"So, I get three wishes?" Pete asks, staring at the scantily clad genie curiously. He'd been unpacking some of Patrick's stuff while he was at work, trying to get books on shelves and clothes in closets even though Patrick would inevitably end up rearranging it so that it was to his liking, when he had come across this weird lamp thing. And of course, he couldn't not touch the weird lamp thing. So now he had a genie claiming that she could only leave when Pete made three wishes.
"Yup." She replies, boredly flipping through some girly magazine that Pete's fairly certain is Patricks and, according to the cover has tips on how to 'make your hips rock those jeans'. Pete made a mental note to get rid of that magazine, as Patrick's hips had a tendency to rock everything from denim to absolutely nothing and he really didn't need a magazine changing his boyfriends hips.
"Huh. And they can be, like, anything?" The genie sighs, her dark pony tail swishing as she set the magazine down in her lap. She hadn't told Pete her name, claiming that she could only tell her real name to her true love, or some other kind of mystical bullishit. She started talking, listing things that Pete couldn't wish for and lifting another finger for each.
"-no world peace, no 'one true love', no freezing time, no destroying the world, and no more wishes." He nods, nibbling on his lip as he considers what he could do with this. Pete knows that he should wish for something like an end to world hunger (or had that been on the no-no list?) but that's sort of difficult when his world is Patrick.
"I wanna go back in time. To see Patrick when he was, like-" Pete gestures vaguely, trying to get her to understand. She has a look that can only be described as 'humans are incredibly dumb' on her face.
"You have to be more specific. Pick an age."
"Wait. Is it a two-way trip? Or am I going to have to woo him all over again and then be stuck having a legitimate jailbait boyfriend?" She rolls her eyes, the shiny gold rings on her fingers glimmering in the afternoon sunlight filtering through the shades.
"We're not nearly as cruel as everyone thinks, okay? Just. Don't give too much away. He'll remember your words, but not your face." Pete nods, glad that he'll be able to visit his Patrick and then return to the present where his Patrick is.
"Okay. So, when he was fifteen?" There's a second in which the genie nods, and then Pete feels as though millions of tiny, strong things are pulling him apart. Everything is dark for a moment, darker than anything Pete has ever seen. It seems to not only be something that Pete can see, but also something that he can feel pressing up against his chest with all of hi might. He's relieved when he warily blinks his eyes open and finds that he's in Patrick's mother's house and, more specifically, in Patrick's room.
There's a shocked looking Patrick sitting a few feet away, cross-legged on the floor with an acoustic guitar in his lap. His fingers are still on the frets, his arm frozen halfway to the strings. Pete, for a moment, can imagine that he's sort of terrified right now. But then he gets a good look at Patrick.
"Aw, you're just a baby!" Pete's never seen a version of Patrick that is this little; he doesn't technically 'meet' him for another two years, after he'd apparently managed to look more grown up. He'd always thought that Patrick looked down right juvenile when he met him, all soft edges and wide eyes, but this Patrick. He really is just a baby.
"I'm not a baby!" Baby Patrick cries indignantly, seemingly un-frozen from his 'random guy suddenly materializing in my bedroom' terror.
"Yes you are!" Pete scrambles up and towards Baby Patrick, pulling him up to his feet. Patrick is tiny, only coming up to Pete's chest, but he's still standing there with his jaw set and the guitar neck clutched in one hand. Pete should've known that he would have had to go back to the days before Patrick was even born to escape the stubborn streak that he loved. "And you're even more itty-bitty!" He wraps his arms around Baby Patrick, not lingering for too long as the genie's words bounced in his head. 'Don't give away too much' and all that.
"Who the fuck are you? And-and why did you hug me?" Pete thinks that Baby Patrick looks cute when he's all indignant and trying to be authoritative, glaring up at Pete with his big, big blue eyes as though he could be threatening. He takes a moment to consider his words, not wanting to just say 'Oh, so you're my boyfriend and long story short I got three wishes and here I am!'
"I'm from the future. We, uh, know each other."
Baby Patrick's eyes narrow. Pete tries not to 'awww'.
"Prove it." Pete's doesn't even take the time to consider what he's going to say before he says it, because part of his brian clicks that Patrick's favorite thing when they fuck is-
"There's a birthmark that's kinda shaped like a heart on your thigh. Tastes yummy when ya lick it." He isn't amazed that Baby Patrick's face is as red as Future Patrick's can get. Pete giggles a bit at his reaction, loosely wrapping an arm around Baby Patrick's shoulders and tugging him into his side. He knows that he's not supposed to be creepy with him or anything, but there's just this subconscious connection in Pete's brain that leads his hands to Patrick's anything whenever he's within arm's reach, and that connection doesn't seem to have an age filter.
