L&H: 04

Jun. 8th, 2007 11:17 pm
fakebrain: (baby)
[personal profile] fakebrain
Lines and Hearts (4/6)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] sharon_hate
Rated: R (language)
Disclaimer: These are fictional events.
Notes: Beta'd by [livejournal.com profile] matchsticks_p

“Let’s stay friends” is one of the stupidest phrases Patrick has ever heard. (Patrick/Pete)

04: Stealing

It’s the second time that day that Andy is knocking on another man’s door. Actually, though, it was the fourth. The first was, of course, Patrick’s but the second and third belonged to friends (No, ‘acquaintances’ would be more fitting) whom he was helping to quickly escape their domiciles.

Andy didn't really want to, but the obligation was there. Their voices reeked with desperation. ‘Please. Hurry.’

But due to unfortunate circumstances, the authorities were notified, and Andy was forced to climb several fences and commit several not-too-offensive, though still quite illegal, crimes.

It’s 2:36 in the morning, according to Andy’s dusty cell phone (He had dropped it in an old woman’s garden during his Great Escape), and he’s waiting quite patiently, in his opinion, for Pete to open the goddamned door.

When Pete eventually does open the (goddamned) door, it takes a second for Andy to remember why exactly he needed to speak to Pete. ‘Oh, yeah,’ he remembers.

With the door only opened a few inches and the chain still attached on top of that, Andy struggles to make out Pete’s eyes blinking blearily into the dimly lit hallway. He manages, though. “Andy? What. I-augh.”

The day’s activities are beginning to wear on Andy and seeing Pete’s horrible, smug face makes it exponentially worse. (His face isn’t really as smug as it usually is, he has to admit.)

“How could you do that to me. Pete. How, how,” he states and groans, when the weight of the entire day really begins to manifest itself in the back of his knotted neck. Pete apparently does not see this tension, and continues to blink moronically.

“Dude. Dude. It’s like-- 2, 3 in the morning.” 2:37:06, is more like it. “I’m temping at some restaurant and I have to be there when the guy opens. At 5:30. D’you understand my, my irritation?” Pete gripes, pushing the door back in and removing the chain lock with a quiet clink. He allows the door to slowly swing open as he walks back into the recesses of the dark apartment, leaving Andy to stand resignedly at the entrance.

“Who the fuck is that?” Chris’ voice rasps from the bedroom. He once again communicates his resistance to visitors by half-heartedly bellowing, “…Work!” (As in, ‘tomorrow, there is work.’)

“It’s no one, baby!” Pete screams out tiredly. A small, niggling irritation rises up in Andy, creating an innate urge for him to groan in horror (sorrow, also, possibly), but he resists and simply rolls his eyes at the indiscriminate endearment.

“I really can’t believe you,” Andy continues with his half-hearted tirade as he walks into the apartment, eyebrows rising and falling dramatically around his frameless lenses. He’s reminded, suddenly, that he should also direct his righteousness at Christopher. It would be unfair if Pete were to bear the weight all alone. “It’s not ‘no one’! It’s your goddamn drummer, Chris!” he shouts.

With his hip cocked with practiced arrogance, Pete decides it would maybe be best to humor Andy. (It’s not as if his yawning and his outright disapproval of his presence are succeeding in evicting him.)

“Okay, what have I done this time?” he coos, with a short, acerbic edge hidden.

This is going to be long, Pete can sense it. Now, he thinks, would be a good time to work on soothing those inflamed chakras of his. (They had been acting up lately.) Inclining his head against his own shoulder, he takes long, deep breaths and watches Andy’s narrowed eyes through own half-lidded ones.

The frustration and general displeasure are taking a toll on Andy’s usually calm demeanor and he really, really wants to punch Pete at that moment. The chakras, his own suppressed rage, the recent misdemeanors-- He needs an outlet. Long-suffering and breathing in through his nose, Andy sighs, “You didn’t even warn me.”

It’s much more composed than both he and Pete (who was trying exceptionally hard to hold back a smirk at his fury) expected. Despite how comical the situation may be, Pete is now honestly confused and he can no longer blame it on the disturbance of his REM. “Sorry?” he asks with an irreverent smile, hoping for illumination.

(“Go. Away…” Chris drones. Both Andy and Pete politely tell him their conversation is deepening and his antagonizing comments are going unappreciated.

“Shut up!” they yell in unison, much like twins would in a wonderfully horrible sitcom.)

Andy lets his straight line of a mouth quirk upward. “You were fucking him,” he deadpans, matter-of-factly. “Did it slip your mind?”

Pete chokes, laughs and coughs simultaneously, before motioning frantically to the small bedroom where Chris is clearly awake and could very easily listen in on the exchange. Pete sighs affectedly and scratches at his elbow (“Oh, that,” it seems to signify.)

(Its reply is a stern glare, “Yeah, that.”)

