Ectoplasmic Manifestation

by Aosora Hikaru (青空ヒカル)



Seth looked up as the paper landed on his desk, folded up smaller than their student ID cards. He glanced over to his left at Tanner, who laced his fingers behind his head and reclined with a smug smirk on his face.

“The fuck, dude,” Seth hissed as he glanced up at the front of the classroom, wondering if the teacher had noticed. He still had his back turned to the class, so Seth turned his attention back to Tanner. “A note?! What is this, 2002 or something?”

Tanner only shrugged and went back to his work.

Seth rolled his eyes and sighed, then unfolded the note as quietly as he could. Seriously, why would Tanner resort to notes when they both had cell phones and frequently used them to text each other?

Oh, that’s right, Tanner’s handwriting was atrocious, and that was only just another reason why he shouldn’t use notes to ask him things. Seth smoothed out the paper and squinted at the writing for a few seconds.

Want to go to a haunted house tonight?

Seth barely managed to suppress a groan as he rolled his eyes. The last thing he wanted to do was go to a haunted house. Somehow they could always tell he was an easy target, and they always zeroed in on him every time he’d ever been to one with friends. To go with Tanner, who he’d only been dating for a few months now? Tanner would never let him live it down. He’d have to come up with an excuse, a way to get out of it.

He scribbled out a quick decline on the note, just some bullshit excuse about homework and video games, then tried to fold it up again. How the hell had Tanner managed this? It wasn’t origami, but he couldn’t even figure this out by following the creases. Seth sighed and balled up the note, then dropped it onto Tanner’s lap while the teacher’s back was still turned.

There was a quiet rustle of paper, then Tanner chuckled, and Seth couldn’t help but roll his eyes again. He turned back to his work and got a few more questions answered before the note, neatly folded again despite the creases from the ball, landed on top of his paper.

Great, I’ll pick you up at 8.

Seth looked over at Tanner, a scowl twisting his lips, and he opened his mouth to hiss something at him again when the teacher spoke up.

“Is there a problem, Mr. Mitchell?”

Seth snapped his mouth shut again, his teeth clicking together, and turned his attention to the front of the class again. “No, no problem here. Sorry, it won’t happen again.”

Tanner let out a quiet snort next to him, and Seth crumpled up the note again. He hoped Tanner was okay with the fact that he was going to have Seth practically up his ass all night.

Tanner was on Seth’s doorstep at eight, just like he promised. Seth sighed as he pulled on his letter jacket and opened the door. “Hey, fucker.”

Tanner shook his head as he laughed. “Come on, let’s get going. You know your parents will blow your phone up if you’re out too late.”

Seth smiled and poked the shoulder of Tanner’s own letter jacket. “Band doesn’t count, you know.”

“It totally does. I’d like to see you march double-time while playing the first trumpet part. I use twice the lung power as you do playing football, bro.”

“Yeah, whatever.” Seth bumped his shoulder against Tanner’s and fell into step next to him as they went down the driveway.

They usually elected to take Tanner’s car places, since Seth drove a tiny little Honda and Tanner had a much more spacious Mazda. They piled into the car, Seth in the passenger seat, and headed out.

“So, a haunted house, huh?” Seth asked, praying all the while that he didn’t sound nervous or scared.

Tanner nodded as he glanced over his shoulder to change lanes. “Yeah, I thought it’d be a nice way to spend an October evening.”

Seth rolled his eyes. “Yeah, sounds awesome.”

“I know you’re scared,” Tanner said.

Seth couldn’t help but glare across the car at Tanner. “Then why the fuck did you drag me out here?”

Tanner half-shrugged. “I thought it’d be fun.”

“Fun? Fun to scare the ever-loving shit out of me? Yeah, great, sounds like a fucking amazing time.”

“I just wanted to share something with you. I can take you back home if you want,” Tanner said. “We don’t have to do this. I didn’t realize it’d be such a big deal, I’m sorry.”

Seth sighed. It really wasn’t that big a deal, was it? Haunted houses weren’t real, and if anything he’d have Tanner there to keep him a little more calm. It’d definitely be better than going with other guys on the football team or his family or something. “Nah, we don’t have to go back home. Come on, let’s just get this shit over with.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, let’s just go. Sooner we get there the sooner it’s done with, right?”

Tanner grinned over at Seth while they were stopped at the red light. “Want a blowjob after this?”

Seth rolled his eyes again with a sigh. “Yeah, probably the least you could do for me after this.”

