He told her exactly what he thought of this proposition.
“Lame. Lame! Lame!” Okay, so he knew what her parents and even Ben were trying to do: trying to let her make her own choices, trying to be supportive, trying not to hold her back. They didn’t want to prevent her from leaving if that was what would make her happy. But…
But he was Kevin, and he was selfish. He was Kevin, and he didn’t mince words to spare someone’s feelings (though she might be the exception to this rule. But not here, and not now. Not for something like this). He was Kevin, and damn it all if she wasn’t the best thing that happened to him since he had discovered his powers.
(Sometimes, when he was alone and no one could see his moment of weakness, a little voice would tell him that he deserved it: deserved to be abandoned, deserved to be rejected, deserved to be feared and reviled and loathed. It whispered to him, sly and treacherous, that he was a freak and a monster with no right to any form of happiness, to any kind of acceptance, and most certainly not to love. Then she would look at him, with those brilliant, caring green eyes, and he would hope.)
And really, did they not want her to stay? ‘Cause that’s pretty much what it sounded like. Kevin couldn’t imagine a world anymore where Gwen wasn’t there, to smile and laugh and tease and talk and accept and overall just make his life a better and brighter place. She made him feel, of all the unimaginable things, happy, and…clean. Like maybe, despite all the things he had done, he wasn’t such a bad person after all. Like maybe he could change. Like maybe he had a chance. He wanted her around. And honestly, who wouldn’t? She was…she was…
She was Gwen. And that was enough for him.
If she truly wanted to leave though, he knew deep down that there really wasn’t any way he could make her stay (but dear God how he wanted to, to lock her away and keep her safe and with him). Because in reality, she was probably more powerful than him, more powerful than Ben, more powerful than anyone he had ever known, and he had known a few. But perhaps Fate had decided to take pity on him and his poor existence, finally, because she said no.
She said no.
But this woman-alien-energy-thing was pushing. Pushing Gwen to leave. Not taking no for an answer.
Over his dead body. It would be a cold day in Hell before he would allow anyone to force Gwen to do something she didn’t want to, especially something like this. And for once in his life he was glad that Ben was there, and powerful, and could back him up, because Kevin knew that despite what the boy had said earlier, despite making it sound as though they didn’t really need her and they could function perfectly well without her (which was a dirty blatant lie and they most certainly could not), Ben really just wanted Gwen to stay as well and was not about to let anyone make her leave.
Kevin never expected her to go to that level though. “Destroy…” “Her body?” It was almost like one of his nightmares come to life, the ones where he’s clutching frantically, helplessly at Gwen’s lifeless figure, trying to make her breath again (only at least it isn’t like some of the nightmares where he still has his freakish, twisted form, full of hate and desperate anger, and her blood is on his hands).
He would not let it get so far.
But this energy being was like Gwen, so she was powerful, only even more so, and nothing he did was stopping her. It made him feel so powerless, so weak and useless, and if he couldn’t protect her, godammit, then what the hell was he good for? This was exactly the type of situation he had vowed he would never find himself in: out of control of what was happening and unable to do anything to change it. He had sworn to himself that he would get so strong nothing would be able to hurt him ever again, but fat lot of good it did if she was hurt instead.
She was going to die, and there was absolutely nothing he could do about it.
But then, but then – miracle of miracles, Gwen had yelled (that was his girl, yelling in the face of death), and Verdona had listened. She had put Gwen down and changed her mind and fixed everything and she was the one leaving.
Afterwards when Kevin looked at Gwen, placing the new energy flower underneath that tree, smiling and content and radiant as ever, he felt a wave of relief wash through him so powerful it was crippling. He swore something else to himself right then: he would keep her smiling and safe, no matter what. He would make himself strong enough to guard that smile, so that no one could ever try to force her like that again, or harm her, or try to take her away from him. Nothing would keep him from protecting the one thing in his life that was worth living, and dying, for. Nothing.