David tried not to listen in. He tried so hard, but the store was empty. He was nosy by nature, and then even more so when it came to Patrick. So of course he lowered the volume of the music playing through the store as a just in case.
Something had changed when they went out for dinner for David’s birthday. He had convinced himself halfway through that it was a date, but the night ended and no one had made a move. The whole evening had made the crush he had on Patrick even more intense and David, even now, months later, was still getting used to being around Patrick when he wanted him this badly.
He knew Patrick was talking to his mom, since David saw her contact photo pop up on Patrick’s phone when it lit up on the counter. It kind of sounded like he was agreeing to go on a trip, and David was prepared to ask many questions because if he was going to continue to not be able to afford vacations, he was going to live vicariously through his business partner’s vacations.
“Okay, I’ll come, but I’ve got to go. David’s manning the store by himself.”
David moved away from the counter quickly and began to fidget with the new mud masks they got in.
Patrick’s voice got louder and then he said goodbye and walked through the curtains separating the back from the shop floor.
“How’s your mom?” David asked, his voice was just a touch more breathy than his dignity would prefer.
“What?” Patrick looked up with wide eyes. “Oh. She’s good. She called to ask if I wanted to join her and my dad at the cabin for my birthday.”
“There’s a cabin?” David missed the days of owning properties.
“Yeah,” Patrick seemed distracted. David felt compelled to prod further.
“And you’re going, right? I would be very disappointed in you if you didn’t go,” David teased.
“Yeah, I’m gonna go,” Patrick tapped his fingers against the counter. “I just, I haven’t seen them since I moved. So it’s going to be a bit awkward.”
“Oh?” David asked.
“Yeah,” Patrick took a deep breath. “I told myself that I’d come out to them the next time I saw them in person.”
“Oh,” David whispered. His heart stopped. He didn’t know. “That’s—I didn’t—”
“I’m gay,” Patrick blurted out. His cheeks were bright red. “I uh, figured it out not too long ago. That’s the first time I’ve said it outloud.”
“Oh,” David whispered again. Mostly for a lack of a better word. The man who he had been crushing on for months just came out to him.
“I was two months out of an engagement to a woman when I moved here hoping for a fresh start. Or time, really to figure it all out,” Patrick continued, although he wouldn’t look at David. “And one day it just clicked.”
“Well, congratulations,” David murmured. He hadn’t moved, wasn’t sure what he could do right now that wouldn’t give everything he was feeling away.
Patrick still looked uneasy.
“You know that you don’t have to tell them, right? Not yet.”
“No, I know. But I should tell them. I need to tell them. I want to tell them,” Patrick smiled softly. It was gentle and so beautiful, it pulled David towards him.
“That’s good,” David moved to the counter. “You’re going to feel really good.”
“I hope so,” Patrick leaned against the counter. His face creased in worry, again. David just wanted to squeeze his shoulders, pull him in close and let him know that David would be there, ready to make it okay. “What if they don’t react how I think they’re going to?”
“Then you’ll come back, and there are a lot of people here who will be there for you. Stevie can get the good weed and I’ll supply the pizza. And you’ll get through it day by day,” David said.
“Come with me,” Patrick’s eyes were wide, and so focused on David.
“What?” David breathed.
“Come with me to the cabin.”
So David hadn’t misheard him.
“It’ll be nice to have you there, cheering me on,” Patrick took a step closer to him. “I would really like it if you were there.”
“What about the store?” David asked. There were a lot of reasons why David going was probably a bad idea.
“I’ll figure something out,” Patrick shrugged, but his voice was soft as he pleaded. “Please, David?”
David was powerless against Patrick and those eyes. Besides the crush that made David want to do everything for Patrick, they were friends. And David took care of his friends, even when he didn’t want to admit it.
“Okay?” Patrick broke into a smile.
“Yeah,” David nodded. “I’m not sure why you think you’ll feel better with me there…”
He trailed off.
“David,” Patrick shook his head softly.
“But I would love a vacation, even if it’s in the woods,” David shuddered. “Just, I will be needing an exact location of the cabin so I can properly do research about the wildlife so I can take precautions.”
“Okay, David,” Patrick said with a grin.
“So you’re going on a trip with the man you’re secretly in love with?” Stevie asked as she tucked the corner of the sheet beneath the mattress.
“No! No,” David held up a finger. “I’m going on a trip with a friend to be there for him as he hits a milestone in his little, gay life.”
“That you happen to be in love with,” Stevie said.
“That is besides the point,” David handed her the clean top sheet. “We are also business partners. And friends. And also! No one said the word love.”
“You’re going to meet his parents.”
