|Modern Hoodoo IV: Wicked Game
Author: Guede Mazaka
Jensen got his shower, then wasted about fifteen minutes sneaking around trying to avoid those not in the know while also looking for Jared. Then he ran into Bastian and another blond guy called Poldi and they nearly squashed him between their excited, barely-intelligible questions about the ghosts and crazy bouncing. They had way, way too much energy.
On the other hand, they managed to tell him that Jared had already left for their hotel, which was useful to know because Jared obviously hadn’t called or left a fucking note or anything and Jensen wouldn’t have known otherwise. And they gave him coffee. Which was bad for Jared because by the time Jensen arrived at their room, the caffeine had kicked in. It didn’t wake him up so much as combine with his simmering temper to put him in an angry haze.
He kept hold on himself just long enough to walk in the door and see Jared sitting on his bed next to a fully-packed suitcase. All the clutter from earlier had been cut down by half, and of course it was just Jensen’s half that was still out. “Jesus Christ, what’s wrong with you? Were you going to skip town without telling me, too? What the hell’s so far up your ass that you’d ditch me?”
Jared had started to turn around the moment Jensen had come up, revealing that he’d actually been busy over his laptop. He’d looked a bit shocked and sorry at first, but only for that first second. Then his face had clouded over and his chin had started to jut out. “Like you’d have a problem getting a ride.”
“Oh, my God. Since when were you a catty cheerleading bitch?” Jensen said. He kicked the door shut, then threw up his hands as he sat down. Then he shifted his chair so it was further between Jared and the door.
“I just—God, man. What the hell are you doing? We’re gone in a week, and anyway he’s…well, for starters, he’s one of the best soccer players out there and he’s not going to have time for messing around.” It was a nice trick of Jared’s, how he’d puff up till it looked like the tornado was going to come down, then suddenly drain out till he was just staring wide-eyed and injured, somehow much smaller and younger than he really was. And to be completely honest, it wasn’t entirely a trick, either. “Do you know what you’re even getting into?”
Jensen looked long and hard at Jared, and finally decided that it was all truly sincere and heartfelt concern beneath the exasperation. That hurt—well, not so much as he thought it would, but it did sting a little. There wasn’t any of that kind of jealousy in Jared’s face at all, and yeah, in the back of his mind, some dumbass bit of Jensen had been hoping.
That was it: Jared wasn’t ever going to feel that way towards him, even for a one-night-stand.
People talked a lot about epiphanies, but this wasn’t anywhere near one by their standards. No lights went on or came down from heaven, and Jensen sure as hell didn’t feel any urge to drop to his knees and babble about how his entire life had changed. Because it hadn’t. He was still pissed off at Jared, working over his freak-out about the ghosts, and having vague second thoughts about Michael. Mostly whether it was normal to, when in the middle of a Ghostbusters situation, be able to screw like a Viagra-high rabbit, but also if he was treading the right line there. And in the middle of all that...
“Jensen? You spacing out on me?”
“No, I just realized something. And don’t look like that, because it’s not that I’m gonna moan and screech about what a big mistake Michael was. He’s not, and you’re reading way, way too much into the whole thing. I’m on vacation, man. He’s going to be after Saturday.” Speaking of vacations, Jensen was really tired and he didn’t think he needed to be awake for the next couple of hours. They weren’t checking out till tomorrow morning, Michael was probably going to be tied up till Stuttgart, and his bed was looking pretty good. He moved over to it and unashamedly snuggled down. “We’re not exactly talking Cinderella and the ball here.”
Jared looked incredulous. “So what, this is just a good fuck?”
Oh, damn it. Maybe Jensen had given up on the man, but the way that word flicked off Jared’s tongue reminded him that giving up and no longer being attracted to were two entirely different things.
