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“So I need a favor,” Jonny says as soon as he walks into Patrick’s office.

Patrick eyes him. “Do I need coffee for this?”

“Gotcha covered.” He says, smile too bright as he pulls an iced mocha from behind his back.

Patrick grabs at it greedily. Ah, sweet, cold deliciousness in the morning is about as close to happy as he gets on Monday’s and Jonny knows this well, so the favor must not be inconsequential. He takes a pull from the straw, getting mostly whip cream and chocolate sauce and lets it melt in his mouth for a moment, eyes closed.

“You’re my favorite. Did I ever tell you that?”

Jonny grins. “Yes, and please remember that after I ask for this favor.”

Pat hums. “Is it worse than the time you made me go to a house party in Yorkville?”

“Maybe?” Jonny hedges.

Patrick calmly sets down the pen to his tablet and picks up a mechanical pencil to fling at Jonny, because he’s a responsible adult. Jonny’s his co-worker, and his friend and he will do this, but he’s going to maybe whine about it first.

“Fiiiine. Just tell me,” he says, waving Jon on.

“I need a ride to get my wisdom teeth out on Friday.”

“One question,” he says. “Why do you hate me?”

Jonny, who’s been worrying his bottom lip for the past minute, huffs out a laugh. “Oh, shut up. It’ll be fine.”

“But whyyyy?”

“Because you’re my bro,” he says, almost like he hopes that’ll be enough of a concession. When Patrick glares back he sighs, “And also because you’re the only person in Chicago I trust to get me to and from the hospital in one piece. I guess.”

“Flattery will get you everywhere. Please continue.” Patrick says, folding his arms over his chest and leaning back in his chair.

Jonny rolls his eyes so hard Patrick thinks they might have traveled to Canada. “Do it for me.”

“Meh.”

“Do it because you’re a great friend?”

“I could…”

“Fine, do it for the dinner I’m going to buy you at Rosebud.”

“That’s the spirit,” Patrick says, pleased and a little smug.

“So yes?” Jonny asks, and his eyes are big and puppyish and he’s giving Patrick that stupid lopsided grin that makes his whole face so maddeningly sweet.

“Yes, fine, but I want caprese salad and veal marsala with that wine from last time-

“The Sterling Pinot Noir?”

“Yeah, that one, and some tiramisu,” he says.

“I’ll be sure to let the waiter know,” Jonny says flatly.

“Make sure you do,” Patrick says and flicks his wrist. “Now be gone with you. I have important work to do.”

Jonny sighs as if he’s put out, but he’s got that expression like he thinks Patrick’s charming anyway, which he is, so it’s very apt.

“See you at lunch,” he says and slips into the hallway.

*

There are three things you need to know about Patrick.

The first is: he loves his job.

When he was in college Patrick had the very highest of aspirations. He had dreams of moving to San Francisco and starting his own graphic design practice. In this dream he’d create wicked new logos for sports franchises, develop his own brand, maybe invent his own typeface to be used on academy award winning film posters and then, one day, his work would make it into the Moma.

He didn’t exactly see himself in a corner office at some burgeoning marketing firm in Chicago as a web designer.

But Patrick loves his job, and the thing is, he’s a boss at it too. There’s this kind of pattern to be solved between designing a web page and getting the code to function within that framework that’s like deciphering a puzzle, one he never really gets bored of.

Wired magazine named him one of the top designers of the previous year. When he was twenty-four he became head of his department. He works hard, but he’s earned it and it didn’t come easy at first.

He’d applied for several positions right out of school when he was mostly broke and sitting on the cusp of his student loans about to kick in and every job opening was wanting two to three years job experience. He hadn’t had a ton of options and he needed to, you know, pay his rent and occasionally eat. Any kind of design work hadn’t seemed like a bad option in the face of being homeless and in debt. He wasn’t above working his way up the totem pole per se, it’s just that he didn’t particularly want to end up stuck as a production artist, recreating other people’s designs. Especially considering he’d graduated summa cum laude from Loyola that spring with a Best in Show award for that year’s student exhibit.

It’s not arrogant if he’s got the skill to kill.

The point is, he was poor and he needed a job. He’d applied to places around The Loop without much luck and the dreaded ‘part-time’ offer was not going to fucking cut it. When he came across a temp agency that was looking to place him in the basement of a print shop for just above minimum wage he took it because, well, he needed to pay his power bill.

