"Ever since Ryan had left, Brendon would have to watch helplessly as the older man would die right before his eyes."
Three months. Brendon had suffered through the nightmares for three months, waking up the same way each night. He gave up on preparing himself for them, knowing that each death brought fresh heartbreak. Sleep had been a necessity for him, but not anymore. Some nights he had tried to stay awake, failing miserably when he succumbed to the fatigue after only an hour each time. Brendon had become physically and emotionally drained.
The alarm clock flashed the time into Brendon’s tired eyes obnoxiously as he untangled himself from the sweat-soaked sheets. Two in the morning. About six or seven hours until Spencer would wake up. Brendon dragged himself out of bed and stumbled blindly to the bathroom. He looked at the madman in the mirror, wondering how he had ended up like this. Three months earlier, he was jumping around like a little kid, not a care in the world. Now his eyes were ringed with dark circles, his hair was sticking out at all ends, and his chin was covered in thick stubble that was spreading to his sunken cheeks. He really did look crazy.
He usually plastered on a smile and trudged through the day, having Spencer beside him like a life ring that keep him tied to sanity. Without him, Brendon might have gone insane. This day shouldn’t have been different, but it was. Brendon decided to call in sick, he wasn’t in the mood to talk to business people today. It wasn’t just that, he knew there was something else. The nightmare had been the worst one yet. He had seen Ryan starved, beaten, even drowned, but this one was even worse. Ryan hadn’t been killed by a murderer, nature, or anything like that. He had been killed by Brendon. Brendon had killed Ryan.
He had pointed the gun at Ryan’s head, his mind screaming for his hands to stop, but they continued to switch the safety off and slowly pull the trigger, every agonizing second creating a fresh, burning tear in his already battered heart. Ryan should’ve been screaming at him to use common sense and drop the lethal weapon. He simply gave Brendon a knowing smile, as if he understood everything and accepted his fate. When the bullet finally shot out of the barrel, it whistled through the air, blocking out the sound of Ryan’s “I love you”. For the first time, Brendon wasn’t able to hear him utter his last words. It was all dream, Brendon told himself repeatedly, but after awhile he wasn’t so confident in his ability to distinguish dreams from reality. Maybe he just watched Inception one too many times, or maybe he “killed” Ryan when the band split, leaving his friend as lifeless and heartbroken as he was.
Brendon had contemplated calling Ryan before, but he had never been able to work up the courage to do so. He longed to hear the older man’s voice. To imagine the smirk on his face when he saw who was calling. To know that Ryan still remembered him. This time he had to do it. He just had to.
His hands trembled as his fingers tapped the familiar number. Brendon lifted the phone to his ear shakily, listening as the phone rang once, twice, th-
“Hello?” that beautiful voice brought tears to Brendon’s eyes.
“Brendon, is that you?”
“I miss you, Ryan.” he blurted, not even bothering to answer the simple question.
“I...” Ryan trailed off. Brendon’s breath hitched in his throat. Did Ryan even care that he was brokenhearted?
“I just want to see you again.”
“I,” another pause, “I do too.”
Brendon let out a sob of relief. He was too overwhelmed by the cascade of tears falling down his tired face to reply with words. The tears were of pure joy.
The two talked and cried for hours, catching up on the last three months. Ryan told Brendon about anything and everything that went on in his daily life while the younger boy hung onto his every word. After, he told Ryan about the nightmares. He told him about the pain that twisted in his gut whenever he woke up. He told him about the regret constantly gnawing at him.
“I’m so glad I didn’t kill you.” Brendon concluded, wiping the tears from his eyes.
“I’m glad you didn’t kill me too.” Ryan laughed. Something slammed in the background, causing Brendon to raise an eyebrow.
“What was that?”
“Nothing.” he replied suspiciously.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, Mother, I’m sure, but I need to go now.” he rushed the end of his sentence, sounding slightly anxious.
“Now?” Brendon felt a twinge in his chest.
“Yeah, but I’ll talk to you in a little bit, okay?”
“But-” Ryan had already hung up. Just as he was about to redial, a sharp knock on the front door interrupted him.
“Who is it?” he called, running down the stairs and to the door. Another knock followed with no legitimate reply. Brendon turned the doorknob slowly before opening the door to see his visitor. A mop of caramel hair covered golden hazel eyes, topped off with a fedora. Ryan was back.
Brendon flung his arms around him. The scent of vanilla wafted up to his nose and he let of a sigh of content. He never wanted to let go.
“I need you, Brendon. Save me.” Ryan whispered before pressing his lips against the younger man’s own. It was slow and sweet, yet passionate and filled with lust. It was everything they were yearning for. It defined every aspect of their relationship. It was a silent vow that neither of them would leave again. It was completely and utterly perfect.
Neither of them would've changed anything thing about it.