Serious talks with Ryan mean that he and Lou move past their little argument, and the reason why Ryan was acting the way he did becomes clear. And... hotel room pillow fights?????
I think there's a bit too much serious talk with Ryan, but eh. It had to be done. Plus, I imagine him to be the most serious in the band, so if there's serious talks to be had, they'll be with him. Or Spencer. Depending what it's about. XD
To make it easier on me, the band ordered room service for dinner, getting it delivered to our room so I wouldn’t have to face the challenges of moving around a new room. Spencer, Jon and Ryan all came after the food arrived. They entered just when I was asking Brendon to put my phone charger in a power point.
“You have a cell phone?” he asked incredulously. “But you're- ”
“Blind, I know.” I rolled my eyes. “That’s what these stickers are for.” I pointed them out. “See? The button with the diamond on it is Chris, the triangle is the talk button and the square is the end call button.”
“That’s really smart,” Spencer said.
“Yeah,” Jon agreed. “Hey, you should have one of our numbers on speed dial too. Just in case.”
“Okay,” I agreed. “Who?”
“Spencer,” Jon answered immediately, which I found slightly strange, but I let it go without a comment.
I held out my cell. “There you go.” Someone’s fingers gently took it out of my hand.
“Alright, my number’s in there,” Spencer said after a while. “Button number 2. Do you have any of those stickers?” I shook my head. “We’ll have to get some then, I guess.”
“Hey Lou, you wanna come sit at the table and have something to eat?” Brendon asked.
“Yeah,” I told him. “Spencer, can you stick my phone charger in a power point?”
“Sure,” he said, as Brendon helped me to the table. I sat down cautiously.
“Whaddaya want?” Jon asked me.
“What is there?” I asked. He began to list the options from what they had ordered. I chose pizza, sharing with Spencer who came and sat down next to me after finding a power point.
“You gonna come and sit with us?” he asked, and it took me a few seconds to realise that he was directing the question at Ryan. There was a snort. “Fine then. Be an unsociable lonely person and watch TV,” Spencer muttered under his breath. I felt guilty then, knowing that it was my fault his friend was like this.
Yankee nosed at my lap and I automatically placed a hand on his head, rubbing his fur. Brendon sighed.
“I wish I had a dog,” he said wistfully.
“You ain’t having Yankee,” I said, my mouth slightly full.
“Don’t talk with your mouth full,” Jon scolded. I grinned at where his voice had come from.
“Yes, Dad.” My grin slipped as I realised what I said. I fell silent and lowered my head, pushing my plate away from me. “I need some air,” I mumbled, standing up.
“Lou,” Jon started.
“One of you help me to the door, please?” I asked, my tone monotonic and devoid of life.
“You can’t go- ”
“Fucking hell, I’m just going to sit in the hallway for a bit,” I said as someone took my arm, leading me forwards. My hand was placed on the handle of the door and I yanked it open. “I’ll knock when I wanna come back in,” was all I said before I slipped through the gap and shut the door behind me, sliding down the wall next to it.
I didn’t even flinch a short time later when the door opened quietly and someone slid down next to me.
“What do you want?” I asked disinterestedly.
“Spencer made me come out here,” Ryan said. “He thinks we need to talk.” I sighed, leaning my head back against the wall and listening to the faint sounds of the TV escaping from under the door.
Raising an eyebrow, I asked, “Do you always do what your best friend tells you to?”
“No,” was the reply. “But most of the time he’s right, so maybe I should.”
We were silent for a while. I felt Ryan stretch out his legs. Despite the fact that he was talking to me again, I could feel that he was tense and he was putting the least amount of effort into holding a conversation as he could – his voice was flat and dull, holding no emotion. I closed my eyes briefly before opening them. I may as well get this over and done with.
“I… I’m sorry,” I said quietly. Beside me, Ryan shifted slightly to look at me. “For this morning. I shouldn’t have bitten your head off about it, and it wasn’t fair for me to take my emotions out on you. I just… I didn’t realise how much I wanted you to be right and for things between Chris and I to go back to normal until we were in the back lounge together. And when we fought and it didn’t work out like it should have… I guess I just wanted someone else to blame other than myself for fucking up. And because it was your idea…” I sighed. “I'm really sorry, Ryan.”
