First Virals fanfic! Hope you all like it!

Disclaimer: I don't own Virals or the characters.

Sorry if it's OOC.

Scratch that, it is OOC.

"My mom and dad started battling for custody over me again," Ben said softly. Everyone stared at him.

"I thought that had stopped," Hi said.

"So did I. But mom wanted full custody over me, and she got it."

"Whoa, whoa, wait a second," I said, standing up. "She already got custody? When did this even start?"

"Six months ago."

"Then why didn't you tell us?"

He shrugged. "I thought Dad would win again, so I didn't see the point."

"When are you leaving?" Shelton asked.

"Tomorrow morning."

I felt numb. Completely numb. Nothing moved. Nothing breathed. I didn't even blink.

Ben's leaving tomorrow morning. He's leaving us. He's going.

"How often will you visit?"

He sighed, looking down. "Never."

"Never?!" all three of us exclaimed in unison.

He nodded. "Yeah. Mom doesn't like it here. She's says there's nothing for me. So she doesn't want me anywhere near here. She's making us move to California."

My mind raced even more than it had a few moments ago. "California?" My voice sounded small.

"Yeah. The state."

Hi and Shelton got over their shock and joked about him being lucky that he'd get to meet new "California Babes". Cooper padded over to me and looked at me with knowing eyes. I looked away. I couldn't face him. I couldn't face anyone. My stomach felt sick. I stood up abruptly.

"Guys, I have a lot of stuff I need to get done today. I've gotta go. Ben, I'll see you off tomorrow?"

He nodded, avoiding my gaze.

"We'll all go," Hi said.

"Great. I'll be there at around seven thirty."

I turned and all but ran out of our new bunker. When I was far enough away, I ran the rest of the way home, blinking back the tears.

I will not let myself cry. I will not cry.

I ran right past Whitney and Kit, who both asked what was wrong, and to the bathroom to puke my guts out. After that I brushed my teeth and went up to my room. I paced the floor, trying to ignore the feeling of sadness that swept over me. I shook it off and continued to pace. I was losing a packmate. That's all it was. Nothing more, nothing less. That's all I felt towards him. There's nothing else I could've felt about him. He was Ben Blue, one of my best friends. He didn't mean anything more than that to me, right?


I couldn't sleep all night. Sure, I'd doze for five minutes, then wake up and go back to being an insomniac.

When six rolled around, I was practically dead on my feet. I showered, put clothes on, and ate breakfast, even though I didn't have an appetite.

I was everything but ready to go to the pier to see him off. But I had to go. I needed to see him one last time.

"There she is!" Hi called when he saw me walking over towards them. "I'm so glad you could make it to the ceremony."

I didn't laugh. His jokes suddenly weren't that funny anymore.

"Hey, Tory!"

I looked up to see none other than Ben himself jogging towards me. I faked a smile the best I could. "Hey."

We stared at each other for a few awkward minutes. I was the first one to break it. "So... this is goodbye, then?"

"Yeah," he said. "I guess it is." Then he pulled me into a hug and ran a hand through my hair. "You take care of yourself, Tor. You hear me?"

"Yeah." I inhaled his scent, trying to imprint it into my brain. He smelled like saltwater, rain, and motor oil. "I will."

"Good." He pulled away from me and smiled tightly. "Bye, Tory."

"Bye, Ben." My voice cracked, and I watched as he turned to leave. I went to sit with Hi and Shelton, watching him walk away.

"Tory, are you okay?" Hi asked. I nodded.

I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. I'll be strong, just like with my mom. I can be strong and push everything back, like last time, when I lost someone I loved.

My eyes stung with tears, but I kept blinking them back. I had to be strong.

I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not-

Screw it. I was suddenly tired of hiding everything, holding all of my emotions in. A tear leaked from my eye, and that was all it took. I took in a shuddering breath, needing some- any- reassurance. And there was only one person who could comfort me at a time like this.

"Tory? Are you crying?" Shelton asked, but I wasn't listening.

"Ben!" I yelled, running towards him. "Ben!"

He was just starting to load things onto the ferry. He stopped when he saw me.

"Come on, Ben," his mom said. "We haven't got all day." She hadn't seen me yet.
Ben stepped towards me, and I tackled him in an embrace.

"Tory," he whispered. That was all it took for the dam to break.

Sobs wracked through my body, and I held onto him for dear life. He tensed, but his arms soon slid around me, rubbing my back and holding me close. He didn't say anything. Just kept his arms around me and let me cry my eyes out into his chest.

When I was done, he brushed my tears away with his thumb. I grabbed onto his hand and pressed my face into it.

"Please don't leave me," I whispered brokenly.

"Tory-" he began, but I cut him off.

"I've lost too many people I love in my lifetime so far," I said. "Don't make me lose another one."

He stood there in shock for a second or two before realization dawned on him. His eyes filled with unshed tears. He pulled me into an embrace and buried his face in my hair. "Oh, Tory," he said softly. "Oh, Tory."

I wrapped my arms around his neck and whispered, "I love you, Ben. I don't want to lose you.

"I love you, too. So much."

Ben pulled his head back and we locked eyes. His face lowered towards mine. I leaned up. Our lips met in a soft kiss.

"Ben! Come on! We're gonna be late!"

He looked at me, then at his mom, then at me again. He turned towards her and called back, "Then you'd better hurry up, huh? Have fun in California! I'm staying here!" He kissed me softly on the cheek. "It's where I belong," he whispered.

Hi, Shelton, Cooper, and I sat nervously in our new bunker for Ben to come back with the news. Apparently, all you have to do is put up a fight, and then your parents will stop arguing for once and discuss what's best for you.

"Hey, guys," I said to them. They all looked up. "About what happened yesterday with me..."

"I don't even know what you're talking about," Shelton said.

"Nope. Can't remember a thing," Hi replied.

"I love you guys," I said with a grin. It disappeared as Ben walked into the room. His face was complete monotone. Emotionless.

"So...?" Hi started.

Ben looked at me. "Do you want the good news or the bad news first?"

"Bad news," I told him. "Get it over with."

I braced myself.

He paused dramatically before saying, "The bad news is that I have to unpack all of my stuff!"

It took a few seconds for the words to sink in, and when they did, I launched myself at Ben. He caught me with a laugh as I hugged him as hard as I could.

Hi and Shelton started chanting, "Kiss. Kiss. Kiss. Kiss. Kiss-"

They stopped chanting and started cheering when our lips met. We pulled apart with big grins on our faces and I hugged him.

"I'm so glad they decided you should stay here," I murmured.

"My mom decided it would be best for me to stay with my girlfriend, especially after the scene you caused."

My cheeks flushed, and he chuckled. "Do you want me to forget about your tears?"

"No," I whispered so Hi and Shelton couldn't hear. "Don't ever forget. Those tears are what got us together in the first place."

"I guess you're right."

I buried my face in his neck. "I love you."

"I love you, too."

And he held me close, even though I wasn't sobbing hysterically.

What did you think? R&R, please! (Does anyone know what the second R means?)