Disclaimer: Ben 10 and Bleach do not belong to me.
Well, everyone. Here it is. The first chapter of Bleach: Ultimate Alien Vol. II. I'm sorry it took so long. I've been a big time procrastinator. I know, I promised I wouldn't work on anymore stories until I completed the majority of the ones I was working on, but it was an injustice to all of you who have waited so patiently for it.
Scourge: Got that right, you idiot. Do you have any idea how long these people have been waiting for you to update?
Hey! I said I was sorry.
Scourge: Sorry doesn't cut it, Grimlock. We expect to see results. It's your fault for making stories that people enjoy reading.
And that's a bad thing?
Scourge: It is when you make a good story and you don't update at all.
*Grumble* Alright, fine. Let's just get on with the story.
Scourge: Now you're using your brain...for once.
Scourge: And before either of us forget a lot of credit goes out to Grimlock's pals Kamen Rider Chrome and Sallem Cortez, who have contributed some pretty good ideas for this series. And without them, this idiot would be lost.
Gee thanks, Scourge. You're a great help.
Scourge: Also, Ben's not gonna be some overpowered Gary Stu-type character like he was in Volume I. Grimlock here's gonna be a lot more accurate with the level in strength. Aren't you, Grimlock?
Yes, Scourge. I am.
Scourge: Alright, alright. Now let's get on with the story!
Alright, what are we waiting for? Allons-y! (Yep. I'm a Doctor Who fan! Fantastic! Allons-y! Geronimo!...Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
Bleach: Ultimate Alien Volume II
Chapter One: The First Day of School
Bellwood was a place that would appear to be a typical, calm, peaceful city. If only that were so but it wasn't. This town had an unnatural habit of being the target of aliens, monsters, super-villains, and any other type of activity that you would mostly find in a comic book. Fortunately, Bellwood was protected by one unexpected hero; a sixteen year old boy by the name of Ben Tennyson. In Ben's possession was a powerful alien device called the Ultimatrix. With it, Ben had the power to turn into over a million different alien species. With their forms and powers at his disposal, Ben was literally a one man army.
Ben has had many adventures in his time. In fact, he had saved the entire universe on more than one occasion and just recently, he had saved the entire afterlife. Far away, in a dimension unlike any other, there existed Soul Society. It was a world run by Shinigami, spirits with incredible powers and abilities. Their arch enemies were the Hollows, monsters who were once human spirits that rotted and decayed into the Hollows they now were. One Shinigami, who went by the name of Aizen, had decided to overthrow the Spirit King, the ruler of Soul Society. To do that, he began gathering an army of Hollows, turning them into the humanoid beings called Arrancar.
Paradox, a time traveler with near omniscient knowledge of the universe, sent Ben to Hueco Mundo, the land of the Hollows. There was going to be a war between Soul Society and Hueco Mundo, and Paradox wanted Ben to intervene. Because of Ben's powers, Aizen had offered for Ben to join him in exchange for finding Ben a way to go home. Ben, lost and confused as to where he was, accepted Aizen's offer. During his time in Hueco Mundo, Ben made many allies and enemies. The most prominent of his allies included Tier Harribel. She was the Trecera of the Espada, Aizen's most powerful group of Arrancar. She and her Fraccion; Apacci, Mila-Rose, and Sung-Sun, befriended and later fell in love with Ben. Ben's other allies included Nelliel, the former Trecera Espada before she was trapped in a child-like state. Alongside her were her Fraccion Pesche and Dondochakka. Ben later gained more allies in the form of Privaron Espada Gantenbainne, Primera Espada Coyote Starrk and his other half Lilynette Gingerback. An ally of sorts was the Cuatro Espada Ulquiorra Cifer.
Soon, Ben learned of Aizen's real intentions and rebelled against him. He teamed up with the Substitute Shinigami Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends. One by one, they succeeded in defeating Aizen's Arrancar and battled Aizen himself. At first, it looked like Aizen was gonna win but Ben managed to take control of the reality warping Alien X. With Alien X's abilities, Ben effortlessly defeated Aizen and then stripped him of his powers. Shortly after, Gin Ichimaru, one of Aizen's supposed allies, killed him.
There were several surviving Arrancar. The majority of them were the Fraccion of the Segunda Espada named Baraggan. Despite the fact that they were enemies, Ben couldn't find it in his heart to kill them. So instead, he brought all of his Arrancar friends to Bellwood with him. It hadn't been easy at first, especially since Harribel, her Fraccion, and Nelliel, were all in love with him.
But what Ben didn't know was that Apacci, Mila-Rose, and Sung-Sun, had decided to stop trying to have Ben for themselves and instead have him be with Harribel. Only problem, Pesche and Dondochakka were trying to pair Ben with Nelliel and all the while Ben didn't suspect a thing.
For the rest of the summer, things went remarkably peaceful. But now the summer was over and a new challenge came for Ben, a challenge that would really make things interesting, if not bothersome for the new things in Ben's life.
The new year of high school.
"Benjamin Kirby Tennyson!" Sandra Tennyson yelled to her son's room. "You'd better not still be asleep up there!"
Up in his room, Ben groaned as he got dressed for school. With seven other people living in this house besides him, it was impossible for him not to stay in bed.
"I'm coming!" he called back down to his mom as he put on his trademark green jacket. After a quick combing of his hair, the hero of the universe left his room and walked down stairs to the kitchen for some breakfast. He sniffed the air and was greeted to a sweet smell of waffles, bacon, and eggs. What a breakfast.
Walking into the living room, he was greeted three girls sitting around the table. One had short, black hair and different colored eyes. The second had dark colored skin and long, slightly curly hair. The last one had long, slender, olive green hair. They were Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun. They were Harribel's Fraccion and some good friends of his. Originally the three had fallen in love with him during his time in Hueco Mundo, but over the summer, things had started to change. Much to Ben's curiosity, the three had started treating him more like a best friend than as someone they were in love with. While Ben felt slightly relieved, as he was nervous and uncomfortable with so many girls liking him, he wondered what brought on this change. Of course, he was completely unaware of the fact that the girls were trying to set him up with Harribel instead.
"Morning, Ben!" the three greeted him cheerfully.
"Hey, girls," he said back with a grin.
"You look ready," Sung-Sun said, noticing that Ben was fully dressed and had his backpack slung over his shoulders.
"Had to be," Ben said, looking at his mom who was busy pouring orange juice for everyone."I'm just glad I was able to make it today."
Sandra looked at her son in confusion. "Why's that? Does this have something to do with went on last Saturday?"
Ben froze. Boy his mom was sharp and if she knew what was happening every weekend, he'd be in big trouble. The Sexta Espada, Grimmjow, had made a deal with Ben to fight him every weekend. This had been going on for some time now, ever since summer. Luckily for Ben, Grimmjow was now more interested in simply winning his fights rather than trying to kill Ben. Whether it was because he respected Ben's abilities ever since he defeated Aizen or because some small part of him knew better than to anger Nelliel and Harrible was unknown. Speaking of those two, Ben looked around. "Hey. Where are Nelliel and Tier at?"
"Oh? You didn't know?" Sung-Sun asked.
Ben raised an eyebrow. "Didn't know what?"
Mila Rose glared at Apacci. "Baka. You were supposed to tell him."
Apacci was taken aback before glaring at Mila Rose, "Me? No one ever said it was my job to tell him. Why didn't you do it yourself, Mila Rose?"
"My, it seems that both of you failed to tell him," Sung-Sun said. "Were you two procrastinating as usual?"
"Stay out of this, Sung-Sun!" the other two girls yelled. "You could have told him!"
Ben sighed. Guess some things never change. "So what was it that you guys were supposed to tell me?"
The girls looked at each other and then looked at Ben.
"Harribel-sama found a job," Sung-Sun said simply.
Ben blinked a few times. "Oh, she did?"
Originally over the summer, Ben's sudden return to Bellwood had caused up quite a stir, especially since he had five very attractive women with him. The girls wanted to find jobs from the get-go, but Ben wasn't as willing to comply. He was afraid of the paparazzi harassing the girls and trying to cause trouble. In fact, according to his pal Jimmy, there was already online blogs about who the girls were and what relationship they had with Ben. Not to mention the whole situation would give Will Harangue something to use against him and that was definitely the last thing Ben wanted to put up with. But as the summer went on, the heat did finally start to die down. However, he never knew that Harribel had been job hunting. When did this happen?
"This means we can go look for jobs too now," Mila Rose said.
"Oh, are you guys gonna be job hunting while I'm at school?" Ben asked as he bit into one of his bacon.
The girls looked at each other again but didn't say a word. Their silence caused Ben to stop eating and look up at them.
"Something up?" Ben asked them in confusion.
The girls looked over at him.
"Well, Ben," Apacci said, scratching the back of her head.
Mila Rose drank some of her orange juice before saying, "We wanted to surprise you."
Ben raised his eyebrow. "Surprise me?"
"We're gonna be looking for jobs after school," Sung-Sun said.
