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spooky and sweet schitt from the creek

Chapter Text

“You sure you don’t want to stay, babe? It’ll be fun.” Jake is hanging party streamers decorated with plastic spiders from the ceiling. Before they started dating, Mutt never would have guessed that Jake would be so into party planning — or Halloween, for that matter.

For his part, Mutt has always found Halloween to be a cheesy and inaccurate portrayal of people like himself and Jake, but Jake is unexpectedly into being cheesy sometimes.

And Mutt has unexpectedly found himself being very into Jake.

“It’s almost the full moon,” Mutt replies.

Almost.” Jake grins. “But not until tomorrow.”

“You know how I get just before the full moon.” Mutt stands up from where he's been lounging on the sofa to help Jake adhere several fake spiderwebs to the walls.

Jake leans in for a quick kiss. It’s a brief kiss, no more than a peck, but Mutt still shivers at the heat in Jake’s eyes.

“Mm,” Jake hums. “I do. Some of our best sex has been before a full moon. I think that kind of energy would go over well on a whiskey night.”

“Don’t like feeling that out of control with anyone but you.” Mutt shrugs.

Jake smiles softly. “Okay. I’ll miss you. You headed out to the woods?”

“Yup. I’ll be back in a couple nights once it's over,” Mutt says.

Jake heads into the kitchen to grab snacks and drinks for the guests. Mutt scans the kitchen island where Jake has laid out several large bowls. There’s one filled with chips, one with pretzels, one with condoms — Mutt pushes that one a few inches from the snacks to avoid any accidental condom munching — and one with…

“Lollipops, Jake?” He gestures to the fourth bowl with a raised eyebrow. “Really?”

Jake’s face lights up. “Yes! You see, over there–” Jake nods toward the far corner of the living room. “is where people can engage in safe and consensual bloodsucking.” He bares his fangs in a grin. “And over here–” Another nod, this time toward the sofa. “is where the cocksucking will take place. Or any form or oral. All are welcome.” He winks, his smile broadening. “And here–” Jake takes the bowl of lollipops from Mutt, looking far too pleased with himself. “Everyone can enjoy suckers!”

Mutt laughs. He laughs so hard that his cheeks ache. He laughs until he's breathless. Mutt never used to laugh so much before he started dating Jake. He’s always thought of himself as a fairly stoic guy. Alexis wanted him to be more expressive. Tennessee said he was too serious. But with Jake, he laughs.

Jake sets the bowl aside and drapes his arms over Mutt’s shoulders, his eyes twinkling with amusement. He leans in for a long, slow kiss.

“Happy Halloween, Mutt.”

“Happy Halloween, Jake.”

Chapter Text

“I have wings,” Rachel says, swooping in a graceful arc as if to demonstrate her prowess.

Twyla smiles from the rock she’s lounging on. “I have fins and a tail.”

“I can disappear and reappear at will.” With a soft pop, Rachel vanishes, reappearing on the opposite side of the creek. She hovers in the air and quirks her eyebrows with a victorious smirk.

Twyla dives underwater, the deep aquamarine of her tail glinting from the sun before disappearing beneath the surface. She resurfaces a minute later, shaking her wet hair from her face with a grin.

“I can breathe underwater.” She holds out her hand to Rachel, a shiny stone in her palm. “This is for you.”

“Show-off.” Rachel lands on her feet in the muddy grass alongside the creek and takes the stone from Twyla. “This is very pretty.”

Twyla smiles sweetly. “Do I win?”

“No!” Rachel shouts. “I have magic.” She points a finger at a crisp orange leaf floating down from a nearby tree and sends it rocketing off into the opposite direction. She smiles smugly. “I win.”

Twyla nods once and maintains intense eye contact as she begins to sing. Rachel can’t make out the words; she’s not even sure if the song is in English. She can only focus on the way the sound fills her, sending shivers down her spine and heating her blood simultaneously. Twyla’s voice is sweet and mesmerizing, each note drifting lazily from her pretty, pink lips and wrapping around Rachel’s ribcage, leaving her breathless and dazed.

Rachel shakes herself from her trance and flies several feet above Twyla to break the connection.

“You’re a devious siren, Twyla Sands.” Rachel scowls, while Twyla laughs in delight.

“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean, Rachel,” she says.

“Okay, you think you’re so clever. I can sing too.” Rachel begins to sing. Her voice is loud and tuneless. A bird squawks angrily and takes flight from a tree, and Rachel deflates. “Shut up.”

Twyla giggles. “I didn’t say anything.”

Rachel flaps her wings in frustration, sending a cascade of fairy dust down onto Twyla. Twyla wipes the glittery dust from her eyes and smiles.

“Come here. Let me make it up to you.” She reaches a hand up for Rachel.

Rachel narrows her eyes suspiciously, but as always, she is powerless to Twyla’s sweet smile. She drops down onto the ground across from Twyla’s rock and takes her hand. Twyla’s grin widens as she tugs Rachel into the creek.

“I win,” Twyla says.

Chapter Text

Patrick lets himself in the front door, sighing as the tension from the day begins to melt away upon entering the home he shares with his husband. The store always feels a bit empty and the work more stressful on David’s days off.

He’s about to call out for David when a streak of black shoots across the floor by his feet. Patrick blinks rapidly, trying to discern whether he’s imagining things or if he actually just saw…

A black cat leaps onto the table by the door, scattering the mail Patrick just placed there onto the floor. The cat leans forward and sniffs Patrick suspiciously.

“David,” Patrick calls, stepping forward from the entryway and toward the living room. “Why is there a cat in the house?”

David appears in the doorway with a different black cat in his arms. Whereas the first cat is petite with a sleek, short coat of black fur, the one in David’s arms is large and fluffy, its impressive tail curling over one of David’s forearms.

“David, why is there a cat in your arms?”

“This is Yves Saint Laurent,” David says as if Patrick’s question is absurd, as if David hadn’t once prepared an entire PowerPoint presentation (despite his many complaints about how much he despises PowerPoint) on why their home is no place for any animals.

The cat jumps from David’s arms to the floor and slinks slowly closer to Patrick. It gives a single sniff to one leg of his jeans before moving swiftly back to David, where it begins rubbing against David’s leg and purring loudly, its large golden eyes watching Patrick all the while.

“He has excellent taste.” David smiles fondly at the cat, and Patrick is certain now that he has dropped into an episode of The Twilight Zone.

“But why is he here?” Patrick asks.

Just then, the smaller cat peeks its head around the corner, meowing softly.

“And this is Claudia.” David gestures to the cat.

“Claudia?”

“Twyla insists that her Grandma Claudia is speaking to her through this cat.” David rolls his eyes, and if Patrick didn’t know better, he would say that Yves the cat also rolled his eyes.

“Twyla?” Patrick looks around the room, half expecting Twyla to suddenly jump out and yell that this is all a very strange prank.

“She’s out buying litter and food for the cats,” David says.

“And are these— Are these Twyla’s cats?” Patrick flinches as Yves lets out a low hiss from his spot between David’s legs.

“Well, Claudia is…” David hedges.

“David.”

“When you think about it, this is actually your fault!” David exclaims, his arms flailing.

Patrick’s torn between amusement and annoyance at David’s avoidance of the question. It’s difficult for him to stay annoyed when there’s a tiny smile tucked into the corner of David’s mouth as Yves continues rubbing against his leg and purring.

“I can’t wait to hear how this is my fault.” Patrick crosses his arms over his chest and gives David a challenging look.

You were the one who told me that I should keep Twyla company because she misses my sister, even though it’s not like I told her to enter into a relationship with Alexis just before she moved to New York!” David pauses for a long moment, almost as if he expects Patrick to agree that it is entirely his fault that there are suddenly two cats in their house just because he suggested that David spend time with his sister’s girlfriend. Patrick waits expectantly.

“So, because I am such a nice and generous person,” David says, carefully ignoring Patrick’s amused snort. “I spent the entire day today hanging out with Twyla.” David pauses again, and Patrick suspects he wants praise. When Patrick just raises his eyebrows, David huffs an annoyed breath and continues. “We were at the café, and do you know what Ray said?!”

“What did Ray say?” Patrick decides to play along.

“Apparently, around Halloween each year, people abandon black cats in shelters or on the street, just because of ridiculous superstitions!” David stoops to pet Yves before looking at Patrick beseechingly. “So we went to the shelter, and sure enough, there were so many black cats!”

Patrick softens. “And you decided to adopt one?”

“Well.” David fiddles with one of his rings. “After Claudia spoke to Twyla, she decided to adopt her.” He pauses again. “She said she can take Yves Saint Laurent, too.”

“But you want to keep him?” Patrick asks.

David’s face goes through a complicated series of emotions. He picks at his thumbnail and glances back down at the cat. Patrick mentally adds a column for pet care to the monthly budget. They may need to make some adjustments, but it’s certainly doable. Truthfully, he knew the moment he saw the fond expression on David’s face as he looked at the cat that he was going to say yes to keeping him. There’s very little Patrick wouldn’t do to bring that pleased little smile to his husband’s face. He can get on board with an unexpected cat who judges his sartorial choices. He’s about to say as much when there’s a soft knock at the door.

Twyla cracks the door open and peeks through the doorway. “Alright if I come in? I’ve got the food, David, and I found the cutest little cat toys! Oh, Patrick, you’re home!”

Claudia greets Twyla with a single meow, and Twyla immediately drops to her knees on the floor, her armful of cat food, litter, and toys toppling onto the carpet beside her. She coos at the cat as Patrick bends to pick up her enormous haul. She seems to have bought nearly the entire pet store.

“Patrick, have you met my Nana Claud yet? Isn’t she just the sweetest?” Twyla beams at the cat.

“Yes, she’s, uh, very nice, Twyla.” Patrick reaches a hand out, and Claudia recoils with a hiss. Apparently neither of the cats are a fan of his.

“And have you gotten acquainted with St. Lauren, too?” she asks.

“Oh my god,” David whispers in horror. Patrick swallows down a laugh as David takes the cat back into his arms, cradling him protectively like a human shield against Twyla’s fashion ignorance.

“I think he’s going to make a great addition to our family,” Patrick says.

A tiny smile inches its way into the corners of David’s mouth. Patrick is certain his heart is expanding in his chest as the smile breaks free and spreads across David’s face.

Patrick admires the crinkles around his husband’s eyes and the dimple in his cheek, the happiness radiating out from him as he strokes the cat’s back, and he wonders how anyone could possibly think that black cats bring bad luck.

Chapter Text

It started when Ray was just a kid. He remembers the first time vividly.

He was six-years-old when he asked his mother why Mr. Richards from across the street was staring at them. His mother had said that she didn’t see anyone.

Two days later, they found out that Mr. Richards had passed away not long before Ray had seen him. His mother said he was a very intuitive little boy.

By the time Ray was ten, he knew that this wasn't intuition, but he kept it to himself.

Sometimes the spirits don’t do anything. Sometimes they just stare, like Mr. Richards. Ray has grown accustomed to seeing people that others don’t. He’s learned to ignore them.

But sometimes the spirits are unhappy. Ray tries not to think of those times. The first time he encountered an unhappy spirit, he had nightmares for a month. Now, he just closes his eyes and counts his breaths until they disappear.

The spirits always grow restless around Halloween. At first, Ray thought his imagination was getting the best of him, allowing the stereotypes surrounding the holiday to convince him he was seeing angry spirits more frequently.

He knows better now.

Every October for as long as Ray can remember, he’s awakened screaming more nights than not. The spirits seem to find him, to seek him out. Certain spirits have followed him his entire life, whispering in his ears, slinking in the corners of his room, watching — always watching.

Ray jerks up in bed with a shout. He gasps for air as a shiver shoots down his spine. When his heart rate finally returns to normal, he swings his legs over the side of the bed and begins his day.


“Good morning, Jocelyn! Good morning, Roland! Nice day for a photoshoot, don’t you think? Give me a call!” Ray calls out his greetings as he steps off his front porch on his way to the café.

There’s a prickle at the base of his spine. He can feel the heavy gaze of the spirits on the back of his neck. Ray smiles even wider and continues his morning routine. Today is just another ordinary day.

He makes small talk with Twyla as he orders his morning tea. The cold clench of fear tightens its grip around his heart.

He tells Bob about the new listing on the market. Goosebumps erupt across his arms.

He grabs an extra packet of sugar for his tea. No one must ever know.

Ray waves on his way out the door.

"Have a great day!"

Chapter Text

Ted walks through the cemetery on his way to the vet clinic each morning. He has to wake up extra early to make sure he gets there before the sun rises, but it’s always worth it. There’s so many animals in the cemetery that need his care.

There’s the dog who had rabies, all the squirrels who were hit by cars, the pet rabbit abandoned by her owners, feral kittens who couldn’t find enough to eat — the list goes on and on. There are so many wonderful animals who didn’t receive the care they deserved when they were living, but Ted is determined to make sure they receive all the love he can possibly give them in their afterlives.

