Duck giggled, setting his drink down on the coffee table in front of him. “What the fuck’s in this, ‘Drid?” They were sitting beside each other on a couch in the Amnesty Lodge. Quiet Candlenights music played in the background, chatter from people talking all around them, sylphs and townspeople alike. It was actually crowded.
Indrid lifted an eyebrow. “It’s just eggnog. With bourbon.” He took another sip. “I’ll admit, I usually don’t partake in alcohol, but this is nice.” Then his eyes widened, visions crossing his mind. “Duck Newton, if you get another drink you will definitely not be sober.”
From the pinkness on Duck’s cheeks and the giggling, he knew Duck was already tipsy. “Really? I’ve only had two drinks.”
The seer sighed, reaching for Duck’s glass, but he snatched it away before Indrid could reach it. “It’s fuckin’ Candlenights, relax. I can handle myself just fine.”
Indrid looked at him, expression unreadable from behind his glasses, as usual. “Sure. I’m driving you home tonight, though.”
“Sleepover!” Duck whooped.
“I’m- no, well, maybe,” Indrid conceded, thinking. “I should probably make sure you’re okay after we get home.” The party was far from over - it was supposed to end at midnight, right until Candlenights ended, but it was only nine. Sure, it started at seven with supper, but still. Duck shouldn’t be this tipsy after two drinks.
Wait. Aubrey, volunteer bartender for the party, made the drinks. Turning around, Indrid caught a glimpse of Aubrey making a glass for Mama, three shots of bourbon in an amount of eggnog made for one shot. Great.
“What’re you thinkin’ about?” Duck asked, throwing back the rest of his drink.
“Just that you’ve had more alcohol than you think,” Indrid told him, hand on his chin. “And you’d best watch Aubrey when she pours your drink.”
Duck stood up, waving away Indrid’s concerns. “I’m fine,” he drawled, walking away to get a new glass. Indrid rubbed his forehead, unsure of what to do. If this was how Duck wanted to spend his Candlenights, he shouldn’t get in the way of that. But his visions were becoming increasingly interesting - some in a good way, some in a bad way - and maybe he should get Duck home before he got completely wasted in public. Then again, it was his choice…
Then Duck was sitting beside him again. His glass was already half gone. “That’s it, you’re cut off after this one,” Indrid told him firmly. Duck only giggled mischievously. “Come on, now.”
“I’m just gonna- gonna sleep it off later,” Duck declared. His voice was becoming a little bit slurred.
Then Leo was sitting down on Duck’s other side, and he put his hand on Duck’s shoulder. “This one needs to get home before he makes a fool of himself,” the older man told Indrid. He looked at Duck. “Really, Duck? You know better than this. Your alcohol tolerance went away with your powers.”
“You don’t fuckin’ know that,” Duck said, wagging his finger at him.
Leo couldn’t stifle his laughter. “I do, actually,” he replied. “Just drink some goddamn water and go to bed.”
Duck whined. “But it’s- it’s so early! The party ain’t even over!” He leaned onto Indrid’s shoulder. “I ain’t done partyin’.”
Then Leo stood up, rolling his eyes. “Suit yourself,” he said, walking away.
Duck sat up and turned to face Indrid. “You’re gonna let me keep partyin’, right?” He asked Indrid, looking into his eyes intently. Although Indrid doubted Duck could really see his eyes through the reflective glasses, his gaze felt intent.
He hummed noncommittally. “Maybe,” he said. “If you behave.”
Duck giggled, reaching forward and putting his hand on Indrid’s cheek. “Course I will,” he said. Indrid felt his face heating up with a blush at the oddly affectionate contact, and he grabbed Duck’s wrist, slowly lowering it. “Hey, did anybody ever tell ya you have the- the best jawline?”
Indrid rubbed Duck’s shoulder, feeling embarrassed at the compliment. “Let me take you home,” he said gently. “You can keep partying at home.” He winced as Duck finished his drink, clumsily putting the glass down on the coffee table with a mumbled agreement.
