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Mikey wasn't the guy who went in. He'd tried to be, at first, when he was in training, but he just didn't have the temperament for it--either the calm or the sheer foolhardiness. Brendon didn't have much of the former--although he could, Mikey knew, it was sort of like a secret between them that he could, but he could--but he had enough of the latter to share. It was sometimes a little much for Mikey to take. Mikey was their information guy, the guy Brendon asked questions when his own knowledge wasn't enough to get the job done. The guy Brendon pretty much depended on to get him out of situations alive.

There were a lot of days when Mikey really missed being an alcoholic, this one being no exception to that quickly forming rule. Brendon got out, which Mikey knew enough to count as a win, but there was a completely demolished half a city block to let Mikey know how close it had been. Brendon, who generally took his wins with a little too much glee, but particularly when he had nothing but himself to celebrate, was fucking manic and when he locked them in the changing room, pressed Mikey up to the wall, Mikey took what he had to give for a little bit but then pushed him off, said, "No, Brendon, Jesus, do you even know who you're kissing?"

Brendon struggled but Mikey held him until some of the crazed energy bled from his eyes. Brendon said, "Hey. Hey. You can let go. I won't blow any buildings up."

Mikey wasn't letting go. He caressed at the back of Brendon's neck. "We can't always stop them from going off, Bren. That's-- That's part of the job description. It's why they test for the ability to handle failure."

"I passed that test," Brendon said, wonderingly. Mikey pulled him into his chest. Brendon asked, "You a little pissed?"

"I told you to get out of there. I don't-- I don't fucking tell you that because if I lost you I'd go insane, I tell you that because a bomb can't be diffused and it's my job to know that. It's actually your job to listen to me."

"I know. I know. I-- Sometimes it feels like if I can just keep my fingers on the thing longer, that they'll tell me what to do, how to figure it all out."

Mikey sighed, and bent in to kiss Brendon again. "Sometimes it feels like you're just trying to scare the shit out of me."

"I'm-- Mikey, I'm not."

"You volunteer for jobs that nobody else will take, Bren. And I know, I know you like the rush, the puzzle, the actual danger of it, we all do, we all took this job, but you love it more than the others, and sometimes--" Mikey looked off to the side, at the window that was always fogged over, regardless of weather. When he spoke again it was nearly a whisper. "I think maybe you love it more than me."

Brendon dragged Mikey's gaze back to his with his hand. "Mikeyway."

"No, you can't just, you can't just say my name and smile irrepressibly and think I'll forget. I'm easy for you but I'm not stupid, Urie."

"No, I seem to be the stupid one, here," Brendon muttered.


"My fingers aren't any smarter than your brain. I should know that. And when you told me to leave, I should have done that part of my job. It's just instinct, going against the rules. Something I got used to back when I told my parents I was going to the police academy rather than on Mission. I just... For a while there it was just what I did, to make sure I was doing things for me. But I think, I don't know, I think now it's just doing things, rather than doings for me, for anyone. Certainly not for you."

Mikey said, "You don't have to do things for me, I'm not your parents, I don't need--"

"You're my lover," Brendon said. They didn't say it, not very often, not with all the risk of getting caught, not with the way it could be addictive. "I chose you. For a reason."

Mikey said, "For a bit there, for a few minutes, I wasn't even sure you had made it out." He swallows the sob that wants to accompany the words.

"Okay," Brendon said. "Okay." They stood there for a bit, silent, just watching each other. Mikey asked, "Um. Do I still get to be attacked by you and your voracious sexual appetite?"

"Any one you walk away from," Brendon said, and pounced.

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Skin by egelantier, photo by microbophile