Title: Shattered Pieces
Band(s): Fall Out Boy, The Young Veins, Panic! At the Disco (mentions of TAI, THS, GCH, HM, CS, The Cab, and MCR)
Pairing: Pete/Patrick, secondary Brendon/Ryan
Word Count: 22, 385
Fanmixer(s): kittygrenade and _slashygoodness
Warning: contains mentions of suicidal thoughts, several bloody scenes
Plot: Pete Wentz has recently been admitted to Mornington Sanitarium after a suicide attempt (or going to Best Buy as he likes to call it). Apathetic to the world around him, Pete doesn’t know what to make of this new situation. He just knows that he has to be here in order to combat the dark emotional fog that surrounds him. He needs to find a way to be himself again, but first he has to feel. The world that Pete is suddenly in is filled with patients who think they’re vampires or angels, who haven’t talked in years and have survived horrors, who like setting things on fire and public nudity.
In addition to the patients, there’s the crazier staff especially orderly Brendon, who has a crush on the oblivious Doctor Ryan Ross. And then there is Patrick, Pete’s roommate and Mornington’s longest residing patient. Pete cannot help but be intrigued by Patrick, who has suffered a trauma that led to him having Dissociative Identity Disorder. So Pete and Patrick have to navigate Patrick’s alters and Pete’s depression and the general insanity of living at Mornington as they stumbled from friendship into best friendship into not love but very deep like for sure.
“And I know. You’re dressed up. Hey kid you’ll never live this down.” –‘A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More “Touch Me”’
Pete would admit that he was curious to see how others reacted to Patrick’s altars. He had seen how they all reacted to Patrick himself. The girls fawned over him, mothering instincts kicking in at Patrick’s ‘aw shucks’ smile and big brown eyes. The Alex-es usually asked all sorts of music questions to Patrick, shoving their arrangements in his face for him to look over. Siska regarded Patrick fondly because they both ended up bitching aloud about General Hospital together. Even Beckett, who scared Pete a little bit, liked Patrick because they both had been at Mornington for the same amount of time.
Basically everyone liked Patrick from the nurses to the orderlies to the doctors to the administration.
So Pete was insanely (excuse the pun) curious to see what happened when another part of Patrick would take over.
Apparently, Brendon sent word that Hatter was in control. Pete thought he heard the tapping of a keyboard.
Everyone looked up when they entered. It reminded Pete uncomfortably of high school (especially after a huge party and he wasn’t sure what he did because he drank till he blacked out). Hatter strolled in easily like there wasn’t a care in the world. Beckett avoided eye contact and made sure that Butcher was between him and Hatter.
Marshall, who Pete knew had been abused, looked up when Hatter came in. A small smile overtook his face and he raised a hand in greeting. His large sleeves fell revealing a silver white jagged scar on his wrist. Hatter paused and nodded at Marshall, who smiled a bit wider and went back to his breakfast.
Hatter walked with a confidence that Pete never seen Patrick use. It wasn’t the kind of confidence that said he was better than everyone else. It was the sort of confidence that said he could kick the ass of everyone in the room with ease, blindfolded and with one hand behind his back. As Hatter got breakfast and his pills from the nurses, the chatter slowly returned among the long-term care patients.
Pete looked at Brendon before mouthing: ‘Why is everyone freaked?’
Brendon made sure that Hatter was preoccupied: ‘Last guy who got on his bad side ended up with a concussion and a broken nose. Hatter’s the protector personality.’
Pete nodded before grabbing his own breakfast and moving to sit down. He slowly picked at the runny eggs as Hatter coolly ate his food. Pete decided that he liked Vaughn better because the kid would laugh and smile. Hatter was just cold, his eyes were haunted.
And then Pete knew.
He knew that whatever bad thing that happened to make Patrick go insane was locked away in Hatter’s memories. The personality looked up with a guarded, cautious, almost deadened look in his eyes.
And for the first time, in a very long time, Pete felt seriously ill.
“So Wentz,” said Hatter voice deep and gravelly, “What are you in for?”
“Bi-polar. I tried to commit suicide,” said Pete simply. He was used going through this procedure with the others when he came on the ward.
