The first hint David has that something’s going on is when he walks into Patrick’s apartment, Brebner’s bags in hand, to find on Patrick on his laptop. He sees just a glimpse of purple and what looks like it might be Kanji before Patrick slams the lid shut.
“What are you doing?”
The tips of Patrick’s ears turn red. “Nothing.”
“Mmkay.” David suppresses a grin as he walks through to the kitchen. “You know, if it’s tentacle porn, it’s actually a surprisingly common thing, and nothing to be ashamed of — as long as you’re not actually fucking any octopuses.”
“Octopi.” Patrick joins him in the kitchen, pressing a quick kiss to David’s shoulder as David drops the groceries on the counter.
“That’s a common misconception, actually. Octopus is Greek, not Latin, so technically it should be octopodes. But it made its way into standard English, so octopuses.”
He’s putting food away in the pantry as he says it, so he can’t see why Patrick doesn’t respond, but after a moment the silence is broken by a triumphant noise. “Miriam-Webster says both are acceptable.”
David turns around, closing the pantry doors behind him. “Miriam-Webster is descriptive, not prescriptive. It reflects common usage of words, not necessarily what’s correct.”
Patrick pinches the bridge of his nose. “Okay, David.” He’s clearly forcing himself to sound calm, and David bites back a smile. “Why are we arguing about octo— octopuses?”
“Because you were looking at tentacle porn.”
“I was not,” Patrick hisses, “looking at tentacle porn.”
“Okay, honey.” And David lets it go. At least he does until he slides into bed that night, wrapping his arms blindly around Patrick’s waist in the dark and buries his face into the crook of Patrick’s neck.
“Is this okay?”
“Hmm?” Patrick’s already half asleep. “Why, did you want to be the little spoon?”
“No, I mean the lack of limbs. I wasn’t sure if it was a turn-off for you.”
It turns out Patrick has just enough energy to shove him halfway out of bed.
The second hint he has that something’s going on is the giant box that gets delivered to the store with Patrick’s name on it. When Patrick sees the return address label a faint blush creeps up his neck, and he quickly snatches the box up and puts it in the back room.
David makes his voice as lofty as possible, knowing if he sounds too invested in the answer Patrick is capable of remaining annoyingly close-lipped. “I do hope we’re not receiving personal mail in our place of business, Mr Brewer.”
“If you call me Mr Brewer I’m going to call you Mr Rose, and I don’t know how you’d feel about that considering that’s also what I call your dad.” Patrick emerges from behind the curtain and goes straight back to what he was doing, restocking the face creams in the corner, far away from where David can try to distract him with enough kisses to spill his secrets. When his words sink in, though, David shudders.
“Ew, yes, no, don’t do that.” He watches Patrick carefully for a few minutes, waiting to see if he’ll continue the conversation, but Patrick seems deeply invested in the exact right jar placement which David would normally be all for, but… “If you’re getting a head start on my birthday, you should know I already have a carefully curated list.”
“You know what they say about curiosity and what it did to the cat, don’t you David?” Patrick has that look on his face, the one that means he wants to be more exasperated than he is by David’s antics.
“Mm, but aren’t you allergic to cats? So I’m not really sure how I feel about being the cat in this metaphor.”
Patrick smirks at him. “I think it’s more of an analogy than a metaphor.”
That comment devolves into a long debate about who took English Lit when and who got better marks (“I’m just saying, I’m pretty sure NYU has higher standards than West Canthor University, so grades should be weighted”) and the mysterious, blush-inducing box slips David’s mind sometime during the good-natured argument.
The third hint he has that something’s going on is when he comes over to Patrick’s apartment to find him on a ladder, sweating, the bed shoved to the side of the room as Patrick holds a beeping little implement to the ceiling above where the bed normally is.
He puts the pizza down on the table and wanders over to the base of the ladder. “Uh, what is that?”
“Stud finder.” Patrick is distracted, pinching his tongue between his teeth as he marks a line with his pencil before climbing down the ladder.
“Mm.” David grins. “You know—”
Patrick rolls his eyes. “Do not make that joke.”
“Who says I was joking?” Before Patrick can respond he leans forward, wrapping a hand around the back of his neck and kissing him gently. When Patrick deepens the kiss, though, David hesitates until Patrick huffs a laugh against his lips.
“You want the pizza first, don’t you.”
