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Paint on the Colours

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The date

 

As they walked out the door of the house to more cheering and cat-calls, Patrick slipped his hand into David’s, like it was something they always did. Like he had already formed a habit. David loved it, but after the boyfriend comment at the party, he needed to say something. He wasn’t used to being direct, but Patrick was good at it, so he was willing to try. “Hey?” he started slowly.

“Yes, David?” Patrick replied, swinging their arms between them happily.

“I’ve really enjoyed our time together over the past five days,” David cautiously started the conversation. This was a lot of emotional vulnerability for him, but the feelings were just spinning around inside of him, he needed to get them out.

“It’s six,” Patrick interjected cheekily.

“Six?” David questioned.

“Yeah, technically It’s already Sunday and we met on Tuesday. It’s one thirty in the morning on Sunday,” Patrick was smirking at David, his eyes shining with mirth, “so, it’s six days.”

“You can’t help yourself, can you?” David shook his head, and blinked slowly.

“No, not really,” Patrick said with a hint of a laugh on his face. David adored his trolling; he really did – but this conversation was important. The last week he had been adrift in a rough sea and he needed to throw down an anchor.

“Anyway, as I was saying,” David stopped. He wanted to make sure that Patrick really appreciated what he was saying here and didn’t take it the wrong way, so he pulled on their joined hands and dragged Patrick back until he was looking at him. And then he dropped his head before he started talking, because looking at the ground was as brave as he was able to be while his insides were swirling around like this. “Patrick, I am only here for three days and then I’m going back to New York.’ He looked up and tried to assess how those words had hit Patrick. Patrick had his head cocked patiently and his eyes trained directly on him, just waiting patiently for him to say what he needed to say. “My whole life is there; I’ve been building up my gallery and its reputation for four years now and I’m not going to give it up. I’ve worked hard for it. I’m going to have to work harder now, without Sebastien. He had a lot of connections.”

“Okay,” Patrick said easily, like it meant nothing that they only had three days. Which, if you placed it next to the boyfriend comment, seemed completely out of context.

“That’s it?” David shook his head to indicate how confused he was.

“Yup,” Patrick agreed, with a broad smile.

“But you just called me your boyfriend?” David’s voice was going an octave higher than he’d like it to be, so he cleared his throat before continuing. “Is that… do you want us to be…? Look, I just can’t understand what you want from me?!” he hated that the hope that had been warming his heart was already vanishing, although it was probably for the best that he dealt with that now.

“What do you want, David?” Patrick squeezed his hand a little tighter with the question and smiled softly. Like he was giving him permission to be honest, not like he was running out of patience.

Which didn’t mean that David understood what he was trying to say. “What do you mean?” he asked with confusion.

“You pushed back your flight, David. How did you see this going?” Patrick seemed to think that this was a genuine line of inquiry.

“Honestly?” David asked, scrunching up his face. He was in it now; honesty was all he had.

“Yes, David,” Patrick answered simply, still calm and happy.

“We would have three days of hot sex and some lovely meals, maybe another walk along the beach, and I’d see the Opera House? Then I’d leave and that would be that,” David couldn’t keep looking into Patrick’s eyes for the disappointment that might be there. He was used to giving over everything for people to be with him, but he wasn’t doing that this time. If anything, the last week had taught him that his gallery was really important to him, and he needed to prioritise that over shitty men who did shitty things. Not that Patrick was like that, but just, you know, in general.

“Okay. Well, what if I told you I am amenable to all of that, except for the last bit?” Patrick caught David’s attention with this statement.

David turned his face up to look at Patrick’s and said in a frustrated voice, “What? I just told you I have to leave!”

“David. Sorry,” Patrick breathed in before continuing, “I’m frustrating you. I’ll be clear. I know you have to leave and I would never stand in the way of your career or your aspirations,” Patrick smiled softly, and lifted their entwined hands up to kiss David’s kuckles, “but it’s the bit where you said ‘that would be that’. I don’t want it to be over after that. I’ll come to New York.”

