|Darcy Rhone is a total MILF (total_milf) wrote in wariscoming,|
@ 2012-04-25 23:33:00
|Entry tags:||ben braeden, darcy ainsley|
WHO: Darcy Ainsley and Ben Braeden
WHAT: Not!Mom duties and an uncomfortable conversation
WHERE: The guest room Ben's taking up in Darcy's house
WHEN: This morning
RATING: G, PG if Ben goes a little potty mouth
For the first time in her life, Darcy was able to find a primo parking space at Walmart with absolutely no effort. She and the boys were in and out in five minutes; there had been no line, no people milling around in the aisles slowing her down. In fact, it’d almost been scary. It was like a ghost town in there. To say it was unsettling would have been a gross understatement.
After picking up more Day- and NyQuil and some popsicles — Mighty Minis for the twins and a box apiece of fruit-flavored and Fudgesicles for Ben — Darcy headed back home to find something on Netflix to occupy the boys and check on Ben. The last thing anyone needed was the twins to bother Ben when he wasn’t well and the second last thing anyone needed was for Ben to get worse. Dean had trusted her to take care of him and she wasn’t going to let him down. At some point, she was going to have to hook up with Neville and take supplies to the Malfoy kid, too. Today was going to be a rough day and she didn’t have the heart to ask Boone to help because she’d seen his sister posting on Dr. Watson’s entry the night before.
The Wiggles Live was back in the Netflix queue — thank Christ; the kids had had a goddamn meltdown when it’d been pulled — so Darcy turned it on in the downstairs living room and set the twins in front of it with their popsicles and bowls, before heading up the stairs to the guest room in which Ben was staying. Darcy knocked softly on his door with her free hand, the other clutching a Walmart bag with a plastic bowl, a Fudgesicle, a thermometer, a tub of Vicks VapoRub, a bottle of water, and a box of DayQuil pills. “Ben, sweetie?” she called through the door. “I’m coming in, okay?” She paused, giving him a moment to respond before opening the door.
Ben felt like shit. It sucked. Not only had his dad practically abandoned him with Darcy, but he was sick now too. Why was life so unfair? Had he pissed his dad off too much with the whole rap thing? And then there was the fact that grandma was gone. Ben was gonna miss her, he hadn't even known about her until coming to live with dad....after mom disappeared, but he had gotten attached. Truth be told, he missed his mom a lot. So, being sent away made him worry if his dad was gonna end up gone just like her.
It'd been weighing heavily on his mind. He hadn't been doing a whole lot of talking to Darcy, or the boys. He wasn't mean, really, but he didn't want to talk to anyone, really. Why should he? He wasn't in the mood and he didn't feel good. Luckily, Darcy was kinda good at the whole taking care of a sick kid thing.
Maybe it was because she had two kids herself? Normally Ben would have been fine chilling with the boys, but he found it hard to be cool with everything that was going on. He had to wonder if he asked someone...would they even tell him the truth? Probably not, everyone treated him like he was a baby and he hated it. He wasn't a baby, he was almost 13!
Ben had burrowed himself under the covers of the guest bed. He had his DS next to him and his phone next to it, but he didn't really want either. Hearing the knock, Ben rolled toward the door, "S'open." He croaked out, his throat was sore, which had caused his voice to sound hoarse. After he spoke he let out a cough, followed by a sniffle. At least this was something like he used to have. A momish type person taking care of him. The thought almost hurt, actually.
Did he want Darcy acting all mom-like toward him? He couldn't even make up his mind....
Darcy hated it when her twins were sick. Seeing them uncomfortable like that always broke her heart. But, seeing Ben the same way hit her harder than she’d expected. Part of her was sure that was because she knew he was already going through enough. If it wasn’t bad enough that his mother had disappeared, prompting him to make the trip from Indiana to Kansas all alone, add in the Seal’s having sent Mary back and Dean’s apparent inability to deal with his grief and his son, plus kick the kid when he was down by having him stricken ill? It wasn’t fair what was happening to Ben. Especially not all at once.
She gave the boy a sympathetic frown and let herself the rest of the way in the room, gingerly taking a seat on the edge of the bed beside him, careful not to rustle the blankets away from him. The last thing she wanted was to make him more uncomfortable than he already looked. “How ya feelin, champ?” she asked, leaning down to press her lips against his forehead. She did this in the center of his forehead and then on either side before sitting back and frowning. “You’re burning up,” she sighed, leaning down and fishing the thermometer out of the bag and popping off the cap. “Here, under your tongue.” She handed him the thermometer after pressing the button to turn it on, deciding Ben was probably the type that would’ve resented her just shoving it in his mouth the way she often had to with the twins.
