the claw-foot Lady (softlyforgotten) wrote in word_plays,
the claw-foot Lady
softlyforgotten
word_plays

Part 4/9

Continued from here.

---


Brendon's just about done, the floor swept, the chairs upturned and most of the twinkling Christmas lights switched off, when the doorbell chimes. "I'm sorry," he says without even bothering to turn. "We're closed already."

"Yeah, okay," Ryan says.

Brendon jerks around. It's only the light chain above the counter that still illuminates the room, a dim glow that changes from purple to blue to orange because Brendon thought that might keep him awake, and now it reflects on Ryan's face, makes him appear distant and removed. "What are you doing here?" Brendon asks.

"Honestly?" A dry laugh, entirely humorless. "I don't even know. Didn't feel like staying at home any longer."

Brendon takes a deep breath, his fingers twitching by his sides. "Okay," he says, and Jesus Christ, he's so fucking tired of it all.

"Okay?" Ryan asks, sounding faintly surprised. He adjusts the strap of his backpack.

"Okay," Brendon says. "I just need to lock up and all. I'll be outside in five."

"Yeah," Ryan says, "okay," and it's hard to tell with the light changing to a dark red, but he even might be smiling very slightly.

---


They hardly manage to close the front door before they're shoving at each other, pulling at clothes, jerking together while Brendon sinks his teeth into Ryan's throat, unreasonably exhilarated when Ryan merely tips his head back and groans, low and helpless.

Afterwards, underwear sticky and limbs heavy and loose, they tumble onto Brendon's bed. For long seconds that stretch into a minute, maybe two, they're just lying there, breathing slowly evening out. Brendon doesn't want to move.

Ryan is sprawled over Brendon, legs tangled and Ryan's elbow digging into Brendon's side, and still Brendon doesn't want to move. He bites the inside of his cheek and pushes at Ryan's shoulder. Under his touch, Ryan tenses almost imperceptibly before he rolls off. They lie like that for another silent minute.

"Your sheets smell," Ryan says eventually, and Brendon thinks he sounds tired and doesn't care.

"Feel free to do laundry," he replies. He nearly pinches Ryan's forearm, close enough still to brush against Brendon's shoulder with each intake of breath. Brendon clenches his hands into fists and forces his body into motionlessness.

"I should get going," Ryan says.

Brendon turns his head just enough to study Ryan's profile out of the corners of his eyes, sharply cut against the darkness of the windowpane. They didn't even turn on the light. "Yeah," Brendon says, "you should."

"Yeah," Ryan echoes. "Spencer's probably expecting me by now. I told him I'd be there around eleven. So." He doesn't move.

Brendon rolls onto his side, away from Ryan. "Yeah, get the fuck out of here," he says, but it's lacking in heat.

The mattress dips when Ryan gets up. Brendon rolls with it, and he keeps his back turned while Ryan walks over to where he dropped his backpack, unzipping it. There's a faint rustle of clothes, maybe Ryan changing into clean underwear because right, wouldn't want precious Spencer to get suspicious.

Brendon waits for the front door to click shut before he rolls over onto his back and releases a long breath. He's surprised Ryan didn't slam the door on his way out.

---


Sunday night, Ryan can sleep again.

---


Brendon spends their whole Biology class on Tuesday tapping his pen on the edge of a desk and Ryan wants to kill him. It's fucking incessant, and nobody else seems to notice, or care, but it's driving Ryan crazy, and the last time he swivelled around and said, "Stop it," Brendon didn't even react properly, just squinted in a slightly confused sort of way.

The tapping, Ryan thinks with maybe just a hint of melodrama, is drilling into his brain. Soon he's not going to be capable of independent thought, just following the stupid, twitchy beat of Brendon's pen until he goes crazy.

Finally he turns around again and says, maybe a bit too loudly, "For fuck's sake, Brendon!"

Brendon looks up at him, blinking, and Ryan realizes belatedly that the rest of the class is staring, too. Mr. Hurley looks kind of pissed.

"I think that's enough, Ryan," Hurley says. "You can go to the Focus Room for the rest of this class, thanks. We've all had enough of your temper."

Ryan stares back at him, incredulous, and then he slams to his feet. So he's maybe a little snappy today, what the fuck ever. Hurley's an asshole. Ryan shoves his books into his bag with a little more vehemence than usual while Jon watches him and bites his lip, and fuck Jon, Ryan thinks, fuck anyone who looks at me like that. He's pissed off for no reason, and Brendon wouldn't stop tapping his pen and Ryan couldn't stop noticing it, and now Jon and Spencer are going to talk in quiet, worried voices and ask Ryan: are you okay? Like anyone is okay.

Wentz is supervising the Focus Room today, which sucks, because Ryan actually really likes him, respects him as a teacher and thinks he knows what he's talking about, and he was really disappointed not to be in Wentz's English class this year. Wentz just smiles kind of gently up at him and passes him the form to fill in, and Ryan sits in the middle of the room because the back is taken up by freshman kids who think talking back to a teacher makes them cool, and glowers.

His lunch period is taken up by sitting there and "thinking about his actions" (and really, there's a reason this particular school penalty is mostly designated for freshmen; it's considerably less harsh than detention, and designed to make one feel as silly and young as possible) so by the time he gets to detention, he's in an even worse mood.

Brendon is walking there at the same time as him, and he looks at Ryan with this faintly amused glance, mouth twitching in the corner like he wants to laugh. Ryan hates him. He says, "Hurry up," when Brendon walks in the door first and then closes it behind him, shoves Brendon up against the closed door and kisses him hard.

Ryan is in a bad mood, he deserves this, and it's Brendon's fault he had to go to the dumb Focus Room, anyway. Brendon makes a little, surprised noise against his mouth and Ryan kisses him harder, nipping at Brendon's lips, wondering whether Brendon will punch him if he bites hard enough to draw blood.

Brendon makes an irritated noise and breaks away, breathing harshly. "Jesus, Ross," he says. "You wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?"

"Fuck you," Ryan says automatically, and Brendon rolls his eyes, pushes back off the door. He walks Ryan across the room, until Ryan is pressed up against the back wall.

"Yeah, whatever," he says, and kisses Ryan again, not so hard. He reaches for Ryan's jeans, popping the button and tugging the zip down, pushing Ryan's pants down low enough that Brendon can curl his hand around Ryan's cock and pull it free of Ryan's underwear. Vaguely, Ryan is aware that this is a very bad idea, that the supervising teacher could walk in any moment, but Brendon's hand is wrapped around his dick and Ryan can't quite bring himself to care.

Brendon breaks away and looks a little uncertain for a moment. He stays like that for just long enough that Ryan opens his mouth to say something, but before he can Brendon is taking a deep breath and sinking to his knees. Ryan has barely a moment to think is he going to— and then oh, fuck, he is, and then Brendon leans forward and licks at Ryan's cock, tongue curling hesitantly around the head, and Ryan makes a tiny, helpless noise. Brendon pulls back and licks his palm, getting it wet and wrapping it back around the base, and then he looks up at Ryan, eyes narrowed.

