strangeallure: (spn: sam w/ spoon in mouth)
[personal profile] strangeallure
So, somehow vampires seem to be haunting me these days (don't ask).

And while the epic J2 rewrites are still not happening slow-going, [livejournal.com profile] imogen_lily posted a prompt at the AU comment fic challenge that I simply couldn't resist: "vampire slayer!Jared; souled vampire!Jensen". I strayed ever-so-slightly from what she wanted, apologies for that.

It turned out longer than I thought, too.

Also, I still suck at titles. This one is a Buffy and a Friends reference rolled into one. IDEK. Oh, look: Fishtachios!

Title: The One That Isn’t Doppelgangland
Fandom: CWRPS
Pairing: Jared/Jensen
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Jared really likes Joss Whedon. Still, when it turns out that his life is pretty much an alternate universe episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it's not all rainbows, unicorns and musical numbers.
Word Count: ~3,400
Warnings: You might call this meta - or not. Does that even need a warning?
Disclaimer: In an alternate universe, this is exactly how it happened.

Feedback is, as always, much appreciated.

The One That Isn’t Doppelgangland

So Jared's kind of new at this whole slaying vampires thing. He’s only just moved to Sunnydale, after all. And maybe he doesn't kick ass quite like Sarah Michelle Gellar – at least not yet.

But hey, the girl had had a lot more practice than he did, what with the movie and all. And yeah, okay, so technically that was Kristy Swanson, but it was still the same character, so it totally counts.

Point being, when Jared comes to Sunnydale, the whole vampire thing takes him completely by surprise, and he needs some time to adjust and learn the ropes. Of course he’s not gonna completely kick ass from the get-go.

Looking back, though, he admits he should probably have seen the signs sooner.

Like the fact that when he googles his old high school in LA, all matches seem to be related to the TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. But he really likes Joss Whedon, so he just always thought it was kind of cool.

And in retrospect, that creepy old guy following him, who looked a lot like Donald Sutherland, by the way, should have been kind of a tip-off. But hey, the first time they actually met, it didn’t go like in the movie. Not at all.

Sure, the guy caught Jared doing some first-rate ninja moves in the school gym, but he hadn’t asked Jared to follow him to the graveyard or anything. In fact, after he had said, “That was very impressive, the, the, the tumbling,” he had clutched his hand to his chest and died of a heart attack. That scene totally didn't happen like that in the movie.

And okay, yeah, so the setting and the exact phrasing – down to the three ‘the’s before ‘tumbling’ – up until the heart attack should probably have made him suspicious. But seriously: at 6’2” and growing, what guy expects himself to turn out to be the tiny female protagonist of his favorite TV show?

It’s not like his life is exactly like Buffy’s anyway.

His parents are happily married, for one, and he has a brother and a sister – neither of whom looks even remotely like Michelle Trachtenberger, thank you very much. Though if Josh turned out to be The Key to another dimension, that would be all kinds of hilarious.

Also, most of the people in his life don’t look like actors at all – though he really wouldn’t mind meeting James Marsters’ doppelganger at some point –, and his family only moved to Sunnydale Jared’s senior year.

So overall, he doesn’t think he’s to blame for not immediately catching on when he makes a new friend who happens to look exactly like Alyson Hannigan – especially since his other new friend, Misha, doesn’t resemble Xander at all.

And true, it’s a little strange that there only seems to be one club for high school kids to go to in a town the size of Sunnydale – and that it’s kind of dark and Goth and called “The Bronze” – but Jared enjoys the atmosphere, and he always thought the name was a kind of homage to the show. He didn’t waste any more thought on it.

So it’s really no wonder that it throws him completely when one day, just after last period, he’s pulled aside by an old janitor in a worn-looking grey coverall. His faded nametag reads “Beaver”, and he turns out to be Jared’s Watcher.

He also tells Jared that he’s The Chosen One and that he alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness.

Which is pretty damn awesome. And pretty damn terrifying, too.

Jared’s a lot nicer about it than Buffy in the first episode, though, and he immediately starts his training with Jim.

If it’s because he’s still a little dazed from the revelation of being The Slayer, or because Jared’s just a bigger-hearted person than Buffy Summers, he’s not sure. It might have something to do with the fact that Jim Beaver is a hell of a lot scarier than Rupert Giles, though.

Jim’s a good teacher, Jared has to say. Yes, he’s continually gruff and cranky, but his skills and knowledge seem pretty much endless, and his jokes – when they come – are so dry they always catch Jared off guard, and make him try again just when he’s about to throw in the towel.

