Two different girls and emotional distress for our hero, especially with his new theory.
Audrey fucking Kitching, also known as his first girlfriend. Brendon had thought it was great; he really cared about her and had a lot of fun with her. Then she had to go and break his heart.
He’d met her after one of their shows when the band went out to a restaurant. The next show hadn’t been for a week so he decided it was probably okay to approach her and maybe take her out or something. She’d caught his attention almost immediately and he was ecstatic when she gave him her number, especially when it turned out to be real.
They went on a date and they had a good time, so they went on another. Brendon had to leave again for the rest of the tour but they decided to continue dating, especially since he already like her a lot, or so he thought.
At a break in the touring schedule Brendon and Audrey got together some more and went out more. This time, Brendon even introduced her to the guys. Jon and Spencer seemed to like her, but Ryan was much less enthusiastic.
The whole time she was there, and any other time she was around, he seemed tense and was almost quieter than normal. Even when she was gone he didn’t talk much. Brendon didn’t know what to make of it and he shrugged it off. Sure, he’d like to know what was bothering the other boy and what his problem was, but he didn’t want to confront him about it. It wasn’t like Ryan would tell Brendon anything if he asked about it anyway.
There was a time when they played a few shows at home and Audrey was there, so they hung out even more. It was great. He felt on top of the world when they were together, when she smiled at him, when they kissed, any time he was around the girl. And although he’d never felt it before, he figured that he was in love.
At a point in the relationship, after a whole day of having her around and doing things with the rest of the band, Ryan confronted Brendon. They were outside of the bus, about to get on and sleep before having to leave again. Audrey had left about five minutes ago and Brendon’s lips were still red and slightly swollen from the goodbyes.
“Brendon, can I talk to you?” There was a guarded look on Ryan’s face.
Brendon looked up from his iPod and turned it off. “Sure,” he bounced up from leaning against the bus and followed Ryan to a spot away from the others so they could talk privately. “What’s up?”
“It’s about Audrey.” Instantly Brendon went into protective mode. By now he knew that Ryan didn’t like Audrey and that he’d rather not have her around.
“What about her?” he asked in a careful voice that Ryan picked up on immediately.
“Look, I’m not going to try and break you up or anything. I just want to tell you to be careful, okay? Don’t give your heart away so soon, especially not to her.” Brendon was about to object but Ryan raised his voice a little so he could finish. “Please, Brendon? Think things through before you do or say them, alright? That’s all I’m asking.” With that, the skinny nineteen year old left to go back to the bus, leaving Brendon to think about what he’d said.
Brendon realized, of course, that Ryan might know what he was talking about considering that a lot of Fever’s angrier songs had been written in response to Ryan’s ex-girlfriend, Jac, cheating on and breaking up with him. Brendon decided that he was going to take the older and more experienced boy’s advice seriously. It wasn’t going to stop him from feeling the way he did, but he would pay more attention and be careful about it.
Things went on for a while and he got really comfortable with Audrey. She was already his girlfriend and she came on a short tour that only went around the States. Throughout the whole thing Ryan barely talked at all. One day Audrey even asked Brendon what Ryan’s problem was, and not in the nicest way either.
“I honestly don’t know. I think he’s just tired. He’s never talked much. I’m sure it has nothing to do with you,” he reassured her, kissing the top of her head as they sat on the couch together during a gas stop.
“Really B-boy? I always get the feeling that he just hates me, and doesn’t want me to be anywhere near you all.”
Brendon sighed to himself. “Really, Ryan doesn’t hate anyone, I promise. He’s probably got stuff on his mind.”
She smiled a little at that, and it wasn’t a nice smile. “He’s so weird, you know? He always writes in his notebook or reads. And he never talks, ever. Then there’s the eye makeup that he wears all the time. Has he come out or is he still in the closet?” she sneered. And that struck a chord with Brendon.
It didn’t really matter who it was, be it parent or girlfriend or anyone, she was insulting one of his best friends right there in front of him without hesitating. For some reason he hadn’t realized before how much she didn’t like Ryan either. “Hey, leave Ryan alone. He’s one of my best friends.” The words came out a bit sharper than he intended.
She looked at him like he’d slapped her. “Why are you defending that jerk? He’s been nothing but mean to me since we’ve started dating. And come on, he’s not normal.”
Brendon moved away from her and half stood up. “He’s not a jerk. And I don’t see how he’s been mean to you since he barely talks. Just stop talking about him. I won’t put up with you insulting him, either.”
That was their first fight, but it was the worst it ever got. She’d stormed out on him and hadn’t talked to him until three days later when she claimed that she forgave him even though he hadn’t apologized yet. He didn’t respond to that.
