and wings to carry me - The Losers
This one didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to and I’m pretty sure I did a shitty job of writing Jensen, but three days of fiddling didn’t make it better, so: Sorry. Also, this one is not a crossover. Prompt:
0tigerlily0 asked for The Losers, Any/gen, Shifter!verse
, Someone loses control during sex and infects a woman that is not Aisha. Consequences and aftermath.
.and wings to carry me
“So, basically,” Jensen summarizes, his expression solemn, shadow tail twitching behind him like a pendulum of neatly suppressed rage, “You went into a random bar, got drunk, picked up a chick, fucked her and then lost control.”
Cougar, who hasn’t met anyone’s gaze since he stumbled in fifteen minutes ago, nods silently.
“And then you fucking infected her
“Jensen man,” Pooch, the eternal peace maker intervenes. “We don’t know if she caught it. We can’t know until the next moon.”
Roque nods in silent agreement and even Clay looks like he’s thinking along the same lines. Jensen clenches his jaws. It’s early and Cougar’s arrival woke him up, so he’s not wearing his glasses. His eyes are blue, blue, blue as he looks at Pooch, blue and cold, “He fucking bit
her, Pooch. Ain’t no coming back from that.”
He puts a palm flat against his right collarbone where an almost invisible bite scar rests, one that only Cougar knows about.
“Still,” Clay says, “Shit happens. None of us have perfect control, even the borns. We gotta deal with this.”
The hacker shakes his head. “Bullshit,” he bites before turning to the sniper. “Her address.”
Cougar rattles it off without hesitation or movement and Jensen nods, spinning on his heel and only stopping to grab Pooch’s car keys on the way out.
“What’s he-“ Clay starts.
Roque’s already standing to go after Jensen and lay into him. Cougar’s arm blocking his path stops him. He looks up, for the first time, eyes dark under the brim of his hat. “Let him go,” he orders.
“What? No! He’s acting like a shit!”
The sniper shakes his head, repeats, “Let him go.”
He’s the only one that knows where Jensen got the scar on his collarbone, the slashes on his side and chest. He’s the only one that knows that Jensen’s mother died because her boyfriend got drunk and then got angry. He’s the only one that knows that last night he repeated history and the only thing saving him from Jensen aiming a gun between his eyes is that fact that Victoria Marquez is still alive, unlike Jocelyn Jensen.
“It’s gonna be okay, man, you’ll see,” Pooch tries.
Cougar tips his head lower, crosses his arms over his chest and doesn’t answer. Jensen can forgive everything and anything. Except this. Whatever Cougar gets, he knows, he deserves.
The woman who opens the door at the address Cougar rattled off is tiny and pale. She has her arm wrapped around her middle and a bandage over her shoulder, stark white against olive skin.
Jensen looks at the bandage more than at her face as he asks if she’s Victoria. He knows she is. He saw her last night, at the bar. Saw her leave with Cougar. Didn’t worry, not a bit. Cougar always comes back and he never fucks up. Jensen relies on Cougar to never fuck up and not only in the literal sense.
He needs to know he can rely on his friend, needs to know he can trust him, depend on him. He needs… mostly, he just needs Cougar.
“Hey,” she says, drawing his attention from her shoulder to her face. “I recognize you. You were at the bar.” He accent is thick and warm, like molasses. Like Cougar, when he’s laying it on thick.
“You’re a friend of Cougar.”
He shrugs his shoulders, so-so, because right now? Not so much. Cougar just crossed a whole lotta lines and shit, Jensen needs to work through this, okay? He’s… this shit is heavy. Heavy with memory. He’ll get over it, probably far too quickly, but there’s snippets of half-remembered horrors floating around his brain right now, and he just can’t.
“Would you like to come in?” She seems to be dealing a whole lot better than Jensen is. But then, it’s probably not sunk in yet. It took a few days for him, and he was ripped to shreds and healing at breakneck speed.
Cougar picked her up around midnight, give them an hour to screw… he spent most of the night and early morning explaining. She’s only had a few hours to try and wrap her mind around the fact that, come full moon, she’s going to grow feathers and something inside of her that’s going to set up shop in her headspace and never go away.
Her place is cute in a college student kind of way. Jensen has never been one of those, but he’s banged enough to know. His track record isn’t nearly as bad as Cougar makes it look, you know.
She offers him coffee, but he only wants water. Caffeine isn’t going to make this conversation any easier. Not that he knows what that conversation is going to be, exactly, mind you, but he knows that he needs to have it. He needs to try and fix what he already knows can’t be mended. He owes that to Victoria, to his mom, and probably himself, too. It’s not like he doesn’t know he has fucking issues.
And then they’re sitting across from each other and he can’t look around and ignore her for any longer without seeming very, very out of it. Which he is. He even forgot his damn glasses at the safehouse.
