The recording session begins on a rather interesting note.
He saw Pete talking to someone in the mixing room. He wasn’t positive who it was. As he walked in, he was shocked to find Ryan turning to face him. He smiled at him, glad he’d gotten there early. He noted that Brendon was sitting in front of his favorite keyboard in the studio. He was just fiddling around, not really playing anything. “So, what’s up first?” he asked Pete, pulling his attention from Brendon.
Before Pete could respond, they heard a loud expletive coming from the studio. They turned to look into the room at Brendon. He had his fingers over the keys and pressed them down, playing several chords before screaming again, standing and flipping his keyboard off onto the floor. “Fuck! I can’t fucking remember the chords!” He began kicking the keyboard while screaming over and over.
Ryan was through the door into the studio quickly, Spencer right behind him. Spencer saw another door open and Jon, Dallon and Zack were coming through looking just as confused. Ryan was first to Brendon, wrapping his arms around him and pulling him back. The keyboard was fairly wrecked. Ryan was beginning to have trouble, so Zack picked him and Brendon up.
Dallon was looking at the smashed keyboard. “Shit, he really tore the crap out of this.”
Brendon wiggled out of Ryan’s grasp and ran over to kick the keyboard again. “Fucking shit. No help at all.” He stomped out of the room and into the mixing room, screaming at the top of his lungs.
“What the hell caused this?”
Spencer jumped. He hadn’t seen Jon move that close to him. He was so focused on Brendon. “He yelled something about not remembering chords, but I’m not sure what he was trying to play.”
Ryan stepped out of the mixing room where he’d gone to talk to Brendon. “He says he can’t remember any of our songs, or his songs. Nothing.”
“Sometimes people who suffer losses like Bren did can have lapses like this,” Dallon said as he picked up the keyboard. “I think we can consider this keyboard dead.”
Spencer sighed. “This is not a good start.” He walked into the mixing room to where Brendon was sitting with his feet propped on the console, brooding. “Well, that was so twelve years ago.”
Brendon glared at him then spun the chair away from him. “Get out.”
“Brendon,” Spencer began then moved to lean against the console, standing closer to him. “Bren, we understand. Shit happens. Sometimes the shit is a lot worse than other times.”
“Fuck off, Spencer.” He crossed his arms defiantly over his chest.
Spencer rolled his eyes. This reminded him of when they were recording Fever. Ryan would get upset at Brendon for doing something to his lyrics or anything else stupid and his attitude would just leech onto Brendon and make him into a diva. He was acting like that diva again. “Did you try playing something else?”
“What?” The chair spun and he stopped right in front of him. His face was full of confusion.
“I don’t know? Did you play some Bach or something? Or something of Patrick’s?”
“I, uh…” He scratched his head. “No, I didn’t think to…”
He shook his head. “Right. Maybe you should. It could just be that your brain is freezing on your stuff. You know, memories and shit like that.”
“Huh,” he said contemplatively. “Maybe you have a point.”
And once again, Spencer was the voice of reason. Fuck, that only meant Ryan and Brendon were going to start calling him “Mom” like they did on the Nothing Rhymes with Circus tour. He wanted to groan and put his head in his hands at the thought, but Brendon was hugging him.
“You’re fucking brilliant, Spencer Smith.” He pulled away and grinned before skipping (yes skipping!) back into the studio. Spencer watched him stop and look around curiously, his shoulders slumped when Ryan said something to him so he just picked up a guitar and started playing. Immediately his mood seemed to improve. He could see Ryan smiling, too.
Jon poked his head in the room and smiled. “Whatever you said to him worked.”
“I just reminded him that he should have tried something other than our stuff.” He shrugged and moved over to the doorway. “I have a feeling he and Ryan will be calling me mom again before this is all over.”
Jon chuckled low and threw an arm around his shoulder. “That’s not such a bad thing,” he said as he guided him into the studio. “Now get your kit set up so we can actually play something.” He pushed Spencer towards his drums, smacking his ass as he did.
Spencer sat in one of the comfy chairs in the lobby of the studio, headphones in his ears, lightly tapping out rhythms on his legs. He’d queued up the songs they already knew people were going to sing. William had picked “Carry On” by Fun. Gabe Saporta was even going to participate and he’d chosen Fall Out Boy’s “Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet”. Not surprising was Hayley choosing one of their own songs, “Do You Know What I’m Seeing?”
He was completely engrossed in Andy’s rhythms when he felt someone take one of his earpieces out and leaned down to whisper in his ear. “You have to stop Brendon.”
He pressed pause on his iPod and looked up at Ryan as he removed the other headphone. “Why?”
“Because you’re the only one he listens to. You have to make him choose another song.”
Ryan looked serious. What song could possibly disturb him that much that he didn’t want Brendon to sing it? “What song did he choose?”