Brendon was watching warily as if he didn’t know whether to jump in or not. Pete, while he was uneasy with this side of Patrick, appreciated the bluntness. He took a sip of his pulpy orange juice before saying.
“Fucked if I know. I just wanted some sleep.”
Hatter paused for several moments. Pete wondered if he was about to a have a fist in his face. Brendon looked like he was about to interfere. Then Hatter’s lips quirked up again.
“You’re not so bad Wentz.”
For the rest of the morning Pete walked in a daze feeling like he just faced a prospective girlfriend/boyfriend’s father who carried a very large, scary rifle in his grasp and survived. However, during their daily dose of going outside, Hatter cornered Pete.
His eyes were cold as if trying to figure out Pete’s angle before he slowly leant in.
Pete was really close to start screaming like a four-year-old girl because the sharp emotion that ran through him was fear. He gulped as Hatter’s hot breath tickled Pete’s ear, which did all sorts of things to his insides that were unrelated to terror.
“You hurt Patrick and I will fucking end you.”
It wasn’t a question or a clarification. It was a fact, a statement, as true as the Earth is round.
Pete could only nod. Hatter pulled back and stared at Pete for several more beats before walking away. Pete heaved into the nearest trashcan and told the nurses that the eggs didn’t sit right with him.
They didn’t call him on his lie.
He spends the rest of the day avoiding Hatter and wishing that Patrick was back, mainly because he missed the irreverent humor, the musical knowledge, and the shy smile that Patrick would send his way.
He also missed that ridiculously happy feeling that would penetrate his gut: sharp and true that would pierce him like a knife, except in a good way.
That night before falling asleep, Pete wonders if this is what heartache really feels like.
“Our gossip lips stuttered every word I said, I said.” –‘The Music Or the Misery’
Patrick choked back a scream as he woke from an uneasy slumber. His brown eyes darted searching the room frantically. His body wouldn’t stop shaking and his stomach churned unpleasantly. He darted to the bathroom praying that Pete was knocked out from the drugs. Clutching the sides of the toilet, Patrick heaved the contents of his stomach.
He had a nightmare.
Not a night terror, but an honest to God nightmare.
Snatches of it played before his eyes.
There was blood. So much blood. It shone like color of rich red wine that his parents liked to drink on the hardwood floor.
There was screaming and pleading.
“Please, please don’t kill my wife. You can have whatever you want just don’t kill her, please.”
Screams echoed over the fevered whispers. He clamped his hands over his ears, burrowing himself deeper into the closet, hiding himself under the thick winter coats, praying that they don’t check in here.
He could smell the stench of death. It surrounded him. It choked him, overpowering every good memory that he had; he wanted to cry over all that he lost.
There were footsteps.
Patrick froze. He didn’t dare breath.
He hid himself further under the thick, heavy coats. He watched as the booted feet fell heavily on the hardwood floor, stepping carelessly into the blood.
The screams have stopped. All is silent.
Patrick doesn’t want to himself. He screws his eyes shut tight and begs to be someone else, anyone else.
Patrick pukes again. His hands tightened the grip on the rim of the toilet. He shudders and dry-heaves.
“Patrick?” mumbled the sleep-addled voice of Pete.
Patrick screwed his eyes tight. Shit he didn’t want to wake up his roommate. He spat the last bit of bile out before leaning back and wrapping his arms around himself, he doesn’t want to leave the cool tile floor.
His body is on fire. His skin is restricting. He’s burning and freezing all at once. His skin is covered in goose bumps. His hair is standing on end. He can’t stop shaking.
There’s too much blood.
Wide, dead eyes stare at him.
“Patrick?” asked Pete, sounding more awake now.
There’s a click of the light switch. Patrick hugged himself tighter. The crappy fluorescent bulb cast a harsh light on him. He doesn’t want to see what he looks like. Fear curled tight in his gut and refused to let go of its hold on him.
“Shit, ‘Trick,” said Pete. He quickly moved across the floor, kneeling next to his roommate, “Trick? ‘Trick? C’mon man, answer me. Do you want me to get the night nurses?”
Patrick slowly looked Pete in the eyes.
“Nightmares,” said the nineteen year old. His throat burned with bile and terror, “Please don’t get the night nurses. Just give me meds. I don’ want ‘em.”
