"So if you follow the follow the weight discrepancy, or as we like to call it, the package—"
"You're the only one who calls it that," said Rebecca. Brian thought it was a perfectly reasonable name; maybe she objected to the gesture that went along with it.
"—you'll see it stops here here here here and here, before ending up at its final destination in, wait for it, San Francisco, where it's still sitting in its shipping container. Go get it, boys and girls! I think my work here is done."
"Well, not the world, just the Pacific Rim, but They never wanted to get it out of the country, they just wanted you to think they did. It's probably bound for some, I don't know, mid-west militia somewhere."
"Well, that's a reassuring thought," said Naz. "Let's hope you're right, and it hasn't already been shipped somewhere else."
"I'm right," said Brian. "About, hmmm, ninety-six percent sure of it anyway."
"Now, since you should have a couple of hours left on your dose—"
Three, actually, but he'd timed it that way on purpose.
"Read those files the legal team sent over? Way ahead of you. The missing document was misfiled under 'unrelated medical diagnoses' between an ingrown toenail and a bout of stress-induced hives, which I'm not sure was deliberate or Freudian but either way the lost is found and sent on to the proper authorities."
"Well you could always—"
"I fixed the lights in H.Q.—actually, I may have invented a new kind of light bulb, but we can talk about the patent implications later—and organized that, uh, little mess I left in there this morning when I was doing that other thing you wanted me to do. And while you were making those phone calls I did background checks on those applications on your desk. Frankly, they've all got things to hide, but I marked the most promising three applicants and left them on top of the pile."
"I never asked you to do that."
"Yeah, but I did, and picked up a little conversational Turkish while I was at it, just in case." And if they were confidential, well, they'd just have to up his clearance a little more. "I think that's enough for one day, don't you?"
"In a hurry to get out of here, Finch?" said Rebecca. "Got a hot date or something?"
"Something like that," said Brian. "Uh, more of a family thing?"
"Those are two very different excuses to get out of work early."
"Technically it's not early," said Brian. "If I were working a standard eight-hour workday I would already be gone."
"Nobody at the FBI works a standard workday," said Naz. "This isn't retail." Brian waited for it, because she might not know it yet herself but he could already see it in her microexpressions. "All right, fine, go. Enjoy your evening."
"I plan to," said Brian, and grabbed his jacket and flashed Rebecca a grin and was out the door before anyone could change their mind.
But that didn't mean he didn't take the time on his way home to help a young go-getter strategize about asking her boss for a raise. That was just good manners, and possibly also just a tiny bit fun.
"There are so many ways in which this is a terrible idea."
That was just about the last thing Brian wanted to hear from himself when he was getting ready to get down and dirty. Not the absolute last, because that would involve, say, statistics on the possibility of him rupturing something mid-coitus (as it were), but it was up there.
"Let me stop you right there," he said, closing the door to his apartment behind himselves, "because this is a brilliant idea. This might be the most brilliant idea I've ever had."
"I know you know the definition of hyperbole."
"Okay, the most fun idea I've ever had."
"Hmm, potentially," said NZT Brian, leaning against the wall by the door and crossing his arms over his chest, "but just how deep do you want to get inside your own head right now? Once you start, you can't turn back."
"That's the whole point," said Brian. And frankly, he was pretty sure he was already past the point of no return. "This is something new. And new is awesome! So come on, get your junk out. Rock out with your cock out, my friend! I've never seen me from this angle before."
"You're the one that dressed me in about fifteen layers. I'm just saying. Some subconscious good judgment maybe?"
"My conscious doesn't even have good judgment, and you think my subconscious will? You don't know me very well, NZT Brian."
"Get out the silk, the towel, and the lube," he said, smirking at him as Brian stepped backwards towards his bedroom. "I know you better than you know you. Are you really ready for that?"
The very fact that he could ask the question meant that Brian wasn't a hundred percent sure he was. But the fact was also he was never a hundred percent sure he was ready for anything and he usually went and did it anyway. Why would this be any different?
It took a few moments, but NZT Brian did follow him into the bedroom. After all, that was where Brian's brain was headed.
Brian had a lot of experience getting naked very quickly, for both practical and very impractical purposes, but he rarely had the opportunity to put his skills to the test anymore. It turned out he was even better at it on NZT, a skillset he hadn't been anticipating but welcomed all the same. Who knew that remembering which buttonhole was slightly smaller and required a bit more twist of the wrist would get him naked appreciably faster?
"Your turn," he said, but when he looked his doppelganger hadn't stripped down but instead changed from a warm sweater, coat and scarf combo to a beachy ensemble. "Really?"
