You are all amazing, beautiful people, and i'm taking you all home with me to keep! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing and, well, just taking the time to stop by!
We're at the end to this little adventure so i hope you enjoy the last chapter!
Much love x See you at the next whumping session!
The first glimmer of awareness that washed over him.
He couldn't remember where he'd been but from the swaying back and forth he assumed it had to do with an ocean. The tide carrying him somewhere, the waves lapping against the side. Birds in the distance riding the wind across the big blue as he travelled in the arms of the ship? Boat?
He couldn't remember a recent mission that involved a boat.
He felt safe so disregarded the concern and allowed his mind to drift for a time. He was warm and comfortable, although something was nagging at the back of his mind. He let it slide, the thought too far away to focus on and his head, for some reason, pounded the thought back into oblivion with an all consuming headache.
Time passed, how much time he didn't know, part of him couldn't care less. The part that did care, however, nudged his consciousness further forward into the light. He felt wind on his face, sunshine on his skin. He was laying on something. Not a boat as he had first thought, although the swaying was still prevalent, it was definitely not the swaying of a small boat on the waves of an ocean. He frowned as further awareness gripped him in her arms and flung him further forward to awakening. There was a hand on his back, a bandage around his head and hair in his mouth.
Hair in his mouth?
And what the hell was that smell?
Benji forced his tired eyes to open. At first he was blinded by the light of the day. As his iris's adjusted the ground came into view.
He was looking down at the ground.
Squinting, Benji focused on the soil beneath his body, with every sway and movement forward a hoof came into view.
"Will?" Croaked out Benji, the sound of his voice causing him to wince as the headache took the opportunity to jump up a notch. "Will?"
"Whoa, easy there."
Whoa? As the movement came to a stop Benji had a terrifying sinking feeling of fear that he hoped with all his soul would prove unfounded.
Will came into view, upside down.
"Hey, how you feeling?" He asked with concern, his hand still steady against Benji's back.
"William. What is going on?"
"First things first, how you feeling?"
"A little unsure, to be honest with you. Please, for the love of god, help me down."
"No problem, buddy."
Benji felt the hand on his back shift as he was pulled slowly forward. He gripped onto Brandt's neck as the analyst carefully slid him off onto the floor. Will did his best to hide the pain the action caused as he steadied Benji. The technician was as pale as the analyst and was swaying slightly on his feet. Knowing there was no way he'd be able to carry him if he passed out again, Will guided the concussed man over to a downed tree and coaxed him to sit.
Benji kept his eyes closed the entire time. Partly because the ground and surrounding area kept shifting and shimmering causing the nausea he'd hoped wasn't going to be part of his concussion to surge forward and threaten to knock him off his feet. But also because he feared seeing his mode of transport would burn the image into his mind to the point that no amount of therapy would ever cure him of the mental picture.
"You ok?" Brandt asked as he pressed a bottle of water into Benji's hand.
Benji nodded. His head down and a hand covering his eyes.
"Really? Cos you don't look so ok," Will sat next to Benji on the downed tree, he regarded his friend with concern as he drank from his own bottle of water.
"What happened?" Asked Benji without looking up.
"You fell. Scared the shit out of me to be honest."
At that Benji risked looking at his friend. "I take it I hit my head?"
"Yeah. I used some of your shirt to wrap your head. You're gonna need some stitches I'm afraid."
Benji glanced down at his shirt, noticing for the first time that the bottom half was missing.
"So we're both injured? Well that's just great."
"At least we're almost at the car, just another ten minutes or so then home free."
"Ok, well, hospital then home."
"I can't believe this is happening," Benji said as he covered his face with his hand again. "It was supposed to be a simple retrieval."
"You gotta admit, it'll make a funny story. Especially after, you know," Will gestured toward the animals standing close by. "We actually made pretty good time thanks to the little one."
"Do I even want to know?" Came a muffled inquiry.
"I had nothing to do with it my friend."
Benji looked up, studying the way Brandt was hunched over, a little breathless and as pale as Benji felt. His arm was still wrapped around his side and the bottle in his right hand shook slightly.
"Actually, how did you get me up there? With broken ribs?"
"As I said, I had nothing to do with it. When you fell I was certain you were joking. Until I saw the blood that is. I kept trying to wake you up while I wrapped your head. Its not too bad by the way, will probably only need a few stitches."
"I splashed water on your face, told you there was a fire, slapped your cheeks but nothing. You were out for the count."
"Explains the headache."
"Then suddenly your eyes pop open, you say "hey"and then start grinning like an idiot."
"I do not grin like an idiot."
"So, there I am, thinking you're actually ok cos you're all awake now, I try to help you up and you fall straight back down on your ass and start worrying about how I'm going to carry you down to the car. I think you may have even shed a tear."
"So I say, I mean, I merely suggest, how about you ride a moose."
