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Jensen couldn't move.

Of course, of course this was happening. He'd been an idiot, overeager; told the team that he'd go on ahead alone. That he'd scope out the dark, forbidding innards of the cave. He'd lost his footing on the slimy rocks, slid down into a lower chamber, and splashed hard into a shallow, murky pool of lukewarm water.

Then something had grabbed him.

Slippery, sinuous limbs wrapped around his own. He was held down on his hands and knees, his legs forced apart. He'd lost his glasses in the fall, along with his flashlight. He was effectively blind in the wretched gloom.

He'd yelled, tried to, but this thing, this creature, whatever it was, had shoved one of its appendages into his open mouth. It felt rubbery, warm, tasted a little like seaweed. He bit, hard, to no obvious effect. His shouts came out like muffled moans and his face flushed hot with shame.

That was nothing compared to the shame of feeling his shirt rip open down the front, his pants tearing along the seams. He could do nothing to prevent his own exposure. The air was close and wet against his skin. Something wound up and around his torso, squeezed him softly. It felt like octopus suckers were sticking and pulling at his skin, God, at his nipples. Tears slipped from the corners of his tightly shut eyes; his dick was heavy and aching between his legs.

He groaned as he felt more of them slide up his thighs, trails of slime left in their wake. Up his thighs, behind his balls, rubbing against his ass. Christ, were they teasing him? What was this thing trying to do? Was this some sort of new, demented torture technique? Not like he could really give up any secrets with this thing almost fucking down his throat.

He was breathing hard through his nose, trying to get enough air, and felt one of the limbs slide around his dick while another slid inside his --

"Uh!" Jensen came, spilling hot over his bare stomach and knuckles. This scenario was not out of the ordinary. He'd been jerking it to monster fantasies since he was a kid, when he discovered Lovecraft right after he discovered porn.

A note: your parents will definitely hit you harder if they catch you masturbating while reading The Call of Cthulhu than when doing the same to Maxim.

His parents had never caught him with gay porn, so, luckily, he didn't have the data on that.

What was unusual was the breathy little "Cougar!" he'd let out toward the end. That was troubling.

Cougar was watching him. This was also not unusual; Cougar watched all of them. Jensen felt it more acutely today.

The team was lying low in one of Aisha's safe houses, trying to get a lead on Max. After LA, he'd squirreled himself away but good; they kept coming up with a whole lot of nothing. Hurry up and wait masquerading as recon.

It was very quiet. Jensen suddenly missed the once ubiquitous scrape of Roque's knives against whetstone. Not that he'd say that out loud.

The quiet made him extremely conscious of Cougar's stare, his eyes burning up the back of his neck.

Oh, oh Christ, did he hear? In the army, you walk in on and get walked in on enough that you stop trying to cover up and start shouting insults instead. However. If he had known he was going to start moaning about his teammates, then, yeah, duh, he would have waited until everyone was out of the house. His subconscious must have forgotten to give him a heads-up.

Though, once again, Cougar always watched him, that's what he did. That wasn't enough to suggest he'd heard --

Wait. Cougar always watched him. He was always aware of his surroundings, always watched out for the team. The way he watched Jensen, though... How long had that been going on?

Jensen spun his chair around to face Cougar. He was slouched on the arm of the couch, cut diagonally by the thin shaft of sunlight that spilled through a gap in the drawn curtains. His posture was deliberately casual: arms crossed loosely over his chest, hat pulled low over his eyes. Like he was napping.

"What's up, Cougs?"

"Estoy durmiendo." The corner of his mouth quirked up a little.

Jensen narrowed his eyes.

"Jay, set up a sat feed for me, would you? Jolene said she'd be taking the kid to the mall and they're gonna make sure to smile for the security cams."

"Goddammit, Pooch!" Jensen had been just about to call Cougar out on his bullshit when Pooch came stomping happily into the room. The bastard barely had a limp.

"Hey! Don't deny me my family time, jackass."

Jensen caught Cougar's smirk before he grudgingly swivelled back to his computer to help Pooch.

If this had happened before Bolivia, pre-Bolivia, Jensen probably would have done his level best to ignore it. Bolivia had turned the world on its head. They might have been out of there, but it wasn't like someone could hit rewind and make those four plus months go away. No one could ever make like they never happened.

He and Cougar hadn't fooled around down there or anything, for all they'd shared a room and, often, a bed. Maybe Clay and Roque had gotten up to something before Aisha, but... Jensen didn't want to go down that road.

His point was that a lot of things changed in Bolivia. They'd been living under the radar, no longer military; technically dead, if not literally. It had been like some sort of fucked up, mirror 'verse vacation. The rules by which they'd all lived their lives as a badass and frighteningly competent US government sponsored team seemed suddenly irrelevant.

Like, don't wear pink because your team might think you're That Way. Not that they specifically had ever seemed particularly homophobic, just, some habits die hard.

Or, like, don't think about your team members Like That.

Not that Jensen did. Or had. He's not even sure where this came from or when or how it happened.

Anyway, pre-Bolivia, had he found out or realized or whatever that maybe Cougar wanted him, he would have tried to ignore it. Cougar was hot, obviously, but Jensen believed in the team dynamic. He didn't believe in the military, barely believed in the government even before this shit show. He believed, however, in his freakishly talented team and he never wanted to jeopardize that. Or his place in it.

Now he's thinking, well, everything changed and it's different and it'll never be the same again. So, why not? DADT was kaput. Well, the military had turned its back on them anyway. There was still the matter of team dynamics and special treatment and weird breakups... But God, life's too short. If he'd learned anything in the past few months, it was that.

Besides, they had been through so much, and they were still, mostly, intact. He didn't want to tempt fate, but also he figured: what bad could this do that the rest hadn't? In his opinion, they'd survived their trial by fire.

Except, well, it was all very much easier said than done.

Soon enough, they hit a dead end. Several dead ends. Clay and Aisha announced they'd be taking over the search until they found a solid lead. Well, Clay announced, Aisha sort of grunted and rolled her eyes. The team was obviously listless after LA. He could probably sense that they needed to take a step back, come at it again with a fresh perspective. They'd have to be careful, but they could reconnect with their families. Take some time.

"We got no leads. No clues. Nothing. Whoever wants a break, I suggest you take it."

"You don't have to tell me twice," Pooch grinned.

Jensen looked over at Cougar, but his face wasn't giving anything away. Cougar didn't say anything when they all parted, either, just tipped his hat a bit and went on his way.

Jensen opened his eyes, then flinched against the harsh, synthetic light. He tried to reach out and realized his hands were restrained behind his back.


The floor was cold beneath his knees, hard and unforgiving like metal. The windows stretched from floor to ceiling, and offered a view of nothing but endless, unknowable space; black and deep and twinkling with stars. Icy meteoroids drifted past.

