Title: If that is what it means to be blessed, well, I'll be damned

Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Grace Bauer

Warnings: implied child abuse; blackmail; possibly impossible computer stuff; pre-canon

Pairings: pre-Cougar/Jensen

Rating: PG

Wordcount: 590

Point of view: third

Prompt: The Losers, Any, I mean you guys are my friends and all but if you fuck with me I will not hesitate to set you on fire

Jake Jensen is not your normal geek. Okay, so that's obvious, what with being all black-ops and stuff, but, seriously. He's not. And his whole life, people have given him shit for bucking expectations. He's made it into an artform, alright? He's kickass, and he's fucking smart (like, really, he is fucking smart, okay?) and he's funny, and he's dangerous. Don't let the babble fool you, or the shirts, or the computer.

All Jake Jensen needs to rule the world is a computer in one hand and caffeine in the other.

But he knows how to blend in. Really, he does. It's the only reason he's lived to see twenty-five, and meet his team. And he loves them, really he does, but it took awhile, because Jake Jensen does not trust easily, oh no he doesn't. He's been burned, and scarred, and beaten into the ground, and he survives, he always survives, him and Jess. (And Jilly, she's getting so big now, and everything he does, he does for her.)

So, Clay seems like a good man, and Roque's trying so hard to be scary, and Pooch does his best to keep the peace, and Cougar stares. Cougar stares an awful lot, but Jake just stares back. Sometimes, he even raises an eyebrow or grins, showing all his teeth.

Okay, seriously, the whole point. Jake got dumped on the Losers, everyone's favorite group of expert screw-ups who can't work with other people, as his last stop on the way out the door, because he can blend in and take all sorts of shit, but he won't roll over and be stomped on. He gets punched, he'll punch back with credit ratings and creatively edited classified information, and there is never any evidence because he's too good for that – but, the problem is, he's itoo good/i. There are maybe five people in the world as good as him. So, yeah, no evidence. But also no other suspects.

Anyway, the Losers. His last chance. And the higher-ups really don't want Jake to go, because he's either working for The Man or against The Man, and they'd have no chance. Like, none. At all. So it's either make this work or vanish into some other shady program and be shackled to a desk until he dies (probably from a bullet to the back of his head, execution style).

But he's done rolling over. He's done taking it.

Fuck, he's done blending in.

So, a month into his tenure with Clay and his boys, Jake gets right up in Roque's face and tells him, "If you keep fucking with me, I will make it so you were never born." No bullshit, no blinking. Just Jake the survivor, staring this big scary man in the eyes and knowing what he can and cannot do.

And Roque nods, and steps back, and Jake breathes out a quiet sigh of relief. Because he thinks he might've finally found his place, and he doesn't want to go, not again.

"You got balls, kid," Roque rumbles as he stalks out the door.

Jake smiles and throws himself onto his bunk, pulling his laptop over. It's Jilly's first day at pre-k and he needs to make sure she's happy or else he'll be destroying someone. Again.

(Really, Jess, did you expect anything less?)

"Hey, Cougar," he says without looking up. "You actually gonna talk today or just stare?"

No answer. Of course not.

Jake thinks this might be home, for awhile, at least.

(But he doesn't trust these men. Not yet.)