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How, Patrick?

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David Rose had been staring at his husband’s YouTube channel page for a good ten minutes now. There he was, unquestionably the same man he was married to, smiling with arms crossed in his profile photo. A man who did community theater, gave amazing head, made David swoon on the reg with his guitar serenades, and who apparently had a channel with a hundred or so uploaded videos and more than 400,000 subscribers, which David had not known existed until an hour ago.

“Uggghhh! I hate this!” Alexis had said on their lunchtime video chat. “Why didn’t they teach us money and stuff in school?”

“Uh, they did. It isn’t their fault that you absorbed zero point zero percent of it. What are you trying to figure out?”

“What even is a Roth IRA, anyway?”

“You mean those pointy-toed flats I see on Instagram?”

“Ew, David. It’s an investment thing.”

“Ask your brother-in-law. I cheerfully outsource all our finances to him.”

“It’s his day at the store, right?”

“He won’t mind.”

“I’ll just go to his channel. I think he has a video about this.”

The needle-scratch noise inside David’s head was so loud that for a hot second he wondered if Alexis heard it, too. “I’m sorry, his what, now?”

“His channel. His YouTube channel.”

Patrick has a YouTube channel??”

So after several incoherent screechy minutes with Alexis, here he was, on the “How, Patrick?” YouTube channel. It seemed to be a series of videos of Patrick helpfully explaining real-life tasks, which was possibly the most Patrick thing he’d ever seen in his life. Glancing down the list of uploads, David saw videos on how to hang a picture, how to change a tire, how to write a budget, and yes, how to open a Roth IRA.

David was awash with questions. Primary among them was why Patrick had never mentioned this. Was he embarrassed? No reason he should be, this channel looked to be innocuous and useful, even potentially adorable. Did he not want David to be a part of it? He didn’t like to think of reasons why that would be.

He gets to have things just for him, he told himself. This seemed like a pretty big thing to keep quiet about, was the only catch. It looked like he added videos a few times a month, the last one (“How to Maximize Your Travel Dollar”) having been added just last week.

Of course he was going to watch them. That wasn’t even a question. The question was, in what order should he watch them? Start at the beginning? That seemed the best strategy. He liked to see a creator evolve through time.

He ordered the videos by ascending date of upload and found the first one. He took a deep breath and clicked “Play.”

Patrick was sitting behind what he recognized as his old desk at Ray’s house, the very spot where they’d first met, which gave him a little trill of nostalgia. I could never have suspected that this buttoned-up boy would be...who he ended up being.

“Hello!” Patrick said, giving his “business consultant” smile into the camera. “I’m Patrick, and I’m going to explain some strategies for setting up a reasonable household budget. A lot of people out on their own for the first time struggle with goals and limits, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating! We’ll walk through the steps together.”

David found himself grinning. Patrick had hand-held him through so much in the early days of their business that he recognized this exact tone: generous, confident, but slightly bemused at the things other people didn’t know. He watched as Patrick used a whiteboard to diagram things, sprinkling his instructions with bits of wisdom like “However much you think you spend on groceries and eating out, double it” and “A lot of people neglect to budget for car maintenance, but doing so will save you money in the long term.” David nodded along. Solid advice, honey.

The video was about ten minutes long. The comments were a smattering of commentary about things Patrick had left out and grateful thanks for the clarity.

He clicked on the next one.

Hello! I’m Patrick, and today I’m going to talk to you about your credit report, how to access it, and what it means.

Hello! I’m Patrick, and today we’re going to go through the most common retirement savings plans offered by most employers, what they mean, and how you can use them to your advantage.

Hello! I’m Patrick, and today’s topic is my very first commenter request! Thanks for the question, Ariel567. Ariel asked if I could explain how life insurance works. You bet! That’s a great topic.

David looked at the upload dates. All of these were from April of 2017, the year they’d met - but they hadn’t met until May. The next video was dated about two weeks after he’d first gone to Ray’s; by that time, he and Patrick had gone into business together.

He clicked “next.” For the first time, the video was being shot outdoors (who was shooting this video? It could only be Ray, that sneaky little bugger). Patrick was standing next to his car, which had the hood up.

“Hello! I’m Patrick. Today I’m going to show you how to check the oil level in your car, and also change the wiper fluid. It’s super easy, and no need to worry about getting dirty. Well, unless you’re my business partner, David. He wears gloves when he changes the receipt tape in our cash register.” David snorted, absurdly pleased at his first mention on the channel. He watched Patrick capably demonstrate the oil check and the wiper fluid. David knew that he had a competence kink a mile wide; it was one of the things that had first attracted him to Patrick. Even watching him so surely and confidently do these mundane tasks was getting him a little hot. Watching him repeatedly bend over the car in tight jeans wasn’t helping.

He clicked on the comments.