Then there was the fateful day when she got a call while she was in the bathroom and Brendon answered it for her. There was another man on the line, asking where she was and who the fuck he was and demanding that he give the phone to Audrey or the guy would track him down. She came out of the bathroom and had taken the phone out of his hand with wide, paranoid eyes. Then she turned her back and went in a corner, talking in a whisper so Brendon couldn’t hear. That planted the seed.
Brendon didn’t tell anyone about what had happened because he didn’t want anyone else’s thoughts or opinions about it. It was hard enough trying to figure it out for himself, mostly because he didn’t want to believe what his first thought was.
The relationship continued, though, as if nothing had happened. He tried to kill his suspicions but they were like weeds and refused to die. Brendon at least knew that he wasn’t quite as comfortable with her anymore. Then there was the text message.
It wasn’t his fault that he’d seen it. She left the phone on the couch where she’d been sitting and she had it programmed so the message just showed up when it came in. When it vibrated, he looked over reflexively and saw the message that he couldn’t help reading. It had been from another guy, talking about meeting up somewhere soon. He wouldn’t have been suspicious if when she’d seen it she hadn’t looked at him and demanded to know if he’d seen it, sounding scared that he had.
He lied and told her no. Her sigh of relief was visible, and she typed a reply before snapping the phone shut again and cuddling up to him on the couch. Now it wasn’t quite so comfortable anymore, and he was almost relieved when they went on another tour that went overseas and he’d have time away from her.
They still texted, not as much as before, but they still did it. Brendon knew that everyone noticed the differences; they were all too nice to say anything though. Distantly he remembered Ryan’s words to be careful about her and giving his heart away. He desperately hoped it wasn’t too late.
When Brendon got back home he figured it out. He’d known all along really, but he hadn’t wanted to believe it. There were all kinds of proof though. Audrey had cheated on him with whoever that guy was that called and texted. She’d been seeing him for just a few months shorter than she’d been seeing Brendon. Apparently the other guy knew about him too. As soon as Brendon found out, he’d freaked. Audrey had fought back, saying how hard it was to have a boyfriend who travelled all the time and accusing him of cheating on her. Then, she got to play the victim and very dramatically broke up with him.
The break-up wasn’t nearly as traumatizing as the fact that she’d cheated on him. He was glad they were broken up, but he couldn’t get over the fact that there had been another guy.
Since they were amazing friends, Ryan, Spencer, Jon, and Zack stuck around him and built him up. They told him that she was a bitch and that she didn’t deserve him and that Karma was going to kick her in the ass. Cassie and Spencer’s girlfriend, Haley, were very sympathetic too, and they added to the theme of telling him that he was awesome and that he deserved better. Really, all of it did make him feel better about it and he couldn’t thank them enough.
Brendon had to call Kara. It was inevitable. She needed to know about it as soon as possible too because if she found out about it later, he would have some hell to pay. Late one night, he called her while everyone else was in their bunks because he knew he couldn’t do it with them around.
She picked up almost immediately and asked what was going on. He explained and she was outraged, just as he expected.
“Brendon, you’re worth more than that. Remember that okay? She was just some dumb bitch who can’t appreciate value when she finds it. And you know what, she’ll probably get pregnant with that guy’s baby and when she’s raising it by herself she’ll wish that she hadn’t done that to you. I promise.”
He laughed internally. Kara was one of the most protective people on the planet and he was able to clearly see, in his mind’s eye, her glinting dark eyes and the tight set of her jaw. It was a comforting picture. “Thank you, Kar,” he whispered.
“Have you cried about it yet?”
“Kara, I’m a man. I don’t cry over stupid things like this.”
“Brendon Boyd Urie, this is not a stupid thing. You got close to a girl who you thought cared about you, then you found out that she was cheating on you with some other guy. I’m sure you cared about her too. Are you telling me that when you found out you were totally indifferent?”
She was using the stern mom voice and he already felt sorry for his little nephew. “No,” he said quietly. He could hear her triumphant smile.
“You don’t have to cry but you can’t put it off like it’s nothing.”
“You’re probably right.”
“Did you love her?”
“I’m not sure, but I think I might have.”
“And were you happy with her?”
“For the most part. She made me feel on top of the world.”
“Well think about it, if loving the wrong one could feel that good; imagine how great it will be once the right one finds you.”
He nodded. “Thank you Kara. You made me feel better.”
“Anytime, B. And remember, no matter what anyone says, there is someone out there made to wake up next to you every morning.” He could hear a loud cry from another room somewhere. “Well, there’s Aiden. I’ll talk to you later Brenny. Stay strong.”
He hung up and smiled. Kara was a wonderful rock.
