shattered_fics: (harry)
[personal profile] shattered_fics
Title: Yellow Light
Rating: PG-13
Pairing/Character(s): Benedict Cumberbatch/Waverly
Summary: Benedict and Waverly both wake up to news that neither of them imagined. Both react to the news differently but realized this is their turning point.
Warnings: minimal cursing
Length: Long
Word Count: 6,834
Chapter #: (1/1)
WIP or Complete: Complete
Author's Note: Follows Custom Masques & Hanging On and follows right after Nightingale



The ringing was incessant, it invaded her dream and barely woke her. Finally rolling over Waverly grabbed the phone, her sisters photo and number popped up on screen with every flash. She was expecting this call, the dreaded big sister call, why did you ditch me? We had plans! Mother would not approve of your actions! Think about your niece/nephew! Waverly didn't want to have to deal with this so early in the morning. She looked at her clock, it was barely nine, she only went to bed three hours ago. It was a long night, her cheeks flushed with pleasure. Spending the entire night on set with Benedict had been even better than she imagined. Seeing him work, she couldn't even put into words how wonderful it was. The ringing started again during her thinking, groaning she accepted the call.

“Why didn't you tell me you're dating Sherlock Holmes!” Hadley didn't even say hello and rushed straight into some babbling. Waverly rubbed her eyes irritably.

“What are you talking about!”

“You're dating Benedict Cumberbatch!” She all but giggled.

Waverly bolted up in her bed holding back the scream that rose in her throat. What? She never said anything to her sister, she wasn't planning on it for a long while. Until after she had the baby, when she was busy cooing she would mention it. It would get the least reaction out of her. That was her plan, but what happened? She didn't call her sister last night, her phone was off. Ben didn't know her so he wouldn't call her. Did someone on set know her sister? Did they spill the beans?

“I don't know what you're talking about.” Waverly deadpanned trying to brush it off.

“Don't lie to me,” Hadley took on a serious tone, Waverly could see her glaring into space. This wasn't going to be easy to dissuade her.

“Seriously Hadley, what's going on?”

“You're going to play the ignorant and lying card?”

“Tell me!” Waverly hissed.

“It's all over the papers,”

“What?” Waverly whispered clutching her throat.

“The internet,”

“HOW?” Waverly tried not to scream.

“Not to mention Dillon was bombarded with questions about it going into work,” Hadley sighed almost happily. Waverly's mind was reeling, where did all of this come from?

“Please Hadley, tell me,” Closing her eyes she took a deep breath. How, why? Oh God what was Benedict thinking? She had to call him, she had to see him.

“Anything Waverly darling,” She singsonged.

“What are you seeing?” Waverly grated her teeth together.

“How do you mean?”

“What is the picture,” She asked slowly. Closing her eyes she curled into herself and pulled the quilt back over her head. If she could, she would spend all day under the covers wishing away this wake up call.

“It's you and Benedict Cumberbatch,” Hadley said his name dreamily, Waverly bit back the groan of annoyance “Kissing. He's in full Sherlock gear. Where you on set?”

“There's pictures of that?”

“Really Waverly you didn't realize people were there? What was going on in your mind?”

“It was a closed set!”

“Well it is a far way photo. I suppose that's why the article's kinda questioning the relationship. And saying that a mysterious source identified you.”

“I swear if you're the mysterious source I will come to your house right now and hurt you.”

“Stop being so dramatic, of course it wasn't me. I'd know my sister anywhere, I knew it straight away.”

Waverly held the phone away from her ear as she took some deep breaths. Anxiety was setting in, her name was in the papers. The photo, from Hadley's ramblings, seemed far way. But it was still there, in print, for everyone to see. How could she be so stupid? Of course kissing Benedict in such a public place with so many eyes watching would result in something like this. Worrying her bottom lip she buried herself deeper. Maybe all of this will blow over, one fleeting thing. She just wouldn't see Benedict for a few days, people would let it pass. Waverly's stomach fell at the thought of not seeing Ben, she couldn't.

