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"Yeah, I'm not really into dick," Pete said. "Gay from the waist up," he continued, and pulled Ryan close on the tour bus couch.

Brendon squinted at them.

"How are Pete and Ryan fucking if Pete won't touch Ryan's dick?" Brendon asked Spencer later.

"No," Spencer said.

Brendon frowned. "No, they're not fucking? Because like, they are. Everyone knows."

"No, we're not having this conversation," Spencer said decisively. He got up and walked away.

Brendon huffed.

It was totally a legitimate question.

They were fucking all the time, too. Brendon wasn't sure how Pete was scheduling it in, all the Ryan fucking. Fall Out Boy had a fair amount of press to do, and Pete had some sort of complex schedule going on otherwise of tormenting their tourmates and spending hours on his Sidekick. Brendon didn't really get the appeal of the internet. All the hot chicks seemed to be dudes just pretending to be hot chicks, and Livejournal was sort of boring unless you posted pictures of your ass and got a million comments like Ryan did.

Nobody in the press really wanted to talk to Brendon or any of them, anyway. Which was fair, Brendon figured. They were first of five on the bill. He didn't really want to talk to himself either. He just wanted to talk to Ryan, and find out how the sex worked.

"So," he said to Ryan as they got into the van for another night of traveling.

Spencer twisted around in the front seat and stared at him, then shook his head. Brendon swallowed.

"So what?" Ryan asked.

"Sew," Brendon muttered. "A needle pulling thread."

Whatever, he was just curious. He had a right to know, even. Not that he even really got much of a chance to ask with all the time Ryan spent with Pete. It wasn't a very healthy relationship anyway, if you asked Brendon. Even if Pete were blowing Ryan every night, which he probably wasn't, it was still a little creepy of Pete to sign a band and then spend all this time fucking one of them. Pete was such a perv, anyway. Not that Brendon didn't like him just fine, because he did, but Pete liked them young, and Ryan was young, and maybe Ryan thought he had to do it, or something, or risk getting fired or whatever. Probably it wasn't called fired. Dropped? Like, dropped from the label? It didn't matter.

They were playing at a venue across the street from a park, and Pete had organized a touch football game. ("That's just an excuse for you to grope dudes," Brendon overheard Joe telling Pete, but they were out there playing anyway, inasmuch as they could play a game when all Pete did was tackle and indeed, grope all the players.) Brendon leaned against a tree and watched Pete run and leap at Ryan, knocking him over into a heap. Brendon winced. Didn't Pete know Ryan was delicate? He couldn't just tackle him like that. If Pete broke Ryan, Brendon was going to be so pissed.

Ryan hobbled off the playing field after, clutching his hip, clearly trying to act like he was not hobbling and clutching his hip. Brendon wandered over.

"Dude, are you okay?" Brendon asked, flicking his eyes down to Ryan's hip. Ryan moved his hand, but he was standing funny.

"I'm fine," Ryan muttered.

"Ryan," Brendon said. "Abusive relationships aren't healthy."

Ryan glared at him, then punched him in the arm and hobbled away.

"That didn't feel healthy!" Brendon yelled after him. "Did that feel healthy to you?"

Ryan hurried into the tiny opening act dressing room, looking squirrelly and tugging his cap down. Brendon looked him up and down. The knees of his pinstriped pants were dirty.

Brendon finished straightening his tie. According to the romance novels he used to steal from his sisters, it was fully within his rights to demand that Pete marry Ryan for spoiling his honor. Brendon walked to the couch and sat down next to Ryan, then looked at him.

"Quit looking at me," Ryan muttered, wiping off his mouth with the back of his hand. His cheeks were flushed, his hair tangled.

Brendon wondered if Pete just held him in place and fucked his mouth. Ryan's voice did sound a little scratchy. Probably Pete wound his fingers through Ryan's hair and forced him to take it all the way in. He wondered if Ryan could deepthroat. He wondered if Ryan was good at it. He chanced a look at Ryan's crotch. It didn't look like his pants had been undone, but how could you tell that, really? He leaned in closer to get a better look.

"What?" Ryan asked. "Do I have something on me?" He lifted his shirt a little, and Brendon caught a pale flash of stomach and the purple edge of the bruise Pete left.

"If Pete isn't treating you right, I'll beat him up for you," Brendon blurted out.

Ryan blinked at him.

"Or something," Brendon amended. He really wasn't the violent type, so.

After a minute, Ryan said, "He treats me fine."

"Okay, well," Brendon muttered. He sank down further into the couch. "Just so you know."

Drinking was bad. It was so very, very bad. Spencer had his hand in the back of Brendon's shirt, guiding him back to the van, where Ryan would be waiting, ready to look disapproving, which always made Brendon's headache way worse.

