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just like we're in a movie

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Pete’s always been a writer. As long as he can remember, he’s written anything he thinks down on paper. Poems, song lyrics, journal entries. Unfiltered streams of consciousness.

 

As the years pass and he gets older the words get darker, sadder, more desperate. Short stories aren’t really his thing, mainly because they say to write what you know. And all Pete knows is he’s lonely and living in the suburbs in Chicago. He doesn’t think it makes for a very interesting plot.

 

It’s when he hits rock bottom that he starts to have the dreams. He’s lying in a hospital bed, under observation for 72 hours after he swallowed an entire bottle of little blue pills.

 

I sing the blues and swallow them too. Pete’s fingers itch to write the words down before they leave his mind, but he doesn’t have anything to write with or paper. No one in this godforsaken place will give him anything sharp.

 

Visiting hours are over, the nurse says he isn’t allowed to take any sedatives to help him sleep, and he’s sure he’s got dark circles under his eyes and leftover eyeliner making him look like a raccoon. His parents and his siblings left him with hugs and pitying looks. It isn’t what Pete wants. He didn’t ask for this. He didn’t think it through. He never does.

 

Eventually, after two days of receiving get well cards, (which Pete thinks is very inappropriate) bouquets of flowers, and eating shitty hospital food, he manages to fall asleep with his knees tucked up to his chest.  

 

He dreams of this boy he swears he’s never seen before. He’d remember a face like that. Pete is thoroughly convinced he’s an angel sent down from the heavens above to guide Pete. Maybe this is his reward after nearly dying.

 

The point is, he’s cherubic. Pink cheeks, porcelain skin, red-blond hair, freckles. He’s singing Hallelujah in the very first dream Pete ever has about him, and he thinks it’s incredibly ironic.

 

His voice sounds like sin itself, a complete contrast to his pure, innocent appearance. Pete has never met this boy, but he instantly falls in love. Even if he is a mere mortal in the face of this angelic being. Even if this boy isn’t real.

 

Pete wakes up with a start, his heart pounding in his ears, the monitor beeping in perfect time. There’s a name on his lips.

 

Patrick.

 

Pete thinks this boy is his saving grace, whether he’s real or not.

 

xxx

 

When Pete gets home, the dreams don’t stop. However, he decides Patrick is most definitely a figment of his imagination. He’s pretty sure someone that perfect couldn’t ever possibly exist.

 

He spends a lot of time pacing, writing, and playing bass. He doesn’t sleep enough, as per usual, but that’s mainly because he can’t take his medication unless someone is supervising it. His brother Andrew is holding onto it for safekeeping, which means he hands Pete one single pill every morning and doesn’t let him have any more.

 

This leaves Pete feeling jittery and agitated. He’s not a little kid. He doesn’t need everyone taking care of him like this.

 

He realizes he could fix this problem by moving out of his childhood home, but then he’d have to get a real job. He doesn’t want one of those, so this is the price he pays in the meantime. He goes to therapy once a week and avoids all of the difficult topics.

 

When he does sleep, his dreams are filled with Patrick. He has a notebook tucked underneath his pillow for when he wakes up, and he writes down everything he can remember about Patrick. Every detail.

 

He loves music. David Bowie. Prince. Michael Jackson. He’s really short. He wears a lot of hats. Glasses. He plays every instrument under the sun. He’s soft and sweet. But he can also be super grumpy and sarcastic. Cynical.

 

Pete can’t distinguish whether he wants to be Patrick or he wants to date him.

 

The biggest warning sign is probably him waking up hard after every dream he has. Him wanting to fuck a figment of his imagination cannot be healthy, it’s totally plausible he’s going crazy and should admit himself back into the hospital.

 

But it’s no weirder than Pete’s usual brand of insane. In fact, Patrick taking up this space in his mind is actually making him feel better when he’s awake.

 

It’s bittersweet, how he looks forward to dreaming more than he does to living. That’s not really a life at all, is it?

 

Reality sucks. Pete is depressed, alone, broke, and putting all his hopes into being a musician. But he’s a shitty one. He hasn’t left his house since The Incident, and his supposed friends, also known as his many fellow bandmates, have barely checked on him since he’s been home.

 

They aren’t real friends. They’re more like acquaintances. People he tolerates in the sheer hope that they can lead him to the promised land. Be his golden ticket to do what he loves and make money while doing it. He wants the attention. The fame. But he wants to help kids just like him too. People who are struggling.

 

Pete is far from perfect, but he wants to be the example of what not to do.

 

Don’t give up. Don’t throw your life away. Don’t waste all your time dreaming. Don’t expect things to fall into your lap. Chase your dreams.

 

Pete thinks he’s finally intent on chasing his. It’s too bad his dreams are full of a boy who may as well be a ghost.

 

xxx

 

“Tell me about him.” Joe says, one day during practice.

 

“Who?” Pete asks, raising an eyebrow in confusion.

 

“The boy you’re always writing about.” Joe sighs, as if he thinks Pete is playing dumb. Joe is one of his only real friends, and he’s not too intent on losing him. Therefore, he doesn’t think he should tell him that he thinks this kid who lives in his head is an angel.

 

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Pete deadpans, shifting nervously and tightening his hold on the neck of his bass.

 

“The one you write the lyrics about, dickhead.” Joe spells it out for him, rolling his eyes. The funny thing is, Pete didn’t even realize the songs were about Patrick until Joe told him so. Pete spends so much time writing things about Patrick in his notebook that it all just starts to bleed together.

