hunt/brandt ; mission: impossible - ghost protocol ; 2081 words ; mature
| A series of mornings seen through the eyes of William Brandt. |
a/n: this is nowhere near as serious as the summary makes it out to be. no, really. this is mostly a pile of self-indulgent fluff. i started writing this for hope_calaris for her prompt 'slow mornings' and it was a drabble and then it turned into…this…thing, idek.
also at ao3 here.
Brandt's never exactly been a morning person.
He can wake up early, sure, and he can be pleasant enough, get whatever job needs doing, done, no complaints. But that doesn't mean he likes it. Doesn't mean he's all chipper, bright-eyed and bushy tailed when the sun rolls around to pierce through his curtains.
Those people, the ones who come back from basic training, spouting nonsense like "it's written into your bones, man" and "it never leaves you, it's like clockwork, always up at five and not one second later", yeah, those ones? He wants to find them, and laugh in their fucking faces before punching them out because no.
He sure as shit never feels wide awake and raring to go at dawn. Which is exactly why he's been scowling at the digital numbers blinking 06:18 from his alarm clock since it went off, stubbornly curled up in his comforter, attempting to formulate a plan wherein he somehow gets caffeine into his system without having to leave the bed.
He jumps when a mug drops into his vision, watches as Ethan gracelessly places it onto the bedside table (and Brandt can't help but wrinkle his nose when some sloshes over the rim onto the table) before he leans over to drop a kiss on Brandt's forehead.
"Coffee. Drink up."
He could get attached to this one.
Thundering hard, with a thick enough blanket of cloud to make it dark enough to question whether it's even morning.
The light filtering into his apartment is dim and muted. It feels very quiet.
Brandt watches the raindrops as they hit the glass, counts them until the droplets start running rivulets into one another, sliding down, down, down––
He closes his eyes.
Brandt stretches out languidly on his stomach, sheets tangling between his thighs. Curls his toes and lets out a breathy sigh.
Hours or maybe seconds later, he wakes to the feel of Ethan tracing shapes against the skin of his lower back. He's pressed up against Brandt's side, chin settled against his shoulder. Brandt shifts a little closer and focuses on the feel of the pads of Ethan's fingers trailing across his skin. He just traces nonsense at first, but Brandt can't help but notice when the soft curves slowly transform into letters.
la mia rove–– and then Ethan stops, cuts himself off. Flattens his palm against Brandt's skin, hot and encompassing, like he's trying to erase the letters.
Brandt makes a soft questioning sound, and Ethan presses a kiss to his shoulder, shushes him quiet.
And then he begins again. Brandt shapes the movements against his skin into words.
l'appel du vide
"You would," he murmurs sleepily. He feels Ethan smile against his shoulder and something hot uncurls in his chest. Ethan's hand slides around Brandt's hip, thumb stroking a steady rhythm. Brandt ends up breathing in time to it.
They stay like that, tangled up in the sheets (in each other), until the rain stops.
"Ugh, ten miles? Before it's even light out? Right now?" he whines between sips of the coffee cradled in his hands. Brandt glances to the left and can't help but start suspiciously eyeing the dawn light that's just filtering in underneath the curtains.
It's not like he didn't know that Ethan likes to run in the morning (had shadowed him enough miles in Croatia to know that he really liked to, enough to leave Brandt tired and aching every time he hobbled back to his team), but ten miles seems a bit…excessive. And also an effort. And very much a thing Brandt would never like to start doing, thanks.
Ethan just laughed, in that enviable, disarming way of his, crossing the room to press him up against the counter, warm hands slipping under Brandt's threadbare shirt. Ethan's thumbs fit into the hollow of his hipbones and Brandt shivers a little at the sensation.
"So, I'm a morning person. Sue me."
Brandt puts his coffee to one side before curling a hand around the nape of Ethan's neck and says very solemnly "Look, I like you as a person and everything, and you make excellent coffee and––"
"––I'm great in bed," Ethan interrupts.
"Yes, the sex is great," and Brandt has to let out a put upon sigh at Ethan's grin, "but I think you need to understand that I am in no way enamoured with you enough to forgo sleep so we can go running at all hours of the morning."
"As if you don't already sleep half the day away when given the opportunity," Ethan says, and Brandt's not even going to argue against that because sleep is pretty much the best thing ever invented in his opinion and he's not going to apologise for taking advantage of it considering most of his life is spent being forced to stay awake for 24+ hour stretches whilst being battered and beaten on field missions. Field missions Ethan drags him on.
He says as much.
"I don't drag you on them," Ethan huffs, but he sounds a little uncertain, like maybe he actually had manipulated Brandt back into the field without realising, and no, nope, he's nipping that in the bud before it goes any further.
Brandt kisses him, says "No, I suppose you don't," and then kisses him once more for good measure.
And this apparently solves the former issue, because Ethan leans into him, tilts his jaw and licks into Brandt's mouth, pulling him away from the counter and walking him back toward the bedroom.
"I thought you wanted to go running," Brandt gasps out when he hits the mattress, Ethan already curving over him and pressing him down into the sheets.
"I thought you wanted to go back to sleep," Ethan says against Brandt's neck before biting down and leaving a mark that he very clearly intends to be visible when Brandt leaves the apartment later.
"Touché," he moans, and then Ethan rolls his hips and they don't do much talking after that.
Brandt stares emptily at the ceiling.
