Flaws

Nov. 2nd, 2013 09:15 pm
shattered_fics: (benedict)
[personal profile] shattered_fics
Title: Flaws
Rating: R
Pairing/Character(s): Benedict Cumberbatch/Waverly
Summary: Waverly struggles with Benedict's decision. While Benedict enlists the help of Tom to talked to Waverly so he can explain his actions.
Warnings: minimal cursing, mentions of physical abuse
Length: Long
Word Count: 8,857
Chapter #: (1/1)
WIP or Complete: Complete
Author's Note: Part 6 in the Demons Series
Authors Notes 2: Just felt the need to explain the mature ratings for the last two parts, it was mostly because of the physical abuse and the mentions of physical abuse in this one. I probably should've put the tag in it last time, but I did it this time. That was my fault last time trying to avoid some major spoilers.






Waverly sat in her sister's den dressed to the nines. It was the morning of her sister's baby shower and it was tapped to be one of the social events for all political parties. She didn't really know why she needed to be there, it's not like she got along with her sisters friends or her brother-in-laws colleagues. She didn't know why her and Hadley couldn't celebrate what the sex of the baby was alone later on. Sighing she picked up the magazine from the coffee table, it was open to a two page spread of Hadley and Dillon grinning up at the readers, standing in their baby's nursery. Shaking her head Waverly flipped the page.

The article was all about the designer baby room they had built in their house, with some mentions of Dillon's aspirations for the next year. The pictures didn't do the baby's room justice. Her heart thudded with envy, her sister had it all. The loving husband, beautiful house, beautiful life with a baby on the way and Waverly lost everything in a matter of days. The pages crumbled under her fists as she threw the magazine to her left. It opened to the middle of the magazine, she glanced at it and noticed below her sisters spread was another article. Her mouth went dry as she reached back for the magazine: Wickham's sister linked to rising actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

“Ah you found the magazine,” Hadley smiled coming into the room. Waverly couldn't look at her she was fixed on the article. “I didn't realize they were going to add that part about you. If I did Dillon wouldn't have agreed. But you know how those things are.”

Waverly felt the couch dip behind her, her sister sat down reaching around her she pulled the magazine from her sister's loose grasp. She tried to blink back the tears before she could turn and face her older sister. Hadley placed her hand lightly on her sister's bare shoulder, but she still wouldn't look. Any movement towards her eyes would betray her, but the welling tears were blinding her. Furiously she wiped the tears from her eyes.

“Are you alright darling?” Hadley gripped both her sister's shoulders and turned her. Waverly's eye make-up was running as tears fell down her cheeks. Using her thumbs she erased the streaks from her sisters face. “What's going on?”

“Nothing I can't handle,” Waverly shrugged trying to push herself off the couch, but her sister gripped her wrist. She was always stronger than her. Sighing she allowed her sister to pull her back down onto the couch, this time facing her. Waverly took the magazine back frowning at it.

“Does this have to do with Benedict? And why he's not here yet?” Hadley asked quietly.

“He won't be here at all Hadley,” She spat resisting the urge to tear the page out and throw it across the room. The photo that they used was a closer photo of her and Benedict on the Sherlock set. It obviously was enhanced, but taken from a fan. She was wrapped in his arms with the Belstaff coat keeping them warm from the cool night air. Waverly was on her toes as Ben leaned down to talk to her. Her heart fluttered, she couldn't remember what he said, but the feeling was still there. She choked out a sob as Hadley wrapped her arms around her.

“What happened? Please Waverly, tell me,” Hadley's hug was comforting, albeit a bit awkward. She was close to nine months pregnant so Waverly couldn't hug closer like she wanted. “Do I have to get Dillon on him?”

“It wouldn't be worth it,” Waverly pulled away shaking her head.

“What happened?” Hadley insisted.

“He broke up with me,” Her voice cracked but her eyes stopped tearing. She had finally said it out loud after a few days and it made her feel a bit better.

“I'm so sorry darling,” Hadley tucked a stray piece of hair behind her sisters ear.

“He told me I wasn't cut out for his lifestyle,” She sneered pushing herself off of the couch she started to pace around the room. “Basically told me I'm ruining it for him and to leave.”

“Waverly are you sure that you didn't misunderstand? When I met him he didn't seem like that kind of guy. I mean to blatantly throw that into your face doesn't make sense. What could've been going on that would make him do that?” Hadley tried to reason.

“He did supply an answer for that too,” Waverly threw her hands up in the air “Said that what he was finally showing me was the real him. So he's one of those guys who once you finally get to know them they turn into the monster they really are.”

“Oh I wouldn't think that.”

“He's a fucking actor!” She turned towards her sister “How can you be defending him? I'm your bloody sister.”

“Stop cursing you know how I feel about that,” Hadley frowned.

“Fucking Christ,” Waverly ran her fingers through her hair before turning her back towards her sister again “This is why I didn't tell you, didn't want to tell you. You're just on his side.”

“Hold on, how dare you say that!”

“How dare I? You're the one who is making excuses for him! You weren't there when he grabbed me to get his point across! Leering into my face telling me to be beautiful and keep my mouth shut,” Waverly raged her hands turning into fists.

