Ryan seems to have misunderstood the situation...
Pete and Brendon stopped in the doorway to the kitchen when they saw a rather deflated Ryan hunched over the breakfast bar smoking a cigarette. He looked up at them both and Pete knew straight away that the burden had been lifted from his shoulders. Ryan already knew. Brendon approached him first quickly realising it would be best to pretend he didn't understand his friend's dejected expression or his reasons for dragging hard on a Marlboro light.
"Dude what's up?" Brendon asked as he sat down beside Ryan.
"I think I broke up with Ana." He explained.
"Oh man." Brendon looked across to Pete as if he needed help in keeping up the charade.
"What happened?" Pete asked as he joined them at the bar. Ryan's eyes suddenly shot from the phone in front of him to Pete with a wicked sharpness to them. Pete found himself wanting to step back in case they bore a hole into his face. Ryan had never looked at him like that, Ryan had never looked at anyone like that. He dropped his eyes again and stubbed the cigarette out in the clean ashtray. "It seems I'm not fucked up enough for her." He said getting up from his seat and walking out the kitchen.
"Fuck." Pete mumbled under his breath as he watched him leave.
"I don't think she told him about the photos and shit." Brendon whispered.
"No I don't think she did." Pete shook his head as he wondered how exactly he could fix this for his friends.
Ana's mind was spinning and she was finding it hard to contain her thoughts inside it. She kept thinking she understood what had happened but then she would lose that moment of clarity and begin to feel herself slipping away again. She smiled when she felt Ryan's hand stroking her hair and she felt safe as his mouth found hers. There were so many reasons why Ana adored Ryan and as she kissed him she was trying to list them in her mind. She hadn't got that far down the list when she felt the desire to share these things with him.
"Ryan." She whispered feeling his hands on her but thinking he was never usually that impatient with her. "Ryan." She said his name again and a frown started to form on her brow when he pushed her hands out of the way and held them down. Ana concentrated hard to open her eyes they were so amazingly heavy she wasn't sure she would be able to but Ryan was scaring her. He felt heavier than usual and she didn't like the smell of whiskey on his breath. That was the one single thought that finally forced Ana's eyes open, Ryan didn't drink.
Ana looked up into bright blue eyes and felt her heart jump into her throat when she understood she wasn't entangled with Ryan at all. She struggled to get out of the situation but this guy was insistent she stayed where she was. She attempted to speak and her voice seemed to break under the strain of her struggle. He held her still and stared down into her eyes for a moment. Ana's heart was racing and her brain was working over time trying to think of the best way to behave in order to escape.
"What's wrong?" the guy asked her and Ana realised he had no intention of hurting her. His grip loosened when he noticed she was frightened. "Sorry." He said obviously thinking her struggle was all part of the fun. He sat up. "Are you ok?" he asked.
"Yeah." Ana lied feeling her heart beat calm slightly and trying to gain some control over her brain in order to think straight.
"So it's true then?" the boy smiled as he sat on the end of the bed looking back at Ana with the most shocking blue eyes she had ever seen.
"What's true?" Ana asked thinking how beautiful the contrast was between his eyes and his jet black hair.
"The whole Panic! At The Disco thing." He smiled again, he had perfect teeth.
"What do you know about them?" Ana asked him sharply.
"Some guy said you were dating one of them."
"I'm not." Ana replied wondering how she had got from the bathroom to this handsome boys bedroom. She had a vague memory of stairs and voices and faces, she had a vague memory of dancing but then nothing.
"Well you were giving it the whole 'aaaahhh Ryan' thing." He laughed and grabbed a bottle of whiskey from the floor beside the bed. Ana couldn't help but smile at his impression of her. He laughed handing her the bottle which she took gratefully.
She could sense the bizarre numb feeling was leaving her and her brain had a grip on reality again. The whiskey tasted unbelievably good and Ana took another mouthful before handing it back to the boy. He stared at her.
"Do you have a cigarette?" she asked him. He rummaged around on the floor for a while before throwing a pack in her lap. "Thanks." She smiled.
"I'm Ben by the way." He told her and they shook hands. "You're a great kisser." He then said. "Especially when you think you're on your back for a Panic! member." He laughed at her.
"You can fuck off!" Ana replied laying back down on the bed. "God I was fucked." She sighed.
"Very nearly." Ben dropped himself down beside her. "Did you take some of Sue's little yellow tablets when you got here?"
"Ketamine." Ben explained.
"Oh no wonder." Ana laughed. She looked across to Ben as she remembered her phone call with Ryan and as that sick sensation came back to her. "I did something really stupid tonight." She said to him.
"What did you do?" he asked.
"I broke up with someone I really like." She said flicking ash into the empty beer bottle next to the bed.
"Why?" Ben asked her reaching over and taking the cigarette from her. He inhaled deeply on it and handed it back. "What did he do?"
"So why did you break it off with him?" Ben had the softest features and completely flawless skin, Ana couldn't help but stare at him.