One night it was just him and Ryan on the couch because both Jon and Spencer were out with their girlfriends. They were sitting close and talking. It was only a few days after the drama that Brendon’s first girlfriend left over and Ryan was hugging him a bit while he rested his head on the other boy’s shoulder.
Ryan rested his chin on his head and pulled him even closer. “I’m sorry Brendon. You shouldn’t have had to go through that,” he muttered.
Brendon sighed. “Well, it served me right. I should have listened to you Ryan, I’m sorry. You were right, she wasn’t someone to be around.”
“Brendon, there is no need for you to be sorry. You didn’t do anything wrong. And I’m not sure what you mean by it serving you right but you’re wrong about that too.”
Brendon shrugged a little. “Now I can relate to some of our songs better though, that’s always a good thing.” Once again, the bright side was there, no matter how depressing the bright side happened to be, it was still there.
Ryan chuckled and sighed. “Do you think either of us will ever find love that won’t screw us over?”
“I hope so. Look at it this way, we both have some experience under our belts now, we should be able to find someone the next time that won’t stomp all over us.”
“You’re probably right. Until then, we have each other.”
“Yeah. We’re fucking rock stars.”
“If we get desperate enough we can just announce we’re free during a show.”
“Oh God,” Brendon shuddered a little before continuing. “That’s a terrible idea. No way am I doing that.”
“I did say ‘desperate enough’. Let’s just hope we never get to that point.”
“On a more serious note, if you want someone to talk to, I’m here, B. Hopefully you already know that, but I’m just reminding you in case you forgot.”
Brendon wasn’t sure what to say for a second. “Thank you Ryan. I’ll keep that in mind.”
“I hope so.”
“The same goes for you.”
Ryan had been right. Only a month or so after the whole thing with Audrey, Ryan got himself a girlfriend. Her name was Keltie, she was a dancer, she was really pretty, and Ryan was captivated by her from the moment he saw her.
The poor bastard was staring at her all night but he was too shy to say anything and just watched and tried to distract himself with his guitar. He was lucky that she noticed or nothing would have happened. She approached him and they talked for a while. When they parted, she kissed him on the cheek and he had a slip of paper in his hand.
“Hey Ry, it looks like you got lucky,” Brendon teased, while also congratulating him. “Are you going to call her?”
Ryan blushed just a little bit but it put a grin on Brendon’s face. “Yeah, I think so. She’s really nice.”
“You deserve someone nice after Jac fucking Vaneck,” Spencer growled. Ryan rolled his eyes.
“Well it’s not my fault I’m “not her type”,” he said sarcastically.
“Right, you’re not a spawn of the devil so of course you wouldn’t be.” Spencer’s words about Audrey were similar any time she was brought up. Jon looked faintly amused by Spencer’s temper but he looked over at Ryan seriously.
“Spencer’s sort of right. You deserve a nice girl to have around. Cassie would totally hang out with her and report back to us about what kind of person she is.”
“Haley would too. We could ask them if you want. You know how much they like you,” Spencer said. To Brendon it sounded like a good idea too, if he’d had a girlfriend he’d have offered her.
Ryan shook his head. “No, I’d like to find out what she’s like for myself. We’ll go on a date and if I don’t like her I won’t see her again. If I do like her, we’ll go out again.” There was Ryan, practical and careful about everything. It was another nice thing about him. He considered things before doing them and he was almost always able to solve a problem because he’d seen it as a possibility.
Of course Ryan and Keltie’s first date was amazing, as was the second, and soon they became boyfriend/girlfriend. It was impossible not to like Keltie. She was sweet and caring and she did wonders for Ryan. He still tossed and turned in his bunk at night but he talked a bit more and smiled more when she was around. Unsurprisingly she was around months after her first encounter with them. Cassie and Haley got along great with her as well so they were all a happy family.
It wasn’t long before she joined them on the bus for shorter, around the country tours. That was when the problems started for Brendon.
He’d developed insomnia. He’d always been a semi-insomniac, but now, he couldn’t sleep to save his life. He never slept at night anymore, always falling asleep around three or four in the morning, then sleeping until seven or eight. There was no apparent source either, and he mulled over it while he listened to the others breathing in their bunks and he sat on the couch.
There was just enough room in the bunks for two people so, of course, Keltie was sleeping in there with Ryan. At first Brendon had wondered how that would work since he knew about the tossing and turning. It worked, though. It didn’t sound like Ryan tossed anymore but now the soft whimpers were just a little louder and more often, so obviously he still didn’t sleep well. Keltie didn’t seem to know about it because she never said anything or looked affected. Brendon thought that she should at least notice something like that about her boyfriend, or the fact that when he got up he looked like hell’s plaything with messy hair, dull eyes, and sunken shoulders. Ryan was still good at covering that up though, so maybe it was only Brendon who noticed anyway.
