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“Flight 7117 to London has been canceled--”

David groans, rubbing his face. He’s lying on his back in La Guardia, his parka balled up as a makeshift pillow. It’s almost midnight and his 6 p.m. flight has been de-iced, delayed, de-iced again, delayed indefinitely, and now canceled. He makes a mental note never to travel this far north. He could be in Jamaica, sipping a mojito. 

“Yours canceled too?” someone asks.

He peeks through his fingers. A man is sitting by his feet, reading. Crowded airports aren’t exactly the place for meet-cutes, but David might make an exception for this guy.

“Yes,” David grumbles.

The man looks over with a slight, wry smile. David melts a little, cursing himself. The other man looks like he’s warm, and sweet, and smells good. Even under his jacket, he has nice biceps. David puts his arm under his head for a better view. He stays quiet for a moment, studying the man...his soft features, the light blue collar peeking from under his coat, the guitar case on his other side. He’s not David’s type. Is he?

“Where were you headed?” David asks.

The guy looks up again. “Vancouver. Going there for business.”

“Oh no. So you’re from here.”

“No,” he laughs. “No, I’m from Toronto. The layover was cheaper. Kind of regretting that now.”

“Mhm.” David gestures at the airport hellscape around them. “This is my layover too. I live in LA but I’m going to London for my mother, she’s…” He sighs. “Filming something that will never see the light of day.”

“Ah, yeah, I’m going  to tell a client they’re bankrupt, so.”

“Are you some kind of financial grim reaper?”

“Yeah, that’s what’s on my business card.”

David nods, then sits up and rests his chin on his hand. “So how long have you been here?”

What is he doing? Flirting during the snowpocalypse? 

The guy checks his watch. “11 hours. Watched a whole season of Fleabag.”

“Okay. At least you have good taste. You could have spent your time feverishly updating eBay because no one is bidding on your Oprah quilt.”

“Is that what you did? What’s an Oprah quilt?”

“Think Andy Warhol--”

“The color blocks?”

David points at him. “Yes. But instead of Marilyn, it’s Oprah, and it’s made of alpaca.”

“Right. Who wouldn’t want that?”

David gestures, vindicated. “Thank you,”

The guy smiles, then extends his hand for David to shake. “I’m Patrick.”

“Mm.” He is warm. “I’m David.”

“Well, nice to meet you, David.”

David presses his lips together, charmed beyond all reason. “So you’re an accountant.”

“You seem to have something against that.”

“Who picks that voluntarily?” David replies.

Patrick shuts his magazine and takes a sip of coffee from a to-go cup. “No one. It’s a cult.”

“I thought so,” David says, relieved that Patrick's playing along.

“Yeah. If you have a false identity I could use, let me know.”

David nods. “I have several.”

Patrick chuckles again. It’s such a nice chuckle. So genuine and soft. 

“What do you do?” he asks.

“So, despite appearances,” says David, gesturing at his kilt-sweater combo, “I’m a lawyer.”

“Oh, so people hate you too,” Patrick replies.

David loves this guy already. He smirks, adjusts his parka-pillow, and murmurs, “More than they hate you. Mostly because I’m very rude.”

“You have to be rude to pass the bar.”

“Yes,” David confirms. 

Patrick nods. “What area of law?”

“Entertainment law,” David tells him, adding, “so yes, I am the asshole among assholes.”

Patrick packs up a calculator. “Depends who you’re representing.”

David hums. “What kind of accountant are you?”

“Oh, the good kind,” Patrick says. 

“I’m assuming that was a very funny business joke.”

“So funny, you’ll never know--”

David laughs and looks down to adjust one of his rings. “So what are you going to do now?”

“Go to bed,” says Patrick, tightening the cap of his water bottle.

David takes a moment. “You have a hotel room?” 

Patrick looks over. “I like backup plans.”

So he’s cute and equipped with a hotel room. David’s brain goes on autopilot.

“Do you also like whiskey? Because there’s an adorable little bar in the next terminal.”

***

Patrick’s not sure why he agreed to midnight whiskey with a guy he’s never met, but the bar is warm and offers sweeping views of the snow-capped runways.

“Nice out,” he comments, gesturing outside with his glass.

“Balmy,” David agrees, watching a hapless employee shovel gray snow sludge onto a conveyor belt. He makes a face as the guy slips. “Um, this airport is a living breathing OSHA violation.”