"Gooble. Gok goob gob gork!" The big insect looking dude in front of him did not look pleased. Or did he? What did pleased look like on a giant praying mantis?

Oh, oh! He knew this dream. This was a good dream.

Mantis Head was aiming something at Jensen's face that could probably be set to "vaporize", and was obviously the creepy crawly in charge. As he barked orders, they sounded like orders, at least, a couple other bug guys approached and grabbed Jensen by the arms. They lifted him with little effort, and dragged him away from the windows, deeper inside the ship.

"Grok grok! Goob gooble gob!" The leader was still shouting. Jensen knew from experience that this most likely meant something like, "Take the prisoner to the scary monster room!"

They shoved him inside, kicked at his legs to force him to his knees. As the door slid shut behind him, he muttered "Come on, you big, beautiful bastard."

Ah, here we go.

The room was dark, but he could see something slithering in the shadows; its hide reflecting light from some unseen source. He was naked, suddenly, which was convenient. You gotta love the subconscious.

Jensen inhaled sharply. He heard the shuffling slide along the floor come closer and closer, until, suddenly, it was on him. It wrapped strong, warm tentacles around his waist and lifted him. He spread his legs a bit for balance, and because he's familiar with the script; he felt thinner tentacles slide up his inner thighs. A few wrapped gently around his balls while the others slipped back, back, spreading him open and pressing against him, sweetly, like a question.

"Honey, you don't even have to ask." Jensen groaned. His mouth dropped open and his eyes squeezed shut as one of the slick tentacles pushed more insistently, sliding up inside of him.


The tentacle was joined by another, and they began to move, slowly twisting and thrusting. His mouth was still hanging open, and another tentacle, this one thicker, slipped past his lips. He groaned and sucked, reflexive. He liked the thought of that, like he was built for it. Like his body knew what was good for him. Like when he was told his mouth was "made for it."

He was suspended, held up firmly by the sturdier tentacles. The thinner ones in his ass were thrusting faster, then joined by another. Maybe more than one, he couldn't keep track; he was awash with pleasure. The tentacle in his mouth slid almost all the way out, and he thought, "Come on, come on, you know I can take it --" As if telepathic - sexepathic? tentacle... pathic - it pushed deeper on the return thrust, dipping into his throat. His eyes rolled back in his head.

The tentacles in his ass retreated, but kept him spread open, and another, a thicker one, slid inside.

The tentacle fucking his mouth withdrew completely for a moment. When it returned, it felt different, tasted different. Like, like... skin. Like cock. He froze, opened his eyes, looked up. There was Cougar, Cougar's face, illuminated by that phantom light source. Cougar holding the back of his head in gentle, warm palms and thrusting shallowly; Jensen's hands tied and the creature holding him immobile and fucking up inside of him. He had to close his eyes again because, oh, it's a lot: Cougar watching him, running his eyes all over his body while he's groped and squeezed and fucked. Suddenly he was so close, right on the edge, and --

Jensen woke up sweaty and sprawled across the sheets, achingly hard.

"Oh, fuck."

Jackie had said something to him, Jensen remembered, back when they'd all been visiting for Katie's game against the Marigolds. She'd asked about Cougar, whether he had anyone to go back to, any family. Anywhere to call home. Jensen'd had to admit he had no idea. He still didn't. He thought about calling her and asking if she'd noticed anything about the way Cougar looked at him. He wanted to know just how far back this thing went.

Pooch was his best friend, but he and Cougar had always lived in each other's pockets. It hadn't escaped his attention the way Clay would look to him to interpret Cougar's silences. How even Cougar would rely on him to provide the words when his refused to come. Jensen had just never really thought about it that way. That Way. He'd spent so long hiding in plain sight he'd maybe missed something right under his nose.

Honestly, though, he could keep blaming the Army and homophobia but the truth was that he just wasn't any good at relationships. It sounded cliche as hell, and it was, but it was also true. He didn't have to pull up his familial and personal histories to prove that, yeah, he'd never really had a chance. He didn't have to prove anything to anyone, except for the fact that, fuck you very much, he totally did.

He'd spent so long being certain that he didn't need anyone else that he'd never thought to ask himself whether or not he wanted anyone else.

Jensen dropped in on Jackie and Katie with cheddar popcorn and The Little Mermaid on Blu Ray.

"Knock knock! It's me! How are my favorite girls?" He came to a halt just inside the living room. Cougar was there. Cougar was there, sitting cross-legged on the floor. A mirror of Katie, who was sat on the couch behind him, braiding his hair.

"We are good." Cougar grinned at him.


"Jake!" Jackie came sailing into the room, bearing soda and snack bowls. She kissed his cheek. "Cougar just dropped by! Isn't that great?" Her eyes and grin were wide and, he thought, mocking. He glared at her.

"Hey, uncle Jake!"

"Hey, kitty cat! What, no hug?"

She gave him a look. He shot a glare at Cougar, who seemed to be ignoring him very studiously. "I'm busy!"

"Jeez louise, all right!" Jensen clutched at his chest in mock offense.

Katie sat absorbed and oblivious during the movie while Jensen alternated between shooting evil looks at Jackie and glancing anxiously over at Cougar. He hoped desperately that Cougar didn't notice; Jackie was very obviously trying not to laugh.

As they walked out the door Katie called after them: "Bye uncle Jake! Bye tio Carlos!" Jensen tripped a little, and Cougar's hand came up to grip the back of his arm.

"So, uh... in town for long?"

Cougar shrugged.

"Need a place to stay? I've got a spare room." What the fuck, Jensen?

"Thanks." Cougar smiled.

This was a bad idea. A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea. Jensen would fuck it up and then he'd be dead, no hyperbole, because Cougar or Clay would kill him. He didn't think Aisha cared enough, and he hoped Pooch loved him too much.

And then he'd have actual, incontrovertible proof that he was awful and would never be able to keep anyone by his side. At least then he could laugh and say he was right all along.

He was spiraling. He took a deep breath and tried to focus. Focus. Eye on the target. Deep breath in, exhale. Fire.

"Oh! Better luck next time, buddy," Pooch shook his head in faux sympathy and tutted while Jensen stared, forlorn, at the dart board.

Pooch, Jolene, and Junior (The Puppy) were visiting, staying in a nearby hotel. Jolene and Junior had immediately passed out in their room after the drive up, but Pooch had insisted on going out.

Jensen groaned. He needed to do something about this, it was making him lose money!

OK, Jensen, he told himself. Time to ignore many, many years of hard won survival instincts. He convinced Pooch to give him a chance to regroup, squared his shoulders and headed to the bar. Cougar was sitting, presumably watching their game, looking deceptively slouchy.

"So, uh, Cougar..." Fuck. Cougar raised an eyebrow. "You got any family?" Cougar gave him a Look.

"No, really. C'mon, man, you never talk about your family. Do you have any siblings?"


"That... what does that mean, exactly?"

