It’s Spencer’s smile that gives him away, every single time.
The traitorous twitch of his lips just happens and Ryan slaps his arm, even as he convulses into a fit of coughing which in turn makes him slap Spencer again. He knows what Spencer’s thinking and Spencer hates him for knowing and loves him for knowing.
Because, the irony is, he’s not fooling anyone but Ryan when he smiles.
And Spencer smiles all the fucking time around Ryan. Legendary smiles that begin and end with Ryan’s presence and rarely ever appear around anyone else, but somehow, Ryan doesn’t get it.
Spencer’s notorious as far as his own family goes – being the only one of them, the only Smith, who doesn’t share the smile, a megawatt-heart-stopping-leave-people-breathless sort of thing, with just anyone. On rare, rare… very rare occasions it’s shown up. So the family can safely say, with all accuracy, he does indeed have the Smith smile gene.
It’s not even a huge deal really or Spencer thinks it isn’t. Smiling when you’re a baby isn’t required but it sort of is expected. Babies laugh and giggle and overall, at least in the Smith family, are happy. And Spencer, he’s the fifth and they were worried. His grandmother, every time the story gets told at family reunions, blames him for premature worry lines.
Thing is, he didn’t smile as a baby, squirmy and inquisitive; or as a toddler, chubby, cute and precocious; or as a preschooler, entirely too curious that he’d been lost at the zoo twice before the age of four. He still thinks it’s a bit ridiculous how often they bring up his lack of smiling and how often they like to remind him of who actually made him smile first, but looking over at Ryan, feeling time slow down like he’s in a fucking rom-com, he smiles fully and bright at the first person, the only person who’s ever made him light up.
And he tries to remain optimistic, because at five, he fucking found the love of his life and it’s not been easy, but it was supposed to get better. They had a dream together, and a life planned out and so what if he isn’t gay, never been interested in other boys. He’s not been interested in girls either. He hates the labels and the forced explanations, like anyone can explain love and sexual attraction. He’s Ryan-oriented and that’s it. Except, he’s waited too long, let too much time pass them by for making a move, and instead of living the fairy-tale romance, he’s pulling up to Ryan’s undead boyfriend’s home, distinctly lacking in macabre aesthetics.
It’s such a fucking let down.
Ryan smirks and slaps him yet again. “Quit mocking my boyfriend’s interior decorating.”
“It’s just wrong,” Spencer says, pulling away from the snotty tissues Ryan has balled up in his hands and searching the backseat for hand sanitizer. “He’s too normal for a vampire.”
A snort that turns into frantic nose blowing accompanies Ryan’s sarcastic, “Oh yeah, so normal. Nothing kinky or atypical going on here.”
Spencer frowns and not just because he can’t find the sanitizer. “Thanks for that fucker. I need to bleach my brain yet again,” but Ryan only laughingly throws over his shoulder, “Your loss. My sex life’s better than porn.”
Spencer hits his head when he bounces back frontwards in his chair, and Ryan barely contains his giggle fits at Spencer’s indignant expression. “C’mon Spencer, let’s go. It’s not like he bites. Okay so he does, but I promise he’ll behave tonight.”
“You’re high,” Spencer says, getting out of the car and catching Ryan as he walks unsteadily towards the house.
“M’not,” Ryan whines, and nearly trips on the porch landing.
“Shit Ryan, it’s a good thing you’re straight edge, you can’t even hold your Nyquil.”
“Shut up,” Ryan gets out just as Brendon opens the door and sniffs Ryan before either of them can knock.
“You’re sick,” Brendon says despondently. “And you took drugs.”
Ryan protests and argues, but Brendon’s not buying it and talking about going out for a snack, just like Spencer had expected. He exchanges glances with Ryan that say I told you so and hesitates in the hallway, because Ryan’s a stubborn fucker who usually always gets what he wants one way or another, but Spencer’s memories of their last visit still weird him out.
He’s not really interested in being reminded of how much he liked Brendon’s fangs piercing him, being forced to feed Brendon and how utterly enamored he behaved. Or how utterly useless, Ryan, who supposedly isn’t affected by Brendon’s vampire wiles, let himself be around the asshole.