David hadn’t thought that far. He had been more focused on the Patrick part of it all.
“What did I agree to do!” David gasped.
“You agreed to be a good friend,” Stevie snapped the sheet in the air so it spread and floated down onto the bed.
“What if I spend the entire time fucking up and his parents hate me by the end?”
“What if they’re good people and you spend the entire time thinking about what life would be like if they were your in-laws?”
“This is a mistake, isn’t it?” David asked.
“This was a great talk. I’m really glad we did this.”
David was proud of how light he was able to pack for this trip. He had compressed four days into a suitcase and a separate bag for his skincare. There was little room for packing error and he had packed intentionally and had already given himself a pep talk to make do with what he had chosen.
He yawned as he sat on the end of his bed to pull on his outside shoes. He had been up late last night, journaling about all the different potential outcomes from the extended weekend. There was a chance he was going to find the Brewers weird and all feelings for Patrick would evaporate as soon as he witnessed them in a group. More than likely he was going to come home completely emotionally ruined.
It was early and he wanted so desperately to go back to sleep. Alexis was snoring and he was jealous, but Patrick had wanted to get to the cabin as soon as they could. He asked, and of course, David said yes before he could think about the repercussions of waking up at 4 am.
He would always say yes to Patrick. Especially because he knew Patrick wouldn’t ask unless it was important to him.
The soft sound of gravel crunching under tires caught his attention. The room lit up from headlights sweeping over the window and thin curtains, and David got up and grabbed his bags as a door opened and closed, the soft slam echoed through the quiet motel.
When he opened the door to his room, Patrick was on the other side. His face was still puffy from sleep. He looked beautiful and David felt his heart squeeze at the image.
“Good morning,” he whispered.
“Oh my god, let’s go before you wake anyone up,” David pushed past him gently, handing off his suitcase when Patrick extended a hand. “We do not need the vultures that are my family swarming us at 5 am.”
Patrick laughed as he opened the trunk of his car.
“Did you bring the coffee I requested?” David nestled his skincare bag next to his suitcase.
“Of course,” Patrick’s voice was soft. “I wouldn’t ask you to be awake before 5 am and then forget your coffee.”
“Oh, thank god,” David turned from him and climbed into the passenger seat. He waited until Patrick settled into the driver’s seat. “I will insist that we also stop by the first Starbucks we pass to get more coffee.”
“Okay, David,” Patrick laughed. “You know, you could just take a nap? Instead of drinking all that coffee.”
“I’m already up,” David waved a hand. There was no way his anxiety would let him sleep now that he was officially on the way to the cabin. “But let’s go because your car makes a weird noise and I’m serious about us not waking anyone up.”
Patrick pulled out of the motel parking lot slowly. “Is this quiet enough?”
“Yes, thank you,” David pulled at the aux chord until the end was free and he could plug his phone in. “I made a playlist, but I also made a list of podcasts that I think you would enjoy. So it’s your choice.”
An episode of Dolly Parton’s America later, they switched to music while they waited in the Starbucks drive thru.
“So tell me about your mom,” David asked when they pulled away from the pick up window.
“You know about my mom.”
“I know that she struggles with her psoriasis and that she likes the ultra hydrating cream we carry because it helps with the itch,” David explained. “That’s not her her.”
“What’s the first thing she’s going to do when we get there?” David asked. “Want to mentally prepare myself.”
“There’s going to be hugs. And food,” Patrick smiled. “She’s going to ask if we’re hungry. There’s probably going to be multiple dips. Chips and dip are her weakness, and she’s on vacation. So she’ll give in.”
“Will there be spinach dip?”
“Most likely. And probably salmon dip.”
“Oh,” David gasped. Suddenly his macchiato wasn’t enough.
“She’s very sweet. Maybe a little overbearing? But she means well,” Patrick continued. His hands were tight on the steering wheel. “She’s very excited about this weekend. Hope me coming out doesn’t ruin it for her.”
“It won’t,” David reached over and squeezed Patrick’s arm. “I know this is extremely out of character for me, but I think you should think positively about it all.”
Patrick took a long sip of his tea.
“Eyes on the road, please!”
Patrick took a shorter sip of tea.
“So what did she say when you told her I was joining you?” David asked.
“Oh,” Patrick gasped. “Oh no.”
“Patrick!” David exclaimed. “Did you not tell her?!”
“I forgot!” Patrick was bright red. “I totally forgot.”
“You didn’t tell her I was coming!” David looked out the window at where an orchard was passing them by very quickly. “I need to throw myself out of the car as soon as possible. ”
“David, please stay in the car,” Patrick chuckled. “I guess I’m just so used to you being there, that I forgot that she wouldn’t assume you were going to be there.”