Cougar didn't answer, just turned around to watch the game playing behind the bar. He sipped at his beer. Jensen sighed. That was, apparently, a pathetic attempt. Almost as bad as "You got any hobbies?" Almost, not quite. Jesus, what had he been thinking? Aisha was obviously not a nine year old. He was busy feeling sorry for himself when Cougar finally spoke.

"Marcela." He smirked when Jensen jumped a little.

"Uh, what? One of the soccer players? How can you read their names when they're so tiny?"

"My older sister. And it's football."

"Listen, I was raised in the US of A and in America we do exactly the wrong thing and call it 'soccer', and -- Oh. Oh, that's lovely."

"You cannot date my sister."

"What? No! I --"

"You don't want to? What is wrong with my sister?"

"I don't -- What??" Jensen spluttered. "I've never even met her! Like five minutes ago I didn't even know she existed!" He stopped. "Oh, fuck, never mind, I get it, you're messing with me."

Cougar just smiled, turned back to the TV.

"Does she have any kids?" He was already thinking about play dates with Katie and Cougar's hypothetical nieces and nephews; he needed to reel himself back in a bit. Cougar just put a finger to his own lips and winked.

Hours later, back from the bar, Cougar passed him on his way to the guest room and said: "She has two children. One is Katie's age." Jensen couldn't stop the ridiculous smile that spread across his face. He was especially pleased that Cougar had zeroed in on the most important issue.

"Yeah? Do you think I could, or we could, or she -- You think we could meet them?"

"Maybe." Cougar was trying not to smile, he could tell.

It wasn't like Jensen had never fantasized about his teammates. He was only human. But it had always been deliberate, and he tried to switch it up. It had never been Cougar popping up unexpectedly and repeatedly. Cougar planting himself and growing roots in his brain.

Jensen sat at the bar, listening to Jolene and his sister laugh over by the pool tables. Pooch had stayed behind at Jackie's, babysitting Junior and Katie. Or, you know, babysitting and being a father.

He was brooding, he supposed, nursing a drink and making little origami animals out of gum wrappers. He was about to try and make a unicorn when Cougar appeared.

"Can I buy you a drink?"

"Jesus, Cougs, wear a bell." He did a double take. "Wait, what?"

"What are you drinking?"

"Uh, an appletini?"

Cougar nodded, caught the bartender's eye.

"You are being very quiet."

"Oh, yeah, I'm just trying to figure something out."

"Can I help?"

Jensen laughed and finished his drink instead of answering. The bartender put another in front of him almost immediately, thank God. He could just drink and drink and happily never answer that question.

"How is Katie?"

"She's great," Jensen couldn't help smiling. Cougar hadn't come with him to visit in a while. Sometimes he wondered if Cougar was afraid to be around her too much, like he's a bad influence. Like he was afraid there was something bad about him that might infect and ruin the good in everyone else. Maybe Jensen was projecting.

"She wants to do lacrosse, now. And hockey." He laughs. "And softball, and basketball... She's amazing, she'd be kickass at all of it. People better watch out for that kid, she's going to be unstoppable, and, uh..." Cougar was smiling very softly at him, and he lost his train of thought.

"Hockey would be good, when it's too cold for outdoor soccer."

"I thought it was football," Jensen laughed.

"For you, it's soccer."

"Oh." Just drink, idiot.

"Jensen," his voice was soft.

"Yeah? Yes? What's up?" God, what was he even saying? "Oh wow, is that the time?" Cougar's brow creased as he glanced where Jensen was staring, wide-eyed: the distinctly, traitorously clock-less wall. "Listen, uh, I'm pretty tired, I think I'll be hitting the ol' dusty trail." Seriously, what the fuck was he saying?

"Jake." His voice was serious. "Ask me to come home with you."

"Uh." Jensen gulped. "You wanna come home with me?" He watched as a warm smile spread across Cougar's face.

"Very much so."

Jensen spun around and hit the floor hard as soon as Cougar locked the door behind them. He winced, told himself he should have waited until they were in his carpeted bedroom. When he looked up, Cougar looked concerned, possibly ready to suggest the same, until Jensen grabbed his hips, tight. Cougar gasped, touched the pad of his thumb to Jensen's lower lip, lightly held his jaw. Jensen opened his mouth, drew his thumb inside and sucked. Cougar's fingers spasmed and pressed harder against his skin.

"Your mouth..." Jensen flushed with pleasure. "Ah. You like that." It wasn't a question, and Jensen had to close his eyes for a moment. He opened them again when he heard a zipper being pulled down; he watched Cougar undo his pants and take out his cock one handed.

Oh, fuck.

Cougar stooped a little to reach into his back pocket, retrieving a condom. He started to remove his thumb and Jensen bit down a little. Cougar jerked and glared at him, but Jensen just made grabby hands for the condom. Cougar watched with narrowed eyes as he opened the wrapper and rolled it on. Jensen pushed up off his heels, pulled Cougar's thumb from his mouth and replaced it with his cock.

"Ah!" Cougar grunted, low.

Jensen hummed happily, sucking him down, digging his thumbs into the smooth skin at his hips. He slurped noisily back up, and let go to wrap a hand around him. He squeezed and lapped at the head. Cougar wasn't making any noise, just breathing hard through his nose and clenching his hands into fists at his sides.

Jensen looked up and caught Cougar's hot gaze through his dark lashes. He pulled off to murmur, "Touch me," his lips moving against his skin, diving back in immediately. Cougar didn't hesitate, wrapped his warm hands around the sides of Jensen's neck, stroked his thumbs over his cheeks. Jensen's eyes fluttered shut and he turned his head to push Cougar's cock against the soft inside of his cheek, knowing Cougar could feel it by his sharp intake of breath. Jensen let him press his thumb against it before turning his head again, moving his hand down to cup his balls and taking him down as far as he could. He choked and pulled back a little.

Cougar let his hands wander, down to his shoulders to grope the muscle; into his hair and stroking at the back of his neck. Jensen shivered, bobbing his head faster. He felt Cougar's hand tighten on his nape while the other stroked his face, felt the tell-tale jerk of his hips as he came.

Then Cougar was suddenly crouched in front of him, pushing him onto his back on the cool tiles of the foyer. He felt dizzy, felt Cougar push his shirt up and undo his pants. Cougar pressed one palm against Jensen's shoulder, holding him to the floor. He stared, watched Jensen's face as he jerked him quickly.

"Oh," Jensen gasped, reaching up to grab a fistful of Cougar's shirt. Cougar bit his own lip and rubbed his thumb over the head of his cock. He tried to buck up into Cougar's grasp and Cougar straddled his thighs gracefully, keeping him down.

"Oh!" Jensen's head pressed back into the floor and he vaguely registered pulling Cougar down over him as he came.

