Jensen woke up to the right side of his jaw throbbing where it lay against Jared's shoulder. He peered over Jared until the extra-large numbers of his alarm clock came into focus; 6 a.m. was way too early to get up considering they hadn't gotten to bed until 2. He sighed quietly, hoping Jared wouldn't wake up, and rolled over.
He hated having his back to Jared, but it hurt less without his head pressed up against the rock of Jared's shoulder, and the cool side of the pillow felt good against Jensen's face. Stupid, defective tooth. He'd been raised to take care of his teeth obsessively, he'd taken care of his braces, worn his retainer, got all the cleanings and the whitening and carried floss in his damn glove compartment. So the only way he could make any sense out of the fact that one of his back teeth wouldn't quit hurting was Jared's ridiculous gummy candy.
Not that he ate it--hardly ever, only when he was tired and needed a sugar rush, which was more often than he'd admit to if anyone asked. Damn it. In any case, he'd finally caved and made an appointment for Saturday afternoon with one of the few dentists in Vancouver who worked weekends. There was no way Jensen was making dozens of crew and cast members rearrange schedules just so he could get his tooth fixed, it just didn't make any sense.
Not to mention he didn't want to hear Jared crowing with laughter, getting back at him for all the times Jensen had told Jared his teeth were going to rot from all the candy. Jensen planned on telling Jared he was going out for the afternoon and then really hitting the stores or a movie until the Novocain wore off enough that he didn't look like he'd been tragically over-botoxed. Jared didn't need to know.
The pillow felt hot and sticky against Jensen's face, and he reached underneath his head to flip it over again, bunching it up to better support his neck as did. Letting the cool seep in through his skin, Jensen closed his eyes and tried to get back to sleep. His heartbeat throbbed in his gums, and the day and a half left until his appointment seemed far too long.
The day was nowhere even close to being over, and Jensen felt like he could seriously bite somebody if his damn mouth didn't hurt so much. Not like it was any of the injuries Dean Winchester suffered through with nothing more than a manly grunt of pain and a stoic face. Not like he was walking around shooting things with a dislocated shoulder or running around after getting hurled through a wall. No, he was just trying to act with one tiny little tooth nagging away inside his mouth. He pretty much understood, though, where Tom Hanks had been coming from with that ice skate thing.
The director called cut on shooting Jensen's coverage for the scene, and Jensen relaxed with a sigh, actively forcing himself not to prod at his jaw now that the camera was off him. He normally would have stuck around and read the lines for Jared to act against, but the thought of his trailer and the ice packs he had there was just too tempting. Jensen waved over his stand-in and patted Jared on the shoulder before walking away. He could feel Jared's eyes on his back, but he didn't turn around.
It was just one more day, and then he could manage to be his normal, friendly--or at least friendly with Jared--self. He knew Jared was starting to think something was up, something that didn't involve tender gums, but Jensen figured he'd come home from the movies Saturday evening with non-sore, clean-from-the-dentist teeth and remind Jared of some of the wonderful things he could do with his mouth other than say his lines.
In his trailer, Jensen grabbed an ice pack from his tiny freezer and slumped down on the couch. Just one more day, and just six more hours in the shooting week. He didn't know if it was the lousy night's sleep or what, but the day was feeling long and his energy way too low. He must be getting out of shape if one miniscule messed up tooth was making him drag his ass. Still, they didn't need him on set so he let himself close his eyes and hold the ice to his face until his jaw didn't feel like much of anything at all.
Jared watched from his seat in the food service tent as Jensen spooned mashed potatoes onto his plate. He seemed tired--really tired, his hand a little shaky as it deposited a glob of white stuff onto his plate. Not that he didn't have a good excuse, what with working hard all week and then waking up early for no good reason Jared could understand. Still, it didn't sit right. Something felt off, and Jensen taking off for his trailer earlier only made it clearer.