Still, the slayer business is a lot harder than it looks on TV.

Even in what he assumes would be the first couple of episodes of his own show, the vampires are never considerate enough to show up alone, giving him some time to adjust.

On the contrary, besides vampires, there’s tons of other creatures wreaking havoc in Sunnydale. Sometimes, Jared wonders whether it has to do with the fact that he wasn’t there to stop the Hellmouth from opening, but he’s a little afraid of asking Jim. If there’s still Hellmouth business to take care of, he's not so sure he really wants to know.

The truth is, Jim’s training and all the slaying-related reading he gives Jared are great prep for the job, but Jared knows that something else is equally important. He would probably be dead already if Misha and he had not pretty much mainlined the whole show – even seasons 1 and 7 – when Jared first got here.

Whenever the things he learned from Jim don’t seem to help or work or apply, he asks himself “What would Buffy do?” – and it’s worked out pretty well so far. He thought about getting a bracelet, too, but he knows Jim would mock him for that forever. He’s been making noises about a ‘trusty sidekick’ as it is.

Another problem with slaying is all the blood and shredded tissue. Somehow, Jared always manages to get some of it in his hair or on his clothes. That means he has to shower at least twice a day now and even has to start working some shifts at Doublemeat Palace, just so he can replace all the shirts and jeans and that one pair of sneakers – werewolf vomit, don’t ask – he manages to ruin on patrol.

Between training, patrol, friends, school, the Bronze and Doublemeat Palace, Jared’s life is pretty damn full.

So it’s not like he’d even have time for a boyfriend or anything. And when he goes out, all he really wants to do is have some fun with his friends, blow off a little steam and recharge his batteries for the next patrol. Really, it’s not like he’s disappointed that not one of the cute guys here has pinged his gaydar yet.

And yeah, when he first admitted to himself that his life really is an alternate universe episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he might have been hoping for some Angel action for himself.

But just like there's no Master and no Hellmouth in this reality, there doesn’t seem to be an Angel for him either. Jared thinks that’s pretty unfair. But on the other hand, at least Lily – his version of Willow – isn’t a mean, blood-hungry vampire, and he doesn’t have to deal with sexual attraction between Jim and his mom either (Jared shudders at the thought), so he really tries to count his blessings.

One night, when Jared’s on his way to the Bronze, he feels like he’s being watched, followed. His hand reaches for the stake he always carries in his jacket these days, and he feels his pulse speed up, but only barely. In the beginning, he was terrified whenever he was expecting a fight with a creature, but over the past months, killing demons and hunting things has become a lot more natural. If he’s completely honest, though, he’s still a little scared. And a little worried about his outfit – he really likes that shirt.

Whoever’s following him is kind of sneaky, so Jared tries to shake them by turning into a dark ally. A few feet in, there’s a metal bar high over his head. He could probably reach it if he ran and jumped high enough. Without conscious thought, he does just that, spins around the bar by a hundred-and-eighty degrees and comes to a halt in a perfect handstand. When it comes to athleticism, the Chosen One thing really does have its perks.

His pursuer walks into the alley beneath him, and just when Jared’s about to swing down and kick him in the back, he recognizes the scene that he’s in just now.

Unfortunately, Jared’s already started swinging when realization hits, and he’s unable to fully abort his movement. So instead of kicking the guy straight to the ground and pinning him there with his foot – just like Buffy did –, Jared more or less crashes into him gracelessly, and they both go down in a tumble.

The guy lands on top of Jared, somehow, and when he’s putting his hand on Jared’s chest to push himself up, all Jared manages to get out is: “You’re Angel!”

The guy looks at him with a huh? kind of expression and says, “Uh, no? I’m pretty sure that’s not what I am.”

Oh god, that voice. That voice. Jared maybe would like to faint a little.

But he’s big and manly and The Chosen One, so he doesn’t. Of course he doesn’t. The grin he feels spread across his face is a completely different and clearly unrelated matter.

Jared’s angel comment seems to have taken the guy so off guard that he doesn’t even move for a few moments. Still propped up on the hand he has on Jared’s chest, body still on top of Jared.

It’s not like Jared would mind. It gives him an opportunity to get a good look at the guy. And wow. No, that is definitely not Angel. It’s not Spike, either – and even though Jared’s always had a soft spot for that character, this guy right here is so much better. So much hotter.

