Categories > Celebrities > Panic! At The Disco

It's Not What It Seems In The Land Of Dreams

by ipanicdaily 3 reviews

Sweet little Rydon stand alone where Brendon has some nightmares.

Category: Panic! At The Disco - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Romance - Published: 2009-07-19 - Updated: 2009-07-20 - 6489 words - Complete

Brendon's POV

I collapsed to my knees, gasping for oxygen too heavy for my lungs to handle. My legs ached from running in what felt like a million circles, my heart racing towards explosion. All around me stood tall white trees, stretching completely naked branches up towards the dark gray sky of overcastted clouds. The ground was littered with the bones of small animals picked clean by the jet black crows which now surrounded me, their blood-red eyes glowing hungrily. There was no escape from these woods and tears ran from my eyes, because I was completely alone, except for the occasional squawk from one of the crows, waiting for me to completely collapse so they can tear the flesh right from my skeleton, leaving my bones to forever litter the ground of the dead, forgotten forest.


"You're being really ridiculous about this," Spencer said, sitting behind the drum kit in the corner and watching me.

"Am not," I replied, cleaning out the practice space. "This is the rehearsal space for Panic At The Disco. Ryan and Jon are no longer part of the band so their stuff doesn't belong here." I stumbled upon my old top hat from the I write sins... video and smiled, sticking it on my head. Perfect fit still.

"That doesn't mean you need to throw it all out," he said as I dropped Jon's sunglasses into the trash bag I was currently filling. "Just like you don't need to attempt to burn the guitars they've touched. They're not dead, you know."

"They're as good as," I replied, yanking one of Ryan's many ugly scarfs from the mic stand he used to use, throwing it into my bag as well, contemplating what to do with the stand itself.

"You're being as stupid as Pete about this," Spencer frowned, a bit annoyed. "We all agreed."

"We agreed our tastes are different," I corrected Spencer, moving over to the stack of songs we had come up with but never actually recorded, shoving them into the garbage bag. "We didn't agree they could just abandon us, right before a tour at that, to do their own thing."

"It was that or let the band as well as our friendships fall apart."

"What friendship?" I asked under my breath, Spencer apparently hearing me as he sighed loudly.

"So we don't do songs together anymore; big deal." Spencer lightly tapped his drumsticks against the cymbal. "Ryan and Jon are still our friends and we can still hang out with them just like before."

"Until they abandon us there, too," I said, wondering if I could light the couch on fire. Ryan sat there.

"I understand the hurt and frustration, Brendon, because I feel it too, but you're seriously being really stupid by acting this way. What would our fans think if they say you acting like this?" I shrugged, dragging my bag along the ground towards the book shelf, pulling a photo album Ryan had been doing out. "Don't you dare throw that out, Brendon," Spencer warned me. "Ryan worked hard on that."

"Well Ryan's not here anymore," I replied, dropping the album into the bag to join the other painful memories. "He should have taken it with him if it meant something."

"I agreed to stay and continue Panic with Brendon Urie." Spencer set his sticks down and stood up, walking towards the door. "When you find him, have him give me a call."

"Fine, leave me too," I huffed, taking the top hat off and sticking it in the bag as well.

"The Brendon Urie I know is kind and fun and usually bouncy. He wouldn't turn his back on his friends just because they saw their lives going down a different road." Spencer was slightly angered as he pushed open the door to go outside. "That's the Brendon I want to be in a band with." He left, the door slamming shut behind him, so I gave up cleaning and fell onto the couch.

We had argued about what exactly the sound of the band was going to be. It was a big jump from Fever to Pretty.Odd and while I enjoyed our second album, I always saw myself leaning more towards our first. For awhile communication was a rarity amongst the four of us, something Ryan chalked up to 'creative differences' in his latest interview. I know Spencer's right when he says that we would have only lost it all by forcing ourselves to continue to go on that way, but the truth is that there really isn't a Panic At The Disco, with or without the '!', without Ryan.