Spencer knows he was a jerk, but seriously, it’s only human nature to question when someone claims to be a vampire. Brendon didn’t have to act so superior and rub everything in his face or make a snack out of Spencer without asking. Brendon says he never forces Ryan, but how’s Spencer to trust him when he took Spencer’s blood by force and coercion?
And why it comes as a huge surprise when Spencer hears himself offer – “Uhm,” he says, panicking slightly now he has Ryan’s attention and unable to hold his gaze. He collects himself by ignoring Ryan’s desperate look and gazing at the opposite wall. “I’ll do it. If you want.”
“What, really? I thought… .” Ryan’s eyebrows rise and Spencer thinks maliciously what has he got to be so upset about. It’s Spencer’s blood and sanity, not his.
But Spencer offers more surely this time. “Yeah, I’ll do it, but you have to stay here.”
In his peripheral vision, Spencer sees Brendon watching them, his head swiveling between Ryan and him. He doesn’t say anything, and he had better not as far as Spencer’s concerned because it’s up to Ryan. He’s leaving it up to Ryan and doing this for Ryan and this is so fucking ridiculous, he should leave actually. He can’t though, he never tells Ryan no or walks out on him, even when he’s the most selfish fucker on the planet.
So when Ryan asks, “Are you sure?” He nods decidedly, taking a quick peek at Brendon then rapidly fixing his gaze on Ryan instead. Ryan's a temptation Spencer has had years of practice avoiding, and Brendon shouldn’t even be one. He suppresses that thought as quick as it appears. He can’t think of Brendon in any way, but as a… vampire, a monster, who is horribly taking advantage of his friend.
His face goes a bit pink. Spencer knows he’s blushing because his body feels on fire and he’s not sure exactly what he’s agreed to, but it means Brendon will have complete control over him. Already he feels the tug of urgency thrumming in himself, the excitement of being so close to what he preternaturally desires.
“You don’t want him to go out, and he can’t drink from you. I’ll do it,” Spencer says and cringes at how breathless he sounds.
Spencer avoids looking at Brendon when he pipes up with an, “perfectly fine with me” agreement, and is relieved to hear no smugness or superiority in his tone. Spencer's still not sure he’s worked out the reality of what he’s about to do or the logistics.
Ryan solves this problem for him. “Um, do you want to sit here with me?” He asks. “Or just for me to be in the room while you do it?”
“Could you,” Spencer starts and then stops, noticing he’s being such a wuss, his voice too falsetto and the hem of his t-shirt twisted in his fist. He restarts, unballing his fists and heading towards Ryan, “Could I maybe sit next to you?”
Ryan’s acting weird and Spencer’s having a hard time reading his expression. It’s new, not one that he’s seen before and he already feels awkward. He needs Ryan to be normal through this. “I don’t know, is this too much?” He asks, because honestly, Spencer doesn’t even know how they’ve gotten here.
“No, no,” Ryan’s answer comes quick, too quick, but Spencer’s moving across the room, seeking him out for comfort already. He can’t stop his forward movement and skirts Brendon carefully, not wanting to touch him at all without the anchoring presence of Ryan. “Come here Spence, you can sit here. I’ll be right here.”
Ryan pats the seat beside him. His look of encouragement so hopeful, that Spencer wants to bolt. He purses his lips to bite back a sarcastic retort – one full of blame for Brendon and for Ryan. Bravo maestros. They’ve manipulated Spencer into willingly participating in his own private hell.
Brendon observes him thoughtfully, and Spencer can look away so he figures he’s not totally under Brendon’s spell yet. He appreciates Brendon’s self-constraint, but finds it a bit delusional on his part when Brendon’s getting what he wants without even having to work for it.
It’s Ryan’s hand on his thigh, squeezing, that jolts Spencer back to reality. Things must’ve gotten too surreal in his head because he tenses when Ryan pulls him close, tugging on him to get Spencer even closer and whispering, “thank you.” He’s petting Spencer’s thigh, but Spencer can’t help jerking at Brendon’s voice, “Alright,” and the feel of Brendon cupping the back of his neck.
