12:06 PM; CLINSTONE, LITTLE DELIGHTS DINER
Jacob dropped a straw into the cup of pop in front of him, lifting his head as he caught sight of a presence at his right. He smiled. “Hey, Tom.”
“Jake,” Thomas greeted. He handed Pollux over to Jensen before sitting down beside Jacob. “Wanna hold him?”
“Umm, obviously,” Jacob said, happily taking Castor from the former FBI agent. “Good seeing around again, Tom.”
“Same goes for you, Jake. Good to see you healthy and not on the borders of a heart attack.”
Jacob snorted. “Amen to that.” He reached out with one hand, pushing Castor’s glasses up on his nose. “You realize how adorable he is, don’t you?” he questioned, lifting his sapphire blue eyes to Bo’s face.
The blonde smiled softly. “Oh, yes, I’m aware.”
“They’re both literally the most adorable little humans I’ve ever laid eyes on,” Jensen said. “And that’s saying something, since I’m married to short stuff over here.”
Bo snorted, rolling his eyes. “Cute, because I’m a little human.” He shook his head, smoothing a hand over Pollux’s head. “You’re a jackass, Jens.”
“And very proud of it,” Jensen reminded.
Jacob chuckled as Castor wrapped a hand around his tie. “While we’re all here, we should probably discuss the issue at hand.”
“What about it?”
“FBI. Yes or no?” Jacob said. “Do we need them?”
Thomas offered a nod. “It’s something I’d like an answer to, as well, Bo. Don’t get me wrong, I love being here, but I need to know where I’m more useful. Here or home.”
“How confident are you that this guy is the same killer from Jersey?” Jacob asked. “How confident are you that the guy sitting in prison for the Casanova killings is actually innocent?”
Bo looked back and forth between the two men before clearing his throat. “Let’s go for a generous ninety-nine percent. The one percent leaves the option for a very good copycat to be held responsible, but I don’t think that’s the case.”
Jacob nodded. “So you definitely think it’s the same guy. You just aren’t willing to admit it because it’s still technically an assumption.”
“That’s correct,” Bo agreed.
The lieutenant sighed. “I’ll… talk to David.” He turned to look at Thomas. “Will you be one of the many walking through my station?”
Thomas offered a smile. “I can sweet talk my way into making sure it’s just Chris and I. We try our best not to overstep.”
“No problem, Jake.”
4:17 PM: CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, FAMILY ROOM
Thomas sat down on the couch, unlocking his phone. He opened up his contacts list, tapping his thumb against Chris’s name. He pressed the phone to his ear, waiting. After seven rings, the call went to voicemail. He rolled his eyes, pulling his phone away from his ear to end the call. Less than a minute later, his phone rang, Chris’s name flashing across the screen.
“Hello,” Thomas greeted.
“Hey, Blue Eyes,” Chris said. “Sorry about that. Lydia was hanging from my arm like a damn monkey. What’s up?”
Thomas chuckled softly before sighing. “The Casanova case.”
“We got the wrong guy, Chris.”
“No, he confessed, Tom.”
“People confess to things they didn’t do all the time, Chris. You know that,” Thomas reminded.
“What makes you so sure about this?” Chris asked.
“The files I needed to look at were for Bo,” Thomas said. “They’ve had a killer strike here twice. It’s his calling card, Chris. He’s leaving the business card in the victims’ jeans.”
Chris cleared his throat after a moment of silence hung between them. “Same ‘fuck you’ message?”
“The very same.”
“I’ll talk to Werlin and I’ll see you tomorrow. All right?”
“Thank you, Chris.”
“Sure thing. Are you gonna be there for this one? Or are you just there as support?” Chris asked.
“I’ll be suiting up to be your partner again for this,” Thomas promised.
Chris chuckled. “Sounds damn good to me, Blue Eyes. I’ll be seeing you soon.”
“All right, Chris. Thank you.”
“My pleasure, Tommy-boy.”
10:12 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, KITCHEN
Bo pulled open the refrigerator, Castor on his hip. “I know, buddy. I know,” Bo murmured as the baby let out a soft cry. He pulled a bottle of water from the refrigerator, letting the door swing shut. He grabbed Castor’s sippy cup from the cupboard. He caught Castor’s pacifier as the baby dropped it. “Okay, I get it. No more pacifier. Give me a sec, buddy.” He twisted the cap off the water bottle, pouring a bit of water into the sippy cup. He snapped the lid into place and handed it to Castor.
“Do you care if I go to the gym for a bit? Or do you need help with Cas?” Jensen asked.
“It’s just a fever. I’ll give him a bath after he finishes the water. I can handle him and the other gremlins,” Bo assured. “Are you running?”
“Weightlifting,” Jensen said. “I’ll be back in like… an hour, hour and a half?”
“All right. I’ll be here,” Bo said. A hand on the back of Castor’s head, he leaned up and kissed Jensen. “Nothing too strenuous. It’s been a while since you’ve lifted. Don’t jump back up to benching what you used to.”
Jensen chuckled. “Deal.” He pressed a kiss to the blonde’s temple before leaning down to kiss Castor’s head. “I’ll be back soon, but call me if you need something.”
“Love you, Eli.”
“Love you, too.”
11:40 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, FAMILY ROOM
Jensen carefully grabbed the case file from Bo’s lap, closing it and setting it on the coffee table. He squatted down in front of the couch, laying a hand on Bo’s thigh. “Eli?”
One corner of Jensen’s mouth lifted. “Want me to take Cas?”
Bo opened his eyes, clearing his throat. He looked down briefly, resting a hand on the back of Castor’s head. “His fever’s gone down. At least, the last time I checked.”
