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The Small Wonder AU

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natacup82: I would send brownies to whoever pulls off the Panic! Small Wonder fic. DOUBLE CHOCOLATE EVEN! Seriously Ryan Ross is Vicki the Robot built by Pete to keep Spencer the smartass company! Also Brendon is that kid next door with no concept of personal space who is obsessed with Spencer. Seriously, why does this not exist? WHY?

skoosiepants: OH MY GOD THAT IS SO PERFECT WHY IS THAT NOT ALREADY BEING WRITTEN??? Dude. Dude, I might have to fly with that, oh my god.

natacup82: IT MUST BE WRITTEN! Patrick treats Ryan like a real boy even though he sleeps in a closet in Spencer's room! This shit actually happened on that show, you don’t even have to make it up! It is so glorious!

skoosiepants: RYAN SLEEPING IN SPENCER'S CLOSET FTW SERIOUSLY!!! I can just picture Brendon peeking in the window!

natacup82: HIS LITTLE FACE PRESSED UP AGAINST THE GLASS! OMG I AM DYING HERE! He would try to investigate but he keeps getting distracted by Spencer!

Brendon'd make all these inappropriate comments to Spencer about having his babies and Spencer would just make these bitchy faces!

Brendon would keep trying to climb through the window and Spencer would just push him in the face. Plus Brendon hangs all over Ryan, but he never reacts and he's too pointy! It kind of hurts, but Spencer won't cuddle with him so he gets it where he can. He totally thinks Ryan is his best friend, too. He's so quiet and lets Brendon tell him about his feelings, and then later Ryan deadpans to Spencer about how Brendon thinks he has childbearing hips and a smile that creates puppies out of thin air.

Brendon makes them friendship bracelets and totally shares his Lisa Frank stickers with Ryan. And he wants to have a sleep over (so he can spy on Spencer) but Pete won't allow it.

Patrick just wants everyone to treat Ryan like a real boy.

Spencer occasionally feels bad for treating Brendon so callously, especially since Ryan is actually a robot and it's kind of pathetic that a robot is Brendon's best friend - Ryan shows Spencer and Patrick his friendship bracelet and Patrick gets all teary-eyed and Ryan is like, “Why are you leaking, Mother?”

And that sets Pete off laughing because he thinks he's awesome for programming Ryan to call Patrick Mother.

After Patrick punches Pete in the face, he tries to teach Ryan about happy tears - Ryan does not get it, so Pete tells him to try writing about his feelings – he’s still laughing with his black eye!

Spencer starts being less mean to Brendon and it freaks him out. Ryan won't tell him what's wrong so Brendon stops speaking to him. Ryan just doesn’t understand what's going on - his programming says friends don't do that.

Brendon holds out for, like, a day and then he starts talking to Ryan again, because Ryan is giving him these blank stares - like always, except normally Brendon is talking so much that he never notices that Ryan totally stares at him like a dead carp all the time - and he hugs him, but not too hard, because he's totally cut himself on Ryan before by accident and what's up with that?

And Ryan writes in his journal that Patrick bought him, because even though Pete was being a smartass, Patrick thinks it's a totally good idea for Ryan to keep a diary.

Brendon keeps trying to peek in Ryan's diary but Mother told him it was private so he doesn't even share with Spencer, and Pete programmed him to share everything with Spencer!

They have to send Ryan to school so people don't suspect anything - Pete buys him fingerless gloves to cover up his new tracking chip, and Patrick buys him a hobo hat because he thinks it makes him look handsome! Spencer just tries to make sure he wears decent shoes because Pete picked out most of Ryan's clothes and they are ridiculous.

The teachers are all bewildered by Ryan, and Brendon drags Ryan around by his hand all day, and Spencer follows, hands in his pockets, and he's totally not jealous, no way.

Patrick told Ryan to stick by Spencer, and so Ryan is, like, literally at his side all day, every day, and sometimes Spencer snaps at him meanly because he won't leave him alone, and Brendon's the one who gets upset.

