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Ben made his way to an apartment building that was somewhat familiar, he hadn't been over here yet but knew the person there would probably…maybe…might have to convince… to help him out. After some talks with Azmuth and his Grandpa, Ben somehow convinced those two to let them relocate since he could see where this individual was coming from. He hasn’t been able to come visit to see how they were fairing, but he guessed it was going well since he wasn’t getting scolded for letting them ‘back out in the streets’. Ben was even able to convince the Plumbers to provide for them.

Ben walked inside the building and made his way up a couple floors by using the elevator. He almost collapsed before the elevator made it to the floor he needed to get to, but he shook himself awake. The elevator doors opened and Ben limped his way to the right apartment number and knocked on the door. After a moment, the door opened and a familiar white haired teenager was staring back at him.

"What are you doing here Tennyson?" 

"I couldn't think of anywhere else to go." 

“Just because you helped me out of the hellhole that was prison, doesn’t mean I owe you any favors.”

"You were closest."

Albedo sighed.

"Fine, just get in here before my neighbors across the hall see someone who looks like he’s on death’s door, or the paparazzi find you here." 

"Thanks Al."

Albedo groaned in response at the nickname, but helped Ben inside. Ben threw an arm around Albedo’s shoulders and leaned his weight into him. Albedo helped Ben over to the couch. Ben collapsed on it with lying on his stomach. 

"If you bleed all over my couch I'm sending you the bill."

Albedo took this time to look over the brown haired teen that was barely conscious on his couch. The teen wasn’t sporting his usual green jacket or the new white hoodie Albedo knew Ben started wearing. The back of the shirt was ripped, as if someone was slicing into it. Looking at Ben’s arms, Albedo could see some cuts. All the ones he could see looked to have mainly stopped bleeding and just had dried blood on them, but there was a wet spot forming on the side of Ben’s shirt. Albedo looked down further to see rips in Ben’s jeans, that to any normal human might look like it was a stylistic choice, but Albedo knew Ben’s style of clothing and it was never ripped jeans. He made his way to the bathroom, grabbed the first aid kit he kept there, and came back out to the living room. 

"Sit up so I can clean whatever mess you got yourself into, I don't want you bleeding all over everything." 

"Aw you do care Al," Ben muffled from his face being smushed into a pillow.

"Shut up," Albedo said, rolling his eyes. 

Ben gripped the armrest of the couch to try and pull himself up. Albedo saw that Ben was struggling, and helped the teen sit up.

"Take off your shirt so I can see if anything needs to be stitched."

"Probably my side, that's where most of the blood has been coming from." 

Albedo helped Ben take off his shirt, and noticed a much deeper cut on his side. Albedo gently pushed Ben back to laying down on the opposite side so he could stitch the cut. Neither said a word, besides Ben groaning in pain when Albedo was wiping it down.

"Isn't the Omnitrix supposed to prevent this from happening?" Albedo asked while preparing to stitch.

"It wasn't working properly," Ben said as Albedo was stitching, "Ow!" 

"I swear to all things that are Azmuth, I'm stepping on him when I see him again." 

"Okay, but you don't have to stitch so hard,” Ben said before yelping in pain at Albedo’s stitching, “Take it out on him, not me Albedo."

After Albedo finished stitching the cut up, he wiped around it to get all the blood off that was still there. He had Ben sit up again, and took another look over to see if anything else needed to be stitched. Nothing else was as bad as the one on Ben’s side. Albedo wiped down the other spots he saw that had blood on them. 

"I'm not good at this whole human stitching, so I don't know how long the one I did on your side will hold. You're better off finding a human doctor to check what I did,” Albedo said, putting down the first aid kit on the table and going to sit on the chair.

Ben looked down at the stitch. 

"I should come to you more often, that's the best stitch work I've seen.” 

Ben sat up enough to carefully put his shirt back on, then went back to lying down on his stomach.

"The fact that you have to say that means Azmuth is a dumbass for letting you keep that watch." 

"Not this conversation again," Ben said, leaning his head into the pillow below him and groaning.

Albedo sighed, if he wanted to have this conversation with Tennyson again he wasn't going to do it when he was injured. That's like kicking a puppy when it's already down.

