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The Sweetest Thing

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He's pissed off about the whole thing and hated that Patrick had the audacity to be such a helpful husband, getting him ice and ibuprofen the second they made it into the living room.

It was a week before Christmas and David insisted they have garland hung up on the pergola in the backyard, but refused to use the step ladder. Mainly because it was in their janky little shed and he didn't like the dead bugs everywhere, but he'd never tell Patrick that.

It was all going just fine until he made it to the southeast corner. His jump and hook method had been working until he hit a patch of ice, rolled his ankle fully and hit his hip on the way down.

"PATRICK! Patrick, can you come out here?"

Moments later he heard the squeak of the sliding door and soon Patrick was running towards him, "David what happened? Are you okay?"

"Fuck! My ankle is fucked up and I landed on the side of my hip. Gah! Can you help me up?"

Patrick hooked his arm under David and they rose together. Patrick still had more questions and the throbbing was making it hard to concentrate on anything else.

"Can you put weight on your foot at all?"

David pushed his foot down delicately but winced as he shifted. He barely let two toes drop before hiking his ankle up with a whine.

"No, not really. Can we just get inside? It's fucking freezing."

Patrick hobbled with David until they made it into their living room, a warm fire raging in the fireplace and the lights already dimmed for the evening. 

"Okay, here let me just take a look at it. Did you hear anything pop or feel something snap?"

"No, I don't think so, but I was too busy falling flat on my face."

"Okay well that's good news," Patrick began untying David's boots, gently removing them with a warm touch. He rolled his socks down and tenderly held David's ankle in his hands, letting his foot rest on his knee as he squatted beside the couch. 

If David wasn't in such pain, he would've rolled his eyes at how sincere his husband was being, but now was not the time for anything other than letting Patrick take care of him and coddle him into recovery. Patrick poked and prodded with a gentle touch, carefully rubbing at David’s skin to comfort him with his thumb on the other hand.

"Alright, it doesn't feel like anything is really out of place. Can you move it at all? If I guide you, can you just wiggle your foot?"

David tried, letting Patrick's hands rotate his heel ever so slightly. It hurt like all get out but it wasn't impossible.

"It fucking hurts but I can kind of bend it back and forth. FUCK! God ouch."

"Okay, okay, we won't try that again. Okay, hmm. Ultimately, I think you just sprained it and I don't know if there's anything we can do other than to ice and elevate. Here, can you scoot yourself up and rest your leg on the arm of the couch?”

“Yeah, I think so,” David nodded and pushed himself up a bit. Luckily he had changed for the day and was already in the comfy black joggers he’d stolen from Patrick. They were light and slippery and Patrick already had a few pairs and, okay ouch , there was his hip. “Ugh, I hit my hip on the way down and now that’s hurting, too.”

“Which side?” 

David pointed at the side that was exposed on the couch and closest to Patrick. He pulled down the waistband just to see if there was a scrape, but only saw the redness on his skin. That’s going to bruise tomorrow.

“Okay, well you’re not bleeding,” Patrick stood up. “I’m going to get you some ice and ibuprofen. I actually think I might still have my splint somewhere.”

Before he took off, David reached out to grab his hand, “Thank you, love you.”

“Of course, love you, too,” he bent down to kiss David’s hand, “old man.”

“Hey! Not funny, I’m in pain over here!”

As Patrick walked toward the kitchen he called back, “Fell on the ice and hurt your hip. I’m going to have to start helping you cross the street.”

“I said it wasn’t funny!” David yelled after him.

 

--

 

David hadn’t moved an inch other than a very awkward shuffle to the bathroom with Patrick in tow. Now they sat silent in the living room, Patrick was on the armchair reading a book while David was watching tv, laying back with his ankle raised. The fire just a mere glow now that most of it was extinguished.

Patrick had helped put the splint on, and now his foot looked ridiculous. But Patrick also brought him dinner on the couch, grabbed him a pillow and blanket, and made him hot chocolate, so he kept his comments about the ugliness of the brace to a minimum.

It was just past ten o’clock and David knew Patrick was lingering downstairs, waiting for David. But he didn’t want to move. He was so comfortable, and his hip had just stopped throbbing. His ankle was still bothering him, however. He looked over to see Patrick dozing off as his book threatened to slide out of his hands.

“Patrick, you can go upstairs,” David whispered. Patrick jerked awake.

“No, no I can stay down here. Do you want to try making it to the spare bedroom?”

“I’m so comfortable. I’m just going to sleep right here if that’s okay.”

Patrick’s face fell. He looked around the room and glanced up at the stairs. David knew exactly what he was thinking before he had to say it. Patrick hated sleeping alone, and tonight was no different, especially since he knew David was in pain and was already in coddle-mode.

