Ben was starting to worry. Devlin was not acting like himself. The boy had become quiet but violent. His teachers reported that, although he was now excelling at his studies and was not disrupting class, almost every day he got into fights with older, bigger kids. He was silent and antisocial at home, preferring to practice his power alone instead of with anyone as a partner. He ignored his family, lost contact with his friends.
Devlin, for the most part, was pissed. How dare they? He finally had a father, finally understood just why he was so different from the rest of the family, and they took that all away. But he was going to rectify the situation; as soon as he was strong enough Uncle Ben, Ken and his mother were going to be made to release his father. Only way to do that was to fight everyone and everything possible. His favorite material was wood, it left splinters. He was soon feared by the entire school. The lock he wore reminded him of his plans. He wouldn't let his father down; he wouldn't let the man rot in prison.
He gazed upon his domain, the little children were safe from his wrath; he never went after the ones who couldn't defend themselves and anyone who did he dealt with. He was leaning against an oak tree, a convenient source of wood, when Ken came walking towards him.
"We need to talk."
"No we don't."
"Devlin, this is wrong."
"So? Your father tossed an innocent man into the Null Void. That's wrong. I'm just returning the favor."
"Dad was right, that man is evil!"
"Well so is your dad then."
"Your Mom's really upset."
"She deserves it. She lied to me, she sent my Dad into the Null Void. He still loves her."
"He's evil Devlin; he deserves to be in the Void."
"Feh, you sure are a Tennyson."
"You are too!"
"No, I'm not."
"You're a bull face liar! You'll probably end up in the Void too!"
"So what? Not like you care."
"I'll put you in there myself if I have too. That way you can be in there with your rotten evil lying father."
"You take that back Tennyson." Devlin ordered, pushing off from his post.
"Is that a challenge?"
"Maybe it is, what're you going to do about?!"
"I'm gonna whoop your butt."
"Just try it." He swiped the nearby fence post, turning to metal.
"Mr. Tennyson." The principle said over the speakerphone, "We found your boys brawling with their powers; they've caused significant damage to school propriety. We put them in separate rooms and left them be but upon returning we found that Devlin escaped."
"Don't worry about Devlin; I know who can find him. Just watch Ken."
"As you wish."
grimaced as the Null Void projector started up and he stepped into
it. He found Kevin camping near the portal.
"What'd'ya want Tennyson?"
"Devlin's in trouble."
That caught the conman's attention, "How bad?"
"Not sure. He and Ken began fighting at school, they got caught, he ran off. He hasn't been acting like himself."
"What do need me for then, just send your people after him."
"That's just it, he isn't talking to us, and the most he's said to us was what he said to Ken today."
"So? You don't need to talk to someone to find them."
"You're going to make me say it aren't you?
"Say what?" Kevin smirked, no way he wasn't going to go after his boy; he just wanted to make the big hero squirm while he could.
"Kevin can you please help us find your son?"
"Your car's waiting in my driveway."
He sized up his opponent carefully; the ring of people around whispered, no doubt underestimating him based on size. The guy rushed him, elongated fangs bare and waiting to sink themselves into his tender flesh. He smirked, rushing forward before collapsing to his knees and sliding under the man, leaping up once clear. He absorbed a nearby wooden crate piece before decking his competition. He just continued to use his smallness to his advantage as he dodged the counterattacks. He downed the fellow with a solid metal fist to the temple.
The watching thugs were stunned, "He's Levin's kid alright!" one swore after whispering.
Devlin grinned a maniac's grin.
There was the sound of clapping, they all look to it; there stood Kevin himself, clapping as he walked up. The ring parted way for his entrance into it.
"Devlin Levin, I challenge you to a fight," he spoke calmly as if discussing the weather, "first one down loses. If you win you're the toughest kid in town. If I win, well you'll find out…"
"Dad, I'm not gon—"
"What's this? Are you afraid? Maybe you ARE a Tennyson after all. A Levin would fight anyone, including family."
"I'm not a Tennyson."
"No, this isn't right!"
"So? You wanna fight, so fight me instead of these chumps."
Kevin frowned before turning his back towards the boy, "This boy has been infected, weakened, by the Tennyson blood that flows through his veins, I am truly sorry that—Umph!" Kevin went down.
"You wanna fight Dad? You're on!" Devlin said dangerously, his eyes glinting, while standing over him. Kevin pushed himself up, wiping at the blood that trickled from the corner of his mouth, "Finally!"
He jumped up and spun around to face the child. Devlin rushed him, he dodged.
"Tennyson, Tennyson, I'm fighting a Tennyson! My own flesh and blood a weak, wimpy Tennyson!" Kevin crowed as he dodged again and again. It may've been immature, but he needed to rile the boy up so he'd wear out.
"Stop it! I'm a LEVIN!" Devlin shouted as he landed a punch to his father's gut.
It knocked the wind from him but he stayed up, "That was weak, Tennyson." He grinned, this was too much fun.
"I. Am. Not. A. TENNYSON!" each word was ended by another punch.
"I'm not so sure about that anymore."
