A/N: It's not an obsession…it's a passion. I just…saw how small the fandom is (and how lacking in things I'll actually read), so I decided to contribute. Hope you all enjoy! I've only seen the movie twice, so please let me know if there are any inconsistencies so I can fix them.
Written for save changes to normal, because I adore her interactions between Riley and Ben in her stories. They're fantastic, and she is my inspiration.
Disclaimer: I own nobody and nothing in this.
Summary: Ben reflects on Riley and family on a lazy Sunday afternoon. [BenAbby and Ben/Riley/brotherly fluff
The shriek from upstairs would have been enough to pull Ben from his book if the younger man's sudden bolting out of the room hadn't done it. Riley had jumped off the couch and toward the door a good five seconds before Abigail's yell had reached them. Sometimes, the computer genius had timing that amazed even him.
"What did you do this time?" Ben yelled after his friend, but the only response he got was the slamming of his own front door.
It didn't matter because Abby, dressed in a loose t-shirt, shorts, and still dripping wet, slid into the room right then. Her hair was the approximately the same shade of green as wet kelp. Ben could only assume it would still look like kelp when it dried.
"Where did he go?"
He pointed to the front door, half-debating using his book as a shield from his obviously enraged wife. She ran, still sliding on the wood-floors, and he heard the front door slam again along with a most undignified yelp.
Ben looked down at his book and sighed. Looked like the new biography of John Adams was going to have to wait until the two wild beasts he called family had been calmed. Well, at least if he wanted there to be two of them at the end of this.
Carefully side stepping the footprint shaped puddles, he walked out onto the front porch to find that Riley had been tackled and was now trying, fruitlessly, to escape the former-blonde's clutches.
"Tell me how to wash it out! Now!" As usual when Abby was upset, her accent became thicker. Normally, he found it endearing, but right now it was almost comical. It was an accent you'd expect from proper ladies, not someone who currently had his best friend in a headlock.
"Warned you…not…eat….last…chip," was all Riley managed to wheeze out.
It was true. Both he and Riley had warned Abby that eating the last of Riley's chips would result in dire consequences. Ben knew this from experience.
Abigail had argued that it was their house, not Riley's, and they—not Riley—had purchased the chips so they were not actually Riley's chips.
Ben concluded that Abby must have been an only child. Ben had been for a long time, but then he'd picked up Riley.
He got lessons in having a little brother very quickly indeed.
When he'd found Riley in that little window-less cubical, he'd belonged to nobody. Ben had asked the younger man if there was family he needed to contact before he followed the Treasure Protector to the ends of the earth; Riley had told him quite succinctly that he hadn't seen his family for a long time, and he was free to do as he pleased.
When Ben had gone back just after they'd gotten home and done a background check on Riley—after Ian, he couldn't be to careful, and it had been easy to do—he'd learned that Riley had become a ward of the court after his drug-addict mother had sent him to school with visible bruises at age 11. After that, the young man had been sent to a foster home, but was never adopted, before going to college almost completely on student loans and living out of that red van.
He truly was as free as any person could possibly be, and from that moment on Ben had sworn Riley would never know that kind of freedom again.
Of course, if Abby had her way, Riley wasn't going to be enjoying any kind of freedom any time soon.
"Alright, you two, why don't we both…"
Ben didn't get to finish as, with a quick twist, Riley threw Abby off of him and bolted back towards the house. He quickly ducked behind Ben, all too eager to use him as a shield.
"That's my own special dye, Abby, and only I know how to get it out."
"You insufferable little…"
Ben half-allowed himself to be swung so he was blocking Abby again.
"If you kill me, the secret dies with me."
"Now, come on guys, let's be reasonable. I'm sure Riley didn't mean to upset you so much Abby and he'll fix it. Won't you, Riley?"
The response was Riley releasing him and running towards the door again. It shut and locked seconds before Abigail ran into it. Ben caught her as she bounced back.
"Riley! Riley, you open this door right now!"
Ben knew Riley wasn't there, though. He was probably already securing every other way into the house. In a fair fight, Riley would lose, but nobody could beat the kid at running and hiding.
True to form, the younger man yelled at them from the safety of the second story. "Apologize, and I'll tell you how it comes out!"
"Apologize for what? I paid for those chips! You don't even live here, how can you have any claim on them at all?"
It was true, Riley didn't live with them, but he might as well have. He was over constantly, questioning everything, complaining about the way things smelled, and always getting underfoot.
When he wasn't, Abby was alternating between exclaiming how nice it was that he wasn't there and complaining that he probably wasn't eating properly.
Really, Riley never left.
"I opened the bag! I ate most of them! Ben bought them for me!"
Abby whirled on him, and the historian found himself backing up a step on reflex. "Did you really?"
"There his favorite," Ben offered with a shrug.
"Really? And do you always buy him treats every time I send you two shopping together?"
Yes, actually, he did. Riley just had to pull out his 'look-how-loyal-and-adorable-I-am' pout, and Ben would always get him the treat he asked for. And usually lunch too.
But, he supposed, Abby didn't really need to know that. It wasn't like money was an issue for them anyway.
"Just occasionally, if he manages to go a full ten minutes without complaining."
"I guess such rare behavior does deserve a treat." Mad as she was, a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. She was as much under Riley's spell of needing affection as he was. She would forgive him anything. She just didn't fully realize it yet.
"Apologize for eatingmy chips, and stop chasing me, and I'll tell you how to get it out."
"And let us in the house?"
"…Yes, I suppose that too."
Abby looked at him, a thoughtful look on her face. "I'm sure I could find another way in. Someway he didn't think of."
"Yes, I'm sure you could. But, sometimes, the easiest solution is the best one." And he rather wanted to get back to his book. Honestly, the two of them were enough to drive him crazy.
But when he started to get crazy, all he'd have to do is try and imagine life without them. Sometimes he couldn't. Sometimes he could, and what he saw scared him.
"Alright, Riley! I'm sorry I ate your chips, and I promise not to get you for this."
"Promise on your button collection?"
"Yes, yes, fine!"
The sound of feet running down the stairs and stopping right on the other side of the door. "Wash twice with baking soda. It should come right out."
The lock clicked open and Abby pushed the door open, making sure to press Riley between the door and the wall. "Thank you, Riley."
Ben leaned around the door to look at his best friend. "You sure it'll come out?"
"That or it'll go purple. Which is her favorite color anyway so…how about we go get some pizza?"
Ben chuckled, grabbing his coat and keys. "Pepperoni?"