Okay so here is my entry, yay! More Prucan! God I love these two. Anyways, it's not long, but I do hope you enjoy! Also I won't be adding in Gilbert's accent to this one. I'll let you use your imagination
In retrospect, this was a bad idea. A very bad idea. It went without saying that most ideas that Alfred had were not often classified as good ideas. However, being a good brother, Matthew always tried his best to accommodate his brother's rather eclectic need for adventure. This time, however, it seemed he'd gone far in over his head. In fact, he would go so far as to say that he may regret this tomorrow if the vision before him was any clue as to exactly where this evening was heading.
Alfred's hand was tight on his brother's as he drug him along towards the rather cheesily made front entrance to the haunted house. Card board and wooden pallets had been nailed (and some even looked taped) together rather roughly. Over that, a few coats of ugly grey and black spray paint made little impression on the poorly constructed archway. Glaring letters in glow-in-the-dark spray paint almost painfully shouted at the newcomers.
'Haunted House Entrance'!
"Come on, Matt, hurry up! This is going to be great!" Alfred laughed, his grip tightening on his sibling's hand as he raced towards the kiosk in front of the rather silly looking duct tape strips draping in front of the walkway.
There was a long moment of silence from the elderly man standing behind the box and Matthew was beginning to think that he was simply decaying with his eyes open until he finally spoke. "Two then?"
In front of him, Alfred jumped, the voice obviously startling him and he grasped onto Matthew's arm with a renewed force. "Uh…yeah. Yeah, two please!"
Shaking hands slid two small tickets across the wood before retreating, a sigh of discontent echoing from the man. With only a sideways glance, Alfred passed Matthew one of the tickets before tugging them through the entryway, forcing him to push errant glasses up his nose lest they fall to the ground. The two stood for a moment just inside the flapping tape strings at the darkness that awaited them. Yes. Definitely one of the worst ideas he'd been subjected to in a long time. Forgetting the fact that Alfred had the fright tolerance of a fainting goat or that his scream could easily be mistaken for that of a dying woman or sometimes a cat, there was still the fact that he was one of the strongest people he knew and currently he was gripping Matthew's arm as though his life depended on it.
It only took a moment for Alfred to get his bearing before he once again began dragging his brother into the dense woods, down the man-made path. Snaps and pops echoed through the trees on either side of them, making the hair on their arms stand on end. Dim, flickering candles set inside of lanterns illuminated the path ahead, but only barely.
Turning the first corner, the two men were greeted with another entrance, this one marked with a rather badly misspelled 'Beewear'. A long tunnel made of black tarp beckoned at them. The edges, not completely secured, flapped rather rudely in the evening wind. There was no light here. There were no directional arrows or lit path, only a blackened hallway daring them to take the plunge.
So of course, that's exactly what Alfred did. Without Matthew. Incoherently yelling something about heroes and no fear.
Which, consequentially, left Matthew standing alone in the middle of the woods to face the terrors of the home-made haunted house alone. Frowning disappointedly, the Canadian made no hesitation before entering the hallway, his head shaking the entire way in. Maybe his brother did this on purpose. Or maybe he'd forgotten his twin was even there. Regardless of the reason, he felt his irritation growing. A few more steps in and the smaller man found his hands pressed to either side of the wall to steady his path. This far in, it had grown pitch black and the tunnel, the path and most certainly any sign of his brother was not to be seen.
"Alfred?" Matthew called out into the dark, frowning when he received no reply, but trying his luck once more none-the-less. His fingers brushed along the cold plastic of the tarp, searching for anything other than the smooth, edgeless wall to no avail. Another heavy sigh and another shout for his brother received with yet another answer of silence accompanied only by the chirping of crickets and the ever echoing flapping of the tarp.
"How long is this stupid tunnel, anyw-eh!" Beneath his foot a branch snapped, causing Matthew to stumble forward to his knees with quite an undignified squawk. He hit the ground rather gracefully, if he could say so himself, only scuffing up the palm of his right hand. His attention, however, didn't stay on the mild injury long as a voice from behind him caught his attention.