“Wh.. Ho.. why?” David was so utterly shell shocked by this admission he was struggling to form a complete sentence. He shook his head a little and tried again. “Why would you do that?”

“I told you the other day on the beach, David. I like you,” Patrick smiled like it was all really that simple.

David huffed out a laugh on his breath and shook his head softly, the storm inside him starting to subside. “You are right. You are frustrating.” Patrick’s face lit up, like he had just given him the highest of compliments.

“Okay, how about we do this. You leave Tuesday night, yeah?” Patrick was still smiling.

“Yes,” David said, happy to answer a question that felt simple.

“On Tuesday, before you leave you can tell me whether you want me to come. I’ve got to be here until the end of March. I was going to go home via South East Asia, but nothing is set in stone. I don’t have any plans. I’ve got savings. My dad’s American, so I can get a passport. I’ll come and get a job in New York when I get back and we can pick up if you want to. If nothing else has changed for you, and you still want me there, I’ll be there.” Patrick said all this with such ease, David was reminded of his confidence in every move he’d ever made with him. His ease with himself and the world was really addictive. “And let me make this very clear to you, David. I definitely want to come.”

Oh.” David said and nodded, still taking it all in, but Jesus, his confidence hadn’t gotten any less alluring over the past week. His brain was screaming at him to create a diversion. “What do you even do for work when you aren’t strutting around in a pair of swimming trunks?”

Patrick looked a little confused and then actually laughed out loud. “Sorry, I just haven’t had to think about it for a while. Seems like an alternate universe. I hold an MBA, and I was working as a business consultant, small businesses, etcetera. But I can literally do anything to do with business, except maybe taxes. The tax laws are probably pretty different in the U.S.”

“So, you won’t have any trouble finding a job?”

“I usually don’t,” Patrick shrugged and tugged him to keep going to the hotel. “Look, I had pretty much decided before I met you that I wasn’t going to go back and live where I grew up. I need to start somewhere fresh. I hadn’t decided where, so New York is as good a place as any to start fresh. Sound okay?” Patrick asked in a soothing manner. “My plan, that is. Are you on board?”

“M-hmm, I guess,” he was letting it all settle. He couldn’t really fault Patrick’s plan. There was no downside for him. Patrick had told him what he was willing to do for David, and given him an out if he wanted it. He really was a very different being than anyone David had ever met. Kind, generous, and an open book. He told David what he wanted and left him space to add what he needed.

“Tuesday then,” Patrick said, “but for now, can we go back to your hotel and get on with item number one on your check list?”

“Okay,” a smile taking over David’s face, and his walking sped up just a little.

***

When David and Patrick got back to the hotel and they were both exhausted. They moved into the room, and with very little discussion, they both started getting ready for bed. It had been a very long day. What surprised David though, was the domesticity of it. He did his skincare routine while Patrick walked in and out of the bathroom, depositing his toiletries and brushing his teeth, kissing him lightly on the shoulder, or his cheek, depending where he was at with his skin routine. Patrick commented on his extensive skin care, but more out of curiosity, never in a mean or mocking way, and by the time they were ready for bed, they both pulled back the covers together and slid in like they had been doing it for years.

David was not surprised that Patrick reached for him so confidently once they were finally in bed together, but he was surprised by the softness that was contained in those first kisses. They were soft and languid and knowing. Like somehow, they already knew each other completely, they were reincarnated souls who finally found each other.

They were both only in their boxer briefs and t-shirts, kissing so gently but with so much intent. And the intent was not hurried, it was purposeful, but the getting to the end no longer seemed important. David could feel the small amounts of stubble on Patrick’s chin as their faces met, and he catalogued the whining noise he made when his teeth scraped along his bottom lip. David moved his hand underneath Patricks t-shirt to play with his nipples and it was only a matter of minutes before both their t-shirts were removed, and their boxers were pushed down, and their kisses became more heated, but their mouths never left each other’s; it was the oxygen they were breathing.

