Ben tossed and turned on that couch, feeling so small and lumpy there was no way he was going to get an ounce of sleep.
He just sat up and rubbed his eyes, not getting a decent wink of sleep for almost a week. Ever since they came back from Galactic Enforcers Academy with Ren Gwen made sure that she would take his bed. He knew he had to make her pay for that but the ultimate prank still hasn't come to him yet.
Walking over to the fridge, he poured himself a glass a milk; letting out a loud yawn before drinking half the cup. Stumbling over to his sleeping cousin to see that smug grin on her face; wanting to just pour the rest of his milk on her face.
But with him so tired and with her on the top bunk while being too lazy to climb it; he just shrugged it off. But he looked down at their new house guest, sleeping peacefully with her pillow clutched tightly in her arms; even with that emotionless expression on her face he somehow knew she was having a nice dream.
So not waning to disturb her, he tipped toed out on his socked feet. Yet a sudden shock jolted through his body when he felt something grab onto his leg. Nearly letting out a girlish scream his cousin would have blackmailed him with for the rest of his life, luckily catching himself in time; looking behind him to see Ren's snow white fragile hand grabbing onto his pant leg.
She was still fast asleep, forgetting how she would clutch onto things during her slumber; this being nothing compared to the first night she was here where she grabbed onto him like that pillow; nearly crushing his chest in her grasp till she woke up in time to stop.
Making sure not to get any closer then he was for his own health reasons, he bent down to try to get her hand to let go. Even for that hand that looked like it would break if handled wrong its grip rivaled that of a crocodile's bite. Feeling like he would need Fourarms to get out of it he started to pry her off, finger by finger.
Even struggling with the last pinky finger he finally was free of her grip; but once out of it her hand just relaxed in his: feeling so soft and warm, nothing like how cold her skin use to feel. But once he realized how red his face was while holding her hand he quickly placed it back on her pillow and swiftly walked out.
Looking back to see her arm rewrap around her pillow; he wondered why did he get so flustered when he held her hand or was anywhere near her these days.
Another morning with another sleepiness night for the only young male in the motor home; his half-opened eyes glare over at his cousin across the table, seeming to be in an extra perky mood this morning. "So Ben," her voice sounding like nails on a chalkboard with the sunrise, "did you have a nice sleep?"
Yet all Ben could do is groan and rest his head on the table, this lack of sleep really starting to affect his comebacks. But soon snapped back up when his grandfather put one of his more questionable meals in front of them. "Alright, eat up you three."
The two Tennyson children once again started to miss their school food; but Ren slowly reached out, took the bowl and entered her spoon in before she took her first bite. Gradually moving her jaw to chew it, she swallowed and spoke. "It's... crunchy."
But that didn't seem to stop her as she scooped up another one and continued to eat, over the past week she seemed to like both real and grandpa style food. "That's the Dung Beetles, but its nice to have someone else here that enjoys my cooking."
Ben and Gwen continued to look at the meal before them, one of the few things the cousins could agree on. Both then looked over at Ren, whose scarlet eyes only focused on the bowl before her, graciously eating every bite.
"Do you really like the food, Ren?" Ben couldn't help but ask.
She broke her eye contact with the bowl and looked across the table. "Yes... I do."
Even though her voice lacked any emotion, he somehow could tell she was sincere. Looking down at his bowl and swallowing his fear; he picked up his spoon, getting a small bit of that questionable meal, holding his nose with his free hand and putting it in his mouth. She continued to watch, wondering why he went to all this effort to eat his meal.
A disgusted look was clearly stated on his face as he chewed his food, using all of his might to swallow that little bit. "Well... it isn't as bad as I thought; makes me miss the meals at GEA."
Ren tilted her head slightly to his reaction, wondering why humans would react so strangely towards a meal. But even with his strange antics and hyper personality, her body still felt warm while she was around him; rubbing one bare foot over the other.
"Well finish it up," Grandpa Max stated, "because after this you and Ren will be training with your Omnitrixs."
Ben groaned. "Come on Grandpa, its still summer; can't we just relax?"
His grandfather chuckled. "Sorry Ben, but I made a promise with Ultimos to look after your training. So get your strength."
Gwen snickered. "Yeah Ben, have fun."
"Don't think you're off the hook," Max added, "you might have gotten your Omnitrix removed but you have your own training to go through."
Feeling like her own taunting bit her in the butt, especially as she heard her cousin chuckling at her expense.
Ben and Ren were both as Ripjaw at the lake side park, swimming through an underwater maze made up of hulu hoop, sunken to the bottom with rocks tied to ropes.
Ben now starting to groan about getting the time-limit taken off the Omnitrix, training for the past half-hour and praying for that ending signal he used to hate so much. But he looked over at Ren; she didn't look exhausted at all. A bit impressed from her stamina and endurance, but when she looked over at him he quickly looked away, feeling a bit flustered.
Yet all of a sudden, he started to feel a swift current around him; already caught within the funnel he was shot out by a large spout where he landed on the shore; looking at the pair of bare feet responsible for this. "Well it looks like I got this spell down," Gwen stated smugly, "how's your training going, Ben?"
