Fanfiction Defense: Bwen
Bwen: Love at First Fight
Love is a strange creature. It infects a person when they least expect it, and the person is left unaware of the infection and its effects until the person sits back and looks at his- or herself. The creature called love is hidden well in Ben 10. One can find it in a very odd place: Ben and Gwen Tennyson. They are first cousins in the show, and that alone deters most from exploring this pairing. Hopefully, by examining the show, the reader will be persuaded by the physical evidence, the futility of the Gwevin Pairing, and the interactions between Ben and Gwen to change their point of view concerning this subject of the Ben 10 Fandom.
Let us treat this as a court case and examine the evidence. Shall we? In the first episode "And Then There Were 10", Ben and Gwen could not be more at odds with each other. Ben and Gwen distance themselves from each other. This allows Ben to go on a fateful walk that would change his life forever. While playing with The Watch, Ben accidentally turns into Heatblast and sets the nearby forest on fire. When Gwen and Grandpa Max go to investigate, she finds Ben first and freaks. After the forest fire is put out, Ben turns into Wildmutt, attracting the attention of a ruthless alien warlord named Vilgax. He sends drones to intercept The Watch, and Wildmutt destroys the first one with a game of cat and mouse that ends with the drone hitting a tree. As Wildmutt jumps from a tree, The Watch times out, and a drone corners the defenseless Ben. Gwen shows up with a shovel and beats the drone's head in while she says, "No one hurts My Doofus…cousin!" Later, while dealing with the Boss Drone, Ben as Diamondhead dodges a laser bolt which cuts into a tree and sends the tree towards Gwen as she screams in terror. Ben's eyes get huge, and he runs toward Gwen, completely oblivious to the Boss Drone who is still throwing people and cars around. He then cuts the timber in half with a spine of crystal grown from his back and plays off the moment of romance by saying "I guess that makes us even."
This kind of relationship is hinted at heavily throughout the series. That is due to the original concept and of the show. In it, Ben and Gwen are supposed to be friends, but the writers scrap that angle in favor of the first cousins idea. Why did they do that? The only way to know would be to ask them. There are "ghosts" of this original concept in multiple episodes. In "Washington, B. C.", Ben saves Gwen from falling to her death at the claws of a giant cockatoo. In "Kevin 11", Ben gets in trouble, and Gwen finds herself confused as to why she isn't enjoying it. In "The Last Laugh", Gwen is taken hostage by a vampire clown. This causes Ben to angrily activate the Omnitrix and scare Zombozo into submission after giving him a speech about messing with his family. (It sounds much more plausible that Ben is talking about Gwen since the clown referenced her directly before Ben began his speech.) In "Ghostfreaked Out", Zs'Skayr possesses Gwen and makes her fight him. Ben avoids hitting her, and Zs'Skayr allows Gwen's consciousness to surface just long enough for her to ask Ben what he's doing. She sounds scared and relieved to see him during this time. Zs'Skayr reestablishes control and makes Gwen leap onto a dangerous perch. As Zs'Skayr is about to make her jump off a ledge, Ben's eyes grow wide, and sheer terror over losing Gwen grips him. He gives in to save her. Before that, when Zs'Skayr reveals to Gwen he's the one controlling the body, Gwen's eyes show not only fear but concern as well. At the end of the episode, Ben complements her in his own way. Gwen hugs him for it, and he acts like he's grossed out but smiles and laughs. This suggests he was faking the gag and enjoyed the hug. In "Back with a Vengeance", Ben is double teamed by Vilgax and Kevin in the Null Void. Gwen volunteers to go in after him and is overjoyed to see him even hugging Ben as Stinkfly. After they fly to relative safety, Kevin threatens Gwen's life.
Let me stop right there and say all Gwevin fans need to watch the original series again. Yes. I am expecting you to say that, but absorbing energy, if it is in fact the source of his psychosis, would have permanent effects on his mind. Some would stop me here and say, "Children have limited ability to regenerate damaged brain cells." That may be true, but in Kevin's mutated state, his brain is under constant energy bombardment. This nullifies the ability of the child's mind to regenerate. Therefore, the recovery shown in Alien Force is impossible because energy would fry Kevin's nervous system. The damage is clearly in the Prefrontal Cortex where judgment and reason rise in the mind. Therefore, I deem Alien Force and all following shows as non-canon because they conveniently overlook the inability of the human or human-like brain to regenerate.
