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The ride back to the apartment was silent.

David was resting his head against the cool window, watching the light posts go by as Patrick made a left turn at a four way. His hand, the now married hand, was snug and holding onto his husband’s right hand. 

It was tough for David to leave both Stevie and Alexis at the motel. Alexis opted to stay in their now parents’ vacant room. One bed but somehow the room still smelled like some expensive perfume his mother would spray and linger in her wigs. And Stevie stayed in what was then David's bed because soon, he'd be leaving the motel behind as well.

After a few hours of hanging out in semi-awkward silence due to Alexis’ own departure soon, it was decided that they would all meet up in the morning for breakfast at the cafe and then to the airport. David was now thankful to have support in Patrick and Stevie, he wasn’t sure he was going to make it when their parents left if it wasn’t for them.

The car parked in its usual spot and Patrick turned off the radio which was playing some kind of soft rock that both parties weren’t paying a whole lot of attention to. He then turned the engine off, ejecting the key with his left hand since his right was still occupied and he didn’t dare to undo them.

“David,” Patrick said softly. “Let’s get you to bed.”

The other man finally glanced over at his husband and softly nodded his head. David reluctantly let go of Patrick’s hand to undo the seat belt and exit the vehicle, still in his wedding attire sans the jacket that, well, Patrick was now holding in his arms, along with his own suit jacket. Once Patrick could find the apartment key, he let David use him to hold onto, lean on, especially as he put the key into the lock, David leaning down on Patrick. 

The apartment was dark but welcoming because nothing was changing just yet. The closest light source was turned on and Patrick sat their jackets on the back of the chairs in the small kitchen area. Once that was out of his hand, he reached behind him to grab onto David’s who followed him close. Basically, he was his shadow. 

They shouldn’t have been hungry. They ate so much at the reception but Patrick knew he wouldn’t get David to eat much at the moment anyway so he skipped the question of asking if he wanted anything. Instead, he opted for plan b. “Let’s take a shower and then get into bed. It’s been a long day.”

Long was underrated to the emotional roller coaster of the day. The rain, finding a new venue, the incident with the masseuse, Mr. and Mrs. Rose leaving, Patrick felt emotionally exhausted but he couldn’t break. Not yet. Not while David was awake and needing him. 

The shower was quiet. No funny business though Patrick got David to chuckle softly as he washed and lathered his hair, enjoying the scratching effect. Their kisses were languid but passionate, standing under the spray, covered in body wash that was “sampled” from the store, smelled of warm vanilla with a little musk mixed in. David wrapped his arms around Patrick, pressing himself up to him but it wasn’t sexual. It didn’t feel it either. David just wanted to continually be jolted back into reality that David was not alone, that Patrick was here, he was present.

After the shower came the process of drying, brushing their teeth with natural charcoal toothpaste, David’s idea, the bathroom was still warm from their shower. Patrick was about to let David be alone for his “critical skin care time” like always but David had stopped him from leaving, even for a short ten minutes. Yes, it normally took that long. If David was in a really good mood, an extra ten.

“Stay,” David reached out, tugging on Patrick’s hand. The hand with the wedding ring. “Please? You can help me.” David’s own hands were a little shaky and Patrick leaned over to kiss the side of his forehead, grabbing his hands in the process to squeeze them to say “I’m here”.

Cleanser, toner, serums, Patrick particularly loved that part, and moisturizer. No extra clay masks, sheet masks, a jade roller. Patrick did his best of applying said essentials. The vitamin C serum smelled the best out of everything. Citrus and a light orange-clear color, jelly consistency. “There, you’re all good.” Patrick whispered to David who looked like he was on the verge of crying. He took a hold of his misty eyed husband and led him from the bathroom to the bed, letting him get in first. Patrick crawled in after, both were in freshly cleaned pajamas and the bed itself was cool and comforting. 

David immediately turned into Patrick, resting his head into his shoulder, Patrick wrapped his arms around him as the man started to softly sob. His fingers caressed and played with his hair, comforting him, just letting him get it all out, as much as he could or wanted to. 

Patrick wouldn’t change anything in the world to be right here, in this bed, holding onto the love of his life. They had been through a lot in the past two to three years of knowing each other and this was something they’ll get through together. Even as David stopped crying, gripping Patrick’s sleep shirt in his hand, body almost on his. He was wide awake as David slept through the hours. He knew the next day, he’d be David’s rock again. And again, and again. No matter what.

He was going to be there for him.