Hidden 3 mos ago Post by jakob
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Brendon didn't have, like, a drinking problem. But he had a problem drinking. See, if he started, he became this nonsensical, overenthused asshole, rather than just a 'sleepy drunk' or a 'giggly drunk' like other people became. And then he snowballed - he could start at eleven pm and then be done by seven in the morning, at the latest, passing out or being caught by someone on his team rather than cutting himself off. He could - Ryan knew it, he'd seen him drink casually on days where he expected to be talking to media - he just chose not to, evidently telling himself at the beginning of a night out that he was going to drink to the point of a blackout, so help him. It was more fun that way, or something. Ryan didn't see the point. He forgot everything past a point, he couldn't walk by himself around hour five, and, y'know, Ryan refused to do anything intimate with him if he was genuinely drunk. Which would be a huge no-no for Brendon, or so he thought.

It's not like it was every night, really, even if Ryan had seen it enough times to identify a pattern. Maybe five days out of the week was the maximum for Brendon, unless there was something special going on, say an awards show coming up or a holiday everyone blew out of proportion. Anyway. On an average night, he could handle himself, and could actually walk upright when he was finally going home. On a bad night, though, Brendon needed an arm around his shoulder and he was incomprehensible and he still didn't see it as a time to stop - on some of these nights, even Ryan couldn't handle him. He had to rely on Brendon's chauffeur or call up some miscellaneous security to take his place. He left early, went home, and always reconsidered maybe thirty minutes after, turning up at Brendon's instead and waiting for him to come home. It seemed like a shitty thing to do, really, but he couldn't bear watching him become more and more messy even if it was just a fun night, so he had to resign to leaving him in equally responsible hands and catching up with him later.

Except for the night previous. Ryan knew he always regretted leaving him to some other staff member, so he stayed with Brendon even as he saw him slurring his next drink order, saw the bartender questioning him before relenting and serving him more againt their better judgment. Ryan didn't abstain from drinking in general, just paced himself, and throughout the night he held on to the same bottle of beer, some apple ale that was barely alcoholic. In contrast to that, he counted Brendon's first, second, third drink, and so forth; he lost count around seven because he couldn't decide whether shots counted as a whole. Either way. Brendon had had a lot, even for his remarkable tolerance. At some point, Brendon was talking at him, rather than to him, about something Ryan had absolutely no idea what he was talking about - he was talking about, maybe, a temple in Cambodia, or a cruise they should go on, Ryan honestly couldn't discern any real words from it. Whatever he was trying to say, Ryan simply nodded along quietly, his chin in his hand, both of them seated at the very edge of the bar to keep Brendon's descent as private as possible.

Which was funny, because the only reason Brendon really went this far was because he was in groups of other celebrities or children of the wealthy, but they'd all since dispersed through the club to do god knows what. Ryan didn't know - he only paid attention to Brendon, watched him closely until he began leaning out of his seat and, yes, was pliant enough to guide out the door, into his chauffeured car, back to his apartment. He was the one half-carrying his boyfriend into an elevator, the one sitting on the floor with him when he couldn't stand on the way up to his floor, the one balancing him on one side while fumbling with the key on his other. Ryan had carried him, bridal-style, to bed, taken off as many layers as he could, ensured he stayed turned on his side with a bin by the bed, had painkillers and water ready for him. He revisited being his babysitter in a much more detailed context, and he'd decided it was worrying.

It was a couple hours after Brendon had woken up when he decided it might be okay to start having this conversation - after all, now he was sensible (as much as he could be), the hangover was subsiding, and maybe he'd be open to having it, too. Ryan had a mug of coffee between his hands, sitting at the kitchen island, watching Brendon a few feet away picking disinterestedly through the cupboards. Ryan took another sip before curling his fingers around the mug again, sleeves halfway over his hands, wondering how best to go about this. "Brendon, baby," he started, voice still a little ragged despite having woken up a good few hours ago. "Last night - you probably don't remember, but... it didn't look good. When you drink like that... you have no idea how worried it makes me." He paused, looking into the tiny black sea of his coffee, avoiding eye contact. "I mean. It makes me wonder, y'know, why you need to go that far. It's scary."
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Neve
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In Brendon’s opinion, he didn’t have a drinking problem, nor did he even have a problem drinking- he just liked to enjoy himself, let go, have fun, worry about it later- or never. These days, Ryan was doing the worrying for him, the worrying he’d never bothered to do for himself. And since he wasn’t used to people caring so much about his questionable habits (or they were intimidated by a playboy brat and didn’t want to criticise for fear of rebuke/losing favour), it did get a little too much sometimes when Ryan sighed exasperatedly when he said he was going out at like, 3am, just because he didn’t really understand. He’d lived a lot of his life like this and had been surrounded by the same crowd his whole life- reckless little privileged teenagers who had grown into reckless little privileged adults. Though Ryan was the man who knew him and loved him best, he came from outside of that scene, way outside. Hell, he barely even drank himself. That never bothered Brendon, he just didn’t quite get it. But he’d let Ryan get on with his own thing on the condition that Ryan let him get on with his.

Sure, he was an asshole when he was drunk. He’d been told that by hundreds of people. But it was fun, and it wasn’t like he was doing it every night, not even really that close- so he did it, went out, partied, the king of the scene, almost, the spoiled prince, and then was chauffeured or carried home by either Gabe, Ryan, or someone that his father had paid to keep an eye on him and make sure he didn’t get mugged, or something. The only issue was there was that Brendon was always, shall we say, frisky when he was intoxicated- at least, when Ryan was within view and reach. Ryan, regrettably, refused to even engage with his drunken flirting when he was really gone. Which sucked, but not enough for Brendon to not get absolutely wasted. There would always be other times with Ryan, always, he concluded, and continued to go out in the evenings til the early mornings with a sound mind. Some nights weren’t even that bad, Brendon could handle himself, Ryan was more amused than anything by his princess of a boyfriend, they went to bed after some coaxing from Ryan and woke up to deal with Brendon’s relatively mild hangover. It was a routine. Brendon never thought to ask if Ryan was actually happy with it- nobody else he’d been close to had ever called it into question. So, that was- well, just Gabe.