 

“Oh.” Pete deflates, trying to come up with a good excuse. Too bad he’s a shitty liar. He goes for earnest. “You’re gonna think I’m crazy if I tell you.”

 

Andy looks up from his drum kit to interject at this precise moment. “Crazier than we already think you are?”

 

Pete forgot he was there for a minute, because he’s always so quiet. But he has a good point.

 

“Okay. Fine. I’ve been having dreams about this guy but….I don’t think he’s real. I started seeing him at the hospital but I know I’d remember seeing him in real life.” It says a lot that Joe nor Andy even bother to laugh. They know the drill. When Pete is joking versus when he’s not.

 

“What’s he like?” Joe asks without missing a beat. Pete bites his lip, considering how much to say. He’s always been one to overshare. Patrick is Pete’s new obsession, so this is no exception.

 

“He’s got a killer voice. He’s really pale, light hair, blue eyes, a cherubic face. He can play like every instrument ever made but his music taste is kind of terrible. I find it endearing.” Pete beams.

 

“Are you implying you think he’s an angel?” Andy sighs, clearly put upon by Pete’s usual antics. He probably wants to get back to practice. Pete shrugs and avoids making eye contact with either of them.

 

“I don’t know. A guardian angel, maybe? Don’t look at me like that. It makes sense.” Pete pouts, crossing his arms over his chest petulantly.

 

“In Pete land it does. Not so much in the real world.” Joe huffs.

 

“What do you think he is then?” Pete demands.

 

“I think you dreamt up the perfect guy who's exactly your type because you’re lonely.” Joe admits, this awful, pitiful look on his face. Pete wishes he hadn’t asked. He barely refrains from smashing his bass on the way out of practice. Fucking Joe Trohman and his logic.

 

xxx

 

Pete is convinced he must be a lot more drunk than he feels right now. He’s standing in the middle of a shitty club, full of smoke and packed with people dressed in ripped jeans, graphic tees, chains, and leather. You know, the usual. The band on stage is pretty terrible, not that Pete is one to talk about screaming into a mic for a living. But it’s not about the performance, really. It’s about the energy in the room.

 

Pete is making his way through the crowd, looking for a guy to drown out his dark, inconceivable thoughts, when he spots him. It could just be his imagination. Maybe he’s hallucinating. But he sees a flash of pale, creamy skin and reddish gold hair. A button up shirt and a hat that don’t fit the scene at all. It’s completely out of place, and even with how short he is, Pete catches a shock of blue eyes in the darkness.

 

Pete tries to make his way frantically through the people, elbowing everyone in sight, but by the time he reaches the exit he saw Patrick go out of, he’s gone. Like he went up in smoke. Maybe he wasn’t even really ever there at all. Pete thinks he needs to lay down. Joe should probably drive him home. If he can tear him away from the girl he’s chatting up by the bar, anyway. He’ll manage. Joe owes him.

 

xxx

 

Pete sees him again, post show adrenaline in his veins and itching to wreak havoc. He’s sweating, heads down the hall to the bathroom to splash some cold water on his face and take a piss. When he comes back out, he weaves his way through the crowd and accepts fist bumps and high fives. He gently pulls girls with grabby hands off of him, making half-hearted excuses with his usual charming grin on his face, until he finally reaches the bar. He squeezes in between Joe and Andy, who have already ordered the first round of drinks.

 

He downs a shot without knowing what it is, and turns to Joe to say something, but he immediately loses his train of thought when he sees who Joe is talking to. Patrick. What the fuck.

 

Pete is frozen, feels as if he doesn’t even remember how to breathe or blink or speak. Andy taps him on the arm and Pete snaps out of it, but he doesn’t dare take his eyes off Patrick in case he disappears again.

 

“You okay?” Andy asks, getting close enough to Pete’s ear so he can hear him over the loud bass that’s vibrating through the floor. Pete is sure he’s gone as pale as a sheet, so he shakes his head frantically. He’s never felt less okay in his entire life, and that’s saying something.

 

“Do you- do you see that kid that Joe is talking to right now?” Pete manages to choke out. Andy furrows his brow and leans around Pete to get a good look at him.

 

“Yes. What’s wrong? Do you have the hots for Joey T or something?” Andy snorts, folding his arms over the bar and leaning on his elbows, the stool he’s sitting on teetering precariously. Pete manages to tear his eyes away from Patrick for a split second, just to stare at Andy in horrified disgust.

 

“No. God no. That guy….that’s Patrick. And both of you can see him right now. Which means he’s not just in my head.” Pete mumbles that last part to himself. He has the sudden urge to slam his head onto the bar counter top repeatedly until everything makes sense again.

 

“You’re fucking with me.” Andy says flatly, eyes narrowing at Pete.

 

“I’m really, really not. I wouldn’t lie about something like this.” Pete swallows hard, feeling the tremor in his hands as he clenches them into fists.

 

Andy is silent, gaping at him and stealing glances at Joe and Patrick, who seem to be getting along like a house on fire.

 

“What do you wanna do? Get out of here? I can talk to Joe and tell him what’s going on if you need me to.” Pete is pretty sure that’s the most he’s ever heard Andy speak at once. It’s almost more unsettling than the fact a boy he made up is sitting next to one of his best friends.

 

“No. I can’t leave. What if I never see him again? This could be my only chance.” Pete sighs, tucking his chin in his hand forlornly.

 

“Your chance to what? Fuck an underage kid who only exists because you dreamt him?” Andy hisses at him, like he’s gone insane. Which. He kind of has. But he accepted that a long time ago.

