behindthec: (ryden.)
[personal profile] behindthec
Title: Back To The Place [7/8]
Author: [ profile] lolab
Pairing: Brendon/Ryan
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: Fiction as far as I know.
Dedication: [ profile] siubhlach, [ profile] taraangelx, [ profile] takkatakkatakka; a very special thanks to [ profile] redorchids, who co-wrote the last sex scene with me when I was ready to give up on this damn fic altogether. The lyrics and most of the good ideas in here are hers as well.
Summary: Maybe that's what makes life interesting, the collision of endless questions and answers, and those precious moments of triumph when we can match the right ones together.
Notes: I hope you guys enjoy these last two chapters because I'm not going to be writing anything for awhile. I'm fucking wiped out. Anyway, Brendon's fascination with portable toilets belongs to me and me alone. For those doubting the boys' basketball skills, I suggest taking a look at this, and also their clothes in the drunken jailbait sleepover pics.

Please visit the master post for previous chapters, notes, track listing, etc.


Ryan groans weakly. "Can't move."

Brendon chuckles against his shoulder, snuggling into him deeper, sealing any remaining bits of their bodies that have managed to pry apart. "'S normal after your first time."

Ryan snaps his hips up, lazy and constricted under the weight, hipbones nonetheless digging into Brendon's waist in retaliation. "Or, you're squashing me. Asshole."

"Oh." Brendon rolls off, grinning sheepishly. "Sorry."

Ryan's smile beams bright when he sits up, leaning over Brendon to cup his face in one cuddle-warmed hand and kiss the corner of his mouth. "Don't be," he breathes hot into Brendon's ear. "I like you on top of me."

A chill curls around Brendon's spine at the words, a note of Dirty talk: good imprinting itself into his mental notepad. His mouth feels suddenly parched, and does this weird jump to drooling wet as Ryan peels himself from the bed, walking naked to the bathroom. He's visibly stiff from the way they've been mashed and tangled together all night, in periods both motionless and violently mobile, and it turns his normal walk into this rolling sort of swagger, hips rocking from side to side like a cat. A visual flash of memory (Fuck, harder, please) makes Brendon's cock twitch under the sheet as the bathroom door swings shut, cracked at the edge.

He licks his lips, still tasting Ryan, and smiles.

Ryan takes his sweet ass time preening, and when he emerges his hair's even messier, shooting out in directions Brendon hadn't even known existed. He leers at Brendon, crooked smile and raised eyebrow making him look so, so much sexier than anyone should after sacrificing a night’s worth of sleep.

"'M starving,” Brendon mumbles, stretching lazily. “We should go out for breakfast. That place in town."

"Mm," Ryan hums, staring at the spot where the sheet dips between Brendon's legs. "We should shower first. Don't want Ruth to be traumatized by our scandalous appearances."

Brendon snorts. "Dude, she already knows we're fucking."

Ryan's eyes dart up, suddenly focused, smirk wiped clean. "Yeah, but no one else does."

Brendon shrugs. He doesn't mention how if he didn't think Ryan would dismember him, he'd drive back to Vegas, climb to the highest peak of the Strip, and proclaim his love via megaphone.

It's one of those moments he'll look back on in a few days and think, ...Oh.

But now it's nothing, it's just Ryan, watching Brendon chew teasingly on his lip till it's red and plump and then Ryan's on the bed, on top of him, all around him. Their tongues swim into a sleepy battle for dominance as Ryan grinds his hips down, reaching one hand between their bodies and wrenching the sheet away, fingers circling around Brendon's erection.

"What..." Brendon starts, breathless as Ryan's face presses harder into his neck, breath coming ragged and heated as he pushes down, his own dick rubbing shamelessly against Brendon's hip. Brendon's hands come up to Ryan's hair, finding a grip in the mess and tangles and holding on tight.

Ryan's own grip firms, his strokes speeding up and a muffled groan pulling ragged from his throat as Brendon chokes out a gasp. It's too dry, just this side of too much, too soon, but it's so good and it's Ryan and Ryan's fingers and Ryan rutting up against him like an insatiable teenager, and Brendon's a goner.

"If we're gonna be dirty," Ryan pants, "might as well take advantage of it."

Brendon bites his lip and comes.

"Fuck," Ryan breathes, and spills over Brendon's thigh, hips stuttering sharp against him.

It's only seconds before they're laughing, low and smug and silent as it rumbles up from their chests, faces turned inward, inhaling each other. Brendon feels a trickle of come dribble over his hip and down the crease of his thigh, too warm and filthy and perfect, and his whole body shudders. Ryan just holds him tighter.

It's official: there is only one thing in the world better than sex.

Sex with Ryan.


They scrub their hands and faces and wrap themselves in the cleanest layers of clothes they can find, pulled straight from the dryer, and Brendon lets Ryan drive. It wasn't even a question when Ryan snatched his keys off the table by the door, tossed them smugly into the air, and announced, "I'm driving," before sauntering out to the car with the air of a man whose dick had been well occupied for the better part of eight hours.

Brendon will never admit it, but cocky is a really, really good look on Ryan.

"Oh my god, it's a Fast Break!" Brendon shrieks as they pass a construction site on the outskirts of town.

"The fuck?" Ryan asks, lifting his hand from Brendon's thigh to turn down the volume knob by the radio.

"Look, back there. The port-a-potty. It was a Fast Break! I haven't seen those since like, Atlanta."

