“No one will take him from me again,” Benny growls, hiding Ethan behind him with one hand. His seer goes easily, following Benny’s lead. They’re been wrapped up in each other pretty much since Ethan got back, beautifully entangled in a way that not even Benny’s grandmother has been able to separate. No one will ever separate them again. Ross and Samantha have been spelled (in a small, infinitesimal way) to consider the even-more-attached-than-before conditions normal, so they’re out of the way. Little Jane is unfortunately resistant to most spellings (likely because of her own training under Benny’s grandmother), but Ethan doesn’t want her spelled anyway. Something about being a protective older brother. Erica is hissing at him, but Benny doesn’t give two fucks.
“He’s a person, Benny! You don’t take people,” Sarah insists, her voice pulled tight with emotion. Benny doesn’t really give half a fuck about that either; there’s never been much love lost between him and Sarah - she was the first vampire to try and steal his Ethan.
“He’s mine, Sarah,” Benny says, a snide copy in tone of her pleas, a mockery that he feels no shame for. Ethan is holding onto his waist now, arms wrapped around Benny and anchoring him to this world; they both know how Benny can go off the rails now. Ever since Ethan was actually taken from him, he’s been having... lapses, as it were. This time, it’s a body torn to pieces for putting hands on what’s his. Worse over, the hands were that of a vampire, and they didn’t even want Ethan for beautiful, beautiful Ethan, but for his blood. As if they don’t know that there is so much more to want Ethan Morgan for.
“You can’t just kill every single person that fucking touches him, you crazy piece of shit!” Erica snarls, but Benny just raises an eyebrow, tilting his head to the side.
“Why not?” he asks, deadpan. The vampires have the audacity to look shocked, like his staked (pun intended) claim is something that they have any chance of contesting. Ethan kisses along the back of Benny’s shoulder blade through his shirt, thumbs running along Benny’s hips to keep him calm. Benny leans back against him, keeping himself ready for attack, but trusting in the wards that he keeps around himself and Ethan when he’s relaxing anyway.
He doesn’t take chances anymore.
“Bro,” Rory says, big eyes almost hopeless enough to make Benny feel something, but falling just a little short. There’s only one person he cares about, one person he needs to protect, one person that’s his, one person that can never leave him, one person that would never leave him by choice, one person that loves him, loves him, loves him. Ethan has staked his claim just as much as Benny has his, and Benny would rather walk through hell than let Ethan leave him behind.
He’s proven that much before.
“He’s mine, Rory. Nothing is going to change that,” Benny says, settling one of his hands over one of Ethan’s on Benny’s stomach. Ethan peeks his head up (which, quietly, makes Benny tense, but their friends are not a threat they’d be too easy to take out for them to count as a threat) to look around Benny and look at Rory.
“He’s right, you know. I’m his, and he’s mine. I don’t wanna go, Rory. You know that if I wanted to, I would,” Ethan says with conviction. At the idea of Ethan leaving, Benny’s heart constricts, but it’s fine. Ethan won’t leave him, and no one will take him, and everything will be fine.
“What, so you can’t have friends?” Erica asks derisively, raising an eyebrow. Benny can just barely see Ethan behind his shoulder, but he knows that seer is scowling.
“He kills a vampire that’s legitimately trying to steal my blood from my body and you want to say that’s him not letting me have friends? If you guys can’t deal him protecting me, then yeah, I guess that means I can’t have friends. Because I’m not going to ask him to stop. Benny’s done more for me than anyone else in this world, and I owe him more than my life. So, yeah, I’m going to let him protect me,” Ethan says. Benny brings Ethan around in front of him, pulling Ethan to rest his head against Benny’s chest. He can watch the vampires and hold his seer like this, comfortable and comforting, which is really the best of both worlds.
“You’re seriously going to be crazy about this, aren’t you? You’re just going to lose your fucking mind, and we’re supposed to be okay with it,” Sarah remarks, a look of bewilderment marring her pretty features. Benny flashes her a threatening smile.
“To be truthful, Sarah, it doesn’t really matter to me if you’re okay with it. You won’t have any luck stopping us, I’ll tell you that,” Benny replies. There’s nothing more to be gained from this conversation. He’s not going to change their minds and they’re certainly not going to change his; is it crazy? Is it crazy to want to protect Ethan? To want to keep what is his? To comfort and to care for, to do all of the things that everyone gets so excited about for marriage without ever expecting anything of Ethan except just the allowance for Benny to do as he will? And, in return, Ethan even wants to keep Benny close, to love him and to care for him in return, as if someone like Benny deserves any of that.
They leave the day they graduate.
Milan, Paris, London, Moscow, they choose a different city every morning when they wake up. Ethan starts working some at-home coding job while Benny sells magic, and they make it. They make it out of Whitechapel. They leave behind vampires and werewolves and death and the acrid taste in the back of Benny’s mouth every time he thinks about that little place in the woods where he watched the love of his life fall apart.
They make it out of Whitechapel.
And they never, ever come back.