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2009

“I love you, you know” It comes out almost like a question; the uncertainty hangs uncomfortably in the air. Patrick doesn’t look at him when he says “I know” and Pete wants to scream because no, you don’t. You really fucking don’t


But all he does is watches Patrick’s lips quirk up into a small smile, his eyes hidden under the brim of his hat, his body is warm and comforting when he moves to hug him, something he doesn’t do quite as often as Pete wishes him to.


Pete’s hands clutch the back of his stupid black tee tightly “So you like my new haircut?” he asks, hoping his voice doesn’t sound too choked up.
Patrick presses his face to the crook of Pete’s neck, laughing; its reverberation run softly through his body. Pete wants to keep him forever.


“You always make a terrible choice with your haircut” there’s a smile in his voice
“Say you” Pete smirks; one hand idly plays with the reddish gold hair at the nape of his neck. Patrick sighs and goes still in his arms.

Pete inhales deeply.
Under the fluorescent light of the dressing room, Patrick’s skin looks almost translucent and Pete feels as if he is slipping away through the crack of his hands.

“Are we going to be alright?” He doesn’t bother hiding how his voice breaks anymore
“Of course, we are” A Lie but Pete let them have this; the pretense of normalcy, of believing in the fairy tale ending, of happiness; however fleeting it is.Joe and Andy find them a few moments later. Joe look tired and Andy’s eyes are red rimmed.

Patrick leaves and Pete writes everything he didn’t says down in a messy scrawl with shaking hand.

………………………………

Patrick closes the door behind him, taking in the emptiness of the room.

He used to swear that he would do anything to have a room for himself when they were still going around the state, using their shitty white van. He wonders if it is ironic for him to want to take that wish back now.

“I love you” He says, tasting the words on his tongue; they taste bitter - like regret.
“I love you” He says; feeling anger rise up his spine, making his head spin. This isn’t how love should feel like.
“I love you” He says; defeated, all the fight draining out of him.

He re-schedules his flight back to Chicago from late afternoon to early morning tomorrow.

 

2010

He doesn’t remembers how it happened;

how the only way he sees him anymore is through the blue screen of his laptop, how the only words he heard from him is through somebody who know somebody who know him. He doesn’t remember how it has become too long since the last time they’d texted each other.

He doesn’t remember how the promise of ‘I’ll see you soon’ has become only a set of empty words.

He does remember reaching out for his phone, only to stop mid-typing when he realizes that they aren’t exactly talking anymore.

He does remember almost hit the green calling button in the middle of the night but stop before he does.

He does remembers the last lyrics he had sent to him, a mess of black ink over white paper. He can barely make out what he wrote there. Patrick doesn’t send anything back.

Most times he remembers vividly his eyes, his laugh, his voice and his presence.

Sometimes he thinks he will wake up and there he will be; sleeping soundly in the bunk next to his, ready to be pissed at anyone who dare waking him up.

Sometimes he would walk pass the record store and thinking of dragging him there before the knowledge that he is a thousand miles away sink in, before the realization that they are on their way of becoming a stranger clawing up his inside, twisting his gut.

...................................................

He remembers exactly how it happened.He pretends it doesn’t bother him.

Except when it does; except when it’s 3 a.m. and he lie awake; staring at the dark ceiling and wishing for something he doesn’t want to admit.

Except when he cleans out his shelve and an old stack of dusty photos is found and he wishes he didn’t feel so much like an asshole when he shoves them away.

Except when he looks at his phone and keeps expecting to see the familiar name appears as a caller.

Pete doesn’t call and Patrick doesn’t care (but he does).

He types

why didn’t you stop me? Why didn’t you ask me to stay? Why am I not enough? Do you care that we don’t talk anymore? Maybe you just don’t care enough. Nothing is ever enough with us.

A hundred of text messages he would never send. They are angry, most of them. He prefers them that way. He prefers it over the one where he sound almost sad.

It’s pathetic, reminding him of being young and insecure and looking for someone, something – anything to prove himself to.

He still has Pete’s ugly purple hoodie from when he had borrowed him a lifetime ago. He doesn’t let himself think why he still keeps it, doesn’t let himself think why he hangs it in his closet next to his favorite shirt despite having no intention of ever wearing it again. (He already knows why)

 

2011

“Hey, let’s try again okay?” He taps his hand softly; still unsure of how much he is and isn’t allowed to do.

Patrick looks up at him; his eyes still the same shade of green and they still feel like home to Pete.

He doesn’t look away when he takes Pete's hands and grips them tight, his skin stark pale against the tan skin of his.

“Alright” he breaths “Alright”