He realized it as they were snuggled together on the cabin sofa, watching a movie. It was a horror movie, (one of Sarah's picks) and the choice deeply disturbed Brendon. It wasn't so much the movie that disturbed him as it was the fact it was Ryan's favorite horror movie. And it was then that it hit him. He may be falling in love with Sarah... But he was still head over heels with Ryan.
He had thought that the hardest part of this would be leaving Brendon. He had been wrong. The hardest part was staying away. And as it turned out, his willpower wasn't a strong as he'd thought. He needed to see him again. He needed to be near him, hear him say his name. How badly he craved to feel his touch again. It was almost sickening, how weak he was. But Ryan didn't care. He needed this. So he began to set the plan in motion.
It wasn't technically stalking. He and Brendon were friends after all. He merely wanted to "accidentally" bump into Brendon on the street. He saw him approaching the cafe table he was seated at, a spring in his step. Ryan frowned, puzzled. Brendon drew closer and Ryan pulled the fishing wire that he'd stretched between the light post and his table taut with his foot. And then Brendon was right next to him, glorious as ever. Ryan watched him as he began to strut past and then suddenly tripped over seemingly nothing. He bumped into Ryan's table, causing the cheap coffee he'd just purchased to fall over and stain Brendon's jeans. Ryan watched him look up in horror, mouth already beginning to say "I'm sorry," hand already reaching for his wallet to offer to buy a new drink when he made eye contact. He froze instantly.
"R-Ryan?" he asked, disbelieving. Ryan smiled, trying to keep the smug satisfaction from showing on his face. "Brendon?" he asked in return, as if he were surprised. Brendon continued to stare at Ryan with a shocked expression. "I thought- I thought I would never see you again. I thought you'd been taken from me forever," Brendon whispered. He reached out, fingertips barely brushing Ryan's skin. Ryan did his best not to lean into the touch. Brendon shook his head, taking a few steps back.
"Ryan.. I don't... I don't think I could make this work. Not right now anyway," Brendon murmured, trying to keep his eyes off A very confused Ryan.
"What do you mean, Bren?" he asked. Brendon sighed. "I mean.. I don't think I could handle being just friends right now. We were better off as lovers. Because I can't look at you without remembering. And right now, it just hurts too much. I'm sorry," he said, putting his head down and practically running away. Ryan watched him, feeling Phantom fingertips touching his cheek. "It hurts me too, Brendon," he whispered. He righted the coffee cup, threw some cash on the table and left.
Sarah had never seen Brendon so upset. He was lying in her lap, curled up and shaking violently as he fought back sobs. He wouldn't tell her what happened. He just kept whispering "I'm sorry, forgive me" over and over. Sarah didn't know if he was talking to her or the person who had hurt him so badly. As she rubbed his back soothingly, trying to assuage him, she vowed she would do whatever it took to help him forget.