by shukyou (主教)
He stared into the mirror in horror as his hideous visage stared back at him.
His breath stank in his own nostrils, coming back to him with a smell so hideous, it seemed only the underworld could have produced it. The eyes that met his gaze were familiar, but everything else was horribly wrong. The lower half of his face sported a terrifying grin of pointed yellow teeth, black lips stretching back skin the color of fresh blood. His hair was gone, rendered into a smooth crimson dome that hugged the shape of his skull. From either side of his head, pointed ears stuck out and wiggled every time he so much as inclined his head. Try though he might, he couldn’t manage a return to his prior state. The change, it seemed, was permanent.
He hadn’t even wanted to go to this fucking party anyway.
Yuri nearly wept with joy as he heard the front door of the apartment open. “I’m in here!” he called, though the words came out muffled nearly to the point of unintelligibility. Did he sound hysterical? He was feeling a perhaps the tiniest bit hysterical.
“Hey, babe,” Ethan called from the main room. There were familiar sounds: putting down bags, hanging keys on the hook so they wouldn’t be lost, kicking off shoes. “Sorry I’m late, but I ran into Julio on the stoop, and he said the building’s shutting off the water Monday from midnight to like four a.m. for some kind of repairs, so we’ve got to make sure we — oh.” His update from their downstairs neighbor was cut short as Ethan walked into the bedroom and saw both his husband and his husband’s problem.
Defeated to the point of welcoming assistance, Yuri sat down hard on the bed. “I tried it on to see how it fit, and now I can’t — it’s got a — there’s a–” He gestured as best as he could toward the back of his head, trying to convey through a kind of interpretive dance that this damn thing wasn’t coming off.
“Hold on.” Ethan dropped whatever he was carrying and rushed to Yuri’s side — an easy enough trick, given that their entire apartment was small enough that Yuri’s long legs could cross it, door to far corner, in a dozen exaggerated strides. They’d measured it together after they’d moved in, too giddy with the freedom of their new lease and the togetherness it gave two small town boys together in a big city to care that it was the size of a matchbox. It was their matchbox.
And now it was where Yuri was going to have to live out the rest of his natural life, isolated from society, drinking through a straw punched in a hideous rubber demon mask, because whichever place Ethan’s friend had bought it from had faulty zippers, or something. He didn’t even know what was wrong. He had lost most of his good sense under a blinding fear that he might have to spend the rest of his natural life from the neck up as a rubber demon.
Ethan took one of Yuri’s hands in his, threading their fingers together as he examined the back of Yuri’s head and neck. “Okay, shit, I see the — it got your hair in there.”
“My hair?” Yuri didn’t understand.
“Yeah, and your shirt, and some of the mask lining as well, I think. Like, you zipped it closed over them.”
Yuri exhaled hard. “Well, can you unzip it?” He wasn’t prone to panic. He was not a man who panicked. He was a calm, collected individual who made good decisions. That was why he had a job where he wore a tie every day.
“It’s not–” Ethan made a little grunt of contemplation, then tugged at something enough that Yuri could feel his hair pull. “Wow, I don’t even know how you did this.”
With an exasperated sigh, Yuri flopped back against the bed so hard their cheap box spring squeaked in protest. “Well, I live here now.” At least he wasn’t claustrophobic, or not more so than the average person would be, should said average person find themselves unceremoniously locked inside an ugly rubber head-prison. Yuri was now deeply regretting not taking the “angel” option of the couple’s costume. It had more fishnet but less latex.
They shouldn’t even have been planning a couple’s costume at all, not in the month of April, except that Ethan and all his friends — which meant, by extension, all Yuri’s friends — were also bartenders or other service-industry people who were always working on actual Halloween. Yuri hadn’t even known people kept track of what date counted as the holiday’s polar opposite, not until Ethan had come home the week previous with news of a Monday night anti-Halloween party.
