Brendon wants to help Ryan. Brendon wants to be friends with Ryan. Brendon is there for Ryan when Ryan needs him, but doesn't expect Ryan to return the favor. Rydon One-Shot
When you have no idea what the hell to do, what the hell do you do? When you’re all alone with no one to go to, who do you tell when you need help? When your friends have believed your fake smiles and your fake laughs for years, how can you stand there and watch their faces for telling them the truth?
I was 16 the first time it happened. I was slicing carrots for dinner, and I accidentally cut my finger open. I went over to the sink, and let cool water run over the gash. It stung, but… I liked it.
Curiosity got the better of me. That night, after I finished doing the dishes, I slipped a knife into my hoodie, holding it flat against my side, keeping my arm pressed down next to it, so it wouldn’t slip. I told my dad I was going to bed early, and slipped up the stairs to my room, locking the door behind me.
I stared at the knife for a long time before picking it up, and pressing it into the skin of my upper arm, where no one would see. I felt blood trickling down my arm, and I looked at the knife. My blood was dripping off of it, glistening in the light of my lamp. I looked at the cut on my arm, which was deeper than I’d originally thought. I ran my index finger along the cut, then sucked it, tasting the blood. Salty and tangy and sweet.
The sting in the wound was short lived, but a feeling of contented apathy lingered. With a pang in my stomach, I realized what I’d just done. I pulled a few tissues from the box on my bedside table, and held them to the wound until the bleeding stopped. I wiped off the knife, then wrapped the whole wad of bloody tissues in a clean one. I stuffed them into my hoodie pocket, and slipped across the hall, into the bathroom. I flushed the bloody tissues away, and returned to my bedroom, falling into a troubled sleep the moment my head hit the pillow.
“Hey, Ry-Ry.” I said, peeking into his bunk.
“Hey, Bren.” Ryan glanced up at me, then flicked his notebook shut.
“What are you doing?” I asked, perching on the edge of the mattress.
“Just working on some new lyrics.” Ryan picked at a hole in his sheet. I was used to his expressionless face and tone, but it still worried me sometimes. Spencer insisted that Ryan had always been like this, but I found it concerning.
“Anything you’re ready to share?” I asked.
He shook his head, tapping his fingers on his knee, like he was waiting for me to leave so he could get back to his song.
I knew something had to be wrong, but I stood up and left anyway. I sat next to Jon on the couch. He was playing Guitar Hero, and held out the second guitar to me as I sat down.
Ryan’s beautiful lyrics were full of complicated metaphors and vague stories that most people didn’t even try to comprehend. I knew from experience though, that the best lyrics were drawn from pain, and Ryan’s lyrics were exquisite.
The next morning, I found that I’d slept on the arm that the cut was on. It had scabbed to the sheet. I gripped the sheet tightly in my hand, and ripped it away from my skin. I bit my lip as pain ripped through the reopened gash, an involuntary smile creeping onto my lips.
I wrapped my arm loosely in a bandage, then I got dressed, putting on faded grey skinny jeans, a green shirt, and a purple hoodie.
I left the house without breakfast that morning. My stomach kept clenching from nerves, because I didn’t know what to do about the cut. The thought of eating made me want to vomit.
I could tell that I was acting weird, but I couldn’t help it. All day, my girlfriend kept shooting me worried looks.
“Are you okay, baby?” She kept asking.
I responded every time with, “Of course, Sugar,” and a reassuring smile
She didn’t know that I was lying.
We were at a party, and I’d lost everyone. I kind of expected it of Jon to disappear. He usually did, and sometime in the next couple hours, we’d all get identical texts within 15 seconds of each other that said something along the lines of ‘Guess who just got laid.’ Ryan never told me directly where he was, but he always told Spencer, and I was usually with Spencer, so I got told by proxy. Spencer had never disappeared on me, and I was starting to get worried. Why hadn’t we agreed on a meeting place to go to if we got separated, with 13 year old girls do when they go to the mall?
Finally, I found Ryan. He was sitting on the curb next to the driveway, with his legs stretched out in the street. I made my way over to him slowly, kind of hesitant now.
“Ryan?” I said, standing next to him awkwardly, shifting my weight from foot to foot.
“Pop a squat.” He said, patting the curb next to him absentmindedly.
I sat down, but tucked my legs up close to my body, instead of stretching out like Ryan. After a few minutes of silence, Ryan stood up and started walking away, down the street. I stared after him not sure if I should follow or not. After a few seconds, Ryan turned.
“You coming?” He didn’t wait for an answer, just turned back around, and kept walking.
I scrambled to my feet and hurried after him.
“Where are we going?” I asked, looking around the unfamiliar environment.
“For a walk.” Ryan shrugged.
“Are you okay?” I asked suddenly. I didn’t mean it say it, it just burst out.
“Marvelous.” He stiffened. “Why?”
“I don’t know…” I mumbled. “You just always seem so distant and sad, and… It doesn’t seem right… Spencer said you’d always been this way, but…” I trailed off. I sounded so dumb saying it out loud.
He laughed softly, with no humor.
“I haven’t always been like this.” He smiled grimly. “But Spencer wouldn’t know.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, my hands twitching nervously.
“Tell me about your family, Urie.” Ryan said suddenly, shoving his hands in his pockets.
“Um, okay.” I said, still fidgeting. “Well, my parents are Mormon…”
“Are they still together?” he asked, anger evident in voice. About what, I didn’t know.
