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Fanfic / Little Moments

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The summer is over. They're not.note 

Initially meant to be a bridge between Ben 10 the Original Series and Ben 10: Alien Force, this fic took our two favorite cousins and gave them a fluffy story together. Ben and Gwen try to find their place back in normal life, all the while opening up to each other. And behind the scenes, Grandpa Max has to deal with an unusual alien menace: DN Aliens.

The story is currently being rebooted with expanded content. You can find the new version at Little Moments Rebooted or the classic version here

The sequel, Breaking Point has also been rebooted, and you can find the new version at Breaking Point Rebooted or the classic version here.

Another writer, Erico, has written authorized prequels for the setting. The first two are based on what led Gwendolyn to go back in time in Ben 10,000 and the price she pays for it in Stone in the River and Kiss Me Goodbye

He is also exploring the Little Moments Universe in a series of side stories.

The Sorceress and the Knight Before Ben 10, before the Plumbers, before history itself, the Earth was guarded by Knights from a city called Atlantis. This is the story of the last of that noble line, a man who was sworn to the only daughter of the Mage King, Bezel, and how they changed the world...

Warlord Ascending A conquered world, a put down people, and the boy who would save them all. Some would call him a hero, most a monster, but by the time he drives the Incursean Empire back to the stars all will know the name Vilgax.

For Fear of Little Men After a lifetime of disappointment and failure Azmuth has turned his back the galaxy, content to let destiny him pass by in his hidden laboratory. If only destiny and the man who walks in it would return the favor.

In The Face of Extinction July 27th, 1952, the day the world learns that it's not alone in the universe. As aliens land in Washington DC with offers of peace and brotherhood, Jim "Merlin" Huxby, the leader of the Plumbers, must decide if the price is something that humanity can afford.

Rumble in the Jungle NASA's newest astronaut, Max Tennyson, only has one more mission in the skies over Vietnam before he can take his one small step, but what happens next will take him so much further than the moon.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot A Marine's life takes them from From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, but will any of that be enough after aliens start attacking nuclear missile bases? Or to survive being assigned to Max Tennyson and his team of Plumbers?

They Mostly Come Out at Night The best part about working for Mr. Smoothies was that nothing happened. That's doubly true for the graveyard shift until it isn't. Until tonight, when a huge red alien with four arms in a white striped T-Shirt walks up wanting a drink. Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed.

And an AU: Courting Disaster So many things depend on a single moment. In one world Ben and Gwen are separated when they're four and sent to different schools. In another, they aren't. In this world, that one change starts a chain reaction that can't be stopped. In this world, they're Ben and Gwen and everyone else can just deal.

Needs more love.