There's really not a Brendon without Ryan.


I stood on the stage like I have so many times, lights shining down on me from above, practically setting my skin on fire with its radiant warmth. The only difference was that I was alone. Cheering and screaming echoed throughout the building but when I looked to the crowd, I saw people with hollow sockets where their eyes belonged and lips sewn tightly shut. I had no idea where all the noise was coming from.

I was dressed oddly enough in a mahogany colored suit, my old top hat on my head and my fingers rapidly playing my guitar though I wasn't consciously telling them to do so. I couldn't stop them either. My mouth moved as though I sang into the microphone so close to my lips, but nothing came out. Slowly, strings grew from my body, stretching over my head, attaching themselves to wooden x's being held by two white gloved hands. I had become a marionette; my every moved controlled.

A cynical, almost insane, laugh soon rippled through the air, the cheering dying down to a muffled annoyance; like the buzzing of a mosquito. Still, I continued to play and sing, unable to move on my own. "I control you, Brendon;" A familiar yet implacable voice amusedly followed the laughter. "Fight all you want but in the end," My head was jerked back so I looked up, "I control you.

The only thing I saw was myself; a devilish smirk on my face and soul-piercing eyes

"Brendon!" My eyes snapped open to see Spencer's face hovering over me, his eyes wide with fear and concern. "God! Finally!" He sighed a bit of relief as I blinked my eyes a few times. "Are you ok?"

"Uhh...yeah?" I mumbled, squeezing my eyes tightly shut, my head pulsing. "Just a...bad dream."

"You were tossing around and making these whimpering noises," Spencer said, his voice as concerned as his eyes. "Christ; you're practically on fire." He pressed a hand against my face.

"I'm fine," I said, pulling away from Spencer and sitting up, holding my head for a moment since it disagreed with the sudden movement. "It was just a nightmare." Spencer sat on the couch I had fallen asleep on, my body falling over again so my head was on his shoulder. "Just another nightmare."

"You need to go home or to the doctor or something," Spencer said, wrapping his arms around me. "Get away from this place for a bit." I exhaled loudly, eyes shut once again.

"It was just a nightmare, Spence; I'm fine." I tried to assure him, realizing suddenly how warm I was.

"How many have you had recently?" His voice was soft, still heavily laced with concern.

"Whenever I shut my eyes too long," I admitted quietly, letting my body form against Spencer's, feeling safe in his strong embrace. "I don't dream anymore."

"Maybe you should talk to someone." Spencer suggested, trying to be helpful. "You need sleep."

"I get sleep," I said, pulling my head from his shoulder. "Just, apparently it isn't peaceful."

"B, it's not healthy," Spencer frowned, dropping his arms as I got off the couch and rubbed my head. "You'll get sick if you don't get sleep that doesn't make you thrash about and cry."

"They'll go away eventually," I said, walking towards the mini fridge to get something to drink. "Bad things always come in three's."

"How long has this been going on then?" Spencer too got up from the couch.

"About two weeks," I shrugged, grabbing a water to drink, hoping it would cool my body.

"Since Ryan left?" His voice was quiet, his question more of a statement. He already knew the answer.

"Coincidentally, yes," I replied before downing the water, the feeling of the cold liquid against my dry, sore throat relieving. "But it's really no big deal, Spencer. I always wake up."

"You should call him," Spencer said, extending his phone to me. "Call him before it gets any worse."

"I don't need to call him." I laughed a little, pushing Spencer's hand away. "They'll go away."

"What happens when they don't?" Spencer stared at me with almost pleading eyes. "What happens when your nightmares become reality and you don't wake up?"

"Now who's being ridiculous?" I asked, setting the empty bottle down. "They're simply bad dreams that occur when I'm asleep. When I'm awake, in reality, everything's fine."

