He had been sitting in the alleyway a foot away from Klaus as his brother got high. He was absently watching the mouth of the alley. Even if someone came towards them Klaus wouldn't be able to do anything at the moment.
A cut off choke had him looking towards Klaus. At first, he wasn't sure what was happening. What it meant. But as Klaus jerked again Ben's unnecessary heart leapt up into his throat.
With that clarity, Ben's mind slammed to a halt and kicked into gear all at once. His brain only fed him useless directives with no way to fulfill them. He was a ghost. He couldn't help in any way. He was helpless.
Anything he knew about dealing with seizures flashed through his mind and he grew more frantic as he failed to follow through.
He stood, only to crouch in front of Klaus. His hands fluttered uselessly, The Horror rolling in his gut. He couldn't do anything. Ben wanted to put his hands over his ears like Klaus often did. Anything to block out the sounds of his choking. Klaus's face turned colors and Ben held his own breath. He didn't know what to do!
As Klaus unclenched and slumped back into his corner Ben shot to his feet. He belatedly realized he was trembling even though he had no physical body to react with. His hands went to grip at the front of his hoodie, tugging at it as he tried to pull in unneeded air.
Klaus coughed once and spit dribbled over his chin.
"Klaus!?" He crouched again, hovering a hand over Klaus's knee. He couldn't touch but sometimes he liked to pretend. Sometimes he thought he could feel the warmth of Klaus's living body. "Klaus!" His brother was staring into the middle distance even as Ben moved to get himself into Klaus's focus.
Something garbled made its way out of Klaus's throat. It could have been a mangled version of Ben's name or, as was more likely, just a vocalization of acknowledgment.
"Klaus, can you hear me? It's Ben. C'mon dude," Ben shifted restlessly. He so desperately wanted to touch him. To shake him into full awareness.
"Hmmm," Klaus's head rolled, his eyes forgetting to stop with his head.
Ben remained crouched, he couldn't say for how long for his legs never started to burn. But for too long. He gazed at his brother. Klaus's wild hair, and roaming eyes, vocalizations that didn't make sense and words that didn't belong together. He listened to his brother's word vomit if only to assure himself that Klaus was at least still able to talk.
His uselessness set itself deep into his bones and he curled his arms against his chest, still crouched over his brother. He was still trembling and his thoughts were still looping even as he called out to Klaus over and over again. Hoping for something he could understand. Even if no one else could. Just something.
Klaus finally stilled with his head resting in the corner. "Ben?" It was more of an exhale than anything else but it made the ghostly brother shuffle just a tiny bit closer.
"Klaus? Are you with me now? Do you know what happened?"
"I-uh, no," Klaus only moved his head enough in order to put Ben in his sights.
"You had a-" Ben swallowed, "a seizure." He couldn't truly say what brought it on. Klaus had no conditions that would bring this on. Unless he was developing one. But Ben was willing to pin it on the drugs he had just injected. He hadn't been paying attention as to what it was but if Klaus knew what it was then Ben was going to make damn sure Klaus never took it again.
Klaus shrugged off the episode, mostly because he was still high as a kite. Ben sat worriedly over him. Ready to act even if he couldn't. He waited in terror that another seizure would take over his brother. Possibly one that would take him away for good.
Eventually, Klaus slept off the rest of his high and woke up with a very hazy recollection of what happened.
Klaus was ready to dismiss Ben when he demanded Klaus stay away from whatever it was he took. He was ready to do it again. But he stopped. Ben was serious, as he always was. But there was a fragility to it. He wasn't trembling anymore but Klaus saw the nervous energy. Could almost feel it. There was a desperate and manic glimmer in Ben's eyes.
So Klaus decided there were plenty of other drugs he could play with and Ben nearly wept. Did, in fact, when he had the chance to leave Klaus where he thought he would be relatively safe.
From then on, Ben kept Klaus in his sights. Watched him from under his hood or the corner of his eye. Terrified that he would fall into convulsions once again and that he would be helpless to do anything but tremble and call out Klaus!