Hey! I'm back. Sorry this took so long. I had some serious writers block and little time to write anyway. I must have rewritten this ten times. This is the one I'm the happiest with though. It's short but I'd like to think it's sweet too. The first bit is actually roughly based off of my own experience with my cousin. Great memories. :) I'm also writing with my new computer and have to get used to the new keyboard so sorry for any mistakes. I proof read but you never know. Anyway, tell me what you think. This is set after Hit'Em Where They Live.
Don't own. Nope.
"Come on, Ben. Smile!" The twelve year-old brunette looked up and scowled deeply, sinking further into the mountain of pillows surrounding him.
"Go away. And stop laughing! This isn't funny!" Gwen only burst into a fit of giggles in response but kept the camera trained on her cousin. "Gwen," the childish whine added to the end of her name increased her laughter and the video shook with her."Grandpa, make her stop!"
The camera swiveled over to the old man as he unsuccessfully attempted to hide his own chuckles. Coughing lightly, the retired plumber straightened and smiled at his grandson. "Sorry, Ben. I just never knew you were so competitive. Laughter broke out among the group as the boy groaned.
"It's not funny!" Ben crossed his arms over his chest and glared darkly at his relatives. "Can you at least put the camera away?"
"No way! This is gold: photographic proof that the Great Ben Ten is a complete klutz. I mean, when you had the Omnitrix, you never got anything worse than a few cuts and bruises. A week after you get it off, you break your leg.
"I wouldn't be talking. You broke your wrist before I did."
"Sprained. I sprained my wrist. In one of the top martial arts competitions in the region too. You fell out of a tree. Real heroic." The boy groaned again, his face bright red under his summer tan.
"Shut up, Gwen." The girl chuckled at her cousin's embarrassment but kindly stopped her teasing.
"Fine, only if you let me sign you cast." She tossed the camera to her grandfather before running off to find a pen. Grandpa Max fumbled with the it before pointing it back at his grandchildren with a beaming smile.
"What? No! Stay away!" Ben struggled in vain to squirm out of the pillows and run away.
Sixteen year-old Gwen laid against the couch and smiled. She had been feeling nostalgic lately. The sudden fame and added responsibilities had been straining on her nerves and she had begun to think about when times were easier: just Grandpa Max, Ben, and her fighting off stray alien attacks. There were no worries about their failures destroying the Earth, no boy troubles distracting her from school and her job, and no fear of being publically hated or feared.
So with her parents out shopping and the rest of the team taking a much-needed day off, she had pulled out some old home movies and sat down with a big bowl of popcorn to try and make herself feel better. It had done the trick. She could feel her worries starting to lose their bite and her nerves starting to relax.
The familiar creak of the bottom stair destroyed all that.
She paused the video as instincts honed over years of fighting kicked in. Her ears strained for any other sounds while her brain tried to figure out the cause of the noise. "Mom? Dad?" Her parents were out though and she would have known if they had returned. A sliver of ice raced down her back. It hadn't been long since their enemies had stopped targeting their families. Maybe someone hadn't gotten her message.
Careful to keep as quiet as possible, she crept toward the hallway. There was nothing there though. She began to convince herself it was just her imagination when something moved in the kitchen.
This time she went in with guns blazing. Her hands were covered in mana and were ready to strike before she turned the corner. With a battle cry, she leapt into the room, pink energy shooting out and wrapping around the invader.
"Woah! Hey!" The indignant shout made Gwen stop and actually look at her opponent. Ben stared at her, muscles tense, with his hand hovering dangerously over his Ultimatrix.
"Ben? What are you doing here?" Both teens relaxed and Ben shrugged once he was back on the ground.
"Just came to raid your fridge. Mom forgot to go shopping yesterday." He motioned toward the sandwich he had been making on the counter.
"And why didn't you use the front door like a normal person?" He shrugged again and returned to building his lunch. "How did you get in here anyway?"
"Your window. The car's not in the driveway so I thought you weren't home. Sorry," he apologized, or attempted to at least around the mouthful of sandwich he had just taken. Gwen would have called him out on the disgusting habit but burst into laughter instead. Ben stared at her until she got enough control of herself to motion him toward the living room. The video was still frozen on the screen and the brunette gaped as he recognized the scene. Gwen was just glad he had swallowed his latest mouthful beforehand.
"You still have this?" Gwen nodded.
"Why not?" He groaned and sent her a glare.
"Because it was horrible. I couldn't walk for like.. a month. I missed soccer tryouts!"
"Are you sure it's not because it ruins your wonderful reputation? People wouldn't feel so safe if they knew Ben Tennyson was beaten by a tree." She beamed while he sent a dirty glare at her.
"My reputation is bad enough. Thank you." An evil grin came over his face. "Yours could use some work though. If I remember correctly, there's a great video the press will love from the school play." The color drained from her face and she glared.
"You wouldn't dare!" Ben reached for the remote but a pillow smacked into his head before he could pick it up.
Green eyes blazing, her turned back to her. "Oh, now it's war!"
"Gwen? We're home, honey!" Lily Tennyson walked into the living room and stopped. "What happened here?" Gwen sat up and looked around the room. The couch and chairs had been stripped of their pillows and the furniture had been pushed to the side. The pillows were thrown across the floor in front of the TV with and Ben and herself were sprawled across them. Empty chip bags and popcorn bowls were placed sporadically in the chaos.
Turning back to her mother, Gwen shrugged. "We're just watching some movies. We'll clean up later." Lily hesitated before nodding.
"Alright. Dinner will be ready in an hour. I assume you're staying, Ben? Ken's coming home for the weekend." Ben rolled over and nodded at hid aunt.
"Thanks, Aunt Lily." Her mother left and Gwen turned to see Ben grinning at her. "Think we can get some blackmail on Ken in an hour?" She returned the smile.