"If you move," he says, "I'll bite," and then he slides his mouth over Ryan's cock and sucks, tentatively, and Ryan doesn't move, doesn't move, just drops his hands to Brendon's head and rests them there. Brendon's hair is slightly greasy and definitely tangled, but Ryan doesn't comment. He stays very still.

Brendon moves slowly, carefully, sucking his way down until he makes a tiny choking noise and pulls back up again. Ryan's had blowjobs before and this is definitely not the most refined, or even the best he's ever had, but it's still a blowjob, and Ryan lets his head fall back against the wall with a dull thud, eyes slipping closed. He doesn't really want to look down and see Brendon at his feet, not with Brendon's mouth hot and wet around his cock, and Ryan's breath coming in staggered gasps.

Brendon makes an inquisitive sound, humming around Ryan's cock, and slides down further, meeting his fist with his lips. Ryan makes a tiny choking noise, eyes flying open, and manages to say, "I'm gonna," and then Brendon is pulling off quickly, scrambling backwards, and Ryan reaches down and touches himself, and comes all over his hand.

He keeps his head leaned back against the wall, closes his eyes again and concentrates on breathing for a moment. Then he tucks himself back into his underwear, wiping his hand off on the inside of the cotton, and opens his eyes, forces himself to look at Brendon. Brendon is watching him, head tilted to the side, almost curious. His mouth is red and swollen, and Ryan looks down automatically. Brendon's not hard, but Ryan doesn't really blame him for that.

"Uh," Ryan says, awkwardly. "Thanks?"

Brendon's mouth tilts up slightly in the corner, like he's trying not to laugh again. He shrugs and says, "Don't mention it."

Ryan chews the inside of his cheek. "You want me to," he starts, but Brendon cuts him off, shaking his head almost frantically.

"No," he says, and Ryan nods. They don't speak anymore, but Ryan keeps looking up to find Brendon watching him.

---


For once, they work quietly and efficiently, and by the time they come out of the record room, Ryan feels calm (calmer) and accomplished. The teacher sends them off with a distracted wave, and they step out into the corridor one after another, setting off for the parking lot. To an unsuspecting outsider, it probably looks like they're walking together when they really just happen to be walking next to each other.

When Brendon turns towards the bus station, Ryan does, too. Brendon gives him a pointed glance. "Walking me home, Ross?"

Maybe it's because Ryan still feels the mellow glow of orgasm humming through him, only an echo now, or maybe it's because for all that Brendon's tone is irritatingly arrogant, Ryan thinks he detects a hint of uncertainty underneath it. Either way, Ryan lifts one shoulder and keeps walking. "I'm going to Jon's place. This is where the bus stops.."

"Oh, awesome," Brendon drawls. "Make sure to keep me updated on your social schedule."

"Whatever," Ryan says, and he keeps his face carefully blank. He hopes that the bus isn't late, again. He's tired of always waiting.

Ryan turns his head just slightly to find Brendon staring straight ahead, shoulders curled in. Brendon's lips don't look swollen anymore, but they're still full and red, and Ryan quenches the burst of arousal that shoots through him. When he flicks his gaze up to Brendon's eyes, Brendon is looking back at him evenly, and his eyes are dark.

It will be another fifteen minutes until Ryan's line arrives. He clears his throat. "So, uh. When does your bus get here?"

Brendon lifts one brow. "Seriously, Ross, again?"

"Don't jump to conclusions," Ryan says flatly. "It was just a question."

"Small talk?" Brendon shifts his weight from one foot to the other, and that brings him a few inches closer. Ryan thinks about reaching out to grab Brendon's wrist and clenches his hands into fists.

"I fucked your mouth less than two hours ago," Ryan says. "Don't you think we're past small talk?"

Brendon's head jerks nearly imperceptibly. "Jesus, you make it sound so…" He trails off and angles his body away.

"Sound so what?" Ryan asks. The denim of his pants feels coarse and prickly under his palms, a little damp. Their bodies paint long shadows on the pavement, much taller than they are, and Ryan thinks about how it's funny that those who stand in the sinking sun cast the longest shadows.

"Cheap," Brendon tells him, turning suddenly, and Ryan recognizes that posture, the tight set of Brendon's shoulders, his narrowed eyes. "I'm not cheap, okay?"

Ryan can't quite hide his surprise. "I never said you were. You're frustratingly arrogant, yeah, and you think so highly of yourself you can't even find a goddamn friend, but—"

"I got down on my fucking knees for you." Brendon's lips have thinned into a near-white line. "Totally arrogant of me, huh?"

"I don't—" Ryan begins, but he doesn't know how to follow that up. "I mean, what, I didn't ask you to! You want me to return the favor, right here? So that we're even?"

"No, thanks," Brendon says tightly. For a moment, Ryan thinks that Brendon's about to lean in and kiss him, or maybe hit him, and he tenses just in case. Then Brendon pulls back abruptly, steps closer to the curb as his bus pulls up, and Ryan didn't even notice it coming.

He wonders if he should say goodbye, just… out of politeness or something. Then Brendon gives him a disparaging glance over his shoulder while the bus doors open with a hiss. Ryan bites the inside of his cheek and glares back.

Whatever, then. It's not like he cares.

---


The thing is, Brendon sort of maybe expected to look a little different somehow, just slightly, like it'll show in his face that he had another guy's dick in his mouth. Like it's the sort of thing that'll make him look slightly more mature or something, but he looks exactly the same as he did this morning, dark circles under his eyes and his hair flat against his skull. His mouth isn't even particularly swollen or anything, only his lips are somewhat dry.

"You're an official cocksucker now," he tells his reflection. Then he feels silly and turns away, switching the bathroom light off.

He didn't even like it all that much. It wasn't bad or anything, the taste less bitter than he thought, but it wasn't particularly sexy. Mostly he just tried to figure out how to accommodate the stretch of Ryan's erection without choking, and Ryan is anything but small, so it was probably quite a challenge, considering it was Brendon's first time.

Ryan didn't sound like he was about to complain, though.

Brendon remembers the rough, soft noises that Ryan couldn't suppress entirely, the almost painful expression on his face, deep concentration marring with pleasure, and then the full-body shudder just before he came. Brendon palms his cock through his pants in something of an afterthought to the memory, and he's hard, very much so.

Ryan offered to return the favor. He will, one day, and Brendon pictures that – Ryan on his knees, glancing up at Brendon through his lashes before he takes a deep breath and leans in, and Brendon doesn't think Ryan's done that, is pretty sure that Ryan's been on the receiving end more than just that one time, but never the one taking it, never the one who had to figure out how to move his head, how to flatten his tongue and cover his teeth. Brendon thinks he'd like to do that, gripping Ryan's hair to guide him, and Ryan would pull back to protest, glaring up with his eyes dark and his cheeks flushed, but he would open his mouth when Brendon tugged him back in.

