Oh, how I've missed writing these lovely boys! Scene six should be coming along soonish; I've got about a quarter of it done. My thanks as always to monkiedude and janissa11 who helped bring Ben to life and who declared this scene fit to print. My biggest hugs go to the lovely lady who declared Ben to be "the best OMC ever" in a recent lovefest (wanna reveal yourself?) and the other people who lied through their teeth about my many fine qualities.
scenes one and two
Things have been going non-stop since six this morning, and his pager can only emit faint, tired-sounding beeps at this point. He's lying on the lumpy, understuffed couch in the empty break room when his phone rings. It's tempting to ignore the vibration at his hip, but before he's really made the decision, he's already flipped it open and said hello.
"Angie?" That sweet drawl couldn't belong to anyone else. He laughs and relaxes into the sofa, wishing for a blanket. "What's up?"
"I was hoping it'd be harder for you to say no to me over the phone than in an email. Come down for Thanksgiving, please," she wheedles. "The kids miss you. Sam does too."
His brain stutter-steps for a moment at the name; his Sam - no, Dean's Sam - has been on his mind too much in the last few weeks. He pulls himself together to answer her. "Oh, not fair," he says; "the babies' brains haven't developed enough to remember me. And that goes double for your husband."
She laughs, and he feels warm all over, like he's basking in the sunshine; he loves her laugh, her voice, the way that they fit together so perfectly from the moment they met. "I miss you," she says, not a confession or a plea, just a statement of fact.
"I miss you too, Ange." He rolls over onto his back, remembering the twins, warm and fragrant and heavy in his arms, and the way her eyes shone when she looked at them. "But I can't come down. Everyone else is off, I'm pretty much the only intern here at the clinic, and the ER's understaffed right now too."
She's humming something, low and sweet, and he guesses she's trying to get one of the boys to sleep. "And anyway, I'm trying to save up my vacation days." He thinks about Dean beneath him, mouth red and raw, hair spiking wildly in every direction, reaching up to thread his fingers through the ends of Ben's hair, the coolness of his ring sparking against his neck.
"For -" she cuts herself off. "Wait, is there something you want to tell me? Any special company you're keeping?" His laugh is all the admission of guilt she needs. "Let me put Charlie down and then I want to hear everything."
Mostly harmless was what he'd thought the first time he'd seen Sam, joking a bit with himself to keep from falling over his own feet at the sight of him: alien, uncertain, beautiful. Sam had had an aura around him, had projected an air of weary invulnerability that was belied only by his dimples and blinding grin. He can remember how far gone he'd already been by the time Sam had finally looked over at him, how easy it was to read all of Sam's silences as proof that his feelings were reciprocated, how exhilarating and agonizing that whole year had been. Up until the day Sam left, and he'd felt like he was being ripped apart, those big hands he'd loved tearing him limb from limb with real hatred, and he still didn't know what he'd done to hurt Sam so terribly.
There's a part of him - maybe the part with his brain in it, he thinks bitterly - that's sure what he's doing now is beyond stupid. Sam's brother is not the way to get over Sam, put all of that behind him.
But maybe it will be okay. Dean's already told him more than Sam ever did, made sense of most of Sam's quirks. And besides, haven't his inital reactions been proven wrong when it comes to the Winchesters? He just has to trust that Dean is as different from Sam as he seems.
He fumbles his pager when it beeps shrilly as soon as he's dumped fresh batteries into it. He checks his watch, figuring he has time for one more clinic patient before he has to get to the ER. He clips the pager back to his waistband and jogs tiredly down the hall.
The little girl sitting on the exam table has long, tangled brown hair and an endearing underbite. And an arm that had to have been broken deliberately, if the finger-shaped bruises on her bare shoulder are anything to go by.
The dull resignation in her eyes infuriates him, but he can't even start to help her until he talks to her mother, who's fidgeting with her pocketbook, the ring on her finger flashing with every nervous movement. "Ma'am," he says.
"Mrs. Greene," she interrupts.
"Mrs. Greene," he continues, "this is just a free clinic, not a full-service hospital. You need to take your daughter to an ER, where she can get the care she needs."
"No, I can't," she protests. "I'm not even supposed to be here. I still have to do the grocery shopping and make dinner. Can't you just help her? Aren't you a doctor?"
Not enough of one to help Maya, who looks confused when he smiles at her and asks if he can try to fix her arm. He pages Noreen, who takes one look at the situation and figures out what he needs. By the time Dr. Stanton walks in, he's assessed the injury as a spiral fracture to the humeral shaft and listened to Mrs. Greene pleading for the non-operative course, despite his warning that the radial nerve could be compromised. No question she's scared, but it hurts to see how much of that fear is for herself rather than for her daughter, who's sitting silently in her torn dress.
Maya turns to him when faced with the X-ray machine, her eyes widening when she hears its loud clanking. "Almost done, sweetpea," he says, and she calms again, trusting him when she's got no reason in the world to. He wants to eviscerate her father, craves the satisfaction of knowing he's struck a blow on her behalf; the cold comfort of calling the cops doesn't seem like it could possibly be enough. Noreen snaps photographs and nods at him, and Maya shivers and presses her face into his thigh.