Spencer whimpers because Brendon’s licking his neck and Ryan’s hand is way too close to his crotch and where Spencer wants it. His other arm’s around Spencer’s waist, holding him tight like he’s afraid Spencer might bail on them, he and Brendon. His face is buried in Spencer’s neck though and Spencer tries to ignore how turned on he’s getting just having Brendon tonguing his neck, wetting it obscenely with open-mouthed licks, but he goes stiff all over when Brendon bites and Ryan leans in to breathe him in.
It’s sensory overload. His eyes fall shut and he relaxes almost instantly again, his muscles looser than they’ve ever been. His body more boneless than he is after orgasm and he tries to fight how it makes him feel. How completely open it makes him and how it feels too much like belonging, like he’s owned thoroughly by this need to please Brendon… and Ryan. He wants this with Ryan too, but it’s Brendon’s moan of pleasure that has him falling back against the back of the couch, his thighs falling apart.
Brendon and Ryan go with him. They’re laying him down slow, and Spencer knows it’s to keep Brendon from tearing his neck open on fangs and he still cannot check himself. He groans loudly and grabs the inside of Ryan’s thigh, can’t help himself, especially when it’s Ryan’s lips pressed against the other side of his neck.
There are fingers digging into Spencer’s side, but Spencer stares blankly up at the ceiling while he kneads Ryan’s thigh and moans again when Brendon’s lips suck steady and strong, his blood flowing out of him easier. He pants harshly and arches because oh god Brendon's pressing Ryan’s palm tightly against his cock.
“Okay, Spence?” Ryan asks, and Spencer digs his feet into the floor for leverage and arches more and tries not to keen as Ryan squeezes his dick, fitting his fingers around the shape of it. Brendon’s slowing down and Spencer wants to believe he’s gaining more control of himself, but he isn’t, especially since Ryan’s maneuvered himself into a position to open Spencer’s fly.
Spencer closes his eyes tight. His mouth hangs open, but he sucks in, trying to draw a breath. It isn’t working and when Ryan’s hand grips his cock perfectly, tugs it rhythmically and sure and strokes with intent, each pull begging Spencer to come, he might stop breathing for a second or two.
They’re pressed together so tightly that every breath Spencer takes, each drawn-out strained whine rubs he and Ryan hotly together. Spencer can hear Ryan panting against the side of his neck and Spencer crests, his orgasm rolls through him and he convulses, his thighs lifting up but his upper body held down by Brendon. He shudders a few more times, hoping it isn’t because of Brendon licking clean the bloody punctures on his neck, but because Ryan’s trying to move away from him and his crotch, his hard erection dragging across Spencer’s extremely sensitive thigh.
Brendon leaves as soon as Spencer's neck heals and Spencer is so glad for it. He is on the verge of a nervous breakdown or possibly a big gay freak out and he squirms away from Ryan as fast as he can once he gets his bearings. He’s just got off on his best friend and his best friend’s boyfriend.
Okay, so logically Spencer isn’t really dealing with the “usual” threesome dynamics given Brendon’s supernatural vampire sex vibes for luring prey, but still, he’s such a pervert and yanks his waistband together and buttons his jeans closed.
He sits there, in the middle of Brendon’s couch and hears Ryan try to soothe him, but nothing sinks in. He catches bits and pieces and swears he answers. It’s so like Ryan not to let him process things on his own. He breathes and turns his palm up, the one opposite Ryan and flexes his fingers, opening and closing his fist to circulate his blood better. He’s so wound up and he has to know. He had really thought he wouldn’t lose control like that… that he could manage to at least not get off on the entire blood sucking thing.
“No,” Spencer turns his face away from Ryan’s wide-eyed expression. He doesn’t want to see Ryan feeling sorry for him or worse shame… it was a pleasure that Spencer’s waited all his life for and he’s not going to feel regret. He refuses to be sorry that this has happened even if it’s the only time he’ll be given the chance.
“It’s just weird. I thought… Maybe I didn’t have to, you know.” He makes a vague gesture towards his crotch and hopes Ryan understands because Spencer cannot possibly say in the state he’s in. Talking about it might wind him up more and the last thing he wishes to be right now is hard again.
Spencer really needs to know Ryan’s why too. “I mean, was it some vampire pheromone thing or something?” It makes sense, and Spencer’s hit with a wave of relief until, “except that doesn’t work on you so.”
