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A Picture Says A Thousand Words (Unless You Just Can't See It)

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“So, hey, Ryan? You know that thing I needed to talk to you about?”

“Yeah.”

“Can we—I mean, now?”

“…okay.”

“Great. I’ll just sit—Okay. Yeah. This is… Alright.”

“Yeah.”

“Right, yeah, no, we probably don’t have time for— Well, it’s still awhile but…”

“Brendon.”

“Okay, okay. I just. I gotta, like, collect myself and— Okay. Right. So I’m just gonna say it, right? Because, I mean— Well, Spencer said you were—That you wouldn’t—”

“Brendon.”

“Give me a break, okay? I’m trying. I just. Yeah. It’ll be fine. Just don’t freak out? No, of course you wouldn’t… Anyway, I’m gay.”

“…Right.”

“I mean, I—Wait, is that like, a ‘yeah right, I don’t believe you’ or a ‘right, I understand’ because really, there are a lot of things that could mean and I—”

“Brendon—”

“Well, what do you expect? I’m gonna ramble, ‘cause I’m nervous, ‘cause all you’ve said is ‘right’ not even, like, ‘right, okay, thanks for telling me’ or ‘right, you’re out of the band’ or even if it’s okay, what am I supposed to—”

“It’s fine.”

“—think. Wait, really?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh. That’s… That’s good. I mean— Yeah. I was worried, I mean, you’re not my parents but—”

“Why are you telling me, exactly?”

“…um. Because? You should know?”

“Right. Why’s that?”

“It’s— I don’t know, I was freaking out about keeping it a secret and Spencer said I should just, you know, get it out because it’s not like I’ve got much to be afraid of, I mean you’ve fooled around with—”

“Don’t even go there.”

“Oh, right, yeah. You probably don’t wanna talk about that. Not after—”

“Shut up.”

“Okay, sorry. But anyway, Spencer said I’d probably feel better if I told someone, and he said you’d be okay with it because, like, you know how this shit works, so I just—”

“Spencer said, huh?”

“Well, I mean, yeah— He’s… I think— Actually, I think there was something else I was supposed to tell you.”

“About?”

“Um. Well, I don’t know, you probably already have an idea, and everything, and it’s not like it’s my place to say anything, really, but I have permission, sort of, and—”

“If you don’t get to the point, I’m going to strangle you.”

“Right. Sorry.”

“Just spit it o—”

“Spencer is too.”

“Spencer’s—”

“Yeah. Well, I mean, as far as I know.”

“And as far as you know, he’s not here telling me himself…why?”

“Well, because he said you already knew.”

“He did?”

“Yeah. I mean, he kept acting like it wasn’t anything, that you guys had that whole thing back when you were in middle school and—”

“He told you about that?”

“Um. Yeah. I mean, why wouldn’t he? We’re dating, so, like, he—”

“You’re what?

“Oh. Dating?”

“No, you aren’t.”

“Um, actually—”

“I’m going to kill you.

“No, hey, hey! Spencer totally said this would happen and—”

“Oh, well, if Spencer said.”

“Wait, okay! Just— You can’t hit me, we have a show tomorrow and—”

“And?”

“Um. Well, okay, not the best defense, but Spencer’s going to be pissed at you if you hit me, he already promised you wouldn’t.”

“He did?”

“Yeah! Look, I honestly don’t know why he isn’t here, right now, telling you all this himself, except that maybe he didn’t think it was going to be such a surprise to you. I wasn’t even going to tell you at all, I mean, I’d rather be telling Jon except I’m pretty sure he already knew, what with the whole dressing room incident.”

“Dressing room incident?”

“Long story. But look, okay? Spencer wanted you to know. About us. At least, I think that’s why he wanted me to tell you. He trusts you, you know?”

“If he trusts me so damn much why isn’t he here?”

“I don’t know! You’re not the only one wishing that were the case, but, like, I can’t tell you what his thinking was on this. I’m just trying to make you understand that—Oh, hey Spence.”

Hey, Spencer. What in the world are you doing here?”

“Hey Ryan. Look, I—”

“You’re an asshole.”

“No need to get bitchy.”

“Oh, I’m sorry for being a little irked at the fact that my best friend had his fucking boytoy—”

“Don’t call him that.”

“—do his dirty work for him, can’t even talk to me—”

“Stop it, Ryan.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re being unreasonable.”

“I’m sorry, I’m—”

“Yes, you are. Just—Look, we can have this fight later, right now there’s a hotel room with drinks and waffles for dinner—”

“There’s waffles?

