...Patrick, the other half of his life, was gone...
Pete could hardly believe that he was burying his best friend, and lover, at such a young age, having always envisioned them as growing old together and possibly adopting a kid or two. That had always been the plan, but now Patrick, the other half of his life, was gone, and all that was left was a hollow ache. He gave a shaky sigh and raked a trembling hand through his hair as he took the few steps towards the hole and tossed in the rose, his lips trembling as his silent crying threatened to turn into audible sobbing.
Andy stepped forward as Pete walked away and looked down at the casket, a small frown tugging at his pulled-straight lips. He half tilted his head to the side as he tossed down his rose, saying his own farewell in his head, and walked away, easily catching up with Pete. He returned his hand to the middle of Pete’s back as he walked with his friend to his SUV, seeing as Pete was too emotionally drained to drive.
As far as the press was concerned their public relations had managed to keep the full details out of the newspapers, and amazingly enough, the tabloid rags. The only thing the public was finding out was that Patrick had died due to a drowning. But when it came down to the autopsy, for some reason Patrick had taken some sleeping pills and taken a bath, during which he dozed off and slipped under the water, never to come back up.
The true story had Pete confused, since Patrick hardly ever took sleeping pills, and even then he was careful not to do anything he could pass out during and become harmed. But accidents happened, and unfortunately this accident took the life of one of the few people to ever truly mean anything to him.
Pete got in the passenger seat of the SUV, glaring out the blackened windows at the “vultures” trying to get pictures of the funeral, and the funeral goers. He shook his head slightly, thinking more and more less of the paparazzi than he ever thought possible. The head movement caused his hair, that he had kept to the side of his face to fall the rest of the way, covering part of his face. “You would think that maybe, just maybe, they could respect a fucking funeral,” he murmured as Andy began to make a slow drive out of the cemetery.
“They don’t know how to take a day off, Pete,” Andy replied as he made sure not to hit any of the moron photographers who decided they wanted to try to get a picture of the two through the heavily-tinted windows. “They make their dirty money butting into people’s lives, no matter how personal or private the moment is.”
As Pete blinked, a thick tear made its way straight down his cheek, plopping onto the pant leg of the black skinny jeans he had worn, knowing that Patrick wouldn’t have wanted him to be uncomfortable when dealing with a thing such as his lover’s death. He barely registered the light touch of Andy wiping away the tear remnants from his cheek. When he realized what happened, he gave a very small twitch of the corner of his mouth that could maybe be confused for a small smile.
“Did you want to head back to my home, Joe’s, or your mom’s?” Andy asked, seeing as the place that had once belonged to Pete and Patrick was all the way back in California. At the request of Patricia, Patrick’s mom, the funeral had been held in Chicago, and the spoken options were the closest ones for right now.
“Either your place, or a hotel,” Pete answered, leaning his head on the window as the SUV pulled onto the road, finally getting out of the cemetery, and began speeding away from the funeral. “To be honest I just don’t want to be around any more sympathetic looks, and you’re the only one not smothering me with one.”
“It’s because I know how much you hate looks like that,” Andy answered as he gave his friend a small smile and pulled onto the highway. “Let’s go ahead and just get you to a hotel for now, and then in the morning you can decide where you want me to take you. That work for you?”
“Sounds perfect to me,” Pete answered before he closed his eyes, relaxing into the door of the SUV.
Andy sped up a little as he worked on getting out of the town as soon as possible before pulling over because he knew the paparazzi would be looking anywhere they could in the nearby areas to find them. He didn’t know how far they would go to find the two of them right now, but he knew they could be pretty bad about their stalking.
For a while all that could be heard was the sound of the SUV moving over the wet pavement, the soft snoring of Pete, and every now and then the sound of the wiper blades moving over the window in the light downpour. He didn’t dare turn on the radio because he knew that in these light sleeps any noise could wake up Pete, who hadn’t gotten any sleep for the past week during all of the funeral arrangements.
Andy had just pulled off the exit, and Pete was still passed out, thankfully, when his efforts turned moot as a car started drifting into their lane and Andy had to hit his brakes to avoid an accident. He frowned, tightening his grip on the wheel to keep from screaming every cuss word he knew, when Pete lifted his head up, blinking tiredly. “We’re almost to an hotel,” he said as Pete did a small stretch. “I would have stopped sooner, but you know how the ‘vultures’ can be.”
Pete gave a small nod. “Yeah,” he replied, his voice a little hoarse from sleep. “I appreciate it.”
“Anytime, Pete, anytime,” Andy said as he pulled into the parking lot of a hotel that looked pretty run down, parking in front of the door. “I’ll go ahead and take care of us getting a room so you can rest for a couple extra minutes, okay?”
Pete watched as Andy got out of the SUV and walked around before heading inside the beat up building. Turning his eyes away from the door, he looked out the window at the city they were in so he could see if there was anything within sight that could make him even think about eating. He knew he should, it would be what Patrick would want, but it was just so hard to.