“I mean, I’m really hungry? And I’ve been working all day, so…”
Patrick kisses him once more before stepping back. “Okay, David.”
For all that David likes to make fun of Patrick’s sex spreadsheet, he kind of has a soft spot for it. He knows Patrick thinks differently to how he does, lists and formulae instead of mood boards and colour schemes, but he has no complaints about the results.
But he forgot. Even with all those little hints, he forgot there was a whole category on the spreadsheet that’s been filtered out basically the entire time, labelled “Need More Privacy”; he forgot about the time, only a month or two into their relationship, where Patrick had asked David to tell him about the best sexual experience of his life and then given him a torturously slow blowjob while David had babbled about shibari, about getting into it when he was dating someone who taught a knot-tying class and needed a model, about five-foot-nothing Noriko who was an expert in her field stringing him up like a macramé hanging basket, about how good it felt to just… float, held up by silk and physics and trust. By the time Patrick had let him come he’d almost been sobbing with how turned on he was, and Patrick had wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, given David one of his attempts at a wink, and murmured as soon as we have the privacy and hardware, I’ll help you float, David.
He’d forgotten all of that, and he doesn’t remember again until the night Patrick pulls length after length of braided silk out of a box, says if you’re still into this, I’ve been practising, and proceeds to casually tie eight different types of knot along one of the lengths in his hand while David watches with his mouth hanging open.
Of course Patrick Brewer was a goddamn Venturer Scout.
“I think I have a competency kink.”
Patrick looks up from where he’s kneeling at the foot of the bed, a wide grin on his face as he finishes checking the loop chain stockings around both of David’s legs as David sits with his back against the headboard. “What do you mean?”
Honestly, David’s not sure how to verbalise it. It’s something about the intense concentration on Patrick’s face as he ties the knots, checking and rechecking and checking again to make sure David is comfortable and secure. Something he can’t quite put into words. He shakes his head, frustrated, and for once Patrick takes pity on him and surges up for a kiss.
“Luckily for you, I’m very, very competent.” The words are murmured against David’s lips in a low voice and David knows he’s being teased, but his cock gives a little twitch of interest anyway. He glances down at himself, admiring Patrick’s handiwork; the rope is wrapped around each leg over and over, all the way from his ankle to the top of this thigh and looped through on the outside of his leg; more rope is encircling the top of his thighs right under his hips, framing his cock and wrapping around his waist and, he can feel rather than see, framing his ass.
“How's that?” Patrick pulls on the center knot sitting just below David’s belly button, running his fingers just under the braided silk ropes as they trace over David’s hips and down along the swell of his ass. His fingers fit, but just barely, and every time he moves in one spot, the ropes pull slightly in another and it’s a contradiction of sensory input that already has David’s head spinning a little.
“It’s good.” When Patrick looks up at him, eyes warm and searching, he amends: “Really good.”
“Good.” Patrick crawls up the bed to kiss him again, far more gentle than David wants. “You should go do your skincare.”
“I—” David blinks as the words arrange themselves in his head. “What?”
“Go do your skincare routine, David.” He tugs the rope sitting just over the crease of his hip with a small smile. “Settle into the ropes before I tie up your arms.”
“Oh.” David does remember this part, now. Patience has never exactly been his strong suit and he appreciates Patrick giving him something to focus on while he waits. “Sure, okay.”
He swings his legs off the bed, conscious of every step he takes across the tiny apartment, the way the silk bites into his skin as he moves. The temptation, once he’s in the bathroom, to rush through his routine is almost overwhelming, but Patrick knows how long he usually takes. David wouldn’t put it past him to have timed it.
He gets a little lost in it, the habitual motions made so much more erotic by the knots he can feel pressing into his skin, so it makes him jump when he twists his neck while applying his moisturiser and sees Patrick leaning faux-casually against the doorjam, arms folded and eyes blatantly raking up and down David’s body.
David smirks at him. “See something you like?”
“Always.” He pushes himself upright and steps fully into the room, his hands settling on top of the rope at David’s hips before pressing a kiss to the side of his neck. When he pulls back, he strokes one thumb just above where the rope is digging into David’s skin, making him shiver. “What do you want from tonight, David?”
It’s still a question that makes him twitch, no matter how earnestly Patrick looks at him as he says it, so he deflects. “I mean, given that you’ve gone to all that effort to install a heavy duty swing hanger above the bed, I’m pretty sure I’m getting suspended.”
