Nothing is True. Everything is Connected.
Sylum Advent 2021: December 25th (Snippet #2)

Sylum Advent 2021: December 25th (Snippet #2)

Title: Mission Impossible: Bonds

Author: Bj Jones

Author’s Note: This is the next segment of the Mission Impossible storyline, that will showcase how Ethan/Luther Mated and also Brandt/Benji’s meeting and Mating.

Ethan arrived in Japan, making his way down to Kagoshima, one week after he left Luther behind in London. The Vampire wanted his Mate, but he had lived with his anxiety for over a hundred years and had known he was in no mind to deal with Luther at the moment.

The time he spent with Jack and Will hadn’t helped his mind set.

Will was pissed at him for not talking to Luther, to the point that he left Germany before Ethan left for Japan. He didn’t blame him, they both knew at one point a Mate would appear in their lives. Will wanted Ethan to be with his Mate, but at the moment couldn’t watch it, while Ethan was trying to come to terms with the idea of a Mate alongside a husband. It was for the best they stayed separated for a while, to let them both come to grips with the new changes.

The fact he left their bed before dawn, without saying goodbye had sucked.

Jack had also been pissed at him for not letting him on the mission, for not telling him about Phelps, and for Sarah’s death.

They argued a lot, and when he tossed Sarah’s death at him, yelling that he had got her killed, he walked away. He avoided Jack the next day, and found a spot on one of the towers of the Castle. He was sure Mary was glaring at him, through a few floors, but he made sure not to leave any muddy footprints on her clean window frames.

‘I’m sorry.’

Ethan startled slightly then glanced at Jack. ‘You have nothing to be sorry for.’

‘I was being shitty.’ He held up his hand, stopping the reply. ‘I was. It wasn’t your fault that Phelps was a grade a dick. Let alone dealing with the dick as your Sire, talk about an abusive relationship, and I know what those are like. I shouldn’t have taken my frustration out on you. I miss her, she kept me on my toes and was genuinely a great gal.’

‘She was.’ Ethan stared out over the land, sent a prayer to the heavens that she was at peace and maybe one day he would see her again.

‘I don’t like being shipped off, but I get it.’ Jack sat next to him, taking his hand. ‘I can’t go back to the IMF, so being a Hollywood elite won’t be too bad.’

Ethan laughed, squeezing his hand. ‘When you win that Oscar or Emmy, remember me, just don’t tell anyone my name.’

“Did he ever win an Emmy?” Jake asked.

“Yeah he did.” Luther nodded, taking a sip of his beer. “You know the show Crab Hunting, a good few years ago, it won an Emmy for the footage of that ship going down, with Captain Turd.”

“I heard about it, he was the cameraman that got the footage?” He laughed lightly. “I’m sure he wasn’t expecting Hollywood to be more dangerous than the IMF.”

“He ended up Turned from that incident, lives mostly up at Serenity. He figured out that the reason Sarah’s death was so hard on him, she was his Mate.” Luther never met the woman, but he was curious to meet her when she returned. “And at the awards ceremony he thanked Ethan…

‘I would like to thank my dear friend who helped me with my career change. And to Sarah, my dearest, this is for you for believing in me all those years ago. I miss you.’

… We ended up meeting up with him at the after party. Kirk Lazarus got us in, kept telling everyone, Ethan was an old friend named Tom.” Luther chuckled at the memory, it had been a fun night. He got to see Ethan relaxed and enjoying life.

“Why didn’t Ethan Turn him?”

“He was in no place at the time, after Phelps and coming to terms with me, I think all of it was too much, which is why he spent time in Japan and Australia, well before we ended up on another mission.”

“Where he found Mango, his spirit animal.”

Nathan pulled his nephew into his arms the moment he stepped inside their home. He wasn’t surprised Mushu got in on the action.

“Can’t breathe.” Ethan chuckled, stuck between his Uncle and a clingy dragon.

“Don’t need to.” Nathan refused to let go.

“My human’s, human.”

Ethan laughed lightly, wiggling out between the two. “Not that I don’t appreciate it, but I’m not in a good space right now.”

“The fact you can admit that is most of the battle.” Nathan smiled at him, knowing how hard his nephew battled with his anxiety, about as much as he did. “There are times I still can’t handle being on my knees….”

“I’m sure Katsumoto is saddened.” He teased his uncle slightly, knowing it would lighten the mood.