"Hey, buddy, it's your brain," said NZT Brian, and used both hands to frame his package, in a way that he appreciated a lot more than his team at the FBI had. "It's a whale. Get it?"
"My people just don't appreciate how funny I am."
"They really don't," agreed NZT Brian. "I don't know what's up with the clothing, though. Maybe you just want to take your time with it, take them off one by one. Hell, maybe you've got a sand fetish."
"Tell you what you already know? Are you really so much of a narcissist that you're going to get off to the sound of your own voice?"
"It's not a narcissistic thing," he said as he spread himself out on the bed, loose-limbed and smiling, lifting a knee and sliding a hand between his legs. "I just think that if I'm going to use my spectacular powers of recall to have the best sex of my life, it's only fair that I try it out on myself first."
Maybe fair wasn't the exactly right word there, but despite his ability to find the exact right word, it didn't happen to be a priority at the moment.
"Start higher," said NZT Brian finally. "You know you like it when people play with your hair."
Brian didn't usually admit that, and it didn't work quite as well when he did it as when other people did it, but it was still nice to ruffle and stroke and pull; it made him feel more relaxed, and sent a tingle down his spine from where he tugged at the downy hairs at the nape of his neck.
He also liked it when people played with his ears, and his throat, and his collarbones, and he spent some time on each on his way down. Impatience defeated the purpose of this exercise. He was giving himself entirely into his own hands and trusting that he would get himself there on the best ride possible.
"You know what comes next."
He did, and because he couldn't bite at his chest, couldn't nip at his skin, he pinched at his nipples instead. Not too hard, not too soft, just enough to send that breathless pulse down to his groin, that sharp pound of his heart that always took him by surprise even when he was bringing it on himself.
"More," he said. "Make yourself wait for it."
"Why do I hate me so much?" murmured Brian, denying the urge to grab his cock right then and there.
But of course he didn't hate himself. He loved himself very much. Very very much. Because when he finally did trail his hands further down his body, he was so turned on his hair was standing on end and his body shivered when he brushed over a particularly sensitive spot.
"I need more hands," he said. "You remember that threesome we had that time?" One hand on his cock, one had on his thigh, one hand trailing up his chest....
"Remember what she did with her lips?" Brian did, in minute detail. He'd never forgotten. "Remember what he did with his tongue?"
Now that...that Brian had forgotten. He'd been stoned off his ass, though—they all had been, really—so he had a very good excuse.
He remembered now, though. He remembered the the thing, with the stuff, and the...well, there had been a lot more hands at the time so he couldn't replicate the sensation entirely, but he could adapt. He was flexible. In more ways than one, it turned out.
"At least in your head, you do," said NZT Brian. But no, Brian had a mirror, and he knew what he was looking at even when everything was reversed. And if there were minor discrepancies, they were by choice and not because he didn't know, down to the millimeter, how his body was shaped.
"You're going to want to put those a liiiiittle further back."
"I'm going to want to...what?" said Brian. "No, this is good."
"Just who do you think you're talking to anyway? Remember that time, with Johanna Bloom? You know you're into it. You can lie to yourself, but you can't lie to yourself on NZT."
"All right, fine."
"You're the one who wanted to do this," said NZT Brian. "Don't blame me if your best sex ever isn't what you were expecting it to be. Go on. You know what to do."
Good enough that Brian saw flashes of light behind his eyes and forgot to breathe once or twice; no, not forgot, just couldn't. He was most of the way before he started that. Now all he needed to do was touch his cock and he was done, done, and there would be no stopping it now, no matter what he did.
Because he could—actually, because he couldn't help himself when he thought of it—Brian worked out the estimated force and trajectory of his ejaculate, in the moments before the moments when he wasn't able to work out anything at all, and thought if he was fast enough he could catch it all before it landed. But, and here was the kicker, he totally missed because he couldn't remember ever coming this hard before. He didn't have the data.
NZT Brian wasn't there for the afterglow, while Brian shifted and caught his breath and pushed his hair back with an equally sweaty hand. But that was good, because the one thing he couldn't do was touch him, and if Brian couldn't be held right now then it was better not to see anyone there at all.
Of course there were plenty of things he hadn't tried out yet, but great sex was like a recipe. You didn't just throw everything into a pot and stir. And there were plenty of different ways to get a delicious dish.
According to the bedside clock he still had some time before the NZT wore off, and given his age and average refractory period...yeah, he could go again. He could definitely go one more time.
"Brian?" he said. "You still there, buddy?"
Maybe even two, if he kept the recipe short.