“How are you holding up?” he asks, finally.
She shrugs then nods to herself, holding on to her mug of coffee. At second glance, she still looks pale as hell, but not quite as wrung out as he thought she would. Should. “I’m fine.”
He looks at her incredulously. “Fine,” he quotes. “Fucked up, insane, neurotic…”
She laughs. “I know. But really, I am fine. I am a second generation second born.”
He gapes. No, really, he gapes like an idiot because this chick… she’s the human born child of a human born child of a shifter. She’s still got a few drops of the blood in her. Enough, one would think, to recognize a fucking shifter when she sees one and run the other way. Goddamn, don’t they teach second borns who and what not to fuck with these days? He’s a non-born and he learned those lessons.
“You know,” he blurts, then corrects himself, “You knew
. When you went with him.”
“That he was a bird? Yes. I saw his shadow. I also see yours, gato.”
He cringes then, because that’s what Cougs calls him, sometimes.
“So you’re what? Okay with this? He ruined your life.”
She shakes her head, puts down her mug and scoots forward on the sofa. “No. He saved it. I have cancer, gato. Can you smell it yet?”
He sniffs the air automatically, almost before her words register. By the time they do, she’s already talking again. “My clan can’t smell it either. Yet. But it’s there and my mother… it killed her, the cancer. I will not end like that. I asked them to turn me, but there were accidents, lately. A few people died. They said they will not risk it, not while I have a chance. But I know how it ends. I have seen it. I will… I would have died, without your friend.”
It’s right about then he smells the shame on her and he looks up from his glass sharply, frowning. “You planned this.”
“You… did you slip him something?” He’s standing, tall, angry. The cat’s hissing and spitting at this… this human, forcing Cougar to do her will, her bidding. Forcing him to betray himself like that… to… She cringes away from him and that is answer enough.
She needed a tool, and Cougar was probably the closest she could come to the species of her own clan in this small nest in the middle of nowhere. So she used him. Ticket to living longer and staying healthy. Fuck a shifter, drug him up, let him rip you open.
Jensen, who remembers his mother’s dying scream, her blood hot on his face, claws and fangs in his body, tearing, rending, Jensen, who was eight years old and sure he would die on that kitchen floor, that exact same Jensen, is disgusted.
With Victoria. With himself, for believing the worst of Cougar.
But mostly with her. How could she… she was human
. And she threw it away. Like it didn’t matter, like it wasn’t worth anything, to be able to sleep through a full moon, to live without violence, without fighting.
He stomps out of her cute little college apartment, out of her building, down the street to the car. He climbs in and is about to floor it back to the safehouse, when a shadow detaches from a nearby wall, becoming a man and a hat.
“Jensen,” Cougar says, stepping up to the car.
Jensen closes his eyes, bangs his head against the back of the seat. “You heard?”
Of course he heard. He stood no more than fifty feet from the open window. No distance at all, for them. In a few weeks, no distance at all for Victoria Marquez.
He doesn’t say anything else and Jensen leans over, unlocks the passenger side door of the shitty jeep Pooch ‘acquired’.
“I’m sorry,” he tells Cougar when he slips into the car.
“Nothing to apologize for.”
“I ripped into you for no reason.”
The sniper points at Victoria’s house. Reason enough, he says wordlessly. Jensen shakes his head as he starts the engine. He needs to get away from this place before he stops being reasonable and goes back in there to rip that woman to shreds. Out of anger, out of frustration. Out of grief, maybe. Why would anyone choose this life?
He’s not suicidal, never has been. But sometimes, when the shit is up to his chin, he wonders if dying on the kitchen floor would have been such a bad alternative. He’s okay now, with Cougs and the others. He’s fine.
But to be human…
He’s so, so angry at Victoria, for throwing that away.
Cougar’s hand is on his chin suddenly, before he can pull out onto the street, his fingers pulling Jensen’s head around.
“Hey,” he says. And then again, because sometimes Jensen needs to be told twice. “Hey.”
He nods. Takes a deep breath. Releases. “Are the others pissed?”
Cougar lets go of his chin and he kicks the car into gear. “Maybe,” he allows.
“I should probably tell them why I blew up, right?”
He doesn’t want to. No, really. Shit, he and Cougs have been with them for a year, and they still think he’s a born. They don’t know Jensen hasn’t always been Jensen.
He looks over at his friend at the dry confirmation and finds him with his hat pulled low over his face. He’s not over it. Cougar will blame himself for Victoria, no matter that Victoria is to be blamed for Victoria. And Jensen will replay his mother’s (his own) murder in his sleep for the next few weeks and neither of them will go to a bar anytime soon.
“Lo siento,” he repeats, staring fixedly at the road. Because he can. Because he wants to. Because someone has to.
“Idiota,” Cougar returns.
There’s silence for the rest of the drive.