“And then she asked me if we’d give her a discount. A discount! After her sticky, ginger-tinged child broke our - ” David cuts himself off, sensing somehow that he doesn’t have Patrick’s full attention. He hasn’t heard an mmhmm in two minutes.
He turns around, ready to remind Patrick that it’s his duty and obligation to pay attention to all of David’s very important customer relations story, or at least to distract him with something more fun.
Patrick is leaning forward over the desk, head propped up on both hands, eyes closed. He doesn’t seem to notice that David has stopped talking, which is unusual; even if he doesn’t care about what David’s saying, he always cares that David’s saying something.
“Why do you look droopy?” David asks, sliding over to the counter.
Patrick undroops just enough to blink up at him. “I’m tired,” he says. “I’ve been kept up every night this week.”
David’s first instinct is to preen; then he remembers that he hasn’t had anything to do with that. “Um, why? Who’s been keeping you up?”
If Patrick notices the jealous panic that David can’t quite keep out of his tone, he’s too tired to mention it. Or to reassure David. Which is serious.
“Ray,” Patrick sighs which, yes, does make sense.
“All night How I Met Your Mother marathons, again?” David asks, schooling his face into an expression of extreme sympathy.
Patrick makes a tiny noise of longing. “I wish. I yearn for those days,” he says, with just enough of a spin on the word ‘yearn’ to show he’s been spending far too much time with David’s mother. “He got himself a girlfriend. Do you know what they do all night?”
David’s calculated sympathy becomes very real very quickly. “Is it making love?”
“Nope,” Patrick says. “It’s fucking. They fuck. All night. And then when they’re done…”
David shudders. “More fucking?”
Patrick nods, eyes wide and slightly crazed. “More fucking.”
David looks him over, head tipped slightly to one side. “No honestly you look… really bad. I think you might be scaring the customers.”
“Thank you,” Patrick says, the remainder of his little burst of energy deserting him and leaving him droopy again. “You know when you’re so tired, you think you might puke, but you just don’t have the energy?”
David looks at Patrick’s pale, slightly blotchy face and tries to think what the kind thing to do would be.
“Alexis has a meeting,” he says slowly, sounding it out in his head first. This does seem like the right thing to do. “So our place should be free? If you want to come over?”
Patrick gives him a very soft smile. “David, no offense, but that won’t help.”
“To nap!” David tells him. “You think I want to have sex with… that?” (The answers obviously is that yes, yes he does, but for once, Patrick doesn’t call him on it.)
“Oh,” Patrick says, then again, “Oh! Yes. Yes I do want to nap. Can we do that now? Wait - ” He looks around, as if only just now realising where he is. “We can’t do that now, we’re at work.”
David glances up at the clock and makes an executive decision. “Oh hey look it's 12pm on a Wednesday. Time for half day closing!”
“We don't do that,” Patrick says.
David comes around to the other side of the counter and takes Patrick by the arm. “Now we do, come along, time for bed.”
It’s honestly kind of worrying how little Patrick protests. It’s also worrying that he nearly falls asleep twice on the walk back to the motel, but David has one arm linked securely through Patrick’s so no one ends up falling flat on their face.
“There,” David says, opening the door to his room and ushering Patrick inside. Stevie leans out of her office door and makes a shocked face at him, so he flips her off before closing the door behind him.
At least, if she thinks they’re having sex in here, she might keep his dad out of the way for a while. Or she might encourage him to head for David’s room immediately. It’s a fifty-fifty split, basically.
“You’re sure this is really okay?” Patrick asks, already toeing off his shoes.
David darts around him and pulls back the comforter, when it looks as though Patrick is about to just faceplant down on top of it.
“It’s fine,” says David briskly, just in case Patrick thanks him or something. “Mom is at Council and Alexis has that meeting and Dad is probably cleaning a toilet or something else equally disgusting.”
“Mm, good,” Patrick mumbles and crawls into bed.
David watches him try to get comfortable for ten whole seconds before taking off his own shoes and following him into the bed. “Shove over.”
“Oh, hey,” Patrick yawns. “I didn’t know you were joining me.”
David had been in the process of lying down but now he stops, uncertain. “Will that stop you sleeping?”
“I don’t think anything could stop me sleeping,” Patrick says, putting his head on David’s chest, the second David lies flat.
Automatically, David wraps his arm around Patrick’s shoulders, and uses his other hand to pull the comforter up to Patrick’s chin.
He looks down at the top of Patrick’s short hair and smiles, feeling like he’s done a good thing. “Comfortable?” Patrick doesn’t answer, so David jiggles him a bit. “Patrick? Comfortable?”
“Comfortable,” Patrick mumbles and, if he sounds like he’s saying it in his sleep, David will take that.
“Excellent,” he says, satisfied, and picks up his phone. He needs to check instagram, anyway.
Then Alexis opens the door and sashays in with her arms full of what look like lanyards. She gets all the way to her bed without looking David’s way, so it’s really her own fault when David says, “Shhhh,” and she jumps out of her skin.
