Friends, i apologise for the lack of plot, this is just a shameless excuse for some Ethan and Brandt bonding along with a little bit of pain (cos it wouldn't be one of my stories without that!) Inspired, in part, by the SWAT deleted scenes.
Disclaimer: I have the codes, i just need the device that makes them mine, until then...
On with the randomness...
"I can go with you?"
"I don't need you to."
"But I'm just saying, if you wanted me to, I could."
"I don't need a babysitter."
"No, of course not, but if you needed some support, I can come in with you."
Brandt, opened his mouth to speak, paused, tried again, then gave up and lifted his hands to his head and tried to hide from the nightmare before him.
"What's wrong?" Asked Ethan
"I wish I'd never told you about this." Came the muffled reply.
"No, its good you told me, something I need to know in order to care for my team. This way I'm prepared if I ever have to perform something on you like this myself."
Will looked up, hopeful. "Really?"
Ethan breathed out slowly before answering, "No not really, but at least I can keep you company while you wait."
"Thanks, I think." Will lowered his hands and stretched his arms out, then his legs. He leaned back and let his head fall to rest against the wall behind the chair. His breathing calmed, and he seemed to be allowing the tension to dissipate. That was until he sat bolt upright so fast Ethan was certain he'd give himself whiplash.
"You didn't tell Jane or Benji…..did you?" Will asked uncertainly.
"Don't worry, Will. Your secret is safe with me."
"Good, cos I don't think I could live this down if Benji knew." Brandt once again let his head fall back against the wall behind him. Ethan glanced at his companion. Smiling as the other man began to relax again, once he was certain Brandt wasn't about to try and make a run for it, Ethan turned his attention back to the magazine in his hands. The silence lasted all of two minutes before the gentle tap tap of Brandt's feet against the linoleum started up again. His legs following suit as they bounced with growing anxiety. The pent up tension flowed from him in waves causing others in the room to glance in interest at the nervous man.
"You know." Ethan said, trying to break the tension that was building to epic proportions. "Here we are, dedicating our lives to saving the world, and all these magazines write about is someone called a Kardashian."
"Kim or Khloe?" Asked Will absently.
Ethan turned to stare at his friend. His eyebrows raised as he realised Will had asked a genuine question. Ethan opened his mouth in intrigue, he took a breath, then closed his mouth again. "I don't even want to know." He said as he turned his focus back to the magazine.
Will's head fell forward as he stretched his aching neck muscles, then he let his head fall, once again, back against the wall. His hand crept toward his face, curiosity getting the better of him.
"Leave it alone." Commanded Ethan without even looking up.
Will huffed in frustration. "Its really not that bad, we could probably just…"
"We're not going anywhere, it needs to be looked at. Leave it alone." Ethan said with finality.
"Its all Benji's fault anyway." Grumbled Will.
"How you figure that?" Asked Ethan as he turned the page to be met with a J-Lo special.
"He should have told me to duck."
"He did. But as that was my code name for the Op, you ignored him. Hence the reason we're here."
Will sighed again, reminding Ethan of a petulant teenager.
"Who the hell picked farm yard animals anyway?" Whined Will as he started fidgeting with the edge of his sleeve.
"Doesn't matter, what's done is done. Just remember, when you hear duck, duck regardless."
"It was Benji wasn't it?" Will asked as he tried to catch Ethan's eye. Ethan, for the most part, avoided the contact and stared intently at his magazine.
Just as Brandt's leg began to reach super sonic shaking speed a petit nurse with short black hair came into the waiting area to stand before the two men. Ethan looked up and smiled. Will sat rock still, pretending he hadn't seen her approach.
Silence. Still rock solid. Clearly Will was basing her vision on movement. Ethan raised his eyes at his friend, huffed and grabbed the analyst's wrist. He held the limb toward the nurse.
She smiled knowingly, taking the offered hand. "Its ok, there's nothing to worry about. You're in good hands with us."
Nothing. Still rock solid. Ethan grabbed Will's closest arm with one hand and pushed on his back with the other.
