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January 10, 2008
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Ryan belongs to Spencer. Completely. This is the first thing Brendon learns when he joins the band. Before, even, when he’s still the kid trying out for guitar and keyboard and backups. There’s a glint in Spencer’s eyes – fiery, burning heavy – and it screams possession, protection. Brendon nearly stumbles backwards when Spencer looks at him for the first time, but he steels himself and smiles and says, “Hi, I’m Brendon.”

In the corner, Brent fidgets with nervous excitement, jumpy because he’s the one who found Brendon. Spencer’s lips pull down in a tight line and he doesn’t say anything about it. Brendon remembers distantly that this is Spencer’s grandmother’s living room – former living room – and on the sofa is a boy with shadowed eyes, a guitar, and a notebook.

This is Ryan, and he belongs to Spencer.

The first day, that’s all he learns.


-


He thinks he learns more than that, but he really doesn’t. They make a first impression, all of them, and he judges them immediately because when he meets someone new, he never really thinks that they could very possibly be having a bad day. He immediately thinks Ryan is one of the typical emo kids that hides behind his hat and his big words and, looking back, he regrets that, feels the burn low in the pit of his stomach that screams guilt. He’d thought Spencer had been nothing more than The Guy Who Ryan Trusts. He was that, yes, but he also kept them all together, like glue.

Ryan continues to look withdrawn throughout the next few practice sessions, but then after the fourth or fifth, Brent has to leave early and Spencer grabs Brendon by the arm when he’s halfway out the door, smiles like he never has and says, “Hey, my sisters just made cookies. Want to come to my house? You can, right? You should.” Brendon doesn’t disagree because cookies! and Ryan! and Spencer! so they all ride together in Ryan’s car.

It’s then, once they’re over the threshold and inside Spencer’s house, Ryan seems to unwind and he actually smiles, standing in the doorway of the kitchen and accepting a chocolate chip cookie from the oldest of Spencer’s younger sisters. He looks up mid-sentence and catches Brendon’s eye, keeps smiling and Brendon’s stomach lurches, his heart beating faster in his chest.

It’s not that moment exactly, but Brendon will look back at it years later and think, maybe, maybe this is where it all started.


-


The moments between the discussions about Pete Wentz! Pete Wentz! and getting signed are all mostly a blur. Some seconds stand out more, especially the ones with raised-voice arguments and new apartments and new jobs and practice spaces and first nights spent alone. Sometime during all of this Ryan adopts his old paperboy hat again and they get their first van, plain white with an air of authority to it (from the outside, it’s downright menacing, but the inside is comfortable and safe and there’s space enough for them all, but not too much – the air is filled with quiet whispers, secret smiles between Spencer and Ryan, and beeping cell phones with overexcited messages from Pete).

Then, they meet The Academy. William is nice enough, if not a little creepy around the edges, but they all warm up eventually and settle down enough to not freak out when William announces that, “Hey, whoa, you guys haven’t met Jon. Don’t fall in love yet; the best hasn’t arrived.” Brendon laughs nervously, but then Tom pulls Jon into the room (Jon looks surprised, almost drops the Canon in his hands and has to adjust the strap, accidentally hitting a button and causing the camera to shut off. He smiles sheepishly at this.) and somehow in the seconds that follow, Brendon and Jon manage to fall into a deep, meaningful discussion about Disney movies.

After that, they have photo shoots (Spencer hates the camera, doesn’t know what to do exactly. Ryan’s a bit of a camera whore and even though he’s insanely shy, he seems to be the only one who can hold a pose and make it look good. Brendon thinks cameras are the best thing ever! Even better than sliced bread, which is pretty amazing because, hello, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Brent could really care less.) and the media follows them like hawks, eyeing every possible opening and getting to them when they least expect it.

And then they lose Brent.


-


Jon is their immediate backup. He knows the songs, he plays bass, and the fans love him. He’s nice and Brendon loves him and Spencer loves him and Ryan damn near worships him for not telling them to find someone else to play. Jon understands. He doesn’t ask questions, though he doesn’t usually have to because Brendon isn’t used to keeping secrets yet, so he has a hard time keeping his worries to himself. He listens when he’s needed and he doesn’t think they’re stupid or immature for needing someone to talk to. He gets it. He’s been there, done that.

The Academy loses Tom, and Jon’s smile never falters, even though Tom was his best friend and they can all see the pain in his eyes.