“Yes.” I whispered.
“Does either of them have any problems? With drugs or drinking…?”
“No.” I was still whispered, not entirely sure why.
“They never fought in front of you, or beat you, or each other…?”
“Never.” I said, blinking up at him.
“Fucking figures.” He mumbled. “Perfect fucking pretty boy Brendon came from a perfect fucking family.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
We came to a bridge over a river, and Ryan stopped walking and leaned against the rail.
“My mom walked out when I was 10.” He said. “My dad’s an alcoholic. He blamed me for her leaving, and the day he didn’t beat the hell out of me was a day he passed out before he got the chance.”
My mouth fell open. I’d never heard this before.
“You’re so lucky, Brendon.” he shook his head, biting his lip. “I’d give anything… I’d fucking kill to still have my mom in my life.”
“Have you not talked to her since…?”
“No. She tucked me in, then the next morning, she was gone. All she left was a note.” He grimaced.
“Ryan, I’m so-”
“Don’t fucking say it!” he snapped, glaring at me.
I fell silent, and my eyes dropped to a particularly interesting crack in the pavement.
“I’m sorry.” He sighed, and I looked up again, to find him staring out at the glistening water again. “That’s why I don’t drink… I’m terrified that I’ll turn into him.” There were tears in his eyes. “But sometimes, I think… I think I’m turning into him anyways.” He lowered his head, and squeezed his eyes shut.
“Hey, Ry, don’t cry.” I whispered. I reached out toward him, not really sure of what I was planning to do, but he turned away before I could touch him.
“I’m not.” His voice broke, and he rubbed his eyes forcefully.
“Ryan…” He turned slightly, looking at me out of the corner of his eye. “Why… I don’t…” I couldn’t find the right words. My real question was why he was ashamed to cry, but that didn’t sound very sensitive, so I just shut up.
Ryan looked back out over the water, obviously deep in thought. I didn’t interrupt him. I part of me wanted to tell him that all childhoods are varying degrees of awful. Mine wasn’t as bad as his, but it wasn’t all lollipops and unicorns either.
I wrapped my arm around his back, setting my other hand on his forearm gently.
“You can’t let the past keep you down, Ry.” I whispered. “Being sad and stupid is easy, but you can’t make yourself better like that. You have to leave it behind you.”
Ryan sniffled, but didn’t answer.
“You can always tell me anything, Ry. I won’t tell anyone, I’ll just keep it between us.”
He set his hand over mine and laced our fingers together.
“Thanks, Bren.” He whispered, looking at me with softened eyes. “I’ve never met anyone as sincere as you are.”
I half smiled at him. He turned his attention back to the water, and I leaned my head against his shoulder.
Ryan’s phone rang after a few minutes, and Ryan used his free hand to pull it from his pocket.
“Hey, Spence.” He answered it. “Brendon’s with me, we’re just down the street. At a bridge.” He paused. “Because we went for a walk.” Pause. “We can walk back…?” Pause. “If you insist.” Ryan hung up without saying goodbye, as per usual. “Spencer’s coming to get us.”
After a couple more minutes, Spencer pulled up behind us, hitting the horn lightly. I slid into the backseat with Jon, who was smart enough to leave shotgun open for Ryan.
The car ride back to the hotel was quiet, with Spencer and Jon speaking occasionally. Sitting behind Ryan, I could see his profile as he stared out the window. He still looked sad, and I didn’t blame him. It went unnoticed to Spencer and a wasted Jon that I slid my hand between Ryan’s seat and the wall of the car. Ryan grasped my hand tightly, and I saw a smiled ghost briefly over his face.
“Hey, dad?” I squeaked, fidgeting in the doorway.
He turned his head slightly, acknowledging that he was listening.
“I need to talk to you. About something serious.” I said, wringing my hands.
My dad turned and leaned back against the kitchen counter.
“Well, spit it out.” He grunted.
“Isabelle’s pregnant.” I said.
“She cheated on you?” He asked. “Must say, I don’t blame her.” He sneered at me.
“No, Dad…” I whispered, my eyes filling with tears. “It’s mine.”
“Not even smart enough to wrap it up.” My dad chuckled dryly with no trace of humor in his voice. “That’s my boy.” He said sarcastically.
He brushed past me, out of the kitchen. I wrapped my arms around myself and sobbed.
After talking with Ryan, I felt that I needed to call my parents. I knew they didn’t approve of me in many ways, and it’s been two years since I talked to them, but if I was honest with myself, I missed them.
After we returned to the hotel from the party, we all made our ways to our various rooms. I laid on my bed, but after two sleepless hours, I got back up. I packed all of my stuff together, and even took it down to the bus.
I paced around, drinking cheap coffee from the crappy machine on the counter, until 7:35am, when I knew Spencer would be up.
I told him that I was going for a walk, that he was a weirdo for being up this early, and to text me when they were getting ready to head out.
I walked to a park about half a mile away from the hotel. I found a bench under a shady tree and sat on it, pulling my Sidekick from my pocket. I scrolled through my contacts until I found ‘Home’. I pressed call and raised the phone to my ear, taking deep, steadying breaths.
“Hello?” My dad’s gruff voice answered the phone.
“Hey, Dad.” I said, pulling my knees up, so my feet were on the edge of the bench.
“Who is this?” He demanded.
“Brendon.” I responded, my heart sinking when he didn’t respond immediately.
