Title: The Pros and Cons of Swinging vs Snuggling

Written for the prompt: Rockers and Cats - JJ is rocking and Cougs wants to cuddle but JJ is rocking and is all happy bunny and Cougs is sulking cause he like wants to cuddle.

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.

Summary: Jensen is full of energy and enthusiasm, but it doesn't take all that much to slow him down really, not when Cougar's involved anyway.

The Pros and Cons of Swinging v Snuggling

Jensen clattered down the steps into the garden, laughing as he chased after his niece.

Cougar shivered in the doorway for a moment, before stepping back inside and closing the door.

There was a shriek of laughter as Jensen picked up his niece and spun her round and round in circles until she cried, "Uncle Jake, Uncle Jake, you gotta stop, you gotta stop!"

Cougar threw another log on the fire before he slumped in the corner of the couch and reached for the remote and turned the TV on.

Jensen and his niece played soccer and football and threw some baseballs for a while as the sun gleamed down between the branches of the trees.

Cougar grumpily changed channel again and hid a cough behind his hand.

Jensen's sister stood at the door to the den and watched Cougar as he sniffed and coughed again, before reaching to turn the TV over again. She smiled affectionately before turning to see what her brother and daughter were doing now. It was all too quiet for it to be anything good.

Outside on the porch, Jake was on the swing seat with his niece on his lap. His long legs were out in front of him braced against the railings as he pushed them back and forth. If it weren't for the fact that Jake had been doing it for years and every time Pooch visited she got him to check it was still safe, she would worry that he was about to bring the seat down (or worse the whole porch) with his wild swinging.

Cougar blew his nose, snuffled, sneezed before giving in to a nasty bout of coughing. When she made it back to him, he was a picture of dejection. She wandered over and rested her palm on his forehead, certain now that he was losing the battle with the cold that had taken down Pooch and Clay over the last couple of weeks.

When he tried to struggle to sit upright and make himself look more 'right', she smiled affectionately and pushed him back again with soft reassurances. She held out the box of tissues as he began to sneeze again, then left for the first aid cabinet in the bathroom, coming back a few moments later with a thermometer. "Hold still, sweetheart," she said to him just ahead of popping the thermometer in his ear and holding it still until it gave her a reading.

"I'm okay," he choked out, almost defiantly and she smiled wryly as if she had no intention of believing him any time soon.

She went back to the front door and slipped outside to where her daughter was squealing with delight as Jake held her upside down on his lap while still swinging furiously back and forth. She shook her head and moved to stand with her arms folded and a frown on her face that she didn't really feel, but it would be enough to get through to both Jake and Jessie.

Jake saw her first and immediately dropped his feet to the floor attempting to slow and stop the swing and turn Jessie the right way up. The flush of guilt on his face was amusing. Some things her brother never seemed to grow out of. Jessie by comparison, just frowned back and crossed her own arms at having the current game curtailed.

"Jessie, go get ready, we're going shopping," she said softly, holding her hand up when her daughter started to object.

"I don't mind looking after her while you've gone," Jake started and she raised her eyebrows in fake disapproval. She watched him as he tried to figure out what he'd done wrong this time.

"Jessie, go!" she said again, pleased that this time Jake backed her up by setting her daughter down on the ground and giving her a gentle push in the direction of the door. Jessie looked back for a moment, then raced inside, obviously having come to the decision that the quicker she did as she was told, the sooner they would get back again.

"I'm sorry, we were just playing," Jake said.

She sat down beside him and slid under his arm for her own hug, "Jake, you're a bit . . . slow sometimes. I'm not really mad, it's just this isn't where you should be." He frowned. "Have you seen Cougs this morning?"

"Figure he's watching TV, he was still tired this morning."

"He needs you to look after him, Jay," she pulled her brother's head down and pressed a kiss to his forehead. "You need to go check on him, stupid!"

Her brother was up and already racing for the door, "Is he okay? Where is he?"

"In the den, Jay," she called after him as he vanished into the house.

The house was quiet, but for the occasional snuffle and muffled cough and the low hum of the TV. It was a picture as she walked into the den. Jake sat with his back against the arm of the couch, Carlos wrapped in his arms, dozing. Carlos seemed to be asleep, snuggled in with his head resting on Jake's chest, eyes closed, breathing congested.

She smiled. Her brother was never one for being still and quiet, but she knew he could do it when he needed to. There had been a while when Jessie was a baby where he'd been the only one to get her to sleep without hours of fighting. She'd always known that he'd be able to do the same for Carlos if he tried.

And seriously, the two of them like that was a sight for sore eyes that would give hope to the most cynical of hearts.