Pumpkin King

Magic Hollow 
morning on 10/31/18

The party had been moved to next weekend, and she'd closed off the Winery space for a private event so it wouldn't have to be at home for... reasons.

Anyway, Asha had some plans for things there, but giving a gift (or... several) to Abraham would end up being on his actual real birthday. Which. Probably would give her a chance to be real apologetic about her behavior the prior week.

She slipped out of bed early, making her way canelessly (she could manage it by now if she wasn't walking like a super long time) to the bathroom to change into the costume she'd gotten from him a while back.

Just to, like, start him off with a heart attack.

Good morning. Abraham was waking up, because honestly he wasn't all that good at sleeping in. Rolling over onto his stomach as Asha slipped off, he dozed for a little longer, at least until he sensed her return.

Slowly flopping over with a stretch, his intention was to yawn a giant gaping yawn. Instead, as his mouth opened wide, he gave a single: "AH."

And all the blood in his body rushed to one... specific area. You know. A slightly embarrassing one. Exactly where blood would go upon seeing an attractive woman dressed up like a school girl.

His face.

Hands clapping over either cheek, he squirmed some in bed because there were a lot of complex feelings here.

"Oh my God Asha you have to warn me for stuff like that!" he said, his entire tone an exclamation point.

But not an... unhappy one?

She giggled mercilessly first at his dumb reaction. He looked like that kid from Home Alone. He was forty but just a boy in the end.

"Every time I do you talk me out of it," Asha whined after the giggling, moving to the bed to crawl up to him from the edge of it, hands and legs on either side of him.

"Happy Birthday, Professor Barlit."

Abraham was not emotionally ready for this. He broke into the kind of smile that squished his face up, sheepish and turning red but also feeling, like.

Treated. There was the sexiness part of it that he wanted to deny but could not. But there was also just the sense that she was doing a thing for him? And enjoying doing it.

It was nice to be cared about, was all.

"I'm gonna have a heart attack and die," he said, which was fact because he was forty now.

But he also reached his arms out, wanting to pull her directly on top of him and kiss her with the sort of persistent smile that might accidentally turn into mashing his teeth into her lips a little.

He was not going to have a heart attack and die, damn it, he wasn't even that old, but she couldn't properly protest when he was pulling her in.

Asha smiled into a kiss with him, paying some special attention to his bottom lip because it was that kind of kiss. To say she'd been all sorts of ready for today was an understatement.

Naturally, she wanted to keep treating him, so she'd move from his lips down towards his neck, planting a trail starting at the underside of his jaw.

Also, she said some words in between each kiss. Very important to give him a choice as she moved towards his chest.

"Do you — want — a gift — now? Or — after..."

He could use his imagination for what after meant.

Help help help this wasn't the time to put decisions on him.

The jaguar hooted in general excitement and that did not help with his choice.


His voice was a little high both for indecision and. Like.

You know. Excitement. She really did look cute. Abraham tried not to think of the school girl part though he did kind of like being called professor?!


After it was.

The sex that followed had started playfully, in character with the whole professor and student dynamic. It had been Asha's intention to make it all about him, because, like, birthday. But it turned into a very fervent, feverish sort of thing, especially where their dumb (amazing) weremarriage connection was concerned. It ended with them clinging to each other, with Asha about as breathless as Abraham was, her shirt and hair and skirt all askew and messy.

It took a bit before she realized she was not done giving him gifts. This was just the first one. Aaaashaaaa, don't be weak okay, you need to be gift-giver. She gave a little huff of a laugh as she regained her brain, pushing up off him unwillingly, giving him a last kiss on his chest, and going to rinse off in the shower with him, all giggly and cuddly and helpful as far as soaping him up was concerned.

After, she changed into a simple t-shirt and shorts, and then eyed him hungrily but also with real hunger because she was HUNGRY. And so was he, she could feel it.

"Ready for your gifts? With breakfast?" she grinned mischievously, but still a little hazy in her gaze like she'd just done a lot of catnip.

Abraham was catnip in bed when he wanted to be.

