It's been little over a week since Kevin started his training with his cousin Alona and using the power of the crystal. Max has been there for every training session to make sure that Alona had backup if Kevin lost it or needed some assistance. They started him out slow. He did only one arm the first time, the next he did both arms, and from there he moved on until he could encrust his hold body in crystal and absorb a lot more energy. He felt great doing it too. Being able to absorb the energy and still keep his sanity was amazing. He felt like he could fight Vilgax one on one and beat him with ease.
This was his first day absorbing it all until his whole body was covered and he was ready to get started. "You ready?" Alona was running at him, she was using her own crystal to attack him with energy blots which he was supposed to absorb and fire right back at her.
Kevin grinned, absorbing the crystal figurine in his hand that Max had brought from home. Actually it was one of Ben's mother figurines that they borrowed for most of the day. They put up a hologram so she wouldn't notice it was missing. "I was born ready." he ran ahead, dodging the first two bolts but catching the third. He needed to act like this was a real battle or else his body wouldn't be able to get use to the energy blasts suddenly coming into his body. He started out just absorbing them slowly but in battle no one shots at you in slow motion. They shot to kill and he needed to get his body used to it or else he could end up doing damage to his body and his mind.
"Take this!" he charged right at her. A fist full of energy and aimed for her head but she jumped away in time for it to only hit the tree and shatter it.
"Remember, when you attack with any part of your body keep the energy surrounding it or else the crystal will break!" she reminded him, firing more energy blots at him.
"Yeah, I got it!" he jumped back, absorbing more of the energy she was throwing at him.
"Get ready, cause I'm gonna blast ya right outta this stupid forest!" he jumped into the air, firing two blasts at Alona. She jumped away, dodging both of them and firing another blast at him. He absorbed it all and fired one last big blot at her.
Alona gasped, jumping away from the attack and just barely dodging it. "You've gotten better." She stood back up on her feet and wiped dirt off her body. She had no more energy in her and her necklace was back around her neck instead of around her body.
Kevin only grinned at his cousin. "Better? I'm great. This is amazing. I've never felt so powerful before!" he was sort of lying. He felt powerful once like this before but he wasn't himself during that time. He was a monster that wanted to harm and kill the ones he cared about. That monster he became wanted to hurt Gwen and he vowed he would never let that happened again.
Alona only rolled her eyes. "Well if you feel so great than why don't you take off the crystal armor?" she could see how his body had lost most of the shine that he had no more energy in him.
Kevin only shrugged and took off the armor he was coated in. "Ok, but I don't see why you can't just-" the armor was off and suddenly his body felt heavy but his mind felt as light as a feather. The world started to spin and his legs could no longer hold him up. He fell forward to the ground.
"Whoa, there," or he would have if Max hadn't caught him. "Take is easy there partner." he threw one of Kevin's arms over his shoulder and dragged his body to a tree.
"Oh man, do I have a headache." he held his head in one hand and tried to get the world to stop spinning.
"Just another side effect you'll have to get used to," Alona came to sit in front of him. "It takes a lot of concentration and stamina to keep the energy we absorb from entering our body. While we're in the Crystal armor we feel great, full of power, but once the armor goes our body feels the effect of that power. We're putting a big strain on our bodies so we feel very weak after we stop using the energy." Kevin only groaned at this new information. So even if he learned to master it he would end up feeling lousy right after. "Don't worry. Over time your body gets used to it and the worst you feel is a mild headache." he nodded, happy that he wouldn't feel weak all the time after this.
"Right now you need to rest and get your body back up to speed." she helped him stand back on his feet and walked him over to the Rust Bucket. One good thing about having Max there with them was a good place to rest and relax once training was over.
"Whatever." he reached inside his pocket and grabbed his phone. There were no missed calls or messages from his mother or Gwen. His mother knew what he was doing so she only called a few times, but Gwen was a different story. She called in the beginning, asking how he was or if he wanted to meet her for lunch at her school and every time Alona told him no. She said that he needed to be completely focused or else the crystal would break and he'll go crazy. So thinking about Gwen or hanging out with her was a big no-no. She said once he got better than he could spend as much time with her as he wanted, but for now he needed to focus on his training.
