the eight in your hand for the queen up your sleeve 1/8
Losers: comic!verse; loosely based in ir vestido de gris!verse
warnings: swearing (like a motherfucker), run on sentences (seriously, those motherfuckers are everywhere), getting drunk, plotting to destroy the sun, wearing boxers while shooting guns, avoiding the issues, threats of hair braiding,
and a general lack of cohesion from me.
summary:He's the new techie
Notes - special thanks to choasangel for looking over this first chapter and tell me the track i was on was *thumbs up*.
-i've changed the name of this fucking so many times. JESUS
-also by loosely based in ir vestido de gris!verse i totally mean follows the damned plot because goddamn i am lazy
"He's the new techie," Clay says as they walk in. The kid, and he is a kid despite the scrap of hairs on his chin that he boldly calls a goatee, carries a half empty duffle bag and three laptop cases with a suspicious amount of wires and duct tape sticking out of them
They don't say anything, but their looks give them away.
"Yeah, you should've see the looks the gate guards gave me, heh, Osama bin Jensen." He laughs at that, doesn't bother waiting for them to join in and throws his gear on the bed closest to Cougar's. Doesn't ask, obviously isn't the shy type.
"I'm Jensen." He says again, just in case no one realised it. Although whether that's his first or last name doesn't seem to be something they need to know.
He holds out a hand in Roque's direction, grin plastered across his face. The grin doesn't falter when his out stretched hand is ignored
"Strong silent type, huh? I get that. I like that in a superior." Which. Well it sounds incredibly dirty when it's said like that. Then he swivels at Cougar, hand sticking out like a weapon, Cougar doesn't flinch, but he does pull back a little.
"Ooookay, everyone's the strong silent type. I will come in very handy here with my amazingly miraculous conversation skills."
There's only a couple of things you need to know about Jensen.
He's an idiot. And a genius. He has no people skills. Except when he does. He is the most frustrating person Cougar has ever met. Within a week Cougar will be ready to kill anyone who looks cross eyed at him.
It takes Cougar a couple of days to work out why he finds himself staring at the hacker. To be honest, most of those days were spent denying every thought his mind put forward.
No, he did not care about the way Jensen smiled when he explained the extremely technical thing he was doing.
No, he did not find anything endearing in the way Jensen seemed to read his mind and was always ready to swap out magazines the split second Cougar emptied.
And he definitely didn't see anything attractive in the silhouette of the hacker coming off the gun range at dusk, laughing and still carrying around a laptop.
This sudden noticing of Jensen throws Cougar out.
It's not that Cougar hasn't occasionally noticed men. It isn't like everytime Jensen walks into the room Cougar's internal sex drive switches from straight to gay-for-nerds. But it's not something he acts on, has never been something that he couldn't distract himself from. Well it hadn't been before.
It just fucking hurts Cougar's head. He's not looking for any sort of fucking relationship. He's perfectly good with his brief encounters, ones that fade with the next morning's shower.
He doesn't want anything permanent. Permanent meant it could be taken from you, used against you, became something you needed and therefore distracted you.
He certainly doesn't want anything with a fellow team mate. Especially not six feet of eye searingly bright clothes and many, many fast words.
Cougar doesn't like how other people treat the hacker. That, he thinks, is what first sets off this thing. So really it's the fault of a bunch of other assholes that he gets so close to Jensen.
Why the fuck they get sent to SERE with one man down and a new guy that they didn't really know yet is something that Cougar would really like to fucking know. Clay has that half frowning blank look on his face that means he's really fucking displeased with this as well.
Especially when it becomes an accelerated course that skips the Survive, Evade bits and jumps straight into Resist.
They stand in the cold - so fucking cold - clearing in their underwear, getting dressed down by people they've occasionally seen on base. Which Cougar can't help but think is weird. This isn't his first SERE, so he gets that there's only a certain pool of people to pull for these sorts of exercises. But it kind of ruins the illusion of capture if the person spraying spittle in your face is a guy you've watched run newbies through their paces.
Cougar just lets the words wash over him. Whatever happens, he knows where these people live. Sometimes, in between casual violence and rants punctuated with spit, Cougar tries to think of the best place to place a sniper's nest near the base. There's a nice incline to the west that they occasionally have to run up which would probably do nicely.