Jared has a thing for pale guys since pretty much forever. He figures it comes from growing up in California, where everyone has a tan, and pale people are kind of exotic. Or Dita Von Teese.

Anyway, this guy has beautiful, milky-white skin, and in the harsh glow of the street light above them Jared can even make out a couple of freckles. Which … Jared can’t even say.

Still, he tries to focus on those freckles, because the rest of Not-Angel’s face is even less of a safe choice. His mouth is wide and soft and still slightly parted in surprise, and his eyes, which are of some dark, intense color Jared can't identify, are shadowed by thick, long lashes.

Jared can’t help it; he simply stares at the guy, possibly a little dreamily.

When Not-Angel finally scrambles up and extends a hand towards Jared to pull him up, too, Jared hears himself saying, “You don’t look like David Boreanaz at all.”

The guy looks kind of puzzled. “Like the actor? From Bones?”

“Yeah,” Jared says. He doesn’t remember Angel ever mentioning any procedural cop shows – or watching TV at all. But hey, it probably wouldn’t hurt if they had some common interests. Unlike Buffy and Angel. “Exactly.”

The guy smiles at him. “I like that show. Brennan’s really cool,” he says, and Jared groans involuntarily. His life is so unfair.

“Please, don’t tell me you’re straight.”

Another confused look. “Uh,” the guy gives him a smile Jared really can’t read, “no?”

Jared exhales sharply. “Thank god. I was beginning to hate my life.”

The guy’s still looking, more amused now and a little baffled, so Jared figures he’ll have to be the one to keep the conversation going. Angel was never that talkative either.

“So, if you’re not Angel, what’s your name then?”

“Jensen,” he replies.

“Hey, Jensen. I’m Jared,” he extends his hand, and it’s totally not an excuse to get to touch the guy again.

Jensen’s hand is surprisingly warm – his skin kind of soft, but his grip kind of firm – and Jared feels something at the contact. Something good and new and exciting.

Jensen smiles back at him, squeezing his hand again before letting go slowly. There’s a twinkle in his eyes, and Jared’s almost sure now that they’re dark green. “I already knew that.”

Jared laughs, a little embarrassed. “Yeah, should have figured that much. If someone’s following you, they’re bound to know who you are.”

Jensen blushes at that, and Jared has to bite his bottom lip. Definitely so much hotter than Angel.

“So, Jensen. How old are you?” Jared asks, like he’s filling out a mental questionnaire. Age? Check. And this is probably the reason why he’s only had one boyfriend so far. He sucks at this flirting thing. But Jensen just grins.

“Twenty-one,” he says.

Jared’s going to turn 18 soon, so the age difference isn’t that big of a deal. Smaller than Buffy and Angel’s. At least if you’re not counting all those undead centuries.

Apparently, his thought processes are directly connected to the motor function of his mouth, and he can’t stop himself from asking, “No, I mean: how old are you really?”

The puzzled look is back on Jensen’s face. “I just told you. Twenty-one.”

Jared realizes that Jensen hasn’t really confessed his true nature to him yet.

On instinct, he takes Jensen’s hand, and his voice comes out soft and sincere: “Don’t worry. I know. I know about you already. I know about what you did back in Europe, I know about the gypsy curse. I know that you’re trying to redeem your soul by helping me fight things that go bump in the night.”

Jensen’s eyes grow wide and wider as Jared speaks – he obviously didn’t expect him to know already. He probably had a little speech all planned out in his head – that’s totally what Jared would have done –, and Jared’s just ruined it.

And being the complete tool that he is, he’s not just stopping there, but adds, “I know everything. I even know about the ‘one moment of pure happiness’ thing – and that we won’t be able to have sex. But even just making out would still be kind of awesome, I think.”

Now it’s his turn to be all shell-shocked and wide-eyed. He didn’t just really say that. He’s not even drunk. He has no excuse. “I didn’t just really say that,” he murmurs, shaking his head in disbelief. “I didn’t really just say that.” Way to fuck it all up, Padalecki.

Suddenly, there’s a low, reverberating sound growing steadily in volume. It takes Jared a moment to realize that it’s Jensen. Jensen, who’s laughing. Whose laughter is getting louder and louder, about to border on hysteric. Jensen, who’s shaking with it, doubling over with it.

Jared’s face pretty much bursts up in flames. He thought that being the Slayer would mean he’d finally be cool and smooth, but he was so wrong. So, so wrong. He just wants to curl up in a ball and die. On the spot.

