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Can we keep him?

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he’d been lying in his hospital bed for nearly two days since he and his team had returned. in that amount of time, he’d had the distinct pleasure of having his ankle put into a removable cast to keep the damaged bones in alignment while they healed. it wasn’t something he was fond of by any means, but it also was inevitable after taking that tumble down a mountain side. he was grateful that he’d been given a single room and not a double like most of the room’s in the medical facility. he supposed that it could have been because of his CO clay requesting it for him, but he couldn’t be sure if that was the reason why or not. it wasn’t like he could just ask clay if he’d done something like that for him, he barely spoke to his team unless absolutely necessary. it wasn’t that he didn’t like his team, he cared for them deeply, he just never had much to talk about. he let his teammate’s fill the void for his lack of speech.
his team didn’t seem bothered by his lack of speaking, if anything they were used to it by now and the few times he did speak up, seemed to be treasured by them for some reason. they were very different than his first team, that was for sure. sighing, he longed to get out of the medical center and return to his team’s housing on base. it was much more comfortable then lying about in the quiet room. although he didn’t mind the quiet, he had somehow grown used to the noisiness of his teammates. there wasn’t a day that went by without rogue threatening someone, pooch fixing something or other while making smart ass remarks to rogue, and clay keeping the peace between them all, even while with holding his own mirth at the situations his team got into. then there was the fact that by being in the medical center he had to deal with intrusions by strangers, it was not congruent to him getting rest. his thoughts were jarred when once again a woman came into his room, a nurse, to check on him. she was all smiles.
“hello, how are you feeling today?”
knowing that he was required to speak to the medical staff as clay had already lectured him on such, he replied.
she smiled at him before asking.
“no pain?”
he shrugged his shoulders before inwardly admonishing himself for not replying verbally. finally he added.
“it is dull”
“well, we want to keep it that way alright? your not due for another dose of pain med’s for an hour or so, but i wanted to come check on you to make sure you were alright. can i get you anything?”
cougar shook his head before thanking the woman. she nodded and left him in peace.
sighing he reclined into his pillows and glared down at his casted foot. the bruising was pretty bad, though the swelling had gone down considerably over the last day or so. the pain medicine they had him on was thankfully not the type to make him fall asleep against his will, it was just enough to take the edge off of the pain radiating from his ankle. he’d dealt with worse of course, but it was nice to have pain medicine to make him more comfortable in the meantime while it healed.
his head jerked up suddenly from staring at his wounded ankle to the door. he wondered what the nurse could possible want when she had just be in not two minutes ago, he scowled as he saw a heavily bandaged man dart in through the door and slam it behind him before slumping in obvious relief. cougar watched the intruder warily. it was obvious the man was at the center for treatment, but why was he running around? it was as if he was hiding from someone. he watched as the blonde sighed, pressing his head against the door a minute before his head jerked up and he twisted around to see cougar lying there. they stared at each other a moment before the blonde muttered.
“shit...uh sorry about that”
he waved to the door before adding.
“i-i didn’t wake you did i?”
shaking his head cougar watched the man sigh in obvious relief.
“cool, cool. so um...this is really awkward, but you mind if i chill here a while?”
cougar shrugged his shoulders, he didn’t really care if the man hid out in his room. it wasn’t like he had a lot to do and the company of the stranger might not be too bad until his teammates came by later. the blonde smiled at him before hobbling over to the window seal. he maneuvered himself enough to get seated on it, one leg dangling off of the ledge while the other was tucked inside the window frame he was contorting his body into. it didn’t look comfortable to cougar, but he’d seen all the tight spaces pooch had forced himself into to fix things and figured it must be the same for the blonde.
he disregarded his ‘guest’ for a moment to stare back down to his foot. it was really his only injury, he had cuts and bruises from the tumble down the mountain side, but nothing worse than the ankle. glancing back over to his guest he saw the multitude of bandages strew over the man. he remembered his hobbled steps as well indicating there was something wrong with a leg or possibly the man’s hip. he was dressed in the traditional sleeping clothes given to all patients well enough to move about. as if he realized he was being watched the blonde turned his head away from the view outside to look at him. cougar didn’t say anything, a moment later the blonde spoke again.
“so uh...busted ankle?”
cougar nodded his head to the man. technically his ankle wasn’t broken, some of the bones were cracked and to prevent them from really breaking he had the cast. however he wasn’t about to go into such depth with the stranger. the blonde nodded his head before saying.
“had one of those a while ago, not fun...then again nothing that can get you in here is fun is it? you would think they’d put that in fine print on all those pamphlets they hand out to the college kids ya know? warning may cause permanent damage and you may be forced to have some elderly bitty who has permission to poke and prod you for your own health.”
cougars lips twitched at the man’s statement, the blonde seemed to catch it because he smiled back. a moment passed before the blonde spoke again.
