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On October 26, 2016 at 8:00 PM Vinnie is at the Blackhawks’ annual Halloween party and single.

He was just happy he didn’t have to wear a wig like the other guys. He, along with Tyler, Nick and Ryan, decided to go as the cast of Anchorman and he lucked out with being Steve Carell’s character. All he had to do was put on a suit and some large thin framed glasses.

“There’s no way I’m getting laid tonight,” Ryan says as they head towards the bar. Tyler and Nick have already ditched them for their girlfriends.

“Why?” Vinnie asks. He’s prepared himself to be a wingman given how much Ryan’s been complaining to him lately about needing to get laid. “You don’t see anyone up to your standards?”

Ryan stares at him longer than necessary before shaking his head. “No, because I can’t tell who’s a WAG and who isn’t.”

Vinnie looks around the dimly lit bar. “Yeah, guess so. And you haven’t met everyone’s wife or girlfriend so you’re probably safer not flirting at all.”

Ryan sighs. “Guess I just gotta flirt with you then.”

Vinnie’s heart skips a beat but bounces back in rhythm when he sees Ryan grin. “Ha ha.”

“Those glasses look hot on you,” Ryan says, leaning over and tracing the rim of Vinnie’s glasses.

Vinnie ducks and forces out a laugh. “You’re ridiculous, go prey on someone else.”

“No one else to prey on, Vin. You’re stuck with me tonight,” he says with a wink.

“Shut up and get your fake chin straps out of my face,” Vinnie says, gently shoving Ryan away.

While Ryan stumbles to regain his footing, Vinnie makes a quick getaway and rushes over to the other side of the room. He sees a guy in a full skeleton makeup and it takes a second for him to realize it’s Jonny.

“Damn, you went all out,” Vinnie says.

Jonny looks at him with a straight face. “I’m dead serious,” he says breaking out in laughter. “Get it?”

Vinnie resists the urge to roll his eyes at Jonny’s dad joke and give him a fake laugh instead. “Oh, ha ha, I get it. Clever!”

“Thanks! What about you? What are you supposed to be?” Jonny says, gesturing at Vinnie’s outfit.

“I came in with the boys, we’re the cast of Anchorman,” Vinnie explains.

“Anchorman?”

“Jonny,” Vinnie groans. “You’ve never heard of Anchorman?”

“Hmm.” Jonny tilts his head up and stares off into space. “No, don’t think so. Should I have?”

“It’s just a movie, don’t worry about it,” Vinnie says.

“Okay,” he says looking out at the dance floor.

Vinnie stands next to him in companionable silence until Jonny giggles a few minutes later and says, “Ask me why I’m not dancing.”

This time Vinnie preemptively rolls his eyes, feeling another dad joke coming on. “Why aren’t you dancing?”

“Because I have no body to dance with,” Jonny says through fits of giggles while pointing at his skin tight skeleton costume.

“Excuse me, you have this body to dance with,” someone says from behind them.

Vinnie turns around to see Patrick dressed like that dude from Grease.

“I, uh, yeah,” Jonny responds, eyes clearly zoning in on Patrick’s nipples that are practically poking out of his tight black shirt.

“On that note,” Vinnie mumbles before turning to walk away.

He makes it two steps before Ryan’s in front of him. “Miss me?”

“It’s been like five minutes,” Vinnie points out.

“Is that a no or…” Ryan trails off as he trails a finger down Vinnie’s chest.

Vinnie groans in annoyance and bats his finger away. There’s no way he can live through an entire night of Ryan taking out his sexual frustrations on him. It hits way too close to home, like getting what you want but not the way you want it.

“C’mon,” Vinnie says grabbing Ryan’s hand and leading him through crowds of people. He spots a girl in the back of the room sipping on a drink and talking to Seabs’ wife. She looks their age so he’s pretty sure she’s not a WAG and at this point it’s worth the risk.

“Hi guys,” Dayna says as they approach her.

They greet the them and Dayna introduces the other girl as Emily, her coworker.

“Are you single?” Vinnie asks, not wanting to beat around the bush.

Emily blushes and nods her head.

“Great,” he says. He turns to face Ryan, “Flirt til your heart’s content.”