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     Little Moments 

Little Moments Rebooted contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Name Change: An odd case. In the original story, Gwen's mother was named Lili, the first name given in the side material of the original series, but the reboot establishes that the canon Natalie is her actual name, with "Lili" being a nickname she got from Verdona.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Natalie and Verdona were much closer here than they ever were in canon.
  • Adaptational Species Change:
    • Verdona is a human with the Anodite species being Adapted Out, although she's still hinted to be where Gwen got her magic from.
    • Big Chill/The Omnitrix's sample of Necrofriggian DNA came from one of Animo's Hyper-evolved experiments instead of being a separate alien species.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Carl and Sandra might have been together for over a decade now but they don't mind showing just how much they still love each other, much to Ben's dismay.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Puppy Love version. Ben tries to beat Gwen at a karate tournament just to impress her.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Natalie and Sandra both have valid criticisms of their respective parenting styles.
  • Bring It: Gwen claims that Frank replied like this, when Flint's rich dad threatened to sue them, after she beat-up Flint and Sean for assaulting her and Michelle. Since Frank is a lawyer himself, he likely meant it.
  • Call-Forward: A couple to the AF/UA era.
    • Actress Jennifer Nocturne shows up in a trailer
    • Ben gets Big Chill as one of his aliens.
    • Vauxasaurians, Humungousaur's species are name dropped.
  • Children Are Innocent: In Chapter 21, Sandra comes home from a Bon Jovi concert with her T-shirt inside-out, skirt ruffled and a hickey on her neck. Because Ben just finished calming Gwen down, after the incident on her schooltrip to the First Contact Museum, he thinks his mom was attacked too, and only calms down when Carl claims the red spot is just a stain from the cherry soda he accidentally spilt on her. Believing him, Ben innocently answers that he can't even imagine what Gwen would do, if he did that to her, earning a cringe from Carl, and a barely contained laugh from Sandra. Doubly ironic, since this is directly before Ben realises he has non-platonic feelings for Gwen.
    Carl: You shouldn't do that to your cousin.
  • Composite Organization: The Galactic Enforcers were just a three-person superhero team in their sole appearance in Ben 10. Here however they're effectively the Plumbers of ''Alien Force'' with a name change, complete with the rank of "Magister".
  • Chekhov's News: A military base is being built outside of Bellwood, with no real warning. Will Harangue is ranting about Aliens and conspiracies and cover-ups. And in the background, cycloptic squid-headed aliens who are grown out of other aliens and people are attacking Plumber bases and other facilities, and there's a glimpse of a towering white alien commanding them...
  • Entertainingly Wrong: In Chapter 34 Lili takes a look at a picture Ben, Gwen and Michelle took at a photo-booth, in which Ben is sporting a Luminescent Blush, while Michelle's rolling her eyes, after Gwen pushed her in the middle. Lili assumes Ben is crushing on Michelle, and Gwen is playing matchmaker for them, when it's actually Michelle who's trying to match Ben and Gwen.
  • Good is Not Nice: Jim Huxby may be working to protect humanity, but he's also a manipulative SOB who complains about the President not letting him draft two eleven year-olds into a war.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Michelle finds out that Gwen's this when they sing karaoke during their first sleepover.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: LMR is written largely in the style of snapshot events over a period of 3 years. Only the important moments are covered in this fashion, and if it doesn't seem important...Then you aren't looking hard enough.
  • Love Epiphany: In Chapter 21, after Gwen's come back home from the debacle of a field trip where she snapped and used her magic on her childhood bullies to make them stop, she comes to Ben's house in the dead of night. After he gets her to calm down, he plays his guitar for her and is stunned by how good she dances to his music. After she leaves and Ben's trying to ignore his parents making out down the hall, he realizes why he likes spending so much time around Gwen, and why he can't take his eyes off of her. The epiphany gives him two months to agonize and come to grips with his feelings before the New Year's Party where he kisses her for the first time.
  • Mandatory Unretirement: Grandpa Max rejoining the Plumbers is much darker in the reboot. Following Kenny's funeral in chapter 17, it isn't his old Plumber comrade Wes Green who's waiting in the Rustbucket, but the head of the Plumbers, who knows everything about the Omnitrix and his grandchildren, but is willing to not drag the two in if Max 'comes in out of the cold' again. It's less a request for his aid and more outright blackmail.
  • Meaningful Name: Gwen's best friend, Michelle Hallam, is named after Arthur Hallam, the best friend of Lord Alfred Tennyson
  • Parents as People: The lives and motivations of Ben's parents Carl and Sandra, and Gwen's parents Frank and Lili are greatly expanded on in the remake. At the start of the story, Sandra and Lili have been in a standoff about who the better mother is for years, while Frank and Carl get along a little bit better. They all struggle with being parents having no really good living examples to rely on. It is why Sandra has so many parenting books and why Carl and Frank refuse to work jobs that would take them away from home as often as their father's "Plumbing business" did when they were boys. Grandpa Max has a tense relationship with Frank because of this.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The President remains grateful to Ben for saving him and refused to let Huxby outright draft him and Gwen.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Charmcaster calls the LM-universe's version of Old/Sir George father in chapter 34. Prime-Canon!Charmcaster's father was Spellbinder, and was killed by Addwaitya, and they have no established relationship to George. Furthermore, it's implied that George is Bezel's unnamed Knight from "The Sorceress and the Knight". Prime-Canon!George had no relation to Prime!Bezel. Nor was he a magic user, with Ascalon being Azmuth's previous "greatest invention" prior to the Omnitrix, although how he became immortal was never covered. If true LM George would be much older than his canon self who was born in the late Roman Empire. Further muddling things, Charmcaster looks nothing like how Boudica is described to look like in that story, but spells that disguise someone' true apperance have appeared in it. And of course it's also possible, Charmcaster's a distant descendant of Boudica's, or that she's lying.
  • Tranquil Fury: During the Field Trip to the traveling "First Contact" exhibit in Sacramento, Gwen's bully Marci and her helpers push things a step too far by having a pair of boys go after Gwen's friend Michelle. Gwen promptly lays the boys out flat with karate, and then when she realizes that it was all so Marci could get a picture for blackmail...She corners them in the bathroom and finally cuts loose.
  • Villains Never Lie: Literally true for the Eldritch Abomination called the Liar. What it says almost ends Ben and Gwen's friendship during their second summer.