Last night, though, had been one of those nights where Brendon and just come completely undone, a hot mess, having lost shoes and other items of clothing throughout the night, his childminder Ryan having lost count of how many drinks he’d consumed so far. Luckily, Brendon was a happy drunk, amongst other traits. He rambled on to Ryan about places they should visit and things they should do until he was falling asleep on the stool and Ryan took advantage of his pliancy to guide him away from the bar, final drink forgotten, and into the back of his chauffeured car so they could go back to Brendon’s apartment and make sure his hangover wasn’t too unbearable. It wasn’t. Brendon had endured a lifetime of hangovers and it wasn’t even the worst one he’d had, not even recently, not even close. The only difference was that Ryan had been his supervisor, not some detached employee. Ryan, his boyfriend, the man who loved him. But that wasn’t Brendon’s fault. He expected Ryan to just be like ‘here we go again’ and carry on as normal, tease him in the morning about the things he did the night previous that he couldn’t remember. But when he woke up, Ryan was noticeably quiet. Brendon chose to ignore it.

He was rooting through the cupboards looking for a snack when he heard Ryan speak. They’d been awake for a few hours and though the air wasn’t tense, something was up, the room was slightly unsettled when they fell into a silence that they usually didn’t mind. Brendon had woken up with painkillers, water and coffee on his bedside table and he’d texted Ryan to tell him he was awake- Ryan had almost immediately wandered in and Brendon offered him a charming, grateful grin. They’d murmured the usual automatic ‘I love you’s and shared a chaste, brief, sleepy kiss. Brendon smiled against his lips, but Ryan had pulled back before Brendon could drag him back into bed, and excused himself. About half an hour later Brendon had gotten dressed into just some clean underwear and a hoodie of Ryan’s he’d pulled from his collection, and since then they’d just been hanging out in the kitchen, a lazy and odd lull over their heads. Until Ryan started to talk, with purpose behind his tone. Brendon, baby.

Those two words together could mean a lot of things for Brendon. Usually, it was just to get his attention. Sometimes it was particularly loving and affectionate, sometimes passionate, but then- it could be like that, serious, quiet, and Brendon recognised it, knew Ryan was about to either say some irrelevant or dumb or pointless shit that Brendon didn’t need to hear. So he immediately stopped rooting through the cupboards and dropped his hands to his sides, dropping onto his heels again as he’d been straining to reach the top shelf. He didn’t turn around, just stared exasperatedly into the open cupboard. ”Ryan, darlin’?” Came his patient response, a moment before he shut the cupboard and turned around, leaning with the small of his back against the edge of the counter. Here we go. Brendon ran a hand through his persistent bedhead and blinked at him expectantly.

Last night- you probably don’t remember, but... it didn’t look good. Charming. Brendon raised his eyebrows, unimpressed by that choice of vocabulary. But now he knew what Ryan was about to say and he was sick of this conversation already. When you drink like that... you have no idea how worried it makes me. Brendon stared at his boyfriend who in turn was staring into his coffee. Honestly, he was so sick of fucking lectures. He’d done just fine without Ryan before this, he was still alive, for God’s sake. Ryan suddenly thought Brendon was going to die of alcohol poisoning or something. Though he was immediately defensive, he said nothing, just inhaled sharply and folded his arms tightly across his chest, challenging Ryan to meet his gaze. ”Jesus, not this again. Ryan, im fine. Look at me. Do I look like an alcoholic or whatever you think I am? Fuck.”

I mean. It makes me wonder, y’know, why you need to go that far. ”Fuck off,” Brendon groaned instantly, dragging his hands down either side of his face and turning around to bend over, plant his elbows firmly on the counter and drop his head. ”I don’t need to. I want to.” He straightened and turned around, jaw clenched. ”Just leave me alone about it, alright?” He snapped testily. It’s scary. ”You know what’s scary,” He exclaimed, not thinking, just saying. ”You’re just like goddamn Shane. Trying to motherfucking control me, it’s fucking bullshit.”
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Neve
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by jakob
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In the same way Brendon could read his tone, Ryan could read his body language, every tiny turn, every detail changed in his expression, so forth. He was a good actor, but he couldn’t control everything about him - and luckily, sometimes he didn’t even care enough to try and act. For example. As soon as Ryan spoke, Brendon dropped what he was doing, dropping to his height and standing still. Ryan took that as a pretty bad start. Ryan, darlin’? He turned and leaned against the counter, and Ryan studied his face, the edge that directly contradicted his deceivingly patient tone. Yeah, he really didn’t want to have this conversation, suddenly, knew exactly how it’d pan out and how much Brendon wouldn’t like him for however long of a time, and when Brendon didn’t like him life was kind of the worst. First of all he was still employed right here in this apartment, even if their relationship was, uh, otherwise complicated. So his job became a lot more awkward. Most importantly, Ryan sort of enjoyed having a loving boyfriend, and Brendon became passive-aggressive and avoidant when Ryan was being his biggest problem.

Ryan had barely begun and already Brendon’s eyebrows were up, unamused, and maybe his word choice was not the best. Self-concious suddenly, and worried about whatever the response would be, Ryan turned his gaze into his coffee, like he could dive in and hide in his mug. Alas, all he could do was shrink down more in person, sleeves curled in to his fingers, raising his shoulders closer to his ears. He could feel Brendon’s gaze. Yeah, he definitely wasn’t a fan of Ryan right now - Ryan imagined he was no longer ‘my sweet boyfriend’ but ‘my annoying assistant.’ Man. And to think he’d graduated that role. Jesus, not this again. Ryan, I’m fine. Look at me. Ryan deliberately did not look at him. He wasn’t, like, scared, but he felt bad bringing anything up like this. It felt too pointed, too much like he was attacking Brendon’s lifestyle, and he never meant disrespect - he just worried, maybe a little too much. Do I look like an alcoholic or whatever you think I am? Fuck. ”I didn’t say that,” he mumbled, reserved, and pursed his lips as he pulled his coffee closer to him, hovering over the warmth.