Will stayed routed to his chair, oblivious to the sniggers of onlookers as they watched the man in the chair being pulled by a tiny nurse and pushed by what looked like a bullying big brother.
"Sorry, he's a little nervous."
"No need to apologise." Smiled the nurse in understanding. She ducked her head and caught the analyst's eye before he could look away. Will took a deep breath and breathed out long and hard before finally giving in. Ethan helped to lift him up while the nurse helped move him forward toward the doors leading to the examination rooms beyond. Will stared at the doorway, ominous and looming. Appearing to stretch and grow the closer he got to them. He swore the room darkened, the air cooling and becoming heavy. His feet sinking into the linoleum. If it hadn't been for Ethan's hand, gently coaxing him to go through those doors with the nurse as his escort, he would have bolted , stolen a car and disappeared to Mexico.
As the doors swung shut Ethan stood, watching the shadow of Will disappear. He felt suddenly guilty for forcing the agent to come. The others knew he'd need stitches, but they didn't know about the other injury. Brandt had sworn Ethan to secrecy when he'd revealed his fear. The senior agent turned, shocked to see all sets of eyes in the waiting room staring at him. Some people smirked, most looked away quickly, embarrassed that the concerned man had caught their gaze. He went back to his seat, and back to his J-Lo special.
Forty minutes passed without incident. Within those minutes Ethan had learnt not only about the Kardashians, J-Lo, something called Survivor but also that Kendra someone or other got married. As he was reaching for the Women's Health magazine the nurse who'd escorted Will through the doors came rushing toward him, flustered and stressed looking.
"Sir, I'm sorry, would you mind coming through. We've managed to do the stitches but we're having a few issues trying to fix the rest."
Ethan silently cursed as he followed the small woman toward the examination rooms. He didn't need to be told which room currently held Brandt. He heard the agent loud and clear.
"THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL YOU'RE COMING AT ME WITH THAT THING!"
Ethan walked in front of the nurse, entering the room to find instruments and cups of liquid spilled all over the floor. The dentist stood by the door, needle and drill in hand held outstretched, almost as If he was preparing to defend himself with the equipment.
Brandt was back straight against the far wall. Pressed as tight as he could into the corner. His mouth was slightly slack , beginning to swell, and the bruising from before was even clearer thanks to the red marks from the dentist's attempt at treating him.
Will looked like a wild animal, injured and cornered, preparing to defend himself to the death. Ethan wasn't entirely sure the former analyst was even completely aware of where he was. The panic having taken hold and escalated his nerves into red hot fear. He was shaking, the movement causing beads of sweat to roll down his face, some mixing with the blood that was slowly escaping from his mouth as he breathed heavily in his terror.
Ethan motioned for the dentist to leave. The nurse, needing no such nod, practically ran out the door. Ethan's movements were slow and deliberate as he closed the door and took a few steps toward the injured man. His arms outstretched, proving to Brandt that there were no hidden objects, no false truths, just a concerned friend who'd come to save him.
No recognition. Just trembling, punctuated by harsh breaths.
His eyes were routed to the chair in front of him. Almost as if he could control the situation by the power of his mind.
Something pulled at his terror, tugged him from within and eased the racing of his heart by a few, precious beats.
Will jumped, almost turned to run but had nowhere to go. Ethan was directly in front of him now, blocking the view of the room that had sent the fear climbing . Will blinked, his eyes suddenly dry.
"Ethan?" He asked quietly, his voice hoarse and breaking slightly.
Ethan was held in shock at the absolute fear in his friend's eyes. He knew Will's fear of the dentist, had put it down to simple nerves that could be easily controlled once he was put in the path of the oncoming treatment. But never, in his wildest dreams, had he thought the fear would become a heart stopping roller coaster for the younger man.
"Will?" Ethan asked again, checking if the other man was more aware than he had been prior.
"I don't like the dentist." Whispered the injured agent.
"No shit." Said Ethan as he took a cursory glance at the carnage.
"Its not that bad, the stitches are done so we can go now."
"The tooth needs fixing. And you know it." Ethan added as he turned back to Will. "You have no choice here."