“Okay, that’s very nice, but we are in the car, driving very quickly towards a cabin where your parents are waiting, and they don’t know I’m in the car with you.”
“Not that quickly. There’s still six hours left,” Patrick teased. “It’s going to be okay. They won’t care. My mom will be excited.”
“We’ll see,” David murmured.
“I’m pretty sure the gay thing will overshadow you being there.”
“I can only hope,” David took a sip of his coffee. “Now, tell me about your dad.”
“So, do you know how you are going to come out?” David asked three hours into the drive. He reached into the back seat and pulled out a bag of ketchup chips from their designated snack tote.
Patrick took a deep breath. “I figured I would tell them during dinner…”
“Okay,” David raised an eyebrow as he opened the chip bag.
“Yeah. I thought about doing it after dinner and before dessert, but I don’t want to spend all dinner being anxious about it,” Patrick explained. “I thought about doing it as soon as we got there, but that seemed too rushed?”
David nodded as he popped a chip into his mouth. Patrick held his hand out and David placed a chip on his palm.
“I’m going to keep it simple. Tell them I’m gay, answer whatever questions they have, and hope that everything turns out okay,” David watched as Patrick’s brows furrowed and gripped the steering wheel tighter. “David, I know my parents are good people, but I can’t shake the fear that this is going to change everything—” his voice hitched.
“It’s going to be okay,” David wiped his hand on a napkin and then reached out to put his hand on Patrick’s arm. “And if, for some reason, it isn’t, we’ll get through it together. I can start googling hotels nearby so that we can make a quick escape and regroup.”
Patrick nodded slowly then looked over at David’s hand still on his arm. David withdrew it quickly. He looked up back to the road.
“You’re a good person, David Rose.”
David hummed as he turned his head to look out the window.
“Well, don’t get used to it.”
“Can I have another chip?”
“I guess they’re not here yet,” Patrick said as he turned onto a gravel driveway.
The cabin was small, cute. Quaint. Like one of those cabins in the scary movies Stevie constantly made David watch. Except a lot less terrifying.
“So they’re going to walk into a stranger in their house,” David said as the car came to a stop.
“If it makes you feel any better, our family doesn’t believe in guns.” Patrick put the car in park.
“That’s not what I was worried about,” David murmured.
“David, you’re not a stranger. They know you. They’ve seen your picture.” Patrick took a deep breath. “I talk about you all the time.”
“What?” David’s heart stopped. “What do you mean?”
“Well, we run a business together. And you’re my best friend. You come up a lot,” Patrick shrugged as a blush spread across the tops of his cheeks. “They ask what I’m up to and what I do on our days off. Stuff like that. We hang out a lot more than you think we do. I’ve shared photos from our outings.”
“Huh,” David wondered if his own stories were peppered with Patrick as much as he was in his.
“Would I approve of the photos?”
“Yeah,” Patrick tilted his head. “And honestly? My mom’s probably going to be upset at me for not telling her because I didn’t give her enough time to change the sheets in the guest bedroom. Then she’s going to fawn over you and I’ll probably end up jealous.”
David just nodded.
“Come on, let’s take everything inside,” Patrick opened his door. “I’ll give you a tour.”
“There’s a lot of wood paneling,” David said as he stepped into the living area.
“It’s a cabin,” Patrick teased.
“Okay, but that doesn’t specifically mean that there needs to be this much wood.”
Patrick hummed as he nodded his head towards the back of the cabin. “The third bedroom is back here. Sorry, it’s a little awkward. My parents added on once my grandparents were no longer able to come here on their own and we didn’t have enough beds for us all to be here at once.”
“It’s fine,” David paused at the family photo hanging in the hallway before he continued to follow Patrick. “I haven’t been outside the greater Elms since we were forced to move. You could put me in a closet and I’d still enjoy being on vacation.”
David ran into Patrick’s back when he came to a sudden stop.
“Oh,” David whispered as he looked over Patrick’s shoulder.
The room was nice. Bookshelves lined the walls and were filled with books, board games, and DVDs. A pair of nice, leather recliners stole David’s focus. He hated the look of them, but desperately wanted to sit and bask in the sunshine that streamed in through the large windows that faced the backyard.
“So there’s no bed,” David commented.
“You can have mine,” Patrick took another step into the room and looked around fully. “I didn’t realize they redecorated.”
“Probably should’ve mentioned to your parents that I was coming,” David teased and stepped back as Patrick turned around.
“Let’s go put our stuff down,” Patrick placed a warm hand on David’s back and David moved with the pressure as Patrick led him back to the bedroom they had passed earlier.
