Disclaimer: Ben 10 and Bleach do not belong to me
For those who were wondering, Ichigo will return. I know I had Ben hog the spotlight in the first volume and I do hope to make up for it here. Ichigo and the rest of the Bleach gang WILL return to the story. Now I'm not saying when, but they will. As for Omniverse, I do intend to incorporate elements of that show to this series. Maybe in this volume, maybe in Volume III if I can pull it off. I already have an amusing idea who Princess Looma gets engaged to instead of Ben. Also, remember when I said that the OOC moments from Volume I will be addressed and lampshaded? I'll be doing the same thing to other issues such as obvious things, like how none of the Bleach characters knew that Ben was a big celebrity. I will also try to find logical explanations for some things though, like how nobody seems to have noticed five different women living with Ben. Anyway, on with the story!
Date with Nelliel-Part 2
"So, Ben went on a date with Nelliel."
Tia was in the living room of the Tennyson house. The Tres Bestias were all sitting around, each one with an annoyed look on her face.
"I can't believe that bitch beat us to it," Apacci growled angrily.
Mila Rose and Sung-Sun said nothing but the looks on their faces clearly showed they felt the same way. Tia sighed at the sight.
"You three may not like it but Nelliel is part of our…little group. The three of you will have to accept this."
The girls looked at the ground. They knew their mistress was right but that didn't make things any better. They could tolerate having to share Ben with each other and Harribel-sama. But Nelliel, Nelliel was the literal fifth wheel in their opinion. Maybe the fact that Nelliel got on their nerves when she was a child was another reason.
Tia fought back the urge to sigh again. She knew that it was going to take some adjustment to but it was for the best. Perhaps having to share Ben could teach all of them to get along with each other. She decided to take her presence elsewhere and went upstairs to Ben's room. It was just the way he had left it before going off on his date. Of course the date was so sudden after all. Tia smiled a little as she remembered last night, the feeling of her loved one holding her so closely but still being so shy. She hoped that she hadn't made him uncomfortable with such a bold move. He was still sixteen after all.
But then her musings were interrupted by a scratch at the window. Confused, Tia turned to see a black cat at the window, pawing at the glass. Taking a moment to wonder how a cat even got up there, Tia went to the window and opened it. The cat leaped inside the moment she did.
"Hello, little one," Tia said softly. "Where did you come from?"
Then, to her shock, the cat seemed to smile. "Hello, Tia," it replied in a male's voice.
Tia was taken aback by this. A talking cat? Sure she had seen plenty of strange things before but…
"Do I know you?"
"Yes, but you haven't seen me in this form before," the cat said. "I'm Yoruichi."
"Y…Yoruichi? I didn't know you can turn into a cat."
"There's a lot of my abilities you don't know about," Yoruichi said.
"But why do you sound like a man?"
"Side effect of the transformation," Yoruichi explained. "Though it's amusing when I show my true form to people for the first time." She chuckled. "Poor Ichigo nearly had a heart attack."
"I can imagine," Tia said. "So what brings you here, Yoruichi?"
Yoruichi looked around the room, then at the door. Tia figured out her concern and went over to close it. Once she did, Yoruichi hopped on the bed.
"I've already discussed this with everyone else back at Los Soledad, but you were unconscious at the time" Yoruichi told Tia. Then she went on to explain what she had already told everyone else. About how Soul Society was afraid of Ben due to all the things he did and could do, about how his good-willed plan to turn Hollows into Arrancar could be mistaken as a power play, and everything in between. The conversation was told quietly so as not to disturb the Tennyson family and by the end of it, Tia felt grim.
"I'm sorry but you have a right to know," Yoruichi told her. "The Central 46 are upset enough that you Arrancar are in the human world and it was sheer luck that Yamamoto convinced them you wouldn't do anything."
"Well, Kyoraku and Ukitake had to do some convincing to him on their part but still all the same."
"I see." Tia got up and went over to look outside the window. "You really think it will come to war?"
"Hard to say," Yoruichi admitted. "Those higher ups will do anything to prevent something they see as a threat."
"Will they use any means necessary?"
Yoruichi looked at her paws. Her silence was all Tia needed.
"Thank you for telling me this, Yoruichi. I appreciate it."
Yoruichi smiled softly. "You have a right to know."
Tia went away from the window. "I need to find Ulquiorra."
Yoruichi blinked. "Why?"
"While I hope to avoid conflict, I must consider the possibility it will occur. If that is the case, I will have to become stronger. Ulquiorra found a way to obtain a second form of Resurrección called Segunda Etapa."
Yoruichi's eyes widened. "A second form? Something like that is possible?"
"As far as I know, Ulquiorra is the only one to have obtained it. I need him to teach me how I can obtain it too."
Yoruichi felt a shiver run down her spine. Tia had been the Third Espada in Aizen's army with her regular power. If she obtained this second form, just how much stronger would she become?
Ben couldn't keep a smile off his face as Nelliel oohed and aahed at all the sights outside the Rustbucket III. It was…pretty cute. It also reminded him of her child-like form. Ben gave a low chuckle at the thought.
"What's so funny, Ben?" Nelliel asked, having heard him.
"I've never seen anyone be so excited about being in space before," Ben replied. He was certain she was more excited than he had ever been. Then again, his reasons for going into space were never for luxuries.
"But it's so amazing!" Nelliel went back to looking out the window. "The stars, the planets, space itself!"
Ben chuckled again. "You're just like a little kid."
"Ben!" Nelliel pouted.
"Hey, I meant that as a compliment. It's cute."
Nelliel was taken aback but blushed a little at him calling her cute. Hopefully that showed he was becoming comfortable with this whole sharing situation.
But of course, Ben was still pretty nervous. But his nervousness was more about making sure Nelliel had a good time.
"Um, what time is it going to be when we get back home?"
Ben raised an eyebrow. "Why would you ask that?"
"'Cause it seems this planet is pretty far away from Earth. Which means it's probably gonna take us some days to get there and back."
Ben looked back at her in confusion. Nelliel giggled sheepishly.
"I've read a few sci-fi books that dealt with space travel. And I don't want you to miss school because of me."
Ben smiled. "Don't worry, Nelliel. My teachers are pretty understanding. They know that I'm busy saving the world and stuff like that." Then he frowned. "Though they always make sure that I make up my work later."
Nelliel laughed. "Okay. As long as I don't get in the way."
Ben smiled again. "You'd never get in the way, Nelliel."
Silence passed between them but each felt a light blush on their faces. Nelliel was excited. She was finally getting her date with Ben and it was on a whole other planet. Not even Tia could brag about something like that...even if she did get her date first.
Ben was nervous about the date too but his mind was on other things, too. No doubt when they'd get back, Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun would want dates too. Not wanting to disappoint any of them, Ben would have to think of places to take them. He just hoped he could pick good ones. But that would have to wait until later. Right now he was with Nelliel and Ben was determined to make sure she had a good time.
"Besides," Ben told her. "Kevin's probably loaded so much equipment in this thing, we might get to Bachanal and back to Earth in no time."
"I remember how fast he made this go that one time we went to beach," Nelliel remembered.
"Well, then. Let's see how fast this baby can go!"
Ben punched in a few buttons and pulled a lever. The next thing Nelliel knew was everything outside the ship suddenly becoming blurry. Were they about to go the light speed that she had read in so many sci-fi novels? Oh she was so excited! She eagerly looked outside and her face lit up with glee. Everything around them looked like a big blur. So this was what space travel felt like. It was wonderful.
And then, in really not time at all, Ben slowed down the ship and everything looked back to normal. Nelliel blinked in surprise. "Ben? We're already there?"
"Looks like it." Ben checked the computer to make sure. "Yep. We're here alright. Man, whatever Kevin put in this thing really works."
Nelliel grinned playfully. "Wonder how he got them."
Ben laughed. "Don't think I want to know."
The two shared a laugh at that for a moment before Ben looked outside. "Bachanal should be around here somewhere." He spotted something in the distant. "Not like it's hard to spot."
Nelliel got up from her seat and went to the cockpit. "Oooh," she gasped at the sight.
Not too far away from the Rustbucket III was a massive planet. Possibly as big as Jupiter if not more so. It was rather grayish and didn't seem all that much to look at.
"Ben, what are all those sparkles around the planet?" Nelliel asked, pointing out said sparkles.
Ben squinted his eyes as if that would help him see better. "I think they're...lights. But what could be bright enough to be seen from space?"
"We'll never know unless we land,"
"Good point. Strap in, Nelliel. I'm taking her down."
Nelliel nodded and eagerly got back in her seat, buckling up for extra safety. Once she was set in, Ben set the ship on a course towards Bachanal.
Once the couple entered the planet's atmosphere, they could see that appearances could be deceiving. Ben and Nelliel were staring at what seemed to be a massive city before them. The buildings, the lights...
"It's beautiful," Nelliel said.
"I think we landed in the Las Vegas of the universe," Ben commented.
Just then there was a voice on the ship's radio, startling the two out of their wonder.
"Unknown ship, identify yourself."
Ben pressed the reply button. "Yes, this is Ben Tennyson, I'm..."
"Ben Tennyson! The Ben Tennyson?!"
Ben grinned. "The one and only."
Suddenly two smaller red ships appeared in front of the Rustbucket III.
"We've heard that one before," said another, gruffer voice. "How about you show us some proof that you're the real Ben Tennyson."
