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“What the hell is this?” David asks in near disgust as he holds the thin rectangular ticket paper in his hand. “I thought I was supposed to be winning a prize for throwing this party."

David watches his father raise his eyebrows with surprise at the display David is putting on. After all these years of living with him, David has no idea how Johnny is surprised at his antics. 

“It’s a baseball ticket, David. Excellent seats. These cost a fortune. Something you can’t afford,” Johnny continues, trying his best to be polite in front of his friends.

“What am I supposed to do with a baseball ticket?” David points out, still grimacing. “Can… can I sell it?”

“Why don’t you just go?” Alexis asks, being a helpful sister as usual. “It’ll be near civilized people. Hopefully. I’ve dated tons of football players. What’s the difference?”

“It’s baseball, Alexis,” David says with a groan. “And I’m sure you have.”

“Baseball, whatever. It’s all the same. Throwing a ball around,” she quips.

Johnny, at this point, looking as if he’s about to faint, sighs. “It’ll be a good opportunity for you.”

Ted wraps an arm around Alexis, forever playing the role of his sister’s darling boyfriend. “I mean, you are pretty lucky. I’d kill to get those kinds of seats for free. Why don’t I come with you? We can have a guys’ day.”

David, of course, doesn’t exactly hate Ted. He’s cute, and super good for his sister, but the thought of spending all day sitting in the heat watching a bunch of people throw -- hit? -- one ball sounds like a nightmare. 

“C’mon. You should go. Keep him company,” Alexis urges David. She narrows her eyebrows. “You owe me.”

David lets out the world’s longest sigh. He does owe his sister, unfortunately, for helping him with the store that one night when he was too hungover to come in. He doesn’t exactly want to admit this, however.

“Fine, I guess I’ll go,” David whines. He’s just glad it’s not a favor worse than this, though he isn’t quite sure how it can get much worse than this. Alexis will find a way to make it worse, though, so David settles for torture in the form of baseball.

-----

This is how David finds himself on a road trip of sorts with Ted, on his way to see a baseball game of all things. How did his life get this terrible?

“Are you excited?” Ted asks with that shit-eating grin on his face. “It’s not every day you can see your favorite team almost directly behind home plate.”

David attempts a pleasant smile, and he’s almost certain it looks like he’s suffocating instead. “Mmm. Yeah. Home plate.” Whatever that means.

“I’m really happy to get to hang out with you, too. Alexis has been wanting us to get together for a while now.”

David nods, far more enthusiastically than the conversation warrants, and returns his attention to his phone.

This is going to be a long day.

-----

The first thing that registers to David is that it’s hot. It’s way too hot. Summertime is always hot, but it’s almost like it’s even hotter outside today just to torture him.

Ted seems enthralled about these so-called ‘home plate’ seats, but all he knows is that he’s sitting directly under the sun, watching a bunch of dudes swing a bat around. Their uniform pants aren’t even as tight as they could be, too. A shame. He supposes the uniforms are cute, for what it’s worth.

Things start to calm down as soon as he has a beer in hand. He’s grateful for the alcohol as he starts fanning himself with a scorecard that he isn’t using at all (why bother? The score is already displayed on the huge screens).

David sighs as yet another batter comes up. It’s just the same thing, over and over. How are people entertained by this?

“What’s wrong? Patrick Brewer’s a great shortstop and hitter. He’s gonna hit one out of here, just you wait,” Ted says with a grin.

David glances at him warily. “A shortstop?” he hedges, before giving up on learning about it entirely. The particular player’s face is displayed on one of the screens, and David resists the urge to snort (barely). “He looks like a puppy.”

There’s a loud sound of wood cracking, and Ted gasps. “I got it! I got it!”

David looks up just in time to see the blurred white of the ball barreling right for him. David lets out a sound best described as a choked squeak before it slams right into his face.

Okay, maybe it didn’t hit him in the face; Ted’s hand slid out at the last minute and cushioned the blow.

Still, it did touch him. Sort of.

