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it feels like a dream

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David is asleep. He’s sound asleep and feeling very at peace. This bed is so much more comfortable than the ratty, old twin that he’s been stuck with for the past couple years at the motel. The sheets are much nicer. The pillow is so much softer. The blankets are cozier. He’s warm and relaxed and perfectly content.

Someone’s pressing soft kisses all over the back of his neck, across his shoulders, right on that sensitive spot just under his ear. He shivers in his sleep. It feels nice. There’s also a warm hand up under his shirt, gently stroking his belly. The hand is barely moving, just swiping a thumb over the trail of hair under his naval. The movements are so slow, so soothing that David can’t quite determine whether they are part of his dream or reality. He’s faintly curious about these delicate touches, but the call of sleep is too strong and he’s drifting under again, floating gently back into dreamland.

The arm draped over his waist tightens and pulls him closer, and David startles back out of unconsciousness again. This time he’s less certain that he’s dreaming. His brain still feels clouded and fuzzy, but he’s waking up. The sweet kisses are still landing across his skin, and now that he’s slightly more awake, he can register that this must be—

“Patrick?” He mumbles into his pillow, too sluggish to move his face away. The movements on his stomach and kisses on his neck come to a halt.

“Shit, sorry, David. Go back to sleep.” Patrick’s voice is a whisper spoken into his shoulder blade.

David is wrapped in a cocoon of warmth. Patrick is pressed all along his back with an arm resting over his middle. Patrick is always so warm. His breath is warm as he exhales on the back of David’s neck. His hand is warm where it is still resting on David’s belly. His legs are warm where they are intertwined with David’s. His mouth is warm when it continues softly kissing wherever he can reach.

David has been tiptoeing the line between awake and asleep, but now he sways back into reality. He sifts through a tangle of half-formed thoughts and remnants of dreams to piece together enough words to speak.

“Honey, what are you doing?” David finally manages to say, his voice low and rough from disuse.

“Nothing. I didn’t mean to wake you, sorry.” Patrick immediately contradicts his own words by leaving several more kisses along David’s shoulder.

“Seems like there’s something on your mind,” David says, a hint of amusement underneath his annoyance at being awakened. He presses backwards against Patrick and finds him completely soft in his pajama bottoms. “You aren’t hard! You woke me up in the middle of the night and you aren’t even horny?” David flips over to his other side so Patrick can receive the full force of his outraged glare.

Patrick seems to be suppressing a grin, but he at least has the decency to also look mildly chagrined. “I told you I didn’t mean to wake you!”

“You didn’t think your aggressive cuddling would disturb my sleep?” David can feel himself losing the battle with his attempt to look annoyed. Patrick is just too cute, and David is charmed despite himself. Patrick leans in and kisses him on the tip of his nose and across both of his cheeks.

“Aggressive? You poor thing! Are you hurt?” Patrick says, continuing to pepper kisses all over David’s face. David can hear the smile in Patrick’s voice, can feel the smile pressed against his skin. Patrick’s entire body is radiating fond affection and joy as he kisses him, enveloping David in a warmth that fills him from head to toe. “Should I kiss it all better?”

“You really think you’re so cute, don’t you?” David raises an eyebrow and gives Patrick an unamused look. Patrick’s grin widens further and he kisses one of David’s dimples, which clearly didn’t get the memo that David was trying to look like he wasn’t completely enamored with Patrick’s antics.

“You looooove it,” Patrick replies, winking awkwardly.

Something clicks into place in David’s brain. “Oh,” he breathes. “Oh, that’s what this is about, isn’t it?” Patrick suddenly looks bashful and pulls away slightly, looking up at David through his eyelashes. “You want to say it again, don’t you?”

“Maybe?” Patrick bites at his lower lip. “I know it’s a lot for you to hear and to say, so we don’t have to again. I’m just happy we said it today. I don’t need to… I mean, I’d like to say it again, but you don’t have to say it back! I’m honored to be in this exclusive group with Mariah Carey.” Patrick pinkens adorably as he rambles, and David can’t resist leaning in to kiss him softly.

“You can… you could say it again. If… if that’s what you’d like.” David’s tongue has suddenly grown too big for his mouth and he trips over his words. “I… I would like it if you said it again. If you want.”

Patrick’s responding smile is almost too big for his face, and he surges forward to kiss David again, whispering against his lips, “I love you, David. I love you. I love you. I love you so much.”

David can barely breathe. The air has been punched out of his lungs by the sheer intensity of Patrick’s love. He thought hearing Patrick say those three words once today had been completely overwhelming, but now he needs an entirely new word to describe this feeling. And Patrick clearly is not done. He’s now dropping delicate kisses to each knuckle on David’s hand, telling David how much he loves him all the while.

“I love you so much, David. It feels so good to finally tell you.” Patrick’s eyes are glistening, and it’s all too much for David. He feels the tears spilling down his cheeks, and Patrick is kissing them all away in an instant. His lips are so gentle and so soft as they flutter across David’s cheeks and under his eyes.

David’s chest is expanding. His stomach is doing cartwheels. His heart is attempting to beat right out of his chest. It should feel terrifying. David expects it to feel terrifying, but he takes a deep breath and focuses on the way Patrick is looking at him right now. He focuses on the words Patrick is saying and on the warmth in his eyes. David has never felt more exposed and vulnerable in his life. And yet, he’s not terrified of this feeling.

When David realizes this, he smiles and watches as a matching smile blooms across Patrick’s face. He is so in love with this man, and he knows that Patrick feels the same way. David has never felt this level of trust and certainty with a partner, but with Patrick it feels so natural and right.

“Patrick.” David’s voice cracks and he clears his throat. “I love you so much.”

Patrick’s entire face erupts in a smile and his eyes shine with tears. He captures David’s mouth in a kiss so tender and so filled with love that David melts into him. His mind is a pleasant hum of Patrick, Patrick, Patrick, and his ears are filled with Patrick’s murmurs of “I love you, I love you, I love you.”

Eventually they are both too tired to continue kissing, but David refuses to disentangle himself from Patrick’s embrace. His arms are wrapped tightly around Patrick, and their legs are entwined. He can feel Patrick smiling against his lips. Just as he’s about to drift asleep, Patrick speaks.

“So you’re not mad that I woke you up then?” His voice has a teasing lilt.

“Mmm, no, I’m very angry. You’ll have to make it up to me tomorrow.” David turns around in Patrick’s arms to be the little spoon, and Patrick pulls him close to his chest, kissing the back of David’s neck.

“I’m sure I’ll find some way to make it up to you, my love.”