There is no armour against Fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Sceptre and Crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crookèd scythe and spade.
They meet in Berlin behind a ferris wheel that hasn't worked since 1933. It's not the first time they've met here, but it's the first time the wheel hasn't worked. Three men are walking away, leaving a man lying on the ground clutching at the hole in his chest as his shirt slowly turns red. No one notices their presence.
Cougar knows this man, the way he knows every human who nears their time. Kurt Badelt. Forty-three, a not-so-loving husband who owed the wrong people too much money.
Cougar knows Jensen just as well, even if his energy is crammed into a vessel Cougar's never seen before. Blond hair, tanned skin, bright clothing and colored glasses barely contain something no living creature can comprehend.
Luckily, Cougar isn't alive and has had eons to comprehend what stands before him. The other half of him. Many would claim to be his better half. The thought brings a smile to his lips and draws Jensen's attention like a magnet.
"You still have the hat!" Jensen grins, amused as always by its presence.
"You gave it to me."
Jensen chuckles, shaking his head. "Weirdo."
By nature, Cougar is a thief; he exists solely to take from the living. But Jensen, who has always been given gifts freely, can never understand why any gifts would be kept, let alone cherished. He can't understand why Cougar still keeps his same vessel, still keeps a length of leather cord tied around his wrist, a silver skull around his finger, a wooden cross around his neck, and a bag of salt in his pocket.
Jensen keeps nothing. Every time they meet Cougar is greeted with a new vessel, new attire, and new habits. Nothing Jensen has is deemed worth keeping for long, which is perhaps why Cougar keeps himself to the other side of Kurt Badelt's body instead of moving closer until he's next to Jensen, where he knows he'd be welcomed.
"Let me take him," Cougar says as Kurt attempts to apply pressure to his wound.
"Naw." Jensen watches Kurt in amusement, sending out threads of life force to keep Kurt from his death and prolong Jensen's amusement. "He's mine."
Jensen's greed isn't surprising; it's never been anything but enticing. Around his feet grass and weeds push up through the broken concrete at unnatural speeds. Cougar sends his own stream of decay to regulate the chaos Jensen's carelessness creates.
It's a familiar role. Almost soothing.
"He belongs to me as well," Cougar reminds Jensen.
Jensen looks up from Kurt's blubbering with a bright smile and a hard gleam in his eye. "Then take him from me. If you think you can," Jensen taunts. "Let's see if Death can steal the life from Life itself."
"No." Cougar leans across the distance slowly, pressing a kiss to Jensen's neck. "I would never take from you."
"You take from me all the time."
"Only when you're bored with them."
Jensen hums as Cougar places a kiss on his jaw. Jensen's fingers tangle into his hair fondly. "Let me have him."
Jensen's eyes move to Kurt as he gasps for breath between screaming for help that won't come. Kurt turns to crawl his way towards the exit.
"How badly do you want to kill him? Would you beg me for him?"
"Do you want me to?"
Jensen's eyes flash blindingly white before returning to blue. His head tilts to the side and gives Cougar a dangerous smile that makes him tug his hat down in vain.
"You know the answer to that."
"He's had enough." Cougar brushes his knuckles over Jensen's cheek. "You've had your fun."
"Nahhh," Jensen drawls. "It's only just beginning."
Jensen frowns. "Why do you want him so bad?"
Cougar shakes his head, letting his hand fall from Jensen's face as Kurt's voice weakens into frightened sobs. "There is a limit to what they should be made to endure."
"Cougs, are you saying you think I'm cruel?" Blue eyes swirl maddeningly at Cougar, flirting with white light as Jensen's vessel is unable to contain the full force of him.
"I know you are."
"What will you give me for this one?"
Cougar sighs, but doesn't bother hiding the way his lips curl up. "What do you want?"
"A kiss will do. For now."
Cougar leans back in, kissing Jensen's cheek.
"That's not what I meant and you know it." Jensen's voice isn't upset, only petulant in a way humans invented but Jensen perfected.
Cougar smirks, standing to follow Kurt's blood trail before running his fingers over Kurt's hand and releasing his spirit. For a split second Kurt's eyes see them and he opens his mouth to scream, but his body is empty before any sound can leave his lips.
Jensen huffs, standing and moving next to Cougar. His new vessel is taller than the last one and Cougar is amused to find he has to tilt his head up slightly to catch Jensen's eyes.
"You happy now?" Jensen squats down to poke absently at Kurt's dead body. Cougar bats his hands away.
Jensen scoffs, rolling his eyes. "You're such freak."
Cougar ignores the barb and spins the skull ring on his finger.
"Why do you do it?"
Cougar raises an eyebrow.
"Don't play dumb with me. I invented that. Well, I didn't. But I made the guy who did get killed by an eohippus, which wow, that had to be an embarrassing way to go." Jensen leans in until Cougar can feel the ripples of Life rolling off Jensen's current vessel. No wonder he goes through them so quickly. "So again, why are you so nice to them?"
"Death must be kind."
Jensen mimics vomiting before flopping down to sprawl out next to Kurt's body. "This guy right here," Jensen pats Kurt's head, "when he wasn't beating his wife he was cheating and lying to anyone who would listen. He doesn't deserve your kindness."
Cougar shrugs. "Kindness doesn't have to be earned."
"But your kisses do," Jensen mutters as he shoves Kurt's body away before rolling to his side. He props his head up on his fist, looking over at Cougar. "If I didn't know better I'd think you liked these creatures more than you like me. And that's not cool. You were made for me, so you have to like me best."
"I could never love anything more than you."
Jensen's eyes narrow. "Funny way of showing it. You take away my toys and you ruin my fun. And you never let me have any real fun with you."
Cougar kneels, bending to kiss Jensen's cheek. "What's given to you never holds your interest."
"You're different. I've spent fucking eons chasing after you. You hold my interest, even when you're a pain in my ass."
"I had to take him. He was-"
"It was his time, blah, blah, fucking blah." Jensen waves a hand in the air, somehow managing to be both the oldest thing in the universe and the most childish.
"That's how Death works," Cougar reminds him. "I'm relief after storm. Rest for the weary."
"You make Life sound so bad."
"You can be," Cougar admits, earning himself a scowl. "you're a capricious creature."
Jensen sits up, pressing himself into Cougar's space. "But you still love me?"
"More than anything."
"Enough to do more than kiss me on the cheek?"
Cougar presses another kiss to Jensen's cheek. "Chase me a little longer."
"I've chased you forever." Jensen whines.
"All we have is time."
"Yeah, and that's boring."
Cougar smirks, tips his hat before slipping back into the void. He can hear the echo of Jensen's complaints and the pulse of his energy on his vessel's skin long after Berlin is half a globe away.