When Cougar puts his hand on Jensen's thigh, Jensen doesn't freak out. It could be mistaken for an innocent gesture--they've all gotten more comfortable with each other's bodies than is normal or even healthy--but Jensen knows it isn't one. Still, it's not exactly a big deal.
Yeah, okay, so Jensen's around a one on the Kinsey scale (1.5 tops) and Cougar's, like, a zero, and there's DADT and potentially homophobic teammates and yadda yadda yadda. Fact remains, the Losers are two hundred miles from the nearest bit of civilization and have been for close to a month, with no word on when they'll get a reprieve. Under the circumstances, it's only good sense to rely on the men in your unit for this, as much as you rely on them for every fucking other thing.
Which isn't to say that Jensen's made it with any of the Losers before. He's still settling in, still finding his place and getting everyone's measure, but so far Clay's his commanding officer, Pooch is too hung up on his pretty new wife--not to mention too good a friend already to risk causing any weirdness between them, and Roque's too much of a scary motherfucker. Cougar, too, Jensen thought, but now here Cougar is with his hand lying warmly just above Jensen's knee and an almost cautious expression on his face, like he doesn't know which way Jensen's gonna jump. Right this moment, he doesn't look very scary at all.
And Jensen had gotten plenty of practice at this sort of thing with a couple of the guys in his last unit, and that had gone pretty well, so he just smiles a little and drops his hand on top of Cougar's. Their fingers interlace and Jensen strokes his thumb along the back of Cougar's hand once, twice.
The corner of Cougar's mouth quirks up a little and he nods at Jensen, then stands up, letting go of his hand. Apparently they're not going to dawdle. Jensen can get behind that; it's been a long four weeks for him, too.
"Cougs and I are gonna go hunt for some vermicious knid in the jungle," he calls to Roque, the only guy in sight; he thinks Clay and Pooch are both napping. Roque glances up from the improbably large knife he's sharpening and gives Jensen the look that says, You're a complete idiot, but it's not worth my time and energy to try to educate you. "Holler if you need us," Jensen adds, raising his walkie-talkie to make his meaning clear.
Roque nods sharply and turns back towards the weaponry spread out about him. Conversation over.
"Vermicious knid?" Cougar asks softly as he takes the lead, turning them northwest, away from the stream that runs through their camp.
"From Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. You never read it?" Cougar shakes his head. "How about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?"
"Yeah, I read that one."
"Well, vermicious knid are from the sequel. They're these giant, carnivorous aliens that can shape themselves into letters. They like to make the word "scram," and if their victims are smart, they make a run for it and don't get eaten. They're awesome."
"And we're hunting them in the Peruvian jungle," Cougar says flatly.
Jensen shrugs. "Hey, the army never said I had to make the lies believable; they just said I wasn't allowed to tell the truth."
Cougar snorts a breath of laughter, and Jensen finds himself grinning broadly. It's not too hard to make Cougar smile, but nearly impossible to get him to laugh, and Jensen's started counting every chuckle as a personal victory.
He's just deciding whether he wants to try for another laugh, or whether he should let them fall into silence. (Jensen knows from experience that people tend to find him annoying rather than amusing in high doses; Cougar seems more tolerant than most, but, on the other hand, Jensen's really invested in keeping Cougar in a good mood right now.) Only then Cougar whips around and pushes him up against a nearby tree, and the words of Jensen's next joke--because, yeah, he really can't leave well enough alone--get lost in his surprised grunt.
He looks reflexively back towards the camp. They've barely been walking any length of time, but the undergrowth is so thick here, all he can see is a tangled wall of green. It ought to make a decent sound barrier, too; the only thing they have to worry about is one of their teammates deciding to wander in their direction in the next fifteen or so minutes, and that's pretty damned unlikely.
Cougar's eyes flick in the same direction, though he looks even less concerned about interruptions than Jensen is. Or maybe he's just doing the stoic badass thing as per usual. Even so, he tugs Jensen around to the other side of the tree, giving them that extra bit of concealment.
Jensen tries to play it cool, as though all of this casual manhandling isn't doing his dick any favors--even though it totally is--but then Cougar's hands drop to the waistband of Jensen's pants, and that's it, there's no point in trying to hide what this is doing to him. Jensen groans at the brush of Cougar's fingers, the uneven pressure against his belly as Cougar pops the button on his pants and unzips him.
Cougar grins at his immoderate response, and Jensen mock-glares at him. "Yeah, okay, it's been a while," he grumbles. He palms the heavy bulge in Cougar's pants and watches with satisfaction as Cougar freezes and his eyes go dark with pleasure and anticipation. Jensen's nearly as deft at unfastening Cougar's pants as Cougar was with his, and then he takes a deep breath and shoves his hand into Cougar's shorts.
