"Do we really have to do this?" Connor Taylor asked as they stood before a large dorm building. "Can't we just watch cheesy horror movies and become diabetics?"
"As enticing as that sounds," Dakota Anderson, his boyfriend, replied from beside him. "This is the first Halloween party we've been to in college. You've been studying so much lately. I just want to make sure you get the ultimate college experience."
"In that case, shouldn't you be ripping my clothes off in a janitor's closet somewhere in a dusty hallway?"
"Gotta save something for later," Dakota winked. Dressed in his Indiana Jones costume, he took Connor's hand in his. "You ready?"
Connor, decked out in his Luke Skywalker costume with a matching lightsaber, nodded and smiled. "Of course."
They entered the party together as a unified item. Despite both Connor and Dakota's reputations in high school, nobody cared about their status here and they wouldn't want it any other way. College was about making new friends and staying up too late to study and sneaking off to parties at all hours of the night. Something as petty as reputations was something both boys were glad to let go of once they'd graduated.
Holding hands, they made their way through the crowded halls of the dormitory. They passed superheroes and zombies and vampires and even a Tooth Fairy as the party progressed throughout the dorms.
The party was much different from any high school gathering. There were still loud games of beer pong and pounding music, but it was a different vibe. Connor grinned as he passed a SpongeBob, following Dakota into the last room.
A group was gathered inside the room. A brunette girl lit up at the sight of Dakota. "About time Anderson, Pete was about to swipe your share."
"Con, this is Megan." Dakota gestured to the beaming brunette as he pulled her in for a hug. "Basically, the only girl I can actually tolerate here for more than five minutes."
The girl grinned up at him. "You just say that because I'm the only one who doesn't hit on you. And because I bought you that pack of multi-coloured flashcards."
"It didn't hurt." Dakota beamed back.
Megan grinned at Connor. She was dressed as a race-car driver. "It's so nice to finally meet you! You're all Dakota talks about lately."
"Shut up." Connor grinned back, eyeing his boyfriend.
Dakota rolled his eyes, pulling Connor to him. "She was asking what I was doing for Halloween and I didn't want to lie."
"You're a first-year, right?" Megan asked. "Is this your first college party?"
Connor laughed. "Yeah, it's pretty cool."
"I'm glad you could make it." Megan smiled, gesturing to Dakota. "Now maybe someone else can finally listen to this guy rant about Fitzgerald's metaphorical expression."
"He revolutionised the practice of creative abstractionism!" Dakota argued, looking wounded.
Megan rolled her eyes fondly and looked back to Connor. "I'm glad he has you. I don't think I can take this much longer."
Connor took in his surroundings. There was a small group of people sitting in a circle on the floor of the room. Connor had been in Dakota's dorm before – he had managed to score a single – but it was further down the hall. Going off the sleek black décor, Connor guessed it was Megan's room that she shared with her roommate.
"So you're a couple, right?" Megan asked as Connor looked back to her. "Aren't you supposed to match or something?"
Dakota laughed and shook his head. "Nah, we're not into that sort of thing. Besides, I kickass as Indiana Jones."
Connor rolled his eyes, taking a sip of the beer offered to him. "Oh yeah, you look really kickass with that ridiculous hat of yours."
"It's a fedora!"
Megan laughed. "C'mon, we're about to put a movie on."
"Halloween?" Dakota grinned.
"Halloween." Megan nodded. "It was either this or watch the boys on the level up do a Spooky Strip Tease to "This Is Halloween" by the Dean's office. Or whatever they called it."
"I'm starting to think I need to get out more." Connor thought out loud.
Music was still pulsing through the building. Connor laughed as he watched an alien try to make out with a Queen Elizabeth before giving up and shuffling off in his suit.
Someone turned a TV on and the opening scene to Halloween started playing. By now, more people we're filing into the room and Dakota introduced Connor to more of his friends. They smiled and greeted Connor warmly.
Dakota sat down on one of the beds, pulling Connor against his chest. "I know it's not much," he whispered to Connor. "But I just thought we could use a break from studying."
"What, cheap beers and horror movies in college dorm rooms on a Saturday night?" Connor grinned. "Are you kidding? I live for this shit!"
"Next year we'll do something else. Just you and me." Dakota said softly as the movie played.
Taking a sip of his drink, Connor hummed happily and leaned back against his boyfriend's chest. Dakota was right, it wasn't much but it was still fun and he knew Dakota was only doing it so that Connor could take a break from the heavy demands of school.
Between college and missing home and hardly getting much time to see his boyfriend, Connor was just happy to spend the night with him celebrating one of his favourite holidays.
Leaning in, Connor kissed Dakota softly and said, "Thankyou. I needed this."
Dakota smiled. "I love you."
"I love you too. But next year we're so doing cheesy horror movies and pizza."
Dakota laughed. "Alright, deal."