He opened his eyes and Cougar was right there, hovering over his face. Jensen's hand still twisted in his shirt. He just had time to think that they hadn't even kissed yet, before Cougar was leaning closer, rubbing their lips together. Jensen groaned and wrapped his arms around him, opened his mouth to let his tongue slip inside. Cougar's chest was snug against his, making it a little hard to breathe.

"Oh, fuck." Cougar leaned back a bit to squint down at him, and Jensen laughed. "I'm sorry, it's just, please take off your shirt so I can soak it in cold water." Cougar leaned back some more and frowned at the cum that had transferred from Jensen's skin to his shirt. Jensen laughed harder.

After they split up to go to their respective beds, before he fell asleep, Jensen sent an apology text to Jackie and Jolene for ditching them at the bar. He got back two, matching texts that just read "LOL". The next morning, Cougar handed over his phone to show him the creepy sexy face emojis he'd been sent.

The condo Jensen had rented was small, spare. The walls were painted a grey-toned white that looked modern but felt, Jensen thought, a little cold. It was the sort of color he thought other people would assume he loved. The place came furnished, and the kitchen had decent counter space. It was what he needed; it wasn't anything fancy. Though, considering the money his parents had left him and Jackie, he could have afforded it. God knows it's the least they could've done for him.

Living with Cougar was like living with the rest of the team, except for how it really wasn't. Like, Jensen coming back to the condo and seeing Cougar's hat trusted to a hook by the door. Like how Cougar spent a lot of time in the guest room, door closed, silent as death. Then Jensen would hear the crunch of a freshly-bitten apple, look up from his laptop and see him in the kitchen, a hip pressed against the counter. How Cougar would smile, and cross the room to smack a sticky kiss on his cheek.

Sometimes Cougar slept in his bed; mostly he slept in the guest room.

When he slept in Jensen's bed, Jensen could smell on his hair the shampoo he'd bought for him. He'd needled Cougar until he'd told him his favorite products. When Cougar slept in the guest room, the scent still lingered on Jensen's sheets.

Cougar let his hair air dry, stopped coaxing it straight. It didn't curl as much in the drier air, not when compared to in the jungle, or in wet southern heat. Still, it dried in waves, with ringlets forming soft around his face.

Sometimes they'd get takeout, and sometimes they cooked. He liked to watch Cougar cook. They ate at the table and he tried very hard not to stare into Cougar's eyes; caught Cougar's smirk every time he looked quickly away.

Sometimes Cougar sat on the roof and looked out across at the trees, just beginning to change color. Green leaves tinged with bright orange like they were catching fire.

Sometimes Jensen sat with him and they drank beer and Jensen talked. He stared straight ahead and didn't turn to meet Cougar's gaze, but he could feel it, like a touch, against his cheek.

On cooler evenings, Cougar would wear one of Jensen's sweaters. They were big on him; the sleeves covered his knuckles. Jensen stared ahead even harder, then, and felt like his heart would beat its way right out of his rib cage.

Sometimes Jensen got up the courage to look directly at Cougar, and he thought he looked, maybe, content. Which was like happy, but steadier. Bigger, but less ostentatious. He thought that if Cougar felt fulfilled like this, then he'd like to, maybe, someday, give him something similar. For real. For keeps.

Jensen remembered something. It had been after Bolivia and before LA. They'd been staying in some safe house, another of Aisha's. He'd been heading to the kitchen, when he'd heard Clay's voice. Something about it had made him stop, had made him linger in the hall, listening.

"Cougar. Will this affect the team?"

Silence. He had imagined Cougar staring, deadpan, at Clay.

Clay had sighed. "All right, all right."

Jensen had realized with a jolt that he couldn't be caught just standing frozen in the hallway. He'd stepped into the doorway and cleared his throat, awkward. They'd turned to look at him. Clay had rubbed a hand over his mouth and chin, had pushed past Jensen on his way out.

"So... any soda left in the fridge?" Christ, had he really said that? Smooth, Jensen. Cougar had just jerked his chin up once before pushing off the wall he'd been leaning against, and then he'd walked out, too.

"Uh. Cougar?" Jensen hovered awkwardly before the closed guest room door, staring down at the carpet. "Listen, Jackie just called. She invited us over for dinner with the Pooches." His voice went a little higher at the end than he would've liked. "You don't have to come, so, uh, don't feel pressured or anything. Just thought I'd --"

The door swung open, and Cougar smiled at him. "Time?"

"Huh? Oh." He blinked rapidly, startled. "Six?" Cougar raised an eyebrow. "Yes, six, definitely six. PM. One eight zero zero hours." Shut up. Cougar was still smiling, which honestly wasn't doing much to keep his ears from burning.

"I will go."

"Great! I mean, that's cool." Christ. "I figure we'll leave here around 5:45..." Cougar shook his head.

"Earlier. We'll pick up a bottle of wine."

"Oh, uh, yeah, sure, OK."

Cougar, it turned out, was really good at choosing wine. Thank god, because Jensen mostly just picked whatever had the prettiest label. The look he got when he tried that with Cougar was pretty spectacular.

"Hey, guys!" Jackie met them at the door with a big smile. Jensen pushed past her and made a beeline to Jolene. He demanded, "Give me baby!" She laughed and transferred Junior into his arms.

"Oof." Katie had thrown herself against Cougar; he recovered quickly and gave her a hug. "Buenas noches, gatito." She grinned up at him.

Jensen was making faces at Junior, trying and pretending to fail to reclaim the finger clutched in his chubby baby fist. He looked up to see Cougar watching him with a soft look on his face. Well. That was something. Jensen blushed and looked quickly away.

"Cougar!" Katie said, during dinner. "Did you get to go to Mexico?"

Jensen paused, airplane spoon halted in the air halfway to Junior's mouth. "Huh? You didn't ask before, when he got here?" Junior squirmed and let out an impatient squawk. "Sorry, infant," he completed the landing and Junior made pleased baby noises.

"No, Uncle Jake," Katie said, imperious. "We were busy talking about The Little Mermaid." Jensen made a face at her and she giggled, attitude instantly forgotten.

Cougar smiled. "Si. I spent some time with my sister and her children." He hesitated for a moment. "Maybe... you can meet them some day." Katie's face lit up like it was Christmas morning.

"So, Cougar," Jackie cut in, with an unnervingly conspiratory smirk, "what brought you up here to New Hampshire?"


Jensen choked on his beer. Pooch raised his eyebrows but didn't seem surprised; Jolene and Jackie howled with laughter. Katie giggled, eyes sparkling. Junior blew spit bubbles.

Cougar thumped Jensen on the back.

Jensen pushed him softly against the wall; licked across his bottom lip, slow. Cougar tensed under his hands.


Jensen took a step back.

"Can't be against the wall."

Jensen nodded and flipped them, grabbed Cougar's hands and shoved them up under his shirt. Cougar pushed it up and off him, pushed him to the floor. He wrapped his hands around Jensen's biceps and stroked his thumbs over the soft, sensitive skin on the inside of his arms.

