A/N ~ This story is inspired by Kelly_girls story Underneath It All. If you haven't read that one you should read it first. You can find it at….

H t t p : / / kelly-girl( dot) livejournal (dot) com/208273 (dot ) html

Take out the spaces and replace the word dot with a dot.

Warning:: this story contains mention of rape and chapter 2 is an explicit ( NC 17 love scene. You can read this by going straight from chapter 1 to chapter 3 if you prefer to skip the love scene.

Belonging

CC

Jensen typed in one last command and sat back with a slight smile. He scratched idly at the brand on his neck, and then stretched, sighing with relief when he felt a couple vertebrae pop back into alignment. He glanced over at his teammates and smiled.

Pooch was buried up to his waist under the hood of their jeep and Cougar lounged against it, listening as Pooch talked about his plans for his leave. Once they finished up and slammed the hood down, Cougar wandered over to Jensen's desk while Pooch went to clean up before he headed home to Jolene for the next month.

Clay and Roque had wasted no time disappearing when they were granted leave, and Jensen figured they wouldn't see any of the others until they met back up on post next month. He smiled at Cougar as he dropped into the recliner next to his desk.

"Done?" Cougar tilted his head and glanced at Jensen from under the brim of his hat.

He nodded and closed his laptop. "Yeah. So where are we going this time?"

"Antigua."

Jensen smiled. "Cool. I'm packed and ready when you are."

L*L*L*L*L*

Jensen woke up as a flight attendant's cart rattled down the narrow aisle. Cougar leaned heavy on his shoulder, sound asleep, his breath smooth and even against Jensen's shoulder.

He shivered; wishing things had been different, wishing he could have met Cougar as an equal. Not that the sniper had ever treated him like the slave he was. No, the whole team had never treated him as anything less than a full and equal member. Cougar had made him a promise the day he had been given to the Losers that none of them would ever force him, that even if he asked for it, it would never happen. After his former owner had used him to pay off gambling debts that had been a very real fear. Standing there, his neck and chest throbbing from the fresh brands, he had a hard time believing it when Cougar told him he wasn't going to be used that way, but it had been two years now and not one of them had ever come on to him, not even when he had pushed the issue. But damn, it had been a long two years and sometimes he wished his guardian had never made that promise.

He loved the others like family, but his feelings for Cougar were most definitely un-brotherly. He wasn't sure if Cougs would or ever could feel that way about him. There had been a few moments over the last year that made him wonder, but nothing concrete, nothing obvious that he could pin his hopes on. He wasn't even sure if he could ever convince Cougar that he would be welcomed if he did.

Two things he knew for damn sure though were, one; what he wanted and two; that even if Cougar was secretly pining for him, he smirked at that thought, that he would never act on it on his own. He recklessly decided that nothing ventured was nothing gained. He had Cougar all to himself for an entire month and he was going to use that time to find out if Carlos could ever care for him that way, and if so convince him that, despite the circumstances, a relationship was a fantastic idea.

A sudden thought occurred to him, and he pulled out his laptop and logged in. He cast a furtive look at the sleeping sniper and went to work. He hacked into the resort's system and took a look at their reservation. A room with two beds was not in his plans, so he changed the room assignment to one of the private bungalows with a single king. He grinned and logged out, slipped the computer back into his carry case, and slid it back under his seat. He settled back in his seat and closed his eyes. It didn't take long for him to drop back into a doze, secure in his guardian's presence.

L*L*L*L*L*

"Que? Senorita, this reservation is wrong. I asked for a room with two beds." Cougar shifted awkwardly and looked over at Jake. The tech leaned casually against the wall, watching the people walking by.

The desk clerk searched the computer. "I am sorry, sir. Someone must have input the wrong information. Unfortunately, we are sold out and I don't have any rooms with two beds."

Jensen looked over and pushed off the wall. He sauntered over and smiled at the pretty girl behind the counter. " 'Sup, Cougs?"

The sniper frowned. "Our reservation is messed up. All they have is a bungalow with a single bed, and they are all booked up for the month."

"Ok." Jake shrugged. "At least they didn't lose our reservation. It's fine, miss. We'll manage."

Cougar glanced up at the tech. "Are you sure, Jensen?"

"Hell yeah. No worries, Cougs." He smiled at his guardian. "Better than the last place we stayed."

Cougar shuddered, thinking of the rat-infested hotel they had hidden out in on their last mission in Eastern Europe. He turned back to the clerk and nodded. "All right."

She smiled in relief and checked them in, passing them two key cards. "Welcome and enjoy your stay."

L*L*L*L*L*L*

The bungalow was down a long, slightly overgrown path in a secluded back corner of the resort. Jensen grinned; it was the perfect setting for a seduction: romantic, quiet and most importantly private. He ran ahead, leaving the sniper to follow at a more leisurely pace, and opened the door and walked in. The bungalow was decorated island style with a small kitchenette, and a living room with a long rattan couch with overstuffed cushions that would be perfect for snuggling and watching a movie on the big screen TV. A table with a colorful umbrella sat on the patio overlooking the beach. The bedroom had French doors that opened onto a wrap around veranda covered in bougainvillea vines and night blooming jasmine, which overlooked the patio. The king size bed took up one wall, and was covered with crisp white sheets and a light comforter that felt as soft as new kitten. Jensen set his bags down in the closet and checked out the bathroom. He grinned at the sight of a garden tub big enough for two. There was even a large shower stall with steam vents and a rain showerhead. He headed back out into the living room and collapsed onto the couch. He watched Cougar furtively as he wandered around the room.