Ryan’s talking about making it good and oh god he had made it better, fantastic even but it already is. Ryan knows this and he's told Spencer what Spencer is to Brendon; a blood doll... the meal du Jour for vampires... some symbiotic shit that explains Spencer's crazed mental state when Brendon bites him.
Which is why Spencer should explain how sex with Brendon isn’t what he wants, and assure Ryan that he could be everything Spencer wants and needs. There’s no one else, except his thoughts are all jumbled and he says instead, “It was already… good or whatever. Look, I’m not gay. I didn’t need that…” And that’s not what he means.
However, Ryan’s already backtracking, explaining to Spencer why he did it and Spencer still refuses to look him in the eye because he can hear the disappointment in Ryan’s voice. “It doesn’t matter. I told you,” Ryan explains.
“It doesn’t matter,” he reiterates. “I won’t again, I promise.”
“Okay,” Spencer replies and gets up to leave.
There’s nothing left to say and Spencer worries if he says anything else, he’ll blurt it all out. Ryan’s pulling away from him, heading towards Brendon’s bedroom and all Spencer can think is come home with me. How can you not see now, after this, you’re meant to be with me?
Spencer doesn’t say anything though. Ever the mature, down-to-earth boy that he is, he goes home and hides in his room. He squashes the building need to touch his prick by debating the merits of sleeping forever versus facing Ryan ever again and laughs out loud when he realizes he’s writing himself off as Sleeping Beauty.
Spencer tries or he is trying. He knows he’s irritating Ryan and tormenting him simultaneously with the early wake-up calls, dragging him out to get smoothies, and not finishing any of his sentences.
And the lack of hugs is killing them both slowly, but Spencer just can’t. He’s not jacked off this much in his life and pretty much any of Ryan’s touches short circuit his brain and push all the blood to his lower extremities. He’s dying inside without normal Ryan and at the awkwardness that he’s causing, but he’s fearful of backing off too. He needs Ryan and he needs to somehow make it all better.
However, if he drinks another shit smoothie while watching the passel – (And damn he’s good. Ryan would be proud to know he used such an “intelligent” word in his own thoughts even as he took all the credit for it.) – of emotions contort Ryan’s face into the kicked puppy look, he’s going to barf. He has got to get passed this urge to blurt out what he’s feeling. All these desires he’s had for years, out of control now that he’s had Ryan’s hand on his dick, his tongue licking his neck and the biting. It’s a fantasy he’s been jerking off to since adolescence. Oh hell, if Spencer’s truthful with himself, it’s the only thing he’s jerked off to, from the very first time his hand met his dick personally on a one-to-one basis.
Except that he can’t and he’s too chicken to just say it. What’s he supposed to say now that he knows firsthand what Brendon and Ryan get up to. It makes him a total creeper or worse the pervy best friend. And he has way too much experience already being that.
And he’s not ready for the big reveal. He had hoped to avoid that entirely, easing Ryan into their change of relationship after they went to college together, lived together for some time, getting used to each other that way – possibly making out a few times drunkenly before Spencer, higher than a kite, confessed his lifelong Ryan crush. Yes, that had been the plan. A good one too, even if Spencer knew deep down it felt a bit too Hollywood to go as perfectly planned as it played out in his head. But still, it had been a sound plan, until Brendon, a fucking gay-friendly, kinky bastard of a vampire had shown up and shown Ryan all that Spencer wished he’d had the guts to do to Ryan.
Life wasn’t fucking fair and the reminder, yet again, that Spencer’s timing sucked and that he was cursed to always play catch-up with Ryan hurt him. It hurt worse than the twelve stitches Spencer had to get after standing shield between Ryan and his dad one particularly bad day and the guilty shame in Ryan’s eyes when Spencer lied to his parents about his fall. That easily had been the worse day of his life, until now. He is dying, really truly for real dying inside, over not being able to get his and Ryan’s friendship back to normal.
He is ready to give up, but it’s nearing the fourth of July and well, he and Ryan have a tradition, and if the possible destruction of Spencer’s garage with their homemade fireworks can’t get them back on track, he really thinks they will call it quits.
So he asks about fireworks hesitantly, but Ryan says, “of course,” so fast, looking at Spencer airily as if there was never a question to be asked and adds, “I’m bringing the saltpeter. Does the lock on the garage door still work?”
