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The Rules Of 'Ships (Friend and Relation) - FOB Pete/Patrick

Title: The Rules Of 'Ships (Friend and Relation)
Pairing: FOB - Patrick/Pete
Rating: PG-13
Summary: The story of Pete and Patrick's friendship.
Disclaimer: Okay, so my "canon" represents swiss cheese in that it has about a frillion holes in it. Forgive me.

A/N: A super special thanks to gracenotegirl without whom this fic wouldn't have happened. She helped push me through it when the going got rough like only a best friend could. Also to mariannafic whose fic The Swiss Army Romance was the one responsible for inspiring me in the first place. And lastly, to my beta fizzyblogic. *squishes*

Written for slipsandtangles for the damnyouwentz Live Free Or Die Fic Exchange. I hope I didn't disappoint! There's lots of Pete and Patrick being friends though I skimped a little on the sex.


The friendship started like this:
"So, you wanna be in the band or not? You know you're good." They were standing in the basement of a friend of a friend's mom's house and the sound of Pete's voice reverberated off the walls for a moment before Patrick answered.

"I'm a good drummer, but you said you already have a drummer."

Pete just shot Joe a sort of exasperated look and then slung an arm around Patrick's shoulders, walking him over towards the other end of the basement. "See," Pete began, voice dropping lower as if to keep the walls from hearing and sending their conversation echoing back to anyone else. "The truth is, you're pretty much the best thing that's ever happened to me and I'm not ready to let that go. We're going to be great together."

Patrick didn't ask Pete how he could know something like that when they'd only just met less than 24 hours before, but something about the tone in Pete's voice assured him it was true. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. And before Patrick knew what he was doing he bought into the truth of the statement; knew the validity of it, knew it to be tried and true and able to withstand the test of time. Less than a month later he was not only a member of the band, but singing and playing guitar; two things he'd never wanted to do before in his life.

Funny how things work out.

--

There are a set of rules one must follow when being Pete Wentz's best friend:

1.) You are no longer your own person. You are now part of the single entity referred to as Pete&Patrick.
Patrick was okay with this rule from the beginning. He was ready for the commitment. Sixteen years of life had taught him many things, and among the most important was that there was nothing that couldn't be accomplished with the help of a friend. But what surprised Patrick was that Pete seemed just as eager to be part of this entity. The summer Patrick and Pete met was one of the hottest summers Chicago had experienced in decades. The city's streets were just as abandoned as those of the suburbs and Patrick was more than willing to spend the days shut up in his air-conditioned room until the sun went down enough to venture outside. It seemed, however, that Pete always beat him to it because just as Patrick would be contemplating a trip to the record store before it closed or a phonecall to a friend to catch a movie, Pete would be climbing in his bedroom window and once Pete was inside Patrick's bedroom, he never wanted to leave. At first Patrick was embarrassed about Pete going through all of his things and staying over for dinner with the family, figuring that this popular, older, much cooler new friend of his would deem him too immature to be friends with. But that never happened. What did happen was that Patrick began to realize Pete loved everything about Patrick's life. He never smiled more than he did when the two of them sat at the dinner table with Patrick's family and held long discussions about anything and everything while shoveling meatloaf and mashed potatoes into their mouths. Pete never teased Patrick about his curfew but instead always walked him home if they were out and always made sure Patrick was home with five minutes to spare. The nights Pete climbed in Patrick's window were normally spent sprawled out on the cool wooden floor playing video games or stretched out leisurely on Patrick's bed scratching lyrics or music into notebooks. Pete confessed once, while sitting at the head of Patrick's bed (Patrick was lying at the foot reading a comic) that he'd never had a best friend before. Patrick didn't know what to say to that, but he never forgot the way Pete's mouth twitched up into a smile after a second of hesitation.

5.) Pete must get sleep.
This wouldn't normally be a problem, but Pete is not a "normally" kind of guy, and neither are his sleep patterns. Patrick learned quickly that there were some nights when Pete just would not get a single second of sleep. It was hard at first (Patrick actually slept less than Pete for the first two weeks of their friendship) but then he realized that Pete needed that time awake. Pete Wentz between midnight and 7am was the Pete Wentz his best friend simultaneously loved and hated. Pete after a full night's sleep would often complain about Pete Who Didn't Sleep, but Patrick saw through it. Patrick saw how badly Pete needed those hours. And once Patrick accepted that, things slipped back into place and he slept for nearly 72 hours. However, the nights following 1a breakup with Jeanae or 2the crash and burn of an old friendship, were nights Pete needed to sleep through, regardless of how hard Pete fought against every blink of his eyes. And Patrick was always there to sit with him until Pete talked himself into as fitless a sleep as Pete ever had.