"Let it continue to get worse, and you won't be able to tell the difference between being asleep and being awake." Spencer slid his phone into his pocket and headed for the drums, grabbing his sticks and lightly playing the tune to Behind The Sea, I swear just to piss me off.


There was a large lake or something before me, my feet just barely missing the edge of the water. The sun hid behind a cloud, dulling the land in color and splendor. It was incredibly warm out though and my mouth was parched so I squatted to the water, cupping my hands to dip them beneath the water and extract some of the liquid to cure the dryness. However, as soon as my skin touched the water, I regretted it.

Starting from where I stood, streams of red swirled through the water, thinning out to turn the entire body of water a red color, changing to a deep black in the blink of an eye after. I stood back up and tried to shake the water from my hands but it clung to me, stretching up my body to turn my skin completely black. The water started to get rapid, waves crashing against the land surrounding it, the sky twisting to produce dark gray clouds with a symphony of thunder. In the water I could see skeletons, completely intact, rising to the top to ride the waves downstream.

Lightning began to jet from the ground to the clouds, the sharp yellow flashes being the only illuminating thing against the otherwise black land. I noticed the blackened flesh I wore began to slide from my bones, dropping to the ground which thirstily absorbed it. As the same cynical laughter broke out around me, I panicked and searched for someone to save me, suddenly coming face to face with myself once more. "Welcome to the living dead!" The other me laughed, shoving my half skeletal form into the water, a large wave instantly engulfing me.

I tried to get back to the surface, breaking through the liquid black barrier, once again gasping for oxygen and struggling against the waves to get back to the land; the water sliding right through my bones as I was carried along. "You'll never get free!" The other me yelled, still laughing. "You're too weak!" I felt something clasp around my ankles, pulling me beneath the water which started to fill my lungs as I drowned...

I shot up in my bed, gasping for air, a sheet of sweat covering my body. I started to cry, my whole body shaking because that was the most terrifying of my nightmares yet. I felt like I was literally on fire so I pushed my blanket back and slid from my bed, my legs trembling as I walked to the bathroom to splash some cold water on my face. I've never been so scared before in my life.

Looking in the mirror, I saw my eyes were bloodshot and puffy, my skin reddened and glistening with sweat. My fingers shook as I turned on the faucet, relieved to see the water a crystal color, hesitating before lowering cupped hands beneath it. The water, of course, didn't change color. I quickly began splashing it against my face, bent over the sink. It was just another nightmare.

When I stood up though, I screamed because my reflection in the mirror was not me but the me from my nightmare with a devilish smirk and soul piercing eyes; laughing yet again. "You can't escape me!" My reflection laughed, taunting me. "You are me and I am you! We are one!"

"No!" I screamed, shutting my eyes. "I'm not you!"

"Oh but you are!" My reflection continued. "I am the you that you try to hide but you're weak now!" It laughed at me as I cried, shutting my eyes. "You're weak and I'm finally coming out."

"I'm not weak!" I yelled, opening my eyes to see my face laughing at me; mimicking me. "I'm not weak!" I repeated, punching the mirror suddenly. Now my reflection was fragmented; laughing harder. I punched the mirror again and again, glass piercing my skin so my blood trailed down my hand, dripping from my wrist into the sink. "I'm not weak," I whispered, stopping to clutch my hand, the laughter fading away. My hand stung unbelievably and I cried, the shattered glass from the mirror covering the sink as well as sticking in various spots on my hand.

Afraid to go back to sleep and knowing something should be done about my hand, I left the bathroom and went to the front door of my apartment, stepping into my sandals, using my non-injured hand to open the door, going into the chilly night air and towards the one place I knew I would be safe.


I think I cried a little harder when Jon opened the door to Ryan's house at roughly two am as I stood on the front step, freezing and holding my now rather bloody numb hand, dripping blood to the step below me as I had the entire walk here. Ryan wasn't alone; Jon was here. They were probably doing just fine without Spencer and I. Ryan was probably just fine without me. "Brendon?" Jon sleepily asked.