Once they were undressed, their cocks were rubbing against each other and Patrick stopped them to reach over and get the lube. David groaned at the loss of Patrick's body pressed against him, however once he heard the lid click, he felt Patrick’s warm hand around his hard length and he was back to the feeling of knowing exactly where his place should be in the world. They slotted together perfectly, the movement was unrushed and their engorged lengths enjoyed the friction of each other’s bodies.

The words that passed between them were whispered and soft, encouraging and adoring. They were rubbing up against each other, seeking out their own pleasure, but they both made sure that the other was feeling the same sensation, experiencing the same joy. They traded tender kisses while their hands traced over each other’s bodies, feeling skin, rounding edges, testing boundaries, but softly. David had never… He’d never had sex like this. Patrick was worshipping him, adoring him, but he was right here. They were in this together; they were entwined, they belonged in this moment and nothing else existed. He felt a connection in his body that was thrumming all the way down to his toes. Their faces were still locked together, their eyes kept meeting with such intensity, David wasn’t sure he would ever find that look easy to deal with, no matter how badly he wanted it.

As gently as it started, it eventually began to build to something overwhelming, and neither of them could contain the intensity that began to course through them. Their breaths became panting, as their moaning took the place of words.

They were still face to face as Patrick panted out, “I’m…” and so David opened his eyes to watch, because in the last few days, he had become addicted to the sight of this man in complete and utter bliss. He watched Patrick’s face contort with pleasure and that was enough to carry him over the edge, coming with such force that it surprised him after the softness and simplicity of the sex.

And then the thing that he couldn’t get over, was how even though he’d already come, Patrick couldn’t stop kissing him. It was like he’d never get enough of kissing David. They did a cursory clean up and drifted off to sleep in a tangle of limbs, into the deepest sleep that David could ever remember, that wasn’t facilitated by medication.

***

Patrick woke up before David, which he wasn't surprised about. Last night had been incredible. His heart was full. The parade, the party and just the David of it all, made him feel content and satisfied all the way down to his bones. He had a plan for today and he needed to speak to Andy, but it was probably too early for Andy, too. 

There was just one thing he needed to do to make the way he was feeling complete. He pulled on his boxers and t-shirt and took his phone out to the balcony. 

He dialled the number etched into his memory from late night calls of his teenage years, when he and his buddies found themselves somewhere they decided they didn’t want to be, and they knew that Marcy or Clint would come and pick them up, no questions asked. He really hoped they were both home. 

“Patrick!” 

“Hi, Mom. Switch to FaceTime?" He waited while she fiddled with her phone. "Is Dad home?"

"He is,” his mom nodded with a smile.

"Can you get him?" Patrick smiled softly and nervously at his mom, hoping she wouldn’t notice and knowing that she would.

She called out to her husband and then turned back to Patrick, breathing in before asking, "Is everything okay, sweetheart?"

He chuckled at how well he knew her, just as she knew him. "Yes, Mom. Everything is good. Great even."

"Where are you?" she asked, raising an eyebrow curiously; of course, she would notice he wasn’t in his bedroom too.

"I'm actually on a balcony of a hotel that looks over my work…" he switched the camera around to scan the pool and up to the beach, distracting her from asking why he was there, before turning it back to himself once he could see his dad settling down next to his mom. 

"It really is beautiful there Patrick. I can understand why you've wanted to spend your summer there. But please tell me you aren't staying forever? I mean, of course, whatever makes you happy, I just miss you and it's so far!" his mom said with an easy smile.

Patrick laughed. It was far. "Well, I'm glad you said that. About me being happy. Because I really am, but no, I'm not staying here. My contract is up at the end of the month and I'm just sorting out the details in the next few days, but I'll come home. For a bit anyway."

"What do you mean? Patrick…"

"Marce, just let him talk…" Clint said, putting his hand over his wife’s and giving it a squeeze.

