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Skeletons In The Closet

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"You know," Ethan considers, leaning heavily against the closet door in Benny's bedroom on what would, were it not for the present situation, be a perfectly normal Saturday afternoon. "When you told me you had some skeletons in your closet you wanted me to help you with, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind."

The rattling of bones precedes another attempt from the other side of the door and both he and Benny fight with everything they have to keep it firmly shut lest the duo of skeletons confined inside escape. For literal piles of bones, they're remarkably strong and Ethan does not know what they would do if they got loose and frankly, he does not really want to find out.

"You're very funny," Benny shoots back at him with a glare that suggests he very much is not. "Please tell me you called Sarah before you came over here?"

"Why would I have called Sarah? Nothing about your message made me think I needed to call Sarah!" Even in their very weird lives, he did not expect there to be literal skeletons involved in this situation. "I was expecting you to tell me a secret. Not… this!"

"What kind of secrets do you think I'm hiding from you?" Benny wonders, given the sheer amount of things Ethan knows about every aspect of his life. They've been best friends since they were six, and they've been pretty much inseparable the whole time – there can't possibly be much they don't know about each other at this point. Every embarrassing story, every broken bone, every favorite food, favorite movie, favorite game… They know most every awkward crush, most every weird dream, most every future plan. Even their respective abilities had not remained a secret for very long at all. "Hell, you probably know more about me than me."

This is, admittedly, true. They know practically everything about each other. But, Ethan can think of one secret he himself is keeping from Benny. He'd kind of hoped Benny might've been keeping the same one from him. That maybe Benny was finally sick of keeping it. Ethan certainly is.

Because they know each other so well, Benny immediately picks up that something is wrong based solely on Ethan's lack of response. "What?"

"I don't know," Ethan shrugs, as much as he can while still keeping the door shut, "I just… I thought you were gonna tell me that… you might, maybe, possibly, have feelings for me?"

Benny's hold on the door falters for a second and the skeletons very nearly force their way through, but he snaps back to reality and together he and Ethan press it closed again. "Of course I-" he starts, flounders for words as what Ethan said really registers. "Wait, what? Why? Are you telling me that you might, maybe, possibly have feelings for me?"

Ethan looks like he would very much like to run very, very far away from this conversation. Unfortunately, the very ironic skeletons in the closet make that impossible for him to do. "No, of course not. Forget about it," he clears his throat, averts his eyes from Benny's curious gaze hoping he hasn't irrevocably ruined their friendship. He tries to change the subject, "What… what are we going to do about the skeletons?"

But Benny is absolutely not having it. "No, no, no. I don't think so. The bone squad here can wait. You're telling me that you like me."

He'd swear the movement on the other side of the door has lessened. If he didn't know better, he'd think the skeletons were eavesdropping on this conversation – which is utterly ridiculous, because they don't even have ears.

Resigned, Ethan nods. "Yes, fine. I… I like you."

"Good."

"What?"

"That's good," Benny says again, a wide grin on his face. "It's good that you like me. I like you, too."

Ethan knows he should say something else, but all he can manage is another, incredulous, "What?"

"I didn't think I was being particularly subtle about it," Benny admits, sounding a little nervous now himself. "I figured you'd noticed and you weren't interested so I didn't say anything."

Thinking back, Ethan can sort of see the signs he missed. The hints that maybe his feelings were not as one-sided as expected. But he's sure the same can be said of Benny's own awareness of Ethan's feelings. They've both been jealous. They've both been protective. They've both gravitated to and around each other to an extent that was never the same with anyone else, even Rory.

"I'm glad we're both completely oblivious idiots, then," Ethan says.

"Aren't we always?" Benny counters, which is a completely fair assessment.

Speaking of, they both slowly seem to realize that the noise on the other side of the door has ceased completely, that no more attempts at escape have come. Trading perplexed looks, they cautiously move away from the door and still it does not burst open. Benny reaches out, turns the handle, and lets the door slowly creak open. Nothing remains inside.

"Weird," Benny concludes. Hardly the weirdest thing they've ever dealt with lately, but weird nonetheless.

Ethan's pretty sure the skeletons, wherever they came from, wherever they went, had something to do with their long-overdue confessions. Skeletons in the closet, figurative and literal.

Still, however it happened, it's not an opportunity he's willing to waste.

So, he takes a deep breath and asks, "Can I kiss you?"

Benny flushes pink at the words but takes one stumbling step closer to Ethan, all that's needed to close the limited distance between them and put him soundly within range. "Uh, yeah," he answers, hands awkwardly working out where they should settle and ultimately landing on Ethan's hips, "You can totally do that."

So, he does.

It's a kiss that's been a long time coming. It lacks the awkwardness of other first kisses, and though it is a first kiss, it feels as if they've done this a million times. They fit together perfectly, effortlessly, like it was meant to be this way, down to their very bones.