Eventually Cougar sat down facing him. He cleared his throat. "I will take the couch," he said at last.

Jensen frowned. "Why? It's not like we haven't shared a bunk before."

Cougar shifted in his seat. "That was different."

"Oh really? How, pray tell, is it different?"

"It was a mission, we didn't have a choice."

Jake snorted. "So maybe I should take the couch."

"No, you…"

Jensen cut him off. "Cougs, relax man. We can share the bed. Good grief, you're acting like a virgin whose scared I'm gonna steal her virtue." He snickered at Cougar's aggrieved glare.

"Fine."

"Fine. So when do you wanna go eat?"

L*L*L*L*L*

They found a small café, and it was such a beautiful night they decided to sit on the patio to eat. Soft music played over the speakers and fairy lights twinkled on the scaffolding overhead. The scent of more night blooming jasmine perfumed the air and Jensen sniffed appreciatively. He finished the last bite of his dinner and sat back with a contented sigh. A light breeze stirred his blond hair bringing a whiff of the ocean with it. Cougar sat seemingly relaxed in his chair, silently watching the passersby, but Jensen watched Cougar out of the corner of his eye, noting the subtle signs of tension. The way the skin around his mouth crinkled just a touch, and the slight stiffness in his posture. Most people would never notice but Jake had spent his entire life studying people, and those signs were as loud as a scream to his practiced eye. Cougar definitely needed the break so he could relax. Yep this vacation was the best… idea… ever.

Cougar snuck surreptitious glances at Jensen. The tech sat quietly enjoying the evening, completely relaxed… the fucker. Jake had no idea what he was doing to Cougar's self control. If only the tech wasn't so damn handsome and tempting, then the thought of that big king size bed waiting for them wouldn't threaten that control so much. Carlos was beginning to think that maybe being alone on a tropical island with the tech was a really bad idea, and that they should have gone home to visit his very large, very loud family of chaperones instead. His eyes widened as Jake stretched in his seat, his t-shirt riding up to show a pale strip of skin along his waistband, and he bit back a groan. He shifted slightly in his seat, trying to ease his jeans into a more comfortable position. Jensen shot him an inquisitive look and he mutely shook his head. He smiled weakly and the tech smiled back with all the sheer joy of just living in his beautiful blue eyes. Cougar ruthlessly shoved the thoughts of everything he would like to do to bring that blinding smile to his lips back down into the recesses of his traitorous mind. Yep, this vacation was the worst … idea… ever.

L*L*L*L*L*

The two men ambled along the beach, heading back to their room. Jake paused for a moment to kick off his shoes and wiggle his toes in the warm sand. He stripped his shirt off as well and stuffed it and his shoes into his backpack.

Cougar glanced back when he noticed that Jensen was no longer beside him. He caught his breath at the sight of Jake's bare chest gleaming in the moonlight, his brand a shadow against his pale skin. He waited patiently and put out a hand to stop him when the tech caught up to him. He brushed a gentle finger over the elegant script that spelled out 'Cougar' just above his ward's heart. Jensen stood smiling at him and shivered a bit at his touch. "Lo siento," he murmured softly. I'm sorry.

Jensen grinned at him. "I'm not," he said simply. "Yo soy tuyo, y no hay nadie más en el mundo preferiría pertenecer." I am yours, and there is no one else in the world I would rather belong to.

Cougar frowned. "I would free you if I could."

Jensen blinked placidly. "I know." He reached up and squeezed Cougar's hand for a moment. "Come on, let's get back to the room. It's been a long day and I'm tired."

L*L*L*L*L*L*

Jensen stripped down to his boxers, brushed his teeth and strolled casually into the bedroom. He set his glasses on the bedside table, turned down the bed, and slipped under the covers. He wiggled around a bit, getting comfortable, and clutched a pillow to his chest as an added precaution against nighttime cuddling. The last thing he wanted to do was spook Cougar into running, and he was pretty sure that at this point waking up with Jake latched onto him like a love-starved Koala would send the sniper running for home faster than he could hack the CIA. He lay still, listening as Cougar double-checked that everything was locked up for the night. He grinned as hesitant footsteps entered the darkened room and the door to the bathroom clicked shut. He drifted off to sleep with the theme song to Mission Impossible running through his head as he thought about the next step in Operation: Seduce Cougar.

