The problem with saving the world from a mad man, Will mused, was that even if no one could officially acknowledge that you’d done it and that even when you had done it when you were, technically, part of the traitorous dead, you were now expected to be able to do it again. At least this time they had support and tech that Benji had assured him, repeatedly and with illustrations (though thankfully the threatened puppets had not emerged), would work. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust anyone but Benji to run the equipment. It was simply that he tended to have more confidence in the man who’d killed to save him then in some operative he’d only met two days before. The fact that he got to lean over Benji’s back and rest a hand on his shoulder for balance while listening to Benji wallowing in his element, well, that was simply a bonus.
“So, you’re finally going to get to wear a mask. What is it about the masks, anyway, they’re hot and itchy and it’s a pain in the ass to get all the adhesive off. Be glad you shaved right before you’re putting this one on, otherwise you’ll learn what women go through getting ready for bathing suit season.” Will indulged himself with a quick squeeze to Benji’s shoulder, then stepped back.
“Bathing suit season, what do you, oh. Oh.” Benji flushed slightly, eyes going a bit wide. “Right.” He cleared his throat and Will bit back a grin. Flustered was a great look on Benji. “I’ll be sure to keep that in mind.” Benji turned back to surveying the array of equipment on the table. “I’ve always loved Halloween best.” He shrugged, nudging an ear piece with a fingertip. “Besides, techs don’t get to wear them, other than for testing. So.”
“So it’s more than time for you to find out how much better your own face is.” Will kept his back to Benji, letting Benji take that how he would. He pulled out his own ear piece then slid it on. “Check, check one two.”
“Loud and clear.” Ethan’s voice sounded low in his ear. “Anna Maria back yet? She said she should be back in five.”
The door opened as if on Ethan’s command, not that it would surprise Will if it was. Ethan wore it lightly, but there was a power to him that compelled the world to align to his will. It would have terrified Will if he wasn’t sure that Ethan would use it for good. “She just came in.” He was proud of the way his voice was even and calm, betraying none of the bone deep loathing he had for the tech assigned to help them. It wasn’t fair, he knew that. She was smart and capable and worshiped the ground Benji walked on and he wanted to shove her right out the door of the van. Preferably while going over a bridge or possibly a vat of acid. He’d picked up that Benji was something of a legend to the IMF techs and that was fine. That was great, fantastic, Benji should be acknowledged for what he did. But there was a world of difference between great professional admiration and huge eyed hero worship by a stunning red head with a quick mind and curves that even he admired. Not that he was jealous that she made Benji smile and stand a little prouder. Of course not. That would be ridiculous.
“Okay,” she sounded a little breathless. “The cameras are in place and working, Agents Hunt and Carter are downstairs and here.” She reached out, taking Benji’s hand and pressing something into his palm. “These have longer range and better dynamics so we should get more information, even with the background noise.” She straightened Benji’s lapels. “You’re all set.”
“Thanks.” Benji took a deep breath then shot Will a quick smile. “Show time.”
Will snorted. “Sure thing, Mr. Barnum.” His hand twitched, trying not to reach up and help as Benji slipped on the mask. “Remember, no rush, you’ve got at least half an hour, probably more once he sees Jane in that dress.”
“She went with the red one then, good choice, two people walked clean into posts when she tried it on.” A stranger’s face and a stranger’s voice and Will blinked hard at being on this side of watching a transformation. “I’m off then, back in a bit.” He strode out of the room, even his gait altered to fit the person he was now supposed to be.
“Keep a close eye on him.” He didn’t bother keeping the harshness from his tone. To her credit, Anna Maria nodded, eyes locked on the screens. Will slipped out of the room, forcing himself to walk calmly towards the loading bay. It was going to be fine, it would. It wasn’t as if Benji hadn’t proven he could take care of himself in the past. Will trotted down the stairs, then out the back door, heading for that spot on the side of the building that gave him a clean line of sight towards the office that contained Benji’s objective. Benji could take care of himself, Jane would have no problems distracting everyone with a pulse and Ethan would keep an eagle eye on the guards. Will reached up, sliding the pack off the roof of the overhang, then ducked into the corner, taking long, even breaths as he set the scope so that he could see through the window. He’d stay right here, watching Benji’s back, just in case.