They have music with Mr. "just call me Ray" Toro - he thinks Ryan may be a musical prodigy. He plays guitar so well and makes adjustments immediately. Patrick hugs Ryan so tight when he finds out Pete's afraid one of them will break.

Patrick is such a good mom! Patrick is the best mom ever - Pete tells him this repeatedly, despite threats on his life. They have to make sure Ryan doesn't repeat any of the threats or the teachers will think they are abusive parents.

Pete encourages all the boys’ bad behavior. Ryan only really gets in trouble at school once: Spencer gets into a fight with the Butcher, and it is not about him asking Brendon out and he’s not jealous, but he gets knocked down, and Ryan punches the Butcher - he does not understand how a boy his age can have that profession and be a student - in the face. He only breaks his nose, so Ryan only gets suspended for one day. Pete is insanely proud of both his boys!

The Butcher vows revenge, and he totally knows something weird is going on with Ryan, but he can't prove anything - yet! The Butcher gets Gabe to help with his plot for revenge because he's sneaky and weird and still pissed off that Spencer won't let him cop a feel.

Meanwhile, Ray the music teacher wants Ryan to be in the talent show, and Patrick is so proud of him that he sends out one of those what-my-family-is-up-to form letters to all of their friends, and Pete makes fun of him for weeks.

Brendon decides to sing while Ryan plays and they are a big hit. Spencer is torn, because he's really proud of Ryan, but fine god! He's jealous because Brendon is still all over Ryan even in a totally bff 4eva way and he hasn’t touched Spencer inappropriately in a week!

After the show, Patrick wants to take them out and celebrate and Ryan kind of almost smiles, or he tries to. And Patrick actually cries. His baby is growing up so fast! Pete doesn’t know what to think - he didn’t program Ryan to do that, but it makes Patrick happy so he lets it go.

Occasionally they’re running late in the morning and there's not enough time for Spencer to approve/disapprove Ryan's wardrobe, and those are the times Ryan ends up looking like a riverboat gambler or a gay cowboy or circus carnie. Pete loves those days, so he always sneaks in and tries to turn off Spencer's alarm. Pete always thinks Ryan looks awesome. Patrick also always thinks Ryan looks awesome, but this is because he likes to encourage his boys to be individuals.

This is why he let's Spencer shop at Forever 21, but it confuses Ryan - they sell girl clothes there, but he thought Spencer was a boy - until Pete tells him Spencer tells everyone he's a boy so he can get more respect and that Ryan needs to treat him like a lady.

So Ryan stops letting Spencer pick out his clothes - Mother says he has to develop his own personal style - and girls start hitting on him. He is so confused. Brendon tries to give him advice, but he's afraid of girls so it's all really bad.

Ryan ends up agreeing to go out with this girl, only it turns out it's not a girl, it's just Bill Beckett. Patrick is so excited for Ryan's first date! He breaks out the camera and takes five million pictures of them leaving the house and Bill is charming and Patrick loves him and Pete sort of hates him so much, but then he gets to hug Patrick a lot when Patrick gets all sad about his babies leaving the nest, so that makes Pete feel better. Patrick is so upset Pete considers building him another boy or maybe a girl this time, for some variety.

Pete makes Spencer follow Bill and Ryan to make sure Ryan doesn't use his super strength where other people can see, and Brendon, of course, follows Spencer because: Spencer.

Bill is going crazy on his date, Ryan is such a gentleman - it's weird, people usually can't help molesting him. Finally, Bill gets tired of waiting for Ryan to molest him and sticks his hands down Ryan’s pants, and Ryan doesn’t get it – Bill’s hands are in inappropriate places, and Mother told him about good touching and bad touching, and he ends up almost breaking Bill’s arm. Bill’s a good sport about it, though – Ryan’s so strong! He likes that in a boy.

Spencer couldn’t follow Ryan without trying to blend in, so he ends up kind of on a date with Brendon. He's pissed because it's fun, and he full-on blushes when Brendon holds his hand. He can never live it down.

Brendon is having the best time, seriously. Spencer lets him lean his head on his shoulder at the movies, and Spencer even bought him sour patch kids and a soda and it’s the best day of Brendon’s young life. Brendon thinks they are now a couple; he's totally planning the wedding in his mind.