“Waverly, are you okay?” Hadley penetrated her thoughts.

“No,” She said quietly.

“I'm coming over,” Hadley rushed. She wasn't the best sister in the world, but when Waverly needed her she was always willing to be there. “You don't sound good.”

“I feel sick.”





Benedict was buried under his comforter, a quilt and a few pillows. He was completely exhausted from filming last night. It was grueling, after they moved on from the outdoor scenes they filmed for five hours in a warehouse that was over 37 degrees. It made trying to stay focused in his wool coat and slacks almost unbearable. After every take Waverly would be standing next to him with a bottle of water and a towel for him. He smiled into his mattress. He could see things going really well with Waverly, today he would ask her, officially. It was a bit old fashioned and everyone on set called her Benedict's girlfriend but he hadn't asked her. He didn't want to say it, even if it slipped occasionally, until it meant something.

He had the day off from filming, all he wanted to do was just spend the entire day in bed and take Waverly out for a night on the town. Stretching he emerged from his comfort pile. Immediately he reached for his phone. It wasn't something he enjoyed doing, but in his business you had to look at your phone in case of something coming up. It was still on silent from the night of filming. Unlocking it revealed that he had three voice mails and ten unread text messages. Bolting up right he opened the voice mail and waited:

“Ben it's me!” His agent's frantic voice greeted him as his stomach plummeted. “You have to call me right now! It's important we've got to do some control here! How could you not mention this?”

The call ended. Control? Damage Control? What's going on, his mind racked through something or anything that happened last night. He didn't do anything stupid, he didn't say anything stupid. He deleted the message to quickly get to the next one:

“Okay Ben this is serious, you.have.to.call me.NOW! What is going on, what are you doing?” The message cut off again and he pressed delete even quicker.

“I swear to all that you hold, Ben, if you do not call me by eleven o'clock I will break down the door to your flat so fast you won't even realize what's going on!” He heard a long groan and the recording was over.

He didn't bother looking at the text messages, he was sure at least half were from his agent and the other half from lord only knows. Running his hands through his hair he ruffled it agitatedly. Resting his hands on the back of his neck he thought back to last night. It couldn't help but bring a grin to his lips. The look of awe on Waverly's face was worth the entire night. He couldn't stop looking at her out of the corner of his eyes. It was hard trying to remain professional with her watching, he wanted her within his sight the entire time. While it wasn't as distracting as he thought, he couldn't have her there all the time. Eventually it would get the better of him. Looking over at his alarm clock he sighed; ten-thirty. He had half an hour until his agent barged into his apartment. It could wait, he wanted to talk to Waverly.

Frantically he scrolled through his call list and pulled up her name. There was a slight pause then began to ring. After a dozen or so rings the phone went to voice mail. Frowning at the phone he tried her again. This time it suddenly went to voice mail. Biting his lip his stomach dropped, maybe she was still trying to sleep. They didn't leave the set until almost six o'clock. Only four hours of sleep wasn't the ideal amount of rest after a long day. Placing the phone on his nightstand he pushed himself out of bed. It was almost eleven, it didn't matter what the important thing was, he was too happy to care. He was going to go get ready to surprise Waverly.



Thirty minutes later Benedict walked out of the bathroom towel drying his hair. His jeans hung low on his hips without a belt and his shirt was only half buttoned. His agent was sitting motionless in the arm chair, his back ridged staring at him as he walked across to the kitchen. Ignoring him he put on the kettle, he didn't turn around until he's pulled out the cups and tea bags. Sighing he sits throwing his arms on the back of the couch the towel still on his wet hair.

“Well what's so important that you had to break into my flat for?” Ben sighs. “Did I forget to filter my mouth in a recent interview? Insult someone? Make myself look stupid on purpose?”

“This isn't something that's gonna be brushed off Ben!” He reaches into the bag that Ben noticed was sitting at his feet. Normally he didn't carry around anything but his phone so the case was different. It took him a moment to grab what ever was in there. He began pulling out a stack of papers that looked like it was the beginning of War and Peace. Ben frowned and shook his head. “This is serious.” He threw the papers on the coffee table, it landed with a loud thump as papers scattered all over the table and the floor.