During the day, Brendon didn’t feel as comfortable as he used to either. He credited it to being the only single one and not being comfortable around the people talking about their significant others or talking to their significant others, or being around the significant others himself because Cassie and Haley came along on tour sometimes, too. Though he was fond of the girls and what they did for his friends, Brendon just couldn’t help feeling awkward around all of them. So he took to sitting on the couch with his iPod and his earbuds, blocking everyone else out so the feeling of being the odd one wasn’t so obvious.
(US tour, four months after Keltie and Ryan got together.)
New day, another show later one, another day on the bus with Spencer, Jon, Ryan, and Keltie, and another day of sitting on the couch or in his bunk with his iPod on. At least Brendon knew what was going on, though.
When he got out of his bunk for breakfast it was early and the only other person awake was Spencer. The younger boy wasn’t quite awake yet because the coffee wasn’t done, so Brendon was able to get his breakfast and go back to his bunk without any interruption.
He got the impression that the others were worried about him, but he decided not to worry until someone actually approached him about it. Until that happened, Brendon was content to stick to what he’d been doing. Besides, they probably appreciated the quiet.
On his way back to the bunk, he took the laptop with him because there were things that he wanted to look at while in his isolation. He ducked between his curtain and the side of the bunk to get into the warm safety of his little bedroom-like space. That thought made him pause. Since when had he referred to the cramped bunk as a safety?
Brendon finished pulling his legs in when he heard the activity in the bus actually pick up. He’d known that Jon would be the second one out when the smell of the coffee became strong enough, but Ryan and his girlfriend usually slept later than seven-twelve. Brendon could hear them getting out of their bunk above Spencer’s though.
“I’m going to miss you Ry,” she said.
“Yeah, me too. The tour won’t be too long though. Besides, we can always text and talk on the phone. The months will fly by, trust me,” Ryan answered. That was right, it was the last day of the small US tour and they would be around in the east coast for a week or two before flying overseas. It was Keltie’s last day with them for a while, and they were going to drop her off at an airport on their way east.
“Can I trust you not to fall in love with someone else?” she asked, teasing a little.
“How could I fall in love with someone else when all my love goes to you?” Ryan answered, getting way more romantic than Brendon had ever heard him before. There was a small part of him that sank at those words for some reason. He didn’t understand it and attributed it to being hungry and his stomach finally speaking up for itself. They began to move away from the bunks so Brendon focused out and ate his cereal while the computer logged on to his name.
Lately, there wasn’t much poetry that Ryan was reading. The last thing that Brendon saw was Going There by Jack Gilbert and that was from back when he was dating Audrey. Brendon had found, by doing more poking around, that the website held onto a record of the poems looked at when the user was signed in. Ryan had the bad habit of never logging out of that particular account, probably because he didn’t know anyone else knew about it, so Brendon had all the access he wanted to what Ryan was looking at.
He knew it was wrong and that it was a huge invasion of Ryan’s privacy, but it was addicting. He couldn’t help but look because of what he learned. It wasn’t ever really clear what it was that he was learning, but he knew that he was slowly uncovering pieces of the other young man’s mind and thoughts. He didn’t necessarily have a right to see those things, but he wanted to know so he could possibly help his friend.
If Ryan needed help of any kind he wasn’t going to ask for it until he had to. Brendon thought that he could maybe save Ryan some pain by being able to help before it got bad enough that the boy had to ask. Besides, as long as Ryan didn’t find out, there was no real problem.
Brendon looked at his email and replied to some of it. Then he got onto other different websites and surfed around. He looked at band websites and looked at different online stores to buy CD’s and equipment and things like that. All the while he had his iPod playing quite loudly in his ears, so his bunk was the whole world.
Brendon fell asleep at some point, probably due to the fact that he hadn’t slept the previous night. The reason for his waking up was Spencer standing in his pulled back curtain, removing his earbuds that were still blasting his music. When Spencer noticed him waking up he spoke.
“Brendon, you’re going to go deaf soon if you play the music so loud in your ears, especially when you’re sleeping. Since you’re a musician I don’t think you’re going to want that,” he said gently. Brendon had to briefly wonder if something bad had happened for Spencer to be talking like that, but he forgot about it and just nodded.
Spencer turned the music device off and wrapped the earbuds around it the way Brendon usually did. He sighed. “Are you sick, Brendon?” he asked, putting the back of his hand to Brendon’s cool forehead. “You spend so much time in your bunk lately. Is something wrong?” And suddenly Spencer Smith was sitting on the edge of his bunk, looking like he wanted a serious conversation.
