Exactly Who I'm Supposed To Be


Being a cheerleader is not easy.

And it's harder than you'd think, being one of only three guys in the line-up. Jensen takes his share of shit from the team, and no matter how many times he explains that he gets to catch girls wearing some very short skirts out of the air, he always gets ribbed. Never beat on - catching a hundred and ten pounds for four hours at a time, cold, that'll make for some decent muscle tone. But his fair share of teasing, sure. Still, he thinks, he does his part for school spirit and everybody knows it.

The team's on the way out to play their sister school. It's the second week, Jensen's a senior this year and he plans to enjoy it. He's got his duffel slung over his shoulder, uniform inside, and a Durex box tucked away in a corner of it, just in case his girlfriend decides that technical virginity really isn't virginity at all. Amanda's a really nice girl, blonde and pretty, just Jen's type; they've been dating for a little while now. She's way better than Jensen's last girlfriend - at least she'll kiss him in public. Jensen hoists the duffel on his shoulder as he walks down the hall toward the auto shop entrance, where the buses are gathered. This is his year, he can feel it.

He turns a corner down at the end of the hall. This isn't a part of the school he tends to be in often, but even he knows the halls aren't supposed to smell like cigarette smoke. Jensen wrinkles his nose and spots the culprit immediately - a group of maybe four are by their lockers, and one of them is this girl. Jensen has to take a second to remember her name. She's been around since forever, her family owns a farm way out somewhere and she somehow managed to bus into Jensen's district, since they were kids. She didn't always dress like a total reject, though. She used to be okay.

Whatever. Jensen elects not to say anything, 'cause there's four of them and one of him; he just keeps his eyes front and his chin high and walks right past. She's laughing as he comes up and he can't help but glance - their eyes catch together like nettles and thorns. He blushes as she looks him over; he's the first to look away, and she puts her stub of a cigarette to her lips and drags off it before flicking it at his shoulder. He bats it away and glares at her. Christ, it's not enough she has to stick herself in his landscape, with her ratty old jeans with holes in all the wrong places, her too-tight t-shirts; no, she's gotta stink up the halls too.

She grins at him like she's daring him. Come on, pussy, do it, she seems to say. I got a jaw right here just lookin' for your fist. Try me.

Jensen flicks his eyes over her, contemptuous, and walks away. He's got a game to get to and no time for her attitude.

They cream the opposition that night, and Jensen winds up in a three hour heavy petting session with Amanda, and no further. Again.

He has a part time job at Denny's on Saturdays. It keeps Jensen's gas tank full and pays his insurance -- the only condition his parents laid on his sixteenth birthday present, so he's happy to do it. He pulls the short straw during scheduling, so this Saturday night finds him on the on the graveyard shift.

Around two in the morning, she stumbles in with a bunch of her friends, completely tanked. They're stumbling over each other, laughing as they try to stay upright. Jensen bitches to his manager, Evelyn; he knows damn well that if he goes over there, they'll only give him shit. Evelyn makes him take their table because she's short-staffed as it is, and if he wants to get ahead in this world he'll have to learn to blah blah whatever.

He goes up and dots his pen on his pad, asks them what it'll be. As luck would have it, most of them are too bombed to even recognize him, so it isn't too bad. They mostly ask for coffee, they're here to sober up, and he's picking up a basket of fries and turning around when suddenly there she is, coming in from having a cigarette. She goes to pull off her jacket and looks him right in the eyes, frank and assessing, and the way she's rolling the leather off her shoulders makes her breasts stand out under the shirt.

Jensen blushes and walks away. She doesn't even like him. She's got no business looking at him like that, no business sticking her tits in his face like he's supposed to pay attention, supposed to notice her. The silk-screened letters were cracking under the strain, a hundred washings, too thin. Not that he was looking, just then. He wasn't.

She goes to sit down, but he brings them some more coffee later and she's staring at him again, measuring him with her eyes, pursing her lips, which are full and lush and painted deep red.

Jensen feels his teeth clench. To hell with her, anyway. He eyes her right back, which is easier for him because she's sitting down and he's got a really fucking good view into the cut-out v-neck of her shirt, where some truly spectacular cleavage peeks back at him. This time she's the one who blushes, seeming a little out of sorts. Maybe it's because she's still a little drunk, but Jensen thinks it serves her right.