“He grabbed you?” Hadley was behind her sister now, having struggled off of the couch. Her hand hovered over his sister's shoulder wanting to comfort her but knew it would make it worse. “Did he hurt you? Waverly!”

“I think I hurt him more than he hurt me,” Absentmindedly she rubbed her upper arm.

“What did you do?”

“I slapped him before I left his flat,” She let out a barking laugh.

“Waverly!”

“We're through, that's really all that matters.” Waverly sighed finally turning around to look at her sister. Hadley had a worried look on her face, whether it was from Benedict abusing her or that her relationship was over Waverly couldn't tell. She managed a weak smile before Hadley threw her arms around her again. She let her older sister hold her. Waverly didn't have a chance to mourn the relationship, it was still trying to be processed how Benedict quickly turned on her.

“Well we won't speak of him again,” Hadley smiled though her eyes shone with tears. “Just avoid any questions about him tonight.”

“With that magazine article I doubt I'll be getting anything but,” Waverly waved generically at the magazine.

“You can be by me all night, you are going to be the child's godmother,” Hadley grinned widely. Waverly didn't know what to say, her jaw moved up and down uselessly “You didn't think I would make you a godparent?” Waverly shook her head. “You're my sister of course I would. Now c'mon it's almost time for people to get here and we have just enough time to fix your makeup.”

Waverly let her sister lead her towards her master bathroom to fix her eye makeup. Hadley removed her sisters makeup and reapplied what she had cried off. Waverly sat quietly through it, they usually didn't do things as simple as each others makeup. Waverly barely wore anything more than foundation, she could feel her sister putting on eyeliner and eye shadow. Finally the blush came out and she felt Hadley step away from her. She heard a satisfied sigh and slowly opened her eyes, quickly she looked over her shoulder and in the mirror. Her green eyes shone out from the eye liner and the blush matched the red hue in her cheeks.

“You were always one for makeup,” Waverly shook her head standing up.

“Anything to help my baby sister,” Hadley ran her fingers through her sister's hair fluffing it up. The door bell rang, resonating through the room. She felt Waverly stiffen under her fingers. “Now, time to put on a brave face and greet the guests. Remember I'm not a fan of most of these people either.”

Waverly smirked as her sister turned and walked out of the bathroom. Sometimes Hadley surprised her, she could turn into the cooler older sister instead of the badgering mother figure from their youth. Walking down the stairs Waverly held up her dress, she didn't know why her sister wanted to go formal for her baby shower. Events like this were supposed to be fun, playing games guessing weights and tossing around baby stories not wearing evening gowns and eating finger sandwiches. Sighing Waverly stationed herself next to her sister to welcome the guests who in a matter of minutes would be trying to dig gossip from her about her celebrity—ex.





Benedict leaned back in the recliner chair and closed his eyes, he was running lines through his head for the scene he had in a few hours. It was simple enough, walking down the street a couple of greetings before he stole away into a house. Nothing terribly important but his mind still raced through the dialogue. Anything to keep his mind distracted anything to keep his mind off of her. It had only been a week and everyday he ran what he did to her through his head, and everyday he couldn't believe what a bastard he was.

Groaning he leaned forward and ran his fingers through his hair. It was cropped short for his movie, it was still odd not having his curly hair. It was still easier to maintain and slick back. He wanted more than anything to have Waverly run her fingers slowly through it. He twitched the thought out of his head as he pushed himself out of the chair. No matter how hard he tried she was always in the back of his mind. He did her wrong, even if it was for the best, and he couldn't get past that. Walking around the hotel room he worried his lip. He wanted more than anything to talk to her, more than anything to explain why he did what he did.

But she would never answer his calls, she would never listen to him. Rising his hand to his face he held his cheek where she slapped him. For a day afterward her fingers outlined his cheek. This would be something she could never forgive, even if he tried to make it right in the end. The look on Waverly's face as he broke her heart is etched in his mind. He could make out the exact minute she finally realized he wasn't joking, that she was supposedly causing him pain. Laughing to himself he fell face forward onto the bed and laid there. His phone rang but he didn't feel like answering it, he had gotten numerous calls from Martin and Amanda asking how he was and if Waverly was with him.

He really couldn't admit to them what he did, nor could he tell him how he really felt—tired. Tired, exhausted and mentally worn out. It wasn't the constant rushing from project to project he had been used to that for years, getting sick when trying to film multiple things made him stronger. Emotionally he was wearing down, he could hide it in front of the camera but he couldn't hide it from his friends. After the first phone call with Martin he made excuses to end conversations, pretended he didn't hear the phone and flat out rejected the phone calls. The ringing persisted, sighing he reached up towards the nightstand and fumbled around touching for the phone. He grasped it loosely and picked it up as it started ringing again.

“What ever it is I'm busy,” Benedict turned his face a fraction so he wasn't talking into the mattress “Call back later.”

“That how you going to talk to your best friend who you haven't talked to in weeks?” The voice laughed.

“Tom,” Benedict felt himself smile weakly. Tom unfortunately just reminded him over Waverly, he thought back to seeing her for the first time a swirl of purple in the periwinkle sea. Shaking his head he groaned inwardly “What do I owe this pleasure?”

