Turn This Car Around.
This is just stunning, guys. The lyrics suit the boys' relationship right down to the ground and the video is all about the constant push-pull of their relationship throughout the series - the places where they hate each other, the places where they can't stand to be without each other and all the places in between. Go! Watch and enjoy!
Guess I should post mine too, huh?
Title: Kiss Me Once
Fandom: CW RPS
Word count: 2500
A/N: Oh my god, this story is so stupid. Written for chomaisky in the 2013 round of spnspringfling for the prompt awakening. Thanks and hugs to dugindeep for helping me brainstorm and listening to be me whine about my brain. Also available on AO3.
Summary: Getting cursed is total bullshit.
Jensen's first thought upon waking was 'agahbulllagggggggh'.
Jensen's second thought was 'I'm never drinking again'.
Jensen's third thought was 'there is a strange man's face in my face'.
"Gah!" Jensen flailed, one hand connecting with something that made an 'oof' sound as he tumbled right off the side of the bed and hit the floor with a thud.
"Agh," Jensen said, from flat out on his back.
"Wow," said a voice, and Jensen craned his neck up to see the strange man who had previously been nose-to-nose with him sitting on the bed and looking even more stunned than Jensen felt, which Jensen didn't really think was fair. "I, uh, really didn't expect that to work."
"What?" Jensen pushed himself upright, realizing with belated concern that he had no idea where the hell he was. It was a small, windowless room, with quietly yellow walls and a large, comfortable-looking bed that Jensen was now at the foot of. The doorway opposite the bed was covered with a gauzy curtain and there was a massive pile of flowers stacked against the wall.
Starting to get properly nervous, Jensen scooted awkwardly away from the bed, trying to keep an eye on the guy and the door at the same time. "The hell is going on? Who the fuck are you?"
The guy held up both hands in a placating gesture. "Sorry, sorry, I should have… you're perfectly safe here."
"And I'm supposed to take your word for that?" Jensen glared at the guy who, now that Jensen was looking at him, was turning out to be pretty hot if Jensen ignored his stupidly long hair and the fact that his shirt boasted colours that Jensen hadn't been aware even existed in nature. "You're the creepy fucker who was watching me sleep."
The guy winced. "I know, I'm sorry, Jensen, but-"
"Oh god, why do you know my name?" Jensen tried to stand up and failed; his muscles felt water weak and his legs refused to support his weight. He thudded back to the ground with panic rising in the back of his throat. "What- did you drug me?"
"What? No!" the guy exclaimed, with enough honest shock that he was either a very accomplished liar or he was actually telling the truth. The guy took a breath. "Okay. I know this is crazy and you're probably really confused-"
"-but I can explain. My name is Jared Padalecki," he said. "And this is the National Center for Paratypical Phenomena. I work here as an archivist."
"Okay," Jensen said slowly, relaxing a little. "What does this have to do with me?"
The guy, Jared, looked at Jensen with a somber sort of regret. "You're here because you were cursed."
Jensen groaned. "Seriously? That is just my fucking luck recently." He looked up at Jared with a deprecating sort of smile, more prepared to appreciate how good looking the guy was now that it looked like he probably wasn't a kidnapper-slash-serial rapist after all. "You know my car got stolen last week? And then my crazy neighbour made me go to her pet hamster's funeral."
"That… sucks," Jared said, sounding like he wasn't entirely sure it was the right thing to say.
"So what curse did I get hit with?" Jensen asked idly. "Only able to turn left? Deathly fear of kittens? That weird one with the mangos? I can still talk, so mutism's out, at least. Just please don't say premature hair loss because my brother will never let me live it down."
Jensen grinned at him, expecting at least a commiserating smile, and was surprised when Jared's expression went tight and sad.
Jensen's smile died on his lips. "It's not hair loss, is it?"
Mutely, Jared shook his head. "Sleep," he said, in a small voice.
Cold stole over Jensen's body. "How long?" he asked immediately, horrifying possibilities spilling through his head.
"How. Long." Jensen repeated, clenching his teeth together hard enough to make his jaw hurt.
"Ah," Jared said, in a tone that fell somewhere between apologetic and unsure. His shoulders hunched. "130 years?"
"130," Jensen repeated in dull shock.
"Or thereabouts." Jared looked at him with sad eyes. "I'm sorry, Jensen."
Jensen didn't answer, busy watching his entire world collapse around him.