Ryan looks hurt and frowns at him. “My heart is content,” he mumbles as Vinnie walks away from them.

Vinnie joins Tyler and Nick at the bar and avoids glance over at where he left Ryan with Emily. He’s only been at the party for a half hour tops and he wants to go home and curl into bed with the pumpkin pie he bought earlier.

“Where’s Champ?” Nick asks, referring to Ryan’s character’s name.

Vinnie shrugs. “How should I know?”

Tyler snorts. “You guys are attached at the hip.”

“Inseparable,” Nick adds.

Vinnie doesn’t bother to refute them. “Well, I don’t know. I left him so he could flirt with a girl.”

“Ah, I see,” Nick says, smirking.

“What?” Vinnie asks.

Tyler laughs and says to Nick, “Clearly it worked.”

“What worked?”

“His plan to get you jealous,” Nick responds.

“What?” Vinnie demands.

“And it worked,” Tyler says.

“Fuck off, I’m not jealous. I don’t care who he hooks up with,” Vinnie says, knowing full well that they know he’s lying.

“Speak of the devil,” Nick mumbles.

“Hey guys,” Ryan says sliding in next Vinnie.

“Oh hey, let’s get a picture of us,” Tyler says, pulling out his phone. He asks the bartender to take it as they get in place.

“I think it turned out good,” Tyler says, thumbing through filters. “Gonna post it on Insta.”

Nick looks over Tyler’s shoulder at the picture. “Oh yeah, we look awesome. Possessive Vinnie’s there too!”

Vinnie looks over and sees he had his arm draped over Ryan’s neck, which whatever. They were posing, that’s not weird.

“Possessive Vinnie?” Ryan asks, quirking an eyebrow

“Where’s Emily?” Vinnie asks.

“Why do you wanna know? Because you’re possessive of me?” Ryan asks, eyes lighting up with glee.

Vinnie puts his hands on his hips. “They said you’re trying to make me jealous,” he says, pointing at Tyler and Nick who put their hands up and slowly back away.

“How is that even possible when you’re the one who practically forced me onto Emily?” Ryan asks.

“Oh. Right.”

“But for what it’s worth I’ve been trying to make you jealous since, hmm,” he says, tapping a finger on his chin, “probably since World Juniors when your hair was grown out and all curly and you looked so fucking cute.”

Vinnie stares out him with wide eyes, unsure of what to say.

“It’s just that tonight I thought I’d actually do something about it, but obviously you don’t feel the same so,” Ryan says making to leave.

Vinnie grabs his arm and stops him. “You like me? As more than just friends?”

Ryan scoffs. “Bit of an understatement dude.”

Vinnie sighs in relief. “Me too.”

“Good.” Ryan grins. “I thought so, but I couldn’t tell for sure.”

“Well I do, so…” he trails off unsure of where that leaves them.

Ryan grabs Vinnie’s hand and drags him over to the men’s bathroom.

*

On October 26, 2016 at 8:45 PM Vinnie is at the Blackhawks’ annual Halloween party and making out in a bathroom stall with his best friend, licking into his mouth as Vinnie’s fake glasses get smudged and Ryan’s dumb hat falls into the toilet.

“Oops,” Vinnie says, pulling away from Ryan’s mouth and giggling.

“Don’t care,” Ryan says before crushing his mouth against Vinnie’s.

Vinnie’s hands make their way to the buttons on Ryan’s pants.

“Wait, wait,” Ryan mumbles into Vinnie’s mouth. “Home. Let’s go home.”

“We just go here.”

“I’m not letting the first time you blow me be in a bathroom where any one of our teammates could walk in,” Ryan says, staring at Vinnie’s swollen red lips.

Vinnie lifts an eyebrow and narrows his eyes. “Who said I was gonna blow you?”

“Shut up,” Ryan says, shoving him against the stall wall and kissing him.

They eventually make it out of the bathroom and stay at the party for another hour, spending the time finding any and every excuse to “casually” touch each other.

*

On October 26, 2016 at 10:28 PM Vinnie is at home naked and cuddled up in bed with his boyfriend, sharing pumpkin pie.