A/N: This was, as always, a brilliant premise from my good buddy Charity that I expanded on. I love the Halloweentown movies, so I thought it was time to give one a shot. This one in particular is set in the middle of Halloweentown High. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own the Halloweentown movies.
Marnie silently stared at Ethan, keeping a good distance behind him so he wouldn't notice her presence. She held back the urge to sigh happily. How was it possible that Ethan could turn something as simple as sipping on hot chocolate in his pajamas on the couch, so… adorable? She looked him up and down even though her mind scolded her and told her to stop. Everything about him seemed so… perfect. He had perfect hair, perfect eyes, perfect… hips?
Marnie mentally slapped herself. She was going weak in the knees over a boy's hips.
She had to say something to him before the silence got to her. If she didn't sit down and force herself to have a normal conversation with him, she would surely scream "I love you!!" at the top of her lungs, just to get the tension off her chest. She took a deep breath and slowly sat next to him.
"Hey…" she whispered. Ethan jumped. He did that a lot, Marnie noticed. Not just when he was startled, but when people simply came anywhere close to touching him. She sighed and carefully placed her hand on his leg.
"Oh… Hey Marnie." Ethan gave his friend a weak, albeit sincere smile.
"How's school going so far?" she asked quietly. Ethan shrugged.
"Okay, I guess… I got the lead for the play I tried out for… I'm doing pretty good in math too…" he muttered. He didn't seem terribly excited about any of his news. Marnie tried to lighten the mood by offering a chipper smile.
"Well that's great! Sounds like you're fitting in just fine around here." Ethan offered no response to this. He simply stared into his hot chocolate as though it held the meaning of life. "L-Listen… Ethan," Marnie went on, "I'm really glad you're here. I really love having you." Ethan gave her a quick chuckle out of pity and went on staring into his cup. Something was obviously on his mind.
Marnie's smile fell.
"Ethan, are you feeling okay?" she asked quietly. Ethan looked down and tugged at his sleeves.
"I'm fine." He winced a bit. "Just tired I guess." Marnie was having a hard time buying this excuse.
"Ethan, just tell me what's wrong…" Marnie placed a hand on his shoulder, receiving an exaggerated jump from Ethan. Marnie's face fell again as she started to piece everything together. The reason Ethan was so shy, the reason he was so jumpy, the reason he always wore long sleeves. Marnie grabbed his arm before he could pull away and pulled his sleeve up. Just as Marnie had feared, Ethan had a trail of bruises up his arm.
Ethan pulled his arm from her and tugged his sleeve back down as though nothing had happened.
"Ethan, who did that to you?" Marnie asked, fear obvious in her voice.
"Nobody. Anyway, I had a math test last week and—"
"Ethan." Marnie interrupted him once again. "Tell me who did this to you." Ethan looked up at her and stared into her eyes for a few seconds. Marnie was stubborn as all get-out, and Ethan knew she wouldn't back down until she had an answer.
"If I tell you, will you promise not to tell anyone?" he asked quietly. Marnie thought about this for a moment. Ethan noticed her hesitation. "Marnie, I'm trusting you as a friend. You can't tell anyone." Ooh, why did he have to use her name? It sounded so wonderful when it was said with his perfect voice. She had no choice but to give in. She nodded slowly. Ethan glanced across Marnie's living room, making sure they were completely alone.
"…My dad," he muttered. Marnie's eyes widened and her jaw dropped. "It's sort of his way of saying 'good luck at the mortal high school', really." Marnie shook her head.
"Ethan, I've got to tell someone," she pleaded. Ethan shook his head.
"Marnie, you promised already you wouldn't tell anyone," he told her. "Besides, I'm here now. Everything's fine." Marnie pushed her lip out into a bit of a pout. He certainly knew how to get her. Tears began to well up in her eyes.
"Ethan, I know you're here now, but you'll have to go back once the school year is over and—"
Marnie was cut off by something she certainly hadn't expected…
A soft, loving kiss from Ethan. Full on the lips. From Ethan Dalloway. She knew in the back of her head that he was tying to distract her, but she decided she didn't much care at this point. She closed her eyes as he held his lips to hers for a few more blissful seconds that seemed to stand still. When Ethan finally pulled away, Marnie's eyes fluttered open. She wanted to say something, but she couldn't find her voice.
"Thanks for caring, Marnie. I really appreciate it. Don't worry so much; you're much prettier when you're happy." With that, Ethan wiped a tear from her cheek, gave her a quick wink, and left the room.
Marnie continued staring forward where Ethan sat only seconds ago, and attempted to catch her breath.
"I won't tell…" she whispered to herself.
Damn that Ethan Dalloway.
He was a perfect guy, a perfect kisser, and admittedly a perfect briber.