“Yeah, Bren. Go find Jon, he’ll take you up. I’ll finish talking to Ryan.”

“Are you sure—”

“Yeah, I’ll be fine. Go.”

“Okay.”

“Okay. And Bren?”

“Yeah?”

“Happy anniversary.”

“Very happy, indeed. Waffles!”

“Yeah, and they’re getting cold, so hurry up.”

“Going!”

“…Alright. Now can we talk like reasonable adults?”

“I don’t know, reasonable adults don’t usually—”

“Ryan, seriously, not today.”

“Oh, right. Because it’s your anniversary. With fucking Brendon—”

“Don’t even start on him. You can hate me all you want, but don’t take this out on him. He’s been through a lot—”

“Oh, yeah, I’m sure.”

“He told his fucking parents, okay?”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. So, you know, maybe a little tact? Just… I should’ve told you about us a long time ago, alright, I just didn’t want to make Bren feel like I was pressuring him to do anything.”

“Spence, I didn’t even know you were gay.”

“What? Yeah, you did.”

“No. No, I didn’t. Why the fuck would you think—”

“That whole thing! In middle school.”

“I thought that was just my thing.”

“Oh, right, and I just went along with your philosophical sexuality crisis because I was a good friend?”

“I don’t know…Yes?”

“Ryan, honestly, sometimes you’re so—There was Jacob! Senior year!”

“What? You mean Jacob-from-math-Jacob?”

“Yeah.”

“I thought you were just friends!”

“No. We were—Well, I don’t know what we were, but we never actually studied when he came over for study sessions. Why the hell else do you think I nearly failed math?”

“I don’t know…because you were bad at math?”

“No, Ry. Just…No.”

“Well, it’s not like I could’ve known about Brendon and you. You weren’t exactly very open about it. How long have you even been—whatever you’re doing—”

“Dating.”

“Right, dating. How long? If it’s your anniversary and all.”

“A year…”

“What?

“Yeah. We started dating last year, right after that one show where—”

“Oh my god. Oh my god, you totally fell madly in love with him when he fainted like a fucking damsel-in-distress and you swept him up in your arms and—”

“Shut up! It wasn’t, like— God, you make it sound so ridiculous.”

“Spence, you bridal-carried him to the dressing room. And spent the next hour holding a cold towel to his forehead and bringing him water. That’s pretty damn ridiculous.”

“It wasn’t—God, I should just kill you already, I—Stop laughing at me! Oh my god, it’s not like you haven’t—Just shut up.”

“Oh my god, Spence, you think you’re Prince Charming, and Brendon is your Snow White, and—”

“I will kill you dead.

“No, no, this is fucking hilarious. I can’t wait to tell Alex—”

“You’re not telling anyone.

“Just try to stop m—”

“No, seriously, Ryan. You can’t— Look, Brendon isn’t ready for everyone to know, okay?”

“What? But Jon and I and—”

“And that’s it. That’s everyone who knows, besides our families.”

“Wait, you told your Mom?”

“Yeah.”

“When?”

“Awhile ago, I don’t know. It was fine, she wants to like, join PFLAG or whatever, and she loves Brendon, so—”

“That’s good.”

“Yeah. It’s not like— I mean, Brendon’s parent’s were… It wasn’t as good. Which is why you can’t tell anyone yet. Brendon’s still trying to work things out with them, he doesn’t need the tabloids making shit up about—”

“No, yeah, I get it.”

“Do you?”

“Spence.”

“Okay, okay. Just… We need to be a little discreet for a bit longer. Just until Brendon works things out with his family. Or, well…doesn’t. But give it awhile and then you can tell people. And we’ll probably do an interview, or something.”

“Wait, you mean you really want to tell the public?”

“Well, yeah. Eventually. Brendon’s not—He can’t hide things well, you know?”

“Pfft. Yeah. I know.”

“Okay, so, are we good?”

“Spence—”

“Unless you have a problem with me being gay, or about Brendon—”

“You know that’s not what this is about.”

“…I know. I—I want tonight to be happy, though, alright? I just—Brendon’s really excited and—”

“You mean Brendon’s really hungry.

“Well, yeah. That too.”

“You won his heart through his stomach, didn’t you?”

“I did not. I just—things just sort of—

“Are you blushing?

“No!”

“You are. You definitely are. Admit it, you’re over the moon, you’re head over pretty-princess heels, you’re—”

“Alright, alright! So I maybe…sort of…might be in love with him.”

