Sooner Than Later

By: Vampire Toy

Rating: PG-13 just in case

Summary: Everyone wants what they're lacking, and Kevin knows exactly what he's lacking.

At first he thought the one he wanted was Ben. Someone who could care about him, he wanted to know what that was like. But Ben was too selfish, his caring was limited by childish grudges, and despite his hero appeal, he acted as if he needed no one.

That was too much like himself and he knew he'd just end up killing Ben in the end. No one wants to be around someone like themselves, it was just like being alone.

He was already alone.

He was still glad he'd met Ben, though, because the little bit of caring Ben displayed had a source, and that source was what Kevin wanted.

He had struggled for a long time to get out of that dimension, it felt like at least a year. Looking over Ben and Gwen, he knew his estimation was probably right.

It could have just been the angle he was at, but they DID look older. Maybe the dimension he was in had a different time scale? Maybe only weeks had passed here on earth. Maybe because he was older now, he viewed things just a little bit differently. After all that struggle it was a wonder that he didn't just dive bomb Ben and take him out right then and there.


He still felt it, in the back of his mind he'd thought that the year would be a cool off.

But he wouldn't let it go.

He couldn't.

But he knew how to get revenge, and he knew how to get the caring that he'd wanted; it was all rather simple and he was a bit upset with himself for not thinking of it earlier.

Earlier when he'd had the perfect opportunity to carry it out.

But that was in the past.

He was here for the future.

Kevin looked down at his two arms; they changed often.

As of late he had his human torso but XLR8's legs, Stinkfly's wings and half of his face still had Four arms' eyes plastered on them.

He looked like a mess.

At least his hands were human again.

He still couldn't fully control switching back and forth, but sometimes he could be slightly more human than other times.

In his plan he'd control his powers too; he was already half way there.

But once he actually GOT there….he would be unstoppable.

To be able to get rid of his enemy, to have someone there to back him up, and to use his powers at whim to get what he wanted when he wanted it.

He deserved it.

He told himself this over and over again, because he knew he was right and he knew that one day he would get rewarded for all his suffering. He just had to stick with it. Stick with his little check list.

Kill his enemy.

Get his source of love.

Control everything.

So he waited and watched.

Ben being his goody-goody hero self whenever there was trouble and Gwen and their grandfather always standing back watching.

She had more potential than that, he'd seen it plenty of times. She simply chose to stay in the background. Or maybe she didn't realize her potential? A smirk found its way to Kevin's lips and stretched as he thought over his last encounter with the smart-mouthing girl.

To protect Ben she'd do anything, but she ended up being the bait instead. He recalled grabbing her and clutching her small frame in his massive alien hands.

She felt pretty.

She was pretty.

Very pretty.

And very loyal.

He needed someone like that.

She also proved to be Ben's voice of reason, the thing that Kevin assumed kept Ben in check.

He noticed now and then that she acted too mature for her age.

He thought there might be something behind it, something like her parents divorcing, a parent dying, some….traumatic experience. Not as bad as his own, obviously, because she retained her reasoning. Kevin could admit that his reasoning was not what was considered 'right' or even 'normal'.

To him it was just survival.

To him it was an eat or be eaten world, a world where he would ultimately be at the top of the food chain, devouring everyone below him.

He was almost there.

"Can you believe summer is almost over?" Gwen asked as Ben struggled to get back into the RV in his Diamondhead form.

"Agh, don't remind me." He grumbled as he tried different angles without success.

"Well, this is definitely a summer to remember." She said almost sadly.

"Yeah…" the familiar beep of the Omnitrix signaled Ben's struggles were over and he shrunk back to his pathetic ten-year-old self.

Or eleven?

Was it really still the same summer?

They both entered the RV and their grandfather drove them off to their next destination.

Kevin followed, buzzing off after them like some sort of miniscule insect.

It disgusted him.

He didn't like not being in control.

But there were exceptions, of course.

And wasn't Gwen just a lovely little exception? He knew she would definitely be resistant, and though he wouldn't always be in control, he liked a good challenge.

Besides, it would make it all the more worth while when she finally was under his control.

The more he thought about it the more excited he became.

He wished these things didn't take so long.

His patience was already VERY thin.

The trio eventually stopped at a park somewhere and set up a camp for the night. Kevin watched and the more he watched the thinner his patience became.

Thinner and thinner still until he had none left.

They all laid down in their sleeping bags under the stars and fell easily into slumber.

