Life's Just A Series of Moments, Caught In The Mind's Eye
Fandom : The Losers
Characters : Jensen centric fic building to Jensen/Cougar
Rating : PG-13
Word Count : approximately 1,800 words
Written for the prompt of The Losers, Jensen(/Cougar), he remembers it as a series of snapshots
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
Life's Just A Series of Moments, Caught In The Mind's Eye
The first time he saw Cougar was before he'd even started his training. It was The Hat that caught his eye initially as he lounged back waiting for his turn to be processed as a raw recruit. He'd looked away, not wanting to be caught staring at a guy and kicked out before he'd even started. It wasn't like it was in his plans to let slip he liked guys any time soon and there was no way a guy like that would ever look his way anyway.
Jensen had been graduating the next time he'd seen him. Dressed in full parade uniform and sporting a black eye, he'd marched out with the rest of the recruits but had been relieved when the ceremony was over and eager to find out where he was going to be posted. Anywhere that wasn't with the guys he was with now would be a bonus.
'The Hat' had been leant against a wall with another guy as Jensen had returned to the barracks. . . A guy who'd leant in close and whispered something to 'The Hat' . . . and boy hadn't that stirred up a nice flare of jealousy in the pit of Jensen's stomach.
What 'The Hat' had been doing there with 'The Friend' Jensen had no idea, but some gut instinct told him that both men had been looking at him as he'd passed, that in some way the whispered conversation had been about him. He slammed open his locker door angrily, irritated by being the butt of someone else's humor again. He'd got enough of that with the assholes he'd just spent his basic training with.
His orders arrived the following morning . . . further training . . . technical support and communications commencing immediately after the weekend.
The third time Jensen had spotted 'The Hat', it wasn't Jensen sporting the bruises for a change. This time 'The Hat' was accompanied by 'The Friend' from before and another three guys, one of them looking like he ate babies for breakfast and one clearly carried the aura of 'in charge' and the other was a bit non-descript, there but almost not. 'The Hat' was on crutches and 'The Friend' had a sling holding one arm braced against his body, while 'The Baby Eater' had a dressing covering part of his face. 'The Boss' and 'The Shadow' seemed relatively unscathed – or at least they did from what he could see of them.
Jensen wondered where they'd been, what they'd had to do and what had happened for them to all end up looking so beat up and drawn. He wondered what it would be like to actually serve out in the field as opposed to all the theory he'd been soaking up so far.
He was surprised when 'The Hat' caught his eye and quirked a small smile in his direction with a raise of one eyebrow. Jensen was sure he hadn't imagined it but couldn't fathom what it might mean. His orders came in the morning, he was shipping out in two weeks for Iraq. Just enough time to go see his sister and niece before returning.
He was back from Iraq, accompanied by the associated nightmares that were the reality of life in the army, serving overseas in a war ravaged country.
This time it was 'The Hat' and 'The Baby-Eater' that he passed on base. Both of them were watching him from where they'd been standing leaning on a car in the parking lot, eyes intent. He'd been tempted to attempt to out-stare them, but 'The Baby-Eater' was kind of frightening, regardless of how interested Jensen might be in finding out more about 'The Hat'
The time overseas had gone . . . well-ish . . . particularly if he ignored the minor disciplinary infractions he'd now got on his record and yeah, if nothing else, he'd learnt that calling your commanding officer 'a stupid fucking idiot' to his face was possibly not the best way to deal with crappy orders that disregarded vital pieces of intel that you'd found, no matter how accurate one might personally feel the term to be.
So Jensen was resigned to being reassigned and grateful that he'd earned nothing more than a slapped wrist, a warning and a seething resentment that he'd got all that even after he'd been proved right about his description of the aforementioned CO. Orders had come the following morning and weren't what he expected – more training . . .Special Ops training.
Someone either loved him or hated him and right now he wasn't sure which it was. He figured only time would tell.
He packed his bag and headed for the transport to the latest training course, not quite sure what to expect and still wondering how he'd managed to get himself into this. He almost missed seeing 'The Hat'; in fact he probably would have done if the man hadn't stepped in front of him and said, "Hi."