"What happened Ben?" Albedo asked, dropping the subject. 

“Fucking Khyber again, I don’t know what his deal is. One minute I was hanging out at Mr. Smoothy, the next I was tied up somewhere. I couldn’t even use the voice activation function on the Omnitrix, I still don’t know how he was able to mess with it. It should’ve been safeguarded. Despite him messing with it, he couldn’t get it off so he took it out on me trying to kill me for it.”

“Where was Blonko? Where were the rest of the Plumbers?” 

“Rook was off-world at the time, he had a family emergency. I asked if he needed my help, but he asked that I stayed here in case something happened. Khyber cut all communication so it took a while for Grandpa and the others to even know I was missing.” 

Albedo stood up and turned away from Ben. 

“You’d think they’d know how to keep a leash on an almost 17 year old boy with the most powerful weapon in the galaxy,” Albedo said before pinching the bridge of his nose, lowering his head, and sighing.

“I’m not a dog Albedo,” Ben said, twisting himself so his back was on the couch and he could look at Albedo. 

“How long were you missing?” 

“A few days.” 

“WHAT?” Albedo turned back around and yelled, “What kind of organization lets an almost 17 year old stay missing a few days? I’m about ready to go down there and give your grandfather a piece of my mind.”

“Hey this isn’t Grandpa Max’s fault. I go off on my own all the time without communication, they probably just assumed I was being covert.” 

“You? Covert? I don’t believe that.” 

Ben tried to get himself off the couch, but everything was in pain. He grimaced and sat back down. 

“What do you think you’re doing?”

“Leaving? I just came over cause you were the closest to where Khyber was holding me.”

“Nope, you’re staying right there,” Albedo looks towards where his bedroom is, “Or I can help you into my room where the bed is more comfortable than the couch. But I refuse to let you leave here and instantly go back to working.”

“It’s my job.”

“Your job is to be a teenager, not have the entire responsibility of the world on your shoulders. The Plumbers can handle shit till you’re healed. Why didn’t they patch you up? Why did they let you go like this without any medical attention?”

Ben looked around as if he was guilty of something. 

“Oh dear Azmuth you snuck away before they knew anything was wrong didn’t you?”

Ben shyly smiled. Albedo sighed. 

“I should just call your grandfather and have them pick you up,” Albedo said while facepalming. 

“But you won’t?”

“But I won’t,” Albedo said, “I don’t like to be bothered by the Plumbers any more than I already have to be.” 

“Sure, yeah that’s it,” Ben said before groaning, “Okay maybe I’ll take you up on that stealing your bed thing. This couch sucks.”

“You’re just spoiled by earth furniture, I find that couch comfortable.” 

Albedo went over to the couch and offered Ben his hand, Ben grabbed his wrist, and Albedo put an arm around Ben’s waist to hold him up. Things were quiet as they walked towards Albedo’s bedroom. Ben limped while putting his weight on Albedo. Once Albedo got close enough to the bed, Ben let go of Albedo and flopped on the bed. He maneuvered himself so that he was laying on the side that didn’t have stitches. When Ben was settled, Albedo turned around and made a motion to leave.

“Thank you,” Ben groggily said. 

Albedo turned around and saw that the teen was fast asleep after that statement with a smile on his face. Albedo shook his head in response anyway, even though he knew Ben was sleeping. He made his way back into the living room, before he could sit back down, the phone rang.

“Hello?” Albedo asked, picking it up. 

“Did Ben go over there?” A voice said over the phone. 

“Why do you need to know?” 

“He seemed to disappear after we got him away from Khyber, and none of us can contact him.”

“Why would you think he’d come over here, Magister?” 

A sigh could be heard from the other line. 

“Albedo stop being difficult and tell us where Ben is,” Max said. 

“Why so he can go back to getting kidnapped by Khyber again?” 

“He has already been apprehended.” 

“Yeah cause that works out so well Maxwell.” 

“I’m asking as a courtesy towards Ben, we have the authority to bust in there if we suspect you kidnapped him too.” 

Albedo laughed.

“It’s not kidnapping if someone willingly knocks on your apartment door asking for help.” 