As Jensen plopped down a plate filled with potatoes, cooked carrots, and some kind of bean salad and sat down across the table, Jared scrutinized his face. It looked a little flushed under the layer of makeup, but Jensen had that touchy sensitive skin that turned pink from the cold, the heat, whatever, and he only got annoyed if somebody pointed it out. In fact, Jensen already looked like he was having a lousy day, and Jared couldn't think of anything bad that was going on.
"Hey," Jared ventured, sliding his hand across the table to bump into Jensen's. "You okay?"
"I'm fine." Jensen's voice didn't sound like a ringing endorsement. He slipped a spoonful of potatoes into his mouth and swallowed.
"What are you, carb loading?" Jared nodded at Jensen's plate which didn't look anything like his usual choices.
"Nah, just in the mood for comfort food I guess."
"I could come up with something more interesting to put in your mouth than that." Jared smirked, keeping his voice low between the two of them. "And the comfort would be free."
"Sounds good," Jensen answered, only a flicker of his usual fire in the words. "Just, later, huh?"
"Yeah. Yeah, of course. Got work to do."
Jensen nodded and swallowed hard on a bite of carrots before pushing his plate away, and Jared noticed a few beads of sweat coming up along his hairline. He really hoped Jensen wasn't getting sick, but if he was, well, Jared knew where to get some really good local honey.
The scene wasn't supposed to be this hard. That was all Jensen could think as he let himself fall into the Impala's seat yet again. All they had to do was say some lines, get out of the car, say a few more lines, and then walk back toward the trunk. Simple. Only the lines were practically a tongue twister, and Jared couldn't get them right. Jensen knew how it felt, how some days the words just got tangled in your mouth and once they went wrong it was hard to get them to go right.
But he was tired of dragging his ass up out of the car, tired of saying his own lines, tired of sitting back down. His head was pounding, his jaw throbbing right back, and Dean's jacket and flannel shirt felt bulky and hot inside the car, thin and cold outside of it. Jared's crowing laughter cut through his head, and every change in elevation made his tooth hurt a little more. Part of him wanted so badly to call for a break, beg for an early end to the day, let somebody know that there was something horribly wrong going on in his mouth, but the rest of him was too determined to finish out the day, finish out the week without making a fuss.
His determination held out right up until he pushed himself up and out of the Impala one time too many, and the lot spun around him. Lights and cameras flickered at him out of the corner of his eye, and he wasn't sure if both of his feet were on the ground or not. He leaned a hand on the roof of the car, and the cold metal felt so good against his skin. He knew he'd already messed up the shot, so he didn't think it would matter if he just put his head down for a moment, just let the side of his cheek press into the perfect coldness until the pain started to numb out a little and the ground steadied under his feet.
"Jensen?" Voices called to him in the background but Jensen wasn't ready to stand up straight yet. "Jen, hey, you okay?" Hands on his back, Jared's hands.
Jensen didn't want to move, but he didn't think Jared would be patient much longer the car had gone warm under his face anyway. "Yeah, I'm okay," he answered, and then cringed at how weak his own voice sounded. Not doing a really good job at sounding okay.
"Uh-huh." Jared grabbed hold of his shoulders and pushed him around to lean back against the rear passenger door. He kept one hand warm and steady on Jensen's shoulder and pressed the other one to his forehead. "You're burning the fuck up. Why didn't you say you were sick?"
Jensen closed his eyes and sighed, letting the car take more of his weight. "Not sick, just got a stupid tooth ache. I've got an appointment tomorrow."
Jared's hand smoothed down to cup Jensen's jaw and Jensen winced, pulling away half an inch. "Shit, it's swollen. Fuck tomorrow, you've gotta go in now."
Jensen knew he should argue, push off from the car and stand up straight, start the scene again. He knew he should do all those things, but the thoughts of getting rid of the hot ball of pain in his mouth was just too tempting. Jared's arm around his shoulders didn't leave a lot of room for argument anyway, as he lead him back across the lot to his trailer, pushed him down on the couch with clothes to change into while Jared talked on the phone. How he managed to weasel an appointment out of the dentist on a Friday afternoon with such short notice Jensen couldn't imagine, but minutes later they were in a car.