“I don’t want to speak with you.” He stated.
“Is Mom around?” I asked, feeling tears well up in my eyes.
“You’re mother doesn’t want to speak to you either.” He said.
“Why not?” I asked, choking back the sobs that were rising in my throat.
“You fucking know why, Brendon. We don’t associate with people like you. You’re a disgrace to this family.” I heard a slam, then a click as the call was ended.
I pulled the phone away from my ear and looked at the screen for a moment. I wiped my sleeves under my eyes forcefully, to dry my tears, then I went back to my phonebook. I scrolled through again, until I found ‘Mom cell’. I pressed call, and put the phone back to my ear.
It rang once. Twice. On the third ring, it went to voicemail. My own mother rejected a call from me. I dropped the phone onto the bench next to me, and buried my head in my knees and arms, sobbing.
I sat there, crying, for a long time, before I heard the buzz of my phone’s vibration against the bench. I picked it up, wiping my eyes on the cuff of my hoodie as I went. There was a new text from Spencer.
‘Where are you? Time to go.’
I stood up, flexing my limbs, which were sore from sitting scrunched up for so long. I put my phone in the pocket of my hoodie, and started walking.
I pulled my hood up after a few steps. I wasn’t in the mood to be recognized, or for anyone to stop and ask if I was okay. I tried to collect myself as I walked back to the bus, but tears kept spilling out of my eyes.
“Brendon? What’s wrong?”
I brushed past Spencer and ignored his question. Jon sat up from where he was flopped across the couch as I walked by, concern in his eyes as he watched me. I didn’t even look at Ryan as I walked past him, leaning against the counter in our mini kitchen. He would think I was so stupid if he knew.
I crawled into my bunk, and yanked the curtain shut. I laid down, and rolled, so I had my back facing out.
I could hear Spencer and Jon talking quietly, but I couldn’t tell what they were saying. I closed my eyes to try to block out the sound, but when I was met with the image of my parents disappointed faces, I opened them again.
I heard quiet foot steps outside my bunk. I knew it was Ryan, since I could still hear Jon and Spencer’s quiet voices, but I prayed he would walk on. I didn’t want him to see me cry.
“Brendon?” He whispered.
I didn’t respond. I couldn’t. He would hear it in my voice that I was crying. An involuntary sob escaped my throat, and I heard the curtain being pulled back.
“Brendon, what’s wrong?” He whispered. I felt his hand trail lightly down my arm.
“You’ll laugh at me.” I said, my voice muffled by the pillow.
“No, I won’t. I promise. Please, Bren, just tell me what’s wrong.”
I sat up slowly, realizing he wasn’t going to go away until I told him. I turned and looked into his concerned face.
“I tried to call my parents.” I said, looking down at my hands, which were resting in my lap. “My dad answered, and… he said they don’t want to talk to me.” I felt a tear fall off my cheek and hit my hand.
“Why not?” Ryan asked.
“They’re disappointed.” I whispered. I curled in on myself and started sobbing again. I turned away from him and laid back down. I didn’t want him to see me like this. I didn’t want to see his face when he scoffed at me.
I felt the mattress dip, and he slid his arms around me.
“I’m so sorry, Bren.” He whispered, pulling my back against his chest. “That’s terrible.”
I turned in his arms, and buried my face in his chest, still crying.
“Why did you think I was going to laugh?” Ryan asked, petting my messing hair down gently.
“Because your life has been so much worse than mine… I thought you’d think I shouldn’t be complaining.”
“Bren, you can always talk to me.” He lifted my chin, so I had to look at him. “Always. I won’t laugh at you.”
I half smiled at him, and snuggled back into his chest.
“Did you sleep last night?” He asked.
“No.” I shook my head. “I couldn’t. I had too much on my mind.”
“Me too.” He whispered, leaning his head against mine. “Get some sleep. I’ll still be here when you wake up.”
“Okay.” I agreed, pulling the blankets around us. Both of us were in pajama pants for some reason, so we were comfortable.
“You have to sleep, too.” I told him, snaking my arms around his waist and pulling myself closer.
“That was the plan, smart one.” He could hear the smile in his voice, and I sighed contentedly, snuggling deeper into his arms.
“Isabelle!” I jogged up to her, where she was leaning against my locker. “What did your mom say?” I asked when I reached her.
“We need to talk.” She said, looking down.
“I’m breaking up with you.” She stated, biting her lip.
“But… Isabelle… Isabelle, the baby-”
“Isn’t yours.” She looked down. “I’m sorry.”
She walked away quickly. The bell rang, signaling that classes started in 5 minutes.
I went to one of the bathrooms. I locked myself into a stall, and sat on the tanks, with my feet on the seat. Without really thinking about it, I pulled out my pocket knife, flicking the blade out. I pulled my left sleeve up, and pressed the edge of the blade into the soft flesh, slowly dragging it across my skin. I watched as blood beaded along the edge of the cut, then repeated the process, cutting up the whole inside of my arm. Once the sharp pains had dulled to a dull stinging, I let my arm hang between my legs, blood dripping off it, into the toilet. The water was stained red, but I didn’t care.
I felt apathy spreading through me, and was tempted to reach for the knife again, and cut up my right arm, but I didn’t really want to ruin my clothes with all the blood. \
The bell rang, signaling release from first period. Next I had PE. No way I could go to that, where everyone could see what I’d just done. My ass would be slapped into counseling so fast, my head would spin.
