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Blood and Honey

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Do you know that feeling you get when you're spinning and spinning around in circles, feeling like you're unstoppable? Like you are full of innocence, until you stop spinning but your surroundings just keep going and you just want to through up and fall to ground? Yeah, I get that feeling. Every fucking day of my life, I get that feeling. I wish I could just keep spinning forever, have that feeling of innocence and goodness until the day I die. But I can't have it so easy, I guess, because all good things must come to an end. Spinning and stopping, spinning and stopping; happy and sad, feeling good and feeling shitty.

I mostly just feel like shit.

It's Monday morning and I really don't feel like crawling out of bed at all. I left my blinds opened by mistake last night, so the the sun's beaming down on me, burning my eyes. I cover my face with my comforter, close my eyes tightly to try and go back to sleep. Then my fucking alarm goes off. Ugh, I hate Mondays.

Getting out of bed is like a mission. My body feels so heavy and my lack of enthusiasm makes it worse. I'm a zombie in the morning. I make my way to the bathroom, not bothering to turn on any lights. The sun is bright enough, plus I'm a little behind on my electric bill anyways. I can't even bother to take a shower; I just brush my teeth, splash water on my face and hair, throw on some jeans shirt sneakers and make my way to the kitchen.

"Fuck, I'm outta cereal." My favorite kind of cereal, too. Cocoa Puffs to be exact. I just grab a gala apple from the kitchen table and head out for work.

I hate my job. Working as a fucking burger flipper in a local fast food restaurant is not how I pictured life after moving out of my parents house. I fucking hate them --- my parents, I mean. They kick me out at the age of seventeen and expect me to live on my own. What-the fuck-ever. I'm doing pretty well on my own anyways.

I don't even know why people eat the food at my job anyways because the stuff that they pass as "food" is just down right gross. Every time I'd eat whatever they had leftover on my lunch break, I'd get sick. Once, I had to call out for a week without any pay. Yeah, it was their fault I got sick and I didn't even get paid for sick time. Fuckers. That's the reason why I became a vegetarian.

Today the place is dead. Hardly anyone comes into this shit hole anymore. I'm sure this lame excuse of a restaurant will be shut down sooner or later. It didn't even pass the last inspection! I guess the owner paid the health inspector somehow, being that this place is still up and running three years later. Molly, a fellow employee and close friend of mine, is working the early shift with me and she looks as bummed out as I do.

She's got her head propped up with her hands balled up into fists. "This is b.s. Brendon! How is it that this hell hole is still open?! No one eats here!" Molly hates it here as much as I do. We at least have that in common.

"Oh? The fact that we have to work here or the fact that we have to work here?" I smirk a bit and she giggles at my comment. Molly's the only reason why I come to work anymore. "So, are you coming over my place again? I really don't want to be alone tonight, anxiety you know." Yeah, I have anxiety disorder. It's a pain because I live by myself (thanks mom and dad), so when I'm feeling uneasy about being on my own at my apartment in the evening I have Molly stay over with me until morning. She hasn't said no once; I can always count on her. She's like my counselor or therapist or whatever. When I get nervous or want to vent to someone, she's always there for me. She's my bitch for life.

She looks up at me with her head tilted to the right. "Bren, of course I'm coming over." She clears her throat, "I could tell you were feeling nervous from the moment you walked in. What's wrong?"

"I dunno. I just feel really paranoid for some reason, and I'm trying to fight my urges; that's why I'm so fidgety.", I take a deep breath, "you'd think that living on my own for four years, I'd be use to it by now. I'm fucked up Molly. I don't even know how you put up with me." She jolts up and then punches me, right on the arm. Deep down I know I deserve it, but in my mind I don't. "What the fuck, Molly!"

"Shut up Brendon! You know you deserved it." She kisses my arm (she always feels bad when she hurts me). "I don't 'put up with you' okay! I love you and you know that." Her eyes begin to tear up when I hear the ding of the bell on the door. "Molly come on, please don't cry. Oh look, we have a customer."

"Crap. And now I look a mess. Cover fo-for me real quick?" I didn't even have time to answer. She wipes her eyes as she dashes off to the back to freshen up.

Wow, the first customer of the day, I think, and he's really cute. He looks so skinny and malnourished, but still cute. "Good afternoon and welcome to 'Mr. Burgertown", how may I help you?" I have a huge half fake smile plastered across my face. He smiles back, it looks real. "Um, what do you have that's good here?" "Um, lemme let you in on a little secret", I whisper, "the food here is shit, you don't want to eat it --- you might die."

He cracks a wide smile and burst out laughing. "Hmph", he tilts his head to the side, "I don't think I ever meet an employee that talks down the business where they work. So, Brendon is it?"

"Huh?"

"Your name's a bit smudged on your name tag."

God I'm like a fucking school girl drooling over this dude that I just met, like, two seconds ago. "Oh, um y-yeah. It's Brendon." My stomach hurts now. I don't know if it's because of anxiety or butterflies because of this guy...I never even asked his name! "What's your name?"

"The name's Ross...Ryan Ross".He scrunches up his face in discomfort, like something smells bad. I wouldn't blame him 'cause this place always smells like old, rotten meat. "WOW, that was lame, sorry."

"No, no it wasn't lame at all, plus I like James Bond." I flash a quick smile, then I remember, SHIT! I forgot about Molly! "Um, hold just a sec?" He nods and I move quickly to the back. When I get there, I see Molly fixing her make up; putting on her brown eyeliner. "You've got to be fucking kidding me right?"

She quickly turns her head. "Crap, Brendon! You scared me ya know that?!" She goes back to fixing her face.

"It's no use fixing your face. I mean, it's not like it'll help anyways." I grin, waiting to see her reaction. She turns around and her face is priceless. She looks shocked at first, then she looks hurt. "Shit, Mol I'm sorry. I can be an insensitive prick sometimes." Molly is a bit self-conscious about her appearance --- not all the time, just certain things. Her mom is a nutritionist and a bitch. She talks down Molly, her own daughter, about her weight (which she could care less about) and her appearance. Ever since I've known Molly, she has always been concerned about her appearance and I know it's that bitch of a mother that's to blame. But she's a strong girl and does a good job of masking her issues...unlike me.

She gets up and gives me a tight hug. "I know you were just joshin' Bren."