“So where will you sleep?” David asked.
“Probably the living room,” Patrick shrugged as they put their bags down.
“Okay, I can’t—”
“Patrick?” a woman called out.
David felt his heart drop down into his stomach.
“Hey, mom!” Patrick called out as he raised his eyebrows at David. “C’mon, let’s go.”
“Patrick!” Mrs. Brewer threw her arms around Patrick, and David noticed just how hard she was squeezing. “It’s good to see you, my sweet boy.”
When they pulled away, Mrs. Brewer kept her hands on Patrick’s arms.
“How was the—” she cut herself off when she noticed David standing behind Patrick. “David?”
“Hi Mrs. Brewer,” David said softly as he fiddled with a ring on his left pointer finger.
“David, dear! It’s so nice to meet you,” She let go of Patrick, stepped around him, and David gasped as she pulled him into a hug.
“Sorry for showing up unannounced, Mrs. Brewer,” David murmured. “Your son forgot to mention that he invited me.”
“Oh, it’s perfectly fine. And please, call me Marcy,” Marcy squeezed him before she let go of him. “I’m sorry we were out when you got in. We were tired from the drive and took a nap before going and getting groceries. Napped for much longer than we anticipated.”
There was a rustle and then Mr. Brewer walked into the cabin, arms laden with tote bags.
“Hey dad,” Patrick stepped forward and grabbed some of the bags from him.
“Patrick,” Mr. Brewer smiled as he pulled Patrick into a one-armed hug. “Glad you could come up.”
“Patrick brought David along too,” Marcy squeezed David’s arm.
“David, glad to meet you. I’ve heard a lot about you,” Mr. Brewer held out a hand.
“That’s frightening. I will need an itemized list of what has been said,” David shook his hand.
Mr. Brewer laughed. David made a mental note to tease Patrick later about how attractive his dad was.
“Don’t worry, it was all good things,” Mr. Brewer held up the bags. “Gotta put these down. David can you close the front door?”
“Of course, Mr. Brewer,” David pushed the front door closed and locked it as the Brewers began to move into the kitchen.
“It’s Clint!” he called behind him to David.
David followed the Brewers into the kitchen.
“Do you have any food allergies?” Marcy asked as she began to unpack the tote bags. “I don’t mind making another trip to the store if there’s anything you need.”
“I don’t,” David replied as he eyed the makings of spinach dip Marcy pulled out.
“He’s allergic to pitted fruits,” Patrick supplied.
“Barely,” David waved a hand at Patrick.
“You broke out into full body hives,” Patrick deadpanned.
“Yeah, but I could still breathe,” David sat down at the dining table next to Patrick.
“That doesn’t mean you’re not allergic—”
“Are either of you hungry?” Marcy asked.
David looked to Patrick. The answer was always yes, but he wasn’t sure what social protocol to follow with the Brewers. Patrick winked, awfully, in response.
“Yes,” Patrick answered for them.
“Early dinner hungry? Or snack and then dinner later hungry?” She asked as she moved food to the fridge.
David looked to Patrick again, who looked back with wide and afraid eyes.
“Snack and then dinner later hungry,” David answered for him. Patrick smiled at him and visibly relaxed.
Marcy hummed as she turned back to the fridge.
“Now, David,” Clint settled into the seat across from David. He began to fold the tote bags. “The most important question I have for you, is, do you like board games?”
David laughed as Patrick threw his head back and groaned.
“He’s just as bad as mom,” Patrick said.
“I love a good games night,” David responded. He would prefer six people, but he could deal with a 4-player games night.
“Good,” Clint stacked the tote bags and placed them on the counter nearest the table. “Come with me and let’s pick out some games for the night.”
David followed him back into the room Patrick had taken him to earlier.
“Are you a trivia or strategy person?” he asked as he led David over to the board games shelves.
“It depends, I thrive as the pop culture savant for team trivia, but fail when it comes to solo play?”
“Okay,” Clint slapped one of the shelves. “Card games?”
“I also enjoy those.”
“Marcy once made Patrick cry during SkipBo.”
David couldn’t help but laugh.
“They both get very competitive,” Clint mused as he pulled SkipBo from the shelf. His hand hovered over a box that had a bear and trees on it. “We brought this game the last time we were up here with Marcy’s sister. Didn’t get a chance to play it.”
David held out his hand for the box when Clint grabbed it. He turned it over in his hands to read the back of the box.
“And we should bring Catan in there too. It’s Patrick’s favorite,” Clint smiled at him. “Well, when he has great resources.”
