Disclaimer: National Treasure? YAY! I own it on vcd!
Nine days. It has been nine days since Riley received Abby's call about Ben's sick predicament. And now here he was, standing guard beside Ben's bed. His body screamed rest after being overused for more than a week; his head protested in form of intermittent headaches. But he didn't want to move from his spot. He needed to stop Ben from doing something stupid. Ben was getting a lot better, and Riley knew in a few days Ben's going to be a hundred percent well. That doesn't mean he could spiral in the wrong direction – because he's feeling fine now, he insists on moving around a lot and working. He still needs some rest!
And now that Ben had finally fallen asleep – after an hour of cajoling and bickering, and Riley threatening to tell on Ben– Ben had reluctantly gone to bed to have some more rest. The guy has been down for more than two hours now, and to think he put up a fight when Riley tried to get him to sleep. Riley shook his head, and stood up. He decided that Ben would probably sleep for about an hour or so, so it should be safe to walk around for a moment. He made his way to the kitchen, where he spotted Abby scarfing down a pint of ice cream while reading an important looking document.
Riley grabbed a spoon himself and grabbed the pint from Abby, and started eating. Abby took it back. "I bought one for you Riley – it's in the fridge."
"You did? Thanks!" Riley said, and got the pint from the fridge, and started to spoon chunks into his mouth.
After a moment of silence, Abby looked up from her document. Riley continued to eat his ice cream out until he felt Abby's gaze penetrating his skull. He looked up, and blinked at her innocently. "What? Do you want some?"
Abby smiled with concern. "You look terrible."
"You should see yourself with that document. Your concentration is disturbing."
Abby ignored the comment. "You do. I know you haven't slept right ever since Ben got sick."
Riley laughed, his laughter broken by a small cough. "Yeah, well I couldn't let superman here not get his yellow sunlight – sleep. You know Ben would just work his lungs out again until he gets sick much, much worse if he doesn't recover properly…" He scoffed, and waved his spoon around. "The guy doesn't have much in the way of self-preservation, especially when focused on his work."
"I can't really blame him, Riley." Abby said, smiling dreamily, probably going into some memory of Ben busy with history-related things with Abby by his side. Riley shuddered. Who in the world gets turned on by ripped, crumbly old documents and dusty cracked clay pots?
Abby snapped back to reality, and looked at Riley. "I don't like the sound of that cough. You really need a break; I could take a few days off from work…"
"Nah, Abs, I could make it. It's only a few days till the second week mark." Riley grinned, and tapped the document. "Besides, those things can't fix themselves on their own. From the look on your face and the ice cream stress reliever, that report doesn't look so good."
"Well one of the newly delivered artifacts is in poor condition, and we need ingenious methods to preserve it." Abby rubbed her forehead.
Riley patted her shoulder. "Relax, Abby. I'm the one who doesn't sleep, and you're the one who has the bags under her eyes."
"You should really see yourself in the mirror."
"That's why I try to keep away from mirrors as much as possible." Riley replied. "Well, if you really want to get back to nursing duty, I could have a few hours taken off…"
Abby smiled. "Thanks, Riley."
"If you really want to take care of your hubby that bad I'm willing to take some time off for you…"
"I didn't mean just for that, Riley." Abby laughed a bit. "I meant with all your help – starting from that call."
Riley grinned. "Well, it's the least I can do for my family, Abigail."
Abby smiled at him, leaning forward on the table. She yawned, and looked up when she heard something clang upstairs. "I think our patient is awake."
"Let him work a bit." Riley shrugged. "Work's like therapy for him." He looked up. "As long as he doesn't stay up late later, he'll do fine."
Abby stood up. "I think I'll be heading back to the office. I'll see you in a few hours, Riley."
Riley saluted. He spooned another pile of cream into his mouth as Abby left the kitchen. Fatigue caught up with him all of a sudden; he felt his eyes close and his head lull forward. He fell to the table, arm under his head, hands still holding the container and spoon.
Ben shot up, swung his feet over the side of the bed and stood up. A weird dream struck him while he was asleep; something about him being chained to the bed, sick with a horrible headache and Abby force-feeding him chicken soup and Riley poking him repeatedly with a thermometer.
He rubbed his eyes, and tripped over the chair in the middle of the room. He fell with an "oof", and the chair with a "clang-thud". Ben stood up, and deciding that he wasn't fully awake yet, righted the chair, sat on it and tried to clear his head. After a few minutes, he stood up and headed into the kitchen, hoping to find Riley or Abby to have someone to talk to.
He never thought getting sick could be this… boring. And scary. His mind drifted back to the dream, and he shook his head to get rid of the nightmare.
Ben made his way down the stairs, and finding no one in the foyer, he headed into the kitchen.
The sight that met him was very… interesting, he didn't know if he should laugh or be extremely concerned.
Riley was sleeping, snoring, face down in a sticky puddle of chocolate ice cream. A small, upturned tub rolled beside him, a spoon still in it. Ben wasn't sure if he should wake him up, but he decided that his wife would probably not appreciate ants in her sparkling kitchen, so he shook Riley awake.
"Huh… what?" Riley raised his head, his glasses dripping with ice cream, his face covered in sticky liquid and his hair sticking up in odd places. Riley slipped his glasses rubbed his eyes and stared dumbly at Ben.
"Good morning." Ben grinned, and handed Riley a towel. Fifteen minutes into waking up, and I have to take care of this guy and save him from Abby… Abby wouldn't want ants on the table…
Riley wiped his glasses, and put them back on. He then wiped his face afterwards, and darted his eyes around wildly. "Ben?" He stretched, and stared at the cloth in his hand. "Wow, I didn't think I'd fall asleep that easy. I could stay up without sleeping for two weeks…"
"You stayed up without sleeping for two weeks?" Ben raised an eyebrow. "How long have you been trying to get yourself killed?"
