Nothing is True. Everything is Connected.
Sylum Advent 2020: December 10th

Sylum Advent 2020: December 10th


This Advent there is a series of Snippets or Timestamps from a variety of stories & characters.  Some of these will become larger stories, some will be as is.

Title: Role Reversal
Author: Bj Jones
Sylum Timeline: 2016
Summary: This really wasn’t his gig
Author’s Note: Music Inspired this snippet: Shoop by Salt-N-Pepa

The mission started off normal.

With the standard ‘We need your team to do the crazy stuff you do to save the world, but don’t tell us so we can have plausible deniability’.

They packed their bags, made their way to a private jet – Benji had discovered there were serious benefits being Mated to the Chief Analyst, and the Childe of the Head Field Agent, who saved the world enough times that when they asked for a private jet, they got one.

Luther was annoyed that Ethan barely had a twenty-four hour break between the last mission, shockingly it was a rare quiet one. There hadn’t been too many car crashes, death defying tricks, not even one tiny nuclear bomb – yet Ethan still ended up stabbed and tossed into a frozen lake.

He dragged his Mate into the back of the plane, settled him on the bed, climbed in and used his own bulk and strength to keep Ethan tucked in until he fell asleep. Benji saw an opportunity, and dragged his own Mate to one of the couches, cuddled him until he put down the paperwork. Will had chuckled lightly, put his arm around his Mate, and had also fallen asleep.

A few days later their base of operations was set up in the Honeymoon Suite, in the Smugglers Quay Hotel in Oslo, Norway. Isaac Evan had given them the Suite, introduced them to his Mate, the Police Inspector, who had found the connection between a killer he had been Hunting, with their Weapons Dealer. Seemed their Dealer, Kelsie Gruton, hired the man to take out the local competition.

“We’ll send in Ethan…” Will had surveyed the local areas, brushing up on his Norwegian, it had been a while since he had worked with Mod Clan. As Lead Hunter of Weisheit/Ehre he should’ve already met Harry Hole, but he’d been focused on so many other things, he missed that Ike had found a Mate, let alone one from the family of Assassins.

“Not going to work.” Harry leaned back in his chair giving them a bored look.

“Why?” Benji eyed him from his place behind the bank of computers. He was man enough to admit that Hole made him uncomfortable, the man was intense – hunting Serial Killers will do that, but there was something about him that made Benji want to stay next to his Mate.

“She’s not going to take a second look at Ethan, not her type.” Harry shrugged, then looked at the team. “Wait, did you assume that because she has a Swedish name and lives in Oslo, she’s white?”

“We have no photos of her.” Will resisted tossing his pen to the table in frustration.

“Haven’t made that mistake in a while.” Ethan shook his head. “Okay new plan.”

“What?” Will glanced at his wife. “You think we should call Jane?”

“Might not be a bad idea, we can have her approach from a different direction, something like a bodyguard. What we have been able to ascertain, is that she prefers to give women opportunities they normally wouldn’t have otherwise.”

“I’ll call Jane, they’ll be best friends instantly.” Will picked up his phone and texted their teammate, who was finishing a job in Canada. Will had to admit, he was curious to know what she was doing, last they had talked Hanaway was running from a Moose.

“Can’t we just call your mom?” Benji sighed wondering if this would be simpler if they got Max involved.

Ethan laughed, smiling wide. “Benji, who do you think gave her the start-up money?” He stood, moved across the room, stopping in front of the second set of computer banks. “Love.”

Luther had been ignoring all of them. He had been trying to find a picture of the woman they were hunting, plus digging into financial records of all of her rivals, hoping to follow the money directly to her, but so far he kept hitting dead ends. He could see why Max gave her startup cash, Kelsie Gruton was good.

He slipped off his headphones and looked up at his Mate, not liking his expression. “Whatever you’re thinking, no.”

“You’re our only hope.”

Before Luther could even argue, he was yanked away from his set up, as Ethan ordered Benji to take over, he was pulled into the bedroom. He doubted his Mate was being horny, and was looking for a good time … but he hadn’t expected what he truly wanted.

***

Luther wasn’t exactly sure how Ethan convinced him to do this. Oh, he got that it was part of his job, saving the world, blah, blah … but this wasn’t Luther’s gig. He didn’t make contact with the marks, he hacked into their computers, helped his team navigate through cities, break into CIA headquarters, he didn’t do the seductive thing.

“I seriously deserve more than a blow job for this.” He muttered as he rolled his shoulders, cracked his neck, tipped his fedora just right, and entered the club.

“If you pull this off. I’ll blow you.” Will gave him a smirk as he walked, with a tray of drinks in his hand, playing the role of waiter. “She’s at the back booth, with friends, and a few business associates. Perfect view of the bar.”

“What exactly am I supposed to do?” Luther asked. “The last time I seduced anyone was the smiling idiot in the van.”

“Hey!”

“Not you Benji.” Ethan’s voice was filled with laughter. “Which one of us was doing the wooing?”

“I injected myself with a world ending disease.”

“And I burned down Australia to get the antidote.”

“Ah love at the IMF.” Benji cooed at the two of them, they both ignored him. “Just do what you do with Ethan.”

“You do realize he’s easy right?” Will commented, knowing that if you give his wife candy, she was yours forever.