Little Moments Classic contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Gwen gets dubbed 'Crazy' by her best friend.
    • In the same vein as the Original Series, Dweeb and Doofus.
  • Alpha Bitch: Marci of the three girl Girl Posse, who enjoys tormenting Gwen.
  • Angst Coma: After killing Vilgax and assuming Grandpa Max and Gwen are dead, he enters into a short one. Until Gwen actually touches him, he doesn't see or hear her, even when she is right in front of him.
  • Argument of Contradictions: They're fond of this.
  • Badass Minds Think Alike: Considering how well coordinated the cousins are in combat, Max ran some tests to see if they were telepaths. They weren't. Well, mostly they're not.
  • Blanket Tug O' War: On New Years Eve. Done in order to maintain some semblance of normality after they kissed.
  • Book Dumb: Ben at the start. But, under Gwen's tutelage, he's capable of scoring 90% or more.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Ben has the Omnitrix removed, but this merely has him Brought Down to Badass.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Though Ben has the Omnitrix removed, he retains possession of it, and both he and Gwen know it is a matter of time before he puts it on again.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Gwen has shades of this. Like that time at the karate tournament in L.A.
  • Continuity Nod: Quite a number. It is a fanfic, after all.
    • Remember when Aunt Vera's neighborhood was crawling with Body Snatcher like things? Well, Ben checks around on their third summer just to be sure they're all gone.
    • Max giving up Apollo 11 is something of a sore spot, both for him and for his sons.
    • The alien wedding from season 4. Vera didn't go, since she was a Plumber and the Plumbers had a bad history with the Sludge Puppies. In her case, it's implied to be very bad, but she at least regrets not going for Joel's sake.
    • Gwen's recording of Ben telling her she did a good job. It serves to trigger a tearful breakdown, making her feel guilty about not being able to help Ben as he took on Vilgax alone.
  • Conveniently-Empty Building: Averted. After Vilgax's return, battle, and subsequent death, news reports show civilian casualties and government response.
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: The trio are going to a nice restaurant and Gwen wants to look nice for Ben by taking her friend's advice on makeup. Too bad she doesn't succeed.
  • Discontinuity Nod: If you consider the Original Series as the only canon.
    • Max wants to know how alien tech is being smuggled to Earth. At the very least, the Plumbers know some teenager is acting as a middle man. Now who could that possibly be?
    • Max, noting how a Plumber named Morningstar had volunteered his son to be a test subject for one of the Plumber's research experiments.
    • Ben, joining the soccer team.
  • Escalating War: Chapter 10. This Means War.
  • Everybody Knew Already: As it turns out, Max and Vera know that the cousins have a thing for each other. It's hinted that their parents are starting to suspect a little as well.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: Apparently, Ben knows a few of Gwen's weak spots.
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Gwen gets suckered into watching Evil Dead 2 on New Year's Eve. Less cliché when one realizes why this movie in particularly terrifies Gwen: A girl chants a magic spell out of a magic book and accidentally summons demons. Unbeknownst to Ben, Gwen has had nightmares of this situation happening to her.
  • Girls Have Cooties: Apparently, the roots of their enmity towards one another was due to Ben thinking he got cooties from Gwen when it was actually chicken pox. Doesn't stop them from joking about cooties when they're older.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ben and Gwen after Vilgax's attack. After an attack by one of Vilgax's drones during which she is knocked out, Gwen blames herself for letting go of Ben's hand and later for not being there with him when he fought Vilgax. Ben gets it even worse. Ben assumes that the exploding drone was the Rust Bucket, with Gwen and Grandpa Max still inside it. Vilgax taunts him, telling him that they (as well as him and his world) were as good as dead the moment he put on the Omnitrix (because it makes him and his loved ones targets). This causes Ben to snap out of guilt and tear Vilgax apart, which traumatizes him even more, as it is the first time he took a life. He enters a catatonic state until Gwen manages to snap him out of it, and then he freaks out to see Gwen injured, causing him to lash out and strike Grandpa Max when Max "refuses" to treat her. After repeating "help her" again and again, he attempts to pry the Omnitrix off his wrist, only to be interrupted by Gwen. Ultimately, he has Azmuth remove the Omnitrix, but Ben continues to suffer PTSD well into the sequel.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Apparently, the media doesn't trust Ben's alien forms, sometimes citing them as the reason for accidents and disasters in the city.
  • Insistent Terminology: They're not pajamas! They're called gi!
  • It's All My Fault: Gwen blames herself for Ken's death. Ben tries to coax her out of it.
    • Gwen and Ben blame themselves on not being able to help one another when Vilgax attacks them, leading to long periods of awkward silence and guilt. They get better, though.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Why Ben takes off the Omnitrix after his last battle with Vilgax.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Gwen gets sick of having to lie about her heroing and especially Ben's final conflict with Vilgax.
  • Kissing Cousins: You should know this by now.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: And that's why they don't talk about New Year's very often.
  • Luminescent Blush: Both cousins have a tendency to do this when embarrassed. Gwen quickly realizes that Ben is very susceptible to experiencing this when she is physically affectionate with him (i.e., hugs, a thank-you kiss on the cheek), and it quickly becomes her favorite way of teasing or getting back at Ben for things he'd done to her. Goes from Running Gag to an important plot catalyst when, in an attempt to revenge herself on Ben for flicking her nose, she tries to induce this by "threatening" to kiss him on New Year's Eve, only to be taken by surprise when Ben goes through with it. This is the critical point in the story, as it changes Ben and Gwen's relationship by forcing them to recognize that they were crushing on each other, which they were previously in denial about.
  • Made of Indestructium: Apparently, Grandpa Max's Hawaiian T-shirts can survive just about anything. Like fires.
  • Mandatory Unretirement: Wes Green tells Max that their old boss wants them back in action due to the arrival of the DNAliens.
    Wes Green: "...we're only as retired as he wanted us to be."
  • Muggle Best Friend: Michelle, the OC of the fic, shares a French class with Gwen.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: As a surprise, Gwen was going to find out she would be a big sister when she returned from her summer vacation. Unfortunately, it wasn't the surprise everyone was hoping for...
  • Not What It Looks Like: Max walks in on the cousins engaging in a moment of intimacy. Ben says that they were just playing around.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Well...
    • The New Year's kiss certainly made things a tad bit awkward.
    • Ben and Gwen discuss how, by carving their initials into a tree, their relationship won't be like the summers before.
  • Playing with Syringes: Project Chimera. Making things that weren't remotely human. And those were the ones that were the least screwed up. Also implied to be the reason behind certain super-powered individuals. They were test subjects let loose. While the project was meant to combat alien threats with supersoldiers derived from alien genes, it got shelved after Vilgax was first defeated. The project is restarted at the behest of Max's boss.
  • Puppy Love: They're kids. What did you expect?
  • Sacred First Kiss: And that's why Gwen liked New Years.
  • Relative Error: Played with. When Michelle meets Ben the first time, Gwen's show of affection towards him makes her think think, he's her boyfriend, which they both vehemently deny. This of course makes her even surer in her observation, until Gwen tells her that he's the cousin, she's been always complaining about. Despite this, Michelle feels that they're too close even for cousins, and she turns out to be correct.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: How their relationship starts, but slowly phases out as the story goes on.
  • Sweetie Graffiti: Max and Verdona, when they were younger, carved their initials into a tree after too much bee-lemon! Lemonade!
    • Max brings the cousins to the same tree, hands them a knife, and leaves them to work it out.
  • Take That!: The Plumbers were formed to keep Earth safe, not to protect the universe.
  • The Dreaded: Vilgax, as you know, to pretty much everyone. But after he's defeated, Vera notes the terror in the eyes of the Plumbers as they looked at Ben and Gwen.
  • The Glomp: Gwen gives one to Ben in chapter 16.
    • She hands another one to him in the epilogue. Knowing that Ben doesn't blame her for the last battle and that he still wanted to see her after soccer/karate made her real happy.
  • The Lost Lenore: Verdona to Max. Fitting, given the implications in the original series.
  • There Is Only One Bed: New Year's Eve, Ben sleeps in a sleeping bag on the floor while Gwen takes his bed. But then he decides to crawl in with her because "it stinks down there".
  • Took a Level in Badass: Ben, although arguably already the biggest badass in the story, becomes even more so when Gwen convinces him to learn karate. While his karate skills are not quite as good as Gwen's (Gwen having much more experience), after a year-and-three-months instruction he is Gwen's "league".
  • Tragic Keepsake: Gwen keeps a blue stuffed bear. Ben has a stuffed lion. Both were going to be Ken's toys if he had lived.
  • Translator Microbes: Granted to Ben by the Omnitrix. And injected into Gwen by Grandpa Max the night Ben got the watch. What? You thought Tetrax and all the other aliens were speaking English?
  • Tsundere: Both cousins could be seen as this. The tsun element softens as time goes on.
  • Tyke Bomb: This is what Grandpa Max fears he's turned Gwen and Ben into.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: They mellow out into this kind of relationship.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 11.
    • Chapter 21.
  • Wham Line: End of Chapter 10. "Your mother's lost the baby."
  • You Can't Fight Fate: One of the first things Ben says after killing Vilgax is that his older self was right about it not being pleasant for anyone. While Gwen pushes it out of her mind in favor of more immediate concerns, she is troubled by the fact that Ben's future as the cold and aloof Ben 10,000 may not have changed after all.

