It's a relatively quiet drive back. There was some hand-slapping over the radio early on—"Hands off, grabby, driver picks the music."—before they both agreed on a station. Now it's mostly silence, only broken by the occasional low, off-key string of lyrics from Jared.
"I hope you know I just spent my rent for the next two months because of you," Jensen says.
"Whatever," Jared scoffs. "I've been buying your dinner for the last two weeks."
"Yeah, at McDonald's."
"At sixty bucks a pop, man. Six days a week. For two weeks. That's, like, seven hundred dollars."
"At least half of that is you," Jensen protests.
"Still more than tonight."
"By, like, ten bucks."
Jared rolls his eyes. "You act like I didn't share."
"Tomorrow you're buying."
"No," Jared says. "Tomorrow I'm gonna see if there's a suite with an oven so I can eat real food again."
Since Jensen's driving, Jared can only see about half of Jensen's face, but there's no mistaking that eyebrow and the set of his jaw. "You can cook?"
"Yeah. I mean, I'm not great at it or anything, but it's a hell of a lot better than fast food every night."
"Huh. You know, if they give you one, I just might let you cook for me."
"Oh, you might let me?"
"Hey, I don't let just anyone slave over a hot stove for me."
"Aw, I feel so special. You gonna—oh, wow, we're already here?" Jared asks as they pull up to his hotel.
"Yeah, it's a lot faster when you don't drive in circles for an hour."
"Fuck you, what kind of person doesn't have fucking GPS nowadays? And next time, you can try to work Google Maps on your phone."
Jensen cackles like the big freak he is. "Mapquest, bitch."
The non-date is officially over, but Jared isn't exactly eager to get out of the car and go back up to his room just yet.
"If you were a girl," Jensen starts, "and this was a date, this would probably be the point where I would kiss you goodnight."
Jared ignores the nervous twist in his stomach. "If you were a guy," he says, "and this was a date, this would probably be the point where I would kiss you goodnight. Too bad you aren't and it isn't, huh?"
"I know you may not realize this, what with you never seeing a real one before, but I am all man."
"Are you sure? I mean, you are awfully girly looking."
"Get out of the vehicle already."
"Vehicle? What are you, eighty?"
"Okay, so I was sitting here trying to think of a way to invite you up that doesn't sound like a come-on, but I give up," Jared says. "I have a TV and movie channels, and as much as I love Sadie and Harley, my kids aren't exactly the best conversation in the world. And I totally forgot this earlier, but I have a new laptop, so we could even watch something on that."
"You have a laptop?"
"I was tired, okay? I forgot. My old one, Chad broke the disc drive on it, and I never got around to getting it fixed."
"Oh, no, I see how it is. You just wanted me to buy you food, didn't you?"
"Yes. Yes, I did. Now I can tell your mom you gave good romance," Jared says as he climbs out of the car.
Jensen looks absolutely horrified. "Dude. Not cool."
"Serves you right, this is what happens when you give her my number. I'm gonna go take care of the kids so they don't try to escape or maul you." Jared doesn't give Jensen a chance to respond, just closes the door and heads into his hotel, almost forgetting the extra steak on top of the Range Rover.
Jared gets on the elevator with another person, this small girl who comes up to about the middle of his chest. They're having a pretty impressive game of "fifth grade science," Jared peeking at her in her Superman pajama bottoms and holey Jack in the Box t-shirt and shifting his eyes back to his reflection in the doors when she nearly catches him. He'd bet good money she's doing the same thing, too.
He's good for about three floors.
"Is that your real hair?" Jared asks her.
"What?" she asks. Her voice squeaks a little, and her eyes are big and shocked. "Oh, uh, yeah. I've been growing it since as long as I can remember." One of the hands hugging the laptop to her chest goes up to her hair, pushing the long, dark brown curls further back.
"It's really pretty. What kind of conditioner do you use?"
"Uh, Pantene. You know, the ones with the commercials?" Her entire face pinches closed in a wince after she says it, and Jared suddenly remembers that this girl has probably seen him on TV at some point.
"Yeah, they do those 'maybe she's born with it' ones, right? No, wait, that's Maybelline. They do makeup. Are Pantene the 'is it a salon' ones?"
"I don't know, I think that might be TRESemme. Pantene had the 'don't hate me because I'm beautiful' ones when I was little."
"Oh, right." Jared laughs. "With the big helmet hair!"
"Yeah, those ones." She doesn't look quite as uncomfortable anymore, but she does look a little scared.
"I'm scaring you, aren't I? I am so sorry. I just did a twelve hour shoot today, and I've only got about two hours of sleep in me, so my brain ain't even workin' yet. I swear, I don't usually go on and on about people's hair."
