Panic/MCR/Green Day crossover. Ryan was never a good loser.
The two were an unlikely pair, that much was clear. Then again, Ray supposed he and Tré must look just as odd together. Tré had been Ray’s best friend since the first day of middle school, when Ray had found him stuffed into his locker. Tré used to get stuffed into things a lot. He was really quite small, even now at seventeen. His personality projected much larger than he actually was, though. Tré was a talker, he was loud, he was dirty-minded and he was constantly hyper. Ray had long since grown used to the way his sentences blurred together sometimes and his constant fidgeting. He’d opened his locker on his third day to find this random orange-haired kid jammed inside the metal box, grinning up at him from between the posters, and nearly had a seizure. “Hi!” Tré had said brightly. “I see you like Iron Maiden!”
They had gone into high school together and met Brendon and Ryan through classes and a mutual love of music and movies. The four ate lunch together and hung out most weekends, playing video games and swapping CDs and watching movies and going to parties and stuff. It was great.
One unremarkable Friday morning, Ray went through his routine as usual. He liked things to be organised, neat and bullet-pointed if even remotely possible. He got up, dressed, ate, brushed his teeth, shaped his hair so it was surrounding his face rather than sticking straight up, grabbed his bag and left.
It was a nice kind of morning, Ray thought cheerfully. Bright. Spring was such a nice season, no dead leaves lying around or mucky snow soiling the ground. Just pretty pastel colours and neat, trimmed hedges.
The minute he walked into the hall his vision was momentarily obscured by a shock of bright vermillion. He patted Tré on the head until he was released, then tried to follow what Tré was saying as he got his books out of his locker. Tré was nattering about how some dude he knew’s second cousin’s girlfriend was having this totally awesome party tomorrow night and there would be lots of hot college girls there and come on, Ray, we haven’t been to a party in ages and ages and they should totally go because Ray was bound to find a girlfriend there because bitches love the ‘fro, dude.
“I dunno, man,” Ray hedged, smiling at Brendon and Ryan, who were up the hall a bit. Brendon grinned back and waved so enthusiastically he almost poked his finger in some jock senior’s eye. Ryan seized Brendon’s elbow and yanked him back before he doomed himself for all eternity and rolled his eyes at Ray. “Isn’t it a college party? Won’t the girls be kind of… put off, if they find out we’re only seventeen?” They headed toward their first class, chemistry.
Tré turned around, getting in Ray’s face but still walkng backwards. “You worry too much, dude. Relax. They won’t know, I’ll tell the chick to spread it around that we’re freshmen. Chantal’s cool. Come on, man, it’ll be awesome.”
Ray mumbled something incoherent like “Bnehdunwnanuf,” and was saved from having to explain when the teacher stalked in and slammed her books down so hard the legs of the desk wobbled. Everyone exchanged silent looks of “someone’s on their period” and “cancel the plans for tonight, this bitch is gonna come down on us like a cheap hooker”.
Sure enough, she set them so much homework that Ray’s bag felt like it was full of rocks instead of books. And due Monday. Ray was going to have to re-write his whole study schedule, he thought sadly. Tré didn’t seem to care, though, he just kept going on about this party and how it was so obviously the social event of their lives.
Ray emptied his books into his locker at lunchtime and went to join the others at their designated table. Brendon was already cheerfully talking about how his cousin had come over to visit the previous night and had brought his pet snake and how cool was that, really, and it had bit Brendon and you could still see the bite marks and look, seriously, so cool.
“It’s not bad, is it?” asked Ryan in alarm, leaning over and looking at Brendon’s extended hand as if it would start gushing blood at any moment. “Nah, he gave me some stuff for it, it was just a scratch, really,” Brendon replied cheerfully, retracting his hand and using it to pick up his soda.
“Well, good,” said Ryan grumpily, slouching back in his seat and rolling his eyes again. “I wouldn’t want to have to lug your sorry ass to hospital just because you were dumb enough to try and pet a snake, seriously Brendon, what the fuck?”
Ray smiled at his salad as they bickered. It was really cute how Ryan only showed compassion or sensitivity of any kind when there was something wrong with Brendon. He’d seen Ryan smile a few times when Brendon was telling his rambles, too. It was a nice smile, so fond it was almost tender.The rest of the time he was just a bitch.
Also Tré hadn’t said anything for about seven minutes, so Ray counted down the silence in his head. Three, four, fi-“”There’s this totally awesome party my friend is throwing tomorrow and you should both totally come because it’s going to be awesome and there’ll be drink and it’s a college party so lots of hot college chicks- oh, and dudes-” he threw in, glancing at Ryan, “-will be there and it’s like the most important thing that will ever happen to any of us and Ray is being all noo homework bitch bitch bitch so if you two come maybe he’ll go too and we’ll all go together and it’ll be awesome…er,” Tré grinned expectantly at them both.
They exchanged a glance, one of those silent-conversation glances Ray had come to recognise.
“Sure.” Ryan shrugged nonchalantly. Brendon smiled and nodded. Ray cursed under his breath.
“I’m still not going.”
By the time the last bell rang, Ray was panicking a little. The amount of homework he had recieved was going to throw his study plans for the next week into chaos, Tré wouldn’t shut up about this goddamn party, Brendon’s hand was starting to swell and Ray’s hair was deflating.
This was not a good day.To make things worse, by the time he realised he’d forgotten his chemistry book, he was halfway home. He muttered a “fuck” and aimed a kick at an innocent dandelion before turning around and walking back to the school.
The gates were locked.
Ray leaned his face against the cold metal of the bars and muttered “shit, fuck, cocksucking shit, fuck, motherfucker, goddamn son of a bitch, fuck.”
“Um… you okay, dude?”
Ray pried his face from the bars and turned around. Ryan was standing there, wearing a hat and looking confused.
“Why are you still here?” Ray rubbed his face to get rid of any evidence that he had just face-molested a dirty gate.
“I’m on my way to Brendon’s, we do homework together on Fridays. I just went back to grab some CDs he let me borrow. Are you okay, dude? You look kind of… stressed.”
Ray blinked, feeling a metaphorical lightbulb flash above his head.
“You wouldn’t happen to have chemistry homework, would you?”
“Umm, yeah… why.” Ryan said a little warily.
“Is it due soon?”
“Can I borrow your book?”
Ray nearly burst into tears from relief. When Ryan handed over the book looking a little amused, Ray hugged it to his chest. “Thank you, thank you, how can I ever repay you, oh my god you’ve just saved my life, thank you.” Ray loved Ryan.
“I know how you can repay me,” Ryan said suddenly, smiling. “Come to this party tomorrow night.”
Ray hated Ryan.
“I can’t, I’m, I, study, fail, grades, no,” Ray babbled, waving his hands around for emphasis.
“Oh, loosen up, Toro. One night out won’t kill you.” Ryan rolled his eyes before turning and continuing to walk down the path.
“If you keep doing that your eyes’ll get stuck that way!” Ray called after him before sighing at his own lameness and heading home, Ryan’s book clutched to his chest.