“David!” she shrieks, wheeling on him. “Why are you hiding in the - ?” She must catch sight of Patrick then, still out of the count, because her lips twitch. “What are you doing?”
“Shh,” David says again. “He’s sleeping.”
Alexis’s eyes narrow, but her smile continues to grow. “Why is he sleeping here? Now? Are you having a nooner? Ew, David.”
“No, we’re just napping,” says David, with what he thinks is admirable patience.
Alexis nods agreeably. “Because of all the sex? That’s cool.” She drops her box of lanyards (it’s definitely lanyards) on the table and sets up her laptop.
“Are you just going to sit there and work?” David asks her in a hissing whisper. Patrick still doesn’t stir. David might worry that he’s dead, except he’s drooling on David’s very expensive sweatshirt and he’s pretty sure dead people don’t drool.
Alexis looks over at him, giving him the look she used to reserve for Beverly Hills store clerks who asked her for her dress size. David is oddly touched; he’s missed that look.
“This is my place of work, David, so yes, I will be working here. It’s not my fault if you and your admittedly adorable little button of a boyfriend can’t keep your hands off each other in the middle of the day.”
“We didn’t have sex,” David sighs. He drops his head back against the pillow. “You know what, forget it. We did have sex. We had hot, sweaty, passionate sex up against that wall. And that wall. And in the shower, on your bed, on that table.”
“Ew!” Alexis says, but she doesn’t move. “Also, I don’t believe you. You can’t have sex on this table without it collapsing. Trust me, I’ve tried.”
“Ew!” David cries (quietly) and covers his face with his hand.
An hour or so later, Alexis is actually engrossed in her work and only making a minimum of annoying noises, when the door to their parents’ room opens and their mom comes in.
“Go away,” David says hopefully, but it doesn’t work.
“Patrick is sleeping,” Alexis tells her helpfully. “I’m not really sure what David is doing, but earlier he was just sort of smiling dopily at the top of Patrick’s head. It was really gross.”
Their mom’s eyes narrow immediately. “What’s the matter with him?” she asks, flattening herself against the doorjamb as though it will protect her. “Is he sick?”
“He’s not sick,” David says, as patiently as he can.
“Why is he here, if he’s sick?” his mom asks. “Doesn’t he have a home of his own to go to? One where he can keep his germs contained? And away from… other people?”
“He’s not sick,” David repeats. Patrick twitches a little, which makes David have to glare at everyone. “And shh, you’re going to wake him up.”
“All right, okay, yes.” His mom nods her way to the end of her sentence, then immediately comes back with, “Is he contagious?”
David is going to have a stroke. Two strokes. He’s going to have two strokes and a heart attack and there won’t be anywhere for him to get any peace and quiet or for Patrick to tenderly nurse him back to health.
“He's not… no, you know what? Yes. He's very sick, very contagious, you'd better leave the room immediately.”
His mom looks at him for a moment as though she suspects he’s playing her but also isn’t prepared to find out that he’s not. Then she looks at Alexis and sighs. “As I feared,” she says. “Alexis, I’m afraid I must abandon you to this den of plague.”
She turns sharply on her heel, tosses her white feather boa over one shoulder and slams the interconnecting door.
“Mph,” Patrick asks, starting to lift his head.
“Just a small apocalypse, nothing to worry about,” David murmurs and is both charmed and vaguely terrified, when Patrick just takes him at his word and goes back to sleep.
“Did you drug him?” Alexis asks, without looking up from her work.
“Fuck off,” David tells her pleasantly.
David thunks his head back against his pillow (but only gently; he thinks he might be getting away without developing bedhead, and he doesn’t want to jinx it).
“He's tired, Dad. That’s all. He's tired, so he’s sleeping.” His dad opens his mouth to say something, so David lifts his hand and puts a finger to his lips. “Please, Dad, just let him sleep.”
“Hmm,” says his dad, completely ignoring the shushing finger. “Does this have anything to do with Ray’s new ladyfriend?”
“Oh my god, yes,” David says. “Can you imagine anything more horrifying?”
“Well, there’s my son’s boyfriend potentially having the plague,” his dad says thoughtfully. “But I’m assuming that’s not true and the masks your mother bought are unnecessary.”
“Mom bought masks?” Alexis asks.
Their dad shrugs. “Well, no, but she asked Stevie to buy masks, and Stevie asked Roland to do it and… well, you don’t want to know what he came back with, let’s just say that.”
“Dad,” Alexis and David protest.
He does not look suitably repentant. He doesn’t even look cowed. “Alright, so I understand why Patrick is here, but why are you, David?”
“I promised I’d never leave him alone with you people,” David tells him. “Also, we’re selling ‘I <3 Schitt’s Creek’ tote bags at the store right now and I come out in hives every time I touch one, so I can’t be there without him.”
His dad thinks about this for a minute then nods. “Fair enough.”