Brendon tells Ryan all about their pony-filled wedding, and Ryan, of course, tells Spencer and Spencer is only a little weirded out. Mostly he’s used to Brendon, and he smiles secretly to himself about it when he’s alone.

Pete can't decide between a boy or a girl bot for Patrick, so he starts working on twins. Ryland and Vicky will be his masterpieces!

Spencer and Ryan come home from school one day to find little Ryland and Vicky on the couch holding hands. Ryan is confused, and Spencer just yells for Pete, all red-faced, and Patrick is in the kitchen cooking up just a little snack for all his babies. He hums over the stove.

Ryland and Vicky act more like normal children than Ryan, except they have way too much of Pete's sense of humor. Also, sometimes Ryland speaks with a British accent -Pete thinks it's a glitch, but it's cute so they leave it. Vicky tries to steal Patrick's hats - she thinks little girls should want to be just like their mothers.

Ryan doesn’t know what to think of the twins. They are tiny so not a real threat and they make Mother happy. But the female one keeps trying on Ryan's gloves, and they both try to sleep in Ryan's closet with him.

The biggest problem for Ryan with the twins is that Ryland copies almost everything Spencer does – Patrick says it’s just because he looks up to his big brother so much and that it’s probably just a phase; Pete’s thinks it’s maybe a glitch like the accent thing, but it’s too funny seeing them in the same t-shirts and shoes all the time so he lets it slide – and Ryan gets this funny feeling in his chest, and he thinks some of his wires are loose or something. He kind of wants to choke Ryland and tell him that Spencer belongs to him, and that can’t be right.

Ryan tries talking to Brendon about it, but Vicky keeps popping up. She's been following Ryan everywhere, asking odd questions and trying to climb up his legs - she's learned about cuddling from Brendon, and she wants to do it all the time!

Ryan tries telling Spencer about the weird feeling, but Spencer’s kind of busy hiding all his shoes from Ryland and later giving Brendon mouth-to-mouth - Ryan doesn't know how Brendon stopped breathing when they aren't near any water.

Ryan asks Mother about Brendon and Spencer and he gets a weird look on his face. And then Pete decides to sit them down for a birds and bees talk, only not the twins - Patrick insists they're too young, and he doesn't want them to grow up too fast! - and Ryan takes copious notes and Spencer is just bright red the whole time and thanks god Brendon isn't there because, god, Pete can be so embarrassing.

Pete uses puppets and makes them hump and gives them high, throaty voices, and Ryan realizes what Bill was trying to do that one time out back in the tree house. When he says this out loud Mother makes a choked-off noise and says he's going to call Bill's mother because nice boys didn't do that outside the sanctity of marriage.

Ryan starts trying to experiment, he wants to know if the 'kissing' is a pleasant experience. Brendon and Spencer seem to enjoy it, but it just seems weird. He tries with Bill - Bill is super excited he's finally getting to first base with Ryan - but it's not really that great.

Brendon thinks that it's because Ryan doesn’t really like Bill, which is true. Sometimes Ryan wants to punch Bill in the head, but he's not allowed to do that to random people anymore - Mother said it's not polite and it sets a bad example for the twins. Vicky is already a biter - Pete had to give her duller teeth after that first time.

After they learn about 'the tree house incident', Bill is not allowed in the Stump-Wentz household anymore. Patrick keeps trying to set Ryan up with a nice boy: that Jon Walker down the street is so polite, and he has an after-school job! Ryan doesn't understand the appeal of the multi-flavored caffeinated beverage shop, but he goes along with Spencer and Brendon anyway. Maybe this Jon Walker will be better at the 'kissing' than Bill.

Jon isn't sure about Ryan, because Ryan just stares at him and asks him about his 'beverages' even when he's not working, but he's sort of ridiculously pretty.

