Genre: J2 RPS, AU
Pairing: Jensen/Jared although – Heh! You know major league teams have 25-man rosters, right?
Rating: PG-13 (NC-17 for later episodes)
Warnings: Language, Baseball, Schmoop, Angst, Boy-Sexin’
Word Count: 3,004
Disclaimer: Fiction not fact. All these beautiful guys belong to themselves. Jensen and Jared belong to each other, we all know that :D Only the words are mine. No copyright infringement intended for the use of the MLB teams/players/logos. This is for fun, not profit.
A/N: Thanks to everyone who have come along for the ride so far! I’m having way too much fun in this ‘verse. Oh, and thanks to sprnaturalgrl for the ‘sugarpea’ :D
Read, review, enjoy! Comments = Love!
Summary: It's the Home Opener and the Jays take to the field against Tampa Bay. Will they be able to keep their heads above 500 this season? Toronto's going to have to root, root, root for the home team to find out. Meanwhile, in the clubhouse, things get a little heated.
Five: Rooting for the Home Team
Toronto Blue Jays [Vs. Tampa Bay Devil Rays]: Opening Day Batting Line-Up
1: Aldis Hodge [Leftfield]
2: Benjamin Bratt [Rightfield]
3: Christian Kane [Designated Hitter]
4: Adam Beach [Catcher]
5: Pej Vahdat [Centerfield]
6: Jared Padalecki [Second base]
7: Jensen Ackles [Shortstop]
8: Misha Collins [First base]
9: Chad Michael Murray [Third base]
“Holy fuck, Jared!” Jensen exclaimed as Jared suited up next to him. “I still can’t believe Krip put us in the starting line-up!”
“Yeah,” Jared gulped. “I think I’m going to puke, man.”
Jensen chuckled, patting him on the back. “Easy, big guy. Just relax. It’s not like we’ve never done this before.”
“Not in the majors, Jen. This is different, this is...” Jared was cut-off mid-sentence by his phone beeping in his locker. He picked it up; it was his brother. “Dude, they’re here!”
“My family!” Jared bounded up off the bench, his earlier nerves forgotten. “Come on, Jen. I got them seats behind first base and they’re here now.” Without really pausing, Jared grabbed Jensen’s arm and strode out of the club house, up the steps to the dugout and out onto the field where most of the team was already warming up.
“Jared, Kripke’s not gonna like it if you rip my arm out of its socket, dude!”
Jared stopped suddenly, causing Jensen to barrel right into him, until the other man practically bounced off him, losing his balance. Jared laughed and caught him, yanking him close for a hug. Jensen huffed out a breath against his collarbone.
“You...,” Jensen paused, looked up at him in consternation and sighed. “What am I gonna do with you?”
“Just love me, baby. Everything else will fall into place.”
Jensen shook his head, but Jared caught the smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. “I hate you.”
“Yeah, yeah – come meet my family, dude.” This time Jared moved Jensen at a much more sedate pace, ignoring the fact that Jensen could move just fine on his own, and just barely keeping all his excitement contained. He missed his family and couldn’t wait to see them, but he was just as thrilled for them to finally meet Jen, especially considering his complete inability to shut up about the man whenever he called home.
He saw his family before they saw him, and only then did he let Jensen go so that he could run up and engulf his mother in a hug as she leaned over the divide separating the fans from the field. “Momma!”
“JT!” Sherri Padalecki hugged him back just as fiercely and since it didn’t look like she was about to let go anytime soon, the rest of the Padalecki clan joined them for a group hug, which soon dissolved into laughter, teasing and ridiculously high-pitched squealing from him and his little sister, Megan. Well, he still thought of her as little, but she had just turned 21. His older brother, Jeff, and his daddy, Gerry, levelled twin smiles at him, looking so proud that it made him a little teary. He blinked, and scrunched up his face when his Momma took off his ballcap and tried to smooth the flyaway strands of his hair down.
Muffled laughter from a few steps behind him made him roll his eyes, but he turned a wide smile on Jensen and dragged him close, right into the heart of his family. “This,” he proudly proclaimed, “is Jensen.”
