Brian was standing in the middle of the room, his back facing the door when Zacky entered. He didn't turn around, he just waited for Zacky to say something. He knew what was coming, he had been waiting for this for nearly three months now. Apparently the moment was finally there. Maybe it would ease the pain in his heart a little.
"Brian? We need to talk."
Brian merely turned around without saying something. Somewhere he hoped that it wasn't true and that Zacky wasn't going to say those horrid words.
"I think we have to break up. I fell in love with someone else."
Brian nodded and turned around again, hoping that Synyster would take over, and he did.
His back straightened, his shoulders relaxed and his hands that were playing with rim of his shirt fell down. The sad smile that Brian had plastered on his face disappeared and an emotionless line replaced it, the frowns disappeared and finally the transformation reached his eyes. They went from emotion filled to empty, cold.
Zacky saw what happened to Brian, but he didn't realize what it exactly meant.
Brian was gone and Synyster had replaced him, only temporarily though. Synyster was cold and he didn't care about other people's feelings, but he did care about Brian as he felt him inside of him, calling for Zacky and begging Synyster to be nice. Synyster couldn't refuse Brian that so he gave in and was nice to Zacky, although he wasn't showing any emotion.
"Yes Zacky, it's okay. I'll help you bring your stuff to Jimmy, it is him right?"
Zacky nodded and looked only slightly surprised. Synyster shrugged and turned around so he could gather Zacky's stuff from the floor. Zacky stared at Synyster without knowing that it was Synyster and left the room to grab his stuff from the bathroom.
He had to admit that he was offended that Brian didn't say anything and just helped him packing his stuff so he could sleep with Jimmy. He would have liked it better if Brian had yelled and screamed and thrown all his stuff in the hallway from the hotel to let everyone know just what a bastard Zacky was. But Zacky didn't know that Brian wasn't Brian now, Synyster was in charge to spare Brian the heartbreak a little longer.
"I've got your clothes and everything else you threw around, want me to bring it to Jimmy's room?"
"Yeah hang on a minute, I'm almost done here."
Synyster hoped that Zacky was hurrying, because he couldn't push Brian away for a long time now he was so broken and hurt. Brian was trying to push Synyster away so he could convince Zacky to stay with him, but they both knew that it wouldn't work. Luckily for both men Zacky hurried. He appeared in the doorway barely half a minute after telling Synyster that he was almost done with arms full of bathroom junk.
Synyster opened the door and grabbed the bags, Jimmy who was waiting outside just in case Brian flipped stared in shock as Synyster threw him a bag and ordered him to open the door to his room.
Jimmy nodded and quickly opened the door, throwing both Zacky and Brian glances to know what was going on. There were no tear streaks on Brian's face so he hadn't been crying, Zacky didn't seem hurt or bruised so Brian hadn't hurt him like Jimmy had thought he would.
"So, here you are Zacky. I'll be going now."
Jimmy continued to stare at Synyster in shock and wrapped Zacky in his arms to protect him against whatever Brian decided to throw at him, either emotionally or physically.
Synyster turned away and sighed silently in relief. Inside of him he felt Brian crying and both their hearts, which in reality was only one, were breaking. He could feel the burning desire inside of Brian to ask that one thing, that one thing that was the only that mattered to him now.
"Tell me one thing Zacky."
Synyster turned around slowly and he could see Jimmy pulling Zacky closer and he saw Zacky flinch when Synyster turned around. It broke the two hearts inside of him even more to see that Zacky was scared of him and he could feel Brian begging that he hadn't hurt Zacky in a way that had caused his fear.
"Are you happy?"
Both Zacky and Jimmy relaxed but Zacky wondered why Brian would care about him being happy after he left him.
"Yes, I am."
Synyster nodded and left, he had to stop himself from running down the hall to reach his room sooner because Brian was screaming inside of him, the tears that so desperately wanted to be cried were stinging his eyes and clouding his vision.
As soon as the door closed behind Synyster he let go and Brian fell to his knees, burying his fingers in the stained carpet under him. Brian cried like he never cried before, tears streaming down his face without stopping, sobs rocking his body and he clutched the carpet as if it would save him from drowning. Brian knew though that the only thing that could save him now was in someone else's arms, he had just helped it pack.
Days went by in which both Zacky and Synyster acted as if nothing was wrong. But truth is, everything was wrong. Brian would disappear whenever either Zacky or Jimmy were in the room and Synyster would have to take it over. No one really seemed to notice the changes that occurred, and when they didn't they wouldn't say a word about it.
"Matt? Can I talk to you for a moment?"
"Yeah sure Johnny, what's wrong?"
