"Some people never change..."
"Ryan?" He asks lightly, still a little confused.
"I'm out here, Bren." Ryan's voice is quiet. Brendon stands from the bed, not caring that he is completely naked, and walks to the balcony door. It is chilly outside, and a breeze chills the sweat on his skin. He wraps his arms around himself, and looks down at Ryan, who sits wrapped in the comforter on the floor. He looks so incredibly young, fragile, and utterly adorable. Brendon can't help but crack a smile.
"What are you doing, you crazy person? It's cold." Brendon shakes his head. Ryan glances over his shoulder, his eyes widening as he takes in Brendon's body.
"Get down here before you offend someone." He opens the comforter, revealing his naked form, and reaches up for Brendon.
"My body is anything but offensive." Brendon laughs, but complies and sits next to Ryan. Ryan puts his arm around Brendon, pulling the comforter around them both, and leans back on the door. Brendon automatically nuzzles his head into the space between Ryan's neck and shoulder, taking in his scent, mixed with his own on Ryan's skin. It was a perfect smell, the two of them mixed together so perfectly. Brendon would be lying to say it isn't one of his favorite smells in the world. That along with the smell of desert sand, sharpie markers, Ryan's cologne, and the ocean at night. It's different from the day, Brendon is sure of that. It's different when a whole group of rowdy teens go there after a show, running into the water stark naked, and dancing in the dark waves. It's different when you finally tell someone you love them there. It's different when you give yourself to somebody, rolling in the sand and completely surrendering to them. The ocean smells different at night, and Brendon knows it.
His arms tighten around Ryan's waist at the memory of their first time. It feels like ages ago.
"What're you doing out here?" Brendon asks, closing his eyes. He could sleep out here as long as Ryan is there with him.
"Just thinking." Ryan replies in his usual monotone. Brendon's used to not being able to decipher Ryan's thoughts. He was good at closing that door. But sometimes Brendon needed to be stubborn and force the door open.
"Thinking about what?"
"Uhm…" Ryan swallows hard, not really wanting to bring the subject up, but knowing if he says anything else, Brendon will know he's lying, "Do you remember the last time we were at this hotel?"
Ryan can feel Brendon stiffen underneath him, and then let out a long sigh, "Yeah, I remember."
"It feels like a long time ago, doesn't it?"
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have brought it up." Ryan mentally smacks himself for ruining a perfect moment. He looks out at the landscape, seeing flashes of the night he and Brendon had made up, standing on balconies and staring at the clear sky, before running to each other in the hallways, desperate, and guilt ridden.
"It's all right… Ryan?"
"Do you remember what you promised me that night?" Brendon's voice is shaking a little. He hates remembering those few days. Being so completely destroyed, the emptiness ate away at him.
"I promised I'd never leave you." Ryan presses his lips in Brendon's hair, remembering every word they said to each other that night. Ryan had never been so happy, so grateful. He knew just how lucky he was to have Brendon. Anyone else would have shunned him away, but Brendon took him back with open arms.
"Do you uh…" Brendon can't stop the tear from streaking down his face, "Do you still promise that?" He pulls his bottom lip between his teeth to keep from crying more. He isn't trying to be so dramatic but he can't help it. Being in this place was bringing back everything, and he can't stop his body from reacting to it. If he ever lost Ryan again, even for just a day, he wouldn't know what to do. He wouldn't be himself. Another tear falls, and then another. And fuck it, he can't stop now.
"Hey, hey," Ryan moves his hand under Brendon's chin, forcing him to look up at him. Tears streak Brendon's cheeks, falling from under the lashes of his closed eyes. Ryan sits up, letting the comforter fall to around their waists, and makes Brendon face him, "Bren, look at me."
Brendon slowly opens his eyes, biting down on his lip harder. Ryan's thumb runs across his cheek.
Ryan moves in closer, resting his forehead on Brendon's, but not breaking eye contact, "I promise I will never leave you. I mean it. I love you so much."
Brendon takes in a low breath, savoring every word.
"I love you too."
"You don't have to worry anymore, all right? I'm right here, and I'm not going anywhere." Ryan presses his lips into Brendon's lightly, afraid he might break. Brendon kisses back without hesitation.
"God, I fucking love you, Ryan Ross." Brendon laughs against Ryan's lips. Ryan leans back, looking into Brendon's eyes.
"I don't know who I'd be without you." Ryan says, feeling his heart swell at the truth of it. If Brendon could understand just that, he should know he doesn't need to worry. Brendon's fingers snaked in-between his, squeezing his hand tight.
"You'd still be beautiful, wonderful, mind-blowing, Ryan. But hopefully… you'll never have to find that out firsthand." Brendon smiles, sniffing in against his tears. Ryan can't stop himself from kissing him again. He feels Brendon sigh happily against his mouth.
Brendon doesn't want to let Ryan go, but he can feel fatigue pulling him under. Ryan breaks the kiss and smiles down at Brendon.
"Come on, let's go back to bed." Ryan offers, and Brendon nods with a smile. He stands, letting the comforter fall, and offers a hand for Ryan. Ryan takes it, and picks up the notebook he had been scribbling in before Brendon had joined him. He glances down at the words that seem to be mocking him.
Some people never change…
He snaps the notebook shut, and follows Brendon back inside. He throws the notebook onto the bedside table, and lays down next to Brendon, wrapping his arms around him.
He knows he's changed. He could never hurt Brendon again. Never.