Cougar eased the door open and looked out into the room. The light from the bathroom crossed the bed and highlighted Jensen's sleeping form. For someone who was so hyper when he was awake, he was a surprisingly quiet sleeper. Jensen was wrapped around one of the pillows, holding it like it was a long-lost lover, and Cougar paused, watching him for a moment, wondering what he was dreaming about that put that smile on his face. He switched off the light and padded over to the bed. He sat down gingerly and debated whether he should take the couch after all. With a shrug he decided that maybe J was right and he was being silly. It wasn't like he was going to give into his baser instincts. He had himself completely under control. With a sharp nod to himself, he slipped under the covers and closed his eyes.

L*L*L*L*L*L*

Cougar's nose twitched at the familiar scent of his teammate. Somehow he had ended up on Jensen's side of the bed with his head buried in the blond's pillow. He blinked sleepily, uncertain whether he really wanted to get up yet. It was a rare luxury to be able to sleep past dawn. His nose twitched again as the enticing scent of fresh-brewed coffee infiltrated the quiet bedroom. The French doors were open allowing a cool breeze to waft through the room. He could hear Jake moving around outside and quiet music that blended with the ever-present sound of the surf. He stretched lazily and threw the covers back. The music drew his attention, and he wandered over to the door and peered out. Jake was outside dressed in nothing but a pair of shorts, dancing to the music, a coffee cup firmly in his hands. The sun was just rising and its light made a golden halo of Jensen's hair. Jake set the cup down on the table next to his laptop and continued dancing, his arms raised as if in supplication to the day. Cougar thought he had never seen anything so beautiful in his life. He withdrew into the shadows of the room so he could watch unnoticed as Jake danced around the patio. His charge had filled out over the last two years and the once lanky, geeky body was now tanned and toned, and he moved smooth and supple, comfortable in his body. His muscles rippled as he swayed and Cougar felt his body react. He squashed the sudden surge of desire down and resolutely turned away.

When Jake heard Cougar stirring, he stepped into the kitchen and fixed a cup of coffee just the way Cougs liked it. He padded into the bedroom, and quietly eased the bathroom door open and set the cup on the counter. He stood there for a moment, resisting the urge to rip off his clothes and jump in the shower with Cougar. He snickered softly, imagining the look that would put on the sniper's face, then shook his head and waltzed out of the bathroom. He snagged the room service menu from the coffee table and went back out on the patio to decide what he wanted for breakfast. A few minutes later Cougar sauntered out wearing nothing but a pair of well-worn jeans that hung low on his hips. He was drying his hair with one hand while the other clutched the coffee cup. Jensen took the opportunity to happily ogle the oblivious man while his face was safely under the towel, ducking his head and hiding a grin at the sight of his guardian's tanned six-pack abs and well-defined muscles. He bit his lip as he watched a drop of water slowly drip over Cougar's collarbone, down his toned chest, past the sacred heart tattoo, and around his navel to finally soak into his waistband. His fingers twitched as he fought the urge to touch and he firmly commanded his libido to behave. When the towel hand started to lift away, Jake quickly schooled his expression to neutral pleasantry. "Morning, Cougs."

L*L*L*L*

"Cougar, come play with me?" Jensen wheedled. He cocked his head and smiled at Cougar.

The sniper lifted the brim of his hat enough to peek out at Jake. He lifted an eyebrow and shook his head slightly. He dropped the hat back down and resumed soaking up the sun.

Jensen pouted a moment then wandered off, searching for someone to play with. He was careful not to get too far away from their claimed spot on the beach; even here the danger of being snatched for his skills was real. He smiled at a couple of pretty girls who sat nearby. When one of them smiled back he bounced over to talk to them.

Cougar watched Jake from under the brim of his hat and fought down a surge of jealousy when the tech started flirting with a couple of bikini-clad girls. He could catch snatches of their conversation, and snickered softly as Jensen regaled the two ladies with wild tales of his adventures. Ninety-five percent of what the kid was saying was absolute bullshit, but the girls would never know it from the earnest expression in J's eyes. The ladies smiled and flirted back until Jake sat down and took off his shirt. One look at the brand on his chest and the brunette's expression turned hard. Her friend seemed a bit more sympathetic but she too immediately backed off. Cougar sat up straight and shot a glare at the two beach bunnies. The look of desolation in Jensen's eyes made Cougar grind his teeth in frustration. Those two puta's didn't know what they were missing and he was fiercely glad of it. Jake deserved so much better than the shallow pettiness of a bigot. He surged to his feet and stalked over to Jake, dropping a possessive hand on his shoulder while he glared at the girls. The blonde lady blushed and looked away, but the brunette returned his glare with a sneer. Cougar's eyes grew cold and he stared at her until she backed down. The blonde nudged her friend, and the two wasted no time packing up and moving on. Once the two "ladies", he snorted sardonically at that thought, were gone he looked down at Jensen. The tech sat in his shadow, his face flushed with embarrassment, and he stared at the ground, refusing to meet Cougar's eyes. "J?"

Jensen shook his head as he murmured, "Let it go, man. It's no big deal."

Carlos dropped to his knees and bent down, forcing Jake to look at him. The tech's brilliant blue eyes shimmered and his gaze was grim, but Cougar could see the hurt that his friend hid behind the anger. Jensen laughed, a sharp, harsh sound as Cougar growled. "Hell, Cougs, what are ya gonna do? Tear their throats out with your teeth?" He laughed again at the feral grin his guardian shot him. Cougar reached out and ran a finger over his brand.

