“Unclear, unclear on whether I’m gonna make it through or not,” it’s a joke, but it’s not.
He’s trying to keep it light, his relationship with Patrick so new he doesn’t want to let him see the side of him that wants to curl up and cry.
Except this isn’t just Alexis having gotten herself into another scrape in a foreign country that he can pay her way out of – either literally, or by paying for security agents to go pull her out again – this is something that will change Alexis’ whole life. All their lives.
And once again, David’s been given the responsibility... the blame when Alexis messes up.
It’s always been his job to look after her and half the time he doesn’t think his parents even realised she was in trouble, before David pulled her out of it. But on those occasions, when they’d actually been paying anything remotely like attention, it was always his fault.
And now here they are again.
‘I’m a little disappointed in you David’ his Dad’s words ring in his ears.
“David?” Patrick was back in front of him before he realised it, but instead of the amused, flirty smile from before, his eyes were concerned. “Hey... are you okay?”
“Fine...” David stuttered.
Patrick frowned, fingers curling softly around David’s neck, as he stepped between his legs, but instead of pulling him into another kiss, he tugged him into a hug, nudging him into place, until David’s head rested against his shoulder and Patrick’s hands were rubbing up and down his back in soothing movements.
David sagged into his embrace.
“My Dad said... he said he was disappointed in me, for... not looking out for Alexis better,” he admitted softly into Patrick’s shoulder. “He was right.”
“David...” Patrick pulled back, putting a hand on David’s cheek. “This is not your fault.”
“I’m supposed to...”
“Alexis is an adult, David. She made a choice. And choices have consequences,” Patrick said. “You can be there for her now. We can. But you can’t take this all on yourself. Your Dad was wrong.”
“I’ve always been able to... fix things. Until we came here.”
“David... you’re a good brother.” Patrick said, giving him a soft look as he pulled David close again, pressing a kiss to the side of his head. “It will be okay.”
David didn’t necessarily feel like a good brother. But with Patrick warm and strong, holding him close and whispering soft words of assurance, it was a little easier to believe that maybe everything would be okay.