“Oh ‘Trick. C’mon man. Let’s get you cleaned up.”
“Don’ wanna go back to sleep, Pete. ‘m scared,” confessed Patrick.
Pete suddenly pulled Patrick toward him. Patrick breathed him. He smelled of sweat, mint, and the distinct scent of bar smoke clung to his clothing. It’s comforting.
“Do you want to sleep with me?”
Patrick slowly nodded.
“Alright c’mon, Rickster. I’ll get a clean shirt.”
Pete gently pressed a chaste kiss to Patrick’s temple. A gesture more reminiscent of friendship then the prelude to sex, he gave Patrick a gentle smile, his eyes still clouded with the drug-induced haze from the sleep aids given to him. The strawberry-blonde man sat on the cool tile floor for several more moments before getting up to brush his teeth and flush the toilet.
Pete grabbed the softest, most comfortable looking sleep shirt that Patrick had in his dresser. Slowly padding back to the bathroom, he watched Patrick nervous and jumpy and terrified as he tried to perform the basic tasks.
The teen gave Pete a nervous, fake smile when he took the shirt.
Pete suddenly remembered that Patrick as issues with getting naked in front of others after several moments. He shifted awkwardly before saying.
“No problem. I’ll wait in the bed.”
Pete stretched out on one side of the narrow bed, closest to the wall. His eyes shut. He can hear as Patrick flicked the light off. The gentle padding of his roommate’s bare feet sounded against the floor. The bed creaked as Patrick slowly slid between the covers.
Pete could smell his breath: clean and minty.
Pete’s tired mind allowed the muscles of his mouth to twitch into a smile, a foreign feeling after being gone from his face for so long.
“It’s no problem, Patrick.”
And then Pete fell asleep.
The next morning, they woke up in a tangle of limbs. At some point during the night, they grabbed onto each other in a gesture of comfort. Pete could feel the fog burn away. Patrick didn’t feel as frightened, more pissed when he realized that he lost a day to one of his personalities.
They were awkward around each other at breakfast until Brendon tripped over his own two feet, falling flat on his face. Then, the tension was broken because they were too busy laughing at their orderly to really be weird around each other.
However, that night after bed checks, they curled together in Patrick’s bed. Pete had his head on Patrick’s shoulder and Patrick’s chin was resting on top of Pete’s head, both more comfortable then they had felt in years.
They both slept soundly, making a silent agreement to keep doing it.
They made a silent decision not to let Brendon or Ryan know.
Some things are just meant to be between two people.
“It’s all a game of this or that, now versus then. They’re better off against worse for wear.” –Hum Hallelujah
Pete was getting better. His parents weren’t sure if it was the normal insanity of the Mornington. It could be because Ryan, despite being the youngest doctor of psychiatry like ever, was really fantastic at his job. There was a good chance that Pete was finally, blessedly on the right balance of medication and sleep. Another good point was the fact that people didn’t care that he was a bi-polar bisexual who bathed every two days, had sleeping troubles, and a penchant for quoting Shakespeare when he was really bored.
However, Pete would just roll his eyes as he talked to his parents via phone. (The last two times they visited, his mom kept on bursting into tears, so they decided that Pete calling to check in was a better idea.)
Pete would swear on his vintage Star Wars action figures that the reason he was getting better was because of Patrick.
Patrick didn’t force Pete to feel anything. He would talk about music and smack with Pete on his good days. He would let Pete be an angsty, emo guy on his bad days (where he was just done with the world at large). Patrick was suddenly this solid rock of strange familiarity that would keep to himself by reading a book as Pete cursed out the state the world was in.
He’d let Pete hang all over him.
Some nights, when Ryan decided to let Pete try to fall asleep on his own, they would be curled up in one of their beds. Heads pressed together with their arms encircling the other’s waist. Sometimes they would talk.
It could be nonsense talk.
“So I have the overwhelming urge for pancakes,” stated Pete, looking at Patrick like he had some pancakes hidden in the room.
“We’re not breaking out to go to Denny’s at one in the morning, Pete.”
“You are no fun.”
“I don’t want to break my neck by navigating my fat ass out of those bars.”
“Oh hush, Patrick, you’re ass is perfectly pleasant.”
“Dude I will go to my own bed.”
