Our beloved Ryan is spiraling downwards. Can anyone save him from himself?
In addition, whenever the boys went out to eat, Ryan always stayed at home, politely declining, and saying he wasn't hungry. In addition to this un-Ryan behavior, he had started wearing long sleeves, mostly sweatshirts. There was only one problem with that though. It wasn't winter, it was just starting to get into summer, with the temperatures rising to over 90* Farenheight with humidity.This was deffinitely not sweatshirt weather.
Brendon reflected on this as he waited on the street corner for the rest of the boys. He was hot even though he was wearing only a thin T-shirt, and a pair of tight skinny jeans, with the knees ripped to shreds. Get your mind out of the gutter, my lovelies. They did not come from what you were thinking of. They were originally slightly ripped when he bought them, and they got to the stage they were at through too many falls off a skateboard.
Yet I digress! Back to the present time! Brendon stood on the street corner, wishing the guys would hurry up. But then again, he was there early. He had learned to set his clock 5 minutes fast to give himself enough time to not be late. In a way, it worked.But on days like this, he regretted it.It made hime wait out in the sun when the others had more time in the A/C. I'll give it 5 more minutes, then I'm leaving. He thought, looking at his watch. 9:13 in the morning and it was already hotter than an oven. Where were the others?
Presently, Jon and Spencer came walking down the street. As usual, they were cheerful, almost to the point of insanity. They walked up to Brendon and gave him a hug, which ended up turning into an awkward group hug, as both of them wanted to hug him before the other. Brendon squeaked at being attacked like this.
Noticing that Ryan wasn't among his attackers, he asked, "Where's Ry?"Jon looked confused and said, "We thought he was with you, and went inside to get some A/C or something.""Well he's not with me, and he's not with you guys. Where is he?" Brendon asked, with more than a little worry seeping into his voice.
Just then, Ryan came up the street, wearing a sweatshirt, head down, seeming to not look where he was going. "Ryan!" Brendon shouted, causing the former to jump more than a little. Something was definitely making him jumpy. And this time, they couldn't even attribute it to pre-show jitters. It was more than that.
And was it just Brendon, or was Ryan looking even skinnier than normal?Ryan walked over to the three slowly, avoiding eye-contact. Brendon looked at him a little closer. He did look skinnier, and his skin was that of someone who had not seen the sunlight properly in a while. But he looked tired, and had huge circles under his bloodshot eyes. To top this whole look of sorrow and misery, his eyeliner (or guyliner, if you'll excuse me) was running. Not in the "its humid and I'm sweating so much that nothing can stay on my face" kind of running, but the "I've just been crying for a few hours" kind of running, supported by his reddened eyes. Whether they were this way through lack of sleep, or through crying, Brendon couldn't tell.
He was willing to take a bet on a mix of the two however.Ryan was now close enough to them that they could touch him without taking more than a step or two. Jon and Spencer said hello cordially and Spencer gave Ryan a hug lightly, scared to crush him. When Jon gave him a hug, he barely touched Ryan, fearing that he would accidentally break him. Brendon gave him a quick hug as well, and could have sworn he felt every single rib and vertebrae through Ry's sweatshirt. "You okay Ry?" Brendon asked him concernedly. Ryan just nodded, seeming to drift out of it again. "Ok, come on guys, let's go get something to eat before we start running around town like the maniacs we all know we are." Spencer said, starting to walk down the sidewalk. Jon followed shortly behind. Brendon took Ryan's arm lightly and started walking, keeping the skinny one close. Bren was worried that his friend might collapse at any minute. He looked the part alright. He just hoped that it wouldn't happen. However, should it, he already had a hand on him, so hopefully he wouldn't go too far before he could be caught.
"So where are we headed off to?" Brendon asked the leading duo. Jon put his head to the side for a moment before calling back, "Brenny, you have as much idea of that as I do. Spence?" he asked, turning to the boy he was walking next to.
"I have no idea either. Ry?" Spencer asked, passing the question. It seemed like an odd game of hot potato the way it was moving. "Uh, I'm not all that hungry guys." Ryan replied quietly, somewhat embarrassed at having the question thrown to him, and having to reply. However, Brendon sensed something was up.
"So what was this magical filling breakfast that our RyRo ate this morning to leave him so full?" Brendon asked, mildly teasing. Ryan blushed at this, and replied, "Um, not that much. I guess I don't have much of an appetite."
"Seriously Ry, you're turning into Marvin the Skeleton. You need to eat more. Hell, we won't judge you for eating like a pig. Everyone eats like a pig at one point in their lives or another." Jon said, turning to face the younger one.
"It's okay really, I'm not that skinny..." Ryan said, trailing off and trying to avoid the bassist's stare. "Don't bullshit me Ross! You're nothing but skin and bones! Now tell me the damn truth. What did you have for breakfast this morning?!?" Jon said angrily. It was rare for him to get this ticked at anything, especially someone he normally cared so much about.