When the timer went off, she held out her hand for him to give it back and, when he did, she knit her brow as she examined it. “Yep. 100, even. I’ll get you a cold cloth…take two of these while I’m gone,” she instructed, reaching into the bag again for the bottle of water and box of DayQuil. Darcy took out one of the dosages and held it and the water bottle out to him, getting to her feet. “I’ll be right back, okay?”
Ben's eyes were on Darcy the second she opened the door and the whole journey to the bed, really. He wasn't looking at much else at the moment, really? He didn't feel like playing his game, he didn't feel like doing much of anything. Maybe it was more the sick than anything else, but really it was probably a good mixture. Her question didn't catch him off guard, he answered automatically, "Like crap." He didn't even make a face when she pressed her lips to his forehead, his mom used to do the same thing. It was times like this that he missed his mom, more than other moments.
"I can't even make a joke about it right now." Ben muttered. Normally he would joke around about him being hot, or burning up, or whatever, but he didn't even feel like it now. For an almost-teenage-boy, if they were willing to lie in bed and not complain about being mothered...something was definitely wrong. He followed her instructions about the thermometer obediently, sticking it under his tongue and using his tongue to hold it there while it took his temp.
As soon as the timer went off he let her take it, having a nice little fit of coughs. "Guess I'm definitely sick." Ben said, lamely. He took the medicine and water from her. He didn't even hesitate to take it either, putting the medicine in his mouth, then taking a big swig of water. "Wait...." He got out before she could leave the room.
He didn't know if this was stupid or not. He couldn't help it, though. "Can I ask you something?"
The fact that Ben was admitting that he felt like crap worried Darcy a little. She’d always pegged him as the type to pretend everything was all right when it wasn’t…mostly because, in her experience, he was. In addition, the fact that Ben either couldn’t or just didn’t feel like making a joke about the temperature didn’t sit well with her, either. He must be feeling really, really badly, she thought to herself, frowning.
As much as Darcy wanted to treat him like she would one of the twins in hopes of helping him feel more comfortable, she also didn’t want to make the impression that she was attempting to step on anyone’s toes. Darcy had no idea what kind of relationship Ben had with Juliet or Ruby; she didn’t know if he would resent her for not being his real mother. It would be, she thought, insensitive not to mother him but at the same time…she thought it might be insensitive either way. Darcy was entirely unsure how to treat Ben and that made her ever so slightly uncomfortable in her own skin.
“Guess so,” she replied in agreement, giving Ben another sympathetic frown. “I’m sorry you feel so bad, sweetie,” she added. As Ben took the medicine and the water from her, Darcy started toward the door. She hadn’t even managed to get back to the doorway when Ben asked her to wait and without hesitation, Darcy froze and then turned back to look at him. When he asked if he could ask her a question, the concern on her face slid into a soft smile. “Yeah, of course, sweetie, anything,” she replied, making her way back across the room and sitting back down on the edge of his bed. Out of nothing more than reflex, Darcy pressed the back of her hand against Ben’s forehead in an attempt both at cooling him and warming up her cold hands. Win-win situation, she figured. “What’s up?”
Normally Ben probably would have put up more of a front, but he'd been blindsided by so many things that he really didn't feel like it was worth the effort to pretend now. Maybe that was a sign of just how down the kid was? Probably was, actually.
He wanted his mom back. He missed her way more than he let on. Sure, he flirted with all of the older ladies, and he was a smartass and got on many of the older males' nerves, but he did miss his mom. All he had no was his dad and his dad's family, but the problem with that was....if he didn't want him anymore then Ben had no one. Darcy was nice and everything, but it wasn't the same having her and not Dad or Mom....or grandma. Grandma had been a lot like his mom, kinda. She had been another figure like that, and now he was stuck missing them both.
Darcy was a mom, yeah, but she wasn't his mom. She was his friend, kinda. For an adult she was pretty cool.
The kid didn't even respond to her apology that he was sick. Nobody wanted anybody else to get sick. Nobody wanted to get sick either. Ben was a little surprised she didn't ask someone else to take him, considering the fact that her boys were around and he could possibly get them sick too.