“Ow!” David yelps, for no reason at all. He’s not even hurt, not really. He’d be surprised if he even had a bruise. Still, he was attacked. By a flying baseball. “Do people often come here to be attacked?!”

“Whoops,” Ted says with a laugh. “You’re alright, right?”

The people surrounding him start to stare, and as David’s holding his face in terror, it might look worse than it is. Oops.

“Hey, are you okay? I am so sorry, I shouldn’t have hit it so late,” a soft voice says from in front of him.

David looks over just in time to find Puppy-Faced baseball player leaning over into the crowd with a look of none other than puppy-like concern. 

Maybe this guy really is a puppy.

“Um,” David starts, unable to look away from the Puppy’s big brown eyes. “Um.”

The concern on the baseball player’s face grows, much to David’s horror. He hops over the barricade instantly and kneels in front of David, reaching forward to gently coax David’s hands away from his face to get a better look at his ‘injury’.

“Lemme just see what we’re working with here,” he says calmly, almost like he’s talking to a child.

David isn’t sure how to feel about that.

“Ew, don’t, it’s probably bruised. Maybe a broken jaw, I dunno. You threw a ball at me,” David accuses, reluctantly letting the baseball player tug his hands away.

As soon as David’s face is uncovered, the concern on the Puppy’s face fades in favor of a gentle sort of amusement, brown eyes practically twinkling. 

“There’s nothing here,” he says with a soft laugh. “You’re fine. Also, I didn’t throw it at you. I hit the ball at you.”

David blinks with surprise and offense. “And how is that any better?”

Ted smiles apologetically at the Puppy guy. “It’s his first game.”

David watches the baseball player look over at Ted. “I couldn’t have guessed,” he says with such a straight-laced tone that it almost sounds entirely genuine -- if David was an idiot, that is.

“It’s great to meet you. Never thought I’d meet Patrick Brewer like this,” Ted gushes, much to David’s embarrassment.

Patrick. That was the name. It isn’t as if he forgot, he simply wasn’t paying attention to Patrick’s name to begin with. David tilts his head, taking Patrick in. He doesn’t look like a Patrick, though he supposes it’s a fitting name for someone with a frustratingly large amount of boyish charm. 

Patrick doesn’t look like someone famous at all. He looks like someone who wears way too many pairs of khaki pants.

“Nice to meet you,” Patrick says diplomatically. “It’s not often that this happens to me, either.”

David snorts.

It brings Patrick’s attention back to David, still that same amusement in his eyes. “I’m really sorry for the close call. Are you alright?”

David, as it turns out, has suddenly realized that he’s been gifted with quite an opportunity here. Sure, maybe Patrick isn’t the cutest guy on the team (not that he’s been keeping track, of course), but he is cute in that boyish puppy way. He’s got those big brown eyes, a gentle smile, an adorable button nose...

He looks like a boy scout, if David is honest, but he can’t help but turn what could be a very boring day into an exciting one.

“Mmm. If that’s what gets the cute uniformed guy to look at me, then I’ll take it, I guess. I’m very glad you didn’t damage any of this,” David says, gesturing to his face. “This is priceless.”

Sure, this Patrick guy is probably straight. Probably . It’s not going to stop David from having his fun, especially since he’ll never see this man again.

Much to David’s surprise, Patrick grins, and it’s… surprisingly adorable -- all teeth, those brown eyes lighting up like nothing David’s ever seen. It’s genuine. David’s not really used to... genuine.

“I have no doubts about that. Very precious commodity there. I’m happy to not be the one to damage it,” Patrick says, winking as he stands, straightening up. His eyes don’t leave David’s, and for some weird reason, it makes David’s stomach flutter with butterflies.

One of the medics for the team gets to the barricade, along with other medical staff probably hired in case emergencies like this happen. 

David is done with the theatrics, however. He just wants to see how long he can stay with Patrick, if he’s honest. 

“Sir, are you alright?” one of the medics asked.

“I think he’s good,” Patrick says. “His friend seems to have softened the blow quite a bit.”

