Otto watched his boyfriend, set the table, his apron still on and his hair still tied back. Romeo set the last plate down and took a step back to look at the neatly decorated dinner table. He gave a gleeful sigh, happy to finally be done.
"Haha, yeah man, perfect! So fancy!"
Otto fidgeted with hands a bit, "So this cousin of yours, the photographer, um... is he..."
"He's a cool guy, don't worry about it, dude!"
"And the boyfriend he's bringing?"
Romeo paused for a moment, "Oh, uh. I haven't actually met the guy yet."
Otto sighed, "Didn't you say your cousin had some... interesting preferences?"
"Ha, yeah! He dated Teensette for a while, had a crush on Reflux, Mr. Dark- Oh woops, I wasn't supposed to tell anyone about that crush, don't tell him I spilled the beans."
Otto loosened his collar a bit. "I assure you, there will be no tattling of spilt beans! I just hope whoever he is... is a decent gentlemen."
Romeo went up to Otto and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder, "Relax, man. I'm sure he's a good guy. My cousin has matured a lot since we were younger."
The front door swung open, and a blue haired teensy swoonced right in, "Aaaaaaaay, cousin"
Romeo approached him, "Cameron! My cuz!" he gave the teensy a fist-bump followed by a hug. He looked back to Otto and pointed to the teensy photographer, "Oh man, this guy, am I right?" Otto only gave a nervous laugh.
"Soooo," Romeo inquired, "where's this new boyfriend of yours?"
Cameron blushed, "He's on his way! I know you're gonna love him, cuz! He's so sweet and charming and smart and funny and just- wow, too incredible for words!"
Romeo gave a quick see-nothing-to-worry-about-here glance to Otto, "Of course he is, man! I can't wait to meet him!"
The door swung open once again, only this time more violently. A tall reptilian man barged into the house with a shotgun in hand, yelling, "Is there anything for dinner?! I didn't bring anything, but I can hunt us something! I'm very willing to do that!"
Romeo screamed. Otto could only gasp "Ach, mein Polokus!"
Cameron ran to the gunman and hugged him, "Hi, love! I'm glad you made it!" he looked back at Romeo who had just finished screaming, then back to his boyfriend, "I don't think you need to worry about dinner, Romeo said he'd take care of it."
"Oh," he lowered his gun, "alright."
Romeo, trying his best to not make it obvious that he was scared beyond belief, "Haha... y-yeah man- I mean, sir... Uhm... what is your n-name? I'm Romeo and this is Otto." He gestured a shaky hand in Otto's direction.
"Count Razoff Shoedsackovskaïa." he said.
Otto murmured to himself, "Oh my. The Shoedsackovskaïa family..."
Razoff turned to Otto, "Huh? Did you say something?"
Otto gasped, "Oh! Heavens! Of course not! Ho ho! Excuse me one moment! I left the stove on!" he ran to the kitchen, and yelled out again, "Romeo! Help me turn this wild mechanism off! The turkey, SHE WILL BURN!"
Romeo followed Otto into the kitchen at his normally slow pace, still a bit shaken up. Before he could even ask what was up, Otto pulled him close and shut the door.
"Romeo," he whispered, "That man is a killer!"
"Whaaaaaaat?" Romeo said, unconvinced, "Man, just cuz he owns a gun and is a lil aggressive and threatened to kill something for dinner doesn't make him a killer."
"Romo, his family were all crazed hunters!"
"Some people... hunt... to cope...?" Romeo retorted.
"ROMO HE-" Otto stopped himself from yelling further and returned his tone to a harsh whisper, "His family hunted the most dangerous game of all... people!"
Romeo, still unconvinced, "Have you, like, ever even seen our guest over there kill anyone?"
"Ah, no. I have only heard the stories."
" Otto," he put a hand on his shoulder, "you can't believe everything you hear, and even if it's true, telling him to leave because we don't want a possible killer around is only going to result in us dying, and my cousin heartbroken."
Otto huffed. "You told me I wouldn't have to fear for my life at this dinner party. 'Uhh like, maan, what's the worst that could happen? Like, no matter what happens we will always have our health!' But for how long Romeo?!" he yelled, shaking the teensy by the shoulders, "For how long?!"
"Hey uh, sorry to interrupt," said Cameron looking into the kitchen, "but can I use your guys' bathroom?"
Otto, with his hands still gripping Romeo's shoulders, calmly spoke, "Second door to the left down the hall." Cameron rushed past them both. Otto let go of Romeo and went to get the turkey out of the oven. "If we both live through tonight, you must promise me that next time we invite a stranger over, we run a full background check first!"
Romeo put one hand over heart and the other upright. "Alright, alright. I promise." He put his hands down and went to go get refreshments.
Otto set the turkey as well as a basket of bread in the middle of the table, giving a quick glance to the hunter sitting at the opposite end.
"Mr. uhhhhhh Shoedasack... Shoeda-uhh," Romeo trailed off into a murmur. "Razoff, my good man- I mean sir, would you like some water? Wine? Name-brand soda?"
"Anything is fine." Razoff said.