Jake shook his head. "Possessive fucker."

Carlos just shrugged. "Si."

L*L*L*L*L*

The music throbbed, a heavy back beat, and the bass so loud you could feel it in your bones as you walked past the club. Cougar was beyond relieved when Jake passed it without even a glance. Normally the tech loved that kind of atmosphere and while Cougar hated disappointing him, he wasn't about to take him into a club like that without his team as backup. It would be too easy to separate them and snatch the tech before he could get to them. Add that fact to the headache he was fighting and there was just no way in hell he wanted to go clubbing tonight. The skin on the back of his neck prickled, and he reached for the firearm he had concealed in the small of his back. He reached out and snagged the back of Jensen's shirt, pulling him to his side, and stepping back against the wall into the shadows. Jensen pressed his back into a corner and waited quietly, allowing the sniper to scan the night.

Long minutes passed but no one approached them, and gradually Cougar's hackles settled and the feeling of menace subsided. Finally he stirred and allowed Jensen to step out of his corner. Jake shot him a glance, "Let's get back to the room. We can watch a movie or something, and you will let me get rid of that headache."

Cougar continued watching warily over his shoulder and nodded absently to Jensen as he carried on a running dialogue about what movie they should watch all the way back to the resort. He steered Jake into the lobby and over to the bank of elevators. When the doors opened, he stepped inside, and waited for the doors to close before hitting the button to every single floor.

Jensen cocked his head and furrowed his brow. "You think someone followed us?"

Cougar shrugged. "Didn't see anyone but …"

"Yeah, better safe then sorry."

They stepped off into the hallway halfway up and headed for the stairs down into the basement. Jensen followed him, keeping close on his heels. He tapped Cougar on the shoulder and motioned to a maintenance tunnel. Cougar nodded and they padded quietly down the tunnel until it came out behind the pool house. They paused in the shadow of the bushes around the patio. Other than a few people in the pool no one stirred. Finally Cougar tugged at Jensen's hand and they slinked down the path to their room.

L*L*L*L*L*

Carlos breathed a sigh of relief once they made it back to the bungalow without the feeling of eyes on his back. He triple-checked all the locks and shut the storm shutters as an added precaution. Jensen allowed him his paranoia, but finally shot him an exasperated look. "I know you have a headache. Come here and let me get rid of it for you." He indicated the floor in front of him. "Sit," he ordered.

Cougar lifted an eyebrow, but made his way over to the couch, leaving his hat on the coffee table. He dropped down onto the floor to sit cross-legged between Jensen's knees, and made himself comfortable, resting his hands on his knees.

Jake gently manipulated Cougar's head, and then with a quick snap felt the vertebrae slide back into alignment. He nodded in satisfaction when Carlos grunted in relief as the tension flowed out of his neck. He loosened Cougar's ponytail and slid his fingers under his hair along his neck, searching out every point of pain. He dug strong fingers into the muscles until each knot disappeared, and the sniper was loose and pliant beneath his hands. Jake leaned down close until his breath brushed the shell of Cougar's ear. "You want me to get those knots in your back too?" He grinned as he felt a faint shiver run through the body between his knees. "Come on, Carlos, the tension in your back has got to be killing you. Let me take care of it or you're never going to be able to sleep tonight."

Cougar thought about it for a moment then decided that Jake was right. He nodded his assent, and unbuttoned his shirt, easing it off. He tossed it on the table with his hat and leaned forward to give Jensen access to his back. He glanced over his shoulder as Jensen tapped him. "This is a bad angle, go lay down on the bed. I'll be there in a minute."

Cougar entered the bedroom and gingerly stretched out on the bed, pillowing his head on his arms. He had barely gotten situated when Jensen was there, climbing onto the bed, straddling him, pinning him down. Warm, slippery hands dug into the muscles of his shoulders, and he groaned in combined pain and pleasure. Talented fingers searched out and dealt with every single spot of tension. The relief was almost overwhelming and he lay limp under Jensen's hands as his touch gentled and slowed.

Jake leaned forward and Cougar heard him warming another handful of oil, the sound sensual in the dim light of the room. He ran his hands up Cougar's spine, his thumbs on either side of the spinal column from the waistband of his jeans to the nape of his neck. As he reached the apex of his back, he swept back down his flanks, and around over the small of his back to the base of his spine.

Two more circuits and Cougar was putty in Jensen's hands, ready and willing to do anything the hacker asked of him if only he never stopped. He drifted as Jensen moved to his shoulders and arms, and by the time Jake reached his hands he felt like he couldn't have moved if he tried.

"Cougs, I'm gonna do your legs too, so you need to get out of those jeans." Jensen's voice was low and soothing.

He nodded lethargically. He knew he should protest but for the life of him he just couldn't form the words to tell Jensen no. He just felt so relaxed and Jake's hands felt so good. It had been a long time since anyone touched him more than casually without violence, and God help him, he didn't want it to end just yet. He rolled on his side and unbuttoned his jeans, and pulled the zipper down. He wiggled out of his pants and dropped them off the side of the bed, then quickly rolled back onto his stomach to hide his inevitable reaction to Jensen's proximity.