"It's okay, I'm used to it. Everyone usually wants to pet it or something, so you're already totally less weird than them."
Jared knows better than to ask right then, but only barely. "It is really pretty. But I'm going to stop talking about your hair now before you run and tell your friends how creepy I am."
"I don't think you're creepy. I promise."
"Aw, thank you! So, what're you in town for?"
It's half an hour later when Jared finally makes it up to the room. Jensen's not in there, and Jared would be lying if he said he wasn't disappointed. Jared didn't think he was flirting that much. But Jensen was pretty quick to point out, several times, just how not a date the dinner was.
Clearly, this is Sandy's fault. And Chad's. Chad's the one who said he acts like he wants to fuck everyone. That rat bastard psyched him out.
It's right about then, once Jared sits down and isn't immediately covered in slobber and scratches, that he realizes his dogs aren't in the room.
He's got his phone turned back on—twelve missed calls and three new voicemails—and Jensen dialed before his brain even catches up with his fingers. Jensen answers with, "Don't worry, they looked like they were about to go nuts and start eating the furniture, so I took them out."
Jared's heart is still pounding in his chest, possibly a little less out of worry than it was thirty seconds ago. "You could'a left me a note, man. I thought you went all Chad on me and kidnapped them."
"Chad kidnapped your dogs?"
"The last time he came to LA. He packed them up while I was at work and took them back to North Carolina so I would have to come down there to get them back."
"That's…" Jensen trails off. "Yeah, I don't know what that is. Illegal?"
"I don't know, maybe? Chad was just pissed 'cause I had to work, so we couldn't hang out much. So he took them so I'd have to go down there and not work."
"How long had you guys been dating then?"
"Don't 'what' me," Jared says.
"You guys weren't dating, then?" Jensen actually sounds surprised. Like maybe he wasn't joking.
"It's Chad. That'd be—" Jared fumbles around, trying to find some word to describe just how freakish the thought of him and Chad dating is. "That'd be like incest."
"You know what they say, if you can't keep it in the pants, keep it in the family."
Jared almost feels like he should say something, since they play brothers and all, but he manages to stop himself. Today is a good day for his filter. "I'm gonna hang up now, and you can—"
"Come open the door. We're halfway down the hall."
It takes a good ten minutes for the insanity to cool off, Sadie trotting off to find her food and Harley running off to do something that will no doubt cause some kind of damage. Jensen's got his boots off and sitting on the counter, even though Jared has told him at least a dozen times tonight alone that they don't chew on shoes.
"What the hell happened to you, anyway, man? How long does it take to ride an elevator?"
"It was a complete accident," Jared says. "I got onto the elevator with this girl with really pretty hair, and it turns out she's a fan! So we got to talking, and she's in town with her dad and her sisters for her cousin's wedding. Also, she's in school to be a vet, isn't that cool? Oh, and, hey, did you know I have fans petitioning for me to come back to Gilmore Girls?"
Jensen is sitting there on the couch, his bottle of Diet Coke halfway to his mouth and this look of mild horror on his face. "You... you willingly talked to a fan? What did she do, lure you away with candy? Man, you gotta quit doing that; someday you're gonna get kidnapped and sold on the internet."
"She gives great hugs," Jared tells him.
"I can't even tell if you're joking."
"Why would I joke about hugs?"
Jensen just shakes his head and smiles that one smile he has, the one Jared knows means Jensen is trying really hard not to laugh at him. "I got nothin'. There's no response to that."
"Hugs are serious business, Jensen. You can tell a lot about someone from the way they hug."
"Is that so?" Jensen asks, clearly humoring him.
"Duh. A guy gives you a hug, right? He tosses one arm around you and practically bends at the waist to make sure nothing possibly touches. He's either gay and so far in the closet he can't even see the door, or he's straight and terrified of someone thinking he's gay."
"You've thought about this way too much."
"Shut up. It's useful information."
"So, what do my hugs say about me?"
Jared doesn't even have to think about that one. "That you clearly had a very sad childhood."
Jensen doesn't flinch or anything—the last person Jared said that to flinched, and they've never been the same since then—but he gets this sad look on his face. "I don't give good hugs?"
"No, no, you give great hugs. Amazing ones. It's just, you know. You don't hug people; they have to hug you."
"That's not true."
"Yes, it is. You never hug me. I always have to do it first."
"I've known you for, like, three weeks."
"Exactly," Jared says, like that's the answer right there. "And you haven't hugged me. I'm always the one who has to start it."
"I didn't realize we were at the hugging stage. I thought this was just you not comprehending personal space."
"Well, yeah, that too." Jared's been getting the 'hands to yourself' speech since literally before he can remember. "But also, hugs. I like hugs. They feel good, and they make people happy. I hug my friends. You're my friend, ergo, you get hugs."
