangling with Jesse's own. "Well, actually, no, it's still awful, but I'm okay."

Jesse briefly considers making a comment about how he and Saul have something else in common now—the death of a loved one—but his attempts to lighten the mood usually fail miserably. So he keeps his mouth shut. Wise.

"If I ever tried again, though," Saul says, "I'd want it to be with you."

Jesse doesn't know how to answer that, just stares at Saul with his mouth agape. Suddenly, he doesn't feel so silly for having mushy, ridiculous fantasies about raising kids with Saul in their new life together. Because it sounds like it's something Saul wants too, enough to tread the emotional landmines of his past.

"Maybe we could try, y'know, sometime in the future, or whenever. Maybe." Jesse's embarrassed about that trainwreck of a sentence, his face flushing red, but Saul squeezes his fingers and kisses his mouth, so maybe Jesse didn't screw this up too badly.