Author's Note: I wrote this months ago. At least, this first chapter. It's been sitting on my computer while I tried to figure out why I was torn between posting and not posting. It is based off of clichés, which I hate, and originally this was going to be Gwevin…but I reread it and it was just begging to be used as a dark Bevin fanfic instead, and since I almost always write Gwevin and while it's never fluffy, it always stays on the lighter side (and this is not as big of a cliché in the Bevin fandom anyways), I decided to go ahead with it. This will be going to dark places. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to end up doing, but I will try my damndest to keep it in character. Thanks for reading.
Ben didn't bother to sneak in. Some part of him even hoped the sound of the door closing would rouse his parents from their sleep. No such luck. Sighing, he kicked off his shoes and made the way to his bedroom, his mind refusing to let the night's events slip from him.
And that, of course, was the problem.
Gwen hadn't wanted to talk about it. She'd made her way home using her powers, promising she would call tomorrow, she just needed time to digest everything. Ben had chosen Jetray's form and flown home.
It doesn't make sense…Ben thought as he peeled off his clothes, swapping them for a night shirt.
Sure you're not just telling yourself that? His more skeptic side asked.
The skeptical side of Ben laughed inside his head. It rang unpleasantly there before taunting him again. Changed, huh? This isn't like the time with the holoviewer. He took a shot at you. He didn't stop when Gwen started bleeding. The only thing that stopped him was that alien trader…the one he ran off with.
"But it's Kevin," Ben made this argument out loud. "Yeah, he was a bad guy, but he'd changed. There's no way he could have gone bad again, not without some sort of reason…"
"Of course there's a reason." Ben jumped and turned to face Professor Paradox, who was sitting on Ben's bed.
"Not happy to see me, Ben?"
"Sorry, Paradox, but every time you show up…well, the world's in enormous trouble," Ben said, shrugging. "And I'm not sure how my parents are going to respond to a middle aged man on my bed in the middle of the night…"
"Noted, noted," Paradox said with a wave of his hand. "But this isn't about your parents…technically it's not about you either, only it is." He noted Ben's puzzled expression, but he did not elaborate on just how it could both not involve and involve Ben. "I have made a very great mistake."
"Uh…well…what can I do to help?" Ben asked, figuring that maybe a fight would at least let him think of something, anything, other than what had happened tonight. No such luck.
"There's not anything. I've come to see you to explain that your friend Kevin might snap…"
"But why?" Ben interrupted. "I mean, yeah, he could still be a bit of a jerk, but he was helping us. He'd changed. I didn't think he'd do something like this…"
Paradox nodded. "Of course he wouldn't."
Ben furrowed both eyebrows, trying to make sense of what Paradox was saying. "I don't follow you," Ben admitted.
"Well, genius though I am," Paradox said, rubbing his chin, "Even I make mistakes. And unfortunately, the ones I can't fix are often the gravest of all…"
"What kind of mistakes haven't you fixed?"
"Oh, there's thousands, millions probably, of documented cases for things I could not prevent, for various reasons of course…" Paradox frowned, ticking them off, one finger at a time, "The holocaust…Pearl Harbor…Twin Towers….these are the ones you'd be most familiar with, at any rate."
"You tried to fix those?"
"More than once. But there are some parts of history that must remain concrete. I learned that the hard way. Every time I moved to take out a dictator, I'd find that another one would spring up - same ideals, same theories, the only differences would be the names. Or sometimes, an even worse catastrophe would happen…not that any of those weren't horrible to begin with."
"But what does this have to do with Kevin? …Is …is he supposed to be evil?"
Paradox shook his head. "The problem is all my fault, I'm afraid. When you helped me…how long ago was it? The issue with my assistant, Hugo, I mean? To me it seems like around a thousand years….but of course, it may have been a few days ago…"
"That was a few months ago," Ben corrected him.
"Months, then, at least from your perspective," Paradox amended, "Though I have to admit, that part of the story is the least important. When Kevin hit Hugo - as a space time anomaly - and it aged him…Do you know how I fixed him?"
"Well, I had to go back to a moment in time from that year of his life span, and I needed a point at which no one would see me take him…"
"…You took him from before he came to our side." It was not a question, though Paradox nodded anyways. "But…but why would he still help us?"
"The jump to that moment in time allowed him to gain the memories of the, for lack of better term, 'old' Kevin."
"But he agreed to help us because of his dad…shouldn't that have stayed?"
Paradox nodded. "That was what I was counting on. But time travel is very tricky, and…I'm afraid the journey shook his mind. I mentioned to you that for a while I myself went mad from it. It took a while to come to fruition…but every time he's come into contact with some event I set in motion, he lost a bit more of his sanity…Every time he drove his car after I fixed it, it set the process further along in motion. The final straw was not long after the defeat of the Highbreed."
"You could change him back, right?" Ben insisted. "I mean…what if you just went back and stopped yourself from taking Kevin back through time? Wouldn't that force him back to normal?"
Paradox shook his head and stood, placing a hand on Ben's shoulder. "No…all that would do is remove Kevin from helping you to help Hugo, leaving him as an anomaly…without that mistake fixed…the world would be destroyed."
"Did you know that this would happen?"
"I…suspected," Paradox admitted, moving his hand from Ben's shoulder. "Azmuth and I had discussed the possibility, but it seemed so unlikely…"
"But it happened!"
"Yes…yes it did," Paradox admitted.
"So, what do I do about it?"
"That, I'm afraid…" Paradox pulled out his pocket watch. "Is up to you." With that, he disappeared, leaving more questions than answers behind.
Ben would wrestle with these questions for the rest of the night, never coming up victorious, never coming up with an answer. He could hear Kevin's voice in his ear, taunting. "Come on, Tennyson…I'm right here. You know where I live. You know where I'd be right now…come take a shot.".
Author's Note: Like I said, dark, dark places. And I'm really looking forward to writing it.