Ethan curled up right next to him, letting his hand rest on Yuri’s chest. “I’ll get the scissors.”‘
“Don’t get the scissors,” Yuri said. He shut his eyes — not that it did much to his field of vision, considering how small the eyeholes in the awful thing were. “I don’t want to give it back to Roger in shreds. I’ll wear it tonight, and then … I don’t know. We’ll figure out something. He’ll be there tonight, won’t he? We can ask him if there’s some trick to it.”
“No, he’s still got a shift tonight. That’s why he lent it to us.”
Yuri exhaled hard. Maybe he could cut his hair. And his shirt. He liked this shirt, but he liked not being stuck in a rubber mask even more. He was strongly weighing the opportunities for destruction here when he heard Ethan giggle. Yuri made an inquisitive noise and turned his head on instinct, yanking the hairs at the back of his head a little. It was the first time in his life he’d been sad he hadn’t listened to his ex-Army father’s advice, in this case about buzzcuts.
“You’re kinda cute like this, you know,” Ethan said, petting Yuri’s belly through his shirt.
That was factually untrue. The demonic face molded into the mask was not a cute thing; it was a hideous thing, something Ethan’s former co-worker Roger had gotten from some movie prophouse. It had warts and bumps and even a few gash-looking parts where nobody wanted gashes to be. Yuri snorted, unwilling to accept Ethan’s attempts at making him feel better.
Ethan let his hand wander a little lower, until his fingertips were teasing along the bare skin of Yuri’s midsection, just above the waistband of his pants. “Kind of like Tim Curry in Legend. Do you remember that? He looked hot in that.” Ethan’s fingers hooked beneath Yuri’s pants, until they skimmed against the elastic waist of Yuri’s underwear. “I mean, I’m not going to say he’s the most fuckable movie monster out there, but … top twenty, for sure.”
The two of them had met in kindergarten, as much of a case of love at first sight as two five-year-old boys from stiflingly conservative families as there had ever been. From that day on the playground, there had never been anyone else for either of them. They’d survived everything together, from hiding their feelings beneath the cover of “best friends” to Ethan’s family’s moving away in tenth grade to running off together to New York City at the first possible moment. And yet they’d made it this far in their relationship without this particular revelation about Ethan’s tastes. “This is turning you on?” asked Yuri, unable to bite back an incredulous smirk.
“Well–” Ethan blushed a little and buried his face against Yuri’s side. “I mean, a little, maybe.”
Yuri felt his cloudy mood break open. That was Ethan, always his sunshine. “Having a big bad demon in your bed?” he teased, dropping his voice into his chest register. The effect wasn’t too successful, but the effort was there.
Ethan shrugged bashfully even as his fingers brushed over the outline of Yuri’s cock beneath his underwear, a touch that was definitely enough to get Yuri’s attention. “I mean, people tell you long enough that gays go to Hell, eventually some wires maybe get a little crossed, you know?”
Yuri laughed at that, not because it was funny but because he understood, and the understanding was the funny part. “I was wondering why the hell you thought this would be a good costume party choice.” He punctuated the sentence by tugging a little on the mask (which had not, in the interim, politely decided to release itself; ah well).
“You got me.” Ethan’s hand squeezed lightly at Yuri’s dick, making Yuri shiver. It wasn’t the first time Yuri had gone so quickly from annoyance to arousal, and it no doubt would not be the last. With a little wiggle, Ethan pressed his own hips up against Yuri’s. “So, uh … can I?”
By way of response, Yuri reached over and carded his fingers through Ethan’s dark, shaggy hair — then, without warning, closed his hand in a light but firm fist. “I don’t know,” Yuri growled in his most quietly commanding voice, “can you?”
In a flash, Ethan was on the floor, kneeling between Yuri’s thighs as he yanked the sweatpants down off Yuri’s hips. Yuri propped himself up on his elbows, looking down at a scene almost distracting enough to make him forget that his whole head was encased in rubber. But that too was part of the effect, so at least for the moment, he was willing to roll with it. He loosened his grip on Ethan’s hair a little, but kept his hand lightly there as Ethan swallowed his cock in a single go.