Ryan breaks then and tells Jon everything. He tells Jon everything that he’s worried about and everything he used to be worried about and he tells Jon about how hard they’ve worked and how much they’ve lost and how they really deserve this and how they don’t deserve this at all. He tells Jon about everything that went on with Brent and everything that Ryan ever went through personally. Jon just accepts it all, sits back and listens and when Ryan’s done, Jon rubs a soothing hand over the back of Ryan’s neck and then buys him coffee.

Jon joins the band, and then Ryan’s father dies.


-


The moment Brendon realizes he has feelings for Ryan, he’s in the middle of a sentence. He stops abruptly and stares into space, rewinding and thinking over every thing that just went through his mind. Spencer stares at him nervously, isn’t sure what’s up with Brendon’s sudden wave of silence. Brendon sways back and forth on his feet as he tries to focus on the wait, what? and the thing where it’s Ryan. A steadying hand on his shoulder knocks him out of it.

Spencer says, “Hey, are you – are you feeling okay?”

Brendon blinks at him, the question running through his head numbly and spinning, rewinding and playing again, fast forwarding and then screeching to a sudden halt as he tries to figure it out again. He finally says, “Sure, yeah,” and wanders off towards the bus.

Brendon gingerly sits down on the couch beside Jon, pulls his knees up under his chin and wraps his arms tightly around his legs. Jon looks at Brendon, sitting close but not touching, not like he always is. He blinks in surprise and thinks of how Brendon always falls down on top of him, smothers him, wraps himself around Jon like a monkey or a snake when he’s upset, when something’s on his mind.

Still not touching but finally thinking he’d feel better if they were, Jon asks, “What’s wrong?”

Brendon says, “Everything.”


-


Spencer figures it out pretty quickly.

The only problem with that: Ryan belongs to Spencer.


-


Or so Brendon though.


-


Part of the Spencer And Ryan thing is sharing hotel rooms. This makes it ultimately weird that when Zach hands out hotel keys, Spencer says, “Hey, hey, I call Brendon.” Ryan looks completely betrayed, but Spencer does this thing with his eyes – just looks at Ryan – and Ryan blinks and stops looking so hurt. Brendon follows Spencer to the elevators and can’t help his look of bewilderment. He hangs back some with his head down, eyes trained on the floor, waiting for Spencer to finally lash out and tell Brendon what stupid thing he’s done this time.

But, Spencer just says, “Hey, come on. I snuck Guitar Hero out. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the TV will have connectors.”

Brendon can’t help his grin, but inadequacy still thrums in his veins.


-


Once they’re in their hotel room, Spencer drops his bags and immediately searches the TV. It doesn’t have the right connectors (Hotel TVs never do; they always want you to pay for the games, and it’s not like they can’t afford that now, but it’s different.) and Spencer says, “Fuck.” Brendon carefully sets his bags down on his bed (closest to the door because Spencer took the window) and Spencer sits on the edge of his own, staring dejectedly down at the green pattern of carpet.

Brendon takes a few deep breaths, hands still clutching at the handle of his duffle bag. He squeezes a few times, weighing his options, but eventually he just sucks on the inside on his cheek and says, “Uhm, Spence? What did I do?”

Spencer goes visibly tense but he doesn’t look up at Brendon. Toeing at the floor with his sneaker, Spencer lightly says, “We kind of need to talk.”

“Oh.” Brendon doesn’t question it because this is Spencer. He sits down gently on the bed and stays still.

“We need to talk about Ryan.” Brendon flinches. Spencer looks up at him then, all soft features and tired eyes, and it’s not – it’s not scary, like Brendon would have suspected in this sort of situation. Spencer just looks kind of sad. “I know you like Ryan,” Spencer’s voice drops, drifts off quietly. “I don’t think you – ”

“I don’t – I don’t want to hurt him!” Brendon cuts in, leaning forward to help with the impact of the statement. “I wouldn’t – I do like him, Spence! I’m sorry! I can’t help it!”

Brendon goes wide-eyed and frantic and Spencer looks at him – really looks at him – and Brendon goes completely still. Voice hoarse, Spencer whispers, “Bren. Brendon, come here.” Brendon goes, darts across the divide between the beds and sits next to Spencer, draped over him in a lopsided hug, face buried in Spencer’s neck. He shudders hot air out against Spencer’s collar, eyes damp, and Spencer whispers, “I can’t believe you just said that. You’re such a moron. Of course I – I know you can’t help it. I’m not stupid.”