Ted grins. “Happy to help. Say, can I get an autograph?” He holds up the offending ball that started all of this.

David rolls his eyes. “Ted, can we have some tact, please?” he whines.

Patrick’s grin isn’t as wide, but he’s still smiling adorably as he throws an amused glance to David. “Sure thing.”

“Glad to hear you’re alright,” the medic says, “but it’s ballpark policy to take you to the medical facility to make sure.”

“You mean so I don’t sue you?” David teases. “You don’t have to worry about that, really. There’s far more atrocious things to sue this place over.”

A loud laugh bursts its way past Patrick’s lips. “You’re funny,” he says, smirking as he signs the ball and returns it to Ted. “I’m happy to have met you.”

David definitely does not blush at this. He isn’t a blusher, but if he were, it’s definitely blush-worthy. Patrick is intense, a genuine sort of intense that David has never seen before. He doesn’t know if he likes it, but he’s definitely enraptured by it. 

“Sorry, sir, I know it’s just a precaution, but I’m afraid we insist,” the medic says.

David wrinkles his nose. He doesn’t want his time with Cute Puppy Baseball Player to end so soon. “I’ll miss my very important game.”

Patrick tilts his head curiously, turning to face David fully. “I’ll make it up to you. We can get you some new tickets, huh?”

Ted perks up at this. “Wow, really? That’s so great of you.”

David doesn’t have the heart to tell him that another baseball game is the absolute last thing he wants to attend, but instead he’d rather just sit here and watch Patrick swing at the ball or whatever it is he’s supposed to do. Shortstop, wasn’t it? Whatever the hell that means.

“Oh. How kind,” David says, barely masking the sarcasm. “That’s just what I wanted.” He beams.

Patrick’s eyebrows shoot up with surprise, clearly detecting the sarcasm.

Well, at least he isn’t entirely an idiot.

Patrick laughs nervously. “Well, how ‘bout I come with you, make sure everything checks out, and we’ll go from there?”

David suddenly does not have a problem with attending this medical facility if Patrick’s volunteering to go with him.

“I mean, that’s probably a good idea,” David says, attempting to be neutral. “Considering this was all your fault.”

Patrick smiles, shaking his head in disbelief. “Well, you certainly aren’t wrong about that.”

“Don’t you have a baseball game to play?” David points out, gesturing vaguely to the field.

“I’m surprised you care,” Patrick teases. “I have a backup, it’ll be fine.”

David considers this for a moment. “Alright, then, yes, you’re going to have to come.”

Patrick nods in amusement. “Sounds like a plan.”

David rises to his feet, surprised to find that he’s taller than Patrick. He looks down at Patrick, slightly fond. “Aren’t athletes supposed to be tall?”

Patrick throws his head back and lets out an adorable laugh. “You really lack a filter, don’t you? Uh, I guess I’m not. Not really necessary for baseball.” He reaches out and pats David’s shoulder.

David pretends to not like it, but he does. He very much does.

“An equal opportunity sport, hmm?” David asks with a grin. 

They follow the medical staff to the facility on site. David is very grateful they didn’t insist on taking him all the way to a hospital. Ted’s trailing behind them both, asking Patrick every question he can about Patrick’s experience as a baseball player. David has no idea what Patrick is talking about, but David can admit that he’s definitely adorable when talking about something he likes so much. Even if David couldn’t care less about baseball.

Ted waits for David outside, and they sit David down on some sort of cot and tell him to wait for a nurse. He’s surprised that major league baseball doesn’t have better medical facilities, but that’s neither here nor there. He manages to reign in his disdain for the most part.

Patrick sits in a chair across from him, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees. It reminds David of yet another boy scout gesture, and David finds himself trying not to smile.

“Something funny?” Patrick asks, their eyes locking. He looks almost doting, and David isn’t sure if it’s condescending or not. It doesn’t seem like it, but David’s unfortunately been wrong about that before.

“You’re like a puppy,” David declares.

Patrick tilts his head, smirking. “What do you mean?”

