It was unusual for Pete to be at the studio before he was, but Patrick didn't think too much of it. Pete could very well have not gone home, stayed awake in the studio all night. Certainly he still had the same sweater on as the day before, hood flipped up as he curled over the bass, practicing his part.
"Hey," Patrick said, "You're here early."
Pete shrugged, not looking up. There was something brewing, Patrick could tell, but he didn't push. They were behind enough as it was, Brendon having being an unplanned-for distraction. Patrick still hadn't had time to listen to the tracks they'd laid down two days ago. Any hope he had that he'd have chance to do it now was dashed as Joe, Andy and the studio staff all piled through the door, Joe and Andy arguing, half heartedly, about Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
"Ready?" Patrick asked, touching Pete on the shoulder. "We've got Closers down as the first track for today." Pete flinched away from him like he'd pressed on a bruise, and Patrick wanted to ask what was the matter, sit him down and force it out of him, but in the back of his mind he ran over how many takes this was likely to need, and just started his warm ups.
Things were off and out of sync all day. Pete didn't love being in the studio like Patrick did, he knew, and he was jitterey, out of time and rhythm. Joe wondered over to him during one of their breaks, bending down to speak softly in Pete's ear. Pete just shook his head and leaning briefy against Joe as he put his arm around his shoulders. Andy glared at Patrick, his face saying, plainly "fix him", but Patrick had no idea what was wrong. He just shrugged and turned back listen to what Matt at the sound desk was saying about needing a separate vocal track for Suitehearts.
They finally called it quits around 8pm. Joe was close to open mutiny and even Andy was starting to grumble. Pete was quieter than Patrick had seen him in years, and he thought that he'd jump at the chance to go home and sleep, but he hung back as Patrick said goodbye to the techs and settled at the desk to listen to the backlog of tracks.
"You ok, Pete?" Patrick asked. "Is something wrong? Something we need to talk about?"
Pete leaned passed him and hit play on one of the rough cuts of Cooperstown.
"I added something," Pete said as the music floated out. Patrick noted absently that Joe was slightly sharp. "You could call it found sound. Amazing what these mics pick up."
Patrick frowned "Pete-" he began, but then there it was, layered over "does he know, does he know," a series of short, sharp 'ohs'.
Patrick knew what those were. He was well aware he was noisy when he came.
"I didn't know it was recording," he said, awkwardly. "Or, I must have hit the button." He could imagine when it had happened. Somewhere between Brendon's knees hitting the floor and Brendon drawing back, lips puffy and wet and saying "You don't need to be careful, we got all my vocal tracks, right?"
"I think we should keep it," Pete said tightly. He looked right at Patrick then, eyes hard and shuttered. For the first time in years, Patrick couldn't read him at all.
"It's the only bit of you I'm likely to ever get," Pete continued. "Seems fair to share it with everyone else who loves you and can't have you, doesn't it?"
The slam of the door echoed around the empty studio as Patrick slumped back, and hit play again.