They only come out when the sun is down, a fact Ted learned one day as a young vet tech studying to earn his doctorate in veterinary medicine. He had stayed at the clinic late one night studying for an exam; Ted always liked to do his studying at the clinic where he could be around the animals. By the time he left, it was well past midnight, and the glowing red eyes staring at him from behind a tombstone had frightened him.

Now, he knows the owner of those glowing red eyes to be Maggie the dog, who is really quite gentle once he got to know her.

Ted knows many consider his habit of caring for the dead animals in Schitt’s Creek Cemetery to be eccentric, or as Ronnie once said, “batshit fucking crazy,” but he paws-itively cherishes these solitary moments before the sun rises surrounded by his fur-ends.

After all, just because someone is no longer living, it doesn’t mean that they are no longer deserving of love.

Chapter Text

“Okay, honey, you know how I love all of your many hobbies,” David says, ignoring the skeptical noise Patrick makes in response, “but I really don’t get these cornmen.”

“I’m sorry, what did you just call them?” Patrick’s wearing that David’s being ridiculous smile that David wishes he didn’t find so damn cute.

“Cornmen,” David repeats, “or is there a more gender neutral term? Cornpeople? It’s like how people always say ‘snowmen’ and ‘gingerbread men’ as the generic terms, but sometimes they’ll specify that it’s a snowwoman. Just call them all snowpeople and be done with it! It makes no sense.”

“Thank you for this feminist discourse, David, but I’m going to need you to back up for a minute,” Patrick says, his infuriatingly cute upside-down smile growing larger. “Do you think that I am making a snowman out of corn?”

“Well,” David hesitates. Judging by Patrick’s tone, he’s assuming that’s not correct, even though, yes, that is absolutely what he was imagining. “No?”

Patrick begins to laugh, and David throws his hands up in the air.

“Well, I don’t know! What is it then?”

“First of all,” Patrick says, “it’s called a scarecrow, not a cornman.”

“A what?!” David is aghast. Patrick had definitely mentioned corn when he told David about the competition he was entering.

“A scarecrow, you know like in The Wizard of Oz?”

“Oh, I’ve never seen that. My mom said it propagates vile aspersions against the ambitious. Although, I think really she was just mad that she didn’t get cast as the lead in an off-Broadway version of the movie.”

“That’s…” Patrick shakes his head and tugs his phone from his pocket. “Never mind. Look, this is what a scarecrow looks like.”

“It’s hideous!” David grimaces. “Why would someone want to make something like that?”

“You put it in a field to — get ready for this — scare off the crows.” Patrick says the words slowly, as if David is the weird one here, as if Patrick isn’t the one participating in a competition to build a creepy stickman meant to frighten birds.

“Why?” David continues to stare at the picture on Patrick’s phone in horror.

“To protect your crops from being damaged.”

“We don’t have any crops, Patrick!” David exclaims.

“Yes, but that’s not the point of the competition. It’s just a fun way to be creative.” Patrick takes his phone back and returns to his pile of what David had previously assumed was garbage but now suspects to be the dismembered pieces of a future scarecrow.

“And your desire to be creative with bits of hay and,” David shudders, “burlap wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with beating Ronnie, would it?”

“Practically everyone in town is competing, David.” Patrick’s neck reddens slightly as he speaks. “I’m a competitive sort of guy. I want to beat everyone, not just Ronnie. I mean– ‘beat’ isn’t really the right word. That sounds a bit harsh. I just—”

“Okay, honey.” David bends to kiss the back of Patrick’s flushed neck. “Whatever you say, but I will not allow our cornman to wear such a disgusting flannel shirt. Did you get this from Stevie’s closet? No. You can put together the stick part, but I will be handling the outfit.”

Chapter Text

Stevie has worked at the Schitt’s Creek Haunted Motel for pretty much her whole life. Her Aunt Maureen owned the motel and used to let her jump out from behind doors at guests as a kid. Stevie loved it — the thrill and adrenaline as she prepared to jump, the surge of power as she watched the terror on her victims' faces, knowing that she was the cause of that fear. Okay, so maybe she was a bit fucked up as a kid, but growing up in a town that celebrates Halloween year-round and working in a haunted motel, who could really blame her?

Aunt Maureen left Schitt’s Creek years ago, and Stevie is still working at that damn haunted motel. Jumping out and screaming at people doesn’t hold the same thrill it did as when she was a kid, especially since traffic at the motel has been steadily decreasing for years. Stevie spends a lot of her time lurking behind a false wall with a book.

“Heads up, Stevie, got a couple fresh ones!” Roland calls from the doorway.

Roland sometimes mans the door to sell tickets to tour the motel. The only reason Stevie tolerates him is because it’s even more annoying when she has to sell the tickets and then run back to her hiding spot without the guests noticing.

He lets out a loud guffaw followed by a hacking cough, and Stevie sighs, reconsidering whether working with Roland is actually less annoying than the alternative. She shoves her book back in her bag and crouches behind a musty, moth-eaten sofa.

After working at the haunted motel for so many years, she’s become adept at determining what kinds of things will most frighten her targets. Some people she can get just from jumping out and screaming. Some require a mask or props. Some require her to pull out all the stops. She’s got it down to an art form.

She can hear footsteps approaching followed by both a man’s and a woman’s voice. They appear to be arguing about something.

“Oh my god, David!” the woman shouts. “Just shut up!”

You shut up, Alexis!” the man — David, presumably — shouts back. “You shhhut up!”

Stevie peeks around the sofa to examine her targets. She has never seen anyone like them in Schitt’s Creek. They look like they’ve both stepped right off the runway. The woman — Alexis, according to her shouting companion — is clutching her phone in one hand and using the other to bat her ridiculously-oversized hat out of her line of vision. David is wearing an expression of utmost disgust as he looks around the room. His arms are tucked close to his sides as if terrified at the very idea of touching anything.

Easy prey.

Stevie decides to trigger the skeleton to drop from the ceiling in front of Alexis. She presses the button and grins in anticipation.

The skeleton drops, and without a moment’s hesitation, Alexis’ fist flies out, hitting the skeleton directly in the neck and sending the plastic skull flying off the body and onto the floor. The skull rolls to a stop at David’s feet. He takes several steps backward and scowls, pointing an admonishing finger at the skull.

“No. Absolutely not!” he yells.

Huh. That was not the reaction Stevie was expecting. Alexis appears curious but otherwise unfazed, and David continues to look disgusted, but not at all scared. She decides to try again. The plastic props don’t work on everyone. Perhaps they need the real thing.

Stevie pulls a mask over her face and watches them carefully, determining the exact right moment to leap out. Plenty of guests react to a fright by punching or kicking, and she’s been working here long enough to know how to avoid flailing limbs, but all the same, Stevie decides to keep a few feet of distance between herself and Alexis. The woman has an impressive right hook. She decides to target David instead. She waits until he’s right in front of the sofa before jumping out and yelling.

David screams in response, but not in fright like Stevie had hoped. He leans closer to her face and shouts.

“How do you like it?! Yeah, you don’t like having someone scream in your face, do you? It’s fucking rude!”

“Ew, yeah, super rude,” Alexis chimes in.

Never in the fifteen plus years that Stevie has been scaring people at this haunted motel has anyone reacted to a jumpscare this way. Both of the guests appear completely unfrightened, more annoyed than anything else.

Stevie has spent half of her life chasing the cheap thrill of scaring people. She spends ninety percent of her time bored and apathetic, waiting for her shift to end so she can eat takeout in her pjs with a bottle of wine. The other ten percent are the prized moments when she gets to watch someone nearly piss themselves in fear while she laughs. It’s a routine she’s grown comfortable with, but now, for the first time in years, Stevie is interested.

She peels off her mask and drops it to the floor.

“Wanna go hide in the back office and get high?” she asks.

David raises his eyebrows and gives her an appraising look, his dark eyes sweeping over her. Alexis grins and claps her hands together under her chin.

“Um, yes, please! This town is super gross and boring — no offense — and I totally need to, like, check out for a li’l bit.” Alexis shimmies her shoulders and runs her fingers along Stevie’s forearm as she speaks, fluttering her eyes in a bizarre attempt at a wink.

David hesitates another moment before heaving an exaggerated sigh. “Oh, alright then. Why the fuck not?”

Stevie leads the way to the office, pausing to kick the skull at David with a smirk. He glares at her, but there’s the smallest hint of a smile tucked into the corner of her mouth.

Stevie allows herself a private smile as she fishes a joint out of her bag. She doesn’t really do friendships, but she may have just met two people who she could get along with.

Chapter Text

David has had the same nightmare every night since he was fifteen years old. Every single fucking night. There’s small variations, but for the most part, it’s the exact same dream every night. It’s a large part of the reason he spent so much of his twenties trying any and every sort of drug he could get his hands on. At least when he passed out after a night of liquor and pills and partying he was less likely to remember the dream. It was his only means of escape.

It always starts the same way. He finds himself in a room of doors — a seemingly endless number of doors. Sometimes there's a trapdoor on the floor. A handful of times, there’s even been a ladder leading to a door on the goddamn ceiling. Doors everywhere, but David is never able to exit the room.

David spent years trying each and every door, night after night twisting doorknobs and tugging on door handles. Every door has the same result.

The door will swing open, and David can see nothing but darkness. He tries to walk through the doorway, but he ends up back in the room again and again. Some nights he spends what feels like hours trying hundreds of doors. Other nights, he only manages a single door before awakening.

No matter how many doors he opens in a night, the dream always ends with him falling through the darkness on the other side of the door and waking with a jolt, gasping for breath, and convinced he is plummeting through the air.

Back when he still had money, David saw dozens of doctors, psychiatrists, sleep specialists, gurus — you name it, he tried it. None of it worked. Nobody had ever heard of someone having the same dream every single night for years on end. Recurring dreams are common, they all told him, but surely he was exaggerating. They never believed him that it was every single night for more than half his life.

Eventually, he gave up, resigned himself to the combination of terror and tedium that comes with living through the same nightmare in perpetuity. At least the cocktail of pills he dutifully fed himself each day helped blur the edges a bit.

When they move to Schitt’s Creek, each of the Roses is forced to withdraw from a pharmacy’s worth of prescriptions. During the first few weeks following their arrival, the absence of any drugs, combined with the emotional distress of being thrust into a hellhole of a motel, result in some of the worst nightmares David can remember having for years. He awakens Alexis with a scream on more than one occasion, and once he even falls out of bed, crashing to the disgusting motel floor with a thud.

Shockingly, however, David begins to adjust to Schitt’s Creek, as horrifying as that idea is for him to accept. The nightmares persist, of course, but lessen in their severity, and his days become more tolerable. He can’t pinpoint the precise moment it happens, but one day David realizes that he doesn’t mind living there quite so much anymore. Sometimes — though he would never dare to say so aloud — he’s even sort of happy.

Things begin to look up when he signs the lease to the former general store. He has a purpose, something to look forward to, something just for him.

Maybe even someone just for him, David wonders privately, secretly, hopefully.

The nightmare becomes more of an unpleasant dream — annoying and wearisome, but not as frightening. There’s fewer doors in the room to choose from, and when he steps through the doorway and into the darkness, he no longer plummets through the abyss, but instead drifts lazily back to consciousness.

The night after the soft launch that turns unexpectedly hard, David sleeps peacefully. In his dream, he’s standing in a room with only one door, and when he tentatively turns the knob, he is greeted by bright beams of sunlight warming his skin. When he steps through the doorway, he doesn’t fall. There’s a clear path forward, and David walks confidently, his gait light and in no particular hurry. He’s certain that he is moving toward something good, something amazing.

David awakens with a smile on his face.

Chapter Text

Promptly after everyone says their goodbyes and the meeting concludes, Stevie closes the lid of her laptop with a relieved sigh. Even though things are going well with the Rosebud Motel Group — great, even — she still finds herself feeling a bit overwhelmed at times. It’s overwhelming to have so much responsibility. It’s even more overwhelming to have a job that she enjoys. She still hasn’t gotten used to having a job that is fulfilling and satisfying, and admitting that she’s happy, even if only to herself, is a lot to process.

She decides to take a walk to clear her mind. It’s a brisk autumn day, with a cloudless sky and a light breeze in the air. Stevie loves this kind of weather. She pulls on a light jacket over her flannel and takes off down the road with no clear path in mind. She doesn’t need to have any plans or directions right now; she’s just putting one foot in front of the other and allowing her mind to unfocus.

Crunch. Stevie looks down at the sound, raising her shoe to examine the golden-yellow leaf she just stepped on. She takes a step forward, this time with intention, toward another leaf — this one red with a tinge of orange around the edges.

Crunch! This one makes a louder, more satisfying sound as she steps on it. She smiles and steps on another. And another. And another.