Ethan not only heard his heart break at the tone Will used, but felt the shatter reverberate through his soul.
"Yes. Yes you can. Give me a second, ok?"
Will nodded reluctantly without taking his eyes off the other agent.
Ethan returned the nod and backed away slowly, he opened the door, leaned out and whispered something Will couldn't hear. The dentist and nurse came back into the room. Both seemed a lot less shocked than they had when Will had shot up from the chair and threatened to rip their throats out. Ethan moved back to Brandt, standing next to his friend he motioned for the dentist to speak.
"I know you're scared, but that tooth has to be treated. Its cracked and bleeding. You have a real danger of it becoming infected. If left untreated the infection will spread to your whole mouth, which in turn will result in all your teeth having to be removed." The dentist crossed his fingers behind his back, hoping the lie would work and help coerce the young man back onto the treatment chair.
Silence. No one moved. The air hung , dripping with uncertainty. Every breath was denied release until Brandt, finally, nodded his accession.
Tentatively Will moved away from the wall. He allowed Ethan to slowly guide him into the chair, with gentle pressure on his shoulders, Ethan steered him downward, until finally he was laying back.
The dentist decided, wisely, to start small. With a small anti-sceptic wipe, he began cleaning off the blood that had run down his patient's chin. Will's hands gripped the underside of the chair. When the dentist leaned back to pick up one of his instruments the injured man bolted upright. Had it not been for Ethan's quick movement, Brandt would have been out the door and fulfilling his dream of escaping to Mexico.
"Easy." Soothed Ethan as he pressed harder to Will's chest, coaxing him back down.
Brandt took a breath, he could do this, it was stupid to be this scared about something so stupid. His rational mind fought for superiority but was beaten into oblivion by the panic that all consumed. He glanced at Ethan, in that one look the older agent read the younger man's mind. His right hand stayed on Will's chest, exerting gentle pressure, not only to keep the scared man in place, but to also break through the panic and reassure him he wasn't alone in this.
The dentist watched the exchange, his hands paused in mid air. His nurse stood beside him, ready with the suction device. Neither moved. Rock still like wax works.
It would have been funny if Will's panic hadn't turned the air into electricity.
The dentist took his queue from Ethan. As soon as he was sure he had Will under control, he nodded to the poor man.
As his mouth was forced open, Will panicked yet again. But this time there was a control to the emotions running over him like waves crashing into the shore. The hand on his chest a constant. He didn't know when or how it had happened, but one hand had found its way into Ethan's and was currently crushing the senior agents bones. Ethan made no sound, didn't even seem to acknowledge that he was in any pain, his eyes locked onto Brandt's and stayed there throughout.
The dentist administered another round of the numbing agent, the injections painful but taking hold within minutes. Will's grip on Ethan's hand lessened slightly as the drugs took effect. His lack of feeling being the saving grace he'd been searching for. He was unaware of what the dentist was doing and for that he couldn't have been more thankful.
Ethan sat back slightly as Brandt started to relax. His hand stayed on the agents chest as the dentist went to work repairing the damage to the cracked tooth. As the drill came out Will's eyes began darting around the room, his breathing quickening and the shaking coming back full force. Ethan shot forward, straight into Will's line of sight and held his gaze. Slowly, in what seemed like hours, he relaxed. The dentist took a breath and resumed his work. Hoping and praying it was a quick fix and that he'd never, ever have to see this patient again. He was pretty sure that when Will had shouted that he would kill him if he came at him again, he hadn't been lying.
Forty minutes, three drilling sessions, two further attempts to run and one threat to Ethan later, and the work was finally done.
The dentist and his nurse seemed even more relieved than Will that the pain was over.
"All done, now the easy bit." Said the dentist a little too happily for Will's liking as he handed him two painkillers to swallow before the numbing shots wore off.
"See." Said Ethan as he flexed his aching hands. "Told you it would be nothing to worry about."
Three sets of eyes glared at him, causing him to swallow involuntarily.
"You'll need to fill this prescription at the reception desk. Painkillers and antibiotics. You'll need to ice that cheek but all in all you should heal up within the next two weeks. If you have any problems please…" The dentist paused, before reluctantly finishing his sentence. "Call us or come in."
