Star Gazing

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Ben Gwen

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Author's Note

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This takes place after Season One of Ultimate Alien. There was no whole easily forgiven for Kevin's actions. Currently he is serving time in Plumbers prison with a possibility for parole for good behavior while undergoing counseling. The reason Kevin was sentenced was due to the fact a trial was held for his actions and the people he 'drained' testimony did not result in a favorable outcome for Kevin.

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Story Start

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Gwen walked slowly along the woodland paths, and looked up ahead at the back of her cousin. "Slow down, Ben! What's the rush?'' she asked as Ben merely looked back at her and smiled.

''I don't want to miss a thing.'' he said as he continued on ahead. ''Come on Gwen it's the perfect spot.''

''I swear you haven't been this excitable since we were ten.'' Gwen responded, wearing just as big as grin as Ben. It had been a few months since Kevin's sentencing and they were handling each day as it came. Suffice to say Kevin being locked up left a pretty big power vacuum in their team, meaning the two of them had to pick up the slack and start training to master their abilities and have enough power to deal with their enemies..

With this increased burden that left little time for the rest of the people of their lives as they had to continue with their plumbing duties. This resulted in Ben having relationship problems with Julie until they had to break it off due to the fact the couple just couldn't communicate anymore and the fact they hardly had anytime for each other.

During the course of these past few months Ben took up the hobby star gazing. At first Gwen was concerned due to the fact Ben spent most hours of the day on his own, hardly talking to anyone, talking to her; though when he invited her to this little outing it made her relax. It also made her reevaluate how much Ben meant to her. How much she had missed being around him and how much he had changed.

Normally it was up and downs between insensitive and egocentric Ben and the competent and smart one that took things seriously. She swore sometimes he changed with each passing season or something but now something was definitely different.

She was brought out of her thoughts when she noticed he stopped. ''What's wrong?'' she asked him as he turned midway to face her.

''It's kind of dark. Care to light the way?'' he asked as Gwen raised her right hand and lit it ablaze with magneta Mana. ''Thanks.''

'' You really enjoy watching the night sky huh?''

''Yeah...it really takes your mind off things.'' Ben softly said as their conversation soon faded into silence. After a few more minutes they arrived into a meadow to which Ben sat down and spread the blanket on the ground. ''Alright here's the spot. Now all you have to do is ay down," he instructed, "...and look up."

Gwen obeyed, laying with her hands clasped behind her head, gazing at the night sky. The night was cloudless and moonless, and the stars shone brightly against the darkness. Ben joined her, and they lay in a companionable silence for a while, listening to the quiet sounds of the night. Before long however, Gwen stirred restlessly, and turned his head. "Well? Tell me about the stars!"

Ben laughed quietly. "Very well," he agreed. "Look there." He pointed to a star as he traced out a bucket shaped figure. ''That's Dubhe and it's one of the stars that make up the Big Dipper and that star...'' Ben continued as he lectured about each star. When Gwen thought about it, as often as they have traveled into space or met with other alien races she realized that they never really picked up on anything about the planets and stars within the milky way galaxy itself.

"What is that star?" Gwen asked, indicating another one that visibly to the human eye wasn't that far away. ''Is that part of a constellation as well?"

''Well it's not part of the Dipper per say, but it holds a special place as the Great Bear's snout and it leads the beast around the north.''

Gwen merely just listened as Ben continuing with his explanation. As the night went on the air became chillier. Gwen shivered a bit and hugged her knees closer, chiding herself for not remembering to bring a sweater. Her movement caught Ben's eye, though, and he turned his gaze from above to her now…..then blushed a bit to her confusion. Her form was bathed in the light of the moon and it illuminated her form. She looked absolutely beautiful, more beautiful than anything he had ever seen before. Before he could even register what he was doing, he was leaning closer to her.

''Gwen...' Ben said softly garnering her attention.

Curiously, she turned her head to ask him what was up only for his lips to connect with hers. She froze, eyes wide, not sure how she could react. Her rational side was yelling at her to push him away, tell him how stupid he was. But her instincts told her to kiss him back, that deep down she wanted this.

After a few moments of her not reacting, Ben pulled away and looked down. "I'm sorry…I don't know what came over me…I just-" he was unable to finish however, for Gwen grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him back to her, pressing her lips to his, a bit rougher then he had done. After a second, his brain registered what was happening and he kissed her back, smiling slightly into her lips as his eyes closed.

Her hand let go of his shirt in favor of playing with his hair as she wrapped her arms around his neck. She ran her fingers through his crop of hair, surprised at how soft it actually was. One arm of his traveled around her waist while his other snaked up towards her head, tangling his fingers through her long flame color hair and pulling her head closer, deepening the kiss. Only when their lungs cried for air did they pull away, but only just enough so that they could breath.

"This is wrong…so wrong on so many levels…..so why...why does it feel so right?" Gwen whispered breathlessly as she attempted to catch her breath, her lips still only centimeters from his.

"I don't know." Ben whispered back, just as out of breath as she. He rested his forehead agents hers and looked directly into her eyes. She nearly gasped at the intensity of his gaze and if it wasn't for the fact that there was a softness along with it, as well as the fact that he still held the back of her head, she would have looked away at that moment. She could clearly see he really did care about her immensely, but this was just not right for so many reasons.

"But we can't…they're are so many reasons why-" She began, but she was cut off but his lips as they pressed to hers in a soft kiss.

"We'll find a way…..somehow…." he whispered, pulling away again, but just enough so that he could see her eyes. ''I love you Gwen. I'm in love with you and I can't deny how I feel about you any longer.'''

"How?" she questioned, her rational side taking control yet again. "How would this possibly work? We're cousins for heaven's sake? Not to mention...I mean...this is just so crazy...''

''I don't know Gwen. I can't help the way I feel. And this isn't some infatuation that happened all of a sudden. I felt this way for the longest time, but I didn't say anything because I was afraid things would be weird between us if you didn't feel the same way. I thought about so many things. How our friends would take it. How our family would take it. You couldn't imagine how I felt when I learned we were quarter Anodite, how it boosted my hopes a bit but then I remembered that...''

''That I was involved with Kevin at that time.'' Gwen finished for him. Searching every corner of his face trying to see if she could read them like she could before the DNAlien incident.

''I'm sorry...I shouldn't have said anything.'' Ben said as he made a motion to leave only for Gwen to grab his wrist.

''Ben...wait...'' she told him gently as she was trying to process what she learned. The redhead wasn't sure how she felt about the whole thing. She tried to rationalize that she was simply caught in the moment, but she couldn't lie to herself. She couldn't deny that Ben was the anchor in her life. That no matter how much she wanted to point out how things wouldn't work, but the feelings she had couldn't be banish with mere logic or reasoning.

She gently caressed his cheek with a hand. ''I care for you too. It's just I never gave it much thought as I never knew you looked at me with those kind of feelings. And right now all I care about is seeing where these feelings take us.'' she said as she searched his face for any doubt only for confidence to shine in.

''I can accept that.'' he said as gently kissed her forehead before shifting positions, pulling her to sit in his lap and resting his chin on her head. Gwen buried her face in his chest, sighing contently. She decided that she was definitely going to take up an interest in star gazing.