Fuck off. Ryan glanced up again as he turned around, watched him crumple over the counter, feeling guiltier by the second. Not guilty enough to leave him alone about it, but enough not to snap right back at him for being on the defensive. I don’t need to. I want to. ”Okay, either way, it’s not good for you, and you know it. You haven’t seen you when you’re fucked up - you haven’t had to take care of you. It’s bad, baby.” It felt like a moot argument when Brendon was this adamant on not hearing him out. He could’ve started this out better, probably. Brendon turned and he redirected his gaze again, dropping his head and lifting one hand to cradle it. Just leave me alone about it, alright? Tempting offer. But, he wasn’t going to, as much as he disliked this confrontation so far.

You know what’s scary. You’re just like goddamn Shane. Ryan stopped looking into his coffee, straightening up slowly and looking at Brendon, meeting his gaze finally. Trying to motherfucking control me, it’s fucking bullshit. Yeah, suddenly, he did want to leave Brendon alone about it, if he was going to say such stupid things right to his face. Obviously he didn’t mean it, but it was still annoying that that was the defense that came out of his mouth. Ryan was sitting upright now, moving to fold his hands in his lap, tilting his head curiously at Brendon. ”I think you wanna try that again,” he said carefully after a long pause, his own gaze challenging Brendon now, all the guilt he’d felt about bringing this up gone. He had a right to a conversation about it, he thought, and one that didn’t involve him being compared to Brendon’s abusive ex.

”I’m not sure what’s worse, Bren. That you don’t give a fuck about your health, or that you believe me showing genuine concern about it for you could even vaguely be compared to anything that asshole did.” Ryan set his jaw, turning his head until all that could be seen was his profile, then drank his coffee resignedly, deciding this was all a little too petty for his tastes. ”So should I leave now, or do you want to correct that mistake? I don’t want anyone just like Shane to be near you, so if I do leave, I may as well not come back for a while.” Yeah, he didn’t even want to look at him - but he still stared on unrelentingly, waiting for Brendon to possibly come to his senses.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Neve
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I didn’t say that. Brendon scowled. In his eyes- and those eyes belonged to a person who had rarely been told no for the entirety of his life, childhood to adolescence and beyond, due to his background and privilege- any criticism, even supposedly coming from a good, well-intentioned place, was a malicious and personal attack on his very existence. As far as Brendon was concerned, the way he was living his life was fine. He didn’t take into account the fact that his life was much better off with Ryan in it, and better yet Ryan in it as his lover- though he was creative and fluid and energised, Brendon surprisingly saw many things in plain black and white. He was stubborn, and dignified, and too proud for his own good. Plus, he had never really cared about his health. He was reckless and impulsive and- also self-destructive, though he’d never admit to actually want to cause himself harm. The way he lived in itself was actively destroying him but he’d been like that so long he just thought it was normal, or, if not normal, doing no harm. It was fun, and Brendon thrives on fleeting pleasures and white-hot shocks of adrenaline. Dramatic, but. As an emotionally neglected child who was shown affection through money only, he subconsciously started acting out because he was desperate for some, any kind of attention.

And here it was, that toxic and dangerous trait, a taste for the dangerous, snapping at his heels and following him closely into adulthood, like a dog breathing heavily down his neck. He just didn’t see it like that. This was just how he was, how he wanted to be. After all, he didn’t have a drinking problem, or any type of substance abuse issue- Ryan had said that himself. So what was the big fuckin’ deal? ”You sure as hell implied it,” He said drily, eyebrows arched, already done with this conversation before it even properly got a chance to start. He still wasn’t too hot with the whole trust and communication thing. Brendon was a romantic work in progress to say the least. Okay, either way, it’s not good for you, and you know it. Fucking hell, who did he think he was? His goddamn dad? A doctor? Ryan himself smoked cigarettes, weed, he drank- he’d dabbled in drugs, Brendon knew for definite- and here he was, preaching about health. ”You’re a hypocrite, dude.”

You haven’t seen you when you’re fucked up- you haven’t had to take care of you. Oh, Ryan was a complaining about having to look after him, huh? Isn’t that what a boyfriend was supposed to do? He was under the impression that being in a relationship meant caring for eachother. Brendon was getting increasingly, irrationally angry and defensive with every word that came out of Ryan’s poor, genuinely concerned mouth. It’s bad, baby. ”Don’t fucking baby me, you manipulative freak.” ...He didn’t mean any of this, but years of not being taught how to properly express and handle his emotions lead to him simply lashing out and not thinking about the consequences. Ryan wasn’t manipulative, and if he thought about it for a moment, actually agreed to talk about this, he’d have got that. But no, Brendon jumped in, full swing, hackles up. This is what lead to him saying probably the most stupid thing he’d ever said to Ryan- he compared him to Shane, spitting out his ex’s name like it was poison, which to them, it was, hoping it would sting because he was that unable to recognise when people were just looking out for him. He’s spent his whole life surrounded by enablers. This was the outcome.

I think you wanna try that again. ”I’m good,” He replied instantly, coldly, fixing him with his fiery gaze. But something in Ryan’s voice that he only recognised after he’d responded- he was mad, real mad, just from that. Being entirely inaccurately and idiotically compared to an abusive ex could do that to someone. I’m not sure what’s worse, Bren. Brendon dragged his hands down his face then tangled them in his own hair, nails digging into his scalp to relieve some angry tension. That you don’t give a fuck about your health, or that you believe me showing genuine concern about it for you could even vaguely be compared to anything that asshole did. Brendon knew hat if he actually soaked in what Ryan had just said, it would make sense, he’d apologise profusely, be mortified by his own actions- but in the moment, defiant and pissed and having a tantrum like a scolded toddler, he refused to pay attention, just scowled at him. ”My health is my fucking business. Not yours. You’re so entitled to me.”