Then, three months later, he met this irritating jackwagon on the L.

He’d seen Jonny on the same route before, sometimes in the early morning and sometimes late at night, usually when there was less people around. He never really sat in the same spot; that was Pat’s move, he liked routines and he always stuck to his own.

The first day they talked to each other Patrick was in his regular forward facing seat near the front of the car by the windows. He was reading his cell when this loser in a striped pin suit and a checkered button up sat down next to him. His thighs were thick, but then so was the rest of him and he sprawled out, possessive of every inch of space he could take up.

“Do you mind?” Patrick had said after dealing with it politely for, oh, about a minute.

Jonny had pulled his stupid Apple headphones from his ears and looked at Patrick sideways. “Not at all.”

And then he’d proceeded to widen his legs just a little bit more.

Patrick glared and pushed back with his own leg. He was fighting a little bit of a losing battle, to be honest; what with Jonny’s superior weight advantage, until they were pressed together all along their sides. They sat like that for the rest of the ride until they hit Patrick’s stop and he’d had to climb over Jonny, literally, to get out to the walk way.

“Excuse you, asshole.” Patrick said, half straddled on Jonny’s lap and trying to leverage himself over those tree trunk legs.

“You’re excused.” Jonny smirked and palmed his hip, helping him find balance.

Patrick flipped him off, walked away and fully expected that to be the end of things. Only it happened again the next day, but this time Jonny was there before him, looking innocent and harmless and already sitting in the seat beside Patrick’s like a fucking dare. Just sitting there all unassuming like he thought Patrick would stoop to his level. No. Patrick was above fighting over a crusty seat on a train in Chicago that was probably forged with the remnants of bodily fluids, moldy food and unknown smells from days gone by. He was a paragon of fortitude. He would persevere. He was above this petty bullshit.

He was, it turns out, not above it at all.

“That’s my seat,” he said, poking Jonny in the arm.

“I figured. That’s why I saved it for you.”

“It was always mine. I was here…first,” he cringed.

But it was true and he wasn’t going to move now. It was a matter of principal.

Jonny looked wildly, intensely amused. Patrick took a deep breath and talked himself out of punching Jonny’s awful, horrible face or kicking his nutsack until he cried.

By now they’d come to the next stop and more people were filing on and soon someone would take his seat and he’d have to stand, crammed between some five year old with sticky hands and an old lady who’d want to talk about her no dairy diet. And just, no. So Patrick growled and climbed over Jonny, rubbing his ass on Jonny’s lap as he’d moved past, just to be a dick.

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here,” he said pointedly.

Jonny may have choked on his own tongue or Patrick’s sick burn, he didn’t know because he was on his phone and he wasn’t paying attention.

He wasn’t.

And so the rest of week went. Patrick was determined to be ruthless, to be vigilant. He was a leaf in the wind; he was the tide on the shore. He was calm and majestic and he would win this battle or drag that motherfucker into the undertow.

Of course it made sense then that Jonny would actually start being nice and ruin all of Patrick’s plans. Like turning down the volume on his audio book when Patrick complained loudly about it disturbing him the following day. Or bringing Patrick a coffee the day after that, even though, Patrick hated black coffee because it tasted like dirt and he took great pleasure in telling Jonny that, even as he pressed their thighs together.

Jonny seemed pleased when he brought him a peanut butter muffin the next morning. Patrick took less joy out of telling him he was allergic to peanuts and brought Jonny an iced coffee in return. It wasn’t a thank you. It was an exchange for the failed muffin, because that was just what seat enemies did. But when the next morning came and Patrick received a plain bagel with the most amazing strawberry cream cheese he’d ever tasted, he maybe amended the moniker to seat buddies. Then he’d moaned and licked the last of the cream cheese off his lips and tried not to notice the way Jonny’s eyes kept flickering down to his mouth.

He never did thank Jonny because technically Jonny was just paying Patrick back for being the giant walking forehead that Patrick was forced to sit next to. But he did maybe tongue and suck at the straw of his green tea on account of how much Jonny liked to stare at him sideways while he was doing it. And, really, that was a priceless currency.