Nothing sexier than discussing OSHA violations. Patrick smiles and steals a french fry from the plate they’re splitting. 

“You practice law in the states or…?”

David gestures with a fry. “US and Canada. I export all the shitty Canadians.”

“So you’re responsible for Bieber.”

David dips his head down, laughing. Patrick watches him, hoping for the accidental brush of his knee. David’s gorgeous. Distractingly so, especially his fingers. And his wrists. And his lips. And his laugh. And his-- 

Patrick makes himself take a sip of whiskey. David presses his lips together, fighting a smile, and leans his head on one hand.

“I’m sensing you never do this.”

“Never,” Patrick agrees. 

“Mhm. So why am I special?”

Patrick sighs. “I actually really need a lawyer--”

David grins. “God.”

Patrick laughs, relieved, and shifts a little closer. “No, I don’t know.”

He does know. He wants to wake up in David’s bed. 

“Mm,” says David.

David sounds unconvinced and far too pleased. Patrick’s fingers pause around a fry. Is he being seduced? Is David an international criminal? Probably. He gestures with the mustard, asking if David wants some, and David wrinkles his nose.

“Who puts mustard on fries?”

“It’s good.”

“Maybe if you’re a drunk German.”

“Try it.”

“I’m allergic to anything yellow.”

“Ah.”

David swipes a fry in some mustard and adds, “So you’re from Toronto?”

“Nunavut, actually, but we moved to Toronto when I was four.”

“Nunavut sounds like pyramid-scheme almond milk.”

“It’s a Canadian territory.”

David pauses, a fry halfway to his mouth, and gives Patrick a delighted, exasperated look.

“And clearly you know that and were making a joke,” Patrick says under his breath, looking down to find another fry.

“In your defense,” says David, “I did fail geography. I would have failed it twice if I didn’t blow the teacher.”

Patrick coughs at how casually he said this. “Was it worth it?”

David squints, eats a fry, and says, “No.”

“The only reason I passed geography is because my college girlfriend had a world map on her bedroom ceiling,” Patrick shares.

David’s eyes widen in horrified fascination. “I have questions.”

“So do I.”

“Girlfriend.” David smiles and gestures. “Are you, like, a delightful bi/pan situation, because--”

“No. Next.”

“So you were looking at the map to numb the pain.”

“Definitely. Do you want to know every country in Oceania?”

David laughs. “Yes please.”

“Well, there’s Fiji--”

David interrupts, pointing at Patrick with a fry. “I went there once with my ex, and I stepped on a poisonous snail. 0 stars.”

“Did you have to go to the hospital?”

“Yes, and my doctor wasn’t even cute.”

“You shouldn’t have to pay if your doctor isn’t cute.”

“We should pitch that to the government.”

“Yeah. The Attractive Care Act.”

“The current system doesn’t make a lot more sense.”

“This is why I didn’t leave Canada.”

“Mm.” David laughs around another fry. “Would you green-card marry me?”

“Yeah. Think we can find an officiant?”

David grins, then finishes his whiskey and shouts to the rest of the bar, “Can anyone marry us?”

Patrick stares, then bursts out laughing. David shakes his head, a slight blush touching his perfect cheekbones. Everyone in the bar looks at them with the same disturbed glance.

“Apparently no one’s an officiant,” says Patrick.

“Mm. We’re getting ahead of ourselves. We have to learn everything about each other first so we pass the interview.”

“Right. What’s your favorite color?”

“Does black count?”

“No, and that makes you sound like you’re trying too hard to be edgy.”

David glowers and motions for another round of whiskey. “What’s your favorite color? Let me guess. Baby blue.”

“It’s yellow,” Patrick jokes.

“You would look like you have liver failure if you wore yellow,” David says flatly.

“Wow, thanks, you’d look…” Patrick sighs. “Good, you’d look good. I’ve got nothing.”

“Mm. You need to up your insult game if we’re going to get married.”

Patrick thanks the waitress as she sets two whiskeys down. “Alright. You’d look like a Project Runway reject if you wore yellow.”

David nods, humming, and toasts Patrick. “There you go.” Then he frowns. “That was surprisingly sharp.”

