In which Ryan and Brendon climb trees and wear Hello Kitty band-aids. (Ryden)
As Brendon sprinted ahead the other boy shouted “BREN! Jesus, Bren, wait up!”
“NOPE!” Brendon yelled as he looked back. While he was turned around, he failed to notice a tree root sticking out of the ground. Seeing his friend suddenly face down on the ground and flat like a cartoon due to his skinniness, Ryan could help but burst out laughing.
As Ryan held on to a large rock for support, Brendon sat up and pouted. “It’s not funny!” He said, rubbing his nose. As tears began to slide down Ryan’s face, Brendon said again, “It’s not funny!” and jumped on his friend, tickling him.
“Bren!! Ahh! Brendon stop!! STOP!!” Ryan laughed.
“You have to say it’s not funny!!” Brendon smirked as he continued digging his finger tips into Ryan’s sides.
“Okay! Okay, God!! It’s not funny! It’s not funny at all!”
“That’s what I though.” Brendon said, satisfied.
While the two came down from their highs, Ryan noticed that Brendon got a small scratch on the tip of his nose. “You’re bleeding.”
“Oh shit… am I?”
“Yeah but it’s just a little scratch. C’mere. I think I have a band-aid.”
As Brendon scotched over, Ryan pulled a band-aid from his back pack. “Hmmm…” he said as he inspected it. “It appears to be Hello Kitty.”
“Oh, God…” Brendon covered his eyes dramatically. “You sure you don’t have any norm-…. Wait… why do you have Hello Kitty band-aids?”
“I like Hello Kitty.” Ryan stated, as if it was completely obvious. Brendon just stared at him.
“I’m going to have to learn to stop asking you questions in these situations.”
Ryan rolled his eyes, but still giggled. “Bren, just use the band-aid.”
Ryan took a tissue and wiped the dirt off or Brendon’s nose, then peeled off the wrapping and stuck the band-aid on.
“Y’know,” Brendon started, “I could’ve done it myself.”
Ryan blushed and began to messily shove things back into his bag. “Whatever!”
“Sure… Let’s just go.” Brendon smiled.
They walked a bit more until they came to a familiar clearing. In the middle was a huge weeping willow. Its long branches swept the ground and practically tumbled off the hill it sat on. Ryan got an idea and began running towards the tree, giving Brendon no warning.
“Ryan!!! ARG! C’mon! Seriously, Ry?! Wait up!” He called after him.
“NOPE!” Ryan laughed as he looked back at Brendon, who was getting smaller.
Brendon huffed as he began a half hearted jog after his friend. When he finally caught up, Ryan stood in front of the willow, a childish grin on his face. “I’m not even gonna say anything.” Brendon grumbled, to which Ryans smile grew. He had to force himself to not smile back. The two began climbing the tree, each patting the trunk and saying “Hey Victor.”
Brendon and Ryan had been friends since childhood, and had been coming to the park where Victor was since they were 7. The first time they decided to climb him, Ryan was upset. His dog, Victor, who had been his best friend (other than Brendon) had died. The two sat on the lowest branch in silence until Ryan began to cry for the hundredth time that day. As Brendon patted his back he said “I miss Victor.” And it broke Brendon’s 7-year-old heart. He decided that he never wanted to see Ryan sad again.
“Becuth you’re my bethetht buddy, and you look thtupid when you cry, I’m gonna give you thith tree. You can do whatever you want with it, becuthz it’th gonna be here forever and it’th never gonna die. Even when I’m not here, it’th gonna be here, tho everything will alwayth be okay.”
Ryan decided to name it Victor because he truly believed in what Brendon said, that it would always be there. Even 9 years later, the name was stuck, and the boys visited Victor everyday after school.
“This summers going to be awesome.” Brendon stated.
Ryan turned to him. “Why?”
“I dunno. I just have a feeling.”
“To me it just feels like every other summer.”
“That’s because all you do is sit inside and read!”
“No! I see you.”
“I’m the only contact, other than your parents, that you have with fellow life forms the entire summer!” Said Brendon, poking Ryan’s side.
“Oh, shut up!” He laughed. Suddenly, the familiar intro to Sponge Bob rang out from Brendon’s jean pocket. He reached in, retrieved his cell phone and flipped it open, pausing to say “Sorry” to Ryan.
“Hello? Hey, Mom. Yeah… yeah, we’re with Victor… oh…. Oh, crap! Sorry, yeah I forgot. I’ll be there in a minute. Okay…. Yeah? No, just dump it in with the colours. Yeah, I want to see what colour it becomes. Ha-ha…. Okay. Yep. Bye.” Brendon flipped his phone shut and slid it back into its place. “I have to cook dinner tonight, because my Mom’s going back to the office for a meeting. So, I gotta go.”
Ryan made an over exaggerated angry face, then quickly snapped out of it and said “Yeah, that’s fine. I’ll walk with you.”
When Ryan and Brendon got to the end of the field, Ryan noticed a giant patch of pansies.
“Oh, wow!” He said, stooping down to get a better look. “Brendon, look at these! They’re so pretty!”
“Yeah, they’re nice.” Brendon agreed, smiling at Ryan’s enthusiasm.
“Sorry. I just love flowers. Remember that time when my dad bought me a little rectangular pot so I could plant stuff? And I had you come over and we stuffed flower petals into the dirt because we thought that they’d grow?” Ryan laughed.