“Lies, my Trick, lies and slander,” pointed out Pete with a lazy smile on his face as he stretched out in bed. Patrick gulped trying not to stare as Pete’s stomach muscles rippled under the stretch. Instead he felt his face flush lightly as he used his trademark sarcasm.
“Tough tamales, bitch. Now move over and let me sleep.”
Or life’s random questions
“If you’re in love with a hermaphrodite, then are you bisexual by default?”
“And you say that I’m crazier then you, ‘Trickster?”
“Dude either you answer the question or shut the hell up.”
“I don’t know. I thought hermaphrodite’s chose their gender.”
They would laugh over the hospital’s gossip and betting pools.
“So Brendon and Ryan…”
“Do we have to go there? Ryan’s my favorite doctor but he’s thicker than a titanium wall.”
“Twenty bucks and my pudding cup say that Brendon’s just going to pull him into a closet and have his wicked way with him.”
“I’ll put you in the hospital betting pool,” said Patrick seriously. His eyes in the sliver of light the moon poured into their room made his eyes glint mischievously.
“You’re more devious then you look,” replied Pete true amusement coloring his tone. The smile that made heat pool in Patrick’s belly lit his face and reached his eyes.
Then they worked their way to more personal issues.
Like Pete’s suicide.
“Why did you try to kill yourself? You don’t have to answer. I’m just curious.”
“I…I felt like I was going nowhere with my life. And it was like that I was surrounded by this cold, gray fog. It was never ending. I was tired y’know? I just wanted to fucking sleep to close my eyes and wake up to warmth and color. I just wanted it to stop, just for a couple moments.”
“Is it still there? The fog?”
“Kind of,” said Pete tentatively, “It’s like in the corner of my conscience. Almost there, a phantom pain that never really lets go of my mind.”
They didn’t say another word for the rest of the night. And the next day, they pretended that it didn’t happen. However, if their glances strayed to the other a little longer than usual, then everyone else pretended not to notice.
They would talk about Patrick’s altars.
“So you never really have any conversations with them.”
“Not really. Hater sometimes leaves me notes. But I don’t know the other two at all. I just go to sleep kind of. Sometimes it’s like I’m fainting in my own mind. It’s totally mental. My body feels fine. It’s like there’s something tugging at me, dragging me down…And then I wake up and time has passed. It’s fucking scary man. Losing parts of yourself, track of time, falling deeper and deeper, y’know?”
“Yeah, I know, Patrick. I know.”
And in the deepest darkness of the night, Patrick would whisper Pete his nightmares slowly and gently like a prayer…like confession as Pete slept on, totally unaware.
“And it’s terrifying…There’s blood. Blood, blood, all around, tacky and pooling on the floor. And the screams, the screaming never ends. Begging and pleading and I can’t breathe. I can’t move. I can’t breathe. I know they’re in the house. That they will kill me if I moved. And I have to be someone else, somewhere else.”
Patrick’s tears gently caressed his cheeks. The younger man rested his head on top of Pete’s. Tears slowly fell on the slightly greasy hair. Patrick gripped tighter as Pete slept on, unaware.
“You’re either going to be my total downfall or my utter salvation, Pete. And I don’t know what yet. The fear paralyzes me. But you’re mine, okay? Not Hatter’s, Vaughn’s, or Benzedrine’s.”
Patrick slowly brushes his lips against Pete’s forehead. His skin is cool against Patrick’s lips.
Patrick goes to sleep.
He dreamt of music, freedom, sanity, and Pete’s smiling eyes as they kissed.
“It doesn’t matter how you feel. Life is just a Ferris wheel. It’s always up and down don’t make a sound.”-‘Lullabye’
Excerpt from The Journal Of Psychiatric Medicine article by Doctor G.R. Ross
It’s not like we didn’t notice how close that Pete and Patrick were becoming. I would observe them time-to-time when I would come to get my files. Pete, now stabilized, would wave his hands about in a blur of motion. The change was obvious when observing the grand gestures all around, the full grin on his face and the easy laughter that spilled from his lips. He would admit to still being prone to random bouts of insomnia, but at least he appeared to be happier.
