This is Fanfiction — creating a scene taking characters already created.
Title: EVEN THEN
Summary: Felicity runs into Ben several years after their break up. Old feelings resurface as the truth is demanded.
Felicity turned around quickly at the sound of his voice. Her heart rate rose impressively, the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end, and her breath caught in her throat. Her grey eyes met brilliant blue ones instantly. She would recognize those eyes anywhere. That voice, too. And, oh God, that smile.
“Ben,” she replied, just a little bit breathless, just a little bit caught off-guard.
His blue eyes crinkled more at the corners as his smile widened. “Hey,” he murmured in that intimate way he always did. That tone had never failed to send slight shivers up and down her spine in the past…and it certainly didn’t fail now.
Felicity felt a series of goosebumps spread throughout her arms. She felt her mouth go dry and her stomach perform somersaults in sheer awareness of Ben.
“Hey!” she replied brightly, and instantly wanted to smack the palm of her hand onto her forehead. She sounded completely shrill and overexcited to see him.
There was an awkward moment—just a moment—when they both stood in front of each other, seven years after they had called it quits just before the end of her second year in Med School in Palo Alto. He had moved to Chicago, and she had stayed in Palo Alto. It seemed like ages ago, and it was. But standing in front of him now made her remember everything she had always loved about Ben.
Blue eyes that danced and laughed. Blue eyes that looked at her and made her feel like everything was going to be all right with the world. Blue eyes that looked to her in admiration. Blue eyes that made her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world.
She had always loved his wide, sensual mouth that made her feel slightly wicked. That mouth that had taught her to be wicked. That mouth that had kissed every inch of her. Those lips that were soft as a butterfly’s touch, yet hard and raw with hunger for her. Those lips that could drive her wild in a second.
And his smile—a smile that lit up the whole room. He had a smile that could cheer anyone up, a smile that never lied. It was that smile that had her falling for him in the first place.
And then, there was his face—so uncharacteristically beautiful—that still haunted her every now and then. In those moments when she allowed herself to think about the why’s and the what if’s and the if only’s, she only saw Ben’s face. In her dreams, in those secret desires few people ever allow themselves to acknowledge, Ben’s was the only image locked away in there.
Yet, there he was, standing in front of her, blue eyes, soft lips, beautiful face and all.
He shifted, very subtly, but Felicity had known and loved him for so long, that she just knew. They reached towards each other, almost melting together, and shared a fierce hug.
Felicity had to close her eyes tightly as emotions washed over her. Holding him and being held by him still felt so familiar. It still felt so right. She fought back the tears of regret. Being in his arms felt like coming home.
But they couldn’t stay melded together like that for eternity. She had to remind herself that this was part of a dream, and she had to come back to reality.
So, with just the barest hint of pulling back, Felicity started to release Ben again. And just like she had known him, he understood her immediately. He slowly eased his arms from around her, and they both stepped back and away from each other.
It was crazy, but it was almost a physical pain to let him go again. She felt broken and incomplete without him. She bit her lower lip sadly. She had thought she had gotten rid of that feeling, the “it-even-hurts-to-breathe-without-Ben” feeling.
“What…what are you doing here?” she asked, still breathless, still reeling from the sheer sensory shock of seeing him again. Of feeling him again. It was like coming alive.
His grin widened. “I work here now, in the ER. What about you?”
Suddenly, Felicity came crashing back to reality. She shook her head, her dark blond curls falling over her face. She gestured lamely towards a curtained area. “I’m here with Paul…” she gasped. “My husband.”
If she hadn’t known him at all, if she hadn’t loved him at all, she wouldn’t have noticed anything had changed. But she saw how the light dimmed in those blue eyes, and how the lines around his mouth tightened around the smile he kept in place. “Oh…” said Ben. He shook his head, too and looked away from her.
When their eyes met again, there were layers and walls and guards between them. “Umm…congratulations, I guess…I mean, is he okay?”
Felicity chuckled softly. “Oh, yeah. Just a bit of food poisoning.”
A faraway look entered Ben’s eyes. “You still trying to cook?”
“Hey!” she grinned, swatting him playfully on the shoulder. “If you remember, I wasn’t that bad.”
He smiled wryly at her, his eyes crinkling at the corners. “Yeah, I remember,” he said softly, his eyes looking almost intimately at her. “I remember everything.”
“Ben…” she trailed off, her voice husky with memories that were also suddenly resurfacing. She remembered snippets of the first time they ran into each other in New York. She recalled their summer road trip after their freshman year, the way he always made her laugh and glow with happiness. She remembered every smile, gesture, and whisper.
But she also remembered just how badly he could hurt her. The tears, the nights of wondering where he was, the way she could never trust him because she loved him just a little bit too much. The times she had gone out of her way to hurt him the way he could hurt her. She remembered all the times he had unintentionally hurt her just by being who he was.