"Hey! You okay up there!?"
Matthew blinked, turning his head to look pointlessly into the darkness behind him. "Gilbert?" he called out familiarly, releasing a breath. A fair bit of shuffling indicated the approach of a new person from behind him, their warmth close enough to feel once they'd stopped.
"Matt, that you?"
Sighing again, this time in relief, Matthew nodded before realizing that in the pitch it was less than likely the Prussian would see him. "Yeah it's me. Can you, uh, can you help me up here? I sort of fell and-"
"What th-why didn't you say something then??" came the huffed response and a moment later grabby hands were tugging him upwards and brushing non-existent dirt from his clothing. He found himself spun around to what he could only assume was to face the other man. The scent of sweet German beer flooded his senses and he found himself a little closer to the other man than he'd expected to be. "Scheiße, are you okay?"
The unexpected need to swallow the absolute dryness in his mouth took Matthew by surprise. Since when had his albino friend had such an affect??
Okay, so maybe that was a load of crock. Matthew knew damn well that his crush on the man had grown stronger and stronger every time they planned time together. Every time they watched a hockey game; every time they went out to a movie; every time he drank Gilbert's ass under the table. The feeling only grew stronger and he was having a harder and harder time hiding the little urges. But now in the darkness of the tunnel he was free to blush, to grasp at the other man's jacket, feigning assistance to stand. Maybe he could even pretend he twisted his ankle. Would Gilbert carry him?
A snap in front of his face caught his attention, bringing him back to the present and the talking that he should really be listening to. "You sure you didn't hit your head? You seem pretty out of it, birdie."
"No, no I'm alright. Just…a little disoriented." The chuckle was only half hearted, but at least it seemed good enough for Gilbert.
"Right, well, let's get out of here then. This tunnel is stupid, it's not even scary." Gilbert huffed, grabbing Matthew by the arms and spinning him to face forwards once again. However, instead of following, he pushed past into the lead, tugging his Canadian friend's shirt to urge him along. "Come on."
In an instant, the hand was gone and Matthew was once again in the dark. Frowning, he moved a few steps forward again before stumbling and crashing into his new-found guide's back. A few well placed curses later and the blush was back full force. His hand was cradled in Gilbert's to allow the taller man to pull him along, long fingers gripping tightly around his own. Once again Matthew found it a bit harder to breathe than it should have been, his other hand automatically reaching out to grasp at the cool leather of Gilbert's leather jacket, feeling the metal of a clamp on the back curl within his palm. Well, if this was as close as he'd get to Gilbert, he'd take it. Pathetic as it may seem, it was something.
The tunnel seemed to go on forever and if Gilbert's childish cursing was any indication, Matthew was not the only one that thought so. Finally a light began to emerge from the end of the tunnel, a dim glow that flickered in the darkness, beckoning the two to places unknown. Tightening his grip, he felt a bit like a wimp allowing his fear in. Or maybe he was only pretending to be afraid and his conscious brain was unaware? Yes, yes that sounded a little less pathetic. Not when you added in the fact that he was likely only doing it to be closer to Gilbert, but he didn't have to acknowledge that point. Not at all.
Finally the world opened up before them into…more woods.
"You have got to be kidding me. How is this a haunted house? Or trail? Or whatever the hell it's supposed to be?" Matt huffed, standing up a little straighter, allowing the hand on Gilbert's jacket to drop.
"Glad I'm not the only disappointed one. Hang on a second, I hear something up ahead. Come on."
Crackling and popping echoed down the long trail that lead off into the woods, the dried up leaves and branches crunching under each of their steps. After a moment, Matthew glanced up to the friend at his side. "What were you doing out here anyways? I know why Alfred comes to these things, but you almost never come to America unless you have to. Or there is a meeting, and even then you aren't obligated. You just sort of…show up."
If he hadn't known better, Matthew would have thought that was a flush that raced up the sides of Gilbert's neck. Instead he was greeted with only a shrug and a brief glance of crimson eyes. Pursing his lips, Matthew frowned just the slightest before his attention was drawn away.
