Greetings. Here's a surprising story I made with Doodleboy565. Credits to him for playing the Ben 10 characters so well, it is something even I am refreshingly surprised, so give kudos to him. Anyways, the story is just as it said. Recently felt like it after receiving an idea. Hope you like and enjoy as we did put a lot of work into this. There is literally more coming lol, in case you all don't know.

Something was wrong.

His makeshift bed felt different, softer, and comfier than usual. He slowly opened his eyes, blinking the blur out of his eyes. He saw a window, the glaring light of the sun irritating his sight, forcing him to raise his hand to block it.

When he did, he saw that more things were wrong than he had thought.

For one thing, he noticed that his surrounding environment was completely different than what he could recall from recent memory. He peered out the window, seeing the grassy plains running by. Was he in a vehicle? Wait, whose face was this?

Garou looked at his dim reflection, seeing a face that did not belong to him. Instead of his usual spiky white hair, the so-called Hero Hunter had tousled brown locks and light green irises. He also wore a white T-shirt with a long black stripe extending from the collar down. He was also, for lack of a better term, much, much shorter than before. Before Garou could even question what the hell was going on, the upbeat voice of a delighted old man garnered his attention.

"Glad to see you're awake, Ben. We're almost to the campsite." the elder greeted happily. Garou's head shifted towards what seemed to be the driver's seat of a rundown RV. This stranger was a slightly heavyset man with short gray hair and focused black eyes that screamed experience in some unknown expertise. He wore a red polo shirt with Hawaiian flowers etched all around and dark blue pants, pressing down on the accelerator with brown boots as well.

"Who…" Garou was confused. What happened to him? All he could recall was his defeat under the hands of that damned Baldy after he had finally broken through his limits, fled from the scene after that boy screamed for him to run, and then… he fled to the mountains. He fell asleep in the woods.

Did something happen to him in his sleep? However, before he could ask, his stomach growled. Garou stopped moving as he hissed. He looked over his body, finding none of his wounds had followed him to this body. He was hungry… but why?

"Skipped breakfast again, doofus?" A snotty voice asked in the room... erm, vehicle. Garou slightly adjusted the position of his body to view the bored, unamused glare of a young girl with short orange hair. Her shirt was a soft, light blue shirt with dark blue on the sleeves. The likeness of a cat stood in the center around her chest. Her eyes were the same shade as Garou's current ones; both narrowed in an equal mix of unamused boredom.


Trying to recall yesterday's activities, Garou remembered preying on a giant boar in the wilds, dining on its flesh, trained, and then he went to sleep beside the bones of his kill.

He did not know these people or how he got here, but what he did know for sure though was that he did not appreciate this girl's attitude one bit.

Now that Garou thought about it, he hadn't eaten anything after that battle. He lost quite a lot of blood and received innumerous injuries from both hero and monster alike. But that did not bother him before… and he just feasted yesterday. So why did he feel like he hadn't eaten for days?

"It must be this body." Garou murmured as his stomach continued growling.

"What'd you say?" The girl asked, quirking a brow.

"We're here, kids." The jolly old man said as the vehicle slowed to a halt, reaching their supposed destination. Outside the window, Garou saw an open clearing. A wooden table with a plank top sandwiched between two benches stood on the grass like an open eyesore to nature. Wait, were they…

"Come on, kids. Let's head outside as I prepare your supper." The old man said as the girl groaned in annoyance.

"Awwww. Hah, come on, dweeb. Let's just get this over with." The girl dropped down the couch, gesturing Garou to follow.

Garou had no obligation to listen to either of them, but after giving considerable thought into his unique dilemma for a few seconds, he decided to play along for now. Still, the girl was sassy and bossy. What was she, this Ben's girlfriend or something?

"Whatever, brat."

Either way, Garou shrugged and followed after her to his chagrin. He wondered what they were doing here in the first place.

It was already late twilight, the sun a dim orange, smothered by growing night and blinking stars. Tall pine trees surrounded the three, fencing them in. On the bench, Garou saw the old man brought a bowl of… were those worms? Why are they alive and wriggling in the blue bowl?

"Chow time," the man expressed happily, setting the eccentric dish on the wooden table. The girl did not hide her bewilderment and disgust in the slightest, staring at each worm as if they were the most disgusting things on the entire planet.

"What am I looking at?" Garou asked. When he heard his voice the fifth time, Garou smacked his lips from verbal distaste.

It sounded so… annoying. Why was it annoying? He was used to the voice of Tareo, but something about this voice did not sit right with him. Even for a boy, the voice sounded a bit too high-pitched. It was rare even for him to hate at first encounter.

"These are marinated mealworms. Hard to find them fresh in the states. You know, they're considered a delicacy in some countries?" The old man replied excitedly, gushing in sharing his trivia with them.

Garou's focus came to an abrupt halt at the mention of states. What were those? Last time he checked the world housed a supercontinent with cities listed A-Z. It was the first time he'd ever heard of this location or whatever it was. Where the hell was he?

"And totally gross in others?" The girl quipped as she watched one of the worms fall off the bowl and wriggled away.

Garou wanted to agree, but his stomach growled for sustenance. Raw fish was one thing, but raw insects?

"-screw it." Garou was too hungry to care. Taking a handful of worms from the bowl, Garou threw it into his mouth and chewed his first insect meal.

"Ewww! Ben?!" The girl shouted, gagging as her cheeks puffed with phantom vomit.

"Hoh! Ben, how is it? This is the stuff I used to eat during the Great Depression!"

Garou had conflicting thoughts on that. First, it was surprisingly delectable to his mouth despite the grotesque visage. The slime and slippery meat melted into his tongue with each bite, a balanced mix of sweet and bitter with a tinge of spices for flavor.