Ryan was already in the backseat, waiting, reading a book. Ryan was so smart. Ryan was pretty and smart and he deserved better than Pete. He deserved someone nice. Someone who would give him blowjobs.

Brendon flung himself back there, tumbling towards Ryan and banging his knee against the seat. "If it was me," Brendon said, stumbling over the words a little, lying half down on the seat and putting his head on Ryan's thigh, "I would touch you."

Brendon felt Ryan's hand on his shoulder, and then he passed out.

What was really swell was how Brendon's pathetic drinking binge to forget about Pete and Ryan only succeeded in making Ryan run to Pete so they could discuss Brendon's pathetic drinking binge and how it made Ryan sad.

Equally awesome: Brendon's massive hangover. Brendon was going to die and it was not going to be a noble death.

"Soundcheck's in half an hour," Spencer said, sticking his head through the door and looking at Brendon, who was stretched as far as possible onto the van's middle seat, staring at the ceiling. "Are you...brooding?"

That sounded so much better than just having a hangover. "Yes, I am brooding," Brendon said.

Spencer narrowed his eyes at Brendon. "If this is about Pete and Ryan, you should really move on."

"Why, are they in love?" Whatever, they were so not in love.

"They're in Pete's bunk," Spencer said, "so it doesn't really matter."

Brendon sat up abruptly, and then weaved for a moment until the lights stopped exploding behind his eyes and the hammers calmed down on the inside of his skull. "I bet Pete doesn't even give him handjobs!" he said, his righteous burst of anger only somewhat subdued by the blinding pain.

Spencer sighed.

"Go away," Brendon said, settling back down onto the seat. "I'm brooding."

So Brendon was pretty sure you could tell when someone's pants had been undone and hastily pulled back up. He cut his eyes sideways, watching as Ryan attempted to stealth his way into the dressing room, empty except for himself and a few roadies watching TV. Ryan's fly was open, for one, and if that hadn't been obvious enough, Brendon had never seen anyone more clearly just-fucked in his entire life. Flushed skin, clothes in disarray, and he wouldn't look anybody in the eye, which was fine, actually, because that way he couldn't catch Brendon checking out his dick. Which was very obviously hard beneath his pants, and god, what was Pete's problem? Was he insane? Fuck.

The bathroom door closed behind Ryan, and Brendon made a split-second decision, standing and following. Two stalls, and a lock he could snap shut behind him.

Ryan blinked at him, his hand twitching towards his belt, halfway into one of the stalls. "Hey," he said, "did you want something?"

"Do you want something?" Brendon asked, but Ryan just blinked at him. Brendon sucked at being obtuse, anyway, and Ryan backed up enough as Brendon approached that they ended up both in the stall. "Hey," Brendon said, and grabbed for Ryan's dick.

Ryan hissed, jerking away, but there wasn't anywhere he could go, not with the wall behind him. He raised his hands to push Brendon away and Brendon squeezed, gripping harder, holding Ryan in place with one hand on his hip as he undid Ryan's pants with the other.

"You know what sucks?" Brendon said, wrapping his fingers around Ryan's cock, still hard, thank god, because this had sort of been riding on Brendon being able to take action. "What sucks," Brendon continued, getting a feel for it, "is that you're having sex with Pete. Does Pete give you handjobs?"

"Are you giving me a handjob?" Ryan asked, seeming torn between confusion and impatience, thrusting his hips forward into Brendon's grip.

"Yes," Brendon told him. "Because Pete doesn't." The angle gave him minor trouble at first; this wasn't easy, exactly, not with Brendon's inexperience and the small space. But it felt good, Ryan hard in his hand, not trying to get away. His hands had settled on Brendon's chest. Brendon wondered if he was supposed to kiss Ryan, if that was allowed.

"He just says stuff," Ryan muttered, but his face was red and he looked uncomfortable. "It's not like - we do have sex."

"He fucks you," Brendon said. "Do you get off on that? Just that?"

"Fuck, Brendon." Ryan made to push him away, but Brendon refused to let go of him, finally getting the hang of it, finding a rhythm and keeping it as he stroked up and down. "I get off, okay?"

"Every time?" Brendon twisted his wrist, and Ryan made a little noise, curling his fingers into Brendon's shirt.

"Sometimes," Ryan admitted. "He doesn't mind if I." He swallowed, gasping as Brendon stroked him harder, speeding up a bit. "If I touch myself."

"That is so. Fucking. Generous," Brendon murmured, moving closer, as close as he could without losing his grip, until the outline of his own cock pressed against his hand fisted around Ryan. "You deserve better, Ry."

Ryan looked at him, and Brendon leaned in, without thinking, and kissed him.

Ryan came in Brendon's hand.

It took a little while for Ryan to come down from it, long enough for Brendon to wipe his hand off, long enough for Brendon to start to really feel how hard he was. He nudged closer to Ryan again, rubbing against his hip.