“I don't understand, Ean, what is this?” Ben kicked some of the papers off of his feet as he reached for the top of the stack. It was an actual cutting from a paper. When his brain finally registered what it was seeing his stomach was some where in his feet and his mouth was completely dry.

“Why did you not tell me of this?” Ean asks quietly.

Ben doesn't even hear him, he's staring at the small clipping in his hand. Obviously from The Sun or some other rag magazine. It's a blurry picture, taken from far away, but he can still recognize the Sherlock coat. It was from last night, he could see Waverly below him—her arms around his neck kissing him. The small short caption read: Sherlock's Liplock. The picture is just blurry enough that Waverly's face is distorted. The story below it is quick and to the point:



This exclusive capture from last nights Sherlock tapings
shows something more shocking than Sherlock's survival reveal!
The leading man: Benedict Cumberbatch, 37, is shown kissing a new
leading lady. Sources can't confirm or deny that they are couple or
if this is just the biggest jump from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's canon by
giving Sherlock a love interest. What we can tell you is this happened
in the closed set last night, so what ever they were trying to keep secret
won't take much longer to get out!




He crumpled the paper up in his hand as he stared up at Ean. How could he be so stupid, of course there would be people out there trying to capture and spoil what they were filming for the episode. Something like this wouldn't stay secret for long. Throwing the crumpled ball away he headed toward the kitchen as the kettle whistled loudly. Ben had to steady his breathing before he spilled boiling water on himself. He could feel Ean watching him, he tried to control his shaking but it wasn't possible. Ben felt a hand on his shoulder, he was pushed out of the way as Ean began to make the tea. Huffing he collapsed back onto the couch.

“Ben,” Ean stood over him with a cuppa in his hand. Nodding silently Ben took it and waited for him to talk. “There's no need to be angry.”

“I told her it was a closed set, I didn't want this to happen.” Ben sipped his tea ignoring the burning it caused his throat. The better to distract him from the pain he will cause Waverly. Placing his cup down he ran his fingers through his still wet hair “She's going to hate me.”

“Ben,” Ean sighed, he's used to making it through his client's guilt trips. “Now are you going to tell me what's going on? Or shall I just infer from the mysterious sources and crazy fans on the internet? Who is this girl?”

“Not a girl, Waverly,” Closing his eyes he leaned back against the couch “I met her a the charity ball about three months ago. Tom introduced us.”

“Tom knows about this?” Ean all but groaned “That man has a worse filter than you do.”

“He's kept it secret for three months,” He spat out “I'd trust him with my darkest secrets. Martin knows as well. I didn't see the need to write you a memo.”

“How much do you really know about this girl – ” Ean amended when Ben glared at him “Waverly?”

“I've own known her for three months, I know she's got some family. A sister, she graduated from University and she lives in London.” Ben shrugged. “I don't need to know her life story before I date her.”

“Well then I wouldn't read a few of them.” Ean scattered the papers and pulled out some printed articles “Since you don't know what's true and what's not.”
“Are you telling me some of these identified her?” Reaching for the stack of papers he flung some off and randomly grabbed one.

“Ben I'm sorry if I had known, it would've given me more time to censor these things,” He motions to the array of papers “There's nothing we can do now Ben.”

Benedict grabbed a piece at the bottom of the pile. It was a larger photo of the two of them together, it wasn't them on set however. He studied the picture. It was late at night, that was obvious, the picture was enhanced from the little light the street lamps where shining off. Waverly was wearing a hat, as Ben towered over her. That building—it was across the street from his. He couldn't swallow past the lump in his throat. The picture, it was taken the night of the big storm. It looked like by chance, it was dark but you could see their faces. Crumpling the paper in his hand he threw it across the room with a growl. He didn't have time for this, he had to go warn Waverly before she found out.

“Are you even listening to me?” Ean grumbled from across Ben “I'm trying to tell you about her!”

