Gian expresses immense surprise when his boyfriend drags him out of their apartment with little more than a “C’mon, asshole, we’re going out”. His surprise morphs into confusion as Ivan pulls him to a halt in front of a large, menacing-looking (and quite familiar) abbey.
Attending a Halloween party isn’t exactly something at the top of Ivan’s list, much less attending a Halloween party where his boyfriend grew up. However, the opportunity to actually get out of their cramped apartment and do something had been tempting, and he’d received a special invitation from someone he just couldn’t refuse. Even if he wanted to. Shit.
Despite everything, the night itself is absolutely perfect for this sort of party: a full moon sits proudly in a twinkling sky devoid of clouds, and the cool, brisk autumn breeze is enough to fill the otherwise silent streets with the rustling of leaves. The abbey is utterly decked out for the occasion. Ghostly white spider webs cling to the walls; eerie Jack-o-lanterns with grotesque faces create a path to the heavy front doors; bats and other winged creatures of the night dangle from tree limbs; and ghastly, chilling music drifts from behind the heavy stone walls.
For something mostly thrown together by little brats, it doesn’t look half bad, Ivan absently muses.
“Your date plan for tonight is here?” A jab at his shoulder.
Ivan returns the gesture with a none-too-light punch and grimaces in the darkness, because, really, it isn’t like he was all gung-ho for it either.
“Shut the fuck up, asshole. Want me to just take you home and shove it up your ass til you can’t walk tomorrow, huh?”
“Only if you’re in costume.” A slap on his back and his ass of a boyfriend is leaving him behind on the dark, abandoned sidewalk before he’s got a chance to reply.
Ivan grumbles an irate “Shit!” under his breath in the darkness, scratches the back of his head irritably, and follows the glowing pumpkins to the heavy doors.
Flickering candlelight filters out over the threshold when the younger of the two hauls the doors open, and the two men take a second to soak in the complete transformation. Gone is the sense of peace and protection the great hall usually gives off, and in its place is a feeling of dread and horror. A small booth off to the right is the single object out of place in the abbey-turned-haunted mansion, and as Ivan and Gian approach, there is a sudden gleeful cry, and a small figure pops up to greet them.
Ivan jerks and nearly collides back into the blonde (and only barely bites his tongue on a not-very-nice-phrase), and Gian automatically reaches out to steady him.
A little girl, Ivan guesses, and wants to take a step back in time so he doesn’t freak out and embarrass himself. The munchkin’s hair is done up in a bun, with two dark curls spiraling down to frame the side of her face. It’s impossible to tell what the kid is dressed up as, but the small, sparkling fairy wand she drops on the booth is telltale enough.
Tiny hands offer up a small pamphlet, and Ivan squints over Gian’s shoulder. Difficult enough without the flickering candles, the pamphlet is nearly impossible to read.
“ HAUNTED HOUSE “
The urge to smile tugs at the corner of his lips at the unimaginative title.
Gian gives up trying to read through the darkness and folds the pamphlet into his back pocket.
“There’s aaaall sorts of stuff here!” she chirps in an excited voice, like she has been rehearsing for this very moment. “A-a maze of horrors and fortune telling and . . . and. . . .” she trails off as she runs out of steam, but recovers before either Ivan or Gian can get a single word out. “And you’ll be crying because of how scary it is!”
Coming from the mouth of a little girl (a cute one at that, all done up as a fairy princess), the threat isn’t quite so daunting, but Gian turns to Ivan with his lips set in a serious line. He reaches out, grasps Ivan’s hand, and holds it tight with both of his own.
“You can cry on me if you want, Ivan.”
For the sake of the dainty princess’s innocence, Ivan miraculously refrains from landing a good solid one right on the blonde’s shoulder (along with a few spectacular choice words, of course). Instead, he grins back evilly, lands a heavy hand on Gian’s shoulder, and squeezes.
“That’s totally gonna be you. Asshole.” He finishes under his breath, for the girl’s sake, and yanks Gian away from the booth.
“Have fun!” she exclaims after them, bouncing excitedly behind the booth as the haunted house’s two latest victims make their way further inside.
The dimly illuminated (but thankfully short) hallway is eerie, spooky even, thanks in no small part to the sheer height of the walls, and the amount of moonlight dampened by shredded black cloth over the arching windows. The stone walls are lined with spider webs, and moans issue forth from the darkness.
Every door they pass is closed and locked tight, and cords of rope are tied across hallways to prevent “guests” (as Miss Fairy Princess so cheerily called them) from wandering freely.
The first attraction the couple comes to is advertised as a “mirror maze”.
“What the hell is a mirror maze doing in a haunted house?”
Gian snorts and nudges his boyfriend’s arm. “What, ya scared something gross and gooey is gonna jump you in there?”
“Tsk! Shit! They’re just mirrors!”
The younger of the two takes the lead, heading into the mirror maze without another word or thought, and he has to ignore the blatant snickers coming from behind him.
He’s lost in no time at all. Much to Gian’s amusement.