"It's very interesting that two workaholics are having this kind of conversation." Riley smirked, and patted Ben on the shoulder as he made his way to the sink. "So. How was sleep?"
"Pretty good, actually." Ben yawned, and grabbed a muffin from the fridge. "How was yours?"
Ben chuckled. "I noticed. I would have left you but, Abby would freak if she finds ants all over the kitchen."
"Glad to know you care about her." Riley sat back down again. "So. Feeling better?"
"A lot better."
"I told you so. See? Trust your sidekick Ben. I know you're a superhero, but even Batman needed Robin."
"How about Superman? I thought he didn't have a sidekick." Ben smirked.
"Yeah well, you're not an alien, are you?" Riley answered back. "And two words: Justice League."
Ben laughed. "Robin couldn't stay around forever. If Batman ever got tired of him he could always throw him out of his mansion…"
"You know Ben, that hurt." Riley held a hand above his chest to emphasize his statement. "If Batman threw him out, if Alfred's away, who would take care of him when he gets sick? Especially with Pneumonia."
Ben looked on with amusement and annoyance. He knew he was losing, but Riley's talk was better than staying in his room all alone. "Did you just compare Abby to Alfred?"
"I never said anything like that." Riley grinned mysteriously. He stood up, and made his way to the couch. "I think I'll get some Zs." Riley yawned.
"You need some. Looked in the mirror lately?" Ben followed Riley into the living room.
Riley jumped on the couch and made himself comfortable. He yawned. "No, and I'm not planning to. Well, Ben, I let you have your sleep, let me have mine." Riley closed his eyes, and rolled over.
Ben smiled and shook his head. He leaned back in the chair, and before he knew it – he himself was sound asleep. Again.
Riley watched Ben shift in his seat. Ben rolled over, opened and crossed his legs, and one of his eyes opened a bit. Drool pooled in the corner of his mouth.
And they said this guy was a "hero". What in the world did they see in him? Riley grinned, and shook his head. He knew exactly what they saw in him – he saw it himself. Determined, and passionate. A very good best friend – and a brother. He was about to go into a longer internal monologue when Abby came back.
"He's asleep again?"
Riley yawned. "Isn't it obvious? The guy's knocked unconscious. Look, drool." He pointed lazily to the wet spot on the arm of the chair.
"What did you guys do all day? Sleep?" Abby smiled, hanging her coat inside the closet.
"Pretty much. There isn't really anything left to do." Riley stretched for a bit. "Unless you want us both to work… and work… and work… you know we can do that too."
Abby rolled her eyes. She sat down on the empty seat beside Riley. "And that, is why you both get sick a lot. Learn to set some limits."
"Yes Ma'am." Ben answered. He opened one eye at Abby and Riley, and yawned.
"Hey sweetie." Abby said, and kissed Ben on the cheek. "Had a good sleep?"
Ben nodded. "Yeah. And before you could ask, yes, I'm doing much, much better. Sleep helps."
"Of course it does, Ben. Every person needs it. You know, so that they don't get sick with pneumonia…" Riley smirked.
"You are never going to let that go, would you?" Ben glared at Riley.
"Never." Riley looked really smug.
Ben smirked back. "It's not like you've never been sick from working too much before."
"I have an excuse."
"I really am sickly. You're not." Riley grinned.
"Being sickly is an advantage?"
"Right now it is."
Abby cleared her throat. Ben looked a there. He seemed partly surprised that she was there. Abby just grinned. "Wow Ben. You actually caught up with Riley. I'm impressed."
"Yeah well, there is nothing else left to do when you're sick." Ben shrugged. "You get bored." They kissed, leaving Riley with an unreadable face.
Riley stood up from his seat, and patted Abby on the shoulder. "Well, then, as much as I enjoyed the conversation, I really need to get back to work." Riley was about to head upstairs, into his room, when someone stopped him.
He turned around. "Yeah?"
Ben smiled. "Thanks Riley."
"Well… I was sick, and…"
Riley laughed. "No big deal, Ben. You did the same for me once. Uh, twice… okay, a lot. This is nothing."
Ben shook his head. "It's something. Thanks."
"No problem, really." Riley smiled back, and continued his ascent up the stairs. "Just don't get sick again…"
Ben turned back to Abby, who was beaming at him. He blinked at her innocently. "What?"
"That was nice."
"Nice? Is that all you've got?" Ben laughed, and went to the seat next to Abby. He kissed her on the ear and cuddled her a bit. "Thanks for everything, Abigail."
Abby smiled, and cuddled closer. "You're welcome, Ben." She whispered, and gave Ben a huge kiss on the mouth. They surfaced for air after a couple of seconds.
"I missed that." Ben remarked, brushing a strand of Abby's hair away.
"I missed it too." They kissed again, longer and a bit more passionate this time, and looked into each other's faces.
"I love you Ben."
"I love you too, Abigail."
Ben and Abby sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! sorry, couldn't resist. xD
Awww… a happy ending. Of course… ^^ I know it's not much, but at least I finally finished something that is not a one shot! Yeah, my first finished multi-chaptered chappie! Hopefully my other fics endings would be better… xD
So… watch out for my next stories, 'kay? xD I promise they'd be a treat... ^^ Thanks for reading and following my stuff!!
Thanks to all the people who reviewed (read without reviewing, too) ,you guys make me so happy and y'all gave me the strength, if you will, to write and finish! And thanks lots of course, to my awesome beta and my awesome "National Treasure friend", LoremIpsum!!!
One last Review please!!