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Familiar Spirits

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It had always been there. 

Ever since Patrick could remember, there’d been a pull in his chest, like his sternum was made of metal and someone was holding a magnet over his heart. His mother told him it was normal for human familiars like himself to have it. It was a tool the Goddess gave him to find his witch. 

His coven was small and human familiars were rare. It happened when a witch was born so powerful that they were destined for one and his coven had high hopes that he’d find his witch in their own community. 

He’d known Rachel since they were small. They grew up together, being from the same coven. Each of their parents anticipated Patrick must be her familiar, she being a gifted medicinal witch. It was expected that a familiar and their witch would marry— they were meant for one another. It's what was done, but no matter how long Patrick stayed with her as they grew and eventually got engaged, the pull in Patrick’s chest never let up. If anything, it became stronger. Almost painful. 

He and Rachel would break up a few times over the years, and each time the feeling would roll out like the tide at dawn. Always there, although not as present. But the coven was so close and they always just fell back into it and each time it got worse and worse. His sternum throbbing each time like it was screaming at him that it was a mistake. 

He didn’t know what finally did it— why he finally just snapped and began throwing haphazardly packed bags into the trunk of his shitty car after he tearfully told her he couldn’t do it without any explanation. 

“I don’t understand!” she’d cried, tugging at his arm when he rounded the car to get to the driver’s door. “Patrick—”

“Don’t you feel it?” he asked desperately, turning to her and pressing his palm to her sternum. “Doesn’t it hurt? How can you stand it?”

“Patrick,” she breathed, clutching at his wrist to hold him close, desperate to keep him there. “I don’t understand.” 

“Exactly.” he swallowed, searching her eyes for anything. “I’m sorry. I have to find him,” he said finally, wrenching himself away and into the car. 

“Patrick—” she gasped, holding the door open. “Him? Patrick who are you talking about—” 

“I don’t know yet,” he said, giving her one last apologetic smile before closing the door and leaving.

He didn’t know how long he drove. Hours? The sun had long ago disappeared before and the moon was taunting him. The pull in his chest felt alive, like it was telling him each turn to take. He’d follow it forever if he had to, he couldn’t stand to live with the pain any longer. 

He’d stopped for gas twice when he saw the sign. In a sea of dread, a town named Schitt’s Creek with a ridiculous sign made him laugh. There was darkness for miles— no stores, no billboards— just one absurd town sign. The joke of being so lost and rock bottom that you’re up shits creek plays in his mind somewhere in his memory and he laughs again, disparagingly.

He blew up his entire life for what?

However, as his car got closer, coming up almost on top of the sign itself, the lights of the town glimmering in the distance behind it— he felt his entire body release from the pull he’d known his whole life all at once.

It was gone.

He gasped from the shock of it, pulling in his first real breath since— Well. Since ever. He blinked back tears as he continued to drive on and he started to laugh hysterically, shaking his head in pure giddiness. He could breathe! Is this what that felt like? It was fresh and intoxicating and the pain was never so absolutely absent. How had he gone his entire life not knowing what it felt like to be free? It was gone!

It was gone? But why? 

And as if the Goddess was answering his silent question, the pull slammed back into him with a force he’d never experienced, pinning him to his seat as if he could be dragged through it. It wasn't just the dull aching pressure anymore, but more of a viscous yank , the pain radiating white hot from his sternum and all the way up his throat. 

He jerked the wheel over and slammed to a stop on the shoulder of the road, hands reaching to clutch at his chest as he gagged, trying to get a full breath through the agony.

Coughing and scratching at the skin of his throat— desperate for a breath that didn’t burn like fire, he ripped off the seatbelt and pushed out of the car, stumbling into the middle of the highway with tears streaking down his cheeks and desperate breaths heaving out of his chest. He spun in the middle of the empty road, eyes searching for an explanation of any kind and instantly spotted the ridiculous sign in the distance beckoning him. 

Well.

 

⋆⁺₊⋆ ☾ ⋆⁺₊⋆ 

 

“Oh... MY GOD.

David closes his eyes, bracing himself to venture out through the motel room in order to escape. Alexis and his mother were at peak argument and he’d hoped it would migrate to the other room by the time he’d finished in the bathroom. 

“I know my Jimmy Choo’s are somewhere in this diminutive prison!”

David takes a preparatory breath before slipping out of the bathroom, aiming to grab his bag and leave. 

Alexis groans, throwing her entire body into the movement before turning to David for some type of help that he is unwilling to give in this moment.

“She. Is. INSANE .” 

“Your feet— your problem.” David smiles tightly, reaching for his bag on the end of his bed. 

She rolls her eyes at him, turning and stomps her foot. “I don’t have your ugly 2016 out of season shoes!”

Don’t lie to me, you little frippet! ” Moira moans from her place on the floor while digging through the bottom of the wardrobe. 

David manages to slip out of the motel room before his mother reaches peak breakdown and he stalls for a moment to adjust to the night air. 

The Roses had been living in the Schitt’s Creek motel for three years now. Three years since Eli stole their livelihood and turned their coven against them. Three years since David had an ounce of peace. 

A muffled screech comes from behind him and he gives the door a final look before heading to the back of the motel. When the Rose’s got to Schitt’s Creek, they’d been alone with little agency for their abilities. Witches in this century were not often as powerful as the times before, however David was the exception. The adjustment may seem to have been worse for Moira on the surface of the four of them, but David struggled immensely when they first arrived. His power had no outlet and as a result, he may have been the culprit behind many unfortunate incidents regarding the motel and the surrounding area’s power grid. 

Stevie was a small lifeline in David’s darkest moments when they first arrived. Been the salvation they needed to connect with the local coven as well as giving David a space to bury his energy year after year in exchange for working electricity at the motel (One transformer and all of a sudden you’re the bringer of darkness— literally) and limitless wine. 

The land behind the motel sat empty for decades. It once housed a lone swing set that Stevie’s aunt put in for guests, but it had since rusted away into the forest behind the field. She allowed David to do with it as he wished and he started the first rows of his garden not long after. In the beginning, he had a hard time working with the chaotic mess of earth in its most organic form, but he adjusted. It was only a couple rows of growth at first as he settled into the new haven. The new earth was vibrant and giving and it didn’t take long for him to discover its potential. 

Now, years later— he sets his bag down on the picnic table that rests before the rows and rows of crops. His eyes rake over the endless green and he sends a small prayer to the Goddess as he advances on his labor. The torches light to life in the darkness as he passes, the fire casting warm glows over the bushels of kale and stalks of corn. The rows go on and on, the colors blooming to life as he goes. Not everything would be ready until Samhain, but he would be able to harvest some of his early works soon for jarring and pickling. He heads for the trees that lay at the edges of the field, his hands brushing the tops of the raised garden beds, energy buzzing at his fingertips as he gives and gives to the soil. 

He takes a crate that he’d left at the base of one of the apple trees that lines the edge of the forest. David begins collecting as he walks, the sweet fruit falling at his will and settling into perfect bushels in his arms.

Typically, the kind of power and abilities that David has aren’t intended for just one to bear. Witches like David, the powerfully rare ones that the modern world does not often meet, are meant for specific familiars. Familiars that were born for them.

All witches have familiars— typically and historically known to be animals. 

Alexis has Mitena— ever the stereotype. She's a snotty feline that looks more like a fluffy fox than a cat and lives to get fur on David’s sweaters. 

His mother has Balthazar— her judgmental, calm and calculating crow to balance her chaos. His father with his ferret Louis that Moira has banished to its own room. 

Witches like David were meant for a different kind of familiar. Their familiars were human— a rare witch, that according to old documents, were born to share the burden of their power. The modern understanding of them now is that they are meant to balance a witch’s spirit. They’re more of a Soulmate to their witch rather than a companion or assistant— a partnership that went above human’s understanding of life and love. 

And David didn’t have one and never would.

He’d thought in the past, that maybe he’d find his. Maybe Sebastien for a time, but after a few months, he’d made it clear that he was not David’s familiar.

“Don’t be naive, David. It’s all very flattering, but we both know the only reason someone would commit to you is if the Goddess forced them— and I’m just not one to be tied down. Best of luck."  

He thought Stevie— Maybe. But she’d been clear that while the town was almost completely made up of witches, she wasn’t one.

David is in his thirties now and he knew if he had a familiar, they must have passed on. He’s come to accept it. 

It’s nearing midnight when he finishes harvesting what he can. He packs the trunk of his dad’s car with the crates he’d filled before heading for the cafe. 

Twyla, while a bit odd, is a good friend. She’s a witch in the local coven that owns the café in town and allows David to use the kitchen after closing when he prepares for Samhain every year.

He parks at the back, getting the lighter of the crates from the trunk before kicking the back door with his shoe. 

Twyla is all smiles when she bursts open the door. “David!” She ushers him in. “I’m just finishing up here, there’s a fresh pot of coffee out front for you.” 

“Thanks, Twy,” he sighs, setting the crate down by the sink. She disappears into the dining room when he stands back up. I guess I’ll be getting all the crates myself. 

He’s sweating through his pullover by the time he finishes unloading the car and his eyes are feeling a familiar heaviness. He heads for the dining room for his coffee before he begins when he sees him for the first time. 

A man in a very basic blue button up is sitting at the bar, a spoonful of questionable chili disappearing between his lips. David stops in the doorway, his hands coming up to tangle over his chest in shock as gravity bears down on him. He feels the energy knock through his chest like a low bass frequency. He can hear it— the ticking in his head starts as a whisper before it becomes a screaming he can't ignore.

Him, him, him

At the sound of his entrance, the man’s eyes snap up to David’s and he promptly chokes on the mystery chili, coughs taking over his frame.

David’s eyes dart around to see where Twyla went before gathering that she is not in fact in the building anymore before he returns his attention to the stranger. 

“Sorry—” The man wheezes, wiping his mouth with his napkin. “Sorry, Twyla let me in, I’m not sure where—” He looks around, not seeing her either. 

David nods, eyes raking over him almost desperately and he grounds himself. He cautiously reaches for the coffee carafe and a mug. 

“Um.” The man looks around awkwardly, a blush splotching over his cheeks and neck. “I’m Patrick.” 

“I’ve never seen you here before.” David says, adding sugar, cocoa, and cream to his mug. Patrick looks amused.

“Ah, yeah,” he chuckles, reaching a hand up to rub the back of his neck nervously. “I just got to town. Haven’t eaten much today and I was looking for somewhere to crash— Twyla let me in.” 

“There’s a motel,” David informs him. 

“Yeah, she mentioned that. I was going to head there after grabbing some food,” Patrick smiles, looking nervously down at his chili. 

David curls his lip at his bowl. “The chili is suspicious.” 

“Yep— gathered that,” Patrick laughs, shaking his head. “Kind of so hungry I’d eat anything right now though.” 

David lifts his mug of coffee to his lips and watches Patrick over the rim of it, considering his next words carefully. He’s cute in a business major sort of way. Large brown eyes, plush mouth, a stray curl falling over his temple. David’s eyes glance down to Patrick’s forearms where the sleeves are pushed up at the elbows and he decides he’s been alone far too long for this. 

“David!” Twyla comes in from the back. Where the hell did she disappear to? “Do you need anything else from me? I gotta head out, but Patrick already paid so you’ll be good there, just gotta lock up behind him,” she says, taking off her apron.

His shoulders tense, “Ah— no.”

“Great!” she smiles, turning to Patrick. “I’ll text you as soon as I talk to Ray about that room he’s renting out for the month and I’ll shoot you the info for Samhain,” she tells him and David’s interests peaks at the mention of Samhain. Patrick must be a type of empath witch? Maybe that’s what happened? He’d never met a witch that had the energy to almost knock David off his feet, not even his own mother who's a pretty potent empath.

Patrick’s eyes cut to David quickly before returning to Twyla. “That would be great, thank you for everything,” he says heavily. 

Twyla leaves them to silence. David continues to watch Patrick as the man pokes his spoon awkwardly at the chili in front of him. 

“I didn’t realize you were a witch,” David says. 

Patrick’s gaze shifts back up to him, his hands stilling cautiously. “Ah—” he breathes. “Yes, kind of... I’m a familiar.” he rolls his shoulders. “Well— supposed to be,” he chuckles darkly. 

“Supposed to be?” David asks, a simmering panic begins in his chest. A familiar shouldn’t have that type of energy— fuck

Patrick bites his lip, setting his spoon down and leaning back in his stool. “Kind of in search at the moment, coven back home is a bit small.” 

“No cute witches for you to serve there?” David hums, turning to go into the kitchen as Patrick’s jaw drops. “You won’t be eating that, I’m not even sure that’s meat. I’ll make you something,” he informs him, flicking his wrist and starting the oven.

David catches Patrick gaping after him, standing from his stool to see him through the pick up window. The faucet comes to life as David steps up to the sink and he drops a few vegetables he procured from one of the crates into it— so maybe he’s showing off, just a bit. He sees when realization dawns for Patrick and he knows David is a witch— an impressive one. He hesitates only a moment before skirting around the counter to watch him from the doorway.

The stove lights up as David approaches it, pulling a saucepan from the rack above the island and reaches into another crate, producing a large mason jar of what looks like broth.

David sets it to heat, before collecting his rinsed veggies and preparing to chop by hand. 

“Couldn’t you just will them to chop themselves?” 

David’s brow arches challengingly, but a hint of a smile pushes up the left corner of his lips. 

“What can I say, I like to handle a sharp knife on occasion.” He rolls his wrist, the light glinting off the sharp edge of the blade.

“Can I help?” Patrick asks, tilting his head. David peaks up at him, hesitation prickling the back of his neck. Just because Patrick is a familiar didn’t mean he was David’s… right?

Him, him, him. 

It’s a long few seconds before David gives him a reluctant nod. Patrick sighs a relieved breath before stepping up and taking a knife from the magnetic block on the wall. He slides a few carrots across the table from David and begins chopping on the opposite side of the island. 

They work in silence for minutes, the only sound being the rolling fire from the stove and the snick of the chopping. David can feel Patrick watching his hands— fast and skillful, but smooth and manicured. Just the effortless motions of what he’d exhibited when he took over the kitchen gives Patrick a small idea of the power David could hold in his adept hands. 

“Do you work for the café?” 

David snorts, shaking his head. He sets the knife down and begins moving the minced carrots into a large bowl. Patrick begins chopping the potatoes. “No. I have a garden and I prepare a lot of the harvest for Samhain every year.” 

“You mean all of it,” Patrick clarifies. 

David looks up at him, his eyes deep and knowing.

“I mean all of it,” David confirms. He takes the bowl and dumps it into the broth on the stove, standing with his back to Patrick when he asks, “What made you leave your coven?” 

Patrick stills, a small scraping noise piercing the quiet when his knife slips a bit. He clears his throat as David returns to the island to begin chopping the celery.

“I told you.” he smiles stiffly. “Coven is a bit small.” 

“Well you waited long enough, what made you leave now?” David asks knowingly, taking none of Patrick’s bullshit. 

He rolls his neck and smiles sadly. “I thought I found my witch when I was a kid. At least that’s what everyone told us. It just didn’t feel right with her, you know? Aren’t you supposed to know?” 

David thinks he might know more than he’d like. He glances away. “I wouldn’t know,” he says unconvincingly. Patrick flushes red and looks down hard at the potatoes he was supposed to be cubing but they’re now practically minced. 

“Those are mush now,” he says haltingly. 

“Yeah you might wanna…” David murmurs.

“I’m gonna go get new ones.” Patrick’s ears blaze as he rounds the island and prays to the Goddess that there’s more in the crates. There are. 

When the soup is done, David hands him a single bowl and Patrick stalls, looking over his shoulder to the dining room before turning back to David with a small smile.

“You should join me,” Patrick says. David hesitates, sure that every thought and emotion is showing on his face. Patrick tilts his head in challenge and David’s smile cracks through the wall and he shakes his head, turning to get his own bowl. 

“I really do have to work at some point or I’ll be here until dawn,” David warns lightly, laughter in his voice as they sit down in a booth to eat. 

Without pause, Patrick says, “No, you won’t. I’m going to help you.” 

David looks up at him, a spoonful of steaming soup halfway to his mouth and he gives Patrick a stern look. “Familiars,” he mumbles, rolling his eyes and stubbornly taking his bite. Patrick laughs fully, his head tilting back. 

Familiars?” he asks, mimicking David’s tone and shaking his head. “I didn’t know being a considerate person was specific to just us.” 

“It’s what you do!” David defends, his hands waving in front of him. “You help. You’re like—” A pause. “Golden retrievers.” 

“Okay,” Patrick drawls, his smile sideways now as he rolls his eyes. “Like I haven’t heard the dog thing before.” 

“It’s true.” David’s smile is wide and sharp now. Patrick’s eyes focus on it and David takes his silence as forfeit. 

They eat, and Patrick is blown away by the flavor that an impromptu soup can have. He glances at David’s hands in the comfortable silence. David doesn’t have to guess what he’s thinking— he’s used to people being curious about how much power his hands hold.  

He finishes quickly and stands to take his bowl into the kitchen, rapping his knuckles on the table with a soft smile. When Patrick meets him back at the island when he’s done, the amount of produce splayed out on the counters is obscene. They prep the food together, music washing over them when David can’t stand the silence anymore and flips the old radio on that sits in the corner. 

They mostly prepare cider tonight. Patrick realizes very quickly that David is able to ferment the apples without the help of time. He watches transfixed as he produces bubbles in the large growlers of apple juices with the touch of his fingers over the glass. By the time they’re finished, the sun is peeking through the windows in the front and Patrick is shocked. 

“Told you we’d be here till dawn.” David smiles tiredly at him as Patrick helps him carry the crates back to his car, jars filled with preserves and bottles of fermenting cider lining the inside of them now. 

“I’m not even tired,” Patrick laughs softly. 

“Mm,” David gives him a skeptical smile. “Just wait. It’ll hit you in about ten minutes.” 

“Experience?” 

“Mmhm.” he nods, his entire body moving with it. He closes the trunk and looks back up at Patrick. “So. I’m actually living at the motel if you just want to follow me back? The office won’t be open yet but I have a key and I can grab you a room,” he offers. Patrick looks boggled on the part about David living at the motel for just a moment before he shakes himself. 

“That would be great, thanks.” he smiles. 

Patrick follows David up the short highway to the motel. He parks next to David, giving him a heavy smile when they exit their cars and approach the office. Patrick shoves his hands into his pockets nervously, looking unsure if he should wait for him outside, but David holds the door open for him when he unlocks it and they go in. 

The lobby smells like an attic and the decor looks like it’d pulled inspiration straight from one of his mother’s Sunrise Bay seasons. Patrick laughs a little and David rolls his eyes when he turns to him with a key he produced from behind the counter. 

“Is it the awful furniture or the dead animals mounted on the walls?” he asks. 

“Both,” Patrick takes the offered key with a large number “3” printed on the keytag. He pats his pockets for his wallet, but they’re empty and he turns to go look for it in the car. David waves a hand at him. 

“I’ll let Stevie know you’re here, she’ll get your info when you check out,” He explains, rounding the counter to let them out and lock the lobby back up. 

They stand awkwardly outside the door and Patrick’s hand comes up to rub the back of his neck nervously. 

“So,” David says finally. “Thank you— for the help. And the company. It was nice to meet you.” His lips curve crookedly. “Patrick,” he says it like a mantra. 

Patrick breathes in the morning air and holds David’s eyes heavily. “Thank you for the food and the wonderful Schitt’s Creek orientation.”

David nods, ducking his head, feeling too warm. “Well,” he starts, taking a step backwards. “Good luck with everything.” 