"Thanks." Said Will, avoiding making eye contact with the dentist. The nurse helped him sit up, smirking as she did so.
"You did really well." She reassured him. "Although I think next time, don't get hit in the face in a bar fight." She winked, backing away quickly just in case the injured man decided to make good on his threat to rip out her throat. Instead she was rewarded with an embarrassed smile and look of complete apology.
"Not a problem. Don't worry about it."
"Thanks doctor." Ethan said as he shook the dentist's slightly shaking, sweaty hand.
With one hand on Will's back, Ethan walked his friend to the reception desk, handing the young woman behind the counter the prescription. Brandt stood next to him, his back leaning against the counter. He lifted his hand to his face, fingers carefully searching the skin.
"Leave it alone." Commanded Ethan.
Will's hand dropped to his side. The other arm rose, making its way over to the injured side of his face. Ethan didn't bother speaking, instead he reached over and pulled the fingers away .
Ethan raised his eyebrows.
Will frowned, somewhat drowsily.
Ethan cocked his head and smirked.
"You need to sign these." Said the receptionist cheerfully as she smiled at the silent exchange that was taking place.
Ethan pulled the paperwork toward him, noting the amount the injury was going to cost he made a mental note to make Benji pay, not in monetary terms, but more in the emotional sense. As he read through and signed the papers he felt Will slide slightly, knocking into the senior agent and sending his signature slightly askew.
The receptionist took the forms once completed and smiled fully at Ethan. She beckoned him forward with her finger. He leaned forward, smiling flirtatiously. She beckoned him further forward, he moved, as did Brandt who was now leaning fully against Ethan, who was pretty much the only thing besides the counter keeping the former analyst upright.
The woman winked at Ethan as she whispered. "Take my advice and stock up on soup and ice cream. Your boyfriend won't be able to eat anything else for a while."
Ethan echoed Brandt's earlier speed as he straightened suddenly, almost knocking the injured man off balance. Will slipped forward, his forward momentum halted as Ethan grabbed both his shoulders to steady him. Will looked up, a dazed expression melting across his features. He raised both hands to Ethan's face. "Thank you for being there for me." He said sincerely. "I couldn't have done it without you."
Ethan's throat went completely dry as he attempted to speak, his face turned crimson as took the prescription and receipt from the now giggling receptionist. He turned Will toward the door and marched the drugged agent out and into the parking lot.
Will sank into the passenger seat as Ethan eased the car into the oncoming traffic.
"Brandt, other things I needed to know were that you have a very, very, low tolerance for codine."
Will giggled beside him. Ethan risked a glance at the drugged man. The left side of his face had blossomed into one hell of a spectacular bruise, the cheek jutting out as the swelling began to take over his features, which, by night fall, would have turned him into something resembling a greedy hamster.
Will's head rolled toward Ethan. "You won't tell Benji or Jane, will you?"
"Of course not. I meant it when I said it would stay our secret."
"Good, that's good." Said Will as his head rolled the other way, falling into the passenger side window with a gentle thud. His eyes closed heavily. "They don't need to know about this." He breathed out.
"They'll never know." Reassured Ethan.
Will exhaled heavily as he settled further into the seat. "No, they'll never know. And don't tell 'em 'bout the cracked tooth, 'k? I'll never live it down. Benj'll love that the guy caused all that damage with one punch."
"You can barely see a thing." Ethan said with barely concealed laughter. The sound of him attempting to control his amusement brought Brant around enough to open his eyes and stare in confusion at Ethan.
"Nothing." Laughed Ethan.
"Nooooooo." Groaned Will as he pulled down the visor to check the mirror inside. "Oh god NO!"
"I think they'll know about the cracked tooth." Ethan at least had the decency to look apologetic as Will turned his face to the left, then the right. The swelling having fully taken hold.
"You've got to be kidding me!"
"And the lesson in all this? When someone says duck…."
I hope you enjoyed ! It was so much fun to write. You know what you need to do *nods to the little review button*