This is a rewrite of my first fic of the same title and premis. Really it's pretty much the same. For those of you who were reading it, deepest apologies. Life was throwing a temper tantrum. Anyhoo, here we go.
Not mine, I'm broke. I'm just playing with the characters a little. I'll give them back.
Brandt had a hand on each of Ethan's shoulders. He looked into his eyes, concerned. "We good?" He asked.
It took Ethan a moment to process that. He had just drowned, been revived, engaged in a high-speed chase, crashed, but hell, he'd had worse days. Really, this wasn't much so far.
"Ethan?" Brandt asked again. Ethan nodded. His ears were ringing, but he was fine. Just a little… shaken. Brandt squeezed his shoulder gently and moved around the overturned car, where Luther was trying to get Benji out. Ethan swayed on his feet. Maybe he wasn't… 100%.
A motorcycle revved by on the road. That would be her… Ilsa. He should chase her. She, she had the codes. He needed those codes. The IMF needed those codes. The ringing in his ears grew louder, blocking out all other sound. A wave of nausea washed over him. He stumbled backwards, catching himself with one hand on the overturned car. The codes, the ringing…
Even with Brandt's help, Luther had some difficulty getting Benji out of the car. His seatbelt was twisted around the buckle, and it wouldn't release. Eventually, they decided to just slice it off. Being Benji, it took an added ten minutes to cut the belt while avoiding his constant flinching.
"Jesus!" Benji cursed, finally army-crawling out of the car. "Why did I let Ethan drive? Dead people shouldn't do that. I've seen Shaun of the Dead!"
"What?" Brandt looked minorly astounded.
"Great film, I highly recommend," Benji replied, slightly confused.
"What do you mean, dead!" Luther's look could kill.
"Well, Ilsa ᠆ who I never really trusted, by the way, decided to take the launch codes, after Ethan, like, drowned trying to get them-"
"Well, yeah, see they were underwat-"
Brandt worried first, "Ethan!" He got up from beside Benji, darted around the car.
Ethan was sitting, back against the open car door. That worried Brandt. Ethan rarely sat while on the job. Brandt crouched down beside Ethan. He looked up.
"Hey, you okay?"
Ethan really thought about it that time. The ringing in his ears had died down a little, when he got off his feet, but it was noticeably still there. And he had a headache. But really, he had been much worse.
"Don't say 'I'm fine', Ethan." Luther was there, "Because I know that can mean very many not-so-good things."
At a loss for words, Ethan looked up, "I… I'm… where did she go?"
Brandt shook his head, "No Ethan, not now. It won't matter if we can find her, if you're dead. Are you okay?"
"I… maybe a concussion. Is that your car? We have to go." He said this all very fast, desperate to get the conversation away from his well-being. He would not get in the way of the mission. Staggering, slightly, he managed to stand.
"No, Ethan-" Luther tried to stop him from standing, but it was a losing battle.
If Ethan swayed a moment when he reached his feet, he didn't let it show. He paused a moment, but then walked in a decidedly straight line towards the jeep.
Benji had finally crawled out of the car. When he stood up and saw Ethan walking towards the jeep past Luther and Brandt, he was astounded.
"Y-you," He stammered "are not driving! Brandt, you tell him!"
Luther had already decided that. "Ethan," he said firmly, "I have the keys."
Ethan didn't argue. Instead he pulled the back door open and climbed into the jeep. He collapsed into the seet, the rest of his team pulling open their own doors. Luther took the driver's, with Benji beside him. Brandt sat across from Ethan. He pulled a water bottle from the door compartment as Luther started the engine.
"Drink." He commanded. "I'm not forgetting that concussion."
Ethan took the bottle. But he barely heard Brandt through the returning ringing.
More will come soon. But let it be known that chapters come faster with reviews. *hint*
Again, deepest apologies to those of you who awaited updates on the old version of this story. I may go a little different with this one.