And Patrick was different as well. Before Pete, he was hesitant with interacting with the other patients, outside of Brendon, a couple nurses, and myself. He only talked to the other patients some of the time and usually a group. He was a shy child and his shyness seemed to grow as he got older.
So the two of them becoming so close so fast made some sort of sense. Pete could express his feelings better than Patrick. If Pete was upset, then everyone would know it. If he was happy, then everyone would know it. There was no half way with Pete.
Patrick, on the other hand, was a master of disguise. On his worst days, he could convince everyone around him that he was happy, fine. He knew how to mask his pain, how to hide it, how to separate himself from it.
He was so good that he created three others to handle it.
Vaughn was created for this place. An untouched innocence, free to share his feelings, a child in so many ways and stuck in a land of perpetual whimsy. He was what Patrick had lost in blood and violence and a night of utter hell. He was the inner child personified.
Hatter was made that night. He was the first personality created. He took the name of Patrick’s first imaginary friend and protector. He was the one with the knowledge of what happened that night. It was his memories that would seep into Patrick’s head at night, giving him nightmares of terror and blood. He was the protector persona, the one who would’ve done anything to keep Patrick safe. And I knew that as Patrick began to trust Pete more and more, that Hatter wouldn’t be needed as much.
Finally there was the last part of Patrick. I had only met him once, and he is the most puzzling of all. Confident, collected, and smooth Benzedrine, the reasons for his naming have never really come to light. But if I had to say there was a personality that I had never figured out at all, then it would be Benzedrine. Nothing seemed to faze him, bother him. It was like he was the puppet master watching all of us play our roles. Every time he would look at someone, he was looking through them as well.
He was the personality that usually ended up scaring away the roommates.
And yet, he was the one that wanted Patrick to be well the most.
It was a conundrum in itself.
“Call me, Mr. Benzedrine. But don’t let the doctor in. I wanna blow off steam.” – ‘20 Dollar Nosebleed’
Pete glanced up from his book as Patrick went stock still on his bed. He was staring off like he was a million miles away and on planet Earth at the same time. The black haired man looked at the copper haired teen.
“Patrick?” he asked tentatively, though he knew that it wasn’t his best friend.
“Terribly sorry, my dear Peter,” said the new personality in a smooth, voice. It almost sounded like he was singing with gentle, smooth dips to his inflections. He glanced at Pete with a look of confidence that he never saw on Patrick’s face before with a small, cool smile on his face, “Patrick is sleeping. I just simply had to meet you because you already met Vaughn and Hatter. So it is only manners that I introduce myself after all. And I am a gentleman.”
The personality got off the bed and bowed with great flourish. Pete could feel his lips twitch upward in a smirk at the personality’s odd actions. “I am Benzedrine. I am a purveyor of rarities, collector of oddities, experimenter of the chemistries, musician and storyteller extraordinaire. The pleasure is all mine, dear Peter.”
“Pete,” said Pete by way of correction. He tilted his head to the side and smiled showing his teeth.
Benzedrine wrinkled his nose, “I shall keep to Peter, if you do not mind.”
Pete didn’t really mind. He knew that, besides Vaughn, the rest of Patrick’s alters (and Patrick himself) are stubborn sons of bitches. Benzedrine did not seem all that different. He watched as Benzedrine wandered over to the closet pulling out a mustard color shirt and an odd gold hat (a cross between a top hat and a fedora). Pete turned obligatorily as Benzedrine began to swap out the shirt and hat.
Patrick had issues with his body, which Pete never really understood. He liked the softness of Patrick’s form: chubby but not fat. He was kind of like a teddy bear, that liked Bowie and to wear trucker hats. But Pete had learned to turn when Patrick got changed, otherwise the teen would just disappear into the bathroom and pull the curtains to hide himself in the shower stall.
(It really pissed Pete off that they hadn’t gotten the door back in the bathroom yet. He wasn’t suicidal anymore. But he was getting a bit homicidal because of the goddamn soaps and the crappy-ass coffee. He had been here over about half a year at this point. He’s been jonesing for something from Starbucks for at least five and a half months of his stay.)
“You have grown used to this,” stated Benzedrine’s voice smoothly. It wasn’t a question, merely an observation. It was like he knew every intimate detail of how Pete adjusted and felt about his host. Pete shifted uncomfortably not sure how to answer.
