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I Want a Perfect Body, I Want a Perfect Soul

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Things at which David Rose excels:

1. Sex

2. Tastemaking

3. Impulsively destroying his own good things

He prides himself on the first two, tolerates the last.

He desperately wants to avoid the last when it comes to his store. He loves it the way he imagines other people do their children.

He knows he won't avoid the last with Patrick indefinitely. The part of his mind that is enjoying this thing between them to a ridiculous degree and wants it to go on forever is in constant battle with the part that knows it can't go on forever and the sooner it ends the cleaner it will be and the less chance it will destroy their partnership. He and Stevie are probably only friends now because that kid convinced him to break their friends with benefits thing off early. He's theoretically learned his lesson.

David doesn't think he'll ever willingly be the one to leave Patrick, no matter how hard the second part of his mind tries. But sometimes, it wins just a little, has total control for just a minute, and it seizes the opportunity to ruin it, push Patrick away, scare him off.

----

They're dancing at the Wobbly Elm one night. Stevie has already gone home with someone and it's just the two of them in a surprisingly loud crowd so they're dancing much closer than they normally would. It isn't even really dancing, more swaying to the music and reveling in Patrick semi-hard against David's hip.

"We should..." Patrick says, then trails off, apparently too distracted by David's left earlobe to finish his sentence before mouthing at it lightly.

"We should what?" David prompts. He can see the rest of the bar over Patrick's shoulder. Nobody is looking. He grinds into Patrick, just a little, grinning at the choked-off noise he makes right into David's ear.

"Should go," Patrick manages, pulling his head back so he can meet David's eyes. "Can't do this here. And I think you might be drunk."

Patrick is right, but he's also just as drunk, and David isn't going to let him get away with it.

"You're drunk," he laughs.

"Mmm," Patrick says, sort of like he's acquiescing but more like he's just humoring David again.

A thought strikes David and he's too drunk to stop it from just spilling out of his mouth.

"Last time I danced like this, the girl wasn't nice like you but I was on, like a ton of Ambien and coke at the same time so I wasn't thinking about it that hard." He laughs again before realizing what he said probably isn't actually that funny.

Patrick is quiet, and David can't see his face, so he has no idea what to do but continue talking. "You'd think uppers and downers would just, like, cancel each other out, but they don't. The comedown is hell."

Patrick still says nothing, but their swaying has stopped, he's just holding David with his face kind of pressed into his shoulder. David pushes more.

"Then I woke up the next day and I didn't know where I was so I just called an Uber and used the pin thing and the whole ride home I was just like, wondering how the hell I ended up alone in this apartment over a massage parlor in Chinatown because last I remembered I was in a club in Soho. It was crazy."

He laughs again.

"David," Patrick says softly.

"Yeah?" David presses his face into Patrick's hair so he can smell it one last time, then pulls back to look at his face.

It's okay, he tries to say with his eyes. You can say it. Say it and we can wake up hungover in our own beds tomorrow and go into work and agree to be professional and it will all be okay, I promise, don't worry about it.

"You're beautiful," Patrick says instead, and David can't breathe around the lump in his throat.

"No," he says hoarsely. He doesn't know if he's rejecting the compliment or arguing with it or what but it's all he can say. "No."

"Yeah," Patrick says simply, then leans forward and brushes his lips against the corner of David's, a barely-kiss, before settling his head back into David's shoulder and holding him tightly like he never wants to let go.

----

He's kneeling in front of Patrick in the back room of the Apothecary. All the lights are in the store are out but the moon shining through the high window behind him is just enough to let him make out Patrick's beautifully broken expression as he drops his head back against the wall with a light thump.

"Jesus," Patrick gasps. "Jesus Christ. David."

David smiles up at him. He doesn't even care that Patrick can definitely see how smug he feels when he looks down after a second, then slides down to his knees too so he's level with David.

"You," Patrick says, voice gravelly, pausing to kiss David. It’s hard and frantic, with no qualms about where David's mouth was ten seconds before. "You're amazing."

David hums happily.

"You're just... so good at that." Patrick rambles. "So good. Like... Olympian good."