Brendon watched and there was a silence as Ryan turned his head and took a resigned, careful sip from his mug. Something about the control of his aspect and approach to Brendon’s raging fire was unnerving and his eyes flickered around Ryan’s profile, noticed how his jaw was clenched in place. Maybe he’s crossed a line, but... So should I leave now, or do you want to correct that mistake? Of course he didn’t mean it. Of course it wasn’t true. But Brendon was too proud and defensive to even think about admitting that and begging forgiveness for being such a vindictive, childish asshole. I don’t want anyone just like Shane to be near you, so if I do leave, I may as well not come back for a while. Perfect. Wonderful. He didn’t have to listen to his nagging assistant complain about how much fun Brendon was having. Sounded ideal. ”Get the fuck out, then. You know where the door is.”
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In contrast to his new and possibly most significant partner thus far in his life, Ryan did not come from privilege. He wasn’t poor, either; he was the classmate who had to move house in 2008 and maybe had to subsist off of a free lunch once in a while when Dad forgot to stock up his lunch account. He was the kid who wore already-dirty cleats in the beginning of the season, but they were perfectly functioning regardless. He came home to frozen meals and sometimes takeout, went to bed with a full stomach, never had to wonder whether he was going to go hungry - because even if his father was passed out at five in the evening, there was at least something microwaveable. So, he was middle class, and the middle class wasn’t all about financial income; there were also values that went with his upbringing, which, even if they weren’t quite delivered via family, he picked up on them some way, somehow.

It wasn’t anything perfect. He could be spoiled, and callous and hateful and too full of himself, you name it - but he was realistic at most times. He was humble, knew that when there was a crowd, he was part of it, not the leader or anyone special to stand out. It was funny; Brendon didn’t receive any attention when he was younger, and neither did Ryan, not quite. In Brendon, it fueled a destructive streak, hurting himself without calling it what it was, making people wonder about him and fret or watch in wonderment as he wrecked himself and his life. It fueled a neverending chase after contentment, after things that only made him happy for the briefest of moments. In Ryan, it left him uninspired to find anything beyond not getting attention - he didn’t want to explore the possibilities, never hungered after more unless things got very desperate and he became self-victimizing. His ‘destructive habits’ were curiosities explored occasionally, most things in moderation except for a reclusive streak.

If Ryan was more self-aware, thought about his side of the story, he’d wonder where that difference came in, wonder what separated them when they could potentially be so similar. But he wasn’t totally insightful, and he tried not to overanalyze Brendon’s upbringing anymore when he realized he turned so dreadfully patronizing after a minute of it. So, it got left alone.

Questioning it, though, might guarantee an answer to why Brendon was fighting him so much right now, why he thought he was so starkly in the right, here. Still, Ryan stuck to not delving. He had to dumb it down to ‘Brendon’s being a fucking asshole’ to avoid turning into more of an asshole himself (though maybe he was being part of the problem, too, by simply accepting things the way they were). You sure as hell implied it. ”Then let me be clear. You’re not an alcoholic, and I’m not stupid enough to think so.” He was probably being too stern, but Ryan’s probable worst fear was looking anything close to unintelligent, so. He had to argue. Stupidly. You’re a hypocrite, dude. Ryan looked at him critically, challengingly. ”Explain to me how. Do I chainsmoke, binge drink, do a line every night? Tell me what I don’t do in moderation.” Arguing again. Yeah, Ryan had never had to approach this before... ironically.

Don’t fucking baby me, you manipulative freak. This is the point at which Ryan quieted, now on unsteady ground when he realized exactly how unreasonable Brendon could be - apparently, when he particularly wanted to be. ”Manipulative,” Ryan repeated, his voice low, kind of smirking at Brendon disbelievingly. Okay, maybe in another situation he could be construed as manipulative, in an unintentional way. He had a habit of being like that, obviously never meaning to. But right now, it definitely didn’t apply. He stared at Brendon, waiting for him to take it back, or something, and then he didn’t. Didn’t even look like he wanted to undo what he was saying. Ryan looked away, his lips pursed and his jaw tight.

It could get worse, though, and it did. Ryan gave him another chance to fix it, comparing him to Shane of all things, and he still wouldn’t change a word. I’m good. Brendon’s heated gaze met his, cold and resigned, and somehow nothing catastrophic happened between them despite the differences and how pissed Ryan was. He watched Brendon’s hands trail down his face then creep into his hair, almost vicious with his frustration, and usually Ryan would be sympathetic to how he felt, really, but right now he couldn’t muster up anything. It served him right. My health is my fucking business. Not yours. You’re so entitled to me. ”I’m allowed to show concern for you without it being entitlement. Recognise the difference.” He shook his head, looking down at the counter tiredly, rubbing his fingers over his forehead. Ryan didn’t know how else to get the point across how serious he was: he gave him an ultimatum.