Now, let us return back to the physical evidence in the show. Ben willingly gives up the Watch in order to save Gwen. Later in the episode "The Unnaturals", Ben Gwen, and Grandpa Max foil a plot by the Forever Knights to replace The President with a robot. During the climatic showdown with the robots in a Philadelphia freight yard, Ben causes the Forever Knight's power source to explode. Ben gets caught in the resulting fireball. Grandpa Max pushes Gwen away from the scene, but she looks back with fear and a hint of sadness in her eyes as she yells out Ben's name. Why would she be scared for Ben when he was Diamondhead, a nigh indestructible walking crystal? The answer is simple: she loves Ben. One only needs to look at the earlier episode "Benwolf" to see this clearly. In the episode, Ben falls hard for a local girl until she reveals she was only into him because she thought she could train him as a werewolf. This causes Gwen to show her jealousy of Kia and protectiveness of Ben by giving Kia one record breaking chewing out. Furthermore, Kia only has an on-screen appearance twice in the series: in that episode and again as a cameo in the episode "Perfect Day" as one of the cheerleaders on a bus Ben saves from Vulcanus and SixSix, so it is highly unlikely that Ben and Kia end up together as proposed in the episodes "Ben 10,000" and "Ken 10". (As a side note, also in the episode "Perfect Day", Ben's mind generates a version of Gwen who is nice to him. This hints that at least subconsciously by this point in the series Ben has feelings for Gwen. In addition, the fact that Dream Gwen worries about Ben when he takes a barrage of missiles from SixSix suggests that Ben wants Gwen to have mutual feelings for him.) The sudden reappearance of Kia in Omniverse is a virtual plot black hole. What I'm saying is the assertion of Kia and Ben ending up together is highly unlikely due to the cannon evidence available. "Benwolf" is the first time since "And Then There Were 10" that Gwen defends Ben, instead of vice versa, and angrily tells the girl off before comforting Ben. Gwen comforts him again in "The Visitor" after Ben finds out he wasn't supposed to get the Omnitrix. On the technical Series Finale, which doesn't make a clear jump to the sequel shows and sets up continuity problems other than Kevin in later series, Ben and Gwen share a look as Max drives away to drop off Gwen that says nothing less than "I miss you already." This is seen in first loves when it seems that the couple in question cannot stand being apart. Also, if you look at both Ben and Gwen's faces as Max drives away, they both have what I call "Anime Blush Lines" on their faces which indicate they noticed each other and blushed lightly because of the brief eye contact/ Ben tries to cover both subtle indications by telling his Dad that "[He] hadn't thought about her once."
In what I consider to be the true Series Finale, "Ben 10: Secret of the Omnitrix", the connection is more evident possibly due to the fact that Max did not accompany Ben and Gwen on this trip and thus allows them to be freer with their emotions. Ben as Wildmutt saves Gwen from being sucked into space when he accidentally opens the airlock in the cargo bay. Ben and Gwen fight less in the movie, and when they do, it is strangely one-sided with Gwen talking to Ben as he listens. The most obvious proof for Bwen comes when Gwen sacrifices herself to save Ben from a feral Wildvine. Ben loses control of his emotions and activates the Omnitrix, despite Tetrax and Myaxx's warnings, with a very defiant and pain-filled statement: "I don't care!" After it is clear that Gwen, apparently, is dead; Ben becomes a different person entirely. He becomes serious to the point of being reckless and very angry. It is as if a part of him died with Gwen, leaving behind a serious and determined Ben that Gwen would scarcely recognize. He destroys Azmuth's security door with ease in a rage fueled fury of attacks as Cannonbolt and demands that the Galvan inventor shut down the Omnitrix. When the Galvan initially refuses, Ben resigns himself to the destruction of the Universe. When Vilgax shows up to seize the Omnitrix, Ben fights as if he's got nothing left to lose. When he turns to see Gwen overlooking the battle on cliff above him, he gets tunnel vision and runs to her crying, the raging battle around him forgotten as he focuses on Gwen, his love. The end of Secret of the Omnitrix is also worthy of note. Ben suggests the Tennysons "go shopping for clothes and junk". Apparently, Ben took an interest in what Gwen wanted. To see the significance of this, one must go back to the episode "Benwolf" where Gwen says. "Since when do you care about what girls care…about…unless you LIKE her?!"
I hope the reader will ponder the evidence I have presented and not just dismiss the evidence as coincidence or happenstance. The show Ben 10 does have a cannon pairing. Hopefully, anyone reading this will be swayed by the evidence, not by my words. Be the jury and decide.