His body is screaming at him, too much exertion, not enough energy (not enough sanity, not at this point, not anymore). He's arranged on the bed at such an angle that the midmorning sunlight slanting through the shutters of the safehouse glares into his eyes. He closes them (yellows and golds and pure white explode behind his eyelids). He notes that at least three of his ribs are broken when he clumsily shifts his body onto its side.
Some part of him is dimly aware of the presence of Jane on the other side of the bedroom door, slightly stressed, mostly tepid, attempting to wind herself down by taking apart her gun, then putting it back together. He listens to the click of the mechanisms as they slot in and out of place. Apart. Together. Apart. Together. Rinse and repeat.
He only knows someone else has returned when there's silence from Jane.
The door creaks open, hinges rusty, unused. The bed dips and then there's warm weight unfolding behind him, lips against the base of his neck.
"Will," Ethan hums against his skin.
He doesn't respond, just relaxes into the body behind him, curling into the warmth there. Ethan's hand trails over his torso (checking for injuries and bruising, Brandt knows, even though Ethan probably has much worse littering his own body), and Brandt hisses when he presses curiously at his ribs. Ethan makes a strange little sound, one part apologetic, two parts reprimanding, before letting his hand come to rest loosely around Brandt's wrist, thumb against his pulse point.
Brandt watches the progression of sunlight across the tile floor for the next few hours.
They were meant to have left seven minutes ago.
Or at least that's what Brandt's clock tells him, but he's been in a bit of a haze since Ethan ambushed him walking out the shower, slipping his towel off and easing him down onto the sheets. Ethan had kissed him into a lazy stupor, making an anticipatory heat slink down his spine, frustrated and aching until he'd let Ethan's hand slip between his thighs.
After that everything had got a bit blurry.
Brandt's legs are spread around Ethan's hips, and he feels a little wanton, a little dirty, Ethan fully dressed and Brandt entirely bare and messy, still coming down from the shockwaves of his orgasm. Ethan's fingers skate up the inside of his thighs and Brandt arches in the touch, feels enough flicker of oversensitivity for his cock to twitch again in interest.
Shit, it's way too early for this.
"What was that for?" Brandt says into Ethan's shoulder, still a little breathless.
"I forgot to make coffee this morning," Ethan says, matter of fact.
Brandt laughs until Ethan's fingers curl into his thighs, hard enough to leave a bruise, and when he looks up Ethan's eyes have darkened considerably and Brandt's tilting his hips up almost without thought and oh, okay, here they go again–
There is nothing to do but wait.
That's what he tells himself (every hour, every minute, every second) out here on the rooftop, peering down the scope of the rifle into the tiny apartment window from the building across the way.
Early morning darkness shelters him, but it's still freezing, subzero temperatures, and he's surprised his shaking hands haven't already set off the trigger and blown the whole operation.
(He tells himself that's why his hands are shaking, but he knows it's instead a deadly combination of nerves and adrenalin, Brandt still not having yet slot himself back into the groove of field work.)
He watches through the tiny circle, follows Ethan as he walks through the room whilst setting up a deal with the mark, and it's fine, it's all going perfectly fine until it isn't.
There's a crash and there's a struggle and there's a twitch of muscle and there's a bullet through the chest.
"Right through the heart. Impressive," Ethan eventually says through the comm. He sounds completely calm.
Brandt starts to breathe again.
Something that will forever surprise Brandt is the handful of mornings when Ethan will come back to bed.
Times when he's warm and soap scented, hands gentle and reverent across Brandt's skin. Times when Ethan gets particularly quiet and tactile, and so separate from how Brandt usually sees him outside the apartment. Times when Ethan's eyes aren't so completely shuttered. Times when he's not so invulnerable.
Brandt savours those mornings more than any other.
He starts a little when he hears his bathroom door click open (not enough to be noticeable, but enough to make his heart skip once and for his senses to focus sharply; times when private training leaks into the everyday). He listens as Ethan pads across the floor and he fails to stop his breath from catching when he realises how achingly familiar the sound is to him now.
Brandt waits for Ethan to continue the routine, listens for the tell-tale sounds of him preparing the coffee pot, but he senses a pause and then Ethan's slipping under the sheets, still a little damp from the shower. Brandt rolls over to curl into him, cranes his neck a little to lazily drop a kiss against Ethan's shoulder and pleasure curls in his stomach when Ethan tangles his legs with his.
Ethan's hand slides into his hair before moving lower, and lower still, branding a trail down the length of his back. Brandt's spine arches like a bow, and he moans low and soft, eyes fluttering shut.
"Oh," Ethan murmurs into his hair, all quiet and secretive, like he's uttering a confession. "Oh, I'm keeping you."
And then Ethan's kissing him, and it feels heady, too much and not enough all at once, and Brandt's still sleepy enough to go boneless against him, melting into Ethan's touch and taste and scent and he thinks:
His room is bathed in darkness when Brandt is alerted to footsteps quieted by the plush carpet of his bedroom, the kind of dense black that comes just before the sun rises.
Brandt's instincts flicker on (forever ingrained into his muscles, bones, blood) and he stiffens, body already kicking into gear before his mind's caught up, but then a hand's sliding into his hair, thumb rubbing a soothing circle behind his ear and he's relaxing again, muscles loose even before Ethan murmurs, "Shh, go back to sleep, Will."
So, he does.
la mia rovina | italian; my downfall
l'appel du vide | french; call of the void; the urge some people get to jump from high places when they encounter them.