Disclaimer: (I suppose I should actually do this haha) I don't own Falling Skies or the lyrics used in this fic.
A huge thanks goes to ebi pers for the inspiration for this ficlet XD
Well, enjoy! It's a little different to other stuff I have written, but I hope you like it all the same.
SET THE WORLD ON FIRE
It all began with a sock...A small argument about something trivial explodes into much, much more. Hal and Ben centric. Set after Jimmy's death.
We are young
So let's set the world on fire
We can burn higher
Than the sun
"Godammit, Ben! Would you just listen when I'm talking to you?"
Ben looked up from where he was seated, his weapon in pieces in front of him as he systemically cleaned it. His brother had stormed into their tent, a scowl on his face and rage burning in his eyes. He had been ranting on about something for the past few minutes, but Ben had tuned him out in favour of concentrating on cleaning his gun. He didn't want it to malfunction because he hadn't' been looking after it properly after all.
"What the hell do you want, Hal?"
The middle Mason finally looked up as something was thrown at his head. A soft object landed right in front of him as he jerked out of the way. Confused, he glanced at the object before looking back up to his brother. What the hell?
"A sock? You're all pissed off about a sock?" he stated incredulously. "I think you've finally lost it, Hal..."
Picking up the offending item, Ben screwed his face up a little. The sock had obviously once been white, but due to the not-so-great conditions of post-invasion, it had now turned a murky brown colour.
"That sock is yours… and you left it on my bed!" Ben could virtually feel the rage emanating from his brother and had to fight back the laughter that was threating to escape. Hal was getting all worked up because he had left a sock on his bed? Oh, this was priceless!
"It's just a sock, Hal," he laughed. "I'm sure it's not going to kill you…" He then picked flicked the sock away where it proceeded to once again land on his brother's bed.
"No, it's not just a sock! It's your sock and it's on my bed! You always used to do that before the attack! I'd get home from school and half your wardrobe would be scattered on my bedroom floor!"
Eyes widening, Ben laughed again. He remembered that. It was just after they'd finally got their own rooms. When they had been sharing a room, Ben had always been leaving his dirty laundry everywhere – on the floor, on his bed, on Hal's bed. It drove his brother insane. So one day, after he'd moved into his own room – he'd gone into his brother's room and dumped ninety per cent of his clothes onto the floor, the bed and pretty much every available surface. It had lasted several weeks before Hal snapped and had punched him in the face.
"God, Hal. Calm down! Geez… It's not like I threw all of my clothes onto your bed. We all share the same bloody room now! Privacy isn't exactly a big thing around here, you know? And how do you even know that it was me who put it there? Matt could've moved it, or even Dad?"
Hal had started pacing and Ben knew that was a sign of him reaching his wits end. This wasn't going to end nicely. And all over a single sock…
"Look at your bed Ben! You've got shit everywhere! It's no wonder you have a place to sleep, because it's all covered in your crap!"
Ben looked over to where his bed/cot was. Hal was right. He had clothes strewn all over the bed and a few had dropped onto the ground beside it. A few books were lying here and there and he even saw a few gun parts scattered on the top where he must have been cleaning them.
"And this affects you how?" He was starting to get angry now. Hal wasn't exactly perfect, no matter how much he thought he was. So he was a bit lazy when it came to cleaning up… so what? He always cleaned it up every day before bed. And Matt's bed was even worse than his, so what the hell was Hal's problem?
"Godammit, Ben! This isn't something to joke about!"
Ben's mouth dropped open in disbelief as an incredulous laugh slipped out.
"You're joking right?" When Hal didn't answer, but just kept on glaring, Ben scoffed. "It's just a sock! Get a grip, would you!"
The punch came out of nowhere. One minute he was standing, almost doubled over in disbelieving laughter; the next a fist came flying at his face. He was thrown backwards into the table, sending the gun parts and other equipment flying. Pain blossomed from the point of impact and Ben groaned as he hit the floor.
Wincing as he probed the cut on his cheek, the middle Mason pulled himself to his feet and after seeing the look of fury that flashed across Hal's face – he launched himself at his brother.
Crashing into Hal at speed sent them flying through the opening of the tent and into the area outside where several people were milling around. Due to his enhanced speed and strength, Ben found himself with the upper hand, able to pin Hal down and deliver a few hard punches to his face.
He heard someone shouting in the distance and was distracted as he tried to figure who it was. That distraction cost him, as Hal was able to overpower him slightly and threw him onto his back before throwing a punch that landed square on his ribs. The air in his lungs was quickly expelled and Ben dropped backwards, gasping as he tried to reintroduce his lungs to oxygen.