As he backs up, Patrick speaks in a rush. “Same time tonight?” 

David pauses and looks up at him fully. He considers for a long moment, his hands coming up to tangle over his chest like they did when he first saw Patrick sitting at the bar. A small smile lifts his lips to the side again and he nods.

Him, him, him. 

Chapter Text

Header 2

“I like this for you.”

David scowls at Stevie from where he’s laid out on the lobby couch. It’s disgusting, but he hasn’t been able to sleep since getting back to the motel that morning. As soon as he’d told Stevie about Patrick, she’d pounced at the opportunity to torture him. 

“Like what? There’s nothing to like.” He turns his eyes to the ceiling and rubs at his chest— It’s felt bruised all day.

“You seem flustered.” she smirks knowingly; he sits up too fast. 

“I’m not flustered!” David argues. 

“So let me get this straight,” she starts as he paces the room. “New guy in town, a ‘wandering familiar’,” she air quotes. “Runs into you, the most powerful witch of this century that doesn’t currently have a familiar. You feel the earth move—”

“The earth didn’t move, my god—”

“And now he’s helping you with the harvest. Sounds like soulmate shit to me.”

David feels himself cringe, shaking out his hands. “Can we not do soulmate? It’s stressing me out enough as it is.”     

“I don’t see what’s stressful about this. Seems pretty straightforward to me,” she says, turning back to the computer and continuing her solitaire.

Nothing! About this is straightforward! I don’t have a familiar and we’re not ‘soul bonded’,” more air quotes. “That’s gross.” 

“Sounds romantic,” Stevie quips, eyebrows ticking up and making David’s patience grow thinner. “You should talk to him.”

“Trip into a wood chipper, please.”

“Hey—” she starts, turning to actually give him her attention, a suspicious amount of sincerity gracing her face. David stills and waits. “This could be a good thing. You lived in New York your whole life, surrounded by thousands of witches and never once found someone. You end up here of all places and suddenly a familiar is just sitting there in the café— on Samhain of all times of the year—”

“It’s not Samhain yet.”

“That’s not the point.” She shakes her head. “I’ve always been under the impression that the energy is high during this time of year for witches and maybe this was the Goddess’s way of making you get your shit together. She got tired of you blowing my fuses.”

David gasps, face turning red. “It was ONE time! God I thought you were being a good person for fucking once in your life—”

“I’m serious,” Stevie cuts him off. She looks more genuine than he’s ever seen her and he takes a second to reel himself back in and think.

She needs to know what this means. How absolutely difficult and impossible this is for him. 

“I’ve been—” he falters and tries to gather the words, a chill rushing down his neck. “—Burned before,” David starts carefully. “If he’s real. If we’re bonded—” he shudders. “I don’t want him to be with me, platonically or otherwise, because it was somehow predetermined by fate and we have no choice. I would need him to choose to be here. To choose me— not because the Goddess forces him and there’s no way to tell the difference. I can’t allow that to happen.”

We both know the only reason someone would commit to you is if the Goddess forced them.

Stevie watches him with sorrowful eyes for a long moment and he itches, feeling like he’s under a microscope. 

They hear footsteps approaching the door and David shoots Stevie a look of warning. “Not a word to my family.”

The door to the lobby opens and David’s eyes catch on broad shoulders and thick forearms as Patrick cautiously walks in. 

Stevie gives David a look that says they aren’t done talking before turning to Patrick with her full attention. “You must be the one that stole a room this morning,” she says dryly and Patrick stills mid step. 

“She’s a demon, ignore her,” David says. Patrick looks back at him— surprised at his presence— and gives him a warm smile. 

Patrick seems rested and clean. The beds at the motel are cardboard at best, but he’s clearly gotten a full night's sleep after the all-nighter at the café. A messenger bag hangs on his shoulder and he slides the key ring across the counter to Stevie. David quickly realises he’s leaving with a small pang of unease that he isn’t quite ready to unpack yet. 

“Thanks for letting me take a room for the day. I think that’s the first time I’ve slept in two days, to be honest.” He turns to David to give him another smile, like he’s in on a joke and David feels warm. He stands, casually approaching the counter beside Patrick as Stevie rings him up. 

“Leaving so soon?” Stevie asks, taking the key and giving David a pointed look that clearly says do something idiot.  

Patrick shakes his head. “Twyla actually connected me to Ray Butani? He has an extra room he’s been looking to rent out for the month and a temp job, conveniently.” 

“Wow, that is convenient,” Stevie says in her common monotone, eyes sliding to David.

David mouths hex yourself to her before turning back to Patrick.

“What kind of job is it?” he asks. Patrick busies himself with giving Stevie his card to charge the room before giving David his full attention.

“Ah—business consulting? From what he said, he manages a lot of ventures and needs help with the paperwork and stuff. Not the most exciting work, but it pays,” Patrick laughs. “Got to put a little of this business degree to use, eh?”

“Ooo, a business witch, David.” Stevie wiggles her brows at them and hands Patrick his card back. 

“Okay, we’re done with you.” David waves his hand at her and Patrick keeps smiling through the whole interaction.

Stevie ignores him. “Patrick, are you going to be at the ritual bonfire this weekend?” she asks with mock innocence. 

David keeps his face straight, but he can feel the looks Stevie is giving him. Patrick seems confused. 

“Samhain isn’t for another month, though?” he asks, glancing between the two of them. 

Stevie opens her mouth to cause more chaos, but David cuts her off. “Schitt’s Creek has the tendency to overcompensate.” 

“I just go for the booze.” 

“Of course you do.” 

“Like I’m the only one,” Stevie snorts and Patrick grins at them both. 

“The whole month is a bit of a festival? Every weekend there’s a fire or ball. The local orchards offer their harvests to us. Most aren’t run by witches, but they know Schitt’s Creek is pretty much completely made up of us and they really buy into the holiday,” David explains. 

“Wow,” Patrick breathes, finally pocketing his wallet and adjusting the strap of his messenger bag, turning back to Stevie. “Well, I’ll be helping David most nights I think, but if the boss says we can take the evening off, I’ll be there.” He gives him a wink that’s really more of a blink because his other eye half closes. David finds it adorable. 

“I think we can spare the time.”

 

⋆⁺₊⋆ ☾ ⋆⁺₊⋆ 

 

David continues to harvest during the afternoons after his shifts at the Blouse Barn. He prepares for Samhain at night at the café—and without fail, Patrick is always there waiting to open the back door for him and unload most of what’s in David’s trunk. 

David, against his better judgement, ends up actually enjoying Patrick’s annoying teasing and shitty chopping skills. The man doesn’t even know the difference between yams and sweet potatoes, but damn if it isn’t endearing. 

They find a rhythm together, hovering around one another and establish a sort of dance when they’re working in the kitchen. It’s something David’s never experienced with someone and it’s… nice. Patrick is nice. 

Stevie is really David’s only friend and he’d accepted that. He’s a person that thrives in loneliness and has the work to prove it. But Patrick is all light, laughter, and bad sports references that David secretly doesn’t hate hearing. He meets David at every chaotic level with a fond smile or teasing remark and it’s refreshing. It’s really refreshing. 

As the weekend draws nearer, he begins showing up at the motel to help David harvest the rest of the apples for cider. The first time Patrick sees the complete spread of the garden up close, David can see the shock on his face, clear as ever.

“This is actually really impressive— I’m surprised,” Patrick breathes, running his hands over the different leaves reaching into the night. Kale, chard, cabbage, eggplants, corn. 

David wanders slowly through the aisle to Patrick’s right. “Um.” He tilts his head back, an amused smile pulling at his lips. “Thanks, I think?” He squints sideways at him. David loves how well Patrick wears the moonlight. 

Patrick looks down and laughs, shaking his head. “I’m honestly shocked at the quality here—you don’t really strike me as the gardening type.” 

David turns to him, reaching into one of the baskets that sits beside the gourds. He produces a pair of thick black and white gloves that reach his elbows when he pulls them on. “David from two years ago would be equally appalled, I assure you.”  

“Yeah?” Patrick asks, reaching to his back pocket for what looks like brand new gardening gloves—they haven't seen an inch of dirt in their lives.

“Oh, yes.” David nods animatedly. “David from two years ago wouldn’t have touched a pumpkin, much less soil and beets.” He makes a face. 

“What changed?” Patrick asks. David picks up a small hand shovel and a basket, handing them to Patrick over the raised garden bed between them. 

“Mmm.” he thinks. “I struggled when we first got here. Like— Immensely. Like blew the power out of the entire town type struggle. Stevie told me I had to either figure out my shit in a way that didn’t include blowing up her fuse box, or I had to get the hell out. She wouldn’t have kicked me out, but it’s the principle of the thing.” he points. “Very rude.” 

“Very,” Patrick laughs. 

Once they fill a few crates with root vegetables for pickling and baskets of apples for applesauce, they load everything into Patrick’s car and he heads to the café first, leaving David to bring the jarring and bottling equipment they’ll need that night in the Lincoln.

When David gets to the café, Patrick has already unloaded everything. David is hit with the pungent scent of coffee when he’s let into the back door. 

“Please say some of that is for me,” he groans, dropping the box of appliances on the island. 

Patrick chuckles, closing the door behind him and turning to sweep up a mug of steaming coffee. “Caramel macchiato skim, two sweeteners and a sprinkle of cocoa powder.” 

David cautiously takes the offering and looks down into the drink with a pressure in his chest. He mutters a small thank you, warmth in his cheeks and a smile tugging at his mouth. Patrick returns the smile and moves to get past him, his hand brushing his waist as he goes and David feels it like fire.

Him, him, him.  

Does he know? He would say something, surely. David watches his face as he slices apples at the island and he doesn’t look at David once. His ears are pink, a small upside down smile playing at his lips, but he doesn’t look up. 

David gets a few good sips from his coffee before going to wash his hands to help prep. 

Patrick speaks first. “I’m excited to see Schitt’s Creek’s Samhain festivities. Back home we only did the three days of rituals and altars.” 

“Ah yeah, I was a little stunned by it, too— when we first got here. We typically only did a day or so of serious alters and one large, overly-extravagant ball. It was a shock, but it can be fun. Not really what we were used to.” He tucks a smile into his cheek. 

“It’s nice,” Patrick agrees, moving their chopped apples to the large stockpot. “Feels like a big family.”

David helps, moving beside him. “That’s what covens are, right? Family?” David asks softly, pouring some of the cider they made previously that they didn’t ferment to the pot with some lemon juice. “At least that’s what I’ve grown to understand them as.”

“Yeah,” Patrick agrees, looking up at him. “I think they are.”

They work for a few hours— finishing their applesauce early before chopping up radishes for pickling and finally bottling fermented cider for the bonfire that weekend. It’s easy with their rhythm and they find themselves packing up for the night at only one o’clock in the morning. 

They stop at their cars and stand close. David feels tired, but warm. Content, truely, for the first time in— well. Ever. He doesn’t want to entertain this, but Patrick can’t know, can he? He’s said he’s still in search, so this is only temporary— him being here. Enjoying their friendship while he has him here couldn’t be a bad thing, right? 

Patrick’s hand brushes the small of his back as he passes him towards his driver’s side door and David leans into it. 

Patrick smiles. “Can’t wait for our day off tomorrow, boss.”

“Oh, it’ll be a hell of a day off, I assure you. Might need another one the next day,” David teases, raising his brows comically. 

Patrick chuckles, “Save me a drink?” 

“It’s BYOB.” 

“Judging by the bottles of hard cider we just bottled, that’s bullshit.”

David laughs, shaking his head and pushing Patrick towards his car. “Goodnight, Patrick.”

“Goodnight, David.” 

 

⋆⁺₊⋆ ☾ ⋆⁺₊⋆


Autumn is truly in effect now that October has finally fallen on them and, while he loves that he’s been able to switch out his summer knits for fall sweaters, he doesn’t appreciate the bitterness. David’s cheeks burn from the cold.

Who thought ice cold cider was a good idea? He told Twyla to warm it. 

“Your face is saying so much right now.”

He scowls at Stevie, eyes wandering over the gathering at the bonfire, scanning faces. Not for one in particular. 

“Chill, David.” Alexis flips her hair over her shoulder. “The fire isn’t even going yet, it’ll warm up.”

“Drink more so your nervous energy doesn’t put it out completely,” Stevie adds. 

“I’m not nervous,” he hisses. “Why the fuck is the cider cold, I specifically told Twyla to warm this batch before the gathering.” he holds the bottle between his thumb and forefinger, displaying it like it offends him. 

Alexis rolls her eyes. David sighs as she and Stevie start talking. He ignores them, turning to the fire and silently urging the flames higher. It isn’t hard anymore— To focus his energy in a calm control, rather than chaotic tendrils lashing out at anything with a high voltage or flame, desperate to be released. 

David feels the air getting warmer from the fire, and he relaxes a little, letting his shoulders down from around his ears and he lifts the cold bottle in his hands to his lips. 

His eyes catch on movement through the flames like a vision and he pauses mid sip. Blue, contrasting the orange— deep and calming like quiet morning waves in the ocean. 

The wind moves the fire just so, and he sees pale skin paired with the blue. Patrick is searching, eyes raking over every person in the field. David moves slowly, inching to the right and ducking behind Stevie and Alexis. He’s just hidden enough so that Patrick misses him in his search and David has time to study him. He keeps looking— neck craning to see over people, coming up empty but still moving— somehow straight for David like he’s being pulled to him.

Him, him, him. 

“Ew, David, what are you doing?” Alexis huffs and he glares at her for a moment before turning back to the fire and his eyes finally meet whiskey. 

Stevie hums into her beer and nudges David. “Soulmates.” she murmurs low enough so Alexis won’t hear her. David shoves his hand into her cheek and pushes her away as Patrick starts for him in earnest, a small smile pulling at his lips. 

David’s nerves start to dissipate the closer he gets and he vehemently ignores the looks coming from Stevie. 

“Hey.” Patrick reaches them, breathless. His eyes linger still on David, before blinking, almost like he was just becoming aware of the others. “This is something else, I’ve never seen anything like it.” 

“A bonfire?” Stevie deadpans. 

Alexis bites her lips to stop a smile and playfully smacks at Stevie’s arm before turning fully to Patrick. “Hello, I’m David’s sister and life coach, Alexis,” she points at her A necklace with both pointer fingers, a lone crystal of some type bumping next to the initial. Patrick nods at her and she reaches out a hand for him to shake.

“It’s nice to meet you, Alexis.” he says, taking her hand in a weird hold with the way she was positioning her fingers.

“Okay,” David says, nudging her back. Patrick finally meets his eyes again, a relaxed smile coming over his face. “You need a drink.” David raises his eyebrows at him and runs a delicate hand over Patrick’s shoulder, herding him away from the group.

“I have in fact been to bonfires before,” Patrick clarifies as they walk. “My home coven was never this celebratory. Reminds me more of high school tailgates than anything.”

“Well there will be no cheap beer or cricket here.” Patrick gives him an amused look. “We do however have the cider we bottled last night, and some mulled wine I’ve had bottled and brewing since last year.”

“Sounds amazing.” Patrick nods as they reach the table near the forest. Twyla is sitting behind it with a bright smile and a deck of cards. 

“Patrick!” she greets. “I see you’re settling in well here. The room at Ray’s working out okay?” she asks, shuffling the cards in front of her. 

“I am!” he says while David collects a cider for him. “He likes to chat? But he’s really nice,” he chuckles, accepting the bottle and giving David one of those upside down smiles. 

“Good to hear! Would you two be interested in a reading?” Twyla asks brightly and David is already shaking his head no when Patrick smiles wide. 

“I didn’t know you were a divination witch.” he leans closer. “We didn’t have any specialty witches back home other than Rachel—” he cuts himself off, eyes darting to David before going back to Twyla. 

“Oh, I’m not,” she laughs. “My great aunt’s second husband’s therapist was and she let me have this deck. I’ve been doing readings for the locals for money. Oven’s on the fritz.” she points at David. “This one’s doing a number on my appliances.” 

David winces. “I can see if I can fix it? Or Ronnie might be able to help?” 

“Don’t worry about it David. You do enough for Samhain every year.” she waves him off and turns back to Patrick. “Want that reading?” 

“Why not?” Patrick shrugs and David tries not to come off too petulant. 

Twyla shuffles the cards a bit more before setting them down on the table top and flipping a few over, presenting them closer to David and Patrick. David’s eyes scan over them, and his heart drops a little at the images. He doesn’t know much about tarot, but they’re hardly promising. 

“Hmm,” she hums, brows knit together. David takes a breath and reminds himself that she isn’t a real fortune teller. 

“Bad?” Patrick asks, amused. 

“There’s a lot of chaos, but one single point of power in the center. I see— a hurricane?” she wonders, confused. 

David stifles a laugh. “Hurricane in the middle of rural Canada, that makes total sense.” 

“I know, but that’s what the cards are saying,” she sighs, frustrated. She leans closer to study them. “I think these are cursed.” 

“Sounds safe.” David nods. “Thanks so much Twyla, we’re gonna stand closer to the fire. We’ll see you later,” he says and she waves them off without looking up from their cards. David wraps long fingers around Patrick’s bicep and leads him away from the table.

Patrick flushes at the touch. He clears his throat, leaning slightly into David’s grip when he doesn’t let go. 

They come up on Alexis and Stevie again, Alexis’s vet boyfriend Ted now present in his scrubs and coat standing next to Alexis who has a knit blanket over her shoulders. “Are there a lot of specialty witches here?” Patrick asks David. 

“Ah— Not really?” he hedges and Stevie snorts into her drink.

“Don’t be so modest, big guy!” Ted smacks David on the shoulder. He turns to Patrick and offers his hand to shake. “I’m Ted. I run the vet clinic up the road.” Patrick shakes his hand and gives David a curious look. 

“David’s a green witch?” Alexis says, sounding like she’s a little unsure. “Or would you be elemental?” 

“Whichever one lights shit on fire,” Stevie quips and Ted laughs brightly. 

David scoffs. “I do not light shit on fire. Intentionally.” 

“So you’d say you’re a well rounded witch, then?” Patrick nudges him playfully. 

“A witch of all trades, as they say?” Ted points at him with a wink. 

“That doesn’t even make sense.”

“Babe— No. Mm-mm.” Alexis shakes her head minutely and he shrugs. 

David settles into the teasing as Patrick makes easy conversation with everyone. He’s only just met them and he somehow integrates himself as if they’re all old friends. It’s not something David is used to experiencing, save Stevie. He lets his arm press into Patrick’s and takes small sips from his cider. 

Patrick isn’t permanent. He can’t be. Even if he’s David’s familiar or bond or whatever the hell they’re calling them now— It didn’t matter. Sebastien was right when he said the only way someone could stand to be with him is if the Goddess forced the bond and Patrick deserved a way better partner than what David could be for him. 

All this doesn’t stop the blooming warmth that fills his body every time Patrick glances at him with loud eyes, like he’s checking in. David gives a small tilt of his lips and Patrick’s eyes dart down at them, lingering. 

Him, him, him.

 

⋆⁺₊⋆ ☾ ⋆⁺₊⋆

 

At some point, as the sun dipped below the trees and the moon replaced her, Ted dug out some camping chairs from the trunk of his car. David settled in between Patrick and Alexis, Stevie seated on the ground while Alexis braided her long dark hair over and over. It was comfortable and familiar. 

“Are you empty?” 

David blinks the firelight from his eyes and turns to Patrick in the night. He’s holding up his bottle in question and David looks down to his own that’s sitting empty in his lap. 