Jensen whimpered when Cougar put his mouth on him; his lips warm and his tongue hot against the pulse hammering in his throat. The brim of his hat bumped against his cheek. His mouth dragged lower against his skin. Cougar shifted his hands up to Jensen's shoulders and pressed down, put his weight into it, and closed his lips over a nipple.

"Oh!" Jensen curled inward, breath rushing out of his lungs, and Cougar pushed him back down. "Oh, fuck!"

He felt Cougar smile, felt his breath hot against his skin as he murmured, "Sensitive."

"Uh bluh..."

Cougar laughed. Then he started sucking, and Jensen clawed at the carpet.

"Cougar! Uh..."

He moved off to nuzzle against Jensen's ribs and stomach; rubbed his face and his soft lips against his skin. Jensen let out a shaky breath. He still felt dangerously overheated, one wrong move away from coming in his pants. Luckily, Cougar shoved off of him, freed up his hands to undo their pants. He took Jensen's hand and wrapped it around his cock, took his own in hand.

Jensen had to shut his eyes at the way Cougar looked at him but still he came way too fast, curling up again and grunting.

Cougar fell over him, bracing himself on one hand against the carpet. He said, "Open your eyes," through his teeth, and Jensen did. Just in time to watch him come brandingly hot over his chest, stomach, and, finally, his still twitching cock.

"Oh, fuck." He threw an arm over his eyes and moaned. Suddenly, the weight on his legs lifted, and he just barely stopped himself from whining in protest. Then Cougar was back, using a couple tissues to quickly catch the cum he could feel sliding ticklishly down his sides. He thought about offering to help, but it felt too nice to just let Cougar handle it.

"Want to take a picture," Cougar murmured, eyes on his work. Jensen bit his lip but couldn't stop the smile. Cougar glanced up and his lips twitched into a smirk. Jensen flinched and hissed when Cougar gently cleaned his cock.

"Thanks." Cougar stood and held out a hand to help him up. "Thanks," he said again, awkward.

Cougar grinned and tipped his hat. "De nada."

Jensen had just returned from running errands, shoved the door shut with his hip, when he felt his phone buzz in his pocket. He shifted the grocery bags to balance on one arm and thumbed open the text.

On roof.

can i come up?

He set the bags on the counter and started putting the food away. A couple minutes passed before his phone buzzed again.


He found Cougar sitting against the side of the roof access hut, watching the sun drop below the horizon. He was wrapped up in a blanket he'd brought up with him from the couch; Jensen thought he looked unusually small and vulnerable. He sat down beside him, didn't ask if he was OK.

"I almost hit a squirrel on my way back." He felt the soft press of Cougar leaning into his side. "It was awful. I was driving though this neighborhood, and up ahead I could see these cute little squirrels chasing each other. You know, like those teenage ones; not quite babies and not quite adults. I realized, like, fuck, one squirrel had stopped at the curb, but the one in front had just kept running only to stop right in the middle of the road. I just held my breath and prayed to the Flying Spaghetti Monster... and the lucky little shit, I guess he was smack dab in the middle. Right between my tires. I swear I watched him do a dramatic little cartoon 'whew' and run back to his buddy."

He fell silent, gazed out across the roof. The last of the sunlight had caught on spare wisps of clouds, turning them neon shades of pink, peach, orange.

"LA was very bad," Cougar said quietly.

Jensen sighed. "Yeah..."

"You stopped talking."

"Huh? Oh, sorry, where was I?"

"No. After LA. You were quieter."

Jensen frowned. Had he been? Was he still? He hadn't even realized, he'd been too busy trying not to think about Roque. Trying not to look like he was trying not to think about Roque.

"You know, um," he cleared his throat once, twice. "I don't think it was wrong to kill him, I just wish it hadn't been you. I mean, I wish you hadn't had to. Like..."

"Only me. Difficult shot."

"No, I know, and I know it had to be done. I just wish... sometimes I just. Fuck, you're going to make fun of me for this." He squeezed his eyes shut, took a quick breath in, let it out in a rush: "If I could have done it, I would've. So you wouldn't have had to."

He's floundering. It made so much sense in his head and fell apart like wet tissue when he tried to make it heard. He was probably confusing and offending Cougar. Maybe the sentiment really was just confusing and offensive, he was just too self-absorbed to realize it.

Cougar, though, he wrapped an arm around his shoulders, gave him a squeeze. Cougar rubbed his thumb against his arm, where the scar from Aisha's bullet hid under the sleeve of his t-shirt.

"OK." Jensen let out a shaky breath and nodded. "OK."

Cougar held Jensen's leg in a firm grip, his fingers digging into the muscle. He sucked at the tender skin of his inner thigh. Jensen felt the sharp edges of teeth, and yelped.

"Ah! No biting, please!"

"Lo siento," Cougar murmured, kissing and nuzzling at the flesh. He let go of Jensen's leg to move up and straddle his thighs. He smoothed his hands over and up Jensen's stomach, chest, shoulders; back down to press lightly against his chest, thumbing idly at his nipples. He smiled at Jensen's sharp intake of breath.

"You are fun to play with."

Jensen inhaled deeply, feeling his face flush hot and his dick twitch. Cougar smiled wider and raised an eyebrow. Jensen grinned back and shrugged a little. His mouth dropped open into a choked moan when Cougar leaned down to whisper in his ear: "Tell me what you want."

"Fuck me," he managed, with Cougar sucking on his earlobe. He shivered helplessly.

"I can do that."

"Bedside table drawer." He felt muscles shift under warm skin as Cougar leaned over, coming back with condoms and lube. He pushed at Cougar's hips, started to turn over, but Cougar stopped him.

"OK?" Cougar looked serious, really wanting to know, and OK, yeah, he could do this. He nodded.

"Leave 'em," Jensen said when Cougar's hands hovered questioningly over his face, fingers brushing the metal frames of his glasses.

The glasses weren't an affectation. Sometimes he thought maybe he should get contacts, but he liked them. He liked the way they felt like a barrier between him and the world. Like, I can see you but you can't see me! Childish, but.

People thought things about the glasses. Things that he could decide whether to clarify, to confirm or deny. That was probably an affectation in and of itself.

Suddenly, though, he found himself wishing... not that he didn't need them, rather that he didn't consider them a defense, a buffer. Like, if he were to remove them, Cougar would understand. Understand that he was terrified and still wanted not to hide.

"Up." Cougar tapped his hip, and grabbed a pillow to slide under his ass. Jensen laughed, and Cougar winked. Cougar's fingers were warm when they pressed against him; not in, not yet. Rubbing all over him, slicking him up. It was strange and good and vaguely embarrassing, and Jensen moaned at that thought. Cougar smiled, stroked at him with his thumb and pushed inside.