“I don't care, I'll learn it on my own!” Ben pushed himself off the couch and went into his room trying to ignore Ean as he gathered shoes.

“Waverly Stuart!” Ean followed Ben into his room.

“Yeah so? I know her last name Ean,” Ben grumbled.

“You know she has a sister right?”

“Pretty sure I told you that.”

“Well she's married.”

“Relevant?” Ben pulled on his Converse looking up at his agent. He had a grimace on his face. Ben couldn't tell if it was from him ignoring him or being protective of this situation. He really didn't care at the moment. Waverly was forefront in his mind. He had to talk to her before she woke up.

“He's a high ranking official in the house of Parliament,” Ean said seriously.

“Okay, so if I ever meet him I'll be sure not to discuss politics.” Pushing himself off the bed he grabbed a hoody and sun glasses from the closet. “I have to go talk to Waverly. Please Ean let me sort this out.”

“I don't know if I want you to sort this out, or just let it blow over,” Ean ruffled his hair frowning.

“It's not going to blow over, I'm not going to break up with her,” Benedict's growl rose from the bottom of his stomach. Turning on his heel he walked toward his front door ignoring his agent, he didn't need this anymore.

“And I'm not asking you to,” Ean grabbed Ben's elbow and pulled him to a stop. “Just don't go out! Please stay inside, let me try to get this under control. I can get it under control.”

“From the thousand of pages you brought me I don't know how well you can control it now,” Ben frowned. He didn't care if it was control, he only cared that Waverly's name wasn't posted about the internet and in the papers. She wasn't a celebrity, she didn't deserve that. Didn't need to have her live under even more spotlight or to be criticized for no reason except that she's tied to him.

“Don't go see her, you'll lead them right to her!” Ean tried another tactic. Ben gritted his teeth and pulled his arm out of his agent's hand.

“I'm not as stupid as I sometimes come off,” Ben grabbed his keys “I can outsmart them, just let me do this please. Before I say something I regret.”

“You won't Benedict, I know you won't,” He said kindly “I'm just trying to help, just—don't say anything stupid. Keep your filter on.”

“I'm not going to talk to them.” Sighing he deflated “She needs to know about this before she turns on the Telly or her computer.”

“How do you know she doesn't already know?” Ean asked slowly.

“What makes you say that?” The question peaked his interest.

“With her brother-in-law being who he is, I wouldn't doubt they realized the connection after finding out her name.” Ean supplied “I'm sure he was asked about it. Who says he didn't warn her.”

“But how did they get her name?” Ben gritted his teeth, taking a deep breath he released it slowly “Even so, I'm sorry, but I have to go.”

“Fine, just please just ignore photographers and reporters.”

Ben nodded gravely pulling his hoody on he rushed out of his apartment. He took the stairs two at a time not stopping on the ground level but going down one more flight to the garage below the flats. His bike was parked right next to the stairs. Unlocking his helmet he quickly pulled it on his head before starting up the bike. He vaguely remembered where Waverly's apartment was. Starting up the bike he road up to the street. The exit was surrounded by photographers, fans and passerby’s, he groaned revving the engine as he buzzed through the crowd and off towards Waverly's apartment. As he navigated through the busy streets of London Ben took extra streets and doubled back a few times. He didn't care if it seemed paranoid even to himself, but he didn't want to lead anyone directly to Waverly.



Hadley sat on her sister's couch absentmindedly stroking her hair. Waverly had fallen asleep twenty minutes ago. She had worked herself into such a state that she had a panic attack. After calming her she allowed her to curl up beside her and sleep. Hadley frowned down at her sister, maybe she shouldn't have approached her the way she did. It was forceful and knowing her sisters wariness there wasn't a need to bombard her. She was willing to admit that the panic attack was more her than the public knowledge of Waverly's love life. Leaning her head back she closed her eyes. When her husband called her, warning her she would be getting some calls from paparazzi she figured he just did something important at Parliament, not that her sister had found herself a celebrity. For someone who liked to stay out of the family limelight it found her often enough.

