Jerking his hand back as the spark ignited from the control-board of the security system. Braxton shook his hand to relieve some of the sting. Backing away a moment he reached into his tool-belt and pulled out his protective gloves and slid them on. After that, he grabbed his wire-cutters again and went back to work.
Spending about thirty more minutes on the project. Braxton had successfully fixed the badge scanner. For roughly the ninth time in the last two years. The damn thing kept busting and Braxton knew exactly why. It was a little ploy to simply annoy him. And annoy him it did. Luckily, it never took Braxton long to finish a task so there really wasn’t anything to it. He unlatched his belt, pulled off his gloves, and headed back into the base.
Once inside he turned the system back on the place was locked and running again. Riding the elevator up to his floor, Braxton strolled back into the IT office and scanned his hand to enter. Setting down his equipment Braxton then went back to “technical mode” and went straight to the main computer and booted it up. Logging himself in he sat down at the chair and got himself comfortable. He plugged in his headphone and turned on his music and placed his glasses on his face. Cracking his knuckles he went straight to work.
He did his usual scanned the premises of the base from the security cameras and made sure there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary that could be a possible threat. As soon as that was all finished, he focused on the camera systems in the training room. Braxton eyed closely so he could recognize each agent and made sure they were there and working hard. Seeing familiar faces, he checked off that each of them was there and training hard. There was, however, something a little off. As Braxton looked at the footage closer, he discovered that someone, in particular, was missing.
Furrowing in confusion, Braxton leaned in and zoomed the camera further to see if he could spot him anywhere. Right away he found the sight of his brother Zach. Near Zach was the number one agent Madigan, and not far off he found the sight of Calderon. But Conner was still nowhere to be found. A wave of perturbation washed over him as he continued to navigate on the screen. Just at that moment he saw movement in the corner of his eye and flinched harshly as he glanced up.
“Jesus H. Christ!”
Braxton yelped out as he paused his music and removed his headphones. Heaving out a breath of relief and sitting back in his desk chair.
“I think I shit myself! What are ya doing sneaking up on me like that?!”
“Alright, sorry. Sheesh. I wanted t’speak t’ya is all.”
Conner responded as he took a step back and crossed his arms. He was still in his usual training attire. Singlet and boxing shorts. Sneakers and golden gloves boxing necklace around his neck.
Braxton reoriented himself and closed the tab on the computer. Reaching over he grabbed a can of RedBull and cracked it open before standing to speak to Conner. Taking a long drink as he eyed his boss and best friend.
“Talk to me about what?”
Braxton asked after swallowing and setting the can down again. Watching as Conner averted his eyes in thought a second before looking to Braxton again. Uncrossing his arms he clapped his hands together once.
“Gots a proposition for ya. A fine offer if y’will.”
“Con, I thought I made it clear. I only like you as a friend.”
“Ha-ha. Okay, look. I need ya t’join us on this next mission. Both groups are gonna be out there an’ we could use ya.”
Braxton blinked as he looked at Conner and thought about it for a moment. He had been on a few missions of course and was pretty well trained. The only thing was he didn’t necessarily like to do it and he especially didn’t like to fight much at all. He preferred to stay back and monitor everything and keep an eye on things. However, it must’ve been something important if it meant that Conner was setting everyone out there to fight blind. And they would be if Braxton joined them.
“I don’t know... shouldn’t I stay back and keep watch instead?”
“No, Brax c’mon you’re a lot more talented than y’think. Have ya checked the credentials page recently?”
Conner moved over to where Braxton was standing and went over to the main computer. Lowering the projector he logged out of Braxton’s name and into his own. Then he clicked his folder and pulled up the agent profiles. Clicking over to the first age group.
Braxton watched Conner and then went over to shut off the lights. Then he moved beside the desk and looked up at the names and scores of the agents.
“Now look closely.”
Conner called out as he pulled up the top three agents.
“Okay... number one is still Leander Madigan. Holy hell those are high numbers. Number two is C-Calderon Bakugou is number two?! How did he do that?! Oh my god!”
Conner rolled his eyes and dropped his head a moment. Shaking it he heaved a sigh before lifting it back up and scrolling down a little more.
“Moron, will y’look at who’s right after?”
Braxton blinked at Conner a moment before he took a quick glance over his shoulder to read the next name.
“Number three’s Braxton Lennon.”
Stopping a second he blinked rapidly this time and did a double-take. Right before turning around fully and eyeing the screen. There it was right in front of him. His picture was there at number three and beside his picture and below his name were his scores. Reading the numbers and seeing just how high they actually were. Clear in the four-digit range.
Glancing up he noticed that his own numbers weren’t that far behind Calderon’s. Going into total shock, Braxton couldn’t believe his eyes or even himself really. He had no idea he was anywhere near that good but in actuality, he was /that/ good.