Indrid wasn’t the best driver, but he was sober and Duck wasn’t, so he was tasked with driving. He had his license, and he knew how to drive in theory, but it was still frightening to him. Luckily, they got home without incident. Well, Duck was singing along as best he could to the Candlenights songs, somehow getting half the words wrong, which is some sort of incident. But there was no car accident.
Duck had his arm over Indrid’s shoulder as the seer helped him up the steps to his apartment. “You’re a good fuckin’ friend,” he said, stumbling into his living room, as Indrid shut the door behind them and flicked on a lamp. “Dunno what- what I’d do without ya.”
Indrid got Duck a glass of water from the kitchen. “Probably what you did before we met,” he answered. “Drink this.” Thankfully, Duck did so without complaint.
“How come your glasses are your- your disguise?” He asked, leaning in a little closer than he would normally. “I never- I never get to see your eyes.”
The seer smirked. “Why do you want to see my eyes?”
Duck shrugged, reaching forward. Indrid tensed, but he only pushed them up onto his forehead, not taking them off Indrid’s face. “Just ‘cause,” he said vaguely. With a giggle, he leaned his head against the back of the couch. “They’re pretty.”
“I- um, thank you?” Indrid said, cheeks heating up. He wasn’t used to compliments. Especially about his oddly red eyes.
Duck blinked at him. “Don’t act like you don’t know,” he drawled, never taking his eyes off Indrid’s. “You made ‘em. Made the disguise.”
Indrid fiddled with his crystal necklace. “My eyes just look the same as in my sylph form,” he pointed out. “I didn’t change them.”
“Oh,” Duck said, smiling at him. “Natural beauty, then.” Indrid felt his heart pounding. Yes, Duck was drunk. No, he probably didn’t mean the things he was saying. “I mean it, ‘Drid. I love ‘em. Your eyes, I mean.” Okay, maybe he meant what he was saying.
He didn’t know how to reply, and he shyly looked away. “T-thank you,” he said quietly.
Duck yawned. “You’re welcome,” he mumbled, and he scooted closer, resting his head on Indrid’s shoulder. “Kinda wanna see them au naturale, though. All mothy-like.”
Indrid laughed. “You want to see my sylph form? Why?”
“It’s cool,” Duck told him with a giggle. “I like it. Like seein’ it.” For some reason, that made Indrid’s heart do flips. “I wish you’d take- take your glasses off more often.”
He wasn’t sure why he was offering, but it came out of his mouth before he cared to stop it. “I can take them off right now,” he said. Oh, why did he do that?
Duck lifted his head, looking up at Indrid excitedly. “Fuck yeah,” he crowed. And so he took off his glasses, folding them neatly and placing them on a side table. “I get the fuckin’ Mothman!”
“You… get me?” Indrid asked, amused. Duck started petting the long fur of his mane around his neck.
He nodded. “You’re my best fuckin’ friend,” he mumbled. He started rubbing Indrid’s neck the way he would if he was petting a cat, and to his delight, Indrid started purring. It was inevitable, with both the physical and verbal affection. “Oh, fuck! You’re a kitty!”
Indrid laughed, and it sounded more like buzzing in his sylph form. “I’m not a kitty,” he said defensively, but Duck petted him more insistently, and his purring got louder.
“Most definitely a kitty,” Duck said firmly, although his words were slightly slurred. Although Indrid had seen it in most futures, he still felt surprised when Duck crawled onto his lap. He grabbed Duck by the waist and shoulders, nervous that he would fall, since he was clumsy in this state.
Reaching up to pet his neck again, Duck giggled and leaned his head against Indrid’s chest. “I can- I can fuckin’ hear it. Them. The purrs.”
“I should hope so,” Indrid responded, smiling. To be honest, Duck was being cute, so uninhibited and carefree. And so complimentary, goodness.
Looking up at Indrid, Duck set his chin against his chest, leaning against him almost completely. “You’re warm,” he sighed. “Fluffy. Nice.” Feeling himself grow shy again, Indrid just shrugged. “We should cuddle more.”