“so i guess you want an explanation as to why i barged in here right?”
cougar shrugged, he was curious, but he wasn’t going to ask and if the man didn’t wish to tell him. the man tilted his head before saying.
“really? i’d be hella curious if some stranger came barging into my room like the devil was after him. course some of those nurses should qualify as the devil man...i swear that one is evil incarnate. i’ve taken down plenty of big burly ass hats in the field. wouldn’t touch her with a ten foot poll my man, not ever.”
cougar idly wondered if the man knew he strayed from his original task of telling him why he was there, but figured it wasn’t all that important. the man was amusing and he’d been right that he didn’t really mind the company. it had gotten boring sitting around with nothing to do, at least with the stranger he had someone to listen too. he blinked a moment to clear his thoughts when he realized that the blonde was talking again.
“and i mean what are in those things right? they are totally not normal. like some kind of black magic voodoo shit i swear...oh i once got to meet this tribe of people in africa, totally cool man. well minus the weird food stuff they ate, some of it wasn’t bad, but there was this paste they the look on my team’s face when they had to eat it because we couldn’t upset the chief and whatnot...hilarious. none of them were smart enough to just hide it to dispose of later and hey who am i to tell the idiots if they weren’t smart enough to figure that out in the first place right? so there they are munching away and god it was so hard not to laugh. it was even better when i got to look the shit up and tell em what they’d ate. never been happier to be sly at hand my man, im not one to eat grub guts inside roadkill intestines...god their faces”
he chuckled a moment before looking at cougar who was faintly smiling, then as if he remembered something he said.
“oh if im talking too much just tell me to shut up alright? im used to it, and to be honest i can never tell when people are fed up with me unless they hit me or yell.”
cougar frowned at that, no one should be hit just because they liked speaking their mind. he could understand the yelling, rogue was fond of that, but even with all the threats someone like rogue did, he’d never seen the man hurt any of his teammates. threaten yes, do. no.
“so anyways, just you know let me know when i need to shut up okay?”
cougar nodded his head, the blonde tilted his at that before asking.
“can you talk? oh shit, sorry that was really insensitive i mean you don’t need sensitivity, i mean...damn it.”
cougar chuckled at the kids bumbling before finally saying.
the blonde head jerked back before he blinked and asked.
“uh...spanish...okay, sure, ummm i don’t speak spanish. man im so sorry i’ve been in here rambling away and you-do you understand english? i mean i know we got some exchange guys from the east a while ago, but i hadn’t heard of anybody from down south...”
deciding to put the poor kid out of his misery, cougar said with a smirk on his face.
“i speak english amigo”
the blonde smiled before sighing in obvious relief.
“thank god, cause outside of a few words, mostly related to food, i couldn’t say shit to you if you didn’t.”
chuckling cougar nodded his head at the kid. he was used to most of the base not being able to understand him when he spoke spanish. clay was the only one on his team who was semi-fluent in it and he even screwed up from time to time. he normally left it to cougar to translate for him if they needed it. the kid finally said.
“i’ve always wanted to learn, i mean i know other languages and all that jazz, but for some reason i’ve never gotten around to spanish. do you speak other languages too?”
cougar shrugged before adding.
“spanish, english, very little else”
the blonde smiled after having gotten the silent man to say more than two words. he finally said.
“i know russian, japanese, a few middle eastern languages, some french, though its not solid by any means and then of course english. oh and computer languages...those too.”
raising a brow to the blonde he wasn’t sure what he meant by computer languages, but figured the kid was young enough to be into that sort of thing. smiling the blonde asked.
“so where’s your team or are you a floater?”
smirking cougar said.
“they are on base, waiting for me”
he pointed to his ankle. the blonde nodded.
“yeah that’s always a bitch aint it? when i broke both my hands i thought the world was ending man, cant do shit without your hands. total nightmare, not to mention embarrassing beyond belief.”
chuckling at the man’s implied statements he nodded his head and let the kid continue his ramblings.
“granted, i’d take broken hands any day over the alternative. that was one mean fucker i tell you. never been so happy to be able to kick someone in his happy place.”
snorting cougar shook his head at the kid. smirking the blonde said.
“dude he broke my hands, he totally deserved it.”
nodding his head to appease the man’s statement they both jolted when the door came open. cougar smiled as his team came in though they all froze at the sight of the strange blonde in their teammates room. the kid rubbed the back of his bandaged head and smiled.
they continued to frown, though rogue’s glare was the hardest. clay pushed himself past his sic and asked.
“who are you? what are you doing here?”
putting his hands up in a ‘i surrender’ gesture the kid stumbled out.