Abraham was all glowy. And also hungry. And also forty. He tried not to think about that last part, but it lurked and did so persistently.

He was happy to see her dressed in something that didn't make his ass clench in terrorousal. Despite telling himself he had the power not to wear pants unless he wanted to, he still went with pants.

There was something nerve-wracking about receiving a gift. What if he didn't like it. Or didn't understand it. What if it was a joke and he thought it was real and then it wasn't!

But he smiled toothily.

"Ready as I'll ever be," he said, running a hand through his hair and reminding himself that Asha knew at least his materialistic preferences really well.


She'd lead him down the stairs, actually kind of needing his hand because at the end her hip was feeling a bit sore and bone-grindy. Almost healed, just not fully there yet. But she was too excited to take her cane, so TOO BAD.

She'd bring him to the kitchen first, moving to grab stuff out of the refrigerator for breakfast cocktails (pineapple juice and champagne to mix into Barlit Mimosas). She'd also get eggs to start mixing in a big bowl for later scrambling.

"So, I hid your gifts all over the house. The first one is... not really a gift. It's a card and you have to read it first. It's somewhere close to where I'm standing," Asha said proudly, surrounded by the drawers and cabinetry of the kitchen.

It was in the cooking utensil drawer.

It meant he'd be kept busy while she prepared breakfast.

card. Printed text in the card reads "You two make a perfect pair! Happy Anniversary." But Asha wrote another thing up on the other side of the inside:

"Okay, so it's not our anniversary or anything, but I saw this and thought of Sushi and Ceviche. Also they have spots! Like us!

Also happy birthday, even if you hate your birthday it doesn't matter because I love it. And you. Just in case you forgot.



Abraham was excited and also nervous and also-


"Ashaaaaa!" he whined, and yet he was engaged immediately. Maybe the jaguar had something to do with that. He followed it with a quiet, but determined: "I'm gunna find it."

Which was the point, Abraham.

He did an initial scan of the room, searching for a case of hiding in plain sight. It did not appear to be one.

First he was drawn to the microwave, which he popped open and stared inside discerningly. Nothing. Next up, the... oven. Okay. Just in case. Nothing. No big deal! It was fine!

A cabinet with pots and pans, which he opened with the flourish of a man who knew he was finding a card.

He wasn't.

A glance between some plates. Nope. Asha went unfortunately largely ignored because this was his entire life now? Two more drawers. NOTHING. Maybe she was lying to him. Maybe-

He whipped the utensil drawer open and felt a rush of feelings.

Abraham knew these two fish. He put a hand to his chest, stereotypically touched. And then, maybe, she would feel the brief jolt of fear as he opened it and WAS IT THEIR ANNIVERSARY AND HE'D FORGOTTEN?!

But, no. It was clarified in the card, and he recovered to smile again.

"Ashaaaaa," he said again, but this time in a very soft, goopy Abraham kind of way.

Oh my god, he really went for it. High five to herself for thinking of doing this, for real. Asha kept herself busy whisking up eggs, and then went to work sticking bacon and sausages and stuff in the toaster oven while she smiled at his good show of enthusiasm.

When he finally found it, she bit at her thumbnail while he read it, and then when he was done she had no choice but to beam.

"Abrahaaaam," she sang back, wanting to give him a hug. Also, she'd mixed the drinks in a huge pitcher, handing him a glass. "Okay, next gift!" she announced, feeling some bit of nervousness because honestly he probably wasn't going to be into this gift but she saw it and she just had to.

"The next gift is in the last place I made a mess. Not counting the bed this morning."

Slightly cheeky, she was referring to the couch, where he'd find his next gift wrapped in yellow wrapping paper, tucked under one of the remaining cushions.

Abraham took the drink and the hug! It was honestly way too early for alcohol. Especially on an empty stomach. But! He was here to also keep the peace because a fight on his birthday was probably inevitable but he wanted to fight it off as long as possible.

He was holding the card still as she gave her next clue, and... it felt like a trap. Like. Anywhere he went could indicate to her he thought she'd made a mess?!

