Italics are Ben's memories from that night
A slightly hysteric sob ripped its way from Bens lips
"Don't hate me!" He begged hysterically "I'm sorry!"
"Ben I don't hate you!" He exclaimed, rushing over and pulling the teen into an embrace "God, I don't hate you. Never. This wasn't your fault Ben"
The front door flew open and slammed closed and footsteps rushed up the stairs
"Where's- Ben!" Albedo cried, rushing over
Ben held his arms out and Albedo embraced him securely, being mindful of Kevin's embrace.
"H-how did you know?"
"Valerie sensed your distress" he replied, voice muffled by Bens chest
There was a gentle shove, and Valerie snuggled her way in between her Uncle and Albedo. Normally she would be eagerly calling greetings, but the seriousness of the situation seemed to reach the child so she remained silent, simply closing her eyes and hugging her Uncle as securely as her small arms would allow her.
Hours passed and soon Max and Gwen left. Albedo refused to leave, so he and Valerie ended up falling asleep on an air mattress on the floor of Bens room. After hours, Kevin was finally able to coax the brunette into sleep. It was short lived however. Several times during the night he was woken by Ben screaming and thrashing around in the bed.
When they got up the following afternoon it was because Ben decided to give up on sleep. The three teenagers and Valerie made their way downstairs and into the kitchen, where they spotted Sandra and Carl.
The duo looked over with wide eyes
"Grandpa Mad told us" Sandra squeaked out
In a split second both had their arms wrapped around him in an attempt at comfort.
"My poor baby" she whimpered
"Mom, I'm fine" he assured her "I don't want to talk about it"
She hesitantly agreed and turned her attention to Valerie, who was firmly snuggled into her mothers grasp. She reached towards the blonde, whom eagerly scooped her up. She snuggled her close and smiled at Albedo
"How have you been, sweetheart?" She asked softly
He shrugged, a soft sigh escaping his lips
"I've been better. Alright I guess"
"I really wish you would take us up on our offer of you living here"
"I'm fine, really" he smiled in assurance "After this whole thing is over though" he paused "I might take you up on that offer"
She shot a sympathetic glance to her son and her sons lover as they wrestled over the last pickle. Kevin won, but to Bens extreme delight, he surrendered the pickle.
She turned back to Albedo and he placed a hand on her shoulder.
"It'll be okay" he murmured
"Hey Albedo" he turned his head "Wanna to out for chili fries?"
Albedo's eyes lit up and he smiled. He hesitated however, looking over at his daughter.
"You go have fun" Sandra whispered "I'll take care of her"
"Don't you work?"
"I'll take her with me, it's no problem"
"Thank you" he smiled, then turned back to the other two boys "As a matter of fact, I would"
"Great!" Ben exclaimed happily
The brunette rushed up the stairs and Albedo and Sandra turned curious gazes on Kevin.
"What did you do?"
Kevin held his hands up innocently
"I didn't do it!" He looked up the stairs after the brunette "I wonder how many Tylenol he took"
"He hasn't taken any today" Sandra informed him
He hummed thoughtfully, frowning slightly as Ben rushed back down the stairs, wincing slightly with almost every step. The brunette smiled at Kevin and Albedo.
"Okay, what's up? There is no way you're this happy after all of that"
Bens gaze darkened slightly
"I don't want to sit home all day and mope. Lets go out"
Albedo walked over and grabbed Ben’s hand, squeezing it gently
“Are you sure?”
Kevin grabbed Ben’s other hand and laced their fingers together. He smiled weakly, and the other two boys easily saw the fear and unease in the boy’s green eyes. However, Ben nodded
“I’m sure” he murmured
They left Valerie with Sandra and headed out to Kevin’s car. They then drove to Albedo’s favorite spot for chili fries, which just so happened to be in the mall. Throughout the day, it became quite obvious Ben wasn’t okay with being out in public just yet. Every time a man other than Kevin or Albedo came within arm’s reach of him he would freak out and cling to whichever of his friends was closest.
So, that in mind, they shifted so they were each on a different side of the brunette. Ben grabbed Albedo’s hand weakly, and Kevin wrapped his arm securely around the brunette’s waist. When they walked out of the large building, Cash and JT were walking towards them. Cash smirked cruelly at Ben’s obviously distressed expression.
“Well well, Tennyson” he smirked cruelly “One boyfriend not enough for you? Gotta have two?”
“Little egotistical” JT smirked “What with one of them being a clone of you and all”
“I assure you, I am not a clone of Benjamin. And if you don’t get away from us right this second, I will not hesitate to destroy you”
Ben’s fear was quite obvious as the men got closer. Cash and JT said nothing, instead smirking cruelly with each step they took as they closed the distance between themselves and Ben. The brunette scrunched back in fear, easily recognizing the voices from the other night, try as he might to fight it.
“Shut up, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll let you live”
A whimper escaped the brunette’s lips, and his eyes filled with tears. Cash took the final step, bringing him within arms reach of Ben, and reached towards the brunette. A terrified shriek escaped his lips and he jerked back, stumbling and nearly following as he reefed himself away from his friends.
“D-Don’t touch me!” his knees gave out and he curled into himself on the ground
A cold chuckle escaped the two unwelcome guests as Albedo and Kevin rushed over.
“N-No!” Ben screamed, curling tighter in on himself “Don’t touch me!”
“Ben, Ben it’s me Kevin!” Kevin whispered, wrapping his arms around the brunette
Albedo knelt beside him, placing a hand on Ben’s shoulder as the brunette let out the sobs he had been fighting to hold back. And just like that, seeing the raw terror in his friend’s eyes, everything clicked into place for Albedo.
“Well would you look at that” Cash smirked “Bennie’s gonna cry”
“Well would you look at that” a familiar voice chimed in his ear “Bennie’s gonna cry”
Albedo lurched up
“You bastards!” he roared, leaping at the closest one to him, whom happened to be JT.
Kevin watched in silence for a moment, before it clicked for him. His eyes widened briefly, and then narrowed as he stood. A low growl rumbled in his throat and without another thought he lunged at Cash.