David shrugs in what he hopes looks like a display of modesty. "Been practicing since I was, like, thirteen," he says, and immediately knows he's said the wrong thing when Patrick's expression changes to something inscrutable.

"What?"

So David does what he does when he’s said the wrong thing, and tries to make it into a joke. "I mean, I wasn't rehearsing on cucumbers every night throughout high school, if that's what you're picturing."

There's a long pause and David thinks he might die.

"But you did that when you were thirteen. For real."

David's face burns and he squeezes his eyes shut so he doesn't have to look into Patrick's. "I shouldn't have said that. I'm sorry. Can we just pretend I didn't say that?"

"With who?"

He could snap that it isn't any of Patrick's business but if he does Patrick will probably imagine something much worse than the truth.

"Um. My dad got me tennis lessons for my birthday and said I had to try it at least once, and I hated tennis obviously but the instructor was gorgeous so I told my dad I wanted to keep taking classes with him but we never really did the class part. It was just the one summer. Then he went back to college and I didn't see him again. We didn't even go farther than...this. It was no big deal."

Patrick is silent, and David tries for one more joke before he makes himself open his eyes to see the judgement there.

"I think my dad was really happy I finally liked a sport, and then I never touched my tennis racket again after that summer. Really got his hopes up for a minute there."

Then he does open his eyes and Patrick is just staring at him, eyes wide, and this is it.

"I shouldn't have told you that," David says.

"You were just a kid," Patrick murmurs, brushing David's cheekbone with his thumb. David can't really place his tone. Not quite judgmental. Disappointed, maybe? But he’s heard disappointed plenty of times and it’s not quite that either.

"Can you just forget that I told you that and...not hate me right now?"

Patrick swallows and blinks and David suddenly realizes that the expression that's been on his face since David first spoke is just simple sadness.

"I could never hate you," Patrick says. "I just wish..."

You wish the guy you're dating wasn't such a slut, David's brain provides helpfully, but he doesn't say it. Patrick can get there on his own.

"I wish bad things hadn't happened to you," Patrick finally says. "I don't want anything bad to happen to you ever again."

David wants to argue that the story isn't so much something bad happening to him, it's more him being a stupid desperate teenager, but the second sentence is so beautiful he can't speak for a second.

"Okay," he finally says, as if he can actually promise to never have anything bad happen to him ever again.

"I won't let it," Patrick adds, like he can read David's contrary thought. "I won't let anything bad happen to you."

David blinks at him and doesn't tell him that the worst thing that could ever happen to him is Patrick leaving him because he can't bear the thought of Patrick only staying out of pity.

Instead he just repeats, "Okay."

----

"Did you..."

He shouldn't ask. They locked the box up. But now they've finished their second round and David is too spent to control himself.

"Did I?" Patrick prompts, turning over to lean on his elbow and look down at David, expression vaguely amused.

"With anyone after you moved here, any girls?"

Patrick looks surprised for a moment, then laughs. "I thought we were locking that up."

"It's not like it's ancient history. You know about Stevie and Jake," David knows he sounds too defensive so he has to add a joke. "I just want to make sure we didn't break Twyla's heart when we got together."

"So we're together," Patrick says, grinning, which is not what David was hoping to focus on at all.

"Still haven't answered the question," David deflects. Patrick, who is having far too much fun with this, deflects right back.

"You think I could break Twyla's heart?" he asks.

"One night with you, then getting dumped for the handsome entrepreneur across the street? It would devastate her. You're really not going to tell me?"

Patrick smiles at him, holding him in suspense as long as he can before shaking his head. "No. I wasn't exactly trolling for women when I came here and then a handsome entrepreneur pulled my sole focus pretty quickly."

"Oh," David says, trying not to sound too pleased.

"What about you?"

"I’m ashamed to admit that I never broke Twyla's heart," David says.

"So there was someone besides Stevie and Jake," Patrick says, eyebrows raised, and David sputters.

"I didn't say that."

"You didn't not say that." Patrick is having fun again and David kind of hates him for it. "If you don't tell me I'm just going to have to guess. Jocelyn, right?"