Jensen slicked his hands up again and moved down to the foot of the bed. He picked up one of Cougar's feet and ran his thumbs along the sole. He grinned as Cougs' foot twitched, and he suppressed the urge to tickle; he wanted Carlos warm, pliant, and above all, relaxed. He concentrated on the ball of his foot, seeking out the pressure points that relieved tension and increased blood flow to the back. He smiled, thinking about how glad he was now for the lessons in massage and acupressure that General Grayford had insisted on. At first he had resented the hell out of it, not wanting to ever make that bastard feel good, but when he realized that when the general was asleep from a good massage he wasn't bending Jake over a desk he had thrown himself into his lessons wholeheartedly. Now what Jake could do with his hands was worth pure gold. He just thanked God that when the general got rid of him he had shipped him off to the Losers rather than to a brothel to be pimped out. By the time he had finished with the massage he had Cougar moaning in pleasure. Jake smirked as he rose to go wash the oil off his hands. When he got back his guardian was sound asleep, sprawled on the bed like a porn star. Jensen climbed in next to him and pulled the covers up over them both, and curled up with a contented smile. Step one was a success.

L*L*L*L*

Cougar woke the next morning after the best sleep he had had in years. Jensen was still asleep, curled up like a puppy facing him. He lay still, watching him, marveling at what fate had dropped into his life. At first he had accepted Jake as his charge simply because no one else in the unit wanted to be burdened with him and Clay was afraid that if he claimed him it would make the tech more of a target, but he had rapidly become fond of the gregarious hacker. Despite being a slave the hacker faced life with a sunny determination to rise above it. He approached every challenge with gusto and had taken to the training they put him through like he was born to be a soldier. Now he was their secret weapon and anyone thinking to take him would be in for the surprise of their lives when the placid slave turned into a Tasmanian devil. Clay had taught him unarmed combat, while Roque trained him in knife fighting and had given him a back harness so he would always have a concealed sting. Cougar had taught him how to shoot a number of different firearms and Pooch taught him how to hotwire a car and to drive. They had to hide it, but Cougar was determined that his charge would not be an easy target and in a pinch could back up the team with more than just his tech skills. Cougar grinned. With his boundless energy Jake gave a whole new meaning to the term 'super-secret squirrel', and it was comforting to know that if anything ever happened to him, Jensen would stand a fighting chance at taking care of himself. He yawned and slipped out of bed to go take a shower. When he came back out Jake was awake and puttering around in the kitchen making coffee. He accepted a cup, and while Jensen took his turn cleaning up and getting ready for the day, Cougar ordered breakfast.

The two men ate on the patio and discussed their plans for the day. Jensen wanted to take a drive around the island, and Cougar acquiesced without a fight. Jake never asked for much and Carlos was usually happy to indulge the few things he did request. They walked into town and rented a car before setting out for the day. They drove up to Shirley Heights and spent the morning exploring therambling array of gun emplacements and military buildings. At noon they joined the throng of tourists at the picnic tables for barbeque and some of the island's famous rum punch. The tech was jamming out to the reggae music of a local steel band with a group of college girls they met, and Cougar grinned as they vied for turns dancing with him. His eyebrows climbed as Jensen whispered something to them, and as a group they turned to face him. One of the girls dashed over and pulled him to his feet, tugging his hand until he agreed to join them. He pulled his hat lower over his face and peeked out from under the brim, his glance promising his ward that he wouldn't forget being put on the spot. Jensen just grinned cheekily at him and spun his current partner around until she fell against him giggling. They danced until they collapsed at the table panting for breath. When the girls went in search of more punch Cougar took the opportunity to ask Jensen a question that had been nagging at him. "Jake, would you like to spend more time with her?" He indicated the girl the tech had been dancing with.

Jake glanced over at him quizzically. "What do you mean?"

Cougar looked away for a moment. He took a deep breath and looked back at the hacker. "Do you want to spend the night with her? You… you look like you're having a good time."

Jensen looked down at the ground and shook his head. "Umm, no. I mean, she is nice, but…" He glanced over at the girls. "It's not like that." He blushed and murmured something too softly for Cougar to hear.

"Que?"

Jake shook his head again and flushed a deeper shade of red. "No, thank you."

Cougar almost sighed with relief, but immediately felt guilty for that feeling. Jensen should have the opportunity to take care of basic male needs without needing permission from him. "If you ever want…"

Jensen shot him an inscrutable look, and Cougar lapsed into silence.

The girls came back giggling and Jensen put on his happy face, but Cougar watched him and noticed that his body language was subtly tense. His playful mood had fled, and after awhile he said his goodbyes to the ladies and wandered back to sit beside his guardian. He was uncharacteristically quiet on the ride back into town, and for the rest of the evening he seemed deep in thought.

Cougar gave him space, but was determined that eventually they needed to talk. The hacker needed to know that Cougar wanted him to have as normal a life as possible given their occupation and the circumstances life had thrown at them.