Ben was confused as he asked, "Why after school?"
"Because we are going to school with you."
Ben dropped his fork and knife that he was about to use to eat his waffles. "Say what?"
The three girls all reach down for something at their feet, and pulled up different colored backpacks that were stuffed, obviously with school supplies. Apacci had a red colored one, Mila Rose had an orange colored one, and Sung-Sun had a lavender colored one.
"We got enrolled at your school, Ben," Sung-Sun explained, "With Kevin's help of course."
Ben tried to steadily drink his orange juice. He gave himself credit for not spilling a drop. After he put his glass back down, he looked at them. "And nobody bothered to tell me about this...why?"
"We wanted it to be a surprise," Apacci replied.
"Well, I'm surprised," Ben admitted. "And when exactly did this all happen?"
"The last few weeks of summer," Mila Rose answered. "It wasn't easy but thanks to some of that alien tech Kevin owns, we were able to enroll."
"And what happens if someone finds out that we all live together?" Ben pointed out.
"Oh, don't worry, Ben," Sandra Tennyson said as she washed some dishes. "Your father and I have that worked out in case somebody asks."
Ben's jaw dropped. "Mom? You were in on this too! What? Was I the only person left in the dark?"
"No," Sung-Sun told him. "Gwen doesn't know either."
Ben rolled his eyes. "This is sure gonna make her day, alright."
Apacci looked bothered. "Is there something wrong with us going to school with you?"
Ben looked at her. "Not really. I don't mind you girls coming to school with me. I'm just wondering what everyone else will think. Some of them might remember you from when we first got back to Bellwood. Then they'll start assuming things."
Mila Rose raised her eyebrow now and asked, "Like what?"
Ben opened his mouth to answer her when he remembered that his mom was still in the room with them. He was afraid of how she would react if he told the girls what people might assume.
Unfortunately, Sandra was able to put the pieces together. "Well if they want to think that my son is some kind of player, they have another thing coming. It's bad enough that so many people think my son is a threat to society but to go and think he's a player."
"A player?" Apacci asked. "They'd seriously think that?"
Sung-Sun answered, "Well, I suppose so. The way a human's mind works is quite baffling. Apparently being with too many girls automatically makes you a womanizer. Or at least, everyone assumes you are."
Mila Rose groaned, "Typical humans."
Ben made a face. "Hey. What about me?"
Mila Rose laughed. "Well, I suppose there are a few exceptions."
Ben still made a face. "Thanks. Thanks a lot, Mila Rose. You've been hanging around Kevin too much."
Mila Rose snickered. "Oh, come on, Ben. I don't tease as bad as he does."
Ben nodded. "Yeah, I can't deny that." Then he remembered something else. "Hey, huh...you guys only told me where Tier is. Where's Nelliel at?"
"Good morning, Ben!"
"Ack!" Ben cried out when he felt Nelliel glomp him from behind, his face turning red due to the fact that the back of his head was pressed against her chest. He managed to say, "G...good morning, Nelliel."
Nelliel Tu Odelschwank, the Trecera before Harribel. It was only because the Arrancar known as Nnoitra had damaged Nelliel's mask remains, reducing her to a child-like state and being kicked out of Las Noches. Luckily, Ben's Ultimatrix was able to heal the damage in Nelliel's mask remains, which allowed her to use her full power again. When Ben first met her, she was in her child form. She acted very affectionate and a little possessive around Ben. At first, Ben had thought this to be sibling affection. That took a completely different turn when he learned about her true form as well as her feelings. And out of all the girls, she was the most affectionate. This was obvious because during the summer, Nelliel had a habit of crawling into his bed and cuddling with him in his sleep.
But we'll get more on that later.
Apacci and Mila Rose both gave Nelliel a dirty look. Sung-Sun had a much less obvious look of contempt on her face. They thought Harribel deserved to be happy and since Ben made her happy, they should be together. But Nelliel was, in their opinion, the primary threat to their plans of hooking Ben up with Harribel.
"Nelliel woke up early and helped me with breakfast and some chores around the house," Sandra explained. "Then we're going out shopping together."
"Shopping?" Ben asked. "For what?"
Sandra gave Ben an amused look. "Well honestly we need some groceries. After all we have eight people living with us."
"Don't worry, Mrs. Tennyson," Sung-Sun said. "We'll find jobs. That should make things easier."
Sandra smiled. Naturally she had been very concerned with having five different girls all living under her roof when they claimed to be in love with her son, especially Harribel and Nelliel. But as the summer went on, Sandra saw that the girls had no ill intentions towards Ben, so she became more comfortable in their presence.
Soon, everyone was done eating and put their dishes in the sink.
"Well," Ben said. "Looks like it's time to head out. Come on, girls."
Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun all nodded.
"Bye, Ben!" Sandra called. "Have a good day."
Ben snorted. "Hopefully." Knowing his luck, a typical day at school would require him going hero.
Nelliel smiled as she walked over and gave Ben one of her strong hugs. "Bye, Ben!"
Ben chuckled nervously. He remembered her hugs while she was in her true body instead of this gigai. Those hugs were strong enough to break his spine, and boy was he grateful that they hadn't.
Once again Harribel's Fraccion glared at Nelliel. But they quickly became straight faced again as Nelliel let go with a smile on her face. After all, once the school day began, a lot of things would change, hopefully for the better. So one by one, the four left the house.
Sandra chuckled a little as Ben and the other girls left the house. "Normally I would be worried when I see a girl give my son so much affection," she commented.
Nelliel had a faint blush on her cheeks. "Forgive me, Mrs. Tennyson. I...I just feel so happy whenever Ben's around. He's really special to me."
Sandra smiled softly at Nelliel. "I know, Nelliel. And it's strange for me, as a mother, to be so calm about so many girls liking my son, but I've seen that you girls would never do anything bad to him."
Nelliel smiled back. Though...she couldn't help but feel a tang of jealousy.
A while back, Sandra had taken her and Harribel aside and warned them to be careful if they were ever with Ben in public. She explained that there were laws in the world of the living, laws where older people could get in serious trouble for being with a person who was underage. And since both girls looked like adult women, they could be in serious trouble or people would assume bad things about them.
This saddened Nelliel. She wanted to spend as much time with Ben as she could, but it looked like that was going to be really rare now. And since those other three were going to the same school as Ben, they would get to spend more time with him. She pouted a little at the thought.
Sandra noticed and gently put a hand on Nelliel's shoulder. "Come on, Nelliel. Let's go shopping."
Outside, the three girls loaded up into Ben's car. They had gotten used to it over the summer, but they were still fascinated by the vehicles of the living world. None of them got in the passenger's seat, as they already knew it would break out into an argument. But for the most part, each girl was trying to prevent the other two from sitting next to Ben.
"Too bad we can't use our powers while we're stuck in these gigai," Apacci said after she buckled her seatbelt. She was sitting at the far left of the back. "We'd get there in a heartbeat with Sonido."
"Ha!" Mila Rose laughed. She was sitting at the far right. "Baka, we can only use your powers in our spirit bodies."
Apacci snarled at her. "I know that, Mila Rose! I'm not an idiot, unlike you!"
"What did you call me?" Mila Rose demanded, glaring at Apacci.
Sung-Sun, who was sitting in the middle, sighed. "Oh dear, I fear a bad day for us at our first day of school. With the way you two act, I wouldn't be surprised if you were instantly expelled."
"Shut up, Sung-Sun!" both girls yelled at their comrade.
Ben groaned as he got in the driver's seat. After all, he had been forced to endure this typical arguing while he had been in Hueco Mundo and during the entire summer. It got old really quick.
"Can't you girls get along for once?" he asked, rolling his eyes at their normal antics.
The girls paused in their arguing to look at their friend. Then they looked at each other, uncertain how to answer him.
Ben rolled his eyes as he started up his car. "Just...make sure you girls cool it while at school. Any of that and you'll be kicked out fast."
Apacci rolled her eyes now. "Like it's that big a deal."
Ben looked at her as he put the car in drive. "How come you guys are going to school, anyway?"
"Harribel-sama said it would be better if we learned more about the world of the living since we're living in it now," Mila Rose replied.
"And your mom told us about those people called truant officers," Sung-Sun explained. "If they found out about us..."
Ben cringed as he pulled out of the driveway. "Good point. But I think it's best if we lay some ground rules."
"Rules?" Apacci asked.
"School is nothing like Hueco Mundo," Ben said. "There, you could go wild and do whatever you want. Here, there are rules. If you guys want to stay out of trouble, you'll need to follow them."
Apacci smirked at Ben. "And since when were you such a model citizen, Ben?"
Ben looked back at her through his rear-view mirror. "Hey! What is that supposed to mean?"
Mila Rose threw back her head and laughed. "Well you're not exactly the perfect boy scout are you?"
Ben looked sheepish but managed to keep his eyes on the road.
"Stop it, you two," Sung-Sun scolded both Apacci and Mila Rose. "After all, you both are what humans would consider first class delinquents. But that's hardly surprising, since you are both so ill mannered."