"Is R-Ryan home?" I stupidly asked because, hello? This is Ryan's house. Jon looked at me for a moment before his sleepy eyes widened, falling onto my hand.

"Holy shit, Bren! What the hell happened?" Jon threw the door aside and motioned for me to come inside.

"I had a bad dream," I said, stepping into Ryan's house. It's the first time in awhile I've been here. I used to come here a lot but ever since he left, I haven't even spoken to Ryan.

"Last I checked, dreams don't make you bleed," Jon said, closing and locking the door. "Are you drunk?"

"No!" I squeaked, actually rather offended by the question. "I broke my mirror!" I cried.

"Is there glass in your hand?" Jon asked, holding my upper arm and leading me towards the kitchen. I nodded my head and sniffled, still crying simply because I couldn't stop. Jon sighed lightly and stood me in front of the sink, turning the water on then sticking my hand beneath it. I instantly pulled away from him, whimpering as my hand began to sting again. "Brendon, it needs to be cleaned."

"It hurts," I whined, avoiding the water because my hand had just numbed. The water made it sting.

"I know, but it's going to get infected if we don't clean it." Jon spoke softly and calmly to me. "I have to wash it and get the glass out. I'd appreciate if you try to keep it down too because Ryan's finally asleep."

"Why's he up so late?" I asked a bit confused, sharply inhaling and biting my lip as Jon moved my hand beneath the water again, my knees buckling so I leaned against the counter. It really stung.

"He just hasn't been sleeping good lately," Jon said, slowly turning my hand so the blood left my skin, swirling down the drain with the water. "He really needs this sleep so please keep it down."

"I'm trying," I hissed, my teeth nearly going through my lip. "Just call Spencer if you don't want me here."

"It's not that, Brendon, and you know it." Jon turned the water off and shook my hand a bit. "I miss you and it's good to see you again, even if it's two in the morning. I'm just trying to figure out why you had a war with your mirror." I smiled a bit at that, Jon taking me to the table now and sitting me down, going to the bathroom to get the first aid kit, turning the light on the highest setting. "So how are you?"

"Good," I said, Jon sitting beside me and taking my hand, stretching my arm across the table while he extracted a pair of tweezers from the first aid kit. "Been cleaning up the studio."

"I can only imagine what you found," Jon smiled, taking my hand into his and slowly removing the first piece of glass from my skin, some blood following. I whimpered a little more, once again biting my lip to try and keep it down so Ryan can sleep. "Try thinking about something else," Jon tried, taking another piece out.

"'k," I shakily answered, laying my head on the cold table. I didn't want to think about my nightmares so I was forced to think about the other thing that's been on my mind for the past two weeks. Ryan. I thought about the way his eyes would light up when he was really happy, sparkling like the stars in the sky. I thought about his hair and how it's always so soft, falling gently down his face. I thought about the way his lips curve to every word as he speaks, but more importantly as he sings; something I wish he could have done a lot more when we were a band because his voice is so wonderful.

I thought about what it would be like to kiss him; to really kiss him, not that stuff at shows or for cameras.

No matter what about Ryan I thought about, I couldn't help but think how much I hated him for leaving me, if only from a career aspect, because he was the reason I smiled every day and was always so bubbly. He was a drug I was heavily addicted to and all it took was a flash of his smile or a few simple words to instantly make me high; a high I could ride all day. But now it was like I was in rehab from quitting cold turkey, sick and suffering without him. "There;" Jon's voice broke my thought train. "I'm pretty sure I got them all."

"Thanks," I smiled, lifting my hand and seeing bloodied shards on the table.

"Now a little anti-bacterial and some wrap and you'll be all set." Jon exchanged the tweezers for a little tube of cream which he wiped over the wounds, my hand already feeling better. He then gently wrapped some gauze stuff around my hand, securing it down with sticky medical wrap. "Stay away from mirrors," Jon teased as he finished.

