Two weeks had passed since the incident. Two weeks since the explosion in the warehouse. Two weeks since the Nanite Queen had tried to kill him and his family. Two weeks since he had been with Elena for the final time. Ben contemplated all of this numbly as he lay back on his bed watching the stars fly by his window. They were currently on their way to some planet he had already forgotten the name of, to help prevent a potential civil war between two rival species. Only two weeks since his heart had been ripped out, but heroes didn't have time for heartbreak. He continued his sightless gazing into space, one hand tucked beneath his head as he lost himself in thought.
After his kiss with Elena, he had awoken to find himself in the Rustbucket surrounded by his grandpa, Gwen, Kevin, (and much to his bewilderment) Azmuth, who stood on his chest looking down at him with a smug smile.
They were all quick to fill him in about all that had happened since the explosion, which had prompted Azmuth to launch into a pompous, long winded explanation about something that Ben hardly understood a word of. Not that it really mattered. Ben was too caught up in his own thoughts to even try to listen to what the others were saying. He honestly didn't care what had happened, or that he had apparently been in a coma for the last few days. His mind kept wandering back to that empty green landscape. Max was the first to realize he might be overwhelmed and quickly ushered the others away. Surprisingly, Azmuth had been the last to leave.
As the tiny alien looked at him Ben found the creator's eyes seemed to reflect his own sorrow. "It doesn't do one any good to dwell on the past Tennyson." Then he turned and departed, leaving Ben alone with his thoughts.
But already that day seemed like a lifetime ago. He was currently supposed to be resting, Kevin had practically thrown him into the room under threat of painful consequence should he not get some actual sleep before they arrived. He hadn't slept well since waking up, and any rest he did manage was restless and fitful. He somehow ended waking up more exhausted than before.
Yet even as he thought of thought of the elusiveness of sleep, the exhaustion of the past few weeks caught up to him and he felt his eyes drift shut as he was lost in oblivion.
He was back in the unending landscape of green. He stood alone atop a structure that glowed with an unnatural light. He knew this place, but it was missing something. It was missing someone.
Something in Ben told him to wait, and so he did. He stood alone for an eternity, waiting for something he could not name, yet he felt confident they would come. A woman now stood beside him, and she had always been there though he hadn't noticed until now.
As he turned to look upon her figure he found he recognized her immediately even though her features were obscured. "I knew you'd come."
The woman laughed, "You always have to have the last word don't you?"
He pulled her to him, "I've missed you." And he was suddenly overcome with an intense sensation of desperation and longing. She had been lost, but now she was found.
"I know." She answered simply. Then she moved to look up at him and press a hand to his cheek.
He drank in the sight of her.
He was suddenly struck by the thought that once he left this place he would never see her again. An inexplicable certainty he could not explain. It seemed she knew it too. And yet, despite this, he did not feel sorrowful, only a sense of peace and perhaps a bit of wistfulness. He knew she could not stay.
Closing his eyes, he bent his head to rest against hers, leaning into her touch as he went. He smiled into her hand and she smiled in response though he could not see, and for a moment, everything was right.
Ben awoke slowly, blinking unshed tears from his eyes. He had been dreaming about someone, a good dream too. He felt more refreshed and rested than he had in weeks. Suddenly light was streaming in from the doorway.
"Hey Tennyson, Gwen said we'll be there in ten- whoa man, are you okay?" Kevin asked as he took in Ben's tear stained face.
"I'm fine Kevin." He replied softly as he sat up, but he did nothing to wipe away his tears.
Kevin fidgeted in the doorway, obviously uncomfortable, "You sure? Cause if you-"
"Really Kev." Ben cut him off, "I'm okay… it was just a dream."
"Okay…uhh, anyway, we'll be landing soon, be on the bridge in 10." Then he was gone, closing the door behind him.
Ben turned to look back out his window at the brilliance of the passing stars. Closing his eyes, he clung to the lingering feeling of a warm hand pressed against his cheek.
"A beautiful dream." He whispered, and for the first time in two weeks, Ben smiled.
It's finally finished! It took a year, but still...
I'm so happy it's finally complete! I have new respect for authors who can churn out 20+ chapter fics like it's nothing.
Anyway, let me know what you think!