Pete starts to crack and Ryan needs Ana's help.
Pete was cursing at the car in front as if the people in it had overtly offended his entire family and Ana felt a tiny bit too scared to suggest he should calm down. She watched him thump his hands back down onto the steering wheel before he changed gear and over took them. He was mumbling under his breath and Ana waited until a few miles had passed before she asked him what was wrong.
"Wrong?" He repeated her words. "Nothing." He smiled at her as if she was odd to have asked him. "I'm fine." He added.
"You just seem tense again." Ana told him.
"Again?" he frowned at her. "You're the tense one with your ex boyfriends and fucking love triangles!"
"There's no love triangle." Ana replied watching the scenery shoot past her window. "Slow down." She added as an after thought.
"So what do you call you, Ryan and Brendon then?" Pete raised his eyebrows at her like he knew better than her and it annoyed Ana.
"I call them friends."
"Yeah right." Pete was almost eager to argue it with her. He felt the need to argue something with someone. He wasn't naturally angry but his life was starting to slip out of his control and it was scaring him.
"Don't fucking start taking it out on me!" Ana replied folding her arms across her chest as she felt the tension increase.
"Do you know what a child you are sometimes?" Pete retorted.
"Me?" Ana turned to look at him. He had a smug expression on his face and it only irritated her even more. "You're the one sulking." She looked away again and out of the car window.
She would rather he told her what was wrong than take it out on her this way. It wasn't fair to do that but she knew Pete had never found it easy to talk about his feelings. It was like getting blood from a stone to get him to talk sometimes. They were silent for a few more miles before he spoke again.
"Don't do too much flirting with Brendon this weekend, it's unkind." Ana was starting to realise she would have to argue with him at some point that day. He obviously wasn't going to let it go. They were on their way to spend a weekend at a place the Panic boys had rented out. It was like a retreat for them, taking some time out and writing some music together. Initially she had declined the invite but Brendon had really wanted her to join them and when Pete said he was going just for the weekend, she agreed. Ana tried to convince herself she wasn't going to see Ryan, that she wasn't going to make some desperate attempt to get him back but she knew deep down she would if the opportunity arose.
Pete was at a loss for how to even begin to express how he was feeling at that time. It didn't make sense to him so how he could make someone else understand was beyond him. He sat at the table rolling himself a reefer and watching his friends interact happily with one another. The Panic boys seemed much more relaxed than they had the previous week and even Ana appeared to fit in to their family mode. He was so fond of them all and yet he felt so detached from them at that moment. He caught Ryan's eye across the room and quickly looked away knowing if anyone would see into him it would be Ryan. Ryan had the ability, just as Pete usually did, to sense when someone was lost. He ran his tongue the length of the reefer and carefully sealed it, ready to smoke.
Ana was teasing Jon for what he had said in an interview earlier that week. She laughed as he covered his face in embarrassment. Jon threw himself down on the sofa in surrender to the fact that his comments had sounded ridiculous.
"Do you remember that interview we did in Texas? The one with that weird French lady?" Ryan joined in with a smile on his face as he thought back.
"Oh my God!" Ana laughed. "I saw that on You Tube!" she spun in her seat to look to Pete. "Pete you remember showing me that?"
"What?" Pete frowned as he lit the reefer.
"That was so funny, Brendon you just sat there staring at her like she was speaking another language." Ana continued ignoring Pete's confusion.
"She was!" Brendon replied with a smile on his lips.
"It was when she asked him what cities he had been to." Ryan said.
"I know!" Ana's face lit up with amusement at the thought of it. "What's shitty?" Ana mocked Brendon by trying to imitate his voice. Ryan laughed hard at her impression and when their eyes met Ana thought she could see some affection, she hoped she could. Ryan seemed more relaxed around her than he had back at the hotel and Ana could only presume that was because Helen wasn't around.
"That's what happens when you're over worked and..." Brendon stopped before he finished the sentence.
"If you even dare say underpaid I will slap you!" Ana raised her hand threatening him.
"Ok not underpaid." Brendon grinned at her across the room. Ryan felt the jealousy bubble again in his stomach as he watched them exchanging smiles.
Some noises from downstairs stirred Ana from her sleep later that night. She sat up in bed trying to make sense of what she could hear, rubbing her eyes and yawning. She wondered if she had been dreaming and maybe the muffled voices hadn't been downstairs at all. Just as she was about to lay back down there was a soft knock on her door which made her jump.
"Who is it?" she whispered into the dark room. A shard of light spread across the carpet as the door was slowly pushed open.
"It's me." Ryan whispered back, he looked worried. "Can you come downstairs? Pete's freaking out and I don't know what to do." Ana was shocked and she pushed the covers back on the bed. "I'm sorry to wake you I thought you'd be better at stopping him." Ryan told her as he watched her grab a sweatshirt on her way out of the room.