"Oh my god," David sighs, rolling his eyes.

"Not Jocelyn, then. Ray? He never mentioned anything but-"

"You don't know him," David snaps, because he needs Patrick to stop naming Schitt's Creek's residents while they're naked in bed together. "He doesn't live here."

"So a drifter," Patrick says teasingly but far too closely to the truth. "A vagabond, here for one night at the motel and gone the next?"

"I'm not going to tell you." David says, and he should have kept his tone lighter because it's the seriousness with which he says it that clues Patrick in, and he frowns.

"Was it...that guy? Your ex?" He asks slowly, and the temperature in the room drops a few degrees.

"Is it your business?" David asks. He's fully on the defensive now, edging away from Patrick and staring determinedly at Stevie's ceiling.

"You spent that whole day talking about everything he did to you. I thought you hated him."

"I do."

"I thought he cheated on you and dumped you and-"

"I know what he did," David says harshly, too harshly, but he thinks maybe Patrick deserves it.

"So why would you sleep with him?"

"Why does it matter? We weren't dating then, okay, I don't have to explain myself to you."

He can feel it. He can feel the conversation spiraling out of control, can feel the beginning of the end.

There's a long silence before Patrick lets out a long breath.

"You're right," he says quietly. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't... I pushed you and I shouldn't have and you're right."

"I know I'm right," David says, still glaring at the ceiling.

"I just...I want to know you. I want to understand you."

"Maybe some things you can't understand."

"I'm sorry." Patrick doesn't move his body to try to get closer but reaches out a tentative hand to brush David's wrist. "I'm sorry."

There's a long moment of quiet stillness before David speaks.

"I needed to get something," he says. "From his motel room.”

"You don't have to-" Patrick starts.

"I know I don't have to," David interrupts, then continues. "He had these pictures of my mom, bad ones, because she didn't believe me when I told her what he was like. And that was how I could get to the memory card."

"Did you want to?"

"No, I didn't want to." He knew Patrick wouldn't understand this. Patrick is too good to understand this. "I guess I could have just gotten him drunk but I wanted..."

"So you did want to." Patrick sounds genuinely confused and David can't really blame him, so he just bites the bullet and says it.

"I wanted to use him," he says in a rush. "I wanted to use him like he used me and hurt him like he hurt me. I wanted him to feel that."

Patrick is silent and David finally rolls over, jaw set, to look at his face and see if he finally got the message.

This is who I am, he tries to say with his eyes. This is the kind of person you're dating. Do you get it now? Why you need to stop this? Why you need to run away right now?

Their eyes hold contact and Patrick doesn't move, doesn't go to stand up and get dressed and leave this apartment and this town and David behind and never look back.

"Okay," Patrick says, and David blinks at him.

"Okay?"

"I said I wanted to understand you. And the more I understand you, the more I..." Patrick struggles for a second, then finishes, somewhat lamely, "the more I like you. The more I want to know more."

"Really."

"Yeah, really," Patrick says seriously, brushing his thumb over David's face, smoothing over his brow like he can erase the worried wrinkles there.

"Okay," David whispers.

"Did you get it?" Patrick asks suddenly. David frowns.

"What?"

"The memory card. Did you get it?"

David actually cracks a smile at that. "What do you think?"

It comes out a lot sassier than he intended but it makes Patrick laugh so maybe that's okay.

"Good," Patrick murmurs, finally closing the gap between them and kissing David hard and closed-mouthed. "Good," he repeats.

----

David can't breathe very deeply because of the position his arms are secured in but still something about the pill that girl with the lip piercing which is something he normally wouldn't be into but was weirdly beautiful gave him is making every breath feel like a revelation, like the air he is getting in is beautiful and special and it's making him beautiful and special too.

He distantly hears a masculine voice which is weird because he's pretty sure when the weirdly beautiful girl with the lip ring tied his wrists they were alone in her apartment but he can't turn to look so he figures there's not much he can do about it anyway and God, the air is beautiful. She's beautiful. He can't see her as she kisses up his back but he knows it's her because he can feel the lip ring and it leaves a trail of cold fire up his skin.

