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The Quarterback Verse is a series of RPS J2 AU stories written by pianoforeplay in which Jared and Jensen are gay football players who fall in love with one another. The series was initially written as part of the 2009 Supernatural Big Bang but continued as the author added prequel and sequels. As one reviewer noted "....my interest in all kinds of sports is extremely low, and my interest in American Football, prior to reading this story, was even lower than that. Despite this slight handicap, I really liked Next Man Up and Hail Mary... the writer's love for the sport shines through in a way that can make even sports-averse readers like me enjoy the football-related parts of the plot." For those readers unfamiliar with American football, the writer provided a Football 101 post.
The stories, in chronological order are:
- All wrapped up in him, too. "Jensen's a high school football player who gets a little too drunk at a party. His girlfriend's parents let him stay the night, but only if he shares the room with her brother. A little discovery happens."
- Keep It on the Field. "With the eighty-first pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins choose quarterback from Washington State University, Jensen Ackles."
- Next Man Up. "Armed with strength, size and instinctive talent, Jared Padalecki is the first round draft pick for the faltering Dallas Cowboys. Quickly granted a multi-million dollar contract and heralded as the hopeful future franchise quarterback, Jared is thrilled to be a part of the team he grew up idolizing and is all too eager to take the next step in what should be a long and promising career. However, Jared soon realizes he has a much tougher road ahead than anticipated when he meets the prickly Jensen Ackles, the team's veteran QB and Jared's number one competitor for the starting roster spot. In a league ruled by money, celebrity and ego, where the roster changes week to week and injuries aren't so much a risk as a fact of life, Jared must prove himself capable of leading one of the NFL's most glamorous and controversial teams back to glory. And in the process, must deal with his teammates' potentially career-ending secrets and his own burgeoning, confusing relationship with Ackles."
- Game Time Decision. "This thing between them still feels new. Raw and breakable and completely forbidden. There is no part of it that comes easy, no part that isn't still terrifying for a million different reasons, but with Jensen's hands and breath on his skin, Jared finds it so easy to forget every single one."
- Take a Knee. "He's seen Jared twice in the past year and a half and, though they've talked over the phone more than that, it's still not the same. Nothing is. They both knew this would happen."
- Hail Mary. "Three years since becoming the first openly gay coach of a Division I collegiate football team, Jensen Ackles is hired by the Dallas Cowboys as their new quarterbacks coach. Though happy to return to his hometown and eager to return to the NFL, Jensen's new position puts him directly in charge of former teammate, Jared Padalecki, with whom Jensen had a somewhat complicated personal relationship ten years before. Jensen also finds his new position comes with a price when the organization makes it clear they intend to use Jensen's sexual orientation to further their own status. When an old high school friend steps back into Jensen's life, the situation becomes increasingly complicated as Jensen struggles to balance his professional life with his private while attempting to control his reawakening feelings for Padalecki."
- Bye Week. "Jared's life has changed drastically in the past eight months. And now his sister's getting married."
- 5 more No Canon Knowledge Required recs dated Jan 2, 2012.