L*L*L*L*

The next morning Cougar woke to find Jensen curled up on the couch, the TV still flickering where he had fallen asleep watching it. He frowned, not sure why Jake was upset with him. He sat down and stared at Jake until he woke up. Jensen sat up and glanced over at him, and damn it, there was that inscrutable expression again. It made him grumpy, being more used to being the mysterious one than the one trying to puzzle out his teammate's moods. "¿Por qué estás enojado conmigo?" Why are you mad at me?

"I'm not mad at you." Jensen rubbed his eyes and grabbed his glasses off the coffee table.

"Jake."

"Carlos." Jensen stared Cougar down until he looked away.

"I didn't mean to embarrass you." Cougar wished he had never started this conversation when Jensen started laughing.

The hacker jumped to his feet and paced across the living room before turning back, his arms crossed across his chest. "Shit! You just don't get it, do you? God, Cougs, I don't like girls that way."

Carlos stared at him in shock. "You don't?"

"No! I don't! God, how did this get so fucked up?" Jake threw his hands up and stormed out of the room.

Cougar retreated to the patio in confusion. Jensen was right… this was all kinds of fucked up and he wasn't sure what to say now. This revelation put a whole new perspective on everything. He knew that the hacker had been forced to be with men before, but it had never occurred to him that Jake might actually prefer his own sex.

Jensen locked himself in the bathroom and sank down on the floor. He leaned against the wall and bowed his head. He wrapped his arms around his chest and cursed himself for being all kinds of stupid. He hadn't intended to tell Cougar that way, but the sniper had looked so earnest and tried so hard to be helpful and… Oh God, what would he think now? He had almost choked when Carlos offered to let him spend the night with that girl, and then he spent half the night fighting the urge to go show his guardian exactly what he really wanted. He shook his head; Cougs had always said he wanted him to be honest, well this time he had gotten it in spades. He sat on the floor until he heard a tap on the door and the sniper's voice telling him he was going for a walk. By the time Jake had decided to answer, he heard the front door shut. He wished for someone he could talk to who could help him sort out this mess. It had seemed so simple before. He thought Cougs knew about his preferences. Thought it was just a matter of convincing him it would work. But now? Now everything seemed so much more complicated, and he was at a loss as to how to proceed. He needed advice but the one he always went to was the other half of the problem. He really wished he could go hit something now.

Cougar walked down the path in a daze. Part of him had almost sung for joy when Jake said he didn't like girls, but the other side of him had been horrified. The tech had to be so embarrassed, and Madre de Dios, he had really stepped in it this time. Poor kid. Cougar knew he should head back and reassure him that he was safe. Damn it, he had made Jensen a promise and he would be damned if he was going to go back on it now! No matter what his nefarious urges said. Just because Jensen liked men didn't mean he liked him that way, and he would die if Jake ever looked at him again with the same fear he had shown those first few months after he had joined the Losers. A slight rustle of the bushes was all the warning he had before something slammed into the back of his head and he fell to the ground unconscious.

Jensen stood when he heard the front door slam again. He opened the bathroom door and stepped out. He froze when he saw two men dragging Cougar in the door. They dropped him on the floor, and he blanched when he saw the blood on the back of his guardian's head.

"Well, well, if it isn't our little tech." A soft, sultry voice came from behind him, and he whirled to see the same brunette bitch Cougar had stared down on the beach. Every chestnut hair was in place, her makeup and dress impeccable, but the sneer on her face turned her beauty ugly. "I take it this miserable excuse for a man was your Cougar?" She indicated the injured Latino. She looked over at her muscle and drew a finger across her neck.

Jensen's eyes went hot and wild and she stepped back in sudden fear. The tech's hands reached up behind his neck and came back with two knives. He lunged at the closest man and snapped out a low sidekick. The man went down with a muffled scream as his knee gave way with a sickening snap. The second man leaped forward, swinging wildly, and Jake dodged with a savage grin. The man landed a lucky punch to his jaw as he waded in, and Jensen grunted in pain as his head snapped to the side. He recovered rapidly; sneering at the man as one knife carved a deep slice across his belly while the other ripped his cheek open to the bone, barely missing his eye. The man grabbed his face with a shriek and stumbled back away from Jensen, falling over his partner in the process. The hacker followed him down, grabbed his hair in one hand, and slit his throat. Blood spurted, coating Jake's chest. He shook his head in disgust and stabbed the first man as he attempted to grab Jensen's wrist. The knife sank into his chest to the hilt and the man's mouth moved in a silent scream as he died. Suddenly the woman was on his back screaming and hammering him with her fists. He reached back, grabbed her, and threw her over his shoulder into the wall. She hit the wall headfirst and slid down. She didn't move and from the angle of her neck Jake knew she never would.

He knelt on the floor, breathing hard. He glanced over at his guardian to find him watching with a dazed expression in his brown eyes. He crawled over to Cougar and pulled him into his arms. Carlos groaned in pain as Jake ran a gentle hand over his head, finding a hard goose egg behind one ear. Jake checked his eyes, noting the slightly uneven pupils. "Shit, Cougs, you have a concussion. We need to get you to a hospital." He was about to let him go and reach for the phone when Cougar stopped him with a shaky hand.