He doesn't see her again, not for more than a second, for a week. He forgets she exists, mostly.

That's because he's got something more important to focus on. The game tonight is against Skyline High, and Jensen's team will definitely lose, but there'll be scouts there. The girls are going insane, drilling the cheers, making sure they're perfect. They're already in uniform, perfect white with piping to match the school colors, and Amanda's in hysterics in the parking lot because she can't find her lucky socks. Jensen's trying to calm her down when he feel something heavy hit him in the back, stinging his skin. He whirls around to see the Big Gulp cup clattering on the ground, the splatters of cola streaking his car, and the jeep peeling out of the parking lot with her and her friends hanging over the bars. The guy driving is throwing horns, laughing, and she's waving at Jensen happily.

He can feel the cola start to soak through to his back, and right there and then, he swears revenge. Amanda bursts into tears, but Jensen can't even hear her.

The next day, he's ready. He asks around - she'll be coming through this hallway on her way to English, third period. He's gonna confront her, tell her to get her bitchy, half-wit ass out of his face and back in rehab where it belongs. He had to replace the uniform sweater she ruined out of his own pocket, sixty bucks with the embroidery, and he's fucking livid. He never wants to see her around again.

She rounds the corner and he had a lot of choice fucking words, but they kind of escape him, uh, a little bit, because she's… God.

She's wearing black jeans, which are too tight, but in just the right way. There's a red t-shirt for a top, tied up underneath her full, heavy breasts so it clings to her curves and bares her stomach. It's a hundred in the shade; she's got this sheen of sweat all over her, ponytail holding her hair up off her neck, swinging as she walks. Jensen can't help but watch her, listen to her scuffed up Doc Martens tromp down the hall and just watch her like every other guy in the hallway, his mouth a little bit open because God damn. God damn.

The cheerleaders hiss beside him, oh my God, do you even believe, what a slut, but he can't hear.

She's got her nose in a book, some thick, musty old thing. As she walks by him she reaches out, without even looking up, and touches the bottom of his chin, pushing his mouth closed.

He jerks away from her touch, from the pads of her fingers burning into his face. "Why you gotta be such a bitch?" he yells, everybody staring at him all of a sudden, but she just keeps walking.

Of course the cheerleaders love that and rally around him, but he knows that she can tell what he was really thinking, and it wasn't so much about her attitude as it was about the fact that she touched him. He knows it, she can tell, she… ah, fuck it.

Later he's in class and he hears her boots down the hall again, a fast, angry pace. When the bell rings, he checks with some friends in her class and finds out she got sent to the principal's office for wearing her shirt that way, that he sent her home. She could've just untied it, so she probably mouthed off to him.

Jensen wishes he could have seen it.

A few days later Jensen's walking out to his car, fresh from his post-practice shower. Everybody's gone; even she and her friends aren't haunting their usual spot. He swings through the door, looking forward to getting home.

She's bent in half under the hood of an old Malibu. Jensen stops dead, standing there like an idiot, because those blue jean cut-offs shape her ass in the most perfect way imaginable, frayed and worn and tight. They're the kind of pale blue you only get from wearing a pair of jeans for years, so broken in that they're soft as skin when you touch them. Jensen follows the curves and lines, notes that her calves are smooth and perfect, braced as she is on the ground. After a second he's dismayed to realize that he's been staring at her ass long enough now that he can identify her by that alone.

He walks past her to his Chevy, all set to smirk and ask her where her buddies are now, seeing as she's stuck here with a fucked up car and nobody to give her a lift home. But as he gets a look under her hood, he realizes she's not exactly Little Miss Helpless - there's a streak of grease on her arm and she's holding a screwdriver in her teeth as she wipes something with a rag. Or maybe tightens something. It's hard to tell.

So he keeps walking, and then she calls out. "Hey. Hey, you."

He turns around and glares at her, and she's giving him that look again, that assessing look, like the way a butcher looks at a cow in the field. "What," he says, his jaw set.

She comes out from under the hood and walks up to him, pulling a cigarette out from behind her ear. "You got a light? "

She has to be kidding. He does have a lighter, in point of fact, his uncle's Zippo. It comes in handy from time to time. But he will be goddamned if he's going to light her cigarette, of all fucking things. "Why would I ever help you?" he snarls, shocked at the sheer balls it takes for her to ask him, of all people.