Get the fuck out, then. You know where the door is. Ryan stared at him again, incredulous, before it became apparent that he wasn’t kidding. Ryan stood abruptly, unfolding to his full height and circling the counter to come close to Brendon, careful not to touch him but placing a hand on the surface closest to him, a warning. ”Just let me get my things so I don’t have to come back.” He wasn’t going to be the one to compromise this time, like he always tended to bend over backwards to do. Ryan stepped away, holding his gaze steadily, almost calm, before he turned, headed directly to all the files keeping Brendon’s life together sitting on his coffee table, stooping to gather them without any concern for organization. Clearly he wasn’t good enough for him if he was just like Shane but mostly he wanted an apology, and Brendon wasn’t an idiot, so this was how to get one, he figured. Ryan tucked his paperwork under his arm and made a confident path to Brendon’s room, picking up every random hoodie he’d left behind, a toothbrush he’d bought just to keep here.
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Then let me be clear. It was always difficult for Brendon to stay truly angry and vindictive during an argument with Ryan, even if he said some pretty harsh shit- and a lot of it was because, when Ryan was really pissed, he was kind of hot. He couldn’t provoke that kind of fiery behaviour from Ryan just by telling him that, coaxing him to play at angry- Ryan couldn’t pretend to be mad at Brendon if the world depended on it- the only way to get this kind of reaction was for it to be, well. Organic, for lack of a better word. This time, though, instead of irritating the life out of Ryan by displaying how instantly horny he could become from the stupidest of things, he was just. Pissed. Defensive. There was nothing sexy about being criticised in such a disappointed way. You’re not an alcoholic, and I’m not stupid enough to think so. Then why is this such a big deal, Brendon wanted to demand, meeting Ryan’s critical and steely gaze and hating that he could stay more composed than he could. So he threw out baseless accusations. Explain to me how. Brendon opened his mouth instantly, but- Ryan wasn’t a big drinker. He barely touched coke at all. The only thing that was a relatively common ‘vice’ was weed, so- he had nothing.

Do I chainsmoke, binge drink, do a line every night? No, you’re too boring, he said dryly in his head, raising his eyebrows but then firmly knitting them into a frown; but that was juvenile, Ryan was just. Normal. Apparently. Brendon didn’t have much experience with normal. His bottom lip was stuck out slightly almost into a pout, like a child being scolded. Tell me what I don’t do in moderation. ”I dunno, that stick in your ass never seems to fucking come out,” Brendon snapped, sick to death of this idiot deciding that just because they were dating or whatever that he could dictate how Brendon spent his own money (well) and his own time. He was well aware he was behaving like a rich brat, he knew he was a goddamn princess and he was sick of Ryan behaving like he should have these great morals and spend his time nursing sick squirrels back to health or something. The abnormal amount of wealth and privilege was starting to shine through properly, it seemed, and later Brendon would retch at how fucking superior he behaved for someone who accused Ryan of being too stuck-up.

Then suddenly Ryan was all baby, a term of endearment that usually made him melt, and Brendon decided he was sick of his annoying assistant’s voice, so he spat out an insult, which caused Ryan to immediately quieten. Brendon looked smug and angry, some drowsy cocktail of the two, but then he saw that Ryan was smirking dangerously and that was usually the kind of thing that would have him willing, but now- he was sort of frightened, but even then he didn’t consider that maybe he’d stepped over some kind of line and he should definitely apologise. Manipulative. ”Just like everyone else who gets this fucking close to me. You told me I should be more trusting and here you are, trying to change me- but you don’t care really, do you, as long as you get to fuck me, like Shane.” This had no grounds or even roots in truth whatsoever and Brendon was just saying stuff mindlessly that he thought would hit a nerve and gain him an advantage. He didn’t realise he was just being pathetic and embarrassing.

I’m allowed to show concern for you without it being entitlement. Recognise the difference. Brendon was still bristling and he watched Ryan, who looked kind of defeated at this point, give his ultimatum. Both of them were so riled up that even in this white-hot angry stage Brendon knew the best thing to do was just to separate and cool off. But he couldn’t even do that amicably- he spitefully permitted, no, encouraged, demanded, Ryan to leave his fucking home. Ryan was staring at him and Brendon puffed up his chest like he’d never lost a war- but then Ryan was up and he lost his metaphorical footing when his much taller boyfriend circled the counter island and penned him in against the kitchen surface. There was a spark of heat, sure, but not enough to melt the iciness between them right now. Just let me get my things so I don’t have to come back. Oh. Honestly, Brendon hadn’t meant it. Ryan was usually the one who waved the white flag between them. This was- different. Brendon didn’t like it, wavered uncertainly, unsure, meeting Ryan’s eyes and then following him with his gaze as he turned and walked away.

He was expecting some sort of compromise but clearly that- wasn’t where this was going. He could be bluffing, but- Brendon was scared now, springing into action and following him into his own bedroom, watching uncertainly. There were an assortment of hoodies strewn about and Brendon felt his heart twist when Ryan picked them up- wrapping his arms around himself tightly, he hoped Ryan wouldn’t notice that he was wearing one right now and watched sullenly, eyes wide. ”Wh-” He didn’t mean to sound so desperate. ”What, are you breaking up with me? Am I not- good enough for you?” He looked very small, suddenly, Ryan’s hoodie sleeves longer than his arms, which were wrapped around himself as he stood in the doorway. But. He couldn’t let himself look that vulnerable. ”Alright, then. Fine. Give me your key.”
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jakob

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I dunno, that stick in your ass never seems to fucking come out. Ryan was hardly listening, more reflective than anything. He and Brendon, they were something of a duo; they rarely actually argued although they could disagree plenty, given the right situations and a good amount of stress. Well. That was probably being too fair. They could disagree over the tiniest things, too, like some personal take on a movie they’re otherwise cuddled up watching, or over who took the last cup from the coffee pot, or what they were going to do for date night. And, hey, maybe to a ‘normal’ couple, this discussion could be a civil one, where person A voiced a concern lightheartedly and person B realized they could be right, but Ryan wasn’t exactly an expert at saying these things the right way and Brendon wasn’t the kind of person to admit defeat.

It’d turned into something much bigger, and Ryan knew Brendon couldn’t really help this kind of thing, the words flooded out of him, but his patience could only run for so long. At this point he couldn’t find it within him to place an equal amount of blame on himself for how things had turned out, like he’d usually be able to; his position felt totally unfair. It was no longer about what Brendon got up to and how often, though Ryan definitely still cared- moreso he was pissed about what Brendon could make up about Ryan to make him look bad on the spot. It was almost a talent how much he could mar an image for someone he obviously did like and just said stupid things about in the heat of the moment. Yeah, Ryan was aware that he didn’t really believe these things, but he’d be damned if he sat around and pretended that it was okay.

