Patrick Brewer is the last person David wants to see tonight.
He gets that it’s Patrick’s house and all, but like, couldn’t he be out on PEI educating muskrats, or whatever it is that First Sons of Canada do with their abundance of free time? David had been promised (admittedly by his mother, so he should know better) a titillating good time at the Canadian Prime Minister’s Halloween bash, and the vision he’d crafted does not include his nemesis.
He scowls at the dance floor, where Alexis is trying to teach Patrick the Monster Mash - as if she knows any of the moves, please . But Patrick apparently thinks it’s cute , judging by the way he keeps throwing his head back in laughter. David gags into his cocktail.
He’s been annoyed by Patrick Brewer for as long as Patrick has been in the public eye. There’s not any one reason for it. He hates that Patrick makes it into best-dressed lists even though he clearly owns, like, one pair of pants and they’re probably from Men’s Wearhouse. He hates that sometimes when Patrick smiles, the corners of his mouth go down, instead of up, which, okay, isn’t really a rational reason to hate someone but is objectively annoying. Mostly, though, he hates Patrick because Patrick seems to be doing just fine with the entire world’s attention on him, while David sometimes can’t even get out of bed.
Being the First Son of the US is definitely, objectively more harrowing. The way his family has been forced to grow closer over the last few years is in itself a testament to the scrutiny and criticism they’ve endured. Meanwhile, Canadians agree on everything, including how much they love the Brewers. And okay, sure, there have been certain perks to being the son of the most powerful man in the world. But apparently being able to avoid Patrick fucking Brewer isn’t one of them.
His glass is empty again, and Stevie’s disappeared with a bottle of champagne, and he’s lost count of how many drinks he’s had so he might as well have one more. It’s on Clint’s personal tab, so it’s not like he’s stealing Merlot from the Canadian orphan population.
It’s only when he’s already pushed through to the bar that he sees who’s standing there, in a white button-up with the top few buttons undone and a pair of black slacks, his hair a little unkempt. This is what passes for a costume for straight-leg, boot cut, fixed-smile Patrick Brewer.
“Who the hell are you supposed to be?” David demands, tapping his glass for the bartender’s attention.
Patrick’s cheeks are flushed from dancing, and his eyes skitter over David’s own costume (Elton John circa 2013) with a small expression of amusement. “Um-” Patrick glances down at his clothes; David notices the slight edge of sweat around his collar and under his arms and at his hairline. “Michael Lewis. The-”
“The Moneyball guy, right?”
Patrick grins. “I didn’t know you cared about baseball, David. Or is it the math that draws you in?”
David rolls his eyes and inhales half of his refilled cocktail in one go. “As if. Brad Pitt brought him to a party once. I thought he was interesting until I realized the bases he was talking about weren’t sexual.”
Patrick’s mouth does that annoying turned-down smile thing. “David, are you drunk?”
David laughs harshly and peels away from the bar. Time to end this conversation; he’s reached his Patrick quota for the year. There are petit-fours over by the giant pumpkin-shaped cake that he’s been meaning to sneak into his pockets for later. “ No . I’m not drunk. I mean, yes, I’ve had something to drink, some...six or seven things to drink, and I know I’m not as manly as you, or whatever, but I can hold my liquor-”
He hears a little huff behind him. Patrick has followed him, like a gnat, or a tsetse fly. Has David not telegraphed his hatred enough?
“Listen-” Patrick starts to say.
“No, you listen,” David snarls, spinning on the spot, free hand extended to poke Patrick in the chest, except Patrick is standing much closer to him than he’d realized. He collides with Patrick’s chest, sending Patrick stumbling backwards, his hand clenched in David’s lapel, dragging them both into the bright orange, definitely-costs-thousands-of-dollars, giant pumpkin cake.