“You have a…” David wiggles his fingers at him, “puppy sort of aura. Cute. Bouncy. Like a boy scout.”

He laughs. “Is that a good or a bad thing? That’s the second time you’ve called me cute.”

David grimaces, horrified to know he’s worn his emotions on his sleeve like this. “Is it? I don’t recall that. You’ve probably given me a concussion. It’s not really fair of you to hold me accountable like this.”

“I thought you said it wasn’t that bad.” Patrick’s smirk widens. “Now it’s a concussion?”

“I mean, you never know. I’ve yet to be seen. I could be dying, and these… people could care less,” David laments.

Patrick shakes his head. “Whatever will you do? You’re practically bleeding out.”

“Precisely.” David rolls his eyes, and laughter from Patrick causes him to find his eyes again. “ What?”

“You’re a bit of a drama king, aren’t you?” Patrick guesses. “I’ve never met someone with such a vibrant personality.”

“Well, yes, what can I say? I’m one in a million.”

“I mean, a million isn’t a lot. That’s like saying there’s a lot like you. I’d say you’re one in a trillion, uh…” Patrick blinks with surprise. “After all this, I can’t believe I didn’t ask your name.”

“Hmm. Have you earned my name?” David quips, tone teasing as he tries not to smile once more.

“I have to earn it? Was accosting you with a baseball not enough? I’ve brought you medical care. Do I have to buy you a drink now?” Patrick chuckles nervously, suddenly avoiding David’s gaze.

David’s attention snaps to Patrick. Sure, maybe he meant a friendly, platonic, straight-guy ‘drink’, but the way Patrick’s suddenly flushing like a tomato tells David otherwise.

“Oh?” David says, leaning forward. “I mean, it’d be the polite thing to do, after all you’ve put me through.”

Still flushing, Patrick apparently finds courage to meet David’s eyes once more. “Yep. I am a horrible guy, after all. So, a drink for a name? Is that it?”

“Maybe.” David wiggles in his seat, pleased with himself. Maybe this doesn’t have to be the last time he sees Patrick after all.

And Patrick’s blush? It’s very cute. Too cute. Maybe a little boy-scout-like, but David… likes it. He likes that Patrick’s suddenly shy about this sort of thing. Usually, he finds it’s the opposite.

“I guess I can live with that,” Patrick teases right back.

The nurse has impeccable timing, as he walks up to the two of them with an apologetic smile. “Sorry about the wait. Let’s see, you were almost hit by a ball, right?”

“I mean, there was contact,” David insists.

Patrick looks as if he’s trying not to snort. 

“I see,” the nurse says. “Tilt your head back? Yeah, I can see a tiny abrasion here, but honestly, looks like you’re going to be fine.”

David nods. “They forced me here against my will.”

The nurse laughs. “Yeah, they have a habit of doing that. Well, allow me to release you then. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day. Try to stay away from baseballs from now on.”

David grimaces. “I’ll do my best.”

Patrick stands up, offering his hand to help David up. “I’ll try to avoid hitting balls into your side of the park from now on.” He gives David another wink, and it has no business being as adorable as it is.

David pretends to consider taking Patrick’s hand before reaching out and wrapping his fingers timidly around Patrick’s. His hand is surprisingly smooth -- nothing he’d expect from someone who throws a baseball around all day.

“Probably for the best,” David tells him. “I guess you should get back to your game now.”

Patrick chuckles. “I’ve already left the game. Can’t go back in.”

Patrick releases David’s hand as soon as he’s upright, much to David’s disappointment. They make their way out of the medical area, to find Ted nursing another beer.

“You guys missed the whole game! Well, I guess you already knew that, considering you’re on the team, but…” Ted trails off. 

“Did we win?” Patrick asks with a laugh.

“Yep! 4-2, two-run homer in the ninth,” Ted gushes.

David blinks, not knowing what any of this means. “Congrats, you’re on your way to the Superbowl.”

Ted frowns, and Patrick looks over at him warily, looking as if he’s about to faint. “Did you… Are you seriously--”

“Oh, relax, I’m kidding,” David scoffs. “You really think I didn’t know that?”