“Ha!”

“Will you stop, already! Jeez, I don’t know how you could be angry when this gives you so much ammo to make fun of us with.”

“Should I write a song about your burning love?”

“If you do I will literally tell the world about your undying love for Pete Wentz, you whore.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“Oh, I would. I would post that picture of you at Bronx’s birthday party when you—”

“Don’t! You promised we’d never speak of that again!”

“Yeah, well, fight fire with fire. No songs. Deal?”

“Deal.”

“Oh, don’t look so grudging about it.”

“This is blackmail.”

“I don’t care.”

“You’re a horrible best friend.”

“So’re you. C’mon, I had the hotel make crepes, too.”

“Only you would want to have breakfast for dinner on your anniversary.”

“Brendon’s rubbing off on me.”

“He is. Should I be concerned? Is this where I start chanting ‘Oh God, oh God, we’re doomed’?”

“Pretty much. But I figure the pancakes more than compensate for my slow slide into insanity. We’re on the fifth floor.”

“Depends if they’re chocolate chip.”

“They are. You think Brendon would forgive me if I didn’t get him chocolate? He’s going to be up all night.”

“That is way more information than I need to know. Which room?”

“517. And no, he’s going to be too hyper to have sex. Just to get him to stay in one place for a second I’d have to tie him to the bed—”

“Oh my god.

“Actually, that sounds like a pretty good idea.”

“I’m going to have to listen to offhanded comments about your sex life all the time now, aren’t I?”

“Yeah, probably.”

“Fuck you.”

“Hey, at least now Jon won’t have to deal with all of them.”

“Because that makes me feel so much better.”

“You’ll get used to it.”

“I doubt it. I mean, it’s Brendon.”

“Yeah…It is.”

“I hate you.”

“You love me.”

“No, I’m fairly sure I just hate you.”

“Just keep telling yourself that. After you?”

“What, and stand in between you and your dear princess? I don’t think so.”

“Fine. Just don’t bitch at me when Brendon tries to apologize with whipped cream.”

“How would he even—”

“HAPPY MY-ANNIVERSARY, RYAN!”

What the—”

“Told you so.”

“You guys are—”

“YOU’RE NEXT, JONNY WALKER.”

“No, I think that spot belongs to Spencer.”

“Whoa, hey! Jon, how much alcohol did you give him?

“Fruity drinks, Spence! With cherries!

“That’s great, but please can you not—Oh God, here we g—”

“HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!”

“Jesus Christ, I can’t believe I’m dating you. Ack, this whipped cream tastes like ketchup…”

“I had scrambled eggs with ketchup and whipped cream and syrup.”

“You’re disgusting.”

“You love me.”

“…Yeah, I kind of do.”

“Awww.”

“If you’re kissing, I swear to God, as soon as I get this whipped cream out of my eyes—”

“You’re gonna see a lot more than kissing, Ryan.”

“Shut up.”

“I’m just saying, I’m surprised you haven’t figured it out earlier, it’s not like they’re capable of being quiet—”

“I swear I will kill you.”

“Don’t blame me, blame the oh-so-silent lovebugs over there.”

“I blame all of you. What the hell have I just been indoctrinated into? I wish I didn’t know.”

“LIES! All lies. You love me, Ryan Ross!”

“No, I really don’t.”

“You do too!”

“Come on, Ry. At least you know I’m in good hands.”

“You gotta be just a little bit happy for them. Hell knows I’m glad Brendon isn’t cruising some club on the strip every night.”

“As far as we know—”

“Spencer! You bring me WAFFLES. The pretty boys on the strip do not bring me WAFFLES.

“You have a point, there.”

“See? Aren’t they adorable, Ryan?”

“We’re like fuzzy little kittens!”

“Guys, maybe we should let Ryan—”

“Okay. First off, let me just state that I am still pissed at you all for not telling me. Secondly, I’m pissed at you for telling me, because now I have to deal with shit like this. Whipped cream? Honestly? Third, I plead innocent to having any control over anything that happens from this point forward. I am not your keeper. I am not going to follow you around and make sure you don’t have sex in public, or on the bus, for that matter. Which you are not allowed to do, regardless of anything that’s happened in the past that I may or may not be oblivious about. And, lastly, I am willing to concede that it is…possible that I may agree on certain aforementioned points, namely including things such as… Well, to put it another way, I might even— One could say that I’m—”

“Spit it out, Ryan.”

“…Happy anniversary.”