Author's Note: We all know that "Kevin uses his old powers and turns back into a monster" has been written so many friggin times it could be its own genre. I had my own ideas on the subject. What if he retained the absorption powers but didn't morph back? How would his teammates react to it? I attempted angst and failed, but I'm glad of it. As such it'll be more of an action story than anything else. I really was trying to go for angst, but apparently I suck at it because I couldn't resist throwing in jokes anytime I saw an opportunity. So, read, and hopefully enjoy. I have a plan for the ending, but I'll be honest and upfront - Kevin will not be turning back into his monster form at any time in this fanfic.

"Gwen!" Kevin ran forward and caught the red head. A Forever Knight had sent her hurling through the air at break neck speed, and Kevin was relieved to see she hadn't taken any damage. "You okay?"

"I'm fine..." she let him help her to get steady on her feet again. She gulped "I don't think Ben is, though..."

Kevin turned back to where Ben was, his form Big Chill. He attempted to freeze a nearby Knight, but the group had apparently been preparing for this meeting in the past few months they'd seemed inactive - the knight pressed a button on his armor, near his wrist. A shield spread out in front of Big Chill, effectively stopping the cold.

"That will only work for so long," Ben insisted in his rasping voice, going intangible and attempting to phase through the shield. At first it seemed to work, but right as his head cleared, the knight pressed a different button. The shield began to glow a faint blue, and Ben was suddenly stuck in it.

"...they've got a bug zapper?" Kevin asked. Gwen glared.

"Not a time for jokes, Kevin!" She insisted, a pink whip of manna forming in her hand and grabbing one of the knights nearest her.

"All right, sorry," Kevin said, taking off from her side to attack a nearby knight.

Ben struggled, unable to free himself. "A little help here, guys?"

"Sorry, busy!" Gwen shouted back, now fighting four knights at once.

"Yeah, what she said!" Kevin called. He was engaged with about five knights himself.

Just as he'd taken out three of the five knights, he heard Gwen cry out. He lifted one of the remaining knights over his head and spun around. Gwen was on the ground, her hands bound behind her back by one knight as another put a visor over her eyes.

"We learn from our mistakes," he chuckled.

"Let me go!" She insisted. Kevin threw the knight at the one holding Gwen, but missed by a few inches.

"Well, not out of ammo yet," he said, cracking his metal knuckles and turning to the other knight. Of course, by now the knights were all turning to attack the last standing member of the team. Kevin realized that, and looked around. "Ben, a little help here?"

"I can't reach the omnitrix! Do you really think I want to just hang out here?" Ben demanded.

"Okay, fair point..." Kevin admitted. "Heh...truce?" Kevin asked the nearest knight.

"We have no intentions of making a truce with scum like you. We're going to destroy you kids."

"You know, a 'no' would have been a good enough answer," Kevin said, running forward and knocking two knights over. He wasn't sure why he was doing this. It wasn't his original intention, but facts were facts.

They were outnumbered and outgunned. There was only one option left. He had to do this now, or he, Ben, and Gwen were all done for.

His eyes narrowed on his target - the fuse box. The knights were closing in on him in their chase, but he slid forward and grabbed onto it. The lights in the building went out moments after his hand reached the box. The electricity crackled and stung at his finger tips. It had been such a long time since he'd done this, but he remembered that feeling....

The lights came back up a moment later. The knights didn't seem to know what was going on, Gwen was still blinded and Ben was still struggling to get free of the shield. Kevin hoped his team mates wouldn't see this....

He fired off the electricity at the shield Ben was caught in. It shook violently for a moment, then went off. Kevin's gamble had paid off - the power had overloaded the shield, and now Ben was free. The younger boy quickly changed to his human form and went to free Gwen.

While he was distracted, Kevin started firing the electricity off at the knights. He was at a disadvantage now, though - he couldn't absorb his usual protective coating of steel, for fear of becoming a human lighting rod. The brightside, however, was that the knight's armor and weapons still had that effect, so each one that got hit fell over and couldn't keep charging until the electricity passed out of his body.

Kevin was watching Ben and Gwen too closely - he didn't notice the knight sneaking up on him. He tackled Kevin to the ground. Kevin's response was to absorb the man's armor before kicking him off, and punching him for good measure. "Thanks, I actually was running out of juice..."

"I'll get the rest," Ben said, smacking the faceplate on his omnitrix. "Humongousaur!"

"No. That's enough for today." The largest of the knights announced. "We're leaving. We'll be better prepared next time, though..."

"They were pretty well prepared this time," Gwen said, rubbing her wrists. They were slightly pink where the one knight had grabbed her.

"Are we just going to let them go?" Kevin asked as the knights ran off. Ben nodded.

"They almost got us...they would have, if not for..." Ben trailed off.

"I got lucky." Kevin said, knowing a question on how he had done it was coming. He was unwilling to let the cousins know he'd used his old powers.

"Kevin...I saw you," Ben said softly. He'd switched back to his human form.

"Saw what?" Gwen asked. "Sorry, guys, I was blindfolded...guess they figured out how to completely block my manna..."

"Tell her, or I will," Ben said, crossing his arms.

"I..." Kevin looked at Gwen and threw his hands up in the air. "I absorbed electricity, okay? The thing you guys saw me do the first time you met me."

"Oh," Gwen said. It was soft, and it registered both surprise and, at least to Kevin's ears, worry.

"It's no big deal," Kevin insisted.

"I...I didn't know you still had those powers," Gwen tried.

"Yeah, well...I do."

