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Title: Anywhere You Let It Go
Pairing: Patrick/Pete, Spencer/Brendon
Rating: PG-13
Word count: ~20,000
Summary: “Okay, this is what I’ve figured out so far. I’m stuck in some sort of hell that looks vaguely like a Sandra Bullock movie.”
A/N: Okay, wow, I'm finally posting this monster. This would not be possible without the awesome beta abilities of callsigns, I'm so serious, because this thing was kicking my ass, and she totally saved me.
So. There's a baby. There are references to all sorts of hoofed animals, including ponies. There's Jon being awesome. And! There's also a bonus My Chemical Romance Alternate Ending for civilbloodshed!
Title is taken from Something To Look Forward To by Spoon. Enjoy, and feedback would be loverly.

download the soundtrack

[Part I]

Brendon’s hiding. He probably shouldn’t be hiding, but he’s got Charlie with him, and they’ve got cartons of milk they stole from the basement kitchen and three sleeves of Chips Ahoy cookies between them, and the balcony is dark. He can see the altar perfectly through the railings from their spot on the floor, the pre-wedding bustle, Adrian still in her jeans and t-shirt, shouting exasperated orders at the florists.

Brendon knows that Adrian knows where they are. He can tell by the way she keeps glaring up at the balcony and clenching her fists, but he figures she’ll send one of her minions for them when they’re really needed.

“So you know your mom is scary, right?” Brendon says, and Charlie just looks at him with these huge green eyes.

Brendon sighs. He eats another cookie. He’s kind of hoping that if he eats enough, he won’t be able to fit into his suit.

Still, it doesn’t quite hit him, doesn’t quite register that today is the day, until Patrick shifts into view at the top of the back steps.

Charlie’s face lights up and he says, “Da,” and fumbles to his feet and toddles over with his arms outstretched expectantly, fingers grabby, and watching Patrick cuddle Charlie to his chest makes Brendon suddenly wish he was a baby himself, and that the biggest, scariest thing he had to do that day was handle an unexpected lack of Cheerios.

He crumbles a cookie in his palm as his hand fists over it, mouth dry.

“Hey there,” Patrick says, smiling. He tips his hat back as Charlie reaches for the brim and laughs. “Ready?”

Brendon swallows hard and nods.

**

The day Charles Peter Stump was born was the day Pete forgave Patrick for getting married.

After the ceremony, after no amount of screaming or sullen silences could get Patrick to change his mind, Pete hadn’t said one word to Patrick for six months. It’d made touring kind of hard, but Patrick could be just as stubborn, if not more so than Pete, and he wasn’t going to let their personal issues fuck up the band.

He hadn’t exactly been in love with Adrian, but he’d liked her enough to want to make it work, and he’d always wanted kids. He figured Pete was just going to have to deal with it, with them, and he didn’t know what the fuck his problem was, anyway. Marriage hadn’t changed Joe.

But anyway, the day Charles Peter – because Pete was still his best friend, no matter how much of an asshole he was being – Stump came into the world, Pete showed up at the hospital with a big stuffed Hemmy and pressed his face into Patrick’s neck and left his skin a little damp with tears.

*

Pete wasn’t smug when Patrick’s marriage started going downhill. His mouth would get tight when Patrick argued with Adrian over the phone, even when he tried to keep his voice soft. He’d eye Patrick warily and curl up next to him on the couch and ask how Charlie was and he wouldn’t be smug at all.

When Patrick was home he spent as much time with Charlie as possible, and Adrian and Patrick would sleep back to back, and Patrick wondered when they’d stopped talking about anything other than the baby.

Their relationship hadn’t been ideal to begin with, yeah, and add Charlie and another tour into that mix and things between Adrian and Patrick were sort of strained towards breaking, but he hadn’t thought it was over until she got quiet, until she pressed a palm to her forehead and squeezed her eyes shut and sort of laughed, like it wasn’t funny at all, and said, “Christ, Patrick, can’t you. You’re in love with Pete. You’ve always been in love with Pete fucking Wentz, and I’m.” She pinned him with bright eyes. “I’m only in the way.”

Patrick opened and closed his mouth. He shifted on his feet and flapped a hand and finally said, “I’m not—”

“You are,” she said with disturbing conviction. “You’re so in love with him it’s pathetic, Patrick, and I’m tired…” She drifted off, shook her head. “I’m just tired, okay?”

Patrick dropped down into a kitchen chair. He cradled his head in his hands and his eyes burned and he couldn’t deal with all that now, he couldn’t. He said flatly, “You’re leaving me.”

“I’m not leaving you,” she countered softly, and Patrick looked up, hopeful and a little bewildered, heart knocking loudly in his chest.

Adrian sighed. She sat down across from him and took one of his hands and said, “I’m not going to hate you for this,” which totally wasn’t reassuring at all.

“Okay,” he said. He pressed his lips together and nodded.

“I’m leaving this marriage,” she said, squeezing his hand, “but I’m not leaving you.”

To Patrick, it kind of sounded like the same thing.

