It was never easy but they always pulled through. One way or another, they would get the information they required and complete the job.
This time was no different. Except instead of their usual foursome, they were down to two men. Ethan remained in the hallway while Benji descended into the cellar below, where the documents they needed were stored. It was easy-in, easy-out; Benji would get the files while Ethan stood watch. But what they hadn't counted on was for things to go wrong as quickly as they did.
Ethan was stood in the shadows of the small building, gun away yet within reach should the need arise. His breathing was the only sound in the vacinity and the cool night air wrapped itself around his body. Checking his watch, he saw that Benji had been down there for about three minutes. He knew that the tech should easily be done soon and they would be able to leave.
Then he heard a sound that caused his heart to stop.
Benji tugged his jacket closer around him as he searched through the filing cabinets. There were countless files that would be no use to them, which only made his search even more difficult. It felt strange that he was the one looking through the drawers for the information; a complete role reversal of Moscow. He only hoped that it would not be a repeat of what happened that day.
When he finally found the right file, he smirked, shoving the paperwork into his satchel and rising to his feet. As he stood, however, he felt a hand cover his mouth from behind, the stranger using the grip as leverage to pull him back into their torso. Just as he prepared himself to fight back, there was a barely audible whisper in his ear.
"Shh, it's me." It was Ethan. He hadn't realised how tense his body had become until he relaxed into his friend's grasp, but the older man didn't remove his hand. "Someone is outside. I think it's our mark. Did you get the file?" Benji nodded. "Ok, let's get out of here." Ethan let Benji go and the pair crept back to the stairwell. Just as Ethan placed his foot on the first step, they heard hushed voices from above.
"Someone's in here." One voice came drifting down.
"You check the basement, I've got upstairs."
Ethan turned to look at Benji, whose eyes were wide, and motioned to get back. They moved as silently as possibly searching for an exit until Benji spotted the small window across the room. He quietly snapped his fingers to get Ethan's attention before pointing at the escape. The leader nodded and they made to cross the basement, however a creaking sound made them freeze.
The door was opening.
Panicking, Ethan caught glimpse of some boxes in the corner and pulled Benji towards them, yanking the younger man down to the floor behind what he hoped would provide a decent shield. Just as they hit the ground, they heard the man making his way down the stairs. As they sat huddled together, Ethan up against the wall with Benji's back pressed against his torso, he could feel the way the tech's breathing was ragged. His own breathing picked up slightly as the man walked around the basement searching. Once more, Ethan brought a hand to cover Benji's nose and mouth while he used his other hand to silence himself.
The man got closer and closer until he was on the other side of the boxes. The agents froze, their hearts practically stopping as they begged for him to move away. They sat like that for what felt like a lifetime, before suddenly, he shouted out, causing them both to jump.
"Basement is clear. You're hearing things again, Jimmy." The man then started to walk again, taking the stairs up before locking the basement door. Ethan let his hands drop and relaxed, feeling Benji's body sag against him with relief.
"Now can we get out of here?" Benji whispered, causing Ethan to smile slightly. He nodded and they carefully stood, moving swiftly to the window and making their escape.