Wow, pretty hyped about “weapon XI”s end. Like, first of all it is pretty clear that Kevin is yes a little crazier now than he was before (“DO YOU MIND?!!”). Second, my headcanon that Kev is Tennyson-sexual is going strong. So strong. It will never die. You can’t fight me on this.
Thirdly, when they went into this arc I just kept thinking about the one-time canon nugget that Ben has a photographic memory (I figure this is why he has a hard time with spoken information: he is so completely a visual learner that he has a hard time focusing on people’s words and such, but that’s off topic).
But I’ve been thinking about it and if Ben visually remembers everything he sees in perfect detail, then he must have some boss as hell coping mechanisms for all the times people, specifically Kevin, have tried to kill him. Like, Kevin has been trying to kill Ben, on and off, for years now, but the thing about it is that all of those times he didn’t look or act like Kevin. He had absorbed this or that or the other thing and just kind of looked like, well, a monster. So it was really easy for Ben to dissociate the image of those crazy Kevins from his best friend (and if we consider all shows continuous, then UA Ben was running out of his ability to deal with the idea of Kevin wanting to hurt him and others and just wanted it to stop and that’s really sad in its own right).
But with this latest run, act or not, for a part of that it was his best friend Kevin spouting all of those poisonous words and trying to cut him in half or rip him apart. Ben’s coping mechanisms are really good, like wow give me half of your ability to shrug stuff off, please, but all the same I would think that this incident would set off little bits of trauma for him. Nothing obvious, just more dreams about Kevin trying to kill him, or of them as kids and the psychotic fights they had. Or maybe Ben just is subconsciously a little more tense or observant of Kevin, just to reassure himself that it was all just another of Kevin’s scams.
And the rest of this is more… barebones fic than headcanon so under the cut it goes!