Breakfast at Tiffany's
A/N: I think I probably need to find an ending for this before it goes completely stale... Thanks for the patience.
+Breakfast at Tiffany’s
In which breakfast is being had and Cougar-y thoughts are being thought.
Cougar wandered into the room just after six in the morning, quietly so he didn’t wake Pooch on the sofa. He was still bone tired, but his friend insomnia was keeping him awake. He’d sack out later with Jake rambling next to him, feeling safer than he did when Jake was sleeping.
It was idiotic, but that’s how it was. They slept in turns, mostly. They survived.
Mom – Summers – was moving through the kitchen almost soundlessly, putting away things, pulling out others. She looked like she’d been crying, her eyes red-rimmed as she met his gaze and nodded in greeting.
He nodded back, recognition of some sort. Gratitude.
“Coffee in a minute,” she offered and then her hand went to her hip, where her phone was vibrating in her pocket. She shrugged at him and quickly let herself out the patio door to take the call.
Cougar watched her go and then spent a minute hunting down mugs. He pulled out two, prepared his and, on a hunch, dumped a load of sugar in the other mug, but left it black.
Summers came back five minutes later and he nodded toward the mug. She accepted it and, after a quick sip, grinned at him. Nailed it. She sat across from him at the kitchen island and for a while, they watched as the room slowly lit up with the rising sun.
Then, abruptly, she reached behind her and pulled a knife out of nowhere. Big hunting knife, serrated edge, black handle inlaid with gleaming steel. Not overly pretty, but functional. The kind of knife Roque had preferred.
She twirled it between her fingers with skill and then put it on the table between them. “Won that off Roque,” she said quietly, almost whispering. “The fucker was my best friend.”
She didn’t ask what had happened, how it had gone down. Cougar was glad, because he didn’t want to tell her that he’d been the one who’d eventually done the deed. Roque was dead by his hand, his bullet. He didn’t want to tell this woman the truth, the facts.
“Lo siento,” he said anyway.
She nodded after a while, putting the knife away again and standing. She refilled both their mugs and then started pulling eggs and bacon out of the fridge.
“Aisha eat breakfast?” she asked and he nodded, leaning back to watch her as she worked. She cracked eggs, handled skillets and managed another pot of coffee while she was at it, moving smoothly and unhurriedly. She was at home in this kitchen.
Clay was the first to come stumbling in, bleary eyed and working his jaw the way he did in the mornings. Mom wordlessly pointed him toward the coffee and then plated a pile of bacon and two eggs for him, just as he liked it. She held the plate out and he took it in passing, bumping her hip with his familiarly. Cougar felt his eyebrows rise a bit. Clay rarely was this friendly with anyone. She held out her hand again, pointing at a drawer, and the colonel found cutlery inside before sitting down across from Cougar and digging in without a word.
Pooch followed two minutes later, rubbing his scalp and sniffing the air. “God, woman,” he said, “I love you so very much.”
Summers laughed, repeated the motions she’d gone through with Clay and received a kiss on the cheek in gratitude along with a slap on the ass.
She looked sad then, for a moment, and the sniper found himself trying to imagine Roque slapping anyone’s ass. He couldn’t. He thought that maybe the Roque he’d known hadn’t been the same one she’d met.
Aisha and Jensen arrived at the same time, both drawn by the scents permeating the house. Jensen got handed not one but two plates, which made Clay snort something about subtlety. Cougar ignored his CO, getting up and getting a clean mug for Jensen, who dumped his breakfast in front of him just then. They sat shoulder to shoulder and started shoveling food before Mom turned off the stove, grabbed the last plate and slipped in next to Cougar.
She pointed her fork at the colonel and ordered, “Don’t even. I can smell
what you two did half an hour ago. Hell, I could hear
it. You don’t get to talk about obvious.”
Grinning, Clay saluted as Jensen stuck out his tongue at him. “I have no idea why anyone ever thinks I’m in charge of this unit.”
“You aren’t,” Mom calmly informed him. Then put down her fork despite not having eaten more than two bites and took a deep breath. “I’ve got people trolling for your Max guy and a guy I know is going to send over anything the police finds on your little B&E adventure from last night. I’ll need mugshots of all of you to get to Clem, for ID. Won’t be perfect, but should hold up for a while. Give us some room. Willow is working her mojo to try and track Max, too. Anyone finds anything, they’ll get back to me ASAP. Until then, I got a place in the middle of nowhere in Montana that we usually use for wolves. We’ll hole up there until something gives.”
Silence. Complete and utter silence. Everyone was staring at her like she’d grown a second head. She gave them all a shit eating grin, a stark contrast to her red-rimmed eyes. “Not bad for four hours of phone calls, is it?”
“Marry me,” Jensen blurted. Cougar elbowed him, got a yelp in return and an indignant look. “No, man, Cougs, you gotta understand this. Were you listening? That’s like… hold on,” he suddenly turned from Cougar to Summers. “Did you say wolves? As in werewolves
“Don’t be scared,” the blonde teased, “I’ll protect you.”
Jensen audibly gulped and Aisha laughed at him. Cougar wanted to growl.
Just then, the doorbell rang. Everyone tensed up, going for guns and knives, ready to kill at a moment’s provocation. Everyone except Summers. She rolled her eyes and shot a smile at Jensen. “Careful,” she said, “That’s a werewolf at the door. He might eat you.”
Then she stood to let the newcomer in, not at all concerned. Cougar wondered how she’d known who was that the door before opening it, just like he wondered how she’d heard Clay and Aisha. He had been with her and he hadn’t heard a thing.
A moment later she was back, a baby-faced guy in a beat cop uniform following after her, fiddling with a USB drive in his hand. He waved at them briefly, then turned back to Summers. “Uhm… you know that these guys are sort of wanted for… everything, right?”
She nodded. “Yeah, I do. But they’re mine, Derek, so keep your mouth shut.”
He jumped a bit, skittish. “Of course. I wasn’t gonna blab to the humans. Sorry, Alpha.”
She rolled her eyes. “Not your alpha, kid.”
“No. But you’re the
alpha. So, uhm, here. The report. I should get back to work now. I… see you?”
Summers took the drive from him and they watched as he left skid marks on his way out the door. She snorted as soon as they heard his car fire up, shaking her head. “Saved his ass once. I’m pretty sure he’ll get over it. Eventually.”
She didn’t look convinced. “Anyway. Mugshots?”
“Did that kid just call you Alpha, Mom?” Pooch asked, half-laughing, half-curious. It was a good thing he was asking, because the rest of them definitely wanted to hear the answer.
“Shut up. It’s a stupid title my girls gave me. Now. Mugshots. I need them ASAP, so make it snappy.”
With that she turned on her heel and walked out of the room, blushing a bit under her bravado. After a moment she cursed quietly and the USB drive came hurtling at Jensen, who caught it, still staring stupidly at where she’d been standing.
Cougar hid his expression behind his coffee and felt something inside of him uncurl and relax a bit. This was the most fun any of them had had since Bolivia and in less than a day, Mom was already moving heaven and earth for them.
For the first time in a long time, Cougar found himself thinking that maybe this Hail Mary mission wasn’t going to end as bloody as he’d always thought it would.