Spencer actually has to stop Patrick from calling Jon's mom to set up a date for Jon and Ryan – “Patrick, that is not cool, seriously” - and so Brendon tries to coach Ryan on what to say to Jon to get him to ask him out, and this is Brendon so you know it's just a disaster. There might have been unsolicited hand-holding involved. Luckily, Jon’s pretty easygoing.

Also, the twins are not adjusting all that well to school. The teacher tells Patrick they're disruptive, and that Ryland keeps stealing other kids’ shoes and that all the little girls are calling Vicky rabies-girl, and Patrick almost punches the teacher because his kids are misunderstood angels!

Patrick does manage to set up a play date for the twins with Jon's little brother Tommy 'call me Tomrad!' - he has his own little camera! Vicky seems to love having her picture taken, she wants new dresses and hats so she can work out new poses. She still bites, though, but only people that she doesn't like. Spencer tries to get Ryland to stop stealing shoes, but only succeeds in getting him not to steal as often. In the end, Ryan distracts him by giving him his old guitar - Mother gets him a new one for his 'birthday' - Ryland is immediately obsessed and forgets about the shoe thing for a long time.

Bill is absurdly angry about getting dumped - He's too hot to get dumped - and he's even madder when he finds out Ryan's hanging around his friend Jon Walker. The Butcher is just happy to have a new ally in his campaign to find out the truth about Ryan.

The Butcher, Gabe and Bill come up with all these elaborate plans to get the truth about Ryan - that mostly just involve lurking around the Stump-Wentz household with these spy-kits they bought at the local Wal-Mart and Bill insisting everyone call him Red Leader - and they are all unwittingly foiled by Brendon. The Butcher stops letting Bill and Gabe help with plans after Brendon catches them the fourth time, plus they always get distracted and make out. He's got to find better minions.

It is after one of these accidental foilings that Spencer tells Brendon he loves him – and, god, Spencer can’t believe that slipped out, because Brendon immediately afterwards had a t-shirt made with their faces on it in a giant pink heart and he wears it everyday to school – and since Mother told Ryan that married people were the only ones who were allowed to do what he saw Spencer and Brendon doing, Ryan now thinks they are married. Pete thinks this is hilarious. Patrick is horrified at what their eldest son is up to.

Pete thinks it's totally appropriate to buy a cake to celebrate Spencer's entry into manhood - Spencer is so embarrassed he thinks about giving himself up for adoption. At least Patrick looks the way he feels.

Vicky is tiny and sneaky and Spencer isn't proud of it, but he uses her to steal 'the shirt'. It just has to go. When it disappears Brendon cuts him off for a week, and Spencer learns to live with the stupid damn shirt after that.

Ryan and Jon eventually do go on a date, and Jon is a complete gentleman - Ryan thinks he must have done something wrong because all his dates with Bill ended with him almost breaking some bones. He thinks Jon doesn't like him, and it gives him a funny feeling in his torso. He doesn't want to disappoint Mother with the news so he just writes about it in his journal - Pete says diaries are for little ladies.

Ryan is really confused when Jon asks him out again - He thought Jon didn't like him! - but Mother is so happy when Jon stops by with a pie from his mom and stuffs his hands in his pockets and asks Ryan to see a band with him. Mother makes all these weird faces behind Jon's back and clasps his hands together and mouths 'say yes' and so Ryan does.

When Jon picks him up that night, Pete sits Jon down and stares at him in what he hopes is a menacing manner - even though he's really thinking about how hilarious Patrick looks in the pink, frilly apron Pete bought for Vicky to give him for Mother's Day, which Patrick wears all the time because Vicky is such a precious girl for thinking of her mother - while they wait for Brendon to finish doing Ryan's hair. Patrick keeps offering him cookies. Vicky climbs onto his lap and informs him that Ryan is a dorkface who won't let her sleep with him in his closet.

Jon just kind of blinks at that, because how exactly is Ryan in the closet when he's getting ready to go out on a date with a boy? Whatever. Vicky is kind of an odd kid, but as long as she's not showing those sharp little teeth he's okay with it.