Max came out of his RV with a plate full of food to feed the hungry teens. "I think this calls for some good old fashion goat eyeball casserole." he showed them a plate full of what looked like a giant red and purple gunk with eyes staring at them. "It has a lot of protein in it so it'll make him feel better in no matter."
Alona nearly screamed and Kevin was ready to fall over again.
"Um...I don't think so Max but thank you anyways," she put on a smile, or at least tried to. The food he was serving was freaking her out and she was fighting every instinct in her not to run away. "But I need Kevin to eat food that his body will be used to eating after he uses his new power." She has eaten Max's food before and she swore she heard it talking after she took the first bite. "Even though your food is really good and I'm sure full of protein but I doubt Kevin will be eating it all the time. You see if he eats this now and then eats a hamburger after using his powers again it could damage his body." she was lying through her teeth but he didn't need to know that.
Max had a thoughtful look on his face. "Hmm? Well I guess you're right." he put the plate down on the table and grinned. "Oh well, more for me." he plopped in an eyeball and chewed, a little drool coming down his face.
Alona and Kevin tried to keep their lunch down.
"Well we'll be going now," She pulled her cousin's arm with her and when they were out of ear shot dragged his slow moving body to his car. "Run before he tries to send us off with doggy bags!" Kevin didn't need to be told twice and ran as fast as his body would let him.
Alona shuddered once they reached his car. "I swear it think it blinked at me." she held on hand to her stomach, trying not to think about the food that Max seemed to love eating.
"Yeah, the old guy loves eating the weirdest things." Kevin gave a shudder of his own. Max was a great guy but he cooked the weirdest things.
He pulled out his car keys and stepped around to open his car door but Alona stepped in front of him, holding her hand out to him. "Keys."
"What?" Kevin looked at her like she was crazy. "There's no way I'm letting you drive. Only I drive the car!" There was nothing in this world that would get him to let anyone else drive his car.
"You're ready to fall over from exhaustion." she reminded him, pointing to his shaking legs that seemed ready to fall over any minute. "You can't drive in your condition." she tried reaching for the keys but he pulled them out of her grasp.
"I'm fine." he pushed passed her and walked to his car. At least he tried too. His body was still so weak from training that he couldn't walk in a straight line and nearly fell over again. He had to lean against his car to keep himself from falling over and kissing the dirt.
"Come on," Alona came over to his side, her hand still out for him to give her the keys. "Think about it. You let someone else drive for one day or you drive and end up crashing your car and having to fix it. Thus taking time away from your training." she helped him gain back his balance and kept him from falling over.
Kevin let out a loud groan. He knew she was right but the thought of someone else driving his car made him nervous and antsy. "Alright, but I swear if there's even a nick-
"You'll make mincemeat out of me," she waved him off, already knowing what he was going to say. "Now come on, I'm starving." she grabbed his keys and hoped in the driver side.
Kevin stood back and watched, a deep frown on his face. "I better not regret this." he mumbled before getting slowly in his car and crossed his arms with a big huff of annoyance. He still wasn't sure about this.
Gwen felt like she was going crazy. So far she's seen her boyfriend with a different girl than her two times and not once this week did he even try and contact her. Sure she's called him a few times but he always said he was too busy to hang out. She swore she heard a girl's voice in the background when she tried calling him last time. Hearing that and the fact that her boyfriend didn't want to spend time with her was starting to really get to her.
She didn't understand what she did wrong. Sure she had just said the same thing last week about not being able to hang out but at least she still talked to him. Kevin was basically ignoring her at this point. She even tried calling his house, which by the way took her forever to look up in to phone book, and when his mother answered she gave the same answer as her son. He was busy.
"Would you relax?" Ben was sipping down a smoothie. Once again he had taken her and Julie to Mr. Smoothy but Gwen was too upset to drink the flavored liquid that her cousin seemed to love. "Kevin is probably just trying to make some sort of deal with the girl. I bet this is all about money and he's not cheating on you." he tried once again to help cheer up his cousin but like every other time it didn't work.
"Oh yeah, than why hasn't he called or respond to our messages or even come help us fight the Forever Knights?" Gwen was getting a little paranoid. It wasn't like Kevin to ignore her or a fight. It just wasn't in his nature.
