There's nothing straight about David.
That’s not even a commentary on David's sexuality. Patrick had heard about David’s “somewhat complicated” sexuality the way he’d learned many things about Schitt’s Creek - from Ray getting chatty over dinner and spilling town gossip Patrick had neither asked for nor wanted to know. Patrick doesn’t worry about it. David is just David. Patrick tries not to think about it too often either because it feels impolite and... somehow tender, like a bruise that lingers, to speculate about who people might be into.
So David isn't straight, probably, but that's not why Patrick can't stop looking at him. There's something about the angle of David's eyebrows relative to the slant of his mouth compared to how he holds his shoulders that keeps catching Patrick's eye. It means something.
It feels like David is always talking, the movements of his body telling their own story. There’s more to it, though, something just out of reach, like David is constantly holding something back that needs to get out somehow. It's both familiar and baffling, and Patrick keeps looking, keeps trying to learn David's language.
Like right now, for instance. David is helping a customer find the right moisturizer. "Hmm-mmh no," he says, pressing his lips together in that way he has before shaking his head and tilting it back. "All our products are great of course, but that doesn't mean everything is great for you." In the way David arches his brows, Patrick can read his horror at the woman not having a proper moisturizer when she's well over forty. From the way David’s mouth keeps trying to quirk into a smile, Patrick can tell that David is charmed a bit despite himself by her clueless but enthusiastic questions. And David keeps leaning in, which tells Patrick that he’s eager to sell her something. (Which isn’t a given. David doesn't always feel that a customer deserves their product. "We're a general store, but we're also a high-quality store. Not all customers should be courted, Patrick. Some people should shower first." Patrick had wanted to tease that David hadn't minded the sweaty hockey players when they had come into the store looking for anti-chafing cream, but that had seemed too... too personal, somehow, so he'd let it slide.)
So David is all angles and corners, and his edges are sharp. He wears them like high-fashion armor, bold and in stark contrast. Patrick doesn’t even think he does it on purpose. Unlike his never-ending parade of new and original sweaters, David’s edges are well-worn, born out of years of sarcastic self-protection. At first, Patrick had assumed that was all there was to David, but now that they’ve been spending almost all of their time together, Patrick is discovering there’s a David with his edges smoothed out, a David with softer angles.
Sharp or soft, all of David’s angles catch Patrick eye, and he wants to learn all of them. Wants to follow. Touch them.
Maybe there is nothing straight about Patrick either.
There's nothing subtle about David.
His opinions are loud. His outfits are loud. David's constant exasperation with his family’s antics is probably the loudest thing of all.
"Oh my god, Alexis!" David yells across the store. "How many times do I have to tell you, hmm? The products in the store are here to be sold to actual customers. They’re not here to be sampled by you like some kind of wine tasting!!"
"Eww, David!" Alexis yells back, somehow turning David into a three-syllable name. "I'm not spitting this lip balm into a glass."
David rolls his eyes and dances with his shoulders, Alexis waves her hands around, slapping David on his chest, and somehow, when the Rose siblings leave for lunch, still bickering on their way to the Café, Rose Apothecary is still standing, albeit a couple of lip balms poorer.
When David returns from the Café, he kisses Patrick hello but otherwise doesn't complain about Alexis and her thieving hands, which means he wasn't really upset about them. Still, his shoulders remain stiff when Patrick slides his hands up them.
"Had a nice lunch?" Patrick asks.
"Hmm-mmh. Had to keep Alexis distracted. She's been thinking about Ted too much." David looks out of the window, where Patrick can see Alexis standing by her bike, taking her phone out of her purse and putting it back without using it. She looks lost and smaller than her usual self, and Patrick has never seen any of the Roses look small. "I don’t like seeing her like this," David says softly.
Patrick wraps his arms around David’s waist from behind, hooking his chin over David’s shoulder. David feels tense under his hands but eventually leans back against Patrick, sighing worriedly and still looking through the window at his sister.
“We could always organize an actual wine tasting,” Patrick suggests. “It would be good publicity for some of our vendors and would help promote the shop. You could hire Alexis to help with marketing.”
David tries to look at Patrick, his face doing something complicated. Eventually, he turns around completely in Patrick’s arms, sliding his hands up Patrick’s arms until they rest on his shoulders.