Stevie lets out a whoop of joy and runs at full speed toward a huge pile of leaves — reds and oranges and browns mixing together in a joyous jumble of color. She cheers at the series of crunches under her feet, laughing as the leaves move around her in a dance of their own. They rise up like a wave around her legs as she jumps, and tumble down from the tree above her, tangling in her hair and surrounding her with the crisp smell of autumn.

She knows she must look ridiculous, like an overgrown child, but she doesn’t care. She smiles as the tension from the day drains from her body.

Stevie laughs, and the leaves join her, the sounds of laughter and crunching filling the air with joy.

Chapter Text

Jocelyn Schitt is the best teacher in Schitt’s Creek. She’s won the Best Teacher award for five years running, and all the parents, students, and other teachers love her. She’s tough but fair, fun-loving, and gets shit done.

But there’s a new teacher in town that everyone is talking about — Miss Sprinkle, the kindergarten teacher. Sprinkle. Jocelyn had scoffed the first time she heard the name. It’s probably a false name designed to make her more likable. A truly gifted teacher doesn’t need to have such a sickly-sweet name to prove their talent. And being well-liked as a kindergarten teacher is child’s play! All you need to do is be nice and play games with the kids. A high school teacher actually has a challenge.

Jocelyn has heard the scuttlebutt around the hallways. She knows that people think Miss Sprinkle is going to win the award this year, but she’s not worried. She knows she’ll win.

“Brandon!” Jocelyn calls, but he remains distracted, his back to the front of the class as he chats with a classmate. Jocelyn has no patience for disruptive and distracted students in her classroom.

She approaches his desk, waiting until he turns to meet her eye before speaking again.

“Brandon, have you been paying attention to my lesson this morning?” she asks, watching as his eyes grow dull and unfocused.

“No, Mrs. Schitt,” he replies, his voice flat and monotone.

“And will you be paying attention for the remainder of the lesson?” She speaks slowly, enunciating each word clearly and making sure his eyes remain trained on her own. Eye contact is essential.

“Yes, Mrs. Schitt,” he says.

“Wonderful!” Jocelyn returns to the front of the classroom and looks out at her class, ensuring that each student meets her eye. “Now, will we all continue our lesson without interruption?”

“Yes, Mrs. Schitt,” they all recite in unison.

Jocelyn smiles sweetly. She’ll have a chat with the principal during her lunch break. She’ll make certain that she receives the Best Teacher award that she rightfully deserves.

After all, she can be very convincing.

Chapter Text

“The kitchen’s straight ahead, and I hope you like eggs because that’s what I’m making in the morning!” Patrick has only known his new roommate/landlord/employer for five minutes, and yet he’s certain that Ray has already spoken more words during that time than Patrick does during his average week.

Ray gestures toward the stairs. “And up there are the bedrooms. Mine’s on the left, yours is haunted, and the bathroom is at the end of the hall. Now, Patrick, do you prefer to shower in the morning or in the evenings?”

“Whoa, hang on.” Patrick holds up a hand. “I think I misheard you. What did you say about my room?”

“Oh, it’s haunted,” Ray says cheerfully. “But don’t worry about Ronnie. She’s been here since I moved in, and she’s harmless. She joins in with the gang’s poker nights whenever it’s my turn to host. Speaking of which, she can’t leave the bedroom, so once a month when it’s my turn to host poker night, we’ll need to use your room. I hope you don’t mind, and of course you are more than welcome to join!”

“I…” Patrick opens and closes his mouth several times, but he’s unable to produce any words. It has been an impossibly long and emotionally-wrought day, and he just wants to go to sleep, so he just shakes his head. “If it’s alright, I’m just going to take a quick shower and head to bed. I’ve had a long drive.”

“Of course, of course!” Ray bobbles his head in a series of nods and waves Patrick off.

Patrick drops what little belongings he bothered to pack in his new room and then retreats to the shower. He turns the water on hot and sighs as the heat eases some of the tension he’s been holding in his body for… well, for years if he’s being honest.

His muscles are stiff from so many hours in the car and his head aches from too many tears and too little food throughout the day, but despite it all, he feels a little lighter. He feels a sense of relief almost, and his confidence that he made the right decision increases.

When Patrick steps out of the shower, he realizes that he forgot to bring any clothes to change into with him to the bathroom. He wraps a towel around his waist and peeks out the door to make sure Ray isn’t around before darting quickly to his bedroom and shutting the door.

“Hmph.”

Patrick freezes at the sound from behind him, his breath catching in his chest. He turns around slowly and finds himself face to face with a woman. She looks to be in her 40s or 50s with close-cropped hair and a distinctly displeased expression on her face. There’s something odd about her appearance that Patrick can’t quite identify. It’s like she’s a bit blurred around the edges.

“Get enough of a look, ya creep?” she snaps, and Patrick realizes that he’s been staring too long.

“Uh, I…” His brain finally catches up, and he realizes that he obviously had not misunderstood Ray earlier as he had hoped. His room actually is haunted. “You’re Ronnie? I'm Patrick. It's, uh, nice to meet you."

She grunts in response, jerking her head in an approximation of a nod. Patrick is suddenly very aware of the fact that he is wearing nothing but a towel. Self-consciously, he wraps his arms around himself.

Ronnie scoffs. “I have no interest in looking at your pasty body. You look like a damn thumb!”

“Wow,” Patrick blurts before he can stop himself. “You’re certainly pleasant to be around.”

She scowls. “I don’t like you.”

“Well, I’m not so crazy about you either, but we can’t do much about that now, can we? Do you mind?” He gestures down at the towel, and Ronnie sneers but turns her back, allowing Patrick to rummage through one of his bags and grab the first items of clothing he can find.

After pulling on a t-shirt and a pair of pajama bottoms, Patrick takes a deep breath before forcing himself to walk past Ronnie to the bed, hoping to radiate more confidence that he’s currently feeling. He takes a seat on the bed, leaning back against the headboard and shooting Ronnie what he intends to be a defiant expression.

She raises her eyebrows and gives him an appraising look. “So, what brings you here, kid?”

Patrick bites back the urge to say that he is thirty years old and does not appreciate being called a kid. Instead, he just sighs, unsure how to respond. He’s too tired to say anything but the truth.

“I ran away from home.”

“And what are you running from?” she asks.

“Everything?” Patrick shrugs. “I quit my job, broke things off with my fiancée, and just… left.”

She studies him wordlessly, looking mildly curious, until Patrick can no longer stand the silence.

“Guess that was a pretty cowardly thing to do, right?” He gives a self-deprecating chuckle and looks away. Her gaze is too intense. It’s like being under a microscope.

“Yup, pretty cowardly some might say,” she finally says.

Patrick shakes his head, unsure what else he expected from this woman — ghost? — who has done nothing but judge him since he stepped foot through the door.

“Some might say it’s a bit brave, too.” Ronnie drifts lazily across the room, walking directly through the foot of the bed, and leans back against the dresser.

“Brave?” Patrick shakes his head.

“You were unhappy, right?” she asks, and when he nods, she continues. “You needed a change in your life.”

Patrick’s not sure if it’s a question, but he answers anyway. “Yeah, um, I just… something felt wrong.” He exhales a humorless laugh. “Everything felt wrong. It was a good job, and Rachel– She’s so good. Nice, funny, smart… really pretty. And she was so excited about getting married to me, and I just felt. Shit, I don’t know. I felt trapped. There’s nothing wrong with her. It’s just me. Something is not right with me.”

“Hmm,” Ronnie hums, and Patrick flushes, aware that he has just revealed way too much. “Maybe. But maybe not.”

“What do you mean?” Patrick frowns, confused.

“I mean,” she pauses, giving him a shrewd look, like she sees something that he’s missing. “Maybe it just wasn’t right for you two together. Nothing wrong individually, but you weren’t right together. And if you aren’t right, you’ll only make each other miserable, so yeah, there’s a bit of bravery in leaving a situation like that behind.”

Patrick thought that he had no tears left in his body after the hours he spent sobbing behind the wheel of his car, but apparently he was wrong about that. His eyes begin to burn and he blinks rapidly, clearing his throat before speaking.

“Uh, thanks, Ronnie. I really appreciate you saying that.”

“Alright, that’s enough. Don’t give me that big-eyed, sad puppy look. I still don’t fucking like having you here in my room,” Ronnie snarls.

Patrick smiles, the first time he’s done so all day. “Good night, Ronnie.”

Chapter Text

Patrick is fumbling with his keys at the front door when it hits him that something is different. He pauses, then steps backward on the porch, bumping into David, who is distracted staring down at his phone. He ignores David’s offended, “um, excuse you!” and gapes at the jack-o’-lantern sitting on the porch.

“David,” he says, and when his husband just grunts in response, eyes still on his phone, he repeats himself louder, “David! Look at this.”

“What?!” David snaps. “Is it not enough that I generously agreed to displaying this atrocity on our beautiful front porch for the entire month? Must I also look at it?”

“David, this is not the same jack-o’-lantern that I carved last night. Look at it!” Patrick stares at David, waiting for him to match his own confusion at this change, but David just squints and shrugs.

“I don’t know, honey. It looks the same to me,” he says.

“The same?” Patrick splutters. “I carved a smiling jack-o’-lantern, and this one is very clearly frowning!”

“I mean, it’s a vegetable that you took a knife to and then set outside for 24 hours. It’s probably rotting, which is why it looks different. Which is also why it is disgusting to keep this out on our porch.” David moves toward the door again. “Come on, I’m hungry. Let’s go inside.”

Patrick stares at the pumpkin for another moment, no longer certain in what he’s seeing. After all, he had debated between a couple different designs last night, so maybe he’s misremembering carving a smiling face into the jack-o’-lantern.

“Actually, now that I think about it, are pumpkins vegetables? Because they have seeds, so maybe they’re actually fruits.” Distantly, Patrick registers that David is speaking. He looks up and sees David looking back expectantly.

“Uh, yeah, yeah, you might be right,” Patrick responds, shaking his head and forcing himself to look away from the pumpkin.

“You coming, honey?” David asks. “Let’s order takeout tonight. I don’t want to cook.”

You don’t want to cook, huh?” Patrick teases, finally unlocking the door and leading the way inside. “That’s funny because I seem to remember that I am the one who does most of the cooking around here.”

Patrick loses himself in the familiar banter with his husband, and after dinner, David makes sure to fully obliterate all thoughts of the jack-o’-lantern from Patrick’s mind.


Patrick doesn’t think about the jack-o’-lantern again until the next evening as they return from the store. He spots it as he pulls in the driveway, and he’s out of the car and running up the steps to the porch before David has even unbuckled his seatbelt.

“Um, Patrick?” David says. “What’s going on?”

“David!” Patrick points to the jack-o’-lantern. “Now do you believe me?!”

It’s an entirely different jack-o’-lantern, different from the original one that Patrick remembers carving and from the new one he saw last night. This one has an even more exaggerated scowl carved into its face along with harsh lines above its eyes that he can only assume are eyebrows.

David walks up the front steps to look. “I’m sorry, what is this?” he snaps, waving his arm so dramatically that he knocks Patrick in the knees with his bag. “Are those eyebrows? Is this meant to be some sort of mockery of me?”

“Of course not,” Patrick starts, but then he looks closer, and the eyebrows and frown do look a bit like David’s. “Well…”

“Oh my god! I will not stand for this kind of harassment.” He stalks off toward the door, slamming it behind him.

Patrick lingers on the porch for several minutes. There’s no sign of any other changes or any damage to their property. The only thing different is the jack-o’-lantern. There must be some neighbor kids playing a prank on them. He decides to move the pumpkin to the back patio tonight.


Patrick is confident that moving the pumpkin will have solved their problem. Their backyard is fenced in, so no kid is going to waste their time messing with the jack-o’-lantern. They’ll go for an easier target who has their pumpkin on their front lawn.

He’s so confident that he almost doesn’t bother to check the jack-o’-lantern before leaving for work. He’s nearly out the door before he decides to double back and check the backyard, just in case.

“David!” Patrick shouts, even though he knows his husband hates being awakened this early. He runs up the stairs and shakes David’s shoulder. “David, wake up.”

David groans and attempts to pull the covers over his head, but Patrick yanks them off.

“It’s the jack-o’-lantern,” he says, and David squints one eye open. “Come downstairs.”

David begrudgingly follows, complaining the whole while, but he falls silent as soon as the jack-o’-lantern comes into view.

“Patrick, it’s…”

“I know.” Patrick nods. It’s the original smiling jack-o’-lantern that Patrick carved, sitting innocently on their back patio. He’s certain it’s the same innocuous smile that he himself carved, but now it looks far more malicious than Patrick remembers. “Stay here.”

He goes outside, walking the perimeter of their yard, but once again, he can find no signs of trespass or damage. The only thing different is the pumpkin.