"What the hell's a Fast Break? Isn't that, like, a chocolate bar?"

Brendon rolls his eyes because seriously, how does the world not know these things? "It's the brand, Ryan. Port-a-potties have the best brand names ever. Next time you get bored on the bus, watch for them. Make a list of all the best ones. I've got one saved on my laptop."

Ryan forces his eyes from the road because clearly Brendon deserves attention for this, even if it's not the sort he was hoping for. "I read books," he states simply.

"Whatever, dude, the potties own your books. There's Fast Break and Happy Cans and Comfort Zone and Pure Potties and Hop-on-Jon and Big Jon and Jonny-on-the-Spot... Jon's in a whole bunch of them."

"I'm sure he's deeply honored."

Brendon opens his mouth to agree, but when he looks over at Ryan, Ryan's looking at him like he might want to experiment with shock therapy.


"I just." Ryan turns back to the road, his brow creased but eyes smiling as he squints out the glare of sun. "I just find it really hard to believe this is the same person who gave me like, five orgasms last night."

Brendon tucks his hands into his lap and grins.

Ryan turns the music up, dropping his hand casually so it looks like it just fell back into Brendon's lap out of convenience. He doesn't react when Brendon upturns his own palm and squeezes; he just keeps humming, one arm outstretched to the wheel, but when Brendon turns to look at him, a half-circle of smile is indented across his profile.


It's nothing, nothing, nothing until it actually happens. Brendon can't seem to spare any analysis for things that just feel right at the time, and then it's always too late to retract, the deed done and disastrous.

He ducks inside the convenience store while Ryan's filling up the gas tank, long fingers drumming impatiently against the road-dusty silver paint of the car, the other hand wrapped obscenely around the pump handle.

Ryan had called after him, "I need sugar" ("What kind?" "Anything.") so really, it's Ryan's fault that Brendon emerges with a candy ring and displays it to Ryan in his palm, beaming confidence.

Ryan stares at it. "What the hell is that?"

"It's -- " Brendon looks down, bewildered, just to check that he's not going blind. It's pretty obvious what it is. "It's a candy ring, dumbass. Marry me?"

Ryan stares at him, face whiter than if Brendon had dumped the entire bag of flour over his head, eyes wide and dark in contrast.

Brendon swallows. "Dude, it's -- it's a joke."

A splash of color fades back into Ryan's face. "Oh."

"Sorry." Brendon's smile turns awkward until he just ditches it completely, ducking his head.


Ryan's eyes dart in every direction, up, down, around, high and low, before he reaches up to hold Brendon's chin and tugs him forward for a kiss, brief but soft.

Brendon tries not to let it feel like overcompensation.


Inside, it's business as usual. Ryan doesn't touch him and Brendon doesn't expect him to, just lets Ruth lead them back to their table and grin at them with sparkling eyes, too knowing.

"Looks like you two had fun last night."

Ryan drops his fork.

"Um." Brendon looks up from him to Ruth, trying to find just the right smile to put on display. Damage control is Spencer’s strength, and Jon’s; Brendon’s geared more towards just... damage. "Yeah, we watched a few movies, hung out with some friends, had some drinks..."

"I'll have the number three, no sausage, just water with lime, with the fruit cup," Ryan says. "And. A side of toast. Please."

Brendon looks at him, Ryan's face ducked down toward the table as Ruth scribbles away on her pad. "Same."

She collects the tall plastic menus before Brendon can figure out what a number three is, promising a quick delivery and offering them both a wink before hobbling back towards the kitchen.

"Sorry," Ryan sighs. "I just. Sorry."

"It's okay."

"I'm just not..."

"Ryan, it's okay."

And it isn't, but it is, because they have this much. Brendon doesn't need to hold his hand across the table or play footsie with him underneath it, he doesn't need to kiss him in front of strangers or walk down the sidewalk with his hand tucked into Ryan's back pocket. Behind closed doors is enough, more than he could've ever asked for, and Ryan will come around, he will, and one day he won't be scared. One day when he realizes there's nothing to be scared of. And it's okay.

It is.


It's easy to forget, too easy, scary easy when they're back inside, car nestled contentedly in the pine needles and sunlight, the cabin all theirs. When they climb into the shower, shedding grease-fumed clothes and huddling together under the water, the morning washes away with the dirt. Ryan's bold with his touches, his body loose and eager under Brendon's hands as they press together and kiss, too exhausted and oversexed to do more. All the sleep-deprived adrenaline shoots straight to their lips and their fingers, mouths moving wet and pillowy together in the hot stream, hands gripping biceps and hips, holding and pulling until Ryan's lips slip across Brendon's cheek to spill overtired nonsense into his ear, "So fucking beautiful like this, want you, always wanted you, just like this."

This, this isn't overcompensation. It's not compensation at all. It's real. It's Ryan, just as Brendon knows him, imagined he'd be. This is Ryan when he's safe, no pretense or control, just open, ready to absorb and be absorbed in turn.

This is why Brendon fell. Falls. Is falling, still, tumbling through the air unsure of where or how he'll land, only that he'll be caught.

They barely towel off before they tumble onto the bed, spreading their towels out beneath them to protect their clean skin from the soiled sheets. Brendon opens his arms and Ryan fits himself into them, back to Brendon's chest, beads of water joining between their bodies.

Ryan whispers, "I missed you."


"In California."