“Nah, they took it off last summer, remember?” Spencer can’t help the crooked smile that flits across his face or feeling ten times lighter than he has since eating three double cheeseburgers in three minutes stopped being a challenge for him.
“Oh yeah. We’ll just have to wait until they’re out,” Ryan offers, and Spencer knows without asking he’s remembering how brilliant fifty, fifty beautiful smoke bombs looked all lined up and the holy terror in his parents’ faces when they had confiscated them and chewed him out since Ryan’s a guest and Spencer should’ve known better than to involve him in his mad scheme or that now the door between the garage and laundry room is always open even though Spencer bangs his drums really loud some days just to be annoying.
Thank fuck. Spencer feels Ryan relax next to him like he usually always was before this mess with Brendon started and turning into Spencer before he heads through the front door, “Hey, I do think dad wants to try that barbecue thing this year again, but I’ll be over as soon as I can for yours.”
It’s idiotic and probably going to make Spencer desperate for a cold shower when he gets home, but Spencer is too happy things are completely back to normal and so he does a stupid hop skip onto the porch where Ryan’s standing stiffly – (Another thing that lets Spencer know things are okay, because Ryan hates going inside to his dad and lately with things being so awkward between him and Spencer, Ryan had actually started looking relieved rather than resigned when going through his front door.) – and hugs Ryan tight, holding onto him until Ryan swats Spencer away with a deep chuckle and warning that he’s going to miss curfew if he doesn’t haul ass home.
Two minutes to spare, but Spencer’s out of breath when he flings open the garage door to see Brendon behind his drum kit and the yell dies in his throat when Brendon says, “Don’t. She thinks you’ve been home for awhile now.”
Spencer races into the kitchen where his mom’s bopping around to Avril Lavigne. She swats him with a dishtowel when he scrunches his nose. “At least put some Green Day on and try to be cool, mom.”
“Don’t front, Spence. I’ve heard you and Ryan play Anything But Ordinary earnestly when you think I’m not listening.” She laughs out loud at his outrage and orders, “Go clean up your mess in the garage and rinse the coke cans before tossing them into the recycle bin. No dinner for you if you don’t,” she threatens in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice, but the joke falls flat because Spencer’s already heading back into the garage now that he’s certain she’s not been possessed, bitten or mutilated.
“Satisfied?” Brendon asks, pacing the garage now instead of being behind Spencer’s kit, like he knew what Spencer was thinking. And maybe it is obvious, because, Spencer sits down at his kit and leans over it, putting a barrier between him and Brendon before putting on his best bitchface and nearly snarling, “What’re you doing in my house?”
“Just checking out my competition, Spencer,” Brendon replies, lazily sidling up to the bass drum so he’s directly in front of Spencer. “That is what you are, right?”
Spencer growls, low and deep and Brendon, with a leer, leans forward to match Spencer’s movement forward, except his eyes go wide when Spencer balls his shirt in his fists and actually snarls this time, “He’s not a possession, asshole, or some game to win, and you said… look you’ve made him think he’s more than that to you, so don’t pull this bullshit with me.” And Spencer pushes Brendon back as hard as he can, and Brendon, the undead freak that he is barely skids across the floor but he does give Spencer space.
“And seriously, how did you get in here,” Spencer asks angrily, “I thought you had to be invited.”
“Ryan invited me in one night,” Brendon shoots off with a smug grin, settling against the wall perpendicular to Spencer and his drums, watching Spencer from an angle and with intent.
“Ryan doesn’t own this space.”
Brendon’s grin only gets wider and more smug. “Really?”
Spencer hates that he’s so obvious and feels reckless knowing Brendon could bend him to his will with just words, and despite this he still engages the enemy. He stands, crowding Brendon and Brendon watches him carefully, but allows it.
“He doesn’t,” Spencer says, low and furious. “So how the hell are you here?”
“You tell me since my presence here negates all your possessiveness.” And Brendon isn’t just talking about Spencer’s home anymore.
However, Spencer’s nothing like Ryan. He has control, has never been afraid of his fantasies, or shied away from his darker side, because now that he’s exploring them, he’s always subconsciously known it’s what Ryan needs.