Ben grinned. "Gladly." He activated the Ultimatrix and slammed the dial down. In a flash of green light, he turned into Four Arms. "There. That good enough for ya?"
"You're the real deal, alright. Follow us to the docking bay. We've been expecting you."
Four Arms grinned as he changed back into Ben. "Sweet."
"What did they mean by, they heard that one before?" Nelliel asked.
"Must've dealt with imposters trying to get inside for free or something," Ben figured as he followed the two red ships.
"People would actually try that?"
"People do it on Earth all the time."
Ben was guided to the docking bay where loads of ships of various shapes and sizes resided. Ben whistled. "Talk about trying to find a good parking space."
"Do all these ships belong to aliens?" Nelliel asked.
"Most likely. I mean, there aren't many human Plumbers that leave Earth so..."
Nelliel was starting to feel nervous again. The only aliens she was really used to were the ones that Ben transformed into. And Azmuth.
"Well. Something tells me that's meant for us."
Nelliel looked for what Ben was talking about and her eyes widened to see a space where a group of different aliens were gathered. They had left enough space for Ben to actually park his ship. Slowly and carefully, Ben was able to land the Rustbucket III.
"Guess we better go and greet the welcoming committee," Ben said as he unstrapped himself. Nelliel nodded as she unstrapped herself. The two got up from their seats and headed towards the walkway. Ben quickly grabbed his ID mask and put it on. Nelliel felt excited again as Ben became his handsome older self once more. "Shall we go?"
Nelliel nodded. As Ben started walking she shot out her hand and grabbed Ben's own. The action took him by surprise and he looked at their joined hands before looking up at Nelliel. Suddenly feeling shy, Nelliel averted her eyes but still kept that smile on her face. Giving a smile back, Ben intertwined their fingers. The action filled Nelliel up with warmth.
Once they got off the ship, the two were greeted by what appeared to be the place's security force. They had muscular humanoid appearances but their bodies were covered in blue and white armor that completely covered their bodies with helmets that covered their faces. They nodded respectively.
"Right this way, please. The boss would like to see you."
Ben and Nelliel looked at each other and couldn't help but feel a little tense. Ben had seen enough shows and Nelliel had read enough books to know that when someone says their boss wants to see you, it ain't good news. Giving Nelliel's hand a reassuring squeeze, Ben nodded at the armored guards.
As the couple were guided to wherever this boss was, they took in time to see the sights. Unfortunately all they could make out at the moment were the buildings.
"So, uh,...were are all the rides and stuff?" Ben risked asking.
"Around," one of the guards replied. "You're only in the docking district of Bachanal so there's nothing to see yet."
"Bachana is the paradise planet," the other guard replied. "The various forms of entertainment and enjoyment are divided into different sections."
"Why?" Nelliel asked.
"To suit the various needs of the many travelers who come here. There's the gambling district for those who hope to make it rich, the carnival district for families, the performance district, but we'll let the boss explain it all to you once you meet her."
"Her?" Ben asked in surprise.
"Yep," one of the guards said and Ben was certain he was smirking. "And the boss has been pretty interested in having you show up. Nice ID-mask by the way."
Ben was about to comment when the other guard spoke up.
"You think you're the first celebrity to show up here? Please, this is the hot spot of the universe. All the big stars come here to just relax and have fun. Though we haven't had the pleasure of you coming here. It's an honor. In fact, can I ask you something?"
"Uh...sure. What's up?"
"Can I have an autograph before you leave? It's for my kids."
Ben grinned. "Hey, sure. Anything for the kids."
Nelliel couldn't help but giggle at Ben's antics and started to feel a little bit more comfortable. These guards were obviously just doing their jobs instead of trying to cause trouble. No offense to them though, but Nelliel was certain she and Ben could handle them.
The guards led Ben and Nelliel to an elevator and the couple stepped inside with the guards following after. One guard pressed a button that Ben guesses was to the top floor. Usually people in big business had their offices there. At least they did in the cartoons.
Nelliel was excited. This reminded her of a scene in one of the books she read where the hero was going up against this crooked businessman who pretty much owned everything in town. Hopefully it wouldn't be the same here. She honestly wanted to have a nice date with Ben.
The elevator moved pretty quickly and soon came to a stop. The door opened to reveal a hallway.
"Right this way," one of the guards said as they all left the elevator. Ben and Nelliel were guided down the hallway to one last door at the end.
"This is the boss's office." The other guard said as he opened the door.
Ben and Nelliel gasped as they were ushered into a lavish office. Just right for a stereotypical big bucks type
"Are we in an office or a penthouse suite?" Ben asked as he noticed various forms of artwork. Paintings of various images and colors that Ben never even knew existed. Then there was sculptures made of Ben could've sworn was taydenite.
Nelliel gazed around at the artworks that littered the office. "They're so beautiful."
"I'm glad you like it."
Ben and Nelliel whipped their heads around to the direction of the female voice.
A humanoid female walked in. And in an honest opinion, she was quite lovely. She had a humanoid figure but her obviously turquoise colored skin made it obvious she wasn't human. Of course there was also the fact that she had horns and fangs. Sheesh, she looked like one of those corporate demons from a cheap Saturday morning cartoon show! But unlike the cartoonish demons, she actually looked intimidating. Ben felt tense and he must have showed it because she laughed.
"There's really nothing to be worried about, Ben Tennyson. I can assure you that I don't have any ill will to you or your companion."
Ben relaxed a little as the horned woman went over to her desk, a finely made one that had some sort of wooden quality to it. Though it didn't look like any wood from Earth.
"I must admit that the ID mask is an interesting touch. It's not uncommon for celebrities who come here to enjoy their stay incognito but from what I've heard about you, Mr. Tennyson, you're not really the inconspicuous type."
Nelliel gave Ben a playful look as said boy chuckled sheepishly. "Well..."
"By the way, I'm very sorry for not introducing my self. I am none as Ch'zell."
Even sounds demonic, Ben thought to himself.
"I already know you are, Mr. Tennyson. Who is your lovely companion?"
Nelliel blushed at being called lovely. She gave a polite bow. "I am Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck. It is very nice to meet you and thank you for allowing us to come here."
Ch'zell smiled. "What a polite girl you are. And such an interesting name. German?"
Nelliel and Ben both blinked at that. "You know..."
"German?" Ch'zell asked. "Why yes. I am actually quite knowledgeable in most, if not all of your Earth customs and cultures. As I am with known races of the universe."
Nelliel and Ben were both confused and it only made Ch'zell laugh.
"You do know why Bachanal is so popular?" She got up from her desk. "It's because the numerous attractions appeal to so many cultures. Almost every species out there can find something they enjoy on this planet. Something that can usually be only found on their own home worlds. You know how business always talk about giving their customers what they want? Well on Bachanal, we do give the customers what they want. The planet of pleasure, that's what we're called."
"So...you study planets' cultures and then make attractions based on them?"
"Basically," Ch'zell replied. "Though I must admit that compared to most races, humans are perhaps some of the most diverse beings I have ever studied. So many different cultures, traditions, even multiple languages on just one planet. You humans are truly unique." Then she shamelessly looked Ben over. "And not too bad on the eyes if I do say so myself."
Ben just stood there in wide eyed shock while Nelliel found herself tightly clenching her fists. Ch'zell laughed again. "You must be a very special woman to have gotten Ben Tennyson's heart, Nelliel. Don't worry, though. I'd never dream of stealing another woman's man away from them. He's all yours."
Not exactly, Ben and Nelliel unknowingly thought at the same time.
"However, we had been hoping for some time that the legendary Ben Tennyson would grace us with his presence. I contacted Max Tennyson, who is a celebrity in his own right, about having you come here. Seems he finally took our offer into consideration."
Ben then realized something with a sinking feeling. This place had to expensive! How in the world was he gonna afford all of this? His panic was punctured by Ch'zell's laughter.
"I know that look. You're obviously wondering how you hope to pay for your stay here. While I'm certain that a hero like you wouldn't have any difficulty coming up with a proper sum, far be it for me to be so stingy to the universe' savior. And since you decided to share your stay here with a date, it would make me look terrible. So for today, I am giving you a special offer of unlimited access to the entire planet."
Ben's jaw hung and Nelliel gasped in shock. Unlimited access? To the entire planet?!
"I believe the boy who saved the entire universe deserves that as a reward," Ch'zell said, pleased with their expressions. "However, I do ask for one thing in return."
That brought Ben out of his stupor real quick. "Yes?"
"It's obvious that you wish to enjoy your date without bringing attention to yourself and I can understand that. But, before you go, I would greatly appreciate it if you would reveal yourself and announce what a wonderful time you had here. News of the great Ben 10 enjoying his time here will certainly draw in even more customers."
"I'm doing endorsements now?" Ben asked. "Cool!"
"Does this mean you'll do it?"
"Yeah, sure. But first," Ben took Nelliel's hand in his again. "I'm gonna make sure Nelliel has a good time."
Nelliel smiled happily and Ch'zell smiled at the two.
"Of course. I certainly wouldn't want such a great hero and his date to be unsatisfied. You two go out and enjoy yourselves. I'll have an escort show you the way around."
Ch'zell smiled to herself as the two left hand in hand. "Ah...to be young and in love."
Ben and Nelliel were escorted by the guards to what appeared to be some sort of train station. Loads of different aliens waited in crowds while others boarded trains that seemed to shoot off in all kinds of directions. "What's this?"