Kevin knew Ben was a deep sleeper, and the grandfather rarely woke when he made his little visits. Gwen, however, was still a mystery.

Sometimes she would wake at the sound of a pin dropping, other times she was as still as death.

He hoped that tonight she was deathly asleep because tonight he wanted to take her for himself and that process would be hindered if her screams were to wake her family.

Kevin's feet dangled over the side of the branch he'd been sitting on and he slowly began to lower himself when Gwen sat up.

He froze and watched her.

Damn, tonight was not the night for her to be alert.

She yawned and quietly got out of her sleeping bag, stretching a bit then promptly walking into the woods as if she'd planned it all along.

Which Kevin believed she might have, seeing as she had 'slept' with her shoes on.

He wondered what she could possibly want to do in the middle of the woods other than taking care of personal hygiene issues, which she had already done earlier that night.

He followed her, trying his best to stay silent as he slunk through the trees.

She trotted into the middle of a psuedo-clearing that looked as if at one point there may have been a crash. She smiled softly and sat down on the slight incline that the clearing beheld.

"This is where it all started and this is where its all ending." She said out loud, "Everyone has changed and become stronger but… what about me? Ben got his adventure, Grandpa got his adventure… I wonder what happened to mine in all that?"

She seemed genuinely upset over her words and pulled her knees up to her chin, her eyes shifting back and forth in an almost paranoid fashion.

"Everyone else has resolved their problems." She said even more softly.

She sat there in silence for a moment before speaking up to the night sky again, this time in an irritated voice; "Gee, summer vacation is almost over, if there's anything to be done it should be done now."

She tossed her hands behind her in the grass and leaned back a bit, spreading her legs out in front of her as she looked around again.

Her face that had started off in sadness had slowly progressed to severe annoyance, which Kevin found to be both very attractive and very confusing.

"Would you just come out already?!" she hissed, jumping up and twirling around, looking every which way.

Kevin raised his eyebrow curiously; she….knew he was there?

"You know what? FINE, stay where you are! If your even here…." She began to sound unsure of herself but stood defiantly with her angry pout and simmering stare.

"Fine." He muttered and hopped down behind her.

She let out a surprised squeak and spun around, crossing her arms and turning a light shade of pink.

"So, how long did you know about me, princess?" Kevin smirked.

"You mean about you stalking me and taking my first kiss in the middle of the night and just being creepy and staring at me the entire time so I can't get to sleep?"

Kevin was thrown off a bit but retained his smirk and shrugged.

"So that invisible person in the sky you were talking to just now, that was me?" he asked amused.

"What if it was?" she put her hands on her hips and glared as if a challenge had been placed.

"Well, now I'm here, so say it to my face." He teased, leaning his somewhat mutated face to hang above hers.

She didn't even flinch and continued to glare; "Well, you've been following me for a long time now, I want to know why, and I think you want to tell me."

"What if I don't?"

"That's fine, then I'll just go back to sleep, and you leave me alone from now on."

"I don't take orders form no one." He grinned.

"I could scream. Ben would come running."

"He would, he's kind of like a dog."

Gwen snarled but said nothing in return.

Then she surprised Kevin with a soft smile; "He is kind of like a dog….isn't he? Like a big puppy." She chuckled and let her hands fall to her sides.

"I wouldn't go so far as to say 'puppy', that's too endearing." Kevin said slowly. Gwen shrugged and turned, "Well goodnight."


"Hmm?" now she was the one with the smirk on her face. He didn't know how, but she knew just how to push his buttons. Maybe that's another reason why he wanted her.

"I'll answer your questionnaire if you answer mine."

"It doesn't seem like there's too many words that need to be exchanged, but ok."

"You first." He said quickly.

"Hey, no fair!"

"I called it."

"Whatever." Her curiosity grabbed the best of her.

Kevin smiled.

"So what is it?" she asked, sitting back down on the small incline.

Kevin sat down next to her slowly; "I don't freak you out like this?"

"You didn't the first time, and you still don't. BEN is creepier than you are, believe me." She sighed.

Kevin chuckled, "Well, alright, fair enough. Why didn't you ever stop me?"

At this question Gwen looked a little more uneasy; "Well….I was going to at first but….Ben was so tired and you didn't hurt me so I decided to wait and see what you'd do."

"Always one for logic." He smirked.

"Someone needs to be! You and Ben need to think a little more." She tapped his head with a finger and shrugged.