Jensen looked up in shock, too surprised to actually form a reply, but 'The Hat' just smirked and said, "Going somewhere?"
Jensen stammered out an explanation about Special Ops training and the guy gave an approving nod before stepping to one side to pass Jensen and continuing on his way. Jensen was left gaping at his back.
So Special Ops Training . . . not exactly a walk in the park, but then Jensen just wondered what he'd really let himself in for. He'd passed . . . flying colors if one was willing to overlook those little black marks against his name for verbal insubordination. Now he didn't know whether to dread or eagerly anticipate deployment . . . yeah common sense would probably dictate that it should be more of the former and a measured dose of the latter, just for sanity's sake if nothing else.
He'd barely got back to base, when he was being summoned to the Center of the Universe as he thought of it, or the administration center that dealt with everybody's postings and everything. He hadn't even had time to set his pack down before the command came, let alone go and see about doing some laundry or getting some decent food, or at least something other than MREs anyway.
So no time to unpack, no time for laundry. He was being picked up for his latest assignment in the parking lot outside the administration centre in thirty minutes, so that left him just enough time to go and fetch his pack and be ready and waiting outside for his new CO, Franklin Clay; Lt-Col Franklin Clay to be more precise.
Jensen wondered what he'd be like and what the new team would be like, where would they be sent and . . . He hurried back, surprised to see two cars in the lot with 'The Hat' and his cohorts hanging round lounging against them. Except there was one of them missing; 'The Shadow' wasn't there. Jensen scarcely had enough time to wonder where 'The Shadow' had gone, before 'The Boss' was walking up to him and introducing himself as 'Clay'.
It took a moment or two for the 'Clay' to register as being the 'Franklin Clay, Lt-Col' he was supposed to be meeting, which meant . . . Oh Fuck! Jensen was probably screwed at this point if he was actually joining the same team as 'The Hat' . . .
'The Friend' came forward first with a grin and a slap on the back as Clay introduced him as Pooch and listed off his job description, already reaching for Jensen's pack and carrying it towards the car he'd been leaning against.
'The Baby-Eater', and yes Jensen really was going to have to stop calling him that even if it was only in his own head, was apparently the second-in-command and was more commonly know as Roque. It was pretty unlikely anyone else had thought to call him 'The Baby-Eater' although judging by the growl, Jensen's initial reaction might not have been far off the mark and he wasn't entirely convinced that the man wouldn't slice and dice him for breakfast. He paused wide-eyed at the passing thought that that might be what had happened to the now absent 'Shadow'. He swallowed nervously and saluted, which only drew another growl, so Jensen took a step back and hoped that he'd be able to stay a while, long enough to actually work out how to get in the man's good books and ensure his own survival.
'The Hat' still hadn't moved from his indolent lean against the hood of Pooch's car, but he was smirking as if he knew exactly what was going through Jensen's mind about their S-i-C. Clay waved a hand in 'The Hat's' direction and said, "And that's Cougar. He doesn't say much, but I'm sure you two will be fine together. He'll be your bunk mate from now on, so you'll be getting to know him pretty well over the next few months."
Jensen rested his head on his hand and looked down at his sleeping lover and wondered not for the first time, if Clay had ever suspected that they'd end up like this when they'd all first met. Here away from everyone else, on their own time, they were no longer Jensen or Cougar, or Jensen and 'The Hat'. They were just Jake and Carlos and it meant more than the rest put together somehow.
This was the part Jensen wanted to keep most of all, every precious moment sunk into storage deep within his mind. Like photo album after photo album of prized memories. It was all so fragile and Jensen never wanted to lose it.
He watched Cougar's breath ease in and out, not overly surprised when his eyes opened and settled on Jensen's with the little wrinkle of a frown of disapproval. "Why are you awake?" Cougar asked, not waiting for an answer before slipping a hand behind Jensen's neck and pulling him in for a kiss.
The kiss lingered until they were both short of breath, at which point Cougar shifted, pulling Jensen in tight against his side, head tucked his chin and muttering, "Sleep. Too tired now. Just sleep, mi amor."
Jensen smiled as he closed his arms and let his body settle with the sound of the gentle thrum of Cougar's heart.
There would be time enough for more memories tomorrow.