If Spencer didn’t sound so torn, Brendon would probably be a little bit worried.

They stay silent for a long, long time. Spencer finally says, long after Brendon’s breathing has calmed down and his eyes have dried, “You’ll have to share him, you know. You can have him, but only if I can, too.” Brendon thinks about sharing with Spencer. The idea is nice, warm comfort in the place where’s he’s completely lost.


-


Their next night is spent on the bus, confined to sleeping in bunks between venues and hotels. Spencer doesn’t say anything about it, but Ryan corners him at a truck stop when he’s halfway under the bus, digging around through the bags, trying to find which one has his clean clothes in it. He has half of a poptart between his teeth and he’s wearing pajama pants, one hand clutching a t-shirt while the other rummages for jeans. Ryan’s in his pajama pants too, and he’d be a little worried if Ryan’s hair wasn’t mussed from sleep and he didn’t look so .. young.

“Whoa,” Brendon says, surprised, backing out of the baggage compartment with a full outfit. He blinks and stares, waiting for Ryan to say something, but Ryan just crosses his arms over his chest and shifts on his feet, looking like he’s not really sure what he should say.

Finally, Ryan manages a weak, “So, uhm. You and Spencer?”

Brendon can’t lie to Ryan now, not after lying in his bunk night after night, thinking over the thousands of reasons why he can’t love Ryan and the millions why he does anyway. He swallows, puts a smile on his face that probably came out as more of a grimace, and he says, “Top secret, Ross.”

“What, so now Spencer’s going to be just like Jon? You can’t have all these secrets. We’re a group here – ”

“Chill, Ryan,” Spencer says, coming out of the bus. The door slams behind him, weighted on its hinges. He walks over to them and steps up behind Brendon, hooks his chin over Brendon’s shoulder and grins, sly like Jon. “We won’t leave you out of anything important. Promise.”


-


Spencer never breaks a promise, so at the next hotel, Spencer stops Brendon as they’re getting off the bus. “Hey,” he says quietly, quickly, because Ryan has already noticed that he’s missing and will double back at any second. He continues with a hand on the back of Brendon’s neck, warm. “I’m going to room with Ryan, but you should come hang out, okay?”

If Spencer presses a ghost of a kiss to Brendon’s jaw as he slides by, he doesn’t act like it, and Brendon doesn’t ask.


-


Jon goes off with Zach and some of the techs right after they get settled in the room. It’s still pretty early – only a little after noon – and they don’t have a show until tomorrow so today is a free day. Brendon fidgets with the zippers on his bag, sorts through some magazines, stacks them and then resorts them again. He stands in the middle of the room and takes a series of deep breaths, alternating between staring at the mirror across the room and closing his eyes, telling himself how crazy this all is.

He rationalizes, okay, he’ll just change clothes, get comfortable, and then he’ll go hang out with Spence and Ryan for a while. They’re probably just going to watch movies. Ryan doesn’t know anything and Spencer wouldn’t tell. Right? Biting his lip, he pulls an old, worn hoodie from his bag and slips off his shirt, replaces it with the hoodie and then shucks his jeans. He steps into another pair, older, faded with time and too many washings. He bends to pull on his shoes when a slip of white plastic catches his eye, falling out of the pocket of his other jeans.

It’s a hotel card key. Spencer Smith is a sneaky bastard.


-


He stands outside the door for about a minute and a half longer than he should. He doesn’t hear anything from inside, but. He looks up and sees the security camera a few feet away on the ceiling, down the hall some, and he thinks about how it must look – him standing outside a door that isn’t his, just waiting. He gives in and slips the card into the slot, pulls it out and pushes the door open.

Brendon isn’t sure what he’s expecting. The television is on, volume low and barely audible; Spencer and Ryan are there, yes, and Ryan does look surprised to see him, but not – not like it’s a bad surprise. They’re sprawled on one of the beds, Ryan spread out while Spencer pillows his head on Ryan’s chest, lazily drawing patterns over his sides, whispering and not stopping even when he notices Brendon.

Spencer smiles, though, and it draws Brendon closer. Ryan’s eyes are wide and innocent, too young without his makeup, and he watches Brendon’s every move. Brendon crawls onto the bed with them and curls up at the head of the bed next to Ryan (he touches Ryan’s wrist in greeting, a fleeting touch that Ryan almost follows) and Spencer stops whispering then, when the bed dips behind him. He turns his head and looks up at them, eyes flitting between them, lips pressed together in a thin line.

