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At Least I'm In Good Company

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Patrick wasn't a hair product guy. He spent his grooming time worrying about how much was on the top of his head, and it was a lot faster to wear a trucker cap than to fuss. Still, it didn't mean he couldn't appreciate a good shampoo left in a gift basket on a hotel night. Even if Pete had a glint in his eyes that would probably end in some kind of mess, and probably in the direction of the Panic balconies on the floor below.

"Go bother Joe and Andy," Patrick had said, snatching the basket before Pete could. And when Pete had pouted, Patrick had only had to say, "They're over Ryan's room. We'd have to angle all weird" before Pete went tearing into the hallway. He knew a good idea when he heard one. Patrick only allowed himself one wistful look — he was pretty good about confining those to when Pete wasn't looking — before he jumped in the shower.

He sighed as he worked the lather in — he wanted to say the shampoo smelled like lavender, but he actually had no idea — and let it sit before rinsing and repeating.

After another rinse and a couple rounds with the enclosed soap, he started to feel lightheaded, and he turned off the shower. It was his own fault; he hadn't eaten since before they'd gone on. He flopped onto his queen bed — which was automatically the one Pete's smelly stage clothes weren't on — and waited for the feeling to pass.

But after a few seconds, his head was still spinning, and his eyes had gone weird. He fumbled for his cell phone, left charging next to the lamp before his shower, and hit speed dial.

"Pattycakes! Change your mind? We're..." There were giggles on the other end loud enough to make Patrick wince, followed by a distant yell Patrick couldn't make out. "We could really use a general over here."

Pete must have changed it so he was first on Patrick's speed dial again instead of Dirty. Just his luck. Patrick couldn't have dialed someone who wasn't busy trying to prank a bunch of teenagers.

"Patrick? Hello?"

"Never mind," Patrick said. Or he tried to say. It was hard to tell how it came out with his heart was pounding in his ears. "It's..."

Pete said something else, but Patrick let the phone slide out of his hand and onto the floor. It felt weird against his palm, like he could feel all the grooves in the casing, and his hand tingle when they dragged against his skin. Someone's voice was still coming out the other end, but he couldn't understand the words.

They weren't important anyway. Not when Patrick's arms were mostly bared by his t-shirt, and the quilted bedspread brushed against them. He hiked his pants up a little, and it was even better against his legs, more than a tickle, but less than a touch. Patrick's breath was coming out a little faster, and even the air tickled his mouth and nostrils at turns.


He opened his eyes. Because he must have closed them at some point. There was a fuzzy blur in the distance that was dark and short and somehow Pete-like even in the haze. Patrick blinked a couple times to focus, and he pushed up on his elbows, but that weird not-tickle danced over his skin again, and he flinched.

A hand brushed his forehead, and he cried out. Even the vibrations in his throat felt good, but it was practically nothing against the flush that spread from the skin-on-skin contact, hot and prickly. He tried to shift away, but moving was no better, no less overwhelming.

Two hands grabbed his arms through his shirt sleeves. Although the pressure was enough to send little jolts up his spine, the lack of direct contact somehow made his vision clear, and there was Pete: bangs tucked behind his ear, stolen hoodie falling off one shoulder, eyeliner smeared, and a frown dragging his face down.

"Jesus, Patrick. What happened?"

Pete's hands flexed, and Patrick shivered. That wasn't good. Except for how it really, really was.

"I don't..." He sat up, and the comforter dragged on his legs again. He blinked tears out of his eyes and said, "I just started feeling weird."

"What have you had? Anything to drink?"

Patrick dragged his hands up his legs. Bad move. The heat was starting to go to uncomfortable places...more uncomfortable than before. It didn't have to be someone else's skin to get things going, apparently. He dropped his hands back to the bed, and he squeezed his eyes closed again as another wave of tingles swept through his body.

When he managed to open his eyes again, Pete had dumped the garbage from Patrick's can on the ground and was digging through it. Pete lifted an empty water bottle. "This come from the venue?"

"Bus," Patrick said. He couldn't hold his breath. He needed air — obviously — but panting out of his mouth like he was, trying to ease the tightness in his chest and survive the pulsing in his body, made it even harder to breathe.

Which is why it took him a minute to see Pete waving from the side of the bed. "What?" Patrick asked, frowning.

"Get up. I'll find someone to take you to the hospital."

"To the..." Hospital. With eyes looking at him and hands touching him and...hell, what about the car on the way over? The road getting to the hotel was bouncy, and he would have to sit on fabric, sit under a seat belt, wear shoes and socks...

