Ben and Gwen forever
Adopted from Jerex
It all began when they were children. There had always been some sort of animosity between Ben Tennyson and his cousin Gwen. Though as time went on that began to fade.
Then again considering she was only one of two people aware of his alternate identity besides his grand father Max; not counting any of his Nemesis like Vilgax, Kevin, or the likes, it would only make sense that with time Ben grew used to his cousin and vice versa. He didn't know when, but some time ago the arguments and insults slowly began to lessen between them.
It didn't help that he was also experiencing unusual feelings about his cousin that was driving him crazy. He wasn't sure how to deal with this and a result that boyish; the more immature part of him lashed out at Gwen which would result in more arguments and hostility that would temporary cause the feelings to wane, but of course that was only a temporary solution to his inner turmoil. It took him what felt like years to realize that that he was in love.
Of course like any normal teenage boy Ben's hormones came into play; he liked girls and until recently he kept them at arms length as he was a late bloomer in that social aspect as unlike other guys he had an excuse in the form of transforming into various aliens and being a kick-ass superhero; a nerd's wet dream more or less. Though Ben wasn't child anymore that could ignore these thoughts with simple mindedness. As he grew older he found it more difficult to ignore these sensations; seeking something else that wasn't about validation. He wanted, no, he needed Gwen, yet would she accept him?
She was his cousin for crying out loud and it just felt odd. Sure first cousin marriages were legal in many states in the US, but it was still looked upon as odd by the general populous. Though there were still these feelings inside of him; how much longer could he hide them? Would he be able to stop himself from admitting to Gwen how he felt?
Speaking of Gwen she was reading a book; completely engrossed in it as she sat at the back of the RV, while Grandpa Max was out fishing or collecting new and disgusting worms and things for making into meals. Either way it didn't matter, Ben approached Gwen calmly yet adamantly, no matter what he was going to get this over with. "Gwen?" said Ben, trying to attract her attention.
"Go away Ben," Gwen responded, "I'm busy."
"No, I…I need to talk to you," Ben said in response as she shuffled nervously from one foot to another.
"Can't it wait?" Gwen asked as Ben shook his head violently.
Gwen sighed as she placed down her book, folding her arms crossly and looks at her exasperating brother, her keen eyes observe that he appeared to be extremely nervous but was too annoyed with him to cut him any slack.
"What is it?" she asked in a huff, every time she did something no matter how small that she wanted to do, he always found a way to ruin it, sometimes she felt that he got a perverse pleasure out of giving her a headache.
"Well…" Said Ben losing his nerve he tails of unable to continue.
"Oh spit it out already" Said Gwen snappily
"I love you!" Ben blurted out in a panic as silenece followed.
"I love you too," Gwen growled, completely missing the point as she picked up her book she promptly ignores him and starts reading again.
Ben stands around next to her slightly dazed, she didn't understand maybe he should quit but he'd gone too far to give in now.
"Gwen,"Gwen sighed and slammed her book closed she leaned back and hits her head against the seat cover repeatedly.
"If I have to read the same paragraph one more time, I swear Benjamin Tennyson…" she left her threat at that, and glared at him.
Ben sits down and puts his hand on Gwen's, he massages her fingers slowly and Gwen is too shocked to pull away.
"Gwen I love you," said Ben "...you know I like girls right?"
Gwen snaps out of her revere "Of course, but you've never had a girlfriend," said Gwen as she realized what he was getting, 'he can't...he doesn't...''
"Well I love you like that."
Gwen recoils and pulls her hands away from him "Ben you...I...you idiot...I'm your cousin,'' she said as she began shaking her head. ''How can you possible be in love with me? I mean were always at each other's throat for heaven's sake!''
Ben considered this, ''Opposites attract,'' he remarked, please with himself.
"And where did you hear that?"
"Dunno but I've heard of it."
"Ben," Gwen rests a hand on her forehead "A relationship between two relatives is just so weird.'' she said then hesitated on the question that came to her mind. "Why would you think I felt like that about you?"
"I didn't," Ben responded, tears flowing freely down his face "...but I couldn't pretend everything was the same anymore, because it's not and I'm in love with you."
"Stop it, don't say that," Gwen stood up sharply, "We could never, even if we both felt like that; it's just something I couldn't consider and where would we stop been cousins and start being lovers?''
''Look...I don't know...it's not like I can help how I feel. Gwen I...''
Gwen turned away from him. ''Ben...just leave okay.'' Gwen said as she sat down and began massaging her temple. ''I need to think.''
Ben simply activated the Omnitrix and transformed into XLR8. ''If that's what you want.''He said before speeding out of the RV in a blur. She'd rejected him just as he expected but the depth of pain and hurt he was feeling was not what he expected. Could he...would he be able to go back and face her? He had no idea how Gwen was coping right now or if she would tell Max about their conversation. Reluctantly he calmed down and began thinking about it.
Giving a hoarse sigh Ben changed direction and sped back to the RV before it timed out with him only two miles away from the RV. With a sigh he continued walking, slowly this time and for some pain in the ass reason he had to walk the entire 20 minutes back as the Omnitrix remained timed out. Thankfully enough all the running and ducking from the Omnitrix timing out had left Ben quite athletically fit, or at least above average.
Ben was terrified by the prospect of what Max would say if Gwen in fact told them about the talk, but since Max didn't say anything if meant Gwen kept tight-lipped about the whole thing.
In fact he seemed to be under the impression that the pair had fallen out over some prank Ben pulled using the Omnitrix and so wisely left them to work it out on there own.
When it came time for them to turn in Gwen and Ben still hadn't spoken a word to each other, this couldn't go on forever so Ben approached her.
