Just because we could doesn't mean we should. With great power always comes great responsibility- Ben Parker

A/N: Sorry if my updates take longer than usual. I'm been feeling a little dead inside lately. I've not become idle, though. While still soul searching I've spent my spare time working on my blog on all things cousin. If you wanna take a look-y, you can find a link in my account here.

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Chapter 5: Taken

The mahogany door flew open easily with one forceful kick from Ben. As soon as he stepped in he could feel the cold air rushing towards him; must be coming from an air conditioning unit inside. He quickly scanned the surroundings of the rather small but cozy-looking room. The lights were off so it was quite difficult peering through the dark but the ample light emanating from the hall was suffice to distinguish the surroundings.

There were plain light green cotton-fiber curtains covering a rather large window just on the other end. Below it was a old-fashioned-looking velvet leather armchair. To the right was a chalk-white two-foot high cabinet with the bottom drawer left wide-open and a few papers in it. The whole room was painted a dull white and the tiled floor gleamed with a pearly white reflection; a typical patient's room…with a not so typical patient.

His eyes shifted to the left where the bed was. There, buried in the bed's white sheets, was, much to both his chagrin and amusement, either an unconscious or sleeping Kevin Levin. A long plastic tube stuck out from under the sheets, connected to plastic bag containing saline solution which was attached to a metal stand. He was surely receiving intravenous infusion though Ben doubts he needs it.

He eyed him down with disgust. He was vulnerable. He can't fight back. Nothing could be more perfect than this. It was almost too easy but… He did a double take. Is it worth it? I'll just become the very thing I despise. No, he's nothing but a low life. I'm doing this to protect everybody I cared for…aren't I?

He inched closer to him; one agonizing step at a time. I'm not being selfish. Each step felt like forever. I'm not doing this for myself. Each step felt like guilt racking up inside him, growing more intense—but why? I'm doing this for her. Is this the humane thing to do? Will the consequences be worth it? Even if she hates me. Can he live it? Even if it'll destroy me. To become just like Kevin? I have to do what's best…for her…for everyone.

He towered over the boy, eyes peering down on the half-lifeless body. He raised his left arm and pulled back his sleeve, revealing an awesome-looking device of omnipotent capabilities—about to be use to finish off a defenseless teenager; evil or no evil, he was defenseless. His right hand twisted and turned the selection mechanism or dial until the hologram projector displayed the image of Swampfire—the right alien for the job. A quick and swift kill—no fuss, no muss and the method would ensure no pandemonium would occur within the infirmary afterwards.

Sweat drops fell from his brows as he deliberately raised his right arm, prepared to make the genetic transition from human being to Methanosian. His whole body shook, his mind screamed in panic and his heartbeat raced. He felt his entire right arm tensed…go numb. Each beat, each thud of his heart felt like the beat of a very loud drum; a dull metronome slowly driving him mad, mad enough not to go through with this.

He sighed in frustration, slowly lowering both arms in defeat. Why couldn't I pull the trigger when opportunity practically knocked at my doorstep? Maybe Kevin was right. Maybe I am weak…

Then he felt a hand clutch his left shoulder—a delicate, female hand. He turned around to see Gwen, a frown registered on her face. What? So now she's gonna yell at me for attempted murder? Wait…that is a good reason to yell at me. But for all his worries, Ben would not have foreseen a shift in Gwen's demeanor, failing to notice the sparkle in her eyes. Her frown slowly etched into a smile—a smile of such when a mother is proud of her child.

Wait, what? Gwen is smiling? She's happy? For what? For me resisting the urge to kill Kevin? Come to think of it, that is something to be happy about. I have got to pay more attention to details.

Her hand still clutching his shoulder, she forcefully jerked that shoulder causing Ben's body to turn to her direction, much to Ben's surprise who stumbled to regain footing before managing to stand straight. They were now meeting eye to eye, with no distractions or obstructions to get in the way for once. With the faint lights from hall radiating around her, it amplified her features, made her look even more stunning. Gorgeous. Breathtaking.

"Gwen…" He managed to mumble under his breath. He wanted to tell her how beautiful she was. How divine she looked right now but considering the circumstance, and the awkward moment, he thought himself best not to.

He stumbled upon the right words to say, at least to pierce through this uncomfortable silence but words failed miserably, only managing to spew out undistinguishable mutters. Gwen shook her head. He could be so hopeless at times.

She smiled once more, catching the attention of her cousin, and threw her arms around him, enveloping him in a deep and passionate embrace, her eyes streaming with tears. He was bewildered to say the least but then again…why ruin a perfect moment? He closed his eyes and thought to savor as much as he could.

Everything else around them seemed to disappear. There they were in their own little world-- their tiny bubble were they felt secured with each other, with no one to judge their actions or feelings. Everything else seemed to have melted, silenced and neglected.

They stayed like that for what felt like hours—when it's only been mere minutes, before finally breaking the hug. She looked at him with deep and meaningful eyes before nodding, signaling him for at least a bit of alone time with Kevin. Unbelievable...