"I'm not—" Jensen pauses and makes some sort of Jay Leno-esque head wobble before continuing. "Five."
"That was a pretty long pause there."
"I couldn't decide whether to say 'four' or 'retarded.'"
"So you decided to add a year instead?" Jared asks, going into the bedroom to grab his laptop.
Jensen raises his voice, not loud enough that he's yelling, but just enough so that Jared only has to ask him to repeat himself twice."I said, my word choices are not on trial here. And I'll try to hug you more, all right?"
Jared lobs two pillows at Jensen in quick succession as he comes back out of the room. "Dude, don't." He shrugs the blanket off his shoulders and onto the couch before setting the laptop up. "I like your hugs because they aren't... nervous?"
"Was that a question?"
"I think so. Here, put the pillow behind your back like this. Otherwise, you won't be able to sit still 'cause the couch sucks."
"What's the blanket for?"
"I get cold when I watch movies." He shrugs, wrapping it around himself like a really odd-colored cocoon. "And I don't really mind that you don't give hugs because you aren't one of those guys who just stands there all stiff and awkward when you get hugged, so that makes up for it. 'Sides, I hug enough for both of us. If you started hugging, too, then everyone would think you actually like people."
"Don't mock me, people are creepy. Where's the movie?"
"It's in there." Jared nods towards his laptop sitting on the coffee table, unwilling to wiggle an arm free for even a moment. "I fell asleep watching Boogeyman the other night, so I figured we should watch it."
"You just forgot to grab one, and now you're too lazy and comfortable to get back up again, huh?"
"You're so cynical. It makes me a little sad for you," Jared tells him, fighting back a yawn.
"If you're tired, man, we could—"
"No, I'm good, don't worry about it. Yawning doesn't actually mean you're tired. It just means you aren't getting enough air in your lungs."
"I would ask why you know that, but I'm sure I don't actually want to know."
"I don't know, I think I read it somewhere or something. You gonna hit play, or should I get out the nail polish?"
"I was gonna say something about braiding each other's hair, but yours isn't long enough. Now stop stalling so we can see all the stuff Eric recycled to the pilot."
"Bitch, bitch, bitch. Act like I'm your maid or something."
"Thanks, now I'm going to have nightmares of you in a French maid uniform."
"Brought it on yourself there, man."
"T'ch, whatever," Jared scoffs.
Jensen hits play, finally, seventeen hours later, and Jared makes himself comfortable. He moves the pillow up near the upper back of the couch and rolls on his side, body facing Jensen and head tilted just enough to see the screen.
"You know there's an entire other side to the couch, right?" Jensen asks him.
Jared feels his face heat up. Sandy's right—he's completely fucked. He never blushes. He sits back up, loosening the blankets so he can move better. "Sorry," he mumbles. "Didn't mean to—I'll just move."
"No." Jensen's hand darts out, grabbing onto his arm. "I just meant, you know. That you might be more comfortable. 'Cause of the arm. So you wouldn't have to curl up like a potato bug. If you're fine here, I don't mind you sitting next to me. Or anything."
Jared smiles a little, ducking his face 'cause he knows it's kind of pathetic—even though he can't really make himself care that much—and curls back up to watch Sam Winchester version 1.0.
Jared's not awake. Not really. He can be described as conscious only using the very loosest of the definitions. Something's pushing him into a sitting position, and there's a voice, it sounds familiar, saying something about keys and hips.
He forces his eyes open—and that takes so much fucking energy —and it's all blurs. Jensen. That's Jensen sitting next to him, pulling things out of his pockets.
There's noise, something weird and random, repeating over and over until all of a sudden it stops mid-repeat with a click. And then Jared's eyes open again, but everything's too bright, so he lets them close.
"'m'on. Down," Jensen says, and his voice sounds as blurry as he looks.
There's something pulling at him—Jensen. Jensen's pulling at him and saying something about cold and something else.
Jared's lying down again, and it's not bright anymore, so he falls asleep.
The first thing Jared notices when he wakes up is that his knee is bent weirdly over the arm of the couch and will probably be sore all day. The second thing he notices is that the air feels warm and that he's got a blanket over his head.
Jared's not awake. That's his excuse for why he notices the knee and the couch and the air and the blanket before he realizes that the soft, warm thing under his head and arm is Jensen's stomach—Jensen's bare stomach because somehow Jared's hand is tucked underneath Jensen's rucked up shirt.
And, of course, it only gets better. Or worse. Probably worse in this case because Jensen not only has a hand in Jared's hair, he also has morning wood. It's just not fair. It's like walking into a room with a bag full of candy and not offering to share.