“Everything’s fine. I’m really tired lately though.” That was a lie. Not everything was fine, Brendon just didn’t know what was wrong exactly and he didn’t want anyone to have to worry about it either. He could handle whatever it was.
Spencer didn’t look like he really believed him, probably because Brendon had used the ‘tired’ excuse. He didn’t push anything though. Instead he nodded and got up. “But Bren, if something is wrong, you can come talk to any of us.”
“Thank you, Spencer.”
He nodded again. “We’re a family. We have to stick together.” It looked like he was telling himself that as well. Then he gave Brendon a little, supportive smile and walked away.
Brendon reached out and drew the curtain closed. That was odd. He knew that the others noticed, but Spencer was the last one he expected to come and talk to him. He thought it would be Jon, then Ryan—depending on how busy he was—then Spencer. No, the younger boy was full of surprises.
He lay back on the little bed and looked up at the “ceiling”. Brendon wondered what the others thought about his sudden disappearance from their lives. Of course, he didn’t care all too much; he just wondered what they might be thinking.
It wasn’t too long before he got bored and curious about what might be happening out in the rest of the world so he crawled out of his bunk with the laptop under his arm. He rubbed his eyes at the brightness and to make it look like he’d just woken up.
When he walked into the main area where everyone else was, he saw what he’d been expecting. The others were sprawled around the space, Jon texting, Spencer watching a movie, and Ryan and Keltie cuddled up, also watching the movie. Brendon shuffled in quietly and sat down on the part of the couch that Ryan and Keltie weren’t occupying.
Ryan looked over at him. “Hey Brendon. How’s it going?”
Brendon nodded. “It goes well,” he answered, blinking a little.
“So you woke up, had breakfast, and went back to sleep?” Keltie asked. She thought he was one of the cutest things in the world. Most of the time, she treated him like a younger brother that she just adored. Ryan didn’t care, in fact, the bastard found it amusing and usually sat there smirking when she commented on Brendon’s cuteness.
Again, Brendon nodded, arching to stretch his back. Staying in his bunk all the time was probably not good for his spine. When he settled back down he saw that Keltie was smiling at him. He didn’t mind it all the time, but sometimes the smiles seemed condescending, and he hated that.
Ryan, on the other hand, was looking at him with his eyebrows furrowed as if he were trying to figure something out. He looked suspicious and concerned. Of course, he didn’t say anything, he wasn’t going to say anything, not until he was sure something was wrong and he could pinpoint what it was.
The day carried on and after going out with the others, Brendon spent the rest of the day out there. His only reason for doing that was to save him the trouble of having to explain anything to the others. Around eleven they were in a city in Iowa and they dropped Keltie off at the airport there.
It wasn’t a terribly sad thing because Keltie and Ryan both knew they’d see each other again. There were still a few hugs and quite a while of kissing, but all in all it was a short goodbye. After waiting a while after she boarded, just to make sure she got on okay, they left and were on their way to the east coast.
Several hours passed before they pulled into New Jersey where they would be playing that night. They were taken immediately to the venue because they only arrived an hour or so before the doors opened and there was a lot to do.
There had been people there before-hand to set up a lot of the stuff. All they had to do was check the instruments, tune the various guitars, and get ready physically. As usual, there was no hint of being tired for Brendon. He was energized as he sat there in the clothes he was wearing, being careful not to mess up the wires running around his body.
The ‘Nothing Rhymes with Circus’ tour was over and so were the costumes and elaborate makeup. Ryan still wore his eyeliner, and they all had basic stuff on to make their faces stand out more onstage, but that was it. He sort of missed it and its enormity, but it was nice to have a simple show. It was a little more intimate and “real”. Whatever happened, happened, nothing was thought of ahead of time except for the set list. The spontaneity was nice.
Stage antics weren’t gone though. He didn’t do the speech before ‘Lying’ anymore but he still messed around with Ryan, all for the reaction and because it was still so much fun to fuck with the fans. He didn’t corner the taller boy anymore; he just kissed him on the cheek or neck in passing. The best part about it was that Ryan responded and actually initiated it sometimes.
Performing was such an active job that it took Brendon’s mind off of everything else that was happening. It made him forget about his days spent in his bunk or on the couch, about the strange awkwardness that came with being around the others anymore. All that existed was the stage and the adrenaline and the music. As long as the show continued, his thoughts past the show were evaporated. It was nice.
When they were ready to go on, he stood up and whooped a little. Everyone else was grinning as well and Ryan reached up for a high-five that he returned. Brendon looked around. They’d been so unprepared only a year or so ago, brand new to this life that they’d chosen. They’d been nervous before going out for their first shows, nervous about the response to their songs that were pretty different from what everyone was used to. Now they had it down though. They were ready, they were confident. The four of them were unstoppable.