“You would let Alexis handle the marketing?” David breathes incredulously. “For me?”
“Well, I would do it for our shop. And for her. But also for you, yes.”
David rolls his eyes, but the corner of his mouth lifts before he kisses Patrick, lingering and sweet. Patrick can’t hold back a small sound of protest when David breaks the kiss and pulls back, asking, “Does it have to be a wine tasting, though?”
“Drunk people buy things they don’t need,” Patrick counters.
David does his fond half-smile again. “They really do. I once bought a mannequin of Ryan Gosling. It was taller than me.”
It takes them three weeks to set it all up. Three weeks of Alexis taking up a lot of their free time and peace of mind, of Alexis constantly bugging them with proposals and requests to pre-taste the wine to make sure it’s up to her quality requirements.
Finally, the evening rolls around. The wine tasting draws quite a crowd, the populace of Schitt’s Creek turning out in full force for the chance to feel fancy and get free drinks. People get just drunk enough to think the wine is amazing and buy so much they nearly run out. Even Roland buys the last remaining fancy plunger, regaling everyone with his evening plans to unclog a toilet at home, which had been clogged for three days, much to Moira’s horror.
The Roses are all present being their loud and dramatic selves, and the crowd is rambunctious. Amidst the chaos, Patrick catches David watching his sister ‘schmooze up their customers’. His worried frown has almost completely gone, and a small but genuine smile is curving his lips.
For once, he’s not moving, a quiet point of focus in the whirlwind wine-addled crowd.
When David catches Patrick watching him in turn, he doesn’t move, just mouths a voiceless ‘thank you.’
The thing is… there’s nothing subtle about David, except for the myriad ways he cares for the people he loves.
There is nothing easy about David.
He’s particular about his clothes, demanding in his expectations of the people around them, and scathing when those people don’t meet his approval. Patrick has heard David being referred to as high-maintenance on more than one occasion.
And it’s true that he’s loud and sometimes obnoxious and terribly, terribly opinionated about everything. At the same time, he holds back his feelings most of the time, keeps his true thoughts close to his chest.
Patrick had learned very quickly that his shoes were incorrect, his shirts were too boring, his jeans were too common, and his taste in frames was atrocious, although David had never truly said anything of that directly to his face. Most of all, Patrick had puzzled over whether those criticisms of Patrick’s taste meant that David could never be interested in him.
He’d kept on considering and speculating until David kissed him that first time and all of Patrick’s uncertainty had disappeared into a cloud of butterflies and actual wonder.
David is easy.
He’s said so himself on multiple occasions. “I’m easy either way,” he says while clutching Patrick to his chest after the whole Ken disaster. “Pizza will definitely make me easy for you,” he jokes when Patrick brings home a pie after a hike. “So easy,” he repeats, moaning around a bite of Quattro Formaggio.
They’re still careful about the Pandora's boxes that are their pasts, but they don’t keep them as closed as before Rachel. So, David has shared more than one flippant anecdote about his wild and varied past, often including words like ‘easy’ and ‘used’ and even ‘asked for it’ one time.
Those words make Patrick feel protective and furious at all the people who had David in their arms and threw that gift away. They make him determined to cherish and appreciate David the way he deserves.
So when David makes a self-deprecating remark in bed, Patrick pauses and just looks at him, appreciating every inch of him, all naked and spread out on their fancy sheets until David sighs, “Stop it...” and pulls him down for a kiss.
When David is all wired up and filled with tension, Patrick touches every part of David with tenderness and care, like he’s precious and fragile, showering David’s skin with kisses and affection, declaring his love and affection for David’s body, even the parts he tries to hide away with his bulky sweaters.
When David reads about an ex-girlfriend on some kind of fashion blog, Patrick gets him an extra scone at the Cafe when he goes to get lunch, and later, he memorizes David’s complicated moisturizing routine, so he can recognize and apply the correct eye-serum in the mornings and evenings.
It’s true. There’s nothing easy about David. He’s loud and high-maintenance, and his edges and angles are sharp enough to cut yourself on.
But loving him is the easiest thing Patrick has ever done. Which is why Patrick buys David four rings and not one.