Hey, sorry for the late update. It's been real busy, and I really sorta hated this chappie, but my beta Lori pushed me to it. Haha. It'll get better in the next chaps! And when I say angst, I mean angst. Please prepare for (a little too much?) Riley whining and imbalanced angst. It's like Riles is going through adolescence again. Haha.
extra A/N: I knew I said Aly would be in this fic as an important character, but I decided to scrap that idea and am gonna go with something else. :D Maybe she'll be in for a little fluff, but this'll be almost all riley and ben.
Disclaimer: Not a thing I own.
His week just got worse.
Aly graciously declined Riley's offer of a vacation. He stood there with a dejected look, his shoulders heavy with disappointment. Another blow. It's like adding injury to… injury. "Riley, I really would love to, but I can't. I'm sorry, love – I have exams." Aly gave him a kiss and a sad smile, and squeezed him in a tight hug. "I'm really really sorry."And she sat with him for about half of the day under a tree in comfortable silence.
Riley knew Aly hadn't been saying sorry for not being able to go. She was talking about Ben, and somehow that made Riley more miserably.
"I guess I'm just going alone, then."
Aly popped up from her position and gaped at Riley. "No, Ri! Riley, you're not going alone!"
Riley groaned, and sank to the grass. "Who else, then? My family is not even in this country. You're busy… Abigail definitely is… My other friends aren't up for impromptu vacations, Aly. Face it, I have no choice. I can't let these tickets go to waste."
Aly sighed, and sat on a root and faced Riley. "Can't you just make a refund or something?"
Riley shook his head. "Too late for that." He sighed, and leaned back against the tree. "It's not as if I wanted this, Alyson." Oh wait, I did want to go. With Ben. Dammit, I hate this. He rarely used her real name, unless he felt really… negative. "I've already cleared my schedule. I've already packed. I've already bought tickets. I don't want to waste anything."
"Never stopped you before." Aly pointed out, frowning. "Riley, I really don't want you to go alone." I should really listen to her. She knows her stuff. "Divers need diving buddies, Riley."
"I'll find someone when I get there."
Aly scowled. "The hell you will Mister Poole."
Riley ran fingers through her hair. "Don't worry about me. I'll call you. I promise."
And then he left. He jumped in his car, and drove away. He peered at his mirror, and saw Aly hug herself, then wave goodbye. He shuddered, and drove away. It was far too dramatic for his taste, but he couldn't deny that he felt really dramatic anyway.
What Ben did had shaken him for reasons that he really didn't understand. People break their promises all the time, Riley. Why should Ben be any different? Riley sighed again, and gunned the engine to move past the speed limit on the highway. When he was angry he tended to do crazy things, and a driver waved a hand at him as he sped past the guy. Riley eventually slowed down, and stopped at the shoulder of the road. This is why I never trust anyone beyond family. He had been hurt a lot of times – he had been reluctant to trust people outside his family's circle.
He felt sad. And utterly disappointed. Riley expected more from Ben. Ben was his best friend, and his adoptive brother, and he trusted him with his life… Is it really that hard to forgive him just for missing a vacation trip, Riley? Riley sighed. It wasn't the fact that Ben broke his promise that disappointed and hurt Riley. It was the fact that his trust had been annoyingly and illogically shaken by a small refusal.
He hated carrying baggage under his innocent façade.
Not that it matters. There's nothing I can do now – and I don't want to back off from this vacation. I have stress to beat. Riley sighed, and forced a smile on his face, and drove back to his place.
Ben or no Ben, I'm making sure this vacation is going to be fun.
Riley stared at the horizon, as he watched the sun set, sinking down into the sea. The sky was washed with hues of orange, red and pink, and fluffy clouds stained with colors floated peacefully in the purple sky. Riley smiled, and leaned back in his chair. Wow. If every day was like this I wouldn't protest.
The resort's service was good. Someone handed him a glass of iced tea, complete with a small umbrella, a slice of lemon and a bendy straw. He leaned back, and smiled to himself. I could get used to this. The week was filled with scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, and a bunch of stuff that you could only do in the ocean. The only problem he ran into was when a jellyfish swam uncomfortably into his shorts and zapped a place too close to something important for annoying circumstances aside,it was one of the best vacations he ever had.
