Note: I made up the spell using online translators and also mucking with it because that seems to be a tradition when creating pseudo-Latin spells.
Note: Crossover between BtVS and The Unwritten (graphic novel)
Grail Lore verse / Tom Taylor verse to IALverse
“I hate to break this up but the other Ethan, well not the evil Ethan, but the other half of you Ethan, is still in the hospital in a coma.”
Ethan allowed his fingers to tickle along Rupert’s beard. “Shut up, Xander. Busy here.”
But then the words struck home, not in Ethan but in Rupert. Ethan could feel Rupert’s arms tense, just a bit, before Rupert stepped back and grabbed Ethan by the arms, effectively keeping them apart. “We still have to save you.”
Removed from the comfort of Rupert’s arms, Ethan could now see the Chapel, its pale brick walls faintly glowing in the darkness, and the three angels standing by the door. Angels? Ethan thought back to before he’d thrown himself into Rupert’s arms: Chapel, glowing light, Grail. “Already saved,” Ethan heard himself say. Grail. He’d been healed by the Grail. By Janus’ tits and beard, how had they found a Grail?
“Ethan,” Buffy said. “You’re in a coma back in our dimension.”
“Don’t be silly. The Grail healed all of me.” As he turned his gaze to Buffy, Ethan saw Willow, Xander, and three others he vaguely recalled from the other dimension. Well, this would be a tale, but one for later, much later, as in after he’d spent many hours in Rupert’s arms later.
“Are you sure?” Buffy asked.
“Well, I think so,” Ethan replied. Maybe it had.
“Oh, that’s great,” Xander added. “So we’ll have to merge the two of you and bring you back here?”
Rupert stared off at that, trying to work it out. “It is possible that the Grail healed both Ethans.”
“Guys,” Willow said. “Even if Ethan is fine there, I’m sort of getting uncomfortable with these angel, um, guys. They’re sort of creepy.”
Rupert grabbed Ethan tighter, holding him close. Mmm, lovely. “We have to go.”
“Rupert,” Ethan purred, “much as I adore …”
“Ethan.” Rupert shouted the name. “If your other half dies, you die.”
“Oh.” Hadn’t thought of that. “Is he, or I mean I, in danger?”
“You’re on a Hellmouth,” Rupert said. “Mr. Taylor,” he added. “If you don’t mind.”
The dark haired man looked as if he were about to complain.
“I could get us home from here,” Willow offered.
“Are you sure of the way back?” Rupert asked. “Because I have no idea.”
“Oh, um, well sort of sure.”
“This is Ethan’s life,” Xander said gently. “Sort of sure won’t do.”
“Tom.” A brown-haired woman spoke to the dark-haired man. “Come on, let’s finish this off. We owe it to them.”
“Sure, Lizzie. No problem, Lizzie.” He pulled out a map and threw it to the ground. A gaping hole appeared in the middle. Tom and the other two jumped through, quickly followed by Buffy, Willow, and Xander. “A map?” Ethan exclaimed. “We’re jumping through a hole in a map?”
“It’s a portal,” Rupert explained. “Perfectly safe. Come on, before it closes.”
Holding on tight to Rupert’s hand, Ethan fell into the map and hit the floor with a resounding thump. “Ouch.” He and Rupert were sprawled on the floor of a hospital room. The others, standing, had either landed better or had already gotten up. “Rupert, why didn’t you tell me it would hurt?”
“Because I needed you through the portal.”
“Brute,” Ethan teased. “Just for that you can sleep on the couch tonight.”
“You can take the couch if you like, Ethan, but Rupert and I will be sharing our bed.” It was his own voice.
Ethan turned to see himself, sitting up in a hospital bed, wearing a ghastly gown. Oh, they’d said he was doubled, or possibly tripled given that there’d been another Ethan in that other dimension, but that hadn’t been the same as seeing it. “How do I know you’re me?”
“Of course I’m you,” the other Ethan said. “Rupert left to find my other half, the rest of me, which of course means that you’re the rest of me and I’m the rest of you. Rupert would never make such a fundamental mistake as to bring back the wrong Ethan.”
“Uh, did anybody else not follow that?” Xander asked.
“Can’t say it made much sense to me.” That came from one of the strangers, a tall man with reddish hair and the most amusing beard. “But then again, not a lot has lately.”
“Right,” Buffy said, taking charge. “We need to get the two of you back together.”
“So quickly?” the other Ethan asked, looking almost disappointed. Ethan could see his point, even if he hadn’t verbalized it. The two of them giving Rupert the night of his life? It did hold a certain appeal.
“You’re weaker separate,” Jenny said. “If we were attacked, you’re easier to kill until we merge you back into one whole.”
“Oh, you mean the sum is greater than the whole of its parts?” Willow asked. It was a delight, how much pleasure she took in magic, but that girl could take enthusiasm above and beyond.
Jenny nodded. “If one Ethan dies, so does the other.”
“Right then,” Ethan said. He pulled a fetish, bones and herbs tied together with twine, from his pocket. “This should do the trick.”
“What is it?” Willow asked.
“Rayne bound the spell that brought me from this dimension into his into this fetish. If I break it, both Ethan and I should merge back together.”
“Wait,” Jenny shouted as Ethan, putting words to action, broke the fetish. Bones and herbs fell to the floor.
“There still seem to be two of us,” the other Ethan said from the hospital bed.