It's wrong, Jared knows this, but he just lies there for a minute, soaking it all in. The feel of Jensen's fingers gently running over his scalp, restless and twitchy like he's playing Playstation in his dreams. His soft, warm skin and the trail of fuzz Jared is valiantly not letting himself play with. Not to mention the impressively tented denim only mere inches from Jared's face.
He mentioned the thing about it not being fair, right? 'Cause it really, really isn't. At all. Jensen doesn't even have the decency to be straight, no, he's got to be bi and single and chock fucking full of mixed signals. Bastard. Jensen shouldn't flirt with him and then do things like point out how they aren't on a date.
And he sure as hell shouldn't do things like let Jared fall asleep on him. Jared's not that hard of a sleeper, and it's not like Jensen couldn't've slipped out or gone and taken Jared's free bed or anything.
Jared makes a decision to end the torture—mostly because otherwise he might do something really, really, fantastically, horribly stupid—and tries to move himself up and off of Jensen without waking him up or brushing against any embarrassing parts. Unfortunately for his brilliant plan, Jensen is apparently not quite as asleep as Jared first thought. That or he just woke up. Please let him have just woken up.
And then Jensen moves.
Jared knows it's going to happen before it does, but he can't do anything to stop it. Jensen's hips wiggle, and his leg slides free from Jared's weight, knee kicking out and connected with the arm that's currently holding all of Jared's precious balance. Jared's arm buckles, and he falls. Face-first. Right into Jensen's fu—freakin' crotch.
Jared rears up, flailing and trying to get himself off the couch and away from Jensen's cock. Of course, Jared is still trapped under the blanket that's tucked between Jensen and the couch. This means that not only does Jared not manage to get himself into any kind of upright position, he also brings Jensen windmilling off the couch.
When all is said and done, Jared ends up on the floor in front of the couch, ears ringing with sweaty, red-faced, wide-eyed Jensen Ackles straddling him and panting. With nothing fun to cause it.
Jared fell asleep in Vancouver and woke up in Hell.
"The steak has a twelve-hour time limit," Jared forces out, trying to make himself laugh at the completely improbable retardation of the last five minutes. "You're not getting anything fun until you buy me another."
"How about we don't talk about this again, and I buy you steak and lobster for life?"
Jensen plops down into the chair next to him so suddenly and heavily that Jared's almost sure the thing is about to give way underneath him. "Who the fuck heard of starting a work week on a Friday?"
"It's not that bad," Jared lies. Sometimes he just likes disagreeing with Jensen. It's fun.
The look Jensen gives him is one Jared usually sees him direct at people who offer him decaf. "We're starting work. On a Friday. It hurts me, Jared. Deep, deep inside."
"Way deep down by where the part of you that likes people gets locked away?"
"I like people," Jensen protests.
There's no way not to scoff at that, so Jared doesn't even bother trying to hold it in. "You do not, you big liar."
"I like 'em when I don't have to talk to them."
"Or be around them."
"I like people fine. They just need to be sane, not wear a wedding dress to meet me, and respect my personal bubble."
"Your personal bubble is bigger than Texas."
"Nothing is bigger than Texas."
Point for Ackles, negative twelve for Padalecki for forgetting something so vital. "True. It's bigger than Canada."
"There's nothing wrong with that. Space is very important."
Jensen just looks so solemn when he says it, like a little kid explaining why Santa doesn't eat brownies. "You're cute. You're an idiot, but you're cute."
"The personal space bubble is very important. You're less likely to catch a cold if you respect it."'
"Yeah, that's why you want to keep fifty feet from everyone. It's that darn immune system of yours."
"That, and the fact that I don't like freaks touching me. I don't even like non-freaks touching me."
It might be part of the disagreeing thing, but Jared feels like he pretty much has to touch Jensen now, so he slings an arm around his shoulder, pulling Jensen close to his side. The director's chairs they're sitting on wobble and creak, and Jensen shrugs his shoulder off, shoving at him as his chair lands back onto all four legs again.
"So you want me to respect your bubble more?" Jared asks. Not that he has any intention of actually doing it.
"You bruised my cock with your face, yesterday," Jensen says, almost but not quite deadpan. "I'm pretty sure we're past the personal bubble part of this friendship."
Jared's laugh is awkward and stilted. "That's too bad," he teases. "I was going to offer to help you overcome your fear of being touched by randomly hugging you all the time."
"You already randomly hug me all the time."
"Well, yeah," he concedes. "But I was gonna do it more often."
"That's impossible. Any more often, and you'd be hanging off me twenty-four-seven."
"Which just goes to show how much I'd be willing to sacrifice to make your therapy work. Imagine how hard it would be for me to eat if I had to hug you twenty-four-seven."