“Harsh, man,” Pete finally says, a grimace stretching his mouth downward. “Look, let's-- let's go into the living room or something.”

By “living room”, he means that small cubicle of a room through a doorway, littered with few chairs and a faux-wood coffee table just off-center. Pete motions Andy through the door’s archway, before trudging through with an obvious weight on him. A beanbag chair lies haphazardly against the far wall, inspiring a budding joy deep in Andy’s chest; he hadn’t seen one since he was a kid, visiting his older, slacker cousin in the city. But Pete, ignorant of his friend’s sentiment, throws himself down onto it with a thud, his head lolling back against the cream wall.

Andy scoffs at the display of downright laziness and sloth, while simultaneously trying to ignore the aches developing in his legs from the day’s activities and proceedings. Throwing himself down next to that lazy, contentious bastard Pete seems prettying inviting. But, no-- Andy has class. “Move your ass over,” he whines, with a pout. Pete mutters indignantly (It's his damn house, after all), but complies, and rolls himself off the beanbag and onto the cold floor.

“So, I mean, I can’t really imagine you two together,” Andy admits attentively, as he lowers himself down onto the seat. “But, in a way, it does sorta make sense.” Pete only snorts, but it seems pensive only, and not as bitter as it could have been. It’s different for Pete (the lack of resent, specifically), but Andy welcomes the change with open arms and an open mind. “Why’d you break up?”

“He doesn’t need me, man,” Pete mumbles lowly, tucking his chin down into his chest.

“Whatever you say, you’ve known him forever, right?” Andy tips his glasses down on his nose. “I’ll just say the kid looked inconvenienced,” Pete leers, “Totally frazzled, dude.”

“He’s just a kid,” Pete shrugs stiffly, the curve of his neck against the wall stretch the muscles in his neck uncomfortably. He sits up, and hugs his legs to his chest, pulled in close enough for him to rest his cheek against the top of his knees. (If he weren’t such a small dude, Andy doesn’t think he could pull it off.) “This was like, his first big break up.”

That statement clarifies a lot of things for Andy, so he nods and decides to press his own luck a little further. “So you guys were pretty serious?” The hardwood floor is cold and both their legs are starting to numb, like ear lobes held against ice cubes.

“Breakfast routine, sides of the bed, ‘Hello, this is my partner’, the whole shebang.”

“And you broke up with him?” Andy says brashly, ignoring the small part of him that thought it rude and condescending. (He’s usually so polite.) But Pete, apparently, ignores the connotation and laughs, if a little coldly.

Stretching out his legs beneath him, Pete leans into the wall behind him and pulls himself up from the floor. “Yep,” he hums, staring down at Andy over his slightly rounded cheeks.

(In any other circumstances, a round-cheeked Pete usually would signify a content-Pete, but things are different now, so it could really mean anything. There’s a more than slight chance it could signal a homicidal-Pete, or an introspective-Pete, respectively.)

“By the way,” Pete wobbles slightly before regaining his balance. (Maintaining equilibrium was never a strong suit of his.) “Trickmeister wants you to have the room,” he says over his shoulder, tottering back in the direction of his and Chris’ bedroom, “Y’know, if you still want it.”

“What other options do I have?” Andy asks, scratching dejectedly at his hairline with one hand and adjusting his glasses on the bridge of his nose with the other.

Pete leans back against the doorframe and suggests with a wide, feral (Crazed, also. And manic, too) smile, “You could always stay with your parents.”

The only response Andy could possibly muster to such a ludicrous suggestion is a loud scoff (which is followed by a grumble of disapproval from the once silent Chris), but he quickly shakes off his disgust and allows a smirk to cross his face. “Tell your homo-gay boyfriend I expect breakfast to be waiting in the oven for me when I wake up.”

Pete briefly ducks his head in behind the doorway (Checking on Chris, probably, Andy notes tersely), before reemerging with an arrogant curve to his lips. “N’aw, Patrick doesn’t cook too much.”

“I meant Chris,” Andy clarifies, his eyebrows raised in skepticism and mild alarm. A small ‘oh’ forms on Pete’s face, along with a stunned look. “Let me guess: your first big break up, too?”

But Pete’s not anything, if not resilient (except, maybe viral) and he quickly bounces back. “How’d you know?” he questions with a very strategically placed smirk. Another moment passes as he once again tucks himself away inside the bedroom and resurfaces. Knitting his eyebrows together, he asks, “Hey, you never did tell me why you’re here at such an ungodly hour.”

“Uh, Wisconsin,” Andy states simply. Pete chuckles lowly, shaking his head, and enters their bedroom for the final time.

It’s 1:51 the next time Andy ends up on Patrick’s doorstep (even if, technically, he doesn’t actually have a doorstep). A great war waged internally on whether or not he should have brought a gift or something similar to such. Might as well bring flowers and chocolate, he sneers to himself. Andy Hurley is a man, damn it. (A manly one, at that.)