Spencer tries to get Ryan to wear something nice or at least something less weird, but Pete bought him a new bandana and he refuses to leave the house without it. Ryland keeps asking why he can't go along - he's never seen anyone but Ryan play up close and he thinks it might be a good chance to study other guitar playing methods - but Mother keeps telling him he's too young, even though Ryan's technically only two years old.

Ryan thinks the night goes relatively well. He’s fascinated by the band, even though technically they have some problems. He wants to discuss this with the instrumentalists. Unfortunately, there is some upset, and Ryan is not sure why but the lead singer tries to punch him. Jon pushes him aside at the last second and takes the blow for him – it would not have hurt Ryan at all, so he’s confused by Jon’s actions! Jon doesn’t make sense to Ryan.

He talks to Mother about it later, but Mother gets teary-eyed again and says that Jon was defending Ryan’s honor, and that Jon is such a good wholesome boy.

Jon has still not kissed Ryan. Ryan would write in his journal about it, except it has disappeared.

Since Ryan won't let them sleep in his closet, Vicky thinks it's fair that they steal his journal. He's always writing in it - it's full of secrets! There are some things in it that they don't understand. They ask Tomrad, but he just says that it's icky grown-up stuff and starts taking more pictures. They forget about the journal and leave it in the grass.

Of course, the Butcher stumbles upon Ryan’s journal on one of his many scouting missions. George Ryan Ross Hubert Stump-Wentz – Pete said the Ross Hubert makes him seem more distinguished – is written in this weird precise block lettering. The Butcher has hit the jack-pot and does a little jig, only the journal seems normal enough for a teenage boy. Kind of. He talks about being in the closet and hoping Jon will kiss him so he can compare it to Bill’s. The Butcher snickers over how Bill is a horrible kisser and can’t wait taunt him with it.

The Butcher thinks about taunting Ryan about the journal, but his face kind of hurts just thinking about getting hit again. He figures it's pretty safe to mock Bill about it, though.

Jon finds out about the journal from Siska. He'd love to know what was going on in Ryan's head but he's not an asshole, so he has his friend Travie get it back. Bill & Gabe are a little in love with Travie, so it's pretty easy to get them to do his bidding - if he has to make out with them along the way it's a sacrifice he's willing to make.

Jon gives Ryan back his journal and Ryan's mouth twitches! It's like that time he almost smiled before. Mother says it's an expression of happiness. Spencer is suspicious that Jon has read the journal - he could have incriminating information on him! - but Patrick insists that Jon isn't like that. Jon holds Ryan's hand and it's different from when Brendon holds his hand. Ryan feels funny in his pants.

After the half-assed stare down from Pete, Jon gets sort of threatened by two more members of Ryan's family. Spencer and Vicky double team him with the scariest bitch faces he's ever seen, so he's maybe hesitating about making any real moves on Ryan, even though he knows Ryan can handle himself. People at school still talk about that time he dropped the Butcher.

Jon starts walking Ryan home from school. He holds his hand everyday, and when they get to the door he always has a funny look on his face. Ryan gets this weird feeling - Spencer says it's nerves - whenever they say goodbye and he waits. But still Jon has not even tried to kiss him. Brendon thinks Ryan should make the first move, so he tries but ends up only kissing Jon on the cheek. Afterwards he can't look Jon in the eye - he doesn't understand why – and he just goes into the house and goes straight to his closet.

It's too early for bed, so Spencer sits outside Ryan's closet and tries to talk to him through the door. Spencer is concerned. Ryan isn't acting so much like a robot anymore, and he's starting to wonder if maybe he has to punch some sense into Jon - Brendon thinks this soft side of Spencer is awesome, and he calls Spencer his cuddle-muffin and Spencer gets his bitch face on; seriously, no one gets away with calling Spencer fuzzy names except maybe Patrick. He likes Jon a lot, but he loves Ryan more.

Ryan really doesn't want to talk about it. He thinks this feeling is embarrassment but he just isn't sure - it's never happened before. He really wants Pete to adjust his programming so this doesn't happen again.

Eventually, Spencer leaves and the twins come in. They keep asking why he's sad, but he just stays quiet. Maybe they'll go away.

