A/N: Uh...yar, so I was in another of my "let's be randomly funny" moods, and henceforth created something that was, well, totally random and funny! :)
"Dude, do you have any idea what time it is? Why you gotta be calling me? I'm with my wife, man. Call Cougar."
"Uh...I can't... He's kind of with me."
"Christ, Jensen, what'd you drag him into this time?"
"Why does everyone always assume it's my fault? Did it occur to you for even a second that Cougar might have been the one doing the dragging?"
"Is it your fault or not?"
"Not the point. Can you please come get us?"
"Why can't you call Clay?"
"Hahahaha! That was a joke right?... Right?... Pooch?"
"What? No! He'll kill me!"
"Not if it's not your fault."
"Okay, okay, so it might be a tinybit my fault. Are you happy now?"
"Getting there. I still don't want to come bail your ass out. Call Aisha."
"Really? She'll just laugh at me and hang up."
"Which is exactly what I'm about to do."
"…Fine, then it's all on you when our charges go from indecent exposure to manslaughter, because I don't know how much longer Cougar can stand Mr. Beardy Freakface staring at him like that…"
"Wait, back up. Did you say indecent exposure?"
"Technicality. We weren't really 'exposed.' I mean, the fence was at least eight feet high and we made sure the family wasn't home. If I were a cop I would have arrested Creeper Peeper Neighbor. It's not natural for a man that age to be 'checking in' on the kiddie pool next door."
"Jensen, were you naked in some kid's pool?"
"Well yeah, those little plastic fuckers are the perfect ammonia tanks if the parentals don't clean them out on a regular basis."
"…You needed to take a piss bath. Am I translating that right?"
"We had to kill the leeches. Ammonia's good for that."
"Leeches. Do I even want to know?"
"Of course you do, but I can't tell you on the phone. These conversations are recorded, you know. Come bail us out, I'll fill you in on the rest."
"Against my better judgment, I have to admit I get the feeling this is gonna be too good of a story to pass up. I'll be there in forty. Don't let Cougar turn Beardy Freakface into Broken Freakface."
"Cougar-watch, got it; and thank you! I owe you big time."
"Damn straight, and don't think I'll forget. See ya soon."
"We'll be here."
"You guys look ridiculous. I feel like I'm on prison transport duty."
Jensen and Cougar trailed behind Pooch, both dressed in grey jumpsuits courtesy of the county jail. They held their sopping wet, torn clothing in bags, which Pooch directed them to throw into the trunk before they got into his car. Jensen called dibs on shotgun even as Cougar already began sliding into the back, stretching out on the bench seat and tipping his damp hat over his eyes. Pooch got behind the wheel but didn't turn the car on right away, instead just pondering over the myriad of cuts, bruises, and welts both men had attained, and the strange pink band of irritated flesh that circled Cougar's eyes.
"Leeches," he prompted, deciding to just start the story where Jensen had left off.
Jensen shuddered. "Nasty little vampire slugs, they were aiming for sensitive areas on purpose. There should really be more horror movies about them…"
Pooch sighed. "Where, Jensen? Where did you pick up the leeches?"
"The river. We sort of crashed the Sea-Doo into a log. More specifically, Cougar crashed the Sea-Doo into a log."
"You fell off," Cougar snorted from the back.
"What does him falling off have to do with you crashing? And why'd you have a Sea-Doo in the first place?"
"He couldn't see on account of the duct tape wrapped around his face, and I couldn't drive because my hands were cuffed behind my back." Jensen turned back to look at Cougar. "And if you weren't taking those turns so sharp I wouldn't have fallen off. Do you have any idea how hard it is to stay on a Sea-Doo with no arms?"
Cougar shrugged one shoulder. "Your directions."
"'Steer left' does not mean take a forty-five degree turn. I would have said 'forty-five degrees' if that's what I meant. You are the worst blind driver I have ever dealt with."
Pooch stared at him. "You've done this before?"
"Well, not on a Sea-Doo," Jensen said seriously, then laughed. "What would be the odds of that happening more than once?"
Shaking off that particular oddity, Pooch decided to keep the conversation focused on the most recent story. "Okay. Sea-Doo. Handcuffs. Duct tape. Explain."
"We stole the Sea-Doo to escape the mafia guys. They're responsible for the tape and cuffs." Jensen said this like it was just an everyday occurrence.
"Oh my god," Pooch mumbled, holding a hand to his head for a second. "And you were kidnapped by the mafia why?"