“I didn’t know the Brewers were such a big board games family,” David said.
“The Brewers are very competitive people by nature,” Clint led them back to the dining room. “Marcy and I have many stories about Patrick being a sore loser.”
“Dad, please don’t!”
“Remember the time they lost the championships by one run and Patrick—”
“So what games did you two choose?” Patrick cut her off. She just laughed and set down a plate of cheese and crackers on the table. “SkipBo? Are you serious?”
“It’s a good game night warm up,” Clint winked at David.
“I’ll shuffle!” Marcy held out her hand for the box.
“Drinks?” Clint put the boxes down on the counter.
“David, are you a wine drinker?” Marcy looked at David expectantly.
“Red or white?” She poured the cards from the box into her palm.
“Either works for me,” David took the instructions from the box Marcy abandoned.
“Honey, can you open one of the whites?” Marcy answered Clint’s original question.
“A beer, please.”
An hour later, they were multiple rounds into SkipBo and David had never seen this side of Patrick. He huffed as Marcy won another round.
“I don’t know how, but she cheats,” Patrick sulked.
“I don’t cheat,” Marcy winked at David. “Another refill?”
“The bottle is empty,” Clint said as he put the cards back into the box.
“We’re on vacation,” Marcy shrugged.
“Parks next?” Patrick asked as he shook the bottle gently, the contents rattled inside.
“After dinner? I’m going to light the grill,” Clint said as he stood up. “Hamburgers good for tonight?”
“Absolutely,” David answered before he could think about it.
“We could play another couple of rounds?” Marcy suggested.
“No, thank you,” Patrick grumbled. “David, wanna go sit on the porch?”
“Outside?” He looked to Marcy who was smiling at him.
“I can light a citronella candle.”
“Okay, that’s acceptable,” David grimaced. It wasn’t going to be enough, but he was still trying to make a good impression on the Brewers. He needed to change into an outside sweater, since he was pretty sure the barbecue was close to the seats they were going to be sitting in.
“How’re you feeling?” David asked once they were settled outside. Clint had stepped back inside the cabin to grab the food, so David took advantage of the privacy to ask.
“Nervous,” Patrick let out a shuddery breath.
David turned to look at Patrick. The sun was still bright and Patrick glowed in it’s rays.
“Patrick,” David shook his head. “Your parents love you. I can tell, just from the few hours we’ve been here, that they’ll do anything for you. Including not showing any mercy during card games. They’re going to have absolutely no problem with it. It’ll probably be very emotional. But in a positive way.”
Patrick nodded slowly. “You know, you’re really good at calming people down. You’re a good friend, David.”
“That’s literally never been said about me.”
They were quiet as they looked at each other. Patrick looked like he was going to say something else.
There was a banging on the glass door and Patrick jumped up to open it for his dad, his arms beyond full of barbecue stuff.
Dinner came and Patrick didn’t come out.
David spent the entire meal on the edge of his seat as he stole glances at Patrick who was quiet, save for the short answers he gave to questions from his parents.
The hamburgers were delicious and Marcy had bought the good curly fries from the grocery store, not the cheap ones Stevie usually kept in her freezer. Marcy had also opened another bottle of wine and by the time his food was done, David was warm and content and like putty in his seat.
Patrick turned to him as soon as his parents stepped out of the room.
“I couldn’t do it,” his eyes were a bit wild and David could see the way his chest was heaving with uneven breath.
“It’s okay,” David whispered. “It’s only Thursday. You have literally the entire weekend.”
“Yeah,” Patrick didn’t look convinced.
“Patrick, this is very personal and something that you should only do on your time,” David reached out and grabbed Patrick’s hand, who latched on tightly. “You’ll know when’s the right time to do it.”
Patrick nodded, his bottom lip was clenched between his teeth.
“Who is ready for Parks?” Marcy exclaimed as she came back into the dining room. David let go of Patrick’s hand. “Clint’s making sure the barbecue is out and then he’ll be in.”
“I’m ready for redemption,” Patrick narrowed his eyes at her.
David had just pulled his sleep sweater over his head when there was a soft knock on the door.
“Come in,” he called out.
The door opened and Marcy stuck her head into the room.
“I just need to grab the air mattress out of the closet,” Marcy tilted her head towards the closet.
“Go ahead,” David opened the door farther for her.
“You’ll take this room,” Marcy said as she opened the door to the closet. “I’m going to set up the air mattress for Patrick in the reading room.”
“Sorry to put you out like this,” David murmured.
