spn-j2-xmas 2013: Brand New Colony [Jared/Gen, PG]

Dec 27, 2013 23:55

Title: Brand New Colony
Author: sagetan
Fandom: SPN RPF
Pairing(s): Jared/Gen
Word count: 2k
Rating: PG, no warnings
Summary: Jared and Genevieve enter a marriage of convenience, in space.


The quarters are dark when Jared finally makes it back. The biometrics beep at him twice, gently chiding, before he realizes he's trying to authenticate with his left thumb. A month since he moved into Genevieve's right-handed Ring 4 pod and he still slips up, although the past 18 hours of frantic scurrying and damage control in the support deck sure aren't helping either.

It's about 0200, all the hallway lights dimmed to a sleepy cyan and the floor panes of the central gangway cleared to reveal the flood of stars beyond. The station has rotated into view of both Gringolet and Llamrei, with only another day or so before both moons will be seen full and bright from this sector.

The view was better back in Ring 9, fewer outer rings in the way and a gangway that stretched all the way to the flex of the horizon, but Jared supposes it's a fair trade-off for phenomenal water pressure and parks with actual greenery.

Could be worse, anyway. He could be station-locked in the axle and stuck looking at nothing but drab tubing and spiderglass for his last year here.

Last year. Eleven more months and he'll be off to Ithaca. It makes him giddy just thinking about it. What does the sky even look like not underfoot and not bracketed by the station's curved walls?

Inside, the pod is silent but light from the den washes across the walls in gentle waves.

He finds Genevieve burrowed in a heap of blankets in front of the muted holo. It's far from unusual to find her up and about in the wee hours, he's come to learn, though in all their three and a half weeks of marriage she's turned in at a reasonable time on a weekday.

Jared tries a sheepish smile and a dorky half-wave. Genevieve startles so sharply when she finally notices him a couple seconds after it's gotten awkward that Jared almost spins around to see what's behind him.

"Jared. Don't sneak around in the dark like that."

Jared stuffs his hands in his pockets and grins at the floor. "Can't help it, I'm like a ninja. What are you doing watching holo at this hour? Wait. Don't tell me you were waiting up for me." The thought warms him straight through and in that moment he dearly wants to hug her.

He toes his boots off and joins her on the couch instead.

Genevieve rubs a hand over her mouth and frowns at the floor, cheeks red. "No. Just couldn't sleep. Not feeling well."

She looks it, too, hands shaky and eyes darkly circled, the holo lights turning her skin a peaky green. He's never seen her sick before, not even with a measly cold, in all the time he's known her. Which, admittedly, hasn't exactly been a very long time.

"Oh no. Headache? Or a cold? Do you want anything? I can make soup, or scrounge for NSAIDs, or um. I'm not sure what might help, but-"

She shakes her head vehemently and shrinks deeper into her nest. "Go to bed, I'm fine."

Jared makes himself shut up. "Okay then." He slaps the back of the couch bracingly in lieu of her knee-wherever it might be buried under all those blankets-and makes to stand.

Genevieve's rough hand over his draws him up short. Her palm is hot and sweaty. "Hey, Jared. Thanks."

Jared mumbles something unintelligible even to himself and beats a hasty retreat without daring to lift his eyes.

Get a grip, Padalecki.

They've gotten along alright after that first week of near-excruciating awkwardness. Jared had been on his best behavior since he moved in, not wanting to get on her bad side from the get.

Genevieve is hard to get a read on. She's not very chatty, but lately there have been moments when it almost feels like they're becoming friends. If only Jared weren't reduced to stammering idiocy around her so often.

The couch is empty when he steps out of the shower.

He finds Genevieve sound asleep in the bedroom like she never would have been their first week together. Jared gets in gingerly, heat rushing up his neck when she sighs softly at the disturbance. Her hair fans out dark over a pale shoulder.

He feels a silly, secret warmth kindle in his chest at how she sleeps facing his side, almost as if she might have been waiting for him. Her hand rests invitingly uncurled on the pillow; it'd probably slot just so in his, scarred and grease-stained though it may be after that brutal shift.

He tucks his hands into his armpits instead.

Okay, so things are a little weird right now. Them's the breaks when you marry a stranger to secure a spot on a planetary colony.

More than anything, he wants to leave the station and settle down somewhere planet-side. Trees, land, and open skies. Air that hasn't been recycled for decades and fruits fresh from his own backyard. Okay so he's watched a lot of dreamy rose-tinted holos, but in no world could planet life be worse than staying cooped up here forever.

For a grunt like him, born and bred on-station, the only way out is toiling half a lifetime to buy a citizenship to a third-rate planetoid, or landing a colonist spot.

Colony: Gamma Diomedeidae b "Ithaca".
Wanted: medical professionals, bioengineering technicians, apiarists, procreative pairs subject to agency regulations.
Interested parties should contact…

That was only the twelfth call for colonists the station had ever received, and the first that Jared was even half-qualified for. He was genome-matched by the agency within the month, introduced to Genevieve days after, and signed both the contract and the marriage license barely a week later.

He's four health checkups, one year of contractual blissful matrimony, and six weeks of cryo transport away from freedom. Jared is willing to deal with a lot of weirdness for that.