In a few weeks they’d quickly fell into a pattern. Some mornings they’d barely talk, others they’d bicker all the way down the Red Line. Jonny would bring food, sometimes good (blueberry turnovers), sometimes bad (zucchini bread oatmeal), Patrick would bring the beverages (always awesome), and they’d sit, leaning into each other from shoulders to feet every ride. It was…good. It felt like it was heading somewhere, possibly with them on a date or in a bed or both. He'd been waiting for it. And it'd seemed like Jonny was gearing up to ask him something important on the ride home Friday night, tired from a long week, and Jonny pushing into his space.

Patrick pushed back, harder than usual and tugged on Jonny’s earphone cord.

“Can you turn down your 2005 Fall Out Boy I'm trying to work here.”

“Is it still considered work if you're looking for a job?”

Patrick pulled his phone from Jonny’s view and refused to smile. “Yes, you nosy fuck.”

“My bad, it was hard not to notice when you've been angrily whispering to yourself about it all week.”

“Hey, feel free to move to another seat at any time.”

Jonny bumped their shoulders together, eyes soft. “Oh, but you'd miss me too much now, don't front.”

“I would certainly perish,” Patrick nodded solemnly. “Of hunger.”

Jonny laughed, head thrown back and eyes squeezed shut. Patrick stared at the long column of his tan neck and didn’t look away when Jonny caught him.

“Well then maybe I should take you-

Patrick’s phone rang. Fuck his phone. He was going to throw that bitch under the tracks. Who needed a phone? Not him.

He answered only because it was Jess and she was coming to visit him and he really couldn’t blow her off even though her timing was basically worse than Sean Bean’s.

“So are you staying all weekend or just tonight?”

Jess whined. “The weekend, but please don't make me sleep on the futon, Patty. It's like sleeping on a lumpy brick and I don’t even know how that’s possible, but it is.”

He was such a pushover. All of his sisters played this card relentlessly and he forever ended up on the living room sofa while they got his bed. They were spoiled and they knew it.

He sighed. “Yes, you can sleep in my bed, but only because I love you. And you’re making french toast for breakfast. Hey, Jess, we're almost at my stop so I gotta go. Okay, yeah, love you too. Bye.”

Jonny was staring off into the distance when Patrick nudged him to get his attention.

“What?” he gave Patrick a blank look.

Patrick smiled. “You were saying?”

Jonny blinked twice and shook his head. “Uh, there's a job opening at where I work. I don't know the details because it's not my department, but I know they’re looking for a graphic designer. It’s called Trinity Marketing. You should send them your resume and portfolio.”

Jonny pulled a card from his suit pocket and held it out.

“Oh,” Patrick said and felt his stomach sink. “Thanks. Thank you. That’s, yeah, that’s great. I will.”

Trinity offered him the job right after the interview.

*

The second thing you need to know about Patrick is: he hates hospitals.

He hates hospitals because he loves his family fiercely and loyally.

The day his mother called him to tell him Jess had been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma was a Tuesday like any other Tuesday. The sun was out and the sky was blue and Jonny was waiting at the door of his office for their lunch break. It was just a Tuesday.

“I have to go to Buffalo,” he said and the words didn’t feel real in his mouth.

Jonny looked at him funny. “Patrick?”

He stood and started gathering items from his desk to put in his messenger bag, his laptop, his cellphone, his stapler, his pencil cup. He thought he might need it later. He might. It didn’t fit right so he had to shove it in really hard. He just shoved, shoved, shoved until there was Jonny’s hand on his wrist holding him still.

“Patrick, what’s wrong?”

“I have to go to Buffalo,” he said. “I have to go right now.”

Jonny stepped into his space slowly, his eyes looked wide and concerned. “Okay. Can you tell me why?”

“My sister. She. Cancer. I have to go.”

There was a muffled fuck and then he felt arms come around him even though he barely felt it through the hazy numbness circling him. Jonny’s cheek pressed into his hair as he said,“Let me call you a cab. I’ll sort out everything here, but you should get home and pack. Do you need me to look up flights?”

“I-yes,” Patrick nodded, standing limply when he was released.

He left that night and stayed at his parents place for a week, going to the hospital with Jessica everyday. Over the following months she was subjected to endless exams. Patrick was there for the blood tests, the imaging tests, and the biopsies. He missed so much work they threatened to fire him. Of course they were understanding at first, a sick relative garnered sympathy and extra paid leave, but that good faith dwindled slowly over time. Then Patrick was on unpaid leave. And then was told they were looking for a replacement if he couldn’t start finishing his assignments.