She murmurs something in his ear and he hears himself say something back, he's not sure what it is but it must be some sort of yes because her hands are touching him and that's weird, she must have four hands now because he feels four hands on him but two of them are big and rough and manly.

He vaguely thinks there's something wrong here but he can't figure out what it is. Like he's forgotten something. He tries to tell the girl that he needs her to stop a second so they can figure out what he's forgetting but all he can manage is a stuttered "wait" and she doesn't. He tries again with a "no" but that doesn't work either, and he fights to keep his eyes open but he's just so, so tired...

David jerks awake to a hand on his shoulder, which he shoves away on instinct.

"Get off," he snaps. "Get the fuck off of me!"

After a few seconds and several heaving breaths, he sees in the dim light of the bedside lamp that the hand belongs to Patrick, who is now far away on the other edge of the bed, looking kind of terrified.

"I'm sorry," Patrick whispers, eyes darting all over David's shaking body. "I’m sorry, you were crying and kind of thrashing all over the place and I thought you would hurt yourself and that waking you up was the right thing to do. Did I scare you?"

David takes another deep breath, then another, then forces his face into a neutral expression, scrubbing his hand over his cheeks to get rid of any leftover tears.

"No," he says. "I'm sorry, I was... bad dream. Fuck. Did I hurt you?"

Patrick holds up both hands, and David isn't sure if he's trying to be placating or showing David that he isn't hurt.

"What happened?" He asks, eyes wide the way they go when he's really worried. "In the dream."

Wait. No.

"I don't remember," David lies. "I don't want to talk about it."

"You don't remember or you don't want to talk about it?"

"Both," David says, and realizes he let his wall weaken in his half-asleep state so he frantically builds it right back up.

"You just kept..." Patrick keeps watching him. "You were crying, David."

"I cry all the time," David snaps. "Can we just go back to sleep?"

"You can tell me."

"I don't have to tell you!" David bursts out, loudly enough that he might worry about waking Ray if he was at all capable of that right now. "I don't have to tell you everything. You don't have to know everything about me just because we're sleeping together."

Patrick is quiet for a moment.

"That's what we are now?" he asks. "People who are sleeping together?"

"Yes! No. I don't know. I just don't want to talk about it. Just let it go so I can go back to sleep."

He turns away from Patrick, pulls the blanket tight around himself, and wills the tears welling up to at least be silent. Behind him, he hears the soft click of the lamp being turned off.

But just because they don't talk about it doesn't mean it leaves the front of his mind, from which he'd thought he’d successfully banished to its deep recesses years ago.

Wait. No.

He can't bear it, being cold and alone on the edge of the bed when Patrick and his warmth and his smell are just a couple feet away.

Wait. No.

Patrick is going to dump him in the morning. He was just being nice and David was a total bitch in return and Patrick really doesn't need someone who screams at him every time he has a bad dream.

Wait. No.

If he's losing this in the morning, he'll take what he can get for tonight. Before he thinks too hard about it, his hand shoots back until it finds Patrick's, stiff beside his body. He pulls until Patrick gets the message and scoots over, pressing his whole body against David's back, wrapping his arm tightly around his chest. He lifts his head just enough to brush his lips over David's ear.

"It's okay," Patrick says softly.

It's not okay. They'll be over in the morning. This is the last he'll ever get of Patrick.

He doesn't say that, though. For now he lets Patrick hold him and breathes and falls asleep. He doesn't dream again the rest of the night.

----

It's a stupid fight. A really, really stupid fight. They're back on David's inability to compromise but apparently this time it's more important than toilet plungers and Patrick isn't just teasing him, he's actually angry.

"There are some things we have to decide together," Patrick is saying. He's leaning on his hands on the front counter, not looking at David, for which David is grateful. He doesn't think he can take Patrick sounding and looking angry at him at the same time.

Except it isn't a stupid fight, because Patrick is right and David knows it. He did something impulsive and petty and now they've probably lost an important vendor and it's all his fault.