"The trains take visitors to different parts of Bachanal that they wish to visit."
"So the attractions really are all over the planet?"
"Of course. That's one of the main reasons Bachanal is so popular. Many would kill to come here."
Ben and Nelliel looked at each other, having a funny feeling that he seriously meant kill.
"So, where would you two like to go?"
"What all do you have here?" Ben asked.
"Well, for couples, I highly recommend the Carnival district. That contains all sorts of rides and games for couples like you to enjoy."
"Sounds fun," Nelliel said, looking at Ben. "Can we go there, Ben?"
The hero smiled. "Sure thing."
The guard nodded. "Very well, I'll take you to the Carnival train." The couple followed the guard to where one group was waiting. "These people are waiting for the train to the carnival district. Once the train arrives, hop in and it will take you to the Carnival district. Now remember, if you ever get lost, there are plenty of directories to assist you. Thank you and enjoy your stay."
"Thanks!" Ben and Nelliel both said as the guard walked off.
"The guards here are pretty nice, actually," Nelliel said as they joined in the crowd for the carnival.
Ben nodded. "I've got to make sure to give that one guy my autograph."
"It's amazing how much of a celebrity you are."
"You kidding? I once got a whole bunch of awards from people from different planets."
"And one time, when Kevin and I had to deal with an intergalactic court issue, the judge favored me because he thought the case was a waste of my time."
"Wow. What was the case about?"
"It was..." But the words died when Ben remembered what the case was about. It was about ownership of Ship, a dog-like Mechamorph who become attached to...Julie.
Nelliel noticed Ben's suddenly sad look but before she could say anything, a train pulled in front of the crowd. They start bustling inside once the trains' doors opened. "Come on, Ben. The train's here."
"Uh-wha? Oh, yeah!" Ben and Nelliel quickly hurried inside along with the rest of the crowd. Unfortunately most of the seats were taken so Ben and Nellilel were among those who had to stand. Once inside, Nelliel looked around. So many different kinds of aliens. Some with tentacles, some covered in fur, and some with so many eyes. But despite their appearances, Nelliel smiled when she saw that some of the aliens were couples. Some would hold hands, some would stay close together, and the next part really warmed her. Some were even families. A husband and wife and their children together. The children had such excited looks on their faces, obviously looking forward to the carnival. Nelliel couldn't help but smile at the sight.
Suddenly the train started moving. Having been distracted, Nelliel wasn't prepared and found herself falling backwards. But Ben quickly caught her. "You okay?"
Nelliel looked up at Ben, noticing how close the two of them were. "Y-yeah."
With his other hand grabbing onto a pole for support, Ben held Nelliel close to his chest. "That was pretty sudden wasn't it?"
Nelliel nodded, blushing a little at the close contact. "I've never ridden a train before but I still should've expected that."
Ben grinned. "Don't worry. You get used to it."
The train ride was enjoyable for the couple, Nelliel especially as she was pressed against her date. She just couldn't help but sigh as he put his arm around her to support her. He, on the other hand, had his heart beating as her breasts were pressed against his chest. Nelliel, as an adult, had a very curvaceous figure that supermodels would kill for. Her bust size rivaled many of the women that Ben had gotten to know in the past few months. Though in perfect honesty, he wasn't certain who was bigger between Tia or Nelliel. Then his eyes widened when he realized where his train of thought was going.
Fortunately, the train finally reached the Carnival District and the pair exited the train together. As soon as they ventured into the Carnival District, Nelliel's eyes went as bright as suns as she saw what it was like.
"Oh, Ben. It's amazing!"
Before them was a sight that made Ben think of Disneyworld, Orlando Studios, Six Flags, and any other amusement park put together. No wonder Bachanal was such an awesome place. Rides as far as the eye could see, and Ben could see several contestants playing games that reminded him of ones played back on Earth. And the sweet smells of delicious treats filled his nostrils.
"Oh, Ben!" Unable to contain herself, Nelliel embraced Ben tightly. "Oh thank you, thank you!"
Forcing himself to fight his typical reaction to Nelliel's hugging, Ben gave her a gentle hug back. "I'm glad you like it, Nelliel." Ben then spotted something on a nearby streetlight. "Hey, that must be one of those directories the guard mentioned." The two went over to examine it. Not only did the directory show them a detailed map of the Carnival district, also of the whole planet itself.
Bachanal didn't just have a Carnival District. According to Ch'zell, all forms of entertainment could be found on the planet. It was the centre of entertainment and pleasure in the entire galaxy, after all. The Carnival District was just one of its many attractions.
There was the Gambling District, the Theatre District, the Games District and a Pleasure District for adults. There was also a resort area with a beach near an ocean. Many of the aquatic alien species felt at home there and species who didn't have as much water could enjoy various water-based activities as well. And also a Shopping District for anyone interested in buying themselves a souvenir.
The Carnival District reminded Ben of the Carnivals on Earth. There were various rides but on Bachanal they had a bit of an alien twist. Nelliel, with her childish nature, wore a huge megawatt smile as she took it all in.
"Ben, this is wonderful," she said. There was so much to do, which was a bit of a problem. "I don't know where to even begin."
"How about we start with something small?" Ben suggested. "Let's look around a bit and see what we can find."
"OK!" Nelliel beamed as she took Ben's hand and the two walked deeper into the Carnival District to see what kind of fun they could have together.
The rides were not unlike the ones on Earth. It seemed that even aliens could appreciate 'primitive' forms of entertainment. With the advanced technology, though, what would be a normal carnival ride on Earth was taken up to several levels. The Rocket-Powered Coaster for one was definitely intense and Ben was grateful that he had not eaten or else he would've thrown up like Upchuck. Nelliel, on the other hand, was screaming with excitement as she rode the roller coaster.
Then they went on a Merry-Go-Round with horses that were more alien to Ben that he'd ever seen. Nelliel and Ben got on one as it went around, the girl hugging him around the waist. Sure, Ben felt kinda silly for riding a merry-go-round, especially since he looked like an adult, but he couldn't deny the pleasant feeling of Nelliel's arms around him and her snuggling into his back.
Following that, they went on Bumper Cars, only these Bumper Cars had lasers.
One ride caught her interest. It was a Tunnel of Love and with a smile the green-haired Arrancar pulled Ben over to stand in line. Speaking of lines, Ben did not use his celebrity status to cut in line. That would be just taking advantage of his fame. Being a hero wasn't about the perks but helping people. In disguise, nobody recognized him. Some were surprised to see a human amongst them but they assumed he was probably just a Plumber from Earth on vacation.
Ben blinked as he heard his name being called and he turned to see a familiar face. It was a tall and muscular Petrosapien that resembled his Diamondhead form.
"Oh, sorry," Tetrax Shard apologized. "I thought you were somebody else."
Ben smiled and confirmed, "You didn't get it wrong, Tetrax. It's me."
"Ben?" Tetrax blinked. "Ah, an ID Mask, right?"
"Gotcha," smiled Ben. "And Gluto, long time no see."
"Ben, who are these?" Nelliel asked.
"Some old friends of mine," said Ben. "Nelliel, I want you to meet Tetrax Shard. Tetrax, this is Nelliel," Ben said.
"Nice to meet you," said Tetrax.
"And this is Gluto," said Ben, referring to the blob with Tetrax.
"Ah, he's so cute," Nelliel complimented and Gluto blushed.
Tetrax chuckled at his partner's embarrassment. "I think you just made his day, Miss Nelliel."
"Oh, you can call me, Nelliel, Mr. Tetrax. Any friend of Ben's is a friend of mine."
Tetrax smiled. "Looks like you got yourself a winner, there."
Ben smiled. You have no idea.
"Well, I better not waste your time waiting for the ride. Great seeing you again, Ben."
Ben grinned. "Great seeing you too, Tetrax."
"Bye, Tetrax! Bye, Gluto!" Nelliel waved as the two aliens left off to enjoy more rides.
"Wow. I never expected to run into those guys here."
"Think we'll run into anyone else you know?" Nelliel asked.
"With a place like this, probably."
The line started moving again and Nelliel felt her excitement build up. She thought maybe the tunnel of love should wait until the end of the date but part of her couldn't wait. She had something special in mind for when they'd go in and she was really looking forward to it. She hoped Ben would like it.
As for Ben himself, well his thoughts started drifting back to the whole situation. You can't expect a guy to just be instantly cool when he's sharing himself with five beauties now can you? All kinds of worries and thoughts went into his head. Would he be a good boyfriend? Would he wind up favoring one girl over the others? He remembered his times with Julie, as painful as remembering them was. They had some good times and they had some bad times. Back when Ben had really let the fame go to his head and wound up ignoring Julie. Ben tried to justify it by saying it was his hero duty but he knew deep down it was all about the fame and glory. He was determined to not make the same mistakes now. But, there was that little part of him that felt like he was being pressured into all this and didn't know if sharing was any different than trying to pick one girl out of the whole group. Yes, he cared about the girls dearly but he wondered if they had any idea the kind of pressure he was under trying to make them all happy.
