Tangible Schizophrenia


Modern Hoodoo III: The Unquiet Grave

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: NC-17.
Pairing: Jensen/Michael Ballack, unrequited Jensen/Jared.
Feedback: Good lines, bad ones, etc.
Disclaimer: Every word of this is fiction. I have no idea what these people get up to in their spare time, and boy, do I know it.
Notes: I a) don’t know the actual SPN filming timeline, so I’m basically making up one, and b) am conveniently writing certain girlfriends out of the picture (*cough* from lack of information on them). I suppose you could say this takes place in a parallel universe to ours.
Summary: In which the world finally likes Jensen. For a second, anyway.


“…Jensen? I think he’s waking up.”

“Jared?” Now Jensen was really confused. He’d been beginning to figure out where he was and why the whole side of his face and part of his chest was killing him, but Jared’s voice was throwing him a nasty curveball. He wasn’t back in the asylum, was he—no, Jared hadn’t come up till later there. “The hell are you—you got my message?”

The world was starting to come into focus. There was a ceiling, and the softish thing beneath Jensen and pushing at his arm was a couch, and Jared was hanging over his left, while…right, German soccer team. Michael looked pretty worried, and the guy looking over his shoulder did, too. Jens was further back and was talking quietly to someone that was beyond Jensen’s current field of vision.

“Yeah, and—” Jared bent really close so that Jensen momentarily held his breath “--Philipp Lahm answered your cell when I called back. And he said he’d just smacked you with a door.”

“Oh…that was what that was? I was chasing this—what? She’d just thrown a vase across the room!” Jensen shoved Jared out of the way and grabbed the top of the couch. He tried to sit up, but Jared got him by the shoulders and shoved him back down.

Jared’s fingers flexed a couple times while his face went from pissed off to relieved to worried to pissed off again. “Jensen. I’m gonna say this once, so you’d better be goddamn listening: we don’t have a stunt department here. Don’t be so dumb.”

“Are you okay?” the guy behind Michael said. Probably Philipp, given his hangdog expression. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t hear you coming.”

“I’m fine. Really. We do this all the time for a living,” Jensen muttered, pushing Jared off. He heard Jared snort and flapped one hand at him. “We do. I know, I know, with landing pads and that crap, but—anyway. Little kiddie ghosts all over the city.”

The talking in the background suddenly stopped. Michael shot Jensen a look like he’d just screwed up, while Jared’s face went studiedly blank. Philipp frowned, then reached for Jensen’s face. He asked Michael something, and Jensen didn’t have to know his languages to know that he’d asked if the weird American had a concussion.

“I need to talk to Jared here for a second, okay? Thanks.” Jensen smiled nicely and got up fast, grabbing Jared’s arm as he did. He dragged them into the nearest open door before any of the others could get around the couch in time to stop them, then shut the door. He didn’t slam it; he closed it with pointed force.

“We just told Philipp that you were chasing this squirrel that had somehow gotten in. He didn’t see anything, so we were trying not to freak him out,” Jared snapped. He walked off a couple steps with his head in his hands, then came back and sat down in the chair nearest the door. “Oh, my God. It’s the German national team, and you get—you get—”

“Ghosts? I’m serious. There’s a bunch of them running around, and this whole thing is their fault.” After giving Jared the short version of the past few hours, Jensen slumped against the wall. Then he shifted to get off some pointy decorative molding and winced, because that made his chest hurt. He carefully felt up that area, then moved onto his neck to try and figure out where the bruising was.

Throughout Jensen’s recitation, Jared had gradually slouched more and more till he could rest his head on the back of the chair. Now he was staring at the ceiling with an expression that was part-disbelieving and part-exasperated, like Jensen had asked for this or something. He let out a long sigh, then put his hand up to pinch the bridge of his nose. “Great. Um. Okay, damage control first—Lehmann’s seen something, didn’t sound like he really saw it but he’s pretty shaken…Michael Ballack has actually seen one—man, I almost died of shock when he got on the phone.”

