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shall we dance

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“Dance with me, Patso!”

Travis knows before he even turns to look across the kitchen that Patty’s got his arms crossed over his chest, glaring at Travis like he doesn’t understand why he tolerates him. He knows, though, that underneath that mask of ‘I hate everything’ Patty finds him amusing.

The music continues to fill the kitchen through Travis’ Bluetooth speaker, some early 00s country song about trucks or girls or girls in trucks that has Travis swaying his hips exaggeratedly as he stirs the pot of pasta on the stove. Once he sets the spoon down, he turns back to Patty, who’s still watching him silently with that blank mask on his face. Travis waggles his eyebrows in his direction and begins to move toward him, swaying from side to side.

“C’mon Pattycakes!”

“Absolutely not.” Patty finally sends back, which only delights Travis even more. “Get away from me.”

“Nope, never.” Travis does a little twirl before he moves into Patty’s space. He stares up at Patty with his best puppy dog look, and he thinks Patty’s really going to reject him until he drops his arms to his side with a long-suffering sigh and stares up at the ceiling. Travis nearly crows in victory, but instead he wraps his hands around Patty’s wrists and tugs until he’s forcibly swaying Patty side to side. There’s a small smile tugging at the corner of Patty’s mouth that encourages Travis to pull him into the open space of the kitchen.

“You gotta dance, Pats!”

“I am dancing, moron.”

“No, I’m making you dance.” Travis swings their arms between them, and Patty rolls his eyes.

“This music is terrible.” He grumbles.

You’re terrible.”

“You’re the one who wants to dance with me.”

“Yeah, well, you’re a disaster but you’re my disaster.” Travis shrugs and doesn’t miss the blush that blooms on Patty’s cheeks.

“Shut up.”

Travis moves to force them into an even more ridiculous dance when the song changes, the frantic chaos of what was playing switching to something softer, mellower. Travis prepares to give up, lets go of Patty’s wrists, but as soon as he’s free Patty wraps an arm around Travis’ waist and holds him in place.

Actually, Travis realizes, Patty has tugged him closer.

His hands go up to Patty’s chest on instinct, Patty’s other arm winding around his waist. While Travis had been ‘leading’ them earlier, now Patty’s in control as he sways them gently in place. It’s not really dancing, Travis thinks, but it’s intimate in a way he’s not used to, and he can’t bring himself to look at Patty’s face. Instead, he stares at his shoulder and lets Patty move him the way he wants. He’s pretty sure this is way too romantic for just-bros, but he and Patty have always been weird about each other.

It makes sense that eventually they’d be slow dancing in Travis’ kitchen.

They don’t say anything, and for once in his life Travis is afraid to open his mouth for fear of ruining the moment. It feels…right to be in Patty’s arms. The music fades to a low background buzz, and Travis picks lightly at a string on Patty’s shirt until Patty snatches his hand with his own, holding it slightly away from them as they continued to move across the kitchen floor.

It feels so good, so familiar to be in Patty’s arms. Travis finally gives in, wraps his free arm around Patty’s waist and lets his head fall onto Patty, settling on his collar bone. He feels more than hears Patty’s soft sigh, and Travis smiles into his shirt when his grip on Travis’ waist tightens, holding him in place. Travis sinks into the moment, wanting to cradle it like it’s something precious because, to him it is.

He’s always wanted Patty on some level, a constant low-level thrum of attraction from the moment they’d met. He’d never thought to act on it. Their friendship, their bond, had always been something too important to Travis to risk fucking up because Travis has some wild notion of pressing his lips to Patty’s, of pressing Patty into his bed and messing him up until there’s no mistaking who he belongs to. He’d hooked up with dudes in juniors – who didn’t – but he’d always hesitated with Patty because he finds himself daydreaming of more than just fucking Patty until he cries. He wants to, like, hold his hand and cuddle on the couch (more than they already do) and kiss his neck with less lust and more love. He wants to date Patty, and that’s…that’s so much more than bro-jobs and fooling around because you’re too lazy to try to pick up. More than Patty could ever want with him.

The song starts to fade out and Travis feels his heart clench in his chest because it means that the moment is almost over. Patty will pull away at any moment and Travis will have to let go and pretend like everything is normal – that this was just one of those strange TK and Patty things that happened and they never talked about again. Travis wants to cling to Patty, stretch the moment out for as long he possibly can. The song ends, and a moment later Lil Jon’s voice fills the kitchen, but Patty doesn’t pull away, so Travis doesn’t either. They stand there, still, and Travis can’t resist the urge to run his nose along the skin just above the collar of Patty’s shirt. He hears Patty’s breath stutter, but Travis can’t bring himself to look at Patty’s face.