He couldn’t decide if it was infuriating or calming that Benji’s usual constant chatter was gone now. It was a credit to Benji that he could stay in character and tamp down his natural impulse to talk. Will missed it, though, missed the constant low background hum of Benji’s voice. Even if it a stranger’s tones, he wanted to hear those bizarre observations that only Benji would think to make. He concentrated on filtering out the background noises, trying to make sure he didn’t miss anything. You never knew what random comment might turn out to be valuable in the future.
“Thank you, I’ll let you know when I’m finished.” Will frowned. Benji’s voice sounded thick, almost as if he had something in his throat. Damn it all to hell. He knew, he knew that something would break. Benji’s field skills were increasing at an amazing rate but even he couldn’t suddenly pull off a thick Southern accent. Will settled the stock more firmly in his shoulder, just in case. The lights came on in the office and Will blinked to clear the sudden flare from his vision.
“I’m in.” This time there was no mistaking the way that Benji cleared his throat. “Setting up access now.” Will could just barely make out the tapping of keys. “Confirm link.”
“Confirmed. Upload started, complete in two minutes.” Anna Maria sounded pleased. “It’s going perfectly.”
“Great, I’ll be out,” there was a sudden noise that sounded terrifyingly like choking. “Did you use the blue or the green bottle?”
Will frowned, confused. What the hell did that mean? He heard Benji try to clear his throat again.
“The blue, why?” Anna Maria sounded as confused as he did. “That’s how,”
“Philip, I need you back at the bar.” Ethan cut in, voice perfectly even and calm. “We’re out of gin.”
Will took off at a run, heart pounding. Something was wrong. Something was terribly, desperately wrong and he had no idea what. He skidded around the corner, barely taking the time to make sure the hall was clear before yanking the door open, stepping in then slamming the door shut behind him. “Back.”
“Go to the black pack on the floor, open the side pocket. There should be a long silver pen inside.” Ethan instructed and Will dropped to a knee, yanking the zip open and digging inside. He groped through the pocket, the seconds stretching out before he felt something smooth. He pushed to his feet, hand clenched around the pen. “Got it.” He glanced down, heart in his throat when he looked at what he was holding.
“Go. We’ll clear the way. You know how to use that, right?” There was only the faintest stress in Ethan’s voice. Just enough to make it clear he was as terrified as Will.
“Yeah.” He barely registered the look of confusion on Anna Maria’s face before he took off again, not bothering to check the hall. If anyone saw him, all the worse for them.
Sure enough, the hall was clear, though there was the tell tale hint of ozone in the air that let him know that Jane had been through, probably just moments before. He yanked open the office door, eyes darting around the room, holding his breath until he saw the corner of foot behind a desk. He slid over the desk, landing on the floor next to the body lying there. He pulled the pen out of his pocket, flipped off the top with his thumb, then slammed it into Benji’s thigh. He forced himself to slow down, to smoothly and calmly count to ten before he lifted his hand away. He looked up, letting out a breath when Benji’s eyes began to flutter open. “Stay there, don’t move yet.” Will knelt next to him, hands pressing down lightly on Benji’s shoulders. “Give it minute, nod if you understand.” There was a tiny nod and Will nodded back. “Just a bit more, then we’re getting the hell out of here.” Benji nodded again, then his eyes darted up and to the side. He did it again and Will frowned, trying to figure out what Benji wanted. “I don’t understand.” Again and this time a finger lifted as well. Will followed the direction Benji was pointing, then he scrambled to his feet. “Confirm upload complete.”
“Confirmed. Complete.” Anna Maria’s voice shook. “Terminating connection now.”
Will saw the light on the drive flash red and he yanked it out, shoving it into his pocket. “On our way back.” He knelt next to Benji again, sliding an arm under him. “Ready.” Benji nodded and Will helped him up, arm sliding around his waist. They made their way to the door, Will’s attention divided between making sure Benji didn’t collapse and making sure the way was clear. A side door opened and Will’s gun was up and out before he even thought. Jane didn’t even bat an eye. “This way.” She held the door open and Will herded them through the door, out a few steps and then all but threw Benji into the waiting van. Jane jumped in behind him and Will heard what he presumed was her shutting and locking the door. His attention was focused on Benji, on yanking off that damned mask and peeling the tape off his throat and loosening his tie and trying to will him to open his eyes.