*

Patrick wasn’t sure if Brendon had the worst possible timing ever or the best. He bounced into town just as Adrian was packing up the last of her things, and Patrick was at the park down the street with Charlie when Brendon found him.

“You, Patrick,” Brendon said, sitting down next to him on the metal bench, a huge Starbucks cup in his hands, “are possibly the best thing Chicago has to offer. I’m being honest here. Coffee?”

Patrick said, “No,” then leaned down into the opening of the stroller to make faces at Charlie.

Brendon leaned down and made some faces of his own. When Charlie just stared at them, Brendon scratched the back of his head and said, “Huh.”

“Don’t insult my kid, Urie,” Patrick said, and Brendon said, “No, no. I mean, he’s totally just practicing his ‘don’t encourage Uncle Pete’ expression. You crack a smile, you risk tasteless jokes for the rest of your life.”

Patrick snorted. “Yeah, you’re one to talk.”

“Oh, but I’m actually funny, my dear Patrick,” Brendon said, grinning. He bumped his shoulder. “Got room for me in that shack of yours?”

Patrick slanted him a look. “You hiding from anyone in particular?”

Brendon shrugged, picking at the cardboard sleeve on his cup. “Pete mentioned something and, you know,” he said vaguely, shrugging again, catching Patrick’s eyes, “I figured we could be miserable together for a little while.” He tried for another grin, but it didn’t quite make it past the corners of his mouth.

“The band?”

Brendon said, “I’ve got a couple weeks.”

*

In a way, it helped Patrick cope. He didn’t have to focus on his own problems if he could just focus on Brendon, on how Brendon wouldn’t talk about anything that meant anything for the first few days after he moved into one of the guest bedrooms. On how Brendon sometimes stumbled down to breakfast with bruised, red-rimmed eyes, and sometimes Patrick woke up in the middle of the night to find Brendon curled into him above the covers, body tinier than Patrick ever remembered him being.

A couple weeks turned into a month, and then almost two, and finally Patrick sat Brendon down and asked, “Okay, want to tell me what’s going on? Did.” He swallowed. “Did you guys have a fight or something?”

“No, um.” Brendon ducked his head. “We’ve got some new stuff to practice, and I. I just needed—”

“They know where you are, right?” Patrick cut in, and Brendon rolled his eyes.

“Yeah, dude, of course. I’m here, right? Who doesn’t know?”

Patrick gazed at him skeptically. He hadn’t exactly been having a ton of visitors the past couple months, and Adrian wasn’t the type to gossip. The guys were all in LA – he hadn’t actually been avoiding Pete, but he hadn’t really been talking to him, either; only maybe he’d been talking to him, but he just wasn’t saying anything that really mattered - and Chicago was the sort of scene where everything and nothing was news, so it was entirely possible that no one knew Brendon Urie of Panic! was currently living in his house.

Pete told me to come,” Brendon said, and okay, yeah, he had a point, and if Pete knew, then at least Ryan probably knew, too.

“All right, fine.” Patrick nodded.

“Yeah.”

They stared at each other for a few minutes. Brendon squinted one eye shut and then the other, back and forth, until Patrick prompted, “And?”

“And what?”

Patrick leaned forward on his elbows, tipping his hat back. “And what’s wrong, Brendon?”

Brendon blew out a heavy breath and sunk down lower in his chair. “Nothing,” he muttered petulantly.

“Right, nothing,” Patrick scoffed. “That’s why you either cry yourself to sleep at night or don’t sleep at all. Of course it’s nothing. Look, you’re my friend, Brendon, and I sort of love you in the way that I don’t find you as annoying as apparently most other people in the world do, but my life is currently more fucked up than I’d like it to be, and you’re just—”

“Spencer and I broke up,” Brendon interrupted.

Patrick blinked at him. “Oh. Did I know you were dating?”

“Maybe.” Brendon shrugged. “Probably not. That was kind of the problem.”

*

“Do we think Chuck here’s a little young for the zoo?”

“You call him Chuck again and you die,” Patrick said amiably, pushing Charlie’s stroller past the giraffes as fast as he could. Giraffes sort of freaked him out. He didn’t, however, want Brendon to know that.

Brendon was practically skipping along next to him, a stuffed polar bear cradled in one arm, sipping at a cherry slushie. “No, seriously, I was reading up on it and all and I don’t think he can even register, like, shapes yet.”

“He’s eight months old, Brendon. I’m pretty sure he can see shapes.”

“Wait, wow, he’s that—he’s eight months old?” Brendon paused, leaned against the railing, and Patrick slowed down his stride but didn’t stop. The giraffes were right there, with their freakishly long necks and fuzzy horns and blue tongues.

“Yes,” Patrick said, silently willing Brendon to get the hell out of the way before one of the giraffes tried to eat him.

“Okay.” Brendon shook his head. “Okay, you’re blowing my mind, Patrick.”

“Brendon—”

“No, no, eight months.” He tapped the front of his teeth with his straw. The giraffes loomed ever closer. “That’s, like, almost a year. He’s gonna start walking any day now, man. Do you realize the amount of baby-proofing we have to get cracking on?”

