He knew that if Brendon remembered their conversation when he woke up, that he would hate him. Not that he would blame him. But he knew that it would break Brendon’s heart. Yet, he couldn’t resist. Barely ten minutes had past before Ryan crept back into his room, sitting himself down on the bed next to Brendon. After a while, he ended up pulling Brendon’s head onto his lap, gently playing with his hair. He watched Brendon as he peacefully slept, a small smile occasionally playing at his lips. He knew that Brendon would no longer be able to reciprocate his feelings, but he couldn’t help it. He was heels over head in love with him. Ryan blinked furiously as he felt hot tears starting to well up behind his eyes. He had known that what he was doing was wrong, but it hadn’t stopped him. He felt like he wasn’t even the same person anymore.
It was dark. So dark. Claustrophobically dark. He heard himself screaming but he wasn’t making any audible sound. He fell to the ground and sobbed in frustration. And then, he saw a light. It came closer to him. And closer. Until it was right on top of him. He squinted up at it, trying to see what the source of this light was. And then he was him. “R-“ Hush. Hush, love. Do not speak. Brendon stared up at him in amazement. Did he just think that at me? He thought to himself. Yes, love. I did. He heard him chuckle. And then he was Ryan. He was both Ryan and himself, aware of both presences. Ryan, who had been floating in the blackness, sank to the ground. And that’s when Brendon noticed something. He scrabbled backwards, his eyes widening in fear. GET AWAY FROM ME! He thought loudly. Ryan stopped, staring at him in confusion. What are you talking about, Bren? The younger man continued crawling backwards, trying to put as much distance between himself and Ryan as possible. I don’t love you! No! I love him! You’re not him! Get away from me! Give me my Ryan back! He mentally sobbed. Ryan stared at him confusion. And then he was moving towards Brendon. He could see every muscle in him tighten in terror, his pupils shrinking in fear. Ryan continued towards him until he was towering above him. And against his will, he started hitting Brendon. And he felt….good. He could see every trembling muscle in Brendon, could feel the soft skin under his fist being forcefully pushed down under his fist. He could smell the fear coursing through his Brendon. And he was powerless to stop it. “I’m sorry, Ryan! I’m sorry, please, stop!! I’m sorry! I forgive you! Just stop!” Brendon sobbed. And just like that he stopped, sinking to the ground next to Brendon. He wrapped his arms around the flinching mess. “I love you, Brenny. I always have. I always will. I love you.” He pressed a kiss to Brendon’s temple. Brendon closed his eyes and flinched away from his touch, but otherwise didn’t move. This infuriated the other Ryan, who grabbed a handful of Brendon’s hair and yanked him towards him. Brendon let out a yelp of pain. ”I said I love you, you ungrateful little bitch!” he shrieked. Brendon started making a keening noise. Ryan punched him again, feeling his nose break beneath his fist…
“BRENDON!” Ryan screamed, shaking Brendon violently. His eyes flew open and he sat up abruptly, panting heavily. He looked over at Ryan and flinched away, an irrational wave of fear shooting through him. Ryan felt tears welling up in his eyes again and he dropped his head to stare at his lap. “I understand,” he whispered before lapsing into silence, feeling like a complete fool. Brendon shook his head. “No. Oh, God, Ryan. No. C’mere, babe.” Ryan crawled into his lap, despite his better judgment. “Ryan, I wasn’t flinching away from you. I just had a nightmare about you. And it was a little too vivid for my taste. I’m sorry if I hurt you. It was just an involuntary reaction.” Ryan looked into Brendon’s eyes. “I think I already know, but what were you dreaming about?” He already knew what Brendon had dreamt. He had expected it to happen. So he wasn’t surprised when Brendon lied.
He had to protect Ryan. Even if it meant lying. Even if it meant he was lying to what could become the truth. But he had to protect Ryan.