Note: The Prenda Law Firm case, where the lawyers sued people for downloading porn and later were revealed to have invented the fake porno companies in whose name they were suing, is real and on-going, and just as hilarious as it sounds. Go google it now.
District Attorney Ackles checked his hair in the police car mirror, then lifted the bullhorn to his lips.
"Ya'll can come out now."
Misha's head popped up from the second story window. "You'll have to pry the porn from my cold dead hands!"
Ackles rolled his eyes. Over the last few weeks, Prenda Law Firm had successfully sued hundreds of individuals for illegally downloading porn owned by Wayward Holdings Incorporated, assuring the perpetrators that it would be cheaper to settle out of court rather then have their names dragged thru the mud.
Misha had fought back by disguising a porno clip as an Angry Birds update, thus distributing it to millions of viewers, and when the police arrived with a search warrant, he'd barricaded himself indoors and called upon other porn activists to take up the fight in a movement he dubbed Occupy Dat Ass.
"Come on Misha," said Chad, experimentally sniffing his own armpit, "We've been here six days."
"And look at all the news cameras!" said Misha, gesturing out the window, "Now's the time to act!"
"But what's more important?" said Chad wearily, "Making a statement or getting porn to people in need?"
"Ackles isn't a lawyer, he's an extortionist!" said Misha, flailing his arms, "This is about social justice man!"
Outside, Jensen handed the bullhorn to the police chief. "Okay," he said, winking at the nearest news reporter, "Send in the SWAT."
Jared yawned, and fumbled for his phone in the dark. "'ello?"
"Jared!" Misha hissed on the other end, "Ya gotta help me!"
Jared muted the TV. For the last week Jensen had made every news channel in Texas, including Univision, where he had answered questions on the courthouse steps in passable Spanish and even managed a cheeky double entendre with the female reporter.
"Where are you, it's..." said Jared, checking his watch, "Damn it's past three."
"They put me in county lock-up!" said Misha, handcuffs clinking the background, "Listen, the judge is gonna see me in the morning, I told my attorney you'd witness in my defense!"
"Witness for what?"
Misha searched for the right words. "Remember, um...ya know how I sent out that fake video file?"
The news had switched to an older video of Jensen petitioning the jury, hands in his pockets, a mean intelligence beneath the good ol'boy charm. Every inch the professional.
This, he had to see. "Count me in."
"Your honor," said Jensen smoothly, "I would like to present Exhibit A."
He pressed the Play button and a TV screen lit up with a topless cheerleader bouncing on some redneck's lap, eliciting gasps of disapproval from the jury. That sound always gave him wood.
"Now Mister Collins," he said, turning the video off, "Do you deny that you distributed this material, copyrighted property of Wayward Holdings?"
Misha stared at his shoes, and muttered a no.
"Do you also deny that you illegally acquired and distributed other films such as..." he ran his eyes down a list, "Kansas Kunt Hunt, Can't Sleep Clowns Will Eat Me, and My Horny Valentine?"
A faint flush colored Jensen's cheeks. These were all titles from the Driving and Crying series, the company's cash cow and dramatic vehicle for the Canadian star Sam Wesson. Damn, was he only 23? He sounded older on-screen.
"It's called net neutrality, dickhead." said Misha defiantly.
"No, it's called piracy," said Jensen, nodding to the judge, "That will be all, your honor."
"You're sounding really good out there," said Senator Morgan, straightening Jensen's tie for him before an ornate mirror, "The news cameras are eating you up."
"Thank you sir."
Though senators weren't supposed to have outside income, Morgan had been the unspoken boss of the Prenda Firm for years. As much as Jensen enjoyed practicing law, Jeffrey Dean had on multiple occasions hinted at the lack of any decent Republican candidates for the next election cycle, and with old Senator Devereaux retiring this year...
Morgan stood behind him, smoothing the creases in Jensen's jacket. "Defense giving you any trouble?" he asked.
"No sir, we got one last witness, but the jury's in our lap."
Jeffrey Dean leaned in, his hands on the young man's hips and his mouth brushing Jensen's ear, and Jensen's breath caught in his throat. "That's what I like to hear."
"Do you have any other witnesses?"
"Yes your honor," said Misha's attorney, "A Mister Jared Padalecki."
