"That was really, really lovely."
"Mmmm." Brandt smiled in agreement and slid his hand into Benji's as they made their way along the sidewalk. It was quite late now and the pair had just enjoyed a nice Italian meal. It was one of those rare times where there was enough breathing space between one mission and the next for them to do something as a couple. Lunch undercover on their last job didn't really qualify.
"It's a shame we can't do this more often." Benji offered, looking up briefly at the stars before having to dodge a lamppost.
"Yeah, but at least we had time now." Brandt wrapped his arm around the younger man and placed a soft kiss to his temple. Benji slid his hand around Brandt's waist and rested his head on the analyst's shoulder. He would have quite happily stayed like that forever had it not been for the shiver that ran through him. Brandt noticed this. "Cold?"
"A little, I guess." Benji looked up and spotted a nearby cafe. "Coffee?"
"Sounds great." Brandt flashed one of his gorgeous smiles that made Benji melt and wonder how he got so lucky. What he didn't know was that Brandt often wondered the same thing about Benji. The pair crossed the road and entered the small cafe, glad that it was almost empty due to the late hour. Slipping into a booth, the pair ordered their drinks with the waitress and sat in contented silence for a few moments. They glanced around, noting only one other couple in the café; Benji slid down in his chair slightly and sighed with serenity. When their coffees arrived, the pair sipped them gratefully, enjoying the warm liquid running down their throats. It was nice to have some time off together.
Suddenly, there was a loud bang as the door burst open. Both men jumped and they saw three men entering, all wearing masks and all holding weapons.
Great… Brandt thought to himself, instantly tensing, prepared to protect Benji if needed. One of the men made their way to the other couple, pointing his gun at them, while a second moved across to the agents. The aim of his weapon moved between both of them, his gaze constantly flicking to make sure that neither of them tried anything. They noticed the third man making his way across the room, the young waiter held up his hands in terror as the masked man grabbed him by the scruff of his shirt and dragged him around the counter. Brandt shot a look at Benji, who looked serious yet with a hint of fear behind his eyes. He then looked across at the other goon who was still preoccupied with the couple on the other side of the room. At that moment, he made a spontaneous decision and moved. Grabbing the gun in the man’s hands, he lifted it up and shoved it into the man’s face repeatedly. The man threw a fist out and caught Brandt in the cheek, but he kept going, throwing punches and trying in any way possible to get the weapon off the robber.
Benji watched Brandt move and his eyes widened. The analyst attacked the man with ferocity and speed, leaving the younger agent frozen for a few seconds. When he finally came to his senses, he made to stand up and help, however the man who had been watching the other couple was already on him, grabbing him by his arm. He tried to struggle but was thrown to the floor and as he tried to get up, the butt of the rifle hit his upper back. Forcing him to his stomach, it left him dazed and as he got back up to his knees, he felt the cold barrel of a gun press against the back of his neck. It pushed his head forward so he had to look to the ground, begging that when he looked up again, Brandt would be ok.
Brandt saw movement out of the corner of his eye but didn’t have the time to focus on it as the man threw another punch at him. Ducking to avoid it, he threw three fast punches, two to the stomach and then one to the head, leaving the man out cold. Grasping the gun, he aimed it in the direction of the third robber behind the counter, who immediately rendered the waiter unconscious before stepping over to them. Brandt turned to check on Benji but his heart sank when he saw the younger man on his knees with the gun ready to fire.
“Come on, son.” The third robber said to Brandt, pointing his gun at him in return. “I’m assuming you care about your little friend here. Drop the gun.” Brandt glanced at Benji who shook his head subtly; clearly he didn’t want Brandt to risk anything because of him. The analyst kept his aim on the man, who nodded once at the second robber. The man behind Benji then gave the agent a forceful kick to the side. Brandt watched as Benji groaned slightly and stumbled, but he didn’t fall. He remained on his knees and shot daggers at the man aiming at Brandt. “So?” Brandt turned his gaze back to the third robber and clenched his teeth together. With a sigh, he handed over the gun and looked back to Benji, awaiting whatever would happen next. The man spoke again. “Right, now that you’re being a bit more cooperative, why don’t you come and open the till for me?”