“Willow,” Jenny shouted. “You didn’t tell him that magic had been drained over here?”
“Oh, uh, well no. I didn’t think …”
“How do we fix it?” Xander asked.
“We don’t.” Rupert’s voice sounded dead. “With the fetish already broken, even when magic does return, there’s no way to end the spell.”
“But there’s gotta be research we can do, right? There’s gotta be some way to fix this.”
“I don’t know of anything,” Jenny said softly.
Willow broke the silence. “Oh, oh, but they still have magic.” She pointed to the dark-haired man. Tom was, perhaps, his name?
Tom looked reluctant until his friend, the one with the beard, spoke up. “Don’t make her break out resolve-face again.” Ah, so Willow had already been working on them. Good.
“Geminarimus?” Tom asked.
“I don’t think that’ll work for the spell,” Lizzie said. “Gemini are twins, meant to be separate. How about contexerimus, weaving him together?”
“We could try copulatus,” Ethan said from the bed. “Let us have a little fun before we’re back in one body and stuck with masturbation.”
“TMI, Ethan,” Xander said. “TMI.”
“Are you saying I don’t pleasure you enough, that you have to take matters, as it were, into you own hands?” Rupert asked.
“Did you not just hear me say TMI?”
“Why don’t you combine them?” Willow asked.
Tom blinked at her. “Uh, that’s what we’re trying to do?”
“No, I mean the phrases. Temporarily split in two halves and now being woven back together.”
Lizzie grabbed Willow’s hand. “Yes, that should work.”
Tom pulled out his wand. “Wait,” Jenny said. “Won’t you need to lay out a sacred space or draw out a sigil?”
“Oh,” Willow said, “like a yin yang symbol with one Ethan in each side?”
“Or a triquetra,” Ethan said. “We could bring Rupert into the mix.”
Rupert gave Ethan a look over the edge of his glasses. “We are not merging the three of us into one body.”
“It would rather take some of the variety out of our sex life,” the other Ethan said from the bed.
“He doesn’t need any symbols,” Lizzie offered. “Just his wand, his intentions, and his words.”
“That’s a lot easier than hours of research,” Willow muttered. “How do I get a wand?”
“You two should probably stand together,” Tom said.
“Can you stand?” Ethan asked his other self.
“Of course.” He hopped from the bed and stood next to Ethan.
“Tempus bifidus exsarcio contexerimus.”
Ethan felt nothing. “Well, how long is this supposed to take?”
“It’s done.” Rupert grabbed him into a hug.
“Are you sure? I’m both of me now?”
“Do you remember the Grail Chapel and that other dimension?” Buffy asked.
Ethan grabbed Rupert tighter. “Those ghastly versions of ourselves? I don’t think I’ll ever forget.”
“How about waking from your coma and speaking with me?” Jenny asked.
“Then that’s all of you.” Rupert’s smile was warm and welcoming.
“So,” Ethan said, teasing at a button on Rupert’s shirt, “how about we skip the exit procedures and find a side door to sneak out of?”
“There will be no sneaking out.” Rupert turned a glare toward Buffy where it fizzled off before her very righteous wrath. “After you snuck Rupert out ketchup thing? I’m surprised they let you in this time.”
“Buffy, that was Hain not Heinz, as in Sam Hain, the Celtic Lord of the Dead, but even that wasn’t really it because the Celts didn’t have a …”
“Willow.” Ethan wasn’t about to stand up to Buffy if Rupert wasn’t but he wasn’t about to let Willow ramble on either, not when he could be working on getting Rupert alone. “One of you bring back a doctor so Rupert can take me home for much needed bed rest.”
“Um.” That dark-haired man, Tom spoke up. “We’ve got worlds to save. Glad your friend is back and all, but we do have to be going.”
Oh, well, they couldn’t just run off without some thanks. Ethan ran over and dragged him into a hug. He hugged Lizzie and then Savoy. “Thank you, all, for saving me.” This led to a long session of handshakes all around while nobody went to fetch a doctor but the trio had, apparently, helped bring him back from death’s door. Since complaining would make him seem ungrateful, Ethan held his gripes at bay.
Willow didn’t hug Lizzie but instead looked her in the eyes and said, “I’m going with you.”
“What?” Ah, good. Buffy’s wrath had been diverted elsewhere.
Willow turned so quickly that the edge of her hair whipped across her neck. “They helped us. One of us should help them. And you can’t. You’re the Slayer. You have to stay here.”
“Wills,” Xander said.
“Plus they have a whole other approach to magic. I want to get myself a wand and try it out.” Ah, that made sense. Ethan couldn’t see Willow passing up a chance to learn a whole new magical system.
“It might not work for you,” Tom said. “The magic that is. It works for me because it’s in the story.”
“Are there other magic users in this story?” Willow asked.
Lizzie goggled as if mildly surprised that Willow didn’t already know. “Yes.”
“Then I’ll take my chances.”
Of course that led to more hugs all around, longer this time since it was one of their own leaving. Once they were gone, there was no reason for Ethan to continue being polite. “Doctor now. Moving forward on getting us out of here now. Or someone will find us in an extremely compromising position.” He drew Rupert in for a kiss and very blatantly rubbing his hand along Rupert’s ass. Rupert returned the favor.
“Doctor. On it.”
“Wait, Buffy,” Jenny called out. “I’m coming with.”
“Me too,” Xander added.
Ethan let everything else slip away as he lost himself in Rupert’s kiss.