Hello all! Wow, I really don't know where this story came from O.o I watched the Losers on Sunday and kind of latched onto this one part of the movie and my muse had a damn feild day -.-; I'm sorry if its depressing but there's fluff at the end! I promise! :D Also, I'm pegging Jensen's sister as being about eight years older than him; there's no basis for this other than I think he's about 27 in the movie. Hope you all like it! :D
I own nothing!...damn -.-;
The hotel room was quiet this time of night, nothing but the dull hum of the air conditioner filling the silence of the nearly empty room. They were stuck in the waiting phase of the mission, the part where nothing happens and its boring as hell until they can figure out what to do next. Clay had set them up in a literal shack of a hotel in an attempt to keep them under the radar and gain a bit more information on Max while they were still in Miami. He was off somewhere with Aisha doing God only knew what and Roque and Pooch had disappeared earlier in the night to handle their own affairs. That just left Jensen and Cougar alone in the hotel room, keeping an eye on their "safehouse."
Jensen groaned as he flipped through the channels again, hoping the third time through would be enough to convice him that there wasn't anything on. Admittedly, he was only half-watching but still, having absolutely nothing worth watching on TV seemed almost like a sin. "Ugh...this is so boring...!" He groaned, dropping the remote onto the filthy, stained carpet. "We can't even get good porn in this place!" He half-expected Cougar to chuckle at that or at the very least crack a smile but he didn't do either, he kept his eyes locked on the window, peering down into the street and cleaning his gun absently.
Jensen frowned, looking a bit closer at the Sniper. "You're quiet tonight." He said before shrugging and revising his statement. "Quiet-er. What's wrong?"
Cougar stopped cleaning his gun for a second, his hands pausing on the cold metal. He looked torn about something, something he didn't want to say and something that couldn't be left unsaid.
Jensen's frown deepened a little and he sat up on the bed, moving a little so he could get a better look at his friend. "Cougar? Hey man, you okay?"
The older man looked at him then, dark eyes locking onto his with such intensity it almost made Jensen shrink back. "What did you mean earlier?" He asked softly, his voice barely more than a whisper in the room.
"What did you mean earlier?"
"What do you mean, 'what did I mean earlier'?" Jensen hated the mind games, Clay and Roque pulled them all the time and it always left him feeling frustrated and confused. "What are you talkin' about, Coug?"
The Sniper turned to face him then, watching the younger man's expression carefully. "Earlier in the warehouse, when Aisha and Roque were arguing, you said 'that sounds like my parents.'" He paused for a second; judging by the way the younger man's eyes widened slightly behind his glasses, he guessed he's stumbled into dark territory. He'd been trying to forget that sentence all day, the look on Jensen's face when he said it, but it was circling around in his head like and angry wasp. Jensen had probably thought no one else had heard him but Cougar had and now he needed to know what the younger man was hiding. "What did you mean?"
Jensen looked startled for only a second before he covered it with a grin and tried to laugh it off. "Oh that?" He said, laughing lightly and trying to make it look like everything was fine. Cougar knew better. "I was just talking, you know? That's what I do, its what I'm good at." He grinned brightly in a way that was almost convincing but not quite. "You know I hate awkward silences." He smiled again, hoping to leave it at that.
"Jensen." Cougar said softly, trying to press for information without scaring the younger man off. It occured to him earlier in the day that as long as they had worked together, he really knew nothing about the younger man's family. He knew about his niece and his older sister but everyone else (parents, grandparetns, etc) was conveniently dropped out of the picture. Something was wrong, something Jensen didn't want the others to know about, but Cougar couldn't let it go without a fight. "Tell me."
Jensen stilled instantly, his shoulders hunching just a bit to make him look like he was inadvertantly curling in on himself. "Cougar, its nothing man. Just let it go, okay?"
The Sniper shook his head slowly, watching the blonde across from him. "I can't. I want to know what you meant..."
Jensen shook his head and smiled again but this time it was forced. His face was pale, his shoulders squared and rigid and he looked like he would rather jump on a live grenade then finish this conversation. "Cougar, please...just drop it okay? I'm begging you, man. Please." The voice was pleading in a way that Cougar had never heard before and it struck him to his very core. Whatever this was, whatever it meant, it had shaken Jensen more than he'd ever seen. Had it been any other day and any other time, the older man would have gladly dropped the subject, leaving it be until Jensen was ready. But he couldn't do that right now, not when it was having such an obvious affect on him.