“I’m talented enough that I don’t have to be on my knees.” He snarked, sending both of them into giggles. Which, neither would admit to even under the pain of death. “Seriously, Ethan. I get it, even now there are times that even my Mate holding me is too much.”

“You were tortured.”

“So were you, by someone you trusted.” Nathan refused to let him hide away from it. “My pain is not greater than yours, it’s just different. We fixed you a room, near the back where the doors open to the wide open spaces.”

“I found my Mate.” He said quickly, eyes closed as if admittingly it outloud would change the situation.

Nathan took his hand and led him over to the couch, making him sit. He glanced up to see his Mate at the door, who only nodded and went to find some tea. Mushu moved to the bottom of the couch, rolling until all four paws were in the air, he got pets from his human, then settled in to protect mode.

“This is good news.” Nathan assured him, leaning back into the corner giving his nephew the space he needed.

“I know.” Ethan pulled his own feet onto the couch, arms wrapping around his legs. “He’s amazing. Helped me with the last mission … ” He explained about Phelps, the NOC List, and told him about Luther. “He’s back at IMF, and despite Will’s bitching I don’t plan to be gone long, but I just can’t right now.”

“I get it.” Nathan reached over and tickled one of Mushu’s paws. “You can stay here as long as you need, and if here becomes too much you can always go see Connor. I know it helped after that particular mission went bad.”

Ethan cringed slightly, it was a mission he didn’t like to think about. One that went wrong in so many ways, and nothing good came out of it. The bomb had still gone off killing hundreds, it wasn’t the first time he had run out of options and failed, but it was one that affected him the most. Nathan had taken him to Australia, introduced him to Connor, and his vast amount of sheep. Farm work was familiar, no matter the type of farm. After a few weeks, he thanked Connor for his therapy and went back to work.

“I do expect to meet him, once you’re Mated.” Nathan gave him a small smile. “After all, someone has to make sure he’s good enough for my nephew.”

“As long as Wales isn’t around.”

“I heard my name being used in vain.” Wales grinned at the two, as he leaned against the door jam. “Good to see you Ethan, and congratulations on finding your Mate. Just remember, someone has to train the poor boy how to properly care and feed you idealistic idiots.”

Ethan spent three months in Japan. During that time, he ended up tackled by Mushu as he stalked across the field, never once making it half way. The two usually ended up taking naps in the long grass in the warm afternoon sun.

Sifu dragged him out into the fields to meditate, it wasn’t something he was good at. Settling his mind and body was difficult. On a mission he could stay still if need be, but his mind was always looking for new outs, figuring out new options, going over mission plans looking for holes, and finding better ways to save the world.

Getting his mind to shut down, usually took a good hard fuck. At times Will could get him so far gone, that the only thing he could focus on was the next touch.

Losing himself in pleasure.

Calming both mind and body was near impossible.

It was the third day of sitting out in the middle of the field, being told to calm his mind and just let his anxiety dissolve off him and into the ground.

“Focus on the sound of the butterfly wings.”

Ethan bit back the snort. This wasn’t new either, the rumor mill had it that Sifu even got Speed out into the field to calm his mind, waiting for the damn butterfly that never showed up. It was one of Sifu’s oldest tricks, and somehow it still worked.

Despite him being blind he knew if you moved an inch.

“Stop thinking, I can feel it from here.”

Ethan took a calming breath, letting out his frustrations, his fears. He focused on Luther’s smile and laugh. He remembered the calm he felt being around him, how in those few days he had been content and happy, despite the stress of the job.

There was a soft flutter on his arm. He forced himself to stay calm, and not move a muscle then slowly opened his eyes, to see over a dozen butterflies sitting on his arms and legs. He wanted to laugh, but didn’t want to scare them off.

“See.” Sifu gave him a warm smile. “A calm mind can open you to so many possibilities.”

“You are such an asshole.” Which got the older Hunter to chuckle. “You have these guys stashed in another valley just waiting for some signal.” Ethan couldn’t stop smiling, even when the last one flew off, and he hated to admit he felt calmer than he had in a while, but then Sifu had that influence on others.

As the two made their way back to the Clan home, he leaned into Ethan. “Don’t tell anyone.”

“So you do have butterflies stashed!” He nudged him slightly, he knew what the Hunter could do with his staff, and had the bruises to prove it. Sifu stepped in front of Ethan, making him come to stop, then took a step back at the seriousness of the moment. “If I offended…”

“No.” He shook his head, both hands resting on his staff. “Ethan you are much like your Uncle, a caring heart, that takes too much of the pains of the world onto your shoulders. Your Mate will be the one to care for you. He’ll help you save the world, then hold you afterwards.”