Indrid tilted his head, looking into Duck’s eyes. “Is that what we’re doing?” He was amused. They were unusually close right now, but cuddling? It felt more like Duck was all over him from curiosity about his alien physiology, not cuddling.
Duck shook his head. “Naw,” he said, reaching out to pet Indrid’s wings, making him shiver. “I meant like. Spoonin’. You’d be the best big spoon.”
Twitching his antennae shyly, Indrid looked away from Duck’s eyes. “Um, thanks, I guess? I haven’t really done much spooning, though.”
“I’ll teach ya,” Duck said confidently. He ran his fingers through the sensitive feathers on Indrid’s inner wings, and he shivered again. “What’s- what’s that feel like?”
Indrid shrugged. “Like you’re petting my wings,” he said playfully. “It’s a little intimate, though. Hands to yourself, Newton.” He didn’t want to get all worked up by Duck right now. Not when he didn’t realize what wing touching did to him, and especially not when he was drunk.
Duck whined, burying his hands in Indrid’s wings again. He purred loudly. “I like it, though. And you like it.”
If Indrid was in his human disguise, he knew he’d be blushing heavily. As it was, Duck couldn’t tell how embarrassed he was, other than the occasional chittering noises he made. “Just because we both like it doesn’t mean we should do it,” he reminded Duck, gently grabbing his wrists and returning them to Duck’s sides. “Maybe in the morning. You’ll feel better then.”
“I feel fine right now,” Duck told him, looking into his eyes challengingly.
Indrid chuckled. “Well, I would be more comfortable if you were sober,” Indrid told him. Then Duck nodded understandingly, to his relief.
Duck wrapped his arms around Indrid’s midsection, holding himself close to the moth person. He wrapped his wings around the ranger, feeling warm inside. He liked being this close. It made him feel a little like he was floating, he’d been wishing for this for so long.
“How come you don’t have a boyfriend?” Duck mumbled, eyes closed.
Indrid wasn’t sure how to respond. “I think because nobody wants to date the Mothman,” he responded, laughing a little.
Duck huffed. “I want to date the Mothman,” he said, as if it was no big deal. Indrid couldn’t help but chitter shyly. Maybe Duck didn’t realize what he’d said, really.
“That’s, um, sweet of you,” Indrid replied. He gently moved some of Duck’s hair behind his ear. “You should probably have more water.”
With a yawn, Duck agreed and climbed off of his lap. Indrid put his glasses back on and refilled Duck’s glass with water in the kitchen. When he returned, Duck was leaning comfortably into the couch, looking a little sleepy. “Do you want to go to sleep?”
Duck shook his head, and looked up at Indrid. “Aw. No more moth.”
Indrid chuckled. “No more moth,” he confirmed, sitting next to Duck and handing him the water. “Drink.” Duck obeyed, thankfully. “How are you feeling?”
He hummed, as if unsure. “Happy,” he decided, smiling at Indrid. “Can I braid your hair?”
Indrid grinned at him, sitting on the floor in front of Duck. “Feel free,” he said, knowing with his future vision that Duck would make his life much harder the next day when trying to brush his hair, but he didn’t mind, knots be damned.
And even when Duck accidentally pulled on his hair sometimes, it felt nice to have someone dote on him like this. “All done,” Duck declared. When Indrid hopped up on the couch next to him, Duck gave him a certain smile that made him melt inside. “Oh. You’re pretty.” Cheeks burning, Indrid looked down at his hands. “C’mon, you know you are,” Duck said in a sing-song way. He reached for Indrid’s hand and intertwined their fingers. “Pretty Indrid.”
“I’m- I’m flattered, Duck, but you don’t need to say these things,” Indrid insisted. He didn’t let go of Duck’s hand.
“But I do,” Duck sighed, scooting closer. “Someone needs to.”
Indrid shook his head. “I- why?”
For some reason, he didn’t pull away when Duck leaned in close. “Cause it’s true,” Duck mumbled, and lightly kissed him. He leaned back with a grin, giggling.
Apparently Indrid’s shock was funny. He’d seen this in some futures, sure, but it was so different actually feeling his crush kiss him. “I-it’s bedtime,” Indrid said, stuttering a little, and he touched the braid Duck gave his hair, feeling a little nervous.