     Breaking Point 

Breaking Point Rebooted contains examples of:

  • Ambiguous Situation: In Chapter 1 Ben has a dream from what's implied to be Charmcaster's point-of-view, who's attacked by a yeti, while searching for something connected to the King in the Mountain, in the Himalayas. It's unclear why he'd have a vision like this, when did this vision take place (since Charmcaster had already located George, at the same time Vilgax attacked Phoenix), or what she's looking for.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Ben's trauma after Phoenix is much more pronounced, than in Classic.
      • Ben has a panic attack, after seeing the news about an anti-aliens protest, in the wake of the destruction Vilgax caused.
      • In Chapter 1 of Classic Ben half-joking starts asking questions only the real Gwen could answer, after Gwen's Out of Character confession, that she doesn't want to go school, since then they won't be able spend as much time together. In Rebooted Ben genuinely takes it as an Out-of-Character Alert, and freaks out, thinking that the real Gwen's been gone since Phoenix.
    • Chapter 1 ends with an omake about Colonel Hallam handing over a DNAlien spy captured at his base, to the Plumbers. It goes wrong, with the DNAlien and one Plumber ending-up dead, another in critical condition, and two more lightly injured. Also the DNAlien in question was one of Hallam's men, before being taken over.
  • I Can Explain: Ben and Gwen appear to have been caught kissing late at night by Frank, and they try to use the videogame they played as an alibi. It turns-out Frank didn't saw anything, thought they were just roughhousing, and came down to order them in bed.
  • Mythology Gag: Paul, Ben and Gwen's classmate from karate is very minor character in LMR, but it's mentioned in Chapter 1, that he visited Ben during in the aftermath of Phoenix, and they talked about music. This is likely a reference to delmartian's non-canon Little Moments AU - Side Stories, written with the permission and encourement of the original authors, where Paul takes up a Big Brother Mentor role for Ben, including becoming a guitar-practise buddy.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: After Ben suggests that he should transfer to Gwen's school, he claims, that he's not doing it for her, but because he cares about his education.