"Shut up, Sung-Sun!" Both girls yelled at her, "Like you have any room to talk!"
Ben sighed. "This is gonna be a long day."
If only you knew, Ben.
Well, here it was: judgment time, at least to Ben Tennyson. Ironic of course. After all, Ben knew that school was a breeze compared to saving the world a dozen times. But now...now he would rather go back in time and face Aizen all over again than go through this.
He didn't mind Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun coming to school with him. He really didn't. But he knew that everyone would jump to conclusions and he would once again become the topic of some discussion he really didn't want to know about. So, he let out a sigh yet again once the school came into view.
"Well, girls," he said. "There it is."
The girls all sat up in their seats to get a better view of the school. To them, it wasn't all that impressive. After all, most buildings paled in comparison to Las Noches. Already boys and girls were walking inside of it.
"So that's school, huh?" Apacci asked when she looked at it. "Where we go to learn."
"Hopefully it won't be too hard for you, Apacci," Mila Rose taunted. "But since you're so hardheaded, that might be asking a bit much."
Apacci was about to retort in typical fashion but Ben loudly cleared his throat, causing any comment Apacci was about to make fall short.
"Hey, if you guys want to stay out of trouble…" Ben began as he looked over his shoulder and raised an eyebrow at the girls. The girls were caught off guard by the stern look on his face. He finished, "That means no picking fights, especially with each other."
The girls looked at each other before they looked back at Ben. But Ben had turned back to looking at the road to make sure he didn't crash into anyone or anything.
"What if somebody's messing with us first?" Apacci pointed out.
Ben opened his mouth to reply but stopped when as he fully registered what Apacci was asking him. His eyebrows furrowed as he weighed what he needed to say next. He didn't want them to get in trouble, but he didn't want someone else, particularly a guy, trying to get away with messing with them.
"If someone does mess with you," he said. "You're allowed to defend yourself. But only if they're trying to hurt you."
"And what if they're harassing us?" Mila Rose asked.
Man, she did bring up a good point. All three girls were very attractive, and his school was no different than any other school when it came to guys who thought they could do whatever they wanted. especially to girls.
"Get out of there as fast as you can," he relented, knowing full well that he just gave a pathetic answer.
"What?" Apacci snapped. "Get out of there? If some guy tries to mess with me, I'm kicking his..."
"Alright, fine," Ben said. "If someone tries to touch you, you can defend yourselves, okay? But only if they try to touch you and no serious injuries. That means no broken bones, no black eyes, no bruises, none of that."
Apacci folded her arms crossly. "I already hate school."
Despite the seriousness of the situation, Ben couldn't help but laugh at Apacci. "You sound just like me when I was a kid."
Apacci felt her face heat up in indignation from Ben's words.
Mila Rose laughed. "That's no surprise, considering how much of a brat Apacci really is."
"Mila Rose," Ben said sternly.
Mila Rose sighed. "Alright, fine. I'll try to be nice to her."
"Apacci, that includes you too," Ben said. "And you, Sung-Sun."
Apacci, who had been about to make another comment at Mila Rose, immediately snapped her mouth shut at Ben's words. Sung-Sun on the other hand covered her mouth and tried to look completely innocent.
Ben just shook his head as he pulled into the parking lot. Luckily there was an open space nearby so he quickly went for it. Afterward, he parked the car.
"Well, girls. We're here."
The girls all looked at each other. They nodded.
Ben opened his door and got out. Apacci opened her door and Mila Rose opened hers. Once the two were out, Sung-Sun came out on Mila Rose's side. All four of the group shouldered their backpacks.
"Well," Ben said. "Let's go."
Nodding in agreement, the three girls followed him towards the school.
The students attending the high school were engaged in typical before school activities. Sitting around, chatting, riding on skateboards, reading books. But then something happened that caused all of them to cease what they were doing and make sure that they weren't seeing things.
Typically one would expect it to be Ben that had gotten their attention. For a while, he had. After all, not every school has an actual superhero attending it. But that was not what got their attention now. No, what got their attention were the three hotties right walking with Ben as they approached the school. The first girl who had shoulder length black hair and different colored eyes had a flair that screamed punk. All in all, she looked like a hot "bad girl". The second girl looked like an exotic beauty, with her dark colored skin, her long, wavy hair, and her toned body. Many of the guys noticed that she had a very ample bust to go with it. The third girl looked like a quiet, but very beautiful girl, with her long olive green hair and lavender eyes. She had a very dignified air around her almost like a maiden.
The whole student body just stared in amazement as Ben and these three beauties walked up the steps and into the school. And already the rumors started to fly. Where had Ben met these girls? Was he dating any of them? And if he wasn't, were they available?
Ben let out a light groan as he and the girls walked down the hallway to find their lockers and then Ben would show them around the school so they'd know about where to go for all their classes. The girls were fully aware that just about every eye was on them. If it wasn't some guy giving them lustful glances, it was some girl glaring at them. No doubt they were being seen as competition. But that didn't matter to Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun. They could care less about how these people thought about them.
This was gonna be a lot harder than Ben thought. Judging from the way a lot of those guys were leering at the girls, a lot of them would try to hit on them. And these girls were not the type to be treated like slabs of meat, nor to let some guy push them around. Trouble was gonna come their way. Ben was sure of it.
Speaking of which...
"Hey, Ben!" a familiar voice called.
"Oh, please dear God, not now…" Ben groaned. He and the girls turned to look at a couple of boys that were Ben's age. One had messy brown hair and wore brown t-shirt with blue jeans. He also had round glasses on. His name was JT and with him was another boy with short black hair and dark rings under his eyes, wearing blue jeans and a red t-shirt. His name was Cash.
JT and Cash were Ben's childhood bullies and had been harassing him for years. However, Ben had stood up to them a while ago. Also, during a soccer match between Ben's team and theirs, Ben had stopped Cash from scoring a goal and was made MVP. Then there was the incident involving a robotic alien glove which had tried to take possession of Cash but Ben saved him. Then there was the time those two tried to make themselves famous like Ben. That scheme had not worked.
Of course, back in first grade JT and Ben had been best friends but that all changed after JT met Cash. JT and Ben even ate paste together (according to Gwen at least).
"Hey, Tennyson," said Cash, grinning. He didn't bully Ben anymore, not after knowing about Ben's secret. Ben could kick his butt if he wanted. They weren't friends but they were on more or less amicable terms. "So, where have you been all summer?"
"Oh, around," Ben answered, wishing to not have a conversation with them with the girls present.
The girls looked at the two boys curiously. They acted like they were good friends with Ben, but judging from his reaction, he must have though the exact opposite. Apacci and Mila Rose didn't like the look of them. Sung-Sun didn't really like them either but she didn't want to upset Ben. Hopefully the other two would know not to start anything unless of course these boys acted first.
"So, who are your friends?" asked Cash, taking a look at the three girls and then back at Ben. If his gaze had lingered, he would have noticed that the girls were sending looks of annoyance his way.
This wasn't what Ben wanted to get into on the first day of school. He really just wanted to get the day over with. Ben looked around. He was getting stared but not like when his secret had been discovered. These stares were aimed at the girls. "Well…these are…"
"Greetings," Sung-Sun said politely. "My name is Cyan Sung-Sun."
"I'm Emilou Apacci," Apacci said stiffly.
"And I'm Franceska Mila Rose," Mila Rose said firmly.
"We're new in town," explained Sun-Sung. "And Ben was kind enough to show us around the school. It's our first day, you see."
Cash, trying to be slick, introduced himself, "Well, how about I help Tennyson out. I mean he's always busy being the hero, he may not have time to show you lovely ladies around."
Ben slapped his forehead. 'Cash, you have no idea what you're getting yourself into…' The three Fraccion may not be as powerful in their gigai, but each of were skilled in combat and could be very lethal. If Cash made a wrong move, which Ben knew he would, then he may end up on their bad side. He knew Mila Rosa and Apacci would not appreciate getting hit on.
Apacci looked like she was about to retort when Mila Rose put a hand on her shoulder. Apacci turned her head to retort at Mila Rose. But Sung-Sun managed to interrupt them both before they wound up making a scene.
"That's very kind of you," she said. "However, our parents are rather fussy when it comes to our safety. That is why they recommended that we stick with Ben for the time being since he's such a well known hero. Parents can be quite overprotective, can't they?"
Ben, Apacci, and Mila Rose all looked at Sung-Sun dumbfounded. How in the world had she been able to come up with such a lie? And right on the spot like that?
Cash snorted. "Tell me about it. Well, alright. But remember ladies, if you ever need someone to show around, just ask for JT and Cash. Trust me we'll be more than happy to."
"By...bye, Ben," JT said, while looking at the girls shyly before walking away with Cash. Once they were a good distance away, Apacci growled.
"That was disgusting," she said as they continued walking down the hallway.
Mila Rose nodded. "Indeed." She looked at Ben. "How exactly do you know them, Ben?"
Ben looked down at his walking feet before answering. "Those guys use to bully me a lot before I got the Omnitrix."