"No. If la policia think you did this they will take you away from me. I will not allow that to happen." Cougar's voice was fierce and his gaze steady as he stared into Jensen's eyes.

Jensen looked back, and something wild and reckless welled up in his soul. He leaned down and pressed his lips to Cougar's.

Cougar knew in that moment that there was no way he was going to get this man to do anything he didn't want to do, and that this Jake was the closest he had ever seen to the real Jake... No, this Jake was decidedly not the scared kid he made that promise to. He reached up and curved his hand behind Jensen's neck and kissed him back. The tech made an incoherent sound and Carlos pulled away in sudden fear.

Jensen sat back just enough to pin the sniper with an intense glare. "Cougs," he stated almost calmly, his voice full of some undefined emotion, "I swear to God, if you spook on me now, I will hunt your noble ass down and tie you to my bed until you get a fucking clue!"

Carlos chuckled. Most of the time his charge was about as menacing as a kitten but right now, surrounded by cooling bodies and covered in his enemies' blood, he looked like an avenging angel. Cougar pulled him back down into a kiss that promised later exploration, and then let him go. He had never been so turned on in his life, but he ordered his body to behave and looked around. "Take your shirt off," he ordered.

Jensen leered at him, then pulled his t-shirt off. "Are you sure we have time?" he asked cheekily.

Cougar shook his head and grinned. "Down boy. Give me your harness too." He unbuttoned his own shirt and handed it to the tech.

Jake looked puzzled, but removed the back sheath and passed it to the sniper. He took Cougar's shirt and looked at it. When Cougs slipped the harness on Jake began to get a clue of what he had in mind. He eased out from under his guardian and padded into the bathroom to wash the blood off. He wet a washcloth and brought it back with him. He handed over the cloth and slipped into the sniper's shirt.

Cougar wiped down the knives, carefully removing Jake's fingerprints, and replacing them with his own. He sat down on the couch and pulled Jensen down beside him. "Ok, here is what happened. They jumped me outside and dragged me back here. When I regained consciousness, you distracted them enough for me to get the jump on them and kill them. You got that?"

Jensen nodded and schooled his face into an expression of fear. "Honestly, officer, I was so scared, but Carlos saved me," he paused. "Good enough? Now can we please call an ambulance for you?"

"I am fine."

"Yeah, sure you are. Cougs! Dude! You have a fucking concussion!" Jensen's volume increased with each word. He looked stricken at Cougar's wince and immediately backed down. "Sorry, sorry," he murmured. He looked around the room, and his gaze settled on the bodies. He blanched and sank back into the couch cushions.

Cougar glanced at him sharply as he started to shiver. He realized that J's adrenaline was running out and shock was starting to set in as the realization of what he had just done sunk in. Yes, Jensen had been in the military since childhood and had been around violence for his entire adulthood, but this was the first time he had personally taken a life. He kicked himself for taking away his ward's focus. "Jake! Look at me."

Jensen's hands shook as he turned wide eyes on his guardian.

Cougar gently cupped his chin, "You did what you had to. I am proud of you. Just hold on a little longer." He stood up, called the front desk, and asked for security.

L*L*L*L*

Cougar kept an inconspicuous eye on his charge as he spoke with the police, calmly explaining the attack and what he believed was the reason behind it. A pair of paramedics hovered in the background, waiting to take the two of them to the hospital once the officer was finished questioning him. The bodies had already been removed and the scene was rapidly clearing of people as things wound down.

Jensen sat quietly on the couch, wrapped in a light blanket. He stared at the ground not meeting anyone's eye directly. He had answered the officer's questions, carefully keeping to their cover story, and at last the cop had seemed content with his version of events, leaving Jake alone with his thoughts. He flinched away when one of the paramedics sat down next to him and took his wrist in her hand.

She shot him a concerned look and murmured. "Easy there. I am just checking your pulse."

Jensen ducked his head and smiled shyly. "Sorry, it's… been a rough day."

She smiled back. "Yes, I imagine it has. Were you hurt at all?"

Jake shook his head. "Not really. One of them punched me, but Carlos got them before they could do any real damage. I'm fine. He is the one that really got hurt. Please, ma'am…" he paused and looked over at Cougar. "Please take care of him first. I think he might have a concussion. They hit him very hard."

She patted his knee. "Now, don't worry. We will take good care of your friend." She smiled at the tech, charmed by his good looks and obvious shyness.

"Thank you," he said softly.

Once the police were done, the paramedics swarmed Cougar, demanding that he sit down before he fell over. Jensen hovered over him until they shooed him away to go pack an overnight bag. The female medic assured him that his guardian was going to be fine and that the trip to the hospital was just a precaution. As they loaded the injured sniper into the back of the ambulance, the hotel housekeeper caught Jensen by the arm and told him that when they got back the room would be cleaned and back in order. Jake nodded absently, barely remembering to thank her, all his attention on Cougar. She smiled and released his arm. The tech wasted no time clambering into the back of the ambulance with his guardian and settling down next to him.