She just smiles at him, which is severely discon-fucking-certing. She walks right up to him, right into his personal space, and fixes him with a hard look. "Don't be like that," she says, cajoling. "I need a lighter. Now, you got one, or don't you?" She gives him these sweet brown eyes, this cherry red little pout that makes him think dirtier thoughts than he ever has about his girlfriend. He can feel the heat from her body against his chest, like she's already touching him. Finally he just sighs, digs in his pocket and slaps the lighter into her hand.

She runs it along her thigh, and it flips open and lights itself as easy as breathing. Walking back to her car, Jensen watches her hips switching, her boots one after another like a fucking debutante. She leans under the hood and uses it to burn something in there; there's a smell of scalding rubber. He squints to the side of her, see if he can see what the hell she's doing under there, but then she's coming back with the lighter in her hand, the flame dancing. "Here," she says, and she passes it to him still lit. He takes it and goes to close it up, but she stops him with her hands on his. "Wait, wait."

And then she leans in, cupping his hand with hers, puts the cigarette between her lips and lights it.

The tip glows red, and that's a serious fucking metaphor, because the tops of Jensen's ears go just as red and he's breathing heavy enough to make the flame dance. She walks away with a little laugh. "Thanks, baby, you're a prince." She lets the hood drop down on the car, climbs in and then she makes that engine roar.

By the time her dust is fading he's stumbling to his truck and trying not to trip over his own feet, because Jesus fucking Christ.

She utterly ignores him after that, for weeks, but still somehow she's always around. She comes into his Denny's with what looks to be a goddamn boyfriend, which makes him unaccountably furious - some punk kid with nail polish and a silver ring through his eyebrow. Jensen knows he could take the kid in a fight and he's itching to try it. But she just absently orders her fries and her cherry coke and barely looks at him, like he's her goddamn waiter. She passes him in the hall at school wearing shit that oughta get her suspended, swishy little miniskirts and jeans with really inappropriate holes in them, faded white and thready all the way across the top of her thigh. She doesn't even have any classes near his locker, he's sure of it, but there she fucking is, all of a sudden. She even finds a new kid to torment, some snotty rich kid.

Okay. Some other snotty rich kid.

He's mad at her for that, just a little less than he's mad at himself. He's ready to pull his fucking hair out.

And then one night he's with Amanda, parking up behind the stadium. He's got her in his hands, he's young and free in America, exactly where he should be. But her hips are too narrow, her breasts are too small and her lips are thin and bloodless; all he wants to do is go home and jerk off to the thought of a girl that completely fucking hates him. He's furious with himself, but that's exactly what he does. Amanda gives him the silent treatment all the way to her house and he apologizes long and hard and hates every second of it.

At home he closes the front door behind him and his mom calls out to him. "Did you and Cheryl have a good time, dear?"

Cheryl's the name of the girl he was dating at the end of junior year, but he doesn't feel like getting into it. "Yeah, Mama, we did. I'm going to bed, night." He hears his mom start, and then his father's low voice, and then nothing. Mentally, he makes a note to get his dad something nice for Father's Day.

Upstairs he heads for the washroom and rubs water across his face. He doesn't even recognize himself anymore, staring into the mirror.

He turns away in disgust and heads for his room, where he peels off his clothes and tries as hard as he can to picture Claudia Schiffer. Julia Roberts. That girl from the zombie movie. His back hits the bedsprings and he flips the covers up and contemplates trying to actually sleep for about a half a second before deciding it won't work. No way.

He sneaks a hand down under the covers and into his boxers, squeezes his cock lightly and lets his mind flip through the mental Rolodex of hot chicks he knows. That he's seen from a distance. That're on TV. Anything.

His mind keeps coming around like this: Cindy Crawford, Kim Basinger, Heidi Klum, and then those cherry red lips around his cock, her on her knees, letting him hold her hair back as he pushes his hips toward her, makes her take just a little more, fuck, fuck, yeah...

By the time he gets there for the third time, he abandons any pretence that he's not thinking of her and jerks himself rough and fast. He thinks of the short skirts that she wears, of pushing her up against a wall and lifting one of those unbelievable legs around his waist, holding her up as he pushes inside her, God, what that rough voice would sound like when he made her scream, yeah, fuck, yeah...

