553 words; PG; Z/Ryan
Written for anon_lovefest.
Z shakes his shoulder until he wakes up. He blinks and he has a massive headache and he's nude, and Z is in the same bad as him, her hair mused and lipstick smudged across her cheek. It's not that uncommon for them to wake up next to each other except Z's nude too and that's different.
Z holds out one shaky hand, a formal-looking paper between two fingers. Ryan takes it and stares at it and upon reading it his first thought is about their rings. They look very cheap and they will likely leave green rings around their fingers.
His second thought is that he's married. Wow. He says, "I'd say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas except I grew up in Vegas so I don't think that works."
Z hits him.
"Should we get a annulment?"
Ryan shrugs. He's not sure what all the criteria for that is. "Divorced?"
Z hangs her head. "I'd like to be able to say I've never been divorced and not be lying."
Ryan chews on his bottom lips for a while, then says, "We could stay married?" He's not sure if he's joking or not.
Z snaps her head towards him and half smiles and fiddles with the ring on her finger. She doesn't seem sure either.
They decide not to tell anyone. Ryan doesn't want to go through all the jokes. All the comments about that time he'd said Z was his wife and how now she really is. About how he should have known better than to take a trip with a girl on Valentine's day, even if the girl is supposed to just be a friend.
Anyway, there's no use telling anyone when they've stopped talking.
Not talking is really counterproductive to finding a solution.
Ryan wishes he remembered sleeping with Z. He knows it happened because when they left the hotel room they'd found a used condom on the floor, and Ryan doesn't have a habit of using a condom when he's jerking off.
Then again, remembering would probably make everything more awkward.
Z calls him exactly one week after they get married. She says, "So. We should probably talk about this at some point."
Ryan says, "I was thinking. We should stay married."
The line is silent. Ryan's considering hanging up when she says, "Oh. You want to marry me?"
"I'm already married to you."
She doesn't laugh.
He clears his throat and tries again. "I guess. I mean, why not? I'm not doing anything else."
She says, "Oh. Hm." Keltie would have been hurt, upset, by his flippant tone. She would have cried.
But Z isn't Keltie. She isn't any of the girls he's dated—he's not even dating her.
No, he's married to her.
She says, "I'm not doing anything else either."
The line is quiet again.
"Tennessee just came over so I'm going," she says, and Ryan hums. She says, "Well, talk to you later."
Ryan jumps. "Want to go out for dinner later?"
She clears her throat. "Like a date?"
"Well, we are married."
She's silent for the longest time and Ryan can hear Tennessee in the background, talking that's too far away for him to hear. She says, "Okay," before hanging up. He thinks he hears a smile in her voice.
Moving Through the Dark
1,548 words; PG-13; Brendon/Ryan
Written for anon_lovefest. Watersports.
Ryan doesn't notice Brendon until the accident. Oh, sure he's noticed him, obviously, because it's hard not to notice someone when you're yelling at them to get the lyrics right or that their voice needs to be angrier or that, hey, they're late for practice again. (Spencer says that Ryan treats Brendon like an object to be shaped and he's going to drive Brendon away; Spencer doesn't know what he's talking about.)
But one day they're all in Spencer's grandma's basement and Brendon's late (again) and to make matters worse, when he finally does decide to grace them with his presence, he can't get any of the lines right. He's fucking them up left and right and he stressing what doesn't need to be stressed and mumbling what's especially important and he's a beat ahead of the music and he's squirming.
Ryan stops playing with a jar of his guitar, and Spencer and Brent follow soon after. Spencer says, "Ryan," like an exasperated warning, but Ryan just stalks over to Brendon and grabs the mic from Brendon. He starts, "You—" but Brendon says, "I'm going to the bathroom."
Ryan shakes his head, hair whipping. Spencer and Brent relocate to the other side of the basement, picking up magazines and cookies and settling down to watch them and whisper to each other. Brendon goes to follow them, or maybe to the bathroom, Ryan doesn't really care. He grabs Brendon's arm and yanks him, so he stumbles halfway into Ryan.
"Do you fuckin' want to be in this band or not?" he hisses, because he doesn't want Spencer hearing. It's harder to get chewed out when Spencer doesn't know exactly what he's said.
Brendon twists his face and says, "Ryan. Wait a minute, okay?" He tries twisting out of Ryan's hold but Ryan says, "If you don't want to be in the band, than fuckin' tell me 'cause you're wasting our time," and jabs the mic into Brendon's stomach.
Brendon's eyes widen and he stops squirming, and Ryan thinks finally. He tightens his grip on Brendon's arm and shakes him a little and says, "Do you want in or not?" He wants to yell more but Brendon's looking frightened and Ryan doesn't want him to starting crying or something. That would be the worst.
Brendon looks down and breathes, "Holy crap," and Ryan sees the dark stain coloring the front of Brendon's jeans before Brendon runs up the stairs. Ryan stares after him, his mind jarred to a halt, and he ignores Spencer and Brent asking him what he did—why Brendon ran off.
The thing is—Ryan should be teasing Brendon. He should be teasing Brendon for not being able to hold himself, for not knowing when he has to piss or not, for fucking peeing in his pants. Ryan should be disgusted and he should laughing. He should be telling Spencer because then Spencer will forget all about being mad at Ryan.