“Well I hadn't talked to you, just wanted to see how filming is?”

“Wonderful, now I have to go,” Ben stated quickly.

“Don't think you can pull that shit with me,” Ben could hear the frown in Tom's voice. “I know you've been avoiding phone calls.”

“Would you stop?” Ben groaned burying his face in the mattress again.

“Does this have to do with Waverly?”

“No,” Ben said too quickly, he winced, Tom was someone who could read him no matter the boundaries. He waited.

“Are you going to tell me what happened?” Tom finally asked. It was stated in a matter-of-fact manner. Benedict could see Tom sitting in his apartment, his face scrunched in disappointment a million scenario's running through his head about what happened and possibly ways to solve it.

“No,” Ben said finally. “Please Tom just let this be, what happened happened and that's all that really matters.”

“Are you okay?”

“As good as I can be,” Ben sat up slowly, he pulled his knees up to his chin. He didn't think he could sit like that anymore. He wanted more than anything to curl into a ball and stay there. “It'll be okay Tom, I have to go.”

“Alright,” Tom accepted “Just please come to me if you need help.”

“I promise,” Ben sighed hanging up the phone. He threw it behind him as he rested his forehead on his knees. He really hated feeling this way, he hated how he couldn't control it like every other emotion. You could put on a brave face and muster along, but it was still there in your eyes or in your posture. Benedict scrubbed his hands through his hair again as he uncurled himself and splayed out on the bed. He decided at that moment not to answer any phone calls, it was just going to make things worse for himself. A knock sounded through the room, looking at the clock he sighed. It was time to head to set. Rolling out of bed he walked slowly to the door, opening it slowly.

“Are you ready Mr. Cumberbatch?” The assistant looked up quickly from his phone as Ben stared at him soundlessly.

“Yeah—Yeah I'm ready let me just grab my coat,” Ben nodded.

“I'll be by the elevator,” The assistant shut the door as Ben turned away. He grabbed the coat sitting on the desk and looked around the room. He gazed at his phone sitting on the bed and turned toward the door. It would be better if he didn't touch his phone for the next couple of days. Slipping on his jacket he left his hotel room.





Tom stared at his phone as he twirled it around his hands. Benedict didn't sound like himself, he sounded tired and exhausted. He had seen him when he was filming multiple things and that wasn't how he was. Frowning he leaned back in the car as he looked out the window. He was going to the studio to do some voice over work, but his mind wasn't in it. He tried calling Waverly the day before and it went straight to voice mail. It seemed like Benedict answered grudgingly. There had to be something wrong, and it obviously dealt with Waverly. With Benedict being in Dorset for the next couple of weeks it wouldn't hurt to go by Waverly's apartment.

The only downfall was he didn't know where she lived. He could ask Benedict but he doubted he would tell him or even answer his phone. It would be easy enough to find out, but he didn't want to go about it around about way. Tapping his fingers on his knees he thought, and pulled up her name on his phone. All he had left to do was hope that she would answer the text, if not, then he would have to go about in a sneaky way. He typed out the message and press send without thinking about it. He got Waverly and Benedict together, surely he could fix what ever little problem that they got themselves into. He laughed to himself quietly his friends could be so annoying sometimes, but with Ben sometimes he had to take over.

With Benedict, Tom knew how careful he was around women, and with Waverly he had seen him take a step backward in his approach. He watched him bringing her closer and into his world slower than he normally would. Then again he was experiencing more fame and attention, things like that would make him change things. Tom needed to talk to Benedict face to face, but he had other matters to attend to.





“Waverly,” There was an older lady standing in front of her. She had to be in her fifties, a wife of one of Dillon's superiors. She tried to ignore her, tried to get away from her. Hadley was in the kitchen seeing how long it would before lunch would be served. The day had gone by so far without a major hitch, and Waverly knew that that streak was going to end right now. “Is it true m'dear?”

“Is what true Ms. Stover?” Waverly asked nicely taking a sip of her champagne.

“That you're sleeping with Benedict Cumberbatch?” Ms. Stover asked nicely in return. Waverly choked on her drink, sputtering it everywhere clutching at her throat. “Oh dear dear,” The older lady patted her on the back. It wasn't doing much good, she wanted to down the rest of the drink and run away. “Does that mean it's true?”

“Ms. Stover,” Waverly gasped finally clearing the liquid from her lungs. She shook her head slowly, that was unexpected, sleeping with him? Where did that come from? “I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about.”

“Oh dear let's not play coy,” Ms. Stover picked up Waverly's other hand and padded it lightly. Waverly downed the rest of her drink in one gulp. “It's all over the papers and magazines. You two are a couple aren't you? What's he like?”

“I don't think I should be talking about this,” Waverly nervously looked around the room praying her sister would pop out of no where and rescue her. “It's really not my place we—when he's not here.”

“Oh I understand dear, but please tell me something! He's just so...now,” Ms. Stover gripped Waverly's arm tightly. Waverly's eyes widened frantically looking around for her sister, for anyone. The older lady was looking at her so intently pleading into her eyes trying to get something from her.

