being the old man of the team doesn't mean you can't have cool friends.
warnings: bastardized com-movie-verse (leaning a little more movieverse). slash. crossover(s). language: pg-13 (for one use of bulls***).
pairing: Cougar/Jensen, implied Face/Cougar (because no way would Face be able to resist Cougar at his most charming...and Face has weak willpower to begin with).
timeline: post-movie/post-comic. by maybe a month or less? the gang's still in the LA area.
disclaimer: the Losers belong to DC/Vertigo. other recognizable characters belong to their respective owners.
notes: 1) as always, the lovely MerianMoriarty (merianmoriarty . deviantart . com) was my Spanish consultant. mini-glossary after notes. 2) reference to all the Max activity surrounding the end of the previous season of Burn Notice. 3) "satcam" is short for "satellite camera." 4) it was a damn crying shame about that Ducati, but Wade deserved to go flying through a jet engine, and it was a very good shot. 5) O'Hare, the major international airport in Chicago, is the stopover between Warsaw International Airport (in Poland) and LAX. 6) Ranger qualification has to be earned *in addition to* Army Special Forces qualification. Ranger school is basically two months of hell, focusing on leadership skills, small unit tactics, and preparing trainees for prolonged battlefield conditions (very low sleep, insufficient daily caloric intake, and high physical and mental stress). typical Ranger trainees are SF-qualified soldiers in the US Army, but civilian personnel and non-US military personnel can also obtain permission to attend Ranger school, and they are authorized to wear the Ranger tab upon completion. it's worth noting that the Ranger tab is a permanent tab, and can be worn for the remainder of a soldier's career after being earned (so the fact that Murdock isn't wearing one at the hearing in the A-Team movie implies that he is not and has never been a Ranger, no matter what he claims...and if he did earn the tab, it may have been stripped from him for conduct unbecoming a Ranger). 7) good snipers, especially SF snipers, really do get pimped around. 8) "fourteen hundred" is military time for 2PM.
galletas = cookies
es verdad = it's true
nada más = nothing else/that's all
no te importe = nevermind/don't worry about it
chicas = girls
que era antes de— = it was a long time ag—
Clay would freely admit that Arthur-who-is-Awesome delivered the goods. All the intel he had was recent and solid, and his informant had turned out to be an old friend of Cougar's.
Well, a lot of people turned out to be friends of Cougar's; he'd been a sniper for a while now, and truly excellent snipers were rare enough that they got shared out to complete various ops. By this point, Cougar probably knew more people in the covert world than Clay did.
"So wait, wait," said Pooch, waving a hand. "How many Maxes does this Westen guy know?"
Jensen gesticulated broadly. "Well, the other one wasn't Max—I mean he was, his name was Max, but he wasn't a Max—"
Cougar shook his head.
"—okay, so he was a Max? Whatever. Anyway, he wasn't our Max, so the thing in the place with the stuff was just an unrelated tangent. None of ours, y'know?"
Clay sipped his beer, waiting.
Pooch assimilated the 'none of our business' part with a slow nod. "And we found tabs on the Russian chick?"
Aisha held up a finger. "It's the guy who's Russian, actually."
"The chick is Spanch," confirmed Jensen. "Or is that Frenish?"
Pooch stared. "Say what?"
"Half-breed, French daddy with a Spanish mommy. She's in Poland, go fig—Art had satcam footage to verify Westen's info. She can't be much help to Max directly from all the way in Poland. It was the Russian dude we found tabs on, somewhere in the St. Petersburg equivalent of the projects—"
Clay's phone rang.
~"I was surprised to hear from you again—I never did get the opportunity to congratulate you on your promotion to Lieutenant Colonel. How does the day find you?"~
Clay grinned. "About as well as it can, with a burn notice from the company. But I'm sure you know what that's like, sir. Thanks for returning my call."
~"One of my men has just gotten word that Miss Belmont is planning a trip to the States with a very sensitive package in hand."~
"Even a CIA intel man couldn't get us that."
~"I find a little Face-time can get you double the information. By the way, heard what happened to Lieutenant Travis—outstanding marksmanship, shame about the Ducati."~
"Small price to pay to rid the world of a very bad man."
~"Oh, I agree. As a token of our esteem, the Sergeant has a care package waiting for him at the front desk of the Wilshire Grand under the name of Señor Tramel. Keep your eyes on the Thursday two o'clock from O'Hare."~
"Thank you very much, Colonel Smith."
When Clay hung up, Jensen was gaping.
"You—but—that—" Jensen stammered. "Smith like Han Smith, the stogie-puffing badass Ranger all good little green berets wanna grow up to be?"
Clay raised an eyebrow. "What, I can't have cool friends? I've been making cool friends since you were still hacking porn for your buddies in high school. You'd be amazed the kinda pals you make renting out the services of an extremely talented sniper. Speaking of which…Cougar, Smith's team got you a care package. It's at the—"
"Wilshire, Tramel," Cougar said with a grin. "Inside joke."
"Inside jo—Colonel, you've been loaning Cougar out to people?"
Clay gestured to the sniper. "I've never heard him complain. Besides, he's the one who collects all the interest."
Jensen turned to Cougar with a supremely appalled expression.
"Just how many jobs have you done for Smith? And what does he mean by 'care package,' anyway?"
"Cookies, you expect me to believe—they put something in 'em, right? Or, or they put something else in the box?"
"No, nada más. No te importe."
"Don't you 'no te importe' me, mister! I'm the only man allowed to feed you cookies! Did you sleep with Peck? You totally slept with Peck, didn't you? Dude, you know I don't mind the chicas, but we talked about you and other guys."
"Que era antes de—"
"Uh-huh, sure," Jensen interrupted, talking over a very long and detailed explanation that made Clay wish he didn't understand Spanish. "Next you'll say 'all those other guys meant nothing.' And did you just say you liked his accent?"
By that point, Pooch had put his fingers in his ears and walked over to Clay. Raising his voice a little, he said, "So! What we got, other than an epic lovers' quarrel?"
Clay went back to his beer. "Belmont's bringing something to Max. Thursday fourteen hundred outta O'Hare."
"Are they gonna be done with this by Thursday?" Aisha asked, gesturing to the hacker (who was loudly proclaiming that he was giving Cougar the silent treatment).
"Sure, if we make ourselves scarce for a couple hours."
Pooch made a face and said, "Did not need that mental image, sir."
"Just pretend they'll be playing Scrabble, soldier—that's how I got by for the last two years."