Brendon slides his hand into his pants and leans back against the kitchen cabinet, closing his eyes. It doesn't take more than a few strokes before he comes all over his hand and jeans.

---


Ryan doesn't like feeling like he owes anybody anything, and seeing Brendon makes him even more uneasy than usual at the moment, so he spends the rest of the week avoiding him. He makes sure to come into Biology and English late whenever he has them, head down and not looking at Brendon, and he manages to slip away if he thinks he sees Brendon coming down the same corridor as him.

It's a little childish, maybe, but Ryan is suddenly too conscious of Brendon, looking or not looking, wondering what the appropriate reaction is when they walk past each other. He wants to make a face, glare at him or sneer, lip curling, but it's harder: Brendon on his knees, Brendon at the bus stop, I'm not cheap. Ryan fucking hates not knowing where he stands.

After lunch on Thursday, though, he's thinking about the upcoming test when he heads to class from his locker, and he's too caught up in his own head to think properly or manage to avoid anyone. He turns around the corridor and there's a group of the Mormon guys in Ryan's Biology class, standing in a line with their backs straight and their arms folded. One of them, flanked by the others on either side, is talking in a low, earnest-sounding voice, and Ryan can't make out the words but he can see Brendon over the guy's shoulder, lips in a thin, white line, shaking his head.

Brendon's locker is open next to him; Ryan thinks vaguely, it looks like he's been cornered. Ryan should turn around, he knows, walk away, because he doesn't care and he doesn't want to look at Brendon, but instead he stays, almost transfixed, eyes fixed on Brendon's face. Brendon looks hunted and desperate, and as Ryan watches, he shakes his head again, and again.

Eventually, one of the guys takes a step back and the others follow him, turning towards Ryan and walking away. Brendon doesn't look at them, just turns back to his locker and Ryan watches for a moment, Brendon shoving stuff in his bag awkwardly, and Ryan thinks, no, it's too full, you're going to— and then it does, Brendon's hands slipping and the contents of his schoolbag tipping sideways and all over the floor.

Ryan moves, then, stepping forward quickly, and Brendon looks up and stares. He looks furious, and Ryan doesn't mind that, not really, he's used to Brendon being pissed at him. He doesn't care, anymore.

He plans to walk past, maybe say something sharp and calculated to make Brendon clench his fists, but instead he finds himself stooping to pick up Brendon's wallet, where it's skidded along the floor. He picks it and up and chucks it, and the throw is too slow and easy and deliberate to be anything but Ryan passing it to Brendon, rather than at him. Brendon catches it effortlessly and then just stands there, staring at Ryan, and Ryan walks past, keeps walking past, doesn't turn around, doesn't want to.

---


Ryan has barely even time to close the door between Wentz and them before Brendon is attacking him, shoving him into one of the cabinets with his hands gripping Ryan's waist so tightly there'll be bruises. Ryan doesn't protest, just opens his mouth and allows Brendon to push his tongue inside, press his body tightly to Ryan's, one of Brendon's legs between Ryan's thighs.

Idly, Ryan wonders if the Mormon kids cornered Brendon again, or if some customer made Brendon grit his teeth through a smile. Brendon brings his hips forward and up in something like a shimmy, and Ryan closes his eyes, head thumping against the cabinet with a hollow echo.

They both still.

It takes only a moment longer for the door handle to move, and Brendon tears himself away and around while Ryan drops to his knees and grabs the first pile of records he can reach. "Everything alright in here?" Wentz asks.

"Just slipped," Ryan replies because it doesn't look like Brendon will, his back towards Wentz, and Ryan can still detect an erratic rise and fall of Brendon's chest through the faint motions of his shoulders. He jerks his head away.

"If you say so," Wentz says, eyes sharp on Ryan's face. Ryan ducks his head and starts sorting, and after a moment, Wentz nods and goes back into the other room, but leaves the door open.

Ryan can hear Brendon exhale before Brendon sinks to the floor, glancing over his shoulder only briefly. Ryan raises a brow and Brendon angles his body away.

They work in silence for the whole two and a half hours of detention.

---


The corridor is deserted when they finally get to leave the stuffy, cramped room. They tell Wentz goodbye and walk a few brisk paces before turning a corner, and Ryan doesn't know quite how it happened, but he's suddenly back to kissing Brendon, his hands bunching the fabric of Brendon's too-thin t-shirt, the lockers banging as they move into each other with an utter lack of grace. The wet sound of kissing and Brendon's half-gasped breaths sound obscene in the silence that surrounds them.

Footsteps from around the corner make them break apart, flushed and panting. Brendon's eyes are dark, dark, and it takes Ryan a moment to move. Randomly, he thinks about how they haven't spoken a word to each other in more than two hours. Brendon falls into step beside him.

Outside, it's still warm and humid. Brendon is looking at a point between Ryan's shoulder and his ear and jerks his chin towards the bus stop. Ryan follows.

---


Ryan would have thought they'd be back to tearing at each other as soon as they were inside Brendon's apartment. Instead, the door falls shut behind them and they stand undecided for a moment, and then Brendon turns towards his fridge. "I'm really hungry," he says, the knots of his spine standing out under his t-shirt. There's an obvious pause before he adds, "D'you want anything?"

"What do you have?" Ryan asks, and thinks, probably not much. He walks over to Brendon's stereo, crouching down to inspect the number of CDs stacked around it. There aren't that many.

"Three power muffins," Brendon replies. When Ryan twists to give him a bland look, Brendon shrugs and peels the paper off one, speaking around a mouthful. It's a little disgusting. "Leftovers from yesterday at the Hut. Manager said I could take them, and they're not bad."

"If you say so." Ryan turns back to the CDs. Chances are that Spencer's mom put some curry and rice aside for him, so there's no need for him to have some weird, supposedly healthy power muffin for dinner.

Brendon doesn't reply, but Ryan can hear him peel the paper around a second muffin off. Ryan goes back to sorting through Brendon's CDs. There are two albums by the Beatles (that Ryan knows more from nights under the stars, Jon getting out his guitar), the first album Britney Spears put out, and Muse's Origin of Symmetry.

"Seriously, Britney?" Ryan asks, opening the case of the Muse CD. He sticks his index finger through the hole and makes the CD rotate around his knuckle.

"Are you rooting through my stuff?" Brendon asks, mouth full.

Ryan looks at the CD, then at Brendon. "Yes?"

"Oh." Brendon frowns. There's only a bare light bulb dangling above his table, and it makes him appear older somehow, or maybe just more tired. Ryan puts Muse into the stereo, turns the volume up and rolls to his feet.

