A/N: Rawr. Alright, final chapter. I know I completely twisted the plot from the original scenario I was given. I know Crushed Hale.x wanted it to be focused more on Kevin and Gwen getting revenge on Ben, but I twisted it in my Gwevin mindset and wove it into this. I'm so sorry for that, but I still think people love it and that it's popular, so I guess maybe that makes up for it. Thank you so much for the idea, I could never be grateful enough. Gwen's POV.
Disclaimer: I do not own Ben 10. Idea is by Crushed Hale.x. Written by Skylark Evanson.
"So he'll be back in twenty minutes?" asked Ben, circling me like a vulture, rubbing his hands together and just walking. Almost pacing, but not quite. He ran a hand through his hair. Clearly he wasn't capable of focusing on this. He was afraid more than anything. I could see it in his eyes. He couldn't do this. For Ben, the rest of his life would be divided between trying not to kill Kevin and protecting me. Either way, he wasn't gonna be able to do this. He plopped down next to me.
I checked my watch. I never thought I'd ever be able to miss having a watch. But I did. A lot. "Fifteen minutes, actually." I shook my arm back down to my side as I sat out on the porch with Ben right by my side. "Think you'll live?" By my call, he wasn't going to last. No way in Hell.
He twitched a little bit and looked at his wrist only to see the Omnitrix planted there. As always. His eyes strayed to the sky in a distracted way. "Doesn't tell time," he huffed.
He snorted his disgust and got up to pace more. "Are you sure about this, Gwen?" My cousin looked down at me with a bit of concern written across his face. "He's a criminal and dangerous and-"
"And I love him, Ben." I just loved saying that. I wanted to know that this was how it was always going to be. Forever and always. I fixed my hair, pulling it up in a ponytail. It was still long, but I'd trimmed it up from the state it'd been in from the Null Void. "Can't you please just trust me? Please?" I looked up to him with a desperate plea written in my face as I set my eyes to 'begging puppy pout'. There was no way he could refuse that. No way.
He sighed and sat down again. His impatience was obvious. "I still can't get it out of my head. You. In love with a convict." He shook his head, the shaggy brown mop covering most of his face as he looked down at the stone sidewalk that led up to my house. "I always thought you'd do something stupid someday, but I did not expect this." He scuffed at the stone with one rubber-soled shoe. "You make me think you're dead, then you show up out of nowhere with an attack dog gone boyfriend, and now you want him to live with Grandpa like that'll solve all his problems."
"His mom's coming," I assured Ben with a knowing and playful glare. "She'll be here in about two weeks, but until then Grandpa Max can take care of him." I fiddled with my hair while subconsciously keeping my ears tuned for the rumbling sound of the Rustbucket. I hadn't seen Kevin in three months. It felt so weird to not be with him after four years of seeing him everywhere I looked. I missed his smug smiles and his dark eyes and every stupid thing he ever did.
Of course, I'd put my life together in a heartbeat. I'd taken a summer school course for six weeks, five hours each day to cover for the classes that I'd missed over the years. It only took away two years of school that I'd missed, but I'd be going into… high school this year. Apparently, Kevin and I had been wrong with our time keeping. Five years in the Null Void. Or at least five years away. We'd been coming up on five years when we'd escaped and in the month or so it took us to get back to Bellwood, we'd hit five years. I was fifteen, him sixteen. Our lives had withered away before we even knew what was going on.
"You really think that'll last?" asked Ben as he looked at me with all seriousness in his gaze. "He… He just doesn't seem reliable to me. He ditched you at your place to chase after me… He can't keep still for more than a few minutes…"
"I trust him, Ben. He's better now. Grandpa Max calls me with updates. He's settled down." I wasn't sure how true that'd be, but I knew Kevin would still retain some traits from New York and the Null Void. His paranoia about everything being quiet and perfect. His rough side with the language and the ferocity. His shaggy and dangerous appearance that gave off the 'don't fuck with me' vibe. That was just Kevin. Sure, he'd still be a little edgy and a little strange, but he was a quick learner. I trusted that he'd be better in no time; or at least that he'd learn to change his ways when introduced to a less hostile environment where his actions had to reflect the atmosphere. "He'll behave."
Ben shrugged and sighed. He scuffed his shoe against the stone again. "As long as you have reins on him, I believe you, but if he steps out of line even once-"
He paused, sighed, and slumped. One hand ran through his hair. "Alright. Just make sure you keep an eye on him, Gwen. I'm not afraid to use the Omnitrix if it comes down to it."
"He reads books, Ben. He studies. Grandpa Max said he's doing better. He's been training to hone in on his powers and working to catch up for all the years he lost from New York and the Null Void. We're both working hard to fix our lives." I thought I heard a car rumble past, but it was just a car. There was still no sign of Grandpa's RV. "And if you don't trust him, why do you trust me? I was with him all that time."
"You're my cousin."
"Yeah, because that excuse fixes everything. I could kill you right now without a care in the world, but I don't because you're family and I just got out of prison." I pulled a loose strand of hair away from my face. "Ben, you really need to stop thinking. Your head's going to explode."
He smiled and then looked up to see the Rustbucket rolling around a corner with two people sitting in the front seats, one with gray hair, one with ebony. I saw it too and stood up from my place on the porch, fixing my blue skirt and pushing that stray strand of hair behind my ear. "They're here," I said.
"A little early," he commented in a passive tone.
I gave him an elbow as the Rustbucket pulled a U-turn in the street so that the side door could be opened up right to the walkway of my house. I walked a little ways down the sidewalk only to see the door open, Kevin standing there with his usually roguish charm and a bag of clothes slung over one shoulder and a book clutched in one hand, his dark eyes focused on me with a burning intensity. The bag was dropped from his shoulder and the book was thrown right on top of it, a faint smile reclaiming his features as he saw me.
If there was one thing I learned from him, it was to never waste time. I bolted forward, my bare feet pounding along the hot stones until I found myself enveloped in his warm arms, my head still fitting perfectly into the crook of his neck, his dirty scent filling my nostrils, the way his hair tickled my face, the way he breathed my name. "Gwen…"
My arms were thrown around his neck, and his arms had captured my waist as he pulled me close, tucking me into his chest, kissing my hair, taking everything in. "Kevin…"
"So this is what humanity feels like," he whispered in my ear as I heard the Rustbucket's stairs creaking under Grandpa Max's weight as he got out of the RV. Kevin pulled me in a little closer, his hands fitting perfectly into the small of my back as if that was where they belonged.
"I missed it." And I did. I missed the feel of the sun on my skin. I missed the touch of real cloth. I missed the sound of birds chirping to wake me up in the morning. I missed the smell of cinnamon buns. I missed the world. I missed home. I missed reality.
He was quiet for a long moment and I had to pull away so I could figure out what he was thinking about. I always knew how to read him. Everything was always in his eyes. I saw that he was looking at the sky and smiling to himself like he'd suddenly figured out the meaning of life. And all he said was, "It's blue."
A/N: Fin. Review.