Matt looked at Brian but noticed nothing special. The only thing that had changed in Matt's eyes was that Zacky wasn't attached to Brian's hip any longer. When they would flirt and kiss and be a couple they were just talking, but barely. Zacky seemed to be with Jimmy now and that was just fine for Matt, as long as they didn't screw up the band.
"What's wrong with him?"
"Haven't you noticed? Whenever Zacky is around he's all cold and he barely talks. He keeps to himself all the time now."
Matt shrugged and threw Zacky a glance who was kissing Jimmy and touching him, if it would have been anyone else that person would have been sued by now, or maybe not since it was Jimmy.
"I don't know Johnny, I don't see anything different. Maybe you're just imagining things."
"Yeah, I guess."
Johnny watched how Brian played with his guitar and recognized the tune he was playing, 'Seize The Day'. Although Matt had written that song it had always meant a lot to Brian and Johnny was probably the only person who knew that it reminded Brian of Zacky.
Staring at the guitar strings under his fingers he realized that he had been playing 'Seize The Day'. Synyster shook his head and pushed Brian away to the corner of his being when he felt eyes on him. Looking at the other people in the room from under his hat he found both Johnny and Zacky staring at him. They had probably recognized the song he had been playing and had wondered why. For a moment Brian was scared that Johnny saw through his tough façade and saw the pain he was in. But Synyster wouldn't allow Johnny to question him and started one of his solos. Nobody was meant to know that Synyster Gates was protecting Brian Haner from something Zacky had done.
Zacky turned back to Jimmy and smiled at him, Jimmy smiled back and wrapped his arms around him. Zacky had recognized the song Brian was playing and he wanted to know why when they weren't planning on playing that song tonight. It wasn't unusual for Brian to play just random songs to practice but he seemed to be totally out of it. It was as if he didn't even know where he was anymore. That also wasn't weird, but the hurt and the pain that his body spoke of while playing was. It worried Zacky more then anything and he felt something unfamiliar, something like guilt, tear in his heart.
"Guys, 'Bat Country', now."
Everyone grabbed their gear and took their places, ready to play whatever song Matt wanted to play. Jimmy sighed from behind his drums as he watched Brian walk away from Zacky when he came closer. They used to lean against each other, back to back and play like nothing else mattered. It seemed that those days were over and Jimmy couldn't help but feel guilty about what had happened. If he hadn't let Zacky in Brian wouldn't be avoiding both of them and they would still be best friends. Maybe Jimmy hadn't drove them apart but he most certainly didn't help them get back together and he wondered if that was what he should have done. But seeing Zacky walk around totally focused on his guitar play and just being extremely Zacky and by that he meant extremely sexy, he knew that he couldn't have resist Zacky if his life depended on it.
Practice went by well except for the guitar parts. Brian and Zacky seemed to be out of tune and Matt wondered what the hell was going on and why no body was telling him anything. Was there something going on between the two of them that he should have seen? Had it something to do with what Johnny told him? A hand was placed on Matt's shoulder and he turned around to face Johnny.
"So you've finally noticed."
"Yeah, I guess. I don't get it though. What the hell is going on between those two fuckers?"
"Actually, it's something between Zacky, Brian and Jimmy."
"Explain it Johnny. I'm not a fucking mind reader."
Johnny sighed and looked at the three other men in the room who didn't seem to notice the conversation going on between himself and Matt. Maybe that was a good thing and maybe it wasn't.
"Zacky broke up with Brian because he's in love with Jimmy. Brian is hiding, or at least trying, to hide the fact that Zacky really hurt him. Jimmy doesn't know what to do anymore because he really likes Zacky but he doesn't want to lose Brian as a friend. Zacky is confused because he thinks that Brian didn't fought for him and just gave up. It's complicated I guess."
"And how could you be fortunate enough to know all these things?"
"Jimmy and Zacky came to talk to me, not at the same time though. Brian is just… I don't know how I know what's going on in his head. Maybe he's predicable, maybe I know him to well."
Matt shook his head and glanced at three of his best friends. Why was he always the last one to know about something? When Zacky and Brian hooked up he found out after one month in which they didn't even try to hide it!
Although the tension between three of the band members they decided to get smashed anyway and soon all except one were drunk or nearly. Synyster was the only one who didn't drink in fear what might happen when he would.
"I'm going back to the hotel. I'll see you later guys."
Synyster left the bar and as soon as the door closed behind him he left again. Brian could handle the walk back and even if he couldn't, Synyster couldn't either. The streets were almost empty and it was a big relief for Brian that next to the bar was a small alley which leaded to the hotel they were staying at.