“Is he alright?” 

“Are you asking as the Magister or his grandfather?” 

“Albedo just tell me.”

“I had to stitch him up on his side, and he’s limping so I’m assuming one or both of his legs are sore, possibly a sprain in an ankle. I’m surprised he made it here without completely passing out.” 

“He should’ve stayed so we could take care of it.” 

Albedo didn’t respond since he didn’t want Max to know that he actually agreed with him. 

“He’s sleeping now, and I've told him to stay put till he’s healed up a bit. Don’t know how well he’ll listen since he’s never been good at that.” 

“I’ll leave him to you then,” Max said before hanging up. 

Since when does the Magister trust him with Tennyson? 

Albedo was sitting on the couch watching TV in the living room when there was a knock on the door. Was his TV too loud that it was bugging the neighbors? Did one of them need something? He got up and opened the door. 

“Oh, it’s you,” Albedo said, realizing it was Ben standing at his door. 

Albedo looked at Ben and it didn’t seem like he was injured this time. The teen was sporting his white hoodie, with the hood being up. Ben pulled the hood down and Albedo could see the bags underneath the teenager’s eyes. He looked more exhausted than the last time he stopped by.

“What is it this time?” Albedo asked, trying to hide the fact he was concerned.

“Can I come in?” Ben asked with pleading eyes.

“Doesn’t matter what I say, you’re going to come in anyway.” 

Ben shrugged in response, but made no motion to leave the spot he was standing in. Albedo moved so Ben could walk inside. Without saying anything further, Ben made his way towards the couch to lay down. He laid on his stomach with his face smothered in one of the pillows on the couch. Before Albedo could even ask why the teenager was here, Ben started snoring. Albedo knew he wasn’t going to get answered until the teen woke up. He went back to watching TV, but turned the volume down to not wake the teenager sleeping on his couch.

A few hours passed, the only noises in the apartment were Ben’s soft snoring and the TV. At some point Albedo grabbed a Sudoku book and was trying to beat his record at solving them. While doing them, he’d glance over at the couch to make sure Ben was still in the world of living. He couldn’t have a world famous superhero dying on his couch. Albedo wasn’t worried about Ben, he just didn’t want to be responsible if something happened to the teen. Before Albedo could beat his Sudoku record, a groan interrupted his thoughts. 

“Have a nice nap?” Albedo asked while not looking away from the Sudoku book.

“Would’ve been better if I stole your bed, but it was fine,” Ben said while sitting up and cracking his limbs out, “Is that Sudoku?” 

“I’m surprised you know what that is considering your grades,” Albedo jokingly taunted while putting down the Sudoku book. 

“My mom does them all the time, I tried once and was confused on how to do it. She tried to explain it to me once, but it didn’t make any sense to me.” 

Ben got up and went to raid Albedo’s kitchen. 

“Hey you got any human food here?” Ben shouted. 

“I equip my fridge so human teenagers can’t come in here and steal my food.” 

“Aw man!” Ben whined. 

Albedo could hear Ben still going through the kitchen to find something to eat. 

“Check the freezer,” Albedo said before sighing, “I think I have some frozen fries in there.” 

“You got chili?” Ben asked excitedly. 

“Look and you’ll find out.” 

“You’re no fun.”

Ben approached Albedo’s apartment door. He had nothing better to do, so he decided to visit the white hair teen. He knocked on the door for a few minutes and didn’t get a response. He knew that Albedo would’ve let him in even if he didn’t want to deal with the brown haired teen. 

Ben slid to the side of the door and sat down. He had nothing better to do, so he’d just chill there until Albedo came home. Better than doing anything else. Hopefully one of Albedo’s neighbors didn’t look out their doors or come home and ask why he’s sitting outside of the door. Ben went on the extranet and went through Jimmy’s new articles about current events happening in Undertown.

“Ahem,” A voice said, making Ben lift his head.

He saw Albedo standing there with shopping bags in his hand. 

“If you’re going to keep hanging around like this, at least help me with these,” Albedo said, lifting the shopping bags.

“Oh yeah sure,” Ben said, getting up and grabbing some of the bags.