Most of SERE seems to be about demeaning you, meant to make a man feel small. This sort of shit grates on Roque and Clay, who are big in both body and spirit. Carlos Alvarez is the kitten that grew into a cougar, and Cougar's always been small. Being small, for him, has never meant weak. It means compact, swift and sneaky. Most of his fondest memories are from when he was smaller.
Jensen handles the first screaming in his face very well. Cougar sneaks a look across at him. He has to admit, he's very fucking surprised that the hacker hasn't said a word since the guard started yelling at him.
Cougar frowns. Jensen seems to be working something out in his head, his eyes drift back and forth, and every now and then his lips move slightly like he's reading something in his memory.
The guard notices not long after Cougar and stops mid rant to shout, "Are you listening to me, maggot?!"
It takes Jensen a moment to realise no one's yelling at him. He blinks and his eyes focus on the purpling face in front of him.
"Huh? Sorry, I kind of zoned out there. Actually, do you think I could get a computer, just for a bit? There's this code, that I think is fucking genius. If I've got it right, I can skip out like three pages of shitty code. Fuck it's elegant." He doesn't seem to realise that the guard is going nuclear on him, and then says in a faux-british accent. "An elegant solution for a more civilised age."
Jensen gets picked on a fair bit after that. He gets very vocal about their treatment and, well, about pretty much everything. Hell, he may have even started bitching about how in the northern hemisphere they never get to see the southern cross and doesn't that suck?
It doesn't take long for someone to get the bright idea of shoving the hacker into the hotbox. Which is as bigger misnomer as Cougar's ever seen. Maybe in the middle of summer the small, tiny metal shed might fit it's name better. But when they shove the lanky Jensen into a box too short for him to straighten up in, Cougar feels the first stirring of something in his chest. It's a little annoying, because the next time he imagines seeing the guard's face in his crosshairs, his face moves on it's own accord into a smirk.
From the beating that results, Cougar likes to imagine that it was a very scary smirk.
After that he has to put extra effort into not displaying what he's thinking. It's effort that Cougar's not used to needing, and it pisses him off that it's some guy he kind of doesn't know that's triggered it. The best way to deal with this, Cougar decides, is to make sure Jensen's okay.
Cougar's quiet and small, but most importantly he goes without notice. While Roque and Clay are getting their kidneys reaquainted with batons, Cougar tends to slip under everyone radar. Enough that even when he sneaks over to the hotbox - coldbox? - no one notices that he isn't where he should be.
He can hear Jensen's voice, he's still talking. Although from the way his voice is waning it's something he should consider stopping if he wants to be able to insult people when he gets out.
Cougar taps the side gently. He's not an idiot, the higherups don't want them seriously damaged, so logic dictates they'd be monitoring Jensen to make sure he didn't do some inconvenient dying. The voice stutters for a bit, then continues softer. A tap comes back. Cougar tries to hear what he's actually saying, but the wind whisks the words away.
He taps again, a distinct three tap. Jensen taps the three back, then starts tapping and humming a rough version of Ride Of The Valkyries. Cougar huffs a laugh and pats the tin.
He feels better knowing that Jensen's okay. Maybe not good - Cougar's not stupid, he can put being trapped in a box with no light and the way Jensen's voice was ragged at the edges together and come up with a big Not Good - but he's hanging on.
Jensen comes back a day and a half later - there's a murmur going around between the guards that the guy monitoring Jensen got sick of listening to him and had him let out early. He's a little shaky, spends alot of time stretching out his legs and enjoying the space their cell has.
At night he sits in the corner, between Cougar and the wall, shivering and talks softly.
"Honestly, how retarded are these guys? How can anyone look at me and go 'oh, there's a guy who never spent his entire schooling jammed into a locker'? Fucking jerkwads."
The whole point of shoving Jensen in that place had been to shut him up but ever since he's come out he hasn't shut up. Like a switch that's been jammed on. But he does apologise to them all, apparently he's got a new found appreciation for how annoying he can be.