But he doesn't do any of that. Their next practice, Brendon is on time, though he won't look anyone in the eye. (Spencer shoots Ryan a pointed look.)
When Brendon messes up, fumbles a word in Lying, Ryan lets it slide. He keeps letting it slide because, well. Because he keeps imagining in his mind's eye, him stopping and stomping over to Brendon. He keeps imagining Brendon squirming against his hold and he keeps seeing Brendon's jeans darken. He keeps imagining this and his throat closes up so there's no use stopping when he has no voice with which to correct.
They finish up practice, Spencer alternating between sending Ryan smug or concerned glances. Brent smiles at Ryan and says, "What are you, sick or something?" He scrunches his face and laughs.
Ryan rolls his eyes and turns away from Brent. He turns right into Brendon, who is standing there shifting on his feet and twisting his sleeves. Ryan wonders why he's shifting, if it's just his normal restlessness or something more.
Brendon wraps his hand around Ryan's wrist and pulls him away from the other two, to the corner where the mini fridge is. Ryan can feel eyes on his back.
Brendon fidgets some more, his head twitching one, twice. He says, "You don't have to be nice to me just because..." His hand flies about, painting nothing in the air. He's staring at his sneakers.
Ryan half smiles. He says, "I know," then wishes he'd said something else because "I know" sounds cocky and like he's being nice for a reason other than the fact that he's just as embarrassed as Brendon.
Brendon glances up from his shoes, tilts his head and gives him a tiny smile back before flushing and looking away.
It takes two more practices until Ryan goes back to nitpicking Brendon. Only now he can see how much Brendon is trying. How much he really does want to be part of the band.
He's forced to this conclusion because it's not like Brendon's putting more effort into singing just to make up for his accident. No. He's Brendon and he's hyper and he bounces back a full practice before Ryan does. It's like he forgot about it.
Ryan hasn't forgotten.
"We should hang out at my house tonight, for the whole night," Brent says, and it painfully obvious how he avoids the word "sleepover" because he once said how he's the straightest one in band and he has to bring up the masculinity levels before they all grow vaginas. "Got some new video games."
Brendon says, "Like a sleepover?" and his eyes are bright.
Spencer raises his eyebrows at Ryan and inclines his head towards Brendon, his mouth soft. Ryan agrees; Brendon's probably never been to a sleepover before.
Ryan's a little surprised Brendon's managed to convince his parents to let him sleep at Brent's house. But he has and he's here and the evening is okay. Nothing spectacular.
They watch gory horrors and Nightmare Before Christmas, because Brendon's never seen it. Brent's mom makes dinner, lasagna, and the bottom is burnt but they all mumble around gags about how good it is and go back for seconds. They play Need for Speed for the rights to sleep on the couch. Ryan and Brendon lose; stuck with sleeping bags on the floor. Ryan loses because halfway through Ryan's race against Spencer, Brendon gets up to go the bathroom and that completely ruins Ryan's concentration. Brendon loses because Ryan keeps poking his toes into Brendon's back in revenge. Brendon loses because halfway through the game he drops the controller, twists around, and pounces on Ryan, tickling him until he screams "Uncle!" and just about pisses himself.
They all start to drop off to sleep around two in the morning.
Ryan can't sleep because Brendon's sleeping bag is too close. He's wuffing into Ryan's ear. Ryan just lays there and stares at the darkened ceiling until he feels Brendon stir beside him. He cracks his eyes open and watches Brendon stumble out of the living room, down the hallway and into the bathroom. He turns the light on but doesn't close the bathroom door, the light spilling into the hallway.
Ryan follows. He stands in the bathroom doorway, head against the frame, and he just watches. He watches Brendon, with his hand on his dick, gently guiding the stream into the toilet bowl. He watches how Brendon's eyes are shut, how he's half asleep, how he seems to nod off in the middle of pissing and a splash of urine hits the toilet seat because Brendon's so out of it he hasn't even lifted it.
Ryan watches until Brendon's done and he shakes his dick out, eyes still closed. He watches and then he slinks away because he knows better than to let Brendon see him.
He creeps back to the living room and crawls in his sleeping bag and slips a hand down the front of his pajama bottoms, right into his boxers. He closes his eyes and his mind is in the bathroom, with Brendon.
"You alright?" Brendon asks, and his sleeping bag rustles. Brent and Spencer are still sleeping, kind of slumped over each other on the couch. Spencer's going to get a neck crick and be a bitch about it in the morning.
"I'm fine," Ryan whispers, and pulls his hand out slowly. Brendon's so oblivious.
Brendon smiles and flails about in his sleeping bag until he's pressed up against Ryan. He grabs Ryan's hand (the one that was just down his pants; Ryan's breath catches) and shakes it for no reason at all.
He's just about to fall back asleep when Ryan leans forward and closes his mouth around Brendon's fingers. He didn't wash his hands; he smells like musk and urine, sweet and searing. Brendon gasps, his eyes wide—he's awake now.
Ryan releases his fingers, and even though there's spit clinging to Brendon's fingers, Ryan's mouth is dry. He wiggles down in his sleeping bag, so his head is covered. He can hear Brendon breathing beside him, can practically feel Brendon breathing, he's so close, but Brendon does nothing. After a few minutes, Ryan feels Brendon's hand leave his sleeping bag and withdraw into his own, and Ryan falls asleep. He can still smell Brendon.