Ryan took his iPod and scrolled through the music until he found the track. Spencer huffed, wondering why he couldn’t just tell him, but when he put his headphones back on, he understood why. He didn’t even have to hear Gerard start to sing. The opening piano chords were enough. “Fuck.”
“Exactly,” Ryan said. “He can’t sing that… not in the state he’s in.”
He continued listening, Gerard’s rough voice beginning the opening refrain.
If you could get me a drink
Of water 'cause my lips are chapped and faded
Spencer sighed. The song was very personal, especially to Gerard. It would be somewhat personal to Brendon now, too. It was about death, death from a disease. “Cancer” was from the perspective of someone who had cancer and how they responded to it. He turned off the music and looked up at Ryan. “Okay, where is he?”
He followed Ryan back to the recording room. Brendon was sitting on the floor with his laptop open. Spencer went in and sat down beside him. “What’s up?”
Brendon looked up and smiled. “Oh hey, I’m glad you’re here. I’ve decided what I’m going to sing on the album. I just can’t decide if I should do it like it’s on the album or how Gee sings it live.”
“Yeah, about that... Are you sure this song is appropriate, Bren?”
His face fell to confusion. “Huh? Why?”
“You do know what the song is about, right? You know what the lyrics mean?”
He sighed and rolled his eyes. “Ryan came to you?” He continued when Spencer nodded. “Yes, I understand the song, but really, isn’t it beautiful? So emotional and heartfelt. Gerard put a lot into that song. Ray is sending me the piano part and I’m going to play and sing. End of discussion.”
“Don’t be upset with Ryan,” Spencer said finally. “He’s just worried about you. I guess he thought the song was a little too depressing for you to sing.” He shook his head.
Brendon placed his hand on Spencer’s shoulder and squeezed gently. “I guess it is a little unlike me, but I think maybe that’s what I need to do right now, be very much not me.”
That actually made a lot of sense. He nodded and smiled at him. “Ryan’ll get over it.”
That made Brendon grin. He stood up with his laptop. “Gotta go print this stuff.” He bounced off towards the office.
Spencer sighed deeply, lying back on the floor and closing his eyes. Ryan would get over it. He agreed it was a bit morbid for Brendon to record “Cancer”, but he honestly didn’t care. It was what Brendon wanted to sing, and he was certain it would sound brilliant.
He hadn’t even realized he had fallen asleep until he felt someone poking him in his side. He blinked the sleep from his eyes and tried to stifle a yawn as he looked around. Jon stood beside him, hands in his pockets. “How long have I been asleep?” he asked.
Jon shrugged. “I don’t know when you came in here. It’s after seven, though, if that helps. We were going to get some dinner.”
He groaned and rubbed his eyes. “Shit, nobody woke me up? They just left me lying here in the middle of the studio?”
“Looks that way.” Jon held a hand down to him. “You must have been pretty exhausted still.”
He accepted the offered hand and let Jon pull him to his feet. His body ached and he moaned in protest. “I guess so.” He stretched and his joints popped, making Jon give him a concerned look. “Gimme a break, I’m getting old.”
Jon grinned. “I’ll always be older than you, you know.”
“Yet always look younger.” He grinned back. “Yep, I’m the one robbing the cradle, not you.”
They laughed and it felt natural. Jon tugged on the hand he was still holding, pulling Spencer towards him. “We better go before Bren and Ry come looking for us.”
Spencer stepped closer and looked in Jon’s eyes. “Let them,” he said softly before leaning in to kiss him. It was gentle, a pressing of lips, until he felt Jon’s hands on his waist pulling him closer. There was a tongue, hot and wet, sliding across his bottom lip and he readily parted his lips to run his tongue along Jon’s. He put his arms around Jon and held on as they kissed.
They were interrupted by a very familiar deep sigh coming from the doorway. “Seriously? People have to perform in here. Now I’ll never be able to without seeing you two in a serious lip lock.”
Spencer flipped him off as he smiled at Jon, leaning his forehead against his. Jon was smiling back. He kinda liked this, finally getting to share his emotions with someone. And right now the emotion he wanted to share was pure happiness, something he hadn’t felt in so very long. They turned to look at Ryan after he started mumbling. “You’re going to have to get used to it, Ry,” Spencer said.
“Whatever,” he said with a huff as he turned to head towards the lobby where Brendon and Zack were waiting. They did catch a glimpse of a smile on his face.
“He loves it,” Jon said with a smile as he hugged Spencer. “But I do think we need to go. I’m kinda hungry.”
“Me, too,” Spencer agreed. He kissed Jon on the cheek. “I love you, Jon Walker.”
Jon chuckled. “I love you, too, Spencer Smith.”