Patrick laughs. The devil on his shoulder rubs its hands together. Take his clothes off. Make out with him. Right now. Do it. Squeeze his butt! Patrick drinks more whiskey to drown this out. More whiskey is obviously the solution to curb these impulses.

“Okay. Favorite movie?”

“Mm, Notting Hill. You know what we should do?”

Have sex. Patrick swallows. “What?”

David smirks, pulling out his phone. He browses for a moment, then reads, “If you could invite anyone to dinner, living or dead, who would it be?”

Patrick hesitates. “Are you going to ask me a series of increasingly personal questions?”

David gestures at the snow. “What else do we have to do?”

“I can think of something,” says Patrick.

So the whiskey was a bad idea. David looks at him with a knowing, adoring smirk. 

“Mhm. You’re cute.”

I’m cute!!! He thinks I’m cute!!!

Jesus. This must be what being a dumb, horny teenager feels like. Too bad he’s 28.

“So?” David continues. “What’s your answer?”

“Anyone?” Patrick leans back and considers. “Probably Alex Gonzalez to ask him how the fuck he booted that ball in ‘03.”

That,” says David, “is the wrong answer, and I’m no longer attracted to you.”

“Oh no,” Patrick says with zero concern. “Who would you invite to dinner?”

“Mariah Carey.”

“Mariah Carey?”

David raises his brows. “I don’t tolerate Mariah Slander.”

“She’s fine,” Patrick says. “But really?”

David leans forward. “She’s fine ?”

“I don’t love that kind of music.”

“Mmkay. Next question. You’re failing, by the way.”

“Didn’t realize this was a test.”

“Every date is a test.”

“Didn’t realize this was a date.”

David looks at him, impressed how difficult he’s being. “Okay,” he says. “It’s not, but date sounds classier than desperate airport hookup.”

“Uh oh, now it’s desperate--”

“Fine! I’m bored, you have nice arms, do the math!”

Patrick folds his nice arms. “So it’s convenient.”

“Mhm. This is a convenient airport hookup.”

“As opposed to an inconvenient one.”

“I flew to Rio to meet a Grindr match once.”

Patrick looks down, chuckling, and nods. David sends him a glance and a quick smirk, then returns to his phone. 

“Would you like to be famous?” he asks.

“God no,” says Patrick. “You?”

David smiles. “That’s funny.”

Patrick squints. “What’s funny?”

David studies him. “Okay. I thought you were being very respectful and low-key but you actually don’t know who I am, do you?”

“Are you a model or something?” Patrick asks in the most disinterested voice possible.

David purses his lips. “No. But now that you’ve said that, you actually have to marry me. Where else am I going to find such blind praise?”

“Nowhere. So are you famous famous or law famous?”

“What does law famous mean?”

“You know. Guliani. Dershowitz.  Did you get some infamous dirtbag off?”

David lifts one eyebrow. “My God. Illustrious company. And yes. Getting dirtbags off is my weekend gig.” He looks back at his phone. “You excluded.”

“Does that mean I’m not a dirtbag or I’m not getting off?”

“You’re very clearly not a dirtbag. Ipso facto…”

Patrick snorts. “Great. Continue.”

“Mm, number 3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you’re going to say?”

Patrick tips his head back and scratches his chin. “Not really. You?”

“Literally always. Unless it’s phone sex.”

“Ah, yeah. Gotta be spontaneous for phone sex.”

“Mm yes. And drunk.”

Patrick nods like he’s familiar. He isn’t, and David clearly knows this. 

“So, Patrick,” David goes on, tone too sweet as he looks at his phone. “Tell me. What would a perfect day look like for you?”

“I would want to...wake up with my husband, and take a hike, and go to breakfast on the way home. Pancakes. And bacon.”

David bites his bottom lip. His eyes sparkle slightly in the reflection from the snowy runway.

“That’s very sweet. And I am very much hoping the husband you referred to is imaginary because I draw the line at adultery.”

“He’s imaginary,” Patrick says, trying not to picture David in that role.

“Good. My perfect day is the same as yours, minus the spouse, the hike, and the pancakes.”

“So, very similar. You don’t want to get married?”

“No. I realize that may make our marriage awkward.”

Patrick shrugs. “Not a big deal.”

“No. Just a massive philosophical difference.”

“Every good marriage has those.”

“Yes. What else do we disagree about? You look like you tolerate children.”

“I volunteer at summer camp every year, so yep.”

