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Schitt's Creek High

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David cannot believe this is happening. There’s so many things that he can’t believe are happening, that he’s not even sure how to process any of them. Firstly, he surely cannot believe that he is now a resident of a small town, any small town, let alone a small town called Schitt’s Creek of all god damn things.

 

Second, he doesn’t at all want to believe that what he assumed at first had been some kind of elaborate punishment, or maybe a particularly cruel episode of Punk’d, was actually true – his family had less than $100 to their name and nothing would be changing anytime soon (he had sobbed himself to sleep the night the denial finally wore off, after he saw his own mother with his own eyes purchase moisturizer from the grocery store).

 

Third, he refuses to believe that he is being forced to go to Schitt’s Creek High – a public school with a cafeteria that probably serves mystery meat on a plastic tray older than he is.

 

And fourth, he absolutely will not believe that the squawky, unusual blonde lady sitting behind the administration desk, “Wendy”, according to her name tag, just suggested that he go and find his “special first day buddy,” as if he is an actual five-year-old.

 

No.

Absolutely.

The fuck.

Not.

 

If there was one thing David hated more than almost every collective thing happening to his god-forsaken life right now, it was the idea of being paired with some townie he had nothing in common with (thank god) and being forced against his will to do things like be nice and participate in small talk.

 

Ew.

 

 Unfortunately, though, as he was already being shepherded away from the desk by the tiny but awfully strong desk lady, and launched down a hallway horrifically reminiscent of exactly what you’d expect a small town high school hallway to look like, this “special first day buddy” thing was not seeming optional.

 

In the two minutes it took for David to be physically pushed from the administration office to the locker of his special buddy David had already started mentally ticking off the small town high school clichés they were passing –

  • Way too many banners and flyers for some school football team David will never care about but is for some reason the shining beacon of the school – check  
  • More than one person wearing actual cowboy boots – shudder and check
  • A poster for a movie night at the “town general store/movie rental store/dry cleaning store – check and also ew
  • The cutest boy David had maybe ever seen, leaning against a locker – oh. OH. Okay.

This was new.

 

David wasn’t expecting THIS.

 

This was all curly brown hair framing a painfully understatedly handsome face – complete with a button nose and oh very kissable lips and OHKAY – they had stopped directly in front of the locker that the cutest boy David had maybe ever seen was leaning against, and the cutest boy David had maybe ever seen was looking at him with the kindest, warmest, deepest brown eyes and smiling in a way that, for maybe only a fraction of a second, made David forget that anything was ever wrong and oh.

 

   Oh.

 

The very kissable lips were moving, he was saying something, David assumed, as he felt a pat on the back and vaguely understood that Wendy was walking away as another hand from another direction – in front of him, ohmygod it’s the boy’s hand – was being held out right in front of David’s and his brain clicks into place about a second before standing there like an idiot would maybe have started to cause concern. David raised his arm to shake the boy’s hand – soft, strong, firm – before the boy pulled his hand back away with a smirk.

 

“I’d ask you what your name is again, but if we stand here any longer we’re gonna miss roll call, and I already know what it is anyway,” the boy said.

 

“Oh, well aren’t you clever,” David retorted, because honestly, he wasn’t sure what else he was supposed to do in a situation like this.

 

“Hmm”, the boy, who David is guessing shared his name with him in that brief moment of hearing loss he suffered earlier, hummed. “Well, David, you are I are both lucky members of Mrs Currie’s homeroom, where pretty much anything goes and the chances of her showing up before first period are about 50/50,” he pushed off the locker and started heading down the hall, looking back to indicate that David should be following.

 

He was.

 

“She’s pretty nice though, a bit weird, but I think weird is good,” the boy shrugged. “To an extent, though, I guess, cause her husband, Bob, he’s the town mechanic, he’s like a different kind of weird where you just are left feeling very unsettled after talking to him, which you probably will end up talking to him cause he’s here all the time. Which now that I think about it, is also pretty weird.”

 

The boy had been rambling as they passed another few rows of lockers and a handful of classrooms that were filling up with students. David was tryingto tryand pay attention to the path they were taking to get to their room, but it was genuinely just very difficult with this adorable rambling boy right next to him.

 

“Huh,” was about all that David managed in response to all of that.

 

“Yeah, well anyway, this is us,” the boy said as he gestured to the classroom right at the end of the hallway before heading inside.

 

David followed him through the door, taking in the tacky colorful décor stuck to the walls and the plastic chairs that already had his back aching. “Well this is…something,” he noted quietly.

 

“Oh yeah,” the boy agreed, again with a smirk, “only the very best for the students of Schitt’s Creek High.”

 

The boy threw the backpack David had somehow just noticed he’d had slung over his shoulder under a desk in the middle of the room and sunk into the plastic chair that was tucked into it. David hovered awkwardly near the side of the room until the boy pulled out the chair next to his with his foot and waved his hand towards the desk. “The desks don’t bite, David,” he smiled with a glint in his eye that made David slightly annoyed and slightly turned on all at once.

 

Sighing, David sat at the desk opposite the boy and took in more of the room. The room was bigger than he’d expected, but certainly not huge – there were maybe 15 desks and chairs neatly organised into rows in front of a whiteboard and the teacher’s desk. On the desk David could see a “World’s #1 Teacher” mug and an apple that was a few weeks past its prime, he rolled his eyes at the stereotype because of coursethat’s what’s on the desk.  

 

“Hey man!” someone suddenly yelled from behind him. It was a young blonde boy, he might have been around the same age as he was, but he had an innocent face that made him instantly seem younger. He was smiling and waving at the boy next to him, but he kept flicking his eyes to David with a welcoming smile.

 

“Hey Ted,” the boy, David’s Buddy, had smiled in response, “this is David Rose, it’s his first day at Schitt’s High,” he said with a gesture in David’s general direction.

 

“Oh wow! Welcome buddy!” Ted’s smile had somehow gotten even bigger and more genuine than it had been before, “I’m Ted, short for Theodore, but you can just call me Ted,” he said and stuck his hand out for David to shake.

 

Okaywhat is it with teenagers and handshakes in this town, David thought as he shook the smaller boy’s hand.

 

“You must be so glad you got Patrick here as your buddy, the poor new kid from last year got paired with Mutt – Oh! You probably don’t know who that is! Mutt is the mayor’s son but he hates the government and authority and pretty much just any rules in general, which really makes you wonder why they’d pick him as a buddy, but hey, he’s not a bad guy really.” Ted explained all of this with an aura of joy that was exhausting David with every passing second, but he made sure not to miss the name of the cute boy next to him this time – Patrick – that’s what Ted had said.

 

Patrick.

 

Pat-rick.

 

Mmm. It suited him, he thought.

 

“But anyway,” Ted was somehow still talking, “so Mutt didn’t even bother taking the new kid to homeroom on his first day and instead took him to the sports shed to smoke weed, and the janitor found them and it was like this whole thing, and the kid just never came back. Any-who, I’m glad you’ve got Patrick, he’ll take good care of you, wontcha Brewer?” Ted said gleefully, nodding in Patrick’s direction.

 

“Mmhm,” Patrick nodded, “I can promise I won’t be supplying you with drugs on your first day at the very least,” he joked with that goddamn smirk.

 

“Well that’s a real shame,” David sighed, a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. Patrick’s eyes darted to it, for just a brief moment, but David saw it, and made sure to note that down under “interesting things to overthink later”.

 


  

A few exhausting hours later, David found himself with a predictably disgusting selection of beige coloured sludge, a juice box, an apple and a small bag of chips perched on top of a predictably disgusting plastic food tray in the middle of the cafeteria.

 

“David! Over here!” He heard a voice call from one of the tables off to the side, he looked around to find Ted from homeroom smiling and waving at him to come and join the table. 

 

Sitting next to him were two pretty brunette girls, one smiling over in David’s direction as well, and one scowling at her phone, as well as a sweet-faced redheaded girl, and one offensively handsome Patrick Brewer.

 

Patrick looked up as David made his way over to the table, and smiled when David slid his (disgusting)tray of food onto the space beside him, and swung his legs over the seat to join them at the table.

 

 “Overcoming our fear of tables that might bite, I see David,” Patrick quipped in his direction.

 

“Yes, it’s just that I’m not used to having to touch furniture that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in 30 years, but it’s, you know, it’s fine,” David said with a grimace as he pushed the food tray even further away from him with the very tips of his fingers.

 

“David!” Ted called from the end of the table, “this is Twyla,” he said pointing towards the smiling brunette with the kind eyes and gentle smile, “this is Stevie,” he pointed at the brunette next to her, who didn’t actually look up from her phone, “Rachel,” he gestured at the redheaded girl next to Patrick, “and you know Patrick! And me. Ted. In case you forgot,” Ted finished with what David was starting to guess was one of his signature smiles.

 

There was a small chorus of “hey!”, “hi” and “hello!” from the girls before they turned back to their conversations and phone-scowling.

 

“So, how’s your big first day going, buddy?” Patrick asked, nudging him with his elbow on the entirely unnecessary buddy.

 

“Oh you know, I’m having just the best time showing up in the middle of the school year where I’m somehow already 5 weeks behind in every subject, and the teachers are looking at me like I’m a different species because, according to your gym teacher, they’re just not used to seeing a boy in skirt,” David emphasised with air quotes. “Which I would just like to again clarify, I am not wearing a skirt, these are $2000 pants and I can’t help it if regional townie education professionals don’t understand fashion.”

 

That smirk had appeared on Patrick’s face again, alerting David to the fact that he was finding all of this very amusing. “OH and ALSO what is with this school and the hand shakes?? I have never in my life had to shake hands with so many people, and my dad was the CEO of an entire company,” David finished with a very emotive face journey.

 

“Wow, David,” Patrick laughed, “this all sounds very difficult, do you think you’re gonna make it through the day?” he teased.

 

David rolled his eyes,this kid is either very impatient or extremely sure of himself, he thought.“I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m gonna make it, but probably not considering the maths quiz that’s happening tomorrow, the content of which I haven’t a clue.”

 

Rachel was tapping Patrick on the shoulder, trying to get his attention to show him something on her phone. David was secretly a little bit pleased when Patrick glanced at the phone, gave a distracted hum and turned back to David.

 

“Well hey, at least I kept my word and kept you away from drug dealers in sports sheds, there’s always that to be thankful for?” Patrick suggested with that ever-present, delicious smirk of his, “But as for the maths quiz, I’m kind of a numbers guy, so I’d be more than happy to help you go over everything after school?” the cute and apparently smart as well Patrick offered with a softer smile.

 

Oh.

 

Although he had just thrown his anxiety about the math quiz into his complaints to add to the ~drama~, he was actually really, very anxious about it, and it seemed that somehow, Patrick, who had known David for less than half a day, had already figured that out.

 

“Oh.” David wasn’t sure what the catch was, and he was trying to figure it out. “Um, that’s very nice of you, but you don’t have to do that, I’m sure you have better things to do,” David tried, but he was pretty sure his face was going on a different “journey”, as Alexis would call it, that was giving the game away.

 

“Nope! I have theatre on Wednesdays and baseball on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so Monday is spectacularly free for last-minute emergency buddy tutoring,” Patrick actually winked at him and he thought he might pass out for a second there. “Come on David, it’s really fine, I’m more than happy to. In fact, I want to. I’ve been considering getting a tutoring side-gig off the ground, and you can be my trial run. All I’ll need from you is a wonderfully glowing written review and we’ll call it even.”

 

Although Patrick was probably (hopefully?) joking at the end there, there was no hint of that smirk David was growing awfully fond of, instead it had been replaced by a small, softer smile that David could feel physically breaking down the concrete enforced walls he’d built up around his heart.

 

“Okay, well, if you insist, then yes. Sure. Thank you.” David tried to return a sincere smile, but he was very concerned his face might be screaming I THINK I MIGHT BE FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU EVEN THOUGHT I MET YOU 4 HOURS AGO AND YOU’RE LIKELY VERY STRAIGHT, so he settled with whatever version of a smile he could muster.

 

“Great!” Patrick stood up suddenly with his enthusiastic reply, making David jump, “we don’t have a library or anything, but my parents won’t be home til late, so it should be quiet enough at mine to get some good study done. I have to go warm-up for band practice, but I’ll text you the details,” Patrick said as he climbed out from the seat and gathered his (horrifically) empty food tray and garbage scraps.

 

His house, no parents, his house, no parents, his house, no parents. No no no, David. He is just a nice straight boy. Nice, nice, nice. Straight, straight, straight. DON’T RUIN THIS.

 

“Uh, um, okay, yeah, yes,” David managed to get out, “uh but, wait, you don’t have my number!” he called as Patrick turned and walked towards the trash.

 

Patrick flicked a look back at David, and oh hello, the smirk was back.

 

“Don’t I?” Patrick asked, feigning innocence, and bowling David over with the SECOND wink of the day as he watched him walk out the cafeteria doors, and maybe taking a moment to appreciate the view as he did so.

 

David’s train of thought was interrupted by a buzzing in his pocket. He took his phone out to see a message from “Maybe: Patrick” as his phone buzzed again two more times.

 

12:38: Hey it’s Patrick

12:39: Looks like I do have your number, weird.

12:39: p.s. sorry if this is creepy

 

David couldn’t help the smile that forced its way onto his face. He tapped out a quick reply.

 

12:40: Look, I’ll let it slide.

12:40: It’s a little weird

12:41: But I think weird is good.

 

Maybe Schitt’s Creek High wasn’t going to be so schitty after all.

 

Chapter Text

Patrick’s final class on a Monday is always Math with Mrs Schitt, which is part of why Patrick really likes Monday afternoons. Mrs Schitt is bright and bubbly and much younger than most of the other grey and aging math teachers he’d had in the past, and she likes to keep math fun.

 

To Patrick, though, all math is pretty fun. He likes the objectivity of it. There’s no ifs, buts or maybes, there’s a right answer and a clear path to getting to it, and if you understand the rules, you can always get to the right solution. He likes art and English, too, but he always finds himself discouraged when his grade doesn’t reflect the effort he put in.

 

Today Patrick is especially happy to have math, because he has a plan to talk to Mrs Schitt about some possible resources for his first tutoring session this afternoon with David.

 

Patrick is weirdly excited, and he’s a little disappointed in himself that that excitement is less about finally getting this tutoring idea off the ground, and more about, well, David.

 

The whole town had been abuzz about the new, fancy family moving to town. There’d always been this mystery shrouding the distant, rich family who owned the town but had never actually set foot in it. Patrick had thought it odd, from a business standpoint (another of his favourite subjects) that someone with as much experience and success in the business sector as Johnny Rose would invest in a town like Schitt’s Creek. Honestly ‘invest’ might be too strong of a word… flushed money down the toilet in exchange for the deed to the town?

 

Yes, that seems more accurate.

 

So when news broke that the mystical, mythical Rose family were moving to Schitt’s Creek, it was the talk of the town for weeks. Patrick had never really paid much attention to them before, but figured a quick google might give him some insight into any business motivations Mr Rose might have had to move the family all the way to Schitt’s Creek.

 

He’d found a number of TMZ articles speculating about money problems within the family – one reported that they’d lost their house to repossession, another had a “close personal source” suggesting that they’d all joined the church of scientology and were moving to LA to be closer to Tom Cruise. There were a few posed photos of the family – Johnny Rose smiling proudly next to his wife, Moira, who was leaning dramatically over a grand piano whilst their two children, a stunning young girl with long blonde hair, Alexis, and an equally as beautiful, older boy with dark hair and impressive eyebrows, David, sulked on the piano stool. 

 

According to Wikipedia, David was the same age as he was. That had meant that if David was planning on attending Schitt’s Creek High there was a good chance he’d turn up in most of his classes. Patrick had thought that alone was justification enough to dig a little deeper into that particular member of the family… and obviously for no reason other than that.

 

He’d pulled up a few articles about a fashion line David had helped his mother design, there was a particularly amusing video of David and Moira performing some Christmas-themed number with some questionable hair choices, as well as a few paparazzi style snapshots of David out on the streets with some other very rich looking teens whose names were seemingly supposed to mean something to Patrick.

 

Overall, David had seemed like a sweet guy. He clearly loved his mother (that Christmas number is the kind of thing you can’t un-see), and judging by a sweet picture of David wrapping his very cold looking little sister in his scarf and coat during the Rockefeller tree lighting Patrick had come across, he was also an excellent big brother. And although Patrick didn’t really do fashion, even he could tell the range David had a hand in designing was as beautiful and unique as David was. Which was, um, somewhat of a revelation to himself when he heard the words pass through his thoughts.

 

It wasn’t news to Patrick that he sometimes thought of men as beautiful. He’d figured out a few years ago that, okay, he probably wasn’t straight, but he surely wasn’t gay. He could make it work with either gender, and so he’d just choose to only date girls, to keep things easier. It was a side of himself he was fine with, but it didn’t really need exploring, and it certainly wasn’t anyone else’s business, he’d decided.

 

So when Wendy had tracked Patrick down the Friday before, and told him he’d been assigned as the buddy to the new kid who was starting on Monday, he can’t say he was surprised by the butterflies that set up shop in his belly for the weekend. Wendy had sent him an email with some details about his future buddy by Friday afternoon – his name, his class schedule, his locker number and his phone number – confirming to Patrick that this new kid, his buddy, was indeed one Mr David Rose.

 

Sure, David might be rich and gorgeous, but Patrick hadn’t seen this becoming a problem. He might have had a tiny crush on the idea of the boy, but he had been certain that when they met in person on the Monday, there’d be nothing there but maybe the type of friendship where they smile at each other in the hall and chat about their weekend plans during homeroom.

 

But, um, it turns out, you see, that as Patrick had looked up from where he was waiting against his locker this morning to see David Rose, in the flesh, walking towards him, and when David Rose had locked eyes with him, and oh boy when David Rose spent multiple long ass seconds staring at Patrick’s lips, Patrick was already so far gone on this boy that it wasn’t even funny.

 

Fuck.

 

So much for keeping that so maybe I’m not entirely straight card to himself. He had a feeling that no matter what he did from here on out, all paths were going to lead him right back to David.

 

 Which, okay, he might have chosen one of the more direct-to-David paths by inviting him over to his house 4 hours after he’d actually first met him in person, but in his own defence, David is kind of everything Patrick never knew he needed.

 

He is (was?) rich, he’s gorgeous, and Patrick really hopes he’s into boys, his own oncoming sexuality crises be damned.

 


 

It was 5.30pm and Patrick and David were sitting on his living room floor, huddled over the coffee table which was unceremoniously strewn with worksheets and textbooks. David had only arrived about an hour and a half before, standing in Patrick’s doorway all perfect and shy, nervously turning one of the silver rings on his fingers as Patrick had let him inside.

 

Patrick had watched in amusement as David gave a valiant effort to trying to come up with a compliment for his small but homely house, finally coming out with “It’s um, no it’s, you know, it’s very small town chic,” Patrick had only just caught the shade of red that rose on the other boy’s face before David turned away towards the kitchen.

 

After they’d sorted out study snacks (David had assured him this was an absolutely essential step for a successful tutoring business), it had taken all of Patrick’s negotiation skills to actually get textbooks open and numbers being punched into calculators, but they were here and it was happening. He could tell David was nervous, he wasn’t sure if it was because he was in a house he didn’t know with a kid he barely knew, or if he was just that worried about the math itself, but Patrick was pleasantly surprised by how quickly David was picking up the different equations.

 

“So you came from a private school, then?” Patrick asked, immediately regretting being the one to distract them first as David seemed to jump at the opportunity to throw his pencil down and turn more towards Patrick.

 

“Uh, yeah. And I thought we hadn’t gone over any of this stuff,” David said, gestating wildly at the mess on the table in front of them, “but I think they just had a different way of explaining it. So, thank you, for um, you know, this. For helping. It’s um, already, um, helping. I guess,” the pink tinge had returned to David’s cheeks as he shrugged the sincerity of his words away like they were causing him physical pain.

 

“Anytime, David. I’m actually having fun! I enjoy numbers and math, and uh, getting to know you a little has been great too,” Patrick felt like he needed to return the sincerity somehow, and the smile that appeared in David’s eyes confirmed that was what he had needed to hear. “I still can’t believe you’ve never had pizza from Dominos, though, I think I could’ve gone my whole life without hearing something so tragic,” Patrick kind of joked but kind of didn’t ‘cause, seriously.

 

“Oh my god, okay, again, it’s not like I’ve never had pizza, I’ve had plenty of pizza, like, way too much pizza, I’ve just never had the occasion to dine at such a, uh, untraditional, pizza establishment,” David repeated for maybe the fourth time that afternoon.

 

Patrick could tell David was feeling far more confident with the equations for the quiz tomorrow than he was when he arrived, and he was getting hungrier and hungrier every time they spoke about pizza.

 

“Well do you have to get back home for dinner? Cause otherwise I’m thinking we rectify this travesty right now. What if you get hit by a bus tomorrow and you’ve never had Dominos? I can’t have this kind of blood on my hands,” Patrick said seriously.

 

“God! Okay! And people call me dramatic!” David squawked with hand gestures to match. “But yes, yes please to pizza. And whatever sides you might feel like ordering too. And if it could get here as fast as possible as well, that’d be excellent,” David replied sweetly, already pulling up the menu on his phone.