"What?" the three girls exclaimed, looking at Ben in shock.
"Yeah, pretty dumb now," Ben admitted. "But they did probably because I was smaller than them. Made me an easy target that couldn't fight back."
The girls frowned as they took in Ben's words. It reminded them an awful lot of how life was in Hueco Mundo before they became Arrancar. Albeit Ben's suffering was not as serious as theirs, it was no doubt bad for a human.
"Let me guess," Mila Rose said. "They're all friendly now that they've realized you could pay them back for all they've done to you?"
Ben chuckled now. "Oh, don't worry. With the Omnitrix, I've gotten my revenge on them more than once."
Apacci sneered. "Good to know. Man, I can't believe those jerks, trying to hit on us like they're God's gift to women."
"Sadly," Sung-Sun said. "I think we'll be in for more men like that. I don't think they'll attempt anything while Ben is around, but if we are ever away from him or each other...we will need to be on guard."
Apacci smirked. "Heh, after putting up with creeps in Hueco Mundo, this place will be a piece of cake."
Ben looked at her. "Careful, Apacci. You're not as powerful as long as you're in your gigai. Don't get overconfident."
"Yeah, Apacci," Mila Rose taunted. "But that's hardly surprising, considering what a thick head you have."
"What was that, Mila Rose?" Apacci demanded. "You think I'm thick headed."Well look at you. Your head's a thousand times harder than mine."
"Why you!" Mila Rose yelled. "You think my head's harder than yours! Yours is a million times harder than mine!"
Sung-Sun sighed. "Please stop this pointless arguing you two. We are all aware that both of you are incredibly hardheaded."
"Nobody was talking to you, Sung-Sun!" Apacci and Mila Rose snapped at their comrade.
The three girls ceased their taunting at each other when they saw Ben looking at them crossly with his arms folded and his foot tapping the ground. It took the girls a moment to realize that they had just gone and done what Ben had told them not to do at school. With sheepish looks on their faces, they mumbled apologies to Ben.
"Alright," Ben said with a sigh. "Come on. I'll show you around before the bell rings."
And so, Ben spent the rest of the time before school to give the girls a quick tour. It wasn't' so bad, but he was fully aware that the girls were getting stares again and groaned. At this rate, some guy was gonna try and hit on them...only to be in for a world of hurt.
Just then the bell rang.
"Well," Ben said. "That about covers everything. Time for us to get to our first classes. See you girls at lunch!"
"See ya, Ben!" the girls called back as each went off to their different classes.
Ben looked at his schedule and rolled his eyes. His first class was Spanish class. Ben never saw the point. His Ultimatrix could be used as a universal translator. If he could use it to translate alien language to English, surely he could be able to turn other foreign languages to English. But his mom told him to not rely on the Ultimatrix all the time and actually be able to do things with his natural abilities. He knew his mom had a point...but did he really have to take Spanish class?
Ben found the room for Spanish class and walked inside along with the other students that were taking the class. Ben decided to take a seat at the far end of the room. If he was gonna take this class, he was gonna make sure to stayed as far away from the teacher as possible. They rarely called on the ones in the back.
"Hey, Ben," said some guy with slick raven colored hair that almost covered his shoulders. Ben forgot what the guy's name was. "Who were those three babes that were with you this morning?"
'Figures,' Ben thought.
"They're some friends of mine. They're new here," was all he replied.
"Really?" the raven haired boy asked. "And...they wouldn't happen to be single would they?"
Ben frowned. "They just got here to school. They said they're not interested in dating right now."
'At least not with you,' Ben mentally added. He wasn't sure if the girls still loved him or not, but he was certain that they weren't interested in dating any human guys anytime soon.
"You don't say," the raven haired boy said. But he sounded more like he was interested rather than disappointment. Ben was about ready to make some kind of retort when the door to the classroom opened, indicating that the teacher had just walked in.
'Well,' Ben thought as he looked down at his desk and considered drawing little doodles on it just for fun. 'Here we go.'
"Am I seeing things?"
"Man, what a babe."
Ben frowned. His classmates were actually ogling their teacher? Ben had heard about stuff like that before but...it never happened to him. Then again, most of Ben's teachers were either too old for his taste or were men. Ben looked up to see the big deal was about this teacher. The moment he did, his eyes went wide and his jaw dropped.
"No way," he said in a quiet voice that was so low he could barely hear it himself, "No freakin way."
Standing there before him was none other than...
"Hello, students. My name is Tier Harribel. And I shall be your Spanish Teacher for this semester."
There she was. Tier Harribel. Ben could hardly believe his eyes. She was actually dressed like a school teacher. Since she wasn't standing behind her desk, he had a good look at her. Everything she was wearing was pure white. She was wearing white high heeled shoes, a white skirt that went down to her knees, and a white blouse that was completely buttoned up. A little bit of relief to Ben since Harribel had been known not to be very modest. She was even wearing a pair of reading glasses. Hardly necessary, she was most likely wearing them to complete the teacher look.
'This is her job?' Ben asked himself. 'She's my Spanish teacher?'
Did Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun know about this? Did his parents know? Did Gwen and Kevin...Kevin! He was the one who helped Harribel get a job in the first place!
'I've been set up!' Ben mentally cried, wanting nothing more than to go Rath on Kevin right now. It took all the willpower Ben had not to fall face first onto his desk, but right now it did help cover up the blush on his face because he couldn't deny that Harribel looked extremely hot as a teacher.
'Oh crap, I've become a pervert!' Ben wailed in his mind.
"Alright, students," Harribel said casually. "Open your books to chapter one..."
The whole class went like a blur to Ben. He hadn't listened to a single thing Harribel had said the entire period. He was just so shocked that just sat there stupefied. He knew Kevin loved to tease him about his so called love life but this was too much, way too much. He only snapped out of it when a finger tapped his shoulder, causing him to slightly jump in his seat. He looked to see who had tapped his shoulder and found himself looking right into Harribel's green eyes.
"The bell already rang, Mr. Tennyson," she said in a casual tone as if she and Ben didn't know each other. "You'd better hurry to your next class."
"Huh?" Ben looekd around to see that he was the only one left in the classroom besides her. He quickly got up. "Uh, Tier? What are you doing here?"
"Mr. Tennyson," Harribel said seriously. "Here, you will refer to me as Miss Harribel. Is that understood?"
Ben was thrown off by this. Sure Harribel was serious, but he wasn't really used to her being like this around him.
"Y...yes, ma'am," he mumbled.
Harribel nodded, "Good. Now hurry to your next class."
Ben could only nod as he grabbed his things and dashed out the door.
Ben's mind was still numb from trying to accept the fact that Harribel was at his school and was his Spanish teacher. So stunned was he that the rest of his classes went by in an instant. And Ben soon found himself sitting at the lunch table. But his mind wasn't on food, so he just played with it using his fork.
"Hey, Ben," a voice greeted him. He looked up to see Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun all sitting around him.
"You okay, Ben?" Mila Rose asked.
Ben frowned. He looked at his three friends. "Did you guys know Tier was my Spanish Teacher?"
The girls looked at each other. Sung-Sun's mouth was covered up but Apacci and Mila Rose botH had sheepish grins.
Ben's eyes narrowed. "You did know. And nobody bothered to tell me because...?"
"We wanted to surprise you," Sung-Sun answered.
Ben rolled his eyes. "Oh, I'm surprised alright. You don't have to worry about that."
"Come on, Ben," Apacci said. "It's not that bad."
Ben frowned at her. Not that bad? Not that bad? That was hard to say when your teacher was a woman who was in love with you. What if she tried to do something? Not that Harribel was that type of woman but you never know what might happen. And if something did happen, she could get in so much trouble. Someone might think the wrong thing and accuse her of being a sexual predator. Ben knew she wasn't, but humans unaware of Arrancar wouldn't know any better.
"Ben, relax," Mila Rose said. "Harribel-sama knows about the laws you humans have. She wouldn't do anything that would get the two of you in trouble."
"She just wanted to be closer to you, Ben," Sung-sun said.
Ben tried to keep his face from turning red while looking around the cafeteria, hoping that nobody was eavesdropping on their conversation. All it took was one good listener, and then rumors would spread through the school like wildfire.
"I knew this was gonna be a long day," Ben sighed, holding his head with his hands.
At long last, the day was finally over. Ben let out a sigh of relief as he closed his locker and prepared to head out of school. No doubt Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun were at his car waiting for him by now.
As Ben walked down the hallway, he passed by Harribel's class room. There, he heard a voice.
"I must say, Tier, I don't think I've ever seen someone so fluently skilled in Spanish before."
Ben paused. Suspicion lurking in his mind, Ben walked over to Harribel's room. He pressed his ear against the door.
"I am flattered you think so highly of my skills," Harribel replied to whoever was also in the room. "However, I would appreciate it if you would refer to me as Miss Harribel."
"Miss?" The other voice, a man's voice, said. "You mean a beautiful woman like you isn't married? I'm surprised."