 

“Yes. No. I don’t know! I’m just as confused as you are, but I can’t let him walk out of here without talking to him. Even if I make an ass of myself in the process.” Pete says, frustrated. He runs a hand through his hair and takes a deep breath, steeling himself.

 

“So, no different from usual then when you try to get laid?” Andy says, deadpan. Pete glares at him.

 

“This really isn’t the time for jokes.” Andy holds up his hands in surrender, and then he’s getting up so he can convince Joe to walk away from Patrick and up towards the stage where another act has started their set.

 

Pete gingerly slides into Joe’s vacated seat, and turns to look at Patrick from up close. He lets out an audible gasp, can’t seem to help it no matter how hard he tries. Patrick is as pretty as he remembers, if not more. Pete feels his tongue tie in a knot, can only beam at Patrick while his heart pounds wildly against his ribs.

 

“Hi,” Patrick says, his voice like molten honey. He’s shyer than Pete remembers, doesn’t make eye contact with Pete as he blushes and tucks a lock of hair behind his ear and adjusts the trucker hat on his head. “I’m Patrick.”

 

Pete has to bite his lip hard to stop himself from saying I know. Pete has to turn on the charm. He can totally do that. If he remembers how with his last couple of brain cells.

 

Pete reaches out a hand and says “Hello there, Rick. Nice to meet you. The pleasure is all mine, really.” Pete is almost positive his eyes are sparkling as he leans into Patrick and their hands touch for a polite shake.

 

A shiver rolls down Pete’s spine when he feels the guitar calluses on Patrick’s hands, and he looks down to see the contrast between their skin. Dark against light. What a match. Patrick lets go first, and Pete’s fingers linger on Patrick’s wrist, drawing shapes because he can’t control himself.

 

It’s not until he looks up and sees Patrick’s raised eyebrows that he realizes he didn’t say his name. And then he promptly wants to die a slow, painful death. He can recover from this, he swears. He slides his hand up Patrick’s forearm until he can plant it on his shoulder and lean in a little closer.

 

“I’m Pete. But you can call me whatever you’d like.” He always has to over do it, and tack an unnecessary, overly flirty comment on at the end. Damn it. It doesn’t seem to matter. Patrick responds in kind, smiling up at Pete and not brushing off his touch.

 

“You look awfully familiar.” Patrick admits, a little sheepish. Pete tilts his head like a confused puppy, trying to keep face as he internally freaks out.

 

“I’m Pete Wentz. Maybe you’ve heard of me from one of my bands?” Pete clarifies, playing dumb, like he doesn’t know Patrick literally just saw him on stage about fifteen minutes ago. He’s sure of it. It’s better than him telling Patrick that he’s not a real boy. Pete holds back a hysterical laugh at that.

 

“Oh, yeah. Of course! You guys were great, just now. I mean, your screaming could use some work, as well as your bass playing. But your energy is amazing. And your lyrics, holy shit.” Patrick rambles, eyes bright and earnest. Pete can take constructive criticism. It’s not like Patrick is wrong. But he can’t help preen at compliments, nonetheless.

 

“Thanks. That means a lot, coming from someone like you.” Pete bats his eyelashes, and his grip slips off Patrick’s shoulder when he realizes the mistake he’s just made.

 

“Someone like me?” Patrick inquires, his eyebrows furrowed with trepidation. Patrick saves him before he can dig himself a bigger hole. “Have you seen me perform before?”

 

“Yes! Yeah, exactly. Your voice is fucking incredible, dude. Your drumming, too. Everything really.” Pete babbles, a wave of relief washing over him.

 

“I don’t really sing live very often, but thanks. Wow.” Patrick replies, flushing down to his neck and biting his lower lip nervously.

 

“No problem, dude. So, tell me about yourself.” Pete says, as if he doesn’t already know everything.

 

As him and Patrick talk, and the night wears on, Pete starts to feel guilty. He wonders if he can make Patrick do whatever he wants. He wonders if he dreams something about Patrick if it will come true. That feels too much like coercion, manipulation. More than plain old seduction ever could.

 

He doesn’t want to take advantage of Patrick, even if he is a figment of his imagination. It feels wrong. It isn’t organic. If Patrick is going to like him back, he wants it to be on his terms. For real. As ironic as that may be. He won’t force it. But he needs to ask questions. Assess this situation to make sure he can wrap his head around what’s going on. Luckily, Pete can pretty much talk his way in (or out) of anything.

 

“Join my band.” Pete blurts. Apparently he’s no longer smooth, and is plunging into desperate territory.

 

“What?” Patrick laughs, like he thinks it’s a joke. Why doesn’t anyone ever take him seriously?

 

“Listen. We need a lead singer, and you’re a dreamboat. You’d be perfect. Pretty please with me on top?” Pete begs, sticking out his lower lip in an unfair pout and looking at Patrick through his lashes. He’s laying it on thick.

 

Patrick looks at him, mouth gaping as a blush floods his cheeks. Pete thinks he’s won. That was almost too easy.

 

“I’m flattered. But I can’t. Really. I don’t sing.” Patrick shakes his head and leans away from Pete’s lingering touch.

 

“That’s bullshit. Come on, please? I’d do anything.” Pete says, without really thinking about the consequences. Patrick’s face turns a shade of darker red than before. His cheeks look splotchy, anger and embarrassment warring in his mind.