"No." Cougar said finally, waiting for the outburst he knew was coming.
"Jesus Christ!" Jensen snapped suddenly, standing and pacing around to the other side of the bed in an attempt to put distance between himself and the older man. He paced frantically for a few seconds, fingers squeezing the bridge of his nose and the heels of his hands digging into his eyes behind the glasses, trying deperately to ward off the headache that was coming on fast. Finally he stopped, standing absolutely frozen in the middle of the room and keeping his eyes closed. His breathing was harsh and ragged like he was trying to keep everything together and failing miserably. " Look..." He started, his voice a strained whisper. "Can we please just assume that I had a shitty childhood and leave it at that?"
Slowly, the Sniper shook his head. "No." He saw Jensen visibly flinch before he continued. "Not if its bothering you this much."
Jensen was still for a few minutes longer, moving his hands away from his face and letting his head tip back so he was looking up at the ceiling. He took a few uneven breaths, trying to steady himself before he started speaking. "My parents were never really in the run for the Parents of the Year Award, if you know what I'm saying." He said, the words peeling out of his mouth like they were covered in vinegar. "My dad was an alcoholic and my mom...well, my mom had been fucked up from the day I was born. She had a Fruedian nightmare of mental problems and would pop any pill she could get her hands on." Jensen dug his hands into his pockets, leaning against the TV stand and looking at Cougar. "God, they used to get into fights that would make the Invasion of Normandy look like a freakin' day at the beach."
"My sister was older than me so she was the one who ran interference and played the mediator between our parents. She was always good at that." Jensen smiled humorlessly before continuing. "They never took it out on her, not once, and I was always grateful for that because she was all I had." He paused for a second, feeling Cougar's dark eyes watching him carefully. "One day they got into a fight, the Hiroshima of all of them, and my mom just walked out the door and never came back. My dad was furious; angry that she had left, angry that he couldn't hold down a job to save his life, angry about everything. And since my mom split and he didn't have his favorite punching bag around anymore, he turned to me..."
Cougar felt something tighten in his chest, a cold, crushing sensation he hadn't felt in years. As much as he wanted to believe it wasn't true, that something this horrible couldn't happen to someone like Jensen, the pained look on the younger man's face told him otherwise. "What did he do?" The words came out a bit more forcefully than he meant them to and Jensen let out a heavy sigh.
"A better question would be what didn't he do?" He was back to pacing again, feet scuffing along the filthy carpet with each step. "When he was sober, I could usually manage to talk him down. Usually. When he was sober the abuse was usually just verbal or emotional. When he was drunk though..." Jensen shook his head and squeezed the bridge of his nose again. "He was worse when he was drunk, which was pretty much all the damn time. When he got like that, there was no talking to him, no reasoning, no nothing. That's when it became physical..." He stopped, trailing off and leaving the rest open to interpretation. "My sister stepped in when she could but most of the time I just handled it on my own...I didn't her to get hurt so I took whatever he dealt me without a second thought. I would rather it was me than her."
Cougar shook his head, feeling a lump form in his throat that hadn't been there before. "Why didn't you tell anyone? Why didn't you leave? Fight back? Go somewhere else?" He had a million other questions that he simply couldn't voice at the moment; he was still trying to wrap his mind around everything Jensen had just told him.
Jensen gave him a sad smile, a smile that should never, ever cross his face. "It was a lot harder than than that, not everything was black and white at that time. I had nowhere to go and if I left it meant my sister was stuck with him and I couldn't do that...not to her."
"But why didn't you tell someone? The police? CPS? Anyone?"
The younger man shook his head slowly. "It wouldn't do any good." Seeing the look on Cougar's face he continued. "I grew up in the slums of New York, shit like that was common-place. Sure, I could have called CPS and they would have gotten to me maybe four or five months down the line." He shook his head again and looked at the floor. "Where I grew up, if you had one abused kid, you had fifty others just like him."
The world seemed to fade away for a few seconds and Cougar couldn't hear anything over the blood rushing through his head. He was past being angry, past being shocked; he was murderous, cold and deadly, and it took every ounce of self-control he had not to punch a hole through the nearest wall. Jensen was still talking and he found himself drawn out of the malicious thoughts racing throug his head and back into the conversation.