He shook his head until the brushes of hair against his skin brought a whimper out of his mouth. "No. No hospital."


Patrick staggered to his feet. Not going to the hospital was exactly the right call; his legs wouldn't hold him up long enough. Pete lunged to grab an arm, and it was all Patrick could do to stay up and out of reach. Good thing he had a lot of practice.

"Leave me alone," he managed, the sound more of a croak than actual words, and stumbled into the bathroom. He slammed the door and locked it, and, judging by the closeness of Pete's face, he only missed breaking his nose by a few seconds.

Patrick slumped against the door and slid down, which was the biggest mistake yet: Pete was rattling the door so hard, he had to be kicking it, and Patrick shoved his hand in his mouth to keep Pete from hearing his moan. It probably wouldn't be a problem — Pete was yelling Patrick's name loud enough to wake the entire hotel — but he couldn't take any chances.

Because the feelings had stopped being weird and unfocused. Every sensation was going to straight to his dick and his ass and his nipples and every single undignified place it could go. Patrick was hard as a rock in his jeans, which were tight enough to create some weird feedback loop where feeling it made him harder, which made him feel the jeans more.

It grew super intense all of a sudden, and it wasn't until Patrick started rocking his hips up into the feeling that he realized he'd been rubbing his dick through the pants.

And suddenly, that was the best idea in the world. Not with his jeans there. His hand, right on his dick.

Unzipping was way harder than it should have been. Patrick's hand kept slipping because the drag down felt good, and then his hand putting pressure felt good, and then he would touch himself for a while, biting his lip as Pete rattled the door. But it wasn't enough. He had to get his hand on his dick, or this would never end.

And it definitely felt amazing when he finally shoved his jeans and his briefs out of the way and grabbed. Patrick had always thought descriptions of curling toes were a myth, but when he gave his dick a few hard strokes, his toes downright clenched. He was a bad porn movie come to life: arm thrown over his face, hips shoving his dick further into his hand, a strangled cry coming out of his mouth.

Maybe it would have been okay if something happened. Patrick could come, whatever was making him weird would burn out of his system, he could pretend he was barfing or something, and he would never talk about it with Pete again. No big deal.

But nothing happened. No orgasm. Just Patrick super close, shaking from the squeeze of his soft, sweaty palm, made even slicker from the precome dripping from his dick, his body so tense he would probably break something if he stayed that way for long.

It was only when he realized Pete had shut up that he managed to pull into some kind of sitting position. He lowered his arm, but he couldn't take his other hand away from his dick. He was shivering enough already; he didn't want to think about how much worse it would be without some kind of contact.

After a second, Pete said through the door, "Patrick? I'm right here, but I'm going to call for help."

Of course he was there...but Patrick touched his lips. He had been yelling Pete's name when he had been close. Closer.

Patrick reached up and unlocked the door. He also let go of himself, biting his lip to keep from moaning even though the embarrassment ship had officially sailed, and he tucked up just enough so he wouldn't fall backward when Pete came in.

"'S unlocked," he said. And if he thought his voice was wrecked before, it had become absolutely destroyed. He'd probably be stuck in his lower register for days.

A blast of cool air hit the bare part of Patrick's back — okay, his ass, since there was no way he could find the dexterity to pull his clothes back up — and Pete knelt in front of Patrick, looking him up and down. Patrick stared right back at Pete, who looked...he couldn't even begin to understand the look on Pete's face. Not when Patrick's body was screaming for Pete, to the point where Patrick was leaning forward without really wanting to.

Pete definitely wasn't leering at Patrick, though. He wasn't even looking at how exposed Patrick was. His fists were balled up tight, like he wanted to punch something. "I'm going to call—"

"No." Patrick shook and balled up his own fists. The sick churning in his stomach shouldn't make him want to fuck his hand again, but it did. ""

Patrick bit the inside of his cheek to keep anything else from coming out, but luckily, Pete misinterpreted. He started tearing through the bathroom like he had torn through the garbage, emptying Patrick's toiletry bag and his own bag and the dirty clothes and everything Patrick had left in the shower. Pete drew back after a second, trying to shake something off his hand, and then he froze and smelled his skin.

"Was this the shampoo from the basket?" Pete asked slowly, holding up the bottle he'd accidentally spilled from.

Patrick's throat closed up. All he could do was nod.

They stared at each other for a second, and then Pete jumped for the sink, scrubbing his hand with one of the washcloths until his hand went red and the bathroom started filling with steam again. Not entirely — the door was still open — but there was enough moisture on Patrick's skin to make him twitch again. Pete had to be feeling something similar because he stopped every few seconds to rub his hand on the lower part of his other arm.