Ah, well. Guess I better just make the best of it, Ben thought as he and Nelliel continued in the line. They noticed all the different couples that were waiting just like them. While some were same species couples, Ben could spot a few. Inter-species relationships must not've been as common as he originally. Unless one counted the Plumbers kids who were usually the children of humans and aliens. Alan Albright, Helen, Manny. Maybe there was something about humans that made other species want to mate with them or something. Anyway, soon it was there turn and the two were ushered into a boat. Both felt butterflies in their stomachs as the boat went into the dark tunnel.
Once their vision was completely engulfed with darkness, lights and designs started flashing throughout the tunnel. While Ben could make out the heart lights some images were foreign to him. He figured they must have been symbols of love for different species. Love might be the universal language. Sweet, romantic music began playing in the background.
Nelliel thought the sights and sounds were beautiful but she couldn't let herself get distracted. She didn't know how long this ride was and this was the perfect time to make her move.
Ben froze at the seductive tone Nelliel spoke to him with. Slowly turning his head, he felt goosebumps at the look on Nelliel's face. A coy smile on her lips and half-lidded eyes gazing intensely at him. A look he had never seen on her before. It was kind of hot.
"Y-yeah," he asked timidly.
Nelliel scooted closer. The boat wasn't very big to begin with and she was quickly a few inches from his face.
"I really do appreciate you agreeing to...this."
Apparently her mind was still on the sharing thing too. "Er..." Was all Ben could say. Suddenly his words died completely as Nelliel adjusted herself onto his lap.
"I know this must be hard for you," Nelliel told him but not losing the seductiveness in her voice. "And I'm sorry for any pressure we've put on you."
Okay, this was freaky. It was like Nelliel had read his mind or something.
"You're always thinking of us first...and never asking anything in return." One finger was drawing circles on Ben's chest while the other was now caressing his cheek.
And here Ben thought Nelliel was the innocent one out of the group. He hardly had time take in the feel of Nelliel's caresses when her hand touching his cheek pulled off his ID mask.
"Ne-" But Ben was cut off by Nelliel putting one finger on his lips while the other hand gently put down the ID mask.
"This time," she said softly as she wrapped her arms around him. "Let me take care of you."
Anything Ben would have said was quickly stopped when Nelliel captured Ben's lips with her own. Initially shocked, Ben soon melted into the kiss, taking in the sweet taste and soft texture of Nelliel's lips. Giving in, Ben gently wrapped his own arms around Nelliel and moved his lips against hers. Eager for more, Nelliel gently prodded Ben's mouth with her tongue, pleading for entrance. Ben's resistance was non-existent as his lips parted, allowing her tongue inside. Deciding to tease her lover, she slowly explored the inside of his mouth, enjoying his moan of pleasure at her actions. Soon, Ben's own tongue joined hers in a dance of dominance that she purposefully lost in hopes of Ben taking initiative. Her hopes were not unrewarded as Ben's tongue followed hers back into her own mouth. The feel of it exploring gave her pleasant shivers of delight as she took this time to run her fingers through Ben's hair. Enoying the sensation a little longer, the two slowly parted for breath
Oh, wow. Ben thought to himself, his mind still reeling from what had just taken place. He opened his mouth to say something suddenly he found himself pushed down to the seat of the boat. The sudden action rocking their vessel and making light splashes through the tunnel. He looked up at Nelliel, who had taken this time to press herself upon him. His mind went into overdrive at the feel of her generous breasts pressing up against his chest. Her eyes had a hazed look in them. Though his own eyes drew to her lips when she licked them, making them wonderfully moist. Ben could feel his arousal building. Nelliel smiled at him.
I know what you told us, Sandra. But that doesn't mean I have to start right away.
"I'm so happy," Nelliel cooed. "That I can finally show you how much you mean to me."
Ben blinked. "Nelliel?"
Nelliel moved to kiss him again but instead of on the lips like he expected, she started placing a small trail of kisses along his jawline. His eyes widening in amazement at the feeling. Nelliel continued placing kisses, trailing them down to Ben's ear.
"Nel-ah!" Ben's words were caught when Nelliel gently blew in his ear before startling to nibble on his earlobe. "Where did you...?" He didn't have the strength to finish his sentence. Nelliel then moved from Ben's ear, leaving a trail of kisses down his neck, nuzzling through his jacket to get at the exposed skin.
Ben was mind-blown. Even when he was dating Julie, he never imagined doing stuff like this. Not even Tia was this bold. Yet, anyway. But Ben's thoughts started becoming gibberish at the feel of Nelliel's kisses.
Nelliel noticed her lover's face. His eyes closed and his head tilted, allowing her better access to his neck. Oh this was playing out just like the romance novels she had read in her pastime. And now, for the finale. Moving to kiss Ben's neck one more time, Nelliel gently bit him before sucking the bitten spot.
Ben's eyes shot open with realization. She's...she's giving me a...
Once she was done, Nelliel eased back to observe her handiwork. She smirked at the bruise that had now formed on Ben's neck. Nelliel gently kissed the bruise before looking at Ben's shocked face, which she reached out to softly caress.
"I know this must be hard for you. But I promise that you will not regret it." Nelliel gave Ben one last deep kiss on his lips before removing herself from his body and allowing Ben to sit back up, though it was with much difficulty.
"Wow," was all Ben could say as he quickly put his ID mask on. Nelliel pouted a little that the ID mask hid her love bite.
"That was...that was...incredible."
Nelliel giggled. Ben looked at her, still shocked that she did all those things. Though, not unpleasantly so. Soon the couple could see a light in the distance and figured it to be the end of the ride. Sure enough, once they passed through the light, they saw that the ride was indeed over. Their boat came to a stop at the end and the two of them got out.
"Well, I certainly had fun," Nelliel said with a smile.
Ben struggled a bit to get out of the boat. The experience back in the tunnel made his legs feel like jelly. He grabbed a nearby railing for support.
"Something wrong?" Nelliel was genuinely concerned. Were her actions too forward? Oh great, now she felt bad.
"Don't worry," Ben said as he straightened himself up. "Just...just caught off guard."
The experience was amazing, for lack of a better word, and quite pleasurable. But it also caused Ben to realize something. It showed him just how serious Nelliel felt about him. And how serious the other girls must have felt about him too. Nelliel might have felt bad for her actions but Ben felt worse. Despite knowing the girls loved him, he didn't understand how much they did. It reminded him of his time with Julie once again. And all the times he didn't pay attention to her and her feelings. Yes, he was still nervous about this whole thing, but he promised himself now that he would do a better job now than he did before.
"Ben," Nelliel said, looking at the ground. "I'm sorry if I was-"
But she wasn't able to finish the rest of her sentence when she felt Ben kiss her. It wasn't a hot, passionate kiss like the ones they shared in the tunnel but it was a short and sweet kiss that caused her to look up at him. Ben gave her a reassuring smile and held out his hand. Nelliel looked back and forth between Ben's face and his hand, her own smile starting to form as she took Ben's hand and intertwined their fingers. Her worries slowly eased as the two went off to enjoy the rest of the park. Ben was about to ask Nelliel what she wanted to do next till he spotted two more familiar faces. Grinning, he waved over.
"Hey, Tini! Synaptak!"
Nelliel didn't know who Ben was talking to but she didn't wait long when she spotted what looked like a female version of Four Arms who had her arm around an octopus-like alien look over in their direction. The two gave each other a confused look. The octopus like creature floated over to them.
"Uh...do we know you?"
"It's me," Ben whispered to Synaptak. "It's Ben. I'm wearing an ID mask."
"Ben? Ben Ten..." But Ben quickly covered Snyaptak's...mouth before he could blur the rest of it out. Tini walked over to them, having heard the conversation.
"It's great to see you again," Tini said to Ben. "My, how you've grown."
"It's great to see you guys too. Oh, Nelliel. I would like you to meet Tini and Synaptak. They're members of the Galactic Enforcers. Guys, this is Nelliel."
Nelliel bowed politely. "Pleased to meet you."
Tini and Synaptak both greeted her.
"So, what brings you guys here?" Ben asked the two.
"We're on a date," said Tini, putting her arm around Synaptak.
"Oh, well, I sure hope you guys are having a great time," smiled Ben. "Where's Ultimos?"
"Working," replied Tini.
"The galaxy still needs him, even if you did save the universe, Ben Tennyson."
Ben smiled. "Well, let him know I said hi if you ever get the chance. You guys enjoy your date!"
"Will do!" Tini smiled back. "Have fun you two." With that, the two enforcers went off to enjoy themselves.
"Galactic enforcers?" Nelliel asked Ben.
"Plumbers aren't the only protectors of the galaxy." Ben grinned. "Those guys once offered me membership." He decided to leave out the part where Tini had crushed on him due to Four Arms. "But I turned them down."
"Well...back then they were kinda annoying. And I didn't want to leave Gwen and Grandpa," Ben added quickly, seeing the face Nelliel was making at him.
Nelliel couldn't maintain her face and soon broke out laughing. "You must've had some pretty amazing adventures when you were a kid, Ben."
"That's for sure," Ben said as he thought back to everything that had happened in just that summer.
"And I'm surprised that we've run into several people you met back then. How many do you think we'll find?"
"Don't know. Let's just hope we don't run into anyone who wants to kill me." Ben cringed. The last thing he wanted was for some bad guy to show up and cause trouble when he was on his date.
Nelliel noticed Ben's worried look and decided to get his mind elsewhere. "So Ben, which one of your adventures would you say was the craziest?"
"The craziest?" Ben cupped his chin as he pondered that. "Probably the time the Omnitrix was about to self destruct."