Then he just… doesn’t move.
“Um, Dad?” David asks, nodding significantly towards anywhere that isn’t here.
His dad still doesn’t move.
“Okay, what are you doing?” David asks.
“Making sure no one disturbs you,” says his dad.
“Well you’re disturbing me,” David tells him, while Alexis makes faces in the background. “Why are you staring at us?”
After a moment, his dad stands up, walks around the bed and sits on the other side, so now his back is to David and he’s facing Alexis. “Is this better?”
David frowns. “I… honestly don’t know?”
“It’s much worse,” Alexis tells them both. “Dad, I promise I won’t disturb David or Patrick, although at this rate it looks as though maybe nothing can disturb Patrick. David, are you sure you didn’t drug him?”
“I did not drug him,” David says for the second time, which he honestly thinks is two times too many. “Why would I drug him?”
“To make him sleep, duh,” Alexis says. “I remember one time, I was under house arrest in Moscow and I was being guarded by these mobsters, so I crunched up some Ambien and put it in their drinks.” She bounces up from her seat. “Does anyone want anything from the drinks machine.”
“Well, now I don’t,” David says, which seems to be something their dad agrees with wholeheartedly.
“Sure?” Alexis asks. “David, you haven’t had anything to drink all afternoon; you’ll get wrinkly.”
“I’m fine,” David says and tries not to shift under the comforter.
“I’ll get you water,” she decides, opening the door.
“Alexis.” David hears his voice go tight. “Please stop offering me liquid.”
Alexis’s eyes immediately go hurt. “I was just trying to be nice.”
“Right. I know. I'm sorry,” David sighs. “It's just I… really need to use the bathroom, okay?”
“You need to use the bathroom?” Alexis echoes.
“Yes,” David says, strained.
She leans against the door and beams at him. Their dad is definitely looking at them, but if David doesn’t look back, he won’t see it. “But you haven't because Patrick is sleeping on you?”
David is suspicious that this is going to lead to mockery, but the only answer possible is, “Yes.”
“Aw,” Alexis coos, “That's so romantic.”
“Or potentially very bad for your bladder,” their dad says. “Which isn’t something you need to worry about at your age, but at mine - ”
Patrick stirs, stretching, and thankfully distracting David from whatever awful thing his dad was about to say. “Go use the bathroom, David,” Patrick says, voice heavy with sleep.
“But I - “ David starts to say.
Patrick pats him on the chest and rolls just far enough away to give him room. “Bathroom, David.”
David sprints to the bathroom and uses it as fast as is humanly possible but still, Alexis is back from the vending machine, before he’s done. She’s drinking a diet coke and frowning at Patrick, who seems to have gone right back to sleep.
“He said something about ‘if functions’ in his sleep?” she says dubiously.
David tries not to smile and fails. “Yes, sometimes he dreams about spreadsheets.”
When he wakes up, it’s morning, and Patrick is also awake, smiling at him from the other side of the pillow.
Somehow, miraculously, they’re also alone.
“Good morning,” Patrick says, reaching out and combing his fingers through David’s hair.
David smiles back at him. “Good morning. Don’t do that, I avoided bedhead.”
“Really didn’t,” Patrick tells him, sadly.
David turns his face into Patrick’s hand and realises that maybe, just this once, he doesn’t care that much about his hair. “How are you feeling?”
Patrick strokes David’s cheek. “Like I had some very weird dreams.”
“My family will do that to you,” David agrees, nodding.
“But better,” Patrick adds.
“Yes, well, they’ll do that too,” David admits. “Sometimes.” He thinks about the half-day’s takings they lost yesterday, and then he thinks about all those hours where he got to look after Patrick and, he’s pretty sure, did an okay job at it. “Want to get breakfast?”
“I do,” Patrick says, sitting up. He waits for David to sit up too, then hugs him.
“Oh. Hey,” David says surprised, but he hugs him back, because of course he hugs him back.
Patrick sighs and lays his head on David’s shoulder, apparently settling in for a long-haul hug.
“Are you going back to sleep?” David asks suspiciously, when Patrick’s breathing evens out.
“No, this is just nice,” Patrick says, not letting go.
“Nice?” David asks. “Wait, am I nice?”
Patrick releases him with one final squeeze and sits back. There’s colour back in his cheeks and life back in his eyes. I did that, David thinks.
“I didn’t say that,” Patrick says.
David sucks in his lips, pretending to think. “Mm, but you implied it.”
“I really didn’t,” Patrick says, shaking his head.
David nods. “Did.”
“Didn’t,” Patrick says and kisses him. It’s a good kiss, a long one; David decides to overlook the fact that neither of them have brushed their teeth. Then Patrick rolls out of bed, stretching with a wince. “Come on, breakfast. Then, if you want, you can take me back to bed.”
“I’m going to get bed sores at this rate,” David grumps, ducking his head to hide his smile.
“Mmm, sexy,” says Patrick and pulls him to his feet.