Brendon holds his breath for a moment. It's not -- they don't talk about it now; it's done. Ryan wanted space, Brendon gave it to him tenfold with his lips pressed into a tight bitter line, Ryan realized he didn't want space after all and was too proud to say so, too afraid, watching from afar as everyone functioned like a well-oiled machine without him, or so he'd thought. Everyone was an idiot, everyone missed everyone else and pretended not to, the band suffered, and they fixed it. Possibly because Shane shoved them all into a hotel room one night in South Africa and said, "Fix it." Shit happens. It was then, and it's over.

But something tells him this isn't about then; it's about now.

He nuzzles his nose against Ryan's neck and says, "I missed you too. So did Spence."

Ryan laces their fingers together at the ends of their outstretched arms. "Don't let me leave again."

Brendon swallows, pulling him closer as sleep presses in on him, eyes drooping shut. "Then don't try."


It's almost dinnertime when Brendon wakes up, and it reminds him of California, when they evolved into fully nocturnal schedules. Ryan had started it, insomnia having launched into unforgiving assault mode; the four a.m. texts to Brendon that meant nothing, there was a spider and now i cant find it; i think i heard a coyote. Brendon would stay awake for hours staring at the words glaring bright from his Sidekick, wondering if he was meant to respond. If this was just Ryan's effort to be civil despite the... time off (separation, break, all ugly words Brendon refused to use), or if it was his way of reaching out, trying to bring them back together. Brendon was too proud to hope for the latter and wind up wrong, so he'd type out ten different replies to each and delete them all.

It's hard to believe that time ever existed now, looking down at Ryan still curled up naked from their all-day nap, breathing even and soft against the pillow. Brendon kisses the rounded top of Ryan's shoulder before tugging the sheet up over it and pads downstairs in a pair of sweatpants and one of Shane's old t-shirts, shutting the door silently behind him.

He eats a strawberry Pop-Tart straight from the box, untoasted, and taps out the left hand of a melody while he eats, one he'd been half working on when they'd come back to Vegas. His right hand joins in when the remaining piece is small enough to shove into his mouth, and it sounds -- good. Better than he remembers. Clearer, like he hadn't really been focused when he'd started it. So much for sex fogging the brain.

He feels more than hears Ryan come in, doesn't even register it until it's legitimately touch, until Ryan's arms are snaking around him, down his chest, and Brendon can't help but lean back into it, into the warmth of Ryan's bare middle, where his hips meet the low line of his boxer briefs.

Ryan curls around him, lips at his ear as one finger traces Brendon's nipple, and whispers, "Don't stop."

Right now, Brendon kind of hates him as much as he loves him.

"Want this on the next album," Ryan says softly, and of course he'd know Brendon had written it, doesn't even have to ask, and Brendon finds himself smiling easily despite the tension.

"Did you know..." Ryan starts, sleep-loose fingers running up and down his torso as Brendon struggles to maintain the melody, "that I watch you play, every night on stage since forever?"

Brendon shudders, fingers fumbling over a string of notes.

"You're always so focused at the piano, you'd never notice. But I did. I do. Every night, I watch your fingers and I can't look away."


Ryan lets him stop then, guiding his head back so they can kiss. The angle's awkward and twisted until Ryan slinks down to straddle the piano bench, and then it's perfect, head-on and even and sweet, Ryan's hands on Brendon's thigh and fitted over the curve of his ass, and Brendon just melting into it like butter -- like some warm, liquefying haze, but then again he's not quite awake, and kissing Ryan tends to melt his brain anyway.

Ryan's smiling when they pull apart. "I see you had dinner."

"Not really. We can make tacos like you wanted."

"Can I have another cello lesson first?"

Brendon grins. "I knew you had ulterior motives."

Ryan pinches him, but sits patiently while Brendon drags out the instrument, pulling it carefully from its case and squashing himself back into the chair, waiting for Ryan to join him.

"Tell me what you remember," Brendon instructs, descending to full teacher mode as he hands Ryan the bow.

"I remember..."

Ryan shifts around in the seat, trying to position himself as Brendon had said, legs and fingers spread, arm at the proper angle, all focus and determination, but the movements are innocently obscene, inching him back against Brendon's crotch, and even thought it's allowed this time, the effect isn't softened in the least.

Brendon swallows. "Good. What else?"

"Um..." Ryan shifts a little more, trying to fit his fingers over the strings to prepare for the one note Brendon had played with him, and holds the bow in place, poised for performance. "Like this?"

"Mm-hmm," Brendon hums, dipping his head to nip at the curve of Ryan's neck, and Ryan gasps, the bow slipping and drawing across the strings in a jarring screech of anti-music.

"Asshole," Ryan hisses, but he's leaning into it, dropping his head to the opposite side to give Brendon better access, and Brendon doesn't stop, just keeps sucking a line of cherry-red bruises into his neck, slow but deep, thorough, as Ryan's breath loses whatever tenuous rhythm it had.

"Lay it down," Brendon instructs, "gently, on its side."

Ryan leans over to follow orders, placing the instrument on the floor as Brendon extracts himself from the chair and kneels in front, pushing on Ryan's thighs until he drops back to the chair, slumped down, knees and lips parted.

"Hi," Brendon grins, sliding up between Ryan's legs, hands rubbing up and down his thighs.

Ryan grins back, lopsided, his eyes all but dark liquid sex.