“Alright, I’ve had enough!” Patrick exclaims. “We’re bringing this indoors. That’ll stop ‘em.”

David insists on laying down an old towel on the floor, and then he covers the jack-o’-lantern with an overturned cardboard box.

“That thing is disgusting,” he insists, as he covers it, but Patrick catches him giving it a wary look as they leave for work. The very fact that he’s agreeing to leave for the store this early, rather than go back to bed, is indication that David is feeling spooked.

“It’s just some kids playing a prank, David,” he says, reassuringly. “The pumpkin isn’t changing itself or something.”

David hums, his mouth drawn in a stiff line, and doesn’t respond.

They’re both quiet all day. Despite his reassurances that it’s just kids, Patrick is feeling a bit unsettled himself. He can’t imagine why someone would be targeting them specifically and going to so much effort to torment them.


That evening, they both hesitate at the front door. David shoots Patrick an uncertain look, and Patrick takes a deep breath, unlocking the door and stepping inside. The box is right where they left it, not that Patrick expected anything different. He steps forward and reaches for the box.

“See, David, it was just– Fuck!” Patrick shouts and flings the cardboard box across the room in his panic. Sitting under the box, on the very towel that David laid out this morning, is an entirely new jack-o’-lantern. This one has a maniacally large grin, stretching upwards on both sides and reaching nearly to its eyes. Patrick can’t move. He stands there staring in disbelief at this pumpkin that has somehow gotten inside his locked home.

David shoves past him and bends to pick up the jack-o’-lantern. He stomps briskly back outdoors and flings the pumpkin off the porch and into the driveway, where it smashes with a sickeningly-loud splat.

Patrick’s brain finally kicks back into gear and he begins to move. “David, wait outside. I’m going to search the house.”

“Like hell you are!” David shouts. “Just call the police!”

When Patrick doesn’t respond, he hears David let out a frustrated yell and come back inside.

“David, you stay outside, I’ll–” Patrick flips on the kitchen light and screams, stumbling back out into the hallway where David catches him in his arms.

“What, what?!” David shouts, peering around him into the kitchen.

Sitting on the kitchen counter is Patrick’s original jack-o’-lantern. This time with a flickering candle lighting it up from the inside.

“No,” Patrick whispers. “No, no, nonono.”

He turns around in David’s arms and looks at his husband in terror, but David’s face isn’t reciprocating his own fear.

“Da-David?” he asks.

David’s mouth is slightly ajar, his eyebrows bunched in the middle, and a curious expression on his face. The look on his face doesn’t at all align with how Patrick is feeling.

Suddenly, David shouts. “Stevie! Stevie fucking Budd, get your goddamned ass out here!”

“Stevie?” Patrick doesn’t understand what Stevie has to do with anything.

David takes off, flinging open closet doors and flipping on lights, shouting for Stevie all the while.

“David, what the–” Patrick begins, but David interrupts with an enraged growl and runs toward the back patio. Patrick trails after him helplessly.

David flings open the door and steps outside, Patrick on his heels.

“Stevie?” Patrick croaks.

Stevie is lounging in one of their chairs, her feet up on the patio table, which is covered in a series of jack-o’-lanterns — all of which Patrick recognizes from the past few days. She has a wine glass in her hand, which she raises in greeting.

“Happy Halloween, boys!”

David growls again, but Patrick just gapes blankly, looking between the two of them in confusion.

“How did you…?” He looks at Stevie. “And how did you know?” He directs at David.

Stevie raises her other hand, opening her closed fist to reveal…

“I told you not to give her a fucking key to our house!” David howls.

Chapter Text

Ronnie has loved thunderstorms since childhood. Her mother used to scold her for standing too close to the windows, nose pressed to the glass to watch wind whipping through the trees and lightning illuminating the dark sky.

Even as an adult, Ronnie still races to a window each time it storms, eager to watch the sky rage.

Outside, the wind howls; inside, Ronnie smiles.

“Anyone in their right mind can sense the danger,” her mother always said.

Ronnie likes the danger. She likes the jolt of fear licking through her veins and lighting her up inside. She lives for it.

Chapter Text

Twyla finishes lighting the final candle and sits down at the edge of the chalk circle she drew on the café floor. Alexis sits on the opposite side, fussing over her skirt getting dirty even though Twyla just mopped the floor.

“Take my hands, Alexis.” Twyla reaches across the circle to lace their fingers together, and Alexis gives a pleased little shimmy.

“This is such a cute look for us, babe,” Alexis says.

Twyla smiles. “Thanks, Alexis. Now, I need to do the chant. I need to concentrate for this part.”

“Hunny p, Twy.” Alexis nods solemnly, fluttering both of her eyes in a way that slightly detracts from her attempt at seriousness, but Twyla can’t help but be charmed anyway.

She begins to recite the chant, the words a bit clumsy in her mouth at first. It’s been a while since she’s attempted this spell, but she feels a warmth beginning to spread through her diaphragm, and her confidence grows. This is the familiar feeling of her magic coursing through her body and collecting right over her heart. The magic thrums alongside her heart, their tandem drumbeats roaring in Twyla’s ears.

“Babe, um, I know, like, four languages, but I have literally no idea what you’re saying right now,” Alexis interrupts, and the drumbeat stops. The warm ball of magic evaporates, and Twyla is left feeling cold.

Her eyes fly open. “It’s ancient Latin. I’m going to need to start over now.”

“Oh, right, of course. My lips are one hundred percent sealed.” Alexis mimes zipping her lips and takes Twyla’s hands again, giving them a squeeze.

Twyla smiles and squeezes back before beginning the chant again. She can feel the energy in the room shifting, the warmth growing in her chest once more. Her fingertips start to tingle as a hot jolt of power races down her arms.

“Um, ow, Twy.” Alexis jerks her hands back, and Twyla is knocked backward with the force of the energy exiting her body so abruptly. “You, like, shocked me or something.”

“Alexis,” she sighs, trying to disguise her frustration at being interrupted, “the spell won’t work if I keep being…” Twyla hesitates, searching for a gentler word, “um, distracted.”

“Aw, babe.” Alexis shimmies, looking all too pleased with herself. “I think you’re pretty distracting too. Maybe we can stop and make out for a li’l bit.”

“Um.” Twyla bites her lip, more tempted by the suggestion than she cares to admit even to herself. “Let’s just finish this spell first, okay? Then we can make out.”

“Yes.” Alexis nods enthusiastically. “Love that plan. Let’s do it!”

Twyla takes her hands again. “Now, um, no interruptions this time, please.”

“Ooh, yes, Miss Sands.” Alexis smiles coyly. “Love it when you boss me around..”

Twyla tries to ignore the way her cheeks heat up under the intensity of Alexis’ stare. She takes a deep, steadying breath and starts the chant again.

She has nearly reached the end of the spell this time. Twyla directs the energy down through her arms, and their clasped hands begin vibrating as the power moves through them.

“Is it happening yet?” Alexis whispers.

“Alexis!” Twyla shouts in exasperation. She jerks her hands back, and a ball of light shoots out from her fingertips.

They both leap to their feet, jumping backwards from the circle, as the blinding ball of light soars upward. It reaches the ceiling and begins to expand, swirling and pulsating like a raging storm cloud of pure light. Twyla shields her eyes, squinting over at Alexis.

“Um, I thought you said this spell was going to make a cute li’l ball of light,” Alexis says. “This is kinda big.”

Twyla snorts at the ludicrous understatement. “This wasn’t supposed to happen.”

“It’s still very pretty though, babe.” Alexis carefully edges around the circle to Twyla’s side, dodging the sparks shooting out from the light cloud. “Good job.”

Twyla rolls her eyes. “I messed up, Alexis.”

“Yeah, but I was maybe being a bit distracting,” Alexis wraps her arms around Twyla’s waist, pulling their bodies flush. “This is very impressive, though. You’re, like, a super powerful witch.” She ducks down, kissing along Twyla’s jaw and making her shiver with pleasure. “That’s really hot.”

A bolt of lightning shoots out from the raging cloud above them. Alexis clucks her tongue impatiently.

“Okay, rude. I was kinda in the middle of something,” she snaps.

Twyla laughs. “It’s frustrating being interrupted, isn’t it?”

“Oh my god, right?” Alexis nods emphatically. “So frustrating.”

Chapter Text

Everyone has a devil that lives on their shoulder, whispering in their ear, urging them to lie and cheat and steal.

Ray is that devil for all the residents of Schitt’s Creek. (He’s always been a bit ambitious.) He spends his days tuning into his neighbors’ thoughts. Most people know what’s the “right thing” to do in most situations.

Most people also feel a temptation to do the wrong thing. Ray just gives them a little shove in that direction.

This morning, Ray nudges Patrick to lie to David. He just needs a little push. Honestly, it’s too easy sometimes. Maybe he’ll give David a nudge later this week to shrink Patrick’s cargo shorts in the wash.

In the afternoon, he turns his attention to Roland, who’s debating eating the last slice of pie that Jocelyn is saving. Ray barely needs to nudge him at all.

By evening, Twyla is waiting tables while thinking about charities she wants to donate to. Finally a challenge for Ray. He nudges her to give Ronnie the low-fat mayonnaise she hates with her dinner. Twyla feels guilty the rest of the night, but Ray is pleased.

Another successful day as the Schitt’s Creek puppetmaster.

Chapter Text

“Oh my god, babe!” Alexis clutches Rachel’s forearm and gasps dramatically. “This is the sweetest li’l orchard! I only thought these kinds of things were in, like, all those rom-coms that David likes. I didn’t know they were real!”

“Alexis,” Rachel laughs, “where did you think apples came from?”

“Mkay, obviously, I knew that they come from trees, Rach.” Alexis rolls her eyes. “But I didn’t think it would be this cute! You planned such a cute li’l datey for us.”

“I’m glad you like it.” Despite her best efforts, Rachel’s cheeks begin to heat. She’s still not entirely used to receiving compliments from someone like Alexis. She’s just so… electric. Each time Alexis touches her — and Alexis is extremely affectionate — Rachel swears a jolt of electricity radiates from the point of contact and throughout her body. It’s addicting, if she’s honest.

“Come on, hurry your cute tushy up!” Alexis still has her by the arm, so her shimmy wiggles its way through Rachel’s body too.

Rachel allows herself to be led forward through the entryway to the orchard. It’s like being dropped into a box of crayons — the bold red of the McIntosh, offset by the bright green Granny Smith, and surrounded by the cheerful yellow of the Golden Delicious. Beneath their feet, the fallen leaves crunch merrily with each step. Rachel takes Alexis’ hand in hers and swings it as they walk. She inhales deeply, allowing the crisp autumn air to fill her lungs and the sweet smell of apples to wash over her.

“Ooh, let’s pick that one, Rach!” Alexis tugs her forward, pointing at a shiny red apple. “Look how pretty it is!” Alexis plucks it from the tree and drops it in the basket Rachel brought with them.

“You should know that I bake the best apple pies,” Rachel says. “I think that’s what I’ll bake first with these.”

“Um.” Alexis wrinkles her nose. “I don’t really do hot fruit. No offense, babe.”

Rachel cocks her head to the side. “Okay, so that’s a no on the tart and cobbler then?”

Alexis wiggles noncommittally, but the pinched expression on her face gives Rachel her answer.

“No problem. I can make applesauce.” Rachel selects another apple for their basket.

“Ew, babe.” Alexis recoils. “We’re not in a nursing home!”

“Alexis, do you even like apples?” Rachel asks.

“Umm...” Alexis hesitates. “I’m really more of a mango type of girl.”

Rachel is torn between amusement and exasperation. “Then what exactly do you have in mind for all these apples?”

Alexis looks genuinely stumped. “I don’t know. This is just such a cute look for us, Rach. I wore my new boots, you’re wearing the scarf I got you — which looks amazing with your hair, by the way. I’ve never dated someone who took me on cute little Pinterest dates like this. I didn’t really think about what would happen next.”

“Alexis…” Rachel’s heart melts in her chest, and she’s swaying closer to Alexis before she even realizes it, her lips seeking out Alexis’ without conscious decision from her mind.

Alexis’ lips are sweet from the apple crisp macchiato she insisted they buy from Starbucks on their way to the orchard because, “it’s important to set the mood, babe.” Rachel is grateful for her insistence now because Alexis tastes delicious. She licks into her mouth, and Alexis tugs her closer by the scarf she so carefully wrapped around Rachel’s neck earlier.

Rachel planned this date carefully. She researched the closest orchard, she obsessively checked the weather forecast before selecting which day they should go, and she’s been bookmarking any recipe for apples that she can find.