The boy was getting tired. But he wouldn't give up. Devlin felt he needed to prove he was good enough to his father. That he wasn't someone to be ashamed of sharing blood with. His mother was so ashamed of having him that she gave him to her cousin, he didn't even merit going to her brother or his grandparents. It hurt to know that, but he was better than her. He was better than any Tennyson. He was a Levin, he'd prove it. He was deserving of the name.
He went down, winded and tired.
"Clear out all of you!" Kevin ordered and the thugs scrammed. He picked up the boy.
They were now outside Mr. Smoothies', drinking smoothies.
"So what's up with ya?"
Devlin gaze darkened, "That's all they let you out for isn't it? To hunt me down." He laughed without humor, "Figures as much. I ain't going back ya hear. I'd rather die than go back to them!"
"What's wrong? They been hurting you or something?"
"Nope, they just don't care about me. My own mother doesn't care about me; ever since I met you they've been avoiding me like I'm tainted or something. It's not fair!"
"What isn't fair?"
"Kenny gets to have both his parents plus his grandparents; his aunts and his uncle and even Grandma Verdona but I have nobody…"
"What? Verdona doesn't even like you?"
"Nope, I've heard what she says about me. That I should be tossed in the Null Void, or they should permanently disable my power and abandon me at an orphanage or on some desolate planet where I can't hurt anyone."
"She really never did approve of me…"
"And once you take me back to them they'll drop kick you back into Void."
"Why'd'ya think Gwen doesn't like you?"
He shrugged, "Why else would she lie to me for eleven years of my life? And they're no better, they kept the secret. I woulda thought that Uncle Ben woulda at least drop some hints. If you hadn't shown up on that day they'd still be lying to me."
Kevin sighed and raked his fingers through his own hair, thinking. He did know that it really couldn't be as bad as the boy said, but he also knew how going through something like this felt. You feel as if you're all alone and the world's against you, plotting your untimely demise and that everyone would rather see you dead than have to be around you. But he couldn't change anything; Devlin was right, as soon as he delivered him back to Ben they would force him into the Void. And he couldn't take off with the boy, that wasn't any type of a life for a growing boy.
He heaved a sigh as they pulled into the driveway. His father would have to leave him again. He would be alone again.
Kevin clapped a broad hand onto Devlin's shoulder, trying to bolster the boy's courage. Neither knew what lay behind the door…
Ben was sitting in a dining room chair, head in his hands. The guilt was still there but to a lesser degree. He was doing the right thing, he knew that. But the worry leaden his soul.
"You're doing the right thing." Julie assured him, she was sitting across the table. The wooden table, could seat eight, was laden with technology. A home arrest tracking anklet, a negative Omnitrix (didn't bestow powers but locked them away), a GPS chip, a GPS system, a hypodermic needle, and a screwdriver.
The door swung open and in came the two Levins.
"You okay Devlin?" Julie asked automatically. The child remained silent; he got the back of his head slapped, "Ow!"
He turned to face the older Levin who gave him a very dirty look. So dirty that the boy was intimidated into speaking to his aunt, "Fine…".
"Sit down Kevin." Ben sighed as he stood up.
"Look you just have to trust me if you wanna stay in this dimension." Ben bit out. 'Gwen's gonna kill me for this'.
Kevin evaluated his one time comrade with an unwavering gaze, before nodding once in assent and taking a seat. He felt Ben pull down the collar of his shirt and inject something into the muscle between his shoulder blades.
"GPS chip, will allow us to track you anywhere in the universe," Ben narrated mostly for Devlin's benefit.
He bent and locked the anklet around the convict's ankle, "GPS tracking anklet, can track you anywhere in the universe."
He moved onto the watch, screwing the metal wristlet shut, "Negative Omnitrix; will disable your power unless really needed. You'll live under my roof in the guest bedroom; you have a nine thirty curfew. You are not to initiate contact with Gwen; she already has a restraining order against you. You have no legal say in Devlin's life as of now until I say otherwise though your input is valued."
They waited for him to protest, he just smiled, "You grew a brain! I'm so proud," he wiped away a non-existent tear; he then looked at Julie, "How many times did you have ta beat him?"
"A lot." She replied with a wry grin.
Devlin changed once again, becoming more like his old self; though his reputation in school still held; especially since he handed the twelfth grade martial arts prodigy's butt back to him on a silver platter.
His father had alternated between scolding him like he should and congratulating him for winning such a fight.
now sat in class, watching the clock like a hawk willing it to hurry.
DONG DING DONG DING
DING DONG DING DONG the bell sounded and the school children flooded out of the large main front doors. Devlin stopped on the front steps; he was one of the last kids out, scanning the drive way for his Uncle's van. But, to his delighted surprise, he saw his father leaning nonchalantly against the green GTO.
"C'mon Runt," Kevin called as he spotted the boy, "going ta the gym today remember?"
Devlin nodded, jumping the stairs to land soundly on the ground before sprinting to the car.
"Who's that?" Brian, a good friend of his, asked while keeping pace with Devlin, he was interested in his friend's mood swings.
Devlin grinned, "My Dad."