 

“I’m not really interested in getting in your band by sleeping with you. I’m not that kind of boy. I never will be.” Patrick spits, turning on the bar stool and preparing to walk away from Pete and never come back. He can’t let that happen.

 

Pete shoots his hand out to grasp Patrick’s wrist and gently pull him back. Patrick turns on his heel, still furious and ready to set Pete on fire with his gaze alone. Pete did always like the feisty ones.

 

“That’s not what I meant. I’d never force you to do that. You’re a musical genius. I bow down before you. I want you to be in my band because you’re talented and I am helplessly captivated. What will it take to make you say yes?” Pete says, voice soft in the bustle of the loud, smoky club. This is possibly as sincere as Pete has ever been in his life.

 

Patrick seems to believe him, because he falls back into his seat and smiles up at Pete sheepishly.

 

“I just don’t wanna be the frontman, honestly. The spotlight isn’t for me. I don’t really want the attention.” Patrick admits, not meeting Pete’s eyes.

 

“That’s a downright shame. Because you deserve to be looked at, listened to. Admired. Worshipped,” Pete can’t help himself, licking his lips as he continues. “But that’s an easy fix. I can be the frontman. I don’t know if you can tell, but I get off on the attention.” Pete thinks maybe that was too much, that he’s gone too far and Patrick is going to throw his glass of coke in his face and storm off.

 

“You’re a real cocky son of a bitch, aren’t you?” Patrick says, sounding breathless enough to make Pete feel smug. Patrick beams at him, bites his full bottom lip in this terribly distracting way that causes Pete’s cock to stir in his pants.

 

“I’m used to getting what I want.” Pete says, shrugging. It’s easier to put on the mask. To be Pete Wentz: King of the hardcore scene in Chicago. He’s never just Pete. The real him is too boring to pull anyone in, especially someone as beautiful as Patrick. He’ll be whoever he needs to be to get Patrick to stay.

 

“And you want me?” Patrick asks, his voice strained and his fingers gripping the counter top so hard they’re turning sickly white. Pete is about ready to start doing a victory dance.

 

“More than I’ve ever wanted anything. You’re my golden ticket. I’m pretty sure you’ve got a halo above your head.” Pete teases, watching Patrick’s reaction closely for anything odd. Patrick just ducks his head and blushes again.

 

“I doubt that, somehow. But thank you.” Patrick sighs dreamily. Pete feels like he could swim in Patrick’s eyes, they’re the color of riptide.

 

“Do you believe in fate? Because I’d like to think some higher power brought you to me. You’re like my guardian angel. My saving grace. What would you prefer to be called?” Pete keeps his voice lilting with amusement. He doesn’t want Patrick to catch on to the fact he’s serious.

 

“Just Patrick is fine.” Patrick giggles, and Pete thinks it sounds like music. Pete is pretty sure Patrick is made of music.

 

“Is that a yes?” Pete inquires, his heart pounding so hard he thinks it will bust out of his chest and fall into Patrick’s lap any second now.

 

“It’s a yes.” Patrick nods, grinning from ear to ear.

 

“Is it a yes-you’ll-join-my-band or a yes-you-believe-in-fate?” Pete presses. He wants to be sure he’s not hallucinating. Not any more than usual, anyway.

 

“Both.” Patrick confirms, and Pete finally lets out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding.

 

Patrick wants to be in his band. Patrick believes in fate. Pete is pretty sure Patrick is his soulmate. Pete is relieved. He can work with this. Patrick isn’t going to leave. Not if he has anything to say about it. He won’t let him get away.

 

xxx

 

The first band practice in Patrick’s basement is weird. Mainly because Pete didn’t realize figments of his imagination had houses. Or anything Pete himself didn’t dream up, for that matter.

 

Nonetheless, he knocks on the door with Andy and Joe tagging along behind him. They’ve been grilling him for the last week about Patrick, what Pete thinks this all means. Pete doesn’t have any answers. But he’s full of hopes and dreams.

 

Patrick opens the door and Pete can’t help but laugh. He’s wearing an argyle sweater vest, black socks, black shorts, and another trucker hat. This kid is unreal. Literally.

 

“What?” Patrick sounds like he’s offended already. Pete puts his hands up before he can throw any punches.

 

“Nothing. It’s just...your outfit. You’re cute.” Pete grins, all sharp canines and bad intentions. Patrick stutters, his face immediately turning pink. Pete loves making him blush. It never gets old.

 

“Shut up.” Patrick shoots back weakly, and turns around to lead them towards the basement stairs.

 

“You’ve met Joe, Tricky. This here is Andy. He’s a beast on the drums.” Pete says brightly, stomping down the stairs and taking in all the instruments.

 

“Nice to meet you, man. It’s an honor. You killed it in Slayer .” Patrick says, pleasant as ever, and then turns to Pete to glare at him half-heartedly. “Don’t call me that again.”

 

“How about Lunchbox?” Pete laughs, and Patrick doesn’t bother to dictate him with a response.

 

He sings a couple of covers for them, even plays the drums for good measure. By the end, Pete is sweating and he’s pretty sure his eyes are glazed over. Joe nudges him in the ribs with his elbow.

 

“That was incredible, dude. You’re totally in.” Joe says, giving Patrick a round of applause. Andy nods, smiling at Patrick before turning to Pete and clapping him on the shoulder.

 

“You’re going to be even more insufferable than usual with him around, aren’t you?” Andy groans.

 

“I resent that. But yes. You know me so well. I’m touched.” Pete wipes away a fake tear.

