As he went about his rounds, Bill tugged at the cheap polyester security uniform, but no amount of fiddling made it more comfortable. Maybe after he’d worn it a bit longer, and after a few washes to soften it up. . . A crashing sound erupted from the storage area to his left and made him jump. Seizing his baton, he sent a beam of light to the opened prop shed, where he could make out two figures.
“Jensen, I think it’s over here,” the tall shadowed figure said to his slightly shorter companion.
“No! Jared, watch out for—” The rest of Jensen’s sentence was drowned out in a crash as Jared fell into some sort of trellis and accidentally pulled it down on top of him.
“Nobody move, nobody gets hurt,” Bill said. Jared and Jensen froze. Bill's flashlight played from Jared’s face to Jensen’s and back, and they squinted against the sudden light, peering to see who stood on the threshold of the storage locker they were currently burglarizing. Then they glanced at each other and erupted into laughter.
“Nobody move!” Jared sputtered, and his deep mocking growl dissolved into hysterics.
“And nobody gets . . .” Jensen was too overcome to finish, and both of them ended up rolling on the ground, one on top of the other, with tears of mirth streaming down.
“Can you believe,” Jared gasped through the laughter, having trouble getting words out and breathing at the same time, “he actually said that!”
The half-empty bottle of whiskey in Jensen’s hand managed to make it through the rough and tumble reasonably unspilled, but the contortions involved in getting upright again proved too much for it, and most of its remaining contents ended up on the floor and on Jared.
Bill was not amused. “Walk outside. Slowly. And let me see your hands.”
This set the tipsy would-be burglars off again, and Jared made a show of modelling his hands from all angles, then presenting one at a time for Jensen to kiss. Jensen tried to maintain a straight face, but the facade was broken by snorting giggles at Jared’s antics.
The guard tried again. “Come on. Get out of there. Who are you and what are you looking for?” They seemed surprised, and Bill thought they would start laughing at him again, when Jensen pretended to take something from his t-shirt and held it out.
“Detective Plant,” Jensen said, holding up his make-believe badge for inspection with the hand that was not holding the almost empty bottle.
Jared followed suit. “Detective Page,” he said, but he staggered slightly as he held up his empty hand in mimicry of Jensen, over-corrected, and tripped over a lamp that had been a prop in season one.
“Jared!” In his hurry to help Jared up, the bottle slipped from Jensen’s hand and shattered on the concrete floor.
“Aw man!” He glanced over the to security guard. “Sorry.”
Bill managed to corral them both outside and into roughly upright positions, helped in large part by the wall they used as support as they sagged against each other.
“Okay, now what were you two doing in there?” he asked.
“Looking for the gun.”
“What?” Bill’s hand tightened on his baton.
“The Colt,” Jared said. “Jensen needs it.”
“Yeah. ’Cause I’m a cowboy,” Jensen chimed in, then he grinned. “‘On a steel horse I ride, and I’m wanted—’”
“Enough!” Bill said, with enough volume to cut through Jensen’s booming rendition and interrupt Jared before he chimed in with backup vocals. “What do you need a gun for?”
He was answered with matching grins, in stereo. “A dare.”
“Right. Okay. Just. . . stay put.” He kept an eye on them as he radioed in. “Hey, I found two drunken idiots trespassing.”
“No!” Jared said. “You’re saying it wrong. It’s idjit.”
“And we belong here. See?” Jensen pointed to two life-size cardboard cutouts sticking up from behind a rocking chair. It bore a striking resemblance to—shit.
“Oh,” Bill said. “Uh. Sorry guys, I’m new. Didn’t recognize you,” he added, without mentioning that he’d never seen their show.
“It’s all good,” Jared said, and Jensen agreed with an exaggerated wave.
When Jensen turned to go back into the storage shed, Bill caught his arm. “Sorry, can’t let you do that. Why don’t we get you both back to your trailers, or maybe call someone to come pick you up? You’re gonna be regretting this tomorrow.”
But Jensen had already begun shaking his head. “Not tomorrow. Day after. That’s when I die. So tonight we drink.”
“Shhhh!” Jared said, and Jensen’s eyes flew wide as Jared’s large hand clapped over his mouth. “Spoilers,” Jared continued in a whisper loud enough that he needn’t have bothered. “That scene’s gonna kill me, man.” Jared dropped his hand from his costar’s face, where it had lingered unusually long. His face fell and tears began to well up. Jensen said nothing, but clasped Jared’s arm.
“They wrote you off, huh?” Bill commiserated.
Jared’s white-rimmed eyes flew to Jensen, who shot Bill a look of supreme annoyance. “No way! Not sure what’s happening, but I’ll be back.” He hadn’t removed his hand from Jared’s arm, and Jared had moved closer, as if needing the contact.
“I’ll quit,” Jared whispered—an actual whisper this time, not a pseudo-shout. “If they don’t bring you back, I’ll fucking well quit. ‘S nothing without you.”
“No one’s even talking about that Jared. This guy doesn’t know shit.” Jensen had leaned in, and his lips seemed almost to dance along the line of Jared’s jaw as he spoke. “Don’t think about it. Monday’s going to be hard enough. Tonight we’re drinking.” Jensen’s hand came up to cup Jared’s face and Bill tugged some more at his ill-fitting uniform as they stared meaningfully at each other.
“Yeah, okay,” Jared said after a moment. “Think they’re missing us at the trailer yet? Oh shit! The Colt!” Jared turned beseeching eyes to Bill, who remained unmoved.
“We said we’d find it,” Jensen added. “They’re counting on us. Can’t have a shooting competition without it.”
“Oh, yes, you can.” Bill placed a firm hand on their backs and gave them a little nudge to move in the direction of their trailers. “Try throwing pillows.”
Jared and Jensen stopped dead, and looked at each with matching grins. “Pillow fight,” Jared whispered gleefully. They began a wavering run towards the trailers, and the smell of spirits drifted away with them. Bill could hear a whoop somewhere in the distance.
It was going to be a long night.