Patrick smiled and took a deep breath. He was so ready to do this. "Mom, Dad… I'm gay," he sat still while he waited for the information to sink in. He resisted the urge to prattle on. He figured it would be at least a bit surprising for them.

Marcy and Clint looked at each other, and a softness overtook their faces as they wordlessly checked in with one another. He loved how his parents had an unspoken language between them. "Oh, my sweet boy! Thank you for telling us. As long as you are happy that's all we care about…"

A surge of relief ran through Patrick and even though he didn't think it would go any other way, the way his body relaxed was immediate, and he huffed out a wet laugh, "I'm really happy."

"So, is there someone special or…."

Patrick chuckled at his mom who dived right in there, while his dad rolled his eyes and joined Patrick in his chuckle. "There might be. I've met someone, BUT he's not from here. He actually lives in New York. He's heading home in a few days and if everything goes to plan, after I come home and see you guys, I plan on making arrangements and moving down there to be with him."

"Oh, that's nice. New York is not that far!" Marcy said excitedly.

Patrick's dad joined the sentiment on this one, "Yes, when I think of you moving to Australia, New York sounds like you are just around the corner."

Patrick smiled, because that was it. He felt complete. He felt like he had finally managed to fit all the fragments of his life back together, the ones he felt like he’d cleaved in two when he had left Rachel and his childhood home behind.

"Is it that nice friend, Hamish, you share your house with?" His mother wasn't one to let this go. “He sounds so lovely when you speak about him.”

"No, Mom,” Patrick said, shaking his head at her tenacity. “I promise I'll tell you more when I know more, but I have a good feeling about this."

Marcy sighed, but she was happy, he could tell, and that was all he wanted. "Okay, so tell me something else? Tell me about the things I've missed…" Marcy asked, seeing as she wasn’t getting any tea about her son’s dating life.

"Well, last night was Sydney's Gay Pride parade, it’s called Mardi Gras here, and I was on a float for the Surf Life Saving Association, in my Speedo…"

“Patrick Brewer! In a parade in your underwear!?” His mother sounded scandalized and his dad laughed heartily.

***

When Patrick got inside David was stirring. He went back to the bed, and kissed him softly.

"Too early," David snuffled into his pillow.

"It's almost midday," Patrick stated between soft kisses.

"Still, too early," David whispered.

"I'm going to call for room service and coffee, do you want breakfast or lunch?" Patrick asked.

"Breakfast," he stated clearly.

"Any requests,” Patrick could guess, but knew that whatever the answer was, it should be a lot of food.

"Bacon. Pancakes. Syrup, ask for syrup or you'll just get honey. Or jam. What kind of people don't send syrup with their pancakes?" he said this whole monologue without opening his eyes, and still in his grumpy morning voice. It was adorable. 

Patrick chuckled. "Do you want toast? I heard you like toast."

David's eyes sprung open, "What?"

"Sorry, you don't remember, do you?" Patrick took in the look in David's eyes to understand that he didn't remember at all. "That first night in the kitchen with Andy and Tim, you told them you liked toast."

"I guess there are worse things I could have said," closing his eyes again and reaching out for Patrick and pulling him in to kiss him. "Who were you talking to?"

"I didn't mean to wake you, sorry," Patrick apologized. 

"You didn’t really, I felt the shift in the room when you opened the door, but It's okay," David stretched, then opened his eyes and sat up in the bed. He was still naked, but the top sheet covered him from the waist down. He was sleepy and rumpled and beautiful.

“I just came out to my mom and dad," Patrick grimaced and raised his eyebrows.

David instantly looked more alert. "Are you okay? Did it go okay?"

He smiled at David, and said, "Better than okay," pulling him in and kissing David again. 

"Good, order breakfast and then you can tell me all about it…" David said, looking around the room, probably trying to locate his clothes.

"What if I wanted to do something else first…" Patrick said cheekily, slipping his hand around David's waist. 