But she realizes now that Alexis has been doing her own planning. While Rachel was planning logistics, Alexis was planning aesthetics. She carefully selected her most autumnal outfit, coordinating it with the scarf she purchased for Rachel. She selected the apple crisp macchiato because she wanted to establish the apple-based theme for the date. She even prepared a playlist for the drive, which largely consists of the discography of Fiona Apple and Low by Flo Rida, but it’s the thought that counts.

Rachel suggested they go on a date to an apple orchard, and her sweet, wonderful girlfriend took it upon herself to plan every aspect of their sensory experience. Well, almost every aspect.

“Alexis.” Rachel pulls back from their kiss just far enough to look up into Alexis’ bright blue-green eyes. “What the fuck are we going to do with all these apples?”

Chapter Text

“Stevie?” Ruth’s voice is barely audible over the sound of leaves crunching beneath their feet. “I think we’ve passed this tree before.”

“What?” Stevie snaps. “That’s impossible. We’ve been walking in a straight line.”

Ruth examines the odd shape carved into the trunk of the tree. It almost looks like it could be an eye.

“No, I’m certain I saw this earlier,” she says.

“Someone probably just carved the same thing in multiple trees. Come on.” Stevie sounds impatient, but Ruth thinks her voice is laced with a hint of uncertainty.

They continue walking, Stevie’s pace increasing slightly and forcing Ruth to hurry to keep up. Ruth decides not to point out that the woods are growing darker with each passing moment, despite the fact that it had been a sunny and cloudless afternoon when they entered not long ago.

Neither of them speak as they continue walking. The only sounds are the crunch of leaves, the rustle of branches, and their own labored breathing as panic begins to set in. The trees seem to be closing in on them, and try as she might, Ruth can no longer convince herself that this is just her brain playing tricks on her. She trips over a tree root snaking its way across the path and catches herself by bracing her hand on a tree. The leaves rustle and shake above her, and wildly, she thinks that it sounds like the tree is laughing.

They keep moving, their pace nearing a jog. Ruth’s sweater snags on a tree branch, halting her momentum and startling a gasp from her. Stevie spins around, a frantic look of fear in her eyes.

“What happened?” she asks. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, yes, I’m fine.” Ruth frees her sweater from the branch and tries to force a reassuring smile. “Just a branch. Wait…” she trails off as her gaze drifts from the branch over to the trunk of the tree.

The same eye is carved into the trunk.

“Stevie, I told you I saw this before!”

“Just some bored kid carving it into all the trees.” Stevie shrugs. “Trust me, I spent most of my teen years hanging out in these woods. There’s nothing else for you to do in Schitt’s Creek. Kids come out here to smoke and fuck and try to scare each other.”

“We have been walking for God knows how long in these woods, and there’s still no sign of a clearing. We are making no progress!” Ruth shouts.

“Are you suggesting that I’m leading you around in a circle then?” Stevie yells back. “Why would I do that? Just to fuck with you?”

“No! God, Stevie.” Ruth shakes her head. “You said it yourself — we’ve been walking in a straight line. We haven’t made a turn or veered off the path since we started walking.”

“What then, Ruth?” Stevie takes a step closer to Ruth, her eyes wide.

Her hair is beginning to look wild. There’s a twig stuck just behind her ear and sweat dampening the hair around her temples. Ruth’s certain she must look the same way. They’ve been walking for so long. She feels an absurd urge to laugh.

“I don’t know,” she whispers, shaking her head. She removes her scarf from her neck and wraps it around a branch. “Let’s just… see.”

“See what?” Stevie asks.

“Just…” Ruth swallows heavily. “Just to prove that I’m wrong, that I’m being paranoid, okay?”

Stevie stares at her for a long moment, her eyes wide and unblinking. Then she looks at Ruth’s bright red scarf hanging from the tree. Eventually, she nods. Without speaking, they continue walking.

The trees begin to whisper. Ruth can’t distinguish any words, and yet she is certain that the rustling sounds surrounding them are voices from the trees. Ruth’s a logical person, and yet somehow, in her heart, she knows that the woods are speaking.

They keep moving, tree branches scratching at their arms and faces as they move. It’s so dark now that Ruth can barely see Stevie beside her anymore. She reaches for Stevie’s hand and grasps it tightly as they dodge branches and jump over roots. They’re surrounded by darkness pressing in from all angles.

A flash of red comes into view. Ruth gasps, and Stevie swears under her breath. They step closer cautiously. There’s no denying that this is Ruth’s scarf tied just where she left it. Without thinking, she raises her hand, reaching out to touch the material, to prove to herself that it’s real.

“Holy fuck!” Stevie yelps.

It takes Ruth a second to figure out what Stevie is reacting to, but then she sees it. One side of the scarf is completely shredded, vicious slashes ripping through the fabric. She gasps, dropping the scarf and stepping back from the tree. Stevie clutches her hand painfully tight. As the scarf flutters to the ground, the eye carved into the tree trunk comes back into view.

Slowly, as they both watch in horror, the eye blinks.

Chapter Text

Alexis loves to date. She loves the flirtation and the excitement of those first few dates with someone new. None of them ever last very long, and that’s the way she likes it. She likes being surrounded by a wide assortment of admirers telling her how beautiful and fun and sexy she is, and that always disappears once things get serious. She doesn’t like to deal with the serious stuff. She’s young and hot and rich; there’s plenty of time for that when she’s old.

Klair tried to make Alexis feel embarrassed because she doesn’t have a date to the big Halloween party tonight, but she’s not concerned. Alexis is confident that before the end of the night she’ll have someone to make out with — or multiple someones.

It’s a masquerade party, and Alexis bought a new — and super cute — little black dress to wear. Her legs look amazing, and as soon as she walks through the door, she already has several sets of eyes on her. She adjusts her sparkly mask and tosses her hair over her shoulder, walking confidently toward the bar.

After about an hour at the party, she’s starting to feel a bit bored. She’s had several flirty encounters, but no one is holding her attention. What a waste of a super hot outfit.

“This party sucks, right?”

Alexis turns at the voice, finding a tall person wearing a long black cloak leaning against the wall. Unlike Alexis’ mask, which only covers the top half of her face, this person’s face is entirely obscured by a black mask. In fact, between the weird cloak thing and the mask, their entire body is covered. They even have the hood of the cloak pulled over their head. Alexis is immediately intrigued.

“Totally,” she agrees, her eyes sweeping over the mysterious stranger. “Um, hi! Who are you?”

“It’s a masquerade party,” the stranger replies coyly. “Shouldn’t we be keeping our identities a mystery?”

“Okay, stranger.” Alexis smiles playfully. “Why don’t you get me a drink then?”

Alexis loses track of the time talking to the mysterious cloaked stranger. They’re boldly flirtatious, quick-witted, and charming. They have Alexis laughing harder than she has in years. At one point, she actually snorts into her drink, which is so not in her typical flirt repertoire.

They keep her on her toes, switching between clever commentary on the other guests and asking her personal questions. She feels wrong-footed in the best possible way. It’s so rare that someone truly challenges Alexis, and the feeling is intoxicating.

“You know, you’ve been asking me a lot of questions,” Alexis says, walking her fingertips up the stranger’s arm and shimmying her shoulders, “but I notice that you don’t seem to say much about yourself.”

“I’m more interested in talking about you,” they say with a shrug.

“Well, of course, who wouldn’t?” Alexis says. “But I want to know something about you, too. Come on, just tell me one thing.”

The stranger doesn’t respond.

“Aw, are you feeling shy now? What if...” Alexis moves closer, stroking her palm along their arm. “I took off my mask?”

The stranger hums, sounding interested.

“Yeah? Would you like that? If I took off my mask, would you tell me something about yourself?”

“What do you want to know?” the stranger hedges.

“Your phone number would be a good start.” Alexis winks.

“How about we both take off our masks?”

Alexis raises her eyebrows, surprised. They’ve been dodging her questions all night, but now they’re down for a face reveal? She hesitates. This is what she’s been wanting all night, but their abrupt change of heart gives her pause. Would a face reveal ruin the sexy flirtation they’ve had going on all night?

She shakes her head. It would be such a boring end to the night if she said no, and Alexis Rose is anything but boring.

“On the count of three?” she says with a grin.

Her mysterious stranger nods, and they count down in unison.

“Three, two, one, now!”

Alexis tears off her mask with a smile. The stranger pulls their mask off, and Alexis screams, stumbling backwards in horror.

“How… what… oh my god?!” she shrieks.

Alexis thought the worst case scenario would be that her mysterious stranger is ugly, or that she already hooked up with them once before. But this… this is…

Underneath the stranger’s mask is nothing at all.

Chapter Text

Moira has been acting strange ever since she returned from Bosnia. At first, Johnny assumed it was just the jetlag and all the Bosnian uppers she took, but now he’s uncertain.

One morning, about a week after her return, Johnny wakes up to find her side of the bed already empty, except for a long, black feather on her pillow.

“Moira, sweetheart?” he calls, but there’s no response.

Suddenly, there’s a loud shriek outside. Johnny rushes to the window and pulls back the blinds.

Standing in the parking lot is a dark figure with enormous black wings spread wide.

“Caw-caw!”

Chapter Text

Ted has been planning for the Halloween dog costume contest since last year when his three-year winning streak was broken because of reasons completely unrelated to his dog’s adorable Bark Vader costume. He’s certain that the only reason Miguel won last year is because of his stupid nipple ads that he rereleased just days before the judging. The judges were simply blinded by rock-hard abs and pert nipples.

This year, Ted is determined to reclaim the first place trophy. Sir Arthur Canine Doyle is looking exceptionally adorable in his pupkin spice latte costume. He debated for weeks whether the costume was too “basic” as Alexis had said when he texted her the idea, but ultimately Sir Arthur’s sweet face looking up at him from under the Starbucks lid hat sealed the deal.

Sir Arthur is wearing a bright orange and very round pumpkin costume on which Ted embroidered a green chili pepper. He’s wearing little green booties that match the green of the Starbucks logo on his little hat. He has a bow attached to his collar that says “Starbarks.” Ted smiles at his sweet pup’s wide, bulging eyes and adorable underbite. Only a monster wouldn’t vote for this beautiful creature as first place.

He offers Sir Arthur an ear scritch and a treat before getting to his feet to scout out the competition around the park. He sees teddy bears, spiders, and princess costumes. Ted can barely contain his smug smile. What a bunch of amateurs. There is a very cute corgi dressed as a mermaid that could potentially serve as competition, but Ted is still feeling pretty confident.

“Ted, I’m surprised you were willing to show your face here after I completely destroyed you last year.”

Ted recognizes the sneering voice immediately. He forces his face into a neutral expression before turning around.

“Miguel,” he says smoothly. He glances down at Maggie and snorts derisively. “A hot dog, really?” Maggie is a long-haired dachshund and makes an extremely cute hot dog, but Miguel could not have possibly put any less effort into the costume. “Where’s the imagination, Miguel? This is barely even a pun.”

“Oh, and you really think your basic PSL costume is going to win?” Miguel scoffs. “What is it — 2016?”

“For your information, Sir Arthur is a pupkin spice latte. He is not a ‘basic PSL.’” Ted performs exaggerated air quotes around the words, but privately, he’s feeling a little hurt by Miguel’s criticism, especially since Alexis had said the same thing.

Sir Arthur nudges his leg affectionately with his nose, and Ted relaxes slightly. Is he really going to let the opinions of his ex-girlfriend and veterinary rival dash his confidence? No barking way.

“Good for you for not letting your embarrassing loss to me last year damage your confidence,” Miguel says.

They glare at each other for several long moments before Maggie’s bark breaks off the intense eye contact. Ted immediately drops to a crouch to greet Maggie, while Miguel does the same with Sir Arthur. They speak in unison.

“Who’s a good boy?”

“What a sweet girl you are. Yes, you are.”

Miguel stands up first, brushing dirt from the knees of his jeans and turning his nose up at Ted.

“May the best dog win,” he says.

“Oh, he will.” Ted scoops Sir Arthur up in his arms and stalks away, determined not to look back at Miguel over his shoulder.

The rest of the afternoon passes smoothly, with plenty of fellow dog owners complimenting Sir Arthur on his costume. Ted makes his way around the park petting every dog, while secretly judging their costumes. He catches Miguel watching him on several occasions, but whenever he tries to make eye contact, Miguel very purposefully looks away. Ted’s not sure what to make of this behavior, but by the time Roland announces that the judges are prepared to crown a winner, Ted has been mostly successful in distracting himself from thinking about Miguel.

Everyone gathers around to listen as Roland announces the judges' decision, and Ted finds himself standing next to Miguel and Maggie. Miguel nods wordlessly, and Ted returns the gesture, trying to ignore the way his stomach flips nervously. He always gets a little anxious as the judging begins, that’s all.

“Well, well, well,” Roland shouts into the microphone, far louder than necessary, “what have we got here? For the first time ever, it looks like we have a tie for first place!”

