They’ve been following these witches for a month maybe, watching as things get weirder around Whitechapel and feeling awfully like the Scooby Gang picking up clues. It’s finally lead them into the woods (as most things do in Whitechapel - nothing can ever be hosted at a good old Timmy’s, can it?) and stumbling into a ritual site, hands over mouths as they keep quiet and creep up behind the circle of chanting witches. The vampires are downtown taking care of some creeps of the vampiric nature, but magic is always more of Benny’s wheelhouse while Ethan’s been having visions of ritual sacrifice and blood.
Which is probably why he’s about to make a really shitty decision and interrupt the witches before they even get really started with the ceremony of it all. They say Benny is the impulsive one, but obviously, they’re not used to acting as Ethan Morgan’s impulse control.
“This isn’t a good idea, E,” Benny whispers even though he knows he’ll go ignored. Ethan is in that place that he gets, the part of himself that not even Benny can reach, cold resolve and cocksure confidence mixing to create someone that Benny hardly feels like he knows at all. Ethan slides between two of the witches doing the ritual around the massive bonfire, two sacrifices hung above the flames. Two sacrifices, in this case, means a little girl and a little boy being made to hold hands, both of whom look equal parts terrified and relieved to see Benny and Ethan.
Benny is smiling encouragingly at the kids when Ethan goes down, a bludgeon wide hole in his chest and a witch’s bloody hands, screamed curses, and then everyone is gone but he and Ethan. Even the fire dies down with the witches gone, but Benny isn’t worried about that - Ethan is sitting up against one of the stumps around the fire, leaning back against it and holding his chest. He’s bleeding fast, red, hot buckets of blood spilling onto the ground, and Benny doesn’t know what the fuck to do. He takes off his flannel, pressing it against Ethan’s chest and tries not to be more worried when Ethan just doesn’t say anything. Everything is coming in flashes and Benny is shaking, shaking, shaking, but nothing is as important as Ethan and Ethan needs him.
Benny lays him flat, tries to assess what damages he can (not that he knows much about medical magic at all, not that he knows anything about any fucking thing, it feels like, it feels like he doesn’t know anything, like he never knows anything when Ethan fucking needs him) before Ethan beckons him closer with crooked fingers. He lets Ethan grab him by the collar, pull him close with worryingly lax fingers, brush a kiss by Benny’s mouth, mostly hitting his cheek. Benny looks at him with wide eyes, terrified and elated and a thousand things Benny could never put into words. He’s always wanted Ethan to kiss him, but not like this. Anything but this.
“You’re everything, Benny. I have to tell you before I go,” Ethan says, his breath hissing out through his teeth like even speaking hurts, and Benny frowns, only attaching to the back half. Go? Ethan can’t go. He can’t go where Benny can’t follow.
“You’re not going. You’re not going, Ethan, you’re not going, you’re not going, you’re not going,” Benny repeats it like a prayer, his hands taking host of Ethan’s throat and Ethan’s wrist, monitoring his weak pulse like it will do something if only the magic in his hands can decide how to make its way out of his body, but nothing is happening, nothing is going, nothing is okay, nothing is okay. Ethan smiles at him, weak, before coughing and clearing his throat, ending with a grimace.
“What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that I love you. I’m in love with you. I’ve been in love with you for more than half my life, Benny Weir, and I’ll love you forever,” Ethan chokes out, a smile gracing his face before all of the light fades out, his expression becoming lax as his eyes slide closed. He isn’t moving. He isn’t moving. His chest isn’t heaving, his face isn’t shifting through expressions like Ethan always does, and fuck. Benny doesn’t know what to do. Ethan can’t go.
“No...” Benny says, his hands glowing as they hover over pulse points that no longer hold a beat, trying to make something, anything, respond beneath his touch. “No,” he says again, “E, don’t leave me, you can’t leave me.” He pulls Ethan up against his chest, blood smearing across pale skin and the grass beneath them and he doesn’t know what to do. He isn’t meant for things that magic cannot fix, he is not meant for a world without Ethan Morgan, he is not meant for a world where Ethan Morgan cannot ever become Ethan Weir like Benny always dreamed in his privatest moments.
“Please. Please don’t leave me, E. Please,” he whispers against Ethan’s hair, his entire body curling around the other boy. He doesn’t realise they’re hovering off of the ground until he feels a breeze beneath him rather than across his hair, but Benny allows it. His magic whips around him and Ethan (not Ethan’s body, not the body that Ethan used to be, because he’s still Ethan, he’s still Benny’s Ethan and he won’t leave, Benny won’t let him leave) and they wreck across the forest, trees bending in the warpath of their cyclone wind, leaning out of the way on their path to wreak havoc. Everything is theirs. Nothing is Benny’s. Everything is half Benny’s and half Ethan’s and all theirs and everything will be fine.
“They’ll pay for this E. I’ll make sure of it.” He pets Ethan’s hair, and he swears he can feel the ghost of Ethan’s breath against his neck.
He’ll bring him back later. They’ll be fine. Everything. Everything will be fine. First, he has to rip some witches apart.