"...huh. Not bad." Accepting the food, Garou threw in more and more worms in his mouth, ignoring the retching sound from the girl athwart him.

"Just when I think you can't get any weirder, this happens!" The girl comically fumed, her skin starting to turn a sickly green in response.

"Hey, if it's food, it's food. If it's good food, you can't complain." Garou shrugged as he finished the bowl, leaving only a few survivors left to fend for themselves.

"If you're still hungry, I have some smoked sheep's tongue in the fridge," the old man offered politely, proud of the fact that his grandson shared his tastes. Licking his lips, Garou found his stomach still rumbling for more nourishment, the hunger arousing some concern from the former Hero Hunter. What was wrong with this body? Just how malnourished was it? This Ben treated it as if it was his garbage castle.

"Thanks. Bring it here…" Garou was about to call him 'old man,' but stopped himself. "Grandpa?" He had to force the words out a little. He needed to play the role for now until he could find a way back to his world, as shitty as it is. It was either go back a wanted man or live inside a body that wasn't his. He would choose the first without question. Garou had done some things, but stealing the bodies of children was crossing the line.

"Grandpa! Don't encourage him!" The girl whined in outrage, gesturing to the practically empty bowl of live worms as a sign that something seriously wrong. The old man just brushed off his granddaughter's worries, shrugging nonchalantly.

"He's a growing boy, Gwen. If Ben's hungry, he's hungry." The grandfather of two proclaimed matter-of-factly, walking back into the RV mid-sentence. Gwen attempted to protest further, but the old-timer was already gone before she could demur moreover. She slumped her shoulders in defeat and gave 'Ben' the stink eye.

"What? I'm hungry." Garou spoke, taking the opportunity to exploit his high-pitched voice to irk the girl called Gwen.

"This isn't like you. What are you planning?" Gwen inquired suspiciously, her eyes narrowed in puzzlement.

"Annoying you for fun." Garou picked one of the leftover worms and threw it to his mouth, chewing loudly in front of the girl with his mouth open, wanting her to see the chewed remains of the mealworm melting in his maw.

"Trust me; you've already been doing that, geekazoid. Are you sucking up to Grandpa or something?" Gwen scoffed inquisitively, rolling her eyes to exemplify her already common annoyance.

"Nope. I'm just hungry." Garou's stomach growled as if to agree with his mouth.

"Alright, Ben! Hope you made room for seconds," the old man beamed as he reappeared from within his primary source of transportation. Held firmly in both of his wrinkled hands was a plate filled to the brim with sizzling slabs of meat. They were almost gray, some resembling the tips of sausage links.

"Huh." Garou looked at the tongues. He never had any sheep tongues before now that he thought about it. He wondered how they would taste… no, taste no longer mattered. It just needed to be filling. His stomach roared for food at sight.

"Last chance, Gwen. There's enough for all three of us." Gwen's grandpa encouraged openly, holding up a fork with a slimy piece of tongue pierced into it.

"Um, couldn't we just have burgers instead?" Gwen weakly suggested with a forced smile. She was currently pinching her nose to mask the intense odor permeating from the pieces of sheep tongues.

"Nonsense, sweety! This summer's going to be an adventure for your taste buds." The Hawaiian shirted elder promised anticipatedly, ripping off a piece of the tongue with his teeth right afterward. Gwen shivered in absolute disgust, not even wanting to imagine the horrors her grandpa's cooking could bring to fruition.

Digging in, Garou threw in a tongue in his gullet. Biting into it, Garou found the meat somewhat tough, yet soft at the same time. It held as a robust beefy flavor that he could not describe, but he cared not. Upon swallowing, he licked his lips, feeling his stomach being sated.

"Give me your portion if you don't want it." Garou wryly demanded from his 'cousin.' Gwen, unable to endure any more of the mealtime massacre taking place, unceremoniously slammed her head on the table.

"Why me?" Gwen groaned to herself miserably while Garou took her portion as he and the old man ate to their heart's content as if nothing could go wrong.

After devouring the bowl of tongues, Garou could feel his stomach finally relieved from hunger. Now, the moon rose to give its pale, soothing light with the stars to the darkened world below. Garou already finished setting up the tent with high efficiency. He walked outside of the woods, away from the two as he reviewed the information he had confirmed so far.

First, whatever world Garou was in, it wasn't his own. He had never heard of states or other countries, only cities ranging from A to Z.

Second, his fear was half-realized. The body he now inhabited was weak. He couldn't muster the same power he had after his defeat, only some of it. If he had to estimate, he would be as strong as that golden monster he killed after his initial awakening. He was still unused to this body in the end, meaning Garou must train to the best of his ability.

Third, he must find a way to get out of this body. The first hurdle he must make however was to break the news to Gwen and Max. To Garou, they were strangers. He did not come to steal the life of another, despite knowing that returning home meant being always on the run from Heroes. Garou was many things, but a body stealer wasn't one of them.

For now, Garou must test the limits of this body. He looked at the tree before him, one far enough from their hearing range. Garou clenched his fists as his emerald green eyes sharpened twin glares. First, he must test his fists.

With a standard, straight punch, Garou bore through the bark, sending splinters and leftover sap flying from the force. His fist somewhat rattled from the effect, but the skin did not contuse. He grimaced, that shouldn't affect him that much. Garou looked at the hole through the tree, the edges clean like polished stone, finding much room for improvement to fill.

"Hnnn!" Pivoting around one foot, Garou twisted his entire body. Swinging his other foot in a reverse roundhouse kick, Garou cleaved through the same tree again, his ankle phasing through the integument as it slipped through water. This time, Garou used an improved version of the Whirlwind Iron Cutting Fist with the heel of his shoe.