Tanner laughed, and Seth shook his head. He was an ass, but Seth had to admit that it was something he really liked about Tanner, and why he continued dating him, even though he was starting to catch hell from his teammates about dating a band geek.

Thankfully the haunted house wasn’t too far from Seth’s house, and he waited off to the side while Tanner bought the tickets. He had to admit that they did a good job with the ambiance, even if it wasn’t too scary on the outside. There was a chill in the air that somehow added to it, and he could see his breath in soft puffs each time he exhaled. He crossed his arms over his chest to try to hold in some of the heat as he looked around. The standard sorts of decorations were up — scarecrows here and there for the haunted hay ride, skeletons and ghosts over by the haunted house with a few coffins scattered here and there, probably to suggest vampires.

At least it was a normal theme, and not some shitty hospital or asylum or clown-themed “fun” house.

“Hey,” Tanner came bounding back over, and Seth fought back a smile at how flushed his cheeks were. Tanner always ran warmer than Seth, and this time of year he heard all sorts of whining from Tanner about how hot his marching uniform was, being partially wool. If Seth could play football in wool, he’d probably enjoy the sport more the closer they came to the end of the season. Even long-sleeved undershirts weren’t enough to keep the chill off.

“Got the tickets?” Seth still didn’t particularly enjoy the idea of going into a haunted house, but he’d have Tanner with him, and if it would make Tanner happy he was sure he could put up with being scared for a few minutes.

Tanner nodded, a wide and enthusiastic grin on his face. “Yeah, our group is going in ten minutes.”

“Fuck, they have us timed? They take this way too seriously.”

“Well, they can’t let in too many people at once, or else it ruins the effect. If someone four steps in front of you gets scared by someone, they can’t reset quickly enough to scare you.”

Seth cast an incredulous look at Tanner. “How many haunted houses have you been to?”

Tanner laughed. “A few. My parents are huge horror geeks, so it’s like… a family tradition.”

“Your parents took you to haunted houses? Jesus, what kind of family takes their kids to haunted houses?”

“Listen, we didn’t start until I was, like, thirteen. I chickened out a few times, but it’s nothing to me now. None of it is real, anyway, and you know it.”

“Well, yeah, but…” Seth grimaced. “Their whole job is to scare the shit out of me, dude. Like that’s the entire point.”

Tanner winked and grabbed the sleeve of Seth’s jacket. “Just enjoy how much they can’t even faze me.”

Under his breath, Seth muttered, “As long as you enjoy how little blood flow you’ll have to your hand.”

“It’ll be fine,” Tanner said with a grin, and he dragged Seth over to the entrance line by the grip on his jacket sleeve. They had to wait there in the cold for a bit longer while someone in a fairly well-done security guard uniform explained the general rules: don’t touch anything, the actors wouldn’t touch you, keep up with the group, if you say you want to leave they’ll escort you out, the usual sorts of rules Tanner had explained to Seth earlier.

As they slipped into the darkened room, Seth’s breath caught in his throat, and he reached over to take Tanner’s hand. He usually didn’t express his affection publicly, just to avoid the possibility of being harassed, but it felt safe to do so here in the dark. In fact, he felt safer holding Tanner’s hand than he did otherwise.

Tanner leaned over and murmured into Seth’s ear, “You’ll be fine. You’ll be safe. I’ll be here. If you need to leave, we’ll leave together.” As Tanner’s breath moved over Seth’s ear, he shivered. The way the hairs tickled his skin raised goosebumps, and he closed his eyes for a second.

He squeezed Tanner’s hand as he whispered back, “I know. Thank you.”

The haunted house itself was unremarkable, judging by Tanner’s reaction to it. He flinched at the jump scares but didn’t react otherwise. Seth, on the other hand, was quickly found out by the actors to be an easy target as he knew he would be, and they did not hesitate to do their best to scare him. Actors snuck up behind him, taking advantage of his insistence on placing Tanner in front of him. They locked eyes with him before speaking or moving. Every time one spoke, it was as though they did not address the group, but rather Seth himself, and it was quite unnerving to Seth. By the time they made it through the entire haunted house — which, as Seth had suspected, was a slasher-serial-murderer sort of theme — he couldn’t even feel his fingers anymore, for how tightly he’d clung to Tanner’s hand.

“You okay?” Tanner asked once they were out into the chilled air again.

