Jensen watched Cougar over the top of his laptop. The sniper had his back to Jensen as he cleaned his guns. Jensen had been scanning news articles for anything that might be useful, but he kept getting distracted by the muscles moving under the thin teeshirt Cougar was wearing. It was old, threadbare, a little too small, and had stains all over the front. Cougar only wore it when he cleaned guns.
He shouldn't be noticing crap like that though. He sighed and focused back on the computer. Focusing on Cougar's habits was a bad habit Jensen really didn't need, but he'd found himself being distracted more frequently. On the surface things were perfectly normal. Cougar showed absolutely no outward signs things had changed between them. It annoyed Jensen.
Jensen had to work to hide his emotions. He had to struggle to keep his mind on his own tasks. It was difficult acting like they hadn't gone from friends to fuck buddies. It was even more difficult acting like it didn't hurt that's all it was.
He wasn't entirely sure how things had ended up where they were. But he knew when it had started. Cougar had woken up one night in a cold sweat and with a strangled sound that Jensen wouldn't know how to describe if anyone asked. Jensen had sat on the bed and wrapped an arm around his friend, and hadn't expected Cougar to lean into him. When his breathing had returned to normal, and the shaking stopped, Cougar had rested a hand on Jensen's thigh. Squeezing gently he mumbled a thanks, and then pulled away and laid down. Jensen had wordlessly gone back to his own bed. It was a routine they fell into, neither ever mentioning it.
After Bolivia, the nightmares had gotten worse. One night, Cougar had slipped into Jensen's bed instead of his own. Even though Cougar kept his back to Jensen, every inch of the sniper was pressed against his side. Jensen had trouble going back to sleep that night. In the morning Cougar had gotten up without saying anything. It started a new routine, and for the first time in a very long time, Cougar went an entire week without nightmares. Jensen found he slept better, too.
One morning, Jensen had woken up with Cougar pressed against his back. He wasn't sure why he'd opened his mouth on that particular morning, they'd been ignoring each other's morning erections for weeks. But for some reason, he mumbled "that a gun in your pants or are you happy to see me?" Cougar had laughed, and responded that Jensen find out for himself.
Jensen had rolled over to get a better look at Cougar's face. He couldn't decipher the look that was there, so Jensen had decided to be brave and reached down Cougar's boxers. Jensen had quickly discovered that while Cougar didn't talk much, he made lots of noise in bed. Jensen had also been shocked that despite the controlled violence that always seemed to be simmering under the surface, Cougar could be slow and gentle when it came to sex.
Nothing was ever said. Once one of them climbed out of bed, Cougar went back to acting like nothing was out of the ordinary. There were no stolen kisses, no lingering touches, no whispered words. Sometimes he wondered if it was all in his head. Other times, like now, he was angry that it meant nothing.
Snapping the laptop closed, Jensen gathered it and left the room. He couldn't stand being in the same room anymore. He couldn't stand being ignored. He couldn't stand being used.
"Fucking asshole," Jensen threw the laptop down on the bed and sank down after it. He was so lost in thought it didn't register at first that the door had shut. He looked up and found Cougar leaning back against it, a strange look on his face.
"You are," Jensen pulled off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Go away."
Instead of going away, Cougar sat on the other bed. Silence filled the room, eventually getting so heavy Jensen had trouble breathing.
"I don't like it when you're quiet," Cougar said, his voice had a hint of worry in it. Jensen didn't know if it was actually there, or if he was just trying to convince himself it was.
"I don't like being a fuck toy," Jensen shoved his glassed back on his face and stood up. "You're sleeping in your own bed tonight."
Jensen left the room at a normal pace, and managed to not slam the door. It was a small victory, but it made him happy. He didn't hear Cougar following him, which wasn't surprising, but it stung all the same. After he grabbed a beer, he sat on the back deck and watched Pooch work on one of the cars.
Halfway through his beer he heard the bedroom door close. He struggled to keep his focus on Pooch, even when he heard the footsteps stop behind his chair. After a few painfully slow minutes, the footsteps retreated back into the house. Jensen could hear the sounds as Cougar went back to cleaning his guns.
Jensen couldn't avoid Cougar the rest of the day, but he at least managed to avoid talking to him. Luckily everyone else was so wrapped up in their own issues that no one seemed to notice his unusual silence. Pooch had argued with Clay that he should be able to see Jolene more. Clay had argued Jolene might be under surveillance. Aisha had agreed with Clay, and Pooch turned on her. Jensen took that opportunity to retreat to his room.
He'd laid in bed, facing away from Cougar's bed, staring at the wall. Part of him hoped Cougar would ignore what Jensen had said, and climb in behind him like normal. Part of him hoped the sniper would leave him alone. Both options made him clench his teeth.
Cougar slipped into the darkened room a long time later. He silently undressed, and stood in between the beds for a short time. Each second made Jensen's heart pound until finally he heard Cougar climb into his own bed. The room felt colder without Cougar's body heat, and the sounds from the clock on the wall were louder than normal.
Jensen didn't know when he'd managed to finally fall asleep. The sounds of labored breathing woke him up, and he turned to see Cougar in the grips of another nightmare. It physically hurt to roll back over, and try to ignore it. His resolve crumbled when he heard his name in a harsh whisper.
He stood up and reached out to wake Cougar right as the man came upright in bed. The haunted look in Cougar's face broke the rest of Jensen's defenses, and he climbed in next to the sniper. When Cougar's breathing slowed, Jensen rolled over to leave. The hand on his arm startled him and forced him to look back.
"Don't," Cougar's voice was strained, and his face was tight. "Please."
The please nearly did him in, but he pulled his hand away and forced himself back into his own bed. His chest felt like it was going to explode and his eyes burned. He held perfectly still, tried to will the feelings to the back of his mind. He tried to choke back the first sob, but it still carried across the quiet room. It made him hurt more to know Cougar either had more self control, or cared less, when he remained alone in his bed until he finally managed to fall asleep again.