A/N: So here is the final chapter! Thank all of you for staying with me all this time! And thank you for your wonderful reviews! You are all amazing! Special thanks to PeggsterLover for the support :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Mission: Impossible.

Chapter 17

Brandt was making his way in the dark of the night, trying not to wake up his fellow agents in their bedrooms. The only light in the apartment was from the moon which shone brightly through the windows. For some reason, the walls of his own bedroom seemed to be pushing on him, choking him in the process. He put his t-shirt on, quietly made it to the sofa in the living room and practically fell into it, his face buried in his hands. It was all over. It had been over a month now. And yet his hyper-active mind didn't want to rest. Well, he was an analyst for a reason.

What annoyed him most was that there was nothing left to analyze, really. Everything was clear. The mole had been caught, Henderson was dead, and the virus had been taken care of. But he just wanted to blame someone for what had happened. For what had happened to Benji. Maybe it was Ethan's fault for not checking the information properly. Maybe it was Jane's for being so late with her help. Maybe it was Benji's fault for not looking around him in that hotel room. Maybe it was his own fault for not rushing to his friend's aid when he had first suspected something. It didn't matter anymore, after all. But his mind still wouldn't leave him alone.

"Can't sleep?" the voice with an English accent sounded near him. It was quiet and weak, nearly a whisper, and yet it made Brandt jump. He took his hands away from his face to see the technician sitting in an armchair beside the sofa. In the moonlight he looked mortally pale and almost transparent. Too ghost-like for the analyst's liking.

"What are you doing here?" was all Brandt could say as the initial shock began to subside. Benji shrugged and looked away, not saying anything.

"Why aren't you sleeping?" William had every right for the strictness he applied to the question. Benji was still wearing his jeans and t-shirt, which showed that he clearly hadn't even gone to bed that night.

"I've been doing little else for the past weeks," the tech smiled unhappily. He paused hesitantly before continuing, not wanting to flood his friend with images that had been filling his head all this time. "Feels like if I go to sleep, I might never wake up again".

Brandt swallowed hard, feeling chills down his spine. Too many times had they been afraid of the same thing. For too many times it had nearly happened.

"Coffee?" the technician suggested. Brandt knew Jane and Ethan would be very mad at him for not making Benji go to his room and get some sleep. But it was the first time they got to talk to each other after Benji's recent release from the hospital. Benji hadn't talked much since then, to be honest. And they didn't want to push him. After a few seconds' pause William nodded, wincing at how unsteady his friend looked when he stood up. Benji seemed to have noticed that wince.

"Are you alright?" he asked. The question nearly made Brandt yell at him. Of course I am not alright, how can everything be alright after all this mess. But it wasn't what he said. "Yeah," he just stood there for another second. "It's good to have you back".

"Thanks. Though that's not what I thought you'd say," for the first time in a long while Benji's voice had some expression in it. Brandt just had a problem identifying it.

"What did you think?"

"Thought you were gonna punch me in the face or something," Benji shrugged nonchalantly.

The analyst didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He felt that he was sort of going for both options. He threw his arms around his friend, squeezing him tightly, barely feeling the tech's weak attempt at returning the hug.

"Benji?" he half-sobbed as he finally pulled away, his arm still around the younger agent's shoulders.


"I've lost my new phone".

It suddenly sounded so funny and childish to him that he started laughing again, closing his eyes in an attempt to calm down. He froze, however, when he sensed the all too familiar shaking from his friend, the flashbacks making his blood run cold. He quickly looked at the Englishman's face and let out a relieved sigh.

"That sucks," tears were running down Benji's cheeks as he was trying to suppress both them and the quiet chuckles which made his body shake. "But you'll get another one. A better one".

Five minutes later both of them were having strong coffee in the kitchen. Ten minutes later both were asleep, sitting on the sofa, some old action movie playing on the television screen in front of them.