 

Patrick laughed at this adorable, perfect, unfairly gorgeous boy who was somehow sitting across from him. He pulled out his phone and opened the ordering app, adding some extras to his saved regular order and shooting a text to his friend and ex-baseball coach, Ray, who owned the closest Dominos in Elmdale. They didn’t technically deliver to Schitt’s Creek, but Ray always sent one of his drivers out the extra few miles when Patrick asked. He was a great guy and a terrible baseball coach.

 

“Okay, the order is placed, but just to manage your expectations, the nearest store is 45 minutes away so we’re all going to need to practice some patience,” Patrick laughed at the groan David let out in response to that, “BUT it is going to be so worth it. And I happen to have some connections who tend to fast-track my order, so I’m gonna guess we might have pizzas in in our hands in a tight 55 minutes.”

 

David was banging his head on the table as though this news was literally ruining his life.

 

“You’re literally ruining my life,” David whined from where he was face-planted into the table.

 

Huh. Well, I guess that’d be why, then. Patrick thought to himself, smirking.

 

“Ohhh you poor thing, David. I don’t know how you’re gonna cope. So brave,” Patrick teased. David picked his head up from the table just enough to shoot daggers straight at Patrick.

 

“I’ll have you know that this is technically classified as child abuse, because I haven’t eaten since breakfastand before you say it, no, the snacks do not count,” David had now slumped back against the foot of the couch, his head thrown back onto the seat, seeming to resign himself to the fact he was just going to have to wait.

 

“Maybe if you ate the perfectly good lunch that was at one-point right in front of you, you wouldn’t be fading away to nothing right now. All of this excellent tutoring for nothing, my first client is about to disappear into the air from starvation before he even takes his first quiz,” Patrick sighed, pushing away from the table a bit to cross his legs and lean back on his arms, eyeing the line of David’s jaw, watching the dance of his face closely as he finished throwing this very entertaining tantrum.

 

“I don’t even know how to begin to explain how incorrect that substance is you apparently call lunch,” David replied with a grimace, finally sitting up to look at Patrick. “Okay, fine. If I have to wait, I get to ask you questions to kill the time,” he demanded more than said.

 

A small smile was tugging at Patrick’s lips, and he couldn’t be sure, but he thought maybe David’s eyes flew back to them for the briefest of seconds before meeting his eyes again with a playful smile.

 

“Okay, shoot. But I get to ask questions, too,” Patrick agreed.

 

He wasn’t really sure where David was going with this. Was he looking for some inside info about the town? Did he want to know where all the cool kinds of kids he is used to hanging out with go after school? He didn’t really mind either way, but he wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to get another peek behind the curtain of David Rose.

 

“Deal,” David nodded. “Question number one: favorite film? Bonus points if it features a Julia, Jennifer, Sandra or Reese,” David asked with a completely straight face.

 

Oh. Or, a third option Patrick hadn’t considered, David just want to know more about him.

 

Patrick let out a laugh a little too joyful to be just in response to the question, and definitely didn’t miss the way the side of David’s mouth twisted into a concealed grin and his eyes shone in response to his giggling. “I didn’t realise there was a point system when it came to favorite things,” Patrick giggled again as David rolled his eyes as if to say obviously, taking a minute to think of the most accurate answer.

 

“Well I’m not too picky, I enjoy most things I watch, and I’ll watch just about anything,” Patrick admitted, even though it seemed like something that would get him points deducted, “but gun to my head I guess I’d say maybe Back to the Future?” He shrugged.

 

David blinked slowly and nodded, processing the answer and very possibly tallying Patrick’s score in his head. “Okay,” he said, still nodding. “That is, not incorrect, I guess,” David offered, clearly not particularly impressed by the choice.

 

“Phew, I don’t know what I’d do if it was incorrect,” Patrick replied sarcastically. “Okay now my turn,” he said twiddling his fingers together excitedly as he thought of the top question he wanted an answer to.

 

He took in a deep breath.

 

“Okay so you don’t have to answer this if you don’t want to, it’s not really any of my business, but why did you move to Schitt’s Creek?” Patrick asked, feeling a little bad when he saw David’s smile falter just a little.

 

“No, it’s okay to ask, I know there’s a bunch of rumours and whatever. Most of the rumours are somehow worse than the truth, which is, I don’t know… Comforting? Horrifying? Both?” David laughed, but it was a sad kind of laugh. “No the truth is that my dad’s business manager scammed him and ran away with all our money, turns out he hadn’t been paying our taxes and so we owed the government more than we had, so they took our home and most of our things and whatever was left in the bank,” David sighed. “My dad bought this town for my Birthday a few years ago, you know, as a… um…a…”

 

He was looking around the room uncomfortably when Patrick offered, “As a joke?” He smiled when David nodded sheepishly, “It’s fine David, the town has a ridiculous name. No one who lives here, except maybe Roland, is going to be offended on behalf of the town, I promise,” Patrick smiled earnestly as David nodded down at his feet.

 

“Right, so we own the town, as a joke, and the government said there was no, um, value, here really, so they let us keep it. We can live here for next to nothing while my dad finds a way to get our money back, and hopefully sells the town, or whatever” David explained.

 

Patrick didn’t like this. He didn’t like the way David was looking at the floor when we spoke, or how he could hear the emotion behind his words, trying to break free but not quite getting past the shield David was masterfully holding up around his emotions.

 

“I’m so sorry, David. That must be really, really hard,” Patrick offered sincerely.

 

David wasn’t looking anywhere near Patrick anymore, instead giving a small smile in the direction of the wall opposite them, a sadness in his eyes that Patrick wished with everything he had wasn’t there.  

 

Patrick couldn’t imagine being forced out of the only home he’d ever lived in, let alone not being able to take most of his things with him if he ever did have to leave. He thought about his guitar that used to be his granddad’s, the signed baseball from the first big game he got to go to in person that he kept in a protective case, the albums and albums of photos and awards and flyers from theatre and band performances his mom had kept from over the years. He thought about someone coming in and taking those things away, and his heart broke for David.

 

“Yeah, it’s fine. It’s whatever,” David sighed.

 

“No, no it’s not fine, David,” Patrick said, suddenly feeling like it was important David hear this. “It’s a really, really shitty and awful thing to happen to you, and if you ever need anything, even if you just need a friend to talk to, or someone to listen to you complain about how shitty this all is, I’m here. And I’m not, um, I’m not going to be going anywhere.”

 

You couldn’t drag me away from this boy for a free ticket to see the Blue Jays play, Patrick thought, unhelpfully.

 

David actually turned back to look at him this time. There was an expression in his face that Patrick hadn’t seen there before, and he wasn’t sure what to do with it.

 

“That’s, uh, um,” David cleared his throat, “that is possibly one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me, so… thank you. Again.”

 

“I mean it.” Patrick nodded.

 

And he did.

 

“Right, well, my turn again!” David seemed to shake off a bit of the gloom that had fallen on the room as he thought up Patrick’s next question. 

 

“Alright, I’ve got it. That girl from lunch, Anne of Green Gables with the red hair, is she your girlfriend?” David asked, half-distracting himself with those damn rings again.

 

Patrick went to answer but the words got stuck in his throat on the way out because -- wait a minute.

 

Wait.

One.

Minute.

 

Was David just asking because he’s curious or is he asking because he is interested in the answer?

 

It was Patrick’s turn to clear his throat.

 

“Oh um, Rachel?” He asked, continuing when David nodded, “No, not really, actually no, not at all. I mean we make out sometimes, but we haven’t done that in a while. She used to live next door, we like, grew up together. We were those kids who everyone has been joking about us getting married since we were two. So there’s always been this, like, I don’t know…pressure there? Or like an expectation or something. And, don’t tell Rachel I told you this, but it seems like recently she’s been trying to get me to make a real move or whatever, but I just I don’t know. I don’t want to be with someone just because they’re there, or because it’s what other people want. I want to be with someone because the idea of not being with them scares me more than anything else. Who I feel like I could spend every waking second with and never get sick of them, or in the times when they do annoy me, none of it matters ‘cause they just feel so right, like they’ve always been there. And, I guess, Rachel has kind of always been there, like physically always right next door or always right next to me at school, but I’ve never felt thatwith her. Maybe I will, someday, but yeah. I don’t know.” Patrick shrugged, a little embarrassed that all of that had somehow come flooding out of his mouth when he could’ve just gone with no, she’s not and been done with it. 

 

David was smiling, though. A sweet, private kind of smile, like something Patrick had said amused him.

 

“That is, um, very sweet, actually?” David laughed. “I’m sorry, I’m not laughing at you, I just, I’m laughing at how much smarter you are than me. Yes, you’re absolutely right. You should wait for all of those things, because trust me, as someone who has always gone for whatever was in front of him, whatever was easiest, I can guarantee you it’s very rarely worth the inevitable pain.”

 

David still had that smile on his face and the butterflies in Patrick’s stomach were doing somersaults. “Honestly, some of the people I’ve been with, I even shock myself with how low my standards have been at various points in my life.” He was laughing about that as if it was funny, which Patrick didn’t think it was.

 

He would probably have been more concerned about convincing David that he deserves to have nothing but the highest standards if his brain hadn’t short-circuited at people I’ve been with.

 

People.

 

Girls are people, sure, but wouldn’t you say girls if you meant girls? Patrick’s brain was trying to find the equation that made this all make perfect sense but he was coming up dry.

 

People.

 

  Fuck.

 

“Um, uh, people you’ve been with?” were somehow the words that just came out of Patrick’s mouth.

 

Oh good lord.

 

“NOT that I care, or um, mind, I mean, I think, everything, is great and love is love and, you know, I just, uh, was wondering, I guess, if that meant you are, um, into, um...” Patrick mumbled to the ceiling he was looking at to avoid looking at David.

 

OHMYGOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING PATRICK HOLY SHIT?

 

David smirked. Like, if Patrick thought he had seen David smirk before, he hadn’t. This was a smirk that said I know you didn’t mean to say that and I’m very pleased you did.

 

“Am I into boys?” David finished for him.

 

Patrick, mortified, nodded at the ceiling.

 

“Patrick, it’s fine,” David laughed, “and yes, I am into boys.”

 

Patrick thought his heart had either stopped or it was beating so fast he could no longer feel it.

 

“But I’m also into girls, and pretty much anyone in between,” David continued. “I’m really just into everyone. Well not, everyone everyone, not anyone, but gender doesn’t matter to me. It’s about the person more than… anything…you know, anything else.” He explained.  

 

“Oh,” was all Patrick could say at this particular moment. 

 

“Yep. Keeping my fingers crossed pretty tight that I make it through my time in this town without falling victim to a hate crime, but I’d say the odds are not in my favour.” David said, gesturing around his whole body, stopping at the not-a-skirt their gym teacher had pointed out earlier in the day with emphasis.

 

And maybe it was Patrick finally coming back to his senses, or maybe it was the way his blood pressure suddenly increased as he followed David’s hand over his body with his eyes, but his brain was actually able to form words and then use his mouth to say the words he was thinking. A ground-breaking feat of communication, Patrick internally rolled his eyes at himself.

 

Patrick shook his head at David so hard that he felt a little dizzy, “No. Nuh-uh. No way,” Patrick finally said. “Not happening, David. If anyone in this town, or any other town for that matter, even thinks about being an asshole in your direction, you tell me and you’ll have me and Ted and Mutt and Stevie, at their door in minutes. And my god, do you not want to be on the receiving end of Stevie’s anger,” Patrick hoped David could tell, despite his joking tone, that he was entirely serious.

 

The thought of anyone hurting David… it was too much to think about, even hypothetically, Patrick thought. His skin was crawling.

 

That look from before was back on David’s face, staring at Patrick like he was from another planet just for hoping no one hurt David because he loved so freely.

 

“What?” Patrick finally had to ask.

 

“No, nothing,” David smiled, “I’m just trying to decide between being shocked that a person as kind as you exists, and being highly amused by the mental image of you knocking on the door of a homophobic townie with your gang of high schooler pals to defend my honour,” David laughed.

 

Patrick laughed too, “I really don’t think you understand how scary Stevie can be when she wants to be,” and as with everything Patrick had said to David since the moment he met him, he really, truly meant it.

 


 

Things took a lighter turn from there, David asking Patrick about his favorite foods, Patrick defending his love of pineapple on pizza, Patrick having to break it to David that the pizzas currently in transit to their very address were covered in pineapple, David reacting very dramatically to the prospect of eating pineapple on pizza, and so on and so forth.

 

This was nice, Patrick had thought. He’d even thought, very briefly, after he’d watched David lunge at the door when the pizza came, when David was thoughtfully chewing his first bite of Dominos and looking annoyed that he liked it, that this all just felt right. That he could see himself doing this over and over and never getting sick of it. Like he couldn’t remember a time when David sitting in the middle of his living room, shovelling pizza down his throat was ever not a thing. Like the thought of David ever not being here, with Patrick, made him sick with fear, because oh.

 

Oh.

 

Patrick was so so far gone on this beautiful boy, the boy who had been through so much pain, the boy with room in his heart to love anybody and everybody, the boy who quietly admitted pineapple on pizza is maybe not as incorrect as I previously thought, this boy… this boy was wrapping himself around Patrick’s heart like a thorn covered vine, and oh, did it hurt so good.  

Chapter Text

David had woken up with an elephant sitting on his chest and butterflies in his stomach. It might have been the impending math quiz or the fact that he was going to have to face Patrick again today and pretend like he wasn’t crushing on the boy harder than any sane person should be crushing on someone they literally just met, but either way he just felt like puking.

 

Yesterday had ended up being everything.

 

He’d smiled and laughed and eaten pizza and had actual fun, and it was all because sweet Patrick had invited a practical stranger over to his house, just because he wanted to help.

 

And helped he had. David knew, if he told the anxiety monster on his shoulder to shut the fuck up, that he had a pretty good shot at getting a decent grade today. Patrick was an excellent teacher – he had the patience of a saint and a way of explaining things that made David forget why it was ever difficult in the first place.

 

Patrick had a way of making new, scary things seem easy.

 

My GOD was he crushing on this boy.

 

He smacked his hand around the bed blindly until he found the phone he knew he’d violently thrown out of his line of sight when the alarm had been harassing his senses 10 minutes prior. It buzzed loudly almost as soon as he touched it.

 

Patrick

7:11 am: Morning! Don’t forget your calculator!

 

David was so thankful Alexis’s middle school starts 30 minutes before the high school, meaning she wasn’t sitting in the bed across from him witnessing his face contort into an embarrassing uncontrollable grin.

 

7:13 am: did you really just text me in the middle of the night about calculators

7:13 am: this is going in my review of your tutoring services

 

Patrick

7:15 am: Some would see it as a bonus, David. Most tutors don’t include a wake up reminder service in the deal.

 

How was Patrick real??

 

7:15 am: oh I see so this is just part of the all-inclusive tutoring package then?

 

Patrick

7:16: No, so actually don’t mention it or the rest of my non-existent clients will get jealous

7:16: I actually just wanted to remind that you’re going to do great today

7:16: and I wasn’t kidding about the calculator, that’s important

7:17: I GTG, I’ve got band so won’t be @ homeroom

7:17: Knock em dead

 

Huh.

 

That was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.

 

David had been looking forward to seeing Patrick again since the moment he shut Patrick’s front door behind him last night, so this “band” thing is immediately being added to David’s List of Things That Are Currently Ruining My Life.

 

On the other hand, though, it might actually help not to have something as… distracting… as seeing Patrick before the quiz in first period.

 

David still hadn’t quite recovered from experiencing Flustered Patrick™ last night. The way his whole face had turned red and his voice went up an octave as he’d asked about David’s preferences. It was entirely too adorable, and entirely too much.

 

David was like, pretty sure, Patrick was just asking about it because it’s a thing people seem to want to know. David knows he “seems gay”, he’s been told it a million times in a million different ways, so it was kind of refreshing that Patrick didn’t want to just assume.

 

And then he’d actually defended David and the way Patrick’s jaw had clenched in anger just thinking about someone hurting him had done thingsto David.

 

It was just… a lot.

 

Surely if Patrick was also into boys, that would’ve been a great time to mention it. “Oh cool, David. Me too. It’s so nice to have another queer person in town. We should try not to get beat up by small-minded townies together, sometime.” Or you know, whatever. David would’ve been happy with any combination of words that meant he wasn’t imagining the way Patrick’s eyes would drop to his lips when he listened to him talk. He’d take any sort of indication he could get if it meant he wasn’t falling in love with another straight boy like the masochistic idiot he historically was.

 

But he hadn’t said anything of the sort.

 

He’d said a lot of sweet things that made David fall even faster, and he’d organized the pizza which made David fall even harder.

 

And now he was sending him good morning texts and saying more sweet and supportive things that are exactly what David needs, and it was… Just. All. Too. Much.

 


 

It was the end of the school day, and the hallway was flooded with people and backpacks and books, and Patrick wasn’t answering his texts and he wasn’t at his locker, and David needed to find him right this second.

 

David had made it through the math quiz feeling fairly unscathed, but math was never his forte, so he had really just been aiming for a passing grade.

 

So when Mrs Schitt had cornered him in the hall and hugged (???) him and told him that she’d just finished marking his quiz and how proud she was of him for getting an A (!!!), all David wanted to do was tell Patrick.

 

In fact, maybe all David had ever needed in his whole life was to see Patrick’s face when he told him what they’d done, together.

 

Watching those kind, brown eyes light up with sincere happiness and seeing that smile bloom across Patrick’s whole face had become one of David’s favorite pastimes.

 

But there was one problem, and that was figuring out where exactly one could find Patrick on a Tuesday afternoon.

 

David remembered he’d said something about doing theatre some afternoons and baseball some others, and it seemed like band practice was never not on.

 

Goddamn this talented boy and his goddamn extra-curricular activities.

 

“You’re blocking my locker.” Came a very unimpressed voice from… somewhere?

 

Oh, down there.

 

One of the brunette girls from Patrick’s group, not Twyla, David knew, because he’d watched with a burning jealously as she’d left lunch with Patrick almost as soon as he’d got there to head off to some lunchtime theatre rehearsal, leaving David to listen to Ted discuss the pros and cons of veterinary school. So, this is Stevie, he thinks.

 

“Oh, sorry,” David stepped to the side, trying to remember why he’d been standing there in the first place.

 

“You look like a lost puppy.” Stevie said, squinting at him suspiciously. “Why do you look like a lost puppy?”

 

Oh my god.

 

“Wow, thank you so much.” David had little to no read on this girl, because this was the first time he’d seen her with her face not in her phone. “As you know, I am new here, so I’ve been perpetually lost since I left my 12 bed 8 bath home two weeks ago. As for the puppy thing, I’ve been told I look unbelievably adorable in certain lights, so maybe these flickering fluorescent lights are just really working for me?” He deadpanned. He wasn’t sure, but she seemed like someone who maybe also thought weird was good.

 

The surprised snort he got in response confirmed that suspicion was correct.

 

“Oh I see.” Stevie nodded, “So it’s nothing to do with my locker being right next to Patrick’s, and the little puppy love crush you have on him?” She asked with an amused smirk.

 

Oh. Fuck.

 

David felt his blood turn cold and his whole body itch like his brain was trying to both fight and flight all at once.

 

“I…Uh…What? Um, no?” Were the words he managed to stutter out.

 

Wow. Smooth.

 

Stevie was still smirking at him, and honestly, where does she get the nerve?

 

“Right. Well mark me down as convinced.” She teased, finally stepping forward to twist her combination into the lock on her locker.

 

Ughhhhhhh.

 

“Okay, fine, think whatever you want. It’s not a thing. It’d be weird. He’s my tutor, and I am just trying to locate my tutor for some tutoring-related reasons, so…” David tried, begging his face to play along with the lie.

 

Stevie sighed, as if actually disappointed by the news, throwing some books into her locker before slamming it shut.

 

“That’s a shame, really. I liked this for him.” She said, waving her hand around in front of his chest.

 

And okay.

 

WHAT?

 

Before David managed to pick his jaw up from the floor and string words into a sentence, Stevie pulled her backpack over her shoulder and turned to leave.

 

“It’s Tuesday. He’s got baseball on Tuesdays. Try the field.” She smiled, a smaller, less smirk-y, more real, smile, and walked away. Somehow making her the second person in 30 minutes to leave a shell-shocked David standing in the hall.

  


 

 

It took a startling amount of time to locate “the field” considering the entire town was barely much bigger than a football field itself.

 

It did turn out though, that there were multiple fields in Schitt’s Creek, and the football field David had found first was not “the field” where the baseball happens.

 

The baseball happens, according to the sympathetic janitor at the football field, at the ball field, which was not in the school grounds at all.

 

But none of that matters now, because David is standing to the side of a set of bleachers right out of a charming 80s rom-com, and Patrick is out on the field, clad in a green and white uniform that shouldn’t look good on anyone but, of course, looks insanely adorable on Patrick.

 

It seems like it might be nearing the end of the game. People are excited, and all David can hear is Patrick yelling orders and encouragement at the other green and white clad players.

 

It’s a different side of Patrick than the Patrick who calmly and patiently explained equations to David yesterday. This Patrick is heated and passionate. He’s got a fire in his eyes and the kind of energy no one should have after a full day of school.

 

Someone hits the ball with the stick and there’s someone running and the people in the bleachers start yelling things, and David really doesn’t understand this game any more than he did when he was the one standing in the field, but it seems like whatever just happened was good for the green and white team. Patrick is as close to screaming as is probably socially acceptable, but he is really toying with that line, and its honestly kind of hot.