The tree split, a diagonal mouth slowly yawning. The severed top slid down, falling from the bisected stump as it crashed in groans of creaking bark and snapped branches. Garou flexed his foot for a moment, curling his toes and rotating his wrists. He confirmed his gut feeling from this result.

This boy had never trained a day in his life. It took more mental effort than Garou thought to force the body to replicate his usual feats. He was sure that a few parts of his muscles felt sore from that one move, but he could adapt. He just needed to fine-tune Ben's weak body with some harsh training sessions. His power came not from the flesh, but the spirit, something he only discovered to his delight.

Garou exhaled, abandoning his worries and earthly ties in a single breath, his body now embracing an unearthly calm. He slowly raised his hands until both palms faced skyward, and then slowly guided them down with meticulous precision as his eyes traveled to his feet.

It was time to get to work. Garou's first steps should be rebuilding his foundations, something he learned from his time with the Old Geezer. At his current level, taking shortcuts would lead to disaster, especially for beginners. Garou needed to build himself back up from the ground up again.

After the boy abruptly headed into the forest, Gwen and her grandpa worked to set up camp for the night. However, in the process of building their tent, the old man grew worried about 'Ben's' prolonging absence. Either he was shirking his responsibilities to play his video games or shirking his duties and got lost in the woods in his attempt.

"I wonder what's keeping, Ben." Grandpa Max pondered in slight concern, setting down his stake and hammer for just a moment.

"Probably looking for more worms to eat." Gwen deadpanned in a mocking tone as she hammered in on one of the tent's corners. Max frowned at this comment, looking out into the presiding wilderness with furrowed gray eyebrows.

"I can take care of the rest, Gwen. Go check on your cousin." Max instructed in a no-nonsense attitude, walking back to the RV for more supplies. Gwen's face contorted into a look of quite noticeable reluctance towards this request.

"But-" Gwen's excuses were swiftly quieted by her grandpa's stern gaze, a look she has admittedly never seen before.

"No buts. Find him before he gets too far." Max advised in succession, getting back to work on the tent with no room for argument. Gwen huffed childishly and stomped away into the sea of pine trees as told.

"Stupid Ben. Why do I have to spend the whole summer with an obnoxious twirp like him? It's not fair!" Gwen ranted to herself angrily, thinking back to all of the plans she made before this "trip" was set up. She printed out a whole schedule for crying out loud! As she progressed more in-depth into the forest, Gwen was puzzled to see that there were significantly fewer trees than before.

"Huh? What happened here?" Gwen asked in sheer bewilderment, slowing the pace of her walk as she continued searching for Ben. Stumps and toppled bodies riddled her surroundings, some with splintered thorns while others were parted clean… like very clean. Looking closely at one of the stumps right next to her, Gwen found the cut was so smooth that it looked like something separated it by the atom.

Then, in the distance, the know-it-all redhead saw something she thought would never see in her entire 10-year-old life. At least, what Gwen hoped she wouldn't have to see.

In the clearing, instead of a snobbish boy goofing off in the middle of nowhere, she saw devastation carved into the grass and trees - all surrounding a boy performing push-ups, with his legs off the ground and folded midair as sweat glistened from his naked chest. Why was he doing… exercises with his shirt off? No, the fact that her cousin was exercising did more than enough to astonish her, the same boy that would lounge around all day either watching TV or playing video games.

"B-ben?" Gwen whispered in disbelief, practically rubbing her eyelids to make sure this wasn't some bizarre dream.

"Fuu, one hundred… one hundred one, fuu…" 'Ben' did not notice her, pushing his full bodily weight up and down with his arm muscles alone. He was too ingrained in his activities at first glance. The amount of effort and dedication he poured into his exercise made Gwen question the identity of her cousin. She was sure that the scrawny boy wasn't even fit enough to make it past ten push-ups without dropping dead.

"Ben! W-what are you doing?" Gwen hesitantly questioned with a raised eyebrow. She desperately tried to shield her eyes from Ben's bare body, an image she would have to wash out with bleach sometime soon.

Her cousin stopped but did not drop. He craned his head while still upside down, his eyes making contact with hers. She flinched when their gazes met. Ben's eyes held a piercing sharpness she had never witnessed before in her short years of life.

"" He replied before resuming his unique push-ups. As far as Gwen knew, hand-stand push-ups were only reserved for hardcore athletes, for dedicated professionals.

"Training? For what? Pressing down on your controller faster?" Gwen quipped obnoxiously, putting as much effort as she could into not freaking out right then and there.

"Hm? No, for myself. You can say I am tired of this weak body." He shook his head as he huffed. To Gwen, this little session of intense exercising was the last straw.

"Ok, who are you, and what have you done with my cousin?" Gwen snapped in confusion, not intending for her question to have more truth than once thought.

"Heh. Who knows?" He scoffed. "I want to know that for myself."

"Wait… what did you just say?" Gwen responded offhandedly, losing her previous train of thought. Suddenly, before her cousin could repeat what he just revealed, a fiery red mass streaked across the night sky, leaving orange contrails of radiant flame, and crashed near their proximity with an explosive landing

"GYAHHH!" Gwen wailed in fright as she was knocked off balance by the meteorite's massive explosion. She slammed onto the ground butt-first, her white pants covered in dirt and leftover shrapnel. 'Ben,' in contrast, shielded his eyes to protect himself from the blinding light. His response was calmer than that of Gwen's, but not enough to suppress the mien of surprise leaking from his features. Not even the man inside the boy was unfazed by the sudden arrival of a meteor from the starlit heavens.

This time, her cousin stopped, his face a rictus as he stared at the steaming crater within walking distance. Dropping down to his feet, he stared at the hole for a moment as a shard of scrap entered his vision. Before it struck him between the eyes, 'Ben' caught it between two fingers from his left hand.

"Huh. I still got it." Muttering, he tossed the fragment aside, unfazed by death's surprise attempt to take his life.

