Jensen's still not sure how this happened. Because while yes, he has had a crush on Aisha since he first looked her up, while yes, he fell a little bit in love with her at the port, while absolutely, that bit stopped being any kind of little since the second Bolivia disaster . . . .
This - lying in bed, well-fucked and completely mind-blown, between Aisha and Cougar - is not something he actually ever seriously contemplated. Even half-seriously contemplated. Given his left leg for, maybe, but actually thought would happen, no.
They're in what could only be called a sprawl, Aisha on his left and Cougar on his right, Jensen half-lying on Cougar's shoulder, Jensen's arm under Aisha's shoulders, and her head leaning against his. It's a comfortable sprawl. He likes it. Sadly, eventually they're going to need to move so that they can, you know, not freeze to death during the night, but for now he'll just stay right where he is, thanks.
He tells Aisha, "Your hair smells nice," as he has the thought, which is typical; when she shifts like she's making a gesture towards looking up at him, and probably has (hopefully) an amused look on her face, adds, "I should warn you that I have absolutely no brain-to-mouth filter after sex."
"This is completely true," Cougar actually feels the need to chime in, and Jensen can hear the smile, and he'd elbow Cougar if he weren't so completely happy to not even think about moving. Aisha sits up, tucks her loose hair behind her ear; her face is far enough away to go out of focus, but close enough to see that he guessed right, and she is amused.
"So this is the best time to ask questions?" she says, lightly, and Jensen squints.
"Only if you really want the answers," he tells her, honestly. He can just make out her lips curving up, smiling.
"I'll keep that in mind," she says.
She's - no, soft isn't the word, he doesn't think Aisha knows how to be soft, but maybe warmer works, and oh, shit, he thinks, please let this not be some kind of clever plan to who-knows-what-objective, because we have now left little bit in love far behind in the distance and will send it a post-card sometimes, just to keep in touch. But, no, it should be okay (he tells himself), it should be, because Cougar clearly thinks it's fine and Cougar holds the distinction of being the only unmarried guy on this team who does not actually lose his head over women, and Pooch only just gets counted out because he lost his head over Jolene and Jolene kept it and if Jensen is not careful, some of this is going to start getting said soon. Out loud. Where other people can hear.
Aisha solves the problem for him by resting a hand on his side, along his ribs, and blanking thoughts out of his brain completely for a second. So when she asks, "What are those?" and sounds just curious, he has to actually think for a moment before he realizes she means the tattoos, the cluster of tiny black eight-pointed stars that are scattered there. He forgot those - well, no, he never forgets they're there, that's the point, but he forgot it might matter.
"Ah," he replies, and because there's no real way around it, just says, "There's one for every time he's saved my neck," pointing to his right, at Cougar. Her fingertips are still resting there; she presses one two three four five over each of them, and then flattens her palm over all.
"To remind you someone cared enough to," she says, and they're words with less edge than the ones she could have used, and it's not a question. Any other time, and he might just agree with that, but he's correcting her before he actually thinks about whether he should or not.
"Someone I wanted to care, cared enough to," he says, and wonders how this snuck around to talking about the stuff he mostly prefers to leave unsaid, buried in everything else that comes out of his mouth.
Aisha's looking over him, Jensen thinks (but isn't sure), probably at Cougar. He's not sure he could see what's in the look even with his glasses, and he's not sure he wants to.
Aisha puts weight to the hand on him, leans on it, and then takes it away, leaning on the other hand, leaning in closer. She kisses him and he reaches up to cup her face, both hands; the kind of kiss that promises. When she breaks it, he slides his right hand back a bit, brushing her hair, tracing over the curve of one ear.
"You know what else has no filter right now?" she asks, and he shakes his head. "Your expression." Her hair's fallen forward again; she pushes it back. "This is not a set-up for anything, Jensen," she says. He closes his eyes for a second when she traces a zig-zag with one finger between the stars. Wonders if the reminder is deliberate, or just something out of his own mind. Because it's what he wants to hear, what he wants to believe. Part of him doesn't, probably won't, but that's what the stars are for in the first place.
Reminding him that just because he doesn't want to believe it doesn't mean it isn't true.