The day had been long and the day was even longer. The bus ride home seemed to take longer than the normal twenty minutes, and the kids on the bus seemed to be louder than normal, it made it difficult for Ben to stare out the window and empty his brain and just let it be blank. Ever since Dean left them, he hadn't really been excited to go home, and hadn't been excited to go to school, hadn't been excited for anything. And then when Dean came back and he was weird, and he pushed him, Ben withdrew even more inside, there was just so much to sort out that he didn't have the time or the energy left to pay attention to the outside world.
He pulled his house key out from around his neck, a place that Dean suggested he keep it after Dean had had to run home at least three time to let Ben in the house because he had forgotten his house key, and unlocked the door and went inside. Quiet. Everything seemed to be so much quieter since Dean left, and the silence seemed to be it's own separate thing after Dean had come back and been weird, and pushed him. He threw his book bag on the counter, went to the refrigerator, took out a pop, closed the door, opened the pop and took a long drink. The cold cola burned his throat and settled into his belly. He emptied the can in one gulp and when his head came down to face the refrigerator he noticed that the picture of him Dean was replaced with a reminder card for a dentist appointment that was approaching.
Confused, he put the pop down on the counter, went to the mantle, looked, and found no pictures of Dean. Anger started boiling in his stomach and he stalked the rest of the house searching for pictures, things, or any other sign that Dean had once lived there, had been a part of their family. His last stop was his mom's room. At this point, his anger was almost overwhelming. He opened the closet, and all of Dean's shirts, his jeans, the pair of boots he had left, were all gone. The closet was only filled with his mother's clothes.
He slammed the closet door shut, his breathing was coming in heavy, and his eyes were burning with angry tears. His mother had thrown away any indication that Dean had been here. She must have ended it, he knew it was coming, he knew ever since Dean came back and was weird, and had pushed him. She asked Ben over and over again if he would talk about what he was feeling with her, if he would talk to her about the incident. He couldn't, he didn't have the words, he didn't know what he was feeling about it, he didn't understand. But he knew that this was going to happen. But the evidence of her decision was all over the house, and that left him angry and hurt.
She made the choice. Dean wouldn't have, Dean would never have made the choice to leave anyone. He once told Ben that people left him, that he could never leave those he loved, it just wasn't in him, no matter how bad things got. Dean said that he would come back. He said that he loved him. Dean said that Ben could always call him, could always count on him. So Ben knew without question that his mother made the choice for Dean to leave.
But then again Dean had yelled at him. Dean had thrown him against a wall. Dean had done things that went against what he said. Ben was so confused he didn't know what to do with himself. Ben simply let out a scream. Just screamed until he couldn't scream any more.
He did know that he didn't want his mother to make Dean go away and never come back. Ben knew that he didn't want that. He didn't want his mother to go back to dating all of those guys who were just guys who wanted to get to know his mother really well, but would rather he never be anywhere close. Or the guys who thought that he was still five and called him sport. How dare his mother make that choice! She said that she and Ben were a team, that they made decisions like this together! She didn't give him the chance to make that call!
Ben kicked the dresser, grabbed a book from the dresser and chucked it at the door, and he continued to throw things and scream at kick, and yell until he was spent, on the floor crying.
That's how Lisa found him when she got home: on the floor in the middle of a pile of shoes, books, and other projectiles. She knelt in front of him, worry etched across her dark features.
"Ben?" she asked quietly.
"You took away his pictures." He said simply, sniffing, turning eyes up to her that were more than angry.
"You took away Dean's pictures. You took away his things."
"Yeah. I did." She said sadly, sat down on the floor in front of him, and wished desperately that they didn't have to have this conversation.
"How could you?"
"Baby. He can't come back. He can't. He hurt you."
"No. He didn't hurt me! I'm not a baby that can't handle being pushed!"
"No! I want him here!"
"Ben, he hasn't been here for two months now."
"He came back! He always came back. He called! He checked in! He wanted to know about my grades, he was my Dad! How could you! How could you take him away from me!"
Lisa bit back tears. This was as hard or harder for her than it was for Ben. She had to get all of Dean's things out of the house, she had to get rid of all reminders of the best year of her life, or she wouldn't have been able to function, she wouldn't have been able to handle the day, knowing that Dean was never coming back to them. She swallowed, forced the tears back down into their box and said, "Ben. I can't let any man come in here and hurt you. You are more important to me than any man."
"He didn't hurt me! God Mom! He…he…he just pushed me. He had to have a good reason. Did you ask him?"
"There is no good reason for pushing you—"
"There had to be a good reason! Dean wouldn't just do that. Dean wouldn't hurt me, Dean wouldn't…he wouldn't mom. He liked me. He liked me and he said that he was happy that he could be here for me. He said he was happy! He had to have a reason and it had to be important." Ben said with renewed tears.
"He wouldn't tell me. He just said that it was complicated."
"Why didn't you make him tell you?"
"Ben, he doesn't have to tell me anything."
"But…but…you're his girlfriend. He told you about hunting—"
"He had to tell me about hunting, remember, you were taken by changelings."
"But you know his secrets, you know stuff, he told you lots of stuff when he first got here. He trusted you enough…he liked you enough…why wouldn't he tell you about what happened? I'm sure that it was just a misunderstanding."
"Ben, there are some things that no amount of explaining can make better. Laying hands on you is one of them." She said as she held her son's hand.
"But he could have at least tried." Ben said thinly. "Why would he do that mom? Why would he come here and be mad at me? What did I do wrong?" Ben started crying full force again. Lisa gathered him up in her arms, and rubbed his back, soothing him like she did when he was a little boy, and he was still small and innocent.
"Shhhhh, Ben, you didn't do anything wrong. You didn't."
"Then, why didn't he stay? Why did he…why?" Ben asked.
"I don't know baby. He and Sam have mixed up crazy lives, and…and…"
"He loves Sam more than me." Ben said softly.
"He loves Sam more than all of us Ben." Lisa said, another hard truth, another truth that was harsher than she wanted it to be. She hugged her son, and wished for the first time since Dean showed up on her door step a little over a year ago, that he had never come here, that she had never fallen in love with him, and that Ben had never considered him a father. She hugged her son tighter, and mother and son grieved for the man whom they loved like one of their own.