1500 words; R
Timestamp for 100 Days for loverstar from the holiday timestamp post.
“Okay, we are here today to make sure we reach a common resolution,” Chad says.
Jensen looks at him, eyes narrowed and eyebrows high, and then he has to look at Jared across the kitchen table. They’re both clutching their list of specifications, things they feel like they can’t budge on, and he kind of hates that it’s Chad who’s leading this conversation.
“Now, you’ve both come to the table with a list of demands. We’re here to declare resolutions and to establish a true understanding.”
It’s odd that Chad is speaking so formally, but he’s also skimming a stack of papers from Wikipedia, so, whatever.
“So just remember, we’re here to find a middle ground and to avoid one side overpowering the other, and to ensure pure communication.”
“Yeah, okay,” Jensen mumbles. “I think we were doing just fine before.”
“No, we weren’t, Jen,” Jared argues softly. “We’re near World War III here.”
“And Chad’s the answer?” Jensen replies wildly while pointing at Chad.
“I’m right here,” Chad says plainly.
Jensen smiles awkwardly. “No offense.”
“Just,” Jared says tightly. “Give this a chance, okay?”
Jensen sighs, takes in Jared’s long look and how he really seems to be begging with those puppy dog eyes, and has to give in. He waves at Chad. “Alright, continue.”
“Okay, we shall begin,” Chad says with an impressive amount of gravitas. “You’ll each read from your list and then discuss using ‘I feel’ statements.” He shifts in his seat and motions at Jensen. “Just so there’re no favorites here, you can go first.”
Leaning back in his seat, Jensen pulls his sheet of paper closer and nods a little. “Okay, top of the list, multi-colored lights.”
Jared bites at the corner of his mouth and stares at Jensen until he finally says, “Twinkling.”
“Are you serious?”
“Use the right statements,” Chad insists.
“I feel,” Jensen stresses, “like they’re cheesy.”
“Jay?” Chad asks as he shifts towards Jared.
“I feel like they’re fun,” Jared says slowly.
“Do you like multi-colored lights?” Chad asks Jared.
After a few moments, Jared nods. “Yeah, they’re nice.”
“Okay, so, how about … regular multi-colored on the tree, but twinkle lights in the window?”
Jensen wants to wince, he so does, because he can imagine the chincy blinking lights being seen from the street, but he supposes as long as the tree is respectful … “Okay, yes, I’ll concede.”
“Good,” Chad says with a bright smile. “See, compromise.”
Jensen shoots Chad an odd look, but lets him continue.
“One down, three to go.” Chad spreads his hands over the table and waits for both Jared and Jensen to nod before he goes on. “Alright, Jay, you’re turn.”
Jared looks down his list and takes a deep breath. “Mistletoe.”
“Where at?” Jensen asks slowly.
Jared clenches his jaw and it’s Chad who has to ask, “Where will you allow it?”
Jensen looks at him, and he still can’t believe that it’s Chad mediating this for them. Like they can’t decorate their home without any help? Then again, he remembers that he kicked Jared’s box of decorations across the living room when they argued over where to hang the Twelve Days of Christmas ornaments - over the fireplace or the doorway to the kitchen. The doorway, obviously!
He thinks a bit on it and finally smiles at Jared. “In the bedroom.”
Jared smirks and they’re sharing a warm look until Chad clears his throat. “Jesus, guys, I’m right here, shit,” Chad sighs. “Two more. Jensen, you go.”
“On the wall by the tree.”
Jensen shakes his head and huffs as he looks across the kitchen. “What the hell else is a fireplace for than to hang stockings? Come on!”
“We can put all the little knick knacks up on the mantel, and if you add the stockings, it’s too much!” Jared argues.
“You don’t hang the stockings on the wall with care,” Jensen complains. “You hang them by the fricking chimney.”
“There’s too much up on the -”
“‘I feel’ statements!” Chad busts in.
“I feel like there’s too much by the chimney already,” Jared says.
“And I feel like we’ll put holes in the wall,” Jensen replies.
They’re staring at each other and it’s eerily silent as even Chad stays quiet. Jared is pushing his tongue at the inside of his cheek, making it pop out with annoyance, and Jensen purses his lips together until he suddenly feels childish about this whole debacle.