“corporal jake jensen sir, i um...was hiding out in your man’s room for a bit.”
clay frowned at that, but before he could ask, the kid, jensen said.
“my nurse is evil”
clay sighed as he heard pooch laugh from behind him, giving the kid an unimpressed look, he glanced to cougar for his opinion on the matter. his sniper smirked at him and shook his head. nodding he turned his attention to the kid again and asked.
“where’s your team corporal?”
jensen swallowed stiffly before saying
“m’not sure sir”
frowning, clay was interrupted by his sic officer calling out.
“what kind of fucked up answer is that? how do you not know where they are?”
jensen jolted at the man’s tone before stumbling out nervously.
“uh...they weren’t here when i woke up said everybody is okay so...i figured i’d see em once i got out.”
rogue continued to glare daggers at the kid, but clay took over once more.
“so you woke up here? and your team hasn’t been by to see you?”
jensen shrugged before off handily commenting.
“its not like their my permanent team sir, i float around a lot.”
giving the kid a firm nod, clay asked.
“so you figured your waiting for new orders”
jensen nodded his head before stating.
“yes sir”
nodding clay backed off finally, giving his glaring sic a look. rogue growled before turning his attention away from the stranger to ask cougar.
“how much longer you laid up for man?”
cougar shrugged at the annoyed man, rogue glared at him, but the sniper was pretty immune to it by now. pooch snorted before saying.
“he cant will his leg to heal jackass”
cougar smirked at pooch who gave him a nod. the transportation specialist glanced to the blonde who had gone suspiciously quiet on the window seal. the kid was looking out the window and seemed to be ignoring them. frowning at the sight of the kid all alone, he took it upon himself to ask.
“you a newbie?”
jensen jumped a little before turning to look at pooch and shake his head. then almost nervously he said.
“no sir”
rolling his eyes pooch told him.
“relax, i aint a sir, makes me feel as old as clay”
he motioned to his co, who scowled at him. jensen glanced between them nervously before after seeing that nothing was going to happen settled once more to say.
“im not new...i just haven’t been on base a while. they loan me out a lot.”
“what makes you so special?”
rogue sneered at the blonde. the kid looked at him blankly a moment before stating in a matter of fact tone.
“i hacked the defense servers when i was fifteen, that seemed to be a big deal.”
they stared at him a moment before rogue muttered.
nodding his head jensen said.
“im serious...its in my records....well not my records here, my records out there... well i guess that’s part of in here too, i mean outside the base, you know out-”
“i know what you fuckin mean”
nodding his head jensen snapped his jaw shut at the man’s angry retort. he was far too used to people taking his explanations as criticism. so he tried to refrain from saying too much to people that seemed bothered by his level of intelligence. his head turned to the leader of the unit who said.
“why’d you hack the defense systems in your own country”
there was an edge to the man’s tone. sighing jensen said.
“i was bored...technically speaking i didn’t know it was illegal to do so. i just thought if you were smart enough to get through then whatever, i didn’t see any harm in it. course after the fed’s came and lectured me and then my sister...”
he winced on remembering that incident before continuing.
“i learned my lesson sir, they recruited me straight outta high school.”
nodding his head clay asked.
“did they recruit you or blackmail you?”
jensen’s eyes widened at that, it was the first time anyone had actually asked for a distinction in the events that had taken place after he was caught hacking into their government. most just saw it as a great opportunity to be head hunted by the government. no one could see the potential dangers of saying no. shrugging his shoulders he avoided the question by saying.
“im here now, doesn’t really matter how,why or anything else for that matter.”
clay frowned at the kid, opening his mouth to ask something else, they all turned when the door came open and a nurse smiled at them all. she bustled over and handed cougar a small cup of pills and a glass of water before looking up and once her eyes landed on jensen she scowled.
“really? this is where you’ve been?”
the blonde winced before trying to lighten the mood.
“i didn’t leave this floor this time?”
she glared at him before pointing towards the door while lecturing him.
“this man needs rest,not you intruding into his room and keeping him up while your trying to avoid everybody else. we’ve been looking for you, your co isn’t going to be happy to hear about this corporal.”
jensen sighed and nodded before sliding out of the window seal and hobbling out of the room. the nurse followed briskly after him. once the door was shut did the team turn to regard one another.
“that was weird right?”
pooch questioned. rogue snorted before saying.
“kids a friggin liar”
pooch rolled his eyes before saying.
“i meant him avoiding his own room and the medical staff.”
rogue shrugged his shoulders before saying.
“he’s just digging himself a bigger hole by not following orders. i mean what idiot goes playing hide and seek with the nurses here?”
clay shook his head before telling them both to quiet down as he asked cougar.
“he bother you?”
cougar shook his head, jensen hadn’t bothered him. nodding his head clay said.
