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04 July 2011 @ 03:40 am
Fic: Makings of A Decent Man  
Title: Makings of A Decent Man
Author: ruyu
Fandom: Franklin & Bash
Wordcount: 1538
Rating: PG-13
Characters: Peter Bash, Jared Franklin, (mentions of) Janie Ross
Pairing(s): past! Peter/Janie, Peter/Jared
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the character, no money is made.
Summary: After twenty-five plus years of hardcore friendship, Peter had felt heavy with it, warm and comfortable with the knowledge that there were few things in life that were as secure as Jared Franklin by his side. X-Posted to franklin_bash

Jared isn’t what Peter would call a decent guy. He’s not even really all that great with people, he knows just enough social skills to get away with the things he does, to deal with people. He doesn’t clean up after himself and the idea of filtering one’s thoughts isn’t all that concrete in Jared Franklin’s mind. Teasing and riling people up is another form of communication that he uses and he’s honestly surprised when no one else seems to catch on to that - besides Peter that is (and it really is a learned skill when it comes to Jared). How else do you compliment someone without teasing them about it first? Exactly.

But Peter can’t blame him for the things he does or the way acts. Pale skin, short stature, an intolerable and dispassionate father - yeah, Peter has never judged Jared for how he grew up or how he’s turned out. At some point in his best friend’s life, something snapped and things just didn’t matter all that much to Jared anymore. Or he at least rearranged his priorities.

Out of the depressive slump that was Jared’s childhood, one thing became blazingly clear: when you were Jared Franklin’s friend, he was the best goddamn friend you would ever have and Peter knew that from the get go (unlike the rest of the idiots in his high school)

It had hurt to leave home to go to college, but Jared made him laugh the entire way there. Finals were brutal and did a complete number on Peter’s brain, but two hours after taking the test, Jared would have him so drunk he was convinced there was no possible way he could fail any test ever made. And that was worth the hangover and finding out he aced a final the next day.

Finding a job after college was tough, especially when Jared proclaimed he had no intention of joining a big wig firm. When Peter asked him why, after thumbing through the diminishing cash in his wallet, Jared shrugged and mumbled, “Don’t want to be like my father,” and Peter never complained again about the lack of work they found or where they found it.

After twenty-five plus years of hardcore friendship, Peter had felt heavy with it, warm and comfortable with the knowledge that there were few things in life that were as secure as Jared Franklin by his side.

There was never a time when he wouldn’t stand by Jared. There wasn’t a thing he wouldn’t support him in or path that Jared would walk and he not follow.

So yeah, decent guy? Maybe not.

But he’s loyal and cocky and that’s kind of awesome sometimes when someone wants to bash Peter’s face in with a stool and no one really expects this short ass guy to jump them from behind.

He’s critical of people who think they are above him in social status and also in height ( “Fucking giants, dude,”) but caves easily when presented with a problem so pathetically human that he can’t help but to empathize with them. It makes Peter smile when Jared goes all mushy on a client.

Great with people? Not really. People are impulsive and arrogant, they’re thoughtless and naive. But they’re also helpless and the thought that Jared can be the one person to believe in them is too tempting for him to resist. He asks the wrong questions and asks them too bluntly for the client to trust him at first, and that’s why Peter’s there.

With Peter there, Jared is a decent guy and great with people. Peter smoothes all the harsh edges Jared’s acquired over the years, takes them into himself and polishes them until they sparkle and shine.

So when Jared gets knocked out for snooping around for some clues he has no business looking for, Peter helps fetch the ice pack as he comes stumbling through the door, pinching the bridge of his nose to stem the bleeding. Brushes the hair back from his face, tugging his tie off to unbutton his bloody shirt and help him breath easier.

It’s just what they do.

Peter wakes up one morning and Janie is gone. He calls Jared because who the hell else would he call. Panic chokes him up and Jared yells at him through the phone to calm down or he’ll call the police to arrest his crazy ass, then says softly, “Dude, chill, breath. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

Janie left a small note on the kitchen counter, written hastily that read, “You’ve obviously made your choice, Peter. I’m not the kind of girl who comes in second and can live like this. Goodbye. P.S. Fuck you, Jared Franklin. Hugs and mother fucking kisses, you bastard.”