“Just be glad he’s taking it all so well.” Though that was probably the end of that idea. Damn. Even when Jensen was just looking for a hook-up, he managed to get screwed over. “Any idea how to figure out where they’re coming from? And how to make them go back?”

Jared thought a bit, then opened his mouth. Then he and Jensen both jerked around at a series of thumpings from in the hall. Somebody out there yelped fearfully, and somebody else angrily shouted something.

“Jensen?” Michael called. He sounded a bit wobbly. “There’s a—”

Something hit the floor so loudly that the whole place rattled, and the dull thud that accompanied it reverberated outwards like a sonic boom. Jensen momentarily lost his balance and fell hard against the wall. He grabbed blindly and got hold of the wall molding, then yanked himself up and reached for the door. His fingers had just touched the knob when somebody pulled it open from the other side, sending him off-balance again.

He got hold of the doorframe on his way to falling and jerked himself back up just in time to avoid smacking his chin into…oh, hey, Michael. Who was really, really pale and dazed-looking, but whose reflexes were good enough to grab Jensen’s arm and steady him the rest of the way. The momentum of Jensen’s stumble was still enough to carry him into Michael, but he was slowed enough so that it was more like he was dropping against him for support.

A bunch of damsel-in-distress jokes came to mind, but those were really fucking irrelevant so he shoved them away and looked outside. Everyone had drastically rearranged themselves: Jens looked like he was recovering from a bad leap over the sofa, Philipp was flattened against the wall next to him, and this black guy—who Jens had been talking to?—was ashen-faced and pointing down the hall.

Jensen looked that way, and…“Jared?” he weakly said. “There’s a little boy bouncing a soccer ball around the hall.”

“Boy? What boy?” Jens snapped. He used the end of the sofa to haul himself into a kneeling position.

Michael had fallen back against the doorway—or maybe Jensen had pushed him to get a clear view; it was hard to remember—and now gave Jensen a sharp look. “I just see a ball moving by itself,” he said into Jensen’s ear.

He was…kind of distracting. “Yeah, well, I definitely see a…crap, he’s going to kick it—”

Jens didn’t need to be told twice, though he apparently had a fight with his instincts over it. First he went up, and then he dove for the floor when it was obvious catching that shot would break his hands. When the ball fell from the wall, everyone stared for a second at the big crack it’d made in it.

“Kid’s got a good leg,” Jensen muttered.

Death-look from Jens. “Why is he always shooting at me?”

“Because you’re the goalie?” Okay, Jensen had to do something about this habit of his where his mouth turned on every time his brain turned off. It looked like the moment Jens got him alone, there was going to be a shallow grave beneath the goalbox with Jensen’s name on it.

Philipp and the black guy—David Odonkor! That was his name—did snicker a bit, though it was beneath their breaths and definitely nervous.

Behind him, Jared suddenly sucked in his breath. Jensen started to turn to ask what Jared had thought of, but some body part of Michael’s was in the way and whacked him hard right where his face was bruising. “Ow! Fuck!”

“Sorry.” Michael grabbed at his face, but he wasn’t really at the right angle. So he moved so they were facing each other and got Jensen’s jaw between his fingers, poking at Jensen’s cheeks and staring concernedly into his eyes. “I think you have a concussion.”

Jens, whom Jensen was rapidly beginning to dislike, said something that made David snort and Philipp turn very, very red as they both looked away from Jensen and Michael. It didn’t seem like Michael cared that much, which was nice, but which was also earning Jensen some odd stares from Jared. Jensen carefully extricated himself from Michael’s grip. “Well, it’s not so bad I can’t walk, and I vote we move outside for now. At least that way you guys aren’t going to get hit for more room damage bills.”

After a moment, Michael saw the point in that and turned to his teammates to explain, while Jensen hastily backtracked nearly into Jared. He stopped in time and started to ask if Jared had any bright ideas, only to get himself a look that was strangely pissed off. “What?”