“What if he doesn’t want me?” He asked, voice quiet. “I’m not the easiest person to deal with. I jump into situations without thinking, can’t sit for more than a few seconds, and can be annoying as fuck.”

“Have you met Marco?” That got a laugh out of him. “I’m sure he’ll see all those traits as charming. Though, if he doesn’t accept you, then it is his loss. You then come home and let your Uncle take care of you, while Wales and I deal with everything else.”

“And let me tell you Wales and Sifu working together is terrifying.” Luther downed the rest of his beer. “After we Mated, he took me back to Japan to meet the family. Those two were the first ones I met. I’m not a small guy, and Wales towered over me. He didn’t need to lean against the wall cleaning his nails with his knife to be intimidating, yet it worked so nicely.”

Jake chuckled, he had met Wales once and he was so not like the rest of the Meridii it was shocking. He had Javert’s build, but he let the madness run wild, while the others were good at acting more civilized before doing something crazy.

“I want to know about this Mango.” Jake pulled out snacks from behind the bar, the good ones, not the ones he set out for the cheap drunks.

Luther pulled his phone out of his back pocket, scrolled through his ‘Adorable Ethan’ photos, most of them was him resting with a sloth, until he found the latest one. It was of Ethan sitting cross legged on the ground, Mango, the sheep, standing in front of him, their foreheads touching. “This is actually Mango the 2nd.”

Jake couldn’t help the chuckle at the image, it was a side of Ethan not many see, as a matter of fact he had only seen it once. It was a few weeks after he brought Luther back to London, it was the first time Jake had seen him relaxed, smile was wide and true.

“So how is Mango his Spirit Animal?” Jake asked, still smiling at the image.

“Ever heard of a Walkabout?” Luther asked, distracted as he glanced at his text messages. Benji was ranting in their group chat, well at least the visit was going well and he wouldn’t have to send Ethan up to Scotland to break Will out of jail for doing something stupid, while he hacked accounts to destroy lives.

‘Help! My dad likes Will and now their buddies!’

Luther tried not to snicker at the image Benji sent of Brandt and Mr. Dunn laughing over what looked to be a photo album.

‘Oh God he’s pulled out my baby photos. I’m going to just die now. Tell me there’s some world emergency that we need to solve, there has to be some terrorist that needs to be taken out.’

‘This is not fair! There’s no baby pictures of Will that someone can embarrass him with!’

Luther rolled his eyes. ‘Ethan has compromising images.’

‘And you’re telling me this NOW! Where are these? ETHAN!!!!’

The image that popped up was of Wilhelm in a Renaissance outfit. The tights were purple, the pantaloons black with purple stripes, a black vest buttoned over the dark purple shirt, that at last looked somewhat normal. He had his bow in hand, and a quiver of arrows strapped to his back. He looked like a man who was resigned to his fate.

‘Undercover Renaissance Fair. Authentic outfit.’

‘I love you!’

Luther frowned when he saw the text under the group chat, this one from an Unknown Sender.

‘I want all the information you have on Lord Croft. I know you have a file. I want everything. The man will not live long enough to regret not staying dead.’

‘You’ll have it by dinner.’

‘Thank you my dear, we’re looking forward to seeing you.’

It would seem Brandt found the image Ethan uploaded.

‘Ethan I thought we agreed never to show that picture!’

‘I have worse ones, remember that my dear husband.’

‘It’s like watching your parents arguing.’

Luther ignored all of them by putting his phone back in his pocket, then reached for his beer.

Jake was smart enough not to ask, so instead went back to their conversation. “Heard of it. It’s a tradition of the Aborigines in Australia, or do I have that wrong?”

“It’s an Aborigine right of passage for young men, and over time became something uniquely Australian. Basically the idea of a Walkabout is to start walking until you run into yourself. It’s a spiritual journey, helping one to come to terms with what’s going on in their life.” Luther settled onto one of the bar stools. “This is where our Mating story begins.”


  1. najean1

    Oi! Leave a person hanging!
    Love it! I loved the whole Japan sequence, especially Mushu and his human’s human. And Sifu and his damned butterflies! And Mango the spirit animal.
    Poor Will and the purple, authentic Renaissance outfit…(heh heh)
    —Naj 😀 ♥️♥️

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