David closes his eyes and gestures. “Absolutely horrifying.”

“Sure is. What do you have against pancakes?”

David pouts. “I don’t eat carbs.”

Patrick looks at the plate of french fries. “Right.”

“Unless it’s an emergency,” David adds, crunching a fry.

Patrick chuckles and nods. “Sure. So you don’t want kids?”

“I’m the one asking the questions, and no. They’re evil and they smell like peanut butter.”

“You say that like you have experience.”

“My ex had children. That is why he is now my ex.”

“Didn’t you know that before you started dating him?”

“I thought I could pull off a charming Maria von Trapp look. Speaking of bursting into song...when was the last time you sang in front of someone?”

“That’s one of the questions?” Patrick asks. “Who are these for? Couples in crisis?”

“Yes. Answer the question.”

“Uh...yesterday.”

David tilts his phone in his hand. "No. Liar.”

“It’s true. I went to Open Mic Night.”

“Mhm. So you’re an accountant who volunteers with children and sings publicly.”

“Yep.”

“What a fucking catch.”

“Thank you.”

“Not a compliment. Next--”

“You didn’t answer,” Patrick points out. 

David hesitates and responds with a tinny, disturbed whine. “I don’t think you want me to.”

“Now I definitely want you to,” says Patrick, leaning back with a grin.

“Mmkay. So, last month, my parents hosted our annual Chrismukkah party--”

“Your what?”

“Christmas/Hanukkah. I’m half-and-half. Anyway …every year, my mother and I perform... the number .”

“That sounds ominous.”

David lets out a pained laugh. “Oh, it is! We sing 12 Days of Christmas, sometimes followed by Santa Baby, then followed by Baby It’s Cold Outside, because who doesn’t want to see a mother and son sing that?”

“You said perform, so I’m assuming there’s a stage involved?”

“Mm, worse, we make everyone go into the theater--”

“Your house has a theater?”

“Mm, which house?”

Patrick nods. “And they say rich people are out of touch.”

This flies over David’s head. “Anyway, we make sure everyone is very drunk, because you cannot unsee something like that sober.”

“Does it involve bad sweaters?”

“Yes. And suspenders. And fake snow. And live reindeers.”

“The plural’s actually reindeer, but sure.”

“One of them bit me once.”

“Did you provoke it?”

“No, Patrick. I didn’t provoke a reindeer.”

Patrick shakes his head, feigning concern. “Sounds like you might have provoked it, David.”

David starts to laugh. “Be quiet, I’m not done with you--”

A hyperventilating teenager interrupts, a glossy magazine clutched to her chest.

“Oh my God! I told my friend it was you--” She pauses to scream at her friend across the restaurant. “It is him, Samantha!” She turns back to David, breathless. “Can I have your autograph? I loved Season 17, it was like, so rude what Rex did to you though and I think it was amazing that you keyed his car--”

“My God,” David says delicately. “Who should I make this out to?”

“Tiffany.” She gasps at Patrick. “Is this your new boyfriend or--?”

“No! No. Mm no. He’s my accountant.”

Tiffany frowns, then leans close and whispers, “Did the IRS flag your taxes again?”

“Cannot believe we discussed that on national television!” David says sweetly, handing her the magazine back. 

She hugs it. “This is going to be worth, like, a million dollars.”

David lets out the single most artificial and disarming laugh that Patrick has ever heard. 

“I don’t think so!” he says brightly. “Have a good night!”

She beams and turns on her heel, then runs to join her friend. David rubs his face, breathing out, and Patrick sits back to study him.

“So you weren’t lying.”

David grumps at Patrick, then pulls something up on his phone. He turns the display so Patrick can see. It’s a photo of David, looking god-like in a tuxedo; his father, dressed to the nines plus a gold Rolex; his mother, wearing a fox stole (head included), and his sister, Romanesque in a white gown. They all look so aloof that Patrick wonders if they posed for this as a joke. 

“Why does this look familiar?”

“I’m sure you’ve seen it on a billboard. Coming Up Roses? The reality show?”

Patrick’s eyes widen slightly. “Oh...no.”

“Oh no is right,” David agrees. 

Patrick starts to laugh. “Oh, David. You’re a Kardashian.”

“Okay,” David snips. “The only thing that’s fake about me is my nose, and we have more money than they do.”

“Yet you don’t have a hotel room.”