"Yeah. It all started like this." And Ben told Nelliel about when the Omnitrix, which he wielded before the Ultimatrix, had got set to self destruct mode during a battle with Dr. Animo. He went on about how he Gwen, and Tetrax went on their search for Azmuth so that he could deactivate the self destruct and told Nelliel about his arch-nemesis, Vilgax. From the sound of him, Vilgax was a vicious monster that would make even some of the Espada scared. Ben went on about how they found Myaxx, Azmuth's assistant, and finding out that the Omnitrix's explosion wouldn't just kill Ben, but the entire universe as well! Nelliel listened in awe as Ben went on about the adventure of finally Azmuth and how the creator refused fixing the Omnitrix, believing that the universe deserved to be destroyed. Then he finished the story with how he and others did one final stand against Vilgax, being able to convince Azmuth to fix the Omnitrix, and Ben sending Vilgax flying into space after unlocking Way Big.
"Wow," was all Nelliel could think of to say after Ben finished his tale.
"I know," Ben admitted. "I really thought I was a goner there."
"All those things for a ten year old boy to go through."
"Comes with being a hero," Ben told her.
"Still, to brave all those things as a child," Nelliel smiled at him. "You're really amazing, Ben."
"Hey, you're pretty amazing too," Ben added, blushing a little.
Nelliel beamed at Ben's compliment of her. "So, what shall we do next?"
"Hmm. Why not look around and see if anything catches your interest?" Ben suggested.
"Works for me!"
And so the two went off to see anything they may want to try and enjoy. They didn't go too far when Nelliel spotted a fortune teller's tent.
"Hey, Ben! Let's get our fortune told!"
"Sure!" With so many alien and magical things, Ben was willing to see if anyone really could read the future.
With that, the two went inside the tent. The two were amazed at many different kinds of symbols and markings. It certainly wasn't like any fortune teller's place back on Earth. There wasn't even a crystal ball.
The two jumped when a figure entered the tent from the other side. Judging from the tone, it was a female. She appeared humanoind with blue skin and red eyes, wearing a veil that covered her head and face. She also wore black robes which had a star pattern on them. Her hands had two fingers and a thumb and she appeared to be floating as she walked without making a sound.
"Welcome to my humble tent, Ben Tennyson. It is an honor that the hero of the universe has graced me with his presence."
Both Ben and Nelliel were shocked that this woman knew who Ben really was. Though the obvious answer would be that she predicted it, Ben decided to try something out.
"Ch'zell told you didn't she?"
"My manager? Why no, she hasn't. I did foresee your arrival with your date, Nelliel."
Nelliel was amazed but Ben was still skeptical and it must have shown because the woman laughed.
"I am a Clairvorain, Mr. Tennyson. Unlike many charlatans throughout the universe, my race is truly gifted with the power of foresight."
"Really? A whole alien race that can predict the future?" Nelliel asked in interest.
The fortune teller nodded. "Yes but we keep to ourselves for the most part. In fact, very few even know of our existence."
"Why?" Ben asked.
"Because the entire universe would be after us, hoping to use our abilities for their own personal gain."
"She...does have a point," Nelliel admitted.
"Our gifts are both blessings and curses," the Clairvorian said. "But I could not bear to shut myself out to the entire universe and found a place with Miss Ch'zell, who offered me a position. Many come here, hoping to hear their fortunes told. Though they do not always like what they here and assume anything happening to them that I have predicted to be mere coincidence. Though, even if one did realize that my abilities are true, I am under Miss Ch'zell's protection."
"So, can you predict our futures?" Ben asked.
"Of course. Now, would you like me to see if your futures are intertwined or separately?"
"You can do that?"
"Unlike so-called human psychics who use those ridiculous crystal balls, we Clairvorians see the future in a way like you humans use palm reading. Allowing me to touch your hands and I will see your future."
The couple looked at each other. Nelliel was excited but Ben was still uncertain. Still, he wanted to keep Nelliel happy so he held out his hand. Nelliel held hers out too.
The Clairvorian seemed to glide over to them with silent grace. She reached out her own hands and touch the couples. Both shivered a little as her hands felt rather cold and somewhat scaly. Almost like a snake. Ben cringed as that reminded him of Ssserpent, one of his more recurring foes but also one of his weakest. Though his attention was brought back to the Clairvorian.
"Well now. This is most interesting. I see many things in your lives. You will both experience much struggle and anguish in the days to come. But you will also experience moments of happiness which you will greatly treasure."
Nelliel smiled at this but Ben was not all that impressed. Anyone could come up with a vague prediction like that.
"But here's something truly interesting. Your destinies are intertwined with others. Four other girls. You, Ben Tennyson, have a strong place in their hearts it seems."
Now the Clairvorian had his attention. Four others? Tia, Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun. It had to be them.
"And strangely enough, all six of your destinies are intertwined with another. A human boy who dresses in black robes, carries a large sword that resembles a large cleaver knife, and has unusually orange hair."
Both Ben's and Nelliel's eyes widened. She was talking about Ichigo! Now she definitely had Ben's attention.
Suddenly something happened. Something both incredible and terrifying at the same time. Images started to appear in Ben's mind. Images that could only be of the future.
In one moment, Ben saw himself and the girls locked in combat with the Forever Knights. Then he saw a laughing Loly. Loly! Ben hadn't seen her since Hueco Mundo. Another vision came. A group of people in robes and strange carvings that looked like a flame. Then Ben saw himself and Ichigo. The two of them were locked in battle with some kind of giant octopus that reminded him a little too much of Vilgax. But before Ben could even wrap his mind around that, he saw another vision. It was one about him and Ichigo again and they were in some strange place. A place that was completely destroyed as if it was a war zone. Ben and Ichigo were facing down some man Ben didn't recognize.
"Hollows don't deserve to exist," the man said in disgust.
"They deserve to choose for themselves!" Ben heard himself yell back.
The man sneered. "How tragic. A hero who fights for the wicked. That's why you lose!"
And then the scene changed again and Ben found himself seeing a strange being he knew for certain he had never seen. The being...Ben didn't know how to describe it, but he could feel as it was looking directly at him. And he heard it say:
"Ben Tennyson. We meet at last."
And then the visions stopped.
Ben fell to his knees from the sheer shock. He realized that he was panting heavily and he could feel the sweat within the ID mask. He looked over at Nelliel and she looked visibly shaken, too.
"What...what was that?"
"It seems that you will experience great battles in the future, Ben Tennyson," the Clairvorian spoke softly. "Some that will decide the fate of your world and others that will decide the fate of the entire universe."
"Great," Ben groaned. "And here I was planning for a vacation." He looked over at Nelliel. "What did you see, Nelliel?"
"She saw the same things as you did. That is the trick when I see visions of two people simultaneously. If one has a greater destiny, then both will see it." She looked at Nelliel. "Would you like to see your own personal future?"
Nelliel shook her head. "No thank you," she declined politely. "After that, I think it would be best if I did not know the future."
The Clairvoiran nodded respectfully. "In that, I believe you are most wise, Miss Nelliel. It is best for one to not know the future. For some allow the future to control their lives, unable to allow themselves to enjoy the present. That is why I believe that the Clairvorians have a gift and a curse."
Ben slowly managed to get back to his feet. "We'll just be going now."
"I understand. Fare you well, Ben Tennyson. And may the future shine brightly upon you in your darkest hour."
Ben and Nelliel left the tent, still quite unnerved by their ordeal. Ben looked over at Nelliel, whose eyes were on her feet as they walked.
"I'm sorry, Ben."
Ben blinked. "Sorry? For what?"
"For asking you to get our fortunes told. I never should've suggested it."
Ben's face softened. "Nelliel, you had no idea..."
"Nelliel. Look at me."
Nelliel looked at Ben, noticing that he had stopped walking. She stopped and looked at his face, though she found it hard to look him square in the eye. Ben took one step closer and suddenly Nelliel felt Ben wrap his arms around her. Unable to help herself, she snuggled into him, taking comfort in his arms and relishing the warmth of his body.
"Everything's gonna be fine, Nelliel. I'm Ben Tennyson and I always come out on top." Nelliel couldn't help but smile, her worries slowly easing away. "Now no more sad face, okay? Let's go and have some fun."
Nelliel nodded her head, feeling slightly disappointed to leave Ben's arms but he was right. They were still on a date and they were going to enjoy it.
Ben and Nelliel were soon able to forget their troubles as they got back to enjoying the carnival. Ben found a game that he liked. A test your strength contest. Now Ben knew he could easily ace it with one of his aliens but he decided to try it out as a human. Many of the patrons were skeptical about a human winning a strength contest meant for aliens but with Ben's new strength, he won with ease. And sure enough, he won what appeared to be a large alien teddy bear for Nelliel. The Arrancar squeezed it with glee and was now clutching it in her arms tightly.
"Oh, Ben! It's adorable!"
"Yeah," Ben had to admit, for an alien teddy, it was pretty cute. Amazing how aliens cultures were a lot like Earth ones. Just then Ben saw another familiar face.
"Reiny?" Ben recognized. What other Highbreed in the universe had a green arm? He remembered back when they first met, as enemies, but then they became friends. Ben was the one who helped reattach Reinrassic III's arm when it got severed during their shared adventure on that desert planet.
"Ben Ben Tennyson," Reiny greeted. "Greetings."
"What are you doing here?" Ben asked.