"Mmmm," David hummed into the kiss, and then pulled back. "Breakfast first, you’ve said it now, no take backs."

***

Over breakfast, Patrick recounted his coming out, both to his parents and to Rachel, and he even detailed a few more intimate details of their relationship, and what a disaster posing as the perfect relationship it was. Patrick felt settled, calm and just happy and full of bacon and pancakes.

“So, I was thinking… You mentioned the Opera House last night and so I have made a little itinerary for us, if you are up for it?” Patrick looked at David hopefully.

“Can we just stay here today?” David replied.

“In the hotel?” Patrick quirked an eyebrow at David.

“Yes, the whole day,” David said with a sigh, “it’s just… it’s been a lot this week. And this,” he was motioning between himself and Patrick, “is nice. Can we just enjoy it slowly today?”

Patrick felt every bone in his body turn to jelly. For David to say something that honest? Patrick was here for it. “Okay, David. I have to go back to work tomorrow, though?”

“That works. I can sleep in and then come down and watch you strut around in your uniform. And this time I won’t have to just imagine the things I want to do to you…” David’s face started to morph into his cheeky grin.

Da-vid,” Patrick had to clear his throat at the image of David poolside, thinking erotic thoughts.

“Can we move your itinerary to tomorrow afternoon?” David asked.

“Yes,” Patrick nodded, still slightly flustered by the image of David watching him at work. “What I was thinking was, the Opera House is at Circular Quay, and that’s where the Harbour Bridge is, too. But also, there is the Museum of Contemporary Art, which has a really cool section on modern indigenous art, which… well I thought you might like?”

David nodded, with his smile bitten into the side of his mouth. Patrick returned the smile. He was pretty sure that meant David really liked the idea but didn’t want to say how much.

“Then there is a restaurant, right there, that overlooks the Harbour, and Andy is the manager. It’s called Café Sydney, but it’s not a café, it’s a restaurant. We could get a table on the balcony and just watch the sunset over the Harbour?”

“That sounds…” David looked down and cleared his throat. “That sounds perfect.”

“It’s nice to catch the ferry too, so we could catch a ferry from Rose Bay to The Quay.”

“Patrick…” David said softly and Patrick finally noticed that his eyes were brimming with tears.

“What is it? We can do anything else, whatever you want?” he said, reaching over to softly touch David’s arm.

“No, it’s perfect. It’s really just perfect.” David sniffed and wiped at his eyes with the heel of his hand. “I’m just not used to it.”

“Used to what?” Patrick shook his head and furrowed his brow.

“Somebody thinking about me,” David looked at him, softly shrugging his shoulders.

“David,” Patrick whispered and moved in closer, taking David in his arms and hugging him. “I’m not sure if you’ve realized this, but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you since we met.”

***

They spent the rest of the day lounging around, making out and having the lazy sex that comes when you know you have nowhere to be. David happily listened to Patrick talk about the changes in his life over the past six months. Patrick was so open and free with his past and David was a little in awe of it, if he was being honest.

David didn’t tell Patrick much, and Patrick didn’t push. But when he did give Patrick a nugget of himself, Patrick treated it like it was precious and squirreled it away for himself. Except for the times the things he told him were ridiculous and then he didn’t let it go until David was on the floor laughing at his own ridiculousness. David was blown away by how easily Patrick recognised the difference in the two things.

Later in the evening they snuggled down on the couch and David chose, “Crazy Stupid Love,” to watch, because Patrick hadn’t seen it, which was a travesty. It had Ryan Gosling and his rock hard six pack (who they could both appreciate), lifting Emma Stone (who he could appreciate by himself), and Julianne Moore who was a goddess, so...it was the perfect movie to have on while they made out and distracted each other. They ordered in when Patrick told him about the amazing Vietnamese food that he always ate locally. It was a Northern speciality and David had never tried it before, which made him happy too.

