In 2011, Ben Rayburn had been a medic in the Army special ops corps in Afghanistan. Ben met Lieutenant Dylan McAvoy after he busted his chin open falling off a camel. He stitched Dylan up, and left no scar, so had been called "Stitch" ever since. Stitch, Dylan and another soldier named Sully became best friends, sharing memories of the women they loved back home in the States. Dylan's girlfriend was Avery Clark, a woman with whom he had had an affair, and she had miscarried the child.
Stitch had been home on leave following the birth of his son, Max, when his platoon had been massacred, and felt guilty that he should have been there. Dylan and Sully ended up wounded face down in the sand, Sully died and Dylan felt responsible. Dylan was originally declared dead as well, but had been hidden out by an Afghan family while he recovered from his wounds.
By 2013, Dylan made it back to the States, and found Avery engaged to Nick Newman in Genoa City, Wisconsin. After a tearful reunion, Dylan stepped aside so that Avery and Nick could be together, but drowned his sorrow with a one night stand with Chelsea Lawson. Chelsea later claimed to be pregnant by Dylan, they fell in love, and were married. But when Chelsea's baby, Conner, turned out to have been fathered by Adam Newman, Dylan was brokenhearted. Dylan took Conner and ended up barricaded in a warehouse having flashbacks to the war. Avery had to talk him down, and she missed her own wedding to Nick because of Dylan's trauma, ultimately losing Nick.
Dr. Ben (Stitch) arrived in town about this time, and helped Dylan with his post-traumatic stress syndrome. Ben secured a residency at Genoa City Memorial, and moved in with Dylan, he said until Jenna and their son could sell their house and join him.
Ben became one of the doctors of Nikki Newman, who suffered from M.S. Nikki held a Veteran's Day fundraiser at The Underground Bar to honor the vets. Dylan and Ben were invited, but Dylan, still unable to see himself as a hero, was reluctant to attend. Avery was able to convince him to show up as they reconnected after remembering how much she loved him while he was in the service, and they kissed. Everyone was rather mystified by Nikki's overly friendly gesture of hugging Dylan for having the courage to attend.
Ashley Abbott returned to Genoa City for Thanksgiving. While there, she sprained her ankle and met Dr. Ben Rayburn. Her daughter, Abby, pushed for a romance, but Ashley reminded her that Ben was married and had a young son.
Running into each other at Crimson Lights, it quickly became evident that Ben and Kelly Andrews (Billy's grief partner) knew each other from the past. Kelly commented, "She was going to find out anyway, it just came up, and wasn't intentional. I take it you and your wife are over?" Ben told her, "We are not going to talk about my wife. In fact, we are not going to talk at all." Later Victoria invited Kelly to dinner, then included Dr. Ben when he dropped off her lost cell phone. The get-together became very uncomfortable for everyone but Victoria. Left alone, Ben warned Kelly not to get involved with Billy. When Victoria brought down baby Johnny, Kelly got emotional and left, and Ben left soon afterward, leaving Victoria and Billy to have dinner alone.
Ben caught Kelly coming out of Billy's hospital room after Billy was involved in a car accident, and he accused Kelly of sleeping with Billy. Kelly admitted it had been just once, a mutual sharing of their losses. Ben warned her not to let it happen again. Kelly lashed out at Ben, calling him Benji, saying that she was not the reason his wife wanted nothing to do with him, that their relationship was finished before it started. Then referring to Adam Newman's apparent hit and run of Billy's daughter Delia, said, "Who could do something like that, then just go on with his life?" That comment seemed to have hit a nerve with Ben. Ben later confided in Dylan that his wife had filed for divorce and custody of their son. Dylan urged Ben to fight for custody.
After Billy and Kelly's one night stand had been exposed, Ben became concerned for Victoria, and while consoling her they ended up kissing. Victoria admitted it to Billy, and Billy warned Ben to stay away from his wife. Since Billy had made it clear that he wanted his marriage, Kelly lamented to Ben how sad and lonely she was. Ben told Kelly that she could have him now that he was going to be free. Kelly said that there would be no forgiveness for what he did. Kelly claimed that she could not get over Billy, but she was leaving her job at GC Cares to avoid him. Finding out that Ben had kissed Victoria, Kelly commented that Victoria would not want to be involved with a murderer. She later reminded Ben that he had killed a man, and that he had told Billy that he had done something unforgivable in his past.
Ben got a chance to spar with Victor Newman, and Victor found him to be a worthy partner. Ben was upset to receive a call from Jenna letting him know that their divorce was final, and that she was leaving for Australia with their son. Afterward Ben and Victoria ran into each other at The Underground, and they got drunk as she told him that Billy had signed separation papers. The two were seen leaving together to take a cab home. But while waiting, they ended up making love in her car. Victoria said she was not sorry it happened, and Ben admitted he had been wondering what it would be like ever since their first kiss.
Victoria and Ben were to go out on a date, but Ben felt obligated to stay nearby a patient who was in crisis, so Victoria brought him takeout at the hospital. Ashley arrived looking for Ben, and realized that Victoria was his date. Ashley reminded her that she'd only been separated from her brother for a week. When Ben arrived, Victoria was jealously catty, telling Ben that Ashley was her former step mother. Later after dinner, Stitch admitted that he was jealous of Victoria's unresolved feelings for Billy, and Victoria admitted that she had been jealous of Ashley, so maybe they were more involved than they thought.