“What was—are you and he—” Jared made some very intelligent gestures between Jensen and Michael’s back. Intelligent in that they made more sense than his expression; why would he be annoyed at that?

Well, okay, Jensen had never really mentioned he didn’t mind batting for the other team once in a while, but Jared also had never mentioned he was a closet homophobe. Which wasn’t a possible explanation, because Jared was a sincere guy and he’d sincerely said a couple times that he had no problem with gays.

“I can’t take you anywhere,” Jared finally said.

“Huh? What’s that supposed to mean? Maybe he’s not an—” Michael turned back around and Jensen coughed the rest of his sentence into his hand. “So, any ideas?”

After a long, long stare, Jared shoved down whatever was eating him and pushed his way out between Jensen and Michael. “I’ve got one. Wish I’d brought my laptop, though. I need to check on something.”

* * *

Jared dropped onto his back and balanced the loaned laptop on his knees. Then his hands. Then he sat up again, scowling at the screen. “Stupid wireless keeps going out.”

The hotel had a quiet little courtyard in the middle of it, which was where they’d gone to after some debate. Most of that had been in German and Michael and Philipp were the only ones who’d occasionally bothered translating a comment, so Jensen hadn’t followed a lot of it. What he had gathered was that Jens was sort of a pain in the ass and wanted to get away immediately, whereas Michael wanted to stay nearby and make sure no one got hurt since they didn’t know if the ghosts really were attached to the place, not the people. The courtyard had been the compromise.

Now the Germans were standing in the far corner, where they could stare up at the window of their rooms, and Jensen was loitering around alternating between fear, nerves and flat-out aggravation. Yeah, he was being petty, but what the hell did he have to do to get laid?

“It’d help if you know, you could give me something besides, ‘they throw things and they told me to mack on the German captain,’” Jared added. Like he really had any problems compared to Jensen; he’d even said he’d had an hour’s sleep before he’d gotten Jensen’s message.

“They didn’t tell me to mack on him—anyway, more like he macked on me.” Jensen absently glanced Michael’s way and found that the other man was looking straight back at him. His gut tightened up in embarrassment, but he made himself calmly look away instead of freaking out and hiding his head in his shirt, which was his initial reaction. It didn’t look like Michael had actually heard him, so it was fine. Totally. “I even can’t hear them, really. And when I can, I think it’s all in German.”

Jared propped the laptop up on his knees and tilted it at an awkward angle that forced him to type with only one hand; he needed the other to hold up the computer. “So did you ask any of them for a translation?”

He meant the Germans. “Well, if I heard the ghosts for any decent amount of time so I could actually repeat…it…” Jensen trailed off. Something was moving up in the rooms, flitting across the windows way too fast to be a mere person. As he watched, another shadow moved into the window farthest to the left, and this one was definitely of a man, moving very slowly like he was exhausted. “Um, hey…guys…”

“Poldi?” Philipp said, lilting it into a question. He glanced at Michael, who was suddenly fumbling in his trouser-pockets.

“Or Schweini.” Michael produced a cell phone, looking triumphant. Then he went back to dead serious as he dialed. The figure up in the room abruptly stopped, then reached into its side as the poppy jingle of another phone echoed through the night.

Well, early morning. The sky was already light, and even though they were in the middle of the hotel, Jensen could already hear the street waking up. They’d better figure out something quick if they didn’t want to end up explaining this to everyone and God…and the flitting shadow had suddenly zipped in the direction of Michael’s teammate. “Jared! How would you get a ghost to come to you?”

“Huh?” Jared looked blankly up from the laptop just as Michael broke his cool and yelled into the phone. “Um, try in nomine Domini, hic veni.”

Jensen repeated it as quickly as he could. Up in the rooms, Poldi or Schweini’s shadow jumped back before another shadow—which suddenly vanished. The Germans were shouting like crazy at the window, but it was all background noise because a little boy was standing in front of Jensen. He cocked his head and stared up at Jensen with innocent curiosity.