“That’s me! I’m really up there! I’m at number three!”
Conner started as he closed the projector and let it rise back up in the ceiling. Then he logged out, hit the lights back on, and walked over to where Braxton was again.
“This is a long important mission an’ we need ya with us out there. So gear up first thing in the mornin’.”
Conner lightly patted Braxton’s upper back before crossing over to the door of the office and heading back out to finish training for the day.
Braxton was still in shock for a little bit until he finally snapped out of it and it instantly turned into excitement. Bursting out and beaming to himself he hopped in place and clapped his hands once.
“I’m Number three! I gotta tell Zach!”
Reaching up, Braxton took off his glasses and set them on his desk before running right out of the IT office and not stopping once until he made it all the way to the training room.
Early the next morning Braxton did everything he could to prepare himself for the mission. Dressing up in the usual field gear of black cargo pants, bullet-proof vest, holsters, and utility belt. Braxton made the look his own by wearing a black long sleeve shirt and fingerless gloves. As well as his robotic smart-watch he modified himself. He made sure his earpiece was in and ready to go before making sure he had everything and heading out with the rest of them.
Staying with his age group, they were ahead of Conner as he was behind with the second age group. Leading them as the elder group followed Madigan. They each made their way out of the base but didn’t board the helicopter as Conner instructed that this mission was taking place right outside of the city.
The groups banded together and double-checked on everything as Conner made it to the front and gave out further instructions on splitting up and having the highest agents take the lead while out on the field.
Braxton stood near Madigan a little off to the side. Having his arms behind his back and fingers linked together as he looked over to Conner. Listening as he told Madigan to lead the first age group and then gave him directions on where to go from there. After that, they were headed off but Braxton stayed as Conner told him not to go along with Madigan’s group this time. Sometimes Braxton was with Madigan’s group but usually in the back. The two never really spoke or saw one another much. They both just respectfully kept their distance and did their own individual work.
Just as Braxton stood still and watched he felt a presence approach near him. Glancing over he saw Calderon walk up to stand next to Braxton a little ways off and having his arms crossed as per usual. Braxton didn’t really mind him then and waited patiently for Conner to come back. After only a few more minutes, Conner came running back and stood in front of the two young agents.
“Alright. Now, agent Lennon, I’m gonna need ya t’lead the second age group. Madigan’s movin’ East so you’re leadin’ ‘em West.”
“Why is /he/ leading the second group? I’m ahead of him.”
Calderon scolded. Deep bass-toned voice booming in an irritated sharp tone. Uncrossing his arms and clenching his hands into fists at his sides.
“Yes. Y’are, but he is more responsible.”
“I am not going to obey that leprechaun!”
“Y’won’t have to Bakugou, you’re on backup.”
All Calderon did then was look over to Braxton with a hard glare before pulling out his staff and extending it. Then he went off his own way.
Braxton was left and with that, he too pulled out his staff and extended it. Then he listened to Conner on any further instructions before heading off with the other group. Of course the moment Braxton and Zach had spotted each other they stayed together as they went about the mission.
The mission started off slow but it didn’t take long for things to pick up and get intense. Luckily, Braxton was an extremely fast thinker and knew the correct precautions to take. He remained by his brother’s side and the two watched one another’s backs as they fought off as much as they could. Braxton stayed with him and was there for him every step of the way. He did the same for the other agents as well, but he knew Zach was the only one to listened to Braxton and took what he said seriously.
He was also the only one who appreciated Braxton for looking out for him and he was the only one who returned the favor as best as he could. After a while, their side of the mission felt like it was just those two against the rest. Despite that Braxton didn’t really care too much and was at least glad to have Zach with him through it all. There were a couple of times where Conner stepped in and took the harder hits while Braxton was busy lending Zach a hand so he wouldn’t get hurt too badly.
He too taking on the harder hits and thinking fast on his feet. As well as being there for Zach, he was also there for Conner as well. Yelling out directions and giving extra pointers so that Conner had an extra pair of eyes and no blind-spots in his fighting. After a long while, Conner had instructed the group to head back to what they called “home-base”. Leaving Braxton to take over control and walk the other group back before Conner ran off again to go check on the other group.
Once they were settled back at home-base, Braxton counted heads and made sure everyone was with him and was taking the load off. All while still staying alert in case he was to be called to go to other group. In all honesty that was something that rarely happened as Conner alongside Madigan was an unstoppable force. Usually, when those two were side by side in a mission, everyone else left them alone. That was unless things were too serious.
Braxton retracted his staff and looked around check on things as the others remained at the base. Not before long, Braxton caught sight of an all too familiar sight and extended his staff again by habit. Moving to step in front of the pathway to the group.
“Sheesh shorten the leash why don’t ya.”