Brendon watches him warily. "You know that the neighbor's gonna be knocking on that wall in less than a minute?" he asks, voice raised to carry over the music.

"The one who was watching talk shows last time, loud enough to entertain the house?" Ryan takes a step towards Brendon, and it's a small room, so there isn't much of a distance between them anyway.

Brendon nods and wipes at his mouth to get crumbs of the muffin away.

"Fuck him," Ryan says. He grips Brendon's forearms and pulls him into an open-mouthed kiss, licks over Brendon's tongue to taste the remnant of the muffin, faintly sweet, like honey. Brendon leans into him while the music swells, and it could be almost romantic except for how the song is about bitterness and destruction.

Ryan pushes Brendon back against the table and drops to his knees.

It's a strange perspective, the bulge in Brendon's pants up close, and Ryan doesn't let himself think about it when he drags the zipper down. Brendon isn't wearing any underwear. Ryan thinks about how that must be pretty uncomfortable, chafing against Brendon's skin, and he wraps both hands around Brendon's cock as he flicks his eyes up. "Bit optimistic, aren't you?"

Brendon's appears to need a moment to focus. "What?" he says. His hands come up to cradle Ryan's skull.

"No underwear," Ryan clarifies. "Thought you'd get some?" He pushes Brendon's jeans down to his knees and dips forward just enough for his nose to brush the tip of Brendon's cock. His breath fans over the sensitive skin.

"Have to do laundry," Brendon replies. His voice sounds rather unsteady already.

Ryan's nod makes his nose drag along Brendon's cock, and Brendon's thighs tremble just slightly. Ryan takes a deep breath and parts his lips.

"Shit," Brendon mutters, fingers flexing in Ryan's hair. Ryan scrapes his teeth lightly along the tip of Brendon's cock, a warning, while he's still covering the base with both hands. He's not prepared for how that makes Brendon shudder before he stills. Ryan fights his gag reflex and tries to adjust to the sensation of a cock in his mouth.

It's weird, really. The tiles are hard under his knees. He doesn't feel remotely sexy, not at all like the pretty boys in some of the videos he found on the internet, but if the sounds Brendon's making are any indication, a low stream of curses that mix with Ryan's name, Brendon isn't complaining.

Ryan experimentally flattens his tongue against the underside and slides down another inch. Brendon's hips jerk forwards and shit, Brendon's cock isn't even that big; it's about as thick as Ryan's is, but definitely not as large. Ryan has to give Brendon a lot of credit for that thing on Tuesday.

Doesn't mean Brendon gets to just hold his head and fuck his mouth. Ryan pulls back and glares up at Brendon. "Don't push it," he warns.

After a moment, Brendon's eyes lose their glazed sheen and he manages a jerky nod, his fingers in Ryan's hair easing up. His brows are furrowed, and he's biting his lip, barely even blinking. Ryan lowers his lashes and moves back in.

It's easier this time, sliding down as far as he can, then back up, licking at the spot just below the head as he goes. He already tastes a hint of salty slickness on his tongue as he repeats the whole thing, Brendon's cock hot and heavy on his tongue, again, and again, and he thinks he might maybe get the hang of it just as sudden warmth floods Ryan's mouth and he jerks himself away, surprised. Brendon's hands are still hindering his motions, though, so no small amount of Brendon's come ends up on Ryan's cheek and his shoulder, wetting the t-shirt.

"The hell?" Ryan says, sitting back. He wipes at his cheek. "At least I had the decency to warn you."

"Sorry," Brendon says quickly, breathless. There's a flush spreading from his ears to his mouth, and for once, he doesn't look shuttered and haughty.

"Well," Ryan says, and it's not as sharp as he thinks it should be. "Now I need to change my t-shirt before I go to Spencer's."

Brendon slides down to the floor as well, and he doesn't seem to care about being half-naked. "You can borrow a t-shirt of mine," he says, and before Ryan gets a chance to ask if at least that will be fresh, Brendon is already kissing him, lapping at Ryan's mouth as if he's trying to taste himself.

Brendon pulls him roughly up to his feet and then gets one hand down Ryan's pants while nudging him backwards towards the bed. Ryan is barely half-hard, but Brendon's thumb swipes over the head, then along the ridge just below, and Ryan can feel the blood rushing down. He allows Brendon to push him down onto the mattress and sinks into the kiss, giving back as good as he gets while Brendon's hand strokes him into full hardness.

He realizes that he hasn't really had the chance to watch Brendon properly before this, eyes shut and kissing or trying to get Brendon off first, and it's different, watching Brendon with his eyes on his hand and Ryan's cock, biting his bottom lip, almost concentrating. It's good, too, of course, and Ryan groans and tips his head to the side, pressing his cheek against the covers and breathing heavily. He thinks, laundry day, and figures that Brendon will strip the bed after he leaves, go down to the twenty-four hour Laundromat he's seen down the street once Ryan's gone. He doesn't know why he's thinking about such inanities at all, really, only that he is, and then he's not thinking about anything at all, vision going slightly blurry, arching his hips up into Brendon's grip and coming.

For a moment, neither of them move, and then Brendon wipes his hand on the sheets and tips to the side, lying next to Ryan. They don't touch, but Ryan tilts his head and watches Brendon's torso lift as he breathes, resists the urge to run his fingers down the bumps of Brendon's spine. He tilts his own head slightly to the side, sniffs at his shoulder; he can't tell, properly, but he's fairly sure he smells of spunk. And of Brendon, too, probably (not that Brendon wears cologne – it must be his deodorant, Ryan figures). He thinks suddenly that Brendon's probably ready to go again and Ryan will be in a minute, too. He could stay here longer, kiss Brendon again and mumble some flimsy excuse that he knows Brendon will buy. Maybe, he thinks, for a wild, dumb moment, he could help Brendon with his laundry.

Instead, he pushes up into a sitting position and shoves at Brendon's shoulder. "Hey," he says. "Can I use your shower?"

---


Brendon thumps his tiny, shitty TV again until the colors settle and then lies back down on his mattress, uncomfortably aware of the sound of the shower in the next room. It's hard to focus on Jay Leno when his thoughts keep returning, inevitably and a little over-excitedly, to the naked guy in Brendon's bathroom, but, to be fair, it's not like this is something Brendon's used to.

He glances at his phone; Ryan's been in there for nearly seven minutes, so Brendon's guessing he won't be much longer. He doesn't need to know anything about Ryan's showering habits to predict that, and sure enough, a few moments later, Ryan shrieks.

"Jesus! Jesus fuck!"

Brendon giggles into his blanket, turning the volume on the TV up. The water shuts off and a few moments later, Ryan appears in his jeans, drying his hair and looking bedraggled and disgruntled.

"Your shower went fucking cold!" he snaps, and Brendon turns his head, grins at Ryan.

