A.N. WARNING: Excessive fluff is contained in parts of the next chapter, sure to rot your teeth out and brainwash you into joining the care bears. Side effects may include: crapping rainbows, seeing unicorns, simultaneous brain cell combustion, and slight nausea. You have been warned.

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Arthur did not really know what to think when the Halloween invitation arrived at he and Francis' room. Francis was absolutely thrilled about the whole thing and was already next door harassing Matthew about it. Arthur was not a fan of partying or other mass social activities in general. But he did have a soft spot for masquerades. Arthur would never admit that he loved the mystery and the romance of the masked dance, not that he expected to dance with anyone. Besides, he figured going would be a bad idea. The event broke countless school rules and was unauthorized. Then again, parties like this were a usual occurrence and the school staff most always turned a blind eye to these activities. Usually it was for the nuns to go take shots and play Bingo out on the town for a night.

"Arthur you are going aren't you?" The Brit about fell off his bed, where he had been lying in quiet contemplation.

"Alfred! What in the bloody hell are you doing here? Who let you in and how did you get in?" It was funny how Alfred was always the first and last person he wanted to see. Besides Francis- he ranked pretty high on the "not want to see" list. Not that there was an actual list or anything...

"I came here to ask if you were going to the Halloween dance and I let myself in through the door." Alfred grinned cheekily and sat down at the edge of Alfred's bed. The older boy gulped and instinctively scooted away. Why was he acting like this? Some bratty freshman should not have bothered a distinguished senior like Arthur. Then again, said senior should not have liked this bratty freshman in the normal world. Apparently, something was seriously off about this campus. It did stuff to normal, sane people.

"So...you gonna go, you gonna go, you gonna go, you gonna-"

"Yes! If you go away and stop being your obnoxious self in my general direction then I will go to this ridiculous party!" Arthur finally yelled this at Alfred on pure impulse. The American immediately tackled the older blond with a bear hug.

"I knew you'd agree!" He spoke grinning like a fool. Arthur was blushing crazily to his massive displeasure. Nobody ever hugged him.

"Yeah, yeah could you make yourself gone now? I am trying to study here." Alfred's grin faded slightly at the words and he got up to leave silently. Remembering what he had wanted to do to relieve his guilty conscience, Arthur grabbed the taller boy's wrist gently and stopped him.

"Oh and uh, sorry for being such a git to you the other day. Sorry I'm such a git to you all the time. I never really mean it" Arthur could not believe the mushy filth that had come out of his mouth. This was one of the reasons he sucked at apologies- sincerity was not his strong point. Relief washed over him as the good natured smile returned to Alfred's face. He seemed to like those mushy things- Arthur had caught him watching the Notebook once and crying his eyes out all the while. He had done his best to erase that from his memory...In Arthur's opinion the biggest tragedy in that movie was when the good looking guy grew a beard and didn't shave it. Even that wasn't sob worthy. Arthur snapped himself back to the present when Alfred replied.

"It's ok, I know you don't mean what you say most of the time. I'll catch you later Arthur." The Brit attempted a smile in return.

"I'll see you too Al." The American gave Arthur one last smile and left. Arthur let himself fall back on his bed and remained there, silent again and deep in thought. He smiled to himself, lost in daydreams and the thought of Alfred smiling so affectionately at him...Until...

"Bonjour, monsieur" Arthur rolled over immediately, searching for the intruder, the source of this velvety voice. He stood abruptly and came face to face with the most stunning man he had ever seen and that was sayng a lot. Long, golden wavy hair spilled over his shoulders and a beautiful fitted tux accented his lean but obviously toned body. A decorative red mask hid his face but Arthur's green eyes met with the sapphire blues staring out at him mischieviously. Everything aobut him was intoxicating, even his scent. Arthur about swooned and then mentally kicked himself for being rediculous.

"Who...the hell are you?" Arthur asked weakly, not sounding very intimidating at all. The sly grin turned to a frown.

"What Angleterre? You don't recognise me? Hm, this disguise must work like a charm." With one fluent motion, a now extremely familiar person removed his mask and tossed his long hair in the process quite dashingly.

"Francis!?" Arthur didn't know whether to throw up or, or- and then for the first time in Arthur Kirkland's life, he fainted. Francis looked down at his incapacitated roommate and gave him a slight nudge with the toe of his shoe. He began to fan himself slightly.

"Well well well amour, it seems my looks and charm at their sharpest were a bit much for our pissy English friend here. Would you not agree?" Matthew crept in and nodded with a small, cute smile.

"It seems you were right Francis- this was a great way to get the room to ourselves!"

"Mm I like it when you put it that way, mon petit chaton."

"Oh! Francis! Cut that out!"

"You like it." Let us say that when Arthur came to he wished he had not. Rather, he wished Francis would have been merciful and killed him before.

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Feliciano about burst with excitement along with Antonio when they received their invitations. Lovino seemed like he couldn't care less and Ludwig paper-airplaned his. Tragically, Flight Gay Party 166 had a crash landing into the trash can. There were no survivors. After Lovino finally let his brother go and headed back to his dorm building with Antonio, Feliciano found himself in Ludwig's room, as usual.

"Hey Ludwig, Ludwig! Did you get your invitation?" The German was glad Ivan had taken Yao out to dinner earlier- if he were here, Ludwig would find no end to the teasing.

"Yeah, I got the invite."

"Well? Are you going?" Ludwig almost burst into laughter right then and there.