Jensen blushed adorably, and then promptly went from somewhat pink to full-on red as the Padaleckis group-hugged him. Jared grinned and joined in, hugging him from behind, making Jensen laugh that laugh of his that just made Jared’s day brighter somehow every single time he did it. He was reluctant to let Jen go, so he made the introductions while they were all still hugging.
“Oh, sweetheart,” Sherri gushed when they were finally released, “you boys look so handsome in those uniforms. Jeff,” she smacked her oldest son in the gut, “take a picture.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Jeff grinned and obediently held up his camera as Jared smiled and draped his arm around Jensen, posing for the shot.
They talked for a short while, and Jared just stood back a little and watched Jensen interact with his family. He was so freaking cute: a little shy, a lot bemused, and blushing like it was an Olympic sport. He didn’t stand a chance when his Momma insisted that Jen join them for dinner, no matter how much he tried to protest otherwise.
“I really don’t want to intrude on your family time with Jared,” Jensen tried to argue. Jared’s Momma, who had up until that point been politely adamant, switched tactics, a wicked smile gracing her pretty face, and the dimples she had been kind enough to pass onto Jared came out in full force.
“Jensen, sweetie, you’re our son-in-law now,” she smirked at him, and Jared had to slap a hand over his mouth to stifle his laughter as Jensen’s jaw dropped in shock. “You’re a part of this family. And we want to get to know you better.”
In about two seconds flat, his entire family was laughing, and Jared couldn’t keep it together anymore. Jensen turned beet-red and rounded on him, looking mortified. “You told them?”
“You think I could keep something as important as getting married from my family? Jensen,” Jared tsked, playfully wrapping his friend in a hug even though Jensen was clearly not in the mood to be hugged. Jared affectionately ruffled his hair. Jen had – like the sweet, southern gentleman he was – removed his ballcap when he talked to Jared’s Momma. It had charmed her, and goddamn it, it had charmed Jared too, and really sometimes Jensen was just too cute for words. Jared couldn’t help himself; he nuzzled Jen’s cheek with his nose. “Aww, don’t be mad, sugarpea. Like Momma said, you’re a Padalecki now.”
Jensen glared at him. “I really hate you right now.”
“You really suck at lying,” Jared grinned down at him, “so don’t even. Just be good and come to dinner with us.”
Jensen frowned. Then he pouted. Then he huffed. Then he caved. So predictable.
Jared smirked as Jensen turned to his Momma. “I’d love to join you for dinner, Mrs. Padalecki. Thank you for inviting me.”
Sherri grinned, darting an amused glance between her son and her son-in-law. “Call me Mom, baby,” she winked at Jensen as the rest of the family laughed again, Jared actually muffling his laughter into the back of Jensen’s neck. Jensen just heaved a gigantic sigh of resignation and looked surprised when, after chatting for a little bit and just before they headed back to the infield to run a few plays, Sherri kissed them both and wished them luck. Once his dad, Jeff and Megan also hugged and kissed them right after, Jensen looked a little shell-shocked.
Jared snuck a smiling sideways glance at his friend as they walked away, coming to a stop when Jen suddenly turned on him.
“You...they... I’ve never...,” Jensen waved a hand in a haphazard circular motion in front of Jared’s chest. “You make sense now.”
“Man, am I ever glad it’s not me pitching the home opener,” Cory Montieth breathed and taking off his ballcap, wiped his sweaty brow. He was penciled in as the starting pitcher in another couple of days, and already his stomach was tied up in knots.
Mark Salling laughed next to him, and it sounded like a snub. “As if you’re good enough to be number one in the starting rotation, Idaho,” he drawled, “I have no idea how you made it this far.”
Boreanaz thumped Mark upside the head with his glove. “Don’t be a jackass. I’ve seen him pitch – he’s good,” then the veteran pitcher looked right at him, and Cory felt his face heat up at his praise. “You’ve got potential, kid. Just keep your nose to the mound and your eye on the ball. And remember every friggin’ word Kim Manners ever tells you.”
