A/N: This is Bwen. Please kindly redirect from this page if you don't like this pairing. Thank you :) -bg014
P.S. From now on, since Ben 10 UA (Ultimate Alien) uses the AU (alternate universe) BS (cow manure) for practically every loophole—consider this story an AU so we don't have to go through those same said complications. Oh, and for continuity purposes let's just assume this story happens in late October. Also fixed/added some parts to help stave off retroactive continuity.
Chapter 1: Congratulations!
Bellwood High School
The sound of a delayed school bell resounds sharply throughout the vast corridors of Bellwood High, signalling the end of yet another class period, only to be replaced by the next. Within moments the once peaceful, empty hallways are suddenly overtaken by waves upon waves of restless students—jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, goths, the shy types, the laid-back, the popular girl, the popular girl's sidekick-who-hangs-out-with-the-popular-girl-to-be-almost-just-as-popular, the band people, the junkies, the monkeys, the foreign exchange student (eh, you get my point).
Within this typical crowd though are two not-so-typical teenagers, a brunette boy and a redhead girl, looking roughly quite the same age and height, casually conversing as they made their way to their next class which is Home Economics.
"I'm telling you Gwen," said the young man ecstatically, "If Groovie Smoothies ever decides to advertise this handsome face with their smoothies their sales will skyrocket! And all I ask in return is—"
"Free smoothies for life," quickly interrupted his mildly irritated cousin. "Yeah, I heard you for the zillionth time, Ben. No offense but I don't really think the Swampfire Chili Volcano Smoothie Special is such a hot idea to begin with anyway, or your advertising career for that matter," she added, shaking her head and chuckling slightly at both Ben and her bad pun.
They stopped by at their respective lockers—coincidentally located next to each other—as Gwen went to deposit some of the books she was carrying and taking the ones she needed for the moment and handing them to her cousin while she sorted out her locker. Pictures of the two of them when they were younger were plastered all over the back portion of her locker door.
"But, but...I'm me! I mean just look at me!" He said, pressing both forefingers to his rosy cheeks. "How could you say no to a face like this?" He said coolly, winking and flashing a glistening smile adding to the effect.
"Er...no," Gwen stated raising an eyebrow before taking her books from Ben and walking away slowly and disappearing into the crowd, obviously not wanting to discuss anymore of this Ben-centric conversation.
"Gwen! Now that was just harsh! Gwen? Hey, wait up!" called out Ben before dashing through the crowd after her just as the school bell rang a second time.
"You know what would've been awesome?" said a random passerby teen, talking to his friend walking alongside him. "A smoothie that's both hot and cold at the same time, like fire and ice. How awesome would that be?"
"Yeah," his friend mused. "I wonder why they don't sell those. Anyway, have you heard about this rad new alien Ben turns into..?"
Home Economics Class
"Settle down, class. Settle down," said Professor Canong, leaning against the front of his desk with his arms tucked behind his back. He was well above his forties, bespectacled and hair thinning at the top. Clad in his usual striped polo and high-pants with the straps, he walked with a rather unusual limp that made you wonder whether one leg was prosthetic or not. "Alright, to cope with the school's current situation, I have a very special project to give out and I want you all to...Benjamin Tennyson! Would you please put that thing away!" barked the professor, pointing to Ben who was sitting in the second row, one chair to the left from the middle, earphones tucked in nicely, connected to his iPhone as he didn't seem to have noticed his irritated teacher—his mind blankly fixated at some nearby motivational posters.
"Ben! Psst!" Gwen, who was seated in front of him, called out in a hushed tone but he didn't seem to notice. "Ben!" she called out again a little louder but still no response. Suddenly her eyes lit up pink and Ben's iPhone suddenly cranked to full volume, startling Ben and snapping him from his reverie as he quickly removed his earphones. A few chuckles could be heard from the back.
"What's the big idea, Gwen?" Ben huffed, sticking a finger in his sore left ear as he stuffed the iPhone in his backpack. Gwen only stuck her tongue out as a reply as she turned her head back towards the professor.
"Er...thank you, Gwendolyn. Now Ben, please pay attention! This is important. Now as I was saying—" continued the Professor as he leaned back against his desk, arms crossed.