"I am, as you humans would say, taking a vacation," said the Highbreed Supreme. "My subordinates recommended Bachanal. They said I have been working too hard."
The Highbreed's attempt to destroy the rest of the universe had been met with hostile retaliation so it was Reinrassic's job to help the Highbreed improve their image amongst their galactic peers. There were still those not ready to forgive the Highbreed but through diplomacy the Highbreed race was getting reintegrated with the rest of the universe. Most of them no longer thought of other lifeforms as inferior to them. That mindset was mainly caused by their fear of extinction and their attempt to eradicate all lifeforms was because they did not want to die alone.
"I guess if anyone deserves a vacation…" Ben blinked. "Wait, how do you know it's me?"
"You are the only one who refers to me as 'Reiny', Ben Ben Tennyson," said Reinrassic. "And we have a mutual friend, Tetrax Shard. He sent me an image of you in your ID Masked form.
"Oh? I didn't know you two were in touch."
"Tetrax has done some work for me. Simple errands that I needed moved from place to place. Since the Highbreed's rebirth they have hoped to integrate with the rest of the universe."
"Hey! That's great!"
"I will admit, it was difficult at first. Understandable, given our treatment of other lifeforms. But it seems the universe is starting to forgive us."
"Glad to hear it. Oh buy the way, this is Nelliel." Ben introduced her.
"Pleased to meet you," Nelliel said with a smile.
"Nelliel, this is Reinrassic III, seventh son of the Noble Highbreed House of Deralla, direct descendant of the Pure Blooded High Order of Rarsect."
"Wow. Big name."
"Mostly everyone aside from the Highbreed simply call me Reinrassic III. Only Ben Tennyson has the right to call me "Reiny"."
"Reiny?" Nelliel asked.
"It happened a time ago, when the Highbreed was attacking the planet Earth. During a struggle with Ben Ben Tennyson, the two of us were transported to a deserted planet used as a relay station. Though we were bitter enemies at the time, Ben Ben Tennyson showed me how foolish my kind were for our prejudice view on other lifeforms besides ourselves. Ben Ben Tennyson is the savior of our race."
Ben smiled. "Just glad I could help."
"So, this woman. Is she your consort, Ben Ben Tennyson?"
Nelliel blushed a little at the comment and Ben could swear his hickey was actually tingling.
"I...guess you could say she is." Ben admitted, causing Nelliel to gasp.
"Congratulations, Ben Tennyson. In that case, I shall no longer detain you from enjoying your stay. Fare thee well."
"Later, Reiny. See you around."
"Ben? Did you mean what you said? About me being your...consort?"
"Well, Highbreed have different views then humans and well..."
"Of course...I wouldn't mind if I was."
Ben was simply stupified when she said that. "Uh..."
"Come on!" Nelliel said to quickly change subject. "Let's go see what else there is." And she dashed ahead, forcing Ben to stop what he was thinking and quickly followed her.
Soon, hunger over took the two had overtaken the two and they decided to get something to eat. Ben was afraid of what aliens would serve as food but his appetite perked up when he saw something awesome. An actual chili fries stand!
"We made this in honor of Ben Tennyson," the owner said. "You won't believe how popular this stand is. Everyone's eager to eat what the hero of the universe eats."
Ben ordered two boxes of chili fries and the stand owner gave him a wink when he handed the food away. And not a flirtatious kind of wink but a conspiratol wink. The guy then whispered that Miss Ch'zell had alerted the entire staff that Ben Tennyson was in the park. Ben and Nelliel decided to rest at a children's playground and eat their chili fries.
"Wow," Nelliel said as she took a bite. "These are good." She noticed some of the chili had gotten on her fingers. "And messy."
Ben laughed. "Here." He handed her a napkin.
"Thank you." Nelliel wiped the chili off her fingers. As she ate, she looked at the different alien children playing. She had to fight back a giggle. They were all just so cute!
"Don't wonder off too far, son!"
Ben's head snapped up when he heard that voice. He looked over to see a woman in blue and black robes standing next to a baby alien that looked like a floating whipped cream puff. Ben smiled as he got up and made his way over to the woman.
The woman jumped and turned to see who had addressed her. "Yes? I'm sorry. Do I know you?"
Ben smiled. "It's me. Ben Tennyson." Sicily frowned. "It's true. I'm wearing an ID mask. I can prove it's me. That ambassador guy asked me to bring your son as a peace offering to that Jarrett creep and when I found out he was going to..."
Sicily gasped. "It is you! Oh, forgive me."
"No worries. You couldn't recognize me with on anyway."
Just then her son, the Tiffin, floated next to them. Ben feared that the Tiffin would cause his ID mask to short circuit but surprisingly it held. The Tiffin looked at Ben for a moment before it smiled, cooing and nuzzling against his cheek.
"Hey, little guy. Did you miss me?"
The Tiffin made gurgling baby noises as it nuzzled against him.
"Ben?" Nelliel walked over to them.
"Nelliel. This is Sicily and her son, the Tiffin."
Introductions were shared and Sicily told Nelliel about how she and Ben had met. Nelliel was horrified to learn that Sicily's planet's amabassador would use her son as a peace offering, especially a food offering...and he even knew about it. But she was so proud of Ben for saving the day like always and making sure the Tiffin was reunited with his mother. And the Tiffin was absolutely the most adorable baby she had ever seen.
"Well, I don't want to keep you two from enjoying your date," Sicily said to a smile. She looked at her son. "Say good-bye to Ben, sweetie."
"Be..." Sicily, Ben, and Nelliel's eyes widened at the Tiffin's attempt to speak. "Be..."
"Come on, sweetie," Sicily gently urged. "You can do it."
"Be...Be...Ben! Ben!" The Tiffin squealed in joy.
"Oh, my son!" Sicily hugged her son. "I'm so proud of you."
"Ben! Ben!" The Tiffin giggled happily.
Nelliel was unable to stop herself from cooing at the adorable sight and Ben felt rather touched that the Tiffin's first words were his own name. He could feel his eyes actually watering.
"Well, we better get going. Take care, Sicily."
But Sicily was still over the moon about her child saying his first word that she really didn't notice. Nelliel felt warm at seeing the happy mother with her child. As she and Ben went on, she looked over at the many other parents who were spending times with their children. The smiling faces, the joy, the love. And doing so caused her to look over at Ben. She remembered shortly after the Winter War, when that Captain Kurotsuchi had wondered about if humans and Arrancar were capable of reproducing. Nelliel had been caught up in the moment and had found herself imagining a child between her and Ben. She felt embarrassed having gotten so carried away but...after seeing all these happy families got her thinking...
A family? Ben and mine? Nelliel blushed at the thought but still. I...I think I would like that. Very much. Someday. Then she remembered Sandra's warnings. Though that might have to wait. Hopefully, when that time comes...Ben would like a family too.
As the two walked in comfortable silence, Nelliel spotted a train way to the shopping district. While the carnival was fun, she was rather curious to see what else the planet had to offer.
"Ben!" She called. "Let's go to the Shopping District!"
"They have an entire district for shopping?" Ben shrugged. "Sure."
When the train arrived, Ben and Nelliel hurried in to find a seat. Ben managed to secure one...only for Nelliel to catch him off guard by sitting on his lap! Apparently the girls decided to step their games up. Course that didn't compare to that love bit he got earlier. As the train started, Ben wrapped his arms around her curvy waist and held her close. Nelliel figured she could get used to this as she snuggled next to Ben, causing his face to become buried in her hair. He found himself getting lost in the floral scent in her hair. What shampoo had she used? It smelled really nice.
The Shopping District was what Ben expected. It was a giant open-air shopping mall that was not unlike the ones on Earth.
"Some things are universal," he remarked as he saw a variety of stores selling an assortment of items. The patrons were mostly aliens of different shapes and sizes so the multitude of stores were built to accommodate their needs and wants.
"Oh, Ben! Look!" Nelliel pointed to a store that sold clothing for humanoid aliens. "Let's go!"
The type of clothing for humanoids was pretty standard. It was meant for species with two arms and two legs, and one head. Other stores had clothes for tentacle aliens.
Nelliel was amazed at all the choices they had available. Some of the designs were far more amazing than anything she had seen on Earth. And certainly a better improvement over her old Arrancar uniform. She wondered what she should get. While some new clothing to impress Ben would be nice, she wouldn't mind something cute but casual to wear around the house.
"Excuse me, miss? Might I help you?"
Nelliel turned to see a female humanoid alien approaching her. Well, if you didn't count the fact that she had tentacles for legs. She must've been a clerk or something "Oh, I'm sorry. I was just browsing through."
"I trust you like what you see?"
"All these clothes are amazing. I've never seen stuff like this on Earth."
"Ah, first time off-world, eh?" The clerk chuckled. "That look of wonder for first time off-worlders never ceases to warm me. Perhaps I might be of assistance? Now, were you looking for some casual clothing or perhaps something to wear for your husband right there?" She pointed over at Ben.
Nelliel blushed as she tried not to think those kind of thoughts. Both of what the clerk was implying and the fact she thought the two of them were married. "Oh, we're not married...yet."
"Oooh, don't worry, I'm just playing. I know he's Ben Tennyson."
Nelliel smirked. "Miss Ch'zell?"
"Of course. She wants to make sure the universe's hero has a great time here. And from what I've heard from some of the other staff, you two have been having quite a fun time."