The guitarist was quiet. Then he gently took my hand, giving it a squeeze and shifting closer.
“I'm sorry too,” he said softly. “It wasn’t any of my business to get into and- ” he cut himself off with a short, humorless laugh. “I guess in trying to make things right, I fucked up real bad.”
I frowned. “What do you mean?”
“Do you remember your first night on the bus? When you woke up in the middle of the night and went and talked to Brendon and Spence?”
“How’d you know about that?”
“That was my arm you touched,” Ryan admitted. “But I couldn’t sleep, and I heard you walk past… I was actually about to join you but then I heard you say my name.” He sighed. “Everyone becomes curious and eavesdrops when they hear their own name, don’t they? I heard- I heard you talk about the whole Nails thing, and that you thought it was advice.” I groaned in embarrassment, ducking my head and taking my hand out of Ryan’s to try and cover my face.
“That was so fucking stupid of me,” I mumbled. Lightly touching my forearms so, Ryan pulled them away from my face.
“Hey, don’t be embarrassed,” he told me. “I didn't exactly specify that it wasn’t a particularly helpful or good saying. But, because I heard that, I thought that maybe, to try and make up for being responsible for what you thought, I might be able to help fix the rift that was between you and your brother. I felt really guilty about the whole thing. And when the meeting between Chris and yourself didn’t work out… that made me feel like even more of a failure. That was part of the reason why I wouldn’t interact with you today. It wasn’t me being angry at you, it was more me blaming myself.”
I choked slightly at his words. “Failure? For fuck’s sake – you’re on a headlining tour across the country; you’re not a failure! You’re anything but!”
“Musically,” Ryan mused, “but not personally. And I don’t care about musical success as much as I care about personal success.”
I shook my head. “You are one crazy kid,” I told him. He nudged my shoulder gently.
“Who are you calling kid?” Ryan asked me, and I heard him chuckle. “I’m older than you.”
And at that moment, a feeling of acceptance came over me and I knew that I’d found a loyal friend in the boy next to me.
“So, you’re all ‘chummy’ again, I take it?” Jon asked, slightly amused as Ryan and I entered our room a few minutes later, the guitarist gently guiding me to a couch.
“Stop gloating, Spencer,” Ryan told his friend. Spencer laughed.
“Just call me Yoda from now on,” he said. I rolled my eyes and shook my head with a smile on my face.
“Someone obviously thinks highly of himself,” I grinned. “I’d heard that having a big ego came with being famous.”
“Oh, shut up, Lou,” Spencer said, and I felt a cushion fall softly against my stomach. My eyes widened.
“Hey! That’s not fair! Get him, Yankee!” Yankee yawned and walked over to me. I pushed him away gently. “Not me – Spencer!” Yankee sat down on my feet. I gave a small frown. “What good are you if you don’t do what I tell you to?” I asked, shaking my head. He whuffed in reply.
There was a laugh and another cushion landed on me. “Hey!” I said indignantly. “That’s cheating! I can’t throw it back!”
“I’ll get him, Lou,” Jon said, which was followed by a muffled thump and an “Oof!” from Spencer.
“Pillow fight!” Brendon yelled and Yankee barked.
Ryan sighed. “You guys are all a bunch of immature 6 year olds,” he said disapprovingly. There was another thump. “Oh no, you did not just do that,” I heard Ryan say.
“Oh yes, I just did,” Brendon countered, issuing a challenge.
“Oh, it’s fucking on,” was all Ryan replied with before my ears were graced with the sounds of a pillow fight.
“Immature 6 year olds, eh?” I grinned, directing my comment to wherever Ryan was in front of me.
“Don’t talk about things you don’t understand, Lou,” he said in a haughty tone. I laughed and rolled my eyes, letting out another surprised cry as I was hit in the head by a rogue pillow of some kind.
I lay on my bed an hour or two later, freshly-showered. That had been an experience on its own. One of the boys had had to help me into the bathroom and navigate me around the small room to give me a basic layout of the place so I wouldn't need help, and therefore put them in an awkward situation. If I had been at home, I would have been fine, but since I wasn’t…
Standing under the hot water, a thought had struck me. Would I ever be able to go home again? And what would I do if I couldn’t?
Chris had an apartment that he shared with a few other friends who attended the same college as he did, but I didn’t think that they would appreciate having his blind sister around. I didn’t have any grandparents on my mother’s side – they’d died – and my father’s parents travelled around the world full time.