He flips Brendon, pushing Brendon’s face into the wall, pushing Brendon’s entire body hard into it and pulling Brendon’s arms and wrists tight behind his back. Spencer positions himself flush against Brendon, hoisting his entire weight up and flat against Brendon, using his height to pin Brendon down. “You have no right to be here,” he says, slamming Brendon harder into the wall with his hips, not afraid of hurting someone, something that’s already dead.
Brendon gasps and lets out a moan. His eyes catch Spencer’s and there’s heat and desire there and more. Something dark worms its way into Spencer’s bloodstream, burns through it and makes him want to slap the look off Brendon’s face or tie him down and beat him. He recoils back.
Brendon sags against the wall with a whine and Spencer sees the same demented look on Brendon’s face he imagines comes over his face when Brendon drinks from him. He wants to hurl or punch Brendon or probably both when he doubles over to catch his breath. “Are you getting off on this?”
“Yeah, so what?” Brendon sneers, showing off his fangs, and he stays slumped against the wall, though his eyes are clear of whatever was there before. “It’s rare for a blood doll to be able to resist me and you’re such an aggressive, pretty bitch. Makes me want to eat you up, especially when you’re trying so hard to ignore reality.”
“What reality, dickhead? The time where you didn’t ask, just took my blood because you wanted to make a point or where you’ve convinced Ryan you really care? How much longer do you think you can play pretend before Ryan sees you for the monster you are?”
“Oh touché, Spencer Smith, touché,” Brendon whispers, his tone laced with venom. “How long do you think you can keep your secrets with me around to expose them.”
“I'm not anything like you,” Spencer hisses, remembering the gut-wrenching hate he felt after Brendon bit his wrist the first time. “And I am not your puppet and neither is Ryan.” Although, Ryan sure had looked it – Pinocchio had nothing on him – while Spencer suffered mind-numbing humiliation at Brendon’s fangs and mouth, but he knows, he has to believe if Ryan thought Brendon didn’t really care, that Ryan wouldn’t take it.
“Keep telling yourself that.” Brendon gathers himself, throwing his arms wide and fixing Spencer with an unwavering stare. “But think about all your missing. This was just a small taste of what Ryan lets me do to him.”
“You were just there. You’ve given him what he thinks he wants, but do you think you’d ever have a chance with him if I made a move on him? You’re convenient now. That’s all. You don’t mean anything deeper to him. You never will,” Spencer spits out as he begins picking up coke cans to keep himself in check.
“Wow! I told him, but he wouldn’t believe me,” Brendon says defiant, his face full of jealousy, as if their exchange actually affects him. Spencer doesn’t want to believe it. He cannot choose to believe that Brendon’s feelings are involved and be justified in all the he feels.
“You told him what,” Spencer asks, already knowing what Brendon is going to say but needing someone other than himself to verbalize it. He’s kept everything in regards to Ryan suppressed so long, he doesn’t even know how he’s got this far with Brendon.
“That it’s him. You want him and would do everything he wants and more. You’re his best friend. Why the hell would he choose something as unreal as me over you?” Brendon sounds shocked at his own realizations.
Spencer shrugs. “He’s been programmed all his life to think no one could care about him, why would he think we’d be different?”
“Seriously?” Brendon comes to stand right next to Spencer, leans into him and peers up at Spencer through his fringe he’s using to hide his face from Brendon. “You haven’t tried hard enough. You’re a coward, a cowardly douchebag, for letting your friend develop feelings for an undead boyfriend rather than man up.”
Spencer punches Brendon then.
Blood trickles out of Brendon’s nose, and Spencer gets a few moments of satisfaction thinking fuck yeah, he can bleed before Brendon ruins it all by swiping it clean with his fingers and then going about licking his hand and palm like a cat giving itself a bath. It’s so demoralizing that Spencer deflates and hopes his mother hollers, “supper” soon.
“Isn’t Ryan expecting you?” he asks, subdued for the night.
“He is, but I came here to talk to you… to let you know I can take care of him too, you know,” Brendon answers, and he sounds pitiful and snotty all at once and much like Spencer, Brendon’s stance is tired, bent and fretful. Though, he looks younger than Spencer.