Patrick frowns at him. “You don’t have to David, if you don’t want to. It’s there if we want it, but if you don’t—”
“No, I do.” David winces as he cuts Patrick off; he should have realised Patrick would take him seriously. “I do, I want— um.”
“Take your time.” Patrick squeezes his hip, encouraging, and David closes his eyes.
“I want to be suspended on my back and suck your dick.”
There’s a beat and when he opens his eyes Patrick is staring back at him, mouth just slightly open. “I— yeah, okay.” His voice is croaky, and David tries to tuck his smile in behind his teeth. It’s not often that Patrick’s veneer of control cracks, so David’s pretty sure he’s allowed to feel smug when it does. “And how do you want to come?”
David bites his lip, considering. He’s always found coming while hanging in the air… a lot. Bordering on too much. “Maybe after?”
“After?” David nods at Patrick’s questioning head tilt, and Patrick’s face softens in understanding. “You want me to untie you, take care of your skin, then take care of you?”
David shudders out a harsh breath at the mental image Patrick is painting in his head. “Yes.”
“Okay.” Patrick brings his hand up to David’s cheek, stroking a thumb under his cheekbone as David’s eyes flutter shut. “Thank you. I love taking care of you, David.”
David swallows around the lump in his throat. “I know.”
“Good.” When David opens his eyes again, Patrick grins at him and holds out a hand. “Shall we?”
The thing about Patrick is, he makes it so easy to give up control.
David is sitting on the edge of the bed with his hands behind his back, wrists together, ropes snug across his chest and crossing over between his shoulder blades as Patrick confidently — competently — ties knots into the gap between his arms. David can feel callused fingers running under the ropes, assessing the spacing and checking his blood flow, his hands steady and assuring and… safe.
Patrick presses a gentle kiss to the back of his head. “Ready, David?”
David nods, and Patrick hums in response. “I think I’m going to need colours from here on out, if that’s okay.”
David grins where Patrick can’t see him. “Very fucking green.”
“That’s so good, David, thank you.” Another soft kiss, and then he feels the mattress shifting and turns around to watch as Patrick shuffles off and grabs a box from under the bed, placing it next to him. He climbs up on the bed and stretches up, just able to reach the ceiling in order to string the suspension rigging through the cast iron clips he installed a few days ago. When he sits back down he pulls a handful of D-rings out of the box and attaches them to David’s shoulder cap, shoulder blades, the back of his neck, the front of his rope leggings.
“Can you stand on the bed for me, David?”
David lifts his legs up so they’re on the mattress, but without his arms he can’t get up into a standing position. Patrick clambers to his feet and then bends down to guide him up, hands steady under his arms and surprisingly strong as he hoists David upright while making it look effortless, which David appreciates. He stands under the rigging, Patrick’s eyes hot and intense on him as he attaches the rigging to the D-rings and tugs at them a few times, yanking David half off his feet towards him as he checks the strength and placement of the rope. Once he’s satisfied, he meets David’s eyes.
“Ready.” At Patrick’s raised eyebrow, he adds: “Green.”
Patrick grins. “Good. Let’s get you in the air.”
David’s feet are only a few inches off the bed, but that’s not the point. The point is that he’s floating, upright but not under his own steam, held above the mattress solely by his faith in Patrick’s extremely secure setup. Patrick circles him, only a little wobbly as he steps around on the mattress, checking and rechecking all the points where rigging meets D-ring to make sure they’re all doing the right thing. When he gets back around to where David can see him he runs his hands over David’s chest, no longer assessing the rope but just… appreciating, and David shivers under the attention.
Patrick looks up at him. He stripped his clothes off before suspending David so that now they’re both naked, and David can appreciate the lean lines of his shoulders and back even more from this angle. There’s more of a height difference than normal, with David in the air, and he grins as he sees the moment Patrick realises it’s too far for him to stretch up for a kiss as he huffs.
“How are you feeling, David?”
David breathes in through his nose and out through his mouth a couple of times, enjoying the freedom of just hanging there at Patrick’s mercy — Patrick, who is gazing up at him with those big eyes, who wants to give David exactly what he wants. It’s a lot, in the best way, and he tries to answer honestly. “Relaxed. Turned on.” He swallows. “In love with you.”
Patrick groans, wrapping his arms around David’s waist. “I love you so much.” He presses a kiss to David’s sternum before looking back up at him. “You’re so gorgeous like this.”