A loud banging at the door shook her from her reserve. Scowling she looked down to make sure Waverly was still asleep. Slowly Hadley raised her sisters head and placed it down on the cushion as she slid slowly off the couch. If some photographer found their way into her sisters apartment she was taking her back to her place immediately. She looked out the peep hole and saw a tall man in a hoody with his back to the door. He wasn't buzzed it from her flat, she wondered how he got in. But he didn't have a camera on him, she unlocked the door and pulled it gently open. The man turned around as her breath caught in her throat.

“Benedict Cumberbatch,” She said wistfully. He was dressed in a black hoody and a button up shirt. An odd combination she mused. His jeans were dark leading into his even darker converse shoes. His black hair was curling and unruly. Benedict held himself properly, standing tall towering over her slight frame, but he wasn't intimidating he was warm almost welcoming even while he fidgeted in the hallway.

“Yes,” He said quietly.“You're Waverly's sister?”

“I am,” Hadley stepped out of his way as he walked past her into the apartment. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to see her,” He played with the sleeves on his hoody, the cuffs were already frayed. “I had to tell her--”

“Don't have to,” Hadley held up her hand “Unfortunately it was my phone call that broke the news to her this morning.”

Ben looked over at Waverly sleeping on the couch almost curled into herself. His heart sank, she obviously didn't take it too well. He wished there was more warning, more time to prepare for this. He expected it at one point, but he wanted to do it on his own time. Bring her out to an event if she was willing, a walk down a carpet, maybe even taking her to a set and showing her off. Not sneaky grainy photos that were taken by jealous fans. Looking back at Hadley he shrugged helplessly.

“I'm sorry,” Running his hands nervously through his hair he avoided her eyes “I—I should've been more careful. I knew it would happen but just not this soon.”

“Really now?” Hadley laughed quietly “Mr. Cumberbatch--”

“Ben--”

“Okay, Ben, just protect her will you?” Hadley watched him as he walked over to the couch and brush Waverly's hair out of her face. She could tell how much he cared for her, but she wasn't sure if this is what Waverly wanted. Biting her lip she slipped her coat on as Ben knelt next to the couch.

“I'll try my damnedest,” He said simply.

Ben watched Hadley nod slowly and let herself out of the apartment. What ever reason Waverly was mad at her sister the other night seemed to have been blown over. Hadley just wanted her little sister to be safe, he couldn't blame her. Waverly looked so vulnerable in her sleep anyone would want to protect her. There was a slight grimace on her face, and Ben could've sworn he saw her eyes moving rapidly beneath her eyelids. He kissed her cheek and grabbed her hand. She moved slightly in her sleep but didn't wake.

Standing up he surveyed Waverly's apartment. It was smaller than his by at least half. He could see her bedroom door just next to the kitchen. The place was neat and a bit modern, not what he would expect from her. Leisurely he strolled around her apartment trying not to be too nosy he stopped by the window and looked out. The London street below was busy with commuters and tourists. He was looking for something in particular, anything that seemed off. Ben knew he was being paranoid looking for photographers outside Waverly's apartment but nothing was beyond them. As well as he was at losing them, it didn't mean one just happened to see him. His bike was parked in the back of the apartment building, so it wasn't in direct sight. The last thing they needed was a picture of his bike outside her apartment building. Satisfied he turned around looking back at Waverly. She had uncurled herself and lay stretched out on the sofa.

“Ben,” She mumbled in her sleep. He flushed from head to toe, it felt like a secret moment he was intruding on. Waverly continued to mumble in her sleep, and started to toss. Ben walked quickly to the couch kneeling down beside her he grabbed her hand. She squeezed his fingers in her sleep and grumbled. “Ben.”

“Waverly,” He whispered into her ear smoothing back her hair. “Baby, shhh, calm down, it's just a dream.”

His words had a calming effect on her, she stopped moving in her sleep. He could tell she was waking up, her eyes flickered and opened a crack. They were still glazed over with sleep but he smiled down at her. Smiling she reached up to cup his face, running her thumb along his cheekbones. Beaming down at her he rested his forehead against hers and kissed her lips lightly.

