Ryan is far from impressed with Ana's bad habits...
Ana slid her way through the crowded corridor with her drink held high in the air and her childish smile out to play. Pete watched her deliberately bump into Brendon then throw him a sarcastic apology before continuing past him. He smiled to himself seeing Brendon pull at face behind her back. She finally reached Pete in the doorway and swept her long fringe out of her face as though the journey from the bar to Pete had been the most dramatic of her life.
"How many is that?" Pete asked as he watched her drinking her vodka.
"I don't know." She replied her eyes darting around as she tried to keep track of everyone.
"Well try and wait a couple of weeks at least before you completely lose the plot wont you?" he said leaving her standing there alone. Ana looked down at her drink. She wasn't an idiot she knew there weren't any solutions at the bottom of the glass but sometimes she found it too difficult to be herself. It was easier to someone else. Brendon approached her carefully wanting to pass her and join his band mates in the dressing room.
"It's no wonder you're single if you walk around looking like that." Ana told him leaning her arm across the doorway so he couldn't pass.
"You really are weird." Brendon told her.
"Thank you." Ana smiled at him.
"So how do you suggest I look then?" Brendon gave in knowing he would have to engage in some conversation with her before she let him go. Ana thought about that and drained her glass before she told him.
"Well you should untuck the shirt when you wear a jumper like that." She tugged at his shirt pulling it from his trousers and fussing with it. "There see now you have a more geek chic look." She explained.
"Geek chic? Brendon repeated.
"Yes." She said simply. Brendon looked at her and was surprised when she gave him a smile he hadn't seen before. It wasn't cheeky, it wasn't arrogant or even confident and he couldn't put his finger on it. She dropped her arm from the doorway and as he moved past her he realised exactly what that smile had been; it was friendly. He turned to invite her in, to see if he could help prize that smile out one more time but she had already wandered off.
The shows went well and after waiting for the car park to clear of the few fans that had hung around the guys were starting to think of where they could go next.
"Ok then guys, who's up for a club?" Patrick called as he made his way towards the front of the bus.
"I am." Ana stood up. "Just give me two minutes." She started fussing in her handbag. Ryan watched her as Pete and Patrick joked with Brendon about his choice of outfit for the occasion. Ana was trying to find her coke, she knew she had put it in her bag earlier. She could feel that heavy feeling in her stomach and she knew she wouldn't make it to a club unless she had a little help. She found her help, a small bag of cocaine which she opened carefully. "Do you have a dollar bill Ryan?" she asked.
"No." Ryan replied looking away from her. Ana stared at him a moment sensing some kind of aggression in him wondering why he was so tense.
"DOLLAR BILL!" she screamed. Pete dug into his pocket and handed her one without really looking at her, more intent on teasing Brendon.
"Thank you." She tipped a little of the powder onto the table and with her driving licence she began to sort it into a neat line.
"You coming Ryan?" Pete asked noticing Ryan's eyes on Ana as she positioned the dollar bill to her nose. "Dude?"
"Yeah." Ryan replied moving some of his hair from his eyes as he stood up.
He felt Ana's hand land on his shoulder minutes later and although he knew he would offend her by recoiling from her he couldn't help it. They were walking close to one another and he could see in her eyes that he had hurt her feelings. He watched her skip ahead to slip her arm through Brendon's giggling when he told her she was the strangest thing he had ever met. Ana knew exactly what things Ryan didn't like about her and if she was honest with herself she was happy he didn't like those things. She wasn't listening to Brendon or Pete when they got to the club; she was staring across the table at Ryan instead. She loved his pretty features, the shape of his face and the way he swept his hair across to one side but it was the almost haunting look in his eyes that she felt she recognised and that's what drew her to him.
"Please stop!" Ryan suddenly said making the others turn to look at him as his eyes locked with Ana's across the table. "Just stop staring." He said it as though it had been tormenting him for years, as though he couldn't take it anymore.
"Dance with me then." Ana replied. The others watched patiently waiting to see what he would do. Pete smiled to himself when he saw Ryan move closer to the edge of his seat.
"I don't want to dance." He then said disappointing everyone including Ana. He saw her drop her eyes and he knew he had to stop hurting her feelings. "I'm no good at dancing." He added trying to make it sound less of a knock back.
"I'm sure you're not." Ana said in a cold tone. "Well." She smiled as she stood. "There's plenty of people here that can dance." And she was gone into the crowd on the dance floor.