Ethan loved sucking dick. That was one key difference between the two of them, that Yuri enjoyed giving head for the reaction it got from Ethan, but Ethan loved it for its own sake. He never hesitated, and he wasn’t about to start now. With one hand, he drew his hair back from his forehead, winking up at Yuri with an almost-angelic look on his face. He drew his head back, letting the flat of his tongue lave all the way up to the tip of Yuri’s cock. He teased there briefly, grinning before he parted his lips and let Yuri’s whole length penetrate his mouth.
Yuri grabbed one of the pillows from the bed and set it up behind his back, making sure not only that he could see what was going on, but that he had a good, commanding view of the situation. He had no idea what he actually looked like now, and he suspected that most other people would find his visage in the rumpled, ill-fitting mask a silly one. Not Ethan, though. Ethan looked up at him with wide, hungry brown eyes. He began to move his mouth up and down Yuri’s shaft, building to a rhythm in and out of the soft, warm circle of his lips.
For a moment, Yuri felt self-conscious about the situation. But if Ethan had been willing to share, then surely Yuri could be willing to play along some more. He cleared his throat a little and settled his voice down from its regular soft tenor into his chest register, just on the serious side of comically deep. “Good boy,” he tried, hoping like hell that his attempts at dirty talk didn’t kill the mood.
To the contrary, he felt Ethan moan around his dick. The vibrations made the breath catch in Yuri’s own throat. Ethan’s hands tightened on Yuri’s thighs as he began to pick up the pace. He shivered and shut his eyes, hiding them behind his thick, dark lashes.
Ethan was gorgeous; Yuri had always thought so, even before he’d really had the vocabulary to understand what those thoughts meant. Yuri had always been the quieter of the two, the one less prone to speaking his mind, even when it was only the two of them. There was something, however, about the mask — not just that he was wearing one at all, but that it was so encompassing, wrapping him into a role. As long as it was stuck, he was the demon, sort of. Enough, anyway, for the courage to let it count.
“What a pretty boy,” Yuri rumbled as he let go of Ethan’s hair to stroke his cheek tenderly. “Maybe we should go to the party just like this tonight. You don’t even need an angel costume when you’re on your knees like that.”
Ethan closed his lips around Yuri’s cock, smiling as much as he could while keeping up the good work. One of his hands let go of Yuri’s thighs and slipped down into his jeans. He jerked himself off in time to the bobbing of his head, working their cocks together with easy skill. Yuri had seen Ethan make a martini with one hand and pour a beer with the other at the same time; he wasn’t surprised by the coordination.
Yuri sat up a little, pushing his hips forward so even more of his dick went into Ethan’s mouth. Ethan groaned with pleasure as he pushed his face all the way forward, burying his nose up against the dark hairs below Yuri’s navel. He held himself there for a moment before pulling away, gasping. Before Yuri could ask if he’d gone too far, though, Ethan was back at it again, swallowing Yuri down with eager haste.
“Come on,” Yuri said, egging Ethan on. “Show me how you like it. You’ve been thinking about this for so long, haven’t you?”
It was obvious Ethan had from the way he worked his tongue and lips over Yuri’s cock. A thin sheen of sweat was making his bangs stick to his forehead, a combination of exertion and the unseasonably warm weather. Did the combination feel like hellfire? Probably not, no more than Yuri really felt like any kind of infernal creature. But it made Yuri want to go back to the places they’d both grown up, back to explain the difference between damnation and love.