He worked in cabs and airplanes and waiting rooms and empty hallways with vending machines humming nearby. He worked through the sound of beeping machines; cold tiles floors, scratchy wooden chairs and the smell of sick and anxiety permeating the air. He worked as much as he could between helping Jess through the night sickness the chemo induced and his parents piling debt. He forced himself not to worry about being unemployed because he loved his family and they would always come first.

Through it all Jonny was there, talking down his bosses and checking on his apartment, forwarding him important emails and sending Jessica lucky bamboo plants.

The afternoon of her surgery he flew up and sat with Patrick and his family. The talking was at a minimum while they waited, but Jonny brought them all coffee and took walks with Patrick around the hospital when sitting still any longer was too much to bear. It was evening; the windows painted black, by the time the doctor came and told them the surgery had been a success.

Patrick’s hand had gripped Jonny’s wrist, fingers bruising against Jonny’s pulse point until he managed to catch his breath. There were indents in the skin when he pulled away, but Patrick was too choked up to apologize and Jonny never asked.

*

The third thing you need to know about Patrick is…well. It didn’t start with last year’s Christmas party, exactly, but it didn’t help matters either.

See Jonny had pulled Patrick into the corner of the room after Secret Santa had ended and that’s where they’d stayed; drinking shots of Peppermint Schnapps and playing half-remembered card games.

Jonny was currently kicking his ass at Blitz.

“Am I supposed to be getting three of a kind of the highest suit? Or is it both?”

Jonny nodded, took a shot, and poured another. Patrick echoed him.

These office parties were supposed to be a gift back to the employees for all the hard work they’d done throughout the year and blah blah blah corporate jargon bullshit blah. Functionally they were fine just really, really dull. Hossa would tell at least five people about his daughter losing her first tooth and Seabrook could be found yammering about the Caribbean cruise tickets he got for Dana, and half of his co-workers wanted to talk shop because to them fun was a concept unknown.

“Anyway, what was I saying?”

“Something about your T-shirt. Ooh, Blitz!” Jonny laid his cards out on the table proudly.

Patrick scowled. “Piss on this game. Let’s play war. And it was a Blackhawks T-shirt. A T-shirt. Not a jersey or a snapback or tickets to a game. A T-shirt. What kind of lamewad present is that? Bet you it was from Q.”

“It’s better than what I got,” Jonny said. “A five dollar gift card to Starbucks.”

Patrick gathered the cards and started to shuffle.

“All of our co-workers are cheapskates, man. How tragic.”

Jonny shrugged, as if unbothered. “Eh, that’s how all Secret Santa’s go, everyone but like two people actually get nice shit. Last year it was me and maybe next year it’ll be you.”

“Last year it was you because I got myself and traded with you at the last minute,” Patrick said, more than buzzed and a little loose and too focused on the rhythmic slapping of cards on the table as they played out their game.

Jonny shook his head like he was trying to shake water from his ears. “You what? You got yourself? But then why did you buy that book on salter water fishing?”

Patrick coughed on his drink. “Hey look, they set up karaoke! Let’s take a turn.”

Jonny squinted, one eye mostly closed and his face scrunched up. He looked like a goofy pirate. “’M not drunk enough for that shit.”

“Aye aye, Matey.” Patrick heaved him up from his seat and started maneuvering them across the room.

He was trying to decide how much persuasion would be involved in getting Jonny to sing Born In The USA with him when he heard the first wolf whistle. They started to gather in quantity until he turned around to catch several people staring at him.

Shaw was pointing above his head when he glanced over and Patrick tipped his head back.

Mistletoe.

“Come on boys!” Shaw said, goading and loud. “Pucker up.”

More whistles followed suit and Patrick was fully prepared to ignore them and go on picking a song to sing when he saw Jonny from his periphery shake his head.

“No way, assholes. Not a chance.”

And, okay, that felt what Pat imagined a staple gun to the head might be like. Just a little. It didn’t matter. There was karaoke and that was more important.

“Jon, pick a song,” Patrick said, smacking his arm to get his attention.

“Jon, kiss your boy,” Brent mocked, the drunken idiot. “Or punk out. Whatever.”

Patrick laughed to himself. Jonny was a grown adult. Jonny was not going to fall for that.