Someone pressed their lips against Brian's neck, right under his left ear and a small whimper escaped his lips. The way the arms wrapped around his waist, the way the lips felt against his skin and the way the person made soft noises from the back of their throat told Brian that it was in fact Zacky who was sucking his neck.
Brain wanted and needed to push him away but he couldn't. He waited for Synyster to come and save him but Brian knew that Synyster too was tired and broken. Neither of them had the strength to push Zacky away now.
"Stop Zacky, please. Don't make promises that you can't keep."
Zacky ignored him and continued to suck his neck and stroke the skin that was thankfully still hidden by a thin layer of cotton although Zacky probably knew Brian's body just as good as his own.
"Don't Zacky, don't do this to me or yourself or Jimmy for that matter."
"What are you talking about Bri?"
"I won't be able to resist you and we'll end up sleeping together and I will want you back even more. You'll wake up sober and you'll regret it and then it's too late because you've cheated on Jimmy already by then. It'll break both his and your heart Zacky and I can't let that happen."
Brian felt that Zacky shook his head and at that moment he managed to push him away.
"Stop it Zacky. Don't do this to yourself."
Footsteps echoed which told both men that someone was coming closer. Brian took a step forward in the direction that the sound came from so he could protect Zacky to who ever was coming closer.
"I won't hurt you Brian so relax."
Johnny stepped closer and smiled a little, Brian sighed in relief and smiled back, but only a little.
"Can you take Zacky here to Jimmy? He's drunk."
The moment Brian turned his attention away from Zacky and to Johnny was the moment that Zacky reattached himself to Brian. His lips found their way to the sensitive skin behind Brian's ear and Zacky's arms were wrapped tightly around his waist.
"Zacky, let me go. Johnny will take you to Jimmy."
"Yeah come on Zacky. Let's grab a few more beers and Jimmy is waiting for you."
Zacky shrugged and continued kissing Brian. Out of pure instinct and habit he turned his head to grant Zacky better access to his neck while tears burned his eyes. Without knowing or intending to do so he was rubbing it in that Brian wasn't the one who held his heart any longer.
"I don't want to go back to the bar. I want to stay with you Brian."
"Damn Zacky. If I ask you nicely will you please, please, go back with Johnny?"
"What will it take for you to let go of Brian, Zacky?"
"I don't know."
Johnny sighed and looked first at Brian and then at Zacky. He could clearly see the hurt on Brian's face and although he was drunk, he wasn't stupid. Zacky needed to leave Brian alone before Brian collapsed and gave Zacky what he wanted, him.
"Zacky, you're hurting him. Look at him Zacky and tell me, is he happy with what you're doing?"
Zacky pulled away for a second to look at Brian's face and shook his head. With one finger he followed the wet trails on Brian's face, which were caused by tears.
"He doesn't look happy. Why aren't you happy Bri?"
"Because you'll regret this Zacky, and you don't mean this. You'll end up hurt and I don't want you to be hurt."
Zacky nodded and stepped back from him. Brian leaned heavily against the wall and looked ready to fall down on his knees and just cry. It took a lot of will power for Johnny to grab Zacky's arm and pull him away from Brian. He didn't want to leave his other friend, but he had begged him to.
"I'll see you at the hotel Bri, be careful."
Brian just nodded and recollected himself after a while before he restarted his journey to the hotel. He got there in one piece and as soon as he entered the room he laid down on his soft bed, he didn't even bother with switching clothes before the tears started to flow.
His thought flew back to the alley he had been in mere minutes ago. Just to think of it he could be in this bed with Zacky now. He could wake up the next morning to see Zacky's face again instead of reaching out to touch him while still asleep, only to discover he left.
Those soft and warm lips against his cold skin had made him shiver and thinking of it now hurt. Zacky knew that his neck, especially just below his left ear, was a soft spot. He had known and used it against him yet again.
Almost asleep Brian reached for Zacky's hand which was normally placed on his pillow, just beside his head. He found nothing there and while crying softly he fell asleep.
Zacky stared at Brian, he knew that he owned him an apology, but he couldn't remember why. It had probably something to do with the fact that he got drunk last night. When he was drunk he always acted like a little kid, Brian had told him this many times. It was one of the things only Brian could adore.
Zacky walked towards Synyster who didn't acknowledge his presence. He focused on the guitar in his hands a little more and ignored the cry within.
"Brian? Can I talk to you for a moment?"
Synyster looked up and pushed Brian away yet again, both of them needed to talk to Zacky, one to tell him he still loved him and wanted him back, the other to make sure that Zacky still thought of him as a friend.
"Yeah sure, what is it?"