“It’s been Pete-proofed for years,” Patrick pointed out dryly. He reached over and grabbed Brendon’s arm, dragging him forward and then pushing on the small of his back to get him moving again.

“So you’re saying we’re actually ahead of the game,” Brendon said thoughtfully.

“Aren’t you leaving soon?” Patrick asked. He never signed up for a lifetime of Urie. Pete, yes, but Brendon, no way.

“I’m hurt, Patrick.” Brendon pouted. “Hurt and saddened by your callous words.”

“Yeah, right.” Patrick rolled his eyes.

“Oh look, zebras, okay.” Brendon shoved the stuffed polar bear at Patrick and then hefted Charlie out of the stroller, drifting off towards the railing. “Okay, little man, these are zebras, and they’re your Uncle Brendon’s favorite besides unicorns and they’re awesome so pay attention here.”

Patrick chuckled. Charlie was gazing up at Brendon with unblinking green eyes as Brendon read the Zebra Facts plaque to him, mouth a little open, tiny hands fisted in the stretched collar of Brendon’s t-shirt. His short, pale hair was sticking straight up in the back and his cheeks were pink and Patrick was just unbelievably in love with the kid. It hit him hard, made him almost breathless, every single time he looked at him.

His Sidekick buzzed and he thumbed it on without looking away from Charlie - because he was totally besotted to the point of idiocy, really, but he was pretty sure he was allowed to be - and said, “Yeah?”

“So you’re not at home,” Pete said.

“Um. No.”

“Do you want to know how I know you’re not at home?”

Patrick sighed. “I think I can guess, Pete. We’re at the zoo.”

“I thought you didn’t go to zoos.” He could hear Pete’s pout.

“Charlie likes the zoo.” He toed on the stroller break, dropped the polar bear into the seat, and shoved one hand into his jeans pocket. “Brendon appears to be fearless in the face of giraffes, too, so I thought, hey, I could either be cooped up with a baby and a five-year-old all day, or I could take them on a very special outing. What are you doing here, Pete?”

Pete was quiet for a moment. Then said tentatively, “Okay, not really the greeting I was hoping for from my best friend, but—”

“Sorry,” Patrick murmured. He rubbed his forehead. None of this was really Pete’s fault. Whether Adrian’s words were true or not—it had nothing to do with Pete, and Patrick knew he was acting like an asshole. “Sorry,” he said again, louder. “I’m glad you’re here.”

“You sound it.”

“I am.” He really was. “Jesus, Pete, I haven’t seen you since Urie and his bag of misery showed up on my doorstep. Thanks for that, by the way.”

“I am choosing to ignore your sarcasm, Trick. When are you getting back?” he asked. He had his we-have-to-talk voice on. Great.

Patrick shrugged. “Few hours.” He had the feeling it would take a while to circuit the whole zoo with Brendon in tow. He was hoping they could slide by the ostriches without stopping, though, because ostriches always had pure evil in their eyes. They were totally in league with the giraffes. And the llamas in the petting zoo and, oh man, he wasn’t going anywhere near the petting zoo, even though Brendon would probably never let him live that down.

“Africa, Patrick,” Brendon called out, waving him on towards the African forest exhibit, and Patrick said, “Gotta go, Pete. Africa.”

“Right, sure, I’ll see when you when I see you.”

*

Pete stole Charlie as soon as they got through the front door. He unclipped him from his car seat and lifted him up and disappeared into the nursery, leaving Patrick to struggle with the diaper bags and seat, Brendon with his arms full of toys from the zoo gift shop, and Patrick yelled after him, “Gee, thanks for your help, Pete.”

“You’re welcome,” he shouted back, and then they didn’t see him again until dinner rang the doorbell about an hour later.

*

“So.” Pete curled up on the couch next to Patrick and tipped his head onto his shoulder. “I thought maybe you would’ve whipped Brendon into shape by now.”

Adrian had picked up Charlie a couple hours before – and hadn’t that been fun, with Pete alternately glowering at her and cooing at Charlie, and Brendon making sure he had all fifty thousand stuffed animals he’d bought him – and then Brendon had slipped away to his room to sulk or something and Patrick had turned on the Colbert Report in an effort to stave off whatever Pete was there to tell him.

Worst case scenario, Patrick figured he was there to announce his impending marriage to Ashlee Simpson, or that he’d knocked up some girl and, really, Patrick had nothing for that. Seriously.

Best case, he was there to talk about Brendon.

“Brendon’s okay,” Patrick said finally. He manfully ignored the way Pete was fiddling with the ends of his fingers, and forced himself to relax back into the cushions.

Pete nodded, cheek brushing his shirt. “Yeah, but the guys.”

Patrick pulled away a little, turned to look over at him. “What?”

“The guys.” Pete shrugged. He had his hood up and tucked low on his forehead, his sleeves tugged almost to the ends of his palms. “Have you seen this month’s Rolling Stone yet?”

