Disclaimer: I don't own, sorry if it's bad! :( R&R!
It all started with a book. It's almost eleven at night and Peter probably wouldn't have even noticed it except Jared's already asleep, his head in Peter's lap and his arms wound around his waist and one of them has to watch the newest episode of The Closer.
It's during one of the commercial breaks that he first spots it. He almost passes right over it, tucked in underneath the all the junk they keep on the coffee table. Even when he reaches over to grab it he doesn't think it's anything special. Ever since the "Lilly incident" the flat's been swamped by various books on how to deal with a loved one in prison and this one didn't seem much different.
He thumbs through it, raising his eyebrows at various chapters. It's only been a few seconds before he comes across several dog eared pages. There's neat, organized handwriting on the sides, and Peter sees his and Jared's names and another one he can't quite understand. But before he can start to seriously read the TV blares and Kyra Sedgewick comes back on and Peter forgets about it for a while.
The next morning he wakes up to find that he crashed on the couch, his hand in Jared's hair and his head on a weird angle. He gently wakes Jared up, easing up before going to get coffee.
Pindar's in the kitchen, a cup of coffee in his left hand and his newest self help book in the other. He greets Peter before ducking into the living room, murmuring advice from his book as he goes. Peter continues with his morning routine, leaving out Jared's cup as he hears the smaller man shuffling down the stairs.
"Morning..." Jared murmured, grabbing the cup. "you see Pindy this morning?"
"Briefly, why?" Peter asked, placing both of plates on the table before joining Jared at the table. "He seemed in a rush."
"He's been mopey lately, haven't you noticed?" Jared suddenly grins, poking at Peter's arm. "Or do you giants have a hard time noticing small details?"
And suddenly the sober mood was gone, replaced by their usual routine, Jared joking while having a look of fond amusement and Peter's gentle teasing while having contentment written on his own.
It's not until that night that thoughts of the book resurface. Jared's dragging him through Blockbuster, intent on finding the latest James Cameron movie when they run into Karp...or Damien as Peter supposes he should be calling him. They really are getting along better now, and maybe he'll even return the guitar. (yeah, Karp wishes).
The other lawyer leaps back like he's been burned before settling his glare on the duo. "Would it kill you to watch where you're going?"
"Us?" Jared places his hands on his hips and looks around suspiciously. "What the hell are you doing in the S section? In Blockbuster?"
The look on Damien's face is priceless, a mix between anger and embarrassment. "I'll have you know Franklin, that I come here to Blockbuster quite often."
Peter intervenes here, a eyebrow raised. "Really? Do you have a membership card?"
Damien looks like he's about to explode when Jared all of a sudden sees a couple heading towards the only copy of Sanctum and he takes off like a rocket, grabbing Peter's hand and dragging him along.
It's not until after they've grabbed the movie and are looking at candy that they see Damien again. He's standing at the opposing counter nervously, paying for his movie and a king sized Peanut Butter Cup. Peter squints, and almost thinks of tapping Jared on the shoulder to ask if he sees the same as he does. But he doesn't, because he knows there's no way that Damien Karp is renting the entire collection of Star Wars.
It's dark in the living room by the time they get back, Carmen and Pindar most likely asleep. Jared practically bounds into the living room, popping the DVD in as Peter makes the popcorn. Fifteen minutes later they're already tangled together on the couch, thoroughly fixated on the movie.
Half way through Jared's got Peter's hand in a death grip and by the time the credits begin to roll his face is tucked into Peter's neck. He shifts slightly, pulling Jared close and tucking the blanket around them both.
"Peter?" Jared whispers, his breath warm against his neck. "Can I tell you something?"
Peter nods before realizing Jared can't see him in the pitch darkness. "Of course you can."
Jared shuffles closer, squirming around until he ends up in Peter's lap, still pressed impossibly close to the taller.
"I love you man." He whispers, face still pressed into Peter's neck. His voice is dead serious, and just that much scared. Terrified, Peter guesses, that this is going to go horribly wrong, that Peter will be disgusted and will never talk to him again. Peter knows this because that's how Peter's always feels, ever since that night in collage, seeing his best friend on that hospital bed, grinning weakly back up at him.
