Fic: Fire Safety, J2
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Summary: A handsome firefighter and a charming grade-school teacher fall in love. Through blind dates, field trips, and breakfast in bed, trouble is sure to find them.

J2, PG-13, warning for language, excessive amounts of fluff, 5k.

This was written for spn-reversebang and my artist was the lovely heartblowswild I hope you like it <33


Jared is grateful for Genevieve every single day.

Not only is she his best friend but it's all because of Genevieve, fag hag extraordinaire, that he meets Jensen.

Genevieve had been dead-set on setting him up with any gay man she knew, determined to find him the ever elusive true love. Which didn't always end well, to say the least. Most of the dates ended up disastrous, if Jared's being completely honest.

First, there was Mike. He was bald, which was fine with Jared. But all Mike talked about through dinner, and most of dessert, was how freeing it was to be bald and he'd even adamantly tried to convince Jared to shave his head as well. It was surprising Mike hadn't attacked him with a pair of scissors. That, combined with all of the nonsensical knock-knock jokes made for a pretty interesting evening. It was one of the weirdest dates Jared's ever been on.

Then, there was Justin. Justin was quite the charmer. He'd talked about his numerous sexual exploits, asked Jared if he was into bondage, butt-plugs, and a variety of other sex-toys. Jared's not a prude by any means but that was only their first date and he's kind of an old-fashioned guy.

Tom was very nice. Normal. A fucking accountant. He'd bored Jared throughout the appetizer and the entree. Jared politely declined dessert, claiming he had a migraine.

There were others, none who earned a second date. Most never even got a kiss goodnight.

And it's not that Jared's picky. He just...has standards. He knows what he wants and he's not going to settle for anything less.

So Jared was this close to calling the whole thing off, had even told Gen he'd rather die alone than go out with one more weirdo.

But when he'd said that her eyes had filled with tears and her lower lip trembled because she knew. She knew, dammit. She was his best friend and she knew that even though he had a wonderful life with great friends and a job he loved, he was lonely.

Almost cripplingly lonely, at times.

And so Jared had ignored his better judgement and agreed to one more date.

"Just one more, Gen. Then I'm done."

She had nodded and he'd known her long enough to see that determined spark in her eyes.

So after a series of disastrous dates, right when Jared was losing all hope, then there was Jensen. Jensen Ackles.

Jensen, who was funny and sweet. Jensen, a brave firefighter with broad shoulders and biceps that made Jared drool a little. Jensen, with full lips and an eye-crinkling smile. Jensen, who made Jared laugh more than he thought was possible.

Jensen, who drove Jared home after their date and walked him to the door like a true gentleman.

He'd said, "I had such a great time tonight, Jared. I really hope we can do it again soon." His green eyes had been impossibly beautiful, the porch light making them almost sparkle, like in a goddamn romance novel.

Jared had kissed him goodnight and happily agreed to another date.

He would've been crazy not to.

He sent Gen flowers the next day.

And that was how it all began.

*

It's a lucky coincidence that Jared's class is picked to go to the fire-station to learn about fire safety from an actual firefighter. The rest of the school is going to be watching the fire safety video.

He announces it to the kids, grinning at the claps and excited chatter from his third graders.

"When are we going, Mr. P?" someone asks.

"Can we go for a ride in the fire-truck? Pleeease," Sarah begs.

Aiden shakes his head and shushes her and Jared just laughs.

He's not supposed to pick favorites, but.

Aiden and Sarah are downright adorable. Sarah with her big blue eyes and long brown hair. Sarah is outspoken, blunt almost to a fault. Aiden is more reserved and he's forever trying to keep Sarah in check. They're quite the pair.

Jared's almost as excited as the kids are to go see the fire-house, hopefully sit in the truck and learn about all of the equipment, not to mention talking to actual firefighters.

The icing on top of the proverbial cake is that Jensen is the one who volunteered to teach the kids.

*

"So. Gen told me you're a teacher?"Jensen takes a sip of his wine, looking expectantly at Jared like he actually cares about what Jared has to say.

It's already 100 times better than any other date he's been on in the last few months.

Jared nods, eyes lighting up just thinking of his kids.

"Yeah. I teach third grade. The kids are great. We do Music Monday and Wacky Crafts Wednesday and Free Friday. So on Friday, it's a free for all. Maybe we'll go to the playground, maybe we'll watch a movie or have a spelling bee. The kids love spelling bees because I give out these prizes..."

Jared talks until the waiter shows up and asks if they're ready to order.