"Ah crap, I forgot about the customer." I release from the hug and start back to the front counter.

I hear Mol's footsteps behind me. "Customer?"

___

Before he left, I gave Ryan a few suggestion on fast food restaurants with actual edible food, aaand we exchanged numbers. A few hours after he left, Molly and I are finally done with our shifts. "God, I'm glad to finally leave this place." Molly is lazily putting her arms into her denim jacket.

"Why? We'll just have to do the same shit over again on Wednesday." She rolls her eyes at my comment and we walk outside. Oh God I love the fresh air after a long day in this pile of shit of a restaurant. I hand the keys over to the next employee working the afternoon shift and we head towards the parking lot. "You drove today. I thought your car was fucked?"

"I said I had car trouble. Past tense hun, past tense."

"Whatever bitch. I was just asking a question!"

"Yeah, whatever. Get in the vehicle."

Chapter Text

It's been about a week since I first met Ryan and I still haven't called him. I'm sitting on the floor by my unmade bed with a piece of paper in between my thumb and index finger. This piece of paper has his number written on it. it's a bit sloppy, but I can still make out the numbers. I take a deep, deep breath dig my crappy flip phone out from the back pocket of my jeans. I try and give myself a pep talk before I call because I know that if i don't, then I'll sound like a nervous reck.

"Okay Brendon, you can do this."

I flip my phone open and begin dialing the number. I put the phone to my ear and it starts to ring, loudly. I'm biting my nails nervously. I hate the fact that I bite my nails. I hardly have any left, but I can't stop doing it --- especially when I get nervous, like right now for instance.

Hello?

Hey...Ryan?

Um, yes?

It's Brendon. I work at Mr. Burgertown...

There's silence on the other line for a moment.

Oh yeah! That's right. So, you finally called me huh?

I don't say anything.

So, you called me because...

Oh, um...I guess...do you wanna hang out. Talk or whatever?"

SHIT!

I'm sorry?

Oh, no. Sorry...I um, dropped something."

"Oh. So do you?"

Uuuuuum, sure! Why not? Where'd you want ta meet?"

The park?

Yeah, sounds good. See you there.

Bye.

---

I see Ryan standing in the grass under a shady tree when I get to the park, tall and super thin He's like the complete opposite of me; confident and worry free. He's smoking a cigarette. He turns his head in my direction, clashes a cheesy smile and waves his free hand for me to come over. I take a deep breath and make my way towards him. "Ryan, hey."

"Hey", he smile and pulls another cigarette from his back pocket, "want one?"

I shrug my shoulders, "Yeah, I'll have one." I take it and place it loosely between my lips. He lights the tip and I take a long drag, then exhale. "So, wanna walk around a bit?" In all nervousness I rub the back of my neck harshly to the point of it starting to burn.

"Um", he narrows his eyes, "suuure...why not." He flicks ashes off of the end of his cigarette and we start walking. The tension between us is so thick right now. you can cut with a knife. I really didn't think this through.

Ryan stops to light another cigarette. "So, um, like, what is it that you wanna dooo?"

I flick my cigarette into the street as a car drives by. It's a Hummer. I hate Hummers.

"I. Don't. Know." I really don't. "Okay look", I stare him straight in the eye, "I think you're really cute a-and I just, I dunno, wanted to hang out nothing more. I had no plans for today, so I called you and just wanted to hang out. Nothing more." I just had a mini meltdown and might've scared off this guy that I really like. JUst when I think I've ruined and already shitty 'hang out', Ryan lays a gentle, soft kiss onto my trembling lips. I'm guessing it's his way of calming me down. He pulls away and I really wish he didn't.

"Bren, please stop. You're rambling and, to be honest, it's annoying." I guess my anxiety got the best of me. "I'm just asking what you wanted to do. That's all. So. What. Do. You. Want. To. Do?" He smiles and places his hands on my shoulders. I smile and exhale heavily. "I'd like to start over, saaay....this Friday?"

"I'd like that." His smile morphs into a huge grin. "Walk you home?"

I clear my throat (it's been a while since I've smoked). "Um, ye-yeah. Thanks."

The walk back to my apartment is pretty nice. I do most of the talking, and it's not because I want to. Part of the fact is that I'm so fucking nervous right now. Anytime I get a nervous feeling around someone I feel the need to just talk and talk. "How is it", I talk a quick puff of my cigarette, "that you stay so fucking skinny?" I flick the ashes from the end of my cigarette and scratch my temple.

"Uuuum", he narrows his eyes and scratches the side of his nose, "well, I guess...fast metabolism?"

I look at him and smirk, nodding my head in agreement.

We're here, in front of the entrance of my shitty apartment building. A shitty apartment, in a not so shitty neighborhood --- that part I just don't get. Craigslist is just something I'll never understand. I lean against the cold, glass door of the building in a "becoming" fashion. "This is me", I say with a smile. Ryan leans in and kisses me softly and I slowly begin to close my eyes and kiss him back. He pulls away and smirks.

"Well, Brendon, I guess I'll see you around", he steps back, "don't be afraid to call next time."

---

Unlocking the door, I sigh heavily. I'm hot all over and I think I might need a shower. I try to throw my keys onto my bed and fail and quickly get undressed. I pace around my apartment naked, biting my nails. I'm replaying that kiss over and over in my head and I'm getting warmer, my palms are super sweaty right now. I make my way to the bathroom and turn on the cold water. My nails are bleeding. "I gotta stop biting my fucking nails." I jump when the cool water meets my skin and turn the hot water on ever so slightly. That's better. I lean against the frigid tile wall of my shower and close my eyes. That kiss is still replaying in my head; over and over and over again. I'm hard and fantasizing about Ryan isn't making this any better. I grab myself with my right hand and start tugging at my dick. This feels so fucking awkward. I continue fucking my hand until I cum. I'm breathing heavily and slide down the tile wall. I sit in the shower for a good three minutes before I decide I'm clean enough to step out of the shower.

I loosely wrap a towel around my waist and wipe the steam off of the bathroom mirror. I start making weird faces at myself to see if can make myself laugh and I fail miserably. I open the medicine cabinet and take out an assortment of pill bottles. I don't even read the labels anymore, I just take one of each and swallow. Before I moved out, my parents put me on this medication. I don't know why; I guess it was just paranoia. But now I need them, and if I don't take them I'll feel funny. I then take a couple of pain killers and walk out of the bathroom, letting the steam escape into the hall.