"-got into football in high school so that could explain away some of the brusies but not all of them. The black eyes weren't from after school practices, the broken ribs didn't come from taking a tackle too hard..." He shrugged uselessly. "Those were just things I dealt with." He rubbed a hand across his eyes and down his face. "When my sister graduated, I knew it would be just me and my dad left so I took off the day after she left. I had a backpack with enough food and clothing to get me to New Jersey and that's where I stayed. I slept on benches, in alley ways, anywhere was better than being with him."
Just when he thought he couldn't be any more shocked by the younger man's story, his mind screeched to a halt when he realized Jensen had just said he was essentially homeless for a while. Cougar felt one hand clench into a fist so tight his fingernails were cutting half-moon shapes into his palms. "How old were you?"
Jensen shrugged a bit, looking up at the ceiling as if the answer was written on the water-damaged tiles. "16? 17? I don't really remember...the first year was a bit of a blur. My sister found me, she'd been searching for me for monthes, and dragged me to New Hampshire. She was dating a guy and they had an apartment together so they let me stay with them. I ended up working part-time as an IT tech for a company her boyfriend was working with and found out I was good with computers. I mean really good. Psychotically good." There was a watered down version of his usual smile and Cougar felt his jaw clench. Jensen should never look this...broken. It wasn't right.
"I had already enlisted when my sister found out she was pregnant with Hannah. Her boyfriend wasn't too excited about the news though and he split, leaving us without a second thought." Jensen's jaw tightened a bit and he straightened his shoulders. "I didn't want Hannah to grow up without some kind of male role model in her life, and since there was no way in Hell I was ever letting her meet her grandfather, I stepped in. I was there the day she was born, I wrote letters to her nearly everyday when I was away, I kept up with her which is more than I can say for either of my parents." He sighed, slumping onto the edge of the bed with his back to the older man "Clay found me about three years ago and brought me into the team and...well, you know the rest."
There was a heavy silence, opressive and suffocating, and Cougar struggled to find something, anything to say. Jensen managed to beat him to it. "So, needless to say, my childhood wasn't all sunshine and rainbows." He laughed humorlessly, keeping his back to the Sniper.
"Does Clay know...?"
Jensen shook his head slowly. "No...I never told anyone. It's not in any of my files, no records, it never happened... the only one who knows it my sister."
Cougar was on his feet before he could stop himself, walking around the other side of the bed and kneeling in front of the younger man. Jensen barely looked at him, his eyes hidden behind his glasses and his head tilted down. Moving slowly, with surprisingly unsteady hands, Cougar reached out and began unbuttoning the blonde's shirt. Jensen's eyes widened suddenly and he sat up, looking at the older man with a mixture of panic and confusion in his eyes. "What are you doing?" He asked, his voice shaking just a bit. When Cougar didn't repsond, he backed away quickly, away from the older man with a look of primal fear he'd never seen.
Cougar felt a knot form in his chest, tight and unyeilding, and his struggled to remain calm. "I'm sorry...I didn't mean-"
"Its okay..." Jensen said softly, looking between the older man and the floor. "Its just..." He paused, torn with something internal that he couldn't voice. "I'll do it..." Without another word, he slowly and carefully unbuttoned the res tof his shirt, pulling it away and dropping it to the floor. Cougar sucked in a breath with a sharp hiss.
Scars littered the younger man's chest, every size and shape he could imagine. They were pale and corded, cutting deeply into the flesh and damaging the underlying muscle. There were several on his chest and stomach, wrapping around to his arms and dipping behind the waist-line of his jeans. There were too many to count and it made him sick. Cougar shook his head a bit, closing his eyes to fight off the wave of fury that flashed through him. He didn't know how he could have missed it, he and Jensen had slept together several times before and he'd never noticed all the scars. Granted, most of the time when they fell into bed with each other they were both piss-drunk and could barely see straight but still. He realized with a start that he had also never seen Jensen without a shirt in the light and while the other members of their team were completely fine walking around half-naked, Jensen always kept his clothes on. Even when he hacked in his underwear it was in the dark and he made sure no one was there. Everytime they returned, even though they knew full well Jensen had probably been nude all day, he was always completely dressed, an easy smile on his face to hide what was covered by his shirt. It all made terrible sense and Cougar couldn't stand it.
