R for language. Pete/Patrick oneshot. 3,764 words.
The first time was at a coffee shop.
Pete was standing in line, getting two cups of coffee to go; one for him and one for Jeanae. He wasn’t sure why he was getting a cup for her. Maybe it was just one of those things he does without thinking.
Or maybe he was trying too hard. No matter what he did, he always felt like Jeanae didn’t care or didn’t even acknowledge his existence.
But at the same time, he felt there was no one else for him except for her.
Pete wasn’t a stable guy and she wasn’t a stable girl. In Pete’s head that meant “perfect match”, but more times than not Pete would find himself getting the short end of the stick and start to think that in this relationship, he was definitely the less-fucked up person, because almost all of the fights they had were her fault.
Pete gave his order to the nice barista and takes a seat, while waiting. It’s going to be awhile since the place is really crowded. Having nothing better to do while waiting for his coffee; Pete examines the rest of the people who chose Starbucks for their morning coffee.
One person caught his eye though.
It was a younger guy, probably just fresh out of high school if Pete had to guess. He had already placed his order and stood near the “pick-up” counter. He had this jittery look to him, too. Probably a coffee addict Pete thought, it’s not like Pete wasn’t, but as far as Pete knows, he’s never drank so much coffee that he looked as if he was about to jump out of his skin.
Pete’s name was soon called and he made his way up to the counter, maneuvering through the over-crowded building. Pete claimed his coffee’s and noticed the guy he was watching before had a dark ring around his right eye. Pete winced slightly, not wanting to offend him or anything.
“What the fuck?” Pete blinked. And oh, apparently he had been reaching out to touch the other guy’s face.
“Sorry, I didn’t- it’s just that- that looks like it hurts,” Pete said, but didn’t make any move to pull his hand back, “A lot.”
“That’s because it did, asshole.”
“Patrick,” The barista called and the guy, Patrick, picked up his order and pushed passed Pete towards the exit.
And Pete, Pete did feel like an asshole. What kind of person reaches out to touch someone’s bruised face? Pete took a deep breath and headed towards the exit. He made his way to his car and back to Jeanae’s place.
Patrick was the last name that went through his head before sleep that night.
The second time they meet is at Borders.
Pete’s looking for a Chris recommended for him to read, seeing as he doesn’t have anything else to do for the afternoon, he walks into the book and music store. He always wondered what made someone want to put books and CD’s in the same store, because what kind of person can concentrate on reading while listening to music?
…Well, maybe that last part wasn’t as complicated as it sounded, but still, it seemed rather odd.
Pete scanned the store for someone who could help him when he noticed a familiar looking face. Pete walked towards the guy, Patrick, he remembered and suddenly felt the need to apologize again because for the past week he had been thinking about what happened and how badly he wanted to fix what happened.
And now he had a chance.
“Hey, Patrick, right?” Pete said and instantly regretted opening his mouth because he realized Patrick was working and now he just felt like he made things worse.
“Yeah, hold on,” Patrick said, placing a few more books on the shelf and then turned to face Pete, “How can I-,” Patrick stopped. Pete could tell he recognized him, there was a part of him that was happy that Patrick remembered him, but another part that felt like he should run because Patrick probably hated him.
But he knew he had to make things right.
“Um… hi,” Patrick said after a while, “Do you need help with something?”
“No, well, yeah, but- I just wanted to make sure we’re cool?” Patrick rolled his eyes.
“I- we hardly know each other,” Patrick turned back to the box and placed more books on the shelf, “Why do you care?”
“I don’t- I mean, I do and it’s been bugging me all week since Starbucks. I didn’t mean to- y’know, I'm sorry.” Pete explained and really, he hasn’t felt at a loss for words like that in a long time.
“It’s fine, I shouldn’t have reacted as I did anyways,” Patrick shrugged as if it were no big deal. But it /was/, was Pete the only one who saw that?
“No, you had every right to. I shouldn’t have just reached out like that, it was rude of me to do so.”
“Really, it’s okay. I was a little nervous that day, put me in a bad mood.”
“A little? You looked like you were gonna jump right out of your skin,” Pete said and smiled, earning a smile from Patrick as well, which just made his smile turn into a full-on grin.
“Yeah, well, maybe a lot, actually,” The two of them laughed and Pete could feel the stale air begin to clear and everything felt more relaxed and comfortable.
“I totally understand, dude,” Patrick’s face then lost all any sign of happiness and his lips tightened into a frown.
“No, I don’t think you do… umm-”
“Pete.” Patrick nodded, in thanks and it was only then that Pete noticed Patrick’s eye was only a light yellow now.
“Pete, it’s more complicated than you think.”