On the other hand…God, Michael had sounded sexy even when he’d been grumbling at Jensen’s uncooperative jeans. Learning German just might be a good hobby to take up, even if the long future obviously wasn’t going to be Ballack. “Nah, hopefully it’s several good fucks. I left him my number.” He closed his eyes, then slitted one open again. “In case the ghosts come back!”
Dubious worry still was the uppermost emotion on Jared’s face, but he reluctantly grinned at Jensen. “Now who’s the ditzy cheerleader? But seriously, man. Just watch your step.”
“Will do,” Jensen yawned. So no Padalecki ass for him. Well…he might have a pretty fine substitute lined up in its place, and maybe it was temporary, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t still be good. And he and Jared were still okay, even if it was on the friendship level. That still was pretty damn good in its own right.
* * *
When Jensen woke up again, it was the next day and Jared was poking a big mug of coffee into his face. “I packed for you, so you owe me, man,” he said.
That didn’t make any sense, so Jensen just took the coffee without answering. He drank some as he sat up, grimacing at how bad the inside of his mouth tasted. That had just washed away and he was actually tasting the coffee when he happened to get a good look at the clock. He stared at it, then glanced at the window: yeah, morning. Then he looked at Jared.
“Like I said, I packed.” Jared magnanimously waved towards Jensen’s two bags, which were neatly stacked against the wall. “Drink up, man. We’ve got fifteen minutes till the taxi comes.”
Jensen hustled his ass. He did that very well, he thought, and so they got out and made their train with a bare minute to spare. The moment he was able to, he flopped into his seat and breathed out a long sigh; his face and chest still ached, and…he glanced at his reflection in the mirror. Frowned and lifted his chin, trying to get a good look at his neck.
“Good thing you’ve got some shirts with collars,” Jared snickered as he set up his laptop. He seemed to have made his peace, sort of, with the whole thing, but he definitely wasn’t going to let go of it.
“It’s not that bad,” Jensen muttered, rubbing at his neck. It wasn’t, but man, was he glad he had a pretty good tan. He briefly reviewed yesterday and came to the conclusion that he probably hadn’t managed to even the score there, except maybe for all that chewing on Michael’s lip. But hell, that was the easiest to get rid of: couple minutes with an ice-pack and maybe some nude-colored lip balm.
He remembered then, and checked his phone, but there hadn’t been any calls while he’d been asleep. Of course, Michael was probably busy shifting over to Stuttgart himself, but hey, it wasn’t like Jensen hadn’t proven himself to be a wishful thinker before.
“You do kinda like him.” Jared sounded a bit weird. When Jensen looked up, the other man was staring at him like he was some totally new kind of creature. “I sort of guessed you went for guys, a little bit, but this is just…well, it’s Michael fucking Ballack, man. And you don’t even follow soccer.”
“Yeah, I should do something about that.” Because Jensen definitely had become a fan of the physique lately. He shrugged and stared out the window. “Hey, he’s no stuck-up dude on a pedestal. He’s a nice guy. Way friendlier than you’d think.”
Snort from Jared’s direction. He flipped up the top of his laptop and hunched up behind it, like that was going to hide his mock-disgusted face from Jensen. “Okay, stop right there. I don’t need to know that much about him, thanks.”
“Your loss,” Jensen said. And maybe his, too—but seriously, it was too early for him to be mooning over the worst possible scenario like some fucking soap opera character. There’d been reasons he’d dumped that career path, and they hadn’t all been practical.
“They’re probably going to call back,” Jared suddenly commented. He was typing like a maniac, stopping only to scribble down something in a notebook. “I’ve been doing research like crazy, and I’m almost positive the ghosts aren’t stuck to the place.”
Jensen started paying attention right there. “What? But they usually are, aren’t they? And this Aplerbeck—”
“—Hospital. Yeah, it could serve as the initial focus, but the thing is, that park you said you were at? And the team’s hotel? Aren’t near enough to it, so obviously the ghosts are mobile. And I’ve got a guess as to why they can move around so much.” Jared kept on tapping at his computer.