Nelliel beamed, remembering all the fun they had. Especially the tunnel of love.
"Now, I can hope you find a nice selection of clothes depending on your wants and needs."
Deciding to let the clerk show her around, Nelliel went along with her.
Ben on the other hand was looking at all the different kinds of styles. Then his eyes landed on something that caught his interest. "No way."
But it was...Ben 10 jackets! They looked exactly like his own!
"Nice detail," Ben said as he admired the 10 on one of the jackets.
"I'm glad you improve. Our finest tailors made those."
Ben turned to see none other than Ch'zell herself approaching him.
"Being one of the most popular people in the universe has it's benefits with profits."
"So you're cashing on my reputation?" Ben asked.
"Business is business," Ch'zell replied. "I trust you're enjoying your stay here?"
Ben smiled. "Yeah. This place is awesome!"
"And you haven't even been to half of the planet." Ch'zell added. "If you wish, you could always try out our hotel for any room you like. There is an indoor swimming pool...and if you wish, we could always give you one of the more...romantic suites."
With double torrents of thoughts of those kind of rooms combined with thoughts of Nelliel in a bikini filling his mind, it took Ben a moment to get his thoughts together. Ch'zell looked overly amused at his reaction. Just then she frowned, reaching into her pocket and pulled out some kind of communicating device.
"Yes?" She asked. Then her eyes widened. "What?!"
Ben frowned. "What's wrong?"
"There's trouble!" She looked at Ben, cupping her chin with an analytical look in her eye. Then she smirked. "Perhaps this would be a good chance to show people something they'd really love: Ben Tennyson in action."
Ben frowned. "What about your security?"
"My men are trained and equipped for any situation, Mr. Tennyson. But I believe seeing you save the day would certainly draw people's attention."
Ben's face hardened. This woman...was she seriously willing to let people get hurt for publicity.
"I know that look, Mr. Tennyson, and I would appreciate it if you did not question my ethics. Rest assured I wish no harm to come to my customers. But this is an excellent opportunity and I'm certain you wouldn't want anyone getting hurt."
Ben turned to see Nelliel with a few bags on her arm.
"Time to go and save the day, Ben."
Ben nodded. As disgusted as he was with Ch'zell, he wasn't just going to stand there and do nothing. With that, the two dashed out of the store to confront what was going on. Fortunately, a nearby explosion and the storms of people running in fear was a big tip off. Ben and Nelliel nodded at each other as they ran towards the disturbance.
"Ben! Over there!" Nelliel pointed at what looked like a jewelry store. Ben ran over to the destroyed window of the shop. But he came to a screeching halt when he saw who it was.
Nelliel ran over to see who it was. Standing inside the store was a woman in a jumpsuit with long orange hair with metal balls at the tips. There was a muscular guy with some strange thing on his head that looked like a finger nail. And the third looked like a disgusting corpse of a man. The three turned when they heard Ben's voice. It was Frightwig, Thumbskull, and Acid Breath, the three circus freaks who used to work for Zombozo.
"Oh, man. I can't believe it. Of all the people to run into on this planet and I run into you three stooges."
"Uh, you guys know him?" Thumbskull asked the other two.
"Never seen him before," Frightwig replied. "Alright, handsome. Do you really think you and your girlfriend here can stop us?" Her hairs moved on their own, looking ready to attack.
Ben laughed. "Think? I can beat you guys with one hand tied behind my back. I mean, I've always kicked your butts before."
"What are you talking about?" Acid Breath demanded.
"Oh, yeah. You guys don't recognize me." With a dramatic flair, Ben grabbed the ID Mask and pulled it off. He was back to his normal self with a big smirk on his face. The three were surprised to see a grown man suddenly turn into a teenager. Frightwig felt sick calling him handsome.
"Still don't know you," Thumbskull said, walking towards Ben while pounding his fist.
Nelliel's eyes narrowed as she put her bags and teddy bear down. She was prepared to leave her gigai to protect Ben if the case need be. But just then, one of the customers spotted what was going on. And he recognized...
"It's Ben Tennyson!"
That immediately got the attention of everyone nearby. Soon, all participants and staff actually started to gather when they heard that Ben Tennyson was here. The three circus freaks paused at the name.
"Ben Tennyson...Ben Tennyson," Acid Breath's eyes widened. "Wait a minute! You're..!"
"That's right," Ben's smirk widened. "I'm that kid with the aliens who kept kicking your butts! And now I'm about to do it again!"
Back when Ben was 10 years old, during the summer he gained the Omnitrix, he had encountered the Circus Freak Trio at least three times. The first time was when they worked for Zombozo. While the clown was stealing people's happiness, the Circus Trio went out to rob the town blind. Then, they had tried to rob the school Gwen was interested in attending, only to end up as Ghostfreak's minions. That was one of Ben's really bad days as it was the day Ghostfreak became sentient and tried to possess him to gain the Omnitrix. Then there was that time when they joined up with several of his other foes to form the Negative Ten.
In the past six years, Ben hadn't seen the Circus Freak Trio since then. Of course, they had been put in jail for a long time and he hadn't seen or heard from them since then. He was surprised to see them out and even more so since they were across the galaxy and on another planet. He suspected that they got their hands on black market alien tech on Earth. Kevin had been dealing in the stuff before so it was likely there were others too.
"So, we can either do this the easy way or the hard way," Ben said as he activated the Ultimatrix. "You decide."
He got his answer when Thumbskull roared and charged at him.
"Hard way it is!" He slapped the Ultimatrix core down.
"Humongosaur!" Ben had thought better than to shout his aliens' names from now on. But seeing the Circus Freaks had left him with a little nostalgia. So he decided for old time's sake.
Now as Humongosaur, Ben grappled with Thumbskull. The guy was pretty strong but not as strong as Ben's aliens. But Humongosaur noticed that his old foe was putting up a decent fight. Been working out? However, this left him open to be attacked by Frightwig and Acid Breath. The corpse-like man opened his mouth and was about to spit on Humongosaur when he was hit upside the head by a powerful kick. He was sent spinning in the air before he landed on the floor, knocked out. Humongosaur was too distracted with Thumbskull to notice.
"I won't let you hurt Ben," said Nelliel. Frightwig swung her hair and Nelliel jumped back to dodge as the round weights at the tips smashed against the floor.
"Oh, you've made a big mistake, girl," Frightwig sneered.
"I think you're the ones who made the mistake," retorted Nelliel. Despite being in a Gigai, she was in no way helpless. She was a former Espada after all. While the Gigai prevented her from accessing all her abilities as an Arrancar, she could still access some of her abilities. As Ben had enemies, they were likely to be targeted, so Urahara made sure the Gigai allowed them to be able to defend themselves.
"OK, so what's the deal here? Robbery again? Don't you guys get tired of that shtick?" Humongosaur asked Thumskull as he grappled with the brute of the Circus Freak Trio. Thumbskull swung a punch. The blow caused Humongosaur to stagger but the Vaxasaurian regained himself and shoulder rammed his foe. The two crashed to the floor.
"We wouldn't have had to if we didn't lose all our money at the casino!" Thumbskull snapped, headbutting Humongosaur. The attack, combined with that annoying nail-like thing on the guy's head caused Humongosaur to grunt in pain. He got off of Thumbskull, allowing the freak time to try and punch Humongosaur. Only the hero was able to stop the punch. Thumbskull's words finally got to Humongosaur.
"You lost money at a casino!? That's why you decided to rob this place!?"
"We're taking back all our money, no matter what, and there ain't a thing you can do about it!" Thumbskull shot back.
"Oh, I don't know about that," grinned Humongosaur as he grew to twice his size and Thumbskull's eyes widened as the Vaxasaurian now towered over him. Humongosaur then picked up Thumbskull and tossed him into the air. When Thumbskull came back down, he received a brutal punch that sent him flying.
Acid Breath was getting back up, trying to soothe his aching head, when Thumbskull landed on him. He went down again.
Meanwhile, Nelliel was dodging Frightwig's hair and the female Circus Freak laughed at the greenette who couldn't even get close to her.
"Is that all you're gonna do? Dodge?" Frightwig jeered.
"Not quite," said Nelliel. Two of Frightwig's weights came at Nelliel and she caught them. She then tugged and brought Frightwig to her. She twisted her body around and Frightwig flew helplessly through the air to be slammed on the floor.
Frightwig groaned and Nelliel released the weights before grabbing the woman by the front of her costume.
"I was really hoping for a nice date with Ben before you guys had to make trouble," Nelliel said coldly. She flicked Frightwig's forehead. Poor Frightwig fell down like a house of cards.
"Nice!" Humongosaur praised Nelliel before turning back to normal.
Nelliel beamed at her lover's praise. "Happy to help, Ben."
Ben remembered his grandpa suggesting Nelliel and the others helping him and he was glad she did. He probably could've dealt with the Circus Freaks easily but it felt nice knowing Nelliel had his back.
The duo started to walk away when crowds of aliens suddenly started gathering around the couple, bombarding the two with praises and thanks. Naturally, they were eager to see Ben Tennyson but Nelliel had caught their attention too. However, the crowd soon parted when Miss Ch'zell and some of her guards showed up.
"On behalf of the people of Bachanal, I would like to thank you and your girlfriend personally, Mr. Tennyson," Ch'zell smiled. "Clearly your reputation is not exaggerated."