I grabbed a wad of toilet paper, and dabbed at the cuts on my arm, trying to clean it up. There was more blood on my arm that I thought, and the newer cuts were still bleeding a little.
Leaving my sleeve up, so the cuts wouldn’t scab to the inside of my hoodie, I pulled out my songwriting journal. I flicked it open to a new page, and stared at it.
Apparently, apathy means no inspiration.
I stared at the blank page until the bell rang again, signaling the end of second period. I put my notebook back in my bag, pulled my sleeve down, and stood up. I had to flush the toilet three times before the color of the water returned to normal.
I left the bathroom and walked to French class, taking my usual seat in the back of the class. I looked at the empty seat next to me, wondering if Isabelle would still sit there.
When she walked in, she glanced around. Our eyes met, and she looked down, then slipped into a seat in the second row. I pressed my sore left arm into the edge of my desk. I almost smiled at the dull pain it sent through the still fresh cuts.
I woke up the same position I fell asleep in, with my head snuggled into Ryan’s chest, and my arms snaked around his waist.
I looked up at his face. Even with his hair messy, eyeliner smudged, and mouth hanging open, he was beautiful. He had a feminine face, with full lips, huge eyes, and prominent cheek bones. I’d always thought he had a slightly feminine body too, but now that I was being held against it, I found myself wondering if he worked out. I could feel his hard muscles beneath my hands, and I resisted the temptation to let my hands explore his body. I looked up at his face again. It was a good thing that his eyes weren’t open, otherwise I would’ve been lost in their midnight depths.
I set my head against his chest again, and closed my eyes. Why did this feel so right? Why did this make me so happy? Why did I find Ryan so damn attractive? Why was that the best sleep I’ve ever had? Why was a slightly turned on right now? Why did I not care?
Ryan’s arms tightened around me, and he sighed contentedly. I looked up at him again, and his eyes were open, and he was gazing down at me. I smiled, and he smiled back. He bit his lip as he stared down at me, and I felt a blush creeping over my cheeks. Ryan leaned a fraction of an inch closer. I moved slightly closer, too. We kept going back on forth, leaning forward, until we were less than an inch apart. His lips parted, and I felt his shaky breath on my face. My eyes slipped closed, and we were both leaning forward to close the gap, when…
“Guys! Sleeping beauties! Wake the fuck up!”
Ryan jerked back, and turned his head toward Jon’s voice. Ryan withdrew from me, and slipped out of the bunk, adjusting his clothes as he went into the bathroom. I checked the time on my sidekick, and found that we’d been sleeping all day.
I rolled out of my bunk, and moved over to where Spencer was sitting on the couch.
“Hey.” Spencer said, picking at a hole in his jeans.
“Where are we?” I asked.
“The venue.” Spencer said, then he took a deep breath. “Did you sleep last night?” He asked.
“No.” I said. “I tried, but I had too much on my mind.”
“Ryan didn’t sleep last night either.” Spencer said, fidgeting uncomfortably.
“I know.” I said, confused as to why he was telling me.
“Were you together? At the hotel?” Spencer asked awkwardly, finally meeting my eyes.
“No!” I said. “Of course not.”
“Oh.” Spencer looked down awkwardly.
Ryan joined us in the living room after a few minutes.
“What’s going on?” He asked, running his hand through his perfectly messed up hair.
“We’re waiting for Jon, then we’re heading into the venue for sound check.” Spencer said.
The three of us waited in awkward silence until Jon joined us. Spencer and Ryan led the way off the bus. Me and Jon followed, walking about ten feet behind them. Spencer and Ryan were debating whether the Spider-Man movie lived up to expectations set by the comic book, while Jon and I walked in comfortable silence.
“Are you okay?” Jon asked after a minute.
“Yeah.” I said, surprised.
“You just seemed really fucked up about something earlier.” Jon shrugged, seeing my confused expression. “Did you talk to Ryan about it?” He asked. I nodded. “Good. As long as it’s not bottled up. Bottled up shit will eat you alive.”
I nodded in agreement, and we fell back into our comfortable silence.
“Spencer thinks that they shouldn’t have combined Mary Jane and Gwen’s characters.” Jon said. Noticing my confused expression, he gestured to Ryan and Spencer.
“I’m just saying, in the original comic, the Green Goblin dropped Gwen Stacy off the bridge, not Mary Jane, and she fucking died.” Spencer said, and Jon chuckled.
“Well, they couldn’t have two love interests in the same movie, and it’s not like they can kill MJ. That would just be rude.” Ryan argued.
They continued this way all the way into the venue. We sat at the bar, drinking soda until our crew finished setting stuff up.
Me and Jon went to the stage first, to tune up, leaving Spencer and Ryan at the bar. When I turned to call them over, I noticed that Spencer looked angry, and Ryan had his head down.
They joined us on the stage, and we played I Write Sins Not Tragedies. Ryan seemed subdued, leaning back against the side of him amp rather than moving around the stage like he usually did during sound check.
We all went backstage after that, to wait for the show to start. Spencer and Jon went to get more soda’s, and Ryan was doing his make up, which went all the way down the right side of his face.
“C’mere.” He said a minute after Jon and Spencer wandered off.
I moved over to him, and he studied my face for a minute before instructing me to close my eyes. I obeyed, and I felt his brush on my left eyelid.
“Hey, Ry?” I whispered, my hands fidgeting nervously.
