Author's Note: One shot Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol drabble. I like Agents Carter and Brandt and wish that (1) they'd had a moment in the film b/c I think they'd make a good couple, and (2) that there were more fanfics out there about them. So I thought I'd provide a little light fluff—and Benji's around as well (because who doesn't love Simon Pegg)!
SPOILERS: This is one take on what I imagine would have happened at the end of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol after we see the team disband with their new phones in hand.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters from MI:GP.
A Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol Short Story
Agent Jane Carter turned around when she heard Agent William Brandt's voice from down the pier. She kept her hands in her jacket, the position preventing her from noticing the sensitive tenderness on her abdomen from where she'd been recently shot. While someone else might read her body posture as distant, the smile tugging on her mouth clued him into her truer feelings.
"Hey...William..." She tested using his first name on her tongue. It was a little odd, which was how it always was when you worked in an industry based on last names, code names, and aliases. It always felt especially personal-almost intimate-when you used real names.
"Hey," he returned when he was only a few feet in front of her. He pulled his hands into his own jacket.
"So...?" she asked expectantly.
"What?" he replied, a facade of innocence on his face.
She quirked an eyebrow. "Did you?"
"Did I what?"
"You know..." she said, insistently.
She sighed heavily, letting her long hair fall around her face as a sign of frustration. She ran her fingers through the black waterfall of locks, unveiling her face again. "Aren't you incorrigible," she sighed. Brandt had to catch himself from responding to just how beautiful...and beautifully deadly...this woman was. He finally raised his hands in a defeated pose, palms outward. Jane's eyes followed to his dominant hand, wherein he held a smart phone similar to the one she had in her pocket. The ones Ethan had handed out.
"You mean this?" he asked innocently, using his free hand to point to the occupied one.
"Yes, exactly," she replied with laughter in her voice. "I almost thought...you wouldn't want to return to this world so soon." For the briefest moment, she thought she saw his eyes fall, as though hurt by her implications. "I only mean that this was all thrust on you again. I thought you might need more time to figure out your next step." He nodded in understanding, but could see she wasn't done. "Anyways, I'm glad you decided to stick around."
He smiled, speaking softly, 'Yeah, I guess I can't stay away..."
She felt a butterfly emerge in her stomach, a flutter she needed to immediately ground from flying around. He was way too charming for his own good. "Yeah, Benji would certainly be disappointed. As would Ethan."
"That all...?" said Brandt, his hands back in his pockets as he playfully nudged her arm with his elbow.
"That's all you're getting right now," she teased as she began to slowly walk away from him.
He nodded. It wasn't much, but it was an encouraging little nothing much in his mind. "So...what did Ethan do that was so 'hunch'-worthy?" She could hear what sounded like suspicious nonchalance in his tone. Jane felt a smile tug at the corner of her mouth yet again as she turned around. Brandt was leaning against one of the pillar-like structures on this part of the pier, arms crossed, as though he had not a care in the world. "Back in India, I mean," he specified once she'd drawn closer.
She sized him up, almost getting drawn into his beautiful eyes, before saying, "He kissed me."
Brandt couldn't catch himself fast enough when his face fell into one of shock and mild jealously. "He did what?"
She really couldn't hold in the smile that was threatening her calm demeanor. "He kissed me. And it worked. Nath got jealous seeing that. Next thing I know, I'm getting a personal invite to see his 'collection.'" She perched herself on a nearby picnic table, arms crossed in a mirror image to Brandt.
"Well...I'm glad." He didn't sound glad.
"You could've fooled me."
"No, I'm serious! Had he not...'helped you out,'" he repeated with emphasis on her words, "I would've been cooked alive by that computer." All the while speaking, Brandt walked slowly towards her. She wanted to stand up, become her actual height, but she could feel her muscles freeze and her cheeks grow warmer at his looming approach. He stopped just in front of her. "And that would've been a Hell of a bad tan to explain to anyone."
"Well, you're welcome then," Jayne teased. "Though next time, I really would prefer if you seduced the bad guy. It's draining."
Brandt quirked his eyebrow. "What exactly did you do?"
She shook her head. "Now Agent Brandt, a lady doesn't kiss and tell."
"You kissed Ethan and told me about it!" he countered.
She shook her finger. "Hey, you asked." She softened, reaching forward to fix the collar of Brandt's jacket. She could feel his shoulders stiffen at her touch. It gave her courage. He was off-kilter as well... "And maybe next time, I can be the one to rescue you," she admitted.
Brandt stared back into her beautiful eyes and smiled. "You say that...but I wouldn't be surprised if you left me to fend for myself, laughing in some nearby bushes."
She smirked. "I may be tricky and sneaky, but I'm not mean."
He quirked his brow again.