“Well Ms. Stover, I don’t think I really can,” Waverly swallowed past the lump in her throat. Her head was pounding, her heart had traveled down her body. “You see Ben—that is Benedict—we,”

“They agreed not to talk about their relationship in public, Daniella,” Hadley slid up to the older lady and rested a hand on her forearm. “You know it's very hush hush, it's his publicists idea until they formally come out.”

“Oh yes!” The lady smile brightly happy to be included in this “I understand completely! Mum's the word! I'll be sure to squash anything that any of the other ladies say.”

“That would be greatly appreciated Daniella,” Hadley smiled as the older lady walked away. She waited until Ms. Stover was out of earshot before turning to her sister. “She shouldn't bother you anymore, in fact no one should, she's the worst gossip.”

“Thank God for that,” Waverly grabbed a champagne flute off of a waiter and downed it in one gulp.

“Why didn't you follow me? You were right behind me as I was heading to talk to the wait staff?” Hadley sighed leading her sister into the sitting room. The presents were piled high, encompassing two buffet servers. Running her fingers over them she sighed.

“The old bat cornered me as soon as you left,” Waverly sighed sinking into the couch, she clutched her head in her hands.

“Do you want to leave?” Hadley asked quietly “I'm sure everyone has been bugging you.”

“Not terribly, but every time someone does I tend to drink a bit,” She groaned in reply.

“And how many drinks have you had?” Her older sister sighed.

“I'd say about five,” She let out a small giggle, and looked up at Hadley. Her hands were on her waist glaring down at her. It only took half the day but she was in her Mom mode. “Look if I'm drinking something I can't exactly say something stupid now can I?”

“Why don't you just tell them that Benedict broke up with you?” Hadley threw her hands in the air and shook her head. “The worst that'll happen is you'll have to tell them what he did to you! That deserves to be spoken!”

“I—I couldn't do that to him,” Waverly said quietly, and she knew it was true. For as much as he hurt her by bordering on abuse and broken heart she couldn't say anything bad about it, and she had tried.

“Well that's a three-sixty from earlier,” Hadley frowned “You still have feelings for him don't you?”

“It's only been a week of course I do,” She said indignantly. “I'm just really confused about all of this stuff.”

“I wouldn't be surprised,” Hadley smirked “Maybe you should get home. I'm sure you're more than a little tipsy and you probably shouldn't be around all these people.”

“I'm not, I just don't--”

“Waverly please,” She slipped her arms around her sister holding her close “If I had known that this happened I wouldn't have begged and dragged you to this. You need time to process this, and with things still going around about you two it's not the easiest thing.”

“I suppose it isn't,” Waverly shrugged stepping away from her sister, holding her hands smiling weakly “It’s not like I planned for this to happen. I planned for him to be with me here, maybe finally allowing our relationship to be public, no more running around, not caring if there are photographs of us out. But things don't always go as we plan, this sure as hell didn't.”





Tom got buzzed in to the flat building by another neighbor. Waverly wasn't answering her buzzer, which was odd, she had texted him back late at night giving him her address. He bounded up the stairs to her floor, trying not to run across the hallway once he reached her level. He didn't tell her why he wanted her address, but she had to have known he would be visiting. Curling his hands into loose fists he took a deep breath, he had a feeling that this wasn't going to be as easy as he wanted. Reaching up he knocked loudly on the door and waited. There was no movement on the other side of the door, no turning of the lock or banging around. He frowned she had to be in her apartment, she was on leave from work, and her sister was expecting a baby any week now she wouldn't just up and leave.

“Waverly I know you're in there,” He knocked on the door again sighing “Would you answer the door? It's Tom, I'm by myself. Please.”

Waverly peaked out from under her comforter, the pounding on her door matched the one in her head. She was a little hung over from her sister's baby shower from drinking away her emotions. Groaning she reached for her phone, it was a little after ten-am, sighing she rolled out of bed taking the comforter with her. Wrapping it around her she shuffled towards her front door. Tom's knocking persisted “Waverly, please open the door! I swear he's not with me!”

“I know he's not with you,” Waverly snapped opening the door, she leaned heavily against it frowning at the older man “He's still in Dorset, people at least think I keep track of him.”

“You don't?” Tom asked slowly looking Waverly up and down. She looked a mess, her eyes were rimmed with red, puffy and bloodshot. What obviously was her beds cover was wrapped around her but she could barely stand up as she leaned against the door. “Are you okay?”

“Do I look it?” She sighed. “What do you want Tom?”

“I talked to Ben,” He started quickly.

“Here we go,” Waverly turned and walked into her flat, Tom followed her as she plopped herself on the couch. He shut the door behind himself standing awkwardly.

“Did something happen between you two?” Tom asked slowly cocking his head to the side, what the hell happened when he was away? Waverly looked as defeated as Benedict sounded on the phone.

“You could say that,” Waverly avoided his gaze as she rubbed her eyes with the corner of her cover. Biting her lip nervously Tom sat down next to her, he reached through the cover and gripped one of her hands tightly reassuring her. “He broke it off with me. We had this huge fight after I was basically attacked at work. He told me that I wasn't suited for his life, I wasn't what he wanted.”

