A/N: So I decided to do a oneshot again, because I'm in a oneshot mood. It was thundering like crazy outside my poor little brother was terrified. Which, of course, inspired the writer within me (as most things do). As we all know, Ben is my favorite character of the show and I really wish that they would show more 'Brother Ben' moments like they did last week when he was talking to Matt and telling him his 'secret' that he would have to leave soon. But alas, the writers feel differently than I do and thus was born this little idea: a Brother Ben story to make us all go 'awwww' and remind us that no matter what may happen to him, Ben will always be capable of loving his family. Please read and review, I promise to write this one better than the last oneshot I produced (which was, if you'll pardon my language, pretty much crap.)
PS: This is set shortly after Ben's return to the 2nd Mass. No definite timeline as there weren't any thunderstorm moments that I recall.
The rumbling outside caused Ben to surge up in his cot, glancing around, heart beating maniacally. He cursed his newly sensitive hearing, glancing about the tent and focusing on the rapid beating of raindrops on the canvas surface outside. He breathed a sigh of relief. Just a thunderstorm. It had been a long time since they'd had one of those. The weather patterns were severely altered after the invasion, likely a product of their advanced weaponry and the fallout of such destructive things. It was a relief, in a way, to hear the loud rumbles and see the occasional flashes of light. And the pitter-patter of the drops of water quickly striking everything around formed a peaceful sort of rhythm. Slowly, he lay back down on his side, shut his eyes, and let sleep take him once more.
"Ben." The voice was distant, whispered. "Ben!" He was beginning to emerge from the murky depths of his dreams. "Ben!" The teenager sat up quickly, startled by the urgency with which his voice was hissed. Turning, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and was greeted with the sight of Matt peering down at him, looking pale and jittery. The pitter-patter of raindrops had become a fierce tapping noise and the thunder had only gotten louder, closer. A flash of lightning briefly illuminated the tent and he could see Hal's exhausted form lying on his stomach on his cot by the entrance. Their dad's cot was empty, the Mason patriarch evidently tending to business elsewhere, as was so often the case since he'd become the second-in-command.
"What is it, Matt?" Ben asked his little brother groggily, looking to the nine-year-old with concern.
Matt fidgeted, looking about self-consciously. "I-I'm…I'm scared of the storm."
"Oh." Ben paused a moment as his brother's words fully sank in. "Oh!" He'd almost forgotten. Ever since he was about three, Matt had been afraid of thunderstorms. They'd had a dog once, a Labrador named Hercules that would cower beneath the dining room table whenever a storm struck. And Matt would often hide with him beneath the tablecloth. Their mother was always the one to comfort Matt in those situations. It was clear that Hal would be of no use to him at the moment, if his impossibly loud snoring was anything to go by. Ben tried to imagine what their mother would do during the storms.
He remembered their mother scooping a young Matt out from under the table and snuggling him close, taking him to the big bay window of the Victorian home they'd once lived in and pointing out objects outside, explaining that the thunder and lightning were actually just angels having a bowling game or playing with flashlights or some other whimsical explanation that would inevitably have Matt laughing and forgetting the fear he once felt. But obviously there were no windows here and the nine-year-old certainly wouldn't fall for the angels-playing-games explanation anymore.
At night sometimes, during loud thunderstorms, Matt would occasionally go into their parents' room and crawl in between him, their dad on his left and their mom on his right. And he'd fall asleep easily there, feeling secure, feeling protected. Now, of course, things had changed. Their mom wasn't there to snuggle him anymore, wasn't there to make him feel safe. And their dad had other duties to keep everyone alive. Ben sighed and scooted down on his cot.
"Tell you what, buddy," he said, looking up at Matt, the moisture in the little boy's eyes reflecting in the dim light. Another flicker of lightning had the child almost whimpering. "You can slide in with me until the storm stops."
Matt hesitated a moment before crawling into the cot beside his older brother. But once he was there he immediately seemed to settle down. It was warm and he had his brother next to him and while it may not have been his parents, it was the next best thing. Especially since Ben had been away for so long. He snuggled up against Ben's side, careful not to push him off the cot.
"Thanks, Ben," he finally whispered sleepily, overtaken mid-sentence by a yawn.
Ben smiled in the dark, the rain continuing to pour down and the steady rise and fall of his little brother's chest telling him the boy was already fast asleep. "You're welcome," he murmured anyway.
A/N: So there. Less than 1000 words, including the author's notes. But what did you think? I wish they'd have more moments like this on the show. The family element is always so important. Care to review this oneshot? Let me know what you think? I'll be back to work on my other series now!