“No,” Patrick said, studying Pete’s face carefully.

“I’m flying out to New York tomorrow morning,” Pete said. “You should talk to Brendon.”

*

“What’s this?” Patrick asked. He wagged the folded Rolling Stone in front of Brendon’s face, thumb pressing above the blurb about Panic! At the Disco.

Brendon leaned forward, brow wrinkled. “New Green Day only got two stars? Not cool.”

“Brendon.”

Brendon looked up at him through his eyelashes. “Yes, Patrick darling?”

“Cut it out, Urie,” Patrick said harshly. “You said—”

“I know what I said.” Brendon straightened up and grabbed the magazine out of Patrick’s hand. He tossed it onto the coffee table. “It’s just a hiatus. We’re fine.”

“You’re fucking hiding out here, Brendon. If you’re gonna be a pussy about this, you can do it somewhere else.”

Brendon’s eyes widened in surprise. “Patrick—”

“You can’t.” Patrick pressed two fingers into his eye socket and took a deep breath. He was pretty fucking angry and he wasn’t sure where it was all coming from. Finally, he just said, “You can’t let this affect the band. At all.”

“But I just—”

“At all, Brendon.” Patrick opened his eyes and caught his, dark and hurt. It was important that Brendon get this, because right then he—they could recover, but stretch that awkwardness into many more months, years even and everything was up in the air. “Or it’s over. There’s no going back if you don’t keep going forward.”

Brendon blinked at him, irises suspiciously shiny. He nodded and slowly got to his feet. “I’ll be gone by tomorrow,” he muttered. He bent his head and rubbed a hand over his face. He sniffled, even, and God.

God, Brendon was breaking his fucking heart, and that’d happened way too many times the past year. “Brendon,” he said, voice soft. He gripped Brendon’s arm loosely, sliding his hand down to shackle his wrist. “Brendon, man, I love you, and it’s gonna be fine, okay?”

Brendon took a shaky breath, tried to smile. “Yeah.”

“And if it isn’t—if you try and it isn’t,” he squeezed his hand, “I’ll kick your ass if you don’t come back here.”

Brendon snorted, snuffled a little wetly. “Okay.”

*

Patrick and Charlie drove him to the airport the next afternoon, because even though it was one of Adrian’s days, Brendon would’ve been miserable if he hadn’t been able to say goodbye to the kid.

“I owe you one,” Patrick said when he hefted Charlie through Adrian’s back door. He sat the car seat on the kitchen table and sank down into a wooden chair.

Adrian smiled. “You owe me a lot,” she countered. There was a wealth of meaning in her words, but they weren’t bitter.

Patrick said, “Yeah,” and his expression said, ‘Yeah, I know, I was a crappy husband,’ and by Adrian’s answering brow-arch, she totally got that and agreed.

Adrian had been awesome from the moment Patrick had met her, the friend of a friend of Pete’s, when they’d both ended up eating huge bowls of ice cream in Pete’s pantry during some party that Patrick couldn’t even really remember. He just remembered Adrian, who laughed as openly as Pete, but without any of his dark undercurrents.

“It’s possible that I’m going crazy,” Patrick told her.

Adrian rolled her eyes. “You’re not going crazy. Is Pete still around?”

Patrick shook his head. “Left yesterday,” he said.

“And, let me guess, you didn’t tell him.”

“There’s nothing to tell,” Patrick insisted.

“There is.” She got to her feet and started in on Charlie’s buckles, slipping him out of his car seat and cradling him over her shoulder. He babbled and grabbed hold of the frizzy ends of her hair. “You know, if I’m going to suffer through all this melodrama and the pissy looks from Pete, the least you could do is make an effort.”

Patrick pressed his lips together and scowled at her.

She lifted a hand off Charlie’s back, waved it a little. “No, seriously, I need some entertainment here. I’m a stay-at-home mom with an abnormally stoic baby, and okay, I totally blame you for that, by the way, and half the day I’m bored out of my mind, so you’ve got to just come out already.”

Patrick blinked. “Excuse me?”

“At the very least,” Adrian went on, “you should tell Pete how you feel.”

“I don’t feel—”

“Preferably somewhere where I can watch.”

“Adrian.”

“Patrick.” She stared at him, not blinking, and, okay, he’d take credit for Charlie’s stoicism, but Adrian was totally responsible for that eerie staring thing he always did.

“I’m not in love with Pete,” Patrick bit out finally.

“Oh.” She shook her head. “Oh, that’s just sad.”

“Please—”

Sad,” she emphasized, a mock-frown pulling at her lips, and really, had he just thought she was awesome? Because she so wasn’t.

“I’m leaving,” he said, standing up.

He moved behind Adrian and cupped the back of Charlie’s head and pressed a kiss onto his forehead. “Be good, baby,” he said, and on his way back around he gave Adrian a peck at the corner of her mouth. “You be good, too.”

*

“I’m coming out.”

“Diana Ross,” Patrick said without diverting his attention from his laptop.

“No, I mean. I’m coming out. I’ve got a strategy and everything.”