Sometimes his little habits really got on Jensen’s nerves, like right now where he wasn’t being a geek so much as a wannabe drama queen. Didn’t he get his fill of making Startling Revelations on the show? “Which would be what?”
“It’s the World Cup. All these people, staying out late, gathering in excited crowds, always moving around…they’re throwing off tons of energy. If a ghost ever wanted to pack up and go, right now would be a great time for it. And then there’s the fact that, while you’re mostly the one seeing them, they’re always trying to interact with the German guys,” Jared obligingly replied. He tipped his head to the side and grinned a little. “Well. Kind of.”
“They keep slamming balls at the guys and laughing their heads off. I’m not sure what kind of interaction you’d call…they’re playing with them.” Okay, this was a moment of epiphany. “Playing with them. Or trying to, since the guys are too freaked to play back. But—wait, this is such a dumb reason—”
Jared made a face over the top edge of the screen. “Dude. You’re ten years old or whatever. You’re sick, you’re trapped in this scary hospital and you probably know, on some level, that they aren’t going to ever let you back out.”
“…all right, good point. That book you gave me did say one common characteristic of kid ghosts is their desire for company, for the fun they didn’t get to have in life. But how come soccer?” Jensen asked.
“Why not? It was huge then and it’s huge now. Plus there was no World Cup during the World Wars. They would’ve missed it a lot.” Then Jared chewed his lip and glanced repeatedly at Jensen, the way he always did when he was about to ask a big-ass favor. He h’mmed to himself. “Guess it’s probably lucky you and Michael get along so well,” he muttered. A touch snappish there, so he wasn’t completely over being an asshole. “You’re gonna have to get them to play with the kids. I think that’s how you’re going to put the kids to rest.”
It sounded okay on paper, but Jensen wasn’t so sure about in practice. And yeah, he was a little pissed at what Jared was implying about him and Michael. “I don’t know if you’d noticed, but these kids play rough. And the team’s got a game still left. I mean, Michael’s still limping from the last one.”
“Yeah, I know. But you talked to one of them, didn’t you? I’ve been looking up better rituals to let you talk to them longer, so you can explain that the living aren’t quite so indestructible as the ghosts remember,” Jared said, making more notes. The train suddenly jostled and he made a grab to steady his laptop, then settled back. “Look, they’re kids. Kids always think adults are way better and taller and stronger than they really are.”
“Okay. Okay, I’ll bring it up, but dude, you better be there backing me up.” Jensen brought out his cell again and eyed it for a while, trying to figure out whether it’d be better to call now or wait to get called. On the one hand, the sooner they got this taken care of, probably the better for all involved. On the other hand, the Michael who’d stepped out of the shower had been a totally different person: brisk, distant, uber-professional. He might not be in the right mindset for it.
The sounds of typing stopped, which was what made Jensen look over. Jared was also staring at Jensen’s phone with a thoughtful look on his face.
“Give ‘em till dinnertime,” Jared suggested.
“Yeah. I’m betting you have to go shopping again, anyway,” Jensen replied.
Jared snorted, but didn’t deny it, which meant yep, they’d be showing up at the closest minimart and making eyebrows rise at the checkout lane. Man, there had to be a decent excuse for buying five huge boxes of salt. Had to be. They just had to think of it.
* * *
“God. We’d better need all this shit because it is not coming back with us,” Jensen muttered, staring at the pile on his bed. Actually, they’d better need it all because if there was some left over, Jared would only have himself to bitch at for why Jensen might be sleeping elsewhere.
A hand waved nonchalantly from behind the towering pile. “We will, we will. Dude, what time is it? Maybe you’d better—”
Jensen’s cell went off. Jared straightened up as Jensen answered, and when Jensen went “Michael? Hey,” Jared snorted and walked over to his laptop with just a little bit of an annoyed stalk in his stride. He was better than before, but honestly, Jensen was trying harder to make it a non-problem than he was. If he didn’t knock it the fuck off—
“Sorry, what?” Jensen said. He shoved his finger in his other ear to make himself concentrate, though the noise level was perfectly fine.