“Must be dreaming,” Waverly slurred, Ben could feel the smile on her lips. “What are you doing here?”

“Watching over you,” He said simply “Now go back to sleep.”

“No, I want to spend the day with you,” Her eyes fluttered a little as she sighed “But I'm so tired.”

“I'll be here when you wake,” Ben promised kissing her again.

“I need to get into bed,” Waverly made to roll off the couch but Ben caught her. He laughed quietly as he picked her up effortlessly. Her head rolled onto his shoulder and she was instantly back asleep. Luckily the door to her bedroom was open, he nudged it with his foot opening it wider. This room was much more Waverly. Organized chaos is what came to his mind. She had a large king sized bed, half was made the other half was barely tucked in. Clothing was thrown all over the floor and her dressers. Her desk was half vanity half computer table with a mirror behind and makeup on a shelf next to the desk. Her walls were mostly bare with their dark blue paint showing, but she had up a few family photographs. Smiling to himself he adjusted her in his arms as he walked her to the bed. Laying her down gently on the unmade side he pulled the blankets over her.

He would watch over her, he would sit in bed all day looking over her if he had to. Walking to her bookshelf he scans them for something interesting to read. His eyes fall on a well worn copy of Dracula. Pulling it off the shelf he returned to the bed, sitting down on the made side he leaned back. Waverly rolled over and wrapped an arm around his waist. He smiled pushing her hair off her face.

“Read to me,” Waverly mumbled into his lap.

“I thought you fell asleep again,” Benedict laughed thumbing open the book. Passages were highlighted, notes written in the margins and note cards bookmarked pages of importance. He looked down at Waverly, who was asleep, and shook his head. While he knew she was a collage graduate he never figured for her to be this obsessive over books, he liked it. Scanning the bookshelf he noticed the other books were just as worn. Sticky notes, bookmarks and probably high lighting on every page that had a note.

Clearing his throat he began on a highlighted passage: “It is a strange world, a sad world, a world full of miseries, and woes, and troubles. And yet when King Laugh come, he make them all dance to the tune he play...” The highlighting skipped a few lines as his eyes quickly moved down two sentences “Then tears come, and like the rain on the ropes, they brace us up, until perhaps the strain become too great, and we break. But King Laugh he come like the sunshine, and he ease off the strain again, and we bear to go on with our labor, what it may be.”

He shut the book with a thud, throwing it on the floor. He slid down the bed and wrapped Waverly in his arms the best could with the blankets in the way. That probably wasn't the best passage to read from, it was morbid and fit perfectly to their situation. Though he doubted that laughter would be able to get them through the major bump at this time. Resting his cheek on Waverly's head he breathed deep. It was calming having her wrapped in his arms. Promising himself that he wouldn't drift off to sleep he closed his eyes and thought.

Once Waverly would wake up they would have to talk about the paparazzi pictures, there was no way around it. Obviously they shocked her, what else would bring her hands off sister to her side? Waverly must be used to some sort of limelight as her sister is married to a politician, but why would she have this time of reaction. That could be the reason why she is basically estranged from her sister, Ben mused. He wouldn't know for sure until he asked her about it, he hoped it wouldn't case her to draw away from him. His heart seized up at the thought of her pulling herself away from him. He wouldn't allow that to happen, he couldn't lose her over something like this.

“Don't leave me,” Ben whispered desperately in her hair. Pulling her tighter he felt her hand squeeze on his waist. While he couldn't be entirely sure he thought he heard her reply with never.





Waverly rolled over and stared at her whitewashed ceiling. The room had a red hew to it as the sun was setting over London. She had slept the entire day. Running her hands down her face she turned her head to the side. Ben was sleeping soundlessly next to her. He looked so beautiful and peaceful his hair curlier around his face. Resting her chin on his chest she ran her fingers through his hair, she felt him move under her as she continued to twist his more prominent curls on his forehead. With his eyes still closed he moved his head toward her. He pulled her on top of himself, she squeaked as he squeezed her sides playfully.

