This Town Ain't Big Enough For Two
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Nov. 27th, 2009 | 01:05 am
Ryan waited the longest five minutes of his life before he left the bathroom, hoping that the time lapse would prevent suspicion. Walking over to his friends’ table, Brendon was already sat down, a glass of rum and coke in his hand, chatting animatedly to Ryan’s current girlfriend, Kate.
A glass of colourless liquid was slid in front of Ryan before his ass has touched his seat. He took a sip and grimaced.
Kate looked worried. “Is there something wrong with your drink, Baby?”
Ryan shook his head quickly, flushing intensely. “N-No, it just tastes…” of guilt and betrayal, he thought to himself, praying that when he finished the sentence that that wouldn’t be the answer his tongue forced out of his mouth, “pretty strong.”
Brendon didn’t turn to face him. “It’s exactly what you always have, Ryan. Gin and tonic.” Then brown eyes met gold. “It’s exactly what you like.”
At that moment, Ryan would have sold his left arm to be able to look away, but his eyes were locked with Brendon’s and he found himself agreeing. “Yeah. Exactly what I like.”
Later that night, someone joined Ryan on the hotel balcony, the scent of cigarette smoke hitting him before he even realised anyone was there.
He leant against the barrier, the cold metal burying into his ribs, preventing him from falling, or jumping. He wasn’t sure which. A lit cigarette passed from his band mate’s fingers into his own.
“I don’t try to be a dick, Ry.”
Ryan snorted, then proceeded to cough dramatically, as the smoke caught in his lungs. Wheezing and red-faced he spluttered, “Yeah, r-right.”
Brendon just looked amused. “Those things’ll kill you, you know,” he laughed, beckoning to the cigarette clasped between Ryans fingers.
“Thanks f-for the war-ning.”
Breathing deeply, Ryan recovered, and hastily passed it back to Brendon, who took a quick drag, and blew smoke-rings out into the enclosing sky.
“I don’t try to be a dick, Ry,” he repeated, slowly, as though he were trying to convince himself of the fact.
Ryan turned to go back inside. “Just leave me alone, Brendon.”
Ryan was drunk, and after the first few attempts to prise Brendon’s lips off his jawline, he gave up and turned his face to meet them.
“I have a girlfriend,” he murmured into Brendon’s mouth.
Now Brendon was running his tongue over the lobe of Ryan’s left ear.
“This is wrong.”
Brendon started to undo Ryan’s belt.
Ryan couldn’t say anything after that.
“Ryan said we should get a house together,” Kate informed the group a week later.
“Funny that,” Brendon smiled, his face a smooth blend of malice and innocence, “he said the same thing to Keltie.”
The table went silent and Ryan stared at his drink.
Kate continued, her smile faltering. “He said we’re perfect for each other.”
Ryan didn’t even have chance to raise his eyes before Brendon cut in. “Yeah, well, Ryan tends to say a lot of things he doesn’t mean.”
Ryan spent the rest of the evening attempting to coax a sobbing Kate out of the toilets.
That night, once Kate had been tucked into bed, finally convinced of Ryan’s devotion to her, Ryan let himself into Brendon’s room.
“What the fuck, Brendon? What the actual fuck?”
Brendon didn’t look up from his laptop. “What’s up, Ry?”
“What’s up?” Ryan hollowly laughed. “What’s fucking up, Brendon? Are you fucking serious?” He took a deep breath. “You are the most conceited, hateful person I think I’ve ever met.”
Then it was Brendon laughing. “Hateful? You think I’m hateful?”
“What else am I supposed to think? You’re fucking up the only good thing that’s ever happened to me!”
Sat in his chair, Ryan towering over him, Brendon was nothing more than a little child, lost, alone, and dripping with shame. “I don’t mean to be a dick, Ry,” he whispered, staring at his hands.
“Then why, Brendon? Why the fuck do you do this to me?” His anger wavered and momentarily feigned as submission. “What’s your problem, Bren?”
“My problem?” Brendon looked confused for a few seconds, before staring directly into Ryan’s eyes. “My problem… my problem is that I love you, Ryan Ross. My problem is that I love you so fucking much that it physically hurts. My problem is that I love you so much that it kills me to watch you lie to yourself.” He stood, slowly, and leant over, so his lips were a breath away from Ryan’s ear. “My problem is that you are the only good thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Ryan said nothing, turned, and walked away.
Two months later, and Brendon gets the call he had been dreading for weeks, but knew was coming, from Spencer.
“We had lunch. It’s just the two of us now, kid.”
“Ryan’s left, huh?”
“Jon too. Thought an even split down the middle would be easier on everyone.”
“Yeah. Easier.” The doorbell rang. “Hang on, Spence, I’ll call you back. Someone’s at the door.”
Closing his cell, he flung the door open. “What do you w…”
Ryan stood in the doorway, fingers fidgeting with the fabric of his pants. “I quit the band.”
Brendon nods. “I know.”
“I did it for you.”
Brendon felt his jaw drop painfully. “Y-you what?”
Their eyes met and Ryan stepped forwards. “Loving and working together doesn’t mesh, Brendon. It just can’t work.” He put a hand on Brendon’s neck, warmth against cool. “So I had to lose one. My career, or you.” He cupped Brendon’s face. “You keep the band, B. As long as I can keep you.”
And from that moment on, they were apart.
But more together than ever before.