Genre: J2 RPS, AU
Pairing: Jensen/Jared and many others. 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: 1,404
Disclaimer: Fiction not fact. All these beautiful guys belong to themselves. Jensen and Jared belong to each other. 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: So, y’all should be real grateful I didn’t call this one what I was tempted to call it (see end of this note, lol). That said, this is just a fun (I hope) AU about boys playing baseball, having fun and finding love in the last place they ever thought they would: right there in the dugout. I love baseball and I’ve been wanting to write a baseball story for years and now I’ve put together a fangirl’s dream-team 25-man roster. I shall reveal the team shortly. The idea behind this fic is to have the story play out in episodes. J2 is the main pairing, but not the only one. It’s not going to be too baseball-heavy, so read, review, enjoy! Comments = Love! Let’s Gay Ball... er, Play Ball!
One: Prelude to a Pitch
Jensen Ackles looked up... and up. Hoo-whee. Dude talking to him was long, tall drink of water. “Hey.”
“Where is everybody?”
“There is nobody,” Jensen shrugged. “Just you and me, pal.”
“Huh,” Long-Tall stalked into the room, his initial hesitation gone. He came to lean on the bar right beside Jensen, his big body crowding him in, coming into his precious personal space, when he had the whole damn clubhouse rec room to stand in. Jensen gave the man a look. It was apparently too subtle.
“Jensen Ackles,” he introduced himself, holding out his hand. Long-Tall smiled, his cheeks dimpling.
“Jared Padalecki,” he offered, pumping his hand with more enthusiasm than the situation warranted. “Infield.”
“I prefer second.”
“You don’t look like a second baseman to me.”
Pada... Pada-whatsit grinned at him. “Appearances can be deceiving.”
“Uh huh,” Jensen chewed on the inside of his cheek. “I’m Short.”
“Yeah, I noticed. But what position do you play?”
This time there was no missing the pointed look Jensen gave him. Nor was there any missing the aptly raised finger in his direction. Pada... Christ. Jared – laughed. “You get drafted or traded in?”
“Traded,” Jared told him. “From the Durham Bulls. That’s the D-Rays Triple-A team.”
“I know,” Jensen assured him, not too unkindly. “Reno Aces. That’s the D-Backs Triple-A team,” he mocked.
“So, you’re an asshole, huh? How’s that working out for you?”
“I get by all right,” Jensen tried not to grin at that.
“Must be your pretty face,” Jared teased, “it sure as hell ain’t your sparklin’ personality.”
“Hell yeah. San Antone.”
“No shit, Sherlock.”
Jared’s wide mouth twisted derisively. “Mavs?”
“No, Spurs,” Jensen intoned, deadpan.
“Man, I know your Momma taught you better than that,” Jared ribbed him, leaning over the bar to grab a couple of bottles of iced water. He handed one to him.
“What my Momma doesn’t know, won’t hurt her.” Jensen smirked at his new teammate as they sipped their water and felt like he had maybe a found a friend. The wave of relief he suddenly felt was unexpected. He didn’t think making friends in baseball made any sense; not when the system was so fickle that you were moved around from team to team, from league to league, at the drop of a ballcap. Sure, some guys were good enough and/or lucky enough to get signed to long-term contracts, but Jensen was a realist. He played ball because he loved it and he was good at it, but was he great at it? Was he the next Cal Ripken, Jr.? No way. He was blessed to be here though.
Even if that blessing came in the guise of the worst team in baseball right now, the struggling Toronto Blue Jays.
Still, he wasn’t about to scoff at his first shot at the majors. He had been traded from the Aces to the Jays Triple-A farm team, the Las Vegas 51s, but before he had even stepped foot on Cashman Field, he had been called up by the Jays themselves. An honest-to-fucking-goodness major league team, one that was in the basement of their division, sure, but it was the freakin’ American League East, for fuck’s sake! How do you not get excited about that? He figured if he could just make it through Spring Training here in Dunedin, he’d be cool with that. If only he could make the 40-man roster, where even if he did spend most of his time in the minors, the possibility that he could get called up by the Jays was sure as hell higher. And if he didn't, well, he’d cross that bridge later. Or jump off it. Depending on how Spring Training went.
“Think we’ll make it?” Jared asked quietly, his thoughts weirdly echoing Jensen’s.