 

  • Who’s this David?
  • Business partner? What kind of business?
    • Something involving a cash register, at any rate!
    • What if they own, like, a hair salon.
  • Do tire pressure checks next!
  • Presented without comment: he bends over the car at 1:43, 2:56, 3:14, 4:32 and 5:45.
    • You’re doing the Lord’s work.
  • Is it weird that I’m getting hot watching him refill wiper fluid?

 

David chuckled, wondering if he’d left that comment himself in his sleep. It went without saying that a man as attractive as Patrick could not escape thirsty comments when doing something public-facing, and YouTube commenters weren’t known for their polite restraint. Good thing he wasn’t the territorial type.

Next.

Outdoors again, this time sitting on Ray’s back step with a pair of shoes next to him. “Hello! I’m Patrick. My business partner, David, says that the condition of your shoes says a lot about you. I can’t say I’ve noticed that myself, but he knows a lot more about fashion than I do, obviously,” he said, gesturing to his jeans-and-button-down. “So today I’m going to show you how to shine up your shoes. I’m using men’s shoes for this - a pair of my own - but this works for women’s shoes, too!” He went on to demonstrate very competent shoe-shining with practiced movements.

 

  • Things we know about The Mysterious David: a) he cares about shoe maintenance and b) he operates a cash register.
  • I tried to shine my shoes once. All I accomplished was ruining a perfectly good pair of jeans.
  • That deep blue shirt is really working for you, Patrick.
    • Working for me, too.
      • Hard same
  • I need to know more about The Mysterious David. I need this because of reasons.

 

This was...delightful.

David watched video after video, keeping an eye on their upload dates, anticipating July 2nd, the day that the “business partner” description would cease to be wholly accurate and wondering if it would be reflected in how Patrick spoke about him. This curiosity only intensified as he realized that Patrick spoke about him in every single video.

He spotted the pattern after four videos. Each task Patrick demonstrated or explained was introduced by way of something David had asked about, done, not done, or not known how to do.

 

[crouched next to his car by the side of the road] My business partner, David, is on the local auto club’s Ten Most Notorious Drivers’ list, so today I’m going to help you avoid his fate and show you how to change a tire.

[standing in Ray’s kitchen] David, my business partner, asked me if olive oil and vegetable oil were the same thing, so today I’m going to show you which oils you should buy for basic kitchen needs, and how they’re different.

[at the trailhead to one of his favorite hikes] I once invited my business partner, David, to come on a hike with me, and he asked me if there would be bears. Today, I’m going to talk about getting started with a hiking hobby, what to wear, and what to bring.

 

He was doing it on purpose. Patrick had found a cute little hook for his videos and was using an abstraction of David as a sort of surrogate for his viewers. In less generous hands, it could have been mocking, or humiliating - David as the bumbling idiot. But Patrick was so warm and kind, and his fondness for David came through in his voice so clearly, that it somehow wasn’t. Instead of being an incompetent to be mocked, David became an Everyman who just needed a few useful tips. He didn’t have to look any further than the comments to see that he wasn’t the only one who thought so.

 

  • The Mysterious David is my spirit animal.
    • can we not with the appropriative terminology please thanks
  • I feel David in my SOUL, for I, too, am constantly confused by everything.
  • If only there could be a Patrick for every David, the world would live in peace.
  • As always, The Mysterious David is a #mood.
  • At this point we must ask the question: does David actually exist?
    • I’ve been wondering that myself.
    • Maybe he’s a made-up character to personalize the videos.
      • Or he’s like Maris on “Frasier.” We’ll keep finding out more and more outlandish facts about him until he can’t possibly be an actual human being.
  • Patrick knows business, money, car maintenance, cooking, AND he hikes? Did they grow him in a lab? Is he an experiment designed to ruin us for all other men?

 

David laughed out loud at that one. “Wait till you guys find out he sings, plays the guitar AND the piano, too,” he muttered. They’d beat down the door.

 

Hello! I’m Patrick. Today at lunch, my business partner David couldn’t stop commenting on how one of the pictures on the wall of the cafe was crooked. Nobody wants a distractingly crooked picture on their wall, so today I’m going to show you how to hang a picture and use a level to get it nice and even.

Hello! I’m Patrick. My business partner, David, tried to add something to one of my spreadsheets today and somehow the entire document got translated into Russian. I’m going to show you some of the most useful, basic functions of Excel that you can use to help organize your life! Anyone can benefit from a little Excel...except maybe David, of course, but that’s what he has me for.

 

David smirked. Patrick’s feelings for him were starting to bleed through a little bit. As he watched the next couple of videos - they were closing in fast on July 2nd now - he saw that he was not the only one to notice.