“Oh yeah! Then I planted a snail shell and made you feed it carrots because I wanted a giant snail as a pet.”
“It should work that way! There would be so many more flowers and giant snails in the world.”
When the two finally stood in front for Ryan’s house, they agreed to meet the next day, without making any real plans. As they said goodbye, Ryan touched his finger to the tip of Brendon’s nose.
“You look cute. Pink is obviously your colour.” He smiled and walked up the concrete path and into his house, leaving Brendon standing there, his face like a tomato. He refrained from giggling manically and whacked himself on the forehead a few times.
As Brendon walked the two blocks to his house, as usual, he passed by a small flower shop. It had always been a very cheap place, but today they were having a sale on all flowers, which just made them stupidly cheap. Brendon decided that he needed to buy flowers because the money he had earned from house sitting for a neighbor was burning a hole in his piggy bank. As he stared dumbly at a pot of pansies in front of him, something started to bother him. He knocked on his head, repeating “Think, Brendon. THINK. What about these flowers?” It took him five minutes of standing there grumbling to himself to finally make the connection.
“Ry… Ryan… likes flowers. Ryan likes flowers.” When it really hit him, he ran down the street, smiling like the idiot he was.
The feeling of the first day of summer was the best in Ryan book. Knowing that you don’t have to see the faces of a bunch of people you don’t like for two months was awesome. Plus, his Dad always made a yummy “Turbo First Day of Summer Breakfast”. Without taking his pajamas off (another plus) he ran down the stairs and into the kitchen to be greeted with the smell of his favourite; banana triple chocolate fudge pancakes. Sounds gross? Well, not to Ryan.
As Ryan entered he took a deep, loud breath and let out a satisfying “Ahhhhhhhh”. George Ross smiled brightly at his son and placed a heaping plate of pancakes at Ryan’s chair. “Happy first day, Ry.”
“Is it ever!” Ryan agreed as he dug into the fluffy stack. His eyes rolled back as he made sounds of utter pleasure (A/N: Yeah. I went there. But you love it.)
“Oh… OH! Ooooh!! Oh my God…. OH MY GOD. Ohhh…. MMMMMmmmmmm….” He moaned.
George leaned against the counter and stared at his son, wondering how long he was going to do those disturbing sounds for. “Almost done, bud?”
“Almost.” Ryan said. He then began making the sounds louder and louder until he collapsed into his chair, breathing heavily. This was now a routine at the start of each summer. George would make the pancakes and Ryan would have sex with them.
“You really should stop doing that.”
“Nah. It’s okay.” Ryan grinned cheekily as he stuffed more pancakes into his mouth.
As Ryan continued molesting his food, the two discussed what Ryan would do this summer.
“That’s what you do every year. Don’t you want to add to the list?”
“Hmmmm….. Nope.” Ryan said, popping the “p”.
“Okay… how about camping?” George tried.
“I hate bugs.”
“I hate planes.”
“I’m too lazy.”
“What if Brendon came.”
George laughed. “You’d do anything if it involved Brendon, wouldn’t you?”
“Well, yeah. He’s my best and only friend, may I remind you.”
“I think you two should get married.” He smiled.
“DAD!” Ryan blushed, but didn’t say anything else.
“I’m joking, Ryan. Marry whoever you like. Even if it is Brendon.”
Ryan just shoved the last of the pancakes into his mouth. As he pouted at his father, the doorbell rang. “I’ll get it…. Father.”
“Whatever you wish, Son.”
Ryan stuck out his tongue and exited the kitchen. When he opened the door, he was surprised to find a mountain of flowers standing on his front step. When he looked down, he noticed a familiar pair of dark purple converse. “Brendon?”
Amidst the petals, Brendon’s face popped out and smiled. “Hiya!”
Ryan laughed. “Bren… what’s all this?”
“I know they're flowers, but why?”
“For you, that’s why!”
Ryan laughed as he blushed.
“You said you liked flowers and they make you happy, so I got you some.”
“’Some’ isn’t the right word.”
“I wanted you to be happy.”
Ryan stopped and looked at his friend. Brendon was standing on his front step, smiling from ear to ear bringing him the most flowers he’d ever seen in his life and telling him that he wanted him to be happy. He even changed the Hello Kitty band-aid on his nose to a fresh one. Ryan couldn’t be happier.
Ryan stepped forward and placed his hands on each side of Brendon’s face. As he rubbed his thumbs back and forth over the soft skin on Brendon’s cheeks he smiled. “I am happy.” He whispered. Ryan closed his eyes and leaned in, capturing Brendon’s lips with is own. It was soft and sweet, but it was perfect. The fireworks in his stomach put all the Fourth of July shows to shame. As they pulled apart, Ryan was surprised to see Brendon smiling. “You taste like banana and chocolate.” He said, and leaned back in.
The petals from the flowers tickled their faces and stems and leaves shut them out from the rest of the world as they shared the perfect passionate kiss. With smiles as bright as sunflowers, blushes as pink as roses and touches as gentle as daisies, they finally found out what their strange feelings meant after 16 years, but it sure as hell wasn’t too late. When they parted, Brendon took Ryan’s hand.
“Let’s go see Victor.”