Looking over the space, both hands occupied so he couldn't shove them into his hair, he eventually...

Moved to the trash can. And looked around it. Like. She'd put egg shells in there and that was kind of messy?

"Ummm," he verbalized after a few more seconds of walking around the kitchen. "Is this a secret mess I don't know about?"

He approached the stairs, looking up warily.

Asha couldn't help but laugh when he peered into the trash can. Okay, Asha, you need to help him out, that clue was weak.

"No, no, you know about it. Umm... lemme... Oh! It was a fluffy mess."

Like pillow fluff?! Would he get it now.

Fluffy mess? Uhhhh.

Did she consider her cat fluffy?! Abraham wasn't-



He looked to her almost deviously, as if finding the gift she'd deliberately hidden for him to find was somehow mischievous.

Making a beeline to the couch, he moved some of the pillows around, feeling...

Well. Kind of bad about having thrown them. But he pushed very hard to keep that away, knowing she could sense it. Eventually he spotted it, hearing the crinkling of wrapping paper. It was... strangely light as he picked it up.

Some careful paper removal and...


"You saying I'm old enough to wear a fanny pack!" he yelped as he promptly began to put it on.

She smiled through a lip bite as he went to the couch, happy he'd gotten it now. Maybe too easy, but. It was worth it.

Sipping on her own cocktail, Asha watched as he unwrapped it and — immediately made her laugh by putting it on. "Noooo," she protested, "I just saw it and thought it would look cute on you. And maybe it's useful?"

She wouldn't know. She had, like, purses and stuff. What she did know, is that her next clue was probably really obvious. She wasn't sure how he'd take the next gift, buttttttt. She was excited for what it would be.

"Okay, so I didn't plan for this, but the next gift is actually really, really close to you right now. Like. Really close."

She started up a pan for the eggs, slogging a pat of butter onto it, and turned to see if he'd figure it out.

the next gift is inside the fanny pack, and it's a $400 gift card to men's wearhouse


He would absolutely not wear this in public. But he put it on and tightened it appropriately, unsure of it if was supposed to sit right in the middle or toward his hip.

Abraham did understand this clue at least, and he unzipped the bag to see that someone here wanted him to dress up more. He flipped it over to view the amount and-

"Oh my God, Asha," he said, feeling a pang of almost panic. "That's so much."

Probably not for buying suits, but...

"Are you trying to get me to be Belle Vista fancy?!"

She felt his panic have nibbled at her lip some more. He took it a certain way, and... she shook her head.

"I just like... really like how you look in a suit. So. I wanna take you out shopping for a new one, since you only have... one."

She gave a little sheepish smile, having not sold that as sexily as she hoped she would, but it was very sincere.

Also she put $400 because $40 wouldn't get you shit at Men's Wearhouse. But it was meant to be a subtle thing about the birthday.

One felt like plenty.

But for the millionth time, he tried to remember the thing Wallace had said. How dare anyone care about him.

Breathe. Don't let the money freak you out, trailer trash.

He... very nicely tucked it back into his bag. And then set the card to stand up properly on the coffee table. And then grabbed his drink.

"Well. Thank you," he said, shy but also very sincere as he wandered back toward her for more hug.

He came in closer and for some reason she got a sense of like... being teary-eyed? She didn't know why. It just felt like a sweet moment with Abraham coming back and hugging her.

She also wasn't done giving gifts. She squeezed him, and then pulled away, mindful of the butter bubbling. "Okay, next gift. It's... " God how to make this clue. "It's in a place we've slept in before."

The options were relatively limited there — either the couch, or their bedroom, or the guest bedroom, but it bought her some time.

wrapped in yellow wrapping paper, under what was his pillow when they slept downstairs in the guest room, king sized for a king


Oh God. There was more. This was so many gifts. He looked around the house as he did with every clue.

Abraham had already searched the couch. And he was the one who did most of the sleeping there, anyway.

Sipping, smelling the food and feeling a renewed hunger, he headed up the stairs. Straight to the bedroom, where he began to search under every pillow and blanket. And then crawled down to look under the bed.