“What is it? College classes or something? Because I’ve been there, done that. It can get pretty stressful.”
“No, my classes are fine it’s just- you know what? Never mind, it’s none of your business,” Patrick said and all trace of hope at a friendship for Pete was gone, “Now, do you need something or are you just here to make conversation? Because I have a job, you know.”
Pete’s face dropped completely and he started to feel like something had been taken from him without having a chance.
“No. I'll just leave now, thanks,” Pete said, voice tight.
Pete watched as Patrick turned his back to him and took the empty box, that once held books. and took it to the back room, most likely to return with another.
Pete left the store. It was whatever, it’s not like he had any real reason to be mad. They hardly knew each other. But if Pete had a say, he’d say Patrick was a little more defensive than necessary.
The last thing Pete thinks of before he falls asleep that night is that he never got the book he was going to get. Damn it.
The next time they meet is at the park.
Patrick spots Pete sitting under a big tree and really, Patrick wanted to come here for some alone time. When Pete sees him from across the few hundred feet between them, he just exhales and stays slumped against the tree.
Patrick almost feels like shit because is Pete seriously upset? It’s not like Patrick is supposed to just tell everyone his life story at their command. He’s not an open book.
Maybe Pete isn’t upset with Patrick, and even if he is it’s not like Patrick cares. He doesn’t care. He shouldn’t care.
But no matter how many times he tells himself not to, he still finds himself walking over to Pete.
“Hey,” Patrick says, kicking the front of his shoe against Pete’s. Pete just looks up at him with dark eyes. There’s dark circles around them caused by lack of sleep, Patrick assures himself, and he looks like he’s one of the living dead. “Everything okay?” Patrick asks in a soft voice.
Pete grunts in reply. Patrick considers leaving for a moment since Pete’s obviously not in the mood to talk, but he studies Pete’s expression and sits down next to him.
“You’re not mad about Borders, still right?” Patrick asked, he couldn’t help but think about it, even though it probably- most likely wasn’t the case.
“Nah, other shit. You have nothing to worry about if that’s all you came over here for,” Pete said and Patrick took a deep breath because he was not good at comforting people. Usually he was the one who needed the comforting, but Pete looked so much worse off right now and despite the short time they’ve spent together, Patrick felt like he needed to help Pete through- whatever he was going through. If he was willing to be as open as Patrick wasn’t, that is.
“Do you want to talk about it or something?” Patrick finally offered, “I mean, I'm not good with this kind of stuff, but at I'm a pretty good listener.” Pete looked at Patrick and then returned his gaze to the kids playing on the swing sets.
“Just a fucked up relationship. Not much to talk about.” Patrick froze for a second, Pete didn’t know about Steve, did he? There wasn’t any way he could’ve, was there? And they didn’t know enough about each other to go around snooping in each other’s lives, not even close. Patrick sighed and wanted to say something like ‘I know what you mean’, except he couldn’t because- it’s just not something he’s comfortable talking about.
“A break-up?” Patrick asked, instead.
“I wish, she’s so addictive. Jeanae is such a bitch, but no matter how many times the same thing happens, I just can’t leave her,” Pete said, “She just keeps bringing me back in. Lets me destroy myself each time, like it’s my fucking fault,” Pete’s voice was getting louder now. Patrick tried to ignore the stares from other people and focus more on Pete.
“Why do you keep going back, then? If she’s causing you so much trouble,” Patrick questioned.
“Because she’s safe and familiar,” Pete said softly, “I need some stability in my life.”
“That’s- understandable, but why would you stay with someone who hurts you? There has to be someone else out there for you, you deserve better,” Patrick’s not sure who he’s trying to convince more or less on that last part.
“How do you know? Maybe I get what I deserve, you don’t know me enough to have a say,” Pete says, voice going tight.
“What could you have done to make yourself think you deserve that? Doesn’t seem like a fair trade to me.”
“Life isn’t fair,” Was all Pete had to say to that. Patrick was getting a little annoyed. He wasn’t expecting Pete to just say he’s feeling all better and go on with his life, but he wasn’t expecting Pete to be so stubborn either.
Patrick stood up and left. It scared him knowing how similar his and Pete’s relationships were, except at the same time they were different. Pete’s was emotional and Patrick’s was physical.
But Pete’s words didn’t stop ringing in Patrick’s ears until sleep had found him.
The fourth time they met was a little more intentional. Patrick was able to get out of the house and went to Starbucks. He knew Pete would be there, because every time he passed by in the morning on his way to Borders, he’d see Pete there. Sometimes he’d think about talking to Pete for awhile, check up on him. But convinced himself it’d just be better if he didn’t. But now Patrick needed to tell him something. Pete was able to open up to Patrick under the tree, why couldn’t Patrick do the same? Sans tree, of course.
