Again, I didn't intend to write a story in 'The Loser's' universe. I guess I owe this one to a combination of factors. It started when I was recovering from surgery and couldn't string more than two thought together without going off on a tangent.
So, I guess it comes down to thanking my anesthesiologist and her knockout juice for putting me in the right frame of mind for a very confused, drugged out Jensen.
And again Aislinn egged me on but this time she got Alex involved. (thanks to both for both encouraging me and proofing the story and pointing out the plot holes)
This story is Gen, but if you look at it in the right light... who knows. Enjoy!
He was AWOL. At least, he would have been if he were still in the military which he wasn't, but only because they thought he and the rest of his team were dead.
He wasn't dead... at least he didn't think he was. The hospital id bracelet clued him to the fact that he was probably more alive than dead. If it had been a toe tag, he would have bet the other way... but it wasn't, so he took it on faith that he was indeed alive and acted accordingly. At least he tried to.
The problem was he had a splitting headache and no idea how he'd gotten it. He let his breath out slowly as he tried to figure out what he knew but it was a very short list.
He was injured, hence the hospital bracelet.
His friends were missing, mainly because they weren't there to keep him from going AWOL in the first place, and that's the sort of thing friends do.
Finally his name was Jake Alvarez at least that's what his hospital ID said, and he'd trusted it on other matters. To be honest, he wasn't exactly sure about that one since the one time he did catch his reflection in the mirror- he didn't look like any Alvarez he'd ever met. He paused thinking about it for a minute and shook his head. There had been a Maria Alvarez from Madrid- she'd been blonde like him... maybe she was his sister. He doubted it.
He sighed and began focusing on what he didn't know.
Most important item on the list: he didn't know where his team was.
Less important items included the fact that he'd been injured and he had no recollection of how, which was kind of worrisome in its own right and the fact he was hungry.
He had no idea where his team was or their current state. He couldn't remember their faces or their names- but he remembered them as his family and they were missing.
A final assessment told him what he really needed to know- "Patient is incoherent and cannot string more than two thoughts together without going off on a tangent."
The foursome sat in the middle of their makeshift quarters. To anyone else it was simply a warehouse, but to The Losers it was home.
They were gathered in the area Jensen liked to call the briefing room, hacker haven and a few other choice names specially designed to make the rest of the team groan. It was the way he was, and now- he was missing.
"What do we know?" Clay asked as he ran a hand through this hair.
"They were waiting for him... " Pooch answered as he continued to try and log into Jensen's system. Jake had sent the files he'd retrieved to a holding area for later retrieval, but in order to access them Pooch had to use Jensen's computer. It wasn't working.
"Cougar?" Clay called, as he thought about what had happened. "Were they waiting for him?"
Cougar thought about what had happened and shrugged. "Maybe... maybe not." He paused. "Waiting yes... for Jensen ... I do not know."
Clay nodded. "Anything else?
Pooch sighed. "Yeah, without Jensen, we can't access the information he sent."
"Do we know he's gone?" Aisha asked in a logical tone.
"Did you see the remains of the computer room?" Pooch asked, knowing if she had she wouldn't be asking these questions.
"I'm just saying... how many times have the Losers died? How many times? Clay? Pooch... you know I'm right."
"There were no survivors found in the wreckage." Cougar's voice was quiet yet it seemed to echo through the room.
Pooch thought about it for a minute. "He may not have been... in... the wreckage?"
"It's possible... check the records at the local hospitals... "
"Uh Clay," Pooch said, knowing the Coronel wasn't going to like his answer. "Jensen's the one who usually gets us that kind of intel.
"Escape and evade." He knew these words, not that the escaping part was hard. It wasn't like they were watching him and this was a hospital. It was full of people wearing hospital gowns and plastic bracelets and therefore it was easy for him to blend in but he knew if he wanted to actually leave the hospital, he'd have to do something about his mode of dress.
While the hospital gown was oddly comfortable, he was fairly certain he'd be picked up for public indecency if he were to wear it out of the hospital. Out of context it was a rather disturbing choice in wardrobe.
He wasn't sure why he needed to leave the hospital but he knew that if he didn't want to trade in his hospital id for a toe tag, he couldn't stay.
He had just come up with an idea when he heard a nurse call to him in a chilling voice. "Mister Alvarez..."
He took one look at her, and the sponge in her hands and froze. He eyed the exits and noted the orderlies who stood in his way, then he looked back at the sponge.
'Maybe later.' he thought as he walked up to the nurse. "I couldn't find the cafeteria," he told her in a confused voice. It would have been a good ruse if he didn't feel so tired... if he wasn't... well... confused.
This seemed to satisfy the nurse who gently led him back towards his room. "It's all right dear... we bring you the food."
"Room service?" He asked as he nodded to himself. Maybe things weren't all that bad.
Without Jenson to hack into the various systems necessary to check the nearby hospitals, coroners' office and police stations, the team was forced to resort to social manipulation and good old fashioned legwork.
However, it wasn't Aisha acting the part of the worried fiancé, nor Clay's portrayal of a small town detective following up on a lead that yielded any results. It wasn't even Pooch's work as an ambulance driver that got them any information on Jensen.
It was Cougar's performance as one Hector Gonzales, a journalist for Avances Magazine that gave them the lead they needed. It also almost cost them another member of the team.
A/N - Don't forget, reviews are the closest thing to payment we get