Brock knows it’s pretty stupid to be afraid right now. With all the things he’s dealt with lately, this shouldn’t be anything. He knows it’s not real. It’s supposed to be fun for kids for fuck sakes. But here he is, dragging his feet and refusing to meet Jack’s eyes as his boyfriend focuses on getting dressed warm enough for the haunted hayride and spooky maze that he really wants to take him to.
“So, I was thinkin’..” Brock says suddenly, drawing Jack’s attention. He yo-yo’s a bit when Jack meets his gaze in the mirror. “I ain’t feelin’ too great, maybe I should stay back.”
Jack frowns, turning to face him and clearly, he doesn’t believe him. “Why? We’ve been planning this for weeks.”
Brock wants to point out that Jack’s the one that’s been planning it, and Brock has just been going along with it because he knows just how deep into Halloween he is.
“The hayride, sure I guess, but I ain’t ready for no maze. I figured it was one of them find your way out ones, not a haunted one.” Brock complains.
“I told you it was a haunted one when I first brought it up.” Jack says with a roll of his eyes. “You even hummed in acknowledgement to it.”
“Yeah well, you had yer tongue in my mouth before ya said it, and you know how damn distracted I get with that, especially when yer hands are sneakin’ into the back of my boxers. You can say whatever the hell ya want and I’d agree to it.”
Jack smirks. “I’ll have to remember that for next time. Besides, you’ll be with me the whole night, I’ll protect you.”
That wasn’t the point but Brock refuses to stomp his foot about it. “I hate scary shit, Jack!”
“It’s all fake.” Jack reminds him, walking over. “Nothing is going to get you, Brock. Well nothing threatening. I mean, I might get you but that’s different. Anything else that tries, no way. Look, if you really start feeling uncomfortable we’ll leave, okay?”
Brock sighs, his shoulders dropping a little. “Yeah fine, okay.”
When they get there, the parking lot is full of ambient noises and spooky music, large speakers propped up to get them in the mood and Jack’s already grinning as he takes his hand and they jog along together to get on the hayride.
Since they’re riding with a bunch of kids, Brock’s secretly celebrates since the actors don’t get too close to grab or jumpscare him, it’s more filled with ominous moaning and frightening stories told by the ride host while undead pretend to struggle reaching for the end of the cart and tripping over one another in zombie movie fashion.
Brock would think it’s corny and dumb if he wasn’t so tense.
Afterwards Jack drags him towards the entrance of the haunted maze. There’s more scary ominous music and chains clanking around somewhere. It’s too dark inside, Brock can already tell. The only light around comes in the form of a few outdoor stand ones at the front entrance.
Brock is real close to dragging his feet in some kind of non-violent protest, refusing to go but he doesn’t want to look like a baby, especially since Jack wants to go so badly. Next to him Steve gives him a sympathetic smile before pulling in close to whisper in Brock’s ear. “If you really want to leave, I can make up some excuse for you to be the one to take me home if you want.”
Brock smiles over at his friend and knows Steve means it, hates when people act like he’s fragile because of his skinny frame, failing health and his asthma. He wouldn’t offer to play the sick card unless it’s to help out. They’re on a double date and Steve wouldn’t mind leaving Bucky with Jack if it gives Brock some peace. He can’t ask him to do that though.
“I’ll be fine.” Brock tells him, eyes flicking up to where Jack is talking to an equally excited Bucky. He can tell Steve would rather be hanging out at Nick’s pizza place shooting the shit than get unnecessarily pushed around or grabbed by random monsters in the dark. Brock just doesn’t want to disappoint Jack and even Bucky when they both go out of their way to be decent boyfriends.
Jack looks back at him with a smile probably to make sure he was still there before he turns back towards Bucky who was still talking and they make it to the front of the line. He slows down to drop himself in beside Brock, taking his hand as Bucky tugs Steve up next to him. Brock is grateful at least over the fact that Jack isn’t one of those guys that says he’ll be supportive and then abandons him almost immediately when something else catches his attention. He’s dealt with guys like that before and he has no more patience for that shit.
He does hesitate a moment before following Jack in, a gentle pull from him as they enter the mouth of enveloping darkness, almost immediately losing Bucky and Steve to it. It’s not terrible inside the maze, but he still doesn’t like it. There’s too many people jumping out at him and touching him than he’d like, harmless actors or not. He still likes his personal space, and his fight or flight response to it is making him a little stressed out.
At some point, Jack's grip loosens when two zombies swarm them and then he’s gone. They’d lost sight of Bucky and Steve early on after a conversation in the dark at the beginning to meet up outside but once everything got going there was no way to stay together.
Essentially he’s alone except for a few strangers walking ahead of him and one girl has glow-in-the-dark bracelets on. He may have jumped a few feet when he feels a hand grab his shoulder and a low raspy voice whispers in his ear.
“I’m going to do some terrible things to you tonight.”
Brock rolls his eyes, partially turning to punch Jack square in the arm.
“Yer an asshole, Jack.” He huffs, walking as best he could in the darkness and away from his boyfriend. He’s unsure of if Jack’s following him, but he’s pretty sure he would be no matter how much he’s trying to be a creep about it.
He glares at his surroundings, finally deciding to cross his arms and stay where he is when there’s a sudden lull of ‘zombies’ trying to attack him and the flashing lights and blaring ambient music start to give him a headache. If Jack’s going to be an ass and follow him without walking with him, then Brock is going to stay put. He may be a little scared of the maze, but he’s not scared of putting Jack in his place.
He strains his ears, listening out for any sign of him, staying perfectly still and holding a frown across his face when he picks up on the sound of Jack’s quiet footsteps Brock’s right. Brock’s hand comes out, grabbing hold of Jack’s shirt just as Jack’s got a hold of his hips and they stumble sideways together until they hit a wall.
