Authors Note and Disclaimer: So let me just start off by saying that the lyrics and characters are not mine. Also, I did have help with the idea for a plot. I had been wanting to a fic with this song for a while, but the idea actually came from So You Think You Can Dance. I think I've covered everything now. So all that is left is for you to enjoy the fic J

Bleeding Love

Closed off from love
I didn't need the pain
Once or twice was enough
And it was all in vain
Time starts to pass
Before you know it you're frozen

It had taken the young treasure hunter years to finally open his heart enough to accept that the one he yearned for truly loved him in return, or so he thought. Glancing over at the old grandfather clock Ben had simply needed to have, Riley watched as seconds ticked by agonizingly slow as if to taunt him. The other had been due back two hours ago and had yet to even call to say he was running late. Still, he had to admit that it wasn't so surprising. His lover was well known for his workaholic tendencies, easily drawn in by historic mysteries, unable to let go until he had figured things out. Despite knowing all this, however, Riley had hoped, just this once, that the other would make it home for their anniversary.

But something happened
For the very first time with you
My heart melted into the ground
Found something true
And everyone's looking 'round
Thinking I'm going crazy

Part of him knew that life was not meant to be this hard, that he shouldn't have to be in despair each and every night, yearning for just a pinch of affection, to be noticed and loved. But that part of his mind was outshined by the pure devotion he felt for the older man who had rescued him from a mundane life working in an office cubicle. He had shown him mystery. He had shown him intrigue. Most of all, he had shown him what it was like to have a true friend, someone who would always be there for you. There's nothing more important to him than that.

The techie even put up with all of the nagging from his friends. He knew that they were only looking out for him, trying to shed light on how poorly he is being treated in his current relationship. Though it was Ben who ultimately chose Riley over Abigail, Riley had to admit the woman had wonderful insight as to why their relationship failed, and it was not only due to Ben's different…tastes. There had been a time when they were happy, but ultimately, they came to spend so much time apart it was as if they weren't a couple at all. Still, she had been supportive and a good friend through it all, and deep down Riley knew she was right for thinking he was crazy to stay with the other while being so unhappy.

But I don't care what they say
I'm in love with you
They try to pull me away
But they don't know the truth
My heart's crippled by the vein
That I keep on closing
You cut me open and I…

Finally wrenching his eyes away from the clock he pushed away from the table and stood up, making his way towards the living room. His new focus became a picture that Abi had taken of them the previous summer, a memory he would always hold dear. It was probably the fondest one he had of them being together, finally able to just enjoy each other's company without anything looming over their heads. With a faint smile on his lips, he picked up the phone and dialed Abigail's number.

Ring. Ring. "Hello?"

"Hey Abi…it's Riley."

"Oh hi Riley! I'm surprised to hear from you…though I suppose it gives me a chance to wish you and Ben a happy anniversary…"
He let out a strained laugh. "Yeah…thanks…I was actually calling about that…I was wondering if you've heard from him at all. He was supposed to be home a couple hours ago, and I haven't been able to reach him…" His voice was soft, sadness emanating from it like rays from the sun.

"Riley…," Abigail's gentle tone said, attempting to sound comforting but in the end only making him feel worse. "You mean he's forgotten again?"

"Not forgotten…just…He's busy…"

"No. Don't you dare stand up for him at a time like this. There's no excuse in the world for how he treats you Riley…Why can't you see that? I don't know how you stand it…"

"Thanks for caring Abi…" he answered, slowly pulling the phone away from his ear.

Keep bleeding
Keep, keep bleeding love
I keep bleeding
I keep, keep bleeding love
Keep bleeding
Keep, keep bleeding love
You cut me open

Riley could faintly hear the other trying to say something, reach out to him with kindness and compassion, but as his eyes started to burn and the familiar feeling of tears filled them he could do nothing but hang up the phone. Even now, he hated to seem weak in front of the others and crying definitely counted as a sign of weakness.

He rubbed almost violently at his eyes, trying to get rid of the tears that would not stop flowing down his reddened cheeks. Taking a breath he moved to sit down on the couch, burying his head in his hands as his body shook, wracked by the sobs that escaped him. It wasn't fair. He had done everything in his power to make the other happy, make sure he never had to frown. And yet this is what he got in return from the one person who could control his emotions.

Trying hard not to hear
But they talk so loud
Their piercing sounds fill my ears
Try to fill me with doubt
Yet I know that the goal
Is to keep me from falling

If he were to be honest with himself, it hadn't only been Abigail to tell him Ben had been given one too many chances. He had known things had gotten truly bad when his lover's parents said disparaging things about their son. Now, he would be the first to admit that he had never truly bonded with the elder Gates', but over time they had gotten to know each other, even more so when the Mr. and Mrs. gave their love another chance to shine. He couldn't help but feel somewhat at home with them whenever he and Ben would stop by for dinner or just to chat.

Sighing softly, he lightly pulled at his hair, the opinions of his friends and loved ones filtering through his mind as he tried with all his heart to overlook the current situation.

"You've given him so many chances…."

"I know his my son, but he's still thickheaded if he can't see that you're hurting…"

"Riley, dear…it's clear how much you love our son, but you've also got to consider your own feelings…"

God, why couldn't they just stop?! There was so much concern floating around he felt as though his head would explode. Riley knew for a fact that they said these things out of love for him, wanting him to have the happiness he so desperately yearned for, but it was no use. The only person who could deliver that…was the last person who would.