"Uh!" Cougar hummed and withdrew. He poured more lube onto his fingers, and it dripped, cool, onto Jensen's overheated skin. He could feel how slick he was between his legs already, and it made his cheeks burn even more. Then Cougar was sliding a finger inside him, patting the inside of his thigh to get Jensen to spread his legs wider.

It felt slow-going, and Jensen winced in frustration with himself. Cougar kept at it, patient, soothing and coaxing. He didn't think he'd ever been the subject of such committed focus. It was a little breathtaking.

He thought to himself, giddy, that Cougar must be some sort of Jensen whisperer. He resisted the urge to whinny.

"So easy," Cougar murmured, guiding his cock, working his hips in little circles and pushes. Even though Jensen wasn't, even though it'd been a while and he wasn't expecting the burn. Still, it made him whimper and let Cougar in a little more.

"See?" Cougar pulled back, pushed in a bit. Jensen shoved his head back into the pillow and moaned at the ceiling. "Easy."


Jensen desperately willed himself to stop making so much noise but then Cougar was leaning down, eyes flicking fast across his face, saying, "Let me hear you." Jensen gasped as he slid all the way in.

"Uh! Ohhh fuck."

Cougar leaned back to smile at him, visibly pleased. Then he pulled out halfway and thrust back in.

"Nnngk," Jensen said, "It's been a while since..."

"Shame." Cougar's thrusts immediately gentled, slowed. "Should be fucked as often as you want."

"Jesus. Promise?" Jensen giggled. It was getting easier, actually; his muscles relaxing. Cougar could feel it, too, quickening his pace and going a little rougher.

"Oh, oh that's good. Gimme." Jensen grabbed at one of his hands, and Cougar let him pull it to his face. His gaze was hot as he watched Jensen suck a couple fingers into his mouth.

Cougar's breath hitched and he murmured, "There you go." Jensen moaned and sucked harder.

"Good?" Jensen shut his eyes for a moment, swallowed thickly, and nodded. He hooked his calves around Cougar's thighs, demanding, greedy for the feel of Cougar's hips against his ass. Cougar grabbed one of his legs and pulled it up and out, holding tight under his knee. Jensen laughed, delighted, head knocking back into the pillow.

Cougar had to take his fingers away to brace himself; Jensen felt spread wide, exposed, amazing, and wasn't about to argue. Cougar mouthed wetly across his throat and chest, anyway, sucking, licking at his skin.

Jensen shoved his hand between them to wrap around his cock. Cougar growled and dropped down onto his elbow, wrapped his arm under Jensen's shoulder and pressed even closer against him. He trapped Jensen's hand between them, and Cougar felt heavy and so good on top of him, but...

"Mmmph, Cougar," he shoved at his shoulder. "Up! Up! Fuck me!"

Cougar shook with laughter and pushed back up, bracing himself with his hand against the mattress. Now it really was easy: Cougar's cock slid in and out of him so smoothly. Jensen grinned and tugged lazily at his cock. He could get himself off anytime; this was a treat. He hadn't been lying when he said it'd been a while. Cougar felt good between his legs, and his cock was hot and thick inside him.

Jensen was on the edge before he knew it, gasping as he tipped over, fell; his toes curling in the air and one heel digging into Cougar's lower back. Cougar watched the whole thing, then thrust hard a few more times and buried his face in Jensen's neck. They lay together quietly, catching their breath. Cougar finally released his grip, stopped pressing finger-shaped bruises into Jensen's thigh. He peeled Jensen's leg off his waist and pulled out gingerly.

"Uh!" Jensen grunted, and Cougar collapsed back down against him. He shifted, redistributing some of his weight, and turned his face to the side. His face was flushed, breath even and hot against Jensen's skin. Jensen raised a shaky hand and pushed some hair off his face, tucked it gently behind his ear. Cougar hummed and lifted his head a little to kiss the heel of his hand. Jensen's breath caught.

"I want to know what you like," Cougar murmured into his chest, eventually. "Everything."

Jensen was silent, staring up at the ceiling; he trailed his fingers carefully through Cougar's hair, pensive.

Jensen watched from the control room, behind the reinforced, one-way mirror. On the other side, a medic was examining a very attractive, well-built man.

"This is unprecedented." Around him, scientists were discussing the man. "His vitals are highly unusual. Where did you say he was found?"

"A crater, just to the west of base."

"And he... it was mentioned that he somehow caused this crater?"

"Look, all we have is the word of some shaken up trainees. They reported a flash of light, a deafening roar, then something slammed into the ground. Hard."

Jensen may have watched Thor one time too many. Or just the right amount. The dude who played Heimdall looked a lot like Roque, and Jensen couldn't help picking at the wound. Plus, the cast was full of babes.

Jensen snapped back to the scene. The dude was staring right at him.

"Should he, uh, he should not be able to see us, right?"

"Huh?" At that moment, the medic came in to give his report, and Jensen was ignored once again. He listened vaguely, uneasy and unable to tear his eyes away from the man on the other side of the glass. Then, suddenly, the glass was gone, like in that Harry Potter book with the snake at the zoo, you know the one. The room erupted into chaos. Everyone panicked and fled, but Jensen was frozen, rooted to the spot. Suddenly he realized that something was wrapped, tight, around his waist. He pulled and hit at it but he was stuck fast. It was an appendage of some sort, strong and thick, and his eyes traced its origin to...

Uh oh.

He was hauled up and over the divider, into the man's personal space. Alien. Thing. Maybe not human considering the - might as well admit it now - the tentacles sprouting out of his torso. The guy grabbed Jensen's arms and twisted them behind his back; tentacles reached behind to bind his wrists together.

"Uh, OK, listen --" He squeaked when the guy wrapped the fabric of his t shirt around both fists and tore it down the middle.

"Hey! I liked that shirt!" Right, not the point. "Listen, dude, you don't want to do this. You don't know who you're messing with!" He tried not to hunch in on himself under the intensity of those eyes as they swept across his skin.

The tentacles binding him tightened and pulled, pushing his chest out. "Uh! Shit, OK, listen, listen -- Whatever you are, whatever species you are, I'm, like, that thing two point oh. I will fuck you up!" He'd probably sound more convincing if his voice would stop climbing higher and higher.

Or if he wasn't so distractingly hard. Fuck.

Smart money said the guy's probably a telepath, too, in addition to the whole... you know. His eyes traveled lower, lower, until he smiled, slow, full of teeth, and Jensen whimpered. Because, yes, that's the smile of a predator, and he wouldn't say it out loud, but he had never so badly wanted to be prey.

Jensen nodded, "Uh huh, OK."

His fly was opened, his pants shoved down around his knees. Enough to spread his legs; enough to keep him bound. He shivered. He was pushed to his knees, and as he moaned, a tentacle pushed into his open mouth. God, he's a noisy thing.

