A/N: I know this is late, in fact I was planning on posting this yesterday, you know on Valentine's day, but it turned out to be a lot longer than I thought it was going to be so I guess you'll just have to deal. This is in response to the Valentine's Day challenge on treasuregeeksOh and the rating's for some language and other stuff that's not really suitable for young children. Oh, and if you're a fan of the movie the Departed, you're going to like what I've thrown in there. Also you'll see some GoodIan in here.
Disclaimer: It doesn't belong to me, I'm just using it to pass the time.
Riley lay awake in his bed, staring up at the ceiling for the fifth night in a row. He tried everything he could, but sleep wouldn't come, his mind was just too full of thoughts; thoughts that haunted him every moment of everyday, constantly reminding him of what he would eventually lose forever. Tomorrow, Ben was going to propose to Abigail, and of course he just had to pick the most "romantic" day of the year; Valentine's Day. Though at this point, asking was just a formality. No doubt about it, Abigail would be crazy to say no to a guy like Ben. Then the two of them would get married, travel the world together in search of untold riches as Riley eventually faded away into the dust.
Unable to stand the thought of it anymore, the techie sat up in bed, rubbing his eyes before glancing at the clock. The glowing red numbers informed him that it was 12:37 AM. It had officially been the day he was dreading with every ounce of his soul for less than an hour and Riley already wished it was over.
Realizing that sleep would elude him yet again, the techie rolled out of bed, grabbed his laptop, and headed into the kitchen. He sat down at the table and turned on his computer, quickly checking his email, which was full of spam, and chain letters. If you don't send this to 25 people in 25 minutes, you will lose the love of your life forever. "Yeah, been there, done that." Riley scoffed and clicked the delete button. Already bored with his computer, Riley closed his mail and closed the laptop, as it was doing nothing to help him take his mind off of Ben. He sighed. Maybe some fresh air would do him some good.
Riley grabbed a pair of jeans and threw them on over his boxers. He slipped into his Converse, grabbed his favorite blue hoodie from the back of his chair and with no destination in mind, left his apartment.
The streets of DC were practically deserted, and Riley was grateful for the peace and quiet. The cold February air helped him relax a lot more than the stuffy air in his apartment, but it did nothing as far as making him forget about Ben. It seemed everywhere the techie went was a constant reminder of the treasure hunter. Ben and Riley had been all over the city together and Riley's heart ached when he thought of the good old days, particularly before they met Abigail.
As much as he tried, Riley wanted to be happy for them, but how could he be all smiles, when on the inside, his heart was breaking more and more which each step he took. A stationary store passed on his right. The techie looked up to see a bright red neon heart glowing in the dark window of the store. Riley stopped for a moment to look at the display. Paper cut-outs of Conversation Hearts were placed around the neon heart, each bearing an expression of love that made Riley want to gag. He scoffed and continued on down the street.
"Whoever invented Valentine's Day should die a slow and painful death from an arrow to the heart." Riley spat out bitterly to himself.
He walked for about five more blocks and the bitter cold was starting to set in. The techie pulled his hood on and stuffed his hand into his pocked to brace himself against the icy air. He ambled down the sidewalk a bit longer before coming to the first open building he saw in a while. It was a bar. He and Ben had hung out there a few times before, but that was ages ago. Way back before the Templar treasure. Riley just wanted to turn around a go home, but the thought of walking back in the freezing cold was nowhere near appealing to the young computer genius. Riley sighed and pushed open the door to the bar.
The room was empty except for the bartender, who stood facing the back wiping off the counter. Riley took a seat and the bar and put his head down on the wooden surface.
"What'll you have?" The blond bartender asked in a British accent, not turning around. Riley picked his head up off the bar and rested his chin on his hand.
"Cranberry juice," He mumbled. The bartender chuckled.
"You know it's a natural diuretic," He said as he picked up a clean glass from the rack near the sink. "My girlfriend drinks it when she has her period. What, do you have your period?"
