He misjudged his own strength, like he has seen his father do a thousand times.
Good things never seem to last, Ryan has come to realize. After a solid few minutes of delicate, careful kisses Brendon had to go because his mom called him home. He needed to study. Ryan did too.
“What were your first finals?” William asks Ryan as they make there was outside the school. Both of them ran into each other and decided to just chat. Ryan has been feeling like he's on cloud nine for the past twelve hours, even a hard final couldn't bring him down.
Ryan smirks, “AP English, history, and government.”
William's eyes draw downwards towards the floor. His hair falls in front of his face while doing so. “Government was impossible.”
The test wasn't hard for Ryan, but he rather not sound smart for the sake of Will, “I know. I probably bombed it,” he lies.
He sees Greta making the way to her car and he calls out to her, “Greta!”
She turns back on her heels, grinning up at him. “What's new, boys?”
“Finals suck, but that's not necessarily news.” William says.
Greta pouts for him out of sympathy. “Aw, I'm sorry. I only had two today. English and weights.”
“Weights is bullshit,” Ryan comments grumpily.
William nods but Greta almost laughs, “Only because you can barely hold your backpack. See you,”
They all say there goodbyes, only to go home and study more.
After an hour of kind-of-studying, Brendon calls him. “Hey,” He says from the other end.
“Bored to death, we have our music final tomorrow.” Brendon sounds upset.
“Want to come over?”
“I was actually going to ask if you wanted to come over here, I feel like I'll end up living in your house considering how much I'm there.”
Ryan puts down his pen and looks down on the page, “Sure.”
Brendon's house feels a lot more home-y than Ryan's. It's full of pictures and crucifix’s in practically every room. Ryan saw it coming. “My dad's in the basement working on the flooring, and my mom's just working in her office. We should be left alone.” Brendon grins. Their body language is awkward, not knowing their limits quite yet. Ryan wants to be hesitant this time.
They discuss roman numeral notation, practicing it before they get it right. Brendon said his finals were fine, nothing compared to how grueling the ACTs were. He's smart and understands a lot of things better than Ryan, especially things in their music class. Ryan started taking the music classes with no understanding, but Brendon started already knowing how to play piano.
“I don't know what to do,” Brendon says. Ryan narrows his eyes.
“Don't ask me for help,” he grins.
“No, like, I kind of want to kiss you right now,”
Ryan laughs at him and he recoils, making him regret laughing. “You didn't have to ask,” Ryan crawls closer to Brendon on the bed. The younger boy is lying with his back against the head board, and Ryan places an arm on either side of him and Ryan hovers over him, carefully as if what's under him could break. He stares at Brendon's lips, heart pounding in his ears, which seems to be the new thing while they're kissing. Brendon's the one to eagerly close the space between them, pulling Ryan over to straddle him, because the position wasn't working to begin with. They've jokingly wrestled before, ending in a similar position, but this is different. A different purpose completely. Ryan kisses him slowly, like they could be here all night and Ryan wishes that was the scenario. Brendon just wants him to be closer, moving a hand to grab the straightened hair on the back of Ryan's neck. Their lips against each other isn't enough, Brendon running his tongue over Ryan's bottom lip. Ryan makes a noise at the back of this throat, quiet and almost undetectable, and opens his mouth to let him taste.
Part of it feels like they're just two stupid teenagers, but the moment they pull away from each other for a second and breathe each other's air, it feels like something they never saw happening. That they've wanted this. That they didn't realized that they've been waiting for this.
They press their foreheads together, and Ryan kisses the corner of Brendon's mouth and then his mouth, but instead of stopping there he goes to his neck, just sucking on the skin. He's careful, not wanting to mark him that his parents would notice. “God, Ryan,” Brendon mutters grabbing a bit of hair. He rocks his hips upwards to Ryan's both of them feeling too tight.
Ryan has no plan. He's not going to fuck him. It's not classy when whatever they're doing is still relatively new, and also, Brendon's parents are home. So.
Brendon sits up, bringing Ryan's weight with him. Ryan grabs Ryans sides, and Brendon takes in a sharp breath, like he's in pain.
“Are you alright?” Ryan stares at where his hands are, rubbing the fabric with his fingers, “I'm sorry if my grips a little harsh... I'm- I-” God, his roughness. He's turning into his father. His hands are trembling. He misjudged his own strength, like he has seen his father do a thousand times.
