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isn't that the cutest thing...

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He’s smiling. Like, really smiling, not in a snide or “oh my god, I’m so embarrassed right now” kind of way. It’s something she’s so rarely seen in moments like this that she can’t seem to stop sneaking glances, his reaction to this thing her mother and David are currently doing so pure and lovely she just wants to soak it all in.

Patrick is in love with her brother. She’s sure of it. And yes, there’s this tiny little envious part of herself that feels the sting of that. But if David can find a love like Patrick in this town, she can’t help but have hope for herself, since she’s so much more put together than David has ever been. His love life has been one trainwreck cascading into another, somehow needing the wreckage that is this town to put the pieces back together. And Patrick, with his sweet brown eyes and cute button face, he’s the improbable, but somehow perfect person to have found David when he was back on the right track.

Polite applause redirects her attention to the stage where her mother and David are taking their bows, David’s face unable to hide his relief that this appalling display is finally over. He’s avoiding their row, obviously concerned as to Patrick’s reaction, but he needn’t be worried. Patrick and her father are the only two people on their feet, clapping enthusiastically for their significant others. It’s sweet and Alexis figures she should join them, because despite how ridiculous “the number” has always been, she’s always secretly loved it, even if she was too cool to ever admit it.

Nudging Patrick’s elbow, she soaks in a bit of his wide smile as he looks her way before turning his attention right back to David who is now doing his best to sneak backstage through the curtain.

“You should probably go back there,” she leans in to say, “He probably won’t show his face out here until everyone leaves.”

Understanding her meaning, Patrick chuckles and gives her elbow a light squeeze and nods to her father before weaving through the small crowd towards the stage. Alexis watches as he peeks his head through the curtain, nearly colliding with her mother who was just on her way out to greet her adoring fans. They do a ridiculous little shuffle with Patrick’s hands now caught in her mother’s long wig and Alexis knows she’s going to need to do some rescuing.

“Dad, watch my purse..” she sing songs over her shoulder as she breezily navigates her way to her mother’s side.

“Mom, that was so cute!”

Never one to really know what to say to her mother, she knows “cute” is the wrong adjective, but she hopes any amount of praise in this moment will do the trick. It does, thankfully, as Moira’s attention is diverted her way long enough for Patrick to extricate himself (and his hands) and sneak behind the curtain to where Alexis is sure David is attempting to hide.

“Thank you, Alexis, I told David it might not be the best choice for the evening, but he insisted, so...who am I to take the spotlight all to myself?”

Alexis is sure the exact opposite of that actually occurred, but she’s learned over too many years to just let her mother live in whatever fantasy she’s created for herself from moment to moment. In fact, it’s helped Alexis be more adaptable herself. Learning that one’s reality can be flexible has let Alexis bend her way through more than one little life adventure.

Her mother has moved on to seek praise from some of the women in the Jazzagals group, so Alexis leans her hip on the piano, content to just be still for a moment as this small town scene plays out around her. She can’t say that she’ll ever really feel like this town is where she’s meant to be, but she’s learned a lot about herself and has felt more grounded here than anywhere else she’s ever been. And whether he’d ever admit it, she’s pretty sure David feels the same way.

Glancing towards the now open curtain, she sees David sitting on a desk with his hands covering his face and Patrick standing between his legs, trying to pull at his wrists. She can see that David is smiling and can hear Patrick laughing and she knows she should look away, but there’s just something so sweet about the moment that she’s utterly transfixed. David relents and drops his hands and Patrick grabs his shoulders, leaning in to brush a quick kiss to David’s forehead. But he pulls back quickly, laughing and wiping at his mouth.

Chuckling to herself, she assumes it’s because Patrick just got a mouthful of David’s hair thanks to the ridiculous way he has it styled. She’s sure of it when Patrick’s hands move to David’s hair, fingers gingerly pushing back the strands falling onto David’s forehead in an attempt to set things right. David, surprisingly, is letting him do this, which is by far the most intimate thing she’s ever witnessed with anyone David’s dated in the past. He’s just sitting there, smiling up at Patrick with a goofy grin and...oh my god...David’s in love, too.

Alexis feels her smile grow wide and her eyes water just a bit at her brother’s happiness, a sight she honestly wasn’t sure she’d ever be witness to. Despite their jabs and stupid fights, she loves him so much and has always wanted him to find someone who actually deserves him.

She has to look away when David pulls Patrick in by the waist and Patrick leans in to kiss him, because as sweet as it all is she cannot stand here and watch her brother make out with his boyfriend. That’s just gross. And wow, they are really getting into it now… Pushing away from the piano, she discreetly pulls the curtain closed and stands in front of it, prepared to stop anyone from interrupting.

This isn’t anything new for her. She once had to stand guard for two hours outside of Britney Spears’ dressing room while she hooked up with Justin Timberlake. No one got past her, not even his mom, who oh my god, was such a nightmare. That woman more than prepared her to take on anyone in this town, even a very pregnant and very irritable Jocelyn Schitt.