"Oh," he says. "Did I forget to warn you?"

Ryan scowls and drops the towel, and Brendon looks at his skinny chest and swallows, looks away. Ryan says, still sounding pissed, "Where's the shirt, then?"

"What's the magic word," Brendon says automatically, and then rolls his eyes and gestures at the chest of drawers shoved haphazardly in the corner of the room (Kara helped him move it from his bedroom to the apartment, what feels like a lifetime ago). "I don't know, look for it yourself."

Ryan makes a huffy noise and goes to rummage through Brendon's drawers. Brendon keeps his eyes fixed resolutely on the TV.

"There's like, nothing here," Ryan says, exasperated.

"Duh," Brendon says. "I'm doing laundry tonight." Ryan waves something triumphantly over his head, and Brendon smirks. "Sure, Ross," he says. "That's one's all yours. Bible Camp pride, yeah?"

The t-shirt goes sailing through the air and lands on Brendon's head, and Brendon pulls it off with a glare in Ryan's direction. He didn't mean to smile, before. He's just not used to other people in the apartment. Clearly, he thinks, he has an innate gift for hospitality.

Ryan says, "This one looks okay?" and Brendon turns around, and stops. It's just a red v-neck, a little bit wrinkled from being crumpled in a ball in the back of Brendon's drawer, but clean enough, and Brendon forces himself to nod. He knows why it's clean, too, knows that it was what he wore when he left, when his mom gave him an awkward hug and Kara cried into his shoulder.

"Yeah," he says. "Whatever."

Ryan pulls it on over his head, gets tangled up a little, trying to put his head through the sleeve, and Brendon watches him, can't help it. When Ryan emerges from the cloth he looks rumpled and slightly disorientated, almost childlike in his blinking confusion, as though it seems impossible that he's managed to get himself tangled up so. Brendon laughs, short and a little cruel, and Ryan glares at him and pushes his hand back through his wet hair.

"Anyway, thanks," Ryan says, ungraciously. "I'll give it back on Tuesday."

"Yeah," Brendon says, and shrugs. He turns his gaze back to the TV and keeps a vague eye on Ryan out of the corner of his eye; Ryan's folding up his dirty t-shirt and shoving it in the bottom of his schoolbag, and then he hesitates for a moment. Brendon keeps his eyes fixed on the TV, shoulders hunched, and finally Ryan makes an exasperated noise and crosses the floor to him, dropping down beside Brendon on his knees.

"What," Brendon begins, and then Ryan pulls roughly at his hair, tilting his face up and biting down on his lip, hard and fierce. Brendon scrambles upwards despite himself, tugging Ryan in closer, hands clenched in Ryan's (Brendon's) shirt, and licking into his mouth. Ryan groans and Brendon swallows the sound, teeth clacking, foreheads bumping, and Brendon's skin feels like it's burning up.

Ryan breaks away, but doesn't go that far, breathing harshly against the corner of Brendon's mouth. He mutters, "I have to—"

"Yeah," Brendon says, and moves back fast enough that Ryan loses his balance, has to throw out an arm against the mattress to save himself. "Yeah, go keep precious Spence entertained."

Ryan glares at him and slams the door when he leaves, but Brendon just rolls back on his mattress and laughs, feels oddly, stupidly triumphant.

---


Ryan is late to movie night. It's one of those things that never happened before – before detention, but now it's the third time in a row. Spencer opens the door with a questioning expression. "Jon's already upstairs," he says. "You hungry? There's something left in the fridge."

"That'd be great," Ryan says because now that he's not distracted by the immediate possibilities Brendon represents, he notices that he actually is hungry, stomach churning with it.

"Come on, then." Spencer leads the way, tone oddly heavy, and Ryan follows him with a feeling of unease that isn't only due to the empty hole in his stomach.

There really is a plastic container with curry rice waiting for Ryan, with a note stuck to it that says, Save for Ryan! in Spencer's writing. Ryan briefly thinks about Brendon, munching on his last muffin while waiting for his laundry to be done. Then he shoves the image away.

When they get to Spencer's room, Jon looks up from where he's sprawled on the bed. "Did you know that traveling to the Nile will be a life-altering experience, and you shouldn't forget to bring a book to interpret dreams along?"

"Watching the astrology channel again?" Spencer asks.

Jon nods seriously. "They have all the best hosts."

"Also," Ryan puts in, dropping his backpack while juggling a spoon and the plastic container, "nowhere else will people tell you that the house of your love is illuminated by the current position of the sun, or something like that."

"True," Jon says, rolling over onto his back, grinning. "New shirt?"

Ryan sits down on the edge of the bed and carefully opens the container, chewing on his mouthful. When he glances up, Spencer has joined Jon in watching him expectantly. Ryan sighs. "Are you sure you're not gay?" he asks Jon.

"Pretty sure," Jon says. "However, I do remember more than just one of your ramblings about how red really wasn't your color. This shirt's red."

"And you're late," Spencer says. "Again."

"Sorry," Ryan says quickly.

"Ryan." Spencer's tone is cautious. "Are you… What's going on? Something's wrong, we know it is, and—It's not your dad, right?"

Ryan shakes his head and swallows some food down while trying not to meet their concerned eyes. The rice is dry and gets stuck in his throat. "My dad is fine," he manages. "Relatively speaking. You know. No worse than usual."

Neither Jon nor Spencer say anything, just continue watching him expectantly. The rice isn't just too dry, it's also tasteless. Ryan glares at the screen where some soap opera couple is arguing, the woman's hands thrown up angrily.

Ryan coughs and sets the container down on Spencer's bedside table. "Um, so. The shirt is Brendon's."

"Brendon Urie?" Jon says, sitting up with a start.

"Um." Ryan shrugs and nods a little, plucking at Spencer's bedspread. Ever since they accidentally spilled Coke on Spencer's bed, his mom makes him cover it up before movie nights.

Spencer sits down heavily, and when Ryan glances at him, Spencer's face is set in a thoughtful frown. "Brendon Urie," he repeats, as if to himself. Then he looks over. "I thought you hated the guy's guts?"

"I do," Ryan says immediately, almost too fast.

"Which is why you're wearing his shirts," Spencer says dryly.

"Just the one." Ryan tugs it down, keeping it from riding up over the waistband of his pants. "It's just. My own was… It had something on it."

Another moment of silence before Jon chokes on his laughter. "That," he gasps out, "is so the universal code for cumstains."

Spencer snorts out a laugh as well, but after two or three seconds, when Ryan doesn't say anything, just continues sitting tense and silent, Spencer quiets and narrows his eyes. "Seriously?" he says. "I mean, seriously?"

Ryan glances at him, then back down at his hands. "Um," he says stupidly.

"No, wait." Spencer holds up a hand. "You hate the guy's guts, but somehow, you got cumstains on your other shirt, and Brendon Urie just happened to be around to lend you a shirt."