Lying on the couch with the side of his face resting on an ice pack, Jensen tried to figure out how his day had gotten so out of control. The dentist had totally over-reacted--just because he got a little dizzy in the waiting room and had to sit on the floor didn't mean they had to drag him straight back to a room and hook him up to a completely unnecessary IV. He didn't even think dentists had things like that on hand, for God's sake.
A shot of antibiotics, which truly sucked, and more antibiotics to take home. Appointments to come in and get a root canal in a few days. Sweet, sweet pain pills. He was glad to be home, but Jared wouldn't stop bustling around the place, clinking things together in the kitchen and walking far, far more loudly than he needed to. Jesus.
Jensen turned his face against the squishy ice pack and looked up at Jared where he stood next to the couch with a large cup in his hand. A large cup with a bendy straw coming out of it.
"Here, come on, I made you a milk shake."
"You can make those?" Jensen took the cup and wrapped his lips around the straw, sucking gently on the good side of his mouth. Strawberry, wow, it tasted like heaven. He reached his other hand out from under the blanket and wrapped his fingers around Jared's. "Hey. Thanks."
Jared sighed explosively and sat down on the edge of the couch. "You know you scared the crap out of me."
"Just a tooth," Jensen mumbled around the straw.
"Jen, seriously, you had a fever of 102 and you were dehydrated. Did you hear what the dentist said?"
Jensen searched his memory, but everything from the dentist's office that didn't involve needles was kind of a blur. "Um, maybe not."
"He said it was close to making you sick enough to go in the hospital, it could have made your throat swell up and kill you."
"Bullshit." Jensen swallowed past the tiny edge of soreness in his neck.
"You look it up when you're feeling better. Just, next time, you better fucking tell me if you're sick. You don't have to tell anybody else, but tell me." Jared's face looked so serious, more like Sam Winchester than anything. "Okay?"
"Okay. I just didn't want to make everyone reschedule filming."
"Well, they're already rearranging things for next week, and the rest of today's a wash because they didn't have time to plan. I just don't get why you thought you had to butch it out. I mean, when I had that bad tooth last year I wanted it taken care of right the fuck away."
"You were a big baby."
"Shut up. At least I didn't have to get carried around."
Jensen craned his head around to look at Jared full-on. "Nobody carried me!"
"Dude, you weren't exactly on your own power for a couple minutes there."
Jensen remembered his feet on the ground, and that was all that mattered. "Doesn't count as carried."
"Whatever you say." The corner of Jared's mouth quirked up, and his hand smoothing over the blanket on Jensen's hip felt like forgiveness. "You done with that?"
Jensen sucked up the dregs of the milk shake, slurping with the straw at the bottom of the cup. "Yeah. Thanks."
Jared took the cup away and rattled around in the kitchen a little more quietly. When he came back, he had a beer in one hand and a bag of Doritos in the other.
"That beer for me?"
"Yeah, dream on Vicodin boy." Jared set his snack down on the coffee table next to the remote and heeled out of his shoes. "Come on, I gotta take the ice away before you freeze your face. Sit up a minute."
Jensen pushed himself up to sit, his muscles still feeling weak and everything a little soft around him. Jared slid in on the end of the couch and got them both arranged--his long legs stretched out down the length of the couch, Jensen settled against him with his head on Jared's chest. Jensen closed his eyes and listened as the TV came on--Law & Order, endless re-runs. The plastic crackle of the Doritos bag and the stink of nacho cheese. Jared's heartbeat under his ear and his heat against Jensen's back.
His jaw still hurt, but the ache was distant, padded over by drugs and exhaustion. "I love you, you idiot," Jared said against the top of Jensen's head, and Jensen's last thought before he slipped into sleep was that he would wake up with Doritos crumbs in his hair.