"I don't really remember what happened yesterday, just that Johnny brought me somewhere, but I have this feeling that I need to thank you for something."
Synyster frowned. It was probably a good thing Zacky didn't remember, it would have caused a few awkward scenes. But Brian and Synyster wanted Zacky to know how hurt they were, although they wouldn't just tell him.
"Apology accepted Zacky, although an apology without meaning is worthless."
"But I do mean it!"
"You don't even know what to thank me for."
"Yeah well… it'll come back."
Synyster raised an eyebrow and shook his head slightly. He could only hope that Zacky wouldn't remember it and that anyone that did remember it wouldn't tell him. How would Zacky react when he found out that Brian still longed for him and that everything he had said and done was one big lie?
"Sure Zacky… keep on dreaming."
Zacky shrugged and walked away, this time to find Johnny. He had been there, maybe he would help Zacky remember what happened. Zacky knew it had something to do with Brian, and that he had been crying. But why? Zacky wasn't going to tell Brian he knew he had cried. Brian would feel humiliated, he knew that much.
"What is it Zacky?"
"What the hell happened last night?"
"What do you remember?"
Johnny threw a quick glance towards Brian who was focused on his guitar. He couldn't tell what had happened. He didn't have the right to expose Brian that way.
"Brian cried, you helped me. That's all I know."
"I… I don't remember much either. Just that I brought you back inside and that's it."
Zacky sighed, he could tell that Johnny was lying so whatever it was that had happened had something to do with Brian. Apparently Zacky wasn't allowed to hear it from either one of them so he just returned to Jimmy who wrapped him safely in his arms.
"What's wrong baby?"
"Something happened last night and no one wants to tell me what."
"I guess it doesn't matter that much, else they surely would."
"Yeah, guess so…"
Two whole months had gone by after Zacky had left Brian but things hadn't changed. Brian couldn't get over him no matter how hard he tried. He compared everyone on the street with Zacky, and they weren't anywhere near his perfection. Maybe he couldn't get over him because he was constantly around him, maybe it was because it was constantly shoved in his face what he missed. At day he saw Jimmy and Zacky cuddle and kiss and whisper sweet nothings in each others ears, at night he heard Zacky's familiar moans fill the air. But now he didn't moan for Brian, he moaned for Jimmy.
Staring at the two turtle doves Brian decided to get himself someone else, anyone. Just someone to show Zacky that he didn't miss him. The plan was meant to fail and he knew, he just liked to dream. Synyster laughed at the foolish attempt to get over him and once again took his place as Brian's human shield.
"Matt, I really need to talk to you."
Matt sighed and looked down at the younger and much smaller man beside him.
"What is it Johnny?"
"I'm worried Matt, Brian isn't doing well, not at all. He won't talk to anyone."
Matt sighed again and threw his friend a look. Johnny was right, Brian didn't look good. His cheeks were sunken in and there were dark bags under his eyes. The once formfitting jeans hung loosely around his hips, signalizing he had lost weight.
"I know Johnny. But there isn't much we can do. Maybe take him to the doctor but I doubt a virus is the problem."
Johnny sighed and shook his head. He wanted his friend to be okay again, he wanted him to smile and laugh and just be happy. But seeing the look on Brian's face he knew that that was far from happening.
"You're right Matt, of course you are. I just… I don't know. I want him to be happy again I guess."
Matt nodded and wrapped one arm around Johnny's shoulder, he pulled the smaller man in a small and quick but comforting hug before turning back to the magazine he was reading.
Synyster got up and left the room after throwing everyone in it a glance. He disappeared to the bunk area of the bus and sat down on his own. Matt slept above him, Zacky on the opposite and Johnny's bunk was above his. Jimmy slept everywhere. When the booze left him tired and to drunk to get up he just fell asleep on the spot. Lately he had been sharing Zacky's bunk and more often then not Brian could hear something coming from that bunk. It tore at his heart every time.
"Brian? You in here?"
"Where else would I be Johnny?"
"I don't know, I was just checking."
Brian sighed and moved over a little so Johnny could sit next to him, which he did.
"Now Brian, tell me. What's been going on in there?"
Johnny softly ticked against the side of Brian's head with his fingertips and smiled a little.
"I don't Johnny, I wish I did but I don't."
"Just, start talking."
"About what Johnny? The weather?"
Brian rolled his eyes and a soft sigh escaped Johnny's lips. He was irritated and Brian knew it. He just couldn't be bothered by it. He had been irritated and hurt for the past five months now. This was just a way to settle the score a little.
"About everything, Zacky, whatever you want to talk about."
"So you want to know about Zacky."