"No way!" Feliciano frowned and his lips set into an adorable pout. Ludwig felt a little guilty. Then again, he would nto be caught dead at a masquerade. He had to retain some of his dignity for crying out loud!

"How come?" Feliciano whimpered, looking absolutely pitiful and cute at the same time. Ludwig now feeling awful, pulled the smaller boy into his arms. He managed to convince himself he was doing it because Feliciano looked really sad, not really sweet or lovable.

"I don't really like parties or dancing. I'm kind of bad at both.." Feliciano nodded into Ludwig's chest, sniffling occasionally.

"I understand. I'll meet up with some friends there or something. It'll still be fun." The Italian was reassuring himself at this point. Ludwig nodded, stroking red hair in the most comforting way he could. Never had he cared so much about someone other than himself so much.

"We can do something together another time if that would make you happy." Ludwig suggested. Feliciano immediately brightened up.

"Ludwig is so sweet to me." Feliciano lifted himself up, pressing a quick kiss to each of his friend's cheeks.

"Um, uh, yeah, I guess..." Ludwig mumbled, a faint and embarrassing blush coloring his kissed cheeks. They seemed to burn slightly where Feliciano's small, feminine lips had touched them. Feliciano giggled and winked (did he seriously just wink at him?) at Ludwig before getting up and skipping out the door.

"I'm going to go pick out my costume with Antonio. Ciao, Ludwig!" The older boy caught himself following the absurdly cute Italian out the door with his eyes, feet still rooted to the floor. With each passing day spent with Feliciano Vargas, Ludwig was changing, wondering if he was really losing his heart and mind to a boy.

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"To be honest Ivan, I'm a little scared for this whole party." Yao was trying on his mask in front of his mirror with Ivan seated behind him, brushing out his long dark hair. He and Ivan had returned from dinner only a little while ago and had picked up what they needed for the masquerade on the way home. The two were quite antisocial and preferred solitude in each other's company. Yao was too shy and Ivan had a liking problem with humanity in general- he didn't.

"How come Yao? You're going to look stunning so no worries about that. Too many people going to be there for your comfort?" The young Chinese man laughed, letting Ivan continue to brush his hair. It felt nice. The Russian was very gentle.

"Of course I do not look forward to facing the crowds. It's Kiku I'm really concerned about though." Ivan furrowed his brow and frowned, trying to form a feasible reason for his friend's concern.

"What? Your old friend Kiku?" Yao sighed.

"Yes, I know he's going to be there and I have not seen him in quite a long time. I still don't know why he quit talking to me and I'm rather scared to find out if I even him again would be a little...awkward." It was Ivan's turn to sigh.

"Yao you worry about the silliest things sometimes." The smaller boy shot a dirty look at the one behind him who simply chuckled, being careful to not pull dark hair at it's owner's sudden movement.

"I'm sure it will be fine. If he says something mean to you, I'll beat him up." Ivan grinned and attempted to at least be a good friend. Yao burst into laughter at the very thought. He regained his composure and went on to speak.

"Ivan I'm positive that won't be necessary. Besides, I don't want you to get kicked out of the school. I don't really know what I would do without you." Yao's words were so soft they rendered Ivan unable to reply. Nobody had cared about him this much since, well...his late mother. The emotional tension was too much and Ivan felt the need to ruin what should not have been a "moment" with his best friend.

"Hey Yao, with freaking Elmo as your roommate, I'm surprised you aren't at least a little more outgoing!" Yao rolled his eyes at the joking words of his companion.

"There's no doubt about it, Feliciano sure is social. I don't think he has a measure of influence on me though. Now your German roommate is a different story altogether in the ways of his "influence"." Both boys enjoyed a short fit of laughter before it passed into a thoughtful silence often shared between them. Ivan was still running the brush through Yao's hair although the last tangle had come out long ago. He had the urge to wrap his arms around the small boy and kiss at his neck but settled for resting his chin on Yao's shoulder, grateful his friend was not a mind reader. Little did he know how longing Yao was. The two sitting together quietly was the picture of content, peace and ironically enough, an emotional storm raged inside of them. Ivan broke the silence, his lips brushing Yao's hair as he spoke.

"Even if your friend is mean to you or doesn't talk to you, I'll still be there. I won't let anyone hurt you." Ivan said it so softly that Yao wondered it this was even the same person he had met a few months ago. Ivan wasn't this tender, this protective. At least he hadn't been before. Yao felt like slapping himself for the thoughts he was having. Why was he getting his hopes up like this?

Perhaps it was because this was the first time he had ever felt this way about someone. All Yao wanted was to look into those beautiful violet eyes, kiss those pale lips, tangle his hands in soft blond hair, and know that this person belonged to him and only him. If only he could belong to Ivan too. He knew though that it could never happen and he was not about to ruin what he did have with the gorgeous Russian over a petty fantasy. So Yao did what he always did- he suppressed his feelings and sat with Ivan in the bathroom linking their rooms all through the night, like they did the first night and every night there after. For the most Yao could do for Ivan was save him from his nightmares.

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So each person made their preparations for the Halloween party. Costumes were bought, a DJ was hired, and of course, some alcohol was smuggled as a finishing touch. The games were really about to begin.

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A.N. Well I hope you all made it through alive and with your teeth/sanity intact after that mess. Thanks for the wonderful reviews and all the support as usual- it's great. I'm really excited about how this is going and writing about the masquerade. It will be most interesting to say the least. By the way, I can post the playlist for each chapter if I get enough requests. :)

Ciao for now,

-Fabled