This starts right where Havoc left off...I know a lot of people probably want Annie and Jimmy to get together but I just couldn't resist Annie and Ben in the last episode. He is so gorgeous and was so good to Annie. This may turn into a longer story depending on the feedback from you guys and if so will include a case file, the whole team, some angst, drama, friendship, disagreements, hopefully a little humor, and of course, more Annie and Ben. Be sure to review and let me know what you all think!
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters...Duh!
All mistakes are my own
Ben helped Annie into the car. The bombing that had sent her to the hospital had rattled him more than it had her and that bothered him. The doctor had told her to take it easy for a few days and let her body heal, yet all she talked about was getting back to work. The doctor also told Annie to expect some dizzy spells and light headedness for a few days and that she should wait for all of those to pass before returning to work.
Yea right, thought Ben. He knew she would return to work the next day unless he tied her up and held her hostage and then surely one of her team mates would come looking for her. He let out a long sigh before he eased into the driver seat of his car. Why did this relationship have to be so hard.
Ben and Annie had been together secretively for almost three months now and were 'talking' long before that. She finally gave in one night after a tough case and a fight with Jimmy. Ben was waiting for her on her door step when she got home and after she let him have it she 'let him have it'. She fully regretted it the next morning telling him that there was no way things could ever work with a US Marshal and a bounty hunter.
He had argued stating that they were both after the same thing when it came to the criminals they were chasing, they both just went about things a little differently. She retaliated stating that her team would never look at her as a leader if they knew she was 'screwing' the competition.
Their argument went on and on until Annie finally decided it would be a no strings attached and absolutely no one could ever know about them. Ben had agreed reluctantly and things had progressed ever since.
Now Ben and Annie spent most nights together and acted like a real couple when they were in the privacy of their own homes. However, in public, no one would ever guess they were what they were. They flirted on occasion, but Annie always shot down his invitations when her team was around, stating that she "didn't date bounty hunters". Ben would just smirk at her and be waiting for her when she got home.
He had to admit, the secret romance was fun and exciting but after the bomb went off and he got the call that Annie was in the hospital, reality shook him to the core. He cared about her more than he was willing to admit, and he was going to do everything he could to get her to obey that doctor's orders, even if that meant exposing their relationship.
They drove in silence for a few minutes and finally Annie looked over and could tell Ben was deep in thought. "What's on your mind?"
Ben blinked, Annie's voice bringing him back to reality. "Not much. Just wondering what I would have done if you would have made it two or three more steps before that bomb went off."
Annie shook her head, "Ben, let's not go there. I'm fine. The last thing I need you to do is start acting like Jimmy."
Ben took a breath to steady his temper before speaking, "Annie, you could have died. Two more feet and you probably would have. Am I suppose to just forget about that and go right back to the way things were."
Annie closed her eyes and leaned her head back against the headrest. Despite what she told everyone about being fine, she really didn't feel up to having this conversation at the moment. Her head was pounding and her ears were still ringing, which was driving her crazy. "Can we please just…not do this right now?"
"I will drop it, for the moment, on one condition," Ben said taking her hand and gently squeezing to let her know he was serious, "follow the doctor's orders. Take it easy for a few days and wait on all the side effects from the concussion to pass before going back to work. And when you do get back to work, promise me that you will be extra careful, at least for a while."
Annie looked at him with regret in her eyes, "Ben, I told you. I'm fine. I can take it easy at work. I won't go into the field until the side effects are gone."
Ben looked at her not believing a word she said, "So your telling me your going to go to work, sit at a desk, and let everyone else do all the field work. Annie, I'm sorry but that is something you are just not capable of. You either stay home, or I am coming with you."
Annie's eyes widened, "No…your not. I do not need a baby sitter Ben and I shouldn't have to remind you that this relationship," she pointed her finger back and forth between the two of them, "is suppose to be…" she paused long enough for Ben to catch it.
"Suppose to be what Annie? Suppose to be no strings attached? Suppose to be a secret? Suppose to be uncomplicated? In case you haven't noticed, there are strings everywhere and I didn't realize how complicated it was until the phone call from the hospital saying that you were calling my name frantically the whole time you were in the ambulance. They said you probably wouldn't remember it because you were having a panic attack because they had you strapped down to keep you from jerking out the iv and to keep your head and neck still. They had to sedate you to calm you down and they said one of the EMT guys told them to find me before you woke up."