 

The running dude dives on the thingy and the umpire-man does the hand thing and the crowd erupts with cheers. David can’t take his eyes off Patrick as he jumps up and down with his arms in the air, running towards his other green and white people and hugging them like doing so isn’t causing David’s skin to come alight with jealousy.

 

Even still, David can’t help but smile at the sight. Patrick looks like a kid in a candy store with a hundred-dollar bill. He’s rallying his team together, leading that cheer thing people do in both sports movies and documentaries about pop-stars in concert where they throw their hands up and all cheer something at the same time.

 

Both the teams start merging together again, shaking hands like they just did something other than hitting a ball with a stick and running in circles, but whatever. David watches as Patrick makes sure to shake the hand of every person on the other team, that firm grip, the eye contact and the sincere smile making an appearance every time.

 

How does this boy exist?

 

Patrick turns towards the bleachers, scanning the crowd, his smile growing when he spots a couple grinning back at him from the stands. His parents, David assumes, make their way down the steps and pull him into a hug. His Mom smooching him on the forehead, his Dad giving him a solid pat on the back.

 

It makes David happy to see that. That Patrick has a family as nice and as sweet and supportive as he is. Patrick deserves it all.

 

David watches as Patrick’s Mom hands him his water bottle and his phone. David is trying to assess at what point he should stop standing like a stalker by the bleachers, when Patrick looks down at his phone with that boy-in-a-candy-store smile.

 

He suddenly looks up and scans the crowd again, finally finding David with a surprised grin. He says something to his parents and runs over.

 

David can’t remember how to breathe, and it’s going to be really embarrassing when he passes out because of it.

 

“David!” Patrick laughs, like it’s the greatest thing in the world that David is hovering awkwardly outside his baseball game. He pulls him into a sweaty hug, and if it was anyone else, David would have cared. “What are you doing here?” He asks, eyes so full of wonder that David feels like his answer won’t be enough.

 

“Hey!” David offers nervously, “Um, sorry if this is weird? Stevie told me where you were and I just really wanted to find you to tell you that Mrs Schitt stopped me in the hall and gave me my quiz result early because I got an A, Patrick! An A! Me! On a math quiz! Because of you! And I just felt like you deserved to know and you weren’t answering my texts, because you were here, obviously, so, uh, here I —” David is cut off by Patrick’s arms pulling him into another hug.

 

“David! Oh my god, congratulations!” He feels Patrick say into his neck. Patrick pulls back, keeping his arms on David’s biceps, and looking right into David’s eyes declares, “I knew you could do it.” Like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

 

“Well I couldn’t have done it without you.” David smiles, because it’s true but also because Patrick’s hands are still on his arms.

 

Patrick squeezes.“Bullshit.” He says, which okay Patrick swearing is a new thing that is very okay with David. “You already knew what you were doing, I just reminded you that you did.” Patrick’s smile is soft and small and honest, and David feels like he could do anything if Patrick told him he could.

 

“Thank you, Patrick.” David smiles back, and he hopes Patrick can see everything he is trying to say in it.

 

Patrick shakes his head and laughs, letting go of David’s arms to cross them over his chest. “I should be thanking you! I can see my tutoring flyers now, “100% of my clients get an A!” I’ll have a thriving business by next week!” He giggles, which makes David giggle too.

 

“Congrats on the game, by the way,” David remembers where they are when a kid walks past dragging the baseball stick along the ground. “I’m gathering from context and the happy jumping that you won?” David tries.

 

Patrick’s face lights up, a genuine laugh escaping as he shakes his head in disbelief. “We did win, yes, thank you. How long were you here for? I sincerely apologize if you had to witness competitive Patrick, he tends to break out in particularly close games. It’s never my finest moment when he’s around.” He laughs, but David can see he is a little self-conscious about it.

 

It’s David’s turn to laugh and shake his head. “I thought it was cute.” He says, before hearing what he said, and then wanting to take back what he said immediately because OH GOD.

 

Patrick just laughs, but if David hadn’t been so preoccupied with dying inside, he might have also seen that fire in Patrick’s eyes that had been there before was back, and it was being directed right at David.

 

“What are you doing now?” Patrick asks, looking back to where his parents are waiting on the bottom step of the bleachers.

 

David takes a deep breath, because if he tried to talk without doing so he’s pretty sure his voice would be shaking.

 

“Uh, nothing? Homework?” He manages to sound pretty normal, he hopes.

 

Patrick’s smile somehow gets even bigger as he nods, “Okay. Good. Do you want to do something to celebrate?” He asks, giggling again when David starts nodding before he even finishes the question. “Okay. Good. Good. I just have to go and tell my parents they don’t have to wait for me. I’ll be right back! Don’t go anywhere!” He laughs as he runs back towards his parents.

 

And David, counting a record-breaking third time that day, is left standing shell-shocked in the town of Schitt’s Creek. And when Patrick turns and points towards him with a grin that could light up the darkest of nights, when Patrick’s Mom waves at David with a small, knowing smile, when Patrick jogs back towards him and drapes his arm over David’s shoulder, David lets himself feel that spark of hope at the base of his stomach. He giggles, and Patrick, with his arm hooked around him, giggles too.

 

For the first time in weeks, months, years, everything feels like it is exactly how it should be.

 

“Wait.” David turns to Patrick. “How did you know I was here?” He asks, suddenly remembering the way Patrick searched the crowd, looking for him.

 

Patrick laughs. “Stevie texted me. She told me there was a ‘lost puppy heading my way for tutoring-related reasons’” He adds the air quotations for full effect.

 

David slaps his hand over his face because,really Stevie!?

 

Oh my god.” David whines.

 

“What?” Patrick laughs. “I thought it was cute.”

 

And if his obituary has to say he died in Schitt’s Creek, then so be it. Because this – with Patrick’s arm around him, listening to Patrick giggle – was exactly the way he wanted to go. 

 

Chapter Text

Generally speaking, Tuesdays were one of Patrick’s favorite days of the week. He gets to start the day off bright and early with band rehearsal before school, and finish it off with a good few hours of baseball.

 

And Patrick loves baseball.

 

But this Tuesday had felt a little different right from the start. Patrick had woken around 5am and hadn’t been able to get back to sleep. All night long his brain had been filled with David.

 

His face.

 

His voice.

 

His laugh.

 

God, that laugh had echoed around his head, weaving in and around like the soundtrack to his dreams.

 

He wasn’t really sure he had slept at all. Whenever he’d opened his eyes throughout the night, David’s everything was still on repeat, playing over and over in every way.

 

It certainly wasn’t a restful sleep, but Patrick wasn’t necessarily complaining.

 

So when he’d remembered it was Tuesday and he had band during homeroom, theatre during lunch and baseball after school, he had just a tiny bit of a sulk to himself about how little he would get to see David.

 

He’d quietly strummed around with his guitar for a while, ran through his lines for his next theatre audition, and might have watched David and his Mom’s Christmas number a few more times. He had done all of this in an effort to distract himself from picking up his phone and calling David, just to hear his voice.

 

He’d made it all the way to 7 something AM, and talked himself down to a text message by the time he physically couldn’t stop himself from contacting David.

 

David had replied immediately, and Patrick might have, very tastefully, with lots of remaining dignity, slightly squealed into his pillow.

  


 

 

The first time that day he got to lock eyes with the taller, dark haired boy was at lunch, about 30 seconds before Twyla had dragged him out of the cafeteria because they were already running late for rehearsal. Patrick had thrown a glance back over his shoulder as they left, and his heart had skipped multiple beats as David wistfully watched them go.

 

He hadn’t even had a chance to ask about the quiz in person – Did he feel like he knew most of the answers? Were there any questions they hadn’t planned for? Was Patrick’s help good enough to give this perfect boy the grade he deserved?

 

All he’d had to go on all day were a few scattered text messages they had been able to send between classes.

 

David Rose

10:30 am: thank fuck that’s over

   

10:30 am: Congrats! How did you go?

 

David Rose

10:35 am: don’t get grades back til tomorrow

 

10:42 am: I know, I mean how did you feel like you did?

   

David Rose

11:00 am: * shrugging lady emoji*

11:05 am: if i think about it i’ll be downing a whole bag of oreos before lunch

12:15 pm: speaking of lunch r u going to be gracing us w ur presence or??

12:30 pm: wow ok

12:30 pm: that 5 second cameo u just pulled does not count

12:30 pm: ur just gonna leave me with Ted??

12:35 pm: HE’S STILL ON POINT 1 OF 8 ON THE CONS LIST ABOUT VET SCHOOL

12:38 pm: ur dead to me

12:39 pm: tell Twyla she’s dead to me too

   

Patrick hadn’t replied to the last batch because theatre had run late, making him rush to his last period before baseball, and it’s always a hectic rush to get to the ball field in time to properly get the team warmed up, since the field isn’t really close to the school at all.

 

And if he’s being honest, once he was in his uniform and on the field, he’d forgotten about David and the text messages for a little while. It had been nice, like a brain-break from his heightened teenage hormone-fuelled crush that was taking over his life.

 

It had been ever nicer when they started to pull ahead towards the end of the game, setting up for one of the best games of the season so far.

 

Patrick loves baseball, and he loves winning, and so he really fucking loves winning baseball.

 

He’d felt on top of the world, hugging his team, seeing his parent’s proud faces beaming at him from the stands, so when he saw David Rose: 12 new messages AND Stevie: 2 new messages, he thought there was no possible way his day could get any better.

 

Stevie

3:15 pm There’s a lost puppy heading your way for “tutoring-related reasons”

3:18 pm …maybe. He just headed for the football field, so I’ll give him a 40% chance of actually finding you. I tried.

 

Okay, maybe this day could get better after all.

 

The next few minutes had flown by in a blur of giddy giggles and incredible grades and because Patrick was already riding the high of winning the game, when David called him cute he’d though fuck it, and made time with David happen.

 

He’d flung an arm around David as an extra bonus, just because it was Tuesday, he was happy, and he could.

 


 

 

Patrick hadn’t really had a plan when he suggested they celebrate both of their victories, but it didn’t matter. They’d ended up just staying at the ball field, exploring behind the bleachers, Patrick showing off with pull ups on the rails that were holding up the seats above them.

 

“I’m really so happy for you, David. You worked hard for it, you deserve that A.” Patrick said again, for the hundredth time, because he was so proud of this boy.

 

David rolled his eyes, ‘cause he’d politely advised Patrick he’d hit his quota of people saying sincere and nice things to him, and Patrick could stop at any time. “I’m not going to say thank you again, even though I’d mean it, because this is frankly just getting ridiculous.” David laughed.

 

“Whatever, David. It was thanks enough that you somehow tracked me down at the ball field, even though you have no reason to know where the ball field is or that I was here.” Patrick laughed, thinking back to Stevie’s final text.

 

“Oh yeah, no, it was easy to find. I just followed the scent of sweaty teen spirit, led me straight here.” David lied. He’d continued to tell some story about his adventures on the way to the ball game, but Patrick couldn’t hear him over the sound of the thing he was doing with his lips.

 

Whenever David lied, and sometimes when he was joking, he would do this biting thing with his lips, as if worrying his lips between his teeth nervously really sent out the message that he was currently being completely truthful. Patrick loved it though. He wished he could look at it, instead of trying to see it from the corner of his eye. If he could just stare at David’s lips, shamelessly, and watch the way his teeth almost break the blood vessels in those perfect, full red lips, that’d be enough.

 

And so Patrick did.

 

He’d let his eyes fall to David’s lips, and was met with an eyeful of delicious nervous lip-biting. And it turned out, that was not enough. There was nothing in the world he wanted more than to see what those lips would feel like against his own. Would they feel as soft as they looked? He’d seen David apply lip balm more than any of the girls in his class, so Patrick had a feeling they would be.

 

Suddenly Patrick realised the lips were no longer moving, because David had stopped talking. He risked a look back up to David’s eyes.

 

David was studying him with a small smirk, seemingly searching his face for an answer to why he’d just caught Patrick staring at his lips.

 

When neither boy said anything, Patrick watched as David pulled his mouth to the side, attempting and failing at stifling the grin that was already lighting up the rest of his face. He nodded slowly, turning to look back over at the field through the break in the bleachers above them.

 

Patrick wasn’t really sure what was happening, but this seemed like about the time when David could kiss him senseless underneath these bleachers and they’d fall madly in love and spend the rest of their lives growing old together and telling anyone who asks that it was love at first sight and the easiest thing in the world.

 

But David wasn’t kissing him, he wasn’t even looking at him. He was still looking out over the field, with a pleased little grin on his face.

 

Patrick suddenly realised no one had said anything for what felt like hours.

 

Had David asked him a question? Is that why he’d stopped talking and looked at Patrick? Was he waiting for him to say something?

 

“I, um, sorry. What did you say? Did you say something?” Patrick tried.

 

David turned to look at Patrick, finally, his eyes roaming over Patrick’s whole face, stopping briefly at his lips before landing on his eyes.

 

David shook his head.

 

“No, nope. I just stopped talking when I realised no one was home.” He teased, and nudged Patrick in the side with his elbow.

 

“Oh.” Patrick said. “Sorry. I, uh, was, um, distracted.” He tried for a convincing smile, but David shook his head again with a laugh.

 

“Right.” David smiled. “Did you… Did you want to talk about the distracting thing? Because I, um, I’m trying to work out a few distracting things for myself, and maybe it’ll help?” David suggested.

 

Oohhhhh okay. Is something happening? Is this something? What is happening?

 

“Um, yeah, okay.” Patrick agreed, terrified and excited and terrified. “But you have to promise not to say anything until I’m done. And that includes your face. Your face can say more things than your mouth sometimes, and it needs to…not. Just for the next few minutes.”

 

David laughed, “okay.” He twisted to lean against the nearest pole, settling in to listen in promised silence.

 

Patrick took a breath. He’d normally need to take moment or two to think about what he wanted to say, but it had all been bubbling so close to the surface all day that all he really had to do was open his mouth and let it all fall out.

 

“Well, I, um. I’ve been having trouble concentrating lately. Very distracted. There’s this feeling that I’ve been feeling that I’ve never really felt before, and I’m not sure what to do about it. It makes it very difficult to do things like sleep, and say the right lines at rehearsal, stuff like that,” He risked a glance at David, who was keeping his word with an entirely blank face, listening silently. “And uh, um. There’s this…equation? A theme? A pattern? That I’ve found. This feeling has a direct correlation to this…person. And it seems a bit insane, because I don’t really know this person that well, but it also kind of feels like I’ve never not known them. So I guess I’ve maybe been developing these feelings for this… person… that I’ve kind of just met, and I don’t know what to do about it, because I don’t know if this…person…has the same feelings… and I’ve mostly been worried that I might not ever muster up the courage to let them how I feel…” Patrick could feel tears stinging his eyes, which would have been embarrassing if he wasn’t already reaching into his chest, pulling out his heart and handing it to the beautiful, infuriatingly silent boy next to him.

 

He tried to continue, to find the right words to explain what it was he was trying to say, what is what that he wanted, but his voice gave out. So Patrick cleared his throat instead, swallowed his pride one last time, and turned to look at David.

 

His face was still remarkably blank, but there was maybe a small, quiet smile dancing behind his eyes. He’d been watching Patrick carefully as he spoke, as if Patrick’s face would tell him something his words couldn’t.

 

“Did that, um, help…with your distracting thing?” He finally asked.

 

David wasn’t smiling, but his eyes were bright, and Patrick didn’t know what to do with that. He thought this was maybe what David looked like when he was being serious, and Patrick was just now realising that David is very rarely serious.

 

“Yes. It did.” David nodded, still watching Patrick like he was a stray cat that might get spooked and sprint out onto the street in front of an incoming car with every word he said. “I, um, I have this friend. Who is really my only friend at the moment, and he’s so good. Like, I’ve also, coincidentally, not known this person for very long, but I already care about him, and…um…respect? Him. And uh…think he’s nice. Which are new things for me. All of it. Most embarrassingly the friend part, ‘cause I don’t know if I’ve really had a real friend before, who did things just to help me because they wanted to, not because I could buy them things or let them borrow our Hamptons beach house, may she rest in peace. But there are these feelings, um, of course there are, because he is gorgeous and kind and smart and talented, but I’ve got a few, distracting, concerns.”

 

It took every single fibre of Patrick’s being not to jump David where he stood and shove his tongue down his throat like he needed it to breathe. But he’d asked David not to say anything, and he hadn’t, so he let David continue.

 

“I really like this guy, and I have a history of going for the things that are right in front of me, even when I maybe shouldn’t. When maybe it’s better to leave that thing alone, because it’s the only thing making my life bearable right now, and if I did something stupid like try to kiss the thing that’s right in front of me behind the bleachers of the baseball place a day after I met him, I’m pretty sure I would find a way to ruin it and I just don’t know if I could handle living in this town without him.” David admitted. “And I think, I have a feeling, that maybe this person hasn’t been with someone like me before. That maybe they’re not really sure if they’re into boys or not, which is absolutely fine, and they should experiment and find out, and I wish I could be in the right place mentally right now to help them explore that, but I know I’m not. I know it would end in another broken heart for me, and I just don’t think I could deal with that right now. Especially since I would also be friendless and alone.”

 

Patrick wanted to pull David into him and press promises into every inch of his skin. Promise that he would never stop being his friend, promise that he knew what he wanted, and it was the boy sitting right in front of him. He wanted so badly to promise all of these things to him, but Patrick knew he couldn’t. He knew there was no logical way that either of them could know what would happen if something happened, and the last thing he wanted to do was lie to David. So he nodded, small and slow, and held his hand out between them.

 

David looked at him curiously, but took it with his own. Patrick squeezed, and felt those tears threatening to break through again when he felt David squeeze back.

 

“Can we talk tomorrow?” is what Patrick decided to say to eventually break the silence.

 

David nodded again, and squeezed Patrick’s hand in his.

 

“We can talk whenever you’d like. Ideally not before 7am though, cause I’m not really a morning person and it’s best to let my alarm feel the wrath of waking me up rather than taking that role on yourself.” He smiled, which made Patrick smile, because this, somehow, still felt hopeful.

 

It felt like a step is some kind of direction. Whether that was forwards or sideways or to the diagonal, he wasn’t sure. But they were talking about it, so it wasn’t a step back.

 

David had confirmed Patrick wasn’t going insane, that there was something here, something happening.

 

And if Patrick was a more impulsive kid with less self control, and if David wasn’t already so wounded and bruised, they’d probably be making out in this very spot right now.

 

But this was them. It was so them. This was sweet, perfect, charming, David, who thought he wasn’t worthy of good things, letting Patrick in just enough to show him how much he cared. That he cared so much that he was trying to be better, to do things differently, because he felt like Patrick was too good to lose. And it was Patrick, who liked everything to make sense, and always tried to do what was right and never wanted to let anyone down, being brave for David. Splaying himself open to get his heart trampled on by a boy he barely knew, but doing it anyway because there’s no way this ends in regret. Not really. Even if David decides he just wants to be Patrick’s friend, that can be enough for Patrick. Getting to know David, getting to be near him, knowing that David is letting him in when he’s already so vulnerable and broken, that can be enough.

 

Patrick doesn’t know why he feels like tomorrow will hold more answers than today, but he feels like it does.

 

Today has done enough.

 

Today let Patrick be courageous and tell David how he felt. Today let David feel safe enough with Patrick, to trustPatrick enough to open up about what had been worrying him.

 

Today has done enough.

 

Tomorrow can figure out where they go from here. Tomorrow can break Patrick’s heart if it needs to. Patrick can deal with all of that, as long as tomorrow and the next day and the next still bring him David, Patrick can deal with anything.

 

 

Chapter Text

 Oof.

 

David was going through it.

 

Since WHEN was David a rational, reasonable, level-headed person who communicated honestly and openly about feelings and concerns instead of making out with people who are Patrick??

 

David thinks he might be dying.

 

Maybe he has one of those brain tumors that makes you act recklessly, but… the opposite?

 

He must be dying, because what other reason could there be that Patrick had admitted he had feelings for David, and David hadn’t pushed him against the cold steel structure they were standing under and kissed that boy like he deserved to be kissed?

 

He has to be dying.

 

He’d asked Alexis to take his temperature when he’d gotten home last night, and she’d tried, but they didn’t have a thermometer, so she had just put her hand on his forehead, closed her eyes, and guessed the first number that came to mind.

 

David didn’t have the heart to tell her that if he had a fever of 5 he would be dead already. But she had looked so happy that he had asked for her help, that he just thanked her for being an excellent nurse before burying himself under the covers for the rest of the night.

 

She was only 11, and David knew she was struggling just as much with the move as he was. He had been feeling kind of bad about how distracted he’d been since they got to town, so he’d made a mental note then and there that he would have to plan something fun for the two of them to do together soon.

 

Not now, though. Because now it was 7am on Wednesday morning and David had to emerge from under the covers and face the world even though he was definitely dying.

 

His phone buzzed on the nightstand next to him and David kind of wanted to cry.

 

Patrick

7:01 am: Good morning, David.

7:01 am: Please try not to be too harsh on your alarm, it has such a thankless job already :(

 

David let out a half laugh half sob because Patrick was still sending him good morning texts and joking with him and maybe he hadn’t ruined whatever this was before it started, or maybe he didn’t do a good enough job of stopping whatever this is from starting, he really didn’t know.

 

Ah fuck it.