“Hold still.” He ordered, so I shut my mouth.
He kept applying more and more make up, with far more on my left side than my right. Finally, after blowing on my right eye to rid it of extra powder, he stepped back.
“Open your eyes.” He said.
I looked in the mirror and saw that Ryan had made the design on the left side of my face a mirror image of his. It was flawless and beautiful, and as always, I wondered why he graced my skin with this kind of art.
“It’s awesome, Ry.” I said.
He turned away, and started getting his make up ready to do Jon’s and Spencer’s.
“Ry, we need to talk.” I said.
He looked at me.
“About what?” He asked.
“About what happened earlier.” I said, licking my lips nervously.
“Go ahead.” He leaned against the wall.
“We almost kissed.” I said. He gestured for me to continue. He was going to make me say it. He wasn’t going to help me get this out at all. He wouldn’t make the leap. Or… what if there was no leap to make on his part? What if these feelings were one-sided? What if I was about to make a total ass of myself?
“Look, Ry…” I sighed, wringing my hands. I remembered what Jon had said earlier, about unsaid shit eating you alive. He was so right it wasn’t even funny. “I know that it’s weird… and a lot of people would think it’s wrong… but… I like you, Ry. A lot.”
Ryan bit his lip and studied my face for a moment. There was no emotion on his face, but I could tell he was thinking hard. I didn’t say anything, knowing full well that he would talk when he was ready and not a moment sooner.
Finally, he sighed.
“We can’t be together, Brendon.” He said as though it were obvious.
And from the look in his eyes, I couldn’t tell if he meant because of the situation and the awkwardness it might cause, or because he didn’t feel the same.
Why did it have to go like that? Why couldn’t I be with the most perfect man I’ve ever set eyes on? I could only touch him onstage, like we always had. But I’m selfish, and I want more. I want him. All of him.
I ran from the room. I didn’t look at him. I couldn’t. He didn’t try to stop me. I’d like to think that I wouldn’t have stopped, even if he’d tried, but I know that all he’d have to say was my name, and I’d probably jump on him, kissing him all over, claiming his body for myself.
What he didn’t know, was that truthfully, I didn’t like him. I loved him. More than my puny little brain knew how to describe. But I could never tell him that. And I was prepared to let it eat my alive.
I moved past Jon and Spencer, who were coming back, carrying more sodas. I found a bathroom, and locked myself in a stall. I sat on the tank, with my feet on the seat, as I had at school so many years ago.
I couldn’t even cry. I wanted to, but even if I could’ve willed the tears to my eyes, crying would mess up my makeup, and there was no time to fix it. And how obvious it would be to him, that I was crying. He’d laugh if he knew I was crying over him. But the apathy had set it prematurely, causing emotional responses like crying to come to a dead halt.
I pulled out my pocket knife, which after so many years, I’d made a habit to keep with me, and wasted no time it hacking my left arm to shit. On my right arm, I was more careful. Carefully, more careful than I’d ever been before, in fact, I carved his name into my skin.
He’ll be there forever. He’ll be with me forever. Embossed in my skin. Whether he wants to be or not. I smirked at that thought. He’d probably be livid if he knew.
I cleaned up my arms, pulled my sleeves down, and went back to the dressing room. Jon and Spencer were goofing around, as usual. Spencer had Jon’s bass, and Jon had Spencer’s drum sticks. They were playing a strange version of Time To Dance. Jon was beating the sticks frantically against the arm of the couch, and Spencer was singing, loud, off-key, and laughing every 4 seconds.
And there he was. Sitting exactly where he was when I left. He must’ve heard me come in, but he wouldn’t look at me. He wouldn’t even lift his beautiful head, so I could see his beautiful face, and look into his beautiful eyes.
I couldn’t sleep. How could I, without him in my arms?
The show had sucked. In the wake of Ryan’s rejection, I stayed far away from his side of the stage, and he didn’t approach me either. It was probably the closest thing to standing still that had ever happened during one of our shows.
I rolled over again, trying to get comfortable. I’d taken sleeping pills, but they just weren’t working. I sighed quietly, and thought about getting up, but someone beat me to it. I heard somebody’s feet hit the floor, and then sniffling. It couldn’t be Spencer, because I would’ve heard him, since he’s right above me. I doubted it was Jon, because he wouldn’t been louder, and not sounded like he was crying. Of course. It had to be Ryan, didn’t it?
I propped myself up on my elbows as a sniffling Ryan walked away from the bus. I heard the bathroom door click shut, and I flopped back onto my pillows. What was wrong with him? What the hell did he have to be sad about? He’s the one that ruined it.
After a few minutes, when Ryan didn’t return, I was worried. I slid out of my bunk and padded toward the bathroom, knowing that I shouldn’t, and I should just leave him alone, but knowing that I couldn’t.
I reached the bathroom door and stood outside it for a moment. I heard him sob, and I felt the surprise on my face.
“Ryan?” I whispered tentatively, tapping lightly on the door.
He sobbed louder.
“Ryan!” I said again.
It sounded like he slid down the wall, so he was sitting on the ground. I tried the door, and found that it was looked.
“Ryan, can you hear me?”
“I’m sorry, Bren.” His voice shook and broke, and he kept sobbing.
“Ryan, open the door.” I said.
“No.” He whispered. “You can’t see me like this, Bren.”
“Ryan!” I yelled, bringing my palm down on the door hard, hoping to scare him into opening the door.