An arm suddenly looped around his waist and turned him, causing him to come face to face with a riled Jonny who, apparently, was definitely going to fall for that.

There was a split second where they openly stared at each other, waiting for the other to step back. It didn’t come.

And then Jonny was pressing their mouths together quickly and perfunctorily. As he started to move away Patrick couldn’t help but move with him. He sighed against Jonny’s lips and grabbed a hold of his collar to reel him back in. Jonny went easily, hurriedly, crashing their mouths together and slipping his tongue inside with an ease that made Patrick’s dick twitch hard.

They kissed like that for, Patrick didn’t even know how long, body’s grinding into each other until it was getting difficult to breathe. Jonny broke away first, hands digging into Patrick’s hips and trying to draw him back in.

He wanted to go and yet he realized with a horrifying clarity that he was also definitely sporting an erection the size of a small battleship in his slacks.

“Hey,” Jonny said, lips still slick and puffy.

Patrick wanted to climb all over him.

“I have to go,” he said instead, and watched Jonny’s expression shift. “I have to go to the bathroom. Right now. Yep.”

Jonny nodded, stepping back wearily as Patrick booked it out of the office, planning Brent’s slow death the entire way and trying to convince himself that that wasn’t the best fucking kiss he’d ever had.

*

There are three things you need to know about Patrick: he loves his job, he hates hospitals, and he’s maybe head over heels for Jonny. Not that anyone’s counting.

*

They’re driving to the hospital after work on Friday when Jonny says, “They're thinking of offering me partner. I found out this morning.”

“Seriously?” Patrick smiles. “That's great, man. Congratulations.”

“It's really only happening because Bowman’s taking over for his father at the end of the fiscal year.” Jonny shrugs, like it’s nothing, like twenty-seven year olds make partner every day.

That's how Patrick knows he's worried. Jonny's face shows all the vulnerabilities he won't put a voice to.

“Shut up, you deserve it.” He says and can already see the self-deprecating word vomit form on Jonny’s lips.

So he cuts that shit off at the pass, says, “I can't believe you own this bomb ass car you never drive. What's up with that?”

Jonny snorts. “Parking in Chicago is the seventh circle of hell. Also, I save money by just taking the L.”

Patrick levels him with an unimpressed stare. “Like you need to save money.”

“Oh and you do?”

“Well yeah, didn't you hear?” Patrick grins. “Parking in Chicago is hell.”

*

Inside the hospital they take Jonny to get him prepped for surgery while Patrick heads off to the waiting room. It’s like any of the ones he’s been in before, sterile and orderly and all together too quiet. The weather report is playing on one of the televisions mounted in the corner of the room and down the hall he can hear a kid squeaking his sneakers against the linoleum. It’s making every inch of his body feel jittery and uncomfortable.

Pulling his phone from his pocket he sends a quick text to Jess, just a hey, how are classes going? don’t watch the new adam sandler movie it’s shit. call me soon. miss you. After, he takes his laptop from his messenger bag and a pair of headphones, popping the jack into the port. Then he gets started on next week’s work, listening to a little Ellie Goulding and trying to concentrate on color palette’s and typeface’s and line weight’s.

An hour passes when a nurse comes to retrieve him, bringing him back to a recovery room where Jonny’s apparently rousing from the anesthesia.

“It’ll probably take him ten to fifteen minutes before he’s ready to stand up and walk. Just wait with him here and I’m going to get him a prescription for some pain relievers and his discharge papers.”

Patrick nods, taking a seat by Jonny’s bed where he’s starting to blink his eyes open, mumbling nonsense and generally looking like a giant cuddly asshole.

“Hey, buddy. How ya feelin’?” he asks, when Jonny turns his head to look at him.

“Sleepy. My mouth hurts. You are…whoa. Did you know you are so beautiful?”

Patrick maybe chokes on his own spit. “What?”

Jonny blinks at him wide eyed. “You’re the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen. Are you real?”

“Uh yep. Sitting right here. Very real,” Patrick says, and he’s trying not to laugh, but this is fucking hilarious. They must have given him the good drugs.

Jonny’s gaze is edging toward awed, eyes glittering. “Your lips are like, wow, and your eyes are blue. Did you know that too?”

“That my eyes are blue? Yes, Jon. I knew that.” Patrick grins.