“At your mercy?”
Patrick shakes his head, laughing. “No. Letting me give you what you need— don’t say ‘service top’, for god’s sake.” There’s a twinkle in his eye that belies the stern tone, and David pokes his tongue out just slightly.
“I mean, I’m not sure you can actually reach my mouth right now, so…” He smirks. “Guess you’ll have to shut me up some other way.”
Patrick swallows hard, Adam’s apple bobbing. “You ready to go the rest of the way?”
David grins at him. “Green, please.”
He’s on his back, legs and shoulders supporting him as his head hangs back slightly. Patrick is upside down in his vision, hands softly brushing through David’s hair as David focuses on his breathing.
It’s… a lot, is all. It’s good, he loves it, but no one’s ever been this gentle with him before and he just… needs a minute. Tears prick at the corner of his eyes and he squeezes them shut, determined not to let them fall.
“David, what’s your colour?”
Stupid Patrick and his stupid way of always observing him. “Um, yellow, I think.”
“Thank you for telling me.” He reaches for the rigging. “Do you need me to let you down?”
“No.” He’s surprised by how quickly the answer comes out; he wants to be here, with Patrick. He just needs— “Will you kiss me?”
Patrick freezes for a second before he drops his hand from the rigging with a soft smile. He bends down, the angle probably awful but he doesn’t complain as he hovers just above David’s face. “Always.” The word is breathed against David’s lips and then Patrick moves that last agonising centimetre in a gentle kiss. He swipes his tongue so softly against David’s lip David thinks he’s imagined it for a moment before he realises, opening his mouth and letting Patrick in. The angle is awkward and messy and weird and it’s so good, and then Patrick brings a hand to David’s cheek and it grounds him in a way he didn’t realise he needed until that exact moment.
“Okay, I’m good. Green. Thank you.” He lets his head fall back a little further, pulling away from the kiss, and Patrick looks gratifyingly dazed as he straightens back up. “I’d like to suck your dick now, please.”
There’s a beat, and then Patrick laughs loudly. “Well I guess if that’s what you want…”
David tilts back his head as far as it will go so he can see how hard Patrick is. “It really, really is.” He tries to make it sound teasing, but the desperation creeps through entirely without his permission. Patrick brings his hands back to David’s hair as he shuffles forward, getting close enough that David can stretch out his tongue and lick along the slit, scooping up precome. Patrick groans, his hands tightening in David’s hair for just a second until he slides them out and down, across David’s chest and to his sides.
“Is this okay?” He nudges David forward and back slightly so he’s swinging in the ropes but only as far as Patrick will let him move. He knows Patrick has got him.
Patrick grins at him. “You’re exquisite, David Rose.” And before David can object the head of Patrick’s cock is pressing against his lips and he opens his mouth, relaxing his throat as much as he can at this angle as Patrick pushes into his waiting mouth with a loud groan.
David has given Patrick more blowjobs than he can count in the time they’ve been together (and one before); a lot of them have been with his hands tied up, or in this position, or with Patrick in complete control. But still, there’s something about all of this that is next level and David just gives himself over to it, almost meditative in the way he lets Patrick in and out of his throat. He’s only dimly aware of his own erection, of the ropes biting deliciously into his skin, of Patrick murmuring how good he is, of Patrick’s fingertips digging into his flesh as he moves David back and forward. He has absolutely no sense of how much time passes — it could be days, for all he knows, strung up at Patrick’s mercy, and doesn’t that idea do something for him — before Patrick is dragging his nails back up David’s chest, scraping up the sensitive sides of his neck before his fingers wind themselves into David’s hair and use that to tug him forwards once, twice more until he’s gasping out David’s name and coming hard down his throat. David swallows, and swallows, and swallows, his nose buried in Patrick’s pubic hair and his head spinning and it all feels so, so good he can hardly stand it.
Once Patrick has softened David lets his cock slip free, and then he looks up; Patrick is gazing back at him, his eyes bright as he brings a thumb up to David’s eye and brushes away a tear David didn’t know was there. Before Patrick can ask, David finds his voice. “That was so good, thank you.”
Patrick smiles warmly at him. “You’re perfect, but we’re not finished yet. Remind me what you wanted, again?”
David closes his eyes. He’s so turned on he’s a little worried the second the ropes are removed he’s going to come — not that Patrick would mind, but David wants Patrick to do it. To…
“Take care of me.” He swallows. “Please.”