"So what lame thing does Mr. Can't-do-fun want us to do this time? Macaroni art? Talk about our feelings? Sharing circle?" whispered Ben to his cousin, leaning ever so slightly that his chin rested a bit on her right shoulder.
"Ben shush, or you're gonna get in trouble again. Sit back and pay attention would you?" Gwen sighed flicking at Ben's nose instantly causing him to recline back to his seat.
"Your assignment will account for forty percent of your final grade and is crucial if you want to pass this class. This assignment will teach you the meaning of responsibility, teamwork and err...parenthood," he said the last part quite low, pushing weakly with his two fingers the bridge of his spectacles and readjusting his voice. Sounds of confused and curious whispers could be heard all around. Even Gwen and Ben shot a confused look at each other.
Clearing his throat, Professor Canong retreated to his desk's drawer and began digging through the pile of junk that clinked and clanked as he scrimmaged through them, murmuring to himself about his ex-wife, why his children never ever call him, among other things.
"Ah," he finally said in a eureka moment having found the elusive object. "This—" he said rather short of breath, plopping a peculiar-looking flour sack on top of the desk in full view of the entire classroom, "will be the object of interest for your project for the latter half of your school semester."
"A sack?" Ben suddenly pitched in with disinterest, his chin resting on his left hand. "You want us to bake you a cake or something?" Gwen rolled her eyes at his comment, knowing very well of his attempt at a joke—and failing.
"Heavens no, Benjamin—believe it or not, this inanimate thing," he said lifting the sack for everyone to see, "Will be your little bundle of joy," he stated grinning from ear to ear.
"Oh, no," Ben groaned half-laughing. "Not the whole sack baby thing. Aren't we a little too old for that?" he said chuckling, shaking his head at the hilarity of the idea.
"Maybe but this will play out a little bit differently and unlike your ghastly encounters with the unmentionables, dear boy, I don't believe those aliens of yours will be able to help you with this one," he stated rather as if issuing a challenge. "Why Benjamin? Do you think you have what it takes to be a parent?"
"I've been a mother once so I believe I do," Ben said with a confident smile, intending to elicit a laugh from his peers with that statement—and laugh they did—even though what he said was very much true.
"Really now? Mock all you want Ben but the fact stays the same, you will need to take utmost care of this baby for the entire school semester if you wish to pass my class." His voice sounded out rather serious this time as he eyed Ben down with a single raised eyebrow. "And luckily for you and the rest of the class, due to circumstances of what happened last week, the school has decided to suspend classes for an entire two months starting tomorrow for repairs, so at least you have a bit of momentum to kick-start this project," sighed Professor Canong as he looked out the window only to see numerous giant craters where the school parking lot used to be.
"Um, professor," Gwen called out abruptly raising her hand, "If we're gonna be parents, shouldn't there be a father and a mother; that is two people, for each sack?"
"Ah, right you are, Gwendolyn. That is why I will assign you all to work in pairs. Don't worry about finding one—I took the liberty of doing that myself." He fished out a folded piece of paper from his pocket and began unfolding it, readjusting his ever loose glasses. He blinked several times, squinting his eyes, having difficulty making out his own posh handwriting.
"Sir," squeaked a timid dark-haired girl from the back row, her hand raised not to high, as if having second thoughts about speaking out in the first place.
"Err, yes, Kat?" The professor said, turning his attention to her with a subtle nudge of his ever loose glasses.
"H-How do we, uhm, I mean how d-do you even know we, uh, took care of these sacks and not just put them somewhere or, uh, lose and just replace them?" she stuttered, scoping around her hoping her question didn't earn a negative response from her peers.
"Yeah she does have a point," chimed in Ben. "A sack of flour like that obviously won't be that hard to replace."
"Why Ben, are you actually not trying to talk yourself out of having to do work? Impressive," smiled the Professor, amazed at Ben. Even Gwen was, raising an eyebrow wondering what mischievous idea her cousin has concocted in that darn head of his.
"Well, for starters, this assignment isn't all that lame. Sounds fun actually if we didn't have this little setback we have right now," He answered with a smile as everyone looked, amazed at his sudden change of demeanour. He reclined back in his seat, basking in the glory that he was the center of attention.
