Oneshot - Ryan's thoughts on Brendon. Pretty angsty, harmless stuff.
Ryan’s gotten used to hiding it when his heart starts to behave erratically by now, and when he doesn’t quite manage it he convinces Brendon that it’s just performing nerves – the positive kind that every good musician still gets when they play, that gives their performance that special atmosphere and energy. Brendon never considers it being any other reason, so he doesn’t take much convincing.
Between shows, Brendon is always willing to sling a casual arm over Ryan’s shoulders or sit so close to him that their thighs are touching, even when there’s plenty of room for him to do otherwise, but that’s never such a big deal because Brendon does that with everyone. Besides, his presence is so expansive and inclusive that even when he’s not physically touching Ryan, even when they’re on different sides of a room, Ryan can still feel him because he’s always everywhere, that’s just Brendon. What gets to Ryan is how when they’re onstage, Brendon is always ready to look suggestively at him, to kiss him and grope him, and when they’re taking pictures with fans he’s only too happy to drape himself possessively around Ryan’s neck. Every time he does something touchy feely like that it hurts Ryan because he knows perfectly well that it’s just a band persona he’s developed, and it means very little, if anything, to him.
It means a lot to Ryan though. Ryan really, really, really likes Brendon. All of Brendon’s little quirks just make life that much more interesting, and his cheerful demeanour seems to bring the sunshine into full force on Ryan’s life, making him think that whilst he’s pretty sure he’s not in love, he’s definitely in like.
Brendon doesn’t feel the same -he’s too oblivious to even realise that Ryan feels that way in the first place- and Ryan’s inwardly grateful for that. If the two of them ever did get together (and isn’t that the wishful thought of the year), then they’d struggle because Ryan would want to keep it quiet and Brendon would want the whole world to celebrate with them. Brendon doesn’t share the desire Ryan has to keep his personal life personal, he’d want it to be out in the open for anyone and everyone to see. He doesn’t have the same need for privacy that Ryan has. He keeps some things to himself, but he doesn’t need a life away from the publicity of the band in the way that Ryan does. Ryan would prefer it if any relationship was kept off the stage and in real life, and Brendon doesn’t quite understand that concept. So Brendon’s ignorance is probably a good thing really.
If Ryan would think things over rationally, he’d realise that he knows deep down inside a more meaningful relationship between him and Brendon would never work out. They act so closely already that romance between them would most likely not change their behaviour towards each other that much, but instead make it more of an awkward friendship. It’s easy for him to be himself around a best friend, but when that friend becomes anything more, something changes and it’s hard for him to not feel like he has no clue how to be around them, even though they like him for the person he is and always has been, not the person he could become. An awkward friendship is the last thing Ryan wants, if he’d ever think about it logically enough to realise that that’s what would happen.
But Ryan’s still a young man, and he’s infatuated with Brendon, and so he thinks with a judgment that is clouded by his feelings toward him, just as every person who feels that way thinks. Ryan knows the reasons why he and Brendon couldn’t be together, but he pushes them aside, because if it’s him and Brendon then the little obstacles won’t matter, and they’ll be perfect for each other despite the clashes in personality that add to their friendship but would make a romance difficult. Ryan is certain that if he and Brendon ever had a chance they’d be perfect together, just like a fairytale story with True Love and Happily Ever After.
Sometimes, when Ryan’s taking a particularly no nonsense approach to life and he thinks of Brendon, he can force himself to admit that, looking past the fluff that clouds his brain, it’s just as well that Brendon only sees him as a friend, because of the general complications and difficulties any other relationship would bring.
Even so, his heart still manages an extra beat every time Brendon kisses him.