"So now you're not content with thinking about me eating, you're trying to get me to fantasize about you eating, too? You know, there are people you can talk to about your oral fixation."
"Oh, I have the oral fixation?" Jared scoffs. "You fellate coffee cups."
"You used that one, like, a week ago."
"No, I didn't."
"Yeah, you did, right before my mom called you. Repeating yourself means you lose."
"I don't lose; I didn't remember!"
"And you not remembering is why you lose for an entire week."
"No, I think the director is why we both lose for an entire week." Jared is aware that he's probably pouting, but he figures he has a right.
"Jackson's not that bad," Jensen says, clearly trying to be the voice of reason. Jared needs no reason. "You're just pissed because he yelled at you."
"He yelled at me, Jensen. Actual yelling."
"Dude, you kept complaining about the script."
"The script is bad! And it had so much potential!" He can see Jensen rolling his eyes, but it really does need to be said. "I like the theme: you know, good kids going off to college and finding themselves confronted with totally new value systems. And it's completely relevant to Sam, especially at Stanford, and Shiban hardly even tried to make that connection. It barely even reads as the theme of the episode!"
"I don't think anyone who wasn't raised by an English teacher would even come close to thinking about that."
"It's obvious. I mean, it's only been, what? Two weeks since Sam came back? Three?"
"I didn't see it."
"You're hot, though. Hot boys don't need brains."
"I'm not a boy. I went through puberty. I'm a guy now."
"Prove it," Jared says before he can stop himself.
"I think the director screaming at one star a day is good enough, thanks."
"I wasn't blaming him, though. I was just saying they didn't give him anything to work with. I mean, come on, they mashed in the 'aren't you glad you didn't turn on the light' story with the Hookman. The Hookman, Jensen. They have nothing in common!"
"You're kinda cute when you're nerdy."
Jared can't help it; he blushes. And then tries to find a nonchalant way to hide his face as much as he can because it's more than a little bit embarrassing. He struggles for something to say, some kind of comeback or something, but he draws a blank.
"What's the matter? Oh, oh, did I break you? Are you finally out of words?"
"Shut up," Jared says, conveniently turning away, his right arm coming up between the two of them to scratch at some space on his neck.
"You are, aren't you? Man, if I knew this was all it took to get some peace and quiet, I would've told you sooner."
"I'm not cute," he gets out finally.
"Yeah, you are. It's kind of adorable. Like a big puppy or something."
"I'm like an animal?" Jared asks. "Oh, that's flattering."
Jensen rolls his eyes and scoffs while rearranging himself in the cheap chair. It's actually much more difficult than it looks; Jared knows this because the last time he tried to put any of his weight on the arms of one of these chairs, the entire thing fell apart, and he gave himself a concussion. "You can't try that shit with me. I've seen you with your kids; you know that's not an insult."
"I'm nothing like my puppies. Sadie's way smarter than me, and I think Harley's figured out how to open the balcony door by himself when he has to go potty."
Jensen arches an eyebrow—not the way Dean does, one jumping way up to his hairline, but the way Jensen does, all smooth and slow, like he isn't sure if he actually wants to do it or not. "Go potty?"
"Shut up, that's not the part you were supposed to focus on."
"Right, because that was supposed to be about how you aren't a gigantic puppy dog."
"You're completely ruining this for me." Jared tries to pout, but he knows it never really works right when he tries.
"Aw, come on. I like dogs." Jensen punches his shoulder. Really punches it, like some dorky loser who watched too many corny fifties sitcoms growing up. "I mean, yeah, all the drooling and humping my leg can get annoying, but for the most part, it's not bad."
Jared pauses for a moment because he's not entirely sure how he should respond to that. "Was that about dogs or me?"
"Doesn't it hurt you a little that you have to ask that? And, also, it totally proves my point."
"Does too. You're a big, drooling, leg-humping puppy. Except your mouth isn't as clean."
Jared smiles an evil, evil smile. Though, given that it's on Jared, it probably looks less evil and more mildly disturbing. "That's 'cause of all the pus-covered cock, right?"
"I'm leaving now." Jensen says, climbing out of his chair. "You're a sick bastard, bye."
"What? Hungry suddenly? Bring me back some cottage cheese," Jared yells at Jensen's retreating form.
Jared likes Jensen.
He might be starting to admit that he maybe likes Jensen a little more than as a good friend. Possibly more than as a hot guy he might want to make out with, too, but he's still getting used to the "more than a friend" part for now.
Jared's pretty sure Jensen likes him, too. Like, ninety percent sure. It would be higher, but Jensen keeps turning it into a joke when it gets too close to kissing or something that resembles a real date or anything.