Her hand tightened around his as the memory ripped through her, feeling like a swift punch in the stomach. The doctors were so wrong, she remembered it vividly…
She was so disoriented she couldn't figure out what was happening. She remembered seeing Jimmy when she first opened her eyes. He was speaking but she couldn't make out what he had said. The last thing she remembered was talking to Ben on the phone in the Escalade. He had told her he was coming to help get the bomber and she remembered being angry that he was closing in on her teams mark for the third time in a couple months. He promised he would only help and that he wasn't after the bounty he just wanted the guy off the street as much as Annie and her team did. He told her they needed as much help as they could get and she had hung the phone up on him and threw it across the vehicle in anger. So where was he now? She looked for him frantically but he was nowhere. There were parts of her surroundings she couldn't see and she couldn't get her body to move. All she could hear was this deafening ringing sound and her whole body felt like it was on fire. There were two men over her that were talking but she couldn't hear them. She kept calling for Ben but she couldn't hear herself either. Finally, she started to feel her wrists tingling. She felt her fingers move and tried to pick up her arm but then she felt the restraints around her biceps. There was something around her head that kept her from looking from side to side, and her legs were strapped down as well. Screaming for Ben was the last thing she remembered before seeing one of the men inject something into her iv.
Annie was embarrassed that Ben had been told about that. She decided the best thing to do was play dumb, "They were right, I don't remember. I'm sure I was very disoriented."
"Annie, stop trying to be such a bad ass. The only way I am going to let you go back to work…" Ben was interrupted by a red faced Annie,
"Excuse me? LET me? Last time I checked I did not answer to you nor do I ask your permission…" Ben put a finger to Annie's lips to silence her, "Okay Annie, bad choice of words. I'm sorry. Let me rephrase. The only way I will agree with you going back to work without me tagging along is if you let one of your team mates know what the doctor's orders are so someone can watch your back."
Annie rolled her eyes, "Whatever Ben." Her head was beginning to pound harder and she was so tired. She seen Ben's smirk out of the corner of her eye and couldn't stifle a smirk of her own. She hated how this man made her feel. She could deal with the deadliest criminals but had never been any good at personal relationships. Ben, however, had managed to slowly tear through her walls and get closer than any other person had ever been and that scared the hell out her. And worst of all, she was pretty sure Ben knew all of this as well, which made her feel vulnerable. And like she told Ben earlier, she just was not the vulnerable type.
When Ben pulled into Annie's drive, he helped her inside and took her straight to the bedroom. "You should rest. Let me make you dinner," he suggested.
Annie shook her head, "I'm not really all that hungry. I think I am just going to turn in. I will call Daisy in the morning and fill her in…Ben, you don't have to stay. I am really just tired but other than that I feel fine."
Ben crawled up behind her and pulled her close to his body. "I think I will stay, at least for my peace of mind, if that's okay."
Annie just smiled as she closed her eyes and relaxed into him. Before long he felt her breathing even out and he knew she was asleep. Ben slowly crawled out of the bed careful not to wake her. When he walked back into the living room to make sure everything was locked up, Annie's phone started to ring. Ben quickly silenced it before looking at the ID. It was Daisy.
Ben quickly flipped the phone open. He knew Annie would object but he also knew if it was important Annie's phone would keep ringing.
"This is Annie's phone," Ben said.
"Who is this," Daisy replied confused.
"Ben Crowley. I drove Annie home from the hospital. The doctor said she didn't need to drive or work until all the side effects from the concussion were gone. He said it should only take a few days." Ben decided he might as well get it all out there while he had the opening. He knew Annie wouldn't tell anyone without him pressuring her again and she had mentioned that Daisy was who she was going to call.
"O, well I was on my way to the hospital to see if I could take her home. I picked her up some food from her favorite Mexican place so I will just come by her home instead," Daisy said, still a little confused on why Ben had answered the phone instead of Annie.
A few minutes later there was a light knock on the door and Ben quickly answered to see Daisy with some to go boxes of food. "So, where is Annie and why did she let you in her house?" Daisy said with a smile.
"She fell asleep as soon as she got here and I was a little hesitant to leave after I heard the doctor telling her to take it easy and expect some dizzy spells and light headedness. He asked if she lived with anyone and said it was pretty important that someone wake her up every few hours and check her eyes, ask her a few questions to make sure she stays coherent, that kind of stuff." Ben explained.
"Well, I would be glad to stay. Besides, Annie would probably feel more comfortable with me anyways…no offense," Daisy added.
"None taken…" Ben replied but was interrupted by a scream from the bedroom.
"No…no… Ben…Where's BEN," Annie was tossing and turning violently when Ben ran into the room followed closely by Daisy.
Ben did not hesitate as he sat down and pulled Annie into his arms, "Sshh, I'm right here Ann, I got you"
Daisy watched as Annie clung to Ben and buried her head into his shirt. She had never seen Annie look terrified and had certainly never seen her shed a tear until this moment.
Slowly, Annie came back to reality and regained her composure. Ben held her tight and she did the same with him until she felt his muscles tense. "We have company," he whispered in Annie's ear.
Annie immediately pulled away and tried to put space between herself and Ben. She quickly stood up and instantly realized her mistake. She grabbed for the table next to the bed and instantly felt Ben's hands around her waist easing her back down to the bed.