"God Jared..." He whispers, and tightens his grip ever so slightly as he bends his neck down to that uncomfortable angle but he can press his nose into Jared's neck this way, can breath in the unique smell that makes Jared, Jared. "You don't know how long I've waited to hear you say that...I love you too."
He feels Jared's grin against his neck, the exhale of breath. Peter feels Jared raise his head up and soon he feels smaller hands on his face, tracing patterns on his face. He pulls Jared even closer, pressing his lips against the others. It's soft and sweet yet it's so Jared, and it's everything he's ever imagined it would be yet so much better and damn he sounds like all the cliches he's ever heard of.
"Sleep with me tonight?" Jared whispers, sucking Peter's bottom lip. "In my bed?"
Peter groans, his arms going around Jared's waist. He understands the unspoken question. It's not unusual for him and Jared to sleep on the couch, curled around each other. But to sleep together, actually planning to fall asleep, that's different. Not to mention the morning, Carmen is always up before them, and Pindar too, occasionally.
And yet he doesn't hesitate, he scoops Jared up and kisses him firmly as he walks down the hall. "Your room or mine?"
It's pitch black, and Peter can't see for the life of him but he somehow knows Jared's grinning. "We're taking the next step, finally."
And then Peter remembers the book, and maybe it's then that he begins to think it's not Carmen's, but then they reach Jared's door and he stops thinking about the outside world for a while.
It's bright outside by the time he wakes up. There's a brief moment of panic when he sees the time before the warm body to his right curls closer. "We have the day off."
And so it's another hour before they wake up, Jared offers to make the coffee so Peter finds himself in the living room, cleaning up the remains from their movie night.
He sees the book out of the corner of his eye and decides he might as well figure out why he saw his and Jared's name in it.
"Whatcha reading?" Jared pops into the room, two cups of coffee in his hands. He settles down on the couch, placing his feet in Peter's lap. "Isn't that Pindy's book?"
"What? I thought it was Carmen's." Peter gratefully takes the offered cup and begins to look for the dog eared pages.
"No man, I saw Pindy with it the other day. Freaked out when he saw me though." Jared raises in eyebrow in question. "Why are you interested in it?"
Peter's still slightly confused but he explains everything to Jared and before long they're both pouring over the book. They're mention in the sidemarks often, remarks about how this proved they were in love, this meant they would take it to the next level when this happened, and so on.
But then they were the other comments. Written in that same immaculate handwriting but without the flow. It was if the writer didn't want anyone to know who he was talking about. He made comments on how to know when it was serious, when you actually cared about the person.
"Who do you think our mystery writer is?" Jared leans back against Peter's chest, it's just been the two of them this morning, having slept through Carmen's departure and Pindar spending the day in "silent mediation" in his room.
"You said you saw Pindar reading it right?" Peter feels Jared's nod and goes on. "So most likely it's him. The real question is..."
"Who's our little Pindy's special friend!" Jared begins laughing, but stops just as quickly when he says Peter's serious face. "Dude, what's wrong?"
Suddenly it's all lining up in Peter's head. The star wars movie set, the peanut butter cups, the fact that Karp was in blockbuster, blockbuster! And didn't Pindar go out the past few nights? What was it he said..."needing fresh air." Who the hell needs fresh air for eight hours? And when he'd come back he'd smelled of Ralph Lauren, he had never worn cologne. How had they not seen it?
"I...I think it's Karp man." Jared looks up at him in disbelief, clearly thinking he's gone crazy. "I mean, think about it for a second, like really think about it..."
"OH MY GOD!" Jared suddenly shouts, leaping up. "I don't believe it!"
That night they're making dinner when Pindar wanders in, another self help book in his left hand. He goes about his business, oblivious to the stares from the other two in the room.
"Pindy..." Jared starts, dying off as Peter comes to stand next to him. "Are you shacking up with the boss's nephew?"
Disclaimer: so? how bad/good?