Cold,” Jared muttered, shivering. He turned around so he should’ve seen the kid, but apparently they were pulling that trick where only Jensen got to see them

The temperature around them felt like it’d just fallen fifty degrees; Jensen stumbled back about a foot and suddenly he was perfectly warm again. “Michael—hey, Michael—” in his peripheral vision, he could see Michael slowly turning with an irritated look on his face “—how do you say ‘Where are you from?’ in German?”

“…Woher kommst du,” Michael slowly said. He sounded like he had no damn idea where Jensen was going with this.

Jensen did his best to repeat it and the boy suddenly grinned, then broke into a series of cartwheels and somersaults. Mostly it was bony knees and jutting ankle-bones flying out every which way, but he looked so happy that it was almost easy to forget what he could do. And he was babbling too, in a fast, high-pitched voice that was loud enough, but wasn’t slow enough no matter how Jensen strained ears and memory.

“Holy shit, the grass is moving!” Jared hissed. He scrambled away from it; David, who’d been closest to him, did likewise while staring at the riffling turf with wide eyes. “Jensen! Is it down here?”

“It’s saying—what the hell…talk slower—damn it! It left. Goddamn it.” Exhaling, Jensen stepped backwards the couple inches he needed to before sitting disconsolately down on a bench. He’d almost gotten that last bit committed to memory, and he just knew the kid had been saying all sorts of useful stuff. “Fuck. Well, so much for that…the only thing I could make out was…I don’t know, Aplerbeck? Does that even mean anyth—”

Just then, the door flew open and a blond, terrified-looking guy came running out. He skidded to a stop just before he would’ve fallen over Jared, then whipped around. Philipp bounced forward and started waving his hands around, trying to talk the guy down, but he was babbling too loudly to hear it.

“Bastian,” Michael said. Damn, talk about your commanding voices. Bastian snapped to it, and Jensen spent another second mourning his lost chance at that. Michael went on for nearly a minute after that, and by the end, Bastian had stopped hyperventilating and even looked like he might be okay to go out in public.

“Aplerbeck,” Jens suddenly said, looking pensive. “That was the old children’s mental hospital in town. The one where the Nazis sent the imperfect boys and girls to be killed.”

Bastian looked really confused then, but everyone else went quiet. David stared down at the ground and scuffed his foot along the grass, while Philipp bit his lip and muttered something to Bastian, looking grave. On the other hand, Michael had sobered, but was by no means spinning into a depression. “What would that have to do with us?”

“I had a thought about that,” Jared said. “But first, I think I’ve got a way to keep off the ghosts while we’re figuring out stuff. When do the grocery stores around here open?”

* * *

Jensen listened very closely for several moments. Then he gratefully flopped onto the nearest bed and closed his eyes. He was getting a headache again, but he was pretty sure this one was just from sleep deprivation. His eyes ached. His face—and he definitely wasn’t doing any photoshoots for the next couple of weeks—hurt. His back hurt from bending over and grinding shit into carpets and poking crap into crevices. If he just laid down for a second, it’d help him out a lot and it shouldn’t hurt anyone else.

Wow. Lying down was such a good idea. He felt so much better already…

…somebody was coming. Shit. He didn’t want to be caught napping, not when Jared had had that big-ass list of stuff to do. But Jensen had already gone so far into la-la-land that first he had to wake up all the way and then he had to roll over. And by the time he got around to that, Michael had already walked in, haggard and limping. Well, of course—first he’d played a hard-fought, high-profile game, and then Jensen and the ghosts had come barging in.

He stopped when he saw Jensen, then grinned ruefully and sat down on the bed himself. “Had the same idea, I think. Your friend’s running out of things for us to do.”

“Sorry about that. Jared can get kinda…anal.” Okay, Jensen was off the hook. Someone needed to tell his face so he could stop fucking blushing. “So how did the others take it? Are they all back yet?”