But nothing's greater
Than the rush that comes with your embrace
And in this world of loneliness
I see your face
Yet everyone around me
Thinks that I'm going crazy
Maybe, maybe

With a quiet sigh the young man brushed away the tears that had dampened his cheeks and rubbed at his eyes to stop the onslaught. It was silly really, crying over such a matter. There had only been one instance where his lover had remembered a special occasion, including birthdays. Hell, he was so caught up in work sometimes that he forgot his own. Riley hadn't thought it possible to forget one's own birthday until he and Ben had started seeing each other. It was amazing really.

He shook his head. 'I don't want to think about this,' he told himself, forcing back the pain that wanted so desperately to be noticed. So instead he thought if times when he and Ben had first gotten together. Time had been so different then, almost as if Ben had been an entirely different person. Every time they embraced it was as if Riley was breathing in new life He had yearned for the other to love him for so long, that once he had it he simply couldn't let go. Despite everything that happened between them, the forgotten dates and cold nights, nothing could replace the hole in his heart that would be present if he left Ben.

But I don't care what they say
I'm in love with you
They try to pull me away
But they don't know the truth
My heart's crippled by the vein
That I keep on closing
You cut me open and I …

Even if he could put a stop to their twisted, back and forth relationship, there was a very large possibility that he would still never find happiness. It was not as if he would only be throwing away their newly found love, but the years of friendship before that as well. All of the fun they had had together, from deciphering codes to gun fights and car chases, could not just be thrown to the wind. This was something Riley would never be able to do.

Part of him new that Ben never meant to hurt him the way he did. He was a workaholic through and through, but that didn't change the fact that the love Riley felt from him was any less real. The other always felt immensely guilty after forgetting a special date or doing anything to hurt the young techie. No, that was not the problem. The problem was that no matter what happened, he never seemed to change. Instead, Riley had been assured and comforted by empty promises.

Keep bleeding
Keep, keep bleeding love
I keep bleeding
I keep, keep bleeding love
Keep bleeding
Keep, keep bleeding love
You cut me open

So caught up in his thoughts, his mind barely registered the creaking of the door as it slowly opened, the sound of footsteps filling the air. As he turned around, his eyes slowly turned their gaze from the floor right into Ben's brown orbs, still red and glossy with tears. He watched as his lover's expression turned from one of exhaustion to one of shock. Then came realization, sadness, guilt. Yet he could not find it in himself to truly care.

Sighing, he shook his head and moved towards the stairs. "I'm tired…think I'll hit the sack. I'll see you in the morning," he stated, voice void of emotion.

"Riley wait," Ben pleaded softly, grasping his lover's hand when he tried to walk past.

Those two words were what finally set Riley off.

And it's draining all of me
Oh they find it hard to believe
I'll be wearing these scars
For everyone to see

"What for what Ben?!" Riley yelled, emotions pouring out from his very soul. "For you to apologize again for missing something, for making me sit here for hours waiting for you to come home when deep down I knew you wouldn't. You say you're sorry, but do you ever actually mean it? Did you ever?? Doubtful."

"Riley you know I mean it," Ben replied, trying to hold the other's gaze. "I love you…"

"Don't! Don't you say that. You may think you love me Ben, hell, most of me still thinks you love me." A sob. "But…but it's a joke. You never change Ben. That's what needs to happen. But it never will, will it? Because you just can't let go of the past. It will always be the thing you love most won't it? Not me though…never me…"

I don't care what they say
I'm in love with you
They try to pull me away
But they don't know the truth
My heart's crippled by the vein
That I keep on closing
You cut me open and I

His tirade continued as tears flowed freely now. "And despite it all, no matter what I tell myself, or what Abigail tells me, or what your parents tell me, I can't stop loving you. For me it has always been you. I stood by through everything we went through Ben. Fighting the arctic cold, guns blazing. I even remained the quirky best friend as I watched the one I loved confess his undying devotion to another. All of this I did because I do love you Ben. And I doubt I could stop even if I wanted to."

"And god, you have no idea how much I wish I could. You've hurt me. More than you'll ever know probably. Every time you forget an anniversary, every year you forget not only my birthday but yours as well I hurt. And yeah, maybe I should have let you know just how much, but was it really so hard for you to see? Yes, I hid my tears when you came near, but couldn't you see behind my blasé façade? Did you even care enough to look?"

Keep bleeding
Keep, keep bleeding love
I keep bleeding
I keep, keep bleeding love
Keep bleeding
Keep, keep bleeding love
You cut me open and I

"And now you want me to wait. Well I ask again…wait for what? Because nothing worth waiting for is going to happen Ben…" Riley's voice grew tired. "You know that…part of me knows that. So like I said, I'm going to bed. I'll see you in the morning."

And without sparing a second glance, Riley shook his hand free and walked up the stairs to their room with a melancholy expression, for he knew that despite all that had been said, come morning it would just start all over again.

Keep bleeding
Keep, keep bleeding love
I keep bleeding
I keep, keep bleeding love
Keep bleeding
Keep, keep bleeding love
You cut me open and I
Keep bleeding
Keep, keep bleeding love