[identity profile] finkpishnets.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] ivoryandgoldd
Nothing But Pretend Truths by [livejournal.com profile] finkpishnets
Ben 10: Alien Force | Ben/Kevin (Ben/Julie, Gwen/Kevin) | R | ~2,112
It starts with a kiss.

A/N: Amazingly not for a bingo prompt. Warning: Involves cheating (with each other). Also sex, but not the particularly graphic kind (sorry).

It starts with a kiss.

It’s not soft or sweet or kind, and the tug of teeth on lips and hands on hips leave bruises that stain their skin.

Gwen’s in the other room practicing defense spells and Julie’s making herself a smoothie in the kitchen, and Ben doesn’t even care. He hates himself a little for that afterwards, but not enough that it stops him from doing it again.

They’re arguing like always, throwing half meant accusations back and forth like white noise and then they aren’t, are too close, too quiet, and Ben doesn’t know who moves first but suddenly they’re kissing, grabbing onto each other like anchors and every inch of him is on fire. Kevin’s solid beneath his hands, their chests rising and falling in time, and Ben has no idea where this came from, when kissing Kevin became something he’d even remotely consider let alone enjoy, but there’s not a single part of him that wants it to end.

There’s the sound of something breaking and they pull apart with a jolt, breathing heavily and staring at each other with too wide eyes.

“Sorry,” Julie calls, “I dropped a glass.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Gwen replies, her voice muffled through the walls.

Ben stands frozen for too long, and it’s Kevin who walks away first.

“We should do something this weekend,” Julie says, smiling softly against his neck from where her head’s nestled into his shoulder, “assuming the universe isn’t in too much danger.”

“Yeah,” Ben says. “That sounds good.”

She hums happily against his skin and he pulls her closer.

His eyes never leave their spot across the room where Kevin’s listening to his iPod and tapping his fingers against his knee in an uneven rhythm.

They’re in Kevin’s car, driving back from another one of their big rescues, and it’s the first time they’ve been properly alone since…Since.

Ben thinks maybe this is supposed to be where they talk, clear the air or rattle off a list of ridiculous excuses that people only believe because they want to, and when Kevin pulls over, turns off the engine and grips the steering wheel with white knuckles, Ben’s worried that’s exactly what they’re going to do.

“So,” he says, focusing on Kevin’s hands rather than his face, and he doesn’t want to do this, doesn’t want to do this

And then Kevin’s hand is on his arm pulling him closer, his other curling around Ben’s jaw, tilting his face upwards, and Ben can’t help his desperate moan when their mouths meet, because this is what he’s been waiting for, what he wants.

“This is stupid,” Kevin says when they break apart for air, his lips red and swollen, pupils blown.

“Yeah,” Ben agrees even as he slides a hand beneath Kevin’s t-shirt, runs his fingers across bare skin and presses his mouth against Kevin’s neck.

Ben,” Kevin says, his voice deep and wrecked and it sends a thrill through Ben to know he did that.

Kevin leans in further until there’s no space between them, his knee falling between Ben’s thighs, and damn. Ben arches up, can feel Kevin tensing beneath his hands and this isn’t just making out anymore, this is crossing another line, one they won’t be able to come back from.

Ben honestly couldn’t care less.

He grinds up against Kevin as Kevin grinds down and the pressure feels so good, so wrong, and it doesn’t take long before Ben’s tipping over, going, going, gone, his vision whiting out behind his eyes as Kevin goes still above him.

“Right,” he says when coherency returns.

“Right,” Kevin echoes.

Ben wonders if maybe that’s as close to ‘talking’ they’re ever going to get.

They don’t talk about it but that’s mostly because they’re otherwise occupied.

Kevin has a spot low on his collarbone that drives him crazy when sucked and Ben takes full advantage of the discovery. Kevin gets his own back when he realizes grazing blunt nails across his skin will make Ben’s back form a perfect arch. Kevin’s hands fit seamlessly against Ben’s hips, and Ben’s flexible enough to wrap his legs around Kevin’s thighs.

They don’t talk but they discover a lot regardless.

He’s lounging on his bed playing with the settings on the Omnitrix when Gwen finds him, shutting the door loudly behind her to get his attention. He’s about to ask her to try knocking when he actually looks up and shuts his mouth because shit.

“How could you?” she says, and she looks broken, betrayed, and Ben wonders when Kevin became the better man in this situation, better enough to tell his girlfriend, because there’s nothing else this could be.

“I’m sorry,” Ben says, only he doesn’t mean it, not really.

“Liar,” she says, and her eyes are cold.

“Yeah,” Ben agrees, “but I really didn’t mean to hurt you.”

Gwen laughs and it’s harsh and bitter and he thinks maybe she hates him now.

“But you did,” she says, and there’s nothing he can say to that.