He nodded back, hiding the feeling of bitterness rising from within him, before heading for the door with Gwen looking back at him, hoping he'll understand. Ben took another glance behind him; there was his cousin, smiling at him--but his eyes shifted to another direction, focusing on another specific character. He peered wide-eyed in disbelief. His vision didn't betray him.

There he could see in the darkness, Kevin Levin was wide awake, staring back at him with demonic black eyes and a wicked smile. He shook his head and did a double take, he wasn't hallucinating--Kevin Levin was glaring back at him with gleeful, danciing eyes, piercing through his own, right through his soul. But it was his smile that was discomforting, unnerving Ben--toying with his mind.

He would have to watch Gwen's back. Kevin could easily fake sleep if he wanted to and Ben would again just look like the insecure liar in front of Gwen. He couldn't afford diminishing the trust he had just regained moments ago.

She can handle herself. He thought as he clasped the doorknob, hard, and pulled the door behind him. But before completely closing it, he peered through one more time with the aid of what minimum light can spare to his eyesight, for the sake of absolute certainty. It was inevitable, Kevin was indeed genuinely conscious. Ben's mind raced frantically, his thoughts whirled into a frenzy of spiraling confusion.

He swallowed a heavy lump in his throat and tried to remain as calm as possible. He would have to play this through with silent composure. If Kevin would even dare try anything suspicious he would instantly react, but for now he would have to learn to be patient and collective. With his mind somewhat at ease, he closed the door behind him--his hand, refusing to let go of the doorknob.

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Gwen felt the door close in front of her--a little too hard if you ask her.

"Gwen..?" a weak groan sounded from behind her, causing Gwen to jump a bit, a slight jolt surged through her body.

"Kevin?" Gwen yelped in surprise, quickly turning towards the boy, who looked like he had just woken up. "Ho-how are you feeling?"

"Been better." he groaned, trying his best to get up, with much difficulty. Whether or not he was truly in pain remains uncertain.

"Tell me something-" he said in a low voice "How is our Ben? I hope he's faring well."

"He's fine. I can't say the same for you." Gwen said, crossed her arms. "You look like a complete mess. Anyway, Kev, can you at please tell me what you know about-"

"The fight?" he interrupted nonchalantly. "I presume Ben had already filled you up with as much lies as he can think muster. But it's not entirely his fault, really. The guy was just…awfully misled." he stated coldly, yet still smiling.

"I know. But he's been better now--you, too. As soon as you get out of here everything will be back to normal. Just a couple more days." she said with a smile.

"Oh, it's way sooner than you think." Kevin uttered, looking at her intently. Gwen didn't feel bothered though. The medications must be making him delirious or something. She shook her head, thinking how ridiculous it was to even worry in the first place.

"Oh, Kevin, I'm just so glad you're okay." she said, bursting into tears, wrapping her arms around him which Kevin was all too happy to receive.

"Me too, Gwen." He replied, stroking her auburn hair slowly. "I'm so happy that you came. I really am." He whispered to her ear, a wicked grin forming on his lips, his eyes darting to the door in front of him.

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Ben slumped against the concrete wall outside with folded arms, an unnerving feeling churning within him. He looked intently on the mahogany door beside him. Does he dare barge in? Is he so sure his instincts weren't wrong? Is Gwen truly safe in there?

He tightened his fists into a ball and gritted his teeth. What the hell am I doing leaving her there alone with that psychopath?

His mind flashed back to a few moments ago when he exited the door. His eyes looked back in paranoia--and he could be as paranoid as he wanted. He could see Kevin staring back at him, eyes wide-open and a cheeky grin on his face. He wasn't wrong. Kevin was damn conscious and maybe even…fully mobile.

But maybe I'm overreacting. Thinking too much. My mind must be playing tricks with…

Suddenly, there was a loud crash, instantly alerting Ben. He sprung on his feet without hesitation, quickly making a break for the door knob and swiftly tried to turn it.

It was locked.

"Gwen!" Ben cried out loud, banging at the door with both fists.

A piercing scream came from the other side. Ben tensed and braced himself, his mind swirled with confusion and adrenaline and panic. He used the entire weight of his body and slammed it against the door. The hinges gave away easily. He bursts through with little effort and quickly collected himself. His eyes scanned the entire room in a split-second. What he saw was not an eager sight.

There was a huge gaping hole where the window used to be. The fabric of the curtain torn as it swayed to the wind blowing through the hole, filling the entire room. The bed and chairs were turned over. Chunks and pieces of rock, glass and paper scattered amongst the debris.

But no sign of them…

No Gwen, no Kevin. Ben's mind raced with absolute rage. The inner voice that have always told him right from wrong had dissipated. His mind fueled by intense hatred. This time Kevin has gone too far. I'm done with being compassionate. Tonight, Kevin Levin will suffer his own personal hell.

Don't worry, Gwen. I'm coming for you…

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A/N: I'm not going anywhere. I'm staying right here in Fanfiction.