Patrick lifted his hand off the mouse and stared at his Sidekick. “You do?”

“Lists. I’ve got lists, too. You should come out with me.”

“Are we.” Patrick cocked his head, even though Brendon couldn’t see it. “Are we talking about coming out coming out.”

“We’re talking about gay icon coming out, Patrick,” Brendon said grandly. “We’re talking huge.”

“I’m hanging up on you now.”

“No, wait, wait, I’m serious here. Listen to me, Patrick. This is my serious voice.”

Patrick waited. “Okay.”

“I’m. I think this’ll be good,” Brendon said.

“Okay,” Patrick said again. “Want to tell me why?”

“Because.”

There was a lengthy pause, and then Patrick said, “Because isn’t a good enough reason here,” because it wasn’t. If it was going to rock the world, mess up careers, then because wasn’t nearly enough of a reason to do it.

“I know,” Brendon said, deflating, voice small and tired.

Patrick sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. He really wondered when he’d become Brendon’s love guru, therapist, whatever. “What do the guys think?” he asked.

“I didn’t tell them yet.”

“Brendon—”

“Can’t this just be something, something I—”

“Brendon, this isn’t for Spencer, is it?” Patrick asked.

No,” he said firmly, and laughed, but it sounded kind of broken to Patrick’s ears. “No, this has nothing to do with Spencer,” Brendon repeated, and Patrick highly doubted that, but he wasn’t going to argue with him about it over the phone.

“Okay, just. Don’t do anything ‘til I get there.” Christ. He couldn’t believe his life.

*

Pete seemed suspiciously cheery when he answered his cell. “Hey, champ.”

“Pete.” Patrick had his Sidekick tucked between his shoulder and ear, stuffing t-shirts and socks and mostly-clean underwear into a duffle.

“Oh, that doesn’t sound good,” Pete said. “What’s up?”

“Brendon wants to come out.”

“Like out out?”

Patrick said, “Yeah,” and, “Preferably in a big way,” and smelled his Prince t-shirt – not too bad – before tossing it into his bag.

There was a long moment of weirdly tense silence. Then Pete said, “Okay, cool.”

“That’s—seriously?”

“If he’s going do it, he might as well do it big, right?”

“No. I mean, yes, sure, but really?” Patrick dropped the pair of jeans he’d been staring at, trying to remember if they still fit him, and glanced at himself in the mirror over his dresser. His face looked strange, and then he realized he didn’t have a hat on.

“More power to him, I guess. Look, Trick, was that all? ‘Cause I’ve got—”

“Yeah, um.” There was something odd going on. “That’s all.”

“Good. When he’s decided for sure just let me know and we’ll, like, spin it with PR or something.”

“Right,” Patrick said flatly. Forget odd, there was something distinctly fishy about the whole thing. “Pete, are you—”

“Hey, look, I gotta jet, but I’ll call you later, okay?”

“Okay,” Patrick echoed, but he was already talking to dead air.

*

Pete didn’t call back, but he texted, u going to nv? just as Patrick was boarding his plane. Patrick wrote back, Brendon, and turned off his Sidekick for the rest of the flight.

*

Patrick had a soft spot for Brendon. He’d always had this weird affection for him that may or may not have had anything to do with the first time they’d met, Brendon’s dorkish enthusiasm spilling out in really dumb jokes and huge-ass grins, and Patrick had thought there was something so genuine and open about him, even when he was purposefully being an asshole.

Everyone except Brendon seemed to know this about him. Brendon was kind of oblivious sometimes.

Brendon didn’t seem surprised, though, when he opened the door - to that stupid cabin they always lived in whenever they were writing or rehearsing that was, like, really fucking hard to find and the cabbies never knew where the hell it was, despite being cabbies - to find Patrick there just hours after they’d talked that morning, strapped down with bags, sweating profusely, hair sticking to his nape and cheeks. He seemed happy, and a little strung out, like something had been continuously rubbing him raw under his clothes, but he didn’t say anything about the fact that Patrick had apparently dropped everything for him, for his crisis.

“Hey,” he said, bouncing into a hug. “Patrick. Where’s Charlie?”

“Not here. Unless this takes more than two days.”

“It totally won’t take more than two days,” Brendon said. He bit his bottom lip and his smile wavered a little and Patrick sighed. It was definitely going to take more than two days. Damn it.

“Bren—”

“Come on, come on,” Brendon pulled him inside and shoved his bags off his shoulders, “Jon’s in the den. Ryan’s locked himself in the bathroom with Spencer, so—”

“Have you told them?” Patrick asked.

“Um, yes?”

“Which means no.” He was way familiar with Brendon-speak.

“No, no, I seriously told them.” He nodded earnestly. “You know, Ryan’s in the bathroom crying or something. Spencer might be trying to talk him out of killing me.”

“So.” Patrick took a deep breath. He needed some ibuprofen. Or vodka. Vodka would help. He didn’t normally drink, but he had a feeling he’d be much happier after a couple of fortifying fingers of hard liquor. “You’re really doing this.”