 

  • I have deep empathy for The Mysterious David’s battle with Excel.
  • Okay. I’m probably not the first to say it but I think Patrick has the Lusty Wrong Feelings for The Mysterious David.
    • Try and keep up, the rest of us spotted that four vids ago.
    • Why wrong feelings? That’s homophobic.
      • It’s a jokey Buffy reference.
    • Rude to assume someone’s sexuality.
      • Patrick reads super straight to me.
        • That means nothing.
    • For all we know, The Mysterious David has a wife and eight kids.
  • I can’t believe I’m shipping a how-to YouTuber and a man I’ve never even seen.
    • You’re probably shipping a how-to YouTuber and a man who doesn’t exist.
      • Still on that train, eh?
        • I am firmly in Camp Imaginary David.
          • Nope. He’s real. Nobody could make up that guy. He has to be real.

 

David was absurdly flattered that the commentariat thought he was too weird to be fictional. Seemed like an accomplishment, somehow.

Next.

 

Hello! I’m Patrick. My business partner, David, is very into repurposing old furniture. He’s got a knack for finding things that look like hopeless wrecks, but turn out looking amazing with a little elbow grease. Today I’m going to show you a fast, non-intensive treatment for old furniture to get it looking like new again.

 

Next. Also, he had to find out what Patrick had done with the table he used for this video because it looked great.

 

Hello! I’m Patrick. David, my business partner, says that sustainability in clothing is very important, so today I’m going to show you something he actually taught ME. It’s a good skill to know how to reattach a button, and it’s not hard! Just a needle and thread, and a few minutes’ work.

 

  • I am so over-invested in Patrick and his Mysterious David, I feel like a crazy person.
  • I need to know if they share glasses of wine and longing looks over button repair and olive oil selection.
    • I would read that fanfiction hundo p.
    • [shutupandtakemymoney.jpg]
      • who wants to tell this commenter that there is already Patrick/David fanfiction over on wattpad
  • Patrick’s mother must be the proudest woman alive. I bet he even knows how to do LAUNDRY for himself.
  • Not to interrupt the lovefest here but I am legit happy to know how to reattach a button, I can resuscitate my favorite coat.

 

Next.

 

Hello! I’m Patrick. Before I get into today’s topic, my boyfriend David and I have had many discussions about the benefits of community engagement for our store. So in the interests of engagement here on my channel, I’ve decided that I’ll have a Q&A session with my subscribers and commenters. Leave your questions in the comments, and next time, I’ll answer as many as I can. But first, today I’m going to show you how to mix a good martini, a very important skill.

 

David grinned. He’d been wondering why this entry had ten times the number of comments as the previous ones.

 

  • BOYFRIEND BOYFRIEND BOYFRIEEEEEEEEEEND
  • I have ASCENDED
  • Me reading these comments: [michaeljacksonpopcorn.gif]
  • This has literally made my entire day.
  • Why am I crying. This is so stupid. And yet, here we are.
  • mY bOyFRiEnD dAvID
  • WHAT DO YOU THINK HAPPENED WAS THERE A ROMANTIC REALIZATION OVER THE LATEST FURNITURE REFINISHING PROJECT
    • Maybe David got another flat tire and Patrick swooped in to rescue him and he said “My Hero” and just swooned at his feet.
      • I mean, that’s what I’d do.
  • In my head, David is a delicate, slender sensitive soul with glasses and chunky knitwear and Patrick seized him in those manly arms, dipped him low and whipped out a line like, “Hello, I’m Patrick, and in this video I’m going to show you how to kiss the heck out of somebody.”

 

David had to put down the tablet and roll around on the bed, laughing and rubbing at his face. If Patrick ever tried to dip him low, they’d both end up sprawled on the ground with concussions. Delicate, slender sensitive soul, he thought, laughing again. At least they’d gotten the “chunky knitwear” part semi-correct.

He got a glass of wine and settled back on the couch. The Q&A was up next.

 


 

[Patrick sitting on a couch]

Patrick: Hello! I’m Patrick, and thanks to everyone for supporting my channel so far! I would never have believed I’d be up to a thousand subscribers, that’s amazing. And this is my twentieth video, so I thought it would be appropriate to do this Q&A. [holds up a stack of notecards] I’ve gone through your comments and I have your questions here, so let’s get going.

Q: Who is The Mysterious David?

Patrick: [chuckles] Okay first of all, at least half of the questions submitted were about David. You guys sure are curious about David. So, as I may have mentioned, David is my business partner and also my boyfriend.

Q: Does David actually exist?

Patrick: [bemused smile right into the camera] Yes, he does. Also, he’d be very affronted that anyone would think otherwise. I can picture the exact face he’d make.

Q: What business do you guys have?

Patrick: We own a store. It’s his store, really, I offered to invest in it and handle the business side.

Q: Can we meet David?

Patrick: Maybe someday!

Q: How did you go from business partners to boyfriends?

