The fight had gotten out of control, and Patrick would have been able to stop it if he had been sober. But he’d been drinking steadily all night, and it only got worse when Dean (one of David’s exes, Patrick later learned) had showed up and David had just… talked to him. It was just like when David had kissed Ted, Patrick was moping and drinking off to the side as David allowed this… whoever it was to openly flirt with him. Eventually, his gaze had travelled over to Patrick. There was a smile on his face for half a second before he saw whatever was on Patrick’s face, bid the guy goodbye and walked over.
“Hello, love of my life,” he said teasingly, but Patrick could see the anxiety in his eyes. Christ, David hadn’t even really done anything and Patrick was feeling out of control.
“Who was that?” he asked, thinking it best to just get to the point.
“That was Dean,” David said, “We met in New York. We used to um, date.”
“Oh, isn’t that nice,” Patrick replied, “Were you going to introduce him to your fiancé?”
“I was actually,” David replied, letting some annoyance slip in, “But I’m not sure that’s a good idea now.”
“Don’t make me say it, Patrick,” David murmured and twined their fingers together, “Let’s just go home. We’ve said hi to my mother, I’ve seen everyone I want to see-”
“You mean Dean?” he couldn’t help himself. The guy- Dean- had touched David’s hair. David didn’t let Patrick do that outside of their homes. David had allowed this guy to touch his hair and rub his shoulder and kiss him on the cheek in greeting and Patrick had seemed to be the furthest thing from David’s mind.
“I actually meant Ted and Alexis, who you would have also seen if you hadn’t been seething in the corner,” David continued, “So now we can go home and discuss this in the morning when we are sober.”
When Patrick was sober, he meant. David hadn’t had anything to drink.
Patrick sighed and acquiesced. It was Moira’s premiere and he didn’t want to cause drama. He’d known there would be people from David’s old crowd here. People he probably hadn’t thought about in years but would be forced to be polite to for the sake of his mother. Patrick had known that coming in and decided to come anyway even when David have given him a million outs, but that didn’t stop the jealousy from churning inside him as they couldn’t even leave this place without someone grabbing David for a goodbye kiss every three feet, and David dutifully accepted all of them. He let these people touch him in ways Patrick was never allowed to in public before, and continued not introducing Patrick. Eventually they made their way outside and Patrick was practically dragging them to the car.
They were supposed to drive through the night back to Schitt’s Creek so they could open the store on time in the morning, but Patrick couldn’t think of anything he wanted less than to be trapped in a car over night.
“What?” David snapped finally after a few minutes of David driving.
“I just can’t believe how much ass you kissed tonight.”
“You heard me.”
“You can’t believe I was nice to New York’s elite at my mother’s movie premiere?” David asked.
“Don’t sound all reasonable,” Patrick replied.
“Don’t sound ridiculous,” David said, “It is not a good color on you.”
“Oh, so you can drag me away from anyone you think is making eyes at me but I can’t be upset with you flirting all night and ignoring me?”
David drove in silence for a few minutes, and Patrick outwardly cringed at his choice of words. This always meant that David had moved from annoyed to legitimately pissed off. When he got quiet instead of snapping the first thing that popped into his head and was instead coming up with either an actual argument or the best way to cut his opponent down. It was something left over from David’s crueler days, when he didn’t allow anyone to know they had hurt him. It was a place Patrick always regretted driving him to the moment he realized he’d done it, drawn out the David unsure or himself or their life together.
“I didn’t introduce you because those people are inconsequential to me and I don’t want them anywhere near my new life,” he said finally, “Not Dean, not Sebastian, not anyone I knew in New York. And might I remind you that I do not care that you still talk to Rachel and she comments little hearts on your Instagram because I trust you. And if that is how little you trust me, maybe you shouldn’t have put a ring on my finger.”
There it was, maybe the only side of David Rose Patrick wasn’t actively obsessed with. The cruel, vindictive side. Patrick couldn’t help the audible gasp that bubbled out of him,
“Don’t you dare use our engagement as a bargaining chip.”
