DISCLAIMER: see chapter one.
Four year old Albedo sighed and turned away from a small plate of food that sat before him much as he had every other time in the past three days. Sitting beside Albedo was a younger woman with short blond hair and soft hazel eyes watching curiously and saddened at the boys actions.
"Albedo..." she spoke softly, the boy gave nothing more than a quick corner of the eye glare "...what's going on? You haven't eaten anything in three days; especially since it's chili-fries. And you haven't said anything about taking the Omnitrix. If something's wrong, you know you can tell me, right?" With this Albedo merely huffed and crossed his arms. "You know, you may have an superior intellect, but in this form, you bleed red just like the rest of us" she continued speaking while leaning back in the chair.
"Why does nobody like me?" Albedo asked staring the woman point blank with a curious and saddened glare; a tense moment of silence fell upon them once again before either said anything further.
"Well, a lot of it has to do with your attitude towards everything." Hearing this, Albedo still dressed in a light blue jumpsuit turned around far enough to face her. "Think about it. All you ever wanted is the Omnitrix and you let nothing stand in your way of obtaining it, not really the best of ways to impress people."
"Fearw worwks betterw!"
"Maybe for you, but most humans aren't like that; some people can be forced into submission by fear and brute force, while others let their guard down when you gain their trust. Just remember, to make a friend, you have to be a friend."
"What does it feel like? To have frwiends? A family?" A streak of glittering tears escaped Albedo's eyes as he desperately tried to brush them away with the sleeve of the one-piece-uniform. "I-I'm leaking...why am I leaking-is this forwm brwoken?"
"Those are called tears, and they are an involuntary response to something sad and emotional."
"I do not like this; make it stop!"
"KEB-INNNNN!" Four year old Ben screamed jumping up and down arms flailing trying to reach a small stuffed bear that Kevin held high above his head.
"You want it, you gotta work for it." Kevin chuckled with a devious grin; deep down, part of him felt shamed for doing this, but another part of him was enjoying the hell out of it.
"Gimme Furrwy Frweddy!"
"Gimme-gimme never gets."
"KEBIN!" Ben yelled even louder almost on the verge of throwing a tantrum – the coming event indicated by little Ben's face turning a deep red with a slight trickle of tears cresting his cheeks. Kevin instantly ceased his cackling laughter the moment a swift strike struck the back of his head; lowering his arm and the toy and turning back, he found Gwen with arms crossed and a pissed look on her face.
"Real mature..." she hissed snatching the stuffed toy from his hands and giving it to Ben whom took it holding it against his chest with both arms over it. Both Ben and Gwen stared at Kevin.
"What...!" the raven black haired teen asked drawing his shoulders upwards "Jeeze, can't have some fun with the squirt?"
"There is a fine line between fun and torture! And stop mocking his size, he's only at the capacity of a four year old but his mind is still at the age of fifteen...which is better than being sixteen and acting like a four year old..." Gwen silenced herself and glared around, surely her last comment would have had Ben rolling in laughter yet utter silence filled the living room with Ben still standing arms crossed. In the silence, a faint ringing echoed; Kevin reached into his pocket and pulled out a titanium cellphone.
"Yo." his response was formal yet relaxed at the same time. Gwen and Ben listened intently to a muffled voice coming from the speaker. "Uh hunh, yeah, we'll be there." With this Kevin ended the call and switched the phone for a set of car keys. "That was Doc, he said that Albedo wants to talk to us...mainly Ben."
"About what?" Gwen narrowed her glare questioningly.
"I dunno." Kevin shrugged and walked to the garage where he kept his car under lock and key.
Ben sat at a metal table across from Albedo; Kevin and Gwen stood behind Ben as Doc and a couple of his lackeys stood behind Albedo. Ben eyed Albedo in his blue jumpsuit then to faded white cinder block walls; over them, pale lights glowed giving everything eerie shadows. Albedo gently slipped his hands from his and onto the table, in response, Ben pulled his arm back in a motion to protect the Omnitrix.