The twins decide to go get Mother, because Mother always makes everything better. Ryan won't talk to Patrick, either, but he lets him into his closet. Patrick squeezes in and hugs his boy so tight - he doesn't know what Brendon always complains about; his boy is perfect and maybe a little thin but not sharp at all as long as you avoid his elbows, shoulders and hips - and Ryan doesn't know what's going on but his face is wet.

Spencer goes straight to Jon's house and demands to know what he did, because nobody messes with his family. Jon really has no idea what is going on, he knows Ryan was upset earlier but he doesn't know why, and Spencer is kind of scary when he's mad. Spencer drags Jon back to his house and makes him sit on the porch to wait for Ryan with a warning, “You will fix this.”

Spencer loves his robot brother so much!

Patrick finally coaxes Ryan out of the closet, and he's sitting at the kitchen table with milk and cookies and Spencer comes in and tells him to go out on the front porch. Ryan gets as far as the door and then he sees Jon and he freezes. He is torn. He's never felt this way before. Spencer said to go outside, and he's supposed to do what Spencer says, but Jon makes him leak! He doesn't like leaking. It might make his jaw rust.

Jon's beginning to think Ryan's never coming out when he looks up and sees him at the door. He's never seen Ryan look nervous, and he has a tight feeling in his chest that this is because of him. He just wants things to go back to normal, but Ryan won't even look at him.

Spencer, Patrick and Brendon hover in the living room, not exactly spying but there just in case Ryan needs them. The twins and Pete sit in the window blatantly watching; Vicky's ready to bite Jon if he makes Ryan sad again.

Ryan steps out onto the porch, and he knows Pete and the twins are watching and that Mother and Spencer are nearby and it's strangely comforting, to know that they're there. He sits down next to Jon, and Jon takes his hand and Ryan stares at their hands and then up at him, because why? Why is he holding his hand?

Ryan is really confused. Jon is holding his hand like he's scared Ryan will disappear if he lets go and Ryan can hear his heart beating really fast. He's really not sure what's going on but Pete keeps making weird encouraging faces at him, so he puts his head on Jon's shoulder and hopes that's the correct thing to do.

Jon relaxes a little when Ryan leans on him - he's been babbling for fifteen minutes, but he doesn't actually remember anything he's said.

Jon just looks down at him and says, "I have no idea what I just said."

Ryan could play back everything Jon's said - in his own voice, too - but he's done that before to Spencer and Spencer says it's creepy, so he doesn't. And it's strange, but Ryan's circuits had been sort of pulsing really loudly in his head, so he has no idea what Jon said either. He threads his fingers with Jon's.

Jon isn’t actually sure how it happens. He only wanted to brush the hair out of Ryan’s eyes, and then he only meant for it to be a small, brief kiss, but it’s Ryan and nothing ever happens according to plan with him. And maybe making out on Ryan’s front porch with his parents just a few feet away is a bad idea, but Jon just never wants to never stop. He's pretty sure Pete was kidding about the hose anyway.

Ryan thinks kissing Jon is a lot better than kissing Bill. He thinks about telling Jon that, but then he remembers that time when Brendon told Spencer that he was totally better in bed than Gabe. Brendon insisted he was kidding, but Spencer had turned red and started punching things and yelling at the twins, so Ryan doesn't actually tell Jon that.

Pete wasn't kidding about the hose, although it's more of a supersoaker and he's really excited about finally being able to use it on one of his kids! Usually he's pretty laid back about this stuff, but Jon and Ryan haven't come up for air in almost half an hour, and Patrick's starting to get twitchy about his baby. Plus, Jon was totally warned.

Afterwards, after they're all snug in towels - big fluffy towels that Patrick wraps them in, and he hugs Ryan close and pushes his dripping hair off his forehead, because Ryan may be growing up, but he'll always be Patrick's little boy - Jon tells Ryan that he has a pretty kick-ass family.

Ryan thinks about his family - Pete on the floor wrestling with the twins, Spencer watching TV and cuddling with Brendon, and Mother in the kitchen getting hot cocoa. He says, “I know,” and for the first time he smiles.