After the show he couldn’t stop grinning, as usual. He reached over and wrapped his arms around the torso of his best friend, leaning into him. Ryan put his arm over his shoulder. “That was fucking awesome, Bren.”
Spencer and Jon were just ahead of them in the hallway back to the dressing room, also horsing around a little, high-fiving and exchanging exclamations about how great the show went. Brendon looked up at Ryan’s beaming face, his own smile getting wider at the sight. “It was, your solos were especially nice.”
“As were yours,” Ryan answered, looking down at him. Brendon loved to see him smiling like that. It was part of the reason he loved doing shows as much as he did.
“The fans were amazing tonight too. They reacted to all the right things. My ears are still ringing from the applause at the end,” Brendon commented, and it was true. The mic may have picked some of it up and then transferred it into his ear, amplified. Brendon and Ryan walked into the dressing room and collapsed in one of the armchairs, still tangled up together.
“Right? I love this so much,” Ryan then turned to Brendon seriously. “Thank you for sticking with this as long as you have and through all the shit that you’ve had to deal with. Not only is it making my life amazing but it’s doing good things for you too. Remember when you used to be too shy to sing or even play your guitar very loud?” Brendon nodded.
“Well now you’re way past that so that past-Brendon feels like someone else entirely. I’m proud of you Bren.” Ryan wrapped his other arm around him then and hugged him tight. “You’ve grown a lot.”
Butterflies were set loose in Brendon’s stomach for some reason, but it passed quickly so he ignored it and beamed back at Ryan. “Your confidence seems better now too, Ry.” He’d noticed it gradually at first, but before Ryan had been a nervous mess before going on stage because he was worried about if the people would like the songs, if the songs would sound good live, if they would mess up, but now his “it is what it is” attitude had leaked into performing, too. He still made sure that it was all right and he freaked a little when it wasn’t but it was so much better now. Brendon was proud of him too, and hugged him back to show it.
Their little moment was interrupted then by Spencer who declared, “The two of you are sweaty and gross, and Ryan, you have a girlfriend.”
Ryan leaned back and glared lightly at the youngest band member. “Thanks for the reminder, Spin. We’re hugging, that happens all the time. Earlier tonight even, you hugged me.”
Brendon smiled and joined in. “Oh I don’t know Ry. This is pretty intense. I can see how it would set off warning lights with Spencer.”
Ryan turned back to him. “You’re probably right. I should just break up with Keltie now before anything really serious happens, just so it doesn’t hurt her so much. Then I can be with Brendon,” he said it all sarcastically and Brendon knew that but for some reason his stomach flipped just a little. He had no idea what was going on and he was beginning to get a little scared.
Spencer was glaring at them. “Fuck you two,” he said before walking off, letting them know that they’d succeeded in irritating him. They high-fived again before Brendon pulled himself out of the chair.
“He is right about being gross though. I need to get this sweat off of me,” he said, walking toward the shower in the dressing room.
“Hurry up, I’d like to get cleaned up too,” Ryan called after him. He sent a thumbs-up over his head in response before walking into the bathroom and closing the door.
Later that night, back on the bus, with everyone else asleep, Brendon stood in the bathroom and looked in the mirror above the sink, staring himself in the eyes. There was something going on. He didn’t know what it was and he was getting a little nervous.
Since Keltie had been gone he hadn’t felt the urge to hole up in his bunk. He stayed out in the lounge area with everyone and talked, continuing as the night drew on and the others eventually trickled into bed. Brendon had always had a feeling that his anti-social-ness was partly because of her. There was something else though, and he had no idea what it could be or necessarily how to find out what it was.
Brendon thought back to all of those extra feelings and tried to remember when they happened. A lot of them had Ryan involved, and a lot of it was when they were talking or sitting close to each other. The feelings weren’t necessarily bad or weird either. For example, once when he was sitting with Ryan and they were talking he just got a sudden warm feeling in his chest. Or there was the fact that he was just so comfortable around the older boy.
Maybe he was going crazy. He considered that idea as he looked into his reflection’s chocolate eyes. It was possible, very possible. Brendon rubbed his hands over his face and shook his head. Maybe he just needed to stop thinking for a while, take a break and come back in an hour or two. That might be nice.
Brendon sighed to himself and shut the light off as he left the bathroom. As usual, he wasn’t tired so he went into the lounge. Instead of sitting in a chair and getting on the internet or looking out of the window, he paced.
Since he couldn’t shut his thoughts off, he figured that he would do something productive and at least sort them or look at all of them. He knew he was going to be in for a long night.
