gilascave: Picture of a gila monster on a yellow background (spn dean let's pretend)
[personal profile] gilascave
Title: Need to Know Basis
Author: james
Pairing: Brandt/Dunn
Rating: PG
Word Count: ~1,500
Disclaimer: not mine, no profit made
Summary: Will is struggling with knowing what really happened with Ethan's wife, and Benji is trying to help him cope.

Will heard Benji come into the room, moving quietly though still never as silent as the other Jane or Ethan. Benji wasn't experienced enough to unconsciously move silently at all times, -- all times unless intentionally trying to let someone know they were in the room. Will knew he did it, too; Benji had glared at him often enough when he'd accidentally snuck up behind the other man.

As Benji walked over, Will stayed where he was, on his back on the motel's extremely uncomfortable bed, hands behind his head and staring at the ceiling. He waited and soon enough Benji sat on the bed and the cheap, broken mattress dipped enough to nearly make Will roll towards him. He caught himself, staying on his back, gaze still directed towards the ceiling. The paint was dirty, matching the worn dark blue carpet that didn't manage to hide the stains and burn marks left by decades of use and lack of care to fix or replace.

They'd been in worse, had been in better, and Will was frankly unbothered by the state of the room as long as he didn't think about the bedclothes he was lying on and what would be soaked into every part of the fabric.

He'd had his shots, at least. Will found himself half-smiling at the thought, and Benji took that as permission. "So, are you going to talk about it?" he asked quietly, calm as though he knew the answer might still be 'no.'

Will shrugged. "Need to know."

There was a pause, then, "Right," Benji said, unable to completely mask the hurt in his voice and he made as to get up. Will shook his head.

"That's what's bothering me," he clarified, and he felt Benji settle back down. Benji brushed his hand along the side of Will's leg, part comfort and part encouragement. Will took a deep breath. "I get it, I really do," he said, whispering, not because he was afraid of being overheard but simply because he wasn't sure he was ready to say any of this out loud.

He'd been fighting it for months, off and on, but a few weeks aago it had gripped him and not let go. He knew Benji had noticed almost right away, asking about it once or twice early on. He'd let Will refuse to answer, willing to change the subject or just sit in silence and leave Will to his thoughts. His time was apparently up, however, and Will knew Benji deserved an explanation. Saying the words out loud was difficult and Will didn't even know if he could say the rest.

He felt Benji's hand press against his shin, moving downwards, stroking without being suggestive -- Benji had distracted Will more than once by moving his hand higher, and Will had appreciated the gesture more than he could have said. But now, the motion was soothing and patient.

Will closed his eyes. "I get that sometimes things are need to know. And agents in the field don't need to know. Hell, most people don't need to know. I get that, and most of the time I agree with it." He stopped and took another long, slow breath. "I think I agree with it every time. But that doesn't make it easier."

There was silence, then, and Benji didn't move. Will didn't actually know how much Benji even knew -- Will laughed, once, as he realised he'd never checked to see if this was something Benji was allowed to know.

Need to know. Probably not.

But then Benji shifted towards him and Will felt him laying down, pressing up against the entire side of his body. Will turned his head, burying his face against Benji's shoulder, letting the other man settle himself beside him. Will wrapped his arm around Benji, holding him close, and asked himself if he'd said enough.

He knew why Ethan had lied. Saving his wife's life was worth lying, worth letting everyone think she was truly dead. At the time, Ethan hadn't even known the agents assigned to watch them, wouldn't have had any reason to think of William Brandt any differently than he would have the other agents on the mission.

Had it been him, Will knew, he wouldn't have bothered telling the agents watching over him that the death was faked. They didn't need to know. The fewer people who knew a secret, the less chance it would get revealed. It didn't matter if an agent's feelings got hurt, or if he felt like a failure because the charade had worked the way it had to. Will knew that, accepted that as an IMF agent he might not be privy to the truth behind the scenes even when the lies caused him pain.

That didn't stop it from aching. Didn't make it any easier to let go of the anger at the years he'd lost, thinking he'd failed so profoundly, or the guilt that still clung to him because -- if Ethan hadn't been changing the rules behind their backs, she would be dead. Nothing Will had done, or not done, would have saved Julia's life if Ethan hadn't already had everything under control.

And now he had to trust Ethan, work with him and assume that Ethan would tell him whatever he needed to know to do his job. He knew he would, and did, but he also knew he could never completely trust…anyone.

He was no closer to knowing what he could say to Benji, to explain what was wrong. He felt Benji's hand come up, fingers brushing the side of his face gently. Will opened his eyes, not sure if he was surprised to find Benji looking at him so fiercely.

Benji kissed him, which didn't surprise Will at all, and he was glad enough to drop the failed attempt at conversation in favor of sex. But after the kiss, Benji nudged him back. He looked at Will directly in the eye and said, "We'll never really know if we've been the truth. That's not what we signed up for. All we can do is whatever it takes to finish the jobs we're given. Sometimes we're going to fail. Sometimes we get to blow shit up then get extremely drunk afterwards because Ethan made us jump off things human beings shouldn't be jumping off of."

Will laughed, and Benji gave him a smile. Then his expression sobered.

He continued, "I can't even promise you I'll always tell you the truth. For all I know, someday I will have to lie to you about something important, and it might…you might be the cost of the job." Benji swallowed, controlling himself though Will could see how hard it was. Will nodded; he knew. As much as he wanted things otherwise, as long as he was a field agent he knew that the job would always come first, and if sacrifices needed to be made, he'd make them.

In their line of work, the consequences were too high to do otherwise.

Benji kissed him again, and whispered, harsh and low, "But no matter what, I can promise you that if I fuck you over, I will deeply regret it."

Will blinked at him. Benji looked back, the corner of his mouth quirking slightly. Will closed his eyes and let his head fall sideways, forehead thumping on Benji's cheek.

"Well, I will!" Benji protested, shifting a bit to try to get Will to look at him.

Will held himself still, then he moved, rolling himself on top of Benji and kissing him back. They lay there for a long moment, until Will could feel the tension drain out of Benji's frame and his attention was decidedly elsewhere. He broke the kiss, pressing his hips downwards just enough to make Benji's eyes go wide. Then he said quietly, "If I fuck you over, I'll regret it, too."

He kissed Benji again. Will felt something inside him unravel and he let it go, let his attention travel downwards, outwards, encompassing the man underneath him. They'd be adding to the stains on the duvet, but Will didn't think the motel's housekeeping would mind. They probably wouldn't even notice. He leaned up a little and looked down at Benji. Benji stared back, jaw moving slightly and Will could see him trying to form the actual words.

Will just ducked down and kissed him, hard, swallowing the words that neither of them spoke. Love you, too, Will thought, and he let the worry and fear fade into the background and let Benji's mouth and hands remind him that he had other things to dwell on.
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