Jensen stared at him for a long moment, seriously debating on whether or not he should even bother becoming friends: in this instance it would mean the difference between an honest, maybe-too-blunt answer, or a lackadaisical, I-don’t-give-a-rat’s-ass answer. Then he noticed the pleading look Jared was giving him, as if he was seeking reassurance of some sort. The hell?
“What is that?” Jensen sputtered indignantly, pointing at Jared’s face.
“My Momma calls it my ‘puppy dog’ look,” Jared smirked, and it did nothing to diminish the cuteness of that expression on his face. And seriously – sweet baby Jesus. Now he thought Long-Tall was cute?
“Put that away, dude,” Jensen pushed off from the bar and headed outside, back into the bright spring sunshine.
“You say that ‘cause you know it’s working. It’s totally working. I still got it.” The giant, walking, talking redwood that was his new temporary teammate, fell in step beside him. “You got a bunkmate yet?”
“Wanna room with me then?”
“Aww, come on, Jen,” that stupid pleading look was back again, this time coupled with a whiny voice. “I don’t know anybody else here!”
“Dude,” Jesnen pointed out the glaringly obvious, “you don’t actually know me.”
“Course, I do,” Jared informed him. “Jensen Ackles. Shortstop. Aces, Dallas, Cowboys, Stars, Mavericks. And you love your Momma. Like, seriously, man, what the fuck else is there?”
“Huh,” Jensen mused. It was more than some of his former Reno teammates knew about him – and he had been on the Aces roster for almost a year. He shrugged. “I concede your point.”
“Awesome,” Jared threw a long, lean arm heavily across his shoulders as they walked onto the still empty field, stopping only when they reached the pitcher’s mound.
Jensen looked around Dunedin Stadium, quietly taking in the lush green grass field, the almost-red sand on the mound, the tall posts of the flood lights, the empty seats of the bleachers. In his head, he could already hear the quiet roar of a revved up crowd: beer and peanuts passed down the stands, friendly jeers for the opposing team’s players, not-so-friendly boos at an ump’s debatable call.
Baseball. He lived to play this game. He only hoped he would still be playing it with the Toronto Blue Jays when Spring Training was over, come early April.
“I love this game,” Jared informed him with a smile, again amazingly tuned into his own thoughts. “This is gonna be fantastic. I can feel it. Can you feel it, Jen?”
He felt something all right. He just wasn’t quite sure what it was yet. There was something in the air though. Like a promise on the wind. Like hope floating somewhere within his reach for once. “I feel it,” he grudgingly admitted, much to his companion’s amusement. Jensen felt the sudden inexplicable urge to poke him in the dimple. “And don’t call me Jen.”
“Whad’ya mean, 'why not', you moron? ‘Cause that’s a girl’s name, and I am not a girl.”
“You sure look like a girl to me,” Jared chuckled, deftly dodging what would have been Jensen’s none-too-gentle jab to his ribs. “All pretty and shit.”
“That’s the second time you called me pretty. Careful, or I might think you have a crush on me.”
“If I ever go gay for anyone, dude, you’d be right up there on my list,” he stopped when he realized what he said, an adorable blush rising up his cheeks. And fuck. Adorable? Jesus.
“I’m having second thoughts about rooming with you now.”
“Aww, don’t be mean, Jen... er, ...sen,” Jared griped as they walked off the field towards the parking lot, “it’s like with Skittles, you gotta embrace the rainbow, dude.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s ‘taste’ the rainbow, idiot.”
“Yeah, well, after that ‘gay’ comment, I really didn’t want to go there,” Jared chirpily told him, no evidence of contrition in his voice.
“Oh God,” Jensen groaned as he stopped and suddenly turned to face the other man. “Are you always like this?”
“Yeah. Sorry?” Again, not a hint of remorse. “I have a good feeling about us. You’re a J. I’m a J. And here we are – at the Jays Spring Training camp. We totally have to make the team. It’s like Fate brought us together or something.”
“Jesus, I’m going to regret this.”
“I figure you have two options here,” Jared was quick to clue him in, “either you can beat me, or you can join me. And honestly, there’s no way you’re beating me at anything, short-stuff.”
“You know, we're all alone out here. I could kill you, dump your body and no one would be the wiser.”
“That’s assuming you could drag my dead ass anywhere by your lonesome.”
“I think I hate you.”
“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”