Limerence - Chapter 1 - LiminalNowhere (2024)

Chapter Text

Randy felt terrified

Wide eyes fixed on the fields stretched for miles, darting through his vision, a familiar pressure gripped his chest for maybe the hundredth time today. Now threatening to overpower him.
Daring a glance at the other man, Randy watched him nervously. Benson’s hands white knuckling the steering wheel, bruised and bloody, his eyebrows in knots on his forehead and his eyes glossy and staring intensely at the road, on the verge of tears… It looked uncanny on Benson.

He looked so different from the man he had worked with for the past year, different from when he slaughtered their coworkers just hours ago. Even then Benson had looked so calm, eyes and arms steady as he took aim at his targets.
Not even flinching at the giant hole he shot through Chris's stomach, creating an explosion of Bone and viscera, paying no mind to the blood that covered his face and clothes, or the overwhelming smell of it. Randy could swear the smell of blood still lingered on him even after Benson forced him to change out of his bloody work uniform, like it had somehow seeped into his skin.

He could still hear the ringing in his ears getting louder and louder with each shot of Benson's shotgun, mixing together with Chris heaving wet and bloody gurgles and Jess’s screams.

There was no telling what he'll do. Not after what he did to Shepherd… the memory of Shepherd's face, mangled and bloody, breathing wet and heavy as he desperately tried to ask Randy for help, sent waves of nausea through him.

He didn't know who he was to Benson or what he did to him that would justify that brutality, didn't know if it even matters right now, because now they were on their way to Ms. Beard's house... they were on their way to Ms. Beard's house and Benson now looked more like a cornered animal, wild and out of control, ready to attack at any second, and that made Randy feel absolutely terrified for her.

What if Benson kills her? What if she has a family and he kills them? Randy knew he wouldn't be able to stop him if he did, his breath quickened and he could feel himself starting to shake, so he dug his nails deeper into his palms, just enough to draw blood, trying to focus on the pain and not think about all the endless and horrible scenarios that could happen to Ms. Beard because of him but he couldn’t… there was no way for him to stop the rising panic he felt for her.

Guilt overwhelmed him as his mind spiraled. He should have ran back at the restaurant when Benson was distracted with Hardy, should have just kept his mouth shut about what happened in second grade, he should have… instead he froze when he could have escaped, waiting for death, and now his teacher was going to get murdered and it was all his f*cking fault.

Randy couldn't stop the small almost inaudible whimper that escaped his mouth along with a few tears, he quickly covered his mouth but it was too late…

"Hey, hey Randy you okay there?" Benson's shaky voice was heard next to him.

Randy took in a breath trying to steady his voice, "Yeah I'm… I'm okay Benson… Everything's gonna be okay." he said, meeting Benson’s eyes, unsure which one of them he was trying to convince.

Benson slowed down the car just so he could focus on Randy without driving them off the road, his gaze unyielding and Randy tried his best to hold it.

After much too long for Randy’s liking Benson relented and allowed himself to relax a bit in his seat, his thumb now rubbing the wheel in a repetitive motion.

Randy’s agitated nerves calmed enough at this for it to finally dawn on him that they were still far from any homes. the outside stretched for miles of fields and power lines. Randy blinked rapidly at the realization, he glanced at Benson again and back to the road, he still had time… he already ruined her life once but he still had time to make sure it never happened again, He needed to make sure he and Benson never got to her house.

Randy swallowed back fear, trying to think through the panic that clouded his mind. There were a few things Randy knew, Benson spared him that morning, left Lisa alone when he asked him to and then even comforted him (or at least tried to) when he told him about Ms. Beard.
The same man had also punched him not even an hour ago, kept him uncomfortably close at all times and had just threatened to kill him.

Most of all though, Randy was absolutely sure Benson did not have a plan. Driving around in circles down the same roads he’s been driving his entire life, and if he kept going long enough they were going to get caught by the police, had to at some point.

But then…If the police did catch them Benson could get hurt. Randy’s heart sank at the thought, despite everything that happened today Randy couldn't stomach that happening, didn’t know if he could live with himself being the cause of it. He dared another glance at Benson again and then at the open fields surrounding the road, trying to clear his head enough to think, maybe he could…

"What, Randy?" Benson's voice was less shaky now, more tense and agitated.

Randy doesn't look at him. sh*t, of course Benson noticed something was wrong. He started racking his brain in a silent internal panic trying to think of something he could say without getting him angry, he had to diffuse Benson somehow and he needed to do it now.

“B-Benson, can you please stop?”

"Randy" Benson's voice was low and laced with irritation; Randy could feel Benson’s piercing stare, threatening to shatter his already fragile being. The oppressive atmosphere of the car shifted into something frightening as the car sped up, Benson’s eyes still on Randy, threatening them both.

“W-wait! Just please hear me out for a second, please!”

The car violently veered off road, tires screeching on the asphalt so loud it sounded like a gunshot as it came to an abrupt stop, making Randy’s ears ring. his head slinging forward and then back, hitting the headrest, sending a painful shock throughout his body and settling in the back of his head.

When he recovered, his eyes immediately met Benson’s, staring back at him with such intensity that made Randy want to crawl away and hide. Then Benson grabbed the gun from the dashboard, finger on the trigger as it was placed on his lap, barrel aimed at Randy.

Randy swore he could no longer feel his heart that was beating frantically just moments ago.

“Well Randy, the f*ck you gotta say?”

Randy forced down the lump of fear in his throat, eyes on Benson, trying to erase the gun from his vision.

“Y-you said this day was about me, b-but, it doesn't have to be…”

Benson tilted his head just slightly, his demeanor remained unsoftened.

“W-what, what do you w-want, Benson?”

Benson blinked at him, surprise flashing on his face which then settled into something unreadable but less rage-full.

“What I want?” The combination of words so alien to him, Benson wasn’t sure he heard right.

“Yeah, you've been focused on helping me today, and… and I really appreciate it.” He hurriedly added, “b-but it doesn't h-have to be about me.” Randy wasn’t sure if anything he said was even making sense, he could barely hear himself over the sound of his heartbeat pounding in his head that now returned with a vengeance.

Benson stared at him for an uncomfortable amount of time, finally turning away from him to sit back in his seat. he rubbed a hand over his mouth, muttering a soft and tired, “f*ck, Randy…”

He stared ahead for a few more seconds before weaving the gun at him, making Randy flinch.

“Stay”

Randy watched with wide eyes as Benson’s figure started to disappear into the field. He stayed like that for a few moments, staring straight ahead in disbelief, feeling numb. Until his body could no longer contain itself, collapsing in his seat.

Tears now flowed freely down his face, reaching a hand to his chest, clutching and bunching up the fabric of Benson’s oversized shirt as he panted urgent breaths in and out, a familiar pounding in his head beated along with his heart.

It was like being shoved off the edge of a cliff, the deafening sound of wind shrieking in his ears, the anticipation of impact, never hitting the ground below. He let the suffocating feeling wash over him until slowly, gradually, it calmed to a dull ache in his chest, until he was no longer panting.

He wiped his face with the large sleeves of Benson’s coat. He was okay, everything was going to be okay. Randy kept repeating it in his head as he got out of the car, leaning against it for support.

Without Benson’s domineering presence, Randy couldn’t help but notice how peaceful it was.

The fluffy smeared clouds and orange afternoon sun made the sky seem as if it was painted, the rustling of the wind could be heard against the grass and birds were chirping above. A perfect and beautiful afternoon that three people will never get to enjoy.

Just as Randy felt like he could finally breathe again, overwhelming dread hit him with the same force of Benson’s fist.

Benson was panicked and scared and he just walked out the car with a loaded gun.

*

Benson couldn't stay in the car anymore, couldn't deal with the way Randy looked at him with his big wet eyes, full of genuine concern and care for him, couldn't deal with the Familiar heavy feeling of disgust that settled in his chest and threatened to suffocate him.

He could feel his body shaking and vision blurring as he tried desperately to breath and steady himself but fell to his knees, his body retching, throwing up the omelet and hash browns he had at the diner.

Taking heavy ragged breaths, he wiped his mouth with the sleeve of his fluffy jacket, vomit now mixed with Shepherd's blood. Benson clenched his jaw so tight his head hurt, bloody fingers ripped at the grass beneath him, trying to regain control over himself.

It's been almost thirty f*cking years but as soon as he saw Shepherd still working at a f*cking elementary school a part of him broke all over again, opening the floodgates of all the memories that he worked so hard to lock away.

The only comfort he had was that sh*tstain of an old man was f*cking dead, he was certain about it, Benson has been in enough fights to know what he did to him, there was no way he survived, he felt Shepherd's jaw break under his fists and his skull shatter under his gun, Shepherd, was, dead, he was sure of it, had to be for his own sanity.

He stayed still for a moment kneeling on the grass, looking up at the orange sky and trying to breathe normally again. It was going to get dark soon, he looked down at his bloody hands, the pigs would be looking for them by now, and that meant he didn't have much time before he was dead.

Getting up to his feet he closed his eyes for a moment to consider the gun tucked away in his pants. Taking a deep breath, Benson's mind wandered from the gun to Randy, who would hear the shot and then rush over to Benson.

If Benson shot himself now it would traumatize the kid.

If Benson shot himself now he would never see Randy again.

"B… Benson?" Turning around, Randy stood a few feet away from him, hands crossed over himself, clutching at Benson’s oversized coat, eyes red and puffy, full of genuine concern and worry. Benson couldn’t help but stare, drinking in the way the soft sunset light illuminated his worried pale face and blue eyes framing his features angelically, maybe he was. Randy had the chance to run, to leave Benson to his fate, and yet the kid came back for him.

As he stood in front of Randy, he felt a sense of purpose he had never felt before, things started to shift in his mind, maybe this day didn’t have to end with him dead, they still had time to get out, they could disappear into the night, keep driving until they were the only ones to exist. Randy needed him, needed someone to fix him just as much as he did. If he killed himself now then Randy would go back to his pathetic life and Benson could not let that happen.

There was something about Randy, something Benson could not. Would not let go. Something he craved for a long time, there was an uncorrupted purity to the kid, not like everyone in this godforsaken town, not like Benson.

"I'm… I'm sorry I left the car Benson. I just - " He choked on the words when Benson stalked towards him, Randy closed his eyes and clutched at his stomach in expectation, but instead of Benson hitting him he dropped his forehead to rest on Randy's shoulder. Benson felt Randy tense up, shaking, so before he could think about pushing him away one of his hands grabbed Randy by the back of his neck, the other grabbing one of his wrists.

He stayed like this for a while, holding on to Randy like a lifeline. Benson turned his head to the side, his lips ghosting Randy’s neck, breathing hot and heavy against him as he savored the smell of cigarettes and blood.

He felt Randy swallow hard, lifting his free hand to ghost gently on his back, before finally working up the courage to speak, "Benson are you… are you okay?" Voice just above a whisper, Benson gave out a low toned laugh and slowly lifted up his head from Randy's shoulder, stopping just shy of their foreheads touching, the hair at the back of Randy's neck needling at his palm, he smiled, "f*cking peachy, Randy", Benson traced a line with his eyes from Randy's wide ones to his mouth, giving the back of his neck a short squeeze and taking Randy's hand in his, leading him back to the car.

*

They were on the road for about an hour and Randy’s mind felt like cotton. working to find words within it, "Benson, where… where are we going?

"Hm, I was wondering when you were going to ask me that." He took a long drag of his fifth cigarette this hour. "Now I don't know about you Randy, but I need a f*cking shower and an actual bed after today's bullsh*t", Benson looked over to him with a smile. Randy was relieved to see him acting like, well, what he thought was himself at least.

Benson continued, his tone more serious now, "I'm gonna keep driving out of town. We'll stop on the way, find a gas station or something, get food n’ stuff, Then I'll find us a motel for the night. Might have to keep driving for a while, can’t let the pigs catch up to us, right Randy?"

“Y - yeah…” Randy said, nodding briefly, looking straight ahead at the road trying to suppress the rising panic in his throat. Ms. Beard was safe, but Benson wasn't letting him go.

Benson ended up driving for five more hours, passing through two towns before he decided it was safe enough to stop for some supplies. Shutting off the car, he walked over to the passenger side door and opened it, one hand holding the door and the other placed on the car roof. Benson ducked a little, Looking down at Randy he kept his voice low, "now Randy, we need to get a few things and leave. You think you can handle that?" There was an underline threat to Benson's words that Randy understood.

"Y… yes Benson."

Benson kept his stare to Randy for a minute before giving a small nod "super" he smiled, and moved himself just enough for Randy to get out, placing his hand on his shoulder, leading him inside.

The trip to the store was quick, Benson didn’t seem interested in staying too long or hurting the cashier as he dragged Randy along the aisles of the small store by the sleeve of his coat.

That didn’t stop Randy from holding his breath the entire time they were inside, expecting a burst of violence at the turn of every aisle; only allowing himself to breath when they stepped out of the store towards the car.
There was no fifth victim for now and Randy almost wanted to thank Benson.

Benson kept driving until he could barely keep his eyes open. Stopping at a motel right now was risky at best, yet after today’s events he needed a bed, a shower and a break to think of a plan for his and Randy’s situation.
It was already close to midnight so the motel was quiet and deserted when they arrived. Benson looked over to Randy who managed to fall asleep an hour ago. He stared at Randy for a minute, making sure he was asleep. carefully he reached out his hand toward his face, gently caressing his cheek in his palm. Randy scrunched up his face for a second but then relaxed leaning into the hand. Benson bit his lips suppressing the urge to pull Randy to him, he reluctantly removed himself from Randy. Locking him in the car while he went in to get a room.

*

"Hey, Randy, c'mon, wake up". A deep voice pulled Randy from sleep, slowly opening his eyes, the exhaustion looming over his mind making it harder to reorient himself. Vision still fuzzy from sleep, he noticed a hand on his shoulder, his eyes following from the hand to Benson's face.
He suddenly remembered where and who he was with and flinched away from Benson's hand with a gasp.

"f*ck, kid relax", the hand came back on his shoulder again in a painful grip, Randy had to will himself to not pull away. "C'mon we're here, grab the bag and let's go." Benson let go of his shoulder. Randy watched as Benson got out, then stood outside waiting for him. Suddenly Randy felt like he did not want to leave; the space within the car felt safe and detached from the outside, inside its suffocating smoky confines there was no one for Benson to hurt. He hesitated for a long while, enough that he heard Benson let out a frustrated huff. Randy's wide eyes tracked him as he made his way over to the passenger side and opened the door.

"Randy listen, I get it, you're scared, and I don't want to hurt you, okay?" Benson pinched his nose before continuing, "this was a long ass f*cking day for me, and right now your putting me in a f*cking bind here."
Benson bent down to eye level, leaning in close to Randy who leaned back and away, staring at Benson with wide eyes, his shoulders rose up to his ears and his fists tightly clenched.

"Now, get, out, of the f*cking car" he hissed out, low and impatient.

Randy took the bag and got out quickly, not wanting to anger Benson any further.

"f*ck, finally" Benson huffed out as he put a hand on Randy's shoulder guiding him to their room for the night.

As he ducked under Benson’s arm and stepped inside, the first thing to hit Randy was the smell, the air was stuffy and carried the faint smell of others who occupied the room before them. He glanced around the room, it was, well, Randy never been to a motel before but he assumed it looked pretty standard. There were two beds and Randy sighed in relief, across from them was a small TV on a short dresser, next to the TV and beds was a small bathroom and a smaller closet next to it.

While looking around Randy could feel eyes on him, turning around he saw Benson leaning against the now closed door of the room staring at him.

"What are you looking for Randy?" Benson's voice was low and deceptively calm.

sh*t, did he do something wrong again? "N… nothing Benson, I was… I was just looking." Randy wrapped his arms around himself protectively, his voice quiet.

Benson's scrutinizing stare did not relent at his answer, keeping his eyes on Randy while locking the door behind him.
With the lock clicking closed behind Benson, Randy felt everything that happened today crash down on him all at once. He tightened his own arms around himself further, His eyes went from the lock, to the key Benson pocketed and finally up to his face, the dark circles and lines on his face now more pronounced under the harsh light of the cheap motel lamp. tired narrowed eyes stared back at him.

He was now trapped with Benson alone in a motel room.

Randy now felt absolutely terrified for himself.

Limerence - Chapter 1 - LiminalNowhere (2024)
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