"I intend to," I mumbled, definitely not wanting to see my reflection any time soon. "Thanks again, Jon." I stood up, trying not to move my hand too much. "Sorry I woke you."

"You're not staying? It's still really early." Jon said, packing everything up.

"Ryan and I...aren't exactly speaking..." I sadly replied, even if it was primarily my fault. But, he could have just as easily called me too! I can't guarantee I would have answered but still. "I don't want to upset him."

"Then stay," Jon simply replied, scooping the glass into his hand. "He'd be a lot madder to find out you left then he will to find you here when he wakes up." Jon walked to the trash in the kitchen and disposed of the glass, washing his hands after. "He misses you too, you know. It feels weird with the four of us not talking or seeing each other."

"Yeah well...things change." I didn't want to upset Jon after he had just helped me. "I was going to go to Spencer's."

"Why wake him up when I'm already up and you look dead tired?" Jon asked, a soft smile on his lips.

"You're Ryan's now," I pouted, Jon laughing quietly so as not to wake Ryan.

"I'm no one's, Brendon. Ryan and I just share a similar goal and interest as far as music goes." He walked to me and pulled me into a hug; a Jon-hug. Jon-hugs are perfect and amazing. "You're still one of my best friends, B."

"I don't feel like it." I mumbled more, laying my head on Jon's shoulder.

"We've drifted apart," Jon squeezed me a bit, "But we just need to reconnect."

"I miss us all hanging out." I put my arms around Jon now to hug him back.

"Me too," Jon practically whispered, allowing the hug to linger a little longer before pulling away. "Now, we both need sleep." I smiled hesitantly, sleep being my biggest fear now. Jon, being as awesome as he is, seemed to sense this. "We can both crash in the living room and watch a movie."

"Disney?" I pouted a little, Jon rolling his eyes.

"I 'spose," He teased, lightly pushing me. "I'll go grab some blankets if you want to go wait." I nodded and went to Ryan's living room, able to navigate my way around blind folded and spun around a million times. I sat on the couch, Jon joining me a few minutes later with two blankets and pillows, handing one of each to me before heading to the entertainment center. "What do you want to watch?"

"Beauty and the Beast," I childishly answered, knowing Ryan's collection of Disney movies mainly from when I would come stay over here. I'm a sucker for Disney. Jon put it in, turning the volume down before setting himself on the floor as I lay on the couch, eyes glued to the screen. I love this movie for many reasons but at the moment it's because from the way I've been treating Ryan, obviously the 'Beauty', I feel very much like a beast.


There was nothing around me. I stood on the cracked, dry earth of the desert, miles of absolutely nothing stretching out in every direction. It would have been a relief to my other dreams, well nightmares, if it wasn't for the fact that I was basically standing face to face with myself again. We stood almost like we were having a showdown in some old western or something. My other self, of course, was smirking; only now he wore the same gold embroidered mask I wore in one of our old videos.

"Who are you?" I asked, making the first move.

"I told you, silly, I am you," he answered, voice smooth and sly. "I'm your other half." He stepped towards me, flashing pearly white teeth at me. "Your better half."

"I'm one person; not two halves," I said, the other me stepping casually towards me still, hands in his pockets, dust flying up every time his black leather shoes touched down.

"Everyone has two halves, Brendon," he said, inches in front of me. I remained perfectly still though. "There's the good," he began to walk around me, "and the bad." The other me hissed into my ear, the warmth of his breath sending shivers through my body. "Good is weak, which is why you're losing."

"I'm not weak," I firmly replied, shaking the warmth off. "Good always wins."

"If good always wins," he walked around to face me again, "Then why are you giving into me?"

"I'm not giving into you," I scoffed, the other me laughing that cynical laugh.