“Oh,” he speaks softly, lifting it. “Yes—”

“I can get you something. Mulled wine this time?” he asks kindly. 

“Yes, please.” 

“Be right back.” he pats David’s knee and heads back towards the tables. 

“Wow, thanks for the offer Pat-Trick,” Stevie drawls.

Alexis giggles, tugging at the braid in her hand. “Stop, he’s clearly trying to woo my brother, poor thing.” 

“Um, ew,” David hisses, turning to her. “No one is wooing anyone, my god.” 

“Aw, bud, it’s okay to have a little woo once in a while!”

“Oh my god.” David presses his hands to his cheeks and shakes his head. 

“It’s cute!” Alexis smiles pointedly. David looks off towards the forest and watches as Patrick makes small talk with Twyla again, grabbing David a glass for the wine and filling it quickly. Twyla is clearly trying to rope him into another reading and Patrick holds up a hand to fend off her offering. It makes David smile. 

“Well, I’m out,” Stevie announces, standing with a sigh. 

“Already?” Alexis frowns.

“Jake’s picking me up,” she explains, pointing to the truck pulling up near the field. “And I’m catching him before he has time to converse,” she cringes.

“Oh, too bad, I was really looking forward to that,” David goads. Stevie sneers at him as she steps away from the fire just as Jake is getting out of the truck. 

“Hey, Pony—”

“No.” she snaps her fingers at him and Jake gives them all a shrug and follows her into the vehicle. 

“Pony?” Alexis murmurs incredulously.  

Patrick steps through the chairs then, sliding into his previous spot and handing the glass to David. He also presents a napkin. 

“What’s this?” David puzzles, taking the offering and unfolding it. 

“Someone brought spiced pecan cookies. I figured you might want one,” he grins knowingly and David huffs a laugh and nods. 

“There’s cookies?” Alexis whines, stretching her neck to look and Ted starts to get up. 

“Oh, I got everyone some.” Patrick stops them and hands over the cookies. “I got Stevie one too, but looks like she left?” he shrugs, handing David the extra. David doesn’t know why the act of Patrick getting his best friend, sister and her boyfriend cookies fills him with absolute affection, but it does. He has to bite his lips to keep the energy from lashing out entirely and Alexis knocks her foot against David’s leg knowingly. 

“Thank you, Button.” she wiggles in her seat, turning to Ted.

Patrick tilts his head in confusion at the nickname, eyes sliding to David in question and all David can do is shrug. 

David sips his wine and lets the conversations around the fire lull him. The silence between him and Patrick is comfortable. It’s something David had noticed early on— their ease in the quiet. The contrast of it against the chaos of his family was welcome, and something David didn’t know he needed. Patrick seemed to understand. 

At some point in the night, the field starts to clear. Alexis excuses herself and Ted, leaving the blanket Ted brought, with David. They share it, spreading it over both their laps. The setup forces them to move their chairs closer together so the blanket can accommodate them both; it feels charged. 

“I know I’ve said this, but I’m really impressed with your coven’s Samhain traditions,” Patrick sighs, pushing his feet out towards the fire and sliding down more into his chair. 

David smiles, feeling comfortably buzzed and warm. “More of an excuse to drink,” he says. “But I must admit, the bonfires are shockingly relaxing.” 

“They are,” Patrick nods. He extracts his hand from the blanket to point at the carved wooden benches around the fire. “Even the seating is notable.” a couple is sitting on the other side of the fire on one of the benches Patrick mentions. They’re only a few feet away but they may as well be on another planet for all David cares right now. 

“Jake makes those. Stevie’s— situation?” he ventures. “A lot of people around here are makers and trades people. Even some of the farmers further out make soaps and skincare products. A lot of them are about to be shut down for the year, though— since the farmers market season is almost over.”

“What do they do in the off season?” 

“Some of them have online shops, but mostly get seasonal jobs in the meantime? Or prepare for the next season, I guess?” David thinks for a moment, eyes getting lost in the flames before him as he voices the idea he’s had since moving here for the first time outloud. “I’ve actually thought about how convenient it would be to have a brick and mortar for local products and somewhere I could offer food and wine from my garden? Like a general store, but a very specific handcrafted experience where we all could sell our creations under one brand.”

Patrick considers the idea for what feels like minutes. David doesn’t know why he feels so nervous voicing this. It’s the first genuine venture he’s thought so much about since the galleries back in New York. He loves art and honest work from people that care about what they’re doing. He’s always loved that. 

“That’s—” Patrick stops, breathing deeply. “A really good idea David,” he says earnestly.

David stills and turns his head just slightly to look at him. “You think?” 

“Absolutely,” Patrick confirms and sits up a little to look at David directly. “The whole model is very sustainable. The ability to offer local handmade art and products all year round at one single location? It’s brilliant.”

David huffs a self deprecating laugh. “Wow, brilliant’s quite the adjective,” he says nervously. 

“I’m serious,” Patrick smiles. “I think you should do it.” 

“I don’t know.” David's shoulders tense up with nerves. “I mean, it’s just an idea. I wouldn’t even know where to start? And then there’s the issue of a location and money, both of which I do not have at the moment.” 

“I told you I do business consulting, right? That’s what I do for Ray. I could help you with this.” 

David stares at him for a long time, his mind moving in all different directions. He never thought this would have legs. It was a seed of an idea that he just wondered about occasionally. He is utterly broke— building an actual business wasn’t something he thought was feasible. Until now. “Can I think about it?” he asks, feeling breathless.

“Of course,” Patrick nods, sliding back down in his seat to David’s level. “I mean, no pressure at all. If you just decide you want to move forward on it, all you have to do is ask. It’s a genuinely amazing idea, David,” he adds. 

“Thank you.” David pulls the blanket up under his chin and beams into the flames. 

“You’re welcome.” Patrick smiles back. 

Silence falls over them again, the last of the crowd heading home for the night, but David has no desire to move. Patrick is pressed closer now, his shoulder warm and solid against his own. 

“You know—” Patrick breaks the silence again. David tilts his head to listen. “This place has its quirks, but the people really make it.” 

David snorts, rolling his eyes. “You must not have met Roland, yet.”

Patrick laughs shortly and looks down at the blanket. He bites his lip and takes a strengthening breath. “Okay,” he murmurs in the softest voice David has ever heard from him. “One person makes it.” 

There’s loud humming in David’s ears. His face is too hot and his fingertips are tingling. He turns to Patrick and the man is already looking at him. Whiskey eyes meet warm brown and David can’t breath. Patrick's eyes track down to David’s lips and back up quickly— David doesn’t think. He doesn’t care about what happens after, or what this means. He doesn’t care that it’s an awful idea. 

He cares that Patrick’s lips are sweet like cider. He cares that his nose is cold from the fall air, pressing against David’s as they crash into each other, breathing hot in contrast to the night around them. 

David’s hands escape the confines of the blanket and he makes a small noise as his fingers find a home at the nape of Patrick’s neck, thumb brushing the softest skin he’s ever felt under his earlobe. Patrick keens dreamily, hands sliding across the expanse between them to grip solidly at David’s waist, nails digging into designer knitwear. 

It’s not a long kiss, but it’s a thorough one. By the time David is regrettably pulling himself away, it feels like an eternity; but it’s only seconds. His eyes feel heavy as he gazes back at Patrick’s slack face. His eyes are still closed and he looks like he’s in absolute ecstasy. David can’t help himself from leaning back in to press short, firm kisses to his lips. 

One. Him.

Two. Him.

Another, and he leans his forehead to Patrick’s and closes his eyes, too.

Him.

The fire is crackling in their ears. The wind is low and cold, but no voices surround them. Just the flames, the forest, and the moon. 

Patrick breaths in an audible gasp, rolling his forehead against David’s.

“Thank you,” he says finally. David stills and pulls away just enough to look into Patrick’s eyes that are now looking back at him heavily. 

“For what?” David whispers. 

Patrick lifts his other hand to brush his thumb across David’s cheek and he leans into it gratefully. “I’ve never done that,” he pauses, nervous. “With a guy— so.” 

David tamps down the small feeling of panic in the pit of his stomach as he waits. 

“I was getting a little scared that I was going to let us leave here without having done that,” Patrick clears his throat nervously and David’s heart feels full. “So thank you. For making that happen for us.” 

David bites his lip and nods, feeling brave. “Well, um. Fortunately— I am a very generous person. So.”

Patrick laughs, shaking his head, leaning back in. “So generous.” 

“Immensely.” 

They don’t leave the field till dawn.

Chapter Text

Header 3

What time do you get off work? Ray’s got me stacked with enchanted orchid permit renewals.

3, are you still able to pick me up? i thought you did business consulting lmao

Yes, definitely. My last appointment is at 2, but shouldn't be long and I’ll start heading your way around 2:30. Ray failed to mention his businesses included black market enchantment dealings.

perfect
my god, that’s terrifying yet fascinating 

I know. Pizza?

stop trying to turn me on i’m at work

You’re too easy

i’d be offended if i wasn’t ready to do heinous acts for pizza right now

David is smiling down at his phone behind the counter at the Blouse Barn. It’d been a long day but he was looking forward to an early dinner. 

A week has passed since they kissed by the fire. They’d kissed a lot by the fire and then Patrick drove him home as the sun came up. He’d walked him to the door and then pressed him against said door, kissing him even more thoroughly than before and it was all followed with so much more over the course of the week. 

They kept the same routine of working tirelessly at the café at night, but now that included dinner beforehand which was followed by more distracting kisses. 

Goddess, the kisses. Patrick’s lips are incredible. He kisses like he's trying to prove something. Like he's starving for it and David is the only one that can give it to him. He’d mentioned before that David is his first kiss with a man, but with the way Patrick kisses him, no one would know it. Absolutely zero hesitation. 

“Do you have this in any smaller sizes?” 

David sighs, taking a brief moment to get his face under control before turning to the older woman holding up a top that David could only manage to describe as… interesting. 

“Oh no, I’m sorry,” David winces. “Everything we have in stock is already on the floor.” 

The look on the woman’s face says she clearly doesn’t appreciate his answer, furrowing her brows at him. “Could you just check the back please? Just in case?” 

David exhales and nods, turning to disappear behind the counter and into the office. He stands there for a long few seconds, wasting enough time that she would be satisfied. He isn’t lying when he says there’s no stock in the back. The backroom is just an office, nothing more.

His phone buzzes in his pocket and he pulls it out to check what Patrick says. 

🥰🍕🔪

He smiles warmly. Things are—good. Really good. Suspiciously good. 

Soulmate shit. Stevie kept saying. It feels like a warning. 

They weren’t necessarily rushing things, but fuck if they weren’t absolutely desperate for privacy. The motel is usually okay during the day for some privacy with his dad helping Stevie clean the rooms, his mother off to council, and Alexis at the clinic—but Balthazar was the loudest crow he’d ever met—and he’s known quite a few crow familiars between New York and Schitts Creek. 

They barely get enough time to get in a proper makeout before the fucking bird is screaming murder and Johnny is rushing in to quiet him so he doesn’t bother the guests. He’s not even in the same room, but he somehow knows exactly when it’s best to completely mortify David.  

Then there’s Ray’s— which would be perfect. There’s a private bedroom, a shower right next door. A queen bed, god it had been years since David has had free access to a queen bed.

...But fuck if Ray doesn’t love to talk. The man doesn’t even knock, just walks right in when David is working on an impressive string of hickeys on one particularly flushed neck. 

It’s the most frustrated David has been since he got to Schitts Creek, and that’s saying something.

“Excuse me?” 

David curses, shoving his phone back into his pocket and rushing back onto the floor. The lady is looking extremely annoyed and David shrugs helplessly. 

“I checked everywhere, I’m so sorry. I could put a special order in for you, if you wanted?” 

“I’ll still buy this one, I had just hoped to find one more form fitting,” she sniffs and David continues to keep a strong hold on his face and avoids saying anything he’ll regret. 

He rings her up quickly and shoves the bag with the garment towards her. “Have a lovely day,” he smiles tightly and she gives him a final look before leaving. 

 

⋆⁺₊⋆ ☾ ⋆⁺₊⋆

 

Patrick picks him up promptly at 3pm, flashing a wide grin at David as he exits the Blouse Barn and slides into his car. 

“Gotta say, David. I admire your work ethic.” 

David closes his eyes and shakes his head. “I don’t know if you’re teasing me right now, but I’m choosing to ignore it and accept it as a compliment, thank you very much.” he leans over the console and presses a warm hello kiss to Patrick’s lips. 

“Mm, definitely a compliment,” Patrick stares at David’s lips as they part and leans in again for one more. And another. 

“As much as I love this, I want pizza.” 

“Noted.” 

David usually meets him at the café for these dinners—driving himself back to Schitt’s Creek with the Lincoln, but Alexis stole it that morning, before David was even up for the day so Patrick had offered to pick him up after his mid-morning rant via text.

It’s an opportunity to get away from the prying eyes of the Schitt’s Creek populace and David is quietly appreciative for it.

Patrick reaches for his hand as they drive towards the pizzeria and David feels warm.

Once they arrive, the waitress seats them in a booth towards the back. It’s away from the heavy foot traffic, and David is grateful.

“How was work?” Patrick asks after they sit and give their drink order. 

“Fine,” David sighs. “Just trying to deter the Elmdale Blouse Barn clientele from purchasing more skanky tops.” 

“Wouldn’t that be bad for business? Shouldn’t you be trying to get them to buy the skanky tops?” Patrick smirks and David rolls his eyes. 

“Listen, someone’s going to buy them no matter what—if I can save a few harmless women from making that mistake, I will. Besides, Wendy is letting me have some creative freedom. So the inventory is going to change soon.” 

“Really?” Patrick perks up. “David, that’s amazing!” 

“Thank you,” David tucks a small smile into his cheek and Patrick reaches to tangle their fingers on the table top. 

They get a large pepperoni pizza with extra cheese to share and Patrick teases him about how fast he eats. David bites back that Patrick has no room to talk if he eats pizza with a fork (“It’s incorrect!” “It’s less messy!”). 

They’re on their way back to Schitt’s Creek with a box of extra slices when Patrick brings up the Blouse Barn again. 

“So tell me more about your new creative authority,” he insists.

David feels something like pride fill his chest. “I don’t know, she said she trusts my judgement and told me to do whatever I thought would improve the brand. I feel like I can do anything,” he says in awe. 

Patrick glances sideways at him. “...Does this mean you could incorporate some of your store ideas?” 

“Oh,” David breathes. He never thought about that. Wendy had a very specific product, but she said he could order whatever he wanted—could he create contracts with local vendors? He’d have to talk to Wendy first— the name of the store wouldn’t do, but maybe she’d be open to the idea. Some of the local dressmakers and knitting groups would bring a more authentic feeling to the store—and help in David’s quest to improve the brand.

“You should ask her,” Patrick encourages, sensing what David is feeling at that moment. It’s a stretch, but it could also be a start.

David nods, smiling out the window, watching the trees in the autumn twilight. Just last week they’d been mostly green, but now the leaves are being consumed by hues of gold and red. 

Time is so fleeting. A gentle reminder that Patrick is as well. 

David knows Patrick is his, he’s not an idiot. It’s obvious with the way their relationship is progressing—how fast it’s moving, but somehow still feeling so incredibly comfortable? Not to mention the overwhelming longing and bone deep ache David feels whenever they’re separated. He knows when this is over, it’s going to rip him open and he may not survive it, but he refuses to be the thing that traps Patrick here. To him, to this place. The Goddess may try, but sentencing someone to this? He won’t do it. 

David pulls his eyes away from the passing landscape, looking back over to Patrick as they drive. He’s got one hand resting comfortably on the wheel while the other is propped up on the door. Patrick has this permanent tilt to his mouth, constantly smiling for no reason. The colors of the sunset reflect off his skin like watercolor—whiskey eyes glowing like stained glass. He glances at David, feeling his stare and gives him a smile reserved only for him. 

For now, David will cherish this—he’ll lean into the fate of it all, allow himself to feel this at least once. At least when he’s dead, he’ll be able to say that Patrick Brewer was his once. If only for a little while, and it made him better.     

Him, him, him.

“Pull over,” David speaks, without thinking. Patrick doesn’t for a few seconds, caught off guard. He looks over at David curiously before pulling off on a dirt road, away from the main highway and moving the gear to park. 

“Is everything okay—” 

David silences him with a kiss. Goddess, is it a kiss. Patrick gasps into it, hands coming up to pull David in as much as he can with the gearshift between them, and David’s hands cradle Patrick’s head delicately. 

“Sorry,” he breathes, taking more and scraping his teeth along the inside of Patrick's bottom lip. “I just wanted to do this before we get back to town.” 

“Never apologize for wanting to kiss me, David Rose.” 

David gets lost in his stare for a long moment. He tucks a warm smile into his cheek and presses his forehead to Patrick’s, noses brushing from proximity. How has he only known this man for a few weeks?

“Can I kiss you now?” Patrick whispers, breaking the momentary silence and David laughs.

“I suppose that is acceptable,” he says, pulling back slightly to give him a teasing look. 

“Mmm—as long as it’s acceptable,” Patrick says, voice low. He leans back in and captures David’s mouth in a deep, thorough kiss. David hums into it, lifting his arms again to wrap around broad shoulders. 

They continue like that for a long time, growing more and more heated as the sun dips lower in the sky, the moon taking its place. It’s full tonight—enough so that when they pull back for a breath, David can still see Patrick’s features in the night and he dives back in, overwhelmed with how much he wants him. He moves in his seat, trying to get closer and it’s just too much shit in the car for this.

Patrick makes a frustrated noise in the back of his throat when one of their knees bashes loudly against the center console. He breaks away, gasping. “Backseat?” 

David laughs, breathless. “Are we teenagers?” he asks, but the look in Patrick’s eye is anything but teasing. It’s sharp and intense all in one and David finds himself nodding, reaching for the door. 

It isn’t much better in terms of space but they cram into the back in an eruption of giddiness, David pulling desperately to untuck Patrick’s shirt to feel his skin against his hands. David leans back against the opposite door and Patrick fits himself easily between his knees and their lips meet again. 

David hums into it, nails scratching at Patrick’s lower back— sure to leave streaks of red against the pale skin. 

“Want you,” Patrick murmurs, mouth pulling away to leave a hot path down David’s neck. 

“Yeah,” David breathes, eyes closed. He bites his lip and moves his hand up to tangle in the short cropped curls at the back of Patrick’s head, contemplating how far this should logically go. They should be in a bed. A big comfortable bed with a door that locks and access to a bathroom, but their circumstances at the moment with the motel and Ray’s, are not ideal and—

Patrick moves. It’s a small movement, but the way it lights David up from the inside is proof enough that this is going to be over before it even begins. He tilts his chin down, finding Patrick’s mouth again as his hands move over his back. He lifts his hips in the small space on the bench and wrenches a moan from Patrick’s throat as he grinds into him, both completely hard now. It feels good, but the jeans are too thick—it’s too many layers to manage what David really wants. 

“Should we—” David mumbles against swollen lips. Patrick moves his hands under David, palming at his ass and pulling him in so tight that there’s zero space between them. David groans, trying to grasp back what he’d been about to say. “Pants,” he huffs. “Take off our pants.”

“Mmmhm—” Patrick agrees, but doesn’t pull back. He moves again, sending a shock through David and they both gasp into each other's mouths. 

They start pulling at each other's jeans and manage to unbutton them easy enough. Patrick is able to push David’s down to his thighs. It’s clumsy and distracting and David decidedly gives up on his briefs in favor of trying to get Patrick’s jeans off, but they get stuck on the curve of his ass. Patrick groans long and frustrated. 