“Waverly,” Tom said slowly reaching for her he wrapped his arms tightly around her. He felt her sob, a gut wrenching sob as she started to cry into his chest. Rubbing her back lightly he tried to comfort her. Tom couldn't wrap his mind around the fact that Benedict would say something like that to her. The Benedict he knew wouldn't be able to get those words out of his mouth without apologizing in the first place. All he could do was hold her as his mind raced. Something happened, the friend he knew would never be that cruel deliberately especially to someone whom he possibly loved. “What—how, this doesn't seem like Benedict.”

“That's what my sister said,” Waverly laughed into his chest as she wrapped her arms around his chest. “That's what I thought, but he said it.”

“There's something else you're not telling me,” Tom said slowly. He broke their embrace and held her at arms length. He looked intently at her but she wouldn't look him in the eye. Holding her face lightly he forced her to look at him. “What did he do?”

“He grabbed me,” Waverly whispered “It wasn't anything, he didn't hurt me.”
“What--? Fuck!” Tom whispered, he brought Waverly's forehead to his lips and kissed her lightly “What's going on with him?”

“I wish you could tell me, you probably know better than me.” Waverly shrugged leaning into Tom. It was calming to be in his embrace her mind had stopped running and she was thinking straight for the first time. “If he's going to treat me like that though there is no reason to be with him.”

“Waverly,” Tom said after a while of thinking. That wasn't his friend, that wasn't something he would do. “Are you sure he wasn't just pushing you away?”

“Even if he was; he had no right to touch me like that,” Waverly hissed “Look Tom, I see what you're trying to do— He doesn't want me, I don't know if he ever did.”

“Don't say that,” Tom sighed, even if she was strongly against it he would make her see what was going on, that they needed each other. “How do you know that Benedict isn't hurting like you?”

“He's the one who broke it off with me!” She buried her face in his shoulder trying not to start crying again.

“Have you actually talked to him since this happened? You can't know unless you talk to him.”

“Why would I talk to him if we're broken up?” Waverly pushed herself away from Tom and off of the couch “Tom just—it's not going to happen.”

“Have you seen him?”

“How-?”

“Pictures darling,” Tom sighed reaching into his back pocket for his phone. He had found photographs of Benedict filming the other day. She had to see how exhausted he looked. Pulling them up he held his phone towards her.

She grabbed for the phone trying to control her shaking fingers, she avoided the internet and TV as much as possible so she wouldn't see him. Or be tempted to try to see him. She flipped through the collection of six photos as her heart thudded against her chest. It pained her to see him that way. He was obviously filming, the photos probably in between takes from the way he was some what relaxed. His face was blanched—makeup, he looked tired, his eyes were red rimmed which could possibly be makeup or exhaustion Waverly couldn't tell. His eyes—they hurt her the most, they looked lost and vacant. But she shook her head handing the phone back to Tom.

“It could just be acting Tom,” She shrugged walking towards her kitchen. Waverly denied it, but the pictures surprised her. He never seemed that alone on set. That wraith like. “That's what he does you know. He is on set.”

“Why are you doing this?” Tom placed the phone back in his pocket as he got off the couch following her into the little kitchen.

“He doesn't want me anymore, and I don't want him,” Waverly wouldn't look at him.

“I talked to him,” Tom said quietly leaning against the counter next to her “He sounds depressed.”

“Well good because I am,” Waverly spat. Leaning heavily on the counter she took a deep breath. “Let's just leave it be Tom please.”

“Alright alright,” Tom ceased rubbing his hands down his face. It wasn't going where he wanted, he wanted Waverly to realize Benedict was regretting it. He couldn't just flat out say it, Ben wouldn't talk to him about what happened, not his reasoning at least. He needed them to see they should forgive. All these stupid photographs is what caused this, Benedict's insecurities with keeping Waverly unknown and Waverly's own anxiety for being brought into the spotlight when she saw what has happened to her sister. “I'm here for you.”

“I know,” She managed a weak smile pulling out meat for sandwiches. “It's just going to be a little while to get over this. And if you can't be around me anymore because of him and how awkward he'll be about it I understand.”

“It's not like he can tell me what to do with my life,” He laughed sliding the loaf of bread towards her. “Let me take you out tonight.”

“Really Tom? You think that's a good idea?” Waverly laughed sliding a plate toward him. “I think it's the worst.”

“Oh c'mon, it's just going out to dinner between friends. Let me treat you, it's the least I could do,” He frowned at her. She chuckled softly.

“Alright,” Waverly smiled genuinely for what felt like the first time in days. “What are you suggesting?”

“Some wining and dining, maybe some dancing,” He leaned over her and started to move her side to side. Grabbing her hands and lifting them up. She smiled tightly.

“Really Tom?” Waverly forced a tight smile as he danced awkwardly with her.

“No, we'll go to the pub have a pint and you can scream at Benedict all you want, play darts throwing things at his head.” Tom grinned letting her go grabbing his sandwich.

“Oh good, that's much more comfortable for me,” She sighed leaning against the counter chewing her lunch. Being able to go out and have a pint with a friend was exactly what she needed. The fact that he was Benedict's friend also helped the matter, she needed to know she would be lying to herself if she didn't want to know. “When are we going to have this little adventure?”

