Brendon's always happy. Ryan's depressed. Ryan has a feeling Brendon can help him with this problem. Slash. Ryden.
"I'm not," Brendon says with a smile.
"Then why are you always smiling?" Ryan asks, because it's stupid to smile if you aren't happy.
"If I let myself just wallow in sadness it gets to be too much to take," Brendon explains. "It's easier if I just pretend that I'm happy."
Ryan doesn't believe him, but he doesn't say so.
Years later, when they're famous and on tour, Ryan thinks back to that. He loves touring, no doubt about it, but even he was days where he just wants a break, where he's not sure he can take it anymore- they all do. Yet, Brendon usually manages to keep on smiling.
So one day when Ryan just wants to mope in his bunk and Brendon is begging him to watch SpongeBob with him, Ryan gives in. He even laughs at the stupid jokes, and he actually feels better.
Still, some days it's to the point where even pretending isn't enough. Ryan starts to get depressed again so he goes to Brendon for help . "I can't even fake being happy anymore," Ryan says straight away because he's sure Brendon's noticed he's been faking.
"Maybe you aren't actually happy enough to have enough fake happy," Brendon suggests, and Ryan has to say that it actually makes a lot of sense.
"What should I do?" Ryan asks.
"Well, what makes you happy?" Brendon asks.
"Music," Ryan replies automatically.
"Besides that," Brendon says with a laugh.
Ryan can't think of anything else.
A week later they're at a convenience store on the way to their next show. There's a shelf full of stupid animal-shaped hats and Brendon has to try on every single one of them before they can leave the store. As Ryan laughs at his antics, he realizes it was the first time he'd really laughed in a while. He realizes what else makes him happy.
The next time Ryan is alone with Brendon he kisses him. Brendon just smiles and says, "I guess you finally figured it out."