Nothing. He squinted, then rose again on knees that crackled.

"Definitely only on places we've slept!" she called after he'd been upstairs for... a little bit.

The eggs were nearly done, too, perfectly scrambled.

They'd slept on this bed, Asha, okay!

But... maybe not under it. He fiddled with the fanny pack zipper and then headed down the stairs at a trot, accidentally leaving his drink on the bedside table.

This time he made a beeline for the guest bedroom, and the gift was easy to spot. Unwrapping it, he broke into a lopsided smile, looking at it fondly.

The pineapple shirt was lost, but other pineapple things could still make him feel all warm. He grabbed it into both arms, holding it to his chest and coming out with a very Abraham smile as he looked to Asha.

She could tell, by hearing and by feeling his feelings, when exactly he'd found it. This was probably the gift he'd like the most, she decided, and honestly she couldn't blame him. Nice and cozy. Good for the winter.

She turned the heat off as he came out, the eggs fluffy and beckoning, and gave him a smile.

"Hi," she greeted. "There's... one more." Four gifts! For the fourtieth birthday! DO IT. "We probably can't use it yet, but. You'll find it where we got, like. Were-married."

She wondered if he remembered. And if he'd be into this idea at all.

everything in the bag and then the bag was gift wrapped and sitting in that spot in the backyard, product details


More?! Asha. Please. He felt inadequate for all prior birthday plans.

"You're spoiling me," he complained quietly. But the were-married thing was enough to temper his feelings, and so he headed right out to where he knew it had happened.

It would be a little sad, leaving this house. Whenever they did.

His stomach growled as he left the door open, finding the bag and unwrapping it (with his blanket tucked under his arm) and...

Yard stuff. This was very domestic in a way that left him feeling warm and. Like. Well. He gathered it all up, carrying it in as if he'd need this stuff indoors.

"Telling me to do more yard work?" he asked, but this time without complaint.

He totally would.

He found it, and she didn't feel any kind of offense or anything like that. Asha gave a huffed laugh and shook her head.

"No, I... was, like. Thinking. That when we get our new place. We could like. Start a garden together."

Asha didn't know shit about gardening, and maybe he didn't either, but Abraham worked at Thyme, so that... felt like a start.

Anyway, she wondered if he would be into that idea.

If Abraham could shift due to feelings, he would. Like. Right now.

Instead his mouth fell open a bit, genuinely speechless for how fucking sweet that felt. For a few seconds, anyway. As he carefully set everything down over by the couch, he turned back to Asha with his arms out for another hug.

And if she'd let him, he'd lean back enough to lift her feet off the ground and do a little spin. (And squish his fanny pack between them.)

"I'd love that," he said quietly, happily, and with the threat of soft gentle nice Abraham tears.

Okay turned out she was wrong. The blanket was maybe not his favorite gift. Or at least, he seemed to like this idea a lot on a deep level, and she felt it welling within her too. She'd taken a lot of chances on these ideas, and to see this one paying off was probably the most... heartwarming.

He grabbed her and spun her and she clung to him as her cat rolled into his, smiling at his words.

"Good," she said, a simple word backed with a wave of emotion and relief and happiness and like... well, a lot of love.

She really did love him, as fucked up as they had started, as out of touch she felt with herself if she thought too hard about it. It wasn't just the cat making her feel it, at least not anymore.

Anyway, she was really happy, and she kissed him very sweetly and happily, one hand wandering to his hair to pet it. All the food was done at this point, and as she pulled her face from his, she'd quirk a brow. "Let's eat all this stuff and cuddle."

Maybe at the same time. On the couch. If he wanted. While watching whatever he wanted.

This was nice.

And low key.

Both of those things felt very suited to Abraham, and he appreciated just how much this was all built for how he liked things.

He would happily curl up on the couch tucked under a shared pineapple blanket, eating breakfast, wearing a fanny pack, and cuddling until at some point he'd probably end up mid-morning napping against her.

The nicest kind of birthday an Abraham could hope for.

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