Once Albedo had a hand free, he pulled out his key and opened the door. The two of them made their way into the apartment and towards the kitchen. Bags were placed on the counter, and items were taken out to be put away.

“I don’t know where half this shit goes,” Ben said, taking out some food from the bags, “Where’d you even shop? I don’t recognize anything in these bags.”

“Undertown has some great delicacies that this planet refuses to put into its Earth cuisine,” Albedo explained while putting food in the fridge.

“Aw man,” Ben complained, “you didn’t buy anything I’d eat?”

Albedo rolled his eyes. 

“Forgive me for not expecting to deal with a human teenager raiding my kitchen because he constantly keeps coming over,” Albedo said with his voice laced with sarcasm.

Ben pouted, but continued to help put away groceries with Albedo telling him where the items went. 

“If you paid attention to what you were trying to put away you’d see I did buy some human food you’d probably eat,” Albedo said after a few minutes of Ben pouting, “Although your taste buds could use some new cuisine that isn’t revolting.” 

“Have you tasted my Grandpa’s cooking?” Ben asked, “I think I’ve been scarred from alien food.”

“No disrespect to the Magister, but humans can never get the cook right. It takes an alien to really make the food properly since we’re used to how it’s supposed to be cooked.”

“I don’t know how you and Rook can eat that stuff.” 

“Alien cuisine is the best Benjamin.” 

Before they could continue the conversation further, Ben’s Omnitrix started beeping. Ben answered it and it was Blukic and Driba.

“Hey Ben we’re about to head over to Mr. Smoothy, you want to meet us there?” Driba asked.

“Which one?” Ben asked. 

“We’re gonna try and find Store 23 again,” Blukic said. 

“Oh hey maybe we can see Ben 23 again,” Ben said, “We can see how his Azmuth is fairing with him.” Ben covered the Omnitrix so the two Galvans couldn’t hear him, “You want to come?” 

“And spend an evening with those two bumbling idiots that are somehow Galvans?” Albedo asked while raising an eyebrow, “No thanks.” 

“They aren’t that bad,” Ben said, trying to defend them.

“Dealing with them is more torturous than being in this body,” Albedo said. 

Ben moved his hand off the Omnitrix so Blukic and Driba could hear him again.

“I’ll be over there in a few minutes, try not to get lost again,” Ben said before hanging up the Omnitrix. 

“See, they’re idiots,” Albedo said. 

“They’re helpful when needed,” Ben said heading towards the door, “They’ve gotten me out of a few jams.”

Albedo followed Ben to the door. 

“Since you insist on dropping by here without any warning,” Albedo started to say before holding out an extra apartment key, “Take a spare key I have, I don’t need my nosy neighbors asking why there’s a teenager loitering outside my apartment.”

“Aw you do care,” Ben said, grabbing the key and ruffling Albedo’s hair.

“No, I just don’t want my neighbors being any more nosy than they already are,” Albedo said, rolling his eyes and yanking Ben’s hand off his head.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever dude,” Ben said, “Want a smoothie while I’m out?” 

“...Sure,” Albedo said, “Bring back chili fries while you’re at it.” 

It was the middle of the night and Ben made his way inside Albedo’s apartment building. It was quiet as he made his way up the elevator and towards his apartment door. If he wasn’t given a key, he wouldn’t have bothered with coming over. Albedo should have expected this after giving him a key. He quietly unlocked the door so as to not disrupt the neighbors.

Ben made his way inside the apartment, and locked the door. It was pitch black inside the living room, he wasn’t surprised since it was 2 o’clock in the morning. Even someone like Albedo, who had a weird sleep schedule based on what he’s been told, had to sleep at some point. Ben put his hands out so he could feel his way towards the couch. He felt the arm of the couch, and felt his way towards where he could lay down on it. He laid on his side with his back leaning against the couch. He felt something soft against his back that wasn’t the back of it. Ben assumed it was a blanket, and tossed it over himself. He expected the blanket to be longer, but it only reached the top of his legs. He was too tired to care what he put over him, he just needed something to cover his arms since he misplaced his hoodie. 