9.) You, and you alone, are responsible for telling Pete when he's being an actual douchebag.
There are stupid things Pete does when he's showing off (because Pete Wentz is nothing if not a showoff) and then there are stupid things Pete does when he's determined to get an answer to a question or insecurity he has. Approximately one month into their friendship, Pete showed up at Patrick's house and told Patrick he didn't want to do this anymore. It didn't matter what "this" was, Patrick was pretty sure he wasn't ready for it to end. He told Pete that and Pete punched him. They ended up wrestling on the ground until Patrick's mother came home and told them that if they were going to act like children, Pete could go home and Patrick could go to his room. They sat at opposite ends of the sofa in the living room, neither saying a word to each other until finally Pete broke the silence. He confessed he wanted to make sure Patrick was willing to "fight for them" and it took everything Patrick had not to turn Pete's other eye black and blue. From that day on, Patrick was always aware of the times when Pete pushed people just to find something out. Sometimes he let it happen (Joe knew better than to read Pete's blog [see rule 67] and Pete had to find the new limits of their friendship, press the reset button to find out where they stood), but most of the time he intervened and saved everyone a lot of headaches.

33.) When photos of Pete's peter show up on the internet, you get to make fun of him even after the tabloids have stopped.
Best friends have special privileges. And sometimes these privileges provide a good laugh until you're both old men sitting on a porch together in rocking chairs mumbling and guffawing at things no one else remembers or even understands. Simple rule.

34.) As Pete Wentz's best friend you accept the (full-time) role of Keeper Of The Hoodies.
Pete owns approximately three-hundred hoodies. No lie. There is a hoodie for every type of day weather-wise, but more importantly there is a hoodie for every type of day emotion-wise. There's the grey hoodie with the purple pockets Pete wears on days when it's as easy to smile as it is to breathe. There's the black Love Can't Save You hoodie that Pete likes to wear when he's feeling particularly sarcastic about love, life and friendship. There are hoodies with fur (they offer something extra to hide behind on the rough, weary days) and there are striped hoodies (these are more complicated and harder to place on the emotion-spectrum) and for awhile Pete even had red hoodies to match his red hair which represented his Amused By Life period. But then there is the faded black hoodie. The one that, in hindsight, Patrick was sure Pete wore pretty non-stop for weeks leading up to... well, let's just say Patrick's keeping an eye out for that hoodie. Just in case.

67.) You don't get to read Pete's blog.
Surely there's a story about a frog or something (though it's likely a frog; it's always a frog) and the frog has a beautiful garden. It tends to the garden every day and helps the garden grow by doing what comes naturally to it. It croaks a beautiful song and makes fertilizer out of the flies it catches (stay with me, this is going somewhere). But then it finds a book on how to grow a garden and it tries new things with pesticides and Miracle-Gro fertilizer and maybe the garden is bigger in the end with crops that sell for more at the market, but what is a frog going to do with a giant rutabaga and a sack full of money? Patrick knows better than to venture too deep into Pete's mind and besides, what Pete types on his blog isn't for him. Patrick knows Pete gets a contentedness, a connectivity to the world, when he writes to the fans and strangers who stumble across his blog. Pete likes to know there are people out there he doesn't see every day who can read his words and take them for what they are. If Patrick read what Pete wrote about in his blogs, maybe he could help Pete feel better on the days he was feeling down or help him through a temporary rough spot. But then things between them would be different. The friendship wouldn't be a beautiful hand-raised, home-grown garden. Instead it would be full of toxins and outside influences. And neither of them could handle that. Patrick's sure of it.

--

So, there is this friendship and there are these rules and life is wonderful and uncomplicated.

And then a line is crossed.
Patrick thinks that maybe his room has shrunk since he's been gone. He knows it's cliché, hell he's even pretty sure Pete's written some sort of lyric about it, but that doesn't make it any less true. His mom welcomed him home with the best hug he's had in months and now she's out shopping for all of Patrick's favourite foods, even though he told her he's already put on enough weight to sustain him through the winter.