Ben wasn't too worried about any of this. He was used to Kevin acting weird so none of this really bothered him. "We had grandpa with us that night and like I said. He's probably working a deal to make lots of cash so he can't contact us or risk losing the deal and getting one of his fingers cut off."
Gwen gave him a look that said he was stupid. "You watch too much TV, you know that?"
"Seriously, what show is that even from?" Julie asked, wondering where the finger getting cut off even came from.
Ben only shrugged. "I don't know. Some old movie I was watching late last night." he said, chugging down the rest of his smoothie.
"Well I still don't like it." Gwen crossed her arms and glared straight ahead of her. Once she got home she was so grabbing her spell book and heading over to Kevin's house. She swore if he didn't have a good reason for ignoring her she was so going to blast him out of the galaxy.
"Hey look," Julie called out. "It's Kevin's car." she pointed to the green car that was passing by the smoothie place.
"It is, and Kevin..." Ben gasped in amazement. "Kevin is in the passenger's seat!" his mouth fell open and he dropped his smoothie from the total shock of Kevin letting someone else drive his car.
"I think that girl from before is driving it." Julie pointed to the long black hair that she could make out and all three watched as the green car drove on by. What looked like Kevin leaning in closer to the girl, almost as if to kiss her and the girl holding his hand at the wheel.
Gwen watched all of this. First she held a look of shock, then hurt, and that turned into anger. "That is it!" she fired two pink blasts at the ground and growled in anger. "Ben, start your car! We are so following after them and I am going to make Kevin tell me the truth if it's the last thing I do." she stomped over to her cousin's car, teeth grinding in anger and hands glowing pink. She had enough of his lying and she was going to put a stop to it right now.
Now what was really going on in Kevin's car.
"Careful! You're going to fast!" Kevin held tight to the steering wheel, his hands trying to grab hold of it so he could drive.
"No, I'm not!" Alona cried, trying to push her cousin away. "I'm not even at the speed limit because I'm going under it!" she cried for the hundredth time as she once again tried to get Kevin to let her drive and not have him freak out. "I've heard of backseat driving but this is crazy." she put her hand to his face and pushed him back in his seat, making a sharp turn into the Burger Shack parking lot and ending the battle they were having.
"We're here and your precious car is in one piece." she rolled her eyes, giving him back the keys and getting out of the vehicle. She didn't care if he was still exhausted after their meal, she was so walking home. No way was she going to suffer through the control freak again and she didn't feel like risking her life if he suddenly fell asleep at the wheel.
"I'll be the judge of that." Kevin got out to inspect his car while Alona went off to order them something. He needed to be absolutely sure that there was nothing wrong with his car and it was in top shape as it was before he let her drive it. His heart was still beating a mile a minute from when she drove. He didn't care if she went under the speed limit or didn't hit anything, it was his car and no one else can drive it but him. "Good, everything looks fine." he sighed in relief and leaned against the hood of his car.
"Oh, I'm so glad to hear it." Alona's voice was full of sarcasm as she returned with two bags of burgers and fries and two cups of soda.
"Just shut up and give me my food." he held out his hand for the food he suddenly desired. Worrying about his car made him forget how tired and hungry he was but now that he saw it was fine he just remembered that he was hungry.
"Here," she tossed him his bag and drink and leaned against the hood next to him. "Man, you are way to obsessed with your car. What are you gonna do when you get married and have kids?"
Kevin took a giant bite of his burger, loving the taste and how his body was already starting to feel better. "Simple, I'll-" he was cut off before he could even begin.
"Kevin Ethan Levin!" Gwen was marching towards him, anger clearly shown on her face and Kevin gulped in fear. In the back ground he saw Ben and Julie following and they looked like they felt sorry and scared for him. He wondered if he had any reason to worry.
"Wait, you're name is Kevin E. Levin. As in Kevin Eleven?" Alona had to put a hand over her mouth to keep from laughing. "Dude, you're parents so named you that on purpose. No way was that by coincidence." she couldn't help but let a few giggles out.