“You’re talking about that ‘90s TV show, right?” Jensen wheezes, still doubled over. “The one with the blond chick and the English guy.”

Jared nods, valiantly trying to not run away, waiting for Jensen to calm down.

“God,” Jensen says, standing up straight, but still chortling. “I almost forgot about that.”

Jensen takes a deep breath in an obvious attempt to keep from cracking up again.

“So,” he says, “let me get this straight. You think your life is that show?” There’s a snicker, but otherwise Jensen’s keeping himself in check.

“Um, kind of,” Jared says a little petulantly. “I mean, not exactly the same. But there are parallels, you know? Lots of them.”

Jensen just looks at him. He doesn’t seem convinced, but he’s not laughing either, so Jared tries to explain: “We’re both regular teenagers with a certain birth mark. Our high schools have the same name, and we both moved to Sunnydale. We both met our Watcher here, and we both found a shit load of creatures hanging around town. We both don’t like the reading our Watchers make us go through, and my friend Lily even looks like Buffy’s best friend Willow.”

He’s talking so fast, it leaves him a little out of breath.

Jensen smiles at him, and surprisingly, it doesn’t look pitiful or mocking. “Hm,” he says, “that doesn’t sound so crazy, actually.”

And Jared’s ridiculously thankful that Jensen doesn’t start laughing again.

“So you thought I was the vampire-with-the-tortured-soul slash love interest?”

“Uh,” Jared would really rather not answer, but finally he mumbles, “yeah.”

“Sorry to disappoint,” Jensen says, and he still smiles at Jared like he means it, which is just unfair.

“My soul is pretty untortured, I have to say. I wasn’t turned into a vampire or killed people or was cursed by gypsies or anything that exciting.”

Jared tries to return the smile. Jensen is letting him down easy, not mocking him. He should be thankful for that.

“I’m just a boring history major from Richardson, Texas. I got pulled into this whole fighting the forces of evil business more or less by accident. I know Jim, and he told me I should meet up with you sometime, see if we could maybe work together.”

Jared’s nodding, dumbly. Working together with Jensen. Fighting the forces of evil together. Permanently being reminded of how royally he fucked up their first meeting just now. His life is so full.

He chances a look at Jensen, and somehow, his face is so open, his eyes so warm, that Jared can’t look away.

Jensen swallows, like he’s nervous, too, and continues, “So I clearly can’t compete in the dark, brooding and tormented category. But I’m a nice guy, I think, and I’m gay and single and I would really, really like to kiss you right now.”

That blush is back on Jensen’s cheeks, and it takes Jared a moment to properly process what he just said, to realize that he did in fact not fuck it all up.

His eyes are still locked with Jensen’s, and he has to clear his throat before he can answer. “I would really, really like that, too.”

Jensen’s smiling at him, taking a step forward. His movements are slow and sure as he angles his head, as his one hand cups Jared’s cheek, as his other hand comes to rest on his hip.

Jared feels himself swaying towards him, feels drawn towards the warmth and solidity of Jensen’s body. His skin is tingling where Jensen’s hands touch, the contact seeping in even through the fabric of his jeans.

Jensen’s so close, Jared can make out even more freckles, can see how dark the green of Jensen’s eyes really is. And then Jensen’s lips press against his, and Jared's eyes slide shut.

The kiss is careful and gentle and warm. Jensen’s taking his time with smooth movements of his lips and soft swipes of his tongue, not charging ahead, right in step, in synch with Jared.

It’s a slow, steady progression, and Jared has no idea how long they’ve been standing there. All he knows is that he’s pressed against Jensen. That his one hand is rubbing against the soft hair at the nape of Jensen’s neck, while the other is wound around his waist. That Jensen holds him just as tight. That the kiss has turned into something open-mouthed and eager and promising. That Jensen tastes of coffee and warm and cool and minty all at the same time. That this is something he really, really, really wants.

When they pull apart, Jensen’s flushed, his hair tousled, his lips red and his shirt collar askew. I did that, Jared thinks stupidly, proudly. There’s no doubt that he looks just as disheveled.

“So,” he says, still a little breathless, “if there’s no curse and no soul to lose, that totally means we can have sex, right?”

Jensen’s laughing again, but the look he gives Jared is kind of fond – and maybe there’s something else in there, too.

“I think that could be arranged,” he chuckles and pulls Jared in for another kiss.

And wow, Jared thinks, this alternate universe thing totally rocks.
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