“Good Times Bad Times”
Summary: DAMN YOU FANDOM. LOOK WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO ME. EGADS. Anyway, this was written because I couldn't not, after Jensen mentioned having tonsillitis and all. This story is like Pulp Fiction in that it's non-chronological. That is the extent of the similarity. Take in mind that I read through this puppy about once before posting it, so if it doesn't make any sense anywhere just chalk it up to feverish Jensen. Or think about feverish Jensen, and you'll forget about any inconsistencies. Hell. I'm rambling. This isn't even part of the summary.
A/N: This document is seriously saved under “DAMN YOU FANDOM.” Title is taken from Led Zeppelin. Robert Plant, I’m sorry. Someone owes me a cold one for this and by cold one I do mean cold shower.
Read it. Enjoy it. Hell knows I did.
Set during and directly after the filming of 1.11, “Scarecrow.”
He’s not entirely sure how they got here. It’s like a game of Apples to Apples: Supernatural Edition. He’s just drawn a hand with the cards Jensen Ackles, Kim Manners, hotel room, and death. Wait, maybe this is Tarot. Or poker. Fuck. His throat hurts too much to even decipher metaphors anymore.
“Kid,” Kim’s saying in the background. “You’re not supposed to die this early in the season. So what do you say we go and get you checked out. Sound good?”
“Who says I have to die at all this season?” Jensen croaks out, his hand wrapped around his throat like he’s trying to protect it.
“Come on. We’re going.”
Jensen surveys Kim from where he’s currently sprawled out diagonally across his hotel bed, and makes a noncommittal noise that sets off a round of dry coughing.
“Oh, I see,” Kim says. “You’re feeling so much better now that you don’t need to go. I have to say, Jensen. You just look the very picture of health.”
Jensen drags himself up to a sitting position. “Fine.”
“Fine?” Kim asks mildly. “You’re feeling fine now?”
“No. I feel like hell. But I’ll go.”
“Finally.” Kim’s holding the door open. “You know, Jensen, I’d say that you’re almost as stubborn as Dean, but I’m pretty sure it’s actually the other way around.”
Jared had had to go back to California for the weekend, Jensen can’t remember what for anymore, so that’s why he’s stuck here in this hotel all by himself. He’s supposed to be doing some sort of—something—too, but he figures by now whatever it was is over, and there’s nothing he can do about that. He’s just going to lay here in this bed until he actually dies.
Jared can come back and find his body on Monday morning, and he can just take it with to set anyway. Those makeup girls are talented, Jensen’s sure they can make it work.
And then they can just get another actor in to play Dean from then on. Say he was in a car accident or had a face transplant. Wait, maybe that was from back when he was Eric Brady. Screw it.
Jared would miss him, he’s sure, but hey, he probably won’t pretend to be Stefano anymore.
There’s a muffled knocking from the hallway.
“Jensen. Hey. Open up.”
He shuffles painfully to the door, doesn’t bother looking through the peephole. Hey, Sam and Dean never seemed to, and they had actual monsters in their lives.
“Hey.” Jensen tries to sound like anything but death warmed over and then left out to rot, but fails. He figures it’s okay, though. It’s the weekend, so currently he’s not being paid to lie convincingly for a living. He coughs into his chest and winces. “What are you doing here, Kim?”
“I’m here to check on you, kid. You looked pretty sick yesterday, and you look even worse today. Now, I know all you have to do on Monday is be dying, but we don’t want you to be too convincing, okay?”
Kim’s edging into the hotel room now, and Jensen lets him. He leans back against the wall and watches as Kim takes in the Dean-clothes strewn across the couch, the rumpled bedcovers, and his flushed cheeks.
“Do you have a fever, Jensen?” he asks keenly, and Jensen shrugs, making his way back over to the bed and lying down again.
“Dunno,” he rasps. “Maybe.” He shivers involuntarily, as though his illness is trying to make a point.
“Okay,” Kim says, like he’s thinking this through out loud. “Do you think that maybe it might be a good idea to try taking some medicine for that? Or going to the doctor?”
“Nah,” Jensen maintains, flapping his hand in what might be Kim’s general direction, “I’ll be okay.”
He’s still saying this four hours later, when Kim’s still there, sitting on his couch and reading through a script, saying that he’s not going to leave until Jensen decides to get this taken care of.
Jensen’s beginning to think that Supernatural is a regular club of people who like to redefine the word ‘stubborn.’
Friday morning he wakes up an hour before his alarm, because his throat hurts so much he can’t sleep. He hadn’t even known that was possible.
He meets Jared on set. He’s got travel cups of coffee for both of them. Jensen takes his but only sips at it intermittently.
