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Chalk Another One Up for the Losers

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They stage a double-cross, trying to access information through an organization with tenuous ties to Max. Aisha courts the local contact, pretends dissatisfaction at the team's slow progress, at the currently stable vital signs of the man who murdered her father. From a certain angle it doesn't look like she has to pretend too hard.

 

Clay laughs it off, but it's making the men twitchy. Jensen's already made two uneasy jokes about her Roque impression, and it's only a matter of time before somebody snaps on him. Clay's just hoping it won't be Cougar, 'cause it's been a while since he misjudged a mission badly enough to inspire that particular nightmare.

 

The meet goes south, of course, Max's men infiltrating to eliminate their possible leak, and the only way to warn Aisha is to improvise. Clay gets himself captured snooping around their perimeter, acts the betrayed lover when he confronts her. Not everyone on the ground seems to buy it, so of course Aisha moves to make it believable.

 

She stabs him, hard, grunting at her own force.

 

"Convinced?" she says, eyeing their contact, huge dripping knife waving around in one hand, while Clay curls up on the ground, moaning, biting his lip 'till it bleeds.

 

It looks good, and it certainly draws the eye for a few seconds at least.

 

Long enough for Aisha to draw her secondary-piece and shoot three guys in the head, fast and messy, and bury her blade in the throat of a fourth, Clay's blood mingling with a stranger's; long enough for Cougar to reach his secondary position and drop the men Aisha hadn't been briefed on; long enough for the cold of the concrete floor to seep through Clay's suit.

 

They get away, of course, because the Losers know to plan for the worst, and this little snafu doesn't even come close to that (and Clay very carefully doesn't think about how the worst would probably involve a cut a hell of a lot deeper than the one Aisha so cheerfully delivered).

 

After, Clay grabs her hand while she double-checks his bandages, the rest of the team making themselves carefully scarce. He bled, a lot, but the wound wasn't deep. A cosmetic cut, beautiful and clean. Aisha believes in precision.

 

Somewhere, he's certain, out there in the universe, probably in a bar, Jensen is still complaining how unjust it is that Clay even bleeds pretty. (Possibly Aisha has given Clay more pain meds than he really ought to have.)

 

Clay holds her fingers still, and smiles at her. He has been told (maybe by Emma, probably by Roque) that he twinkles. It wasn't a compliment.

 

"You enjoyed that," he says, and grins even wider. His face might split, looking at this girl, holding her hand, watching her smile back like she doesn't have to, but will anyway.

 

"Who wouldn't ?" she says, and pushes him back down on the couch. "Now would you please get some rest, before one of your boys decides I'm in here encouraging sepsis or something."

 

She shakes her head at him, and walks away, but Clay's still grinning after her like he's gone stupid. He'd follow her too, but his legs are feeling like cooked ramen, and he spares another thought to Aisha's suspicious facility at dosing him before he passes out, tired, sore and pleased.