He can't sleep anymore. All he sees is Maya, breaking under cruel hands. The body of the teenage boy who'd taken a gun to his head and been pronounced DOA at the ER. Far too easy to be hurt, too easy to let pain be the only frame of reference. He rolls over to Dean's side of the bed and pulls out his cell phone.
"Needed to hear your voice," he says when Dean answers the phone, sleepy-sounding and quiet.
"Saying anything in particular?" Dean asks, a little hoarsely; he's either hurt or getting sick.
"No." He hears Dean shift, rub his hand against his stubble. "Where are you?"
"Outside Philly. With my dad."
"Did I wake him?"
"Not really. He's getting his cheap thrills listening to the police scanner." Dean rumbles a laugh. "Was pretty funny when we were going through Amish country."
He snorts a little at the thought of drag-racing buggies and surprises himself with a yawn. "You coming home after straightening them out?"
"Hope so," Dean says. "Dad and I have some stuff to figure out."
Noreen smiles at him when he walks into the clinic. "Morning, Ben," she says, handing him a big cup of black coffee and a folded newspaper. He opens the paper to find an article on the arrest of a Denver Greene and feels grim satisfaction in the pit of his stomach.
Patsy gets off the phone and turns to him, grinning conspiratorially. "Ben? That boyfriend of yours called this morning and asked me to give you a message." Her eyes are sparkling, and he knows she's fallen for Dean. "Oh, shoot! He was laughing, and I couldn't hear everything he said, but it had something to do with . . . churning butter?" She looks delighted at the innuendo, and Noreen starts to giggle. "You hang on to that one, sugar."
He feels himself grinning like an idiot. "That's the plan."
There are times when he wants to keep Dean entirely for himself, when the wicked gleam of his eyes over a mischievous grin can only be translated as take me home now. Dean is bright and happy at the pool table, trading easy one-liners with the guy who challenged him to a game, and the guy concedes defeat and hands over the cash for the next round. Ben makes his way to the bar and catches the bartender's eye. She leans across the bar, expertly avoiding the puddles of condensation and bowls of pretzels and nuts, and tilts her head. He orders the beers, holding up the twenty, and she nods and fills the glasses. He waves off the change and she smiles, beckons him back again. "Your brother's totally hot," she says, completely matter-of-fact, her eyes on Dean.
One of the glasses starts to slip from his fingers but he gets it on the counter in time. "He's not . . . we're not brothers," he says, confused. The beer sloshes around in the glasses, three new spots of slick on the polished bar.
"Come on, you look exactly alike," she protests, wiping at the mess with careless circular motions.
His surprise triggers hers, and she holds her hands up. "My mistake," she says, then smiles. "Would it help if I said you were totally hot too?" She's already shaking her head like she knows the answer to that one. "Next life, maybe," she sighs.
He can feel her eyes on him when he walks back to Dean and the other guy - Jake maybe - still one-upping each other with dirty jokes and pool cues. Dean's arm lands warm across his shoulders and they drain their drinks together.
"You gonna tell me what's up?" Dean asks after they finally get outside, while they're waiting for the T.
"Yeah," he says, and Dean nods; once they're on the subway, Ben keeps hold of Dean by his jacket to leave Dean's hands free to tell the best joke in Jake's repertoire.
"C'mere," he says, and Dean grins, unlocks the door, and heads for the bed, looking adorably bewildered when he's steered in the opposite direction. It's a tight fit for both of them to be huddled in front of the bathroom sink, but the only mirror in the apartment is there, and Ben needs to see for himself. "That bartender said we looked exactly alike."
"What? Dude," Dean rolls his eyes hugely and spins on his heel.
Ben sticks out a foot to stop him. "Just do this for me, okay?" He pulls Dean back and they're standing shoulder-to-shoulder, peering into the medicine-cabinet mirror. His eyes dart between his hairline and Dean's, his eyes and Dean's, his nose and Dean's, his mouth and Dean's, his jaw and Dean's. Their coloring is different, and their chins, but everything else looks pretty much the same. His spine stiffens when he realizes she was right, and Dean's does too.
"That's just freaky," Dean breathes, and somehow his shock makes this hilarious instead of upsetting.
"Except I'm not covered in freckles. Weren't you supposed to outgrow those about twenty years ago, Pookie?"
Dean looks even more startled, but then he gets into the spirit of the game. "Haven't most guys your age figured out what a comb is for, Monkeyface?"
He is never confiding anything in Dean again. He casts about for a decisive blow. "My eyebrows match," he says smugly.
"Not that anyone could tell behind those nerdlinger glasses of yours. This face doesn't need fancy accessories."
Oh, it's on. "Plus glasses probably wouldn't sit right on that bumpy nose of yours," he says musingly, grinning at Dean's reflection.
He's not expecting Dean to crowd him against the wall and kiss the breath out of him. "Only bumpy because that quack wouldn't let you set it," Dean says when he comes up for air, and he sees their reflections smile at each other. Game over.
How could they be anything but OTP?