“Morning,” Brendon greeted, “’you sleep okay?”
“Yeah- Well better than I thought I would anyway.”
Brendon concernedly examined Ryan’s bandages, a frown of worry clouding his face; his fingers lingered on the lashes caused by Ryan’s alcoholic father. “I’m okay Bren.” Ryan managed a weak smile. “He’s done worse.” He struggled to pull himself off of his friend.
“About that Ry- you’re not going back there. Nobody should have to do that every day and I’m damn sure not going to just let your dad keep hurting you like that!” Brendon’s voice was firm and decided. “You can come stay with me; we just have to explain things to my parents.”
Ryan seemed to think about arguing but instead meekly whispered, “I love you Bren.”
Brendon swallowed the lump in his throat, attempting to try to comprehend what was just said one more time. A thick air clung inside the mobile entrapment as the two boys stared into each other eyes. Without even realizing what their bodies were doing, the two found their foreheads pushed against each other, hair brushing the other, noses rubbing gently. Steadily, Brendon’s lips traveled down on to the Ryan’s, trailing the skin lightly on the way down. Mouths fondled each other as Brendon brought his arm over to Ryan’s other side, deepening the kiss. It was like a pillow fight, fluffy, firm contact. Much different from the hard peck Ryan was used to. Suddenly, a gush of pain shot throughout his body, electrifying memories engulfing his being. He winced in pain as he muttered a grunt, using his slender hands to push back Brendon’s chest.
"You're coming over tonight, right?" A note. "Mmm...It’s a surprise." A smirk. "C'mon Ry, you know I love you." A lie.
His head throbbed with memories, pain like venom laced throughout every one.
"Ryan?" Brendon's face was clouded with concern, "Are you okay?" His friend turned lover was pale and shaking. “I-I love you Bren, but I thought I loved him and he... I kept thinking about what happened.. That date.. Oh Bren I don't want to think of him every time I kiss you. I'm so confused." Ryan's eyes were filled with apologies. "Ry, listen, Spencer is a sick bastard and what he did to you was fucked up. We can slow down. I don't care Ryan, I love you."
Ryan opened his mouth, about to reply when Brendon interrupted, “C’mon,” He nudged, “We’re probably late, but we should still get ready for school. You can borrow some of my clot-Oh, Ryan, I’m sorry. We should probably go to the hospital. God dammit! Why didn’t we go yesterday?! Look, I’m sorr-“
“No, let’s just go to school.”
“What? But Ry,…”
“It’s fine. He was too drunk to be too harsh.”
“Still, what if you get STDs, or-“
“Brendon.” Ryan stared hard into Brendon eyes.
“Ryan...” Brendon replied after being looked at with those beaten, puffy, pitiful eyes.
Lowering his head, Ryan spoke softly, a breeze in the aftermath of a hurricane, “The bills would be sent to my father.”
Brendon rubbed his tired eyes, too weary to argue. “Fine we’ll go to school and we’ll- we’ll talk about this after, okay?”
Ryan simply nodded in reply. Brendon swung open the car door and walked around to open Ryan’s only to nearly get knocked over by Ryan swinging it open. “I can open a goddam door Brendon,” he grumbled.
“Well sorr-y I was just trying to be helpful.” Brendon glared at Ryan.
“Well don’t!” The smaller boy yelled.
Hurt, Brendon turned on his heel and walked towards the door. Ryan steamed for a minute before running after him. “Bren, I’m sorry, okay? Look I’m just- tired. Really tired. Sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Brendon smiled wearily at him, “I’ll stop treating you like your gonna break, okay? C’mon we need to get ready for school.”
“Won’t you parents wonder where you were last night?”
“Nah,” Brendon said, “Dad’s on a business trip till tonight and I usually get home after mom’s asleep.”
Brendon pressed a finger to his lips as they crept up the stairs, “She’s probably asleep now, so be quiet. Damn women’s borderline narcoleptic.”
Ryan nodded in affirmation.