Patrick: Okay, this will be the last question I answer about David. [laughs] I took him out for dinner on his birthday, drove him home, and he kissed me in the car. I’m glad he did, because I don’t know if I had the nerve.

Q: How did you learn to do all the things you show us?

Patrick: Well, some I learned in school. I have a business management degree with a minor in economics. But a lot of them, I’ve just picked up. I’ve lived alone for most of my adult life, and when things came up that I had to deal with, I’d just figure out how to do them, lots of times from videos like these.

Q: How did you start this channel?

Patrick: It was kind of an accident. I used to work with a friend, Ray, who I rented a room from. He had a lot of businesses going, and he thought that making videos giving financial educational tips might be a good feature for his website. That’s why I made the first one and uploaded it. He eventually decided not to use them, but I had fun making them, and it seemed like people were getting something out of them, so I kept going.

Q: Have you gotten a request that you didn’t know how to respond to?

Patrick: Oh, of course. I had someone ask me to do a video on how to fix a transmission, which...I have no idea how to do. I can change a tire and probably a headlight but anything more complex than that, I go to a mechanic.

Q: When did you know you were gay?

Patrick: That’s a tough one for me. Some people are really clear about themselves from a very early age, but for me, it took a long time. For most of my twenties I was off and on with my highschool girlfriend. We were even engaged for a while. I dated other women, too, and the whole time I kept waiting for that feeling you’re supposed to have, and to feel the way other people say they feel. I wondered if I was broken in some way, or maybe the whole thing was just exaggerated, and this was all there was.

I ended my engagement and moved away, and I met David not long after that. And I realized I wasn’t broken, I just had a different shape than the one I’d been taught to expect. Everything made sense then, and looking back, I can’t believe it took me so long. I guess I just needed someone who made me feel safe enough to see myself clearly.

 


 

David heard Patrick’s car in the driveway and he sat up, pausing the video and powering off his tablet. He went to the kitchen and poured a glass of wine, then arranged himself in a mock-casual seductive lean in the kitchen doorway, waiting.

Patrick opened the door. “Hey, babe,” he said, giving David a glance.

“Oh...hi,” David said, deploying the breathy voice.

Patrick looked up and really saw him for the first time. His eyebrows shot up. “Hi.”

David glided forward. “Here. I poured you some wine.” Patrick took it as David slithered up to him and slid his arms around his shoulders.

“What’s going on?” Patrick said, sipping his wine.

“Nothing. Can’t I arrange a pleasant welcome home for my wonderful, handsome husband?”

“Oh God, what did you do?”

David leaned in to nibble on Patrick’s ear. He felt Patrick lean into it, his body going a bit slack. “What makes you think I’m the one who did something?” he murmured, chuckling.

“Uh…”

“Here I was, thinking I was just a small town shopkeeper, married to a small town shopkeeper, and we were just happy in our little small town lives, while the whole time, I was actually married to…” He leaned in and whispered. “An influencer.

Patrick drew back and saw David’s amused face; he sagged, letting his head fall to his chest. “You found the channel.”

“Why didn’t you ever tell me about it?” David said, slapping at his bicep.

“Lemme guess, Alexis?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Patrick pulled away, taking a big swig of his wine. He turned around and looked at David, a touch of apprehension on his face. “Are you upset? That I didn’t tell you?”

David shrugged. “No. I’m wondering why, but...we don’t have to share absolutely everything.” He went to the couch and retrieved his laptop. “I’m up to the first Q&A episode you did. I have quite the fan following, it seems.”

“God, you have no idea. You’re practically the channel’s unofficial mascot at this point. They just refer to you as TMD in the comments now.” David frowned. “The Mysterious David. Half of them still think you’re my imaginary friend.”

“So why didn’t you tell me?”

Patrick sat back. “I started the channel before I met you. And early on, you talked so much about social media and how much you hated the whole scene, and I didn’t really want to make a thing out of it, but the more time that went by the bigger a thing it became that you didn’t know, and I sort of...chickened out. But I’m glad you know.”

“These videos are adorable. I love watching you do things, and explain things, and be good at things like you’re always good at things.” He leaned in and mouthed at Patrick’s neck. “It kinda gets me hot.”

“You got hot watching me talk about changing wiper fluid?”

“That one was the hottest of all.” He slipped one hand under Patrick’s shirt. “Come on. You knew what you were doing when you wore those jeans for that video.” A reluctant half-smile came to Patrick’s lips. “See, I knew it! I knew it because you are a world-class troll pretending to be a sweet, caring person.”

“I’m not pretending, I am a caring person.”

“That’s what makes it all the more infuriating that you’re such a troll.”

“I troll hardest when I love the most,” Patrick said, gazing up at him.

David melted in spite of himself. “Then troll on, I guess.” He pulled Patrick into a less polite kiss, and the discussion ended for the time being.