His whole body shook when he felt big, warm hands on his face; tentacles like fingers and tongues stroking over his skin, his nipples. Thick tentacles wrapped around his thighs, squeezing and pulling wider. He jerked reflexively and was held fast. He hummed and sank into the restraints.

He sucked and sucked and felt the tentacle in his mouth stiffen and pour liquid, thick and hot and bitter, down his throat. He whined as it withdrew, but then he was lifted and turned to face the control room, and he choked.

Of course. Of course Cougar was there, watching. He had his dick out, and he was stroking it, and oh, now Jensen knew. Now he knew what that looked like, what Cougar looked like hard with a hand on himself. You're welcome, subconscious. He had a good imagination but this was so, so much better.

Funny how the only things that really changed were the details.

"Uh!" His wrists were tugged sharply, forcing his chest out again. He felt a firm press between his shoulder blades, pushing him forward, making him stick his ass out for balance. It was precarious, but the tentacles held him. And there was Cougar, watching him.

"Look at that," the guy said, and Jensen's panting because Jesus, yes. "He's getting off on this, on seeing you all helpless and used." There was a slick press against his ass, then he was giving it up, opening so sweetly. A hand gripped his jaw and held it. "Keep those eyes open. Watch him."

He wanted to shove himself down on the tentacle; he was held so tightly all he could do was breathe and stare at Cougar. It moved at its own pace, width steadily increasing as it slid easily inside. Tentacles slid back over his chest and stroked his nipples. The tentacle in his ass started to thrust, slowly, making his toes curl. The hand dropped, followed by his jaw, and another tentacle filled his mouth.

"Eyes open," he felt a hand pat his cheek and refocused his gaze on Cougar. "There you go, that's the way. Just keep sucking and let me fuck you."

Jensen's breath came fast, his chest rising and falling rapidly; he couldn't see his dick but it felt achingly hard, balls drawn up tight. He could see Cougar's dick, though, could see his hand move faster and his skin shine with sweat.

He was so close, he just needed, just --

Jensen woke with his face buried in the pillow, rutting against the mattress. His hand shook as he shoved it down his boxers, and he fucked into his fist desperately. He came with his eyes squeezed shut and his legs spread.

Years and years ago, back when Jensen was in Junior High, he'd had to read this short story for some English class. It was that one about the people, Earthlings, who lived on Venus, where it was awful and miserable and rained all the time. Most of the kids in this one class were used to it, but one little girl actually remembered Earth, and missed it.

She remembered Earth summers.

On Venus it rained every single day, except for one day, every seven years, when the sun came out. For an hour. This kid, this girl, was so, so looking forward to that day; it made every other depressing, gloomy day bearable.

She was so sad, all the time, but that day, like actually not even the entire day, the rain would stop, and she would get to feel the sun on her skin again.

But then her classmates, they just, they lock her in a closet. Because they think it's funny. They forget about her. The teacher doesn't notice. She takes all the kids outside to enjoy the hour of sunshine. All the kids except for that one little girl, the one who'd been looking forward to it the most. The one who needed it the most.

The teacher doesn't even notice, and when the kids finally remember, it's too late. It won't stop raining, the clouds won't clear, for another seven years.

That story had scared the hell out of him. It had made him anxious and furious and sick. He'd hated those kids and that teacher but, most of all, it terrified him. It was terrifying to him that people could be so thoughtless, so senselessly cruel. That something so good that you want so badly could be taken away so quickly, and with such banality. That breathless terror of something just slipping through your fingers, to no fanfare. Just an afterthought.

He didn't tell anyone that, though. His peers didn't need the ammunition. He had a feeling that the anger was one thing, but the fear was too much. Too weird, too sensitive. He'd learned well enough by then what to omit to avoid ridicule. In class he'd just said: "I hate those fuckin' kids." That got laughs and a trip to the principal's office, and that was good. That was safe.

Another reason for a teacher to frown and write him off as a troublemaker. To keep anyone from looking too closely.

Now, years later, he thought... He thought maybe it wasn't always the kids, the teachers. Maybe it wasn't everyone else; not all the time. Maybe, sometimes, it was you. You: the one bullying yourself, locking yourself inside.

You, the one forgetting yourself and not noticing. Letting yourself miss out on something wonderful because you got scared and lost sight of what you really wanted. Or because you thought: "Why bother? It's just going to rain again after, anyway."

It's good, it's amazing. It's the smell of sunshine, warmth on your skin, but it's not going to last.

Maybe you had to be scared and still make that choice for yourself.

"Uh, Jackie?" Jensen winced. That was so not a normal way to start a phone call with his sister.

"Jake? What's up?" Oh good, she noticed.

"I was just, uh, thinking," he rolled his eyes at her staccato laugh. "Yeah, ha ha, anyway. I don't. Sometimes I --" he took a breath, "Do you ever feel like we're cursed?"

A pause.

"What did you do?"

"Nothing! Jeez louise, nothing, I swear. Yet." He sighed. "I don't know, it's just sometimes I think about our parents and, sorry, your ex, and I just... I don't know."

"Oh." He heard her let out a slow breath. "Yeah, OK, I get that."

"Right? Because sometimes I just feel like it'd be easier for me and everyone else if I was alone for the rest of my life and I --"

"Jake! Jake." She cut him off. "I understand, I really do. But it's stupid."

"Tell me how you really feel."

"That is how I really feel. Listen, I know what you're talking about. It's how I feel when I'm sad and nursing a bottle of wine when I should be in bed. Asleep. It's how millions of other people feel when they're tired and scared and sad and feel like it's safer to deprive themselves than admit they might want something. And, OK, yeah, it's sort of true." He made an indignant "see?" noise, but she kept talking. "It's hard to be with someone. It's work. But no one ever said good things were easy."

"I guess... I don't know."

"My ex was the worst but you know what? After everything, I still have Katie." He couldn't help but smile at that. "And you never know what will come from a relationship, regardless of longevity. You especially don't know because you've never really tried. You've always bolted before anyone could get close enough!"

Jensen opened his mouth, shut it. He tried again.

"OK, but --"

"What's the worst that could happen?"

"He could end up hating me."

"How long have you been teammates? No."

"He could find out how weird and damaged I am."

"He already knows. Next."

Jensen hesitated.

"It could hurt."

"It will hurt," her voice softened considerably. "Opening yourself up enough to get close to someone always hurts."

"So why bother?" He was surprised by how small he sounded.

"Because it doesn't always hurt, and it doesn't hurt forever. And because you won't be hurting alone."


"Jake... our parents failed as partners because they were damaged, yeah, but also because they never tried to do anything about it. They just kept trying the same things over and over, never learning from their mistakes. They -- they were selfish and they fucked up and they took it out on everyone around them." Jake grunted softly in assent. "Jeff was the exact same."

"Fuck that guy."