"Actually, I do. We all do."
"Yeah sure, I bet Zacky himself is just dying to know how I've been doing after he dumped me Johnny."
"I do want to know Brian."
A soft voice filled the air and Brian turned his head so fast he could practically feel muscles rip.
"Tell me how you've been doing Brian, because I've noticed the way you act. Really I have. You're cold and always focused on your guitar. You don't talk to anyone of us. I stopped being your lover Brian, not your friend."
"And it is in fact oh so God damn easy to tell your best friend about the heart ache he caused when he told you he was leaving you for someone else. Please do note the sarcasm!"
Brian rolled his eyes and this time, although Zacky was in the room, he was staying Brian. He was taking this change to sort everything out. He needed this, he had longed for this, he had waited for this and now the moment was finally there.
"Do you actually think that it was easy for me? Don't you think that it hurt me to see you like this? You haven't smiled in two fucking months Brian, don't you think I noticed?!"
"So what if you noticed?! I tried to hide it for you Zacky, I tried!"
"Why?! Why did you hide it? I, we, could have helped you!"
Johnny sighed softly and got up quietly. It wasn't like he was needed there anyway. He just hoped that both of his friends would survive this conversation. Not that one of them could really hurt the other, they cared too much, but mentally they could kill each other. And Zacky had a slightly bigger change then Brian to get out alive.
"I couldn't show you how I felt Zacky."
Brian sighed and placed his head in his hands. He felt the bed shift and an arm was wrapped around his shoulder. A familiar arm, Zacky's arm.
"Why couldn't you Brian? I'm your friend."
"It… it would have hurt you. I didn't want to hurt you."
Zacky pulled his arm back and got up immediately. A soft, obviously hurt, laugh escaped his lips as he shook his head.
"You didn't want to hurt me? You didn't want to fucking hurt me?! What do you think I felt when you helped me pack my God damned bags?! You don't want to hurt me but you don't even fucking fight for me! You just let me go as if I meant nothing to you!"
"Don't you dare pull that shit with me Zackary Baker! I fought for you! Three months I gave you everything I had and more. Three months I tried to convince you to stay with me. I had to see you flirt with Jimmy for three months just so you could come back to me later. I tried so hard to make you stay Zacky, so hard. When you came to me and told me it was over I just accepted it, because I didn't want to hurt you. That's why I asked you if you truly were happy back then."
Brian had gotten up while he spoke and now he was standing at the doorway that lead him back to the main part of the bus. Zacky stared at him and he could see tears in Brian's eyes. Finally he saw that Brian was in fact hurt but he didn't feel what he thought he would feel. He wasn't happy with the fact that Brian had cared enough to at least cry over him. He felt guilty for making him so upset and only now he realized that Brian was right. He had been flirting with Jimmy the last three months of their relationship and Brian had been extremely sweet. He was always sweet and he always invested himself in Zacky, but those months he really had given everything he had.
"I… I don't know what to say Brian. I'm sorry."
"Just leave it Zacky. Just, be happy for me Z."
With that Brian left the room and seconds later the bus.
After their conversation thing were extremely awkward between Zacky and Brian. They obviously couldn't avoid each other very well since they were touring and had shows almost every night. The interaction on stage was absolutely a minimum but it, luckily, didn't ruin their performance. After shows Brian would leave almost immediately to the bus and by the time the rest came back he either pretended to be asleep or he really was.
Zacky kept throwing him apologetic and pitiful glances which annoyed Johnny greatly since they only brought Brian further down. Johnny was happy with the fact that Jimmy at least noticed what was going on and kept the P.D.A. at a minimum.
Synyster and Brian were both emotionally drained and they both longed for a vacation although it was impossible. They didn't want to get away from the fans, they loved the fans, they wanted to get away from Zacky, from Jimmy, from Johnny, even from Matt who didn't even seemed to notice anything. They wanted to get away from the pity everyone had written on their faces, they wanted to get away from the smacking sound that was caused by lips detaching from lips. They wanted to get away from moans coming from the bed opposite of theirs. They wanted to get away from everything.
"Brian? You okay?"
Brian stared at Johnny for a minute before he realized Johnny had said something and it took him another minute before he fully understood what Johnny had said. When he finally understood he shrugged.
"I don't know Johnny. I guess so."
Johnny nodded and sat down next his friend. His eyes wandered of to Zacky who was seated in Jimmy's lap behind the drums and they were obviously very lovey-dovey. It even tore a little at his heart to see them like that and knowing what it did to the man seated next to him. He couldn't even think that he knew how it felt though as he stared at the face of the man next to him. Brian was crying without sounds or tears but it was obvious he indeed was crying.
