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The Lucky One

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4x05 RIP Moira Rose

 

Patrick looks up attentively as the bell rings over the door, ready to greet incoming customers. His face relaxes into a more natural smile when he sees his boyfriend struggling with the door, weighed down by several branded tote bags full of sample product. Patrick moves around the counter to help him.

“Hey,” David greets him tiredly, giving him that pretty little half smile that always makes Patrick melt just a little.

“Hi,” Patrick says, carefully sliding the tote bags from David’s shoulders and pecking him on the lips.

“The cheese and the peanut butter things need to be refrigerated,” David instructs, rubbing his shoulders where the straps had cut in.

That won’t do. Patrick makes a mental note to ring up a bottle of their cedar massage oil to take back with them to Ray’s tonight.

“How did it go?” Patrick tosses back over his shoulder as he arranges the samples in the small private fridge they keep in the stockroom.

“We have exclusivity on Heather’s cheese,” David says offhandedly, following him into the back.

Patrick’s head snaps up from the fridge.

“David, that’s huge,” Patrick says, closing the fridge door and coming over to give David a kiss on the cheek, enjoying the way David struggles between his instincts to lean into the kiss and away from the praise.

“What did you do to get her to change her mind?” Patrick asks as they make their way back onto the floor together, Patrick getting back behind the register and David moving to replenish the merchandise.

Patrick can’t help but feel a tiny thrill at the easy rhythm of their routine.

“Actually, it was Alexis who cinched it. She was a big help today,” David says, focusing down at the bottles of toner he’s rearranging.

“Oh, well, that’s good,” Patrick says, tilting his head like it will help him decipher the expression on David’s face. “Right?”

“Hmm? Yeah,” David says distractedly.

The bell jingles above the door again and this time, it’s an actual customer, closely followed by another, so Patrick has to let it go for now as he and David split up to help each person. Patrick watches out of the corner of his eye as David upsells some poor husband with no clue about bath products so well that Patrick might actually be in danger of getting hard.

~~~

David’s vendor meetings had taken up most of the work day, so by the time they each finish up with their respective customers, there’s only an hour and a half until close. They have a few more stragglers come in to browse, but otherwise it’s pretty quiet, and Patrick can’t help but notice that David is being a little bit clingier than usual. He hovers nearby, fluttering his hands over Patrick’s shoulders and snuggling into his side behind the counter, moving away when Patrick’s with a customer only to drift back over again the moment Patrick finishes ringing them up.

Now they’ve finally flipped the sign to closed for the day, and Patrick’s trying to balance the register, but it’s difficult with David clinging to his back like a monochrome koala.

“What’s all this about?” He asks teasingly, catching David’s arm when he goes to pull away instinctively.

David shakes his head, burying his face further into the back of Patrick’s neck, and becoming even more octopus-like.

“David,” Patrick laughs helplessly.

“Just . . . missed you a bit today,” David mumbles, and Patrick can actually feel David’s cheek heating against the skin of his neck at the admission.

Well, Patrick can’t be expected to not kiss him at this point.

He turns around, catching David’s face in his hands, and kissing him soundly. David lets out a pleased sigh and sinks into it, so much so that Patrick has to move his hands from David’s face in order to hold him steady around his waist. David has a tendency to swoon, and Patrick can never decide whether to find it flattering or amusing. One of these days, he’s going to have to resign himself to the fact that he’s probably always going to feel multiple things about David at any given moment. David inspires a lot of feeling.

“Mmm, David,” Patrick says, reluctantly pulling back from David’s lips, “much as I’d love to continue this, the sooner you let me finish doing this, the sooner we can go home.”

“That would be a much more enticing proposition if we weren’t going to have to spend at least an hour talking to Ray before we can get a modicum of privacy,” David snarks, but he lets go and gets back to restocking the bath salts with renewed vigour.

~~~

They work in companionable silence for a while. Patrick hums along to the Pop Divas of the 90s playlist David usually switches over to once they’ve closed. Patrick doesn’t know if Jewel really counts as a diva, but he’s not about to question David’s expertise on the subject. Fifteen minutes later, Patrick finally locks the cash in their safe. When he comes out of the back room to help David finish up with the rest of the tasks they need to get done before they can head out for the evening, he notices that David is stalled again, staring out the window with a spray bottle of natural cleaner dangling from his fingertips. His brow is furrowed and he looks a thousand miles away.

“Hey,” Patrick says curiously, lightly resting a hand on the small of David’s back. “Where are you right now?”

David jumps a little, then sets down his cleaner, spinning around to face him.

“So it turns out Heather is Heather Warner,” David says rapidly, looking at him with wide eyes.

“Ok,” Patrick says slowly. “Is that name supposed to mean something to me?”

David huffs like Patrick is being difficult, which is how he often reacts when Patrick fails to keep up with conversations David starts in his own head.

“Heather Warner is dating Ted. Ted, like, Alexis’s Ted,” David elaborates.

“Ohhh. Oh. That must have been awkward.”

“It was very awkward! She asked us to stay for lunch, and Ted was there, in her house,” David says like he’s describing something illicit.

“And I couldn’t just say no! She’s been hemming and hawing for months, and she kept talking about all these other retailers that were putting in offers. So we just like, all had lunch together and tried to talk around the fact that her boyfriend used to be engaged to my sister. I could barely even finish my second slice of quiche. And Alexis is like-”

David stops and presses the heels of his palms into his eyes briefly, and Patrick’s rubs his back where he’s still holding him loosely around the waist.

“I’ve never seen her like this about a guy before. Like ever. And she stayed anyway, the whole time, and actually bargained for us to get the deal, and like- I just don’t get why she would put herself through that,” David finally exhales, crossing his arms around himself.

Ah. There it is.

“Hmm, I don’t know, David, maybe because you’re her brother and she cares about you?” Patrick says, a mix of mocking and sincere as he gazes fondly at his boyfriend.

David’s face contorts into an expression that somehow combines disgust and shy pleasure. Patrick’s seen it before and adores it.

“Ok, whatever, I don’t know. I guess I just like . . . feel guilty or something. For putting her in that position, even though I didn’t know Heather was like, Heather. I feel- ”

David stares down at Patrick’s hands where they’re rubbing David’s sides over his sweater. Patrick waits patiently for him to finish his thought. It’s rare that David voluntarily shares this much of his internal processing.

David takes a deep breath.

“I guess it just made me feel like I’m really lucky that I get to have this. With you. And it feels like it isn’t fair that she doesn’t get to have this with someone too,” David gets out haltingly, wincing immediately afterwards.

Patrick tries not to coo at him because he has a feeling it would not be well-received. He moves his hands from David’s waist to rest firmly on his shoulders, waiting for David’s eyes to meet his.

“Well, I, for one, am very glad that you have this with me,” Patrick says gently. “And I think Alexis is glad you have this too. And I think she’s very lucky she has a brother who cares enough to pay attention to her life and look out for her the way you do.”

“Ugh, gross, ” David groans, head tilted back.

Patrick hides his grin in a kiss to the side of David’s neck and thinks to himself that he’s the lucky one.

~~~

Later, when they’re finally locking up for the night, Patrick catches David wrapping up most of the remaining peanut butter squares for Alexis and doesn’t say a word. He also pretends to buy David’s excuse for why he needs to spend the night at the motel instead of with Patrick at Ray’s like they’d planned (apparently, he can’t be expected to put up with Ray’s “intense energy” when he’s been through an “emotional and psychological ordeal”).

Patrick keeps his mouth shut this time, but he knows the truth. David Rose is a good person. And sometimes, more and more every day, he’s a nice person too.