"It just happened," Ryan says.

"Right, right." Spencer shakes his head, looking disbelieving while Jon's expression is considering. "I mean, right. Is that why you're late? Why did he have a spare shirt, anyway?"

Ryan bites down on his tongue until the sharp prick of pain makes him feel less embarrassed. "We were at his apartment."

Spencer's mouth opens, then closes again. The disbelief in his eyes slowly fades into something Ryan isn't sure he's more comfortable with; amusement with an edge of skepticism. "You were at his apartment," Spencer repeats. "He has an apartment of his own?"

"No details, please," Jon pipes in. "I can live without knowing whose spunk that was, thanks."

Ryan ignores him. "Yeah," he tells Spencer. "I think his parents kicked him out or something? I'm not even sure yet, but… It's a pretty shitty apartment."

"It wasn't the first time," Spencer says, sounding like someone putting pieces of a mosaic together. "Your detentions with him, you've been weird for a while, and when we were at that smoothie shop and he left to take his—" Spencer cuts himself off, and Ryan looks up with a feeling of dread. "Jesus fucking Christ," Spencer says, "you followed him. I was talking to Haley, but it took you too long to get back from the bathroom, and. How did I miss this?"

Ryan thinks about taking the management by information overkill route. Instead, he flops down on the bed and glares up at the ceiling. "It's nothing, okay?" he tells them, voice hard. "We're just fooling around, like, experimenting. That's all. We don't even like each other."

"I don't know," Jon says slowly. "There's always been something peculiar about how you two just… circled each other."

"It's nothing," Ryan repeats harshly, daring them to argue. It's silent for long seconds. Then Spencer clears his throat.

"So, we thought we could watch Insider," he says.

"Fine with me," Ryan says, nodding.

He doesn't really relax until the first few scenes have passed and he's settled on his stomach between Jon and Spencer, both of them comfortable and warm beside him. Ryan isn't sure he feels relieved now that he's told them. At the very least, though, it will be good not to have to make up bullshit lies about detention anymore.

He props his chin up on his palm and smiles a little at the screen. Al Pacino fucking rocks.

---


On Monday, they have a big school assembly with boring alumni guest speakers, one of whom rambles on for what feels like several hours. Spencer inconspicuously goes to sleep on Ryan's shoulder while Jon stares at the chair in front of him with glazed eyes, and Ryan sits there and wonders if it's possible to like, will yourself to death. Or sleep, he supposes, but death would actually be a really nice alternative to listening to the guest speaker any longer – and they still have Mr. Way to go. Ryan likes Mr. Way, he really does, but onstage Way tends to forget about that pressing need to finish, and will go on tangents about graphic novels and old art movements and the aesthetics of horror movies for hours at a time if no one stops him, and no one ever does.

He hears a teacher hiss, "Brendon," and looks up instinctively. Across the row, Brendon is blinking up at Ms Salpeter while jumping his knee up and down compulsively, and Ryan smiles into his lap despite himself. It is just like Brendon to fidget ridiculously, and hey, Brendon getting into trouble is always something that Ryan's down with.

Later, though, when they're all filing out, Jon and Ryan start re-enacting Mr. Way's speech for Spencer. Ryan intones, "And then Batman – remember this, children, that he is my soulmate, and Catwoman is simply an evil distraction sent to test his faith—" and behind him, Brendon laughs.

Ryan turns slightly, and Brendon's mouth twists into a sharp, antagonistic line, the laughter fading from his eyes. Ryan flushes despite himself, and hopes that Spencer and Jon didn't notice.

---


The thing about detentions now is that Brendon still doesn't know what to expect. Ryan seems kind of calm on Tuesday, already there when Brendon arrives, with his legs folded and his chin resting in his hands, gazing out the window. Brendon lingers uncertainly by the door anyway, and then, when Ryan doesn't move, takes a loud step inside.

"Planning on working anytime soon?" he asks, and his voice sounds loud and harsh in the quiet room.

Wentz rocks backward on his chair and peers in the room, watching them warily. "Calm down, Brendon," he says. "How about you two leave the door open today, huh? I have some grading to do out here, anyway."

Brendon stuffs his fists in his pockets. "Fine," he says. Ryan looks annoyed, and Brendon walks to the corner opposite Ryan, drags the pile of files he was working on last time towards him. They're almost at the bottom of them, he thinks – good thing, too, because this is the last week of semester, the second-to-last detention.

That startles him for a moment, and he wonders, insanely, what's going to happen. He glances over at Ryan and Ryan looks up just in time to see him, and furrows his brow, and they watch each other for a moment, both on the edge of glaring, but not quite there yet.

Ryan shifts uncomfortably on the hard floor. "Hey," he says, voice low. "I forgot to bring your shirt."

"Uh," Brendon says, not sure how to react. "Okay? Whatever, asshole, I don't give a shit."

"Well," Ryan says, and then stops. He looks defensive, one shoulder drawn up, looking at Brendon like Brendon's some sort of wild animal, liable to attack at any moment, and then he mumbles, "I mean, my dad's not gonna be back until late, so if you, like, wanted to come and get it…"

"Oh," Brendon says. He lifts one shoulder in a shrug and says, "Yeah, okay, fine."

"Alright," Ryan says, still looking tense and unhappy. He turns back to his pile of work and Brendon spends about ten seconds looking at the curved line of his back through his shirt before he remembers what he's meant to be doing.

The hours drag, and it seems like forever before Wentz finally sticks his head around the door and says, "Alright, boys, see you later," and then adds, grinning kind of stupidly, "Nice work on not killing each other." Ryan smiles a little at that and Brendon picks up his schoolbag with unnecessary force, thinks viciously, fucking teacher's pet.

Brendon trails after Ryan when they get outside, and Ryan mumbles, "Come on," and heads for the student parking lot.

Brendon blinks and says, without thinking, "You have a car?"

"Uh, yeah," Ryan says. "It's kinda old, I don't really take it out much, but it's gonna rain today. And I didn't want to catch the bus, so."

"Okay," Brendon says. He stops and laughs when they get to where Ryan's… thing is parked, though, cruel and short. "Ross, I'm really sorry to have to be the one to tell you this," he says, with great glee, "but that's not a car. That's a pile of metal junk balanced on some wheels."

Ryan scowls at him. "Fine," he says. "Get your own ride home."

Brendon laughs again and hops in the car (watches Ryan look around the parking lot quickly, and thinks, well, whatever, I don't want to be seen with you, either) because it's not like Ryan means it. Brendon is confident enough to know that Ryan doesn't want him to actually go away before Ryan gets off, and Brendon is perfectly happy with this turn of events.