"Come on Bri. He's not worth it if he hurts you so much."
"What if it hurts so much because he is?"
Johnny sighed and gave up for now. Maybe Brian needed more time although he already was mourning over Zacky for two months. Maybe, Johnny figured, he was just starting the 'getting over him process' from what he understood Brian had been Synyster when Zacky was around. It had taken him a while to actually be able to show emotion in front of Zacky again but he was getting there. Eventually Brian would be over Zacky and they could be friends again. Jimmy wouldn't have to feel so guilty anymore and Brian wouldn't be so sad anymore.
Jimmy felt incredibly guilty for breaking Zacky and Brian up, although it had been Zacky who started the flirting. He knew the way Brian felt about Zacky, he had told him himself one day. It had been a few days before Zacky and Brian got together. Jimmy knew for a fact that he would never forget those words. So whenever he looked at Brian now, with Zacky in his arms, he heard them again, over and over in his head. He tried to push the feelings away but it didn't work. They kept coming back, getting stronger and stronger.
"What's up Bri?"
"Matt wants us to practice 'Burn It Down' one more time."
"Okay and there is no refusing Matt something now is there."
Brian smiled and shook his head before throwing Matt a glance. He was staring at them with something that most would confuse with a glare although Brian knew that it was his 'I'm concerned' look.
"I'm afraid not. He might kill you when you say no to him."
Jimmy laughed slightly because it was true. Matt could be a mad man when you either didn't agree with him or just didn't do what he said. Brian laughed with him and for a moment it seemed that nothing was weird between them.
"Brian, can I ask you something?"
"You just did man, but sure."
"Are you mad at me? For dating Zacky I mean."
Brian sighed and shook his head. His gaze now fixed on Zacky who was talking to Johnny and Matt about probably nothing.
"No, I'm not mad. I mean look at the guy. How could anyone possibly reject him? He could even turn Matt gay for him."
Again he sighed and he turned back to face Jimmy. He really wasn't mad at him, just a little jealous because he had what Brian wanted.
"Really Jimmy, I'm not mad. Zacky is just a wonderful person and you two make each other happy. That's all that really matters, right?"
Jimmy had to admit that he was surprised by Brian's words. He wasn't sure if he could be so happy for the one that broke his heart. Not even for Zacky. Or Brian had a great personality, or he was fully over Zacky, or he was just numb on the inside thanks to all the earlier pain.
"Come on man, let's play!"
"Could you describe yourself with one word?"
Empty was the first thing that came up in Brian's head when the interviewer had asked the question. But he couldn't say that, it would require a lot of explaining and he really didn't want to. The guys just mumbled some words that sounded good for them but didn't fit them at all until it was Brian's turn. He shrugged and acted like he was thinking for a moment.
The interviewer laughed which in a weird way hurt him. It felt like someone was yet again laughing at him. Maybe she was, he didn't know. A hand was placed on his shoulder and he knew that the person seated next to him, Johnny, knew he was upset. He smiled a little knowing that Johnny understood and the hand was removed again.
"Well that was it guys. Thank you for coming by and it was a pleasure to meet you!"
Everyone shook her hand and left again, drained from all their energy and cold to the bone although it had been pretty hot in there. It was an unanimous decision that they would go to the hotel now and sleep.
"Matt, carry me, I'm too tired to walk."
Johnny stifled a yawn and poked Matt again.
"Fuck of Christ. You're not the only one, just walk."
Matt pushed him away slightly but eventually ended up half dragging, half carrying him to the hotel because he had practically fallen asleep. Zacky was leaning heavily on Jimmy and Brian officially felt like a third wheel. He wanted, needed, someone to lean on but there wasn't someone like that for him, so he just dragged himself forward. Synyster's determination helping him to continue walking until he finally reached the hotel. The moment they stepped in the elevator door gave a ding sound to signalize that it was gone. Brian refused to stay down to wait for the elevator to return and walked up three stairs so he could finally crawl into his bed and sleep.
Jimmy watched Brian walk of with hanging shoulders and he worried. He had to question himself about the man in his arms. Had he taken the light out of Brian's life? Or was Brian just so tired? Now he was thinking about it, Zacky always seemed to lighten up when Brian entered a room, to Zacky it didn't matter that Brian was sad and hurt and just faking every sign of happiness, Brian was there with him and that was all that mattered to him so it seemed. Was Zacky playing with them both?