“Yes. Well…I think that was Poldi coming in last, but Bastian can explain it to him. I’m tired of doing it.” Michael put one hand up to his face and rubbed at it, then suddenly tipped over onto his back. He let out a long, exhausted breath. “The ones coming in later thought we were nuts, but then something threw Tim’s clothes all over the hall…it looked like a blizzard. But it just seems to be our hallways, so we’re trying to keep from telling anyone outside of the team.”

Jensen was still stuck half-up, half-down. After a second, he opted for pulling himself the rest of the way into a sitting position. He toed off his shoes, then tucked his feet under himself in a cross-legged pose. Okay, they were back on the bed…yeah, this was Michael’s room, so at least if anything started, Jens couldn’t be a bastard and interrupt this time. Was something supposed to start? Like, was it his turn or something? “Well, it all seems to be working. I haven’t seen anything in hours.”

“Is it always like this?” Michael asked. He lifted his hand off his face and folded his arms under his head. Stretched out like that, he looked like a fucking feast, all legs and his shoulders sloping down into the long, elegant torso.

“I don’t know, honestly. Most places don’t have ghosts, from what I can tell. This doesn’t happen a lot to me.” Usually Jensen did pretty well at telling if something was flirting or just bad body-language management, but he wasn’t quite sure here.

Voices faded in, then out as people went by in the hall. One of them was Jared, which made Jensen glance over at the door. When he looked back, Michael was in the middle of pulling himself further onto the bed. The other man shook off his shoes, then flopped on his back and lifted one knee, experimentally flexing it. He winced and rolled over onto his side to rest it on the bed. “Your friend seems to be pretty well-informed.”

“Jared? Yeah, he’s done this more than I have. It’s sort of a hobby for him. He’s a cool guy, really; it’s just when something like this happens, he goes into overdrive.” Okay, now Michael’s face was about five inches from Jensen’s knee. If this wasn’t flirting, then somebody up there really, really hated Jensen and wanted him to die of blue balls right now. “Hey, what was he like while I was knocked out? He wasn’t obnoxious or anything, was he?”

“No, he was just very worried for you,” Michael carefully said. His tone and his expression could be read a couple different ways.

Jensen debated for a couple seconds, but his dick was saying fuck it, take a leap of faith and it was a lot more coherent than any of the nebulous objections floating around in his head. He put his hands down and scooted his ass back a little so he could look at Michael without having to twist so painfully. And yeah, so he could lean down if he was guessing right. “Jared’s got a girlfriend back in the States. He’s…really devoted to her.”

He couldn’t help saying that with a bit of a sour twist to his mouth. Michael noticed. Michael probably understood the whole thing from that little hint, but he didn’t exactly move away. Actually, that look in his eyes really looked like relief.

Jensen scooted back more so he could get his belly down on the bed and propped himself up on his elbows. He watched a low simmer start in Michael’s eyes and breathed his own inward sigh of relief. “He’s an awesome friend, though,” he added.

“That’s good. It’s more important to keep those,” Michael said, with the most interesting little trace of bitterness in his voice. But he had reached out before Jensen could really think about that and once his fingers touched Jensen’s face…

…well, he was poking the bruised part so Jensen winced. Michael muttered an apology and splayed his fingers so they stroked back along Jensen’s cheekbone, and that started little flutterings beneath Jensen’s skin. When he pulled his hand back, Jensen went with it and slid his cheek up the inside of Michael’s arm for that five inches before he could get at Michael’s mouth. And yeah, yeah, every single damn magazine with a relationship section out there said foreplay was important, but by the time Jensen got there, he just wanted to fuck.

He slammed into Michael’s mouth and just rode the pressure for a second, then backed off just enough to dig his teeth into Michael’s lower lip. Michael grunted and rolled backwards, but he’d hooked his fingers into Jensen’s belt-loops so it wasn’t like he was trying to get away. Definitely not with the way his hand unhooked once Jensen was over him and went back further to grab Jensen’s ass.