Changing back into his human form, wearing only his blue trunks, he looked up to see Gwen wearing her green one-piece while holding the spell book their grandfather got her at an antique store; cursing that it actually worked. "Can you use your spells without getting me involved!?" Ben snapped back.
"I didn't mean to," she obviously lied, "you just happened to get in the way. But remember, you did promise to do anything I wanted back on GEA, you wouldn't want to go back on your word now would you?"
He knew he should have never said that, even if it was to make her feel better; but Ren rushed up to Ben in her normal form. "Are you... alright Ben?" she asked, helping the boy back on his feet.
Accepting the aliens help to help get on his feet. "Yeah I'm ok, just a..." but he was cut off as he saw her in that light blue one piece swimsuit, her blue hair still dripping wet with that plastic black headband that hid her small horns. Those crimson eyes looking at his, feeling a genuine concern for his well being; swallowing hard, a trickle of blood came down from his nose.
"You seem... to be injured," she pointed to his nose.
Once he realized this, his face turned beet red; placing his hand over his nose. "I'll be right back."
Rushing off back to the Rust Bucket while slamming the door behind him, Ren looked over at the Sorcerer. "I don't... understand."
"Well in some culture a nose bleed refers to a..." Gwen quickly stated but Ren shook her head slowly.
"No... I don't mean... that," she cut in, "I mean... is your constant abuse... a way to show your... affection towards family... members?"
A comical idea popped into the orange-haired girl's mind, stating that's how you show affection period to have Ren annoy the heck out of her cousin, but she wanted that enjoyment all to herself. "Kinda, mainly towards siblings and family members our ages; sooner or later he will get me back too."
Ren tilted her head slightly. "Your species ways... are very... strange."
Gwen giggled a little. "You might be right, we are still a 'developing species,'" she quoted, but she also did a bit of an inspection of her alien friend, "yet I must say, you look pretty good in my old swimsuit."
Ren looked away; even with no emotion on her face Gwen could guess she was blushing; always knowing since their time on Yab-E she had been a bit self-conscious about her appearance. "Do you really... think so?"
Ren rubbed her left hand over her right, her face or voice might not be able to bear emotions but her body language was as clear as that day. "Yeah, I bet you could even model one day," she gently elbowed her roommate, "not to mention get any guy you want instead of my dufus of a cousin."
Looking over at her good friend, she kept wondering why Gwen would keep bring up that her kin would be of inferior intelligence or suggest he was lower then the average homosapien. "Is he really... that bad for... me?"
Gwen's smug face turned to that of concern, watching as Ren would touch her headband. "I am also... considered a lower... then average female on... my planet."
Gwen nearly forgot about that, how because of her small horns she was seen as an outcast. She was about to add to that but Ren shook her head. "Never...mind, for...get I said... it," turning back towards Gwen, "how about we... go for a... swim?"
The orange-haired Sorcerer nodded cheerfully. "Race you to the lake!"
Ben cleaned up his nose bleed at the sink where his grandfather was fixing up some kind of device; probably something to do with alien hunting which the Tennyson children had a long conversation about when they first came back. "So are you ready to go back to school, Ben?"
The Omnitrix wearing teen groaned at the thought, this summer not lasting as long as he wanted it to be. "Uhg, don't remind me."
Max couldn't help but chuckle. "Yeah, I wish we could have spent more time together during this Summer Vacation. Now less then a month till summer ends." He screwed in the last piece to his machine. "So what do you think of Ren? Are you going to help her fit in school life?"
"School shouldn't be a problem for her," he re-wiped his nose, "she was the top student at Galactic Enforcers Academy in both physical and mental."
"Well still, I want you to keep a close eye on her; this is a completely new world she is on and I want you to do all you can to make her feel right at home."
"Yeah yeah," Ben stated; his voice sounding like he was trying to hide something, "I will do what I can."
Max grinned a little, thinking that he might have an idea of what his grandson was trying to hide. "She is something though, wouldn't you say?"
Ben's face grew completely flustered to this accusation, looking away from the window towards his grandfather who was just sitting there with a sincere smile on his face. "W-What do you mean?"
Chuckling a bit from Ben's reaction, he explained. "Well like you said, she is both gifted in intelligence and athletic ability; not to mention she seems very willing to learn about our planet even if she states it's strange."
Ben slightly chuckled when he heard that, remembering how she would be quick to ask about certain action or reactions a person would do to just end up saying "it's... strange," yet she still was open to the next new thing. She was quite the interesting girl; scratching the side of his cheek. "Well... she is, different."
"And if I didn't know any better," grandpa made his move, "I would guess you were getting smitten around her."
Ben was shocked that his grandfather would even state something like that; but as he turned his head to hide its color, looking out to see Ren playing with Gwen in the lake. Maybe this statement wasn't too far off. "Well, she isn't like any other girl I've ever met; but we are of two different species."
With that comment, Max remembered a certain time during his days as a Plummer, but that story was for a different time; gently patting his grandson on his bareback. "That rarely has anything to do with that. I've seen plenty of interspecies couples back in my days and with how you and Ren will slowly introduce aliens into Earth's society there will probably be more in time to come."