Patrick answers the door in a shirt that, dare Andy say it, looks like perhaps it was hanged on a wire hanger, rather than tossed from the dryer straight to the floor (like most youths opt to do). All in all, he looks fresh and pleasant, excluding the look of controlled surprise on his face.

“Look, Pete’s an asshole,” Andy explains, rubbing the back of his neck and laughing softly. (Awkwardly. Whatever.)

“Yeah, I kinda realized,” Patrick bites the inside of his cheek, but laughs regardless. It is, surprisingly, mildly amusing having one Pete’s own friends calling him on his assholery. (Patrick needs a thesaurus. Depravity, insensitivity, tactlessness are all much better choices of words.) It ought to happen more often, he thinks. However, he could live with it, if only Andy were doing the calling.

“So, yesterday was kinda weird, right,” Andy sighs, shoving his hands into his pockets gruffly, “but you seemed pretty cool, despite the weirdness I mentioned.”

Really, it’s not as if he’s lying (just bending the truth to his will). The weirdness was plentiful, and it’s not as if Andy had the opportunity to observe Patrick, in all of his (supposed) glory.

“And I think we’re going to get along really great,” he finally finishes. Patrick watches him, face crumpled up unconsciously. (Bullshit has a particular smell.)

“Yeah, me, too,” Patrick manages civilly, sliding his hands into his pockets. He has 12 cents and a crumpled up paper attached by a rusty safety pin -- he had found a passively aggressive note from Joe about You-Know-Who pinned to his favorite pair of boxers in his top drawer (“PS, dude: These are fucking worn”), a guarantee Patrick would read it.

“Oh, shit, right—come in, man,” Patrick gapes, quickly stepping aside, allowing Andy to gait in. “I was just warming up some leftover Chinese food, do you want any? It’s just from last night, so it’s not as if it’s been left sitting for weeks or anything.”

Andy tucks a longer piece of hair behind his ear and follows a rambling Patrick into the depths of the apartment. (His apartment, too, now, he celebrates.) “That’d be cool,” he responds nonchalantly.

As Patrick pulls open the short refrigerator door, he turns his head back and looks to Andy, “Pete told me you were a vegan. Well, at the moment, I’m just a vegetarian.”

“Only?” he questions, still observing the rifling through shelves for small white boxes. (Is this a normal conversation? I think it is, Andy answers himself.) Patrick bursts with quiet triumph, emerging with four containers balanced in his hands.

“Yeah, I’m kind of a coward,” he shrugs, looking to Andy with a taciturn smile.

He stares at Patrick for a second, before blinking and averting his gaze. Being exposed to something so endearing should burn, he’s almost positive of it.

“I doubt it,” he grimaces, turning back to him. He struggles with keeping his gaze (It really does burn a little), “So where’s that ‘Joe’ guy? Is he,” Andy stops and looks around the apartment cautiously, “here?”

Patrick catches it and allows an actual grin to spread across his face, “He’s at work, I’m pretty sure.” Leaning up towards the cabinets, he pulls down two plates and reaches over to the consecutive cabinet and pulls down an additional two glasses.

“He actually works?” Andy voices, honestly surprised. (For some reason, he expected Joe to simply exist, like a mold or something similarly inert.)

Patrick snickers a little bit as he spoons out the cold food onto the plates and he looks sidelong at Andy, who leans naturally against the counter. It was strange for Patrick to be alone, even for those few days. (A few times, he would say something aloud, forgetting no one was there to respond. Then, upon recollection, would swear for a few minutes over his blunder.)

“At a video store, mostly the night shifts,” he shrugs, moving to place a plate in the microwave. “It’s a 24 hour place and people rarely need to watch Sister Act at 4 in the morning, so he mostly just hangs around and calls me to stay up with him.”

“Meow! Meow! Meow! Meow!”

Both looking up, Patrick proclaims, “That’s going to happen a lot.”

Later, as they both sit with cooling plates of leftover Chinese food in their laps, Andy decides that he can somehow (maybe possibly) manage to really like living there. Upon first moving in, Patrick and Pete had discovered a way to steal cable from the family in the room next to theirs (‘Steal’ is an awfully ugly word, though. ‘Commandeer’ is a lot nicer.) and later had even stumbled upon a roaming wireless signal. (The latter thrilled Pete exponentially more than Patrick.)

It’s also a plus that Pete was right (Much to Andy’s dismay. What a world we live in, where Peter Wentz is right!) and Patrick is definitely a ‘righteous, little dude.’

A sudden query pops its way into Andy’s head that he feels imperative to ask. “Okay, so, question: why the hell’d you even go out with him?”

