Authors Note and Disclaimer: Well, first I'll get the technical stuff out of the way: There is no way I own these characters lol. I simply borrowed them and mixed things up a bit. This is also my first NT fic, as I have been hooked on it after seeing the second film. Anywho, Sorry if the characterization is off, I did try to keep things together, but I know parts are probably really OOC. Still, I hope you can still enjoy it :-)
In retrospect it had probably been a silly idea. The whole Valentines Day holiday was completely overrated and had become nothing more than a time for candy companies to flourish. He didn't need that much chocolate. Florists were in demand as couples sent bouquets of the most cliché flowers to their significant other. Flowers made is nose itch. No, he had had no intention of celebrating the silly thing. But as the day crept closer he couldn't help but think that he had never really had someone to celebrate with before. Plus, in a really horribly and grossly romantic kind of way, the timing seemed to fit. He had been waiting and waiting for a right time to approach a certain subject with his partner, and it was almost as if this day was screaming now was his chance.
"Well, at least now I know better than to listen," Riley Poole stated softly as he rubbed at his eyes with his hand, pausing as he pulled it away to look at his watch. Eleven thirty. It had been almost 5 hours since the other had promised to be home for dinner. Granted, he had wanted it to be a surprise, so he hadn't told him how much effort he had put into planning the evening, and even if he had he wasn't sure it would have made much of a difference.
The dining room in the nice sized two story house they shared was lit only by the flames of dimly shining candles that were now burned almost to completion. The crème colored table cloth hung limply, as if it were as depressed as the young techno geek himself was feeling. Two dinner settings were set up across from each other, both uneaten and now ice cold to the touch. The once lovely set up sat now completely lifeless.
"Come on Riley," he said to himself, shaking his head as if he could shake away the horrible feeling gnawing at his heart. "This is Ben we're talking about here. You know he's been on the verge of something big for the past couple weeks. Sure it's kept him away until all hours of the night and him and Abigail are more than likely working on it together, eating bad Chinese takeout and going over stupid documents while he could be here with you and the dinner you magically managed to make all by yourself…But hey, things come up right? Exactly. It's not a big deal. It's just a stupid holiday with stupid sentiments…that's it….just stupid…" But as he reached into his pocket and fingers clasped around a small box, he knew that he wasn't going to be able to psych himself out this time.
A soft sigh and a longing glance later he was standing up and blowing out the candles. No matter how hurt he was, the last thing he wanted was to inadvertently burn the house down. Ben would never forgive him for that one. He was about to turn away and head towards the bedroom, but something made him stop. He grasped the small box in his pocket and slowly took it out, his eyes locked on it. There really would never be another time he'd have the nerve to ask, or even mention it in passing. Especially when lately rather than a couple they were more of a trio, with him somehow becoming the third wheel. "Happy Valentines Day Ben," he murmured, placing the precious gift on the table before leaving the room.
To his dismay, the techie made it no further than the staircase when he heard the front door open, followed not by something such as "sorry I'm late" or "I tried to call." No, there were no excuses. Simply a "Hey Riley, d'you think you could give us a hand with these?"
It took all he had not to sigh and shake his head before continuing on his path towards the bedroom, but to instead put a smile on and turn with forced enthusiasm. He'd done it all his life as a child, so he had mastered the act quite well. However it took him a moment to realize that there was something wrong with that sentence. Us…? Then it hit him. Standing just behind Ben with her golden locks hanging just past her shoulders was Abigail. Now that was what made him falter in the comfortable façade he had adopted at age 10. Not only had he missed the dinner he had promised to come home to, he was with his ex. That was just adding insult to injury. He knew that it was silly of him to have these feelings of jealousy, they were still all friends after all, and perhaps if it had been any other day, if he hadn't spent the day pacing around as he planned out some kind of proposal speech, Star Wars not even able to calm his nerves, things would be different. But they weren't, and she was there, and as he smiled rolled his eyes before taking a few of the folders in Ben's arms he felt his heart plummet into his stomach.
From the corner of his eye he caught the quick flash of concern that had formed in Ben's eyes, noticed the quick glance over as his boyfriend tried to assess him, but he was determined to keep this to himself, especially with a guest. After dumping the folders on the small coffee table by the couch he stretched his arms over his head, releasing a long, drawn out yawn. "You two kiddies play nice now. I'm gonna hit the sack."
"Riley Poole in bed before midnight?" Abigail quipped, her voice a bit too perky for Riley's liking.
"What can I say? I exhausted my energy saving the world through my x-box. Don't worry though, I think you can survive one evening without my dashing good looks and witty charms." He winked at her before forcing out a laugh, which as he shot Ben a look he thought might have been a bit too forced, but he simply shrugged it off and grinned, letting out one last yawn for good measure. "I'll see you in the morning." As he made his way up the stairs he was tempted to pause, wondering briefly if leaving the dining room the way he did was a good idea, for all he knew he could take that ring and use it on Abigail. Of course now he was just being stupid. Ben may do a lot of things, but he knew deep down the other wouldn't purposely hurt him. Still, he could be irked.