"He deserves better than me." Ana admitted. Ben shrugged his shoulders at her.
"I doubt that." He smiled.
"I feel sick to my stomach." She told him not entirely sure why she felt she could tell him.
"Do you wanna take some more pills and make out?" he asked her. "Forget about him for a while." Ana laughed but then she turned to Ben and saw he was serious.
Pete handed Brendon the coffee and sat himself down at the kitchen table. He was flicking through the morning newspaper when Ryan walked in looking like absolute crap. Brendon had noticed too because he was staring at his friend as if he didn't quite recognise him. They both watched Ryan as he ignored them and calmly opened the fridge, pouring some orange juice and sitting down to light a cigarette.
"Morning." Brendon asked rather than said. "Didn't sleep then?" he added.
"Hmmm." Was Ryan's response.
"Listen man." Pete began but Ryan suddenly shot him a glare similar to the one he had the previous day and Pete recoiled from it.
"Don't even speak to me!" Ryan scowled.
"Dude." Brendon said surprised by Ryan's hostility. "Come on man."
"I don't want to argue with you!" Ryan warned Pete. "So just don't speak to me."
"Ryan man it isn't his fault?" Brendon said feeling Ryan's reaction was slightly dramatic but still aware that he had lost a girl he really liked over it.
"Isn't his fault?" Ryan almost screamed making them both jump, it was out of character for Ryan to become so aggressive.
Pete got up from the table and very carefully approached Ryan. He wanted to explain to him that if he had have realised how close they were he would never have suggested she stopped seeing him and he wanted him to know how bad he felt about it.
"Let me explain..."
"Pete don't!" Ryan shouted.
"Don't what?" Pete shouted back irritated that Ryan wasn't willing to listen. Ryan stood from his chair concerning Brendon with his stance. "I'm not the enemy man." Pete suggested.
"I know what you've done." Ryan spat at him. Brendon skipped over to stand between them quickly before there was any pushing or shoving.
"Listen Ryan I should have told you straight away ok? I know that now." Ryan's eyes were so wide in surprise at what he was hearing that Pete started to wonder if they were having the same conversation. "I just figured if I could get away with not having to tell you."
"Are you fucking serious?" Ryan reached to grab Pete, Brendon held him back, both of them so shocked by his reaction. "You fucking arsehole!" Ryan shouted struggling with Brendon. Pete looked horrified as he stepped back from Ryan.
"You're supposed to be my friend!" Ryan added pushing Brendon's hands away from him.
"I am your friend." Pete insisted feeling quite disturbed by Ryan's reaction.
"Ryan man Pete was in a difficult situation." Brendon suggested trying to make Ryan see his behaviour was a little excessive. Again Ryan's mouth fell open in surprise. He could not believe the way the two of them were behaving.
"Difficult situation?" he repeated. "He should never have touched her!" he shouted. Everyone exchanged frowns and it fell silent. Ryan was the first to notice the confusion and it slowly sunk in that they were not discussing the same thing.
"Touch who Ryan?" Pete asked.
"Ana." Ryan replied weakly. "I thought you and Ana." He added.
"No one's touched Ana." Pete replied with a laugh, grateful this had been a misunderstanding.
"Fucking hell!" Brendon said sitting himself down. "I thought you'd gone fucking mad then." he sighed with relief that Ryan's behaviour finally made some sense.
"I don't understand..." Ryan felt like an idiot. "I mean I..." he didn't know how to explain the conclusion he had come to.
"Oh man." Pete was so relieved he stepped up to Ryan immediately. "Man I would never..." he put his arms around his friend and squeezed him. "Dude." He added aware of how confused Ryan must have felt. "Nothing like that has ever happened with me and Ana." He assured him knowing it was time to explain everything to his friend.
Ryan found it impossible to feel angry with Ana when he understood what had happened. He knew her well enough to know this wasn't what she wanted, this was her paranoia. He was almost positive she had done this because of he own insecurities and not because she didn't want to be with him. He heard his phone beep reminding him it was low on battery as he sat alone in his room and he wondered. Should he call her? Would she be honest with him if he told her he knew everything? Was it possible he would be rejected again? He picked up his phone and selected her number and sat staring at it on the screen. He didn't want to be made a fool of but he didn't feel like she could possibly have meant it, surely she was just confused about what had happened. His finger pressed 'ok' and it dialled her number for him. It rang and it rang and just as Ryan was about to give up it answered.
"Yup." It was a guy's voice and Ryan immediately felt sick. "Who is it?" the voice asked him.
"Who's this?" Ryan found himself asking back.
"Ok then." the voice laughed lazily. "It's going to be like that is it?"
"Is Ana there?" Ryan asked.
"She's sleeping." He replied and Ryan hung up. He wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. Part of him felt like screaming 'I fucking told you so' to himself and part of him felt like crying like a baby for being such a mug. Maybe it was time to face facts, Ana would only ever hurt him one way or another. This girl could never be good for him he told himself angrily. Then why did it hurt so badly to think of carrying on without her?