“You can take him.”
Jensen nodded, smiling faintly. The baby lay sound asleep on Bo’s chest, and Jensen felt terrible about moving him. Still, he carefully picked up his son, cradling him in the crook of his arm. “Be back in a sec.”
“Mmhmm.” Jensen left the room and headed back to the nursery. He transferred Castor to his crib, more than satisfied that he managed to do so without waking him. Usually, that was Bo’s specialty. He checked on Pollux and the volume of the baby monitor before heading back to the family room.
He held out his hands. “Come on.” Bo grabbed the younger man’s hands, grunting as Jensen tugged him to his feet. “So… did you have a nice nap?” Jensen asked, lacing his fingers with Bo’s as they walked back to the bedroom they shared.
“Only about twenty minutes or so, but I suppose it’s better than zero,” Bo said. “Did you enjoy the gym?”
“Yeah, I like it most when I’m the only one there,” Jensen said simply. He turned on the bedside lamp, sitting down on the edge of the bed. “What’re we gonna do with this case once the FBI come in? I mean… what happens when they come in?”
“Right, this will be your first case with FBI involvement,” Bo murmured as he closed the door. “Well, for me, the last time was the Hunter case. Tom and Chris will come in during the day and dedicate resources that they don’t have. They can access federal level information and offer quicker warrants than we can. Tom specializes in profiling, which, if you ask me, is the reason they caught the wrong guy the first time. Tom was gone when they arrested him.”
“Which means they lost their profiler,” Jensen said.
“Right. Their best one, anyway.” Bo crossed the room, climbing onto Jensen’s lap, his knees sinking into the mattress. “They don’t take over for us. We aren’t excluded from the investigation. It’s like… inviting two more detectives onto the task force. Just, you know, two very high-class detectives,” he said, draping his arms over his husband’s neck.
“Is it something I have to be intimidated by? I’ve never seen Tom in FBI mode, you know. Just… just cool uncle mode,” Jensen said, wrapping his arms around Bo’s waist.
“No, they’re both pretty great, easy-going. I’ve worked with Chris several times in the past. You’ll like him,” Bo said.
“He was at the wedding, right?”
“Yes, but you only spoke to him once, and it was brief. He’s a good guy, though, and he’s good at his job. It’s not something you need to be worried about or intimidated by,” Bo said. “Although when they both walk into our station tomorrow, your heart will sink and your chest will tighten. You’ll probably even forget how to breathe for at least a couple seconds, but that’s normal when it comes to suited strangers walking into your station with the kind of ‘I own this place’ confidence they all have.”
“So… it’s like having two white Jamals walking into the station?”
Bo snorted. “Yes, but much less terrifying.” He cocked his head to the side. “For instance, if you piss off Tom and Chris, they aren’t going to kill you.”
Jensen smiled faintly. “Fair.” He lifted a hand, unbuttoning Bo’s flannel. “Have you… liked working with them?”
“I’ve only worked with them both once,” Bo said. “Together, they’re like… a power team. They work incredibly well together, and they bounce ideas back and forth the way we do. They benefit each other, and it tends to benefit the case greatly, in my experience. You’ll like working with them. Promise.”
“I hope so.” Jensen tugged Bo’s shirt down his arms and tossed it into the hamper across the room. “Tired? Or are you planning on taking a shower before bed?”
“Mm… depends. Did you take a shower at the gym?”
“Then I’m too tired for one,” Bo said. Jensen chuckled, rolling his eyes. Gently, Bo pushed the younger man onto his back, leaning down to kiss him. “You’re still coming with me Friday?”
“Yeah, of course. I’ll be there the whole time,” Jensen promised.
“Good.” Bo kissed Jensen once more before moving to his side of the bed. “Jens?”
“Yesterday, when you noted that we hadn’t had sex in eight months, I… Well, I was astounded that it had been that long. Does it, I don’t know, bother you that had been eight months?”
“No. Relationships shouldn’t rely on sex, Eli. I’d be bothered if you stopped telling me you love me or you stopped sleeping in the same bed,” Jensen said. “Besides, the last eight months have been one hundred percent dedicated to raising our kids.” He turned his head toward the blonde. “Why? Did you think I was mad about it?”
Bo offered a smile. “Maybe a bit.”
“You’re crazy, Eli. I fucking love you. That’s all there is to it.”
“Good.” Bo leaned forward, drawing his knees to his chest and wrapping his arms around them. “I have to go back to L.A. next month.”
“For… Jamal-related things?”
“How bad of a thing?”
Bo stared at his husband for a moment before lifting his shoulders. “I haven’t been informed yet.” Jensen shook his head, turning his gaze back to the ceiling. “I know you hate it, Jens.”
“Of course I hate it, but I already told you I won’t protest it.” Jensen crossed his arms over his chest. “There’s no reason for me to waste my breath on that.”
“You know just as well as I do that I’d stop training right now if you asked me to,” Bo said.
“Yeah, and then you’d feel terrible for breaking a promise to Jamal, and I’d be a piece of shit for being the reason you broke it.”
“You’re my husband, Jens. You’re allowed to have an opinion without feeling wrong about it.” Bo reached out, gently shoving at Jensen’s upper arm. “You can talk to me, Jens. You know that.”
Jensen nodded, rolling onto his side to look at the blonde. “You promised me you’d stay safe and that you’d always come back home to me. You’ve kept both of those promises. That’s all I’ll ask,” he said.
“My pleasure, babe.” Jensen pushed him up, leaning over to kiss Bo. “I love you, Eli.”
One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted as he brushed Jensen’s hair away from his face. “I love you, too, Jens.”
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