Tired.

Disclaimer: I don't own Ben 10.

Slowly he became aware off the strong arms around him, hugging him protectively and the soft pitter pattering sound coming from the person holding him. "Rook?"

Rook's grip loosened for a second before tightening again. "You are awake." The Revonnahgander stated, sounding relieved but also weary.

"Yeah…" Ben sighed, staring blankly into the darkness of Rook's room. "When did you get here?" He asked trying to remember when exactly he asked Rook if it was okay for to take a nap in his room. It had been in the monitor room a few hours ago, and yet the teen felt like something was… off.

"This is my room, in my quarters, Ben." Rook quietly reminded his boyfriend. "You said you would take a nap."'

"I was sleeping till a moment ago, wasn't I?"

"It is past midnight."

"Oh." Ben's expression fell, he hadn't meant to sleep for seven hours, like Rook said he only planned on taking a nap. "Well, who can blame a hero for being tired? It's not like I did-"

"You were asleep in the bathroom."

"…."

"Ben?"

"I wanted to be alone and fell asleep Rook." Ben rolled his eyes and groaned in annoyance. "Why are you making such big out of this?" He demanded and pushed himself away from his boyfriend.

Rook remained silent, watching Ben sit up, a small frown on his face. "I am worried about you, my Smarahd." He calmly told his boyfriend. Something had been up with Ben for a while now. It was hard to notice unless you knew the teen well, and Rook had picked up on it shortly after magister Tennyson had. Something about how the teen acted lately wasn't right.

It was like Ben was barely interested in the things he usually found enjoyment in, and seemed constantly distracted.

"Then stop." Ben muttered sending Rook an annoyed look that lacked true ire. "I'm fine Rook." He looked away. "I'm always fine." The last sentence was said in a whisper, but Rook still heard it.

"What was that?"

"Nothing, I'm leaving." Ben muttered and got up from the bed.

Before the sixteen-year-old could leave the bedroom Rook reached forward and grabbed Ben's wrist. "Wait!"

Grunting in unconcealed frustration, Ben roughly tried to yank his hand out of his boyfriend's grip.

"It is okay to not always be fine. Ben."

At those words Ben stiffened, his arm going slack in Rook's grip. He took a deep, shuddering breath and bowed his head.

"Ben?"

"I… I'm not fine." Ben quietly admitted, finally looking up and meeting Rook's gaze.

Rook was taken aback by the look in Ben's eyes, many different emotions shone in those emerald orbs and Ben seemed to be unsure which he should show.

Not hesitating for even a second, Rook gently pulled Ben back into his arms. "Do you wish to talk about it?" He asked, shoulders relaxing when Ben pressed his back against his chest. Pulling Ben down along with him, Rook lay down on the bed.

"There really isn't much to talk about Rook…." Ben sighed. "I'm tired and… That's it. I don't feel like being awake because I can't win."

"Can't win what?" Rook asked, rubbing his hand over Ben's arms.

Ben sighed again. "I don't know." The younger of the two answered. "It just feels like everything I do will end up with bad consequences and I can't choose the right way to go."

"Hmm" Rook didn't know what to say to that and there probably wasn't anything he could say right now that would really help Ben, so he remained quiet and continued rubbing Ben's arm. Rook smiled a small smile when Ben took his hand. "It is alright to not be alright all the time, Ben."

"You said that already." Ben murmured, sounding like he hadn't just woken up from a 6 hour long nap, but rather like he hadn't slept in days.

"I know," Rook answered, his tone still soft and gentle. "but I wanted to make sure you are aware of that, so you will no longer attempt to force yourself to act a certain way. Allow yourself to not be okay, Ben." He told his boyfriend. "I and the other do not mind. We know a person cannot always be alright."

For a while Ben remained quiet, appearing to be in deep thought. After a while his grip tightened on Rook's hand, and he looked up. "Rook?"

"Yes?"

"Thanks."