My latest obsession, kids. Ben 10: Alien Force. More specifically, BeVin. This is my frist real Ben 10 fic that I finished, so updates will be mostly regular until it's finished.

I don't own Ben 10: Alien Force.

x-posted at the Ben 10 x Kevin 11 community on livejournal under the username of thetonberry.

And awaaaaaaay we go!

As of late, their mornings had fallen into a routine

As of late, their mornings had fallen into a routine. The sun would shine in someone's face. Someone would attempt to block out the light and only succeed in smacking someone else. Someone would groan, someone would swear, and, eventually, they'd all sit up.

There would be much back-cracking and eye-rubbing and incoherent grumbles until Gwen would finally climb over one of the boys with her uniform in hand, not caring who she flashed on the way out of the car. She would wave, mutter a sleepy "later, guys," and then tap on her shoes before crossing the street to a little diner owned by a snappy lady named "Flo."

Ben went next, tugging on his wrinkled "Bernie's Gas" shirt. It was a short walk across the parking lot to the convenience store, and Kevin would watch him go before climbing out of the car himself. He would fish around under the seat for his own gas station shirt, eventually finding it twisted around the brake, and pull it on.

These uncomfortable mornings were followed by long days of waiting tables, selling candy bars, and pumping gas. No one was really all that happy, but they needed the money. Kevin was reminded of that every time he pumped over forty dollars worth of gas into some geezer's rusty old pick-up truck. For almost four bucks a gallon, that occurred annoyingly often.

On their collective lunch break, the trio would meet up and sit on a misplaced an malformed picnic table behind the gas station to share whatever freebies Ben picked up from the minimart. Three small bags of broken chips and a diet Pepsi someone left on the counter were all they had between them, but they passed the soda around dutifully.

It was rare for anyone to try and start a conversation these days, they had run out of things to talk about after the third day. Now, as Ben shook the bottle, swishing the last of the Pepsi at his two companions, Kevin finally snapped. Throwing all logic out the window, he bellowed the first thing that came to mind.

"Why are we here?!" The mutant slammed fist on the table in a fit of rage, which earned him a handful of splinters scattered up and down his arm. Gwen jumped visibly, but Ben only shrugged, "Wise men have pondered that question for ages." He handed the nearly empty bottle to Kevin, "As for why we're here, behind the gas station in the middle of bumfuck nowhere..."

Kevin swigged the last of the soda and chucked the bottle over his shoulder before flexing his hand. Wood grain replaced skin for a moment before shifting back, splinter free, "Yeah, I know. We ran out of gas, we ran out of money, and our bosses are cheapskates." He plucked a sliver of wood out of his sleeve while Ben mused, "Are we even making minimum wage here?"

The teenagers contemplated this quietly, the glum silence broken only by a crow's lonely squawk. Eventually, Gwen stood up and plucked a few splinters out of her stained mauve skirt. Her declaration of "I've got to get back to work..." was unnecessary, but she said it anyway before leaving. Ben waited until she turned the corner before leaning his head against the other boy's shoulder. Kevin, who had been systematically crushing ants with his fingertips, sighed faintly, "I'm beginning to see why some people never get out of these one horse towns." He ceased his attacks on the ants and wrapped an arm around Ben's shoulders, allowing the tiny insects to nibble away at their sour cream and onion crumbs, "I'm getting sick and tired of this place..." He muttered softly.

It was Ben's turn to sigh, "We're falling so far behind..." He trailed off, having made this speech everyday since they'd pushed the car half a mile to the tiny rural town they were currently sleeping in Kevin's car and working for peanuts. 'We're stuck in the kind of rural town where there are gas stations owned by guys named Bernie and diners owned by an old ladies named Flo. The kind of rural town without a decent cup of coffee for miles. The kind of rural town where people don't pump their own gas. The kind of rural town where children come running out of cornfields, laughing demonically. The kind of rural town where—'

Ben stopped his mental rant when he noticed Kevin staring at him amusedly, "...I was saying that out loud, wasn't I?" Kevin only grinned wider before pressing a chaste kiss to Ben's forehead.

'...The kind of rural town where two guys aren't supposed to us.'

They went back to work a few minutes later, Kevin leaning against an old-fashioned gas pump and Ben leaning against a scratched countertop. At least the convenience store was air conditioned...Kevin was outside in the heat. Ben felt bad for him, sweating like a pig in the 90 degree weather. Actually...Ben felt bad for Gwen more. She was the one that had to put up with their combined "stinky manstench." Then again, she wasn't smelling like a basket of roses either...Going a few days without a shower was just an unpleasant side effect of driving only the back roads in search of Plumbers' kids. The lack of proper hygiene was probably also why their tip jars were as pitifully empty as their stomachs.

Kevin, ironically, had been contemplating the same thing. He had filched a road map of where-ever-the-hell-they-were and had been tracing his finger along the inked roads by the flickering light of the gas station sign at nights before they all dropped into a tired and uncomfortable sleep. He'd found dozens of trucker stops, but no real hotels with real showers. The dark-haired teen was snapped out of his reverie as a shiny minivan pulled up. Putting on his "roguish charm" smile, he went about doing his job while a middle-aged woman went about dragging her screaming son into the convenience store. Kevin flinched and glanced over his shoulder at the pair.

'...Sorry, Benji.'

Thirty minutes, one full tank, six clean windows, and four inflated tires later, the woman dragged her son, who was placated to the point of whining as opposed to screaming, out of the convenience store and drove off without a word or tip. Five minutes and one chewed-off hangnail later, Ben slouched out of the minimart...Covered in what appeared to be a half-melted Code Red slushie.

Like I said, this is already finished and posted at the lj comm. Go there if you want to read it all in one shot. If you want to wait, I'll be posting this once a week, probably on Fridays or Saturdays if possible.

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