*It sent the chair right past Jürgen. Poldi had to jump after it and pretend he’d done it, and I still don’t think the coach bought it,* Michael repeated, sounding harried. *They didn’t stay in Dortmund.*
“Oh.” Jensen waved for Jared’s attention. Once he got it, he pointed towards the stuff on the bed, then to the only remotely-close-to-empty duffel bag they had.
Jared looked a little annoyed, but he grabbed the duffel and dumped it out—Jensen winced as something clanked hard—then started refilling it. He stopped several times to consult some kind of list in his notebook.
“Well, Jared thinks he’s got a way to get rid of them for good. Where are you guys staying?” Come to think of it, Jensen probably could use some paper, too. He stretched out and snagged the corner of Jared’s notebook, tearing it off. He got a glare for it, but hell, it wasn’t like he could reach the hotel stationery; anyway, he’d taken it off a blank sheet so he hadn’t ruined anything of Jared’s, either. “Um…how do you spell that?”
Michael laughed quietly, but spelled it out without making any other comments. *We’re having a team dinner, but I think I can get back to sneak you in around nine-thirty.*
“Ask if there’s a park around—we can start early,” Jared hissed.
“What’s the nearest park? Some of the stuff we don’t have to be inside to do,” Jensen said. He’d already run out of room on the one side of the paper scrap, so he awkwardly flipped it around as Michael replied. “Hang on—okay, okay…yeah, got it.”
Somebody in the background interrupted and Michael barked off an answer to them before returning to the call. *Nine-thirty? Okay. Danke.*
“Damn, he sounds stressed. I really hope this does what it’s supposed to, man,” Jensen muttered as he shut off his phone.
Jared swung the duffel strap onto his shoulder, still mumbling over his notebook. If Jensen hadn’t yanked him sideways, he would’ve walked into the wall instead of through the door. Which Jensen also opened for him. “It should. And anyway, you already know what to do about the stressed part.”
Jensen paused, then stared at the other man. “Are you going schizo on me? You’re still being a prick about this, and when you aren’t, you’re egging me on.”
“I am—” Jared heatedly started. Then he looked full-on at Jensen, and yeah, he’d damn well better be looking sheepish after that. He jogged his shoulder up and down. “Sorry. It’s just…dude, what am I supposed to do? He’s not exactly one of your usual bar pick-ups.”
“Be an adult?” That earned Jensen a hard shove to the shoulder; he rocked with it, then retaliated with a smack to the back of the head. A hotel staff member passing them looked indulgently down her nose at them, so Jensen smiled apologetically for her. And then he sneaked in another whack just as they stepped into the elevator. “Seriously. Stop acting like it’s such a big fucking deal. I mean, for all I know, he might’ve lost interest. I used to play pick-up soccer with this pro player who never had sex for the week before a game. Never ever. Something about sapping his energy.”
Were they being girls about this? After reviewing what he’d said, Jensen winced and concluded that yeah, they were just about mainlining Cosmo. Jesus Christ.
“That’s actually a pretty common piece of folklore.” On the other hand, he could always depend on Jared to turn a mildly embarrassing moment into a truly humiliatingly oblivious streak of geekitude. “But it doesn’t really have any basis—well, if you’re not dumb about it.”
Jensen rolled his eyes. “Don’t worry, man. I know where the tabs and slots go.”
The color flared high and deeply, deeply cherry-red in Jared’s cheeks. “Oh, my God, stop talking.”
“Since you asked so nicely,” Jensen grinned. Well, he hadn’t completely lost his grasp of conversational skills. He’d ended that talk pretty nicely. “So tell me what we’re going to do with all this shit we’re hauling.”