As I had felt for the taps to turn the water off, I’d realised that after this tour was over… I’d be virtually homeless.
Now, lying on my bed with Yankee curled up next to me, I tried not to think about it, but my mind kept wandering, and always ended up back at that thought.
Brendon announced that he was going for a shower, and then I heard the bathroom door close, leaving me with Ryan, who was on the other bed – reading, from the sounds of it. There was a sigh before the book was shut.
I turned my head. “Hmm?”
There was a slight hesitation. “Why… why did you freak out earlier when you jokingly called Jon ‘Dad’?”
I groaned, raising myself up and resting my sore wrist in the hollow between my raised knees and abdomen. “You know what? I honestly don’t know. I guess a lot of things have happened recently, and, you know… parents are supposed to be a constant figure in your life, and are supposed to love you unconditionally. I think it just sort of hit me that I don't have that anymore, but then again, maybe I never did.”
Ryan was silent. “Well, if it makes you feel any better, my mom and I aren’t on speaking terms. She and Dad divorced when I was a kid and he raised me. Gone are the days when people fall in love for forever, obviously.”
“Do you believe in true love?” I asked him, curious.
“To a certain extent, I suppose. Do you?” He turned the question around, directing it back at me.
“It’s hard to believe in something you’ve never really experienced before,” I told him honestly.
“I’m sure one day you’ll find someone who will change your mind,” I heard Ryan smile. “Who knows, that day might come sooner than you think.”
I snorted. “I doubt it.” I paused. “Ryan…?”
“If… if Camisado is about your dad… why do you let Brendon introduce it as a dance song?” The question had been eating away at me ever since I had been in the audience for their concert and learnt what the song was about.
Ryan sighed. “It was my idea for him to do that, actually.” I blinked, surprised. “The subject… it’s not something I really like to talk about and not something I like other people to find out about – you know how it is, you’d get the same thing with being blind: the sympathy and the “Oh, poor child”s and all that shit that people do when they find out. So by turning it into something it’s not… I guess I was just trying to remove all of the things I associate it with, and give the song a different meaning so that each time it’s played, I won’t think of… you know.”
“Did it work?” Sitting up fully, I swung my legs over the side of the bed, turning to face the boy across from me.
“Yes. No. Maybe. I don’t know. But now, I guess it’s just kind of stuck; Brendon says it every time he introduces that song… I don’t know. This all sounds right in my head, but when the words are spoken aloud- ”
“It sounds stupid.” I finished his sentence. “I know, I think that all the time. But, what you’re saying does kinda make sense. I can understand where you’re coming from,” I reassured him.
“Lou, I- ”
The bathroom door opened, and Ryan stopped what he was about to say.
“Your turn,” Brendon told his band mate. “Man, that shower’s good.” I heard Ryan get up from the bed and move around to collect his stuff for a shower. The door began to squeak shut quietly before it paused.
“You do realise that it’s no use parading about and dancing around with no shirt on, right?” he asked skeptically. “Lou can’t see and I’m not gay, so it’s not gonna work.”
“Bitch, you’re just jealous you don’t have the muscles I do,” Brendon scoffed. “And, FYI? I forgot to take a shirt in with me.”
“Sure you did,” Ryan laughed, and then he closed the door
I giggled. “FYI? Who says that?”
Brendon gave a theatrical gasp. “How dare you mock my speaking?!” I grinned, my expression turning to one of surprise as I was hit for what felt like the hundredth time that night by a flying pillow. I fell back onto the bed, giggling even more. I sighed, smiling. Everything in my life (with the exception of a few things) seemed to be taking a turn for the better. I was the happiest I’d been since the day I’d met the boys, and if this was what the rest of the tour would be like, then I was more than ready to tackle the coming days.
Bring it on, I thought to myself, laughing as Brendon complained when Yankee sneezed on him. I’m more than ready for what’s in store.
And with friends like the ones I had found, how could I not be?
See? There was a reason for Ryan being so distant and moody. :) And that whole convo about Camisado is just something I made up. I've often wondered about the whole 'dance-song' thing myself, and I don't know, to me this just kinda seemed like a reasonable explanation. It's probably not the reason at all, but hey. Fiction, yeah?
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