They hadn’t really managed it well, since they were lying across the bed and Michael’s knee was obviously getting at him, and every time Jensen tried to drop his body for some good full-length grinding, too much of his legs went over the edge for decent balance. He tried to dig in with his knees, but accidentally hit Michael in the hip. The other man hissed into Jensen’s mouth and gouged his fingers into Jensen’s buttocks. Jensen sucked Michael’s tongue into his mouth and Michael turned boneless, groaning.

He wriggled his hands under Michael’s arms while he could, and good thing because Michael recovered like snap and tried to shove his other hand beneath Jensen’s waistband. He only got it halfway, but that was enough to have his fingers grazing some hair and making sparks dance down Jensen’s spine to pool lower and lower in his gut.

“Get—over,” Jensen mumbled. He tugged and pushed too, and eventually Michael started working with him. They were gonna lie the wrong way, heads at the foot-end, but fuck if Jensen was going to make that extra effort. Not with Michael cursing—had to be curses, they were so guttural and harsh—and wrestling with somebody’s pants. Spatial orientation already was getting a bit much for Jensen to keep straight.

The moment they had vaguely straightened out, Jensen let his elbows and knees slide out to ease his weight onto Michael. He grabbed a fistful of blankets and slowly pulled himself up, angling his hips so his half-risen erection ground right over the growing ridge in Michael’s pants; by the time he was as far forward as he was going to get, half his upper body hanging over Michael’s head, his cock was as up as his jeans were letting it.

Michael’s head lolled back and he stared blindly up at Jensen, mouth slightly open and sweat starting on the planes of his forehead and cheeks and jaw. Then he shook himself a bit and grinned; his hand did something fast with Jensen’s fly and then he yanked hard at Jensen’s jeans. Damn near took off a layer of skin with that, but he—or his hand, actually, said sorry by running rough-callused fingertips all the way down to and around Jensen’s balls. Jensen bit down on a moan that slowly tore through his teeth anyway and hastily scrambled back down. He pawed around till he got hold of the hem to Michael’s shirt and pushed that up, experimentally letting his thumb run over Michael’s right nipple.

That earned him a hiss and a long, firm pump at his dick, so that definitely was a sensitive spot. Good. He could work with that. He totally could shimmy his way back down, bending his ass up so he didn’t lose the hand on his cock, and wrap his lips around that pebbling bit of flesh and rub it over and over with his tongue till Michael had to sacrifice his groping of Jensen’s ass to stuff one hand in his mouth. His fingers stopped pulling at Jensen’s dick and started squeezing, flexing and rolling in place so Jensen got all worked up but didn’t. Have. Friction. Fucker.

Jensen nipped—very, very lightly, ‘cause some people could get incredibly fucking pissed over that—at the nipple in his mouth. He felt Michael go stiff all along him and for a moment, he thought he’d fucked up, but then Michael let out this low, muffled, snaky moan and rubbed his erection up against Jensen’s leg. He still had his pants on. That was kind of unfair.

So, being a nice guy, Jensen reached for Michael’s fly and ended up getting rolled. One moment he was up, the next on his back and rapidly turning into a gasping, writhing mess under one hell of a precision-point assault. Michael sucked his way along Jensen’s neck and worked his hand up and down Jensen’s dick with the kind of exact, deliberate concentration for which the word ‘cocktease’ had been invented.

“Goddamn it, come on,” Jensen snarled.

The other man let out a series of nasally noises that might’ve been laughter, if his mouth hadn’t been amazingly full of Jensen’s throat at the time. Oh, the son of a bitch. So it was like that, huh? Well…Jensen was kind of losing it, and couldn’t keep his hips from wildly trying to ride into Michael’s hand, but he wasn’t totally out yet.

Fly. Right. His hand had managed to hang onto Michael’s hip, and now he wiggled it down and got that taken care of while he could still remember to do it. Michael shivered in relief as Jensen pulled his underwear out of the way. Mistake on his part.