Ted glances at Miguel, who raises his eyebrows. Ted grins and shrugs. A tie wouldn’t be so bad. Miguel smiles crookedly, and Ted’s heart begins to race imagining Sir Arthur and Maggie sharing the crown.

“Our first place winners are…” Roland drums on the judges’ table until Ronnie knocks his hand away. “Miss Suzy Q and Max!”

Ted’s jaw drops. He turns to Miguel, who looks like he’s been slapped across the face. Ted glances down at Sir Arthur and Maggie, who are playing together happily, tails wagging at full force.

“So, um, this is…” Miguel clears his throat awkwardly.

“Unexpected?” Ted finishes for him.

“I was going to say ‘a devastating upset for the ages,’” Miguel smiles, “but, yeah, that works too.”

“It’ll absolutely go down in history as the greatest pupset of the century.” Ted returns his smile.

“Without a doubt. Ruff-believable.” Miguel’s smile goes a little shy, and Ted’s heart skips a beat. His punning could use some work, but doggone it, Ted is charmed.

“Can I buy you a coffee?” he asks.

“You vet you can,” Miguel replies.

Even though Ted didn’t take first place in the costume contest, he still feels like a winner today.

Chapter Text

“We’re back!” Twyla calls through the doorway. “And we have pumpkins!”

“Not me,” Stevie says. “I just have the booze.”

Twyla and Ruth haul the pumpkins into the house, while Stevie brings up the rear holding as many bottles of wine as she could carry. They find Alexis at the kitchen table, which she has covered in a purple tablecloth decorated with little bats. There’s candles flickering from nearly every surface in the room, and she’s dressed in a black lace dress with long, flowing sleeves.

“Wow, um, Alexis. You look– I mean, everything looks, but you look… wow,” Twyla stammers.

Ruth deposits her pumpkins on the table before grabbing Twyla’s from her arms.

“Good thinking, Ruth.” Stevie smirks. “Twyla was so busy staring, I think she was about to drop them.”

“You like?” Alexis shimmies in delight and kisses all three of them in greeting.

“You really went all out in here, Alexis,” Ruth remarks. “But you know that pumpkin carving is a messy process, right? You may want to change into something else.”

Alexis waves her concerns away and busies herself with selecting the perfect playlist.

“We should probably lay some newspapers out over the tablecloth too, so it doesn’t get ruined,” Twyla says. She spreads out the papers under each of the pumpkins, and then sets out the carving utensils and a bowl for the seeds.

Stevie uncorks the wine and opens a bag of chips. She lounges in a chair while the others set up their carving stations. Ruth lays out several reference images that she printed out, while Alexis pulls up a photo on her phone. Twyla watches Stevie with amusement.

“Are you planning on participating at all, or are you just going to drink wine all night?” she asks.

Stevie raises the bag of potato chips in protest. “Hey, now! I’m not just drinking. I’m eating snacks, too.”

“Our mistake then,” Ruth says with a roll of her eyes. She leans down to catch Stevie’s lips in a kiss.

“Come on!” Alexis exclaims. “Let’s get started.”

Twyla and Ruth start to carve the tops off their pumpkins, while Alexis watches curiously.

“Um, babes? I’ve actually never really done this before.” Alexis gives her pumpkin an apprehensive look.

“You don’t say,” Stevie says flatly.

Ruth gets up and walks around the table to Alexis’ side. “Here, I’ll help you get started. You have to cut the top off first before you start carving.” She begins to demonstrate, while Alexis watches.

Twyla smiles, feeling overwhelmingly fond of all her girlfriends. She finishes carving her top off and reaches inside, grabbing a handful of pumpkin seeds and tossing them in the bowl she set in the middle of the table.

“Oh my god,” Alexis shrieks. “Ew! What is that?”

“What?” Twyla frowns. “The pumpkin innards?”

Ewww!” Alexis wrinkles her nose. “The what?!”

Stevie begins to laugh, while Ruth bites at her lip to hold in a smile.

“Lex,” Ruth says patiently. “Have you never seen pumpkin seeds?”

“But they’re so… slimy!” Alexis yells.

“That’s because it’s the pumpkin’s intestines,” Stevie says. “It’s like an autopsy. You have to remove all the guts after the person dies.”

“Ew, what? Gross!” Alexis backs away from the table in disgust.

“Stevie.” Twyla gives her a warning look. “Alexis, we can get you some gloves, so you don’t have to touch the seeds.”

Ruth removes the top from Alexis’ pumpkin, and Alexis peers inside.

“There’s so much gunk in there!” she says, an accusatory note in her voice, as if they intentionally kept this information from her.

“Have you ever seen a jack-o’-lantern?” Ruth asks. “You know how you place a candle inside to light it up? That’s why we have to remove all this stuff on the inside. So you can put the candle inside, and then the light shines through your design.”

“Well, yeah, I figured you’d have to, like, hollow it out,” Alexis says, “but I thought it would just be more pumpkin inside, not all this gross stuff.”

Stevie laughs even harder.

“Um, well, this is pumpkin,” Twyla says.

“Then how do they make PSLs? Because they definitely smell nothing like this.” Alexis wrinkles her nose.

“Well, you have to…” Twyla trails off, realizing she has no idea how to make a pumpkin spice latte.

“Yes, please tell us, Twyla.” Stevie props her hand under her chin with a look of feigned interest. “And be very specific.”

Ruth gives Stevie a playful smack and wraps an arm around Alexis. “How about Stevie hollows out your pumpkin, Alexis? Then you can do the design after.”

“Yes, love that plan, babe!” Alexis claps her hands eagerly, while Ruth laughs at the look on Stevie’s face.

Twyla smiles as she watches Ruth press a kiss to Alexis’ cheek and shove her pumpkin at Stevie. She smiles as Stevie complains loudly as she scoops the seeds from Alexis’ pumpkin. She smiles when Alexis loudly (and very off-key) sings along to Monster Mash, and when Ruth flicks pumpkin seeds across the table at Stevie. She smiles until her cheeks hurt and her heart is full to bursting with more love than she ever thought was possible.

Twyla carves a smile into her pumpkin because how could she do anything else?

Chapter Text

Ronnie started building the bunker years ago. Everyone laughed at her. They said she was a paranoid doomsday prepper. She can’t even be smug now. She wishes that the bunker would sit empty and useless for the rest of her life.

But that’s not what happened.

It was a boring Tuesday afternoon in October when the first zombie showed up in Schitt’s Creek. Ronnie remembers that she and Roland were complaining about not having anything to do.

Bob was the first victim.

Ronnie gathered as many people as possible into her bunker, but there’s only so much room. There’s only so much food and supplies.

“One of us has to go out sooner or later,” Jocelyn says from beside her.

“It’ll be me,” Ronnie says decisively. Jocelyn starts to protest, but Ronnie shakes her head. “You have a family. It has to be me. I’ve been observing their behavior the past couple weeks. They’re less active in the morning.”

“Like me before my coffee.” Jocelyn tries to joke, but it falls flat.

“I’ll be okay, Joce,” Ronnie says, “and if I’m not…”

“You’ll be okay, Ronnie,” Jocelyn says firmly, wrapping Ronnie up in a tight hug.

Ronnie hopes she’s right.

Chapter Text

David exits the motel bathroom followed by a cloud of cologne. His eyes sweep over Stevie where she’s lounging on Alexis’ bed. “What is going on with this outfit? Do you even own a mirror, Stevie?”

“You’re right,” Stevie deadpans, “clearly I should dress in muppet fur like you.”

David promptly launches into a monologue about whatever designer created his muppet sweater, which Stevie tunes out entirely. While David examines himself from all angles in the full-length mirror, Stevie shrugs on her leather jacket and inches her way toward the motel door.

“Hang on,” David says, “come back. What do you think of this chain? Too much?” He holds the necklace up to his neck, still facing the mirror, so Stevie is forced to come closer to see.

“It looks fine, David.” She rolls her eyes. “We’re trolling for randoms, not going to the Met Gala.”

“Okay, that doesn’t mean we can’t still look good, and you didn’t even look. Get over here,” he snaps impatiently.

Stevie steps closer to the mirror, carefully averting her eyes to focus on the back of David’s head instead of his reflection. “Mhm, yup, the chain is good. Let’s go!”

“Fine, oh my god! I don’t know why you have to be so difficult.” David throws his hands in the air and abruptly steps away from the mirror, leaving Stevie staring into her reflection.

Despite her efforts, her gaze shifts up over her reflection’s shoulder, seeking out the blank, staring eyes that have followed her since childhood. The eyes are wide and black, set in a gaunt, expressionless face. The figure has no identifying features. They’re dressed all in black, body covered head to toe so that all Stevie can see are the huge, unblinking eyes.

The figure always looks exactly the same, never moving, but always standing directly over her shoulder and staring. She spent years trying to figure out what it means, where it came from, how to get rid of it, but eventually, Stevie gave up. She started avoiding her reflection at all costs by removing or covering all reflective surfaces in her apartment. She’s trained herself to automatically glance away whenever she enters a room with a mirror.

But sometimes she isn’t fast enough to look away, and once her eyes meet the pair staring back at her in the mirror, it takes all her strength to break the connection. The eyes stare, and she stares back. They draw her in and hold her still, pinning her in place.

Stevie worries sometimes that the eyes are draining her. They’re forcing her to meet their gaze and sucking her dry, zapping her energy, her drive, and eventually her identity. They take and they take, the eyes glowing brighter as the light inside her dims. They take until Stevie has nothing left to give, until she becomes nothing but a blank pair of eyes herself.

“Stevie, you coming?” David’s voice calls out.

She blinks, and the connection is broken. She turns from the mirror.

“Oh, are you finally ready? I think I dozed off waiting for you to finish primping.” Stevie forces a grin and shoulders her way past David to the motel door.

Stevie knows that the eyes will be awaiting her the next time she catches sight of her reflection, but for now she is safe.

Chapter Text

“Do we, um, eat the corn?” Albany asks tentatively.

“No, it’s a maze!” Twyla replies. “We navigate our way through to the other side. It’s fun!”

Albany isn’t sure about that, but Twyla’s face is alight with joy, and she’s powerless when confronted with her girlfriend’s radiant smile.

“Does your town make mazes with other vegetables too, or is this just a special corn thing?” Albany asks.

Twyla laughs. Albany doesn’t know what’s funny, but she knows Twyla would never laugh at her expense, so she takes her hand and leads the way into the maze, excited for whatever’s next.

Chapter Text

“I cannot believe that you have come into my home — my HOME — and are trying to tell me that Mounds are better than Almond Joy!” David is on his feet and shouting when Patrick gets home from the Apothecary.

“I’m home!” he calls from the doorway, but David doesn’t seem to hear him as he continues to shout at Stevie, who is now also on her feet.

“Coconut is disgusting!” Stevie yells.

“They both have coconut!” David actually throws a candy bar at Stevie, prompting her to smack him with a throw pillow in retaliation.

“So…” Patrick enters the living room, wrapping his arms around his husband from behind and pressing a kiss just beneath his ear. “You’ve clearly been making good use of your day off, David. Hey, Stevie.”

David turns to greet him with a quick kiss before returning his attention to Stevie.

“The almonds in Almond Joys help to offset the disgusting coconut flavor,” he explains. “Mounds have no redeeming qualities!”

Patrick eyes the piles of discarded candy wrappers scattered over the coffee table, couch, and floor. There’s also a half-empty bottle of wine open on the table. David took the day off from work today to pick Stevie up from the airport where she was returning from a trip to visit Ruth in New York. Judging by all the scattered refuse, Patrick would say that David and Stevie have done little aside from eat candy and drink wine since they got home. Even while arguing passionately, they both look happy to be reunited.

“Coming from the guy who ate an entire bag of candy corn.” Stevie scoffs.

David ignores this entirely and turns around in Patrick’s arms. His eyes are bright, and he has a pink flush high on his cheekbones. He’s so beautiful that Patrick can hardly stand it.

“Stevie brought home some American candy, so we’ve been ranking American versus Canadian candy,” David says.

“Uh huh.” Patrick smiles. “I can see that, and what are your conclusions?”

“Your husband has terrible taste in candy,” Stevie says. “In addition to his disgusting love for Almond Joys and candy corn—”

“I never said that I loved them, just that they’re—” David interrupts, but Stevie just speaks louder, drowning out his voice.

“He also thinks that Wunderbars are better than Coffee Crisp!” At that, she flops back into her chair and picks up her glass of wine, clearly convinced that she has won the debate.

David inhales deeply, obviously planning to begin his rebuttal, but Patrick interrupts, gently nudging his husband back onto the couch.

“I think perhaps you’ve both had enough candy,” he says.

“Maybe,” David concedes. “My stomach does hurt a bit.”

“Yeah,” Stevie agrees. “I feel kinda sick.”

“So maybe we can call a truce for now?” Patrick suggests.