A pang of disappointment and sadness hit him then. His best friend wasn't there. Dammit. It made him feel weak and annoyed. He hated feeling weak. It annoyed him to the point that he wanted to punch something continually and break it in the process. His best friend, his brother was supposed to be there, and he wasn't. All because of some stupid work that he probably didn't enjoy much anyway. Oh sure, Ben loved history, but the treasure hunter hated paperwork. For years Riley had been bugging him to get a secretary, but noooooo… Stubborn old Ben would rather screw up his relationship with family than hand his pride over to a young intern.
He might be a mighty whiner, but Riley was no wimp. He wanted to get it over it, but he was just illogically hurt by the little incident. Trusting someone for this long has a way of biting you in the butt once he does something stupid. I should have known better. Riley groaned, and forced himself to enjoy the lingering colors of the sunset. He was still annoyed and angry that he felt betrayed by a small thing like this, but after all he did for Ben, who could blame him?
Ben didn't deserve your help Riley.
You know it. He treats you like your something he could just take for granted. As if you haven't sacrificed anything. I bet you'd have a small, profitable computer security business already built up and stable if you didn't help him back then.
I said, Shut. Up.
You just don't want to face the truth that you help a man who doesn't really care for you, huh?
Riley swatted at the air, wanting that horrible voice to stop. That's not true. Ben cares. Ben is my best friend. He's practically my brother. Yet something rang true to it. He stepped out of his room, and relaxed in a lounge chair, watching the stars.
"There's time to face it when I get back." Riley told himself. "Right now, I'm going to enjoy this vacation." Whether I feel like it or not.
The boat left early. Riley was almost left behind– he woke up a few minutes late and had to quickly pull on his cumbersome wetsuit. His diving group laughed about it, and threw some playful jabs at his shoulder. "We almost left you behind, man!" Joe, his current diving buddy, slapped his back.
Riley doubled over a bit, and laughed. "Heavy paw you have there, big man."
Joe laughed again. The dive master caught their attention, and everyone turned to him. Something about strong currents, freak currents, and sea urchins. The usual, Riley thought to himself. He was listening, but he didn't have his whole attention on the dive master. Ben really should be here. He peered into the clear seawater, and saw the bright colors of the coral underneath. This is… beautiful.
Riley got his equipment on, slipping the mask and flippers on last. He leapt into the water, and released some air on his buoyancy control device –something that looked like a very fancy life jacket. He breathed in and out. This sounds nothing like Vader. He grinned to himself, and kicked over to his diving buddy. Joe waved at him, and Riley gave his okay sign. A turtle caught Riley's eye, and he swam to it. The blue-ish tint on its seagreen back was beautiful, and Riley reached out to touch it. It darted away, revealing a giant clam under him. He grinned, and reached over to touch it.
Joe gestured at Riley to hurry up. Joe pretended to smack the back of his head. Oh, right. Diving buddies for a reason. Riley followed, and waved back every time Joe looked back at him.
Something started pulling on Riley's flippers, and Riley kicked away. The invisible force persisted, and Riley panicked a little, kicking in vain. But the current was too strong, so he surfaced as fast as he could without injuring himself. Riley glanced around, and saw the boat farther than he thought it would be. He tried to swim towards it, screaming all the time, but the sea was just too strong to be countered. The boatmen didn't seem to hear him, either.
"What the hell…" He knew it wasn't a rip current – he was too far from the shore for that sort of thing to pull him away. Riley tried not to panic, and stopped swimming. The boat seemed to float even further, and Riley tried another kick. It just wasn't working, and Riley stopped trying.
That was when it sunk in.
Whoevermight help him was so far off, and the freak current was dragging him even further away. Riley suddenly felt so helpless, and panic really started to sink in. He tried to shake it off, but it wasn't working and he couldn't see the boat anymore.
"HELP! SOMEBODY HELP ME!"
It's a little fast, but what happened on Riley's vacation stays in Riley's vacation (haha) and it really isn't the focus of the story. ;) Review please! :)