 


 

David didn’t get back to the channel until the next day. The commenters were predictably agog at the Q&A, but once regular videos resumed, so did they.

He watched “How to Format Your Resume and Cover Letter” (“When David and I were hiring someone to help out at our store, you wouldn’t believe what some of them thought was an acceptable resume”), “How To Do Laundry” (“My boyfriend David wears almost nothing but dry-clean-only clothes; the first time he tried to do his own laundry he dumped in half a bottle of Tide”), “How To Make Pancakes” (“My boyfriend David has such a sweet tooth; if I hadn’t known how to make pancakes I might have been worried he’d leave me for a pastry chef”) and “How To Taste Wine” (“My boyfriend David and I go to a lot of wineries for our store, and we’ve gotten pretty good at judging and tasting them. It’s not intimidating, really, if you arm yourself with a few facts and techniques”)

The commentariat were always there to offer up their opinion.

 

  • I need a Patrick in my life. I need someone who will just sort of lurk near me wearing tight sweaters to calmly tell me how not to fuck up absolutely everything.
  • The Mysterious David better know he’s a lucky guy or I’m gonna drive out to wherever the hell they live and tempt Patrick away with my shined shoes and a well-written cover letter.
  • Can Patrick’s technique for achieving streak-free windows wipe away my sins, too?
  • I know we’re jokey around here but seriously, sometimes Patrick is all I have to stave off despair with the knowledge that there is at least one (1) good man in the world.
  • TMD sounds like the kind of guy who thinks he’s high maintenance and has been repeatedly told that he’s too much trouble but who will melt into an absolute goo puddle the second someone shows him the slightest bit of care and consideration.

 

David had to stop and read that last comment again. Whoever “drumlockjosey” was, she had unwittingly repeated something Patrick had said to him multiple times, almost word for word.

They were right, though...it was nice to know that there was one (1) good man in the world.

 


[from r/howpatrick]

  • ⇑24 New Video: How to Build a Fire
    • ⇑4 So this pretty much seals it for me that HP was a Boy Scout. As if we really needed more proof.
      • ⇑3 He can’t have been. I’m 98% sure he’s Canadian.
        • ⇑4 They have Boy Scouts in Canada.
  • ⇑17 TMD Update for the Master List: David is apparently Not Outdoorsy.
    • ⇑3 Shocker. This is a guy who dry cleans everything.
      • ⇑1 Oh, you’re coming over to the Dark Side?
        • ⇑1 I’m starting to think he’s probably a real person, yeah.
  • ⇑Yeah I’ve always gone on the assumption that TMD is an Indoor Kitty.
  • ⇑54 Super Detective Observation: I think HP is a musician.
    • ⇑10 What, why?
      • ⇑ 98 In the chili video there was a closeup of him chopping vegetables and I noticed the fingers of his left hand were red, with creases on the pads. Like he’d been playing the guitar.
        • ⇑2 Wow, nicely spotted, Sherlock.
          • ⇑6 I play the guitar, so I notice stuff like that.

[from Twitter]

@rosiedawn: Okay who else watches the #HowPatrick channel on YT? I’m obsessed. I may be neglecting the editing I’m supposed to be doing, but at least I’m learning useful life skills.

@jannecomesclean: OMG ME AND SAME. While furiously shipping the charming Patrick with his invisible boyfriend.

@suziesqueezie: I love that channel. I keep waiting for it to be a viral marketing campaign for cologne or something.

@jannecomesclean: Or an indie horror flick where it turns out The Mysterious David is some kind of demonic entity like in Twin Peaks.

@rosiedawn: you know there’s a subreddit where they compile all the little facts about The Mysterious David that have shown up on the channel? It’s quite a dossier. And they debate about whether he exists.

@suziesqueezie: I think he does. Patrick goes all soft when he talks about him, I don’t think an imaginary friend would make him so...swoony.

@jannecomesclean: I wish I had something to go on for what he looks like. My mental image runs the gamut from a ripped bodybuilder type to an Instagram twink with an undercut.


 

When David got to the first video wherein Patrick introduced him as his fiancé, he was prepared for the explosive reactions in the comments, or at least he thought he was. The actual topic of the video was how to prepare a charcoal grill (“My fiancé, David, loves barbecues, but it usually falls to me to do the actual grilling”) but absolutely nobody mentioned it at all. There was no way he could ever read all of the over 10,000 comments (a figure that blew his mind), but he got the gist. An avalanche of celebratory emojis, heart-eyes, congratulations, and of course speculation.

 

  • Guys. How would our Patrick have proposed. I require this information.
  • He would never do one of those ostentatious public things, or even ask in front of people they know. TMD seems like a guy who’d value a private moment for that.

 

David nodded. Truth.

 

  • I bet he made it really personal, did it at a place that meant something to him or maybe both of them, and just said what he felt.