“Travis?” Patty asks, tentative, and Travis’ real name sounds foreign on Patty’s tongue, but it feels right in the moment.

“Yeah?” Travis’ voice is soft, unsteady, and he can tell Patty’s not looking at Travis either.

“Can I kiss you?” He asks, and Travis lets his face sink into Patty’s neck.

“Only if you mean it.” He says into Patty’s skin. A moment later he feels Patty’s fingers thread through his hair and tug until Travis pulls away enough that Patty can look him in the eye. He studies him, his eyes serious and searching, and he doesn’t let go of Travis’ hair.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean,” Travis sighs, wants to pull away, but Patty’s grip on his waist and hair is strong. “I want to kiss you so bad – like, so fucking bad dude – but not if it doesn’t mean anything. Not if it’s just some casual shit. You’re too important for that.”

“I’m important?” Patty’s voice is soft, softer than Travis has ever heard it before, as if he has a hard time believing that he’s important to Travis.

“You’re, like, the most important idiot.” Travis smiles, then winces when Patty tugs on his hair – even though it also sends a jolt of electricity straight to his dick and that is something definitely wants to explore.

“You’re, like, important to me too.” Patty mumbles, and Travis lights up like a Christmas tree. “I have, I don’t know, feelings and shit. Have for a while.”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah, what?” Patty asks, and Travis tugs on the collar of Patty’s shirt.

“Yeah, you can kiss me. Since you’re so crazy about me or whatever.”

“Oh, my god.”

“Since you’ve been just dying to kiss me.”

“I take it back.”

“Just how long have you been dreaming about kissing me?”

“I regret everything.”

“No, you don’t.” Travis smiles reaching up to grasp Patty’s chin, shaking his head slightly. “You love me.”

“I don’t know why.” Patty replies, and Travis’ stomach clenches because he didn’t deny that he loves Travis and….wow, he really needs to kiss Patty like right fucking now.

He leans up, Patty’s grip on his hair loosening and when their lips meet it’s…not electric, not some kind of magic all-encompassing passion. It’s…comfortable, familiar. It’s like coming home, Travis thinks. Like these are the lips he was supposed to have been kissing all this time. They fit together, like they always have, and it has Travis gasping. Patty’s grip on him tightens until they’re flush against each other, and Travis wraps his arms around Patty until his fingers are digging into Patty’s shoulders. Patty groans against his lips, and Travis can feel him turning them and pushing Travis until his back is pressed against the kitchen counter.

They trade slow, sloppy kisses until Travis is melting, only held together by Patty’s hands on him. Travis’ hands drift from Patty’s shoulders to his hair and down his neck and chest and back around so he can slip his hands underneath Patty’s shirt. The skin-on-skin contact has Travis shuddering against Patty, pulling away from Patty’s lips with a gasp. Patty latches onto his neck immediately, his kisses sharp and biting before he starts making a concerted effort to suck a mark into Travis’ neck.

Fuck, baby.” Travis groans, and Patty pulls away to raise an eyebrow.

“Baby?” He asks, and Travis rolls his eyes.

“You know you love it.”

“Hmm.” Patty replies but redoubles his efforts to leave as many hickeys as possible on Travis. Travis squirms until Patty grasps his hips and holds him in place and yeah that’s definitely something else they’re going to have to explore asa fucking p.

Travis is pretty sure he’s halfway to coming in his pants when a strange scent fills his nose. He wrinkles it up in distaste but is loathe to stop what they’re doing to investigate until a shrill beeping fills the apartment.

Shit, the pasta!” Travis pushes Patty away and scrambles over to where the skillet is smoking. He grabs it with his bare hand and only just makes it to the sink. “Shit fuck.” He curses, cradling his hand.

“Here.” Patty turns on the cold water and grasps Travis’ hand holding it under the water. Once he’s deemed it long enough, he reaches for a hand towel and cradles Travis’ hand, inspecting the red skin. “I don’t think it really burned it.”

“It hurts like a motherfucker.” Travis complains. He watches as Patty hums, then brings his hand up to his mouth and drops a few soft kisses on his skin. Travis gasps at the gesture, and he just…he really loves Patty, okay?

“I think you’ll live.” Patty tells him, and the grin he gives Travis is gentle and fond.

“I don’t know. I think I need, like, more kisses and stuff before I feel better.”

“More kisses, huh?” Patty grins and pulls Travis closer.

“Yeah, like, at least seventy-five more kisses.”

“That’s it?”

“I mean, just like in the next few minutes.” Travis shrugs. “I’ll give you an updated number later.”

“Can’t wait.” Patty deadpans, but kisses Travis again.

He gets a lot more than seventy-five kisses.