Patrick purses his lips, as if trying not to laugh. “Of course. Look, seeing as I made you guys miss the game, maybe you’d like a tour of the place? Can show you the locker rooms, the dugout, all that. Would you like that?”

David couldn’t care less, but he supposes the decision is being made for him when Ted all but jumps for joy.

“That would be amazing, are you kidding?” Ted gushes excitedly.

Patrick pats David’s shoulder. “Shouldn’t take too long, don’t worry,” he whispers.

David’s actually surprised he’s that predictable to this almost-stranger already. David rolls his eyes, but can’t help but smile. 

“Fine,” David says.

Patrick leads them down toward the field and the dugout. He starts introducing them to some of his teammates. David starts to lose interest after the first player, if he’s honest, but he finds it goes by faster the more his attention lingers on Patrick. 

Ted becomes distracted with some other player -- a catcher, whatever the hell that is -- and they both disappear past the dugout. David’s once again alone with Patrick, and it is not lost on David at all.

“Well,” Patrick starts, turning to David, “what brings you to a baseball game if you don’t like baseball?”

“I was brought here against my will. Ted is my sister’s boyfriend,” David explains. 

Patrick laughs. “I see. Well, at least your first time was exciting.”

“First times often are in some way,” David teases.

“I guess. So, you’re clearly not a baseball player,” Patrick notes. “What are you? You seem like a very important guy.”

David waves him off, but secretly (or perhaps not so secretly) preens under the compliment. “I guess you could say I’m a business owner of sorts.”

Patrick’s eyebrows practically shoot off of his forehead. “Wow, seriously? I never would’ve guessed. What kind of business?”

“I own the general store where I live.” David smiles, thoroughly proud of himself.

“That’s amazing. I’ll have to stop by sometime. Where do you live?”

This is the part where David starts to squirm a little. Sure, he’s spent plenty of time around famous people. Patrick is by far the most down-to-Earth of any of them, but it doesn’t mean he’s about to admit that he lives in the middle of nowhere. Schitt’s Creek. No way. He knows how it will go as soon as he admits it.

“Why don’t you show me some more baseball stuff? That sounds exciting,” David says, hoping the subject change isn’t entirely transparent.

Patrick squints in suspicion, but ultimately decides to let it go. “Hmm. Alright. How ‘bout I show you how to hit a baseball?”

David tries and fails not to grimace. He has no interest in pretending to hit a ball with a wooden stick, but he supposes it’s preferred to admitting to Patrick that he’s moonlighting as a penniless loser that lives in the middle of nowhere.

“Sure. Why not?” David says, trying not to sound pained.

Patrick snorts. “You sound very enthusiastic. Here, go stand in the batter’s box.”

David stares at him confusedly.

Patrick shakes his head. “Right over there. Where the batters stand.”

David nods. “Yeah, sure. Whatever you say.”

David walks over to the batter’s box with a hand on his hip waiting for Patrick to come back. He watches Patrick get some balls and a bat, and David knows this probably won’t go over too well. He also knows that Patrick looks way too adorable in a baseball uniform, and it’s very, very distracting.

Patrick brings out some sort of device, and drops several balls into it. “Alright, this is a pitching machine. We’ll have it throw to us.”

Just as Patrick says the words, the machine spits out a ball that heads right for David. David squeaks, narrowly dodging the offending baseball.

“Isn’t that dangerous? ” David whines.

Patrick chuckles, jogging over to David. “It’s throwing pretty slow. It’d be a little hard to get hurt by it.” He hands David the bat. “Here.”

“Ew,” David says, reluctantly reaching out to take it. “I dunno how to do this.”

“Yeah, well, luckily for you, you’ve got a baseball player right next to you,” Patrick teases him.

David smirks, rolling his eyes as he looks over Patrick’s shoulder. “Hmm. Where? I can’t find him.”

“Ha ha. Very cute,” Patrick says. “C’mon, put your hands… here.”