“Aww,” Duck whined. “We’re havin’ fun.”
Indrid smiled at him, still blushing. “Sure. But you’re going to have a killer hangover tomorrow, and if we stay up it’ll only be worse.” Duck yawned. “Come on, you need to get into bed.”
“Kay,” he responded, voice quiet. “Carry me.”
Indrid huffed. “I’m not going to carry you, Duck Newton,” he said pointedly. But Duck looked so disappointed that it tugged on his heart, and Indrid gave up. He stood up and took off his glasses. “Okay, fine.”
Duck cheered as he picked the man up bridal-style. He happily curled up in Indrid’s arms, leaning against him. He seemed so happy.
When Indrid gently laid him down on his bed, Duck grabbed his wrist. “Stay,” he pleaded. “Snuggles.” Indrid thought about his options. He could go sleep on the couch. Or he could cuddle up with Duck. The second option was infinitely more appealing.
“Since you asked so nicely,” he said with a smile, climbing into the bed behind Duck and wrapping his arms around the ranger. “Goodnight, Duck.”
Duck didn’t reply. He was already asleep.
Duck stirred in his sleep with a little groan, slowly waking up. It felt like there were knives in his head. “What the fuck,” he said, but his voice was too loud, and it made the pain worse.
“Good morning,” Indrid whispered. He was standing in the doorway with a glass of water. “You’re hungover.”
Rubbing his face with his hand, Duck said, “No shit, I feel awful.” He gratefully took the glass from Indrid. “What even happened last night?”
Indrid couldn’t help but grin, sitting on the edge of the bed by Duck. “You called me pretty and kissed me,” he said, cheeks red, and laughed quietly as Duck choked on the water.
“I- I fuckin’ what now?” Duck asked, clearly mortified.
Indrid shook his head, still smiling. “It’s okay. You were drunk, you couldn’t help it.”
Duck covered his face in his hands with an embarrassed whine. “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
Indrid rubbed his shoulder comfortingly. “You didn’t do anything embarrassing at the party, if that helps,” he offered. “Nobody else knows.”
But Duck huffed. “You know,” he pointed out. “I wasn’t- I wasn’t supposed to, you know, do anything like that. I was just tryin’ to have a good time.”
The seer hid his smile behind a hand. “You did have a good time,” he replied. “I’m the one who made you go to bed.”
“And thank god for that,” Duck said, still not meeting Indrid’s eyes. “Did… did I say anything else?”
‘I want to date the mothman,’ his mind echoed the words Duck said last night. “Um, no,” Indrid said, fiddling with his necklace. He could feel himself starting to blush.
Duck sighed. “Yeah, you’re fuckin’ lying. What did I say?”
“I’ll tell you if you promise not to be mad at yourself,” Indrid said. He was smiling, but feeling a little nervous. What if Duck didn’t feel the same way now that he was sober?
Duck nodded. Indrid told him, “Well, you said you wanted to date me,” and he watched as Duck put his face in his hands. He laughed. “Um, you don’t have to be embarrassed. Everybody does this sort of thing when they’re drinking.”
Then Duck looked up at him, as if searching his face. “Do you want to date me, Indrid?” His heart was pounding. Now that his feelings were out in the open, he really wanted to know if Indrid felt the same way.
Indrid fiddled with his hands, not meeting Duck’s eyes. “Yes. Very much.” He was too nervous to see if Duck was actually asking him out or just asking the question from curiosity.
Duck chuckled, closing his eyes. He was relieved that his feelings were finally out in the open, even if it happened in the most embarrassing way possible. Thank god they were returned. “We can go on a date tonight. I need to go back to sleep, though. I feel like I got hit by a truck.”
Smiling, Indrid leaned down and kissed Duck’s cheek. He felt relieved, and giddy, even. “Sleep well,” he told him, and walked to Duck’s living room.
He decided to draw until Duck woke back up. And if he couldn’t stop smiling and thinking about Duck the whole time, well, that’s nobody’s business but his own.