Categories > Celebrities > Panic! At The Disco

I Can't

by DisenchatedDestroya 4 reviews

They have to save him. But what if he doesn't want saving? RYDON one-shot. Read, review, rate and feel my love! :P

Category: Panic! At The Disco - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Published: 2012-05-28 - Updated: 2012-05-29 - 3365 words - Complete

I Can’t

Ryan Ross is sat at a table in a room. At least, he thinks he is; his head is too dizzy and light for him to have any kind of comprehension of what’s going on with him or his surroundings right now. Not eating for three days straight, nothing but water passing those cracked rose-petal lips, does that to a person. Especially when said person was already skinny to begin with.

Now at a mere ninety-eight pounds, or ninety-eight-point-three-five as the teenager would say, they’ve all had enough. Enough of the constant, if sneakily subtle, exercise; enough of the constantly feeling full despite the volcanic rumblings of his non-existent tummy; enough of the sweet little sixteen-year-old spending worrying amounts of time in the bathroom after consuming something; enough of letting their friend die in front of them.

So the three of them have teamed together and bought Ryan to this room, the one that the emaciated child vaguely recognises as Jon Walker’s dining room. Because, dammit, they are going to get Ryan to eat something even if it kills them.

Before it kills him.


His head is lolled forward into his palms, a rhythmic pounding rapping onto his skull and making him focus on something other than the constant hunger. Everything aches; his arms from lifting his dad’s too-heavy weights for over an hour longer than recommended, his legs from repeatedly climbing the stairs at his house until they burnt with calorie-destroying glory, his heart from pumping too fast with not enough to fuel it. His head because everything is screaming at him, telling him to stop.

He can’t stop though, he knows he can’t. He’s got to be beautiful. He’s got to be loved and liked and not bullied anymore. He’s got to be perfect.

“Ross!” At the bark two things happen; Ryan’s head snaps up like a rabbit hearing an approaching fox and another boy enters the room, this one by the name of Jon Walker. “What the fuck are you playing at?”

Jon’s not really cross. Not with Ryan, anyway. More with himself for not seeing it, for not stopping it, for not being the friend that he thought he was to the weakest and most emotional member of his small group of pals. But hey; he’s Jon Walker, the guy who can hold it together when all of reality’s glue dissolves into shit around him.

The larger boy pulls a chair up to be opposite the dull, apathetic shell and he slams himself into it, just like he slams his balled fists onto the mahogany surface. It’s an action that the hot-headed teenager instantly regrets because it’s the first thing to get a reaction out of Ryan since they dragged him here, but it’s a reaction of fear. Of fright. Whimpering.

Jon won’t relent though; he can’t. No matter how much he wants to be calm like Spencer or cuddly like Brendon, he can’t. He’s the one that the others elected to deal with this, largely because he’s the toughest out of the lot, and he can’t let them down. Can’t let Ryan down.

Not again.

“Answer me, Ross.” He growls, plunging a hand into his pocket and pulling out a half-melted chocolate bar. It’s a Butterfinger, Ryan’s favourite as it’s what Brendon calls him because, according to the noir-sleeked kid, Ryan tastes like them. Nothing to do with clumsiness. Or at least, that’s what Bren told Jon anyway. “Answer me, goddammit!”

Ryan winces, flinching away from the booming shout that makes the entire room feel entirely too small. He doesn’t like it when people shout at him. He likes it even less when his so-called best friends gang –up on him for simply trying to better himself. He’s only doing it for them anyway.

Or more specifically, doing it for Brendon Urie. To make the younger boy see him as someone beautiful, worthy of his time. To make his best friend fall in love with him.

But who could love him? Ryan must be out of his mind.

Everyone else certainly seems to think so.

Another slam on the table reminds the whimpering, although the whimpers are starting to fight a losing battle against his freewill, boy that he’s being asked something. Something that he wouldn’t be able to answer even if he wanted to. Which he doesn’t. They’d never understand anyway; they’re all perfect. Jon’s smart, Spencer’s kind and Brendon…

Brendon is beautiful. Just like Ryan wants to be.