David purses his lips. Patrick tilts his head, further inspecting the photo. 

“Is your sister wearing a tiara?”

David rolls his eyes. “This was taken when she was dating a prince. I’m legally not allowed to say which prince because his trial before the ICC is pending.”

Patrick nods, then leans back and glances at David. David presses his lips together, almost shy, and replies with a tiny wrinkle of his nose. 

“Is this going to change everything?”

“Yeah, I’m afraid so,” Patrick sighs. “Every time I look at you, I’ll only be able to think about that time in Season 6 when you threw a caprese sandwich at a waiter.”

David shrinks back. “Oh my God. So you’ve watched it.”

Patrick pauses, relishing the moment. “No. I made that up.”

“Ugh!” David seethes. “Okay, throwing a sandwich at a waiter sounds like something I would have done circa Season 6 because I was literally never sober.”

“Ah.” Patrick nods and sips his whiskey. “So you’re an entertainment lawyer and a reality star? Which came first?”

“Mm. Reality star. I was 15 during Season 1. I went to law school to prove I’m not an idiot. And because I am very good at winning arguments.”

Patrick nods. “That’s because you’re handsome.”

David finishes his whiskey. “I know. I don’t even try.”

Patrick laughs. So does David, leaning closer. He grabs Patrick’s chin, almost kissing him.

“Mm here, listen,” he whispers. He clears his throat and puts on an authoritative voice. “Objection, your honor!”

Patrick does his best to ignore the intense physical reaction this inspired. 

“Sustained,” he jokes.

David grins, tipsy. “Good, right?”

Patrick nods. David’s still touching his chin and he’s seconds away from spontaneous combustion. David smirks, obviously enjoying the effect he has. Then he pulls away, returns to his phone, and thumbs over his bottom lip as he studies the screen. Patrick stares --  at his thumb, at his lips, at the hint of tongue past his lips, at his stupidly beautiful knuckles, at his shimmering rings. He wonders how he ever thought he was straight -- almost laughs aloud, which would be embarrassing -- and hastily finishes his whiskey. 

“Mm, this question is juicy,” David murmurs, reading off his phone. “Do you have a secret hunch about how you’ll die?”

“No,” Patrick says, relieved they’ve returned to the questions. “Do you?”

“Absolutely. My sweater is going to get caught in the subway doors as they close, and I’m going to be dragged through the tunnels under New York.”

“That’s specific.”

“It almost happened once.”

“Maybe you should wear tighter clothes.”

David simpers. “You would say that, wouldn’t you?”

Patrick smiles. “It’s a safety issue.”

“Mhm.” David sips his whiskey and motions at the waitress for more. “You’re good at this for someone who never does this kind of thing.”

“Thanks. I thought I was doing pretty well.”

“Solid 10 for your sense of humor, 2 for your attire.”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t have worn sweatpants if I knew I’d be part of a -- what did you call it?”

David accepts a whiskey refill and wrinkles his nose. “Convenient airport hookup?”

Patrick nods, offering his glass to the waitress. “That.” He watches her refill the glass and looks at David. “You’re going to get me drunk.”

“It’s one in the morning at an airport. If you’re not drunk, what are you doing?”

“I could be sleeping,” Patrick tells him after a sip.

“But if you were sleeping,” David says dramatically, “you wouldn’t be able to tell me…” He glances at his phone. “...what your most treasured memory is.”

“Is this necessary?” Patrick asks. “Most couples don’t know anything about each other.”

“Excuse you, most straight couples don’t know anything about each other,” says David, gesturing like he’s applying an asterisk to the conversation. “ We will look like frauds if we don’t know the exact number of freckles on each other’s bodies.”

Patrick laughs. “Okay, fair. I have 72, by the way.”

David snorts, then leans close and inspects Patrick’s face. Patrick’s breath catches and David thumbs over one cheek.

“Mm. I don’t see a single freckle.”

Patrick swallows. David’s hand is too soft and steady. 

“That’s because it’s winter,” Patrick breathes.

“Oh,” David says quietly, pulling his thumb along Patrick’s jawline. He smiles, then presses a gentle kiss to Patrick’s lips. “Do you want to get out of here?”

Somehow, Patrick replies without passing out. “We didn’t finish the questions.”

