Brendon is always teasing Ryan, and he's sick of it.
“Sorry,” mumbled Ryan, leaning against the interior of the bus.
“Geez, Ryan, third time today,” Brendon said mock offended.
He smiled. That smile. The giggle minus the sound, taunting, building the pressure stored within Ryan.
He ticked his tongue within his mouth, lowered his head more, and tried to ignore the pesky voices swarming inside his mind.
‘You’re not good at anything.’
“Ryan! Gosh! You have no friends!” Brendon yelled from across the other side.
Ryan lifted his head a bit, allowing the brown locks to frame the tops of his eyes, and with all the power blessed upon him from the god of drama, he managed to send Brendon the most petrifying glare he could ever send.
Too bad he wasn’t looking.
Ryan knew in his head that Brendon was joking, but, God, there was a grain of truth in there somewhere. Sometimes Ryan felt like he didn’t have any friends. Not real ones anyway. Every time he got close to someone he got so damn paranoid that they secretly hated him. And they probably did; he knew he would. God dammit why did he have to be so bad at everything he did! All he ever heard from Brendon was that he had no friends and that Brendon hated him. Sure it was a joke but there had to be some truth to it if he said it so often. Brendon could be so much fun but Ryan always seemed to walk away from conversations with him with his self esteem pretty much pounded into the ground.
"Okay guys, let's start over again," clapped Jon, the coach of practices.
Ryan picked up his guitar again, embraced it, overfilling his arms with the suddenly weight instrument.
"Ryan?" Spencer's gentle voice questioned the statute.
His fingers started to tremble, as a meek voice cracked.
"I...can't," he slowly managed out.
“Oh my god Ryan-“ Brendon began mockingly.
“SHUT THE FUCK UP BRENDON!” Ryan yelled, his depression turning immediately into anger. “ALL YOU EVER DO IS MAKE FUN OF ME AND I AM FUCKING SICK OF IT!”
A shocked silence filled the bus following Ryan’s outburst. Ryan made to storm off but realized that there wasn’t really anywhere to storm off to on the cramped tour bus. Cursing he stomped into the bathroom and slammed the door behind him.
Back outside Spencer was frantically looking from Jon to Brendon. Brendon looked shell shocked and Jon was muttering to himself, head in his hands. Finally Spencer spoke up. “Bren- are you gonna.. apologize?”
“What? You guys know I’m just kidding right..? I love Ry, he’s my best friend I’m just joking around.”
“Yeah man, we know, but you know Ryan isn’t exactly the most emotionally stable person,” Spencer explained, “I think you should go talk to him.”
Jon was still muttering and shaking his head. “We never get any goddam work done; they are always fucking fighting. Why can’t I have a normal band? Why?”
“It’ll be okay Jon,” Spencer assured him with a grin. “And you know you love us and all our weirdness.”
Jon just glared at the smiling blonde boy.
Brendon let out a small smile before sighing.
"Good luck, Bren." Spencer gave his words of encouragement with a side nod.
"Yeah, you'll need it." Jon mimicked the gesture earning a small glare from his model.
"Okay let’s practice--", Brendon heard Jon's voice fade out as he approached the bathroom door, nothing but the pounding heartbeat in his ears to be heard. He felt a storm of acid ripping away at his insides. His head, a tornado of chaos bellowing. Wait. This was Brendon Urie. King of personality. Opposer of anxiousness. This was Brendon Urie, and he was...nervous? Furrowing his eyebrows at his realization, Brendon failed to notice his hands moving on their own, gathering in a fist, and knocking on the door.
"Go away!" a voice cracked from the other side.
Brendon blinked, understanding with a glance to his raised limb.
"Uh...um..." Damn subconscious moving hands! Nothing good ever comes from them. "I...Ryan?" he stalled, rattling his brain for something to say.
"Ryan..I know you're there..."
"Of, course I'm here! I'm not exactly trying to hide that, Brendon!" Ryan spat out with venom marinated into every word.
"Geez. No need to be such a smart ass."
“Better than a dumb ass,” Ryan muttered.
“What?” came the shout from the other side of the door.
“I SAID BETTER THAN A DUMB ASS!”
Brendon immediately collapsed in a fit of giggles. His laughing ended abruptly when the door swung open, revealing a puffy eyed Ryan.
“Ryan.. I um.. er..” ‘Dammit! Geez, smooth Brendon’
“Yes?” The impatience was clear on Ryan’s face.
“I’m sorry,” he said turning as red as a tomato. “I’m just kidding when I say all those things, but.. I guess I take it too far, and I didn’t mean it Ry.” He studied his shoes as he waited for Ryan to say something. Hearing nothing, Brendon glanced up and saw that Ryan’s red crying eyes were scrutinizing him, most likely judging how sincere this apology really was.
Their eyes locked. Everything suddenly stopped. The world. The air. All that was left active was their hearts, threatening to split open ribcages with their lively exercise.
"Ryan...", Brendon mused out loud, gathering himself to stand in front of said boy, all at which never breaking eye contact. He gazed into the bloodshot eyes, green hues now more apparent than ever. "Ryan..." he started again with more confidence than before, yet still followed with a nervous swallow, "Ryan, I hate seeing you like this." This time it was Ryan's time to gulp. "I..." his hand casually swept through the air, now hovering a bit over Ryan's cheek. "I really do."
It was Ryan's turn to glance down. His face felt hot where Brendon was almost touching him. The sincerity in his best friend’s voice was unmistakable. "I- I know Bren. I'm sorry I freaked out."
"What?? Don't apologize Ry! I'm the one who should be sorry! And I really am. I won't tease you anymore, I swear. Besides," he smirked "We all know you aren't exactly the most emotionally stable person in the world."
"Hey, what’s that supposed to mean?" Ryan punched his friends shoulder jokingly.
Brendon laughed but then pulled Ryan towards him in a bear hug. Ryan enjoyed his friend's show of affection for a second. Laughing, he managed to gasp out, "Bren, you're choking me."
Brendon chuckled and opened the door of the bathroom, holding it politely for Ryan. Ryan smiled at him and walked out, followed quickly by Brendon. Ryan stopped abruptly, staring at something in front of him. Brendon stumbled into his friend, surprised. Curious, he peered around Ryan's shoulder and saw Jon and Spencer kissing passionately on the couch. Suddenly, Spencer spotted them and shoved Jon off him, blushing deeply. Jon whirled around and gave a nervous laugh. "So, um, everything patched up between you guys?" he asked.
Ryan answered for Brendon who was busy rolling about on the floor laughing hysterically. "Yeah, we're good. What's new with you guys?"
Ryan's comment caused Brendon to start guffawing all over again. Jon chuckled. "Not much," he replied before turning back to a bright red Spencer.
"Yeah," Brendon said quietly, more to Ryan than anyone else. He placed a hand on his companion's shoulder and flashed him his unique and charming smile. "Same here."