Kevin however wasn't hearing any of his cousin's little jokes. He was too busy focusing in on Gwen and how angry she seemed to be. "Uh...Hey Gwen." he stood up right, putting his food away and gulped again. "Is something wrong." he didn't know why but she was angry and it was clear that her anger was aimed at him.
She growled at him and glared a deadly look at him. "Kevin, you have got some never. Not only did you lie and cheat on me but now you're trying to act like you didn't do anything wrong!" she cried. The feelings of betrayal and anger following throughout her body.
Kevin blinked in confusion. What was she talking about? "Cheat on you? I'm not cheating on you! I would never do that!" where on earth she got that he didn't know. There were no other girls that he even talked to in this town.
Gwen wouldn't have any more of his lying. "Don't you dare lie to me. I know you've been cheating on me with her!" she pointed to Alona who for now was sitting back and taking everything in.
"What?" Kevin gaped in horror. "No you don't understand. Alona is-" she cut him off again.
"What? She's what?" Gwen stomped her foot on the ground in anger. "Don't you dare tell me she's just a friend because I know she's not!"
Kevin put his hands up, just in case she tried to hit him. "No, she's not my friend. Well I mean I just she is my friend but she's not my girlfriend."
"Then what, Kevin?" Gwen felt tears coming into her eyes. "Just who is she, Kevin?"
"I'm his cousin." Alona decided it was time to intervene before a fight broke out.
Gwen froze. Her mind shutting down as she stared at the girl. "Excuse me?" did she hear her wrong?
Alona just giggled. "We're cousins. My father and his were brothers so Kevin and I, are cousins."
"R-Really?" Gwen suddenly felt stupid.
Alona nodded, "Yep. Wanna see the picture to prove it?" she held up an old photograph of her and Kevin when they were still babies and their two twin dads each holding their kids and smiling to the camera.
"Uh...I...Uh...?" Gwen suddenly felt really stupid. "But when I asked you if you were with a girl you told me no?"
Kevin nodded, "Yeah, I said I wasn't because I wasn't."
Gwen shook her head, still trying to wrap her mind around all this. "But you were with Alona." she reminded him.
Kevin gave her a look of confusion before his mind finally clicked. "Alona's my cousin. I don't think of her as a girl so of course I said no."
"Hey!" Alona did not like how he said that. "Rude much." she scoffed.
"So you two are really cousins?" Gwen asked the girl standing behind her boyfriend. "Just cousins and nothing more?"
"Yes, we're cousins and that's it." Alona only laughed some more and pushed away from the car. "Now I think you two need some time alone to talk," she walked towards Ben and Julie and pushed them inside the Burger Shack. "Come on, let's give them some privacy." With that it was only Kevin and Gwen in the parking lot.
"Um...?" Gwen still felt like a complete idiot. She let her jealously get the better of her and now she was standing in the middle of a parking lot doing nothing. "I am so sorry." she figured apologizing was the best way to go.
"Whatever," Kevin just leaned back against his car and looked away from her. A frown on his face and hands shoved inside his pockets.
"Kevin," she came to stand beside him. "I really am sorry. I didn't mean to yell at you like that." she put her hand over his that was inside his pocket. She gave a sigh of relief when he took out his hand to hold hers. "I guess I let my jealously get the best of me and I kind of lost it."
Kevin grinned. "Kind of?"
Gwen rolled her eyes. "Ok, so I freaked out." she let out a small pout before continuing. "But can you blame me? I mean, you were avoiding me all week and said you were busy and I saw you guys together in your car all the time so I got scared that you were bored with me and moved on to someone else."
Kevin tightened his hold on her hand. "That would never happen." he leaned his face in closer to hers to stare into her green eyes. "I'll never get bored of you. Gwen, you're the greatest thing that could have ever happened to me. You helped changed me. You gave me a better life, and even when I didn't deserve it you were always there for me," he kissed her cheek and smiled. "There's no way I would screw up the best thing that ever happened to me."
"Kevin," she gave him a smile of her own and leaned forward herself so that they could kiss. It's been over a week since they last saw each other and they missed one another. "I'm really happy to hear you say that but I have to know. Why were you avoiding me?" she asked once they stopped the kiss. She pulled back a piece of hair with her free hand and waited for her reply.