"Stopping him do what?" Ana asked nervously.
"Taking the car out." Ryan replied. They crept downstairs together in the dark and as they entered the kitchen Pete turned to face them both. He looked angry and his eyes had this odd expression Ana was sure she had never seen from Pete before.
"What's up Pete?" Ana asked as she approached him.
"For fucks sake!" he shouted. "I'm not a fucking head case you don't need to call for back up!" he glared at Ryan.
"In your opinion." Ryan replied standing close to Ana.
"What's wrong?" Ana asked him reaching out to touch his arm. Pete angrily pulled back from her.
"Just give me the fucking car keys!" he shouted at Ryan.
"You are not taking the car anywhere." Ana said sternly as she watched Pete searching cupboards, drawers and anywhere he could think of for the keys. "Pete you shouldn't drive when you're in a mood like this."
"If you don't give me the fucking car keys!" Pete lurched toward Ana making Ryan step forward to protect her.
"Pete." Ryan spoke softly as he watched his friend unable to believe Pete was having to hold himself back from some kind of physical assault. "Have you been drinking?" he then asked him.
"No." Pete replied. Ryan stared at him a moment before he pulled the keys from his pocket and handed them to him.
"Thank you." Pete said calmly and left them standing in the kitchen, Ryan upset because he didn't understand what had happened and Ana confused as to why Ryan gave in.
Ana turned to face Ryan and with a frown etched into her forehead she raised her hands gesturing for an explanation. Ryan just shrugged his shoulders at her and although she wanted to give him a piece of her mind for letting Pete take the car she could see how upset he was.
"He'll be ok." She reassured him and ran her hand gently down his arm.
"I thought he was going to hit you for a minute." Ryan said looking into her shining eyes, feeling that spell begin to wrap around him. "What's going on with him?"
"I don't know he's been weird for a while now." Ana replied still a sympathetic smile on her face and her hand resting gently on Ryan's arm. "Don't worry he'll just drive to a casino and lose a shit load of cash then come back." She laughed a little.
"I hope that's all he does." Ryan sighed. "I shouldn't have woken you." He added.
"You should have, I'm glad you did."
Ana wanted to hug him, she wanted to get close to him and breath him in and feel his warmth around her. Ryan was trying to stop himself from staring longingly into her eyes but she was so close to him and he felt how much she wanted him.
"Should I go back to bed?" Ana asked Ryan as she broke their eye contact to look down to her feet. Ryan reached out to touch her and gently rubbed his thumb across her cheek as he held her face in his hand.
"Do you want to?" he asked in a slight whisper. Their eyes locked again and Ana's mouth opened to speak but she wasn't sure what to say. "I miss you so much." Ryan then said, he had done it, he had taken the risk that Ana had been too scared to take. She stared back at him amazed that he'd said that.
"You said it didn't change anything." She told him.
"I lied Ana." Ryan admitted and watched her lips closely as she smiled at him. He loved that smile, he loved how it made him feel when it was for him. Ryan leant forward and pressed his lips onto hers. Ana felt a giddy sensation in her stomach and closed her eyes as he kissed her softly.
Ryan wasn't sure if he was making a mistake but he really couldn't have helped himself. Whether it was love or lust or just wanting something he couldn't have, he had to have her back. He felt her spell completely consume him as he kissed her soft lips and held her body close to him. He loved the way she tasted and the familiarity of that made him feel so happy. He loved that she melted in his hands and suddenly took on this softness that she didn't appear to normally posses. He felt her hands sliding up the back of his neck and into his hair and he wanted her, completely. He pulled his mouth from hers and looked down at her a moment, her flushed cheeks and her pink lips made her look younger than usual.
"Come on." He took her hand and started to walk from the kitchen surprised when he felt her resist. "What's wrong?" he turned to face her.
"Have you forgotten your girlfriend?" Ana asked him. Ryan thought about that for a moment.
"I had yeah." He replied honestly.
"Not until you're single." Ana suggested and he raised his eyebrows at her.
"You're serious?" Ryan then said. She nodded. "Not until you are too then." He replied wishing the words hadn't escaped his mouth when he saw the expression of irritation on her face. "I know you've been seeing Brendon." Ryan told her.
"Then you know nothing." Ana was pissed off at him for always presuming she was so easy with her affections, always presuming she would be willing to give herself to anyone. "What do you honestly think of me?"
"What do you mean?" Ryan seemed a little lost as he watched her walk away. "Wait!" he called but she didn't stop, she continued up the stairs into the darkness and finally he heard her bedroom door close. Ryan took a deep breath as he considered that maybe she was the most annoying person he had ever met at the same time as being the most beautiful.