“I’m hauling,” Jared muttered. “Well, it’s a pretty basic séance set-up, just outside…”
* * *
For the first twenty minutes after they’d gotten to the park and found a nice isolated spot, Jensen had tried to help. But Jared had whipped out string, a protractor and a measuring tape from somewhere, and from there he got too pissy to handle.
Okay, maybe the difference between whether to place a candle thirty or forty-five degrees north of west was crucial, but Jared didn’t have to be so damn bitchy about it. He could just give Jensen a decently long look at his diagram so Jensen wasn’t flailing around in the dark, but no, he’d rather just grab the stuff from Jensen’s hands and do it himself.
Jensen checked his watch, then got up. “I’m gonna walk towards the hotel, see if anyone’s back yet.” He felt more than heard Jared’s snort. “Because we need a translator, dumbass. That phrasebook’s only gonna be good for me talking to them, not us trying to figuring out what they’re saying.”
“Okay,” Jared mumbled. He was using a stick to dig the hole for the last candle.
Was he measuring how much of the candle stuck out of the ground…Jesus, he was. Good thing Jensen was high-tailing it out of there ‘cause it might be catching.
Germany had some amazing city parks, Jensen thought a few minutes later, once he was away from Jared’s palpable anal-retentiveness. Most of them weren’t on par with Central Park, but while you were in them, they still made you feel like they could roll on for a while. The trees and bushes did kind of throw Jensen, but he didn’t find them claustrophobic or anything, like some of the forests in which they’d filmed.
It wasn’t Texas, but it was still pretty, he concluded.
He whipped around, then hurriedly dodged sideways. Bastian looked momentarily disappointed, but skidded to a stop and grinned. Which was when Jensen got jumped from behind—well, fine, hugged from behind, but Poldi damn near broke his ribs so it might as well have been an assault. “Gah!”
“Hey!” Poldi said. “That ghost tried to knock out Jens again—and this time the bounce-off went at Olli, too!”
“Balla says you have a way to stop it,” Bastian added. Their accents were harder to understand than Michael’s had been, and that added to the way they pogoed around, even after Poldi had dropped Jensen, was giving him a major headache. “He said—oh, Micha! Wir haben ihn!”
Jensen stumbled backwards and narrowly missed getting whacked in the head by Bastian’s wildly waving arms. He put out his hand and hit a tree, which he gratefully hung onto while Michael rounded the corner. Michael greeted Poldi and Bastian with such a weary, hassled expression that it obviously got a lot of use. They dampened down—a little.
Poldi looked Jensen’s way and Jensen pointed. “That way. Jared’s over there.”
Served him right for his asshole moments. Though as Poldi and Bastian scampered off—and damn, did they really fit the word—Jensen was momentarily ashamed of himself. Well, okay, not really.
“Did I ever warn you about them?” Michael asked. He still was heavily favoring one leg, and his track-pants were bunched up a bit around his injured knee, like he had some kind of bandage on.
“I’m just grateful they’re both guys and can’t make kids,” Jensen muttered, still a bit breathless. He experimentally let go of the tree and backed into the path. When he was still standing after that, he progressed to walking. He didn’t teeter too much, thankfully. “Okay, so this is the current working theory. Jared thinks the kids woke up because of all the activity from the Cup games, and they…uh, want to play a game with you guys.”
Michael blinked a couple times. “I…don’t understand.”
Jensen did his best to elaborate, though in the end he semi-resorted to flappy hand-gestures that didn’t actually say anything. He was beginning to feel like a complete idiot when Michael’s face suddenly cleared and the other man nodded.
“Oh. But they’ve got to get outside—they’re breaking everything in our rooms. And they can’t play so hard.” At that, Michael ducked his head away from Jensen and dropped his voice. He didn’t really hide the self-accusing tone in there.
“Well, we’re gonna try and talk to them, tell them that. That’s what Jared’s working on,” Jensen said. He briefly thought about asking what else was up, but decided that might be pushing it a little. Instead he glanced down: yeah, that was definitely a knee-wrap on Michael. “How’s your leg?”