Breaking Point Classic contains examples of:

  • Badass Normal: Ben, after taking off the Omnitrix. Despite having no powers or weapons, his karate skills (and previous combat experience) allow him to hold his own against the DNAliens. Then he reattaches the Omnitrix to his wrist.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Gwen and Ben when fighting the DNAliens.
  • Broken Masquerade: Michelle is freaked out at meeting a human/alien hybrid, even more so that Gwen and Ben don't seem as surprised as her. Then Gwen starts pulling magic spells out and...
  • Clothing Damage: This nearly happens to Gwen during the fight with the DN Aliens. She's just relieved it didn't happen in front of Ben.
  • Continuity Nod: Ok, here it is...
    • Furry Freddy gets brought up as an embarrassing point for Gwen.
    • Ben's mother decides to draw a picture of Ben and Gwen, only older. Ben apparently has a beard for some reason...
    • Gwen notes how experienced Ben should be at fixing the Omnitrix, given how he's caused it to malfunction and break in the past.
  • Covert Pervert: Apparently, Gwen kind of likes the fact that Ben got *ahem* excited *ahem* by touching her knee.
  • Discontinuity Nod: Continuing on from above...
    • The karate teacher's daughter goes to watch Ben play soccer. Sounds kind of like Julie...
    • Sandra remembers the one year she tried being 'equals' with Ben by having him say her name instead of 'Mom'. Sounds suspiciously like...
    • Meeting the Heatblast/Human hybrid named Alan.
  • Everybody Knew Already: Apparently, Ben's parents have wised up to the him and his cousin's relationship.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Nightmares where Ben thinks he lost his cousin that time he finally killed Vilgax.
  • Flat "What": When Ben says he should be taking care of Gwen during her period instead of his mother, his dad replies with this.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: Ben decides to sneak up on Gwen in the park and deliver one of these.
  • Hologram: Max leaves a message for the kids in his new RV.
  • Kissing Cousins: Seems pretty self evident by now.
  • Mandatory Unretirement: Ben reattaches the Omnitrix to his wrist in order to deal with the threat of the DNAliens.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Gwen gets to know what puberty feels like.
  • Power-Up: After a run in with DN Aliens, Ben decides it's time to put the Omnitrix back on. You knew this was coming.
  • Playing with Syringes: The results of Project Chimera: as of now, one Alan Albright.
  • Secret-Keeper: Michelle won't tell anyone else that the cousins have a thing for one another. Or, apparently, that both cousins have dealt with aliens before.
  • Sleep Cute: Even though she was uncertain of whether the kids should continue their relationship or not, Sandra still thought they looked cute together.
  • Something Else Also Rises: At the mall, Ben apparently got aroused by feeling his cousin's leg. Gwen notices his discomfort moving from a bench and the fact that he has his hands over his lap. She puts two and two together and...
  • The Glomp: Ben decides to give Gwen a flying hug after she kisses the spot on his arm where the Omnitrix attaches.
  • The Talk: Gwen even refers to it as the Talk, and it's also the reason why she deduces Ben has an erection.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Ben worries that, having killed Vilgax exactly the way his future self said, he may end up becoming Ben 10,000 anyways.

     Side Stories 

Rumble In The Jungle contains examples of:

  • Aliens Are Bastards: Max's squadron was returning to base from their mission in the skies over North Vietnam and wasn't expecting, or going after the alien ship operating along their flight path. Regardless, it flies up behind them and shoots them down despite them not being a threat to it— at least, until it's killed everyone else in Max Tennyson's squadron and he turns around to avenge his comrades.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Despite First Contact occurring in 1952, humanity is still very much going it alone in 1965, as Max Tennyson learns from Galactic Enforcers agent Xylene during his last mission in Vietnam which had them working together to escape the remnant forces of the Black Sun slaver ship that Max shot down after it took out his entire squadron. Xylene is easily frustrated with him and humanity in general, who are seen as narrow-minded, xenophobic, and horribly barbaric by galactic standards. Her experiences with Max lead her to accept that while humanity in general has problems, there are perhaps one or two humans worth knowing.
  • I Know Your True Name: Verdona has the habit of doing this when she gives people nicknames, but even she is surprised when she guesses Max's real name the first time they meet.
  • Love at First Sight: At the end of the story, Max is wandering through St. Louis during his physical recovery before he's supposed to report to NASA in Houston for astronaut training. He stumbles across Verdona, his future wife, at a block party while she's trying to buy a bottle of soda. He's thunderstruck from the moment he lays eyes on her. Verdona takes a little more convincing.
  • Rock Beats Laser: In the original draft of Little Moments, Max told Xylene that his first kill on the job was a Tetramand. Here, Xylene is present for it as Max, deprived of his pistol, kills the four-armed Black Sun slaver with a knife. Given that the Tetramand had him out-armed by every definition, the kill is especially satisfying.