“What are you doing here Bakugou? Shouldn’t you be helping with the first group?”
“Why, I’m the favorite. They wouldn’t want me to get too tired.”
“Favorite? Madigan hates you, much like the rest of us.”
“The feeling is mutual but that doesn’t matter. Golden Boy’s not gonna remain at the top for much longer.”
“You’ll never be able to reach him.”
Calderon simply shrugged and stepped closer to Braxton to get in his face. Lowering his already deep voice.
“And you will never, /ever/ reach me. Now, why don’t you drop the big boy act and go play fetch with Director’s doggy like the good little insignificant brat that you are.”
Calderon then backed up and purposely bumped into Braxton’s shoulder with his own and walked off again.
Braxton glared and shook his head and watched Calderon walk off before rolling his eyes. Heaving a long sigh he retraced his staff and looked over as he saw Conner and the others return to home-base. Braxton set his irritation aside and rushed over to check on and help the Conner and the others while they all made it back. Banding together again, Conner led the agents back to the base as the mission was complete.
Braxton glanced over his shoulder a few times to see if Calderon was anywhere near but couldn’t find any sign of him. Shrugging that off he paid attention to the others and made it back to the base for the night.
Once everyone was back in the base. They all headed to the infirmary as Conner instructed and got themselves checked out. None of them had too serious injuries. As far as Braxton knew, so the checkups didn’t take long and soon enough he was changing out of his field gear and heading back to work in the IT office. Just like always, Braxton moved his sore legs up to the main desk and sat himself down. Plugging in his headphones and turning on his music. Braxton logged in and went right to work.
He looked through everything again and checked through whatever needed to be checked. Typing and clicking away for a couple of hours. Braxton glanced the time at the bottom corner of the screen and saw that it was passed two in the morning. Taking off his headphones Braxton yawned and shook his head and hair a little before pushing out the chair. There was some paperwork Conner needed to look over and sign so he decided to drop them off at his office and giving himself an excuse to walk around for a bit.
Collecting the papers he clipped them together and moved to his feet and rubbed his eyes before walking down and leaving the office. Heading for the elevator, Braxton rode up to the top floor of the base. He had hoped Conner was fast asleep like the rest of them, but Braxton himself had to keep working and make sure he got the paperwork on his desk.
Making it up the hall, Braxton noticed a light coming from the bottom crack of the door. That meant Conner was still awake as well and Braxton shook his head and kept walking. But just as he made it to the office door he could’ve sworn he saw movement below the Executives’ office door.
Slowly removing his hand from the handle, Braxton lightly furrowed and walked down the hall to the other office door. The closer he got he saw feet at the bottom of the door. He knew the Executives were in their own building. They never came to the base unless it was the beginning of the month or yearly evaluation time. But it was the middle of the month and they just had an evaluation.
Glancing back Braxton wanted to believe it was Conner in there, but at the same, he was worried that it was someone else.
And he knew which someone that could’ve been.
Braxton slowly inched to the door and raised a hand up to the handle. Hesitating a moment he turned the handle and discovered that the door was locked. But that didn’t stop him. Dropping the papers from his hands, Braxton went to the handle and with his watched, he used a laser to cut off the handle and the lock. Then he used an arm to force open the door.
Just as he entered the room there was no one there. Braxton was taken aback a little as he looked around in surprise. He could’ve sworn he saw someone through the doorway, and the lights were left on. Looking all around Braxton stepped further into the room and tried to find evidence of anyone who may be in there. Or if someone /was/ in there. If so how did they get out?
Braxton looked around at the desks and stopped his search as he found a computer left on and a page open. Blinking a bit, Braxton looked to the screen and found a video link on the screen and it was the only thing on the screen. Curiosity struck the boy and Braxton timidly reached over to the mouse and hovered the cursor over the link. He knew he really shouldn’t even be in that room but at the same time, he had made it this far. Huffing out a breath Braxton clicked on the link.
The footage was dark but still visible. Braxton tried to make out the figures and what they were doing. Slightly tilting his head to the side he watched the video closely. All of a sudden he flinched and moved back a little. Hearing loud cracks and gunshots, he cringed and moved his arms up and in front of himself. Hearing loud angry yelling the video was violent and after only about thirty seconds of watching the video, Braxton stopped it.
Looking at the paused footage now, Braxton recognized a face. Brilliant blue eyes widened as he focused on the screen more. Moving back from the screen a little Braxton moved a hand to cover his mouth a second right before dropping it again.
Bursting out Braxton covered his mouth again and looked around. Then he clicked out of the video and shut down the computer altogether. Shaking his head, he remembered speaking of Conner he needed to get out of there and hand that paperwork to him. Heaving out a breath, Braxton ran out of the office and closed the broken door. Something he’d fix later. He grabbed the papers from the floor and rushed over to the Director’s Office.