Gripped in each other's arms, they rolled on the dusty ground, each trying to get the upper hand. A crowd had gathered around them, but Ben knew from his earlier mistake that he had to ignore them in favour of trying to beat his brother.
"Hal! Ben! STOP!"
That was their dad calling out, but Ben disregarded the command and continued to push and shove Hal, throwing in a punch at every chance he could get. It wasn't until someone came into the fray and tried to pull them apart that Ben stopped to evaluate just how much he hurt.
Now separated, Ben glared at Hal. Blood dripped from a split lip as he pulled precious air into his starving lungs. He could feel bruises already starting to form on his face and chest and by looking at Hal, he wasn't much better off.
"What the hell is wrong with you two?" Their father stormed out from the circle of onlookers, absolute fury radiating from him.
Ben didn't answer.
"Ah, hell Mason. If they've got a problem with each other, just let them fight it out! It's great entertainment!" Pope laughed and Ben couldn't help but grin too, wincing as it pulled on the cut on his lip. His father turned to glare at the man and Ben took the moment of distraction to fling himself at Hal.
He slammed into Hal with speed, sending the two into another roll, each of them struggling to gain the upper hand.
"For goddsake Ben, just take it easy!" Hal gasped out as he was once again pinned beneath his brother.
Ben launched another fist at his brother's face. "You were the one who started yelling about me about a bloody sock! You started it!"
A punch landed on his face as he rolled out of the way. Blinking away the stars that swum around his eyes; the blonde-haired teen thrashed as he was once again pinned. Was this ever gonna end?
"This was not all about a sock and you know it!" Lying on the ground, Ben stared up into this brother's eyes and was shocked to see that fear and worry laced their depths. That shock stilled his struggles and he lay back, breathing heavily.
"What?" he breathed; not liking the way things were turning out. What was Hal on about?
"This isn't just about a sock, Ben. I…" Hal trailed off before pushing upwards and sitting up. Ben pulled himself up as well, wincing as his ribs protested.
"Then what is this about, Hal?" he was still angry, but there was something in his brother's tone that actually had him worried.
"I… God, it's so stupid… I saw it and all I could think about was before the invasion."
"Saw what? The sock?" Ben placed a hand on his ribs as he shifted to see Hal better. His brother could pack a wicked punch!
The crowd around them had started to disperse now that the fight was over. Ben could hear Pope complaining that they hadn't somehow miraculously killed each other before he, too, left.
"Yeah, the sock," came Hal's response after a lengthy silence. "I saw it and remembered how lazy you used to be. Mom and Dad would run after you for everything – picking up your toys or books you left lying around, making sure your room was clean. The only thing they didn't need to keep an eye on was your schoolwork. You always made sure you were on top of that."
Confused as to where this was going, Ben stayed silent.
"But things aren't like that now Ben. You don't have the luxury of being lazy – Dad can't come around and pick up everything after you. It doesn't work like that anymore. Dad won't be around forever."
And suddenly it all made sense. Everything Hal had said before the first punch clicked into place and Ben felt like the biggest idiot on the planet.
Hal looked up at him. "This isn't a world where you have that luxury any more, Ben. You're a soldier now and a lazy soldier is a dead soldier. I don't want to come back one day from a recon mission or something to find that you're dead because you failed to look out for yourself…"
Ben closed his eyes and leaned into his brother as Hal wrapped an arm around him in a gentle embrace.
"I'm sorry I hit you."
Hal laughed at that. "That's okay. I'm sorry I hit you first. But promise me something?"
Ben nodded, "sure, anything."
"Just look out for yourself okay? Look out for yourself, and Matt, Dad and especially me."
Ben chuckled at that. "Yeah, okay. I promise."
They both looked up as their father came into view, an eyebrow raised in question. "You two sorted it all out now?"
Nodding, Ben accepted his father's hand and hauled himself to his feet. He screwed his eyes shut briefly as a plethora of aches raced through his battered body.
"Good. Now I want both of you to go see Doctor Glass. We'll talk about this later."
Ben nodded again as he made his way over to the med bus.
Turning, the blonde teen saw Hal slowly making his way over.
"If you ever leave another dirty sock on my bed again, I'll kill you!"
Ben just laughed. It was nice to know that his brother was always looking out for him, even if it was shown in the strangest of ways.
Well, there you have it. After seeing Hal and Ben kind of argue in the latest episode, it made me wonder what would happen if the two actually got into a fist fight, and what could possibly make them get that far. I hope they were still in character!
Thanks heaps to ebi pers for the inspiration to write this little ficlet!
Please review XD and thanks for reading