"Goodness, Benjamin, who said anything about setbacks? Do you honestly think I'd give this assignment out to higher year students and not expect them to cheat themselves to an A plus? No, no, dear boy, I have come prepared," Professor Canong declared, beaming with confidence.
The elderly man then took the flour that was lying on the desk and turned it to reveal some sort of device embedded in its backside. It was a black, rectangular box about the size of a playing card and just a few times as thick. It had about two alternately flashing lights—red and green—and three, small grills lining at the top.
"This has been approved and commissioned by the school board to show their appreciation after Ben saved the Bellwood High president's daughter last week from those nasty alien pirate robot ninjas. At the expense of half the school and my car being demolished at that but thankfully my car insurance covers 'destroyed by extraterrestrial causes' so it all works out in the end. Oh, I must have been rambling. Anyway dear students, this little thing sewn into this sack is a brilliant piece of device. It serves two purposes. One, once the sack has been lost, this device is irreplaceable. You cannot find this anywhere outside the ones commissioned by the board. So you can never replace your sack once it is lost. Two, hardwired into this device is an intricate motion and auditory response chip that will react to whatever forces, physical or by sound that the sack experiences and will accordingly give the corresponding reaction, positive or negative. You'll find out what I mean soon enough."
The entire class looked at him with a blank expression—especially Ben who just tilted his head in confusion to whatever the heck the man just said.
"To put it in layman's terms, this sack will react to whatever you do with it, good or bad. Inside this device is a special something built in it that can help me evaluate your performance by the end of the semester but I won't go around telling you what exactly less you tamper with it. Just so you know the grading system depends on how good a parent you can be. You might be thinking, "Isn't the school board going a bit overboard just for a simple assignment?" Well, I tell you we aren't taking matters seriously enough. Besides, after Ben's heroic deeds, why not grab the opportunity to try out these wonderful things the benefactor graciously donated to us," He said, catching his breath after that long delivery.
"Someone donated these things to our school?" Gwen asked, impressed someone could be that generous.
"Why, of course. Along with the funds to help with the repairs. Oh, and Ellen Degeneres sends you her deepest gratitude, Ben," his professor said with a wink.
"No big. She just happened to be there when those pirate ninja robot freaks fired their repulsor canon and I just XLR8-ed her out one piece," Ben said coolly. "I didn't think she'd do anything else other than invite me to appear on her talk show," he added as an afterthought, trying to sound as modest as he can.
"Indeed. And after you carried Miss Melissa Burkson here away from those exploding gas line pumps, our class is finally getting the support from this school that it deserves. A bit biased but you've earned it, Ben," said the professor with a hearty laugh.
"Yeah, I know. I'm a giver. Give, give, give, is all I do," Ben grinned, oozing in his Ben-ness.
"What a show-off," whispered a girl in the back to a boy beside her as she obliviously tended to her finely-manicured nails.
"Yeah, he's so full of himself. But he is a hero so we gotta give him credit where it's due," lauded the boy.
"I just wish he wouldn't open that big mouth of his so much," said another boy just behind him.
"I so do not want to end up with him for this assignment," added the girl.
"I dunno. I think he's kinda cool...and cute," butted in another girl behind her, looking a little bit flustered.
"Ugh, whatevs, you can have the great Ben Tennyson. I don't want none of what he's got," rolled the first girl.
"If I'm lucky," chimed the girl happily as the three rolled their eyes at her.
"You four there at the back, pay attention!" scolded the professor before peering back into the piece of paper in his hand. "Now where were we? Ah yes, your pairings..."
"Man, I hope I end up with someone I can work with who doesn't fuzz too much," whispered Ben to his cousin, resting his chin yet again on her right shoulder.
"Or someone who'll do the work for you?" Gwen shot back raising an eyebrow.
"Ouch, Gwen, I'm not that much of a slob. I'll do my part—as long as I end up with someone who's a total babe! Like Sarah maybe?" Ben grinned widely.
"Honestly, Ben," Gwen sighed, shaking her head.
"Sarah Kennedy...you'll work with Craig Johnstone..," recited the professor in a nonchalant manner as he continued reading the list.
"Yes!" exclaimed softly the attractive-looking girl, pumping her fist as she then looked at the equally attractive-looking guy just mentioned.
