Jared needed stitches and an X-Ray and, despite Dean's insistence that he could do it, it was decided to take him to a hospital. It was the first time that they had all been together in such a public place and they knew that they would have to be quick on their feet to come up with some plausible and believable explanation.
It was Dean that took Jared in, mumbling something about 'Stunt doubles' and 'Clumsy idiots'. Meanwhile Jensen and Sam sat in the waiting room, trying to look casual, as what seemed like hundreds of women swarmed around them, pretending to do other things like read magazines and get coffee. Sam tried to make himself smaller in his seat, watching the women, watching him, their eyes lustful "Is it always like this?" he hissed to Jensen who was smiling happily at a red headed girl who appeared to be waving at him
"Most of the time – why?" Jensen saw the colour spread across Sam's face and he grinned
"And I thought hunting was a dangerous profession – shit – we have to get out of here soon – if Dean catches on to this – we could be living in Vancouver before Christmas"
Jared winced as the nurse tied up the last of the stitches. He looked at Dean and the older man smiled guiltily
"I'm really sorry Jared" he whispered, as Jared took the painkillers that the nurse had given him "It was all my fault"
"Nah man – you weren't to know" Jared thanked the nurse and eased himself off the table, gingerly rubbing the back of his head "I thought my buddy was kidding me – man – he owes me big time when he gets back from his trip" he stretched "As does Mr Ackles back there" he grinned "Shame I'm on these tablets dude – I'm sure owed plenty of beer when the effects wear off"
"You should be kicking my ass" Dean still couldn't kick the guilt "I sent Jensen in there without even so much as a pistol, I put you both in danger – just so I could get one over on my brother"
"Look Dean" Jared threw an arm around the older man's shoulder "I know you can't remember this – but when I was with you – you know – in those weeks that Sam and I swapped bodies, places whatever – you always had my back and I always felt safe with you" he tightened his grip into a hug "And I still do – ok – there's no need to feel guilty – I'm still walking upright and I'm still breathing - just promise me one thing ok?"
"Sure Jared – anything"
"Don't fucking take me hunting ever again!"
They found themselves back in their favourite bar and, this time, they were happy to get lost in the busy crowd. Sam sat in the booth waiting for Jensen to get back from buying the beer, watching Jared try to whip Dean's ass at pool. He smiled, stretching out his long limbs, they were finally starting to enjoy their vacation and, maybe this time, they would go sightseeing together even though he did not want to see the biggest ball of twine anytime again soon! He waved to Jensen as the older man staggered across with a tray laden with drinks and slammed them on the table. Pausing for a moment, Jensen waved Dean and Jared over and they all squashed into the booth together, Jensen gesturing that he had something to say.
"Ok guys" he was wearing a smart shirt and his glasses and he looked, he hoped, mature and sensible "This has not, it has to be said, been a particularly good start" he took a sip of his beer and then continued "I know that it seemed like fun – you know – to pretend to be each other – but it has got to stop ok? I know that there were no causalities this time, but who knows what might happen next time – Jared – well he's nearly been killed twice now and he's my buddy and I don't want anything to happen to him"
"Hey that's nice "Jared raised his own glass "Nice speech Jensen – but chill dude – we're on down time now remember?"
"Just hear me out ok?" Jensen frowned and continued "Now Jared and I are coming up to visit you guys in the fall and we don't want a repeat of this episode do we?" three heads shook in unison "So we are all agreed then – no more pretending to be each other – ever"
Three sets of eyes turned on him, wide and innocent, three heads all nodded, three sets of perfect lips turned up in an agreeing smile and three voices all said firmly "Yes – agreed"
Jensen smiled and took a sip of his beer "Excellent guys – now if you don't mind I'm gonna go to the men's room and then I'm gonna whip Sam's ass at darts – thanks guys" he got up and shuffled away from the booth, pleased that his little speech had gone better than expected.
As he left, three pairs of hands came up from under the table and rested on the sticky surface – fingers all tightly crossed – Dean winked at Sam and for once let his brother have the last word
"I'm glad we are all in agreement" Sam Winchester smiled widely, his eyes glowing "That this is too much fun to stop now – lets see what fun we can have in Lawrence in the fall shall we?"