There was no ‘he wasn’t raised any other way,’ ‘I understand he didn’t mean that and I’ll ignore it,’ ‘he doesn’t know better.’ Really, Brendon did know better - he’s a grown man. But, more than that, he was stubborn as hell. Just like everyone else who gets this fucking close to me. You told me I should be more trusting and here you are, trying to change me- but you don’t care really, do you, as long as you get to fuck me, like Shane. Ryan offhandedly wondered if Brendon really thought anyone trying to help was the same as ‘changing’ him, but he supposed that was right in a sense, anyway. When you’ve got an unhealthy habit, you change it for the better. Bad things, Ryan knew, were not a fundamental part of Brendon’s character, and he never aimed to change him as a person. Was he going to say anything else to defend himself now, though, when the conversation was obviously not gonna be based on sense? No. So he kept all that to himself.

(And he had no idea where the part about him only caring about sex came from, considering out of the two of them he was much less ‘on’ all the time, but he supposed it was more heat of the moment nonsense. Anything to make him seem more like Shane, or something. In whatever case, Ryan struggled not to almost laugh, the idea that he could do all of this out of thirst alone hilarious to him.)

He gave in. Up close, Ryan could catch the flash of uncertainty in Brendon’s countenance, something utterly rare for him but so distinct when it happened. Ryan was dead serious, though, so he turned away, began gathering his things wordlessly, his pace easy. Wh- What, are you breaking up with me? Ryan glanced over his shoulder, at the vulnerable picture of Brendon too small for his hoodie, arms circling himself not as the winner of a war like he might usually but as someone actually nervous. Ryan could be easily charmed, generally, except the comparison to a neglectful ex was still fresh on his mind, so. He raised his eyebrows at Brendon impatiently. Am I not- good enough for you? Apparently not a saint, Ryan actually responded. You told me to leave. I don’t wanna come back ‘til you’re ready to suck up your pride. I’m sick of being the one to compromise.” He tapered another jacket over his arm, his collection of belongings starting to bulk up.

Alright, then. Fine. Give me your key. Ryan knew he hadn’t grabbed every last piece of himself from the place - honestly, it’d take a good half hour to really scavenge the entire space, given it took up an entire floor - but he didn’t care, just quit his path, stood up straight and met Brendon’s gaze then. He was even more proud than Ryan thought. Well, he was past arguing by now, so he turned to the nightstand to retrieve his keyring before he approached Brendon in the doorway, disconnecting the key to the apartment mechanically and handing it over. An afterthought, he handed over his own work, every detail of managing Brendon’s livelihood crammed under his arm, forfeiting it to Brendon himself. ”Is that all?” he said expectantly, not about to shove past him to get through the doorway despite his temper, making the obvious motion to leave.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Neve
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Neve

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Of course Ryan didn’t just care about sex. In fact, out of every major benefit of being in a romantic and committed relationship, that was the least important thing to Ryan- which, to someone like Brendon, very in tune with his own sexuality, was frustrating sometimes. But, hey, it wasn’t like he was some celibate. Brendon’s energy and passion tended to rub off on people, and- he and Ryan were head over heels in love and hopelessly attracted to one another. As different as they were, things worked- though admittedly they’d had to try hard, because nothing was ever simple, and love alone doesn’t necessarily make a relationship healthy and functioning. But being as in love with one another as they were, it made it so much easier to try and Brendon had so much to lose now, a wonderful man who loved him unconditionally and held him at night and wrote him dumb messages in the fogged-up mirror and made him feel irreplaceable. Yet here he was, accusing him of only caring about fucking, for no reason other than that he was too proud and defiant to accept that some of his behaviour wasn’t healthy or appropriate.

And Brendon had compared to Ryan to Shane- just because he knew it would get to him, even if he didn’t show it, and just because it was the worst insult he could think of because Shane had really been that bad. Not just an asshole ex, he’d been abusive; Ryan, his loving and sweet and astounding boyfriend was nothing like him and he didn’t deserve such a low blow, especially when it was so ridiculously far from being accurate. Everything Ryan had said so far was right and Brendon was too trapped in his own fantasy world where nobody cared enough about his health to tell him that maybe drinking that much, or maybe that getting off his head right before a family dinner wasn’t a good idea. All his life he’d just been enabled and now here his man was, perfectly acceptably expressing concern and carefully criticising the way Brendon actively chose to spend his spare time. He didn’t have an addiction of any kind. He just didn’t know what ‘excess’ meant and he didn’t care enough about himself to do anything potentially harmful in moderation.

So, really, Ryan was well within reason, deciding not to compromise and instead just making the move to leave, because Brendon was being a dickhead and negotiating with him thus far, trying to get through to his proud little mind, was proving difficult. So it was understandable- but Brendon, right now, worked up and sensitive and dramatic, saw it as some kind of drastic draw of the line, panicked when he saw that Ryan was serious and hoped desperately that this wasn’t a breakup, it was just a fight, all couples had those, right, it wasn’t a big deal. But Ryan was collecting his belongings that were strewn casually around Brendon’s apartment and it was a big deal and Brendon’s eyes had widened, he shrank in on himself, drawing his hands further back into the sleeves of the hoodie he was wearing, his mouth pursing into a small pout as he watched Ryan clear out evidence of their relationship. Now terrified, he asked if Ryan was for real, but kept his voice relatively steady.

There was no answer- just an eyebrow raise, and Brendon’s eyes darted across his face urgently, trying to figure out what that meant when Ryan had turned again to pick up another jacket. You told me to leave. Brendon scowled. ”You brought it up first,” He mumbled. I don’t wanna come back ‘til you’re ready to suck up your pride. It seemed that Ryan was going to be gone for a while because Brendon almost retched at the thought of swallowing his pride. I’m sick of being the one to compromise. Now trying to push away the increasingly powerful feeling of heartbreak, which sort of felt like someone was hacking at his heartstrings with a cleaver, Brendon stiffened and drew his eyebrows in and figured that being meaner was the only way to keep his walls up about this. Ryan was breaking up with him, this was the worst thing ever. So he demanded Ryan’s key.