I walk into my bedroom and snatch off my towel and fling it onto my desk chair. There is a clean pair of pajama bottoms on the floor by the bed. I pick them up and smell them just to make sure they are actually clean. I shrug and pull them on. After I finish drying off, I go into the living room, drop myself onto the couch and switch on the t.v.

Hello everyone and welcome to 'Good Morning America'. I slowly begin to open my eyes and shut them quickly from the beams of sunlight shining through my windows. I jolt up and make my way to close the shades and curtains. "MOTHERFUCK!" I bang my big toe into the side table by my couch. That shit hurts. I continue to curse under my breathe and close the blinds and curtains. I look and the black, digital clock on the side table and it reads 7:45am. I'm off again today and have nothing to do. I'm alone in this fucking apartment that is a mess; Molly's working today again, so she can't come over and I have no one else to talk to really. Ryan doesn't count. I only met him twice and might feel uneasy about having him come over.

I'm sitting on the couch pretzel style and stare intensely at my arms. I have scars going in all directions. I tried killing myself back when I was in high school, two times I tried and it didn't work out the way I thought. The first attempt was around the time of my 14th birthday. It was late one night and my girlfriend had just broken up with me. I guess you could say that I really loved her and that she was the "love of my life". She fucked my heart in the ass, at least that's what I thought at the time. She said she just fell out of love with me and that we should just be friends. I couldn't handle it well, so I went home that night and Locked myself in my bedroom. I grabbed the black scissors on my dresser and cut myself multiple times. I went to bed and just let the fresh cuts bleed out; they just clogged up by morning. My ex-girlfriend saw me in school the next morning, flushed and moody. She asked me if I was okay. I told you to get the fuck out of my face, but she just wouldn't leave. "Molly, I said to get the fuck out of my face." I raised my hand to close my locker, not paying to the fact that my sleeve had fallen, revealing my still red cuts. "Brendon, what the hell?" I can never forget the look she had on her face when I told her. I wasn't trying to make her feel bad, I was just --- I dunno. I convinced her to not tell anyone; my parents, school counselor, no one.

I guess that's how we ended up becoming such close friends, Molly and I. She might've fucked my heart in the ass, but she also became someone that I could trust with my life.

"Fuck." I look away from my arms and put a pillow to my face. "Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!" I yell out all of my frustration into the fucking pillow and throw it across the room. I don't want to go outside, but I don't want to just mope around my apartment all day on the couch. I shut of the t.v. and lazily get up from the couch, walking towards the kitchen. I stare at the contents of my fridge (or lack there of) to find something to eat. I haven't eaten since last night and I'm starving right now. All I have is wilted lettuce, a bruised gala apple, two eggs and what I believe to be spoiled milk. God Dammit. My stomach growls embarrassingly loud and I sigh, grabbing the two eggs and apple.

My phone rings unexpectedly and it makes me jump a little. I stare at the caller i.d. to see who's calling. It's Molly's number. I twist my face into a confused expression. She works until 5pm today, but it's not even noon yet. Why is she calling? I think to myself. I flip my phone open to answer.

Are you alright?I must sound hysterical right now.

Brendon, calm your voice. I'm just checking up on you. She's whispering, so that must mean that she's calling on the job.

Why are you checking up on me? I'm not contemplating suicide, don't worry.

That's not funny. She sighs heavily and I can tell she's frustrated.

The boss has got you working double time, huh? I can feel a slight smirk forming on my face.

There's a long pause. Yeah he does. I can't stand this place. Anyways, I was calling to check up on you 'cause I know you-

What the fuck does that mean? I cut her off. I'm feeling a bit offended right now.

She sighs again. Look, I just don't want you to get all paranoid all by your lonesome. Capeesh?

Whatever. Don't even bother coming tonight; I not in the mood for company. I hang up and toss my phone on the counter next to me. "Bitch", I say to the phone. I know it might be a bit asshole-ish, but just assuming I might start freaking out 'cause you're not keeping watch on me 24/7 is just fucked up. Now I think I'm starting to realize why we never worked out as a couple. I finish frying my two pitiful eggs and eat them straight out of the pan. They're a bit greasy and crusty, but food is food. I rinse of the apple and bit into it. It's rotten. I spit the bitten piece out into the sink and toss the fruit in the trash can.

It's crazy how I can go from feeling like I'm on cloud nine to feeling like shit in less then an hour. I've done nothing but sit around and stare at my fucking arms all day, fall asleep, wake up and masturbate. This has turned out to be a shitty day. I'm starting to regret bitching at Molly earlier.

Chapter Text

"So, how was it?" Molly has one eyebrow cocked up in curiosity. I had my second "date" with Ryan last Friday and I must say, it was not a total disaster. I come out of the kitchen with two mugs of vodka in my baggy pajama pants and shirtless. Molly somehow got a hold of my white tee. My only clean tee. "Come on, tell me!" She jesters for me hurry over and sit down beside her. I take a sip from my Scooby-Doo mug and start. "Well, we went to a restaurant this time, some fancy pants place downtown."

"Uh huh", she's grinning like a little schoolgirl, "a restaurant, eh? Sound promising." She takes a big gulp of vodka.

I mirror her gulp and roll my eyes. "We talked, got drunk off some expensive ass wine-"

"Did you guys..."

"Did we what? Fuck?"

She rolls her eyes. "Well, when you put it that way, it doesn't sound so romantic."

"The answer to your question is no. I'm just not ready to go that far with him yet." I stare down at my bare arms and swallow the lump I feel forming at the back of my throat. I finish the rest of what's left in my mug and go to get the bottle on the kitchen counter. "Molly, I'm a bit disturbed by your interest in my relationship. You know we use to date right?" I call out to her from the kitchen.

"Bren, I'm well aware. I mean, I broke up with you remember?", she tucks a loose strand of her behind her ear. Every time she does that my heart skips a little. Even if we aren't together anymore, I still feel something for her. "Plus", her voice snaps me back into reality and I walk over with the bottle and place it on the table before plopping down next to her, "you tell me everything now remember that.