Gwen did not catch him in the act, however, still occupied with landing. Gwen hissed in temporary soreness before inspecting the crater alongside her cousin.

"Ow. W-was that a shooting star?" Inside of the impression was a spherical, shell-like device, its hull dark gray.

For closer inspection, 'Ben' and Gwen both slid down the slopes of the concave crevice, the first behind the latter, curious to find what treasure the stars dropped to the little world below. Strangely, once Gwen walked toward the otherworldly container, its top cover retracted open to reveal a much smaller object that glowed bright green.

"A watch?" Gwen observed curiously. It was a black wristband with four gray cords coiling around each of its four corners. In the center was a circular dial with the likeness of a green hourglass imprinted on it, small orbs of the same color surrounding the peculiar symbol in all four cardinal directions.

Her cousin stood beside her. Squinting his eyes, he observed it to the smallest detail. Then he remembered that one incident in A-City which resulted in its destruction and reconstruction.

"Is this thing alien?" Garou asked, unsure how to word his opinions in a better light.

"Aliens? Really, Ben? There has to be a better explanation for this." Gwen proclaimed doubtfully.

She seemed as the type of girl that would disprove the notion of the unknown possibilities. If only she knew the state that her cousin was.

"Hey, life finds a way. I've seen plenty of things not to be surprised anymore."

"Like from your video games, dweeb? Please, this is real life. There's no way… could it?"

As they observed, something happened. The watch practically became gelatinous in shape, leaping out of its container and latching onto the nearest person. That person was Gwen.

"Ahhhh! Get it off! Get it off!" Gwen squealed in reactionary fear, shaking her wrist around to free it from the watch's firm grasp. She tried everything from pulling on it to pushing down on her sleeve, but to no avail. The unusual object would not release the poor girl.

The thing was on her wrist now, slapped onto her skin like black glue. It was so sudden and unexpected, not even Garou could capture the device. His body's dynamic vision and reflexes were poorer than he liked. Now, only two options were left. Should he or should he not cut her arm off?

"Don't just stand there, Ben! Help me! It won't come off!" Gwen pleaded desperately, panic thrashing her composure as she tried to fling the contraption off.

In response, the world slowed around Garou, and all motion slowed to stillness. It was a World that Garou was used to when he kicked into battle mode, his sense of time drawing its blade at danger and foe.

Inspecting the device in the world of hyperspeed, he noticed that it wasn't doing anything, remaining inanimate like a normal watch. Garou wondered if it was living or machine for a moment since it did behave like a slime when it latched onto Gwen. Now it seemed inanimate, acting like an actual watch.

"Calm down. It's not doing anything."

'Yet.' Of the many things Garou encountered, this was the strangest so far. Facing a fallen satellite was a once in a lifetime chance, although the giant meteor debacle in Z City counted more like an unwanted disaster.

"Ahhhhhhhhh… ahhh…" Slowly peeking through her closed eyes, Gwen slowly settled her nerves as she waited for the watch to act up. The watch just sat on her wrist as if it were waiting for her to touch it.

She looked at the thing on her wrist with caution. Wanting to find out what this thing was capable of, Gwen played around with the dial at its center.

"Uhhh…" Garou wanted to call out, but he wasn't sure if he should. Right now, he was just a bystander in a bizarre predicament that lay beyond his comprehension which somehow devolved into two bizarre predicaments. Being stuck in the body of the child was enough for the man inside, dealing with an alien watch was crossing the line.

Once she gently adjusted the circular symbol's position, it popped upward to reveal a grid of green circuitry. To her amazement, the hourglass then shifted appearance into that of a small rhombus and revealed a shadowed, humanoid silhouette.

"Woah. Wonder what this could be…" Gwen stated ponderously, squinting her eyelids as she hovered a finger over the said button.

"Are you sure you want to touch it?" Garou asked when he saw the dial protrude.

"...should I?" Gwen asked, now unsure.

"It looks like a machine but…" Garou squinted his eyes. "What are the odds of the watch killing you if pressed it?"

The advanced device made Garou recall Demon Cyborg. In terms of utility, the odds of the watch killing Gwen was very low unless she has the luck of a hard-stuck, Wolf-Level monster. Anyone that would make a defective device in the stars above to hand it over to a girl and watch her die must be insane.

"I guess that's a good point," Gwen admitted in spite of the shaky relationship they shared. She took one last look at the watch's protruded extension before resorting to a final decision.

"Here goes nothing." Gwen gulped nervously, tightly shutting her eyes as she slammed the button downward. In response, an intense flash of green light engulfed Gwen's entire body.

Superheated red rocks emitted from within the watch's core and covered the girl's white skin from head to toe. What used to be her blue shirt was now red magma overflowing with cracks of yellow fire and lava, both hands and feet undergoing similar changes. On top of being much taller than before, Gwen's face was now a dark red with pupilless ovals residing where her eyes used to be. It was also surrounded by yellow and orange flames crackling to life with vibrant power.

Gwen was expectantly flabbergasted by this instantaneous transformation, "Whoa! I'm on fire!"

Her voice was deeper, but it still retained its feminine roots. Her tone survived the transformation, keeping vestiges of her former identity.

"I'm on-"

When he saw her transformation, Garou initially thought she had become a monster. Garou's first instinct was to aim for her neck as he vanished into a blur, one hand ready to part the head from the shoulder.

"-fi… re?"

The transformed Gwen stopped in her tracks when she immediate saw her cousin's fingers so close to her eyes, almost as if ready to tear them out. His hand was on her shoulder, grabbing it to support himself while he was unfazed by the smoldering heat.

"Don't. Move." Garou warned, his child-like voice warped with a foreboding tone.

"...uhhh…" An ominous chill pierced Gwen through the flames with biting cold. It was a natural response since it was her first encounter with murderous intent.

