Patrick's on the bus for not even five seconds when Pete wraps around his front in a tight hug. Patrick's still holding his duffle bag, even. He can feel Pete's skin radiating through his jacket.
"Wait." The word comes out muffled, and Patrick has to wiggle a little so he's not talking into Pete's hair. "Already?"
"Late," Pete mutters into Patrick's shoulder.
Great. Well, it's not like biology's ever paid attention to anyone's plans, much less Patrick's avoid-Pete's-heat tour plans. He drops his bag on the front sofa next to Andy and says, "I'll move it later."
Andy salutes without looking up from his phone.
Patrick half carries Pete into the back lounge. They always get the buses with the beds and the sealing doors. They also always request non-alpha drivers, and between that and the crew shuffling between buses, they always need a place for omegas to go. That omega is not always Pete. It just usually is.
"How much did you sleep on break?" Patrick asks, tossing his hat to the side. He doesn't let go of Pete, and Pete doesn't let go of him. "Did you sleep at all last night?"
Pete shakes his head. "New pills."
Patrick lowers them both on the bed as the bus engine starts. Pete doesn't need to say anything else; they've both been through this dance before. Pete's antidepressants stop working, he and his doctors switch through a few, Pete barely sleeps until they find just the right combination. Patrick just hopes Pete's settled long enough to get used to traveling again.
"Think you can nap?" Patrick asks. It's easier on Pete when he does. Still, it's no surprise that Pete shakes his head, so Patrick just sighs and untangles from Pete long enough to shuck his shirt - and lets Pete take off his own - before they wrap around each other again. Skin on skin is easier.
By the time the bus is obviously moving on a freeway, Pete's the little spoon, and Patrick's smelling what little of the heat pheromones a beta can pick up. It's comforting, in its own way. Just one of the tour smells that makes him feel at home.
By the time the sun's set and Patrick can smell something resembling food from the front of the bus after a stop, it's obvious this isn't going to be one of Pete's easier heats. At least it's still nothing like most omegas go through. Back when they did Warped, and Ray Toro went into heat, Patrick subbed in with My Chem for a solid week because Ray couldn't leave his bus for anything. At his worst, Pete still plays shows. He just usually doesn't wear a shirt anywhere for three days.
And he's always attached to Patrick like a barnacle, but that isn't too different from normal.
Joe brings them dinner and cracks one of the windows above the bed - "Don't want this place to get too fucking rank" - and they sit up, their shoulders pressed together as they shovel Chinese into their mouths.
Pete tastes like soy sauce when they make out a few minutes after that. Pete has two modes of kissing: forceful "I need out of my head for a second" tongue mashing, and careful "I need to see if you're actually here" lip pressing. This is the second, slow and measured, and Patrick's skin tingles a little. It's mostly the heat chemicals, but Patrick also really likes kissing and the way Pete kisses. Pete likes kissing too, if in a different way.
When Pete breaks off, he leans his forehead against Patrick's. Patrick has joked in the past that he does that to try to get a direct link between their brains. It would be easier if that's how it worked, if Patrick could take some of the discomfort and shittiness so Pete could function better on days like this. Or on days when Pete's antidepressants stop working, or on days when his pills work fine and Pete's having insomnia for no heat-related reason.
"Doing okay?" Patrick asks, rubbing his back.
Pete nods. He does look less flushed. With any luck, he'll be done by the time they play the show tomorrow night.
His heat isn't broken by the time morning happens, but Pete does sleep. Patrick isn't sure how long, but he's still asleep when Joe pokes his head in to see if they can do promo. Joe doesn't even finish asking if they're okay before he jerks his head to the side in their universal "we'll handle it" gesture, and Patrick mouths a "thank you" back.
Patrick only separates from Pete long enough to pee and get breakfast. He still eats it in the back lounge, using Pete as an arm rest, and then hugs Pete again until he stirs awake.
"Show?" Pete murmurs, wriggling more into Patrick's touch.
Patrick shakes his head and kisses Pete's shoulder. "Not for hours."
Pete turns around in Patrick's arms and nuzzles closer. He's a little warmer than he was asleep, and the tang in the air's accentuated.
Years ago, it would have been different. Even right before the hiatus, Patrick gave Pete a lot of frantic handjobs, even though Patrick had lost his illusions that there was an orgasm-related solution to Pete's heat a while before. Pete had too; he just hadn't wanted to admit it.
Pete had asked Patrick, one time, what he would have done if it had been him. Patrick hadn't said anything, but they'd both known the answer.
(Patrick still puts What a Catch on the set list for a reason, and it's not because it was a single.)
Pete yawns and gives Patrick a whiff of his morning breath. Patrick winces, but he snorts quietly and waves his hand in front of his face dramatically when Pete looks up.
"Didn't we have an interview to..." Pete's smirk is only broken when he yawns again. "You're not going anywhere."
It's not a question, but Patrick holds Pete a little closer and says, "Nope. I've got you."