Like silent ninjas, they entered into Brendon’s room. Simple, really it was, the quest and the room. The walls of the room were a warm beige color, kind of standard, actually. The bed, likewise, followed this trend. Ryan raised an eyebrow, theories of the dark-tight-pants-wearing teen withering away. Truth be told, as he kept switching his view from the purple hooded figure digging through his closet (not wearing skinny jeans, as he noted) and the plainness of the room, he realized he didn’t know much about Brendon Boyd Urie. He was a borderline friend one who started off as a friend of a friend’s. Spencer’s, to be exact. His stomach tightened, now not a matter of memories, but rather sympathy.
‘Damn. It must suck to find out your friend’s a rapist.’ Ryan laughed to himself. He was date raped, and felt sorry for the rapist's friends. Blaming it on lack of sleep, he shrugged and grabbed some jeans.
Pretty soon the boys were back in Brendon's car and off to school as if they hadn't been to hell and back the night before. Ryan felt a knot of fear in the pit of his stomach. School meant seeing Spencer. It wasn't as if Spencer could assault Ryan in the hallway, but the mere thought of the blond boy made Ryan want to curl up inside Brendon's arms where he was safe from the world. As he started the car, Brendon noticed his love's terror, "Ryan are you sure about this? We could stay home-"
"No Bren," Ryan cut him off, "I have to see him sometime." His face was pale with fear but determined.
"Okay Ry, it's your choice. If you need me just come find me." Brendon leaned over to kiss Ryan, but decided against it and wrapped his arms around him instead. Ryan timidly pressed his lips to Brendon's, savoring the sweet gentleness of the kiss before the inevitable memories that would come with it. The kiss ended and Ryan leaned back and closed his eyes, willing himself to stop thinking of Spencer's ravenous kisses.
"We're here", Brendon voice ripped through Ryan's silent concentration.
Ryan looked through the window, the sight of the school, brown bricks, bicycles, backpacks, bullies welcoming him back into a slightly different hell. Slowly, he stepped out from the safety of the car and into the world.
Brendon stepped over to his side, beaming a toned down smile. What was he afraid of? Being too happy? Ryan decided he wouldn't mind if he was; anything to make reality seep away.
"Ready?” He asked, smile still showing only a fifth of its true potential.
"No, hold on let me get my luggage.” Ryan rolled his eyes in addition to his sarcastic reply. What a bitch! Oh, how he hated himself. How he wanted to just get out a .05 and shoot.
Luckily, Brendon took this as a joke and with a brighter smile, hooked him arm into Ryan's and pulled him towards the monster.
Familiar settings surrounded them as they entered through the heavy doors. The tiled floors, white and speckled. The gray lockers, bodies eating each other's faces beside them. Some jocks stopped their make out sessions on the innocent school property and made pondering facial gestures that just screamed, "What the fuck are you guys doing linking arms?!"
Obviously oblivious, Brendon tightened his link and moved down the hall. His obliviousness also aided him in failing to notice the anxious teen he was linked to, attempting to hide behind every pole or trashcan that was in their way. True secret agent, he was. With every hiding place he would dart at its sides, quickly scanning the area in front of them before being pulled away by Brendon's surprisingly strong tugs. Who knew he was ripped?
"I'll have to leave you here, Ryan. But don't miss me too much, I'll just be right here," he mentioned with a kick of his foot into the metal, opening its door, "at my locker. Come by, if you need me," he finished with a wink.
"Hah. Very funny. Thanks, though. I mean it." Ryan sent a genuine smile towards Brendon, before retreating behind a pole and letting out a relieved sigh.
Brendon was amazing, no denying that, but those glares from jocks and crush-crushed girls would soon be the end of Ryan, if Brendon's deathly and clueless pulls didn't get him first. How many times had he accidently been banged into walls? No sexual innuendo intended. Somewhere around twenty two, anyways. He'd lost count after the one to his head.
The bell rang, that treacherous bell. After they arrived, they noticed they weren't late at all, in fact a tad bit early for their tastes. So what does that conclude? A morning session with the wife of Satan? Oh, yes.
Thoughts of skipping plowed Ryan's mind, but before he knew it himself he was standing at the gates of hell. Fortunately enough, his self mind probe had gotten him late, a usual misfortune, but today, that meant not bumping into Spencer.
With a deep intake of air he opened the door, scorching atmosphere nearly combusting him into a sprawl of flames.
