Title: What am I?
Fandom: The Losers
Current Word Count: 2,093
Category: Gen (at the moment, might end up Cougar/Jensen)
Warnings: canon-level violence & injuries; mad scientist’s experiments
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters named in this, nor the associated media. The plot however, is mine. No money is being made from this piece of fiction and no harm is meant by it towards anyone.
Third warehouse on the left, middle of fuck all nowhere
The team’s gone through the many languages that they know between them and still, they have no name for what Jensen had become other than “other” or “not normal”, and if a Loser is saying that you’re not normal, you must be extremely fucking odd. Though they don’t use those terms in connection with Jensen other than the first time they try to name what he’s become, the look of shock and pain that skittered across his face when Cougar muttered “something other” and Pooch apologetically suggested “not normal” soon stopped them from trying to label what he’d become.
Twenty one hours ago
Basement, McPartinson’s Safety and Security company, Texas
The team (minus Roque – his betrayal still rubbing raw for all of them – and plus Aisha) were performing a pretty standard direct-from-the-source data retrieval under the cover of night (awesome, no moon means more shadows to not be seen in, Jensen thought on their way to the building). Aisha and Clay had created a diversion and luck appeared to be on their side as they had found and purloined three cases of hand guns, ammo and knives (“we’re running low” being the rational thought behind that action) Jensen had managed to get to the server room and was half way through a total data copy when luck bailed on them. For the split second that the rest of the team was distracted or out of sight line of the hacker, was the split second Jensen’s life went to hell bypassing the hand bucket and running full tilt down the highway.
“You do not belong here,” came a growling voice from behind Jensen. He almost didn’t hear it over the hum of the servers and his own brand of sweet talk that he kept up throughout the connection, manipulation and download of the business’ servers.
When Jensen didn’t immediately cower down in fear (“I’ve seen freaking mosquito’s that were a helluva lot more scary then you, fluff ball”) the creature stalked out of the shadows and walked up to him, it’s whiskers brushing up against Jensen’s shoulder and it’s breath whuffing across his neck (“eww, someone needs a lesson in dental hygiene. Can we say breath mint, anyone?”). Jensen repressed his automatic flight reaction as best as possible (it was a freaking huge species of cat after all) and stood his ground, staring down the tawny – furred feline (tawny – furred feline that can talk Jensen admonished himself) in a battle of wills that ended when the big cat got bored of it all and knocked Jensen down to the ground with barely more than a nudge of it’s front left paw, pinning him in place with it’s paw and gnashing its teeth at him. Luck had definitely left Jensen when he felt his ear bud slide out of his ear and under a bank of servers.
“Why are you and your people here?” It asked him, carefully enunciating each word so that it was certain that the human in front of it would understand.
“What people? Dude, I only see you and me in this room and I’d remember if I’d met you before. You’re kinda memorable, y’know? Or do you mean the people I’d love to have working for me if I had my own-” the cat cut off his rambling with a bat of it’s paw to the top of his head. Jensen figured that the creature had to know what it was doing and wasn’t just acting out a pre-set pattern of ingrained responses as the cat had changed the direction and velocity of it’s “slap” at the last minute to stop itself from taking his head off in one clean swoop.
“Explain, I must know why there are intruders here. Talk now and spare your friends pain.”
“What friends? I’ve already told you-”
“No more lies, I can smell them on you. Why are you all here?” With that the cat pressed down on Jensen’s chest with only a fraction of it’s weight, but enough to compromise his breathing and long enough to cause his vision to go grey at the edges.
As a black ops soldier, Jensen had been more than thoroughly trained to withstand various methods of torture and how to outwit and outfight just about anyone in the world that he could possibly come across. Unfortunately his instructors hadn’t trained him in how to deal with an increasingly angry, tiger – sized, talking, and therefore sentient, feline.
Fight vs. flight had left the building along with the edges of Jensen’s vision and he decided that playing along with the cat would probably be the best option for living at the moment. Hopefully the others would either rescue him when he didn’t make the call in or he’d find an opportunity to give it the slip.
“Oh those friends. Silly me, I’d almost forgotten about them, see we’ve known each other so long that sometimes we become this great blur of us in my head that I forget to separate us out. You really want to know what we’re doing here? OK then, there’s this really bad guy called Max running around the world, like super – evil kind of bad guy, worse than any villain that the world’s imagined in stories because this one’s real, and he kills children if he thinks that it’ll help him get what he wants and his wants are like epically vast and nasty and tend towards the meglomaniacal, Emperor of the world type thing. Thing is none of us would know about him or what he does if he hadn’t framed my team for murder and treason, and really we just want our lives back but we’re willing and able to do pretty much anything to stop him and be able to live our lives again. They’re not the greatest of lives, but man, they’re ours.” Jensen was talking so rapidly that the cat was barely able to keep up and comprehend the babble coming out of Jensen’s mouth.