Ben frowned, remembering how she had just used this as a good chance for publicity. "Glad to help out," he replied in a neutral tone.
"I'm not sure how to thank you, Mr. Tennyson but I can think of a few ideas. As a matter of fact, I know the perfect thing to start with." She snapped her fingers and who Ben assumed to be her receptionist or secretary walked to Ben with a box in her hands.
"Mr. Tennyson, take this as a token of our appreciation for your services."
Raising a brow, Ben took the box and opened it. What he saw caused his eyes to widen. "Whoa." He pulled out a black hoodie with green stripes along the sleeves and a green stripe across his chest with a circle on the left side with 10 in it. Also, there a green 10 on the back.
"It was originally going to be a special one-time only offer deal but considering the services you have provided for us," Ch'zell said. "I believe the real Ben Tennyson has earned the right to wear it."
Ben handed Nelliel the new hoodie as he took off his old one and then put the new one on. He looked himself over. As if on cue, Ch'zell's secretary presented him with a mirror, allowing him to further examine himself. "Sweet!"
Ch'zell smirked. "I'm glad it meets your approval, Mr. Tennyson."
Nelliel smiled. "I think it looks good on you, Ben."
Ben blushed at the compliment.
"And you succeeded in subduing these criminals with minimal effort. I've often heard your exploits result in much destruction."
Ben flushed even deeper. "It's not like I mean to. Besides, these three are kinda easy to beat. "
"Regardless, it is an honor to have the hero of the universe save us," Ch'zell said. Her guards went over to round the three up. "I shall contact the Plumbers to have these three taken into custody."
The guards started hefting the three up. A few were needed to carry Thumbskull.
"I do hope this little incident has not ruined your time here, Mr. Tennyson," Ch'zell said.
Ben had to admit this woman knew how to play ignorant. Well, all things considered this day hadn't really been a bad one. He actually had fun. And it just didn't seem right without at least one bad guy or two to bonk.
"I had a great time," Ben said in a hopefully convincing tone.
"While I'm annoyed these three interrupted our date," Nelliel added, putting her arm around Ben's and smiling at him. "I had a wonderful time."
Ben smiled back, though a resonating "Awww," from the crowd made his face flush again.
Ch'zell's smirk was back. "And I suppose you wouldn't mind giving a statement about what a great time you had."
Ben gave her a look. Here? Now? Seriously? He looked at Nelliel, who wasn't really happy with Ch'zell's opportunistic attitude either. She shrugged. After all, a deal was a deal. With a small sigh, Ben put on a big smile and stated.
"I'm Ben Tennyson and I love this place!"
This was followed by a round of applause and loud cheering from the crowd. Ch'zell nodded in satisfaction. She could just imagine all the customers, and money, they would be raking in now.
"If you would like, Mr. Tennyson, we'll be having our fireworks display in a couple of hours. Would you like to watch?"
"Ooh, fireworks?" Nelliel asked. She looked at Ben excitedly. "Can we watch them?"
Ben smiled. "Sounds fun to me. Sure!"
But as it was not night time just yet, Ben and Nelliel still had the entire day to enjoy until then. And enjoy it they would. Nelliel wasn't going to let one little run-in with Ben's baddies to get in the way of their date. Of course, things were a lot more interesting this time around. With Ben's identity now revealed to everyone in the park, Ben got even more attention than he did in Bellwood. Apparently he was more popular among aliens than among humans. Ben wasn't really paying attention to something like that and a good thing too. People would always come up asking for autographs, photos, stuff like that. But Ch'zell wanted to make sure that Ben still got to enjoy his date and had her security keep the excited tourists at bay. Ben and Nelliel had to admit that the fans did make a hindrance to their date, but they were determined to make the most of it.
The two walked back to the carnival district to make sure they got there in time for the fireworks. They could've gone to explore the entire planet but they had been told the fireworks could be best seen from the carnival district and Ben wanted to make sure they got a good view. So for the rest of the day, they would go on rides, play games, win prizes, eat snacks. Ben smiled when he went over to a cotton candy stand and got some. Nelliel's face lit up with absolute delight at the delectable treat in Ben's hands.
"Oh thank you!" She beamed as Ben gave her one of them. With childish glee, she started digging in. Ben couldn't help but smile at how adorable she was. He started biting into his cotton candy too.
As night started to fall upon the planet, Nelliel looked around for the best place to see the fireworks. Then her eyes landed on the perfect spot. There was an actual ferris wheel on this planet!
"Ben!" She pointed. "Let's go there."
Ben, who got stuck carrying all of Nelliel's bags and prizes, noticed the ferrish wheel she was pointing at. "You think all these are gonna fit?"
"Not to worry, Mr. Tennyson. We'll make sure to look after your belongings while you enjoy your ride."
Ben was grateful he didn't jump or he would've dropped all of Nelliel's stuff. He frowned at his spooker. Ch'zell. "Are you gonna follow us the entire time?"
"I only pop up now and again, Mr. Tennyson. I see your date has selected the ferris wheel. An excellent suggestion. You should have a perfect view of the fireworks. I shall have the operator look after your things while you two enjoy yourselves."
Nelliel's excitement grew. "See, Ben?" She grabbed him by the jacket. "Come on!" Ben was pulled by her towards the ferris wheel. Ch'zell looked at the operator, who had overheard them, and nodded. The operator nodded back. He was gonna make sure Ben Tennyson and his date got to enjoy the fireworks first class.
After leaving their stuff with the operator, the two waited in line with everyone else. Soon, they were loaded into one of the cars of the ride. Once they were safetly seated and everyone else was loaded up, the ride began. The two looked around the park as the cars rotated.
"You really can see a lot from here," Nelliel said as she gazed at the view.
"Yeah. I think that's one of the funnest things about ferris wheels. The view."
"And it's not too fast. I noticed you looked a little queasy about some of those rides we went on."
Ben scratched the back of his head. "Heh. Sorry about that."
"Ben, it's fine. And it was sweet of you to go on them anyway just for me."
"Hey, I wanted to make sure you had a good time."
Nelliel looked at Ben lovingly. "Ben, I did have a good time and I'm having one now. Thank you so much for taking me here."
Ben smiled back. "You deserve it, Nelliel."
Just then the two felt the ride starting to slow down before coming to a complete stop. The two looked around and saw that their car had stopped at the very top. They had a view of the entire district.
"Wow," Nelliel said. "This place looks so beautiful at night."
Just then fireworks started going off in the sky. The colors, the displays, it was all a dazzling sight. Ben could hear the "Oooh"'s and "Aaaah"'s all over the park. He looked over at Nelliel, who was staring at the firework with a look of awe on her lovely face. Smiling, he turned his head to look at the fireworks too. Noticing this, Nelliel scooted closer to Ben and put her head on his shoulder. Ben gazed down at her but she remained fixed on the fireworks. Seeing her like this, remembering all the things they did today, and all the stuff they had been through, Ben started to feel something. He always cared about Nelliel, ever since he found her as a little girl playing tag in Hueco Mundo. But now those feelings were changing. Changing just like how he felt about Tia. For a brief moment he panicked, fearing that his feelings for her had dwindled but nothing, Ben found that his feelings for Tia were still the same as ever. Only now...he was starting to see Nelliel the same way. He could slightly feel the hickey Nelliel had given him, showing how much he was to her.
Could...could I really be...falling in love? Ben asked himself. Slowly he wrapped his arm around Nelliel, pulling her closer to him. Nelliel smiled to herself at his actions. She would have closed her eyes in contentment but she wanted to enjoy the beautiful fireworks. Despite how good it felt to be held by Ben like this.
Ben... she sighed. Happiness like this was unheard of in Hueco Mundo. Even when serving Aizen as the Third Espada she hadn't felt such happiness. She had merely existed for her duty. Since meeting Ben, though, she had learned there was more to life than duty. She could also hear his heart beating as she leaned close against him.
The two then looked at each other and leaned in for a kiss, all the while the fireworks illuminated the sky.
It was a good night for both of them.
End of Chapter
Well, everyone. I know it was a long wait but hopefully the long length of words makes up for it. I know the action probably wasn't what you all were hoping for but I will make the action more exciting in the episodes to come. I would personally like to thank Pyromania101 and Kamen Rider Chrome especially for their help in making this chapter. Next girl on the roster is Sung-Sun. While I probably shouldn't have made all the girls fall in love with Ben, I put myself into this story and I am now determined to make it work. What can I say? Harribel, Nelliel, Sung-Sun, Apacci, and Mila Rose all deserve some loving after all. Even if it is with the same guy.
Though, to be honest, if I had made Ben a little bit more show accurate, I think the girls would find him annoying first and slowly warm up to him. Yeah, I made the girls a little too sappy at times in the first Volume and I made Ben a little too Gary-Stuish. I intend to do this right in this, and any other Volumes I might make. Personally I see Ben and Ichigo being two really deadly forces. I think Ben is more dangerous strategically while Ichigo is more dangerous in sheer power. As you can also see, I'm going to be a little more lenient with the language in the story. There are still some words I won't use but like I said, I will be a little more lenient.
Speaking of the previous Volume, Pyromania101 was kind enough to actually make a Wiki about my story. I'm honored he would do something like that. If any of you are interested in reading it, it's b-ua . wikia . com
And that's all for today, everyone. See you all next chapter when Ben goes on his date with Sung-Sun!