"Molly you don't get what I'm trying to say. I. Don't. Think. I'm. Ready-"

"Brenny, I know. You don't want him to know about whatever it is that I know. It's okay." She leans her head onto my shoulder and I can feel her eyes staring at my arms. "I'm sure you'll know when the timing is right. Plus, I am sure he's got baggage, too; it's not just a one sided thing."

"Why is it that you always know how to make me feel better?", I sigh.

She kisses my chin lightly and my eyes close in reaction. "I'm like the mother you never had. You said so yourself."

I wake up with a stiff neck and numb left arm. Molly and I must've fallen asleep on the couch. I slowly and carefully get up from the couch, trying not to wake Mol up. I wake over to the bathroom and close the door. I feel a bit nauseous right now and it might be from all that vodka I drank earlier. My stomach is turning and I feel dizzy. I do a short run to the toilet and throw up whatever was left in my stomach. "Brendon! Are you okay in there?!" I hear Mol's voice of concern out in the living room, she's rushing over to the bathroom. I rest my head on the edge of the toilet and run my hand true my bed hair.She opens the door and I can tell she has a worried look on her face. "Brenny, you've got to control your drinking my friend." She wet the towel that was resting on the sink with some water, kneels down beside me, and places it on my forehead.

"Moool, I don't know why you put up with me." I smile a bit and take her hand that's resting on my shoulder and kiss it. She frowns slightly. I can't tell if I'm making her uncomfortable or if she's just worried.

"Brendon, don't", she pulls her hand away and stands up sit on the edge of the tub, "don't do this now."

I raise an eyebrow in confusion. "What the fuck is it that I'm doing?" I'm asking a question that I already know the answer to. I'm trying to lead her on, but am failing miserably. It's weird really. I don't know what it is that I want anymore. One minute I find myself having wet dreams about Ryan and the next, I find myself trying to stick my tongue down Molly's throat.

"You already know what you're doing", she tosses the towel back on the sink and sighs, "trying to patch things up between us, relationship wise. It wont work, I can assure you that." She gets up and walks out of the bathroom and I get up from the floor to follow her. "Mol, please. I'm sorry alright; I'm just a bit out of it, that's all." I grab her arm and she spins around. "I know we're not 'together' anymore, okay? You're, like, my friend and I don't want to change that." She smile real wide and we hug. I'll screw up this moment sooner or later.

Molly helps me clean off the coffee table and we plop back down on the coach. "I feel like Thai food, you?" I shrug my shoulders and say yeah. This'll probably be the first time in weeks where I eat "real food". "It's my treat, so down worry about paying." She pulls out her cell and dials a number, orders the food and hangs up. "We have 30 minutes until the food comes." She tucks her loose hairs behind her ear again and I just lose it. I lay a hard kiss right on her lips and pull away as fast as I can.

"God, Mol, I'm sorry. I know what you said earlier, b-but... You know what, I'll be right back." Before she can comment I get up and walk to the bedroom. I close and lock the door and get my phone from the nightstand. I see that I have three missed calls and they're all from Ryan. "Shit. He called." I flip my phone open and dial his number. I bite my lip until it draws blood. Maybe I shouldn't've kissed Mol. The phone rings and no one picks up. I get the voice mail.

Hey it's Ryan. You're not retarded, so you must know what to do after the beep. I'll get back to you...when I feel like it.

"Hey, Ryan, it's Brendon. I saw that you called me last night, a few times actually", I laugh nervously, "and, um, sorry for not calling back sooner. I had fun on Friday though. I'm so sorry for freaking out on you, like, really sorry." I sigh heavily and try to think of something else to say before my time is up. "Um, call me back, I guess, whenever. Bye." That felt really awkward. Can I just kill myself right now?

The food's finally here in what felt like the longest 30 minutes ever. I grab the only two, real, plates that I own out of the kitchen cabinet, while Molly pays for the the food. She flashes a fake smile and says for the delivery guy to have a nice evening before she closes the door. I place the plates down on the coffee table and sit down on the couch. "You can always think of it as a family kiss." I shrug my shoulders and flash an innocent smile. "You're such an ass Bren. You never listen to anything I tell you. You...you just do whatever."

"Well, you put up with is so...

"So...that doesn't mean I think it's okay." She takes the food out of the brown bag and places it on the coffee table. I shake my head and rub the back of my neck in response. She confuses me sometime. "Mol, I'm confused. You can kiss me and shit, but me, oh I can't do any of that. Why? 'Cause I'm a fucking dude?!"

"Bren, please", she sighs, "I'm hungry and I really don't feel like arguing with you. You're a bit of a drama queen."

"The fuck are you talking about? I am not a drama queen!" Okay, maybe I am.

She walks over to me to the tiny entry way of the kitchen and places a gentle hand on my right shoulder. "Look, my way of showing you affection is different from the way you try to show me affection." I shrug her hands off my shoulders and narrow my eyes slightly. "Yeah, I hug you and all, but you trying to stick your tongue down my throat down my throat is a whole other ball game. What's done is done, okay. There's no reason to patch up what we had in high school because it obviously never worked out." I guess she has a point.

"Fuck, I hate it when you're right. God, Mol...I-I'm sorry alright. and I really mean it this time." I really do.

She hugs me tight. "I know you do. Now, let's eat, please!"

We're sitting on the couch pretzel style eating Thai food and watching shitty reality t.v. shows. I'm in the middle of forking a piece of broccoli into my mouth when Molly elbows me in my side to get my attention. I pause from eating and look up at her. "What?", I say with an aggressive undertone.

"You still never really gave me the dish on your date with Mr. Ryan Ross." She's batting her eye lashes and giving me a smile that says 'I want all the details on your date with Ryan'. I ignore her and go back to eating. I can tell she's frowning now. "Oh come on dude! You can't keep this from me forever."

"Psh, wanna bet?", I say with a mouth full of food.

She pokes me with her chopstick and pouts all innocent. "Pleeeeaaase! You know I've been waiting to hear about this lovely date of yours and you agreed to tell me. So spill it!" She pokes me again, but extra hard this time.

"Alright, alright!", I roll my eyes, "I'll tell you. Jeez!" I inhale and exhale heavily and start.

_ Last Friday Night _

I took an extra looong shower, 'cause I was super sweaty and gross because the A/C wasn't working at all that day. I wore my dark blue skinny jeans, a long sleeved, white shirt and my usual, beat up, black and white Chucks. I was feeling pretty good about this second chance with Ryan. He said we were gonna be going somewhere special, or something like that, and I was super stoked about it. My cell rung and I flipped it open. It was Ryan. He said he was downstairs, I said I'd be right down.

