Second ofMany Ben 10 fanfics, this one takes place in the Ken 10 universe. I fell so in love with that episode because it was, essentially, standalone. I'm happiest when writing characters that were underdeveloped in the show.
Don't own it. If I did, there would be less Gwevin and the season 1 finale wouldn't have sucked so hard.
So Maybe We Should Say Nothing
Ken rubbed sleepily at his eyes. He thought he heard some—
There it was again, but louder. The boy leaned over the side of his bunk and looked blearily at Devlin. His half-brother was talking in his sleep...Calling for Kevin. Before Ken could jump down to go fetch his own father, there was a quiet tap from the other side of their bedroom door.
Devlin jolted awake in time to see Ben slip through the door. He padded over to the bunk bed silently and sat down next to his adopted son. They were all quiet for a moment, the tension in the room not broken in the least by Ken hanging comically from his own bed.
Finally, Ben spoke, "You wanna talk about it?"
Devlin shook his head quietly. A blush of shame dusted his cheeks. He pined for the man that had tried to kill his new father and brother. The boy looked up when he felt Ben's hand on his shoulder, the only warning before he was drawn into a big, scruffy bear hug. The awkward, scratchy hug lasted only a few moments before Devlin was released. Ben gave him a firm pat on the shoulder, glanced purposefully at Ken, then stood and bid them both good night before leaving the room.
Wordlessly, Ken righted himself and slipped down the ladder. Ignoring Devlin's confused protests, he climbed into the bottom bunk and curled up against the dark-haired boy. Knowing how stubborn Ken could be, Devlin gave up before he even started and reluctantly cuddled back.
Devlin dropped back into a dreamless sleep and stayed that way, comforted by Ken's steady warmth.
Sleep, however, evaded one Ben Tennyson. The hero found himself wandering down flights and flights of stairs to the solitude of the null void chamber. Here, all of the tiny grenade-shaped prisons housed the most vile criminals.
Here, one of the tiny grenade-shaped prisons housed Kevin.
Stepping up to null void egg in particular, set apart by the deep scratches left from its rough contact with the ground, Ben stopped. He reached out slowly and traced the scratches marring its pale yellow paint, then jerked his hand back as if burned. He was, in fact, burned by the hot metal shell.
Inspecting the holding cell closely, Ben noticed nothing other than the scratches. Still...It wasn't normal for the cells to be so hot on the outside. He would have to keep an eye on Kevin's cell for a while. Ben turned and walked to the door, giving the null void egg a lingering stare before switching off the light and walking out.
Only moments after Ben left, the egg rattled in its holder. From somewhere inside, a strangled voice cried, "Let me OUT!"
The next day was quiet, with no random crimes or attacks. All day, Ben had sat in the null void chamber, locked in a staring contest with the glassy surface of a certain scratched null void egg. So far neither had blinked, though Ben thought the egg seemed to be wavering a bit. Devlin leaned in the doorway, watching, while Ken sat by his half-brother's feet. Both boys were perplexed with the hero's behavior, but made no comment about it.
Ben's eyes were watering. Finally, he admitted defeat and stood. Turning to the boys, he gave a strained smile, "Okay...Who's ready for lunch?"
Flashing Devlin a look that was both amused and concerned, Ken rose to his feet, "Dad...It's almost seven."
"You've been here for hours, Ben." Devlin returned the glance.
Ben seemed unfazed, "Right, dinner, then. I'll go get something started." He marched stiffly past the boys, his legs having fallen asleep sometime over the course of the day. Ken and Devlin stared after him.
Devlin cleared his throat, "It's Tetramandian night, right?"
Ken nodded worriedly, "Right."
Shutting off the light, they followed Ben nervously. Something was wrong with their father, and they weren't sure what. Devlin slammed the heavy reinforced door shut, drowning out a stifled scream.
"Jesus CHRIST, Tennyson! Get me OUT of here!"
After three failed attempts at spaghetti, Ben broke down and ordered from the local Tetramandian place. The delivery "boy" was roughly the same height as Ben and had to lean forward to accept the check Devlin held out to him at the front door. Devlin watched the red-skinned alien hop onto a horribly undersized bike and pedal off before walking back to the kitchen with the food.