Well, Jensen found himself thinking inanely. That explains Jared's terrifying taste in clothes, at least.
The bed creaked as Jared edged closer. "Jensen?"
"Jesus Christ," Jensen said, wiping a hand over his mouth as he tried and failed to process this. "Are you sure?"
Jared nodded, still looking like someone had kicked his puppy. "It's put on record when you get admitted. I can get you the exact number, if you like."
"Maybe later," Jensen managed.
Jared said something else but Jensen wasn't listening.
His whole family was dead. His friends. His boss. His crazy neighbour. His fucking goldfish. Jensen was completely alone for the first time in his life and he…
"How the hell am I going to survive?" he asked suddenly. "I don't even know if my apartment complex still exists, let alone what happened to all my stuff. My job's gone and… fuck, I'm probably obsolete by now, if computers kept going the way they were. How am I supposed to feed myself? My family's d-d…" Jensen swallowed hard, "I've got no family left, unless it's, like, my great-great-grand nieces or something, and-"
"There'll be a trust fund in your name," Jared offered quietly, cutting Jensen's panic off at the ankles.
Jensen blinked at him. "There's a what? Why?"
"Your family will have started a curse fund when they had you admitted here," Jared told him. "And the government pays in an additional stipend based on the degree of inconvenience caused by the curse." He cocked his head. "Isn't that how it was done when you come from?"
"What? Hell no. Curses were just something you dealt with. Most of them weren't that dangerous, anyway. Fuck," Jensen said, more to himself. "Who the hell did I piss off this bad?"
"That's probably on file too," Jared said, because the future was apparently composed of nothing but progressive anti-curse bureaucracy. "If they got indicted for it, anyway. It's a minimum of five years in prison if it can be proved that you cursed someone, and that's just for the minor infractions. In your case, the person who cursed you would have been looking at at least ten years under the Curse Manifestation laws."
"Not gonna complain about that."
A short silence fell, during which Jensen took the opportunity to take a closer look at the room. Now that he knew a bit more of what he was looking at, Jensen deciding that it looked like a cross between a hospital and an empty bedroom. The bed took pride of place in the centre of the room; the pillow was dented from Jensen's head, although the sheets looked barely rumpled except for where Jared's weight was pressing down on them.
Jensen tried to imagine himself lying on that bed for over a century, trapped in stasis while someone came in and dusted and vacuumed and replaced the flowers, day after day. It was impossible.
Jared was watching him with a reasonable amount of kicked-puppy sympathy, a smattering of what looked like professional curiosity and, interestingly, a touch of apprehension.
Which was about when Jensen realized that there was a very important question that he hadn't asked yet.
He tilted his head up at Jared. "How did you break the curse?"
To his surprise, Jared's face immediately flushed a dull, embarrassed red. "Uh, it's…"
Jensen arched an eyebrow. "It's what?"
Instead of answering, Jared fumbled in his pocket and pulled out a glossy, but worn, brochure. He handed it over with a sheepish expression that looked ridiculous in a grown man. Jensen grinned slightly to himself as he looked down at the cover.
Once glance was enough to sour his amusement.
"Sleeping Beauties?" he demanded, slapping one hand against the graceful logo sprawled across the front. 'Make all their dreams of true love come true!' was printed underneath the name in an absolutely unnecessary shade of purple. "I'm part of a freaking exhibit?"
Jared shrugged, at once awkward and defensive. "Well, how else do you think people get their curses broken? It's not like leaving you moldering in someone's attic would be helpful."
Jensen opened the brochure and was immediately confronted with page upon page of names and dates, neatly typed in single columns. A very few had 'awoken!' and a second date next to them in a fancy red script. But, for the most part, it was just long lists of names, faceless and lost.
"You're on the third page," Jared told him quietly, after watching Jensen scour the top of the first column for his name. "First names only. Confidentiality laws."
Flipping the page over, Jensen did indeed find his name printed there, next to a date that he vaguely remembered as an ordinary sort of day. The day he'd been cursed, presumably. There was something horrifying about the fact that the memory was so faint considering that it was the very last day he had to remember.
"It's normal to forget how you got cursed," Jared said, and Jensen's head whipped up in shock. "People always worry about that," Jared continued, before Jensen could start wondering if mind reading was another thing that the future had on Jensen's time. Jared's tone was calm and professionally soothing, but Jensen could sense a tension running just beneath Jared's skin. "Other things might be a little fuzzy for a bit because of how long you've been asleep, but it all ought to come back within a week or two. You'll get recommended to a therapist who can explain it better."