Once outside, I saw Ryan in front of my apartment building, leaning up against some fancy car. He had on a gray, long sleeved button down shirt, shiny, tight trousers, dress shoes and a multicolored, silk scarf. I was beginning to think that I was under dressed, but I just shrug it off. He usually dressed that way on a daily basis anyways. I nodded my head towards the car. "Yours?", I asked

"Yeah. A graduating present from my parents a while back." He unlocked the door with a button on his key chain and opened my door for me. I climbed in and he shut in. He did a little jog around the car and got in as well. "You ready?", he asked me with a smile that wreaked of confidence on his face.

"Yeeep." I looked at him and smiled real cheesy. He put the key into the ignition and we were off to...where ever it was he was taking me. There was an awkward silence during the drive, so I tried to help by starting conversation. "So, I guess chivalry isn't dead, huh?"

Ryan glanced at me real fast and then quickly returned his attention to the road. "Um, what are you talking about?" He was smiling with confusion.

"I mean, you-you know...with the whole opening the door for me and all." I brought my gaze down and stared at the palms of my hands --- they were a bit sweaty.

"Oh, right. I guess not." He licked his lips and chuckled softly. We pulled up to a red light and he turned his attention to me. "Brendon, you seem a bit nervous." I bit my lip enough to draw a little blood, but not enough for Ryan to notice.

I chuckle. "Oh do I?", I said, hoping he wouldn't detect the sarcasm behind my expression.

"Well, yeah-" He's cut off by the person behind us, honking their car horn. Ryan stuck his hand out the window flipped 'em off as we drove away. "Like I was saying", he flashed me a quick smile and turned back to the road frowning, "what was I saying again?" I shrugged my shoulders and he followed suit. "Well I guess it wasn't that important since I can't remember." We stopped at a red light and he pulled a cigarette out from the pocket of his button down and placed it loosely between his lips. He searched around for his lighter. "Need a light?", I asked, waving my hot pink lighter in front of his face.

"Yes. Please.", he quickly snatched the lighter from my hand and lit the end of his cigarette, "I haven't had a smoke all day." The light turned green and he stepped on the gas and we drove away. The closer we got to the place, the more I got nervous. In my head I kept thinking to myself Don't fuck this up. Don't fuck this up. I almost said it out loud my accident at one point, but I caught myself.

We arrived at this fancy ass restaurant, with valet parking and all that shit. I definitely felt under dressed. "Holy shit Ry", my eyes widened as I looked out the window at the restaurant, "why didn't you tell me this was, like, a legit date. I look like a fucking slob!" And I wasn't lying. I left my hair in whatever style it was when I got out of the shower, my shoes were holey scuffed out and I was sweaty and jittery because of my nerves. "Oh God, can we just hang out at your place?"

"Bren, calm down. And no we can't just 'hang out at my place'." He ran his hands through his hair and sighed. I began to think I was frustrating him. "Look Brendon, I like you okay? I want to make this thing between us work. I'm just trying to make it official. Plus, I had reservations made way in advance; that's how important this is to me. I assumed you'd at least be stoked about this rather than freaked out of your mind." Ryan let out a heavy sigh and and unbuckled his seat belt. He stared at me for a moment and back out the front window.

"Ry, I-I'm sorry alright. It's just my nerves, I promise." I flashed a fake smile at him hoping that would make things better. He smiled back and leaned over to kiss me, softly, on my lips. I unbuckled my seat belt and we got out of the car. Ryan gave his car keys to the valet guy and told him to "take good car of her" as he slipped the guy a fifty dollar bill into his breast pocket. We walked into the place and my stomach turned. "This is way out of my league", I mumbled under my breath. I assumed Ryan didn't hear me, that or he just ignored my mellow-dramatic comment.

"Hi, I have reservations under Ross." The guy at the front (I'm sure he has a fancy title, I just don't know what it's called) looked through this book with a list of names on it. "Aha, mister Ross, right this way." He got two menus from the podium and guided us to a table in a dimly lit corner in the back of the restaurant. We took our seats and the guy started going on about their great selections of wine. I rolled my eyes and Ryan was nodding with interest. I didn't know he had a knowledge of wine up until then. "Just get us your best red wine, thanks." The guy vanished and we were left alone.

"So", I sighed, "you're a wise on wine or something." I was looking through the menu and I looked up at him.

Ryan shrugged. "Something like that. My father owns a winery up in Napa Valley and he taught me everything I know. What about you?"

"What about me?" I was afraid he'd ask me about my parents.

"What has your father taught you?" A different guy walked up to our table with a bottle of wine and two glasses. Thank God. I really didn't want to get into a conversation about the two people I hate the most --- my parents. The guy poured us the wine and and asked if we were ready to order. I had no fucking clue what this shit was that I was trying to read. "Can you order for me?" I whispered to Ryan. I felt that my face was turning red with embarrassment. He nodded and ordered us, each, a spring vegetable stew. He remembered I was a vegetarian.

As we were waiting for the food, Ryan brought up the question about my father once again. I took a huge gulp of wine, trying to dodge the question once more. Didn't work. "If it's a subject that crosses the line with you, I'll lay off. All you have to do is say the word." I was so transparent with this guy. He could read me like a book, a poorly written book. The food came and it was really good. Like, really really good. For someone who lives off of Ramen and pb&j, anything taste really really good.

Ryan paid, leaving a tip, and we left. The valet guy got his car and handed him the car keys. We got in and he drove off. I came to realise that he wasn't taking me right home because we weren't driving anywhere I saw familiar. "Um, Ryan?"

"Yeah", he said while keeping his eyes on the road.

My nerves were getting to me. I knew I was forgetting something when I left. I forgot to take my meds. No wonder I was so fucking nervous! I was looking around, outside of the window to see if I recognised anything. "Where are you taking me?"

"You said you wanted to hang out at my place, so that's where we're going." He flashed me a smile and I flashed one back. The drive was pretty short and the building he parked in front of was fucking gorgeous; it was, like, the complete opposite of where I live.