 

Andy shoves him away and he nearly trips over one of the chords connected to the amp and lands face first on the coffee table. Whatever. Totally worth it.

 

xxx

 

Pete is near the breaking point of his self control the night before they leave for their first ever tour. He’s walking a very dangerous tightrope, and if he hurts Patrick he’ll have to deal with his mother’s wrath, not to mention Andy’s.

 

Don’t get him started on the fact that Patrick has a mother, let alone an entire life that Pete doesn’t know about. He didn’t know his creations could take on a life of their own, and it’s starting to freak him out how jealous he is of anyone who sees Patrick every day.

 

Patrick is special. Patrick is his . But he’s coming to realize he won’t get anywhere with Patrick if he doesn’t tell him the truth about the dreams.

 

He wonders if there’s some cosmic loophole and if he shatters the illusion that Patrick is a real boy, he might cease to exist. Pete really hopes not. He’s getting awfully attached, and Patrick disappearing would break his fragile heart in two.

 

So Pete decides to face the music on this fateful night and hope Patrick doesn’t kick his ass, quit the band, or fall off the face of the earth. It’s now or never.

 

He throws rocks at Patrick’s bedroom window. Partially because he has a thing for Romeo and Juliet, but also because he enjoys annoying Patrick. Angry Patrick turns him on. Then again, every version of Patrick does that involuntarily.

 

Also, Pete is a hopeless romantic deep down. His poetic, emo soul cannot be silenced.

 

Luckily, Patrick’s bedroom is on the first floor of the house, so Pete won’t have to do any climbing and risk injury.

 

Pete gets closer to the window and waits. Patrick pulls back the curtains and startles so hard he slams his chin into the glass.

 

Patrick gives him a reproachful glare, rubbing his chin before unlocking the window and shoving it open.

 

“Ow, you fucking asshole. It’s after midnight, what could you possibly want that’s so important? You couldn’t text me like a normal person?” Patrick complains, but sits on the edge of his bed to give Pete some space.

 

Pete swings one leg over the window frame, balancing on the ledge and ducking his head underneath it until he can pull his other leg over the pane and safely inside.

 

He closes the window behind him and locks it for good measure before he answers.

 

“This isn’t really the type of conversation that should be had over the phone.” Pete states, sounding even more grim than he feels. Patrick’s face falls instantly.

 

“Don’t tell me you’re kicking me out of the band.” Patrick says flatly. “Oh! Or are you dying? Jesus Christ, Pete.” He adds as an afterthought, looking downright upset.

 

“No. Neither of those things. God. You’re gonna think I’m insane. I’ll just say it. You aren’t a real person, Patrick. You exist because I made you up.” Pete sighs, squeezing his eyes shut tightly and waiting for Patrick’s reply.

 

“You made me up? What the fuck are you talking about? Are you high?” Patrick squeaks, his voice getting higher with every sentence. He’s speaking at a frequency that every dog in the neighborhood can hear.

 

“I wish I was for this conversation,” Pete mumbles. “Look. Let me try to explain from the beginning.”

 

“You have five minutes, and then I’m going back to sleep so I can pretend this never happened.” Patrick huffs.

 

“Okay. Well, I…” Pete trails off, wringing his hands together anxiously in his lap. “A couple of months ago I tried to kill myself. I took a bottle of pills in a parking lot. I just wanted to stop thinking for a while. Everything felt really aimless in my life. But then I heard Hallelujah on the radio and I thought it was as good a sign as any to stay alive. So I called my mom and she called the ambulance.” Pete took a deep breath, swallowing hard and looking up to meet Patrick’s eyes.

 

Patrick looks sad. Like he pities Pete. That’s the last thing he wants. Pete continues.

 

“Long story short, they had me on suicide watch in the hospital for a few days. They also have someone monitor me when I take my medication, which makes me feel like a major fuck up. Anyway, I have really bad insomnia, but eventually I fell asleep and I started to have these dreams. About you. Before we met.” Pete pauses, hearing Patrick gasp. Pete reaches out and holds his hand.

 

“And you were singing Hallelujah . So I thought you had to be my guardian angel. And I must’ve failed at killing myself for a reason, right? The point is, I kept having the dreams. And with every single one I’d learn new things about you. Eventually, I thought you were probably just a figment of my imagination. But here you are.” Pete’s voice is getting increasingly hysterical with every word.

 

“Pete. I don’t know what to tell you. But I’m a real person. I’ve always been real. I’ve existed for eighteen years without you. I’m not an angel, I hate to break it to you. But I’m so glad you’re alive and I met you.” Patrick says, earnest and fighting back tears.

 

“What do you think the dreams mean, then?” Pete whispers, feeling incredibly lost.

 

“I think….maybe we have some sort of telepathy? Because I told you that I thought I recognized you before. And it wasn’t because of any of your bands.” Patrick admits. Pete looks up at him, surprised.

 

“Are you saying you’ve had dreams about me too?” Pete is still trying to process this information. Patrick nods slowly.

 

“I don’t think mine are as vivid as yours. But I remember them vaguely. Like a fever dream.” Patrick wraps an arm around Pete’s waist to try to comfort him. Pete sinks into his warmth easily, gratefully.

 

“Do you believe in soulmates, Trickerdoodle? Because this is starting to sound like some soulmate shit.” Pete says, somehow maintaining a straight face.

 

Burn that nickname. Please. But yes. I do. I think that’s a good explanation.” Patrick smiles at him tentatively.