But then Jared’s there and Peter can’t understand why Janie always fought with him over his friendship with Jared. How do you give up someone like Jared Franklin? And that right there tells Peter why she left, because he is obviously okay with giving up someone like Janie Ross.

Jared calls her all the appropriate names and explains her actions in a way that leaves all the blame on her and none of Jared, just like a best friend would. He calls and orders Peter’s favorite pizza and bums it up on the couch with him while Peter keeps himself from staring at Jared like a crazy man because he’s just figured out something kind of important.

Five beers and a movie later, Peter works up the nerve to look at Jared, curled neatly against him, licking sauce from his fingers and balancing a beer on his knee like the pro that he is.

“You’re kinda awesome,” is all that he manages to say, but it feel startling honest all the same and Peter blushes after having said it.

Jared smiles, licking another digit clean. “I know.”

“Don’t know what I was thinking, keeping her around,” Peter rambles, finding it hard to stop once he’s started. “I’ve always got you.”

“I know, right? Who wouldn’t want a guy like me around?” Jared says offhandedly, but Peter can’t let it slide by so easily.

“Jared, I mean it. Everyone is just...well, they’re not you. Never will be.”

Television forgotten, beer can set aside, Jared turns against Peter, “What are you talking about?”

“From now on, it’s just me and you,” he declares with a firm squeeze to the other man’s thigh, hot beneath his hands.

“You don’t mean that. Come one, Peter, don’t let Janie ruin you for other people. You’ll get over her,” Peter assures him. “No on can resist that charm of yours.”

“Can you?”

Jared laughs and Peter can see that it doesn’t quite reach his eyes. He feels him shift away toward the other side of the sofa and cold it brings is unwelcome. “Jared...”

“No, Peter. I’m not doing this.” And he’s even further away than before, nearly a foot between them.

“Doing what?”

“This. The rebound thing.” Jared turns an accusing eyes on Peter, daring him to deny it.

“It’s not... this isn’t...”

“Yes it fucking hell is, Peter.”

They’re on separate ends of the sofa, the t.v. blaring it’s program to a room that isn’t listening. Jared can feel the pizza soaking up his beer in his stomach, drawing the alcohol out of his stomach before it can smother him again. Peter’s draped on the sofa like a defeated little thing, eyes caught on stain on the coffee table.

Minutes pass before Jared speaks again. “I can’t do the rebound thing. Not with you. Never with you.”

“And what does that mean?” Peter asks quietly from his lonely corner, cowering like a dog under Jared’s outburst.

“It means that you, Jared, are not something I’m going to just jump into. It’s not something I can just start and stop again when you find someone else,” Jared explains without looking at him, eyes firmly fixed on anything but Jared. “Jared, after you, there won’t be anyone else for me.”

The words float through the air around Peter’s eyes, dancing like bubbles caught in the California breeze, excitable and gloriously light. The moment feels like every awesome moment he’s ever had with Jared times a million. He’s wide eyed amazed and smiling like it might split his face open. It’s an ultimatum that really isn’t because it’s offered to someone who wants it, who’s needed it without knowing they needed it.

“You’d let me be that?” He says stupidly, but that’s okay because Jared gets him, has always got him. “Everything?”

“That’s all you’ve ever been to me.”

Then Jared is leaning and Peter is tugging and he ends up with lapful of Jared Franklin. They skim each other with light touches, unable to believe that it’s concrete - their decision.

“I fucking mean it, Peter,” he warns as Peter brushes his nose against the soft skin of his best friend’s neck, smelling of thin-crust pizza and something uniquely Jared that reminds Peter of the ocean and things better left untamed and wild.

“I really fucking mean it, Jared,” Peter says against Jared’s lips and that’s a promise if he and Jared have ever made one to each other.

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