He cleans up with a fistful of Kleenex and falls asleep, hating whatever sadistic part of his brain is doing this to him.

He elbows the Denny's back door open one night, his arms full of the grease traps, and she's back there, smoking. She looks roughed up tonight, red around the eyes, hunched in on herself. She looks so different, her black eyeliner rubbed away.

Jensen puts the traps down on the ground. It's a slow night, nobody'll miss him for a couple of minutes. He walks up to her and she looks at him. Before he's got a chance to get a word in edgewise, she bites her bottom lip.

"I've seen you. Looking at me."

He doesn't know what to say to that. He's been looking at her for weeks, but they don't talk. He shrugs and shoves his hands in his pockets, feels his lighter there.

She exhales, smoke wisping past her lipstick, and she undoes a button on her shirt. "I've seen how you look at me."

He takes a step toward her, tentative, and without warning she pulls back her fist and sends it flying at his face. It's a hell of a surprise, because she's just a girl, but he's never known what to expect from her anyway. A guy cheerleader has to have fast reflexes, but even so he just barely manages to catch her wrist and wrestle it behind her back.

She's crying but she looks really angry, she's barely making a sound. She tries to grind her cigarette out on his shoulder, but he knocks it out of her hand and takes her other wrist; he's too strong for her to get away. She's twists and snarls at him, piece of shit motherfucker, but she doesn't try to kick him in the balls, and she doesn't bite or scream.

He backs her against a wall and holds her there, freaking out a little. What the hell are you supposed to do when a super hot and potentially crazy woman wants to knock you out? After a minute she stops struggling, just leans against his chest and cries silently. He lets her wrists go and she puts her arms around him, lets him tentatively hug her and then just hold her, stroke her hair. The longer Jensen thinks about it, the surer he is of why she's here, and who did it.

"You want me to kill him?" Jensen asks quietly.

She just pushes away from him, gentle, and shakes her head. "I gotta go," she says.

He hesitates for just a second before brushing his thumb across her cheek, taking away the wet tracks. "You don't have to," he tells her, and she looks at him for a second with a kind of distant hope before shaking her head.

"Thanks, but no thanks," she says. "I'll see you around, Jensen." And then she's gone, into her Malibu and off down the road.

He had no idea she knew his name.

Three days pass, and then this guy at school, he winds up in the hospital with internal bruising and his stupid eyebrow ring ripped right out of his stupid face. He won't say who did it, so everybody knows. She holds her head high in the halls; Jensen wanders around all day smiling like a moron and doesn't care.

This time when they meet, she's waiting for him after practice. He's running in off the field toward the showers and notices a face peeking around the side of the bleachers. She beckons to him with two fingers, and he tells the squad he's gonna go do some laps. They all leave and he makes his way over to where she's standing.

"Hey," he says. He's in a grey t-shirt (Property of L.V. Berkner High Athletic Department) and a pair of shorts; he's sweaty and grass stained.

"Hey," she says, and scuffs her foot a little. She has on a pair of plain old jeans that sit low on her hips, a black belt and a t-shirt. Nothing fancy.

He still thinks she's hot, but he's having an easier time controlling it these days. Of course, he's still got trouble thinking of anyone but her when he's trying to relax before bed, but.

She shoves her hands in her pockets and rocks on her heels. "Listen," she says. "I was gonna go and, uh. Drive a little. You could come with, if you wanted. "

He blinks and looks at her, watches her hair fall over her face and her shoulders hunch in on themselves. He reaches out and touches her chin, and she looks up at him. When he presses his mouth to hers, months of fantasies blindside him. He knows if he's seen doing this by any person he knows, he's in an insane amount of trouble, but he can't seem to care. He wants her, and that's what matters. That's all that ought to matter.

So he kisses her. She grips his arms hard, her nails digging into his sweater, and he backs her up against one of the steel rails of the bleachers, holding her by the shoulders. She has to push him away to get him to stop. He immediately backs off, apologizes, but she's smiling. "No, no," she says. "It's okay."

He shakes his head, scratches at the back of his neck and smiles back at her, tentative, because he doesn't really know what to expect She's different from everything, and he's got no frame of reference. "I, um. Can I go shower before we go?"

She nods, her mouth curving.

"You'll wait?" he asks, and she nods again, smiling a little wider.