"Oh my god. Please stop talking."
"You then jump up, and yee haw I might add, and before I know it you've…"
"Don't say it."
"Hopped up on baby moose there."
"Shoot me. Shoot me now."
"I swear I held my breath for a full five minutes thinking the parents would charge and knock you off, trampling you into the ground then come at me. But they just sniffed you a bit and stood there like nothing was going on."
"Seriously, I really don't want to know."
"So being super genius I am I got out my ruined shirt and hey presto, they followed all happy with their cargo when I started walking."
"I can't believe this."
"You passed out pretty much after hopping up on little Benji."
"You named it?"
"So I let you be and here we are, almost at the car."
"You named it little Benji?"
"Uh huh, the big guy is Ethan and the mother is Jane."
"This is not happening. You're lying. You put me up on that moose despite your broken ribs because you are a twisted individual who doesn't feel pain like normal people."
"I took pictures."
"I hate you."
"Lots of pictures."
"I'm going to kill you."
"Why don't we get to the car and back to the hotel first?" Will used Benji's shoulder to help him stand, leaving his hand on his friend as he waited for the English agent to join him.
"Hospital first," said Benji as he stood slowly, the ground and surrounding area staying put as the dizziness abated. He still felt sick, but thankfully even that was creeping into the distance. His headache however would be with him for a few days at least.
"At least this way you get to keep me company while we recover," pointed out Will.
"Fine, but we're not watching any movie with animals in it."
Will laughed softly as he fell into step next to Benji, the family of moose falling into step behind the two men. They walked through a small field and across a shallow stream before reaching a corner that lead directly to the road, their car coming into view like a long lost relative. If Will hadn't been in pain with his ribs, and Benji hadn't had a breath taking headache, they would have run together to the car to embrace it in their arms.
Both men turned to each other, grins threatening to split their faces in two.
"See," said Brandt as he motioned toward the car. "We made it in good time."
"This has to be the strangest day I've ever had," said Benji as he came to rest against the cool metal of the car. His back sank against the black surface as he breathed a sigh of relief. Will leant back against the car next to him. Their escort of moose stopping to graze next to the road.
Both men were light headed, sweaty, in pain and exhausted. Will still had his hunched forward stance while Benji squinted as he took in the sight of the moose.
"How you feeling?" Asked Benji as he pulled out another bottle of water.
"I'm ready to sit down, stay down and lay down," smiled Will. "You?"
"Aside from a large case of the embarrassments and a monster headache, I'm ok," said Benji as he reached up to probe the head wound. "Look at that, I've even stopped bleeding."
"That'll be the power of the moose," sniggered Brandt.
"I think I'm about ready for a few days of mother henning."
"From Ethan or Jane?"
"Both, I find they compete when one of us is hurt."
"True. I'm gonna miss them," Will said as he waved at the moose family, who were turning to make their way back into the depths of the national park. "They're not all that scary when you think about it."
"They do smell though."
"And they're a little bit hairy."
"Didn't get that close, unlike you my moose wrangling friend."
"Shut up and get in the car."
"You can't drive!" Exclaimed Will as he refused to allow Benji to move him to the passenger side.
"I can, no double vision so I'm fine."
"Benji, I'll drive."
"Oh really? You can barely stand straight so sitting straight will be a feet in itself, add in the fact I'm pretty sure the second you're seated you'll go nappy naps so just stop arguing and get in the car. It's not that far to drive into town and after the trek we've just taken this will be a piss easy task."
Benji had worked up quite the sweat as he'd spoken, gesturing with his hands as he tried to ignore the grin spreading across Will's face.
"What?" The English agent asked impatiently.
"We could always get a moose to drive."
"Funny. It's either the mildly concussed guy driving or the one that can barely sit up straight."
"Fine, you drive."
The two men slowly made their way to their respective sides of the car. Benji carefully sitting in a way that meant little movement for his pounding head. Will held his breath as he lowered himself gently into the car seat. He bent forward, then back, trying to find the most comfortable position. In the end he leaned back and closed his eyes, finally letting out the breath he'd been holding.
"Don't say a word," he said without opening his eyes.
"It's always so lovely of you to prove the point for us."
Brandt risked a glance at the grinning technician before returning the smile. He turned his head back, closing his eyes again and trying to suppress the wince as the car pulled out on to the road.
Benji looked into his rear view mirror, watching as the moose disappeared into the distance.
"It really is a good thing we got pictures, no way will the other's believe this," laughed Benji as he guided the car back toward town.
"Yeah," laughed Will, gripping his side tighter. "And if they don't believe the pictures then the video I got of you hopping up on the moose will be irrefutable."
The car swerved, causing Will to wince in pain. "Hey," he complained to the driver.
"Serves you right," mumbled Benji.
See that little button there? If you hit it a Moose will appear!