David managed to share a little about his life. Mostly about his family and Alexis, not too much about his deplorable romantic entanglements, he found them too embarassing. He told him how glad he was that Alexis had finally broken up with Stavros, and that she was at his apartment and why. Patrick looked appalled at some of the situations she had gotten herself into, but he didn’t seem to be judging her; more… horrified that something may have gone wrong. “You’re a good brother, David. Looking out for her,” Patrick said when he had finished telling him some of her less preposterous tales. And none of the ones that included an NDA, of course.

“You know, she was the one who told me to not leave and stay and spend some time with you,” David bit his lip at the admission.

“Well, hopefully I’ll get to thank her in person one day,” Patrick blinked slowly, a smile coming across his face slowly.

David couldn’t help himself. He was really starting to believe Patrick. He kept showing up, and doing what he said he was going to do, and if that wasn’t something, he didn’t know what was.

***

The next day Patrick had to go to work, but he was blissfully sated and happy. He had to dig out his rashie from the back of his locker though, because he had hickeys all over his chest, and that was not something he wanted to share with everyone at the pool. David really went to town last night marking him up and he really didn’t have the heart, or the willpower to say no. Especially as his hand was expertly stroking Patrick's cock at the same time. The fact that he couldn’t keep the grin off his face was going to alert everyone that knew him to the fact that something was going on anyway.

David came to the pool and behaved himself moderately well. Who was he kidding? David spent every moment he was there, posing on the lounge like a thirst trap, climbing out of the pool seductively, catching his eye and smirking at him. He was so distracting Anthony told him to leave early, as he was not helping.

Which of course meant that they had to go back to the hotel and deal with all that pent up tension, before they could call an Uber to take them to the ferry terminal and catch the ferry to the Quay. It took some convincing to get David to the outside area of the public commuter boat, concerned that the salt water spray was going to mess with his carefully curated look, but he was glad when he did, because as they passed into the Quay, the magnificent arches of the Opera House were in full view.

The MCA was also a hit. Patrick had to give himself a little pat on the back. It wasn’t something that he would have done back home, but since he was in a foreign country, he had made a big effort to try a few things out, other than the obvious one. David loved the Modern Indigenous Artworks. He could tell that they touched him. He spent ages reading all the details about the artists and some of them actually moved him to tears.

But it was dinner that really made the day stand out. Café Sydney was built on the roof of the historic Customs House, which meant it looked completely over the Harbour. It was done in a recycled industrial style and due to his connection with Andy, they had a coveted balcony table where they could watch the sun set as the lights of the Bridge and the Opera House took over the Harbour. The whole thing was breathtaking.

“This is gorgeous,” David said once the host had them seated and had left their table. “I’m paying.”

“Nice try, David," Patrick didn't look up from the menu. 

“No, you haven’t let me pay for anything!” David was indignant. 

“Except your room and all the room service I’ve been eating," Patrick still didn't look up from the menu. 

“Please?” David grabbed his hand and was a little pleading. Patrick guessed he didn't know how to accept anyone's generosity; he was just so used to people taking everything from him. 

“Nope, I sorted it out with Andy. I knew you would try this,” Patrick finally looked up and smirked. 

“You’re very sure of yourself, aren’t you?” David had to shake his head and he huffed out a little laugh. 

Patrick looked amused and rolled his eyes cheekily.

“Fine, I’m going to wash up. Order me a drink? But can I order the food?”

“Of course, David. You haven’t let me order yet. I trust you.”

***

David walked away from the table. Fuck. Patrick trusted him. Why did he trust him? He wasn’t worthy of trust. He was deep in thought as he walked down the few steps to the bar where the bathrooms were, and almost ran into Andy.

“David! I’m glad you could make it!” Andy gripped his arm like they were old friends and not people that had only met once. Twice if you count the time David couldn’t remember. 

“It was Patrick’s idea, but it’s beautiful. Thank you for fitting us in," David said and meant it genuinely. 

“My pleasure. Patrick never asks for anything, I’m always happy to do something for him,” Andy smiled as he talked of his friend. 