Gwen does hate him, but she does so in a passive aggressive way that frustrates Ben to no end. He’s still with Julie, doesn’t know what’s happening with him and Kevin enough to break it off, whether it’s just physical or something more and he honestly doesn’t care either way right now as long as it’s something.

He and Julie still curl up on the couch and watch the movies she brings over and she’ll kiss him goodnight as she leaves, soft and sweet, and she mostly manages to ignore the sharp, sarcastic comments Gwen fires his way.

“Is everything okay?” she asks one night as she’s leaving, glancing over Ben’s shoulder to where Gwen and Kevin are sitting in heated silence, and Ben shrugs, doesn’t meet her eye as he says yes and kisses her briefly on the lips.

“Love you,” Julie says as she steps outside.

“You too,” Ben replies, but the words are empty, mere echoes that she doesn’t notice.

“How sweet,” Gwen says after the door’s closed, her voice full of venom. “Are you two thinking about forever?”

Ben glares at her, grabs Kevin’s arm and pulls him upstairs, leaves his bedroom door open enough that if Gwen stays she’ll be able to hear and then drops to his knees.

If the noises Kevin makes are any indication, he really doesn’t care what Gwen thinks either.

Kevin’s ignoring him.

It’s been a week since Ben last saw him, since Kevin had pressed him down into the mattress and had him muttering nonsensical phrases into the air between them. Since Ben had woken up alone, his arm wrapped around a pillow where it had been wrapped around Kevin.

Gwen’s still not talking to him with anything but anger, though a lot of her energy is now being put into flirting with any cute guy that pays her attention, shooting glances Kevin’s way to make sure he’s watching then upping the anti when he’s not. Ben almost feels sorry for her, would if she’d stop being a bitch when Julie’s around, and besides, it’s her choice to use her energy being mad at Ben and trying to win Kevin back. He’s not even particularly sure she wants Kevin back, in fact he’s pretty sure she’s just doing it to try and prove she can which, yeah, is very Gwen.

He finds Kevin working on the engine of his car, a streak of grease running from his cheek to his ear that Ben can’t help but stare at, and he doesn’t pay Ben any attention even when Ben stands close enough next to him that they’re touching down one side.

“Gonna tell me what’s wrong?” Ben says when the silence becomes suffocating.

“Nothing’s wrong,” Kevin says, but the words are forced, harsh, and he’s mad, Ben can tell, though he doesn’t know why.

“Seriously,” Ben days, knocking Kevin’s hand away from where it’s reaching for a spanner. “Talk.”

Kevin turns to him then, and he’s angry and resigned all at once, his lips pressed in a tight line and his eyes not quite catching Ben’s.

“You’re a bastard,” he says, and Ben should have been expecting it but he wasn’t.


“You’re a bastard,” Kevin repeats, and Ben watches the way the words form on his lips, feels them like a hit to the ribs, and, seriously, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when they’re so fucked up but it stings anyway.

“You going to tell me why,” he says, “or do I have to guess?”

“I broke up with Gwen months ago,” Kevin says, “right after this thing started. I made a choice. But you –“

And Ben gets it.

“But I didn’t.”

Kevin nods, a quick movement of his head before he turns away, grabs for a wrench and looks back at the engine and Ben can see it now, see that Kevin’s not only angry, he’s hurt, and Ben hates that he did that.

“I’m sorry,” he says, and he means it this time but Kevin just shrugs and Ben thinks maybe it’s too late.

“We need to break up,” Ben says, and Julie looks up in surprise, hangs her helmet over the handle of her scooter and turns to face him.

“What?” she says. “Why?”

Ben squeezes his eyes shut and tries to think of the least hurtful way to say it.

“Oh,” she says before he can start. “How long?”

Ben blinks, sees the shocked understanding in her eyes and realizes that he shouldn’t be surprised. Julie’s always been the smarter one.

“Too long,” he says, and she flinches.

“Do I want to know who?” she asks.

“No,” Ben tells her, “but you probably should anyway.”

He takes a deep breath, his hands clenched at his side.

“It’s Kevin,” he says, and he hears Julie’s shocked inhale.

“That’s why Gwen –“

“Yeah.” Ben shrugs, stuffs his hands in his pockets to stop them fidgeting.

Julie’s silent them, watching him, and Ben really never meant this to happen, never thought he was the type of person to hurt someone knowingly despite his ‘act first, think later’ attitude and especially not someone like Julie who’s been nothing but kind and understanding.

And yet he doesn’t regret anything and he knows that really does make him a bastard.

“Goodbye Ben,” Julie says eventually, and the finality in her voice is clear.

It’s also kind of a relief.

“What’s the emergency?” Kevin says when he arrives, pushing past Ben and into the empty house.

“We need to talk,” Ben says, and shrugs apologetically when Kevin spins to face him.