Ben looked back out at Ren, quickly changing into a Fourarms to quickly splash his cousin with small waves who was using her spells to shield herself, he chuckled to this sight. "But even though somehow I can feel what she is thinking, I have no idea what is going through her mind most of the time; I doubt she even likes me."
He unconsciously twiddling his thumbs, but his grandpa added. "Well if you look at it that way that is basically any species."
The Alien hero was confused. "What do you mean?"
"Both people, and aliens, show their emotions off in different ways, if you want to know what she is feeling just spend more time around her," he smiled, "like joining them in the lake, go have fun."
Ben nodded, chuckling while rubbing his chin. "I do need to Cannonbolt Gwen."
After nearly a full day of swimming, splashing and relaxing, the teens were bringing it in just as the sun was starting to disappear from the sky. "It's still strange... to see only... one sun setting," Ren commented, using her towel to dry herself off.
"I bet you will get use to it soon," Gwen added, placing her towel on top of her head to dry her hair, "but like it now, because it gets really cold in the winter."
But Ren was looking around their campsite. "Where did... Ben go?"
"He went up that way a little while ago," Max replied, pointing towards the hill a short distance away, "he goes over there every time we come here. If you don't mind Ren could you go get him, we have to get going soon."
She slowly nodded her head. "I don't... mind. I'll be right... back."
Quickly she walked through the area, dodging the few trees till she made her way up the small grassy hill; just stopping a few feet short of where Ben sat.
There he was, just sitting all alone watching the sunset. She rubbed her left hand over her right, finally just the two of them since that time they cleaned the classroom. Her face might not have shown a shred of emotion but her knees wouldn't stop shaking, wondering if she should come out from behind the tree.
The time she has spent around this earthling he was always either full of energy or just playing around, yet at this time he was completely calm and relaxed, just sitting on the grassy hill watching that unusually colored sun setting in the distance.
But when she started to back up, her snow white foot stepped on a twig; a slight sting went through her body as the young teen heard the crack, turning around to see the alien. "Oh, hey Ren," he said casually, "what are you up to?"
"Max wanted me... to tell you it's about... time we... left," Ren's emotionless tone replied, her scarlet eyes slowly surveying the area, "but what are... you doing?"
"I just like coming to this spot every time Grandpa and I come here near the end of Summer Vacation," he turned back to look at the sunset, "just a little tradition of mine."
"Could I...," she spoke up, focusing on the empty spot just to the left of him, "sit down... too?"
He turned back to see where she was looking, then patted the spot to his left. "Sure, pull up a seat."
Ren slightly tilted her head, but Ben quickly remembered. "I mean: just come and sit."
Nodding, she slowly walked over to the spot and sat down next to the teen, folding her legs to her chest, her toes curled tight. For about a few minutes the two teenagers didn't say a word to each other, just basking in each others company.
Yet unaware to them, two other Tennysons' were hiding in the bushes. Gwen yawned. "Next time I'm planning it, grandpa."
But Max slightly chuckled to his granddaughter. "Oh I doubt there will be a next time."
"Well I'm glad to find out where I get my twisting planning side," she smirked sadistically, "but I'm still saying we should use one of my spells."
"What was the only rule I gave you when I bought you that book?" her grandfather stated.
Gwen looked away, groaning. "No spells to manipulate free will."
Ren eyes would focus on how that sun of their's would quickly change to a stunning orange. "It's... strange," she commented, "but I... like it."
She continued to watch the setting sun. "Your planet is very... nice; I hope to see... a lot more."
"Well there is a lot to see on this planet," he chuckled a bit, "and my school will cover everything there is too."
"Will you... always be there... to show... me?" her voice almost seemed to stutter when she asked that, "right?"
Somewhat shocked that she of all people would say something like that; maybe she was just nervous being on another planet. Looking over he noticed her right hand was slightly shaking even though her gaze never looked away from that setting sun.
So to comfort her, her relaxed his left hand over hers, giving it a gentle squeeze. "If you need anything, I will be right there to help," he grinned, "I'm a hero after all."
Her hand stopped shaking in his grip, leaning to her side to rest her head on his bare shoulder; she was so comfortable and relaxed at this moment where Ben was completely flustered. Maybe this school year won't be as bad as he thought.
But unknown to them, it wasn't just Max and Gwen that were watching them from a distance, unaware that a satellite was keeping a close eye on that small group, a satellite which had a Pyramid logo on the side.
The one watching this was a man sitting in the shadows, watching many different angles of this Tennyson family. He grinned to this sight. "Why do the aliens always think so little of our species; but oh well, that will just give me the advantage."
Pushing a button on his remote, the screens focused on the three teens. "Because soon, they will be very useful for me; with their special abilities my plan doesn't seem too far off anymore. War will soon reach a whole new level."
Only the heartbreak I am going to cause in my Code Lyoko ff will get me through all this sap. Sorry for the wait and glad you all enjoyed but I have news, I have already written the first chapter that sequels to this fanfic, it will be up one week from today so watch out for it. (Maybe sooner if I get enough reviews)