She couldn’t quite shake off the feeling that she had always loved him more than he loved her. Or that he would one day leave her.
So, she had left him first. Before he could leave her.
She hadn’t realized that she’d taken a step back away from him, until he released an exasperated snort. He shook his head slightly and he looked into the distance just over her head. “God, Felicity…”
“What?” she asked, snapping back into reality, into the here and now. She’d always been so good at slipping in between her dream world and the real world.
“Even then, you couldn’t trust me. Even now, you still don’t.”
Her lips parted in surprise. “What?” she gasped.
His lips lifted in a ghost of a smile, his eyes tilted downwards sadly. “I could never love you enough, could I? Even when I loved you with everything I ever was. Even then…I wasn’t enough.”
“Ben, what are you talking about?” she demanded quietly, her eyes clouding over with confusion that only their past can bring.
“You left me, remember? You left me that little note saying that you were looking for something else.” He ran a hand through his unruly blond hair.
Felicity closed her eyes as a vision of her own fingers running through his hair flashed through her mind. How she had loved that simple action. She suddenly felt the loss of Ben as keenly as those first few months. She opened her mouth to say something, but realized that she had nothing to say—no reasons, no excuses, no alibis. Nothing.
So she clamped her mouth shut and looked down at her hands.
He exhaled heavily. “You know what? Never mind. Forget this. Forget us.”
“Ben, I’m really—”
“Mrs. Fisher? Doctor Covington?”
They both looked up at the young nurse who was approaching them, her curious eyes darting back and forth between them. Subconsciously, they both took one step away from each other when they turned to look at the nurse. “Yes?” Felicity asked, with a worried tilt of her head. “Is Paul doing all right?”
“He’s fine now, Mrs. Fisher. He’s asking to see you.”
Felicity nodded woodenly. “Of course,” she replied with a tight smile.
The nurse stepped towards Ben and laid a hand gently on his sleeve. “Doctor Covington, you’re needed at the pit.” Her voice was low and intimate, and instantly Felicity felt her stomach turn over and her heart squeeze uncomfortably.
But Ben just nodded easily at the nurse, his eyes never leaving Felicity’s face. “I’ll be there in a moment. Just page me if anything comes up.” With that, he dismissed the nurse by turning his full attention towards Felicity.
The young nurse left with a kind smile.
But Felicity still found it difficult to breathe, her expression still felt tight, and her lips remained pressed together.
“Even then, you didn’t trust me,” murmured Ben, repeating his earlier words, his blue eyes dark and sad. His head tilted towards the nurse who had walked away. “You don’t trust me now.”
All the anger and frustration melted away from Felicity as she met those blue eyes. Instead, she felt the same dark sadness and longing that were reflected in Ben’s eyes. “How could I?” she murmured in reply.
He stepped closer to her. “How could you not?”
She shook her head and looked away from him, staring at the long column of his throat. She remembered that sensitive spot in between his collar bones. He used to love it when she kissed him there. But suddenly, she remembered Julie, Avery, Claire, and Lauren.
She remembered Lauren and his baby.
Bitterness rose like bile inside of her, and she brought her eyes up to meet his. “How’s your son, Ben?” she asked pointedly, bitterly. Her words were like acid, except that they burned her.
“That has nothing to do with us now,” he said, but his jaw tightened and clenched.
“No?” she drawled, a hint of sarcasm tinting her voice. Then, she drew away from him and started to turn towards the end of the hall. “I really must go.”
“Stop.” His voice was low and quiet. But there was a rawness in it that stopped her in her tracks.
She looked up at him in surprise. “I have to go.”
“You used to do this all the time, y’know,” he said sadly. “Pull away from me, walk away, leave me out…” He shrugged his broad shoulders and he nodded towards the far curtain where Paul was ensconced.
Felicity felt her heart constrict painfully at the truth behind his words. She had always found it easier to run away from him, to hide things from him. It was a double-edged sword: she had been too afraid of being a burden, and too afraid that he would leave her first.
“You were the only one who could ever really break my heart, Ben,” she replied honestly, tears in her voice. “Even now.”
“Is that why you left me?” he asked achingly, his blue eyes boring into hers as if trying to see into her soul.
She nodded, but couldn’t look him in the eye. “I couldn’t trust myself to trust you.”
She looked at him, her grey eyes sad. “It’s too late now.” With that, she threw him one last sad smile, turned around, and walked away.
“Bye, Felicity,” whispered Ben.
Felicity didn’t trust herself to turn around and see Ben again. He belonged in her past. He belonged somewhere locked up inside of her, where love was so overwhelming and strong that it completely engulfed her.
But even then, she loved him still.
She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and composed herself. Then she parted the curtain, a smile on her face, “Paul?”