Seth nodded, though he couldn’t quite find it in him to speak quite yet. Gradually he managed to relax his grip on Tanner’s hand and where he hadn’t realized he’d been digging the fingernails of his opposite hand into Tanner’s sleeve, and after a few agonizing minutes he stepped away. He took a deep breath and nodded again. “Yeah, I’m fine.” He cleared his throat and rubbed a hand over the back of his neck. “Sorry.”

Tanner furrowed his brow and shoved his newly freed hands into his pockets. “Why are you apologizing?”

“Because I flipped the fuck out and clung to you like I was going to die via axe murder?” Seth shrugged. “Because it was probably really damn hard to enjoy yourself with me screaming my head off next to you? Because none of them focused on you, only on me?”

With a soft laugh, Tanner’s face broke into a wide grin. “Come on, Seth, that is literally the best part of going with people to haunted houses: seeing which one the actors can scare the most. Besides, I got to feel a little like a badass.”

Now it was Seth’s turn to furrow his brow. “What do you mean, feel like a badass?”

“With how you were clinging to me, I got to actually feel sort of like I was protecting you.” Tanner’s grin grew broader. “You practically used me as a human shield. It felt pretty cool.”

“Oh my fucking God,” Seth said as he rolled his eyes. “You are the corniest motherfucker I’ve ever met in my entire goddamn life.”

Tanner laughed as he led the way back to the parking lot. “You love it, obviously.”

“No,” Seth said. “I tolerate it because you’re good at sucking cock.”

Tanner looked back over his shoulder. “Whatever makes it easier for you, but you have to admit you love a good cuddle, too.”

“Shut the fuck up.”

Tanner didn’t drive them straight back to Seth’s house, no. He took a slight detour down one of the streets in Seth’s neighborhood, to an empty cul-de-sac they hadn’t built houses on yet. Nobody had bothered them there yet, so they had selected it as “their spot.” It was where Tanner would stop on the way home so they could make out or make each other come in their pants or even, on very rare occasions, give each other head.

So it was here, in this darkened corner of an unfinished subdivision, that Tanner stopped the car and turned off the lights. He smiled across the car at Seth, and reached out to stroke a hand over his cheek. Seth closed his eyes and leaned into the touch, a soft sigh slipping out. He leaned forward as Tanner himself leaned across the car, and their lips met in a soft kiss. They hadn’t let this happen all day, which to Seth felt like far too long. Every time they had a day like today, where they somehow managed to go an entire day without kissing, Seth swore to himself he wouldn’t let it happen again, but somehow it still kept happening.

Tanner’s tongue stroked across Seth’s lips in a silent question, and Seth parted them to allow him entrance. They stayed like that a while, just kissing, their hands moving over each other’s chests and sliding under the fronts of their jackets. It wasn’t long, though, before Tanner pulled back and whispered against Seth’s mouth, “I promised you something, didn’t I?”

“Yeah, you did,” Seth replied. “Let me move the seat back–”

They’d done this before, countless times, one of them settling into the passenger seat so the other could cram himself in kneeling on the floorboard in front of him. It wasn’t comfortable for either of them, not really, but it was one of the only ways they could manage to fit in oral sex. Unless, of course, they were willing to arouse suspicion by climbing into the backseat or rushing home after school to try to beat a pair of parents home for fevered blowjobs in one of their bedrooms.

Seth moved the seat back as far as it would go, and then reclined the back to make more room for Tanner to move. It was always awkward as he climbed over the center console, practically laying across Seth as he shoved his legs down into the space only truly meant for one pair of them, but finally, finally, Seth was able to bring the seat back upright and lean down to kiss Tanner again. Tanner brought his hands up to cup Seth’s jaw again, and while they kissed Seth did his best to work his jeans open enough to push them and his boxers down below his dick. He moaned softly into Tanner’s mouth as he stroked his hand along his length, and he gasped against Tanner’s lips, “Please, Tanner…”

Tanner pulled back enough to smile and pressed one last kiss to Seth’s lips before he moved down. Seth’s breath caught in his throat as Tanner’s mouth grew closer to his dick, the anticipation almost too much to bear. He moved his hand away to make room for Tanner, and he let out a soft groan when Tanner’s lips wrapped around him. Tanner definitely had a lot of practice by now, and as much as Seth teased him for being in band, he had to admit that the endurance Tanner had built up by playing his instrument definitely paid off when he had Seth’s dick in his mouth.

