Benny is rudely awakened from his nap by a loud banging at the door. He was so close to breaking the world record for cake-eating in his dream. It’s so not fair. Why couldn’t Rory just go to Ethan’s house to hang out? Ethan was probably just doing homework or something stupid like that, anyway. Napping was way more important.
“Fuck off, Rory! I’m taking a nap!” He yells louder than he needs to, considering Rory’s vampire hearing, but he’s still upset about being woken up. Despite his yelling, the knocking persists. God damn it.
Benny gets off of the couch and trudges to the front door, grumbling the whole way. The knocking gets even louder and faster. “Jesus Christ, Rory! Go show Ethan whatever shitty new stuffed animal you have! I’m-”
Benny swings open the door, and behind it is a very tall, very hairy man. Definitely not Rory.
“David! I, um…” Benny is at a loss for words. The hottest guy in Whitechapel is leaning against his doorframe. He just yelled at the hottest guy in all of Whitechapel. Why couldn’t he ever catch a break?
David grins, as if he can sense Benny’s inner turmoil. But there’s something heavy about the smile. It’s weird to see someone so energetic looking so tired, all eyebags and slouches. “Magic man! Sorry for interrupting your nap. Mind if I come in?”
Benny opens his mouth. He still can’t think of anything to say, so he shuts it just as quickly. He realizes that he’s just standing in the doorway, staring, and it’s getting kind of weird, so he opens the door wider and steps aside to allow David in.
As David passes by, he raises his fingertips to Benny’s cheek. Benny’s breath catches in his throat. Is David going to caress his face like a guy in one of those cheesy teen romance flick that Erica makes him watch? He would never admit it to her, but he kind of wishes he could be the girl in those movies and just get the guy for once. Unfortunately, David’s hand stops just short of Benny’s face.
“You’ve got some drool…” David pulls his hand back and bites his lip, then brushes past Benny to get inside.
Benny blushes and wipes his mouth on his sleeve. The guy he’s been crushing on for months is in his house, and Benny is drooling like a baby. Just perfect.
Benny follows David to the sitting room, where David immediately plunks down on the couch. He pulls his feet up to rest under him and clasps his hands together over his (incredibly meaty) thighs. As much as Benny wants to sit as close as possible and cuddle up against him, he knows it would be a total freak move. So instead, he sits at the opposite end of the couch. It feels impossibly far.
After a minute of uncomfortable silence, during which David stares at Benny the way a curious little kid would stare at a bug under a magnifying glass, Benny decides to make a move. “So… What brings you here?” It’s so much more awkward out loud than it was in his head, but David doesn’t seem to notice.
“You’ve still got your crazy magical powers, right?” David asks, tapping his pointer finger nervously against his leg.
Great. David wasn’t even here to see Benny; he just wanted a favor. “Yeah, um, yes. Yeah. Do you need a potion or something?”
David finally relaxes. His legs drop to the floor and his hands settle on his thighs. He’s so much hotter up close, and Benny catches himself leaning in a little bit. Why was he such a mess? But then, David leans in a little bit too.
“A cure, Benny. I need a cure to end my… condition. I want my life back.” He pouts and whines, and Benny almost wants to pet him like a puppy dog. “Please, please, please say you’ll help me. I need you, Benny.”
David Stachowski needs Benny. David Stachowski needs Benny . It’s insane. It’s unheard of.
“Of course I’ll help you, dude!” Benny tries to hide his enthusiasm, but it’s probably written all over his face. He’s kind of embarrassing like that. Benny grabs the edge of David’s sleeve and leads him up the stairs, straight to Benny’s bedroom.
He scratches the back of his neck, suddenly self-conscious about the disorganized stacks of papers on his desk, the pile of dirty clothes in the corner, the unmade bed. All of it, really. David Stachowski is in his messy ass room. It’s completely different from how he’s always imagined this happening - they’re both wearing a lot more clothes, for one - but it still feels intimate and special. If only he had cleaned his room like his grandma had been nagging him to do all week.
“Sorry about the mess. I didn’t expect anyone to come over today. Except maybe Ethan or Rory. Um.” He sounds like a total loser right now. “Yeah. Sorry.”
David is scanning the stacks of papers, as if the cure might be hidden in one of them. “No problemo, bud. As long as you can fix me.” His fingers tap along the side of the desk.
Benny lets himself stare at David’s hand for a second longer before snapping to his senses. He knows what to do, and for once, it’s something he’s actually pretty good at. He pulls two binders from his bookshelf, labeled ‘Werewolves’ and ‘Cures’. “Lucky for you, I’ve been working on this stuff for a while, so I’ve got a pretty good head start.” Benny places the binders on the ground and smiles up at David. “Let’s fix you.”
It’s been at least an hour, and Benny knows David is getting bored. He can feel David’s eyes on him, completely torn away from Benny’s chicken-scratch notes about the properties of wolfsbane. He was particularly proud of that page, even though it was kind of messy and probably hard for anyone but him to understand. Ethan had even drawn some pretty sketches of aconite flowers in the blank spaces for him, making it look witchy and fancy.
“Hey, Benny?” David’s voice is soft. Gentle. Like he knows how focused Benny is, and he’s trying not to break that. It’s sweet. “You have three and a half possible cures, right? Can we maybe go try them and come back to this stuff later if we need to?”
Benny finally looks up. They’re in a sea of journals and books and loose papers. David might be right. They have a pretty good starting point, and they can always come back up here if they need to.