“Um. He was nice?” offers Patrick lamely after a moments consideration. Random questioning often sends him into a panic. Andy scoffs at the ambiguity of the answer and also at Patrick, who fluffs his white rice like a pro.

“Actually, seriously,” he starts again, “we talked and… I didn’t hate him after. That’s a, uh--” Patrick changes the channel right as Kirk Cameron’s face (also known as, The Devil) appears on the screen, “a big deal for me. So we became friends, blah blah blah. The end, right?”

Andy adjusts his glasses and mumbles a response, picking at his now frigid chow mein. Patrick takes another bite of his rice and sniggers at a sitcom, and hilarious mix-up involving the main character and her small (yapping) dog. It’s short-lived, however, as Patrick changes it seconds later. “Hey, you know what they say about white rice, don’t you?” Andy smiles.

Patrick blanches for a second and looks at the sparse plate in front of him. “Gross, man,” then, “Oh, Roseanne’s on.”

“Sweet.” Andy picks at the few pieces of rice stuck to his plate, but mostly directs his attention to the television and the beginnings of the all-night Roseanne marathon.

When Andy was a kid, he had an all-consuming crush on Darlene. She was smart and witty and independent; still everything Andy likes in a woman. Needless to say, he was saddened upon learning of her being a lesbian. (Childhood dreams should not be crushed in such a way. Conversely, it has inspired a few interesting new dreams.)

Just as Roseanne is about to really lay into Dan, the phone rings shrilly and it is truly a terrible day for both Andy and Patrick, who each are giving the other a horrible and venomous look. (The stink eye, even.) Neither wants to miss the wonder that’s about to occur on the television set in front of them.

There’s a small part of Patrick that wants to demand Andy get it, since it’s his apartment, too, now; it’s time he start paying his dues. It really goes against his better judgment when Patrick pulls himself off the low sitting chair and stumbles into the kitchen.

“Hello?” he grumbles, envisioning all that he is missing in his absence.

“Hey, man, what’s up?” Pete greets amiably, though he ensnared in a terrible ennui. “It’s me, Peter,” he grins.

Patrick can actually feel it (the grin, the arrogance… God, everything.) oozing and pressing through the phone and right against his ear. (Honestly, it’s not as if he’s surprised. It’s Pete, after all.)

“Hello, Peter,” he drawls. Today is a good day, he had decided. And today, he feels quick and witty and something else, too, which he had not felt in quite a while. He supposes it has something to do with his current company. (Roommate, actually.) It’s quite nice for Patrick to have someone other than Joe to keep his company (with no offense intended, of course. Joe’s company is quite lovely, usually).

“Why the ‘tude?” Pete questions playfully and picks absentmindedly at his black nail polish. A response comes immediately to Patrick, but it gets caught in his throat. The subject’s still a little sensitive (for both of them, despite how aloof Pete may seem).

Pete definitely heard the way Patrick froze up, but waits patiently for him to divulge its origin.

“No, I just—” Patrick tries to rearrange the thoughts in his head, to help make it more linear and coherent for everyone involved in the conversation (currently: him and Pete). “I just feel okay,” he sputters out finally.

“Okay?” he emits, in a watery shriek. He has obviously missed something, something big and something important. Really, though, Pete grits out, this is great news. ‘Okay’ is great news.

“Yeah. It’s pretty unsettling, actually,” Patrick chuckles.

“Hm,” Pete agrees lowly (for Pete, too, is unsettled). “Hey,” he asks, “can you pass the phone to Andy real quick? I just want to, you know, make sure he’s not taking advantage of you or anything.”

“Okay, hold on—” replies Patrick uncertainly. After a short delay, there’s a rustle and commotion of the receiver being from his hand to Andy’s, before a mumbled greeting makes its way to Pete’s ear.

“Yo!” Pete salutes boisterously, despite the heavy weight on his chest. “I get the vibe you’re all chummy with Patrick now. Is this true?”

Andy doesn’t answer right away and it confuses Pete a little. (Hello, he’s talking. Why isn’t he paying attention?) Pete’s mind whirrs with possibilities as to why.

“How could you do that to him, Pete! How!” Andy whispers harshly and it whistles angrily (almost as angrily as Andy) into Pete’s ear. It’s a pain like none he’s ever felt, and wouldn’t ever like to again.

He chirps out a mystified and disoriented, “What?”

“Dude, you’re such a douche nozzle, really,” Andy states with heavy words.

It’s clear to Pete, that at that moment, Andy was no longer on his side. Patrick had gotten to him, using his wiles and probably that endearing goddamn disposition of his.

Douche nozzle? What the hell? Look, I-” Pete considers explaining the bias, but lets it go and sighs. He clicks ‘off’ and, resigned, drops it onto the couch cushion next to him and pouts into the ether.

notes con't: It's been a while since I've last updated, but I'm getting myself back in the ~groove. I really hope you all enjoyed it and laughed bunches.

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