They Mostly Come Out at Night contains examples of:

  • Based on a True Story: Durian really does smell that bad and has caused evacuations.
  • Cool Toy: Deke gets famous for the extremely accurate wood statues he carves of Ben's alien forms. And his masterpiece is the one he makes of Lucky Girl, which he gifts to Gwen at the end.
  • Drunk on Milk: Happens to Stinkfly after a run-in with vampire bats and a super-sweet smoothie.
  • I Owe You My Life: Deke owes the kids twice. Once for saving him from armed robbers and again for inspiring him to persue his art.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: The story of a night clerk at Mr. Smoothy.
  • Odd Friendship: Deke thinks that Ben's alien forms are different beings who all hang out with Gwen.
  • The Slacker: Deke starts the story coasting in a dead-end job and smoking marijuana.
  • Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: This is the reason why kids keep coming back to Mr. Smoothies. Everyone else in town panicked and called the cops when an eight-foot-tall alien with red skin and four arms tried to get a late night snack.

The Sorceress and the Knight contains examples of:

  • Ambiguous Situation: Everything the Liar predicts to Knight in Chapter 3, comes to pass. However given that everything it taunts the Knight with regarding his past is false, it's claims about his future can also be taken as Self-Fulfilling Prophecy through feeding the the seeds of doupt in his mind, or even as an outright Curse.
  • Animal Motifs: Danel is consistently referred to as "The Wolf", because of his strong belief that working together even the weak and unfortunate can overcome massive obstacles and defeat powerful foes, much like a pack of wolves.
  • Anti-Magic: Danel's crew and later the Logosian army employ smoke grenades containing some sort of gaseous drug, that temporarily inhibits the mana use of those who inhale it.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: After the destruction of Lux, Bezel and Numa Wimmet the Speaker of Council of Logos, has a (verbal) fight, with Bezel accusing the council of being no better than the Atlantean royalty, viewing themselves as more important than the people, and making all the wrong choices. Numa in turn accuses Bezel of many things, chief amongst them being running away from her responsibilities as a princess, pointing out that she could've done a lot of good fighting the corruption of Atlantis from the inside, had she stayed. Bezel doesn't have a proper comeback for that, since she herself has agonised over that choice in the past.
  • Artifact of Power: The Charms Bezel created are so powerful, their existence is single-handedly enough to trigger a war between Atlantis and Logos.
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: Viscount Barnaval, the leader of the Atlantisian delagation ostensibly sent to peacefully resolve Logos's separation from the crown, acts like he's above everyoneelse in Logos, and poisons the Council on the celebration held after signing the treaty.
  • Badass Army: The 242nd RRD of the Mage Knights becomes the most famous elite unit of Atlantis by the end of the war.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The Knight and Bezel's relationship start-out in their childhood, as a chance encounter in a park, where Bezel shares her food with the starving boy, who in turn spends time having fun with her, allowing her to escape the expectations placed upon her even for a single afternoon.
  • Cain and Abel: Bezel kills her older brother Jorran in self-defence, while he's trying to suffocate her with his bare (and horrifically burnt) hands.
  • The Cassandra: Bezel's research into the leylines opens up a myriad of possibilities, but the Royal Alchemists consistently belittle her, then start to weaponize her research, behind her back. She also accurately predicts in the second year of the war, that if Atlantis and Logos continue to abuse the leylines, it will result in the complete collapse of the planet's mana-network within the next year, but neither side listens to her.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Boudica and Sacha, Danel the Wolf's son grew-up together, because of the close friendship between Danel and Bezel. In fact they're all so close, that when Knight finds them all casually walking-in on him and Bezel having breakfast, he assumes they're family. By the end of the war, when Boudica is 13, and Sacha is 12, they show clear signs of the same affection the Knight and Bezel had for each other at the start of the story.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The Knight becomes one of the best Mage Knights by embracing this, and refusing to use Honor Before Reason in combat. This allows him to easily win an honor duel with the best duelist of the Royal Guard, at the age of 14.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Bezel's Knight dishes out a lot of these, but the most memorable one is his honor duel against Instructor Drake in Chapter 4.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The Knight grew-up with a Struggling Single Mother whom he loved very much, until she was killed in an anti-royal riot trying to protect him and Princess Bezel, whom he rescued from the initial onslaught.
  • Doomed by Canon: As a Prequel in the Lost Age for the LM-verse, "Stone in the River" has established the war between Atlantis and Logos, and it's catasthrophic consequnces to the world, making the Downer Ending below along with the failure of the attempt to Set Right What Once Went Wrong by Parrin and the other Coven members using Bezel's Charms, inevitable.
  • Downer Ending: Atlantis and Logos are both destroyed, the survivors either escaped to Ledgerdomain or are bracing for a nuclear winter in the wake of Atlantis crashing into what's implied to be Greenland. To top it off, Bezel dies in Knight's arms while he tries to save her by pumping all his remaining magic, eventually freezing himself in time.