Just ahead a group of 'witches' greeted them, cackling and circling with their brooms in hand. Behind them in the distance a fire roared, flames dancing across the shadows of the trees, illuminating cauldrons and bobbles. With a chuckle, the two pushed past and rounded the next corner, leaving the chortles of the elderly housewives behind them. Ahead a red light lit up the trees and ground, filtering through the fog of what must have been a fairly large smoke machine. The path became a little hazier and soon enough tall cardboard tombstones rose above the ground, each complete with a marker-etched name.
"Joe Boosly?" Gilbert snorted, glancing to another grave. "Vickie Van Skellington? Really?"
Matthew let a snicker slip, leaning forward to read another. "Oh this one is the best, Gil. Ima Goner."
The two men burst out laughing, moving forward past the graves, soaked in red hues . With each step, they neared yet another exit that would prove to be an entrance, an eerie green glow overlapping the edge of the red just outside the end of the cemetery. On either side of the path, to signal their exit, stood two tall, suspended pieces of cardboard cut out to look like fencing . Both were spinning on their strings, hung a little too high to be effective for their purpose. It was nearly comical the way they stayed floating in mid-air.
Moving past the 'gates', the two men entered the next portion of the haunted house. Minute by minute the attraction flew by. Cheesy and silly and all together ridiculous as it was, Matthew would not give up the experience for anything. He was certain by this point that Alfred had run his way through the entirety of the haunted house, leaving his brother to solemnly walk the path alone. Thankfully his 'knight' in slightly slicked up leather jacket had come to his rescue and he was saved from a fate worse than corny. Oh yeah, that and Gilbert was still holding his hand with no sign of letting go.
Ignoring the fluttering in his chest and stomach, he followed dutifully alongside his friend through each and every area. Though he'd been close to him physically before, this felt different; felt as though there was more than what had always been there. Gilbert's grip on his hand was warm and if he liked to imagine, it was also more possessive. Not that they'd ever held hands before. This was a first, but not one that Matthew was going to complain or even mention lest his friend take the rare moment away from him.
From aliens with their masks falling off to the man trying to get his chainless saw to start (and he was having no luck there if his waving them past was any indication) to their final destination, Matthew couldn't say he wasn't enjoying this little adventure far more than he'd originally anticipated.
"Exscape here." Gilbert quoted the scrawled sign with a snickered, tugging Matthew into the darkness of yet another seemingly endless tunnel. At least the tarp on this one was firmly secured, which severely decreased the added ambience of the flapping plastic. In the background, faintly playing eerie music floated through the pitch dark, assumedly leading the pair towards their freedom.
Again Matthew's heart picked up speed as they moved into the tunnel, the light behind them disappearing completely once they followed the first turn.
"You know, this can't be very safe for kids." Gilbert's grumbled words wafted back to him through the dark, the other man once again taking the lead. After a few moments however, he felt the movement ahead of him cease, Gilbert's steps coming to a halt. When breath once again fell on his face, he was aware that the Prussian had turned to face him. A moment's silence felt like hours, the only sound in the darkened tunnel the hard thudding of his heart and their breaths. Confused and a little excited at the sudden turn of events, Matthew could only tilt his head up in expectation for an answer, though he soon realized that since Gilbert would not be able to see in the dark, the action was moot.
Any anticipation or hope that had been building in the Canadian man's chest deflated quickly and he had to struggle not to slump noticeably. "Oh. Oh, right. Uh, I'll just back up and we can head the other way."
However, as he made to step away, Gilbert's free hand grasped at the edge of his sleeve. A squeeze to his held hand made him highly aware that the albino still had a firm grip on his other hand. He paused in his movement, taking in a deep breath. For a long moment, neither of them spoke, stances tense and hesitant. Finally Matthew cleared his throat. "Um…if that's a dead end then shouldn't we go back and-"
"That's a dead end too."
Confusion weaved its way through Matthew's brain, brow furrowing slightly. They had just come from that way. Or had he gotten turned around? Maybe Gilbert knew more about where they actually were. Maybe this was a maze and he was simply unaware of the more intricate turn their excursion had taken. "Then um…where do we go?"