Ben clenched his fists. Whoever this guy was, Ben didn't like the way he was talking to Harribel.
"Anyway," the man said. "Let me give a proper welcome to the school staff. How about I take you out to dinner?"
Ben rolled his eyes. Figures. If Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun were getting hit on, of course Harribel would. And this guy was pretty daring if he thought he could take Harribel to dinner on the first day.
"That's very kind of you," Harribel said calmly. "However, I'm afraid I have to leave now."
"Oh, that's too bad," the man said. "Well, I'll see you around then."
Ben heard footsteps coming and quickly moved away from the door. Out of the room stepped a tall man with straw colored hair. He was wearing an apron that had paint stains all over it. Ben knew that this guy was the art teacher, but couldn't remember what his name was. The art teacher didn't seem to notice Ben was he walked down the hallway. Ben was about to move from his spot when the door opened again, this time whacking him in the face.
Harribel, the one who had opened the door, felt it hit something and quickly looked to see what happened. Her eyes widened when she saw Ben's dazed look.
"Ben!" she said, immediately at his side. "I'm sorry. I didn't know you were there."
"Don't mention it," Ben mumbled, checking his nose to see if it was broken or not. Luckily it wasn't. Would have been awful and not just because it would have been broken. No, it would have been bad because he had gotten his nose broken by a door. A door! After rumbling with some of the worst foes this and beyond universe had to offer, it would have been a disgrace to get a broken nose by a door.
"What were you doing behind there?" Harribel asked.
"I heard voices," Ben replied after confirming that his nose wasn't broken.
"Ah," Harribel said. "Yes. Mr. Thomas, the art teacher. Hmm…he's not the first one to have approached me today."
"Say what?" Ben asked, his mind completely off his nose and reputation.
Harribel frowned. "Many of the male teachers have been approaching me today."
Ben frowned and his eyebrows furrowed. Even though they were his teachers, he still considered them jerks now. He probably wouldn't have if it was someone he didn't know, but since he and Harribel were...friends...it made him upset.
And his upset showed, because Harribel noticed the look on his face. Despite that it wasn't a friendly look, Harribel was glad. Could this mean Ben was jealous? Harribel knew it was wrong to hope so, but if he was jealous, that showed just how much he cared about her.
"So, uh," Ben said, snapping out of his little mood. "How...how did you get here anyway?"
Harribel shook her head. She looked around the school to see if there was anyone else in the hallway. She whispered to Ben, "Later. We'll talk more at home, Ben. It's too risky here."
Ben opened his mouth to say something when he realized that she had a point. Who knows what might happen if people found out that he and Harrible were familiar with each other.
"Well," Ben said, trying to take like a student casually saying good-bye to his teacher. "Have a good day, Miss Harribel."
Harribel nodded. "Have a good day, Mr. Tennyson."
With that, the two went in different directions to leave the school.
Ben walked outside where the other girls were waiting for him. Ben unlocked the car and they all loaded up. Once they drove out of the parking lot and got on the road, Ben finally got all his wits together.
"So girls," Ben said to his friends. "How was your first day at school?"
Apacci snorted. "Boring. I nearly fell asleep."
Ben grinned. Trust on Apacci to do something like that. He would know. Back when he was younger, his teacher got upset with him for falling asleep in class.
Mila Rose sneered at her. "I'm surprised you managed to go a whole day without losing your temper. You sure impressed me, Apacci."
"Mila Rose," Ben scolded before Apacci could insult Mila Rose back.
"Well," Mila Rose said. "I like gym class. We were playing football."
Ben looked at her through the rear view mirror. "Oh? How was it?"
Mila Rose grinned. "The guys were upset because I wasn't a boy. Said they could use someone like me on their team."
Apacci groaned. "Stupid sexist jerks."
Ben didn't know how to argue that point. Even in this day and age, there were some activities that were very gender specific.
Sung-Sun spoke now, "I've taken an interest in music class."
"You did?" Ben asked. "Any instruments you like?"
Sung-Sun shook her head. "No, I haven't decided yet."
Ben nodded his head. Then he remembered.
"So...anything else happen?"
The girls looked at each other.
"If you talking about guys dogging our every moments," Mila Rose said. "Then yes."
Apacci growled, "Those idiots."
"They would be nice if they weren't so full of themselves," Sung-sun commented.
Ben nodded. "Yeah, they tend to do that, especially around the pretty ones." What he just said registered in his mind, causing Ben to snap his mouth shut and focus intently on the road.
The girls, however, had heard his statement and were completely surprised. Ben just called them pretty. Despite the fact that they had decided to let Harribel and Ben be together, they couldn't help but faintly blush at Ben's words.
"So," Apacci said after recovering. "Are we heading home?"
Ben took one hand off the wheel to tap his chin. "Nah. How about we celebrate your first day at school by going to Mr. Smoothy?"
The girls all grinned. Over the summer, they saw that Ben really enjoyed his smoothies, as he went to Mr. Smoothy on a daily basis. While Ben had some very weird tastes when it came to flavors, the girls enjoyed the most basic drinks the place had to offer.
So now Ben and the girls were driving back home, each other enjoying a nice relaxing smoothie. Apacci had gotten a raspberry flavored smoothie, Mila Rose had gotten an orange flavored one, and Sung-Sun had gotten a grape flavored smoothie. Ben on the other hand had gotten a combination chocolate/carrot smoothie.
"Got to admit," Apacci said after taking a big drink. "These smoothies are pretty good."
Ben grinned as he slurped on his. "Glad to hear it. Now if only we could get Kevin to like them."
Mila Rose chuckled as she fiddled with the straw. "He'd probably like them if you didn't order those weird flavors all the time."
Ben raised an eyebrow. "Oh, come on. They're not that bad."
The girls gave uneasy glances at each other. "We'll take your word for it, Ben."
Just then there was a loud boom. A tremor went through the ground and even caused Ben's car to lightly jump.
"Whoa!" Apacci said. "What in the world was that?"
As if in response to her question, people were now running through the streets, their screams audible to the car's passengers.
Ben, however, groaned. "Looks like it's Hero Time!" He swerved the car over to the side and parked. No sooner had he done so did he snap off his seatbelt, get out of the car, and headed towards whatever it was causing this disturbance.
Mila Rose grinned as she and the other girls undid their seatbelts and got out of the car. "I think Ben was enjoying his "crime-free" summer."
"Well," Sung-Sun as she stretched her arms. "Kevin and Gwen were forced to deal with the crime while Ben was in Hueco Mundo with us."
Apacci straightened out her back. "Well, we might as see which of Ben's bad guys he's up against."
Sung-Sun looked at her. "Are you sure that's wise? Our Gigai prevent us from using our powers, remember?"
Apacci smirked. "Have you forgotten? That Urahara guy made sure we could still use a good amount of our strength even in our gigai. We're still stronger than an average human."
"Apacci!" Mila Rose snapped at her and quickly looked around to see if anyone had eavesdropped on their conversation. So far everyone was too busy trying to get away from whatever was attackign them to pay attention. Good. "Careful what you say. We can't afford people overhearing stuff like that."
Apacci glared at her but simply snorted. "Come on. Ben's' waiting for us." Without waiting for the other two, Apacci dashed off in the same direction Ben went.
Mila Rose and Sung-Sun looked at each other and nodded. Soon, they headed off too.
It was never too hard to find out what was scaring crowds of people. Just head in the direction they were running from and you would find out soon enough.
And that was exactly where Ben was going, the direction all these people were running from. He would have stopped and asked what was wrong, but he had nearly been bowled over enough just by running.
"Sheesh," Ben uttered as he moved out of the way before a big guy eating a hot dog nearly plowed him over. "You'd think people would have been used to what goes on around here by now."
But then something demolsihed a wall of a nearby building. As the dust cleared, Ben could make out what appeared to be some weird kind of animal. It looked like a giant frog, a pretty big one at that. Luckily it was not as big as Way Big, but big enough to give Humongousaur a challenge. It had four eyes and a pair of horns sticking out of its head.
"What in the..." Ben started to say. Then it dawned on him. "Oh no, don't tell me."
Just then the dust fully cleared and Ben could see someone riding on top of the giant frog creature. It looked like an elderly man with long white hair. He had a strange, metallic headband around his head. The man looked at the screaming masses and laughed.
"That's it, you pathetic fools! Run! Run for your lives! Let no joyful voice be heard! Let no one look to the sky with hope! And woe to all who witness the return of...Dr. Animo!"
Ben deadpanned, "Dr. Animo? I'd rather take on the Forever Knights. And what's with that monologue? Oh come on. If he's trying a new angle, he's definitely got to work on it." He took a look at the frog. "This one's a lot different than his old one, a lot bigger and a lot uglier."
"Hey, Ben!" a voice called behind him. Ben turned to see Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun running towards him.
"What in the world is that?" Mila Rose asked, pointing at the giant frog. "And who's that guy on top of it?"
Ben sighed as he looked at his foe. "That's Dr. Animo, mad scientist."
Apacci cringed. "Like Szayel?"
