Ryan glanced up, staring at the face in front of him. He hadn't seen that face in years. Fucking years. He wasn’t even sure if the face he was staring at right now was who he really thought it was. I couldn’t be, could it? He had left Ryan when he was nine, and he hadn't come back. Ryan didn’t know what to do, what to say. He didn’t know if what he was doing was right. He looked so different; he was taller, the baby fat almost completely gone. The only thing that remained the same was his eyes. They were still as blue and kind and caring as they had been all that time ago.
“Spencer?” he whispered. The other boy’s face lit up.
“You do remember me! The doctors said you were just someone I had picked out in my subconscious while I was asleep, but I knew you were real, I knew it…”
Ryan stopped listening at that point. Not, not stopped listening, it was more like he was suddenly unable to hear or see or do anything remotely resembling normal human actions. He just stood there, dumbfounded as he watched his old; and one of his only best friends chatter to him as if he had only been gone a week, not eight whole years. Time slowed down. Ryan wasn’t entirely sure what was going on, and he didn’t fucking care. All he cared about was the figure in front of him, gesticulating wildly.
“Patrick?” Ryan called out, his voice strangled. Patrick, the owner of the coffee shop, looked up from serving a customer, his eyebrows pulled into a frown at Ryan’s horrified sounding voice.
Patrick quickly handed over the coffee to the customer he had been serving, and then quickly made his way over to the two boys. He turned to Ryan, realised that he wasn’t really in a position to say anything coherent, then turned to Spencer, who was standing there, partly bemused and partly overcome with joy. “Could you please tell me what is going on?” Patrick asked Spencer politely.
Before Spencer could answer though, a resounding smash echoed throughout the shop, turning all he clients silent. The noise had come from Ryan, who had just dropped the ceramic mug he had been holding. Ryan didn’t care. Ryan was too busy staring at Spencer.
“He can see you Spence.” Ryan choked out, and then he was gone, leaving the crushed mug on the floor. Ryan just turned and sprinted out of the shop, leaving through the fire exit. He was still wearing his working apron.
Patrick turned to Spencer, who was gazing at the still swinging doors with confused and slightly upset eyes.
“Could you please tell me what the hell is going on?” He demanded, only to be stopped by Spencer’s shaking head.
“No fucking clue.” Spencer answered. “I was just about to ask you the same thing.”
Ryan was huddled below the little tunnel in the park which he used to play in. his arms were pulled around his legs, which were glued to his chest, and he was shaking violently with cold and fear. Ryan, in his haste, had left the shop with nothing but a thin long-sleeved t-shirt on and his god awful apron. In the cold November air, he was completely freezing. He was glad that he always wore long sleeves, on account of the scars on his wrists not being found out by anyone, but at that moment they weren’t enough.
But he was also scared. He was scared because his secret, the one he has been keeping all his life, wasn’t really a secret at all. He was real. People could see Spencer; communicate with him, when beforehand only Ryan himself could do that. Suddenly it was like the eight years have never passed, Ryan is a small, skinny boy, huddled in the park, after just realising that his only friends were never there in the first place, and that life is just one massive fucking joke.
When they left Ryan cried. He ran to the park and sobbed his eyes out. Then he made a pact he would never cry over things that didn’t exist. Ryan still didn't cry now, hadn't done in eight whole years, but for the first time he really, really wanted to. His emotions are shot to pieces and everything is just so fucking confusing. His life has suddenly been dramatically changed and he has no fucking clue what to do.
“Shit.” He said to himself, a shiver passing though his emaciated body again, and Ryan though that the one word pretty much summed up his life at that very moment. Why the fuck would he just suddenly turn up like this, after eight years of not existing, and then act all chummy with him? Why could people see Spencer?
“Ryan?” His head jerked up at the sound of Spencer’s voice. No no no no no.
“G’way.” He muttered back to the boy, wrapping his arms further around himself, trying to control another tremor.
“Ryan, please. I just want to talk. I… Shit Ryan, you're real.”
“Yeah, and you aren’t!” Ryan snarled, voice breaking slightly on the last word. He didn’t know what else to say.
“Ryan… Ryan, please. Please don’t do this to me. I’ve spent my whole life dreaming about you, and now you're here, you're actually real… Shit, I don’t want to let you go.”
Slowly, Ryan uncurled himself, and looked up to meet Spencer’s gaze. Spencer was crouching down in front of him, his eyes level with Ryan’s. Ryan swallowed; his mouth was so fucking dry.
“Hey.” Spencer smiled, and Ryan was instantly reminded of the days they spent together, running around without a care in the world. Ryan shivered again, and Spencer’s expression turned from one of delight to one of concern.
“Shit, you're shaking. Why the fuck didn't I see you were too cold earlier? Jesus, you're lips are blue Ryan! We should get you somewhere warm… Here, take my coat until we figure out where.” Spencer unzipped his coat and thrust it out to Ryan, who took it gladly. Ryan suddenly didn’t care if it was his imaginary friends coat, he was fucking freezing and he didn’t want his fingers to fall off. He did feel kind of bad when Spencer just stood there in a jumper though. Ryan did up the buttons the best he could with his cold fingers, and was embarrassed to find that Spencer’s coat swamped him. Spencer himself wasn’t big in any way, in fact he was really slim, but Ryan was still tiny in his coat.
Spencer waited until Ryan was all bundled up before clearing his throat awkwardly. “Umm… Do you think we could go somewhere and talk?” Ryan thought for a second before nodding and leading him out of the park back to his house. He knew that neither of his parents were home, and he wanted to get inside before Spencer himself got too cold. Plus, Ryan only lived a five minute walk away from the park; he had gone there so many times he knew all the short cuts.
The walked to Ryan’s house in silence. Ryan didn't know what to say to the stranger who was so well known to him. He had never been good with words, he kept them inside. And if he couldn't keep them inside he wrote them down in a little book that he kept under his mattress. It was his most prized possession. But Ryan rarely spoke to actual people, so small talk was way out of his comfort zone. All he did was just continue to stride on, running over in his mind the sort of things he could talk about with Spencer. He couldn't really think of anything suitable. In fact, he kind of wanted to scream at Spencer for leaving him. His fists were clenched tightly by the time they got to the end of his street, fingernails making half-moon patterns in his palms.
Spencer stood there, shivering slightly as Ryan fumbled with the keys, but as soon as they entered the house his eyes widened and he looked around with undisguised awe.
“This is exactly how I remember it! Everything is the same! My dreams were real all this time? Fucking hell, who’d have thought it? I knew that shrink was fucking with me… Wait, where’s Jon and Brendon? They live here, right? They were always around when I dreamt about you.”
Ryan suddenly couldn’t think of anything to say except a startled: “What?”
So yeah, there you go. I just wanted to get it out there so you guys didn't think I had given up on it or anything. Please R&R if you don't think it is too horrifically bad?