“Chocolate.” Luther agreed with Brandt. “Or a new gun.”

“Mr. Goodbars and a nice BMW will get me going.” Ethan shrugged as he leaned in his chair. Benji refused to let him touch anything. “Or you can just slam me into the wall and have your way.”

“Yeah that works.” Luther and Will both said at the same time, causing Benji to choke on his coffee.

“I’m not sure I’m pissed you both know that or pissed I haven’t tried it.” Double growls just made Ethan laugh harder. “This is the weirdest mission we’ve been on.”

“I like to remind you of the time you broke into Buckingham Palace.” Will made his way to the bar, to put some orders in, making sure to get a view of the target. “In a dress.”

“Which one of us are you talking to?” Benji glared at the screen, trying not to laugh at Will’s wink at the camera.

“I make a horrible woman, just ask Jake.” Ethan leaned forward watching his Mate on the different screens. “Honey, put the smile on when you get a new Stark computer. Yeah that one. Now remember that time you hacked into ICE, and totally wiped out those Immigration cases, making sure those kids were suddenly citizens… yeah that strut.”

Luther made his way to the bar, leaned against making sure she got a view of his ass in the designer dress pants, he knew he looked good in those. It was one of the few pairs that will get Ethan to lose his composure.

“The target took the bait.”

Ethan wasn’t sure he liked this side of the OP, watching Luther smile and chat up the mark. She was beautiful, and likely exactly what his Mate would go for. Sophisticated, smart, dressed immaculately, and obviously had no problem going for what she wanted.

He was feeling like the farm kid who always said the wrong thing at the wrong time.

The only thing going against her was she had killed three of her rivals and sold arms to a terrorist organization that had shot up a UN convoy.

Despite old insecurity popping up, he was proud of his Mate. This was way out of his comfort zone, and yet he had her just where they wanted. He wasn’t trying to buy in, or even acted like he knew what she did for a living, Luther was flirting with a really gorgeous woman.

Ethan took off his headphones, nodded towards the door. “I need air. I’m not used to being cooped up.”

“Whimp.” Benji gave him a grin. “Can hang upside down for an hour, or climb the tallest building, but ten minutes in the van and he’s done!”

Ethan patted him on the shoulder. “Got my phone, in case I need to invade Sweden at some point.”

A high pitch laugh, followed by ‘you’re such a bad boy’ was enough for Ethan to roll his eyes as he left the van. He just needed a quick walk, get his old memories under check, so he can focus back on the mission.

Found himself near the waterfront, the cool wind off the water was refreshing. He leaned against the railing looking out over the water, he breathed in the sea air, letting the tension roll off him. Last thing he needed was to upset Luther during the mission.

He knew the gut twisting fear he was feeling, was stupid. It was old memories that brought back old anxieties. Ethan gripped the railing tightly, making sure to stay calm though he really just wanted to scream.

Fucking Phelps.

He hadn’t felt these anxieties since he had died. Only to find out the bastard was still roaming this earth, and had the ability to make him feel like a damn rookie.

“Come here often?”

He may have squeaked, but will deny it until his dying breath, and didn’t care if Luther pulled up camera footage to prove it. His head turned, giving his Mate a small smile. “Not as often as I would like.”

“You’re the one who asked me to do this.” Luther leaned back against the railing, watching the crowds, while keeping a side eye on his fidgety Mate.

“I know, and it needs to be done. I honestly don’t have a problem with it. Yeah, it’s odd from this perspective, but I’m well suited to understand the situation.” Ethan kept staring out to the water. “It’s not the job that I’m having issues with.”

“Ethan, talk to me.”

“Old ghosts.”  He glanced over, giving him a half smile.  “We know Phelps fucked me over in a variety of different ways.  We had only told Lara a moment in time, not the years of dealing with him.  Seeing you, with a beautiful woman…”

“Who is an arms dealer.”

“Aren’t they all?” Ethan chuckled at Luther’s snort. “Old anxieties, insecurities, from that shy farm kid that still lurks under the International Spy. You’re my Mate. You love me, and deal with the husband that comes with me. I know you’re not going to run off with an arms dealer, but that scared kid that Phelps picked up, not so much.”

Luther pulled Ethan into his arms, wrapping the smaller man tightly against him. “There are times I forget that you’re a bundle of anxiety, that hides his insecurities by jumping out of windows 110 floors up.”

“You love me.”

“I do.” He cupped Ethan’s face in his hands and kissed him soundly. “I have a date tomorrow, we’re going to check out some jazz clubs. For some reason she thinks I’m a Music Producer.”

“Calling Warrick?”

“Wilhelm is already on it, when Benji tried to hack his computer to set up a profile, he got tossed out and told off. Warrick has some damn good security for a Records Producer.”

“Pirate.” Ethan chuckled. “I need to work on my bartending skills. Keep my eye on the bitch, make sure she doesn’t do anything stupid.”

“Like try and seduce me?” Luther slipped an arm around the always to small waist, as the two of them headed back to the hotel. He was thinking of a bath, room service, then let Ethan show him who he belonged to.

“Hell yeah. That hot black ass belongs to me, you know what those pants do to me.”

Oh it was going to be a good night.

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