It's a short drive to Ryan's house, less than ten minutes, but they're both silent and it feels awkward and frozen. Brendon reaches out for the radio but Ryan shakes his head and says, "Doesn't work," and Brendon snorts and refrains from saying why am I not surprised, and drums his fingers on the arm rest by the window instead. Ryan gives him an annoyed glance and Brendon smirks, does it louder and faster until Ryan's gritting his teeth in a really satisfying way.

Ryan's house looks like something ordinary and mundane in the middle of the suburbs, but Ryan seems to get tenser when he pulls into the driveway, gets out and locks the car after them. Brendon lingers behind him, looks at Ryan's hunched shoulders as he opens the front door and thinks, tiredly, don't be an asshole, Ross. I'm not gonna pollute your precious fucking home.

He steps inside and the house smells kind of musty, closed up and old, and there's the weird, pervading scent of alcohol, too. They walk past the kitchen and there's a small collection of empty bottles on the table; Ryan's face is shuttered and blank and Brendon feels something strange and unwelcome stir in his stomach.

Ryan says, "Anyway, my room is just up—" and doesn't bother finishing, leads Brendon up a small flight of stairs and into the first room on the left. The bed's unmade, a small stack of Ryan's schoolbooks sitting next to the computer on his desk, but the first thing that strikes Brendon is how unlived in it looks, how empty and waiting.

Everything is so tidy, apart from the bed, and Brendon blinks around in surprise. It's not like he knows Ryan, or whatever, but – he's seen the careless way Ryan does things, the haphazard piles of things in detention, the wet towel he left in the middle of Brendon's living room. Ryan isn't looking at him, and Brendon swallows hard and says, evenly, "You spend a lot of time with your friends, huh?"

Ryan rounds on him. "What the fuck's that supposed to mean?" he spits, and Brendon takes a step back, bumps into the door.

"Nothing, Ross, chill," he says, and then he closes the door behind him and Ryan is on him, mouth hard and fierce against Brendon's, hands scrambling to undo Brendon's fly. Brendon makes a small, surprised sound even though he knew, he knew what was coming, and then he walks Ryan backwards across the floor, hands firm on Ryan's hips. Their teeth bang awkwardly when Ryan stumbles and falls backwards onto the bed and Brendon follows him, sprawling across him hard enough that Ryan makes a surprised, huffing noise.

Brendon tangles his fingers in Ryan's hair and smiles crookedly down at him for no real reason, except that Ryan looks so fucking unhappy and Brendon thinks that won't make doing anything much fun. Angry he can work with (angry he's the fucking master of), but it's just boring to have Ryan all sad, so he kisses Ryan warm and deep, slow, and does his best to be gentle. He keeps Ryan's wrists pinned up above Ryan's head and mouths at his throat, presses his lips against Ryan's pulse. He kisses Ryan and kisses him and kisses him, until Ryan is languid and almost relaxed under him, which is kind of weird and unusual but not that bad, either, and then he kisses Ryan some more until Ryan manages to get his hands free and clings to him almost blindly. Brendon mumbles something that even he can't make sense of into Ryan's mouth and Ryan's hands are digging into his back through his shirt, Ryan gasping when Brendon rocks his hips down once, twice, and for some reason this feels more like sex than anything they've done before.

It's nice to take his time, after all. After a moment, he slides down and pulls down Ryan's jeans and takes him in his mouth, and it's cool and kind of interesting to see how Ryan reacts differently this time, less surprised, lazier about it. When he puts his hands to Brendon's hair he smoothes a strand out of Brendon's eyes before he seems to remember where he is, and then he tugs the same curl, a little grumpily, and Brendon resists the urge to laugh softly (even if he thinks that would probably feel pretty awesome, laughter around your cock, and maybe if they were different people, maybe then Brendon would be allowed to laugh, to kiss things better rather than just away).

Afterward, Ryan returns the favour and they lie and stare at the ceiling, not touching but close on Ryan's single bed. Brendon's brain is still kind of hazy, body slow and sluggish, but after a moment Ryan rolls away and down to the floor, and then he picks up the folded t-shirt on his desk and chucks it at Brendon.

"Here," he says, and then, "My dad's gonna be home in like, an hour."

"Okay," Brendon answers. He stands up slowly and picks the shirt up from off of Ryan's bedspread, and then he goes downstairs, doesn't linger by the kitchen and the open bottles, picks up his bag from where he dropped it at the doorway.

He's halfway down the driveway before Ryan appears at the door, looking a little breathless. "Hey," he says. "You want me to drive you back?"

Brendon switches his backpack from one shoulder to the other, eyes dark and considering. Ryan looks smaller than usual, framed by the doorway of the house he doesn't quite inhabit properly. At least, Brendon thinks, at least my apartment's a sort of home.

"Yeah," he says, finally, and then surprises both of them by adding, "Thanks."

---


Ryan is a slow, careful driver, but the time to Brendon's apartment still passes in a rush, and they're halfway there before Brendon even blinks. He doesn't realize he's jiggling his leg until Ryan reaches over blindly and covers Brendon's knee with his hand, never taking his eyes off the road. Brendon stills.

Ryan takes his hand away to switch gears. His fingers are slender and elegant on the gearstick, and Brendon has to swallow and look away, out of the window. It's only a moment later that Ryan's hand is back on his knee, and he doesn't think he was fidgeting this time, but maybe he didn't even notice.

"We're here," Ryan says quietly, unnecessarily, as he pulls up in front of Brendon's apartment complex. His hand leaves Brendon's knee.

"Right," Brendon says. He awkwardly twists to get his backpack out from between his legs, and then he stops and glances over at Ryan, thinks of how Ryan's expression just went blank when they entered his father's house, the house that seemed to be veiled in a grey haze of alcohol. "You want to come up?" Brendon asks, before he can start listing all the reasons why he shouldn't.

"Yeah," Ryan says. His voice is even, but something about the line of his shoulders loosens.

Brendon nods and pulls his door open, says, "Come on, then," and he doesn't look over his shoulder to see if Ryan follows. He knows Ryan's right behind him, because Ryan would rather be anywhere than in his own, unlived room. He doesn't even have posters on the wall.

They mount the stairs in silence, Ryan's breath somewhat accelerated behind Brendon. The light bulb on the second floor is broken and no one bothered to replace it, long shadows crawling along the walls from the light on the first and third floor. Brendon turns his head, and Ryan's eyes are dark as he pushes Brendon backwards against the railing. It creaks with his weight, trembling.

Ryan hesitates. Brendon makes an impatient sound and pulls him in, their mouths meeting roughly, desperately, and Brendon closes his eyes and sucks on Ryan's bottom lip, biting until it's swollen and red and Ryan is panting into his mouth.

Ryan pulls away abruptly. "Your apartment," he says.

"Yeah," Brendon replies a little stupidly. He manages to push himself away from the railing, standing on uncertain legs before he swallows and sets off for the next flight of stairs, Ryan warm and close behind.