David feels the fight leave him in one quick rush, and it's replaced by a desperate desire to make Patrick smile at him again, make this up to Patrick so he won't be a disappointment anymore.

"I'm sorry," he whispers. Patrick kind of stiffens in surprise, but he doesn't turn around, so David approaches him, carefully.

David has a lot of practice apologizing when he's genuinely the one that fucked up. He doesn't like it, but he knows how.

Patrick isn't a hitter. David knows how to spot a hitter from a mile away by now, and he knows how to spot someone who will just be made angrier by groveling. Patrick isn't that either.

So he feels okay to come up behind Patrick and touch his arm, gently.

"I'm sorry," he tries again. "Don't be mad."

"Just..." Patrick seems to not have had a response ready for this possibility. "We just need to do this right, David."

David knows what he's really saying is I need you to not fuck this one thing up for us, David.

"I'm sorry," David repeats, moving his hand to Patrick's hip, then down. It's a move he's perfected. It needs to be done with finesse. "Let me make it up to you."

He must not use enough finesse because Patrick jerks away from him, takes two big steps back so David can't reach him. "What?"

"We're closed, let's just go in the back and I can make it up to you, anything you want, then we can-"

"No," the word punches out of Patrick's mouth in a harsh breath. "Jesus, David, we're not going to do that."

David swallows, wills himself not to cry, wonders what else he can possibly offer. "Let me make this better. Just tell me what to do to make it better. You don't have to do anything, it'll be just for you."

"David." Patrick kind of looks like he's going to throw up which is pretty terrible because of all the negative reactions David's behavior has garnered from lovers, nausea is a new and extremely painful one. "We're not going to... we're not going to have sex so you can make it up to me."

"Why not?" David demands, trying to tamp down his irritation because he's the one who's supposed to be groveling. This is usually much simpler.

"Do you even want to have sex?" Patrick asks, taking another step back, and David's heart breaks a little.

"That's not the point," David argues weakly, with no real heat behind it because he just can't manage that. "That's not what matters right now."

"That always matters! That's all that matters! God, David." Patrick shakes his head.

"I'm sorry," David whispers, even though this time he doesn't understand what he even did wrong.

"Why would you think that's what I want?"

"Because..." Because it’s what everyone always wants. David is still trying to get past the simple fact that it isn't what Patrick wants. “I don’t know.”

"Is that really what you think of me?"

The question makes David's blood run cold because this is it, Patrick sounds so heartbroken there's no way he's going to let David get away with this one. And the honest answer is that no, when he thinks about it for more than two seconds it isn't what he thinks of Patrick.

"I need..." Patrick sighs and reaches for his keys. "I'm going to go for a drive. I need to think."

"No," David says frantically, because he can't think of anything worse than Patrick walking out of the store and driving away and leaving him here pathetic and alone. He desperately searches for the words that will make Patrick stay but he's already tried the surest move he has and it just made things worse. He finally just says, pitifully, "Please don't leave me here alone. We don't have to do anything, you don't even have to talk to me, just don't leave me here alone." Pride completely gone, he repeats, in a whisper, "Please."

Patrick looks at him for a long moment, then nods. He sets his keys down on the counter and sits down next to David on the floor. David wonders how and when he got down on the floor.

They don't touch, they sit in silence until David finally lets the tears fall. He tries to keep them quiet but he fails, and once sobs start wracking though his body he feels a hand, gentle, rubbing up and down his back the way he loves after a long day or a terrible meeting or a fight with Alexis.

"I'm sorry," he manages. Patrick's hand continues, a slow up and down.

"It's okay," Patrick murmurs. "It's okay."

They go back to Ray's together that night but they don't have sex. Patrick helps David with his skincare routine, dabbing the undereye serum extra gently under his puffy eyelids.

It's quiet as they get into bed, and it's a long minute before Patrick reaches out and pulls David's body into his, pressing them tightly together, his nose nudging the nape of David's neck.

"I'm sorry," David says for what feels like the hundredth time that night. "For...with the vendor. That was stupid. I think I can talk to her, though. Give her a cheese basket."