"Oh, but you are, dear boy." The 'bad' me said with superiority. "I have many names;" He pulled his hands from his pockets, waving one hand over the air, a screen suddenly appearing before me. "I'm called jealousy;" A scene which played out like a movie-memory appeared on the screen of Ryan with his ex, Keltie, laughing as they touched each other and sat close. A twisting feeling came over my gut, my lips pursing together, the other me laughing even stronger now. I hated when Ryan was with Keltie.

"Greed;" The scene on the screen changed to the making of our first CD when I told Ryan to let me sing because it was my job and that, regardless of his voice, he needed to keep quiet. I bit my lip because I can't believe I treated him that way. What I wouldn't do to redo that CD over again with his voice.

"Hate;" The screen now replayed the day Ryan told us he and Jon were leaving, my hands clenching into fists, turning my head away from the screen because I couldn't bear to witness it again. Tears came to my eyes once more. I could still picture Ryan's sad but determined eyes, his even voice and perfectly straight posture as he spoke. I could still see him turning to leave, walking out the door away from me.

"Please, stop it," I asked myself in a hushed tone, desperate to drown it all out. The other me just laughed more, coming to me and brushing his hands along my body.

"Pain," he said close to my ear, his fingers swiping over my heart. "Regret, anger, stubbornness, bitterness," his hands slid down to my waist as he stood behind me, "Lust." Again the warmth of breath hit my ear, causing me to shutter, turning my head to look at my feet. "It's all me, baby. As you grow weaker, I grow stronger."

"So who am I then?" I asked as the other me let go, the screen vanishing.

"Everything that crumbles without Ryan to help hold you together," he said, walking slowly away. "Happiness, joy, hope;" I looked at my hands to see them start to crack and dry like the ground I stood on. "Peacefulness, self-worth, optimism;" My drying skin began to crumble and drift away in the wind, the other me getting farther and farther away, his voice still strong in my ears. "Strength, endurance, excitement, amusement, selflessness;" Slowly I crumbled away into the wind until I was gone. "Love."

Opening my eyes, I saw Ryan's ceiling now lit with sunlight, the television no longer on and Jon no longer on the ground. I was alone on Ryan's couch, on my back, my body stiff due to the limited amount of space the couch had to offer. I could hear voices, hopefully real, faintly drifting towards me from the kitchen. There was a dull throb in my hand but it still wasn't as bad as earlier. Thanks to Jon, that is.

Sitting up, the blanket fell to the floor, not that I was all that cold anyway, and with their protest, stretched my body before standing up. My legs weren't fully awake so I wobbled a bit, making my way to the kitchen and voices I now recognized to be Jon and Ryan. Who else could it be really? Ryan, after all, lives here, and I have no clue what's up with Jon but he was here when I fell asleep so naturally he's here now. "Mornin'," I yawned, stepping into the kitchen where they sat at the table.

"It's three in the afternoon," Ryan corrected me, sounding bitter and hurt. I'm sure I deserve it. "Spencer's called your phone a few times; you might want to call him back before the police show up here."

"'k," I answered, rubbing my eyes and leaning against the wall.

"How's your hand?" Jon asked, his voice still soft.

"Fine, I guess," I said, sticking my hand out. It was then I noticed some spots of the gauze had bleed through. "Oh; I guess it started bleeding again." I frowned, pulling my hand back to look at it.

"What happened?" Ryan's voice softened to concern, Jon apparently having not told him.

"I broke my bathroom mirror," I said, poking the red spots to see how much they bleed through. "If I got blood on anything I'll re-buy it 'cause that's unsanitary and I'm sorry." My hand was a bit wet.

"Are you ok?" Ryan asked as he got up, walking to me and taking my hand into his own slip, long fingers. "Geez, Bren, you really hurt yourself." he frowned, examining my hand.

"It'll heal," I shrugged, avoiding his eyes because it's still too raw to face those emotion-filled orbs. "Thanks, Jon, for helping me last night and thanks Ryan for letting me stay here."

