He gets it. Really, he does. He's not dumb, like some of the guys insinuate (and let's face it, down right say) he is. He understands. You watch twenty five kids, a few members of your own fraternity of ass kicking, and pretty much your entire future go down in fiery death, and yeah, the romance gets taken out of your relationship for a while.
Jensen understands all of this. It's nothing personal. This is why he is trying not to be hurt that Cougar doesn't seem to want to do anything but sit beside him and make dolls. Jensen understands that Cougar is in some strange alternative Earth where the people he fights for turn around and fuck him over. Jensen knows because he is in this world to, and it fucking blows. But this isn't the first time that Jensen has turned around to find a knife in his back, and he's pretty sure that it isn't going to be the last time. Which, you know, sucks.
But sometimes Jensen sends out these little feels, touches, kisses, like a candle, the flame is small, but it's warm, and Cougar stays cold. And for the first month, Jensen gets it.
But it persists. They try to forge a life, all of them, the whole fucking team of Losers, and Cougar stays cold. And every time he turns away from Jensen's touch, the hacker feels like a sliver of ice is being pushed in his chest.
It starts to manifest as a wicked awful case of self-doubt. He stares at himself in the mirror and wonders if maybe Cougar doesn't find him attractive anymore. He knows this is more bullshit than the running of the fucking bulls, but he can't help it. He doubts himself, and then he hates himself, because of fucking course Cougar doesn't want to be close, he watched a bunch of fucking kids get snuffed out of existence in nothing flat, and then Jensen feels bad about the kids, and then he feels bad that he isn't feeling bad enough about the kids, because seriously. He just watched a bunch of kids cease to exist, too, so what the fuck is his god damn deal that he wants to get it on. He thinks that he must be some kind of defective human being. What kind of sick fuck wants to snuggle after seeing that shit? It's only been a few months at this point and what he knows, logically, is getting skullfucked by this self-destructive fantasy sequence where he is horrible for even wanting to touch Cougar.
So he stops. He starts to shy away from any touch what-so-ever, even a bump in the street by a random passer-by damn near sends him to the other side of the street. What he knows is swallowed up by this fear of himself. When he's with his family, Clay, Pooch, Roque and Cougar, he forces it, because honestly, he'd rather fake a motor mouth than have them rib him for being quiet. Of course he's being quiet. He's horrible. He shouldn't be allowed to fucking exist.
Weeks and weeks of this cycle of anguish circulate his head until he's about to burst from it. Cougar must not love him because he is awful because he doesn't care about dead kids, and he needs to make it right, needs to find Max and feed him his own throat because that is how you fucking DEAL with these kinds of things, you make them pay, and maybe, maybe maybe maybe, he thinks guiltily, maybe when the debt is paid, Cougar will love him again.
Clay pulls him aside one day and demands to know what exactly his problem is. Nothing, he says, nothing is his problem, aside from a bit of homesickness. Clay says that they'll get home, one way or another. Clay wants to know what his deal is, though. What his and Cougar's deal is, because everyone has known about the two of them since before they knew about them, so what's going on with that? Jensen tells him that nothing is going on, that they need to get through this Bolivia-Max-Whatever thing, and he plasters on his big goofy smile and tries to make it sound okay, make it sound Jensen and rediculous and legit, because Clay absolutely CANNOT know that Jensen can't bear to touch Cougar because Cougar can't bear to touch him.
Clay obviously thinks this is bullshit and, Jensen doesn't know this then, but he finds out later, practically jumps Cougar and asks HIM what his fucking deal is. Cougar is bothered, obviously, by the situation, but he's dealing. He doesn't understand what's wrong with Jensen, though. And Clay tells him, because Clay fucking KNOWS, man, that Cougar had his little month of catatonia way back a million years ago when this shit started, and did it ever occur to Cougar that Jensen needed him? Jensen is a fucking kid, he's 23 at best, and really, Clay is positive that he faked that ID. And Cougar gets it, watching the puzzle pieces fall into place, and he feels terrible. But he doesn't feel terrible for very long because Clay fucking sets him right on that god damn front. Feeling bad was what put them in this place. And later, when he finds out about this, Jensen thinks that Clay is being a massive douchenozzle to Cougar, but Cougs assures him that it wasn't the case. Clay knows, and Jensen does too, that Cougar is made of fucking bricks, steel and Deathstars, and that he can fucking handle himself, he just tends to forget that Jensen can't handle himself. That he needs someone.
So Cougar finally gets his shit together and gets Jensen alone. And he tries to kiss him, and Jensen can't, he just can't, because he is horrible and Cougar is good and goodness should not have to touch horribleness, and Cougar shoves him against a wall and runs hot kisses up and down him and does things that count as Aphrodite's personal torture techniques to get the story out of Jensen, of why he feels so terrible, and Jensen spills that he so sorry, so so sorry that he ever pressured Cougar because of COURSE Cougar was upset, and that he got over it too quickly, because that's what he does, when something serious happens, he brushes it off because that is how he deals, the world is easier that way, but that's not a good way to deal, and he comes very close to breaking, but Cougar kisses all that away because he loves Jensen, LOVES him, even if he doesn't say it, even if he doesn't say ANYTHING, and he needs Jensen to know this, and to know that the young hacker is the north star in Cougar's world, he's the bright light that guides the sniper home, and he needs to show him this, because he doesn't know how to say it, because how do you say that? How do you tell someone that you are a satellite around their world?
So Cougar and Jensen miss a shift at the factory while Cougar shows him how good he is, and how much he wants him, wants every inch of Jensen, in all ways that he can, and he leaves dark kiss marks all over him, and lovebites, and hand bruises and he shows Jensen how much he NEEDS him, always had, just didn't get that Jensen needed him back. And he shows him that he is the dark star to Jensen's bright star, together.
And then they have to dress in a hurry and flee because their Hotel is on fire.