He moved onto the bed, slowly and carefully, afraid that any sudden movement might scare the younger man off for good. When he was close enough to touch him, he reached out and placed a gentle hand on Jensen's shoulder, his fingers brushing over the raised scar tissue of a particularly nasty gash on the younger man's shoulder. He paused, frowning a bit as he noticed a whole new set of scars criss-crossed over the blonde's back and shoulders, tangling together and intersecting at odd angles. Before he could ask, Jensen filled him in. "My dad used to collect knives..." He said quietly, supressing a shudder that shook its way through him. "It wasn't the first time he pinned me down and carved my back like a fucking Thanksgiving turkey..."
Cougar shook his head, closing his eyes for a second. Every fiber of his being wanted to find Jensen's father and tear him limb from limb but that wasn't his primary concern at the moment. His main concern right then was the trembling man in front of him, his best friend, the man he would do anything in the world for. The one who had just told him his inner most secret and was sitting emotionally exposed in front of him.
Keeping a gentle hand on Jensen's shoulder, Cougar dipped his head and brushed his lips over the scars on his shoulder softly. It was barely a kiss, barely anything, but it was the only thing he could think to do. Jensen was trembling against him, the emotional confession taking its toll on him. He looked like he was about to fall completely apart and Cougar was determined not to let that happen. He moved his hand to cup the younger man's face gently and turned his head to face him. "Its okay..." It wasn't okay, it would never be okay, but he wanted so badly to pretend it would be. Even just for a little while.
Jensen let out a shuddered breath and leaned forward, pressing his lips to the older man's. The kiss was desperate, pleading, and Cougar coldn't pull away. He kissed back, carding his fingers through the short blonde hair and letting other hand trail down Jensen's back, fingers brushing over the patchwork of scars. If he could, he would take away every painful memory the younger man had ever had, every scar, every bruise, everything. But he couldn't. All he could do was offer his support, his acceptance and everything that came with it. Keeping a steady hold on the younger man in his arms, he leaned back, pushing them both onto the bed.
Jensen made a soft sound in the back of his throat, a mix between a sigh and a whimper. Cougar shushed him with a kiss, his hand moving from the younger man's back to his chest. He could feel the knots of healed broken bones along Jensen's ribs and the rapid pounding of his heart against his hand. He pulled away, moving down and kissing every single scar that marred Jensen's chest, hoping to take away some of the memories. It wouldn't work, he knew it, but he had to try. Jensen was still beneath him, frozen to the bed and unable to move. He closed his eyes, trying to block out the memories he tried to suppress for all those years. It hurt, everything hurt so deep he could barely breathe sometimes, but he managed to hide it with a smile and a carefree attitude. Now Cougar knew; fuck, he knew! He knew everything, all the black spaces in Jensen's soul he'd buried. It was almost too much to take, too much to handle all at one time, and he felt himself struggling to breathe.
Warm hands were suddenly on either side of his face and he opened his eyes to see Cougar looking down at him in concern. "Breathe." The older man said slowly, keeping a gentle hold on his face. "Just breathe..."
With more effort than should have been absolutely necessary, Jensen managed to drag in a deep, shuddering breath. It sounded more like a choke but he could feel some of the tension leaving him as he exhaled, fading just a bit as the breath left his body. Cougar was beside him then, strong arms pulling him close and holding him there. "Breathe." He said again, the words a soft whisper in his ear. Jensen took in another shakey breath, clinging to the older man like he was his lifeline. He could feel warm hands traveling over his back and through his hair, soothing him without a word. He wanted to break into a million pieces, had wanted to for years, but Cougar was keeping him together. He closed his eyes again, hiding his face against the Sniper's shoulder and breathing deeply. He could smell Cougar's cologne, feel the warm solidity of the older man against him, and he held on.
Cougar kept a tight yet gentle grip on the younger man, feeling him breathe against him and his shoulders relax against the mattress. He pressed his lips to Jensen's temple, closing his eyes for a second. "I will never let anyone hurt you ever again..." He whispered with such conviction that it nearly made Jensen cry. "Never."
The younger man nodded slightly, unable to pull away. "I know..." He whispered, keeping his face hidden in Cougar's shoulder. He wanted to forget tonight, forget everything that had ever happened and go back to work as usual in the morning. He knew it probably wouldn't happen but he could try. And if Cougar was there...well, it might be easier.
Cougar kept his arms around Jensen's shoulder long after the younger man had fallen into an exhausted sleep. His fingers brushed through the short hair, over the raised scars and back. He tightened his grip just slightly and shook his head. "Never again..."
Wow, that was dark O.o Poor Jensen...=(