“alright then, so long as he wasn’t bothering you, i wont make a scene about it.”
cougar nodded before saying.
“si, he was-friendly”
pooch smirked before saying.
“yeah? you make a new friend cougar?”
the sniper glared at his teammate before turning his attention back to clay to say.
“is it true? what he said?”
clay shrugged before commenting.
“don’t know, i suppose i could look it up. doesn’t make sense though for him to be a floater if he’s good at his job.”
he twisted to glare at rogue who had muttered ‘that’s cause he’s lying’. shaking his head he turned his attention back to cougar and said.
“you hang tight alright? little longer and you can come back to the house with us.”
nodding his head cougar said.
smirking the group chatted a while about this and that, though cougar hardly said anything during all of the conversations. it was still nice to be able to speak to his teammates, he was used to their companionship and being forced away from them was unnerving for the man.


it was midday the next day when cougar was forced to look up from the book pooch had brought him. he raised a brow and then smirked when the familiar form of jensen came darting into his room. the door shutting behind the man. the blonde sighed before giving him a thumbs up.
“close one man, she’s scary good.”
snorting the man shook his head at the blonde. jensen smiled before hobbling over towards the window seal. cougar frowned as he watched the man’s stiff movements. once the man was settled cougar smiled at the blonde. jensen for his part smiled back and said.
“figured she’s not smart enough to check here again. you don’t mind do you? i mean there’s a guy down the hall in a coma, he wont care if you do-”
shaking his head cougar spoke for the first time since his guest had arrived.
“i do not mind”
the blonde smiled and nodded.
“thanks man, by the way i gotta say that big black dude on your team is one scary son of a bitch”
chuckling cougar said.
smirking jensen said.
“what’s that guy weigh? he looks like he could bench press a Humvee man. would not want to take him on, no suree. so hey did they give you an eta on escape?”
he motioned towards cougars ankle. the sniper smirked before saying.
“two days”
nodding his head jensen said.
“sweet. not too bad, gonna be longer to get the cast off though right?”
smirking jensen said.
“your just lucky i know what that means.”
cougar snorted at the blonde who was obviously pulling his leg by that statement. jensen smiled a moment before glancing out the window. it was quite a while before the blonde finally spoke up again. cougar glanced back up to the blonde after having returned to his reading in the gap in conversation.
“so uh, what do you do? i mean you know your specialty and all that?”
smirking cougar said.
“long range support”
jensen blinked at him before he exclaimed.
“dude your a sniper?”
nodding his head cougar wondered why the man was so ecstatic about that.
“man that’s awesome...i’d suck at that, what with the glasses and all and then the whole forgetting my gun thing...that’d be kinda more obvious with a rifle right?”
he chuckled, cougar frowned before stating.
“you forgot your gun?”
jensen smirked before saying.
“yeah...a few times, but hey its not like i needed it. im a very smooth talker my man, i got myself out of quite a few jams just by talking.”
shaking his head cougar mumbled.
jensen blinked before saying.
“ummm don’t know what that one means my man, but im gonna guess it mean’s awesome or something equivalent. cause i am awesome, make no mistake about that.”
the blonde smiled brightly at him, frowning cougar shook his head and said.
tilting his head jensen asked.
“what do you mean no? i am awesome, i mean how many guys do you know who can talk down a peruvian drug lord who’s junked up on cocaine? all without a gun.”
he pointed to himself. snorting cougar asked.
“are you sure it was drugs?”
“yes im sure, that sure as hell wasn’t powdered sugar man.”
he retorted petulantly. smirking cougar shook his head and said.
“tienes un deseo de muerte mi amigo (you have a death wish my friend)”
jensen blinked at him and then shook his head.
“nope got nothing.”
smirking cougar shrugged his shoulders before relaxing into his bed. jensen huffed.
“fine, keep your spanishy ways.i’ll just get a book and decode you later.”
blinking cougar chuckled at the man’s statement. jensen huffed, putting his arms over his chest in a rough manner only to wince and throw them down. cougar sat up in his bed at the sight and asked.
“estas bien?”
jensen panted a little before glancing up at him once more and saying.
“no clue dude”
“are you okay?”
nodding his head jensen waved at him.
“fine fine...nothing to worry about my man. got it all taken care of. right as rain. which by the way is a really weird saying, how can rain be right? for that matter can it be wrong? i don’t think it can, i mean it can be cold as fuck, but i don’t think that’s necessarily wrong of it ya know?”
shaking his head at the blonde, cougar settled back into his bed and let the man ramble a bit. it was almost soothing to hear the man go on and on about this or that, nothing of importance really. however, his voice was calming to the sniper, it was far better than the cold silence he had been surrounded by before the man arrived. cougar glanced up when the man’s voice trailed off suddenly, unsure if he had missed something he watched the man a moment. jensen was looking out the window at something. the man huffed before turning and asking.