He didn't know if he wanted to ask the question. He was going back and forth between do it and don't do it. In the end asking was winning out. Maybe it was because he was sick, didn't feel great, and all of it had built up. Ben wet his lips as she sat down next to him. Her cool hand felt kinda good on his head, actually. He let his eyes close for a second, but they pulled back open after only a moment. "Is dad..." Ben stopped, trying to figure out how to say it. "Does dad want to get rid of me? Is he gonna abandon me like mom?" He fought back the tears, trying to hide them behind a sniffle and a swallow. "Does he not want me anymore, am I too much of a pain in the ass?"
When Ben started, but stopped, Darcy arched her eyebrows to prod him on. Curiosity tugged at her during the pause that seemed to stretch out forever for her. She knew very little about Dean; they weren't very close. He did her favors and she did him favors from time to time, but they weren't what she would call friends. She found herself doubting that she would know the answer to any Dean-related question he was about to throw at her, but she'd try, in any case.
But then Ben came out with it and Darcy's face fell. "Oh, sweetheart, no," she breathed, moving her hand from his forehead to the side of his face. The tears he was trying to hide didn't go unnoticed, but Darcy said nothing of it. "No, Ben. He absolutely doesn't want to get rid of you, honey," she insisted.
At that, Darcy took a deep breath, trying to figure out the best way to explain to Ben what was happening without inadvertently insulting his intelligence just because she was used to having to dumb things down so severely for the twins to understand. Wetting her lips, Darcy slid her hand back up to push his sweaty bangs off his forehead. "Your dad just...he's not used to balancing his life and yours, yet. He'll get there. Being a parent changes everything, but Dean didn’t really get the luxury of easing into it like I did, because you’re not a baby; you’re practically a teenager…that’s a big change for someone like your dad. And when he found out you were sick, he wanted to take you back, but I told him no," she explained, shifting slightly. "You just have a cold but there's so much worse going on in that med bay and in the complex...with your immune system already straining to break down this cold, it wouldn't have the strength to knock out anything worse you might catch there."
She paused then and looked into the boy's eyes. "He loves you, Ben. He's not leaving you here forever. This is just temporary, until you get better and he can take care of you the right way. ...Dean's...not dealing with your grandma's being sent back very well, sweetie, that's all. As much as I'd love to keep you, he'd never let me, anyway," she added with a tiny smile and a wink in an attempt to lighten the mood a little. The fact that Ben thought Dean was dumping him on her rather than just taking a breather broke her heart, but Darcy really didn't know how to explain that, as much as Dean wanted Ben around...he didn't want him right then, because he needed some personal space. At least, she didn't know how without making it sound worse than the reality of the situation, anyway.
Ben knew, in his heart of hearts, that his mom loved him. He was still a kid, though. It was hard to lose your mom when she had been the only person that you had had for your whole life. Ben really missed her so much more than he let on, but at the same time he was pissed that she had just disappeared. Yeah, he knew that it probably wasn’t really her fault, but it didn’t stop him from feeling angry, really angry sometimes, actually. How dare she be gone? How dare she not be there for him, she was always supposed to be there for him when he needed her, she had promised that she would always be there for him and then now….she was nowhere to be found. And she’d lied to him and to Dad. Why would she do that? Ben couldn’t even ask her the questions that he needed the answers to because she wasn’t here anymore and she probably wouldn’t ever be back, would she? That was another hard pill to swallow. Mom wouldn’t ever be back. Why would the seal have a reason to send her back? It didn’t. And it wasn’t fair. It really wasn’t.
Maybe he really was stupid? He knew that Dad was there for him, but did he love him? Ben wasn’t even sure. Ben knew that his dad was a good guy, a really good guy. He’d taken him in, but things between them were awkward a good deal of the time. Did his dad have the same attachment, the same love, and care for Ben that his mom had had before she had disappeared? Grandma had obviously loved him, or at least that’s how Ben had felt. Maybe it was because she was a girl that it had been easier to feel it from her? Maybe it was just all in Ben’s head? Ben could see reasons why his dad would want to get rid of him, though. Ben was a pain in the ass, a big one. He did it on purpose sometimes, even. As Darcy’s hand moved, Ben looked at her, unsure as to whether or not she was right. “Are you sure?” He couldn’t help the words falling out of his mouth. How could she be sure? He wasn’t even sure and he was involved in it.