“How about tonight?” He suggested.

“No,” Waverly shook her head. Too much too soon. She still had to recover from her sister's baby shower, and had to go beg for her job back. “I've got a few things to do today. I just--”

“I understand, there is no need to explain, just call me yeah when you're ready. I will drop anything and everything for you,” He cupped her face looking her in the eye. He would make this up to her, he brought them together in the first place and if he couldn't fix it he would at least make her happy.





Benedict twiddled his phone as he laid back in his hotel room bed. It had been almost two weeks since Tom had called him and he was trying to muster up the courage to return the call. He wanted to sort out the conversation, explain and try to get his point of view on what he should do. He couldn't get Waverly out of his head, he had to stop himself from hopping on his motorbike and riding back to London to see her, talk to her and make up with her. But he just kept telling himself he did it for her, he did it so she could have a normal life out of the spotlight where she wanted to be. He had to get over her and staying away from London to film and eventually go over to America for press tours is exactly what he needed.

He had one more day of filming in Dorset before he had a few days in America. Getting out of the country and leaving Waverly behind made his heartache, she should be with him enjoying the travel. Sighing he quickly pulled up Tom's number and waited as it dialed. His fingers tapped nervously on the bed beside him. Benedict felt his heart beat in his throat, he had to get this off his chest. He had to tell someone what he did, everything that he did to Waverly. Closing his eyes he remembered her staring up at him, fear written across her face as he wrapped his larger hand around her entire arm. For the rest of the day his hand burned at the memory. He flexed his fingers as Tom finally answered the phone.

“I was wondering when you were going to call me,” Tom laughed softly.

“I had to work up the nerve,” Ben confessed “I wasn't really sure how to start this conversation. It's not something I'm proud of.”

“Does it have to do with what happened between you and Waverly?” Tom guessed. He didn't sound judgmental just patient.

“Yes. I need to tell you what happened—what,” Benedict stopped, a lump formed in his throat that he couldn't swallow past.

“Ben?” His friend asked slowly “If you're not ready, you don't have to tell me.”

“No,” Benedict shook his head he sat up in bed and pulled his knees to his chest. “It's just that: You know when I do something so bad, I constantly have to think about it until it eats me up inside? Reliving it over and over again, seeing it in vivid detail. Trying to think of better ways that it could've happened, things I could've done that didn't involve what I did. That's how I've been reliving what I did. I just see her right there Tom, she's broken and I've done it to her.”

“Ben,” He heard his friend sigh on the other end. Ben knew that tone, it was his disappointed tone, Tom wasn't going to like what he did.

“I broke it off with Waverly,”

“I--”

“No please. I did something to keep her away. I lied to her, told her she wasn't meant for my life. Tom I saw what everything was doing to her. She looked over her shoulder more than she should. I shouldn't have done this to her.”

“Ben it's not like either of you would know how much of a big deal your relationship would make. If anyone's to blame it's me, I put you two together.” Tom supplied.

“I know, but you see I kept her out of it all longer than I should've. Especially with filming? How was I going to do that? It's just when I told her that, I didn't want to see her anymore, I just—.” Ben sighed after stumbling through his thought.

“Why are you telling me this Ben?”

“Because, I want to amend it, I want her to know that I didn't mean it.” He said earnestly. All he wanted was her to forgive him—because he can't do it himself.

“Do you want to get back together with her?” Tom asked slowly.

“More than anything, but I just don't know if she wants that, with after how I treated her. Using her basically,” Ben paused, his heart thudded as he took a deep breath “Could you, could you tell her my part?”

“Why can't you?”

“She's not going to listen to me,” He sighed shaking his head “Tom please, I need you to talk to her! Get her to know that I didn't mean it. Get her to know that I--”

“You what?”

“Nothing, just please do this for me.”

“I'll try, you know how she is Benedict.” Tom paused wanting the confirmation. He didn't want to tell Benedict he had be trying just that for the last week or so. So far she had refused to even see him, with Benedict asking this of him he had no choice to pull out all the stops “I will do anything you ask of me you know that.”
“I do, and I know,” Ben smiled lightly into the phone. There was no one who could be a better messenger for him than Tom. He was articulate where Benedict could fumble with words if he got too flustered. They could speak for each other, that's what friends did. When you couldn't confront your own problems, friends were there. Ben laughed out loud. “I just need her to see that I did it for her.”

“Don't worry Ben, I'll try my damnedest to sort this out,” Tom frowned to himself, he didn't want to tell Benedict that he partially blamed himself for what happened. If he hadn't had forced him to go out, to meet Waverly this wouldn't have happened. But he knew Benedict wouldn't think that way. “I got you two together in the start and I didn't even know her then. How hard could it be to talk to her about it now that I know her?”

“Hopefully it'll mean that she'll actually listen to you.”

Tom barked out a laugh.

“Look Tom, I'm going to the States tomorrow for some press. I—If you could try while I'm away, I would be grateful. I don't expect you to have a stipulation of her seeing me, but, just one more time I would like to see her.”