Ana felt dizzy as the guy she was dancing with swung her around on the dance floor. She felt a rush from the chemicals in her blood stream, a rush through her body which ended as a hot patch at the back of her neck and she suddenly felt uncomfortable.
"You ok?" the guy leant towards her and she found herself leaning back away from his face. She was starting to feel more than uncomfortable, more like anxious, more like a little scared. The sensation that was tingling all over her body wasn't one she liked anymore. "Hey are you ok?" the guy asked her again.
"I don't know...I don't feel good." She said realising that her body wanted to shut down now, it wasn't interested in dancing, it didn't want to be using any energy, it wanted to stop. "Fuck." She felt her legs buckle slightly beneath her but her dancing partner managed to support her.
"Let's sit you down." He said above the music as he led her over to the seats in the corner of the club. Ana was taking deep breaths, trying to gain some composure as she was sat down carefully. "Ok?" the guy asked her.
"Yeah thanks." Ana could feel the sensation starting to slip away, she could sense she was in control of herself again and that anxious feeling began to subside. "Shit sorry about that." She smiled.
"Not a problem." The guy smiled back and Ana noticed how he stared, how his eyes lingered on her. She had danced with him but she had no intention of doing anything else with him so as soon as she spotted Ryan she got up to leave.
"Where you going?" the guy said grabbing her wrist.
"Ryan!" Ana called over to him, he turned to see her unclear as to why some guy was hanging onto her like she was a novelty balloon. He walked over to them both.
"Hey." He said unsure of how to react to the annoyance on Ana's face.
"Can you tell this guy to let go of me please?" She whined trying to shake him off.
"Um..." Ryan looked at the guy. "Dude?" he asked. "Do you want to let her go?"
"She needs to learn." The guy said finally letting go of Ana's wrist.
"Ok." Ryan replied as he felt Ana standing close to him wanting his protection.
"She's a fucking tease." The guy moaned. "How are you supposed to know the difference?" he added making Ryan frown.
"He's off his head." Ana shouted angrily. Ryan was sure she was right, the guy's pupils were massive and he didn't seem to be making a lot of sense.
"Right yeah." Ryan said. "Anyway, have a good night." He turned to Ana.
"Arsehole!" she shouted.
"Shut up!" Ryan mumbled pushing her away from the table. "Don't get me beaten up." He moaned as they made their way out of the club.
It was cold outside and Ana shivered as they walked back towards the venue and the buses. Ryan didn't mind leaving he wasn't having fun there and in a strange way he felt it was the excuse he needed to try and make some conversation with Ana. He looked at her as she walked briskly beside him, her arms folded across her chest and a frown etched into her forehead.
"Are you ok?" he asked her. Ana wanted to say no and she wanted to start moaning about how everyone always seemed to take advantage of her, how she felt hard done by and how she wished her life was different somehow.
"Yes." She lied. Ryan was thinking hard of how he could compliment her, to make up for being mean to her but not give her the wrong impression.
"That guy was an arse." He said.
"Yeah." She replied her eyes fixed ahead.
"I guess you get that a lot." He suggested and she turned to look at him.
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" she asked him.
"I mean because you're pretty." Ryan said quickly wishing he had thought of another way to attempt a compliment.
"Do you think that's what happens to me?" she asked him. "Do you think I just get wasted all the time and hit on by idiots like him and that's my life?"
"Well of course not." Ryan replied.
He watched her expression and he wondered why she was so angry and so touchy. She had this way about her that gave the impression she didn't care about anything and yet it was obvious to him she cared too much.
"You probably think I'm some poor little trailer trash tart that somehow fucked her way onto Fall Out Boy's tour bus don't you?"
"God no!" Ryan replied and Ana could see he genuinely didn't think that of her. "Why would you say that?" he seemed shocked by her. "Do you think that?" he asked.
"To say something like that about yourself." He told her. "God you don't think that's what people see when they look at you do you?"
"No." she almost shouted back at him.
"You're so angry." Ryan told her.
"God." She moaned at him. "You're so naÃ¯ve." Ryan stopped in his tracks and looked at Ana. She suddenly felt a little bad for what she had just said, not because she knew any different of him but because of his reaction.
"You don't know anything about me." He said to her in his calmest voice. "And the truth is I don't know anything about you either."
"No you don't."
"We should stop making claims to know one another then." Ryan suggested. Ana agreed as she stared up into his eyes. "Good." Ryan finalised that agreement and they carried on walking.