“Hey, let’s go to Maine for a week.”
Shane’s eyes shot up from his computer, and pulled his headphones down around his neck.
“Did HQ just approve another one of your spooky ghosty road trips? What can we even find up there? Wait, no, scratch that, I forgot Stephen King lives there and bases most of his books there. It’s like your wet dream Ryan!”
Ryan huffed a laugh, and rolled his eyes at the other man.
“No, dumbass, HQ has nothing to do with this. Also, frankly, Maine is spooky as shit and I’m sure we could get some solid proof of demons up there.”
“Oh, yeah, all those lumberjack demons and moose ghouls. That’ll get the internet’s mind gears goin’.”
“Wow, do you even know anything besides stereotypes about the North-East?”
Shane thought a minute, tapping his pen against his chin.
“No.” He concluded, pointing the pen back at Ryan.
Ryan giggled helplessly. His best friend really could be a sarcastic piece of shit sometimes. Most of the time. All of the time.
“Yeah, okay, I could have guessed that.” He smiled, “But no, this doesn’t have to do with the company. Heck, it doesn’t have to deal with Unsolved at all.”
And that was true. This whole was something Ryan had been cooking up behind closed doors for months. All he had known when he began planning was that he wanted to get away from the cameras for a week, and most importantly, he wanted to get away with Shane.
“Did Ryan Bergara just say ‘heck’?” Shane teased, eyebrows wide in fake awe. “Somebody call the presses! This company is subconsciously censoring my friend’s use of swear words! I will not stand for this Ryan, I will save you!”
Dramatically, Shane slid down to his knees and shuffled over to Ryan’s desk chair, and bent his head in mock prayer.
Ryan’s laugh echoed off the walls, and they both knew others around were so used to them being just plain weird that they wouldn’t ask what was wrong. Ryan pushed his hand against Shane’s shoulder, until the man fell back onto his ass.
“Fuck off.” Ryan smiled through squinted eyes.
It wasn’t until later that night, right as they both were packing up their things to head out for the evening, that Ryan got his answer.
“When do we leave?”
Ryan looked up, surprised as Shane’s voice broke through the silent bubble around them, tired from the day’s work. When his eyes finally adjusted in the dim lightly, Shane was looking down at his bag as he stuffed his laptop into it. Ryan smiled softly as his heart beat three extra times.
“Sunday morning. Take off is at 8a.m., sharp. I will not hesitate to go alone if your ass isn’t at boarding by 7:50.”
As Ryan flicked his gaze back down his own bag, he couldn’t miss the small lift in Shane’s lips.
Shane made it to boarding at exactly 7:52, but Ryan was still standing there, teeth worrying his bottom lip as he typed rapidly on his phone. Shane could feel his phone going off with alerts in his hand, and he grinned as he jogged to the door.
When Ryan looked up, Shane couldn’t tell if his friend was happy or pissed to see him.
“Shane Alexander, I swear to the God above..”
“Hey, I made it, didn’t I? Also, weren’t you supposed to leave my ass behind or something?” He laughed, handing his ticket to the bored looking girl at the desk.
Ryan rolled his eyes, and grumbled something about ‘yeah, gonna beat that ass, almost missed our plane..” But Shane had no time to say something witty about spanking, because the flight attendants were quite literally pushing both of them down the walkway to the plane.
They loaded their luggage into the cubbies above their seats, and Ryan felt grateful that he had bought three seats instead of two, because he couldn’t help but laugh watching Shane sit down with his million mile long legs.
“Oh boy, Ryan, just what I love! Economy seating. My legs sure do love being at an 90 degree angle for an eight hour flight. You’re truly spoiling me.”
Ryan suppressed a laugh and braced himself against the seats in front of them as the plane was taxied to the runway.
“Yeah, just remember I’m paying for all the expenses of this trip and first class is all nice and that, but we need to eat and have transportation for a week. Be happy that I got you two seats, one for your gangly, lanky ass legs, and one for the rest of your annoying being.”
Shane put a hand against his chest, and gave Ryan his best set of puppy eyes.
“Gangly and lanky? You truly know how to get to a man’s heart.”
“Shut up and let me move in before I go tumbling backwards and out the back of this metal death bird.”
They land around 7pm, and Ryan could already feel the jet lag fucking up his body functions.
The lights flickered on all at once, and people begun standing and stretching. Ryan’s back felt as if could snap in half at any moment, and he stomach growled for something that wasn’t crackers or stale cookies. He nudged at Shane, who had fallen asleep at around hour 7 of their flight, and who still hadn’t woken up.
“Shane. Shaaaane. Shane, get the fuck up, I need to pee.”