Kevin felt his face heat up slightly. Contact was rare for him, but it was nice when he got it.

Good contact anyway.

"What else?" she asked when Kevin stayed silent.

"I guess that's all, your turn."

She nodded and grinned, "Why are you following me?"

Kevin flopped back and put his hands behind his head in the grass as he stared up at the stars.

"I dunno. I guess….." he suddenly felt the need to avoid answering, almost as if he were embarrassed but he couldn't be sure, he wasn't embarrassed very often, if at all.

"You guess what?" Kevin turned to find Gwen on her stomach next to him, propped up on her elbows and staring down at him.

His face felt even hotter now.

"Nothing." He muttered.

"HEY! You have to tell me! I told you!" she yelled flicking his forehead.

"What the hell! I don't know! Maybe I like you or something!" He blurt sitting up and rubbing his forehead.

Gwen sat up too and blushed, clasping her hands together in her lap shyly; "What? You like me?" she asked avoiding his gaze.

He didn't like how awkward this was.

"Yes I like you." He said, his air of confidence returning, "I like you a lot Gwen and you should come live with me."

She blinked in awe at his gruff response, "Wha-….Kevin I can't…er…I.." she shifted uncomfortably, unsure of what to tell him.

"Of course you can." He huffed with a smirk, throwing his arm around her shoulder and yanking her close, "I have lots of money now, remember all those robberies? They weren't just to frame Ben."

"No! I mean, that's not…." She sighed and took a deep breath, staying quiet for a moment before turning to him red faced.

"Listen! Why don't you stay with me?"

Kevin was now surprised but shook his head almost instantly, "For what? So I can be pushed around and told what to do?"

"Kevin that's just what adults do ok? I mean…"

"I get it." he shrugged, letting her go and flopping back down into the grass.

"What do you get?" she asked suspiciously.

"You think I'm a freak like everyone else. You want me somewhere I can be kept under control."

She flicked him on the forehead again and yanked him up by his collar.

"Now listen to me, I think we can get along and the fact that I'm slapping you around like this should tell you that not only am I not afraid of you but I don't think you're a freak. After everything I've seen this summer nothing is freakish anymore."

Kevin was quiet again, a calm expression over his face as he processed her words.

"What exactly do you plan on doing with me if I live with you?" he lifted his hand to feel the part of his face still mutated.

Gwen didn't hesitate to slap her hand under Kevin's and with a stern face she pulled him close and kissed him. It was an awkward kiss, a little bit off, she almost kissed his nose and he almost head butted her, but it was a nice surprise.

She pulled back, red in the face once more and kept her hand on his face; "Listen, me and you are still young, so we need someone else to look out for us, and that's what Grandpa Max and Ben are for. That's all it is."

Kevin couldn't say anything, he was still stuck on her attempt at a kiss.

"Hey you wanna try that again?"

"KEVIN!" she shrieked.

He laughed; it had been a while since he'd really laughed.

"I like you too ok?" she said and stood up embarrassed, "And if you like me, I'm sure that we can make a compromise on all of this. You just have to trust me and Grandpa Max and Ben….and I'll just have to trust you and so will they."

Kevin looked at her for a moment and shrugged, "I guess I could give it a try…."

She held out her hand with a smile; "Ok, first things first, you need to learn to accept help."

He arched his eyebrow with a sneer but took her hand anyway.

"And….don't worry about your powers. We can help you learn to control them….then you could…go to school with me." She smiled.

"I don't take orders-"

"…From no one… yeah I get it, but this is compromise. You take orders for a few years so that you can eventually give the orders yourself….depending on your major…but still."

"Well, what are you compromising?" he asked slyly.

"I-I…" Gwen's face lit up like a match, making Kevin's grin deeper.

"Hum, you're right, I have to make some compromises too….what…did you want?"

"I'll think it over for a bit, for now I want to see how this all plays out with your family." He grinned, tossing his arm around her waist.

She hung her head and shrugged, "I guess that's the best thing to do for now…."

"You're my girlfriend now right?" he asked suddenly

"W-well, umm I guess so….if you want…"

He leaned down and kissed her quickly.

"What was that for?" she asked with a flustered smile.

"In case an epic battle ensues at the campsite and someone dies…."

"Don't….." she hissed dangerously.

He laughed again and shrugged.

He felt a bit better.

He had one thing to check off his list.

Someone to stand by his side no matter what.

Everything was working out rather nicely.

Now he just needed to stick with it.

Just two more to go.