Yuri set his shoulders and let his fingers curl around behind Ethan’s head. They moved together, a push and pull of shared purpose as Yuri began very lightly to fuck Ethan’s mouth. Before, caution had always gotten the better of him; it had never seemed prudent to be the one jerking his hips around while Ethan’s mouth and throat were in such vulnerable positions, to say nothing of his own member’s proximity to teeth. And either way, wasn’t it degrading or at least impolite to treat someone else like that? No, he’d learned to stay put, and that had been fine, and that had always been the way they’d done things.
Now, though, he found that Ethan simply moved right along with him, taking the pressure from Yuri’s body and responding with enthusiasm in kind. He moaned every time Yuri drew his head back down, eagerly responding to the playful roughness. Clearly Ethan didn’t feel degraded, or at least not in a bad way. He looked absolutely blissful. Should he, as promised, ever find himself in a real Hell, it looked like he could in fact do this for all eternity.
“I’m going–” Yuri caught himself. He took a deep breath and steadied his voice, then tried again, not as a warning but as a command: “I’m going to come in your mouth. And you’re going to swallow it. You’re going to swallow my come. Like a good boy.”
As much as he could with a cock between his lips, Ethan nodded eagerly. From the looks of him, he wanted nothing more in the world.
Yuri’s orgasms were usually on the quiet side — an exhale of breath, a soft moan, nothing that might be overheard by suspicious ears. That kind of silence was hardly befitting of a demon lord, though, wasn’t it? Yuri surprised himself with the low, aching cry that slipped from his mouth. Maybe it was the enclosure of the mask, but the sound seemed to fill the world, blocking out even his own heartbeat. Ethan pressed his lips up against the base of Yuri’s cock and swallowed just as he’d been told, while Yuri held his thick hair tight. He did feel a little wicked, treating the man he loved like this. He was just learning that wicked also felt pretty good.
With Yuri’s cock still snugly in his mouth, Ethan let out a series of breathy moans of his own, and Yuri realized he was coming as well, jerking himself hard and fast as he swallowed Yuri dry. His mouth made shapes that might have been words, but the words themselves were lost. It didn’t matter. Yuri understood him perfectly.
At last, Yuri’s borrowed demonic strength failed him, and he collapsed back against the bed, panting heavily. A second later, Ethan was there right beside him, holding him tight, silently letting him know it was okay — more than okay. In fact, as far as Yuri could tell, that had been pretty great.
Since they’d been each other’s first and only everything, it was easy to assume that they knew one another perfectly already, that even though they were barely into their twenties, everything between them was as settled as it could get. What a surprise, then, to learn there was still untrodden territory waiting to be discovered. Yuri wondered if he had any of his own. He suppose he’d have to trust Ethan to find it with him.
They lay beside one another sideways on the bed, forehead against rubbery forehead as they caught their breath together. Yuri closed his eyes as Ethan wrapped his arms around him. He would have been content to stay like that for the rest of his life, safe in the embrace of the man he loved more than he loved himself, aware of nothing else in the world but Ethan — at least, until heard a small unzipping sound. Yuri’s eyes snapped open. “Did–?”
With a nod, Ethan peeled the sides of the mask forward and away from Yuri’s skin. Yuri gasped with the sudden freedom and rush of cool air against his face. “There you go!” Ethan said as Yuri raked his fingers back through his own sweaty hair. “You know, sometimes they say all you need is to relax a little.”
That made no sense, and Yuri didn’t care. His miraculous rescue completed, Yuri took the mask back from Ethan. He’d been so sure that they’d have to destroy it that he’d been resigned to losing it forever, but now… “Will you zip it up for me again when we get there? Carefully?”
“You want to wear it tonight? For real?” A look of befuddlement wrote itself across Ethan’s face, but there was no disguising the hopeful glee at its edges.
“Well, yeah, if–” Yuri could feel the color rising in his cheeks. Soon he’d be the same color as the demon mask — though, he supposed, as eternal fates went, there were far worse out there. “I mean, I can’t argue with the results.”
Ethan laughed and leaned forward to kiss Yuri’s mouth — finally, his real one.