Two days after they start work at the doll factory Jensen hacks into the parent company's finances, and figures out just how much the dolls cost to produce and how much profit they're making per doll. "Do you know what the mark-up is for these," he tells Cougar, as Cougar is attaching a bright blonde head to a neck stump. "Considering the wages that they're paying us, it's un-fucking-believable. It's a travesty." Cougar hands him the doll, and Jensen starts putting the clothes on her. Summer-breeze not quite Barbie. "I'm telling you man, we should do something about it. Like, say, start a union. Oh we should totally start a union."
"No-one is starting no goddamn union," Roque says, when the topic gets broached in their typically useless recon session.
(Usually it goes like this:
"Are we still dead?"
"Still no way for us to get back home?"
"Still no clue who Max is or what his agenda might be?"
"But Roque, you don't understand, these people work so hard for so little mo-"
"Which part of stay low and don't draw attention to yourself do you not get," Rogue says. "Are we done here? I say we're done here." He pushes himself back from the table and grabs his jacket. Everyone watches him leave.
"Someone's grumpy," Jensen says.
"Well that went well," Pooch says. "I'm gonna go back to the hotel."
Clay drops money on the table and says, "I'll see you guys around. Stay out of trouble." Everyone knows, he's going after Roque.
When they're gone, Jensen says to Cougar, "At least we tried, right."
Cougar lowers his head, and reaches for another bottle of beer.
Jensen gets drunk. That's his first mistake. His second mistake is to get drunk in a Petunias t-shirt. Apparently pink sends a message, the kind that says "I am looking for a hot dude to take me home for some loving". Which isn't necessarily wrong, sometimes, or mostly really. Except that he's even more of a disaster with men than with women, and men tend to punch more. "Don't hit me," he says to the guy currently leaning over him. Jensen can't see his face, because of the - "Oh hey, Cougar. Man. I love you."
And Cougar says, "I know," and nothing else during the entire time that he helps Jensen out into the cab, and tells the driver where to go. Five minutes with the window down and he's sobering up, real quick. "Where are we," he says at one point. "Oh hey, home." Such as home is nowadays, a ratty hotel room with sporadic hot water and such brave cockroaches Jensen's this close to adopting them as pets by now.
Upstairs, Jensen crashes on the couch and pats the seat next to him. Cougar just raises a brow, and Jensen sighs, but then Cougar grabs a beer from the mini-fridge and sits. "Where's mine," Jensen says, and Cougar ignores him, just pops the bottle and takes a swig. "I think there's a game on. Soccer or something. You want to watch the game?" And then he remembers Cougar's not really a sports guy, so he stops talking for a while, just stretches his legs and looks up at the ceiling.
At some point, possibly at the point where the ceiling starts to try very hard to tell him a multi-image story, he figures he's going to either have to a) go to bed, or b) fall asleep right here and now. A) is the obvious choice, he's tried sleeping on this couch before, it didn't end well. Something about either Bolivian couches or the fact that they're mostly broke and can't afford a decent hotel. Jensen will bet money he doesn't have that it's the latter.
"Listen," he says, "I really gotta go to bed."
Cougar nods his head and stands up, so Jensen stands up too. And mostly succeeds, although by this point it's mostly just clumsiness rather than alcohol. He stumbles, and Cougar holds his arms up and catches him. Jensen says, "No, it's okay. You don't have to help me to the bed. I can do that by myself, really." Which of course means that the next thing he knows, Cougar is sitting him down and pulling off his shoes, and Jensen falls back onto the bed, real easy.
When he opens his eyes again the sun is filtering through the window.
Jensen says, "Ow," to himself before he realizes that Cougar is still there, passed out on the couch. "Oh you poor son of a bitch," Jensen says, but hey at least Cougar didn't get lucky last night either. He does every other night, and it's really not fair. Except for the part where Cougar is Cougar, and yeah maybe girls do like guys who wear cowboy hats more than guys in pink t-shirts.
The way it goes is: Jensen goes to work, then he hits some place with Cougar, then he tries (and mostly fails) to hit on a girl, and then they end up at Jensen's hotel room and they crash until the next morning. Stuff Jensen doesn't think about:
1) Being dead.
2) How that's better than actually being dead, like twenty-five kids who got blown up for no reason other than that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and how it was supposed to be them instead.
3) Never getting to go home.
Stuff Jensen does think about:
1) Hopefully, someday, how to get Max.
2) How Cougar never really sleeps, he just drifts, and tosses, and sometimes Jensen wakes up in the middle of the night and Cougar's just sitting there, staring into space, the tv on and flickering but the sound off. Jensen mostly dreams of gigantic rabbits chasing him, and Other Things, but those fall strictly into the Stuff Jensen doesn't think about list.
Tonight Cougar's turning fitfully, and rule number one is never put your hand on a sleeping soldier if you want to keep it, but Jensen sometimes isn't very good at impulse control, so that's exactly what he does. His hand on Cougar's shoulder, but Cougar, he just opens his eyes, blinks steadily at Jensen. His gaze is warm, and tired, and a little too old.
They're kissing, and how in the hell did that just happen? Not that Jensen's complaining, it's good, it's possibly better than good, him on top of Cougar on that insanely uncomfortable couch, all tongue and teeth and hands and hips. Right until the point where Cougar rolls him over and they both go tumbling to the floor. "Ouch," Jensen says.
Cougar just stands up and reaches down a hand, pulls Jensen to his feet. Jensen wonders if the moment is gone now, if everything will be awkward and strange and no-one will know what to say, no-one being mostly Jensen, but then Cougar kisses him again, and they're stumbling to the bed, and hey, possibly really not.
"A union, really. Come on, Cougar. We're sorta kinda dating now, or at least if we're not dating, uh, cohabiting? Does that work for you, because that totally works for me. So I could use your support. It won't draw that much attention, I'm sure. This is Bolivia, right."
Cougar hands Jensen another naked doll to dress.