"Take. A. Seat. Mr. Ross." Oh, the glare that woman could send! He guessed she didn't have the time to embarrass him in front of the entire class today.
With a single turn, a single eye contact, he found himself frozen. Ice particles gathering everywhere, inside and out.
"Mr. Ross. Do I have to repeat myself?"
Those icy eyes.
How could two small little orbs freeze him to his very core?
"MR.ROSS!" her screech shook his being as his body warmed back into the air of hell. The number of eyes watching the glazed hazel ones increased from two to sixty.
"Ah-I-I'm sorry." The scene couldn't have been that huge, could it?
An hour. A whole hour sitting in front of the man who had taken everything from him. Ryan stared at the blackboard trying not to cry or let Spencer see him shaking with fear. The hour seemed to trickle by and when the bell finally rang and the ice bitch was forced to let them leave, Ryan scrambled to gather his things and race out of the room. As he was leaving Ryan heard a call behind him. “Ryan!”
Knowing very well who it was Ryan ran out of the door, down the hall, and into the bathroom not caring about the strange looks he got as he did. He quickly locked the door of a stall and pulled his feet up onto the toilet with him. Upon hearing someone enter the bathroom, Ryan stopped breathing. “Ryan?”
The voice called. Spencer. “Ryan if you’re in here please come out, I need to talk to you.”
Tears began to fall silently down Ryan’s face. ‘Why won’t he just leave me alone?’ New footsteps arrived, a new voice. “What the fuck are you doing in here?”
“I was under the impression that everyone was allowed to use the public bathrooms.”
“Yeah, everyone who isn’t a rapist.”
Spencer ignored Brendon’s comment and replied, “I’m looking for Ryan if you must know.”
“What the fuck??” Brendon was outraged. “You think I’m gonna let you get anywhere near him?”
“I just want to talk to him, Bren.” There was a touch of sadness to Spencer’s calm voice. “Just tell him if you see him, okay?”
Ryan heard no reply as Spencer walked away and out the door. There was a pause then, “RyRo?”
Ryan slowly lowered his feet to the floor, stood, and unlocked the door. “Oh Ry, I’m so sorry.” Brendon’s eyes were full of sympathy. “You should tell someone, he shouldn’t be allowed to harass you like this!”
“I think I should talk to him,” Ryan said quietly.
“WHAT??” Brendon’s eyes bulged out of his head. “Are you fucking nuts???”
Ryan didn’t answer. “Look Ry, I just don’t want you to get hurt again,” Brendon explained in a soft voice.
“As long as you’re there with he can’t hurt me,” Ryan said with a shy smile.
Brendon smiled, this time fully. Not one of his teeth-showing, hyperactive smiles, but the one with his lips perked up, cheeks lifted to his eyes, the one that just radiated happiness to the highest degree.
"Okay,” He said in a hushed tone like they were exchanging secrets.
Swiftly, Ryan moved over to the door. "Coming?” he asked as he noticed the absence of footsteps behind him.
"You're...just going to hang out in the bathroom?"
"Uh, no...I was actually going to do things," Brendon replied with a chuckle.
Ryan blushed, slightly disappointed that Brendon didn't walk in just because he was concerned for him.
"Well, I was concerned when I saw Spencer walking after you in the bathroom-"
"But, I was only looking that way because I was heading this way myself."
Ryan frowned, not noticing the blushing cheeks and shifting eyes dancing upon Brendon face as he twiddled his thumbs.
"Good luck," he spoke, all of the sudden, seriously. "If he does something, I swear to God, Ryan, just tell me and I'll-“
"Brendon. Don't worry." He smiled one last time, opening the door.
As soon as Ryan stepped outside he was overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the high school hallway. In every face he thought he saw Spencer’s, and a fresh wave of fear washed over him. ‘Oh God’ Ryan though in a panic, ‘I’m not ready to do this.’ He flattened himself against the wall searching everywhere for his blond nightmare. Flush The sound came from inside the bathroom. Suddenly the door opened and Brendon sauntered casually out. He glanced worriedly at Ryan and said “C’mon I’ll go with you.”