 

“Wonderful. Because otherwise it’d be really awkward when I tell you I’m in love with you.” Pete laughs, exhilarated with how true the statement is. Patrick gapes at him for a moment.

 

“You only met me like, two weeks ago.” Patrick snorts.

 

“Doesn’t matter,” Pete shrugs. “I fall hard and fast. Besides, I’ve known you in my dreams for what feels like forever. Do you think time passes differently in dreams?” Pete wonders, laying his head on Patrick’s shoulder.

 

Patrick rolls his eyes, even though Pete can’t see it.

 

“You really know how to ruin a romantic moment, don’t you? You’re such a dick.” Patrick groans, untangling himself from Pete so he can slide back under the covers and tuck them up to his chin.

 

Pete worms his way next to Patrick in the cocoon of warmth and wraps himself around him like an octopus.

 

“Nah. I’m just super curious about this whole soulmate business.” Pete yawns.

 

“Great. Well, now that that’s settled. I’m going back to sleep.” Patrick’s only answer is Pete’s even breathing.

 

xxx

 

After their first real performance as a band, everyone is riding the post show high. Joe is at the bar, drinking the free beer and talking to a leggy blonde. Andy sticks close by his side, mainly because he’s the designated driver turned babysitter.

 

Since it’s their first gig and they can’t afford a hotel, they’re stuck crashing in the van. But Pete is pretty sure Joe and Andy will be preoccupied celebrating for a couple hours. Pete is a man of means. He knows what he wants and he’s going to get it. He can be very persuasive.

 

He finds Patrick in the corner by the jukebox, and he drags him out of the club by his wrist.

 

“What the fuck are you doing?” Patrick asks, but he doesn’t sound mad. In fact, he’s giggling. He might even be a little tipsy, or that could be the adrenaline talking.

 

“This.” Pete says, breathless as he pushes Patrick up against the side of the van in the near darkness and presses their lips together. It’s more of a collision of teeth than a kiss, but that’s because Pete is an over excited, horny, desperate puppy.

 

“I’ve waited so fucking long to do that.” Pete says the words into Patrick’s mouth, and then Patrick is tugging him down against him by his neck and shoving his tongue against the roof of his mouth.

 

Pete whines in the back of his throat as Patrick leans on his tiptoes and presses up against him from chest to hips to thighs.

 

“I’m not usually this easy.” Patrick pants when they pull back for air. Pete laughs, loud and braying in the dark.

 

“I believe you. I consider you letting me do this a privilege.” Pete punctuates the statement by biting Patrick’s supple bottom lip.

 

“Great. Can we do it inside the van though so we don’t get arrested for public indecency?” Patrick huffs, brushing Pete’s bangs out of his eyes.

 

“Whatever you want, Tricky. But if we get jizz on the upholstery, you’re responsible for cleaning it up.” Pete laughs when Patrick scowls at him.

 

Both are short lived, because Patrick opens the door and shoves Pete into the back of the van. It’s occupied by boxes, instruments and sound equipment and probably a handful of demos.

 

Pete falls back onto the shitty carpet and grins up at the ceiling like an idiot. He hopes to a god he doesn’t believe in that he isn’t dreaming.

 

Patrick climbs on top of him, straddling his hips and burying his hands in Pete’s jet black hair. He’s met with product and sweat and Pete’s effervescent grin.

 

“Why are you looking at me like that?” Patrick asks, bemused.

 

“You’re too good to be true.” Pete says, the words rolling off of his tongue effortlessly. The truth is pouring out of him these days. He thinks Patrick brings out the best in him.

 

“Your sincerity is charming, but totally unnecessary when I’m literally on top of you.” Patrick snorts, his face flushed because of the compliment and what Pete thinks is his proximity alone.

 

“If you think I’m not gonna sweet talk you throughout this entire thing, you’re wrong.” Pete says firmly, and then he’s grabbing onto Patrick’s shoulders and pushing up against him as he connects their lips. Pete can’t help but think this is where he belongs. As close to Patrick as he can get. His very own sunshine machine.

 

Pete smiles into the kiss, and then Patrick is pulling back to start trailing sloppy kisses down his jaw all the way to his neck. Pete shivers at the sensation, and dares to pull Patrick’s hat off his head. He bought it for him anyway, so he’s absolutely allowed. He tosses the hat over the back of the seat in front of them, and slides his hands down Patrick’s spine.

 

Patrick abruptly stops touching him, which is like, totally rude. Pete is cold and squirming uncontrollably. Patrick glares up at him through his hair, matted to his forehead with sweat. Pete laughs, because Patrick looks more like a grumpy kitten than anything else. Patrick’s face softens at the sound.

 

“You’re lucky I like you, motherfucker.” Patrick grumbles, and then he’s pushing Pete’s shirt up to his armpits and swirling his tongue against his navel. Pete inhales sharply, the muscles in his stomach clenching as Patrick traces the bartskull all the way to his treasure trail.

 

Patrick unbuttons Pete’s skinny jeans, pulling down the zip and urging Pete to lift his hips. He obeys, but even then his jeans are so incredibly tight Patrick can’t get them past his thighs. Patrick growls in frustration, and Pete hurriedly tries to shimmy the denim down his legs. Eventually he gets them to his ankles so Patrick can pull them off and toss them across the van in pure contempt.

 

“I’ve never hated the fact you wear girl jeans more than right now.” Patrick hisses, settling on his stomach between Pete’s legs.