"My head was kinda fuzzy last night in the shower..." Brendon muses, curling his fingers under the waistband of Ryan's underwear until Ryan lifts up, allowing it to be pulled down, agonizingly slow as Brendon stops to breathe him in, nuzzling his face into the crease of Ryan's hip, cheek brushing his hardening cock. "Don't think I really got a good feel for this... guess I should try it again, figure out what you like..."

"Yeah?" Ryan counters, breathless.

"Mmm, yeah." Brendon offers an experimental lick across the head, one quick swirl around the tip before dipping down to the underside to trace a full circle, slow and practiced.

"Dude, fuck," Ryan breathes, mouth hanging shamelessly open.

Brendon sits back on his heels, admiring. "You seriously have the most amazing dick I've ever seen in my life, porn included, swear to god."

Ryan's little grunt of impatience is answer enough, but it doesn't stop him from hissing, "Then maybe you should do something with it."

Brendon makes sure his lips make contact again before the low chuckle rumbles up from his throat, the vibrations spilling over to Ryan's cock and drawing out a shudder. "I totally knew you'd be a bitch about this," Brendon notes cheerfully before bobbing down and pulling Ryan full into his mouth, sucking hard just for kicks before letting up, allowing his spit to coat the length for an easier slide before he starts up for real; long, thorough pumps that have Ryan shaking to keep himself from thrusting up, his fingers clenching and unclenching in Brendon's hair, like the rhythm might keep him grounded. It shouldn't be so hot -- or fuck, maybe it should, to see Ryan fighting for restraint when, by default, control is his virtue. But his virtue's well soiled now, the way he's gradually losing it every time Brendon goes down, a little further on each until Ryan's dick hits the back of his throat and Brendon swallows around it. Control is history as Ryan's hips jerk, helpless and chaotic, before he forces himself to freeze.

"Sorry," he apologizes when Brendon pulls off, coughing mostly for dramatic effect, and gazing up at him. "God, I'm sorry, Jesus, don't stop."

His hands stroke encouragement in Brendon's hair, eyes pleading, but Brendon. Brendon has other, more devious plans.

Slowly, for clarity but mostly to work the visual, he slides his hands from Ryan's thighs and clasps them behind his back, interlocking his fingers.

Ryan swallows hard. "Dude."

Brendon raises an eyebrow.

"Fuck," Ryan gasps, hands shakily reclaiming their grasp in Brendon's hair as he gently guides his head back down, onto his cock, and slowly presses his hips upward.

Brendon hums around him, tipping his head back in invitation to go deeper before Ryan chokes on a high-pitched breath and starts to move, slowly fucking his mouth, too careful and too precise until he just can't. Brendon's waiting for Ryan to push his limits, test him just to see what Brendon can take, but it's not until their eyes finally lock that Ryan gets it.

And gets it.

He's fucking close, Brendon can tell from the pre-come drizzling down his throat, hot and promising; Brendon's forced to dig his nails into his palms behind his back to keep his own climax at bay, but once Ryan finally starts thrusting for real, unrestrained, there's only a few good seconds of reckless abandon before he's shooting hard down Brendon's throat, fingers tight in their grip and his voice wrecked as he cries out, whole body shuddering and stilling in the same shaky breath.

Brendon's eager to have his hands back just for the sake of touching him, and he falls forward, head nestled in Ryan's lap as his palms come to rest around Ryan's hips.

"Fuck," Ryan breathes.

Brendon smiles against his skin. "Pretty much."

"You... Jesus." Ryan gives himself a minute, catching his breath. "Don't get cocky, but you are the best, ever."

"Yeah... I know."

Ryan squeezes a bit where his hand is stroking through Brendon's sweat-damp hair. "I said don't get cocky."

Brendon lifts his head, grinning. "Too late."

Ryan smiles fondly, his hand shifting from Brendon's hair to his face. "Hi."

It sounds like I love you too.


"This is a bad, bad idea."

Coming from the man who's been leading bad ideas to fame for the past two decades, it's quite a statement.

Ryan ignores him, straining on tiptoes to whack at the bottom of the tied basketball net until the worn old ball pops out the top and bounces across the dirt driveway before settling into a bed of pine needles.

"Bad idea," Brendon repeats, shaking his head, hands firmly on his hips.

"Why -- " Ryan snaps, voice strained under his efforts to untie the net, "is this such a bad idea?"

"Um, because I played basketball for like, six years until I joined your pussy emo band and lost all sense of masculinity? Because my brothers were all on varsity and they made me practice with them? And, uh, because the one time we played football with Phantom Planet, you asked who the pitcher was?"

One last flick of Ryan's fingers and the net falls open, wrinkled from the knot but functional as ever, and Ryan turns around, eyes in slits and a deadly smirk teasing at his lips.

"You're a dumbass."

"Dumbass who's gonna kick your ass," Brendon smirks back.

"Right." Ryan bends over to pick up the basketball, twirling it on one extended finger with a disconcerting lack of effort. "So when I was thirteen, my dad said I had to play a sport or I couldn't keep my guitar. Not that he ever came to the games, but I ended up on junior varsity and I only quit senior year so I could focus on the band."

Brendon laughs. "So full of shit. You would've told me."

Ryan shrugs. "Didn't have the best memories. The whole team either wanted to beat me up or rape me or both, just 'cause I had a big dick and I could kick their asses even in eyeliner and skinny jeans."

"I -- " And just, Jesus, what? "Fuck, dude, I'm -- serious? I'm sorry."