Seeing that the other is lost in a dangerously deep reverie of thought once more, Jon heaves out an over exaggerated sigh intended to intimidate Ry into responding. When it has no such affect, he tears the chocolate bar open and thunders it onto the table in front of his charge.

That gets him a response; one of vicious head shaking and a violent shoving away of the sacred candy. One that Ryan used to eat by the bucketful.

And that makes Jon’s eyes cloud over. Just a little bit.

“No, Ryan. Eat it.” His tone is authoritative, full of the power that both boys know he just doesn’t possess when faced with the weaker boy. “Don’t try and bullshit your way out of this. We both know you’re starving and you love Butterfingers. So eat up.”

He nudges the bar forward, struggling to keep in the tears at seeing one of his best friends shrinking away from a fucking chocolate bar. It’s not right. None of this is right.

Ryan eyes it as though it’s a venomous snake and then eyes his friend, the very same one who betrayed him by locking him up in this godforsaken room. The room that still smells of last night’s pizza, of all the fatty cheese and calorific apple-pie they had for dessert. He could take a bite of the bar, for his friend’s sake, but then he knows Jon would expect more. It’ll start with one bar, the candy holding more calories than he normally allows himself to have over three days, and then Jon will be forcing him to eat a whole fucking meal. The kind of meal that fat people eat.

No; the kind of meal that would make Ryan fat if he ate it. And he really doesn’t want that to happen.

So he picks up the bar, guilt injecting into his heart when he sees a hopeful smile pounce onto Jon’s face, and then snaps it in half, crumbles it into dust in his clammy palms until it’s nothing. Nothing. The same as he wants to be.

“The fuck, Ryan?” Jon’s sounding angry again, but this time he can’t keep out the choking of tears in the back of his throat. “Why won’t you just fucking eat?”

Deep, honey-drizzling eyes flit to the side as though trying to escape the heartbreakingly heart-broken gaze of the struggling protector.

“I can’t.”


When Jon storms out, tears finally allowed to burn into his skin, the three boys decide that it’s Spencer Smith’s turn to try getting through to his best friend. It’s Spencer who’s next because he’s known Ryan longer than the other two, has seen the kid at his lowest and helped him to reach his highest.

In short, Spencer Smith and Ryan Ross have been inseparable since kindergarten. At that thought the teddy-like guy with too much concern crippling his heart to make it’s beating feel any kind of natural, can’t help but wish things were like they were back then. Back when his biggest worry was that Ryan would make the ends of his brand new felt-tips go all squashed and fuzzy.

Ryan doesn’t look young and childlike when Spencer finally plucks up the determined courage he needs to be able to cope with seeing his best friend so defeated; he looks like an old man. Apart from he doesn’t even look like that, he looks like a corpse. An empty shell of something that Spencer used to associate with fun and giggles and smiles and raspberry-ripple ice-cream on hot summer days. Now all that’s left is a shadow of what once was, of what might never be again.

And that crushes Spencer, makes a sob sneak out of the crack in his gnawed-upon lips. The sob, in turn, makes Ryan look towards the door, no sign of his earlier confrontation with Jon’s intervention showing to have left any lasting effect on the boy. The dead boy.

Spencer’s dead best friend.

Ryan very nearly cries himself at seeing his best friend, his fucking rock, losing all control on the tears the drummer had been determined to hide for Ryan’s sake. The paper-like corpse wants nothing more than to do something to stop the sobbing man’s tears, just like he knows would be done for him, but he’s just too weak to be able to form thought, let alone plan a way to make Spencer smile like he always does at seeing Ryan.

Actually, that’s a lie; Ryan knows exactly what would make Spencer smile. But he can’t do it, for the same reason he couldn’t with Jon. Besides, giving false-hope is crueller than doing nothing at all in Ryan’s honest opinion.

“Oh, Ry…”

The addressed shuts his eyes, trying to conjure up images of his beautiful Ana from the online wonderland that’s been fuelling his motivation from the start in order to not completely give in to his metaphorical brother’s silent plea.