Brendon tangled his fingers in the hem of his t-shirt, antsy. “I am. I want to.”

“Okay, well. Pete said to go for it, so let me see what you’ve got.”

*

Patrick was pretty sure Brendon’s lists had secretly been written by a twelve-year-old girl. “Jensen Ackles?”

Brendon bounced on the end of his bed, grinning stupidly. “My TV boyfriend.”

“Right.” Patrick nodded. Right, of course. TV boyfriend. Fuck. “Brendon.”

“Yeah?” He cocked his head at Patrick like a fuzzy puppy or something. All big eyes and eager to please smile.

“You realize,” Patrick said with infinite patience, seriously, “that this Jensen guy’ll probably punch you if you try to kiss him in public, or, you know, anywhere, really. I mean, that’s a bad plan, you see this, right?” He waved the notebook – ten pages of lists, Jesus – in Brendon’s face.

Brendon frowned. “I don’t know. He seems pretty nice.”

“Not the point,” Patrick said, and he had a feeling that Brendon wasn’t taking all this as seriously as he should. “You can’t. This isn’t the way to do this.”

“I beg to differ.” Brendon snatched the notebook out of his hands, flipping through the pages absently. “And how would you know, anyhow? It’s not too late, Stump. We could step out in style. Be seen with our hands down each other’s pants or something. Tabloids eat that shit up.”

“I could come out with you,” Jon offered from his sprawl on the floor. He was on his back, hands on his stomach, blinking up at the ceiling.

“Cassie would probably be pissed,” Brendon pointed out. “Also, you’re not actually gay.”

“True.” Jon looked thoughtful, mouth pulled down in slight frown. “It’d be easier with a buddy, though.” He tilted his head and arched his brows at Patrick.

“Look, look,” Patrick said, exasperated, “I’m not gay, okay? I’m not gay, I’m not in love with Pete—”

“You’re—” Jon struggled upright, leaning back on one hand. “You’re in love with Pete?”

“Huh,” Brendon said. He scratched his chin, staring into the middle distance. “Okay, yeah, I can see it.”

“I’m not,” Patrick stressed, tugging his hat down lower and crossed his arms over his chest.

“Repression is bad for the soul, man,” Brendon said, snickering.

Patrick felt his face get red, hot. He wasn’t there to talk about Pete. This was about Brendon, and Brendon’s plan, and Patrick was so ready to open his mouth and toss out something waspishly insulting, but then Ryan called up the stairs, “Dinner, assholes,” and Brendon’s tender feelings were spared.

Patrick glared at him on their way out the door, though, just to make sure he realized how close he’d come to being taken down.

*

“Can’t you just do a nice, tasteful interview with the Advocate or something?”

Brendon wrinkled his nose. “Little sedate, don’t you think?”

Patrick didn’t think that at all. Patrick thought an exclusive interview was the best way to avoid a media circus, shock and public backlash, but he supposed to Brendon, yeah, it was a little sedate.

Patrick bit the end of his mechanical pencil. Jon had passed him a Polaroid earlier of Brendon in a tiny purple hoodie, hanging all over Ryan, his eyes caught mid puppy-dog and his nose sort of endearingly pushed against Ryan’s jaw. He’d written, “do u think it’ll rly be a surprise to any1?” in blue pen along the bottom. He possibly had a point, but Patrick didn’t think it’d make much of difference in the long run.

“Hi.” Ryan suddenly loomed over them from behind the couch and Patrick jumped, startled. Ryan looked kind of scary and pissed off. “Hi, I’m Ryan Ross and I’m in a little band called Panic! At the Disco. Maybe you’ve heard of it?”

Brendon widened his eyes up at him. “Um.”

“But see,” Ryan went on, cracking his knuckles, and that shouldn’t really have been menacing coming from a boy roughly the width of a twig, but it really, honestly was, “we’re having a problem with our slightly deranged lead singer, and if he doesn’t get his fucking act together and, you know, maybe fucking rehearse with us once in a while instead of planning his rockin’ coming out party—”

Brendon thrust a fist in the air and Patrick, to his utter bemusement, automatically echoed it.

“—we just might replace him with an animatronic Abe Lincoln so, you know, if you see him. Let him know I’d like to punch his face in, okay?”

“Um,” Brendon said again.

Ryan glared at him. “Five minutes, Urie,” he said, and then disappeared.

“He’s taking all this really well,” Patrick said.

Brendon bobbed his head. “Better than expected.”

*

Spencer, Patrick decided, was an interesting guy to watch.

“Spencer’s an interesting guy,” Patrick told Pete.

“Okay.”

“Yeah.” Patrick was on the couch, staring at Spencer through the sliding glass door. Spencer was staring at Brendon. Brendon was staring at his feet, hands in his pockets and, okay, none of that sounded all that interesting, except after three days of being cooped up in the stupid cabin, Patrick was starting to make his own fun.