"Whatever, forget it. Doesn't matter now. All that matters is now, you and me, right here."

Brendon watches the ball hop through the air to the index finger of Ryan's other hand, still spinning like a top. "Uh-huh."

"What?" Ryan saunters forward, grinning wickedly. "Y'scared?"

"Scared you're goin' down, Ross."

"You know I'm always happy to go down on you, baby." Ryan flicks the ball into the air and catches it in his palm, fingers spread wide around its base. "You're gonna eat my dust, Urie. You're gonna fucking choke on it."

Brendon snorts. "Been choking on your ridiculous lyrics for years. Shouldn't be a problem."

Ryan bites his lip. "I've got somethin' better you can choke on."

"Hell yeah."

They share one last grin, merciless and calculating to lock in the competitive spirit, and suddenly Ryan's dribbling across the driveway, rounding up on the net and landing a perfect lay-up, his jeans (Brendon's, too big) sliding low enough on his hips to reveal the initial swell at the top of his ass.

"Fucking asshole!" Brendon shrieks.

"Yeah, wow, I scored, I'm such a dick."

He spins the ball for show and tosses it at Brendon with a laugh, reaching down to peel off his shirt and chuck it on the roof of the car beside Brendon's.

It's entirely possible Brendon's never seen him this cocky in his life.

It's also possible he's never been this turned on in his life, either.

"All right, fine, you want to play? We'll play."

Brendon tries to slip back six or seven years to his own driveway, his brothers towering over him with no mercy. They played rough and dirty, thus so did Brendon, but he starts out safe now as he waits for a scrap of technique to return to him, dribbling safely from side to side as Ryan closes in on him to play defense, the heat radiating from his body as he slides into Brendon's space, too much and too close. Brendon launches straight into performance mode under the pressure, making his way toward the basket and springing up for a jump. The ball's just balancing on the rim when Ryan's hand appears out of nowhere and knocks it away, and when Brendon comes down from the shock, Ryan's hopping from foot to foot far behind him, dribbling rhythmically, his eyes bright with challenge.

Brendon challenges him well enough, scoring a basket for each of Ryan's... five, but hey, he's rusty, and Ryan's in better shape, and seriously, Brendon can keep going here, he's a fucking archive of excuses.

"All right, look, I need some incentive here," Brendon huffs after twenty minutes of humiliation, scratching the back of his neck. "What are we playing till?"

"Till you get too turned on to play anymore."

Brendon rolls his eyes. "And winner gets what?"

"I dunno what I want yet, I'll let you know."

"Asshole!" Brendon says, laughing in disbelief. "You fucking cocky little bitch!"

Ryan's still laughing as Brendon invades his space, and ducks just as Brendon makes a grab for the ball. Not to be outdone a twentieth time, Brendon throws himself forward, grappling for anything he can reach and winds up with his arms tangled around Ryan's waist, Ryan laughing over him between indignant cries of "Foul!" as he aimlessly heaves the ball into the air just to rid himself of the burden. They both freeze, eyes on the net as the ball soars toward it in a graceful arc and swooshes straight through.

"Fuck yes!" Ryan yells, pumping his fist in the air as Brendon gasps in flagrant disapproval. "You are so fucking owned, man!"

"Own this," Brendon says, backing Ryan up against the car and kissing him hard.

Ryan's hands come up around his back almost like he was expecting it, but Brendon doesn't care, just kisses the air right out of their lungs and takes what Ryan gives him, both of them nipping at lips, teeth crashing and tongues at war as salty beads of sweat roll down over their lips and into their open mouths, intensifying the taste. They're both hard when they break apart, panting and lightheaded, Brendon lost in Ryan's blown pupils and puffy red lips, and Ryan pushing up against him for more friction, shameless.

"I think..." Brendon decides, tugging Ryan's lower lip between his teeth, "I deserve a consolation prize."

Ryan smiles against him. "So get upstairs, loser."


some people want answers, but i've never really been good at explaining myself

- Brendon Urie



"Seriously. Like. Fuck."

Brendon lets his grin sprawl out over his face, easy and candid as he turns his head to find Ryan in a mirrored pose, flat on his back, limbs sprawled, their forearms overlapping. They're both still panting, trying to find some regulation to their breaths, and Ryan's hair looks like he's been hanging his head out a car window at ninety miles an hour, skin flushed golden and seriously, like legit glowing, all the way from his face down his chest and arms, where a thin sheen of sweat has blossomed over his skin (Brendon's still tickled pink he's actually managed to find the one thing that makes Ryan sweat). Brendon's sorely tempted to make pregnancy jokes, but, one crack at time: "Never told you how much your vocabulary turns me on."

Ryan bites his lip, not too well-fucked and boneless that he still can't reach over and slap Brendon's shoulder. Brendon just laughs, cocky as fuck. This makes up for basketball like no other.

"Guess I actually fucked your brains out."

"Jesus, you're a fucking teenager, seriously."

"I hope not. This would be really, really illegal."

Ryan raises an eyebrow. "Like that'd stop you."

"Hell no. I'd totally bone your little jailbait ass."

"Like I'd let you."

"Oh, you would."

Ryan smiles so big Brendon thinks his face might burst. It's a weird image taken literally, and he'd attribute it to weed, only they haven't smoked up all day. Sex owns drugs. Possibly even rock-and-roll.