Ryan got us a bottle of wine and we drank the whole thing straight from the bottle. "Be right back", he said, "I gotta take a piss." I nodded slightly and waited. He was in there for about five minutes and I was getting impatient. "Hey Ry?" I called out from the living room. "Ryan, are you okay?" I got up from the sticky leather couch and followed the light glowing in the hallway. I knocked on the bathroom door and it opened slightly. "Hey, you invite me here and leave me wait---ing." Ryan was hunched over the toilet bowl seat. "Are you okay?"

He looked up at me and there was white powder along-side his nose. His eyes looked like they were about to pop out of his head. "Oh, shit. Hey."

"Ryan, what the fuck? You-you're...what the hell man!"

"Hey, chill out man. It's just a little coke." He wiped his nose, stood up and walked over to me. "Want some?" He gestured to the toilet.

"No". That's all I could say at the moment. My words were caught in my throat. The guy I feel in love with does drugs...fucking cocaine at that! "Ryan, I just..." I dropped my gaze to the tile floor and "...I don't even know anymore. You're high on cocaine.Cocaine.

"Bren", he rested his hand on my shoulder, "calm down. It's just a little coke. Come on." We walked back to the couch and sat there. And sat there. And sat there. Then he kissed me, like, hard. Tongue and all. He was pushing himself onto me as he undid my pant's button and zipper. I wanted him to stop. I mean, he was drugged up on coke and it just didn't seem right. He gently bit my lip and I let out a soft sigh, rubbing up against me. It felt good, really good. In fact, it felt fucking amazing, but it didn't feel right. I pushed him back. "Wait."

"What the fuck, Brendon?" Ryan looked confused. Pissed off and confused. "Why'd you stop?"

I rubbed my forehead and moaned in frustration. "Can you just...take me home. Please." Ryan pursed his lips and ran his finger through his long, fluffy hair. He nodded and got up off the couch. "Come on", he sighed, "let's go."

---

"I just wanted this to be special you know." We were driving back to my apartment.

I rolled my eyes. "High on drugs? Yeah. You read my mind."

There was an awkward silence the rest of the ride home.

When we pulled up to the front of my building Ryan broke the silence. "Brendon. I'm sorry, but I'm not...sorry.

"What?", I asked, unbuckling my seat belt.

"I'm sorry you had to see that. I'm sorry I pushed myself onto you like that."

I was confused. "Where are you getting at Ross?"

"Yes, I do coke and I'm not sorry for that. If you want to be with me---you'll have to accept that." He leaned over to kiss my lips. I gave him my cheek. "I guess this is something that you need to think over for a bit?" I nodded and kissed his cheek as well.

Ryan unlocked the doors and I waited a few seconds, thinking he would come and open it or whatever, like he did earlier. No such luck. I climbed out the car and shut the door. "I'll call you, okay?" I told him through the opened passenger window. He gave a weak smile and put the key back into the ignition, starting the car.

I tilted my head to the side. "Should you be driving?", I asked with concern.

"Huh, guess not." He chuckled as he put the car in drive. I backed away from the car and he drove off.

I could kill myself right now. I really could. "What the fuck is going on."

Chapter Text

The sun is beaming down on my face this morning when I wake up. I aggressively pull the covers over my head to block the rays and they get yanked right off. "What the fuck?!" I forgot Molly slept over last night and I also (purposely) forgot that I have work today. And I'm late. "God Mol, what the hell is wrong with you?", I mumble.

"Boyd, you have work today", she continues to yank at the sheets as I try to pull them back over my head, "and I'm not covering your ass anymore!" She tumbles backwards. I pull the covers over my head again. "This 'Ryan hasn't called me back, so I'm staying in bed forever' thing has got to stop...now." I can hear her footsteps creaking on the crappy hardwood floors.

I push down the gray comforter to reveal only my eyes. "Molly", I mumble through the sheets, "this isn't a thing okay. You know how I get about shit like this."

"I know." She sighs. "That's what scares me the most. I-I'm just worried that just because of this stupid damned phone call that you might do something reckless. I mean, you're a sensitive guy Brenny and I'm just scared that you might try to hurt yourself or drink yourself to death because of it."

"What are you talking about Mol?" I have the sheets off my face now and I'm sitting up right. I'm confused and I'm nervous. My palms are clammy and I have the urge to gnaw on my fingernails real hard. I'm just waiting for her to say it; you're going to kill yourself over Ryan.

"You know damned well what I'm talking about Urie. You tried to kill yourself because of me. You started binge drinking after a lot of your past relationships went to crap, and God knows what else. Now, I'm scared about what you might do this time." I see her eyes getting all teary and it instantly breaks my heart, but at the same time it pisses me off that she thinks that I would go so low as to killing myself or getting passed out drunk over a guy I met not even a month ago. I know I've been a bit distant or whatever, but shit, really?

"Why do you think I would do that? I've only known the guy for about a month and you think I'd kill myself over a phone call." Yeah sure, I've been obsessing over this phone call for days now (maybe even weeks), but I wouldn't want to die over it. "God, I wish you would just stop assuming the obvious!" I pulled my covers back and pushed her out of the way.

"What the hell Brendon!"

"Mol, get the fuck out. Please."

She get's up and looks at me all confused and pissed. "So, you're asking me to-"

"No no no. I told you to get the FUCK out!"

"You just don't want to hear the truth Brendon. Every time I have something to say that just might disagree with whatever the hell you have to say, you kick me out or hang up the phone and frankly it's starting to piss me the hell off!

I could give less of a fuck right know

"Brendon. Brendon are you listening to me?!" I must've zoned out for a bit and didn't realize she was still here. I blink a few times in a row and give her a bitter look, like an 'I don't care what you have to say' kind of look. "God, this is just like you. You're such a damned drama queen, so much that I don't know if I can handle it anymore. I guess...just...bye Brendon."

I hear her gather her stuff and head for the front door. "Mol", I call out, "wait, please." She stops mid-way and turns around to look at me. "I know...I know I've been acting like a total dick lately a-and I'm sorry." Her shoulders drop and she drops her bag onto the floor. "It's just, I don't know, I guess I just get so fucking attached to someone that I really don't know when things get out of hand." I'm starting to feel better already. "I'm sorry I pushed you. That was a real dick move I made and I fucked up alright? Ryan is in the past and, um, I'm so fucking sorry, Molly!"