 

7:03 am: alarms don’t deserve thanks

7:03 am: alarms deserve a slow and painful death

7:04 am: i should get to sit right next to the alarms screaming loudly at them in 10 minute intervals while they die

 

If someone brings an alarm to my impending deathbed I swear to god, David thought out loud. His phone buzzed again in his hand.

 

Patrick

7:05 am: lol

7:05 am: I’d pay to see that

7:05 am: It sounds like one of those artsy exhibitions they’d have in NYC

 

David smiled. He’d always loved those kind of galleries, he’d seen himself maybe owning one one day, back when he hadn’t been doomed to live in Schitt’s Creek forever. Now he might just have to make do by screaming at alarm clocks in motel rooms whilst he dies.

 

He didn’t know how to explain all that in a text without reminding Patrick that, up until just a few weeks ago, he was a spoiled rich boy who actually went to those artsy exhibitions in NYC. That a few weeks ago, David wouldn’t have given a small town boy with perfect curly hair a second thought. That David was shallow and vain and materialistic and all the kinds of things someone like Patrick shouldn’t have to deal with. Cause someone like Patrick could have whoever he wanted. He could turn to the gorgeous redheaded girl who sits next to him every lunch and ask her out, and 5 years later they’d be married with a perfect house with a picket fence and a dog named Lucky. A few years after that they would pop out a few gorgeous, curly redheaded babies, and it would be perfect, and Patrick would deserve it all.

 

So, instead of reminding Patrick about all that. He threw his phone onto the bed and pulled the covers back over his face for just a few more minutes.

  


 

 

 

David had just made it to homeroom on time in the end, so the only seat left was the one right at the front of the class near the teacher’s desk. Patrick had been nervously eyeing the door when David rushed in, and when he’d seen him, Patrick’s face had lit up with relief, shooting a smile to David across the room.  

 

When the bell had rung, instead of heading for the door like everyone else, Patrick beelined straight for David.

 

“Hi,” Patrick had said quietly, because Mrs Currie was sitting at her desk, far too close for comfort.

 

“Hey,” David had whispered back, throwing his phone into his backpack and heading for the door, Patrick right by his side.

 

“I still really want to talk today, if that’s, um, still okay with you?” Patrick had his hand wrapped loosely around David’s wrist whilst they walked, so he’d found it very difficult to think straight.

 

“Mmmhmm,” David had hummed, “of course it is.” And Patrick had tightened his hold on David’s wrist with a squeeze.

 

“I’m actually in the other direction, but I’ll, um, I’ll find you later?” Patrick had admitted, which made David smile because of course Patrick was walking the wrong way just to get a few extra seconds in.

 

This boy.

 

David had only just managed to stop the pout pressing at his mouth after Patrick had taken his hand back from David’s wrist.

 

It had twisted into a smile, though, when Patrick had called out, “Have a good day, David!” from halfway down the hall.

 


 

 

Lunchtime had come and gone without much success in the talking department.

 

Patrick had turned up earlier than usual, coming up behind David in the lunch line, much to the disgust of the group of girls behind them that Patrick had pushed in front of.

 

“I’m not getting food, I’m just here for him.” Patrick had sassed back, his hand on David’s shoulder, when they’d loudly bitched about the situation.  

 

It had turned out he wasn’t lying, Patrick had just come to inform him that he’d been called to an emergency band meeting over lunch, because someone’s trombone had gone missing, and something about a French Horn, David wasn’t really listening again because Patrick’s thumb was rubbing back and forth where it sat on his shoulder.

 

David had actually pouted this time, and Patrick had laughed, squeezing his shoulder and winking before apologizing a final time and leaving David to another episode of Ted Makes Decisions Loudly.

 

 


 

 

 

David hadn’t heard from Patrick since then, and he didn’t want to look needy, but school was over for the day and there had been precisely zero talking.

 

“I’ll find you later,” Patrick had said, so he’d been doing his best to be easy to find.

 

He’d spent a little extra time packing his things into this locker, read some of the flyers on one the notice boards (where he saw Patrick had been cast in an upcoming production of Cabaret and filed that away for another time), and fixed his hair up in the smudgy mirror of the school washroom.  

 

But still nothing.

 

So he’d decided to just casually stroll past Patrick’s locker, just in case he happened to run into him there.

 

Patrick wasn’t there, but Stevie was. She was slamming her locker shut when she’d turned around to see David, who probably looked a bit like a puppy who had just been caught doing something it shouldn’t be doing. Stevie rolled her eyes like she expected nothing less.

 

“I really don’t have the energy for this today,” she sighed, “he’s already at theatre rehearsal. In the auditorium.” She supplied, surprisingly helpful.

 

“Ummmm…” David was considering pretending that he hadn’t been looking for Patrick at all, but now all he really wanted to do was locate this auditorium and the boy of his dreams that’s currently in it, so he just went with, “thanks.”

 

Stevie shook her head at him, as if one of the two words he had said since he got there had been ridiculous. But she was smiling, and David remembered she was Patrick’s friend, so she maybe probably knows more than she’s letting on.

  

“Maybe you two should sync your Google calendars or something?? I’m not his personal secretary!” She called out over her shoulder as she headed for home.  

 

 


 

 

It hadn’t taken him as long to find the auditorium as it had the ball field. It was actually in the school this time, and it was probably one of the biggest spaces on campus. It seemed like it was usually set up for school assemblies and presentations, but it was currently covered in set pieces and props and costumes that had been thrown into piles on the stage.

 

David had passed a bunch of people wearing costumes on his way in, they seemed to have been heading out so David had kind of figured he might have already missed Patrick.

 

David couldn’t actually see anyone inside from where he was standing behind the glass doors, maybe they were taking a break? Or maybe theatre runs for a more reasonable than baseball?

 

David was about to head back out when he heard a piano chord ring out through the room. He hadn’t seen a piano, so he moved to the other door, where he was met with exactly what he was hoping to see. Off to the side of stage was a large, white piano, and sitting behind it, fingers dancing over its keys, was Patrick. He was playing a few chords over and over, the notes were slow and low, so David was surprised when Patrick didn’t seem to hear him when he slipped in through the big double doors.

 

David didn’t really want a repeat of the creepy stalkerish hovering from yesterday, so he was just about to make it known to Patrick that he was standing in the middle of the aisle, when Patrick opened his mouth and started to sing.

 

And maybe David wasn’t dying at all, maybe Alexis had been right and David was already dead, because there’s no way the sounds flowing through the auditorium were anything less than the voice of a literal angel.

 

 

 

 “Have you ever felt like nobody was there?
                     Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?”

 

 

It took David’s brain a second to process all the things that were happening. On one hand, he still felt like he should let Patrick know he was there, but on the other, the most beautiful boy he had ever known was singing and David couldn’t move or speak or make his presence known if he’d wanted to, because as the lyrics finally floated in through his ears and settled in his brain, David was stuck.

 

 

 

     “Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
                               Like you could fall, and no one would hear”

 

 

It could have been the fact that the words were crawling inside David’s soul and wrapping their arms around him and making him feel so seen, or it might have been that Patrick was the one singing them and it felt like he was singing them right to David, but David felt like his knees were about to give way under the weight of it all.

 

 

 

      “Well, let that lonely feeling wash away
               Maybe there's a reason to believe you'll be okay
                           'Cause when you don't feel strong enough to stand
                                                            You can reach, reach out your hand”

 

 

Patrick had his eyes closed, sort of hunched over the piano a bit. His fingers were flying over the keys like he could do this in his sleep.

 

 

 

     “And oh, someone will coming running
                        And I know, they'll take you home”

 

 

David couldn’t tear his eyes away from the smaller boy’s face. It was so alight with emotion and honesty and truth, and the lyrics made him feel like Patrick was seeing him. Not just for the money or the fame or the perks, but that he was being seen for all that he was, the good, bad and the ugly.

 

 

 

    “Even when the dark comes crashing through
                                    When you need a friend to carry you
                                                  And when you're broken on the ground
                                                                                           You will be found”

 

 

There were tears streaming down David’s face now, hot and of their own accord. David had no control over anything, all he could do was stand there, in between two rows of auditorium seats, staring up at this perfect boy with the biggest heart. With every word out of Patrick’s mouth, it felt like he was inside David’s chest with a bulldozer, knocking down every wall he’d built up since the day he was born.

 

 

 

       “So let the sun come streaming in
                 'Cause you'll reach up and you'll rise again
                                               Lift your head and look around
                                                                                You will be found”

 

 

David thinks he must have, at that point, let out the sob he had been holding in, because Patrick’s head snapped up and the music stopped and a red-eyed David was looking at a red-eyed Patrick, and now they both looked like puppies who had been caught doing something they shouldn’t.

 

Patrick just sort of stared at him for a minute, opening and shutting his mouth, as if searchingfor the words to say.

 

And David tried not to panic. He tried not to reverse right out of the room and run until he was safely under the covers of his bed. He tried. But Patrick still hadn’t said anything, and David knew that must mean he was upset.

 

David couldn’t handle it. He knew Patrick hated that he was here, that he’d heard this. He had been so so stupid, he thought, to think that Patrick was ever singing about him. David hated that he always made everything about himself, Patrick deserves so much better than that.

 

“I-I’m sorry- - I shouldn’t have–I shouldn’t…” David slapped his hand over his mouth before he could make it any worse. Finally, his brain had come back online, and he suddenly remembered where he was in relation to the door and turned to head directly out of it and never turn back.

 

But there was a loud scraping groan coming from behind him as Patrick jumped up, forcing the heavy piano stool backwards on the stage. David could hear him tripping over the props and stumbling down the steps as he yelled,“David! Wait!”

 

And because he had nothing left, nothing left to give, nothing left to lose, he did.

 

He stopped, and turned back, just as Patrick caught up with him, still, somehow, standing in the aisle of the auditorium. Patrick’s face was right there now, looking right into David’s soul like it was the easiest thing in the world to do. David couldn’t read his expression, he thought he maybe looked worried and embarrassed and…angry? Sad?

 

“You weren’t meant to hear that–,” Patrick started to say quietly, but David couldn’t handle this right now. He already knew, he knew he had already fucked everything up, and they weren’t even a thing yet, so he cut him off.

 

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have been listening, I didn’t mean to I was just looking for you and then you started singing and I physically couldn’t move I—” David was cut off by Patrick’s mouth crashing against his own.

 

And, Oh.

 

David reached out immediately, searching for more, any partof Patrick he could grab and pull closer. He got a handful of Patrick’s shirt and tugged, pressing Patrick’s body against his own. Patrick’s hands were holding his face now, holding him there like Patrick was scared he might disappear. The kiss was hard and soft and slow and fast and everything. Patrick was the first to pull back, gasping for air, his fingers still cradling his jaw.

 

David watched him slowly register what he had done, as he took his hand back from David’s face, slowly tracing his cheekbone and the line of his jaw as he did so. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that.” Patrick said it like he kind of meant it, but he also kind of didn’t.

 

“It’s just what I was trying to say is that you weren’t meant to hear it yet, because I wanted it to be perfect when I sung it to you, David.” He was looking up at David sheepishly through his lashes, like what he’d just said was embarrassing rather than the sweetest thing David had ever heard.

“I was trying to figure out how to explain to you, how to show you that I’m here, David. And I heard you, yesterday. I know you might not be ready, you might not ever be ready, but I don’t care. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere, and I’m okay with being whatever you need me to be.” There were a few tears escaping Patrick’s eyes, and David couldn’t help but reach up to wipe them away with his thumb. “And you were right, I’ve never done that before. With a guy. But, David, I’m not confused, I’m not using you as an experiment, I want to be as much to you as you will let me be.”

 

He was looking at David with an expression so open that David felt his knees buckle again as the weight of it washed over him. Patrick was standing there like he’d let David break his heart any way he wanted to, and the responsibility of it was all too much. “And no pressure, but I’d be totally okay with it if you might want me to be someone who gets to kiss you again, because that–that–was—” Patrick shook his head in disbelief.

 

“Mmm,” David smiled, small and content, and pulled Patrick back in to him. This time, David had his arms wrapped tightly around Patrick’s shoulders, and Patrick was holding David’s waist, and it was perfect.

 

When he pulled back, Patrick was laughing.

 

“What?” David laughed, too. “Should I be offended?” Because, historically, people laughing at him in intimate moments, hadn’t been a good thing, but he had a feeling this time it maybe was.

 

“No, no, no, no. No, David. Kissing you is everything. I-I’ve…this. It feels like my first time. All the things you’re supposed to feel? I can feel them. I’ve never felt them before.” He was laughing, so free and joyful, and David had never heard such a beautiful sound.

 

All David could do was smile.

 

“Thank you.” David said, quietly.

 

“For what?” Patrick asked.

 

“Well, all of it, really. But thank you for the song. Thank you for always knowing exactly the right thing to say. Thank you for always being brave enough to say it.” David could go on for eternity, and he was only going off of 3 days of knowing Patrick.

 

Patrick smiled, blinding and wide, “Thank you for letting me say it,’ he said into David’s lips. “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you,” he kissed all over David’s face, making David whimper.

 

“Is this…was that okay?” Patrick asked, shyly, softly.

 

David laughed, “Yes. Yes. It was…yes.” He didn’t want to tell Patrick just yet the he is so starved for affection that something as innocent as Patrick pressing sweet words into his skin had caused a whimper to escape before he could stop it.

 

“Okay, but I just - - I know I kind of got carried away. I hadn’t meant to kiss you; I just couldn’t help it. But I did hear you, and I respect you David and I respect that this might not be what’s best for you right now. I just. I wanted to tell you that, those concerns you talked about yesterday, the ones that relate to me, the ones I have any kind of say in, I’m all in. If you want me. This. If you want this. I know you said you maybe weren’t mentally ready for a relationship or anything right now, but I can wait. Being your friend can be enough.” Patrick said, eyes searching David’s for any sign he might flee.

 

David wanted to push him against the door and press every inch of himself against the other boy. He wanted to make sure Patrick could feelagainst him just how much David did want him, wanted this.

 

But instead, David pulled the hand he’d apparently been holding up to his lips, and kissed every knuckle like it was the most precious thing in the universe. Then, because he’d apparently lost his mind, he pulled that hand where it was entwined with his own to sit over his chest, right above his heart.

 

“I want to try,” he whispered. “With you, this.” Patrick was smiling that sincere smile and David couldn’t look away. “I will probably still find a way to ruin it, but if you promise you won’t hate me when I do, then yes. Yes. I want you, I want this, all of it. Of course I do, Patrick. Of course I do. More than anything. You.”

 

And like he really could see every part of David, read every thought, Patrick backed him up against the door and kissed him.

 

Oh lord, did he kiss him.

 

David could tell Patrick had done this before, but he was maybe a little rusty, a little unsure. So he took a step forward and spun them around, pressing Patrick against the door, kissing down his neck whilst he did so. Patrick had his hands tangled in David’s hair, which was no fair because David wanted his hands in Patrick’s curls, but when Patrick gave the handful of strands he was clutching a tug, David figured this might be okay too.

 

They both heard the tell-tale sounds of people approaching – a distant chattering, footsteps getting louder – and Patrick dropped his head forward into David’s shoulder in defeat. David had his eyes squeezed shut above him, trying to calm the urge to scream at whoever was coming their way for RUINING THIS MOMENT, but then Patrick was turning his head slightly and pressing a quick kiss into the spot on his neck just below his ear before stepping back a bit to place another kiss right in the middle of David’s forehead.

 

He laughed at the pained expression he found on David’s face, and leaned in one more time to kiss the end of David’s nose for good measure.

 

“That’s my theatre group coming back from break,” Patrick explained quietly, “but if you want to stay back for another half hour, I would love to walk you home.” He reached out to squeeze David’s hand, pulling him away from the door about 30 seconds before too many people came flooding in.

 

David huffed, but nodded. “Okay, fine, I suppose I can handle that,” he sighed dramatically.

 

“Good.” Patrick smiled. “You can take a seat and watch if you want. Otherwise I’ll meet you out the front in 30.” Patrick quickly pulled David’s hand to his mouth with a small kiss. It was a tiny, perfect gesture, that no one else saw because it was none of their business.

 

It was Patrick telling David that he didn’t care if people knew, but that for now, this was just theirs.

 

That maybe one day soon, when they’ve had a chance to explore what this is, he’ll be able to kiss Patrick goodbye as he heads up to the stage, and anyone who wants to look can see.

 

But for now, David could still feel Patrick’s lips tingling on his hand as he watched him head for the stage, and it was all he needed.

 

David didn’t tend to believe in promises, but he believed Patrick.

 

Patrick wasn’t going anywhere, and as David dropped into a seat in the back row of the auditorium to watch theatre rehearsal, he couldn’t think of a clearer way to say that neither was he.

 

 

Chapter Text

Usually Patrick loves being busy. He likes having places to be, things to do, people who need him. Which is a good thing, usually, considering how busy he is every day of the week.

 

But today, Patrick has barely had a minute to breathe, and even if he did have a minute to breathe he’s not sure that he could. With every passing second it’s coming up on 18 hours since he last saw David, last kissed David, and he needed to do both again. Immediately.

 

Unfortunately, there’s still 45 minutes left of Science before lunch, during which time he has approximately 7 minutes to hunt down David, pull him into an empty room, kiss him like he needs to, then run to the first round of rehearsals for Cabaret. It’s not nearly enough time, and he knows it. He knows that David is all he will be thinking about through rehearsal, through last period English, through baseball practice after school.

 

Since Monday, Patrick’s brain had been filled with everything and anything David.

 

How is he that beautiful?

Does he know how beautiful he is?

Does he know how great he is?

Has anyone told him recently just how great he is?

What would it feel like to kiss him?

Does he think about what it would feel like to kiss me?

Would he even want to kiss me?

When can I kiss him?

 

It had been distracting, to say the least.

 

So Patrick was less than impressed with himself, but also not at all surprised, to find himself sitting in class again, post-kissing David, still feeling very distracted by the boy and those lips.

 

Patrick could not believe he had actually kissed him. If he’s being honest with himself, it was probably more the adrenaline that had been coursing through his veins after being caught practicing his corny ‘serenade David’ plan, but he had still done it. And David had kissed him back, and Patrick had never felt so right.

 

He’d expected to feel panic, or a little confused, maybe. He’d been waiting since he met David for the sexuality crisis to come and bowl him over, and when he was making out with a boy seemed like as good a time as any. It hadn’t come, though. Patrick,on the other hand, had definitely come, hours after the best kiss of his life, thinking about brown eyes and dark hair and the way David smells so much like man.

 

David was a man, a gorgeous, perfect man, and Patrick had never wanted anyone more in his life.

 

Right now, though, he would settle for just seeing David.

 

He just… somehow…has to make it to lunch.

 

 


 

 

 

Patrick had finally finally made it to lunch. To maximize efficiency in spending as much time with David as he could, it had required him (gently) pushing a number of people (a lot of people) out of his way as he jogged (sprinted) to the cafeteria. He’d made it in record time, only to be met with precisely zero David Roses.

 

He’d checked his phone because A: maybe David had texted him (he hadn’t) and B: he had to keep an eye on the time because he wasn’t even supposed to be here.

 

David always beat Patrick to lunch. He didn’t know many people yet, so he had no reason to hang back in class, or talk by the lockers. It meant Patrick had started becoming accustom to walking into the cafeteria and being blessed with the sight of David scowling at whatever had been slopped on his lunch tray that day. 

 

Patrick could feel his precious, meticulously planned seconds of David ticking away from him where he stood. It seemed a little ridiculous, considering lunch had started 3 minutes ago, but he didn’t like that David wasn’t here. It didn’t seem right. It seemed like maybe something was wrong, and Patrick couldn’t really figure out what it was or where else he’d be.

 

Maybe he’d joined a club and not mentioned it?

Maybe he’d found some new friends who frequent the sports shed?

Maybe he’d never gotten around to that homework last night and landed himself in lunch time detention?

Maybe he’s avoiding me?

 

Just as Patrick had whipped around in a panic to head right back out the door to hunt for David with the remaining five minutes he had spare, he body-slammed directly into a tiny, very familiar redhead.

 

“OHmygosh!” Rachel laughed, the hand she’d thrown onto his shoulder to steady herself staying there a little longer than it needed to. “Sorry, I wasn’t watching where I was going.”

 

I don’t have time for this, David is either laying in a ditch, dying, somewhere, or he’s avoiding me and I don’t know what’s worse.

 

“No, no it’s fine, it was me, sorry, I’m in a bit of a rush.” Patrick managed, his eyes darting behind her while he spoke just to triple check David hadn’t snuck in in the 30 seconds this had already taken up.

 

“You seem to always be in a bit of a rush these days, Pat. I miss hanging out with you,” Rachel admitted quietly. She was twirling a strand of her hair around her finger as she spoke, Patrick noticed.

 

She does that when she’s upset. 

 

Patrick felt a pang of guilt settle in his stomach.

 

He had always been cautious about leading Rachel on. He didn’t want to promise her anything he couldn’t promise, or give her the illusion that there was something here that wasn’t.

 

Sure, that hadn’t stopped him from making out with her a few times, mostly at parties where alcohol was involved, but he was still a teenager. He might be a fairly sensible teenager, but he still had raging hormones that refused to be ignored.

 

They’d been friends, once. Proper, real friends. Maybe they could do that again.