Of course, Jared does the same thing, too, and he likes Jensen. So it's only a ten percent deduction, which sounds like a lot but totally isn't.
It's like they're trapped in an epic game of gay chicken. Gay chicken is a game that Chad introduced him to way back in the day when they used to get really bored and really drunk a lot.
The idea, basically, is to be as gay as you possibly can with another guy and not be the one to flinch first. In theory, anything goes. In reality, Jared has only ever seen it get further than a quick kiss once, and that's because Chad is competitive enough to grab all over another guy's junk in the name of winning.
Anyway, it's like that, and no matter how hard Jared tries, Jensen just keeps flinching.
Karma, much like NyQuil, is surprisingly fast-acting.
After twenty minutes of Jensen "method acting" Dean falling on Sam coming through the window—complete with sharp elbows and knees getting him right in the calves and kidneys—they get an hour for lunch and a location switch for the next scene.
Jared keeps tripping as he comes out of the local jail. On the fourth take, when he finally remembers the drop from the door to the ground, they make it halfway down the street before he bends over and throws up all over Jensen's cue. Everybody is freaking out and yelling for PAs and medics, and, swear, someone would think he'd just been hit by a car, the way they're all acting.
Jensen's not panicking as badly as everyone else is—God, Jared really hopes he's not like Chad and throws up when he sees someone else do it—but he definitely looks worried. Jared wobbles, and he can feel that Jensen's got a hand fisted in the back of Jared's waistband, which is weird but probably smart. Grabbing him by the waist right now might not be the best idea in the world.
"See what happens when you ruin cottage cheese for me, man? God smites you."
"God doesn't care about your cottage cheese."
"God cares about everything," Jensen assures him.
"I think I'm gonna throw up again," Jared says, and he does.
The on-set medics—Tommi-with-an-i and Jayson-with-a-y—give him as full a work-over as they can. He doesn't have a fever, his glands aren't swollen, his body doesn't ache beyond the crick in his neck from yesterday morning, and his stomach doesn't even really hurt. Not too much, at least. Tommi says it's probably food poisoning, and Jayson agrees, telling him to go lie down for a little bit and see if he feels better. On the plus side, this means Jared might actually be able to swing a kitchenette so that the fast food places stop trying to kill him.
His stomach doesn't really hurt, which he told them. It just feels a little shaky and kind of rumbly. And that's completely reasonable, considering that he just threw up three times in half an hour. Nonetheless, he ends up in Jensen's trailer, trying to nap on that thing that tries to call itself a couch.
Jensen vetoed Jared's own trailer before Jared could even suggest it. He thinks Sadie and Harley will want to play and keep him up—clearly, Jensen's never had pets before because when he's sick, they just come cuddle in bed with him. They're great cuddlers.
Jared doesn't really sleep—he always has a hard time sleeping if Sadie and Harley are nearby but not there—but he dozes; closing his eyes to the sounds of Tool and opening them to Pearl Jam. More often than not, Jensen's there when he wakes up, though that's usually because it's Jensen waking him up, making him sit up while he forces 7-Up and saltines into him.
After the third round of force-feeding, Jared has trouble getting back to sleep. It's significantly colder without Jensen next to him, and the stupid, lumpy couch is uncomfortable. And it's cold. And his blanket's scratchy and too small for him. And he's lonely.
Jared only hesitates as long as it takes him to find his phone in Sam's billion and twelve pockets before he calls one of the PAs. Caitlyn's nice, and he never lets her get his lunch for him no matter how many times she offers, so he doesn't feel bad calling in a favor now.
The next time Jared wakes up, Jensen's got a pull-top water bottle filled with 7-Up—if the bubbles are any indication, at least—and he looks tired and worn out. There's dirt and dried mud crusted at Jensen's hairline and the spot between his jaw and ear, where Lucy, the P.A. owned by the makeup girls, can't seem to get to. He's balanced on the very edge of the couch seat, trying to avoid sitting on Jared's legs or Sadie, who is currently lying underneath them, twitching her tail lazily.
"My stomach hurts now," Jared tells him, rubbing the sleep out of his eye.
"That could maybe have something to do with the three hundred pound monster you've got lying on your chest," Jensen points out oh-so-helpfully.
Jared wraps his arms around Harley, scratching at his head where it's tucked against Jared's neck. "He's not three hundred pounds," Jared protests. "And he knows I don't feel good, so he's comforting me. And don't make fun of my puppy, jerk."
"I think they stop being puppies once they outweigh full-grown humans." Jensen's hand is running through Jared's hair, smoothing it off his forehead. Jared's pretty sure Jensen doesn't even realize he's doing it, and he's not about to point it out to him and risk stopping. It's so much better than when Sandy does it.