Daley frowned at his pitching mentor. “How come you don’t give me positive reinforcement like that?”
“You earn it, you’ll get it,” Boreanaz mumbled, not looking at Daley. Mark hitched an eyebrow sky-high and threw Cory a sideways look. Cory shrugged. Boreanaz was a grouch to rival the legendary Oscar, but he never seemed to give Daley the time of day, unless one of the coaches forced him into it. It was weird behaviour for the man who was the brutally honest straight-shooter of the team – emphasis on the brutal – but Cory didn’t dwell on it, because just then, Rosenbaum and Welling walked into the bullpen and he forgot everything else as Mike starting throwing a few pitches at Carlson, warming up his shoulder.
Cory breathed hard and deep. Jesus.
Opening Day... Let the games begin.
“Hey, Jensen, Jared!”
“Hey Mikey,” Jared greeted the winning pitcher of the day.
“You guys still on the lookout for a place?” Mike asked them as Tom came up behind him.
“Yeah,” Jensen answered.
“You know most of the team are staying at the Dockyard Lofts, right? JD’s reserved one of the penthouse floors for the team. Some of the guys who were here last year are still rooming together but the new guys are coming by to take a look at the four bedroom lofts later today,” Mike told them as they walked to the parking lot after the game. “There’s only one other two-bedroom on that floor. It used to be a demo suite but they’re putting it on the market. You two should grab it. It’s all furnished and shit – you won’t have to do anything to it.”
“That sounds awesome, Mike!” Jared exclaimed with a bright smile. “Thanks, man. I was so not looking forward to apartment hunting.”
“No problem. Here’s the number of the realtor; her name’s Nancy. I told her you guys would meet her after the game.”
“Wait, can’t we just follow you there?” Jensen asked.
“Naw,” Mike looked at Tom and grinned, and honestly, Jared thought to himself, it made him look a bit like shark: predatory. “Tommy and I are gonna go celebrate.” Both he and Jensen looked at Tom, who looked at Mike, who just looked like the fucker they all knew him to be. “Here’s the address, boys. Just plug it into your GPS.”
And with that, he slung an arm around his... Tom and they walked away. Jensen shrugged at Jared and they walked off in the opposite direction.
It took them thirty minutes to drive to the apartment building when walking would have taken them fifteen; Toronto was a maze of one way streets in the downtown core and traffic was a bitch. The realtor met them at the front entrance of the stately building and gave them the grand tour of the amenities before taking them to the first penthouse floor.
“So there’s one four-bedroom loft on each corner of this floor, with two two-bedroom lofts in the middle. Mr. Rosenbaum owns one of those and I’ll be showing you the other one. The second penthouse floor above us is comprised of Mr. Morgan’s suites.”
“Whoa,” Jensen stalled, “JD Morgan actually lives here too?”
“When he’s in town, yes. In fact, it was his idea that we cordon off this floor for the players, to give you some measure of privacy. I hear he’s got big plans for the team this year. I hope his first official year as GM for the Jays is a good one,” Nancy told them. “He’s not always here, though. He also has a house in the suburbs.”
“Who else is on our floor?” Jared asked, as the elevator pinged and the doors opened.
Nancy pointed to the apartments as they walked down the hallway. “These two are empty, but I have Misters Daley, Pine, Montieth and Quinto coming in later to sign the lease for the one next door to Mr. Rosenbaum. This is the one you’re interested in and next door to you would be Misters Kane, Carlson, Boreanaz and Hodge. Across the hall from them are Misters Collins and,” the woman actually blushed a little and cleared her throat, “Murray.”
Jensen and Jared smirked at each other. Jesus, Chad got around.
“They have a whole four-bedroom to themselves?”
“Mr. Thyne moved out at the end of last season. He got married, you know,” she informed them. “He and his wife got a place a little more uptown from here, closer to where she works.”
“Cool,” Jared mumbled as Nancy opened the door to their – hopefully – new home.
The realtor showed them around the beautifully furnished loft apartment and then excused herself to take a phone call, clearly giving them the time and privacy to discuss their decision. Not that there was much discussing to do, Jared thought with a smirk.