"Okay," he smiles back." Okay, don't go anywhere. I'll be right back." He runs for the locker room and scrubs down as fast as he's done in a dog's age. His hair drips onto his shirt when he puts it on, his jeans catch on his hips, but he's got to hurry. He shoves his damp gym clothes into his bag and hustles back out, a little short of breath. She's not there, and he flat out runs to the parking lot.

Her car's idling right outside the shop door. He gets in, praying he doesn't catch hell for this later - not that that'd stop him. She smiles her shy, tight little smile and drops the engine into gear. They leave clouds of dust in their wake and he wonders in passing how he's gonna explain to his parents why he needs a ride to school tomorrow.

She drives like a maniac. Jensen's a little wild around the eyes before they even get to the city limits. Before they leave the cookie cutter bungalows behind, she stops them at a 7-11 and picks up a Slurpee and some caramel popcorn, holds up a candy red sucker and catches his eye. She laughs, he blushes. At the register Jensen tries to pay for it all, but she shoves his money aside.

She drives them out to an old abandoned farmhouse, way the hell away from anywhere, a hell of a lot farther than the casual drive he thought she meant, but it's a little late to complain.

He wants to know what this is. He wants to know what they're even doing. He'd never ask, of course; it'd spoil whatever this is, and he's not about to do that. It's just that it's all completely alien to him; he should be paying for her food, he should be taking her out, they should be in his car, and he doesn't understand it.

But here he is, all the same. Out here with her, in the middle of nowhere, he's put himself at her mercy. And he's not sorry.

She gets out of the car and goes around to the trunk, pops it with a well-aimed whack. She pulls out a blanket and a bottle and nods to him, slamming the trunk down. He follows after her, hands in his pockets. She lays the blanket over a glider on the porch. It swings smooth and soundless. "You sure there's nobody livin' here?" he asks, and she nods again, dropping into the chair and kicking up her boot against the porch rail.

"I come out here sometimes," she says, her whiskey voice a quiet flow. "Come on, come set here beside me."

He goes, obedient; she's calling all the shots. She twists the cap off the bottle, Jim Beam, and takes a slug straight off the top. "Here," she says, passing it over. "Come on, it's not gonna kill you."

He knocks back a little of the booze, and he's partied with the football team plenty, so he doesn't even choke. When he hands the bottle back to her, his eyes are only watering a little.

She takes another swig and then sets it down on the ground, and then her hands are working at his zipper.

He blinks.

"Wait," he says, though he can't bring himself to actually stop her. "What are you doing?"

"If you don't know, it's past time you found out," she quips, and pushes her hand into his boxers. Her palm is hot and tight on him and he hisses breath through his teeth, trying to remember that this is weird, wrong, no, something's off.

"I don't even know you," he says, hushed as she strokes him, sunlight spilling across his lap. It makes him blush but he still can't reach for her wrist.

"Well," she says, leaning in to kiss him once, lightly. "Just think - you'll never be able to say that again." And she lowers her head down, down, and now he stops her. Now he can put his hands on her shoulders and lift her up, pull her away.

"No," he says. "Not like that."

She looks at him, confused, and he gently removes her hand from his pants. She's darkening, getting angry, and he brushes a lock of hair from her face and leans in to kiss her temple. "I want to see you," he whispers, and feels her loosen up again, relax back down. "Can I...?"

His hands do the asking, and she lets him lift the hem of her t-shirt up, over, off.

They're everything he thought they'd be.

He touches first with his hands, filling them with the heavy weight, feeling the lace cups of her bra scratch against his palms. He presses them together, feels his cock twitch with the urge to be inside her, already. He hasn't even gotten started.

"Tell me what I can do," he says to her, licking his lips. He pinches her nipples softly, feels her moan more than hears it.

"Whatever you want, baby. " She presses her hands over his, makes him feel her. She's so warm, the heat comes off her in waves, and Jensen wants more, even as he blushes hard. He's used to good girls, used to the bases they make you run, hoops they make you jump through. He always thought of what it'd be like to have a girl like her, that it'd be sordid or somehow worth less. It isn't. He's damn well paid for this, as much has he has with any other girl. Maybe more.

Yeah, definitely more.