 

“Oh, don’t be like that, baby. You love how they look, right? That’s the whole point.” Pete replies, batting his eyelashes coquettishly. Patrick doesn’t dictate him with a verbal response, he just pulls Pete’s boxers down and gets his mouth around his dick in one fatal swoop.

 

Pete gasps, eyes bulging out of his head as he slams it against the floor of the van. He’s pretty sure they’re going to start rocking the thing and fogging up the windows, which is super cheesy and ironic in so many ways but Pete couldn’t care less. He’s entered heaven, which just so happens to be Patrick’s mouth.

 

He looks down at Patrick’s pretty pink lips, lush and swollen around his cock, and he feels like he’s being struck by lightning. The words come out of him like a waterfall and he just can’t seem to contain himself.

 

“Patrick, holy shit. I’ve had so many fucking dreams about this. Your mouth is downright fucking sinful. You’re so good at that it has to be illegal. Don’t stop. Please, never fucking stop.” Pete begs. Patrick seems dissatisfied with Pete’s ability to string together sentences with his mouth on his dick, so he decides to double his efforts.

 

Patrick puts his hands on both of Pete’s hips, pinning him down as he deep throats his prick. Pete whimpers, eyes rolling back in his head as he feels his dick hit the back of Patrick’s throat. Pete is no longer coherent, he’s ascended to another plain, has no clue whatever words he’s spitting out of his mouth.

 

Patrick hums around him, the sensation traveling up his spine and pooling in his gut. Pete trembles, right on the edge, and he finally allows himself to sink his fingers into Patrick’s hair to try and keep him there. Patrick stays for a moment, nose pressed to Pete’s belly, before he pulls off to take in a few deep breaths.

 

Pete just looks at him, chest heaving and face as pink as his mouth. There’s sweat dripping down his neck and his eyes are so dilated they’re more black than blue. He’s beautiful and already completely wrecked and Pete is so in love it makes his chest ache.

 

He doesn’t realize it at first, but Patrick is giving him a look. His head is tilted, like he asked Pete something, and apparently he’d missed it. Oh, God. He hopes he didn’t say anything to make Patrick stop that otherworldly blowjob.

 

“What?” Pete chokes out, voice weak in the face of his almost-orgasm. Patrick sighs, fondly exasperated with a small smile quirking his lips.

 

“You said you wanted me to fuck you. Are you sure?” Patrick replies, small and timid in the quiet of the van. He can’t meet Pete’s eyes now, he looks like he wants to curl up into himself.

 

Pete doesn’t remember saying the words, but he’s sure he’d been thinking them. Suddenly, his mouth floods with saliva at the thought. He’s never wanted anything more than for Patrick to pound him into the floor of this van. He’s not gonna be able to sit in here without getting a boner now. He can’t bring himself to mind. Not when Patrick is asking him if he’s sure, all earnest and boyish.

 

“Oh my God, fuck yes.” Pete blurts, and Patrick beams at him. Suddenly, his face falls.

 

“Wait. We need lube. Do you have any?” Patrick asks, eyes wide with desperation. Pete chuckles, and then he’s leaning over the back seat to grab his duffle bag full of stuff. His bare ass is most definitely in Patrick’s face; he considers this a perk. He wiggles his hips, digging in the pocket of his bag until he finds the travel size bottle of lube and a condom.

 

He drops the bag back onto the seat and turns to face Patrick on his knees. He holds them out between his fingers to Patrick and raises his eyebrows suggestively.

 

“I’ve never done this before.” Patrick admits, barely above a whisper as he hesitantly takes the lube and condom packet from Pete.

 

“Yeah, I kind of figured. I mean, I can tell you’ve given a blow job before but...I just assumed you’d never done anything more with a guy, I guess. Sorry if that’s offensive.” Pete grimaces, grabbing Patrick’s free hand and squeezing reassuringly.

 

“Oh. No, it’s fine. You’re right. I want to. You’re just gonna have to...tell me what to do.” Patrick says, breathless. Pete’s eyes darken at the words, and then he’s helping Patrick pull his shirt above his head. Pete discards his own shirt while he’s at it, so he’s fully naked while Patrick is still in his jeans. He takes a second to admire the creamy expanse of Patrick’s chest.

 

“I can do that, honey. Take your pants off.” Pete says, voice husky with desire. Patrick obliges, his hands shaking as he undoes his belt and pops the button. He takes off his jeans with much less fanfare than Pete, mainly because they’re a lot less tight. He’s left in just his boxers, and Pete beckons him forward with a finger.

 

“Get between my legs. Then I want you to get your fingers nice and wet so you can slide one inside me, yeah? Start slow.” Pete commands, leaning back on his elbows so he can watch Patrick as he squirts the lube into his hand and rubs his fingers together to warm it up.

 

Patrick scoots up closer to Pete, and pulls him onto his lap so his legs are on either side of Patrick’s hips. Patrick plants his free hand on Pete’s inner thigh and drags the index finger of his other along the crack of Pete’s ass. Pete jolts when Patrick reaches his hole, bites his lip as he circles around his entrance and puts pressure against the muscle.

 

Patrick breaches him, pushing the tip of the first finger inside slowly. Pete gasps, digging his heels into Patrick’s lower back and arching upwards to try and get Patrick further inside.

 

“You’re doing so good, baby. I just want you to sink that finger all the way inside me and then curl it upwards. I’ll tell you when I’m ready for another.” Pete babbles, resting a hand against the back of Patrick’s neck as encouragement. Patrick is a quick study, then. He follows Pete’s cues and he finds that spot inside Pete that makes him scream. He works his way up to three fingers, swirling and scissoring them inside Pete, and he can’t take it anymore.