“how far away could you shoot someone in the ass?”
chuckling cougar shrugged his shoulders.
“i mean, clear shot my man, good vantage point, little wind resistance. no obstacles.”
smirking cougar asked.
“you have someone you wish to see shot in the ass?”
jensen smirked before asking.
“you don’t?”
cougar blinked at that a moment before he realized that the blonde had a point. smirking he replied.
nodding his head jensen glanced back out the window.
“im a pretty good shot myself, but not sniper material...i think they’d notice me creeping up on someone with a gun in hand aimed at their ass.”
snorting cougar said.
he saw the blonde smirk at his reply before jensen said.
“just so you know, he deserves it, totally not a petty thing at all. i mean what kind of ass hat-”
jensen sighed before shaking his head, looking up jensen shrugged at cougar before saying.
“sorry, i can get riled up sometimes. m’sure you don’t want to hear about all of this shit.”
cougar shrugged his shoulders. he didn’t mind listening to the man, he was intriguing. smirking jensen said.
“thanks dude.. i promise i wont start in on the basic anatomy of a person’s ass or the best place to shoot someone there, cause i totally haven’t researched that, nope no way”
he muttered as he stared out the window. snorting cougar muttered.
“i know im awesome right?”
snorting at the man’s reply, cougar settled into read his book a little longer while jensen stared out the window. cougar was unsure if he was seeing his ‘target’ or if it was something else that had sparked the man’s last train of thought. he never could tell with the man’s random tangents into other subjects. he vaguely listened to his guest talk about a variety of subjects from why he thought the blue power ranger was totally undervalued and how black licorice should be outlawed everywhere as it was obviously nothing more than edible tar. he smirked as he turned another page in his book as jensen had moved onto which care bear was the evilist and if there was zombie outbreak how screwed were the majority of the new army recruits.
he had just turned another page when he realized it had grown quiet a few moments prior. frowning he glanced up and upon seeing his guest slumped into the window pane and shook his head. the man was obviously tired if he could fall asleep in such a horrible place and position. he returned to his book and let jensen sleep for as long as he was able. sooner or later a nurse or his team would end up coming by, but until then the blonde could rest.

it was nearly forty five minutes later before the door opened. cougar glanced up and sighed when he saw the nurse take notice of jensen. she was scowling at the sleeping soldier.
“he is fine”
he tried to argue for the man’s continued stay, the nurse turned to look at him and shook her head.
“he has his own room with a bed, where he should be staying. this isn’t doing him any good, constantly getting up and moving around, he’s supposed to still be in bed for christ’s sake.”
cougar’s eyes widened at that as he turned to look at the contorted form of the blonde. jensen wasn’t supposed to be out of bed yet? the nurse walked by his bed and tapped the man on the shoulder. it was like a bolt of electricity struck the man, he jolted awake and hissed in pain at the sudden movement before seemingly taking notice of the scowling woman with her arms crossed over her chest. jensen smirked at her.
“heya, how’s it going?”
she scowled harder before jutting out a hand and pointing towards the door. sighing jensen slid from the window seal and hobbled his way towards the door.
“see ya man”
cougar nodded his head as he watched the man leave. the nurse turned to look at him and said.
“he shows up again, you press your call button. there’s no reason for you to be bothered by his disruptions.”
she stalked out before cougar could argue that jensen hadn’t been bothering him. sighing he slumped into his bed and contemplated what he’d learned about the man’s supposed medical status.


it was later that night when his team had arrived that clay asked.
“your friend show up again? heard the nurses muttering about him”
cougar nodded his head
nodding his head clay said.
“looked him up, he wasn’t lying about his hacking abilities. downright genius apparently, though that hasn’t seemed to make a difference when it comes to holding down a place in a team.”
“cause he’s annoying”
rogue muttered. the others ignored the man, he was easily offended and his judgment couldn’t always be counted on to not be skewed. instead clay continued.
“been marched from team to team as needed. he’s apparently accident prone, kid’s been in here more than he should have if he has a brain in that skull of his. doesn’t make much sense to be honest. he gets glowing reports on skills, but has so many misconduct reports and papers stating that teams wont work with him again that its piling up. they don’t know what to do with him, so they float him around...doubt it will be long before he’s discharged at this rate.”
cougar frowned at that, but didn’t say anything. instead leaving it to his teammates to ask questions. sure enough pooch spoke up.
“okay? so he’s a frickin genius who can hack anything, but he cant keep a team to save his life? something seems fishy there clay”
his co nodded his head.
“i know, but there’s not much to be done. he either sticks it out until he finds a team he can deal with or he gets kicked out because no one will take him on anymore.”
shaking his head pooch was interrupted from saying anything else by rogue saying.
