Mission Accomplished
Chapter 5 - Team

"Jane, you stay here and cover Benji. Benji, get this thing re-wired and back online." He gripped the flashlight, and made sure to take the safety off his gun. He thought about Hunt, chasing down Hendricks and the case alone. "We can do this."

Moving too fast, the damn wires were like knives. But, blood notwithstanding, this WILL work as long as Brandt gets the power on. But it's been several minutes, and there isn't any light yet. He's almost completely done with everything, and Brandt isn't back. This can't be right. God, but he wishes Jane wasn't hurt. What the hell could he do? He knew how to fire a gun, but he'd never actually fired it at anyone before. What if he screwed something up? But there was nothing for it, she couldn't go down, and he was the only one left. "He's been gone too long." He made sure he had her attention. "When the power comes on, these two drives go into this bay, okay?" He waited for her acknowledgment, then checked his weapon and went down.

Moments later, he was in a hall aiming his weapon at the furious fight, waiting for the shot. He could still hear Ethan through his earpiece. He sounded frustrated - grunting and there was the sound of slamming. Damn, was it the case? Was he at the case already? What if he gave up before they had a chance to get the power on?

No. That would never happen. Not with Ethan Hunt. When he could get a shot without hurting Brandt, he kept his eyes open, took a breath, and fired.

She was bleeding. Bad. Her hand was covered with it, and the pain was getting worse. Benji was gone, and she was alone with some giant piece of techno-gear that she had no idea how to operate. What if she did it wrong? WHY did she have to get shot? What if whatever was going on downstairs depended on Benji, and Benji couldn't bring himself to kill someone - it had happened to fresh agents before. DAMMIT. What if they failed, and everything Ethan had to be going through right now came to nothing?

We can make it. She could almost hear his determined voice, as her mind flashed back to that moment in the car when she knew he was insane. We can make it. The room lit up. She struggled to her feet, shoved the two drives into place and hoped they weren't too late.

"I don't know how we ended up together. But I'm glad we did." He placed the phones on the table - one, two, three. "Your missions. Choose to accept them."

There was the slightest tremor - a sense of nervousness that someone might say no, and he wouldn't be able to assemble the perfect team. But Benji and Jane accepted with hardly a moments' hesitation.

And then, the fear was realized when Brandt stepped away without his phone. There was disappointment. Then Brandt's confession, and the realization that the younger agent blamed himself for Julia. Telling the truth had been difficult, but it was worth it to Ethan to be sure that Brandt stayed on the team - didn't go back to the anonymity and the safety of office work. It was worth it to wipe away the guilt that he was partially responsible for.

And to his relief, Brandt accepted the truth well - didn't rage at Ethan for having perpetrated a lie that had left Brandt guilt-ridden for years. There was immense relief, and even a sense that Brandt hoped Ethan still considered him a friend. Which, of course, he did.

Brandt stood up, took the phone and tapped it on the table with a shake of his head. Ethan was left alone, but feeling fulfilled. Now, he could say it, and it would definitely be true. His wife was safe, his team was assembled, and as corny as it might be (dammit, Luther), he still felt it all the same. But just in case Luther was still lurking around waiting to catch him being cheesy, he only said it to himself.

Mission accomplished.


Chapter 4

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