 

“Yeah, I guess I have. We should do something sometime, get the group together for a movie or something? I have to go, but I might send a thing about it to the group chat tonight?” Patrick offered. It seemed like a good compromise, and also he really had to go.

 

“That sounds great. I’ll lookup what’s on!” Rachel beamed, like that was exactly what she had wanted him to say. There was also a semblance of hope in that smile, and it broke Patrick’s heart a little.

 

Patrick knew how sweet Rachel was, and that she probably genuinely did miss spending time with him just as a friend.

 

But he was also pretty sure that if he had asked her to be his girlfriend right now she would say yes, and that makes Patrick feel even worse. Because he knows that in some alternative universe somewhere, David had never come along and turned his world upside down, given him a reason to stop lying to himself and realize he was very very into boys. And in that universe, he probably did ask Rachel to be his girlfriend, they probably become high school sweethearts and get married and have kids. Hell, that’s what 90% of the people that know them in this universe think is going to happen. So, Patrick still feels really bad that Rachel is probably in that 90% and makes a mental note to tell Rachel about him and David himself, before it gets out. To make sure he salvages that friendship, because they really were best friends once, before hormones and puberty and casual making out, and he doesn’t want to lose that.

 

So when Rachel went to lean in for a hug before he could hurry away, he took the time to actually return it. He wasn’t sure it was possible, but he hoped he could somehow explain all of that through this one five second hug.

 

And It seemed that maybe some of it did get through, or it might have just been because he was hanging on a little tighter than usual, the hug lasting a little longer, that when he pulled away Rachel asked “is everything okay?”

 

NO I CAN’T FIND DAVID.

 

“Yeah, Rach, everything is really really good. I just need to find someone before rehearsal starts in..” he looked at his phone, “Shit. Two minutes. Okay I’ve really gotta go.”

 

“Okay, well text me!” She called out to him as he rushed through the doors.

 

“I will!” He yelled back, but he wasn’t sure if she heard because he was hallway down the hallway like the man on a mission he was.

 

 


 

 

The mission was aborted about five minutes after he was supposed to already be in rehearsal, resulting in a stressed out Patrick arriving for the very first rehearsal of a musical he was one of the leads in seven minutes late. Mrs Schitt had given him a concerned look when he’d snuck in, probably because she’d never known Patrick to be late to anything in his life, let alone something as significant as this.

 

He hadn’t found David, and David hadn’t texted, so Patrick didn’t really care about the pep talk Mrs Schitt had been delivering for what felt like an eternity.

 

Patrick was having trouble concentrating on the musical or the exercises or literally anything else except David. This morning, the David that filled his head was the the smile when they saw each other for the first time today, the way he’d look when Patrick pushes him up against the nearest wall and kisses him, the tiny, perfect smile he’d try to hide when Patrick held his hand. But now he was just worried about David, worried about him disappearing on him.

 

Mrs Schitt was leading the group in a repeating exercise when the worry bubbled up enough to the surface that Patrick was feeling physically sick. He excused himself to the bathroom because there was really no point in him being at rehearsal in this state.

 

He locked himself in one of the bathroom stalls and pulled out his phone – still no new messages – and tapped through to bring up their texts from this morning. Maybe he’d missed something, maybe he’d said something that scared David away.

 

7:01 am: Good morning David

 

He winced at that. It had taken him 15 minutes of contemplation to land on “Good morning David” with no emojis and no “x”s. At first he’d wanted to say “good morning beautiful” or maybe “gorgeous” but he hadn’t said those things to David in person yet, and he kind of wanted to see his reaction, to know if he’d find it charming or corny, so he’d settled on just his name.

 

David

7:03 am: its so early patrick

7:03 am: why is school so early

7:04 am: also hi

 

How can someone be so cute via a text message??

 

7:05 am: Hi

7:05 am: I dreamt about you last night

7:06 am: Dream David is *very * cute

 

Okay, maybe that was a bit much for the morning after their first kiss, but David’s reply hadn’t made it seem so. 

 

David

7:07 am: omg

7:07 am: you cant just say these things when i cant kiss you

7:08 am: when can i kiss you

 

Patrick’s whole body had practically floated above the bed when he had read that.

 

Always. Whenever. Is what he’d wanted to type. Instead he’d had to go with

 

7:09 am: I’ll find you

 

Fuck. I’M TRYING. YOU’RE BEING VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND.

 

David

7:11 am: im learning thats patrick speak for “im busy”

7:11 am: :(

7:12 am: see you in homeroom?

 

Ouch.

 

7:13 am: You’re very observant

7:13 am: Sorry, I promise I’ll find you

7:14 am: Probably not in homeroom, I have a meeting

 

David

7:15 am: :(

 

Maybe David felt like Patrick didn’t have enough time for him. Or maybe he felt like Patrick was trying to avoid him, that these rehearsals and band practices and meetings were just excuses. They weren’t, unfortunately, and Patrick had never hated being busy more than he had this week.

 

Maybe David was already sick of having to fit into Patrick’s schedule. Patrick had never had to fit someone into his schedule before, never wanted to. But he does now.

 

He looked at the time on his phone, there was still about 10 minutes left of the lunch break, so Patrick swallowed his pride and pressed the little ‘call’ icon next to David’s name.

 

For a number of reasons, partly to do with Patrick being under 35, the sound of the call ringing sent anxiety through his every molecule.

 

Finally, the ringing was cut off and he heard the click of David answering his call.

 

“…Hello?” David answered, almost like he didn’t know his phone had this “call” function.

 

“Hey. It’s me,” Duh, he thought. He has your number, he knows this.

 

“Oh. Yeah, I know. Hi. I wouldn’t have answered if it was anyone else.” David blabbered.

 

Patrick laughed, “Right.”

 

“You’re not at lunch,” David stated, matter of factly.

 

“No, I’m sorry, I have rehearsal for the musical. I tried to find you, you weren’t there. I was actually kind of worried, is everything okay?”

 

There was a long silence that Patrick hated more than anything, and then a quiet sigh through the line.

 

“Yeah, I mean no, but yes. I’ve just been having a bad day, and I really just want to see you.” David eventually said, and Patrick was so relieved about that last part that he almost forgot about the middle part.

 

“I really really just want to see you, too. Tell me about your day?” Patrick replied, hoping he didn’t sound too desperate through the phone.

 

There was another silence, but not quite as long this time.

 

“Don’t you have rehearsing to do?” David asked, seemingly trying to change the subject.

 

“I don’t care. Tell me…. If you want.” Patrick had honestly forgotten about rehearsal as soon as David told him he was having a bad day.

 

Another sigh came through the line, this one was big and full of emotions that make Patrick want to hold David until it all goes away.

 

David took in a shaky sounding breath.

 

“It’s a lot of things, really, it’s everything. There’s family stuff and school stuff and kids being assholes and assignments that don’t make sense and people talking at the lunch table about how you asked Rachel out, and how perfect you two are for each other. And, on top of everything else, there’s no you, today. I haven’t seen you. You promised I would,” David let it all out in the one breath, like he’d been barely holding it in all morning and so it just fell right out.

 

When he realized David was finished, Patrick had to remind himself to let out the breath he had been holding.

 

David,” is about all he could get out. He wanted to cry, because he could hear in the other boy’s voice that David had probably already been crying, and at least half of the things that had made David cry were Patrick’s own stupid fault.

 

“And it’s all stupid, pointless things, I know. But it’s just been a really shitty day.” Patrick was shaking his head in response, before remembering he was on the phone and David couldn’t actually know that.  

 

“Where are you?” He asked instead.

 

“What?”

 

“Right now, where are you?” Patrick repeated.

 

“Crying behind the sports shed doesn’t seem like the right answer, but it is, unfortunately, the true one.” David admitted.

 

David,” Patrick had his face buried in his hand, because David was breaking his heart and he was actually about to start crying. “Just stay there,” he ordered, hanging up the call before he spent another second somewhere that David wasn’t.

 

But, because he’s still sensible and he can’t help it, Patrick took a second to send a text off to both Twyla and Stevie, asking them to tell Mrs Schitt that he isn’t feeling well, so he won’t be able to finish rehearsals today.

 

He’d been acting weird, so all three of them would likely believe it.

 

After that, his phone was shoved into his back pocket and forgotten about completely as he jogged (sprinted) across the small campus from the auditorium out to the sports shed. 

 

The old, gross, infamous sports shed is exactly where a sheepish David, eyes red and puffy, was leaning against one of the outer walls.

 

“I was told there’d be weed here, I have been sorely misled.” David quipped before Patrick pulled him into a hug, one arm gripping far too tight around his shoulders and the other running dangerously through David’s hair.

 

“I’m sorry you’re having a bad day,” he whispered into David’s neck.

 

“It’s much better now.” David smiled.

 

Patrick pulled back as little as he possibly could, holding David’s face in his hands and justlooking at him. He looked tired, and stressed, and anxious. Patrick tried to kiss all the points over his face that looked tense – his forehead, where his brow had been creased, the corner of his eyes, the sides of his mouth where it had been turned down, his jaw where it’d been clenched. Finally, he met his lips with his own, gentle and soft, willing away all the bad and trying to replace it with only this. David whimpered, maybe at the softness of it, maybe because he’d also been counting down the seconds since they’d done this last.

 

Patrick could feel him trying to deepen the kiss, but he kept control, kept it gentle and sweet and calm. Because as much as he wished it was, behind the sports shed five minutes before the bell rang was not the place Patrick wanted to accidentally get lost in David.

 

He pulled away, still keeping their faces close, and saw new tears falling down David’s face. “Baby,” he winced, moving his thumb over to wipe them away before the sight of them literally broke his heart in two.

 

“Oh my god, this is so embarrassing,” David had his eyes glued up towards the sky, willing the tears to stop leaking from his face, “I just really missed you.”

 

Patrick smiled, “I know. Me too,” he admitted. “Let me take you out after school. On a date. A real one.”

 

David’s face lit up. “But it’s Thursday, you have baseball on a Thursday,” David explained, and the fact that he apparently knew Patrick’s schedule did things to him.

 

“It’s only practice, I can skip it this once,” Patrick reasoned, stealing another quick kiss.

 

“But you love baseball, I don’t want you to miss it just for me. I swear these aren’t supposed to be guilt-trip tears, they’re just stressy, gross tears because I’m stressy and gross,” David said, like that was a reasonable thing to say to Patrick who, even with the tears and the stress and the sports shed backdrop, had never seen anything as beautiful as David.

 

“I’m not, it’s for entirely selfish reasons. There’s this boy I really like, and I’ve never met anyone quite like him before. And don’t tell anyone this, but yesterday, I got to kiss him. And it was – wow. It was the best. It was better than I’d been imagining it would be, and that’s saying a lot.” David was rolling his eyes, but the poorly concealed grin was giving him away, so Patrick continued.“But, you see, I thought, once I kissed him, that he would become a less distracting presence in my brain. But nuh-uh, turns out he’s actually become far more distracting. All I want to do now is kiss him again, all the time, and know what he’s thinking, and how his day has been and what his favorite color is and just everything. I want to know everything. And I can’t do any of that at baseball practice.” Patrick explained, finishing it off with a gentle kiss on the very end of David’s adorable nose.

 

When he pulled back, he noticed there were tears threatening to escape from David’s eyes again, but they seemed like happier ones now, and that so-very-David smile was twisted into the side of his mouth.

 

“Okay. Well as long as it’s you that’s being selfish.” He laughed out through the tears.

 

The both jumped as the school bell rang out in the distance, signaling the end of their lunch break. David’s head fell forward onto Patrick’s shoulder in defeat, much as it had yesterday, and it made Patrick laugh.

 

“Noooooo,” David whined into his shoulder, “I just got you, though.” He pouted.

 

“David,” Patrick laughed, pushing the other boy’s body away from his own and against the side of the shed. “I don’t want to be the reason you get detention and ruin our date.” He offered, again, very sensibly.

 

David groaned, “Okay, okay, fine, I’m going.” He stepped away from the wall as if about to walk past Patrick, but spun around at the last minute, switching their positions and pinning Patrick against the shed, catching any complaint Patrick might have had with his lips.

 

As much as Patrick will never admit it, he melted into it, breathing in as much of David as he could to get him through last period.

 

“Alright. Nope, David, we have to get to class.” Patrick managed to say out once he’d collected himself and managed to get untangled from David’s arms. “At least I am going to class, if you want to get detention, I can’t stop you.” He was going for stern, but judging from the look on David’s face it was not coming across that way.

 

“You’re unbelievably adorable, Patrick Brewer,” He smiled, confirming Patrick’s suspicions. “But fine, class it is.”

 

Patrick shook his head at the ridiculousness of it all, and how not like him this all was. He really didn’t want a detention noted on his record though, so he forced himself to turn away from an unfairly, deliciously disheveled looking David and head for his English class in the next building over.

 

“Hey Patrick?” He heard David call hesitantly from behind him. There was something about the way he’d said it that actually made Patrick stop and turn around to look at him, even with the threat of detention looming overhead.

 

“Yeah?” He waited.

 

“You didn’t ask Rachel out, right?” David was nervously biting on the very same lips Patrick could still taste.

 

Patrick shook his head so violently he felt dizzy.

 

“No. David, of course I didn’t. I’ll explain later, but…” Patrick, breaking his own rule, ran back over to David and pressed against him, his lips seeking David’s with an air of desperation he wasn’t even ashamed of. “It turns out, I’m very very, exclusively, into boys,” he whispered into his lips, before turning and running to make his next class.

 


 

 

Considering they’d been dating for less than 24hrs, and Patrick was still pretty firmly in the closet, a public date involving canoodling at the café wasn’t really an option at the moment.

Patrick had meant what he’d said though, he wanted to take David out on a real date. That’s what David deserved, and its exactly what Patrick wanted to give him. There were some other, minor, factors that made that slightly more difficult – they were 15, neither of them could drive, and Patrick’s entire bank account could maybe treat them to four dinners at the café if they strategically space them out.

 

So Patrick had used some creative problem solving, splurging on two bus tickets to Elmdale and two tickets to a Julia Stiles-a-thon at the Elmdale Art House, which had briefly made Patrick reconsider his definition of “art”, but he didn’t really care because he was pretty sure David would like it.

 

And he had.

 

Patrick hadn’t told him what the plan was, mostly because it was a very last-minute, trying to book things on his phone during English, I hope this isn’t a complete failure of a date, kind of thing.

 

David had been, less than impressed, about the bus element of their date, but when Patrick had realized they were the only ones on board, he’d pulled David against his side and tangled their legs together, and David had hummed happily against him. They’d chatted about a million different things in the 45 minutes it had taken to get from Schitt’s Creek to Elmdale, with no trace of an awkward silence to be found.

 

David had told Patrick about his shitty day – he’d woken to a crying Alexis, who had finally reached her breaking point. She’d offloaded all of her 11-year-old problems onto David before 7 am, and it had all kind of gone down hill from there. He’d had gym again, and the teacher had made another snarky remark about David, then David had overheard a group of freshman mocking his mother after an unfortunate run in at the café that morning. Then David had English where he’d been given an assignment to do in less than a week on a topic he’d been taught nothing about, which really didn’t seem fair to Patrick, either. Then, on top of all that, after David had given up trying to understand the assignment, he’d made it to lunch, late, missing Patrick, and instead getting to walk in halfway through Rachel’s retelling how she “thinks this is it” because “Patrick had finally asked me out.”

 

Patrick felt horrible about that whole thing, from all sides. He’d explained what had actually happened to David, who had admitted he didn’t really believe her, but he was in a 'vulnerable' state, and he couldn’t be to blame for thinking crazy things.

 

It was, hands down, the best bus ride of Patrick’s life.

 

So he was already feeling like this date couldn’t get much better when they’d arrived, hand in hand, to the front of the Art House Cinema, where David had seen the poster for the Julia Stiles-a-thon, grabbed Patrick by either side of his face and smashed their mouths together on the sidewalk in the middle of Elmdale.

 

It was another moment where Patrick felt like maybe the sexuality crisis that was surely coming, would knock him off his feet, but it didn’t. It felt right, so right. That anyone walking past them could see this unbelievable boy, David fucking Rose, was his.   

 

The actual movie experience was a whiplash of David weeping over a rom-com moment, heavy making out in the back of the theatre, and an ongoing competition to see who could come up with the best combination of the pile of movie-snacks Patrick had spent way too much money on. The winner was a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and three pieces of buttered popcorn squished between two crème-side Oreo cookies, for a sweet, salty, buttery delight that had handed David the crown.

 

Patrick had pouted about losing, and David had kissed that pout right off his face, his mouth tasting like a candy store.

 

They’d held hands almost the entire time, except when they were needed for snack assembly or weeping, and the whole thing was just perfect.

 

It was late by the time the movies had finished, and they’d just made it in time to catch the last bus back to Schitt’s Creek for the night. The bus stop was right by the motel David’s family was staying at, and he’d wondered if David knew that Stevie’s family owned it, but figured that fun fact could be for another time when David reached for him for the 100th time that night, this kiss no less perfect than the last 99. It might have been past midnight, but they were making out in Schitt’s Creek, right in front of the motel with David’s family right inside, where anyone who looked out their window into the night could see them, and Patrick really really didn’t care.

 

If falling deeply, madly, absurdly quickly, in love with David Rose was anyone’s idea of wrong, Patrick couldn’t explain how much he didn’t fucking care. Not a single atom of Patrick’s being could ever imagine this being anything but entirely, completely, wholly right.

 

In the words of Julia Stiles: Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.

 

Chapter Text

David was exhausted in the very best way.

 

He’d had to sneak into his mother’s bathroom to pull off a concealer heist to try and deal with the dark circles that came along with the exhaustion, but it was worth it.

 

David had never been on a date as perfect and magical and happy as his first date with Patrick last night. He’d certainly never felt as seen as when he’d found out Patrick had bought them tickets to a Julia Stiles-a-thon – it’s like the boy could see right into his soul.

 

They hadn’t made it back to town until after midnight, and if David’s parents were ever remotely concerned about his whereabouts, he probably would have been grounded right on the spot. Instead, he’d been met with a very tired and angry Alexis, swatting at him with tiny limp wrists because “I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD” and “I DIDN’T NEED THIS ADDED STRESS TODAY, DAVID”.

 

He’d played it off with nonchalance, because to be fair, he was 15 and essentially parent-less, and should be able to have some fun every now and then. But when he’d noticed Alexis’ bed was still perfectly made from the morning, and the sheets on his own bed had been hastily ruffled, he’d realized what Alexis was trying to say is that she’d missed him.

 

So instead of locking himself in their tiny bathroom to decompress from the literal best night of his life, they’d squished together on David’s just-big-enough mattress, and he’d told Alexis the story of two boys who fell for each other in front of a locker in Schitt’s Creek High.

 

She’d swooned appropriately at all the right moments, squealed and clapped with delight. David historically hadn’t shared much of his dating life with his little sister, she’d been too young and it was, generally, an affront to anyone unfortunate enough to hear about the spectacular failures he’d managed to acquire in a relatively short amount of time. But he knew Alexis knew about most of it, somehow. She’d always known when to be more gentle with him, bicker with him less, after a particularly nasty breakup. So when she’d yawned through a “I love this for you, David,” David knew she’d meant it.

 

She’d fallen asleep tucked into his side, and it was all just a little too much sibling bonding to let her share his bed over night, so he’d carried her the two steps over to her bed and tucked her in. It was around 3 am by the time he’d set his alarm and finally let his head hit the pillow, so when that alarm started aggressively blaring just a few hours later, David was cursing the very fabric of time and space for existing.

 

It didn’t escape him that the whole way through him dragging himself out of bed, jumping in and out of the shower, pulling off the strategically timed concealer heist, and pulling a look together that somewhat made this I’m so fucking tired thing look like a look, his phone had remained motionless on his bedside table.

 

It was the first morning since they’d started talking that Patrick hadn’t texted him at 7:01 on the dot, always a stickler for respecting David’s boundaries – even when they’re as petty as “not before 7 am, I’m not a morning person.”

 

For the first time that morning, a smile had crept its way through the fiery rage of being awake – the thought of Patrick also moping around trying to get ready for the day like a zombie was too adorable to handle. David had a sneaking suspicion that Patrick was a morning person, but the kind of morning person that usually goes to bed no later that 9 pm like some kind of granddad. It was very Patrick, and the thought of it made David’s heart clench a little.

 

He didn’t know what he had done in another life to deserve every second he got to spend with Patrick, but if he ever figures it out he’s gonna have to find a way to send his previous incarnation a thank you note.

 

He somehow managed to get out the door and to the bus stop relatively on time, having forfeited breakfast in favor of hitting snooze one too many times.

 

It’s when he’s shoving backpacks and books into his locker with a grumbling stomach that his day starts looking up, when a handsome boy in a letterman jacket with dark circles matching his own slides up to lean his back against the locker beside his.

 

“Hey,” Patrick was looking at him in a way that made him want to simultaneously push him against that locker with his mouth and run away from the intensity of it.

 

“Hi,” David went with instead, a small grin forcing itself into something more against his own will. “You’re wearing a letterman jacket.” He pointed out, because he’s wearing a letterman jacket.

 

Patrick looked down at himself and then back to David with that face he makes when he knows David’s about to be ridiculous. “I am,” he agreed.