They stared at eachother for a long moment, both of them clearly miserable and angry and hating this but Brendon stubbornly not apologising and Ryan (rightfully so) not compromising- but then Ryan’s keys were flashing in his hands and Brendon had closed his fingers around the cold metal pressed against his palm. He didn’t look at it, just shoved it into his pocket hastily. There was a beat but then Ryan was shoving the stack of work and papers into his arms and Brendon was too stunned to refuse taking them- he just stared at the stack, then back up at Ryan, and swallowed. What an abrupt, horrible end to their relationship, if- Is that all? Brendon could tell he wanted him to move so he stepped aside, steadying himself against a wall, trying not to shake with frustration and upset. ”Is that it, then? Are you- we’re breaking up?” Just this morning they’d been curled up in bed together, Brendon pressing lazy kisses along Ryan’s collarbone and Ryan tracing patterns into his hips. This fucking sucked. ”I- get out.”
Hidden 14 days ago Post by jakob
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jakob

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You brought it up first. Ryan wondered what went on in Brendon’s head, here. This was as serious as they’d ever been during a fight, sure, so maybe it was all a jumble and he was just staggering through arguments at random - but what direction was he going, if any? Did he want to win something? It was starting to sound like it, and Ryan gave him an exasperated look, almost in disbelief if not for the fact that this was kind of believable Brendon behavior anyway. Still - he was one in a million. Okay, Ryan brought up leaving. He’d been expecting some refuting. In fact, he’d given Brendon the second option of apologising, and yet there didn’t even seem to be a pause of consideration for it. It was almost funny the way Brendon was navigating this all; Ryan knew he was stubborn and self-assured, he just apparently hadn’t known the extent to which before this.

He waited again for Brendon to back down, because surely when he was under the impression that things were ending between them, he’d simmer and try to see things from Ryan’s angle. Apparently that was expecting too much. Ryan studied him, the absent way he stuffed away the keys as soon as he got them, how he barely acknowledged the documents handed his way. If anything, Ryan figured the premise of having to deal with this stuff or find someone else to do so would scare Brendon into reconsidering, but he said nothing. Instead, he just made way for Ryan, and Ryan stepped forward confidently, afraid his own persistence might run out in favor of turning around and giving Brendon an easy way out of this. Is that it, then? Are you- we’re breaking up? ‘We don’t have to be, idiot,’ Ryan wanted to snap at him; it was that simple, ‘just apologise or at least take it back.’ But it didn’t seem like he was backing down.

He stopped in the doorway, close to him, turning a tired face to Brendon and studying him. He supposed that was how Brendon was, anyway, and this wasn’t a reflection on how much value he placed in their relationship - if it was, then hell, all of this was nothing. But in reality Brendon hadn’t had to truly fight for anything in his life. He’d fight in general, sure, he’d argue and start conflict for the fuck of it and bite back at sometimes the most ridiculous of provocations, ‘cause he was... y’know... like that. When it counted, though, he wasn’t conditioned to raise a finger. To be fair to him - Ryan wasn’t much of a fighter, either; he was sort of spineless at best, and more often than not, he bent to Brendon’s will (and not without being annoying about it). Right now, though, he was deadset on not letting this one slide, sparking a change to their frustrating status quo. Given how firm Brendon was on his side, it looked like this was becoming a risky game to play.

Actually, he was a little worried. Ryan was probably easily replaced for someone like Brendon, and. If he really believed they were breaking up, and really couldn’t admit he was in the wrong for Ryan not to stick to his guns and walk away... A flash of doubt shone through his features, and Ryan’s gaze flickered from Brendon’s momentarily, uncertain. ”I- I don’t want to talk to you when you’re treating me like shit. So think about what you want between us. I’m not making things easy for you anymore, I’m done with that.” He avoided the question, really, because god it scared him to think about breaking up. Brendon had become such an integral part of his life, someone he looked forward to seeing every day, in fact- the first thing he thought about when he woke up, last thing when he fell asleep. And, with what started all of this, how would Brendon cope healthily? Compromising and losing his new self-assuredness sounded nicer by the minute.

He remembered this morning, too, his nose buried in Brendon’s hair, fingers dancing over his waist, while he left a garden of kisses along Ryan’s chest. Sure, Ryan had been dreading the conversation in the first place, but being worried and holding Brendon in his arms was better than this, feeling worlds apart. I- get out. Ryan swore he could hear his own heartbeat, like his ribcage was too tight, and he looked at Brendon, looking so out of place and out of his element holding everything Ryan had shoved his way. For a moment he suffocated in the feeling of being at fault; if he’d kept his mouth shut they’d probably be on the balcony laughing at nothing, soaing up the sun. He pushed that guilt away. Feeling sick, he complied, taking a tiny step back through the bedroom door and towards the front door. Any more words at this point and he was just stalling, but - Ryan was terrified. He stopped briefly against his better judgment, pursing his lips. ”Bren, I’m serious. If you don’t fix this, I’m done. Just think it through.” He shook his head to himself, genuinely exhausted, and finally approached the front door, giving up on trying to convince him.
Hidden 4 days ago Post by Neve
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Of course he didn’t want to break up with Ryan- he was in love with him, for God’s sake, and the thought of being without him was terrifying- but he was stubborn and volatile and so unused to people being concerned about his wellbeing that he mistook it for criticism and an attempt to control him. Deep down he knew that Ryan was generally just concerned about his health and cared about him deeply enough that he didn’t want Brendon to harm himself- but for the most part Brendon was adamant that he was being manipulative and hypocritical and defensive enough that he compared his adoring lover to his emotionally abusive ex. It was frankly ridiculous but in the moment, it made all the sense in the world to Brendon. So, though he felt his throat close and his breaths shorten when Ryan handed over the apartment key and things really seemed final, he was completely set on not apologising or compromising and so it seemed this really was the end of the dynamic duo they had formed. Over his goddamn drinking habits, he thought scornfully, why did Ryan have to make such a big deal over something Brendon had been doing for so long.

