I was standing in a clearing, a battlefield. Corpses were piled at my feet, and I was covered with blood.

Oh no.

I looked down and saw Gwen and Kevin's bodies piled at my feet, all in stages of dismemberment.

Across the clearing, Ben stood, holding his hand above his Omnitrix, face drawn in focus and staring at me with killer intent.

He aimed for me at blinding speed. I didn't have time to tell him it was me now. It wasn't the demon!

I looked at my hands, searching for a weapon to defend myself. I was holding a human heart. A bite had been eaten from it.

In horror, I touched my mouth, gagging and spitting. At that moment, Ben transformed into an unfamiliar alien and shot me with a powerful ray and it went through my chest.

As blood hit both of our faces, I saw pain on his face and tears on his cheeks.

I woke, a silent scream on my lips as I shot up in bed in a cold sweat—and launched myself into Ben's arms.

Xxx

Ben had only come into her room because she was sick and he worried. He worried that she always looked so pale and cold. And fragile.

She'd hit him for thinking of her as delicate, just as she did anyone who dared treat her differently.

Beyond that, she did rest as recommended by Gwen. She didn't feign super strength or ignore her treatments. But when she was up and around she pushed herself past her limits.

Normally he wouldn't go in her room, but he'd noticed she was cold all the time, and never quite got warm. So he'd heated a blanket for her.

Then he found her screaming like that.

It broke his heart.

As she poured her pain and suffering into his bare chest, he just held her and rubbed her back.

She was trembling.

All he could do was wonder what could trouble the fearless proud priestess, enough for her to let her walls come down and be so vulnerable in front of him.

He held her there until her shaking stopped, her eyes closed, her breathing calmed, and she cried herself to exhaustion and sleep.

Then, afraid of another night terror; or maybe because he didn't want to be away from her touch, he held her in his arms as he fell asleep. Ben had never held a woman in his arms before, but he clutched her tightly, her cold body giving him strength. As his heart pounded and his cheeks flushed, he began to see a future full of silver light.

That priestess' silver light.