Jensen shrugged. "I guess they didn't like us smashing a go-kart through their window."
"You smashed it," Cougar pointed out.
"The brakes went out!" Jake argued. "So not my fault."
Cougar lifted his head enough to glare at the hacker. "You drove too fast."
Jensen nodded irritably. "Oh, okay, fine. I guess I should have just let the mob of angry circus clowns catch us."
"Clowns," Pooch repeated, exasperated.
"Evil, shotgun-toting clowns," Jensen clarified, "and it was Cougar's idea to jack the kart."
"That you drove into the window of a mafia establishment."
"Their favorite restaurant, I guess," Jensen added. "On the plus side, the clowns backed off right away when they saw us being held at gunpoint by Scarface and crew… I think they were actually going to do the whole concrete shoe, swim with the fishes thing. I didn't know mafia guys still did that. How cool would that have been, being whacked by the mob the old fashioned way?"
"Not cool, not cool at all," Pooch snapped. He took a deep breath and collected his thoughts. "Let me make sure I have this straight: You stole a go-kart to escape a bunch of clowns, crashed it through the window where some mob guys were trying to have dinner, got bound up and dragged down to the river for your execution, escaped and stole a Sea-Doo, ran that into a log and wound up covered in leeches, which you decided to kill off by taking a bath in some kid's swimming pool."
Jake nodded. "Basically, yeah. I mean, getting out of the river was a challenge, what with the leeches and my handcuffs and Cougar being blind at all; and almost drowning me so he could get his damn hat." He glared at the sniper, who merely shrugged without even looking at Jensen. "And if we could both see and had functioning hands, we would've skipped the pool and just dealt with the leeches the old-fashioned way – pulling them off. Would've hurt like a bitch, but at least the cops wouldn't have found us."
Pooch stared at them, eyes even wider. "Wait, so the cops found you in that pool naked, with you handcuffed and Cougar with tape around his eyes, and they didn't question it?"
"Pfft, of course they did. I tried to tell them it was the mob but can you believe they thought I was making it up? They said we were doing something kinky. Gross." Jensen shuddered again.
Pooch finally started the car. "I'm going to drive now, and you're going to tell me about the clowns."
Jensen waved his hand dismissively. "They were just mad because the elephant knocked over their trailer. You'd think clowns would have a better sense of humor about something like that."
Knuckles turning slightly paler as he gripped the steering wheel, Pooch spoke through clenched teeth. "Tell me you did not let out that elephant."
"Me? No. Cougar did."
A glance in the rearview mirror showed Cougar slouching further in his seat, pulling his hat down lower over his face.
"Why would Cougar free an elephant?" Pooch wasn't so sure he really wanted to know the rest of this story.
"It was the only thing that would scare away the lion; by the way, thank you Cougar. I was about to be kitty food for sure."
Pooch glanced at Jensen. "First of all, circus lions are trained not to eat people. Second of all, what the hell were you doing letting a fucking lion out in the first place?"
The tech arched an eyebrow at Pooch. "First of all, you try telling a lion it's not supposed to eat people. Second of all, I didn't let it out. The little punk I was chasing did it to throw me off his trail. Clearly it worked."
"So you chased a kid into the circus and he sent a lion after you. Why?"
Jensen reclined his seat back, not caring that it nearly smashed Cougar. "That's a stupid question. He didn't want to be caught, of course."
Pooch pressed his lips together. "I meant, why were you chasing him in the first place?"
Cougar elbowed Jensen's headrest before shifting away a little bit to make his sudden lack of space more comfortable. "He stole his toy," he muttered.
Jensen, who had shut his eyes, cracked them open again. "That was a very expensive piece of surveillance equipment, Cougar."
Pooch jerked the car over to the side of the road, earning startled looks from both Jensen and Cougar. "Jensen, did you lose that helicopter that Clay specifically told you not to play with?"
"I didn't lose it, it got stolen. And I wasn't 'playing with it.' I needed it for a very covert operation," Jensen explained.
Pooch nodded. "Uh huh, sure, a covert op that placed a kid in prime position to steal the chopper-cam. Man, no wonder you didn't want to call Clay. You were right, he's gonna kill you."
"Not if you don't tell him."
"Right, because Clay isn't going to notice that his 'very expensive piece of surveillance equipment' is suddenly missing," Pooch scoffed.