That said he was still in denial, hoping to god Ryan was bluffing and was moments away from sheepishly backing down. He asked, waveringly, if this was real, were they over, and could barely meet Ryan’s eyes. I- I don’t want to talk to you when you’re treating me like shit.. Brendon perked up instantly in protest, like a puppy about to whine, his mouth forming a shallow pout as his eyebrows drew together in frustration. How was he the one treating Ryan like shit, here? This was Ryan’s fault for being such an uptight bastard. He was going to interrupt but Ryan beat him to it. So think about what you want between us. As was usual for them, Brendon’s mind went to inappropriate and humorous places despite the seriousness of the situation, which showed that it still hadn’t sunk in that Ryan was serious. He was going to say something like, ‘preferably less space and no clothes’, but even Brendon was wise enough to know when to shut up.

”I don’t understand,” He murmured instead, distantly, looking crestfallen because- he wanted Ryan, what else, Ryan had just ruined it for him, that’s all. ”I don’t want this. A pause, Brendon swallowed and steeled his expression. ”But you haven’t really given us a chance, here.” I’m not making things easy for you anymore, I’m done with that. A scowl had formed from the initial stoniness of his expression and Brendon was going to snap, then, snarl that Ryan had no right to say it was always Ryan making sacrifices, making things easy, doing the hard work, because Brendon had changed and given up a lot in order to keep Ryan by his side and that was indisputable, in his opinion. And here Ryan was, leaving the trouble between them in Brendon’s name. Still, he panicked. Nothing had ever been entirely his responsibility to deal with and Brendon wasn’t confident of his ability to win Ryan back if worst came to worst and they really were no longer together.

A universe where they weren’t in a relationship didn’t make sense and Brendon would do anything to stop that from happening. In theory. In practise, he didn’t even recognise what he had done so badly wrong that had caused Ryan to suggest fully leaving the apartment and then their relationship- especially since only this morning they had been the perfect image of love, curled in eachother’s arms, comfortable and basking in a sense of warm belonging, belonging to someone, to something. And if he did recognise it, he was way too stubborn and proud to admit his catastrophic mistake. A million thoughts rushed through his head and solutions raced through his mind but he simply settled on a stern, quiet, sad, ‘get out’. He was holding onto the piles of paperwork and feeling about two inches tall, watching Ryan walk towards the door and following him at a distance, bottom lip trapped so hard between his teeth that he had drawn blood and tasted iron.

Bren, I’m serious. If you don’t fix this, I’m done. Just think it through. He stopped when Ryan did, gaze flicking from Ryan to the door behind him that, when he walked through it, would signal the end of their relationship, he supposed. He was thinking it through and every bit of common sense he had was screaming fix it, apologise, you fucked up- but it was battling between the pure stubborn anger dominating his person. The victor of the two warring sides emerged as Ryan’s hand touched the door handle, when Brendon hoarsely and, to his own surprise, burst out with, ”Wait,” and then fell into silence. Oh, fucking hell. He didn’t even know what he planned to say. Brendon looked down at his feet and swallowed. ”I love you,” He said, softly, but very unsure because his voice cracked midway through. ”Please- don’t.”
Hidden 1 day ago Post by jakob
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I don’t understand. Of course he didn’t. And Ryan almost- pitied him for it, as bad as it sounded. Ryan was forcing this whole ‘taking responsibility’ move on him pretty fast, hardly explaining what was wrong to someone who couldn’t possibly detect a fault within himself. That’s just how it was; change took time, and Ryan had given him none of it, but apparently this kind of treatment was punishment enough. judging how small and defeated Ryan’s usually proud and bold boyfriend was at the moment. Yeah, he was fucking pissed about his efforts to help being jumped on, plus the whole comparison to Shane, but Brendon would sincerely believe he was innocent no matter what. That was his upbringing, no repercussions.

I don’t want this. Ryan watched him fight for composure, looking guarded himself. But you haven’t really given us a chance, here. Ryan considered every second where he wasn’t walking out the door a ‘chance,’ but of course, Brendon having no idea where he’d gone wrong was sort of throwing a wrench into his plans of receiving a genuine, sincere apology. It was hard to not start convincing himself that maybe it really didn’t matter all that much, maybe he was playing all this up in his head and Brendon could go off the hook... actually, it wasn’t just hard, Ryan was already sort of doing it. Like- he really didn’t want to desert Brendon for however long it took to make up for this, if he made nice at all. He sorta liked him. And he was spineless.

But he was walking out anyway, because he was sick of the role he’d had to play in this relationship, and. If Brendon cared enough to stop him, then... Wait. They were such a cliché that Ryan was almost tempted to just ignore it to preserve their dignity. Alas, he turned at the waist, looking at Brendon impatiently when he couldn’t meet Ryan’s gaze. I love you. His broken voice wasn’t entirely convicing, and Ryan almost smiled, endeared- he was dating the most inexperienced guy in the world, no clue how to navigate a real relationship. Lucky him. Please- don’t. Ryan studied him for a moment, considering. God, Brendon was an idiot, but so was he.

Because he was such a massive, unrelenting idiot, Ryan let the door fall shut. He dropped all his belongings he’d gathered up in one pile - easy enough to pick back up in a heartbeat should things go awry - and approached Brendon, hands hovering over his waist while he walked them backward a few steps back to the counter island their argument had started in the first place. He took back the paperwork shoved hastily in his arms and slid it across the marble, then regarded Brendon more carefully, deciding he’d make this much clearer. ”Tell me you don’t believe I’m like Shane. Tell me you’re not serious about that bullshit and I’ll think about not walking out of here.” Okay, so he was definitely being mean, but. Big difference, still. And, yeah, this hardly addressed his initial issue, but that was one he could actively help control at another time.
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