“doesn’t seem like that much of a loss, so the kids good with computers...big friggin whoop. we get all our Intel from base, most other teams do the same. he’s obviously not meant for the field, they should desk jockey him and get it over with. if he cant hack that, send him home”
pooch and cougar scowled at the sic, but clay just shook his head before explaining to rogue.
“he’s not just good with computers rogue, one of his mission statements said he pieced together a recovery beacon out of spare parts from broken radios and an emergency supply kit. it saved that team’s life. that ain’t duct tape work rogue...that takes skill.”
the man snorted before asking.
“how’d they get in that position in the first place? they have to go rescue the kid?”
clay rolled his eyes before moving on to ask cougar.
“he say anything else to you?”
cougar shook his head before saying.
“nurse said he’s supposed to be in bed”
pooch shrugged at that.
“so, they don’t want him up and about, he’s probably driving them crazy with his little disappearing act.”
cougar shook his head before saying.
“she said, his injuries wouldn’t heal if he kept at it”
they stilled at that before rogue dared to ask.
“you mean he’s actually up and about causing himself pain instead of resting? what kind of fucking idiot does that?”
cougar shrugged his shoulders. he didn’t have an answer for that. clay frowned before telling his sniper.
“he comes by again, you ask him. that’s not normal behavior...if somethings wrong in his head, we’ll need to report it.”
cougar nodded his head at his commanding officers request. he didn’t like the thought of something being wrong with jensen, but understood that they had a responsibility to report it if something was amiss with the man. it was pooch who asked.
“you feel safe with him? i can lend ya my gun”
he tugged up his shirt to show his pistol. cougar thought a moment before shaking his head.
“if your sure.”
pooch said. cougar nodded before turning to ask clay.
“traumatic past?”
knowing what his sniper was asking in so few words, clay shrugged.
“ his personal files were limited...they seemed edited, so who knows there...his mission reports paint a pretty graphic picture though. kids been through some shit storms i’ll give him that. he’s seemed to bounce back though every time.”
it was rogues firm voice that interrupted their conversation.
“maybe he’s outta bounce”
they glanced to the sic before they nodded their heads. it was true people could put up with a lot, but eventually things compounded and people broke. the rest of the time his team was there, the conversation was steered towards a better topic. pooch was in the process of figuring out how to propose to his long time girlfriend jolene. so the men banded together to figure out someway pooch could pop the special question to the woman. though most of the suggestions ended up being too bizarre or downright ridiculous for pooch to consider, it lifted all of their spirits to joke around once more.


cougar glanced at the clock. he frowned. jensen was late. normally the blonde would stumble his way in by now. granted it wasn’t like the blonde had to come see him, the nurses were all up in arms to keep him in bed, but he didn’t figure that jensen was the type to listen to that. he hadn’t thus far, so what would change. sighing, he turned his gaze from the clock and went back to reading. there was nothing else he could do at the moment but sit and read....and wait.
two hours passed before the door came open and the familiar form of jensen stumbled in. the man shut the door before sighing.
“i swear they’re getting better at that...i didn’t think they’d ever leave me alone”
smirking cougar was about to reply to the man, when his smile fell and he frowned. jensen smiled at him as if nothing was wrong, yet the man had a fresh black eye forming on his face.
“something wrong man?”
“si...your eye”
he pointed towards jensen’s face. the blonde smirked and waved him off.
“i might have been trying to evade capture and fallen.”
the blonde joked as he made his way slowly over to the window seal. cougar noticed right away that the blonde’s normally slow, stiff gate was even more so today. he was hurting.
“you are in pain”
jensen glanced back at him and shook his hand.
“nah man, im fine.”
cougar frowned at the blonde as he got situated in his spot. the blonde sighed once he was seated, probably unconsciously as he didn’t seem to realize just how much he was showing to cougar. the blonde’s form radiated discomfort, though cougar knew it wasn’t from his presence, the blonde was in pain. he didn’t like being lied too, but the fact that the man was so nonchalant about his pain irked him more.
“you shouldn’t have come”
jensen’s head jerked up before the blonde suddenly deflated a bit before nodding.
“yeah...sorry man, i didn’t mean to bother you i’ll-”
cougar shook his head at the man misinterpreting what he said.
“no, you are in pain. you should have stayed in bed.”
smirking a little, jensen said.
“ah you care, but seriously dude, im fine...just a little sore.”
cougar continued to glare a little at the blonde. jensen slouched back against the window seal before changing the topic.
“you getting out tomorrow?”
cougar sighed and nodded.
“cool cool. guess i’ll have to go down and bug mr. coma patient”
snorting cougar shook his head. he sent an ill impressed look when jensen said.