L*L*L*L*

"NO! Just no, Carlos! We do not need to go back." Jake stood defiantly, staring at Cougar, as he got dressed. "I'm fine and unless…" he stopped and shot the sniper a suspicious look. "Did the doctor say there is more wrong with your head? Do you need better treatment?" He sighed with relief as Cougar shook his head. "Then why?"

Cougar stopped and looked at him sheepishly. "I almost lost you. I shouldn't have left you, shouldn't have let those pendejos get the jump on me."

He looked down at the floor with guilt so strong that Jake swore he could almost taste it. "Bull shit!"

Cougar's head snapped up and he stared in amazement at this new fiercer Jensen.

The tech leaned in close and whispered. "I think you're so full of shit right now that I am amazed it isn't running out your ears. But…" he held up a hand to stop the sniper's automatic protest, "This is not the place for this conversation. We have to go back to the room anyway, so let's continue this there." He nodded decisively.

Cougar nodded shortly and finished dressing. Then he patiently allowed a nurse to wheel him down the hall to the lobby while Jensen got them a cab.

During the cab ride back to the resort Jensen stared out the window not saying a single word. Cougar squirmed uneasily, wondering what he was thinking. It was obvious that he was pissed, and the sniper didn't blame him in the least. It was his job to keep the tech safe, but he had been so focused on his own tortured thoughts that he failed to keep an eye out for possible danger. Damn it, he shouldn't have discounted the incident on the beach so flippantly. The puta's disdain for his ward had been palpable, and then there had been the incident outside the club. Jensen was loyal and he knew the tech would make excuses for him, but he knew the truth and he was determined that he was going to get Jake back to safety before something else happened.

The second they stepped through the door to their bungalow Jake whirled on him and poked him in the chest with an accusing finger. "Are you fucking with my emotions now, you asshole?"

Cougar stared at him in shock. "Que?"

"You… Kissed… Me, and NOW you are backing out!" Jake punctuated each word with another poke. "You are spooking!"

Carlos drew himself up and looked offended. "I am a trained sniper and spec ops soldier. I do not spook."

Jensen shot him an exasperated look. "Dude! I looked at you wrong, and you are about to ship us off to visit your kin."

Cougar lifted one eyebrow. "It is a strategic retreat. I am not spooking."

"Like hell," he ground out. "You are so spooking!"

"Am not." Cougar glared at him.

"What? Are you five? 'Am not,'" Jake mocked.

"I am not spooking!" Cougar yelled back.

"Then prove it!" Jensen dared him.

Cougar's eyes went wide and he stood transfixed as the hacker watched him, challenge clear in his blue eyes. All the possible responses he could make flashed through his mind, ending with a blinding flash of clarity. There was only one response that in all honesty he could make. He stepped forward hesitantly, and Jake's expression softened just a touch although he still stood tense and waiting.

Afterwards Cougar was never sure which of them moved first, but suddenly they were wrapped up in each other's arms, tongues vying for dominance in a passionate duel. He wrapped a hand around Jake's neck, and pulled him toward the couch. He collapsed, drawing the hacker down with him, and kissed him until they were both gasping for breath. Jensen sprawled, half lying on top of him, and Cougar could feel him hard against his thigh. His own jeans were too tight for comfort and he knew it was just a matter of time before they ended up in that big bed, but for now he was content to simply lie there and hold his soon-to-be amante. Meirda! How was he ever going to explain this to Clay? He frowned as he felt Jensen shiver in his arms. He eased Jake off to one side and looked at him. His ward had his eyes shut tight and there was an expression of panic on his face. He clutched at Cougar as he moved away. "Jake? Open your eyes and look at me," he said softly.

Jensen peeked at him briefly, then glanced away.

"We don't have to do this you know."

Jake shook his head frantically. "No, I want this. I want you. I do, it's just…" he took a shuddering breath.

"Bad memories?"

"Yes." Jensen looked down in sudden shame.

Cougar thought about it for a moment, and then a sudden realization hit him. It was all about power, really. All of Jensen's past experiences had been rape. He may have given in, but it wasn't because of his desire to be there, it had been because he had no choice, no power of his own and now Carlos knew that to fix this he would have to let Jake call the shots. He reached out and cupped Jake's face in his hands, silently requesting his attention. The hacker stared at him, eyes wide. "No matter what may happen out there in the world, with the job, here, between us…" He tapped Jake's chest, then his own. "There is no slave, no master, only equals." He put every ounce of sincerity he could into his voice. Jensen's eyes shimmered with sudden tears, and Cougar knew he had said the right thing, as Jake pressed against him, drawing him closer to kiss him. He opened his mouth and ran his tongue slowly along the hacker's bottom lip. He felt Jensen's lips curve in a smile and he made a soft sound of pleasure.

Jake sat up and shyly took Carlos's hand. He stood and tugged the sniper to his feet, and led him into the bedroom.

A/N ~

For those who prefer their love scenes steamy go to: Chapter Two

For those who prefer to discreetly fade to black go to: Chapter Three