"Technically, I didn't," Ryan said, letting go of my hand.

"You could have woke me up and told me to get out," I said, smiling ever so slightly.

"That would have been mean and rude," Ryan said, his eyes following me to the door where I got my sandals back on. "Don't you want something to eat or a change of bandages?" He cocked his head.

"Nah," I smiled, still avoiding direct eye contact. "Spencer's probably pissed enough and I have to finish cleaning the studio so we can start...start practicing." It still hurt to say because now it was Spencer and I in the band. Jon and Ryan are going to start their own but it hurts nonetheless. "I'm sure he'll force me to eat and do something with my hand." I tried not to start crying.

" more careful," Ryan said as I opened the door to leave.

"I'll try," I nodded, stepping onto the porch. "Bye."

"Brendon!" Ryan called just as was about to click the door shut.

"Yeah?" I opened it again, a small flutter dancing over my heart.

"It was...uh...nice to see you again." Ryan played nervously with his hands, making me smile.

"You too, Ryro," I said, Ryan smiling as I pulled the door shut now; that light high lifting me up again.


I sat at the small table in my apartment, staring into a cup of hot chocolate, watching the marshmallows slowly melt. It took awhile to convince Spencer he didn't need to lay bubble wrap all around my house and that I was sleeping for once which is why I didn't answer the phone or door. He ranted and cleaned up my bathroom, making me eat and tending to my hand just as I figured he would. I managed to get rid of him a little while ago by saying I didn't feel good. Honestly, I don't. I feel sick and like I should be hitting my head against the wall which would guarantee a bubble-wrapped apartment.

When there was a knock at the door, I sighed, wondering what Spencer wanted now, and got up to answer it. I was completely surprised to open the door to Ryan though. "Uh...hi..." he smiled slightly.

"Hi..." I repeated, still shocked.

"Can I, uh, come in?" Ryan apprehensively asked and I nodded, stepping aside and shutting the door once his small frame made it into my apartment. "Why don't you get a house or at least a better apartment?" He asked, the same question he always asks when he comes over.

"I like my little apartment," I said, the same answer I always give him. "First place I could afford on my own so it's special, you know?" He nodded, playing with the ends of today's scarf. "You want a drink or anything?"

"No thank you," Ryan answered, looking a little lost. Of course we had awkward silence.

"So...about earlier...I'm sorry again. I was lost and didn't know-" Ryan suddenly threw his arms around me, hugging me tightly and absolutely confusing me now. "Ryan?"

"I thought I was still asleep when I saw you on the couch," Ryan said into my shoulder, his bony arms threatening to crush me. "It's been so long since we've spoken or anything; I thought you were mad at me."

"I" I admitted, Ryan still hugging me. "You left me."

"I didn't want Panic to die," He said sounding ready to cry. "I just didn't want to go the same way the band was. I never intended for it to be so disastrous though." I managed to move my arms enough to be able to hug Ryan back. Ryan-hugs are different from Jon-hugs. Ryan-hugs are soft, warm, loving, and exactly what you need on a gloomy day yet still enough to make you feel absolutely safe and protected. "If Jon and I stayed, we would only have argued more and the band would have fallen apart. I was trying to save it and our friendship."

"I know," I sighed, laying my head on Ryan's, inhaling the amazing scent known as 'simply-Ryan'. It's a very intoxicating aroma. "It hurt a lot. I felt like you were abandoning after all you've done to get it to where it is today. I felt like you were abandoning me."

"I would never abandon you, Bdon," Ryan said seriously though I could see the smile on his face. I could feel it. "I've missed you so much and you haven't called so I didn't call, afraid to upset you more, but then I saw you sleeping on the couch and I nearly lost it. Jon told me you came over earlier, distressed, but he didn't mention anything about your hand." Ryan broke the hug to take my injured hand into his again. "How'd it happen?"