 

Again, pretty darn close.

Reading these speculations about how Patrick would have proposed, and seeing how close to the truth many of them were, David realized that these videos said something about Patrick. They were free of artifice, free of showmanship. The Patrick in the videos was no different from the one he saw every day. It wasn’t surprising that his subscribers felt like they’d gotten to know him, because in a very real way, they had. He’d been showing them his real self in small ways for fifty-plus videos now.

 


[Twitter chat room HowPatFans]

BettyP: So I tried the thing he posted about how to get condensation rings off wood? totally worked. I’m amazed.

Hannah: I gotta try that too, my coffee table is a mess.

BettyP: It's been like three weeks since a new video. I wish he had other socials so he could post when to expect a new one.

Gloria: omg omgomgomgomgomjsldfkjkasjfd

Hannah: What???

Gloria: you guys

you guys

you guys

okay so

my sister travels all over Canada for work and last year she brought me a gift basket with this awesome body stuff in it from a little shop she said she found on one of her stops. couldn’t remember the name of the town, but the shop was called the Rose Apothecary.

I ran out of one of the products and wanted to see if they had an online store, well they do, and then I saw they have an Insta, so I went over to follow it. I’m scrolling down their posts, it’s all just photos of the products and stuff, until waaaay down the feed there is a photo taken at an event they had. so...look.

tell me i’m not crazy but is that or is that not Patrick on the far right, at the register?

Hannah: Oh...oh my God.

Jezebel: I can’t see it, fucking bad wifi.

BettyP: that is totally him. One hundred percent.

Hannah: Is this their store?

Gloria: yeah. I think it is. But guys, that’s not even...I can’t believe it.

BettyP: what?

Gloria: I found him.

BettyP: Who? David???

Gloria: yup. So there’s no pictures on the shop’s insta but then it occurred to me to look at photos tagged #roseapothecary, and that’s when I found...this.

Jezebel: I CAN’T SEE IT GODDAMMIT

BettyP: Jez, it’s another photo taken at an event, it’s dated two weeks ago. It’s Patrick and he’s standing with a man. Arms around waists, big smiles. The other guy also has his hand on Patrick’s chest.

Hannah: LOOK AT THEIR FINGERS THOSE ARE WEDDING RINGS.

Jezebel: I am legit about to murder this wifi.

Gloria: I’m still in shock.

BettyP: Are we sure it’s him?

Gloria: Yep. I googled the shop, and it’s owned by a man named...are you ready?...David Rose.

BettyP: THE MYSTERIOUS DAVID IS DAVID ROSE?

Hannah: What am I missing here.

BettyP: David Rose was like a...socialite. Male Paris Hilton, basically, but less vapid. Dad owned Rose Video but then they got screwed by a finance guy and lost everything and they all vanished into the ether.

Jezebel: Take pity on me, what does he look like???

Gloria: He’s gorgeous. Dark hair, super thick eyebrows. Amazing smile.

Jezebel: Taller or shorter than Patrick?

Gloria: Taller. Couple inches, maybe. And broader. He’s a big dude.

BettyP: They look so happy.

Hannah: is it weird that I'm legit weeping right now

Jezebel: you’re on a twitter chat dedicated to a DIY youtube channel host, we left “weird” in the dust months ago.

Gloria: Guys, I think...I’m gonna keep this between us.

BettyP: I don’t trust the fandom with these photos.

Hannah: It’s kind of a miracle nobody else has tracked this down. Usually Reddit is all over this shit.

Jezebel: FINALLY got it to load. Oh...oh my. Yeah, eyebrow game STRONG.

BettyP: I’m...this is corny but sometimes I get emotional. We’re all just here watching this innocuous how-to channel and low-key thirsting on the host but look at what we’ve watched him go through. He hadn’t met David when he started making the videos, he said so himself. If you go back and watch the old videos, there’s a change in him after he starts talking about his business partner. And then it’s boyfriend, and now it’s husband. We’ve been sort of...looking in on one tiny corner of this man’s life while he went through a set of profound personal changes.

Gloria: Well said, hon.

Jezebel: Not to be dramatic but I would die for them.

Gloria: You guys wanna know Patrick’s last name?

BettyP: Yes please.

Gloria: It’s Brewer.

Hannah: David Rose and Patrick Brewer.

Gloria:...and don’t bother, neither of them are on the socials.

Jezebel: Dammit.

Hannah: Do you think David’s found out about the channel yet? Has he seen...THAT video?

Gloria: I don’t know. I hope so. Feels weird that we’ve seen it and he hasn’t.


Hello! I’m Patrick, and I’ve made a somewhat unusual video for you today. After all the videos of mine you’ve watched, all the comments you’ve left, and all the support you’ve given me, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some pretty big news.