Spencer breathes out steadily, or at least as steadily as he can when he spots the obliterated Butterfinger sprinkled over the table, and pulls the chair that Jon through to the side in frustration back up to the table where he proceeds to perch on it.

No matter how long Spencer sits there gazing, for staring is too harsh of a word for it, Ryan refuses to look up.

It reminds the distressed best friend of the time he found the first bruise on Ryan’s porcelain skin, a thin line of blood fragmenting the cheek that was usually decorated with eyeliner. Because, despite popular opinion, the Ross family home is not a happy one. Or maybe it is. Spencer doesn’t know about Mrs Ross, but for Ryan it most certainly isn’t a happy home. Not when his dad has had one-hundred too many, anyway.

“Is this because of your dad?” The question is soft but it still infiltrates the room like a dagger, forcing Ryan to gawp at Spencer for mentioning the unmentionable; he thought Spence understood, knew well enough not to bring up… that man in front of him. Ryan’s eyes narrow dangerously, making the other’s insides sting for the kid. “You don’t have to be ashamed, Ry. We can get you help. We can fix you.”

The only problem with that idea being that Ryan doesn’t think he’s broken. Or if he does, then he believes that the only way to fix it is to become like Ana, to become beautiful and perfect and unhurtable.

As if to show his lack of interest in the idea he idly starts flicking bits of destroyed Butterfinger around the table, forcing himself to remember the scales and their all-important numbers when the temptation arises to lick the substance from his fingers.

He wants to please Spence, always has wanted to make his best friend in the whole wide world smile, but he knows he can’t. Not if he ever wants to meet his warped idea of perfection. Yes, even Ryan knows it’s warped, even if he won’t let himself admit it.

Because he knows that the second he does is the second he’ll crumble.

“Please speak to me, Ry. Please.” Spencer runs a hand through his thick, dark-chocolate hair in an effort to stop himself from breaking all of the nearly visible bones in his childhood buddy’s frail body. “Please. We use to talk about this kinda shit. Like when you caught me cutting, I let you help me.”

Ryan shudders at the memory of finding his entire fucking world with streaks of red fireworked into his arms. But this isn’t like that; Ryan’s not being destructive. Just working to make himself be better.

“Now it’s your turn to let me help you. Please. Fuck, Ryan. Just let me help you.”

Both boys have tears firebombing their cheeks by now. Spencer because he wants so desperately to help Ryan like he knows his best friend would help him, but can’t because the elder simply won’t let him. Ryan because, as much as he hates himself for thinking it, help sounds good.

Too good for it to be healthy.

Just like food.

“I can’t.”


Brendon’s different from the other two. He doesn’t act all angry, nor does he act like a father trying to guide his son out of the dark. In fact, he doesn’t act much like anything. He’s just Brendon.

Long, toned legs stroll into the room, hands in pockets and a soft smile painting his pale, plump lips. If seeing his precious Ryan like this is killing him, which it most certainly is, he lets no sign of it shimmer through. Not even in those deep, brown-black eyes that are fixated on the bag of bones slumped dejectedly over the table. Hell, he even starts whistling a tune.

Ironically enough, it’s “3 Little Birds”. The one by Bob Marley about every little thing being alright. Perhaps it’s Brendon’s sense of humour that picked it, but Ryan would very much like to believe that it’s his lust to make the lyrics ring true.

The youngest of the group, albeit the most adult-looking, slides calmly into the chair that Spencer fled from minutes ago when the sobs became too much for him to bear. Brendon sees the Butterfinger, sees the tears drying on his Ryan’s cheeks and feels something go shooting through his veins. At first he can’t for the life of him place it as a specific feeling, only think of what it isn’t.

It isn’t shock, for he knew exactly what to expect from the others’ exits. it isn’t rage, because he could never be mad at shy little Ryan purely for being a little lost. It isn’t disgust, as Ryan Ross will never be disgusting in Brendon’s eyes. So what the fuck is it?

Sympathy? Perhaps.

Sorrow? Maybe.

Love? Yes.