Oops. If anything, Michael looked sorer than before. He wasn’t staring at Jensen while he tried to kill things with his eyes, but that didn’t make Jensen feel much better. “My knee’s out. The doctors say I have to stay out of the last game—damn it! Again! And I—” he suddenly let out an explosive sigh, turning depressed so fast Jensen’s head spun “—it would’ve been my last Cup game, probably. But now that’s the Italy one, and we lost.”
Then he turned sullen and silent. Jensen just let the guy be. In his experience, ‘talking it out’ was usually a bunch of bullshit, and aside from making sure they didn’t fuck up work and weren’t a complete shit to be around, it was better to just let them work it out for themselves.
They got back to the clearing in time to find Jared, Bastian and Poldi all huddled over Jared’s notebook, muttering to each other and occasionally poking at the page. It…didn’t look good.
“…and see, if you hook the wire here, that makes sure the bucket doesn’t get knocked down till the one you want it to—oh, hey, Jensen!” Jared snapped his notebook shut and beamed cheesily across the big, candle-lined circle he’d drawn in the ground. “Ready to play John Edwards, medium extraordinaire?”
“Oh, geez. I forgot, Jared loves practical jokes,” Jensen said under his breath.
Michael looked like he’d just swallowed something painful. “Poldi and Schweini didn’t need any help with that.”
“Come on, let’s get this show on the road,” Jared said. “Everybody into the circle.”
If Jensen had known they were going to have this many people for this part, he’d have made Jared draw a bigger circle. Then again, a circle the size of Alaska might not’ve been enough to keep Schweini—soccer players had funnier nicknames than anyone in pro football—from grabbing Jensen’s ass ‘by accident,’ or Poldi from almost pushing Michael’s legs out from under him, or either of them from confirming that after wrestling, soccer had to be the gayest sport ever.
“Shhh!” Jared hissed, pausing in whatever he was mumbling. Probably Latin, but Jensen didn’t know enough yet to be sure. Jared muttered some more, then closed his notebook and turned to look at Jensen.
Jensen stared back. “What?—oh. Okay, um…two boys and a girl.” They had faded in just at the edge of the circle and were curiously watching him. The girl suddenly tilted her head, then put her hand out. After a moment, Jensen crouched down and reached out to touch her fingertips. “Hi—”
The world swooped down and through Jensen, slamming him with the force of a runaway semi. He gasped and the pain tore away to ram into the back of his throat, sending him over. And…up?
Nauseating didn’t even begin to describe it. One moment he was on his back, the next he was looking down at himself, who was still on his back on the ground, eyes wide and mouth agape. At least Bastian had slid to grab his head, so Jensen wasn’t looking at yet another concussion…but fuck, his body was moving and he wasn’t in it. Man, if Jared didn’t know how to put him back in…Jensen panicked and threw himself downwards.
Another semi plowed him under, but when he opened his eyes, he was looking straight up at Michael’s white face. He tried to move one hand, but…it resisted and then he felt somebody nudging him—metaphorically or spiritually or something like that, because it wasn’t physical. Just for a minute? impressed itself into his head.
…okay. Okay. But just a minute, he thought. Now that he was back in his body, he felt much better about the whole situation. Which was weird, but the other person—spirit, whatever—in him was really throwing off waves of innocent eagerness and happiness and it was kind of…calming. It kind of felt like he was just going to take a little nap, and he was pretty tired.
He vaguely registered people talking, and his mouth moving in response, but he didn’t really pay attention to it. He just drifted, more or less.
* * *
“Jensen!” Followed by a hard shake.
“Ow! Fuck! Stop doing that to me!” Jensen bolted upright, held that position out of sheer irritation for a second, then slowly fell back. He groaned and pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes. “You know, I’ve been spending way too much time like this.”
“But you’re okay,” someone said in a relieved voice. Possibly the same someone that was now patting his shoulders. Very possibly Michael, since it sounded like him and Jensen was now remembering what he’d been doing before this latest black-out.