Again silence greeted him and instead of an excited nervousness, a terse string of fear wormed its way up his spine. It only increased in strength when the man before him spoke once again, the sweetness of his breath washing once again over Matthew's senses. "We don't."
Before Matthew could fully panic however, Gilbert cleared his throat and let slip a frustrated curse or two. "I mean…look….damnit. I'm bad at this shit, Matt, you should know that. That's why I'm here."
Matthew blinked a few times, shuffling his free hand to push the glasses up the bridge of his nose, careful not to dislodge his grip from Gilbert's hand. At the motion he felt the taller of them drop the hand on his arm drop away. "What do you mean?"
Gilbert seemed to take the question in, sighing into the dark and Matthew could hear him twisting his neck around to relieve the tension like he always did when he was stressed or anxious. "I mean I didn't just show up here on accident. I've been wanting to talk to you but I didn't think just…saying something would be good enough. And then your brother caught wind and had this 'genius idea'. Like I said, I'm not good with these things. Any of these things. You're too important to mess this-"
To be honest, he wasn't certain what he was thinking. He probably wasn't thinking. All he could hear was Gilbert's voice. That lovely accent that did so many things to him. Words that probably meant something completely different than what he was interpreting, but he couldn't care. Right now all he wanted to imagine was that Gilbert was confessing his feelings and that was almost too much for Matthew's poor heart. So instead of letting his sometimes rather oblivious friend continue on his triad, the Canadian decided to put an end to it by silencing the man himself. Granted he could have just pressed his hand to the man's mouth or told Gilbert to stop talking. However, this way he seemed much more amicable to. Or at least he wasn't pulling away.
Thankfully he had enough of his head about him to raise his free hand to the face before him, feeling carefully lest he mess this up completely. By some miracle however, his mouth landed right on its target and silence followed a hitched breath. Almost the instant after he'd made contact, Matthew worried himself nearly into a frenzy. What would Gilbert do? What would he say? What if he'd misinterpreted? Would he push him away and possibly leave him to find his way from the maze on his own?
Thankfully he didn't have to wait long. Bringing their entwined hands up between them, Gilbert clenched it almost painfully. His free hand moved to wrap around Matthew's shoulders and without another moments hesitation, he returned the kiss.
It was brief and all together just a little bit strange to take that step; both men leaning away too soon. Again silence consumed them only to be broken with a sort of joyful laughter that Matthew had rarely heard from the taller man. "Glad we're on the same page, Matt." He chuckled and once again the fluttering in Matthew's heart returned his stomach turning. This time, however, it was a lovely sensation unlike anything he could have imagined it would be. His revelations however were interrupted once again by the person consuming his emotional state of being.
"So what do you say, Birdie? You. Me. Us?"
This time, Matthew was positive that giving the same response would be welcome and he most certainly wasn't disappointed.
"Hey, kid. It's almost closing time. I'm gonna need to wrap things up around here so how much longer do you think your brother will be?"
Alfred glared half-heartedly at the man behind him, eyes squinting into the dark of the tunnel. He'd heard his brother nearly fifteen minutes ago, he'd been positive of it. Matthew's soft voice and Gilbert's loud barking were both hard to miss. He was certain it had been them. Didn't Gilbert know he could make out with his new found boyfriend outside
of the tunnel of doom? At least, if things had gone well, Matt would proudly be wearing the title. And since he'd had a hand in it, then of course things had gone well! They were in America for pete's sake! Land of romantic…stuff!
Turning back to the obviously frustrated man, Alfred shrugged and tugged a bill from his back pocket, passing it silently to the guy with a grin.
"Yeah well, maybe I'll just forget to lock the gate on my way out. Good luck kid. And uh, don't steal anything, okay?" The guy grinned, stuffing the twenty into his own jacket.
Smirking, Alfred slid over into the now vacant and almost disturbingly warm seat. He could wait. After all, that's what brothers did. And if his twin's happiness took a patient brother and an albino loud-mouth, then that's just what he'd get.
Thanks for reading guys! Have a safe and happy Halloween!!!