“Nights like this are going to happen again,” David replied as if Patrick hadn’t spoken at all, “I am going to have to play nice with people I used to fuck or have hurt me or I have hurt, and if you can’t handle that, then I meant it.”
“You think I don’t want to marry you?” Patrick demanded, unsure how their fight had turned into this. His inebriated brain was trying to keep up with how their conversation had twisted into this. He was drunk and pissed off, but there was no reality where he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life with David Rose. Unfortunately, David kept talking before Patrick could say that.
“Sometimes I’m not sure, Patrick, that you know what you’re getting into,” he said, “And if you really understood what the Roses were like, then I don’t think you’d want to marry me, no.”
“You were right, we should talk about this in the morning,” Patrick said after a moment of being unable to put into words how stupid of a thought that was.
“You’re the one who picked a fight,” David murmured but Patrick wouldn’t take the bait. Whatever David was feeling right now was very delicate and Patrick wouldn’t be the one to break it, not when he thought they were unbreakable. David lashed out sometimes, that was all this was.
They drove the rest of the way in suffocating silence and mercifully, they finally got back to Schitt’s Creek. David didn’t speak as he pulled up to Patrick’s apartment or as Patrick gathered his things. The only thing he said was, “I’m going to sleep at the motel.”
“David, wait,” Patrick said through the open window.
“What?” he snapped, not even looking at Patrick.
“I love you,” he said finally, not sure what else he was capable of right now, “I love you, David.”
“I love you, too,” David said so quietly Patrick wasn’t sure he was supposed to hear it. David was gone before he could say anything else.
Patrick clumsily made his way upstairs and into his bed, not even bothering to take his clothes off before passing out. Patrick would replay the evening over and over again, the soft kisses before the party as David showed him around the city before Patrick had ruined everything. He would justify it later, that so rarely was Patrick the dramatic one, that he deserved one night of being jealous and irrational. Patrick knew he couldn’t have known what was going to happen when he’d pick this fight, but he would often wonder what he would have done differently if he’d known this was going to be the last normal day of his life.
It seemed like minutes between when Patrick passed out and when someone was pounding on his door. It actually wasn’t much time at all. David had dropped him off around three and it was barely five now and who the fuck was knocking on his door this time of night? Despite the night they’d had, David probably would have let himself in. But it couldn’t be David, David was mad at him. For good reason. Sober Patrick could see how unreasonable he had been. David shouldn’t have said what he said, but Patrick started it. He’d apologize in the morning, play Tina Turner and Mariah Carey all day if he had to and David would forgive him.
David was all he was thinking about as he clumsily and made his way downstairs all while someone banged on the door incessantly.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” Stevie growled the moment he opened the door to her. She looked pissed and… scared?
“What?” Patrick replied. He wasn’t drunk, but he certainly wasn’t 100% sober yet, not to mention exhausted.
“Why aren’t you at the hospital and why didn’t you pick up your phone?”
Hospital. Patrick’s blood ran cold. His phone was probably dead because he hadn’t plugged it in before he passed out, which meant he’d clearly missed some sort of emergency.
“Stevie, what’s going on?” he forced calmness into his voice but Stevie wasn’t listening.
“Pack a bag, some stuff for David too, we’re going to the hospital.”
“Because someone is in the hospital? Is it Mr. Rose’s heart again?” he said as he followed Stevie’s instructions, but she still wasn’t looking at him and was instead throwing David’s sweaters on the bed at random. Patrick packed them anyways.
“No,” Stevie replied, finally turning to look at him when it was clear there was nothing more she could do to make herself busy, “David is in the hospital.”
“What?” Patrick asked. That made no sense. David had been here a few hours ago and he was fine. David couldn’t be in the hospital because they were fighting and Patrick refused to let anything bad happen to David before he could make it better.