The morning sun beamed in Albedo’s face and made him wake up. He meant to close the curtains last night so the sun wouldn’t wake him up when it was outside his window. He put an arm over his eyes and groaned. He wanted to sleep in, but he knew he wasn’t going back to sleep. Can he sue the sun? Is that possible? He’d seen way more frivolous lawsuits that were won from Chadzmuth being their lawyer, so it could be possible. Maybe he’d call him up one of these days and sue the sun, he’d definitely take that lawsuit and win. 

Albedo got out of bed and made his way out of his room. While making his way towards the kitchen for breakfast he peeked towards the living room to see a brown and red blob on his couch. He made his way closer to the couch to see Ben sleeping there with his red jacket draped across himself like a blanket. That explained the noise he heard during the night. He was used to his neighbors’ weird schedules and could usually sleep through the night when they got home from night shifts, but he awoke for a moment before going back to sleep, electing to ignore it. 

He knew that Ben had to use the extra key that was given to him to come inside the apartment. What was with this teen and not sleeping at his own home? Maybe it was a bad idea to give him a key to his place. He turned and went towards the kitchen to make some breakfast. Maybe he could find something the brown haired teen would eat, or maybe he could finally get Ben to try some of the alien cuisine he buys without complaint.

Ben opened his eyes when he heard shuffling going on in the kitchen. He looked around and realized he fell asleep on the couch again with his jacket draped across him. He wasn’t surprised, that seemed to happen more often than not these days. He’d crash on the living room couch because he was too tired to get to his room. Usually his mom would toss a blanket across him and leave him be. He probably just came home and draped his jacket over him if that was chilling on the couch. He sat up and, without really looking since he was still tired, put the jacket on. He got up and made his way towards the kitchen.

“Morning Mom, what’s cooking?” Ben said without really paying attention to who was sitting at the table.

Albedo looked at the tired teen while eating his food. 

“How tired are you that you think I’m your mother?” Albedo asked while holding a fork in his hand.

Ben wiped his eyes as he made his way towards the kitchen table to sit down. Without looking at the white hair teen sat in front of him, he put his hands down on the table and put his head in them. 

“Wake me up when you’re done making breakfast,” Ben said. 

“It’s already-” Albedo started to say before snores could be heard. 

Albedo sighed and continued finishing his breakfast as quietly as he could not to wake up the teen. After he was done, he grabbed the newspaper and started reading it. 

“Damn I really need to stop falling asleep in random places,” Ben said, lifting his head and coming back to the world of living once again.

“I’m so glad I didn’t get that from your DNA Benjamin,” Albedo said without looking away from the newspaper. 

Ben’s eyes widened and he looked around. He put his head back down and groaned. How tired was he that he ended up at Albedo’s apartment instead of his own house? Good thing he had a key, or who knows where else he would’ve ended up. Maybe he would’ve fallen asleep in his car when he pulled into a random parking lot, that’s happened more times than he’s willing to admit.

“Like you’ve never fallen asleep in weird ass places before,” Ben mumbled. 

“Never.” Eye twitch

“Sure, keep telling yourself that Al.” 

“Least I’m not the one that looks like a Christmas tree.” 

“What?” Ben asked, lifting his head again.

Albedo put the newspaper down and directed his eyes towards the jacket Ben was wearing. Ben looked at his arms and saw that the sleeves were red, not green. 

“I look better in red anyway,” Ben said, “Maybe I’ll steal this and wear it.” 

“Red’s my color, get your own Tennyson.” 

“You got red cause of me Al.” 

“Least I didn’t call my look a like ‘mom’.” 

“Aw man,” Ben said, putting his head in his arms in embarrassment, “I thought I dreamt that.” 

Albedo couldn’t believe he was resorting to this , but he couldn’t think of anywhere else to go. As he left his apartment, he threw on a black hoodie so no one could follow him, or think he was the brown haired teen and ask for an autograph. He already had to do enough phony autographs when he was doing the Ben 10 Live show. 

Albedo figured it was time for Ben to get some payback on all the times he’s came over to his apartment unannounced. If Ben could come over to sleep, why couldn’t Albedo return the favor? Albedo made his way through Bellwood to where he knew Ben lived. He hasn’t been anywhere near the teen’s home since the Dream Eater incident. Thinking about that made him remember just how he ended up in this situation.