Ben snorted. "Don't worry. Szayel's way worse than this guy is. I mean, Animo used to be a big threat...but he's really lost his edge over the years."
Sung-Sun looked at Ben curiously. "Years?"
Ben grinned now as he folded his arms. "Yep, I fought this guy back when I had the Omnitrix. Back when I was ten years old! And I always won!"
Apacci looked at Ben and then at Dr. Animo, who was sending his mutant frog on a rampage. She commented, "This guy must be pathetic if a ten year old can beat him, even if it was a ten year old with a watch that lets him turn into a bunch of aliens."
Ben grinned as he turned to face Animo again. "This shouldn't take long." With a confident stride, he walked over to where Dr. Animo was perched on top of his mutant frog. The creature, apparently sensing Ben's presence, turned around to see him. Dr. Animo was visibly confused by his creature's actions until he saw Ben walking towards them.
"Ah, Ben Tennyson. I thought something was wrong with this picture," The mad scientist said with a grin.
"What?" Ben asked. "That I didn't kick your butt yet. Don't worry, I'm getting to that," Ben said snidely.
"Mock me while you can, Ben Tennyson," Dr. Animo said to him. "I have learned from our past battles..."
"That'll be a first," Ben remarked. "If you had learned, you would know by now that you can't beat me."
The girls were a little surprised by this. Ben hadn't been this confident back in Hueco Mundo. It was probably because he was dealing with a foe he had beaten many times in the past.
"As arrogant as ever, I see," Dr. Animo said, not impressed with Ben's comments.
Ben made a face at him. "Look who's talking, D'void!"
Dr. Animo snarled in anger. Yes, that was the name he had taken when he had been taken over the Null Void and, personally, that was when Animo had been a really serious threat. That was until Ben figured out his weakness and took away his power. Ever since then, Ben had considered Animo a joke. But at least he wasn't as bad as Ssserpent. Now that guy was a wuss.
"Fortunately, Ben Tennyson," Dr. Animo said. "I know your weakness. You care for the innocent bystanders." Dr. Animo seemed to be searching for something through the crowds of scattering people when his eyes apparently landed on a suitable target. "There, my pet! Take her!"
On command, the huge frog opened its mouth and a red carpet of a tongue shot out. Before Ben could do anything, the tongue reached over to someone, wrapped them up, and then lifted them into the air.
"I believe you would be less willing to oppose me if I was to have a hostage," Animo said, pointing at whoever it was that was wrapped in his frog's tongue. Ben looked up to see who it was that Animo had caught. His eyes widened.
"Tier!" he cried.
Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun gasped. "Harribel-sama!"
Sure enough, it was none other than Harribel who was wrapped up in the frog's tongue.
Dr. Animo sneered at Ben. "Oh, so you know her, do you? Excellent." A red circle on Animo's headband shone for a moment. The frog lifted its tongue to the top of its head and unraveled Harribel. Animo quickly got behind her and put her arms around her like a cop arresting a crook. "If you value her safety, Ben Tennyson, you will not stand in my way."
Dr. Animo expected a variety of reactions from Ben, namely Ben getting angry at him or begging him not to hurt this woman. What Ben was doing instead left him completely baffled. The boy...the boy was smirking at him. Why was he smirking at him?
"Animo," Ben said with a grin. "You don't know just how bad you messed up."
Dr. Animo looked at him in confusion. "What do you mean by that, Ben Tennyson?"
"He means," Harribel said calmly to Dr. Animo. "That you were a fool to take me as a hostage."
While Harribel did not have her Zanpakuto and had her powers sealed off, she was still a fighter. And Dr. Animo was merely a human. Also, Urahara Kisuke had been kind enough so that her strength was not entirely limited by her gigai. While her strength was nothing compared to her power as an Espada, she was stronger than an average human at least and far stronger than this man. She broke out of his grip with relative ease. Before the stupefied man could do anything, Harribel slammed a kick to his midriff. Her leg strength, combined with the fact that she was wearing high heeled shoes, caused Animo to actually fly off the giant frog. He landed to the concrete with a loud thud.
Despite being in pain, Animo was not unconscious. He weakly looked up at Harribel in shock.
Harribel narrowed her eyes at him. "Did you think I was weak merely because I was a woman?"
Animo gulped. Desperately, he pulled out a strange device from behind his back, which was somehow intact despite Animo most likely falling on it when he fell down.
Ben cringed. "Harribel, look out! That's his mutant ray! That's how his frog looks like that!"
Dr. Animo was about to fire his mutant ray at Harribel, but she leaped off his frog just as he fired, causing the beam to pass harmlessly beneath her. Harribel landed on the ground in front of Animo and kicked his mutant ray out of his hands. Animo gritted his teeth to prevent himself from crying out in pain. Harribel grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him forward. Animo squeaked as Harribel glared at him. Then her eyes wondered up to his headband. She grabbed the headband with her free hand and yanked it off. Animo hissed in pain. Then he realized what she had done.
"You fool!" he cried in anger. "That was the only way I could control the beast!"
Harribel paid him no attention and looked over at Ben. "Ben? If you wish..."
Ben grinned at her. "No problem." he activated the Ultimatrix, turning the dial to the alien he needed, and slammed it down. In a flash of green light, Ben turned into Rath. The giant frog, no longer under anyone's control, turned its head to look at the source of green light. But just as it turned its head, Rath slammed into it, sending them both crashing into the ground.
"Let me tell you something, giant frog thing!" Rath yelled. "Nobody messes with Rath's town without getting a beat down!" Rath pulled back a clawed fist and sent it crashing right between the frog's multiple eyes. The blow sent the frog soaring through the air but Rath didn't end his attack there. He leaped into the air as well.
Rath slammed his body into the frog, who in turn slammed into the ground. The result was spider web-like cracks in the road. Rath managed to get back up to his feet but the frog was out cold. In a flash of green light, Ben turned back to normal.
"Well, that was easy," Ben said, brushing his hands.
"Think again, Ben Tennyson!"
Ben turned around to see Dr. Animo with his mutant ray pointing right at him.
"At last," Dr. Animo said triumphantly. "Victory is mine!"
"No. It isn't."
Dr. Animo turned around just in time to receive a punch to the face by Harribel. The blow caused Animo to spin in the air for a moment before crashing to the ground. A weak groan signified that he wasn't getting up for some time now.
Ben let out a sigh of relief. "Thanks, Tier. I can't believe this guy almost got the drop on me."
"Of course, Ben," Harribel said softly. "You know I would protect you."
Ben felt a blush coming onto his face. "Er, yeah, well, I uh..."
"That was amazing!"
Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun ran over to Ben and Harribel.
"Ben, Harribel-sama," Sung-Sun said. "The two of you were simply amazing."
Mila Rose nodded. "You taught that freakshow not to mess with you."
Apacci grinned. "That's what a guy gets when he tries to mess with Harribel-sama."
"Miss, that was absolutely amazing!"
Ben and the four girls turned to see a news crew coming towards them. Ben thought they had come to get another interview with him, but this time they were gathered around Harribel.
"Miss," said the news anchorman. "We just caught the whole thing on camera and the way you dealt with Dr. Animo was breathtaking. I've never seen someone move like that except in the movies. What's your name, miss?" The anchorman held out his microphone in front of her face.
Harribel looked the microphone for a minute and spoke into it. "My name is Tier Harribel. I'm a Spanish teacher at the local high school."
"A teacher? Well that's the first time I've seen a teacher with moves like that. Do you happen to teach a women's self defense class also?"
"A women's self defense class?" Harribel asked.
"Yeah, you know, one of those classes where they teach girls martial arts to fight off unwanted boys."
Harrible was surprised. She knew of only so few things in the human world, but it never occurred to her that there would actually be a school that taught women how to properly defend themselves.
Just then the sound of screeching tires got everyone's attention. Coming to a halt nearby was a blue news van. Ben paled when he saw what was written on it.
Ben moaned, "Oh, man. Not him."
Another news crew popped out of the van with equipment at the ready and out in front was the one guy that Ben was definitely not in the mood to put up with, Will Harangue.
"Okay, Mr. Harangue," said the cameraman. "We're live in five, four, three, two..."
"Good afternoon, America," Will Harangue said. "I'm Will Harangue and you're watching the Harangue Nation. Just a few moments ago, the city was terrorized and partially destroyed by the deranged scientist known Aloysius James Animo and of course, that menace to society, Ben Tennyson."
Ben scowled in anger.
Apacci, Mila Rose, Sung-Sun, and Harribel all frowned. They had only seen this man on the news, where they watched him call Ben a menace to society and a threat to humanity. If this man was only aware of the good Ben had done for this planet. Ben didn't have to put his life on the line for these people. He didn't have to face death nearly every day for them but Ben chose to do it anyway. So much for gratitude.
"As you can see from the destruction that Dr. Animo and Ben Tennyson caused," Harangue said. "The city is yet again in need of repair and let's hope that some of these unfortunate people have good car insurance. You know if Ben Tennyson wasn't around, great minds like Dr. Animo would never have turned to a life of crime."