"Wait-that means that you've-that you're my…um…" Pete rolls his eyes fondly at Baby Patrick's babbling. He decides that it's okay to reveal a little bit, so long as it's not the details of their meeting or whatever. Screwing up his future so that it doesn't include Patrick would be a fatal flaw, no doubt about it.
"I'm your soul mate, Trick. Go on, say it. Sooouul maaate." Patrick doesn't seem to hear him, and is instead staring up at him confusedly.
"I. I have a soul mate?" He seems genuinely perplexed by this, and Pete's brow furrows.
"Of course you do. Why wouldn't you?" Baby Patrick looks away immediately and focuses his attention on his feet, shrugging shyly.
"I just. I'm not exactly like, normal, or attractive or anything so I just kind figured that no one would ever love me." Pete sort of feels like someone has stabbed him, right in the heart, and twisted the offending object around three-hundred-and-sixty degrees. He finds his arm sliding from Patrick's shoulder down to his lower back, and his other arm taking the place of the former. Basically he's got Baby Patrick in the tightest hug he has yet to receive, because it's really just the first thing he always does for Patrick when he sounds sad. Hugs totally cure everything, in Pete's opinion. He lets his lips brush against Baby Patrick's forehead, another habit left over from the future, and starts speaking quietly.
"Okay, so, basically, you can't evereverever change yourself to fit the social constructs of attractiveness or dudeliness or normalness because some day you're gonna go to a shitty party with a shitty band and shitty booze and there's gonna be a guy there who is kind of a total idiot and had his heart broken by slutty girls a bunch of times and has thus completely forgot about the wonderful minority that is short, blonde, Irish boys that have a borderline-unhealthy passion for Prince. And when he finally hits his head just the right way, he'll see you standing all alone in a corner and immediately know that you're fucking perfect and you're forever. Because you are, Patrick, even if you don't realize it yet."
Patrick's defensiveness is gone when he peeks up at Pete, lifting his head from where it has been firmly placed against his chest. His eyes are all gooey and sad, and Pete wants nothing more that to cradle his head in his hands and kiss him hard on the lips. He restrains himself, knowing that it would screw shit up if he did, and settles for gently dropping a kiss on Patrick's forehead.
"Do you promise that you'll be there? At the party?" Patrick's voice is as wobbly as his lower lip, and it takes all of Pete's willpower to not pour every detail out to him. To not tell him about the first time he'll take him out on a date and it will be some half-decent over-21 show that Pete will weasel and smile his way into, and end up giving him a goodnight kiss on his doorstep even thought the sun will be rising just over Pete's shoulder and making Patrick's eyes look even brighter. To not tell him about the two weeks that he will spend at college before he says 'fuck it' and quits, with Pete calling him every night and telling him that he really is a musical genius. To not tell him about the one time it will be raining cats and dogs and he'll want to go outside, and Pete will tell him not to because he'll get sick, but Patrick'll end up being stubborn as usual. Then they'll fight, and Patrick will protest by sitting on the sidewalk until Pete forcibly drags him inside and makes him drink his weight in hot chocolate, and not too long after Patrick will admit that he's an idiot and Pete will nuzzle him and assure him that he's not. He wants to tell Patrick that the party will just be the beginning, and that he'll be there for every moment after it. But he can't; spoilers aren't allowed.
"Wouldn't miss it for the world."
He realizes that Patrick is actually hugging him back, with his arms winding around his back and fisting the material of his shirt tightly. Pete remembers being Patrick's age, and thinking that life was hard. He wants nothing more than to tell Patrick that it'll be fine, that it'll all work out and that he'll always love him. And he will, just not for a few more years.
Pete starts to feel the tearing-apart again, and the immense darkness is swallowing him up before he really knows what's going on. Suddenly he's blinking his eyes open and there's a concerned looking Patrick kneeling next to him, running a hand over his hair.
"Jesus fucking Christ, I thought you were dead! I thought you were gonna die!" Patrick cries, relief evident on his face. Pete glances around, blinking blearily at the bright room around him. He's on the couch, Patrick on the ground. It's dark outside, but the lights are on inside. He knows that Patrick gets scared of the dark when he gets scared of other things. Like Pete dying.
"What happened?" Patrick asks. His voice is all concerned and nervous. "I came home and there was this lamp thing on the floor and it was shattered, and you weren't moving and-Are you okay? Should I take you to the hospital? Do have like, amnesia or something? Do. Do you even remember me?" He struggles to get the last question out, visably frowning as he says it. Pete just chuckles and rolls over on his side to face Patrick, ignoring the headache pounding in his ears.
Did she lie? Did she take all his wishes? Was she even real? Pete begins to doubt his sanity until.
"How could I forget you? You're forever, Trick."
A flash of recognition in Patrick's eyes, a tiny smile in place of his frown. Pete pushes himself up on one elbow and does his best to cradle Patrick's head in his hands and kiss him hard.