Billy confronted Stitch, telling him that he intended to find out what Stitch does not want anyone to know from his past. Stitch told him to look all he wanted, that he would not find a thing, so Billy began searching the Internet. Ben asked Kelly not to tell anyone about his past. And Kelly, who was now happily hoping to get a teaching position in the fall, and falling for Jack Abbott, agreed that they had both destroyed each others lives, but it was time for them to forgive and move on.
Ben, remembering how Victoria threw up on their date, suspected that she might be pregnant. He asked a nurse to show him Victoria's file and read the "positive" result. Ben went to see Victoria, and she broke down, admitting she was pregnant, a miracle they told her would never happen, but unsure who she even wanted to be the father. Billy eventually found out and became determined to win Victoria back by exposing Stitch's secret past.
Ben, in speaking with Kelly again, she referred to him as "a man who doesn't even exist" and urged him to tell Victoria the truth about his past. She also said that Ben had taken away someone she loved, then when Sam died, she had lashed out and told Jenna about it.
Kelly warned Ben that Billy was going to Australia to find out his secret from Jenna, so Ben realized that he had to tell Victoria first. Ben informed Victoria that Billy was on the way to see Jenna in Australia, and was about to tell her the truth about his past when they were interrupted. Instead he left a voicemail for Jenna imploring her not to talk to them. Jenna saw thru them and kicked them out without telling them anything. She called Ben and warned him to protect their son by not telling Victoria the truth, or she would move again and not tell him where. Ben shared his dilemma with Kelly. Meeting Father Todd in the chapel, he urged Ben to let him hear his confession. Ben told him he was raised Catholic, and had been an alter boy. Ben said the choices he made in the past were coming back to haunt him. Saying he did not regret what he had done, except how it had hurt others, but that it would hurt even more people if he didn’t keep quiet. So when he and Victoria had time to talk, Ben just told her that he was in love with her. Ben decided to break up with Victoria, but they ended up making love instead. Later, Ben told Kelly Billy had gone to see his ex-wife Jenna, and that he could not bare to lose anyone he loved again. Kelly hugged Ben and assured him that through it all, she still loved him. Kelly later mentioned that Ben had paid for what he did and served his time. After Billy told Victoria that Ben and Kelly were actually brother and sister, Victoria confronted them, accusing Ben of being a liar just like Billy.
Meanwhile Kevin and Chelsea continued digging into Ben's past and discovered that the real Ben Rayburn had lived in Chesterfield, MO., attended Chesterfield high school, and had been killed after his graduation party. Ben's obituary read: Born 1978 – died 1996, son of Mari and Earnest, sister Angela. Grandparents Martin and Hazel Weaver and Diane and Vincent Rayburn. An accompanying photo showed him to be dark-haired and slender-faced, unlike Stitch. Kevin researched further, and discovered Ben's birth name was Ben Russell.
Ben confronted Chelsea, telling her they were alike, that he too had paid for his past and was trying to start over, reminding her that if she destroyed him with it, it would destroy her chances with Billy too.
Ben was pleased and surprised when Dr. Shelby recommended Ben be appointed chief resident.
Billy confronted Ben in front of Victoria, Jack and Kelly, and got Ben to admit that he was living under his dead friend's identity and had killed his own father. Ben explained that his father had been a mean and abusive drunk, that Ben had found him drinking in the shed, they argued and fought, his father had passed out after hitting Ben, a kerosene stove had been knocked over that went up in flames, but it had been an accident. Because the prosecution said they had evidence that would convict him, Ben had confessed to knocking his dad out and setting the fire to save his family an ugly trial, and he served his sentence. Victoria walked out, fed up with them all. Ben accused Billy of not thinking of Victoria, but Billy maintained that Ben was dangerous. Kelly said he was not dangerous, and Billy countered with, then why did she tell Ben's wife so that she took his kid to the other side of the world.
Ben later begged Victoria to let him explain further, but she rebuffed him. Ben confessed to Dylan, but Dylan refused to believe that the Stitch he had known all those years as his best friend could have murdered his own father, it had to have been self-defense. But Ben would not defend himself.
Dr. Shelby invited Ben to lunch, told him he had the chief resident job, and Ben was just about to tell him the truth about himself when Billy showed up and forced the issue. Dr. Shelby was shocked as Ben admitted it was all true, and Ben offered his resignation. Ben took Billy to task later, asking why he had ruined his life over something he had paid for and more than made up for in saving lives as a doctor. Ben reminded Billy that he had been his own doctor as well as Delia's, which caused Billy to break down. Later, Ben ran into Victor, who told him that he was no longer promoting Ben's relationship with his daughter, that Ben had betrayed Victoria.
Not feeing confident that the state licensing board would decide that he could continue as a doctor, Ben began to look for another job. Abby had been treating Ben nasty and spiteful ever since she found out about his past, and was shocked when her mother Ashley Abbott returned to Genoa City and hired Ben as a chemist for Jabot, despite Abby's objections. Ashley returned to New York City to wrap things up, tasking a reluctant Abby with bringing Ben up to speed on the cosmetics industry.
Kelly and Ben were surprised when their mother, Maureen, whom they had not seen since Kelly's son Sam's funeral, showed up in town. Kelly acted resentful, accusing Maureen of caring more about defending Ben than her own husband. Maureen calmly said that Kelly had always been a "daddy's girl". But Ben asked Kelly to give their mother another chance. Maureen wanted to stay in town because Ben may have a baby on the way and to try to be a family again, but she had no money, so Kelly got her a room at GCAC.
After their divorce was final, Victoria was disappointed to see Billy move on with Chelsea, openly kissing and dating. She took it out on Ben, asking why he had to lie to her and break her heart. Ben tried to explain, that there was more to the story which he wanted her to know, but they were interrupted by Ben's mother.