Maybe, Matt decided, being together everyday could drive people crazy. Maybe things weren't going so well like he thought they were going. Maybe Zacky and Brian were fighting. Maybe Jimmy was an insecure asshole. Maybe Johnny was the little know-it-all of the band. And maybe, just maybe, Matt really didn't know shit about what happened. Johnny was always worrying about Brian lately and Jimmy kept sending him apologetic looks. Zacky didn't talk to Brian and no one seemed to notice that their singer, friend, leader, didn't understand.
"Matt, what do you want this time?"
"I want to know what's going on and I want to know it now."
"What are you talking about Matt? There are lots of things going on!"
"In this band! Between Zacky and Brian!"
"Zacky broke up with Brian because he fell in love with Jimmy, who feels incredibly guilty now and Brian is absolutely heartbroken although he keeps hiding it for everyone. You understand it now?"
"So our band has changed in this stupid weird uncomfortable love triangle?"
"If you want to call it that, yes."
Johnny shrugged and placed a hand on Matt's shoulder as if he was trying to tell him it didn't matter that Matt was being incredibly slow.
"Should I go talk to them Johnny? Maybe force them to talk with each other."
"No, you'll only make things worse. The best thing you can do now is wait and see what happens. Brian will collapse sometime soon in either a pile of sobs or a very drunk mess."
For some reason that didn't comforted him at all. Maybe he had been friends with Zacky the longest, but seeing another friend devastated always hurts.
"Zacky, we really need to talk."
Jimmy couldn't do this anymore. He couldn't watch Brian cry silently on the inside while he knew that he had the solution to solve all his troubles.
"What's wrong Jimmy?"
"Maybe we shouldn't be together anymore."
"What do you mean Jimmy?! You can't just break this of, I love you!"
"Do you really Zacky? It's just that whenever Brian is around you're so much happier and you two just belong together Zacky. Everyone knows it."
"That's not true!
"It is and you know it!"
"So what are you going to do now?"
"I think we need to break up Zacky. You should go back to Brian, that's where you belong. And honestly, I think we were fake, just a way to prove a point to Brian."
"What kind of point would that be Jimmy? That I can live without him?"
"I don't know. I just know that you belong with him and you can only make each other happy. Be honest with yourself Zacky and look at him. Doesn't it make you happy to see him? Doesn't it make you at least a bit sad that he's so down lately?"
"Of course it hurts me to see him sad! He is, or was, my best friend!"
"Go talk to him Zacky. Don't prepare, just go to him and say what you feel at that moment."
"So this is it?"
"This is it."
Zacky sighed and looked around the room he shared with Jimmy. Where was he going to sleep now? Johnny and Matt shared a room and Brian had a single room. He had no where to go.
"I talked with Johnny earlier, he didn't mind trading with you."
Zacky nodded and smiled politely before grabbing his most important stuff and walking out of the hotel room, he knocked on Matt's door softly and it was opened almost immediately.
"Make yourself at home Zacky."
"I did it Johnny, I broke up with him. I couldn't watch Brian anymore."
Johnny sighed and wrapped an arm around Jimmy's shoulder. They both knew he had done the right thing, but it hurt none the less. Maybe Jimmy didn't love Zacky the way he should, but he cared deeply for him and really wanted to be with him. Zacky and Brian did belong together, it was clear as day but Jimmy would really miss the just being with Zacky and being able to kiss him.
"It's okay Jimmy, you did what you had to do. Now it's all up to Zacky."
Jimmy nodded before letting out a soft sigh. He did a good thing, but good things don't always make you feel good.
Brian watched Zacky walk around, Johnny had told him that Jimmy had broken up with Zacky and that actually made him angry. Zacky was meant to be happy and now he was hurt again. It also made him sad and feel guilty, Zacky threw him accusing glances which told him that Jimmy had broken up with Zacky because of him.
"Jimmy, what happened?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Why is Zacky angry at me?"
Jimmy shrugged while avoiding Brian's stare. He wasn't about to tell him that he had broken up with Zacky because he thought Brian and Zacky should be together again. Not only would Brian feel humiliated but he would also be angry at Jimmy for making Zacky upset, if he wasn't already.
"I don't know really, go talk to him."
"I should, shouldn't I? I don't really want to, I don't want to upset him."
"You won't Brian, just go talk to him."
Brian sighed, he had to, but he didn't dare to. Maybe he could ask Synyster to help him out once again. He went to look for Zacky who was hidden in his bathroom he let Synyster take over. The past three months had softened Synyster and being with Zacky was hard for both Synyster and Brian, especially now he was hurt.
"Zacky? You in there? Are you alright?"
"No, I'm not here and I'm not o-fucking-kay!"
"You do realize that you just quoted that song from My Chemical Romance right? Anyway, open the door Zacky, now."