"Quick question. Do you feel anything wrong with yourself? Any lack of restraint?" Garou asked.

He must be sure of her sanity due to his experience in dealing with monsters. They all had an instinctive urge, the desire to destroy, the drive to kill, the hunger for human flesh, or something worse. All in all, their detrimental drives were diverse. Thus, Garou must confirm whether or not she was still herself on the inside.

"U-um, yeah. I'm hot, I guess, but it's not affecting me for some reason." Gwen stammered in minor discomfort, still adjusting to the drastically different proportions of her new body. It wasn't uncomfortable but always felt a bit off in comparison to her standard form.

"...I see." Garou dropped down from her, landing softly on the dirt.

"So you're not a monster… strange. Do you feel any sudden impulsive urges?" Garou asked just in case. While he was stoic on the outside, he was extremely confused on the inside. What the hell was that watch and why did it change Gwen into this thing?

"Urges? Not really. Aside from this tingling sensation radiating from my hands and feet, I'm practically normal… or whatever you could consider this." Gwen explained off the top of her head, gesturing to the white hourglass embedded in this supposed creature's chest.

Staring at the dial on her chest, Garou pursed his lips. So the watch didn't change her into a monster… maybe another creature? The real question was for what purpose? That and how the hell it could do that in the first place.

Either way, it reminded him of his monster transformation… or costume. He wasn't a true monster like the baldy said in the end.

"So what can you do?" He had a hunch he had to confirm, which was the presence of newfound abilities within Gwen.

"Hmmm let's see…" Gwen mused thoughtfully, looking at her two molten appendages. When she raised up one of her hands, a small ember of concentrated fire sprouted to life toot sweet. From what she could gather, it was about the size of a normal baseball.

'Pyrokinesis?' The fire reminded him of that giant monster dog he encountered in the Monster Association Base, only this one was way smaller. It probably couldn't nuke the area like that thing could.

"Okay, now this is pretty cool!" Gwen amusedly gushed over her new abilities, tossing the fireball up and down without any worry of being harmed. She then looked up at the night sky for a second as a thought passed through her, leaving an enticing idea for her to pick up.

"Hmmm…" Garou tapped his chin in thought. "So the watch is meant to change you into… something else. For new abilities?" Garou ruminated.

It was definitely like the monster transformation phenomena back home.

"Seems like it. Watch this, Ben." Gwen mischievously remarked as she expanded the size of her flame using both hands. She then outstretched both of her arms and generated a massive blast of orange-yellow combustion that accelerated in speed as it streaked across the clouds. Upon reaching its zenith, it exploded into a display of fireworks before fading to dying cinders.

"How was that?" Gwen cockily asked, starting to get a bit too full of herself in more ways than one.

"I admit. I did not expect that." Garou was surprised, but he was not impressed. In fact, Garou had no idea what to expect. This reality was strange. Too strange even for him, and he came from a world where people could turn into monsters and housed a baldy that could toss the crust of the Earth into the stratosphere.

But another question passed his thought when concerning transformations…

"It's good that you can turn into this, but can you even change back?" Could she return to being human? His question doused Gwen's peaking excitement, dragging her to the reality at hand.

"Oh, kind of forgot about that." Gwen sheepishly muttered as her dormant panic started to kick in again. Most of her thoughts were occupied on their waiting grandpa and what he would think of this mess which allowed her panic to boil.

"What are we going to do?! Grandpa can't see me like this! He'll freak out!" Gwen groaned self-consciously clutching her blazing head.

Garou raised an eyebrow, "And you think hiding it from him forever will work? He'll find out eventually, you know?" He spoke from his own experience. Now he had room to explain his circumstances with her joining the insanity.

"I get that, but we're in a forest. How will we ever get back to the campsite without me accidentally burning the forest down?" Gwen objected dishearteningly, the flames around her head dimming as if reflecting her mood.

That was her worry? The sight of the brat blundering her way through the forest with meticulous care did tickle his fancy, but now wasn't the time for teasing. Yet.

"You worry about the forest more than yourself? Really?" Garou reminded her of her more serious predicament.

"There are trees everywhere, Ben! We're not the only ones in these woods, you know?"

Garou scoffed. Even if there was a forest fire, he could extinguish them at his current level.

"Actually, we are if you don't count the old man." Garou checked his surroundings before he started training.

"That's our grandpa, dweeb, but whatever. If there really is no one else here, then we might as well head back. We have to be careful though," Gwen advised cautiously.

Garou could sympathize. Whether monsters exist here or not, any human that catch the sight of a walking bonfire would immediately call for a witch hunt, assuming that heroes did exist in this world to hunt her down. Lost in thought, Garou turned his head towards the starry skies in rumination.

Why was he here in the first place? Who sent the device here in the first place? A plethora of questions lay in wait, but as each second passed, they encountered more waiting for him in his journey.

"By the way, why didn't the fire hurt you when you touched me earlier?"

A good question, indeed. Garou wanted to know how the body of an untrained boy could withstand the flames when he took the wheels. There was only one answer he had to her question.

"Because I have survived worse."

The Dog had more firepower than she had. His endurance and resistances did carry over to this body.

"Psh. Yeah right. You couldn't even survive J.T. and Cash at your old school." Gwen lightly mocked the Garou's supposed scrawniness.

He had no idea who they were, but they sound annoying and disappointing. The mention of a school brought bitter memories to Garou, the unfortunate reminder of the blight called Tacchan.

"Whatever. Let's go before someone sees you and call for the military."

Garou set off before Gwen could reply. She looked at the shrinking back of her 'cousin,' harrumphing as she decided to follow him back to the campsite, agreeing with his statement to avoid unwanted attention.