"Well, not unless you cross me" she defended.
He chuckled, taking it upon himself to reach out and send a loose strand of her hair out of her face. "I believe you."
She really had to refrain from leaning into his touch. "We should go..."
He nodded, but leaned forward hesitantly to plant a kiss on her cheek. When he pulled away, his eyes twinkled with something she couldn't easily read. "Thanks for saving me."
"When?" she asked, seemingly mesmerized.
"You hadn't gotten the info from Nath, and I would've possibly died. I owe you, Agent Carter."
"Hmm, and how do you expect to pay me back?" she asked, moving from the table to circle him, carefully putting some much needed distance between them.
"Depends on whether you feel like playing my hunch?" he asked.
She stopped moving and looked at his face with sincerity. He shrugged jokingly, but there were cracks in his poker face. There was something in that statement, something she couldn't quite confirm. But her responding smile radiated the atmosphere.
"I think I'd like that."
Just as Brandt opened his mouth, a familiar British voice called down to them. "Hey guys! Guys!"
Brandt and Jane turned towards Agent Benji Dunn with respective grins. When Benji was alongside them, his attention immediately turned to Brandt. "Well?"
Jane turned to Brandt as well, who sighed. He pulled the matching phone out of his pocket. Benji's face lit up with glee. "Wicked!"
Brandt rolled his eyes. "Honestly, you two have 'Is Brandt joining the team officially?' one-track minds. I imagine if I'd said no, you would've hunted me down and dragged me on the next mission anyways, right?"
"Oh please, the dramatics aren't necessary. Heaven forbid we actually like you enough to want you to stick around. Plus you'd miss us too much not to join up. Something about extreme situations bringing people together. …Or am I stealing line that from Speed?" said Benji in one breath. Though he paused to mirror Brandt's "annoyed" stance, the men quickly exchanged grins. Benji shifted his attention to Jane and offered her his arm. Pleasantly surprised, Jane took it without a beat. "You feeling all right, Jane? In all serious, without Ethan here to be all fatherly-supervisory, you can be honest with us..." Benji glanced at Brandt before adding with an exaggerated, loud whisper, "Well, you can trust me anyways. This bloke's still a bit too diva..."
"I can hear you, Benji."
Jane sighed. "I'm...getting there. Will need a bit of physical therapy, but I'm lucky. No major damage done. So no need to worry, okay? I'll be fit for the next job" She squeezed Benji's arm before turning to Brandt. "That goes for you, too."
"Can't make promises, love, but we can at least regale you with our shenanigans as we get to know each other better," Benji spoke up. "Alas, poor Brandt, we barely know ye."
"Ha! It's funny cuz it's Shakespeare and you're British," Brandt responded dryly, mimicking something Benji had said during their mission.
"See? Sarcastic arse with charm! Good fit to the team," Benji joked back. "Speaking of which, how about some food before we part ways for the night? Amazing how much saving the world can make you famished."
"I think I could be persuaded," Jane replied.
Benji gently removed Jane's arm from his own as he pulled out his normal phone. "Great! I'll give Ethan a ding, see if he hasn't done his creepy ghost disappearance thing yet and might have room for a bite." Benji moved away while placing the call. The while, Brandt looked at Jane and offered her his arm. Shyly, but as coolly as she could muster, she accepted the gesture. It was too late, she feared. While she felt some guilt at the feelings brewing when Trevor had died only recently, she couldn't deny that there was something about Brandt…William…that had hooked her.
"Well, seems he's done for the night. So looks like it's just us three!" said Benji a moment later. "And I think I know a good place around here."
"Lead on then, Benj," Brandt encouraged. "By the way, I'm still impressed by that shot that took out Wistrom. I didn't know you had that in you."
"Oh yeah. That was pretty badass, wasn't it," Benji jokingly replied, though his modesty shone through.
"Yeah, it was quick, clean, and quiet," said Brandt, making the mental note that the weight of Jane's hand on his arm felt nice. The analyst side of him warned him of the dangers behind this warmth that refused to leave him. Theirs was a dangerous line of work, with risky statistics regarding survival. And dating co-workers was rarely ever a good idea.
"I'm sorry I missed it," Jane kidded, squeezing Brandt's arm. He made the mistake of looking into her face, seeing her clear amusement and how infectious it was—yeah, he was a goner.
"You think that was clean?" Benji tacked on. "You should see me hunting quail. I know that's not really much of a thing here in the states, but I've been drug on my fair share of the tradition back home. Why, this one time, my Uncle Shaun..." he went on, launching into an animated story while the trio strolled down the pier into the night. Riding the adrenaline high of a mission accomplished, and considering the newfound relationships emerging, none of them could imagine being anywhere else.
Reviews are always, always welcomed! Thanks for reading!