“Move, he needs,” Ethan shoved him out of the way, an oxygen mask in his hands and Will fell to the side, watching as Ethan pressed the mask over Benji’s nose and mouth. “Breathe, breathe for me, that’s it, breathe, nice and slow.” Ethan’s voice again, strong and sure. “Do it, Dunn.” Will watched Benji’s chest rise and fall, rise and fall as he did what Ethan said. Will reached out, grabbing Benji’s hand and holding tight. He felt Benji squeeze back and Will dropped his head forward, letting everything but the sound of Benji’s choked gasps fall away.
“What the hell happened, Ethan?” Will shoved a chair, taking some small satisfaction in the way Anna Maria jumped when the chair slammed into the wall. “What the hell happened to him?” He paced back and forth, running a hand through his hair. “What the hell.” He went to grab another chair, but Jane’s hand on his arm stopped him.
“Brandt, calm down.” She kept her eyes locked on Anna Maria, her grip starting to hurt. “I’m sure there’s an explanation.”
“I don’t,” Anna Maria glanced back and forth between them, eyes skittering away from Ethan’s steady glare. “I don’t know what happened.”
“When you made the compound for the mask, did you use the green bottle or the blue?” Ethan didn’t take his eyes off her face. He hadn’t since they’d been shown here after the emergency crew met them and whisked Benji away.
“The blue, of course, that’s the prescribed mixture, I don’t know what could have happened, there was no indication of any type of fumes or chemical triggers on any of the servers.” Anna Maria looked over to Jane. “I don’t understand.”
“You did review the specs before starting, of course.” Ethan took a step closer to her and Will instinctively backed up. He could feel the rage radiating from Ethan from across the room. “Of course you did, so you knew that you needed to alter the formula to prevent Agent Dunn from having an allergic reaction.”
“What?” Anna Maria blinked hard. “An allergic reaction?”
“Yes. The standard formulation uses a base that allows for a quick dissolve when removed and the counter agent applied. This is an organic compound that is peanut based so it is essential to confirm that the person who will be wearing the mask has no allergies when setting up the compound.” Anna Maria’s eyes went wide. “As you should have known, after all, it’s one of the first lessons Benji gave you when he taught you how to make one.” Ethan turned his back on her. “I’m going to see if there’s an update.” He walked out, the soft snick of the door echoing louder than a slam.
“I didn’t, he didn’t say, I didn’t think to ask, oh God.” Anna Maria slumped over the table, head in her hands. “Oh God.”
Will slumped against the wall, pressing the palms of his hands into his eyes. “Ethan knew he’s allergic?”
“Yes.” He felt someone tugging his hands away. He looked down, focusing on Jane’s fingers wrapped around his. “They’ve worked together a long time and you know how Ethan is about knowing everything.”
“Yeah. Good thing. Christ, he was so happy he finally got to wear that damned mask. He was lying there and all he cared was that we got the info. He was lying there, choking to” Will broke off, clutching desperately at Jane’s hands. “He has to be okay. He has to be okay.”
“He will be, you got there in time, he’s going to be fine, he will. Brandt. William. Will.” She grasped his chin, forcing him to look at her. “He’s going to be fine.” She smiled faintly. “You can’t really think that Ethan’s going to let him be taken out by a peanut?”
That startled a strangled laugh out of him. “God, can you even imagine? He’d be so pissed.” Jane grinned at him and he grinned back and then he was laughing and then her arms were around him and his face was pressed into her neck and he was shaking, from laughter or terror, he couldn’t tell.
“Will?” He jerked awake, nearly knocking heads with Ethan. “Hey, sorry, didn’t mean to startle you.” Ethan slid into the chair next to him while Will blinked, trying to bring his brain back online.
“No, it’s fine, I didn’t realize I’d fallen asleep.” Will stretched, wincing as his back popped. “How’s Benji?”
“Sleeping. Stable. He’s going to be fine, they’re running some more tests. You’d think they were vampires with all the blood they’ve taken.” Ethan yawned. “You should go see him.”
Will blinked at him. “You think I should go see him?”
“Better that than you sitting here trying to see how high stress can drive your blood pressure.” Ethan yawned again. “I’ve got to say, I’m impressed that you managed not to strangle Anna Maria.”
“I figured you’d be pissed if you didn’t get to do it yourself.” Will pushed back, then stood, glancing at the clock. “Whatever you’re going to do, I want in on it.”