Jared blushes, embarrassed.

"Jesus, I'm sorry. You could've interrupted me. I--I get carried away sometimes. I love my job."

Jensen just grins, sincere and sweet.

"It's really okay, Jared. I think that's amazing. Not only what you do, but how much you enjoy it and you seem to really care about the kids. It's--sort of rare to meet someone like you."

Jared's eyebrows shoot up and he wants to ask what that means. 'Someone like you' is a vague thing to say but the look on Jensen's face tells him that it was definitely a compliment.

Jared nods and laughs a little.

"I. I know what you mean. You're not the first guy that Gen's set me up with." Jared shudders dramatically and Jensen laughs.

"I take it those dates didn't go too well."

"That would be an understatement."

"You'll have to tell me all about it on our next date then," Jensen says with a wink.

"Absolutely," Jared agrees, completely serious.

There's no doubt in his mind that Jensen is not only getting another date, he's getting kissed tonight.

school

"Oh my god! Today's gonna be so much fun. Come on, A," Sarah tugs on Aiden's hand, hoping he'll pick up the pace so they can arrive at their destination more quickly.

"Mr. P won't leave without us, Sarah," Aiden tells her but a smile blooms on his face and he walks a bit faster, Sarah's excitement apparently contagious.

They're still holding hands as they approach the door of their classroom and Aiden stares at the cascade of dark blonde hair that falls down Sarah's back and the way her red dress floats around her knees. She looks like a warrior princess and not for the first time in his young life he's hit with the thought that his best friend is the prettiest girl in the entire world.

"I know that, dork!" she giggles, startling Aiden out of his thoughts. "But I don't wanna be late. My mom says that punchuality is important."

"Punctuality, Sarah," Mr. Padalecki corrects with a grin as the two children enter his classroom.
Aiden smiles when Sarah's cheeks turn red.

"You guys excited about today?" Mr. P asks and hands them name tags to fill out and stick on their clothes.

"Soooo excited, Mr. P!" Sarah gushes. "I wonder if they'll let us play with lighters! So then we can see them in action! That would be awesome!" She's only half-joking and it's obvious from her gleeful smile.

Aiden shakes his head in fond amusement and Mr. P lets out a laugh.

"Sorry to crush your dreams, kiddo, but that's definitely not on the agenda."

Sarah huffs and grumbles, "Party pooper," under her breath as she and Aiden head to their desks to wait for everyone else to trickle into the classroom and take their seats.

Once Mr. P takes attendance and everyone has their name tag on, they line up to get on the bus and head to the fire-station.

Sarah sits with Aiden in the front and she's almost bouncing in her seat she's so enthusiastic to go.

*

Sarah babbles endlessly on the bus ride and Aiden just sits there, focused on her, silently listening. She's in the middle of a sentence, rambling about what questions she wants to ask the firemen when Aiden blurts out:

"I like your dress."

He doesn't even mean to say it out loud because he's seen Sarah laugh at boys on the playground who ask if she wants to play House, if she'll be their wife. He's seen her snort in derision and continue swinging with Aiden like nothing ever happened. He doesn't ever want to be one of the boys she laughs at.

But he's baffled when instead of an inelegant snort from Sarah or even a gentle shove, he's gifted with a bright smile and she's--gosh, she's beaming.

"Thanks, A. I got it 'specially for this trip. 'Cause it's red, like the fire-trucks, see," she touches the soft fabric of her dress, smoothing the imaginary wrinkles away. "And I convinced Mom to get me the matching headband."

He smiles, nods. Blurts out what he really wants to say, trying to be as brave as she always is.

"You're the prettiest girl on the bus."

This time she does snort and gives him a playful swat on the shoulder.

"Well, you're the dorkiest boy on the bus," she retorts.

*

Jared smiles to himself the whole bus ride, sneaking glances at Sarah and Aiden, the fiesty girl and the shy boy. They shouldn't work so well together but they do, perfectly.

Luckily, the kids are on their best behavior and he smiles when he announces, "We're here, guys!" and the class lets out a collective whoop of joy. Some curious kids press their noses to the windows, anxious to see anything at all.

For most of the bus ride, everyone, even Jared, had been squirming in excitement to get to their destination and learn and explore.

And now it's finally time.

*

It had been their fourth date, heading into more 'serious' territory, when Jensen had opened up to Jared about his job. He had been honest and humble, almost relieved to bring it up.

"It's a dangerous gig with weird hours. Not everyone can handle that. It's okay if you can't."