"So, you're saying this watch just jumped up and clamped onto your wrist?" Grandpa Max reiterated calmly, making sure he got the gist of Gwen's delineation.

When the two returned, Max was shocked to see Gwen's state. Garou was surprised that the old man didn't lose his composure at sight. He was sure that even in his world that discovering one's grandchildren had transformed into a monster would bring great sorrow and pain.

Was the old man familiar with this? Max's reaction was too trained, calm. From body language alone, Garou could tell, but it was still conjecture. He just needed proof. Now, they sat around a campfire as Gwen narrated the series of events that lead to her situation.

"It was an accident. The thing had a mind of its own somehow. Then, it transformed me into this… fire monster!" Gwen flailed her large, flaming hands, dramatically emphasizing the severity of her dilemma.

"Did you forget that you turned it on yourself?" Garou reminded while roasting his marshmallow on a stick… using Gwen's body as the fire. Gwen wasn't amused by the sight of the stick so close to her burning head or her 'cousin's' mocking smile.

"Quit it! There's a fire right over there!" Gwen snapped irritably, smacking away his stick and gesturing to the campfire equidistant from them in the center.

"Hey, I'm testing your body temperature. Did you even think about which parts of you are hot and which aren't?" Garou pointed out.

The log she was sitting on did not combust despite her blatantly high body temperature. The Former Hero Hunter was curious if she could control the temperature over specific areas of her body, like cooling her rear while the rest of her burned hot, or not. Although he could've asked her, he would instead test his conjecture with a marshmallow since he found it more amusing. Curiously, the marshmallow only reacted around her armpits, head, and neck, but everywhere else it did not warm.

After she smacked his stick away, Garou frowned that he lost his stick as his sweet tooth craved that marshmallow… Garou realized that he had a sweet tooth. Now that he thought about it, Garou realized that he did have some compulsive urges gestating from time to time, like the desire to tease the monsterized girl next to him. He wondered if it was due to him regressing to the age of ten… he was now a little worried for his mental development.

"No. All I've been thinking about is how the heck I'm going to practice karate when I'm stuck like this for the rest of my life!" Gwen sighed heavily, imagining how her parents would feel about having a walking lava lamp for a daughter.

"You didn't transform into a monster, Gwen. You're an alien." Max corrected Gwen knowledgeably, his tired eyes accentuated by the firelight nearby.

Just when he was about to grab another marshmallow, Garou picked up his proof. His eyes instantly darted to Max, firing rays of suspicion at the old man, "How'd you know she's an alien?"

Garou watched as Max flustered, stammering. He immediately broke eye contact, his lips flagging up and down in a panic. It was more than enough proof for Garou to know that he was hiding something more significant than his appearance suggested.

"Uh, I mean, look at her. What else could she be?" Max awkwardly caught himself, now trying to cover his slip-up.

"A possible man-eating monster." Garou spoke from experience as he stabbed his s'mores into his stick. "Besides, there's no point in keeping secrets from your family. They will find out eventually." Garou hovered his treat over the fire, watching the white puffy tart melt under the heat as he gazed into the flickering flames.

Garou's answer left Grandpa Max stunned. Judging by his reaction, Garou probably spoke out of character. He couldn't blame him as he had no idea how even to play the role of an immature brat. Before Max could respond to Garou, the sound of a high-pitched beeping rang through both his and Garou's eardrums.

Looking at the source, Gwen saw that her dial was blinking red as if in a warning. The next second, a crimson flash of light engulfed her, but when it faded, Gwen returned to her human form, back to normal once more.

"Wow. I'm me again!" Gwen cheered in positive surprise, punching a fist in the air with closed eyes. She then gazed at the deactivated watch, noting that its green buttons and hourglass were now red.

Garou did expect something like this. His guess about the watch was correct. The watch was a weapon, and whoever created it had put a lot of thought into its design and functionality. But another question arose. Why did it land near them?

Garou looked at Max with suspicion. From his tone, the man must have experience in dealing with the extraterrestrial. What connections did he have to garner such attention from those that live in the stars?

Whatever the answer was, he was sure he would find out sooner or later. As for his s'mores, it was ready, slightly black here and there. Retrieving it from the flames, he immediately tossed it into his mouth, chewing the gooey sweetness unfazed by the heat.

"Don't fool around with it anymore, Gwen. I'll go check out the crash site to find out what exactly we're dealing with here. You two stay here while I'm gone." Max ordered his granddaughter sternly as he turned on a flashlight, illuminate the darkness with his spotlight, and departed.

Chewing his marshmallow, Garou watched him leave, his eyes following Max with a predator's gaze. Max stopped his track for a moment as if he had felt the intense stare burning his back for a moment. Garou was curious to see who the old man was, but for now, he must turn his attention to Gwen as she returned to her seat around the campfire.

"What's wrong?" Gwen queried ponderously, diverting her attention away from the strange watch for just a short while.

"It would seem I'm not the only one with secrets." Swallowing, Garou replied as he took out another white piece from the bag, hungry for more.

"You mean, grandpa? Sure, he's a little eccentric, but I don't think he's ever been the type to lie before. At least, that's what my dad remembered." Gwen recalled from memory, taking time to roast her own marshmallow for good measure.

"You mean the type that lies without good reason." Hunching forward, Garou roasted another marshmallow above the fire. "Whether he would tell us or not is up to him. Besides…" He looked up from the flames, focusing into Gwen's green eyes, "I believe you have questions reserved for me before all of this craziness happened."

Gwen did recall 'Ben's' unusual desire to do high-level push-ups… and somehow with inexplicable ease. She was aware of her cousin's lack of athleticism.

"Well, I don't know where to start. Maybe about that weird 'exercising' in the forest." Gwen suggested, making air-quotes with her fingers due to how rigorous and intense it was at first glance.

Garou scoffed at that part.