“Oh, nonsense! I’m glad you’re here. I just wished Patrick had told us so I could’ve had this all ready for you two before you got here,” Marcy pulled a big plastic bag from underneath a pile of blankets. “We redid the room after Clint’s parents died. We didn’t need the extra bed there all the time, so it takes a bit longer to get the room ready for guests.”
“Do you need any help?” David asked.
“No. Thank you though,” Marcy winked at him. “I’m just going to get it going. Patrick’s going to do all the other bits.”
David laughed lightly at the image of Patrick cooking dinner, as Marcy left the room. He pulled his book from his suitcase and settled in for a chapter before sleep.
He was three pages in when he heard a muffled ‘oh no.’ It sounded like Marcy, then he heard Patrick talking. He got up and walked deep into the hallway until he could hear them more clearly.
“We brought up this air mattress the last time we were here. Do they all just come with holes?”
“It’s okay. I’ll sleep on the love seat,” there was the rustle of the thick plastic being folded.
“It’s way too short for you. Try out the recliner before you settle for the couch.”
“I need to be flat on my back. I’m still working through that back injury from baseball last season.”
David took a deep breath and walked into the room Marcy and Patrick were in. “Take the bed. I’ll sleep on the couch.”
“No, you’re the guest,” Patrick shook his head.
“Then,” David steeled his nerves. “We’ll share the bed. No one should be sleeping on the couch.”
“Are you sure?” Patrick asked. The tops of his cheeks were pink and David wasn’t sure what to think about it.
“Well, I trust you boys can figure everything out yourselves. I’m going to go to bed,” Marcy pulled Patrick down for a kiss on the cheek, then surprised David by doing the same.
They stood in silence together.
“So, I’m exhausted, and think I’m going to go to bed soon,” David turned to Patrick. “I already did my nighttime routine. So.”
“I’ll be right behind you,” Patrick nodded.
David left Patrick alone in the room as he went back to the one they’d be sleeping in.
He thought about texting Stevie, but he did not need her to point out how bad of an idea this was. He’d mention it later. Maybe after he was back in Schitt’s Creek and he could give her a full list of the reasons why he was an idiot.
He stood at the foot of the bed and stared at the pillows as he contemplated what side to get in on. The door was to his left, which was the easy way for an intruder to get in, but Patrick’s family was also on the other side. Which left the windows to the right of the bed to be especially vulnerable.
“You okay?” Patrick asked as he walked into the room with his bag.
“Yeah,” David rounded the bed and got into the side the farthest from the door, next to the windows.
“I’ll just be a few minutes,” Patrick pulled items from his bag and David closed his eyes as he walked back out the door.
You can do this. It’s going to be okay. He repeated in his mind until he almost believed it. But then Patrick got into bed and David was hit with the remnants of his cologne. His eyes snapped open and the bed moved as Patrick shifted under the coverings as he got comfortable.
David turned towards him.
“Thank you, again, for doing this.”
He just hummed in response, too caught up in Patrick’s warm, brown eyes to say anything that needed actual thought. He could feel the heat that radiated from Patrick’s body. The whole moment was overwhelming. He didn’t dare look away.
He could’ve sworn that Patrick’s eyes dipped down to his lips.
David was hot. Without opening his eyes, he pushed at the blanket covering him in hopes of escaping the heat, but he hit something solid instead.
“What?” David grumbled as he lifted his head. “Oh.”
He registered the weight of Patrick’s arm on him and the presence of Patrick against him. The second thing he noticed was how good it felt to have Patrick so close. The third thing he noticed was that Patrick’s lower half was flush against him and he was definitely … not soft.
David lowered his head back slowly onto the bed and tried to be as still as possible. They left the blinds open so he could see that it was still dark outside. He closed his eyes and willed himself back to sleep.
But all he could think about was Patrick’s dick and his warmth and how now that he knew Patrick was gay, he was pretty sure that they’d been flirting for the last few months. Patrick teased David all the time, and he was pretty sure that would translate well into the bedroom, and he desperately wanted to find out.
Patrick let out a noise next to him, a mix of a whimper and a groan that tattooed itself on David’s brain.
He just had to wait out the rest of the night and not wake up Patrick. He didn’t want to deal with whatever awkwardness that might bring.
When he woke up a second time, the room was bright and the bed was Patrick-free. Which was both a blessing and a curse. He could hear the low murmur of people talking a few rooms over, so he pushed himself up until he was sitting. His phone said it was only 8 am. He wanted to go back to sleep until 10, at least, but he also felt insecure about being the last one up.
There was a snarky text from Stevie asking how things were going, but he ignored it. He’d text her later.
He was in the doorway to the bathroom when he smelled the bacon. He could shower after breakfast.
“Morning, David,” Marcy greeted him when he walked into the kitchen.