“Bren?” Spencer’s sleeping voice came from his bunk.
“Spencer, do you have a key to this door?” I asked, and I heard Spencer’s feet hit the ground as he rolled from his bunk.
“What time is it?” He yawned and stretched his arms above his head.
“It doesn’t fucking matter! Ryan’s locked himself in the bathroom, and I think he needs help!” I yelled, tears filling my eyes.
“Shit.” Spencer mumbled. He went to the kitchen, and I saw a light flick on. “I have one, but I have to find it.” He called to me.
“Ryan, open the door.” I whispered, sinking to my knees in front of it. “Please.”
“No.” His weak reply came.
“Yes!” I yelled, hitting the door again in frustration. “God damn it, Ryan, just open the fucking door!”
“Bren,” He whispered, and I heard him shift. “I love you.”
“Open the fucking door, Ross!” I sobbed, leaning my forehead against the cool wood. After a moment without a reply, I said, more quietly, “I wanna look you in the eyes when I say it back.”
I heard him sob again.
“I’m so sorry, Brendon.” He whispered. “I… I can’t…”
“Yes, you can.” I whispered. “Just twist the doorknob, and it’ll unlock. I can help you, if you let me, Ry.”
“No.” He said forcefully. “It’s too late.”
“It’s not too late, Ry. Please open the door.”
“Got it!” Spencer called.
I motioned for him to hurry, and he dropped the key into my hand. I slid it into the little slot, and twisted it. I heard the lock pop, and shoved the key back into Spencer’s hands.
“Step back.” I told him, and Spencer moved back to stand next to Jon, who was sitting with his feet hanging off his bunk, watching us, concerned. I opened the door, and looked around the room, wide-eyed.
“Holy shit.” I whispered. “Call 9-1-1!” I yelled to Jon, and I dropped to my knees next to Ryan. He blinked at me through huge, terrified eyes, and fear gripped my chest.
I wouldn’t let him in. I wouldn’t let him see my like this. Broken. Bleeding. Dying.
The door swung open and he stared down at me. Stupid Spencer, why does he have to have keys to fucking everything?!
“Call 9-1-1!” He yelled over his shoulder. He dropped to his knees next to me, and pried the knife from my hand, flinging it behind him, where it clattered against the floor.
“Brendon… why?” I asked, blinking up at him, wide-eyed.
He cupped his hands around my face, stroking his thumbs across my cheeks.
“I love you.” He whispered.
“I love you too.” I said, feeling more tears slipping out of my eyes.
He released my face, and turned, pulling two hand towels off the rack. He wrapped my left arm first, then he lifted my right arm. Tears filled his eyes as he saw where I etched his name into my skin earlier, and reopened it just moments ago. His fingers moved over it, not touching it, but looking devastated.
He swallowed, then wrapped that arm too.
“Are there any more cuts, Ry?” He asked, looking up at me.
I shook my head.
“Is there anything else I need to know about? Did you take anything, or…?”
“No.” I said.
“Are you sure?” He whispered.
“I promise.” I said. I slowly raised a shaking hand, and set it against his cheek, staining his perfect, beautiful skin with my blood.
“Why, Ryan?” He asked desperately, his eyes searching my face.
“I love you.” I whispered. “I love you, Bren. I love you. I love you so much.”
“I love you too, Ryan.” Brendon whispered, tears trickling down his cheeks.
“I’m so scared.” I whimpered.
“No, Don’t be scared, Ry.” Brendon tried to reassure me, but I could see the sheer terror in his eyes.
“Don’t let’s me go, Bren.” I cried. “Please, don’t let me go!”
“I won’t, Ry! I’ve got you, I promise.” He held me in his arms.
I’m losing myself. I’m lost in darkness, confused and alone, and I don’t know what the fuck to do.
“Brendon.” I gasped, seizing his shirt, fisting his collar in my hand.
“What do you need, Ryan?” He asked, taking my hand.
“Brendon… If I die…” I put my hand against his face again, and he leaned into it. “I’m glad that you’re the last person I saw.”
“I’m not going to let you die, Ryan.” Brendon whispered, tightening his arm that was supporting my back, pulling my closer into him.
“God, you’re so beautiful.” I whispered, stroking my bloody fingers across his cheek, staining more of his perfect, pale skin.
“Nothing on you, sugar.” He caught my hand and pressed a kiss to my palm.
It was the last thing I saw before I blacked out.
“Let me go, Jon!” I wailed, trying to fight him off me.
Jon was holding me back while the paramedics loaded Ryan’s unconscious form onto a stretcher.
“Hold on, Bren.” Spencer rubbed my arms soothingly.
“No, let me go with him!” I sobbed, trying to break free of Jon’s grasp.
“Just calm down, Bren. As soon as they go, I’ll drive you to the hospital.” Jon said.
“No, no, I wanna go with him now!” Tears were streaking my cheeks, and a couple of the paramedics shot me sympathetic looks.
“Just breathe.” Spencer tried to soothe me, but I was fighting and crying too hard to be calmed down.
The paramedics left, taking Ryan with them. Jon led us out to his car, which was parked next to the bus for the night, thank God, rather than on the trailer behind it.
It was two doors, and since I got to the car first, I pushed the passenger seat forward, climbing into the back. Spencer slipped into the front seat, and Jon started the vehicle. If I hadn’t been so anxious, I would’ve noticed the weirdness of Jon driving one-handed, since he was holding Spencer’s hand.