Before anyone could say anything, Harangue and his crew went over to where Harribel was, shoved the other news crew aside, and got right in front of Harribel.
"According to sources, this woman was recently a hostage of Dr. Animo to use as leverage against Ben Tennyson. While Tennyson and Dr. Animo's abomination of nature battled each other, this woman actually succeeded in freeing herself and subduing Dr. Animo. It's time like these where we must ask ourselves if we are truly safe. This woman's life was in danger because of Tennyson. But the fact that she was able to subdue Dr. Animo on her own without Tennyson's help clearly shows that we do not need his so called "help" and are perfectly capable of handling things on our own. I will now have an exclusive interview with this woman right away." Harangue looked over at Harribel. "Miss, may I ask you for your name?"
Harribel raised an eyebrow dubiously at Harangue but answered his question, "My name is Tier Harribel. I'm a Spanish teacher."
"Is that so?" Haragnue asked in surprise. "Well from what my sources tell me, you're quite the fighter for a Spanish teacher."
"It is always good for one to know how to defend themselves," Harribel replied.
Harangue nodded. "That's understandable, especially with a madman like Ben Tennyson running around." He looked over at Ben and glared at him, which Ben gladly returned.
Apacci looked like she was about to retort but Harribel stopped her with a stern glare that silenced her immediately. Harribel then brought her attention over to Harangue.
"You do not seem very fond of Ben Tennyson," she commented.
"Of course not," Harangue said, "He's a threat to humanity and shouldn't be allowed to walk the streets of our community."
Harribel's eyes narrowed. "Why?"
"Why?" Harangue asked. "Just look at this!" He waved his hand over the destruction. "He's responsible for this."
"Wrong," Harribel corrected. "This was not entirely his fault. That creature of Dr. Animo's did most of this destruction. If Ben had not stopped it, who knows how much more destruction the creature would have caused."
A crowd of civilians, which had gathered around, began mumbling amongst themselves about Harribel's words. Harangue was caught off guard by this sudden interruption. Not to mention he hadn't counted on this woman supporting Ben.
"May I ask you something, Mr. Harangue?" Harribel asked. "How is it that you can call Ben a threat to humanity after all he's done for this world?"
"Done for this world?" Harangue repeated. "He's..."
But then Harribel shot him an even fiercer glare than the one she had given Apacci. Harangue didn't know what it was about this woman, but the look in her eyes made his mind go blank, his tongue stuck to his mouth, and his legs like jello. So he said nothing, as Harribel continued speaking.
"This boy...this amazing boy, has put his life on the line for this world, for its people, ever since he was ten years old. A child should not have to bear such a burden on their shoulders, and this...this smear campaign is how you repay him? This is the thanks he gets?"
Harangue gulped visibly when he noticed that the bystanders' talking was picking up in volume now.
But Harribel was not done, "No one asked Ben to save this world. No one asked him to face death every day to keep others safe and yet he does it without regard for his own life. And you," she zeroed in on Harangue, who took a step back in reflex, "You have the nerve to treat him like he's some kind of monster instead of the hero he truly is. But he's not the monster, is he? No. There's only one monster I see. And it's right in front of me."
The crowd gasped as they realized that Harribel was calling Harangue a monster. He began motioning with his hands to the cameraman to cut the feed but Harribel took a step forward, causing him to panic.
"No," she said. "I will let my voice be heard. This is for all who consider Ben a threat or a menace. Let me ask you all one thing: if Ben wasn't around to save you from the real monsters...do you think you'd stand a chance?"
With that, Harribel folded her arms, clearly signifying that she was done talking and she left a stunned crowd by her words. Without bothering to see if Harangue would reply, Harribel turned around and walked off. Harangue tried to find the words to say, but none could come to mind. After all, he had just been called out on live national TV.
With a smirk on his face, Ben looked at Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun. He indicated with his thumb for them to get going. Nodding in agreement, the girls followed him back to the car and got in. Shortly after, they drove off.
"Man!" Ben said as they reached his house, "I can't believe Tier actually went and said that to Harangue!"
"Well what did you expect?" Apacci asked him. "That...that jerk shouldn't have talked about you like that."
In the old days, Apacci would have had a more colorful choice of word to say about Harangue but she had mellowed down in her swearing since being around Ben's parents.
Mila Rose nodded. "We were all about to say something but Harribel-sama beat us to it."
"Hopefully Harangue will learn to leave you alone from now on," Sung-Sun said hopefully.
Ben thought about it for a moment as he pulled into the drive way. "I don't know. He'll probably try to find some way to twist everything around."
"I don't think so," Sung-Sun said. "Remember how that man said the interview was live. Since it was live, Harangue cannot alter what Harribel-sama said about him."
Ben's eyes widened as comprehension dawned on him. "That's true. That's true! It was live!" Ben laughed. "Harangue just got owned on live TV! Haha! Take that, Harangue!"
Apacci and Mila Rose grinned. While Sung-Sun's mouth was covered up by her sleeve, it was most likely that she too was grinning, or at least smiling.
Ben laughed a minute as he parked his car and then slowed down his laughter. He gave a small smile as he undid his seat belt.
"And...it...it was kind of nice...for Tier to say those things about me. She didn't have to..."
"She knows she didn't have to, Ben," Sung-Sun said softly. "She wanted to."
Ben paused when he was halfway out his car. Even though he should have seen this coming...it still left a strange feeling in him. Perhaps because he was seeing just how much he meant to Harribel. Scratching the back of his head, he got out the car and walked towards his house. As the girls started getting out, they shared a knowing look with each other. Perhaps now, more than ever, Harribel had become closer to Ben's heart.
The girls and Ben soon got inside the house. No sooner had they done so, did Ben feel something soft collide with his face. He was disoriented at first but then his face was flushing when he realized what had just collided with his face.
"Welcome home, Ben," Nelliel said sweetly.
Unknown to him, the three girls behind him scowled deeply at Nelliel's welcome home affection.
"Hello, Ben," Sandra called from the kitchen. "Did you have a good day at school?"
"It was...interesting," Ben answered, debating whether or not to tell his mom that Harribel was now one of his teachers. "So, is dad home?"
"Carl said he'd be a little late," Sandra said.
Ben nodded. Well, nothing bad going on here.
Just then there was a knock at the door. Looking at each other in confusion, everyone's eyes turned to Ben as he walked over to the door and opened it. Standing in the doorway was none other than Gwen, Kevin, and...Lilynette?
"Um...hey," Ben said.
"Hey, Ben," Kevin said with a huge grin on his face.
"We heard what happened on the news," Gwen said, standing next to Lilynette. "Sounds like Harribel really told Harangue off. It's about time. Too bad we weren't there to see it."
"We also came by to see how your first day at school went," Kevin said, that grin still on his face.
Ben scowled deeply when he saw that look on Kevin's face. "Oh, I think you know exactly how my day went, Kevin."
Sandra came out of the kitchen to see who was at the door. "Oh, hello Gwen, Kevin, Lilynette. How was your first day at school?"
Lilynette snorted and had a pouting look on her face.
Ben did a double take. "Hold on. You're going to school too?" he asked Lilynette.
Lilynette groaned and looked down in shame. "Yes," she replied.
"Lilynette, there's nothing wrong with going to school. It's good for you," Gwen said gently.
"It's stupid and boring!" Lilynette complained. "What's the point of me learning all this stuff? It's not like I need to know it in real life and they treat me like a stinking child!"
"Well you do look the part," Kevin commented, causing Lilynette to retaliate by kicking him in the shin. Smirking after hearing Kevin grunt in pain, Lilynette looked over at Ben.
"By the way, Ben," she said. "How does it feel to have Harribel as your new teacher?"
Gwen did a double take now. "Say what?" she asked.
Kevin nodded. "Yeah, I kinda helped Harribel get a job at Ben's school as a Spanish Teacher."
Gwen's jaw dropped. "How...how did you do that? Kevin, do you have any idea how much stuff you'd have to go through? All the paperwork, the credentials, the recommendations. How in the world were you actually able to...?"
Kevin's grin only widened. "Let's just say I know a guy who knows a guy and leave it at that."
"Kevin," Gwen said in annoyance. "This is way too risky and illegal. For one thing, if people found out that Harribel and Ben are living together..."
"What? So do a whole bunch of other people. And technically, Ben's parents are here with him most of the time. It's not like he and Harribel are married. Yet."
Ben's face turned crimson at what Kevin was implying. Nelliel on the other hand bit her lip. Yes, she did respect that Harribel had feelings for Ben...but if she was rather hoping to have the honor of being Mrs. Tennyson, not Harribel.
"But Kevin," Gwen argued. "People might accuse her of being a sexual predator or being in contact with a minor. They'll try to throw her in jail."
Apacci snorted, "As if they could."
"We will protect Harribel-sama," Mila Rose declared.
"And I am certain Ben would too," Sung-Sun said. "Isn't that right, Ben?"