Patrick and Clint nodded sleepily at him. He’d never seen Patrick so soon after waking up, and it surprised him that Patrick was so incoherent in the morning.
“Patrick said you’re more of a coffee person,” Marcy flipped a pancake. “There’s pods in the drawer beneath the Keurig and milk and creamer in the fridge.”
He made himself a cup of coffee and sighed at the first sip.
“That good?” Clint asked.
David hummed in response.
“Sit!” Marcy swatted at him. He moved immediately out of Marcy’s reach.
“Good morning, David,” Patrick grumbled when David sat down.
“I thought you were a morning person?” David asked after another sip of coffee.
“Sometimes,” Patrick shrugged. “I’ll set the table.”
Breakfast was delicious and the conversation slowly grew more coherent as everyone woke up.
“The plungers have absolutely no place in our store,” David stacked his utensils on top of his empty plate. “And you knew that, you were just being all Patrick about it.”
“What does that mean?” Patrick laughed.
David turned to Patrick’s parents for back up.
“You know what it means,” Marcy grinned as Clint laughed. Patrick rolled his eyes but smiled at David.
“That was a very fun day,” Patrick smiled.
“If you weren’t so good at the business side of things, I would’ve actively worked to scare you away sooner.”
“But now you’re stuck with me.”
David looked up from his coffee. He couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face when he locked eyes with Patrick. He tried to rein it in, but Patrick looked so overjoyed, it was contagious.
“Apparently,” David teased.
He felt himself sober up when he looked over to Clint and Marcy and noticed the way Marcy was looking at him. She was focused, but when she noticed that David was looking at her, she smiled at him.
“Mom, Dad,” Patrick murmured. David’s heart leapt up into his throat. Patrick looked at David and David hoped that his face was doing something positive and not something deeply unsettling. “I uh, actually wanted to talk to you about something.”
“What is it honey?” Marcy was quick to reach out to her son and clasp her hands over his.
Her eyes flickered over to David, and it hit David. She knew. And he was pretty positive she thought that they were here as a couple.
“Let him speak, Marcy,” Clint’s voice was warm, gentle as he placed a hand on his wife’s back.
“I uh, I’m gay,” Patrick whispered. It was quiet save for a sniffle and David saw the shine to Patrick’s eyes. “And I’ve never felt better.”
“Oh honey,” Marcy sighed.
There was a flurry of movement as Marcy got up and rounded the table. She pulled him into a hug and murmured something about Patrick being her sweet boy.
“Dad?” Patrick asked over his mother’s shoulder.
“All we want is for you to be happy,” Clint grinned at him.
“I am—very happy.”
Marcy let go of Patrick and turned to David.
“Are the two of you…?” She asked. Her eyes sparkled, and both David and Patrick were blushing.
“No!” David shook his head.
“We’re just friends,” Patrick said.
Marcy hummed, and pulled her son back into a hug.
“I’m sure you both have questions?” Patrick sank back into his seat.
Marcy and Clint looked at each other.
“I’m sure we can think of a few.”
“Thank you for helping me,” Marcy pulled out the ingredients to make the spinach dip and the ranch dip. “I want to get these in the fridge before we go into town. There’s this craft store that has the prettiest yarn. I have some projects I want to get done this winter.”
“Do you knit?” David asked as he watched her cut a large square of cheesecloth.
“Barely. I crochet. I think it’s easier,” She eyed him carefully. “Would you prefer a toque or scarf?”
“Oh, you don’t—”
“I want to,” Marcy handed him the cheesecloth. “If you don’t choose one, you’ll get both.”
“Toque,” David said resolutely.
“Perfect,” Marcy opened the package of defrosted frozen spinach. “Now, squeeze the liquid out of the spinach.”
“I—” David cut himself off. He could figure that one out. Maybe.
Marcy laid out the cheesecloth on David’s hands then dumped the spinach on top. “Now squeeze over the sink.”
He gathered the cheesecloth and squeezed. He cringed as the green liquid ran over his hands.
“So, how long have you been in love with my son?” Marcy asked. David squeezed tightly on instinct.
“Uh,” David croaked. He had two options—admit it or lie. Marcy smiled softly at him as she reached for a towel.
“It’s okay,” Marcy wiped her hands on the tea towel. “You don’t have to tell me anything if you don’t want to.”
“Is it that obvious?” David asked. He kept his eyes on the spinach as he squeezed.
“It’s a little obvious. Unless you look at all your friends like that,” Marcy raised her eyebrows at him with a smile. “If it means anything, I think he has feelings for you too.”
“Uh,” David didn’t know any other way to respond to that.