Jensen smirked at his reflection in the polished table. The last three character witnesses had turned into puddles of goo under his cross-examination, dread-locked white girls who'd joined Occupy Dat Ass with the hopes of gaining street cred. He doodled on his legal pad, a whiff of Morgan's cologne still clinging to his jacket...
"Mister Prosecutor, will you do the honors?"
Jensen looked up. A Bible was suddenly floating six inches from his face, the clerk towering over him expectantly.
"Swear in the witness?" he said.
Jensen smiled for the cameras and plucked the book from his hands. "Only too happy to."
The clerk stepped out of his line of sight, and Jensen nearly kicked over his own chair. Sam? he thought.
Jared was wearing the same clothes from last night's wrap party: designer jacket, designer shoes, collarbone peaking out from his unbuttoned shirt, eyes hidden behind thick black shades. He stank of Astroglide and hoochie mamas.
But no, this man only looked like Sam Wesson. Unless it's a stage name...
Flashbulbs exploded, and Jensen remembered where he was. Walking to the witness stand, he lay the Bible before Jared.
"Raise your right hand."
Jared did so, his left hand on the Bible and overlapping Jensen's fingers. A careless gesture, but enough to make Jensen break out into a sweat.
"Could you remove your glasses?"
Jared lifted his hand, and did something elegant with his hair as the shades folded neatly into his breast pocket. He curled a stray locked behind his ear, locking eyes with Jensen with a curious fascination.
It's him. Jensen thought, countless shower fantasies threatening to choke him right there on the courtroom floor.
"Do you solemnly swear," he began, clearing his throat, "Or affirm that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?"
Jensen felt a wet ribbon sliding down one side of his face. Jared noted this, and a toy smile played at his lips. "I do."
The air felt very close at that moment, the two men exchanging on some silent frequency the rest of the room was not privy to, and just as suddenly it broke and Jensen got back into his groove.
"You're associated with the accused?"
"Misha?" Jared asked, "Yes, for many years now."
"Personal or business?"
"Mostly business. He introduced me to the industry when I moved from Vancouver."
Jensen smirked. "The porn industry?"
Jared's head bent in a sly tilt. "Gentlemen's special interest."
"Were you aware that Mister Collins distributed my client's film packaged as a phone app?"
"Well of course," said Jared, looking toward the TV, where the two figures were frozen mid-thrust, "I'm in it."
Jensen stiffened, and glanced at the screen again. The actor's face had dropped out of the frame, but the rest of him, the voice, the dirty talk, the brown muscled hands clawing into the girl's supple flesh as his hips lifted her off the bed...
Jared must have read his mind. "Wanna play it again and see?"
"That will be all your Honor." said Jensen, turning away from the cameras with shoulders hunched.
The defense took an eternity cross-examining Jared, asking how he liked his line of work. Right, thought Jensen bitterly, How you like banging strangers all day and coming home smelling like a taco truck? Just the thought of those other women with their hands all over Jared...
"I'm wondering," said Misha's attorney, fingering a folder on his desk, "Are you happy filming for Wayward Holdings?"
"It's a job." said Jared, indifferent.
"Are you aware," said the attorney excitedly, "That Wayword Holdings is actually a shell company?"
Jensen shot up. "Objection your Honor."
"Sustained," said the judge, his eyebrows raised the slightest fraction, "You have evidence supporting this?"
Jensen wanted to look around, see if some surprise witness had emerged, but there were too many cameras and the crowd was thick today.
"Jared," said the attorney, "I'm going to give you this folder, containing a number of photos taken at a Board of Directors meeting for the actual company you work for, known as the Lawrence Foundation."
Jared skimmed through the photographs. "What am I looking for?"
The attorney smiled, showing all his teeth. "Can you identify the man who hired you?"
"Oh that's easy," said Jared, pointing at a picture for all the courtroom to see, "He's right here."
Jensen felt his guts curdle. The defense attorney stood with his hands in front of him, like a funeral director, and spared Jensen a final look of triumph. "And his name?"
The journalists leaned in, their breath held as the cameras zoomed in on Jared's face.
"Jeffrey Dean Morgan."
Jensen sat in the backseat with his face in his hands, his phone buzzing over and over with ignored messages from Prenda Law Firm. His driver had to go five miles an hour to avoid running over any journalists, and though Jensen had answered most of their questions with the usual litany of denial and accusations of perjury, he dreaded Morgans' wrath, and entertained serious thoughts of grabbing the first Greyhound to Tijuana until he forgot his own name.