Patrick reaches out, face slightly flushed as he adjusts the bat in David’s hands. He curls David’s fingers properly around it, and David tries to ignore the butterflies in his stomach that result from it.

“Is this how you show everyone?” David quips.

Patrick lets out a stressed sigh before releasing David. “Well, you seem like you need extra help.”

“Rude,” David mutters, even though he’s smiling.

“Alright, try to hit it.”

David blinks, wide-eyed as he turns to face the offending machine that keeps spitting out baseballs. When the next ball flies out at him, David shrieks, swinging halfway before stepping away from the baseball.

“Yeah, not gonna happen,” David ultimately decides.

“Aw, c’mon, it’s not gonna hurt you. Try again,” Patrick urges.

David sighs, and then realizes he can use this situation to his advantage. He quirks up an eyebrow, smirking a little. “I… think I need you to properly show me. I need that professional baseball swing.”

Patrick nods. “Hmm. Okay. Let me go get another bat.”

“No!” David barks out, and then clears his throat. “I meant show me. Your hands on mine. The whole deal.”

Patrick’s eyes widen just a bit before he turns an absolutely adorable shade of pink. “Oh. Um, okay. Sure.”

David is all too pleased with himself as Patrick settles behind him. He kicks David’s legs apart gently, letting out a nervous breath that is far more charming than David expects it to be.

“First of all, you’re gonna wanna spread your legs just a little bit. Yeah, perfect, like that.”

Patrick settles his hands on David’s waist, his touch timid and uncertain. “You can crouch just a little, whatever feels best.”

“Like this?” David murmurs, and maybe he sticks his ass out just a little. It’s not as if anyone can blame him.

“It’s a bit too much, but sure,” Patrick scoffs with a nervous laugh. “Alright… now, hands on the bat like I showed you.” Patrick adjusts David’s hands. “Not quite so high, don’t wanna choke up. You’ll swing too fast. These pitches are slow.”

David doesn’t really know what the hell Patrick is talking about, nor does he really care to. All he can focus on is the way Patrick’s pressed up behind him, with his gentle voice sounding at his ear. He loves how nervous Patrick seems to touch him, like David’s a fragile, breakable thing.

“Okay,” David murmurs. “This isn’t so bad, now that I have your help.”

David looks over his shoulder just to see Patrick’s face flush even redder, smiling wide, and David is all too pleased with himself. Patrick is much closer than David anticipated, however, and he finds himself getting a little flustered as well.

It’s been way too long since David has gotten laid, that’s for sure. He wonders if Patrick is into guys.

David hopes so.

“That’s… good,” Patrick murmurs. “Okay, eye on the ball. Just swing like it’s natural, like it’s a part of yourself.”

David wiggles a bit teasingly. “Is that what you do?”

“I mean, yeah, more or less. It’s better to just think of it as not something you’re swinging, but something you’re connecting with the ball.”

“What’s the difference?” David asks, grimacing.

Patrick laughs. “Just try it.”

Another ball flies at them, and Patrick nudges him just a little. David swings the best he can, and surely enough, the ball hits the tip of the bat, falling close to the ground at their feet. It’s farther than David thought he’d ever get, so he gasps.

“I did it!” David gushes with glee.

“I mean, yeah, you made contact. Let’s try to hit it, though,” Patrick teases. “C’mon, you can do it.”

Patrick starts to ease off of David, but David pushes backward. “No, I need your help still. Who knows what kind of injuries I could sustain?”

Patrick laughs. “The ball is barely coming at you.”

“Shh, you’re already responsible for my near-death today, do you want to be responsible for another?” David points out.

“That’s a fair point. We wouldn’t want you to die, now, would we?” Patrick teases, and wraps his arms around David again. “Try again, then.”

David actually puts some effort into it this time. At Patrick’s nudge, he swings the bat the best he can (which, admittedly, isn’t great, but that doesn’t matter). The baseball hits the bat, and David manages to hit it almost past second base.

“Good job! You got a single!” Patrick says with a grin. “I knew you could do it.”