It suddenly feels like they’re all very close, too close, and Brendon recoils in the near-silence of the room, pressing back against the headboard and wondering why he’s even here. Spencer stares at him for a few long, drawn-out seconds, bottom lip disappearing between his teeth as thoughts flash behind his eyes. He glances over at Ryan once, a hard gaze that Ryan doesn’t break, just returns with a questioning look.

Spencer sits up then, leans forward on his knees and kisses Brendon. Ryan lets out a little rush of breath, a quiet gasp as Brendon kisses back, presses back with as much force as Spencer and ends up licking into Spencer’s mouth, Spencer cupping his jaw. Right when Ryan seems to shift away, Spencer pulls back and says, a little breathless, “Kiss him, Ross.”

Ryan stills, watching them both – Brendon as he licks his lips, cheeks flushed, and Spencer looking completely serious while also managing to pull off a bit of a blush – and he looks uncertain, like this could all be a joke. Brendon doesn’t make a move – doesn’t want to freak Ryan out, to scare him away – but he doesn’t have to. Ryan makes a little noise in the back of his throat, giving in, and leans in to meet Brendon’s lips.


-


“What is this?” Brendon asks the next morning when he wakes up between Spencer and Ryan, the room overly warm.

“Does it matter?” Spencer tugs on Brendon’s hair, lightly, eyes still closed.

“Sort of,” Brendon says, but he doesn’t expect an answer.
Spencer/Ryan/Brendon.
~2800 words.

I wrote this, like, 7 or 8 months ago. It's sort of insane, reading this, because it almost sucks compared to the way I write now, but. It's just .. different? Any errors in the way of grammar can be blamed on my bad betaing skills.

Oh, and you guys. From my WIP folder, from back when I decided that the best thing in the world was a Nightmare Before Christmas/Panic! crossover:

“I think he ate one of my socks.” Jon said seriously.

“Sock fairy.” Brendon chimed in. Jack was currently scuttling around under Brendon’s bed, looking for string fibers. He was going to make Ryan a scarf because Ryan liked scarves, and if Jack made Ryan happy, Ryan’s dog might stop trying to eat his ankle.

“Right.” Ryan said.

Just then, Jack ambled into the room, frowning. “Uhm,” He said, gaining everyone’s attention. “I have something important to tell you that you should all know because it will affect your very wellbeing and how you will live for the rest of your life.”

“You’re leaving?” Spencer asked dryly. Jack ignored him.

“There are no monsters under any of your beds. Though,” He held up a few bottles and some small square packages. “These were hiding under the bed in the room – top of the staircase, first left?”

Brendon slapped his hands over his face to hide his fit of giggled. “Uh,” Ryan said, flushing bright red. He stood up and walked over to Jack. “I’ll just – take care of these, thanks. Don’t know how they got there.” He hurried out of the room and Brendon burst into another round of laughter.

“Oh, shut up.” Spencer hissed. “We all know you’re the one he’s using those on.”

Brendon immediately shut up.

“Safe sex.” Jon nodded thoughtfully.

Jack tilted his head.


Add a Comment:
 
:iconsheepishwolves:
SheepishWolves Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2009
I really love your portrayal of the characters. You got it doowwnn.
the little details really help and it's a cute story.
Reply
:iconemopunkgirl06:
emopunkgirl06 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2008
hmmmm... good :heart:

Jon doesn't get any, the poor thing :P
Reply
:iconperturbedface:
PerturbedFace Featured By Owner May 7, 2008
Wow. Very good. I can't wait to read your other writing. It's probablly amazing of you say that this is bad. I liked it a lot. x)
Reply
:iconfobisluv12:
FOBisLUV12 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2008
I really like this story its cute and serious at the same time and i just love the story
Reply
:iconmissxscissorhands:
missxscissorhands Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2008
(Jon looks surprised, almost drops the Canon in his hands and has to adjust the strap, accidentally hitting a button and causing the camera to shut off. He smiles sheepishly at this.) and somehow in the seconds that follow, Brendon and Jon manage to fall into a deep, meaningful discussion about Disney movies.

My tiny heart exploded. And it felt good, because before it did, this made it fill up with candy and teddy bears.
Reply
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