Romeo didn't know how to respond, "Anything? Uhmm..." he fumbled around with the drinks trying to carefully decide, "W-wine it is, haha!" he poured some wine and shakily handed it to Razoff, "Here ya go! Haha."
"Why are you laughing so much? What's so funny?" Razoff eyed him suspiciously.
Romeo froze a bit, "Oh ha, I just laugh when I'm nervous- I mean, having a good time!" He put a hand around him to try to reassure the reptile that he was friendly and not at all afraid. "We're all good pals here!"
Razoff immediately moved away, "Don't touch me. Er-please, I don't like it when people I don't know touch me."
Romeo was visibly sweating at this point, "Oh man, sorry! Personal space, I know how that is!"
Cameron returned and sat next his weird reptile boyfriend. "Miss me?" he said and gave the man a kiss on the nose. Razoff only reacted by looking away nervously.
Otto and Romeo sat opposite of the odd couple. Everyone helped themselves to a slice of turkey, some bread, and a beverage, and for the most part, things were peaceful. Razoff ended up expressing some minor disappointment and possible disgust to the fact that the turkey was actually tofu, and that the teensies at the table were not meat-eaters. The awkward, and heavy silenced continued for a bit until Romeo piped up.
"So, cuz, how did the two of you meet?"
Cameron almost immediately dropped his fork, "Oh! It was magical! I was taking photos in the Bog of Murk when I stumbled onto Razoff's property. I actually didn't know I was on his property until he told me I was. He noticed I had a camera with me and well... we talked a lot and soon after Razoff became one of my best clients, as well as my most handsome client. " he said looking at Razoff dreamily. Razoff smirked at him.
While the two were distracted by one another, Romeo leaned close to Otto and whispered, "What did I tell you? He's not so bad, and my cousin is really happy with him." Otto was about to respond but Cameron started up his story again.
"Razoff is a collector, but I usually only take pictures of him, too many to count! Oh, that reminds me! Razoff! Tell 'em about the time you stopped all those awful whatca-call-ems!"
Razoff's interested peaked, "Oh! You mean the Hoodlums? An ordinary being would have struggled in battle, but I, a master hunter, took hoard by hoard of them down!" He stood up, "Each only needing a single bullet to be taken care of... with THIS gun!" He said, taking out his shotgun.
Romeo flinched, and Otto stood up, "Ach nein! You can't be aiming that thing at the table! It's dangerous!"
"Pff, the safety's on. I'm not an imbecile. See!" he held the gun up but accidentally fired a bullet, nearly hitting Romeo in the head. "Whoops. Guess it wasn't on."
Romeo was in almost a state of shock, and Otto began to yell a flurry of curses at Razoff in German. The count was confused by the tiny angry German doctor, but annoyed, "Hey! I don't appreciate being yelled at in a language I don't understand! I consider it a threat!" His grip on his gun tightened.
"You know what I consider a threat?!" Otto yelled, "You almost shooting my boyfriend!"
Cameron nervously tried to speak up but a ring at the door interrupted his chance.
"Hello, my friends! Guess who is starving for a-" Gonzo walked into the dining room but stopped to take in the scene in front of him. A shell-shocked Romeo, Otto standing on a chair with each fist curled into a ball, and a blue-haired teensy tugging on the coat of a large reptilian with a shotgun.
Romeo spoke up, "Oh, my bad. I accidentally invited both Gonzo along with my cousin and his date to dinner on the same day! How silly of me!"
Another knock at the door. This time Rayman and Globox entered the room, "Romeo! We're here!"
Romeo shrugged, "Uh oh! I also invited Rayman and Globox to dinner too!"
Everyone in the room, except Razoff, jeered in unison, "Oh, that Romeo!"
Globox quickly noticed Razoff, "Hey, Rayman, look! He's the guy that threw me in jail when I was in need of serious medical attention!" Rayman noticed him as well, and quickly balled his hands into fists defensively.
"Uh oh... well it was nice being here but we have to go right now!" Razoff grabbed Cameron in one arm and some bread in the other and ran to the door, "Later, normies!" he shouted condescendingly.
"Bye, everyone!" Cameron shouted, "Let's do this again sometime!"
Rayman looked at everyone, and asked the obvious question, "Uhm, what was, or what is going on here?"
Otto grabbed some bread and started heading upstairs, "I don't know. I'm going to bed."
Romeo shrugged. He opened his mouth to explain what was happening when Otto called to him from upstairs.
"Romeo... could you come up here, please! I need emotional support!"
Romeo rushed up the stairs, "I'm coming, Otty! Remember the steps of self-care! Treat yourself! You are valid!"
Rayman, Globox, and Gonzo all looked at each other in silence, when they noticed Murfy at the table, stuffing bread into his pockets.
"What?" he said defensively, "My doppelganger needs it, or else he's gonna break my legs. You know how it is."
Mr. Dark then appeared in a cloud of smoke, "Fool!" he pointed at Murfy, "Raynemsis needs that bread more than you ever will! He's not getting enough carbs in his diet!"
"That's it. I'm out of here." Rayman said, leaving. He shut the door behind him, this was just too big of a mess that he didn't understand.