“It’s fine, just—” he kisses David again, deep and dirty. David’s hands give up their attempt at removal and he slides them into Patrick’s underwear instead. He digs his fingers into the meat of Patrick’s ass and pulls him in tightly, rocking his hips up in desperate thrusts.

Patrick moans long and low and David bites down hard on his lip as they rut against each other like frantic teenagers, but they couldn’t care less in the moment. 

Patrick stutters, David’s name echoing off the walls of the car. Once David realizes exactly what’s happening, he lets go of any vestiges of his pride and control that are left, clutching at Patrick hard and falls with him. 

Goddess, do they fall.

Minutes pass as they come down, their breathing being the only sound in the cab of the car other than the song of night outside the windows. It doesn’t take long for them to feel the uncomfortable consequences of their choices and David groans, running his hands up Patrick’s back.

“We could have handled the end there a bit better,” Patrick sighs, pressing his lips to the base of David’s neck where his face is currently tucked. 

“Probably,” David agrees. He doesn’t want to break the comforting cloud they’ve created, but David’s underwear is beginning to stick in annoying places.

“Home?” Patrick asks, almost like he’s reading his mind. David nods, allowing Patrick to slowly move away, using the back of the seat to push up. David lets his hands slide off his back, but catches one on Patrick’s cheek to bring him down for one last kiss, sweet and short. 

“Change and go to the café?” David offers. 

“Deal.” 

They awkwardly climb out of the car, pulling their jeans back on and get back into the front seats. Patrick reaches for the key that’s already in the ignition and turns it. 

Nothing. 

He tries it again and it clicks a few times, but still nothing happens. David freezes as realization hits him, panic filling his chest while Patrick stares at the wheel for a long time. Finally, after seconds of silence, he turns to David in the darkness. 

“Did you drain my battery?” 

David gapes back at him, embarrassment filling him to the brim. “Fuck,” he trills, eyes screwing up in humiliation. His hands raise in a whirlwind of movement and he rushes to get out of the car. “I can fix it! I’m SO sorry, holy fuck. I swear I can fix it, just pop the hood please, ohmyfuckinggod —” 

“David—” Patrick laughs, clearly amused. He pops the hood and gets out as well, meeting David at the front and reaching to rub his hands over David’s biceps soothingly. “Calm down, it’s fine,” he assures.

“Absolutely not,” David shakes his head, pushing past Patrick to get to the battery. “I swear I’m not this much of a disaster all the time and no I do not blow out electricity every time I cum—”

“—It’s kind of a compliment—” 

—It’s just been a very stressful last few weeks—

“—Really an ode to my performance—”

—And I have a lot of built up energy and—

“—Seriously flattering—”

—It’s very embarrassing so if you could just forget any of this happened that would be amazing, thank you,” he touches two fingers to the battery and the car lights to life in a roar of energy. The horn goes off simultaneously and the shock of it echoes off the trees around them.

 

⋆⁺₊⋆ ☾ ⋆⁺₊⋆

 

The farmer’s market is open every weekend until November. When Patrick finds out about the one in Elm County, they decide to get up early on Saturday morning to check it out, armed with a thermos of hot chocolate and thick wool coats. 

David frequents this particular market most weekends, so it isn’t as new for him as it is for Patrick, but he still loves seeing everyone and stocking up on Heather’s cheeses and some of the local wines. 

It’s a cold morning, October really settling in now that they’re a quarter of the way through the month. The trees in the distance paint oranges and reds through the landscape and as they approach the spread of tents scattered across the field, Patrick takes his hand, warming it with his own. 

David finds a few new vendors that are selling new products as they pick their way through the rows. He gets a jar of olives from one, tea leaves from another. A new merchant is selling pottery, and Patrick buys a coffee mug for David. David, in turn, gets him one with a matching clay tea infuser.

Patrick, for himself, picks up a bottle of maple syrup and a few bushels of produce. 

“I have all of that in my garden.” 

“That’s for Samhain, David.” 

“I can spare some of it!”

“We’re supporting local farmers, David.” 

They hit Heather’s tent last, David grabbing for her honey blueberry chévre goat cheese that he hasn’t seen in months.

“Never really tried goat cheese,” Patrick says. David buys another log of it and a bag of crackers. Heather gives them a disposable knife and paper plate before David leads Patrick over to a cluster of picnic tables. They slide into one side together so they can be close in the cold. Their thermos of hot chocolate is poured into their new mugs after wiping them down and David opens one of the cheese logs.

“She has award winning goats— I’ll never buy goat cheese from anyone ever again,” David tells him. He pulls out the small plastic knife that Heather provided and smoothes some of the cheese on one before holding it out to Patrick. The man smiles warmly and leans in to take a bite of it, lips brushing David’s fingers. 

He chews for a minute, his face thoughtful. “Wow,” he starts while David pops the rest of the cracker into his own mouth. “That’s really good.” 

“I told you!” David laughs. He reaches for his mug and takes a slow sip of his hot chocolate.

“I’ll never doubt you again,” Patrick smiles, reaching for the cheese to have another. 

David pauses. “You doubted me?” Patrick grins and gives him a teasing wink. 

They lean in close, snacking slowly, enjoying the warmth from their drinks. The fresh air of autumn is comforting—David always feels best during this season. It’s a time when the walls of the veil are thin as the seasons make their change, and there’s an odd feeling of buoyancy from the spirits. David’s power always seems to feel elevated, but oddly still in control around this time—like the Goddess herself is with him, guiding him.

David finds himself resting his legs over Patrick’s thighs, his hand splaying comfortingly over his knee and holding him there.

Once David is full and happy, he sets his mug down and winds his arms around Patrick’s blue wool covered bicep, leaning his head on his shoulder. 

David can tell he’s thinking. He has moments like that, where his mind wanders and wanders, but it’s comfortable for them. 

Patrick turns his face to David’s, looking at him for a long, affectionate moment. He leans down and presses his lips to the skin beneath his eye, knocking his temple against David’s. 

Patrick sits back up and lifts his hand to tangle with one of David’s. “How did you end up here?” he asks innocently into the space between them. How did you end up here of all places, at this time, with me?

David knows it’s an innocent question—that Patrick doesn’t mean to conjure memories of such a painful thing. He takes a moment to reign in the anxious tendrils of himself before speaking. “It’s a long, awful story,” he murmurs.  

Patrick rubs his thumb over the inside of David’s wrist. “That’s okay. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, I just—” he pauses and clears his throat. “I want to know all of you, David Rose.”

Goddess, it’s too much too soon. Incredibly way too soon for words like this, but David’s heart blooms at the admission. David hasn’t even told Stevie about their exile—barely speaks of it to his own family out of pure grief. 

Patrick gives him silence, but also stability in this moment. He holds him close—safe.

David looks up at him and bites at his lip nervously before he decidedly sits up straight and sighs. 

“We lived in New York City all my life. Had a large, expansive coven and my dad was High Priest. We had a lot of money.” his eyebrows raise for effect and he shakes his head. “Too much money. My father’s friend Eli wasn’t a witch, but he had a heavy interest in witchcraft and the coven. As you know, it’s not typical for humans to join covens, but my dad convinced the council to allow it. He was like a brother to him,” he sighs, lifting his hand to push at one of the mugs absently. Patrick bows his head towards David’s own in a show of support.

“...I sense a but,” he says. 

“But,” David nods with a sad laugh. “Eli betrayed us, of course. We’re one of the oldest covens with the longest lineage. They said I was the first in over a hundred years to show so much ability, and that paired with all the money, reputation and—” he stops and runs a hand through his hair in frustration. “We had all these stupid heirlooms and jewels because of me—because they thought I had all this promise. Eli essentially used one of our harvest balls as a distraction to break into our covenstead and take everything. He even tapped into our personal accounts and had been siphoning money from us into offshore holdings. He took jewels, bibles—even these old coven journals we've had in our stead for hundreds of years—and killed two coven members when they tried to stop him. He took all of the coven's history, and substance, and—disappeared overnight.”

David stops suddenly, his face pinched in irritation. He pulls away, separating himself from Patrick. He was awful then—before his life was ripped from him and they lost everything— selfish and arrogant, pumped full of privilege from his status at the coven. It’s a reminder that Patrick doesn’t deserve someone like him.  

He clears his throat and continues without looking up. “We were ostracized. Eli was allowed into our coven because of us and it was our fault he betrayed everyone, stole our history and killed our own. It was our fault.”

Their silences are usually comfortable, but this is suffocating. David wants to leave— shame replacing the contentment of the morning. He’s about to collect their things when Patrick finally reaches out and takes David’s hands, pulling him into his space. He stills in shock and looks up.

“It wasn’t your fault and it wasn’t your family’s fault. You know that right?” Patrick asks quietly. David’s mouth turns down in disagreement, but Patrick pushes before he can argue. “Eli used your family. He used your father’s trust. That doesn’t make you or your family responsible for what happened.”

David’s eyes glisten, his hands twitching in Patrick’s grip. “Every witch in New York would disagree with you.” 

“Well,” Patrick breathes. “They don’t know you.” 

“And you do?” David regrets the venom in the question as soon as it’s out of his mouth, but Patrick gives him a knowing tilt of his lips. 

“I think I’m beginning to, yeah.”

Chapter Text

Header 4

“— Fuck.”

David presses wet kisses to flushed, pale skin— his hand working fast and thorough. Patrick grips his bicep, leaning up to catch his lips and they sway under the spray. 

David turns them so Patrick can lean against the wall of the shower. “We’re not cracking our heads open in my tub right now. I do not need my family finding us bloody and naked.” 

“Good point,” Patrick pants, hips moving with David’s fist.

David smiles, leaning back in and mouthing at the sweet skin behind his ear. He presses in close, thrusting his own erection into Patrick’s hip, feeling so incredibly hot. Patrick’s eyes snap open and he reaches down, wrapping his long, calloused fingers around David’s aching cock and pumps him in time with David’s movements. 

David gasps, arching into the touch. “Yeah,” he whispers, kissing Patrick sloppily. It doesn’t take long before they’re both losing their rhythm and coming between each other, clutching one another under the cooling water and trying to catch their breaths. 

They’ve been sneaking in moments together for weeks, making due with their living situations and the occasional back road in Patrick’s backseat.  

He would never admit it, but David kind of likes the thrill of it all. Would he prefer privacy and the ability to be as loud as he wants? Definitely. Is he still enjoying every sneaky, sexy moment? Absolutely. 

Patrick peppers kisses down his throat, rubbing his hand down his back and resting his palm over David’s backside, giving it a loving squeeze. 

David hums, pulling them fully under the spray and grabs the soap to finish cleaning them up. 

The bathroom is full of steam when they stumble out of the shower; they aren’t even fully dressed yet before there’s a fist pounding on the door. 

David jumps, not expecting anyone to be home for at least another hour. “What?” He snaps loudly, zipping up his jeans. Patrick is blushing but he has that devious grin on his face. David shoves him. 

“You’ve been in there for like— an hour, David!” Alexis yells through the door. 

Lick rust!” 

“Wow,” Patrick murmurs. 

David eyes the window. “Do you think your ass could fit through that?” Patrick glances at the window and turns back to give David an unamused look. “Right, nevermind.” David smiles, leaning in to give Patrick a sweet kiss.

Patrick pushes a hand into his face and pulls on his sweater. 

They stall as long as possible, but when they emerge in a cloud of steam, Alexis is waiting impatiently at the table with a few of her crystals. David rolls his eyes at her as Patrick steps out behind him and her annoyed pout morphs obnoxiously into something giddy and diabolical. 

Button,” she croons knowingly. David crosses the room to his chest of knits, shooing Mitena who is perched on top. Patrick tries to follow, but is blocked by Alexis. 

“We were uh— Just—” 

“Fixing the faucet,” she teases, winking with both of her eyes.

David whirls on her, mortified. “Oh my god—”

“David, I thought we agreed, only when no one was home—”

“—Nobody was home! Nobody was home. ” 

“Kids?” Johnny calls, coming through the adjoining door. 

Ohmygod.

"Ah, David! I was waiting for you to finish up in the bathroom..." Johnny's smile fades slightly. "Oh, Patrick—good to see you," he says awkwardly, nodding.

“Ew, David,” Alexis smirks. 

What? What? Can I help you all with something? Holy fuck,” he snaps. 

“We were uh, just looking for your mother’s portfolio—” 

“—David, I need my portfolio! I have to go in early, the General Store has decided to shutter their doors, poor souls—Oh!” Moira stops, her lips lifting in a knowing smile at Patrick. “Hello.” 

The mirror behind them shivers against the wall and with a loud crack, it gains a jagged fracture down the middle of the surface.

Moira glares at David. “No need for the theatrics, dear.” 

Patrick steps forward, giving David a significant look. “Hello, Mrs. Rose... Mr. Rose. We were just getting ready to go to the Elm Valley Orchard. Can we bring you back anything?”

“Oh.” Moira looks impressed. “We would be quite appreciative, Peter—”

“Patrick,” David corrects.

Patrick,” she amends. “They do have quite the vin de pays, if I recall. A nice red, perhaps?” 

“Great, we’ll grab you a bottle. Found your bag!” David announces, pushing past his parents to grab the object in question. 

“It’s a portfolio, David, surely—” 

“Goodbye,” he dismisses them tightly.  

Once his parents are back in their own room, Alexis heads for the bathroom, knocking David’s shoulder with her own. “We’ll be leaving for the orchard in twenty, do you think you can keep it together till then?” 

“Your natural deodorant isn’t working, again.” 

Alexis gasps, spinning on him. “Choke on moldavite, David!” she snaps, before slamming the door closed. 

Silence follows her exit and David chances a glance up at Patrick. Patrick is barely suppressing his amusement and David scoffs at him, going back to his knits. 

Patrick laughs, following David and sliding his hands around his waist. "They're charming."

“They’re nightmares,” David corrects. 

“Family is like that sometimes. We’re gonna have a good day. Come on,” Patrick soothes, pressing warm lips to David’s neck and tugging him into his arms. David sighs, resting his chin on Patrick’s shoulder and lets the man rub soothing paths over his back. 

“Thank you.”

 

⋆⁺₊⋆ ☾ ⋆⁺₊⋆

 

The orchard is pure autumnal chaos. 

David should have known that it would be, but he always seems to be surprised by the amount of people that live in the Greater Elms area. 

Elm Valley Orchard is acre upon acre of apple trees and rolling fields of grapevines. Set short jaunts apart are their three well-known barns for cider-making, a bakery, and a petting zoo for the kids (And Ted), creating an idyllic view for days like today. David is reminded once again why autumn harvests fill him with so much happiness. The air smells like decaying leaves and fermenting apples with cinnamon and he wishes he could bottle the scent. 

Patrick’s hand in his has nothing to do with it. 

After parking, they look around for Ted and Alexis, who are driving in Ted's car. It’s obvious that the sheer number of visitors is forcing them to park at the other side of the property and they meet David, Patrick, and Stevie near the cider barn. 

“Where do we start?” Patrick wonders, looking around. 

“Goats?” Ted asks, looking over at the petting area. 

David raises his hand and stretches his neck to peek at the furthest barn with a bakery sign. “I vote doughnuts first.” 

“Of course you do,” Stevie teases with a smirk. 

David flips her off. “I haven’t eaten today.”

“Yeah, he was really busy.” Alexis nudges him playfully and David gives her a tight, burning smile that says go fuck yourself.

“Okay,” Patrick laughs, cutting the tension. “How about David and I go get doughnuts and you can meet us at one of the picnic tables when you’re done seeing the goats.” 

“Mmm—” Alexis hums, concerned. “Do they bite?” 

“Aw babe,” Ted smiles, tugging her towards the pen of farm animals. “I’ll protect you!”

Alexis glances back at David desperately and he smiles mockingly as she goes, waving her off with fluttering fingers.

“I’ll be wine tasting,” Stevie announces, nodding to them and walks to the furthest barn. 

The line for the bakery is unreal. They stand in the queue for what feels like forever, but they eventually are able to retrieve a couple boxes of pastries and a gallon of cider. David eats two soft, steaming doughnuts by the time they find a place to sit and wait for the others. 

“Are you satisfied now?” Patrick grins, stealing one from the box and pouring the cider into two of the complimentary disposable cups they picked up on their way out of the barn. 

“Definitely,” David sighs happily, taking another doughnut and dipping it into the cider. While they wait, Patrick hooks their feet together under the table; instantly, David feels warm and content. 

They save the rest for the others and everyone eventually finds them. Alexis looks more stressed than when she left them.  

“I’ve decided I really cannot pull off cute country chic,” she declares, sitting across from David and Patrick. 

David hands her a cup of cider. “I could have told you that.” 

“Rude, David,” she pouts. Ted sits beside her and keeps his puns to himself for the moment. The teasing smirk is still there, though. 

Stevie eventually rejoins them with a couple bottles of red, handing one to David for his mother. He puts it in his tote bag and thanks her. 

“They have hard cider flights on the second floor,” she informs them. 

“Better than David’s?” Patrick asks. 

“No, but it’s still alcohol.”

David smirks. “I think that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said about me.” 

“Don’t get used to it,” she glares, but her lips fight a smile and David bumps his shoulder against her’s. 

Eventually, they consume enough sugar and migrate to the pumpkins where they each find one to bring home. David finds a perfect classic orange one, while Alexis fawns over the pale pink types. They drop their finds and leftovers at Patrick’s car before deciding to go apple picking.

Patrick sticks close as they walk, sliding his hand into David’s. It’s nice. The day isn’t too cold, the trees keeping most of the wind at bay. The sun is high and bright, not a cloud to be seen, and the leaves blanket the ground. David feels the earth’s contentment with his soul as they go. There isn’t anything he could think of that could ruin the day. 

Ted inadvertently decides to challenge that thought. 

“Hey Patrick, are you a traditional witch, like Mr. Rose? You never mentioned,” Ted asks innocently. David’s heart ratchets up a few notches and he tugs away from Patrick, turning into one of the trees and absently starts picking through the apples. 

“Oh—” Patrick chuckles, shaking his head. He uses his now free hand to rub down David’s back like nothing is wrong. There isn’t, for him. “No, actually. I’m a familiar.” 

“Oh, cool!” Ted smiles. “I’ve never met a human familiar before. I’ve heard of them, obviously— but I usually meet the furrier ones. Veterinarian, you know?” He winks, nudging him with his elbow. 

Alexis turns from where she’s picking through a tree and leans in between Patrick and Ted. “Excuse me, I didn’t know you were a familiar!” she exclaims. David sighs, abandoning his task and turns to them to try and intervene, but she plows on, turning her eyes on him. “Aw, David! Remember when you thought Sebastien was your familiar? Poor thing,” she pouts, sticking her bottom lip out. 

Shit,” Stevie mumbles, biting into an apple. 

“Excuse me, I did not think that monster was my familiar,” he denies vehemently, hands coming up to tangle around his chest. It’s a dead giveaway he’s lying and nervous as hell, but he can’t stop the movement.

“Oh, please.” Alexis gives him a sympathetic look. “It went on for months. Thank the Goddess it’s over. You ate mall pretzels for weeks.” 

David gasps, betrayed she brought up that particularly dark moment in his history. “I will not feel shame about the mall pretzels!” 

“Alexis,” Ted interrupts, picking up on David’s nosedive into actual hell. “Why don’t we go do those cider flights?” 

She stalls just for a moment, before nodding hesitantly and giving David a very we’ll be talking about this later look. Stevie falters a moment before awkwardly following them to the cider barn, and David watches them disappear into the building. 

