Ever After

Disclaimer: I don't own Ben 10 and/or Ben 10: Alien Force and/or any characters and/or concept; it all belongs to Man of Action and Cartoon Network Studios. I am a mere fanfic author. Who really hates herself for writing this.

Author's Notes: Okay, this is very dark and depressing. It's the result of thinking about the episode "Time Heals" [SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!] (You know, the one where Gwen fixes Kevin via some time-travel and thus effs everything up?) [SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!] when coming down from a sugar high, in a depressive funk (no worries I'm on medication that helps I just go through this periodic periods of extreme darkness, cynical-ness and lust for all things sad and tragic), and seeing/thinking about things from Ben's point of view in the [SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!] Hex and Charmcaster controlled future. Not a good combo, trust me. If yo don't want to shed a few tears while reading, or curl up into a shivering sobbing fetally balled and rocking mess of irrational anguish over fictional characters like I did, then go away...now for those who stayed, and are thus either masochists, sadists, or sadomasochists, enjoy(?).

Rated: T, for death, destruction, contemplation of suicide, mentioned attempted sexual seduction of a minor by an adult, mentioned coldblooded torture, and/or the end of life as canon knows it.

Genre: Tragedy

He hung in the dungeon; powerless, starved, dehydrated, scarred, injured. Useless. He was so damn useless. This was his entire fault, damn it; if he hadn't broken the watch by trying to hack it he would have been able to help, would have been able to save…

Earth.

His family.

Gwen and Kevin.

Julie.

He was a worthless piece of crap; if he had never gotten the damned watch, if he had never been born this never would have happened. Nobody would have suffered, died because of his mistakes.

The whipping did not hurt, even when he was still able to feel, nor had the flames, nor had the thousand blades that had slowly stripped his human body of its flesh.

He was dead all but physically. But they wanted him alive; the mighty wielder of the Omnitrix, brought to his knees by an old man and a valley girl.

They had tried to get him on their side of course, to use him more actively.

Kevin was already under their thumb by that point; poor bastard, Gwen's death had stripped him of everything but his existence; he didn't even try to fight as they blanked his mind. They had speared, drawn and quartered her, alive, right in front of him. But she hadn't screamed nor cried out for mercy; she didn't give those monsters that satisfaction.

At least he had the comfort of knowing Julie hadn't suffered; it was almost instant, her death. They had shown the mortal mercy, allowing her and her family to keep their honor by committing seppuku, if only to break him more. But even she had gone to her death bravely; dolled up in traditional samurai armor, a great honor for a girl to begin with, completing a traditional tea ceremony, before taking an ancestral katana and completing the very difficult, very revered, very sacred two cut seppuku, her parents could only make one as they didn't have the presence of mind to do that version, and waiting just as calmly, actually lecturing him on the importance of not fearing death, as she bled out with her entrails laying in her lap.

He had always known she was a keeper.

And then that demon had entombed her in dirt, going against her burial wishes of being cremated, before just as simply proposing that he have sex with her, thus fathering an ultimately all powerful hell spawn by her. No way was he dishonoring Julie's memory by laying the woman who had killed her. The kid would have been a monster anyway and even if he died he wasn't releasing that atrocity upon the universe. So with his last act of defiance he had grabbed the sword, sending a prayer to Julie to borrow some of her willpower, and sliced off his penis, and using the last bit of Omnitrix power at his disposal he had disintegrated it, his seed, and any chance of his progeny raping the universe, being wiped from existence.

In doing so he had ruined their plans for one final time, a last masterstroke of his rarely used tactical genius; by using the last of the working Omnitrix ability so willingly and so determinedly he had basically locked his DNA; all that power contained within his double helixes, so mutated by the Omni-DNAs and Omni-energies, was forever out of their reach.

(Kevin hadn't been exposed to enough Omni-mutation as a tween to be of any use to Charmcaster's dynasty planning; besides his DNA was just too unstable to be used reliably).

His body was slowly dying as a result; his DNA couldn't replicate meaning no new cells were being made, no new anti-bodies, no new nothing that was usually replaced by the cellular cycle.

His skin was flaking off, his hair falling out. His organs failing. Vessels were bursting inside of him, veins and arteries were heading there.

And yet he couldn't be happier.

He wouldn't let them kill him; he wouldn't give them that honor, power, or pride.

But, if one morning as they came down to torture him, they found him dead of his own hands? Well that would be a perfect ending under the circumstances. He would get the last laugh, it would be like flipping the bird to them and he couldn't wait to do it.

No longer was he afraid of death.

Then he heard the commotion…

Gwen appeared. He had finally lost it, which was a good sign. It meant the end was near.

But she freed him from his chains and turned him back to human and began blubbering about how this was all her fault, how she messed with the timelines and how her version of things was so perfect. These Demons had never gotten so powerful in her present, how everyone was alive and healthy and for the most part happy. But she could fix was she broke by fixing something the first time.

The Omnitrix came to life, sparking and sputtering.

It had enough power for his suicide mission. He needed to hold things off while she got to what she needed to fix things.

He was weak, broken, but if what she was saying was true then he would sacrifice himself for the cause.

As he charged to his death a voice whispered into his ear, "Betcha I can take more than you." A specter was at his side, sword blighting everything that stood in her way. He grinned.

END