The low throbbing in Jensen’s head begged to differ, but he made himself crack open an eye anyway. Yeah, it was Michael. A glance sideways found Jared—he was beside Jensen, and just now turning away to look at something—and come to think of it, Jensen could hear people running around nearby. “After I get some aspirin, sure. So…how’d it go?”
Michael got an arm under him and helped him up, then nodded to the side. Poldi and Bastian were jumping around like nutcases, but in this case, it was kind of necessary because the kids might be short, but they kicked pretty damn high. Not so hard they were going to shatter bones, but still hard enough to send the ball zinging around trees and solidly thumping off Poldi’s head. There was a whole pack of children now, running around grinning and shouting and waving their arms, and it looked like everyone else could see them, too.
“Pretty good, though you might wanna get your head checked. You’re taking longer to wake up,” Jared said. He was teasing, but he reached over and squeezed Jensen’s shoulder with real relief. Then he grinned as one little girl totally outran Bastian. “Dude, Ballack. You’re getting outplayed.”
“Doesn’t look like the kids know that. They just look thrilled.” Jensen ran a hand through the hair at the back of his head, ruffling it up to get out the dirt and grass. Then he glanced at Michael, who hadn’t answered yet.
The other man was watching the field with a funny smile on his face, like he’d just been hit on the head but somehow, it was in a good way. He looked…thankful. And peaceful. “They do. They’re not even keeping score, I think.” He took out his cell-phone and dialed without looking. “Then again, I don’t have a full side out there yet.”
“Then do that already,” Jensen grinned. He put his hands behind himself on the ground and leaned back. “I think I’m gonna stay here, fun as that looks. I’m wiped.”
Michael made an odd little noise in his throat. He was in the middle of a conversation, but he stopped to cover the phone with his hand and turn to Jensen. “You can stay at our hotel for the night, if you want. Since it’s closer,” he muttered. “And since I’m going to play this game and not Portugal.”
Jared had a coughing fit and hastily stood up. He wavered for another second before he hesitantly eased into the game. Jensen had a hard time not sounding too self-satisfied as he answered Michael. “Cool.”
As he went back to the phone, Michael had a smile on his face that was one step away from shit-eating, so Jensen didn’t feel completely alone in that. After he finished his call, he tossed the cell to Jensen and got up. He limped on, but once he got moving, nobody really could’ve noticed.
The adults won. Not that anyone besides Jensen really paid attention, and even he didn’t care too much.
* * *
Something jabbed Jensen hard in the ribs and he snorted, then woke up and glared. Luckily, the crowd around them was so loud nobody heard the snort, and so closely pressed in that it’d kept him sitting upright.
Well, maybe Jared had heard it. He certainly looked annoyed enough. “Dude, it’s only a couple minutes to halftime, and you can’t even say that the ghosts are bothering you now, because they’re gone. Can you try not to embarrass yourself for that much longer?”
“Fuck off, Padalecki,” Jensen yawned. Nevertheless, he did try to focus on the action below. “Look, even you can’t say this game hasn’t been pretty boring so far, except for the beginning.”
“…yeah, but still. It’s good manners.” Then Jared grinned. “Besides, Ballack just got razzed—the cameras caught him yawning. Watch it or somebody might put two-and-two together.”
Jensen rolled his eyes. “Whatever. It’s not like he was forced to stay up.”
Jared flushed and elbowed him again, which Jensen blocked with his arm. He yawned again, hiding behind his hand. Then he dragged himself to his feet, using Jared’s shoulder for leverage. He tried not to laugh at the questioning look Jared gave him, but instead turned to the field and shouted, “Ran an die Pille!”
“Oh, my God,” Jared said.
“Man, talk about learning experiences. I’m really glad you talked me into going, by the way,” Jensen loftily replied. He ducked Jared’s punch, then sat the hell back down before the cameras found him. After all, he was on a break.