That’s it; Brendon Urie is feeling love pulsate throughout him at seeing Ryan so little and lost, so hurt and alone, so everything that Brendon never wants to let him be again. The overwhelming hit of the love makes the whistling go slightly off-key before Brendon can right himself, reminding his mind not to stray from his task.

After all, he is the last hope.

“Y’know, Ryro, I’m not a liar. Yeah, I exaggerate the truth a little, sometimes even a lot, but I don’t bullshit people.” Unsure of how else to respond to the younger’s unexpected outburst of speech, the addressed simply nods his undoubted agreement. “So I’m not about to pretend I understand what’s going on with you right now, because I don’t. But I want to. I want to understand.”

The somewhat vampiric boy pauses and runs a finger through the remains of the butchered Butterfinger before pressing it to his lips, enjoying the flavour in such an obvious way that it makes Ryan’s tummy growl.

“See? You want it, I know you do.”

The younger leans across the table, pressing his face so close to Ryan’s that they can taste one another’s breath. If Brendon finds the stench of vomit mixed with Mentos gum unattractive, he doesn’t show it. Mainly because he’s too lost in Ryan’s eyes to actually give a damn about anything other than the boy before him. His boy. The dying boy. His boy to save from dying.

And he’ll be damned if he lets a small thing like unpleasant breath get in the way, even if the odour does make his heart break because, well, he knows that the vomit is nothing new. He knows that Ana’s old friend Bulimia has been joining in the party of self-destruction that Ryan opened the door to. Brendon doesn’t blame Ry for this; if it’s anyone’s fault Brendon feels that it’s his, but he can’t deny the fact that Ryan has done nothing to stop it.

Then again, maybe that’s Brendon’s fault too.

Ryan’s eyes flicker to the lips of the younger, perfect lips that are so close to his that it almost hurts, and he can see tiny flakes of chocolate dotting them from the dust that his long-time crush has just hovered up.

“Why won’t you just let yourself be happy, Ryro?” The pronunciation of the words makes the perfect lips rub ever so slightly against the other’s, sending both boys reeling from the thought of what it could mean if only one of them didn’t reek of vomit and look like a scarcely there corpse. “You deserve to be happy.”

Brendon leans his forehead forward, resting it on Ryan’s as the older leans into the touch. In fact, it’s the first affectionate touch he’s received since Ana made him push all of his friends away, told him that she was the only company that he’ll ever need or want. Right now though, Ryan begs to differ; Brendon’s warm. Warm and comforting, just like Ryan needs him to be right now.

Just like Brendon needs himself to be right now in order to rescue his princess from the dragons of self-hatred and insecurities.

No, Ryan. No.

Ryan knows it’s a trick. Brendon doesn’t care; why should he? He just wants to make Ryan ugly and fat again, doesn’t want Ry to be perfect. Ana’s right, he can’t trust anyone else. Ana is the only one who understands.

But Brendon wants to.

“I can’t.”

Brendon doesn’t storm off like Jon or burst into sobs like Spencer at the sullen, hopeless reply. Oh no, he does something that’s different by far. Far more affective, too.

He kisses Ryan. Soft, plump lips wash over the cracked, wavering ones, a tongue licks through the others mouth, not once recoiling no matter how poignant the taste of vomit becomes. Sure, it isn’t exactly what Brendon thought his first proper kiss with Ryan Ross would be like, but it’s so full of emotion that he can’t much bring himself to care. The only thing he cares about right now is Ryan, his Ryro; the shattered diamond he needs to glue back together.

When Brendon finally pulls away, it’s to see a sight he’d almost forgotten could ever exist; Ryan’s smiling. It may be weak and watery, but it’s still a smile. And in no way whatsoever faked.

Only two words need to be said and they come from Brendon’s mouth, the cure for all ills.

“We can.”

A/N: Wow, so I’m not entirely sure where that came from, but I hope you liked it! I’m kinda disappointed with this; I sweated blood over it but as I read it over it seems a lot less decent than I hoped it would be. Also, this is my second attempt at writing in third-person, so sorry if I failed epically at that. But thanks for reading and please let me know what you think! :D
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