She walks over and gives me the biggest hug. My eyes are starting to water and I can feel tears trickling down my cold cheeks."I'm so fucking sorry", I whisper to her. Who knew that falling a guy like Ryan would take so much out of me?

Molly left about an hour ago. She told me not to worry about work and that she would "take care of it" for me. Whatever the hell that means.

---

Hey, it's Brendon...uh, leave a message and I'll get back to you. Yeah, thanks.
*beep*

Hey Brendon. It's Ryan, um...yeah. Heh, I-I'm sorry I haven't been answering your calls, I've just been dealing with some family issues and...Okay, now I'm making excuses. I just-I felt as if you didn't want to see me after that night and, hey, I don't blame you. Look, I wanna make it up to you, if you want, we can start over, yeah? Just please, please call me back. i fucked up and-and I'm sorry. Just call me. Please.

---
I didn't hear the message until the day after and I'm freaking out a bit. I told myself over and over that I wouldn't give in, even if he actually did try to fix this-this whatever the hell this is. And hearing that message, the hurt in his voice, the thought of him actually feeling some kind of remorse, I just want to forget everything I told Molly and run over to him and hug him tightly. Kiss him.

Molly voice is yapping in the back of my head, telling me "you'll just get hurt all over again" and "think about what you're doing", but I shake 'em out and walk over the phone. I pick it up and dial his number. "Hello?" The familiar voice puts a smile on my face.

"Hey, it's Brendon. Sorry, I, um, I didn't hear your message until the day after and-"

He sighs with relief. "It's so good to hear your voice." That hint of confidence that I remember hearing in his voice the first day we met is now a vulnerable whisper. "I really wanted to call you back. Really I did, but I don't know. My father-"

"Ry, it's fine. You called back and that's all that matters. Really, you don't need to apologize. You've said enough."

Chapter Text

"Brendon?", Ryan whispers to me, "You know I love you?" We're lying on his bed, just lying there under the covers and I'm in his arms. We just had sex for the first time and it was amazing. And intense. I mean, yeah, it's just sex or whatever, but it was different. It was with Ryan. I just, I dunno, it's different and it has been an intense few months with this kid, but we connected and I know he felt it too. I mean, I'm sure he's seen my arms (it's kind of hard not to notice) and he hasn't pointed it out once. It's stupid I know, but I have to know what he thinks of...well, this.

"I know", I tell him quietly, "I love you too Ry." But you know, even though we've said that we love each other over and over again every time we have a chance to speak, I always have wondered... "Hey Ry?"

He removes his arm from around the back of my neck and sits up to show that I have his full attention. "What's up?"

"Now I know I've been a bit of a bitch about you seeing me naked or having sex and we finally did, you know? But like-I mean, um...I just wanted to know---"

"Bren, don't." He looks annoyed. He always looks annoyed when I act like this. Like I'm all nervous and shit, second guessing something when there is nothing to second guess; it pisses him off. "You know I don't give a fuck about whatever happened in your past. I'm not all rainbows and sunshine either you know", he reaches for a cigarette on his bedside draw and lazily places it between his lips and lights it with his silver lighter. He takes a quick drag and exhales with a frustrating sigh." So I can't nit pick you for whatever issues you have or had." He takes another drag, a longer one, and continues to rant.

"Now, that bitch you call your 'best friend' seems to have something to say about every little thing, like she's some angel or something."

I had formally introduced him to Molly some time ago and she was not> impressed. She literally had some comment to say every two seconds, 'You know he's been devastated the entire time you hadn't called', 'so, what exactly is it that you do for a living Ross?'

"God, what is her deal anyways." He continues. "You know she's got a real stick up her ass, like we only met once and she automatically put me on her naughty list or some shit." Ryan's face suddenly gets serious and he turns to look me right in my eyes. "Have you told her about, you know, us?"

I'm biting my nails again.

"Don't you fucking do that Brendon."

I stop.

"Every time you bite your nails, they start bleeding and shit. I know what you're trying to do and it's not gonna work this time. Now, answer the damned question. Does She. Know. About us?

I sigh. "No."

"It's been, what, two or three month now and you still haven't told her? You agree to not see me, but do it anyways. If you have the balls to do that, then you can fucking tell her."

But she's all I really have left. I wanted to say it, I really did. But I have him too and I don't want to argue, so I just stay quiet.

"Fucking answer me!" On second thought...

"You don't get it Ryan, okay." I reach down the side of the bed to fetch my boxer briefs on the floor and get up to put them on. "Mol is like, you know, the closest thing I have to legit family right now and I don't want to lose that over a fucking thing like this." I gesture my right index finger at the both of us.

"What the fuck are you talking about?!" He puts his cigarette out on the ashtray on his bedside table and gets up to put on his pj bottoms. "This is just a 'fucking thing' to you?" He air quotes and mimics me in a high pitched voice. "Well, I'm sorry if I'm not that much of vital importance to you by being labeled as a thing!"

"Fuck you!" I'm sorry.

He walks over to my end of the bed. "You want to explain to me why the fuck telling her the truth would be any worse than keeping our relationship, oh sorry I mean our 'thing', a secret?!"

"You know that's not what I meant! I love you okay, I'll say it a million times---"

"Yeah, well not enough to tell her!"

I run my hands through my hair and tug at it ever so slightly. "We just had sex for the first time and I would think that it would just be special, you know? Please, let's just drop it for now. It's stressing me out and I don't what to stress out...at least, not in front of you?" I'm tearing up right now and I just want to drive my head into a wall over and over again until I black out and forget this argument ever happened.

"Bren", he sighs, "I'm sorry." He gently takes my hands and looks down at my arms, every cut and burn that I've ever inflicted on myself, and kisses them over and over.

I collapse into his arms and break down. "No-no I'm sorry Ry. I'm such a fucking mess and I-"

"Shhh...we're gonna be fine. Don't worry."

---

Hey, it's Brendon...uh, leave a message and I'll get back to you. Yeah, thanks.
*beep*

"Hey Brenny, it's Molly. Ive been trying to reach you , like, all day and you haven't been answering my calls. So, with that, I guess I'm just gonna come over then to see if you wanted to hang out tonight. Call me if you get this. Bye"

---

I wake up to a loud banging noise echoing from the hall. Someones knocking on the front door. It's probably Molly. I drag myself out of bed, and make my way over to the front door. I open the door with the chain still on and peek through the crack. "Yeah?"