In the morning, he finds Genevieve perched at the island in the kitchen. The circles are darker under her eyes and she looks a little nauseous.

"Coffee," she says with a nod toward the counter. She's clutching her own mug and squinting muzzily at her stream, scrolling through too fast to be reading anything.

It's embarrassing how relieved he feels at that. Jared still has trouble with her alien mothership of a coffee machine, but he has yet to screw up the courage to ask for a proper walk-through.

"Thank you," he says after a couple sips, very politely. Genevieve gives him a thumbs-up without looking up.

Jared sits next to her at the island and pinches his own stream open to get the latest on the support systems crisis. The stools are too high for him. His knees bump up against the underside of the table and send tiny seismic waves to rattle spoons and salt shakers every once in a while. Back in his Ring 9 pod he sat on filched crates but he had all the legroom a man could want for.

She bumps his shoulder companionably when he sets the coffee down. "Morning, Jared."

"Morning, Genevieve."

She pulls a face and mumbles, shifty-eyed, "You know you can call me Gen, right?"

Jared smiles and bumps her back without answering. The kindness isn't lost on him, although he's only ever heard Misha, her terrifying friend from the noodle bar, call her that.

His stream chimes.

A big swathe of Ring 4 lost non-vital at 0322, but Addie swears up and down that her team managed to get the grid back on in tippity-toppity shape by 0605. The boss-man is gonna be grumpy but, as she informs him with creative punctuation, she washes her hands of it all and intends to be dead to the world for the next 10 hours and nothing better be burning when my shift starts or so help me padalecki!!!

Tag, you're it, reads the familiar sign-off, and Jared smiles to himself as he fires off a quick thanks and a promise of forthcoming baked goods.

He downs the dregs of his mug and drops it in the sink. Genevieve made it just right, down to the centigrade. Perks of marriage, perhaps. He drops a kiss on her spectacular bed head in a fit of reckless sentimentality.

She accidentally turns her whole stream bright orange. "Oh shit."

Jared salvages his laughter by turning it into a coughing fit while she taps and scrolls and pinches the stream back to standard RGB.

"Shut up," she mutters crossly.

"Have a good day, Gen."

He hopes he didn't really freak her out. It's hard to tell what's going through her mind sometimes, for all that they've been living together for a while now.

She snags his shirt as he makes for the door. Jared turns around to be confronted by a grim, determined expression before she surges up to plant one right on his mouth.

"Okay, now get out of here." Her ears are bright red. She shoves him away and turns her back to him, now scrolling through her stream at breakneck speed.

His stomach flips over and he feels a stupid grin plaster itself all over his face.

She's on the couch again when he gets off shift. Plates and glasses and saucepans clutter the floor around her. Someone is dying a heroic death in slow-motion to a cheesy soundtrack on the holo.

"Genev- Gen? You stayed home today?"

A grunt.

"Is it worse? How are you feeling?"

"Crappy. I want to die." She sounds grumpy and horribly congested. Jared can hardly see her swaddled as she is in all those blankets. She's commandeered pillows now, too.

Jared clears himself some sitting room on the couch and gives the spot where he approximates her shoulder to be a couple of sympathetic pats. "That sucks. Do you have a fever?"

He reaches for her forehead and she slaps him away forcefully.

"Stop it. Yes I do, and yes I've already taken meds for it. Yes I'm drinking plenty of fluids, and no you don't need to make soup for me. I'm not a child."

She glares at him unhappily.

"Oh." Jared crosses him arms, feeling useless and okay yes, a little stung. He has fond memories of how his dad would fuss over him when he was sick, wait on him hand and foot like he was some galactic senator. He misses that, a lot. He misses his dad a lot, too. "Is there anything else I could, um."

All but the top of her head disappears under the covers. The silence stretches between them like taffy.

"Yes," she mumbles at length, and doesn't elaborate.

"Um. Yeah?" he tries when no signs of life come from the nest.

She says in a tiny voice, "I request a hug."

Jared feels his eyes widen like saucers and he's suddenly glad Gen is too busy hiding under blankets to see whatever stupid face he's making right now.

"Yeah, 'course. Anything for the missus," he says, which earns him a huff.

Since she makes it clear she's not planning on emerging from her cocoon any time soon, Jared just gathers as much of the downy pile as will fit in the circle of his arms and squeezes tight. Something plops softly onto the crook of his neck. Jared assumes it's her head.

They sit like that for a while.

"I didn't mean to snap. Earlier. I just don't like people fussing over me, and I really don't like being sick."

"Okay. Duly noted for next time."

On the holo the husband and kids are now weeping over the pyre while tragic music plays.

"I was waiting up for you last night."

"Oh." Jared's neck heats up with pleasure. "Thanks."

Gen finally pulls the blankets off her face and says, with the same grim determination as this morning, "Ithaca's gonna be awesome."

Jared nods solemnly and tightens his arm around her. "Ithaca's gonna be awesome."



Notes: Written for snickfic for spn-j2-xmas. Sorry for the delay, and thank you for waiting so patiently! Hope you like this and happy holidays :)

fic, rpf, jared/gen, spn-j2-xmas

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