"Go away Brian"
"I'm not going anywhere, you're hurt and I want to help you."
The door opened a little and Synyster could now see Zacky seated on the ground, arms wrapped tightly around his legs.
"Why are you doing this Brian? I dumped you remember. How can you be so nice to me now?"
"Because it's like you said, I stopped being your lover, not your friend."
Zacky sighed and buried his head in his knees. His body shook a little which told Synyster that Zacky was indeed crying and it broke his heart a little more. He wrapped his arms around Zacky's broken from and pulled him closer, murmuring sweet nothings in his ear like 'everything will be okay' and 'it's his lose Zacky, not yours, you can do better'. Synyster knew that it didn't mattered what he said, it still hurts. The tears died down and Zacky stopped shaking although he was still clinging onto Synyster.
"Let's get you to bed Zacky, it'll do you some good."
Zacky just nodded, after all the crying he did he didn't have the energy to talk anymore and his throat was sore. He stared up at Brian as he picked him up and couldn't help but wonder why he was helping him. Not three months ago he had broken the man's heart and now he was helping and caring. On the other hand, Brian had always been good to him, always making sure he was okay. When Brian unintended hurt Zacky he spent at least a week making it up in everyway possible. It was one of the things that both attracted and pushed him away from Brian. He didn't like being treated like a porcelain doll although he loved the fact that someone else cared so much about him.
"Thank you Brian."
"Your welcome Zacky, now sleep."
Brian pulled the blanket over Zacky's body and left the room quietly.
Zacky spent an entire week in bed, only to come out for shows since he didn't want to disappoint his fans. Brian was the only one that could actually go near him and talk to him without being snapped at. It gave both of them time to think about how close they were and after being friends for eight years, having a relationship for four years, being separated for almost three months and after one week of totally and only depending on Brian Zacky realized he loved him. He finally knew that Brian was indeed the one for him, that Brian was indeed the love of his life.
"What's wrong Zacky? Need something?"
"No, I just wanted to talk to you about why Jimmy broke up with me."
Although Brian had longed to know why they split up, he didn't push Zacky into telling him, it wouldn't work anyway and only result in a lot of pain.
"He broke up with me because he thought that we belong together Brian, you and me. I think he's right."
Breath got stuck in his throat and tears immediately burned in his eyes although he couldn't explain why.
"What do you mean Zacky?"
"I just, I know now that I love you and that I want to be with you."
Brian shook his head slowly and stared at Zacky. Was he joking? Was he trying to make fun of him?
"Zacky, explain, please. I don't understand you anymore."
Zacky sighed and moved a little closer to him so he could grasp Brian's bigger and colder hands in his.
"I'm sorry for breaking up with you, I shouldn't have done that, I regret it now. I want to be with you Brian. I want to make love to you and wake up next to you every day for the rest of my life."
"So, you want me back?"
"Yes, I do. Jimmy made me realize that."
"So, you want me back now, after Jimmy broke up with you. Only now you realize that you love me. So am I your safety net?"
"No! Brian of course not! Don't say things like that, it's not true!"
Brian shook his head and pulled his hands away from Zacky's. He got up and walked of to the other end of the room while tears slowly made a way down his cheeks. He couldn't believe what Zacky was doing to him.
"I can't be your safety net Zacky, I just can't. We both know that in a while someone else will pick your interest and you'll leave me again. It doesn't matter if it's a boy or a girl or both or neither. Someone will take you away from me again Zacky. If you leave me again Zacky, it'll break me, I know it will. And although I know I'm not worthy enough for you, I do think that I deserve a little better then that."
Zacky got up and wrapped his arms around Brian from behind and kissed him slowly right below his left ear.
"Just please shut up Brian and let me love you. Beside, I'll never let you go again."
Brian turned around in Zacky's arms and thought for a moment. Was he ready to give Zacky his heart again? Was he willing to give it another try? Could he trust Zacky again? The answer to all the questions was yes. Yes he wanted to give Zacky his heart again. Yes he was willing to give them another try. Yes he could trust Zacky again.
"So you'll stay with me?"
"Yes, forever and a day."
Brian leaned forward a little and Zacky met him halfway and their lips collided. It was a soft, gentle and careful kiss that symbolized their getting back together.
Jimmy and Johnny were seated next to each other on an old ratty couch in their hotel room. No words were said but they weren't needed anyway.
"Zacky and Brian are back together."
"So, you okay?"
"Yes, I'm fine."
"Of course I am."
Johnny smiled at the man next to him and laced their fingers.
Matt stared at the four men in front of him. He was of course happy for them that they were happy but really, there was one, very big, thing he didn't like.
"What the hell is going on?!"