''I don't want to hear it,'' she remarked before he could open his mouth to speak. ''We have to live together and work together to save peoples lives, so I suggest we forget what happened this morning.''
Ben spoke in a very audible whisper, ''I can't.''
''I'm sorry...'' she said softly. ''I just can't...''
Ben climbed up into his bunk; pulling the cover over himself as he drifted off to sleep as silent tears dripped down. Gwen herself sheds a tear as she closes her eyes and turns over onto her side.
The next day was hectic, a large ice-form alien Ben named Abomanous was attacking a governmental facility; it seemed intent on turning everyone it countered into human popsicles. Even though Ben went Heatblast and fought freezing with frying, the match against Fire and Ice it was a close call.
Gwen looked at her cousin who was as white as the sheets that covered his unconscious form, Heatblast had been frozen solid at one point until his internal fire had melted his icy prison, and even though in the end Fire trumped Ice, if the Omnitrix hadn't de-activated when it had, Ben would have died along with Heatblast, he still might he was suffering acute hypothermia and was very cold and ill right now.
She stroked his cheek lovingly before she caught herself and pulled away, cursing; it was all Ben's fault him and his I love you claims she rationalized to herself. He had always been weird but for some reason she couldn't help but think he was cute while he was sleeping. 'Uugh what it wrong with me. There is just no way we could...''Still it had been terrible to watch Ben suffer like that, to watch him almost die.
"Is he going to be okay?" Gwen asked as Max walked up, just stopping herself from asking if he's going to live.
Grandpa Max looked up at her, it frightened Gwen whenever he had that serious and uncertain look on his face, ''Ben,'' he hesitated for a moment. ''He'll recover but it might take awhile.''
"So he's, he's not going to... to," Gwen can't bring herself to say it. Max held her by the shoulders and looks her straight in the eyes as he reassured her,"Ben will heal; it'll just take longer then usual that's all.''
Gwen visibly relaxed, but despite her grand father's reassurance she couldn't bring herself to smile, only muttering a 'thanks grandpa' as she hugged him.
"Now I know you and Ben haven't been getting along lately...'' Max began, "...but I need you to put that behind you until he gets better, now I know Ben isn't exactly innocent in your…falling outs, but don't rise to him or take offense until after he's fully healed. He'll need our help right now, he may try and get a rise out of you because he's on the offensive and is vulnerable.''
"I understand," Gwen calmly noted; she smiles "I can play nice with him for what a few days, a week?" she asked as Max nodded.
''If you can I'd like you to keep him entertained, not the most easy or glamorous job for you I understand, but you know what a Ben plus Omnitrix equals; and with him being ill its a dangerous combination,'' he explained, "I'd keep an eye on him, but he needs someone of his own age group." he smiles."I haven't said anything as I didn't want to alarm Ben, but I haven't been feeling well lately. I'm getting up there in the years and I want to make the most of my retirement. This is why I insist on taking you and Ben on these Summer vacations. Simply a vacation with my grandkids,'' he said before letting out a tired chuckle,''...though these vacations been more interesting than what I had originally planned.'' he finished with a stretch and let out a yawn. ''It's getting late you should get to bed."
"Ben's using my bed," Gwen struggled to keep the resentment out of her voice, "Ben's bed or the floor Gwen."
"I didn't mean it like that." said Gwen as she walked away.
"I know, I know,'' Max said as he yawned again.
Gwen pulled the curtain across past the bunk and started to undress, and pulled on her pajamas, as she smoothed her pajama top down she turns round to see Ben his eyes open watching her, she jumps and curses mentally, "Ben" Gwen hissed darkly, "How long have you been awake!"
"If I tell the truth will you promise not to kill me?" Ben asked in a low hoarse voice he tries to sit up and flops down again. Gwen glares at him darkly but knew it was her fault as she could have changed in the bathroom. ''Do that again when your uninjured and you wont be for long?'' she threatened valely, as she climbed up onto Ben's bunk. Ben manages to feebly grab her leg,"Don go," he spluttered into a coughing fit.
Gwen jumped and helped him by rubbing his back; holding him in her arms as he breathed in and out deeply; she sighed s knowing that she'd have to forgive him after this. Ben did rest his head on her shoulder and began breathing in an easier pace.
"I'm not going to burp you," Gwen declared as she pushed him off her and gently lowering him back onto the bed. Ben smiled up at her and requested, ''...stay with me?''
Gwen shook her head, ''It's connected to that isn't it?" she asked as he nodded he nods his head. "Don't go please, please Gwen I'm begging you. I don't want to be alone," he looked at her his brown oval eyes seemed endless. She couldn't deal with this part of her wanted to refuse; part of her wanted to accept, and another part of her, a dark part that she never knew existed wanted her to kiss him deeply and meaningfully.
She took an average and went for the middle option, ''Just for tonight," Gwen told him warningly, but Ben warmly smiled as her. She snuggled sown into the covers with him as he wrapped his arms around her torso and snuggled up close. She found the touching not as unpleasant as she thought it would be and wrapped her own arms around him. Ben closed his eyes and nuzzled his head under her chin; his messy hair was tickling her. All to soon his squirming ceased as he fell into a deep yet dream filled sleep, Gwen continued to hold him close, protecting him, comforting him; it took her less time than usual to fall asleep with her cousin in her arms.
Max decided to check up on them before he decided to call it a night and smiled at the pair; they looked so cute together. He contemplated taking a photo for the family album but didn't want to cause them any unnecessary embarrassment to the "best of friends" he thought as he pulled the curtain back into place.