After that incident, things changed. Albedo woke up back in a Plumber’s prison with the Dream Eater taken off, and once Tennyson heard that he was conscious, he immediately was visited by the green eyed teenager. Despite the fact that he refused to talk about it, Tennyson took the initiative to get him out of prison and into some apartment complex in Bellwood that housed ‘reformed’ prisoners that the Plumbers put there for ‘good behavior.’ He wasn’t reformed in any way, yet Tennyson took pity on him. 

Before Albedo could think further he realized he was in Ben’s yard. He made his way up to the door, and knocked on it. A moment passed and a blonde woman opened the door. Albedo assumed that this was Ben’s mother. She looked at the red eyed teen standing in front of her with his hood over his head. 

"Is Ben home?" Albedo asked, looking down.

"Who's asking?" Sandra asked, raising an eyebrow. 

It wouldn't be unusual for a fan to try and come into their house to see the great Ben 10, but this teenager didn't seem like he was trying to break in like the others. He seemed like he was trying to hide himself so that no one would notice he was here. Albedo looked around before pulling his hood down so Sandra could get a better look at him. She immediately recognized him as someone Ben talked about. She knew that her son had been spending nights over at his apartment, and talked about him from time to time.. 

"Albedo was it? Ben's up in his room, probably watching Sumo Slammers or on his computer." 

Sandra moved to the side in order to let Albedo inside the house. As he was walking in, Albedo put the hood back over his head.

"If you want to go upstairs feel free, or I could tell Ben to come downstairs." 

"I'll go up, thank you." 

Albedo made his way upstairs. Before he could try and remember which door was Ben’s, he saw one wide open with the teen sitting in a computer chair. Ben’s face was focused on the computer in front of him, even Sumo Slammers on in the background didn’t catch Ben’s attention. Albedo made his way into the room and towards the bed. He laid on his stomach and buried his face into one of the pillows. 

"Least your room isn't a mess of smoothies this time," Albedo said with his voice being muffled by the pillow.

A familiar voice speaking made Ben lose focus on the game he was playing. He turned his chair to see someone laying in his bed with a hood covering their face. He saw a strand of Albedo’s white hair coming out of the hood and realized it was Albedo laying there.

"How'd you get in this time?"

"Your mother let me in at the front door, now shut up so I can sleep." 

"Why are you even-"

"Construction near my apartment has been going on for a week, and I barely slept." 

"Oh, alright. If you're still here by dinner I'm waking you up then. You’re not getting out of here without some type of home cooked meal made by my mom." 

Albedo closed his eyes and fell asleep after that. Ben grabbed the TV remote and turned the volume on the TV down in order to not disrupt Albedo’s sleep. He got up from his computer chair and closed the bedroom door, leaving it open a tiny bit, in order to muffle whatever sounds could be heard from downstairs. He knew his parents wouldn’t care since he’d close the door when he didn’t want to be bothered.

The next few hours the only sounds from the room were the audio from the TV, and Albedo’s snoring. Sandra was concerned that she hadn’t heard much noise from her son’s room since Albedo came over. She walked up the stairs and saw Ben’s door mostly closed. She softly knocked on the door before slowly opening it.

“Hey boys dinner is-” Sandra started to say before looking inside the room. 

What she saw was Albedo sleeping on his side in Ben’s bed with his face towards her. She looked over to Ben and saw his head in his hands on his computer desk fast asleep. A “Continue?” from the game he was playing was still on the computer screen. She saw the TV was still on, but the volume was extremely low so she couldn’t hear what was being said.

“Oh,” Sandra whispered before smiling to herself. 

She quietly made her way out of the room, and closed Ben’s bedroom door as quietly as she could. She was used to Ben falling asleep at his desk, it worried her actually since lately he didn’t want to sleep in his own bed nowadays. Usually she’d gently guide him towards the bed so he’d be comfortable, but in this case she left him alone. She didn’t know how it would go if she woke up Ben, since Albedo would have to be woken up too in order for Ben to have his bed back. Ben would probably insist on sleeping on the couch if he wasn’t too tired to remember that his bed was currently occupied. Both those boys seemed exhausted, it was better to just let them sleep as they were.