“Just call it mother’s intuition,” She patted him on the arm. “I saw the way he looked at you this morning. It’s the same way he’s looked at you since you got here. But I didn’t realize what it was until he came out, and then I could see it for what it really was.”
David’s heart lodged itself in his throat. He desperately needed to get out of the kitchen, but he didn’t know what to do with the spinach in his hands.
“Just a thought,” Marcy shrugged. “If you felt that way about him.”
“I don’t think I can play board games tonight,” Marcy yawned as they entered the cabin. They had been out later than anticipated and had ended up at a diner in town where they ate too many carbs and David was clinging to the last of his consciousness by the time they pulled into the driveway.
“I think it’s going to be a very early night for me,” Clint held up the bags he was holding. “Marce, want to take the bags that need to be refrigerated? I’ll put away the other stuff.”
“Wanna watch a movie before bed? I won’t judge you if you fall asleep on the couch,” Patrick murmured.
“What movie?” David asked. “Just kidding, the answer is yes. Are there movie snacks?”
Patrick chuckled as he shook his head. “I’m sure you can help yourself to anything in the kitchen. There’s probably packs of popcorn in the cabinet.”
“Okay, don’t touch the popcorn, because there is a right way to make it, and I’ve never walked you through it. I need to change.”
One bowl of popcorn later, David fell asleep sometime between Elle Woods getting into Harvard and buying her Mac on Halloween.
He woke to someone shaking his shoulder.
“What?” David jerked awake.
“Movie’s done,” Patrick grumbled. He looked over to see Patrick rub at his eyes.
“Already?” David closed his eyes and leaned back into the couch. “Was fast.”
Patrick yawned and David felt the couch dip as Patrick got up. He pulled at David’s wrist, which David groaned at, but he got up and followed him into the bedroom.
“Skincare,” David murmured as he grabbed his bag and disappeared into the bathroom.
When he emerged, only the lamp on his side of the bed was on.
“Goodnight,” Patrick whispered once David settled under the covers.
“Goodnight,” David turned towards him. “Hey.”
“Hm?” Patrick hummed.
“Proud of you for this morning,” he hadn’t had a moment alone with Patrick since breakfast, so he hadn’t gotten a chance to say it. “That was very brave of you and you did wonderful.”
“Thank you, David,” Patrick blushed. “It means a lot that you were there.”
David closed his eyes and stuffed his hands beneath his pillow.
“Let’s continue this little chat in the morning.”
“Okay, David,” David could hear the grin in his voice.
David was hot again. It woke him up slowly, and he pushed the covers off blindly while he kept his eyes closed. Pressure increased around his middle when he moved and his brain supplied ‘Patrick’ as David fell back asleep.
When he woke up again, Patrick’s arms were still wrapped around him, but this time David was pressed in close to his side, his nose against the hollow of Patrick’s neck.
Patrick made a noise below him, but David couldn’t extricate himself from Patrick’s arms in time.
“David?” Patrick asked, his voice was hoarse from sleep. It was adorable and David had to bite back a response to it.
“Huh?” David said instead.
He pushed himself up as Patrick let go of his waist.
“David,” he didn’t let David go far. Instead he stopped him from completely moving away from him. Patrick’s eyes were full of what David hoped was hope. David’s heart stopped as he noticed Patrick’s eyes flicker down to his lips.
In the early morning light, David decided to be brave.
“Can I?” David whispered, his own eyes trained on Patrick’s tidy little mouth.
“What?” Patrick tilted his head at him. It was an invitation, a challenge.
“Kiss you?” He pushed down the feat that Patrick would say—
“Please,” Patrick leaned up, and David met him halfway.
It was soft, and chaste. It was over too soon, but Patrick went in for another. This one was harder, a tease as Patrick slipped his hands beneath the hem of David’s sweater and held them there on David’s hips.
David lowered himself back fully onto the bed as Patrick’s tongue teased at David’s bottom lip. It was hot, and David melted under Patrick’s touch as his hands swept up the skin of David’s back. He pulled back at the electric touch of Patrick’s nails on his skin.
“Wait,” David heaved a deep breath. “Is this a ‘it’s morning and I’m horny’ kiss or is it a ‘I like you’ kiss?”
David had a fairly decent sense of self-preservation and he gave into the urge to just be sure.
“The second,” Patrick smiled that upside down smile at David and if he thought he was fucked before?
“Oh thank god,” David dove back in for another kiss.
Patrick rolled them over and pushed David into the mattress gently.
“Oh, by the way, you’re telling your mother. I have a feeling she’s going to be pleasantly insufferable about this.”