Jon stopped the car in front of the hospital. I’m not terribly proud to say that I might’ve squished Spencer in my hurry to get out of the car, leaving him in the seat as I ran through the doors.
Spencer followed me, and I ran up to the desk.
“Ryan! I need to see Ryan!” I cried, waving my arms.
The woman behind the counter looked surprised.
“Um,” she said as Spencer walked in behind me.
“George Ryan Ross.” Spencer told her. “Can we see him?”
She looked at the computer screen.
“They just brought him in. I’m afraid you can’t see him yet.” She said.
Tears filled my eyes, and Spencer thanked the woman, then led me away, to a chair in the corner. Jon joined us after a few minutes. We sat there in the living room for what felt like hours, with my feet on Jon’s lap, and my head on Spencer’s.
After a while, I stood up, and went to the bathroom. When I went to wash my hands, I glance up at the mirror and jumped in shock. My face had blood on it. Ryan’s blood. I shuddered. My tears had made it run and drip onto my once white and stain-free shirt. I washed my face, and I pulled my shirt off and rinsed it out, then held it under the automatic hand dryer. I pulled the shirt back on, and left the bathroom. I made my way back over to Jon and Spencer. They’d moved since I left. Jon had his arms around Spencer. Spencer’s head was leaned against Jon’s chest, and he was weeping silently. Jon was staring off into space, looking troubled.
“Is he…?” I choked out, fearing the worst.
“We haven’t heard yet.” Jon said quickly, seeing my expression. “Spencer’s just scared.”
I nodded, and sat on the other side of Spencer, wrapping my arms around him, and leaning my head against his back. Spencer squeezed my hand, and we all stayed that way until a doctor approached us.
“Are you here for George Ryan Ross?” The doctor asked.
“Yes.” Jon said. We all stood up. I was shaking, looking at the doctor. The second it took for him to open his mouth and start speaking felt like hours.
“He’s gonna be fine.” The doctor said. We breathed simultaneous sighs of relief. “We’ll be able to release him later today, after he’s slept for a while, and we can give you referral to a therapist he can speak to on the phone, so you can stay on the road.”
“Thank you.” Spencer said as the doctor handed him a card.
“Can I see him?” I asked, shifting from foot to foot.
“Yes, I’ll take you there now.” The doctor said.
“You guys coming?” I asked when they made no move to follow the doctor.
“We’ll talk to him later.” Jon said. “You go ahead.”
I nodded, and followed the doctor. I stood outside Ryan’s room for a moment, watching him. He wasn’t covered in blood anymore, though he was still very pale. He was in a light blue hospital gown, bandages wrapped around his arms. He had the blanket pulled up to his chest, with his arms sitting on top of it. He was staring blankly at the TV screen, and I was scared that he’d be apathetic and distant, but I walked in anyway.
There was my angel. After hours of pain and asking for him, he walked into my room, looking worried.
“Brendon.” I smiled at him, and he smiled back. The smile dropped off my face when I realized that he knew. He knew everything. What was he going to say?
“How are you feeling?” He asked, making his way over to the bed, setting his hand lightly on the cool metal.
“Okay, I guess.” I said, shrugging.
He bit his lip.
“I’m so sorry, Bren.” I whispered, and he looked up at me. “I don’t know… what I was thinking, I just…”
“Why, Ryan?” Brendon frowned.
“I just, I didn’t think we could be together, and, and I didn’t know what to do, and…” Tears filled my eyes again, and he cupped my face in his hands gently, wiping my tears with his thumbs.
“Breathe, Ry.” He whispered. “I love you. Nothing will ever change that.”
“I love you too, Brendon.” I whispered.
He brushed my hair off my forehead, and leaned in closer to me. His lips touched mine, and my heart rate increased exponentially. The beeping on the monitor next to me sped up, and Brendon chuckled, glancing up at it. He smiled at me, and I smiled back.
“So does this mean we’re together?” I asked, nervously playing with the edge of the blanket.
“If that’s what you want.” He said, looked at me carefully.
“Is it what you want?” I asked, scared by the lack of emotion in his response.
“Ryan,” He sighed. “I love you so much, but if I’m not what you want, I’ll let you go. I want you to be happy. That’s all that matters to me.”
“What if I do want to be with you?” I asked shyly, looking down from embarrassment.
He was right in front of me again, lifting my chin with his index finger.
“Then I’ll never let you go.” He whispered. His lips touched mine again, and I grabbed onto him eagerly, pulling him towards me. “I’ll take that as a yes?” He said, breaking our mouths apart, but keeping his hands on my waist. I nodded, and smiled, feeling tears of happiness in my eyes. “You have to promise me something though.” He said, leaning a little bit back when I leaned in to kiss him again.
“Anything.” I said.
“Never, ever, ever, ever, ever intentionally hurt yourself again.” He said, and I saw pain in his eyes.
“I won’t.” I promised, stroking his cheek lightly. “I’m so sorry. I never thought that hurting myself would hurt anyone else… I thought I was being smart about dealing with my issues.” I admitted.
“I’ll do anything to help you, Ry.” He promised. “If that means that you’re moving in with me after the tour, then I’ll be happy to share my twin sized bed with you every night.”
“I love you.” I said again.
“I love you too, Ry-Ry.” He whispered. He gently lifted my bandaged wrist, and kissed it. “More than anything.”
“Do I have to do this?” I whined.