Patrick trails his fingers along the shelf that once housed all of his albums (they're now in boxes because it's easier to bring them with him when he moves back and forth between LA, Chicago, the tour buses) and when he pulls his finger away it is covered in a thin layer of dust. He's a little sad that coming home never feels like it used to (even only being gone for 8 hours while at school was enough to make walking in through the front door a wonderful event he'd been looking forward to since he walked out through it that morning), but there is very little in his life he is not grateful for and he doesn't mind the sadness. It's kind of nice, actually. Kind of centering.

He only means to lie down on his bed for a few minutes, maybe rest his eyes until his mom gets back and calls up for him to come join her in the kitchen, but then suddenly he's opening his eyes as there's a sound of someone else in the room. Patrick is sure he should know better by now, but his heart still leaps to his throat and he shoots straight up in bed, taking a mental weapon inventory (a baseball bat, an old bowling trophy with a heavy marble base, a guitar with a broken neck...) of a closet that hasn't held anything more than a few empty boxes for years now.

Pete just smiles and pulls his other leg in through Patrick's open window, his movements instinctual if a little rusty. "I ran into your mom at the grocery store. She said I should come over for dinner."

"Oh," Patrick says, as if he hadn't just been seconds away from bashing Pete's stupid head in with whatever he could find. He removes his glasses, rubs the sleep out of his eyes, puts his glasses back on, and then looks over at Pete again. "Is she back yet? I didn't hear her-"

"Nah, she said she'd be awhile." Pete comes closer and sits on the edge of the bed near Patrick's feet, looking around the room. "Dude, I think your room's smaller. We used to, like, have enough space in here for five of us to sleep. How'd that work?"

With a fond smile, Patrick remembers the cramped sleeping conditions of years past. "I know I always say it, but it's weird being back."

Pete doesn't nod or even respond to Patrick's comment, but Patrick knows there's agreement in the way Pete rubs at his wrist. The room falls silent for awhile and one of the things Patrick appreciates most about him and Pete is that they are masters of comfortable silences. It makes Joe crazy when he walks into a room and Pete and Patrick are sitting there in complete silence, not really doing anything. He always says something like, "God, you two are like, the weirdest dudes I know. You know that? 'Cause yeah, you are." And Andy always thinks they're angry with each other. "Whatever's fucked up, un-fuck it up. Now."

Patrick drags his mind back to the present when he realizes Pete's turned to look at him, as if waiting for a response.

"Huh?" Patrick asks, giving an apologetic tilt of his head, glasses sliding down his nose a little bit.

"Ashlee and I broke up," Pete says in a tone Patrick hasn't heard him use in reference to a girl in-- well no, actually he's never heard him use that tone before. It sounds kind of... okay.

"You're alright?" Patrick asks, though for once he is pretty sure the answer is a confident, resounding "yes". As much as they'd all been unwilling to admit it at first, Ashlee had been good for Pete. She helped Pete break a destructive pattern he'd learned to hold onto over the years.

Again, Pete doesn't give Patrick a straight answer. He doesn't nod, he doesn't say yes or even grunt in the affirmative or rub at his wrist. Instead Pete leans in and presses a kiss to Patrick's lips that sends a shockwave through Patrick's entire body. It might be because he'd actually fallen asleep before Pete arrived and is still trying to wake up, but Patrick doesn't pull away (he doesn't press in closer, either) and after a second Pete breaks the kiss.

It's then that Patrick's brain catches up and he sputters a little, offering up a weak, "Wha--?"

"No. No, you're not allowed to freak out," Pete says, as if it were really that simple.

Patrick closes his mouth, looks at Pete, and then gives talking another try. "I'm not freaking out," he lies, sitting up a bit straighter as if that might convince either of them. "I'm just... I'm processing."

Pete kisses Patrick again and all the processing Patrick thought he was doing is forgotten as he feels Pete's tongue against his lips. There's a second where Patrick tries to find Reason, he knows it's there somewhere, but then he parts his lips and tips his head to the side and Pete moves in closer and Reason's gone.

There's something to be said about kissing a dude when you're used to kissing girls. Pete definitely has more of an agenda than Anna ever had and Patrick finds he is okay with that. When Patrick's back touches the mattress and Pete's weight presses down on top of him, he doesn't even break the kiss to make sure Pete's comfortable the way he would if Pete was a girl. The kiss has created a very insistent pull centered somewhere deep in Patrick's chest and he just goes with it, gives it a chance to build up into something recognizable.