"Why'd you do this?" Ryan asked, his voice quiet.

Brendon closed his eyes, moving back a little, and Ryan's hand came up to touch his side and bring him back in closer. "He doesn't treat you right."

"Not everything is about sex," Ryan said, and Brendon bit his lip, because this felt like it was pretty much about sex right now. God, he was so hard.

"Well, you're not in love," Brendon told him. "You should at least be getting handjobs."

"Do you want me to suck you off?" Ryan asked.

And no, that hadn't been Brendon's point at all, Ryan was totally missing it. "That's not why I did this."

Ryan swallowed. "Oh. Well." Brendon opened his mouth to explain further, try and find the words to tell Ryan that he could do better, he was nicer than Pete and he cared about Ryan, but Ryan moved, turning until he faced the wall. A few moments of fumbling (was Ryan trembling?) and then he pushed his pants down, baring his ass and spreading as best he could with his pants around his thighs.

"Oh," Brendon echoed, because he definitely hadn't meant that either, not at all, but oh god, Ryan pressed his forehead to the wall and slid his hands down, parting the cheeks of his ass and pushing back, and Brendon had his own pants unzipped before he even really realized he was doing it.

"It's okay," Ryan said, "I'm still wet," and he was, Brendon could feel it when he rubbed his cock there, just barely slick right over the entrance to Ryan's body. He'd just wanted to touch Ryan, he'd just wanted.

"I, Ryan," Brendon said, his voice cracking just on the edge of it, and Ryan arched back into him.

"Please," he said, "I want you to."

So Brendon did.

When Brendon had thought about having sex with Ryan, his mind had always gone to bedrooms and candles, meaningful teen drama sex that happened after months of buildup, and this was so far removed from that he had no context for it. Ryan was tight and hot and perfect around him, taking him in like he was meant to do that and only that, and it felt so good but Brendon couldn't stop thinking about laying Ryan out on his back and kissing him all over. He gripped Ryan's hip, making Ryan cry out before he realized he was touching the bruise, but Ryan grabbed his hand when he made to move it, mumbling, "Harder, please," and Brendon didn't understand that either.

It had been easy to give up, a stupid thing he'd been ignoring well enough anyway, easy to ignore when Pete came along and took Ryan for himself. Brendon wished he would have known it was on offer the whole time, that Ryan would be so willing.

He didn't want Ryan willing, though. He wanted Ryan his.

Ryan sure felt like his right then, gasping with each deep thrust, leaning his body back into Brendon's, open and taking it, hard again when Brendon brushed his fingertips over Ryan's cock. Brendon pressed himself to Ryan's body, crushing Ryan to the wall, getting a loose grip around Ryan's cock and letting Ryan thrust into his fist. Everything seemed to be in the way, their skin barely touching, Brendon's pants not even fully undone, just his cock out and pushing into Ryan's body, his zipper scraping Ryan's ass each time he slammed his hips forward. "Am I hurting you?" Brendon asked, hot against Ryan's ear, nuzzling the space below. When he kissed there, Ryan's breath stuttered.

"Don't stop, please," Ryan whispered, and even though it was Ryan getting fucked, Brendon still felt so, so full, like his heart might break out of his chest, like he might never be able to let go of Ryan after this, and maybe, maybe that was okay.

Someone rattled the bathroom door and Brendon started thrusting faster, staying pressed to Ryan's back but pounding him with his hips, sweating and overwhelmed and fucking Ryan, not wanting to stop. Ryan pushed back against him, frantic, reaching a hand back to clutch Brendon's ass and bring him in deep, refusing to let go so Brendon had to grind into him, shifting his hips and staying almost all the way inside.

"Fuck, Ryan," Brendon said, startled to hear the desperation in his voice, so raw as he pressed his forehead to Ryan's shoulder and came deep inside him, as Ryan cried out, muffled against the wall, and came thrusting into Brendon's hand.

Ryan stayed against the wall, catching his breath as Brendon pulled out of him, and Brendon hated that they had to leave, play a show, see everybody after this. What was he supposed to even say? Thank you?

"Um," Brendon said, reaching out to touch Ryan's hip just as Ryan hiked his pants up and turned around. He stayed suspended there on the edge of touch for a moment before letting his hand drop.

"We have to go out there," Ryan said, avoiding Brendon's eyes, and no, okay, no, that was not how this was going to go at all. Brendon grabbed his wrist, pulling him forward so he stumbled into Brendon, and Brendon kissed him. Which he probably should have done in the first place, he realized, probably should have done months ago, rather than waiting for Pete to have Ryan first. Ryan kissed him back, his hands coming up to touch Brendon's face, and all Brendon could think, over and over, was yes. When they parted for air, Brendon stayed near, licking at Ryan's lower lip, breathing close, not letting him go.