Cougar's dick is hot and dry against his palm, the skin amazingly soft; he's maybe a little smaller than Jensen imagined, but that's probably (definitely) because Jensen's spent more time watching porn than hooking up with guys, so his expectations are a little skewed. In any case, his dick feels great in Jensen's hand; arm cramps aside, Jensen's always liked giving handjobs, feeling the other guy's hard-on sliding against his palm and watching the other guy fall apart in front of him.
They're even better when there's a feedback loop, and Cougar obliges by slipping a hand into Jensen's pants and reciprocating with a quick, easy tug and pull that's close enough to Jensen's jerking off rhythm that he suspects Cougar's been listening in on him. That idea's almost as hot as the feel of Cougar's hand on his dick, and Jensen has to bite back a loud groan.
Cougar's left hand raises to grip Jensen's tricep, squeezing the muscle gently in a way that does good things to Jensen's ego, like Cougar's getting off on more than just Jensen's hand on his dick. It makes him want to get his spare hand on Cougar, too, though he's not sure where to put it.
The tiny corner of Jensen's brain that can concentrate on anything other than Cougar's strong, perfect hands is jibbering indecisively. No copying Cougar and putting a hand on his arm; they'd just look silly, like an X-rated version of square dancers. He likes the idea of putting a hand on Cougar's waist, getting to stroke the small of his back and play with the sharp curve of his hipbone...but that's a little too close to assgrabbing for most guys' comfort, and Jensen doesn't want Cougar backing out of this now.
Finally, he slides his hand around the back of Cougar's neck, underneath the slippery fall of Cougar's hair. He strokes his thumb along the soft, sensitive hollow beneath Cougar's ear. Cougar makes a pleased sound in the back of his throat, so Jensen does it again. There are other places Jensen wants to touch, and maybe Cougar will let him one day, and at that thought pleasure quivers through him and Jensen comes in Cougar's hand.
Cougar rests his forehead against Jensen's shoulder, possibly watching Jensen's hand on him, possibly just too blissed out to hold his head up, and Jensen pushes through his post-orgasm langour and keeps stroking him until Cougar comes with a long, soft moan that makes Jensen wish they had time to do this all over again. He lets Cougar catch his breath, and then the two of them clean themselves up with the actual handkerchief that Cougar's got tucked into his pocket and button themselves away again.
Jensen grins at him, all set to suggest a rematch, when suddenly Cougar's face is right there and Jensen flinches back.
Cougar's expression blanks in an instant, and while Jensen's still trying to catch a clue, he turns to go.
"Hey, no, wait!" Jensen says quickly, grabbing Cougar's arm to keep him from leaving.
Cougar turns a dark glare on him, but doesn't try to pull away again.
"Sorry," Jensen says. "I didn't mean to do that. I just... Is this some new variant of the circle jerk that you guys do in this unit--mutual masturbation plus makeouts? Or are you trying to start something...uh...romantic with me?" He feels stupid even making the suggestion--either suggestion; just imagining the Losers playing kissyface with each other makes his brain break a little--but one of them has to be true.
Cougar maintains his silence, and Jensen sighs. "Look, either way is fine, okay? I swear. Or if it's something else entirely, that's fine, too. I just need to know. Option A or Option B? You don't even have to say it. Use Morse code or semaphore or something. Hold up fingers: door number one or door number two?"
Cougar shakes his head, rolls his eyes a little, and Jensen feels the wave of panic recede slightly. If Cougar can shift that easily from anger to exasperation--which is an emotion that Jensen elicits pretty much every day without even trying--then they're going to be okay.
He doesn't say anything, though, which makes Jensen feel strangely jittery. He doesn't even know what answer he wants Cougar to give; he only knows that he wants that answer. Like, a lot. "Hey, man, if you don't tell me, then I'm just going to have to guess, and I really, really don't want Roque to stab me if I guess wrong."
That gets a half-smile from Cougar, and then his expression blanks again. "I thought you might be into it," he says. "My mistake."
And, okay, Jensen was totally lying to himself when he thought that he didn't know what answer he was looking for, because when Cougar says those words a freaking warm glow spreads through his chest and belly, and a grin breaks over his face. "No mistake," he says. "Just a little miscommunication, but now those wires are uncrossed, and--" And why the fuck is he still talking?, Jensen realizes abruptly, and shuts up in favor of pulling Cougar towards him for a kiss.