"Dude...what were you doing up there that caused you to go ass over elbows?" Brendon asked as soon as Ryan had sat himself down.
"...of course..." Ryan groaned to himself and dropped his head onto the table in embarassment as the rest of the table errupted in laughter.
"Ignore them Ry, it didn't look THAT bad. Brendon's just fucking around 'cause he was halfway up the stairs and was specifically looking for you when you fell. No one really saw." Britney reassured him as she smacked Brendon on the arm.
"Yea Ryan. It really didn't look...too terrible." Amy, Jon's girlfriend, quickly added with a too big smile.
'that means everyone in this damn place saw it,' Ryan thought dejectedly while taking a swig of the water he had left at the table earlier, 'except for Pete. He was too wrapped up, litterally, in Ashlee Simpson of all freaking people.'
"Ryan man, seriously it really wasn't as horrible as your thinking it was. Besides, everyone here is too wasted to care. You missed Tyson passing out in Kim's lap while you were upstairs. You tripping over some drunk who walked into you, not really all that high on the embarassing occurances scale tonight." Jon added thoughtfully over a glass of Johnny Walker, of course.
"Tyson passed out?" Ryan laughed through his question.
"oh yea, cold. Puffy was giving him glasses of blue label during the show. So like I said, your..umm..trip..not so bad. Now enjoy the rest of the party." Jon added with a smirk.
The next two hours went on without any more incidents, Ryan pretty much kept himself sequestered at the table and threw himself into conversations as they popped up with people he knew, people who came over to congratulate the band, and people who were just so drunk that they were talking to everyone. The party at the 40/40 club eventually started breaking up at around 2 a.m. and people began heading to other clubs, bars, or hotels.
The seven young adults piled into Ryan and Brenon's room that night around 2:30; with Jon, Amy, Spencer, and Katie immediatly heading through the connecting door to their own room. Britney quickly changed and followed them. Brendon took a deep breath stared at Ryan, who was going through his suitcase looking for something resembling pajamas.
"ok spill." Brendon began as he gave up the staring tactic and just started changing for bed.
"spill what? There is nothing to spill." Ryan turned around and all but yelled.
"see...I think your lying. If there was nothing to spill you wouldn't have spent last night, today and tonight walking around like a zombie. And you wouldn't have been about one octave away from biting my head off."
"Brendon, seriously. Your right, ok. I'm tired and I'm stressed. That's whats wrong. I'm gonna go take a bath and relax while you guys go continue the party in there. Then I'm going to put some stuff on to sleep in. Then, imagine this, I'm going to go to sleep. Tomorrow when I wake up I'm sure I'll be in a better mood...wait..don't interrupt me..if I'm not in a better mood tomorrow you can psychoanalyze me until your tounge falls out of your mouth. ok? happy. good. If you need me I'll be soaking in a king sized jacuzzi bath." Ryan rambled out and hurried accross the room, into the bathroom, and closed the door before Brendon could get another word out.
"Your such a GIRL sometimes!" Brendon yelled after him. With that said Ryan quickly opened the door and stuck his head out to reply,
"AM NOT! Its a BIG tub. Your just jealous I got the idea first." before quickly slamming the door and locking it.
In the bathroom Ryan placed his clean pajama pants on the toilet seat, and went about setting up the bathroom to get the most out of his bath. He went through the oils, candles, and bath products that the hotel provided and found Sandlewood and Vanilla. The packaging said they were designed to be calming and stress-relieving.
"and bonus, they don't smell like a chick." Ryan said outloud to himself and he poured the oils into a the little tin dish thing that was standing over a candle on the counter and lighting the candle. He also turned on the small cd player to play a random mixed cd he had floating around with him.
'if I'm going to do this. I'm going to do it right.' Ryan chuckled to himself. 'Brendon's wrong, I'm not girlie. I'm just not stupid enough to pass up the idea of a long soak in a tub that's big enough for four people.' With that thought Ryan sat down on the side of the tub and turned on the water and adjusted the temperature until it was almost painfully hot. Finally picking up the box of bath salts that were designed to not smell like anything but instead sooth physical aches and pains, he looked all over the package for directions and couldn't find any.
'maybe girls are just pre-programed to know how to use this shit?' Ryan asked himself. 'I could always ask one of the girls....but no, that'll just lead to teasing and mocking by Jon and Brendon. Spencer would know better then to open his mouth. I KNOW he uses this stuff. I've seen it at his house. and they're definitly not his mom's. He is such a little bitch sometimes. Oh well, here goes nothing its not like it's bubbles or anything.'
With a confused shrug at that final though Ryan proceeded to dump half the contents of the package into the water and stared in shock wondering if the water was supposed to turn bright emerald green, or if just maybe he had possibly used too much.
"I just hope this won't cause anything...important...to umm fall off." He muttered to himself as he began stripping and tossing his clothes into all corners of the bathroom. Once completely naked he reached down and turned off the water as it had reached the proper levels and stood there staring nervously at the water. Glancing down once as though paying his last respects to...himself...he glanced at the water again, took a deep breath, and rolled his eyes at his own ridiculous thoughts before getting into the tub.
"ooooo......." Ryan moaned softly "....yep. Brendon had to be just jealous. This is nice."
Closing his eyes and just laying there in the warm water, smelling the soft scents, Ryan began to subconsciously drift off. His mind started sorting through things and for once he decided not to stop it. He started picturing his whole journey from the beginning, getting that random instant message from Pete about the band, meeting Pete, playing for Pete, getting signed by Pete, recording the album, going on tour with Fall Out Boy, exploding onto the radio airwaves, winning the award tonight and constantly--it seemed no matter what--there was Pete. Always Pete. Their biggest fan and supporter from the beginning.
Ryan heard the cd player switch over to the next track and the familiar piano melody of Colorblind, one of his favorite songs, played on. Smiling lightly he lost himself in Adam Duritz's voice, closing his eyes Ryan let go. He let himself finally accept what had been plauging him for the past few weeks. He let himself accept something he had known for awhile and just wouldn't admit. He apparently wasn't as straight as he had vehemently insisted to himself time and again. He let himself accept that he had started to care for Pete as much more then a friend, and with that had fallen into lust with him. Ryan Ross had fallen into lust, maybe a little bit more with Peter Wentz.
'I'm not in love,' Ryan thought to himself logically 'not yet at least. And considering Pete is probably the most questioned but unfailingly heterosexual person on the face of the earth I doubt I'll ever get the chance. But at least this way I can be honest with myself, it might hurt like hell, but at least I know.'
Ryan continued his pattern of examining ceilings, this time from the tub, and softly smiled to himself before stating quite clearly, "I am ready. I am fine." right along with Adam to the last line of the song. Closing his eyes Ryan let himself drift off with the music, the warmth of the water, and the thoughts of Pete he had finally accepted playing through his mind.