Hey guys, this is my first fanfic! I hope it'll go down well. I don't own any of the characters (unfortunately) and and similarities between this and other fanfics are completely unintentional.
(Brendan's private thoughts)
Other people's thoughts.
Brendan's projected thoughts.
"Do you see it?"
"I… No I…"
"Concentrate Brendan, and be patient, it will come."
Brendan continued to frown in concentration, his eyes shut, the world closed off from him in a film of darkness, the only thing left were his thoughts. Ever since he'd met Freya McAllister, his thoughts had never truly been his own. Sure it was useful in tight situations, but knowing that she could be watching him at any time was unnerving.
When he'd accidentally told the doctor what he'd thought (rather shouted it at him before being bombarded by continuous streams of noise from the man's stereo) he thought that that would have been the last of it. However, a little over three months later, Michael Wells had told him to meet with him in his office. It almost made him spit out the coffee he'd been drinking when the doctor had suggested this… 'training'.
"Remember the steps." Came the man's voice, destroying the mental wall he had so carefully constructed. "The steps are the only way you can make this work, otherwise even the slightest noise can make your defences crumble."
:Ah yes, the steps.: Brendan had been following the steps to the letter, and yet he'd had no progress for the past two hours. It was infuriating, but the scientist was persistent, and wouldn't let him give up so easily.
:Somewhere I know well.:
Yet again he imagined his apartment. The peeling wallpaper, the smell of soap wafting in through the open window…
:Close the window; the room has to be airtight.:
The window closed under his invisible hands, though he could still feel the fabric of his trousers. He had to think deeper, somewhere he knew better.
"Remember the steps Brendan." The voice was barely there now, almost a whisper as the agent slipped deeper into his subconscious.
:The steps… The steps… A room, a building, a corridor; somewhere you know well.:
Suddenly, the apartment was pushed out of his mind, and a tree came, its large branches supporting a large wooden box, a small window covered by a flap of cardboard, misshapen from the rain was facing him, its roof covered in splotched of turf and leaves over a wooden board. The walls were botched, pieces of wood sticking out in several places, but there were no holes, Dad had made sure of that. Inside, the walls were covered with various posters; cars, space ships, movies, singers and a few photos of a dog. A golden retriever he'd had since he was a puppy.
Brendan shut his childhood friend out before it could bring the sadness that was always waiting at the end of that path, returning to his old tree house, his refuge from his youth. The smell of freshly cut grass filled his nose, mixed with tobacco as Mr Redrick went by with his new lawnmower, his wooden pipe hanging lazily from his mouth.
:Build a wall, strong, tall and unmoveable.:
The ground began to shake, plant pots falling off their stands in nearby gardens as the tree and the ground around it rose. Walls as high as the telegraph poles began manifesting themselves out of strong granite boulders, the stone extending into the ground. Parapets rose up from the tops, watchtowers, cannons, arrow slits. There was also a portcullis and drawbridge, both firmly bolted and secured with chains and barricades. It was his own English castle.
:Fortify it, make sure it's protected, defend your world.:
His models of medieval knights, pike men, archers and all the rest sitting quietly in the tin box under the window came to life before his eyes, growing bigger and bigger as they descended the tree, their swords sharp, bows strung, muskets loaded with gunpowder.
:Hide you memories, they are precious, they are fragile, make them safe.:
Suddenly, the small room was filled with his memories, his thoughts and ideas. They surrounded him in the shape of mice, field mice. They stared at him, waiting for him to do something. Brendan picked one up, its small black eyes looking curiously at him before it scuttled down his arm and onto his shoulder. It came up to his ear, its cold nose pressing against the warmth of his skin and… He slammed the door. He didn't care what his father said; he was not going to move…
The mouse scurried away, out of the door, quickly followed by the other…memories. They descended the tree nimbly and quickly, not one of them falling. As they reached the ground, Brendan realised that they were no longer mice, but rabbits, quickly burrowing underground, the holes disappearing after they went under the turf.
:Survey your mind, make sure everything is as it should be, everything is behind your wall, all is safe.:
He climbed to the top of his wall, overlooking the lands surrounding his keep, tumbleweed drifting across the desert of cracking mud, the sky a deep, thick blue with a blazing sun, nothing in its limits save the dust and the blazing heat.
All was as it should be.
"Brendan? Agent Dean?"
Brendan opened his eyes to find Michael with his hand lightly on his shoulder, his eyes showing concern. By the sounds (or rather the lack of them) coming from outside the office, the agent could tell he'd been 'hidden' for some time.
"What? Oh… What time is it?" he asked, trying to come to grips with what he'd done, but would it work?
The doctor gave him a warm smile and looked at his watch; a Rolex, though that wasn't all too surprising. The man was part of a secret project that even he hadn't known about until, well, three months ago. "It's about five to nine. We could keep going if you'd like."
"No thanks. Is Freya still here?" Brendan stretched some muscles, shaking the pins and needles out of them.
"She wouldn't leave. I think she was worried you'd push yourself too hard."
The doctor put a hand over his mouth, spreading his thumb and forefinger over his cheeks in thought. "I don't know. Since I don't know your limits, I can't really tell if you're limiting yourself or over reaching. Why did you want Freya anyway?"
"I think I got it," the young man grinned, "But I'm not sure. I need to know for certain."
Yet again he was answered with a smile.
Outside the door Brendan heard the all too familiar sounds of footsteps. They were light and quick, the sound they made as the shoes hit the carpet echoing in his mind. It could only be one person.
The door opened to a young woman with long, straightened hair, deep brown eyes and her straight nose.
"You called," she said, sitting down in one of the chairs. The agent smiled at his 'partner', and looked back at his instructor.
"Your agent here thinks he's mastered blocking."
Freya raised her eyebrows. "In a few hours?"
Brendan shrugged his shoulders.
"Well, there's only one way to be sure," she said, turning towards him, her eyes becoming distant.
He was in his castle, his fort, and someone was shouting for him on the parapets. Yet again he climbed the large stone stairs and found himself following the informative point of one of his archers.
Freya was stood outside his fortification, staring up at the structure on its hill, its impenetrable walls, the reflection of the sun in the army's weapons and armour.
:Impressive Brendan.: she congratulated, slowly making her way towards the portcullis. :May I come in?:
He thought about it for a moment before the doorway was clear, chains and barricade disappearing, to let the woman through.
As she stepped into his fort she grinned, looking up at her environment's owner. :I think you've done better than the doc!:
At that, she vanished, going back to reality. Brendan quickly reinforced the entrance before returning with her.
"It's impressive. There would have been no way for me to have gotten through that kind of wall," she explained, the doctor nodding numbly at the observer.
"Then it must be good," he rose from his chair that sounded like it needed oiling (like most of the chairs in this place), "Thank you Freya."
She left quickly with a smile to each of them, grabbing her coat and heading swiftly towards the lifts, obviously eager to get home.
Brendan was about to do the same when Michael stopped him.
"I want to see you tomorrow, same time."
With that, he was dismissed (God, it's like school all over again) and he returned to his apartment. He was asleep as soon as he'd hit the bed.