Hold me close

Disclaimer: The movie and its characters don't belong to me. They belong to their rightful owners and I'm just borrowing them for this story.

A/N: Wow... I never thought that I would write a fluff -fanfiction one day (which is probably the reason why there's a tiny bit of drama included), but it is one of the fluffiest stories I've ever written. It's different than my other stories but I hope you still enjoy it! Thanks to my friend for beta-reading! SPOILERS for "Rogue Nation" included.

• Hold me close •

"One more time."

When he heard the command Benji tried to punch Ethan's chest, but Ethan caught the fist, grabbed the younger agent's arm and twisted it. Finally, he pulled the technician into a stranglehold and held onto him.

"Get yourself free."

Benji tried as hard as he could but it just didn't work. Ethan was way too strong.

"I... I can't", he mumbled instead, letting the tension leave his body and tiredly leaned his back against Ethan.

Carefully the other man softened his grip and looked into Benji's face. The Englishman had dark rings beneath his eyes and looked incredibly exhausted. Ethan immediately regretted his strict commands and the many hours of self-defense training. It was just... this indescribable fear. This bad feeling which wouldn't leave Ethan since Benji had been kidnapped and taken hostage. It had been the only reason he decided to train with his friend and partner. He was hoping that Benji could defend himself better the next time Ethan wouldn't be good enough to protect him.

But it seemed like he had taken it too far. Benji had fought against him half of the day, had freed himself from strangleholds and defended himself. It had only been a matter of time until it had been enough. Ethan gently put a hand on Benji's shoulder.

"You're right. It's enough for today. I'm sorry."

But Benji simply shook his head in an exhausted way.

"It's okay. You don't have to apologize. I... I promise I'll do better tomorrow, alright?"

These words and the apologizing look hit the older agent like a stab in the heart. Benji seemed to believe that he had been too bad and that Ethan had stopped the training because of that.

"You did great, Benji! I'm... just expecting too much."

Benji didn't seem completely convinced by these words but he put a smile on his face and patted Ethan's hand which was still resting on his shoulder.

"Let's grab something to eat, okay?"

Ethan simply nodded. A change of topic seemed appropriate. They walked over to their hotel room where they were living during their mission. There had only been one room left which they had to share.
At least the room was separated into two parts with one bed for each of them so that they would at least have some private space.

"You wanna shower first?", Ethan asked but Benji shook his head.

"No, you can go first. I have to search for some fresh clothes anyway."


Ethan entered the bathroom which was the first room on the right while Benji walked straight into the sleep-and-living-room.

The hot shower had been relieving and Ethan felt a bit more comfortable. Still, there was this bad feeling because he had trained Benji way too hard and didn't take his friend's exhaustion into account. Why had he been so careless?
He decided that he would apologize once again while he put on some fresh clothes which he had put into the bathroom before training. He opened the bathroom door when he heard a silent whimper.
Alarmed the agent ran into the bedroom, passed the dividing wall... and looked at Benji who was lying on the bed, uncomfortably tossing and turning.
Ethan carefully walked over to him, kneeled down and softly stroked Benji's head.

"Shh, it's okay, Benji. Everything's fine", he said with a calm voice and the younger agent's body immediately seemed to relax. Slowly Benji opened his eyes but Ethan just smiled at him gently while continuing to stroke his hair.

"Sleep. I'm here."

Without an answer Benji's eyes closed again and Ethan's smile disappeared.
These damned nightmares!

He knew that Benji hadn't been sleeping properly for a long time. The whole thing with Lane had traumatized him even though he would never admit it to the team.

And Ethan hated it. He hated Lane for what he had done to Benji. But he hated himself even more because he hadn't prevented it from happening.
Without him it wouldn't have got that far. And because of that he had to prepare Benji... just in case Ethan Hunt would fail again.

Carefully the agent stood up and he saw that Benji's blanket was halfway covering him while the other half was lying on the floor. Ethan gently took the blanket and completely covered Benji's body. The younger one snuggled deeper into the bed and Ethan's smile returned.
He sneaked over to the wall, which divided the room in two, but he stopped halfway. He didn't want to leave Benji alone. Of course he wouldn't be too far away yet still this wall seemed to be too much separation if something happened.
He looked at the bed Benji was lying in. It was big enough for two men. So Ethan walked back, silently sneaked into it and lay down.

He softly put one arm around Benji as if he could protect him from all the dangers of the world that way. As Benji suddenly turned around Ethan winced, afraid that he had woken him up, but the younger one was still sleeping safe and sound.
Ethan came closer to his friend and closed his eyes while burying his face and nose in Benji's hair. He breathed in the smell of sweat, but also the typical scent of minty shampoo which he knew all too well and it calmed him.

Benji would be safe here. He could protect him. He didn't want to get up again, didn't want to let go of Benji ever again. And slowly Ethan's eyes fell close... at least until he heard the sound of snoring next to him.

Ethan couldn't suppress a quiet chuckle. Once again he pulled Benji close before he fell asleep, knowing that the man who meant the most to him, was right here in his protecting arms.