[he holds up his left hand, a wedding ring glinting on it]

I got married last week. Yes, that’s right, The Mysterious David is now my husband, David. Did you think I didn’t know you call him that? [grins, laughs] He’d like it, anyway. He’d enjoy being mysterious.

Which leads me to the other thing I wanted to share. You see, David doesn’t know I have this channel. He’s never seen any of these videos, and doesn’t know I make them. If you’ve been wondering why you never see David, that’s why. And yes, he is actually real. [shakes a finger and raises an eyebrow] I’m under no illusion that he won’t find out eventually, mostly because my sister-in-law cannot keep a secret whatsoever, so at some point, David will see all these videos.

[he gestures at his surroundings; he is in the woods on a rocky point]

This is the spot where I proposed to David. It’s one of my favorite hikes. So I thought it was the best place to shoot this video. Today’s topic is “How to Get Married.”

[sits down nearer the camera, adjusts the angle so the view is in the background]

First, know yourself and what you want. I didn’t do so well with that. I grew up being the good kid, that “why can’t you be more like that nice boy Patrick” guy. I watched my parents be so proud, not just of me, but of how other people saw me. So what I wanted was for that to continue, and what I wanted for myself didn’t matter. And if I fantasized about my hockey teammates while I was in the shower, well, that was my business.

Second, put yourself out there. Meet people. Do things. Go places. Even if nothing comes from it, it’ll be good for you. My mother-in-law says that you should try to make the inside of your own head a more interesting place to live. I think about that a lot.

Third, be open to the unexpected. Don’t assume that nothing will ever change, or nothing will ever happen. Because one day, you’ll be minding your own business, filing tax paperwork, and a tall, dark and handsome man will come in and shake your hand and your life will change.

Fourth, follow your gut. You can do the safe thing - that’s a valid choice, too - but if something’s telling you to find out more about that man’s business, and that it’s something you should consider becoming part of, listen.

Next, accept what is given. When your new business partner lets you into his life, when he tells you things that are personal, accept it. Give back. Make sure he knows that you’re paying attention, and you value his confidence.

Take a risk. Invite your business partner out for dinner on his birthday. Don’t freak out if it doesn’t play out exactly as it did inside your head - sometimes that’s even better. Tell him what you’re feeling. People respond to honesty, and he might help you with the things you’re finding hard to do and say.

Accept love and attention when it’s offered. Give it when it’s needed. Take every opportunity to show him how you feel, how grateful you are to have him, how lucky you feel to have met him. Let him take your hand when you feel uncertain. Let him support you when you’re scared. Do those things for him, too.

And if you’re lucky, and you play your cards right, you can wake up one day next to your new husband, and feel nothing but peace. [smiles]

I don’t know how long it will take before David finds this channel, but when he does, he’ll start watching from the beginning because that’s how he rolls. So David, if you’ve gotten to this point, this is what I’m feeling having just married you, whether that’s a month ago or a year ago where you are as you’re seeing this. Come find me and tell me you’ve seen it, and I’ll tell you in person what I’m saying now: I love you, and if I do nothing else but be a good husband to you for the rest of my life, it’ll be enough.

 


 

David didn’t even open the comments on that video. He put his tablet aside and found Patrick, in the backyard aggressively attacking the weeds in his new vegetable garden while scolding them severely. David dropped to his knees at his side and wrapped his arms around him; he smelled like sun and soil. “I’ve seen it,” he whispered.

Patrick hugged him back with a long exhale. “I love you,” he said. “That’s what I said I’d tell you, right?”

David pulled back and took Patrick’s face in his hands. “Sometimes the thing that scares me the most is that you’ll never know how much I love you, because I can never manage to find the exact right way to tell you.”

Patrick’s face was doing a series of complicated things. “You tell me in a thousand ways every single day.”

 


 

Hello! I’m Patrick. My husband David loves farmer’s markets and fresh produce but hates gardening. Lucky for him, I love it. Today’s video is about how to set up a vegetable garden.

Hello! I’m Patrick. My husband David is learning to bake through video chats with my mother while I’m not at home, because he’s trying to surprise me and thinks I don’t notice baking supplies vanishing. So if I can’t help him, I’ll help you instead! My mom taught me, too, so her baking skills are really getting around. Today I’m going to give you some basic beginning baking tips, and then show you how to make my favorite sugar cookies.

Hello! I’m Patrick. I’ve been getting questions about doing another Q&A and yes, I’ll definitely do another one sometime soon. I’ve also seen comments wondering if my husband David has found the channel yet. So far, he hasn’t. When he does, I’m sure you will all be the first to know. Today’s video topic is how to choose a basic investment strategy beyond a retirement plan. There are lots of options, and I get alarmed when I see people going for day trading right out of the gate, so here we go!

