With Ryan in Los Angeles and Brendon in a secluded part of Las Vegas, it wasn’t easy for them to rendezvous. It was worth it though. The lying, the sneaking around, the constant worry and guilt. Because it meant they got to see each other. It meant that they didn’t have to quit each other cold turkey. It was always best when they just cuddled together, whispering to each other. It’s what kept their bond strong when they just couldn’t get away from their lives.
Ryan wasn’t sure how long it lasted before James found out. A few months maybe? Either that, or James knew all along and was just waiting for the right time to pull the cards out. He shoved Ryan into a dark alley, pushing him up against the rough, red bricks as Ryan was waiting to catch a bus into Vegas. It had been over two months since their last meeting and Ryan was anxious to see Brendon again. James, however, had other ideas. He’d growled into Ryan’s ear that Ryan belonged only to him. Not that Ryan cared. Nothing the said or did would keep him away from his Brendon. Even as James pinned him down, tied the tourniquet around his arm and pushed the needle deep into the soft flesh of his bicep, Ryan vowed they would never keep him from Brendon.
It had been two months since he’d last seen Ryan. He was already running late and dashed into the hotel room, apologies already half-formed on his lips when he realized nobody else was in the room. He giggled to himself and went and curled up in the armchair facing the door, watching and listening for the tell-tale signs of Ryan coming down the hall. Even as the minutes steadily slipped away, Brendon was undeterred. Ryan would come. He always did.
Two hours later, Brendon could feel the stitches that were holding his heart together begin to unravel. He ran a hand through his hair. Such sloppy stitching, he thought to himself. He’d been stood up and he knew it. Yet, he refused to leave. He would wait all night for him and if he didn’t show up by morning, Brendon would leave. He would leave and he would try to quit again.
Ryan stumbled out of the elevator, laughing hysterically. He looked at the red puncture mark on his arm. It glowed brightly, spinning and winking merrily at him. Ryan laughed again. He danced down the hallway, giddy as the world danced with him. It was a miserable dance, one of a man who had been forced to get high off an unknown drug and a world that was sick and slowly deteriorating.
Ryan spun again, giggling as he stuck his key card in the door. He flung it open, looking around the dark room. He saw his Brendon curled up and asleep in the armchair. Ryan grinned and skipped over to him, perching himself on the arm of the chair. He caught a glimpse out the nearby window and froze, mesmerized. They were six stories up and as Ryan stared out the window, he got this understanding. He looked out the window and he knew, he just knew that he could fly.
He very carefully opened the window as wide as it would go and climbed up into the sill. He closed his eyes, the cold air slapping his face, luring him to come out and join it. Ryan grinned, feeling his leg muscles coil as he prepared to launch himself into the night sky. He heard stirring behind him and then scrambling as Brendon saw him.
“Ryan?” he asked, voice shaking.
“I’m going to fly, Brenny. I’m going to fly!” he exclaimed.
Brendon trembled. “Ryan, baby. You can’t fly. It’s not humanly possible. You can’t.”
Ryan laughed. “Yes, Bren. Yes, I can’t! I understand now! It all makes sense! We can’t fly because we’re so chained down by the world. But I’m free, Bdon. I have no chains and I…” he laughed. “I can fly.”
Brendon suddenly noticed the hole in his bicep. “No, Ry. No, you said you’d stop,” he whispered.
Ryan grinned. “I can fly,” he whispered again, reaching his hand back to run it through Brendon’s hair. Then he tensed his muscles and began to fall out the window, arms outstretched and a grin on his face.