Not mine, no money madeSummary:
Questions during a current mission are answered by a former mission.Notes:
written for losersfest, prompt:
"Cougar/Jensen. Cougar doesn't say much, reveal much. So how the Hell does Jensen know so much about him?"
Jensen’s eyes were on Cougar, his mouth shut but yearning to be stretched open and unable to move. His eyes were following the familiar form that was slowly supposed to be receding from being the center of his world, and the new guy was sitting next to him, watching Cougar posing as a buyer.
In most normal situations, Cougar would always provide back-up—long distance eliminations. But the seller had seen the new guy—Linwood Porteous, but call me ‘Pooch,’ not to mention Roque was undercover as one of the guys in packaging the weapons.
So Jensen was back-up. He knew Pooch was there, and he was nowhere as skilled as Cougar with a rifle and a scope, but he was back up. Jensen’s eyes were on Cougar, his eyes, his mind. There couldn’t be an extravagant signal for this op, to know when to make the grab and then the appropriate next step.
He had to read Sir and Clay, who could have done this, had thought that he would be best for this. This time, though, instead of Sir in snug black jeans and a white button down that would brush against his skin, it was Cougar in the bottom half of a suit, the trousers, the shirt, the tie, the vest, but no sports coat. The shoes were shiny: he’d had fun picking out the alligator-skin boots for Cougar’s persona: they were without rowels, but Jensen had ordered something special for them. The spurs were one last piece of weaponry, two sharp knives on Cougar’s heels, keeping Him safe.
The silence was familiar, and the stretch of his jaw echoed it, not that he minded. Sir kept him this way when they were at the house, and did not have him speak on their few ventures out.
Sir had conveyed the team’s happiness about how he was doing, how good he was for Him, and he was pleased about that. Their assignment, his and Sir’s, had been crucial, was crucial. An A-Team like theirs, eliminations, sabotage, espionage, they were their specialties. If they were seen and remembered, they usually went against the point. Of course the occasional explosion that was the point of their op, well that was acceptable. It was the team itself that shouldn’t be remembered.
It had started in Kabul, the mission had. A Colonel in the Air Force had been caught with a few too many guns for the US Government to be wholly satisfied with, as they had no equivalent of proof of purchase, and he had a proven track record of not having left the Green Zone. He was a lackey, a career supply acquisitions agent.
Careful interrogation and investigation later, they’d had a lead. Apparently one ‘resident Master’ at a House near the Mexican border in Arizona was brokering arms deals with visiting Masters that were either given recommendations, or, as one interrogated Master at the House confessed, earned his respect through demonstration at the house.
Clay had seen the opening. It would be easier for the respect to be gained than to create or excavate the connections for those recommendations that could still fall through, and thus the mission be blown. Two agents had to volunteer, and Clay had thought that he’d need to farm out for one of the volunteers until Jensen had come into the control center.
The packet of printed police records had given him a history, and another option, Clay had realized, than using Cougar as their weapons-expert & negotiator, and asking to borrow an agent.
For a moment, he spared a thought to wonder how his team was doing without active access to their technical analyst, but dismissed the thought for thoughts of Sir, and his conveyance about their thoughts on how well he’d been doing his job.
Eyes on Cougar from the corner of the bar, he and Pooch were sitting, Pooch wearing a hat and small glasses. Jensen was facing Cougar, but his face was obscured by Pooch’s wool-covered head, hopefully. Cougar was sitting at another table with the seller, and Cougar was being tracked through the mirrors and through line of sight by Jensen. Under the table, hidden by the table cloth, Jensen had already prepped his weapon.
Cougar and the seller were speaking, and Jensen was grateful for the ability to run his mouth without thinking as he and Pooch made like two guys, not gossiping, the manly phrase was chatting. Jensen watched Cougar through the corner of his eye, moving the hand on the table across to grab the bottle of beer. This rescue needed to appear like a bar brawl to avoid suspicion. The job that Cougar was on here was to retrieve the information needed about the gun, partially to confirm what Roque was telling them from the inside, and partially to establish some facts on shipping.