“You can turn around now, Peter.”
Pete turned and cocked an eyebrow at Benzedrine.
“Well what the hell am I supposed to do? I can’t leave Patrick by himself.”
With several sure steps, the most outrageous of Patrick’s alters made his way across the room, taking a seat next to Pete. The yellow clad man stared into Pete’s eyes intensely, searching for something. After a minute of the intense gazing, Pete felt highly uncomfortably. He shifted and leaned back. Benzendrine leaned forward, invading Pete’s (very tiny) personal bubble. Pete gulped for their lips were close enough to kiss. (And he had been fantasying about kissing Patrick for a couple of weeks now. But it’s not like Benzedrine knew that right?)
A quirk of the lips was Benzedrine’s smile of approval at something he was looking for. Though what it was he found was beyond Pete. The altar pulled back and Pete let out a breath of relief. He shifted to cross his legs. His mind may understand the difference between Patrick and his altars. Little Pete Wentz Junior, however, didn’t understand it at all.
“I like you, Peter. I can see why Patrick enjoys your company,” murmured Benzedrine. The smooth tone of voice sent shivers up Pete’s spine.
“Um thanks?” ventured the dark-haired man slowly.
Benzedrine’s eyes glittered in the fading light of the afternoon sun. They were dark and deep almost swallowing him in them.
“You are quite welcome, Peter. Now let me make something perfectly clear to you. If you hurt Patrick in any way, shape, or form. Then I will use my considerable flair for chemistry and poison you,” Benzedrine grinned, reminding Pete of a shark, “And I can promise that it won’t be quick or painless. Now do I make myself perfectly clear?”
Pete gulped but nodded. Benzedrine nodded and smiled a gentler grin.
“I do not believe that it will come to that, Peter.”
“It won’t. Like I said, Patrick’s my friend.”
Benzedrine nodded, “Hatter and I are merely wary because Patrick has not had many friends. We respect our host. You understand that we would do anything to keep him safe.”
Pete nodded, “What about Vaughn? Or Patrick?”
“Young Vaughn likes you. He says that you have honest eyes. But he has always been a dreamer.”
Benzedrine shrugged his shoulders in a nonchalant manner. He paused for a moment as if thinking about what to say next.
“As for Patrick, I do not have the heart to betray my host. He is a remarkable boy no?”
Pete thought about Patrick: the improvisation at instruments, the cautious trust, those dark brown eyes that made Pete want to drown in them, and the wicked sense of humor. It was all wrapped up in one lovable, kind, damaged, and hat clad package. The knowledge of music in that head of his, the endless possibilities…God that fucking voice of his. Pete shuddered remembering hearing Patrick sing in the shower a couple nights ago.
Pete sauntered into their shared room after dinner finished. Patrick had excused himself early to go and bathe. He paused in the doorway hearing the water running. Knowing that Patrick asked for privacy while he washed, Pete turned fully intending to make himself scarce and see if he convince Bill the Vampire that he has a pencil stake somewhere on his body.
Just as he was about to go, a voice floated from the bathroom.
“And I’m so sick of love songs. So sad and slow. So why can’t I turn off the radio?”
Pete choked on his own spit in shock. He didn’t know that Patrick could sing like THAT. He heard Patrick mess around on his guitar, the piano, and drums made from empty container tubs. If Pete knew that Patrick could sing like that months ago, then he would’ve fell in love a lot harder, quicker, and they probably would be having lots of sex right now.
Sitting on the floor outside, Pete used his shoe to keep the door opened the smallest crack so that Patrick’s voice drifted out and filled Pete up. He let out a happy sigh and leaned his head back.
Maybe this was what falling in love was supposed to feel like.
“No shit,” agreed Pete trying to get away from the thoughts of Patrick’s voice. Benzedrine grinned and sauntered over Patrick’s side of the room. He grabbed a golden notebook, covered in random letters and numbers that Pete knew were chemical formulas. Opening it, he began to write.
Pete, realizing he was dismissed, turned back to the book he was reading. The only thought that ran through his head was Patrick over and over again. The strains of the melody floated around in Pete’s head and he shuddered again.
Maybe it was a good thing that one of Patrick’s altars was named after a drug.
That boy was pretty damn addictive after all.