It didn’t take long for Seth to not be able to focus anymore. Tanner sucked gently as he moved down, and Seth closed his eyes to keep the sight from distracting him. The way Tanner teased his tongue along his length, the way Tanner let out soft groans and hums as he moved, all added to the feeling. He could almost forget their ridiculous position, crammed into the front seat of a car together. Tanner’s fingers pressed into Seth’s thighs, the nails scraping against the rough material of Seth’s jeans, and Seth couldn’t help but let his hips come up to press himself more into Tanner’s mouth.

Tanner knew what he was doing, and his tongue stroking along Seth’s dick really should have been illegal with the way it threatened to undo Seth so thoroughly. Seth brought up a hand and shoved his fingertips into Tanner’s hair. “Fuck yes, Tanner… Jesus…”

Seth could feel Tanner’s lips pull and Tanner let out a quiet, amused hum as he continued to move and stroke with his tongue and lips. He grew bolder as the time stretched on, and allowed himself to move deeper and deeper with each stroke, though he couldn’t really deepthroat Seth here, not at this angle.

It was only a few minutes more, Seth panting and cursing, his hips moving up into Tanner’s motions, until Seth felt his climax approaching. “Oh, fuck, Tanner– don’t –”

His head fell back against the headrest as he cried out, his fingertips pressing hard against Tanner’s scalp, but he could only enjoy the pleasure for a few seconds before Tanner pushed up against his hand and cursed louder than Seth had ever heard him before.

“What happened?” Seth dropped his hand immediately. “Did I… I wasn’t pressing too hard, was I?”

Tanner had a hand cupped to the lower half of his face, his eyes watering. When he spoke, his voice sounded thicker, like he had a runny or bloody nose. “The fucking come came out my nose!”

“What?! How the… oh my God, are you okay?”

“Mother fucker, that burns!” Seth squeezed his eyes shut for a few moments, then dropped his hand to try to climb back into the driver’s seat. “God, I didn’t even know that could happen!”

Seth tucked himself back into his pants. “How… how?”

“I don’t fucking know,” Tanner replied. “Maybe it like… hit the back of my throat just right, like when you drink from the drinking fountain wrong? God damn, this fucking burns. Get me some tissues out of the glovebox.”

Seth opened the glovebox and dug through until he found a travel pack of tissues, then handed them over to Tanner. “I’m sorry, Tanner. I didn’t know that could happen…”

Tanner pulled out some tissues and dabbed at his nose. “Fuck, I don’t know if I ever want to try that again.”

“Is it really that bad?” Seth watched as Tanner blew his nose. “I mean, does it really burn that badly?”

“It feels like I just inhaled the fucking ocean.” Tanner sniffed hard and groaned. “It’s awful. I’ll probably sound like I have a cold for days.”

Seth grimaced. “That sucks. I’m so fucking sorry, bro.”

“Whatever. Don’t worry about it.” Tanner shrugged and stuffed the used tissues into one of the cup holders. “Neither of us knew this could happen. We just… I dunno, we’ll have to stick to hand jobs or something instead.”

That was a shitty thing to consider, but Tanner was right. It would be the worst to try to play football with a stuffed up nose, and he felt bad that Tanner would have to play his trumpet while dealing with it. “Yeah, that’s probably the best idea.” Seth glanced at the dashboard clock and sighed. “It’s getting kind of late. I should probably get home before my parents start calling me.”

“Yeah, probably,” Tanner said. He gave his own sigh, then leaned across the car again to press a soft kiss to Seth’s lips. “Sorry for freaking out like that.”

Seth snorted. “You just had my fucking come shoot out your nose. Pretty sure you’re allowed a freakout.”

“Tell no one,” Tanner glared at Seth. “I’m serious. Nobody ever learns of this.”

“I had no plans to ever share this with anyone,” Seth said. “I don’t even think anyone would believe me, anyway.”

In the end, it was Tanner himself who ended up telling the story to their close friends, and Seth was always mortified each time he did. He always added in enough jokes and terrible puns to draw laughter from the group, even though the topic embarrassed Seth to no end. He wasn’t sure he’d ever want to relive that night, but it was Tanner’s nose who took the brunt of it, so he supposed it was rightfully Tanner’s story to tell anyway.

The thing Seth didn’t appreciate was people asking him for more details, or telling him he needed to buy Tanner a sympathy card for his nose.

He always inevitably shook his head and said, “Go fuck yourself.”

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