Kevin sighed and went into the long story of Alona and his new powers. "Long story short, Alona's dad and my dad are twins and they came to town to visit about last week. She came on the Forever Knights mission with me and from there I learned she could absorb energy and not lose her sanity. When I asked her about it she said it's because she surrounds herself in a crystal armor and lets the energy flow through until she releases it. I wanted to learn to do the same so for this last week I've been training in the woods with her and Max."
"Grandpa?" she had been surprised to hear that her grandfather was a part of this as well. "I still don't get it. Why even learn this? I thought you didn't like to absorb energy?" she was sure she heard him tell her that.
"I don't, but..." Kevin sighed again, he knew he was going to have to tell her. "We're going to face some tough guys to beat and I know that there may come a time when I need to absorb energy again. If it comes to that I want to keep my sanity."
"But why?" Gwen still wasn't understanding.
"Because I don't want to see you get hurt." he looked her deep in the eyes and grasped both her hands in his. "I want to get stronger so I can take care of you. I know you have powers of your own but I just can't help wanting to keep you safe at all costs."
"Even if it means your risking your sanity?" she asked him.
He didn't hesitate. "Yes."
"Kevin," this time she kissed his cheek. "Thank you. It's really sweet of you to say that." she gave him a gentle smile and the two embraced each other in a hug.
He gave a light laugh. "Glad to hear it."
And just like that they made up.
"Well it's time for me to get going." Alona was saying her goodbyes. It was the next morning after Kevin and Gwen had their little moment at the Burger Shack and it was time for her to return home. "My vacation time is up and I need to return to my Plumber duties." she was waiting outside the ship that would take her back to base.
"It was nice meeting you." Gwen said. After learning she was Kevin's cousin and not some girl trying to steal her boyfriend the two became fast friends.
"Yeah, when you're back on earth come look us up anytime." Ben told her. He wanted to see her in action. He learned a little later about her powers and now he wanted to see them.
"I will," she nodded, saying she would return. "Now you keep up with your training. I don't want to come back and find out that you lost it." she joked with her cousin.
Kevin just grinned. "Don't worry, I will." he would get back to training as soon as he found some crystal. Ben's mom found out that they were using her figurine and she freaked out on them.
"Good," Alona grinned and she reached into her backpack. "That reminds me." she tossed him a crystal flower. "You'll need this if you'll want to continue training." with that she walked up the ramp of the ship.
Kevin stared at it in confusion. "But isn't this yours?" he didn't want to just take it.
Alona turned around and grinned. "Nope, it was your dads and now it's yours." with that said the ship's door closed and in a matter of seconds flew off into space, leaving a dumbfounded Kevin behind.
"My father?" he stared at the crystal flower in amazement. "Cool." he held it with great care. Suddenly it felt like he was a lot closer to his dad than he was before.
"So Kevin?" Ben caught his attention. "It's great that you got something to help you use your new powers but where are you going to keep it?" he asked a good question. Kevin couldn't carry it on a keychain or necklace because it was too big. It was same size as his hand and it would look weird as a necklace. He couldn't keep it in his pocket because it would break if he got thrown down to the ground, which happens a lot when you're battling enemies that are trying to kill you.
"I think I can fix that." Gwen grabbed the crystal and pulled out some weird kind of keychain. It had rods the same size as a pocket knife attached to the ring of it and each one looked like a different kind of metal. When she touched the crystal to it the crystal seemed to absorb around it and transforming the blank rod into a crystal one. "It's something I've been working on for a while. It has all different kinds of materials on it for you to transform into. This way when we're in a fight you'll always have the matter you need to absorb and fight." she gave him the keychain and was happy to see him take it. "Happy Eighteenth Birthday, Kevin." she kissed his cheek.
Kevin smiled down at his girlfriend. "Thanks." he had forgotten that today was his birthday but his girlfriend hadn't. He now knew that this whole time she was working on her gift for him and not just ditching him.
"You're welcome." the two stared at each other long enough for them to pull each other into another kiss, just like the one they shared in the parking lot last night.
"Ok, this just got awkward." Ben said to himself, walking away from the kissing couple and headed to his car where he planned on driving himself to Mr. Smoothie's and away from all this gross kissing stuff.