"The jock? Just my luck. Well, I guess it's meant to be," Ben shrugged.
"Julie Yamamoto..," as the professor read her name Ben's ears perked up as he couldn't help but take notice, "Your partner is Cash Murray."
"What?!" Ben almost yelled and quickly covered his mouth as everyone turned their attention to him.
"Is there a problem, Benjamin?" asked the professor with a rather annoyed look.
"Uh, no. Sorry professor, carry on," Ben said slumping back to his seat, his face flustered. "That's not fair. How does Julie end up with the biggest jerk on Bellwood High?" Ben complained to his cousin, making sure his voice doesn't get too high.
"Don't be jealous, Ben. It was a random selection. Besides, didn't you and Julie break up like a month ago anyway?"
"Well, yeah but—"
"Then you have nothing to complain about," Gwen cut him off, adding a tone of finality to her voice.
"Vickie Torres..." the list went on and on, one name after another...
"Benjamin Tennyson..," the professor finally said, catching Ben's attention as he lifted his drowsy head from his little catnap. "Your partner will be..."
Oh, as if you haven't figured it out already, Sherlocks.
It's as if the entire universe suddenly fell upon itself. That everything we thought we knew of everything suddenly stops making sense. Time comes to a complete standstill. Everything is inexplicably flung towards the deepest crevices of the nether regions—forever lost—and what remains is a cold, hollow, dark void. And that void falls upon itself again...and suddenly implodes.
"WHAAAAATTTTT?!" screamed the two cousins in unison, much to the amusement of everyone around them. "I have to work with him/her?" they both yelled again in unison, pointing fingers at each other. It's all a little bit too surreal.
"Omigosh, the two biggest freak shows end up working with each other—as acting parents! Just how weird can it get?" laughed the girl from before, tears rolling from her eyes.
"I actually kind of feel bad for Gwen, having to do all that work," mused the boy. "Plus, she's kinda hot," he added inaudibly.
"You know you guys are just plain, old jerks," spat the girl at them, crossing her arms and shaking her head. "I swear some people are just immature."
"Watch it, Sassy Smarthmouth," warned the girl, who we will now start addressing by the name of Melissa. "Or did you forget who runs this school? I can make the rest of your school life a living hell at the snap of a finger so you better watch that little mouth of yours," scoffed the school's head cheerleader/class chair of the school committee/school president's daughter.
"But didn't Ben just save you from that explosion a few days ago when he was fighting those aliens?" asked the boy next to her.
"Yeah, but those freaks wouldn't even be here in the first place if it wasn't for him and his weirdo aliens. He's like the magnet for the bizarre, and thanks to him I had to spend an entire four days tending to my broken nails," Melissa whined a little too melodramatically, flashing her over-the-top manicure. "And believe me, Ben Tennyson is gonna pay."
'Jeez, what a [explicit], I hope you get what's coming to you', the other girl thought to herself.
Back to the Tennyson cousins...
"I-isn't there any other person left that you haven't paired yet? I mean Gwen? C'mon!" griped Ben, practically sounding desperate.
"Hey!" Gwen frowned, feeling quite insulted.
"I didn't mean it like that, Gwen. It's just...it feels a little weird, you know. Considering our assignment; the whole parent thing..." Ben's voice dropped at that point, his face red as a tomato.
"Oh..," was all that she could utter, finally catching on to what Ben was saying.
"I'm very sorry to you both. I know this must feel a bit awkward, and it was an error for my part. When I was making out the list I neglected the fact that both of you had the same surname and, well, you both were the only ones left without a partner by the time I was about done. And I can't take back the pairings because it would be unfair to the other students. I'm truly very sorry, but if it's any consolation you both don't have to worry about managing your time with the, ahem, baby considering you both live a block at best away from each other. And Ben could learn from you Gwen; a model student. I'm sure you can teach Ben a thing or two about responsibility."
"Obviously, you don't know Ben," Gwen smirked as she shot a look at her cousin.
"Hey, I resent that!" Ben glared at her as she stuck her tongue out at him in reply.
"Then it's settled," declared Professor Canong happily. "You're now officially Mr. and Mrs. Tennyson."
"Not cool, dude."