"Kevin," Ben said, thinking it over, "If you still had that power, why haven't you been using it? I mean, there's been so many times you've gotten your butt kicked that you could have avoided it..."

Kevin glared at him. "Tennyson, when have I ever gotten my butt kicked?"

"Let's see," Ben said, listing, "I've kicked it several times when I was ten, and then that one time when we first found out about the DNAliens, then Cash did...."

"Ben, now's not the right time for that," Gwen said, interrupting. "Kevin...why were you trying to hide it from us?"

"I just..." Kevin frowned. "I didn't want to go back to looking the way I did for another five years. You don't know what that's like. It helped out a lot since I was stuck in the Null Void but...would you want to use your powers if it was going to make you look like a freak?"

"No...I...I guess not," Gwen admitted.

"Anyways, it's not a big deal. It was a one time thing," Kevin said, shrugging.

"Too bad," Ben said, shoving his hands into his pockets. "You might be able to pull your weight in a fight if you kept it..."

"You want to go a round, Tennyson?"

"I'm pretty sure I can take you..."

"Guys, knock it off!" Gwen insisted. "Kevin...are you going to be all right?"

"I'll be fine," Kevin replied. "Just...don't ask me to do that when I don't have to, all right?"

Gwen and Ben exchanged looks, the identical green eyes shining with the same worried expression.

"All right, Kevin," Ben agreed.

"Of course," Gwen said.

"...and no talking about this, either," Kevin added. Both cousins nodded. "Okay, good. Really....it's just not what I always want to be remembered for."

---------------------------------

"Are you all right?" Ben asked as he slid into the booth beside his cousin. Gwen was staring out the window of the local diner, oblivious that Ben had just placed her drink in front of her. "Hello? Earth to Gwen?"

"Hmm?"

"What's going on?"

Gwen looked at her cousin, slight guilt in her eyes. "...Nothing."

Ben rolled his eyes. "Right. C'mon, I'm your cousin. You can tell me. What's bugging you?" Gwen pursed her lips, obviously trying to figure out whether or not to confide in Ben. "...It's Kevin, isn't it?"

"I....yes," Gwen admitted with a sigh. "Why didn't he tell us he still had those powers?"

"I dunno, why does Kevin do half of the things he does?" Ben asked not looking for an answer. "He's a strange guy. It never bothered you before."

"He wasn't hiding anything before," Gwen insisted. "Yeah, he stole from those other Plumber's kids and he attacks without thinking but...he didn't hide those traits. They were right there for anyone to see. Why was he so desperate to hide his old powers from m...us?"

Ben contemplated it for a while. "I don't know. Maybe he thinks it's a connection to the Old Kevin?"

"You think?" Gwen asked, her voice thick with concern.

Ben shrugged. "Well, he was really eager to hide it. Maybe he just doesn't want to turn into that Kevin Elevin monster again. He was pretty ugly..."

"Not as ugly as you, Tennyson."

Both Tennysons jumped. They had been too engrossed in their conversation to realize that Kevin had entered the restaurant and was now studying both of them with a look of cold anger on his face.

"Hey, Kevin," Ben said, rapidly shifting gears, "Pull up a chair!"

"You two think it's okay to talk about me behind my back?" Kevin asked, his voice wavering. Gwen bit her lip. She hadn't seem him this angry since they'd been kids.

"Kevin, I'm sorry," Gwen said softly. "We're just worried about you..."

"This is why I didn't tell you two!" Kevin said, pounding his fists on the table. "I knew you were going to make it into this big deal....so what? I can still absorb energy. It doesn't mean anything. I'm not that person anymore, that's why I stopped using those powers..."

"Kevin, I--"

"I'll talk to you later, Gwen," Kevin said finally, leaving just as quickly as he'd come.

"He'll calm down," Ben assured her. "Just give him some time...."

"He sounded so mad...are you sure he'll calm down?"

Ben considered it. "No...but I...uh..thought it'd make you feel better..."

------------------------------------------------------------

"So.....heard you walked away from the good guys today..."

"Leave me alone, Argit," Kevin said from underneath his car. "How'd you find out where I live, anyways?"

"Ah, you know..the usual. Informants, high tech surveillance..."

"You followed me from the diner," Kevin figured out, sliding himself out from under his car and studying his old untrustworthy business partner.

"Yes, but you didn't notice me," Argit pointed out.

"Had other things on my mind..." Kevin said distantly. "Give me one good reason I shouldn't kick your butt. You've got no business here, and after how badly you burned me last time..."

"I know, I know, but buddy...pal!" Argit said, sitting down on the cement beside Kevin. "I need a little help with a situation..."

"Forget it. Not interested."

"But they won't let me in on it without you!"

Kevin studied the porcupine-like alien for a moment. "Won't let you in on what? Not like you to go in on anything that requires teamwork....and what do you need me for?"

Argit sighed. "C'mon, I'm brains...I need some brawn in this situation. They won't even tell me the target, or even what level the tech they're after is. All they've said is it's somewhere above level seven..."

"Then it's an even bigger no. Earth's only cleared for level two tech, if there was anything above level six the Plumbers would be all over the place looking for it. I'm not going to go to another planet just to help you pull off a heist."

"It's not on another planet," Argit insisted. "C'mon, Kev, you've got to help a guy out. Do it for your old pal?"

"You're not my 'pal'," Kevin said simply, absorbing the concrete on the floor and pushing the alien outside.

"Just think about it!" Argit insisted. In answer, Kevin slammed the garage door shut.