For instance, he was pretty sure Spencer was undressing Brendon with his eyes, and that Brendon was thinking about ice cream. Or maybe Patrick was thinking about ice cream. Either way, ice cream was involved, and Ryan was some sort of ice cream Nazi who wouldn’t let anything that tasted remotely bad for you through the front door.

“You know how,” Patrick said slowly, “when you start to lose your mind, Ryan Ross is always the devil?”

“Dude.” Pete laughed. “Trick, seriously, how long are you gonna stay there?”

“Until Brendon decides how many ponies he wants in his parade.”

“Parade?”

“Who the fuck knows, Pete.” He scrubbed a hand through his hair and resettled his cap. “I think he’s just doing this to piss Spencer off, honestly. Look, are you, like, totally busy right now? Could you fly in with Charlie for a day?”

“I could, but I’m on my way back to LA,” Pete said, and it wasn’t really the way he said it, but the way he said it at all that tripped Patrick up.

He made a face at his Sidekick. “Yeah?”

“Yeah, so.” There was a shrug in his voice. A forced, nonchalant, really suspect shrug.

The shorthairs on the back of Patrick’s neck prickled. “Right,” he said, hand tightening around the phone, and it was like the crack they’d silently and stealthily repaired between them after Charlie had been born was starting to shake apart underneath the plaster, and fuck. Damn it, maybe he was a little in love with him. He couldn’t think why else it felt like Pete was squeezing his heart.

*

Patrick didn’t know the whole story, so he had no business being angry at Spencer. Logically, he totally knew that. He couldn’t stop his hands from clenching into fists, though, when Spencer sat down next to him on the lounge chair and glanced over at him from underneath his fringe, smoothing a thumb down the middle of his thigh in what Patrick thought might’ve been a slightly nervous gesture.

Spencer hardly ever looked nervous, whether he was or not, so it was hard to tell for sure.

“Hey, Spencer,” Patrick said. “What’s up?”

Spencer shook his head, turned to gaze off across the yard. He chewed his bottom lip and looked completely uncomfortable and Patrick had no idea how to deal with this Spencer. To him, Spencer was the boy at the drums with the gorgeous smile who could lay out a joke so dry it wasn’t funny until Ryan laughed. Spencer was calm, cool, collected, and he had this practiced little blush, a soft-pink glow that defused over his cheeks and made him seem shy if you weren’t looking directly into his eyes.

Patrick always felt there was something distinctly mean about Spencer, but he knew how incredibly unfair that assessment was, given that he’d never spent all that much time around him.

There were pages of Brendon’s ridiculous lists next to Patrick’s legs, and Spencer picked one up, smiling with half his mouth. He played at the edges of it with his fingers and then glanced back up at Patrick, head cocked, and asked, “Has he thought about his family at all?” and Patrick thought, well, shit.

*

“Brendon,” Patrick said, sitting down next to him on the bed.

Brendon was sprawled out on his stomach, coloring. “Hold on,” he said, and then, “Unicorns are white, right? So what’s the point of having a whole freaking coloring page full of baby unicorns if you can’t color them?”

“Brendon.” Patrick rubbed a finger along the side of his nose. Patrick was there to help, and Brendon was coloring baby unicorns. Christ on a stick. “Please.”

Brendon glanced up at him. His glasses slipped down to the end of his nose. “What?”

“Seriously, have you.” Patrick took a deep breath. “Have you told your parents you’re even gay? Because you can’t come out if you haven’t.”

“What?” Brendon asked again, rolling onto his side and jabbing a blue crayon at him. “How is that—are there rules? How did you even come up with that?”

Patrick just stared at him.

“Oh, well.” Brendon rolled his eyes. “Sure, I mean, there’s gonna be some—”

“Brendon.” Oh god, Patrick really couldn’t do it. He felt like a dad or something and, okay, he actually was a dad, true, but he definitely wasn’t qualified to shepherd Brendon Urie.

“Hey, Patrick, it’ll be fine.” Brendon grinned at him, a little desperate at the corners. “Seriously. No lie.”

“Brendon,” Patrick said sternly, because someone had to say it, “you should tell your parents first.”

“My parents,” Brendon said. He rubbed a hand over the back of his neck and ducked his head. “My parents probably aren’t going to take it so well.”

“Yeah, maybe.” Patrick nodded. “That’s kind of why.”

*

Patrick got two pieces of contradicting and confusing information from Ryan on his fifth day at the cabin.

Ryan sat down across from him at the kitchen table with a bowlful of Grape Nuts and said, “They weren’t actually, you know, dating. Just fucking around.”

Patrick arched his eyebrows extremely high at that unsolicited comment. “Okay.”

Ryan nodded and went back to eating his cereal, job, apparently, done.

Patrick suddenly and very desperately wanted a pudding. One of those Hunts Snack Packs with layered chocolate and vanilla.

Then later that same afternoon, Ryan stuck his hands in his pockets and leaned into Patrick’s shoulder and told him, “Brendon was the one who broke it off. Sort of.” He frowned, like he couldn’t find the exact words.