"Annie, relax. Calm down. It's fine. I told Daisy that I brought you home from the hospital and was staying until I felt you were okay to stay alone, which you are obviously not. Daisy said she would stay since you would probably feel more comfortable with her rather than me." Ben explained trying unsuccessfully to cover their tracks.
He felt Annie tense when he mentioned leaving. This is the side of Annie that scared him the most. The side he didn't know how to deal with. The side that very rarely showed itself and when it did it was usually gone within seconds. She can say what she wants about vulnerability but she definitely had a vulnerable side whether she liked it or not. He seen it now very distinctively. She did not want him to go.
Annie slowly stood and made her way to the bathroom. She splashed water on her face and willed herself to get a grip. When she exited she found Ben and Daisy in the kitchen, with Daisy watching his every move. He grabbed a couple of plates and some forks and set them down on the counter. "You two enjoy dinner. I am gonna crash on the couch for a little while before I go, if that's okay with you Annie. I think I am running on about 6 hours sleep in the last two days." He glanced at Annie for her approval as she silently nodded.
Annie slowly came into the kitchen and sat in one of the bar stools. The smell of the Mexican food that would usually make her mouth water was now making her queasy. She met Daisy's eyes and found a very knowing expression on her face.
"What?" Annie said a little to defensively.
Daisy smiled and looked down at the counter, "So how long have you and the bounty hunter been together?"
Annie tried to plaster a dumbfounded look across her face, "What are you talking about?" Annie was a terrible liar and they both knew it.
"Don't play dumb with me Annie," Daisy said shaking her finger at the blond, "You were calling his name in your dream, he didn't hesitate to grab and comfort you…and you let him. Not to mention he seems to know his way around your place pretty well," she finished while pointing at the plates and forks Ben had set out for them.
Annie dropped her head in her hands to hide her eyes from her friend and coworker. "I'm sorry Daisy," was all she could say.
"Why are you sorry. There are no written rules on this kind of thing. It may be frowned upon but there is no need to apologize to me. I don't have a problem with it," Daisy said smiling. "Jimmy and Marco on the other hand, I definitely want front row tickets when they find out!"
Annie looked up slowly, "You are really not mad? You don't think I am a terrible person for…doing…what I'm doing?"
"Annie, why would I. No matter what your head is telling you, your heart is always going to win out in the end." Daisy said.
"Let's not get to technical here Daisy. We both had an itch, and we helped each other scratch it. That's all. There are no wedding bells or baby cries in our future. And Jimmy and the others can't know. They would never understand, they would be furious. I can't lead the team when everyone is looking down at me," Annie pleaded with her. Annie then lowered her voice so Ben wouldn't overhear her, "Besides, me and Ben…" she signaled back and forth with her finger, "this is just a fling. No strings attached, nothing serious. Just having fun, that's all."
"Whatever you say, boss," Daisy smiled.
Jimmy would be furious with Annie if he ever found out and Daisy knew it. Jimmy was very protective, and jealous, when it came to Annie. The two had grew up together and were like brother and sister, constantly bickering but always having the others back, no matter what. Jimmy and Marco both hated Ben Crowley and everything he stood for, and as far as they both knew, Annie felt the same way.
Annie's stomach finally settled down enough for her to try and eat something. She hadn't had much since the bombing so she figured she better try and get something down. After dinner the girls went into the living room to find Ben sound asleep on the couch.
"He really didn't get much sleep the last couple days. He was at the hospital the whole time I was awake…he may have stayed the whole time," Annie told Daisy.
"Yea, sounds like that no strings thing is a pretty good idea. That way things don't get to serious!" Daisy said sarcastically.
"Shut up," Annie said giving one of her famous eye roles and trying to stifle a grin. She knew Daisy seen right through her but she felt good finally having someone to talk to, even though she had never been a big talker, it was nice to have the option.
"So when you coming back to work?" Daisy asked.
"Tomorrow I hope," Annie answered.
Daisy sighed, "Annie…I thought the doctor told you to take a few days off and let all of the side effects pass first. You know, I always have your back but you are going to kill yourself one day."
After another eye roll, Annie said, "I can at least come in and do some paper work. Help around the office. You know, some light stuff. I promise to stay out of the field until I feel up to it."
"Hmm, I'm gonna hold you to that. And we're going by my standards, not yours." Daisy told her as she grabbed her purse and jacket. "I guess lover boy has this covered, so I'm going home to get some sleep. Call me if you need anything…and I mean that…O and Annie," Daisy called right before she shut the door, "be careful…with everything."
Annie smiled as she silently thanked Daisy for her much needed support on her bounty hunter situation. She then reached down and poked Ben in the arm until he opened his eyes, "She's gone, let's go to bed."
Well, let me know what you all think...is there anyone reading? Let me know if you want more or if I should stop! Please R & R! All feedback is welcome!