Chapter one

"Ben? Ben? Ben?" Gwen shook her cousin's shoulders. "Ben, wake up. Now. Ben this isn't funny. Ben!"

"Gwen." Kevin said gently.

"Ben, I said wake up. We're going to be late."

"Gwen." Kevin repeated, placing a hand on his girlfriend's shoulder. The red headed girl ignored him, shrugging his hand off and shaking her cousin again.

"Ben! Wake up! Now!" She yelled, her face three inches away from his. Ben's eyelids fluttered and he moaned quietly. Gwen looked up at her boyfriend. "See, he heard me." She said in her trademark I-told-you-so tone.

"Okay, so he's alive." Kevin observed, looking at the unconscious hero. "What now?"

Gwen dropped her cousin back onto his bed and picked up a small bottle that sat open on the desk. She glanced at the label, then drew back, surprised.

"Sleeping pills." She gasped.

"That would explain why he fell asleep on top of his blankets, with his clothes on, and why we couldn't wake him up." Kevin stated. Gwen shot her boyfriend a dirty look for about five seconds, then got over it.

"Ben never takes sleeping pills. He never takes any kind of pills." She said.

"Maybe not around you." Kevin pointed out. "And we didn't exactly tell him we were coming over."

Gwen bit her lip and put the bottle down, the label facing out as if she was afraid to see it. Her eyes were full of confusion and fear…not only fear of harm to her favorite cousin, but fear that Kevin was right, and Ben had been lying to her about the pills.

"He promised." Gwen murmured. "When he first got the Omnitrix."

"This isn't the Omni-"

"It's the same idea!" Gwen snapped. "The transformations might have effects on his system that we know nothing about. I made him promise me that he wouldn't take any pills so he wouldn't put himself in danger." Kevin laid his hand on Gwen's shoulder again.

"Hey, we don't know that he did. And maybe he had a rough night last night and just forgot." He suggested. Gwen hesitated, then nodded slowly.

"Okay." She turned back to the hero and frowned, pulling her fingers through his hair. Dirt? Was Ben in the forest? Maybe investigating a case – without us. "I'm still waking him up." She told Kevin. The tall, dark Osmosian shrugged.

"Whatever. Just try not to break anything." He warned.

"Me?" Gwen questioned.

"Not directly." Kevin allowed. "But if you wake Ben up the wrong way…" Gwen nodded.

"Keep an eye out for Rath." She suggested.

"Got it. Staying by the door." Kevin agreed. Gwen smirked and lit her hand with a manna bubble, then touched it to her cousin's head. She began to concentrate, seeking out the consciousness of Ben's mind.

But something went wrong.

Strangely, Gwen felt instantly rejected by her cousin's mind, like a wall had slammed down locking her out. She frowned, then eased her way past the safeguards. Why are there safeguards? Do all minds have safeguards? Finally, she established the connection she needed.

Ben. Wake up. Now.

The recoil of Ben's mind pushed Gwen back so hard that she physically fell backwards and slammed into the wall. A spark of purplish light flashed from Ben's forehead where his cousin's hand had been as he shook his head and sat up slowly.

"Ouch." He moaned, rubbing his forehead.

"Hangover?" Kevin smirked. Ben stared at him with a blank look on his face.

"What…are…you…?" He murmured. Gwen picked up the bottle of pills and shook it in his face. Ben blinked, then realization flashed across his face.

"Oh. Oh." He said. "My mom was worried about me not getting enough sleep so she made me take them. Sorry, Gwen." He dropped his eyes. Gwen's heart softened towards her cousin and she put a hand on his shoulder.

"It's okay, Ben. I understand." She said. "But right now we have bigger problems."

"Aliens?" Ben asked.

"No, worse." Gwen told him. "you're late for your History final."

Ehhh. So yeah. Not great, but I just wanted to introduce the pill thing. I don't know if it in itself will be significant to the story, but I know the whole weird reaction will be. Also the fact that when Ben denied taking the pills of his own free will he just might have been lying…Review and tell me what you think.