And then Patrick feels Pete's hand at the button of his jeans and Patrick's laughing. And he can't stop.

Pete pulls away, looking insulted. "What the fuck, man?"

Patrick takes a few deep breaths to calm down but when he looks up and sees Pete's face, the flush on his cheeks and the swell of his lips and the confused look in his eyes, he can't help but start laughing again.

"Oh-- oh my god," Patrick says as he finally calms down once again, his sides hurting. Pete is lying at his side now after having rolled off of him when he wouldn't stop laughing. "I'm sorry-- no, really." Patrick strains up, trying to catch Pete's lips with another kiss but Pete pulls away, though he looks more amused now than insulted.

"What was that about? I know it's fun to laugh at me, but that was shitty timing."

Shifting his position to lean up on his elbow, Patrick smiles when he answers. "Sorry, it was... It was okay and everything and then you went for my pants and it was like, 'Woah, Pete Wentz is trying to get in my pants,' and it got weird." Patrick at least has the decency to blush because he knows how stupid it was. Then he adds, his tone back to normal, "It's okay now, though. You can totally stick your hand in my pants if you want, I won't laugh."

Pete shoves him and Patrick nearly rolls right off the bed. "Fuck off, giggles! Thousands of pre-pubescent teenage girls and boys wish they were you right now and you're gonna bust my balls?" By this point, Pete's laughing too and any awkwardness that had reared its head at the first kiss is long gone. This is easy and natural and it feels as right as anything that's ever happened in the progression of their friendship.

Patrick moves closer to Pete on the bed and lies down on his back once again, reaching a hand out to tug Pete's arm. Pete gets the hint and settles on top of him, leaning down for a kiss. This time when Pete's hand brushes down over Patrick's stomach, headed for the button of his jeans, Patrick doesn't laugh but instead lets a hand slide down to Pete's ass, pulling him close so Pete can feel exactly how not funny it is.

They don't accomplish much, mostly it's fumbling hands and clothes getting in the way, but it works. When they're finished Pete tugs his shirt off and kicks his pants and briefs down and out of the bottom of the blankets, rubbing his socked feet up and down Patrick's thigh (he lost his pants at Pete's hands twenty minutes earlier). Patrick knows his mom should be back soon and he figures they should both get dressed and he should probably change his sheets, but more than anything he just wants to lie still and feel Pete's breath against his skin.

"We're going to be great together," Pete whispers against his neck and Patrick believes him without a second's hesitation.


--

There are a set of rules one must follow when being Patrick Stump's boyfriend:

2.) Never take Patrick's glasses off for him. He likes to be able to see you when you're kissing.

It takes all of two seconds for Pete to bump his nose on Patrick's glasses and Patrick's had them readjusted too many times to count. But every time Pete attempts to take them off, Patrick frowns and says, in a voice that is so honest and open, "Leave them on. I want to see you." And every time Pete gives in. It's gotten to the point where he does it simply so he can give in.

14.) When Patrick sings the blues, you fucking let him.

Patrick's not one to let things get him down or to wallow in self pity, but sometimes even a box of Jujubes and bottle of orange soda can't cheer him up. It's nothing personal. In this case it's not your job to cheer him up. It's your job to be there when, after 3 days shut away in his bunk on the bus, Patrick emerges and joins you on the sofa for a round of Guitar Hero and a Molly Ringwald movie or two.

23.) You take the bullets. He's not good at dodging. On camera. Off camera. You take the bullets. He'd do the same for you.

"So," an interviewer said once, looking directly at Patrick as if he knew exactly who it was that had the feathers to ruffle. "I read somewhere that your breakup with Vicky T. had to do with you wanting to put business first. Must have been awkward touring together after that, huh?" Pete felt Patrick flinch, felt his boyfriend shut down and put up a hard, strong shell around himself. Seeing Patrick withdraw in that way is almost worse than seeing him hurt because Patrick isn't meant to be that way. He's soft and squishy (though Pete would never say that to Patrick) and that's just the way Pete likes him. Pete looked at the interviewer and targeted the ring on his finger. "When you have sex with your wife is it kinky? Or do you, like, only ever do missionary position?" They were banned from Station 6 in Greece but it was worth it.

42.) Say what you mean and always mean what you say. He'll find the lie on your breath like cigarettes or alcohol. He knows you that well.

And really, with him, it's not so hard. It comes easy.




the end.
Tags: fic, fic exchange: live free
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