“I’m sorry, I just don’t even want to try to move.”

Patrick looked around hesitantly, “Okay, yeah. Um, I’ll go and grab some blankets. I’ll just sleep down here.”

“What?”

“I’ll just sleep on the floor next to the couch,” he got up to pull the coffee table away from the furniture.

“Patrick, no, that’s ridiculous.”

“Hmm, well, it’s happening. I’ll be right back. Do you need anything? I can bring down your charger. What about your skincare? Is there any-”

“Patrick, I know this is going to like, be a whole thing, but I can’t even be bothered to do my skincare tonight. I just want to go to sleep.”

“Okay, alright. Do you want more pain killers at least?”

“Sure, I’ll take that.”

Patrick quickly took the glass from the end table and moved to the kitchen to fill it up, locking up the house along the way. There was no way he was sleeping upstairs alone. He knew David was going to… survive , but he didn’t want him to be alone on the couch either. This was the obvious option, and he was happy to sleep on the floor for one night to keep David company.

He dropped off the ibuprofen and climbed the stairs to their bedroom. Quickly, he changed and finished his simple routine in the bathroom before stuffing their comforter in his arms with a few pillows. Their phone chargers dangled around him as he trotted down the stairs, blankets trailing behind him.

As soon as he made it to the bottom landing, however, he noticed David had already passed out. Creeping around, he laid out their blankets and pillows right up next to the couch before turning out the lights and settling in. 

“Goodnight, David.”

“Mmmm? Patrick?” David sat up and looked around.

“I’m down here.”

“Oh my god, I can’t believe you’re doing this,” he hummed and let his arm fall off the couch, flailing to find Patrick and finally made contact with his shoulder. 

Patrick reached up to hold his hand and kissed it repeatedly, until all he heard was heavy breathes from David above him. Sleep came easily to Patrick soon after.

 

--

 

David woke up somehow on his stomach, but still with his ankle bent up at an awkward angle, elevated just how Patrick showed him. Luckily the throbbing and swelling had gone down substantially but it was still very tender when he tried moving his foot side to side.

His hip, on the other hand, was pushed up against the back of the couch and was causing a dull ache that reached his stomach. Goddamn that's the last time I ever do anything outside, he thought as he pulled himself out of his slumber. He could tell it was early since the sun was barely shining through the back patio door.

Just then he remembered Patrick was sleeping below him. Peering over the couch, his face relaxed as he found his husband curled up in their duvet from upstairs and surrounded by both his and Patrick's pillows.

He let his arm fall to reach Patrick, and stroked at his hair, just to see if he was awake yet.

He was.

"Good morning," he mumbled into his pillow.

David smiled, "Hi." 

With a deep inhale, Patrick turned over on his back and gave a stretch, "How are you feeling? How's your ankle?"

"It's alright. Still a bit sore and it hurts to move it."

"Mhmm," he reached at David's arm that was now limp over the edge of the couch. Gently, he ran his fingers up and down from his elbow to his wrist, providing a comforting touch. 

He started to hum the song that he woke up with in his head.

"When I see you in the morning, with that old sleep still in your eyes," Patrick began to sing in a mumble. "I remember all the laughter, and the tears we shared last night."

"Patrick, what are you singing?"

"And as we lie here, just two shadows, in the light before the dawn, the sweetest thing I've ever known, is loving youuuuuuuuu."

"Patrick-"

"AND I HAVE NEVERRRRR."

David whipped his arm away from Patrick's touch but of course Patrick's reflexes we're better than David's and he caught it before he could wiggle out of his grasp. David tried to sit up but crumpled into giggles when he saw Patrick using his arm and hand as a dumb microphone.

David tried to speak over Patrick's absolute wails, "What is this, improv?"

"BEEN AFRAID OF, LOOOOOOOSIN'"

David was laughing into his pillow now, surrendering to Patrick's cute and ridiculous display of affection.

"And I have never wanted love to be a chain, I only know that when I'm with you, you're my sunshine," he finally sat up and waited for David to look him eye to eye. "You're my rain."

David shook his head against the pillow with a blissed out smile. How did I ever win him?

Patrick reached up to swipe a thumb across David's cheekbone finally singing at a reasonable decibel for the ungodly morning hour, "The sweetest thing, I've ever known, is loving you." 

"Alright sure, now can you help me get up? I need to pee."

"Wow, so romantic," Patrick outstretched his arm for David to grab as he hoisted him up to sit. "Your old man charm does it again."

"Okay enough with that."

Patrick leaned down with a cheeky grin and pressed a soft kiss to David's forehead, "I love you, too."