Ivan walks smack into yet another dead end for the nth time, and preemptively whirls around to finally do something about the laughter he knows will follow, only to be met with thin air where Gian should be standing.
He reaches out to his sides and his palms hit the cool, hard surface of mirrors.
“Son of a....!”
Feeling his way forward, Ivan backtracks to attempt a different path. No, he isn’t scared per se, but people don’t just vanish into thin air. Gian has to be bullshitting him.
“Gian, you bastard, c’mon!”
Eyesight is useless in the gloom as the dim lighting from sporadically placed candles don’t emit enough illumination. So instead Ivan feels his way around, grumbling and cursing under his breath with every step. He rounds a corner and stumbles out of the maze, nearly falling flat on his face.
That’s when he hears the familiar laugh, and he glares up at the source.
“What the hell?”
Gian reaches forward and tugs Ivan back to his feet, and promptly socks him one in the shoulder, much to his irritation.
“You’re just lucky one of the sisters didn’t hear you, idiot.”
The urge to shove the smartass down is overwhelming, but Ivan somehow talks himself out of it. Mostly. Barely.
“You are such a—“
Gian claps him on the back and, with a shit-eating grin, tugs him along.
“How scared didja get, huh, Ivan?”
“Hah! Scared? What? You’re imagining things!”
Ivan allows Gian to pull him down the short hallway, and as they round the corner (still following the preset walkways) a high pitched, cackling laugh cuts through the silence. Both men jump and have to swallow their hearts.
“What was that, huh? Some stupid laugh’s got ya jumping scared now!”
Gian’s heart finally steadies itself, and he pokes Ivan in the chest before forcing his unwilling legs to move forward.
“Maybe, but I kinda thought you were gonna crash through the ceiling, Scaredy Cat Ivan.”
His mouth is open, he’s ready to retort and this time he isn’t going to hold back, but a ‘thump!’ from further down the dark hall brings both of them to a halt.
With their attention focused on whatever could possibly be in the darkness up ahead and their legs moving slowly, the sudden voice coming from their left startles Ivan more than he will ever admit.
“Would you two gentlemen like to have your fortunes told? Kekeke....”
The voice is unmistakably a girl’s and it rings familiar on top of that. Light suddenly comes to life at the source of the voice, and both men have to stifle their laughter.
Sitting at a small desk against the webby wall is a small witch. The young girl is pretty, delicate even, despite how in depth her costume is: her face is green (likely face paint) and she’s sporting a long, crooked false nose. Her hair is knotted and dyed dark green, and she’s grinning broadly but remaining in character. A large crystal ball is placed before her, as is a large tome.
Amusement etches itself into Gian’s face and he wanders over to the small desk, suspecting somewhere that the little chipmunk perched in front of him is the cause of everything.
“I didn’t know witches could be this cute, did you, Ivan?” He tosses the question over his shoulder, almost bashing his forehead against Ivan’s when he’s suddenly there and leaning on his shoulder. His boyfriend plants his hand on Gian’s cheek and turns his head forward again.
“I guess she is kinda cute. But can she really tell fortunes?”
Rosalia bites her lip to keep from breaking character. She instead focuses intently on the large glass ball in front of her, places both hands on either side of it, and widens her eyes as if images really are presenting themselves to her.
Silence falls around the trio, broken only by the sudden gusts of howling wind buffeting the covered windows. Rosalia looks up suddenly and the spell dissipates into thin air. Her jaw works silently for several seconds, and finally she speaks, words emerging slowly.
“Something’s going to happen tonight,” she reaches up and points at one of the covered windows, at the faint, muted moonlight that still manages to slip through, “Because it is a full moon. It will happen to you—“ she points at Gian dramatically “—and to you!” She points at Ivan with the same dramatic flair and focuses her attention on him.
“It’s going to drive you absolutely crazy, and Gian is going to enjoy it.”
The vague wording, the uncertainty in the entire prediction makes Ivan glad that he doesn’t believe in fortune telling. With something as up-in-the-air as that, anything at all could possibly happen.
“Ooh?” Gian grins slyly at his boyfriend, the same grin that always manages to crawl under his skin.
A tic throbs in Ivan’s jaw. “All’s I gotta do is just stay awake all night, then,” he grins wolfishly, dangerously at Gian, “You can keep me company.”
Gian punches his shoulder hard enough to likely leave a bruise, and shakes his head. “I told you: only if you’re in costume.”
Both men are interrupted by small tugs on their shirts, and they break out of their own bickering world. Rosalia has slipped out from behind the desk (and looks as if she could trip over the cloak trailing behind her) and is watching them closely, with eyes that hold far more intelligence than her age would suggest.
Several seconds of silence pass, which she breaks by giving them both a pleased smile.
“Ivan, Gian,” she whispers as if fearing she may be overheard, “Thank you for coming!”
Ivan huffs in exasperation and ruffles Rosalia’s already mussed-up hair. “S’not like I can just say no whenever I wanted. For a low-budget gig, this isn’t so bad.”