"They're always gonna be my puppies, the same way Momma always calls me J.T. and Jeff always calls me his baby brother."
"I'd point out that you didn't give birth to them, but I'm a little afraid of what your response would be. Also, I told you not to move. I thought the whole point of you staying in my trailer was so the dogs—"
"Puppies," Jared corrects him.
"I thought the whole point of you staying in my trailer was so Sadie and Harley didn't maul you in your sleep. And you're sick, you're not supposed to be up and running around, trying to wrangle in hyper mutts."
"It's sad how little you know about puppies, Jensen. And I didn't go anywhere. Caitlyn loves me and went and got them for me."
"Caitlyn's not the tiny one, is she?"
"No, big girl, taller than you. Black hair, rings all through her lip?"
"That was a girl?"
"That's pretty offensive."
"Her guns are at least twice the size of yours," Jensen points out. Jared can't help but notice that Jensen's hand hasn't stopped moving yet.
"She loves me. We're going to run away together and I'm going to marry her."
"I don't think her girlfriend would like that."
"She has a husband," Jared tells him. He may or may not be rolling his head back into Jensen's hand, closing his eyes and enjoying the comforting motion. It's not like he could be held responsible if that's what he was doing. Jensen has nice hands.
Jared doesn't need to look at him to picture his face. "You're only bi because you can't pick a gay guy out of a parade, huh?"
"That's a trick question; they're all gay."
Jared huffs out an amused snort, and before he can think of a comeback—because he's sure there's gotta be one somewhere in that—he's asleep.
Jensen wakes him up for dinner sometime after dark.
There's a steak, fries, a large salad, and spinach casserole for Jensen and chicken broth with crackers and 7-Up for Jared.
It smells so horrible that Jensen ends up spending his entire lunch break rubbing Jared's back and wiping down his forehead in between dry heaves.
"C'mon, Sasquatch, up."
Jared honestly can't remember if Jensen left him in the bathroom or if he crawled back in there; all he knows is that he's taking up the entire three feet of bathroom floor and part of the hallway and that Jensen is trying to make him stand. Because he is evil and wants Jared to hurl all over him. If he could hurl. Okay, so maybe he just wants Jared to dry heave and make hurling noises all over him.
"Hey, Jared, come on, buddy. Time to go home. Sleep somewhere that doesn't bend you like a pretzel." Jensen's pulling at his arms, but Jared really doesn't wanna move.
"Lea' me here, I'll be good. The set's safe."
"You're not sleeping alone on an abandoned lot when you're sick. Come on, arms around my neck. We're going to the van." Jensen's pulling him up, and even though he feels too tired to move, Jared knows he's too tired to resist. He stumbles a little because he forgets Jensen's shorter than him, and they almost go down in a heap.
Jensen rights them quickly, though, getting Jared an elbow's length away and steadier on his feet. It'd probably be further, but Jared's still got his arms hooked around Jensen's neck with no intention of letting go. He proves this by leaning forward, arms tightening as he leans his weight against Jensen's chest.
Jensen's arms wrap around his waist, holding him in place so they don't both fall. "You feeling any better?"
"You give really awesome hugs," He murmurs into the skin of Jensen's neck.
"Come on," Jensen says, pulling lightly at Jared's waist. "Gotta get you home, man. You need to help me out if we're gonna do this without killing ourselves, okay?"
Jared's tired. So, so, so tired. And Jensen really does give fucking kickass hugs. He just grunts and lets Jensen lead him to the van.
He wakes up again in Jensen's room. Jensen's got him wrapped up in about fifty billion blankets with a bottle of water next to him. There's no Jensen in sight, though, and that makes Jared sad for some reason, even though he knows Jensen's probably just in the living room area.
He debates calling for Jensen, but his exhaustion wins out.
The next time he wakes up, he's almost mid-vomit by the time he's fully conscious. He misses the trash can left next to the bed and gets noodles he doesn't remember eating all over the floor and part of the blanket.
Jensen's suddenly right next to him with a wet washcloth and a really, really cold bottle of water. Jared's stomach hurts so bad that he can't even bother trying to hold back the tears. It feels like there's a knife in his stomach, twisting the muscles around and digging in deeper and deeper.
When he wakes up in the morning, he's curled against Jensen's chest. Jensen's got entirely new blankets wrapped around them, free of vomit and kind of scratchy, but still warm.
"You okay?" he asks.
Jared jumps a little, or he would if he had any energy. "Thought you were asleep."
"Nah. Just didn't wanna wake you up. You needed the rest."
"Mm. Sorry about the clinging," Jared says, snuggling closer.
"You know, when most people apologize for things, they stop doing them."
"I'm sick. I deserve cuddles. And you were dumb enough to make sure I didn't sleep in my trailer, so now you suffer."