They’re both so fucked up and Spencer can’t even blame Brendon because he’s pretty much been this way for Ryan since the beginning. So he knows and understands.
Brendon straightens up when Spencer comes towards him though, cautious even, but starts in surprise when Spencer clamps him on the shoulder, firm but maybe a bit encouraging now that he sees Brendon’s side of things more clearly. “Don’t you dare repeat any of this conversation to him and I swear to God, I will stake you through the heart if you do anything to break him. Well, break him more than he already is.”
Brendon texts Spencer after Spencer gets the worst phone call by far from Ryan ever, and the texts from Brendon do nothing to help, only freak him out more. So when the last text comes in telling Spencer he has about an hour until Ryan and Brendon show up, Spencer is pretty much convinced he has only one option.
The idiot thinks he could leave Spencer behind and Spencer’s so pissed that when they drive up, Ryan climbing out of the car, looking so unsure of what’s going on that Spencer snaps. He shoves Ryan in the chest, not hard but enough to make him stumble, and hisses, “you fucking moron.” He drops his backpack on the ground next to them and debates if he can kill Ryan, when the moron looks to Brendon for affirmation, as if Brendon’s been his lifeline in this world and not Spencer. “Go get your stupid stuff and your guitar. I am so mad at you now, but there’s no time.”
And Spencer freaking loses his mind for the first time ever with Ryan, actually wants to physically strangle him, when instead of obeying Spencer, he scrambles back to the car, yanking the handle to pull the door open.
“Oh no you don’t, you fuckface,” and Spencer knows he’s manhandling Ryan roughly and making a scene that’s potentially endangering them all from leaving together, but he’s irrational. He’s always been so damn calm and mature and he’s done with it since Ryan, the little fucker, couldn’t be bothered to say goodbye to him in person or better yet, include him in his plan to escape this hellhole life he leads when Spencer has always included him.
“Are you serious?” Spencer shouts and realizes his voice shakes and cracks under the strain of the livid anger pulsing through him. He jerks Ryan away from the car, towards him, and nearly face-plants Ryan into the asphalt. “Did you think you could just leave me?”
And oh, his dickwad best friend, who supposedly loves him most, really thought Spencer didn’t care enough to follow him out of here. Spencer doesn’t even hear what Ryan mutters in response but he knows what the idiot’s questioning all the same. He senses it in the tightness of Ryan’s stance and the way he wrings his hands, trying to twist away from Spencer.
Spencer tries not to take it personally, but never in his life has he been so close to murdering Ryan or kissing the very breath out of him than now. “What?”
And he hears Ryan repeat himself, louder this time, swallowing as if the words are stuck in his throat. “I asked you. You said you’d never leave them. Your family.”
He stares at the imbecile while sucking in huge, deep breaths in hopes of calming himself down and finally answers, “You’re my family, Ryan. More than anyone. How do you not know this?”
They, Ryan and he stand there, trying to will the other to see what’s so obvious to everyone around them. Spencer knows because his parents indulge him and other times they look at Spencer with such sadness, knowing he’s chosen the worst possible person to love. He knows they’re just being protective, but those days his bitchface comes out in full force and they learn firsthand how different he is from them, from the twins… from everyone else in this fucking universe who hasn’t the courage to stay true to the one thing they love. It’s never been difficult for Spencer.
He’ll follow Ryan to the ends of the earth, right off the edge and no one’s going to stop him. He’s going to and proves it when Brendon’s voice breaks through their standoff. “Could you maybe get in the car now before people come out here and stop you?”
Ryan startles, but Spencer lets go of him instantly, opening the door behind the driver’s seat and flinging his backpack inside. He has his seatbelt fastened before Ryan can say anything, his face defying Ryan and just daring him or Brendon to tell him no.
Brendon leans his face against his hand and looks resigned. “Get your stuff, Ryan. Quickly,” he commands and Spencer bristles that Ryan acts as if he’ll obey Brendon after giving Spencer a searching glance, and does when Spencer raises his chin defiantly. Nothing, not even Brendon and his vampire strength, will keep him from coming.
Together, Brendon and Spencer watch Ryan’s hesitant retreating back, waiting until he’s in the house before turning on each other. “What the hell, Spencer, I texted you so you’d be here to talk him out of coming. Not so you’d come along for the ride. Now I’ve got two of you to take care of.”