“I'll do my best mate,” Tom said slowly. He could picture Benedict screwing his eyes shut tight trying not to picture her smiling face, trying not to break his own heart at his words. “We'll sort this out Ben, I promise. You'll have her back.”

“Don't make the promises that you can't keep,” Ben sighed. “I've got to go. I just—if you can—I'm hoping that you can pull this off.”

“Have faith my friend, I wouldn't agree to it if I didn't think I could do it,” Tom said quickly—too quickly. Benedict frowned mumbling his goodbye as he ended the call. He really wanted Tom to pull it off, things would slide back into place much easier





Waverly and Tom walked side by side down the streets of London. It was a bright but chilly day, Waverly wore a hoody and sun glasses, for comfort but also for discretion. Tom had a light coat wrapped around him, and head bowed down against the sudden gusts of wind. Waverly couldn't help but smile, where she was going less and less people recognized her. She had cut some of her hair off, almost in defiance, and put in more red highlights she felt like a new person.

“I never did ask,” Tom quirked his lip up as they stopped at a cross walk “Why change the hair?”

“Oh you don't like it?” Waverly frowned, she quite liked the lighter feel of her hair. “Most people don't recognize me from the papers anymore.”

“I think it's lovely,” He smiled down at her as he ruffled her hair. She tutted at him smoothing it back down “But you didn't just do that to not be noticed did you?”
“Yes and no,” She shrugged “I think I needed a change, I hadn't changed it since—it's not important.” Shaking her head she laced her fingers through his as they walked across the street. The last time she had changed her hair was for the ball. Cut straight without layers and old fashioned.

“Well I think it's beautiful,” Tom kissed the top of her head as they stood outside their destination. “What do you think--”

“Don't, don't even finish that sentence Thomas,” Waverly said through gritted teeth.

“Oh I got a Thomas, you must be really tired of me trying to bring him up,” He grinned lazily at her pulling her into a hug.

“There really is no need, he doesn't want me, he told me,” Waverly took a deep breath as Tom could feel her body shuttering underneath his arms. “Can't we just drop it?”

“But what if I told you that wasn't the case?” Tom pressed as they walked into the bar. Waverly ignored him as they took their usual seats at a high table near the counter. She wouldn't look at him as she fiddled with the coasters on the table, twirling it she looked down at the floor. He sighed resting a hand on hers “What if I told you that he wants you back.”

“Then I'd tell you to stop pissing me off by bringing this up!” She snapped at him removing her hands from his reach. He pulled his hand back, tapping his fingers on the table. “It's not going to happen.”

“I talked to him--” He persisted.

“Tom,” Waverly gritted through her teeth.

“No Waverly you have to hear me out on this,” Tom explained, his heart thudded against his rib cage. He didn't know how to start this conversation, how do you explain to your friend that her ex boyfriend did everything because of her and he's too scare to tell her. “I talked to Benedict after I talked to you.”

“What excuses did he make?”

“He told me the truth,” Waverly scoffed but Tom waved her her off “I think that's an excuse enough. Waverly I really need you to listen to this.”

“I'm sorry Tom, but I came out to have fun not listen to you try to justify my ex-boyfriend breaking up with me,” Waverly slid out of the chair grabbing her purse she turned.

“He did everything because he's in love with you,” Tom grabbed her hand tightly, he felt her tense up as she slowly turned around to face him.

“He—Benedict said that?”

“Not in so much words, he almost let it slip but Waverly the man is crazy about you.” He cupped her face in his hands as she looked him in the eye “He broke if off with you because he didn't want you to suffer. He didn't like what was happening to you, he did it to protect you! Waverly everything he did was because he hated to see you hurt!”

“That doesn't explain why he—acted the way he did,” Waverly said quietly as tears shone in her eyes.

“I'm sure it was just some character he had invented, the best way to get you away. And keep you away because he thought it was the best for you. While on the inside it was tearing him apart just as much as it was you. Waverly if anything the man is a brilliant actor,” Tom finished simply.

“I—I don't know what to say,” Pulling herself out of Tom's hands and slid back into her seat. She sat quietly daring not to look at Tom. Playing with her drink she downed half the drink in one sip. Her mind whirled at the news, but how could it be right? If he did it for her then he really did care about her, he wanted her to be happy herself even if she wasn't with him

“What are you going to do with this information?” Tom grinned stirring her from her thoughts.

“Nothing, he broke it off even if it was for me. There's nothing I can do,” Waverly shrugged as she gulped down the rest of her drink. “I should just respect what he did, and go on.”

“What happened to that girl that I met the Masquerade Ball? The one who was so full of mischief and wonder? The one who waltzed right up to Benedict because it's what you both wanted.”

“He broke her,” Waverly spat back at him.

“You love him too,” Tom stated. He knew it was true, the reason she kept avoiding any and all conversations that had to do with Benedict. Changing her appearance not wanting to be seen as that girl, she wanted to get away from that life because that was the life she wanted. Tom's face fell at the realization.

“Tom Please,” Waverly groaned resting her head on the table. “You don’t know how hard it is for me to try to put up the front that I don't care. I did it because that's what he did. But nothing is going to happen and we aren't going to get back together. And you, sir, have to face that.”