Jensen dug his heels into the mattress at the same time that he slid two fingers behind Michael’s balls, pressing hard against the thin skin. He’d just started running over the flat tight folds that were the lead-up to the main event when Michael bucked and that was when Jensen shoved. They went over, Jensen yanking his hand back to wrap around Michael’s dick. He mouthed his way along Michael’s jaw and got a distorted glimpse of shock and…alarm or anger? both?...on the other man’s face. Michael’s hand had stopped where it was on his cock and was starting to tighten its hold to the point of pain.

“Hey, I’ll ask first for that,” he said into Michael’s ear. He licked the curve, following it inwards. “But man, if you’re gonna fuck with me, I’ll fuck back.”

After a second, Michael loosened up and started pushing into Jensen’s hand. His own fingers resumed their pulling, no longer teasing Jensen but flat-out trying to pull his brains out. “Good,” he rasped, nuzzling the side of Jensen’s neck.

Good. Yeah, good, because Jensen’d been playing nice and low for so damned long without anything to show for it, and for once he was getting to let himself out a little, run it right to the edge of good. He grinned and dropped his hips, trapping their hands but hell, it wasn’t like they needed that kind of nice petting rub now. He could see that in Michael’s eyes, in the way they were almost rolled up to the whites, but what wasn’t yet gone under the eyelid was fierce and hungry and staring back at him. No, it was hips-down and shove and grind and push till Jesus Christ, his eyes were going to roll backwards and drive down through his skull and he was coming hard enough to shatter his fucking pelvis, maybe.

Michael lunged up at the last moment and bit the hell out of Jensen’s shoulder, teeth pulling the skin down and tight over the bone so it vibrated back every bit of the man’s cry. He shuddered once, then again as Jensen’s shirt was suddenly glued to his stomach with sticky hot wetness. And then, just when Jensen thought he had to be done, he shook one last time.

Jensen began to slump, then retained just enough consciousness to push himself completely off and over onto his back. He watched the ceiling slowly lose all those pretty dancing dots.

“Ah…” Michael eventually said.

Yeah, Jensen couldn’t agree more. “Want to flip a coin for the shower?”

“I—” Somebody knocked at the door and Michael sighed, then slowly flopped over. He went in Jensen’s direction, so he ended up with his arm over Jensen’s chest and his chin bumping Jensen’s shoulder. He crankily called out, the person on the other side answered—wasn’t Jared, thank God—and Michael snorted. “It’s Torsten.”

“Your…roommate?” Oh, wow, that was an amazing effort considering the state of Jensen’s brain.

“He wants to know which crazy American I’m screwing,” Michael muttered, deeply amused. He dropped down and idly began to lick at the bruised side of Jensen’s face, so apparently Torsten was more laidback than Jens.

Jensen thought about getting offended, or worried, then decided he was way too blissed-out for either. And hey, Michael was nuzzling him. It’d be stupid to cut that short. “The hot blond one, obviously.”

Michael said something to Torsten—maybe even what Jensen had said, because Torsten laughed. Then Torsten said something in a more serious tone and Michael groaned, but not in a good way. “I forgot, I have a press conference soon. I need to shower first, and then you can take your time. You have to go after that, but—”

“—got paper and a pen? I could leave you my phone number and hotel address, so in case the ghosts come back, you can call us.” Fine, Jensen chickened out there. Better safe than sorry in this kind of situation, and he’d learned that the hard way.

“Okay.” For a moment, it looked like Michael was going to leave it there. He started to push himself up, then paused. Glanced back down at Jensen. “Maybe…were you going to watch our last game at Stuttgart?”

Jensen waited a couple seconds, but it didn’t seem like Michael was going to elaborate. So he had to take another leap. He kind of wished he could close his eyes for these bits. “Still think the ghosts might be following you, and not just coming with the place?”

“Possibly. I’m on vacation right after Stuttgart, too.” Somehow, way down in there, Michael looked a tad nervous.

“Yeah, we’ll be there,” Jensen said. And he very carefully waited till Michael had gotten off the bed and stumbled towards the shower before he grinned like an idiot at the ceiling. God, he hoped he wasn’t jinxing himself.


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