He takes a fortifying breath before turning to Patrick, who he hasn’t dared to look at throughout the entire interaction. 

Patrick’s eyes are on him already, deep and wondering. His head is tilted in that way that David always found endearing, but now he just feels exposed. 

“We should keep picking apples,” David decides, suddenly. He hoists his tote bag and pushes past Patrick to venture further into the trees. 

They’re silent as they walk, Patrick a few steps behind David. They put space between themselves and the general crowd of people out picking fruit—away from the unwelcome ears of humans. Away from everyone. 

David wants to hide. His deepest insecurity is on complete display only a few weeks into knowing Patrick. He’d hoped for longer with him. 

He turns into a secluded row, reaching for the first apple he sees. 

“I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me,” Patrick starts. David stills, turning to look at him.

“What?” 

“You’re the most powerful witch I’ve ever met— Of course you’d have a human familiar.” he shakes his head. “I mean, I thought maybe— when we first met at the café. You never mentioned having one, but surely you would. You have to—”

“I don’t,” David states, hard and sure. Patrick gives him a pleading look, stepping closer. “No.” David stops him, pressing a hand to his sternum. Patrick’s hand lifts to hold it there, his breath shallow and eyes far away. David panics quietly and pulls away. 

Clouds roll in now, blocking the autumn sun. The trees whine from the wind. David closes his eyes and tries to gather himself. 

“Tell me about Sebastien.”

David’s eyes meet Patrick’s and all the fear and anxiety that he’s been trying to keep locked inside himself begin to slip through his fingers. The sky is getting darker, but Patrick keeps his gaze steady on David.

“Absolutely not,” David refuses, turning to walk through the row of trees. In an attempt at getting back the day, he absently picks at random apples. He doesn’t know why he’s trying, the wind is shaking them loose anyway. 

“David—” 

Why does it matter? ” he demands harshly, spinning to look him in the eyes. Patrick is shocked at the anger, but he recovers and glares right back at David. 

“It just does, David,” he stresses. “Why is one name enough to flip this entire, beautiful day on its head? Why did you think he was your familiar and why couldn’t I—”

Why couldn’t I be?

He stops, teeth clacking audibly as his mouth snaps shut. David breathes deeply through his nose, trying for control again. 

“Fine,” David mutters. He drops his bag to the dying grass and he steps forward into Patrick’s space. “He never mentioned either way what he was. At first he was sweet and attentive— Always there, like another part of me. He said all the right things, made me feel things I’ve never felt before.” Patrick glances away, face red and upset. David keeps going. “Until I found out months later that he was that person for a dozen other desperate witches like me that thought they were someone. He devoured me, okay? He fucking wasted me.” 

David lets him process what he’s said for a long moment before Patrick finally meets David’s eyes again. 

“And it never occurred to you that we might be bonded?” he asks. David tastes bile. “Because one piece of shit dragged you through hell—”

I’m damaged, Patrick! ” he shouts, completely out of control. Patrick’s flinches, but his eyes cast down at David’s shaking hands and he tries to get closer. David evades him. “Don’t you get it? I’m fucking broken!” 

Patrick shakes his head, looking pained. “You’re not— David, you’re amazing, you have to know that—”

“You don’t know me,” David seethes. Patrick breathes unsteadily, pained eyes reflecting the now dreary sky above them. 

“I want to.” 

“You’re leaving at the end of the month.” 

“I don’t have to.” 

No, No,—

No, ” David chokes out desperately, shaking his head. Pure panic courses through his veins, his worst fear coming to life. He feels delirious. “You have to leave. You’re leaving. Staying is not an option, Patrick— You have to—

“David—” Patrick steps in close, pushing David’s hands away and frames his face with his cold palms. David shakes him off and steps back, clumsily. 

“It doesn’t matter, we’re not doing this,” he murmurs, broken. He glances back at the barn, then the brewing clouds. He turns, picking up his bag and begins to walk back. “I’ll ride back with Alexis,” he says softly, leaving him alone in the trees.

 

⋆⁺₊⋆ ☾ ⋆⁺₊⋆

 

The ride back is quiet. David sits alone in the backseat, watching the landscape pass by them in blurred colors. Alexis and Ted didn’t ask questions when he requested to leave with them. Stevie gave him a heavy look and went off to find Patrick to ride back with him. 

He feels like he’s being slowly ripped open. His chest hurts, his eyes hurt. He’s so fucking tired and on top of everything—on top of the pain of ruining this beautiful thing so early—is Sebastien’s face in the forefront of his mind. His words have haunted David for years—because they’re true—but it never felt more like a curse than in this moment. 

Alexis sighs loudly and decidedly turns in her seat to gaze at him gravely. “David, don’t be dense.” 

He glares back at her, defensively. Ted shoots a look at her. “Alexis, don’t. Come on—”

“No Ted, he needs to hear this,” she argues. She turns back to David levels him with a look that feels as heavy as the power behind the Moon. “Why didn’t you tell me he’s a familiar?” 

“It doesn’t matter.” he shakes his head. 

“It does!” she insists. “David, of course it does. He’s your familiar—”

It doesn’t matter!” he snaps again, harsher this time. She sits back and takes a steadying breath before reaching her hand back to grip his arm.

“Of course it matters,” she murmurs heavily. “He’s part of your soul, David.” 

“Stop,” he chokes. He huffs, using his sweater covered hand to catch the moisture leaking out of his eyes. “Don’t fucking say shit like that to me. He’s leaving at the end of the month, as he should. I’m not sentencing him to this place with me.”

“Sebastien wasn’t right, you know.” 

“Don’t talk about him.” 

“He wasn’t,” she insists. David rips his arm out of her grip and covers his face. “He didn’t curse you and he was a piece of shit. Don’t let him have this power over you. He wasn’t even that good of a witch. Patrick is... He’s good , David.”

“I don’t deserve him,” David whispers into his palms. 

“No, you really don’t—”

“Alexis,” Ted warns gently.

“—But you really should let him decide that.” 

They return to silence for the rest of the ride and the beautiful day has shifted to dark and wet. By the time they get back to the motel, rain is pelting the windshield with a vengeance. 

David climbs into his bed immediately, not caring that he’s getting his sheets wet from the rain he caught on his way inside. He buries his face into the pillow and wallows. Ted eventually leaves and Alexis sits across from him in silence for a long time.

He checks his phone every so often, hoping for something, anything. They’d had plans to go to the café that night to make soul cakes and taste test David’s pear preserves for the Samhain feasts in a couple weeks. Today was supposed to be a perfect day.

He fucked up. He knows he fucked up. Regret is a vicious bitch and she’s at his throat. 

Time doesn’t register. David checks and rechecks his phone for hours— the pressure in his chest now overtaking his entire body and he feels like he’s being weighed down by rocks, pressing him permanently into the mattress. 

The sun disappears completely and the moon is glaring at him through the curtain. The night wears on and on and still, his phone tells him nothing. It’s nearing midnight when he decides he needs to get up, to do something. His fingers are buzzing with energy and he figures he should go up to the café on his own. He needs to do something, even if it’s just to bake for himself. 

When he pulls himself upright, Alexis is sitting cross legged on her bed, facing him. She has crystals laid out in front of her on the mattress and she’s watching him. 

He purses his lips at her. “Are you using my depression buzz to energize your crystals again?” 

She looks offended and quips back, “It’s premium fuel, okay?”

“Whatever,” he sighs, reaching over the side of his bed for his boots. “I’m going to the café for a few hours. Do you have any requests? I’m out of prep till Samhain.” 

“Oh, maybe some barmbrack? With the little dried cranberries?” she asks, looking hopeful. He nods, standing to cross the room to get his bag. He doesn’t even bother checking himself in the cracked mirror near the door. 

“I’ll be back later,” he says softly, heading for the door, but Alexis stops him short. 

“Wait—” she pulls on his arm gently. She presses something into his hand and closes his fingers over it. He brings the object up and opens his fist, glancing down at it, the raw crystal dark and striking against the skin of his palm. “Onyx, for strength and fortune. Use it?”

He knows better than to argue and he nods his thanks, leaving her in silence. 

He walks tonight. He pulls his sweater closer and grips the sharp stone in his hand tight—the jagged edges of it sting against his skin. He’s not keen on crystals, but he’d be a bad witch if he denied their influence.

It’s not a long walk. He takes the time to think— To regret. His phone is silent and still in his pocket, the only sound being the crunch of fallen leaves as he walks along the main road. The wind caresses his cheeks, making the dampness there dry and itchy.

The café is dark when he arrives at the main intersection. He digs out his keys and lets himself in through the back.

He didn’t bring anything with him, so he raids the pantry, digging out the ingredients for a simple loaf of barmbrack. 

He zones out on the tasks, energy buzzing through his hands as he works. He sets the teapot on the stove for the black tea and begins chopping up the dried fruit and nuts. He doesn’t measure anything, just mixes everything from memory and by the time the tea is done steeping, he’s got everything almost ready. 

The pan is lined with parchment paper and he pours the batter in. He turns absentmindedly to the oven and realizes it was never turned on. Usually he can light it without touching it, but it didn’t work, so he tries to knob— nothing. 

Fuck,” he murmurs to himself and tries the knob again, sending waves of energy into it. Still— it doesn’t ignite.  

He sets the pan on the now cooling stove and stares at nothing for a long time. His ears are buzzing and his eyes are burning. He feels a building in his chest and it’s a long moment before he realizes he’s sobbing, gasping for breath.

He ruins everything he touches. The coven back in the city and his family—they built him up to be this powerful thing—a gift from the Goddess. Some fucking prodigy for them to show off for status. 

But he isn’t any of those things. Sebastien didn’t curse him— David is the curse. He always has been. Everything good that he touches turns sour. It’s his burden. 

He’s not proud of it, but he prays. He prays for more time. He prays for a chance. He wants to be good, to experience the good that Patrick emanates.

David is selfish.

The jingle of the dining room entrance echoes through David’s whirling head, causing him to freeze as his heart ratchets up. He hurriedly grabs for a hand towel and wipes his face. He uses every bit of strength left in his body to appear normal, and he clears his throat. 

“We’re closed!” he calls out. He walks out into the dimmed dining room and stops when he sees him by the glow of the kitchen lights through the pick up window. Of course it’s him, who else could it have ever been? 

Patrick stands near the entrance and looks almost as bad as David feels. His mouth is open, as if to say something, but nothing comes. 

“What are you doing here?” David manages to ask. 

Patrick lifts a pair of keys. “I uh—” he takes a deep breath and steps forward. “Twyla let me borrow her keys. I saw the lights on, I—” 

He stops, looking unsure. 

“I was just making barmbrack.” David says, tugging at his sleeves. It’s a poor attempt to fill the silence. “I wasn’t sure if you still wanted to—”

I’m sorry,” Patrick interrupts. David gapes at him and Patrick closes the space between them. “I’m so sorry. I hated every second of that. I shouldn’t have pushed. David, I’m just—” He blinks, eyes shiny. “I’m happy with us. With what we have. I’m not ready to lose this yet. I’ve never felt like this, I’ll take any amount of time you—”

“Okay,” David whispers. Patrick swallows, looking at him in question. “I’m sorry too,” he admits. “I just— I’m trying. I really am, but we can’t—” he chokes, tears betraying him. He tries for truth. “I’m not trapping you here. I won’t do it.”

Patrick cautiously lifts his hand to David’s cheek and leans in to kiss him. It’s the most tentative kiss they’ve had, and David falls into it, wrapping Patrick up and pulling him close. As if he could make them one soul. 

“I’m so sorry,” David whispers against Patrick's mouth. Patrick pulls back, shaking his head.

“We’ll take this day by day, but no more keeping things like this in. Deal?” he reasons. David nods without hesitation. Patrick hugs him, tucking his face in his neck. “And you’re not broken, David. With or without me— You’re so much more than that, okay?” 

David doesn’t agree, but doesn’t argue. 

They eventually find their way back to the kitchen and David explains the oven mishap. Patrick helps him clean up and they store the pan of batter in the freezer for later. 

There are no words. They leave together, hands entwined. Patrick drives them back to Ray’s and David follows him into the dark, quiet house. They sneak up the stairs together, avoiding certain steps with particularly loud boards, and shut themselves into Patrick’s room. David considers barricading the door, but Patrick presses him against it as soon as it’s closed.

They undress each other without urgency. Patrick’s hands—calloused and beautiful—drag patterns over David’s skin. David walks him backwards and lays him out on the mattress, the moon their only light. David watches the night’s silver glow on Patrick’s soft skin, and he runs his fingertips over the shadows on his abdomen. Patrick’s breath is quiet, but fast when David leans down to kiss the flushed skin there. 

“David—” he whispers, reaching for him. David kneels between his legs and falls into his arms, kissing him deeply. His hands caress Patrick’s sides and he slides them down, teasing the base of his cock with the pads of his fingers. Patrick thrusts up into him and moans quietly into David’s mouth. 

David pulls back, eyes heavy. He pecks Patrick’s lips one final time before trailing kisses down the length of his body, over his hips. Patrick grips his shoulder and David breathes over him, hands kneading thick thighs. 

“Please,” Patrick begs softly. David mouths at him, starting at the base and working up until he’s able to take him into his mouth. He works him slowly, letting him slide over the flat of his tongue. David loves the taste of him. He adores how hot he gets from just being touched— how much he wants David. 

Patrick groans after seemingly endless worship, gently pushing him off. David meets his eyes and Patrick sits up, cradling David’s face and pulling him in for a deep kiss. David relaxes into it and reaches down to work him with his hand. Patrick’s mouth goes slack and his heavy eyes stare into David’s in the darkness. 

“I want—” Patrick stops, hesitant. He’s nervous. David can feel it through his fingertips—the trembling from both desire and fear. This is more, somehow, for them both. 

“Open me up?” David asks in a whisper. Patrick looks speechless, but nods ardently. 

David sneaks into the bathroom, praying Ray doesn’t wake up from the noise. When he’s ready, Patrick joins him in the shower. They kiss for a long time, letting the hot spray soothe their buzzing nerves. Eventually, Patrick gently turns David so he’s leaning his hands against the wall and trails kisses down his back. He kneels on the tile and with a little guidance, carefully opens David up using the waterproof lube David had in his bag. 

When they’re ready, they towel off and slip back into Patrick’s bedroom. It’s quiet—The only noise permeating the heat between them is their breathing and the sound of skin brushing against skin. They fall back onto the blankets in the dark and Patrick surrounds him. He kisses David like he's everything. He takes his time and David lets go of every dark thought from the day and focuses solely on this moment. He locks every touch and taste away in the bank of his mind to remember decades from now. To look back on how he felt here. 

How he felt absolutely complete.

Him, Him, Him.  

“Patrick,” David murmurs, like a mantra. “Patrick, Patrick,” he continues as the man sucks kisses into the stretch of his neck. He sighs as Patrick pulls back to get a condom and lube. Another heavy breath when Patrick carefully presses into him. David feels lit up from the inside as he welcomes the sting of becoming full—like Patrick is an extension of himself. He adjusts to the sensations while Patrick presses feather light kisses to the same spot on his neck that he always gravitates to and David gasps, wrapping him in his arms as they begin to move together. He digs his fingers into his back, memorizing the shape and feel of him. He loses himself in him—loses himself in their kisses—in the feel of Patrick touching the deepest part of himself. They create an effortless rhythm together and Patrick stays locked in his embrace as they hurdle desperately towards ecstasy. 

“Baby,” Patrick murmurs, pulling back enough to capture David’s lips and curl his hand around David’s leaking cock. He pumps him in time with each thrust and David gasps into his mouth, hips hitching at the new sensation of feeling and the angle. His hand comes up and grips at the hair at the back of Patrick’s head and he finds himself tilting effortlessly over that glorious edge way too soon, biting his lip hard to avoid making too much noise. Patrick works him through it, painting their skin as he jerks him. When he’s completely spent, David melts into the mattress below them.

Patrick stops for a moment. He works on catching his breath and reaches down to hold the condom in place as he starts to pull out, but David reaches for his arm, stopping him. 

“Stay,” he whispers. He presses up into him enough that Patrick falls to the side on his back and David follows him, straddling him now. He’s over sensitive, but he relishes in it. He leans forward to brace his hands on Patrick’s chest and works his hips over him. Patrick’s chin tilts up, mouth dropping open, but no sound escapes as he feels everything. David’s dick gives a useless twitch at the sight and when he grinds down hard, Patrick’s fingers dig into David’s hips. He moves with him, pulling him down over and over and it doesn’t take long for Patrick to spill himself into the condom, a quiet groan filling the room with their heavy breathing. David slows his movements, but doesn’t stop until Patrick stills his hips. David leans down for a kiss, full and deep as he holds the condom and pulls himself off. 

Patrick removes the full condom and ties it off, tossing it into the bin beside the bed. David leans in to kiss him one more time before moving to get up, but Patrick presses a hand to his chest, laying him down. He runs a hand over David’s cheek before escaping their bubble to sneak back into the bathroom. 

He returns with a warm washcloth and climbs over David, straddling him before pressing warm kisses to his face while he reaches down to clean him up, letting the warmth brush over his stomach and between his legs. Finished, he tosses the rag to the hamper and drops down to David’s side, wrapping him up in his arms. 

David’s mind is still rushing, but he focuses solely on the arms locked around him—on the hand resting over his chest and the lips on his neck. He laces his fingers with Patrick’s and closes his eyes, falling asleep to the feeling of what it feels like to be cherished.

Him, him, him, him, him, him…..

Chapter Text

Header 5

David loses his job the Tuesday before Samhain. 

He was so close to having some real, tangible creative authority—Something he hasn’t experienced since New York, but apparently the population of Elmdale really just wanted skanky tops and sequins.

He holds himself together long enough for Wendy to gush about the Australian Blouse Barn chain willing to pay for the rights to the name. $10,000 as a gesture to give up the brand seems awfully low and David insists on attending the meeting that following day for the sign over. 

He doesn’t have a plan going into the meeting, but with some advice from Patrick, and Alexis’s acting skills in her “boss bitch skirt suit," David somehow walks out of Blouse Barn with a $40,000 check in his hands. 

It’s not a lot of money—Not as much as he’s seen in his life before. It’s minuscule compared to the yachts, penthouse suites, and $20,000 bottles of bourbon. Tiny when he thinks of how much the rings on his fingers cost. 

But for Schitt’s Creek? For his life now? 

It’s a chance.

He and Alexis drive home in a daze, both silent. She keeps glancing at him from the passenger seat, but he doesn’t know what to say. Possibilities seem endless now. 

Alexis breaks the silence first. “What are you going to do with it?”

David breaths through his nose for a few seconds. He doesn’t know what he’s going to do with it. It’s not just his money, is it? They were all sentenced to this place together— they’re in this together

“I mean,” he starts. “I guess we need to talk to mom and dad first— right?” he wonders, feeling shaky. 

She gives him an annoyed look. “David… It’s your money.” 

“Our money,” he corrects. 

“No,” she argues. “We can all help each other, but you deserve that money. You worked for that.”

“You helped me.” He glances sideways at her. “And I can’t just— not share this with them. With you. It’s a lot of money, Alexis.” 

Her face goes soft and she gives David a sad look. “You always take care of us— even in New York. You were always there when I called and needed help— Or when mom was in the closet for a week after the reviews came in for the fifteenth season of Sunrise Bay. When we moved here, we were all so lost and you kept us going— even when you were suffering just as bad or even worse than us. You got a job and got us this car. You started the garden so we wouldn’t ever want for anything. I know you, David.” She reaches out to grip his arm and he keeps his eyes on the road, feeling overwhelmed. “Take care of yourself now? We’ll be okay.” 