“C'mon now, I know you're awake,” Waverly chuckled, she could feel his return laugh vibrating through her body. “Look at me Mr. Sleepyhead.”

“You're one to talk,” Ben opened his eyes and looked down at her “You had to have been sleeping for almost an hour before I came over.”

“That's different,” She blushed looking away from him resting her cheek on his chest.

“We need to talk about that,” He stated rubbing her back in a comforting manner.

“Rather not,” Waverly started to draw patterns on Benedict's arm. She knew they would have to talk about it eventually, but if she was going to be honest with herself she was still getting over the shock. It was one thing to wake up with Ben taking care of her after she had a panic attack. It was another of him seeing her having a panic attack.

Ben looked down at her, he could see her beginning to curl into herself around him. She was going to avoid the conversation as long as she could. He wished it was that simple, he had to make her understand he would protect her from anything he could. This was the last thing on his mind and he didn't want it to happen. She had to know, simple as that. He wouldn't let her get overwhelmed just talking and thinking about it.

“Waverly,” He whispered. She ignored him and stared drawing shapes on his chest. “Waverly please look at me.” He watched her head twitch toward him, feeling her take a deep steadying breath she pushed herself up on her forearms and gazed down at him. “If you get uncomfortable just tell me yeah?”

“Of course,” Waverly nodded and took another deep breath--

“I don't blame you,”
“I didn't think it would happen,” They said together. Laughing Benedict nodded in her direction telling her to start.

“I don't blame you, how could I?” She sighed cupping his face in her hands she rested her forehead on his “I knew starting this relationship that eventually I would be brought to the public attention. I didn't expect it to be so soon, and in such awful photographs.” Ben chuckled. “It just came as a shock, especially the rude awakening my sister gave me about it. I think that's were the anxiety came from.”

“First off, I just want you to know that I will protect you like no tomorrow from any of this. Don't think for a second will I push you out into anything you don't want.” Ben pushed her hair away from her face. She was shielding herself from him, and he wanted her to know how he felt about this. “I didn't think it would happen so soon.” He finished lamely.

“You didn't really think about this did you?” She laughed quietly sliding off of him and laying her head on his chest. Grabbing his hand she laced her fingers through his and kissed the back of his hand.

“No I really didn't,” His laughter rumbled from deep in his chest. “Stupid isn't it?”

“A little, but I didn't think of it either really.” Their hands started to sway back and forth “I just wanted us to be in our own world, uninterrupted.”

“We might still be if I didn't take you to set,” Ben sighed.

“Let's not start THAT game, I'll beat you in the self guilt.” Waverly laughed. “We'll get through it, I mean it's only photographs. They haven't started slandering me yet have they?”

“I honestly don't know,” Ben thought back to the articles that were still probably scattered on his floor in the living room. Instead of throwing a fit about them maybe he should've read them, he didn't know what they said. Only pictures were provided and in a few of them her name. Her one name would lead to others, history and rumors. Once he returned home he would sit down and peruse every single article, picture and internet post. “Just don't go searching for your name for the next couple of days.”

“I berate myself enough, I don't need to see other people doing it too,” Waverly sighed pushing herself into a sitting position and looking at her alarm clock. It was almost six o'clock, they had slept through the entire day. Ben used their interlocked hands to hit her playfully in the stomach. Laughing she looked down at him “Sorry, it's late.”

“Oh sorry,” Ben pushed himself to sit up next to her. Stretching his legs he realized he had fallen asleep in his shoes and some how managed to get under her comforter. He flung the cover off of himself and fell off the bed.

“Ben!” Waverly rushed to his side of the bed to find him laughing on the floor. “Are you okay?”

“The only thing missing is dignity,” He laughed pushing himself awkwardly up off the floor. “Uhm, sorry I slept in my shoes?” He added lamely.

“I need to change the sheets anyways,” She waved it off grinning.

“It's late yes,” He ran his fingers through his hair, making it messier “Should I just get going then?”

“Who said anything about going?” Waverly slid off her bed gracefully “I'm going to see what I have for leftovers.”