Jared goes still, silent. Weighs the two options in his mind.

They've only been dating about a month.

But already he knows how he feels about Jensen.

He's already too far gone.

Yes, it will be difficult.

A deal-breaker? No.

Jared can handle it because he wants to be with Jensen, he wants to make this work, plain and simple.

"It's okay, Jen. I can handle it. I just wanna be with you."

The smile that overtakes Jensen's face is breathtakingly beautiful and Jared knows when he sees the crinkles in the corners of his boyfriend's eyes that he's made the right choice.

*

Jensen finds it hard not to pull Jared in for a kiss hello when he sees his boyfriend but he somehow manages to keep himself in check.

"Hey, Jen," Jared greets, quiet so no one overhears.

"Jared," Jensen responds, voice full of heat.

It's strange to be so formal. They're used to kissing hello, kissing goodbye, kissing goodnight. Kissing each other in the middle of a sentence, kissing just for the hell of it. Call it the honeymoon phase, call it love, call it whatever you'd like. But they're both quite affectionate with each other.

There's a few long seconds when they just stare, eyes locked, savoring the moment. Jared looks away first, turning his attention to the group of children behind him.

"Guys, this is Mr. Ackles. He's a firefighter and he's gonna talk to you about fire safety. Be nice, pay attention, and of course, have fun." He pauses. "There may be a quiz on this tomorrow. Just a heads up. Now go on, have a seat."

Jensen watches, enamored, as the kids listen patiently and quickly follow Jared's directions. They sit in a big circle, gathered together on the floor, 19 pairs of eager eyes focusing on Jensen.

He takes a deep breath and grins.

"Let's get started then."

*

Jensen blows out a deep breath and takes a bow. The kids giggle. They've been so good. They listened to him and actually seemed to care about what he had to say. And he's guessing he did a pretty good job with his 'kid-friendly semi-funny fire safety' spiel just going by the impressed look on Jared's face. It's giving him goddamn butterflies. Totally worth the six hours he put into trying to get every word perfect, making stupid little notecards.

"Alright. I think I'm gonna lose my voice if I talk anymore. Does anyone have any questions or something they'd like to add?" Jensen asks.

Sarah nudges Aiden, the quiet boy with the short-spiked hair, and he shyly raises his hand.

"Yes?" Jensen asks.

"Um. Well. My name is Aiden. And my mom says she named me that because it means 'little fire'," Aiden stammers and his cheeks pink up when he realizes everyone's attention is focused on him.

Jensen grins, big and sincere.

"That's so cool, Aiden. Should we spray you down with the hose?" he jokes. Aiden shakes his head and Sarah, the girl attached to his hip, snorts which makes the boy giggle.

"Alright, little fire. What do you say we all line up and take turns sitting in the fire truck?"

Everyone hurries to get up and follow after Jensen, excited murmurs filling the fire-house and making Jared smile as he tags along, taking a quick headcount. And maybe he checks out Jensen's butt in his uniform.

Maybe.

firetruck

Sarah and Aiden are the last in line and almost bouncing on their toes they're so eager to get to sit in the fire-truck with Mr. Ackles.

Mr. P has been taking pictures, promising everyone their very own copy.

Jensen asks every pair, "Do you want to take a picture with me or just the truck?" and Sarah and Aiden know that they want a picture with Mr. Ackles. Who wouldn't want a picture with a fireman? Especially one as cool as Mr. Ackles.

Their turn finally comes and Mr. Ackles helps them climb up and they look around at everything, taking it all in.

"This is so cool. Mr. P, come look!" Sarah says, waving him over once he snaps their picture.

He obliges and nods along as she babbles but he can't take his eyes off of Jensen. He looks so cute in his helmet and there are cinnamon colored freckles sprinkled across the bridge of his nose and he's got a boyish grin as he interacts with the kids, showing them what certain buttons are for. Jared can't help but be enamored with those freckles. The urge to count and memorize each one is almost overwhelming. Jensen is such a unique mix of masculine strength and delicate grace that he's just mesmerizing and Jared is sometimes struck speechless by the sheer beauty of him.

The thought hits him suddenly that he loves Jensen.

This brave man with freckles and the best laugh he's ever heard.

He's in love with Jensen.

Sarah's giggling breaks him out of his reverie.

"--so funny, Mr. P!"

Sarah looks over to see if Mr. P is laughing his big booming laugh after hearing Mr. Ackles' joke and is disappointed to see that he's just staring at Mr. Ackles with a strange, soft look on his face.