"A cheese basket you'll be paying for?" Patrick asks, only somewhat teasingly, and David relaxes because it seems like he finally said the right thing.

He hums in what Patrick might construe as agreement but won't actually count as a verbal contract in his book.

"I never," Patrick begins, slowly, sounding like he's thought very carefully about what he's going to say. "I never want us to do anything that you don't want to do, okay? Never. I don't want that. I don't want to do anything you don't. Do you understand?"

David nods slowly because he kind of does.

"Promise me," Patrick says. "Promise me we'll never do anything you don't want."

"I promise," David whispers, and Patrick kisses his head, just one soft kiss, so soft David barely feels it.

----

They're officially back together and they're going to have a hell of a time fielding gossip tomorrow and David's knees hurt from the finale to his dance but he doesn't care. The only thing he cares about is Patrick's mouth somehow kissing down his jaw both softly and frantically, Patrick's hair as he cards his hands through it, Patrick's arms around his waist, pulling him closer closer closer.

"Where," David gasps. "Where can we...we shouldn't do this here."

"It's bowling night," Patrick mumbles into the crook of David's shoulder, and David can hear his smile, he’s so happy to hear Patrick’s smile again.

"What?" David asks, pulling away just a little because he's genuinely confused.

"Ray's bowling night," Patrick clarifies.

"This town doesn’t have a bowling alley.”

"It doesn’t," Patrick agrees, and he's started on David's earlobe which is so not fair because he knows what that does to him. "He has to go all the way to Elmdale. That's why he'll be out so late."

"Oh," David breathes, and maybe he should be embarrassed about how long it took him to catch on but he has the decent excuse that Patrick is playing dirty with the ear thing and it's really distracting.

They get to Ray's in record time, pushing each other inside and up the stairs so quickly that David thinks there's a decent chance they didn't even close the front door.

But that doesn't matter, it doesn't matter at all because Patrick has slowed down a little but he still has David pressed into his mattress already.

Patrick pulls up a little to meet David's gaze and David just stares back and realizes with a start that Patrick isn't going to give up on this. He didn't give up on this all those times David was terrible and he didn't give up on this while David made him wait after that disastrous barbecue and he didn't give up on this when David showed him today just how selfish he can be.

Patrick runs a thumb over David's cheekbone the way he has a hundred times before and David has something to say. He has to say it now, he can't say it after sex when he can blame it on exhaustion or a rush of oxytocin after his orgasm.

The wall is crumbling and he needs to show Patrick right the fuck now.

"I'm afraid I'm not right for you," he blurts out. Patrick's eyebrows shoot up in surprise but he waits for David to continue.

David does. "I know she's a girl but there are also guys like her, guys that are nice and stable that would...fit in with your family, and always say the right thing to you, and won't get set off by really stupid things and will be so much easier to be with."

Patrick waits, so David keeps going without letting himself think about it too hard.

"I want you to be with me more than I've ever wanted anything. But if you realize how fucked up I am and leave me because everyone leaves me it's going to hurt more than it ever has before but it would probably be the right thing for you, so sometimes I want to just let it happen. Like maybe I could not be selfish just this one time.”

He must be done, because no more words come out, so he just lies there and squeezes his hands into anxious fists but doesn't let himself break their eye contact.

"David," Patrick finally says, softly. "That's never going to happen. I will never, never leave you. I'll be here as long as you'll let me. And you never have to feel bad about it."

"Really?" David whispers.

"You're..." Patrick seems to struggle to find the right word for a second, then continues. "You're perfect for me. We’re perfect for each other. You're everything I need. You're everything."

David blinks away tears frantically because they're blurring his vision and he needs to see Patrick's beautiful face right now, needs it more than air.

"Say it again," he whispers, even more softly, because apparently he doesn't even care about whether he sounds pathetic tonight.

"You're everything," Patrick says softly, leaning down to touch his lips to David's forehead. "Everything," he repeats, moving to kiss one cheekbone, then the other.

"Everything," he says, lips moving in a soft brush against David's mouth before he lowers himself all the way down into a firm, definitive kiss.

David kisses back and believes him.