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The Things He Knows

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Sometimes Jake was Jensen and Carlos was Cougar, or Cougs, and Linwood was Pooch and Franklin was just Clay, or Coronel. And well, William was always Roque. Jensen couldn’t see a setting where he wasn’t, and for some reason even the image of Grandma Roque was terrifying and would only call the knife man by his last name. Because that sonofabitch was scary.

That was in the field, and on base, and when they were all together.

Sometimes Jensen was Jake, and in the tense moments when one of them was bleeding out, or throwing up after clawing their way to the surface of a nightmare, or fixing the first cup of coffee, or getting a nicked finger at the doll factory, or when Cougar pressed his face into his neck at the end of a really shitty day he would sometimes be bocaza.  

See, Jensen knew things. Lots of things that most people found to be pretty useless. Information bounced around his brain, stuff that people spent months in labs collecting data on. Stuff that the number of days spent researching was often greater than the number of people who found the information worth anything. What he didn’t know was Spanish.

He knew things, and he had a lot of things rolling around in his mind, but Spanish was never one of them.

One of the things he knew was that he loved Cougar. He also knew Cougar loved him back.

Another thing he knew was that a damn repeal didn’t mean much. It was still a lot easier if no one asked, and they really didn’t feel like they needed to tell anyone. But he also knew that the guys, his team, their family, didn’t mind much. And he also knew that Roque wasn’t just teasing when he said they disgusted him. Jensen also knew that Cougar didn’t mind too much if he decided he just had to give the sniper bedroom eyes whenever Roque was around just to get under his skin a little. Because they had a weird relationship that consisted of “I’m going to stab you if you so much as think about talking” and “blah blah blah come at me, bro” and it really was a loving, healthy thing. Really.

He knew that he hated not being a soldier. It meant he could be with Cougar—not have to worry. He didn’t like it though. He was Army, and that wasn’t something that could just burn in a fire.

Jensen also knew that he and Cougar spoke different languages. The both spoke English, obviously, and Jake was pretty good at the whole silent-but-I’m-telling-you-so-much body/eye language thing. Well, okay, he had gotten good at the eye sex—because damn eye sex was fun and really great for creeping Roque out and they could do that anywhere—and the simple things like you’re being stupid and shut up, you talk too much and we need to talk later and are you bleeding out? I’m glad you’re not bleeding out and he really liked you better be okay fucker because that actually meant I love you, bocaza.

Jensen couldn’t speak Spanish though. Sure, he knew enough to get by. Little phrases and how to conjugate a verb, but he didn’t know how to carry on a real conversation. He never tried to learn either. It would be easy, really easy, to just pick up Spanish.

A part of him knew that he didn’t want to learn Spanish though. Because that was something that made Cougar different, it was his thing.

Jensen also knew that Cougar couldn’t speak code like he could. He’d spend long hours talking dirty to his laptops, coding into the early morning when the team needed a hack to get them through, and that was his thing. Sometimes, when his mind was fuzzy due to lack of sleep or blood loss he’d forget to say Cougs and would whisper, “foe-eighty-foe.”

When Cougar finally asked what the little nickname meant, it was a long time after it had all started, and it was in the middle of Hoarders. (When they had leave, or he could get it, Jensen had a need for bad tv, and Hoarders was his favorite. [Cougar thought it was because he enjoyed seeing people surround themselves in a mess of their things, the way Jake did with information in his brain. That was just a thought, though.])

“What does it mean, foe-eighty-foe?”

Jensen glanced up from where he was slouched against the sniper’s side; his legs sprawled out to take up as much of the couch as possible. “Um. It’s silly. Coding stuff. This one day, when I was kinda young and stupid, don’t take that tone—I am hearing you right now Carlos and I am not listening. I am brilliant. But anyway, back when I was kinda stupid and Becca was all going into labor and kicking me out of the hospital room? I was up late, trying to work out some code. It was simple stuff, sososo simple? Like, just colors y’know? I was gonna hack the monitors, so that the little pulse—the jumpy line on the monitor—would be a bright pink. ‘Cause she was having a girl and stuff. But I screwed it up and it came out violet. Fucking violet, no where close. Which is sad because they really aren’t that close. In code, I mean. Becca yelled at me about it but she loved it, and the code for violet in F080F0 and it kinda became my best coding fail to date, and it’s kinda my favorite, right? And you’re definitely my favorite. So yeah. It’s silly.”

“You talk too much.”

“You think it’s cute. That’s why you keep me around. You’d feel guilty if you left me defenseless around Roque,” Jake sassed, because that’s what he did. It made Cougar chuckle.

“Watch your show, bocaza,” Cougar murmured, settling and becoming quiet again.

Spanish was something Jensen didn’t want to know. The words were warm and smooth and Jake liked that for him it was all about the noise of the sentence, not the meaning. Because for him, bocaza meant Jake and safe and love. Jensen didn’t need to know any more about it.