They had both promised each other a long time ago that if one or the other should die, the other wouldn’t mourn themselves into the grave spot next to the deceased. But, if it were the other way around, could Patrick do it? Could Patrick eat? Could he sleep, or even crack a smile? Could Patrick really stick to the promise he and Pete had sworn to each other? He honestly didn’t think so, even though if he had died he would have watched over his love in hopes that he would hold up to the promise. Which more than likely meant that, if possible, Patrick would be doing the exact same thing. He sighed as he thought about this, trying to make himself try to consider eating once him and Andy got settled into the hotel room.
When Andy emerged from inside the building, a key hanging from a piece of plastic, he lifted a brow at how out-dated the hotel was. He looked at his friend when the drummer climbed into the SUV. “Is that actually a room key that’s not a piece of plastic?” He questioned, making Andy chuckle.
“It appears to be,” Andy said as he shifted gears, having left the engine running when he went inside, and moved the vehicle over to the side of the building before turning it off. He got out of the vehicle with Pete, both heading to the room, Pete following Andy since he didn’t know which room was theirs.
Andy used the key to unlock the door to the hotel room and pushed it open, allowing Pete to walk in first. “How about I go get our bags while you pick your bed?” He offered, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose since they had fallen slightly. “This way you can take a shower, maybe feel a slight bit better, huh?”
“If you want,” Pete answered with a small shrug. “But it doesn’t really matter to me. I‘m not even sure a shower would do any good.”
“You never know until you try, Pete,” Andy said with a small smile as he headed outside, shutting the door behind himself since he still had the room key with him.
Pete moved to the nearest bed, not really caring which one he picked since he more than likely wouldn’t be sleeping, even though he was exhausted, emotionally and mentally while working on physically. He stared at it for a moment, till trying to remember and get used to the feeling of sleeping in a bed alone. He had been doing it for the past week but the feeling was still somewhat alien to him because of how long he had been sleeping with Patrick. He couldn’t remember the last time he had slept alone before Patrick had started staying the nights at Pete’s home instead of his own, before they finally moved in together in a new home they both picked out and designed together. How many years had it been?
Pete was so deep in thought that he didn’t even notice when Andy came in, his bag slung over his shoulder while carrying Pete’s in his hand. He was unaware of the door being lightly kicked shut before the bags found a home by the hotel door and Andy made his way over to him. He jumped, startled, when Andy gently put his hand on the small of his back, causing him to look at the red head.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” Andy said, his voice quiet as he gave Pete a small, apologetic smile. “I just wanted to let you know I was back, so you could go take your shower.”
Pete managed a weak smile as he looked back to the bed “It’s okay,” he replied, “you didn’t mean to, so it’s okay.”
“Did you pick your bed while I was gone?” Andy asked, motioning to the two beds.
Pete shook his head as he moved away from Andy, to his bag, to pull out a pair of thin sweats and an old T-shirt. He slung the clothes onto his shoulder and moved to the bathroom. “Can you have it cold in here for me, for when I get out?” Pete questioned, giving Andy a slightly hopeful look, which was more of an expression, besides anger, or depression, that Andy had seen in his friend since they found out about their friend.
Andy gave a small nod. “Sure thing, Pete,” he answered, “I’ll go ahead and get the A/C unit turned on while you’re in the shower.”
“Thanks, Andy,” Pete said as he walked in to the bathroom, not yet shutting the door. He turned to face Andy, half-way shutting the door. “Go ahead and pick what bed you want while I’m in here, because honestly, I don’t care.”
Andy nodded and gave Pete another small smile before the door shut, leaving Andy alone in the hotel room. He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair before he walked over to the ancient A/C unit and turned it on, ignoring the predictable smell from the first blast of air. That smell had always made Andy wonder when the units, the ones that produced that smell, had been used last since not all made it.
Using the chance of Pete being in the shower, he stripped down to his boxers, putting his dirty clothes on top of his bag, and sat in the middle of one of the beds, closing eyes to relax until Pete was done. He felt bad for Pete, having to suffer this kind of loss, but he knew that eventually Pete would be okay, and be able to move on; find the happiness that everyone knew Patrick would have wanted him to have. He wished there was something he could do for Pete, but he knew that unless he was actually asked there would be nothing he could do.
He opened his eyes, coming out of his meditation, when the door to the bathroom opened and Pete walked out, his damp hair hanging limp on his head, making him look like a drowned rat. “Was I right about the shower?” He questioned, smiling a little when Pete nodded.
“Yeah, thanks for the suggestion,” Pete answered. “It did help out a little…” He looked down as he used the towel in his hands to dry his hair.
Andy frowned as he recognized the look on Pete’s face. “Is there something else wrong?” He questioned, his tone showing his concern. When Pete shrugged, he frowned more. “What is it, Pete? You know you can tell me.”