 

“Fuck. Get in me before I die.” Pete whines, scratching his nails against the carpet in frustration. Patrick bites his lip in a way that makes Pete feel like he might come on the spot, but he manages to control himself when Patrick pulls his fingers out of him and slides the condom on his dick. He slicks himself up with more lube, because he insists that he doesn’t want to hurt Pete. He’s unbearably sweet, even at the most inappropriate of times.

 

“You want me to do it just like this? Or should we change positions?” Patrick asks, hovering over Pete with his hands on either side of his head.

 

“Yes. Just like this. I wanna see your face when you come.” Pete grins, all sharp canines and a heart that belongs to Patrick and Patrick alone.

 

“I have a feeling I’m not going to last long.” Patrick mumbles, face flushing as he lines up with Pete’s hole and settles himself so he’s resting gently on top of Pete, chests pressed together and hearts beating erratically. Pete puts his hands on Patrick’s face, rubbing his cheekbones and kissing him softly as he starts to slide inside of him.

 

Pete moans into Patrick’s mouth, and moves his hands down until he’s digging his nails into Patrick’s lower back and urging him forwards.

 

Patrick rocks against him, until he’s as deep inside as he can possibly go. Pete ends up biting his shoulder to stop himself from shrieking at the top of his lungs in a very unmanly kind of way.

 

“That’s it, darling. Right there. You’ve got me. Fuck me as hard as you can.” Pete pleads, arching his back as Patrick starts to move his hips in and out. Patrick plants his hands on Pete’s chest and looks down at him, staring straight into his soul with his mouth gaping open in wonder.

 

Oh. So that’s what it’s like. Holy fuck. You’re so hot. So goddamn tight.” Patrick chokes out, voice lower and more gravelly than Pete has ever heard it. It makes Pete shudder against him, push back harder against his thrusts.

 

“Oh God. I’m already close. Shit, this is embarrassing. Touch me.” Pete grunts, thumping his head back against the carpet in the hopes it can stave off his orgasm. Patrick wraps his hand around Pete’s cock, thick and dark and leaking precome. Pete can’t even look anymore, can only squeeze his eyes shut and slide his hands down to Patrick’s ass and shove him further inside.

 

Patrick slams into his prostate on the next stroke and he’s a goner when Patrick’s fucking him, touching him, all around him.

 

Pete comes, his vision whiting out as his dick twitches and spurts in Patrick’s grip and splatters against their stomachs. When he’s done he can’t even speak, aftershocks still going through his body as he opens his eyes and watches Patrick find his release.

 

Patrick’s body locks up above him, entirely frozen for a few seconds before all his muscles relax and Pete can feel the wet warmth inside of him, Patrick’s dick pulsing as he lets out the sweetest, most melodic sounds. Patrick pulls out and collapses beside him, rolling over so he’s facing Pete.

 

“Sorry about the mess.” Pete apologizes, because he doesn’t know what to say after something as mind blowing as that. Patrick laughs and it sounds like music, too.

 

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll just use one of your hideous hoodies to clean it up. Unfortunately I’m gonna have to toss the condom outside, though.” Patrick wrinkles up his nose at the prospect, but he’s already taken it off his dick and tied it. Pete would be offended by the insult of his clothing but it’s not like Patrick isn’t saying something he doesn’t already know.

 

“That’s bad for the environment, Stumpy. Also, what if Joe and Andy see?” Pete says, pretending to be scandalized. He drapes his arm over Patrick’s waist and bumps their noses together.

 

“They’re already gonna know. It reeks of sex in here, dude.” Patrick says, deadpan. Pete nods, and then they lay together in silence for a few minutes before Pete decides to put his boxers back on and roll over to look for his sidekick. He grabs it from his jeans pocket and checks the time.

 

“It’s late. We should probably clean up and get dressed before the boys get back.” Pete says, as much as it pains him. He wishes Patrick were naked all the time. It’s Pete’s biggest dream and Patrick’s worst nightmare. They don’t agree on a lot of things.

 

“Mkay.” Patrick agrees easily enough. He’s starting to look sleepy, eyelids drooping as he wipes his stomach off with one of Pete’s hoodies and tries to smooth out his shirt. Pete is very smitten.

 

They end up opening up all the windows and doors to air the van out as best they can. They’re sitting in the back still, wrapped around each other even though it’s far too hot to be cuddling. Especially in a vehicle with no AC. The things they do for love.

 

“Hey Pete?” Patrick says, muffled against the skin of Pete’s neck. Pete hums in acknowledgement to get him to continue. “I’m in love with you too. I’m sorry I didn’t say it before.”

 

Pete can feel his heart growing in his chest. He tilts Patrick’s face up by his chin so he can look at his eyes. Baby blue and innocent as ever, despite recent events. A boy who cannot be tainted by Pete’s love.

 

“Don’t be sorry. I’d rather you say it and mean it.” Pete kisses him again, just because he can.

 

“I do mean it. So much.” Patrick says fiercely, his eyes getting a little watery.

 

“I believe you. Where have you been all my life?” Pete asks, more of a rhetorical question than anything else. Patrick answers it anyway.

 

“In your dreams. And right here.” Patrick says, placing his hand against the left side of Pete’s chest, right where his heart is. Pete smiles, and thinks of a future where all of his wildest hopes and dreams come true. When his dreams come true, it’s Patrick that he wants next to him.