“Oh man,” Jonny says, sounding amazed. “You have the best smile. ”

Patrick doesn’t blush. It’s just hot in this room under these fluorescent lights. He takes off his jacket and sets it aside.

“Can I touch your hair?” Jonny asks, fingers tapping. “It looks so soft and curly. Really curly. And shiny. Hey, how do I know you? Are we friends? Are we together?”

“Yeah,” Patrick jokes at Jonny’s steady stare.

Before he can even take it back Jonny’s eyes go huge like saucers, mouth dropping open. “We are?! Oh man. I’m so lucky. My boyfriend is hot. And your arms are…do you work out? Because damn. Hey, can you get up and turn around?”

“No,” he laughs and, god, Patrick is a horrible person. If Jonny were at all coherent right now he would hate that anyone is seeing this, and yet, it just makes Patrick want to take video of it on his phone even more.

He draws upon some distant willpower and hopes karma pays him back later for letting this golden opportunity pass him by.

Jonny pouts. “Your arms are so great. I want to see if everything else is too. I bet so. Everything about you is hot.”

Patrick scoffs. “Stop fucking around Jonny.”

“But I would so fuck you,” Jonny says, sounding too certain and sincere and it makes his stomach twist a little. “I would marry you. Hey, what's your name?”

“Patrick.”

The nurse comes back into the room then, handing over Jonny’s paperwork and prescription slip, starting to explain what Jon can and can’t eat in the next twelve hours.

“God, you're gorgeous,” Jonny grins dopily, interrupting the nurse. “Just holy shit.”

Patrick can feel his whole neck and face grow warm, probably turning an unpleasant rosy red. He smiles wanly at the nurse. “Is that normal? Him with the, like, talking and the verbal diarrhea?”

“Depends on the patient,” she says. “Some people tend to get emotional and that can manifest into tears or laughter or being more vocal. It should wear off in an hour or so.”

Patrick takes this in and they finish up with the paperwork. They both help Jonny get dressed, him complaining loudly the whole time about how he just wants Patrick to touch him, preferably naked and without this lady around. At this rate Jonny owes him dinner at Tru or Everest or maybe Alinea for trauma rendered.

“Are you my Patrick?” Jonny asks in the car, head lolling against the seat rest.

“Uh, I didn't know you wanted me to be?” Patrick says, fitting the key in the ignition and putting the car in reverse. “I mean you never said.”

He can see Jonny out of his peripheral vision, eyelashes fluttering like he’s still tired.

“Hm,” Jonny hums. “It must have been some other me. And other me is stupid, and you are beautiful all over your face.”

Patrick’s life is a trial.

*

Traffic is heavy and backed up so it takes them three times as long to get to Jonny’s apartment in Washington Park than it usually would. It’s dark out, the streets damp from when it rained earlier. They avoid getting wet by parking in the underground garage. Lugging Jonny out of the car, into the elevator, and through the door isn’t easy though with Jonny clinging to him like a goddamn lamprey.

“I'm not really your boyfriend,” Patrick says, panting out breaths as they finally reach Jonny’s bedroom and get him sat down.

It’s important Patrick make this distinction because while Jonny’s drug induced compliments are nice they also aren’t actually real and he can’t let himself forget that. Tomorrow Jonny will be embarrassed and apologize and Patrick will shrug it off and they’ll be friends. That’s what they are, what they’ve always been and Patrick needs to remember that.

Jonny frowns and then winces when that seems to pull awkwardly at his tender mouth. “What?!?”

“Dude chill. Lay back down. You need to rest okay,” Patrick says, easing Jon into the pillows and running his fingers through his short hair.

“Mmm, that’s nice. You smell good. Like grass.”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah. ‘S my favorite smell.”

Patrick laughs. “Of course it is, you fuckin’ loser. Now go to sleep.”

He rakes his hand one last time through Jonny’s hair and steps back, going to get the meds so Jonny won’t wake up aching in the middle of the night.

Jonny reaches out and snags his wrist, holding it loosely. “Wait, wait, wait.”

“What?”

“I want you to know,” Jonny breathes, trailing off like words are getting harder to form now that he’s comfortable in bed.

“Yeah?” Patrick asks softly.

“I really wanna touch your butt.”

Patrick bites at his lip. This is such a horrible idea…

“If I say yes later will you sleep now?”

Jonny smiles, eyelids heavy and low. “Definitely.”