"Of course I'd help her," Ben said. "Why would you think I wouldn't?"
The three girls were rather hoping that Ben would say something that showed how much Harribel meant to him, but they would have to be content for now. After all, slowly but surely, Ben was getting there.
Just then a voice spoke, "Hello, everyone. I'm back."
Everyone turned to see Harribel standing in the doorway. Nelliel was temporarily taken aback by Harribel's choice of clothing and couldn't help but be slightly annoyed. While Harribel was being surprisingly modest with her appearance, she would definitely be, and no doubt had been, turning heads.
Gwen was the second one to be utterly shocked in Harribel's appearance. Her thoughts were on the same pattern of thinking as Nelliel's, minus the jealousy part of course. She was just grateful that Harribel had the decency to have her blouse buttoned up. She glared a little at Kevin. If he had something to do with this...oh ho was he gonna get it.
"Welcome home, Tier," Sandra said with a smile. "How was your first day teaching?"
Ben and Gwen's heads immediately snapped to look at her.
"It was...interesting," Harribel said. "Many of the students were loud and troublesome and others were more content in simply staring at me than actually paying attention in class."
Ben scowled yet again. Nelliel noticed this and felt a weight form inside of her. Harribel had apparently become very close to Ben now. So...where was Nelliel to him in all of this?
Sandra nodded at Harribel's words. "I had a feeling it would be like that. But don't worry. I'm sure they'll learn to respect you."
"Hold on a minute," Ben said after realizing something. "You mean you knew Harribel was going to be my teacher?"
"Of course, dear," Sandra said. "Tier told me about it before she applied for a job. I do admit I was a little uncomfortable due to the fact that she was forging credentials and those other things, but I decided to let her do as she wished. Besides, I figured she would be able to get you to apply yourself more at school. Just because you're a hero does not mean I'm gonna let you shirk off on your grades."
Ben blanched. "You mean...you allowed Tier to become a teacher...just to make sure I did my schoolwork?"
Kevin and Lilynette both laughed heartily at this new revelation.
"Oh man, Ben!" Kevin said with a laugh, "Sucks to be you right now."
Ben glared at him angrily.
The rest of the day was somewhat uneventful. Apparently Lilynette had gotten in trouble on the first day of school. She kept getting into fights with the other kids and was rude to the teachers. Gwen was able to calm the teachers and convince them not to expel or suspend Lilynette but it was definitely a close shave.
Ben was never able to figure out how exactly Kevin had been able to get Harribel hired as an actual teacher. Kevin stuck to his simple "I know a guy who knows a guy" and would say nothing more on the subject so Ben just gave up.
Not long after, Ben had gotten emailed by Jimmy, who said the news was buzzing ever since Harribel had told off Harangue. Ben's fans had applauded Harribel and gave her all kinds of online awards, honors, and titles. Kind of useless actually since Harribel didn't use the internet but it was the thought that counts. Of course, some people began coming up with theories about why Harribel thought so highly of Ben. Some people thought that Ben had saved her life once and that was why she defended him like that. And then Jimmy told Ben that some people had said that because Harrible had spoken so highly of Ben, she was probably some sort of cougar.
"She is not!" Ben had yelled angrily when Jimmy had told him that piece of news. "They don't know her, so what gives them the right to say that!"
Naturally Jimmy had been scared stiff by Ben's outrage. Ben forced himself to calm down and try to smooth out the situation. He told Jimmy to do whatever he could to stop those rumors. He didn't want to hear any more stuff like that being said about Harribel. Jimmy asked to know why it bothered Ben so much...but Ben never gave him a straight answer.
And now, Ben was sitting on the rooftop of his house, thinking about how his life had gotten turned upside down even more. Ah well, it could have been worse.
Ben jumped a little at hearing someone call his name. Luckily he didn't jump off the roof. "I'm right here."
Harribel stuck her head out the window and saw him sitting on the roof.
"Your mother said you come up here sometimes," she said softly. "May...I come join you?"
Ben blinked at her question but seeing no reason why not, he said, "Sure thing. Come on up."
With ease, Harribel was able to climb out of the window and walk on the roof over to where Ben was sitting. She sat down next to him. While she sat close to him, she did leave some space so that their bodies did not come in contact with each other. While Harribel loved Ben, she did not want to make him uncomfortable. If Ben noticed this, he didn't show it.
"What are you doing up here?" Harribel asked, trying to start a conversation.
"Huh?" Ben asked. "Oh, just thinking."
"About what?" Harribel pressed on.
"Just...stuff," Ben said vaguely.
Harribel did not press further, simply being content sitting next to him for a moment. Then, she asked the question that had been on her mind for some time now.
"Ben? Does it bother you than I'm your teacher now?"
That got Ben's attention. He looked over at her.
"What makes you say that?" he asked.
"I could tell that you are at least somewhat uncomfortable with me being your teacher," Harribel replied.
Ben sighed as he looked down at his hands, which he had resting on his knees. "I'll admit that I was a little...surprised when I found out what your job was. And well, I did find it a little awkward. I mean, since you and I...live...together...and to see you as my teacher..."
"Do you...not want me to be your teacher?" Harribel asked him.
Ben looked at her for a moment then shook his head. "Now that I've gotten used to it, it doesn't seem so bad. I'm afraid you'll probably call on me in class plenty of times."
"I do need to make sure that you are learning your lessons," Harribel said. "Of course, if you are having trouble, I could always tutor you. It's an advantage of having your teacher live with you."
Ben grinned. "Good point."
Harribel smiled at Ben's grin and the two once again sat in silence. After a while Ben spoke. "Thank you."
Harribel turned her head and looked at him. "For what?"
"For what you said to Harangue," Ben explained. "Thank you."
Harribel looked at Ben silently for a moment, then she reached out with her hand and placed it on his cheek.
Ben gulped as he felt his face warm up. "Tier?"
"He has no right to call you those things," she said softly. "Everything you have done for this world, these people should be treating you with much more respect."
Ben nodded, then scratched the back of his head. "Well, I guess the damages I cause sometimes is a good reason, even if I am saving all their butts."
Harribel shook her head. "Things such as "damages" are to be expected. Nothing in any world is without sacrifice, regardless of how great or how minimal it maybe. Would they rather you do nothing and have their lives be sacrificed instead?"
Ben was taken aback by Harribel's question, though he had to admit that she was right, in a turnabout kind of way.
"Ben, you have done so much for this world, for Hueco Mundo, and for Soul Society. And never once did you do it out of personal glory or lust for power. You did it because you chose to do it. And that...that is what makes you special."
Ben felt a light blush on his face, which was a big improvement than the usual crimson he would get in situations involving in the girls. Just then he felt something soft on his cheek, causing his face to redden some more once he realized that Harribel had just kissed him.
"While you may not feel the same way towards me…" 'Yet.' Harribel mentally added. "Allow me to show my affection."
Ben felt himself becoming nervous. "Uh..."
Harribel smiled lightly again before pulling him into an embrace. Unlike Nelliel's, which were overenthusiastic and often cutting off his oxygen, Harribel's was gentle and comfortable. Although Ben did feel a blush whenever his body came in contact with Harribel's for obvious reason.
"Good night, Ben," Harribel said in a low voice that sent shivers up Ben's spine. She then slowly released him and went to go back inside the house, leaving a stupefied Ben behind.
What Ben and Harribel did not know was that Nelliel had been eavesdropping on their conversation. She had been looking for Ben and had gone into his room to see if he was there. She had been about to leave when she heard voices coming from the window. Curiosity getting the better of her, she went over to the window and overheard Ben and Harribel's conversation. When she heard that Harribel was about to come back in, she quickly left the room before anyone would know she was there. And once again, that weight like feeling was back inside of her.
Ben and Harribel were becoming very close now. Nelliel was worried that maybe...maybe Ben would prefer Harribel over her. While she could understand Harribel's own feelings for loving Ben, she wanted to be the one in Ben's life. But seeing the way the two had been interacting, she was really worried that Ben was getting farther from her instead of closer.
"What can I do?" Nelliel asked herself, trying to think of a way for her and Ben to become closer again.
End of Chapter
Scourge: Well everyone. That's all for chapter one. Yeah, I know. Not very good in the action department, was it?
Okay, okay. You made your point, Scourge. Look, I promise that there will be more action in the future chapters.
Scourge: There'd better be or this story is just gonna be one of those romance-drama types. And let's face it, this story needs to be a lot better than one of those.
Granted. Well viewers, for all of you who might be wondering, Ben still hasn't decided who he wants to be with.
Scourge: If I wasn't dating Fiona, I'd take them both.
I have a feeling you would. Anyway, the reason why this chapter is mostly about Harribel is because I rarely gave her the proper time in Volume I. Aside from the constant broken record thing about how she's in love with Ben. This volume, I will work on connecting them more emotionally and more realistically than it was in the first volume.
Scourge: No arguments there. You made a lot of mistakes in Volume I you really need to work on.
Well, live and learn, eh? Okay, viewers, see you next chapter!