“Oh Waverly,” Tom ran his fingers lightly through her cropped hair “You do realize I did all this because Ben wants to be with you. He told me all of this.”

“What?” Her head shot off the table. Her eyes were red and puffy, but had a hopeful look. A grin crack her face.

“Why do you think I was being so persistent?” Tom laughed “Waverly he wanted you to know all this.”

“Tom I have to go,” Waverly slid out of her chair the second time with her purse in hand.

“I have a slight wrench to thrown into your plans,” He held her hand lightly “He's in the states.”

“What?”

“It was his idea to tell you all of this while he was out of the country, in case you took it the wrong way.” He smiled embarrassingly.

Waverly laughed loudly, it was the first time she had laughed in a month. The joy bubbled from the bottoms of her feet to the top of her head. She wrapped her arms around Tom and kissed him lightly on the cheek. Startled Tom wrapped his arms around her hugging her tightly. He knew it would only take persistence and a little pushing for her to finally listen to him. But now he knew that they both loved each other, before they said it to each other. It wasn't a burden if anything it was insurance that they both would try to change what happened before.



Benedict walked down the New York street trying to rush to get to his photo shoot. It was only down the road from his hotel and it was beautiful day, he figured he would get some fresh air, clear his head and not grab his phone for the hundredth time today wanting to call Tom to see if he talked to Waverly. He left their fate in his best friends capable hands and Ben would just have to try to take the no news is good news sign. He couldn't help but smile a little at the thought. He was nearing the studio and saw a group of photographers gathering around the entrance. Picking his head up he played a light smile on his lips as he broke their ranks.

“Mr. Cumberbatch!” They all yelled in unison.

“I can't guys, I'm sorry, I'm really late!” Benedict waved and smiled as he pushed his way through the photographers, the door was in sight.

“Benedict! Benedict have you heard that your ex is now dating your best friend Tom Hiddleston?” One of the photographers yelled, causing Ben to stop in his tracks. It filtered through his mind as he clenched his fists.

“WHAT?” Ben roared as he turned around advancing on the photographer “What did you say?”

“I—It's just there are photographs going around,” The younger man stuttered, Ben leered down at him wanting more than anything to grip him by his collar and shake him.

“Tell me,” Ben hissed.

“Well, they were hugging and kissing and photos of them coming and going from each others apartments,” The main finished calmly.

Benedict was frozen in his spot, his mind was reeling. He had asked Tom to help him, not help himself. Ben felt a hand on his shoulder, it was his agent, slowly leading him into the building. They were talking to him but he could only hear white noise buzzing in his ears. Tom and Waverly together? How could they do that to him, he had made a mistake, a mistake that he admitted to his best friend who was supposed to help him. Ben was shuffled into the wardrobe room and allowed the assistants to strip him. No wonder why Tom wasn't calling, he was trying to use his broken relationship to his advantage. Why didn't he just take her for himself all those months ago at the ball. Did Tom want to make sure that Benedict didn't want her, to make sure he messed it up so royally that their relationship would be broken beyond repair and he could jump in and be her knight in shining armour?

His fingers twitched towards his phone which sat on the counter. He was sitting in the make-up chair and could barely look at himself. Ben was sure if he looked close enough his eyes would have a haunted look to them, he couldn't shake the thoughts, he couldn't get into his place. No one could shake him from his reserve, he was on an autopilot allowing everyone to shape him and mold him into what they wanted from the photographs. His spirit was broken beyond repair, he had done this himself. He broke it off with Waverly to give her a better life. She had found a better life—with Tom. His hand grasped his phone finally as he was getting his makeup removed. He was going back home tonight he would confront Tom.

Subconsciously he dialed his friends phone number praying both that he would answer and that he was too busy. The phone rang and rang, Ben's heart slowed with every second. By the time it went to voice mail he was relieved, he didn't know what he would say to him over the phone. He shut off the phone without leaving a message, resting the phone against his lips he released a shaking breath. He didn't know how he could amend this, he didn't know if he could. What if she was happier with Tom than she was with him? Tom was always able to keep his private life private and not be bombarded every time he went out. He envied Tom for having what he wanted; he got the life and the girl. Slamming his first on the chair he left the photo shoot.



Twelve hours later he was back in his apartment trying to unpack before he caught up on his sleep. He had only about a day to himself before he had to rush off to go film again, do more photo shoots and taping television shows. It was getting to the point where he would turn around and have to do something else. He was going to enjoy the day to himself, to keep his mind off of things. Benedict had decided on the long flight to put off confronting Tom, at least until he finally slept and had time to think about it. Ben still didn't know what he would say, at this point if he saw Tom all he would do would punch him. And that's not something that he wanted to do, no matter how much his fists itched to meet the sharp face of his friend.

A loud knock stirred him from his ruminations. Benedict sighed throwing his garment back in the back of his closet, he'd have to bring it to the laundry tomorrow. He combed his fingers through his hair, it was still standing up at angles after the plane ride. Running his hands down his face he tried to get the tiredness off his face. He didn't bother to look through the peep hole, who else would visit him? He just got home. He opened the door slowly:

“Hello Benedict.”
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