He picks up all the shit and leads David downstairs, all the way down to the basement. Now that he’s finally allowed to go down there, it’s Benny’s favorite place in the whole world. It’s the one place where he feels free.
“Woah. Kina spooky down here.” David glances around the room, taking in all the weird jars and strangely colored plants.
Benny sets his research down on the table in the middle of the room, then touches David’s shoulder. “It’s not so bad, once you get used to it. And we probably won’t even be here that long. I’m gonna cure you, I promise.” David’s eyes are soft and trusting, and Benny wants nothing more in the world than to help him.
“You’re awesome, dude. I’ll totally make it up to you when we’re done here.” David slaps Benny on the back. Benny bites his lip to hold back his ideas of how exactly David could make it up to him.
It takes hours longer than Benny expected. He’s carefully mixing a potion of wolf’s blood, daylily, silver dust, and a little bit of his own saliva. It’s well past midnight, and the basement is getting colder by the minute. David is sitting on the floor next to him, head leaning against his thigh. Just like a puppy. He’s the only thing keeping Benny warm enough to continue.
Benny gently pets David’s head. His hair is softer than it looks. “I’m almost done. I really think this one will work.” After mildly electrocuting David with two spells and burning his arm with a salve, Benny needs a win tonight. David nods, his cheek rubbing against Benny’s jeans. Benny can’t help but blush. Hot guys usually don’t talk to him at all, much less get cute and cuddly with him.
Benny stirs the tiny pot and cools it down with a snap of his fingers. That should do it.
“Dave? Are you ready?” He runs his fingers through David’s hair one more time, worried that this might be the last time he gets to do it.
David perks up. He’s more than ready. “What am I doing with this?”
“You have to drink it, sorry. At least a tablespoon.” It’s not something Benny would ever drink; it looks pretty gross.
David eyes it uneasily. “You’re sure it’s safe? It smells kind of weird.”
“Pretty sure, yeah. It might burn a little because of the silver dust, but it won’t kill you. I promise.”
David dips a spoon into the thick red liquid. “You really think this will cure me?” He grimaces as he brings a spoonful to his lips.
“I think this is the one.” It has to be. Benny doesn’t know how he could live with another failure. With one last encouraging nod from Benny, David tips his head back and swallows the potion. He gags a little, but chokes it down.
Benny’s heart speeds up. “Dave? Are you okay? Do you feel anything?”
David clutches his stomach and nods weakly. “It burns, dude. This sucks. I don’t think-” He gags again.
Benny places a hand on David’s back. He needs this to work. Benny did everything right. It will work.
It doesn’t work. David vomits up the potion and whatever he had eaten that day onto the basement floor. Gross.
“Shit.” Shit. “Are you okay?”
David retches one more time, then collapses into the chair that Benny had been occupying. “I don’t think that worked.”
Benny steps away from the mess. Away from David. His stomach is queasy and he feels like shit.
David looks over at him, chin resting on his hand. He’s giving Benny adorable puppy dog eyes. “Let’s take a break for tonight, okay? We can start again tomorrow, if you’re still up for it.”
“I’m so sorry, Dave. I really thought I could do it. I just-” Benny’s voice cracks. He can feel tears building up behind his eyes, but he pushes them back. He really doesn’t want to cry in front of David.
“It’s okay, dude. You did great. This is probably the most anyone’s ever tried to help me. You’re already amazing.” Amazing? Benny doesn’t get it. David should be mad. He should hate Benny. Benny failed him. “Come on, Benny Rabbit. I’m taking you to bed.”
David stands on shaky legs and slips a hand into Benny’s. It’s warm and soft and oh my God Benny is holding hands with David Stachowski. His insides feel even more jumbled up. David leads Benny up the stairs, just as Benny had led him down the stairs hours ago.
When they get to the living room, Benny’s grandma is sitting on the couch. As if today couldn’t get any worse. “Oh, hello David! What have you two been up to?”
David smiles, warm and soft. “Just a little project, ma’am. This one’s been working so hard; I thought we might break for tonight and start back up in the morning.” He squeezes Benny’s hand.
Benny is suddenly very aware of the fact that their hands are still clasped together. He’s terrified that his grandmother will notice too, and say something that might scare David away. But he’s not ready to let go just yet.
“Anyway, thank you for letting me borrow him for so long. He’s incredible.”
Benny blushes and looks at the ground. David starts pulling him toward the stairs.
“No funny business up there, David,” Evelyn calls after them.
Benny is just about ready to die, but David just chuckles. “Yes, ma’am! I’m just gonna say a quick goodnight and I’ll be right out.” He gently tugs at Benny’s hand.
Finally, finally , they make it to the privacy of Benny’s room. David lets go of Benny’s hand and touches Benny’s waist. They’re facing each other now, close enough that Benny can smell David’s glacier freeze deodorant.
“You did great tonight, okay? You can relax.” Benny’s eyes follow the soft curve of David’s pretty pink lips. David is very aware of Benny’s gaze. “I would kiss you goodnight, but my mouth probably tastes like vomit and whatever crap was in the potion,” he whispers into the space between them.
“I… um. You want to- You…?” Benny’s tongue feels too big for his mouth. Which is pretty hard, considering how big his mouth is.
David’s thumbs rub against Benny’s waist in slow circles. “Maybe tomorrow, yeah?” he steps infinitesimally closer, looking down into Benny’s eyes.
Benny nods, body still burning as David lets go of him. As soon as David slips out the door with an adorable little wave, Benny collapses onto the bed. He feels just like a girl in a cheesy teen romance movie.