---


Brendon's apartment – his room, whatever – smells of sweaty skin and dirty sheets. The only light they turned on is the one above Brendon's stove, dim and sickly. Ryan shouldn't feel comfortable here.

He's stretched out on his back on Brendon's bed, Brendon's elbow digging into his side. For all that they're still clothed, haven't even touched since that moment on the stairs, Ryan's skin is too hot. His hands are twitching. "Fascinating ceiling," he says flatly.

Brendon snorts. Then he rolls over and onto Ryan, pressing down with the whole weight of his body, reaching for Ryan's wrists. His thumbs press into the pulse points.

Ryan gives him an unimpressed look. "You know that I could flip us over?"

Brendon hums vaguely. "You tried and failed before," he says. His eyes are focused on Ryan's throat, and then he dips his head and sinks his teeth into Ryan's skin and shit, that's going to leave a mark. Ryan rolls his head aside for better access.

"I succeeded just as often," he replies, and he doesn't know why he even keeps talking, Brendon clearly isn't interested in what he has to say.

Brendon pulls back. "Only if you played dirty," he says, thumbs moving on Ryan's wrist in slow, hypnotizing circles. Ryan bites back a groan. He doesn't know why Brendon's suddenly all about teasing touches, but it makes his stomach clench in on itself, something very much like fear.

"Only when you deserved it," Ryan says, adding, "asshole," for good measure.

Brendon just narrows his eyes at him, shaking his head, and when he grinds his hips down and covers Ryan's mouth in a fierce, bruising kiss, Ryan closes his eyes and stops thinking. He doesn't resist when Brendon tugs his clothes off, and while he feels uncomfortable under Brendon's scrutiny, exposed with Brendon still fully clothed, he doesn't avert his eyes when their gazes meet and hold for just a moment.

Then Ryan inhales and pushes Brendon over onto his back, tugging at his jeans. "Helps if you undo the zipper," Brendon tells him, amused and not quite even. Ryan deliberately presses the heel of his hand against Brendon's visible erection when he thumbs the button open and drags the zipper down, and he's satisfied when Brendon jerks into the touch.

"I think I can manage," Ryan says.

Brendon grins at him, just for a blink of an eye, and then he turns his head away and bites down on his lower lip when Ryan fondles his balls. Ryan pulls both Brendon's jeans and boxers off entirely before he takes Brendon's cock into his hand, warm and heavy. He watches his fingers against the red, flushed skin and tries to control his breathing. This is just sex.

Ryan slicks two fingers up with his own spit, keeping his hand steady on Brendon's cock. Brendon's eyes fly open when Ryan probes at his entrance, really just spreading spit around the hole that feels strange and too-dry against his fingertip. He's aware of Brendon intently watching his face, but Brendon doesn't tell him to stop, so Ryan doesn't.

The first inch isn't that difficult. Brendon clenches around him, impossibly tight, and Ryan has no idea how people fit something as large as a cock in there. He wiggles his finger a little before withdrawing it, bending his head to tongue the vein on the underside of Brendon's erection as he pushes his finger in again, further this time. Brendon twitches into him and produces a strangled gasp that Ryan interprets as encouragement.

He twists his finger and lets only the head of Brendon's cock slide into his mouth, keeping his left hand firmly wrapped around the base. Something that might be Ryan's name falls from Brendon's lips, reverberating in the silent apartment. Ryan crooks his finger and pulls off before he moves in again, going as far as he can with his mouth stretched wide, and he doesn't think he likes this, not really, but Brendon's half-choked moans make it almost worth it.

Then Ryan twists his finger, still so tight he doesn't dare add a second one, and Brendon's hips jerk up suddenly, Brendon's face flushed when Ryan glances up at him. "What?" Ryan asks.

"Do that again," Brendon tells him, almost an order, but his voice is husky and unusually deep. Ryan twists his finger once more, pulling out and pushing back in while he sucks slowly, carefully, and Brendon comes with a loud curse.

Ryan sits back on his knees, withdrawing his finger and wiping both hands off on the sheets. He absently notices that Brendon never even took off his shirt. "Well," he comments, "that was pretty fast."

For a long moment, Brendon just lies panting, chest rising and falling. Then he flicks his eyes up at Ryan's face and reaches for Ryan's cock, and it doesn't take more than a few strokes for Ryan to be fully erect. When Brendon pushes him down onto his back, Ryan goes easily, and he watches Brendon's concentrated expression until his vision narrows and fades out around the edges.

---


Afterward, Ryan goes and washes his hands and when he comes back, Brendon is crouching in front of the fridge, tilting his head to survey the food inside. He doesn't look up at the sound of Ryan's footsteps, but he does say, "You want something to eat?"

"Uh," Ryan says. "What do you have?"

"I got Chinese food on Sunday," Brendon tells him. "There's some of that left over, if you want."

"Okay," Ryan says. "Fine."

Brendon pulls two cardboard boxes out of the fridge and shoves one gracelessly at Ryan, pulling over a drawer to get out some forks. He says, "Glasses and shit above the sink if you're thirsty."

"I'm alright," Ryan says, pushing hair back out of his eyes. Brendon shrugs and heads back towards his mattress, sitting down heavily on it and leaning forward to switch the TV on. There's an old rerun of Friends, and he looks briefly triumphant and then wary, glancing over at Ryan. Ryan settles next to him cautiously. He doesn't mind that much, anyway. Jon's obsessed with Friends, and Ryan thinks it's okay.

The noodles are cold and greasy, but they don't taste that bad, and Brendon shovels his down pretty quickly, eating with his mouth open and staring at the screen. Ryan glares at him and makes small, disgusted noises but Brendon doesn't appear to care, casting him a vaguely condescending, amused look at one point.

Ryan picks at his own food. He's sort of peckish, but not hungry like Brendon looks. He thinks about how rarely he sees Brendon in the cafeteria, wonders if it's because Brendon doesn't eat there or because Brendon doesn't eat.

"I'm full," he says, and pushes the carton towards Brendon. Brendon shrugs and takes it, and Ryan presses his nose into Brendon's sheet. They smell like sex, smell like Ryan, and for one stupid, insane moment, Ryan thinks about how nice it would be to just stay here, because at least he can make Brendon shut up, if he needs to, and because—

He scrambles to his feet. "Anyway, bye," he says, forcing himself not to hunch back into himself. Brendon looks up at him, gaze dark, face blank.

"Okay," Brendon drawls, like he couldn't care less, and Ryan flushes red. Onscreen, the laugh track plays, loud and obnoxious, and Ryan turns around, thinks about walking out the door and down the stairs and driving home, and he thinks about it with relief, because Brendon's presence might be preferable to his father's, but it's also a lot more frightening. At least Ryan knows what kind of danger his dad is.

"Bye," Brendon says suddenly, soft, and Ryan closes the door as he leaves.

Continues here.
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