Ryan looked like he was about to start crying. "N-Nothing." He choked out, letting a tear slip out of the corner of his eye. Brendon saw this, and wrapped his arms around the other, pulling him into a tight hug, and saying, "Shh Ryan. It's gonna be alright." Jon saw that Ryan was crying, and said, "I didn't mean to be that harsh, but I'm worried about you. We all are. You haven't seemed yourself recently."
Jon walked forward and wrapped his arms around the combination of Ryan and Brendon. Spencer joined this impromptu group hug. All 4 of the Panic! At The Disco members stood on the sidewalk, in a huge group hug, with the crying one at the middle.
It was 9:23 AM.
The group stood there for about 5 minutes. They were silent except for Ryan's occasional sob, which were growing softer and farther spaced by the moment. After he had quieted, the group broke apart. "You okay now Ryan?" Spencer asked. Ryan gulped and nodded his head slightly. Jon walked up to him and wiped away his tears with a tissue. The tissue had turned gray. Eyeliner overload, it seemed to be.
"Okay, we're not helping Ry when we're just standing here on the street corner. Let's go get this bag of bones something to eat!" Brendon said, grabbing Ryan's arm gently and starting back walking. Jon and Spencer had to run a few steps to get back to their place in front of the duo. "Yeah, that brings us back to our original question. Where are we going?" Jon asked.
"Donno" was the consecutive replies from both Brendon and Spencer. "so that leaves you, Ryan. What do you feel like?" Jon asked. Ryan shrugged and said, "Depressed a little. Miserable in general."
Spencer rolled his eyes and said, "Jon, you damn Nimrod! You should have asked, 'What do you feel like eating', not 'what do you feel like', cause asking what someone feels like means how are they feeling." Jon elbowed him sharply in the ribs, eliciting a yelp like that of a dog whose foot has been stepped upon.
"So, RyRo, what do you feel like eating?" Brendon asked, putting emphasis on the eating, so that way neither Jon nor Spencer could complain about it. Ryan thought for a moment, and said, "Uh, how about pancakes and milkshakes?"
"Perfect!" Brendon shouted, and clapped his hands. Spencer gave an award-worthy eye roll, and said geeze, your mothers really didn't teach you about healthy eating, did she? You're not supposed to have milkshakes before it's 10 in the morning!"
Jon sighed and said, "I agree with them. It makes perfect sense. It's too hot anyways!" But Spencer refused to be defeated in his quest for healthy eating, and stopped, putting his hand on his hip. "I don't care how hot it is, you're not supposed to have milkshakes, of all things, with breakfast! Plain milk is more than good enough. If you;re picky, then chocolate or soy milk, or skim, or whole milk. Whatever lifts your luggage! But never ice cream, or milkshakes! Who taught you that it was okay? Huh?"
"Hey, it might be the only thing that Ryan wants to eat today. So deal with it!" Brendon said, petting Ryan on the head slightly and asking, "Isn't that right Ryan?"
Jon rolled his eyes at the antics of Brendon the Disney Addict, and said, "When did you become our mother? Seriously, I'd like to know when you cut it off to trade it in for a ouch!" he was cut short by getting a punch to the stomach courtesy of one Spencer Smith.
"So everyone agree on pancakes and milkshakes?" Brendon asked. Ryan nodded, and Jon gave a strange little noise that Brendon was going to assume was saying okay. Spencer just rolled his eyes and said, "Don;t come crying to me when you get all bogged down by health problems!"
Jon straightened up and gave Spencer a glare, then started walking. Spencer walked slightly behind him, and Brendon and Ryan brought up the rear. Ryan squeaked out, "Jon?"
Jon called back to him, "Yeah, Ry?" Ryan asked, "Where are we going?"
Jon said, "Uh, Claire;s Diner. They're just about the only ones open with milkshakes and pancakes at this hour within driving distance."
Ryan just nodded and kept up his walking pace. They didn't talk anymore for the remainder of the walk to the diner. This took them a good 5 minutes. 5 minutes of silence. They turned the corner and it came into sight. The neon lights were turned off on account of it being broad daylight.
Said sign was outlined in hot pink, the inside was plain white, and the writing on it was acid green. It might have looked like a bit of an eyesore from the day, but it was a beacon that showed everyone where it was in the night. That was one thing about being a business in Las Vegas. You had to have bright lights turned on at night, even if they were garish or color clashing. Otherwise, you would hardly get any customers, if you did at all, as they would all be drawn to the casinos and clubs and other establishments that had bright lights in the middle of the sweltering nights.