"You're not sick," Jensen tells him. "You have food poisoning."
"I have no spleen anymore because I vomited it up. That counts as sick."
"You don't have a fever, so you aren't sick."
"You don't always get a fever when you're sick."
"Just... go back to sleep," Jensen says. "We have to be on set in five hours, and you need to get rested enough to be all pretty. Or at least not as butt-ugly as usual."
"You're so nice to me."
Jared gets an extra day off in case it's the flu. Jensen curses Jared and dead-legs him when he climbs out of bed at ass o'clock in the morning.
"Poor me, having to sleep all day long. I might even get bored at some point and have to roll over."
"Cram it, Padalecki, or I'll make sure all the grips use your toilet without flushing."
"Hey, I just shared a bed with you. Ain't much grosser than that."
"You know, it was my blanket you threw up on."
"Just doing my part to get rid of that rancid Ackles smell."
Jensen throws the t-shirt he slept in at Jared's head. "You love my smell, jackass. Get some sleep today, alright?"
"Dude, I got food poisoning."
"You ran a fever for most of the night."
"Yeah, a small one."
Oh. Well, Jared's still pretty sure it doesn't mean anything. "It could still be food poisoning."
"It could," Jared cuts him off. "People totally get fevers with food poisoning sometimes. I think. And you said it was a small one anyway."
"Jared, please. All I'm saying is that you should get some sleep and drink a lot of water."
"God, Momma," Jared whines. "I'm not a baby."
"Nope. You're a big boy now. And big boys need their rest."
"I feel like you're hitting on me in a really creepy way."
"It might be less creepy if you didn't just compare me to your mom."
"It might be less creepy if you didn't just treat me like your kid."
"That's what happens when you play Winchesters," Jensen says. "The lines between creepy and hot just keep getting more blurred."
So apparently, Jared's body has a limit to how much it can sleep in a twenty-four hour period. That limit is sixteen hours.
That would be awesome, if not for the fact that Jared fell asleep at about three o'clock yesterday afternoon. Meaning that he slept in all the way to six in the morning.
He lies in bed for a while, trying to get back to sleep and failing before he gives up. He's still tired enough that he doesn't particularly want to get up but awake enough that he doesn't feel like staring at the ceiling.
Lucky for Jared, his phone is within arm's reach, and bugging Jensen is way more fun than any kind of morning TV could ever possible be. He scrolls down to the Ss and clicks on Starshine.
The text he sends says, I need to pee.
A few minutes later, his phone chirps and dances across the nightstand.
What do u want me 2 do abt it?
He sends back, Go for me?
Jared texts back a quick, You suck, and doesn't bother setting the phone on the table again while he tries to find something at least somewhat decent on cable this early.
Only if u ask nice.
Pretty please? With a cherry on top?
I didnt no ur a virgn. xplains lots,
Jared, being the mature, responsible adult that he is, responds in a very mature and responsible way. He sticks his phone down his shorts, takes a picture, and sends it to Jensen.
There's nothing for about ten minutes, and Jared is sure he crossed a line. Then;
Jensen is blinf now, this is bpb from lighting,
Jared's yelling answers in the form of questions at the TV set when Jensen calls.
"Are you gonna ralph all over me again if I get you food? Because that is just not one of my kinks, dude."
Jared smiles as he hits mute on the remote. "It worries me a little that I feel like we've already had this conversation."
"I blame you and your damn bagel," Jensen tells him. "What do you want, fast food or delivery?"
"I want to escape, that's what I want. I've been trapped in here all day—"
"It's not like I locked you in, Rapunzel," Jensen interrupts.
"Your hotel is surrounded by other hotels and a gas station," Jared continues. "That doesn't leave a lot to do."
"Let's go to a bar. I wanna eat hot wings and get drunk."
"Of course you do—you didn't do crap today. I wanna sleep."
"Come on, Jensen," Jared begs.
Jared can tell he's breaking. He has to be. Jared's good at annoying people until they give in to him. "Pretty please?"
"Pretty, pretty please, with a cherry on top and extra sugar and that weird hard shell stuff you like?"
"It's Magic Shell, and it's not weird." Jensen sighs. "Can't we go tomorrow?"
"I don't wanna go tomorrow," Jared says. "I work tomorrow. I'll just wanna go home and sleep like an old man after work."
"I'm not old!"
"You're practically ancient."
"Prove it. Let's go to the bar."
"I'm not falling for that that easily."
Jared knows Jensen is going. He knows that tone of voice, and right now, it's just a matter of him saving face. "If you get me drunk enough, I promise to flash my boobs like Girls Gone Wild."
Jensen grins. "Well, why didn't you say that to begin with?"