“Oh well, I guess that's where it's going,” Ben laughed following Waverly into her small kitchen. He sat at the two person table as she rummaged through her refrigerator. He could tell she was trying to avoid a resolution for their current situation. He had one, but his stomach clenched at the thought. But if it was going to keep her out of the public eye, that it was necessary. “Look I know you're trying to avoid the conversation, but I have an idea.”

“Ben, it's not that I'm trying to avoid it,” Waverly sighed pulling out Styrofoam boxes “I just don't want to think about it. This is our first time dealing with it.”

“Yeah but the first time you dealt with it, I wanted it to be some big spectacular thing!” He pushed himself out of the chair. Removing the boxes from her hands he placed them on the counter before wrapping his arms around her and holding her close. Leaning down he whispered: “A red carpet event, where you dress up like you did the night of the masque. Every guy around me on the carpet is envious of the beautiful lady I have on my arm.”

“Who says we still can't have that moment though?” Waverly shivered as he leaned back.

“Well they'll know who you are.” Ben shrugged.

“It's really not that big a deal. It's not the first time my name has been in print. It's just more high profile now.” She buried her head in his shirt, clutching the sides of his shirt tightly.

“Ease up darling.”

“Sorry, I just get anxious thinking about it.”

“I'll shield you, don't worry. My idea, as much as I don't want to, is to keep you off set. They're obviously going to be looking for you now. It's probably what's best.”

“That's not going to happen.” Waverly stated releasing herself from the embrace and busying herself with heating up the leftovers. Ben turned a quizzical eye, waiting for her to elaborate. He figured this would be best, she wouldn't have to be anxious about it, or have to encounter anything. It was the perfect solution. “Don't give me that look, they're not going to force me off the set.”

“It's not forcing you, it's taking a precaution,” He sat down at the table as she put the box of takeaway leftovers in front of him. “Just maybe for a few weeks or something, stay off set?”

“What when you'll be finished filming and I won't be able to enjoy anything with you? Forget it! Just take me on set please, I don't care about the photos.” Waverly begged grabbing for his hands on the table.

“The panic attack you had this morning shows otherwise,” Benedict frowned squeezing her hands. He couldn't understand why she was being so stubborn. All he wanted to do was protect her from this and she was ready to throw herself out there. “Please just for the rest of this week then yeah? Then we'll judge it and see what happens.”

“Fine,” Waverly sighed almost with relief as she let go of his hands. Slowly she picked at her food. Ben studied her carefully. He couldn't figure out the sudden one-eighty she was giving him.

“Can I ask you something?” He asked slowly. She waved at him to ask away as she had her mouth full of left over pasta. “You get anxious about these photographs correct?” As she nodded he continued “Why then are you so instant on wanting to be on set? You know there will be fans all over the place taking photographs and sending out lord knows what even if they see you. Doesn't that make you anxious?”

“My possessiveness overrides my anxiety,” She explained after swallowing a mouthful of food. Ben stared at her, his forkful of steak half way to his mouth. “I can't really help it. Inside I feel so, anxious just at the thought of having my picture taken and posted for all the world to see. My insides crawl and I all of a sudden think of all the bad things that could come out. But there is another part of my mind that is screaming at me to show people that we're together. No matter how much I squash it, it doesn't work.”

“Oh Waverly,” Benedict dropped his fork and rushed over to her side of the table. Kneeling he wrapped his arms around her waist.

“Pretty fucked up right?” She sighed running her fingers through his hair.

“Nah, I feel the same way from time to time,” He smiled up at her. Grinning she bend down and kissed his nose. “We'll get through it yeah? Figure it out in the mean time.”

Ben pulled Waverly down into his lap, she wrapped her arms around his neck as she buried her face in his shirt. This is what they both wanted, to be left alone in their own little world wrapped in each other arms. But they both knew in the back of their minds that their every move would be watched now, chronicled and dissected looking for hidden cracks and mysterious back stories. They would just have to make it through and hope that they can both come out better for it.

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