Well, done in time for Christmas anyway. Hope you all still enjoy.
"Halloween is over, and I missed it!"
They both couldn't help but snigger at the line. Sally's antics were funny enough at face value, but the infamous (or so Norman had told her) ending to It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! carried the most bittersweet relevancy to their own Halloween night spent with their "sweet baboo", now coming to a close.
Only, they'd far from missed the holiday. Norman couldn't have been happier with just how fully they'd lived it to the fullest.
"Oh Great Pumpkin, where are you?"
Agatha shifted in Norman's arms. They lay upon his bed, feet turned to the pillows and heads nearest the TV, Agatha with her back to Norman's cozy embrace. She'd quickly latched on and nestled in at the start of their horror movie marathon, now concluding with what Norman claimed was a time honored All Hallow's Eve tradition in his time. The innocent adventures of the "moving-drawing-children" agreed with Agatha's Puritan sensibilities far more than Norman's cherished zombies and madmen.
Still, settling into his warmth was rather nice if truth be told, she thought. Even if out of sheer terror. Norman insisted that was what Halloween was really all about, but she preferred the candy and company far more.
"Linus and Lucy remind me of you and your own sister," Agatha said, nuzzling his bicep. He chuckled into her hair and breathed her in, trying to savor the last remaining minutes of her time on Earth for another whole year. He reminded himself to thank his parents for the hundredth time, for letting him have this time alone with her. He resolved to maintain that kind of trust for the future.
"Do you think so?" he said.
"Yes, I do. She may be brusque and vivacious like you say," she continued, tracing lazy circles on his forearm as they watched Lucy return her brother home from the pumpkin patch. "But both sisters care about their brother so much…in the end, they're always going to be there for them."
"Heh. I guess that's true" Norman mused in agreement. He planted a kiss on the crown of her head and gave her an affectionate squeeze.
The credits were rolling now.
"…I wish you could always be here, too."
Norman had barely whispered the words, on the back of a croak shot from a rapidly forming crack in his aching heart. The words hung in the air, mingling with the magical charge of a cool, Halloween breeze drafting in through the cracks of his window. Agatha's tiny hands clutched him tightly.
Agatha's response was short, and tightly squeaked out from deep within her. She squirmed around to come face to face with her anchor to this strange, wondrous world.
The TV had gone blank, now at the bitter end of Norman's vintage VHS cassette recording.
She pressed her lips to his, and he kissed her back with more depth than she'd ever felt from him previously, enough to make her dizzy with heady feeling.
She stared up straight through to his heart and soul with eyes shining periwinkle blue, afraid to ask the question on her mind. She forced her tongue to move, out of a greater fear of not knowing the answer.
"Norman," she lilted, "will…will you wait for me, another whole year? Can you stand it?" Her nose wrinkled with distress as she bit her lip. "Just…just one night a year? Are you sure? I won't be mad…"
Her voice tapered off as he soothingly brushed her long, silken black tresses back from her face. Her eyes closed in bliss at the affectionate touch.
"Aggie, I felt more alive in one night with you than I have on any other night or day this entire past year," he said. "If I can have you here to hold and show you just how much I love you," he cupped the back of her head, "then I'll make sure one night is all I need. All we need. For as long as you'll let me." He punctuated the statement by drawing her in for a kiss.
Agatha's tears began to well up, but she blinked them down and smiled wider than she could ever remember. "I love you, too," she murmured upon breaking free.
The breathless admission flowed surprisingly easily, followed close behind by a long series of their mouths 'embraces. They kissed deep and tenderly, making wordless promises for what felt like an all too short eternity. Norman felt the end coming by the hint of an ethereal softness to Agatha's lips.
"Norman…" she said. She had been fully aware that this would be her fate from the start of the night, but she'd blessedly forgotten in the midst of the fun and joy at being alive again. "I think…this is it. It's nearly sunrise now…I can feel it."
"I know," he said plainly, trying to force down the heartache just long enough to keep the both of them calm in these final, critical moments. This is what they'd carry through to the next year, these memories…
"I…I'm not scared," she said with her face set in bold, brave features. Her quivering voice only barely betrayed her outward confidence as she slipped further into the ether with every new sunbeam. "I'm not scared this time…because I know I'll be back. And we'll be together again…and it'll be just as wonderful."
Norman couldn't help but feel reassured in the presence of her newfound strength. "I'll be waiting…and I'll still see you every day, just like before. I promise." He pulled her in to breathe her scent of wildflowers one more time. "It'll give me something to look forward to, seeing your pretty face on the way to school now and knowing how soft it really is…"
She giggled, then she poked her head back out with a blazing look in her eyes. She kissed him one final time, and they let it linger on for as long as possible, as she faded completely into the dewy morning air.
Norman lay there delirious, at last feeling the effects of exhaustion brought on from staying up all night. His arms remained stiff, holding what should have been the petite form of a pretty girl watching the sunrise with him on a beautiful November morning. Instead, he held cold, empty space. He desperately wanted to cry, but nothing could come out. He simply felt numb.
That's when, as if on cue but more likely on prompt, he heard the breeze pick up outside, rustling the bare limbs of the trees outside his window.
He thought it sounded like a voice, one that soothed him to the marrow. He could swear on his family's collective souls that the voice could be heard saying something, something that made him smile.
He collapsed on the bed, grinning at the odd sensation of the wind whispering "I love you, I love you…" as his consciousness faded to black.
"Love you too, Aggie…"
When he awoke later in the bright sun of midday, he first thanked whatever gods may be above for gifting him with a Friday Halloween. He'd need the weekend to recover. He then made breakfast out of the remaining Halloween candy, finding it bittersweet with memories.
When his family asked why he had taped a Reese's wrapper to his wall, he simply told them "to remember." They were only half correct when they walked off, believing it to be a simple memento.
But Norman smiled at it every night before he went to bed, to remember that it was only so many more days until he could hold her again. From that Halloween on, All Hallow's Eve would always be more than their favorite holiday. It would forever be their one, special "date night".
End of "All Hallow's Eve Is Date Night" story arc. It's been fun, hasn't it? I hope all your Halloween's were as good as Norman and Aggie's.