Planted comfortably on the couch, Ben slurped down the zesty noodles from the Styrofoam tray. Kenny and Devlin were flicking spicy bits of meat at each other, trying to catch the food in their mouths. The hero chuckled at their antics, though it was obvious that they were trying to distract him from his previous mood. Contemplating a leaf of something that looked like spinach, Ben frowned. Things didn't add up. Kevin's null-void egg over heating could mean that the cells were malfunctioning. Kevin's null-void egg heating up could mean Kevin was trying to escape. Kevin's null-void egg heating up could mean Kevin was having a barbeque. The second was possible, but unlikely of actually occurring. The third was downright silly. The first option, however...That would be bad. He bit into the spinach-thing, pleasantly surprised to find that it tasted more like onion, and continued that train of thought. If one of the cells was malfunctioning, then more could be malfunctioning. More criminals could break out, chaos would ensue. He chewed the rubbery leaf sullenly.
It sucked to be both hero and jailer.
"Okay, if definitely moved that time." Ken squatted on his chair in front of the null-void egg that his dad had been staring at for the past few days.
Devlin nodded, leaning forward in his own chair, "Yeah, and I heard something from it, dude."
The two boys glared at the egg as if daring it to do something suspicious. So focused were they that neither noticed the door open and shut until the man that had walked through it placed a hand on each of their shoulders. Two startled yelps later, the boys panting on the floor, clutching their chests while Ben righted the chairs they had knocked over by jumping out of them.
"Was I really as zoned-out as you two just were?" Ben easily lifted both boys to their feet, grinning sheepishly as they nodded in sync, "Sorry 'bout that. I guess I was just being paranoid. After all, that is..." The hero trailed off, avoiding Devlin's gaze.
An awkward silence settled over the trio, Ken and Devlin coming to the realization of why Ben had been acting so strangely. There were a few attempts at clearing throats, but all conversations were stillborn. Just when Ken was about to do something silly to break the tension, someone else spoke.
"Jesus FUCKING CHRIST! Tennyson, let me the FUCK out of here right NOW!"
The scratched null void egg rattled violently in its holder, Kevin's scarred face appeared pressed against its marred surface. Ben staggered back in shock while the boys could only gape.
"TENNYSON! I know you're out there! Let me out before fucking SQUID-FACE tries to make me his BITCH!"
Balling his fists up at his sides, Ben glared cautiously at the egg. Flicking his gaze over at the kids, he spoke in low tones, "Ken, Devlin...Get out of here and lock the door behind you."
The brunet was about to protest, always wanting a piece of the action, but was silenced by Devlin's vice-like grip on his wrist. A quick glance at the other boy showed that his eyes were glassy with tears and he was biting down hard on his lip. Ken swallowed his objection and gripped his half-brother's hand tightly, leading the other out of the room.
Ben looked back at the egg, waiting for the beep and slams that signaled the three blast doors closing and locking before speaking.
"I dunno, Kevin...You did try to kill me last time you were out." His voice was loud and confident, belying his current state of panic. The hero crossed his arms across his broad chest, making sure to display the Omnitrix just in case Kevin could actually see out of the cell, "I don't think you deserve to be out of there,"
The egg rattled violently, "Tennyson, have you ever experienced tentacle rape?" Kevin asked in his most placating voice, "It's not pleasant at all." A few more violent shakes before it stilled.
Cringing inwardly, Ben scoffed, "I really don't see how that's my problem, Kevin." He smirked, growing more confident by the moment. If Kevin was begging to be let out, then he obviously couldn't escape on his own.
"I'LL FUCKING MAKE IT YOUR PROBLEM OF YOU DON'T LET ME OUT RIGHT. NOW!" The egg shook so violently, Kevin banging on the sides of the prison with pale, human hands, that it nearly tipped out of its stand.
Ben dropped into a fighting stance, "Give me one good reason, Levin. Why should I let you out?" His eyes narrowed in suspicion, fully prepared for any number of threats, tricks, threats, pleas, and threats.
He wasn't prepared for choked sobs.
The egg stilled abruptly as another strangled noise escaped. A weak shiver ran up the egg, a futile strike against its inescapable interior. Ben stared, incredulous, as the wracking breaths continued. Finally, Kevin spoke, his voice weakened by sobs and muted by the egg.