Spencer snorts. His – “What the fuck’s your problem, Brendon, sneaking out on Ryan’s the stupidest thing you could’ve done. Did you even think it through? Ryan’s a stubborn ass.” – being overridden by a derisive, “Oh sure, Urie, you’re a real caretaker. Ryan told me all about the snacks you buy him for sustenance.”
They both let out high-pitched hysterical laughter when they realize how ridiculous the conversation is. Neither is ready for what comes next, but Ryan’s not really giving them any other option.
“We’re supposed to live together,” and Brendon’s voice pitches more hysterically and Spencer realizes he’s still laughing, just as maniacally as Brendon.
“Say it with me,” Spencer sputters. “I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food.”
Okay, so Brendon’s freaked out expression aimed at him isn’t exactly unwarranted. He’s quoting Finding Nemo to a straight edge vampire, who he hates and possibly is running away with, but Spencer’s not easily intimidated and smiles huge giving Brendon the patented Smith smile and shrugs. “Dude, it’s true. You remember not to think of me as food, we’ll be fine. I’ll avoid you, you’ll avoid me and somehow together, we’ll keep Ryan alive for a little longer. Okay?”
If Brendon’s eyes weren’t bugging out over Disney quotes, they are now and his grin’s startling wide despite his surprise. He puts out a wondering hand towards Spencer’s face, stroking along Spencer’s smile and exclaims, “Damn Spencer, you’ve been holding out on everyone. You’re gorgeous.”
And what’s Spencer supposed to say to that. “Shut up Urie,” he manages, ducking his head somewhat self-consciously.
“No, really. Has Ryan seen this smile? How’s he ever resisted you?”
“You’ve met Ryan, right? The lad’s got no common sense,” and Brendon belts out a few normal sounding laughs when Spencer uses his poshest British accent. “Gotta wonder what’s stuffed in that head of his. Young ones nowadays. They just don’t know how good they have it.”
And that’s it, they both lose it, laughing out their tension until Spencer’s hiccupping and Brendon’s slouched against the steering wheel. “We’ll be okay,” Spencer states firmly and believes it with his whole heart. “Also, thanks for giving me more time with him. I had begun to think I’d lose him. That maybe he’d given up completely.”
“He had,” Brendon says quietly, leaving everything else Spencer can read in his expression unsaid.
It hurts him all over again to know that Ryan once again has turned to Brendon for saving, but Spencer’s aware now, Brendon can’t do it on his own. He’s asked Spencer for help and as much as they don’t approve of each other, they’re united in their Ryan responsibility.
“Well just because I’m here doesn’t mean I’ve stopped hating you. I really hate you, Brendon Boyd Urie,” and Spencer snickers when Brendon groans hearing his middle name.
“I am not a mindless eating machine,” Brendon says huffily and grins at Spencer in the rearview mirror. “Fish are friends, not food.”
“Progress. Finally!” Spencer fist pumps the air when he catches sight of Ryan standing immobile in front of his door. “Hey, hit the horn. Ryan’s overthinking locking the door.”
Brendon taps the horn and it gets Ryan moving. He hops in the back with Spencer, looking between Brendon and Spencer contemplatively. Spencer looks at him steadily, waiting for the inevitable questions that always come with Ryan.
They’re easing past the last suburb of the city, moving further away from their hometown when Ryan finally gets the nerve up to talk to Spencer. He watches Ryan squirm closer and Ryan asks, hushed, “Are you absolutely sure?”
And the thing is, Spencer is positive. He’s been preparing for this moment his entire life and so Spencer leans in, forcing Ryan to meet his eyes. He keeps his voice steady and full of affectionate warmth and answers sure and true, “I’m not letting you go, Ryan. Never. Stop trying to get rid of me.”
It doesn’t help Ryan feel any less confused. Spencer can see his confusion in the way Ryan’s face twists up and one eyebrow flies high. Not even Spencer’s blatant confession makes any light bulbs go off in Ryan’s head, but instead of worrying on Ryan’s behalf, Spencer relaxes. For once, time’s finally on Spencer’s side and he’s going to sit back and enjoy the ride.