  • Engagement Challenge: In order to avoid being forced into an Arranged Marriage, Bezel herself sets one to any man wishing to Court her: defeat her Knight in an honor duel, in order to prove they're capable of their duty of being a protector to her and any children they might have. Her father, King Volkas agrees to it, after she guilt-trips him, with subtly invoking her mother, who was forced to marry him against her wishes.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Knight is never referred to by any name, instead, he is called Boy, Squire and Knight both in-universe and in-narration. Although he picks-up the nickname "Bezel's Knight".
  • Eye Scream: Bezel kills Jorran by stabbing part of her severed staff in his eye, while he's trying to suffocate her.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The castes of Terra from most powerful to most disadvantaged. It's worth noting that powerful mages appear among all castes:
    • Atlantean royalty and aristocracy: living on the Floating Continent, they are both the wealthiest and possess the strongest magic auras.
    • Mage Knights: The warrior caste, their original task was protecting all of Terra and humanity from interstellar and interdimensional threats, but by the time of the story, they're reduced to Atlantis's military, and their main job is putting down rebellions. Although both commoners and nobility can sign-up, only those who possess at least yellow auras are accepted into the combat squads, those with red and orange could only work in support and logistics.
    • Belower nobility: The leaders of regions on the planet surface.
    • Atlantean commoners: much like Belowers, they make-up the middle class and the have-nots, however the sheer fact that Atlantis is a climate controlled Floating Continent, protects them from natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes, or even from just extreme cold and heat, makes even the poorest among them slightly better off, than most Belowers.
    • Belower commoners: the most disadvantaged and numerous group. The story post Time Skip deals with the establishment of Logos, a democratic republic independent from Atlantis, who reject the aid of the Mage Knights, and the subsequent war between the two civilisations.
  • Fantastic Nuke: Atlantis's Mana Canon is capable of leveling entire cities in a single shot.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Due to his Dark and Troubled Past, The Knight is every bit as distrustful of anti-establishment factions, as he is disdainful of the establishment. This causes a rift between him and Bezel, when she decides to join the Adherents of Logos, leaving him embittered, and ultimately his unresolved anger sinks any chance of repairing their relationship.
    • Bezel herself is very stubborn and uncompromising in her beliefs, even under extreme circumstances.
  • A Father to His Men: Knight Commander Sloane acts like this towards his subordinates in the 242nd RRD.
  • Floating Continent: Atlantis is one, orbiting Earth, held in the atmosphere by the leylines, currents along which the mana of Terra flows.
  • Gender Flip: Prime Canon!Bezel is a male Elderly Immortal. LM Bezel is a young woman who dies at age of 30.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Part of why the Knight refuses to abandon Atlantis, despite semi-openly despising King Desmond and Supreme Commander Jorran (Bezel's older brothers) and the extremely inequal status quo they try to uphold, is that he believes that extraterrestrial aliens and interdimensional demons pose a far greater danger to humanity, and Atlantis and her Mage Knights are the only forces capable of protecting Terra from them.
  • Lady and Knight: For most of the story Bezel and her unnamed knight follow this dynamic, going through stages of Puppy Love when they first meet, Courtly Love between Bezel taking him as her personal bodyguard when she's 13, until the hormones kick-in when she's 15, and it becomes a fullblown Bodyguard Crush.
  • The Lost Lenore:
    • Bezel's mother Aine Aibulwalt was engaged and mutually in-love with Alastair Sloane Knight Commander of the 242nd Rapid Response Division (RRD) of the Mage Knights, until she caught the eyes of then-Crown Prince Volkas, and was forced to marry him. She died giving birth to Bezel.
    • Bezel herself ends-up dying in the Knight's arms, after his Lieutenants, who view him as the new rightful King, interfere with their honor duel. Knowing he wouldn't be able to kill her, but incorrectly assuming she would kill him, they drug him, and face her themselves. Since at this point Bezel has lost all of her Charms, she's exhausted, heartbroken and outnumbered, she takes a mortal wound to her back.
  • Love Ruins the Realm: Downplayed. While Bezel and the Knight's relationship going south did directly contribute to the war erupting between Atlantis and Logos, Viscount Barnaval, the leader of the Atlantisian delagation had been tasked with eliminating the Council of Logos from the start.
  • Metaphorical Marriage: Due to the difference in their social statuses, the Knight and Bezel can't marry while they're in Atlantis, and their relationship ends when she decides to escape, and he initially refuses to go with her. They still both consider themselves married to eachother, even over a decade later.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: The Knight believes he does this by killing Danel the Wolf, who he thinks Bezel got together weeks after she ran off on him. Danel with his Last Words reveals to him that Boudica is Knight's daughter, not his.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Downplayed. Ascalon is an Empathic Weapon that burns anyone it dislikes, if they try to wield it, but it can be beaten into submission by someone magically strong enough. Although doing so is dangerous, as Jorran found-out, when it rebelled against him, while he fought Bezel (whom it liked) with it.
  • Only the Pure of Heart: The Charm of Healing abandons Bezel after she kills Jorran in self-defense, because those who take a life, don't deserve the gift of it.
  • Patchwork Kids: Boudica, Bezel and The Knight's daughter has her mother's face, her father's dark hair, and heterochromatic eyes - one green and one grayish blue from each of them.