The chipmunk’s smile widens with the admission, and she throws her arms around his waist in a hug. She pulls back before Ivan has a chance to retaliate, and returns calmly to her post at the desk. She waves at the two of them and slips back into character in time to say, “Dangers are lurking ahead, gentlemen; you have been warned!”
It is half past eleven by the time the couple stumbles out of the abbey, and Ivan takes large gulps of air – actual fresh air as soon as it buffets his face. He has a package under one arm, courtesy of one of the sisters, and is thoroughly done with anything having to do with Halloween for the rest of the year.
The maze of horrors had been more than expected, and it couldn’t have been something put together by the children. Of course he didn’t actually scream or emasculate himself in any way, but with how his heart had absolutely refused to stay in his chest and at a steady beat, he may as well have.
Gian hadn’t exactly been immune either, as his face was a shade or two paler upon exiting the maze. The sisters had definitely gone all out in an attempt to scare them, and all they’d received in apology were costumes.
The wind is stronger now, and the bite of it brings the rest of the life back into Ivan’s body. Discounting the hiccups and how disjointed the “haunted house” had been, dull satisfaction coils through his body, and silence reigns on the entire walk home.
He finally focuses in on Gian when they reach the apartment and the blonde has to dig his keys out.
There’s a ‘thump!’ as Ivan presses Gian hard against the door, and he grins wickedly when both costume packages tumble to the ground.
“Guess what we’ve still got on our schedule,”
It takes a second, a long second, before the meaning of Ivan’s words push through the confusion, and Gian releases a long-suffering groan, draping his arms around the younger man’s neck.
“Damn, I guess you’re right. Here I was thinking I’d actually get a good night’s sleep.”
Further words of protest (or further words at all, really) are cut short when Ivan’s lips collide with Gian’s in a hurried, heavy kiss. There is no finesse in the kiss, nothing but heat and ferocity, and Gian can taste Ivan on his tongue when they part for much-needed air.
And through his panting, Gian asks the all-important question:
“So...are you gonna be Dracula or the werewolf?”
The next morning arrives slowly. It arrives with warmth, chirping birds, bright and cheery sunlight...and a sore ass.
Which is utterly wrong.
Suddenly very wide awake, Ivan replays everything he remembers, because as far as he knows, he is not the one who should be waking up with a sore behind, damnit.
He clearly remembers thinking that the werewolf costume (more dog, really, and not the least bit terrifying) fit Gian a little too well.
He clearly remembers getting tripped up in the awful, hideously long cloak that came with the Dracula costume (complete with fake fangs and blood).
He clearly remembers pushing Gian onto the bed and him automatically getting on all fours (he even ‘woofed!’ like a dog a few times, the bastard).
He clearly remembers prepping Gian quickly (perhaps a little too quickly) and slowly pressing into his tight, hot ass.
He clearly remembers leaning over Gian’s back and biting his shoulder (which won him a snorted laugh and teasing insult about how he really was a vampire).
He clearly remembers every little sound Gian made, every breathless moan and whimper, every strained attempt to speak.
He clearly remembers emptying himself a couple of times inside Gian’s warm, inviting body (despite initial protests against a second round).
He clearly remembers collapsing beside Gian and tugging him closer before he drifted into an exhausted slumber (his boyfriend was already half there, and only got half of Ivan’s name out before falling asleep).
Ivan clearly remembers all of this, so why is it his ass that hurts? He rubs his eyes, scratches his head...and his entire body halts in stunned confusion as a dog ear headband tumbles onto the blankets pooling in his lap. Hurriedly, heart picking up a staccato rhythm in his chest, he twists his head and looks over his shoulder.
Sleep-darkened eyes stared blearily back at him.
His eyes stared back at him.
With a sharp, panicked cry, Ivan jerks back and just about flings himself off the bed in his haste. His own face becomes more alert and also jerks back, a look of open shocked befuddlement radiating from his expression.
“I was sorta wondering why I didn’t hurt at all, but I guess...”
Ivan swallows hard, can’t take his eyes away from his own body, and has absolutely no idea what to say.
His own face – Gian using his face – suddenly smirked at him. Gian shifted closer.
“Kinda starting to think that this is what the chipmunk meant last night, you know? Cause oh man, I can see how I would enjoy this.”
“Fuck! Are you seriously thinking about screwing your own body, asshole?!” Ivan finally explodes, unable to comprehend that this is actually happening.
The smirk only widened. “What other chance am I gonna get for something like this, huh?”
Gian shifts closer, slowly, carefully, knowing that Ivan is ready to bolt at any second (and probably will, if he manages to get his wits about him).
“Fuck, I’ll just do you right back!” Ivan barks.
Gian laughs, and it’s weird hearing it come from his own mouth, his own voice.
“I don’t think you’re ready to give that up, are you?”
The meaning is clear, and Ivan finds himself cornered because, no, he isn’t ready and likely never will be. However, the atmosphere is absolute, easy to determine, and Ivan knows that they won’t be leaving until someone gives in.
Hesitating, even for a fraction of a second, costs him, and Gian wastes no time in acting. He pounces.