 

“I didn’t realize this was 1952,” David teased, but he figured by the way Patrick was watching his eyes track over the jacket and the way it fit just right on those shoulders, that Patrick knew he was actually very into it. “In fact I didn’t realize this was a baseball thing. Or a Patrick thing. Oh! Oh my god, it’s like I’m dating the captain of the football team…are there cheerleader tryouts I should be looking into?” David’s heart soared at the exasperated amusement dancing across Patrick’s face.

 

“It’s just a jacket, David. I can take it off if it’s really going to bother you,” Patrick replied, and dammit, he was onto him.

 

“No, no. No no no. No need for that. It’s fine. It’s good. It can stay.” David’s voice was betraying him by jumping up an octave.

 

Why does he look so fucking good in this stupid jacket?

 

“No, I insist, David. If the boy I’m dating doesn’t like the jacket, I can take the jacket off.” Patrick said, echoing the D word David had dropped earlier. David hadn’t thought that was new information, they were, by every definition of the word, dating, but as he concealed a shy grin at Patrick repeating it back to him, he realized it might be more the “the boy” part of “the boy I’m dating” that had significance to Patrick.

 

It was so easy for him to forget that this was new for Patrick, because he was so good at it. It was like someone had handed him the manual on How to be The Perfect Boyfriend and he’d studied cover to cover. David had realized, in retrospect, that he’d possibly subjected Patrick to a little more PDA last night than he may have been ready for, but the whole Julia Stiles-a-thon had made it very difficult to think straight. Patrick hadn’t said anything, though, and he hadn’t shied away from his affection, if anything, he’d encouraged it.

 

Fine, Patrick. I like the stupid jacket, okay? You look…” David’s eyes shamelessly travelled over the boy in front of him again, “…Very dashing in your 1950s America sportswear.”

 

Patrick just grinned in response, apparently satisfied that he’d won this round of David Being Incapable of Admitting Feelings.

 

By this point in the conversation, David was finished doing what needed to be done at his locker, but he was stalling, because what he really wanted to do – what every inch of him was craving – was to slam this locker shut, pull Patrick against him, tangle their fingers together, and walk to homeroom hand in hand.

 

But he didn’t know if he could do that. He didn’t know if he should do that.

 

He hadn’t really been joking that first day he met Patrick, when he’d mentioned not wanting to be the victim of a hate crime at the hands of a closed-minded townie. There wasn’t really much he could do about it, he’d made a choice years ago to live and love loudly and proudly, and for him, that meant people usually only had to look at him to make the assumption that he wasn’t straight. He knew that meant he was a walking target, especially the further out you got from a big city, but he’d come to terms with it.

 

Patrick, however, was in an entirely different boat, in an entirely different lake in an entirely different province. He didn’t look or act any particular way that would make anyone do a double take. He could safely wander around anywhere he pleased and remain largely unaware and untouched by the kind of ignorance and hate David hopes he never has to see. And honestly, David loves that. He loves that Patrick can be safe and protected, because if David coming into Patrick’s life ever had anything to do with Patrick becoming the victim of a hate crime, David would literally never forgive himself.

 

David would take an entire town-sized angry mob ambushing him because he wears skirts and doesn’t care about what’s between the legs of the people he dates any day of the fucking week over a single person saying a single hurtful thing to Patrick.

 

I can’t believe I kissed him in public last night, what if someone had said something that hurt him? So fucking stupid, David.

 

Patrick seemed to have sensed a shift in David’s mood, because a gentle hand was gripping his forearm where it was hovering on the door of his locker.

 

“You okay?” He asked, voice tinged with a concern that was mirrored in his eyes and the knit of his brows.

 

Snap out of it, Rose.

 

“Mmhmm. Yep. Sorry, just tired. Didn’t get much sleep last night,” David tried to throw a playful smirk in Patrick’s direction as he carefully shut his locker.

 

It seemed to work, because Patrick laughed with a huff, “Who on earth is keeping you out so late? And on a school night? Scandalous.” Patrick joked.

 

David smiled at that, but he wasn’t in the mood to play along. He had just come to the realization that he could be the reason someone hurts this beautiful boy in front of him, and he can’t even bear the thought of it.

 

No one would hurt him because he held hands with Rachel, David’s brain suggested unhelpfully.

 

“I um, I actually need to use the washroom before class, so I’ll see you there?” David said, trying for casual but landing more on suspicious.

 

David didn’t miss the way Patrick’s whole demeanor fell, just a tiny bit, and just for a second, but it did.

 

“Oh. Okay, yeah, no worries. I’ll save you a seat.” Patrick offered, and that look that had made David want to hide earlier was gone, now replaced with a confused searching, like Patrick was trying to piece together what had just happened.

 

“Great, thanks. Bye!” David muddled out awkwardly, heading for a bathroom he didn’t need, and quite frankly would never normally enter unless entirely desperate, leaving a letterman-clad Patrick watching him go.

 

 


 

 

 

David had just suffered through another English lesson, trying and failing to understand what exactly this assignment was asking him to do, when it was time for lunch.

 

This time yesterday, he had just about hit his limit. He'd ended up crying and feeling sorry for himself in the gross outdoors until Patrick had come and saved the day like the knight in shining armor he is.

 

Patrick had skipped rehearsal and baseball to spend time with him yesterday, and David was now feeling completely unworthy of it. Patrick was willing to give these things up, things he loves, and all David did was recklessly make out with him in the middle of the street where anyone could have seen. He wasn’t even out yet, David was pretty sure. Patrick hadn’t mentioned if he’d told his parents or not, but he hadn’t seemed to have told anyone at school. There were no more people staring at him in the halls than usual, and the only people paying attention to Patrick were his friends and the handful of people who came up to him wherever he is to ask him a question about band or theatre or baseball or debating, which he apparently somehow also fits into his week.

 

It was hard to get a read on how a small community as a whole would react to a queer couple, but David was pretty confident that any school in North America would have the same general reaction – a whole lot of attention and a whole lot of gossip. Neither of those things had happened yet, as far as David could tell, and he needed to keep it that way. At least until he could come up with some kind of plan to make sure all of this doesn’t end in Patrick getting hurt. 

 

He’d made it to the cafeteria before Patrick, which was pretty standard. Patrick had made a point of mentioning during homeroom that he would indeed be at lunch today, so David had begrudgingly accepted a tray of whatever monstrosity the school was serving today and parked himself at their table, squeezing in between Ted and Stevie. Stevie had looked up from her phone questioningly when he’d done that, probably wondering, understandably, why he hadn’t chosen to sit on the other side of the table that was entirely empty and for the taking. She hadn’t asked about it, though, and had gone back to her phone a moment later.

 

“Hey bud!” Ted had turned his attention to David, glad to have someone to talk to who wasn’t glued to their phone.

 

Ted had started telling some story about an old turtle he’d seen in a nature documentary he watched last night, and David was suddenly very aware that Stevie’s phone move was one of genius proportions if it meant she wasn’t directly subjected to this every lunch break. He was in the middle of a very in-depth summary of what something something global warming something something rising temperatures something something meant for this specific old turtle when Patrick suddenly appeared in front of David.

 

It was almost like time was moving in slow motion as David watched Patrick take in the fact that David was sitting in the middle of the bench, when there was an empty bench right across from him that would allow them to sit together. He watched as Patrick’s eyes flicked from the empty seat, back to David, over to Ted (who was still talking about turtles), over to Stevie (who had looked up from her phone to watch whatever this was), then back to David, hurt flashing over his face before he finally set his tray down across from Stevie on the other side of the table.

 

Stevie was now the one whose attention was flicking between the two boys like this was some kind of high-stakes tennis match, apparently very aware of the silent awkward thing that Ted had not picked up on at all.

 

“So nice of you to join us today, Patrick,” Stevie said, which, honestly, bless her, because the silence was just about to kill David where he sat.

 

Patrick tore his eyes away from where he’d been intently watching David’s every move to send a small smile her way. “Mmm, yeah, I didn’t want you to miss me too much, Stevie,” he teased.

 

“…but it was turtle-y interesting. Even my parents liked it! It tortoise all something new!” Ted was the only one talking now, and even though he hadn’t been talking to anyone in particular, he was trying to make sure whoever was listening heard his harrowing puns.

 

Patrick smiled at him politely, which was more than David’s displeased grunt, but Ted seemed to have cottoned on the current vibe of the table and went back to eating his lunch without any of his usual “fun follow up facts!”

 

Patrick cleared his throat. “So, uh, how was English?” His leg brushed up against David’s under the table to notify David he was talking to him, because David had mostly been avoiding eye contact since Patrick had arrived.

 

David forced himself to bring his eyes up to meet Patrick’s, and was met with a barely-disguised sadness that made David want to pole-vault over the table and press kisses all over every inch of him until that expression went away.

 

Which is, fittingly, exactly why he shouldn’t be within reaching distance of him right now, because he doesn’t know if he would be capable of stopping himself from doing just that if Patrick’s skin was just right there. He pulled his leg back and out of reach with a jolt when he felt Patrick's leg against his again. The reaction that got from Patrick made David want to disappear into thin air because he apparently couldn’t be with Patrick without hurting him nor could he not be with Patrick without hurting him.

 

“It was, um, fine. Bad. The same. Whatever,” David explained, very eloquently. “How wasss youurrr…” David was racking his brain, searching his memories from that morning to see if Patrick had mentioned what class he’d had before lunch. David didn’t think he had, but he also didn’t remember telling Patrick he had English, but of course he knew, because he was infinitely better at everything. “Sci—en—ce..?” David just picked a class and went with it.

 

“Art,” Patrick corrected, but there was a small, amused smile on that handsome face now, and David liked that much better. “And it was good, we’re working on our self-portraits. It’s been interesting. Fun, even… getting to reflect on who we are, not to other people, but how we see ourselves,” Patrick explained. “I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, I guess, so it’s… cathartic, you know?”

 

David nodded, because he did know. He knew exactly what he meant. David had been there, trying to figure out who he actually was while 100 different people were trying to tell him who they thought he was or who he should be. It wasn’t really too difficult for David; he couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t exactly who he was. He’d always been kind of like this, kind of different – the kind of different that makes him a shoo-in for the role of Victim in a Hate Crime. But still, he did get it.

 

“I’d love to see it when it’s done,” David said quietly.

 

“See what when what’s done?” Was the question that alerted David to Rachel's presence. She'd apparently arrived at the table just in time to butt in to a conversation that no one invited her to, and taken it upon herself to sit down next to Patrick. Not that David was biased against her or anything.

 

“Oh, I was just telling David about the self-portraits we’ve been working on in Art,” Patrick explained, his body language clearly shifting when Rachel sat next to him, almost like he was very not thrilled about David's front row seat to it. 

 

“Oh! Patrick’s is already so great! He doesn’t seem like he’d be much of an artist, but he’s got those steady hands and all that patience,” Rachel nudged him with her elbow at that, “there’s really not much Patrick can’t do, so of course, art is no exception.” She grinned, proudly.

 

Patrick was sitting there like a deer caught in the headlights, and if David wasn’t dealing with his own inner turmoil rollercoaster of emotions, he probably would’ve felt bad for him. But instead, jealously was seeping out of every pore at the thought of Rachel having seen Patrick’s artwork – this piece of himself that means so much to him – and the thought of Rachel having a reason to be proud of Patrick, like he is in any way something of hers to be proud of, it was too much.

 

“Mmm, I bet,” David grumbled, and the way Patrick’s eyes snapped to him confirmed that he had done a terrible job at masking how much he hated this.

 

“Well it’s no masterpiece, but I’ll take an in-progress picture next time, so you can see…” Patrick trailed off, still looking right at David, as he seemed to catch-on midway through how strange it might look to Rachel or Ted that Patrick would bother going to extra effort just to show the new kid his painting.

 

Thankfully, Twyla chose that moment to set her tray down next to Rachel, with a sweet, sing-songy ,“Hey guys!” Drawing attention away from the moment and shifting the mood of the group with her undeniably pleasant demeanor.

 

“Ooh, Patrick! I have so much to catch you up on from rehearsals yesterday!” She exclaimed, her big eyes somehow growing bigger with excitement before launching into a recap of the cabaret rehearsal Patrick had missed because David couldn’t keep his dramatic emotions in check. She managed to fill the rest of the lunch break with stories and tidbits from yesterday’s happenings, leaving David to wallow in his own self-pity and whatever the brown sludge on the menu was supposed to be.

 


 

 

The rest of the day had held a similar theme of wallowing, self-pity and failing to come up with a plan that let David touch Patrick the way he wanted to in public without dooming Patrick to get beat up by a gang of spiteful townie youths.

 

He couldn’t remember if Patrick had any extra-curricular activities on a Friday, but statistically speaking, he assumed he probably did.

 

David had finally made it to the end of his first week at Schitt’s Creek High, and coupled with the fact that he was already so tired from getting barely any sleep last night, he was certifiably exhausted.

 

So instead of heading to Patrick’s locker, hanging around like a lost puppy, being told by an annoyed Stevie that Patrick has (insert something that of course Patrick does on a Friday afternoon here) on Friday’s, which would require him to hunt down a new area of the school, David just went home.

 

Alexis was already there, with a bowl of microwave popcorn and a pillowcase full of Rose Video DVDs they’d saved from getting taken with the rest of their things. They’d tried to prioritize shoving only the best movies into the pillowcase Alexis had been holding at the time, but in the chaos of it all, they had ended up with quite the mixed bag.

 

She’d proposed a movie night, and David couldn’t think of anything better.

 

Their parents were out for the night, the note they’d left hadn’t specified where, just that David should make sure Alexis gets dinner.

 

David was in the middle of rummaging through the horrifyingly sparse cupboard above the little kitchenette in their parent’s room (for movie appropriate snacks, obviously) when there was a knock at the door.

 

“I’ll get it!” Alexis yelled from where she was still deciding on a movie in their adjoining room.

 

“Don’t talk to strangers!!” David yelled back, shoving the three different types of tea he’d been searching behind back into the cupboard and rushing over to try and stop his sister from getting kidnapped from this seedy hotel in the middle of nowhere like the most predictable episode of Dateline ever.

 

 When he got to the door, Alexis was giggling about something with none other than one Mr Patrick Brewer.

 

“Oh my god, Patrick! That’s so funny!” Alexis giggled again.

 

“Okay, okay, alright, thank you, Alexis,” David said, giving his very best death stare to the 11-year-old currently standing between him and the most beautiful boy in the world.

 

Alexis rolled her eyes, but did as she was told and headed back to her movie selection, mouthing ‘He’s a button!’ far too loudly considering how close she was still standing to the button in question.

 

“Sorry about that,” David offered, when he was suddenly left standing in the doorway of the motel room that is now his bedroom, right across from Patrick.

 

“She seems great,” Patrick replied, earnestly.

 

“She has her moments,” David said in response, prompting an “I CAN LITERALLY HEAR YOU!” from inside the room.

 

“Well in that case, should we take this outside?” Patrick suggested. “Because I really need to talk to you.”

 

Fuck.

 

This is it.

 

I’ve ruined it.

 

He’s breaking up with me before we’re even an official thing.

 

The panic must have shown on his face, because Patrick’s hand darted out to grab David’s, running his thumb over the back of David’s hand in little circles, “God, not like that, David. I just, I need to talk to you.” He clarified without really clarifying anything at all, pulling David by the hand out of the room and around to the red picnic table by the side of the motel.

 

David had been anxiously checking his peripheral for any onlookers, witnessing this public hand holding event. Thankfully, very few people come to this motel by choice.

 

“Sit.” Patrick instructed, pointing to the seat of the picnic table, sitting right up next to David once he was happy that David had done as he was told.

 

He still had their hands intertwined, and Patrick was now just staring at them, twisting one of the rings on David’s finger like that would help him work up the courage to say whatever it is he had to say.

 

“David, did I – did I do something wrong?” Patrick asked, quietly.

 

“What?” David replied, genuinely shocked by the question, because in what universe is it that Patrick would be the one to do anything wrong?

 

“Did I do something to upset you? Or have you… it’s okay if you’ve, um, changed your mind...” Patrick continued, his voice heartbreakingly small but face determined.

 

“WHAT?” David stammered.

 

Changed my MIND!? What is happening??

 

“David, what do you mean, ‘what!?’ – you’ve been avoiding me all day! You wouldn’t even look at me at lunch, and you purposely sat next to Ted so you wouldn’t have to sit next to me, then on one of my only afternoons off, you just left without even saying bye to me. I had to ask Stevie if she’d seen you, and she want on this whole rant about not being a secretary?? I just... I don't know, David. I feel like I’m justified in thinking something is happening here.” Patrick explained in an irritatingly calm and sensible way.

 

But, oh.

 

“Oh.”

 

“Oh?”

 

“I didn’t, um, think about that. That…that’s how it would come across to you. I just, uh…um. Okay so I’m pretty sure saying it out loud is going to make it sound really stupid, but I’m just going to be honest because anything is better than you thinking I’ve changed my mind, Patrick. Like I could change my mind after you took me on the greatest date of my entire lif—“ He was cut off by Patrick’s mouth against his own. It was everything he’d been needing all day and so much more, but they were still in public, and anyone could see, and so it had to stop.

 

“Okay, no,” David said firmly, taking Patrick by the shoulders and gently pushing him back. “That is - - that is what I’m having trouble with.”

 

“…Kissing me?” Patrick was squinting at him now, like this nonsense would make any more sense from a slightly altered view.

 

No, Patrick. Obviously, no. Not kissing you. It’s more like, I’m having trouble not kissing you. When I’m near you, or when I look at you, I just want to kiss you, or hold your hand, or put my hand on your knee, or just, I don’t know, I just want to touch you.” David admitted.

 

Patrick was still squinting at him like he was speaking another language.

 

“Okay..." Patrick said slowly. "I’m not seeing the problem, here, David.” It was becoming quite clear that that patience Rachel had mentioned earlier was not completely limitless.

 

“I WANTED TO HOLD YOUR HAND THIS MORNING, OKAY!?” David blurted out, much louder than was necessary.

 

Patrick jumped at the sudden change in volume, a surprised amusement settling on his face at the words.

 

“…What?” Patrick was trying not to smile, probably to look supportive and understanding, but he wasn’t doing a very good job.

 

“This morning, by the lockers, it took everything in me not to grab your hand and walk down the hall and into homeroom holding your hand.” David explained again, because how was he not getting this?

 

“…Okay?” Patrick repeated, shaking his head with the words.

 

“I can’t do that, Patrick! People would have seen and they would’ve known about us! I don’t even know if you’ve told your parents, or whoever you want to tell. And once people know, there’s no taking it back. It’s a small town, Patrick, as much as I wish with everything I have that it wasn’t true, there’s going to be people who don’t like it, who don’t think this is right. People could hurt you, all because I wanted to hold your hand, and I don’t know what to do with that.” David literally spelled it out, because now he was the one running out of patience.

 

David." Patrick sighed, as if this very legitimate concern was more exhausting than legitimate.

 

“What!” David threw back, defensively.

 

“I don’t care.” Patrick said, his features serious.

 

“Of course you do!” David replied in a higher pitch than necessary with some flappy arm movements that weren't entirely necessary, either.

 

“I don’t care.” Patrick repeated, his eyes never wavering from the intense eye contact David was breaking every 3 seconds.

 

“Okay well I care. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if someone hurt you because of me.” David admitted, a little quieter than before.

 

Patrick signed again, seemingly resigning himself to the fact he would have to say more than the same three words on repeat for them to move on from this.

 

David, I can look after myself, okay? I’m not worried about that; I don’t care what those people think. If I want to hold your hand, and you want to hold my hand, then we’re gonna hold hands, and if anyone has a problem with it they can go fuck themselves because I don’t care.” Patrick explained, his hands grounding David, one on either shoulder.

“And it wouldn’t be because of you, David. I’m gay! I’m super gay. And it’s taken me a while to come to terms with the fact that I might not fit people’s perceptions of that, that maybe people don’t look at me and assume that I’d rather hold your hand over Rachel’s, but it’s the truth, it’s who I am. I’m not going to hide it, because some people don’t like it. And I know, I do know, that this panic you’re having, isn’t actually about that, because the final piece of the puzzle for me was meeting you, and seeing how loud you love and proud you are of who you are and how you don’t try and be anything other than exactly who you are. You are why I finally feel like I know who I am, rather than just who people have told me that I am. You make me feel right, David. So I don’t give a fuck about the rest of it.” Patrick said, that eye contact never faltering.

 

“Oh.”

 

“Yeah, oh,” Patrick teased.

 

 

“I guess I was, just, um, worried. Maybe I scared myself a little at the thought of you getting hurt.” David offered, because yep, Patrick maybe made some valid points there.

 

“Yeah. It’s okay, though, ‘cause do you remember when you were at my place, and you made that joke about being the victim of a hate crime?” Patrick asked.

 

David nodded.

 

“Yeah, well I had only known you for a few hours and I was ready to commit literal murder for you, so…” Patrick admitted with a smile.

 

Murder.” David repeated, unconvinced.

 

“OKAY, maybe not murder, but at least some grievous bodily harm.” Patrick corrected.

 

“Well you aren’t allowed to go to jail for me either, so please refrain from that as well.”

 

“I’ll do my best.” Patrick agreed.

 

David leant over and pulled Patrick into another some-what public kiss, unabashedly thrilled by the content little noises the kiss was able to draw out of Patrick.

 

David pulled back, their faces still only inches apart. “So, um… you said tonight is one of your nights off?” He asked.  

 

“Yep,” Patrick confirmed with a growing smile.  