“Always.” There’s so much raw sincerity in his voice David is glad his eyes are closed; he’s sure whatever expression is on Patrick’s face right now is enough to make him cry. “Are you ready for me to let you down?”
David nods, eyes still squeezed shut.
David is lying on his stomach on the bed, arms still bound as Patrick strokes soothingly over his shoulders. He breathes, in and out, until he’s feeling grounded again, and then he turns his head to meet Patrick’s gaze.
“Okay, I’m good.”
Patrick presses a kiss to his forehead before he wriggles down the bed, straddling the backs of David’s thighs as he deftly undoes the knots binding his arms in place. Once they’re free David stretches them out to the side, shaking them out as he lifts his chest up and lets Patrick pull the rope out from underneath him and pile it carefully on the nightstand for now. Then he places both hands on one of David’s shoulders, slowly massaging the blood flow back as he works his way down David’s arm at a glacial pace, stopping at every pressure point to check on his way down to David’s fingertips. Once he’s apparently satisfied he repeats the process with the other arm while David just lays face down on the bed and tries to ignore his erection for now. (The careful, deliberate sweep of Patrick’s fingers on his skin isn’t exactly helping with that.)
Once he’s done Patrick nudges him, rolling him over so that he can undo the hip and leg ropes, his fingers searching every spot a rope was digging in to satisfy himself that everything is okay. He presses a soft kiss to David’s stomach, just under his belly button, and David’s cock twitches against Patrick’s chest.
“In a minute, I promise.” Patrick smiles at him as he pulls away, fingertips dragging along David’s leg as though he wants to prolong contact as long as possible. “I’m getting you a snack, and I’m going to rub some lotion in where the ropes were, and then I’ll get you off however you want, I promise.”
David watches him walk away, blatantly ogling Patrick’s naked ass as it makes its way into the kitchen.
David’s pretty sure he had a dream about this once.
First Patrick had sat behind him, rubbing lotion into first one arm and then the other while David gulped down a bottle of water, swapping the hand that was holding the bottle halfway through. Now he’s propped up against the headboard, munching caramel-drizzled popcorn while Patrick works the lotion into his leg in smooth, steady circles, starting at his ankle and working up.
And the popcorn is really good, but as soon as Patrick’s fingers start brushing his inner thigh he places the bowl on the bedside table in favour of leaning back and letting his eyes slip shut, moaning at the steadiness of Patrick’s hands as they move further and further up. He’s so lost in the sensation, he doesn’t realise Patrick has shifted too until his fingers reach the crease between hip and thigh and then there are soft words being murmured against David’s lips.
“I want to make you feel good, David. Tell me how you want to come.”
David gasps; he’s been turned on this whole time but suddenly he’s desperate, his hips bucking up into Patrick’s gentle touch. “Your hands.” He’s barely able to choke the words out through the dryness in his throat, but someone he manages. “Please, just— your hands, feels so good, please—”
Patrick kisses him hungrily. “I love it when you ask for what you want.” Then he wraps a hand around David’s aching cock and starts to stroke him slowly, his skin still slick from the lotion and that should be incorrect but god, Patrick’s had those hands all over him, looking after him and making sure he’s safe and it’s so much in the best way—
Patrick’s other hand works its way in between his legs and cups his balls, tugging gently, and David is gone. He lets his head fall back, hitting the wall with a loud thunk as he arches up and comes all over Patrick’s hand and his own stomach with a loud wail.
He must float away for a second, because the next thing he’s aware of is his face being peppered with soft kisses, a hand on his jaw. When he blinks his eyes open Patrick is right there, eyes warm.
“There he is.” He pulls back a little and David sees a washcloth in his hand — when did he get that? — which he uses to gently wipe David’s stomach and cock clean. Then he stands up on the bed, unhooking the rigging and bundling it up before placing it and the used ropes back in their box. By the time the box is back under the bed David has found the strength to wriggle under the covers and Patrick looks at him for a long moment, a soft smile on his face that David wants to ask about, but the words won’t come.
Patrick flicks out the light and pulls back the sheets, climbing into bed and wrapping his arms around David. When he speaks, it’s in barely a whisper.
“David, tonight was…” He trails off, huffing a frustrated breath.
David musters up enough energy for one word, just before he slips into sleep. “Perfect.”