Brandt glared at him for a moment before bringing his eye-line down at where the man was aiming his handgun at his chest. With another quick glance at Benji, who was still on his knees, he squinted marginally and nodded very subtly. The tech seemed to understand what he was getting at nodded slightly in response. The analyst then looked back to his captor and nodded before making his move. Throwing his hand out, he grabbed the gun and dismantled it, much like he had done in Dubai, before hurling part of it across the room. It hit the man holding Benji hostage square in the face, causing him to lose balance and that was when Benji began to move too. The tech reached out and grabbed the man’s rifle, swinging it out to hit the man’s cheek as he stood. He then kneed the robber in the face before delivering another kick which sent him sprawling to the ground.
Brandt, meanwhile, grabbed the back of the third robber’s head, bringing his face down to meet his own knee. Feeling the man’s nose shatter under the force, he took the distraction to grab the first robber’s gun, which he had stuck down the back of his jeans. With a shove, the analyst pushed him to the ground and kicked his face, leaving him unconscious on the floor of the café. Silence fell as all three men lay motionless and the couple had already run outside. Both men stood still for a moment, catching their breath as their brains tried to process what had happened.
“Benji, go check the waiter. I’ll call 911.” Benji nodded and ran across to the young man, who had a very broken nose. Brandt pulled out his phone and called it in, asking for the cops and an ambulance. Once they had both done their jobs, they pulled the three robbers together and, after grabbing some telephone cable, tied them up. They knew they only had a few minutes before the cops arrived, so they got their story straight. Using the fake ID’s Benji had created for such dire circumstances – they had all thought it was a silly idea as they were IMF agents, not fugitives – they managed to create a slightly different explanation of events. They would explain how ‘James’ and ‘Tim’ were out for a coffee when the robbers came in. Once the men had tried to hurt ‘Tim’, ‘James’ lashed out to protect him. There was a scuffle and they managed to come out on top.
Once they had given their statements, the pair left the café quickly and headed down the road. They turned a corner and stopped in an alleyway for a few moments. Benji leant against the wall and let his head drop back against the brick.
“Are you alright?” Brandt asked, turning to place a hand on the side of Benji’s neck.
“I’m fine, thanks to you.” The younger agent smiled and Brandt couldn’t stop himself pressing his lips against Benji’s. When they broke apart, the tech placed a tender hand to the small red mark on Brandt’s cheekbone. “What about you?”
“I’ve had worse.” The analyst’s voice was barely a whisper as he bent down to give Benji another kiss. He pushed against him, savouring the closeness between them as he pressed the younger man into the wall. When he finally pulled away, he smiled at Benji, who kept his eyes closed for a few seconds longer. “Shall we find another café or do you wanna head back to the apartment?”
Benji blinked a few times as he thought about their options. “Well, as much as I enjoyed playing cops and robbers, I think I’m gonna go with the latter.”
“Great.” Brandt nodded stepping back to let Benji move.
“Besides, you’ve got that bottle of scotch I’ve wanted to crack open for ages.” Benji gave Brandt a playful push and laughed.
“Don’t push your luck. That bottle’s for a special occasion.”
“Oh? And kicking three armed robber’s arses whilst we were unarmed isn’t special enough for you? I see how this is.” Benji began to walk away, but Brandt grabbed him around the waist and pulled him backwards, pressing his back against the wall once again. Placing his hands on the wall either side of Benji’s head, he stared directly into the younger man’s eyes. Benji began to laugh. “Fine, fine. We won’t open it. But I will do one day.” Brandt shook his head but Benji continued to protest. “I will!”
“No you won’t.” Brandt winked, before capturing Benji’s lips once more, effectively silencing him.