Mr. P gives this fake sort of half smile and says "Yeah. Okay, come on, guys, we're gonna have lunch and then we have to head back to school."

She scrunches her nose and tilts her head like a confused puppy but climbs out, Aiden following after her.

*

They're sitting down eating lunch when Sarah nudges Aiden with her elbow and, content that she's got his attention, she pointedly looks over at where Mr. P and Mr. Ackles are eating lunch together and not-so-subtley glancing at each other when they think the other isn't looking.

"They like each other," she whisper-hisses to Aiden.

Aiden shrugs and tilts his head in a silent question. He knows she's got something planned.

"So?"

Sarah looks at Aiden like he's grown three heads.

"They're bein' dumb! We have to help them realize they both like each other! It's true love, I can tell," she says, dramatic as can be. "I wanna help 'em, A!"

Aiden bites back a goofy smile.

Sarah can be loud and bossy. Even nosey, like right now. But her heart is always, always in the right place.

"Okay, Sarah. We'll help."

Sarah presses a smacking kiss to his cheek as a thank you.

*

"Mr. P, can I speak to you? In private, please," she says, side-eyeing Mr. Ackles.

The men glance at each other in a silent question but Jared shrugs and agrees, setting down his half-eaten sandwich.

"Sure, Sarah, come with me."

She follows after him to a quiet corner.

Meanwhile, Aiden slides into Jared's now-empty seat next to Mr. Ackles.

"Hey," he says, casual as can be.

Jensen's brow furrows in slight confusion but he gives Aiden a friendly smile. "Hey, kiddo. What's up?"

Aiden diligently avoids eye contact and instead starts peeling the crust off of his PB&J.

"Uh. Well. Um. You see. The thing is, Mr. Ackles. Sarah and I think you should be honest with Mr. P. About how you feel."

Jensen rubs the back of his neck, feeling entirely out of his element.

"What do you mean?"

"You should tell him that you like him," Aiden blurts out, almost choking on the words, embarrassment coloring his cheeks.

He takes a huge bite of his sandwich before Mr. Ackles can ask anymore questions and his eyes dart over to Sarah and Mr. P.

He hopes she's having better luck than he is.

*

Meanwhile, Sarah is looking imploringly up at Mr. P with her wide blue eyes. Her hands are on her hips, the most serious look on her face.

"I know you like Mr. Ackles. You should tell him. Because I know he likes you back." Her know-it-all tone is too endearing to be cocky. Her intentions are too pure for her to be irritating.

Jared bites his lip against the laugh bubbling in his throat.

"And where did you get this information, Sarah?"

"It's obvious. You should see the way he looks at you. And the way you look at him! It's like in the movies. It's true love," she insists.

Jared risks a glance over at where Jensen is still sitting at a table and smiles when he sees Aiden and Jensen already looking over at him and Sarah.

The thing is, Sarah's right.

Jared gets the most hyperactive butterflies in his stomach when Jensen looks at him with those kind green eyes and he knows it's not just wishful thinking or his imagination.

He's positive that this is the real thing.

He's head over heels, 100% gone for Jensen.

And he's almost sure that Jensen loves him back.

"Thank you for telling me, Sarah. But I was already aware that Jensen likes me."

He waits a beat, watches as her jaw drops and her cheeks pink up. His knees crack as he bends down to get at her level so he can look in her eyes and tell her in a hushed whisper,

"We're already dating."

*

That evening, hanging out at Jensen's place, neither of them can get their mind off of the sweet, well-meaning kids.

Just when they think they've caught their breath and they're over it, they start giggling again. Actual goddamn giggles. It's ridiculous. Jensen hasn't laughed this much in years. His stomach actually hurts and his cheeks are sore.

"I've never seen Aiden that shade of red before--" Jensen chuckles.

"And Sarah--oh my god, she tried so hard--" Jared adds.

Jared leans in and presses a kiss to Jensen's temple, just because. Because Jared adores him and it's obvious enough that a couple of eight year olds see them as some sort of modern fairytale.

Hell, maybe they are.

*

The theatre is mostly empty considering it's a Thursday night. The seats are slightly uncomfortable and their butts will probably be numb by the end of the film but they've got their hands linked together, glad for the dark room that hides their dorky grins.

They've lost count how many dates they've been on by now.

It doesn't matter.

When the movie's over and they go to kiss goodnight, Jared asks Jensen if he wants to stay with him for the weekend.

Jensen gladly accepts.