“What if you use those stupid sticky wall hooks?” Chad offers. “Then no holes and Jared still gets to put the stockings wherever he damn pleases?” It remains tense between them and Chad chuckles. “Even if it’s stupid on the wall.”
Jensen starts to laugh but Jared is glaring at Chad, and he’s sure Jared will turn that dark look on him so he shuts up and clears his throat. “Okay, fine. On the wall, with the stickies.”
“Good. That’s progress,” Chad says nicely with a nod. “Now, last one, dudes.”
Clearing his throat, Jensen lifts his shoulders in automatic defense because he knows this one’s going to get ugly. “Star.”
“Angel,” Jared responds immediately.
“A star is traditional, and classic.”
“Those are two words that mean the same thing.”
“So?” Jensen spits back in a manner he’s aware is immature.
“Angels are sweet and inspiring.”
Jensen laughs harshly. “You really wanna stuff a branch up an inspiring angel’s ass?”
“It was my mom’s angel, thank you,” Jared says tightly.
“Then send it back to her! Let her put it on her tree!”
As soon as he’s said it, he knows it’s wrong, because Jared is now glaring at him in a manner he’s never had to face before. This is not good.
Chad clears his throat. “Alrighty, that got a little rough, but I guess it’s good your talking about it,” he says like it’s a question. “How about two trees with a topper on each?”
“No!” Jensen and Jared answer resolutely.
With a sigh, Chad hangs his head and shakes it. “Alright, you two are ridiculous, arguing over stupid shit like Christmas decorations. I don’t know that I can deal with this anymore. My training really only covers workplace facilitation and this is worse than the record store and whether to play Katy Perry or Foo Fighters. Jesus.”
Jensen’s still staring at Jared when Chad rises and leaves the room. Neither move until the door opens and closes in Chad’s absence, then Jensen leans back in his chair. He rubs a hand over his face and looks up at the ceiling. “Okay, I might’ve gone a little far.”
Jared laughs but it’s anything but amused and Jensen feels it cut into him.
He takes a deep breath and gives Jared as soft a look as he can. “I’m sorry, Jared, really, but that angel’s really creepy.”
“It’s not that bad,” Jared mumbles.
“It kinda is,” Jensen replies softly. As Jared remains quiet, Jensen tries to consider their options. He thinks on them for quite a while and it’s getting more awkward to sit across from Jared in their kitchen while not saying a word. “Okay, how about … nothing on top of the tree? We put on the lights and the garland and ornaments, and that’s it? Then no one wins.”
“And we both lose,” Jared points out.
“It happens sometimes.”
Jared sighs and shakes his head, but he surprises Jensen by agreeing. “Alright, yeah, no tree topper.”
“See!” Jensen says brightly. “We can compromise.”
Jared bites into his lips but this time it’s kinda cute as his cheeks turn a soft pink. “Yeah, we can. Sometimes.”
Jensen reaches across the table for Jared’s hands and softly rubs his fingers along Jared’s palms. “How about we go to the bedroom and test drive the mistletoe?”
It doesn’t take much to convince Jared, and soon enough, they’re naked and doing what they’ve always done well: make up.
In the morning, Jensen feels well-rested and happy with their resolutions from the night before concerning their holiday decor, and he’s also happy to smell whatever buttery breakfast Jared’s whipping up for them.
He stretches and yawns, but he stops when his hand hits something on Jared's pillow. Then he groans when his fingers hit the creepy angel in her dingy white crotchet dress. Her eyes are tiny and beady, her nose angles oddly to the left, and red dots her lumpy cheeks.
“Oh, Jared,” he whines and then tosses the thing across the room. When Jared appears in the doorway, looking all soft in a t-shirt and flannel pants, Jensen rolls his eyes, because Jared is also grinning. “That thing is frightening to wake up to.”
“You said not on the tree, but nothing about bed.”
“Don’t you ever bring that shit to bed again.”
Jared laughs. “You up for pancakes?”
“No, I’m not,” Jensen replies tightly, closing his eyes and deciding to stay in bed, just because. “I’m suddenly very nauseous.”
The mattress dips when Jared crawls up it and hovers over him. “How nauseous?”
When Jared settles on him, all warm and solid and sliding a little, Jensen smiles. “I’m suddenly feeling better.”