"Don't worrwy Ben; I don't carwe forw the Omnitrwix." Albedo lowered his glare to the glistening tabletop, Ben tilted his head to the side.
"What do you want then?"
"A family...a frwiend..." Albedo's voice lowered into a mere mumble as a streak of tears escaped his red eyes. Little Ben's heart sank seeing honest sincerity in Albedo's eyes as he brought up his sleeved arm to wipe the tears.
"You want a frwiend?" Ben repeated Albedo's last word unsure he heard it correctly. The albino boy nodded. "I-I don wanna..." Albedo trailed off fighting the urge to fall into a fit of sadness.
"You don't want what?" Gwen asked cautiously leaning over the table using her arms for support. Albedo glared to her with a quivering jaw and a face turning pink.
"To be alone!"
Silence. Ben lowered his eyebrows into a thoughtful expression before looking at Kevin then Gwen and finally Doc and his assistants. With that one look from Ben, Gwen knew he was cooking up something. "What if he took my place at home, with my parents?" Everyone instantly turned their glares directly to Ben. "So that way, he'll have someone looking after him and he can have a fresh start."
"You're crazy Tennyson!" Kevin crossed his arms. "You know what he's capable of and yet you suggest such a stupid idea. You know how dangerous that is?"
"Ben's got a point though..." Gwen interjected "...I mean, look at you. We know what you're capable of but your still on the team."
"That's cold, Gwen! Like frigid arctic ice-maiden cold!"
"Will...will they...like me?" Albedo looked into Ben's eyes with hope and a hint of skepticism.
"My folks arwe hippies, of curwse they'll like you." Ben smiled knowing how easy going his parents were.
"Mom, dad, I'm home and I brwought company." Ben called out following Kevin into the living room of Ben's home. Behind them, Gwen held Albedo's hand as they walked inside to find Carl and Sandra sitting on the couch – Carl reading the paper and Sandra flipping through a gardening magazine. "I've got a frwiend that needs help." Ben approached and sat next to his father on the couch, Gwen lead Albedo to the other end of the couch where she sat down bringing him into her lap.
"Okay..." Carl muttered glancing between Ben and Albedo with a confused glare.
"Albedo is looking to be parwt of a family, and since he doesn't have his own, I figurwed why not brwing him into ourws." Ben smiled as cute as possible; Carl sighed and Sandra brought a tuft of hair from her face.
"Ben..." Sandra sighed. "...I don't know if we can. Money's kind of tight as it is and with another mouth to feed..." she trailed off looking back as Kevin came back from the kitchen with a sandwich in his hands. "I'm just not sure."
"Mom..." Ben wined "...he's a frwiend that needs help." Ben whined even more causing Albedo to give him a questioning glare of hope.
"Well, how could we pass him off as one of our own?" Carl asked glaring over the boy with white hair, his red eyes closed as his head nestled into crevice of Gwen's shoulder. Kevin snapped and swallowed a mouthful of food.
"Why don't you call him your Alpine-o twin brother?"
"Albino." Gwen corrected him looking down to find Albedo slipping off to sleep. Sandra stood and motioned for Gwen to follow her down the hall to a spare room. Once in the quiet space, Gwen gently laid Albedo onto a small bed in the center of the room followed promptly with Sandra drawing a blanket over him.
"He is kinda cute though..." Sandra whispered sweeping a tuft of hair from the boys face before turning her attention back to Gwen. "Just like when Ben sleeps. I honestly don't know how we're going to do it, but..." she trailed off and smirked "...but we'll do what we can."
The house was dark; quiet. In the early morning hours, Albedo awoke and glared around to the dark room where he slept. Across the hall, Ben slept soundly, further down the hall, Carl and Sandra slept quietly. Albedo took the blanket in his grip and drew it over his shoulder as he rolled onto his side. He slowly closed his eyes and listened to the silence of the home, a faint smile crept across his face as he remembered his first official day of living with the Tennyson's.
A/N: Okay, this one officially sucks big time and I apologize for it. Lost where I was going with it and just wanted to hurry and finish it! And mis-spellings in dialogue are once again intentional.