Hours passed and the sun that was shining went down into a bright moon shining into the window. Ben groaned and lifted his head up from his desk. 

“Ouch, now I know why Mom always wakes me up when I fall asleep here,” Ben said, stretching out his arms, “That’s gonna be sore for a bit.” 

Ben turned his chair towards his bed to see Albedo laying on his side with his face towards him. With the moonlight shining through the window, Ben could see his white haired twin was still sleeping. Ben pushed his chair towards the bed. 

“Hey I know you need your beauty sleep, but we should probably go get something to eat,” Ben said shaking Albedo’s shoulder once his chair was close enough to the bed, “Mom probably left some leftovers in the microwave if she saw we were sleep-”

Before Ben could continue, he felt a tight grip on his wrist, and saw Albedo’s eyes open in a panic.

“Hey dude, let go, it’s just me!” 

Speaking to Albedo wasn’t helping the situation, if anything the grip on his wrist got tighter when Ben spoke. Albedo looked up at him with eyes full of panic. Ben relaxed himself and stopped struggling to get out of Albedo’s grip. He knelt on the floor from the computer chair and went closer to the bed. He reached his free hand to Albedo’s shoulder and squeezed it. 

“Albedo, you’re safe here, it's just me.” 

Albedo’s red panicked eyes stared into Ben’s green concerned eyes. Before Ben could say anything further, Albedo dropped Ben’s wrist and looked at him. In one swift motion, Albedo slid off the bed and threw himself into Ben’s chest. After a moment of confusion, Ben put his arms around Albedo and held him. Ben didn’t know how to respond to Albedo hugging him, even less so once he heard sobs coming from the white haired teen. All Ben could do was rub Albedo’s back and have him let his feelings out. 

“I saw your aliens coming after me again,” Albedo sobbed out, “I begged for them to stop, but they wouldn’t listen.” 

“Was that what you saw when you were trapped in the Dream Eater?” Ben asked. 

Albedo’s response was gripping onto Ben tighter. 

“I won’t hurt you Albedo,” Ben said, trying to comfort the Galvan trapped in a human body, “I don’t know what you saw in there but none of it is real.”

Ben pushed down Albedo’s hood and ruffled his hair before pulling his hand away.

“Guess we’ve both been having problems with nightmares lately,” Ben said with a hollow laugh, “I’ve only been able to sleep when someone was close by. Probably explains why I kept showing up at your place unannounced. Your room is close to the living room, and I knew you were nearby. My parents’ room isn’t too far away but I’m a bit too old to be going into their room because of nightmares.”

Neither of them spoke for a few minutes. Ben kept continuing to rub Albedo’s back. 

“What nightmares have you been having?” Albedo asked once he finally calmed himself down. 

“The same thing as always,” Ben said, staring at the wall, “Letting everyone down, watching them die, actually dying and staying dead. Rook suddenly leaving Earth without warning, similar to how Gwen and Kevin left with barely telling me. Me being completely alone. Lately I’ve had nightmares about the universe being destroyed…again and not being able to fix it. Makes me not want to sleep in here anymore. I can’t stand the thought of Alien X having recreated everything and still sleeping in my bed at night.”

Albedo didn’t know how to respond to what Ben said. 

“I’ve also had nightmares of you fighting me again,” Ben admitted, “Despite the friendship we’ve built lately, my nightmares still have you trying to steal the Omnitrix from me. Sometimes I even dream that you actually got that Dream Eater trapped on me.”

“Since when were we friends?” 

“Probably since the first time I came over unannounced and you didn’t take advantage of the fact that I was hurt, you even stitched me up. Hell Grandpa told me you scolded him about me working so hard, he’s been insisting I put too much of the Plumber’s work on my shoulders.”

Albedo kept his grip on Ben’s shirt as he was leaning his head on Ben’s shoulder. He closed his eyes and rested his head on the brown haired teen’s shoulder. Ben carefully maneuvered Albedo to place him back in his bed. Ben laid Albedo on his side and maneuvered him to where his back was hitting the wall. Albedo’s grip on Ben’s shirt loosened. Ben turned around to go get some food, but felt a hand grab his wrist. He turned back around to see that Albedo was gripping his wrist.