The driver twisted his head around. "Looks like one of your guys outside."
Jensen looked up. A well-dressed man with briefcase in tow tapped at the window, an Ivy League logo stenciled onto his tie pin.
He sighed with relief. "Unlock the door."
"Why am I doing this?" Jared asked, pulling Misha's tie over his head.
"Prenda Law Firm is pleading the Fifth!" Misha whispered as they switched clothes in the men's room, "We need a sworn testimony that the lawyers had rigged this thing from the beginning!"
"Senator Morgan's not gonna crack." said Jared.
"Morgan won't," said Misha knowingly, "But I know someone who might."
It wasn't until Jared had slid into the car and shut the door that Jensen registered who was sitting beside him. He froze. "What are you doing here?"
"Got a minute?"
Jensen snorted. "Considering I'll be unemployed by this time tomorrow..."
The car radio paused between songs for a news update. "Riots broke out at the county courthouse today over the Prenda Porn Troll debacle..."
"Look, nobody blames you," he said, laying a warm hand on Jensen's knee, "Everyone knows you weren't involved."
Jensen's phone rang, the name JEFFREY MORGAN illuminated in tall letters. Jared's fingers touched his own lightly, just as they had back in the courtroom.
"Come work for us, for me and Misha," said Jared, "You know the firm inside and out, better then anyone, you could build a case against them..."
"...Misha Collins was last seen atop the courthouse roof, flinging copies of Queef Quarterly into the angry mob..."
"A case against a Texas senator? With Misha? Are you high?" said Jensen, "I can't, I have to call Morgan, he'll know..."
Jared was very close now, their faces inches away, and Jensen felt sweat roll down his spine inside his shirt.
"Why are you defending him?" asked Jared, "He set you up."
Jensen thought back to that filthy video in the courtroom, how the nation had looked on in a mass act of voyeurism, and yet he was losing his cool over another man's hand on his. For once, he wished someone were taping this, to look back on in his times of loneliness.
"Are we done?" Jensen asked, his voice raw, "Cuz I really need to get home."
His phone went off again, followed by a text from Morgan, but when he went to answer it Jared snatched the phone away. "Listen to me," he said, "Our cause is just."
"Just?" Jensen retorted, "Thanks to your stupid friends I'm gonna have to crawl on hands and knees tonight if I still want a career, where's the justice in that?"
Jared's nails marked Jensen thru the fabric, recalling Wayward Holdings' casting couch back when he'd first started, and the cruel lengths Morgan would go to to turn a profit. "You'd be better off elsewhere." he said darkly.
"And you get to go back to being the town slam-piece," he said, averting his eyes, "How's that any better?"
Without the pressure of an audience, Jensen withdrew into himself, nothing like what the news had made of him. The thought of Morgan getting his hands on him... Jared's hand traveled higher, his fingers curling possessively against the swell of Jensen's thigh.
"...Senator Morgan issued a statement today, urging the firm to stand their ground in the wake of these accusations..."
The car rolled up to a familiar house, and Jensen swallowed. "This is my stop."
He raised a hand to the door latch, but Jared stopped him. He was tired, tired of the beautiful, bored East European actresses, the canned dialogue, the gaze of the camera lens. It was all so...cold.
"...the police have called in state troopers to keep back protesters, now numbering in the hundreds..."
Jensen looked up into his face. Cameras never captured everything, how car leather smells, the sound of two men holding their breath, the way time dilated as Jared pressed his mouth to his. Jensen sat perfectly still, a stray hair brushing his cheek as Jared leaned in, and after a while he responded. This was not Sam Wesson beside him. Sam Wesson lived in the TV. This man was...clean.
Jared unbuttoned his own shirt one-handed as their kiss deepened, revealing a warm window of skin before pushing Jensen's reluctant fingers inside, his other hand pushing Jensen's knees even wider apart, while their phones rang in happy unison.
"You should get back," said Jensen breathlessly, unable to pull his hands away, "Look at the trouble I caused."
From far away they could hear police sirens, but that no longer mattered. Smiling, Jared opened the car and led Jensen toward the front door of his house.
"Let them have their fight."