Jensen opened his mouth to ask, then narrowed his eyes as he realized that Jared was trying to distract him. "You still haven't explained how you woke me up. At least, I'm assuming it was you."
"Oh. Uh, I thought that-" Jared gestured vaguely at the brochure, "was kind of obvious. Um. Didn't you ever read fairy tales as a kid?"
"What does that have t-"
Jensen stopped abruptly and Jared ducked his head, his ears bright red where they were peeking out from the fall of his hair.
Jensen was absently glad that he was already sitting on the floor. He was feeling a little faint. "True love's first kiss?"
Just barely, Jared nodded.
"I didn't really think it would work." Jared darted a look at Jensen through his bangs. "So many people come through here, hoping that they'll find their one true love, and it hardly ever happens. I've been here for five years and there's only been two in all that time. It's just-"
"Just?" Jensen repeated, suddenly sure that whatever Jared was about to say was vitally important.
Jared sighed. "I'm not on the floor much, since I'm usually working in the archives, but I'm here often enough. And you were always… I've never done this before," he said abruptly. "Tried for The Kiss. Everyone gives it a go at some point. With all the sleepers, usually, just in case."
Jensen had a brief moment of realization that he'd spent the last 130 years completely comatose while hundreds of nameless strangers macked on him, and hurriedly pushed the thought away before it made him physically ill.
"I never thought it was right," Jared continued. "Going around kissing people with their permission. I mean, it's for a good reason - two good reasons, I guess, if you count finding true love and waking them up as different things - but. It's kind of creepy, you know?"
Jensen could definitely agree with that. "So what changed your mind?"
Jared bit his lip. "I've always just. Liked you. Not in a somnophilia way," he added hurriedly. "But I know all of the curse files like the back of my hand and you just… felt right. Which I know doesn't make sense." Jared scrubbed a frustrated hand through his hair. "But I don't know how to explain it. The sleepers always make me feel sad, but you're the only one who made me feel useless because I couldn't help."
Jensen said nothing, not sure what to do with this.
"I, uh, used to come visit you," Jared confessed, like it was a dark secret. "I'm usually here late and I didn't like the idea of you being alone in here. And today-" Here Jared faltered and had to take a deep breath before continuing. "I was working in the cursed objects wing because our field team recovered a misery orb and I was thinking about how much it must hurt to know that someone you love has forgotten how to love you back and. And I realized that I was almost doing that to myself so I figured, what the hell. Might as well try it and move on. Only…"
"I woke up," Jensen finished.
"Yeah. So, uh," Jared said, with a tremulous little smile. "I really hope you're gay, because being your one true love is gonna be really awkward otherwise."
"Well," Jensen said, feeling strangely calm considering how much information he'd had to assimilate in the last half hour. "I guess I could have done worse. How about we start with you telling me how to break out of this joint," Jensen said, as a smile broke like sunshine across Jared's face. "And, after that, we go for dinner. I'm starving."
"I can do that," Jared said. He walked over to offer Jensen a hand up off the floor, which Jensen accepted gratefully. "I've also got a spare room at my house you can borrow. Since I hear you're homeless and all."
"Smooth," Jensen deadpanned. "Dinner first, Prince Charming. Then we'll see."
Jared laughed. "I shou-"
"Jared?" a voice called, and Jensen jolted in surprise at the unexpected sound. A man in a uniform ducked his head through the gauzy curtain over the doorway, already speaking. "I've got to shut the place do- holy fuck!"
"Surprise?" Jared tried, his face gone pink again as the guy - a security guard, Jensen guessed - gaped, slack-jawed at he and Jensen.
"You- that's… I don't fucking believe this-"
"He might be at this a while," Jared said into Jensen's ear, while the guard continue to flail. "Hope you don't mind waiting."
"Seems like that's all I've been doing for the past 130 years," Jensen said dryly. "You're the one who's going to have to get used to it."
Jared's smile was soft and lit an unfamiliar warmth in Jensen's chest. "Oh, believe me," he said, shifting his grip on Jensen's hand to thread their fingers together. Jensen let him get away with it. "I'm willing to wait as long as it takes."
"Sap," Jensen accused, though mildly. He gave Jared's hand a squeeze, feeling unexpectedly content. "What am I going to do with you?"