He lets her words settle around him like a blanket. He’s spent so much time over the last few years making sure his family is safe. Their situation isn’t great, but they’re happy—mostly. They’re comfortable. Was he?

Brilliant visions of a sun filled shop floor fill his mind. Clean shelves lined with handmade art, jars of organic skincare creams, and fresh local grown produce. Antique furniture saved from the back wall of a flea market stacked with hand knit sweaters and blanket throws. Bright, tall windows filled with native plants from around the counties.

And a lifetime of snapshots featuring a striking smile from a man in blue behind the cash register. 

David’s chest fills with a flurry of warmth and light as the possibility of a future lays itself out before him. It’s the first time he’s ever felt so much hope and a chance that maybe he isn’t meant for a lifetime of loneliness—That maybe Sebastien had been wrong.

When they get back to the motel in late afternoon, David asks Alexis for time before he tells their parents. He needs to talk to Patrick. Once they talk, he’ll have a better idea of what tomorrow will bring.

Twyla is throwing a pre-Samhain open mic that night before the official festivities begin that weekend. Patrick is working for the rest of the day and promised to meet him there. David will talk to him after. He has to. 

David changes out of the suit and sits at the table in the motel room absently holding the check. Mitena hops up on the tabletop and he runs a hand over her feathery fur. She noses the paper gently and David gives her a final pet before standing to put the check in the bedside table. 

Alexis breezes in from the bathroom hooking an earring into her ear. “Twyla texted and asked if we could go in early to help set up if you’re not busy.” She looks him up and down. “Are you wearing that?” 

He looks down at the sweater he threw on. “What’s that supposed to mean?” He gives her a look.

“Nothing!” Alexis snaps back, holding her hands up. “I just thought you’d want to change or something.” She turns to her crystal altar and picks at her row of tigers eye.

He gives her a suspicious look. “What do you know?” 

“Ugh, David!” She twirls in place, clutching the crystal. “I’m gonna need like ten of these to ward off whatever you have going on.” She waves her hand over his general direction and breezes past him to go into their parents’ room. 

“What the fuck,” he huffs, looking back down at his sweater and purses his lips. He grabs his keys for the honeymoon suite to find a different outfit. 

 

⋆⁺₊⋆ ☾ ⋆⁺₊⋆

 

When Twyla had asked for help setting up the café, she really meant set it up completely. When David finally decides on his Givenchy flame sweater and they drive up to the café, there’s still customers finishing up their meals. 

“Oh thank the Goddess,” Twyla sighs, giving them a wide smile. “Once everyone is out of here we can start putting up the lights. David, would you be willing to make the calconnan? Don’t tell George, but yours are way better,” she laughs. 

“Ah—” David smoothes a hand over his sweater. “Do you have any clean aprons?” He asks. 

She’s nodding before he can even finish asking. “Always have a shelf for you.” She winks. “Everything is ready for you in the kitchen. Alexis, you can help me with the blessing jars.” 

David greets George once he’s in the back and wraps a clean apron around himself before getting a simmer pot with apples and cinnamon going on the (now working) stove. 

The calconnan is easy enough and he sets the potatoes to boil and gets to work on cleaning the kale, cabbage, chard, and leeks he had harvested and stored at the café that week. He chops them up and cooks them down in some butter before setting them aside and mashing the potatoes when they’re ready. He mixes it all together with some cream and green onions and sets it in the oven to keep warm with the sausages Twyla had George cook prior to David taking over.

When David finally walks out of the hot kitchen, the dining room is a mess. Twyla was able to shoo out the customers, but now there’s herbs and plant cuttings strewn around the middle tables and the lights are wadded up on the booths. Twyla is wiping things down and Alexis is working meticulously on filling the jars with blessings. 

“I have the calconnan keeping warm in the oven, do you need help with the blessings?” he asks. 

Alexis grimaces at him. “Mm, no offense, David—but these need positive energies.” 

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” 

“Ah—Maybe you could help untangle the lights?” Twyla asks. David nods, but waves his hand out at Alexis and blows a flurry of loose herbs in her face before moving to help Twyla. 

“Ugh—you’re such a jerk, David!” Alexis complains. 

David somehow is able to untangle the lights without too many issues. There’s a few bulbs that he ends up needing to fix but he’s able to spark them easy enough with a touch of his fingers. 

He hangs the lights along the walls over the booths and then around the room. They set up the makeshift stage area along the back wall of the café, moving the tables in more observing positions. While Twyla readies the microphone and speakers, David steps away to text Patrick. 

when are you getting to the café? we came in early to help set up.

I’ll head over as soon as I finish up here and text you when I get there. How did the meeting go??

sounds good
umm, it went ok
we can talk about it later

that sounds ominous

no it’s fine, it was just
i’ll tell you later
hurry up so i can see u pls

Ha ok

David sighs, pocketing his phone and gets started on setting up candles and florals.

People begin to show up around 5, and Twyla sets up a makeshift buffet along the shorter counter beside the bar with all the different dishes being brought in. She sets out a large bowl of some type of punch and David subtly touches his fingers to the bowl and adjusts the recipe just a tad when Alexis taste tests it and makes a face of disgust.

Bob is rehearsing beat poetry in one of the booths and the tables are filling up fast. David starts to fidget, constantly peeking out the front windows. 

His phone buzzes in his clutch just as Roland is trying to get him to grow a certain type of herb in his garden. 

Here!

David makes his excuses and ignores a knowing look from Alexis before he escapes the full dining room and rushes out the front of the café. The street is full of parked cars, but he sees Patrick getting out of his Jetta over by the newly abandoned general store and David crosses the intersection to meet him. 

Patrick is ready for him when he gets to the car and his arms are around David immediately. David kisses him, settling his arms over broad shoulders and holding him close. 

“Mm—” Patrick hums, pulling back. “This is nice,” he smiles. 

“Missed you,” David mumbles, going back in for another kiss.

He laughs. “Alexis said you’ve been working very hard all afternoon.” 

David glares at him. “Are you texting my sister?”

“Sometimes. She’s nice!” he defends, pulling away to shut the driver's side door he hasn’t had a chance to close yet. 

“That’s concerning,” David spins the rings on his fingers and moves with Patrick when he goes to the trunk. 

“All good things, I promise.” He winks at him before popping the trunk. He reaches in and pulls out a bulky case and David’s heart ratchets up a few notches. 

“Oh God.” David shakes his head. Oh no. “Um— Wha…What’s that?” He squints at the case and pokes it. 

“This is called an acoustic guitar.” Patrick steps back to close the trunk. 

“And you will be…” David tugs nervously at his sweater. “You’ll be lending this acoustic guitar to Twyla, I assume?” he asks. 

Patrick’s grin twitches. “No, no—” He holds it up. “I will be performing tonight.” 

“Mm—” David nods. “Of course. Um— In front of people?” he asks, voice cracking mid sentence.

Patrick tilts his head, an amused smile playing on his lips and David fidgets under his gaze. “Yes, in front of everyone, in fact. Come on, it’ll be fine.” He pats David’s arms. “You might even like it.” 

“It’s just—” David stops him from moving across the street. “It’s a lot, right? To have the person you’re dating sing at you? In front of everyone you know?” he winces. 

“Quite the assumption that I’ll be singing at you,” he teases and David rolls his eyes. “Hey—” he says. “You’re gonna be fine. It’s just one song.” 

“Yeah okay,” David nods over and over, his entire posture screaming it’s absolutely not okay. 

Patrick laughs. “Let’s go in, you’re killing your mother’s roses.” 

David glances behind himself to the rose garden that sits along the edge of the old store and sure enough, they’re dying. 

“Well— That’s because it’s cold, that wasn’t me—”

“Hey jerks, is the open mic out here or what?”

Stevie stands at the corner of the street with a hand perched on her hip and her face laced in impatience and amusement. David scowls at her and snaps his eyes to Patrick and his guitar case to show her the current situation. 

“He’s performing!” 

“You didn’t know?” she laughs. 

David whirls to face Patrick. “Am I the only one that didn’t know you’re performing?” Patrick has that amused frown-smile on his face and David scoffs, leaving Patrick near his car and crossing the street without either of them. 

Twyla has turned down the lights and the ambiance rivals David’s inner chaos. David grabs an entire bottle of wine with a single glass and takes it to the furthest booth from the stage. Stevie slides into the seat opposite him and Patrick sits beside him, leaning his guitar against the table. 

“Are you planning on sharing that?” Stevie asks. 

“Nope,” David says, pouring himself some. 

Stevie pries the bottle from David and takes a swig directly from it, giving Patrick a look. “Such a glowing personality.” 

“Patrick!” Twyla greets, coming over to their table. “I think we’re about ready to go if you want to get started.” 

Patrick gives her a thumbs up. “Thanks, Twyla.” 

David attempts for calm when Patrick turns his gaze back on him. He gives a gentle chuckle and pats David’s back.

“He’s gonna blow the lights out,” Stevie smiles. 

“I am not!” David defends, he looks at Patrick. “Just get it over with,” he sighs. Patrick leans over and presses a kiss to David’s cheek. 

“You’ll be fine.” 

Patrick stands to get the guitar out of its case and heads for the stage. David watches him the whole time. Stevie steals his glass and takes a long sip.

“You’re a peach today,” she comments. David cuts his eyes to her and takes back his glass. 

“It’s been a very stressful day and this is just a lot,” he explains. 

She looks thoughtful. “Does this have anything to do with the Blouse Barn meeting?” 

David chews on his lip for a moment and takes a deep breath, nodding. “Yeah—uh. They ended up paying Wendy $125,000 for the name.” 

Stevie smiles, grabbing for the wine bottle in a cheers motion. “That’s great! Did she give you any of it as a thank you for negotiating for her at least?” 

David nods, tugging the collar of his sweater. “Yeah actually,” he clears his throat. “Uh— She gave me 35%.” 

Stevie is silent for seconds and seconds, numbers running through her head as she realizes how much he got.

“I’m sorry.” She shakes herself. “It sounded like you just said she gave you $40,000.” 

“Yeah,” David nods, looking around to make sure no one heard. 

“As in currency. Like dollars.” 

“That is correct.” 

Stevie sits still for a long time before slamming the wine bottle on the table. “Holy shit!” she says rather loudly and David’s eyes bug out a bit and he saves the wine, trying to quiet her. 

“Can we please not announce this to the town!” 

“What the fuck—” she says and David reaches out to try and cover her mouth. She ducks her head and repeats in a whisper, “What the fuck!” 

“I know,” he murmurs. 

“What are you going to do with it?” she asks. “You’re not going back to New York, are you?”

David hadn’t thought of that. He knows he doesn’t want to trap Patrick here. He doesn’t deserve it, not like David did.  

David eyes cut up to Patrick who is playing with the knobs on his guitar. He’s plucking absently on the strings and warding off conversations with Roland. He’s wearing dark blue tonight— A contrast to his usual light blue that David’s become partial to. 

“I see.” Stevie cuts through his thoughts and David looks back at her. 

“He doesn’t deserve to be trapped here with me,” he explains, revealing his insecurity about the whole thing.

Stevie tilts her head and sighs. “Why do you hate this place so much? I mean, I hate it here, but you have a coven here. A support system.” 

David looks down at his hands and shrugs. “I was exiled here. I didn’t come here because I had a choice. To me it’s a prison.”  

“Could it not be a beginning?” 

It could be. David is starting to realize that. 

Patrick clears his throat at the microphone, putting an end to his and Stevie’s conversation.  

“Hi everyone! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting most of you but for those who don’t know me, I’m Patrick. I’m new to the town and I’m excited to participate in my first Schitt’s Creek Samhain!” Patrick nods along with the claps from the small crowd and David gets a few looks from people. 

“Well, I guess we’ll go ahead and get this thing started,” he grins, moving the guitar into place and playing a few chords. “Alright, um— I would like to dedicate this song to a very special someone in my life—” David avoids his gaze. “—David Rose.”

“Okay,” David sighs, looking back up at him and avoiding all the eyes on him. The lights flicker and moment and Patrick shakes his head on a laugh. 

“There he is—right there, that’s him.” He settles down the amusement on his face and levels David with a soft smile. “Can’t miss him.” 

David is still as the chords fill the room in a soft rhythm. The practiced playing catches David off guard and he watches raptly. It doesn’t hit him just how talented Patrick is until he opens his mouth and David may be biased— But it might be the most beautiful thing he’s ever heard. 

I call you when I need you, my heart’s on fire…

David can’t breath without fear he may burst into flames. Stevie’s hand reaches over and clutches his wrist and he keeps his eyes ahead on Patrick as he plays. His voice is soft and simple— Like he and David are just sitting in the motel room alone, just the two of them. It’s like a secret as he sings, bearing his soul in front of almost the entire coven. It’s like a promise. 

Him, him, him.

You’re simply the best—” He shakes his head, leveling David with a gaze speaking thousands of languages. “Better than all the rest, better than anyone—anyone I’ve ever met. And I’m stuck on your heart. Hang on to every word you say—won’t tear us apart. Baby I would rather be dead..."  

David’s ears are buzzing and he keeps his eyes steady on Patrick’s as the song wears on and on, like he’s coaxing David’s soul out from the dark shadows of fear. David relaxes, anxiety falling away and revealing warmth and enchantment. He knows the eyes of the room are on him—knows Stevie is watching him and Alexis is smiling at him. 

This song is a gift. Everyone close to him knew about it—Patrick planned it. It’s an offer. 

Oh, you’re the best.” 

David claps along with dozens of others, and his smile breaks through as Patrick laughs, nodding his thanks to everyone cheering for him. He sets the guitar down and introduces Twyla to the stage to keep the night going before hopping down and heading straight for David. 

They don’t touch save for sliding his hand into David’s when he sits beside him in the booth.

“Okay?” he murmurs to David, squeezing his fingers.

“Okay,” David nods, bumping their heads together. “Thank you,” he says softly. Patrick kisses him, soft and sweetly and David feels peace. 

The night wears on and the open mic is not as terrible as David had been anticipating, but none of them compare to the first performance. 

Dinner is full of different dishes and drinks that people brought in. The calconnan runs out not long into the night. David gets comfortably tipsy and in turn, gets brave. 

He kisses Patrick every moment he gets. He doesn’t stop touching him. When the open mic portion of the night concludes, Twyla puts on a playlist over the speakers and the tables are cleared for people to mingle and dance. 

David pulls Patrick from the booth and wraps his arms around him in the middle of the floor. They sway together, Patrick staring up into David’s eyes. It’s comfortable and warm and David doesn’t want to be anywhere else. 

“So you survived my serenade okay,” Patrick teases. 

David smiles, bobbing his head consideringly. “Barely, yes.”

Patrick cracks a smile but looks a little regretful after a moment. “I’m sorry I made you nervous. I didn’t think about how it would make you feel. I was focused on the surprise, I think.” 

“Thank you.” David dips his head a little, cheeks warm. “But it worked out, yeah?” he shrugs, pressing his forehead to Patrick’s. 

“Yeah,” Patrick smiles, pulling him closer. 

The music fades into something more uptempo and they pull apart, but Patrick’s hands stay on David’s hips. 

“Hey—” he starts and David steps back into his space. “What happened at that meeting today?”

The events of the day come rushing back to him. It seems like days ago at this point. He nods, looking around them and decides it’s far too crowded for this conversation. “Come on,” he murmurs, sliding his hand down to hook with Patrick’s and leads him out of the café. 

The night is clear and cool. David wishes he’d thought to bring his coat. Patrick steps in close, pressing their sides together as they walk through the intersection. 

“So it went okay?” Patrick edges when David doesn’t say anything. 

“Yeah, uh—” David looks up at the moon. “So they ended up giving Wendy $125,000 for the name.” 

“David!” Patrick laughs, stepping back to look at him just as they’re reaching the old general store. David stops with him and nods along as he processes. “That’s amazing!”

“Yes, yeah!” David agrees, hunching his shoulder over a bit. From the cold or nerves, he isn’t sure. Say it. “She actually gave me $40,000 of it.” 

Silence. Way too much silence. 

Explain.  

David rushes to clarify. “She uh— She said she wanted to help me get back on my feet. She’s officially closing the store and wants to spend time with her family. She wants me to do something interesting—”

David,” Patrick breathes. David meets his gaze and his face is unreadable. So many emotions and thoughts pass through his eyes and David feels afloat for a moment. “David, that’s— So incredibly deserved.” 

It’s not what he was expecting. It’s a declaration of sorts— his face portraying something more somber than David was expecting. He furrows his brows, readjusting his stance and tries to decipher what’s going on inside Patrick’s head. 

“Yes,” David lifts his hands, playing with his rings. “It was a shock, for sure. Um—what—why are you sad?” 

Patrick snaps his eyes up and chuckles nervously. “I’m not. Sorry—I’m very happy for you.” He takes a nervous breath. “Are you— what are you going to do with it? Are you leaving?” 

David laughs. It shocks Patrick enough that he looks guilty for even assuming it. David steps back into his space and lifts his hands to rest on his shoulders, rubbing the muscles there. 

“No. I’m not,” David assures him. “I was going to share it with my family. I still might, just enough to get us out of the motel, maybe. But—” David licks his lips, choosing his words carefully. Patrick has given so much courage and strength to David since they met. David wants to be brave for him. He glances up at the storefront beside them and then back to eyes the size of moons. “But the rest I was thinking about starting a store. With you.” 

Patrick stares up at him in silence, letting the words settle around him. If it was anyone else, David would be nervous, but with Patrick, he’s learned it’s a comfort. 

“With me,” Patrick echos. “As business partner? And maybe—”

“I want to try,” David confirms, fighting Sebastien’s words in the back of his mind with all his strength. “I’m scared. I’m so fucking scared, but you’re just—” David shakes his head. “We deserve to try, right?” he whispers. 

Patrick is already nodding before David finishes speaking and pulls him into a tight hold, hooking his chin over David’s shoulder. 

“We deserve to try,” he murmurs. “Yes, David. Absolutely.” 

David’s eyes are burning, but this time from relief rather than fear. 

Yes, yes, yes. 

Chapter Text

Header 6

“So I called Ronnie and she said we could do a walkthrough of the general store this afternoon before the feast starts. We can drop off our application and then we’ll just need to get approved by the town council, since the town owns the building.” 

David sips his orange juice and nods along as Patrick goes down his checklist. They dove into planning pretty much immediately—not wanting to miss their window on leasing the only space in town for a store. 

David taps his finger on the notepad between them on the café booth. “I technically own the town, does that help us at all?” he asks.

“No unfortunately— it’s up to the council on who gets the bid. Ronnie mentioned Christmas World inquired about it, but she’s especially anti-Christmas World, so I think we’ll have a good chance.”

David nods along. “I have a list of potential vendors in my journal I’ve been collecting from the farmers markets over the last three years. I’ll start contacting them when we get the space.” 

“Perfect,” Patrick grins. “Unfortunately, we’ll need more start-up money—” David’s face falls and Patrick reaches out to rest his hand on David’s reassuringly. “It’s not a big deal, between what you have and my savings, it’s a good jumping off point. It’s just a lot of upfront costs. There’s grants for small businesses I can apply for once we get the incorporation papers submitted and the business license in.” He scribbles some notes down. “Do we have a store name yet?” 

“Oh, um—” David hums. “I’m oscillating on names at the moment…” 

“Oscillating?” Patrick looks amused and David glares. 