SERE ends as abruptly as it starts. Cougar can't help but think he hasn't learnt anything new this time around. But when Jensen grins and playfully punches his shoulder on the drive back to base, Cougar finds himself playing along.
In retrospect, Cougar knows that going on a glorified bar hop their first 'off' weekend was a bad idea. At the time Jensen tells him it's a fucking awesome idea, and somewhere between all the quick smiles and faster words Cougar is convinced.
The agreeing is still abit hazy, one minute he's listening to Clay gush about how he was going to spend his weekend in his girl's arms and the next Roque and Jensen have him trapped between them. Each of them with really really good reasons to why they need to show Jensen every drinking establishment with in driving distance.
So begins the bar crawl that changes Cougar's life.
They get thrown out of two bars and are drinking in their fifth when Roque pussies out on them. Well, Jensen calls it pussying out. Cougar takes one look at the pretty brunette at the bar - staring at Roque with that I-am-hitting-that-tonight look on her face - and wishes Roque a good night.
It's three establishments later. That's what Jensen keeps slurring in his ear - drinking establishments - so Cougar has the word stuck in his head. It's nicer terminology than strip club or liquor store. And they decide to call it a night, or rather they're forced too. Jensen can only kind of stand and Cougar's somehow being used as a weight support.
Even though Cougar's drunk enough that the act of putting one foot in front of the other in a repetative manner is a feat of sheer brilliance, Jensen actually seems to be worse. Half hanging off Cougar, he seems to be skipping every third step and replacing it with a stumble. And a giggle.
Cougar is not drunk enough to be entirely comfortable with a Spec Ops soldier giggling into his hair.
They're cutting through the back alleys.
It's a shortcut, trust me.
For some reason Cougar is letting the guy whose only just been stationed here, and can't walk without support, do the navigating. It's probably the same reason he's got the face of someone he barely knows jammed under his chin.
"You smell nice." Wait. What the fuck?
"What?" Cougar pulls back to look at the hacker's face. He's smiling sleepily, Cougar thinks it's the dopiest smile he has ever seen.
"You smell nice." Jensen repeats. And runs his nose up the side of Cougar's neck, sniffing. The contact sends a shiver up his spine and, if he were a lesser man, Cougar might've groaned. As it is his mouth opens and he inhales deeply.
Then shoves Jensen away, his back hits against the brick wall, hard, but the hacker just smiles a slow hungry smile.
Later, when Cougar has spent months watching Jensen's back, after he has been stuck in small spaces with the hacker for hours, he'll know that smile as a placing-a-bet-on-the-long-shot smile. A hoping and chance and nervous-but-hiding-it smile.
But tonight, here, it looks like cockyness with wanton lust. If he was completely sober and fully in charge of his faculties he would walk away.
But he's not.
Later Jensen will call it many things - leaning over his shoulder, whispering in his ear - ravashed me, got all up with the hot and heavy and the occasionally crude we rutted like horny teenagers in a dirty, dark alley. Cougar just refers to it as When He Attacked Jensen, because it's all flashes of teeth, skin and hands.
He has no real memory of it.
The next proper thought he has is the sun is trying to kill me. It's the only plausible excuse for it shining so fucking brightly in his face.
Cougar freezes. He can feel movement behind him, something soft brushing against his bare shoulders. Cougar opens his eyes as little as he possibly can. Okay. He's on his bunk, laying on his side. Huh, apparently they did make it back to base. Cougar doesn't know how he got past gate security. But since there's no one yelling at him, he can presume he did it very stealthily. Cougar is a stealthy hijo de puta. Cougar's a little disgusted that security is so poor, he's half convinced he should go and tell them how bad they are at their jobs.
"Argh." Is that someone's shoulders against his? Why, oh why in the ever loving fuck is he lying back to back with someone on a bunk barely made for one?
"I'm going to throw up. Aurgh. And then I'm going to kill the sun. Can you kill the sun? OH MY GOD, I am going to kill the sun." Cougar squeezes his eyes shut, as tightly as he possibly can.
Oh god, what the fuck has he done?