Brendon pulled Ryan closed to him as they walked off down the hall. They found Spencer sitting on a bench in the “garden” (a few sad plants and some ornamental stones) outside the music hall. As soon as he caught sight of his ex-boyfriend, Ryan dashed behind a wall. He leaned against it and slid into a sitting position on the ground. “I can’t do it,” he moaned, “Every time I see him, I just start reliving it all in my head and my blood turns to ice.”
Ryan could feel the tears building up in his eyes and hated himself for it. “Why do I have to be such a goddam coward Bren?”
Brendon crouched down next to Ryan. “Ryan you’re not a coward.” Brendon cupped his hand to Ryan’s cheek. “You’re the bravest person I know to even want to do this.” He brushed away a tear with his thumb. “I love you Ry, and I won’t let anything happen to you. Promise.”
If only those words could make everything. If only Ryan could believe they would. If only the memories would stop flooding back. If only the growing parasite in his stomach would take a rest.
"I'll keep that in my mind."
They started to stand, Brendon hastily offering his arm and returning it just as fast.
Ryan ignored the short scene, concentrating to the other boy on the bench. He was already half way there when Brendon realized it and decided to rush after him.
Ryan stared straight, head level, back lifted, anything to create an illusion of confidence. When he reached the stone bench, Spencer's head was down, assuming a peculiar interest in the small, red flower at his feet.
Ryan freed his lips from their seal, about to speak, but found his voice had left him dry. He tried to choke words out, but only managed a few inaudible noises. How could this be happening? It was traumatizing. He felt so weak. He needed to speak. He needed to.
"I." Score! "You--"
His voice, so clear and un slurred, it stained the air thick, his eyes, still focused on the flower, looked troubled like a child's confessing a crime.
Ryan just stared at his face, his body frigid with a lack of emotion. As Brendon entered Spencer's and Ryan's still realm, the observer noticed Spencer's eyes flicker to the intruder.
"When I said I wanted to talk, that didn't include you, Brendon." Spencer finally raised his head, face hardened since his glance at Brendon.
"I don't care." The boy returned the expression.
"I do. Leave. Now. This is private."
Spencer shifted his hands to bench, showing that he was ready to use force if needed.
"I thought you were someone else, Spencer,” Brendon muttered in a lowered key.
In a flash, the blonde was on his feet.
"Where were you when I needed you?"
"I made a promise."
"Let him stay." The voice cracked the violent tension and instantly the two enemies were silenced.
Both boys turned towards Ryan, surprised the quiet boy had spoken. Brendon walked over to Ryan's side and stood there defiantly. "If he goes, I go," Ryan said, sounding much braver than he felt.
Spencer glared at Brendon for a second longer then dropped his gaze. Brendon glared relentlessly. "Look Ryan," Spencer began, "I know what I did was terrible-"
"No you don't."
"What?" Spencer was caught off guard by the interruption.
"You have no idea." Ryan's voice was deathly quiet. "You have no idea how terrible rape is."
Spencer stared for a moment before dropping his head. "I'm sorry. I am so sorry. Things at home.. aren't good."
Ryan glared. With the hell he went home to every night, Spencer had no right to say that.
"I was drunk and... I know what I did was unforgiveable but I just wanted you to know how sorry I am and that I love you."
"Well I fucking hate you!!" But was that true? He feared Spencer, he would never forgive Spencer, and a tiny part of him still loved Spencer.
Defensively, Brendon leaned slightly in front of Ryan.
"Ryan...Please, don’t do this." Spencer looked down, the red flower now crushed.
"Do what?! From what I can recall, you were the one that raped me!" He yelled a tad too loudly. He was losing control; he wanted to stop, but he couldn’t.
"I’m sorry!" Spencer burrowed his head into hands.
Ryan took in the sight of the hunched figure in front of him, the characters were the same, but their roles had switched.
Brendon pulled a bit on the sleeve of Ryan’s jacket. "Ryan,” he soothed sympathetically, sending a deathly glare at Spencer a moment later.
"Let’s go, we can finish this later." Brendon gazed at Ryan as Ryan stood out of breath, staring at Spencer.
Eventually, Brendon’s tugging succeeded, and Ryan was pulled away towards the school. However, the moment before the lost sight, Ryan saw Spencer lift his head, warily, mouthing a "Meet me after school." in the distance.