*

"Hey, you," Jared greets, opening the door so Jensen can come inside. His apartment is small, one bedroom and one bathroom but it's home. He's got a comfy couch and a vast DVD collection.

It's not the first time Jensen's been over but it is the first time he'll be staying the night.

"Hey. I brought beer," Jensen holds up the 6-pack and Jared grins and gestures towards the fridge.

"Awesome. I've got movies and I figured we could call for takeout whenever you wanted."

Jared's about to turn to go to the kitchen, expects Jensen to just follow him in but Jensen grabs his hand and leans in close.

"Don't I get a kiss hello?" he whispers, breath ghosting over Jared's lips and Jared is almost breathless with anticipation. He nods ever so slightly, lips parted.

They close the gap between their mouths easily and Jensen reaches a hand up to tangle in Jared's soft hair and deepen the kiss, pull him impossibly closer.

Jensen backs away after a few long minutes of kissing; his eyes are dark with desire and trained on Jared's lips that are pink and plump, shiny with spit.

"I could do that all night," he admits.

"What's stopping you?" Jared coaxes.

Jensen stares in wonder for a moment, eyes wide and hopeful.

Jared shows no hesitation, no doubt at all.

"Nothing. Absolutely nothing."

The movie they had rented never gets watched and dinner is forgotten about completely.

There's a trail of clothes leading from the front door to the bedroom, a button down flung haphazardly on the floor and a t-shirt hanging from a lamp. Two pairs of jeans litter the hallway.

The mess will stay there until morning.

*

Jared's eyes flutter open slowly and he snuggles into the broad chest he can feel pressed against his back, Jensen's arm curled possessively around his abdomen. He shivers and bites back a giggle when he feels Jensen's soft puffs of breath against the back of his neck, just this side of ticklish.

He could get used to this, though.

The warm, safe feeling of someone in bed with him, cuddling close and fighting for the blankets in the middle of the night, someone to wake up to when the sun rises. Someone to share a cup of coffee with. It's amazing.
It's even better that it's Jensen and Jared is stupidly crazy about him.

He revels in the embrace for a few minutes, eyes closed in bliss. There's a slideshow playing out in his head, a never-ending kaleidoscope of Jensen. Soft smiles directed at Jared, eyes crinkled at the corners, the way he laughs, long and loud, the rough rumble of his voice when he sings. The sweet way he'd talked to Jared's kids. How he'd showed up at Jared's apartment last night with beer and a charming grin. The burn of his stubble and the softness of his lips when they kiss. The way he makes Jared feel. There aren't words for that feeling.

'Love' doesn't seem good enough. Jared finds it too simple, lacking. That one small word can't convey the fluttery feeling in his tummy when Jensen smiles.

It's undeniable that Jensen has thoroughly stolen his heart and last night was beyond perfect. This morning needs to be just as great. He wants to eat breakfast in bed with Jensen and. And just be with him. He wants to give Jensen an amazing 'morning after'. He wants Jensen to stay. Forever sounds impossible. Forever sounds perfect.

So Jared sneaks his way out of Jensen's arms and out of bed and tries to be as quiet as he can as he walks to the kitchen to prepare for the Best Morning Ever.

smokealarm2

Pancakes, in theory, are simple.

You throw some ingredients together and make the batter.

You pour the batter into a pancake-like shape onto your frying pan.

You flip them, maybe? Jared's assuming there's some sort of flippage. (He's not Rachel Ray, okay.)

Put the finished product onto a plate. Coat with butter and syrup, pour a glass of OJ.

Good times, right?

Not so much.

Jared trying to make pancakes is an absolute disaster and really, Jared isn't Rachel Ray, not even close, he orders takeout so often for a good reason, so he should've known something like this would happen.

*

Jensen is jarred from a very nice dream by a loud, repetitive...squeal. Kind of like--

He bolts up, instantly alert at the sound of a smoke alarm and his eyes widen when he sees Jared isn't asleep next to him. Jared is nowhere to be seen, actually.

"Jay?" he calls out, nearly tripping over himself in his haste to get into his boxers, that are thankfully right on the bedroom floor, and simultaneously start searching for Jared.

Jensen follows the smell of smoke to the kitchen and stops dead in his tracks.

The professional in him wants to rush in and do his job but he sees everything is (mostly) under control so he stays put, leaning against the doorway to the kitchen and watching with barely concealed amusement.