Riley snorted. "Yeah, that's it. I have my period." He muttered sarcastically, focusing on the patterns in the wooden bar, as the bartender placed the glass next to him.
The techie looked up at the sound of his name slipping out of this stranger's mouth coming face to face with a person he was sure he would never see again in this lifetime.
"I-Ian?" Riley gaped. "What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be in prison for another ten years?"
The Brit shrugged. "What can I say? I got off with good behavior." Ian said nonchalantly changing the subject almost immediately. "So, Riley, what brings you here on this Valentine's Day morning?" It was the computer geek's turn to shrug.
"Couldn't sleep, got a lot on my mind, I guess."
"A girl?" Ian pressed.
Riley almost choked on his drink. "What…are you…talking…about?" He asked between coughs.
"I'm guessing you still have that, oh how can I put this," Ian tapped his chin thoughtfully. "Crush on the great treasure hunter."
"I don't have a crush on Ben," Riley lied. "That's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. And besides, he's going to propose to Abigail tomorrow." He reminded himself miserably.
"So you're tossing and turning all night because Ben loves Dr. Chase and not you?"
"Whatever. I've done away with love a long time ago. Love is stupid. Fuck love."
Ian nodded knowingly. "Ah, one of Aphrodite's Atheists, aren't we?"
The techie shot the Brit a quizzical glance. "Huh?"
"Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, and an atheist doesn't believe in anything like that," Ian explained. "So, in laments terms, you don't believe in love."
"What's the point? You love someone, you think they love you, but in the end they break your heart." Riley ran his hands over his glass and took a sip of the tart liquid. "Obviously, Ben and Abigail were meant for each other. I've just got to learn to accept that."
"Riley, did you ever consider telling Ben how you feel about him?" Ian asked, leaning his elbows on the bar and looking over at Riley.
"Yes I've considered it, and so far all my scenarios have ended in disappointment on my end and Ben laughing at me and/or being totally and completely disgusted."
Ian shrugged. "Well, the only way you're going to know how he feels is to tell him how you feel. Who knows? Maybe he's just as scared as you are, and marrying Abigail is the easy way out."
Riley looked askance at the former criminal. "When did you become Dr. Phil? What, did you 'find the light of god' in prison or something?"
Ian scoffed and shook his head. "Not even close. I just know that if I felt this strongly for someone and the thought of losing him forever was turning me into an insomniac, I would at least want to know."
"Well, that's why you're Ian and I'm Riley. I run away from my problems."
"Oh yeah? How's that working out for you?" Ian challenged. Riley avoided his eyes.
"Not so good." He admitted sheepishly. The Brit sighed.
"I know it's not easy, but do you really want to through your life wondering 'what if?'"
Riley tapped his now half-empty glass on the wooded surface of the bar. Since when was Ian this sensitive? Even though it was a very odd occurrence that Riley wouldn't believe if he wasn't sitting right in front of him, Ian was right. Even if Ben didn't feel the same way, he still had to get it out there. And maybe, just maybe, he would feel the exact same way.
"Looks like a few years in the federal slammer, turned the Big Bad Wolf into a softy." Riley smirked. Ian stood up and swept his white cloth over the bar before tossing it onto his shoulder.
"So does that mean you're going to talk to Ben?"
Riley flashed Ian a mischievous smile and pushed his glass away, before getting up off the stool. He reached into his pocket for his money but Ian stopped him.
"It's on the house."
Ian nodded. "Positive. Now, go do what you got to do." Riley put his money back in the front pocket of his jeans. He turned to go but stopped in the middle of the room and faced Ian once more, who had already gone back to cleaning up.
The Brit looked up and after a beat, Riley spoke.
A shrill melody rang out, shattering the still darkness of Ben's bedroom. He awoke with a start as the Modtone version of the Star Spangled Banner pierced through the pitch black room. Expelling an exasperated sigh, Ben sat up on one elbow and reached out to grab his phone off the nightstand. The glow of the blue LED screen momentarily blinded his light-deprived eyes. He squinted to read the name on the screen. Riley's Cell calling… What could Riley possibly want at 2:38 in the morning? Ben was about to find out.