“Okay, if you actually ‘remember’ this tomorrow, then you can, you know, get all up on this,” Patrick says, gesturing to himself pointlessly as Jonny’s eyes are closed now.

He’s half way to the door of Jonny’s bedroom when he hears Jonny singing to himself quietly. “I don't think you're ready for this jelly. I don't think you're ready for this, cause my body too bootylicious for you babe.

*

The clinking and clanging of sounds coming from the kitchen is what wakes Patrick the next morning. He’s half sprawled across Jonny’s living room couch, a twinge in his neck that he rubs at as he moves to get up.

Jonny’s bent in front of the open fridge when Patrick walks in and says, “Morning, Beyoncé.”

“Fuck!” Jonny jumps, smacking into the counter. “You scared the shit out of me.”

“Sorry,” Patrick grins, pleased, then opens a cabinet. “You want some coffee? Actually you should probably just have water for now.”

Jonny’s standing in the middle of the kitchen, staring at him dumbly, and it’s not helpful. Patrick moves him to the side, grip on Jonny’s hips and goes to the fridge to retrieve a water for him. He hands it over, Jonny’s eyes downcast now.

“So you're still here,” he says, quietly.

Patrick returns to his coffee. “Yeah. Had to make sure you didn't swallow your own tongue while you were all doped up last night.”

“Right.”

He places the cup filter and grounds into the top of the coffee maker and hits the start button. “How are you feeling?”

“Like a dipshit.” Jonny murmurs and Patrick stills, but he doesn’t turn around.

“Why?”

At this Jonny scoffs, the first real emotion other than surprise he’s shown so far.

“Like you don't know.”

Patrick shrugs, noncommittally, and rubs at a spot of dirt on the countertop. “Maybe I don't. Maybe you tell every guy that takes you to the hospital that he's hot and you want to marry him and touch his butt. How would I know?”

“Oh god,” Jonny groans. Patrick can hear retreating feet behind him then and he finally turns to see he’s alone in the kitchen.

It pisses him off enough that he follows Jonny into the living room and yanks at the back of his shirt, tugs at his bicep until Jonny steps around to face him.

Jonny, how would I know?” he asks, and there’s an urgency to his voice that he’s that’s unfamiliar with even as he presses his fingers into Jonny’s warm muscle and skin.

There’s a flush rising on Jonny’s cheeks, the edges of his jaw still swollen when he looks down intently at Patrick and says, “Because I picked the seat next to yours.”

Patrick kisses him. He has to stand on the balls of his feet, arms going around Jonny’s neck to get him where he wants him, but when their lips meet it’s so, so good. Jonny’s mouth is soft and dry and when he licks out over Patrick’s lips it makes everything slippery and wet. Patrick coaxes Jonny’s tongue into his mouth and sucks, earning him a gorgeous moan he feels all the way down to his toes. Jonny’s hand are at his back, his waist and hips, needing at his ass and drawing him closer. They makeout like that until he hears Jonny hiss and they break apart.

“Still sore?” he asks, cradling the side of Jonny’s neck softly with one hand.

“Yeah. Sorry,” Jonny says and runs an apologetic thumb over Patrick’s swollen bottom lip.

Patrick laughs at the clear betrayal in his eyes. The betrayal of his own body working against him at time like this, he can imagine Jonny thinking.

“You want an ice pack and some meds?”

“Please,” he says, looking grateful.

“Hungry?” he asks, making his way back into the kitchen.

“Mm...maybe later.”

Jonny’s stretched out on the couch when he comes back into the living room, head on Patrick’s borrowed pillow and the picture of warm coziness.

Patrick hands over the pills and the water. “Here ya go.”

“Thanks,” he says, swallowing them and then setting the water bottle aside. He wiggles his fingers in Patrick’s direction and then at the couch he’s lying prone on. “C'mere.”

Patrick eyes the small space next to Jonny dubiously.

“Are you sure? I wouldn't want to blind you with my beauty.”

“With your what? With your booty?” Jonny says, waggling his eyebrows.

He thinks he’s so funny and smart and good looking and charming and okay, yes, he is all of those things. He’s also pushy and bossy and dumb and cocky and way too grumpy. Patrick wants all of him.

“C'mon,” Jonny says, opening his arms wide for Patrick, waiting. “I'll make room.”