Her hands were cooler than his face and forehead, though, so there was something that was soothing about that, at least. It didn’t make him feel completely better, but it did combat the heat a little bit. Ben was a little surprised that Darcy had told dad he was sick….and that dad had wanted him back. He looked up at Darcy, his eyes wide, “He wanted me back, really?” And then he paused a moment, wetting his own lips, taking in what the woman had said. “I annoy him sometimes on purpose, like with the rap thing.” Ben admitted, “I should probably take it easier on him, huh?”
Then she said what Ben really wasn’t sure of. He didn’t know…. Dean hadn’t seen him grow up, hadn’t been there when he’d had chicken pox… but he had been there when those bitches had stolen his game and he’d taught him a way to get back at them. He’d saved his life, more than once now. He’d fed him; he’d taken care of him, and everything, but only after his mom had disappeared. If this had never happened they wouldn’t have even known about one another, probably. “I miss grandma already too.” Ben said, looking down. “You’re sure…y’know that he loves me? Even though he didn’t get me until I was almost a teenager?” Ben asked uncertainly. Part of him couldn’t help but think he wouldn’t normally do this because it was such a bitch thing to do. They were things that he had thought about, but he couldn’t help but worry. All of his insecurities seemed to be coming out in one big ‘ol lump right now. Maybe it was just because he was sick and he missed his mom, though….?
The child seemed to mull it over for a moment before speaking. Darcy wondered if she’d had to have a similar conversation with the twins, ever, in the future. They were old enough to remember him, but they weren’t old enough to understand where he was and why he didn’t ever come home. Sometimes, when they had residual nightmares from having been kidnapped, she heard them shout for Ethan before they remembered and called for her, instead. So, while Ben thought on her words, Darcy pondered whether her own sons ever did — or ever would — wonder whether their father loved them; whether their coming to Kansas was by his choice rather than the whim of a Biblical Seal from another universe entirely.
A tiny smile tugged at the corners of Darcy’s mouth when Ben asked if she was sure. “I’m sure, Ben,” she told him confidently. The surprised look on Ben’s face when she’d said that Dean had wanted him to go back home made her both happy and sad. There was something hopeful in his voice that made her want to smile, but the fact that he seemed honestly taken aback by it broke her heart for him. She knew how he felt; knew how much it hurt to wonder if her parents still loved her. They’d completely cut her out of their lives after she and Dexter had called off their engagement and she’d moved to London to stay with Ethan. She couldn’t remember the last time her mother or father had called to talk to her unless it was to talk to the twins. But Darcy was an adult; Ben was still a child. That had to be a much harder pill for him to swallow at his age than it had been for her at thirty.
Though, the next sentiment did manage to make her smile while pulling her out of her own thoughts. “That’s what teenagers do, sweetie. It’s kind of your job,” she replied. “I’m sure he’d rather you be playing rap music than trolling Lucifer like my kid did when he was here from the future,” she said, wrinkling her nose and frowning slightly at the thought. Then, the smile returned and she gave him a small huff of a laugh. “Besides, that was funny, Ben. Like, fucking hilarious, actually,” she admitted, figuring that if she was going to play to his desire to be seen as an adult rather than a child, an F-bomb wasn’t going to kill him. “But maybe, yeah. Take it a little easy on him until he gets the hang of it,” she agreed.
“I know you do, sweetheart. I miss her too…I can’t even imagine how much more you must,” Darcy admitted. She and Mary hadn’t been terribly close, but they had been in book club together; Darcy genuinely liked Mary and, as used to losing people in this place as Darcy was, it still hurt a little every time it happened. “You never know, maybe she’ll be sent back through someday. Lots of people come back. I did,” she pointed out.
But when Ben asked whether she was sure Dean loved him, it was Darcy’s turn to blink back tears and swallow against a lump in her throat. No child should ever have to wonder that, she found herself thinking, and part of her hated Dean just then for not making sure that Ben knew it if it was true. The problem here was that Darcy didn’t know for sure. She wasn’t going to tell Ben that, but that was the truth. Darcy had no idea how Dean felt about Ben; she just knew that he’d done a poor job of showing Ben, however it was. Clearing her throat, Darcy looked Ben in the eye. “He cared about you enough to make sure that someone he trusted could take care of you when he couldn’t, didn’t he?” she asked, side-stepping slightly. “How could he not, Ben? Look at you. You’re smart and funny; I love you to bits and I barely know you, by comparison. I’ve seen who you grow up to be. I’d be proud as hell to say you were my kid,” she told him and that was the truth. For good measure, she added, “ I really, really can’t see your dad feeling any differently,” even if she could only do as well as hazard a guess at best.