“Hey.” Jared’s poking him in the arm. Jensen’s still sitting in his makeup chair. He must’ve dozed off for a second. “You look like you got hit by the Salem Stalker. You okay?”
“Dude. I think you know more about that show than I do, and I was on it.” Jensen tries clearing his throat, and makes a face.
“What, your throat hurt or something?” Jared’s so goddamned cheerful Jensen’s surprised he doesn’t sparkle when he’s on camera.
“Yeah, a little. My head, too.”
Just then a PA pokes her head in the trailer door. “Jared. We’re ready for you… five minutes ago.”
“Shit. Um… take some Tylenol, and I’ll see you after I’m done?” Jared offers, clapping Jensen on the shoulder as he passes.
Jensen tries to take some meds, he really does- as soon Jared had left, the hair and makeup girls had clucked over him and said that they’d thought something seemed off this morning- but in the end, it just hurts his throat too much to think about swallowing anything. Besides, they’re ready for him on set.
He makes it through the first scene okay- he’s driving the Impala, having some heartfelt conversation about their dad with Sam- but when they return from lunch break to shoot the final scene, it’s like it’s hit him all of a sudden and he can’t remember feeling this sick for a long time.
Still, it’s the last scene of the episode, so he figures he can tough it out and give it his best, and then go back to his hotel room and crash until Monday morning.
It’s weird, though- he’s wearing about four shirts (that Dean, he and Jared always laughed. The master of layering), but even so, he’s shivering in between takes and he just feels off, like nothing’s completely real anymore.
That would only be logical, he thinks to himself sardonically. I am only about to be tied to a tree so that I can be eaten by a Wizard of Oz reject.
He’s feeling sorry for the girl that’s guest-starring in this episode, since they’re re-doing the same set of lines for the fifth time, because Jensen has to keep stopping so that he can eventually hack up a full set of organs. He’s pretty sure someone should be getting the Red Cross in on this shit, start filling out donor forms or something.
“Could someone get Jensen some water?” Kim’s calling out.
“I’m fine. Really. Fine.”
“You could light a brushfire in your throat, Jensen. I hurt just hearing you talk.” Kim’s calling to the rest of the crew now. “Ten minute break, okay?”
Jared’s pushing his way through the crew now, bringing him his own water bottle. He’s already done filming for the day since he’d just had to finish a few pick-ups with Nicki, but he’s stuck around so that he can hang out with Jensen in between takes.
Jared has him back in some dusty corner of the cellar where Dean’s being held to be used as a sacrifice.
“Maybe it’s the lighting in here, but you don’t look so hot, Jen.”
Jensen’s still trying to swallow some of the water, which shouldn’t even hurt his throat because hello, it’s water, but he has to grimace after each sip anyway.
Suddenly Jared’s big palms are feeling his forehead and the sides of his face.
“Whoa. You’re not even warm, man. You’re like… toasty.”
“Great,” Jensen manages. “I always wanted to be a breakfast item.”
“No, really, Jensen. I think I should tell Kim so we can get you finished and out of here. You’re really sick.”
Jensen just looks up at him with big eyes, massages his throat with his hand. “Yeah, I guess that’d be okay.”
He’s sitting against the wall of the cellar with his eyes shut for the rest of the break, and he guesses Jared must’ve pulled a few strings or something, because Kim comes in and tells everyone that he thinks that they’ve got it already, and they can be done for the day.
Jared has to leave for the airport to catch his flight, but he gets Jensen a cab back to his hotel and tells him to rest up and feel better and that he’ll talk to him soon. Jensen can’t do much more than lean his forehead against the cold glass of the window and hope that this is the day that someone discovers a rift in the time/space continuum, because he could really use a few more days in this weekend.
He talks to Jared on the phone later, after Kim’s brought him back to his room and made him take his antibiotics and basically done everything but tuck him in.
“Dude,” Jared’s saying. “Do you feel as bad as you sound? Or, I guess the better question is, do you look as bad as you sound? Because if you do… man, it’s a good thing you’re supposed to be dying in the next episode.”
“Goody,” says Jensen around another cough. He lets Jared ramble on about the weird guy he sat next to on the plane for a while, and then a wave of exhaustion washes over him and he tells Jared that he’ll have to talk to him later.
Before Kim leaves, Jensen starts to rasp out a thanks for taking him to the hospital and a sorry for being such an ass about it, but Kim cuts him off.
“Jensen. I’m not here with you just for the good times when I’m your director and you’re doing your thing onscreen, okay? I’m here for when you’re not Dean, too. I’m here for when you’re just Jensen, and you’re sick and all by yourself. Got it?”
Jensen muffles a cough against his wrist and rasps out, “Got it.”
“Now.” Kim pats his leg through the covers. “Kick this bug in the ass for me, okay?”