Patrick grabbed the leg of Pete's jeans. When Pete looked down, his pupils were blown, and his skin was flushed.

"Patrick," he whispered. He still wasn't leering, joking or otherwise. It didn't make the look any less genuine, but it was still...weird. There was nothing funny or sarcastic or self-loathing or anything Patrick usually associated with Pete. Just heat.

It was the way Patrick always wanted Pete to look at him. And that, more than anything, should have sent him screaming for the hills. But just denim under his fingertips had Patrick rocking his hips, and Pete looked, if not quite as bad, then certainly not unaffected. If Pete needed help, if Patrick could do something to stop it before Pete was rocking in a ball in the bathroom, well. He could do that. He had to try.

He tugged at Pete's pant leg until Pete got down close again, and then, finally, he shoved his lips against Pete's.

Pete moaned — and Patrick after, just that much felt that good — and practically fell on top of Patrick, just barely keeping his full weight off him. Pete didn't usually hold back, and Patrick didn't want him to this time: he wrapped his arms and legs around him, shoving his dick against Pete's stomach. His vision went white as he held Pete there, pushing against his shirt.

But Pete didn't seem interested in rubbing. He got his mouth all over Patrick, only breaking to get Patrick's shirt off. He sucked on Patrick's neck, down to his nipples — oh god — and down, down, until his tongue was dragging over his hips and just over where his dick was.

"Patrick." The word was question and plea all in one. If he had been actually touching Patrick's dick when he said it...but he wasn't, so Patrick managed to get out a nod before Pete shoved Patrick's pants off completely and went for it.

It shouldn't have been a surprise that Pete knew how to blow someone. And even if it was, Patrick's head was swimming so much that it shouldn't have made a difference. But the startled jolt was almost as good as the way that Pete's lips and tongue dragged on the sides of Patrick's dick, fast, like Pete was desperate for it. By the time Pete had gotten his mouth on — and all the way down, jesus — it only took a couple passes before Patrick came down Pete's throat, cries bouncing off the tile walls and back to him.

Pete drew off the second Patrick was done, but not when Patrick was soft. Because he wasn't soft. The way Pete's hand was rubbing in circles on his belly wasn't quite as overwhelming as it had been seconds before, but he definitely needed another round.

"Fuck me," he managed to get out. Because if he was this bad still, Pete would need something, too. God, he'd almost forgotten Pete. That never happened.

Pete, for his part, didn't seem in any danger of forgetting about Patrick. He scrambled for the counter, for the contents of the spilled bags from earlier, and came back with a condom and a bottle of lube almost faster than Patrick could blink. And he wasn't touching Patrick at all, he was stripping down, but just the sight of Pete tearing the condom packet open once he was naked was enough to get Patrick close again.

Patrick reached for the lube with shaky fingers. It was definitely easier to hold onto than anything had been before the orgasm — he only dropped it once, and that was more because it was slippery than because of distracting shocks — but getting some on his fingers and rubbing around his hole was...well. Forget slipping anything in. This was too much for him to handle already.

He only stopped when Pete grabbed his wrist. That was good enough for another moan — and he could feel his cheeks burning again, like his sense of shame was coming back to him with more sex — and good enough for Pete to lean forward for another bruising kiss. He was a lot smoother even at this point than Patrick; he got the bottle of lube away and managed to get his fingers ready enough to slip inside Patrick without any major problems.

The second Pete brushed the right spot inside Patrick — almost by accident, if the way he froze at Patrick's cry was any way to tell — Patrick shuddered and came again, messy on his stomach. And he still wasn't getting soft.

Once the last of the shuddering stopped, Pete eased his fingers free. Patrick's legs spread, and much as he wanted to say that his legs were tired — and they were — there was definitely some kind of force behind it, a little bit of arch and push that couldn't be because of aching muscles, that probably wasn't even the burn lingering under his skin.

And there, Pete's hands on Patrick's hips, holding him. Patrick couldn't meet Pete's eyes, but the hands were so gentle, so careful. But it couldn't be due to any particular feelings; Pete just hadn't bathed in the stuff. He could afford to go more toward cradling than groping.

But he stayed slow as he lined up and carefully pushed in. It wasn't any better than the fingers, even though it seemed like it should be — Pete's dick definitely wasn't his fingers — but that plus the way Pete moved to hold him as he thrusted was just...perfect. So perfect that Patrick almost forgot until Pete slipped his hand around Patrick's dick that he was painfully hard. But he hugged Pete's shoulders and let it happen, and it was better than it should have been.