The body behind him convulses and in one agile movement - a skill Cougar's pretty sure he doesn't possess right now - leaps over Cougar, barely jostling him, and makes a dash for the bathroom. Cougar keeps his eyes tightly closed but he can still hear.
Hear vomitting, groaning, running water and then some more groaning as the door swings back open.
"Huh." Cougar peeps. Jensen's standing over him, eyes mostly closed, one hand absently rubbing his stomach. And wearing only boxers. Very bright, very offensive to his eyes right now thankyou very much boxers.
"That actually happened." Jensen speaks like he's still asleep. Cougar opens his eyes fully, ignoring the stabbing pains that the light gifts him with, and looks up at Jensen. He doesn't know how the guy is going to react.
Stupid idiota. He doesn't really know anything about Jensen. Maybe he's going to freak and try to kill him. Maybe he'll try to blackmail Cougar with this. Or maybe he'll just tell a CO and get him shitcanned out of the army.
"Huh." The hacker says again, tilting his head to the side, hair sticking up in a ridiculous manner.
He closes his eyes and walks out of Cougar's line of sight. Moments later the bed dips alarmingly as Jensen drops himself back behind Cougar and mutters,
"This is your one chance to kill me while my guard is down. Right now I think I'd like it."
And then tries to steal Cougar's pillow.
Roque walks in a couple of hours later with a grin and jump in his step that says 'I got laid all last night and then I woke up got laid some more'. Cougar's mostly alive by then. He's had a shower, stared at the toilet bowl, tried to decide if now was a good time to throw up, and found his hat on Jensen's bed. Surrounded by what looked like a gutted computer. Cougar has a vague recollection of Jensen pulling it apart last night, he's racked his brain but has yet to come up with a why.
At the moment Cougar's feigning life in a precise manner, sitting on Pooch's bunk, cleaning his rifle. It doesn't need cleaning but the routine of it doesn't require any thinking, and Cougar needs that right now.
"Good morning ladies!" Roque is entirely too cheerful this morning.
"Oh fuck." The blanket that Jensen is hiding under moves with a cringe. "I am never drinking again."
"The fuck did you do to your computer?" Roque asks, still booming loudly, enjoying the way the blanket flinched with each syllable.
The annoying part of cleaning his rifle is that Cougar can do it blindfolded. So he can watch Jensen peek out at his own bed and whine,
"Aww man, I forgot I did that too." Roque laughs and yanks the blanket off the hacker.
"Come on Princess, let's see how well you shoot with a hangover."
"I hate you," Jensen mumbles, attempting to curl into a ball.
"That's what I'm here for." Roque answers, grabbing Jensen's arm and dragging him out.
"Fine, I'm coming, but I'm not getting dressed."
Cougar watches them leave from under the brim of his hat, when they've been out of sight for a good minute he allows himself a chuckle. A quiet laugh that's maybe got an hysterical edge to it, but it's amused nonetheless.
He finds himself sitting in the bathroom, trying to think and not think at the same time. It's the only room that stays cool, quiet and empty.
Until Jensen stands over him.
"Dude, you've been avoiding me all day."
Cougar has and is currently still avoiding him.
It should be weird. It should feel weird. Cougar looks up at Jensen, his hands still remember how those hips felt under them. Jensen sits, shoving himself between the wall and Cougar, even though there wasn't really room.
"Please stop looking at me I'm a grenade you've lost the pin to. We didn't fuck, I'm not a live grenade and I'm not going to try to braid your hair. Well actually, I might do that last one, but that's more of a shits and giggles thing."
Jensen talks quickly, with an almost high pitched voice that Cougar's never heard before. But there's only one thing he hears.
"We didn't fuck?"
"Holy crap. I can't believe you were even more drunk than me. Fuck man, you carried me home! My god, your drunk walking skills must be inhuman! But no," Jensen sobers up. "No, we did not. Too much alcohol consumption is not good for the pants partying."
Cougar breathes again. Fuck, he's forgotten in the last twenty hours what it's like to breath easily.
"No fucking. But we were a little like teenagers in heat, though. So that's a little embarrassing."
Over the following years Jensen will call this the start of things - which isn't quite right, Cougar isn't completely sure that it didn't start the minute Jensen walked into their, his life.