He pushes his face into her cleavage, opens his mouth and kisses whatever's handy. He feels her fingers in his hair as he reaches around to the clip at her back, fucks around with it until it opens for him. When that's done, and he can pull the thin black fabric away from her, there are long, snaking lines on her skin from where the straps cut in. He moves forward until he's uncomfortable, can't sit still, then he gets up and kneels down on the ground in front of her, pulls her forward by the hips.

There they are, right in front of him, and he buries himself there - he licks those red lines, sucks until he makes marks of his own. He tastes her nipple, circling his tongue so softly. He feels like she's maybe fragile in some way, delicate, though he can't say why he thinks a girl in boots with a bottle of whiskey at her feet seems delicate. She just does.

When he lifts her breasts on his tongue, when he sucks hard on her nipples, she starts really gripping his hair hard and he has to ease up. She pants in his ear, "I'm sorry, it's just. Hmmm." He understands, and he knows he could hold her wrists and she'd let him, but he doesn't want to push her like that, not yet. It's too soon.

"Can I...?" He runs a finger under the waist of her jeans and looks up into her face. She's flushed, her hair wild around her shoulders, and the warm summer sun puts gold light into the brown of her eyes. She looks almost afraid, so he waits, not knowing what to hope for.

"Yeah," she says, and the softness in her voice confirms it - for some reason, she's scared. "Yeah, go on."

Jen lets his fingers drift over her belt buckle. "We don't have to if you don't want," he offers, and that earns him a genuine smile.

"I know."

Her hand touches his face, and all right, he thinks, good enough for me. With a few deft movements, he's got her belt open and her jeans unbuttoned, and he's pulling at her hips, trying to get her to stand up so he can take them off.

She gets to her feet and lets the denim slide down. When she kicks her jeans and boots away, it leaves her in a simple pair of white bikini panties and Jensen thanks God that he's too young for a heart attack, because if nothing else was gonna do it, that plain little swatch of cotton would have him in the fucking hospital. Not black or red, not peekaboo or crotchless or whatever. She's not like that, not really.

She's just a girl.

He presses his mouth to her, right through the fabric, and she makes this high, sweet noise that streaks right to his cock. He lets his tongue slip between her thighs and ride against the cotton, and she keens for him and clutches his head again.

"Let me... I gotta siddown," she pants, and Jensen clamps his hands on her hips.

"Hmm mm. No." He slips his fingers under the elastic and pulls it down, watches as her pale skin is revealed and can't stop thinking how he's seen her soft underbelly now, she must trust him. It must be all right. He puts his hands between her ankles and moves them apart so she's braced a little better, so she's a little lower down, and then he holds her hips tight in his hands and feels her grip his shoulders.

When he slips his tongue between the hot folds of skin, when he tastes her so wet for him, when he hears her cry out up above, he's got to grind his knees down into the hard boards to keep himself from reaching for his own cock. It's good, it's too fucking good. She's shivering on the edge of his tongue, she tastes like need and desperation, and when he finds the hard nub of her clit and tongues it slow, she goes off like a roman candle and he feels her thighs shake against his face.

She falls back onto the porch swing, sprawling, and he immediately lifts one of her legs up over his shoulder and presses the other wide. He pushes his tongue into her, kisses her throbbing clit and bites the soft skin there until she comes again, grinding against his face just like he wanted her to from the day with the red t-shirt, God, yes.

He gives her a minute like that, just to watch the red fade into her skin. He's hard enough to feel the bite of his zipper, but he ruthlessly clamps down on the urge and waits. When her thighs have stopped shaking, he kisses the knee on his shoulder and gently slides two fingers into her pussy.

"Jesus Christ," she chokes, and pushes up against him. "You best fuck me soon, Jensen Ackles, or I swear to God they'll be findin' pieces of you for days. "

By now, he knows enough to laugh, but through it a terrible thought lands heavily in his brain. His bag's in the car, but he was in such an all-fired hurry to get back outside that he never put the Durex box back in. It's still in his locker. He lifts his head, his fingers still buried deep in a warmth and heat that's suddenly become an agony, because if she doesn't have a condom, they're up the fucking creek. So to speak.

He clears his throat and focuses on her body, laid out before him. She's so fucking beautiful, her hair and her skin in the sunlight. He feels almost guilty for a minute, like somebody else is gonna come along and tell him he's got no right to keep this treasure he found, like he's stealing every minute he's with her because it was never supposed to be.