Brendon “I'm fine, hey,”
He sounds upset. Fuck. Ryan fucked up. He tried so hard to not be like him. “Ryan,”
“I'm gonna go home, okay? I'll see you tomorrow or something. You should study.”
Ryan rushed to get out of there. He felt terrible. Brendon didn't say anything, he knew it was true and oh god, he feels sick to his stomach.
But, seriously? He wasn't that hard on him, he's not a fucking vampire.
Ryan's going ten miles over the speed limit while he's driving home. He remembers being younger and his father accidentally breaking a part of a wheel because he turned too much. He remembers when a light push from his father felt like a shove, even when he was in a good mood.
It's dark now, Ryan almost forgot to turn on his headlights. His house is empty and nobody is there to make dinner, he decides to skip it. He just feels horrible.
Ryan studies, or tries to. His phone goes off, it being his friends making plans in a group text which he wishes he wasn't even apart of. Something about cliff diving and getting hammered. The stupid phone rings this time, it being Brendon. Ryan swallows.
“Hey,” he says, “look- I'm sorry I ran out and stuff. It's just-”
“It's not your fault, you should have let me explain.”
Ryan brushes a hand over his eye, “What?”
“I'm just sore,”
“From what? Finals? A bad mattress?” Ryan is honestly curious. He doesn't believe him.
“I'll have to explain to you in person, okay? I can't... do this. Though you can already guess.”
Ryan thinks. With all the information about roman numerals flooding his brain, he's spent. God, it's not like Brendon would hurt himself. Brendon's perfect, he's beautiful, and he's from a beautiful family. Maybe it's because of Alex? That asshole.
“I'm going to kill him,”
“It's Alex isn't it?”
“Ryan- listen-” Ryan hangs up. He will deal with this all some other time. He's overworked, and his eyes feel too heavy to even keep open. He'll plot his revenge after finals.
The morning is kinder to Ryan from getting over an eight hour sleep. It will forever be a mystery on how he slept so soundly.
Gabe is parked right next to him when Ryan gets out of the car. “Ry!” He beams, lightly bumping him with his shoulder. This guy is tall and lean like Ryan, but clearly Spanish or something. Ryan doesn't care. Brendon's not with him, he realized. Brendon took his dad's car.
“What's going on today?” Ryan asks.
“Finals couldn't go any slower. I have precalc, writing, and english.”
“I'm sorry, sounds pretty bad. I have precalc, music, and bio. Not in that order though.”
Gabe just groans, “Why do our lives suck?”
“I wouldn't be complaining, Gabe,” Alex joins in with them, and Ryan just glares.
Alex slips Ryan a cig, “You look like you could use one for later,”
Ryan just thanks him, keeping the stone-cold look on his face.
The school is buzzing with stressed out students and excited teachers. God, the teachers here could care less about the well being about their students. Ryan looks over his things in his notebook, AP bio making his head spin. He likes this teacher though, Mrs. Bennett, she's friendly and has terrible fashion sense. She's wearing a black pinstriped shirt with a yellow blazer, and black pants. Her heels are so sharp they could kill a man.
Ryan reflects on some of his fashion choices and just decides to drop it.
“Good to see you so early for class, Ryan. How are you?” She asks, her old voice curious and careing.
Ryan sits in his seat, “I'm good, thanks. How are you?”
“Fine,” She hums, “anything you need to go over?”
“No.” He replies simply. Rita walks in, who was named after a Beatles song (which is apparently a great conversation starter, as she claims). Ryan doesn't know if he likes Rita. Her light brown hair is down to to middle of her torso, hazel eyes catch with his for only a moment. She always has an expression on her face like she cares. What about? Ryan doesn't have a clue. If he has learned anything, it's best to look like you don't care.
“Rita, did you get me those scantrons?” Mrs. Bennett asks, grinning when Rita hands them to her.
She smiles, showing off her white teeth (which undoubtedly were done professionally, one day they were yellow- which was last week). Ryan gets distracted by her, a bit curious.
“Ryan, have you met Rita?” Mrs. Bennett asks.
“No,” He says. He really hasn't.
“I gotta make this next final, have a good day, Mrs. Bennett.” She smiles at her, but narrows her eyes at him as she walks off.
Did Ryan do something wrong? He isn't known as much of a jerk in school, at least compared to his friends. It just happens that Ryan has been with a lot of people, and hurt two. Big deal. Those girls are just fine.
He looks back at his notes, focusing on them until students hurry in to take the test.