"So were you just." Ryan swallowed, his forehead pressed to Brendon's. "Was this just a favor or something?"

"No, Ross." Brendon huffed out a laugh. "It wasn't just a favor."

"So," Pete said, his arms crossed. He was leaning against Panic's van, eyelinered and probably not really as menacing as he'd hoped. Still, Brendon looked for an escape route.

"Hi," Brendon said, stopping at a safe distance. After a moment, he waved. Pete pushed himself off of the van and approached Brendon.

"So you and Ryan, huh?" Pete asked.

Brendon nodded. "Yes." He didn't entirely understand the question, but Pete seemed to expect an answer.

"I treated him just fine, you know. We connected."

"Except how you never connected with his dick," Brendon pointed out, followed by the immediate urge to cover his mouth as if it might stop further words from escaping. He didn't do it, though. He was a man. A cold man, because he'd been going back to the van for his hoodie, and now Pete was blocking his way and it was like, thirty degrees outside and Ryan's stolen Bright Eyes t-shirt was not doing the job of keeping Brendon warm. But, a man.

Pete glared at him. "Not everything is about sex."

"Um, sex is about sex," Brendon said. "You were having sex. Bad sex. Sex where you didn't get him off. Dude, that is totally stupid sex."

Pete frowned, but he wasn't going to win this one, because Brendon totally had a point. He had a point, the set, and the match. But not a hoodie. Fuck, it was cold. "Sometimes sex is about more than that."

"Stuff in addition to that. Otherwise it's not sex," Brendon said. He hadn't realized he knew so much about sex, but compared to Pete he was practically the guy who had written the Kama Sutra. Well, maybe not that guy. But like, Dr. Drew or someone. Except without all the weird gross questions. "Look, I like Ryan. I like him enough to touch his dick."

Pete coughed. Brent tapped on Brendon's shoulder, nearly making him jump. "Um, can I have the keys? I need a jacket."

"Can you grab my hoodie?" Brendon asked.

"If you promise to stop talking until I'm gone," Brent told him, glancing at Pete. Brendon nodded. Those were fair terms.

"The point is, I'll touch Ryan's dick," Brendon said once Brent had left and he was snuggling into his hoodie.

Footsteps approached from behind. Brendon thought maybe they should be having this discussion elsewhere. Inside, maybe. Or somewhere with fewer people to overhear him talking about touching Ryan's cock.

"Brent said you guys were talking about me," Ryan said. Brendon turned and smiled at him, and Ryan beamed back. Brendon held out his hand without even thinking, and Ryan took it.

"We can still hang out, right?" Pete asked Ryan. He looked kind of sad, and Brendon felt bad for a second. Then he remembered the lack of handjobs. "Be friends or whatever."

"Friends," Brendon said, not liking that 'whatever.'

"Friends," Ryan said, and squeezed Brendon's hand.

Pete rolled his eyes at them. "Don't break up and ruin the band, either, I like you guys."

"We won't," Brendon promised.

Pete made a vague noise, neither negative nor positive, at that, but at least he left.

Brendon pulled Ryan into a spontaneous hug.

"How," Brendon asked, trying to catch his breath as Ryan rode him, hands on his chest, bouncing up and down on his cock, "how in the fuck did Pete ever keep up with you?"

"I think," Ryan inhaled, "he didn't touch me to make me want it less. Like it would put me off." He settled a bit, grinding on Brendon's dick, clenching around him until Brendon thought he might actually die. It felt so good it almost hurt. Brendon ran his hand along Ryan's side, still pleased to be able to touch him like this, and Ryan leaned down and kissed him, biting his lower lip gently. "Come on, you be on top, I'm tired."

"You're tired," Brendon huffed, but he rolled over on top when Ryan carefully eased off of him, stroking his hand fondly over Brendon's cock. "I thought he just didn't like dick."

"He doesn't." Ryan shifted, lifting his hips and making a satisfied little 'mmm' noise when Brendon pushed back into him. Brendon didn't think he'd ever get tired of hearing that noise. "I think I actually liked it enough for the both of us."

Brendon crouched over his Sidekick in the bathroom, having told Ryan he had to brush his teeth, and also give his dick a break. Ryan seemed unconvinced of the second part, and then he persuaded Brendon that even if Brendon's dick was tired, Ryan's wasn't. So Brendon gave him a blowjob, and that was pretty nice. He liked doing that, it made Ryan happy. He liked making Ryan happy, with his dick and with other stuff.

Not like, other other stuff, toys or whatever. Although that wouldn't be a bad investment, maybe. Brendon patted his dick.

"how did you keep up with him omg," he typed to Pete.

A few minutes later, Pete texted back, "hahahahhahahaha."