“all things considered, wont be much don’t talk all that much.”
the blonde gave him a knowing look. rolling his eyes cougar said.
“i know im awesome aren’t i?”
sighing he shook his head at the blonde before reclining in his own bed. finally after a moment he asked.
“how much longer for you?”
“hmm? oh until i break free? uh about a week i think...they wont really tell me nothin, real mean of them if you ask me. i mean how hard is it to just tell me how long im down for? not that hard of a question, not like im asking for them to estimate when mr. coma will wake up. nope just simple how long am i going to be your hostage and do i get a phone call before or after you torture me with that slop you call food?”
snorting cougar shook his head at the dramatic blonde man.
“don’t tell me you’ve been eating that shit? it’ll fry your brain man, i tell you it will.”
rolling his eyes cougar was suddenly reminded of his previous conversation with clay. the man had wanted him to ask jensen some things. he figured now as a good as any.
“why do you come here? why not rest?”
jensen looked at him a moment as if appraising him of something before he shrugged and answered.
“laying about’s not going to make me feel any better ya know? i mean if it hurts it hurts. besides i hate sitting still, i’d rather be up and in pain and doing shit than laying about still in pain with nothing to do.”
shaking his head cougar replied.
“you will not heal this way”
jensen considered it a moment before saying.
“i guess, but its not like i have a team waiting for me to heal up. it’ll be a while before anyone needs me again and by then i’ll be ready to go back into the field. “
frowning cougar asked.
“have you never stayed long with a team?”
jensen shook his head.
“nah, not really...i mean i think the longest i lasted with one team was six months, not that long really...i don’t mind though...i get to go a lot of different places, do a lot of different things. its nice”
cougar didn’t comment on the fact that the man’s posture and tone of voice said otherwise. cougar was good at reading people, it was part of his job as a sniper, but he’d learned to be observant to people around him because of his lack of speaking when around others. you could learn a lot about someone by watching them. everything about jensen right then spoke of tiredness, pain, rejection...he wasn’t okay with how things were going, he was simply coasting. sighing cougar said.
“you will find a team”
jensen shrugged his shoulders, glancing out the window to break eye contact. it didn’t go unnoticed, but cougar didn’t mention it.
“m’not so sure about that man...hey”
he turned around and with a shocked look said.
“i never got your name”
smirking cougar said.
snorting jensen replied.
“ha ha smart ass. c’mon you already know mine”
nodding his head, cougar said.
“carlos team calls me cougar”
jensen blinked a moment before tilting his head and saying.
“why cougar?”
smirking he replied.
“i am known well in climbing up things for a better vantage point and jumping down from great heights when needed.”
“damn, that must be tricky with your gear”
nodding his head cougar replied.
“si, it can be”
jensen smirked and said.
“nice to meet ya cougar”
“si same to you”
jensen turned to look back out the window before commenting.
“so how high would you have to climb to get the best vantage point on someone’s ass?”
snorting cougar shook his head at the blondes crazy question. soon after, the blonde took off on another tangent and cougar let him talk himself around in circles as he pleased. occasionally offering up a word here or there based on what the man was saying or if he was asked an actual question.

it was a few hours later when cougar’s door came open, jensen tensed fearing the nurses that were undoubtedly looking for him arriving. he relaxed when it turned out to only cougar’s teammate pooch. the man grinned at the both of them before shutting the door and saying.
“see you broke out again”
jensen smirked before stating.
“if i had broke out, i’d be out there climbing over that fence and running towards blessed freedom.”
pooch snorted as jensen motioned towards the barbed wire fence around the compound. walking over to the chair beside cougar’s bed he asked.
“how you doin cougar?”
the man smirked before saying.
“i am well, you?”
“good, i decided to stop by since i was in the to talk with jo for a bit on the phone’s. woman sure was pissed to find out we weren’t allowed off base while you recuperated.”
cougar chuckled at his friend before stating.
“you will have to apologize to her for me”
he waved his hand at his teammate.
“nah, she knows it wasn’t your call on it, though she might be thinking it was clay’s and seeing as she was already so worked up, i didn’t have the heart to interrupt.”
snorting cougar muttered.
“cobarde (coward)”
pooch grinned at him before saying.
“you can curse at me all you like, but it ain’t gonna make me go call jo back to tell her she was not stupid cougar. besides, clay can take a beating...lord knows he does with all the woman he finds.”
cougar nodded at that before saying.
“mujer loca (crazy woman)”
pooch nodded his head.
“yeah definitely loca”
the two glanced over to jensen when he asked.
“whats loca?”
“it means crazy”
pooch told him. jensen smirked before saying.
“your co goes after crazy chicks?”
they both nodded, no hesitation. jensen laughed at them.