“I’m just tired, that’s all,” he answered. “Do you mind if I go ahead and crash?” When Andy shook his head and offered a small smile, he went to the bed that Andy wasn’t on and laid down, leaving the towel by the bathroom door.
Andy watched as Pete laid down, hoping that his friend would be able to get some sleep. He got up from his spot and turned off the light before laying down, hoping to get some rest himself. He muttered a quiet “good night” to his friend before closing his eyes, relaxing as much as he could into the firm mattress. He didn’t know how long he had been laying there, unable to sleep, before the bed shifted behind him and he felt a slightly cool body pressing against his own. He smiled to himself when he heard Pete’s breathe even out, followed by soft snoring that gradually got louder as Pete sank into a deeper sleep.
“It’s okay, Pete,” Andy whispered to the sleeping male pressed close to him, “I’m here for you, and I’m not going anywhere.”
- 7 Days Earlier -
Andy and Patrick both yawned as the movie they had been watching together came to an end. Patrick had been bored while Pete was away on business and he knew Pete would be gone for a couple more days, so he had called Andy over for company. After having dinner and watching a few movies, both guys were pretty tired.
“Wow, I honestly don’t know why I’m so tired,” Patrick said as he rubbed at his eyes after removing his glasses.
“If you want me to head on out, I really won’t be upset,” Andy said as he yawned, rubbing at his own eyes. “If you’re tired, then I’m not going to make you stay awake for me.” He gave Patrick a sly smile. “You should be saving your energy for when Pete gets home,” He teased, chuckling when Patrick groaned, blushing from the words.
“Damn it, Andy, don’t say things like that,” he said as he shook his head, fighting off another yawn. “But no, I don’t want you to go. I called you out here, I’m not going to send you off. At least stay here so you don’t have to get a hotel.”
“Are you sure?” Andy questioned, wanting it to show that he didn’t want to impose.
“I’m positive, Andy,” he said, reassuring his friend. “I brought you out here, the least I could do is let you stay with me. Besides, I’m sure the jet lag is catching up to you by now.”
Andy gave a nod and a smile. “Yeah, it is… I was just trying to fight it off so I didn’t pass out during the movies.”
“Then, let’s go ahead and crash, it’s completely understandable.”
Andy nodded and followed a very sleepy Patrick, who was starting to have trouble standing on his own, to the guest room, where he walked in and both guys said their ‘good night’s to each other. Andy moved to the bed and took a book from the bag he had brought in to the room when he had first arrived at the lovers’ house, needing to pass a bit of time.
He took his time reading the words, not wanting to rush or it would be too soon to go through with his plans. Every now and then he lifted his eyes from the pages of the book and glanced at the clock before he continued reading, waiting for a couple of hours to pass, since he wanted to make sure there would be no chance of Patrick waking up and stopping his plans. When it was time, he got up and quietly made his way to the bathroom, plugging the drain and running luke warm water into the tub.
He sat on the edge of the counter, waiting patiently for the tub to fill with the right amount of water, contemplating if he was actually about to go through with his plans. When the tub was ready, he turned off the water and headed to Patrick and Pete’s room, quietly opening the door. He was pleased to hear the quiet snores that signaled it was safe to continue as intended. Walking into the room, he moved to the bed and lightly nudged Patrick, giving a satisfied smile when Patrick didn’t stir or show any sign of waking up; he had never wanted his friend to suffer.
Being careful in scooping Patrick into his arms, and making sure to not grab anywhere hard enough to leave bruises, he slowly carried the sleeping male to the bathroom, thankful Patrick preferred sleeping in the nude. It would be less he had to remove once in the bathroom. Inside the bathroom, he had a small moment of panic as Patrick groaned in his sleep, making him pause in his actions. When Patrick settled in his arms, he moved to the tub, having only one moment of hesitation before he slowly lowered Patrick into the tub. He gave his friend a soft kiss on the forehead and let him slowly sink down into the water.
“I’m sorry, Patrick,” he said quietly as he stared at the peaceful face of his slowly dying friend, “but I can treat him better than you ever could, and I know this is the only way he’ll give someone like me the time of day.”
He stayed there, waiting to make sure the deed was fully finished, waiting a full fifteen minutes to be safe, before he headed out of the bathroom, and to the guest room, grabbing his bag and his book. After he made sure there was no proof that he was even there he headed out to his rental car and drove off, heading in the direction of the airport, not once looking back in the rearview mirror.
[Authors Note: Okay... So I killed Patrick... Well, technically Andy did, but you know what I mean. The story idea was actually Shaun's, but since he's an artist, not a writer, I was requested to make Andy kill Patrick for a chance with Pete. But how it happened was all up to me, and this is what I did. So I hope you all liked it and I missed you guys, but what happened was Jabba the Hungry, aka my mother, lost our internet for what felt like a while but was in reality, a couple of weeks. She never told me when we get it back because she wanted it for herself. So that's where I've been and I actually have a couple of one-shots to post for you guys, so I hope you like them too. =)]