Jared is frantically waving a dishtowel, trying to clear the smoke out of the air. He's also swatting at the smoke alarm on the wall, trying to shut it up. He finally gets it off the wall and the battery falls out and crashes to the floor, everything suddenly silent.

Jensen puts a hand over his mouth, trying to contain his laughter.

He wishes he had his phone so he could take a picture, maybe even record a video. He can only imagine how many hits this would get on Youtube.

The smoke is slowly clearing now that there's an open window, combined with Jared's heroic towel-waving and Jensen takes a moment to appreciate Jared's bedhead, sticking up in all directions and has what looks like...egg yolk. Yes, there is egg yolk in Jared's hair. There's also a smudge of flour on his cheek which is nothing compared to Jared's grey t-shirt that's now mostly white, where it looks like a bag of flour exploded on him.

The counter and even some of the floor is covered in broken egg shells and smeared yolk and flour. A dirty mixing bowl and the pan of charred pancakes sits sadly in the sink.

What a fucking mess.

Jensen clears his throat, loudly, to get Jared's attention and Jared slowly turns around but refuses to make eye contact, head ducked shyly, cheeks bright red in embarrassment.

"So. I can't cook," Jared says.

Jensen pointedly looks at the black lumps stuck onto the pan.

"I've noticed."

Jared finally looks up to glare at him.

"I was trying to--this morning was supposed to be," the last word is whispered but Jensen hears it anyway, "perfect."

Jensen walks to Jared, brings his hands up to cup still-blushing cheeks, accidentally smearing the smudge of flour with his thumb.

Jared finally meets his eyes.

"Sweetheart. Last night was perfect. And this morning--well, it's a story to tell the grandkids, yeah?"

Jensen chuckles when Jared shrugs and mumbles "I guess so."

"Jare," he waits until Jared's eyes are locked on his. "Baby, you have to know I'm crazy about you. Just the way you are." Their lips come together easily, like magnets, like this is how it's supposed to be and he's happy to feel Jared's sweet little sigh against his mouth. They pull apart too soon for Jensen's liking. "How about I take you out for breakfast?" Jensen offers.

"I'm a mess," Jared needlessly points out.

"So we'll shower first," Jensen suggests, leaning in to press a wet kiss against Jared's neck.

Jared tilts his head as Jensen trails kisses up his jaw.

"Okay," Jared agrees, biting his lip to stifle a moan.

They stumble to the bathroom together, a mess of limbs and sticky egg yolk.

The shower takes awhile, mostly because they stand under the spray and kiss until the water turns cold.

But neither of them mind much at all.

*

"I'll take the pancake platter with scrambled eggs, please," Jared says, smiling at the waitress.

Jensen thinks about the ruined breakfast that Jared attempted.

"I'll have the same."

He winks at Jared, chuckling when his boyfriend huffs at him and pouts a little.

"Jare."

He waits until he knows he's got Jared's attention.

"I wanna say thank you. For this morning. For breakfast. Not this breakfast but our almost-breakfast. Maybe it wasn't what you had planned but it was still perfect. It was so sweet that you even tried and risked our lives, y'know," he jokes. "Every single second I spend with you is always so amazing." He's being sappy and he knows it, secretly adores the way Jared's cheeks flush and how he bites his lip to try to contain his smile.

"I kind of love you, Jensen," Jared declares.

There is no pause, no doubt, no need to even think about his response.

"I love you too, Jared."

There's a short pause, a moment where they just look at each other and bask in the feeling.

"I've gotta say, though, I'm gonna have to give you another lesson in fire safety, Mr. P."

Jared's laughter sounds better than his favorite song.

*

Sarah pouts and tugs on Aiden's sleeve.

"Come on, A. How was I s'posed to know?"

Aiden huffs.

"At least I was right! I told you it was true--"

"True love. Yeah, I know. But that was still so embarrassing, Sarah. Gosh. Next field trip, can we just enjoy it? No more match-making?"

Sarah smiles and the last of Aiden's indignance melts away.

"Silly goose, they're together. Our work is finished. No more match-makin', I pinky swear."

They link pinkies for a moment then continue walking towards the playground, where Mr. P and Mr. Ackles are already occupying the swings.

It's sort of a habit now that Mr. Ackles comes to visit at recess. They always hog the swings but the smile on Mr. P's face is worth it.

"Hey, A?"

"Yeah."

"Will you at least admit I was right?"

Aiden sighs but gives in easily.

"You were right, Sarah. It's true love."

He looks over to see her bright grin, heart beating wildly in his chest.

Yeah. It's true love.

The End.
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