Shane groaned and looked up, squinted around and looking generally confused.
“Where are we? When are we? Whom are we?”
Ryan laughed, shoving at the man until they were both standing, and groaning as their bones popped back into place.
“Don’t get all existential on me, buddy. We’re in, ya know, Maine, like planned. It’s dark out and we are tired. Let’s get moving.”
Soon, everyone was filing out, slowly but surely.
As they exited the plane’s door, a gust of cool wind blew across them. Ryan shivered and wrapped his free arm around himself.
“Fuck, it’s May! It shouldn’t be this cold! How do people survive this?!”
Shane chuckled sleepily behind him.
“These Mainer’s are all gonna beat us up Ryan, their survival instincts are better than ours and we will be sacrificed to keep their souls warm.”
Ryan groaned and tried not to store that thought away in his mind. This week was supposed to be calm, and most certainly not full of ghouls and ghosts. This week was going to change everything, Ryan knew it.
Ryan was finally going to tell Shane. There was nothing stopping him. All he needed for a push was a week away with the man he loved, and he would finally get the nerve to tell him so. All he needed was a week, and he’d be ready.
“This is… cute?” Shane whispered.
They stood in the doorway of their AirBnB, which was.. well..
It was cozy. Ryan could feel his face redden and his heart hammer in his chest as he glanced around what would be their room for the week. 7 days. In this room.
To be fair, the room didn’t look so fucking romantic in the pictures, but there they were.
A large king size bed sat against the furthest wall of the room, draped in thin silk from the ceiling. The whole room was lit with the warmth of the nearby fireplace, which crackled and filled the room with the smell of firewood. Pictures of beautiful Northern landscapes filled the walls, making everything feel homey.
And right in the middle of the bed, were two roses.
“Ryan, this is a honeymoon suite!” Shane giggled, glee filling his chest. Ryan stuttered and dropped his suitcase against the carpeted floor. He rushed towards the bed and grabbed the roses, staring at them and wondering who the fuck was messing with him.
By the entrance, Shane was holding a hand against his mouth, trying to stay quiet. Ryan had told him the owners lived upstairs, but the whole bottom apartment was theirs. It was late, and Shane was trying not to be impolite and cause a ruckus, but he almost couldn’t contain it.
“Someone’s fucking with us! This place didn’t look this.. well..” He stuttered, looking around the room, roses still in hand. “This.. lovey dovey! I didn’t book us a honeymoon suite, Shane, I swear to God and- holy shit, is that a chocolate heart?!”
Propped up against the mantle of the fireplace sat a small red heart shaped box of chocolates, and with that, a ripping laugh tore through Shane’s mouth, unable to hold it back anymore.
Ryan covered his face and sat against the bed, cheeks flaming and nerves on fire.
What a great start.
After about 30 minutes, Shane calmed down and flopped against the bed, chest heaving from his laugh attack. Ryan had since grabbed his luggage, and tore off his pants and shirt, crawling into bed and wishing it would swallow him whole.
At once, it was quiet again, save for the crackle of the dying fire.
As it darkened in the room, so did Ryan’s thoughts.
Maybe he shouldn’t had planned this. It really was stupid if he thought about it, taking his closest friend 3,000 miles away to.. what? Tell him he had loved him since he first met him? That he wanted something more than lingering touches and prolonged stares? That he wanted more than the rarest hug or the ultra-rare kiss on the cheek goodbye?
What if Shane didn’t feel the same way? What if he even hated Ryan after the truth was out in the open? What would happen to Unsolved? What would happen to their careers? What would happen to them?
His mind raced, and he squeezed his eyes shut, wondering if he could make up the excuse of the flu so they could just go home, so he could never think about this trip ever again-
“This is nice.”
Shane voice cut through the thick air and Ryan immediately opened his eyes. He glanced down to where Shane laid, legs hanging off the end of the bed. Even though half his body was off the bed, he head still came up to Ryan’s stomach.
“What?” He whispered, grimacing at the slight break.
Shane titled his head up, and smiled with his eyes.
“This is nice. I’m already loving this trip.” And there was no hint of sarcasm in his words. Ryan’s heart tugged itself down to his belly.
“Oh.” He breathed out, a smile on his lips.
Maybe this could work.
“Oh, maybe there’s a ghost in this room! That’s why it’s all made up! They want us to get married!” Shane declared, and Ryan grabbed the nearest pillow to his reach, and flung it towards Shane’s face. They both giggled and let their bones relax against the bed, letting the darkness come over them.
Maybe this could work, Ryan thought.
He had seven days to make things work.