The cigarette is still in his pocket on his last final of the day, music. Brendon is right next to him, silent during the test. He looks good regardless of not styling his hair, wearing a tight dark blue v-neck and jeans that grip his ass and thighs nicely. Ryan couldn't help but notice. Brendon's wearing a beaded bracelet today, Ryan has to remind himself to ask him about it later. Later, when he figures out about what Brendon's been hiding. He has to stop and just breathe for a moment when he remembers that.
The test itself is repetitive, somewhat difficult. It took most of the period and the teacher was flipping through a magazine of model trains. What a child.
The minute the bell rings a weight has been lifted off Ryan's chest. “Can we talk?”
“Want to go to lunch?” Ryan asks as they walk out of the classroom.
“I was thinking we could meet somewhere private- but like- not like that. I mean-”
“So, my house then. Just take your car and meet me there.”
They part ways to go to their lockers and cars, and Ryan almost has a panic attack in the car. Brendon gets to his house five minutes later.
They sit next to each other on the couch. It's awkward, silent, and Ryan's trying so hard not to just get on his hands and knees and beg Brendon to just drop all of this.
Instead Brendon stands up just lifts his shirt. That's all it took, and Ryan was awestruck. This was Brendon, with perfect porcelain skin and well rounded and just no.
Ryan could really use a smoke.
In front of him are several little red cuts, some faded scares, and some really deep cuts that look not too old, all on his stomach and sides.
Ryan stands, hovering his fingers over his cuts and old scars. “Why?”
“I just want to let you know I have them. I don't... it started freshman year... I wasn't the most attractive thing, and I was constantly reminded of it. So,” Brendon's voice gets rough and he was to clear it, “everything got worse when I came out, and there were a lot of bad jokes and I just wanted something to keep me from thinking about it.”
Ryan feels guilty for grabbing him there. He shouldn't, he didn't know.
Brendon's terrified of what Ryan thinks. Ryan Ross, who is tough as nails when it comes to self control.
Ryan doesn't no what to say other than, “I think of you any less.”
A weight gets lifted from Brendon. He was always scared of this.
They sit back down, and Brendon stares at Ryan, confused. “Wow,”
“I didn't expect you to be so... calm? I don't know.” Brendon blurts.
“I don't want you doing that to yourself.”
Here it is, here is what Brendon was expecting.
Ryan's trying. He is. “You're beautiful, okay? I don't... if any of this has to do with me or Al-”
“It doesn't, it's all in my head now.”
Ryan is almost tearing up, “Tell whoever is in your head to be a little nicer. I mean it,”
Brendon bites back, “Like I haven't tried.”
“I don't know if what we're doing... but, for me? Can you not?” Words are just falling out of Ryan's mouth. He's pleading, his hands in his lap and his head faced downwards.
“I'm sorry,” Brendon can only manage.
“You're...” Ryan can't believe his own mind when he says this, “you're all I've got to hold on to.”
Brendon could be flattered. He could. Instead he chokes out, “You're disappointed in me, aren't you! You think I'm just doing this because I feel like it sometimes!”
“I'm disappointed that you felt like, after all the shit I've opened up to you about, all the shit you've seen from me, that you wouldn't return the favor! I see those new cuts Brendon! You could have came to me. Tried to talk. Hell, just...” Ryan is fuming, “I just don't fucking know. This is so much for me.”
Brendon just stands again, “I was to busy trying to get you back on your feet! You kept getting broken and I didn't want to give you added stress! Nor was this something I planned on ever giving up. I guess this just happened cos we went to second base!? God, this is so stupid! Fuck this.” Brendon grabs his keys and storms out of the house. Ryan is left once again with no words.
This isn't fair. He wasn't supposed to actually fall for the guy. He wasn't supposed to care about him.
The image of the cuts still mock his mind, the new ones specifically. They could only be days old. A few days ago they went to walmart to buy air freshener for Ryan's car. A few days ago they went to the fresh market because Brendon's mom wanted fresh apples. Ryan dropped the bag of them on the way to the car, and he paid for new ones. Brendon laughed and Ryan was a bright shade of red, comparable to the apples. He grabbed his wrist and practically dragged him back to the fruit stand.
His head won't stop spinning. He tried so hard to make this work, and Ryan thought after all the shit they've been through that it was enough.
Ryan walks upstairs and goes to look at Economy notes for the rest of the night, hoping Brendon will want to talk tomorrow, the last day of school.
A/N I need reviews to keep posting chapters! I just feel like nobody is reading it :(