"Brendon." It's Molly, standing at my door with her arms crossed in front of her chest and her right hip dropped. "I have been calling you all day and you haven't answered any of my calls. What the hell is going on?"

I tell her to hold on and unhook the chain on the door and open it a little more. She pushes the door wide open and walks right on in, pushing past me and making her way towards the kitchen. "Please. Come in." I tell her flatly. I close and lock the door. I walk over to my old, dusty, thirty dollar couch and drop myself on it and in response it creaks. "What are you doing here", I yawn. "I thought you were coming later tonight?"

She walks walks out of the kitchen with two bottles of this cheap beer that I brought, like, years ago and never had the chance to drink. "Gosh, how long has this been sitting in your fridge?"

"I dunno. A few months maybe?", I shrug.

"You mean YEARS, right? The label is all faded and crap...and I'm pretty sure this brand is long gone by now." She drops herself on the couch and hands me a bottle. I pull the cap off with my teeth and spit it out, aiming for the coffee table, but it bounces off and falls on the rug under it. I take a long chug from the bottle and grimace. "I think you're right Mol, this tastes like shit." Molly opens her bottle with the bottle opener keychain I gave to her as a shitty last minute birthday gift a few years ago and takes a small sip, making the same disgusted face.

"So..." I take another sip by mistake and grimace a little.

Molly puts her bottle on the coffee table and grabs the remote. She switches on the television and put it on some awful reality show about dogs. She has a thing for awful reality shows. Leaning back into the couch, she then turns towards me. "So, what's new with you?"

"Why would you ask me that? There's nothing new wit me...obviously." Okay, so I need to shut the fuck up and calm down or she'll think somethings up. "I mean, what could possibly be happening in my life that I haven't already told you, huh?" I shake my head at myself and lean my head back, looking at the old, speckled ceiling. "Forget everything I just said, please."

"Um, I'm not sure if I can," she grounds her feet and looks at me all worried, "is everything alright? I mean, you can tell me anything, you know that." Actually, no, I can't. At least not this time. Molly already disproved of him, then again I did tell her that he was a coke head that wanted to rush into sex on a first date. How am I going to dig myself out of this one?

My stomach starts growling. "Well, I'm hungry," I say with too much enthusiasm. "You hungry? Man, I have not eaten all day...let's order something!"

"Um---" I give her no time to speak. I jolt up from the couch and walk over to my bedroom to find my cellphone. I order sushi and head back to the living room where Molly is sitting zombified on the couch watching some silly show about misbehaved cats. I drop myself right next to her and lay my head on her shoulder. She tousles my hair a bit and goes back to watching the t.v.

Ten minutes in I hear a soft knock on my door. Food! Finally! I rush to the door, unlatch every lock, and swing it opened. A huge kiss is planted on my lips and I pull back quickly. Oh God no. "Ryan?!" Shit. The universe hates me or something because no way is Ryan Ross standing at my door while I have his polar opposite sitting on my couch. I guide him out into the hall and close the door behind me.

"What the fuck?!" I whisper loudly.

He gives a confused smile. "What the fuck, what? I came to surprise you and you push me out---" His eyes widen. "She's here isn't she. That damned bitch!"

I cover his mouth with my left hand. "Will you lower your voice please? She's right on the other side of that door." I slowly remove my hand from his mouth and gently kiss his lips, he kisses me back and then jerks back quickly.

"You still haven't told her yet have you?!" No, I still haven't told her and rushing me isn't going to help. I feel like I'm stuck in between a naggy vagina and a hard place, like I just can't with these two anymore.

"Hey, Ry, honey," I grab him by the waist and pull him closer, "if you love me, you would give me time." I look him right in the eyes and flash him a little smile, one that says 'I am innocent and too cute for drama.' Sadly it doesn't work.

"And if you love me, you would go in there and tell her." Ryan says, mirroring my exact moves. "God, what are you in love with her or something?"

I pull back and roll my eyes. "Or something..." I say under my breath with a heavy sigh.

He narrows his eyes a bit. "Pardon? What was that? 'Or something,' huh!" His voice gets louder and I try my hardest to shut him up, but he just gets louder. In that moment I hear the door to my apartment swing open and my heart feels like it's gonna jump outta my fucking chest.

"What's taking so long with the fo---" Molly stops mid sentence. "What in God's name are you doing her Ross?"

"Oh what am I doing here?" He scoffs.

"Yeah."

He gently pushes me aside and inches towards her. "Well darling, I just so happen to be the guy's boyfriend. Problem?" Molly looks at me all confused and crosses her arms in front of her chest. I can't look her in the eyes, so I quickly fix my gaze to the scratched up wooden floors underneath my bare feet. "Bren, tell her. You've been keeping it hush hush for so long, y'might as well say it now!"

"Yeah Brendon," I can still feel her eyes staring me down, "tell me what's up."

My hands start getting clammy and in my head I'm thinking about how childish this has all become. In the past several months, a lot of shit has gone down and it's all led up to this fucking train wreck of a moment. My best friend, boyfriend, and I standing outside of my apartment, yelling at each other and I am a hundred percent sure it'll end up being one of those 'it's either me, or them' situations that never solve anything...because someone ends up getting hurt anyways. I just have to own up to my mistakes and inability to solve my own problems I guess.

"Okay! Fine!" I throw my hands up and fix myself so that I am facing the both of them. "Molly, after all of my mellow dramatic whining about him not calling me back and your whole rant of how I don't need him, I went back to Ryan anyways. The coke head rich boy that I met at a job that I fucking hate." I try to stop stop myself from going on, but I just can't. It's like word vomit times ten. "And yes, I decided not to tell her," I look directly at Ryan, "and I am not sure why you even give a shit if she knows or not You already know that she hates your fucking guts to begin with!"

"Okay---" Molly tries to stop me, but I just keep going.

"And you," I point to Molly, "who the FUCK do you think you are?!" Her face begins to turn bright red and looks shocked, as if someone told her a relative just died. "You think you always know what's best for me or something?! Get this", I chuckle, "you're not my fucking mother, okay?" I push past her and walk into my apartment and slam the door as hard as I can. My body is hot and my breathing starts to get heavy; I have the urge to punch a wall, or bang my head against something. I just can't win in life, like, ever.