There, Cougar was circling the beer bottle he was holding with his fingers. A sign of anticipation, not of agitation. The mark was starting to spill his guts: Jensen would review that later when he got back to the computer that he had recording from the microphone and transmitter that he’d placed in Cougar’s hat. That transmitter, Jensen knew, would have to go before Cougar found it. Clay had ordered it for the meeting, said that it needed to go on something that Cougar would not lose, take off, or if taken off, wouldn’t go further than five feet away. The transmitter was part of the garrote dressing up the hat, hidden inside a silver conch holding the ends of the garrote together around the crown.
That, Cougar would appreciate.
There, again, the circling of the beer bottle, Corona with lime, and a clench of fingers. Cougar’s body was tensing, and Jensen saw it.
His knees were on the floor, as were the backs of his feet. He could make his ankles touch, even though that was a little bit of a stretch, but that did not come to mind. What he felt was different.
The floor was under his knees, his shins, his feet, his forehead, and it was textured to feel like wood but gave against his body like plastic. Probably a form of easily cleaned wood-look linoleum. In this house, cleanliness was first but appearances were a close second.
His forehead was touching the floor just above the silk of the blindfold, and he felt the straps around the blindfold intersect with the straps of the gag. The rest of the subs in the house usually wore variations on a ring gag, but his was not. His Sir preferred that there be as little chance as possible for the rest of the house to hear his sub’s voice
Sir was kneeling beside him: he could feel Sir’s hand on his shoulder and hear his voice against his ear, whispering quiet words of warning into the only ear that was unplugged. He only had two, of course, human normal, but at the moment, he couldn’t remember that. All he knew was that Sir was warning him that there would be another earplug placed into his head, following the preparations that had already come, and preceding the event that would culminate the evening.
Sir pressed fingers into his ear, releasing what silenced the world, and then tapped his thigh, using touch to tell him to spread his knees, and ankles, and thus his wrists, further apart so Sir could check the rest of the accoutrements. Another tap on his thigh told him to bring his legs and arms back in, and a trailing hand against his face, five finger-points against his cheek warned him as Sir stood up, parts of their bodies touching as he stepped away from his kneeling form. He felt the vibrations against the floor as Sir walked away from him and out the door, closing it.
“Pooch, time to move.” He whispered, holstering his gun and throwing a punch at his teammate, who caught it, and threw Jensen backwards over his head, crashing towards Cougar’s table with the mark. Jensen came to his feet screaming. “YOU BASTARD!” The beer bottle, the contents spewed over the table with the mark as Jensen had landed a few feet in front of it was thrown at his teammate. “YOU SLEPT WITH MY SISTER.” Always place a little of real life into your undercover experience, and very little got Jensen as riled up as thinking of his sister’s deadbeat ex-husband.
Pooch stepped forward, threw a punch. “Your sister was beggin’ for it!” He returned in the same decibel shout. “Tight and hot and she left scratches on my back.” And that cued Jensen throwing the table behind him at Pooch, and Cougar and the mark agreeing to meet tomorrow to pick up the shipment as the bar ascended into an all-out brawl, allowing them both to slip away in the . Pooch and Jensen stayed for another ten minutes before getting out as the sirens got louder as the cops came to deal with what the bouncers apparently weren’t paid enough to deal with.
“Report.” Clay barked, and Pooch was the first to talk.
“Distraction was successful.” He glared at Jensen. “Honestly, a table?”
“Well, I didn’t want to use my gun in the bar, sounds like a bad idea what with half of the place packing and most everyone drinking.”
“Speaking of which, how’d you spot the signal?” There’d been no line of sight directly from Pooch to Cougar, but there’d been sufficient mirrors, he’d thought. “I didn’t see jackshit.”
Clay began to intervene, but Jensen explained. They weren’t allowed to ask, he couldn’t tell, but that mission, well. “Sir,” Pooch snorted, “Pooch, Cougar’s usually my back up,” but not for this, “when I’m undercover, he’s usually my out. We don’t have any outright signals,” except in bed, when Sir wanted something he asked with hands, mouth, ordered, really. “just knowledge.” That was true, but Clay laughed, fully aware of the base knowledge and the aborted ‘Sir,’ replaced with Cougar.
“He always sees the signal.” And Cougar arrived. “Because he’s the only one who’s being signaled, Si?”