“You’ve got it.” Ethan settled into the chair, leaning his head back and closing his eyes. “You know if you hurt him, I’ll make sure everyone finds your body, right?”
Will stared, sure that his mouth was hanging open. “I. You. We aren’t. He’s not.” He cleared his throat, trying to start over. “Look, I know I haven’t been nearly as subtle as I like to think, but I gave up on going after straight guys awhile back. That never ends well for anyone.”
“Benji’s not straight, he’s too damn picky for his own good.” Ethan cracked an eye, the glare still effective even when he was nearly asleep. “He’s not in love with me either, apparently he doesn’t go for straight married guys.”
“And he’s okay with you telling me this?” Will rubbed the back of his neck, letting out a long sigh. “Don’t mess with me on this. Please.”
Ethan sat back up. “I’m not. And he’ll probably be furious that I told you but I’m not going to sit here and watch you two dance around each other. Life’s too short, as tonight nearly proved.” He leaned back again. “Do me one favor though?”
“Sure, what?” Will stopped, hand on the door handle. He still wasn’t entirely sure he was awake, wasn’t sure that this wasn’t some kind of dream, but he could feel hope unfurling in his chest.
“Watch out for Jane, I have a sneaking suspicion that she’s going to try to get video of you two making out. I overheard something scarring about it being hot and promising to share and yeah.” Ethan waved a hand at him. “Down the hall to the left, four doors down, they know to let you in.”
“Right. So. I’m just going to go then.” Will slipped out the door, trying not to think about Jane and video and his hands cupping the back of Benji’s head and tilting to the perfect angle to slide his mouth up the side of his throat. He shook his head, trying to chase away that image. It wasn’t the time or place to be thinking that. Though maybe soon. He smiled for what felt like the first time in years. Maybe soon.
It was a little surreal to see Benji lying there in what looked like a nice, high end hotel room while also hooked up to a variety of monitors. The noise was strangely soothing, the nice, steady beep beep beep assuring him that Benji was there and alive and apparently doing fairly well. Will settled into a chair next to the bed, trying not to disturb Benji. It looked like he was deeply asleep and that was probably what he needed most right now. Will looked him over, letting his eyes linger on Benji’s mouth. His lips still had the faintest tinge of blue to them and Will couldn’t help but reach up, skimming his fingertips over them. Benji’s lips were warm and Will felt the last tension ease out of his shoulders. Benji was here and safe and fine and apparently not hopelessly off limits. Will scooted the chair closer, leaned his head against the bed and let his eyes drift shut again. They’d talk when Benji woke up. There would be time enough for that now.
“You know, it’s really not fair.” Will blinked awake at the sound of Benji’s voice. Benji was stroking the back of his neck and Will arched into it before he could stop himself. “I shaved and everything.” That made Will look up and there Benji was, awake and smiling at him, eyes sparkling with mischief. “Though I think this may still be preferable to yanking the hair by my bits out by the roots.” Will stared at him and Benji grinned and then Will started laughing helplessly. “Well it is!”
“You are mad. You are absolutely and utterly completely insane.” Will rolled his eyes, then hopped up onto the bed, Benji helpfully scooting over to give him room.
“I’m not the one who jumps down air shafts, mate.” Benji’s hand covered his, warm and alive and Will closed his eyes and breathed out a thanks. To God, the Universe, to whatever that gave him this moment.
“Yeah, well, you said you’d catch me.” Will leaned down, lips hovering over Benji’s. “So. It wasn’t wishful thinking that all that bickering was actually flirting?”
“God, no.” Benji licked his lips. “I didn’t think you’d noticed.”
“I noticed. I figured I wasn’t that lucky.” Will bent down, kissing Benji softly. Benji let out a pleased hum and Will smiled against his mouth. “Hey there.”
“Hey yourself.” Benji slid a hand up his arm. “Can’t say this is how I pictured this happening.”
“Me either. And believe me, I pictured a lot of ways it would.” Will grinned at the shock on Benji’s face. “You have no idea how sexy you are, do you?”
“I’m not, I mean, it’s not as if, really?” Benji flushed and Will laughed. “Oh shut it, you try being around Ethan for years and let me know how your self esteem holds up.”
“Fair enough.” Will kissed him again quickly. “I think they’re letting you out today.”