"What? Is it so wrong wanting to get into shape? Moving this body is becoming a tiresome chore." Garou would curse Ben for his bad habits if he could. His body was way too malnourished for his liking. At best, he was as strong as that golden Teletubby he slaughtered.

"That's exactly my point! You never trained or did anything physically active aside from maybe baseball before today. You're a lazy slob most of the time!" Gwen truthfully exclaimed.

"So he is a couch potato? That is quite disappointing." He shook his head as he threw his second marshmallow into his mouth.

"What do you mean 'he'? You're him! You are Benjamin Kirby Tennyson… right?" Gwen asked weakly, her hopes starting to die down little by little.

His eyes reflecting the licking fire between them, Garou paused, swallowing his meal before answering, "So that is his full name… Kirby, huh? Usually, I have only one."

Gwen started to put two and two together when he referred 'himself' in the third person. The answer that had arrived did not soothe her growing fears as it sprouted after taking root.

"So, let me get this straight. You're telling me that you're not my cousin, as in a completely different person altogether?!" Gwen yelled in wide-eyed shock, her marshmallow falling out of her hand as it began to tremble.

Garou shared her disbelief, unable to believe that he was even here talking with her about this.

"Truthfully… Yes. But it isn't as you think. I just woke up inside this body some time ago. If you want to know how I got into Ben, then I don't know. I was to be in the mountains, sleeping next to the campfire after dinner." Wanting more, Garou took out another marshmallow to roast. He had acquired a sweet tooth. Probably Ben's sweet tooth. It didn't matter since he liked the taste of marshmallows.

"W-who are you, then?" Gwen whispered almost regrettably, an overwhelming feeling of sadness starting to cloud her subconscious mind. Sure, Ben and Gwen didn't get along all that well, but it was still terrible to think that he was completely gone for good.

Garou looked at her eyes, his lips a straight line, unable to find the right tone to express his emotions. "My real name is Garou. As you can see, I am stuck in the body of your cousin, and I don't know how to get out."

"How does that work then? Is Ben still in there?" Gwen wondered if some parts of Ben survived in there.

"I don't know." Garou tosses the third into his mouth. "Believe me. I'm just as confused as you are. I did not expect to be here, honestly."

If suddenly encountering a meteor from the heavens wasn't enough, Gwen had to find that a stranger possessed her cousin, and he did not even know how he did it or why he was here.

"This night just keeps getting crazier by the second. What am I going to tell ou-I-I mean my grandpa?" Gwen corrected herself offhandedly, still trying to wrap her head around the fact that Garou was Ben and not her cousin at the same time.

"Don't know. But from what I could gather, he has connections to the extraterrestrial. He might know a way to return us to normal; assuming that there is a case like mine in this world." Garou hoped so. Considering the amount of highly improbable events happening on the same day, it was possible.

"Oh, so that's why he knew Heatblast was an alien. I knew there was something off about that, but I couldn't tell for certain," Gwen muttered in understanding.

"Heatblast?" Garou raises an eyebrow at that word.

"It's the new name for my transformation. I thought of it when I shot that fireblast into the sky. Fitting, right?" Gwen proudly expressed, fidgeting with her blue hair-clip in a bit of embarrassment.

The name reminded Garou of the heroes and monsters back home, though this was his first time seeing someone able to transform back and fro from human to alien without consequence.

"Hah. What? You plan to be a hero?" Garou asked coyly. If she were to be a hero back home, Garou might've added her to his list of potential hunting targets.

"That doesn't sound like a bad idea, actually. Maybe I could use these 'alien' powers to help people!" Gwen wondered excitedly, her faux maturity starting to wither away.

Her words made Garou break down into a stifled snicker.

"What's so funny about that?" Gwen pouted at the minor offense, placing both hands on her small hips.

"Pffft. No, no. I mean…" Garou looked up at her, his grin tinted under the flame's shadow. "If I entered this body somewhat earlier, I might've decided to hunt you down for sport."

Gwen's eyes slightly widened at this response, feeling a bit unnerved by Garou's sinister smirk.


"Before I came here, I was a Hero Hunter. The Hero Hunter at the time at the height of my power." Garou's peered back into the flames, his gaze wandering further than the flickering fires before him and into the zenith of the climax at Z-City.

"Wait, you're not evil or anything, right?" Gwen gulped unsurely, an aching sense of dread starting to creep in. Her fingers instinctively hovered over the watch's dial, even though it was still charging at the moment.

Garou did not answer. Was he evil? Reviewing his choices in life, from dropping out of school to beating up all of the Geezer's disciples, then to the climax of his career as the Symbol of Fear…

"... no." He shook his head, finding himself not even remotely close to the term, "I'm more lost than anything else at the moment."

Gwen removed her hand from the watch and breathed out a sigh of relief. She then peered back at Garou in a more sympathetic light.

"Well, let's wait until grandpa gets back. Maybe he could help you… and Ben." Gwen advised, remembering to keep Ben in her thoughts for the time being.

"Hmm." Garou sighed as he placed down his stick, no longer hungering for more s'mores. "Now that we're talking let me reintroduce myself. My name is Garou. I was a martial artist born in City Z, and was once known as the Hero Hunter and the Human Monster." Garou gestured to Gwen for hers with a wave of his hand.

"Erm, ok. I'm Gwen Tennyson, and I come from a city called Bellwood in the United States. Before the summer, I attended a prestigious girl's academy and also martial-art savvy as well. Probably not as much as you, but still a lot."

The word 'martial arts' tickled his ear.

"Can you defeat a giant dog that can breathe fireballs with your bare hands?" Garou asked, his lips curling into a teasing smirk, knowing that she could become dog food if she encountered Rover.

"Did you just make that up?" Gwen asked with an unamused frown.