“He doesn’t, does he?”

“No. He is genuinely one of the best people I’ve ever met, David.” David could see the intention behind Andy's comment, so he deflected. 

“Why is he trying to date me then?” David said, laughing off the comment. 

“David.” Andy looked serious now, like the old mother hen imparting her wisdom. “I know a million boys in Sydney that would have happily put a ring on that boy’s finger. He hasn’t opened up to anyone but you. He is all in. I can see it on his face. If you want him, he’s yours. Just decide what you want.”

“Oh. Ummm. Okay. Thanks, Andy,” David smiled and tried to walk away toward the bathroom.

“And for what it’s worth, I think he’s right," Andy's words made him turn back to face him. 

“About what?” David narrowed his eyes.

“That you are worth it, darling. Let yourself have 'the nice boy'. I let myself have Tim.” Andy winked and walked off. 

***

Patrick woke up on their last day together and didn't go down for his pre-work swim. He didn't care if David was fast asleep, he would take the extra half an hour of feeling his body pressed against his. 

They had plans to walk up the beach and eat at Panaroma again, and spend the rest of the afternoon in the hotel. Patrick wasn't giving into the feeling of deja vu he was having. It was exactly the same day they had when he thought David was leaving for good. 

He tried to keep his anxiety at bay, but David still hadn't said that he was welcome to come to New York. And while he understood, Patrick was the one who made up the arbitrary deadline. He hoped David could admit how much he wanted what they had together. He needed him to see it. The waiting was driving him a little mad.

He kissed David on the top of his head which caused him to snuffle and then snuggle in a little tighter, and he would take it. He'd take anything David offered at this point. He had known on some level since the last time he’d had to say goodbye to David, that he was all in. He wanted David. But he knew there was no forcing David into anything. David had to get there by himself. 

Patrick gave him one final soft kiss on his shoulder and quietly untangled himself from his arms. 

***

Thankfully David brought it up as they walked along Bondi beach on their way to lunch. They were strolling along hand in hand, not speaking and just taking in the ocean, when he finally piped up with a simple, "I want you to come."

Patrick's head snapped up to take in David's face. He searched it hoping to see confirmation there, but David was still looking out to sea, uncertainty clouding his features. 

"Okay," Patrick could tell there was something else, so he gave him a minute. 

"But I also think you should go to South East Asia, and we should both spend some time. You know, just, doing whatever we want, no promises... and when you get to New York, we can see where we are."

"So… are we in contact? In this time?" Patrick asked tentatively.

"Hmmmm, not sure?" David finally looked at him. 

"Okay," Patrick cleared his throat. "You've said what you want, and now I'm going to tell you what I want, and then we can maybe find a compromise?"

"Okay," David sounded a little hesitant. 

He stopped them and motioned between them. “The last few days, haven't changed how I feel about us. Actually, that's a lie. I want it more than I wanted it before. And I know that you don't know how to really deal with somebody who wants to be there for you. I'm not going to hold that against you. I know that these past few days have been just as important for you as they have been for me and you want this to work out. However, I also know that I have to wait for you to get there on your own, so I will agree to your conditions, but I'm going to keep in touch when and where I can."

Now it was David's turn to clear his throat and look away. 

"I've got a month here, and then I'll do two or three weeks in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. So that gives you about two months, give or take."

"Okay," David looked surprised, but he managed to get out those two syllables.

"And then I'm coming for you David." Patrick said confidently with a little quirk of his eyebrow.

David was really trying to tamp down his smile. Patrick could see him trying to fight it. He bit it down, his eyes flashed away, but in the end, it landed and his dimple popped and he even showed his teeth. It was like a cactus flowering in the desert; special. His hands were on his hips and he moved them to Patrick's shoulders, nodding, his lips pursed again, but the dimple was still there. 

"Okay," he said and leaned in for a kiss, and Patrick finally had the thought that they just might make it after all.