Still, smoking in general has its merits and he leans over, fishes around under the bed where he'd stashed a pack of Marlboros and a lighter. Normally he'd hide them better, smoke in private, but whatever, Ryan's not allowed to nag now; it's the afterglow.

"I -- told you -- to fucking -- quit," Ryan snaps (and hey, okay, apparently nagging is a twenty-four-seven allowance), scrambling up to sitting and snatching the cigarette from Brendon's hand just as he starts to light up, smushing the end into a bowl on the night stand and tossing the lighter across the room.

"Wh -- I did! I totally did. Once or twice a week, I swear that's all. Come on, it'd feel so fucking good right now."

But Ryan's all serious business when he looks at Brendon, calculating. "I just. It freaks me out, okay? Weed's one thing, but this shit'll fucking kill you and I can't. I can't lose you."

He doesn't sound bitchy or whiny; there's no nag in his voice, no arbitrary bossiness, just fear, and Brendon's heart does a scary jump-plummet thing. He reaches up, one hand stroking up Ryan's arm, cupping his shoulder, firm. "Okay. Okay, I won't."

Ryan looks resigned, almost guilty as he drops his eyes.

"Hey. Hey. Look at me. You're not gonna lose me, okay? I'm done. No more. Promise."

Ryan nods. "Thanks."

"Come here."

Brendon tugs Ryan back down until he can lean over him, propped on one elbow, look down and run his fingers through Ryan's hair, watching him. Just keeping eye contact, making sure Ryan knows he's here and nowhere else, not going anywhere. Outside the open window, the bugs hum in quiet harmony, and an airy night breeze wafts through the screen, skating over their skin.

Brendon's hand trails down, across Ryan's neck and down his chest. "What was your childhood like?"

Ryan laughs, doubling up the pillow behind his head. "Seriously, this is your pillow talk?"

Brendon pinches him. "What, asshole, you want me to tell you how beautiful you look when you come? You're such a girl." Ryan pinches back, unnecessarily hard. "I dunno, I just. I was always afraid to ask this stuff before... you never volunteered it. But... now we're all, like, naked and stuff, so there's not much left to make me feel intimidated."

Ryan strokes a finger down Brendon's bare chest, tracing circles, then dipping lower to where the edge of the sheet lays low across Brendon's hipbones. "You could've asked me before. What do you want to know?"

Brendon shrugs. "When did your mom leave?"

Ryan takes a breath. "I was six. It was a few months after I met Spence, so he was... right there. Like. Jesus, five years old, but he got it, like, he got how bad it was. I wouldn't have made it without him."

"Did she ever tell you why she left?"

"Not... really. I mean. She said she couldn't deal with my dad. If she really cared, she would've taken me with her. She just gave me bullshit about how she couldn't give me the life I deserved."

"Maybe... she meant it?" Brendon offers.

Ryan shrugs. "It was all bullshit. Like my dad could give me any better."

Brendon's fingers rub absently at Ryan's hip, running lightly up the smooth, taut skin of his side. "Was he already drinking then?"

"Kind of, but... it didn't get really bad till I was about eight. Even then, it was my fault."


"No, I mean. I kept blaming him for my mom leaving, yelling at him and telling him he was the reason she was gone. So he started drinking... a lot."

"Ryan, that doesn't make it your fault -- "

"I know." His voice is sure, like he's heard this a million times and it's been an uphill journey trying to make himself believe it. "I know, I just. Sometimes I think I almost wanted it to be my fault, y'know, just so I could feel like I had some control over the situation. Over... anything. I'm still like that. You know I am."

Brendon runs his fingers up and down Ryan's arm, feeling him shiver. "Did you... I mean. Does it feel that way when we... like. I know it's different with girls, with them it's like... there's default male power, even if it's just socially contrived. With guys, at least when you bottom, it's... I dunno, I just. When we... do this... do you feel like you're... giving up control?"

"God, no, that's -- that's different." A tight line stretches across his forehead as his eyes lock on Brendon's, dark with emphatic sincerity. "I trust you. I..." His head ducks, and Brendon can already tell the words to come are ones that will never leave this room. "I... I like giving up control for you."

"Okay," Brendon says softly, swallowing over the jolt of arousal that surges through him. "But... y'know. Feel free to... take it back whenever you want."

The shift in the air is instant: Brendon feels it shoot through his bones straight from the flash in Ryan's eyes as their gazes lock, reading and asking and answering. It's a statement turned invitation, and Brendon hadn't even realized he'd meant yes, like that, right now until it's out there, blindingly clear that it's what they both want.

Ryan swallows, his voice a tiny ghost of a tone when he asks, "Yeah?"

Slowly, Brendon nods.

Methodical shouldn't feel so fucking hot, shouldn't feel like such a rush, but Ryan seems to know exactly what he's doing and it's turning Brendon on crazy amounts that he himself doesn't. Ryan doesn't hesitate, doesn't falter, just slowly brings his hand to Brendon's lips, two fingers extended and the rest curled into a fist, and presses until Brendon's lips part, sucking them both in.

Brendon could do this for hours, has fantasized about doing this for hours, seriously, just Ryan's fingers, swirling his tongue around them and watching Ryan's face, the way his eyes flutter and that pretty pink mouth drops open. Brendon works them the way he'd work Ryan's dick, and Ryan knows it, can feel it, and Brendon's idly starting to wonder if he could get off just from this when Ryan slides his fingers out with a wet pop and slips them between Brendon's legs, pressing both inside at once.