Brock narrows his eyes, despite not really being able to see him, at least he knows him by the way he’s holding him and the scent of pine he wears. “Ya said you’d protect me, jackass.”
The strobe lights to the side pick up the wide eyed look Jack’s giving him, his face a little flushed from the small scuffle, and then whatever surprised expression he has at that moment, it’s quickly replaced with a deadly smirk. It’s one Brock knows quite well, the one that makes him a little weak in the knees and his brain begins to go mush.
“I am protecting you, I just love making you my damsel while I do it.”
Brock knows it’s a taunt, one he doesn’t plan to rise to. He knows Jack was just messing around but given how afraid he was to come in here it still feels like an asshole move. Still, he could have his own fun. He leans up on his toes and kisses him, deep and hungry, and a lot rougher than he’d normally be in public, because hell, their self control together is practically non-existent and there’s places they don’t wanna be banned at.
They’re both left breathing hard after the kiss, lips barely ghosting over each other and Jack’s hands tightening over his hips, Brock’s no matter, his fingers gripped tight to his boyfriend’s leather jacket. He adores seeing Jack like this, all riled up; but he’s also not going to let him get away with being a dick so easily. He rocks his hips against Jack’s, enjoying the quiet groan it elicits.
“God, Brock.” Jack mumbles against his lips. “You get me so worked up.”
And that’s precisely what Brock wants, placing a lingering kiss to his lips and pulling away with a smirk. “We should get goin’.”
He doesn’t say anything else, just turns around and starts following the red exit signs and pushing past any scary ‘monsters’ trying to get him. He’s way too amused to be scared right then, shuffling going on behind him before Jack quickly begins to jog to catch up.
“What? Are you serious right now? But there’s kids around!”
Brock grins at him over his shoulder. “You bet your ass I am. What’s better than gettin’ you all worked up to get back at ya fer that crap?” There’s a bright light close to the exit and his eyes peek down at the quite obvious bulge in Jack’s pants before innocently smiling back up at him.
Jack groans, trailing after Brock as they leave the maze. Before they exit, he pulls his jacket off and holds it in front of him the moment a gaggle of kids run by, stepping alongside right next to Brock. “Look, I’m sorry. I was just having a little fun, and you’re cute when you get startled and grab a hold of me.”
Brock takes Jack’s free hand and leans in to press a kiss to his cheek. “I know. Jus maybe don’t do it when I regretted showin’ up ‘ere in the first place.”
Jack agrees and together they escape to the parking lot. Easily they spot Steve and Bucky waiting for them next to Bucky’s truck, well it’s more like they spot Bucky pressing Steve against his truck and Steve’s almost literally climbing him like a tree while they make out. The neat bun Bucky wore is long gone, all messed up and Steve’s hand buried into his hair. Brock snorts when he sees the disgruntled looks some of the parents give them as they walk by.
They break apart when Brock startles them by smacking the hood of the truck with his hand, giving the two of them a smirk.
“Are you two finally ready to go?” Steve asks, still wearing Bucky like an oversized accessory.
Brock nods. “Definitely ready. The longer we stay out ‘ere, the more my head aches.”
Jack is silent the whole ride to the Nick’s, looking at least a little guilty, his arm slung around Brock’s shoulder and lightly playing with the sleeve of his coat. Brock feels bad for making him look like that but he also knows that was real fucking annoying to deal with when he genuinely did feel a little scared. Then again, maybe he had made his point.
As they settle into a booth at Nick’s, Brock pulls Jack close with an arm around his neck. Steve and Bucky are too busy arguing over toppings to get to pay much attention to them.
“I’m sorry.” Jack whispers, leaning in close. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“Ya didn’t scare me.” Brock tells him. “I knew it was you, if I didn’t one of them volunteer zombies woulda gotten a punch in the solar plexus, fucking touchie assholes. Tryin’ to scare me in the Halloween maze knowin’ I had a problem with it was shitty though, you know that.”
Jack sighs, tucking his face into Brock’s neck and pressing a kiss there. “Are you mad at me?”
Brock noses against his hair, humming contently. “No, I ain’t mad. Ya know I can’t ever stay mad at ya anyway.”
“Good.” Jack murmurs, nuzzling against Brock’s skin. “Because I don’t know what I’d do if you were mad.”
Brock chuckles at that. “If I’m in the wrong, you’d ignore me. When yer in the wrong, you buy me a whole fuckin’ flower shop, that’s what. At least do the decent thing next time, let me join in and scare people with ya, like those dummies sittin’ across from us.”
He can feel Jack smile against his skin, an arm around his waist to give him a squeeze. “Deal.”
Brock’s chance comes up next weekend when a few of their other friends are curious to attend closing weekend and they all go back as a group, splitting apart at the maze entrance.
They let Steve and Bucky walk ahead a bit as planned and then Jack tilts his head with a mysterious smile and tugs Brock to a rope barrier for the workers that navigates them more easily towards the end.
Going back to the shitty maze is so worth it when Steve lets out a piercing scream the moment Brock ducks down at a corner turn and grabs at his ankle fully knowing he wouldn’t expect that. It’s the cherry on top when Steve whirls around on Bucky and accuses him of doing it, leaving himself open for Jack to grab at him and Steve only ends up jumping into his boyfriend’s arms and yelling about how this wasn’t how it went last time.
This time around Brock had way too much fun in the haunted maze, the four of them making plans to get Wilson on his way in after he was done trying to impress Riley at the game stalls. Brock officially decided it was the only way he’d ever go back next year.