“I certainly hope so because I want to do that properly.” Benji wrinkled his nose. “And after I’ve brushed my teeth.” Will laughed again, Benji laughing along with him, vibrant and alive.
“Is it utterly ridiculous that I’m more nervous about this then I am about, say, attempting to deactivate a bomb while on a plane that’s just lost all it’s engines?” Benji opened the menu. “It is, I know, pretend that I didn’t say that out loud.”
“Thank God, it’s not just me.” Will nudged Benji’s foot. “You really did that didn’t you?”
“Oh Christ, yes, it was awful, I thought I was going to have a heart attack before it was over which would have been far more painful than just blowing up, at least with that there’s just a boom rather than lingering pain. Hmmm, have you been here, is the lasagna good, it looks good.” Benji glanced over the top of the menu at him. “I’m babbling aren’t I? I tend to do that when I’m nervous.”
“Really, I’d never noticed that before. Yeah, I’ve been here and everything’s good.” Will grinned. “Can I tell you a secret?”
“Yes, of course.” Benji closed his menu, leaning forward, eyes serious. “You know you can trust me.”
“Of course I know that.” Will leaned forward as well, fingertips brushing Benji’s wrist. “Don’t tell anyone but I like it when you babble. Your mind is a fascinating place.” Benji went a bright red and Will leaned back, smug. “You’re adorable when you blush.”
“Oh hush.” Benji picked up his menu again, eyeing Will darkly. “Adorable he says. Oh that’ll get me” Benji stopped and Will tipped his head back, laughing hard as Benji went even redder. “Stop it! People are staring.” Benji reached for his water, taking a long drink
“Believe me, you don’t have to worry about that happening.” Will slid a foot up the side of Benji’s leg and Benji began to choke on his water. “Sorry, sorry.”
“You are not.” Benji glared at him. “Are you going to keep attempting to distract me? Because I’ll have you know that I fully intend to at least get dinner first.”
“Do you want me to stop?” Will tried to keep his voice light. “I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.”
“Oh you’re making me uncomfortable, just not in a bad way.” Will started when he felt Benji’s sock clad foot slide up his pant leg. He narrowed his eyes, attempting to look stern. “You wore loafers on purpose.”
“Of course. I try to plan ahead after all.” Benji looked at him, an innocent expression on his face. “Do you want me to stop?”
“Bastard. You better or we aren’t getting dinner and I want to take you out first. I want all kinds of things with you.” Will sipped his own water, pleased at the way Benji ducked his head and smiled. “We’re on the same page about this being a thing, right? Not just,” Will waved a hand. “Casual or something.”
“Don’t worry, we’re on the same page. Do you want wine? Maybe a nice red?” Benji flipped through the wine list.
“That sounds great. All of it.” Will reached over, squeezing Benji’s hand. “I’m glad you’re here.”
“Yeah, so am I. So lasagna for me, what about you? How about the fettuccine? I happen to like that.” Benji grinned. “I hope you don’t mind when I steal off your plate.”
“I think I can handle that.” Will signaled for the waiter, then leaned back, listening as Benji launched into a discussion of the research on the health benefits of red wine that somehow led to a discussion of dark chocolate that led to Will losing the thread of the conversation a bit while thinking about Benji and dark chocolate and then he had to shift in his seat. He had a feeling dinner was going take forever. It was worth it though. He watched Benji’s throat work as he drank his wine. It was so worth it.
“This is me.” Benji leaned against the door of what Will as going to assume was a nice place. He hadn’t really been paying that much attention to their surroundings, distracted as he was by the feel of Benji’s thigh against his in the cab. “So would you like to come in? Would you like some coffee, some tea,” Benji turned, fingers moving over an alarm pad before turning the lock.
“I’m thinking you.” Will pressed against Benji’s back, then leaned forward, mouth lingering on the back of his neck. “If that’s on offer.”
“Christ, yes,” Will slid his arms around Benji’s waist, feeling the shiver that went through him as Will bit down lightly. “Rather not do it in the doorway though.”
“Mmm,” Will hummed in agreement then stepped back. “Bed then?”
“We’ll see if we manage to make it that far.” Benji turned and grabbed Will by the wrist, pulling him inside. Will went gladly, reaching back to shove the door closed. “Autolocks?”