He came again, and as he clenched down around Pete, still so hard and big inside of him, Pete went faster, losing a little bit of the care in his speed. That was just as good because Patrick got to ruffle Pete's hair and bite down on his ear and help him by being there.

And judging by Pete's words, it was helping. It wasn't anything complex — "so good" and "oh god" and, most devastating, just "Patrick" — but there was nothing false, nothing less than genuine. Patrick could hear it like he could hear notes when they were on-key. He felt it in his chest like a kick, like when he got a good batch of lyrics. Of course Pete would let go here like he would on the page.

When Pete finally thrust a couple more times and stilled, it was over. He was getting soft, and Patrick was already there, even though there was still some kind of little twinge under his skin. But it was overshadowed by the heaviness of his eyelids, and by the way Pete slid up and hugged him even as they shifted on the tile. It was no place to fall asleep. But there was no way, at this moment, that he could go anywhere else.

Patrick was alone after he woke up. Still on the bathroom floor, too. But there was a pillow under his head and a sheet around him, so he wasn't cold. It didn't hurt that the door to the bedroom was closed, and the bathroom was just stuffy enough without being stifling.

The counter was still messy as Patrick sat up, sheet rustling around him. It seemed easier to tuck the sheet around his waist and separate things into groups than to go out into the other room. It would be hard to see Pete. It would be better if the bathroom had a window that Patrick could sneak out. But there was no window, and there were only so many things to put back the way they should go.

When it was all neat and he had his discarded clothes in his arms, he pulled the sheet up around his shoulders, stood as tall as his height would allow, and pushed the door open slowly.

It didn't matter. There was no one there, and when Patrick spotted the clock, it was no wonder: it hadn't even been two hours since his shower. The others were probably still up, and it would take a lot more than a shampoo roofie to get Pete to fall asleep. Patrick's cheeks burned, but he dropped the sheet and grabbed for new clothes. If he wasn't willing to be humiliated by Pete, he wouldn't tour with him.

That didn't stop him from scrambling back for the sheet when the door opened and Pete came in. Or part of the way: he froze when he saw Patrick, eyes getting huge.

"Come in."

Pete rounded the door like he didn't have to psych himself up to do it. He also didn't wait until the door was fully closed to say, "I cleaned off in Joe and Andy's room. And I warned everyone off about that basket."

That did explain why Pete didn't have makeup on and why his hair was wet. But Patrick still had to ask. "You didn't say anything about..."

"No." There wasn't any elaboration. It seemed like Pete was waiting. But for what?

"Okay," Patrick said, to himself at first. He cleared his throat. "Okay, yeah. Then we don't have to—"

There was a knock on the door. "Hey, it's me."

Joe. Patrick scrambled to get his jeans on — he very carefully didn't look at Pete as he did it — and nodded once they were buttoned. Pete pushed the handle, and Joe's head and all its curls poked in.

"Just wanted to warn you," Joe said. "We dumped the shampoo all over Ryan, and he was fine. But they ran Brendon to the hospital."

"Brendon? But he was in a different room."

"Yeah, he took a shower on his own. They think it was probably the soap."

"The soap?" Patrick asked. He dropped on his bed.

"Yeah." Joe's eyes narrowed at Patrick. Probably because he usually didn't go around with a shirt off. "You didn't use it, did you? There's a guy coming in to throw this shit out."

"He didn't," Pete said before Patrick could come up with something. "I washed my hands, but I only got a little weird."

"Management will probably want you checked out."

Pete shrugged. "Then they can do it later."

"Your funeral, dude. But good thing you took the shower when you did, huh?"

Joe ducked out, and Pete let the door close behind him. Or that's what Patrick assumed; he was too busy staring down at his hands to look up. It was too quiet in the room, so Patrick said, "You never touched the soap."

It wasn't a question. But the bed sagged next to Patrick, and Pete said, "No. I didn't."

Pete's hand touched Patrick's knee. Patrick twitched, but he didn't pull back. "But you don't want me. Like that."

"I don't?"

Patrick made himself look up. Pete's face was right next to his, open and vulnerable and almost harder to see, knowing that the expression and all the ones that came before weren't the result of any drugs.

"Do you?" Pete asked.

That probably would have been a good moment to kiss Pete. But Patrick wasn't that kind of guy, and he had no idea when they were going to get interrupted, so he grabbed his hand instead.

"Maybe," Patrick said.

The way Pete beamed was almost as good as a kiss anyway.