The foursome kept walking, and behind the sign, the actual diner came into view. The walls were plain white, which made perfect sense in Las Vegas, where anything else would absorb heat. The rest of the color scheme, however was to match the sign. The awning was the same neonic acid green, but toned down a bit to paint colors. The door matched the awning, and the window frames were the same color. The sign on the roof said 'Claire's Diner' in the same shade of hot pink as did the sign. Color coordinated, if nothing else.
In a window there was yet another neon sign, but this one was small, about a foot long, and 8 inches high. This one simply said 'Open' on it, in red lights. Through the window, it could be seen that the stools at the bar, and the booths were cushioned in a slightly darker green than the green used on the outside of the building. The table tops were just plain wood, and the bar was made of what looked to be the same material as that of counter-tops. The waitresses were wearing salmon pink uniforms. Ghastly as they were, at least it wasn't the unsightly hot pink of the sign.
The kitchen was behind the bar, and you could see the metal surfaces and the pots and pans hanging from a bar between the bar and the kitchen itself. The cooks were in classic cook uniform, sans the tall white hats. Every so often, one of them would come up to the table between the bar and the kitchen and ring a bell. This cued a waitress to come and deliver it to one of the tables.
Jon said, "Well, we're here." Brendon clapped happily at this announcement, silenced only by a glare from Spencer. Jon opened the door and walked inside, followed shortly by Brendon, who pretty much pranced inside. Ryan and Spencer split a look and walked in after their prancing comrade.
The quartet walked to the nearly the end of the diner, and chose a seat right under the A/C duct, following the orders of the sign that said, "seat yourself". This sign was plain black, but the writing on it was bright pink. A sort of chalkboard, similar to those that you see in restaurants, cafes, clubs, and that sort of place.
A moment later, a waitress came over. She too was wearing that dreadful salmon pink uniform. Her red hair was pulled back into a pony-tail. (yes my lovelies, this girl's hair color is natural, not a dye. ^^) "Hey all, good morning. I'm Maggie, and I'll be your server this morning." She said, with a trace of a southern accent, and dropped 4 menus on the table, in the middle. The boys each pulled a menu in their respective direction. "Do you think you know what you want, or should I come back in a few minutes?" She asked.
Brendon raised his hand like he was in grade school, and said, "pick me, pick me!" Spencer slapped his hand out of the air, and said, "just say it Brendon, don't wait to be called on, you damn moron." Brendon pouted at this reprimand, and whined, "But its rude to speak out of turn!" Maggie laughed at that, and pointed at Brendon with her pencil, and said "Er, Brendon is it? Your turn."
Brendon stuck out his tongue at Spencer, before saying, "Ooh, I want pancakes, with chocolate chips, and whipped cream with a smiley face...and a strawberry milkshake please?" Maggie nodded, and said, "next?" Jon raised his hand quickly, before putting it back down, and saying, "I want a chocolate milkshake, and some plain pancakes please." Maggie nodded and wrote these things down, then said, "What about you two?", meaning the two who hadn't said anything thus far.
Spencer looked at Ryan and said, "Ry, you wanna go first, or should I?", keeping perfectly within his politeness. Ryan mumbled something that might have just barely passed as 'you' if the listener was listening carefully and intently. (dammit ry! speak up! xD) Spencer said, "Ok. I'll take orange juice, scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast.. Ry, your turn."
Ryan peeped up, "Er, vanilla milkshake, and french toast." Maggie said, "alright, you boys sit tight, and I'll be back with your food in a little." Shortly after she had departed, Spencer pursed his lips and glared indignantly at Ryan, before saying, "Ryan, you're not eating much. You're becoming almost anorexic on me. You should've ordered more than just the toast and a milkshake."
Ryan looked saddened, and said, "Sorry Spencer. But I was kinda hoping that Brenny would be willing to share some of his pancakes with me." At this point, Brendon looked up, and gave his biggest cheesiest grin, and pulled Ryan into a one armed hug and said, "Of course I'm going to share with RyRo. I don't want him to disappear into thin air on me." Spencer sighed, and said, "Ok Ryan. You and Brendon win this time. But you are going to eat. And you are not going to throw up or anything after you do."
Jon asked, "But, er...what if he gets sick or something, and has to throw up?" Spencer glared at his seat partner and said, "That's ok, but I don't want him o intentionally throw up. As in stick his hand down his throat kind of throwing up." Jon nodded, not wanting to cause any further complaints out of Spencer. Brendon opened one of the packets with a knife and fork in it, before asking out loud, "Hey, guys... why is it that there's no metal sporks?"
Alrighty, realized that I might end up with over 200 chapters if I didn't make them longer. So I deleted all the others, and made it into this one big chapter. I also have a new Strategy for updating stories. Will hold a chapter hostage until someone either Rates, Reviews, or the story gets another 100 views. Fair, I think? Enjoy :)