The next morning, Brendon woke up sitting on the floor and leaning against one of the chairs. He remembered the pacing and thinking, but he didn’t remember the time it took or exactly when he’d sat down, and shortly fallen asleep. When he got up, his muscles complained and tried to force him back down but he stretched them out and continued.
For once, he was the first one awake. Glancing at the clock, he saw that it was probably because it was five-fifteen in the morning and no sane person woke up that early just because. Brendon didn’t want to go back to sleep so he sat down on the couch and sighed, more alone time.
He could still remember when he craved it and could feel himself go crazy without any. Lately, there had been too much alone time though. The black-haired kid wanted to be surrounded by people and constantly bombarded with talking so that he could go back to craving the alone time rather than live it.
It wasn’t long before the other three came out. None of them were fully awake because the coffee wasn’t made yet and none of them had eaten. Despite that though, as he walked by, Ryan looked at him and it looked like he was wondering what Brendon was doing in the lounge again. It did seem that he was waking up there a lot more often. The moment passed quickly, and it looked like Ryan had come to his conclusion. Brendon really wanted to know what it was.
Only a few minutes after going into the “kitchen”, Ryan came back out with cereal and coffee and sat down beside him on the couch. He took a bite and laid his head over on Brendon’s shoulder. A smile made its way to Brendon’s face and he leaned his own head into the brown hair covered one. It was nice; they were back to what they’d been doing before. He hadn’t realized before just how much he’d missed it and how it solved some of the loneliness.
When Ryan breathed in and moved just a little bit closer, a warm feeling shot up through Brendon’s stomach and he lost it somewhere in his throat. It was a strange reaction. Things like that happened a lot lately and he always thought it was just happiness and maybe satisfaction.
That warm feeling was much stronger than those other feelings though. It was confusing but not unpleasant. In fact, it was one of the best things he thought he’d ever felt. He tried not to react though, and he could only hope that Ryan hadn’t noticed anything. Brendon simply hugged Ryan lazily and the two of them sat like that while the tall boy ate his breakfast.
When the bowl and the mug were empty, neither of them moved and Ryan just let it sit on the cushion beside him. Both Jon and Spencer were still in the “kitchen”. Ryan settled himself and looked over at him. “Brendon is everything okay?” he asked. Brendon had been expecting the question eventually.
“Everything’s fine,” he answered, referring to that present moment when everything was, indeed, fine. “Why?”
“You’ve been spending a lot of time alone lately. I don’t really remember the last time I saw you all day long and could count on you to talk. Did something happen with your family or is something else going on? Talk to me, B.”
“As far as I know there’s nothing wrong with my family. The others are always busy and my parents still don’t talk to me. Last time I talked to Kara she didn’t say anything, except to tell me that I’m awesome and I deserve more than someone like Audrey,” he answered.
“Is it the fact that your parents aren’t talking to you maybe the thing?” Ryan asked.
Brendon shook his head. “I don’t really think about it very much. I know that they have to get over it eventually anyway.”
“You know, you were fine a few months after Audrey. Is it that again?” Brendon shook his head again.
“Ryan, can we not talk about it? I really don’t want to. I’d like to just sit here,” he looked up into the light brown eyes that were looking at him softly.
“Okay. Okay, Bren. Just, you can talk to me about anything, you know that right? If you ever have something you want to tell me just let me know.” Then Ryan sat up a little, put his arms around Brendon, and set his chin on his head, so Brendon was leaning on Ryan. Brendon nodded and closed his eyes. He’d missed sitting with Ryan like this, he’d missed being this close.
Ryan left the topic alone but he did sit with him all day. The both of them got up to get things to do and to eat, but for the most part they spent the day with each other. It seemed like Ryan was happy to be there with him too. Brendon could tell that Ryan had missed it just like he did.
The night came too soon, they didn’t have a show that night, they were just traveling to the next city. It was the first full day he’d spent out with everyone else in a few months and he was happy that he’d done it. For some reason, it had been easier. The thought of it was bearable and the actual act didn’t kill him either. There was no discomfort, no awkwardness, and Brendon felt like he was home again. All four of them even went back to the bunks at the same time, Ryan above Spencer on one side, Jon above Brendon on the other side.
Once again he was awake for no apparent reason. Brendon lay there for a minute or two and concentrated on what was going around him. It was into the second minute that he realized it had been his dream and his feelings about the dream. But, that didn’t make sense.
He got out of his bunk and went to go think in the lounge because that was where he always went. He couldn’t remember the dream very well but he knew that it had been interesting. Ryan and Keltie had been in it and the thought of it made him…what was it?
It wasn’t something that Brendon thought he’d felt before, or maybe he had, just not like he was feeling it now. He closed his eyes and tried to think, to pinpoint the exact emotion. A memory from his dream flashed through his mind and his eyes snapped open.