“Mm.” David tugs him closer by his jacket, kissing him again. This time, it’s hot and hungry. Patrick groans a little, hands wandering up David’s chest. “We can finish them in your room.”

Room. The hotel room. Keys. Where are his keys? He doesn’t have keys. Should he tell David he’s never kissed a guy? No. Where is he again? Right. New York. The airport. In a bar. Getting kissed in public. 

“Are you new at this?” David adds, voice a bit gravelly. 

Patrick leans into another kiss -- partly because he doesn’t know how to answer, mostly because he never wants this feeling, this night, this guy to go away. David hums into the kiss, sliding his hand up Patrick’s leg under the table. Patrick inhales sharply, already hard.

“I hope you weren’t lying about the hotel room…”

Patrick falters. Is he really going to do this? He’s never had random sex in his life, let alone with a guy--

David kisses him again. 

Yes. Yes he is. He’s going to do this right fucking now.

He grabs David’s hand and throws a twenty down on the table. 

***

“Oh my God, it’s stuck ...

David and Patrick are laughing so hard they’re almost falling over, cramped in the entry of Patrick’s hotel room. Patrick wheezes as David attempts to unstick his jacket zipper. David swears, then giggles, leaning against Patrick in utter defeat.

“I cannot believe this!”

Patrick looks at his zipper in disappointment. “I meant to fix that last week.”

“Would it be weird to have sex in a parka?” David poses. 

“Both of us, in one parka? Yes--”

David laughs, kissing him again. “Shut up!”

Patrick grins into the kiss, then groans, getting grabby. David moans as the kiss deepens. He can’t remember the last time he wanted someone this much. Maybe it’s the jetlag, or the whiskey, or the fact this guy made him laugh for an hour straight. If they’re not both naked in two seconds, he’s going to scream.

“Try this…” David suggests, yanking the jacket over Patrick’s head. 

It gets stuck around Patrick’s shoulders. David braces himself on Patrick’s arm, laughing too hard to do more than squeak. Patrick shakes against him, completely incoherent. 

“Oh my God!” David finally gasps. “Are we drunk?”

“I think we’re just stupid,” says Patrick, muffled under the jacket. 

“Is this how you pictured tonight?”

“Total embarrassment and a neck injury? Pretty much.”

David lets out a strangled laugh. “ God. Here. Hold still.”

He tries to shimmy the jacket up. Something rips. 

“Oh, nice,” says Patrick.

“Well, when you brag to all your friends that you banged someone at the airport, at least you can say he literally ripped your clothes off.”

Patrick huffs a laugh, then wiggles, sliding down the wall. By the time he’s sitting, the jacket is off, sad and crumpled in his lap. He breathes out, winded, and David kneels by him.

“Elegantly done.”

Patrick nods. “Thank you.”

David grins and pulls him into a quick kiss. “I’m not sure I feel sexy now.”

“I’ll never feel sexy again,” Patrick says.

David laughs, shaking his head, and kisses him once more. “Well. I think you’re sexy. And I say that despite you wearing what may well be the worst outfit I’ve ever seen.”

Patrick looks at himself. He forgot he was wearing a Houston Astros sweatshirt, complete with rainbow racing stripes, under his jacket. “What’s wrong with this?”

“You look like a gay grandfather who racewalks.”

“You look like you just fired an intern for the thrill.”

“Mm, mhm. You look like you only eat pudding for medical reasons.”

“You look like you have kleptomania.”

David snorts. “God! Okay, why are we so good at this? Should we get married?”

“If we do, do I get US citizenship? Because I don’t want that.”

“No, but I get Canadian citizenship, and then I can get free butt implants.”

Patrick nods. “I knew you were in it for the butt implants.”

“Mhm. Canada leads the world in butt implants. Those, maple syrup, moose, good-looking prime ministers...”

“A proud legacy,” Patrick says in a stately, patriotic tone.

David snorts, then stumbles. “ Are we drunk?”

“I’m not,” says Patrick. “I just like you.”

David smiles slightly. “Mm. I’m embarrassed to say this to a man that looks like he’s the marketing director for Fruit Gushers--”

“It’s not that colorful,” Patrick says, looking down at his sweatshirt.

“It’s blinding,” David tells him, tugging on it. He eyes Patrick. “But I like you too.”

“Is this still a hook-up if we like each other?”

“No. Now it’s a commitment.”