“Yes.” Ryan said, with an air of finality. “I think it’s important.”
“Why?” I wailed, going into full five-year-old-temper-tantrum mode.
“I faced my demons… I think you should face yours, too.” He said. I pulled the key from the ignition, and hit the button to unlock to doors. “Come on.” He said after a few moments. He opened his door, and stepped out onto the asphalt. I sighed, and got out of his car as well.
I stood there for a moment, gazing at the house I’d lived in from age 4, until I’d moved out at 17.
“It’s gonna be okay, Bren.” Ryan assured me for the millionth time.
“I know.” I sighed. I held my hand out to him, and he took it.
I led the way up the narrow concrete path through the grass, up to the front door. I hesitated there, not sure if I should knock or not. Finally, I raised my hand, and rapped on the screen door.
The door opened, and my mom looked through the glass door. Shock crossed her face.
“Brendon!” She exclaimed.
“Hi, Mama.” I said. “Can I come in? I need to talk to you and dad.”
She opened the screen door and stepped back, allowing me and Ryan to come through the door. She led us to the kitchen, where my dad was reading the newspaper. She stood behind him, and set her hands on the back of his chair.
“What are you doing here?” My dad asked, putting the newspaper down and glaring at me.
I glanced at Ryan, and he squeezed my hand, then smiled reassuringly.
“I realize that we’ve never been that close, as a family…” I started. “And I know that you guys don’t really want to see me. But, as my parents, I thought that you deserved to know that I‘m in love.”
My mothers mouth fell open, and my dad’s eyebrows shot up.
“With Ryan.” I added when they looked confused. Ryan tightened his hand around mine.
A shadow fell over my dad’s face. My mother moved one hand over her mouth, and the other over her heart.
“You know that we don’t approve of this type of behavior, Brendon.” My dad said sternly, like I’d been caught skipping school or having a fight. “It’s a sin!” He yelled.
“I don’t need your approval to be happy.” I informed him. “And if love is a sin, I pity the damn fool that gets into Heaven.”
“Get out, Brendon. Sinners aren’t welcome under this roof.” My dad said. He turned, and started toward the back door.
I turned, and tugged Ryan’s hand, to try to get him to follow me to the front door, but he wouldn’t budge.
“You’re a fucking moron.” He said, narrowing his eyes at my dad’s back.
My mom gasped, and my dad turned around slowly. Ryan caught me in the chest with his arm as I tried to move in front of him, to shield him from my dad, pushing me back behind him.
“What did you just say to me?” My dad demanded.
“I said, that you’re a motherfucking moron, you son of a bitch.” Ryan said, a look of disgust painted across his face. “You’re son is the most amazing man I’ve ever met, and I’m not just saying that as his boyfriend, but as someone that’s known him for years. I’d never give him a reason to come after me when I was upset, but he fucking did! He’s the kindest, sweetest, funniest, most compassionate, talented, perfect-in-every-fucking-way-imaginable person that I’ve ever met.”
My dad looked furious, and my mom had tears in her eyes.
“If you’re going to throw away your relationship with your son based on who he loves, then…” Ryan trailed off, shaking his head at my dad. I could feel a resolve being formed as Ryan straightened up, “Then, maybe you need to get your dick sucked by a dude, cause I can tell you, it’s fucking amazing.”
My mother’s eyes were wide, her mouth hanging open. Fury filled my dad’s eyes, and I couldn’t help the laugh that burst from my lips.
“We can go now.” Ryan said, turning to me.
“I think that’d be best.” I said, tugging his hand.
“Yeah, I’d hate if your dad broke my jaw… It would make it a lot harder for me to suck you off later.” He grinned at me, and my eyes widened.
“Ryan…” I whispered. “Are you trying to get yourself killed?”
“I’d rather die defending the man I love, then walk away unharmed, knowing that I’m a coward.” He said. He wrapped one arm around my waist, and pulled me to his, crashing our lips together.
I didn’t care that my parents were right there.
I didn’t care that my dad didn’t approve.
I didn’t care that this was probably the last time they’d ever see me, and they’d remember me forever as their youngest son, the one who sucked face with a dude in their kitchen.
I melted into Ryan automatically.
I heard the back door slam, and I broke away from Ryan to see that my dad had stormed out of the house. My mom was still there though, and Ryan unwound his arms from around me.
“Brendon…” She whispered, then she stepped forward and hugged me. “I’m so proud of you.” She whispered. She held me at arms length by my shoulders. “It must’ve taken a lot of courage for you to come in here and tell your father and I.” She said. “As long as you’re happy and safe, I couldn’t care less who you love.”
“Thanks, Mama.” I whispered, hugging her again. She kissed my forehead, then turned to Ryan, hugging him as well.
“Keep my baby safe.” She told him.
“Of course, Ma’am.” He smiled at her, and she kissed his forehead, too.
“You better go before your father gets back.” Mama said, and she walked us to the door.
Ryan wrapped his arm around my shoulders, and I leaned into him as we walked down the path, back to his car. I turned and waved at my mom before getting into the car. She waved back, then closed the door.
Ryan and I got into the car, and started down the street. I swiveled in my seat, watching the house fade into the background as we drove away. I didn’t need my crappy childhood memories anymore. I was ready to make new memories. And as long as Ryan was there with me, I knew they’d be happy.
A/N: So, yeah, this is the LONGEST ONE-SHOT EVER! Please Rate and Review, it makes my day better. Much love,