Fuck them.

He works his fingers in her as she twists and moans, gripping his arm. She sounds, God, he wants to bring her off again, but he knows he's gotta tell her first. "Um," he tries, and her eyes flutter open. He clears his throat again, ignoring the heat in his cheeks. "Do you, um. Do you have anything? Cause I don't..."

She's shaking her head already, gripping him harder. "I'm on the pill," she murmurs, her mocha hair spreading over the blanket. He watches her lips move as she talks, pink and lush, just like the high colour in her cheeks. "I know you're clean, just. Come on." She tugs on his arm, pulls at him. Everything he knows - school, parents, all the girls he's ever been with - tell him this is a bad idea.

But she's been a bad idea from the start. Hasn't stopped him so far.

"Okay," he says, and he feels like James Dean. "Okay," he says, and he slips his fingers out of her. He leans down to kiss her, feels her soft, wet warmth underneath him, just skin pressing against skin, and he shivers.

She winds her arms around him and kisses him back like the ocean kissing the shore. He holds steady while she's there and gone, there and gone, now with her tongue in his mouth, now breaking away for breath. He breathes her name and she lifts one of her legs, wraps it around his waist. Fantasy come true, or close enough.

"Come on," she urges, and he nods against her neck, helpless.

One shaking hand, he reaches down and uses his fingers to open her, gets his cock in his hand and fits himself to that liquid warmth. She shoves against him, impatient, making him slip in before he's ready, and he almost chokes. "Oh, fuck. Fuck, baby..."

"It's okay," she tells him, and he feels like a bastard. Her hands on his back are soothing, and then she digs her nails in and he shoves forward, forgets to be gentle and considerate and good and just takes her.

He puts his hands up on the back of the swing and holds them there, grips it so tight he can feel the old wood rubbing away under his hands. He breathes, in and out, feels her squirm against him and sinks teeth into his own lip, hard.

She makes these sounds, then, these desperate, almost angry sounds as she tightens her legs around his hips, trying to get him to move. He lifts his head to see her eyes glint, wet with need. "Come on," she says, her voice breaking over the words. She looks away from him, her cheeks staining pink, and she whispers through her teeth: "Please."

"Don't..." he says, and stops. Don't be afraid, he wants to say, but he thinks she'd take it wrong.

He rocks into her once, carefully, and she cries out against his skin. She's glove-tight, she's gripping him like she'll never let him go, and he feels the sweat break out over his body. He wants to do like she said, to fuck her until she relaxes, until she's not all sharp claws and teeth, until she can stay and sleep and let somebody hold her.

Until she can look at him.

He feels the urge curling in his gut and he obeys it perfectly. Once, twice, again, more, harder, it's like running or fighting, it's not like anything. He lets go of the crumbling wood and lifts her in his arms, hard against his chest, wanting to feel her press against him. "Hold on to me."

She clings, she wraps her legs around him and sinks her nails into his shoulders. "Do it, do it, do it," she chants, a litany, a spell to weave around him and pull at him. He obeys her, too - faster, deeper, give it, give it up. She scratches and grips him and makes those sounds, and he feels his heart beat faster.

It's too good. He's fucking her, he can feel her ease up on him, open for him, but it's not coming fast enough. It feels too fucking good and he can't keep this up forever. He can feel his breath hard in his throat, his fingers tingling. He lets her down again, lays her back on the swing and holds himself pressed tight to her body, not moving.

He draws fingertips down over her body, just to touch her. She's squirming, working against his hips, trying to press him, "Jensen, Jensen, goddammit," but he won't budge.

Finally, she looks up at him.

He brushes the backs of his fingers over her cheek. "I love you." Her eyes close, she tries to turn her head but he stops her with his fingers on her chin. "No," he insists, trying to hold her eyes with his. "Don't do that. Look at me."

She opens her eyes again, and he can see a total chaos of emotion in the darkness there, even as the sun plays over them.

He pulls gently out of her, and then presses back, slow and deliberate. "I mean it."

The first thump of her fist against his shoulder comes as a shock, but not a surprise. Her eyes close again but she doesn't turn away, she beats against him like a hummingbird against glass. Her legs stay tight around his hips.

He leans down and kisses her, gathers her up in his arms again, and she bites his lip hard enough to really hurt.