 


 

  • I swear I have more anticipation for The Mysterious David to find out about this channel than I had before my kid was born. Don’t tell my husband that.
  • Legit question: is it weird for Patrick to keep something like this secret from his life partner? I mean, is that normal?
    • I had that same reaction at first but when I thought about it, there is literally no one, not friend or family member or spouse, who really knows the true extent of my online fandom activities. I don’t think it’s any different.
      • Yeah, my husband has no idea how many novel-length Due South fanfics I’ve written.
        • My husband doesn’t know I co-moderate a Brokeback Mountain fan forum but it’s a huge part of my life. Just one I don’t feel I need to share. It’s not threatening to him, it’s just not something he’s included in. I just found out last month he does fantasy football every year and it’s a big deal for him. It’s fine.
    • I think he’d like David to know. But I totally get the whole “I didn’t tell you at first because I thought you’d think it was weird and time went by and then it became a thing and I just didn’t” situation.
      • Yeah, definitely.
  • Damn, Patrick is like the poster boy for the Acts of Service love language.
    • this just in, Patrick is a service top
      • Ew. Creepy.
        • It’s not creepy!
          • Being it isn’t creepy, speculating on their sex life is.
            • Yeah you got me there.

 


 

There were about fifteen videos after the How To Get Married video. David held off watching the final video, posted a few weeks ago, because he was going to be sad that there weren’t any more to watch. He’d gotten just as attached to YouTube Patrick as his subscribers had, in a way that was oddly separate from his attachment to Actual Patrick.

He finally watched it on a Monday when they were both home. Patrick was napping in the bedroom; David slipped in and curled up next to him. Patrick reached out for him in his sleep, nuzzling his face into David’s neck and making adorable growly waking-up noises. “Hi, baby,” he breathed in a dozy voice.

David wrapped him up. “I finished all the videos,” he whispered.

“Yeah?” Patrick came a little more awake and blinked up at him. “All done?”

“Mmm-hmm. Are you going to make more?”

“I had intended to, yeah. What do you think?”

David shrugged. “It’s your thing, you should make more if you want, or stop if you want. On a personal note, I’d like to see more. I love you in those videos. And apart from the videos, of course.”

Patrick sat up, rubbing at his eyes. “Well...the next one I make, I should tell the viewers that you found out. They’re all dying to know.”

“That’s an understatement.” David sat up too, an idea striking him. “What if...what if you did a livestream? And I could...I don’t know. Meet your fans?”

“You’d do that?”

“Of course, why wouldn’t I? Reading all those comments, I feel like a superstar. You think your subscribers wouldn’t like to finally see The Mysterious David?”

“They’d lose their minds. I’ve never done a livestream before, it never occurred to me. I think that’s a great idea. I’ve been meaning to do another Q&A. We could get Stevie to monitor the chat and relay questions.”

David drew back. “My, this is becoming quite a production!”

“Is that okay?”

He looped his arms around Patrick’s neck. “Let’s do it.”

 


 

Hello! I’m Patrick. Before I get into today’s topic, I have an important announcement! You guys have asked for another Q&A session, so I’m going to be doing one live! Yes, my very first livestream, so you can find out how tongue-tied I can get when I can’t edit myself. This livestream will begin at 6 pm next Friday, and will feature a very special guest! Now on to today’s topic, which is how to avoid blisters when you’re hiking.

 


 

  • OH MY GOD OH MY GOD
  • [michaelscottitshappening.gif]
  • It has to be David. Who else would be a special guest? He’s found out about the channel and he’s going to do the livestream with Patrick. We’re finally going to get to see this guy’s face, you guys.
  • [glasscaseofemotion.jpg]
  • I could literally be getting married on Friday and I’d be like, excuse me, I know the reception is starting but I just gotta duck out for this livestream real quick.

 


 

[livestream opens on Patrick, sitting on a chair near the front of the Apothecary. Another chair, empty, is at his side. Just visible on the right is Stevie, on a laptop]

Patrick: Hello, everyone! Welcome to my first livestream…[low] is it doing it?

Stevie: Yep. Online. Oh wow, we’ve got...uh...1238 people watching already. They say “hello” in a variety of ways, some of them...kinda rude, actually.

P: Everyone, this is our friend Stevie. [Stevie leans in a bit and gives a perfunctory wave at the camera] She’s going to be monitoring the stream and the chat and pulling questions, and we have a few from the comments on the last video. So hello!

S: You said that already.

P: Oh right. I’m not used to working without a script. [laughs nervously]

S: Move it along, Patrick.

P: Right. Well, I guess...let’s get to the main event. I promised you guys a special guest, and here...uh, here he is.

[Patrick looks to his right and holds out a hand. David moves into frame and takes the hand, then sits down next to Patrick and crosses one leg over the other. He looks into the camera, seeming a little bashful, and smiles.]

P: [his gaze is fixed on David; he intertwines their fingers.] Everyone, this is...this is my David.