Patrick walked in and crossed the room to where Pete was sitting.
“Hi,” Patrick said
“Hey, what’s up?” Pete said and Patrick smiled, he was happy that Pete was in a better mood and didn’t look so undead today.
“I need to talk to you.”
“Okay, go for it.”
“Can we… go somewhere that’s more private?” Patrick asked, fiddling with the hem of his shirt.
“Sure,” Pete agreed and they went back to the tree in the park. The walk there was quiet, Pete sipped at his ice coffee and Patrick just kept his eyes on the ground. “So,” Pete said once they were there, “What did you need to talk about?” Patrick sat against the tree, followed by Pete, and took a deep breath.
“Well, I couldn’t stop thinking about how honest you were with your relationship last time we talked. And I figured it probably isn’t fair that I haven’t explained myself to you at all.”
“No, dude, it’s fine,” Pete held up his hands, “I'm an open book as far as my feelings go, that doesn’t mean you have to as well.”
“Oh. I still need to do this though. The least I could do is explain myself. Um… I’ll start from the beginning I guess,” Patrick said and lifted his hat to comb his fingers through his thin hair. “The day at Starbucks, when I had that black eye. It- it was part of the reason I had been nervous. I'm not in a real healthy relationship either,” Patrick paused and couldn’t help but notice the way Pete’s expression turned, “Okay. Well, yeah. I have this boyfriend, Steve. He has a pretty bad temper-”
“So you just let him punch you in the face? Do you know how many kinds of fucked up that is?” Pete was yelling now.
“I can’t really do anything else, Pete.” Patrick’s voice went soft, “No matter what I do, he’s always going to find a way to blame me or- like… it’s just easier to roll with the punches sometimes, y’know?”
“I think you’re taking that too literally, Patrick. And, for starters you could call the cops. Why would you let someone hurt you like that?” Patrick did a small, pathetic looking half smile.
“Because it’s familiar.”
“Patrick, you can’t just-”
“I can’t just, what Pete?” Patrick’s short temper was making it’s appearance again.
“Patrick, how can you stay with someone who hurts you?”
“That’s funny, I thought I asked you the same thing,”
“Yeah, but you’re worth more than- whatever you think you’re worth-”
“And so are you,” Patrick said, voice now soft again.
“Maybe,” Pete said, lowering his volume as well.
“How about definitely,” Patrick corrected and Pete laughed
The two of them laid there for a the rest of the morning and by the time the afternoon rolled around, they were on their backs looking up at the sky; exactly like every cliché summer romance movie ever portrayed.
“Peter Pan is definitely the best Disney movie,” Pete said.
“No way, what about The Lion King?” Patrick turned his face towards Pete’s.
“What about it?”
“That movie was awesome, with the talking animals and all,” Pete turned his head to meet Patrick’s now.
“Talking animals? C’mon, Peter Pan has /Neverland/, nothing beats Neverland,” Pete smiled.
“Except talking animals,” Patrick smirked. And now, now it was a challenge. Or it would’ve been if Pete hadn’t decided to move his head the one or two inches that were separating their faces and press his lips to Patrick’s.
The kiss was a bit awkward due to the angle they were at, but Patrick found his eyes fluttering shut and pressing into it. The kiss only lasted a few seconds, but when they broke apart they smiled at each other like there was a whole new world was opened to them; which under the current circumstances, there was. And before they parted ways for the day, they punched in their phone numbers into each other’s cell phones, hoping the that their future meetings weren’t so unintentional as most of the previous ones have been.
That night, the last thing both of them thought about before going to sleep, was each other.
Pete woke up the next morning feeling refreshed. He skipped showering and threw on the first pair of jeans and shirt he saw, which happened to be skinny jeans and a Clandestine shirt, who would’ve guessed? Pete then proceeded to go to the kitchen and prepared the coffee machine for its daily activities.
Pete then made a much needed decision. He went to the spare bedroom and opened the door, where Jeanae –and some nameless guy– were laying. Pete never cared before about how much of a slut she was, he just asked that whatever her and whoever she brought home did, that it’d be in the spare bedroom instead of using his bed.
“Jeanae,” Pete said, earning a hum in reply, Pete just stared at her. He hadn’t really planned how he was going to tell her, but that wasn’t anything new. Pete Wentz doesn’t plan. “Get your shit together, I want you out of here by then end of the day,” He said and left the room, only to hear footsteps following him seconds later.
“What did you say?” Jeanae demanded.
“Your shit, get it together. I want you out of here by the end of the day. Don’t forget your new boyfriend either,” Jeanae’s face softened and she wrapped her hands around Pete’s waist.