“Right.” Patrick pinched the bridge of his nose. He was getting a headache. He thought maybe they’d hid all the sugar and sugar-based products from Brendon, but that was no reason to withhold them from Patrick, too.

And then later that very same night, Patrick watched as Brendon almost walked into a wall while staring at Spencer and trying really hard not to look like he was actually staring at Spencer, who was sitting quietly in the living room reading, and Patrick realized he was trapped in the middle of a gay romantic comedy.

Part II

Comments

( 13 robots have taken off their pants — Take off your pants )
d_copper
Aug. 5th, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
Yay! I am off to read now! Hahah just too excited not to stop and shower you with ♥
stumphed
Aug. 5th, 2007 07:09 pm (UTC)
oh my god im loving this to high-heaven. can't really even figure out WHAT i love about it (i think it has to do with the tone of voice you used to tell the story) but man. *wanders off to read part 2*
(Deleted comment)
skoosiepants
Aug. 6th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
*beams* thank you so much, hon! At first I thought maybe all the ponies were over the top, but PONIES. How could I resist?
tongue_inxcheek
Aug. 6th, 2007 02:01 am (UTC)
that was so funny! i'm not usually into Pete/Patrick or Brendon/Spencer, but with that summary i just had to read it!! My mom is creeped out by giraffes too. i love that last line! okay so off to read two!
skoosiepants
Aug. 6th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
*grins* thank you!
nutty_moo
Aug. 7th, 2007 03:38 am (UTC)
You are making me love Patrick/Pete.

“At the very least,” Adrian went on, “you should tell Pete how you feel.”
“I don’t feel—”
“Preferably somewhere where I can watch.”
“Adrian.”


And

For instance, he was pretty sure Spencer was undressing Brendon with his eyes, and that Brendon was thinking about ice cream. Or maybe Patrick was thinking about ice cream. Either way, ice cream was involved, and Ryan was some sort of ice cream Nazi who wouldn’t let anything that tasted remotely bad for you through the front door.

“You know how,” Patrick said slowly, “when you start to lose your mind, Ryan Ross is always the devil?”


Made me laugh so hard
skoosiepants
Aug. 7th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
*grins* thank you, hon! I'm glad this gave you some laughs :) I loved making Ryan sort of like a robot devil *g*
mutinousp
Aug. 28th, 2007 02:34 pm (UTC)
Ooo, this was amazing :D Thanks a lot for posting it. This is the first fic I have ever read with Panic! in it, and you have opened me to a new comm, so thanks a lot!

skoosiepants
Aug. 30th, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
*grins* thank you so much! and yay for new Panic! reader! They are so much fun and gay :)
daydreambeleevr
Oct. 10th, 2007 04:41 am (UTC)
You have no idea how much fun I'm having reading your fic! My biggest problem seems to be the more I like a fic, the longer my feedback is. oops.

“You call him Chuck again and you die,”

I love that Patrick wouldn't want people coming up with nicknames for Charlie. cute.

I’m a stay-at-home mom with an abnormally stoic baby, and okay, I totally blame you for that, by the way,
and, okay, he’d take credit for Charlie’s stoicism, but Adrian was totally responsible for that eerie staring thing he always did.

That was funny how Adrian and Patrick find things in the baby that they see in the other person.


“I’m coming out.”

Diana Ross
I've read all the chapters, just going back to leave my feedback for each section now, and I liked how you used this setting a couple of times. In interviews they've said they quote an abnormal amount of 80's movies at each other, so I could *totally* see them doing something like this with song titles.

I love the help and support you show Patrick giving Brendon. It's sweet and affectionate, much like Patrick himself. :)

Ryan went on, cracking his knuckles, and that shouldn’t really have been menacing coming from a boy roughly the width of a twig, but it really, honestly was,

Ryan being pissy and menacing cracked me up!

kerry =)
skoosiepants
Oct. 10th, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
*laughs* I love getting lots of feedback, so it's all good :)
seratonation
Dec. 14th, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
i... i dont even know how i missed this. its fantastic *flails* patrick and brendon!

(excuse me, im just stalking you :P)
seratonation
Dec. 21st, 2010 12:49 am (UTC)
so this is making me laugh in the if i dont laugh i might cry sort of way and i dont even know why!

i sort of love the balance you have between the emo angst and the ridiculousness that is brendon and patrick (that is to say lots of ridiculousness and thin undercurrents of the emo) its really kind of awesome
( 13 robots have taken off their pants — Take off your pants )

....

“I think we should write a song about friendship,” Scott says, levering his seat back so he can practically lie down while Stiles drives.

“We have, like, a thousand songs about friendship,” Stiles says. Friendship is what they’re all about.

“We should still write another one,” Scott says, and Stiles can recognize that squinty tilt of his head when Scott gets stubborn.

Stiles says, “Sure, sure. It’ll be epic,” because all songs about friendship should be epic, because friendship is the biggest and best form of love in the entire universe, Stiles is sure of this.

- This Is How We Go

....







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panic - pants to match ver. 3
skoosiepants
master of karate and friendship
pants to match

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