“Tennyson, you said it was a matter of life or death.”

“Well, I may have exaggerated,” Ben admits, ignoring Kevin’s frustrated sigh, “but you should listen to me anyway.”

“Fine,” Kevin says, crossing his arms angrily, “shoot.”

“I broke up with Julie,” Ben says, and he’s watching Kevin closely enough that he can see the way the muscles in his face move even as he tries not to show his surprise.

“Good for you.”

“I told her about us,” Ben continues, and flinches when Kevin scoffs.

“Great,” Kevin says, laughing coldly, “except for how there is no us.”

“Shut up,” Ben says, and he really hopes he’s not wrong about this, really hopes that beneath his anger Kevin feels the same way. “I like you. More than like, and I’m sorry you didn’t know that, okay?”

He lets Kevin search his face, tries to show just how honest he’s being and hopes it’s enough. This thing between them has been fucked up since the beginning and maybe it’s too late to try and fix it, try and make it something manageable and real but Ben’s pretty sure they have to give it a shot anyway even if it just ends in greater disaster.

Kevin steps forward then, crowds Ben against the wall, and Ben wants him so much all the damn time that even this is enough to set his pulse racing. Kevin’s lips find his easily, press against them so gently that it’s hardly a kiss at all, and Ben doesn’t move because the ball’s in Kevin’s court this time.

“This is still stupid,” Kevin says, mouthing the words into Ben’s skin, and Ben can’t help the way his eyes shut and his toes curl.

“Yeah,” he agrees.

“Okay,” Kevin says, and then he presses forward, slides his tongue along the seam of Ben’s lips and kisses him properly, fierce and passionate and very much akin to the ‘I like you, too’ Ben never expected to hear aloud, and it’s sort of like a second chance.

It starts with a kiss.

Date: 2010-09-02 03:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] therandomgirlie.livejournal.com
I love this SO much :D xxx

Date: 2010-09-02 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tripht.livejournal.com
I could say you left me speechless, and it would be kind of accurate since I'm writing instead of speaking.

Wow. You blew me away. The whole feeling throughout, the way Kevin and Ben handle things and the very real way Gwen reacts; Julie's quiet hurt and her decesive finality.

That the whole thing is incredibly hot doesn't hurt any.

I love the way it progresses, from not thinking to not talking, not being honest with the girls and then, the moment Ben realizes how easy it is to deeply hurt someone without being able to feel remorse. I loved that, because Ben comes off a lot of the time like he doesn't really realize he's being a jerk.

ILU for this. You are an awesome storyteller ♥

Date: 2010-09-02 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tripht.livejournal.com
That is so cute!

And I just read it all over again and it's amazing how good it hurts, this little story of yours. A second reading is always different for me. A little richer, I believe. This time I could clearly taste the way Kevin's hurt reached Ben, belatedly as it migth have been.

I'm seriously resisting a keyboard smashing spree here. I love the way Ben didn't expect Kevin's words to hurt, no matter how fucked up their... relationship might have been like.

I might return for a third reading, just so you know. ♥

Date: 2010-09-02 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gravitiger.livejournal.com
This was absolutely beautiful! You actually made me fell sorry for Julie, which is kinda hard to do. XD

I love that you made Gwen such a bitch, because I'm tired of her NOT hating Ben for stealing her boyfriend.You managed to capture both Ben and Kevin perfectly, aaaand now I'm gonna go back and read this again. :D

Again, this was absolutely beautiful! <3

Date: 2010-09-04 06:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pan2dapan.livejournal.com
*fawns all over you*

Like seriously, I have to agree with Gravi. You made me kinda sympathize with Julie, and that is not an easy feat to accomplish. Kudos, broseph, kudos.

I can't really say anything else that hasn't already said, but I will stroke your ego some more and tell you that I loved this to pieces and pieces.

Date: 2010-09-06 06:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tonks17.livejournal.com
Blargle flargle. That's really all I've got. <3

Date: 2010-09-06 06:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saiika-von-maou.livejournal.com
This was sooooo well-written. I love that Ben and Kevin don't even know why they started smooching. And I will also agree with Gravi on Gwen being a bitch. It's so refreshing! Get a little mad at your cousin! He just stole your man!

I will also agree that I sympathized with Julie, and I think that's because she didn't really say anything. Just, "goodbye." That was probably sadder than any big speech.

I had such a frowny-face over Ben's stupidity, which is probably because I mommy over him like crazy. >w< Gahh, but...how do I explain that my frowny-face meant that I loved it? It's just...you wrote it so well! Anyway, <3 all around on this. This was sweet and sad and cute and I loved it.

Date: 2010-11-23 03:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gigerisgod.livejournal.com
this is the first story i've read from this fandom and i have to say, i can't believe my luck. this was great! some great sexual tension. lovely job.


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