"I was still half asleep and saw things in the mirror," I said, Ryan frowning. "Things that taunted me and made me upset so I stupidly punched the mirror out and, well, Jon helped clean my hand."

"Will it be ok?" Ryan asked, heavily concerned as he ran his fingers lightly over the bandaging, more shivers running through my body. "No nerve damage or anything, right?"

"Should be just fine in a few days," I assured him, Ryan still frowning. "How about you? Jon said you haven't really been sleeping lately. Are you sick?"

"No;" Ryan shook his head and lowered my hand. "Just a lot on my mind."

"Like?" I figured if he got information from me that I could get it from him.

"You," Ryan said, looking directly into my eyes. "I...I don't want to lose you, Brendon; ever."

"I'm not dead yet." I lightly teased, Ryan's smile coming back. "I don't want to lose you either. You mean so much to me and I'm sorry I've been such an asshole lately by-" I was suddenly cut off by Ryan's lips against mine. They were as amazing as I always imagined. "Ryan?" I asked as he pulled back, unable to keep the very stupid grin from my face. "What was that for?"

"To shut you up," Ryan smiled, making me laugh. "I can't be in a band with you, at least not right now, because we have different paths to explore." I bit my lip and listened to him because when Ryan talks, you need to just shut up and listen. "But that doesn't mean our paths are facing opposite directions. I like to think of them as parallel with different bumps and turns, but never out of reach from each other." Again I nodded. "I guess what I'm trying to say is...I love you..."

"Good," I smiled, kissing Ryan on the lips myself, leaving him shocked, "Because I love you too." I grinned idiotically, Ryan laughing and brushing my bangs aside. "It'll suck not making music with you anymore to feed the rabid teens," he laughed again, "but we'll find a way to do it. You and Jon will be great."

"So will you and Spin," Ryan said, his eyes sparkling like the stars again. "So...friends?"

"Always," I smiled, both of us meeting half way for another kiss. "Wanna chill here tonight?"

"Gonna make me watch Disney movies?"

"Of course," I beamed proudly.

"Then I'd love to," Ryan said, sliding his arms around my waist and pulling me close, capturing my lips in the sweetest and softest kiss I've ever experienced.


Once again I stood in the dead forest, surrounded by hungry crows. But this time, there was a smile on my face as I looked around, waiting for my other self to show up. "Well, well, aren't we proud of ourselves?" The evil me strolled out from behind one of the tree's, smiling. "Bravo." He raised his hands to his head and slowly clapped.

"You won't control me any longer," I said as he came towards me, mask still on.

"You may have won this round, but remember," He removed the mask to reveal a prefect mirror image of how I stood, "We are one in the same.

"Nope;" I shook my head. "I thrive while you strive to survive," he slowly began to blur into the wind. "Because I'm stronger than you and good always triumphs over evil."

"You can never get rid of me," he said, that annoying laughter carrying on the wind.

"That doesn't mean I have to let you control me." I smiled as the other me was nothing more than a hazy blur of color. "I'm the strong one and you're the weak one. As long as I have someone to love who brings me happiness and joy, boosting my self-worth, and giving me hope," The other me vanished, "You're nothing more than thin air." The crows then disappeared, the clouds parting to let the sun shine down once more. The trees burst with vibrant green leaves, the bones on the ground becoming the gentle animals they had always been.

I took a deep inhale of the light, clean air, hearing the sweet calls of birds nesting on the trees as I walked leisurely along the ground, following my own path out of the woods, seeing others walk their own paths alongside me. We all walk similar paths towards a common goal, but we all have our own journeys to lead and our own twists to deal with, knowing there's always someone right beside us to reach out to when things get a little bumpy

"You ok?" Ryan's sleepy voice drifted to me as I shifted in the bed.

"Yeah," I smiled ,nuzzling my head farther into his chest. "I'm perfect." Ryan tiredly laughed and kissed my head, holding me a little tighter.

And for the first time in almost two weeks, I slept without a nightmare.
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