David’s face twists in distaste, but he eventually nods. Stevie shrugs and swallows a large gulp of wine. Patrick decides to take that as agreement and settles onto the couch next to David, who promptly shoves his way under Patrick’s arm to cuddle into his chest.

“Ooh, M&Ms!” Patrick leans forward to grab a packet from the coffee table. “You know, I’ve always preferred M&Ms over Smarties.”

David and Stevie both immediately start shouting, their words overlapping.

“What kind of Canadian are you?!”

“Absolutely not! No husband of mine can have such incorrect opinions!”

Chapter Text

Ruth grew up hearing all kinds of tales about the Dread Pirate Schitt. She heard that he’s mean, he’s crass, and he takes sailors aboard his ship and robs them blind. She heard that no one ever escapes his ship alive once they have been taken aboard. She’s heard a hundred different horror stories about the cruelest pirate to sail the seas, but no one has ever been able to provide a clear description of his appearance.

She’s heard that he’s short and fat, and also that he’s tall and skinny. He has long dark hair and a beard, but also he has red hair and is clean shaven. He’s missing an eye; no wait, he’s missing a leg! Or actually, he’s missing both hands! She even heard once that he’s really a blonde woman with a fondness for kittens.

Ruth grew up terrified of the mysterious Dread Pirate Schitt, but as she’s gotten older, she’s become more and more convinced that he’s nothing more than a ridiculous rumor. He’s a fantasy created by parents trying to keep their kids from playing near the water and spread by bored teenagers wanting to scare each other.

When Ruth spontaneously decided to quit her high-paying and successful job, her parents told her she was throwing her life away. When she told them she decided to embark on a months-long sailing trip, they told her she must have a death wish. They warned her about the dangers of the sea, repeating the same old tales about the Dread Pirate Schitt, but Ruth didn’t listen. She was bored and unhappy with her life and wanted an adventure.

Besides, there is no Dread Pirate Schitt.

At least, that’s what Ruth thought until she was taken aboard his ship three months ago. Or rather — her ship. Because apparently, the Dread Pirate Schitt is a small, dark-haired woman who always dresses in plaid flannel shirts.

When Ruth was first abducted from her own boat and taken aboard the Schitt Ship, she laughed. She laughed at the ridiculous name of the ship, and she laughed at the fearsome Dread Pirate Schitt actually being a petite woman. She thought it was an elaborate joke, but the members of the crew were all insistent that she is, in fact, the actual Dread Pirate Schitt.

Ruth has spent a lot of time over the past three months observing the Dread Pirate Schitt and her crew. She doesn’t appear to be a murderous and pillaging monster at all. The Dread Pirate Schitt and her crew spend most of their days fishing. She pays all members of her crew well, and in their downtime, everyone drinks and sings shanties.

The Dread Pirate Schitt has a dark sense of humor and an impish grin, but otherwise, Ruth sees no sign that she has a cruel bone in her body. Each night after Ruth finishes her work for the day, the Dread Pirate Schitt says to her with a smile, “Good night, Ruth. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning.”

“You’re never going to kill me,” Ruth says one night.

The Dread Pirate Schitt rolls her eyes. “No shit, Sherlock.”

“Did you start the rumors yourself then?” Ruth asks. “Did you spread the rumors that you’re a murdering and pillaging fiend?”

“You’ve been hearing those rumors since you were a kid, right?” she replies.

Ruth nods.

“And do I really look old enough to have been the source of those rumors?” The Dread Pirate Schitt raises a dark eyebrow.

Ruth tilts her head to the side and examines the pirate with a faux thoughtful expression. “Hmm.”

“Shut the fuck up!” The pirate gives Ruth a playful shove and laughs.

Ruth joins in laughing, enjoying the feeling of teasing the pirate. “So, what? You're not the actual Dread Pirate Schitt then?”

“No, I am,” the pirate says coyly. “Why do you think I took you aboard my ship?”

Ruth shrugs. “Because that’s what you do. You abduct sailors and hold them hostage.”

“Do I though?” The pirate takes a deep swig from her bottle of rum and gives Ruth a long, appraising look. “Have I ever harmed you? Have you ever seen me harm anyone else on this ship?”

Ruth shakes her head.

“You’ve never even attempted to escape since you were taken on board, Ruth.”

“That’s not…” Ruth pauses. “Well, I…”

“You’re welcome to leave whenever you want. Sometimes we stop at a nearby village to sell our fish at the market. You can leave when we get there. Is that what you want?” the pirate asks.

“Why did you bring me aboard?” Ruth deflects. She doesn’t feel quite ready to answer the pirate’s question.

“I noticed you sailing and watched you for a while. You seemed lost,” the pirate responds.

“I wasn’t lost!” Ruth argues. “I am perfectly capable of navigating.”

“I’m sure you are,” the pirate says coolly, “but you also weren’t going anywhere. You were directionless. I felt that way before too. So did everyone else on this ship. Everyone on this ship felt like they didn’t belong or like they didn’t know what to do with their life before coming aboard.”

“That’s not…” Ruth cuts herself off, knowing that the pirate has just hit the nail on the head. She was bored in her life, unhappy no matter how much she achieved. That’s why she quit her job and escaped to the sea, but she still felt lost. Her time on the Schitt Ship has been fulfilling and exciting and fun in the most unexpected of ways.

“The Dread Pirate Schitt took me aboard when I was just a teenager,” the pirate says after a long pause. “There were actually two Dread Pirate Schitts at that time — Roland and Jocelyn. The Dread Pirate Schitt title has been passed through Roland’s family for generations, but his wife is a real take-charge sort of lady, so she stepped in to share the role with Roland. They decided to retire when Jocelyn gave birth to their second child. Their first kid didn’t want to take on the family business, so Jocelyn asked me to take on the role. I’m the first non-Schitt to fill the role, but I’ve grown to love it.”

Ruth nods, trying to take it all in. The Dread Pirate Schitt isn’t a pillaging scoundrel. They’re a community of misfits looking out for each other and finding their place in the world.

“Maybe one day you’d like to share the role with me.” The pirate makes the suggestion as if it’s just an off-hand thought, but Ruth sees the hopeful look in her eyes.

“You need to at least buy me dinner first,” Ruth quips. “Maybe you could also tell me your name? Your real name.”

“It’s Stevie.” The pirate smiles shyly. “Stevie Budd.”

“Stevie,” Ruth repeats. She likes the sound of it. “It’s very nice to meet you, Stevie.”

Stevie clears her throat, a blush blooming across her cheeks. “Yeah, well, anyway. Good night, Ruth. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning.”

“Good night, Stevie.”

Chapter Text

Twyla’s always been a bit of a dreamer. “That one has her head in the clouds,” her grandmother used to say. Her teachers always yelled at her for daydreaming instead of paying attention in class, and her mother would say that one day she was going to have to grow up and live in the real world instead of her imagination.

Twyla’s never listened to any of them, though. Why would she want to live in reality, where her father is in prison and her mother and stepfather are always shouting, when she could instead live in her dreams? Her dreams have always been incredibly vivid — so vivid that even her daydreams are capable of completely transporting her from reality.

As a kid, she dreamed of unicorns and magic and friendly talking animals. As she got older, she would dream about taking a train to a mysterious and beautiful land. Now, she dreams about her — the beautiful woman with golden hair and aqua eyes.

Her name is Alexis, and she’s been visiting Twyla’s dreams for several months now. She tells Twyla stories about all the exciting places she’s visited and wild things she’s done, and they embark on new adventures together. She makes Twyla feel special in a way no one else ever has. Her time spent with Alexis feels more real than anything she has experienced when awake.

Twyla begins going to bed earlier and sneaking naps in the afternoons to spend more time with Alexis. The hours she spends working in the café seem to drag on endlessly as she drifts in and out of daydreams with Alexis, desperately waiting for the end of her shift so she can go home and crawl into her bed. Jocelyn tells her she’s worried about her, and Ray remarks about how pale she looks. Twyla doesn’t care. All she cares about is going to sleep to see Alexis.

“Everyone tells me you aren’t real,” Twyla says to Alexis. “They think I need help.”

“They just don’t get you, Twy, but I do.” Alexis smiles and shimmies her shoulders. “And I am. Always. Here. For. You. Babe.” She boops Twyla on the nose with each word, and Twyla melts the same way she always does under Alexis’ attention.

***

“She won’t wake up,” Jocelyn says, her voice rising in panic. “George said she didn’t come into work today and wasn’t answering her phone, so I came by and she wouldn’t answer her door. I have a spare key, so I let myself in, and she won’t wake up!”

“What do you mean ‘she won’t wake up’?” Ronnie snaps. She leans down to give Twyla’s shoulder a shake, but Twyla’s eyes remain closed. Her breathing is steady and her body is relaxed. She’s fast asleep, even though it’s half past noon, even though Jocelyn has been shouting, even though Ronnie is shaking her. “Is she in a coma?”

“I don’t know!” Jocelyn shrieks. “How is this possible? She doesn’t look sick or hurt. She’s just… sleeping.”

“Twyla, wake the fuck up!” Ronnie shouts. “We need to get her to a hospital or something. We can take my truck. Come on, I’ll carry her.”

***

Twyla can hear their voices, but they sound so far away. They aren’t a part of Twyla’s reality. Not anymore. This is her life now. Here, with Alexis.

Chapter Text

“Come on, David,” Alexis pleads. “It’s not like you have anything better to do.”

“I’m not going to play with the stupid ouija board you found in the motel lobby, Alexis.” David crosses his arms over his chest, like the big baby he is.

“There’s literally nothing else to do in this weird small town,” Alexis says, “and like, I’ve basically given up hope that any of our friends are coming to rescue us, so like, we might as well make the best of this and have a little fun when we can.”

Alexis wears him down eventually, just like she knew she would, which is why they are now sitting across from each other on the gross motel floor with the ouija board between them. Alexis lights a couple candles for ambiance, while tuning out David’s continued complaining.

“Mkay, so I think we just take this li’l triangle thingy, and we both, like, hold it and ask the spirits to come talk to us,” she says.

“Planchette,” David says, sounding exasperated.

“Oh, no thanks, I’m not hungry,” Alexis replies.

“Oh my god.” David throws his hands in the air. “That’s what the ‘li’l triangle thingy’ is called.”

“Oh!” Alexis laughs. “Cute. Anyway, let’s get started. Come on, David! Put your hand on the plant-chet.”

David rolls his eyes but cooperates.

Alexis clears her throat. “Uh, hi! I’m Alexis. Rose, obviously. I’m sure you’ve heard of me. And this is my annoying old brother, David.”

“I’m only three years older than you!”

“Um, it’s rude to interrupt, David. Anyway, as I was saying, hello to any spirits that are here with us in this motel room,” Alexis continues.

“There have probably been dozens of people murdered here,” David says.

“Ew, David! Don’t say that.” Alexis shudders. “‘Kay, so, hello, li’l ghostie friends. Is anyone here?”

The planchette slowly begins to move beneath their fingertips, gliding toward the yes on the bottom of the board.

Alexis gasps. “David, did you see that, David?! David!”

“Stop saying ‘David’!” he shouts.

“But you saw it, right?” Alexis smacks his hand. “Did you do that? Tell the truth, David! Did you move the triangle thing?”

“No, I didn’t move it. Did you move it?”

“Um, no. If I moved it, why would I ask you if you did? Ugh!” Alexis places her fingertips on the planchette again and takes a deep breath. “Okay, come on, let’s ask another question.”

David sighs and places his fingers alongside hers.

“Mmkay, sorry about that interruption,” she begins, “but we’re back now. So, um, what’s your name?”

The planchette begins to move beneath their fingers again, slowly tracing out letters as Alexis and David watch.

H–O–R–A–C–E

“Horace?” Alexis reads.

“Like Horace Schitt?” David asks.

“Um, David, I think his name is Roland Schitt.”

“Not him!” David shouts. “Isn’t his grandfather’s name Horace?”

“Who, that mayor guy?”

“Yes, the mayor!” David yells. “I’m pretty sure his grandfather was named Horace, wasn’t he?”

“I don’t know, David! I didn’t memorize his family tree like some sort of creep.”

“Excuse me for paying attention unlike—” David breaks off mid-sentence as the lights flicker. “God, this fucking motel is so shitty.”

“Ugh, David, why do you always have to be so rude? I totally pay attention to things, like how your hair is doing this whole frizzy thing right now.”

“My hair is not frizzy.” David jumps to his feet and does his weird run to look in the mirror. As he’s looking in the mirror, the bathroom door slams shut.

“Oh my god, you don’t have to be so dramatic! Slamming doors is so not a cute look,” Alexis says.

“That obviously wasn’t me, Alexis!” David yells. “I wasn’t even touching the door.”

“Well, it wasn’t me! Maybe it was your friend, Horace.” At Alexis’ words, the adjoining door to their parents’ room slams shut and the lights flicker off again.