"No. I actually fought one. It was a beast, all right. It's fire breath nuked the underground tunnels into a wasteland." Garou was still irked by its durability when he fought it. One part of him wanted a rematch, to put the dog in its place.

Gwen stared at him with her mind caught in a lag before she shook her head. She could not imagine what a giant, firebreathing dog looked like, nor did she want to face one unarmed.

"Moving on. What's this City Z like? Does it look anything like this?" Gwen questioned with interest, placing a marshmallow in her mouth.

"Well…" Garou tapped his cheek in thought. "Yeah. There is only one country, too. We have modern vehicles like the heap of junk over there." Garou pointed his thumb at the Rust Bucket.

"One country? Nothing else?"

"There is only one continent. Well, a supercontinent. So yeah, nothing else."

"Huh, that's strange. Here, we have seven continents that used to be one called Pangaea. But, that was millions of years ago."

Garou hummed at Gwen's trivia. He now wanted to confirm another matter since this world held many similarities from his own.

"Hmm. One question. Do you have monsters here?" Garou wanted to confirm the existence or possibility of monsters.

"None that actually exist anyway We have legends and mythologies that talk of them though. Like dragons, vampires, werewolves, etcetera." Gwen listed off the top of her head with her fingers.

So they were like myths?

"Ah… I'm not so sure about them anymore." Garou's eyes shifted to the watch on her wrist. "The old man has experience in dealing with Aliens. Was he military by any chance?"

"I don't think so. My dad and uncle never talked that much about it if he did. There weren't any pictures of him in uniform either."

Meaning the old man did not want to worry his children, Garou surmised.

"Hmm. Then I think I can see why he wants to keep them secret." Garou nodded in thought as an awkward silence dawned before them.

"Wha-" Gwen was interrupted by the sound of footsteps approaching them. The source was Max, recently back from his thorough inspection of the crash site.

"You kids, alright?" Max asked in a calm tone, turning off his flashlight and taking a seat once more.

"We're just talking…" Garou looked back at the watch. The thing could transform the wearer into an alien while preserving her primary race. If she wanted to become a hero as she wished to, she could do so with ease… but should she?

Rumination hovered his thoughts. The baldy broke his spirit, verbally as well as psychologically. What should he do in the meantime? He was no longer on the run, free from pursuit, so…

"Did the watch do anything else, Gwen?" Max said as his black pupils darted towards the alien device. Said girl looked down at her wrist, surprised to see that the watch was green once again.

"Nothing unusual. I guess it just needed a moment to recharge." Gwen shrugged carelessly, deciding on whether or not she should toy with the dial a bit more.

So the watch had a time limit. The watch was important. Garou may have dropped out of school, but he wasn't stupid. Many would desire such a device in their possessions, but what was its purpose for its function?

"Do you remember how long the transformation lasted?" Max pried both kids, looking from left to right.

Garou's sense of time was haggard at the moment, so he could not be sure, but he counted to an extent when he learned that she wasn't a monster.

"Maybe ten minutes. Probably more."

"Hmmm, ten. Gwen, try using the watch again. Don't push the button this time." Max ordered. Garou threw his focus to Max, shifting his eyes to him. Did he know something about the device?

"Ok, I'll try." Gwen twisted the hourglass symbol in an attempt to activate it a second time. However, this time, it wouldn't budge.

"Come on. It worked before!" Gwen grumbled in annoyance. After pressing down on a few of the watch's buttons, she miraculously proved successful after the tenth attempt.

"There we go!" Gwen beamed happily. She then began twisting the dial away from Heatblast's silhouette to reveal a wide array of highly distinct creatures. From an oversized dragonfly to a Velociraptor with wheels for feet, the watch's collection of forms added up to a whopping ten. Since each one had differing physiologies and powers, there was no telling how dangerous this watch could become in the wrong hands.

While Gwen took her time deciphering her watch, Garou had made up his mind. He needed to test his body in combat, his durability, and adaptability. His range of vision was different, but it was adjusting. His hearing wasn't as sharp as before, but fine-tuning them was manageable.

"Hey, Gwen," Garou asked, rolling his shoulders to let the blood flow. "Ever want to know how I was called the Hero Hunter?"

"Hero Hunter? Is that from some video games you've played?" Max asked him with a raised eyebrow.

"Uh, I guess?" Gwen asked distractedly, knowing what Garou was mentioning, but not entirely sure if she wanted to find out.

Garou smirked as he looked around, wanting to find something to demonstrate his abilities. He looked at the log behind his ankles, finding it suitable for now.

Without warning, Garou back-kicked the log up, knocking it up to his hand. Catching it, Garou held it in a vice-grip, fingers crunching through the wood as it cracked the air. Before either of the Tennysons could react, he threw it overhead Gwen, parting air and friction as it crashed into a tree with an explosive impact that rattled the air and their ears.

Gwen and Max's mouths practically dropped to the floor in response to this spectacle. Due to surge of wind produced from Garou's throw disheveling her hair, Gwen slowly fastened back her orange hair while Max stood motionless in place. He tightly clutched his chest, making sure he didn't have a heart attack after witnessing what his 'grandson' just did.

"W-who are you?" Max stammered in disbelief, shakily pointing his finger at the highly pleased 'Ben.' At this moment, he knew for a fact that the… thing standing before him was not who he thought it was.

Garou snickered as he believed introductions are in order again.

"Please, let me introduce myself." He looked to his 'grandpa,' catharsis sinking in as he finally threw away his facade.

"I am Garou."

Surprise. I know, I know. It isn't something you might expect, but meh. The idea is from someone else and I felt as if I should try it out. Found a good compatible co-writer to help. He is the maestro of writing Ben 10 characters, so give kudos to him. Let me know what you think. We have a loooot more chapters lying in wait for editing too.