“does he know you call them crazy chicks?”
again they both nodded. jensen shook his head.
“that’s great man...does he do that on purpose or is it a case of not being able to sense the crazy?”
pooch and cougar glanced at one another before they both shrugged at the blonde. jensen smirked.
“damn...that’s kinda sad, i mean all things considered...he aint bad lookin, why go for the crazies?”
pooch snorted at jensen before stating.
“don’t let clay hear you say that”
jensen raised a brow
“what that he goes for the crazies?”
pooch and cougar shook their heads before pooch told the blonde.
“that he’s not bad looking...i think he likes the whole looking mysteriously rugged...problem is that’s what attracts the crazies. anyways, he gets a little hung up if people say he’s not bad looking. i think part of his brain is broken.”
jensen nodded his head.
“oh...yeah got it. wont mention it...not a who’s jo?”
pooch smiled before saying.
“she’s my girlfriend, im trying to work up the courage to ask her to marry me”
jensens smile brightened.
“congrats you going to do it?”
pooch shook his head.
“no friggin clue...i’ve been asking everybody for their help, but i got nothing and well rogue’s suggestions are just so far off the map that its not even registering on the radar.”
cougar chuckled at his friend before nodding in agreement. jensen smirked before saying.
“yeah...big guy seemed a little whats the word...neustoychivyy(unstable), yeah that's it...definitely it. don’t blame you for tossing out his idea’s if they don’t mesh with your girl.”
both cougar and pooch stared at the boy a moment in confusion.
“what? what’d i say?”
pooch grinned before asking.
“what’d you call rogue?”
“huh? oh neustoychivyy? its russian for unstable.”
pooch laughed, slapping his hand down on his thigh in utter amusement. jensen tilted his head to the side as he appraised the man laughing so uproariously. cougar was smirking at him as well.
“okay...i feel like im missing something here...”
cougar nodded.
giving the sniper a glare he ignored pooch’s continued laughter to ask.
“are you going to tell me what?”
snorting jensen said.
“im ordering that damn dictionary cougar...i swear i will.”
chuckling cougar nodded to the blonde, but pooch finally got a hold of himself to say.
“sorry...sorry man, its just once you get to know rogue you realize you don’t really need to know him to get him...unstable fits him pretty well most of the time. dude’s got anger issues, no doubt about that, but he’s got a clear head most of the time...just don’t let him around anything sharp and pointy. he’s real good with knives.”
jensen nodded his head.
“got sharp and does he understand russian?”
chuckling pooch shrugged his shoulders.
“no clue dude. he might, i mean he’s been around nearly as long as clay and clay has a good grasp on quite a few languages so i’d be careful.”
the blonde smirked and gave a half hearted salute to pooch who just snorted at the movement. turning to his sniper pooch said.
“did they say what time i can come get you?”
cougar nodded his head.
“si, four”
“cool, i’ll be here a little before so i can help you down to the jeep. crutches are a bitch”
“amen to that”
jensen muttered. pooch chuckled at the blonde before suddenly asking.
“where are you stationed at?”
jensen looked at pooch a moment before finally stating.
“um well, they put my gear back in the barracks since i’m done with the team i was with. so i’ll be there until im needed again.”
pooch frowned at that before asking.
“who’s going to give you a lift back to the barracks?”
jensen shrugged his shoulders, though he couldn’t completely mask the wince it caused him. seeing the man wince pooch shook his head.
“dude you should still be in bed if it hurts to move like that.”
jensen sighed before saying.
“oh come on, i hate it in there....i’d much rather be in here breaking the rules and harassing cougar.”
snorting at the man both cougar and pooch disregarded the man’s claims of harassment. pooch however did say.
“you got a roommate that’s bothersome or something?”
jensen sighed, he figured that he couldn’t outright avoid the question so he finally said.
“he’s just an ass, i’d rather wander the halls then be stuck with him 24/7.”
nodding his head the bald headed man asked.
“you work with him before then?”
jensen nodded his head.
“yeah, been a while, but hey im hard to forget.”
the blonde said with a smirk. shaking his head at the blonde pooch suggested.
“why don’t you request to have cougars room once he’s released?”
jensen opened his mouth to offer some half hearted reply to the men, when the door swung open and the blonde stiffened. the nurse scowled at him before barking out.
“corporal, do i need to contact your co?”
jensen sighed.
“no maam”
nodding she pointed out the door. jensen slid off the window seal, wincing a bit before hobbling his way a crossed the room. he paused just long enough to tell pooch.
“figure out what her favorite flower is, there’s tons of those flower garden’s open to the public. better than a bouquet and she gets a ring all at once too.”
he smirked before hobbling out only to be followed out by the nurse. pooch blinked a moment before turning to cougar and said.
“damn...that’s not half bad.”