“He called me and said you got into a fight and he was picking up wine and he’d be by in 20 minutes to drink and complain,” Stevie said as she went back down stairs, Patrick helpless to do anything but follow her, “But he never showed up and I thought he probably just fell asleep in his room, except then I’m getting calls from the police and I have to wake up Alexis and Mr. and Mrs. Rose because you’re his emergency contact and you didn’t pick up so they had to call me instead, because I was his second contact. Alexis is his third and I kind of wish they’d called her themselves, because that would have been one less person I had to talk to tonight but-”
“Stevie,” Patrick interrupted. It was the most Stevie had ever said at one time without being sarcastic and she hadn’t even said what happened yet, but Patrick was filled with dread because it was David and Patrick hadn’t been there because he had been pissed off and his phone was dead and oh god, was David…
“He was in a car accident,” Stevie replied finally, “They finally got him stabilized and the others finally got there so I thought I should come get you.”
All the air rushed out of Patrick’s lungs. David wasn’t dead, that was the dark place his mind had gone, but that wasn’t true. His life wasn't over because David was alive. Patrick would get the chance to apologize. But if they’d had to stabilize David that meant at one point he had been unstable, which didn’t sound good. But he was alive, that was the important thing. Anything else they could get through. A long recovery process, physical therapy, Patrick could support him in anything. If David still wanted him, that is, he had been a royal asshole tonight. But events like this had a way of putting this in perspective, and David would forgive him and they would be okay.
“You’re thinking too loud,” Stevie complained. The closest hospital was over an hour away, but Stevie was driving entirely too fast for someone whose best friend was just in a car accident and they were almost there. After he saw David he would take the time to make sure Stevie was okay because it seemed like she was in shock, but so was Patrick and right now it was keeping them both sane so Patrick said nothing. He just continued to form all the grand gestures he’d use to get David’s forgiveness. Maybe they’d have to postpone the wedding? That was okay because when they had the rest of their lives, what was a few more months of it not being legally binding?
Patrick was running through the things he’d have to cancel and reschedule when they pulled into the ER parking lot. It was busy, a Friday night close to the holidays but they were directed to David’s room right away with a nurse telling him David had a pretty bad concussion in addition to some broken ribs and a broken wrist, so he was probably very confused. But once they’d made the call not to induce a coma to help with the swelling of his brain, it was imperative he stay awake so they could monitor him, so they were allowing visitors. Patrick stopped just short of the room. Mr. and Mrs. Rose were waiting outside and they looked so relieved to see Patrick, but a split second later something else crossed their faces that resembled pity and guilt. Stevie showed no such hesitation and barged right into the room. Patrick saw a glimpse of Alexis as she did, but couldn’t quite see David.
Patrick opted instead to talk to Mr. and Mrs. Rose. Surprisingly, Mr. Rose pulled him into a tight embrace. Even Mrs. Rose gave his hand a quick squeeze.
“I’m so sorry,” Patrick said, “My phone was dead and-”
“No need to apologize, sweetheart,” Mrs. Rose cooed, “It’s the middle of the night of course you were asleep.” It sounded completely sincere but Patrick couldn’t help but flinch slightly as if it was an accusation.
“I guess I should go see him?” Patrick asked even as he made no move towards the room.
“Patrick,” Mr. Rose began, “He doesn’t seem like himself.”
“Of course he doesn’t, he had four broken ribs and swollen brain,” Mrs. Rose chided as she rung her hands.
“No, but-” Mr. Rose continued, but was interrupted by Alexis and Stevie inside.
“David, Ew!” From Alexis.
“What the fuck, David?” From Stevie, then the three of them outside were bursting in.
Stevie was sitting next to David, one of his hands holding hers and the other cradling her face, which was odd but not impossible all things considered about how this day had gone. Stranger, and awful, was David glancing at Patrick then immediately looking away, as if David had summed up all he needed to in the cursory glance and decided Patrick wasn’t worth his time.
“I’m sorry, Stevie, I didn’t realize you were bringing a guest to my death bed,” he snarked, then turned back to Patrick, “I’m David Rose, and you are?”