"I can't stand being trapped...Not here. I just can't. Please...Ben."
Ben drew a sharp intake of breath. Hearing his given name like that, spoken with such desperation and pain...It was almost too much. Fully aware that his hands were shaking, Ben reached for the tiny cell. He took a deep breath before gripping it, the surface still pleasantly warm. Lifting the null void egg, he stared directly into the distressed face of his former enemy.
"I'm letting you out, but only if you promise to be good boy." His finger hovered above the rarely-used release mechanism, "Got it?" He pressed the button.
The effect of someone being released from the null void was comparable with all the bad special effects of eighties movies, Ben decided. Flash of light, swirling vortex, eerie sounds, and then a deadweight dropping heavily and unceremoniously on top of him. Ben had the sense to switch the egg back to CONTAIN before it was knocked out of his grip and his arms were pinned above his head.
A curtain of dark hair fell around Ben's face and Kevin pressed their foreheads together, "I'll be a very good boy for you...Benji." His pale, chapped lips hovered over Ben's, a toothy smirk fixed firmly in place. In seconds, however, that smirk switched abruptly to a look of surprise as Ben pushed up and switched their positions.
Pressing firmly against Kevin to keep him from moving, Ben frowned, "Yeah, you will." He stayed completely still, watching the emotions play across his rival's face. First came shock, followed by a brief display of anger, and then a peculiar look of lazy satisfaction.
Relaxing in Ben's tight grip, Kevin looked at him silkily through half-lidded eyes, "I knew you missed me, Ben." He arched his back, brushing his hips against Ben's, "But I didn't think you missed me this much."
Ben shivered at the contact, reveling in the friction caused by that simple movement, before ducking his head down to crush his lips against Kevin's. The kiss was sloppy, rough, and violent, all forceful tongue and knocked teeth and throaty moans, ending with Kevin gasping for breath and swearing between pants.
Ben chuckled and lets his lips linger on Kevin's jaw line. Still breathing a little shallowly, Kevin let out a hiss that sounded suspiciously like laughter. Ben moved to kiss the mutant's throat, prompting another laughing hiss. Kevin turned his head away and grumbled something, trying to escape Ben's lips, but only succeeded in exposing more of his pale neck.
Delighted by this new map of skin to explore, Ben dipped his head once more to press his lips against the ashy skin. Kevin, however, jerked away at the contact and tried to squirm out of the hero's grasp. Getting frustrated, Ben scowled, "What is your problem, Levin?" Again, Kevin grumbled, speaking louder only when Ben leaned close to hear.
"It's your fucking beard, Tennyson!" Scrunching his shoulders up, Kevin glared up at Ben, "Fucking thing itches, damn it!"
Ben stared incredulously at the man beneath him. He had just pulled a major role reversal by flipping Kevin onto his back, and the mutant was uncomfortable because of his beard. The hero could only laugh, tucking his head under Kevin's chin to ride out his mirth. Kevin, for his part, did his best to look irritated and let Ben laugh. The softer, graying hairs on the man's head were a welcome relief when compared to the scratchy texture of his facial hair.
Sitting just outside the blast doors, Devlin squeezed Ken's hand just a little tighter. Ken squeezed back reassuringly, "I don't hear anything. Maybe they're just talking?" He suggested hopefully.
Devlin shot his half-brother a dull look. The day Kevin Levin chose talking over hitting something was the day that Earth pigs fly (it was a well known fact that Gourmandian swine were used as aerial transportation quite frequently). Wrapping his free arm around his legs, the dark-haired boy rested his forehead on his knees. Ken held his hand tightly, staring at the ceiling and tapping his outstretched feet against each other.
All they could do was wait.
Title of this fic is taken from "Detroit" by Black Gold, chapter title is taken from "Great Divide" by Nine Days. From here on out, feel free to guess what song the chapter title is taken from. It will never actually be the title of the song, FYI.
I took creative liberties with the Null Void set up. instead of one bit containment area, I figure the eggs are like cells and the main Null Void is the prison yard. I don't care, I just needed it to be that way for plot purposes.