  • Physical God: Bezel already possessed the most powerful, pink aura (usually regarded as exclusive to demons), but after crafting all seven Charms, she becomes capable of creating an Energy Shield strong enough to deflect a shot from Atlantis's Mana Canon. It's implied, that the only reason she didn't single-handedly win the war for Logos, was her refusal of violence.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Because Bezel didn't tell Knight she was pregnant before escaping from Atlantis, when they reunite 10 years later and The Knight finds out she has a pre-teen daughter, and that Danel and his son has free access to her home, he assumes Bezel moved-on from their relationship rather quickly, which breaks his heart. He nastily lashes out at her before she can explain, then sells out the secret of her Charms to Atlantis's "Ass" in Ambassador, who attempts to assassinate her along with the entire Logosian leadership. The only reason she and Danel survives is that the Charm of Healing (Resurrection in the Ben 10 canon) helps her to recover in time to save Danel. This ends-up triggering the catastrophic war between Atlantis and Logos and permanently ruining any chance of reconciliation between them.
  • Power Glows: Mages possess auras, the color of which cover the spectrum of a rainbow, growing in power from red to violet, although blue is the most powerful human mages usually possess. Because of this, when Bezel reveals her aura has reached pink, it causes quite a stir in the royal court. While using the all of the Charms her aura glows gold, in a Call-Back to Future!Gwendolyn's aura in "Ben 10000".
  • Rebellious Princess: Bezel hates violence, but as royalty, she's expected to excel at combat magic. She's an extremely talented artificer, runecraftswoman, and dedicated researcher who revolutionized the way magic is used. Yet because of her gender, her skills are first dismissed before her inventions are turned into weapons behind her back, which causes her to reject her title, escape from Atlantis and join with the Adherents of Logos.
  • Remember the New Guy?: In the Ben 10 canon, there are five lesser Charms plus the Keystone (called Hearthstone in this story). In this story, there's a sixth lesser Charm, the Charm of Insight, bringing the total to seven.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: The Knight's defeat of The Liar, an interdimensional demon of the highest (Code Violet) threat level, as a squire practically fresh-out the Academy, is such a feat, that both he and Bezel use it multiple time as a tool of intimidation.
  • Self-Made Man: The Knight goes from impoverished boy, to royal bodyguard, and eventually highest ranking general of Atlantis.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: In the penultimate chapter, Parrin (Bezel's apprentice) explains, that he and several defectors from both sides of the war formed a Coven, and are attempting to create a Time Travel spell utilising Bezel's charms, to prevent the War from ever happening. They fail because as established by "Stone in the River", it was impossible from the start, the blow-back made things even worse.
  • Sex Magic: Bezel and the Knight use a ritual involving sex to charge-up the Heartstone, and it's also when their daughter is conceived. Bezel implies that the conception of the child was also necessary, by calling it an "act of pure creation".
  • Shout-Out: In Chapter 4 Instructor Drake uses a Glove Slap to challenge the Knight to a duel, claiming that he had no business interfering with the training of Bezel. The Knight accepts, with smacking him across the face with his gauntlet.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Bezel's hair is described as fire red, and her eyes as green as grass.
  • Single-Target Sexuality:
    • Even 12 years after his one and only relationship ended, when one of his Lieutenants tries to seduce him, Knight still can't feel even a twinge of sexual desire towards her, because she's not Bezel.
    • Bezel herself was never able to move on from their relationship either, although, when they reunite post-Time Skip, The Knight mistakenly assumes that she got together with Danel and even thinks that Boudica is Danel's child.
    • Knight Commander Sloane never recovered from losing the love of his life Aine, Bezel's mother.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: The Liar, an Eldritch Abomination from another dimension appears in the middle of part of Chapter 3, and is defeated and banished for 100 years by the Knight (then still just a Squire), after it kills his entire squad. While it never appears again, its lies keep haunting him well into his adulthood, contributing to his trust issues and ultimately to the ruin of his relationship with Bezel, and the catastrophic war.
  • Starcrossed Lovers: Bezel and Knight are eventually torn apart by the corruption of Atlantis.
  • Super Prototype: The Heartstone of Bezel is much more powerful than the six other charms, that Bezel calls "mere reflections in glass" of her masterpiece.
  • Technical Pacifist: Bezel hates violence, but recognises the need for self-defense. For this reason she uses an enchanted staff in combat, and with the Knight's guidance she creates a spell dubbed Republsion Blast, that knocks the target away and at worst out, instead of the destructive Incineration Wave. It's only when her older brother tries to strangle her on a battlefield, that she breaks her commitment towards non-lethal combat.
  • Too Many Mouths: The Liar's true form is a humanoid with mouths in the place of it's eyes, on it's arms and even fingertips.
  • Unique Items: Bezel created the Charms in such way, that as long as they exist, they can not be replicated, in order to prevent another one of her inventions from being weaponized.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: After the Knight commits regicide in a futile attempt to stop King Desmond from firing the Mana Canon at Logos's capital Lux, his Lieutenants start to hail him as the new King. He rejects it by destroying the throne, but his men desperate for a leader don't accept his rejection.