 

“Did you, uh, maybe want to stay? I promised Alexis we’d have a movie night, so if you’re not too sick of rom-coms after yesterday…”

 

“I would love to, David.”

 

“Okay, but you’re sure? Cause my sister will be there, and we don’t really have any good snacks.” David knows how important good snacks are in every situation and would not think less of him for backing out at this news.

 

“As long as you’ll be there, I’ll be happy.” Patrick said, that look that made David want to run and hide was back on his face.

 

“Oh.”

 

“Mmmhmm.”

 

“Okay, well good. But don’t believe anything Alexis says about me, it’s all lies and she’s 11 and that’s known to be a very untrustworthy age.” David warned, because boy did Alexis have stories.

 

“Sure, David.” Patrick laughed.

 

“I’m serious”. He was.

 

Patrick pulled him in for another kiss.

 

“So which actress will be gracing the screen tonight? Another Julia? A Jennifer?” Patrick asked, an amused glint in his eyes.

 

“I actually don’t know, it’s Alexis’ turn to pick, but I’ve taught her everything she knows, so you can expect only the finest quality rom-com for your viewing pleasure this evening, sir.”

 

“Mmmhmm, I’d expect nothing less.” Patrick laughed, as they made their way hand in hand back to the room that, just now, started to feel a little bit more like home.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Patrick was happy. So happy.

 

This day had started out so great, turned weird and sad in the middle, then shot right up again at the end. It was exactly the kind of emotional rollercoaster Patrick had been riding all week.

 

Now he knew where he and David stood, knew they were on the same page about this new thing between them, and he was just happy.

 

David had his hand clasped firmly around Patrick’s, and Patrick still couldn’t get over how soft those hands were. How right they felt in his own.

 

Patrick was being pulled back into the motel room, through the door he’d just been knocking on, terrified, but now full of hope and happiness and his hand full of David’s.

 

Alexis was still hovering over the DVD collection she’d spread over their small table, but the DVDs lost the battle for her attention when she saw the two stumble back through the door.

 

“Hey…is everything okay?” Alexis asked, cautiously, eyeing where their hands were still intertwined with relief.

 

Patrick was so, so happy that the answer to that question was YES, that he had to stop himself from screaming it at the child in front of him. Instead, he squeezed David’s hand and felt him squeeze back, and let David do the talking.

 

“Mmhmm, yes. Actually, Alexis, I wanted to officially introduce you to my, uh, Patrick.” David smiled, lifting the hand that was holding onto Patrick to gesture at Patrick, which resulted in Patrick hitting himself in the chest.

 

“Hi again Alexis, I hope you don’t mind me crashing your movie night with David.” Patrick said with a soft smile. He really wanted Alexis to like him, and really hoped she wouldn’t care that he had turned up uninvited to their sibling bonding night.

 

Patrick was an only child, so he didn’t really know how these things work, but David had seemed to think it would be fine. The shock on Alexis’ face at the suggestion looked to confirm his thinking.

 

“No! Not at all! This is going to be SO fun! Ohmygoddd David! It’ll be just like a cute little slumber party, let me find my Cosmos!” Alexis bounced as she spoke, bouncing out of the room as she headed through the door that separated the two rooms the Rose family called home.

 

“Don’t worry, she won’t find them,” David whispered into his ear, sending an electric shock shooting down his whole body.

 

“I don’t even know what cosmos are,” Patrick admitted into the limited space between them.

 

David laughed, pressing a sweet kiss to his forehead, “Of course you don’t. Just be thankful there are no ‘How to tell if he’s REALLY into you’quizzes in your immediate future.”

 

“Mmm, and how is it you know with such confidence that she won’t find these quizzes, David?” Patrick teased, because, really, David had walked himself right into that one.

 

David’s whole face scrunched up in a way that shouldn’t ever be attractive but of course, it was. He let out a defeated sigh, “They may or may notbe under my bed”.

 

The thought of David curled up in bed, filling out a quiz in some magazine and thinking about Patrick, made Patrick unreasonably happy.

 

“Was there some reason you needed such a quiz lately?” Patrick prodded, stealing a quick kiss on the cheek.

 

“No, nope. No reason at all.” David giggled, and pulled Patrick into him once more.

 

 


 

 

 

Alexis had decided on The Notebook which, according to David, was a little too cliché of a rom com choice, but Patrick had never seen it, so David had let it pass.

 

All the lights had been turned out, and their pizza order had been placed along with a follow-up text from Patrick that magically extended the delivery boarder into Schitt’s Creek.

 

Alexis had set herself up on the floor between David’s bed and the TV, wrapped up in a blanket twice her size and had been very loudly sighing every time the male lead entered the screen.

 

David and Patrick had squished onto David’s small bed, forcing them to sit exactly as close as they wanted to be sitting. About ten minutes into the movie David had yanked the covers from underneath them, bringing them back up and over to cover the both of them and press his face into the softness of it. Patrick had taken a moment to snap a mental picture of that – a completely content looking David, only lit by the light off the TV, hair a little messed, peeking out from behind the blanket he was holding over the bottom half of his face.

 

Patrick couldn’t help himself, he had to reach out, under the covers, and grab the hand closest to him from where it was pressed to his face, pulling David impossibly closer and into his side. He lifted his arm around David’s shoulders, a thrill coursing through him at the press of David’s body against his own. David glanced up at him from where his head was resting on his chest, meeting him with a smile that would’ve knocked Patrick off his feet if he wasn’t already lying down.

 

When David’s attention was back on the movie, Patrick lent over the few centimeters it took to press a slow, gentle, closed-mouthed kiss into the hairline of the boy in his arms.

 

“I’m happy you’re here,” David whispered into Patrick’s shirt.

 

“Me too.” Patrick agreed, seizing the opportunity to run his fingers through the impossibly soft hair that was pressing up against his neck.

 

So happy.

 

 


 

 

 

The movie was a lot sadder than Patrick had anticipated, and as much as he wouldn’t admit it, he was glad he had David in his arms while he’d watched it – just so he knew where he was and that he was safe and that he remembered him. Remembered them. 

 

Both David and Alexis had sobbed at various points in the film, and pretty much everyone in the room has gasped in appreciation whenever Ryan Gosling’s shirt had come off, which was new for Patrick.

 

The first time it’d happened, David turned to look at him with a shit-eating grin, which Patrick had kissed right off his face. If he was being honest, though, it had felt really good to let himself acknowledge the way his breathing sped up at the scene.

 

They hadn’t bothered pausing the movie when the pizza arrived, but Patrick’s life had been threatened if he dared spill anything on David’s sheets. They were organic bamboo, and David had been the only one to think to bring his favorite sheets when they were kicked out of their house, so they were a prized possession amongst the Roses. Thankfully, he’d made it through multiple slices without incident, and David had rewarded him with a quiet exploration of his neck during a particularly slow part of the film.

 

Patrick had never wanted it to end – he wasn’t all that invested in what was happening on the screen, but being able to hold David so close without anyone interrupting them had led to what was debatably the best few hours of Patrick’s life. 

 

David seemed to agree, because although he was clearly very invested in what was happening on the screen, he was also teetering on the edge of sleep, curled up against Patrick’s side, clinging to any part of him he could reach.

 

Patrick was pretty sure David had fallen asleep at one point, he’d felt his breathing even out and what was very possibly drool wet through his shirt. It was hard to tell, though, since his shirt was already soaked through with movie-related tears, but the idea of David feeling safe and happy enough to drift off in his arms made Patrick really want it to have been a thing that had happened.

 

When the universe hadn’t answered Patrick’s prayers and turn this specific DVD into an eternally extended version of The Notebook, and the credits started to roll, David had crawled up to meet Patrick’s lips in a slow, tired kiss.

 

Ew, David,” Alexis had shrieked when she’d flicked the lights back on and was met with the sight of her brother’s tongue in Patrick’s mouth.

 

Patrick had had to physically push David off him, which was a triumphant featconsidering how much he wanted that moment to never end. Alexis had a point though, no one wanted to witness their sibling making out in a bed barely an arm’s width away from their own. So David had grumpily stumbled off to the bathroom to get ready for bed, clearly still half asleep given that he’d just left Alexis alone with Patrick, and if Patrick had to guess, he’d say that completely awake David would have gone pretty far out of his way to avoid that happening.

 

Patrick was left sitting on the edge of David’s bed, examining the small collection of books stacked on the nightstand beside him.

 

“His skincare routine is very involved, but every step is actually very important, so I can’t even tease him about it.” Alexis explained when she saw Patrick look over at the bathroom door.

 

“Ah, I see,” Patrick smiled. Of course skin that soft doesn’t just happen.

 

“Yeah, so if you want to play a game while you wait, I have some super fun slumber party games I used to play with my friends every summer in the Hamptons! It was basically just like one big sleepover; it was the best.” Alexis’ gaze had drifted off into the distance, kind of like characters in movies do right before a dream sequence.

 

“Right, you had a beach house there, David said?” Patrick remembered David telling him how hard Alexis had been taking the move – that she had been made for their old lives – she missed the attention and the buzz of being surrounded by people who admired her all the time.

 

“Mmhmm, it was so bright and airy and beachy. It was my favorite of all our houses. I think when I grow up, and can leave here, I’ll move to the beach.” Her attention seemed to be a bit more back in the present, so whatever daydream she’d been off in had apparently finished.

 

“That sounds like a great plan.” Patrick agreed. Unlike David, would would stick out like a sore thumb in a beach town with his head-to-toe black aesthetic, Alexis would fit right in. Everything about her was flowy and bright.

 

“Thank you, I know.” She smiled. “So I’m thinking we start with a classic.” There was a look of mischief on her face that really showed off the family resemblance, and Patrick was suddenly a little frightened. “So, Patrick… truth or dare?”

 

Okay I heard that, Alexis! Please stop harassing Patrick he does not want to play truth or dare with you.” David yelled from the bathroom.

 

Patrick waved his hand and rolled his eyes at that, “Truth.”

 

Alexis’ eyes lit up as she twirled her fingers together in a way that seemed to defy the physics of wrists and knuckles.

 

“Okay…oh this is SO fun…alright. Patrick, are you reallydating my brother, or is this just an elaborate set up so that David can spend less time trapped in the motel with my parents? Cause, like, historically, you aren’t really his type. You’re like nice and cute and sweet and a little button, and he’s so…not.” Alexis explained gleefully.

 

ALEXIS I SWEAR TO GOD IF I DIDN’T HAVE A VERY EXPENSIVE MASK DRYING ON MY FACE RIGHT NOW!” David called through the door again.

 

Patrick laughed. “Oh, no, I very much am dating your brother. He’s actually pretty great.”

 

Alexis rolled her eyes, but she was grinning. “UGH, fine. Whatever. Okay, my turn,” she said. “Ummmmmmm….” She was shimmying her shoulders like deciding between truth and dare was so unbearably exciting that it couldn’t be contained in her tiny body.

“Okay, truth.”

 

Patrick didn’t really know what kind of questions one is supposed to ask a pre-teen in a game of truth and dare, the standardly scandalous questions seemed wildly inappropriate. Instead he decided to use it as a chance to check in on the youngest Rose, see if her week had turned around since the early morning “breakdown” that had fueled David’s bad day yesterday.

 

“What was the best part of your first week of school?” Patrick went with. It seemed safe enough, if not a little boring.

 

“Ugh, Patrick, that’s so boring.” Alexis groaned, flopping back on her bed dramatically.

 

“You’ve gotta answer, it’s the rules!” Patrick urged, feeling a bit like he was middle aged and trying to connect with a youth.

 

Alexis rolled her eyes, but sat back up again with a sigh Patrick had heard come out of David’s mouth at least once every day that he’d known him.

 

“Fine, um…well for the first few days I didn’t really have any friends, like, I didn’t know where to sit at lunch and stuff. Like, on Wednesday, I ate lunch with this girl named Kelsey, and she’s like, the horse girl. She talked about horses the entire time, Patrick, and then she galloped off to get another pudding cup and I was very very concerned my social standing had dropped at least 15 points. But then on Thursday these two girls from my class, Steph M and Becky, came up and told me they liked my dress, and asked if I wanted to sit with them at lunch, and they’re like, actually really cool? And I sat with them again today, and we talked about makeup and who the prettiest boys are and it was a really cute look for me.” Alexis explained, her wrists still contorting at very concerning angles as she spoke with her hands. That was another thing she had in common with David. Patrick didn’t think they’d appreciate him pointing out how similar they were, but it made Patrick happy to notice these little things.

 

“That’s great, Alexis! Maybe you should invite them to do something after school sometime? Maybe even another slumber party,” Patrick suggested.

 

“Yeah…yeah maybe I will! Like go to the mall or something. That’s so cute!” She giggled, like the idea of going to the mall with your friends was an entirely foreign concept. “Okay, your turn again. Truth or dare?”

 

Patrick didn’t want to know what an 11-year-old’s brain could come up with on the dare front, and figured Alexis was probably using the game to get to know him a little better. So at the risk of coming across even more boring, he again went with, “Truth.”

 

“When did you first know you like liked David?” Alexis asked without taking a beat.

 

Patrick waited for David’s strained wail of frustration to float from the bathroom, but it never came. Patrick knew David would still have been listening, so he took a moment to think about whether he should even bother hiding how embarrassingly fast he’d fallen for the other boy. In the end he’d figured, since they hadn’t even known each other for a week, that it was already very obvious and probably a very reciprocated experience.

 

“Hmm…well, one of my teachers told me we had a new student starting, and that it was my job to help show them the ropes of the school, help them get settled, and she sent me an email with some details about them,” Patrick started.

 

“It was David!” Alexis squealed.

 

Patrick laughed, “It was. It was David. And I knew a little bit about your family, I knew you owned the town, so I googled him, which is a little embarrassing. But the first time I saw his picture, I felt these butterflies in my stomach, which I didn’t expect.” Okay so maybe he was altering the timeline of things a little, but it was still mostly true.

 

“I hope you didn’t do much googling after that, ‘cause there are things you should never have to see on there, Patrick,” Alexis teased.

 

“No, well I felt a little creepy, so I didn’t dig much further than that.” Patrick lied, because he was already bearing his soul to the little sister of the guy he was falling for, he didn’t need to get caught up in the nitty gritty details.

 

“Oh, well you definitely shouldn’t google ‘Moira and David Rose Christmas Number,’ then,” Alexis winked.

 

Something clattered and fell to the floor in the bathroom at that, but David still hadn’t said a word.

 

“I will keep that in mind,” Patrick laughed. “Anyway, those butterflies I thought I’d felt were nothing compared to when I actually saw him in person. He was nervous and adorable and, don’t tell him I said this, Alexis, but I’m pretty sure he wanted to kiss me right there by my locker.” Patrick smiled thinking back to the way David had stared so unabashedly right at his lips.

 

“He did! Patrick! He did! I remember this part, and he so did. I love that.” Alexis squealed again.

 

Patrick had assumed, since Alexis had known who he was when he’d introduced himself at the door earlier that night, that David had told Alexis at least a little bit about him. Hearing that David had apparently told her the whole story with parts and everything, made Patrick’s chest light up. Not to mention that she’d just confirmed David had admitted to wanting to kiss him the second they’d met.

 

“Well, I was pretty sure I liked him a whole lot right then and there, so later that afternoon when I was helping him with the math quiz, when I knew how smart and funny and brave and kind he was, and when I saw the way he wears his heart on his sleeve, that’s probably when I knew I really really like liked him.” Patrick knew the expression on his face probably made him look like a cartoon character in love, but he’d long lost control of anything his face did at the thought of how much he liked David.

 

“Ew!” Alexis grinned, everything about her was giving off the opposite vibes to what her mouth was saying. “If you weren’t talking about my gross annoying brother, that would have been sosweet.”

 

Suddenly the bathroom door had creaked open and there stood David, his skin somehow even more bright and fresh than it had been before he went in. He eyed the two of them suspiciously.

 

“Okay, so whatever this is, it needs to stop immediately.” David declared, waving his hand between them.

 

“Ugh, David! I’m just getting to know your boyfriend!” Alexis groaned back at him. Patrick didn’t miss the way David didn’t even react to her use of the word boyfriend,and he wasn’t sure what to do with that.

 

“Nooo, you’re just grilling Patrick about our relationship and it’s none of your business.” David bickered, thrusting his pointed finger towards Alexis as he spoke.

 

“But it’s so cute though, David! He’s only saying nice things!” Alexis sighed, entirely unfazed by the wild hand gestures David was throwing in her direction.

 

David’s eyes finally drifted over to meet Patrick’s with a small, bashful smile.

 

Oh, he’d definitely been listening.

 

“I know, Alexis. I was literally a foot away from you, I could hear you,” David bit back.

 

“Okay, well, I didn’t hear you pipe up to complain about the last question, David, so…you’re welcome.”

 

“Alright, thank you Alexis, that is more than enough from you. It is also past your bedtime, so, night night.” David had apparently had enough sibling bickering for one night, pulling the older-sibling I’m in charge card out earlier than Patrick expected.

 

“David, no!! It’s a slumber party!” Alexis whined.

 

“Yes, so slumber. Bye.” David waved.

 

“Ughhh, you’re the worst.” Alexis declared as she stomped off into the bathroom and slammed the door behind her.

 

“So…” David hovered awkwardly by Alexis’ bed. “You googled me, huh?” He smiled.

 

“I did,” Patrick nodded. “You wanted to kiss me the first time we met, huh?” He threw back, standing up and taking a few steps towards the other bed.

 

“Mmhm, I did.” David nodded, that signature smirk plastered over his features.

 

“Well since you didn’t get to then, maybe you could kiss me now, instead?” Patrick flirted, a smirk of his own creeping its way onto his face.

 

“I think that’s a very good idea.” David agreed, taking a few strides towards Patrick and meeting him in between the the two beds, their lips colliding in a battle of soft and hard and slow and hurried.

 

“How long do we have until - -” Patrick gasped, ripping his mouth away for as little time as possible to ask the question.

 

“We still have time; she’ll stall ‘cause she doesn’t want to go to bed.” David smirked as Patrick kissed down his neck while he spoke.

 

“So, say if I wanted to make out with you on your bed…?” Patrick whispered into David’s jaw, just below his ear.

 

“That could be arranged,” David confirmed, as he walked Patrick backwards towards his bed, Patrick switching their positions right before they reached the mattress, so he could push David down onto it and crawl onto his lap.

 

“Fuck.” David whispered at the sight of it, his hands holding Patrick in place by his hips. Anything else he was going to say was swallowed by Patrick’s mouth on his.

 

“Mmm” Patrick agreed against his lips, as he licked into the other boy’s mouth with such vigor that David let out quiet moan.

 

David moved one and then both hands up into Patrick’s curly hair, he tugged at the strands and reveled in the feeling of the softness of it between his fingers.

 

“So good,” David whispered into Patrick’s mouth when he pulled back a little to breathe. “You’re so good.”

 

“Yeah, baby. You look so good like this.” Patrick agreed, still making sure to keep his voice below a whisper so as not to accidentally traumatize Alexis.

 

David was tracing Patrick’s jaw with open-mouthed kisses when Alexis’ voice came through from the bathroom.

 

“Hmm! Well that was a nice shower! I think I’ll make my way back into the bedroom now!” Alexis said very pointedly through the door. Patrick rolled off to the side of David with a giggle. Noticing the door still hadn’t opened, David yelled out.

 

“Oh my god, Alexis, what do you think we’redoing while my 11-year-old little sister is literally two steps away?! You can come back in!”   

 

Alexis peeked around the door cautiously, confirming that the coast was clear before wandering over to her bed.

 

“Okay, sorry, I was just checking! I don’t need any more childhood trauma, David. You know what my therapist said, it wouldn’t be a cute look for me.” Alexis replied defensively, throwing back the covers and climbing into bed.

 

“Okay, well I don’t need the trauma of my little sister walking in on me, either, so you don’t have to worry about that.” David replied, all too confident for a boy who Patrick had just been straddling not 30 seconds before.

 

“Whatever, David. I’m going to bed. Goodnight Patrick!” She called out sweetly, switching off her bedside lamp and plunging the room into darkness.

 

“Uh, well I guess I should go.” Patrick whispered to David, suddenly very aware that it was probably late and David was tired.

 

David wriggled off the bed and pulled Patrick with him out the door and into the cold night air.

 

“You don’t have to go, you could stay. Uh, my parents might come home at some point, though. Actually, yeah, you don’t need to meet them, ever, so.” David was thinking out loud and Patrick could barely handle how adorable David’s thoughts were.

 

Patrick laughed, “I’d like to meet them, actually. And, uh…” Patrick’s mouth was about to say something he didn’t even know he wanted, but as soon as the thought was there, he knew how true it was. “Um, I’d actually really like to introduce you to my parents?” Patrick said nervously.

 

“Oh.” David replied, clearly a little surprised at that. “So they know about me?” He asked.

 

“Actually, no. Not yet. I haven’t told them, um, any of it. But I want to tell them, I want them to know.” He smiled.

 

“And you…want me…there? When you tell them?” David asked slowly.

 

“Um, yeah. I think so, yeah. If that’s okay with you?” Patrick ran his hands up and down David’s arms, needing something to do with the nervous energy that was suddenly overwhelming his body.

 

“Yeah, yes. Of course. If that’s what you need, I’ll be there.” David nodded, pulling Patrick close by the hips and kissing the side of his forehead softly.