“Autolocks.” Benji held onto his wrist a bit tighter, eyes roaming over Will’s face. “You’re sure about this? It could be messy.”
“Only if we do it right.” Will smiled then the smile faded as he saw the flicker of doubt cross Benji’s face. “I’ve wanted this since I met you. I’ve been sure about it since, well, since you caught me.”
“Good.” Benji cocked an eyebrow at him. “What are we waiting for then?”
“Hell if I know.” Will crowded Benji against the wall, reaching up and cupping his head in his hands. He slowly tipped Benji’s head to the side, then licked his way up his throat. “No idea how much I want you.”
Benji grabbed onto his hips, pulling the flush against each other. “I think I’m getting some idea.” He pulled Will’s shirt out of his pants, hands hot against the skin of his back. Will bit down on his shoulder and Benji gasped, tilting his head back farther. “Fuck. Do that again.” Will smiled, then bit down again, sucking hard. Benji dragged his nails down his back and Will groaned.
“Keep that up and we are never making the bed.” He kissed Benji again, hard and deep, unable to keep from rocking against Benji. Benji held him tighter, fingers digging into his shoulders. Will forced himself to pull away, taking a moment to enjoy the sight of Benji flushed, eyes bright, lips shining before he went to his knees, hands shaking as he tried to work Benji’s fly open. “Button front, really, I thought you planned ahead.” Will finally worked the last button free, then leaned in, mouth hovering over Benji’s erection.
“At least I wore boxers. Fuck, Will, please.” Benji’s voice cracked on the please and Will tugged Benji’s pants down to his knees before leaning forward again, licking up Benji’s shaft. Benji grabbed onto his shoulders, knees buckling just a bit when Will took him into his mouth, sucking hard. “Oh Christ, just like that. Just, fuck, that’s amazing.” Will held on tight to Benji’s hips, eyes closed, all his attention focused on this, on making Benji gasp and moan and on the way Benji said his name, as if he couldn’t believe this was real, as it was all too good to be true. He swirled his tongue and Benji choked out “Will, now, you better, oh fuck, Will” and Will pulled back, reaching out and taking Benji in hand.
“Come for me, let me see, let me see. God, I need to see you.” Will locked eyes with Benji. “Show me.” He twisted his wrist and Benji’s head thudded into the wall as he arched back, coming hard. Will stroked him through the aftershocks, then started to push up.
“Oh no, I don’t think so.” Benji slid down the wall, then shoved Will onto his back. “Turn about and all that.”
“Hey, you won’t hear me,” Will gasped when Benji yanked his pants open and then wrapped a hand around him, pumping hard and fast.
“I’m certainly hoping I do.” Benji licked around the shell of his ear and Will writhed beneath him. “You’re not the only one who likes to listen.”
Will tried to gather his thoughts to come up with something, anything to say to that. Then Benji kissed him again, tongue sweeping through his mouth and he couldn’t think. He couldn’t do anything but get lost in Benji, in his touch and taste and scent. Benji pulled back and muttered something and then the world went white. He was pretty sure he was screaming but he didn’t care, he didn’t care at all if the world heard how fantastic this was. He lay stunned for a moment and then managed to pull himself together enough to tug Benji down on top of him, wrapping his arms around him before resting there, trying to catch his breath.
“So. I will admit to having thought about something like that happening once or twice. Possibly.” Benji’s voice was sleepy and Will grinned.
“Once or twice? That’s all? I think I might be offended.” Will kissed the top of Benji’s head.
“Oh stop fishing, you know damn well I meant once or twice a day.” Benji kissed his shoulder. “We are rather a mess.”
“Mmmhmmm.” Will stroked down Benji’s back. “You know, we were a lot more naked when I thought about this. Once or twice. An hour.”
“There’s that too.” Benji pushed up and Will let him go reluctantly. “Well, gives us something to look forward to, I suppose.” He staggered to his feet, trying to straighten out his hair and tug up his pants at the same time.
Will leaned up on his elbows, frowning slightly. “Right. I guess.” He cleared his throat. “I should be going?”
Benji rolled his eyes. “Don’t be an idiot.” He held out a hand and Will took it, letting Benji pull him up. “The only place you’re going is my bed.”
“Sounds like a plan to me.” Benji tugged him down a hall and Will followed, more than happy to let Benji lead.