Jensen’s face alone had made the decision for him.
“You like?” He asked his better half, as his Momma now called Jen.
Jen grinned. “I like.”
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
Mark Salling threw his glove against the locker room wall. He was so goddamn pissed off at himself. Even that fucker from Idaho had lasted longer than he had.
Yanked in the second inning after giving up eight runs. Fuck. That was not what you could call a stellar outing for a starter, and if he kept this up, he would lose his spot in the rotation, he just knew it. Kripke was decent, but he didn’t pull any punches. If he sucked as hard his next couple of starts he would find himself back in the bullpen. Or worse – back in the Minors. Jesus.
He didn’t know what the fuck was wrong with him. Sure, he had been a little nervous but he was better than this, goddamn it! He scrubbed a hand across his face and headed for the showers, stripping off his uniform as he went, bundling it all up and leaving it on a bench before getting under the welcoming hot spray. He leaned his palms flat against the wall and let the water soothe the tension from his body.
“Everyone has an off day.” The quiet voice made him spin on his heel, his pulse jacking when he saw Montieth leaning against the tiled entry into the communal shower. He was studying the tiles on the floor as if they held the secrets to the universe. Mark didn’t bother to smother the scoff that came out of his mouth.
“Fuck off, Idaho,” he stated bluntly, turning his back on the other man.
There was a frustrated huff followed by an equally frustrated, “Look, I just... I mean... It happens, you know? It can happen to anyone...”
Mark turned from the shower and had a forearm pressed hard across the taller man’s throat in the blink of an eye. Embarrassment and fear battled for supremacy on Montieth’s face as Mark leaned in menacingly, not giving a fuck that he was naked and dripping all over the overgrown imbecile. “I do not need reassurances from you, farmboy,” he spat, “so just fuck the hell off.”
Montieth frowned at that and apparently his balls dropped at that moment, because he seemed to grow a bit of a spine as he none-too-gently shoved Mark off. Unfortunately, the tiled floor was slippery from where Mark had dripped all over it and his bare foot slid out from under him. In that moment, the end of his baseball career flashed before his eyes, panic sparking in them as he lost his balance, arms flailing. He would have fallen hard and awkward if not for Montieth reaching out and grabbing onto him, hauling him into his big body.
It was fear that made Mark cling to Montieth for those few seconds.
It was compassion that made Montieth keep him close until his heart stopped racing.
It was insanity that brought their mouths crashing together in a kiss so fucking fiery, it should have set off all the clubhouse sprinklers.
The Toronto Star’s Jays Days Recap
TORONTO – The Blue Jays returned home to roost after their successful Spring Training stint in Dunedin and started the season off right. This of course had everything to do with Toronto ace, Mike Rosenbaum, going for a complete game victory over Tampa Bay, holding the Rays to a single run. The Jays managed to score two runs on a homer off the bat of catcher, Adam Beach, acquired from the Minnesota Twins in the off-season. But sadly, that was just Game One of the three-game series against the Rays. Ex-Yankees ace, Tom Welling, took the mound for Game Two and while he was able to shut down the side for the most part, he had dismal offensive support from his team. Kripke went to the bullpen in the eighth with new kid, John Daley, getting the ball. He had a good three-up/three-down inning, but that’s where the game headed south; the Rays scoring a single run in the ninth and holding on for the win. Phillips and the bullpen lost the next game, and despite rookie pitcher Cory Montieth’s respectable five-inning outing against the Oriole’s, the offense once again failed to produce runs. The Jays second rookie starter, Mark Salling had a horrendous debut for Game Two against the O’s, lasting only two innings, and giving up eight runs, five of them earned. The bullpen and the seemingly non-existent offense hammered the final nails into the coffin of the Jays first homestand. And it doesn’t get any easier as the team heads off to Chicago for a four-game series against the White Sox, followed by Cleveland and Kansas City, before coming home to Toronto to face arch rivals New York and Boston. If their first week is an omen of things to come, needless to say, our boys of summer are going to need a miracle to stay out of the basement of the AL this year too.