“Yes, well,” David says, dropping the bat at his feet, “I am a man of many talents, after all.”

“I can tell,” Patrick responds teasingly.

“Oh, man, there you are,” Ted’s voice comes from the dugout. “Man, it’s so fancy in there. I never knew how nice it was. What have you been up to?”

David’s only slightly disappointed that Ted interrupted their flirty moment. It’s not often that he finds someone attractive enough to flirt with.

“Not much…” David trails off, eyeing Patrick.

Patrick’s cheeks are pink again. He rubs the back of his neck. “Um, well, I don’t know how long you guys are in town, but…”

“We’re supposed to drive back tonight,” Ted says.

Patrick’s face falls, and it’s so subtle David isn’t sure anyone else caught it but him. “Oh. That’s a shame. I was gonna offer you guys tickets to tomorrow’s game, since you didn’t get the full experience.”

“Aw, man,” Ted whines. “That would’ve been so cool.”

“Well… I mean, if you guys aren’t busy, I could arrange for you to stay at a hotel, my treat,” Patrick suggests. “If you want, though. No pressure.”

David can’t help but smirk. Sure, Patrick might be a rich baseball player, but it’s awfully sweet how determined he is to see them again.

“I suppose we can agree to that,” David answers before Ted can.

It’s all worth it for Patrick’s smile. “Great. Maybe I can learn your name then.”

“Maybe. I haven’t decided,” David replies stubbornly.

Patrick shrugs. “It’s worth waiting for, I guess.”

David hates that it’s such a good line. Super cheesy, but Patrick just seems like that kind of brand. David has no idea how Patrick is famous when he’s that much of a… dork.

It’s sort of adorable, and David has no idea what to do with that information.

Patrick arranges a hotel for them both, and it’s only when Ted and David are walking out of the ballpark that he realizes he’s not really the patron saint of patience.

David spins around, running back up to Patrick. The look on Patrick’s face is worth it, surprise and intrigue all melded into one.

“David,” he finally says, a playful smile on his face. “My name? It’s David.”

Patrick’s lips spread into a heartbreaking grin. “David. It’s nice to meet you. I’ll see you tomorrow?”

“Let’s hope,” David teases, and turns back around to catch up with Ted.

David definitely does not have a crush on a baseball player. Absolutely not.

Okay, maybe he does.

-----

This will probably be the only time that David is looking forward to a baseball game in his entire life. It’s not so much the game, but Patrick himself, obviously, but it has to count for something, right?

David spent a ridiculous amount of time Googling Patrick and just what a shortstop is (if only to know where to look when Patrick is on the field, of course. He’s definitely not interested in Patrick’s life, not at all.)

The next day, it seems Patrick knows just where to look as well. When Patrick isn’t focused on the field and the game, of course, Patrick immediately finds where David’s sitting next to Ted. 

Ted, oblivious as ever, leans in. “He’s such a nice dude, huh? Super down to Earth. You don’t see that with a lot of famous people.”

David can’t take his eyes away from Patrick. Patrick waves timidly, and David sends a wink his way. 

“Oh, yeah. Super nice,” David says absentmindedly.

Baseball isn’t so bad. And maybe Patrick’s ass looks pretty damn good when he’s bending over to catch a baseball. David totally hasn’t noticed that.

No flying baseballs head his way, but a woman sits next to David on the other side of him, and she giggles at him.

“So, who are you dating? Is it the shortstop?” she wonders.

David raises his eyebrows in confusion. “What? Why do you think that?”

“Well, you are sitting in the players’ spouse section. And only the players can get you those seats,” she notes. “Thought you might be dating Patrick. He’s been eyeballing you all day.”

David’s jaw nearly drops, his eyes returning to Patrick. He’s currently fielding a ball, so he’s not looking David’s way, but he still can’t help but stare.

“I’m sorry, did you say the players’ spouse section?” David asks, feeling sort of like he’s in a fever dream.

“None other! I’m married to the first baseman myself,” she replies, beaming.