"I know, Jake. I know." She laughed, then turned abruptly serious. "You don't have to be like them. We don't have to be like them. We're already so much better than our parents. They were terrified of change, were too proud to admit they weren't wonderful and perfect. I mean, you called me to talk about this. That's proof enough to me that you're nothing like them."

"OK." Jensen suddenly felt very shy.

"All you have to do is be aware, OK? Just be aware, and evolve. And remember that it will hurt, and that nothing is guaranteed. And that I'll always want to talk to you."

"Did you have that whole speech memorized or something?"

"I swear to God, Jake, I'm going to murder you."

"All right, thanks! Love you too!"

"Sleep with one eye open."

Jensen chewed on his lip, thinking. Everyone said shit like that after sex; high on it, making wild declarations. It's not like they ever actually mean it.

But Cougar... Cougar never said anything unless he meant it.

Jensen had never really felt a need to share this with anyone he'd slept with. Dated? Were they dating? Anyway, it was just never a thing he felt necessary to share. He wasn't ashamed, exactly. OK, maybe a little. It wasn't really something you wanted spread around. There's a difference between, like, people thinking you're weird because you talk to computers and people thinking you're weird because they think you want to fuck an octopus.

Something about Cougar, something about this, made him want to tell. Made him want to lay himself bare for him.

Jensen took his time combing through his favorite stories, looking for a good one to share. He was suddenly intensely glad that he'd gotten everyone a smart phone, and insisted they use it, before they all split up. Cougar rarely used computers, and Jensen couldn't imagine having this conversation in person.

Or, handing over weird, printed erotica for him to read in the same room. Even the same floor. Finally, he composed an email. In the subject line, he wrote "I want to know what you like. Everything." He took a deep breath, and hit send.

Jensen was just finishing up dinner when he heard the front door open, shut, and click locked behind him. He willed himself unreadable but knew Cougar could surely see the tension in his shoulders. He was jumpy, somehow expecting it but still nervy when Cougar grasped his upper arms. Cougar turned him around, slow, pressed against him with his whole body and kissed him.

"Oh." Jensen mumbled against his lips. "Oh, hi."

"Hi." Cougar wasn't pulling back to talk, not at all. He rubbed his mouth against Jensen's and sucked softly at his lower lip. Jensen's fists were curled tightly closed. Cougar slid his hands up, up his arms, shoulders, neck, and settled his fingers so gently against the curve of his skull that Jensen gasped.

He fumbled behind himself to grab at the counter, white-knuckled. Cougar smiled and licked across his lips and into his mouth. Jensen whimpered. It felt almost unbearably tender. He felt like his chest cavity had been scooped out and filled with butterflies. In, like, a romantic way. It had sounded less gruesome in his head.

Cougar fell back and tugged him away from the counter. Jensen protested feebly: "But! Dinner..."


"Oh, God bless this brave new world!"

Cougar stripped them both and shoved at him insistently until they fell into bed. Cougar settled over him and urged him to wrap a leg around his hips.

"Wait." Cougar pointedly tried to stretch for the nightstand and Jensen disengaged to let him grab the lube. He smiled and patted his thigh and Jensen wrapped his leg around him again. Cougar got a slippery hand between them and around their cocks; Jensen jerked and held him tighter.

Cougar was warm, warm, warm on top of him, his cock hot like blood. He pushed his face into Jensen's neck and inhaled, sucked at his throat and collarbone. Jensen buried his hands in Cougar's hair and rubbed at his scalp.

He carefully tugged at the elastic and when it came loose Cougar leaned up a bit and his hair hung around their faces; dark and soft, a lace veil. Jensen wanted to lay himself open beneath him, his lips pliant and yielding under Cougar's.

He was making these little breathy gasps and he'd have been embarrassed about it but Cougar was watching him and smiling like he was the most interesting thing he'd ever seen. It was making his heart beat hard, like Cougar had just walked in on him jerking off; like this was the first time they'd ever pressed up against each other.

He grabbed at Cougar's back and dug his fingers into soft skin and firm muscle and he wanted, he wanted --

"Oh, God, I want --"

"Yeah? What do you want?" Cougar ducked his head and dragged his tongue across a nipple. "Want to get wrapped up? Squeezed tight?"

"Oh, fuck."

"Held open and fucked?" Cougar kept pulling at their cocks and Jensen squeezed his eyes shut and gasped for air. "Know what I want. Want to watch you helpless and stuffed full and moaning."

Jensen wrapped his other leg around him, pulled them tight together and came hard. Cougar pressed a palm against his shoulder and shoved him against the mattress, held him there. His hand was slippery with Jensen's cum and he wrapped it around his cock, jerked himself a few times and came hot against Jensen's skin.

Cougar held still for a moment, braced over him on his forearms, catching his breath. He pushed himself up and grabbed at the tissues on the bedside table. Jensen laughed.

"Take such good care of me, Cougs." Cougar smiled at him fondly, cleaned them both up, and settled himself stickily back on top of him. Jensen wrapped his arms around him.

"I was worried you'd think I was weird. I mean, it's pretty weird." He finally said, after a few minutes.

"Very weird. I like it."


"Makes sense. You like to be restrained, overwhelmed." He made it sound so obvious. Without looking, he lifted one hand and softly pressed his fingers against Jensen's lips. "The oral fixation. The finger-sucking."

Jensen started laughing again. Cougar lifted himself so he could squint down at him. "I'm sorry; you're wonderful," Jensen said. "I want to keep you."

Cougar lowered himself again and said, "Have me."


"Should have you sit on a toy while I use your mouth."

Jensen groaned. "Cougar, I just came."

"Make you suck on one, tie you up, fuck your ass."

Jensen covered his burning face with both hands and shook with laughter, embarrassed and giddy. He felt Cougar shift and then gently peel his hands away from his face.



Clay rendezvoused with the three of them at a cemetery - seriously, Clay? - in some rural nothing town a good hike away from the suburbs. It was smart, safe, but the autumnal sun was still high enough that they'd all been sweating disgustingly by the time he pulled up; hearty truck tires crunching gravel and kicking up dust.

Jensen caught Clay give Cougar a look that started questioning and turned considering; watched Cougar meet his eyes, smirk, and shrug. Well then. Pooch took over behind the wheel, Jensen talked, and Clay smoked, elbow hanging out the window. Cougar shoved down the brim of his hat and maybe slept, but maybe not.

There was still a huge, Roque-shaped chasm that none of them acknowledged. It was a lot like old times, except not at all.

Aisha was already there when they got to the safe house, posture deliberately casual. She tracked their movements closely, lifted her chin in acknowledgement. Clay let them grab some Gatorade before herding them into the meager living room.

"Losers," Clay grinned. Aisha lurked behind him, the sharp gleam of her teeth just visible in the shadows. Clay clapped his hands and rubbed them together, the big drama queen. "We found 'im. We found Max."