“What’s our impending marriage if this is a commitment?”

“That,” says David, shifting onto his knees and kissing Patrick against the door to the bathroom, “is a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.”

“Aren’t we defrauding the Canadian government?”

David considers, then taps him on the chest. “Yes.”

“Great. Why are we kissing on the floor?”

“I don’t know. And I didn’t like the way you said impending. That’s usually followed by doom.”

“Well. You are my impending groom.”

“I’m going to murder you.”

“I knew that was a possibility when I invited a stranger into my hotel room.”

David nods, then pushes him against the door and kisses him deeply. Patrick melts into him with a tiny, surprised moan and David unbuttons his pants. Patrick rocks against his touch, impatient and breathy.

But David pulls back. “Why are we kissing on the floor?”

“It’s convenient--”

David’s in love with this man. He rolls his eyes and pulls Patrick to his feet, then pushes him toward the bed. Patrick turns, stretching into another kiss. David’s eyelids flicker a bit as their bodies brush together. 

“David? Can I tell you something?”

“No. Yes. What?”

“I’ve never really done this.”

David smiles. “Then you top. Much easier.” He kisses Patrick. “Or…” He tugs his sweatpants a little lower. “Just let me take care of you.”

He cups Patrick through his sweatpants. Patrick’s breath stutters as he chokes on air. David smirks. Bless inexperienced gays. 

“Mm, I’m not mad about these anymore,” David says, flicking Patrick’s hip to indicate his sweatpants. “These are actually…” He sinks to his knees and nuzzles Patrick’s bulge through the sweats. “Very effective.” He bites his bottom lip, tugging the pants lower, and looks up at Patrick. “Put your hand in my hair.”

Patrick looks dizzy. 

“Do you need to sit down?”

Patrick manages a laugh. “No.”

David smiles. “You look like you need a glass of water.”

“Is this how you always act?”

“Why do you think I’m single?”

“You’re not single. You’re engaged.”

“Mm. And would my fiance like a blowjob or is he going to keep talking?”

Patrick swallows. “Are those mutually exclusive?”

David pops his brows. “They are for one of us.”

Patrick dips his head down and grins. “Yeah, I uh. I guess that’s true.”

David softens and smiles, taking pity on him. “Okay.” He breathes in, running his hands up Patrick’s legs and over his ass. “C’mere.” He nudges him to the bed so he sits down, then stretches to kiss him. “Is this okay?”

Patrick nods, unable to speak. David glances into Patrick’s eyes as he slides his sweats down, and there’s something in his gaze that’s so warm, so gentle, that his heart flips. He suddenly wants to pour affection into this guy, give him the kind of blowjob he’d give a lifelong boyfriend on his birthday; he wants Patrick to feel seen, cared for, safe--

He’s never thought about things like this in the moment. He’s usually focused on getting whoever he’s with the shut the fuck up about their latest yacht purchase. 

He smiles slightly, then lifts to kiss Patrick again -- another departure from his usual pattern. Who has time to kiss and talk and snuggle? It’s sex. 

Patrick combs his fingers through David’s hair, hand pausing on the back of his head. David smiles a little wider. This is comforting. He likes that Patrick is keeping him close. He likes Patrick’s soothing eyes. He likes Patrick.

“So,” he breathes, “this is actually new for me too.”

“Really?” Patrick asks.

David looks at him adoringly. “Not this. What I’m about to ask you is new.”

“Oh. What are you going to ask me?” Patrick murmurs. 

David takes the plunge against every habit, instinct, and piece of love advice he’s collected in his 36 years. “Are you ever in LA for work?”

Patrick smiles slightly. “All the time.”

David nods and kisses him again. “Good.” Another kiss. “That’s the only way we’re going to make our marriage work.”

Patrick laughs, thumbing David’s temple. They glance into each other’s eyes before David smirks.

“Can I continue please?”

“I didn’t stop you.”

“Mm. No. The overwhelming husband energy radiating off of you did.”

“I do have a great credit score.”

“I bet parents love you.”

“They love me.”

David grins and nods, leaning up for another quick kiss. Then he slips his hand into Patrick’s pants, determined not to get distracted again.

***

Patrick blinks at the ceiling fan, sweaty and hot, wondering if his heart will stop beating out of his chest before he needs emergency medical attention. David rests his head on his shoulder and draws his fingers between his pecs.