David wonders if these are just convenient seats to put him in, or if Patrick put him here on purpose.

Once the shock fades, he almost hopes it’s the latter.

David gazes at Patrick with a newfound interest after finding this out, and time seems to fly by when the game ends. Patrick’s team wins again, but David could hardly care less about that -- except for the fact that Patrick’s wearing the cutest smile on his face because of it.

After Patrick bids farewell to his team and the ballpark crowd thins out, he’s trotting over in yet another ridiculously cute baseball uniform, his big brown eyes fixated on David.

“Hey,” Patrick says. “David. You made it, I see.”

“Made it I did indeed,” David teases, getting up from his seat and leaning against the barricade, close enough so that their faces are merely inches apart. “So, these seats.”

“Yeah? What about ‘em? They’re some of the best. Did you not like them?” Patrick asks, worry coloring his features adorably.

“They’re… fine.” He allows a moment of silence for dramatic effect. “They’re for the player spouses? Am I in the wife section, Patrick Brewer?” David taunts, gazing down at him in amusement.

David has the pleasure of watching Patrick’s cheeks go decidedly pink. “Er. Um. Yeah, maybe.” He chuckles nervously. “I, uh. It was the easiest place to put you.”

“Easy? So you think I’m… easy?”

Patrick nearly chokes on air. “That’s… that’s not what I meant.”

“Well. I’ll have you know that I’m perfectly fine being the wife of Patrick Brewer,” David informs him.

Patrick ducks his head, biting his lip on a smile. When he returns to David’s gaze, he’s a little pinker, but he looks a bit more determined, too. “Yeah?”

“Yeah. I mean, I can prove it,” David teases. “I could kiss you in front of this whole ballpark. I mean, that’s what marriage to a baseball player entails, right?”

Patrick lets out a nervous laugh. He looks up at David with a sort of intensity, like this means a whole lot to him. Maybe this is more than flirting to Patrick. David almost likes that idea. 

“I mean. Definitely… you’re definitely allowed kisses,” Patrick whispers, voice dipping low.

“Should I cash in? A congratulatory winning kiss, maybe?”

Patrick’s eyes fall on David’s mouth, then. He leans in, just a little, before stopping himself. He looks far more nervous than he should be, and David almost wants to climb into his arms. “M-maybe.”

Apparently, professional baseball players stutter when they’re nervous.

How cute.

David leans in slightly and connects their mouths. Patrick gasps a little against him, but doesn’t retreat. Their lips move together softly and gently. Patrick’s mouth is soft and warm, and David wants to live here forever.

David pulls back after a moment, eyes taking their time to open again. Patrick blinks in surprise, cheeks still pink, as he sighs. 

“Thanks,” Patrick says. “I’ve been trying to work up the courage to do that since you pretended that ball hit you.”

David’s jaw drops. “I wasn’t pretending. I was being careful.” He closes his mouth, playfully pushing Patrick. “But… now that I know you liked it…”

“You’d, um… let me buy you a drink, right?” Patrick asks. “Maybe without… your sister’s boyfriend?” He blinks pointedly at Ted, who’s grinning in surprise at the both of them back at their row of seats.

David laughs. “Yeah. Sure. Of course. Why not?” He sighs, realizing that he still hasn’t informed Patrick of his… well, anything. “I should probably inform you that I am a penniless loser that lives in the middle of nowhere. But.” He barely takes a breath before moving on, watching the confusion register on Patrick’s face briefly. “I do make up for those facts with my stellar personality and great complexion.”

David waits, hoping Patrick won’t shove him away after learning about his financial status. 

Patrick laughs instead, shaking his head in disbelief. “Yes, well, you do have a great complexion. And I am thoroughly enjoying your… what was it? ‘Stellar’ personality? I think we can make it work.”

David beams. “Yes?”

Patrick nods sarcastically. “Oh, absolutely. How about another congratulatory kiss before I go shower?”

David laughs. “Oh. You read my mind.”

Maybe baseball isn’t the absolute worst thing in the world after all.