David fit his key into the motel door, wondering what he’d find on the other side. Last night, he’d been torn between wanting to stay with his new fiance and feeling like he should stay at the motel to keep an eye on his mother - if she emerged from the closet - and Alexis, who’d looked dangerously close to tears when she shoved him out the door with Patrick when it had become clear that Moira was staying in the closet for the foreseeable future, telling him that she would call him if their mother emerged.
He took a breath and steeled himself, before opening the door.
“What do you think you’re doing?!”
Alexis snatched her hands out from his cedar chest and looked at him, eyes wide, mouth downturned, for a split second before recovering.
“I was just checking your knits, David! I thought I saw a moth flying around the chest. So, you’re welcome!” She sat on the end of her bed, glaring at him.
“Don’t be a little b!” He marched over to the chest to check on his knits for himself.
Satisfied that his knits were as he had left them and that there were no moths (ew) in there, he turned to face Alexis. He clocked her red-rimmed eyes, faint traces of her Cabaret eyeliner still visible and the messy hair as she sat on her bed, tugging at her ear.
David knew what Alexis had been doing. She had always liked wearing his sweaters when she was feeling down or scared. Ever since the time he’d picked up a 12 year old Alexis from Lindsay Lohan’s pool party, barely conscious, lips almost blue - who has a rooftop pool party in New York in January anyway - and wrapped her up in one of his cashmere sweaters, taken her home and tucked her into his own bed with hot water bottles so he could make sure she was safe that night.
He sighed, wondering if he should have stayed with her last night, knowing she would have been sad about Ted leaving. He opened the chest again, rummaging until he found his black Amiri palm print cardigan.
“Here,” he shoved the cardigan at Alexis with an eye roll and a small smile. “But if you damage it, you’re buying me a new one.”
She grabbed it, blinking her eyes at him as if she was winking and held the cardigan to her chest before reaching out and grabbing his left hand.
“David, you’re like engaged! You’re getting married!” She twisted his hand to get a better look at his rings. “Are these 24 karat? Did you know Button was going to propose? Did he, like, get down on one knee all cute and sincere? David, did you ugly cry? You cried didn’t you! Oh my god, David! Are you all puffy eyed in your engagement photos?”
“Ugh! Excuse you, have you looked in the mirror this morning?!” He snatched his hand back, sensitive because he was, in fact, a little puffy eyed from crying in the engagement selfies he’d made Patrick take. Patrick on the other hand, had looked radiant in the golden light.
“Don’t be such a baby, David. I was just trying to ask you about your proposal.”
“Okay, fine. But if you’re going to wear that, put it on instead of bunching it up like that. It’s not good for the fibers.”
Alexis slipped his cardigan on, pulling the sleeves down over her hands and wrapping it around her body before sitting on David’s bed and facing him. “Tell me everything,” she said, with a quick boop to his nose.
Swatting her hand away, he crossed the room to grab Alexis’ hair brush from the table where she’d left it, then slipped his shoes off and sat behind her.
“You’re a mess, we need to do something about this,” he gestured at her head, though she couldn’t see him. He started pulling the pins she’d left in after the show out of her hair gently.
“David,” she said, her voice small.
“I-” Alexis cleared her throat. “Tell me about Patrick’s proposal!” She sounded much perkier now.
He wanted to relive that afternoon as much as Alexis seemed to need the distraction, so he told her. He told her that Patrick had promised him a picnic but had surprised him with a hike.
“ Ew, a hike David? Why would he do that?”
“Shhh, do you want me to tell you about this or not?”
He didn’t tell her that he’d been a brat about the hike and how far he’d had to walk. He told her that Patrick had stepped on a stick that had gone through his foot and that he had been the one to pull it out and clean it. He didn’t tell her that his first thought when Patrick had cried out in pain was that a bear had appeared and was going to eat him. He told her that Patrick had forgotten to pack a first aid kit.
“Poor Button. I hope his foot is okay and that you didn’t, like, make it worse David! What if it gets infected and he can’t do his cute little Emcee dance?”
“I just told you that I cleaned his foot with hand sanitizer Alexis! And you’ve seen him dance on it since! He’s fine!” His arms were flailing and Alexis bit her lip to keep the giggle from escaping.
“Sorry! I was just worried about my favorite brother! Keep going with your story, and don’t brush my hair so hard, it hurts.”
David huffed. Then, because he really did want to tell Alexis about his proposal, told her about how after walking for a while, Patrick had limped just a little bit and so, worried that he’d damage his foot and be unable to perform in Cabaret and that they’d never hear the end of it from Moira, David had carried him the rest of the way up the mountain.
“You did what?” Alexis turned to face him and slapped his arm. “You … carried Patrick? Up a mountain.”
David threw his head back in frustration. “Oh my god. Call him yourself and ask if you don’t believe me.”
“That’s so cute David! But what if you fell down the mountain! It could have been like that time I went rock climbing with the Jonas Brothers and Nick almost fell but then I like, caught his rope and totally saved his life.”
“Well we didn’t.”
“I’m glad you didn’t drop my favourite brother off a mountain, David. What happened next?”
David told her how Patrick had told him what to unpack from the backpacks. How Patrick had packed a very correct blanket, and cheese from their store and real champagne, not zhampagne. He told her about how Patrick had asked him to open the pocket of the backpack to find something else and how he had pulled out a long black velvet box and looked up to see Patrick kneeling in front of him. He told her that Patrick had said beautiful words, but didn’t share those words because they were only for him. He told her how he had asked Patrick if he was sure and how he’d forgotten to say yes straight away. He didn’t tell her that he had also asked if the rings were 24 karat and that he still didn’t know but didn’t want to ask because for just a second, Patrick had looked so disappointed that he’d asked. He told her that he’d hugged Patrick and finally said yes and that they’d eaten the delicious food that Patrick had packed. He didn’t tell her about the way in which he’d thanked Patrick for being so good to him, after making sure there was no one else around and that they had privacy .
“Ew, David. Look at your face, you’re all gooey.” She was smiling softly though. She pulled him into a hug and he held her close. “I’m so happy for you both. You deserve this David.” Alexis pulled back and booped him again.
“David, you’re getting married!” Alexis smiled at him, her smile lighting up her whole face.
He couldn’t help but grin back at her, shimmying to release some of his excitement.
“Kids? David are you back? Your mother wants you.” Johnny stepped through the adjoining door.
“Well clearly I am, I’m standing right here.”