“Mm. So.” He kisses Patrick’s neck. “Do you think you’ll keep sleeping with men?”

“I’ll keep sleeping with you,” Patrick mumbles.

David grins, then reaches to card his fingers through Patrick’s hair. Patrick shifts onto his side, nestling into David; they find each other’s hands, tangle their fingers, and smile into a messy, lingering kiss. Patrick’s still buzzing, dumb and dazed from David riding him.

“This is the only good thing that’s ever happened at La Guardia,” David murmurs.

Patrick laughs, then softens, looking into David’s eyes. He didn’t plan on having the best sex of his life in an airport hotel, but he doesn’t regret it. Not for a goddamn second. He doesn’t care it’s three in the morning, that he doesn’t have a backup flight. Time doesn’t exist here.

David smiles, thumbing over Patrick’s lips. Then he breathes in, touching their noses together. Patrick doubts David makes a habit of sweet, gentle snuggling, because he mumbles God what am I doing.

“You said that out loud. Just FYI.”

“I know,” David sighs. “You’re very pretty. And that was very good.” David pulls back to look at him, full of affection. “Too good. You’re supposed to be a bumbling amateur.”

“Do you want a do-over?”

“Mm…” David grins into a laughing, bumpy kiss. “Yes please. Tomorrow morning.” He rolls his eyes. “After I take you out for pancakes.”

“What about the carbs?”

“Okay, I stopped eating carbs because my last boyfriend made me, and fuck him, so we’re getting pancakes. And toast. And those cinnamon rolls with the cummy frosting.”

Patrick catches a laugh. “Oh-kay. Well, I’ll never be able to eat one of those again, so thanks for that, David.”

“Mmkay, you had the real thing in your mouth a hot second ago, so--”

“How did they get that consistency?”

“It’s the Cinnabon secret.”

“Patented.”

“Developed to smell specifically like summer depression.”

Patrick laughs, more at ease than he has been in years. He could have done this sooner, gone to any bar in Toronto and gotten it over with, but he never did. He thought it would be awkward and uncomfortable. A tiny part of him worried he wouldn’t like it, and where would that leave him? He glances at David, grateful.

“I’m um…” He looks down with a breathy laugh. “I’m not sure I ever would have done this if I didn’t meet you tonight, so. Thank you.”

David presses his lips together, smiling. He nods and thumbs Patrick’s wrist. Patrick breathes in, so overwhelmed he’s shaky, and gives David a gentle kiss. David smiles again, then tucks his face into Patrick’s neck. 

“I would normally leave,” David jokes. “But I literally have nowhere to go.”

“I don’t want you to leave,” Patrick murmurs. 

“Mm.” David kisses him under his ear. “Good.”

A plane roars over the hotel and they glance at each other. The blizzard is over and morning is a blink away. Patrick searches David’s eyes for a sign. This can’t be just one night, one blazing, perfect moment in a lifetime of routine. It has to be more. David has to be more. He can’t go back to Toronto and leave this all a memory. He’ll think about David the rest of his life. Every time he drinks whiskey. Every time he hears fucking Mariah Carey.

“David--”

David cuts him off. “Come to London with me.”

Patrick’s breath leaves his body. “What?”

“I’m serious,” David says.

“I-- I have work--”

David kisses him. “I’m sure they can live without you.”

Patrick hesitates. “I...look, David, I can’t even afford a ticket to London--”

“I can,” David says simply. He smiles, resting his nose against Patrick’s. “Please?”

Patrick was hoping for his phone number. A promise to call. He wasn’t expecting an all-expenses-paid European vacation. He laughs, unsure what else to do.

“David…”

David waits. Patrick stares at him. He feels like he just swallowed an exploding star. 

“Okay,” he hears himself say.

“Really?”

He nods, stolen by the warmth in David’s eyes. David grins and kisses him, laughing. He laughs too, shifting closer. They both soften, and maybe it’s the late hour, the happy hormones, the whiskey, but when they kiss again, they smile so hard the kiss falls apart. They laugh at themselves, at each other, and brush lips.

Then Patrick says, “Isn’t London rainy? I didn’t bring an umbrella--”

“Oh my God.” David kisses him again. “I’ll give you my umbrella.”

Patrick puts his hand through David’s perfect hair. “No you won’t”

David smiles. “No, I won’t."