“Well, this is all very new, okay? We just decided to do this two days ago!” 

“Right, right. What do you have so far?” 

“Ah—” David sighs, looking down at his list. “Creek Emporium? Also Rose Apothecary—”

Yes.” 

David looks up sharply and furrows his brow. Patrick is already writing something down. 

“Um, I wasn’t set on emporium quite yet—”

“Rose Apothecary,” Patrick grins, looking up. “It’s just pretentious enough—”

“Um, would we call that pretentious?” David squints. “Or more timeless, maybe?” 

Patrick laughs under his breath and hooks their feet under the table. “It’s perfect.”

David sucks his lips between his teeth to tamp down the warmth radiating throughout his body. He didn’t expect the utter pride he would feel pursuing this with Patrick. His authentic ideas being embraced wholly? It wasn’t something he thought he’d experience, but Patrick is meeting him at every step and bringing just as much to the table—Like this is just as much his dream as it is David’s. 

Patrick pauses on his note taking when his phone buzzes and he sighs, frustrated. “I have to go back to Ray’s to take care of some stuff. If you could drop the lease application off with Ronnie at town hall, I’ll get the incorporation papers ready today.” He moves to put his notepad in his messenger bag and throws a few bills on the table. 

“Okay,” David says, taking the application from him. Patrick stands and leans over to press a firm kiss to David’s lips. 

“I’ll see you this afternoon?” he murmurs, still close. 

David nods, reaching up to grip Patrick’s bicep. “You’re gonna love it,” he smiles, referring to the first night of Samhain. The first harvest feast has been held in the side field of the motel for the last few years. They’ve had a fire, long handmade tables, and fairy lights—It’s always beautiful. One of the best things David has found about this place. 

“Can’t wait,” Patrick grins. He kisses David one last time and heads out. 

David gathers his things and finishes his muffin. He says goodbye to Twyla and heads for town hall before he has to get things ready for the feast tonight. 

It’s a sunny day—cool, but not freezing. It’s as if the Goddess cleared the day for the first night of Samhain for them especially. David feels like everything is falling into place and while he’s suspicious, he’s trying not to question it or sabotage himself. 

The entire town council is in attendance when David walks in and he smiles nervously at his mother. 

“David!” she smiles. “For what do we owe the pleasure?” she asks, standing from her desk and opening her arms in welcome. 

“He’s here for me, Moira,” Ronnie’s drawl cuts through the greeting and David nods. 

“Yes, sorry— Ronnie, I have the application. Are we able to do a walkthrough of the building before the feast tonight?” he asks. He hears Moira’s heels clicking on the tile floor as he hovers over Ronnie’s desk. 

Moira looks confused. “What do we have here?” 

“Oh,” David sighs. “Um— Patrick and I are applying to lease the old general store. We’re going to start a business.” 

“Ha! Can you imagine?” Moira laughs, but when she sees David’s face she changes tune. “Um, not seizing on this wonderful opportunity? But David, why haven’t I heard about any of this? You never mentioned wanting to start a new venture.” 

Ronnie stamps something on the application and hands him a confirmation form. “All set, I’ll have an answer for ya in a few days, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t go through. I can meet you at the store at two for a walkthrough.” 

“Thanks, Ronnie,” he smiles before turning to his mother. 

“I didn’t say anything because nothing is set yet. And I wanted to do it on my own this time.” 

Roland turns to them. “Wait a minute! I thought Christmas World was taking over that lease?” He asks. 

“Not if I have any say in it,” Ronnie mutters. 

“Oh David, maybe it’s best we think about this for a while before jumping into it?” Moira asks. 

Oh my god—” David sighs. “Do you not want me to start my own business? Do you think I can’t do it?” he asks defensively. 

Moira flounders. “I didn’t say that!”

“I said it!” Roland pipes up. “No offense Dave, but Christmas World’s got mine and Bob’s vote.” 

Bob nods along. “Gwen said I couldn’t come home if Christmas World doesn’t move into town, so there’s really no other choice.” 

“What the fuck,” David mumbles. 

Ronnie slaps the desk to get David’s attention back. “Ignore them. I’ll let you know in a couple days. See you at two.” 

He nods and slides a glare around the room. “I’ll see you at home,” he tells Moira and leaves. 

 

⋆⁺₊⋆ ☾ ⋆⁺₊⋆

 

“So you can bring whatever furniture you want in here. The old owners left some things, but—”

David interrupts Ronnie. “Yeah—no, we’ll be using different furniture.” 

“Figured that,” she nods. “Is your business partner gonna show up some time today?” she asks, bored. 

“Ah, yes,” David nods, checking his phone. “He should be here anytime now, I—”

“Sorry, sorry!” Patrick comes through the front doors, looking flustered. “I’m here, sorry. Got caught up in work. Did the application go okay?” He presses a kiss to David’s cheek. 

“Nice of you to join us, Brewer,” Ronnie says. 

Patrick ducks his head. “Sorry, Ronnie. We appreciate you expediting the application.” 

She hums. “Well this is it. There’s some storage through the curtain there and more room through the archway in the back.” 

“Is the second floor included in the lease?” Patrick asks. 

“Yes, there’s stairs by the side door that leads up there. Old owners used it for storage but it has an apartment set up if one of you wanted to use it for that.” 

“Oh,” David sighs dreamily. “That would be very convenient,” he nods. 

Patrick smiles and runs his hand up his back. “Very convenient.” 

“Well—” Ronnie checks her watch. “If you two want to walk around a bit, I’ll wait outside. I have a late lunch in a few minutes if you wanna hurry it up.” 

“Thank you, Ronnie,” David smiles. 

They wait until she’s outside before exploring the lower level a bit more. The storage room behind the front counter is spacious enough for a desk for Patrick. The back room would be good for more of their discrete items and there’s even a storage room near the stairs that would be good for a bathroom eventually. 

They climb the stairs to get an idea of the floorplan and sure enough, the lights don’t work. There’s boxes from the previous owners covered in dust scattered around the room and some sheet-covered furniture near the windows, but it’s a pretty nice studio. There’s a kitchen along the far wall and a small bathroom as well. 

“Nice,” Patrick grins. 

They head back down and meet Ronnie out front. 

“This is great,” David tells her. 

She nods. “One more thing; you’d get the back lot behind the building—” She leads them towards the back and through the wooden gate. Behind it is a shockingly large outdoor space with room for a garden and David has to bite his lip from showing his excitement. 

“Wow, I didn’t know this was back here,” Patrick says.

“Yep, old owners didn’t use it for much, but it’s here if you want it.” 

“Thanks, Ronnie,” Patrick repeats and she leads them out and locks the gate back up. 

“Well, I’m gonna get going. I’ll let you know in a couple days about the lease.” 

“Sounds good,” David smiles. 

She waves them off and heads for the café. “See you tonight, boys.”  

David turns to Patrick and he’s already grinning. 

“This is perfect,” Patrick breathes and David nods. 

“What if we don’t get it?” he asks, anxiety rearing its ugly head. 

Patrick shakes his head, reaching out to rub David’s arms reassuringly. “We’re gonna get it. Ronnie doesn’t like me, but she hates Christmas World more. There’s no way they’ll get the lease.” 

“I mean—” David looks over at the now closed gate to the back lot. “Roland seemed pretty sure they were giving it to Christmas World.”

“We’ll figure it out.” Patrick leans in to kiss him. “Now, I have to go back to Ray’s to finish up a few more things. I’ll see you at the motel for the feast?” he smiles and David nods. 

There’s a lot to do to prepare for the first night of Samhain. Thankfully the wooden poles and fairy lights are already in place, hanging from pole to pole. David gets back to the motel and harvests the rest of his garden, cleaning everything thoroughly and getting them into dishes. There’s five long tables lined with wooden chairs that Jake made in the past years for just this in the field and the middle one is used to present the harvest.

David lines the entire middle of each table with altar candles, laying blessings on each as he lights them. Alexis joins him about halfway through and begins placing blessing jars and crystals between each candle. 

Ronnie’s girlfriend Vanessa arrives with the floral arrangements in late afternoon, helping them set up on the feast table and weaving the vines and flowers along the poles. They hang glass containers from the wires and place small tea lights in each to add more lighting.

When people begin to arrive around dinnertime, David places everyone’s offerings on the middle harvest table. 

There are bowls and plates and pitchers of offerings—potatoes, roasts, pies, stews—the bounty is rich this year and David feels warm from the amount of care and love that surrounds him. He brings out bottles of ciders and mulled wine that he’d been brewing over the last few months and sets them out with the harvest, along with glasses and cups. He has Roland stoke a fire and he gets a traditional Samhain simmer pot going on the coals with star anise, cinnamon, rosemary, and ginger. 

The sunlight begins to fade and when he turns away from the fire, the field is glowing from the candles and fairy lights. Chairs are beginning to fill and the parking lot is almost full. He’s walking back into the gathering when he sees Patrick car pull into the lot. 

David meets him halfway and he’s wearing a navy knit sweater with his usual jeans. The dark of the top is a stark contrast against his pale skin, making him look ethereal from the glow of the moon—he’s beautiful. David walks up to Patrick slowly, drinking in every angle of him and slides his arms up over his shoulders, pulling him into a kiss. 

“Happy Samhain,” David murmurs into his lips. 

“Mm, happy Samhain,” he smiles, sliding his hands around David’s back. “This is beautiful.” 

“We’ve been working on it all afternoon,” David nods, turning to Patrick’s side so he can look on at the set up as well. They join the gathering together, taking seats at one of the tables. Alexis, Stevie, and Ted are beside them and David feels whole for the first time. 

His parents walk over, arm in arm. His father in his traditional cloak, a proud smile on his lips. His mother is wearing an evening gown, long and beautiful. Schitt’s Creek doesn’t have a High Priest, but Johnny Rose can lead one hell of a Samhain. 

Moira takes a seat at one of the tables and Johnny stands at the head of the harvest. 

He picks up one of the blessing candles and smiles over the group. 

“Welcome,” he starts. 

Everyone speaks together, “Welcome!” 

Johnny takes a deep breath and begins the ritual. “Tonight is the first of three nights on which we celebrate Samhain. It is the end of the harvest, the last days of summer, and the cold nights wait on the other side for us. The bounty of our labor, the abundance of the harvest, the success of the hunt, all lies before us. We thank the earth for all it has given us this season, and yet we look forward to winter, a time of sacred darkness.”

Everyone raises their glasses and tilts a bit of their cider or mulled wine into the grass beneath their feet. Johnny continues, “Summer is gone, winter is coming. We have planted and we have watched the garden grow. We have weeded, and we have gathered the harvest. Now it is at its end.”

Johnny reaches down for the loaf of dark bread and breaks it in half, tossing a bit over his shoulder. Everyone gives cheers and sips from their glasses before finally, they feast. 

Patrick looks delighted as they fill their plates and bowls. The steaming stew is perfect for the cold night. Patrick leans in close, resting a hand on David’s leg. 

“Very nice bounty, Rose,” Stevie says. 

David smiles. “You’re just here for the booze, mortal.” 

“Damn right,” she winks, lifting her glass of cider and taking a long sip. 

The night is perfect. The sky is clear and the moon is high and full. David feels happiness radiating through his soul and he turns his gaze to Patrick. 

“What?” Patrick grins. 

“Nothing,” David laughs. He leans over and presses a sweet kiss to Patrick’s lips before turning back to their feast.

David doesn’t register the sound of a new car pulling into the gravel lot until Patrick’s hand is tightening on his thigh. David looks up at him confused and Patrick gives him an apologetic look, standing from his seat. 

“Sorry, sorry—I’ll be right back.” 

As he walks away, David's eyes snap down to Stevie’s and she looks just as worried as David feels. He sees a beautiful, petite redhead exit the driver’s seat of the car and she looks angry. 

David slowly stands—his feet leading him without thought. Their voices are loud over the rumble of the gathering. He’s never heard Patrick this upset, not even when they fought at the orchard. It makes David’s heart pound and he almost wishes he never followed. 

“—What is wrong with you? Patrick, we’re bonds! I had to find out from your mother where you were—we’re engaged for Goddess sake!” 

“Rachel, we’re not—”

“—You’re engaged?” David’s voice carries out of his mouth without permission. Both heads snap towards him and he feels like he’s drowning. His head is pounding and his entire body is buzzing. 

“David—no—” Patrick turns fully and approaches him. David’s hands raise to evade him. He hears shattering bulbs in the distance and shocked screaming. Patrick looks wild and desperate. “David, I’m not! This was who I told you about—before I came here, I—” 

“What the hell is going on?” The woman interrupts and Patrick groans, turning to her. 

“Rachel, please, just—” 

“I have to go,” David murmurs, shaking his head. He moves to pass Patrick and the woman, eyes averted to the ground as he goes. He needs to get out, to lock himself away. He can’t be here right now. 

“David, wait—” Patrick stutters, following him straight into the motel room when David plows through it. “I think I need to explain some things before—”

“What?” David turns on him, feeling out of his body. “What could you possibly say—”

“Rachel and I were engaged, but I left. I broke it off before I came here— I told you that first night at the café. She was the one that never felt right and I had to leave—”

“So you just left your Witch? You abandoned your bond?” David asks, hysterical. “How is that any better?” 

“No!” Patrick denies. “No, we’re not bonded, that’s why I left. We’ve been together on and off since we were kids. Our families kind of pushed us together because I was a familiar and she’s a medicinal witch, but it never felt right. I needed to find my witch, needed to find you—”

Don’t,” David snaps.

Patrick holds up his hands helplessly. “I found you, David,” he says gravely. “I had this—this pull in my chest ever since I could remember. I followed it here. I followed it to you. You’re the only thing that’s ever felt right to me. David, we—”

“She said you were engaged, Patrick! You never said that. She said you’re her familiar! I told you I’m broken!” David cries. He reaches up to wipe at the betrayal of tears coursing down his face. “I fucking told you and you still came back and now there’s nothing left.” His voice cracks. Patrick looks lost, face completely fallen into a state of devastation.

“David,” he tries, crushed. “I’ve spent my entire life waiting for you. I never knew what right was supposed to feel like until I met you, please,” he begs.

David shakes his head, crossing his arms. “You’ve been waiting for nothing. Sebastien was a monster, but at least he didn’t lay the world out at my feet and light it on fire.” 

Patrick stares at him for a long time, eyes swimming with hurt and shock. 

Good, David thinks. 

“David—”

“I need you to leave,” David cuts him off, turning his back on him. 

“I think we need to talk more—”

“I think you need to go back to your own coven.”

David doesn’t dare to turn around. He can’t bear to see his face, to see the pain there. He can’t handle any more of this.  

He feels a soft hand touch his back before pulling away and footsteps leading back to the door. He hears the snick of the door opening and a pause. 

No, no, no.

“I’ll never find anyone like you, David Rose.” 

David stands still for a long time. He wraps his arms around his own body tight, trying to keep himself in, to keep the devastating tendrils of grief from lashing out anymore than they already have. He wants to curl into himself so tightly that he could disappear. He wants to run. 

He has nowhere to go. He’s trapped in here—the entirety of his coven just outside his door. 

Patrick was engaged. He loved someone enough to be engaged. Rachel—the beautiful redhead with the heartbroken eyes—believed they were bonded and Patrick just abandoned her and came to this place to make David believe the same thing.

He hears the click of his mother’s shoes on the cement outside the motel door and he curses, shoving every emotion and feeling into the deepest part of himself. Uses all the power he can muster to keep himself in control when she knocks lightly on the door. 

“David?” she croons, turning the knob and slips into the room.

He keeps his back to her. “Yes?” he asks. The lights flicker and he tamps down the outlash. 

“I saw your beau leave just now. I wanted to check to make sure you were okay?” She moves in front of him, looking concerned. 

“He’s not my anything. It’s over.” 

“Oh, David,” she pouts. She pulls him into an awkward hug and he struggles to return it, still trying to keep a handle on himself. 

“Can I please be alone?” he whispers into her shoulder. She pulls away just a bit and rests a cold hand against his cheek. 

“Sweet thing,” she murmurs. “It’s probably for the best, really. That business idea of yours had me quite concerned.” She pulls away to run her hands down her dress. 

David watches her closely. He can see her nerves as he’s always been able to. “What do you mean?” he asks. 

She looks up at him sharply. She glances over to Alexis’s bed and moves to sit, patting the spot beside her. David stares down at her for a long time before cautiously taking a seat. 

“I just wanted to protect you,” she begins. David feels dread crawl up the back of his neck. “You’re not prepared for an undertaking of this scope—that is your father’s and I’s fault of course.” 

“What?” He gazes at her confused. He stands, shaking his head “What about the galleries? I handled those just fine—”  

“Yes, but never on your own.”

David stares at her for what feels like minutes. She levels his stare with one just as strong. 

“What do you mean?” he repeats slowly. 

Moira sighs, looking off to the side. She hums and settles her hands in her lap. “Your father and I had a lot of influence on those galleries. We prayed and cast spells for success… and we may have paid for all of your artist features.” 

David lets the news settle around him for a long time. “What… What about all the sold out shows?” 

She looks down, guilty. “We paid for everything. Every piece of art and every patron that bought them.” 

David can’t believe it. His entire world is in flames. He’s burning up from the inside and he needs her out. He grips his hands together harshly and looks up. “My entire career was a lie?” he asks softly. 

“I’m sorry,” Moira murmurs. 

He nods, blinking away the tears in his eyes. He swallows against the lump in his throat and drops his arms. “Can you, um. Leave me alone, for a while?” he asks. 

Moira makes a sound of agreement, standing from the bed and coming over to him. She presses a kiss to his cheek and leaves him in the room alone.

David waits for the door to close before he allows himself to cry. It’s a sob pulled from the deepest part of his soul and he hunches over, an inhale stuck in his chest. He stumbles to the table and sits, trying to catch his breath. 

It’s too much. It’s his worst nightmare come to life. It’s hell. 

He’s lost. He allowed Patrick in—decided to explore what they had. To love him. He’d found the one person that could touch his soul and he pushed him out completely. And now he has to live with the knowledge that he’s always been made by the coven and his parents’ money. 

He feels the table vibrating beneath his hands and he tries desperately to shove down the panic. Distantly, he hears Balthazar squawking in the neighboring room, panic clear as day. 

The mirrors and art on the walls begin to drop, shattering over the carpet. He can hear the roar of the gathering outside, shocked and frightened. The light bulbs around the room begin to burst, one after another until he’s plummeted into complete darkness. 

☽ Patrick ☾

Patrick feels adrift. 

He shouldn’t be driving. His vision is completely blurred and the panic in his chest is suffocating. He’d done everything wrong. He should have told David more. He shouldn’t have pushed—It was all fucked up. He feels like his entire world has been ripped out from under him and he doesn’t know where to go from here. 

His home wasn’t his anymore. The place where he was born, the place with his parents, his aunts and uncles and cousins—they were no longer his coven. David is his coven. 

He’d sent Rachel home after talking to David. He explained to her that he couldn’t be her bond, because his bond was here in this place—Schitt’s Creek. 

He avoided the gathering before leaving. He couldn’t face all the people that David loves—all those that love him. He got into his car and peeled out as soon as he talked to Rachel and began to head back to Ray’s. He’ll pack his things, figure it out from there. David wanted him gone—where he would go, it doesn't matter. The only place he’d ever care to be is here. 

He’s barely past the main intersection of town when the moon is eclipsed completely by dark, threatening clouds.