“Petey, don’t you think we can work this out? You don’t mean that,” Pete unlatched Jeanae’s hand from his waist and turned around.
“No, Jeanae, you’re wrong, I do mean it. Get out,”
“Out,” And with that, she stomped off. Pete gave himself a metaphorical pat on the back and poured himself a cup of coffee. Today he wasn’t going to let anything –or anyone, ruin his day.
Patrick’s morning was filled with less happiness, unfortunately.
It started when he first thought about leaving Steve the previous day after he and Pete had kissed. Patrick knew that he had to get out of his relationship with Steve. He knew it a long time before he met Pete, but now he knew something had to be done. He shouldn’t just be letting someone ruin his life like this.
But Patrick knew it wasn’t going to be easy. If it was easy then he’d have done it months ago.
So he called Pete.
“Hey, Patrick,” Pete answered, smile evident in his tone, which made Patrick smile as well.
“Hey, Pete,” Patrick said, “Do you think you could help me out with something today? It’s kind of important.”
“Sure, what is it?”
“Um, I'll explain when you get here,” Patrick said and told Pete his address.
They said their goodbyes and Patrick was getting more nervous with each passing minute. What if this wasn’t the best idea? Maybe he shouldn’t have dragged Pete into this without telling him first. Yeah, that was probably his biggest mistake.
Time passed slowly, but Pete arrived at the apartment. When Pete saw Patrick’s face he knew that something was wrong. He wasn’t sure what it was, but he could see worry on across his face.
“What’s wrong?” Pete asked.
“Nothing’s wrong…,” Patrick said, “But I'm cutting things off with Steve today,” Patrick finished and now Pete knew. “You don’t have to stay, but I was- I don’t know… thinking- I just can’t do this alone, so-” Pete put a hand on Patrick’s shoulder.
“Patrick, I'm not going anywhere,” Pete said and smiled and so did Patrick, “You know, I broke up with Jeanae today too.”
“Really?” Patrick asked and let Pete inside.
“Yeah, kicked her out and everything,” Pete said with pride.
“That’s great, Pete.”
“Yeah. So where’s Steve?”
“Good. Okay, so what you’re going to do is just walk in and say “I'm leaving” then get your stuff together and leave,” Pete explained and Patrick just stood slack-jawed.
“Yeah, see, when people are tired, they don’t want to fight. So, it’s easier to break news to them that way. Even if he does try to fight back, it’s not like he’ll be able to do much, y’know?” Patrick shook his head.
“Do you remember when I said Steve has a bad temper? I wasn’t kidding,” When Patrick said that, Pete could tell he was scared of what would’ve happened. Pete sighed and started thinking about how they would go about the situation.
“Why don’t you just leave, then? You could stay at my house. Just pack and never come back. We could even leave town if you want,” Pete said.
“I can’t do that. We’ve actually had some good times. Enough that I couldn’t just flat out leave him, at least,” Patrick admitted and then went quiet when he saw Steve standing in the bedroom doorway. He looked groggy, had neglected stubble on his chin and was dressed only in boxers. He also looked significantly older than Patrick. He didn’t look like he had heard any of Pete and Patrick’s conversation though, which was a good thing.
“Who’re you?” He asked looking at Pete, eyes squinted.
“What’re you doing here?”
“Talking with Patrick,” Pete said, “Is that okay?” He added in a sarcastic tone, surprised at the actual answer.
“No. Leave,” Steve said, but Pete stayed put. He wasn’t giving in so easily.
“I don’t think so,” Pete said, “I'm fine staying here thank you,” And Steve walked over to him and pinned him to the wall.
“You’ll leave if you know what’s good for you,” Pete looked at Patrick and then back at Steve.
“Sucks for you then, because I'm not the kind of guy who knows what’s good for him,” Pete said and lifted his knee to the other man’s gut. Steve backed off as he gasped for air.
“You’re gonna regret that motherfucker,” Pete ran to Patrick and grabbed his wrist.
“We’ll get your stuff back another time, let’s go,” Pete said and Patrick followed him towards the door.
Patrick wasn’t sure what to do. He knew he shouldn’t stay though. Pete drove them to his house, probably a little faster than recommended, and when he opened the door his house was a mess. Broken plates and glasses in the kitchen and various CD’s and vases broken in the living room.
“So, tired people don’t fight back?” Patrick asked and Pete just scanned the area for more damage count.
“Yeah, maybe it wasn’t the best idea to leave the her at my house alone.” Patrick raised his eyebrows.
“You think?” Pete sighed and just lead Patrick to the couch. The two of them sat in silence in the mess around them.