A/N: Thought of this little ficlet earlier today and figured we all needed something more light-hearted after tonight's episode of Falling Skies. I wanted something funny, cute, fluffy…It's technically AU since Hal never appears to have a romantic interest in Lourdes BUT it could be something, right? Premise: Matt has a crush on Lourdes. Ben finds this funny. Hal doesn't. So we get some innocent Lourdes, some instigator Ben, some lovestruck Matt, and some jealous/possessive Hal. Sound like a winning recipe? Let me know in the reviews!
"What are you doing, buddy?" Hal asked, entering the tent and setting his gun down on his cot before shedding his dusty jacket. Ben looked up from his book, evidently very amused by something.
"Drawing," said Matt plainly, looking up from his mop of curly hair as his oldest brother peered over his shoulder at the paper.
"What's that a picture of?" Hal asked curiously, head leaning to one side as he took in the crayon-drawn sketch that depicted a small, curly-haired boy right up alongside a dark-haired woman. In the background, a dark-haired man appeared to be crying.
"Me," Matt replied as if it were obvious.
"Who's that with you?" Hal questioned, wondering if there was some new crush Matt had suddenly developed.
"That's Lourdes," he replied, sending Ben into snickering fits until Hal shot him a dirty look that shut him up.
He paused before asking his next question. "Who's that in the back?" Though he had a feeling he knew.
"You," Matt answered cheerfully.
Okay, that's disturbing. "Why…why am I crying?"
"Because Lourdes rejected you."
Ben lost it, rolling around on his cot in fits of laughter. Hal picked up a crayon off the desk and threw it at him.
"Why did Lourdes reject me?" He had the sudden feeling that he was tredding on thin ice.
"Because she likes me better." Matt shrugged and continued to color in the sky, a shade of blue that was cheerfully unfitting for the scene. At least from Hal's perspective.
"So let me get this straight: you like Lourdes?" He waited for Matt to nod his head. "Since when?"
Matt shrugged, obviously disinterested in the conversation. "She put a bandage on me after I fell of my Ripstik," he said. "And she's pretty."
"Hal thinks so too!" Ben taunted, ducking the second crayon that Hal hurled his way.
"I know," Matt replied, still not looking at either of his brothers.
"Wha…? What do you mean you know?" Hal sputtered, wheeling around to shoot daggers with his eyes at Ben.
Matt shrugged again and Hal shook his head, leaving the room and muttering something about getting fresh air.
Ben rolled off the cot and replaced the two crayons on the desk, ruffling his younger brother's hair. "Keep working on it, Matt. I'm sure Lourdes would love it if you gave it to her."
"You think so?"
"I know so." Or at the very least, he knew it would drive Hal crazy. Which was half the fun, really.
Ben finally caught up with his older brother in the mess hall, sipping coffee peevishly from a tin cup and glaring at people who walked past. He had never seen Hal act so childish since…well ever really. It was enjoyable, if only because it was sweet revenge for the years Hal spent picking on him. "Why the long face?" he asked, a note of humor in his voice as he slid in across from his brother.
"Not funny, Ben," Hal gritted.
"Worried about some competition from Matt? Our little brother's quite the ladies' man, y'know…"
Hal remained steadfastly silent, instead returning to sipping his coffee. Only this time he had a direct target to focus his glare on. Smirking to himself, he pulled out his book and continued to read until an upbeat voice chirped from behind.
"Mind if I sit with you two?"
It couldn't be. This was too good to be true! "Lourdes!" Ben greeted pointedly, noting Hal's expression shift from annoyed to almost furious. "Of course you can sit with us, here I'll make room!" He slid down voluntarily, allowing the raven-haired Latina to sit directly across from his brother. Now to sit back and enjoy this one…
"So…what are you guys up to?" Lourdes questioned, sipping at her own cup and sending secret glances to Hal over the rim.
"I'm enjoying some quality reading," Ben turned to her. "And Hal's sulking." The sharp kick his brother sent him under the table was more than worth it.
Lourdes frowned. "Sulking about what?"
"Nothing!" Hal interjected hastily. "Maybe Ben should go mind his own business!" The younger boy snickered again, burying his face deeper into the book.
Just then, Matt appeared, tapping Lourdes on the shoulder. The girl turned to face him. "Hi, Matt!" she greeted cheerfully. The boy held the sheet of paper out to her wordlessly. "For me?" She took the sheet. Ben watched as Hal's expression turned infinitely darker. Lourdes frowned at the crayon drawing, clearly labeled to explain who was who. Then she started laughing.
"What's so funny?" Hal growled humorlessly, draining his coffee.
Lourdes stopped her giggling long enough to explain. "Matt's got your features pegged."
A/N: …and Hal goes: "That does not look like me!" What did you think? That Ben sure is an instigator, isn't he? I'm working on something deeper for Ben's character, something about Jimmy's death and how he's taking it. That will eventually be up. I really like Ben's character and I have a weird man-crush on Connor Jessup (don't you dare judge me, I have a weird celebrity crush on Seychelle Gabriel too). I think he does a brilliant job portraying this intense, tormented character and I always love a plot where a younger character is able to drive the story. That hardly ever happens. Anyway, please leave a review. I do intend to update Like a Sheep to a Shepherd tonight as well so hang tight!