Brendon tries hard to stay calm; he knows games well enough, and he's not sure what he's allowed to do, if Ryan's going to want him in any specific way, or order him around. He stays neutral, biting his lip against any noise, trying not to buck up into it, but Ryan -- Ryan isn't helping. Ryan is...

"No idea how fucking hot you look like this," he states suddenly, voice low and eerily solid, eyes locked to Brendon's, daring him to look away as he works his fingers, well versed already in finding that perfect spot, brushing over it again and again until Brendon feels himself starting to shake. "You have no idea how many times I've thought about this... lying in my bunk two fucking feet away from you..."

A whimper escapes Brendon, and Ryan thrusts his fingers in particularly hard, and okay. Yeah. Brendon's starting to learn the rules here. He bites his lip harder, focusing on silence, on Ryan's voice as his fingers fall back into a rhythm -- only now, suddenly, there's three of them, somehow having escaped Brendon's notice.

"Yeah," Ryan continues, one corner of his mouth quirking, "I jerked off right next to you so many times, thinking about what you'd look like underneath me, writhing and begging me, to give you more, or to stop, you wouldn't even know. Do you have any idea how fucking hard I came thinking about that?"

Brendon squeezes his fists into the sheet, eyes rolled back into his head, and comes.

The game's paused for a breath or two as Ryan stares down at him, his expression the picture of awe; a little cocky, but mostly impressed, until it all washes away, face back to business as their eyes refocus on one another.

Ryan swallows, staring down at the mess pooling across Brendon's stomach. "I didn't say you could come yet."

There's another pause, protracted and frozen as Brendon watches him, a little shocked and already feeling himself to start to harden again just at the words, before Ryan reaches forward and flips him over onto his stomach, fucking just like that.

Ryan's body is instantly there, covering his, protecting, as he whispers in Brendon's ear, "What's your safe word?"

"I -- fuck, Jesus, Ryan, you can do whatever you want to me, I'm not gonna stop you -- "

"What's your safe word?"

Brendon cringes, because this isn't a word, this is a confession. "Pianissimo."

Ryan goes suddenly still, and Brendon wishes he didn't know why.

"And what does this one mean again?"

Ryan points one long finger to the open splay of sheet music atop the keyboard, and Brendon leans in to read. "Ah... it means 'very softly.' Not the softest imaginable, but like... right on the edge, y'know?"

Ryan looks at him, shoulder-length hair curtaining his face, and it feels like they're on an edge of their own.

He tries to make himself look down, but down is where their thighs are pressed together on the bench, at the keyboard in Spencer's basement with Spencer upstairs and everyone asleep but them, here, in the midst of a lesson but they have to be quiet. Not silent... but right on the edge.

Ryan's eyes look bigger the longer Brendon doesn't look away.

"It's pretty," Ryan says. "It's... kind of beautiful. The word. It feels gentle. Safe. I dunno. Like..." He looks down at his hands and up at the music, eyes unfocused as they are when he contemplates words, language, their meaning and the meaning behind the meaning, his meaning. It's only been a few months, but Brendon doesn't think he'll ever get tired of watching the process. "It feels like intimacy, like vulnerability. If I didn't know what it meant, like if I just heard it... I'd think it meant 'I love you.' Or maybe, like... 'I trust you.'"

Brendon stares at him. He doesn't have words. He's in love; there are no words.

If he did, they would be, I do... and I do.

Finally, Ryan breathes, "Brendon," and Brendon doesn't think about what it sounds like.

It effectively shifts the game, until it feels like the only objective is to not lose themselves completely. Winner takes all; loser drowns.

He feels Ryan shifting behind him, uncapping the lube and ripping open the condom until he's back, pressed all along Brendon's back, his face nestled into Brendon's neck.

"Hands on the headboard," Ryan whispers. Brendon obeys, curling his fingers around the bars and holding tight. "Don't move unless I say. No noise. No words."

It's a basic, vanilla request, but it’s enough; it's the principle here, not the logistics, and he's still shuddering head to toe just in the effort to keep still. Ryan doesn't fault him for that, just kisses the back of his neck, whispers, "Shh, I've got you," and pushes in, gentle but in one thrust, no stopping.

"God," Brendon pants, and -- fuck. Yeah. This is why, the few times he's done this, he's ended up with a backside so red he could barely sit for days after.

Ryan pulls out at once, which, seriously, not expecting that, and sits back on his heels. "Tell me a secret."

"I -- what?" Brendon cranes his neck around, and Ryan's hand immediately comes up to cup the back of his head and push it down into the pillow.

"Now tell me two."

Jesus. Fucking.

"I -- " Brendon swallows, searching the depths of his brain for something, anything. "I stole twenty bucks from my mom when I was fourteen to buy gay porn at the indie bookshop."

Ryan's sharp exhale almost sounds like a laugh, but it's not. Not now. "The one on Wilder Avenue?"

"The very one."

He can feel Ryan's smile, he swears. "One more."

"I lied about it when she asked."

"'Kay," Ryan whispers, draping himself back over Brendon and lining up, pushing in, but slower, more deliberate, and Brendon bites his lip hard enough to draw blood just to keep quiet.

It's fine for a bit, Ryan doesn't press him or push him, just moves inside him like it's all he ever wants to do in the world. But when his hand reaches up, fingers interlocking with Brendon's on the headboard as he gasps, "I could stay inside you for days," Brendon's gone, a shaky moan tearing past his lips.