“Please,” Albedo begged without opening his eyes, “don’t leave me alone.” 

“Then shove over more,” Ben said, sighing. 

Albedo let go of his grip on Ben’s wrist when he knew Ben wasn’t going to leave. Albedo moved over as far as he could to give Ben room in the bed. Once Albedo felt more weight on the bed, he moved himself to where his head was laying on Ben’s chest. Ben put his chin on top of Albedo’s head, and wrapped his arms around him in a protective hold. 

As Ben was laying there, he thought about recent events. He knew the Galvan trapped with human DNA had changed the past few months. If this was months ago, Ben doubted they’d be in this position. He didn’t know why he basically demanded Grandpa Max to release Albedo and give him a place to live, maybe he felt bad after hearing how much pain he was in from the Dream Eater. He still wasn’t entirely sure what all Albedo saw, but it had to be bad that he was unconscious for days after it was taken off. Ben felt bad about the whole situation, and wanted to do what he could to give Albedo a better life on earth but also still be independent. 

He tried to see the good in people, and despite everything that Albedo did, Ben still felt responsible for how things turned out. He tried to convince Azmuth to turn Albedo back into a Galvan, but Azmuth claimed that Albedo messed up his DNA too much to be reverted back to a Galvan. Ben didn’t believe that, but stopped pushing the issue. If Azmuth wasn’t going to help, Ben would just try to make Albedo not suffer as a human as much as he could. 

He didn’t know why he cared so much, maybe Albedo reminded him of Kevin a bit. Kevin had a rough childhood and lashed out due to his powers, he was the first person outside of his Grandpa and cousin that he shared the fact he wore the Omnitirix with. It hurt when Kevin betrayed him like that, but as the years went by they became more mature. Nowadays Kevin is like the older brother he never had. Maybe if Albedo was shown kindness and someone who cares about him, he’d be a similar way. Albedo was already letting him in more, and was more comfortable with him around. He was already thinking of Albedo as his friend, probably at the same level as Rook but not as high as Gwen or Kevin. He was lulled to sleep by how comfortable he suddenly felt in his own bed. 

Let it be known that Sandra Tennyson didn’t get shocked by things that much anymore, especially nowadays after having a son as a world famous superhero. However, from her spot at Ben’s door this morning she could see their guest and Ben sharing a bed together. It gave her a bit of a shock. She knew Ben was having problems sleeping lately, despite how much he tried to hide it from her. She’s found him in weird places lately and usually had to wake him up to put him back to bed or get him on the couch. 

She knew that Ben never minded sharing a bed with people. She’d sometimes catch him sharing a bed with Julie when she’d come over to help him with homework and time would get away with them. Sometimes when Kevin came over, the two of them would crash in the living room after a night of playing video games. On the rare occasion, Gwen and Ben would crash in the living room together after a long patrol. Ben would usually be sleeping in a weird position on the chair, and Gwen would be on the couch. One time when Sandra drove Rook and Ben somewhere, Ben was napping on Rook’s shoulder with the Revonnahgander concerned for the brown teen. Sandra explained to Rook about how that’s when you knew Ben liked you, when he’d fall asleep on you. Rook was touched by it and had a grin on his face the entire ride. 

Sandra shouldn’t have been shocked as she was based on everything she knew about her son’s friends. She was more shocked at how close these two seemed to be after a short amount of time. She saw Albedo face down laying on Ben’s chest with his arms draped across him as if Ben was a teddy bear. Ben was laying on his back with his chin buried in Albedo’s hair. She looked at the two boys and saw how peaceful they looked sleeping there, it was almost cute. She hoped that Ben would actually be able to get some sleep, maybe hanging out with the albino teen was good for Ben despite their history. 

Once again Sandra left the boys be, maybe at some point today they’d come down for something to eat. They did miss dinner the night before, and she didn’t hear anyone go downstairs during the night. If something does come about because of this, Sandra will be giving them her approval regardless of if they’re just friends or if there’s something more.