William Brandt/Benji Dunn

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Pairing
Pairing: William Brandt/Benji Dunn
Alternative name(s): Benji/Will, Bendt
Gender category: slash, m/m
Fandom: Mission: Impossible
Canonical?: no
Prevalence: rare
Archives: AO3 works
Other:
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William Brandt/Benji Dunn is a pairing in Mission: Impossible movie fandom. Benjamin "Benji" Dunn is played by British actor Simon Pegg and William Brandt is played by American actor Jeremy Renner. While Benji made his first appearance in M:I III, they did not appear together until William Brandt's introduction in the fourth M:I movie, Ghost Protocol. They both returned (alongside Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames) for the fifth movie, Rogue Nation.

Though Ethan Hunt/William Brandt is the larger ship in the M:I fandom, Will and Benji also enjoy a small-but-loyal following and are the second largest M:I ship on AO3.

History

The first William Brandt/Benji Dunn fic was posted to the AO3 tag on 19 December 2011, the day of the US theatrical premiere. As of April 2018 there are 98 fics in the "William Brandt/Benji Dunn" AO3 ship tag, with more ficlets scattered in the Tumblr tags.

Six Degrees Influences

Because of Jeremy Renner's role as Clint Barton in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Mission: Impossible fandom includes quite a few crossovers with the MCU. Benji/Will fics may include references to this or include suggestions that Will has a (secret) second identity.

Common Tropes in Fanworks

After performing a dangerous stunt as part of a mission in Ghost Protocol, William Brandt comments, "Next time, I get to seduce the rich guy!" in reference to teammate Jane's less physically hazardous assignment. Multiple ship fics include missions where Will has to seduce a (male) target on a mission, often while Benji or the rest of the team listen(s) in on the comms to provide technical support/back-up. Fics may also reference the following conversation in GP where Benji repeatedly promises to "catch" Will during the previously mentioned stunt:

Will: "Okay, so we enter the party separately as guests, Ethan quarterbacks while Jane gets the codes from the billionaire-"

Benji: "I switch off the fan and you jump into the computer array and I catch you, you plug in the transmitter, then Ethan feeds me the codes which I then use to pinpoint Hendricks' location-"
Will: "Okay, you just breezed over something I think really important. The computer array part, where I just....jump?"
Benji: "And I catch you."
Will: "Yeah."
B: "Why- Why is that so hard to grasp?"
W: "Why? It's a 25-foot drop!"
B: "I'd be more worried about the heat."
W: "And then there's that. What heat?!"
B: "Well, it's like any computer, isn't it? If you switch off the fan, it's gonna get really hot!"
Will, sarcastic: "Of course! Of course it is. So I'm...jumping into an oven, essentially."
Benji: "Essentially, yeah. But, um, I'll catch you!"
Will: "Great."

As Benji's character is portrayed in the movies as the team's resident [Techno Wizard] and Will is introduced as chief analyst for the IMF, Geeky Turn-Ons make frequent appearances in M:I fic. William Brandt is sometimes portrayed in fic as a Closet Geek. Because of Benji's upgrade to field agent in Ghost Protocol (and dramatic last-minute save at the end), Benji often gets some Nerd Action Hero moments.

Example Fanworks

Fanfic

Ethan's plan is surprisingly simple, if they can pull it off: get Cade to invite Brandt over, plant bugs. No masks, no jumping off of anything. Brandt is warming to it, which is why it's confusing when Benji says, "I don't like this plan, it won't work, have you thought about tunneling?"

Their first official date was supposed to be coffee and conversation but quickly becomes more than Benji was prepared for. Like meeting Will's mother.

When the IMF vanishes into thin air, Benji and Will are forced to go into hiding in Paris.

The Syndicate mission did a number on Benji.

In which Benji Dunn has a meet-cute on an aeroplane, falls in love, qualifies as a field agent, and nearly gets blown up far too many times.

Archives and Communities

Though the M:I fandom is small, no consensus was ever reached on the ship tag on Tumblr. As a result, the "Bendt" tag is not widely in use for this ship, the fandom instead relying on the more generic character name tags ("#benji dunn", "#william brandt") and even the very broad "#mission: impossible" tag for content. The tags are shared mostly amicably with Ethan Hunt/William Brandt and Ethan Hunt/Benji Dunn shippers and other fans.