Stopping in front of the door Braxton glanced back at the other office and everything rushed through his mind all at once. Questions popping up in all directions and yelling at him in his mind.
What was that video? Why did they have it? Was that really Conner?
Braxton had never seen Conner act like that before. He knew Conner was tempered and easily irritated. An all-around angry person some of the time, but he never knew it was anything like that. With what little he’d just seen it was so unbelievable and...scary.
But Braxton didn’t want to be afraid of Conner, he was his best friend. He was someone special to Braxton and someone he knew he could trust with his life. He loved Conner, he really did and would do anything for him. However, he didn’t know Conner as an agent, and Braxton could tell that the video was from years ago. It made him wonder if that was why Conner never dared to bring up that time in his life. Braxton will never know really.
As much as he did consider Conner his friend, there was a huge part of him Braxton doesn’t know. In fact, he may never know those things. And although Braxton hated not knowing things, he was alright with keeping that part of Conner in the dark. For as long as Conner wanted. Even if it meant forever.
Shaking all of that out of his mind. Braxton knelt down and slid the papers under the door then once he was upright again he knocked their special knock. Right before stepping back and turning around to head to the elevator and down to the IT office for the rest of the night.
Making his way back to his main desk again. Braxton placed his headphones back on his head, cracked his knuckles, and went back to work. But the more he looked at the screen the video footage replayed in his head. He tried to distract himself but had little luck. Every time he tried to type a report, he just stared at the blinking cursor on the screen before him. Having his mind slip to that footage.
He couldn’t believe what he saw. He didn’t /want/ to believe it. That just wasn’t Conner. Not to Braxton, it couldn’t be. That was someone shooting and beating people mercilessly, and what looked like maybe even his own kind. A strong unstoppable force that took down everything in its path.
That wasn’t Conner, was it?
Soon hours passed and Braxton continued to shake the footage out of his mind until he couldn’t hold himself up anymore. Slowly blinking tired heavy eyelids, Braxton’s head fell forward on the desk and he knocked out in an instant.
Lost in the deep lull of his slumber, Braxton felt like he was out for only a few minutes before he heard a muffled voice near him. Trying his best to tune it out, he failed and slowly started coming back up to the surface.
Conner spoke in a soft hushed tone as he looked over to his friend. It was the next day and training had just ended. Conner noticed there was no sign of Braxton at all and he went looking for him after he had cleaned up and got dressed for the night. Finally, he stumbled upon the sight of the young agent passed out in front of his computer.
“Braxton? Hey, c’mon buddy.”
“No...no, no it’s sleepy time... shhh.”
Braxton mumbled out as he stirred on the desktop and tried to fall back asleep. He was very sore from the previous day and uncomfortable but at the same time, he refused to move.
Conner tried to hold in a laugh as he observed his friend’s nonsense. Shaking his head fondly Conner moved behind the chair and pulled it out by its wheels. Watching as Braxton slumped back and still put up a fight. Moving forward again Conner huffed and placed his hands on his hips a second. Looking over the situation and trying to figure out what to do next. Dropping his hands he turned the chair out and knelt down in front of Braxton. Grabbing Braxton’s arms Conner moved them up to his shoulders and around his neck.
Then with one move, Conner hoisted both of them up. Conner then reached and grabbed Braxton’s legs and pulled them up to make sure his feet weren’t dragging. Conner and Braxton were the exact same height so it made the piggyback a little tricky at first but not impossible. As soon as Conner had a good hold of Braxton he felt Braxton’s forehead press on the back of his head and he finally couldn’t hold the laugh any longer. Braxton was still basically passed out and Conner began out of the IT Office.
Carrying Braxton, Conner walked over to the elevator and pressed the button for the training floor. Then they rode down to the correct floor and Conner carried Braxton down the hall to the agents’ bedrooms. Stopping in front of Braxton’s bedroom door and using his master key to unlock it and open the door. Hitting the lights on a second Conner carried Braxton to his bed, turned around, and let Braxton drop onto his bed.
Conner untied Braxton’s shoes and pulled them off, unzipped his hoodie jacket, and carefully removed Braxton’s glasses from his face and placed them on his nightstand. Grabbing an extra blanket, Conner draped it over Braxton. Moving back to the doorway Conner checked on him one last time before shutting off the light and exiting the room. Quietly closing the door behind him Conner reached over and lightly patted the door followed by doing the same to Zach’s door beside Braxton’s and then heading back up to his own floor.
Braxton stretched his arms and legs while laying down before pushing out a yawn and pulling himself to sit up. Looking around groggily he noticed that he was back in his room and in his own bed. However, Braxton was too tired to dwell on anything and fell back and went back to sleep.