 

“Um. I was thinking of maybe telling them tomorrow? If you’re around?” Patrick was gripping David’s shoulder a little too tightly, but David didn’t seem to mind.

 

“I’ll be here. Did you want me to come over?” David asked softly.

 

“Um…no. I think, can I come and see you first? We can walk back together? I just. I think I’ll feel more brave if I get to see you first.” Patrick admitted.

 

“You’re already so brave, baby,” David kissed that promise into his lips. “But yes, whatever you want. Whatever you need.”

 

“Thank you, David,” Patrick pressed into the taller boy’s cheek, and David turned his head slightly to catch those lips with his own.

 

They stayed like that for a while, pressed together in the night, arms wrapped tightly around one another, lips still learning and mapping out each other’s skin.

 

“I don’t want you to go yet.” David whispered into Patrick’s hair.

 

“I don’t want to go yet.” Patrick whispered back.

 

David sighed into the smaller boy’s shoulder. “Thank you for coming to find me.”

 

Patrick shook his head, completely bewildered by the boy in front of him.

 

“Always.” Patrick promised.

 

“And, uh. Thank you for what you did for Alexis tonight. She really needed it. You being here, I haven’t seen her that happy in weeks. So, thank you for that.” David shifted awkwardly as he spoke.

 

“You’re a really good brother, David. She’s lucky to have you.” Patrick smiled.

 

“She deserves more than me, but I’m what she’s got.” David shrugged.

 

“Well that’s just not true. I’ve only spent a few hours with her and I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that little girl thinks the world of you. We both do. We were bonding over how great you are.” Patrick laughed. Alexis might not have been using those words exactly, but it was definitely what had happened.

 

“Okay, well I could hear you the entire time, and it didn’t sound like that’s what was happening, but if you say so.” David was trying and failing to hide the grin that had traveled to the side of his face.

 

Patrick’s phone buzzed in his pocket, making them both jump. He pulled it out to see a text from his mom.

 

Mom

10:23pm: Home soon?

 

“Sorry, it’s my mom. I should’ve texted her to let her know I would be back late, but I was…distracted.” He smiled, and was met with a very proud smirk.

 

10:24pm: On my way Mom. Be home in 15.

 

Mom

10:24pm: Stay safe, sweet boy x

 

“You’ve gotta go?” David pouted.

 

“Yeah, I’ve gotta go.” Patrick confirmed, without the pout but with an equally as displeased tone. He brought his hands up to hold onto either side of David’s face, kind of squishing his cheeks together in an unbearably adorable way. “Thank you. For tonight. For this week. For moving here. For letting me know you. Thank you.” Patrick said, forcing David to hold his gaze.

 

“Always.” David whispered back.

 

Patrick closed the miniscule distance between them, pouring all the things he knew, all the things he felt, into the kiss. When he finally pulled away, David looked completely wrecked, and Patrick genuinely considered texting his mom to say there’d been a change of plans, but he got himself together just in time.

 

“I’ll see you tomorrow? I’ll come by around 12?” Patrick asked, knowing that anything before 10 on a weekend was likely out of the question.

 

“Sounds perfect. Just text me when you’re here, you don’t want to risk walking into whatever family drama is most likely going to be happening at the time.” David joked, but it was also pretty clear he wasn’t joking.

 

“I like all your drama.” Patrick smiled.

 

“Okay, but seriously, don’t knock on the door.” David warned. “You don’t know what you’re in for.”

 

“Okay, David. I will text you tomorrow around 12, and meet you by the picnic table. Happy?”

 

“Happy,” David agreed. “Very happy.” And he kissed that happiness into Patrick’s lips, where he felt it travel into his blood stream and straight into his heart.

 

Happy.

 

So happy.  

Chapter Text

David had been sitting on the curb for 40 minutes by the time Patrick came wandering down the street towards the motel, dirt kicking up behind him as he walked. Behind David was the havoc-wreaking scene of a spontaneous Rose family barbeque, complete with shrieking and multiple things definitely burning.

 

Patrick seemed to be taking all of that in as he approached David, a look of confused amusement turning into something softer as he greeted David with a smile and an adorable wave.

 

“Hi,” Patrick grinned.

 

“Hey,’ David returned, with his own dopey grin to match.

 

‘So, what’s happening here?” Patrick asked, gesturing to the wild zoo animals trying to salvage an array of very very very well done meats behind them.

 

“Hmm? Oh, nothing. Think some of the other guests are having a barbeque or something. We should go, it’s rude to stare.” David tried.

 

“Uh-huh. So that’s not Alexis who is currently throwing a tantrum in the dirt because “everything just tastes like burnt!”, then?” Patrick teased with a smirk.

 

David risked a glance over his shoulder to find that, yes, actually, that was Alexis really, truly, physically sitting in the dirt and crying over burnt meat. The sight of her white embroidered tunic mingling with the mud was almost enough to convince David to intervene. Almost.

 

“Jesus Christ. That’s Ulla Johnson,” David gasped.

 

“Who is Ella Johnson?” Patrick asked, surveying the group for the fourth member David was referring to.

 

“The dress! It’s Ulla Johnson! It’s designer! She’s sitting in the dirt!” David shrieked.

 

Patrick seemed to find the destruction of a perfectly good piece of designer clothing very amusing, judging by the look that little outburst was met with.

 

“David, whilst I understand this is a very high-stakes situation, I think you’ll find some detergent and a washing machine will make everything right in the world again for Ulla.” Patrick suggested with an amount of patience David still hadn’t found the limits of.

 

“Well it’s hand wash only, actually, so that’d be very incorrect.” David whispered, hauling himself up off the curb to be standing in front of the smaller, very patient, boy.

 

“Mmhmm.” Patrick smiled, finally getting his arms wrapped around David’s waist and leaning up to greet him with a kiss. It hadn’t been that long since they’d done this, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell. Patrick pressed into David like he was drowning and kissing David was coming up for air. His grip on David’s hips was vice-like, and for a fleeting moment, David thought about how it would probably leave a bruise, and he was very, very okay with it.

 

David had kissed lots of people before – all different types of people who kissed all different types of ways, but no one had ever kissed him like this. Like they’d been searching their whole lives for something and they’d somehow found it in his lips, in his mouth. Like they needed to feel him and hold him so close, because they were scared he might disappear. No one had cared about him leaving before. Usually it would have just saved them the trouble of having to leave him, first. He might only be 15 verging on 16, but he’d already geared himself up for a life of being loved and left, light on the love and heavy on the left.

 

David never wants to be kissed any other way than the way Patrick was kissing him right now. This boy was going to ruin everyone else for him, forever. David was suddenly pulled out of that very depressing thought by the sound of someone pointedly coughing, making Patrick jump back with a fright. He quickly reached out again to thread his arm around David’s elbow as they turned to take in the intruder.

 

Next to them was one Stevie Budd, looking entirely too pleased with herself.

 

“Hey losers,” she smirked.

 

“Stevie, hey!” Patrick greeted, squeezing David’s arm in response to the grunt David had supplied as a hello, you just interrupted the best kiss of my life and I’m not happy about it.

 

“If your family burns my motel down I’m gonna be real pissed. But only because I’ve housed my extensive collection of decorative skeletons in the attic, and not because I care about the family business.” Stevie threw to David, as if any element of that sentence was okay.

 

He’ll circle back to the decorative skeleton collection later because, “Um, I’m sorry - - your motel?” David squeaked.

 

“Mmhmm,” Stevie hummed.

 

“Oh yeah, David, Stevie is first in the line of succession for the throne – you’re standing across from the future owner of the Schitt’s Creek Motel.” Patrick grinned, clearly very amused that David didn’t know this vital piece of information.

 

“There was a brief concern that cousin Earl was going to contest my rightful place as the-only-blood-relative-with-more-than-one-brain-cell, but he went to juvie like, the next day, so. Lucky me.” She deadpanned. 

 

“How did I not know this? I literally live here.” David questioned. Sure, maybe 100% of the conversations he’d ever had with Stevie were about Patrick’s current whereabouts, but this seemed like highly relevant information.

 

“Well I don’t literally live here; I work here on weekends. And by “work” I mean I am physically here on weekends and am paid for my presence. Don’t ask me to do anything, though, because I won’t.” She supplied, eyeing David suspiciously as if he were about to ask her to change his sheets or fetch him a towel, which…he won’t do right now. He has plans with the koala clinging to his arm right now, but… both of those things are almost certainly happening later.

 

“What are you doing here anyway, Brewer?” She asked, looking between them curiously as if she hadn’t just walked up on the two of them with their tongues down each other’s throats.  

 

“Um, well, David’s coming over to my place, so I’ve come to collect him.” Patrick explained, nerves seeming to give-way to confidence somewhere in the middle of the sentence.

 

Stevie’s eyebrows shot up so high on her face that David would be offended if he wasn’t also shocked that Patrick had decided this was a good idea. Coming out to his parents? Yes, David was a vehement supporter. Telling his parents that he was actually dating David instead of the girl they’d been dreaming he’d marry since the day his was born? It just didn’t seem GREAT from where David was sitting.

 

“Wow, David, meeting the parents! Big step. Don’t fuck it up.” Stevie teased.

 

“He won’t, they’ll love him,” Patrick said quickly, before any of the number of self-deprecating things hovering on David’s tongue could come out. Patrick’s hold on him tightened impossibly again, a silent plea for his attention. Giving in, David met Patrick’s eyes and found a face so sincere and determined and happy that he actually believed him for a moment. David was smiling back at him because he couldn’t help it, he was stuck staring and smiling at this perfect, beautiful boy, and it was the most wonderful problem he could ever think of having.  

 

“Hey, losers? If you’ve finished eye-fucking each other, I just wanted to let you know that I’m glad you sorted your shit out. I’m happy for you. Like, seriously, Patrick you’re like my best friend, and David I actually really like you, and you deserve to be as happy as you clearly make each other. But don’t tell anyone I said that and never bring it up again or I’ll beat you up. Also Mutt is throwing a house party tomorrow, and I expect to see you both there. Closets are optional, but not preferred, Brewer. I mean, take your time, but… don’t hide yourself away for too long, yeah? I’m gonna start physically puking if I have to take the brunt of this new-relationship cheesiness much longer.” Stevie said with a sincerity that sounded very foreign coming from her mouth, but it still made David feel like he was about to cry.

 

A quick glance at Patrick confirmed he was feeling the same way, if the genuine shock and blinding smile where anything to go by.

 

“Thank you, Stevie. We love you, too.” Patrick teased, knowing full well that he was the only one in the conversation not allergic to sincerity and apparently living for the chance to draw it out. “Let me start with telling my parents, and then we’ll go from there. Speaking of my parents, actually, we better get going if we’re going to make lunch, David.” Patrick said, checking his watch. He was a stickler for being on time, and David thought it was adorable. He was probably the only 15-year-old in Canada with an actual watch that he actually used to tell the actual time. God, he was so fucking adorable.

 

“Alright, well I will be seeing you both at the party, that’s non-negotiable. I’m off to finish a nail-biting game of solitaire on my Aunt’s ancient computer. Good luck! Both of you!” She winked, and David kind of wanted her to take him with her to the land of solitaire and ancient computers where there were no doting, loving parents who had expectations and standards for the people dating their son. But then Patrick was smiling at him with that smile and pulling him towards the road that led to his house, and David knew that nothing in the whole world would be able to stop him from doing this terribly, awfully, scary thing, because Patrick wanted him to, and needed him to, and so goddammit, he was going to do it.

 


 

Patrick had kept his arm looped around David’s for the entire duration of the walk. They weren’t holding hands or anything, there was nothing specifically romantic about it, but it felt important. It felt like a big step for Patrick, for him, for them. Patrick had filled David in on his (very) loose plan as they weaved through the streets of Schitt’s Creek – they were going to have lunch with his parents, and Patrick was going to tell them he and David were dating. David had nodded along to the plan. David had also suggested that Patrick do all of this when he wasn’t there, that maybe he could come and meet them after, but Patrick was adamant that David be there. “It’s not the fact that I’m gay, specifically, that I want to tell them about, I don’t really see why that’s anyone’s business – people don’t have to come out as straight, you know, it’s stupid. I just want them to know about this. About you,” he had said, and he’d melted David’s heart in the process. It wasn’t until they were a street away from Patrick’s house that David realised his problem with the plan. He stopped dead in his tracks, and Patrick kind of flung backwards into him, due to their arms still being entwined.  

 

“What are you going to say when you introduce me to them?” David asked.

 

“Umm, I don’t know, David. I didn’t write a script. Maybe… Mom, Dad, this is David. He’s my, uh, we’re, um… Oh.” Patrick whispered, looking at the ground.

 

“Yeah. I’d, um, I’d be okay with you telling them I’m your boyfriend. If you…um, if you wanted that, um, if you wanted to, I mean. If it made it easier, or whatever.” David stumbled through, trying to say just enough, but not too much, and probably saying it all wrong.  He couldn’t make himself look at Patrick, so instead he was forced to wait in the deafening silence for Patrick to tell him how stupid of an idea that was.

 

“Yeah?” Patrick asked, finally, his voice small and quiet and just hopeful enough that David’s head snapped up to see the smile plastered on his face.

 

“Yeah,” David confirmed, unfurling his arm where it was bent around Patrick’s to reach for his hand, locking their fingers together with a squeeze.

 

“Would that…uh, be just for this? Just to…make this easier? Or…” Patrick tested, infuriatingly nervous for someone who had wormed his way directly into David’s heart and apparently didn’t know it.

 

UGH, fine! Patrick! Do you want to be my boyfriend? Because I really, really like you and I really, really want you to be my boyfriend and not just for this. Not to make things easier. But because I want that. If you…want that.” David flung their adjoined hands around dramatically as he forced himself to say the stupid, corny, sincere things he thought for sure Patrick already knew, because how couldn’t he. David felt like he was walking around with a giant I’M IN LOVE WITH PATRICK BREWER tattoo on his forehead.

 

Patrick was laughing, mostly not at David, but probably a little bit at David, and nodding so fast he looked like a bobblehead. “Yes, yes. David, yes. I really, really want to be your boyfriend. So much. Yes.” He laughed, reaching up to pull David into a hug. When they pulled apart, Patrick cupped David’s face in his hands for just a moment, gently stroking his cheek with his thumb. “Thank you, David,” he smiled.

 

David rolled his eyes. He’s pretty sure Patrick would thank him for accidentally running him over with a truck, if given the chance. “Alright, now. Are we ready to do this?” He asked instead.

 

“Let’s do it.” Patrick nodded, leading them hand-in-hand to the front door of the Brewer residence.

  


 

 

From the second they’d walked through the door, David had kind of lost his mind. He felt like a tourist in their living room. Patrick’s mother, Marcy, had met them with a smile, feigning annoyance at Patrick for being late for lunch, and beaming at the fact he’d brought a friend over. Patrick’s dad, Clint, had been helping chop vegetables for the salad in the kitchen while watching some sports game on his iPad, catching Patrick up on the score and the highlights he’d missed while he was out. Marcy had made lasagne, from scratch, and maybe he wasn’t a tourist maybe he had entered a movie. Maybe he was living in a movie, where a perfect family sit down together for lunch and bond over sports and make lasagne from scratch.

 

The plan had gone out the window as soon as lasagne was mentioned – David hoped Patrick would understand that he was a man of priorities and, whilst Patrick did out-rank lasagne, he hadn’t had homemade lasagne since Alexis scared off their Italian nanny 6 years ago. He was pretty sure Patrick would also out-rank homemade lasagne, but he just didn’t have all the data required to make that call right now, is all he was saying. So Patrick had set the table and talked about sports things, and David had asked Marcy questions about the lasagne, and no one had uttered the word “boyfriend” yet, but they were getting there.

 

It wasn’t until the lasagne was divided up on the plates in front of them and the salad bowl was being passed around that the plan came back into motion.

 

“So David, I know you and your family are new in town, how are you all settling in?” Marcy asked, right as David shovelled a whole lot of pasta into his mouth. David tried to both savour and quickly swallow the bite and the whole table giggled at the turn of events, Patrick’s eyes shining with amusement and something that could easily be mistaken for love.

 

“David passionately appreciates the culinary arts, mom, so you’ll have to give him a minute with your world class lasagne,” Patrick joked.

 

“I can’t argue with that! Your mother’s cooking is something of its own art form. We’ve been spoilt, Pat. When you’re off at college you’ll dream of this lasagne.” Clint laughed.

 

“Oh stop it you two. I’ll teach you to make it before you head off to college, honey. No son of mine is going to live off of ramen and soda.” Marcy retorted, shaking her head at their shenanigans.

 

“Gosh, imagine how many girls you could impress with cooking skills like that, son. Doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me,” Clint said, and David kind of choked on the mouthful of lasagne he had been frantically chewing. It was a combination of David really wanting Patrick to know how to make this lasagne and really not wanting him to use it to impress anyone else, as well as the unfortunate timing of Clint’s remark that had David spluttering like he was raised in a barn. Patrick reached his hand out under the table to land on David’s knee, holding onto him and taking a deep breath. Oh Jesus, here we go.

 

“Um, actually, speaking of, there’s something I wanted to tell you guys,” Patrick started, sending a nervous smile David’s way. “David, uh, isn’t just a friend. We’re… together. He’s my boyfriend. And I’m, really happy. He makes me happy. So, I hope you can accept that,” he said with an assuredness that made David’s heart burst with pride.

 

It felt like time stood still while Patrick’s parents processed what he’d said. They both looked at Patrick, then at David, then at the two of them, together. And then they were smiling, big and genuine, and David wanted to cry with relief.

 

“Oh, honey. Well that’s wonderful! I told your father I thought I saw a special spark between you two that day at your baseball game, didn’t I Clint?” Marcy beamed.

“She did, Pat. She did. Your mother always has a sixth sense about these things. I uh, I’m happy you told us, kiddo. We love you always, you know that? And I’m, uh, I’m real proud of you. We both are. And David, you seem like a great kid. It can’t be easy going through what you’ve gone through, so I’m glad you two have found each other.” Clint managed. It was clearly not the easiest thing in the world for him to say, but there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that he meant it.

 

David figured things were going well enough at this point that he could go in for a second bite. He watched Patrick watch him shovel the fork through the plate and into his mouth, smiling with his mouth full when Patrick shook his head with amusement.

 

“Yes, my sweet boy. We love you more than anything in the world. If you make each other happy, then that’s all we care about. And David, sweetheart, consider yourself welcome here anytime. I want to learn all about the boy who stole my Patrick’s heart, but I’ll let you eat first, dear. Oh! Do we get to hear about how you met? You know I love these stories.” Marcy gushed.

 

“Thank you. Mom, dad, I love you guys. I was kind of worried about telling you, but I just really wanted you to know,” he grinned, squeezing David’s knee.

 

David managed to swallow the second bite in time to actually have some input in the conversation for the first time since they sat down to eat. “And um, thank you, as well, for the very warm welcome. And the lasagne. It really is lovely to meet you both, it’s not hard to see why Patrick is so great,” David admitted, and apparently the whole Brewer clan have the ability to look like a human version of the heart-eyes emoji.

 

“Flattery like that will get you everywhere, David,” Marcy joked. “You get an extra big piece of pie for dessert just for that.”

 

“Um, PIE? You didn’t mention pie, Patrick!” David squawked. It was imperative that he know about all elements of the meal PRIOR to the meal commencing to make sure he left space for the most important things, and Patrick knewthat.

 

“Oh, sorry, David. I was slightly distracted by the whole coming-out thing; it must have slipped my mind. Do you think you’ll be okay? Will you be able to make room? I know this is a very serious concern, but I have seen you eat an entire confectionary stand and then go back for extra popcorn, so just know I believe in you.” Patrick teased, and the fond look David caught Patrick’s parents sharing almost made up for Patrick’s pie-sized betrayal.

 

“You’re lucky I like you, Brewer,” David glared. Patrick’s parents weren’t even trying to hide their amusement now, laughing at the two of them with such love that David wanted to hide in the rest of the lasagne.

 

“I am,” Patrick agreed softly, catching David’s eyes with his own and holding him hostage there.

 

David knew it was embarrassing to be making love-eyes at your boyfriend in front of his parents, but he physically couldn’t tear his eyes away if he tried.

 

“Gosh, do you remember when we used to look at each other like that, sweetheart? How old were we when we met, what…18? 19? Young love, there’s nothing like it,” Clint smiled, pulling David out of Patrick’s trance to bashfully finish up his pasta.

 

“That reminds me, I need to hear all about how you stole my boy’s heart, David! I’ll trade you extra pie for all the sappy parts Patrick will try to make you skip,” Marcy teased, and Patrick turned red before David even opened his mouth.

 

It was somewhere in the middle of recounting the week it took for him to fall in love with Patrick that David realised he’d definitely fallen in love with Patrick. It should have shocked him, or scared him, or made him want to hide in the apple pie that had magically appeared, but it didn’t. It made him want to stay there forever, to graduate from tourist to local inside this foreign home where the Brewers existed and all loved each other, and apparently, David, completely.

 

David would give up everything he lost a million times over it meant he ended up right here, right now, with Patrick’s hand on his knee and Marcy’s pie on his plate and Clint’s laugh ringing in his ears.

 

Nothing had ever felt more like home than this, so David made sure to include every last sappy detail of their story so far, delighting in the oohs and ahhs from across the table and the embarrassed groans from right beside him.

 

Yeah, he could do this forever.