"Yeah, Ri, what's up?" He spoke sleepily into the receiver.
"Can you come outside for a second? There's something I really need to talk to you about."
Ben sat up fully, glanced at the clock and ran his hand over his tired eyes. "Riley," He sighed. "Can't it wait until a more normal hour in the morning?"
"Ben, please," the techie begged. "It's only going to take a few minutes."
Ben took a long moment to think. Finally he sighed and said, "Fine, I'll be right out. But this better not be about you getting some high score on some computer game."
"It's not. It's a lot more important than that." Riley assured him before hanging up the phone. Ben shut his phone as well and got up out of bed. He grabbed a sweatshirt and his slippers and headed downstairs to see what could possibly be so important that Riley had to wake him up at three o'clock in the morning on Valentine's Day to tell him.
Riley anxiously paced back and forth in front of Ben and Abigail's mansion. After he had left the bar, the techie had dashed home, hoped into his Ferrari 360 Spider and speed to Ben's house, making the twenty minute drive in less than ten. Now that he was here, he wasn't sure what was stopping from turning around and making that drive again. Riley sighed and leaned up against the hood of his red sports car. Why was he even wasting his time with this? He already had a pretty strong as to what Ben's initial reaction was going to be, why did Riley need to stick around for that?
Because you love him.
For the second time tonight, the techie looked up at the sound of his own name being called. Ben stood in front of Riley, arms folded across his chest and shuffling his feet nervously on the cobble stone walkway.
"Hey, Ben," the computer geek greeted the treasure with a cordial nod of his head. An awkward silence fell over the two. They broke eye contact and looked down at the ground. Ben cleared his throat.
"Uh, so what did you want to talk to me about?"
"Oh, um, it's nothing really," Riley shrugged, crossing his arms as a shiver ran down his spine. Ben wasn't buying it for a second. He looked at the techie expectantly.
"Riley, you woke me up at three o'clock in the morning, told me to come out here in the freezing cold so you could tell me something so important that it couldn't wait until morning. So now we're not going anywhere until you tell me what's up." Ben planted his feet firmly on the ground and stared at Riley awaiting the techie's answer. But Riley remained stubbornly silent; avoiding the treasure hunter's piercing eyes. Finally, after a few minutes, Ben couldn't take the stillness any more.
"Fine, I'm leaving." He said before turning around heading for the front door. Frustrated, Riley ran a hand through his chestnut hair and sighed.
"Ben, wait!" He called, running up to the treasure hunter and stopping him just as he reached out to grab the door. Riley took a deep breath and after a long pause said:
"You can't propose to Abigail."
Ben faced the techie, a confused expression washing over his features. "What? Why not?"
Riley sighed. "Because of this." With shaky hands, he reached out and pulled Ben closer, crushing his lips against the treasure hunter's. He pulled away a few seconds later, careful to avoid Ben's stunned eyes. "I love you, Ben." Riley said, before turning away. It took too much for him to do that, he didn't want to stick around for the rejection. Riley dug his keys out of his pocket and hopped into his car. He put the key in the ignition and…
"I love you too."
The made Riley finally look up at Ben. "What?"
Ben took a step forward. "I said, I love you too." Riley got out of the car and leaned up against the driver's side door.
"Then why were you going to ask Abigail to marry you?"
"Because, I wasn't sure if you felt the same way." Ben admitted. "I guess I just figured I'd take the easy way out. Had I'd known you felt like this, I would've…"
"Can't you just shut up and kiss me?" Ben smiled and without another word, wrapped his arms around the techie and pulled him in for another head-spinning kiss. This one lasted a lot longer than the first and only ended when the lack of oxygen was too much to bear.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Riley," Ben reached out and stroked the computer geek's cheek. Riley blushed.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Ben."
A/N: Not too sure if this meets all the guidelines of the challenge, cuz well, I never actually found the post where it said it, so I just kinda did my best with that. Please review!