He kisses her anyway, and she opens for him with a miserable little sound.

His hips are moving again, he can't take this, and he clutches her to his chest and drives against her hard, harder. She pulls away from his mouth and he buries his face in her neck as he puts fingerprints into her back.

"I love you," he says again, and she sobs a wretched little noise just as he shoves deep, grinds against her, and she comes apart in his arms.

There's a sudden wash of warmth, a slick clench of her cunt on him, but what does him in is the way her hands go soft on his shoulders. She moans and she shakes and she comes, and when her body goes limp with bliss, he feels triumph surge through him like a physical force. He shoves into her, warm afternoon air on his face in the middle of nowhere, and he takes just one second for himself. He looks down at her, at her mouth and the pink blush on her breasts, and he thinks: that's mine.

The orgasm is intense, immediate. He thrusts, his breath catches, he clutches her and it's crashing over him before he knows what happened. Like everything else with her, it blindsides him without even trying.

When he finally lifts his head, pulse throbbing and body wracked and weak, she's got her eyes open. She's looking at him with a kind of wonder, and he feels her fingertips brush over his cheek. They slide wetly, and she's so gentle.

He laughs, softly. "Man. It's supposed to be girls that do that." He scrubs a hand across his face to dry it.

"I guess you're just a big girl, then," she says, but when he looks at her, she's got the barest hint of mischief in her tiny smile.

He kisses her to shut her up, and for once, it works.

They fall asleep there, curled up together, and only wake when the moon is high and the heat's gone out of the air. They're both shivering and he wraps the blanket around her, gets up and dresses fast so she can shuffle into her clothes in relative warmth. She drives him back to school and he kisses her in her front seat, his hand tangled up in her hair. She shoves him toward the door, playful, and he laughs.

He drives home and has to climb the tree by his window; sneak in and pretend he was there the whole time. Nobody'll believe him, but he's got to at least make the effort. Sure enough, he gets glares and lectures with his eggs in the morning, but he bears it with total stoicism. He'd bear it every day and twice on Sundays for what he got last night.

Breaking up with Amanda happens between second and third period. She shrieks and cries, and for once he just looks at her and tries to imagine a bigger crisis in her life than a break up, a dirty uniform, a fuckin' chipped nail. There isn't one, not one thing that's really gone wrong for her that he can think of, so he just turns around and walks away right in the middle of her sentence. He only feels like an asshole for about ten seconds.

In the cafeteria at lunchtime, up she comes in her stretched-out t-shirt and her lipstick, her hips switching and her head up high. She ducks under the rope next to him, jumping the line and making ten people snarl and bitch, but she just slings her arm around his waist and picks a french fry off his plate. It's only a second's hesitation - everybody will see, everybody will look - and then he realizes that he doesn't give a flying fuck if they do, and he puts an arm around her shoulder and leans down to plant one on her mouth, let the whole goddamn world stare if they want to.

She kisses him like she's flipping everybody off.

The cheerleaders glare at him as they pass by, and she leads him straight to her table full of freaks and stoners. They give him a little hairy eyeball, but she leans against his shoulder and steals another french fry, and then it's a round of shrugs and well fuck you too, and business as usual.

The funny part comes at practice. None of the cheerleaders will talk to him any more than they have to, but the players are quietly turning into his best friends. Does he have a hook-up for pot now, can Jensen get them an intro for that punk rock chick, not the one Jensen's seeing, no, man, that little redhead girl, or that one with the chains on her jacket? Where are the parties this week? Jensen tells them he'll see what he can do, and only just manages not to laugh.

It's his senior year, and he intends to make the most of it.

In the end, she leaves him for Sarah Lawrence - the school, not a girl. They lose touch, as you do. He goes to Hollywood and gets a job, which leads to another job and another job. He does this movie; they make him put his hair in a mohawk and wear Doc Martens, and he gets high with John fucking Doe in a trailer and tells him all about this girl he used to know.

John laughs at him. "It's a good thing you said that," says the legend. "I was just starting to think we didn't have anything in common."

Jensen blinks at him. "You knew that girl?" he asks, feeling dumb.

"No," John says, picking leaf off his lip. "But I knew my girl. And, brother, that's plenty."

Jensen understands that, if nothing else, and leans back to watch old gold visions play behind his eyes.