“See, this is what happens when you think it’s a good idea to summon a ghost!”

“I didn’t summon a ghost,” Alexis protests. “I was trying to talk to a spirit. You know, to be friendly and welcoming. Something you would know nothing about.”

“You know what, Alexis, you are just so—”

One of Alexis’ heels goes soaring through the room.

“Oh my god, rude!” she shrieks. “That was expensive, you big, stupid spirit!”

The planchette slides across the ouija board, far too quickly for them to make out any of the letters, before abruptly flying off the board and across the room.

“Ugh!” David sighs loudly. “Why did we have to get such an annoying ghost?”

“Um, well, he is a Schitt, David, so like, it kind of makes sense.”

“Well, then get rid of him! You’re the one who invited him here, so uninvite him.” David kicks the ouija board.

“Mm, I don’t think kicking the board is going to do anything.” Alexis rolls her eyes.

David growls like an angry puppy or something, and Alexis growls back just because it’s fun to make him even angrier when he’s being a big drama queen. As expected, that sets him off, and Alexis gets so caught up in the argument that it takes her a minute to realize the lights are no longer flickering and the doors have stopped slamming.

“Wait, shut up, David,” she interrupts. “I think Horace left.”

David falls silent and glances around the room. “That’s strange. Why would he suddenly leave?”

“Ooh, look!” Alexis points at the nightstand, where a piece of motel stationary is propped up against the lamp. “He left us a note.”

“If he can write, why the fuck were we using the stupid ouija board?” David complains.

“Shush, David, let me read it.” Alexis picks up the note and reads aloud. “‘You win. I can’t stand to be around this.’”

David tsks loudly. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Right? Totally rude.” Alexis agrees. “As if he was so great to be around.”

“I know, right?” David lies down on his bed. “It’s not like we were dying to hang out with him.”

“Ew, definitely not.” Alexis lies on her own bed. “I’m kinda tired now.”

“Yeah, me too.” David turns off the lamp. “Good night, Alexis.”

“Night, David.”

There’s a loud sigh from somewhere near the window.

“Oh, shut up and leave already, you creep!” Alexis yells.

Chapter Text

David pulls the crumpled note from his pocket and squints at the smeared and illegible scrawl that details his next assignment.

“Fucking Roland,” he swears under his breath. Roland could send David an email or a text message or literally anything else, but instead he insists on scribbling David’s assignments on crumpled up fast food receipts that make his cloak smell like old french fries.

David adjusts his cloak and walks up to apartment 1D. He’s about 87% sure that his assignment is at 1D. He sighs, staring at the tarnished 1 hanging crookedly on the door. At least this is his final assignment of the night. He pulls his hood up over his head and knocks.

“Hello?” The door swings open to reveal a man of around thirty with wide brown eyes. “May I help you?”

“Good evening, Mr. Johansen. It is not my pleasure to be the bearer of such tragic news,” David recites the scripted speech that he’s been giving to people every single night for the past three years. At this point, he could rattle off this spiel in his sleep. “But unfortunately, tonight is the night you die. I am here to guide you through—”

“I’m sorry, what?” the man interrupts sharply.

“Try not to be afraid. Death is a natural part of—” David recites rotely.

“Death? You’re here to kill me?!” He makes a movement to slam the door shut, and David sighs. Of course, his last death of the night couldn’t go easily.

David disappears, reappearing inside the man’s house. Obviously, he could have appeared inside in the first place, but he prefers to try the door first. It’s just good manners. The door slams and the man spins around, yelping to find David standing behind him.

“Who are you? What do you want?” he shouts.

“Like I said, I’m here to guide you through to the other side.” David doesn’t bother to disguise his impatience. He’s not in the mood to argue with this man tonight.

“You need to get out of my apartment! I’m going to call the cops!” He struggles to fish his phone from his very tight jeans, and while David does enjoy the view, he really does not want to deal with the police right now.

“Mr. Johansen, you need to calm down.” David feels a pang of regret looking into the man’s enormous, fearful eyes. He really is quite young. He’s pretty cute, too. It’s a shame he has to die. Roland’s scribbles said something about heart disease, but this man seems to be in pretty good shape, so that seems unusual.

“Why do you keep calling me that?” the man asks. “That’s not my name!”

“Wait, what?” David asks. He pulls the note from his pocket again. “You aren’t Martin Johansen?”

“No, Mr. Johansen lives in 7D.”

“Well, fuck!” David exclaims. “Then who the fuck are you?”

“Patrick. Patrick Brewer.” His hand jerks slightly like he’s about to offer it for a handshake out of habit. “And who exactly are you, and why are you trying to kill Mr. Johansen?”

“Okay, I’m not going to kill him. He’s going to die tonight, and I’m here to escort him to the other side. I’m not some sort of sick, homicidal freak!” David throws his hands up in exasperation.

“So, you’re what? A grim reaper?” Patrick asks, a hint of amusement in his voice.

“No, I just work for them. The Reaper can’t possibly visit everybody, so they have associates all around the world.”

“Shouldn’t you have one of those scythe things?” Patrick asks, the corners of his mouth turning down in a smile.

“Ew, no, why would I have one of those?” David narrows his eyes, fairly certain that Patrick is making fun of him now.

“Personally, I think it would complete your look. You’ve already got the black cloak. You might as well fully commit and get the scythe too.” Patrick gives a little shrug that David really wishes he didn’t find as cute as he does.

“You think you’re funny, don’t you?” David snaps. “For your information, this cloak is Givenchy, and I had it custom-made.”

“Do all the reapers have custom-made cloaks, or are you just special?” Patrick asks.

“I told you already — I am not the Reaper!” David flips the hood of his cloak off and twirls around to fully showcase the piece. “Do you actually think that the Reaper or any of my coworkers have this impeccable taste? They wouldn’t recognize good fashion if it was right in front of their faces.”

“Oh, forgive me,” Patrick says with a smirk. “I didn’t realize that I was in the presence of such a distinguished reaper.”

“I am not—” David cuts himself off, realizing that he is being mocked again. “Mkay, you aren’t as cute as you think. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go see your neighbor Mr. Johansen.”

“Wait!” Patrick calls. “I’m sorry, I’m really not making fun of you. I’m just teasing. Your cloak is, um, well, you look amazing.” The tips of his ears pinken, and he looks down at his feet.

“Oh.” David breathes, momentarily speechless by the unexpected sincerity. “Well, that’s very nice.”

Patrick raises his eyes, looking up at David through his eyelashes shyly. “Do I get to know your name?”

“Um.” David hesitates. “It’s David Rose.”

“David Rose,” Patrick repeats. A shiver races down David’s spine at the sound of his name spoken almost reverently in Patrick’s soft voice.

“I, uh, I should probably go.” David suddenly wishes more than anything that he could stay.

“Oh.” Patrick looks disappointed. “Can I see you again? Um, not to guide me toward death.” He chuckles nervously and takes another step closer to David. “But maybe I could take you on a date sometime? Is that, uh… Is that something you would be interested in?”

David fights to keep a goofy grin from spreading across his face, but he’s pretty sure he’s not successful. He nods and steps closer to Patrick. He reaches a hand out, slowly in case Patrick wants to back away, and cups Patrick’s cheek. Patrick leans into the touch.

“We can go on a date whenever you’d like, just, uh, preferably not before ten a.m.” David leans closer. “I’m not really a morning person.”

Patrick’s smile grows wider as he closes the gap between them to press their lips together softly.

David smiles into the kiss and thinks that maybe there are some benefits to Roland’s awful handwriting.

Chapter Text

Rachel loves sleeping over at her girlfriend’s place. She loves falling asleep in Heather’s arms and the delicious breakfast Heather makes each morning. She loves pretty much everything about it, except for Sally.

Sally is the doll Heather keeps in her bedroom with huge, baby-blue eyes that stare at Rachel unblinkingly. She originally belonged to Heather’s great-grandmother, and Heather is inexplicably fond of the awful nightmare doll. Rachel hates Sally and has even suggested moving her to another room, but Heather simply cannot understand why anyone wouldn’t love Sally.

Rachel tries her best to ignore the doll, but she can feel Sally’s creepy eyes staring at her all night. She’s even tried throwing a blanket atop her, but whenever she wakes up, Sally’s head is uncovered, her eyes trained directly on Rachel. Sometimes she swears that Sally has moved closer to the bed during the night, but she knows that’s impossible.

Right?

Rachel shifts restlessly, her sleep disrupted by anxious dreams featuring Sally. There’s a pressure on her chest, and distantly, she recognizes that it’s not a part of her dream. She blinks her eyes open slowly.

On her chest, staring down at her with a wicked smile, is Sally.

Chapter Text

“Wait, you’ve really never been trick-or-treating?” Shannon asks.

“Mm, that wasn’t really the kind of thing my family did.” Alexis tugs at her earring. “Like, if we wanted candy, we could get it whenever we wanted. In our game room, we had a bunch of those li’l candy machines, you know, where you put in a coin and get candy? Anyways, once I started modeling, I had to watch my sugar intake obviously.”

Shannon tries not to visibly grimace at how deeply sad stories from Alexis’ childhood make her feel. “Okay, but did you ever dress up in costumes?”

“Um, David was always more into playing dress-up than me, but one year our nanny, Adelina, made us costumes and we went from room to room in the house and Adelina and the housekeeper and chef and, I think even the driver, all handed us sushi. David was, like, super into sushi at the time. It was fun, but we didn’t do it again.” Alexis waves her hand dismissively.

“What did you dress up as?” Shannon tries to imagine a much younger version of Alexis, all dressed up and walking around her mansion collecting sushi. It’s a strange image, but still very cute.

“Um.” Alexis plays with a strand of hair and closes her eyes in concentration. “I think a superhero and a princess?”

“Aww!” Shannon smiles at the image. “I bet you were the cutest princess.”

“Oh my god, no.” Alexis shakes her head. “David was the princess. I was a superhero. I had the cutest little cape, and I wore my ballet leotard. I looked very cute and chic.”

“The chicest superhero ever.” Shannon laughs and steps closer to Alexis, wrapping her arms around her waist and leaning up for a kiss.

***

“Babe, is this, like, a sex thing?” Alexis shimmies and plucks at the blindfold.

“No, not a sex thing. Just another minute and you can look, I promise.” Shannon gives her hand a squeeze and leads her from the bedroom out to the living room where she has everything set up.

“Well, that’s disappointing.” Alexis gives an exaggerated pout. “Maybe it can be a sex thing later?”

“Hm, maybe. If you’re good.” Shannon kisses Alexis’ pout. “Okay, you can take off your blindfold.”

Alexis peels off the blindfold with a flourish and blinks slowly, a furrow forming between her eyebrows. “Um, Shan, what exactly am I looking at?”

“Our costumes!” Shannon pauses, suddenly doubting herself. “Um, I thought it would be fun if we got dressed up and went trick-or-treating around town.”

“Aw, babe! Aren’t you just the sweetest?” Alexis clasps her hands under her chin and shimmies happily. “Which one is mine?”

“Well, I thought we could both be superheroes, like when you were a kid,” Shannon says. “I’m Catwoman because, you know, I’m a vet, and you’re Wonder Woman. Only if you want, of course.”

“Shan! I love this for us.”

“Are you sure? You can tell me if you hate it.” Shannon wrings her hands anxiously, but Alexis nods emphatically and wraps her arms around Shannon in a tight hug.

“Babe, I totally love it. This is probably the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me.” Alexis kisses her deeply, and Shannon melts into her. “Let’s put on our costumes!”

***

“Trick or treat!” Alexis and Shannon shout in unison.

Ronnie narrows her eyes. She still has one hand on the doorknob like she’s considering slamming the door in their faces.

“Hm,” she hums, looking from Alexis’ eager smile to meet Shannon’s gaze. Shannon silently pleads with Ronnie to play along. “Fine, but you’re only getting one piece each. I only bought one bag of candy, and I’m saving it for actual kids.”

Alexis lets out a pleased squeal as they skip down Ronnie’s driveway and cross the street to the Schitts’ house. Shannon’s heart flips in her chest as she is filled with overwhelming affection for her girlfriend.

“Are you having fun, Alexis?”

“Yes, babe!” Alexis grabs her hand and swings their clasped hands enthusiastically as they walk. “Like, I never really understood why kids liked trick-or-treating, but this is actually super fun. Plus, I get to check out your cute little tushy in spandex!”

“I’m really glad you’re having a good time,” Shannon says.

“Thanks for doing this for me, Shan.” Alexis’ expression suddenly goes serious. She stops on the sidewalk and pulls Shannon close, looking in her eyes intently. “Seriously. You give me things that I don’t even know I want, and make me feel like the most important person in the world.”

“You are the most important person to me, Alexis,” Shannon says, but her words are lost as Alexis presses their lips together in a fierce kiss.