The feeling that woke him up, that was brought on by his dream of Ryan and Keltie, was jealousy. It was mixed with sadness and some other things, but it was mainly the sad form of jealousy, not the kind that got angry or came up with plans, the kind that hid in a bunk and didn’t come out.
Something about it didn’t make sense though. He’d never felt jealous of Ryan before, he would never be attracted to the person his best friend was in love with. Brendon stopped and thought a little bit. He thought about a whole day spent on a couch, and a warm comforting feeling that he’d had, his eyes widened. It wasn’t Ryan he was jealous of, it was Keltie.
Eyes still wide, he dug his phone out of his pocket and called his sister. He didn’t care what time it was, he knew that she would pick up the phone if it was him and that she wouldn’t be too annoyed. Brendon realized just how wonderful it was to have an awesome big sister that constantly swore to protect him.
“Brenny bear, I love you but I don’t know if I love you enough for two thirty in the morning,” her voice said over the line. He’d just woken her up, but she still answered.
“I need you Kara, I need advice or something because something’s going on and I don’t know what to do. I think I’m going crazy and I need you to tell me what I’m supposed to do,” he pleaded, just fully realizing how much he needed her.
She sighed and he could hear the sounds of shifting sheets and assumed she was getting up to go in the living room so Mark didn’t wake up. “Okay, what is it? Why do you think you might be going crazy?”
“I-I th-the I,” he stuttered. This was much harder than he thought and he could feel himself beginning to blush, suddenly embarrassed at the thought of what he was going to tell his older sister.
“Brendon, you’re fine. Calm down a little. I’m going to be cool with whatever you say and you know that.”
“Okay.” He took a deep breath and held it for a second before letting it out. When he opened his mouth to say it, his heartbeat sped up again but he ignored it this time. “I’m pretty sure that I’m in love with Ryan.”
“What? Brendon, what do you mean by ‘in love’?”
“I’m jealous of his girlfriend because she gets to have him and I’m more comfortable around him than almost anyone else, He’s the second easiest person I know, to talk to. I’m just drawn to him.”
“Are you gay?” she asked. There was no tone but a questioning one there and he knew just how much he loved his sister.
“No, I don’t think so. I don’t think I have to be either. But Kara, what should I do? I think that he’s getting serious with Keltie, they’ve been dating almost a year now. Why the fuck have I picked now to like him like that?”
“Are you sure that you do like him like that?”
“Of course I’m sure. Kara, you have no idea what’s been happening lately. Sitting with him like we always do gives me butterflies anymore. I can’t be around when Keltie is, and I woke up from a dream with them in it, feeling sad and jealous. Kar, I’m going crazy. You’ve got to help me.”
“You think it’s possible right? Like, maybe he could like me back or something?” Suddenly it dawned on him just how much he liked the brunette and how much he wanted something more to happen. He was going crazy.
“Brendon, he has a girlfriend.”
“I know that, but when I was dating Audrey he got really quiet around her and he warned me about her and whenever she was around he always seemed sad.”
“You’re sure you weren’t just misreading it?”
Brendon thought about it before answering. No, Ryan was better at hiding all of his other problems. The sadness was only ever visible for a few seconds when Ryan walked in the room and saw Brendon and Audrey there, then he just got really quiet and sat down. “I’m very sure.”
She sighed. “Brendon, be careful. And don’t break them up, especially if it’s for nothing. But by all means, look into it and see if your feelings go any deeper. You never know what it might bring. B, there’s someone meant for you. I have no idea who it is or if it’s a girl or a boy, or even if it’s Ryan Ross. That person is out there though.”
“How will I know when I find them?”
“When you meet someone special... you'll just know. Your heart will beat more rapidly and you smile for absolutely no reason at all.”
Brendon thought about that a little bit. “I love you, Kara.”
“I love you too Brendon. Keep the faith.”
Brendon shut his phone and fell back into the couch with a sigh. There it was, he was in love with his best friend. Maybe it wasn’t love, but it was definitely attraction. Looking out the window he thought more about it, picturing the two of them together and it actually working. It didn’t look too bad, and it didn’t seem so impossible. Love, it was going to be the death of him.
I know, I know. It's late again and I'm a horrible person. I had a ton of work to do yesterday including working on an English project due tomorrow (Took me three hours.) And to add to me being a bad person, I think that I'm only going to be able to manage one update this month (not this one) because semester tests and Algebra II and the musical that I got a part in. However, I might post a Christmas one shot if I can get it finished. YouTube > http://tinyurl.com/8o9llbb (I love these two and there's a lot more incredible music of theirs on both channels.) I hope you liked this chapter, it's one of my favorites.