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Fault Lines and Ley Lines

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To say Ronan was pissed was a bit of an understatement. He was beyond pissed. He was so far beyond pissed that the only thing he could think at the moment was how he was going to fucking kill Adam fucking Parrish.

Slowly. With a rusted spoon. So that the little asshole would have tetanus to deal with as well as the whole being dead thing.

Because Ronan was really fucking pissed at Adam Parrish.

The day had started off nice enough. It was a weekend, the weather wasn’t atrocious, and so everyone had decided it would be a wonderful idea to go visit Cabeswater. Which, normally, Ronan wouldn’t mind. It always gives him a chance to talk to his mother and just be in a place where all the shit he has to deal with on a daily basis can momentarily be forgotten, left at the entrance of the forest for him to pick up when he inevitably has to leave again. Also, Chainsaw really loves it there.

The problem with this particular visit was that while they had all piled into the Pig and drove there like any other time they’d gone before, it wasn’t like any other time. All of the times before this, Ronan had spent the drive fluctuating between contemplating various pranks he could pull without angering and/or disappointing Gansey and stealing glances at a certain boy with particularly beautiful hands. And eyes. And lips. And -- you know what, that’s beside the point. Normally, Ronan would steal his glances and be content with the little snippets of Adam he got. This time, however, whenever Ronan would let his eyes gravitate over to the other seat, Adam would be looking right back. And not in the confused and slightly embarrassed why-the-hell-are-you-staring-at-me-asshole way that he normally did. No, this time it was a look that Ronan had no idea what it meant. And because he had no idea what it meant, he had no idea what to do with it. And because he had no idea what to do with it, he got angry. Because if Ronan didn’t know what to do with something, his next instinct was to make it bleed.

So, every time Ronan looked over and Adam was looking back (which was pretty much every fucking time, what the hell), Ronan would glare, scowl, flip-off, or on one occasion actually growl. Noah, who had been silently occupying the middle seat, had started cackling, drawing the attention of the two lovebirds sitting in the front. Gansey had simply raised an eyebrow in the rearview mirror while Blue had had the audacity to turn around and ask what was funny. Noah had still been giggling beside him and while Adam had remained silent, Ronan had felt the way Adam’s eyes were boring into the side of his head as he stared resolutely out the window. So, it had looked like it was up to Ronan to come up with an answer.

“Fuck off, maggot.” No one ever said he was especially creative.

Blue had simply huffed angrily and replied “You first, asshole,” before turning back around and pretending not to be madly in love with Gansey as he babbled on about some Welsh thing or another.

Ronan hadn’t dared to risk stealing another glance -- despite how much he desperately wanted to because, let’s face it, Ronan had been doing this for so long it was habit at this point -- and so had spent the rest of the drive silently stewing, chewing angrily at his leather bracelets and wishing he could just punch Adam’s beautiful fucking face and be done with it. Ronan would hate himself even more than he already did if he actually went through with it, though, so he decided the next best thing would be to slam the door and storm off into the forest by himself as soon as they’d parked. Which is exactly what he did.

He resolutely ignored Gansey and Blue’s shouts and Adam’s even louder silence and simply let his anger carry him forward into the trees. As soon as he passed over the invisible border between the Henrietta wilderness and the mystical bubble of Cabeswater, a little bit of the weight on his shoulders slid off and his rage, though still there -- always there -- , was no longer boiling just beneath his skin.

By the time everyone else had caught up with him, Ronan had cooled down enough to be considered approachable. Well, as approachable as one would ever consider a snake. Or a particularly prickly cactus.

While Ronan could tell that the others knew something was off, they wisely didn’t comment on it. And so the afternoon continued on, birds singing and flowers blooming, almost as if nothing was amiss. Almost. There was a slight tension in the air, Ronan could feel it -- specifically between him and Adam. He could see it, too -- in the way Adam kept his shoulders tensed and slightly hunched, in the way he avoided any and all eye contact with Ronan despite having had the opposite problem not even a hour or two earlier. Ronan couldn’t decide whether he was relieved or disappointed in Adam’s change -- actually, that was a lie. Ronan was definitely disappointed, he just preferred not to admit that particular truth to himself quite yet.

“Hey, Lynch.” Adam’s first words spoken the entire day jolted Ronan out of his thoughts and back to the present. The gang had been wandering around and doing some old fashioned exploring and Ronan now found himself standing off to the side of a small cave. Gansey and Blue were up ahead, shoulders brushing every few steps, and Noah was stopped a few feet behind them captivated by a bright purple flower. He looked at Adam.

“Yeah?”

Adam was still giving him a look, but it was different somehow. More hopeful, maybe? Ronan mentally groaned. He was not cut out for this deciphering-whatever-the-hell-Adam’s-new-facial-expressions-were bullshit.

“Wanna check it out?” Adam tilted his head in the direction of the cave, eyebrows raised in question.

Ronan knew in that moment that this had the potential to either horribly wrong, or horribly right. Before he could question himself in any way, he strode forward into the mouth of the cave without a single glance at Adam, who he felt trailing right behind him.