“I got your love letters, corrected the grammar, and sent them back. Its true romance is dead; I shot it in the chest then the head.” –‘The Music or the Misery’
Patrick slowly looked at Ryan, who stared back impassively. The strawberry-blond-haired patient fidgeted under the cool gaze of his psychiatrist.
“Everything alright Patrick?”
“Huh?” asked Patrick, jumping at the sudden noise. He wrung his hands nervously, “Oh yeah um…I’ve been meaning to ask something.”
“What is it?”
“Well…,” said Patrick taking a deep breath. He nervously fiddled his hat and gulped.
This was harder than he thought it was going to be.
“Take your time, Patrick,” assured Ryan.
“Iwannatrytheintegrationprocessagain,” said Patrick in a rush. He stared at the ground, breathing hard.
“Alright Patrick, while I’m friends with Brendon too, I still haven’t gotten used deciphering fast talk yet. I need you to take a deep breath, count to ten, and speak slowly. Is that cool with you?”
Patrick nodded and did as Ryan asked. He slowly took a deep breath.
“I want to try the integration process again.”
Suddenly, a splitting headache came in full force and Patrick bit back a cry of pain. He Blacked Out shortly after.
“Cause you’re just the girl all the boys want to dance with. And I’m just the boy whose had too many chances.” –‘A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me’
“NO!” growled out Hatter. His brown eyes were blazing with righteous anger, “NO! He doesn’t know what he’s asking.”
“And who are you to decide that Hatter?” asked Ryan calmly.
“Oh fuck no, Doc,” said Hatter in a threatening, rumbling tone, “I don’t fall for your hippie bull. Patrick’s not going to do this.”
“Hatter,” said Ryan softly, like trying to calm down a frightened animal, “its Patrick’s choice to make.”
“PATRICK DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HE’S ASKING!” screamed Hatter at Ryan. A tear of anger and pain rolled down his cheek. Slumping down onto the couch, he covered his face with his hands. His sounded tired and defeated, “He doesn’t. It’s all because of Pete.”
“What does this have to do with Pete?” asked Ryan with a confused expression on his face.
“Oh God I feel so bad for Urie right now. If you’re really dense enough to notice his big gay crush on you, then why notice what’s going on with Patrick?”
“What does Brendon have to do with this?”
Hatter laughed brokenly, “Nothing. Urie has that one all on his own.”
Ryan still looked confused but nodded, “So what about Patrick and Pete?”
Hatter looked up and smiled bitterly. His eyes were defeated and so ancient. It looked so out of place in Patrick’s innocent, round face
“Patrick’s falling in love with Pete.”
Ryan leaned back in shock. Hatter continued.
“He wants to get better to be with him.”
“And what of Pete?” asked Ryan slowly.
“Benzedrine said that Pete’s falling in love with Patrick as well. So what’re you gonna do about this, Doc?”
“It’s Patrick’s choice, Hatter.”
Hatter stood up and leaned against a bookcase looking out the window angrily.
“Think about this, Doc,” growled out the altar, “Would you want the memories of your family’s murder in your head?”
Ryan paused and decided that he did not want the memories in his head. But dealing with them was much better instead of repressing them.
“Hatter, you have taken good care of Patrick over the years. But Patrick wants to see the world. He needs to deal with this. You know he does, otherwise Patrick wouldn’t have these nightmares, right?”
Hatter stiffened almost imperceptibly and, if Ryan wasn’t trained as well as he was, the doctor probably wouldn’t have even noticed it. Hatter let out a long sigh.
“I’m scared. I don’t want to stop existing anymore.”
“But you, Benzedrine and Vaughn…are all the make-up of Patrick; it’s called integration for a reason. You won’t be so clearly defined anymore, true. But you’ll be whole. Patrick can be happy. Isn’t that what you all want?”
“Do you think Pete can make him happy?”
Ryan thought. He thought of Patrick’s laughter and openness, Pete’s easy smiles and raw emotion. He looked back on the pair and their friendship. Yes, the doctor realized. He witnessed two people starting the descent into love.
“I think that Pete will certainly try.”
Hatter sniffed and nodded resignedly, “Alright then. I won’t stop you.”
Ryan wondered if Pete realized what a difference he made in Patrick’s life.