Keep talking so Clay can hear you and you can confound the kitty in to letting you go or make a stupid mistake. Who said I can’t come up with decent plans. He thought to himself as he continued talking at the cat.
“Anyway, we got some intel. that led us to this company which acts as a front for one of Max’s barely legit companies, and man does he never run out of those? Intel didn’t say anything about there being giant talking cats in here though. Care to share, mi amigo?”
“I have always been here, I have never not been here.” Is all he gets as a reply.
“Now I get it, you’re like death and taxes then. You mind letting me up? It’s getting a bit hard to breathe with y’know, you’re entire mass holding me down and I find breathing to be a really good life giver, y’know?” At that, Jensen squirms a little and a moment later the paw on his chest is removed and the cat moves slightly so that it’s entire body was covering Jensen’s and any attempt to roll away and run for it were still zero as the cat had better reflexes than Jensen could hope to have and far superior eyesight in the gloom of the basement than Cougar on his best day in optimal conditions.
Peace and an almost harmony reigned over them for a couple of minutes, neither of them moving yet neither of them feeling the need to, and given what the cat could do to Jensen, he found that reaction to be rather confusing and more than a little concerning. The harsh sounds of a gunfight filtered their way down from the floor above, and very quickly the stairwell outside, into the room that the two of them were in. As the muffled sounds became clearer and Jensen could distinguish Clay and Aisha from the rest of the people out there he instinctively reacted by trying to gather his laptop and get closer to them, forgetting about the huge feline standing over him as it had been statue – like for so long. He didn’t get more than a wriggle in before the cat flipped him onto his stomach and pinned him with both front paws, one between his shoulders and the other on his lower back.
Unfortunately for everyone, that’s the exact moment that the fighting stopped out side and the cavalry came charging in, guns blazing. With the sudden intrusion and the confusion from feeling everyone that the feline had ever known wink out of existence, the cat bared it’s teeth at the newcomers and extended it’s claws, ready to attack, Jensen forgotten.
The shock of seeing a mountain lion the size of a large tiger pinning Jensen to the floor momentarily stunned Clay and Aisha, but the second that Jensen screamed in agony when the cat’s claws dug into his back, the two of them flew into action. Within seconds they’d put enough lead into the cat to down a herd of rabid Buffalo and it was no longer in the land of the living. What they didn’t find out until the next day was that enough of the cat’s blood had seeped into the gouges on Jensen’s back before it was hauled off of him, to permanently change him.
Eleven hours ago
Third warehouse on the left, middle of fuck all nowhere
Cougar had sewn Jensen back together again once they’d stopped for the night, but it was Pooch’s turn to check Jensen’s wounds for infection. When he saw what was under the bandages his eyebrows raised and went over to Clay.
“I think you should see this man, it just ain’t right.” Pooch said quietly, careful not to wake their unconscious hacker. Clay looked over at Pooch, when he saw the raised eyebrows he rubbed a hand over his face and pulled himself out of the only comfortable position he’d managed to find since sitting in the chair, and walked over to where Pooch was hovering above Jensen’s back.
“What’s got you’re panties in a bunch, Pooch?”
“Jensen’s back was all torn up by some freakishly huge mountain lion thing less than twelve hours ago, right?” At Clay’s nod, Pooch continued.
“So his wounds should only have closed over and barely begun healing, right?” Clay nodded in agreement.
“The Pooch has seen some freaky shit in his life, but The Pooch has never seen anyone heal like this.” As he was speaking, Pooch lifted the edge of the largest pad of gauze and showed Clay the slightly puffy red scars on Jensen’s back where big scabs should be. The only way Clay could tell that they were one and the same cuts inflicted earlier was because of the neat stitches that Cougar had put in to hold together the loose flaps of skin around the gouges that had been there, were still there.
“You can say that again, Sir.”
Clay thought about what it could mean, for them and Jensen, and after a bit of thinking and trying to forget that this wasn’t just a soldier but someone who was practically family, he came to a decision.
“Get the others, they need to see this.” Clay told Pooch. With a quick nod, Pooch left the room and within moments Cougar & Aisha were following him back in to the room in which Clay hadn’t stopped watching Jensen. He turned to face them, keeping Jensen in his peripheral vision and brought them up to speed.
“Something, the heck if I know what or how, seems to have happened to Jensen. He’s virtually healed from his earlier injuries and even for us, that just isn’t normal.” Clay said to them all. “Until he wakes up and we can determine whether Jensen’s still in there or not, he’s not to be left alone, someone is to stand guard over him from now until he’s conscious again. I’ll take first watch, Pooch, you take over from me in three hours; Aisha, you’ve got the next three hours after Pooch and Cougar you’ve got the three after that. Got it?” He waited for the eyebrow raises and nods of ascension from the team before pulling his chair over to the side of the beaten up and broken sofa that Jensen’s lying on and collapsing back in to it, eyes firmly fixed on the youngest member of his team, mind whirring with possible scenarios for when Jensen finally woke up.