"Fuck," Ryan hisses, slowly pulling out, and Brendon doesn't get it, why he's using a punishment that's equally hard on himself, and Brendon almost cries at being unable to protest, to voice it, when he's been Ryan's voice for this long. "Tell me the first thing you thought when you met me."

Motherfucking fuck.

Brendon swallows, harder than before, trying to find his oxygen, his body aching and head reeling from the loss of Ryan inside him. "I thought I was completely, totally fucked."

For a moment there's nothing; Ryan's so still and silent he could've just as easily left the room and Brendon wouldn't know. And then he's back, his body shaking as he comes close and presses inside, and it's sogoodsogoodsogood Brendon can't think anymore, except to focus on behaving, because he doesn't think he can take whatever next level Ryan's got planned.

And he almost manages, just letting Ryan fuck him into a limp, shivering mess, until all Brendon can feel, think, see, taste, dream, is Ryan -- then again, that isn't far off from how he's spent the last six years.

Then Ryan starts to tremble, pressing closer to whisper, "Brendon, Brendon," and it sounds so much like a request that Brendon has to answer, just two syllables, Ryan's name, barely a breath.

Ryan swears a blue streak, stilling for a moment inside him, and Brendon feels the first prickle of tears, wants to say, don't, forget it, just forget it, please; he's never, ever used his safe word, not once, but now, now, of all fucking times, with all fucking people --

Finally Ryan pulls out, shaking the whole way, but stays draped over Brendon, pressed close, fingers wrapped around both of Brendon's hands still gripping tight to the headboard.

"Tell me," Ryan pants, "why you came here with me."

Brendon closes his eyes, pushing the tears down his face, and whispers, "Pianissimo."

He's only vaguely aware of the "Fuck" and "Shit" and "I'm sorry" and the sound of his name as Ryan pries his fingers from the bars, rolls him over onto his side and spoons him, holding him tight, one hand closing around Brendon's cock and working in a gentle, steady rhythm.

"It's okay. Come on, baby, it's okay, it's okay, you can come."

When he comes to, seconds later, Ryan's looming over him, eyes flooded with relief just to see Brendon's staring back at him.

"Fuck, fuck, I'm sorry, I'm so fucking -- "

"Hey, hey." Brendon stops him, fingers pressed to Ryan's lips. "It's okay."

"No, it's not, why did you let me do that -- "

"Ryan, shut up. Look at me. It's fine." He lets the words linger, lets them sink in as Ryan watches him. "Seriously, it's -- Ryan, it was. I've never. It was amazing, seriously."

Ryan settles a bit against him, but his face holds onto the tension like a life preserver. "I shouldn't have."

"Yes, you should've. Ryan, it was your game, and I trusted you, and now you trust me back because of it. That's what I wanted, I wanted you to take control however you needed, and you did it. We're good. We're fucking good, man, okay?"

Ryan looks at him dubiously, and Brendon knows he's aching to ask why, if Brendon trusted him, he didn't answer, but just gave in.

"You fucking used your safe word," Ryan hisses, defeated. "I fucking made you use your fucking safe word. It's not okay. I didn't -- I just wanted -- I wanted to know how far you'd trust me, and I went too far. I'm sorry, fuck."

Brendon sighs. Words aren't his fucking thing; this isn't fair. He doesn't know how to say this, or even what he wants to say.

"It's not... Ryan, you didn't do anything wrong. You trusted me enough to know I'd stop you even though I said I wouldn't, and that... that says a lot. That's good. And it wasn't lack of trust that made me stop, it's..." Brendon tries to answer indirectly, eyes skating over the dark shadows of the room. "It was more about not trusting myself. Fear is... sometimes, there can still be fear, under the trust."

Brendon's certainly no wordsmith, but Ryan considers it, staring closely. "What are you afraid of?"

Brendon blinks. "Same things you are."

It's a cop-out answer, maybe, but it's perfect. Somehow, there's truth in it, truth Brendon can't identify or even prove, but he knows, intuitively, that it's there. He knows, eventually, the fear will either win over or come crashing down, but they can do this, they can hold out just a little longer, silently plan their strategy until they've figured out how to conquer it, before it conquers them.

Somehow, Brendon knows, in the end, they'll win.

"You trust me, yeah?" Brendon asks, and Ryan nods. "But if I asked why you brought me here, would you tell me?"

Ryan looks down. "I'm... still not..."

"I rest my case."

But Brendon squeezes his hand, and it's good, Ryan squeezes back. They're still okay, for now.

"You were amazing," Ryan tells him.

Brendon smiles. "Dude, that was. Seriously, the most creative, agonizing powerplay like, ever invented. Kudos."

Ryan smiles, and it almost looks easy, natural. "Gay porn, huh?"

Brendon grins, and it's a punchline of sorts, a last word. It's over, tonight. So I guess we're back to us...

Ryan lies down against him, pulling Brendon close, and they stay like that for a long time, just breathing together, breathing each other in.

After awhile something occurs to Brendon and he asks, "What's yours?"

"My what?"

"Your word."

"Oh." Ryan's silent for a moment, just long enough for Brendon to wonder why. "Aubergine."

He smiles. "Dude, I've been singing your fucking safe word every night on stage for the last four years?"

Ryan smiles back. "Pretty much. Not like I've ever used it, though."

Brendon squeezes him a little tighter, sealing their bodies together. "You won't have to."

continued HERE.


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May 2009

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