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Another Night, Another Suitcase
By Clarity Scifiroots
Fandom: National Treasure         Pairing: Ben/Riley (pre-slash)
Disclaimers apply.

Rating: All
Summary:
Once again Riley finds Ben on his doorstep. (Inspired by  slashthedrabble challenge #220: Open)

Proofed Sept. 2

 

“What’re you doing here?” Riley rubbed at his bleary eyes as he peeked out the crack of his apartment door.


Ben sighed and tugged on the chain keeping him out. “C’mon, let me in.”


His mind beginning to clear, Riley looked his friend up and down, and noticed a moment later that luggage sat at Ben’s feet. “Oh man, what’d you do this time? I thought you and Abs finally settled on splitting the space.”


“Riley, can we have this conversation inside?”


“Did you do something stupid? If you did something dumb to get her upset, I’m telling you to go back. Yell or whatever and sleep on it, maybe not talk for a couple weeks, but it’ll sort out. Then I don’t have to get stuck with you on my couch for a week and feel bad when you wake up every morning with a crink in your neck.”


“Riley…”


“Seriously, I know how this goes. You crash here, Abs calls and you fight some more. She calls me, I’m fielding questions and playing peacemaker – which you know I can’t do. Then I end up wishing for some wacky rumor of treasure to crop up so we’ve got something else to focus on.”


“Would you shut up for a minute?”


Riley huffed. “You came to me!”


“Please let me in.” Ben’s stern glare made it less of a request.


After another moment’s debate, Riley gave in, closing the door to get the chain undone. Ben carried in a duffle bag on his shoulder, a rolling briefcase in one hand, and kicked in a smaller duffle with his foot. Riley rolled his eyes and locked the door. His eyes roamed from one bag to another, eventually he met Ben’s gaze.


“Do I get the details?”


“It wasn’t a fight.” Riley snorted in disbelief. “Not like you’re thinking,” Ben insisted.


“Yuh-huh. Like you didn’t get all jealous over Abigail’s new guy.”


“No, though we’ve agreed I might have been a little overprotective recently.”


Riley leaned back against the door with a groan. “Don’t’ tell me you’re playing the ‘big brother’ card to keep close to her.”


“I’m not playing at anything,” Ben said. His serious tone caused Riley to tense.


“Ben… We all agreed to let it slide. Crazy party with some alcohol and a happy-celebratory high.”


His friend quirked a smile. “We ‘agreed’ on a story. Seems like we knew there was something more to it.”


Riley shook his head and pushed off towards his bedroom. “I need more sleep before this conversation.”


“Riley—!”


“Goodnight, Ben!” Riley called as he shut his door and crawled into bed.


An hour later he was still staring at the ceiling and knew he wasn’t any closer to falling asleep. Damn it. He slipped out of bed and tiptoed into the hall. A lamp was still on in the living room. Reluctantly he stepped into the light and stared at Ben.


His friend looked up from the book he’d been studying and pulled off his glasses.


They stared at one another in silence. Ben sat patiently, his expression open like he knew Riley was evaluating him.


Eventually Riley let out a long breath and turned around slowly. As he shuffled back to his room he heard the lamp switch off. This time when he went to bed, the door stood open.

 


 

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
foolish_m0rtal
May. 15th, 2010 01:58 am (UTC)
nice! I like the subtlety of this and both how you handled the Ben Riley dymanic and the Ben Abigail dynamic. You've definitely shaped Ben well just by the interactions he has with her, and Riley is at his snarky best!
enmuse
May. 15th, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
Aww, thanks. :) I have no idea if I'll touch in this fandom again, but I do like it - what an underappreciated fandom!
foolish_m0rtal
May. 15th, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
Mm, I feel the same. I've got a fic right now that sort of came out of nowhere, but I'm not sure it will be more than a one time thing.

Also, Best Icon Ever.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )