Consider this a mini version of what 'A Fresh Start' was. Basically, a bunch of smaller Benpops drabbles, varying from friendship, romance, hurt/comfort, humor and more. Enjoy!
"Come on Benson, run through the sprinklers with me! It's so refreshing!"
It was no secret Benson hated snow. But when he woke up and saw a message shoveled into his driveway, he forgot all about the cold and the ice and the hard work he would have to do.
He only felt warmth.
"Pops, I've told you before, we use paper and metal for money, not lollipops."
On the outside, Benson was cold, hard, and strong. He was made of metal after all. But Pops saw past all that, and he knew what a softy Benson really was, despite the gumball machine's embarrassment.
Even though it was extremely rare, Pops did get mad, angry even. It was at these times that Benson was reminded that Pops was Mr. Maellard's son. Because he looked exactly like his father when he was mad.
But Pops would only be mad for a few minutes, half an hour at the very most. It was at these times when Benson knew that even when Pops was as old as his father, he would never act like him. He would always be the same old, childish, fun lolliman he knew.
"... And then, we jumped into the next interwebs video! It was so exciting, but frightening at the same time. In this video, there was a hog driving a sports vehicle. And then... Benson, are you alright? You're turning red again."
Benson blinked as he was presented with a bouquet of yellow roses. "It's awfully gray outside, so I thought you could use some sunshine!"
Benson smiled and thanked the lolliman. It was only when the lolliman left the room when Benson noticed the small red rose hidden underneith all the yellow ones. And blushed.
Benson had never seen Pops even hurt a fly before. So, when he wrestled two men to the ground who tried to mug Benson while he and Pops were on the way to a cafe, to say Benson was surprised would've been an understatement.
No matter how quiet Benson would be at times, Pops always seemed to get a conversation out of him.
America was such a strange place. So many different things. A new currency, new activities, and not a horse-drawn carriage to be seen. But Pops knew that Benson would be there to help him with any of the troubles he had, and he was definitely grateful for that.
"Ooh! That one looks like a rabbit! What do you think Benson? Benson?" The tired gumball machine was out like a light. But Pops simply smiled, took Benson's hand, and closed his eyes as well.
"Good show! Jolly good show!"
"Pops, other people are trying to watch the movie. Please sit down."
"My appologies. ... Popcorn?"
Benson scowled at his reflection. He was wearing a suit, complete with a bowtie and a starchy dress shirt. "I feel so awkward."
"Nonsense," said Pops, "You look like a handsome, young gentleman."
"Yeah right." Pops sighed.
"You really do need more confidence, my good man."
"... I know."
"Pops is fine," Benson told himself as he tossed and turned, trying to fall asleep. He was safe in his bed, at the house, with Mordecai and Rigby... Unless they disobeyed him and went to the wrestling match. "They may be stupid, but they aren't that stupid."
Despite telling himself this, Benson still found himself in his car twenty minutes later, driving towards the old green house.
Benson never did care too much for sweets. But despite this, whenever Pops offered to share cake with him, he almost always accepted.
"Oh my! B-Benson! I think I used too much soap in the washing machine! Oh dear! I'm sorry!"
"It's alright Pops. Accidents happened." Pops gave a relieved sigh. Thank goodness his friend wasn't mad at him. Such a good friend.
"You know Benson, you really should smile more often. It's such a nice smile!"
Pianos are famous for their beautiful melodies. They can make quiet, beautiful music, but they can also be quite powerful.
Drums are loud, and can sound angry. Crash! Bang! Boom! These are the words people think of when they hear drums. But drums can be quiet too, and provide a steady heartbeat for any piece.
Two different instruments, but when combined, they didn't sound half bad together.
"Oh my! Benson, your head made a rainbow!" Indeed, when the sun hit Benson's head just right, it made a small rainbow like any piece of glass would. Benson hated this, but Pops thought it was the most amazing thing in the world. "Good show!"
As soon as it happened, Benson ran and slammed the door. He was red the rest of the day, as was Pops. The two couldn't even look at each other for the rest of the day. He really needed to teach Pops how to use the lock on his bedroom door.
Benson stood in front of the tombstone. He still felt guilty about it, even if he did defeat Chong. He would always feel guilty about his friend's death. Which is why Pops wouldn't let him go to the grave alone.
The lolliman wrapped his arm around the gumball machine, and allowed him to cry.
"Pops, you really don't need to do this. I'm feeling a little better." Despite this, Pops stayed by the gumball machine's side the rest of the day.
23. Letting Go
Benson and the woman saw each other at one of the park's parties. A song played, and Pops encouraged Benson to ask the lady to dance. And he did.
As the two dance, Pops couldn't help but wonder if the two would meet again. Maybe they would fall in love. Benson would be so happy. Maybe they would get married. Maybe, maybe Benson and his new wife would move away. And he would get a new job.
Just the thought of this brought Pops nearly to tears. But he held them in. He didn't know if Benson would ever marry and leave Pops and the park, but if he did, Pops knew he would have to put on a smile for his friend. He loved Benson, and you know what they say: If you love something, set it free.
24. Hand in hand
As the two walked through the park, Pops grabbed onto Benson's hand and smiled. It took the gumball machine almost three minutes to notice this before he got embarrased and quickly pulled back. But Pops simply giggled and wrapped his arm around Benson instead.
"Oh Benson, may I please just have one?"
"Pops, no! I told you, I don't give out gumballs!"
New Years. Valentines Day. Easter. Fourth of July. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. No matter what holiday it was, Benson knew he would get at least one card, from a certain lolliman.
"Oh! Good evening Skips! Um, I was wondering, if perhaps I could talk to you about, er, certain affairs. It's, it's about Benson."
"Hey Skips. Sorry, I know it's late but, can I ask you something? It's, well, it's about Pops."
No matter how angry Benson was, no matter how red his gumballs were, just the sight of Pops or the touch of his hand made him instantly calmer.
Pops was a skinny as a person could be. His arms were like happy, wavy noodles, and yet Benson still couldn't figure out how they could give such strong hugs. But after a while, Benson decided to stop questioning, and just enjoy the hug.
His bandmates had left town in search of other opportunities. Veronica left him for a businessman. Dave... he didn't like to talk about it. Skips gave good advice, but they while they were friends, they weren't really personal with each other. All the other employees at the park varied from acquaintances to annoyances.
There was only one person Benson would really consider a true friend, and he was so happy sometimes, he could do the work of ten friends.
"Er, Benson. Doesn't it hurt hitting your head against the wall?"
"Bon appitite, my good man!" Benson looked at the food in front of him. It looked slightly burnt, and a cross between beef and chicken. But nevertheless, Benson put on a smile and ate it. And honestly, it wasn't half bad.
"Oh my, how wonderful!" Pops cheered, clapping at the magic trick being performed. That is, until he thought Benson really was gone.
When the gumball machine 're-appeared', Pops didn't leave his side the rest of the day, just to make sure he didn't disappear again.
"Papa! I really wish you wouldn't be so hard on Benson. He works so hard. He's smart, kind, a little grumpy, but a really great friend. And, and I don't appreciate you talking so negatively about him!"
As Benson listened from the other side of the door, he was surprised. He'd never heard Pops yell, and now he was hearing him yell at his father. But what was more surprising, was what he said about Benson. The gumball machine could feel himself blushing.
"Say cheese, my good man!"
"Oh Benson! You looked so cute as a child!"
"Hello!" The lolliman said happily as he passed a rather peculiar looking man on the street, or rather gumball machine.
"Um, Hi," he replied, a little weirded out that a random guy on the street was being so friendly to him. As Pops waved goodbye, he had a funny feeling that he and the gumball machine would meet again.
After years of working at the park, he never did find a new job. All the other employees eventually left and were replaced with new ones. One would think staying at the park would get boring and depressing.
But as far as Benson was concerned, thanks to a certain lolliman, his life was perfect.
When Pops opened his tired old eyes, the first thing he noticed was that he was in a hospital room. The second thing was Benson, who was sitting on the floor, resting his head on the bed next to Pops.
Smiling, Pops placed his hand on the gumball machine's cool head, silently thanking him for being so concerned about him.
No matter what they were doing, Pops always enjoyed himself, giving a loud happy laugh and almost transfering happiness to everyone else, and 'everyone else' was usually Benson.
"Um, Pops?" Pops turned, and smiled at the gumball machine. "Yes?" he answered, his blue eyes sparkling.
Benson took a deep breath. "Um Pops, I was wondering if, you wanted to, we could, maybe, go out tonight?"
Pops looked at Benson in silence... and then gave him the biggest hug of his life. "Yes! Yes! Yes! Jolly good show!"
"Great, thanks Pops. Now... please let...me go... can't breathe!"
43. Star Gazing
"Oh my, there certainly are a lot of fireflies out tonight. Look how high those fireflies are!"
"Those are the stars, Pops."
He heard a giggle from beside him. Benson looked as saw Pops next to him, looking about ready to burst from happiness. "Do you need something, Pops?"
"No no, I'm fine," Pops replied, smiling. He felt a little suspicious, but shrugged it off and turned back to his notes. As he did, Pops quickly kissed Benson on the cheek. He giggled at Benson's surprised expression. "Ta ta, my good man!" And with that, he ran away.
Benson pressed a hand against his cheek, and smiled. Just a little.
The day of his father's funeral, Pops was a shadow of his former self. He didn't giggle, or compliment anyone. He didn't even smile. But he didn't cry either. "Pops," Benson said, walking into Pops' room. He was sitting on his bed, looking out the window. He turned his head slightly to look at the gumball machine.
"I know it's hard," said Benson, sitting down next to him, "But it'll be alright." He heard a sniffle. "I'm here for you, Pops." Finally, Pops wrapped his arms tightly around Benson, and sobbed. Benson rubbed the lolliman's back and told him it would be alright.
After all the times Pops was there for him, it was the least he could do.
"Oh my, snow tastes so sweet this time of year, wouldn't you agree, my good man?"
Benson heard the yells to get out of the way, but he was so frozen in fear, everything seemed in a haze. Everything except the giant ball of fire heading right towards him. When he finally realized what was happening, all he could was close his eyes and hope death didn't hurt too much.
But it never came. When he opened his eyes. He found himself only five feet away from where the ball had landed, on the ground, with Pops on top of him, making sure the gumball machine was safe.
Benson thought. He looked back on past memories. He thought, if this were to happen, all the positives and negatives. But most importantly, he wanted to make sure that if he did admit this, if he did return the feelings, was there any chance of him getting hurt?
Benson didn't even have to think about that one. They needed each other, so they would never hurt each other. When he realized that what he was feeling was true, he became nervous and scared, but also excited and happy. And he knew that whatever happened, Pops would be right beside him to help him get through it.