Jensen frowned. "Knew I should've put a tracking device in that thing…" He shrugged. "It's okay, I can probably hack into its camera and find out where it is that way."
Pooch stared at him for a moment. "Why didn't you just do that in the first place instead of freakin' out some kid enough to sick a lion on you?"
"Uh, because it's a pain in the ass, and I'm also not a hundred percent sure I can do it. If I make it sound like I can, though, Clay won't kill me. This is about preservation of life here."
Pooch shook his head and pulled the car back out onto the road. "You do know you're completely ridiculous, right?"
Jensen quirked his eyebrows up and turned away from the driver, mumbling, "Heard that one a few times."
They drove in silence for a few minutes before Pooch's curiosity got the better of him. "So…what was this 'covert op' anyway? Spying on some girl or something?"
"Spying on-?" Jake sat up straight and gave Pooch a shocked look. "You have a dirty mind, Pooch. Does Jolene know about this?"
"Jensen," Pooch warned in a tired voice.
"What? I say I borrow the chopper-cam for a covert op and you go straight to joining Creeper Peeper Neighbor. That's messed up, man." The tech shook his head in disappointment.
Cougar snorted and Pooch glared at him from over his shoulder for a second. He took yet another calming breath, inwardly telling himself he couldn't just leave the two idiots on the side of the road, and tried again. "Jensen. What were you using the chopper for?"
The hacker smiled and threw his arms behind his head as he lay back in the seat. "Dude, it was awesome! Bruce Campbell and his chainsaw have just been dethroned as the ultimate zombie-killing weapon, courtesy of a chopper-cam, a bad ass hacker, and one mildly passable sniper." He glanced back with a teasing smile at Cougar who flipped him off, but grinned back just the same.
Pooch stared straight ahead at the road as he struggled to find words. "Were you…you must be…I can't… Are you high?"
"Don't you think I would've added 'under the influence' to our charges if we were?" Jensen asked innocently. "Why?"
The car was pulled over once again. "Okay, I get the leeches and the pool, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt on the mafia thing, and who knows why the fuck I believe you about the damn elephant, but you cannot tell me you were honestly out hunting zombies. No way, that's too much bullshit, even for you."
"Are you high?" Jensen countered.
"What? No! Why the fuck would I be high?"
Jensen shrugged one shoulder and closed his eyes again. "You're the one taking the situation to an extreme. Everyone knows real zombies aren't, well, real. And people say I'm the weird one."
Pooch decided he hadn't had nearly enough sleep to be dealing with this. He had to make an actual mental note not to shoot the tech. "You were hunting imaginary zombies?"
"Why would I need the chopper-cam if they were imaginary? Do you even hear yourself? When we get back, you're going straight to bed, you're not making any sense."
Barely paying attention to what he was doing, Pooch yanked the car back out onto the road, just missing a passing truck. No one seemed to care, if they even noticed. "This better be the last part of this stupid story…"
Jensen smiled. "Don't worry, it is. Zombies. It's a game. A bunch of people dress up like zombies and the other team plays the humans. Zombie players try to 'eat' human players, human players try to survive and wipe out the zombie race with nerf guns. We were winning so hard before the zombies got smart, which really isn't fair because technically a real zombie wouldn't have the brains – no pun intended – to recognize the chopper as a threat. They totally cheated, started throwing rocks and shit at it."
"They threw rocks at the chopper?" Pooch cringed.
"Thanks to my super piloting skills, none of them hit it. I did get cornered and wound up stuck in a tree branch, though. That's where that little monkey kid swiped it… And you know the rest." Jake shrugged again and fell silent.
Pooch scowled, then grinned, then chuckled, then laughed out loud. Jensen and Cougar both looked at him as if he'd lost his mind before he finally settled down enough to speak. "A game? All that shit happened over a stupid survival game?"
Jensen frowned. "I told you it wasn't really my fault. Really just a series of unfortunate events... That wound up with Cougar and I in jail. Do you think they'll drop the charges?"
Pooch wiped a tear from his eyes. "No, I don't. I think you're gonna have to hack the jail records and wipe your names clear. After that, I'm seriously suggesting to Clay that you two don't go anywhere without a damn babysitter."
A wicked grin crossed Jensen's face. "Great! Thanks for volunteering, Pooch! Next weekend we're playing Pirates vs Ninjas. We get to be pirates! It'll be great!"
A groan escaped the driver's lips. Screw the babysitting idea, he thought. Next weekend he was just going to tie them both to a chair and call it a night.