Rain comes. It starts as a mist, accompanied by a mild fog, but as he drives, the downpour gets heavier—so much so that he considers pulling over. He can barely see ten feet in front of him and with the moon completely shadowed, the only source of light he has are his headlights. The wind is making him swerve all over the road and he holds his breath. 

He’s only a mile from the house when the branch hits his windshield. 

“Shit—” The car fishtails over the wet road, uncontrolled and blind. Patrick puts all his weight into the break under his foot, but it’s no use. He clenches his eyes closed and finally, after what feels like hours, the car skids to a final stop. 

He takes a few long seconds to breathe. After noting he’s unharmed, he looks out the windows.

The rain is coming down in vengeful sheets. The sky is churning in a hostile ballet and he pushes out of the car, needing to see the damage. 

He’s soaked through from the rain within seconds. He wipes away the water from his eyes to get a clear view of the branch on his car. It doesn’t look so bad. He jumps from the clap of thunder and reaches over quickly to pull the branch off. It takes a few good yanks, but it finally gives way and he stumbles back. 

He stands there, catching his breath and stares up into the sky. Dread creeps into his bones when he remembers the change of weather when he and David fought at the orchard— how the perfect day turned dark and gloomy in an instant. 

With a final look to the clouds, he rushes to get back into his car, hoping it still drives. He fishes his phone out of his pocket and stares at the glowing screen for a long time. 

David doesn’t want to talk to him. Patrick is the last person he wants to hear from. 

But his chest is aching. It feels like it’s been ripped open and he’s left with an empty ribcage—he needs to make sure David is okay. He has to make sure he’s safe. 

He calls. 

It rings and rings and rings. But he gets no answer. Patrick isn’t shocked—he expected to be ignored, but a feeling in the pit of his stomach makes him try again. 

And again. 

Finally he lets out a frustrated groan and decides to try the person closest to him. 

She answers almost immediately, but all Patrick hears is screaming. 

“Stevie!” he yells into the phone. 

“Patrick—I can’t hear—”

“What’s going on?” he asks, loudly. She doesn’t answer, the wind forming a buzzing noise through the receiver. 

“Storm—Can’t find David—” 

Patrick hangs up, tossing his phone to the side and throws the car into gear. He jerks the wheel as far as he can and floors it back to the motel. The wind is stronger now and he has a hard time controlling the vehicle, but somehow— he makes it. 

The beautiful set up of fairy lights and Samhain harvest tables are in utter chaos. The tables are thrown sideways. Food, candles, flowers, and everything else is scattered over the lawn, the wind carrying it across the field. 

People are running. They’re rushing for the motel, desperate for shelter from the shock of the storm overhead. He parks the car in the lot haphazardly, rushing out and heading straight for David’s room. The door is thrown open, but the lights are off—the lights are off in the entire motel and as he approaches it, Alexis slams into his side, eyes wild. 

“He’s not here!” she yells over the storm. She takes his arms in her hands. 

“Where is he?” he asks, feeling almost numb. 

“The storm started and the lights went out—he was gone by the time we got to the room. He just left!” She shakes her head, eyes filling with terrified tears. 

Patrick pulls himself away, rushing into the motel room to look for a sign. 

The room is in pure chaos. His boots crunch over the glass covered floor, Balthazar is screaming from the next room and Mitena is hissing at him from the far wall. Alexis rushes in to pick her up and Patrick looks over the room, looking for anything. 

“I saw her—the pretty redhead,” Alexis says, looking just as sad as Patrick feels. 

Patrick looks up at her sharply, shame clawing at his throat. 

“She’s isn’t—”

“I don’t care,” Alexis shakes her head and advances on him. “Please just—find my brother. Bring him home?” she asks. 

Patrick takes a moment to catch his breath before finally, he nods and rushes from the room. 

The streets are completely vacant. He searches the main road first, eyes scanning the shoulders for any sign of movement. It’s dark— but Patrick needs to find him. He couldn’t have gone far without a car and that's the only comfort Patrick feels in the moment. 

He makes it to the café, using the key he has for the back to rush in. It’s quiet and empty and Patrick begins to feel desperate. He doesn’t know where he could be. The café is the only place he could think David would go. 

Patrick runs into the dining room, hoping he would be there, but still—nothing. 

He pushes through the front doors and stumbles into the intersection, eyes scanning over the different paths David could have taken when his eyes catch on a single, swinging door. 

The old general store’s side entry is wide open and Patrick feels something akin to hope. 

He struggles through the wind, using his arm to cover his eyes from debris. The storm is getting worse, but finally, he gets to the building and pushes through the open door. 

The thunderous wind could still be heard from inside, but it's better. The old building groans from the turmoil outside and he stumbles into the main sales floor, eyes tracking each corner and surface. David is nowhere to be seen—he checks the storage rooms and the closets, but still—David is gone. 

He rushes back into the middle of the store and stands for a long few seconds, catching his breath when he hears the groaning in the ceiling. 

He remembers instantly of the second floor and speeds up the stairs, taking two steps at a time before bursting through the top door and into the dusty confines of the apartment. 

Laying in the fetal position in the middle of the old hardwood floor, eyes glowing white and mouth dropped open in an expressionless gape, is David. 

Patrick lets a relieved, but terrified sob free before stumbling across the expanse between them, dropping to his knees and pulling David into his arms. He feels like dead weight and Patrick tamps down the panic in his body to try and shake him to consciousness. 

“Baby—” Patrick begs, pulling him close. “Wake up, come on,” he sobs.

David’s eyes stare out at nothing, illuminating the space around them in a chilling brightness. Patrick has never seen anything like this and it makes panic rush down his spine. 

“Please,” he agonizes. “Please, come back to me. David, I need you,” he shakes his head. Still, David doesn’t react. Patrick takes a moment to breathe, reaching into the darkest depths of his mind to think of what to do. He leans down and presses a kiss to David’s forehead and leans his forehead to his. 

The sharp burst of exploding glass makes him jump and the storm pushes through the now broken windows, creating a tunnel of chaos in the room with them. Dust, glass, and furniture sheets whip around them and Patrick pulls David closer, shielding him with his body. 

“David,” he whispers, clenching his eyes shut. “I love you, please come back to me. I can’t do this without you. I’m so sorry for not telling you. I’m sorry for everything.”  

David, still, lays limp in his arms. 

Patrick lets the storm surround them. It brews stronger and stronger, the building beginning to shake with the strength of it and he begins to fear the entire structure will be blown away with them still inside. 

He tries to catch his breath and pulls up to sit properly, staying close and pulling David's hands into his. He brings them and places a kiss to David’s knuckles and notes he's cold to the touch. It makes Patrick's heart hammer in his chest.

“Please,” he whispers. He closes his eyes and focuses everything inside of him on the man before him. He thinks of the whirlwind month and the lifetime of hope. He clenches his fingers into his and prays. He uses what little power he may have as a familiar and extends it, an offering. 

Nothing happens for a long time, but Patrick stays. He holds him in his hands, desperate. 

Minutes go by. He’s not sure how many but finally, David’s hands twitch in his. Patrick gasps, but keeps his eyes closed. He tightens his hold and David’s hands finally, finally latch hard into Patrick’s and their grips lock. 

And then suddenly, the pain comes. 

It’s white hot, starting at his fingertips. It spreads like lightning up his arms and throughout his body. It hurts—fuck it hurts so much—like every vein in his vascular system is being lit on fire, but he keeps holding on. He clenches his teeth and when the pain finally filters through every part of his body, he feels like he’s falling. 

His own now-illuminated eyes snap open and he stares straight into David’s. 

Together, they see their thousands of lifetimes. Together, they feel the love and loss of their reincarnated souls—finding one another over and over and over again. One after another. 

Together they share their power, balancing the fate between them in an inevitable bond. 

Him, him, him, him, him—

“—You— ” David gasps, loud—his entire body rising on a deep inhale. 

☽ Them ☾

Patrick feels the surge slide away like the tide as the storm does the same and he slumps forward, completely limp. David pulls in breath after breath, moving his arms around Patrick and pulling him close. Their hearts press together and they feel the awareness of thousands of years settle deep into their bones. 

The dust and glass churning in the air slowly settles on the ground around them. The rain pulls back, clearing for a blue velvet sky, clouds breaking away for the moon and her silver glow as it shines through the broken windows and gives them some light. The room feels charged and heavy, but all they can feel is relieved.

Patrick’s hands come up, sliding over David’s back and he pulls away enough to look into his eyes. 

I found you,” he whispers, feeling high. David sobs a wet laugh and falls into him, pressing their mouths together in a desperate kiss. It’s like nothing they’ve ever felt before and the feeling of finally being complete is intoxicating.

“We found each other,” he murmurs heavily into his lips. 

“I’m so sorry—” Patrick gasps, moisture making his eyes shiny. 

“No—” David shakes his head, reaching a hand up to frame Patrick’s beautiful face. Patrick feels warm from the touch and he hums into it. “There’s nothing to be sorry for—we’re okay. We’re safe,” he says, pressing their foreheads together. “I’m sorry I wouldn’t let you explain. I’m sorry I pushed you away—”

“If I don’t have to apologize, then neither do you,” Patrick laughs.

David looks down, a small smile on his lips and nods. He takes a deep, wet breath and tangles their hands together between them. 

“How did I get here?” he asks. 

Patrick rubs his thumb over David’s knuckles. “We don’t know. Not long after I left, the storm started. You must have blacked out and ran, no one could find you.” 

“But you did.” David looks up at him. “My mother told me my entire professional career was due to spells and money. None of it was mine,” he explains. “I think I must have lost it— after that.” 

Patrick feels a deep pit of sadness settle in his gut. He can only imagine the pain David had felt after everything. After sending Patrick away. “Her timing is impeccable.”

“Always has been,” David laughs sadly. He doesn’t know where to go from here. 

“Um—” Patrick breathes into the silence between them, absently reaching out to brush some dust off David’s shoulder. David looks up at him and notes the fear there. “I don’t think I can leave you—after this.” Patrick feels his skin vibrating and David watches him in silence. 

“I don’t think I could let you leave. We have a store to start,” David says and Patrick laughs, relieved, and leans in to hug him. 

“David, I promise I will make you so happy here,” Patrick pledges into his neck, placing a familiar kiss to the spot below his ear. David smiles warmly, holding him tighter. 

“You fucking better.”

Chapter Text

Header 7

1 Year later — First Day of Samhain

The first thing David registers is the smell of coffee and cocoa. He inhales deeply against his pillow and hums. 

Soft lips, warm and plush, press to the corner of his mouth. He smiles, rolling over and blindly pulls Patrick in for a proper closed-lip morning kiss. 

“Happy Samhain,” Patrick murmurs to him, falling into their bed. He’s already dressed—his usual jeans and a blue button up. 

“Happy Samhain,” David sighs, burying his face into Patrick’s neck. “We should close today, it’s a holiday.” 

Patrick laughs, “Yes, let’s close the only store in Elm County that specializes in metaphysical goods on the first day of Samhain.” 

“Sounds reasonable to me,” David yawns, stretching his arms over his head, knuckles brushing the cool windows that face the front of the apothecary. Patrick presses a kiss to the soft skin beneath his elbow. 

“I’ll get the store open. Take your time up here. I have a present for you downstairs when you’re ready for the world.” 

“Oh—” David blinks at him. “A present?” 

“We’ll call it an anniversary gift,” Patrick winks, rolling out of the bed. 

“I told you, no more ridiculous anniversary gifts—”

“If you think I’m not getting you something for our one year, you’ve lost your mind,” Patrick says matter of factly. He takes the coffee from the bedside table and hands it to David. 

“You’re a monster,” David shakes his head, sitting up a bit to sip his coffee. Patrick gives him a warm smile and flicks his wrist—The shower in the adjoining room turns on. 

David glares. “Show off,” he mutters. “Is this your way of telling me I stink?” 

“This is my way of telling you to get up,” he teases, heading for the door to take the stairs down to the store. “See you downstairs. Love you!” 

“Love you,” David grumbles back, trying to be annoyed but he just feels filled to the brim with happiness. 

David takes his time getting ready, washing away the cold of autumn in the shower and then pulling on his Loewe pansy sweater with some jeans when he’s clean and dry. He tames and dries his hair, moisturizes his face and breezes back into the studio and out of the steam. He makes himself another coffee and Patrick a fresh tea before finally making his way down the stairs. 

Patrick is helping a customer choose herbs from a local farm to fill a flute for blessings when David finds him. He gives David a thankful smile for the tea and finishes helping them. 

David goes behind the register to set their drinks down and disappears behind the curtain to get some inventory boxes to backfill. 

“Glad to see you’re alive,” Patrick says, coming through the curtain when he’s finished with the customer. 

“Mm—” David nods. “It was a nice morning, thanks for letting me sleep in,” he says and Patrick presses up behind him, placing a kiss on his neck.  

“You look beautiful,” he hugs him close. “I love when you wear color.”

“Thank you,” David smiles, turning in his hold and settling his arms over Patrick’s broad shoulders. “I still think we should close for the day.” 

Patrick chuckles, leaning in for a kiss. “Compromise—We’ll close at noon and I’ll give you your present then.” 

“Ah, the present,” David nods. “You know you’re making me nervous with this present,” he laughs. 

Patrick hums, stealing one last kiss before pulling away. “Good,” he says, leaving him when the bell over the entry door jingles.

David sighs, grabbing the box he’d been filling and takes it out to the floor to fill the missing inventory. 

The morning goes by fast and they’re not as busy as they usually are so it’s not hard to actually get Patrick to lock up when lunchtime rolls around. It is a bit of a chore to convince him to push clean up to Monday, but David succeeds anyway. 

“You just want the gift,” he shakes his head at David as he takes the envelope from the register drawer to the safe in the back. 

“I also want food,” David points. 

“Ah, yes, forgot about food.” 

They lock up and David feels giddy. He always pretends to be annoyed by the presents Patrick gets him, but he not so secretly loves them. He's never had anyone in his life so generous and thoughtful and he hopes his own present for Patrick will measure up. 

“Okay,” Patrick starts as they step off the front steps of the apothecary after locking the front doors. He pulls David along by his hand, rounding the corner of the building and heading for the back lot. 

David had a few garden beds built into the lot when they first moved in— it  wasn’t as big as the garden at the motel, but it was nice for personal use. He wonders if the present is a new pair of gloves, or maybe imported seeds from Paris that he’d mentioned wanting a few weeks before.

Patrick gives him a hopeful smile at the closed gate, the tall wooden fence blocking their view from what sits behind it and David bounces in place, excited. 

“So, Ronnie helped me a lot with this one over the last couple months, but I drew up the plans and everything. You’ll need to choose what you want inside of it, but this is just the start, okay?” Patrick prefaces. 

David’s brows furrow in confusion and he nods his head. “Oh...kay,” he hesitates, but Patrick still looks giddy. 

“Okay,” Patrick nods and takes a deep breath before hitting the latch on the gate.

David averts his eyes from Patrick and pushes the gate open, stepping through and his gaze has nowhere to land but the towering greenhouse nestled into the far side of the garden. 

Ohmygod,” David gasps. His entire body is vibrating and his eyes are filling with tears as he takes in the details. It’s not huge, but it’s sizable—the windows look old, and the framing hand carved. He can see Patrick must have moved some of his potted works into it already and through the glass, he notices a work counter stacked with supplies. 

“They’re recycled windows— the Branbury Farm was taking down an old conservatory from the early 1900s they had on their property and I was able to convince them to give them to me. They’re still good. Jake helped with the hand carved wood and Ronnie helped me build the framing—”

David turns suddenly, colliding into Patrick and wrapping him up in the tightest hug he can muster. Patrick laughs, burying his face into David’s neck.

“This is—” David chokes on his tears and he pulls back, eyes searching Patrick’s. “I don’t know what to say,” he breathes. “How did you get this back here? I was working out here yesterday!” 

“We prebuilt the walls and everything. After you went to sleep, Ronnie drove over with everything and we put it together. I was surprised you slept through it all,” Patrick laughs. 

“Patrick,” David shakes his head, at a loss for words. Patrick leans in and kisses him softly, holding him close and tight. David has never loved anyone as much as he loves this man. 

“Let’s go look at it,” Patrick murmurs into his lips and David nods, reluctantly pulling back and letting Patrick lead him to the greenhouse by hand. 

The inside is bare, but David knows in time it will be filled with life. There’s shelves lining the walls and the workbench he noticed from outside runs through the middle of the structure. 

“It’s not big,” Patrick says regretfully, and David is already shaking his head. “But one day I’ll build you a conservatory so grand, it’ll be in Homes & Gardens,” he smiles. 

“This is more than enough,” David breathes, leaning in to give Patrick another kiss.

 

⋆⁺₊⋆ ☾ ⋆⁺₊⋆

 

David feels the nerves in his fingertips. Everyone is already outside, settling in for the gathering. This year, there will be no storm, or broken glass. This year will be beautiful and perfect. 

Patrick slips into the motel room, dressed in a beautiful silk blue shirt and tight dress pants. He gives David an encouraging smile and slides his hands over David’s waist. 

“Are you ready? Everyone is here.” 

“Mmhm,” David nods. “Um— One more thing, before we start.” He turns his back to Patrick, facing the desk that used to be his mother’s vanity when they lived here. Shortly after the events of Samhain last year, David helped them find a house on the edge of the town. Alexis moved in with Ted and they were finally on their feet. So much has changed over the last year, it makes David’s heart feel full. 

“I did get you something for our anniversary. It’s not as grand as a greenhouse, but I think you’ll like it.” 

After their bond was made last year, Patrick gained a balance of power from David. Their souls were entwined now and so was their magic. Patrick spent the course of the year studying all he could of traditional magic and spells, fascinating over the different specialties and in a lot of ways, it reminded David of his father. 

It wasn’t hard to think of what to give Patrick. His father was able to save a few spell books from Eli’s destruction—a book so old, it’s unclear what year it was bound, but somehow it’d been passed down over the generations of witches, finally ending in Johnny’s hands.

And now it would hold home in Patrick’s. 

David runs his hand over the ancient bindings of the book. He’d seen it growing up when his father would study in the library. The illuminated manuscript always fascinated David—possibly started his interest in handmade objects and art.

He carefully picks it up and turns to Patrick, offering it to him uncovered. 

Patrick gazes down at it in awe—cheeks flushing red from emotion. He reaches out, running his fingers over the detail of the cover and his breath comes out in a slow hiss. 

“David—”

“It’s been in our family for hundreds of years. It was my dad’s before. Now it’s yours.” 

Patrick looks up in silence, tears in his eyes and he swallows against the lump in his throat. 

“Thank you—” he starts. “So much. This means so much,” he nods frantically, taking the book. 

“I love you,” David smiles, pressing his lips to Patrick’s temple as he studies the cover in detail and Patrick turns to him, kissing him deeply. 

A throat clears behind them and David curses. “Foods getting cold,” Stevie smirks from the door.  

“Thanks so much,” David clips, shooting a glare at her. 

“Don’t want to be late on your first day, all powerful High Priest.” 

“That’s not how this works—”

“Okay,” Patrick laughs, carefully setting the spellbook down on the vanity. “Let’s greet our coven.” 

Stevie leaves them to take her seat and Patrick offers his arm for David to hook his hand in. They walk out to the feast together. David nods to everyone with a warm smile. Alexis gives him a wide grin, winking both her eyes at him. His father and mother look up at him with the proudest looks David has ever gotten from them and it makes his heart fill with joy. 

He and Patrick stop at the head of the harvest table and David joins hands with his familiar. 

Summer is gone, winter is coming. We have planted and we have watched the garden grow, we have weeded, and we have gathered the harvest. Now it is at its end.